When is the Feast of Trumpets 2019?
The Feast of Trumpets is right at the door- at sundown, September 29, 2019, the Feast of Trumpets will begin. The biblical new year will begin with the sound of the trumpet, also known as the shofar, or ram’s horn. The trumpet will be blown 100 times in the synagogue, and there will be joy and celebration.
Most Christians are not familiar with this amazing feast. They may have taken a brief look at the Feast of Trumpets in the book of Leviticus, but they never really put much thought into what it was. After all, aren’t these feasts for the Jewish people? Aren’t the traditions of the Old Testament null and void?
On the contrary my friends! The Feast of Trumpets is for Christians and Jews alike! It’s relevance is extremely important and that is why Satan keeps it off most Christians’ radar. If Christians knew what this feast represented, and what it pointed to, they would take a second look.
The Feast of Trumpets in the Bible
In Leviticus 23 there are seven Feasts of the Lord listed and described. Of the seven feasts listed, the Feast of Trumpets seems to have the least written about it. Here’s what it says in Leviticus 23 about the Feast of Trumpets:
The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’”
Numbers 29 says, “On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets.”
So, the big idea in both these passages is that the Feast of Trumpets is to be celebrated by blowing the trumpets. Also, if you go back to the very beginning of Leviticus 23 you will see it says this:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
The word feasts is important to understand in this verse. The word feasts in Hebrew is moed. This word means an appointment, or time to meet. This means the feasts are appointments. Since Leviticus 23 says “the Feasts of the Lord”, it means they are appointments of the Lord. This means they are times to meet with the Lord.
The word convocations is also important to understand. The Hebrew word for convocation is miqra. If you study the Hebrew implications for the word miqra, you will find that it points to a dress rehearsal.
Now we understand that the Feasts of the Lord, (which includes the Feast of Trumpets), are appointments and dress rehearsals. The big question here is, “what is the Feast of Trumpets a dress rehearsal for?” To understand this, we have to look at the clues we are given.
Trumpets in the Bible
Since the trumpet is the center of this feast, we need to know what the trumpet is used for. In the Bible, the trumpet is used for many things. Actually, the Hebraic way to refer to the trumpet is the word shofar. Most people think of a trumpet in a marching band when they hear the word trumpet. But the biblical trumpet is made of a ram’s horn. There are also trumpets known as silver trumpets that were made of a long straight tube of silver, with a bell-shaped mouth.
In the Bible and during biblical times, trumpets or shofars were used to do many things such as : to gather people together, to bring troops together for war, to summon people to hear news/ instructions, or to send out an alarm or warning.
Another use of the trumpet is to crown a King. The trumpet (shofar) would be sounded as the King was being crowned in front of the people. This tradition continued even into Medieval Days, with Kings being crowned amidst trumpet calls.
All the uses of the trumpet (shofar) are great, but this next one is my personal favorite. The trumpet was used to summon brides during biblical times. Back in those days, a Groom would be separated from his “Bride to be” for up to a year. In the meantime, he and his father prepared a place for the newly married couple to live- at the father’s property. The Bride did not know when the Groom would return. But, when the Groom finally arrived at the Bride’s home, a trumpet would be played. This was her signal the Groom had finally arrived.
All these uses of the trumpet give us clues about The Feast of Trumpets. Since the trumpet was used to gather people together, many biblical scholars have linked this feast (appointment) of the Lord to a very important appointment for the people of God- THE RAPTURE. The word the Bible uses for rapture is harpazo– which means “the catching away”. It also means to seize, pluck or take by force. Imagine a raptor in the wild such as a falcon or owl. The raptor swoops down and snatches his prey from the ground, or directly from the air. Don’t worry- Jesus is not going to snatch his Bride with sharp claws. But, it gives you a picture of how quickly we will be taken. Raptors are accurate and fast! The fastest animal in the world is the peregrine falcon and they can snatch their prey directly from the air at speeds of over 200 miles per hour. Jesus, however, will be much faster than that! And, the good thing is that we will not be on the dinner menu. On the contrary, we will be going to the Wedding Feast!
The Feast of Trumpets and the Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 describes the Rapture, or the snatching away of the Bride.
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
1 Corinthians 15:52 describes the Rapture as well:
“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.”
