Reflections on Yom Teruah for End-time Israel
from Israel’s feasts and their fullness by Batya Wooten
(used with permission)
Yom Teruah means Day of Blowing. This day signals the beginning of the Fall feasts. It is the fourth of the seven feasts, which makes it central to Israel’s celebrations. Also called Zichron Teruah, or Memorial of Blowing, it is a Shabbat with a commanded assembly, a miqra kodesh or holy convocation (Lev 23:24). Yom Teruah begins the seventh month of the Biblical calendar (sometimes called Tishri). It corresponds to the Gregorian months of September and October, and it begins the “Days of Awe”, a ten-day period ending with Yom Kippur. This 10-day period is also known as the “High Holy Days”.
These two feasts at either end of this 10-day period differ decidedly from the other Feasts of Israel. They are not agricultural in nature, so they are not centered on an earthly harvest but instead speak prophetically of the harvest of the LORD’s planting (Is 60:21; Jer 24:6; 32:41; Mat 15:13). Their collective focus is on men preparing themselves, and on the Almighty’s determinations concerning that preparedness. They have come to be known as days of self-examination and repentance – days set aside for men to make peace with their brethren – that their hearts might be made right before the awesome and determining day that is Yom Kippur.
Yom Teruah is the only feast of Israel to fall on the first day of the month. So, it begins during a moment of near darkness, with only the sliver of the new moon visible. Israel’s longest feasts, Unleavened Bread and Sukkot, begin with a full moon and a brightly lit sky at night.
During this feast, we are instructed to have a memorial, or a time of remembrance. The Hebrew word for memorial, zikroon, comes from another word, zaokor, which means “to mark,” so as to be recognized. (H2146 and H2142) With our ears of the Spirit, we hear that we are to be marked on Yom Teruah, so as to be remembered on Yom Kippur. Ezekiel 9 talks of a “mark” on the forehead of those chosen to be protected by God. John in Rev 7:2-4 says, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
Yom Teruah is about marking, or sealing, the chosen of Israel, that they might be remembered, noted, and set apart from that which is about to come upon the earth. In the Ezekiel 9 passage, the Glory of the God of Israel ascended from the cherub and tells a man in linen with a scribal case to make a mark on the foreheads of those who grieved over the sins of those in the midst of Jerusalem, then was told to destroy those without this mark. The frightening scene began at the Temple, with the “elders” who were before the Temple. The six men then proceeded throughout the city, with death coming upon those who say “the Lord has abandoned the Land and does not see (our sin)”. 1 Peter 4:17 says a remarkably similar thing, “for it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.” It is possible that the mark here is the Hebrew letter tav, the last letter in the Hebrew aleph-bet.
Many signs have been given by our Father. He gave the mark of Cain, that he might not be slain. He gave us His rainbow in the sky, and the blood of the lamb on the lintels on the night of Passover. He gave us signs that save us from disaster, plague, and pestilence (Gen 4:15; 9:13; Ex 12:13). He also has given us the wisdom of His Torah, which reminds us of our deliverance from Egypt. The sign of honoring Torah should be with us in all we do and think (Ex 13:9,16). In addition, we are given the sign of the virgin who gave birth to Yeshua, Moshiach of all Israel. Yeshua is our protector, shield, savior, and master. Yeshua in Luke 11:29-30 says that because that generation was evil, no sign would be given to it even though they demanded one, except the sign of Jonah. We need to be “marked” with Yeshua in whatever way possible, either figuratively or literally, if God chooses that.
The lost sound once heard on Yom Teruah is the sound of the two hammered silver trumpets. It’s time to bring to light this all-but-lost prophetic use and meaning of the silver trumpets. Numbers 10:1-10 says, “Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them. You shall use them for summoning the congregation… The priestly sons of Aaron shall blow the trumpets; and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations. When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before Yehovah your Elohim. Also, in the days of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your Elohim. I am Yehovah your Elohim.”
Accounts of using these silver trumpets can be found in Ezra 3; Neh 7:73-8:13; 2 Chr 5:12; and 13:14-16 and in the writings of Josephus. The two trumpets are depicted on the famous Arch of Titus in Rome, which depicts the spoils of Jerusalem gained by Titus when he crushed the city of Jerusalem and destroyed the second Temple. These accounts depict Yom Teruah as a time of return, remembrance and revival – a time of Israel singing songs to Yehovah. What does the loss of the proper use of the two hammered silver trumpets say to us today? Could it be that seeing the role of these silver trumpets will help us in our end-time understanding and pursuit of restoration? Could this not fully understood feast of Yom Teruah prove to be a most meaningful feast for believers today? Could it play a part in waking up the people of the House of Israel and bring together the whole bride of Yehovah? After all, it is also called the day of the awakening blast! Instead of thinking of it as a time of rapture, perhaps believers will begin to see that it marks a time to declare Messiah Yeshua’s work of restoration of the two families of Israel, Yehudah and Yosef, and proclaim this truth to all Israel.
