Ha-Shanah - The Feast of Trumpets
The forty (40) days
that lead up to Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur is a period of solemn reflection, that
begins with the month of Elul. Elul arrives on the Gregorian
Calendar around August/September. For
many generations, Elul has been a time for personal change and renewal.
The First Elul
To put Elul into historical
perspective, we reflect upon the story of the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. They
had blundered badly with the Golden Calf, and things were not looking good
concerning their relationship with God. It was on the first day of
Elul that the reconciliation process began. On that day, Moses ascended
Mount Sinai (for the third time), where he spent 40 days in prayer on behalf
of the nation. At the same time, the Israelites themselves searched their hearts and renewed their conviction to accept the challenge they'd
received at Sinai.
Forty days later, the former
raised themselves up to a spiritual position where they were once again
fit for a relationship with Yahweh. On that day Moses descended the
mountain with a second set of the Ten Commandments, symbolizing God's
forgiveness and the reinstatement of the Jews as the people who would bear
God's message. That day of reunification was Yom Kippur, the Day of
The Forty (40) Days
The theme of forty seems to show up
in dozens of places in God's Word. The very first time Moses ascended the
mountain, he was there for 40 days. Also, in the story of Noah and
the flood, the rain fell for 40 days. The Jews wandered in the desert for
40 years. And the list of "forties" goes on (40
represents the concept of renewal -- a new beginning. Forty means that
something might look like the same old thing on the surface, but its
essence is totally new.
Consider that the first time Moses
ascended Mount Sinai for 40 days to receive the Torah, the children of
Israel were transformed from a collection of individuals into a nation.
The 40 days of rain in Noah's day symbolized the judgment of the world
which would have to start again from scratch. The 40 years of wandering
was the transformation of a Jewish people entrenched in Egyptian slave
mentality, to one that understood true freedom.
The 30 days from Elul and first
10 days of Tishrei that runs up to Yom
Kippur was a crucial period of renewing the relationship the people were
to have with the Creator. And today, whenever we perceive God as being distant, we
can be certain that it was not the Holy One who moved away. In contrast, the people
in Moses' day moved away from God--He who had miraculously spared their
lives at the Red Sea--and had become unworthy of an intimate relationship. They
spent those 40 days changing their attitude towards God, and ever since then, Elul
has been an ideal time for personal and spiritual renewal.
Ha-Shanah: Day Of
Rosh Ha-Shanah, known
in the Scriptures as the Feast of Trumpets, arrives around the month of September/October
and is considered in Judaism as the Day of Judgment. In the case of all
other Jewish holidays, the Bible itself clearly explains the background
and purpose of each one, sometimes at length, and in some cases several
times. In the case of Rosh Ha Shanah, only hints are offered by the
Scriptures as to the intent and purpose of the holiday.
- The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the
Israelites: `On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a
day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no
regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire," Leviticus
We should comprehend the concept of being summoned to judgment. We are all familiar with
courts and judgments and obeying the law. We all comprehend that the
commandments of the Word are the commandments of God, laws that must be
obeyed. Obedience to them must be rewarded, disobedience must be deterred
and punished; and, to do both properly and efficiently, periodic
evaluations of performance are required.
The thirty days of month of Elul
that lead up to Rosh Ha-Shanah, followed by the ten Days of Awe
that take us to Yom Kippur, have everything to do with the judgment of
souls. Jews know from their prayers that the judgment of Rosh Ha-Shanah
concerns the events of this world as Jewish prayers of the day imply:
Regarding countries, it is
said on this day which is destined for the sword and which for peace,
which for hunger and which for abundance; and creatures are recalled on
it to remember them for life and death. (Musaf prayer)
On Rosh Ha-Shanah will be
inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the
earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who
will die at his predestined time and who before his time... (Nesane
What does all this have to do
with the judgment of the whole world and the opening of books in Heaven?
According to Judaism...
Three books are opened on
Rosh Ha-Shanah, one is the book of the totally wicked, one is the book
of the totally righteous, and the third is the book of the intermediate.
The totally righteous are written and sealed immediately for life into
their book, the totally wicked are written and sealed immediately for
death into their book, whereas the intermediate are held suspended from
Rosh Ha-Shanah till Yom Kippur. If they merit it they are then written
up for life, if not, they are written up for death.