In Hebrew, the Feast of Trumpets is translated as Yom Teru’ah, which means the Day of Blowing. The Hebrew word for “blowing” is teru’ah. If you look up teru’ah in Strong’s concordance, you will see it means: a shout or blast of war, alarm or joy. The root word for teruah is ruah or rua. This word means “to raise a shout or give a blast.” It can also be translated as “to make a loud noise of jubilee, and a joyful sound.”
If you take a look at the 1 Thessalonians 4, you will see where it says, “the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout.” The word shout being used in this verse is the Greek word keleusma. This word means a cry of stimulation. An example to illustrate the word is; a startling sound by which animals are roused, or a piercing cry by which a signal is given to men. (Blue letter Bible ) Another example given is of a commander giving orders to his soldiers. The shout is defined as a call that summons.
So, it is clear from this verse that a shout is being given to rouse the dead because shortly after the verse it says, “and the dead in Christ shall rise first….”
The New Testament Greek word keleusma is equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew word teruah, which means a battle cry, shout of joy, war cry, trumpet blast or signal. In both cases, the “shout” or signal is dramatic, piercing and effective!
The Trumpets of Jericho
The story of Jericho is full of trumpets! In chapter 6 we see Joshua and his men marching around the city of Jericho with trumpets (ram’s horns). Joshua gives specific instructions about when to give the shout or the “ruah”. ( ruah is the root word of Teruah).
“Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” Joshua 6:10
“And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.” Joshua 6:5
The word for ram’s horn in these verses is the Hebrew word shofar. This is why it’s easier to designate a ram’s horn trumpet by saying or using the word shofar.
“So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Joshua 6:20
The story of Jericho and the Rapture
The story of Jericho is one of great victory! This victory came with some unusual instructions. The Israelites had to circle the city of Jericho once for six days and then on the 7th day they circled the city 7 times. All the while they would be carrying the Ark of the Lord and ram’s horns (shofars/trumpets). For the first six days they would sound the shofars and march, but they did not give a shout. It wasn’t until the LAST DAY- THE SEVENTH DAY that they gave the shout on Joshua’s signal.
I don’t have time to write about all the details, but what’s amazing about this story is that it is a foreshadowing of the return of Jesus for his Bride. For all the details, check out an earlier blog I wrote called Jericho (linked here).
Joshua (which is a rendering of the name Jesus) leads his men to victory. Both trumpets (shofars) and shouts are used as Joshua and his men break down the walls of Jericho. Well, actually it is the power of God that breaks the walls down and the trumpets are the sound of that victory! We know that when Jesus returns a trumpet will be sounded and a loud shout will be given. This shout and trumpet call summons his true believers, who are still on earth at that time. They will meet Christ in the air. Believers who have already died will have their bodies and spirits reunited with Christ in the air as well.
It’s interesting because we know Jesus is the one who broke down the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles. He gave all who receive him access to his Father, and eternal life. The picture of Joshua breaking down the wall of Jericho is a great reminder of how Jesus breaks down the walls in our lives and how one day he will break down the wall between heaven and earth.
The Feast of Trumpets shown in the story of Jericho
The story of Jericho has some elements that remind me of the Feast of Trumpets because this feast is all about using the trumpet. In the case of Jericho, you have the trumpets (shofars/ram’s horns) being used as part of a battle strategy. One of the key purposes of using trumpets in biblical days was to gather people, or gather soldiers to battle. In this case, you have Joshua (which is another name for Jesus) being gathered with his followers and they are going to battle against Jericho. But, it isn’t ordinary weapons that take down the wall – it’s the trumpets and the shout that take down the wall. All of this is backed up with God’s power, which is tied to the trumpet. Look at this verse from Revelation 19, which describes the Second Coming of Jesus (this occurs at the end of the Tribulation).
Jesus is the Warrior King
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
When Jesus returns to earth at the Second Coming he will have his faithful followers (His Bride) with him. Those who were raptured and resurrected at the Rapture will be with Jesus as he returns to take his position on the throne. He will take back the earth and be crowned King!
The Greek word for Trumpet
It is interesting to look at the Greek word for trumpet being used in the New Testament. (Remember, in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word shofar is used). This Greek word for trumpet is salpigx. This word is derived from the Greek word salos because it means a quavering or billowing of the waves on the sea. How does that relate to a trumpet? Well, when a trumpet is played there is a vibration that occurs and it reverberates throughout the trumpet. It’s like waves of sound flowing through the trumpet.
