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Bible verses about Feast of Trumpets
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Simply stated, the Feast of Trumpets is one of God's feast days. It is the fourth of the seven annual holy days, and it is the first of the fall holy days.

A glance at most calendars will show that it is, in fact, a day that is still observed by the Jews. They call it Rosh Hashanah which means "Head of the Year" or "First of the Year." This is because it falls on the first day of the seventh month of God's sacred calendar.

But the Feast of Trumpets is a very special feast day. In many ways, it is a pivotal day.

In our hymnal's version of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," we sing, "In the beauty of the autumn Christ was born across the sea." This is because there is some evidence that the human Jesus may have been born on or very near the Feast of Trumpets. Also, Bible symbolism and prophecy indicate that He may well return to this earth on the Feast of Trumpets in some future year.

This feast symbolizes a vast turning point in world history. It pictures the pivotal changeover between the age of man, of darkness, and of Satan to the age of God, the World Tomorrow, the Millennium, and the Kingdom of God.

But what do trumpets have to do with all this? What is their significance?

The answer to this question is that many scriptures tell us that trumpet blasts will accompany the major, tumultuous events of the end times, the return of Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of the dead. Here are just a few of those scriptures:

» And He shall 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. (Matthew 24:31)

» . . . in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (I Corinthians 15:52; see I Thessalonians 4:16)

» So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded. . . . Then the second angel sounded. . . . Then the third angel sounded. . . . Then the fourth angel sounded. . . . Then the fifth angel sounded. . . . Then the sixth angel sounded. . . . Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 8:6-8, 10, 12; 9:1, 13; 11:15)

Staff
What Is the Feast of Trumpets, Anyway?


 

Is not God's command to keep the Feast of Trumpets just an Old Testament command? Was it not just commanded for the children of Israel? Is it not just a Jewish feast day—or at best an Israelite feast day?

No! First, we must remember that we in the United States, Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth, and Western Europe are the children of Israel! We are the modern descendants of the children of Israel that we read about in the Bible.

More importantly, we are the New Testament "Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). The physical Israelites were God's Old Testament "church." Conversely, today's church of God is the New Testament congregation of Israel. As Paul writes, "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29; see Romans 9:6-8).

In addition, God made His Sabbaths and holy days for all mankind, not just for the Israelites. These are the Feasts of God, not the Feasts of the Jews or the Israelites! In Old Testament times, God chose the Israelites to be the examples of how to fulfill His way of life to the rest of mankind (Deuteronomy 4:5-8), even though, for the most part, they did not do a great job of it. In the New Testament era, the church of God is responsible to be the example to the world of how to keep God's way of life (Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:14-15).

Staff
What Is the Feast of Trumpets, Anyway?


 

Genesis 8:13  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

About six months after the ark landed (Genesis 8:4), Noah opened the covering of the ark and found the earth to be dry. This verse says it was the first day of the first month. By the civil calendar that brings us to Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets! On that day the inhabitants of the ark were freed from its confinement to start a new life. That, magnified countless times, will occur to the sons of God when we are freed from the confinement of our physical bodies and changed into spirit in the twinkling of an eye!

John W. Ritenbaugh
God's Promises Are Sure!


 

Exodus 23:14-16  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The "three times" are three general periods during which God's holy days fall. Passover and Unleavened Bread occur in early spring, the "Feast of Harvest" in late spring, and the "Feast of Ingathering" in the fall.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Holy Days: Pentecost


 

Leviticus 23:1-3  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

This opening shot reveals two very important principles to begin our quest to find out how to keep the holy days.

The first, repeated twice in one verse, is that these festivals are God's feasts, not Israel's, not the church's. He is their Source, He set the times, He gave them meaning, and He is their ultimate Object. We could say they are all about Him—and His plan and our part in it with Him. Our observance of these days is to focus on Him and His teaching, and with that comes wonderful spiritual and physical benefits.

The second principle appears in the command to "proclaim [them] to be holy convocations." These divinely appointed times are set apart for calling together. In today's language, a primary purpose of the feasts of God is to bring God's people together, not just for fellowship, but also for instruction and most importantly, to honor and worship God Himself. These holy times, then, contain a vitally important corporate aspect, producing unity in purpose, doctrine, and relationships within the Body of Christ.

The next verse, Leviticus 23:3, presents a third important principle: "Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings." Along with the weekly Sabbath, the seven annual holy days—the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Hag Hamatzot), Pentecost (Shavuot, also called the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest), the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, also called the Fast), the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth), and the eighth day (often called the Last Great Day)—are also Sabbaths.

Like Sabbaths, they are holy convocations, as can be seen in the ensuing instructions. In most cases, the wording is that the holy day "is a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it" (see Leviticus 23:7-8, 21, 24-25, 35-36). This means that we are not to attend to our normal, weekday work—the kinds of activities that we do on the other six days of the week. This includes not only our paying jobs, but also the ordinary work that we would do around the house, on our cars, in our yards, at the local community center, etc.

