Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

The Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life

In the Ecclesia of YEHOVAH we keep various biblical holy days, including the Feast of Trumpets, called Rosh Hashanah by most Jews. Does this Holy Day have any applications for Christian Israelites? Did the ancient Judahite teachers know something about this day that most who profess the Messiah do not seem to realize?

by John D. Keyser

The seventh month is called Tishri in Hebrew and the Feast of Trumpets is referred to as the first of Tishri in some Jewish literature. Although the Jews now call it Rosh Hoshana, that was probably not its original name:

"Rosh Hashana, which literally means head of the year" [it was] "not called Rosh Hashanah until Talmudic times" (Kramer, Amy J., Rosh Hashana Origins).

Since the terms "head" and "year" are not in the Old Testament passages about it, it appears that the term for it (Feast of Trumpets) is more biblically-based than the relatively new Jewish term "Rosh Hashana" -- which has numerous spellings. Therefore, we will used the term "Feast of Trumpets" throughout this article.

The Feast of Trumpets begins the evening of the first of Tishri -- a month that almost always begins in September on the Gregorian Calendar we keep today. Neither the name of the festival or the meaning of the festival are made explicitly clear in the Bible. The symbolism of the festival is something of a mystery, a sort of Bible riddle begging to be solved. The Bible grants us only two sparse verses to explain the festival:

"In the seventh month, on first day of the month, it will be for you a Sabbath, a trumpet blast memorial, a sacred assembly. All regular work you shall not do, and you shall cause to be brought near to the LORD an offering made by fire" (Leviticus 23:23, 24).

In the above passage, the Bible commands us to blow the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets as a memorial, but it does not tell us what the blowing of the shofar memorializes! The other Biblical Festivals are explained in greater detail. Leviticus 23 explicitly tells us that Passover is a memorial of the Exodus from Egypt, Shavuot or Pentecost is an agricultural festival, the the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur is a purification ceremony, and the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot is both a harvest festival and a memorial of Israel's wilderness experience. But when the same chapter comes to speak of the first day of the seventh month, we find only a few vague details. No explanations or deeper meanings are divulged.

From the above passage we do learn that a trumpet is to be blown as a remembrance on this day. The Hebrew says that this particular day will be a "trumpet blast memorial." In order to keep the commandment of making a "trumpet blast memorial", the shofar (ram's horn trumpet) is blown 100 times in Jewish synagogues throughout the prayer services of the day. But what is the trumpet blast memorial a memorial of?

The Jewish sages offered various attempts to explain the festival. By searching through the Scriptures for references to shofars and trumpets blasts, a plethora of different remembrances were suggested. Other meanings attached to the festival were handed on from generation to generation through the oral tradition. The early medieval sage, Rav Saadiah Gaon codified these various explanations of the Feast of Trumpets and listed them. According to Rav Saadiah Gaon, there are ten primary remembrances for which the shofar is blown on the Feast of Trumpets (Goodman, 1992). Each of these remembrances highlights a unique aspect of the festival. Each remembrance is a key facet to the holiday and its accompanying prayer service in the synagogue.

The Ten Remembrances

1). CORONATION: In the Scriptures, the shofar is sounded at the coronation of a king. The blast of the shofar announces the newly crowned King and proclaims his ascent to sovereignty. We see this well illustrated in the coronation contest for David's throne (1 Kings 1:39). Psalm 47:5 and 98:6 also illustrate the shofar blast as a coronation acclamation. Thus the shofar blast of the Feast of Trumpets might be construed to be a proclamation of coronation, specifically, the coronation of the King of the Universe.

The main theme of the Feast of Trumpets is KINGSHIP! The blowing of trumpets was the sign that kings could then begin to rule -- see I Kings 1:34. Jewish authorities have long conceded this royal association with the Feast of Trumpets. The Jewish historian Theodor H. Gaster states: "The Sovereignty of God is a dominant theme of the occasion [and] it is one of the cardinal features of New Year's Day" (Festivals of the Jewish Year, p. 115).

The main thrust of the synagogue services for the Feast of Trumpets in early Judaism was the fact that YEHOVAH God rules over all and that He is the King of kings. On this day it was common to quote Zechariah 14:16 -- "Then every one that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts, and to keep the feast of booths." Many scholars believe that in ancient Israel YEHOVAH was crowned annually at the "New Year feast of YEHOVAH." Clearly then, the major theme of the Feast of Trumpets is that of enthronement and the commencement of YEHOVAH God's reign on this earth.

The angelic "trumpets" blown on the "Day of the LORD" are the spine-tingling fulfillment of the "trumpets" which were blown on the seven New Moon days leading up to, and including, the Feast of Trumpets -- the Jewish "new year" -- also called "Yom Teruah" -- the Day of Blowing," meaning the blowing of the shofar. These trumpet plagues are warnings from YEHOVAH God for His people Israel to REPENT and prepare for the commencement of His reign over the world and His return on the first High Day of the Feast of Tabernacles!

Writes Ernest L. Martin:

"This was the EXACT DAY that many of the ancient kings and rulers of Judah reckoned as their inauguration day of rule. This procedure was followed consistently in the time of Solomon, Jeremiah, and Ezra. The Day of Trumpets was acknowledged as the time for counting the years of their kingly rule. Indeed, it was customary that the final ceremony in the coronation of kings was THE BLOWING OF TRUMPETS. For Solomon: "Blow ye the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon" (I Kings 1:34). For Jehu: "And blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king" (II Kings 9:13). At the enthronement of Jehoash: "The people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets" (II Kings 11:11)" (The Star that Astonshed the World, p. 198).

The Feast of Trumpets was the time for the start of the seventh month (Tishri) and the time for the "last trump" for introducing festival months. In the language of the New Testament, this clearly shows the time of the coronation of YEHOVAH God -- and it happens at the seventh (or last) trump in the Book of Revelation -- the Feast of Trumpets.

The last trump in the seven months' series was always sounded on the New Moon day of Tishri -- the Feast of Trumpets!

