Posts Tagged With: Sukkot

Miriam, Looking For a Well

In memory of Landra Kerekes June 13th, 1972 – October 9th, 2022

This post contains a lot of photographs, so my writing might appear oddly broken up by them on mobile devices.

This year, I had the pleasure of being in the Land of Israel during Sukkot (2022). But for the first time, my heart was torn about going. This was especially surprising since Covid had prevented me from traveling since my last trip in 2019. I felt a great deal of guilt about my heart not being completely elated at the great blessing and opportunity of taking my feet to Jerusalem during the feast.

There were two reasons for my apprehension. The first was due to the fact that I would have to miss my son’s turning blue ceremony in the Army. Though I was able to briefly see him in July when he turned green, I do not know when I will be able to see him again. It was difficult on my momma’s heart to miss this occasion. The second is the reason for this post. One of my dearest friends was in her last weeks of life, and after seeing her during the Days of Awe the Shabbat morning before Yom Kippur, I knew she would likely pass while I was away and I would miss any opportunities to see her in this life again.

But I had made a commitment in service to Adonai and His people. Mercifully, I was able to speak with my son before my flight took off, and I rested knowing that my husband, other son, and my mother in love were there to support him. Our first full day in the Holy Land was on Shabbat. We were in Jerusalem and spent the day in the Old City. I brought all of my anguish to Adonai at the Kotel. As usual, I imagined the Holy One looking through the lattice of the Wall at the many gathered there to worship Him to be as close as possible to where the Temple once stood. I knew somehow, He would soothe my heart and give me grace to find the joy I should have at the feast.

“My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is peering through the lattice. My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along.” (Song of Solomon 2:9-10, NASB)

That night, our group arrived at Biblical Tamar Park (Ir Ovot), our home base for tours, located in the Aravah desert in the region of the Wilderness of Zin, also not far from the Dead Sea. Tamar is an archeology site in Ir Ovot with seven periods of history being represented there. It is one of the forty-two stations the Israelite’s camped at during their wilderness wanderings. (Num. 21:10-11) It was in this fascinating place that we entered into the first day of Sukkot. Tamar has a huge year round sukkah, one of my favorite features of the park.

Views from Tamar

On the first Yom Tov of the feast, we didn’t have touring on the agenda, only celebrating the first festival Shabbat of Sukkot. After breakfast, I received word that my dear friend, Landra Kerekes, had crossed over from this life to the next. If you knew her, she would have whooped and shouted in praise that she was given such an awesome Yahrzeit.[1] And if anyone ever deserved such a great honor, it would have been her. She was completely sold out to our King, and would willingly go and do whatever He asked of her with great joy. I could tell you many stories about how Adonai used this woman, and after hearing them, you would be inspired to go and do the same. Her love knew no bounds, and to know her was to know the Messiah she served. Our women’s group was profoundly affected and changed forever by her example, and she will be missed greatly.

The Sukkah at Tamar

So on the day when I should have been joyous, I was heartbroken. I tried to set my tears aside, but they freely flowed every time her memory came to my thoughts. I was thankful that I was able to retreat to my room when the grief was especially heavy. Dr. Alewine graciously said Kaddish for her while we were in the sukkah that morning. That afternoon, she taught a lesson in the airconditioned dining hall. I sat in the very back, knowing my focus was lacking. One of the things we teach our tour groups is the Song of the Aravah from Isaiah 35:1-2, of which the curator of Biblical Tamar Park gets its name: Blossoming Rose.

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.” (Isaiah 35:1-2, KJV)

We had just finished practicing the song, and Dr. Alewine was wrapping up her message, when one of the tourists tapped me on the shoulder. She said, “There is a woman here looking for the family with five children.” I got up and went outside to meet her and take her to the park manager. I knew of the family she spoke of, but they had traveled to Jerusalem before we arrived. I offered to walk her to the office to find the park manager. Along the way, the woman asked me what we were doing in the dining hall. No doubt she had heard us singing. I told her we were a tour group from the US and Canada celebrating the feast of Sukkot, and that our teacher had just given a lesson.

She asked me if we believed in Yeshua. I said, “Yes!” She said, “Me too. And, I am also here for the feast.” Her accent was heavy, and I couldn’t quite place it at first. She said, “But, we do not have a sukkah.” I exclaimed, “We have a sukkah, come and see. You are welcome to join us in our sukkah.” She entered the grand sukkah and commented on how lovely it was. We continued toward where I thought the manager would be, but she wasn’t there. The Park is large, and the manager could have been anywhere on property where she was needed.

Well Replica at Tamar

I offered to walk the woman to the other side of the archeology site, where we might find the manager. But, my eyes were swollen and tired from tears, so I asked her if she minded if I returned to the dining hall to get my sunglasses. She obliged, and I offered to fill her water bottle. Afterwards, we headed back outside. As we walked, the woman asked me if the well on property was dry. I told her that I didn’t believe it was. Then, she asked me my name. In turn, I asked for hers. I had trouble with the pronunciation. She said, “It’s a French version of Mary. Just call me Miriam.”

