Home Articles Festivals SIMKHAT TORAH
Written by Victoria Radin   


The day that follows the Fall Feasts, culminating with Sukkot, is a Special Sabbath called Simkhat Torah (Leviticus 23:36 & Numbers 29:35). Being held on the eighth day after the Feast of Tabernacles, Simkhat Torah marks a new beginning. The number eight signifies ‘new beginnings’ and ‘that which transcends the natural realm’. This Special Sabbath marks the end of the old year of Torah readings and the beginning of the new Torah cycle.

In Israel and according to the Bible, the eighth day after the Feast is called Simkhat Torah. It is a Special Sabbath. In the U.S., however, the eighth day is called Shemini Atzeret & Simkhat Torah is celebrated on the ninth day.

The Torah is divided up into ‘portions’ and read throughout the year each Sabbath in the synagogue. During the Simkhat Torah synagogue service, two highly regarded individuals are selected to read the last ‘portion’ of the Torah, Deuteronomy 33:27 to 34:12 and the first ‘portion’ of the Torah, Genesis 1:1 to 2:3.

The Torah is the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 33:27 to 34:12 describes the end of the Age and the beginning of the Messiah’s reign on earth:

“The eternal God....shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, ‘Destroy them.’ Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you shall tread down their high places.” (Deuteronomy 33:27-29)

Deuteronomy 34 goes on to describe the death of Moses and the rise of Joshua as leader of Israel (Deuteronomy 34:9). God desired to rule Israel in the Promised Land through His chosen leader, Joshua.

Joshua is another ‘form’ of the name Yashua, the name given to Jesus at birth, commonly spelled ‘Yeshua‘.

Both Moses and Joshua are ‘types’ of Yeshua. Moses symbolically represents ‘The Law’ given in the wilderness and Joshua represents ‘Divine Law’ that will exist during the Millennium. This Special Sabbath foreshadows the end of ‘The Law’ [followed ritualistically] for Israel and the beginning of Yeshua’s reign over their lives during the Millennium. The last Torah ‘portion’ describes God’s rescue of the nation of Israel from the world (many waters) in the end of the Age as recited above.

The Torah portion from Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 records the creation of the earth. The reading of these Scriptures on Simkhat Torah foreshadows the restoration of the earth after Armageddon.

The person honored to read the last Torah portion of the year is called the Bridegroom of the Torah. The person selected to read the first Torah portion of the Torah cycle is called the Bridegroom of Genesis. It is a celebration during which the entire congregation joins in joyful procession following the person who is carrying the Torah scroll around the synagogue.

Yeshua is called the Word of God (John 1:1-4) and the Bridegroom (John 3:29). It is believed that Yeshua was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles 1 on Tishri 15, on the full moon or brightest day of the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar. He was circumcised eight days later2 on the 22nd of Tishri3 on Simkhat Torah, making this the day of restoration of the covenant between Israel and G-d.

Circumcision was the sign (Genesis 17:11) of the blood covenant made between God and Abraham (Genesis 17:2-11) promising to make Abraham the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5) and to be God to him and his descendants (Genesis 17:7), and to give his descendants the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:8).

Yeshua (Jesus) is the Alpha and the Omega4 the Beginning and the End, the Eternal Word of God (the Torah), the Bridegroom of the Torah as well as the Bridegroom of Genesis. He will rescue Israel at the End-of-the-Age, defeat the enemies of God, and then restore the earth to its original condition.

This day foreshadows the beginning of the Sabbath Day of Rest, the Millennial reign of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).

1The Companion Bible, E. W. Bullinger’s study notes, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids

2Genesis 17:11, 12

3Leviticus 23:34-36

4Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13

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