The Bible clearly shows that the blowing of trumpets was the SIGN that kings could then begin to rule -- see I Kings 1:34; II Kings 9:13 and II Kings 11:11. The Jewish religious authorities have long acknowledged this ROYAL IMPORT to the Feast of Trumpets. Alfred Edersheim, in his work on the Temple, observes that

"As of old the sound of the trumpet summoned the congregation before the LORD at the door of the Tabernacle, so 'His elect' shall be summoned by the sound of the trumpet...and not only the living, but those also who had 'slept' -- 'the dead in Christ.' Similarly, the heavenly hosts are marshaled to the war of successive judgments [starting on Nisan 1], till...'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever'" (The Temple, p. 291).

The central theme of the Feast of Trumpets is clearly that of the future enthronement and APPEARANCE of YEHOVAH God!

According to ancient Jewish tradition, the first day of the seventh month is the yearly anniversary of YEHOVAH God's completion of creation. As such, it is also the New Year's Day of the Biblical Calendar. This New Year's Day aspect is reflected in the festival's common Hebrew name: Rosh haShannah. Rosh haShannah, as previously mentioned, means, "Head of the Year." The first day of the seventh month then marks and remembers the anniversary of the completion of creation as well as the day that YEHOVAH God became King over that new creation. Therefore, sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the coronation of the King of the Universe, and it symbolizes our acceptance of YEHOVAH God as King.

2). REPENTANCE: The Feast of Trumpets marks the beginning of a ten day countdown to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Because the Day of Atonement is the judgment day, the shofar is sounded as a reminder that judgment is very near and the time for repentance is short.

We read in Judaism by Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, concerning the Feast of Trumpets:

According to the Jewish understanding, the period of YEHOVAH's judgment of Israel begins on the Feast of Trumpets, and is finalized and sealed ten days later, on the Day of Atonement, with the fates of the righteous and the wicked Israelites being decided. Judgment begins on the Feast of Trumpets, and YEHOVAH's people Israel enter into a period of judgment -- but the actual judgment is set and finished on the Day of Atonement. Therefore, the ten days from the Feast of Trumpets are known as the Ten Days of Repentance for, during this time, Israelites are encouraged to repent, and get right with YEHOVAH God, BEFORE the final "Judgment" is set!

In The Jewish Book of Why, we read that the entire period of introspection and self-examination actually begins during the month of Elul, thirty days prior to the Feast of Trumpets.

"Actually, the Days of Awe are much more than the ten day period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. They commence a full month before Rosh Hashana with the beginning of the month of Elul.

"In the synagogue, every Sabbath before the coming of the New Moon is a special Sabbath. But the Sabbath before the New Moon of Elul is very special, for from that day on, at every weekday morning service, the blasts of the shofar reverberate in the synagogue, reminding Jews that the most awesome holidays in the Jewish calendar are approaching" (The Jewish Book of Why, Alfred J. Kolatch, p. 221).

Thus the "count-down" really begins 30 days prior to the Feast of Trumpets, which is ten days before the Day of Atonement -- a total period of 40 days (symbolizing a "time of trial"). Israel's spies took forty days to spy out Canaan, and then returned with an "evil report" of the fearful forces lurking in wait to destroy the Israelites, causing the people to lose heart and faith (Numbers 14). Because of their disobedience, YEHOVAH God punished them forty years, a year for a day (Numbers 14:34).

Could this annual re-enactment of YEHOVAH's Plan through the high holy days of the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement constitute a prophetic indication that the final forty years of this "age" will be years when YEHOVAH God calls His people Israel to repentance -- years of growing peril and worldwide tribulation and agony? Could not the final "ten days" -- the "Days of Awe" -- between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement represent the FINAL TEN YEARS OF WARNING that YEHOVAH God will give His people Israel, before the final JUDGMENT takes place -- which will occur at the time of His return?

In other words, the judgment takes place on the Day of Atonement -- but the final WARNING of that coming day of final judgment is symbolized by the "blowing of trumpets" of alarm and calling the people of Israel to repentance, on the Feast of Trumpets!

Similar to this theme, The Jewish Book of Why states:

"Rosh Hashanah, in its lengthy morning services (from two to seven hours, depending on the congregation), stresses the concept of 'return to God,' who in His mercy is willing to receive the penitent, forgive his sins, and offer him an opportunity to begin the New Year with a clean slate. According to Jewish tradition, God's decision is not made in haste.

"The gates of repentance remain open until the Day of Atonement, at which time the FINAL DECREE is established: 'Who will live and who will die; who will be serene and who will be disturbed; who will be poor and who will be rich; who will be humbled and who will be exalted.'

"Yom Kippur is popularly considered the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar...Its five services, beginning with the Kol Nidre service and ending twenty-four hours later with the Neila service, bring to an end the Days of Awe. After the Neila ('the closing of the gates') service, the shofar is sounded and the congregation leaves to face another year" (p. 222).

In Temple times, the priesthood sounded three trumpet blasts every morning to announce the opening of the Temple gates (Edersheim, 1992). So too, it is believed, that the first shofar blasts of the Feast of Trumpets announce the opening of the gates of Heaven. This traditional Feast of Trumpets image is fully employed in Revelation 4:1 when the Apostle looks and sees a door standing open in heaven and then hears a voice like a shofar say, "Come up here..."

In this tradition, the gates of Heaven are opened to receive our prayers of repentance and remain open until the conclusion of the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement service is concluded with one long shofar blast which announces that the gates of heaven have closed and judgment is complete. Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the need to repent before judgment is made.

3). SINAI: When YEHOVAH God descended onto Mount Sinai in Exodus 19, a heavenly shofar sounded loud and long. The sound of the shofar at Sinai was one of the miraculous signs that accompanied the giving of the Law and the invitation to covenant. Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the day at Mount Sinai when Israel accepted her covenant with YEHOVAH God: the Torah.

