Keith Hunt - Feast of Trumpets in Judah Restitution of All
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Feast of Trumpets

Some views of the Jews


              Taken from the book "The Temple"
               by Alfred Edersheim D.D. Ph.D.


Quite distinct from the other new moons, and more sacred than
they, was that of the SEVENTH month, or Tishri, partly on account
of the symbolical mean of the seventh or sabbatical month, in
which the great feasts of the Day of Atonement and of Tabernacles
occurred, and partly, perhaps, because it also marked the
commencement of the civil year, always supposing that, as
Josephus and most Jewish writers maintain, the distinction
between the sacred and civil year dates from the time of Moses.

In Scripture this feast is designated as the 'memorial blowing'
(Lev.23:24) or 'the day of blowing,'  because on that day the
trumpets, or rather, as we shall see, the horns were blown all
day long in Jerusalem. It was to be observed as 'a Sabbath,' and
'a holy convocation,' in which 'no servile work' might be done. 

The prescribed offerings for the day consisted, besides the
ordinary morning and evening sacrifices, first, of the
burnt-offerings, but not the sin-offering, of ordinary new moons,
with their meat - and drink-offerings, and after that, of another
festive burnt-offering of one young bullock, one ram, and seven
lambs, with their appropriate meat - and drink-offerings,
together with one kid of the goats for a sin-offering, to make an
atonement for you. While the drink-offering of the festive
sacrifice was poured out, the priests and Levites chanted Psalm
lxxxi., and if the feast fell on a Thursday, for which that Psalm
was, at any rate, prescribed, it was sung twice, beginning the
second time at verse 7 in the Hebrew text, or verse 6 of our
Authorised Version. 
At the evening sacrifice Psalm xxix. was sung. For reasons
previously explained, it became early common to observe the New
Year's Feast on two successive days, and the practice may have
been introduced in Temple times. (This of course was strictly of
Jewish making or tradition - Keith Hunt).

The Mishnah, which devotes a special tractate to this feast,
remarks that a year may be arranged according to four different
periods; the first, beginning with the 1st of Nisan, being for
'kings'(to compute taxation) and for computing the feasts; the
second, on the 1st of Elul (the sixth month), for tithing flocks
and herds, any animal born after that not being reckoned within
the previous year; the third, on the 1st of Tishri (the seventh
month), for the Civil, the Sabbatical, and the Jubilee year, also
for trees and herbs; and lastly, that on the 1st of Shebat (the
eleventh month), for all fruits of trees. Similarly, continues
the Mishnah, there are four seasons when judgment is pronounced
upon the world: at the Passover, in regard to the harvest; at
Pentecost, in regard to the fruits of trees; on the Feast of
Tabernacles, in regard to the dispensation of rain; while on 'New
Year's Day all the children of men pass before Him like lambs
(when they are counted for the tithing), as it is written, "He
fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works."'

To this we may add, as a comment of the Talmud, that on New
Year's Day three books were opened: that of life, for those whose
works had been good; another of death, for those who had been
thoroughly evil; and a third, intermediate, for those whose case
was to be decided on the Day of Atonement (ten days after New
Year), the delay being granted for repentance, or otherwise,
after which their names would be finally entered, either in the
book of life, or in that of death.
     
By these terms, however, eternal life or death are not
necessarily meant; rather earthly well-being, and, perhaps,
temporal life, or the opposite. It is not necessary to explain at
length on what Scriptural passages this curious view about the
three books is supposed to rest. But so deep and earnest are the
feelings of the Rabbis on this matter, that by universal consent
the ten days intervening between New Year and the Day of
Atonement are regarded as 'days of repentance.' Indeed, from a
misunderstanding of a passage in the Mishnah, a similar
superstition attaches to every new moon, the day preceding it
being kept by rigid Jews as one of fasting and repentance, and
called the 'Lesser Day of Atonement.' 
(Again, all this is Jewish traditions and has no Biblical support
- Keith Hunt).

In accordance with this, the Rabbis hold that the blowing of the
trumpets is intended, first, to bring Israel, or rather the
merits of the patriarchs and God's covenant with them, in
remembrance before the Lord; secondly, to be a means of
confounding Satan, who appears on that day specially to accuse
Israel; and, lastly, as a call to repentance - as it were, a
blast to wake men from their sleep of sin.

During the whole of New Year's Day, trumpets and horns were blown
in - Jerusalem from morning to evening. In the Temple it was,
done, even on a Sabbath, but not outside its walls. Since the
destruction of Jerusalem this restriction has been removed, and
the horn is blown in every synagogue, even though the feast fall
upon a Sabbath. It has already been hinted that the instruments
used were not the ordinary priests' trumpets but horns. The
Mishnah holds that any kind of horns may be blown except those of
oxen or calves, in order not to remind God of the sin of the
golden calf! The Mishnah, however, specially mentions the
straight horn of the antelope and the bent horn of the ram; the
latter with special allusion to the sacrifice in substitution of
Isaac, it being a tradition that New Year's Day was that in which
Abraham, despite Satan's wiles to prevent or retard him, had
offered up his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. The mouthpiece of the
horns for New Year's Day were fitted with gold, those used on
fast days with silver. Another distinction was this - on New
Year's Day those who blew the horn were placed between others who
blew the trumpets, and the sound of the horn was prolonged beyond
that of the trumpets; but on fast days those who sounded the
trumpets stood in the middle, and their blast was prolonged
beyond that of the horns. 

