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Rosh HaShanah
(1) The Wedding of the Messiah        (2) The Feast of Trumpets

 


 

(1) Rosh HaShanah: The Wedding of the Messiah

by Eddie Chumney, Hebraic Heritage Newsgroup

The Bible is a marriage covenant. Both the Tanach (Old Testament) and the Brit Hadashah (New Testament) describe how G-d through the Mashiach (Messiah), the Bridegroom, is in the process of marrying His bride, the believers in Him who will ultimately live and dwell with Him forever.

G-d ordained and established marriage and its divine sanctity in the Torah, the very first book of the Bible, Genesis (Bereishit), when He brought Adam and Eve together to become one flesh (Genesis 2:21-24). In doing so, we have a vivid foreshadowing of the Messiah being married to those who would believe upon Him. Let's examine this closer.

Adam is a type of the Messiah Yeshua. Adam was made after the likeness of Yeshua (Romans 5:14). Yeshua (Jesus) was made in the likeness of Adam (Philippians 2:8). In fact, Yeshua is called the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-47). In Genesis 2:21, G-d had a deep sleep fall upon Adam. Sleep is synonymous with death (Daniel 12:2; John [Yochanan] 11:11-14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Ephesians 5:14). The deep sleep that G-d caused to fall upon Adam is a picture of the crucifixion and death of Yeshua, as Messiah ben Joseph. G-d brought a deep sleep upon Adam so He could take a rib from the side of his flesh. This required the shedding of blood. This is a picture of Yeshua who was pierced in the side of His flesh, shedding His own blood when He hung on the tree (John [Yochanan] 19:34).

From the rib of Adam, G-d made Eve. Likewise, by the death of Yeshua and faith (emunah) in Him, G-d established the assembly of believers known in Hebrew as the kehilat. The believers in the Messiah, His bride, become wedded to Him by faith (emunah). This marriage can be seen in the Tanach (Old Testament) as well as in Jeremiah 23:5-6, as it is written, .... this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah [Yermiyahu] 23:6). In Jeremiah 33:15-16, it is written, "...this is the name wherewith she shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah [Yermiyahu] 33:16). So from these passages in Jeremiah, we can see that a wedding is taking place. Therefore, by accepting, trusting, and believing in the Messiah, the bride of Messiah, His followers, become one with Him. These people would include both Jew and non-Jews who have lived since Adam and would include Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon as well as the prophets.

G-d gave the wedding customs, service, and ceremonies to the Jewish people (Romans 3:2; 9:4) to teach us about the Messiah Yeshua (Colossians 2:16-17). With this in mind, let's examine the biblical wedding ceremony that G-d gave to the Jewish people. The ancient Jewish wedding ceremony G-d gave to the Jewish people to teach us about the wedding of the Messiah consisted of 12 steps.

1. The selection of the bride

The bride was usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom. The father would send his trusted servant, known as the agent of the father, to search out the bride. An excellent example of this can be seen in Genesis 24. In this chapter, Abraham (a type of G-d the Father) wishes to secure a bride for Isaac (a type of Messiah) and sends his servant Eliezer (a type of the Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh]) to do this task (Genesis [Bereishit 24:2-4; 15:2). It is the role of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) to convict the world of sin and lead them to G-d (John [Yochanan] 16:7-8). Just as the bride was usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom, so the believers in the Messiah are chosen by G-d (John [Yochanan] 15:16). The bridegroom chose the bride and lavished his love upon her and she returned his love. This can be seen in Ephesians 5:25, as it is written, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself of it." In Genesis (Bereishit) 24, Rebekah (Rivkah) consented to marry Isaac (Yitzchak) even before she ever met him. Today, the believers in the Messiah Yeshua consent to become the bride of Messiah even though we have never seen Him. First Peter (Kefa) 1:8 speaks of this, as it is written, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

