For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them. 25But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Today at sundown marks the beginning of the Biblical Feast of Purim.
To discover more about this amazing holy day and appointed time of the LORD, be sure to check out the video teaching on the Regeneration Radio YouTube page.
Before there comes upon you the burning anger of the LORD, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.
Today at twilight, the 14th of Nissan, Passover begins. Passover arguably is the most sacred of holy convocations among the people of Israel. The feast was established between the God and people of Israel to be observed throughout all generations and forevermore. It is the climatic moment of redemptive history when the Creator and King of the universe supernaturally broke out on the earth and entered the natural realm with awesome displays of power and supreme sovereignty.
The essence of Passover, however, is found not only in the power of God but also in His provision and grace. The heart of Passover is found in the blood of the lamb. Israel was covered (atonement) and redeemed by the blood of the spotless male Lamb — saved from the angel of death who would passover those who trusted God and obeyed His word.
Passover is that moment when the children of Israel were saved by God’s grace, through faith. By believing God’s Message and Messenger, Israel was delivered from the bondage of Pharaoh and from the power of the gods of Egypt. Having been baptized through the Red Sea, Israel emerged as a chosen race, a holy nation, and a people of God’s own possession.
The prophetic typology and spiritual realties of the Passover are immense and I have written a few posts on the subject here if you would like to dig deeper.
Today I would like to focus on the future fulfillment of Passover through the lenses of the end of the age and the age to come. The prophetic patterns of God are unmistakable. What’s been done will be done again. Every type and shadow of redemptive history will recapitulate and culminate in the last days. I do believe the Scriptures portray the glorious return of Christ and the final redemption of the righteous as a greater Second Exodus.
For example, the Scriptures portray a believing remnant God’s people who experience a greater Exodus in the last days, when the greater Moses — Jesus — will return to destroy the greater Pharaoh — Antichrist — and supernaturally deliver His people from the bondage of the Beast and from the angel of death — Abaddon?
Is it possible that the LORD will part the sea again or supernaturally provide for His people in the wilderness with manna from heaven and water from a rock? Is it possible that the LORD will supernaturally protect many of His people through the great tribulation — covering and sheltering them from the judgements that are coming upon the earth — just as Israel was sheltered and protected in the midst of Egypt while the LORD poured out the plagues?
Is it possible that King Jesus will lead His innumerable host from heaven and earth on a triumphant procession from Sinai to Zion?
Not only is it possible, it is Biblical. The Passover provides a prophetic glimpse into the supernatural events that will occur on a global scale at the end of the age before the Great Day of the LORD.
WE ARE SEALED BY THE BLOOD AND SAVED FROM THE DESTROYER
Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads … They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon —the Destroyer.
[Revelation 9:3-4, 11]
God’s judgments during the great tribulation will parallel the plagues of Egypt, only on a global scale. While many faithful witnesses are destined to suffer persecution, captivity, and even death at the hands of the Beast, there will be a considerable remnant who is supernaturally protected from the Beast and preserved through the plagues of death coming upon the earth.
In the 4th Seal of Revelation, we are told that the angel of Death rides across a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth” [Revelation 6:8]. This is otherwise known as the Destroying Angel — or the Destroyer — the evil entity that leaves a wake of destruction and desolation when unleashed upon mankind.
The Destroyer is the same angel unleashed upon Egypt on the night of the first Passover, and he soon will be unleashed again upon the whole earth. Only those covered by the blood of the Lamb will be spared.
For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.
The Destroyer will come up out of the Abyss — or Hades — during the trumpet judgments and lead a supernatural demonic horde to plague the earth and eventually kill 1/3 of mankind [Rev. 9:13-19]. Notice in Revelation 9, however, at the blowing of the 5th & 6th Trumpets, only those who do not have the “seal of God on their foreheads” suffer torment and death from the Destroyer.
Those who are covered by the blood of the Lamb and sealed with the Holy Spirit will be supernaturally protected once again from the plagues and the Destroyer. [see also Ezekiel 9]
A REMNANT WILL BE PROTECTED IN THE WILDERNESS FOR 1260 DAYS
The woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
After the LORD delivered Israel from Egypt through the Passover, He then led her on a wilderness journey in the desert and supernaturally nourished and protected her. Scripture tells us that this epic drama will unfold one again during the great tribulation, and I believe it will be witnessed on a global scale. As the devil launches an all-out assault against God’s people — Jew and Gentile alike — the LORD will intervene in a supernatural way to preserve a faithful remnant.
It is during this final wilderness journey that we can expect to see God reproduce many of the same miracles He worked during the Exodus. Manna from heaven. Water from the rock. Opening the earth. Even parting the sea.
But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
The prophet Ezekiel tells us that there is yet another future wilderness journey that will eclipse even the Exodus from Egypt.
As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. 34I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD.
WE ARE SAVED FROM THE COMING WRATH OF GOD
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
20Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. 21For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain.
The death of every firstborn in Egypt at the hand of the Destroyer was severe enough, but God’s decisive display of wrath against Pharaoh ultimately would drown the evil king and his army in the depths of the sea. When Israel emerged on the other side, her deliverance was complete, and the entire assembly shouted in victory and sang songs of deliverance to the LORD!
While God has used water in the past to carry out His judgments, His final return to earth will be in the form of an all-consuming fire. [see 2 Peter 3]
Just as Israel was saved and protected from God’s wrath against Egypt during Passover, so it will be on the Day of the LORD. Not only will believers receive their resurrected, immortal bodies at the end of the age when Christ returns to earth, but also God will direct His wrath exclusively on the ungodly and the wicked inhabitants of the earth.
Even the Bowl judgments in Revelation 16 — which culminate with the return of Jesus to earth — are reserved exclusively for the Beast, his kingdom, and those who have taken the mark of the Beast. The point is that God is quite capable of preserving His people through judgment and protecting us from His wrath while on the earth, just as He did through Passover and the Exodus.
The prophet Zephaniah says that the humble and righteous will be “hidden” from the wrath of the LORD on that great Day [Zephaniah 2:3], and Isaiah uses Passover language about God’s people entering their “chambers” and shutting their doors behind them until His fury has passed by.
But now thus says the LORD,he who created you, O Jacob,he who formed you, O Israel:“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are mine.2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you.3For I am the LORD your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.I give Egypt as your ransom,Cush and Seba in exchange for you.4Because you are precious in my eyes,and honored, and I love you.
