It’s about that time of the year again, when through ordained feasts we are reminded of YAHWEH’s plan for his children. September is replete with such feasts, three of them at least which begins with the Jewish NEW YEAR in the FEAST OF TRUMPETS, or CHAG ROSH HASHANAH (in Hebrew), followed by the DAY OF ATONEMENT or YOM KIPPUR (in Hebrew) and finally the FEAST OF TABERNACLES or BOOTHS or CHAG SUKKOT (in Hebrew).
The feast of Trumpets have very wide connotations for Jews for many reasons, a few of which I will like to throw some light on here. Many find it very confusing how it is called the NEW YEAR when it is celebrated in the SEVENTH MONTH (TISHRI), but a brief explanation will clear the air on that. The first month is called ABIB which is around late March to early April sometimes in the Gregorian Calendar, and is described as instructed by YAHWEH in The Bible as “…the Beginning of Months” (Exodus 12:2), but the Seventh month is the “Beginning of Yahweh’s Calender”, hence the Jewish year 5775 (current) will give way to year 5776 on the 14th of September, 2015 starting from eve of 13th September.
This is one analogy you could use to differentiate the BEGINNING OF MONTHS, and the NEW YEAR which is in the Seventh month – one’s day of birth (New Year) is considered a great day in many people’s lives, but sometimes not as important as some special days when some life changing or tremendous event took place in the one’s life, which is sometimes marked with splendour over and above ones’ birthday. Such is the relationship between “Abib” (the month in which YAHWEH delivered the Children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt, the land of bondage, by a Strong Arm) and the New Year (in the seventh month, Tishri).
Having gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about “Trumpets” and why it is associated with the New Year, and not any other musical instrument you can think of. Even as with revelers of the Gregorian New Year in January, much noise is made to herald the year. New Years are periods for much noise to be made, and a trumpet is an instrument that can aid that, though there are other instruments that can also find much use in that situation, even louder than the trumpet could ever be, but the trumpet is important and key because of its religious connotations, especially in Judaism.
In the Garden of Eden, we are told, YAHWEH was always communing with man, till man fell and was chased out of the garden. HIS desire to commune with man, despite the latters falling never faded though, despite the gulf that now existed between man and his creator because of what has now become the nature of man, such that by the time the Hebrews had come out of Egypt when YAHWEH intended for them to have a tête-à-tête with him, it required three days of cleansing for which at the end of it, the “…thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the TRUMPET exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” (Exodus 19:16), made it impossible for them to continue to have the conversation, following which Moses was mandated to go do the talking with HIM alone, with the promise to abide with whatever it is he returns with as guidelines from the MOST HIGH.
One of the guidelines Moses issued them from YAHWEH was about the use of Trumpets, of which two trumpets of Silver were to be made to be used “….for the calling of the Assembly, and for the journeying of the Camps” (Numbers 10:2), including what the number of trumpet sounds, length or urgency signified, while they were in the wilderness, out of Egypt on their way to Canaan (The Promised Land). Also, it was to be blown/sounded “…in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginning of your months…” (Numbers 10:10), of which the months Abib and Tishri (Seventh month and New Year, when the feast of Trumpets is celebrated) much fits the bill. Much like the way “Bells” were for me and other students in primary and secondary school days, of which the best parts of the school periods was the bell for “BREAK TIME” and “CLOSING TIME”, which I eagerly awaited, or like the “Bugle” in camp during the one year mandatory National Youth Service Corp, NYSC program.
In Leviticus 23:24, Moses was instructed by YAHWEH to tell the children of Israel, that “…..in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath (a day of rest, regardless of whether it fell on a Saturday or not), a memorial of blowing of TRUMPETS, a holy convocation (which means that it isn’t a feast that should be celebrated in one’s domain, but at a place upon which YAHWEH has placed his NAME, as with a congregational location)”, HE goes further to say, “Ye shall do no servile work therein” (verse 25), as with what you have on a normal weekly Sabbath on a Saturday. The key thing however, besides the fact that there is a feast of a memorial of Trumpets, is that the Trumpet is YAHWEH’s tool or instrument of choice for “gathering his people”.
As the Israelites approached Canaan with Jericho in sight and as first obstacle, the RAM’s horn served as the Trumpet, seven of which were borne and blown by seven priests in the overthrow of the city, as the children of Israel encompassed and passed the city seven times with the ARK OF COVENANT in tow, before it fell without a single battle fought. This Ram’s Horn or SHOFAR (in Hebrew) remained a significant instrument in the celebration of the feast of trumpets, besides finding use in every day Jewish rites and observations.
The shofar did find use in Jewish history, especially as an instrument for gathering people together for observances, holy days, even for war as recorded in old testament texts in the bible and Torah and other scripts. In Matthew 24:31, Yahshua alluded to it prophetically in his message bordering on the end of time and his second coming, about how “…he shall send his angels with a great sound of TRUMPET”, with the intention to “gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”. Again reiterating, the purpose a trumpet serves as the means of gathering YAHWEH’s people together, this time though for something higher than whatever calling the trumpets in days of yore as with our day could be calling us for.
The Apostle Paul (Sha-ul) in 1 Corinthians 15:52 gave a further insight into what Yahshua talked about earlier, stating that “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the TRUMPET shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”, and if you were wondering about the condition of those who will be alive at the time, he explains further in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 – “For the Master himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMP of YAHWEH: and the dead in the Messiah shall rise first: Then we who are ALIVE and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air: and so shall we ever be with YAHWEH”, thereby fulfilling HIS long term desire towards mankind.
The book of Revelations is replete with many trumpet sounds, many of which are for issuing warnings and heralding major and minor events that have bearing in todays’ world. Interestingly, the sound of the trumpets from these angels (as with the book of revelation) are not and will not be as audible for ALL ears to hear them, except for the ears tuned to hear them, just like TV sets without a decoder for a particular transmitting code from a Cable TV cannot show programs from the Cable TV. Therefore when we celebrate the Feast of Trumpets, we remind ourselves of these things, trying to understand the times and seasons, equipping ourselves with the latest SPIRITUAL gadgets and decoders to hear these trumpets when they sound, and to understand what they mean, so we won’t find ourselves “dancing” to the sounds of the trumpet, when we ought to be running, seeking shelter, or raising our hands up to receive Him at his second coming. CHAG SAMEACH (HAPPY HOLIDAYS).
noesis: THE APOCALYPTIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS http://madukovich.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-apocalyptic-significance-of-feast.html?m=1
– THE WORD OF YAHWEH, ©2000