We are seeing that Rosh ha Shannah is a day of reciting the Scriptures and the blowing of the shofarot. The Scriptures for Rosh ha Shannah are divided into three categories. Malchiot are the “king” or “kingdom” passages; Zikkranot are the “remembrance ” passages and Shofarot are the “shofar” passages. You want the Lord to “remember” these passages and the promises associated with them. These passages begin in the Torah and then go to the Ketuvim and end with the Prophets. There are ten verses in each category, and ten is the number of judgment.
There are three notes that are blown on the shofar. A “Tekiah” is one, long blast. A Shevarim is three blasts, and a Teruah is nine, short blasts. So, on Rosh ha Shannah the shofar is blown with these three notes and then the Malchiot passages are read, which are: Exo 15.18; Num 23.21; Deut 33.5; Psa 22.29; Psa 93.1; Psa 24.7; Isa 44.6; Oba 21; Zech 14.9 and Deut 6.4 concludes the Malchiot readings. Then the shofar is blown again and the Zikkranot passages are read which include: Gen 8.1; Exo 2.24; Lev 26.42; Lev 26.45; Psa 111.4; Psa 111.5; Psa 106.45; Jer 2.2; Ezek 16.60; Jer 31.19. You are petitioning the Lord to remember his promises. The shofar is blown again and then the Shofarot passages include: Exo 19.16; Exo 19.19; Exo 20.18; Psa 47.6; Psa 98.6; Psa 81.3; Psa 150 (the whole psalm); Isa 18.3; Isa 27.13; Zech 9.14 and Num 10.10 is the overall conclusion.
Where did they blow the shofar in the Temple? Possibly at the Kiseh, which was just on the Duchan. There was a platform there where the kings would read the Torah. 2 Kings 11.1-16 tells us about the coronation of Joash and a messianic picture of the last 7000 years. It also is a picture of the coronation of Yeshua after 6000 years. Josiah is hidden in the Temple attic (heaven) for six years (6000 years) and appears. Athaliah is a picture of Satan/false messiah who usurped the throne from the rightful heir (Joash) and she defeated and taken out. Much of the terminology is related to Rosh ha Shannah. In verse 12-14 it says, “Then he brought the king’s son out (a picture of when the king’s son Yeshua will appear on Rosh ha Shannah, the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom) and put the crown on him, and the testimony (the Edut); and they made him king and anointed him and they clapped their hands and said, ‘Long live the king.’ When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people in the house of the Lord. And she looked and behold, the king was standing by the pillar (possibly the Kiseh) according to the custom, with the captains and the trumpeters beside the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried ‘Treason! Treason!.'”
It is believed that on Rosh ha Shannah this is re-enacted, looking back at the coronations in the past and looking forward to the coronation of Messiah. The songs and Scriptures will reflect all of this. So that is why it is done at the Kiseh, on the Duchan, in the Temple. As we have said before, trying to reconstruct the Rosh ha Shannah ceremonies is hard, but the Scriptures can give us much insight and we know there were ceremonies. The question is “Why were they omitted in Josephus and other writings?” On the other hand, that may not be exactly true, as we have already seen in Neh 8 and Ezra 3. Both take place on Rosh ha Shannah. We know that they came together to study the Torah and to blow the shofar (Num 29.1-2). It became the custom to blow it 100 times. We know it was an enthronement festival and all the fall festivals are linked (Neh 8.17-18). Rosh ha Shannah became known as the “enthronement festival” with psalms.
The days between Rosh ha Shannah and Yom Kippur became known as the “Yamim Noraim” or the “Days of Awe.” Everything flowed into one another in a prophetic progression of concepts to Sukkot. We know that Rosh ha Shannah is a Yom ha Din based on Psa 81.3-4 and that it was a “rehearsal” (Mikrah) for the coming of the Messiah. In the book “Ancient Israel” by Roland Deveaux, p 110-114, it has information on how the person of the king was seen anciently. Rosh ha Shannah had a greater emphasis in the first Temple period than in the second Temple period. It was said that King Agrippa cried because he could not sit in the Azarah, at the Kiseh, because he was not a descendant from David. Remember, the king’s throne (Kiseh) was set up on the Ducahn, a platform, and that is where it was set on Rosh ha Shannah. Yeshua will be the next king that will sit there.
So, what we know is they read from the Torah, the Levitical choir sang enthronement psalms and shofar was blown. Now we are going to look at the Royal Psalms, also called the Enthronement Psalms. We are not sure these were used at Rosh ha Shannah, but many sources say they were. Information on this can be found in the book “The Psalms in Israel’s Worship” by Sigmund Mowinckel. He is Norwegian but many Jewish sources quote him. It is one of the best books you can get on this subject. There is a section called “The Psalms at the Enthronement Festival of the Lord” which will relate them to the festivals of Rosh ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Another source is “Tehillim” by Artscroll and go to Psa 45 and read the introduction on p 559. Psalm 45 is a Rosh ha Shannah and coronation psalm. At the beginning, you will see the word “Shoshanim” which means a “rose” but it was a musical instrument because it was shaped like a rose. Some interpret this word as “lily” because of its trumpet shape. It goes on to explain that some see this psalm as a “wedding song celebrating the marriage of a bride and groom, who begin their marriage with two very different and sometimes conflicting personalities, but who ultimately blend together in perfect sublime harmony” (Artscroll “Tehillim” p. 559). Radak and Ibn Ezra maintain that this song is dedicated to the Messiah. Ibn Ezra adds that it may refer to David himself; for the names of Messiah and David are one, as seen in the verse ‘And David, My Servant, will be a prince (Messiah) forever’ (Artscroll “Tehillim” p. 560).”
We will pick up here in Part 25, where we will list and begin to look at the enthronement psalms and talk about terminology such as “a new song” and how that relates to the Messiah and eschatology. We will also see how these songs fit into our understanding concerning the Sabbath, the Messianic Kingdom called the “Atid Lavo” and how that moves right into the Olam Haba. We have only scratched the surface on how all of this applies to the ceremonies of Rosh ha Shannah, but what we will present will help in our understanding of the coming of Yeshua and the Messianic Kingdom, not to mention prophecy.