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The Annual Feasts of the 7th Month
Part 1 - Tishrei 1: The Feast of Trumpets
     And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh, Lev. 23:23-25.
     The House of Judah refers to the first day of the seventh month as, “Rosh Hashanah,” which means the “head, or first of the year.” The phrase, “Rosh Hashanah,” IS found in Scripture. But, it is NOT found in reference to the Feast of Trumpets. Let’s see where it is found.
     This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you, Exodus 12:2.
     Inserting the Hebrew words for “month(s)” we read,
     This HaChadesh shall be your Rosh Chadeshim; it shall be the Rosh-own Chadeshi Hashanah to you, Exodus 12:2.
     We can read the “Rosh Hashanah” in this verse: the first and last words of the phrase, “Rosh-own Chadeshi Hashanah.” Translated within the Hebrew idiom, it might read:
     “This New Moon shall be your beginning of New Moons; it shall be the first New Moon of the year to you.”
     And Exodus 12:2 could read:
     This New Moon, [this HaChadesh] shall be your beginning of New Moons [Rosh Chadeshim – Chadesh is a single new moon; Chadeshim are multiple new moons]; it shall be the first (or “head”) New Moon of the year to you [Rosh-own Chadeshi Hashanah].
     Before we go any further, let me insert here a little Hebrew lesson about cha’desh and cha-dash’, which reference new moon and renewal; and qodesh and qadosh, which reference holiness.
     The Hebrew word, Cha’desh, [spelled khet dalet sheen] means a “new moon.” It comes from the root word, Cha-dash’, which means to make new, that is, to renew or rebuild. The term, Brit Chadasha, for example, means the Renewed or Rebuilt Covenant, translated “New Testament” in English. You get the idea of renewal as something cyclical returning to the same point over and over again. This is a constant theme throughout Scripture. In the 23rd Psalm, the phrase, “Paths of Righteousness” means “Cycles of Righteousness,” referring to everlasting repetitions of Holy Convocations of Yahweh’s Word: Sabbath, Passover, Unleavened Bread, etc. The word “path” is agol which means revolve, circular or round.
Examples of Renewal
     Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, Jeremiah 31:31.
     The term Jeremiah is using is Brit Chadasha. He means “a Rebuilt Covenant,” one agreement between all 12 Tribes of Israel (including those grafted into Israel) and Yahweh, to obey the Law of Yahweh. The New Testament is not a brand-new agreement in which Yahweh says, “OK, OK! You don’t have to obey Me any more; you don’t have to meet with Me on the days *I* sanctified, the days I set down to show you My Plan of Salvation; you don’t have to pay attention to My prophets anymore.”
     No! How could He go against His Word? Impossible! Yahshua came, suffered and died to restore Holiness to the world. He came to restore Yahweh’s Inheritance, the whole House of Israel, back to the Father. Both sons; the son who stayed home and the son who left home and fell into the distorted ways of the world.
     I just want to give a few more examples, so you get the full impact of this word, chadesh.
     In 1 Sam 11:13-14, we read,
     But Saul said, “Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today Yahweh has accomplished salvation in Israel.” Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.
     Renew here is the word cha’desh.
     Create in me a clean heart, Elohim; and renew a right spirit within me, Psalm 51:10.
     “Renew” here is the word cha’desh.
     Turn us back to You, O Yahweh, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old, Lamentations 5:21.
     The words “turn” and “restore” both have the Hebrew root shube which means “return to the starting point.” The phrase, “Turn us back to You, O Yahweh, and we will be restored,” teaches us that Yahweh is the One Who can restore us to His way. The phrase, “renew our days as of old,” teaches us, essentially, to pray that Yahweh’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, as it was in the beginning.
Examples of Holy or Set-Apart
     Now, the other word, Qadosh [quph dalet waw sheen] means Holy or set apart. For example, Isaiah 6:3 reads,
     And one [of the seraphim] cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”
     For “Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh of hosts” we have: Qadosh, qadosh, qadosh, Yahweh Tsaba’ot.
     This is repeated Revelation 4:8,
     The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Yahweh El Shaddai, Who was and is and is to come!”
     And, Qodesh means a Holy One or being holy. A Holy Convocation, for example is a Miqra Qodesh. The Holy Spirit is the Ruach HaQodesh.
Back to Beginning of the New Year
     So, going back to our discussion about the beginning of the new year, here we have the only place in Scripture that refers to Rosh HaShanah.
     This month shall be your beginning of months [the Rosh-own Chadeshi HaShanah]; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: “On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.” ... “So you shall eat it [the lamb] in haste. It is Yahweh’s Passover.” Exodus 12:2-3, 11.
     Yahweh says the New Year begins on the month of Abib. But, why, then does the House of Judah proclaim that the Feast of Trumpets is the Head of the Year? Perhaps it is in reference a couple of other Scriptures.
     Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year [Batseet Hashanah], when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field, Exodus 23:14-16.
