The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. The first night of the month was the darkest, the new moon. But when the first tiny sliver of the crescent moon could be spotted in the night sky, there was renewed joy in the Israelite’s camp! The first in the village to spot the crescent might even blow his trumpet!
Most of the Jewish festivals occurred when the moon was full. For instance, Passover was on the fourteenth day of the first month. The middle of the month was when the moon was full.
The feast of trumpets was scheduled on the first day of the month, when the night was the darkest. In fact, “the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation’ ” (Leviticus 23:23-25, ESV).
Rosh Hashanah meant “the Head of the Year.” Rash Hashanah, The Feast of Trumpets, was celebrated on the Jew’s civil new year. It was a day of celebration, and a great day to break out the shofar, the ram’s horn. It was a holy-day, when Hebrew families gathered to remember their blessings. They literally blew their trumpets in celebration.
Trumpets were often used in the Hebrew’s worship of Jehovah! Just before God gave Moses the commandments, “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain” (Exodus 19:17-20, ESV).
Did you get that? The trumpets sounded, and God came down! Do you think that will ever happen again? I do! Maybe soon!
“The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, ESV).
The spring feasts foreshadow Jesus’ earthly ministry: His death, burial and resurrection. After the long summer, the next feast on the calendar is associated with the glorious return of Christ and the rapture of the church. Soon, the trumpets will sound for His coming!
“On the first day of the seventh month” (Numbers 29:1, ESV), when the night sky is the darkest ... the trumpets will sound. It’s getting pretty dark out there...
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor