The Jewish Feasts: Part 11, Trumpets

The Fall Feasts start on Tishri 1, a date which in modern times is generally called Rosh Ha-Shana (or Rosh Hashanah, “Head of the Year”). This is Israel’s, and Judaism’s, civil New Year. Celebrating the holiday as the start of a new year makes sense, because Yom Kippur on Tishri 10 does bring a new beginning to the land; however, of far more Biblical significance is the Leviticus Feast, the Day of Trumpets (Heb. Yom Teruah, literally, Day of Soundings).

In Jewish Eschatology, in the Olam HaBa (“the World to Come”), Messiah will one day climb the Mt. of Olives and angels will fly around the world, blowing trumpets and summoning all Israel back to the Land. Alive and dead alike will fly instantaneously to Jerusalem, where they will repent and, on Yom Kippur, be forever saved. Sound somewhat familiar?

Metal trumpets were used on many formal occasions in Israel, but rams’ horns (Heb. shofar, pl. shofarim) were used to warn of enemy attacks, to rally Israelite forces, to signal the calling of an assembly, and at other times when immediate corporate regathering was required. The ritual of Yom Teruah required that only shofarim be used. Typically, four types of “note” were blown in the morning, around the morning (Shacharit) prayer time, as described on the slide below.

I am a Premillennial, Pretribulational, Evangelical Christian. I believe that there will be a Rapture of the Church, followed by (not necessarily immediately by) a period of Tribulation on Earth, and then a “Millennial Reign” of Jesus from a throne in Jerusalem. Given that background and the fact that I believe the Feasts to be prophetical, perhaps you see why I find the Day of Trumpets tradition described above to be so interesting! Note also the congruent language of the following two New Testament scriptures:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (ESV)
[16] For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command [shout – KJV], with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. [17] 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. [18] Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51 (ESV)
[51] Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. [53] For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

At this point, I will shock many of you by stating that, as with all of the other Feasts, I believe that the day of this Feast, on the Jewish calendar, is the actual day that the prophesied event occurred during Jesus First Advent or will occur during His Second. You say, how can you possibly reconcile that view with

Matthew 24:30,36 (ESV)
[30] Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

[36] “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

My response is that Jesus is here comparing Himself to a bridegroom and quoting Jewish traditional wedding language. After betrothal, the groom would return with his father to the family home and begin adding to it living quarters for the new couple (“In my father’s home are many rooms…”). The groom would do the work, under his father’s supervision, and only his father could make the decision that enough progress had been made. There would be no advance warning. At some point, father would say to son, “Okay, that’s enough”, and that night the son and his attendants would go to collect the bride and her attendants. Jesus’ statement therefore is not a direct answer to the question posed and cannot be definitively said to preclude any effort to predict the date.

©Ron Thompson 2020, from my personal collection

I am not claiming to make a prediction of the date of the Rapture! It could be this Saturday (Yom Teruah, in AD 2020), or it may not happen for many years. I also don’t know what time of day it might occur, though I would guess sometime near morning prayers in Jerusalem. What I do think, is that the Rapture is likely to occur on Yom Teruah some year in the not too distant future.

For more on Jesus’ use of marriage metaphor, see: Jesus and Hebrew Wedding Imagery.

Table of Contents: The Jewish Feasts
Start of Series: The Jewish Feasts: Part 1, Chapter Introduction
Previous in Series: The Jewish Feasts: Part 10, The Days of Awe
Next in Series: The Jewish Feasts: Part 12, Atonement

Author: Ron Thompson

Retired President of R. L Thompson Engineering, Inc.

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