Sukkot: Thousands upon thousands

Illustration of the Western Wall in Jerusalem by Elhanan ben-Avraham

In the last days the mountain of YHVH’s house will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of YHVH, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ For the Law will go forth from Zion, and the word of YHVH from Jerusalem. – Isaiah 2:1-3

We have been entertaining some of the many thousands of pilgrims who have come up to Jerusalem to celebrate with the Jews the final Biblical festival, Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles), from over a hundred nations. They have flown here from around the planet to support Israel and show love to the Jewish people, and worship the Creator, all called here by that Jew whose word is a light to the nations. They are here from China and Japan and Korea, Brazil and Russia, USA and England and Germany and Finland, from Arabia and Ethiopia and the furthest islands of the sea like New Guinea and Fiji and Micronesia, and many others. At one celebration we heard speak the old veteran soldiers who captured Jerusalem in a 6-day war in 1967 against impossible odds, exactly fifty years ago. And thousands of folks here, some who had been delivered from drugs and crime, from destitute lives now enthusiastically praising God for his mercies, healing, and forgiveness here in Jerusalem rebuilt after 2000 years.

This is a phenomenon little dreamed of for two millennia, as Jerusalem lay mourning in her ruins, and waiting. Few dreamed that the Jewish people would ever actually return and rebuild the ancient ruined cities, and prevail against overwhelming enemies. Much theology had been constructed in that time on the belief that this simply could never happen, though written in the Biblical prophets. Instead, both Rome and Mecca had proclaimed themselves as the replacement of Jerusalem, which could never rise again. But it has come to pass, a reality challenging those errant theologies.

Jerusalem has indeed risen again, and the ancient Hebrew language, dead with the dispersion of the Jews to the ends of the Earth, has risen from the dead and lives once more as the national tongue. This is a strange phenomenon unprecedented in human history, and one that no words succeed in describing, whether politically or militarily, and certainly not by the biased media and its shifting opinions.

The above words of Isaiah were hidden for those 2000 years in a cave by the Dead Sea, waiting. In 1947, that ancient scroll was discovered by a passing goat whose Bedouin shepherd followed him to find the sacred text, and to bring it up from its grave. As prophesied in that scroll (Isaiah 66:7-9), the very next year, 1948, the State of Israel was restored into being as a nation. And as prophesied by Zechariah (14), all nations will eventually come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Sukkot.

We here are living witnesses to testify to these facts, as many mock and grind their teeth, and many others rejoice in praise and thanksgiving.