Shabbat shalom, everyone! At least, it’s the Shabbat (Sabbath) here in Australia. Today, in addition to being the regular Shabbat, it is also (in Oz) the Feast of Trumpets, known in Hebrew as Yom Teruah. This feast is described in the Book of Leviticus and, as I pointed out in Does the Torah Still Apply? is still meant to be kept. Here are Leviticus‘ instructions on this:
And YEHOVAH spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘In the 7th month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of shofars, a set-apart assembly. You shall do no work of any kind, but you shall offer an offering made by fire to YEHOVAH. (Leviticus 23:23-25)
[Note: most translations read “no servile work”, but if you look up the Hebrew word for “servile work”, Strong’s H#5656 “avodah”, it actually means “work of any kind”.]
So, Yom Teruah is what is called a High Sabbath (or, if you’re a Messianic like me, a High Shabbat), a special Sabbath that doesn’t fall on the weekly one (and only falls on feast days). It is also a day of blowing shofars, which are rams’ horns. If the Temple were still here, we would be required to make a sacrifice to YEHOVAH.
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, hasn’t Feast of Trumpets passed?” Well, for most it has. However, I follow a different calendar from most. Most follow the lunar calendar – either basing the months on the sighting of the crescent moon, or on the conjunction of the moon. This, however,is contrary to Scripture, which never commands a lunar calendar, but actually commands a solar one:
I beheld the gates where the sun goes out, and the gates where the sun sets; … In the same manner it [the sun] goes out in the first month by the great gate. It goes forth through the 4th of those 6 gates, which are at the rising of the sun. And in the 4th gate, from which the sun rises in the first month, there are 12 open windows, from which issues out a flame, when they are opened in their proper periods. When the sun rises in heaven, it goes forth through this 4th gate for 30 days, and by the 4th gate in the west of heaven on a level with it descends. During that period the day becomes daily longer and the night nightly shorter to the 30th morning. On that day the day is longer than the night by a ninth part, and the day amounts exactly to 10 parts and the night to 8 parts. And the sun rises from that 4th gate, and sets in the 4th and returns to the 5th gate of the east 30 mornings, and rises from it and sets in the 5th gate. And then the day becomes longer by two parts and amounts to 11 parts, and the night becomes shorter and amounts to 7 parts. And it returns to the east and enters into the 6th gate, and rises and sets in the 6th gate 31 mornings on account of its sign. On that day the day becomes longer than the night, and the day becomes double the night, and the day becomes 12 parts, and the night is shortened and becomes 6 parts. And the sun mounts up to make the day shorter and the night longer, and the sun returns to the east and enters into the 6th gate, and rises from it and sets 30 mornings. And when 30 mornings are accomplished, the day decreases by exactly one part, and becomes 11 parts, and the night 7. And the sun goes out from that 6th gate in the west, and goes to the east and rises in the 5th gate for 30 mornings, and sets in the west again in the 5th western gate. On that day the day decreases by two parts, and amounts to 10 parts and the night to 8 parts. And the sun goes out from that 5th gate and sets in the 5th gate of the west, and rises in the 4th gate for 31 mornings on account of its sign, and sets in the west. On that day the day is equalised with the night, and the night amounts to 9 parts and the day to 9 parts. And the sun rises from that gate and sets in the west, and returns to the east and rises 30 mornings in the 3rd gate and sets in the west in the 3rd gate. And on that day the night becomes longer than the day, and night becomes longer than night, and day shorter than day until the 30th morning, and the night amounts exactly to 10 parts and the day to 8 parts. And the sun rises from that 3rd gate and sets in the 3rd gate in the west and returns to the east, and for 30 mornings rises in the second gate in the east, and in like manner sets in the second gate in the west of the heaven. And on that day the night amounts to 11 parts and the day to 7 parts. And the sun has returned and entered into the second portal in the east, and returns on those his divisions of his orbit for 30 mornings, rising and setting. And on that day the night decreases in length, and the night amounts to 10 parts and the day to 8. And on that day the sun rises from that portal, and sets in the west, and returns to the east, and rises in the 3rd portal for 31 mornings, and sets in the west of the heaven. On that day the night decreases and amounts to 9 parts, and the day to 9 parts, and the night is equal to the day, and the year is exactly as to its days – 364. (Enoch 72:3, 6-32 [71:3, 6-32 in some translations])
“And all the Israelites will forget and will not find the path of the years, and will forget the new months, and seasons, and Sabbaths, and they will go wrong as to all the order of the years. For I know and from henceforth I will declare it to you, and it is not of my own devising; for the book lies written before me, and on the heavenly tablets the division of days is ordained, lest they forget the feasts of the Covenant and walk according to the feasts of the gentiles after their error and after their ignorance. For there will be those who will assuredly make observations of the moon, how it disturbs the seasons and comes in from year to year 10 days too soon. For this reason the years will come upon them when they will disturb and make an abominable day the day of testimony, and an unclean day a feast day, and they will confound all the days, the set-apart with the unclean, and the unclean day with the set-apart; for they will go wrong as to the months and Sabbaths and feasts and jubilees. For this reason I command and testify to you [Moses] that you may testify to them; for after your death your children will disturb them, so that they will not make the year 364 days only, and for this reason they will go wrong as to the new months and seasons and Sabbaths and festivals, and they will eat all kinds of blood with all kinds of flesh.” (Jubilees 6:34-38)
[If you haven’t already, please see my article The Canon of Scripture, Part 2: Enoch and Jubilees for evidence that these two books were part of the original canon of Scripture.]
