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Appointed Times: The Fall Feasts

The term, “the LORD’S appointed times,” carries relevance. If God has appointed them, then there are many things He wishes to reveal about Himself through them. In fact, a study of the feasts of Leviticus 23 shows that God does have much to unfold about Himself, and much to offer His children in any century.

 

Rosh Hashanah

“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation’” (Lev 23:24).

God’s name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, “the day of blowing.” Not merely a day of blowing, which certainly abounded on Rosh Hashanah, but specifically a reminder. The sound of the trumpet, or by practice, the shofar2, was to act as a memorial for the people of God. A memorial of what?

Our answer lies in another book of Moses, “Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God” (Numbers 10:10).

In other words, the shofar or ram’s horn, was to be blown so that the people would remember their Sovereign. The Hebrew sages from long ago have taught that it is on this day—set apart, sanctified, and ordained by God—that His children remember his Kingship.

In the synagogues, it is taught from Talmud, a sixth century codification of Jewish oral tradition and history, “The Holy One, Blessed in He, said … on Rosh Hashanah recite before Me verses that speak of God’s sovereignty, remembrance of all events and shofar blasts: sovereignty so that you should make Me your King; remembrance so that your remembrance should rise up before Me for your benefit. And through what? Through the shofar.”3

God’s sovereignty might seem a simple matter, a concept a small child can grasp. Yet, for millions of people on this earth who do not yet know Yeshua as their Messiah, it is foolishness4 with no basis in their perception of reality. Though we of the faith can look at this event, Rosh Hashanah, the festival of blowing the shofar, and know that a day is coming when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess the Almighty’s Kingship5. “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 will be changed” (1 Co 15:52). “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (Mt 24:31).

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Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 2000

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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