Sukkot – Why Should Christians Care?

Around this time in Israel each year, a flurry of building takes place across the country. What are they making? Sukkahs (booths) of course! Many Jews—not only in Israel but around the world—will spend a week living in these temporary structures, eating, resting, fellowshipping, and rejoicing throughout, in accordance with God’s commands.

But the holiday of Sukkot is a significant time for non-Jews as well, marking Israel’s biggest tourism event of the year. Thousands of Christians, in particular, will be celebrating this week-long festival.

If you’ve never been part of, or witnessed a Sukkot celebration, you might be asking, why should Christians care about Sukkot? And what can Christians learn from this festival that’s been around for millennia?

A Time to Rejoice

In Deuteronomy 16 Israel is commanded to rejoice!

“For seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you… so that you will be altogether joyful.”

This joy is nowhere more apparent than in the Land of Israel and especially Jerusalem! The city is filled with shouts of rejoicing, singing, dancing, feasting, fellowshipping, and any number of holy joyful activities. Sukkahs are filled with guests, and each day the Jewish People invite one of the supernal guests, the seven “shepherds of Israel” (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David) to grace their Sukkah. Israel is also commanded to rejoice before God with four species: “the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook.” Walking through Jerusalem, these species are frequently encountered as they are waved before the Lord each day of the festival.

I believe there is much for Christians to gain by drawing near to the Jewish People during this time. In this distracted digital age especially, we can all use set apart times to fellowship with God and the people around us. In a world where it’s easy to get caught up in the mundane, Sukkot presents an opportunity for a reset, as we dedicate time to experience the joy of the Lord. Sukkot is celebrated with meaningful traditions and observances meant to fulfill the commandments and bring God’s people near to him. This holiday is a prime example that the Torah is not a burden to the Jews, but instead it shows that observing it brings life, blessing, and happiness

Sukkot During the Time of Jesus

Sukkot is also a great time to reflect on our heritage as Christians. In John 7 we read about Jesus going up to Jerusalem for Sukkot—in secret, until the last day of the festival when he made His powerful invitation for all to come to him for living water. Christians can look to Sukkot as a time of renewal, of reminding ourselves of the source of our strength and sustenance.

Sukkot is also a time of leaving comfort zones—forsaking the security of houses for a temporary thatch roof hut for a week. In the same spirit, we can look at Sukkot as a time to step out of our personal comfort zones to make a difference in the world. 

Celebrating Sukkot is Prophetic

Sukkot also has prophetic significance for those in the nations. Zechariah 14 foretells a day when the nations will come up to Jerusalem or be punished! Isaiah 56 speaks of foreigners coming to the Holy City. And Sukkot is also a foretaste of the day when we will be gathered in a united Jerusalem forever, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” Revelation 21:3

Sukkot is a time we can draw close to the Jewish People and be enriched by a joyous festival they have faithfully kept for thousands of years. It’s a time we can look to our roots for encouragement and strength as we dedicate time to fellowship and joy. And it’s a time to look at what God is doing in the world today—restoring Israel and gathering his people from the ends of the earth to worship him in Jerusalem. He desires to dwell among us. Will we welcome him into our midst?

May you experience great joy and beautiful fellowship with God and others this Sukkot!

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3 Responses
  1. Richard Antes

    God bless Israel and the people of Israel. thank you for this platform. Is your guys have Christians and sinus like myself to learn more about our deep love and respect for our roots.! Shalom Shalom!

  2. Ben

    Destruction of Israel Heritage Sites

    “The Antiquities Law of the State of Israel of 1978 was put in place by Israel to eliminate the problem of illegal activities with artifacts. It serves the purpose of describing the rights and obligations regarding the discovery and ownership of ancient coins or other antiquities in Israel, and the possibility of export of these antiquities. The punishment for breaking this law includes imprisonment for a term of two years or a fine of 100,000 pounds. It nationalized antiquities as an attempt to protect them.”


