Lev 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. -KJV
The “eighth day assembly” is ‘shemini atzeret’ (shemini is 8th and atzaret is assembly) in Hebrew. Strong’s word is H6116 – atzeret. The root of ‘atsaret’ is ‘atsar’. One of its meanings is “to detain”. Thus, the “8th day of detention”. The KJV translation calls it a “solemn assembly” even though the Hebrew word for ‘solemn’ (חֲגִיגִי) is not there. Shemini Atsaret is to be both a holy “convocation” (miqra) and a more special king of assembly to YHVH, an “atsaret”.
Shemini atzeret is, indeed, a day of being detained for “just one more”. It is the day when the newly married Groom says to His Bride, “Stay here with me alone just for one more day”. It has the sense of being a plea – “Please stay for just a little while longer”.
This plea is understandable since the previous seven days of marriage celebration has been so joyful. Who would want it to end? So, we are detained by our Groom for one more day of intimate, marital joy before the couple must, at last, exit the chamber to begin ruling their Kingdom.
The 8th day Feast is also known as ‘Simchat Torah’ which means ‘joy of the Law’. The implication of this should be obvious which is that the law is a joyful inheritance for YHVH’s people. It is a joy to celebrate this special inheritance on the 8th day, the day following the 7-day Feast of Sukkot, the Feast of Nations which is prophetic of the 7-year cycle the earth is currently experiencing.
The noun ‘simcha’ is mentioned in the Bible 94 times and is derived from the verb ‘samach’, which appears 154 times. It is rooted in the ancient Akkadian word ‘shamahu’ meaning ‘to sprout or flourish’.
‘Simcha’, as the verb, has two opposite meanings. Most of the time, simcha means rejoicing, happiness, gaiety, contentment, joyful occasion and festivity. But occasionally the word is used negatively, expressing mockery, ridicule and malice.This joy, simcha, is the joy that one can only experience within the context of celebrating with one’s “Husband”. This kind of joy cannot be experienced without others because it is not a personal joy or happiness felt only within. It is a joy to be received from our “Husband” because it is YHVH’s joy that comes through Him to us. Here’s the catch: His joy is spread through the congregation by His people celebrating together!
This is the same kind of joy one experiences on the day of his or her wedding. It is a joy that is not possible to be experienced alone. The Bride requires a Groom and the Groom requires a Bride for this kind of joy. The only way to obtain this joy to so participate in the ‘shemini atzeret’, the important assembly, and to fulfill the ‘simchat Torah’, the rejoicing over the Law. From this experience will come a joy and peace that passes understanding.
YHVH’s Feasts provide us with a sustainable joy and motivation to continue a personal relationship with our King (“Husband”) and Creator.
The Foundation of Moshe’s Prophetic Blessings in the Simchat Torah Reading
Deu 33:1-2 And this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel just before his death. He said: “The LORD came from Sinai. Rising from Seir upon us, he shone forth from Mount Paran, accompanied by a myriad of his holy ones, with flaming fire from his right hand for them.
YHVH came from Seir – that is, Mount Seir, Esau’s territory, in what is now southern Jordan – to meet the Israelites at Mount Sinai after the Exodus from Egypt. But why did He come from there? One reason may be that YHVH came from Seir to show the Edomites that He had, indeed, passed them over in favor of the Israelites.
YHVH was accompanied by ‘a kadosh myriad’, according to Deu 33:2. This was a holy myriad. The Hebrew word for myriad is ‘rebabah’.
From H7231; abundance (in number), that is, (specifically) a myriad (whether definite or indefinite): – many, millions, ten thousand, etc.
The KJV and other Bible versions translate ‘kadosh myriads’ as ‘ten thousands of saints’. There were no ‘saints’ in the classical Greco-Roman sense of the word as it has been used since the creation of the Catholic church. There was only the ‘kadosh myriads’, the holy (set apart) thousands or millions that arrived with YHVH at Mount Sinai, as it says in verse 2.
This is the set apart congregation who accompanied YHVH to Mount Sinai where they met Him and received the blessing of being present for the formation of the Kingdom of Israel.
The ‘flaming fire from His right hand’ is a reference to the flaming torch in Genesis 15 which walked through the pieces of the sacrificed animals to make the Abrahamic Covenant. The flaming torch (YHVH) promised the smoking furnace (YHVH) and Abraham what He would create a nation from Abraham’s descendants. So, as the holy assembly approached Mount Sinai, the fiery flame could be seen. He was witnessing that He keeping His promise to Abraham.
