by Beth Piepenburg
Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets, was the sixth moedim, or appointed time, and was established by Moses as commanded in the Torah. Once the new moon was sighted for the seventh month, Yom Teruah would begin. This seventh month, called Chodesh Shebiy’iy, opened with the sound of trumpets announcing the coming of Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles later in the month. Celebrated by the blowing of trumpets and shouts of praise, the purpose of Yom Teruah pointed to the signs in the heavens, to the future Messiah, and to the importance of the other appointed times of the Hebrew calendar.
Besides beginning this seventh month, the new moon is located in the constellation of Virgo. Who is Virgo, but the Virgin, and is known as Bethulah in the Hebrew tongue. She is described as having in her left hand a sheaf of barley, and in her right hand she holds the branch. Both symbols represent the Messiah. But why Virgo?
In 3 BC, the angel Gabriel was sent to a young virgin named Mary. This same Gabriel had been sent to Daniel centuries before to announce the seventy sevens, the future year of the atonement of Christ. Now, Gabriel was being sent to Mary to announce the birth of the Messiah. Precisely, on this date of Yom Kippur, she conceived the Son of God by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. With Jesus being conceived in September, his birth would take place on an insignificant day during the next spring, and celebrated by the Wise Men on the 25th of December. These facts can be generally substantiated historically and astronomically.
While the moedim, or appointed times, pointed back to the events of the Exodus, they served as foreshadows of events pertaining to the Messiah. The spring moedim played the melody of the short time frame leading up to events of Cavalry and Pentecost. The autumn moedim played the chord of the major events of Christ: the Annunciation, Redemption, and the Grand Finale. Yom Teruah played the first note of the autumn moedim, sung out by the announcement of Gabriel concerning the Son of God.
Moses had established Yom Teruah as a special day for blowing the trumpets and the shouting of praise. Not only was Yom Teruah a day of rest, but every Jewish male was required to participate at the location of the Tabernacle. Because Yom Teruah lacked significance to anything particular in Jewish history or its importance had been lost, the day was replaced with Rosh HaShannah by the Rabbis during the Babylonian captivity. Rosh HaShannah was the first moedim, or appointed time, and was celebrated in early spring as the Hebrew New Year. By moving its date to autumn, the Jewish Rosh HaShannah could be consolidated with the timing of the Babylonian Araḫ Tišritum, producing a mild religious syncretism. However, this change overshadowed the importance of Yom Teruah.
Although the melding of Yom Teruah and Rosh HaShannah was influenced by Babylonian culture, the adjustment appears not to have influenced the Jews into pagan worship. To this day, Jews celebrating Rosh HaShannah in autumn do so in genuineness of heart towards God. However, the changing of the calendar was deceptive in itself. How? If each moedim or appointed time was an indicator of what God would be doing in respect with the Messiah, then tampering with the Mosaic calendar would hinder the Jewish people from knowing the purposes of the true times and seasons.
Celebrated on the first day of the seventh month, Yom Teruah was dedicated to blowing the trumpets to announce the important event of the Savior coming to Earth as seen in the heavens and prophesied in Scripture. Let us continue to rejoice as Mary did on this day.
Copyright by Beth Piepenburg, 2014. All rights reserved.