    The destruction of Israeli heritage sites is a phenomenon that occurs in the territories of Judea and Samaria, in which the citizens of the Palestinian Authority destroy archaeological sites, mostly Israeli heritage sites, sometimes on purpose and sometimes as part of development operations or by looting antiquities. Similar events are taking place within the borders of the State of Israel.

    I am posting here to express my deep concern about the decades of illegal destruction and theft of archaeological sites and artifacts by grave diggers, robbers, illegal construction projects, roads or access paths on archaeological sites funded by the PA.
    This problem has been ongoing for many years, and it is causing irreparable damage to our cultural heritage.

    The criminals are motivated by greed, politics and hatred. They are not concerned with the historical or scientific importance of the artifacts they are stealing. They are destroying archaeological sites and artifacts at an alarming rate, and they are selling them on the black market for a fraction of their true value.

    The primary target of the PA is the destruction of any historical evidence of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel at the numerous heritage sites under their control in Areas A and B and in Areas C as well.

    The illegal destruction and theft of archaeological sites and artifacts is a serious crime, and it is also a threat to our national security. These artifacts can be used to fund terrorist activities, and they can also be smuggled out of the country and lost forever.

    I urge the Israeli Antiques Authorities and the Civil Administration to take immediate action to address this problem. They must increase their efforts to investigate and prosecute grave diggers, robbers and the PA.
    They must also do more to protect archaeological sites and artifacts from destruction and theft.

    IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens who are witness to such ongoing crimes in Judeah and Samaria, should photograph the crime and report it to the relevant authorities.

    Below are a few examples about the illegal destruction and theft of archaeological sites and artifacts by the PA.

    Archaeological damage to the antiquities of the Temple Mount, the project of filtering the dirt from the Temple Mount

    Between the years 1996-1999, the underground area in the southeast corner of the Temple Mount, known as “Solomon’s Stables”, was prepared for prayer, and was dedicated under the name “Al Mazsala Al-Marwani” (Prayer Place of Marwan) by the Waqf, in cooperation with the northern faction of the movement Islamic. The peak of the work was in November 1999, when a large pit was dug in order to prepare a monumental entrance to this complex.
    The pit, which has dimensions 43×36 and is 12 meters deep, was mostly excavated within a day and a half, using heavy mechanical equipment, without preliminary archaeological excavation or archaeological supervision, while damaging the antiquities. The dirt effluents from the mining of this pit, together with other effluents from construction and gardening works in nearby areas, were evacuated by more than four hundred trucks to several places, and most of them were spilled in the nearby Kidron stream.
    The surroundings of the pit were paved and stairs leading down were built in the pit itself. Besides the destruction of the antiquities themselves that were damaged during the excavation of the pit by mechanical means, the antiquities that might have been discovered in the excavation were disconnected from their context and thus lost much of their scientific value.


    In February 2012, a squad of Palestinian antiquities robbers from the Hebron area was caught trying to rob treasures in caves from the days of the Bar Kochba revolt in the Modi’in area.


    Kiryat Arabia:
    In September and October 2015, Palestinians used heavy tools to destroy the antiquities site of the hiding systems in El Arov, south of Gush Etzion.


    Ancient Samaria:
    In September 2016, the ancient city of Samaria near the town of Sebastia in Samaria was vandalized.


    Horvat Anim:

    For several years, mainly between 2016 and 2017, Palestinians illegally built a school, a mosque and a number of residences on the archaeological site of the upper Horvat Anim (Khirbet A’nim al Fuqa) near the settlement of Livna in the south of Mount Hebron.



    In January 2018, it was revealed that Palestinians hit with bulldozers the remains of the city of Archelais, which was built by Archelaus, son of Herod, and is located near the Palestinian village of Ujah al-Tahta



    Khirbet El Ormeh:

    In February 2020, extensive destruction was carried out by bulldozers and heavy equipment on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the Tel Armeh fortress, which some identify with the biblical city of Aroma where Abimelech ben Gideon the judge
    and Yochanan Hyrcanus the Hasmonean were active, and the PLO flag was raised there.
    In December 2021 A Palestinian mosque was built on the remains of the mound.
    In August 2022, the Palestinian Authority announced its intention to establish an archaeological garden on the remains of the Hasmonean fortress there.
    Later in 2022, a road was paved to the top of the mound by the Palestinian Authority while destroying archaeological findings on the site and misleading the IDF forces.