4). WARNING: In ancient Israel, a watchman blew a shofar to sound an alarm when danger was approaching, much the way civil defense sirens are used in our modern world. When the Israelite heard the sound of the shofar, he knew to take warning of some imminent danger. Ezekiel employs this image by comparing the words of the prophets to the sound of the shofar warning. Ezekiel says, "The listener who heard the voice of the shofar and did not taking warning, and a sword came and took him, his blood will be on his own head" (Ezekiel 33:4, see also Jeremiah 4:19-21). That is to say, "If a person heard the words of the prophet but did not take warning from them, it will be his own fault when the trouble comes." Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the need to take warning from the words of the prophets.

Hastings Bible Dictionary informs us that the instrument used on the Feast of Trumpets was the traditional ram's horn, known as the shofar. It also informs us, "Mostly it was the shofar that was used in war either as a signal either for assembly (Judges 3:27; II Samuel 20:1), attack or retreat (II Samuel 2:28)" (volume 4, p. 816, "Trumpet"). This authority continues, "The watchman blew the shofar to raise an alarm or to indicate impending danger (Amos 3:6, Jer. 6:1, Ezekiel 33:6), and Moore (on Judges 6:24) renders shofar by 'WAR HORN'".

The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible adds this fascinating insight into the shofar, blown on the Day of Blowing:

Notice that the shofar as an instrument is defined in the Bible as an instrument of WARNING and of ASSEMBLY, especially for a nation or its army. It was used to assemble a nation's armed forces for defense or war; it was blown to sound the "attack" call, much as the Cavalry's bugle in more recent times; and notice that it was used to SOUND THE ALARM, when a city or nation was threatened by an invading army or disaster of some kind.

In the book of Joel, we read: "BLOW YE THE TRUMPET in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all of the inhabitants of the land [of Israel] tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains" (Joel 2:1-2).

Here we see the REAL symbolism of trumpets! Trumpets are blown as an ALARM -- they signify a WARNING BLAST of impending danger, peril, calamity, destruction! They are a warning to GET READY -- GET PREPARED -- for the day of judgment is coming soon!

The Feast of Trumpets does not picture the day of "judgment." It pictures the blowing of trumpets, in ADVANCE of the day of judgment, and pictures YEHOVAH God's warning to repent of sins and to get ready to face the returning Messiah AND YEHOVAH God Himself -- KING of kings and LORD of lords! Thus, as the Jews have understood from time immemorial, the Feast of Trumpets pictures YEHOVAH's WARNING TO REPENT -- they are YEHOVAH God's FINAL CALL TO REPENTANCE!

The calls to repentance started back on the first day of Nisan. In the Bible YEHOVAH God gives those of us of Israel advance warnings about important events that will decide our destiny. Writes Samuele Bacchiocchi --

"...in the Old Testament times the approach of final judgment was announced IN ADVANCE by the blowing of trumpets on the first day (new moon) of the first six months. The blowing of trumpets served to warn the people [of Israel] to prepare themselves for the FINAL judgment that would begin on the first day of the seventh month [Day or Feast of Trumpets]. The latter was known as the Feast of Trumpets, because on that day the SHOFAR was blown in a massive way throughout the land to announce to the people that the Day of Judgment had arrived and they should prepare themselves to stand trial..." (God's Festivals in Scripture and History, Part 2, p. 81).

5). TEMPLE: In the Ancient Near East, the shofar was blown as a battle cry during sieges and assaults. When the soldiers heard the shofar, they knew to initiate the attack. The prophets invoke the battle cry of the shofar as they repeatedly warn of the impending destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. For a good example of this at work consider the following passage:

"I have heard the sound of the shofar; I have heard the battle cry. Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins. In an instant my tents are destroyed, my shelter in a moment. How long must I see the battle standard and hear the sound of the shofar?" (Jeremiah 4:19-21).

Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the destruction of the Temple and a reminder that it will be rebuilt by the Messiah at the end of the age.

The prophet Haggai was inspired of YEHOVAH God to write, "For thus saith the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will SHAKE THE HEAVENS, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land: And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations [the much-awaited Messiah!] shall come: and I will fill this house [the end-time Temple of YEHOVAH which the Messiah will build in Jerusalem -- see Zechariah 6:12-13] with [My Shekinah] glory, saith the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts" (Haggai 2:6-7).

YEHOVAH God Himself will descend from heaven in His Shekinah Glory form to "fill [His] house with glory" -- this will occur on the first holy day of the Feast of Tabernacles! Edersheim records that "according to Jewish tradition, the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night [the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God] had first appeared to Israel on the 15th of Tishri, the first day of the feast....[and] we know that the dedication of Solomon's Temple and the DESCENT OF THE SHECHINAH took place at this feast" (The Temple, p. 286).

For more information, see our article, A New Look at the Deep Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles!

The prophet Joel declares, "BLOW ye the TRUMPET in Zion, SOUND AN ALARM in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand" (Joel 2:1). Joel goes on to describe the terrible events (verses 2-10) erupting on the earth. He then calls out to YEHOVAH's Israelite people, "For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the LORD, TURN YE EVEN TO ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and TURN unto the LORD [YEHOVAH] your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil. Who knoweth if He will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him...BLOW THE TRUMPET in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly..." (Joel 2:11-15).

This is talking about the return of YEHOVAH God Himself to Jerusalem and to His Temple! This is pictured in Ezekiel 43:2, 4-5, 7 --

"And behold, the [Shekinah] glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east [from the Mount of Olives]...And the [Shekinah] glory of the LORD [YEHOVAH] came into the Temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east...And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever" (NKJ).

We are LIVING IN the end-time "Days of Awe"! We are living in the very days depicted by the "Ten Days of Repentance"!

Have you yet come to real, genuine, heartfelt repentance?

Notice! The prophet Joel says of this coming "Day of the LORD" -- "Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a DESTRUCTION from the Almighty shall it come" (Joel 1:15).

The prophet Zephaniah also prophesies of this coming "Day of the LORD":

"The great day of the LORD [YEHOVAH] is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a DAY OF WRATH, A DAY OF TROUBLE AND DISTRESS, A DAY OF WASTENESS AND DESOLATION, A DAY OF DARKNESS AND GLOOMINESS, A DAY OF CLOUDS AND THICK DARKNESS.

