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The Feast of Trumpets
(Yom Teruah, Rosh HaShanah)


The Fall Feasts
Though it is difficult for one to say so absolutely, there is reason to believe that Jesus will fulfill the events of the fall feasts to the specific day as He did very powerfully during the spring feasts. To understand exactly how and when everything will happen is elusive and a matter of much debate, but there are still strong themes in each feast that teach us about the events of His second coming, judgment, and establishment of His kingdom.

Leading up to the first fall feast is a traditional 30-day time of intense soul-searching and repentance. This period of repentance then continues for ten more days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, called the “Days of Awe." This tradition in itself indicates a time of intense, even awe-inspiring events, and a deadline after which repentance will be too late. This idea is accentuated by themes found throughout the fall feasts.

The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the fall feasts. In Hebrew, it has also been traditionally called Yom Teruah (the day of awakening), Yom HaDin (day of judgment) and more commonly, Rosh HaShanah, which literally means, “head of the year.” This day has many traditions and many significances.

This festival teaches us about humanity’s physical redemption. In Leviticus 23, God commands a trumpet blast on this day. The command seems odd and without much description, but its significance becomes great as we examine the occurance of the trumpet blast throughout Biblical history. The trumpet was heard at many Biblical events with inter-related themes: Entering the promised land (the fall of Jericho), the start of the Jubilee year of rest, the physical resurrection, the ingathering of the Israelite exiles, the coronation of the king, and the coming of the Messiah. Ultimately, every one of these things point to Jesus’ dramatic second coming, and so does this day.

The idea that this day teaches about physical redemption is further supported by fascinating tradition. Rosh HaShanah is traditionally the anniversary of Creation, and is the beginning of the Biblical physical new year. One reason for this is that the first word in the Bible, Be'resheit, is formed from the root word, “rosh” meaning “head.” It makes sense that the “head” of all time is also the “head” of the year. The fact that this day represents physical beginnings strongly suggests that it is on this day that Jesus will physically redeem His people and will usher in His physical kingdom (see Zech. 14), just as he provided His spiritual redemption and spiritual kingdom during the spring feasts.

What makes this theme even more fascinating is that no one knows exactly which day is the new moon, on which the Feast of Trumpets must be observed, so it is traditionally celebrated on two days. If the Feast of Trumpets does in fact happen to be the day that Jesus will return, as all these themes and traditions suggest, Jesus’ words still hold true. Truly no one knows the day, not to mention the year. We would be wise to remember those words, but we would be equally wise to heed the words of Paul: “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night […] But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.”