For the proper observance of these solemn seasons, it was deemed
necessary not only to hear but to listen to the sound of the
horn, since, as the Mishnah adds, everything depends on the
intent of the heart, not on the mere outward deed, just as it was
not Moses lifting up his hands that gave Israel the victory, nor
yet the lifting up of the brazen serpent which healed, but the
upturning of the heart of Israel to 'their Father who is in
heaven' - or faith. We quote the remark, of only as one of the
comparatively few passages in the Mishnah which turn on the
essence of religion, but as giving an insight into the most
ancient views of the Rabbis on these types, and as reminding us
of the memorable teaching of our Lord to one of those very
Rabbis.

The Mishnah mentions various 'Berachoth' or 'benedictions' as
having been repeated on New Year's Day. These, with many others
of later date, still form part of the liturgy in the synagogue
for that day. But there is internal evidence that the prayers, at
any rate in their present form, could not have been used, at
least, in the Temple. Besides, the Rabbis themselves differ as to
their exact amount and contents, and finally satisfy themselves
by indicating that the titles of these benedictions are rather
intended as headings, to show their contents, and what special
direction their prayers had taken. One set of them bore on 'the
kingdom' of God, and is accordingly called Malchiyoth; another,
the Sichronoth, referred to the various kinds of 'remembrance' on
the part of God; while a third, called Shopharoth, consisted of
benedictions, connected with the 'blowing of the horn.' It is
said that any one who simply repeated ten passages from Scripture
- according to another authority, three - bearing on 'the kingdom
of God,' 'the remembrance of God,' and 'the blowing of horns,'
had fulfilled his duty in regard to these 'benedictions.'

(Once more, let me make it clear that all of this was Jewish
traditions, and none of it has any foundation on Scripture,
except of course the blowing of the trumpets - Keith Hunt).

From Scripture we know with what solemnity the first day of the
seventh month was observed at the time of Ezra, and how deeply
moved the people were by the public reading and explanation of
the of the law, which to so many of them came like a strange
sound, all the more solemn, that after so long a period they
heard it again on that soil which, as it were, bore witness to
its truth. 

In the New Testament there is no reference to our Lord having
ever attended this feast in Jerusalem: Nor was this necessary, as
it was equally celebrated in all the synagogues of Israel. Yet
there seems some allusion to the blowing of the horn in the
writings of St.Paul. We have already stated that, according to
Maimonides, one of its main purposes was to rouse men to
repentance. In fact, the commentator of Maimonides makes use of
the following words to denote the meaning of the blowing of
trumpets: 'Rouse ye, rouse ye from your slumber; awake, awake
from your sleep, you who mind vanity, for slumber most heavy has
fallen upon you. Take it to heart, before Whom you are to give an
account in the judgment.'     

May not some such formula also have been anciently used in the
synagogue; and may not the remembrance of it have been present to
the mind of the apostle, when he wrote: 'Wherefore it is said,
Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ
shall give thee light!' If so, we may possibly find an allusion
to the appearance of the new moon, specially to that of the
seventh month, in these words of one of the preceding verses:
'For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the
Lord: walk as children of light!' (Eph.5:8).

                              ...............

End of quotes from Edersheim

In the Jewish world there has been much wrong traditions
introduced on this Trumpet Feast Day. There is no Biblical
support for the Feast of Trumpets as "new years day" per se, and
the period from Trumpets to Atonement being days of repentance or
"days of awe" as the Jews call them, was actually borrowed from
the Babylonians, who had a similar religious teaching towards
their gods.
The true time of the year for inward inspection and deep
contemplation of sin and righteousness, is during the Feasts days
of the Spring Festival of Passover/Unleavened Bread.

The Feast of Trumpets on the first day of the seventh month,
STARTS the joyous third festive season of the year. It announced
the ending of the fall harvest, when the great fruits have been
gathered in.

In typology, the Feast of Trumpets, announces the beginning of
the GREAT spiritual havest, when Jesus shall return at the sound
of the last trumpet, and when the Kingdom of God on earth shall
then begin to cover and harvest the people of the earth for one
thousand years. Specifically this Feast day is reminding us that
SEVEN trumpets will sound on the earth as foretold in the book of
Revelation, and at the sounding of the LAST trumpet, Christ will
come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to establish God's
Kingdom over all nations (Rev.11:15-19). It is a Feast of bitter-
sweet. It has the reminder that troubles, war, and death, must
come on this earth, if nations will not repent, but it has the
sweetness that after the bitterness, Jesus will return to save
humanity from destroying themselves - Keith Hunt

Entered on this Website, October 2003


 
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