In the instructions for keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread, though, God stipulates, "No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you" (Exodus 12:16). Feasting is part of the holy day experience. God wants us to eat and drink of the abundance that He has bestowed upon us in thanksgiving and joy on His appointed times, so He allows us to prepare food on the holy days. Even so, it is still better to prepare as much of the food beforehand, as on a weekly Sabbath, to get the most from the feasts.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
How Do We Keep God's Festivals?


 

Leviticus 23:24-25  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God does not command us to do things just to show off His power. His commands are always filled with true logic and common sense; when He commands us to do something, it is always for a very good reason. He tells us to keep His Feast of Trumpets because He wants us to take a break from the mundane tasks of our daily lives. Like God's other holy days, the Feast of Trumpets is like a 24-hour stop sign. God wants us to stop!

On the Feast of Trumpets, God wants us to stop, to put aside our relatively unimportant daily affairs, and to concentrate for a mere 24 hours on what is really important, not on the physical things that are not lasting or eternal (II Corinthians 4:18). Even the rocks and mountains of this earth eventually will wear away to sand and dust (Psalm 102:25-27; see Hebrews 1:10-12). On this feast, God wants us to stop in order to concentrate on the truly eternal things: the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the end of the age of man, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. That is why we keep the Feast of Trumpets!

There are a few specific instructions here on how God wants us to observe His Feast of Trumpets:

1. It should be kept as a day of rest, similar to a weekly Sabbath.

2. It is a memorial of blowing of trumpets. Most church of God congregations do not own trumpets or rams' horn shofars, or have accomplished trumpeters. However, we often play some appropriate, recorded trumpet music as the holy day offering is being taken up. Such music gives us a good, aural reminder of the unique significance of this day.

3. A "holy convocation" should be held. A convocation is an assembly of people, and a holy convocation is a sacred assembly of people or a church service. Although many of God's scattered people find it necessary to keep the Sabbath alone or in tiny groups, it is good and worthwhile, if at all possible, to make the extra effort to keep the holy days with a larger group.

4. No "customary work" should be done. Customary work (or "servile work" as phrased in the King James Version) is work that we would normally do on a regular day, usually for pay. To the delight of our young people, this is properly extended to prohibit household chores, school work, and school homework. God does, however, allow a small amount of work to be done for the final preparation of food for the Feast, although as much of this labor as possible should be done on the previous day, termed in the Bible "the day of preparation" (see Exodus 12:16; 16:23; Matthew 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 42).

5. Christians are not required to sacrifice animals by fire for their holy day offerings. Rather, they are to give monetary offerings—over and above their regular tithes—that may be used for the needs of the church and for the ongoing work of preaching God's Word.

Staff
What Is the Feast of Trumpets, Anyway?


 

Leviticus 23:24  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The appointed time for the Feast of Trumpets is on the first day of the seventh month of God's sacred year. Like other months, this seventh month has two names: Tishri meaning "beginning," and Ethanim meaning "strong" or "valiant," which may refer to the return and intervention of the supremely strong and valiant Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:10, KJV).

The Feast of Trumpets is actually a New Year's Day! It falls on the first day of a new year, hence the name Tishri or "beginning." There are two different (but complementary) "New Year's Days" in God's calendar because there are two distinct years in God's calendar or, more accurately, two distinct starting points for counting the year. One is the sacred and religious year, which starts in the spring with the month Abib or Nisan. The other is the administrative and financial year, also called the Civil Year, and it starts in the autumn on the Feast of Trumpets. In Bible times, the year's main harvests were complete by this date and enough crops had been sold by this time to enable farmers to afford to attend the fall holy day celebrations.

Staff
What Is the Feast of Trumpets, Anyway?


 

Deuteronomy 14:23  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The feasts of God are events that we look forward to with a great deal of positive anticipation. And well we should because they are enjoyable physically and can be tremendously spiritually rewarding. However, experience has shown that, due to spiritual immaturity, there can be a kind of enjoyable dark side to Tabernacles, since it can easily be perceived as a vacation or a "godly" substitute for Christmas.

On the other side of the emotional ledger, there is also a share of trouble preparing for and traveling to them. Tabernacles, especially, can be wearying, and people have sometimes even become quite sick from the stress and consequently had a miserable time. On occasion, the Feast can even be a matrix for motivating family problems.

Overall, though, most of the time we enjoy God's feasts immensely, cherishing the memories we have of the activities, the fine meals, the nice locations, and the time we spent with our spiritual and physical families—things we do not always have either the time or money to do at home.

