Posts Tagged ‘shofar’

Feast of Trumpets – Yom Teruah

My husband blowing the shofar at sunset on Yom Teruah
My husband blowing the shofar at sunset on Yom Teruah

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 time’s’ have yet to be fulfilled by Yeshua.  In Hebrew, Feast of Trumpets is Yom Teruah.  Yom means ‘day’ and teruah means ‘blowing.’ A smaller word within teruah is ruach and means ‘breath of God’ signifying God’s Spirit.  Yom Teruah is a day of blowing trumpets that sends the Spirit of God around the world.     

New Moon Festival

“Blow the shofar on the concealed, hidden moon on the festival day…” (Psalm 81:3, Hebrew translation). 

Yom Teruah begins ‘the first day of the seventh month’ and is a New Moon festival.   This means that until the new moon is sighted, the festival cannot 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 then have the shofar sounded to establish the beginning of the New Moon feast day.  Until that moment, ‘no one knew the day or the hour’ that Yom Teruah began.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Blowing – Teruah –  תרועה

Tav ת –  Crossed Sticks means ‘sign or mark,’ ‘covenant’

Resh ר – A Head means ‘the most important’

Vav ו –  A Nail means ‘joined or bound together, and’

Hey ה – A Window means ‘to reveal’

The Hebrew word picture for teruah: “The most important covenant sign bound to revelation.”

Yeshua used the same terminology in Matthew 24:36 when he told his disciples about the timing of His return:   “No one knows the day or the hour except my Father in heaven.”  As a Jewish man, Yeshua understood that ‘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 a son of man, he could not know the year for the prophetic fulfillment of Yom Teruah, but he did know in what season and day it would occur.  Paul did too. 

Paul wrote these words to non-Jewish believers in Messiah who had been taught God’s appointed seasons, the mo’edim. They would also have been taught the imagery of a bridegroom coming for his bride.  For those believers who were unaware of the ‘’appointed time’s’, who were in darkness and not walking in the light of Torah, the Messiah’s return would be like a thief in the night. 

“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).

The Trumpets

There are two types of trumpets blown at Yom Teruah.  The first are trumpets made of hammered silver that God commanded Israel to make in Numbers 10.  The priests blew these two trumpets on numerous occasions: when they were assembling the community and setting out from their camps in the wilderness, when  they went into battle so that the LORD would remember them and rescue them, when they had burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and when they rejoiced at the ‘’appointed time’s’ like the New Moon festival of Yom Teruah.

The other trumpet is the shofar. A shofar is made from a ram’s horn or any other clean animal such as a goat, antelope, kudu, or gazelle.   This type of horn is mentioned 69 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and was symbolic of the ram that was caught in the thicket when Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac.  There are many resources on the internet where shofars can be purchased.  There are small and medium sized ones that come from rams and goats known as a ram’s horn. Extra long ones with one or two twists come from an African kudu and are called yeminite shofars. One way to experience the joy and celebration of ‘the day of blowing’ is to blow a shofar.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Trumpet or Shofar – שופר

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Divine Presence of God’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘to bind or tie together’

Peh פ – A Mouth means ‘to speak or blow’

Resh ר – A Head means ‘what is most important’

The Hebrew word picture for shofar: “The consuming presence of God bound to the blowing what is most important.”

The Shofar Blasts

Though Scripture doesn’t indicate what sound patterns were made, over the millennia the rabbis came up with four that are blown in a certain order.   These are the sounds most likely used when Yeshua lived in Israel and Paul also used these different terms when he writes his letter to the Thessalonians. These traditional sounds are still used today when celebrating the day of blowing.

Tekiah

“Praise him with a blast on the shofar! Praise him with lute and lyre!” (Psalm 150:3).

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 the LORD’s creative acts as well as for the coronation of a King.

“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).

Shevarim

“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).

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 turn back to God with a broken and penitent heart.  It consists of three blasts each low-to-high pitch making a wave-like sound.

“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).

Teruah

“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).

The third blast is the teruah and means ‘blowing’ as in Yom Teruah.  This blast is a battle alarm and is made with nine short one-second staccato bursts of sound.  This is the sound that Jeremiah heard as the Assyrians began their attack against Jerusalem.  It will be the sound that begins the judgment Day of the LORD.

“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).

