Skip to comments.Rosh Hashanah and the Second Coming
Posted on 09/20/2006 10:14:32 AM PDT by Buggman
As many of you already know, we are entering into the fall High Holy Days, comprised of the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. Just as the spring Feastdays celebrate the First Coming of Messiah Yeshua, and Shavuot (Pentecost) celebrates the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) to the Ekklesia in between the visitations of Yeshua, the Fall Feastdays look forward to His Second Comingand in particular, the Feast of Trumpets looks forward to His Glorious Appearance in the clouds of heaven!
The day which this year falls on September 23 (beginning at sundown the previous night) is known by many names, but is little understood. The most commonly used today is Rosh Hashanah, the Head of the Year or New Year, and is regarded as the start of the Jewish civil calendar. (The religious calendar begins on the first of Nisan, fourteen days before Passover, in accordance with Exo. 12:2.) For this reasons, Jews will greet each other with the phrase, Lshana tova u-metukah, May you have a good and sweet new year or simply Shanah tova, A good year. In anticipation of this sweet new year, it is customary to eat a sweet fruit, like an apple or carrot dipped in honey.
The Talmud records the belief that In the month of Tishri, the world was created (Rosh Hashanah 10b), and its probably due to this belief that it became known as the Jewish New Year. The belief that the world was created on Rosh Hashanah came out of an anagram: The letters of the first word in the Bible, In the beginning . . . (Bresheit) can be rearranged to say, 1 Tishri (Aleph bTishri). Perhaps because so little is directly said in Scripture about this dayunlike all of the other Feastdays, there is no historical precedent given to explain why Rosh Hashanah should be celebratedthe rabbis also speculated that Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Samuel were all born on this day.
However, thats not its Biblical name, which is Yom Teruah, the Day of the [Trumpet] Blast:
And YHVH spake unto Moses, saying, 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 (Heb. zikrown teruah) [of trumpets], an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH. (Lev. 23:23-25)In each of these passages, Ive placed trumpets in brackets because its not actually in the Hebrew text; however, teruah can and usually does mean to sound the trumpet (though it can mean to shout with a voice as well) and the use of a trumpet on this day is considered so axiomatic that there is literally no debate in Jewish tradition on the matter. Specifically, the trumpet used is the shofar. The shofar is traditionally always made from the horn of a ram, in honor of the ram that God substituted for Isaac, and never from a bulls horn, in memory of the sin of the golden calf.
And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing (teruah) [the trumpets] unto you. (Num. 29:1)
The shofar first appears in Scripture as heralding the visible appearance of God coming down on Mt. Sinai to meet with His people (Ex. 19:16-19). It is also linked with His Coming in Zec. 9:14 and with Him going up (making aliyah) to Jerusalem in Psa. 47:5. Small wonder then that Yeshua said He would Come again with the sound of a trumpet, a shofar, in Mat. 24:31, which is echoed by Shaul (Paul) in 1 Th. 4:16 and 1 Co. 15:52. Indeed, many commentators have recognized that by the last trump, Shaul was referring to the final shofar blast, called the Tekia HaGadol, of the Feast of Trumpets.
This visitation by YHVH is closely associated with the second of this Feastdays names: Yom Zikkroun, the Day of Remembrance. This is not primarily meant to be a day when the people remember God, but when God remembers His peoplenot that He has forgotten them, but in which He fulfills His promises to them by Coming to them. In Isa. 27:13, it is the instrument used to call Gods people Israel back to the Land. In Psalm 27, which is traditionally read in the month leading up to Yom Teruah, we see the Psalmist looking forward to God rescuing him from his enemies:
Among the rabbis, the shofar is often associated with the Coming of the Messiah and the Resurrection of the Dead as well. According to the Alphabet Midrash of Rabbi Akiva, seven shofars announce successive steps of the resurrection process, with Zechariah 9:14 quoted as a proof text: And Adonai the Lord will blow the shofar (Stern, David H., Jewish New Testament Commentary, 489f). And it is the shofar that the Holy One, blessed be He, is destined to blow when the Son of David, our righteous one, will reveal himself, as it is said, And the Lord GOD will blow the shofar (Tanna debe Eliyahu Zutta XXII). Its interesting that the rabbis, without the benefit of the New Covenant writings, have come to the same conclusions as the Apostles: That YHVH would visit His people in the person of the Messiah and raise the dead on Yom Teruah (also in the Bablyonian Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 16b). On Yom Teruah, the shofar not only rouses the people from their complacency, but the very dead from their graves. (See Job 19:25-27, Isa. 26:19, and Dan. 12:2 for the Tanakhs primary passages on the Resurrection.)Though an host should encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear:
Though war should rise against me,
In this will I be confident . . .
