Trumpets are used as signals of important events, and the Bible describes earthshaking end-time events that are pictured by the Feast of Trumpets.
The first three festivals, Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, reenact events that have already taken place and are ongoing in the lives of Christians. The last four festivals listed in Leviticus 23 preview dramatic future events in God’s plan of salvation. All four festivals occur during the fall harvest season in the Holy Land.
The fall festivals begin with the Feast of Trumpets.
Feast of Trumpets in the Bible
In Leviticus 23:24 God commanded this day: “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.”
The beginning of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar is usually in September or early October on modern calendars. Even though it is the seventh month of the sacred calendar, in another sense the Jews today consider it the “head of the year” or Rosh Hashanah. Some people call it the Jewish new year.
The Feast of Trumpets is also mentioned in 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 customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets.”
The book of Nehemiah records an example of an assembly on the Feast of Trumpets:
“Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel.
“So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month.
Thankfully, the seventh trumpet also heralds good news: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’”“Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law” (Nehemiah 8:1-3).
Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites reminded the people that the day was holy and was to be a day of joy and feasting and sharing (verses 9-12).
Feast of Trumpets meaning
The apostle Paul explained that the biblical festivals are “a shadow of things to come” (Colossians 2:17). We believe that the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets is tied to the meaning and symbolism of trumpets in the Bible. (Learn more about shofars—trumpets made from animal horns—in our article “What Do Horns in the Bible Mean?”)
Trumpets in the Bible are used as signals of important events (Numbers 10:1-10; Joshua 6:4), and the Bible describes earthshaking end-time events that are pictured by this festival.
The book of Revelation lists seven terrible plagues announced by seven trumpets (Revelation 8-11). These plagues will come in the times just ahead of us because of humanity’s sins. Consider the sixth trumpet and its announcement of a 200-million-man army preparing for a battle that will kill a third of humanity (Revelation 9:16-18). In spite of these punishments, human leaders and their subjects will continue to pursue selfish and ungodly goals and sins (Revelation 9:20-21).
Thankfully, the seventh trumpet also heralds good news: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).
Finally Jesus Christ will intervene in world affairs to stop humanity from self-destruction (Matthew 24:21-22). In His Olivet Discourse He went on to describe His return: “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect” (verses 30-31). He will then begin to establish His long-promised utopian Kingdom of God on the earth.
The first resurrection to eternal life
At Jesus Christ’s return another incredible event will occur. The apostle Paul announced it this way:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Paul also made clear that this would occur when Jesus Christ was returning (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
The Feast of Trumpets focuses on these pivotal events that signal the end of human rule and the establishment of God’s wonderful Kingdom on earth.
Zechariah 14 and Revelation 19 recount the final battle when the evil end-time “beast” and other world leaders try to fight the returning Christ. They will prove no match to our all-powerful Messiah, and the stage will be set for the fifth step in God’s plan, pictured by the Day of Atonement.
How to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets
Reading through Leviticus 23, we see that that there are two requirements common to the seven holy days that are listed: We are to abstain from our regular work routine and rest, and we are to assemble for a holy convocation (have a church service). During these church services, messages about the meaning and fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets are given.
If you’d like to join Christians around the world who will be observing the Feast of Trumpets in anticipation of Christ’s return, feel free to contact us for further information.
When is the Feast of Trumpets this year?
The Feast of Trumpets in 2022 is Sept. 26, and in 2023 it is Sept. 16. For future years see our “Festival Calendar.”