WE WILL OBSERVE PASSOVER IN THE AGE TO COME
The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
Every Gentile believer who places faith in the Messiah of Israel — Jesus Christ — immediately is grafted in to Israel and receives a new national identity. We are adopted into the family of the God of Israel, granted citizenship in the Kingdom of Israel, incorporated into of the commonwealth of Israel, and commissioned as servants of the King of Israel.
Israel always has represented the unified people in covenant with the One True God from all nations throughout all time. When a stranger and sojourner came in faith and joined himself to the God and people of Israel, he was recognized and treated as a native born. Many Egyptians joined the company of Israel during the Exodus, and many more Gentiles became participants in the kingdom by faith — Rahab, Ruth etc… — and submitted to the laws and customs of Israel.
All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
Since the Day of Pentecost, untold millions of Gentiles from the “nations” now believe in the God of Israel and His Messiah Jesus, which means that the church did not replace Israel but rather has been grafted into the true Israel of God. Unfortunately, the church has mostly abandoned her religious heritage and forgotten her Hebrew roots.
Furthermore, when Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of Israel on earth, we will most definitely follow the laws of Israel and celebrate the feasts of the LORD that He gave to Israel. We will observe Passover in the Millennial Kingdom of Israel [see Ezekiel 45:21], as the people of Israel, giving glory to the God of Israel, and praising the Lamb who was slain from the Lion of the Tribe of Judah — Israel’s King.
Each of us will belong to one of the 12 tribes of Israel and inherit the land allotted to our tribe. Every year we will called up to Jerusalem to worship during the appointed Feasts of the LORD. We will forever commemorate the Passover in the Kingdom in the same way we observe the Lord’s Supper — in remembrance of the Great God and Redeemer of Israel who is mighty to save to the uttermost.
As the sons and daughters of Israel, we will forever rejoice in the Lamb and observe Passover for all generations.
My question is then, why don’t we faithfully keep it now?
I would strongly encourage every believer in Jesus Christ to discover new ways to keep Passover in this age, especially considering we will be keeping it in the age to come!
And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, 22as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
At sundown tonight, Jews all around the world will begin celebrating the Feast of Purim — also known as the Festival of Lots. Purim is a joyous two-day feast dedicated to remember God’s great deliverance of the Jewish people under the courageous leadership of Queen Esther and Mordecai.
The Biblical story of Esther is one of the most beautiful and dramatic narratives in all of Scripture. I strongly encourage believers to take the time to gather with friends and family and read the book of Esther out loud in commemoration of this appointed feast.
I have written extensively about the appointed feasts of the LORD, especially in regard to their prophetic fulfillment in the two advents of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you would like to learn more about the significance of these feasts and their prophetic implications, I encourage to read the following post — Feasts of the LORD .
As I recall the book of Esther, I am reminded of the many profound nuances and prophetic foreshadowings contained in the story and certainly won’t attempt to write exhaustively about them, yet I do believe there is an element of the story of Esther and the Feast of Purim that is worth our time and consideration.
I am speaking about the thin line that often exists between despair and deliverance. I am speaking about hope, and I believe the story of Esther serves as a powerful example of a greater reality for all of God’s people.
There are Dark Days Ahead
Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.
The Jewish people are all too familiar with suffering at the hands of their enemies. Haman’s evil plot to annihilate the Jews was not the first nor would it be the last. Haman, of course, was one of the many historical prefigurements of antichrist — Haman — Profile of Antichrist — who hated God’s offspring.
From Pharaoh to Jezebel to Nebuchadnezzar to Antiochus Epiphanes and Caesar, many antichrists have attempted to utterly destroy God’s people. Hitler and Stalin almost succeeded, while today the biggest threat comes from the terroristic, Islamic regimes in the Middle East.
After all the suffering and persecution both Jews and Christians have endured historically, it is almost impossible to imagine that the worst is yet to come. The Bible speaks of a coming time of great tribulation that has never been before nor will ever be equalled again. This is the final time of Jacob’s trouble and yet it will be universal in scope. [reference Jeremiah 30, Daniel 12, Matthew 24]
You mean worse than the Holocaust … Yes.
You mean worse than the slaughter of tens of millions under communism … Yes.
Just as Haman was bloodthirsty for the Jews and hellbent on destroying them all, the coming man of lawlessness — the Antichrist — soon will be revealed and will come with the most diabolical plan to systematically annihilate all of God’s people.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation …
When There is No Other Way
Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.
This verse may be the most profound in all of Esther. We are reminded just how close the Jews were from being destroyed by Haman. They had known their fate for a year. They had been praying and preparing for this day. It seemed like all hope was lost. There was no one to save them from the hand of their enemies. Certain death was inevitable.
And yet on the very day that the Jews were supposed to be annihilated, the reverse occurred. God stepped in and delivered His people from destruction. This isn’t the first time we have seen this pattern of God’s deliverance at the last minute.
When the children of Israel were fleeing from Pharaoh and his army, they were trapped at the Red Sea. As the wicked king was barreling down on them for the slaughter, God parted the sea at the last moment and made a way where there was no way. Turning the tides, God drowned Pharaoh and delivered Israel [Exodus 14].
As Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar, they were thrown into the midst of the fiery furnace [Daniel 3], and yet the LORD walked with them through the fire and delivered them against all odds.
So will it be during the great tribulation at the end of the age. When the devil seems to have prevailed and the Beast has conquered the world, it is precisely at that moment that God will deliver His people once and for all!
Our Blessed Hope
They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.25And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Just as God delivered His people and destroyed His enemies at the very last minute in Esther’s day, so Jesus will return in power and glory at a time when all other hope is lost. That is why only Jesus is our Blessed Hope and that is why we are waiting for His appearing at the end of this age to wage war against the wicked and deliver us from evil.
The Day of the LORD is the unique Day when Christ comes down from heaven to save us once and for all. It is day all of God’s people will finally find relief, just as the Jews found relief in the days of Ester. The Apostle Paul certainly had the story of Esther in mind when he wrote to the church in Thessalonica.
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,10when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
[2 Thessalonians 1:5-10]
Sorrow to Joy
The Feast of Purim is a dedicated time of rejoicing to remember “the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladnessdays for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.” [Esther 9:22].
