The Feast of Trumpets – Is it Really a Mystery?

This year (2019), the Feast of Trumpets takes place on September 30th, but only if the night before the crescent New Moon is visible over Israel. This is called the first visible Sliver. Previous to that day though, nobody knows for sure when exactly the moon will appear. We call it a Feast because it is one of the seven links in the Feast Pattern God established as beacons in His Salvation Plan. In fact, it is called “the Day of the Waking Trumpet Call”, [1] and in the Old Testament we see traces of this in the “Day of Jubilee” [2] where God calls on the people to completely unwind and blow the trumpet. But for what purpose? The answer to this mystery can be discovered in the Bible.

The Feast of Trumpets is the first Feast in the line of the three Fall Feasts. It is also the first upcoming Feast which has not yet been fulfilled. Remember, Jesus Christ brought to fruition the four Spring Feasts in detail and timing, but the three Fall Feasts are still in anticipation to be fulfilled through Him. To be even more specific: Christ will fully complete their meaning.


2019 2020 2021
Sept. 30 or Oct. 1 Sept. 19 or 20 Sept. 7 or 8

* Remark: The Feast starts the evening before, since each day start on the evening before that day. Because it is unsure on exactly which day the moon is visible, two days are set apart. Already in the Old Covenant, the people of Israel were instructed to celebrate all these festivals. Partly as a reminder of past events, but it always contained a forecast pointing towards the future fulfillment through Christ, although not yet known to them. When Jesus completed His ministry on earth, He fulfilled the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. He did so through His death as the Passover Lamb, and to go into death as unleavened bread [3] while arising from death as the First Fruits of those who had died… exactly on the calendarday of the Feast of First Fruits. [4] The Day of Pentecost was fulfilled fifty days later when the promised Holy Spirit was poured out on His Church or on His Bride [5]. These detailed fulfillments of these Feasts showed that Jesus was the One; only He could be the promised Messiah.

If the upcoming Feast of Trumpets is a foreshadow of a future major event in God’s Plan of Salvation, it will motivate us to investigate the underlying meanings which were given to this festival in the Old Covenant. For this foreshadowing can imply the key to the true meaning that will come to full disclosure in the future – when and where Christ will be central.  Meanwhile we can see within Jewish traditions three themes which are playing a vital role in blowing the trumpets at this Feast:

1. The Wedding of the Messiah

2. The Raising of the Dead

3. The Coronation of the King

Traditionally each of these themes is also symbolized by the blowing of a series of short or medium tones on the shofar. According to tradition, they together form 99 blows. This series is closed by the 100th tone, which is very prolonged. This tone is also called the Last Trumpet (Tekiah Gedolah) and is really breathtaking for the blower. Paul says that this Last Trumpet is blown when the Messiah appears before His Body; when the dead in Christ are raised and all believers are facing Him. Is that a coincidence? [6]

The Feast of Trumpets is actually quite unknown to most Christians. Perhaps you have never thought about it yourself and never thought of searching the sky to detect the crescent new moon, as an expression of alertness. Yet again: this is a festival in which Christ is central. In all aspect it is revealing to us the next heavenly event on God’s Calendar. There are Christians who do not have a clear picture of the rapture of the Church, other Christians find it uncomfortable as it might not fit their theological framework. But just as the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles reflect important future events in God’s Plan of Salvation, we need to investigate the New Covenant Meaning of this Feast of Trumpets. To say it differently: We want to examine the true future meaning of fulfillment in Christ. A sincere seeker cannot ignore this and wants to apply that meaning in his or her walk with Christ, because these three themes are emphatically mentioned in the New Testament. [7]


Different angle – the Wedding Ceremony

The search for the meaning of this Feast of Trumpets can also be done in another way, for example through researching the meaning of the Hebrew Wedding Ritual, which we describe extensively in chapter 6 of Wake Up!. Paul presents the Church as a bride and Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom. The steps in this covenant process are also a heavenly blueprint. Jesus refers to this several times and they give us a great deal of insight into the relationship between the Heavenly Bridegroom and the earthly Bride.

