The Torah (Law of Moses) calls for an appointed feast on the first day of the seventh month. In Hebrew it is יום תרועה, Yom Teruah, a day of blowing / sounding (also called the Feast of Trumpets). The idea is of blowing trumpets (shofars in Hebrew) with a sound of teruah.
דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שַׁבָּתוֹן זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing (teruah) (of trumpets), a holy convocation.’”
Although this day is popularly known as Rosh Hashanah, ראש השנה, “head of the year”; this is not a biblically correct name, and may serve to divert attention from the meaning of the holy day, which is a prophetic warning connected to the blowing of the trumpet.
The full meaning of this feast is not described in the Torah. The rabbis note three main themes:
- Remembrance / memorial
These themes are somewhat correct and can be derived from following the blowing of trumpets throughout the Scriptures. (Note that trumpets are blown at the coronation of a new king – something noticed by the rabbis and very pertinent to the Gospels, but not mentioned often in Christian literature.)
The Holy Day of blowing the trumpet in the seventh month is a symbolic event. However, the full understanding of the symbols only comes in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. The book of Revelation describes the prophetic meanings of the Torah symbols, such as the shofar / trumpet. Revelation “reveals” the hidden meaning of the parables of the priestly symbols.
Trumpets in Revelation
There are two basic parts of understanding the prophetic meaning of the trumpets in the book of Revelation. One is found in the first part of the book, the second in the second part of the book. Both have to do with hearing and proclaiming the prophetic message from heaven on earth.
These two meanings simply are:
- Exhortation to the Ecclesia (chapters 1-7)
- Warning to the Nations (chapters 8-16)
The sound of the Trumpet is a metaphor for the voice of God. In chapters one and four, Yeshua speaks and it sounds like a trumpet. He speaks with a “loud voice” (In Greek this is megas phone. The trumpet is God’s “megaphone.”) Although God’s voice is loud and clear, not many hear it, because not many are listening.
הָיִיתִי בְּהַשְׁרָאַת הָרוּחַ בְּיוֹם הָאָדוֹן וְשָׁמַעְתִּי מֵאַחֲרַי קוֹל גָּדוֹל כְּקוֹל שׁוֹפָר
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet”
אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה רָאִיתִי וְהִנֵּה דֶּלֶת פְּתוּחָה בַּשָּׁמַיִם; וְהַקּוֹל הָרִאשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתִּי כְּקוֹל שׁוֹפָר מְדַבֵּר אֵלַי אוֹמֵר: “עֲלֵה הֵנָּה וְאַרְאֶה לְךָ אֶת אֲשֶׁר צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת אַחֲרֵי כֵן
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
In chapters two and three, there is a challenge to “hear” what the spirit of God is saying. All prophetic trumpet-like words are general and universal for all those who are part of the true ecclesia of God, both Jewish and International.
However, in the middle chapters of the book of Revelation, there is a series of seven shofars blown during the time of tribulation. The seven trumpets give a symbolic reference to the seventh month of the year when the Feast of Trumpets is held, the seven days of the battle of Jericho, and the seven years of the end times tribulation period.
These seven trumpet messages are a warning to the nations of the world of the immediate tribulation judgments, and of the soon coming final battle of the day of YHVH. With each trumpet, part of the plan of God is revealed. Each trumpet releases the understanding of the prophetic mystery of God, and the events themselves. The last mystery is released at the seventh trumpet.
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, September 10, 2020, and reposted with permission.