In the same way, all of God’s people who overcome in Christ will enjoy that great banquet feast and wedding supper of the Lamb in the Kingdom of God when Jesus returns to take His rightful place on the throne as King of kings! It is the Day when the poor in spirit receive the Kingdom of heaven and will rejoice in the presence of God forevermore!
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.” [Isaiah 61:1-3]
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
Today at sundown [September 18, 2020] designates the new year on the Jewish civic calendar. This day is called Rosh Hashanah and initiates the two-day Feast of Trumpets.
The Feast of Trumpets is one of the seven appointed Feasts of the LORD, given to the people of Israel to observe faithfully each year as holy convocations [see Leviticus 23]. The Feast of Trumpets is called Yom Teruah — the Day of Shouting — and traditionally is known as the hidden day because it is the only feast day that must be determined by the observation of the new moon.
The Lord Jesus makes a direct reference to this “hidden” day by using a common idiom, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows” [Mark 13:32]. As witnesses were told to observe the night sky for the first sighting of the new moon, it was difficult to know the precise day or the hour the moon would appear, and yet they still knew when the day was near. The whole nation would be waiting and watching in quiet expectation of this “sign” in heaven, but once the moon was sighted, the people were to make a collective shout of celebration and begin the trumpet blasts to announce the new year!
The Feast of Trumpets is the first of three fall feasts that constitute the most solemn time of year for the Jewish people. The high holy day of Israel — Yom Kippur — follows 10 days after the Feast of Trumpets. For a more detailed account about the Feast of Trumpets, feel free to read the following posts — PART 1 & PART 2.
The Theophany at Sinai
When the LORD instituted His appointed feasts and commanded Israel to observe them each year, He had a two-fold purpose. First, the LORD wanted His people to always remember and never forget how He redeemed Israel from Egypt with mighty signs and wonders and entered into covenant with them on the holy mountain — Sinai.
Second, the LORD also designed the appointed feasts to be prophetic “dress rehearsals” by establishing patterns and symbolic pictures that provide detailed depictions of the coming Messiah. Once you understand the prophetic significance of these appointed feasts, you will be astonished to discover how intentional and precise God’s word truly is.
When the LORD initiated the Feast of Trumpets with Israel in Leviticus 23, He commanded them to sound the trumpet blast on the first day of the month. The significance of the trumpet blast would have been quite fresh for this original audience because of what Moses and the Israelites had just witnessed at Mount Sinai.
This amazing encounter is worth another look.
On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
The Feast of Trumpets is a dedicated day to remember the greatest manifestation of God ever witnessed on this earth. The trumpet blast was so intense that the people trembled and feared for their very lives in the presence of the God’s power and glory.
This was the day that the LORD God of Israel “came down” and showed Himself to His people. A day never to forget.
On the other hand, the theophany at Sinai serves as perhaps the most obvious allusion to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Just as the LORD gathered his people and came down on Mount Sinai in a cloud and with fire and lightening and trumpet blasts, so Jesus will return in like manner.
The language of the New Testament draws directly from this event to describe the return of Jesus from heaven to earth.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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. 31And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
The Battle of Jericho
Although there are so many types and shadows I could draw from, I want to close with another fascinating episode involving the trumpet blast — Jericho.
Many of us grew up singing the old Sunday school song, “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho … and the walls came a tumbling down.” But the truth is that it was the LORD Himself who gave Israel the victory at the stronghold of Jericho, and He did so in a most unconventional way. Once again, what may have seemed like a bizarre command from God at the time was actually another prophetic picture God was painting in real time to point us to the final Day of the LORD!
Let’s take a closer look.
First we can’t overlook the encounter that Joshua has with the LORD just prior to the battle at Jericho. I am persuaded that this was an encounter with God the Son — the Lord Jesus — in a pre-incarnate manifestation [see Colossians 1:15-17].
When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The commander of the LORD’s army is standing with His sword drawn and is clearly God in human form because of Joshua’s response in fear and worship. Now listen to what the LORD told Joshua to do.
And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
Once again, the theatrics are intentional for prophetic purposes. The LORD was taking Israel through a dress rehearsal that in many ways will mirror the Day of the LORD. The fighting men were commanded to march around the city for 7 days with seven priests leading the way before the ark of the covenant, blowing 7 trumpets. Then they were to march around the city 7 times on the 7th day.
And then upon God’s command the priests were to make a long blast with their shofars and all the people were to give a great shout! Then earth would quake and the walls would crumble and their enemies would be given into their hands for total destruction.
The imagery is astoundingly prophetic. First of all, Joshua is one of the most obvious types of Christ in the Old Testament — even sharing the very same Hebrew name with Yeshua. The symbolism beyond that is simply amazing. Consider …
The repeated use of patterns with the number 7
The role of the ark of the covenant
The sounding of the last trumpet
The shouting of the people
The walls of the city falling down
The wrath of God poured out on His enemies
Israel conquering and inheriting the Promise Land
Both the 7th Trumpet and 7th Bowl from the book of Revelation draws directly from this event.
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,17saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. 18The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
19Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.
Finally, we know that the Apostle Paul also makes a direct reference to the last trumpet on the last day when Jesus returns.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:50-53
So as we recognize and celebrate the Feast of Trumpets this weekend, may we first remember the mighty acts of God on behalf of His people, and may we also wait in hopeful expectation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when the final trumpet blast is sounded!
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
It all started in the Garden. God creating man in His own image. Man dwelling with God in perfect harmony. God made His home with man. Man in right relationship with his Maker. It was paradise.
Then paradise was lost.
Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden — separated from God. The entire creation was cursed. The consequences of sin and death ensued, and the earth — man’s home — became the devil’s playground.
Ever since man was expelled from the Garden, he has been trying to do one thing — find a way back to God.
That is the essence of the gospel. Man could never make his way back into right relationship with God on his own. Man could never merit the privilege of being allowed back into the presence of a Holy God. That is why God had to initiate the plan of restoration and provide the only way of salvation by coming to us.
When it comes to the final fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, we must be reminded that God’s people are awaiting the Day when the dwelling place [tabernacle] of God will forever be with man!
The Word Become Flesh
The entire gospel story of God’s redemption hinges upon the restoration of God and man through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. As Peter says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” [1 Peter 3:18].
