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Feast Of Trumpets

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying,
In the seventh month, in the first day of the month,
shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets,
an holy convocation.
Lev 23:24

The shofar was used for many purposes such as:

  • To summon Moses to the top of the mountain to receive the Commandments (Exodus19:19-20).
  • To give a signal during time of war (Judges 3:27).
  • To proclaim the start of the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:9).
  • To anoint a new king during coronation service (1 Kings 1:34).
  • To regather the outcasts of Israel (Isa. 27:13).
  • To warn the people of danger (Amos 3:6).
  • To declare the arrival of the Messiah (Zech. 9:14).

The ceremony of the blowing of the shofar was a magnificent sight. The priest chosen to blow the shofar was trained from childhood. On both days of the Feast of Trumpets (except when the first coincides with a Sabbath), the blowing of the shofar was a highlight of the tabernacle service. Before the shofar was sounded, the shofar blower (Ba’al Tokea) prepared himself for the task and said: "I am prepared to fulfill God’s commandment to blow the shofar, as it is prescribed in the Torah, a day of blowing unto you." The priest blowing the shofar stood outside the Tabernacle with two trumpeters. The trumpet was the signal for the field workers to come into the Temple. At that instant the faithful would stop harvesting, even if there were more crops to bring in, and left immediately for worship service. The shofar sound would awaken the conscience of the people.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Rom 13:11-12

The sound from the shofar is broken into a series of staccato blasts. The broken sound is to remind the people that they need to break away from their evil inclinations. The shape of the shofar is not straight like a trumpet. Its end is curved and bent as a bowing and humbling posture in respect to God.

The sound is a rousing call to repentance for the people of God. It is to awaken everyone to remember the Creator, forsaking evil ways and returning to God. The sound is to inspire man to break from the impulses of his heart and the sinful cravings of the world.

There are four different sounds associated with the Feast of Trumpets. They are explained as follows:

Tekiah: A straight trumpet blast signifying Kingship.
A pure unbroken sound that calls man to search his heart, abandon his evil ways, and seek forgiveness through repentance.

Shevarim: Three short notes representing a man moaning in repentance.
A broken, staccato, trembling sound. It typifies the sorrow that comes to man when he realizes his wrong and desires to change his ways.

Teruah: Nine staccato notes blown in rapid succession, similar to the wail of a person weeping in short bursts. A wave-like sound of alarm calling upon man to stand by the banner of God.

Tekiah Gedolah: One Long Blast.
The prolonged, unbroken sound typifying a final invitation to sincere repentance and atonement.

On Rosh Hashanah, a series of one hundred trumpet blasts is sounded to announce the setting up of the eternal court, heralding God as the all-seeing, all-knowing Judge of the Universe. The 100 shofar blasts signifies that the heaven gates are open wide with the King seated upon the Throne. His scepter of grace and mercy are extended in a special way at this time and all throughout the next 10 days.

Jewish tradition says that this court date is to find out who are righteous and have their names in the Book of Life through the Messiah. All other people are a mixture of good and bad, and God in His mercy will delay their court date for a period of time to allow them to try and prepare a proper defense. The second court date is on Yom Kippur.

On each of the 30 days of repentance in the month of Elul prior to Rosh Hashanah, a shofar will be blown. These 30 trumpets of Elul are to gather and prepare God’s people before His wrath is poured out. The 30th Trump is called the Last Trump. But it will not be blown on the 30th day. The shofar blower will skip a day to confuse the enemy about the exact day the King is coming. The day of the 30th trump is known as "the day that no man knows."

After 99 blasts of the shofar, the final 100th blast is the loudest and the longest. It is called Tekiah Gedolah. I believe this trumpet-sound is the one signified in 1Thessalonians 4:16 - "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the (Tekiah Gedolah) trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first" Tekiah Gedolah is not to be confused with "the last trump" of 1 Corinthians 15:52, which is known as Shofar HaGadol.

Tekiah Gedolah and Shofar HaGadol are 2 different trumpet sounds with 2 very different meanings. They are both a last trump but on two different occasions. Tekiah Gedolah is a last trumpet in a series of 7 trumpets (Rev. 8 through 11) and is the Bride's Homecoming – the Rapture. Shofar HaGadol is the last trumpet of Yom Kippur and possibly signifies the end of the Great Tribulation period and the Second Coming of Christ.

In Matthew 24:31, "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." This is a call to return to the land of Israel (Isaiah 27:13) and is at the time of our Lord's return to earth to establish His millennial kingdom of 1,000 years. This Shofar HaGadol will bring forth God's elect from both heaven and earth to begin the Millennial Kingdom with Jesus Christ as King (Mark 13:27).

The blowing of trumpets are symbolism and not necessarily date setting. This trumpet on Rosh Hashanah signifies our Rapture but it does not necessarily date it. The Rapture itself is a "Hidden Day" not made known to anyone. It will occur whenever the Father decides. In other words, this long blast (Tekiah Gedolah) is on the Day of the Lord, and that day is not necessarily Rosh Hashanah. It is therefore wise not to date the Rapture since so many failed attempts brings about skepticism. We must believe what Jesus said: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13:32) My little advice about the Rapture is this: "Pray for pre-Tribulation (the best scenario) but be prepared for post-tribulation (the worst scenario)." It is any day in the ten Days of Awe from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, inclusive of both.

The blowing of the trumpets on Rosh Hashanah signifies not only Rapture (Resurrection), but it also serves as a wake-up call to the coming Judgement Day (Yom HaDin) - the day of Reckoning. (Acts 17:29-31, Hebrews 9:27) . The Bema Seat is the Great White Throne Judgement. This again shows that the trumpet sound signifies but does not date the event. The Rapture is not the same chronological timing as the Bema Seat.

I believe the sequence of events are as follows:

Event Feast
Tribulation Rosh Hashanah
Rapture The Ten Days Of Awe inclusive of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
The Wrath of God
The Second Coming Yom Kippur
Millennium Rule Feast of Tabernacles
Great White Throne Judgement

The Great Tribulation is not the same as the Wrath of God. God will gather His people in the Rapture before His Wrath begins. The saints are harvested before the wicked are sent to the great winepress (Rev. 14:15-20). From 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to 5:10, we know that the Rapture will come before the beginning of the Day of the Lord, the Day of His Wrath, because we are not destined for wrath but for salvation.

The Great Tribulation starts after the abomination of desolation in the Temple but ends when the Rapture takes place. After the Rapture, the Day of the Lord begins, when the Wrath of God is poured out on the earth in the 7 Bowls of God's Wrath (Revelation 15:1-19:6). The Day of the Lord period corresponds to the Days of Awe or 10 Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Hereby, we must understand that the Day of the Lord may not be a 24-hour day, but rather a period of time. We will be changed into His likeness and return with our Messiah to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth. The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! (Rev 11:15). The house of Judah and the house of Israel are judged in the fat sheep and lean sheep judgment of Ezekiel 34, and made into one nation again. After which, the remaining people of the earth are all judged by the Messiah in the Sheep and Goats Judgment of Matthew 25. Then the Messiah celebrates with all the people of the earth in the Feast of Tabernacles.

And we live happily thereafter, forever and ever.


Rev. Norm Franz's Torah Series