Another name for Rosh Ha Shannah is Yom Ha Din, or “Day of Judgment.” There is a good article in the Jewish Encyclopedia called the “Day of Judgment” and it goes into a lot of detail on this concept. There are many passages in the Scriptures that relate to Rosh Ha Shannah being a Yom Ha Din, but we are going to deal with a few of them so that we can get a feel for what to look for. These passages will carry the same concepts, idioms and phrases so after some time they will be easily spotted. For instance, Dan 7.9-10 says, “I kept looking until thrones (see also Rev 4.4) were set up (in Heaven), and the Ancient of Days (the Father) took his seat.; his vesture like white snow (righteous) and the hair of his head like pure wool (aged, wise in judgment). His throne ablaze with flames, its wheels (“galgilaw” in Hebrew, a type of angel) a burning fire (Ezek 1). A river of fire was flowing (the Torah- Deut 33.1; Psa 7.3; Isa 29.6..a scene of judgment) and coming out from before him thousands upon thousands were attending him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before him; the court sat and the books (Book of Life, Book of Remembrance. Three types of people are judged on Yom Ha Din: the Tzadikim = Righteous, the Chata’im = Sinners,and the Rashim = Wicked) were opened.” According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, this is a Rosh Ha Shannah, a Yom Ha Din. Compare this scene with what is said in Rev 4-5.
Rev 4.1-2 says that a “door was open” and if you compare that with Psa 24.7 you will see similar phrases. Psa 24 is a Rosh Ha Shannah psalm. The gates of Heaven are opened on Rosh Ha Shannah. These same gates are closed on Yom Kippur, and a person is sealed.
Understanding festival terms, especially the fall festivals, is a key to understanding the book of Revelation in a Jewish context. Forget “the church and Christianity” and how they understand it. The real question is: “How would a first century Jewish believer in Yeshua understand this.” Look at the terms in Rev 4. You will see that they are exactly what we have been learning and reading. A “door” (gate) is opened, a trumpet, a voice, thrones, one on a main throne (Ancient of Days), angels. What we have in Rev 4 is a Rosh Ha Shannah passage and we a heavenly scene on a Yom Ha Din, Day of Judgment. We are not done in Dan 7 because it goes on to say in Dan 7.13-14, “And I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven (believers in Heaven-Rev 1.7-8; Matt 24.29; Jude 14; Deut 33.2; Heb 12.1) one like a Son of Man (Bar Enosh, not Ben Adam, because Bar Enosh is an eschatological character, another name for the Messiah), and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and languages might serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” What we have in these verses is a coronation of a Jewish king (2 Kings 11) and this will relate to Rev 4 and 5.
Rosh Ha Shannah is a festival of the concealed moon (Psa 81.3) called “Yom Ha Kiseh” or “Day of Concealment.” In Gen 37.9-10 we see that Jacob interpreted Joseph’s dream. He said that the sun was himself, and the moon Joseph’s mother Rachel. In Rev 12, we see the moon as Israel (Rachel) and the bride. The New Moon festival is called “Rosh Chodesh” or “Head of the Moon/month.” It was a festival related to women. This festival was also called the “Born again (renewed) moon.” In Mal 4 we see that the “sun of righteousness” is the Messiah and in Psa 19 the “sun” is a bridegroom (the moon is the bride). The moon has no natural light but it does reflect the light of the sun, exactly what we, as the bride, should be doing. The moon is “hidden” on Rosh Ha Shannah and that is why this day is called the “Day of Concealment.” The month cannot begin until the moon is sighted. Rosh Ha Shannah is also called “The Day No Man Knows” because you don’t know when the month of Tishri begins because it is a new moon, so you have to wait till you see the moon. Tishri 1, or Rosh Ha Shannah, was also the first day of creation and no man was there. In a Jewish wedding anciently, the bridegroom could come at any time, so the wedding day was a day no man knew except the father who would tell his son to get his bride because everything was completed.