The Greek verb seio is a word that we use in English as a prefix and it is related to the word salpigx (trumpet). For example, a seismograph is a machine that measures earthquakes. In the New Testament the Greek word seismos means earthquake. All these words, including the Greek word for trumpet, refer to vibrations, and in some cases, big, ground- shaking vibrations. Now, this in very interesting and appropriate in light of what the Bible says about God’s voice. Just look at this verse from John 5:25.
“And I assure you the time is coming, indeed it is now, when the DEAD will hear my voice- the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live.”
It says the DEAD WILL HEAR GOD’S VOICE! Wow- that’s good news to me. By the way, God’s voice in the Bible is always tied to the shofar or trumpet. God’s voice is so powerful it produces shaking and tremors in the land. Below is an excerpt from Psalm 29, which describes God’s voice. Psalm 29 is usually read in the synagogue on the Feast of Trumpets.
“The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.”
God’s voice breaks cedars! Cedars, just so you know, were used to build the Temple. They are not average trees. Those trees are like tanks! The point here is that God’s voice is so strong and powerful that it can and will wake the dead.
At Mt Sinai, when the Law was given to the Israelites, God’s voice is described dramatically:
“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people in the camp trembled.” Exodus 19:16 (The word for trumpet here is shofar)- Notice there was thunder and lightning and people were trembling.
“And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” Exodus 19:18,19 Here we see quaking, and the trumpet getting louder and louder.
Jesus’ voice is also tied to the trumpet as we see here in Revelation 1:10
“On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.” REVELATION 1:10
This, of course, is describing John’s vision of Jesus in Revelation. Jesus would reveal the events of the End Times in this vision and John would write them down in the Book of Revelation.
As we learn these fascinating things about the shofar (the trumpet), we start to realize that the Feast of Trumpets is something we should look into. It’s a Feast revolving around the trumpet! And what is the trumpet tied to???? God- Jesus- The King of Kings! I’d say that’s worth a look.
Lessons from the Parable of the Ten Virgins : The Ancient Jewish Wedding
The story of the Ten Virgins at Midnight shows us a parallel to the trumpet- perhaps, even the Feast of Trumpets. The story begins with Ten Virgins who are waiting for their Groom to arrive. There were five foolish Virgins and five wise Virgins. The wise had oil for their lamps. The foolish did not have any oil for their lamps. Maybe you are wondering why the Virgins have lamps? This goes back to the traditions of a Jewish wedding in biblical times. In those days, Brides (Virgins) did not know when their actual wedding date would be. The Groom would be off preparing a place for his Bride at his Father’s property. Back in those days, after you got married, you lived on your Father in Law’s property. (Ladies, can you imagine???) The Groom would not come to get his Bride until the property was ready. This was determined by the Father of the Groom. When the father declared everything was ready, he would tell his son to go fetch his Bride. Since the Bride did not know the day or hour the Groom would come, she always needed an oil lamp. If the Groom came at night she needed an oil lamp to light her way. When the Groom was on his way he did give a signal to the Bride to wake her up- after all, she might be sleeping. A trumpet blast would be played and a shout would be given as a wake up call to the Bride. It would be loud to be sure she would hear it. At that point, she would grab her bridal attire and oil lamp, and go out to meet her Groom. The Groom would steal his Bride away and they would be led in a procession to the Father’s property. They would be treated as King and Queen. Actually, the Groom would arrive wearing a crown of some sort. It may be elaborate or simple, depending on the wealth/status of the Groom. The Bride would be given a crown as well. Both would be lifted up on chairs or into some type of chariot.
You can see a picture of Jesus in this story. We have the trumpet blast and the shout accompanying the Groom, who is coming to fetch his Bride. We have the picture of the Groom wearing his crown, and the Bride receiving hers. We also see how the Bride did not know when the Groom would come get her. The verses from John 14 paint a clear picture of this story.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
These verses show a picture of how Jesus is at his Father’s property in heaven. He and the Father are preparing a place for his Bride. One day, at the Father’s signal, Jesus will come to fetch his Bride.
