gratefully acknowledge Beth
Adonai for allowing us to use this material
as the seventh day, Shabbat, is holy, so the seventh month, Tishri
is set apart by God as sacred.
It can be viewed as the most holy of months in that it
contains four Jewish holidays, two of which, Rosh Hashanah and Yom
Kippur are call the “High Holidays”.
As a sign of its importance in ancient Israel, the arrival
of the new moon marking the beginning of Tishri had to be
confirmed by at least six witnesses, not just the three required
for any other month. Also,
besides the normal procedure of lighting signal fires to announce
a new moon, messengers were sent out from Jerusalem to hand
deliver the news of Tishri’s arrival.
These safeguards point out that the Israelites felt a holy
obligation to be obedient to the timing of the feasts as God
instructed in His Word. It
was not a small thing if a mistake was made and an appointment
with the Creator of the universe was missed.
We also can honor God by being diligent in our observation
of the feasts.
The first of the fall feasts is Rosh Hashanah which occurs
on the first of Tishri every year.
As Rosh Chodesh is “head of the month”, Rosh
Hashanah is “head of the year”, or new year.
This phrase appears once in
scripture in Ezekiel:
In the twenty-fifth
year of our exile, at the beginning of the year...
scripture refers to Tishri as the seventh month.
In fact, there are more references to Pesach as the new
year than to Rosh Hashanah.
to this seeming
contradiction is that Tishri is the first month in the civil
calendar, while Nisan is called the “first month of the year”
in the religious calendar due God calling attention to the
importance of Pesach.
In our Jewish
calendar there are a variety of “new years”, but the
designation of Rosh Hashanah as “head of the year” has
been in use since the Babylonian exile.
Its name is an indication of the importance of this month
as a time of preparation. How
should we prepare? The
answer comes from scripture:
The LORD said to Moses, 
"Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh
month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly
commemorated with trumpet blasts.
 Do no regular work, but present an offering made to
the LORD by fire.' "
"On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred
assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for
you to sound the trumpets."
commands for us are to rest, assemble together before the Lord,
and sound a “trumpet”. The
“blowing of trumpets” has become so associated with this day
that it is also called “Yom Teruah”, or day of the shofar
blast. The shofar is
not exactly a trumpet....coming from the horn of a ram it has a
peculiar sound unlike a man-made instrument.
It is one of the oldest of wind instruments and has played
a prominent role in Jewish history.
blast of the shofar was heard when Moses spoke with God on Mt.
Sinai while receiving the Ten Commandments in Exodus 19:9...a
reminder of the Word of God and the laws He gave us by which to
conquered in the battle of Jericho with the blast of the shofar in
Joshua 6:20...a reminder of victory through God’s power.
shofar is mentioned in Judges 3:27 as a call to battle, and
as a signal to assemble in 2 Samuel 20:1...a reminder to
serve God in unity.
4:19 it is called an alarm of war, and in Joel 2:1 we
hear the familiar verse: “Blow
a shofar in Zion, sound an alarm on my holy mountain...”
Watchmen who guarded the walls of ancient Jerusalem blew
the shofar to warn people of impending danger as in Amos 3:6
and Ezekiel 33:6...a reminder to be vigilant in serving God
and to stand firm in spiritual war.
year of Jubilee is to be proclaimed by the sound of the shofar in Leviticus
25:9...a reminder of joyfulness.
kingship of God is recalled with a shofar blast in Psalm 98:6...”With
trumpets and the sound of the horn shout joyfully before the King,
the Lord!” In the
ancient world a shofar was used to hail a king.
When we hear it at Rosh Hashanah we anticipate standing
before the King of Kings, who’s arrival can be very soon.
shofar in Psalm 47:5 reminds
of the joy of being in our King’s presence:
has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.”
27:13 says that those who were scattered will be re-gathered
to worship the Lord in Jerusalem with the blowing of a great
shofar...encouragement that God is gathering His people to Him.
9:14 tells us that the Lord Himself will blow the shofar on
the day when He delivers His people from attacking armies:
“Then the Lord will appear over them and His arrow will
go forth like lightening, and the Lord God will blow the shofar,
and will march in the storm winds of the south.”
return of Messiah as told in Matthew 24:30 is to be
announced with a shofar blast:
“...and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds
of the sky with power and great glory, and He will send forth His
angels with a great trumpet.”
This is a faith builder reminding us of Messiah’s triumph
in the end days. From
this it has been tradition to say that even Satan trembles at the
shofar blast, recognizing that his time will come to an end at
Talmud (Lev. Rabbah 29:10) the ram’s horn is mentioned as having
a role in Israel’s redemption:
“Your children are destined to be caught by the nations
and entangled in troubles, but they will ultimately be redeemed
through the horns of the ram.”
the dead will hear the shofar when Messiah returns:
1 Thes. 4:16
the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command,
with the voice of the archangel and with the shofar blast of God,
and the dead in Messiah will rise first.”
we hear the shofar we should remember all these scriptures...it
should be like a memory jog.