Deu 33:3 Indeed, You showed love for peoples; all his holy ones are in Your hand, for they let themselves be centered at Your feet, bearing Your utterances.
The Israelites received the Torah at YHVH’s feet just as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who received the law in like fashion from their forebears. YHVH was on the top of the mountain. The Israelites were at the base of the mountain.
No word is as packed with mystery than the name ‘Yeshurun’.
Deu 33:4-5 The Torah that Moses commanded us is a legacy for the congregation of Jacob. And He was King in Jeshurun, whenever the sum total of the people were gathered, and the tribes of Israel were together.
Yeshurun is YHVH’s term of endearment for His people. This word is full of YHVH’s expectations of us, as well as prophecies about us.
YHVH was their King at this time. Later, during the time of Samuel, YHVH’s people rejected Him as their King preferring a human king, instead. Today, this translates into the false Jewish doctrine that the Messiah cannot be but a man.
Yod – Shin – Resh – Nun – Spells Yeshurun
נ ר ש י (left to right in Hebrew: ישרנ)
Yod is the 10th and smallest Hebrew letter.
The ancient pictograph for Yod looks like an arm or hand. The Hebrew word, ‘yamin’, means right arm. The Son of YHVH, Yeshua, is called the ‘Son of the right arm’ because it was the right hand of God who delivered the Israelites from Egypt. He now sits at the Father’s right hand. Both Yeshurun and Benjamin also carry the aspect of being ‘sons of the right arm’.
The Yod is the ‘finger of God’ pointing to Israel’s destiny. The destiny of Yeshurun, the Israelite people which are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was predestined. Israel is the chosen people of YHVH. His finger, the Yod, pointed to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jacob’s 12 sons.
Paul teaches us about this Yod, this ‘finger of God, aspect for Yeshurun:
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
According to Paul, Israel’s destiny was predestined, but there is an aspect of personal predestination, as well.
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will…
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will…
Predestination can be defined as “predetermined purpose by YHVH”. He predestined Yeshurun for a purpose. Israel was given the opportunity to see what we would do with our chance at life.
The Yod is a configuration of three equal divisions of the 12 constellations that represent the tribes. The number 3 is a divine number referencing the 3 elements of Israel’s predestined birth that relate to ways in which we can understand our God. He is Father creator, Son who builds the Father’s house and the Ruach (Spirit of the Father and Son) that dwells within the chosen people yet He is ONE since the division in the constellations is exactly equal.
The Shin stands for the word Shaddai, a name of God. Jerusalem rests on the mountains that make a Shin.
(The Shin wraps around the Temple).
The human heart is in the shape of a shin. Because of these, the Cohen (priest) forms the letter Shin with his hands as he recites the Priestly Blessing. YHVH’s name is put upon His people in this term of endearment He gave them.
The letter Shin has five definitions. The first is Shin: “Tooth,” or “teeth” which are used to chew food, both physical and spiritual. The second is ‘lo shanisi’, meaning “steadfastness in one’s faith.” The third is ‘shinoy’, which is “to change for the good.” The fourth is ‘shuvah’, which means “to return.” The fifth is ‘shanah’, or “year”, an obvious reference to the various Hebrew calendars.
Resh has the meanings of “head” and “man”…
…as well as “chief,” “top,” “beginning” and “first,” each of which are the “head” of something.
Israel is to be the head of the nations, the leader who brings them to YHVH’s light. They are also ‘first’ in YHVH’s heart.
Nun is a picture of a seed sprout representing the idea of continuing to a new generation. This pictograph has the meanings of “continue,” “perpetuation,” “offspring” and “heir.”
We are Abraham’s seed. Like Jacob, who is Abraham’s grandson, we are heirs to Abraham’s promises received from YHVH.
Nun also represents the quickening of the Ruach in the human soul. There is no eternal life for a human being without this quickening without being born again.
The Tribal Blessings
Deu 33:6 May Reuben live and not die, and may his people be counted in the number.
For what reason is Reuben’s blessing about “not dying”? It because of Reuben’s sin with Bilhah, Jacob’s concubine. The blessing is for Reuben to not die out completely for the sin he committed against Jacob, but just enough for him to get the point that treason doesn’t pay.