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion:
In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me;
He shall set me up upon a rock. . .
The shofar is an instrument that is very much associated with war (Jdg. 3:27, 2 Sa. 20:1, Neh. 4:18-22, Ezk. 33:3-6). It was used to destroy the walls of Jericho (Jdg. 6:20). In Joel 2:1, it sounds the start of the Day of the Lord, the time in which God will make war on His enemies: Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the Day of YHVH cometh, for it is nigh at hand (cf. v. 15). This again matches perfectly with the NT, where Shaul describes the Lords coming with a trumpet immediately preceding the Day of the Lord (1 Th. 4:16, 5:2).
This brings us to the next name for this Feastday, Yom HaDin, Judgment Day. Not only did the shofar sound the call for war, but also the coronation of kings (2 Sa. 15:10; 1 Ki. 1:34, 29; 2 Ki. 9:13, 11:12-14). Therefore, the rabbis have always associated this day with Gods sovereign Kingship over all mankind: On Rosh Hashanah all human beings pass before Him as troops, as it is said, The LORD looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of His habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works (Rosh Hashanah 6b, quoting Psa. 53:13-15). To remember Gods Kingship, it is traditional to eat round objects to remind us of Gods crown (oriental crowns being shaped as skullcaps instead of circlets). For example, challah is made to be round instead of braided as it normally is.
Because this day is associated with Gods judgment, it is also considered a time of repentance (tshuva) in preparation for Yom Kippur. The Casting (Tashlikh) Ceremony, in which observant Jews gather together at the shores of oceans, lakes, and rivers and cast in stones and/or crumbs of bread to symbolize casting off their sins, is performed on this day to a prayer comprised of Mic. 7:18-20, Psa. 118:5-9, Psa. 33 and 130, and often finishing with Isa. 11:9.
The Talmud (ibid.) goes on to say that on this day, all mankind is divided into three types of people. The wholly righteous were immediately written in the Book of Life (Exo. 32:33, Psa. 69:28) for another year. The wholly wicked were blotted out of the Book of Life, condemned to die in the coming year. Those in between, if they truly repented before the end of Yom Kippur, could likewise be scribed in the Book of Life for another year. For this reason, a common greeting at this time is Lshana tova tikatevu, which means, May you be inscribed [in the Book of Life] for a good new year.He will turn again,
He will have compassion upon us;
He will subdue our iniquities;
And Thou wilt cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.
The Bible, of course, is clear that one is written in the Lambs Book of Life (cf. Php. 4:3; Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, and 21:27) not by ones own righteousness, but by receiving the Messiahs righteousness by faith, trusting in Him, and that there is no in-between; one either trusts God or one doesnt. Nevertheless, a great eschatological truth is preserved for us in this rabbinical tradition. At the time of Yeshuas Second Coming, all mankind will be divided into three groups. Those who have already trusted in the Messiah will be Resurrected and Raptured to be with Him immediately upon His Coming on the clouds of the sky. Those who have taken the mark of the Beast and have chosen to remain with the Wicked One will be slated to die in the Day of the Lord, which for reasons that are beyond the scope of this essay to address, I believe will last for about a year.
However, there will also be a third group, who neither had believed in the Messiah until they saw Him Coming on the clouds but who also had not taken the mark of the Beast. Many of these will be Jews, who will mourn at His coming and so have a fount of forgiveness opened to them (Rev. 1:7, Zec. 12:10-13:2)most prominently, the 144,000 of Rev. 7 and 14. Others will be Gentiles who will be shown mercy because they showed mercy to the children of God (Mat. 25:31ff). These are given the opportunity to repent during the period between the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonment, called the Days of Awea reference, I believe, to the Day of the Lord.
