In the Artscroll Machzor (Prayer Book) for Rosh Ha Shanah, p. 135, it says that Rosh Ha Shanah is a Yom Ha Din (Day of Judgment) and it has a full commentary. Both Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur are known as a Yom Ha Din. However, the main point of Rosh Ha Shanah is it is the greater Yom Ha Din. Yom Kippur is a Yom Ha Din (Day of Judgment) for those who were not judged as righteous on Rosh Ha Shanah. The Coronation of the Messiah occurs on a Rosh Ha Shanah, and it is also the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom.
In the Yom Kippur Machzor (Prayer Book) by Artscroll Publications, p. 233, it says that Yom Kippur is a Yom Ha Din (Day of Judgment) but there is no commentary because the Yom Ha Din of Rosh Ha Shanah is the greater Yom Ha Din with greater significance. That is why there is commentary in the Yom Kippur Machzor.
The Shofar Ha Gadol, or the Great Trumpet, is blown at the conclusion of the last service on Yom Kippur called “Neilah.” A Tekiah Gedolah (a great long blast of the shofar) is blown and this shofar is associated with the shofar blast of the Yovel (Year of Jubilee). Neilah means the “Closing of the Gate.” We will discuss the concept of the “opening and closing of the gate” later. But, the opening of the gate is a reference to Rosh Ha Shanah, and the closing of the gate is a reference to Yom Kippur. It also relates to repentance, so keep these concepts in mind.
In the Yom Kippur Machzor on the Neilah service, p. 765, the commentary says, “The sound of the shofar inspires within us a yearning for the shofar that will herald our ultimate freedom-the ‘Great Shofar’ that will announce the coming of the Messiah. This is also the reason for the custom to call out ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’ at this point.” In Matt 24.29-31 that is exactly what we see, and in Isa 63.1-6 the Messiah comes on a Yovel (v 4) even though the texts don’t say it is Yom Kippur, it expects you to already know that. Lev 25.9 says, “Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Yovel to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri 10); on the day of atonement (Yom Kippur) you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.”
Paul wrote that the resurrection would occur “at the last trump.” We have already seen in Jewish thought that the last trump was Rosh Ha Shanah. Yeshua said his coming to earth would be at a time of the blowing of the Shofar Ha Gadol (“the great trumpet”) and that is Yom Kippur (Matt 24.29-31), and the gates of repentance are closed. So, this tells us these two events (the resurrection and his coming to earth) can’t be at the same time. You cannot have the “last trump” on Yom Kippur with the “great trump.” This understanding takes the “post-Trib” theory off the table and shatters it.
Now we have the concept of the “opening of the gates.” In Jewish thought the gates of heaven are opened on Rosh Ha Shanah and they are closed on Yom Kippur (Rev 4.1, Psa 24.1-10, Isa 26.1-3 for example). Isa 26 starts out on a Rosh Ha Shanah and proceeds chronologically through the Birth-pains and ends on Yom Kippur at the conclusion of Isa 27.12-13 with the blowing of the Shofar Ha Gadol (the great trumpet).
Let’s go to Rev 4.1 and the phrase “a door was opened in heaven.” In Jewish understanding, on Rosh Ha Shanah the gates (or doors) of heaven are opened. On Yom Kippur they are closed. If you were Jewish 2000 years ago and read this, you would have no problem seeing that this was a Rosh Ha Shanah verse.
Psa 24.1-10 is a Rosh Ha Shanah psalm. It is read in every Rosh Ha Shanah service and it is a major emphasis. Psa 24.7-10 says, “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors (doors and gates are synonymous), that the King of Glory may come in! Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift up O ancient doors, that the King of Glory might come in! Who is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts (the armies), he is the King of Glory.” The reason that this psalm is read in association with Rosh Ha Shanah is the verses about the “opening of the gates.” It is a major concept behind what God is communicating about Rosh Ha Shanah. Now, let’s go to Isa 26 and 27.