Ancient Well at Tamar

Miriam again asked me about the wells on property. “Are they dry?” she asked. I wasn’t sure if she was referring to the ancient well at Tamar – historically, it was an oasis along the old spice route in the desert – or something more modern. I asked for clarification, and she indeed meant the ancient well. Again, she asked, “Is the well dry?” I had never seen water come from the well, but knew that water still flowed underneath the Park. I told her so.

Landra Kerekes Teaching on Tu B’Shevat 2020

She then tells me that she arrived at the Park by hitchhiking. I looked her up and down. She didn’t look like a hitchhiker. She was well dressed, with sunflowers on her shirt/vest. She saw my look of surprise and laughed. Then, she began to tell me several stories about her adventures of witnessing of Yeshua. Hitchhiking was one of her favorite ways to do so. She had just been with a twenty year old Jewish man that works at the salt plant on the Dead Sea. She said, “He was so hungry for the Lord that he didn’t want me to get out of the car.” I thought, how brave and bold this woman is! And then, tears began to stream down my face from behind my sunglasses. I was profoundly struck by the notion that she was an odd Swedish/German Hebrew speaking version of my dear friend, Landra! She didn’t look or sound like Landra, but her living faith and actions were definitely like her.

I apologized for my tears and explained their cause. She reached up and wiped the tears from my face with her hand. She told me they were beautiful and that my friend was now with God having the best Sukkot ever. (This only made me want to cry more.) After realizing that we could not find the Park manager, I asked her if we could give her a ride somewhere. She pointed toward Scorpion’s Ascent and Miriam’s Spring (the area where Miriam died in the wilderness) and said that God would provide her a car.

I knew the area she pointed toward was hardly traveled and that the sun would be setting soon. I asked her again, and she laughed at me. “Don’t you

Ancient Ruins of Tamar

know that God provides everything we need in the desert? But first, I will go up on the Tel and see if I can find the well,” she said. (This is also something my friend Landra would remind me of.)

“Miriam, it was a pleasure meeting you. You have brought some comfort to my grieving heart today,” I replied. “Are you sure we can’t give you a ride?”

She said, “No thank you. Have a blessed Sukkot, Kisha.”

With that, she turned and began ascending the Tel at Tamar (Ir Ovot), and I began walking back to the dining hall. As soon as she was out of my presence, the oddity of the whole encounter hit me like a ton of bricks. Who was that woman? Miriam looking for a well? Really? I was awestruck by the thought that I had just entertained an angel unaware. When she was with me, nothing seemed unusual, but the minute I walked away, my mind began to race. I looked back, but I didn’t see her.

Whether she was a heavenly or earthly messenger, I know not. What I do know is that she was meant to bring me comfort in the midst of grief, and the fortitude to push forward for the sake of our tourists and the holy festival. Later, I asked if anyone had seen the woman come down from the Tel or leave the Park. Not one of the forty had seen her leave, even though the class had finished and many were outside. Also, the Park manager was suddenly exactly where I thought she would be. Miriam, who had reminded me of my friend Landra, and who had asked me three times if the well was dry, was gone.

As I pondered the encounter, many things became obvious (after the fact). Landra had a women’s ministry called “Mayim,” waters. When Biblical Miriam died, the congregation lacked for water. (Num 20:1-2) But in Landra’s case, the ancient wells of the Torah that she re-dug are still freely flowing with mayim chayim, living waters. If I could see Miriam again, I would tell her that the well is definitely NOT dry!

Song of the Well

Numbers 21:10-20 (CJB) The people of Isra’el traveled on and camped at Ovot. 11 From Ovot they traveled and camped at `Iyei-Ha`avarim, in the desert fronting Mo’av on the east. 12 From there they traveled and camped in Vadi Zered. 13 From there they traveled and camped on the other side of the Arnon, in the desert; this river comes out of the territory of the Emori; for the Arnon is the boundary between Mo’av and the Emori. 14 This is why it says, in the Book of the Wars of Adonai, “. . . Vahev at Sufah, the vadis of Arnon, 15 and the slope of the vadis extending as far as the site of `Ar, which lie next to the territory of Mo’av.” 16 From there they went on to Be’er [well]; that is the well about which Adonai said to Moshe, “Assemble the people, and I will give them water.” 17 Then Isra’el sang this song: “Spring up, oh well! Sing to the well 18 sunk by the princes, dug by the people’s leaders with the scepter, with their staffs!” From the desert they went to Mattanah, 19 from Mattanah to Nachali’el, from Nachali’el to Bamot, 20 and from Bamot to the valley by the plain of Mo’av at the start of the Pisgah range, where it overlooks the desert.

I expect Miriam already knows the well she asked about isn’t dry. Toward the end of Sukkot, I asked our bus driver to drive us down the road so the tourists could see Scorpion’s Ascent (Ma’ Ale Akrabim) and nearby Miriam’s Spring. He said, “You can’t go that way. The road is closed. Didn’t you see the signs?” No. Apparently, I had missed them every single time we came in and out of Tamar Park.