    Tel Itam:
    In March 2020, antiquities robbers were recorded damaging Tel Itam in Gush Etzion

    Bar Kochba Caves:
    In January 2021, Palestinians from villages west of Mount Hebron were caught red-handed robbing the Bar Kochba Caves in the Judean Lowlands.

    Mount Ebal Altar:
    In February 2021, Palestinian residents of the village of Asira a-Shamalia damaged the fence surrounding the altar on Mount Ebal.


    It should be noted that the opinions among the researchers are divided as to whether the site is indeed an Israeli heritage site or another ritual site from the biblical period.

    In January 2023, 14 official documents of the Ministry of Local Government in the Palestinian Authority were published, including a construction plan for dozens of lots in the area where the remains of the Mount Ebal Altar currently stand.

    In September 2023, the Palestinian Authority began work to build a neighborhood of 32 buildings on the site.

    The Hasmonean palaces:
    In January 2022, the Civil Administration thwarted an attempt by Palestinians to carry out illegal construction on the site of the Hasmonean and King Herod palaces near Jericho.

    However, PA activity was recorded in a part of Area A that damages the archaeological site.

    Rojom al-Kasar:
    In February 2022, the “Forum for a Green Israel” revealed photos from Rojom al-Kasar in Gush Etzion, which show damage to an archaeological site that contains findings dating back to the days of the First Temple. The attacks are made by a pirate Palestinian quarry operating there. The photos show a massive quarry near Asper in Gush Etzion.

    Shlomo Pools:

    In September 2022, the Civil Administration destroyed an illegal Palestinian structure built on the territory of the Shlomo Pools archaeological site.

    In August 2023, illegal construction work continued on the site.

    The Roman aqueduct:

    The upper arm/section is an aqueduct, which was used as part of the water supply system for Jerusalem during the Second Temple period and the Roman period. The origin of the arm was in the Pools of Solomon near Bethlehem, and it probably ended in the area of ​​King Herod’s Palace and the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem.

    In January and February 2022, Palestinians from the Beit Fajar area destroyed a Roman aqueduct from the time of the Second Temple.

    Temple Mount:
    In April 2022, during the riots on the Temple Mount, antiquities and archaeological finds were used to build barriers against the security forces and to block the way the Jewish immigrants go to the Mount.

    Samaria National Park:
    In July 2022, Palestinians lit a fire and sprayed graffiti at the ancient Samaria site (Sebastia). Large parts of the site were burned, and damage was caused to the antiquities and the archaeological findings on the spot.

    In March 2023, the municipality of Sebastia published on its Facebook page that it paved a ring road within the territory of the Samaria National Park, on a route that penetrates about 400 meters deep into Area C. During the works, the Herodian Wall was destroyed and burial caves from the Second Temple period were broken into and looted and vandalized. Pig carcasses were thrown into the graves.

    Horvat al-Marjam:
    In March 2023, it was revealed that parts of Horvat al-Marjam, containing the remains of a Jewish settlement from the days of Bar Kochba in the Kida area, were destroyed and sealed in favor of illegal Palestinian buildings, which are being built with European aid, including an ancient underground space that was blocked by casting concrete.

    Desecration of Joseph’s Tomb:

    Between the years 2000 and 2022, the compound of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus was vandalized numerous times by Palestinian residents of Nablus

    The desecration of Joseph’s Tomb is a phenomenon that began in the 1990s after the signing of the Oslo Accords, and intensified in 2000 when the IDF left the compound of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus with the outbreak of the Second Intifada. During the years since October 2000, Joseph’s Tomb has been vandalized several times by Palestinian residents of the area.