Trumpets, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and the Great 8th Day
September 18, 2009
The Moadim (Appointed Times) of Yom Teruah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles), and the Great Eighth Day (Shimeni Atzereth) arrive this week with Yom Teruah and the start of the Days of Awe (Yomim Nora’im)—the ten days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. As I did for the spring moadim that occurred earlier this year, I want to continue sharing the Biblical Judaism understanding with Renewed Covenant significance for the fall moadim. This is by no means a comprehensive description of the festivals but rather just a sprinkling to hopefully spark your interest in learning more about them. Scripture references are provided from both the Tanach (First Covenant) and the Brit Chadasha (Renewed Covenant) for each festival.
Yom Teruah (Trumpets)
Tishri 1/September 18 (sundown) – Yom Teruah/Trumpets
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first day of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout (likely teruah in Hebrew), with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Moshiac will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
The first of the fall holidays, the Festival of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) calls for repentance. The festival was considered so significant by the rabbis that it eventually became the civil or spiritual New Year (Rosh Hashanah) in the Hebrew calendar. The ram’s horn (shofar) is used to ring in the new year.
The shofar, which can serve as a trumpet, has special meaning in the First Covenant. It was used to:
- Spare Abraham from sacrificing his son since it entangled a ram in a thicket that ultimately was offered to God in the place of Isaac. (Genesis 22:13)
- Signal the attack against Jericho. “It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.” (Joshua 6:5)
- Cause panic and confusion in the Midianites when attacked by Gideon and 300 men. “When they blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole (Midianite) army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zereah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, but Tabbath. (Judges 7:22)
- Announce the Year of Jubilee (on Yom Kippur). “You shall then sound a ram’s horn…” and “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:9-10) Note: the second quote is inscribed on the U.S. Liberty Bell.
- Hail a king in the ancient world.
The traditional Jewish observance and Christian significance of the Yom Teruah festival includes a special water immersion (tevilah mikveh) or baptism that symbolizes cleansing our ways. In traditional groups, the afternoon of Rosh HaShanah is typically spent at a body of water observing the ancient service, Tashlich. This word is derived from Micah7:19: “He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Participants in Tashlich often cast bread crumbs or pebbles into the water and rejoice in Yah’s promise of forgiveness.
Consider parallel themes in the life and ministry of Yahshua. Yahshua was baptized (a special immersion/mikveh) by John the Baptist, quite possibly in the fall. He was tested by Satan for forty days in the wilderness. The message at the beginning of His official ministry, which followed those forty days, was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Yom Teruah Scripture references in the Tanach and Brit Chadasha include: Numbers 29:1-6; Micah 7:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Matthew 3:13-17; 4:1-11; and 4:17.
I will be posting on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles), and Shimeni Atzereth (Great Eighth Day) throughout the High Holy Days.