Deu 33:7 May this [also be] for Judah.” And he [Moses] said, “O Lord, hearken to Judah’s voice and bring him to his people; may his hands do battle for him, and may You be a help against his adversaries.”
Judah is our voice in the earth – the voice of the WHOLE House of Israel – and through him will our eternal King reign once again. Judah’s hands were made to do battle on our behalf.
Deu 33:8-9 And of Levi he said: “Your Tummim and Urim belong to Your pious man, whom You tested at Massah and whom You tried at the waters of Meribah. who said of his father and his mother, ‘I do not see him’; neither did he recognize his brothers, nor did he know his children, for they observed Your word and kept Your covenant.
Levi was tested and found faithful. Verse 9 is a reference to the golden calf incident where Levi was faithful to YHVH to the point of killing those who may have been close friends or family, but who worshipped the calf. In other words, the Levites did not spare anyone because of friend or family connection. This was because the Levites understood the command to not have any gods except YHVH. In this way, the Levite tribe embodies the words of Yeshua:
Matt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
The last phrase of Deuteronomy 33 verse 9 say, “and kept Your covenant”. This is a reference that the Levites were likely the only tribe who circumcised their infant males during the 40 years in the desert. We can understand that this is true because they continued to serve YHVH in His Tabernacle without dying for being uncircumcised. The other tribes are recorded as not having continued circumcising their male babies.
Deu 33:10 They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob, and Your Torah to Israel; they shall place incense before You, and burnt offerings upon Your altar.
Because of their obedience at the golden calf, the Levites are worthy to continue serving God in His Temple during the Millennial reign and afterward even though they later went astray.
Deu 33:11 May the Lord bless his army and favorably accept the work of his hands; strike the loins of those who rise up against him and his enemies, so that they will not recover.”
This speaks of the enemies of the Levites, including those that come from within, like Korah, a Levite who rebelled against Aaron’s priesthood. Later, this prayer of Moses is considered a reason why the 12 Hasmonaeans, who were descendants of Levi, were successful in their campaign against the Greeks.
The Benjamin / Joseph End Time Prophecy Pattern
Deu 33:12 And of Benjamin he said, “The Lord’s beloved one shall dwell securely beside Him; He protects him all day long, and He dwells between his shoulders.”
Notice that YHVH lumped Judah, Levi and Benjamin together. Benjamin was the only other tribe to stick with Judah and Levi in the Southern Kingdom. There is a pattern particular to Benjamin and Ephraim that relate them to each other in a peculiar way. Benjamin is Joseph’s younger brother while Ephraim is Joseph’s younger son. Spiritually, it is Benjamin, Joseph’s brother from the same mother, who logically should have been with the House of Israel, stuck with Judah in the House of Judah like he stuck with Jacob when the brothers went to Egypt.
Benjamin spiritually represents the end time movement referred to as “Ephraimite”, “the lost tribes”, “the House of Israel” and “the House of Joseph” who return to Torah. He is the brother of Joseph who calls the exiles back into the “tent”. Those who uphold Yeshua’s right to rule as King of all Israel, who desire the return of the correct Temple, the Levite priests and servants, and who reject Jeroboam’s rebellion against Jerusalem are like Benjamin.
Benjamin is “the Lord’s beloved one”, the one that shall dwell securely beside Him. YHVH protects him all day long, and YHVH dwells between Benjamin’s shoulders. He dwells next to, and partially with, Levi, upholding the Temple with its priesthood, rituals, sacrifices, protocols, etc.
‘Dwelling between the shoulders’ has to do with that part of the Temple which was built on the highest point of Benjamin’s land, an area spoken of as ‘between the shoulders’. This is another pattern element of Benjamin and Joseph which points to ‘spiritual’ Benjamin’s role in the return of the exiled tribes in that his territory lay between that of Judah and Joseph (Jos 18:11-20) like a bridge. Judah’s northern boundary was roughly the same as Benjamin’s southern border. The northern boundary follows that of Ephraim until it reaches Kiriath Jearim instead of extending to the Mediterranean. It is Joseph’s blessing that is next.
