The Appointed Times of YHVH—the Day of Trumpets

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017

The Torah does not associate the Day of Trumpets, Yom Teruah, with any particular event, nor does it give any reason why this appointed time is constituted. In the Rabbinic tradition it is known as “Rosh HaShanah”, the time of the beginning of a new year, literally “head of the year.” But truth of the matter is that the Torah makes no mentioning at all of the first day of the seventh month as being the head of the year.

Is Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets, Rosh HaShanah, the New Year?

On the contrary, the Torah explicitly states that,

This month is the beginning of months for you, it is the first month of the year for you. (Exo 12:2)

In the context of Exodus 12, the Torah refers the beginning of the year to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt in the springtime. But the Rabbinical tradition made the beginning of the year the seventh month in autumn, thus the Rabbis made their own calendar which they call “the Jewish Calendar.”

“The proof text” according to the Rabbis is found in Exo_34:22 which says that the Festival of Sukkot, which also occurs in the seventh month, occurs at “the turn of the year” interpreted by the Rabbis as “the beginning of the year.” We read in JPS,

And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, even of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering (Sukkot) at the turn of the year. (Exo 34:22 JPS)

However, Exo_23:16 explicitly says, referring to the same festival, that it occurs “at the end of the year.” We read,

and the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labours, which thou sowest in the field; and the feast of ingathering, at the end of the year, … (Exo 23:16 JPS)

At any rate, in chapter 23 of Leviticus only two verses are dedicated to this appointed time of YHVH and nowhere else has this day been mentioned, but here,

Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first of the month, shall be a Shabbaton for you, remembrance of shouting, a set-apart gathering. You shall do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah.’ (Lev 23:24-25)

The Day of Trumpets has taken a central place in YHVH’s calendar

Yom Teruah

Shouting of the trumpets on Yom Teruah

As we studied in the first article of this series dedicated to the appointed times of YHVH, Introduction to the Appointed Times of YHVH, all the feasts of the whole year formed a cycle of feast-days, arranged and centered around the Day of Trumpets, Yom Teruah. Because Yom Teruah is the first day of the seventh month of the year, the division of time was established into two groups on both sides of this appointed time, being in the spring and autumn.

Let us again take a look at the chiastic structures of Leviticus 23 used by the Author of the Scripture in order to bring our close attention to the importance of Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets. We read,

Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of Yehovah, which you are to proclaim as set-apart meetings, My appointed times, are these:

Shabbath (Lev_23:3)

A. Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread) (Lev_23:6-8)

B. Bikkurim (First-fruits) (Lev_23:9-14)

C. Chag Shavuot (Feast of the Weeks) (Lev_23:15-22)

D. Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) (Lev_23:23-25)

C. Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonements) (Lev_23:26-32)

B. Chag Sukkot (Feast of Booths) (Lev_23:33-44)

A. Yom HaShemini (The Eight Day) (Lev_23:36-39)

We notice that in the ABCDCBA-type of chiastic structure, topics A, B, and C are placed in a symmetrical, mirror-like order to lead to but also to emphasize the main concept in Leviticus 23: topic D, that of Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets.

This comes to tell us that Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, is a special time in the Creator’s calendar, although only two verses have been designated for it. Again, this is not to say that the other appointed times are of less importance. On the contrary all appointed times of YHVH are very important and unique as they have their own significance and prophetic meaning.

But this particular appointed time, Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, seems to have a central place in His calendar.

Why then so little has been said about it? Only two verses. The answer to this question we will seek in the next article of the series dedicated to Yom Teruah and the Messiah, but it suffices to say now that Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, is the most referred to day in the entire Scripture.

Commonly, Yom Teruah is translated as “the day of trumpets” and this is not necessarily a poor translation since “teruah” does mean a blowing of trumpets, but there is much more to it than that. The reader has noticed that we translated “teruah” as “shouting” as the literal meaning of the Hebrew word “teruah” means exactly that: a shouting. We read in Num 29:1,

And in the seventh month, on the first of the month, you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work, it is Day of Shouting (Yom Teruah) for you. (Num 29:1)

תְּרוּעָה, teruah, means a shout, a joyful sound, and it comes from the verb רוּעַ, rua, to make a sound or noise, commonly understood to mean a blast of a ram horn (shofar) or trumpets. On this day a shout is to be shouted as a remembrance appointed before YHVH, that is, to call the congregation for a meeting by a shouting.