The Bible uses many types of Hebrew poetry such as Hebrew parallelisms. That is where the first line is repeated in a different way in the second line (see Num 24.17 for example). Another form of Hebrew poetry is called a “Chiastic Structure.” This is a structure in which words or concepts are repeated in reverse order (A, B, C, B, A). The Book of Isaiah is a chiastic structure, so is the Torah. There are many examples of this. When Yeshua said, “The last shall be first and the first shall be last” it is a chiastic structure (A,B,B,A).
Isa 26 and 27 is a chiastic structure and we are going to look at these two chapters. We will see that it talks about the Birth-pains prophetically. So, let’s begin in Isa 26.1-10 where it says, “In that day (the Day of the Lord) this song will be sung in the land of Judah: ‘We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for the walls and ramparts. Open the gates (it’s Rosh Ha Shanah) that the righteous 2nation which keeps the truth (Torah) may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah the Lord (Yehovah) we have an everlasting rock.'”
So, notice we have the “Day of the Lord” (“in that day”) and the “opening of the gates” so we know we are dealing with Rosh Ha Shanah. The song continues in verse 5, “For he brings down those who dwell on high, the lofty city; he lays it low, he lays it low to the ground, he brings it down to the dust. The foot shall tread it down-the feet of the poor and the steps of the needy. The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright (God), you weigh the past of the just (it is Rosh Ha Shanah, Yom Ha Din and a day of judgment). Yes, in the way of your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for you; the desire of our soul is for your name and for the remembrance of you. With my soul I have desired you in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek you early; for when your judgments are in the earth (the Birth-pains) the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly and will not behold the majesty of the Lord (Isa 26.1-10).”
Notice in v 9 it says, “We will seek you early” so let’s develop this out a bit. The Lord gave the sun and moon for “signs and for seasons” in Gen 1.14. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that he had no reason to write to them about the times and seasons because the day of the Lord was coming like a “thief in the night” (1 Thes 5.1-2). Thirty days prior to Rosh Ha Shanah we have a season called “Teshuvah” which means “repentance.” The idea is to be ready for the Yom Ha Din of Rosh Ha Shanah so we should “seek him early” before we get to the Day of Judgment so that day will not come upon us like a “thief in the night.”
Picking up again in Isa 26.11, “O Lord, when your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see thy zeal for the people and are envious; yes, the fire of your enemies shall devour them. Lord, you will establish peace for us, for you have also done all our works in us. O Lord, our God, masters besides you have had dominion over us but through you alone we confess your name. The dead will not live, the departed spirits will not rise; therefore you have punished and destroyed them. You have wiped out all remembrance of them. You have increased the nation, O Lord, you have increased the nation; you are glorified; you have expanded all the borders of the land. Lord, in trouble (the Birth-pains) they have visited you, they poured out a prayer when your chastening was upon them. As a woman with child is in pain (the Birth-pains) and cries out in her pain, thus we were before you (Hos 5.15 to 6.3; Jer 30.4-8; 1 Thes 5.1-3; Matt 24.8).”
“As she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in your sight, O Lord. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have, as it were, brought forth wind; we have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, nor were inhabitants of the world born. Your dead shall live (we are still in Rosh Ha Shanah and the theme of resurrection here) with my dead body, their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust ‘awake’ and shout for joy (we will look at the term “awake” as a term and idiom associated with Rosh Ha Shanah, and Paul uses it in Eph 5.15)), for your dew is as the dew of the dawn (“dew” is a term for resurrection) and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits (resurrection at the beginning of the Day of the Lord on Rosh Ha Shanah). Come my people, enter into your rooms (“rooms” is the Hebrew “chedar” and a word associated in Joel 2.15 with the wedding of the Messiah) and close your doors behind you; hide for a little while until the indignation runs its course (“indignation” is another synonym for the Birth-pains-a specific period of time). For behold, the Lord is about to come out from his place (Hos 5.15; Joel 2.15-17) to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain (Isa 26.11-21).” These verses clearly teach that the resurrection of the righteous (Natzal/Rapture/Gathering) will occur at the beginning of the Day of the Lord and before the Birth-pains begin.
In Part 17 we will pick up with Isa 27.1-13.