“Daughters of Zion, come out, and gaze upon King Solomon, wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day, his day of joy!” (Song of Solomon 3:11).
The Jewish New Year, also known as Rosh Hashanah or the ‘head of the year,’ occurs in the fall on the Gregorian calendar. It occurs on the same day as the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets occurs on the ‘first day of the seventh month’ of the Hebrew calendar, so how can Rosh Hashanah be the ‘new year’ when the first of months is given in Exodus 1:2 in the spring at the time of Passover?
The answer may be found in the command for the Feast of Trumpets to be celebrated on the ‘first day of the month’ on the New Moon. Since all Biblical months and Feast days are determined by the appearance of the new moon, it could be that the ‘first day of the seventh month’ starts a new year on a new month with a different purpose.
Jewish tradition teaches that the heavens and earth were created on the first day of the seventh month. Ten days later, after Adam and Eve sinned, there needed to be atonement –– the Day of Atonement. Though a similar concept works for the ‘first of months’ in the spring with the lamb being brought into the home on the ‘tenth day of the first month’ in preparation for Passover, this lamb was not slaughtered on the ‘tenth day.’ Also the Passover lamb was for individual redemption; Day of Atonement was for the entire nation of Israel.
In truth, Israel has two new year memorials. The first is referred to as the spiritual new year that begins with the events surrounding Passover and Unleavened Bread. The second is the civil new year called Rosh Hashanah.
The civil new year is used to count years. For example, every 50 years on the ‘tenth day of the seventh month,’ the shofar was sounded to begin the Year of Jubilee. Property was returned to its original owners and people went back home to their tribal lands to begin the 50-year cycle again. A similar command was given for the ‘year of release’ or shemitah. Every seven years was a shemitah when slaves would be released, debts would be dissolved, and the land would be given rest from planting. This ‘year of release’ began on Rosh Hashanah and ended before sunset the next Rosh Hashanah.
Does having a spiritual new year and a civil new year nullify the commands of God? Biblical days are still sunset to sunset, months are still new moon to new moon, ‘appointed times’ of Adonai are still celebrated in the spring and fall as outlined in Leviticus, and years are counted for the shemitah and the Jubilee. Scriptures that could be interpreted with either month as the beginning of the year were studied centuries ago and the elders in Israel established the Hebrew calendar with two new year beginnings.
A King’s Coronation
One of the most familiar types and shadows of Rosh One of the most interesting ‘shadows’ of Rosh Hashanah involves the crowning of a new king. When a king in Israel was coronated, the length of his reign was determined by Rosh Hashanah. For example, if the man became king on the day before Rosh Hashanah, he would be considered king for one year with the arrival of the ‘first day of the seventh month.’ If he became king on the day after Rosh Hashanah, he was only king for one day. Whatever day the king was coronated, prophets, priests, and royal officials along with the people of Israel cheered and rejoiced. Shofars were blown and it was a time of great rejoicing. The book of First Kings describes the coronation of King Solomon:
“The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne” (1 Kings 1:44-48).
According to Jewish tradition, Kings of Judah were coronated on the new-year day in the spring and Kings of Israel kings were coronated on the new-year day in the fall. Yeshua was ‘crowned’ King of the Jews in the spring at Passover when he hung on the cross with the sign “King of the Jews” over his head. According to Biblical prophecy, Yeshua will return to Jerusalem to begin the Messianic Kingdom. With the blast of shofars, he will be coronated King over Israel and all the earth. His coronation as King of Kings will occur on Feast of Trumpets on Rosh Hashanah and he will sit on David’s throne. At that moment, the dead will rise and those who are alive will be transformed into immortality. They will become Yeshua’s royal priesthood and rule and reign with him for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4-6).
The prophetic vision of the Feast of Trumpets is blowing the shofar for an event that has not yet taken place. As of this day, Yeshua has not returned to Israel, has not been coronated King over Israel, nor has he taken up his throne in Jerusalem. The coronation of King Messiah on Rosh Hashanah is still to come.
“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth. …God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted” (Psalm 47).
Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah
In the past few years, Messianic non-Jews have begun to reject the new-year celebration of Rosh Hashanah as a ‘tradition of men’ because it’s not listed as one of the Feasts of the LORD in Leviticus 23. This is a theological error because both celebrations have Biblical foundation and prophetic vision.
Those who adhere to the idea that Rosh Hashanah is a ‘tradition of men’ and should be avoided need to remember the words of Yeshua that not all traditions nullify the commands of God (Mark 7:8-9). Paul commends the Corinthians for “holding onto the traditions” he passed onto them (1 Corinthians 11:1). Messianic gentiles should use every opportunity to make the Jewish people envious for their Jewish Messiah. Wild ‘gentile’ branches are not to be so arrogant over the natural ‘Jewish’ branches that they reject traditions they don’t understand. As foreigners to the promises and covenants, Messianic gentiles need to learn about the traditions as they may be the very celebrations that bring a Jewish person to faith in Yeshua.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Teruah are two different names for the same ‘appointed time.’ One day soon, on the ’first day of the seventh month,’ with the blasts of shofars, Yeshua will return in the clouds to be crowned King of Kings in Jerusalem. He will establish his Kingdom and rule over the earth for one thousand years. May it be this year.
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