"A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD [YEHOVAH]: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the DAY OF THE LORD'S [YEHOVAH's] WRATH; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land" (Zephaniah 1:14-18).

Scientists and astronomers will be at a loss to explain the awesome events soon to come upon this earth. It will stretch, break, and overwhelm all their most cherished theories.

The prophet Joel goes on:

"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible DAY OF THE LORD come" (Joel 2:30-31).

During this final "day" -- or year -- of man's rule of planet earth, which will end with the coming of YEHOVAH God Himself to rule the nations, awesome events are predicted and projected in the prophecies of the Scriptures.

6). THE BINDING OF ISAAC: A shofar trumpet is made from the horn of a ram. The most famous ram in the Bible is the ram of Genesis 22 which was sacrificed in Isaac's stead. Perhaps that is one reason that the Torah reading in the synagogues for the second day of the Feast of Trumpets is Genesis 22. The prayers of the Feast of Trumpets are filled with references to this story. The binding of Isaac is a central theme of the Jewish festival liturgies. As the congregation prays for forgiveness, they appeal to YEHOVAH God for mercy and grace on the merit of the binding of Isaac.

Therefore, we find many prayers like the following one in the Festival of Trumpets Prayer Book --

"Remember for us, LORD, our God, the covenant, the kindness, and the oath that You swore to our father Abraham on Mount Moriah. Let there appear before You the Binding, when Abraham, our father, bound Isaac, his son, upon the altar...so may Your mercy suppress Your anger from upon us...and may you mercifully remember today the binding of Isaac for the sake of his offspring. Blessed are You, LORD, Who remembers the covenant" (Scherman, Nosson and Zlotowitz, 1985).

In the Talmud the question is asked, "Why do we sound the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets?" It is answered, 'Because God said: "I will thereby recall in your favor the Binding of Isaac and regard it as though you yourselves were bound before me'" (Rosh haShannah 16a).

The following midrash (commentary) further ties the relationship between the Feast of Trumpets and the binding of Isaac:

"After he had bound his son, Abraham then said: 'You promised me seed through Isaac, yet when You commanded me to sacrifice him I restrained my most natural emotional instincts, and did not hesitate. So, too, when my descendants sin and thereby become oppressed, may you remember this binding. May it be considered before You as if Isaac's ashes were gathered upon the altar and his blood was sprinkled upon the altar, and may you forgive their sin.' God answered him on that day on which God would judge all [that is The Feast of Trumpets], that if future generations wish Him to recall for them the merit of the binding of Isaac and forgive them, they should sound the shofar. 'What is the shofar?' asked Abraham. 'Turn around and see it,' God answered. Thereupon Abraham looked up, and behold a ram!'" (Scherman, Nosson and Zlotowitz, 1994).

Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the binding of Isaac and a prayer for mercy on the merit of a sacrificed son.

7). FEAR: As stated above, the ancient Israelite watchman blew a shofar to sound an alarm when danger was approaching a city. When the city inhabitants heard the sound of the shofar, they were frightened of what unknown danger might be about to befall them. Amos employs this image of the fear inspired by the shofar blast when he says, "If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble?" (Amos 3:6).

The danger which approaches on the Feast of Trumpets is YEHOVAH God Himself as He readies the heavenly court for judgment. In Jewish observance, the intervening days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are called the "Awesome Days." They are to be days of intense soul searching and repentance and even fear as we prepare to enter the presence of the judge of all creation. Amos reminds us to fear the judgment of YEHOVAH God as we would tremble at the sound of the watchman's shofar.

Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance to fear YEHOVAH God.

8). JUDGMENT: The prophet Zephaniah reminds us that the "day of the shofar" is a day of wrath, darkness, gloom and alarm. Indeed, it is the Day of the LORD (Zephaniah 1:14-16). According to the Feast of Trumpet's traditions, the heavenly court is convened on the Feast of Trumpets.

The blowing of trumpets at each of the New Moons -- starting at Nisan -- was understood as a day of judgment in miniature -- warning the people of Israel to prepare for the final judgment ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets. In other words, the blowing of the first six trumpets in Revelation warns the people of Israel to prepare for the final judgment inaugurated by the blowing of the seventh trumpet.

Notes Samuele Bacchiocchi --

"The plagues unleashed by the blowing of the first six trumpets are judgments of grace designed to lead people to repentance. This is clearly stated in Revelation 9:20, 21 where twice we are told that people 'did not repent,' in spite of the judgments that accompanied the blowing of the first six trumpets. Gerhard Friedrich notes that the judgments of the six trumpets are 'the final warnings of God, His summons to repentance'" (God's Festivals in Scripture and History, Part 2, p. 103).

In Revelation 11:15 and 18 we read --

"The seventh angel sounded his shofar, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

'The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and His Messiah, and He [YEHOVAH God] will rule forever and ever!

'The Goyim [nations] raged. But now your rage has come, the time for the dead [of Israel] to be judged, the time for rewarding your servants the prophets and your holy people [those saints of Israel], those who stand in awe of your name, both small and great. It is also the time for destroying those who destroy the earth'" (Jewish New Testament).

It should be noted that the seventh trumpet (shofar) is depicted quite differently from the preceding six. While the blowing of the first six trumpets unleash warning judgments on the earth, the blowing of the seventh trumpet announces YEHOVAH God's enthronement followed by His return and soon-coming judgment. "There were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and His Messiah, and He [YEHOVAH God] will rule forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15, ibid.).

These trumpets lead up to and picture the enthronement and return of YEHOVAH God our Creator! Thus the Feast of Trumpets pictures the enthronement and the commencement of the reign of YEHOVAH God followed by His return to judge His people Israel!

