Happy “Yom Teruah” and “Yom Hekeseh!”
“Behold, I Show You a Mystery!” (1 Corinthians 15:51,52)
23 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. Leviticus 23:23 (New American Standard
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast day. Psalm 81:3 (New American Standard)
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. I Corinthians 15:51,52 (New American Standard)
Dateline Jerusalem! The new moon has been officially sited in Jerusalem today, October 2, 2016 with about 2.3 percent illumination.
Now, Rosh Hashanah, the feast of mystery officially begins. Why is this a feast of mystery? Because God never tells us why this feast was instituted. If you read about the other four feasts in Leviticus 23, you know what they are about. But, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the Feast of Trumpets or Tabernacles, God really doesn’t say.
Leviticus 23:23, God institutes a two-day feast at the first of the month called Rosh Hashanah, or “Head of the Year.” That is unusual in itself because the previous four feasts occur during the middle of the month at the full moon. However, this feast begins at the first day of the month at the “new moon,” or dark of the moon. It is not explained. So over the centuries, the Hebrew sages “created” tradition to explain what they felt the feast was about. These include:
1. Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year, Birthday of the World)
2. Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets, The Awakening Blast)
3. Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment)
4. HaMelech (Coronation Day of the Messiah)
5. Yom HaZikkaron (Day of Remembrance)
6. Chevlai shel Mashiach (Time of Jacob’s Trouble, Birthpangs of the Messiah)
7. Kiddushin/Nesu’in (the Wedding Ceremony)
8. Natzal (the Resurrection)
9. Shofar HaGadol (the Last Trump)
10. Yom Hakeseh (the Hidden Day)
11. The opening of the Gates
What I want to discuss is Yom Hekeseh, the Hidden Day and what the has to do with Kiddushin the wedding ceremony. Stay with me for a couple of paragraphs of review.
Again, Rosh Hashanah has several implications as the fifth unfulfilled festival. It is yes, a time that marks the beginning of a new calendar year. And for most of us westerners, that is about all it means in addition to food and football games. For the Jew it has several other meanings and implications that we need to know about. If this is a marker for the rapture of the church, then we need to be aware of not only the meaning of the numbers that make up the new Jewish year of 5777, but also the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony at the time of our Lord, Jesus the Christ.
I said previously, that 7775 and 5777 were markers for types of judgments upon the earth. Lamech’s age when he died was 777 and 5 years later was the flood, the first judgment on the earth. Conversely, the new Jewish year, 5777 may begin another period of judgment upon the earth if the rapture of the church occurs. The judgment is of course the great tribulation period.
The me and the sages are correct, the church, who is referred to many times as the Bride of Christ, will not suffer the judgment meant for the rest of the world who are unbelievers, because we will be hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3) as a partaker in the rapture of the church.
Another name for Rosh Hashanah is the “Yom Hakeseh” or Day of Concealment. The term keseh or keceh is derived from the Hebrew root kacah, which means to “conceal, cover, or hide.” It is taken by the Hebrew primarily from Psalm 27🕔:5 “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.”
Why would there be trouble? The sages are not too, sure. However, trumpets are blown in the Old Testament for three main reasons: for salvation, for proclamation and for trouble.
Every day during the preceding month of Elul, a trumpet is blown to warn the people to turn back to God, except for the thirtieth day of Elul, which is the day preceding Rosh Hashanah. On that day the trumpet is not blown, and is therefore silent. This is because much about Rosh Hashanah is concealed and shrouded in mystery. The mystical aspect of Rosh Hashanah is indicated in Scripture: “Sound the shofar on the New Moon, in concealment of the day of our festival” (Psalm 81:3). Satan, the accuser, is not to be given notice about the arrival of Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment (See list above).
The sages wanted Rosh Hashanah hidden from satan, because he is the adversary. The Bible says that satan comes to rob and to steal (John 10:10, and to confuse (1 Corinthians 14:33). Because it is the Day of Judgment, it is symbolically hidden from satan (satan did not know and understand the plan of the Cross, 1 Corinthians 2:7-8). This was hidden from him as well. Believers never said when the day of Rosh Hashanah was; they simply said, “Of that day and hour no one knows, only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36).
Because Rosh Hashanah was understood to be the hidden day, this statement by the Lord Jesus the Christ is actually an idiom for Rosh Hashanah. Thus it should be given as proof that He was speaking of Rosh Hashanah because Rosh Hashanah is the only day in the whole year that was referred to as the hidden day or the day that no man knew.
The practical reason that no one knew the day or the hour was because know one knew when the moon was going to be judged as a “new moon.” Two witnesses had to establish that they saw the first sliver of the new moon, thus establishing the first day of the year, the month and the festival. That is why this was a two day festival: it gave them some wiggle room if the moon was obscured by clouds.
So, because Rosh HaShanah takes place on the new moon, Colossians 2:16-17 says that the new moon will teach about the Messiah. The Jewish (biblical) month is based upon a lunar cycle. The moon can barely be seen as the cycle begins. But then the moon turns toward the sun and begins to reflect the light of the sun. The sun in the sky is a picture of the Lord Jesus the Christ (Malachi 4:2), and the moon is a picture of the believers in the Messiah. The sun has its own light, but the moon’s light is a reflection of the sun. When we first become believers in the Lord Jesus the Christ, we can hardly be seen spiritually, and we know very little about God. But then our lives begin to revolve around the Messiah as the moon revolves around the sun. As we begin to turn more and more toward the center of creation, we begin to reflect that light (Jesus) more and more, just as the moon reflects the light from the center of the solar system.
What this has to do with the ancient Hebrew wedding ceremony is simply this: the bride is another example from the Hebrew sages of someone who is suddenly snatched away when no one know the day or the hour when her bridegroom comes. More about that in the next article.
Remember what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51,52, “Behold, I show you a mystery!”