I was flabbergasted. The way “Miriam” was headed is currently impassable by car or bus due to flooding tearing up the road. Where did Miriam go? She was dropped off right where the signs say the road is closed. Not coincidentally, each night of Sukkot, I gave a mini teaching on the seven Ushpizin or guests of the sukkah. (I will post about this before Sukkot next year on Grace in Torah.) Sometimes the Ushpizin are called the Seven Shepherds. (Micah 5:4-5) Essentially, these guests or shepherds represent seven particular attributes of God.[2] There is a patriarch and matriarch associated with each trait and they are said to inspect one’s sukkah (heart) as we graciously invite them in to do so. Obviously, this an object lesson. They are parables of the unseen Holy Spirit of God doing this work in our hearts.

Just a couple hours after Miriam left the Park, the second night of Sukkot began. The shepherds for night two are Isaac and Miriam, both associated with water and wells. Without realizing it, I had invited “Miriam” into our sukkah and I gave her water to drink. She was a guest of the Park, and we gave her hospitality. As I sat that evening and pondered these things, I was in awe of the Holy One.

At last, my heart was settled. I felt like I had been given grace to suspend my grief for a little while. But, the minute I got on the plane to return home, the tears returned. I am so grateful for the many lovely women in my midst that have allowed me to cry on their figurative shoulders since returning home. Many of us first met Landra because a friend invited her to one of our new moon gatherings. We plan to remember Landra as we celebrate the eighth month tomorrow evening. Looking back through photos, I just realized today that I knew her for a glorious seven years, a full Shemittah cycle. What a gift, Abba!

Original Artwork by Landra Kerekes
Notice the Water Imagery

I am still in awe that before the close of the first day of Sukkot, the King of the Universe sent me a comforter, a guest to entertain, and a reminder that the wells that Landra dug will continue to flow with living waters. She might be gone, but her wells are NOT dry. She lived like a Renewed man, like resurrected flesh, because she really had died to the old Landra. I can’t tell you how much I learned from this woman, not just her words (which were never lashon hara), but most especially through her actions. Her ministry lives on because Yeshua lives. Landra was a blossom in the desert, a rose, or perhaps a sunflower like Miriam wore. God chose to pick that beautiful bloom, but we still have her blessed memory and legacy until we meet again in the Olam Haba. As I recounted this story to our Shabbat fellowship this weekend, someone pointed out how sunflowers always have their faces pointed toward the sun. Hallelujah! That was my sister, my friend. Her face never ceased from focusing on The Son. Thank you, Miriam, for wearing this beautiful bloom.

I found mayim in the desert this year, a well that I can sing to. May it spring up in all of us. “Spring up, oh well! Sing to the well sunk by the princes, dug by the people’s leaders with the scepter, with their staffs!” (Num 21:17) Thank you for being the best earthly counselor, Landra (a.k.a. Etsah). I will strive to lead the flock to the wells of salvation in the same spirit of love and honor you showed each little ewe. Blessed are You, O Adonai our God, dayan ha’emet – the True Judge.

The following video was recorded by Landra in May of 2020. The Tempest series of videos involve insights she gleaned while dealing with her diagnosis. This is one of my favorites. As I rewatched it for this post, I couldn’t help but to be dumbfounded by our experience on the first night in the sukkah this year at Tamar. The wind was up, and we were literally being sandblasted by the dust and sand blowing around. The whole group was made of those who persevere – and we stayed in the sukkah and fellowshipped despite this great irritant to our flesh. I have NO doubt that Landra would have cheered us on, exclaiming, “Take it all, Lord!” (Referring to Him stripping away our flesh.) Your memory is a blessing, dear sister!

 


[1] Yahrzeit is the anniversary of one’s death.

[2] Many of the seven are found in the following blessing of David: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (TLV) David blessed Adonai before the whole congregation saying, “Blessed are You, Adonai, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity! 11 Yours, Adonai, is the greatness, the power (Gevurah) and the splendor (Tiferet), and the (Hod) and the majesty, indeed everything in heaven and earth. Yours is the kingdom (Malchut), Adonai and You are exalted above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You. You rule over everything. In Your hand is power and might, in Your hand, to magnify and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise Your glorious Name.”

The other traits are Chesed (Lovingkindness), Netzach (eternity/victory), Yesod (Foundation). For each trait, there is a patriarch and matriarch that lived out that trait in some manner for us to learn from by example. Look for a post in the fall of 2023 for a complete explanation.

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Moedim, Mussar, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Clouds of Glory

I hope you all had a glorious Sukkot despite the oddness of the restrictions in 2020. One of the names for the Feast of Sukkot is the Clouds of Glory. Learn why in this message I delivered at Sukkot.

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Sukkot: Happiness at Tamar 2019

The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose… waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert… A highway will be there—a roadway. It will be called the Way of Holiness… The ransomed of Adonai will return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy upon their heads.  – Isaiah 35

View from Biblical Tamar Park

This year, Dr. Hollisa Alewine, author of the The Creation Gospel, is hosting a tour of Israel during the Feast of Tabernacles. I am helping to coordinate this unique event. We invite you to join us in the Holy Land October 10-22, 2019.Unlike many other tours of the Land, this pilgrimage tour will offer you many leisure hours to pray, meditate, study, and fellowship as we honor the weekly and festival Shabbats.