Furthermore, the two trumpets of Teruah foreshadow things to come. They were made from one piece of hammered silver (Num 10:2). Silver symbolizes our refinement and redemption. Silver also represents the Word of Yehovah. Hammered trumpets tell of the Father who is the Refiner, molding us through affliction (the refining process). He says of chosen Israel; “Behold, I will refine them…in order to refine, purge, and make them pure, until the end time…I will refine them as silver…and they will call on My Name, and I will answer them; I will say, “They are My people,” and they will say, “Yehovah is my Elohim”…As a purifier of silver, He will purify…and refine…that they may present to Yehovah offerings in righteousness.” (Jer 9:7; Dan 11:35; Zech 13:9; Hos 1:10; Mal 3:3).
Messiah Yeshua will one day deal with those who afflicted His people. He will give relief to those who suffered in His Name when He is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire and comes to be glorified in His saints. But first, His chosen and hammered ones must be taken to the wilderness. There, Abba will deal with them face to face. Having seen His face, and having become more intimate with Him, these isolated ones are transformed, forever changed, for He purges them during this season. When they come through this fire, they begin to walk as the pardoned Company of Jacob (Isaiah 27:9). Having been isolated and tested, their works will testify to their faith, and they will have learned a new song. “Sing to Yehovah a new song, for he has done marvelous things” (Psalm 98:1). Sing to Yehovah a new song, and his praise from the ends of the earth (Isaiah 42:10). Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises (James 5:13). Shout with joy to Yehovah, all the earth! Worship Yehovah with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy! (Psalm 100:1-2).
For more than two millennia, most of Israel has heard only the sound of “one trumpet.” They have heard from only one of the two families of Elohim’s Israel. Numbers 10:3-4 describes that when only one trumpet is blown, only the “heads of the divisions” would assemble and not the whole congregation. That appears to have resulted in us having far too many “leaders of division.” We also have a tendency to elevate leaders, but we are to be servants and not leaders who lord over others (Mark 9:35). A unified Israel must repent of this error. We need servant shepherds who will unite and gather the people of Israel (Ez 34).
So, it is time for our trumpets (voices) to be sounded by a priestly nation. Exodus 19:6 says, “and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” Those called by Yeshua are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to Elohim, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness”, (1 Pet 2:9). Israel should be a nation who feels they are not properly dressed unless all twelve tribes are properly represented. The move of Elohim in our day toward the restoration of all the tribes of Israel needs to ever be on the hearts of every Israelite in our day. Unified trumpets were to be sounded when Israel was on the move. It is now time for a united Israel to move beyond her ancient divisions and broken brotherhood. It is time for both families to unite and bring Israel back in line with her God-given role as redeemer nation under her proper Messiah King, Yeshua, son of David, Son of Elohim.
Exciting and difficult times are upon us. In these days our “enemies” may even be “those of our own households” (Mat 10:35). This shouldn’t be a divisive message. It is the long awaited message of restoration that the prophets saw and wrote about profusely and longed for, but we have tenaciously clung to our religious traditions and have maintained the walls of separation that Paul says Yeshua came to break down (Eph 2:14-15). We have made our traditions into a kind of Identity Theology, erecting false and man-made religious barriers to reconciliation and restoration.
Those who hear the sound of Yom Teruah are especially blessed: “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O Yehovah, they walk in the light of Your countenance (presence)” (Psa 89:15-16) An Amplified Bible states it this way: Blessed-happy-fortunate (to be envied) – are those who know the joyful sound (understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts). The word translated here as “joyful sound,” or festal shout, is teruah, and Brown-Driver-Briggs defines it as alarm, signal, sound of tempest, shout, war-cry, battle-cry, and a shout of joy! The sound of a united Israel twin trumpet blast may be the defining sound of our time and be the call to wake-up all Israel and even trigger other things in this end-time prophetic move of Elohim. It could even be our sound of crying out to Yehovah for the last great deliverance of His people.
Let all Israel unite!
Let us proclaim with trumpets and voices the sure sound of Yom Teruah!