Yet, we have to be somewhat cautious of this because we can enjoy doing similar kinds of things apart from the Feast—in fact, such experiences apart from the Feast happen frequently. The inherent danger is that, though God wants us to rejoice in keeping His Feast, it is easy to think that, because the Feast is indeed enjoyable, we had a "good" Feast.

Judgment of things like this is highly variable from one person to the next. People can attend the same site, hear the same messages, take part in the same activities, and all have a quite different evaluation of the quality of the Feast. We have all experienced this.

I can look back on one particularly bad Feast—it was not disastrous because no particular "bad" thing occurred—but in my evaluation, the 1974 festival I attended in St. Petersburg, Florida, was an all-time low. The site was not the problem, nor did anybody I attended with give any trouble. It was bad because I did little or nothing positive to make it a great Feast. I was just there soaking up the good times.

Deuteronomy 14:23 and Deuteronomy 16:15 seem to be the verses we turn to most frequently when we refer to the Feast of Tabernacles. However, they primarily emphasize the potential for the enjoyable physical aspects. True, it does say we are to go to learn to fear God, but other scriptures focus more strongly on the spiritual aspects of the Feast, and they are considerable. Though little specific detail is given, there is enough to know that God expects the Feast of Tabernacles to be the year's spiritual high-water mark.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Amos 5 and the Feast of Tabernacles


 

Psalm 81:1-6  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The commentaries are about equally divided as to which festival or festivals are intended here. Is it speaking of the spring or the fall feasts? Passover and Tabernacles both fall on a full moon, and obviously, both are preceded on the first day of the month by a new moon. However, two things tend to throw the weight toward the fall festivals.

First, the superscription of the psalm is gittith. Gittith, though it is the term for a musical instrument, literally means "winepress." It is associated with the fall harvest of grapes because of its customary use by the vintners then.

Second, and more authoritative, is the word "trumpet." All the commentators duly report that this refers to the ram's horn. Instructions for the use of trumpets are given in Numbers 10, but it makes no distinction as to which trumpet (ram's horn or silver) should sound at the beginning of each month. However, Jewish tradition emphasizes that the silver horns were blown at the beginning of each month except Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets. The weight of evidence at this point inclines toward the feasts of Trumpets and Tabernacles.

Verse 4 explains that God established a law in Joseph as a testimony witnessing to a historical fact: his release from prison and elevation to prime minister. Thus, this psalm gives us the time setting for Joseph's experiences in Genesis 41: Tishri 1, which became the Feast of Trumpets! On this feast day, Joseph was removed from his hard labor, as Psalm 81:6 relates. The psalmist shows an encouraging parallel between God and Joseph. Both are saviors, and we can take encouragement from what happened to Joseph. God did not forget him!

John W. Ritenbaugh
God's Promises Are Sure!


 

Isaiah 27:13  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The context is "[the] children of Israel" being "gathered one by one" (verse 12). "They . . . who are about to perish" seems to refer to the peoples of Israel enduring the time of Jacob's Trouble. The turning point, then, and the beginning of deliverance, is when "the great trumpet will be blown." The Olivet Prophecy correlates to this, for Jesus Christ says,

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect [chosen people] from the four winds, from one end of heaven [the Greek word is plural— "heavens"—referring to things within earth's atmosphere (e.g., "the four winds") rather than to the heaven of God's throne] to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31)

The trumpet is a symbol of considerable consequence in the Old and New Testaments. In general, it can signify an alarm of war, a call to assemble, or a command to march (see Numbers 10:1-10). The fourth annual holy day is the Feast of Trumpets, a "memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation" (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1). Psalm 81:3-5 indicates Joseph was released from prison in Egypt on the Feast of Trumpets, making for rich symbolism regarding the future release of Israelite captives. God, through the prophets, often uses "Joseph" to represent, not just Ephraim and Manasseh, but also all of Israel (see Ezekiel 37:16-19; Amos 5:6, 15; 6:6; Obadiah 1:18; Zechariah 10:6). In addition, God caused the walls of Jericho to fall after seven successive days of trumpets sounding (Joshua 6:4-20).

Various end-time prophecies show that a trumpet precedes the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:1; Zechariah 9:14-16), when Jesus Christ returns as King of kings and overthrows the nations of this world, establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. The resurrection from the dead is also connected to a mighty trumpet blast (I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16). While the book of Revelation tells of seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2—11:15), when the last one sounds, "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15), indicating He has returned. This all shows that the timing of the Second Exodus in general corresponds to the return of Christ.

David C. Grabbe
The Second Exodus (Part Two)


 

Isaiah 58:1  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Trumpets symbolize a loud, warning cry of impending danger. These verses from the prophets impart a dire warning to those living in the end time: The day of the Lord is at hand, a day of darkness, gloominess, and clouds over man's society! The prophets strongly admonish the ministry to raise their voices as trumpets to warn of sudden, terrifying destruction!

