Feast of Trumpets – Yom Teruah
“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’” (Leviticus 23:23-25).
The Feast of Trumpets begins the fall Feasts of the LORD. Unlike the spring festivals, the fall ‘appointed times’ have not yet been fulfilled by Yeshua. In Hebrew, Feast of Trumpets is Yom Teruah: yom meaning ‘day’ and teruah meaning ‘blowing.’ A smaller word within teruah is ruach and means ‘breath’ and is used for God’s Spirit or His ‘breath.’ Yom Teruah is a day of blowing trumpets that sends the ‘breath’ of God around the world.
Hebrew Word Pictures
Blowing – Teruah – תרועה
Tav ת – Crossed Sticks means ‘covenant sign.’
Resh ר – A Head means ‘the highest authority.’
Vav ו – A Nail means ‘binding.’
Hey ה – A Window means ‘to behold or reveal.’
The Hebrew word picture for teruah: The covenant sign of the highest authority is the binding revealed.
New Moon Festival
“Blow the shofar on the concealed, hidden moon on the festival day” (Psalm 81:3, Hebrew translation).
Yom Teruah is one day on ‘the first day of the seventh month’; falling on a New Moon festival. Until the new moon was sighted, the Feast could not begin. When there was a ruling body in Israel, known as the Sanhedrin, a visual sighting of the new dark moon was done by two witnesses. The high priest would have the shofar blown to establish the beginning of the New Moon festival day. Until that moment, ‘no one knew the day or the hour’ that Yom Teruah began.
Yeshua used the same phrase when he told his disciples about the timing of His return: “No one knows the day or the hour except my Father in heaven” (Matthew 24:36). As a Jewish man, Yeshua understood ‘no one knows the day or the hour’ to be an idiom for Yom Teruah like we understand the Fourth of July as Independence Day. While living in the flesh as the son of man, he could not know the year for the prophetic fulfillment of Feast of Trumpets, but he did know on what ‘appointed time’ it would occur. Paul did too.
“Now, brothers and sisters, 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” (1 Thessalonians 5:1).
Paul wrote to Jew and gentile followers of Yeshua in Thessalonica who knew God’s ‘appointed times’ and were keeping them. They would have understood the imagery of Feast of Trumpets as a bridegroom coming for his bride at some unknown hour, like ‘a thief in the night.’ From a different perspective, those who are unaware of the ‘appointed times’ and not being taught their prophetic vision, live in darkness and Yeshua’s return will come like a ‘thief in the night.’
There are two types of trumpets blown at Yom Teruah. The first are silver trumpets like those God commanded Israel to make in Numbers 10:1-10. The priests blew these two trumpets on numerous occasions: when they were assembling the community, setting out from their camps, when they went into battle, when they had burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and when they rejoiced at the Feasts of the LORD.
The other trumpet is called a shofar and mentioned 69 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. A shofar is made from a ram’s horn or any other ‘clean’ animal such as a goat, antelope, kudu or gazelle. It developed from the ‘binding of Isaac’ when Abraham found a ram in the thicket that became the substitute offering for his son. There are many resources on the internet where a shofar can be purchased. There are small and medium-sized shofars that are made from rams and goats known as a ram’s horn. Long shofars with one or two twists are made from the African kudu and are called yeminite shofars. To experience the full joy of ‘the day of blowing,’ blow a shofar!
Hebrew Word Pictures
Trumpet or Shofar – שופר
Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume.’
Vav ו – A Nail means ‘binding.’
Peh פ – A Mouth means ‘to speak.’
Resh ר – A Head means ‘the highest authority.’
The Hebrew word picture for shofar: Consume the binding, speaking the highest authority.
The Shofar Blasts
“Then David danced and spun around with abandon before the LORD, wearing a linen ritual vest. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the shofar” (2 Samuel 6:14-16).
Though the Scriptures don’t specify what sound patterns to make with the shofar, over the millennia the rabbis came up with four sounds that are blown in a certain order. These sounds were most likely used when Yeshua lived in Israel. Paul used these same terms when he wrote his letter to the Thessalonians. These traditional sounds are still used today in synagogues around the world when celebrating Yom Teruah.
“Praise him with a blast on the shofar! Praise him with lute and lyre!” (Psalm 150:3).
The first blast of the shofar, the tekiah, means to ‘blow or to blast’ and is a call to worship. This blast gathers Israel and those who join with them around the world to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets. The blast is medium length with a low to high pitch transition. It starts with a hard, short push on low pitch and a slight sustain on high pitch and ends with a short higher pitched burst. It is considered by many as the blast to praise Adonai for His creative acts and used for the coronation of a King.