The moral of this parable is that the Bride needs to have her oil. What is her oil? The Holy Spirit. This means we belong to our Groom Jesus because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit- it’s our engagement ring. If we know him we will hear the piercing sound of the trumpet and we will not be caught off guard when he returns. We will be the wise virgins, not the foolish ones.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Feast of Trumpets
Now, how does this mirror the Feast of Trumpets? Well, first of all, we see the trumpet being used to summon the Bride. Also, we see the Bride did not know when the Groom would come get her. The Feast of Trumpets goes by another name. It was also called “The Feast of which no one knew the day or the hour”. Why? Because the Feast of Trumpets could not be declared as arriving until the New Moon was spotted. This is the only feast that comes at the New Moon. If you don’t know what a New Moon is, look at this picture.
The New Moon and the Feast of Trumpets
The moon goes through phases each month as it goes from a tiny sliver in the sky that’s barely visible, to a robust, glowing full moon. The New Moon is very hard to see because it’s the phase when the moon is barely visible. Back in biblical days, there had to be two witnesses to spot the New Moon and report it to the Jewish authorities. This sighting of the New Moon let everyone know the Feast of Trumpets had officially started on Tishrei 1. A New Moon always begins a new month, but on the new month of Tishrei, the Feast of Trumpets would arrive and the blowing of the trumpets could officially begin. If there were clouds in the sky that covered the visibility of the New Moon, everyone had to wait. When would the clouds clear? Who knows? But when they did, the feast could begin. That’s why the Feast of Trumpets is also called “The Feast of which no one knew the day or the hour.”
We do not know the day or the hour
We know Jesus, our Groom, has said we do not know the day or the hour when he will return. The truth is, even if we think Jesus will return one day on the Feast of Trumpets, we wouldn’t know the day or the hour because the Feast (appointment/rehearsal) occurs every single year just like other holidays you are familiar with such as Christmas, Easter or Valentine’s Day. The Feast of Trumpets is also a two day feast.
It is possible the Feast of Trumpets could be fulfilled multiple times. Did you know that some scholars believe Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets? December 25 is not the date Jesus was born, even though that’s when we celebrate it. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating it then, but I think it’s amazing to consider that the King of Kings was actually born on the Feast of Kings! Will the church be raptured on this Feast some day in the future? There’s no way to know. Also, some scholars say Jesus’ Second Coming may happen on the Feast of Trumpets, with the Rapture happening at a different time.
For me, I’m not interested in setting dates. I’m just interested in reminding you of the hope you have in Jesus. His Feasts remind us of the hope that is to come. The Spring Feasts were fulfilled by Jesus already- Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost. But, the Fall Feasts, which include The Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles have future fulfillment. This is our future! Our future is with Christ! His calendar has the dates set by the Father in heaven. But, we are part of his daily planner. He has our names written in the Book of Life. So, when the alarm clock sounds, we are on our way to meet him! I don’t mind rehearsing these amazing promises each year! I am basically rehearsing for the day I will finally see my King. How exciting is that! I don’t do it to be saved- a Feast doesn’t save me! I do it because it is something to celebrate! And always remember, these FEASTS ARE ON GOD’S CALENDAR FOR A REASON. Man did not set up the Feasts of the Lord—- God did! So why not meet up with him each year at the appointed time!
The 100th Trump! The Last Trump
Now before I close out this blog post I must leave you with some very revealing and interesting information. On the Feast of Trumpets ( also known as Rosh Hashanah) there is a long standing tradition in synagogues around the world. During the Feast of Trumpets service, the shofar (trumpet) will be sounded 100 times! This tradition started some time after the Second Temple period. So, here’s the kicker! There are 99 blasts played first and they are played in groups of 3’s and 9’s. But the last blast- the 100th blast is set apart! This last 100th blast is called THE LAST TRUMP! Now, does that sound familiar to you? If you know 1 Corinthians 15:52, it should sound familiar……….
“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.”
COINCIDENCE, OR NOT????
You know what’s also interesting is that we have a President right now whose name is TRUMP. Not only that, if you look up Donald Trump’s father’s name, you will see it listed as Fredrick Christ Trump (see link). This is because Fredrick Trump’s mother’s maiden name is Elizabeth Christ. (see link) So, Elizabeth Christ Trump is Donald Trump’s grandmother.