Though we will stay in Jerusalem and the Galilee at various times along our journey, our home base will be in the Arava desert, in the Wilderness of Zin, at Tamar Biblical Park. I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Tamar, dubbed the “Jewel of the Arava,” a couple of times, and each one remains close to my heart. There is something ethereal about staying in the wilderness where ancient Israel camped, following Adonai’s majestic cloud.

Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your betrothals, your following after Me in the wilderness, through a land not sown.”  (Jer. 2:2 NASB)

Biblical Tamar Park is one of the oldest and most unique archaeological sites in southern Israel. We will be staying right in the midst of this 55 acre historic site. Nearby, you can explore places such as Mt. Hor, where Moses buried Aaron, and Miriam’s Spring, where Miriam was buried. History abounds in seven strata uncovered at the Park, curated by Blossoming Rose, our tour liaison.

Check out the tentative itinerary for Sukkot: Happiness at Tamar with Dr. Alewine Oct. 10-22, 2019 by clicking here.

REGISTER NOW

 

The feast of Sukkot is quickly approaching! Register now to reserve your spot on the tour. May this year be the year that you make pilgrimage up to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Nations, the Season of Our Joy. Spend time in the actual wilderness, down in the Arava desert. Walk the circuit where Yeshua ministered in the Galilee. Be enriched by the anointed teaching of Dr. Alewine. This is Happiness at Tamar 2019!

Register by clicking the "Book Now" tab here.

 


Tamar is also called Ir Ovot and Ein Hatzeva. Click the links to learn more.

Categories: Creation Gospel, Moedim, News Flash | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sukkot: Hidden in the Shade of God

Col. 2:16-17 (LITV) Then do not let anyone judge you in eating, or in drinking, or in part of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of coming things, but the body is of Christ.

In my last post, I tried to help the reader to understand that not all darkness is evil. Sometimes darkness simply implies what is hidden from our natural (and spiritual) sight. A shadow, like Paul mentions above, falls into that same category. In a godly sense, the shadow is cast by the heavenly reality. The last thing one would desire to do is to speak evil of the shadow, for that shadow is the testimony of heaven.

Ironically, that’s exactly what many well-meaning Believers do when they read the above verses from Colossians. They seek to do away with the shadow because they think it detracts from the reality. I am an amateur artist. Proper shading turns a 2-D piece of art into something that appears 3-D. It gives the piece depth, making it a more realistic representation of the actual figure. Shadows are vital to help one see the reality.

My good friend, Dr. Robin Gould, wrote an excellent BEKY Book explaining the context and culture of Colossae called Colossal Controversies. I urge you to get a copy and give it to those that are perplexed by your obedience to Torah, especially if they’ve been taught that verses such as Colossians 2:16-17 imply that the shadow is useless.

What was the Biblical context of the word “shadow” for a first century Torah observant Jewish Pharisee? After all, that’s how Paul described himself.[1] When he spoke of one’s eating, drinking, partaking of feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths, and connected them to both a shadow and Messiah, this was no small matter. When we understand this significance, we too, will joyfully set our sights on “the things above,” the reality… by following the earthly shadow given by Adonai.

Col. 3:1-4 (TLV) Therefore, if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above—where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. 4 When Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him, in glory!

Rather than denigrating the dietary laws, feasts, Sabbaths, and new moons, Paul’s message to the Colossians was a powerful testimony of their eternal benefit and protection. To fully appreciate the portrait that He paints, let’s start with the beginning.

The First Shadows

The first Adam, male and female, were created in the image of God. Their mandate was to fill the earth, take dominion, and rule over all its creatures.

Gen. 1:27-28 (NASB) God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Man and woman were created in HIS image. The Hebrew word for image is tzelem. The following is The Complete Word Study Dictionary’s entry[2] for tzelem:

H6754

צֶלֶם ṣelem: A masculine noun meaning an image, a likeness, a statue, a model, a drawing, a shadow.The word means image or likeness; its most celebrated theological and anthropological use was to depict human beings as made in God’s own image (Gen 1:26-27; Gen 5:3). People continue to be in His image even after the fall, although the image is marred (Gen 9:6), and still serves as the basis of the prohibition not to kill human beings.

It is used metaphorically to depict persons as shadows, phantoms, or unknowing, senseless, fleeting beings carrying out the motions of life (Psa 39:6 [7]); unless they have hope in God (see Psa 39:7 [8]). In a similar vein, the wicked before the Lord are considered as mere dreams or fantasies (Psa 73:20).

The word is also used in a concrete sense to depict images cut out of or molded from various materials. The word describes the images or idols of foreign or strange gods (2Ki 11:18; Amo 5:26). The people of Israel produced images used as idols from their own jewelry (Eze 7:20; Eze 16:17). Israel was, on its entrance into Canaan, to destroy all the molten images of the heathen (Num 33:52). In Eze 23:14, this word refers to pictures of Babylonians that enticed the people of Israel into apostasy when they saw them (Eze 23:14).

