Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) Begins Tonight

Yom Teru’ah, renamed by the rabbis centuries later as the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah, is literally “the head of the year,” meaning its beginning. It is important to note that this differs from the “religious year,” where God reordered the calendar in Exodus 12:2 to begin the year with Passover. This appointed time, though called the New Year actually is not in the religious sense. The trumpet was sounded on a variety of occasions in the ancient Jewish community:

·         To announce significant events (Leviticus 25:9)

·         To assemble Israel (Numbers 10:2)

·         To obtain God’s help against an enemy (Numbers 10:9)

·         To call God’s attention to an offering (Numbers 10:10)

·         To announce the Presence of God (2 Samuel 6:15)

·         To warn of war or danger

In Leviticus 25:10, God specified trumpets be used to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to all its inhabitants.” That verse appears today on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, assuring us that America was founded by Bible believers.

I was a camp counselor for seven years at Indian Village, Forest Home. Each morning we were awakened to the loudest drum. At mealtimes, a smaller drum with a different beat was used. Different drum beats signified different events. Both could be heard throughout the camp so all would be aware of what was coming up. In the same way, the priests used a silver trumpet or a shofar, and the people knew what each sound meant.

Illustration provided by Ray Hart

Illustration provided by Ray Hart

The Feast of Trumpets is a one-day celebration in which no work is to be done and an offering is made to the Lord. The day is accompanied by trumpet (shofar) blasts.

History: Over the years, the rabbis decided that the Feast of Trumpets marks the end of one agricultural year and the beginning of another and so they renamed it “Rosh Hashanah,” the New Year. But the rabbis also recognized that the sound of the shofar on this day is an announcement of the upcoming Day of Atonement or Judgment (see below), and therefore the start of a time of introspection in which everyone is to examine themselves to see if they are living their lives in a way that is pleasing to God and, if not, to repent and to also try to heal any broken relationships with others.

Scripture References:

·         Old Testament: Leviticus 23:23–25; 26:27–33; Numbers 10:1–10; Deuteronomy 28:58–67;                                         Isaiah 11:1–12, 27:12–13

·         New Testament: 1 Corinthians 15:51–53

Prophetic Fulfillment: The trumpet was a signal for the field workers to come into the temple. The high priest blew the trumpet so that the faithful would stop harvesting so as to worship. Now, when the trumpet sounds (according to 1 Corinthians 15:51–53), living believers will cease their harvest and rise from the earth. The church will be taken out of the world (in the rapture) prior to the day of judgment.

In 1 Corinthians 15:51–52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, Paul referred to the last trumpet and the trumpet of God. When Paul used these Hebraic expressions, he clearly had in mind the Feast of Trumpets as he described the rapture of the church, making a deliberate connection between the rapture and the Feast of Trumpets. The trumpets mentioned in Revelation are not the same. We are talking here about the trumpet of God. In their book The Last Shofar! Joseph Lenard and Donald Zoller explain more about the significance of the Feast of Trumpets, which came to be known as the Feast of the Unknown or Hidden Day:

Among the seven Feasts, The Feast of Trumpets is unique. Other Feasts were determined by calculating a stipulated number of days between the Feasts, based on the Jewish lunar calendar. Only the Feast of Trumpets is celebrated on the first day of the lunar month and was determined by observing the appearing of the New Moon—that faint sliver of light indicating the beginning of the lunar cycle of waxing and waning. The possibility of obscured atmospheric conditions or poor human judgment to identify the appearance of the New Moon made the beginning day of the Feast uncertain—the day and hour unknown or hidden. In addition, orbital considerations of the relationship of the earth, moon and sun,…affected the observation of the New Moon.

The Hebrew common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is Shanah Tovah (Hebrew: שנה טובה pronounced Shawˈna toˈva), which translated from Hebrew means "[have] a good year". Often Shanah Tovah Umetukah (Hebrew: שנה טובה ומתוקה‎‎), meaning "A Good and Sweet Year", is used.

This excerpt was taken from Understanding God's Eternal Plan for Israel by Deby Brown. Her book should be released in about a month.