Celebrating Rosh Ha-Shana – Jewish New Year!

On this eve of Rosh Ha-Shana, when the whole nation of Israel is preparing to celebrate the commencement of a new year according to the Jewish calendar, we can’t help but look back at the past year and be amazed at what God has done and is doing in this nation. In the bible Rosh Ha-Shana is also called the feast of trumpets and this festival is a very special one both for God and for the nation of Israel. When God gave His commandments and made His covenant with the people of Israel on Mt. Sinai, He sealed it with the sound of blasting trumpets. The trumpets signify the announcing of something to come or something established.

In Numbers 29:1, God speaks about the Feast of Trumpets, commanding: “On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets…” The sound of the Shofar (trumpet) is mentioned other times in important moments in the Bible, either to commemorate, or to call the nation to action:

– Giving of the Law (Exodus 19:16,19 and 20:18)
– Bringing down the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6:4-16)
– David bringing the Arc of the Covenant back to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:15) – Praising God (Psalms 98:6)
– Call to repentance (Joel 2:15)

Shofar in the New Testament:

– Giving humbly, unannounced & unboastful (Matthew 6:2) – The voice of God like a trumpet (Revelations 1:10 and 4:1)

The fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets and its announcements:

– The regathering of His people: “In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 27:12-13)

– The coming of the Lord: “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)

– The taking of the Church: “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

– The Last Trumpet & resurrection of the dead: “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Throughout the bible the shofar blow has always meant a commemoration of something significant. Whether is was the announcement of war, alerting of approaching enemies, or when King David was bringing the Arc of the Covenant back into Jerusalem. Shofar was also blown to announce the anointing of a new king of Israel. It is also is a call for joy and praise to God: “…with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn-shout for joy before the Lord, the King.” (Psalm 98:6)

In the Book of Revelation 4:1, when John said he heard God’s voice and it sounded like a trumpet, it came to announce what was to come. And so as the whole nation of Israel is preparing to celebrate the New Jewish Year blowing the shofars (trumpets), we as believers fixate our gaze on the Lord, in eager await of the last shofar blow that will announce the imminent return of our King Yeshua.

Wishing you a wonderfully blessed new Jewish year!

May the blessings and favor of the Lord always abide in your house.

Yours in Messiah, Pastor Israel Pochtar