The Lord commanded His people to observe the Feast of Trumpets in Leviticus 23:23-32. It is written:
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’” 26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.” (NKJV)
The Feast of Trumpets is also known as Yom Teruah or the Day of Blowing. It is a memorial Sabbath day of rest and blowing trumpets. It occurs on the first day of Tishrei which falls in early autumn sometime in September or October. On this day, shofars made from kosher animal horns and silver trumpets are blown. The assembly (church) is gathered for a holy convocation.
In the New Testament, the Greek term salpigx is used for both shofars and silver trumpets so when it mentions a trumpet, we don’t know which is being referred to unless we try to find verses in the Old Testament that correlates with verses in the New Testament.
No reason is given in Scripture for this day; however, we may be able to get a clue based on when both types of trumpets were normally blown:
- Sound the alarm of war (Jer. 4:19; Num. 10:9)
- Gather or call people together (Judges 3:27; Num. 10:2)
- Announce the king reigns (1 Kings 1:34; 2 Kings 9:13, 11:14)
- Make joyful noise, celebrate, praise, and worship (1 Chron. 15:28, 13:8; Psalm 150:3)
We’ll be doing all of these things during the fall feasts when Jesus returns so Yom Teruah must signal the beginning of the fulfillment of the fall feasts of the Lord and possibly the time of the Lord’s return.
Isaiah 27:13 specifically indicates that a shofar will be used to announce the Day of the Lord with a great trumpet to punish the wicked and gather God’s people so they can worship Him in Jerusalem on God’s holy mountain.
First Corinthians 15:51-52 says, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Messianic Jews understand this will take place at the last trumpet of Yom Teruah. The “last trumpet” being the tekiah gedolah or last in a series of 7 trumpets. This blast is one long blast that is held as long as possible.
No one knows exactly how we will be changed. Maybe we will have wings and be able to soar as on wings of eagles.
The time between Day of Blowing and the Day of Atonements is known by the Jews as the Days of Awe. This is a time of repentance, devotion and penitent prayers. It’s considered a last chance to get right with God before He decides what will happen to you in the coming year and write it in His books.
The Day of Atonements takes place in September or October on the tenth of Tishrei. It is a Sabbath day of rest, a day to afflict oneself. The Jews understand “afflicting oneself” as fasting. This day is also a time for a holy convocation or assembling together.
When the temple was still in operation, offerings were brought to atone the:
- Most Holy Place
- Altar of Incense
- Members of the community
The High Priest offered a young bull (sin offering) and ram (burnt offering) for himself (Lev. 16:3). The congregation gave the High Priest two goats (sin offerings – one for the Lord and one as a scapegoat) and a ram (burnt offering) for the people (Lev. 16:5).
Jesus’ sacrifice has provided these atonements for us. In Matthew 27:16-17 of the Greek New Testament, we can see that Barabbas’ first name was also Jesus. Barabbas is Aramaic for “son of father.” When Barabbas was released, he became the scapegoat while Jesus, Son of The Heavenly Father was the sin offering for the Lord. The main difference was that Barabbas did not take away the sins of the world but Jesus, Son of The Heavenly Father did.
Those who do not fast to afflict their souls on this day or do not rest instead of work will be cut off from God’s people.
I tend to think Jesus could return on the Day of Atonement instead of the Feast of Trumpets for two reasons.
Note the order of Joel 1:14-15:
“Consecrate a fast [possibly representing the Day of Atonement], Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord. 15 Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.” (NKJV)
Revelation 11:19 describes the scene in heaven when the 7th trumpet sounded: ” Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple [Normally seen by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement]. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.” (NKJV)
If Jesus were to come on the Day of Atonements instead of the Feast of Trumpets, all hope would be gone if everyone was expecting Him to come on the Feast of Trumpets. Whenever He comes we must not give up hope.
Will you choose to celebrate the Fall Feasts in expectation of how they will be fulfilled at some point in the future? Even though most people refer to them as the Feast of the Jews they are really called the Feasts of the Lord. They apply to all believers in Christ and not just the Jews.
Now that you’ve learned a little about the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonements, be sure to come back in order to learn a little about the Feast of Tabernacles…