“Shout out loud! Don’t hold back! Raise your voice like a shofar! Proclaim to my people what rebels they are to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).
“Put the shofar to your lips! Like a vulture [he swoops down] on the house of the LORD, because they have violated my covenant and sinned intentionally against my Torah” (Hosea 8:1).
The second blast of the shofar, the shevarim, means ‘broken’ and is the call to repentance. This blast reaches into men’s souls to convict them to return to God with a broken and penitent heart. It consists of three blasts each low-to-high pitch making a wave-like sound.
“Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!” Let all living in the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD is coming! It’s upon us!” (Joel 2:1).
“My guts! My guts! I’m writhing in pain! My heart! It beats wildly — I can’t stay still! — because I have heard the shofar sound; it’s the call to war” (Jeremiah 4:19).
The third blast of the shofar, the teruah, means ‘blowing’ and is part of the Feast name: Yom Teruah. This blast sounds the battle alarm and is made with nine short one-second staccato bursts of sound. This is the shofar sound that Jeremiah heard as the Assyrians began their attack against Jerusalem. The war cry sound will begin the Day of Adonai.
“But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19).
The final blast of the shofar is the tekiah gadolah and is the long great blast known as The Great Shofar. It is similar to the tekiah except that the high note is sustained for the longest possible breath. It also ends with a violent, short, pushed out breath, and an even higher-pitched note. This is the blast prophesied by Isaiah that will raise the dead from the dust of the earth.
Let’s Throw Stones – Tashlich
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
“Because his mercy toward those who fear him is as far above earth as heaven. He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. Just as a father has compassion on his children, the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11-13).
Tashlich comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to cast.’ After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and there could be no atonement for Israel on Yom Kippur, a tradition of ‘casting stones’ was created. The tradition involves filling your pockets with small pebbles or stones symbolizing the sins that you have committed either willfully or unknowingly over the past year. They can be little pebbles or larger rocks depending your view of that sin against God. The gathered stones are placed into your pockets as a reminder that sin hinders and becomes a burden when it remains unconfessed. As you take each stone from your pocket and throw it into ‘living water,’ a body of water where fish are able to live, confess each sin and repent from it.
Tashlich is a memorable way to express Yeshua’s atonement for sin with God who “hurls all of our iniquities and sins into the bottom of the sea.” It is also a powerful reminder that just like the stone which remains in the bottom of the pond, lake or sea, our sins do not float back to the top and return to us. They remain ‘cast away’ forever as far as the east is from the west.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also for give you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14).
Tashlich is also the perfect time for us to right the wrongs we have done to others; it is the perfect time to forgive. Yeshua says that we are to forgive a brother or sister seventy times seven; forgiving those who have offended us whether it’s 490 times or 490,000 times. Confessing sins and asking forgiveness frees us to live with a clear conscience with our family, friends, and acquaintances. It also brings healing to our souls. As we throw stones into the body of water, we can ‘cast away’ all offenses that we may have committed and forgive those sins committed against us so we can be restored to one another in the Body of Messiah.
A Mysterious Memorial
“‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work; it is a day of blowing the shofar for you” (Numbers 29:1).
The Feast of Trumpets is a day of blowing the shofar; however Adonai doesn’t give a reason for doing it; it memorializes nothing. Perhaps through the annual blowing of the shofar, God’s people will learn to recognize the different sounds preparing them for a mysterious event that has not yet occurred.
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, teruah gadolah with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with Yeshua forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16).
Paul describes the shofar blast of Adonai as the –– the Great Trumpet blast. On Yom Teruah, Yeshua will return and the resurrection of the dead, the hope of restoration promised to Adam, Abraham, the Prophets in Israel, and the redeemed Body of Messiah will become reality. When this shofar blast is sounded, the dead in Messiah will rise and those who are living will be changed from mortal into immortality and they will rule and reign with Yeshua during the Messianic Era.
There are no accounts of Yeshua celebrating the Feast of Trumpets. Though he was revealed as the Messiah of Israel, he still remains ‘concealed’ in the heavenly realm just like the new moon until his next ‘appointed time’ arrives. Until that specific ‘unknown day and hour,’ the nation of Israel is commanded to gather once a year to blow the shofar and remember a mysterious event. When the God blows the Great Shofar at the beginning of the Day of Adonai, the ‘concealed’ mystery of Yeshua as King, High Priest, and Bridegroom will become reality in another of his Father’s ‘appointed times’ –– Yom Teruah.
For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.
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