Finally, this day is known as Yom HaKeseh, the Hidden Day. It was a day that could not be calculated, only looked for. Ancient Israel kept its calendar simply by observing the phases of the moon. If a day were overcast, it might cause a delay in the observance of the beginning of the month, the new moon (Rosh Chodesh), the first tiny crescent of light. Every other Feast was at least a few days after the beginning of the month so that it could be calculated and prepared for in advance. For example, after the new moon that marked the beginning of the month of Nisan, the observant Jew knew that he had fourteen days to prepare for the Passover.
Not so Yom HaKeseh. In the absence of reliable astronomical charts and calculations (which were made only centuries after God commanded the Feasts to be observed), the Feast of Trumpets could be anticipated, estimated to be arriving soon, but until two or more witnesses reported the first breaking of the moons light after the darkest time of the month, no one knew the day or hour. Therefore, it was a tradition not to sleep on Rosh Hashanah, but to remain awake and alert, a tradition alluded to by Shaul: But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (1 Th. 5:4-6).
Because of the difficulty of alerting the Jews in the Diaspora when the Sanhedron had decreed the start of the Feast to be, it became traditional to celebrate the first and second day of Tishri together as Yoma Arikhta, One Long Day. Is this meant to remind us, perhaps, of when another Yhoshua (Yeshua) won against his enemies because God cast down great hailstones (like the hailstones of Rev. 16:21) and called upon the Sun to stand still so that they would not escape (Jos. 10:10ff)?
Yom Teruah is a day which ultimately calls all of Gods people together in repentance in anticipation of the glorious Second Coming, in which He will once again visit His people in the Person of the Messiah Yeshua to Resurrect the dead, awaken the living, and judge all mankind together.
Shalom, and Maranatha!
How asociated are you with the splinter groups from Herbert W. Armstrong?
Show up for a Shul in your pajamas with a pillow, like you've always wanted to.
A little something i wrote up in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah. I look forward to your feedback.
Not at all. Armstrong was an Anglo-Israelist. I am not.
Thanks, Hege. I forgot Quix on my ping list. Quix, please forgive me for that.
Ok. Just curious. Starting about this time of year through January, posters from various Armstrong splinter groups start posting seasonal topics of religion.
Anyway, if you want to find out what I'm about, check out the links in my profile; they'll give you a good idea. For the record, I'll agree with a conservative Evangelical on about 90-95% of theological issues, and the remaining 5-10% is mostly about whether certain disputed aspects of the Torah are still applicable--not for salvation (which is by faith rather than works), but as a matter of obedience.
Either "comprised the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles"
"composed of the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles".
Nothing wrong with it at all. Quite beneficial as a matter of fact. However, some of the Armstrongites really try to demonstrate their "superior" understanding especially as Christman approaches.
A friend of mine e-mailed me the top ten things to do at a Shul. He also suggested checking off the $18,000 donation box when the man next to you goes to the bathromm.
You are spot on with many of your Biblical Observations...
Add me to your ping list. I was so excited so see some like-minded views here that I finally joined this forum. By the time I registered you were moved from news-activism to religion.
Thanks. Will check it out.
Just got JOEL C ROSENBERG'S
His first non-fiction--looks great about Biblical prophecy in this end times era.
He commissioned a study on beliefs about such. Interesting results. Going to try and get permission to post extensive excerpts about such in a new thread.
Half of all Republicans believe we are in the last days.
Half of all women believe we are in the last days.
Nearly half of all senior-citizens believe we are in the last days.
Nearly 6 in 10 young people age 18 to 25 believe we are in the last days.
75% of African-Americans believe we are in the last days.
7 out of 10 self-described evangelical Christians believe Israel is a prophecy that has bome true before our very eyes as would be expected. But so do half of all Roman Catholics (52%) and nearly 6 in 10 American Jews (57%)
2/3 of conservative Republicans believe modern Israel is the fullfillment of Bible prophecy, but so do nearly half of self-described liberal Democrats (44%)
6/10 Southerns agree.
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