— Rosh HaShana
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.”” (Lev 23:23-25)
“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.’” (Gen 1:14)
At sunset, on the first day of the seventh month, the month of Tishri begins the Feast of Trumpets. It is to be observed as a day of rest, a Sabbath, with the blowing of the shofar. Why? Paul explains in Colossians 2:16-17 that the Feasts of the Lord “are a shadow of things to come.” The blowing of the trumpet, the shofar, on the Feast of Trumpets, is a shadow pointing to the blowing of the trumpet at the return of the Messiah,
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.Therefore encourage each other with these words.” (1 Th 4:16-18)
The Messiah Yeshua fulfilled in exact detail all the four Spring Feasts of the Lord at his first coming two thousand years ago. He will in detail fulfill the remaining Fall Feasts at his return, beginning with the Feast of Trumpets. How important it is for us to learn about these Feasts in order to be prepared and ready for the coming of the Messiah! The Father has placed them in His Word for a reason and Yeshua has clearly told us, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Lk 24:44)
It is amazing when you study what the Jewish rabbis teach about the Feast of Trumpets, how exactly it lines up with what the Apostles have written about Yeshua’s second coming in the New Covenant. It is incredible. The Bible truly is ONE book with ONE message from cover to cover. Here are some of the things that the rabbis teach about the Feast of Trumpets.
1. The Feast of Trumpets is first of all called Yom Teruah, which can be translated as “The Day of the Awakening Blast” because it is the day of the first resurrection. Paul wrote, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, —with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise.” What a day of trumpet blast that will be!
2. Secondly, the Feast of Trumpets is called Yom HaZikaron, a “Day of Remembrance.” This is a day to remind ourselves of the day when our Messiah will come. Paul wrote concerning the truth that Yeshua is coming back,“Therefore encourage each other with these words.” We need to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets to remind ourselves of this great day. It is to be a consecrated day before the Lord, set apart for Him as a day of remembrance, “a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.”
3. Thirdly, the Feast of Trumpets is called Yom HaDin, the “Day of Judgment.” Paul said in Acts 17:31, “For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.” He explained further in 2 Thess 1:6-7, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Yeshua is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.”
The judgments that will be poured out upon the earth when Yeshua returns, must not be confused with the Great Tribulation, which is Satan’s wrath against God’s people. If we are right with God we will certainly escape His wrath, but we have never been promised to escape persecution and tribulation from the devil, only that we will be strengthened to go through it and be overcomers. Many confuse the wrath of God with the wrath of Satan, but we must not do that.
4. Fourthly, the Feast of Trumpets is called Yom HaKeseh “The Hidden Day.” The reason for this, is that it is the only Feast that is celebrated on the first day of a month. The Biblical months always begin with a new moon. In ancient times they watched the heavens to look for the first sign of the new moon. They were not certain when that would be. Yeshua said about the day of his coming, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. —Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matt 24:36,42)
5. Fifthly, the rabbis call the Feast of Trumpets the Last Trumpet. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
The Feast is called the last trumpet, or the last shofar, for two reasons. First of all, during the sixth month the shofar has been blown every morning in the synagogues to wake people up and prepare them, and then the final shofar is blown on the Feast of Trumpets. Then there will be no more shofar blown until the Day of Atonement.
Secondly, the rabbis teach that there are only two times in the Scriptures when the Lord Himself blows the shofar. The first time was at Sinai during Shavuot, when the Torah was given. The second and last time will be when Messiah comes according to Zechariah 9:14-15, “Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, and the LORD Almighty will shield them.”
6. Sixthly, the Feast of Trumpets is called the Wedding of the Messiah. It is the final part of the wedding ceremony, the consummation of the marriage called “the Lakach” when the Bridegroom takes us to his side to be with him forever. We know that this is also in line with the teaching of the New Covenant writings. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (Jn 14:3) All the Fall Feasts are connected with the second coming of the Lord. Beginning at the Feast of Tabernacles we will then celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb for a thousand years in Jerusalem.
6. Seventhly, the Feast of Trumpets is called Rosh Hashanah, which means “the head of the year” or “the first of the year.” Even though the Biblical New Year is in the spring, corresponding with the exodus out of Egypt and our new birth, the Feast of Trumpets is also associated with new beginnings, and is therefore celebrated today as the Jewish New Year. Traditionally this is when Adam was created and according to many Biblical signs this is also when the last Adam, Yeshua the Messiah was born, see our article “When Was the Messiah Born.”
Most of all there will certainly be a brand new beginning, when Messiah returns on this Feast. So the Feast of Trumpets is a day of new beginnings and renewal. It is the beginning of the final ten days of repentance leading up to the Day of Atonement. It is a season to make things right with both God and fellow man for the coming year in a special way.
We encourage all of you to take these Biblical lessons to heart that God has given us in His Feasts. Remember“the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua” (Tit 2:13) and rejoice in this hope. Take time to seek God’s face. The Bible says, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Pet 3:14) The Messiah is coming soon!
Because of much false teaching about the rapture, which has caused more fear than faith and an attitude of escape and defeat instead of victory, many Christians today are not very interested in hearing about the return of the Lord. We need to pray that sound teaching will come forth. The Biblical hope must be restored. It is very urgent! Our great hope is not that we will leave, but that Yeshua will come and take over this earth. It is not that this world will be destroyed, but that it will be born again into the kingdom of God. We are now living in the season of birth pangs leading up to this event.
The end of redemption story is that “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa 11:9) The antichrist will not win, the Messiah will. To the surprise of most Christians, the Bible does not end up in heaven. The Book of Revelation ends up with heaven coming to earth! “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. —The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.’” (Rev 21:2-3, 24)
It is to Jerusalem that Yeshua will return. He has not sat down on his throne yet. His throne is not in heaven. It is in Jerusalem. “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Lk 1:32-33) That is why he says, Matt 19:28, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things [the Messianic rebirth of the world], when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” What a glorious hope! We must therefore pray more than ever that Jerusalem will soon become “the praise of the earth.”
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Isa 62:6-7)
On Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets, it is customary among the Jewish people to eat apples dipped in honey and wish each other a blessed and sweet new year. Honey is in the Scriptures a symbol of the Word of God, especially the spoken, prophetic word of the LORD. On the Feast of Trumpets you can gather with family and friends to dip apples in honey, remember the soon coming of Messiah and pray for each other for a blessed, fruitful new year! It is important to observe the appointed times of the Eternal. They are a shadow of what is coming.