Deu 33:13-17 And of Joseph he said: “His land shall be blessed by the Lord, with the sweetness of the heavens with dew, and with the deep that lies below, and with the sweetness of the produce of the sun, and with the sweetness of the moon’s yield, and with the crops of early mountains, and with the sweetness of perennial hills, and with the sweetness of the land and its fullness, and through the contentment of the One Who dwells in the thornbush. May it come upon Joseph’s head and upon the crown of the one separated from his brothers. To his firstborn ox is [given] glory. His horns are the horns of a re’em. With them, he will gore peoples together [throughout all] the ends of the earth these are the myriads of Ephraim, and these are the thousands of Manasseh.”
Joseph’s blessing is the longest and most detailed. It follows the same line as Jacob’s blessing to Joseph in Gen 49:25, even including elements of Isaac’s blessing to Jacob in Gen 27: 28-29. Judah was given the right to rule, but Joseph was given the family’s wealth, the birthright or double portion (1Ch 5:2).
The phrase in verse 16, “May it come upon Joseph’s head and upon the crown of the one separated from his brothers”, refers to Joseph’s separation from his brothers in Egypt the first time, but it is a prophetic reference to Joseph’s coalition of 10 tribes under Jeroboam who became separated from the nation.
The phrase, “with the sweetness of the land and its fullness, and “through the contentment of the One Who dwells in the thornbush” is a reference to YHVH who revealed Himself to His people in the burning thorn bush. Moses’ prayer and blessing to Joseph is that the tribe, and the ten tribe coalition, would find sweetness in the land of their fathers and in the Torah that was given on Mount Sinai.
Verse 17, “To his firstborn ox” is a reference to Joshua (from the tribe of Ephraim) who Moses blessed with strength and beauty and whose strength is as mighty as that of an ox to conquer many kings, a huge task that faced him when the Israelites entered the land. It is also a reference to Joseph as a leader of his people since the ox is a symbol of strength.
“The ends of the earth” refers to the thirty-one kings that Joshua conquered in the Land of Israel. “These are the myriads of Ephraim” refers to the immediate future of those who were killed by Joshua in conquering Canaan. The continued history of Ephraim shows that he has, indeed, “gored” myriads of people as he migrated around the globe.
“And these are the thousands of Manasseh” are the thousands killed in Midian by Gideon, who was descended from Manasseh, Joseph’s other son. Manasseh, too, has a global migration history. The brothers, Ephraim and Manasseh, are Joseph’s double portion who, together, have now spread completely over the earth.
Deu 33:18 – And to Zebulun he said: “Rejoice, Zebulun, in your departure, and Issachar, in your tents.
These two tribes were considered the weakest among the 12. Zebulun was among the five brothers that Joseph introduced to Pharaoh in Gen 47:2. Joseph took the five weakest brothers to Pharaoh so that Pharoah would not seek to add the Hebrews to his army. They looked like weak shepherds, not warriors. The other brothers who met Pharaoh were Gad, Dan, Naftali and Asher.
It is generally understood Zebulun and Issachar were close brothers and that they created a partnership between them. Zebulun would dwell at the seashore and go out in ships, to trade and make profit. He would thereby provide food for Issachar, and they would sit and occupy themselves with the study of Torah.
Moses prayed they would both prosper. Zebulun was to prosper in his sea trade and Issachar in his Torah study, in sitting on the Sanhedrin, in helping to calculate the calendar, to proclaim leap years, and to adjust the months. 1Ch 12:32 says of Issachar: “From Issachar there were 200 leaders and all their relatives at their command — they understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
Deu 33:20. And of Gad he said: “Blessed is He Who grants expanse to Gad; he dwells like a lion, tearing the arm [of his prey, together] with the head.
Gad’s territory expanded eastward into what is now Jordan and he was mighty like a lion because of where he settled. He had to be mighty because his geographical placement put him where he could be attacked by enemies first as they tried to conquer Israel.
Gad was at the head of the people because the Gadites marched before the armed forces in the conquest of the Land. The Gadites were powerful and were commanded to “pass over, armed, before your brothers” (Deut. 3:18).
Deu 33:22. And of Dan he said: “Dan is a young lion, streaming from Bashan.”
Dan was also located near the border of Israel, so he needed to be fierce like a lion to protect the land from invaders. The reference to Bashan has to do with the waters that flowed from his territory that he was then compelled to constantly protect. In doing so, Dan also provided water for Judah’s territory. The Jordan river is in the east of Israel, and then the river flows from the north to the south, ending at the edge of the Dead Sea, which in turn, is in the east of Judah’s territory. So Dan’s territory both watered and protected Judah’s.