The themes of the Feast of Trumpets are evident in the seven trumpets of Revelation which serve to announce YEHOVAH's final judgment like the blowing of the shofar during the feast in Old Testament times. The blowing of the seven trumpets in Revelation corresponds to the blowing of trumpets at the seven New Moon festivals (Nisan-Tishri) in the Old Testament. Each new moon trumpet blowing was understood by the Israelites as a day of judgment in miniature -- which warned people to prepare for the final judgment ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets. Correspondingly, the blowing of the first six trumpets in Revelation warns the people of Israel to prepare for the final judgment inaugurated by the blowing of the seventh trumpet. This final judgment will be presided over by Yeshua the Messiah as the agent of his Father, YEHOVAH.

The sound of the seventh or last trumpet will herald the imminent descent of YEHOVAH God from heaven to gather the faithful and judge the living and the dead:

"For the LORD [YEHOVAH God] Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive..." (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

"And he [the Messiah] commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he [the Messiah] is the one ordained by [YEHOVAH] God to be the JUDGE OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD" (Acts 10:42).

As the Jewish people have been taught for millennia -- and they have it right -- this day pictures the enthronement and imminent return of YEHOVAH God when "the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and of His Christ, and He [YEHOVAH God] shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15). The Feast of Trumpets begins the "Days of Repentance" or "Awe," leading up to the "Day of Atonement" -- or "Yom Kippur." These days are days of self-examination, and introspection -- days of reviewing our acts, works, deeds, thoughts, and words, of the past year -- and preparing ourselves, through repentance and confession of our sins, to meet YEHOVAH God Himself when He returns on a future first High Holy Day of the Feast of Tabernacles!

Because the Feast of Trumpets is the Biblical New Year's Day (that is the anniversary of the completion of creation) it is also the end of the heavenly fiscal year. As at the end of our calendar year, New Years Day is the day when the ledgers must be settled. On the Feast of Trumpets, the books of judgment are opened and all the deeds of each person are reviewed by the heavenly court for judgment. Ten days later, on the Day of Atonement, everyone's name will be sealed for final judgment in the Book of Life or blotted out from it! This imagery is reflected in Revelation 20:12-15 where John sees the ultimate and final Day of Judgment. On the Day of Judgment, the Day of Atonement, the righteous are found written in the Book of Life. The wicked are found blotted out. The intervening days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are traditionally regarded as prime-time to sway the heavenly court's decision through serious prayer, repentance and acts of charity.

Writes Herbert W. Armstrong --

"This is that judgment day mentioned in Matthew 10:15. It is a time when Gentiles [Israelites of the northern 10 tribes] who died in ignorance will be given an opportunity to receive salvation. Ezekiel 16:53-55 makes this very plain. Even those in Israel who died in their sins will be given their first opportunity to understand the truth of God and His way (Ezekiel 37). The prophet wrote that God would pour out His Spirit on those resurrected (verse 14). This is precisely the salvation that Jesus mentioned in His sermon on that great day of the feast in the autumn of AD 30. This eighth day, which immediately follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, pictures the completion of the plan of redemption. It is just prior to the new heaven and the new earth. All parents and children, young and old will be resurrected. Notice that the "book of life" typifying salvation is opened (Revelation 20:12).

"Revelation presents the final view of the "judgment day" as the present material heaven and earth are perishing and the faithful are receiving their eternal reward at the throne of Christ. The wicked of those who disobey are seen perishing in the lake of fire! What a marvelous plan! All will have an equal opportunity" (Pagan Holidays -- or God's Holy Days -- Which?).

Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of Judgment at the hands of heaven.

9). INGATHERING: Perhaps the most famous shofar reference out of all the prophets is Isaiah 27:13. "And it will be on that day when a great shofar will be blown, the perishing in the land of Assyria and the exiles in the land of Egypt will come, and they will worship before the LORD on the Holy Mountain in Jerusalem." This verse is a prophecy of the great Ingathering of all Israel. The Ingathering is to commence with the return of Messiah. It is anticipated and prayed for three times a day in the tenth blessing of the daily prayer in the synagogue.

"Sound the great shofar for our freedom, lift up a banner to gather us together from the four corners of the earth. Blessed are you, LORD, who gathers in the exiled of his people Israel."

Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the ultimate Ingathering of Israel.

Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong says in the booklet Pagan Holidays -- or God's Holy Days -- Which?

"A trumpet is a symbol of war. He [YEHOVAH God] comes in a time of worldwide war when the nations are angry! As soon as the work of gathering in the firstfruits (pictured by Pentecost) is completed at the end of this present age, then...[He] will begin to set up again the tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16) to set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people (Isaiah 11:11) to search out and to find His lost sheep that the ministers of the churches have failed to search out and save during this period (Ezekiel 34:1-14).

"Notice exactly when this takes place! "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they [Israel] shall come which were ready to perish...and shall worship the LORD [YEHOVAH God] in the holy mount at Jerusalem" (Isaiah 27:13).

"When will Israel be regathered? At the sound of the trump....Because the churches have forgotten the Festival of Trumpets, many think that the return of a part of the [so-called] Jews to the Holy Land and the setting up of a nation called Israel now is the fulfillment of this prophecy!"

In reality the Jews that founded the State of Israel in 1948 are not Israelites!

As a result of widespread conversions over the centuries, today's Jews do not represent a distinct "race" or a homogeneous ethnicity. After considering the strong evidence for cultural, linguistic, and ethnic ties between eastern Ashkenazic Jews and the Khazar Jews, as well as the equally strong evidence for Jewish migrations into eastern Europe from the south and west, one can come to ONE CONCLUSION: that the eastern European Jews are descended from BOTH Khazars and other non-Israelite converts.

This also applies to the modern State of Israel -- most of its citizens are NOT descended from Judah or any other of the tribes of ancient Israel. Most are descended from converts to Judaism from other non-Israelite peoples such as the Khazars and Ethiopians.

This, by itself, makes them interlopers in the land of Israel and they cannot, in any way, be part of the "regathering." Many of the Ultra-Orthodox Jews oppose the so-called "State of Israel" for four reasons -- found on the Neturei Karta International Website:

"FIRST -- The so-called 'State of Israel' is diametrically opposed and completely contradictory to the true essence and foundation of the People of Israel... The only time that the People of Israel were permitted to have a state was two thousand years ago when the [Shekinah] Glory of the Creator was upon us, and likewise in the future when the [Shekinah] Glory of the Creator will once more be revealed, and the whole world will serve Him, then He Himself (without any human effort or force of arms) will grant us a kingdom founded on Divine Service.