     The key to understanding what is going on here rests in the word “end” in the phrase, “end of the year,” in verse 16. It is the Hebrew word, Batseet, from yatsa, a word with a myriad of meanings, only a few of which suggest the meaning, “end.” I’ll spare you the time of reading through the huge list of synonyms, because what seems clear is that it points to something significant, like the last harvest of the year. In that sense it would be the end of the “work” year, for an agrarian society a respite from toil.
     The idea of the Ingathering at the end of the year is also referenced at Exodus 34:22, where it is described as the “year’s end,” Tequphat Hashanah. The three annual feast times are again mentioned in Deuteronomy 16:1-17; however, there is no mention here of an end (or the beginning for that matter) of the year.
     It seems, to me, that shouting “Happy New Year” and blowing trumpets to celebrate a New Year on the Day of Trumpets, is a bit presumptuous. To me, it demeans the day that Yahweh established as the New Year, the New Moon that appears when the first fruits of the barley harvest are just about ready to be cut for the wave sheaf offering to Yahweh. The wave sheaf is, of course, a reference to THE first fruit, Yahshua the Messiah. That may be another reason the House of Judah does not celebrate the New Year in the month of Abib. But, who knows?
     Anyway, continuing with this discussion, the Scriptural head of the year, roshown chadashim hashanah, or a shortened form, Rosh HaShanah, is the new moon in the 1st month of the year, called “Abib,” preceding Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, not the Feast of Trumpets. We’ve learned that there are two titles for the “end of the year,” Batseet Hashanah and Tequphat Hashanah. Now, one could streeeeeeeeetch and twiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiist the Scriptures a bit and reason that if there is an END of a year, it also must be the beginning of a NEW year. Yeah, that’s it; it must be a new year, yeah. Except for a small problem. The first of the year feasts arrive at a time of an agricultural BEGINNING, culminating in the END of the harvest season at the Feasts of the Ingathering. The period in-between is only six months, because Israel has, apparently, a six-month growing season. It just seems to me that the “New Year” celebrated by Judah, beginning at the Day of Trumpets, is a man-made day. Ironically, just as the west has imitated Yahweh’s feasts by creating their own two sets of eight-day feasts, Xmas to New Year’s and Palm SunDay to Ishtar(Easter), it has also copied the idea of blowing trumpets on the first day of the Gregorian year, January 1st. What a tangled web is woven when one religion copies another religion’s traditions. Both, then, miss the mark.
     Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “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. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh,’” Leviticus 23:23-25.
Feast of Trumpets
     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. You shall offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to Yahweh: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish. Their grain offering shall be fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, to make atonement for you; besides the burnt offering with its grain offering for the New Moon, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, as a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh, Numbers 29:1-6.
     In these verses, Scripture reiterates the Feast of Trumpets, adding the specific offerings made on that day. The Hebrew words and meanings are the same as those used in the book of Exodus.
     Let’s go back to Leviticus 23:23 to see what the words mean.
     Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel [Benai Yisrael, from the Hebrew root “ben” or son, literally, “builders” of Israel; and Yisrael, spelled (yod-seen-resh-aleph-lamed) and means “he will rule with the power of El,” from sarah, power, and el, mighty one], saying: ‘In the seventh [sheba, “sacred, full”] month [chadesh – new moon], on the first day [echad, “one, first or united”] of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest [shebat, a sabbatism or special holiday], a memorial of blowing of trumpets [truah, which means an alarm or an acclamation of joy, a loud noise, a “splitting of the ears” – Interestingly, no mention is made of a shofar or a trumpet; however, if you’ve ever sounded a ram’s horn, you know that the bell of the horn is pointed right into your left ear!], a holy [qodesh, holy, sacred or set-apart] convocation [miqra, gathering of ones called out, also a rehearsal]. You shall do no customary work [abadah, obligatory service] on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire [isheh, a burnt offering or any sacrifice] to Yahweh,’” Leviticus 23:23-25.
     So, here are those verses, according to the meanings in Hebrew: Leviticus 23:23 “Yahweh is speaking through Moses: ‘To THE BUILDERS WHO WILL RULE with the POWER of THE ALMIGHTY: on the 7th NEW MOON, memorialize JOY and ALARM in a SACRED REHEARSAL.’”
     Let me repeat this:
     “Yahweh is speaking through Moses: ‘To THE BUILDERS WHO WILL RULE with the POWER of THE ALMIGHTY: on the 7th NEW MOON, memorialize JOY and ALARM in a SACRED REHEARSAL.’”
     A sacred rehearsal. A sacred acting-out of something that is to come. A rehearsal for what? Today, this day, is the rehearsal for that day when rehearsing will no longer be permitted. And, that day is ........... ? We don’t know when our rehearsing will culminate in the “Performance of our Life.” However, we do know, from Scripture, that this Day will be both Joyous and Alarming; and it will involve, or revolve around, people who have been practicing for that Day when they will be responsible to Rule, under the precepts, laws and ordinances of Yahweh.