The judgment of Rosh
Ha-Shanah is truly a judgment about this world. But the Heavenly Court
arrives at its decision based on a person's status with Yeshua, our
the names of the righteous are written into the Book of Life.
Book of Life in the Hebrew Scriptures
Psalm 69:28May they be
blotted out of the Book
of life and not be
listed with the righteous.
Philippians 4:3Yes, and I
ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my
side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my
fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of life.
Revelation 3:5He who
overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out
his name from the Book of life,
but will acknowledge his name before My Father and His angels.
inhabitants of the earth will worship the beastall whose names have
not been written in the Book
of life belonging to
the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Revelation 17:8The beast,
which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss
and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have
not been written in the Book
of life from the
creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast,
because he once was [alive], now is not [alive], and yet will come
Revelation 20:12And I saw
the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books
were opened. Another Book
was opened, which is the Book
of life. The dead
were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
Revelation 20:15If anyone's
name was not found written in the Book of life, he
was thrown into the lake of fire.
impure will ever enter it [New Jerusalem], nor will anyone who does what
is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the
Lamb's Book of life.
Prophetic Rosh Ha-Shanah At The Appointed Time Of The End
discover on the The
Kingdom Calendar Pt. 15, Rosh Ha-Shanah brings us near to the
final work of Satan's wrath against the righteous, and God's wrath against
the wicked that will accelerate during the Great Tribulation--which will
begin on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) ten days later. As
mentioned, this ten day prostration, where decisions of life and death are
made, falls between the two High Holy Days. Jews call it "yamin
noraim"--the Days of Awe--which uniquely expresses the heart
searching and mood of penitence that prevails. The prophet Joel
referred to this period as the valley of decision:
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the Day
of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.," 3:14.
trumpet warnings of Rosh Ha-Shanah brings mankind to the realization that
time is running out. Within just days the Day of Atonement will come
when all who remain unrepentant will be cut off forever from salvation,
while the righteous are sealed for life eternal.
maintains three cardinal principles associated with the Ten Days Of Awe
between Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur.
1) the acknowledgment that God is King of the universe
2) the acknowledgment that God will intervene in the world to punish the
wicked and reward the good
3) the recognition that God reveals Himself at Mount Sinai [with
lightning, voices, and thunderings]
and will fully reveal Himself again [in similar manner] to bring about the
end of days
7:1-4 speaks, in part, about this time of sealing: "After
this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding
back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the
land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from
the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a
loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land
and the sea: Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put
a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God. Then I heard
the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of
the other hand, there will be many tested as to their loyalty, and many
more martyrs for Jesus Christ during the last ten Days of Awe that end
world history: "Do not be afraid of what you are about to
suffer. I tell you, the Devil will put some of you in prison to test you,
and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful,
even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life... He
who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out
his name from the Book of Life, but will acknowledge his name before My
Father and His angels," Revelation
trumpet sounds of the Feast of Trumpets also warn of the approaching Day
of the Lord: "Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy
hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the Day of the Lord is
coming. It is close at hand," Joel
And why is
the Day of the Lord fast approaching and the trumpet blast of warning
given at Rosh Ha-Shanah? "Put the trumpet to your lips! An
eagle [eyes of the Lord] is over the house of the Lord because the people
have broken My Covenant [Ten Commandments] and rebelled against My [Moral]
Law. How sad that God's people, who should know better, will allow
Antichrist to enter onto the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to set up the
abomination that will bring such devastation on Israel in the final days,
followed by the entire Planet.
Jesus said in Matthew
24:15-21, "So when you see
standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken
of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand--then let those
who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his
house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field
go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for
pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take
place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress
[Great Tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until
now--and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short,
no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be
21:21-22 clarifies further what
Christ was warning of: "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded
by armies, you will know that its [Jerusalem's] desolation is near. Then
let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city
[of Jerusalem] get out, and let those in the country not enter the city
[of Jerusalem]. For this is the time of punishment [of the
beloved City] in fulfillment of all that has been written."
Kingdom Calendar Pt.15 for the Rosh Ha-Shanah connection to the
More on Rosh Ha-Shanah from Wikipedia.
From a Messianic Jewish Perspective: BiblesforIsrael.com