"SECOND -- Because of all of this and other reasons the Torah forbids us to end the exile and establish a state and army until the Holy One, blessed be He, in His [Shekinah] Glory and Essence will redeem us. This is forbidden even if the state is conducted according to the law of the Torah because arising from the exile itself is forbidden, and we are required to remain under the rule of the nations of the world, as is explained in the book VAYOEL MOSHE. If we transgress this injunction, He will bring upon us (may we be spared) terrible punishment.

"THIRD -- Aside from arising from exile, all the deeds of the Zionists are diametrically opposed to the Faith and the Torah. Because the foundation of the Faith and Torah of Israel is that the Torah was revealed from heaven, and there is reward for those who obey it and punishment for those who transgress it. The entire People of Israel is required to obey the Torah, and whoever doesn't want to, ceases to be part of the congregation of Israel.

"FOURTH -- Aside from the fact that they [the non-Israelite Zionists] themselves do not obey the Torah they do everything they can to prevent anyone they get under their power from fulfilling the commands of the Torah, the claims to freedom of religion are lies. They fight with all of their strength to destroy the Faith of Israel."

10). RESURRECTION: The tenth and final reason Rav Saadiah Gaon gives for the blowing of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is to remember the resurrection of the dead. The sages understood the words of Isaiah 18:3 to be a prophecy directed to the dead. "As a banner is lifted on the mountains, you will see, and as a shofar is sounded, you will hear." This was understood to mean that when the final shofar was blown, the dead would rise and see and hear again. The Jewish legends of the coming of the Messiah include a great shofar blast which wakes up those sleeping in the dust. An Eighth Century midrash fills in the details of how this might be accomplished:

"And how does the Holy One, blessed be He, resuscitate the dead in the world to come? We are taught that the Holy One, blessed be He, takes in His hand a Great Shofar...and blows it, and its sound goes from one end of the world to the other. At the first blow the whole world shakes. At the second blow the dust breaks up. At the third blow their bones gather. At the fourth blow their members become warm. At the fifth blow their skins are stretched over them. At the sixth blow they become alive and stand up on their feet in their clothes..." (Patai, 1988).

According to Ernest Martin --

"The early Jews also recognized that the Day of Trumpets was a memorial day for considering those who had died. It was not a simple type of 'Memorial Day' that we moderns are accustomed to. Gaster said it was a symbolic time when 'the dead return to rejoin their descendants at the beginning of the year.' Such a day was a time when Israel would rally to the call of God for the INAUGURATION OF GOD'S KINGDOM ON EARTH. Gaster says this was the time (the Day of Trumpets) which became "a symbol of the Last Trump" (Ernest L. Martin: The Star that Astonished the World, p. 199).

The "Last Trump" of the early Judahites was when the dead were remembered; and the "Last Trump" of Paul the apostle was the time for YEHOVAH God's imminent appearance on this earth and the resurrection of the dead -- see I Corinthians 15:52 and I Thessalonians 4:16.

Therefore, the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of the future resurrection of the dead.

The Book of Life

According to current Jewish tradition,

"After Rosh Hashanah services, as the congregants leave the synagogue they say to each other..."May you be inscribed in the Book of Life"" (The Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah. High Holy Days on the Net. http://www.holidays.net/highholydays/rosh.htm verified 9/12/07).

It is not totally clear how or when the Jews tied together the "Book of Life" and the Feast of Trumpets, but they did. The Jewish Talmud essentially concludes that the fact of the three different trumpet blasts in Numbers 10:1-10, represents three books, one of them being the Book of Life.

The first biblical allusion to the Book of Life appears to be Exodus 32:32-34,

"Yet now, if You will forgive their sin -- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."

"And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin."

Moses knew that he was mentioned in this book. It also appears from the above passage that YEHOVAH God is speaking both about a book and a day of punishment. The apparently same book is mentioned in Psalm 69:27-28 where both concepts are also discussed,

"Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous" (NIV).

Furthermore, the same book may be mentioned in two other Psalms:

"You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?" (Psalm 56:8, NKJV).

"Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them" (Psalm 139:16, NKJV).

In Malachi 3:16 it states,

"Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name."

These verses show that those Israelites that fear the LORD are mentioned in a book, but those that are not righteous will be blotted out of it. Both the Bible and Jewish tradition state that the righteous of Israel have their names written in the Book of Life and that they will be rewarded on Tishri 1.

The Bible disagrees with the Jewish position that others of Israel will be also have their names in it later, but indicates that their names were in the book from the beginning. Notice Revelation 20:11-15:

"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead [of Israel], small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone [of Israel] not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

Jewish tradition also teaches that those Israelites that are not truly wicked (the intermediate) will not be saved or destroyed at that time, but that they will have a ten day period until the Day of Atonement for judgment.

While this time of judgment is mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15, we believe that those of Israel who have not rejected YEHOVAH God (blasphemed the holy spirit), will have an opportunity for salvation later, the period of which may last 100 years (Isaiah 65:20, and that this is shown by the last Holy Day, the Last Great Day, which happens on the twenty-second day of Tishri.

Revelation 20:4-5 states,

"Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead [of Israel] did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection."

Because of this it is apparent that there is at least 1,000 years between when the righteous of Israel and the others being resurrected (all whose names are written in the Book of Life) -- thus the New Testament disagrees with the Jewish idea that the wicked are handled on the same Feast of Trumpets that the righteous are. (It also disagrees with the 10 day position for those the Jews called "intermediate" -- not righteous, not wicked).

And, one of the most significant ways that we differ from the Protestant world is that we believe that nearly all those of Israelite descent will be saved and that the biblical holy days (which Protestants tend to teach are done away) picture this. Those who do not observe YEHOVAH's Holy Days simply do not fully understand YEHOVAH's plan of salvation.