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator — God the Son — the Word become flesh. The good news is that God, in His love for humanity, chose to leave His position in heaven, temporarily laying aside His divine glory, and came to earth to “tabernacle” among us in human form [see John 1:1-14]. That is why He is Immanuel — God with us — and He came to provide mankind the only way back to God the Father.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
After accomplishing the work of redemption through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus spent valuable time teaching His disciples about the kingdom of God. Just before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised to tabernacle with His people in a new and living way — through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
[1 Corinthians 3:16]
In one very real sense God’s kingdom already has come in the Person and work of Christ, and God’s Spirit dwells within every believer. But in another sense God’s kingdom is not yet because evil remains at work in this world and the restoration of all things is yet future.
So how and when will the Feast of Tabernacles be ultimately fulfilled?
The Second Coming of Christ
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
If we are following the prophetic timeline that God has established through His appointed Feasts, then we should remember that the first two fall feasts will be fulfilled at second coming of Christ. The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled when the last trumpet is sounded and Jesus returns from heaven to earth on the clouds in power and great glory [see Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18].
The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled, as all Israel will be saved when Christ returns to punish the enemies of God and trample the Antichrist and his hostile armies surrounding Jerusalem.
Immediately after the Lord Yeshua defeats His enemies and liberates Jerusalem, He will be exalted as King of kings and take His place on David’s throne in Zion to reestablish His Kingdom Israel on earth.
Zechariah provides a glimpse into this awesome Day.
“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him … And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.”
[Zechariah 14:1-6, 9]
Once King Jesus takes His place on the throne, God’s people will be invited to take part in the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will be the great victory banquet on earth celebrating the triumph of the King.
Jesus said … “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
The Millennial Kingdom and the Feast of Tabernacles
Once Jesus returns to the earth as King, He will rule and reign His Kingdom from Jerusalem, and the saints will rule with Him. Many have called this the Messianic Age, or the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. The Kingdom will be God’s way of bringing paradise back to the earth. God will live in physical, bodily form in the midst of the earth, and we will dwell in the presence of Almighty God.
The Millennium will be a literal 1,000 year period for Christ to reign as King and for God to dwell with man. It will give mankind the privilege to enjoy an age of unprecedented peace, prosperity, knowledge, restoration, longevity, blessing, and beauty.
Interestingly enough, the Feast of Tabernacles will play a prominent role during this unique Messianic Age, as the survivors of the nations will be required to present themselves before the LORD each year to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.
The saints of the Most High will rule and reign with King Jesus and the nations will be subject to Him. There are a variety of passages that portray this unique Millennial Kingdom, but for sake of time I will only share one more from the prophet Isaiah.
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” [Isaiah 2:2-4]
The New Heaven, Earth and Jerusalem
After the earth is allowed to experience this 1,000 year Sabbath rest of peace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Bible then describes a New Heaven and New Earth, where God makes everything new and dwells with His people forevermore. Everything that was lost in the Garden will be restored and recreated, and there will be no more evil, no more sin, no more death, and no more suffering.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.”
The Apostle John provides even more detail about the eternal state of man and God’s promise to tabernacle with mankind forevermore.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son’ … And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.”
[Revelation 21:1-7, 22-26]
As you can see, the Feast of Tabernacles symbolizes the ongoing, perpetual state of Holy God dwelling with man. Just as God commanded Israel to set aside the 8th Day of rest following the Feast of Booths, He has set aside an eternal 8th Day — the Day of New Beginnings of Recreation — which will be the everlasting life we will experience through and with Christ in the New Heaven and New Earth!
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles) to the LORD … You shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”
[Leviticus 23:33-34, 41-43]
The third and final fall feast is the Feast of Tabernacles — or Sukkot in Hebrew. Sukkot is the Hebrew word for booth or temporary shelter, which is why this appointed feast is also called Booths. The Feast of Tabernacles always falls on the 15th day of the seventh month of Tishrei, which is 5 days after the Day of Atonement.
In contrast to the Day of Atonement, which is commemorated with fasting, repentance, and solemn self-examination, Tabernacles is a joyous occasion with feasting, dancing, singing and worshiping the LORD. Tabernacles is to be celebrated for an entire week, followed by a special 8th day solemn day of rest called ‘Shemini Atzeret‘ (the eighth day of assembly). I will discuss the significance of this 8th day in my next post.
Like every other appointed Feast of the LORD, Tabernacles was designed by God to be an annual memorial of the past and a dress rehearsal for the future. It is no surprise that Tabernacles is directly connected to the most important event in Israel’s history — the Exodus.
After Yahweh redeemed the children of Israel from bondage and demonstrated His supreme power over Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt, He led Israel through the Red Sea on their way to the Promised Land. That journey lasted much longer, however, because of the people’s stubborn unbelief, which derailed them into a 40-year wandering in the wilderness.
During this wandering, the Israelites were forced to dwell in temporary shelters, or booths. The LORD also instructed Moses to build a Tabernacle for Him — the Tent of Meeting — which always was located in the center of the camp. All 12 tribes of Israel were to remain encamped around the Tabernacle of the LORD.
To remember the Exodus story, the LORD instructed the Israelites to build their own temporary shelters — or booths — and dwell in them for an entire week each year. As you might imagine, this appointed feast also points to a time when the LORD will once again dwell in the midst of His people.
The Tabernacle and the Temple
Once the Israelites settled in the Promised Land and the 12 tribes received their allotted inheritance, the Tabernacle lost some significance in the Biblical narrative. Although the Tabernacle was moved around some, it eventually landed in Shiloh, where a community of priests took care of it’s contents, especially the Ark of the Covenant.
Years later King David established Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and resolved to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Zion. The Bible says that David erected a replica of the Tabernacle to house the Ark, which the Prophet Amos called the “tent of David” [Amos 9:11].
Although the LORD would not allow David to build Him a permanent dwelling place, David’s son, King Solomon, was chosen by God to build the Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon dedicated the Temple on the 15th of Tishrei — the Feast of Tabernacles — and the Shekinah glory of the LORD filled the Temple [2 Chronicles 7:8-10]. For this reason, sometimes Tabernacles is also called the Feast of Dedication.
“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place.”
[2 Chronicles 6:18-20]
Jesus and the Feast of Tabernacles
Although we do not have Biblical clarity on the exact time of the birth of Jesus, I do not believe that December 25 is the best option. If God is true to task with giving prophetic significance to His appointed Feasts, then it would stand to reason that the Lord Jesus likely was born during one of them. The best candidate in my opinion is the Feast of Tabernacles.