The literal meaning תְּרוּעָה, teruah, can be seen in 1Sa 4:5-6 where it is used not less than three times.

And when the ark of the covenant of Yehovah came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. And when the Philistines heard the voice of the shout, they said, ‘What is the voice of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?’ (1Sa 4:5-6)

So, we see that “teruah” can be made not just by blowing of ram horns or trumpets, but also by the voice of shout of people. Therefore, we find that teruah is a general term for making a loud sound which can be accomplished with a horn, as seen in Lev_25:9, a trumpet in Num_10:10, a sound of cymbals in Psa_150:5, or even a shout of people as found in 1Sa 4:5-6.

For the prophetic insight of Yom Teruah, Day of Shouting, the reader may refer to the article “The Revelation of the Seven Trumpets: the Greatest Prophecy Ever Told, Few Can Hear.”

Yom Teruah shall be Shabbaton for you

Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first of the month, shall be a Shabbaton for you, remembrance of shouting, a set-apart gathering. (Lev 23:24-25)

In Lev_23:24-25 we read that on the first day of the seventh month, we are to have (1) Shabbaton and do no servile work (see also Num_29:1), (2) a remembrance of blowing of trumpets, (3) a set-apart convocation, and (4) to make offerings by fire for YHVH, which are minutely described in Num_29:2-6.

The reader has also noticed that we transliterated and not translated a specific Hebrew word, namely Shabbaton. Usually this word is translated as “a rest” and Jewish Publication Society translation makes no exception. We read from JPS 1917 edition where Shabbaton is translated as “a solemn rest”,

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation. (Lev 23:24 JPS)

But what is “shabbaton?” The Hebrew word שַׁבָּתוֹן shabbaton, is commonly translated as sabbatism, that is a Sabbath observance, a special holiday of rest, and also Sabbath. It comes from the noun שַׁבָּת shabbat, meaning “cessation” or “to completely stop, end, and terminate” any work.

Shabbat comes from the verb שָׁבַת shavat, which means to cease what one is doing. But for more information on the meaning of the Hebrew word shabbat, the reader may refer to the article from the series The Appointed Times of YHVH, The Appointed Times of YHVH—The Shabbat Part I and Part II. In short, Shabbat does not mean a rest; it leads to a rest by ceasing any work, but again it does not mean a rest.

So, what does “shabbaton” mean? The word “shabbaton” is used only in the Torah and appears eleven times with the word “shabbat” in the combination “shabbaton shabbat” or “shabbat shabbaton” in Exo_16:23, Exo_31:15, Exo_35:2, Lev_23:3, where it clearly refers to the seventh day of the week, or to the seventh Sabbatical year as in Lev_25:4-5. Or, as found in Lev_16:31 and Lev_23:32, “shabbat shabbaton” refers to Yom Kippurim, the Day of Atonements.

“Shabbaton” has appearance of its own as in Lev_23:24 referring to Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, in Lev_23:39 referring to the first day of the Festival of Sukkot, and to Yom HaShemini (The Eighth Day) which is a separate appointed time and a conclusion of all appointed times of YHVH.

Therefore, we see that the terms “shabbat” and “shabbat shabbaton” are interchangeably used for the weekly Shabbat, the seventh day of the week, and for the annual Shabbat, Yom Kippurim. While “Shabbaton” alone is used for Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, the first day of Sukkot, and Yom HaShemini (The Eight Day). These three autumnal appointed times have never been called Shabbats and we should also notice that the spring appointed times have never been called Shabbats and/or Shabbatons. Thus we see that the term “shabbaton” is very carefully chosen for a particular group of appointed times.

