When is the Biblical Feast of Trumpets?

By Daniel Valles, 09/10/2013

 

In the Bible, God tells us that the lights in the heavens (the sun and moon) were given to let us know when the seasons and feasts were to be (Genesis 1:14-16). All of our determinations for a Biblical calendar and timeframe will come from these celestial bodies - not the Gregorian calendar, barley (plants) harvests, etc. Throughout Scripture, we find many important prophecies fulfilled on Jewish Biblical feast days. Looking back we see God's fulfillments in Passover, First Fruits (Christ's Resurrection), Pentecost, etc. Those were referred to as the Spring Feasts. The Fall Feasts appear to also line up as further fulfillment, with the next Feast event being the Feast of Trumpets and the prophetic event of the Rapture.

While the Julian/Gregorian Calendar marks it a month earlier on the evening of September 4th, 2013 and going through Friday, technically and from a Biblical perspective (going by the confirmed appearance of the 7th new moon after the Spring Equinox) it will be more toward Sunday evening, Oct. 6th, 2013 (depending on visibility, etc.).
 

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Please note that there is a lot of varying opinions about the current observed Jewish calendar. The Jewish calendar has been amended and tweaked over the millenia. In fact if you read this wikipedia article about the Hebrew Calendar, you can see how confusing it is even today. Even among the Jewish sects there is division on the 'proper' calendar, and observance of which dates are which.

The point of this article is not to study the currently observed calendars (since they are different); our study is focusing on using only Scriptures to find out the approximate timeframe for an event that the Author of the Scriptures alludes to - irrespective of man's programs. Man can change his calendars a thousand times; but man cannot change or adjust a celestial calendar.

I am not an expert, prophet, son of a prophet, nor do I have my own tv show; however, I can study Scripture and see what He says on the subject. I am also always learning; I am always open to clarification on areas, but here is my research on my plain understanding of Scripture.

Key The spring equinox (when daylight and night are equal length) celestially signals the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Since Genesis 1:14 specifically mentions that these celestial bodies are for the purpose of dividing the day from the night, this tipping point seems to best fit the description of defining the start of a new year cycle. The Spring Equinox is when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal [ref]. The 2013 Spring Equinox was March 20th.
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Psalm 104:19 - "He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down."

Isaiah 66:23 talks about how new moons (not full moons) are used to designate the months (future and current pattern): "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."

The months are defined as starting on the 1st sighting of the new moon (first sliver (light) reappearing after disappearing) at sunset. The first month would be the first sighted new moon after the spring equinox, which would generally be in early April, just a few days after the spring (vernal) equinox. All months have at least 29 days. If the new moon is not sighted (due to visibility, etc.) then another day is added to the current month. When the new moon first becomes technically visible (3%ish), it is still very hard to see, and might take a day for it to get up to 6% sliver to be seen with the naked eye.

Note: this term new moon is not the same thing as what is known as an astronomical new moon, which is not visible.

Key The days are defined as from sunset to next sunset (Gen. 1:5); this sunset time is also when the new moons are seen.
Key Knowing the start of the year and the start of the months, is very important because all of the feast days are set relative to those dates.
Key The official sightings and declarations (and start of the feasts) are determined from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4:2).
 
2013 Calendar Comparison Overview

Celestial-Marked Event

Corresponding Gregorian Calendar Date (sunset-sunset)
Spring Equinox March 20th
New Moon - 1st Month April 11th-12th

Passover - The first of the Spring Feasts. 14 day of the 1st month (Exodus 12:18, Lev. 23:5)

April 24th-25th

Unleavened Bread (1 day later, for seven days) (Lev. 23:6)

April 25th-26th
New Moon - 2nd Month May 11th-12th
New Moon - 3rd Month

June 9th-10th

Weeks or Pentecost (Shavuot) - 50 days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:16)

June 15th-16th
New Moon - 4th Month July 9th-10th
New Moon - 5th Month August 8th-9th
New Moon - 6th Month September 7th-8th
New Moon - 7th Month Expected Sighting October 6th-7th

Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah. The first of the Fall Feasts) - 1st day of 7th month (Lev. 23:24). Notice that since this Feast occurs on the first day (sighting of the new moon), you cannot know specifically the day nor the hour of this event - but you can know the season.

Expected October 6th-7th

Day of Atonement - (Yom Kippur) 10th day of 7th month

Expected October 15th-16th

Tabernacles (Sukkot) - 15th day of 7th month

Expected October 20th-21st
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Why don't people use the Biblical way of determining the Feasts?

A few centuries after Christ's death, the Jewish leaders switched to a calculated calendar for convenience. Most people today celebrate the Jewish holidays based on calculated and pre-set dates. A few still observe the beginning of the new moon (on these calculated dates) for official starts.

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What are some problems of using the barley harvests to determine the start of the year?

Mainly, God told us that the lights in the heavens (sun, moon, and stars) are for determining time, seasons, and years - not the plants. For this reason alone I would not rely on any other method to determine the timeframe.

From a purely technical point of view, though, barley harvests can be extremely variable depending on when you plant them. Also, the Bible passages that are often quoted for this determination (Ex. 9:29,31; Ex. 12:1; ) a. do not mention barley, or b. they only contain barley as an incidental - never stated as a determination - especially since we have already been told explicitly what determines years (sun and moon - Gen. 1:14), or c. it is referring to barley growing in Egypt with different agriculture seasons and methods than Israel anyway.

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Is it important which day we celebrate the Feasts on, especially the Feast of Trumpets?

Absolutely, it is a feast that is repeatedly alluded to by Christ throughout prophecy. Also, considering that He told us explicitly five times (Matt. 24:42, 25:13; Mark 13:35,37; Luke 21:36) to "Watch" for it, we have a duty to be mindful of it and give heed to knowing the times and seasons whereof He was speaking.

 

Click Will Christ Return on the Feast of Trumpets?

 

 

 

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