Now, in Gen 22 we have what is called the Akedah, or the “Binding of the Sacrifice.” It is one of the most important chapters in Jewish thought. After God stopped Abraham from offering his son Isaac as a Korban Olah, Abraham saw a ram caught in the thicket. This is symbolic of the Messiah caught in the thicket of man’s sins. That is why Yeshua wore a crown of thorns. This ram was offered and the left horn of this ram became symbolic of the shofar blown at Shavuot, called the “First Trump” because it related to the first stage of a Jewish wedding, the Betrothal (Jer 2.1-3). The right horn then became symbolic of the second stage of a Jewish wedding, the Kiddushin, or full marriage. This horn is called the “Last Trump” and it is blown on Rosh Ha Shannah. So, an idiom for Rosh Ha Shannah became “the last trump” and you see Paul using it in 1 Cor 15.52.
In Rabbinical commentaries, it says the ram in Gen 22 was burnt as an Olah, but was resurrected and the horns used. The left horn of this ram was blown at Sinai at the betrothal on Shavuot of God to Israel, and the right one will be blown at the coming of the Messiah on Rosh Ha Shannah, the day of the full wedding. Yom Ha Kiseh, the Day of Concealment, is an idiom for Rosh Ha Shannah, but Kiseh” also means a “throne.”
Psalm 81 is also read on Rosh Ha Shannah. In the introduction, “Asaph” means “to gather” which is alluding to the gathering of God’s people to him on this day (2 Thes 2.1). In Psa 81.3 it says, “Blow the shofar at the new moon, at the hidden moon (kiseh) on our feast day.” This is a Hebrew parallelism. The “new moon” is “covered” or a “hidden” moon. In the Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Ha Shannah 8a and 8b, it quotes Psalm 81.3 and it is called the “covered time for our feast day.” What we have is the moon (symbolic of the bride, the woman) being hidden or concealed on Rosh Ha Shannah. Kiseh also relates to the throne as we have said, and it speaks of the coronation of the Messiah on that day. Ancient thrones had a “covering” or “canopy” over them and that is why this word is related to a throne. Rosh Ha Shannah is also associated with the resurrection. The “Last Trump” is a Hebrew idiom used by Paul in 1 COr 15.52 to describe this resurrection on Rosh Ha Shannah. The shofar is an allusion to a “wake-up call” for believers (Eph 5.8-14-it is believed that Paul wrote Ephesians during the High Holy Days of Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur because he uses many idioms and phrases from these festivals). An Ancient Temple prayer called for the people to “awake” and Paul based his prayer in Eph 5.14 on this Rosh Ha Shannah prayer from the Temple services.
In 1 Thes 4.13-15, we have another teaching about this resurrection on Rosh Ha Shannah. There are two groups of righteous. One group “sleeps” (meaning “dead”) and the other is “alive and remains.” 1 Cor 15.50-52 and 1 Thes 13-17 describe the same event. The phrase “caught up” is the Greek “harpuzo” and it relates to the Natzal, which in Hebrew means to “pluck up.” So, the dead and the living believers will be “caught up” and “changed.” 1 Thes 5.1 says that Paul brings up the festivals and their seasons, and says the Thessalonians understood these concepts, which means that Paul taught them to them. This event relates to the festival of Rosh Ha Shannah.
2 Thes 2.1 says, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and our gathering (the Natzal, being “caught up”) together with him.” Now, this “gathering” to him is a Jewish concept (Isa 13.1-3, 26.1-3, 57.1-2, 18.3 and Zeph 2.1-3). Paul taught it in 1 Cor 15 and 1 Thes 4.
In Part 16, we are going to develop this concept of the “gathering” further, beginning in 2 Thes 2-3, and look at what exactly the “falling away” really is. Many have believed it is talking about an apostasy away from the faith, but we will see that it is really talking about a “physical departure.”