Now it gets even more interesting………… Donald Trump’s Vice President is Mike Pence. The word Pence means: a one-cent coin equal to one hundredth of a dollar, or a British bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound. I highlighted the words hundredth in the definition. Any idea why??????????? Do you give up? Ok, I’ll tell you! Remember earlier when I told you that on the Feast of Trumpets the trumpet is sounded 100 times and the 100th trump is called THE LAST TRUMP??? Well, we have a President named TRUMP and a Vice President whose name means one hundredth! Can somebody say THAT’S CRAZY! Anyway, that’s not the end of it. If you look up Mike Pence’s birthday you will see it is on June 7. Why is that significant? Because June 7 is when Israel captured East Jerusalem and unified the capital! Israel did not have control of the whole city since the biblical days. June 7, 1967 was a huge day in biblical history. Also, as you already know, Donald Trump is the first President to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. We know Jerusalem is where Jesus will rule and reign one day.
Other coincidences are that Donald Trump’s birthday is June 14 and that is the same day the United States celebrates Flag Day.
When I think of the date June 14, I automatically picture the numbers like this: 6-14. One day I was thinking about that number and I happened to watch the movie Evan Almighty. It’s a comical movie about a guy who builds an Ark like Noah. Everyone around him thinks he’s crazy of course! Well, there’s a part in the movie where Evan’s alarm clock keeps going to the same numbers each morning. He keeps waking up at exactly 6:14 each morning because his clock automatically keeps resetting to that time. Come to find out, that’s because Genesis 6:14 says this: “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.” With the alarm clock, God was reminding Evan every single day that he needed to go make that Ark! I guess you could say the alarm clock was like a shofar, waking Evan up to God’s plan! Of course, we know the story of Noah’s Ark shows how God told Noah to build an Ark and save his family and the animals. It is a story of Noah’s family being spared the wrath of God- a catastrophic flood!
What does it all mean? I don’t know for sure, but nonetheless I would be doing my best to tell others about Jesus. We don’t know when he will return but we do know it will happen! Times are moving quickly and it’s better to do it sooner than later! Every time I turn on the news I’m reminded that prophecy is being fulfilled daily. Every day is a day closer to Jesus’ return and the last blast of that trumpet! Truly, who would want to be here for the Tribulation? The Tribulation reminds me of the flood of Noah! It will be a horrible time on earth. So, until Jesus comes back to get us, we should be on the move, telling others about him and reminding them the time is short. The Ark needs to be full of people when Jesus returns! So, get out there and build people up on Jesus!
How to Celebrate the Feast of Trumpets
So, now that we know about the Feast of Trumpets, how do we celebrate it? Well, first let’s mark our calendars and write it in our appointment book: It starts Sunday, September 29, 2019 at sundown, and lasts until October 1 at sundown. Here’s some ways you can celebrate the Feast of Trumpets:
Go to a local synagogue and participate in one of their services. They will blow the trumpet 100 times during the service, as well as recite traditional prayers. If you can go to a Messianic synagogue (Jewish believers who know Jesus as the Savior) you will see how they tie Jesus into the celebration.
Celebrate with your friends by having dinner. On the Feast of Trumpets (also known as Rosh Hashanah) it is traditional to eat apples and honey, or pomegranates. Many people bake different desserts and dishes that incorporate these foods.
Go to a lake, river, ocean or body of water and participate in Tashlish, which means casting off. The Feast of Trumpets is preceded by the month of Elul and the main theme is repentance. When the Feast of Trumpets comes, believers celebrate by casting their sins into the water. They will use rocks or bread to represent the sins. Then they will pray for sins to be forgiven and burdens to be lifted as they toss each rock or piece of bread in the water. As believers in Jesus, we know he is the rock and the bread of life so we are casting our sins and burdens on him! What a great reminder of this truth.
If you have a shofar or a trumpet go ahead and sound it! I have a shofar and I can only get one blast out, but you can bet I’ll be blasting it on the Feast of Trumpets. You could also use party horns and blow them 100 times! What fun that would be!
Or, maybe you can just make it a night to spend with the King of Kings. You can dance, sing, or pray till you can’t pray any more! The Feast of Trumpets is considered a Sabbath, or a day of rest, so you can simply rest in Jesus.
Whatever you do, enjoy…………and remember Jesus loves you, and he keeps his promises!
If you’re interested, here’s the trailer for the movie Evan Almighty. It’s not all biblical, but it’s funny.
The Holy Bible, King James and NIV versions
God’s Day Planner by Mark Biltz
Here Comes the Bride, by Richard Booker
Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts, by Richard Booker