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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Trumpets, Feast of
In Leviticus 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; Exodus 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" (השּׁנה ראש ,
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 Lev 23 or Nu 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 Ps 81 was especially written for this feast (compare Psalm 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. For Ezekiel 40:1 specifically calls this day
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 (
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Trumpets, Feast of'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/t/trumpets-feast-of.html. 1915.
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20