“Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day. For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob”(Psalm 81:3,4).
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 its meaning with “firsts” and making this day the “granddaddy” of all Firstfruits celebrations. It is believed by Biblical historians that Adam was born on this day. It has also been known by the Jews as the “Anniversary of Creation.”
The Feast of Trumpets is celebrated in the Hebrew month of Tishrei. Tishrei was originally recognized as the first month of the calendar the Hebrews followed, due to the epic beginnings just described.
However, in God’s master plan for redemption, He needed to create a separate, but intimate, calendar with the 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.
It’s worth mentioning again that the Hebrew Covenant Calendar was created when God spoke to Moses and Aaron in Ex. 12:2:
“This month (Abib/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 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 Tishrei 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 as to when the Hebrew Covenant calendar starts because the Jews today emphasize celebrating the beginning of their civil year in the month of Tishrei. Today, Jews celebrate the first day of Tishrei as Rosh Hashanah; translated as “the ‘head/first’ of the year.” But if God said that Nisan was to be the first of the year, why are the two months still recognized as first?
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, and the other the tribe of Benjamin (so that David My servant would have a light in Jerusalem when the Messiah) (1 King 11:36).
After being in captivity, the House of Judah adopted some Babylonian ways, and added them to their Jewish traditions. One of those changes was the “resurrection” of importance of 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 Civil Calendar New Year regained acceptance by the Jews, and it’s relevance was incorporated into the Feast of Trumpets celebration. The Hebraic Covenant Calendar, which God created for His covenantal purpose and celebraton, was now intertwined with the calendar the Lord had separated His people out of. The first of Tishrei took on a double meaning, which makes it confusing.
The Northern Kingdom (House of Israel), made up of the remaining ten tribes, originally kept the Hebrew Covenant Calendar that God commanded them to follow in Ex. 12 as well…. Somewhat. But over time, after the House of Israel was captured by the Assyrians and scattered all over the nations, their heritage, name, blueprint of Covenant (including following the Hebrew Covenant Calendar), was altered or omitted because they forgot they were God’s people, even though God promises He would never forget them.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely, they (House of Israel) may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Is. 49:15).
“Forgetting” was a part of the chastisement of God, which is why when Jesus speaks of his original mission for the disciples:
“These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying, ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost tribes of Israel’” (Matt. 10:5,6).
By the time the Mishnah was created in Babylon, and its writings adopted as ” Jewish tradition,” the House of Israel was long gone, having scattered through the Caucasian mountains, into Europe and the “isles” (which was later known as Great Britain.)
Technically, both calendars are correct, because both calendars exist. But God commanded Moses and His chosen nation to follow His new calendar in Exodus 12, and for those wanting to recognize, honor, and be a SIGN of the redemption process that God has determined, honoring the Hebrew Covenant Calendar should continue to trump any calendar, including the Gregorian calendar most of our world today recognizes.
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 the one the world follows, while the school calendar is for a specified people who are signed up for education, which is their focus.
Because the Jews returned to honoring the Jewish Civil calendar with their Feast celebration, it brought about the confusion that continues to exist today when celebrating the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets. This is perhaps 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 anticipate 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. If we keep our focus on God’s purpose in creating this calendar, we will not be confused or blinded with God’s prophetic timing of redemption.
“…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. 5:9,10).
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.