2. A bride price was established

A price would have to be paid for the bride. The agreed upon price was called a mohar in Hebrew. Yeshua, being our bridegroom, paid a very high price for His bride, the body of believers. The price He paid was His life. Yeshua considered the price He had to pay for His bride before His death as He went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray in Matthew (Mattityahu) 26:39, as it is written, "And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt." Yeshua was, in essence, saying, "Father, You have chosen this bride and I have agreed to the terms, but do you realize the price that is being asked for her?" Our mohar, our bride price, was His life. First Peter (Kefa) 1:18-19 says, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." In First Corinthians 6:20 it is written, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

3. The bride and groom are betrothed to each other

This is the first stage of marriage known as kiddushin. I have spoken at length of betrothal in Chapter 6, concerning Shavuot. Remember, betrothal is the first of two steps in the marriage process. Betrothal in Hebrew is known as erusin or kiddushin. Betrothal legally binds the bride and the groom together in a marriage contract, except they do not physically live together. Historically, G-d betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:19-20). Whenever you accept the Messiah into your heart and life, you become betrothed to Him while living on the earth.

4. A written document is drawn up, known as a ketubah. This betrothal contract is called, in Hebrew, a shitre erusin

The ketubah is the marriage contract that states the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The word ketubah means "that which is written." The groom promised to work for her, to honor, support, and maintain her in truth, to provide food, clothing, and necessities, and to live together with her as husband and wife. The ketubah was the unalienable right of the bride. The ketubah must be executed and signed prior to the wedding ceremony. The Bible is the believer's ketubah. All the promises that G-d provided for the believers in the Messiah are legally ours, as it is written in Second Corinthians 1:20, "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen...."

5. The bride must give her consent

As we saw in Chapter 6, which dealt with Shavuot (Pentecost), G-d betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai as stated in Jeremiah 2:2. Israel consented to the marriage proposal from G-d and said, "I do," as it is written in Exodus (Shemot) 24:3. Likewise, the personal application (halacha) to those who desire the Messiah to come into their hearts and lives is to accept His invitation to do so by faith (emunah), as it is written in Romans 10:8-10:

What, then, does it say? The Word is near you in your mouth and in your heart: that is the word about trust [emunah] which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgments and thus continues toward deliverance (Romans 10:8-10 Jewish New Testament Version).

So, even today, to become the bride of Messiah you must still say "I do" to Him.

6. Gifts were given to the bride and a cup called the cup of the covenant was shared between the bride and the groom

The rite of betrothal (erusin) is completed when the groom gives something of value to the bride and she accepts it. The gift most often given today is the ring. When the groom places the ring on the bride's finger, the rite of betrothal is completed. This completed rite is known in Hebrew as kiddushin, which means "sanctification."

The gifts to the bride are symbols of love, commitment, and loyalty. The gift G-d gives to those who accept the Messiah is the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) (John [Yochanan] 14:26; 15:26-27; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). When Yeshua ascended to Heaven, He gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:7-8). These gifts included righteousness (Romans 5:17-18), eternal life (Romans 6:23), grace (Romans 5:12,14-15), faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and other spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1,4). These included wisdom, knowledge, healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, the discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-11), as well as the gifts of helps and administration (1 Corinthians 12:28).

In addition, at this time the cup of the covenant was shared and sealed between the bride and the groom with the drinking of wine. In doing so, the couple drinks from a common cup. The cup is first given to the groom to sip, and then is given to the bride. This cup, known as the cup of the covenant, is spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-33, as it is written:

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jeremiah [Yermiyahu] 31:31-33).

Yeshua spoke of the cup of the New Covenant (Brit Hadashah) in Luke 22:20.

7. The bride had a mikvah (water immersion), which is a ritual of cleansing

Mikvah is a Hebrew word that means "pool" or "body of water." Mikvah is a ceremonial act of purification by the immersion in water. It indicates a separation from a former way to a new way. In the case of marriage, it indicates leaving an old life for a new life with your spouse (Genesis [Bereishit] 2:23-24; Ephesians 5:31). Immersing in the mikvah is considered spiritual rebirth. The reason is that a mikvah has the power to change a person completely. Concerning the marriage to Israel at Mount Sinai, G-d said in Ezekiel 16:8-9, as it is written, "...I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee... and thou becamest Mine. Then washed I thee with water...." The washing, or immersion, here refers to that of Israel before the people received the Torah when G-d betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus [Shemot] 19:14-15). Yeshua spoke to the Pharisee, Nicodemus (Nakdimon), that he must be born anew (immersed) to enter into the Kingdom of G-d (John [Yochanan] 3:1-7). The believers in the Messiah are to be immersed in the name of Yeshua (Acts 19:4). The Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) is the immerser of G-d (Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5; 11:15-16).

