The Blowing of Trumpets
The Blowing of Trumpets was an introduction to the Feast of Tabernacles or of Ingathering. Like Passover, Tabernacles was a three-fold feast. Mentioned earlier, there was a civil or agricultural calendar in Israel also, which began in the seventh month of the Sacred year (Ex 23:16; 34:22).
Exo 34:22 “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.
Joel’s prophecy is better understood in this light:
Joel 2:23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
The first month here is the beginning of the civil year. Therefore, Joel writes of the same period that the Feast of Tabernacles is to take place (Joel’s first month of the civil year equals the seventh month of the sacred year – during the Feast of Tabernacles). We know by the Holy Spirit, speaking through Peter, that Joel references the days since Pentecost.
Acts 2:16-21 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. 18And on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. 19I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’
And in Joel, chapter 2, we read of the former rain and the latter rain (Joel 2:23). It begins with the blowing of trumpets:
Joel 2:1, 11-16, 19-24, 27-32 1Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! … 12“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. 14Who knows if He will turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him – A grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God? 15Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; 16Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room… 19The LORD will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations. 23Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil… 27Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. 28“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29And also on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days. 30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. 32And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.
Verses 23, 28-32 refer to the latter rain, which corresponds to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The entire passage speaks of the time directly before the day of the Lord (Joel 2:1), which is also the time of the latter rain.
According to Joel 2:23, as sure as the former rain came (the fulfillment of Jesus Christ at Passover and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost), the latter rain shall come down faithfully and finally in the first month of the civil calendar. This latter rain references the “High Holy Days” of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and ultimately the Feast of Tabernacles. Thus, at the beginning of Tabernacles, we have the greatest harvest because of the overabundant ‘‘rain’’ of the Holy Spirit that produces the harvest of souls for which the harvest of grain is but a symbol. This is the ingathering from God’s harvest field:
Exo 23:16 And the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.
This passage refers to the sacred calendar. Therefore, the phrase ‘‘end of the year’’ here signifies the Feast of Tabernacles. It is then that Joel says to blow the trumpet in Zion (Joel 2:1,15). The blowing of the trumpets occurred in several cases. Specifically, the trumpet was blown for four distinct situations, as the following passage will demonstrate:
- Calling the assembly (vs 2)
- Journeying of the camps (vs 3-6)
- Preparation for war (vs 9)
- Celebration of the feasts (vs 10)
Num 10:2-10 2“Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps. 3When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 4But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you. 5When you sound the advance, the camps that lie on the east side shall then begin their journey. 6When you sound the advance the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall begin their journey; they shall sound the call for them to begin their journeys. 7And when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but not sound the advance. 8The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations. 9“When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. 10Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God.”
The two trumpets were made from one whole piece of silver. Recall that two is the number of witness. Silver symbolizes redemption and salvation.
- Therefore, God will call His assembly together in the last days:
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet…
- God calls His people to go forward and possess the land, the inheritance:
Eph 1:13-14 13In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
- God calls His people to war to possess the land:
2 Cor 10:3-6 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
- God calls His people to celebrate the feasts:
1 Cor 5:8 Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Paul isn’t indicating that Christians are “under the law” and therefore must keep the feasts as the Jews do. For Paul, keeping the feast meant the spiritual transformation of salvation and redemption. His teaching is clear in Colossians 2: the feast, sabbaths, circumcision, are all “shadows of things to come.” Those that twist the scripture to put Christians under the law to observe the same practices as Judaism clearly misunderstand the whole gist of Paul’s message:
Col.2:16-17 16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.