We refer to the book for a detailed description of an earthly wedding, but in short it means that the future bride and groom enter into a first covenant with each other and seal this with drinking the cup with wine as a sign of that covenant. They are not yet married at this time, but the groom is already “purchasing” the bride from her family at this stage and she is already the heir of her groom. After this ceremonial covenant, the groom will leave for a longer period of time, while the bride stays with her family [8].  He is going to prepare the wedding room in his father’s house as well as the house where the wedding couple will be living after the wedding week. This gives us insight as we discover clear parallels with the four Spring Festivals. The groom leaves, but he is leaving gifts behind for the bride and we recognize the parallel with Pentecost: the Bridegroom leaves the Bride in a covenant relationship with her and gives her gifts. We also understand the words of Jesus much better when He tells His disciples that He will no longer drink of the cup of wine until they are reunited in the Kingdom of His Father and He is telling them that he will go to prepare a place, a house with many rooms. Jesus is speaking like a Heavenly Bridegroom. [9]

As we have mentioned, after the departure of the Israelite groom he is invisible to the bride for a long time. We recognize here the many centuries the earthly Bride is already waiting for her Bridegroom. The ultimate spiritual unity only comes after He has come back for her and the Wedding has taken place in the Father’s House.As soon as the bridal room and the future home are ready, the groom may leave to get his bride, but it is traditionally the father of the groom who indicates when the time is ready. At that moment the trumpet sounds and the groom’s procession will come in the evening to pick up his bride for the wedding ceremony which is taking place in the house of the father of the groom. That means the bride is picked up from her family’s house and taken away. The bride is traditionally sitting on a special portable whereby her feet are not touching the earth. After the wedding ceremony they stay in the bridal room for seven days, and when they come outside again everyone present are witnessing them and the Wedding Feast is enjoyed.

Do you discover a future reality in this deep-rooted Hebrew tradition? In this pattern, the Feast of Trumpets exactly matches the moment when the groom comes to fetch the bride for the wedding. Will that also be the moment of the “Day of Jubilee”? When – while that Last Trumpet is sounding – the dead in Christ come alive again to meet Him in the air, together with those christians who are alive and remain until His coming, to be with the Groom for eternity. [10]

On the basis of all these patterns, while gaining understanding of the future fulfillment in Christ, can we still ignore the deep meaning of the Feast of Trumpets?  We ourselves cannot help but explain this feast within the framework of the pattern of the whole series of feasts and always look for the way in which Christ is central and thereby discovering the New Covenant meaning in it. After all, the Father does all things through Him.

Isn’t is obvious that – like the Spring Festivals were given their true meaning by Jesus Christ on the very calendarday of each celebration – in a similar way the mysterious Feast of Trumpets will have its full effect on a future calendarday of this celebration? This means that the Bride cannot wait for the Bridegroom to come, while she is preparing herself daily, meanwhile looking forward to being dressed in sparkle-white clothes. [11] 

(In the next newsletter we will also study the chronological process of the Day of Atonement in the light of the New Covenant)

[1] Lev. 23: 23-25, Num. 29: 1-6. In Hebrew: Yom Teruah

[2] Num. 29: 1

[3] Meaning: without having sinned.

[4] 1 Cor. 15:20

[5] See Joh. 14: 25-26

[6] 1 Cor. 15: 51-52, 1 Tess. 4: 14-18

[7] For example, see what the letters to the Thessalonians and the book of Revelation say about this.

[8] You can also say: the bride no longer belongs to her family, but still lives with her family. Do you see the parallel? We are on earth for now, but we are not of this world. (John 18:36).

[9] See, inter alia, Matt. 26:29, Mark. 14: 24-25[10] See, e.g., 1 Tess. 4: 15-17[11] See Rev. 3: 5. Only for those who are NOT awake will the Lord come as a thief, stands in Rev. 3: 3. It is remarkable that even today, on the date of this celebration (Tishri 1-2), the Jews are dressed in white or wearing a white kippa, without understanding its New Testament meaning.

The photo with this article was made by Wim van ‘t Einde