8. The bridegroom departed, going back to his father's house to prepare the bridal chamber

At this point, the bridegroom leaves for his father's house to prepare the bridal chamber for his bride. It was understood to be the man's duty to go away to be with his father, build a house, and prepare for the eventual wedding. Before he goes, though, he will make a statement to the bride. "I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you." This is the same statement Yeshua made in John (Yochanan) 14:1-3 before He went to His father's house in Heaven, as it is written:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Fathers' house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there ye may be also (John [Yochanan] 14:1-3).

9. The bride was consecrated and set apart for a period of time while the bridegroom was away building the house

Before the bridegroom could go and get the bride, the groom's father had to be satisfied that every preparation had been made by the son. Only then could he give permission to the son to go and get the bride. In other words, while the bridegroom was working on the bridal chamber, it was the father who "okayed" the final bridal chamber. The bridegroom did not know when his father would declare the bridal chamber fit and send him to go get his bride. This is exactly what Yeshua was referring to in Mark 13:32-37.

Meanwhile, the bride was to wait eagerly for the return of the bridegroom. In the mind of the bride, the bridegroom could come at any time, even in the middle of the night or at midnight. Therefore, she had to be ready at all times. Yeshua referred to this in Mark 13:32-37 and Matthew 25:1-13. While waiting for her bridegroom to come, the bride had to have thought to herself, "Is he really coming back for me? Is he really going to keep his word?" This was the thought that Peter (Kefa) answered in Second Peter 3:1-13.

10. The bridegroom would return with a shout, "Behold, the bridegroom comes" and the sound of the ram's horn (shofar) would be blown

The time of the return of the bridegroom was usually at midnight. When the bridegroom did come, he came with a shout (Matthew 25:6) and with the blowing of a shofar (trumpet) (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1). The marriage between the bride and the groom will take place under the chupah or wedding canopy. Since Heaven is a type of chupah, we can see that when Yeshua gives a shout for His bride, accompanied by the blowing of a shofar (trumpet), the marriage between Yeshua and His bride will take place in Heaven.

The marriage ceremony will have a sacred procession. For this reason, the bridegroom (Yeshua) will be led to the chupah first. When the bridegroom approaches the chupah, the cantor chants, "Blessed is he who comes." "Blessed is he who comes" is an idiomatic expression meaning "welcome." Yeshua said that He would not return for His bride until these words were said (Matthew 23:39). The groom is greeted like a king under the chupah. During this time Yeshua, the bridegroom, will be crowned King under the chupah, which is Heaven.

11. He would abduct his bride, usually in the middle of the night, to go to the bridal chamber where the marriage would be consummated. This is the full marriage, known in Hebrew as nesu'in

The bride and groom will go to the wedding chamber, or chadar in Hebrew, where the marriage will be consummated. They will stay in that wedding chamber for seven days, or a week. At the end of the seven days, the bride and groom will come out from the wedding chamber. This can be seen in Joel 2:16.

The word week in Hebrew is shavuah. It means a "seven." It can mean seven days or seven years. An example of the Hebrew word for week (shavuah) meaning seven years can be found in Daniel 9:24, as it is written, "Seventy weeks [shavuah, 490 years] are determined upon thy people..." and in 9:27, "And he [the false Messiah known as the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [shavuah, seven years]...." The week referred to in Daniel 9:27 is known to Bible believers as the tribulation period. The Jewish people understand this time to be the birthpangs of the Messiah known in Hebrew eschatology as the Chevlai shel Mashiach. This is taken from Jeremiah 30:5-7. From this we can see that the believers in the Messiah will be with the Messiah in Heaven for His wedding while the earth will be experiencing the seven-year tribulation period, or the Chevlai shel Mashiach, in Hebrew.

