The Feast of Trumpets, the Ram’s Horns and Messiah
All of the feasts in their respective ways point towards Messiah. The Spring feasts speak of the first coming of Messiah – the death and resurrection of Yeshua at Passover and the Feast of Firstfruits. In addition, the Feast of Unleavened Bread relates to the believer living a holy life pleasing to God. The counting of the omer continued until Shavuot (Leviticus 23:16) relating to the giving of the law and when the Holy Spirit came. The Feast of Trumpets relates to the New Year and Messiah’s return and the Autumn feasts relate to Messiah’s return, rule, and reign.
Leviticus 23:23-25 gives us the backdrop concerning the Feast of Trumpets.
‘Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ”
The Feast of Trumpets
The Rabbis taught that God judged the world at New Year and so the first of Tishri commenced the Days of Awe leading up to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Following the outcome on Yom Kippur, the worthy were written into the Book of Life and the unworthy were blotted out.[i]This was a time of self- examination and seeking the Lord, something that we would all benefit from doing at New Year and of course at any time.
Trumpets were used at the giving of the law both for the people to come near the mountain and, when the blast of the trumpet sounded longer and longer, Moses spoke and God answered him audibly (Exodus 19:13,19). Yom Hadin was a day of judgement and Yom Hateruyah a day of blowing the shofar which foreshadow the end of days and final judgement, when we shall all appear before the Lord.[ii] It was a time of preparation.
In the interval between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, people pray and do good deeds though no assurance of forgiveness is given.[iii] Therefore it is necessary to explore the certainty of how sins can be forgiven and having your name written in the book of life.
The Ram’s horns
Rashi makes the connection between the blowing of the ram’s horn (shofar) on the feasts of trumpets and the provision of a ram in place of Isaac at Mount Moriah, whose horn was caught in a thicket. Notice also that originally the feast of trumpets included an offering made by fire (Leviticus 23:25).
‘(On this Rosh Hashanah day,) a remembrance (before God of the Jewish people is evoked through the sounds of the shofar. And in order to enhance this remembrance, our Rabbis instituted the recitation) of Scriptural verses dealing with remembrance and Scriptural verses dealing with the blowing of the shofar (R.H. 32), through which the remembrance of the binding of Isaac is recalled for them, (whereby Isaac was willing to be sacrificed as a burnt- offering according to God’s words (See Genesis 22:1-19), and) in whose stead a ram was offered up (whereby the shofar alludes to that ram’s horns, by which it was caught in a tree, thus making its appearance as Isaac’s replacement (see Gen.22:13)-(Sifthei Chachamim, Gur Aryeh; R.H. 16a).’[iv]
The shofar is blown, there is a call to repentance and the Rabbis teach that God opens three books. How can anyone be certain that their sins are forgiven and that their name is written in the book of life? We are again reminded by the blowing of the shofar and the giving of the law that the Lord spoke through Moses, “And the LORD said unto Moses, whosoever has sinned against Me, him I will blot out of my book (Exodus 32:33).”
Genesis 22 foreshadows Messiah. At Mount Moriah, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac though God wanted Abraham’s willing obedience, not that sacrifice in itself. Hence God provided a ram caught in a thicket by its horns which was sacrificed in place of Isaac. Hebrews 11:17-19 tells us that Abraham believed God could have risen Isaac from the dead, since he recognised God’s promises and He is faithful to keep his covenant promises.
Who is the One whom Isaac was a picture and foreshadowing of? Who was sacrificed at Pesach and rose from the dead on Firstfruits? John the Baptist saw Yeshua (Jesus) and announced, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)!”
Will you be ready when the trumpet sounds?
Discover more here: Day of Atonement
[i] Bryan W Sheldon The Messiah and the feasts of Israel (Gospel Folio Press; 2007, Port Colbourne), p139
[ii] Sheldon, p139
[iii] Peter Sammons Israel’s Holy Moedim and their prophetic significance today (Glory to Glory Publications; 2017, Cambridge), 104
[iv] The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9924/showrashi/true