Tekiah Gadolah

“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 is called the tekiah gadolah and is the long great blast known in Scripture 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 of hope prophesied by Isaiah that will raise the dead from the dust of the earth. 

Let’s Throw Stones

“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).

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 traditional ceremony involved filling your pockets with small pebbles or stones and ‘casting’ them into a body of water.   The body of water was to be ‘living water’ or a place where fish were able to live.

To celebrate tashlich, stones are gathered representing the sins that individuals have committed either willfully or unknowingly.  They can be little pebbles or larger rocks depending on the situation and the personal view of that sin against God.   The gathered stones are then placed into the person’s pockets to remind them that sin hinders and becomes a burden in our lives when it remains unconfessed.  As each stone is taken from the pocket and thrown into the water, it is symbolic of not only confessing those sins, but also repenting from those sins.  Some people yell out their sins while others remain contemplative.

Tashlich is a fun and memorable way to act out Yeshua’s atonement for sin with God hurling all of our iniquities and sins into the bottom of the sea. It is also holds the powerful reminder that like the stone which remains in the bottom of the sea, our sins do not float back to the top and return to us.  They remain ‘cast away’ forever.

“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 more than just a time for us to repent to God for our sins and turn back to Him, it is also a time for us to forgive one another.   Yeshua says that we are to forgive a brother (or sister) seventy times seven.   It is up to us to forgive those who have offended us whether its 490 times or 490,000 times.  It is important to live with a clear conscience with our family, friends and acquaintances.  As stones are thrown into the water, we can ‘cast away’ all offenses that may have been committed against  us so we can live in peace with each other as well as God.

“…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).

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).

As commanded in Scripture, the Feast of Trumpets is a day of blowing the shofar; however God gives no reason for doing it.  Perhaps through this annual blowing of the shofar, God’s people learn to recognize the sounds preparing them for an event that has not yet happened.

“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).

Paul describes the trumpet blast of God as a Teruah Gadolah.  On Yom Teruah the eternal hope of everyone from Adam to Abraham to the Prophets and Israel to the redeemed Body of Messiah will become reality.   When this shofar blastis sounded, the dead in Messiah will rise and those who are living will be changed from mortal into immortality and live with Yeshua forever.

“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).

There are no New Testament 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 ‘unknown day and hour’ comes, Israel and those joined to her are commanded to gather once a year to blow the shofar and prepare for a mysterious event.  When the Spirit of God blows the Great Shofar on the Day of the Lord,  the concealed mystery of Yom Teruah will be revealed.

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.

Sabbath and a Birthday – February 15

Rain.  Clouds.  Rain.  A very cloudy and rainy day at the Kinneret.  

My husband is celebrating his birthday today, a Shabbat in Israel.  I made a breakfast of challah French toast and we’re just going to relax after ten days of non-stop activity.

We just received a message that Rawan’s sister, who was due in two weeks, had a baby girl!  Congratulations!

With Eliana with us, we are going to do a little touring and we won’t get lost.  We decided to go to the tayelet to do some shopping, but the little shuks markets were closed due to rain.  We did however go to The Galilee Experience and bought all the souvenirs on our list.  The manager asked “Why don’t all people come in and buy like this?”  He was very happy that we were there.

For my husband’s birthday dinner, Eliana took us to CaféCafé.  We had eaten at one in Jerusalem and weren’t very impressed, but Eliana had been a manager at this restaurant before moving to Haifa.  She knew all the good choices on the menu and ordered for us as she did when we were with her in Haifa.  I had shakshuka again and my husband had a chicken sandwich he was was ta’im delicious.  Eliana surprised my husband with two desserts for all of us to share.  One was a decadent chocolate cake and the other waffles with ice cream.  They brought the waffles out with a sparkler on top!

Though it has been difficult to communicate with the outside world because our apartment has no internet (and won’t we have now learned), I believe my husband had a memorable rainy day, sparkler, and Skype conversation with our children while in the restaurant using their WiFi.

As we were returning to our apartment, Eliana received a phone call that her sisters were visiting her mom.  So, we trekked back to Poriya and met her two sisters, Shayna and Debra.   It was fun putting real people to the photographs on Facebook.

A final Yom Hoolidat Sameach to my husband.  According to Eliana, the correct birthday greeting for an adult is something like, “May you live to be 120 years!”

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Learn the Shofar Blasts

“‘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).

