THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
Leslie M. John
The feast of the Trumpets is the fifth feast of the seven “Feasts of the LORD” described in Leviticus Chapter 23. These feasts were to be celebrated in two different periods of Hebrew Calendar year when they come into the Promised Land. The “feast of Trumpets” is celebrated on the first day of the seventh month.
It is God’s innate nature to reveal the future events to man and warn them of the consequences if they disobeyed Him. He warned Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that in the day they eat “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” they shall die. (Cf. Genesis 2:17)
Likewise God warned the oncoming flood and destruction of mankind during the days of Noah, and He warned people of Nineveh of the destruction that was to come. He gave us warnings of the last days and of the life in eternity (Cf. Matthew Chapters 24 and 25).
God did not institute these feasts just for the purpose of remembering as to how He delivered the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, and how he led them through wilderness into the Promised Land, but these feasts carry great significance of the events that will come to pass in future. They showed the anti-type the “Lamb of God”, Lord Jesus Christ, coming into the world to save sinners, His death, burial, resurrection, His ascension, and His coming back again to set up His kingdom.
In God’s calendar of events that regulate the events of mankind on this earth there are two important phases. The first one included the program of salvation of Man, and the formation of the “One New Man” with Jews and Gentiles with equal benefits. The Second phase included Lord Jesus Christ’s second coming, His thousand-year-reign, judgments of nations, the final judgment at Great White Throne.
The ‘feast of Trumpets’ is one such warning to the children of Israel to repent and come into the kingdom of God. The children of Israel spent four hundred and thirty years as slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. God delivered them from their bondage of slavery, and gave His calendar of events.
God counted their deliverance date as the first year; the first year of their exodus from Egypt. In the 3rd month of the first year of their exodus from Egypt, they journeyed up to Mount Sinai, where God spoke to Moses and gave the Ten Commandments to Israel. They stayed at Sinai for one year. On the first day of first month of Second year Tabernacle was set up.
After completion of one month period from the day the Tabernacle was set up God revealed the contents of Leviticus to Moses. There was a 20 days period from the day the Tabernacle was set up until they resumed their journey, during which period there was numbering of God’s people. They were numbered twice, once as recorded at the beginning of book Numbers and second numbering as recorded at the end of the book of Numbers.
All those who came out from Egypt died in the wilderness, and only those who were numbered second time entered the Promised Land. (cf. Exodus 12:40-41, Exodus 40:17, Numbers 10:11)
It was in the first God’s calendar, after God gave details to Moses, as recorded in Leviticus Chapter 23, the Passover festival was first celebrated, and then followed sequence of festivals. The “feast of Trumpets” opens up the future events that are yet to take place.
After redeeming the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery under Pharaoh the LORD said to the children of Israel through Moses, his servant, that they should celebrate seven feasts in remembrance of how God redeemed them with his “outstretched arm” from their bondage of slavery.
God, by His command set apart the first month, “Abib” , to celebrate the “Passover festival” followed by the feast of “unleavened bread”, the feast of “first-fruits”, and the “feast of Pentecost”. During the long gap from the “feast of Pentecost” until the second phase of festivals began, it was the time of Gentiles to come into be grafted to partake their inheritance. They were not supposed to glean their farms fully but leave portions as detailed in Leviticus chapter 23:22
“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God”. (Leviticus 23:22)
The “feast of trumpets” is celebrated on the first day of seventh month, which was “Tishri”. The feast of Trumpets is known as “Rosh Hashanah” by the Jews. The feast of trumpets is followed by ‘Day of atonement’ and the “feast of Tabernacles”
The “Feast of the Trumpets” was not only a memorial to remember the mighty power of God but also shows the future events. The “Feast of Trumpets” calls us for repentance of the left-behind Jews and it results in their redemption which gives them the privilege of rejoicing. The blowing of trumpets sets in the future events in different periods. The Church age will not see these three feasts in future because they will be caught to be with the Lord for ever and ever.
These future events include “Rapture” of the Church, Judgment seat of Christ, “Jacob’s Trouble” and the opening of the Books (Revelation 20:12) and opening of the Gates (Revelation chapter 21 and Revelation 22:14).
Failure to keep God’s commandments did not go un-noticed by God; rather He chastened them with His mighty hand. He sent them into captivity for seventy years into Babylon and they could not return until the chastisement days were fulfilled. Of the seventy-year Daniel’s prophecy sixty nine are fulfilled and in the seventieth year there will be “Jacob’s trouble”, when the left-behind Jews will call upon the Lord to save them and God will hear their cry.
During the period of Nehemiah the children of Israel realized that they failed to keep every seventh year as Sabbatical year and because of their failure God sent them into seventy year captivity into Babylon. They all gathered on the first day of the seventh month and spoke to Ezra, the scribe, to bring the book of Law of Moses, and when he had brought the book of Law of Moses, he read from it from morning to midday and they all heard with much attention.
“And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law”. (Nehemiah 8:1-3)
Later they rejoiced in the LORD and celebrated the “Feast of Tabernacles” when they found that in the book of Law there was commandment for them to celebrate the festival.
“And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month” (Nehemiah 8:14)
The first trumpet was made from the horn of ram that was found caught in the thicket when Abraham was about to slay his one and only son, Isaac (Cf. Genesis Ch.22). This was developed and was used by the children of Israel for calling people to gather at one place for any important occasion such as to go for war. The trumpets were used as recorded in Numbers 10:1-10
The LORD spoke to Moses and instructed him to make two trumpets of silver from one whole piece. The metal silver indicates redemption in the Bible, while the brass indicates judgment, and gold indicates heavenly things. These trumpets were to be used to calling of the assembly, and for commencing their journey from the place, where they were stationed, to the next place until God told them to stop. He came by dark thick cloud and rested on them as canopy to protect them. He led them by pillar of fire and pillar of cloud.
“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people” (Exodus 13:21-22)
When the trumpet was blown then the assembly gathered at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. If only one trumpet was used to blow, then the princes, who were the heads of thousands of Israel, gathered before Moses. If the trumpet was blown with a sound of alarm, then the camps that were on the east went ahead.
If the alarm was blown second time, then the camps that were on the south side went ahead, but when congregation was to be gathered together the trumpet was to be blown in usual sound and there was to be no alarm-sound. The responsibility of blowing the trumpets was given to the priests who were sons of Aaron. It was an ordinance for ever throughout their generations.
If they went to war in their land against enemy who oppressed them, they were supposed to blow an alarm with the trumpets, and the LORD heard them and saved them from their enemies.
The children of Israel were also commanded to blow the trumpets over their burnt offerings, over their sacrifices, and of their peace offerings, in the day of their gladness, in their solemn days, in the beginnings of their moths. God said it will be a memorial before Him and the LORD proclaimed His identity as “I am the LORD your God” (cf. Numbers 10:1-10)
Sounding the trumpets in various tunes alerted the assembly, the princes, and called for God’s help in times of need. Trumpets were also sounded in their solemn days. Jericho walls fell down when the trumpets were blown according as the LORD commanded.
The sounding of the trumpet has its significance in future also When it is time for Lord Jesus Christ to come again the trumpet sound is heard.
“ For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)