John’s gospel doesn’t begin with the birth of Jesus, yet John does provide the most thorough theological explanation of how God the Son became the Son of Man.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made …
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
[John 1:1-3, 9-14]
Interestingly enough, the Greek word used for “dwelt” here in John 1:14 is skénoó — meaning to dwell as in a tent, encamp, have my tabernacle.
Taking this into consideration, John could be saying that the Son of God literally took on a human tabernacle, or body, on the actual Feast of Tabernacles.
For a more in-depth explanation of this concept, you can read here.
One of the complementary festivals that traditionally became associated with the Feast of Tabernacles was called the Festival of Lights. During this festival, four massive golden lampstands [50 cubits high] were setup in the Temple Compound and lit at sundown. The lampstands emitted light all over Jerusalem, which according to the Jewish rabbis, was symbolic of the God’s Shekinah glory that was promised to return to Israel with the coming of the Messiah.
It is interesting that Jesus appeared in Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths and caused great controversy with His teaching [see John 7-8]. With the massive golden lampstands serving as a backdrop, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” [John 8:12].
Tabernacles in the Future
As we will see next time, the Feast of Tabernacles has prophetic significance that will be realized after the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus! Stay tuned.
“For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come.”
As we discovered in my last post, the Lord Jesus partially fulfilled many of the specific elements of the Day of Atonement during His first coming. Yeshua is our Great High Priest who offered His own life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins and entered the heavenly tabernacle by His own blood, preparing the way for us to approach the throne of God with confidence.
It is Yeshua who now is the Mediator of a new and better covenant in His blood, as He is seated at the right hand of God the Father in the throne room of heaven, making intercession for His people. Yeshua effectively tore the veil that once separated Holy God from sinful man and provided direct access to God for all who believe in Him.
The richness of the redemptive work of Christ is profound, as books could be written about the depth of the atonement.
This post, however, will consider how the Lord Jesus will ultimately fulfill the Day of Atonement during His second coming. I believe you will find these connections just as significant and worthy of our attention.
MOSES and theSINAI CONNECTION
As mentioned in my last post, there is a traditional connection between the Day of Atonement and the Mosaic Covenant at Mount Sinai. Moses ascended the mountain met with the LORD for 40 days on two different occasions. Moses supposedly descended the second time — face a glow — with the tablets of stone on 10th of Tishrei, which is the Day of Atonement.
Keeping these two distinct mountain top events in mind, I do see a connection representative of the two comings of Jesus Christ. The first descent of Moses from the mountain found the nation of Israel rebellious sin and idolatry, which is synonymous with the condition of the Jews when Jesus came the first time.
At the second descent of Moses, the Israelites were not in rebellion, and Moses’ face shone with the glory of God. Moses also brought the instructions for the tabernacle at his second descent, which correlates with the Feast of Tabernacles. This second descent points to the events associated with the glorious coming of Jesus Christ in all His glory, lighting up the sky from east to west!
Interestingly enough, Jesus also experienced His own 40-day mountain experience. After being baptized by John, Jesus spent 40 days of temptation in the mountain wilderness. Immediately after His 40 days of temptation, Jesus retired to Galilee and began teaching in the synagogue of Nazareth, His home town.
Jesus was given the scroll of Isaiah and He read it before the people, saying that He was the fulfillment of that very prophecy [Luke 4:16-30]. But Jesus purposefully stopped reading the prophecy at a specific point.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, andthe day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
The Lord Jesus did not keep reading about the day of vengeance on this occasion because He came the first time to offer forgiveness and mercy through His own death on the cross. This dual prophecy in Isaiah contains elements of both His first and second coming, so Jesus was trying to make a point. He came the first time to offer grace. That’s why He stopped reading when He did. The Day of Vengeance is being reserved for His return to the earth.
The Day of Atonement — Yom Kippur — is the highest holy day of the year and therefore became known simply as “The Day.” Unlike all the other appointed feasts of the LORD, Yom Kippur is associated with mourning and judgment and affliction and repentance.
“For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people.”
The future fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is directly connected to great ant terrible “Day of the LORD,” or Judgment Day. It will be both a Day of Vengeance and also a Day of Deliverance.
Vengeance on the Nations
When Yeshua Messiah returns in all His glory, He will judge and repay all of His enemies by treading the winepress of the fury and the wrath of Almighty God. All the nations who align themselves with the satanic forces of darkness and the armies of the Antichrist will be brought to nothing on that Day.
The Day of Vengeance is a Day of blood, and it is Jesus Himself who will be leading this great judgment of the wicked nations who will be united against God in the last days. Consider some of the primary passages that convey this coming “Day!”
Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me. I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
“Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD. Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great.
Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”
“The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.”
“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.”
[2 Thessalonians 1:5-10]
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
To summarize, Jesus is our Faithful High Priest, dressed in fine linen, is coming from heaven to earth in wrath, but as He comes to judge the nations, His pure white vesture is spattered in the blood of His enemies. This is a picture of the high priest entering the Holy of Holies and sprinkling the blood on the altar, which would have spattered on his all white garments.
The Day of Atonement will not be completely fulfilled until the Lord returns on that DAY.
Vengeance on Azazel — the Scapegoat
There is another connection that must be worth mentioning here, and it is associated with the scapegoat that was banished on the Day of Atonement. The Hebrew word for scapegoat is Azazel, which is also associated with the name of the devil himself.
The prophetic shadow picture is that once the guilt of Israel was transferred to Azazel, then he was banished to the wilderness to die, removing the guilt from God’s people. This is connected to God’s final judgment of Satan and the principalities of evil who are forever guilty for introducing sin and rebellion to mankind.
According to the Book of Enoch, Azazel is one of the leaders of the rebellious Watchers in the time preceding Noah’s flood [Genesis 6:1-5]. Azazel taught men the art of warfare and weaponry and revealed to the people the secrets of witchcraft and corrupted their manners, leading them into wickedness and impurity until at last he was bound hand and foot by the archangel Raphael and chained to the rough and jagged rocks of [Ha] Dudael (= Beth Ḥadudo), where he is to abide in utter darkness until the great Day of Judgment, when he will be cast into the fire to be consumed forever.
“The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.”
[1 Enoch 10:8]
The Bible confirms the Enoch account in 2 Peter and the Epistle of Jude.
