One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Yom Teruah
A Day of Sounding

Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:24-25
24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.
25 You shall do no servile work; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to YHWH.’”

There are many questions today concerning how to keep and observe this mo’ed, particularly from those who are returning to their Hebrew roots. Not only will we examine this question from a Scriptural point of view, but we will also look into its prophetic significance as well as its meaning for us today.

In the Hebrew text of this verse, neither the word “trumpet” nor the word “shofar” appears. The Hebrew word in the text is תרועה - “teruah,” which is where the name of this mo’ed comes from. The word “teruah” means “to clamor,” as in a battle cry, along with the sounding of shofars or trumpets. The root word suggested by Strong’s for “teruah” is רוע - which means “to mar,” that is, “to split the ears with sound.” This root word also means “to break physically or morally.”

Now this is especially significant considering that this day, the first day of the seventh month, is the beginning of the “ten days of awe” in which one is to specifically humble himself in preparation for Yom HaKippurim - the Day of Atonements.

To increase our understanding of this word “teruah,” let us take a lesson from the pages of Scripture.

Yehoshua (Joshua) 6:20
So the people shouted, and the priests blew the shofars; and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

There are three words here in this passage that will help further our understanding of “teruah.” This in turn will enable us to keep this mo’ed better before YHWH our Elohim. Let us look at this verse now with those three Hebrew words in place to see what is actually happening.

So the people רוע (shouted), and the priests תקע (sounded) the shofars; and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the shofar, that the people רוע (shouted) with a great תרועה (noise), and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Now Scripture tells us that this happened just after Pesach and the days of unleavened bread. This did not occur on Yom Teruah. However, the usage of these words which also applies to Yom Teruah is used here in this text and teaches us something very important concerning their meaning.

First please note that the word רוע (ru-a) is used for the people shouting. Next, please note that the word תקע (ta-qa) is used for the sounding of the shofar. However, when it is both the people רוע and the shofar תקע together the word תרועה (teruah) is used. So, it would seem that “teruah” in this context means that this is a combination of people shouting and shofars sounding together making a great noise.

Now when we look at the actual commandment to observe Yom Teruah, let us consider a question.

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial of teruah, a holy convocation.’”

Could it be that the word “shofar” is not contained in this commandment because it is about more than just the sounding of the shofar? It would seem so! This day is to include the sounding of the shofar along with the shouting of the people. Most modern day observances of Yom Teruah do not include the shouting of His people when it should include their making a רוע. Otherwise, will YHWH give us the victory He desires to give us which we need so desperately?

It might also be important to note, that at Yericho only seven priests had shofars and all the rest of the people shouted, including most of the priests on that seventh day. This is not to say that only the priests can sound the shofar on Yom Teruah, but rather that the number of shofars sounding does not need to be a very high percentage, but that everyone needs to participate by at least shouting.

This takes us directly to the question of the meaning of the Day of Sounding - Yom Teruah.

B’midbar (Numbers) 29:1
And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no servile work: it is a day of sounding to you.

In these companion passages from Vayyiqra and B’midbar where we see that neither a trumpet nor a shofar is specifically mentioned, both passages do state that this day is supposed to be a “holy convocation” which comes from the Hebrew מקרא קדש - “miqra qodesh” which means a “set-apart gathering.” We also see that this is a מועד - “mo’ed” or “appointed time” between YHWH and His people.

The mo’edim of YHWH are supposed to teach His people something important about Him and His ways and what He is doing with His people, shema Yisrael. In this case the meaning of this day, Yom Teruah, is tied directly with its prophetic meaning. This day, the day of sounding, is spoken of many times in Scripture. We do not have the space here to examine each and every one of them. However, we will examine a cross-section of them to give the reader a basic grasp of their significance and give him a springboard to help launch him into his own study of this matter.

First, this day is also known as Rosh Hashanah - head of the year. Have you ever wondered why it is in the Jewish calendar that there is more than one New Year’s Day? Scripture clearly points to Aviv one as the beginning of the year.

Shemot (Exodus) 12:2
“This month shall be to you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”

This was the beginning of the month in which aviv or the green ear of barley was sighted. So why is also the beginning of the seventh month, Tishri, also known as Rosh Hashanah or the head of the year?

Shemot (Exodus) 34:22
“And thou shall observe the feast of weeks, even of the first-fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.”

Please note in this passage that this verse states that the feast of ingathering, which is also known as Sukkot, is to be observed at the end of the year. The Hebrew literally says “as the year cycles.”

Traditionally, the month of Tishri was known to be the beginning of the year until the days of Moshe when YHWH changed it. It is this month in which it is believed that Elohim created the world. Why would He create the world in this month? In this way all the harvest would be ready to pick and man would have plenty to eat. If the world would have been created at any other time, this would not have been so. YHWH created the natural laws to teach man of Himself and He stays within those laws.

Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.

Remembering that our Creator works in patterns and cycles will enable us to look into Scripture and see and know what He has done and is doing in our own day.

