The Spring Feasts–Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost–speak of the 1st coming of Jesus to take our place as the Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the whole world (see The Spring ‘Feasts of the Lord’). In addition to commemorating major historic events of national Israel, they foreshadow the future Messiah’s work. Jesus died, was buried, was resurrected, and sent the Holy Spirit on the very days, and on Passover, the very hour specified in Leviticus 23 and other Old Testament passages.
Will the Fall Feasts be any different? If Jesus came on the day of and fulfilled the very meaning of the Spring Feasts, won’t he do the same when He returns for judgment and salvation of His people Israel, and rulership of the world? Are we to be taken unawares, as if broken in on like ‘a thief in the night’ (1 Thes 5:4)? No, scripture warns us to be alert, that we WILL know the signs (1Thes 5:1-8), and that ‘festivals’ are a ‘shadow’ of what is to come (Col 2:16-17). Let’s examine the Fall Feasts more closely, beginning with Feast #5, the “Feast of Trumpets”:
Trumpets (Yom Teruah, v23-25, Num 29:1) Month 7 (Tishrei—usually Sept-Oct)1st day—literal meaning is “day of blowing/an alarm/a signal/a shout/awakening” (of the shofar, the ram’s horn); it was later also called Rosh Hashanah, meaning “the head of the year”, since the 7th month begins the “civil” calendar. The religious calendar begins with Nisan, the 1st month, in remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt, while it is believed that the creation of Adam & Eve occurred on Tishrei 1.
Start of New Year The Jews maintain a lunar-solar calendar, based on the 29.5 day lunar cycle (every third or fourth year it is reconciled with the solar year via a 13th month).
- Trumpets is the only Feast day that occurs on the 1st day of a (lunar) month. The first day of the month begins on a new (sliver) moon. During the Feast of Trumpets the beginning of the new year is determined based on the sighting of the new moon in west, following the setting sun.
- Trumpets became to be observed on the first two days of Tishrei, since the new moon might actually be determined to begin on the 2nd day rather than the 1st. The Jewish calendar is dependant upon the correct start date of the new year for religious observance reasons. This was determined by a Rabbinical court in Jerusalem.
- Because the new moon might occur on the 29th or 30th day, “Of that day or hour no man knows” was a saying used exclusively on Rosh Hashanah by the Jews. Additionally, every day of the month Elul that precedes Tishrei, the shofar was blown, except the last day before Rosh Hashanah—this was called “the hidden day”, or “the day that no man knows.”
Wake-up Call/Resurrection Teruah means “an awakening blast”; the trumpet’s purpose is to awaken us (Eph 5:14); theme of “awakening from sleep” found throughout the Bible—Jn 11:11, Rom 13:11, Dan 12:1-2.
- 1 Thes 4:16 very clearly associates the trumpet of God and Yeshua’s shout with the resurrection, as does 1 Cor 15:52, which states “at the last trumpet, the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed…”
- Teruah (H8643) can also be translated as “shout”; its root word is Ruah (H7321) meaning “to shout” in triumph, give a signal. In fact, Teruah is only used twice to mean “blow a trumpet” and both are in connection to the Feast of Trumpets—every other time the word means “to shout” or “to sound an alarm.” Lev 23:24 could be translated “the shouting of trumpets…”, very similar to 1 Thes 4:16.
- The resurrection of the dead will take place on Rosh HaShanah according to the Talmud, (Rosh HaShanah 166).
Judgment Yom Teruah also speaks of judgment; it was also known as Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgment in the Talmud—it is in preparation for the solemn Day of Atonement, the next Feast day on Tishrei 10.
- Between Tishrei 1 & 10 are the “Days of Awe”, the last chance for repentance before the day of judgment and atonement.
- The zodiac sign for the month of Tishrei is a pair of scales (same as Libra, occurring same time of year), symbolic of judgment.
- Dan 7:9-14 is a poignant picture of Yom Teruah, the beginning of God’s judgment: “the books were opened…one like the son of man was coming with the clouds of heaven…” Also “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor 5:10, Rom 14:10).
Remembrance The day is also known as Yom HaZikron, ‘zikron’ meaning “to remember”, from Lev 23:24: “shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial…” (KJV)
- God remembers us in His ‘book of life’ (Ex 32:32-33, Rev 3:5), and we remember God (Ex 13:3, Deut 8:18).
- Since in Dan 7:9-10 “the Ancient of Days took His seat…the court sat, and the books were opened” it is understood to be Rosh Hashanah. The common greeting among Jews on this day is “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”
Day of the Lord When the trumpet blasts and Yeshua returns it is called ‘the Day of the Lord’. 1 Thes 4:13-5:9 explains that:
- The Lord will return with a shout and the trumpet of God (v4:16)
- The resurrection will occur (v4:17)
- This is called ‘the Day of the Lord’ (v5:2)
- It will come as a surprise on the unexpecting, like the pains of childbirth on a pregnant woman (v5:3)
- We are not to be unexpecting (v5:4-9)
- We are not ignorant of ‘the times and the seasons/epochs’ (v5:1, chronos & kairos)
The Shofar Joel 2:1 associates the blowing of the shofar with the coming of “the Day of the Lord”; The NLT says “.. because the day of the Lord is upon us.” The trumpet (shofar):
- Signals God’s sovereignty over the Earth: “God has ascended with a shout, The LORD, with the sound of a trumpet” (Psm 47:5)
- Announces the coming of the Messiah to save Israel: “Then the LORD will appear over them… And the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet… And the LORD their God will save them in that day” (Zech 9:14, 16)
- Ushers in the ‘Day of the Lord’: “Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming…” (Joel 2:1)
- Is sounded at the resurrection of the dead and rapture of believers (1Thes 4:16)
- Is blown in Revelation to announce judgments and the arrival of the Kingdom of God on Earth (Rev 11:15-16)
- Is blown at the coronation of Kings, such as Solomon (1 Ki 1:39, Psm 47:5)
Jewish Wedding Jesus compares his return to that of the bridegroom coming for his bride “those who were ready went into the Wedding Feast” (Mt 25:1-10), Eph 5:22-33 compares marriage to Christ and the church and Rev 19:7 says “the bride has made herself ready”. The Jewish wedding involved many steps relating to our status as ‘bride’:
- Bride chosen by Father of bridegroom (Gen 24, Abraham)
- A bride price was paid (paid in Yeshua’s blood)
- The bride and groom are betrothed (kiddushin)
- A betrothal contract is written up (ketubah, The Bible)
- Bride must give consent (Israel said “I do” at Mt Sinai (Ex 24:3)
- Gifts are given to the bride and a ‘cup of the covenant’ was shared (Lk 22:20)
- The bride has a ritual bath (mikvah, water immersion)
- The bridegroom returns to Father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber (Yeshua goes to His Father’s House to “prepare a place for you” (Jn 14:2-3)
- The bride waited in anticipation for the groom’s return
- The bridegroom would return with a shout, “Behold, the bridegroom comes” and the sound of the ram’s horn (shofar) would be blown.
- He would abduct his bride, usually in the middle of the night to go to the bridal chamber for 7 days (there are seven days between Rosh Hashanah on Tishrei 1-2 and Yom Kippur on Tishrei 10.
- After the 7 days there would be a marriage supper for all the guests (This is a theme of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles)
Other concepts associated with Rosh Hoshanah/FoT:
- The Open Door in Heaven: Is 26:2 says “open the gates that the righteous may enter…” See also Psm 118:19-21, Eze 46:1