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Prophecy in the Feasts
The Feasts of the LORD aren’t onlyabout prophecy. In Mosaic times, infact, their immediate historical set-ting corresponded to Israel’s agricul-tural year.The calendar was agrarian—like thecalendars of virtually all cultures inancient times. It told them when toplant crops, when to bring the first-fruits to the Temple, when to harvest,and how to be stewards of the in-crease (through a system of tithes andofferings).Nonetheless, the biblical calendar (andits feasts) transcends its function as ayear-to-year farming guide. It also hasa typological significance. That is, thefeasts are symbolic and prophetic, of-ten pointing us to messianic truthsand future events.The summary of the feasts in Leviti-cus 23, especially, forms a chronologi-cal outline of God’s prophetic plan (seechart below).When viewed from a messianic per-spective, the four spring feasts rep-resent events associated with theMessiah’s
coming some 2,000years ago: namely, His death (Pass-over and Unleavened Bread), Hisresurrection (Firstfruits), and Hissending of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost).In a similar way, the three fall feastspoint to the main events of our Lord’s
coming: that is, His return(
—theDay of Shofar Blowing), Israel’s re-pentance and salvation (Day of Atone-ment), and the establishing of Hisearthly Kingdom (Tabernacles).
The Trump of God
The predominant feature of
is (as the name suggests) theblowing of the
In ancient Israel, the horn-blast hada number of uses. During the wilder-ness wanderings, for example, thesesounds could carry for miles and wereused to coordinate the movementsof the various camps of Israel (Num.10:2). They were also used in militarymaneuvers (v. 9) and to call the peo-ple together for a meeting (v. 2).Different patterns and intonations con-veyed specific messages:
—One plain, deep bass soundwith an abrupt ending (a call to at-tention; a call to gather together);
—Nine short, quick blastsbetween two
(signifying dan-ger or a signal to move); and
—Three connected shortblasts (a wailing, broken sound an-nouncing a sad or somber event).
The Apostle Paul taught that theLord’s return would be signaled by ahorn (trumpet/
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall notall sleep, but we shall all be changed—in amoment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at thelast trumpet
the trumpet will sound
,and the dead will be raised incorruptible,and we shall be changed (1 Cor. 15:51-52;emphasis added).For the Lord Himself will descend fromheaven with a shout, with the voice ofan archangel, and
with the trumpet ofGod
. And the dead in Christ will rise frst
(1 Thess. 4:16; emphasis added).
Could this mean that He will returnon a future (and possibly not-too-dis-tant)
?If so, the horn blast Paul mentions maybe something like a
—a signalfor God’s people to assemble and meetHim in the air (v. 17).