The Keys to Understanding the Scriptures-Part 2

To illustrate what we mean by having the “keys” we are going to take the terms “last trumpet” and “shout” and look at what the rest of the meaning is. When we read these terms in the Scriptures, most do not understand what Paul is saying. This is not given to show what we know, it is given to show you what can be known, if you know the festival “sub-language.”

The word “teruah” means a “shout” and it also is associated with a shofar. In Num 29.1 it says that the first day of the seventh month (on the religious calendar) is a holy convocation. The word convocation is “mikra” and it means a rehearsal. It also says it will be a day for blowing of trumpets. In Hebrew it says “Yom Teruah” and means an awakening blast. This day is also the first day of the first month of the civil calendar, and so it is also called Rosh ha Shannah, or “head of the year.” There are four Rosh ha Shannah’s (New Years). Nisan 1 is the year for kings and feasts; Elul 1 is the new year for the tithe of cattle; Tishri 1 is the new year for reckoning the years, Shemittah and the Yovel (Jubilee), for planting of trees and vegetables; and the 1st of Shevat is the new year for fruit trees (Mishnah, Rosh ha Shannah 1.1).

The term “last trump” is an idiom that relates to Yom Teruah and Rosh ha Shannah. It is based on a teaching from Gen 22 called the “Akedah” or the “binding of the sacrifice.” The two horns of the ram caught in the thicket relate to the two stages of a Jewish marriage, the betrothal and full marriage. The left horn is called the “first trump” and that relates to the festival of Shavuot because it was at Mount Sinai that the Lord “betrothed” himself to Israel (Jer 2.2). The right horn is called “the last trump” and relates to the full marriage at Yom Teruah. So, the “last trump” is an idiom for Yom Teruah and Rosh ha Shannah on Tishri 1.

Another name for this festival is “Yom ha Zikkaron” and it means the “day of remembrance.” This concept can be seen in Mal 3.16 where a “book of remembrance” is written before the Lord. In Lev 23.23-25 we learn that Yom Teruah is a “reminder” (zikkaron) by the blowing of trumpets. Another name for this day is Yom ha Din, which means the “day of judgment” and much information can be learned on what this is by going to the Jewish Encyclopedia in the article “Day of Judgment.” In Dan 7.9-10 it says that Daniel kept looking “until thrones were set up and the Ancient of Days (the Father) took his seat (for judgment, this is a Yom ha Din); his vesture like white snow (righteous); his throne ablaze with flame; it wheels (ophanim, a type of angel-Ezek 1) a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing (judgment flowing) and coming out from before him; thousands upon thousands were attending him; and myriads upon myriads were standing before him; the court sat (judgment) and the books were opened.” We see here that the “books were opened” and the court was seated, so it is a Yom ha Din, and the context tells us it is Yom Teruah/Rosh ha Shannah. It is taught that of the books opened is called the “Book of Remembrance” or the “Sefer ha Zikkaron.”

What you need to get is a good prayer book called a “Siddur.” We recommend the Authorized Daily Prayer Book by Joseph Hertz. Another good one is by Artscroll Publications. Both of these have commentary on what is going on during the daily “Avodah” or service. If you want to know about a festival, get a festival Machzor which is a prayer book for the festivals. In the Artscroll Machzor for the Rosh ha Shannah morning service it says it is for “Yom ha Din” (p 135). All of these Machzorim and Siddurim have notes so you can pick up a tremendous amount of information by reading and studying them. You will come across much of the same terminology that you see in the Scriptures.

Why did God give us the festivals in the first place? They are “keys” to understanding his 7000 year plan and biblical eschatology and so many other things in the Scriptures. The Springs festivals have been fulfilled by Yeshua. Now, the word “fulfilled” is another word that has been “redefined” in Christianity to mean you don’t need to pay attention to them anymore because they have been “done away with.” Fulfilled does not mean “done away with” but “given meaning to, to fill with meaning, to carry out.” That means they can have numerous fulfillments. For instane, people say that “Jesus fulfilled the Law” so we don’t need to worry about that. But, does that mean he fulfilled the command to not lie, so now we can lie because it has already been “fulfilled?” Or what about idols. Yeshua “fulfilled” that, too, so does that mean we can have idols now? All “fulfilled” means is to give something meaning by carrying something out. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do it again. If Yeshua gave meaning to the Spring festivals, then the fall festivals have meaning also. The Spring festivals spoke about his first coming, the fall festivals teach about the second coming. Some epistles like First and Second Thessalonians and Ephesians were written around the time of Rosh ha Shannah and Yom Kippur because of all the festival terms being used. The Book of Revelation may have been written around Rosh ha Shannah. The theme of the book is full of Rosh ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot terms, and in Rev 1.10 it uses the term “Lord’s Day” which is also a name for Rosh ha Shannah.

