Yom Teruah, aka Feast of Trumpets, or more often known as Rosh HaShanah, kicks off the Fall Holy Day Season. For nearly a month it seems we are taking off work and celebrating something. It’s a much anticipated season of consecutive feasts falling in sequence separated by 8 days and then 3 days and is described in Leviticus 23. The 3 celebrations appear somewhat disjointed for being in such rapid succession until you understand them in the context of the second coming of Messiah Yeshua.
We start here at Yom Teruah— with the Trumpet of Announcement and of Battle cry. But for what? As in most prophecies there are multiple layers and fulfillments: usually an immediate and a future/deferred.
The immediate fulfillment of Yom Teruah is to simply announce the arrival of the Fall feasts and call us to introspection as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Yom Kippur. But if we look a little deeper there is a fulfillment that is yet to come with the return of Yeshua Messiah in his second coming. And this is where we need to hold onto our hats and buckle our seatbelts as we launch into the wonder of God’s sovereign planning and story foreshadowing. There is so much to unpack that we will have endless material to share. But here is a “quick” overview.
Let’s start with the etymology of Yom Teruah. Yom Teruah, or in English Feast of Trumpets, Kicks off the Fall season of the Lord’s Feasts. Teruah is used 36 times in Scripture (strongs #8643 ) It is a command form of the word Ruah (strongs 7321 ) which means to “blow an alarm, cry alarm, aloud, out, destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout for joy, A primitive root; to mar (especially by breaking); figuratively, to split the ears (with sound), i.e. Shout (for alarm or joy) -- blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.”
Often the scriptures use this word in the context of raising a shout for battle (Joshua 6:5 &20) or a cry for joy (Ezra 3:11-13). I find both uses of the word particularly fitting for this Holy Day especially when you consider the significance of what Yeshua’s return will trigger — repentance, confession, war, and eternal celebration.
The noise of a tumult and a cry of alarm usually coincide, especially when it heralds the presence of God. We see this in Exodus 19:16 as God descends on Mt Sinai The LOUD Shofar and Cry was heard. A great announcement or event is generally associated with the Teruah and the shofar. Therefore we blow the shofar on Yom Teruah as we wait with expectancy on Yom Teruah for God to be revealed to us, for the return of our awaited Messiah.
So we see from the examples aforementioned that the shofar blast and great shout are both used as form of worship, as a call to war, and as a herald of the King (among other uses).
Whatever your eschatological beliefs, the Bible teaches that there will be a trumpet of alarm and a shout for joy in the end times. 1 Corinthians 15:52 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.
We read also in Matthew 24:30-32 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 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. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His[d]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Not to mention, there are the 7 trumpets listed in the the 7th seal in Revelations 8- 9 &11. Now again, setting eschatological doctrines aside, at the end of 6 of the 7 trumpets Revelations 9:20 the people who remain “still did not repent”… the trumpets were a call to humble humanity before an almighty God.
Now, here’s the deal and how this comes to play in our homes as believers. This is a yearly opportunity to teach our children about the cost of our sins, and that Jesus WILL someday return, and we WILL someday behold our God in all His heavenly Glory and we WILL someday stand before Him and be judged. It will happen in an instant, when we least expect it. So let’s set our daily minds and hearts on eternity just as He had hidden eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Let us use this God given opportunity to teach our children how we are called to be prophets and priests to the world, to repent ourselves seeking personal revival, but also to watch and pray for the salvation of the World and Israel, so that our friends and neighbors might come to repentance as well.