Israel was commanded to gather once a year ‘on a day and hour unknown’  and blow the trumpet or shofar.   Could it be that they (and we) might have the need to recognize and understand the sounds of the trumpet so we can be prepared for the event represented by the sound?

The Shofar Blasts 

Tekiah – To Blow or To Blast

Medium length blast with low to high pitch transition. Hard, short push on low pitch, slight sustain on high pitch, sometimes ended with a short, pushing higher pitched burst. 

At the sound of the Tekiah today,  Jews and non-Jews around the world gather together to celebrate Yahweh’s  Feast of Trumpets – Yom Teruah.

This was probably the sound used at the Battle of Jericho in Joshua 6:5.

“Then they are to blow a long blast on the shofar. On hearing the sound of the shofar, all the people are to shout as loudly as they can; and the wall of the city will fall down flat. Then the people are to go up into the city, each one straight from where he stands.”

Shevarim – Broken

Three blasts each low-to-high pitch sounded three in a row.

The second blast of the shofar, the Shevarim, is the call to repentance.

This is probably how the shofar was sounded as a call to repentance in Isaiah 58:1 because of the ‘brokenness’ of the blasts signifying the need for ‘brokenness’ in the hearts of the people.

“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.”

From the ‘call to repentance’ has come forth a tradition called Tashlish.  It is a hands-on way to express the magnitude of what the Father has done for us through His Son, Yeshua.

Teruah – Battle Warning or Alarm

Consists of rapid one-second pitch bursts in a staccato fashion. There should be nine or more bursts to make a Teruah.

After repentance, there are two more shofar blasts.  The next one is a call to a time of testing or warfare.  It is interesting to note that the name of this Appointed Time is called “Day of Teruah”.  Understanding that teruah is the shofar sound for warfare, are we prepared to hear its sound?

There are two types of warfare.  There is physical warfare.  In Matthew 24, Yeshua says that before he returns, kingdom will rise against kingdom and nation will rise against nation.  This is what we see in the world today.  Kingdoms are what we consider nations like Iraq, Iran, China, Pakistan, the United States and Argentina.  Nations could be thought of as smaller nationalities within kingdoms.    We watch these events unfold between races – blacks, whites, Asians –  and religious factions – Shiites, Christians, Sunis – within kingdoms and we call them civil wars.   For most of us, we watch these wars through news media, but Yeshua warns they will be a sign of his return – everywhere.

This is probably the type of sound that was heard when Gideon attacked the Midianites in Judges 7:22.

“When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites.”

It is also most likely the sound that will be heard with the ‘Day of the Lord’ begins according to the prophecy in Joel 2:1-2.

“Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!”

Let all living in the land tremble, for the Day of Adonai is coming! It’s upon us! – a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick fog; a great and mighty horde is spreading like blackness over the mountains. There has never been anything like it, nor will there ever be again, not even after the years of many generations.”

The second type of warfare is spiritual.  We, as believers, know that we are always faced with spiritual warfare within our souls.  Paul explains this battle in Romans 7 as between the carnal man and the spiritual man.  The carnal man can’t (and won’t) obey the spiritual Torah because he has a carnal heart of stone while the born again spiritual man desires to obey the spiritual Torah because he has a new circumcised heart of flesh.  The flesh man and spiritual man each fight to have their own way.  In this way, spiritual warfare follows repentance as our enemy, Satan,  does not want us to have victory over sin so we can live a victorious life through the Spirit to the glory of God.

Tekiah Gadolah – The Long or Great Blast

Similar to the Tekiah, only the high note is sustained for the longest possible breath. It is also ended with a violent, short, pushed-out breath of and even higher-pitched note.

The last and final shofar blast is the Great Shofar.  This is the blast that will change mortality into immortality.  This is the blast that will bring forth the cornonation of King Messiah Yeshua to rule and reign on earth.  This is the blast of hope prophesied in Isaiah 26:19 and 1 Corinthians 15:53-54.

“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.”

“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.”  

In the Apostolic Writings, trumpets are mentioned several times in Matthew, Corinthians, Thessalonians and Revelation.    The most recognized verse is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.  Note how there is a ‘gathering’ ‘moving out’ of in this particular verse.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, 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 together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 

If you are interested in ‘testing’ yourself regarding the sounds of the shofar, take the Shofar Test.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.