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9
That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.

Because of the nature of the beginning of the month, in that one waits for the new crescent of the moon to be seen, no one knows exactly when, that is, upon what day, or at what hour that this will happen from month to month. One of those factors is the weather. While the probability of seeing the new crescent can be calculated, what cannot be calculated are the weather conditions. Just because it is mathematically feasible to see the moon on a given day does not mean that the weather will allow it to be seen on that day. The weather may postpone the sighting of the moon by one day, but never by more than one day. Because of this Rosh Chodesh became known as: “the day nor the hour which no man knows.” Then this phrase came to be associated specifically with the only mo’ed which falls upon a new moon, Yom Teruah. Yom Teruah is “the day nor the hour which no man knows. “

While the other mo’edim (except Shavuot) are counted from a Chodesh (new moon) which occurs just before them, once the new moon has been sighted, then all men know upon which day that mo’ed will fall. But this is not so with Yom Teruah, since it is upon Rosh Chodesh itself. So, no man knows “the day nor the hour” in advance of when this mo’ed will occur.

Now, keeping these things in mind, read again the following passage.

Matithyah (Matthew) 24:36
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.”

During the history of the church this passage was used to teach that no one was able to know when Yeshua was returning. However, that teaching is not in line with the historical meaning of Yeshua’s words. Instead of Yeshua stating that we could not know the time of His return, He was actually telling us at what time of the year He would be coming again. Now mind you, He did not tell us the year of His return. And as with the nature of Yom Teruah, we don’t know the exact day, but we know within a day or two and will be watching as to which of those two days upon which it will fall.

Likewise, we will know and be watching on those two days for His return each year. Events will give us further clues as to the likelihood of His return being in a given year. Up until now it has not been possible for Him to return because the second stick of Israel, Ephrayim, has not been formed into a nation and is not yet back in the land and until that happens, Yeshua will not return.

1st Thessalonians 5:4-6
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief;
5 for you are all sons of light, and sons of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness;
6 so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober.

Shaul teaching along the same lines as Mashiach Yeshua tells us that we shall not be surprised by His return. Furthermore, we are to be watching for that day. But in context of all Scripture we know that it is a particular day for which we are to be watching: Yom Teruah.

Now upon this day of sounding, in which the shofar is blown and the people shout, let us consider some other passages of Scripture that fit in with this idea, keeping in mind that the phrase: “no man knows the day nor the hour” has special significance towards Yom Teruah.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 15:51-52
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar; for the shofar shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

On Yom Teruah, a day of sounding of men and of shofars, we find that upon a future day in which the “last” shofar shall sound, the dead in Mashiach shall be raised up. Now it is helpful to note that Mashiach Yeshua has indicated to us that His return shall be upon Yom Teruah, a day of sounding the shofar. Now in this passage Shaul teaches us that the last time that a shofar shall be sounded will be a day of the dead being raised.

It is important to note that the word used to indicate the “last” shofar in both the Greek and Hebrew texts of this verse means that it is the final or last one and that no others shall follow it. This is important to note as we examine the following verses below.

Gilyana (Revelation) 8:2
And I saw the seven angels that stand before Elohim; and there were given unto them seven shofars.

Now as these seven sound their respective shofars, in the very least the first six cannot be tied with the last shofar of the previous passage in Qorintyah. So let us examine the seventh shofar to see if any of what this passage is saying could be matched up with the last shofar of Qorintyah Aleph 15:52.

Gilyana (Revelation) 11:15-19
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there followed great voices in heaven, and they said, “The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of Adonenu, and of His Mashiach; and He shall reign forever and ever.”
16 And the four and twenty elders, who sit before Elohim on their thrones, fell upon their faces and worshipped Elohim,
17 saying, “We give You thanks, YHWH Elohim, the Almighty, who are and who was; because You have taken Your great power, and did reign.”
18 And the nations were angry, and Your wrath came, and the time of the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear Your name, the small and the great; and to destroy them that destroy the earth.
19 And there was opened the temple of Elohim that is in heaven; and there was seen in His temple the Ark of His Covenant; and there followed lightning, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail.

The fact that this passage speaks of giving the reward to the prophets and the saints seems to indicate that this seventh shofar is the same one as the last one spoken of in Qorintyah Aleph 15:52, since there are those who are receiving their new bodies at that time. That sounds like a reward to me; at the very least it seems quite possible.

So where did these writers in the Brit Chadasha get this idea of a shofar sounding and its initiating His kingdom? Let us look into the Tanak and see if there are some passages which speak of this.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 27:13
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great shofar shall be blown; and they shall come that were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and they that were outcasts in the land of Egypt; and they shall worship YHWH in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

Notice in this passage that it speaks of those from the furthest corners of the earth being brought to Mount Tzion when a great shofar is blown. Now please notice what Mashiach Yeshua taught.

