Feast of Trumpets

ROSH HA-SHANAH means "Head of the year" and, as such, unfortunately begins the Jewish New Year on Tishri 1 -- contrary to Biblical injunction. It marks the start of the Ten Days of Penitence or "Awe," which end on the Day of Atonement. In the Bible Rosh ha-Shanah is referred to as falling on the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:24). During the rabbinic period, it came to be regarded as a day of judgment for the entire world, on which each person's fate is inscribed in the Book of Life. During the festival service, which is traditionally celebrated in white vestments, the shophar is blown, and other rituals are introduced. Trumpets, or shophars, were blown to announce YEHOVAH God's festivals, as well as to call YEHOVAH's people to assembly. Trumpets were also used as an alarm of invading armies and impending warfare. This terrifying sound filled the people of ancient Israel with fear, because they knew the horror of war was imminent. It is this warning of war that sets apart the Feast of Trumpets from YEHOVAH's other festivals.

The blowing of the shophar is an intimate part of this period picturing preparation to meet YEHOVAH God, and to undergo His judgment. Its most important uses, described in the Bible, were "to intimidate the enemy, to declare war, and to call the populace to assembly." Originally, the shophar was blown a short blast every New Moon, marking the beginning of a new month. But on the New Moon of the seventh month, Tishri 1, the "Feast of Trumpets," prolonged alarm blasts were sounded. Obviously, these were to herald a warning to the people, that the time has come to prepare to be judged by the Messiah!

According to the Book of Revelation, the soon-coming "Day of the Lord" will be divided up into "seven trumpets" -- seven angels will blow seven trumpet blasts, and these will introduce seven calamitous plagues that YEHOVAH God will send upon the earth. These trumpet blasts of the heavenly "shophar" are WARNINGS FROM YEHOVAH GOD to the inhabitants of the earth, that the time has come to REPENT of their sins and iniquities -- or suffer the dire consequences.