12. Finally, there would be a marriage supper for all the guests invited by the father of the bride

The bride and the groom would be in the wedding chamber for seven days. When the bride and the groom initially went into the wedding chamber, the friend of the bridegroom stood outside the door. All the assembled guests of the wedding gathered outside, waiting for the friend of the bride-groom to announce the consummation of the marriage, which was relayed to him by the groom. John (Yochanan) the Immerser (Baptist) referred to this in John 3:29. At this signal, great rejoicing broke forth (John 3:29). The marriage was consummated on the first night (Genesis [Bereishit] 29:23). The bloodstained linen from this night was preserved. It was proof of the bride's virginity (Deuteronomy [Devarim] 22:13-21).

On the wedding day, the bridegroom is seen as a king and the bride as a queen. During the consummation of the marriage, the bridegroom (Yeshua) will be crowned King over all the earth and the bride (the believers in Yeshua, the Messiah) will live with Him and rule with Him forever. The crowning of the King and the marriage can be seen in Isaiah 62:3-7. At the end of the week (seven-year tribulation, or birthpangs of the Messiah), the marriage supper will take place. The marriage supper will not take place in Heaven. After the marriage, the bride and Groom will return to earth. The marriage supper will be taking place on earth and only the invited guests of the Father of the Groom (G-d the Father) will be present at the banquet meal. This can be seen in Revelation 19:7-16 and 20:4. Yeshua spoke of the marriage supper and the banquet in Luke 12:35-38 and Matthew 8:11. The wedding supper is a theme of the festival of Sukkot, which will be discussed further in a later chapter. During Sukkot, the people were instructed by G-d to build a temporary shelter. One of the things G-d instructed the people to do is eat there. When they eat, they are to set a plate for seven different people. Among the seven whom a plate is set for are Abraham (Avraham), Isaac (Yitzchak), and Jacob (Ya'akov). This is what Yeshua was referring to in Matthew 8:11.

The unbelievers in the Messiah will attend a separate banquet where the fowls of the air will eat their flesh. This can be seen in Revelation 19:17-18.

The home of the bride was Jerusalem and it was the bridegroom who came to the bride to dwell with her. It is from Jerusalem that the believers in the Messiah during the Messianic age, or Millennium, will reign with the Messiah. This can be seen in Revelation 21:1-3; Ezekiel 43:1-2,7; Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-5; and Zechariah 2:l0-12.

In concluding this section on the wedding, whenever anyone hears the message of the basar (gospel), it is a wedding proposal by G-d to accept Him and be a part of His bride. G-d desires that we accept His invitation and give Him our response of "I do." In fact, Revelation 22:20 is a proposal by Yeshua Himself to accept Him and be a part of His bride. His message in this verse is "Come." Will you say, "I do" to the Messiah's proposal to you?

 


 

(2) Rosh HaShanah - The Feast of Trumpets

by Patrick Flanigan

  We find in Leviticus 23 that the Festivals of the Lord were appointed times established as yearly rehearsals that taught both historically and prophetically the whole plan of God concerning the coming of Messiah and the redemption of man. The first four feasts have been fulfilled and we celebrate them historically. They are Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. These four Spring Feasts are considered to be an interrelated whole where Pentecost is the completion of the process begun at Passover.

Looking at the table below, it is significant that the events that are associated with those feasts are considered a unit and are quite distinctive from the Fall Feasts. The last three feasts; Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles are celebrated in the Fall season and are yet to be fulfilled so they remain prophetic in nature.

Rosh HaShanah is the fifth of seven feasts and it begins the High Holy Days or the Days of Awe. We know that from the time of the rapture to the end of the tribulation will certainly be days of awe! The final seven days in the Days of Awe correspond prophetically to the time of Jacob's trouble or the tribulation. The final three feasts are Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah), Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles. Prophetically, the feast of Trumpets is tied to the coming rapture of the church. Yom Kippur will find its prophetic fulfillment when all Israel is saved at the end of the tribulation. Tabernacles will find its prophetic fulfillment when God once again tabernacles or dwells in the midst of His people at beginning of the millennial reign.