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.”
[2 Peter 2:4]
“The devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
The condemnation of the scapegoat, or Azazel, was a reminder to God’s people year after year that the LORD would ultimately judge the devil and the spiritual forces of wickedness on that Day.
Time of Jacob’s Trouble
The day of Atonement is known for ‘the affliction of the soul’. Thus the Israelites would fast on this day and abstain from anointing their body and from cohabitation. The true affliction of the soul will come during the time of Jacob’s Trouble — the Great Tribulation — when God’s people will suffer persecution and affliction at the hands of Antichrist.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.”
Although it is my firm conviction that all the saints (the church) will be present through this Great Tribulation, it will be a unique time of testing and trouble for the Jews. Historically, the Jews have suffered more than any other people group in the world, and the time of Jacob’s trouble will be one final period of testing for the Jews. God, however, will use this great tribulation to bring them to true repentance so that they will never again rebel against the LORD.
“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it … And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.“
[Zechariah 12:2-3, 10]
The time of Israel’s affliction will end when all the tribes of the earth see Yeshua coming on the clouds in great glory and realize that they have rejected their own Messiah.
All Israel Will be Saved — National Redemption
The Day Atonement more specifically is associated with the redemption and restoration of the entire nation of Israel. Whereas Passover emphasizes individual salvation, Yom Kippur is the Day of corporate salvation, as the high priest would offer an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all the people.
The future fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will also be a national salvation of all the survivors of Israel. As the Jews endure the Great Tribulation and God begins to bring them repentance through the time of Jacob’s trouble, all of Israel will be saved in the end at the second coming of Christ.
Romans 11, Zechariah 12, Jeremiah 30,
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.”
Alas! That day is so great, there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it.”
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
“And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.”
The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is the holiest appointed feast of the year for the people of Israel. Once a year, the high priest of Israel was to consecrate himself before the LORD on behalf of the nation by entering the inner sanctuary of the temple and sprinkling blood over the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. The sins of the entire nation were confessed before God, as the people sought mercy, forgiveness and restoration.
In studying the Day of Atonement, I have come to discover significant connections that are rich with meaning. Once I started pulling on this particular thread, it began to unravel deep prophetic mysteries that I had never seen before.
In short, this holy convocation — or annual rehearsal — provides the most comprehensive typological shadow picture of the Day of the LORD — that great Day of judgment for the whole world.
This initial post will attempt to lay the groundwork and Biblical backdrop of Yom Kippur.
Moses on the Mountain
Once the Feast of Trumpets was announced on Tishrei 1, the LORD instructed the children of Israel to enter into a 10-day period of self examination, fasting, fear, and trembling — called the days of Awe. These 10 days of repentance were to prepare the people of Israel for the Day of Atonement, which was appointed on the 10th of Tishrei.
Jewish tradition historically has associated the 10th of Tishrei as the very day Moses came down from Mount Sinai the second time after spending 40 days mediating between the LORD and the people. God’s anger burned against the children of Israel for their idolatry and rebellion with the golden calf, and Moses knew that something had to be done.
The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
When Moses came back down the mountain from having met face to face with the LORD, his face was shining before the people.
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.” [Exodus 34:29]
From that point, Moses primarily would speak with the LORD in the tent of meeting — or tabernacle — and after communicating God’s word to the people with his face aglow, he would place a veil over his face.
The Tabernacle and Holy of Holies
As the children of Israel camped in the wilderness, the LORD instructed Moses to build an intricate tent for His own unique dwelling place in the midst of the people. The tabernacle was called the tent of meeting because it was the one place that the the LORD of glory would visit to meet with Moses.
The tabernacle was divided into three parts, and the inner sanctuary was concealed with a curtain and was the most holy place — the Holy of Holies. The inner sanctuary contained the ark of the covenant [which contained the 10 commandments] and the mercy seat, where the blood from the atoning sacrifice was to be sprinkled on behalf of the people.
Once a year, the high priest would consecrate himself and enter the Holy of Holies wearing only white garments to make atonement for the entire nation. If the high priest failed to approach the LORD in total observance to the law, he would be killed on the spot.
The Scapegoat and the Crimson Cord
The 16th chapter of Leviticus provides the detailed instructions for the Day of Atonement. The high priest was to sacrifice a bull for his own sin before entering the inner sanctuary, and then he was to bring a censor of burnings coals from the altar and incense to cover the mercy seat while applying the blood.
Then the high priest was to take one of two goats and cast lots for them. One goat was to be sacrificed on behalf of the entire nation and the other goat was to be the scapegoat — or Azazel in Hebrew. The first goat was to be the atoning sacrifice, which temporarily satisfied God’s righteous anger toward the sins of the people. This conveyed the act of propitiation, where a substitute is sacrificed on behalf of another to punish sin and appease the wrath of God.
After making atonement for himself and the people, the high priest then was commanded to place both hands on the scapegoat and confess all the sins of the people over the goat, which effectively transferred the guilt onto the scapegoat and removed the guilt from the people. This conveyed the act of expiation, where guilt is transferred onto another and removed far away from the guilty. The scapegoat was then driven out into the wilderness, where eventually it would be forced off a cliff.
Jewish writings later reveal that the priests would tie a crimson thread both to the scapegoat and the door of the temple in order to determine if the LORD had accepted the sacrifices. If both crimson threads turned white, then the people took that as a sign that the sacrifices had been acceptable in God’s sight.
Interestingly enough, according to the Jerusalem Talmud, during the 40 years between the death of Yeshua and the destruction of the Temple (A.D. 70) the crimson cord never turned white.
“Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open.”
[Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157]
Jesus Partial Fulfillment of Yom Kippur
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption … Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
[Hebrews 9:11-12, 25-26]
The book of Hebrews elaborates on the role of the high priest and the Day of Atonement, specifically how the Lord Jesus has entered into the very presence of God in heaven by His own blood on our behalf. When Jesus died once and for all as the atoning sacrifice for sin, the veil in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom, exposing the inner sanctuary. God was communicating a message that sinners now have direct access to the Father through the Son — our Great High Priest.
The Day of Atonement does find its partial fulfillment in the first coming of Christ, as He has made propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world. The annual rehearsal on Yom Kippur was merely a shadow picture of the good things to come.