Matithyah (Matthew) 24:31
“And He shall send forth His angels with a great sound of a shofar, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Please note that in the two previous passages both of them speak of a great shofar sounding. Then later in the Matithyah passage we find that passage in which Mashiach Yeshua speaks of the day of which “no man knows the day nor the hour.” In fact, it is found just five verses later, in verse 36. Yeshua is still speaking on the same topic so these two ideas are very closely related.

Now please take special note of the following passage in which YHWH is speaking of people from both houses of Israel, the house of Yehudah and the house of Ephrayim.

Zecharyah (Zechariah) 9:13-14
13 “For I have bent Yehudah for Me, and I have filled the bow with Ephrayim; and I will stir up your sons, Tzion, against your sons, Greece, and will make you as the sword of a mighty man.”
14 And YHWH shall be seen over them; and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning; and the Adonai YHWH will blow the shofar, and will go with whirlwinds of the south.

Once again we see YHWH blowing a shofar and bringing the sons of Ephrayim together with the sons of Yehudah back in the land of Israel to fight a common enemy, an enemy whose mindset is western in nature and is not set upon the things of YHWH.

Amos 3:6-7
6 Shall the shofar be blown in a city, and the people not be afraid? Shall evil befall a city, and YHWH has not done it?
7 Surely the Adonai YHWH will do nothing, except He reveal His secret to His servants the prophets.

This passage is more general in nature concerning the sounding of the shofar, but the idea is the same: YHWH is the one doing it and whatever the sounding of that shofar brings, YHWH is the direct cause of it, whether that is blessings or calamity.

Here is another passage to discuss as it relates to Yom Teruah.

Gilyana (Revelation) 4:1
After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a shofar speaking with me, one saying, “Come up here, and I will show you the things which must come to pass hereafter.”

In this passage we see several things of significance. Please note that the voice heard by Yochanan sounded like a shofar. It was a combination of a man speaking and a shofar sounding. Sound familiar?

Also, please note the presence of a door or gate being opened in heaven. This is very significant as it also indicates that this is Yom Teruah as the gate or door of the temple was opened upon this day. It was a significant event in the life of Israel.

The fact that Yochanan heard this voice which sounded like a shofar and then was taken up to heaven and witnessed an open door indicates to us that this happened to him on Yom Teruah. Furthermore, this may be the pattern which YHWH is indicating to us that all the talmidim of Yeshua Mashiach will experience one day as all are ushered into His presence at the Mount of Olives as He returns.

Joel 2:1
Blow the shofar in Tzion, and sound a rua in My holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of YHWH comes, for it is near at hand;

As you have been reading this study one question that may have arisen in your mind is: if we are to shout on Yom Teruah, then what are we to shout? Even the verse above suggests that both the sound of the shofar is heard as well as YHWH’s people raising an alarm by shouting.

There are actually many passages in Scripture which describe the people of YHWH shouting for various reasons. It is a good study in and of itself. But for our purposes here in studying Yom Teruah let us consider a few passages to help suggest some appropriate things to shout before YHWH our Elohim and King.

Sh’muel Aleph (1st Samuel) 10:24
And Samuel said to all the people, “You see him whom YHWH has chosen, that there is none like him along all the people?” And all the people shouted (רוע), and said, “The king lives!”

Certainly to declare that Mashiach Yeshua is our King and that He lives is more than just appropriate; it is a truth that is worth shouting about!

Sh’muel Aleph (1st Samuel) 4:5
And when the ark of the covenant of YHWH came into the camp, all Israel shouted (רוע) with a great shout (תרועה), so that the earth rang again.

As we saw above in Gilyana 11:19, this verse suggests that the Ark of His Covenant is actually Mashiach. Certainly when we see Him come into the camp, this is worth shouting about! Perhaps we should shout out an invitation to Him to come into our camp.

It is also important to note here that all the people of Israel shouted (רוע) together in unison. YHWH is not the author of confusion. When we are shouting before YHWH upon this day, let it be done with singleness of mind and heart and let the words of our mouths be in harmony to raise a great shout to YHWH and cause the enemy to flee!

Ezra 3:11
And they sang one to another in praising and giving thanks to YHWH, saying, “For He is good, for His loving kindness endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted (רוע) with a great shout (תרועה), when they praised YHWH, because the foundation of the house of YHWH was laid.

We can look forward to the foundation of His house being laid and in the meantime we can shout about it until then. Then when it does happen we can shout all the more!

Tehillim (Psalm) 66:1
For the Chief Musician. A Song, a Psalm.
Make a joyful noise (רוע) to Elohim, all the earth.

We are to raise a רוע (rua), a shout to YHWH. We are to sing at the top of our voices because we love Him so very much! Is not our love for Him something to declare openly? To be sure!

So gather together with fellow believers, eat together, sound the shofars, and raise a great shout to the heavens. Do it many times during the day! Plan for it and do it. YHWH will be pleased and He will come and fellowship with you in a mighty way!

ABBA YHWH, teach us to do and to keep all of Your mo’edim in a manner that is pleasing to You; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach. Amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah