What is this Jewish holiday all about? How does it relate to the biblical festival called the Feast of Trumpets?
[Darris McNeely] When you look on the calendar this time of the year, you see a reference to a Jewish holiday called Rosh Hashanah. What exactly is this? Rosh Hashanah literally means “the head of the year”, and it signals the beginning of what is traditionally called the Jewish New Year. On the Hebrew calendar, the new year begins, for civil purposes, on this particular date, which usually falls in the early to mid-fall of every year on our Roman calendar. But what this day is really talking about is a biblical festival called the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is referenced in several locations in scripture – Leviticus chapter 23 and also in Numbers chapter 29, and it is one of the biblical festivals that God commanded to Israel to keep, that God gave not just for Israel or the Jews, but for all mankind. It says that “in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you will have a holy convocation. You’ll do no work. It is a day of the blowing of trumpets to you.” And so a trumpet blast signified the beginning of the day of Trumpets, the Feast of Trumpets, and was used throughout the New Testament, and it was also a day that was kept by the New Testament church.
It is considered very important by the Jews on their calendar this year, but Christians observe this day, as well, as they should – as God commanded and as God taught. In Zechariah 14:4, there is a reference that is recognized as a prophecy foretelling the coming of Jesus Christ, the second coming of Jesus Christ. And it is in the context of the Day of the Lord, which is also connected with the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets. And it says, “In that day, His feet” – meaning the Messiah – “will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the East, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west, making a very large valley. Half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” This is in connection with this very important biblical festival that is an observance of something that God commanded to Israel to be kept throughout their generations. The Feast of Tabernacles is also another part of that fall festival season. But when we look at the Feast of Trumpets, what we are looking at is a day of trumpet blasts. It is a day of alarm. It is a day of war – whenever a trumpet was sounded in the ancient world, it was usually a call to alarm, often a call to war. Armies advanced at the sound of a trumpet. In the context of the Day of the Lord, the Feast of Trumpets is a day that heralds the return, the coming of Jesus Christ, and that age-ending event that Bible prophecy talks about in both the Old and the New Testament, and here in Zechariah 14:4 shows will be the time when the Messiah will set foot on the Mount of Olives. It is a day to observe. It is a very important day. It is more than just a traditional Jewish festival – it is really a biblical festival that points us toward the coming of Jesus Christ and the ending of this age, and has great meaning to help us understand who Jesus Christ is and His future role as King of kings.
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