So, the gist of it all is, God’s calendar is SOLAR, determined by the spring equinox, with the 7th month (the first day of which is today – Yom Teruah) being determined by the autumn equinox. Which, back then at least, produced a calendar of 364 days, with 12 months of 30, 30, 31, 30, 30, 31, 30, 30, 31, 30, 30, and 31 days each.
But hang on, doesn’t the Bible give a lunar calendar?
And David said to Jonathan, “Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.” (1 Samuel 20:5, NKJV)
Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty.” (1 Samuel 20:18, NKJV)
Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast. (1 Samuel 20:24, NKJV)
So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” (2 Kings 4:23, NKJV)
Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,
At the full moon, on our solemn feast day. (Psalms 81:3, NKJV)
“And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 66:23, NKJV)
“Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.'” (Ezekiel 46:1, NKJV)
“‘On the day of the New Moon it shall be a young bull without blemish, six lambs, and a ram; they shall be without blemish.'” (Ezekiel 46:6, NKJV)
‘When will the New Moon be past,
That we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
That we may trade wheat?
Making the ephah small and the shekel large,
Falsifying the scales by deceit… ‘” (Amos 8:5, NKJV)
“… and at every presentation of a burnt offering to the LORD on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons and on the set feasts, by number according to the ordinance governing them, regularly before the LORD…” (1 Chronicles 23:31, NKJV)
“Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, for the continual showbread, for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the set feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.” (2 Chronicles 2:4, NKJV)
… according to the daily rate, offering according to the commandment of Moses, for the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the three appointed yearly feasts – the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. (2 Chronicles 8:13, NKJV)
The king also appointed a portion of his possessions for the Sabbaths and the New Moons and the set feasts, as it is written in the Law of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 31:3, NKJV)
Afterwards they offered the regular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all appointed feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the LORD. (Ezra 3:5, NKJV)
… for the showbread, for the regular grain offering, for the regular burnt offering of the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the set feasts; for the holy things, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God. (Nehemiah 10:33, NKJV)
“Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies –
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.” (Isaiah 1:13, NKJV)
“Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.” (Isaiah 1:14, NKJV)
“Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.” (Ezekiel 45:17, NKJV)
“‘Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the LORD on the Sabbaths and the New Moons.'” (Ezekiel 46:3, NKJV)
“I will also cause all her mirth to cease,
Her feast days,
Her New Moons,
Her Sabbaths –
All her appointed feasts.” (Hosea 2:11, NKJV)
Well, the problem is that the word translated as “new moon” – Strong’s #2320 “chodesh” literally means a (new) MONTH. Unlike our English word “month” (a derivative of “moon”), the Hebrew word “chodesh” bears no relation whatsoever to the word for “moon”, #3394 “yareach”. It does, however, bear some relation to the word for sun, #8121 “shemesh”. In other words, the “new moon” is a mistranslation for “new month”, with nothing lunar suggested. The word “moon” never appears.
However, a September 29 date for the Feast of Trumpets is later than even most Enoch calendar observers. Why is that?
Well, for one thing, I count the year as beginning at the Jerusalem equinox, rather than the international equinox. Jerusalem is the figurative and spiritual centre of the earth. Many, however, go by the international date.
Another thing is the discrepancy over the 364 day calendar back then, versus the 365 1/2 day calendar now. This is due to both Joshua’s long day (which extended the year by a day), and Hezekiah’s miracle with the sun dial going back (which extended the year by a further quarter of a day). (I highly recommend World in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky for more on this.) How does one resolve that?
Some simply do 364 days for 6 years, then add a week in the 7th, very similar to the lunar calendar’s problem which causes them to add another MONTH every 3 years or so. However, this means that the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is out 6 years out of 7, and we are specifically told in Scripture that we HAVE to celebrate this festival ON IT’S RIGHT DAY! It can’t be out of sync.
Others seem to believe that the extra day is simply the result of faulty clocks. However, no amount of faulty clocks can add an extra sunrise and sunset to the earth’s rotation around the sun!
Some suggest extending the day by 5 minutes or so. However, that again is not in line with the physical reality.
The reality is that the spring equinox – by which we are commanded to start the year – is a day and a quarter later than it used to be, and that if we are therefore to follow those instructions literally, we therefore have to slightly lengthen the year. That is what the instructions literally require in this day and age.
Also, in Jerusalem, the autumn equinox – by which the 7th month, and therefore Yom Teruah, is determined (according to Scripture) – now occurs 10 days later than it used to – meaning, if one is take God’s instructions literally (assuming one is using the Jerusalem rather than international equinox), the 6th month must be extended 10 days, thereby pushing Yom Teruah back 10 days. By extension (again, if one uses the Jerusalem equinox), the 12th month (Adar) must be shortened. It’s curious that the changes to the earth’s rotational cycle haven’t caused the month to be shortened enough so that Purim would have to be cancelled! YEHOVAH is in control.
[Be sure to let me know what you think of all this in the comments!]
So, what is the prophetic significance of Yom Teruah? It is believed to be a shadow of Judgement Day – the trial of the human race at the end of Yehoshua ha’Mashiach’s 1000-year reign and the beginning of Eternity. Oh, how I pray that I (and you) won’t hear the words “Depart from me, I never knew you, you worker of Torahlessness” on that day!