“For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near … Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
[Hebrews 10:1, 19-22]
The Day of Atonement, however, will not ultimately be fulfilled until Christ comes a second time to bring judgment on His enemies, transfer the guilt of sin upon Azazel (the devil), forgive and save the nation of Israel, and completely pour out his wrath upon the wicked.
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him … But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.”
[Hebrews 9:27-28, 10:12-13]
Stay tuned for my next post — part 2 of the Day of Atonement.
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
In the same way that the Lord Yeshua precisely fulfilled the spring Feasts of the LORD in His first coming, He will fulfill the remaining fall feasts at His second coming. The Lamb of God will return as the King of Glory to crush God’s enemies and establish His Kingdom on earth.
In my trumpets part one post, I discussed how the Israelites were to blow the trumpets on the first day of the seventh month, primarily as an annual reminder of when Yahweh appeared before Moses and the people at Sinai. As we will see, Sinai is the predominant typological event from the Old Testament that corresponds to the return of Christ to the earth. The LORD also prescribed other general occasions for the trumpets to be sounded in Israel — all of which have prophetic significance.
All in all, many of the prophetic passages of Scripture that describe the second coming of Christ and the Day of the LORD intentionally use identical language involving trumpet blasts, angelic battle cries, and loud shouts from heaven. As we will see, this is not by accident.
Old Testament Depictions of the Day of the LORD
Before I get to the obvious New Testament passages that correspond to the future fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, I would like to examine a few prophetic passages from the Old Testament. These prophecies are concerning the great Day of the LORD, which always has been connected to the coming of Messiah the King at the end of the age to destroy the enemies of Israel.
“The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
“Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near.”
“Then the LORD will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.
The Prophetic Teachings of Yeshua
Beginning with the prophetic words of Yeshua Himself and working through the Apostles, it becomes very evident that the LORD established the Feast of Trumpets so that His people would rehearse each year the dramatic events of God’s future arrival to Zion. We must not forget that these appointed feasts are “holy convocations,” or practice runs in anticipation for the real thing.
As Jesus taught His disciples the details surrounding His second coming on the Mount of Olives, He used language that would have been very familiar to devout Jews who were anticipating the coming Kingdom of God.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
The “loud trumpet call” that Jesus referred to would have provoked several images in the minds of the disciples. First, the disciples would have remembered the LORD coming down in power and glory at Sinai. Just as Yahweh descended upon the earth at Sinai in flaming fire and thick clouds with trumpets blasting [Exodus 19], so Yeshua will return to the earth in like manner. Only this time, every eye will see Him coming and all the tribes of the earth will mourn at the sight of the Son of Man [see Revelation 1:7].
The Feast of Trumpets undoubtedly would have been in the minds of the disciples, as they had rehearsed this climatic event every year with the sounding of trumpets and with great shouts of joy in anticipation of the King of Glory. Jesus reinforces the imagery of the Feast of Trumpets by using language that uniquely corresponds to this holy day.
We must remember that the Feast of Trumpets was sometimes called the “Hidden Day” in Israel because it could only be determined by the sighting of the new moon on the first day of the seventh month. As the appointed time drew near, the people of Israel would wait and watch throughout all hours of the night to ensure that they did not miss the appearance, or “sign,” of the new moon.
Because of the uncertainty of when the first sign of the moon would appear, no one in Israel could know or predict the exact “day or the hour” when the Feast of Trumpets would arrive. Only the LORD in heaven had perfect knowledge of the precise day and hour.
Only in light of the Feast of Trumpets do the words of Jesus make sense. Unfortunately, many have misinterpreted His words to imply that the second coming could happen without notice at any moment, but that is NOT what Jesus was communicating at all. As a matter of fact if we read His words carefully, He is teaching the exact opposite.
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates …
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only …
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
[Matthew 24:32-33, 36, 42-44]
Notice that Jesus, using the exact “Feast of Trumpets” language, is teaching His followers to be watchful, ready, and prepared for His return. He clearly says that those paying attention will be able to recognize the signs leading up to His return and therefore will know when His second coming is near, “even at the very gates.”
Like the anticipation of the new moon appearing on the horizon, we are to wait and watch for the appearance of His coming. We may not know the exact hour or even the day, but WE WILL KNOW WHEN HIS RETURN IS CLOSE AT HAND! If we are willing to stay awake and pay careful attention to the signs, we will not be caught sleeping like the rest of the world in darkness, but we will be prepared to meet Jesus in hopeful expectation.
The Prophetic Teachings of Paul
The Apostle Paul builds on the teachings of Jesus and uses the same language to describe the “glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ” [Titus 2:13]. As you will see, the trumpets again play a prominent role in Paul’s prophecies.
“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power … I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
[1 Corinthians 15:21-24, 50-52]
Immediately one can see that Paul is connecting the coming of the Lord with the “last trumpet“, which was the longest and loudest trumpet blast during the culmination of the Feast of Trumpets. Paul also corresponds the sounding of the last trumpet with three simultaneous events.
The Return of Jesus at the end of the age
The Resurrection of the righteous
The Rapture of the church
Paul provides even more detail in his letter to the Thessalonians.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
[1 Thessalonians 4:13-18]
Again, Paul’s language draws on two primary sources — Moses and Jesus. This description is almost identical both to the appearance of Yahweh on Mount Sinai and to the words of Jesus on the Mount of Olives. Paul is prophetically illustration the events surrounding the second coming of the Lord.
Like at Sinai, the Lord will descend from heaven in a cloud and flaming fire [see 2 Thessalonians 1:8] with the battle cries and shouts from heaven and the blast of the trumpet of God! He is coming back to the earth in the same way He left [Acts 1:11].
Paul also draws from the language of Jesus, who described the great gathering together of His elect from all over the earth at His return [Matthew 24:31]. Just like the trumpet blasts were to summon the children of Israel to gather together before the LORD, we too will be caught up together at the last trump to meet King Jesus as He is descending to the earth in power and great glory. Here again we see the trumpet of God connected to the simultaneous Return of Christ, Resurrection of the dead and Rapture of the church.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
So much more could be said about the future fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets and the Return of Jesus Christ. But for the sake of time, I would like to at least mention the testimony of Jesus to the Apostle John concerning the final apocalypse — or revelation — of the Lord.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ remains one of the most mysterious and misinterpreted books in all of holy Scripture. I do believe that the key to understanding Revelation is to read the 7 seals, trumpets and bowls — not in strict chronological order — but rather as partially overlapping and culminating together at the coming of Jesus and the battle of Armageddon.