In fact another name for this feast is “Yom Ha Zikkaron”,
day of remembering. We
are called to attention, holy fear, rejoicing, battle, and
reverence for God’s holiness and sovereignty. The shofar calls
us to consider our personal relationship with the Lord and to be
prepared for the day of atonement to come...Yom Kippur just nine
days later. The idea
of preparation is so strong that the shofar is traditionally
sounded forty days before Yom Kippur, on the first of Elul, the
preceding month. This
gives us plenty of time to consider our spiritual state, and to
repent and ask for forgiveness.
The shofar blast should be like an air raid signal going
off...like someone shouting “Look up!
Seek cover!” Or
better, “seek a covering” (a “kippur”)
shofar is to be made from the horn of a ram...a cow horn cannot
be used because of the cow’s connection with the golden
calf episode in Israel’s history.
The use of the ram may come from the traditional Torah
reading for this holiday, Genesis 22, the story of the
binding of Isaac, or in Hebrew, the “Akidah”. A
rabbinical tradition holds that this event took place on Rosh
Abraham obediently showed his willingness to offer his son as a
sacrifice, God provided a ram in his place.
This reminds us of the faithfulness of Abraham, and these
verses also show us a picture of the sacrifice of Yeshua.
There are many parallels:
loved God so much that he obeyed and was willing to offer up his
looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.
He went over and took
ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
so loved the world that He gave His only Son for us.
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall
perish but have eternal life.
Isaac was the dearly beloved son of his father, born by a
miracle after a promise and
will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless
her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples
will come from her."
was the dearly beloved Son of His Father, born by a miracle,
prophesied from long ago.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin
will be with child and will give birth
a son, and will call him Immanuel.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the
name Jesus, because he will save his
from their sins."
the 3 day trip to Mt. Moriah Isaac was under the sentence of
death, considered “dead”.
Then on the 3rd day his life was given back to him.
On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the
Yeshua was in the grave 3 days, under the sentence of death.
rose from the dead on the 3rd day.
is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place
where he lay.
carried the wood for his own sacrifice.
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it
on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two of them went on together, Yeshua
carried the wooden “tree” for His own sacrifice.
his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in
Aramaic is called Golgotha).
Isaac submitted to the
will of his father.
spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
my son?" Abraham replied.
fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the
lamb for the burnt offering?".
submitted to the will of His father.
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me;
yet not my will, but yours be done."
God provided His own
sacrifice, a lamb (male lamb = ram) for the offering.
answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt
offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram
caught by its
horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt
offering instead of his son.
is called the “lamb of God”, given as a sin sacrifice.
The next day Yochanon saw Yeshua coming toward him and
said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the
The sacrifice took place on Mt. Moriah, near where Jerusalem would
stand one day.
God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you
love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a
burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you
was sacrificed on Golgotha, just outside ancient Jerusalem.
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place
of the Skull).
called this site “Yaweh yireh” (Jehovah jira), “God will
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to
this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be
“substitute sacrifice” at this place was followed years later
with countless animal sacrifices to provide atonement conducted by
the Levitical priests.
was the fulfillment of all these substitute sacrifices, and is a
better “high priest”.
the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day
after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the
people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered
Right after the Akedah God promised Abraham that, because
of his obedience, God
would use his descendants to bless all the nations of the earth.
…and through your offspring all nations on earth will be
blessed, because you have obeyed me.
came to bless all people, and to be light to everyone who follows
Yeshua spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of
the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but
will have the light of life."
central point of the Rosh Hashanah service is the sounding of the
synagogues go to great lengths to find an accomplished shofar
blower, known as a “Ba’al Tekiah” since this is not an easy
instrument to master. The
Ba’al Tekiah is responsible for making over one hundred separate
blasts during a traditional service.
Scripture does not tell us the number nor the order of
these blasts, but rabbinical interpretation from Numbers has
determined at least two different notes:
When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the
east are to set out. 
At the sounding
a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast
will be the signal for setting out.
To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but
not with the same signal.
long base note ending abruptly
staccato notes in rapid succession
quavering notes, a cross between the other
shevarim, teruah, tekiah”
tekiah”, the long ending blast)
Tekiah, the sound of rejoicing for the book of life for the
trembling sound for the book of death for the wicked;
a mixture of joy and sadness, representing hope for most people
who are somewhere in
But now, please forgive their sin--but if not, then blot me
out of the book you have written."
 The LORD
replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot
out of my book.
May they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous.
...But at that
time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the
Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and
the LORD listened and heard.
scroll of remembrance was written
in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and
impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is
shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the
Lamb's book of life.
The single note of tekiah...representing one God, reaching
out with His love to each of us at this special time of year;
The nine short notes of teruah... representing the nine
fruits of the Ruach: love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness,
The three broken notes of shevarim...representing one God in three
Yeshua, Ruach Ha Kodesh
those who know Messiah personally hear the shofar blasts this year
they can come before the Lord with thankfulness that they are
written in the Book of Life...a true cause for rejoicing. They can
then confidently say the traditional salutation for this feast:
shanah tovah tikkateivu, ve-tehateinu!”
“May you be inscribed and sealed in the
book of life for a good year!”