Mankind is the shadow of Elohim. In Hebrew thought, this isn’t about one’s appearance, rather it one’s purpose and actions. YHWH placed within mankind (both male and female) a shadow or likeness of His character and will. We are His representatives in the earth, His image or shadow bearers. Shadows mimic the reality. Thus, one’s words, deeds, actions, and fruit will either confirm or profane His image. This is why tzelem can also mean a graven image or an idol:

Ex. 20:4 (NASB) “You shall not make for yourself an idol (tzelem), or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. (See also Lev. 26:1, Ezek. 16:17, etc.)

The common Hebrew word for shadow is tzel. It is just like the word for image above without the mem.

H6738 צלtsêl  Brown, Driver, Briggs Definition: 1) shadow, shade 1a) shadow (on dial) 1b) shadow, shade (as protection) 1c) shadow (symbolic of transitoriness of life) Part of Speech: noun masculine A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H6751

Tzel can be a literal shadow or shade, but just as in English, it can be figurative. It is in this sense that David and other Psalmist speak of God’s shadow being a place of refuge and protection:

Ps. 91:1-2 (NKJV) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Ps. 36:7 (NASB) How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

It is vital to understand what is and isn’t Adonai’s shadow. If His shadow is a secret place of refuge, like the wings of a mother bird, who wouldn’t want to run and hide there? I wouldn’t call this a “mere” thing. Isaiah, speaking of the future of Zion, makes some interesting connections in Hebrew between God’s House and His shadow:

Is. 4:4-6 (NKJV) When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5 then the LORD will create above every dwelling place (makon, like mishkan) of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering (chuppah). 6 And there will be a tabernacle (sukkah) for shade (tzel –shadow) in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

God’s Tabernacle, Sukkah, and Chuppah are all shadows of protection. His sukkah is the shadow that protects one from the heat; it is a refuge and shelter in the storm. This passage also recalls when the children of Israel faithfully followed their Husband in the wilderness[3] as He was a cloud by day and a pillar fire by night. These shadowy pillars protected, led, and covered the people.

The reason one is commanded to dwell in booths or sukkot during the Feast of Sukkot is so that all future generations will know that YHWH made the Children of Israel dwell in sukkot when He brought them out of Egypt. He doesn’t want His people in any generation to forget, so there is something very important about this appointment.

Lev. 23:42-43 (NKJV) 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 the LORD your God.’ “

Oddly, the “tents” that Israel dwelt in while in the wilderness are never called sukkot. They are called ohalim, literally tents, or a mishkan, a tabernacle/dwelling place. (For example, see Exodus 18:7; 33:10, Numbers 33:10; 16:27, etc.) This peculiarity has sparked some interesting explanations by the sages. Rabbi Eliezer believed that the sukkot that HaShem made Israel dwell in was His “clouds of glory,” the Ananei HaKavod. Rabbi Akiva disagreed and said that the sukkot were the literal tents that Israel set up in the wilderness. (Sukkah 11b)

Perhaps they are both right. The word sukkah comes from the following root[4]:

H5526 ךּכַסָsāḵaḵ: I. A verb meaning to cover. It means to hide something or to shield something: the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant was covered by the wings of cherubim (Exo 25:20); God’s hand covered and protected Moses (Exo 33:22). It is used of separating off an area with a curtain or hanging (Exo 40:3, Exo 40:21). Figuratively, it shows God shielding those who trust Him (Psa 5:11 [12]; Psa 91:4); He covers Himself in anger (Lam 3:43) or with a cloud(Lam 3:44) II. A verb meaning to stir, to excite. It means to rouse up, to spur on in the context of the Lord’s action (Isa 9:11 [10]; Isa 19:2). III. A verb meaning to weave together. It describes the Lord’s activity in creating a child’s fetus within the womb (Job 10:11; Psa 139:13).

Sukkot is also the name of a place. In fact, the first stop Israel made after leaving Egypt was Sukkot.[5] Inherent in the meaning of this word is the idea of covering, concealing, hiding, and protecting. Paul says that our lives are “hidden in Messiah,” but will one day be revealed when He is revealed in glory (kavod). When the resurrected Messiah left the earth, it was a “cloud” that received Him. Two angels told the disciples that when He returns, it will be in the same manner.

Acts 1:9-11 (NASB) And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

Mark 13:26 (NASB) “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory.

Shadows and clouds are equivalent expressions in many cases. They both cover, hide, conceal, and protect. Hebrews 12 calls those that had faith and trust in Adonai a great “cloud of witnesses.” In Isaiah 4 above, it is specifically the sukkah that is called a shadow (tzel). To further this connection, Adonai chose a specific person to be the craftsman or builder of His Tabernacle in the wilderness.

Betzalel

Ex. 31:1-5 (NASB) Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, 5 and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship.

Betzalel’s name means, “in the shadow of El/God.” His father, Uri, means fiery and Hur means white textiles.[6] Like Messiah, he was from the tribe of Judah. The names of his father and grandfather (fiery and white) also connects Betzalel with Yeshua, the one with blazing white robes and fiery eyes. His was filled with the Spirit of God, and was called to be a craftsman or builder of the House of God. Betzalel is certainly a “shadow” of Yeshua, the son of a carpenter, the spirit-filled builder of Adonai’s House.