Deu 33:23 And of Naftali he said, “Naftali is favorably satisfied and full of the Lord’s blessing. Possess the Sea and the south.”
Verse 23 has to do with Naftali’s possession that included the Sea of Kinnereth, the Sea of Galilee. This is an important body of water in Israel which hydrates the north to make it fruitful and provides fish for food.
Deu 33:23 And of Asher he said: “May Asher be blessed with sons. He will be pleasing to his brothers, and immerse his foot in oil. Your locks are iron and copper, and the days of your old age will be like the days of your youth.
Asher’s descendants were prolific and their territory held the best olive trees. Their oil industry would have been very lucrative since only best oil was used in the Temple and olive oil was used in the Israelites’ daily diet.
But Asher had other attributes, as well. Within their territory was iron and copper which they mined, but this reference to locks being like iron and copper relates to Asher’s mountainous borders and how Asher would “lock down” those borders to protect Israel.
The God Of Yeshurun
Deu 33:26-29: “Jeshurun, there is none like God; He Who rides the heavens is at your assistance, and with His majesty, He rides the skies which are the abode for the God Who precedes all, and below, are the mighty ones of the world. He expelled the enemy from before you, and said, ‘Destroy!’ And Israel dwelled safely and alone as Jacob blessed them, in a land of grain and wine; also, their heavens will drip dew. Fortunate are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O people whose salvation is through the Lord, the Shield Who helps you, your majestic Sword! Your enemies will lie to you, but you will tread upon their heights.”
Saying there is “none like God” suggests that there are other gods, but they are not as worthy as YHVH. The text literally says ‘none like God Yeshurun’.
As if from a primitive root meaning to be nothing or not exist; a non-entity.
Does the phrase “like God” truly suggest the existence of other gods as if there is a smorgasbord of deities from which to choose? As if YHVH has to sell the idea of Himself as “the better deity”? Or does it really say that there is none like Him because there are no others? This last question is in keeping with the understanding that other gods do not exist except as demons that will be destroyed by YHVH.
The phrase “safely and alone” suggests that the covering, manna, supernatural protection the Israelites have known to this point will now be removed. Now, they will dwell safely even though they are alone without these. Indeed, the manna did stop when they entered the land, but there were greater miracles coming.
The “dripping dew” is a reference to Isaac’s blessing to Jacob, which states, “And the God will give you from the dew of the heavens” (Gen. 27: 28) and to Joseph’s blessing in this same chapter. This explains how the birthright and blessing work to benefit all members of the family.
Verse 29 says, “Fortunate are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O people whose salvation is through the Lord, the Shield Who helps you, your majestic Sword! Your enemies will lie to you, but you will tread upon their heights.”
Who, indeed, is like Israel? If only we would get our act together!
The Prophetic Significance Of The 8th Day
The 8th day is always the 1st day of the next cycle of seven. After the millennium is over, the next round begins, but it will begin with a celebration of the Torah. Why? It is because the disobedient and rebellious humans will have been conquered, judged, sentenced and their sentences executed.
The Millennium will not be the utopia the church teaches it to be. Throughout the prophets we read of those who will rebel against the Messiah by not showing up for Sukkot. To them He will give no rain followed by plague if the lack of rain does not cause them to obey (Zec 14:17-18).
We also read that the Law will go forth from Zion (Mic 4:2) and that Messiah will rule with an iron rod (Rev 12:5, Rev 19:15) suggesting that there will be a need to constantly put rebellions down.
On the 8th day, everyone who deserves to inherit the Kingdom will be in the Kingdom since both judgments will be over – the judgment of the righteous and the great white throne judgment that comes at the end of the millennium. Now, the Torah will have been written on all hearts. Rebellion will be over. The Torah will rule the earth in peace. The 8th day millennium, the ‘Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah’ millennium will be a thousand years of utopian celebration that Israel has, finally, inherited everything promised to her.
Using a ‘day for year’ prophetic formula, the 8th day will fulfill the one-year requirement for the Groom to spend with His Bride keeping her happy (Deu 24:5)!
Hallelujah! We have so much to look forward to!