The Significance Of The Feast Of Trumpets

The Jewish calendar is punctuated with feast days. Seven of these special sabbath days of rest and religious duty were established by the direct command of God, according to the scriptures. In the autumn, there is a two-day observance that is called the Feast of Trumpets in the Bible and Rosh Hashanah in the Torah. It begins the new year and happens at the new moon of the seventh month.

The day is not a joyous festival but one of solemn import. It was to be announced by the blowing of horns, both the shofar or ram’s horn and the silver horns used by the temple priests. It is also a time of general noise, the sound of horns joined by shouting, according to psalms.

A national call for repentance paves the way for the next sabbath, the Day of Atonement. On this day when the Tabernacle and later the Temple existed, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary. This was the only day of the year that even he could enter this inner room. The people, having prepared with repentance and bringing sacrifices and sin offerings, would be cleansed of their sins committed during the previous year.

The meaning of this feast was a warning. Just as the sound of trumpets and of tumult would mean an enemy outside the walls, these trumpets warned that the people were in danger of offending their God and losing His blessing. The danger wasn’t physical but spiritual.

The scriptures say that ‘the wages of sin is death’. The danger is real for anyone who has fallen short of perfect observance of God’s laws of righteousness – which is everyone. The Torah prescribes ritual sacrifice, as well as prayer and repentance, as the way to restoration with their holy Lord. Christians believe that Jesus, by dying on the cross, was the final, perfect, sufficient sacrifice for all who believe in Him and accept His death as payment for sin.

This important feast is still observed by Jews. It is also recognized by Christians as a prophetic event foreshadowing the days of fear and turmoil before the second coming of Christ. His appearance signals the beginning of His earthly kingdom, since He will come as a conquering king this time. The Bible says that His arrival will be signaled by the sound of a trumpet.

The Day of Atonement, which occurs later in the same month, foreshadows the final Judgement Day, when all mankind will stand before the throne of God and find out the eternal destiny that awaits. This fearful, fateful day is appropriately preceded by a call to awe and repentance. The feasts are seen as important days on which events will take place during the ‘end times’.

The feast still has original significance for orthodox Jews, and many Christians value the Jewish traditions that are the roots of their faith. The feasts fall at different phases of the moon, and scripture gives significance to the signs in the skies.

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