Below is a table where the Feasts are listed with their messianic significance.

 

Passover Death of Jesus Christ
Unleavened Bread Burial of Jesus Christ
First Fruits Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) The outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Trumpets The resurrection of the righteous dead and rapture of the church
Atonement The Second Coming
Tabernacles The Messianic Era

There are four months that separate the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) or the Spring Feasts unit from the Fall Feasts. Historically, it seems that the last two thousand years have been relatively quiet prophetically. That is changing significantly and has been since this century began. I believe that we are entering the season of the Fall Feasts. The month prior to the High Holy Days is called Elul and is used to call people to repentance and to prepare to enter the Days of Awe. There is a growing sense of the approaching Days of Awe on a worldwide scale and many are getting serious about God and personal holiness.

The Feast of Trumpets will soon find its prophetic fulfillment. Why do we associate the Feast of Trumpets with the rapture of the church?

The Hebrew name for Rosh HaShanah is Yom Teruah or the day of the awakening blast. Following are the Days of Awe. This in itself presents a strong case for a pre tribulation rapture. The coronation of the King, the resurrection of the dead, the joy of the Messianic kingdom, and the wedding of the Messiah are among the many themes associated with Rosh HaShanah. A strong theme associated with Teruah is to "awake." Teruah can also be translated "shout". These themes are reminiscent of 1Thessalonians 4: 15-17,

 

"According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

This passage is filled with Hebrew idioms that are expressly associated with Rosh HaShanah, the Feast of Trumpets and therefore this passage lends itself as cultural evidence that Rosh HaShanah will be the appointed day of the rapture of the church and the resurrection of the dead.

Since a significant theme of Rosh HaShanah is that of the wedding of the Messiah, let us now examine the ancient customs associated with the Jewish wedding ceremony to see if there are practices that correspond with many themes of this festival. Prior to the actual betrothal (a serious legal transaction), the woman indicated the acceptance of the man's proposal of marriage by drinking a cup of wine. This is why Jesus passed the cup of wine at the Last Supper. When we drink the wine of communion we are accepting Him as our future groom. We are to remember Him, and not prostitute ourselves and soil our wedding garments. The man would then pay a bride price. Jesus paid for us with His life. The man would then give his betrothed gifts. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. The man would then leave for a period of one to two years to go build a place for us - a wedding chamber.

Note that 1000 years is like a day to the Lord. Within 2 days or 2000 years Jesus will return for His bride! Upon completion of the wedding chamber, the bridegroom goes to get his bride at midnight with a host of people with him both shouting and blowing the shofar. He takes the bride to the wedding chamber. Notice that the bride is taken from her familiar surroundings to a place she has never been - the home of the bridegroom. They would immediately go to the marriage supper and then enter the bridal chamber for a period of seven days to consummate the marriage. Rosh HaShanah is also known as the Day of our Concealment. Note that the seven days that we are concealed within the bridal chamber correspond with the seven years of tribulation that will be unleashed by God the Father upon an unbelieving world. Notice again the strong evidence for a pre tribulation rapture based on the Jewish wedding ceremony. When the seven days are completed, we will return with Jesus and then Yom Kippur and Tabernacles will find their prophetic fulfillment.

One final word concerning Rosh HaShanah: Many people believe that we "will not know the day or the hour of His appearing". They fail to realize, however, that this phrase taken from Matthew 24:36 is an actual common Hebrew idiom for Rosh HaShanah. Jesus' audience fully understood that what Jesus was saying was "I will come again on Rosh HaShanah at some point in the future". It would be like saying in America, "I'll see you again when we gather together to exchange presents." We automatically know that we are referring to Christmas. In like manner, we can expect to see our Messiah on some future Rosh HaShanah.

I believe that all end time events are divinely planned and are not occurring randomly. Furthermore, I believe that the rapture will occur at an appointed time and God has revealed to us what the appointed times were and are in Leviticus 23 in His Festivals. I believe that we will, on some Rosh HaShanah, hear the awakening blast of the shofar and the shout of the archangel and we will dwell intimately in the presence of our Savior while the Days of Awe are unleashed upon the earth.