Leviticus 23:23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’”
Num 29:1 ‘And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets.’
The description of the feast of trumpets is very concise. It has several explicitly named key elements:
- On the first day of the seventh month you should have a Sabbath rest day and do no customary work
- The day is a memorial day
- … of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation or gathering. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets
Looking back at the previous feasts, a pattern starts to emerge. Passover and unleavened bread focuses upon the sin problem and God’s solution to the sin problem. Firstfruits and Weeks / Pentecost focuses upon the harvest, the life of the resurrected Christ and the work we are to do in this life as we attempt to follow His example.
THE ACTIONS OF GOD
A biblical search of the keyword “trumpet” and “trumpets” shows that trumpets are tied to the actions of God, calling a man’s attention to God’s actions, or a communal calling for God’s help and recognition of our need of God.
Exo 19:1 (God speaking the 10 Commandments) “When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.”
Exo 19:19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.
Exo 20:18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.
Num 10:8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations.
Jos 6:4 (Jericho) And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
Jos 6:20 (Jericho) So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
Jdg 7:22 (Gideon) When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.
1Ch 15:24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, were to blow the trumpets before the ark of God; and Obed-Edom and Jehiah, doorkeepers for the ark.
1Ch 16:6 Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests regularly blew the trumpets before the ark of the covenant of God.
2Ch 13:14 And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets.
A MEMORIAL DAY
The other element in the text of Trumpets is that this is also a Sabbath day of rest, a day of holy convocation to meet together, and that this is a memorial day. A day of memorial is a day of remembrance to honor past events or past actions. Tying these elements together suggests that trumpets should be commemorated by remembering the words of God from Mount Sinai, His many actions to heal, rescue, and restore His people and also His teachings, healings, and warnings given when Jesus came in person to this world.
The central theme is remembering God, His nature, and His actions which simultaneously can be labeled love, truth, life, and law. All of God’s actions throughout Biblical history have been messages of reform and rescue, acting as a wake-up call and a lifeline showing us the pathway out of the destruction of sin.
(Exo 25:31-39, 27:20) “You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. On the lampstand itself four bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower. And there shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece; all of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold. You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it. And its wick-trimmers and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils. “And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.
Birds in the Firmament of the Heavens & Sea Creatures
(Gen 1:20-23) Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
This next time period has many parallels to trumpets. This era starts with the census of the Jews returning from captivity as described in Ezra 2. The focus is upon the reforms of the remnant of God’s people after apostasy and a period of humiliation. Themes include the revival and reestablishment of worship (Ezra 3), reform from evil practices and those who commit them (Ezra 9-10), dedication to rebuild (Nehemiah), reading of the book of Moses and reform in Sabbath practices. (Neh 13)
The life of a mature Christian will sometimes backslide, atrophy, or remain static. The solution is to regularly and habitually focus upon God by looking again upon past actions of God in our lives, others lives, and in the histories of events described in the Bible. As we focus upon God, we learn our need of Him and learn to call on Him for help for all challenges of life.
(Return to the Sabbaths of Leviticus 23)