“Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day”(Psalm 81:3).
So what is the significance of the Feast of Trumpets? The literal Hebrew translation is “a memorial of blasts.” In Hebrew, this Feast is called “Yom Teruah.” Yom means day, but Teruah doesn’t mean trumpets. It means a shout or blast of war, alarm or joy. So literally translated, this is a Feast that is a “Day of Blasting or Shouting.”
The Feast of Trumpets is the ONLY Feast that is celebrated on Firstfruits; tying it’s meaning with “firsts” and making this day the “grand daddy” of all Firstfruits celebrations. It is believed by biblical historians that Adam was born on this day, along with Jesus as well when He was born of the Virgin Mary. It has also been known as the “Anniversary of Creation.”
The Feast of Trumpets is celebrated in the Hebrew month of Tishri. Tishrei was originally recognized as the first month of the calendar the Hebrews followed due to these epic beginnings I just described.
However, in God’s master plan for redemption, He needed to create a separate, but intimate calendar with a people He was in covenant with so that they could become His SIGN to the nations that He was the one true God.
This special covenant calendar was purposed to establish a pattern, purpose, timing, and union with God that set the Israelites apart from all other nations. But it also was a witness of the SIGN of the “Coming One” (Jesus), as God would use the calendar to fulfill His prophetic promises.
The Hebrew Covenant Calendar was created when God spoke to Moses and Aaron in Ex. 12:2:
“This month (Nisan) shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first of the year to you” (Ex. 12:2). God followed this commandment with His the instructions for Passover. Afterwards, He declared, “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance”(Ex. 12:14).
Later on when the children of Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai, God gave instruction for all 7 Feasts after He sealed His Covenant with them and set them apart from all the other nations. The month of Tishri was now changed to be the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar, and the first day of the harvest (blessed) season and the month in which all the Fall Feasts were celebrated.
“Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim (Tishrei), which is the seventh month” (1 Kings 8:2).
There is much confusion today since the Hebrew Covenant calendar starts in the Spring, yet the Jewish civil year begins in fall on the first day of Tishri. Jews incorporate celebrating the first day of Tishri as Rosh Hashanah; translated as “the ‘head/first’ of the year,” and that is what most of our world understands this celebration to be; the Jewish New Year. But if God said that Nisan was to be the first of the year, why are the two calendars still recognized by the Jews?
To find the answers as to why this is, we can go back to biblical history when the twelve tribes of Israel were split into two kingdoms after King Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 11). Subsequently, the Israelites were divided into the Southern Kingdom, also known as the House of Judah; and Northern Kingdom, also known as the House of Israel (1 Kings 11). The House of Judah consisted of the two tribes, one being the tribe of Judah where the Jews originated.
After the Babylonian captivity, the House of Judah picked up the Jewish Civil year again in the first and second century because of the writings that were compiled in what is known as the “Mishnah.” Sometime between the finality of the writing of the Torah by Ezra, and the creation and codification of the Mishnah, the autumn New Year gained acceptance, and transformed into a major celebration, and the Nisan New Year was left as a marker of the months and festivals in the calendar year.
The Northern Kingdom (House of Israel), made up of the remaining ten tribes, originally kept the Ecclesiastical (Priest) year that God commanded them to follow in Ex. 12 as well…. Somewhat. But when the House of Israel was captured by the Assyrians and scattered all over the nations, they lost their heritage, name, and blueprint of Covenant, including following the Hebrew Covenant Calendar. They weren’t even around when the Mishnah was created and it’s writings executed as ” Jewish tradition.”
Technically, both calendars are correct, because both calendars existed. But God commanded Moses to follow His new calendar in Exodus 12 because this new calendar was going to be used as HIS SIGN of the Redeemer, and for those wanting to recognize, honor, and be a part of the redemption process that God determined, honoring the Hebrew Covenant Calendar should have, and continue to, trump any calendar, including the Gregorian calendar our world revolves around today.
The school calendar versus Gregorian calendar is a parallel example of two calendars followed during the same time, but the Gregorian begins on January 1st, while the school calendar starts in September. The Gregorian calendar is for all the world to follow, while the school calendar is for a specified people who are signed up for education, which is their high priority.
Because the Jews returned to including the Jewish Civil calendar into their Feast celebrations, it brought about confusion and has diminished the significance of the Hebrew Covenant Calendar that was “set apart” from the world. Perhaps this is one reason why the Jews couldn’t see and accept Christ as the Savior when He began His ministry, because the adoption of honoring the two calendars caused them to look for a conquering king FIRST rather a sacrificial lamb.
God created the Covenant Calendar in Ex. 12 to “set apart” His Covenant promises of how Christ would become our High Priest FIRST, and our King of kings second when He returned to the earth.
“You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 4:9,10).
So let’s now get back to the simplicity of the purpose of the Feast of Trumpets, which is to awaken us with a blast of the trumpet. What are we awaking to?
The trumpet has many significant meanings in the Bible.
The trumpet was blown to signal war against the adversary (Josh. 6:5; Jer. 51:27; 1 Cor. 14:8)
“When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies (Numbers 10:9).
It was also used to announce the king (2 Kings 9:13; 11:14).
“Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” (1 Kings 1:39).
The trumpet was the sound to wake up the Church (Rev. 1:10).
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.”
All of these reasons (and there are many more) of why the trumpet is used are all united together on the Feast of Trumpets. This “dress rehearsal” shares it’s purpose of becoming the signal (/sign/proclamation/alarm/shout) to awaken us, to announce war against the adversary, to announce the return of the King, and to summon God’s people who are IN covenant with Him. And when this Feast goes “LIVE,” it will mark the beginning of the Millennium.