Psalm 139

There is a passage in Psalm 139 that is well known, but a word and grammar analysis brings out more about what has been said above. In this, some of the word-meanings below come from The Theological Word Book Of The Old Testament (Harris-Archer-Waltke).

Psalm 139, 13-17: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book [2] all my members were written [1], which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God!"

Even without detailed study from this passage, one can get a feel that a person’s genetic nature, and hence what he “is”, is determined before he is born. A word-study of some of the individual words in this passage will add to this conviction.

[1] WRITTEN [“In thy book all my members were written”] -- (Strong's 3789 "kathab")

This word is used of something that is recorded in a permanent sense, but it is in the Imperfect Mood. This Mood describes a single action in the past in a pictorial way, and suggests there is some process before its full development.

The word is much used in the Old Testament as referring to the keeping of records. The Ten Commandments were “written” by the finger of YEHOVAH God. The idea is that which is written is not designed to be extinguished. Thus we have the idea of something being engraved or inscribed. We do not find any reference to “write” or “written” in the Book of Genesis itself, but in Genesis 5:1 we find reference to the word “book”, so we will move onto that word.

[2] BOOK [“In thy book all my members were written”] -- (Strong's 5612, "cepher")

In this section we will look at Exodus 32 that is the story about when Moses went up the Mount of YEHOVAH God and received the Ten Commandments. When Moses came down from the Mount, he found the people worshipping the golden calves Aaron had made. Here God tells Moses that He would blot the names of those who did this out of “His Book”. We must note that this was not expressly for sexual intercourse with foreigners; rather it was for worshipping the “gods of gold” as being foreigners’ gods.

This word "Book” is used in many general ways, such as mathematical activity, scribal traditions, legal documents, and official letters. It is also found as being records, such as, “The book of the wars of the LORD”, “The book of Jasher”, “The book of the generations of Adam” and “The Book of the Covenant”. It is also used of genealogical records. But there is one special “Book”. In the KJV of the Old Testament, there is only one passage with reference to My Book and three to Thy Book”, besides that which we have seen in Psalm 139.

Exodus 32:32-33 is in the form of a conversation between YEHOVAH God and Moses:Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin --; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of THY BOOK which thou hast written”. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of MY BOOK."

The context of Exodus 32 is about those who were sinning against YEHOVAH God in a particular way. The “Book” refers to one particular “Book” among other books. From Psalm 139 we have studied so far, we see this “Book” contains information about each person before they are born. Today we have discovered that this is found to be each person’s individual DNA. The offspring of Israel inherit their genetic code from their parents. As an Israelite can be blotted out of YEHOVAH’s Book, we need to be sure whether or not it is just for miscegenation, or that plus idolatry, or just for idolatry. The latter comes under, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image”.

At first glance it might appear that any sin would cause Israelites to be blotted out in the sentence, “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of MY BOOK”. Here we need to look at the context to see if any one particular sin is being referred to, because it is clear that there are other sins that can be forgiven. We will see the blotting out is for the idolatry that follows from race mixing.

In Exodus 32 where this passage comes from, the particular sin is one of idolatry. Thus we need to see what led to this idolatry. We read earlier in this passage, “a mixed multitude went up also with them”, and in this passage that Israel started to worship the gods of these foreigners. And then, “the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play”. We are told, “Moses saw that the people were naked”. What does the word “play” mean here? In the Piel-stem form used here this is the same as that used about Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, that is, it is sexual. It is used elsewhere as in the phrase, “make love to us”. We can read a number of passages where the phrase, “play the harlot” are found. It is used of that sexual activity which went on in Sodom, and about Isaac “sporting” with Rebecca his wife. So it is not hard to find the sexual connection of, “rose up to play”, especially when done naked!

The indications are then that some Israelites had sexual relationships with the non-Israelite or part-Israelite mixed multitude who were traveling with them. Why say this? We read in Numbers 11:4, “And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting”. The Hebrew word used here (‘avah) is about bodily lusts and appetites. The passage goes on to tell us that what the Children of Israel (as opposed to the mixed multitude) wanted was just about food to eat. When YEHOVAH God told Moses, “for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves”, it is about the people as a whole inclusive of both groups. We are told how they did this in, “they have made them a molten image” (Deuteronomy 9:12).

What does “corrupted” mean? Strong's Concordance lists a number of translations such as, “to be marred, be spoiled, be corrupted, be corrupt, be injured, be ruined, be rotted”. The number of Israelites who sinned this way is given as being “about three thousand” -- “And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men”. The Levites literally blotted these three thousand out physically by the sword! They were blotted out of the “Book” as well! Those who had sinned had not sinned in ignorance, because the eternal Law of YEHOVAH God was known long before it was given through Moses as a covenant to Israel. We see this when Isaac and Rebecca were grieved that Esau had taken wives from foreign (nokriy) peoples. Esau no longer could repent! That paints a very strong picture indeed!

The prime mover that led to idolatry was the association of Israelite men with certain foreign women. The sin was idolatry! For any Israelite man married to such a foreign woman, it would be hard not to compromise with a woman who could not “hear” the Word of YEHOVAH God, and given time, the Israelite man would compromise.

“Him Will I Blot Out of My Book”

As there are different word forms for the word “book” we can go back to the Greek Septuagint to see if the form used in Exodus 32 is the same as that used in the “Book of Life” in the New Testament. In this way we can have an indication that we are not comparing apples with oranges. They are the same so it is likely that “My book and The Book of Life are one and the same. We can look at this probability by comparing the phraseology found in both Testaments. In both we find the similar connection between the words “book” and “the foundation of the earth (and world)”.

Revelation 17:8: “And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world”.

As found in the Old Testament, we find the same New Testament reference to the certainty of people being taken out of the Book of Life. They are taken out for all time.

Exodus 32:33: "Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book."

Revelation 22:19: "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Without searching out “The Scriptures” (that means the Old Testament) we could easily miss the reason why some will have their “part” taken from the Book of Life. The wrong attitude to “The Scriptures” is one reason why the churches miss the association between race mixing coupled with idolatry, as being the cause of names being taken out of the “Book”. What is the meaning of “His part” that is taken out of the book? Strong's 3313 “mer’os” as translated, shows something assigned to a person; that is his destiny. When was this destiny established? It was from the foundation of the earth. That was when the Book of Life was written!

