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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Trumpets, Feast of

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(יוֹם תְּרוּעָה, Numbers 29:1; Sept. ἡμέρα σημασίας; Vulg. dies clangoris et tubatrum; זְכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה, Leviticus 23:24; μνημόσυνον σαλπίγγων; sabbatum mnemoriale clangentibus tubis: in the Mishna, ראֹשׁ הִשָּׁנָה, "the beginning of the year"), 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. (See FEAST). 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 [see NEW MOON], 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 one young bullock.

It is said that both kinds of trumpet were blown in the Temple on this day, the straight trumpet (חֲצֹצְרָה ) and the cornet שׁוֹפָר or קֶרֶן ), and that elsewhere any one, even a child. might blow a cornet (Reland, 4:7, 2; Carpzov, p. 425; Rosh hash-Shan. 1, 2). When the festival fell upon a Sabbath, the trumpets were blown in the Temple, but not out of it (Rosh hash-Shan. 4:1). (See JUBILEE).

It has been conjectured that Psalms 81, one of the songs of Asaph, was composed expressly for the Feast of Trumpets. The psalm is used in the service for that day by the modern Jews. As the third verse is rendered in the Sept., the Vulgate, and the A.V., this would seem highly probable-" Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, the time appointed, on our solemn feast day." But the best authorities understand the word translated new moon (כֵּסֶה ) to mean full moon. Hence the psalm would more properly belong to the service for one of the festivals which take place at the full moon, the Passover, or the Feast of Tabernacles (Gesenius, Thesaur. s.v.; Rosenmü ller and Hengstenberg on Psalms 81).

Various meanings have been assigned to the Feast of Trumpets. Maimonides considered that its purpose was to awaken the people from their spiritual slumber to prepare for the solemn humiliation of the Day of Atonement, which followed it within ten days. This may receive some countenance from Joel 2:15, "Blow the trumpet (שׁוֹפָר ) in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly." Some have supposed that it was intended to introduce the seventh or sabbatical month of the year, which was especially holy because it was the seventh, and because it contained the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles (Fagius, in Leviticus 23:24; Buxtorf, Syn. Jud. c. 24). Philo and some early Christian writers regarded it as a memorial of the giving of the law on Sinai (Philo, Opp. v, 46, ed. Tauch.; Basil, in Psalms 81; Theodoret, Quaest. 32 viz. Leviticus). But there seems to be no sufficient reason to call in question the common opinion of Jews and Christians, that it was the festival of the New-year's-day of the civil year, the first of Tisri, the month which commenced the sabbatical year and the year of jubilee. If the New- moon Festival was taken as the consecration of a natural division of time, the month in which the earth yielded the last ripe produce of the season, and began again to foster seed for the supply of the future, might well be regarded as the first month of the year. The fact that Tisri was the great month for sowing might thus have easily suggested the thought of commemorating on this day the finished work of creation, when the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). The Feast of Trumpets thus came to be regarded as the anniversary of the birthday of the world (Mishna, Rosh hash-Shun. 1, 1; Hupfeld, De Fest. Hebrews 2, 13; Buxtorf, Syn. Jud. c. 24).

It was an odd-fancy of the rabbins that on this day, every year, God judges all men, and that they pass before him as a flock of sheep pass before a shepherd (Rosh hash-Shan. 1, 2). (See NEW YEAR).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Trumpets, Feast of'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/trumpets-feast-of.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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