On Saturday, September 23, 2006, the Church of God fulfills God’s commandment for His people to celebrate a very special Sabbath–the annual Holy Day of the Feast of Trumpets, which falls this year also on a weekly Sabbath. It is interesting, when studying Jewish literature, how the ancient rabbis understood the meaning of this very important Festival. They associated several designations with this day. Let us review a few:
The Feast of Trumpets is also called the “Birthday of the World” (Rosh Hashana; literally, Head of the Years). It is believed that God created the world in the first week of the Hebrew month of Tishri, which corresponds to September/October according to the Roman calendar. It is also called the “Day of the Awakening Blast” (Yom Teruah, literally, Day of Blowing or Shouting). A trumpet was blown on that day. The trumpet was a ram’s horn or a “shofar,” which was associated with Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac. God intervened and substituted a ram for Isaac in the incident of Abraham and Isaac.
In addition, the Feast of Trumpets is described as the “Day of Judgment” (Yom Hadin). It is understood that on that day, the righteous would receive eternal life.
Another designation is the “Day of Repentance” (Yom teshuvah). The trumpet blast includes the concept of awakening the spiritual dead to a life well pleasing to God. Paul echoes that understanding, when he writes in Ephesians 5:14: “Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light!”
Further designations of the Feast of Trumpets are the “Day of the Coronation of the Messiah” (Ha Melech); the “Birth Pangs of the Messiah” (Chevlai shel Mashiach); and the “Wedding Ceremony” (Kiddushin/Nesu’in).
All these designations have deep meaning in relationship to the Feast of Trumpets.
But there are still more!
The understanding of the ancient rabbis includes the following additional concepts, as they pertain to the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets:
Israel will be advised of the advent of the Messiah with the sound of a shofar (Zechariah 9:14, 16). The shofar will be blown at the time of the ingathering of the exiles of Israel to their place (Isaiah 27:13). The shofar will be blown at times of war, and to signal the assembly of Israel during those times (Judges 3:27; 2 Samuel 20:1; Joshua 6:13, 16). The watchman will stand upon Jerusalem’s walls and blow the shofar (Ezekiel 33:3-6). The shofar will be blown to pronounce liberty and freedom (Leviticus 25:8-10). And, the blowing of the shofar will usher in the day of the Lord (Joel 2:1).
As we can see, the Feast of Trumpets is a very special annual Holy Day. It is filled with tremendous meaning for God’s people and for all of mankind. It culminates, of course, in the return of the Messiah–the God of the Old Testament–Jesus Christ.
Many of the reasons for Christ’s Second Coming–symbolized by the Feast of Trumpets–will be explained in detail during our morning and afternoon Holy Day services, which will be broadcast live over the Internet. If you cannot personally attend one of our local congregations, please listen to our live Internet broadcasts; or, if the time zone you are living in would prevent you from doing so, listen to our Holy Day sermons, which will be posted promptly on the Web after services. The Feast of Trumpets is a most holy and important annual Festival. Please don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about it.