Friday, September 18, 2020

Thoughts on Yom T’ruah


That somewhat obscure mo’ed - Yom T’ruah -  is upon us again … Interestingly, in Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:24 the words “Yom T’ruah” are preceded by “Zichron” – memorial or remembrance. T’ruah is of course a sound, chiefly formed by one’s vocal chords or by blowing a shofar, or a trumpet. Remembering the sound, however, takes us to the one significant occasion where all of Israel witnessed (“saw” in Hebrew) the sounds (Ex. 19:16, 20:15). That, of course, took place at the base of Mount Sinai, when Elohim ‘appeared’ before His people, when and where He also uttered the Ten Commandments and summoned Moshe to go up the mountain.

Celebrating YHVH’s holy mo’adim is always a recalling of a past event/s and retelling, reliving or reconstructing it/them in some way, if you will. In both Colossians and Hebrews the feasts and the Torah are termed “shadows of things yet to come” (Col. 2:17, Heb. 10:1), thus rendering them prophetic. Hence commemorating these special times and events becomes a sort of rehearsal for a greater manifestation, in the future, of that which had already taken place.

 As we remember the act of YHVH’s manifest presence on Mount Sinai, His first and major revelation of Himself to the People of Israel as a whole, being the Husband who was betrothing His bride, we tremble in awe, we are humbled to the core that we too are called His people Israel, who have also received the promises conferred upon our forefathers on that momentous occasion. We acknowledge that YHVH is the King and Master over us individually and corporately, and as we worship and adore Him we declare our full allegiance to Him. At the same time we also look forward to the return of Yeshua, “with a shofar sound” and “with a shout” (Mat. 24:31, 25:6; 1st Cor. 15:42; 1st Thes. 4:16) to judge and to rule, to reign and to exert His sovereignty upon this earth from Jerusalem, and we shout (t’ruah) “Maran Atta!” Another significant event that we look forward to is the blowing of “the great shofar” which will signify the return from (the proverbial lands of) Assyria and Egypt of those who had been “lost” and “cast out”, but who upon this sound will be “gathered one by one into one” (Isaiah 27:13, 12b).

 Among the best expressions of adulation owed to the King, there is the one articulated in Psalm 47:  “To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout/T’ruah to Elohim with the voice of triumph!  For YHVH Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.  He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.  He will choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah. Elohim has gone up with a shout/T’ruah, YHVH with the sound of a shofar.  Sing praises to Elohim, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!  For Elohim is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding.   Elohim reigns over the nations; Elohim sits on His holy throne.  The princes of the people have gathered together, the people of the Elohim of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to Elohim; He is greatly exalted”. 

 One particular event which took place on the first day of the 7th month was the reading of the Torah after the construction of the Second Temple during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. “The people were gathered together as one man” and heard the Torah read, leading them to deep conviction, but also to a time of rejoicing in that set apart day (ref. Nehemiah chapter 8).

 In line with the command to celebrate the first day of the 7th month, we find the concomitant words in Psalm 81: “Blow the shofar at the time of the New Moon… For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the Elohim of Jacob.  This He established in Joseph as a testimony”.  Notice the emphasis here on Joseph. This is the only place where Joseph’s name – Yoseph – is spelt Y’Hoseph, with the added letter “hey” which stands for the name of YHVH. Yoseph, the hidden part of Israel, is much like the covered moon whose sliver has to be searched out on this particular day. Is this also a hint as to Yeshua's unknown day and hour of coming (Mat. 24:36)?

 But, “why the seventh month?” Why not declare and crown our Husband-King on the 3rd month of the Hebrew year, when He actually covenanted Himself to His people?

 Let us turn to the very first citation of “shofar” in the Scriptures. That takes us back to Shmot (Exodus), at the beginning of the three days’ preparation (i.e. the cleansing symbolizing for us repentance) of the People of Israel, prior to their encounter with Elohim. Moshe warns them lest they touch the mountain, or get close to it, but when the … “yovel sounds long… come near the mountain” (Ex. 19:13). The “yovel”, jubilee, is another word for shofar, which points to it being a ram’s horn, but also to what will be the sound that will signal the start of the year of jubilee.

 “And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.  Then you shall cause the shofar of t’ruah to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the shofar to sound throughout all your land.  And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family” (Leviticus 25:8-10 emphasis added).

 A “Shofar of T’ruah” for the Jubilee (Yovel) is to be sounded on the tenth of the seventh month every 49 years. The original shofar, called as we saw “yovel”, was not a physical or literal object. It was the shofar of Elohim, which even though was sounded on the 3rd month of the Israelites’ journey, was nevertheless a true sound of “yovel” – of liberation from slavery and from the ownership of another ‘ba’al” – lord or husband. In Shmot 11:1, in an address to Israel, it is announced that Pharaoh “will expel/divorce you as the sending away [divorce] of a bride” (lit. Hebrew translation). Elohim had to reclaim His bride, and He therefore sounded the t’ruah of the yovel-shofar ahead of the 7th month, as an act that demanded urgency. We are to call to mind this act every year at the start of the 7th month (ten days ahead of the once in every 49 years event), and in so doing we also prophesy that our Bridegroom will not be late in coming to claim us - His bride (at Succot) – at which time we will dwell with Him, never to be separated again (ref. Rev. 21: 3).   

 Chag Same’ach


1 comment:

  1. This is so easy to understand,I will send to some in Church that has been asking..