How to Understand the New Testament-Part 12

We are now going to move into the fall festivals, beginning with Rosh Ha Shannah and the season of “Teshuvah.” 1 Thes 5.1 says, “Now as to the times (the “moedim” or appointments, the festivals in Lev 23) and the seasons (examples: Passover to Shavuot is a season; the season of Teshuvah, beginning Elul 1 through Yom Kippur, is a season; the 10 Days of Awe are from Rosh Ha Shannah to Yom Kippur and is a season; Shavuot to Sukkot; Passover to Shemini Atzeret are seasons), brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you (because they had been taught about these things).” So, a new festival season begins in the fall. Thirty days prior to Rosh Ha Shannah (Elul 1) begins the season of “Teshuvah” or “return.” Elul is the twelfth month on the civil calendar, but on the religious calendar it is the sixth month. Tishri 1 is Rosh Ha Shannah, which means “head of the year” on the civil calendar. The biblical name for this day, however, is Yom Teruah which means the “day of the awakening blast” (of the shofar-Num 29.1). The word “teruah” also means “shout” (1 Thes 4.13-18). On Tishri 10 we have Yom Kippur. These ten days in between are called the “Yamim Noraim” or “the days of awe.” So, when you add the thirty days of Elul with the ten days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur you have forty days of repentance. Tishri 15 begins Sukkot, Tishri 21, the seventh day of Sukkot, is a day called “Hoshanna Rabbah” or the “Great Salvation.” Tishri 22, the eighth day, is called “Shemini Atzeret” or the concluding day for all the festivals. This day is also called “Simchat Torah”, or “rejoicing in the Torah.” These days relate to many New Testament passages. We know Yeshua fulfilled (which doesn’t mean “do away with” but “give meaning to, confirm”) aspects of the redemption during the spring festivals (see Part 11). We need to understand that Yeshua will do the same thing during the fall festivals, so these will teach aspects of the Birthpains (tribulation) and the second coming of Yeshua. Anyone paying attention to the news can see that these things are “at the door.” The bad things happening today are warnings. Eschatologically we are in the days of Teshuvah right now, coming up to Yom Teruah and the Natzal (the gathering, rapture) and then the Birthpains. Hag 1.1-2 is Elul 1 (the sixth month on the religious calendar) and the beginning of Teshuvah. This book is prophetic, in that it speaks about the days leading up to the Birthpains eschatologically. We see plans for the Temple, just like today, and we have allusions to the first coming of Messiah in Hag 2.10 and 2.18. Yeshua was conceived around this date, and this date will be associated with Chanukah in the future. Also, this date is associated with the rebuilding of the Temple when Yeshua comes (Dan 12.11-12). When you count from the exact middle of the tribulation period, Nisan 10, to the end on Yom Kippur, you have 1260 days. Then add 75 days to that and you come to Chanukah, for a total of 1335 days. In Hag 1.3-11 we find that there is a call to Teshuvah. The whole month of Elul speaks of returning to God before the Days of Awe (Tishri 1 through 10) begin. Eschatologically the Days of Awe represent the Birthpains, or Tribulation, and Yom Teruah will be the day the shofar will sound and the Natzal, or rapture occurs. This is the first day of the Days of Awe. So, the Natzal will occur before the Birthpains and believers will not go through them. Psa 27 is read everyday during Teshuvah and there are terms you must know to understand what the Lord is communicating. Again, “teruah” is a type of shofar blast. It can also be a loud “shout” and a shofar is blown everyday along with reading Psa 27. Another name for Yom Teruah, or Rosh Ha Shannah, is “Yom ha Din” or “Day of Judgment” (we will get into this concept later). Psa 27 is telling the people that trouble is coming but they need to trust the Lord. Psa 27.5, the “day of trouble” alludes to the Birthpains (Isa 26.16; Jer 30.7; Zeph 1.17) in v 5 it says that “he will conceal me in his Sukkah” alludes to Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha Shannah) which is also known as “Yom ha Kiseh” or the “day of concealment” which is also related to the New Moon festival, the day Yom Teruah occurs on the first day of the month (see 1 Thes 1.10; John 14.1; Zeph 2.1-3; Isa 26.19-20). The Rapture can be found in ancient Jewish writings as “the gathering” (1 Thes 2.1). Psa 47 is a coronation Psalm and is read on Yom Teruah, or Rosh Ha Shannah. When we see the terms used, it is clearly related to Yom Teruah (clap your hands; shout; trump). 1 Thes 4.13-18 we have similar terms like “shout”; “trump (shofar)” and some of the same concepts seen in Psa 27 and 47. There are many other psalms and Scriptures related to this. Paul is using festival terms already well known at the time, and in this case, terms relating to Yom Teruah, or Rosh Ha Shannah.