Betzalel, the one in the shadow of God, built the earthly shadow of the Heavenly Temple. Ponder that for a moment. The shadow built or created the shadow, so that the people could draw near to God. The pattern of the Tabernacle was shown to Moses on the Mountain top. He was instructed to carefully make it after the heavenly pattern. (Ex. 25:40; 26:30; 27:8) Shadows should mimic the reality perfectly. If we are the shadow or the Temple of God on the earth, then Betzalel has much to teach us. Paul uses this imagery in the following passage.

1 Cor. 3:9-17 (NASB) For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident;for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

If we are the shadow or image of Messiah in the earth, then like Paul, we too, should look at our lives, walk, and ministry[7]as if we are builders of His House and Kingdom. As I’ve written previously, if we aren’t building, we are tearing down.

Pr. 14:1 (NASB) The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

At the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, the Apostles and Elders gathered together to consider what should be done with the Gentiles that were joining their ranks. Peter reminds them that God’s choice was to use his mouth to declare the Gospel to the Gentiles. (This is what Peter’s Vision in Acts 10 was about.) Then, Barnabas and Paul gave testimony of all they had witnessed among the Gentiles. After careful consideration, James gives his answer or judgment on the matter by quoting Amos 9.

Acts 15:14-17 (NKJV) Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: 16 ‘AFTER THIS I WILL RETURN AND WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID, WHICH HAS FALLEN DOWN; I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL SET IT UP;  17  SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, EVEN ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, SAYS THE LORD WHO DOES ALL THESE THINGS.’

Notice that Amos and James, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prophesy that the nations turn to HaShem BECAUSE He is rebuilding the Tabernacle of David. This is what Mashiach, the Builder, does. Adonai’s desire all along has been for His House (Tent/Tabernacle/Temple) to be a House of Prayer for ALL nations.

Is. 56:6-7 (NKJV) “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant— 7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

 “For God so loved the whole world,” has been true from the beginning. When King Solomon (another shadow of Yeshua) dedicated the House of Adonai, he did not forget the foreigners.

1 Ki. 8:41-43 (NKJV) “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake 42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple,  43  hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.

When we understand that the mountain, the holy hill, the tent, Tabernacle, Temple, House, the Cloud, the Smoke, His Wings, Dwelling Place, Messiah, and many other beautiful analogies are all speaking about the same thing, and have from the very beginning, and that their purpose and function all teach the same message as a shadow of the heavenly reality, the Bible makes so much more sense.

Sometimes Adonai does something spectacular with His shadowy wings and the realm of heaven kisses the realm of earth. Interestingly, the writers of the Apostolic scriptures call this “to overshadow.”

Overshadow

While studying Torah Portion Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11–34:35) last year, I had the pleasure of learning from Rabbi Sariella Creeger. In the message, she mentioned Betzalel and connected his name with the message given to Miriam (Mary) before conceiving Yeshua.

Luke 1:35 (NASB) The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 

What happened to Miriam when God “overshadowed” her was not unlike what happened when He filled Betzalel with His Ruach. Both were given the heavenly pattern to build the Tabernacle or Dwelling Place of God among His people. They were both “builders” of the House of Adonai. Both Houses were a shadow of the heavenly reality. Both Houses or Temples made a way for the people to draw near to God.

As a side note, I should mention that there are numerous correlations between the womb, the Tabernacle, and intimacy with YHWH. This is true even in the definition of sakak, the root of sukkah, outlined above. Author, teacher, and pastor John Diffenderfer, delivered an amazing message to Mercy Collective in Nashville, TN on Shavuot 2017 called God’s Womb, the Tabernacle, the Bride, and the FeastsI encourage you to watch it; the metaphor is stunning!

A son (ben) and a house (beit) in Hebrew both come from the same root, banah, which means “to build.” Understanding, as in the Spirit of Understanding (Ex. 31:3, Is. 11:2), also derives from the root banah. Do you see the connection? Building a house and building a son (a people) are the same thing. Neither can be accomplished without the Holy Spirit of Binah.

When training someone to perform a new job or task, we often have them “shadow” a seasoned or experienced person in that trade or field. This is how one learns. If we skip the training, it will affect our job knowledge and performance in a negative way. But if we shadow (mimic/mirror) the successful, experienced employee or boss, we too, will prosper.

This reminds me of young girl watching her mother care for her younger sibling or a young boy watching his father build their house. Innate in each is the compulsion to imitate their parent. The young girl likely has baby dolls with toy milk bottles, diapers, and changes of clothes. This is her “shadow nursery” where she practices caring for her future family. Without the reality of her mother’s faithfulness to care for the next generation, this young girl would have nothing (good) to imitate. Either she wouldn’t have a shadow nursery, or her nursery would be distorted by a lack of understanding of what a mother actually does.

The young boy likely has a toy carpenter station with plastic hammers and nails, fake wood planks, and rubber saws. This is his “shadow woodshop” where he learns to care for his future family. Like the young girl, he can only be the shadow of what he sees. If the father is absent, he might think the hammer is used to hurt others. On the other hand, if the reality is a good father, the boy might grow to not only build the house of his family, but many others.

We might laugh at this analogy, but this whole world is a shadow of the heavenly reality. The shadow is the proof or evidence of what we cannot yet see.