Now we can give more shape to the doctrine of predestination and get a glimpse of what it is based upon:

Romans 8:29-30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

This verse carries on from the words, “according to his purpose” and the tenses of the verbs are all aorist. The word “predestinate” has to do with destiny being determined beforehand, and as we see and have seen, this was decided before the foundation of the earth”.

Understanding more about the “Book” gives more shape to the prophecy about the resurrection:

Daniel 12:1: "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written IN THE BOOK. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."

Here is “the Book” again. Who are those resurrected? It is, “The children of thy people”. That is, it is Israelites ONLY who have not had their names taken out of the Book of Life! Those blotted out inherit “shame and everlasting contempt”!

Things to Come

In his letter to the believers at Collosae, Paul states that all of the Biblical Festivals are "shadows of things to come, the substance of Messiah." (Colossians 2:16,17). From the above list, it is obvious that the Feast of Trumpets speaks of things to come. The list of remembrances reads like a synopsis of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic expectation. The warning of impending judgment, the call to repentance, the fear of the Day of the LORD, the Ingathering of Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple, the final judgment, the resurrection of the dead and the coronation of the King are all familiar eschatological themes which both Jewish and Christian communities associate with the coming of Messiah. It is clear that the Festival is ripe with end-times implications.

In view of Paul's statement that the festivals are "shadows of things to come," and in view of the ways in which the Spring Festivals of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost received a Messianic fulfillment within the events of the first coming of Messiah, one can hardly be surprised to find that the Fall Festivals speak to the Messiah's return as well as, of course, of that of YEHOVAH God. Yeshua himself invokes Feast of Trumpets imagery when he says, "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great shofar and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other" (Matthew 24:30-31).

The Riddle is Solved

Perhaps the Sages have solved the riddle of the first day of the seventh month for us. The shofar of the Feast of Trumpets is a remembrance of things yet to come. It is a memorial of things that have not happened yet. Only with YEHOVAH God can something be remembered before it has occurred! The Feast of Trumpets remembers the future work of Messiah.

Perhaps it is the obscurity of the future which accounts for the Bible's silence regarding the festival's meaning. The Feast of Trumpet's final fulfillment is still shrouded in the future. If so, then the sound of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets reminds us to listen for the sound of the Master's shofar.

When we hear the voice of the shofar this year we must let it speak to our souls and penetrate our hearts. The voice of the shofar is the voice of our Master.

Conclusion

The Feast of Trumpets is important and should be considered to be highly relevant for those of us who are descended from Israel and who profess the Messiah. The Bible clearly teaches that YEHOVAH God will come with the sound of a trumpet blast (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and calls that the "last trump" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Those that do not observe the biblical holy days, simply cannot properly understand biblical prophecy, and many who call themselves evangelicals have accepted a pre-tribulation rapture theory that cannot occur, as 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 cannot occur until the last trumpet is blown (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

The Bible does support the view that those Israelites currently listed in the Book of Life will be resurrected at the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51-52), which is pictured by the Feast of Trumpets (that occurs on Tishri 1).

And although it differs from certain Jewish traditions, in that the Book of Life is also mentioned as being related to the Last Great Day (Tishri 22), the Bible does agree with those traditions that say that at least a type of physical judgment (the trumpet plagues of Revelation) will be upon those Israelites that have their names written in the Book of Life but have disobeyed and thumbed their noses at YEHOVAH God.

It is interesting, that even without having the benefit of relying on the New Testament, those Jewish teachers who all kept the biblical Holy Days listed in Leviticus 23, do seem to have a better picture (though blurred in major ways) of YEHOVAH's plan of salvation than those who allegedly believe in the New Testament, but who fail to observe those days.

Those of us of Israel in the Ecclesia are blessed as we have both the New Testament and observe the biblical Holy Days, and thus have a more accurate (cf. Acts 18:26) understanding of what YEHOVAH's plan truly is.

Bibliography:

Armstrong, Herbert W., 1974. Pagan Holidays -- or God's Holy Days -- Which? Pasadena, CA: Worldwide Church of God.

Bacchiocchi, Samuele, 1996. God's Festivals in Scripture and History, Part 2 -- The Fall Festivals. Berrien Springs, MI: Biblical Perspectives.

Edersheim, Alfred. 1992. The Temple, Its Ministry and Services. Grand Rapids, MI. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Festival of Trumpets Prayer Book, 1985. Scherman, Nosson and Zlotowitz.

Gaster, Theodor H., 1955. Festivals of the Jewish Year. Sloane.

Gehman, Henry Snyder, 1970. New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible. Westminster Press.

Goodman, Phillip. 1992. Rav Se'adiah Gaon's 10 Remembrances. The Shavuot Anthology. Philadelphia - Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society.

Harris-Archer-Waltke, 1980. The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Hastings, James, 1994. Hastings Bible Dictionary.

Hertzberg, Rabbi Arthur, 1962. Judaism. New York: George Braziller Publisher.

Kolatch, Alfred J., 1981. The Jewish Book of Why. Middle Village, New York: Jonathan David Publishers, Inc.

Kramer, Amy J., Origins, "Rosh Hashana." www.bjewsusa.com

Martin, Ernest L., 1991. The Star that Astonished the World. Portland, OR: ASK Publications.

Patai, Raphael. 1988. The Messiah Texts. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

Scherman, Nosson and Zlotowitz, Meir, ed. and trans. 1994. ArtScroll Tanach Series, Bereishis. Vol. 1(a). Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications Ltd.

Scherman, Nosson and Zlotowitz, Meir ed. and trans. 1985. The Complete ArtScroll Machzor, Rosh Hashanah. Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications Ltd.

Stern, David H., 1994. Jewish New Testament. Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications.

Strong, James, 1996. The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah.

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
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www.hope-of-israel.org

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