Though originally intended for Israel, these warnings apply specifically to the called-out children of God since we are the ones living in the end time with the understanding of God's plan! In fact, we have the most to lose by ignoring these stern prophecies of death and destruction. They are admonishments to prepare ourselves spiritually for the tumult ahead. Notice that these verses stress repentance, fasting, and prayer, and who but God's elect truly understand them?

Staff
Holy Days: Trumpets


 

Isaiah 58:13-14  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

It is likely that the Sabbath here is either the Feast of Trumpets or the Day of Atonement. The chapter opens up with "Lift up your voice like a trumpet," but then the bulk of the chapter has to do with fasting. The Sabbath arises in verse 13, which indicates that, when Isaiah wrote this, God had a particular Sabbath in mind.

There are only two Sabbaths in which God says, "No work shall be done." The one is the Day of Atonement, and the other is the weekly Sabbath (which occurs fifty-two times a year). In that regard, the weekly Sabbath is more stringent than are the holy days. When holy days and weekly Sabbaths coincide, the holy day takes precedence as being a Sabbath of the first rank. But yet, in regard to the weekly Sabbath, God says, "No work shall be done."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 4)


 

Daniel 4:17  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God will give the Kingdom to the lowest of men and women. Similarly, Paul writes in I Corinthians 1:26, "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." The lesson is to know that God rules, which has been the issue from the very beginning.

Adam and Eve did not act as though they knew that God rules; they acted as though Satan or they ruled. They rejected the rule of God, and from that time on, God has concentrated on this very fact. Mankind will learn that God rules, and in order to do that, God is going to have to judge, to issue decrees, and to hand down sentences.

His sentences are going to be very stiff indeed, because Scripture shows that the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord will reduce the population of the earth to about 10% of all of mankind. The carnage that will result from God's judgments being handed out, so that mankind will know that God rules, will be bloody to an extreme. An awful lot of pain will result from the execution of this sentence. God judges, and it will begin at the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets.

To most people on earth—if God even exists in their thoughts—He is, at best, a rather remote personality who acted a long time ago but seems to have grown disinterested, as nothing has happened for quite a long time. However, the Bible shows Him to be a hands-on ruler. He is overseeing planet earth, and He is doing it for the purpose of fulfilling His purpose of establishing His Kingdom.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fall Feast Lessons


 

Joel 2:12-17  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God uses graphic language here. What is coming should not be anticipated lightly. It will be painful like no time in history has ever been painful. There will be so much fear and anxiety that it is beyond our comprehension to understand— especially when we think of this in light of the peoples of the United States, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, countries whose entire populations have never really had to face the horrors of war. Some of our men have been involved in war, but we have never had our own shores touched by a war anything like this. It will pale the Civil War and the World Wars into insignificance when it finally occurs.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic


 

Luke 2:8  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

It is evident this could not have been in late December! December nights, even in Israel, can be cold and wet with occasional snowfall. Shepherds in that area were known to have brought their sheep from the fields into the folds in the fall of the year. The evidence currently available indicates that Jesus was born in the autumn of the year 4 BC—perhaps on the Feast of Trumpets!

Staff
'Tis the Season: Help for Our Young People


 

1 Corinthians 15:23  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Only the just, the righteous, will rise at Christ's second coming. God will raise the martyred saints to eternal life, but the unjust dead will not be resurrected until the end of this period. If we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us when we die, we will be resurrected through the power of that same Spirit at that time (Romans 8:9, 11, 14). In addition to the dead in Christ, those who are true Christians at His coming will rise in the first resurrection. The Feast of Trumpets celebrates the second coming of Jesus Christ to intervene in world affairs, resurrect the firstfruits, and establish God's Kingdom on earth (Matthew 24:30-31; Revelation 11:15).

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: The First Resurrection


 

Revelation 11:15-18  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

This last - seventh - trumpet announces the coming of Christ, the establishment of God's Kingdom, the judgment upon the nations, and the rewarding of the saints. They occur simultaneously!

The last trumpet sounds when Christ returns, not 3½ years before! If we compare verses 11-13 (the resurrection of the Two Witnesses) with verse 19, the "great earthquake" ties the resurrection of the saints with the beginning of the Kingdom (see also Revelation 16:18). In addition, an angel tells John in Revelation 10:7 that when "the seventh angel . . . is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished." There will be no more mystery about man becoming God when the saints are resurrected or changed to eternal spirit beings!

Matthew 24:30-31 also verifies this scenario, showing that the trumpet sounds to send the angels to gather the elect from all over the earth to meet Him upon His return. To clinch the argument, verse 29 very plainly says, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days. . ."! Isaiah 27:12-13, Joel 2:1-11 and Zechariah 14:3-5, 9 also confirm these events.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Caught Up in the Rapture


 

 




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