So, again, what does the word “shabbaton” mean? In short, we do not know; its meaning has been lost to us. We can only try to find its meaning in the immediate context where it is used, but as already stated above this word occurs only in the Torah and only as a reference to the appointed times of the Creator, but never in a context from which we can determine its literal meaning.

One thing is clear though: it is a noun derived from the word “shabbat” and since “shabbat” means a cessation or termination of any work, we may expect to find the same or similar meaning of “shabbaton.” In order to better understand the meaning of the Hebrew word “shabbaton”, we need to know that in Hebrew language there is no intensive form of the nouns or verbs as they exist in other languages. To make an intensive form of a noun or verb in Hebrew, we simply used the word twice.

For instance, simply put, when Apostle Shaul said “ani parush parushim” it sounded to his audience like “I am a Pharisee of the Pharisees” or the best Pharisee.

So, we should expect that the word “shabbaton” intensifies the word “shabbat” and if this is so, then the constructive form “shabbat shabbaton” means a complete, full, total cessation of any work. But, what does the very word “shabbaton” mean?

For more knowledge of what shabbat shabbaton means, please, refer to the article “Shabbat Shabbaton, Shabbat Beloved.

The seventh month set as a Shabbat to YHVH

Let us read again in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 29,

Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first of the month, shall be a Shabbaton for you, remembrance of shouting, a set-apart gathering. You shall do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to Yehovah.’ (Lev 23:24-25)

And in the seventh month, on the first of the month, you have a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work, it is Day of Shouting (Yom Teruah) for you. (Num 29:1)

In both verses we find the words עֲבֹדָה מְלֶאכֶת melechet avodah, translated as “servile work.” The first word is מְלָאכָה melacha, which means business, employment, and the second is עֲבֹדָה avodah, work of any kind, servitude, service. Together they mean “work under obligation”, “contractual work”, or a work of a servant, hence a servile work.

In other words, we are told not to work a paid work for someone else on Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, as opposed to the weekly Shabbat or Yom Kippurim when no work whatsoever is permitted. Therefore, on Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, work of other kind is permitted, i.e. a work for oneself such as cooking, cleaning for the solemn day, etc.

And yet, appointed times in which no servile work is permitted either, such as the Unleavened Bread and Shavuot, for instance, are not Shabbatons. Hence, we may conclude that Shabbatons such as Yom Teruah, the first day of Sukkot, and Yom HaShemini are in the lesser sanctification, that is set apart, as compared to Shabbat and Yom Kippurim, but are of a higher degree of sanctification, compared to the spring feasts.

This does not mean that the appointed times of YHVH, which He does not call Shabbats or Shabbatons are less important, not at all. YHVH has simply set different degrees of set-apartness for His days as far as work is concerned.

We should also notice that all autumnal appointed times of YHVH fall within one month: the seventh month. As we already studied, all of them are either Shabbatons (Yom Teruah, the first day of Sukkot, and Yom HaShemini) or Shabbat Shabbaton as Yom Kippurim. Therefore, it seems that the seventh month of the year, like the seventh day of the week, is set-apart as a Shabbat or Sabbatical month, by set-apart convocations, and the suspension of labor.

And most likely, YHVH has created His calendar in such a way to distinguish the first day of the seventh month, Yom Teruah, Day of Trumpets, from the first days of the other months of the year, since no other month begins with an appointed time.

Therefore, since the whole month has been set apart in the first day, as the beginning of the month, the whole month is raised to the status of being Shabbat to YHVH.

In the following articles, starting with Yom Teruah and the Messiah, we will study why the present author believes the Creator has set apart the seventh month as peculiar, but it suffices to say now that it is for reason, namely to secure to Israel the complete atonement for all her sins and rebellions which separated her from YHVH.

This significant character of the seventh month has been elevated by the shouting of trumpets by which Israel is to present herself loudly before YHVH on the first day of the month, that He may forgive His children their transgressions.

This article is a part of series of articles dedicated to the Appointed Times of YHVH and how His Messiah Yeshua has fulfilled them. For the rest of the set-apart days of the Creator, please, visit The Appointed Times of YHVH.

Navah
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.