The Jewish Encyclopedia has articles called “Book of Life” and “Yom ha Din” and they link these concepts to Rosh ha Shannah/Yom Teruah. So, the term “Yom ha Din” can be found all over Jewish literature like the Apocrypha, the Pseudo-Pigrapha, the Talmud, Mishnah, the Targums (Aramaic paraphrase) and the Scriptures. As we have said, the Jewish Encyclopedia can help define things for you, but you can get Bible programs, encyclopedias, lexicons, countless books and the Targum Onkelos on the Torah on-line now. That is an advantage that we did not have back in the 80’s and 90’s when we began. Now, there is a targum on the Prophets called the “Targum Yonaton ben Uzziel” and this one is important because he was a contemporary of the New Testament. The reason that is important is because it will have terms, phrases, idioms, concepts and the language used by those who wrote the New Testament. In other words, it can tell us what these things mean in the New Testament.

There are Yom ha Din’s every year. They fall on the festivals Rosh ha Shannah and Yom Kippur. Knowing the difference by context will “unlock” (with a “key”) the Scriptures for you. We must realize that there is a logic to all this. Gather your materials like your Siddurim, Machzorim, obtain a computer that can access the Internet and the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Targum’s and other sources for Hebraic terms, phrases, concepts and language. These are “keys” that will help you “drive your car” to get to your house so that you can unlock all the “rooms” in the house (the Scriptures) that you will need access to.

Another name for Yom Teruah/Rosh ha Shannha is “Yom ha Kiseh” which means the “Day of Concealment” and “Throne.” Yom Yeruah is a day of “resurrection, the Natzal, the gathering” at the sound of the “Teruah” or “shofar/shout.” The “Kingdom of the Messiah” starts on that day and will last 1000 years. The first seven years will have the Birth-pains on earth, but the believers in heaven will be taking part in a resurrection, the judgment of their works, a wedding and coronation. An idiom for Rosh ha Shannah/Yom Teruah is “the day no man knows” for the following reasons. First, it takes place on a new moon and nobody knows when the month will start until the new moon is sighted. Second, Tishri 1 was the first day of creation and no man was there. Third, it is a wedding term because the bride did not know when the groom was coming exactly, so she had to be ready. So, “the last trump” and “the day no man knows” are idioms for Yom Teruah/Rosh ha Shannah, Tishri 1. In Rev 4 and 5 we have Yom Teruah terms associated with the wedding and coronation of Messiah.

In Psa 81.3 it says, “Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the hidden (kiseh) moon on our feast day.” This is referring to Yom Teruah/Rosh ha Shannah. The word “hidden” is “kiseh” and the moon is a type of the believers, and the believers are “hidden” in heaven at the Natzal (rapture) on Yom ha Kiseh, the “Day of Concealment.” But “kiseh” also means “throne” and so this also alludes to the coronation of the Messiah. But, why is that linked to a word meaning “concealment?” The throne of a king of Israel had a canopy, like a chuppah, over it and it was a “concealment” so that word is connected to a throne.

We must look at Jewish sources to understand the Scriptures, and we have already given many that you can begin to use for your own studies A good workman needs a good set of tools, doesn’t he? Ever seen a guy show up to fix something broken in your house without them? If they did, you probably wouldn’t let him do the job and would think he doesn’t know what he is doing. We need to break the mold and get out of the rut we are in and have inherited from Christianity because they were interpreting from a Greek rather than a Hebrew mindset. The Scriptures were translated into Greek, then into Latin, to English, to French and so on.. As a result, a whole different mindset evolves. Words in Greek don’t mean what they do in Latin, or English or French, and neither do the concepts, phrases or idioms. We are looking at the fall festivals in our example of the “keys” because they deal with the second coming of the Messiah and these are things we should know about and look for. This is just an introduction into the material and given to show you how just looking at two terms like, “shout” and last trump” can tell us much more than we could ever imagine about prophecy, eschatology and the coming of Yeshua. We just need the “key” to open the door and drive the car named “shout” and “last trump.” There are “keys’ available to us that will help us unlock the meaning that God was trying to convey, and we are attempting to give you some of those keys so that you can open the door and “drive the car” and get where you want to go. There is no easy way to Bible study, but if you do it right it is a joy to do.

In Part 3, we will pick up here and begin by discussing more phrases and idioms related to Yom Teruah/Rosh ha Shannah.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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