Who Are Those Builders?
     So Solomon's builders [and others] prepared timber and stones to build the temple, 1 Kings 5:18.
     The Temple of Yahweh was built, destroyed and rebuilt by Israel. Building the physical Temple of Yahweh was the rehearsal for those in the latter days building the Kingdom of Yahweh. In THAT Day to come, those who believe and obey are the very building blocks, the living stones, of the Temple of Yahweh.
     And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of Elohim, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Elohim through Yahshua the Messiah. For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER STONE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But, for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER STONE, and, A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed, 1 Peter 2:4-8.
     Those who believe and obey the Word, the Law of Yahweh, are in the process of becoming, of being built up to be, the House of Yahweh, through Yahshua the Messiah, who is the Cornerstone, the Rock upon which we stand.
     This is the day which Yahweh has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Yahweh, do save, we beseech You; O Yahweh, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the One Who comes in the name of Yahweh [Baruch habah bashem Yahweh]; we have blessed You from the House [the Temple] of Yahweh, Psalm 118:24-26.
     Yahshua speaks to the Pharisees, saying,
     See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is He Who comes in the name of Yahweh!” (Luke 13:35)
     Yahshua told the people of Judah what will happen to them:
     Yahshua said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was Yahweh’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” Therefore I say to you, “The kingdom of Elohim will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it,” Matthew 21:42-43.
     But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations – [then, He describes the power to be given] He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels -- as I also have received from My Father, Revelation 2:25-28.
     For the Messiah Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Elohim: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first, 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
     Behold, the day of Yahweh cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it, Isaiah 13:9.
     Who are the sinners being referred to here? First of all, what is sin? Sin is lawlessness. Sinners, therefore, are those outside of the Law of Yahweh.
Yahweh’s Plan of Salvation
     The Word has been spoken. Yahweh gave the Law to the Israelites. He spoke to them of the coming Messiah. He had them rehearse each step of the Plan of Salvation, which are each identified by the phrase “Holy Convocation,” or in Hebrew, Miqra Qodesh. Here they are:
     1. The blood of the Lamb covering us and protecting us from eternal death [Passover]. (Note that Passover is not a High Sabbath, it is a memorial day. The first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are High Sabbaths or Holy Convocations).
     2. The partaking of unleavened bread symbolizes the leaving of comforts and abominations of the world to take on a holy way of living [feast of unleavened bread – or, in Greek, Azumos, the Feast of UNCORRUPTEDNESS]. The day following the weekly Sabbath occurring within this Feast is the day for the offering of the FIRST of the first fruits, namely, Yahshua the Messiah, from the ground to heaven and back during the Feast of Unleavened Bread [the SHEAF wave offering] – portraying the ascension of the Messiah into heaven and His descension within the day after His resurrection. To be clear, the Sheaf Wave Offering on the first day of the week does NOT portray the Messiah’s resurrection, as He was resurrected on the 7th day, not Sunday. The Wave Offering, thus, is not a Holy Convocation.
     3. The offering of the two leavened loaves at the Feast of Weeks – the day upon which Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments AND the day upon which the Disciples of Yahshua received the Holy Spirit – is called Pentecost [or the Feast of Weeks]. These three Holy Convocations, the first rehearsals, have been fulfilled, and we continue to observe them to honor Yahweh’s Plan of Salvation.
     4. By blowing the trumpets on the first day of the Scriptural seventh month, we are rehearsing for the Day of Yahweh and the Resurrection of the Righteous, when the final trump shall sound, bringing joy to those in obedience ... and horror to those living outside of the Law of Yahweh. This is the Feast of Trumpets.
     5. Soon we shall rehearse the tribulation, when our souls will be afflicted on the day called the [day of Atonement].
     6. After that, we will rehearse the gathering of Nations to Jerusalem, when Satan will be bound in the Pit, and those raised in the First Resurrection will work in the One Thousand Year Reign of Yahshua the Messiah. This is the [Feast of Tabernacles]. At the end of this time, the Second Resurrection will occur, and Satan will be loosed for a while. Those who did not have the opportunity to hear the word before they died will hear the truth. Those who reject it will be reserved for the Last Great Day.
     7. We will rehearse the day when all evil shall be put away in the Lake of Fire, and Eternity will finally begin for us. This Holy Convocation is called the [Last Great Day]. “Finally begin,” is an interesting expression, don’t you think? The new heaven and the new earth will be forthcoming.
This is Yahweh’s Plan of Salvation. Are YOU one of those Builders of the Kingdom of Yahweh, one of those who will Rule with the Power of Elohim? Are you one of the Children of Israel, carrying the name of Yahweh, having the Law written on your heart and in your mind? Well, then, blessings to you! If not, then may Yahweh, in His longsuffering and mercy, reach out to you and do whatever it takes to bring you to Him, for His name’s sake.
-Elder John Fisher
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