Feast of Trumpets
|feest uhv truhm-pits
Easton's Bible Dictionary
was celebrated at the beginning of the month Tisri, the
first month of the civil year. It received its name from the circumstances that
the trumpets usually blown at the commencement of each month were on that occasion
blown with unusual solemnity ( Leviticus
23:23 - 25
10:10 ; 29:1
). It was one of the seven days of holy convocation. The special design of this
feast, which is described in these verses, is not known.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
29:1 ; Leviticus
23:24 ) the feast of the new moon, which fell on the first of Tisri. It differed
from the ordinary festivals of the new moon in several important particulars.
It was one of the seven days of holy convocation. Instead of the mere blowing
of the trumpets of the temple at the time of the offering of the sacrifices, it
was "a day of blowing of trumpets." In addition to the daily sacrifices and the
eleven victims offered on the first of every month, there were offered a young
bullock, a ram and seven lambs of the first year, with the accustomed meat offerings,
and a kid for a sin offering. ( Numbers
29:1 - 6
) The regular monthly offering was thus repeated, with the exception of the young
bullock. It has been conjectured that ( Psalms
81:1 ) ... one of the songs of Asaph, was composed expressly for the Feast
of Trumpets. The psalm is used in the service for the day by the modern Jews.
Various meanings have been assigned to the Feast of Trumpets; but there seems
to be no sufficient reason to call in question the common opinion of Jews and
Christians, that if was the festival of the New Years day of the civil year, the
first of Tisri, the month which commenced the sabbatical year and the year of
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
23:23 - 25
the first day (new moon) of the seventh month is set apart as a solemn rest, "a
memorial of blowing of trumpets" (the Hebrew leaves "of trumpets" to be understood),
signalized further by "a holy convocation," abstinence from work, and the presentation
of "an offering made by fire." In Numbers
29:1 - 6
these directions are repeated, with a detailed specification of the nature of
the offering. In addition to the usual daily burnt sacrifices and the special
offerings for new moons, there are to be offered one bullock, one ram, and seven
he-lambs, with proper meal offerings, together with a he-goat for a sin offering.
The significance of the feast lay in the fact that it marked the beginning of
the new year according to the older calendar. Originally the "revolution" of the
year was reckoned in the fall (Exodus
23:16 ; 34:22),
and the change to the spring never thoroughly displaced the older system. In fact
the spring New Year never succeeded in becoming a specially recognized feast,
and to Jewish ears "New Year's Day" (ro'sh ha-shanah) invariably signifies an
autumnal festival. So the Mishna (Ro'sh ha-shanah, i.1): "There are four periods
of commencement of years: On the 1st of Nisan is a new year for kings and for
festivals; the 1st of Elul is a new year for the tithe of cattle. .... The 1st
of Tishri is new year's (day) for the ordinary or civil year, for the computation
of 7th years, and of the jubilees; also for the planting of trees, and for herbs.
On the 1st of Shebat is the new year for trees."
The ritual for the day consequently needs little explanation. All new moons were
heralded by trumpeting (Numbers
10:10), and so the custom was of course observed on this feast also. There
is nothing in the language of either Leviticus
23 or Numbers
29 to require a prolongation of the music on this special new moon, but its
special distinction was no doubt marked by special trumpeting at all times, and
at a later period (see below) elaborate rules were laid down for this feature.
The additional sacrifices simply involved an increase of those prescribed for
new moons (Numbers
28:11 - 15),
without changing their type. Perhaps Psalms
81 was especially written for this feast (compare 81:3).
Mentions of a special observance of the 1st of Tishri are found also in Ezekiel
45:20 (reading, as is necessary, "first day of seventh month" here for "seventh
day") and Nehemiah
8:1 - 12.
In the former passage, the day is kept by offering a bullock as a sin offering
and sprinkling its blood in a way that recalls the ritual of the Day of Atonement.
In Nehemiah an assembly of the people was held to hear Ezra read the Law. The
day was kept as a festival on which mourning was forbidden (Nehemiah
8:9). Apart from these references there is no mention of the feast elsewhere
in the Old Testament, and, indeed, there is some reason to think that at one time
the 10th, and not the 1st, of Tishri was regarded as the beginning of the year.
40:1 specifically calls this day ro'sh hashanah, and Leviticus
25:9 specifies it as the opening of the Jubilee year (contrast the Mishna
passage, above). Consequently scholars generally are inclined to assign Leviticus
23:23 - 25
29:1 - 6
to the latest part of the Pentateuch (Ps). This need not mean that the observance
of the 1st (or 10th) of Tishri was late, but only that the final adoption of the
day into Israel's official calendar, with a fixed ritual for all Israelites, was
delayed. If the original New Year's Day fell on the 10th of Tishri, its displacement
ten days earlier was certainly due to the adoption of the 10th for the Day of
Atonement. An explanation of the date of the latter feast would be gained by this
5. Later History:
The instrument to be used in the trumpeting is not specified in the Bible, but
Jewish tradition decided in favor of the horn and not the metal trumpet, permitting
for synagogue use any kind of horn except a cow's, but for temple use only a straight
(antelope's) horn and never a crooked (ram's) horn (Ro'-sh ha-shanah, iii. 2-4).
According to iv. 1, when the new year began on a Sabbath the horns were blown
only in the temple, but after its destruction they were blown in every synagogue.
Every Israelite was obliged to come within hearing distance of the sound (iii.7).
In the synagogue liturgy of iv.5-9 (which forms the basis of the modern Jewish
practice), four sets of "benedictions" were read, and after each of the last three
sets the horn blown nine times. Modern Judaism sees in the signals a call to self-examination
and repentance, in view of the approaching Day of Atonement.
See TRUMPET, III, 2, (8).
Burton Scott Easton
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