Heb. 11:1-3 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

When the Ruach HaKodesh overshadowed Miriam, the Greek word used was episkiazō. This word comes from the Greek word skia, shadow. Skia is equivalent to the Hebrew word tzelem. Thayer’s defines it below.

G4639 σκία, skia

1) shadow 1a) shade caused by the interception of light 1b) an image cast by an object and representing the form of that object 1c) a sketch, outline, adumbration. Part of Speech: noun feminine

Visualize standing outside with your back to the afternoon sun. Your body blocks the light in front of you, producing a dark, phantom-like representation of your form. If you raise your hands, so does your shadow. If you squat, so does this shady figure. While the shadow mimics your actions and outline, it cannot convey or capture the many colors, textures, and other things that truly make you, you. It cannot move or act of its own accord. And, as long as the light shines on you, you can’t escape or out run your shadow. It is connected to you completely.

Have you ever tried to touch your shadow? There is nothing there. Yet it is proof that something is there… you. This is how the Spirit realm appears to humans (most of the time). Other things in nature give a similar parable, like wind and clouds, both of which are used in the Bible to describe the Holy Spirit. The creation week, the Tabernacle, the Temple, and Yeshua are all a type of “shadow” expressing the reality of Elohim (God) and His Throne. They are proof that there is indeed another realm, far more real and tangible than the world in which we live and breathe. They are the pattern one is meant to learn in order to know YHWH, and discern between the truth and a lie. This enables one to be the true shadow of God. (Ezek. 43:10)

YHWH, speaking through Isaiah, compared Israel to the precious building materials of the Temple and Jerusalem. Yeshua, the son of God, compared Himself to the Temple. Paul compared our bodies to the Temple, and John describes the Bride, Adonai’s people, as the New Jerusalem. All are true and none supersede the others. Each of these shadows is vital to the complete picture of the heavenly.

John 2:19-22 (NASB) Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”  21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.  22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

Is. 54:10-12 (NASB) “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you. 11 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. 12 “Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, And your gates of crystal, And your entire wall of precious stones.

 The Overshadowing Cloud

Overshadowing occurs in a different, yet similar fashion at the Mount of Transfiguration. In the following account, look for the themes of Sukkot, and key words such as mountain, cloud, a voice, glory, overshadow, build/make, revelation (awake), etc. Where have we read about these things before? Is it a coincidence that this occurred on the “eighth day”?

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Luke 9:28-36 (NASB) Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.  29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming.  30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. 33 And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen. (Compare with Mat. 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13)

The cloud that formed and “overshadowed” the disciples is the same Greek word used in the account of the Holy Spirit overshadowing Miriam (Mary). In the transfiguration, Yeshua is the bright light that casts a shadow of glory visible to Peter, James, and John. They “see” into the Spirit realm, the reality of Who Yeshua is (revelation). Time as we (and they know it) no longer applies, as even Moses and Elijah (Torah and the Prophets) are standing and talking with Yeshua on the mountaintop.

The disciples had two responses to this glorious vision. Peter speaks up and offers to BUILD or make three tabernacles or dwelling places for them, not realizing what he was actually seeing. It is Sukkot, but what he sees is the reality, not the shadow. While he’s speaking, a cloud overshadows them, which brings about their second response: FEAR. They were afraid. (Aren’t we always afraid, since the garden?) Then, a voice speaks from the cloud. As Rabbi David Fohrman would ask, “Where have we seen these words before?”

Ex. 19:9 (NASB) The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.

Ex. 19:16-19 (NASB) So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder (voices) and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.  17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.  18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.  19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder (a voice).

Ex. 24:15-16 (NASB) Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.

Dt. 18:15-16 (NASB) “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 “This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’

In Jewish thought and teachings, the “revelation” is Mount Sinai, because that is where God revealed Himself to the entire nation of Israel.[8] Mountain tops are images or shadows of the Temple or Throne of Adonai, the place where He dwells and speaks to His people. Mount Zion is the Temple Mount in the natural, though there is still a heavenly reality. God’s Presence (Shekinah) is likened to clouds, smoke, and fire. His voice is compared to thunder, a loud shofar or trumpet blast, and even the sound of rushing water.[9] Experiencing His majesty causes mortal man to tremble.

In a sense, the entire nation was overshadowed by Adonai’s awesome Presence, Cloud, and Glory at Mount Sinai. Peter, James, and John experienced a similar preternatural revelation as they were overshadowed on the mountain of Transfiguration by Adonai’s Cloud. Like ancient Israel, they too, heard a Voice that reminded them of Deuteronomy 18:15-16 (listed above). But this wasn’t the first time that a voice spoke of the Son in the hearing of the disciples, nor would it be the last.

Mat. 3:16-17 (TLV) After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17 And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”

Just after His triumphal entry, but before His death, John records this account:

John 12:27-30 (NASB) “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.”

Glory in Hebrew is the word kavod. It means weighty or heavy, and often manifests as a cloud (or smoke). Yeshua’s prayer was for Father’s Name to be glorified. In Hebrew thought, it’s not the pronunciation of His Name that brings Him glory; rather, He (and His Name) are glorified when one obeys Him completely, no matter the cost. When the glory of YHWH filled the Tabernacle and Temple, it was a Presence so weighty that Moses, the priests, and the people couldn’t enter the space or stand to perform their services. One day, the whole earth will be filled with the holy glory of Adonai.

Num. 14:21 (NASB) But indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD.

This will be a time when the shadow and the reality are One, the fulfillment of Yeshua’s prayer. This is the New Jerusalem, the heavenly, coming to earth, the display of Adonai’s splendor and glory. When His glory is revealed marvelous things happen. Even our shadows can cause miracles, and it’s not by our power or might, but the glory and power of the Ruach HaKodesh.

Acts 5:15-16 (KJV) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

Peter, in this instance, was truly walking in the image of Elohim as even his skia, tzelem, or shadow was full of the Holy Spirit that healed the people, the House of God. I believe that is the desire of all that follow Adonai in Spirit and Truth. A true disciple wants to be the shadow of Yeshua as He is the shadow of YHWH. When He raises His right arm, we mimic His action, just like a shadow. When He speaks, we speak. We He is silent, we are silent. Where He goes, we go. That is the way of shadows.

It might seem odd at first to think of yourself as a shadow of Yeshua. It might seem odder still that he desires a shadow to build His House by making even more disciples after His image. But that is the calling, beloved.

Mat. 28:16-20 (TLV) Now the eleven disciples went to the Galilee, to the mountain Yeshua had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped; but some wavered. 18 And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, 20 teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Everyone needs a mountaintop revelation of Adonai. That is what the pilgrimage festivals lead one to – Zion, the Temple, the House, and the Throne of Elohim. His mountain (Spirit) overshadows, envelops, and fills faithful hearts with the heavenly pattern. It is the blueprint upon which His Kingdom is built.

Paul specifically calls eating, drinking, partaking of the feasts, new moons, and Sabbaths a shadow of the Body of Messiah. In other words, these are the things His Body does, because they reflect the heavenly reality. They keep one attached to the Head, Yeshua. The world hates the shadow and the reality, preferring a false light, the precepts of men, things that decay rather than the eternal.

Col. 2:18-23 (TLV) Let no one disqualify you by insisting on false humility and worship of angels—going into detail about what he has seen, puffed up without cause by his fleshly mind. 19 He is not holding fast to the Head. It is from Him that the whole body, nourished and held together by its joints and tendons, grows with a godly increase. 20 If you died with Messiah to the basic principles of the world, why—as though living in the world—do you subject yourselves to their rules? 21 Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!” 22 These all lead to decay with use, based as they are on man-made commands and teachings. 23 Indeed, these are matters that have an appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and humility and self-denial of the body—yet none are of any value for stopping indulgence of the flesh.

“The Seven Shepherds” Painting by Kisha Gallagher 2018

So, what are the sabbaths, new moons, and feasts a shadow of? What are they concealing and protecting?

Is it the body or reality of Messiah? The Gospel? The Kingdom? The Temple? The Mountain? God’s Throne? The Revelation? The Clouds of Glory? The Day of the LORD? Us?

The answer is YES! So, definitely do not let anyone judge you for doing the very things the Master taught and did. He is a good, good, shepherd.

Be like Betzalel, the son of white garments, a master builder of Adonai’s House. And, be like Miriam filled with the Seed of God, a builder of the Kingdom. Experience the fullness of the Transfiguration at the end of days (Sukkot), by following the cloud, His shadow, keeping the appointments (feasts), which are the cycles that take your feet to Jerusalem, so you can learn the pattern shown by Moses and Yeshua on the Mountain. And lastly, remember that you are hidden in Messiah (the House – Heavenly Jerusalem) as His tezelem or shadow. He is with us always even unto the end of the age.


 


[1]Philippians 3:5-6, see also Acts 23:6; 26:5

[2]The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament by Warren Baker. Retrieved using Strong’s number H6754 on E-Sword Bible software.

[3]Jer. 2:2 (NASB) “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown.”

[4]The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament by Warren Baker. Retrieved using Strong’s number H5526 on E-Sword Bible software.

[5]Ex. 12:37 (NASB) Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children.

[6]The actual meaning of Hur is unclear as there are several root words of which it could be derived. These roots deal with burning – literally or in anger, growing or making white – literally with textiles or pale in the face, or it could mean a hole or cavern. Based on (the man) Hur’s history in the Biblical text, I chose the meaning “white textiles.” Hur and Aaron helped Moses hold his hands up when Israel battled Amalek (Ex. 17:12), and he turns out to be the grandfather of the man that would be endowed to work in many crafts, including textiles. You can see chur or Hur translated as white fabric in Esther 1:6 and 8:15.

[7]All Believers have a ministry. Ministry is service and serving Adonai and His people. Everyone does this in some capacity as they are part of His Body, His House.

[8]Hopefully, this will inspire you to read the Book of Revelation with an adjusted perspective.

[9]I think it’s interesting that one of the Hebrew words for thunder is the same word as voice, kol. Some of the crowd in John 12 perceived the heavenly voice as thunder. Revelation, the mountain of God, the heavens, and His Throne are also accompanied by voices and thunder:

Rev. 11:19 (NASB) And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunderand an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

Rev. 14:2 (NASB) And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.

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