Now, for the thirty days of Elul these terms have been heard by the people, and they were to “wake up” and return (teshuvah) to God. After those thirty days, we come to Rosh Ha Shannah, Tishri 1. In 1 Kings 8.1-66 we have Solomon bringing up the Ark to Jerusalem and the Temple. The people assembled themselves in v 2 “at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is in the seventh month.” Ethanim is an ancient name for Tishri. In v 65 we are going to see that Rosh Ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot were seen as one “festival season.” It says Solomon “observed the feast”(of Ethanim) which means Rosh Ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot together as one unit. In 1 Kings 8.66 it says that “on the eighth day” and this is “shemini atzeret”, the eighth day of Sukkot, he sent the people home. So, let’s look at this passage. So, Solomon observed all three feasts, starting on Tishri 1, Rosh Ha Shannah, for “seven days and seven more days” making a total of fourteen days. On the tenth day they celebrated Yom Kippur. This brings us to Tishri 15, the beginning of Sukkot (v 65). Then on the “eighth day” of Sukkot (v 66) he sent the people away to their homes, the festivals were over and the Temple was dedicated. In Neh 7.73 through 8.2, we see that the people “gathered” on Tishri 1 (the ancient Jewish term used for the Natzal, or rapture, on Rosh Ha Shannah-2 Thes 2.1) and that there was a continuity from Rosh Ha Shannah to Shemini Atzeret of Sukkot as you read Neh 8.1-18. Lev 23.23 says that this festival has the blowing of trumpets. Sometimes this festival is called “Trumpets” but that is not entirely accurate. Num 29.1 says that Rosh Ha Shannah is a day for the “blowing of trumpets”, but in Hebrew it is Yom Teruah, or the “day of the awakening blast.” In any Rosh Ha Shannah Machzor (prayer book) it has the shofar service done on Rosh Ha Shannah. This festival is also teaches the enthronement of a king. Psa 47 is read, where you will see terms like “clap your hands” and “shout unto God with a voice of triumph.” This done at a coronation of a Judean king (see the book “Ancient Israel” by Roland Devaux, Part II, p 102-107). In 2 Kings 11.1-16 we have the coronation of Joash, which is also a picture of the 7000 year plan of God, the Birthpains and the coming of Yeshua. Joash is “hidden” for six years (6000 years) because Athaliah (a type of Satan/false messiah), who has usurped the throne, is trying to kill him (what Ha Satan tried to do) because he is the legal heir to the throne. In the seventh year (the Messianic Kingdom, the Lord’s day, the Day of the Lord-v 4) the captains of the guards are brought into the house of the Lord (the Natzal, the gathering, rapture) to see the king’s son (we will be gathered to heaven to see Yeshua). In v 10-12 they accompany the son of the king to his coronation in the Temple (heaven) where there is the “clapping of hands”, “shouting” and “trumpets”, all idioms for Rosh Ha Shannah (Psa 47).Athaliah is seized and killed (just like Yeshua will do to the false messiah when he returns, and seizing Satan and binding him-Rev 20.2). With this information, we can see that Revelation chapters 4 and 5 are talking about the coronation of Yeshua in heaven after the believers have been gathered to him on Rosh Ha Shannah. In 1 Thes 4.13-16, the same terms of Psa 47, which is a Rosh Ha Shannah Psalm, are used by Paul and are speaking about Rosh Ha Shannah. We will pick up here in Part 13 where we will begin with more terms about Rosh Ha Shannah, moving on to Yom Kippur and Sukkot. In doing so, you will pick up terms, idioms, phrases and concepts that will help you understand the New Testament in its proper context.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament

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