For example, the 6-7th seals, 7th trumpet and 7th bowl all are describing the same event — the return of King Jesus. All three culminate with similar Sinai language as well, further validating that they are referring to the same event.
7th Seal — “there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake” [Revelation 8:5]
7th Trumpet (Last Trump) — “there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail” [Revelation 11:19]
7th Bowl — “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake” [Revelation 16:17-18]
It only makes sense to harmonize the overlapping descriptions and understand them as the same event. There is only one second coming of Jesus Christ to earth — not multiple, but there are at least five different descriptions of the return of Jesus in the book of Revelation [Revelation 6:12-17, Rev 11:15-19, Rev 14:14-20, Rev 16:15-21, Rev 19:11-21].
Obviously Jesus doesn’t return five separate times! These are all depicting the same event from different perspectives. For the sake of our study today, let’s finish by looking at the 7th Trumpet, or Last Trump, in Revelation 11.
At the blowing of the 7th Trumpet, the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdom of Christ, as He begins to reign. The Lord pours out his final judgement in wrath upon His enemies and rewards the saints who are to inherit the kingdom.
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.”
Having rediscovered the prophetic purposes of the spring Feasts of the LORD and the precision with which Christ has fulfilled them in His first coming, I now will turn my attention to the three remaining fall feasts. Although some authors have proposed a correlation between the fall feasts and the first coming of Christ [i.e. Yeshua most likely was born on or around the Feast of Tabernacles], my focus here will remain on the future fulfillment of the fall feasts in connection to His second coming.
The first of the fall feasts traditionally is known as Yom Teruah — the Day of Shouting. The Hebrew word, teruah, is associated with sounding an alarm, shouting the battle cry, making an announcement, and blowing the trumpets. The LORD declared the Feast of Trumpets to begin at the first sighting of the new moon on the seventh month, which means that the appointed time of this feast is unique from all other Feasts of the LORD.
Whereas all other feasts are designated on specific days of the Hebrew calendar, no one precisely knows “the day or the hour” of the Feast of Trumpets because it is determined each year by the appearance of the new moon. As the sixth month draws to a close, the people must wait and watch vigilantly in anticipation for the first sign of the moon’s sliver. Because of the uncertainty of knowing the “day or hour,” Yom Teruah traditionally became a two-day feast to ensure that the people did not miss it.
Once the new moon was sighted, the heralds were to report to the high priest, who validated the sighting on the testimony of two witnesses. Once validated, the high priest commanded the blowing of the shofar from the Temple Mount, which initiated a series of trumpet blasts and celebrations of shouting and praising God throughout the land of Israel. The longest and strongest trumpet blast finally would bring it all to a close, which was the “last trump.”
The LORD commanded His people to observe a special Sabbath, a solemn rest, on this holy day, specifically as a reminder of the greatest day in Israel’s history. The Feast of Trumpets was established as an annual memorial commemorating the day when the LORD descended from heaven in flaming fire onto the top of Mount Sinai to reveal Himself in glory to Moses and His people.
A Memorial for Sinai
The Feast of Trumpets corresponds to the greatest theophany, or divine appearance, that mankind had ever seen. It was at the base of Mount Sinai in the desert of Northwest Arabia that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was made manifest in power and great glory before the children of Israel. His presence at Sinai was so awesome to behold that the people begged of Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die” [Exodus 20:19].
The blowing of trumpets were to serve as a reminder of that most unique and unforgettable day. Let’s take another look at the Biblical account of God’s appearance at Sinai.
“On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”
Notice that these trumpets blasts were of divine origin, sounding from heaven, to announce the coming of the LORD to the earth to meet with His people. The trumpet blasts grew more intense the closer God’s appearance became, causing the people to fear and tremble at His sight.
While the theophany at Sinai remains to be the primary event in connection to the Feast of Trumpets, other purposes later were prescribed for trumpets, all of which are interesting in their own right. As you will see, the blowing of trumpets retains significant purpose in Israel’s past and also prophetic fulfillment in the days to come.
The Silver Trumpets and the Shofar
In Numbers chapter 10 the LORD commanded Moses to fashion two silver trumpets for multiple purposes.
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp … And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets. The trumpets shall be to you for a perpetual statute throughout your generations.
And when you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I am the LORD your God.”
[Numbers 10:1-2, 8-10]
Numbers 10 provides the context for how trumpets were to be used among the children of Israel. Trumpets were to be sounded …
To summon and gather God’s people together and also for breaking camp.
For important public announcements (literally evangelism).
To sound the alarm, or battle cry, for war.
To summon God’s presence and power for battle to overcome the enemy.
To initiate the joyous celebrations associated with the appointed feasts and new moon festivals.
Beyond the silver trumpets, the LORD also commanded Israel to use the shofar — or ram’s horn — in similar ways. Perhaps the most famous use of the shofar was during Joshua’s battle at Jericho.
“Have seven priests carry seven rams’ horns in front of the ark. Then on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the horns. And when there is a long blast of the ram’s horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the wall of the city will collapse, and the people will go up, each man straight ahead.”
Other Days Associated with Trumpets
Beyond Sinai, the silver trumpets and shofars, other days traditionally are recognized by the Jews to correspond with the Feast of Trumpets. It is noteworthy to list them here.
The Head of the Year — Rosh Hashanah — The Feast of Trumpets announces the beginning of a new year on the Jewish civil calendar.
The Day of the Resurrection — The Feast of Trumpets is associated with the day of the awakening blast, as Isaiah says, “Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy …” [Isaiah 26:19].
The Day of Judgment — Yom Hadin — Jewish tradition says that the Feast of Trumpets also will be the day the books are opened judgment is rendered prior to the age of the Messianic Kingdom.
Day of Coronation of the King — Yom Hamelech – The trumpets were to be sounded at the coronation ceremony of a new king, as we read, “There Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, ‘Long live King Solomon!‘” [1 Kings 1:39]
As we will see next time, when one understands the purpose of the Feast of Trumpets in Israel’s past, he will be more likely to understand the greater fulfillment of this fascinating feast in the future, when the Lord Jesus returns in all His glory. The Feast of Trumpets will initiate the Day of the LORD — that great and dreadful Day — when the King returns home to claim what is rightfully His!