When YHWH gave us the Torah Calendar, He did not
choose the days at random. Rather, He incorporated
specific days into His calendar in order to give us
prophetic shadow pictures of the things He has
purposed to come to pass.
In the last chapter on Sukkot we spoke briefly about the
Last Great Day of the feast. This Last Great Day is
also called ‘Shemini Atzeret,’ which means, essentially,
‘The Assembly of the Eighth (Day).”
While the Assembly of the Eighth is often thought of
simply as the final day of the Feast of Sukkot, it is
actually a separate festival. This is in much the same
way as the Passover is followed by the seven Days of
Unleavened Bread. However, in this case, the seven
days of Sukkot are followed by the one day Assembly
of the Eighth (Shemini Atzeret).
In Hebrew, the word ‘Atzeret’ (עֲצֶרֶת ) means not just ‘an
assembly,’ but a very special kind of assembly. It
indicates that one’s host is not letting one go home.
Rather, one’s host is ‘holding one over’ for an extended
period of time. Strong’s Concordance defines the word
atzeret (עצרת ) in this way:
OT:6116 `atsarah (ats-aw-raw’); or
`atsereth (ats-eh’-reth); from OT:6113;
an assembly, especially on a festival
When we look up the root at Strong’s OT:6113, we get:
OT:6113 `atsar (aw-tsar’); a primitive
root; to enclose; by analogy, to hold
back; also to maintain, rule, assemble:
KJV – be able, close up, detain, fast,
keep (self close, still), prevail, recover,
refrain, reign, restrain, retain, shut
(up), slack, stay, stop, withhold (self).
Shemini Atzeret, then, shows us that YHWH intends to
hold us back, to detain us, or to ‘close us up’ in some
fashion for the eighth day. But in what way does
YHWH intend to ‘detain us’, or to ‘hold us over’?
The Apostle Kepha (Peter) tells us that one prophetic
day can symbolize a thousand earth years.
Kepha Bet (2nd Peter) 3:8
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one
thing: that with YHWH, one day is as a
thousand years, and a thousand years
is as one day.
Notice, then, that Scripture tells us that the Creation
Week was seven days long.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 2:2
2 And on the seventh day Elohim
ended His work which He had done,
and He rested on the seventh day from
all His work which He had done.
If the Creation Week lasted seven days, and if one
prophetic day can represent a thousand earth years,
then the Creation Week is symbolic of a seven
thousand year plan for the earth and its inhabitants.
But if the earth is to last for seven thousand years, then
why would the Feast of Sukkot last for eight days? And
what is the symbolism of the eighth day?
In truth, the Feast of Sukkot lasts only seven days. We
know this because it is only for seven days that the
children of Israel are to dwell in booths.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:41-43
41 You shall keep it as a feast to
YHWH for seven days in the year. It
shall be a statute forever in your
generations. You shall celebrate it in
the seventh month.
42 You shall dwell in booths for seven
days. All who are native Israelites shall
dwell in booths,
43 that your generations may know
that I made the children of Israel dwell
in booths when I brought them out of
the land of Egypt: I am YHWH your
The eighth day of Sukkot, then, is really a separate
festival. Leviticus 23:36 tells us that we are to hold an
assembly (עֲצֶרֶת ) on this eighth day in order to bring an
offering made by fire. We are also to do no ordinary or
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:36
36 For seven days you shall offer an
offering made by fire to YHWH. On the
eighth day you shall have a set-apart
assembly, and you shall offer an
offering made by fire to YHWH. It is a
set-apart assembly, and you shall do
no customary work on it.
Verse 39 then tells us to keep the first and the eighth
days of the festival as set-apart sabbaths of rest.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 23:39
39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the
seventh month, when you have
gathered in the fruit of the land, you
shall keep the feast of YHWH for seven
days; on the first day there shall be a
sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a
It may be that the first day of the feast symbolizes the
first day of the Creation Week, when YHWH Elohim
created the heavens and the earth.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 1:1-2
1 In the beginning Elohim created the
heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was made formless and
void; and darkness was on the face of
If the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes
the first day of Creation, could it be that Shemini
Atzeret symbolizes how we will go to the New Earth,
which Isaiah speaks of?
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 65:17-25
17 "For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth; and the former shall
not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in
what I create; for behold, I create
Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her
people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy
in My people; the voice of weeping
shall no longer be heard in her, nor the
voice of crying.
20 "No more shall an infant from there
live but a few days, nor an old man
who has not fulfilled his days; for the
child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred
years old shall be accursed.”
While the Feast of Tabernacles is symbolic of many
things, it is also symbolic of the New Earth, for the
Book of the Revelation tells us that in the New Earth,
the Tabernacle of Elohim will be with men.
Gilyana (Revelation) 21:1-4
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new
earth, for the first heaven and the first
earth had passed away. Also there was
no more sea.
2 Then I, Yochanan, saw the set-apart
city, New Jerusalem, coming down out
of heaven from Elohim, prepared as a
bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from
heaven saying, "Behold, the
Tabernacle of Elohim is with men, and
He will dwell with them, and they shall
be His people. Elohim Himself will be
with them, and be their Elohim.
4 “And Elohim will wipe away every
tear from their eyes; there shall be no
more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the
former things have passed away.”
If YHWH wills, we will explore this topic in much more
detail in theJoseph’s Return study, as well as explore
why Yeshua returns to take us to the New Earth at the
end of the earth’s seven thousand years.
Once we understand the prophetic symbolism of the
number eight, we can begin to see this symbolism turn
up throughout the Torah.
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 22:26-27
26 And YHWH spoke to Moshe, saying:
27 "When a bull or a sheep or a goat is
born, it shall be seven days with its
mother; and from the eighth day and
thereafter it shall be accepted as an
offering made by fire to YHWH.”
Yeshua tells us that those who believe on Him are like
unto sheep, or to goats.
Mattai (Matthew) 25:33
33 "When the Son of Man comes in His
glory, and all the set-apart messengers
with Him, then He will sit on the throne
of His glory.
32 All the nations will be gathered
before Him, and He will separate them
one from another, as a shepherd
divides his sheep from the goats.
33 And He will set the sheep on His
right hand, but the goats on the left.”
For seven days, our sheep and our bulls and our goats
are not acceptable as sacrifice offerings unto YHWH.
In much the same way, for seven thousand years, the
‘sheep’ and the ‘goats’ and the ‘bulls’ who believe on
Yeshua are not acceptable into YHWH’s kingdom.
Rather, we must wait until the start of the ‘Assembly of
the Eighth’, after the Judgment, when YHWH will ‘hold
us over’ in the New Earth. Then we will Tabernacle