The Feast of Trumpets is the Jewish New Year. We left off in Exodus 19. The Israelites had just come unto the Desert of Sinai, and now they stand before the Mount of God. God says to Moses, in verse 10-11, to tell the people to consecrate themselves today and tomorrow, and on the third day God will appear to them. Now, this is interesting, because when we read verse 13, we read, “Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain.” Then, from verses 16-19, we read, “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.”
Now, it was at this time that God gave Israel the Ten Commandments. For Israel, the giving of the Ten Commandments was truly the marriage between they and God. In Exodus 6:7, God is giving His promise to Israel that He will “take” them as His people, and He will be their God. This language of “taking” is used elsewhere as language of taking a bride (such as Isaac “taking” Rebekah). When you reach the prophets, this is even more pronounced. Jeremiah 2:2 says, “Remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me…”
In a Jewish wedding, you need a chuppa. A chuppa is usually built by four poles holding up the prayer shawl above the groom and bride. When we look at Exodus 19, we find that God comes down upon Sinai with a “cloud” of smoke. This cloud would be the covering, the chuppa. The bride would need to take a mikveh. A mikveh was when the woman would consecrate herself by bathing in the water of cleansing. This would explain why God says, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day” (verse 10). We see the language of consecration and washing to signify the mikveh. There would be a marriage contract, called a ketubah. And, we find the ketubah in Exodus 24: the Ten Commandments written upon stone tablets. Lastly, there needs to be a sign. We use rings today, but in Exodus 31:13 we read, “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come…”
We find here the Ten Commandments being more than just a list of do’s and don’ts. This is a wedding. God marries Israel at Mount Sinai, and that is what the Feast of Trumpets is about. This is the Jewish New Year, because it is a new life with our Husband, the Lord our God.
In regards to the New Testament, the Feast of Trumpets signifies the return of Jesus. For example, we read in Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the distress of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
1 Corinthians 15:52 claims that the resurrection from the dead will take place “at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” It is significant to note that this cannot happen, according to 1 Corinthians 15:23-28, until Christ comes and puts “everything” under His feet – the last of His enemies to be put under His feet being death itself. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 reads, “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.”
With this last quote, it is important to note that both in English and in Greek the wording is almost exactly the same as Matthew – unmistakably so. It is impossible to give credence to the claim that says Paul is speaking of the rapture, but Jesus is speaking of the Second Coming. The two statements here are one and the same, Paul quoting the words of Jesus, which we find even more evidence of in 1 Thessalonians 5. The trumpet sounds, and the dead rise, and Jesus returns, and it is all the exact same event.
Finally, we find in Revelation 11:15-19 the sounding of the seventh trumpet. When the seventh trumpet sounds, the words are said, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Notice the claim. How can this be anything but the end of the age? Then, if that weren’t enough to convince us that this is the return of Jesus, we read in verse 18, “The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great – and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” This happens when Jesus returns, as shown in Matthew 25:31-46 (see context from Matthew 24). Also, link this later with Revelations 22:12 where Jesus says that He is coming with His rewards, and thus implies that we don’t get rewarded before His coming.
So, we see that the Feast of Trumpets revolves around the Second Advent. What else happens at the Second Advent? In Revelation 19:6, we begin to read, “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb as come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God’.” Then, just passing over verse 10 go get to verse 11, we read, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.”
This is the second coming of Jesus.
When is the marriage of the Lamb? The marriage of the Lamb takes place just prior to the coming of Jesus. I would actually contend that it is when He appears in the sky. My personal opinion is that at the coming of Jesus, when we shall see Him we shall be made like Him (1 John 3:2), and the resurrection of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) is the marriage of the Lamb. Yet, with this we have a few things happening, and there is more to the story than we initially think.
We see in Revelations 1:7, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the people of the earth will mourn because of him.” Here John is quoting Matthew 24, but he inserts Zechariah 12:10 to show us that when Jesus returns, Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:25). So, we see from this and from other places that Christ’s second coming is the redemption of Israel, which is the marriage of Israel unto her Husband (the LORD). For more evidence of this, see the language of the “new exodus” in passages such as Isaiah 4, Jeremiah 16:4-5, Ezekiel 36:24-28, and Jeremiah 31:31-37 (just to mention a bare minimum few). Jesus’ coming is the redemption of Israel, which is the marriage of Israel unto her God forever.
Yet, there is another aspect unto this. Isaiah 62 contains an interesting verse, which needs to be read in the context of Isaiah 40-65 as a whole. Verses 4-5 say, “The Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a maiden, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Apparently, Israel will be married unto God, the Church will be married unto God, and even the Land of Israel itself will be married unto God. Why do all four get married? This is no longer “the two shall be one”, but instead, “The four shall be one.”
Look at Revelation 21:2-3 and 9-14. To just pick a few statements from this, we read, “I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be His people, and He will be their God…’ It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel… The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
Here we see Israel and the Church married – become one – as they truly are. We also see this City is called “New Jerusalem”, which is called in Hebrews 12:24, “Zion.” Zion is a name of the City of God, but at the same time, often is also considered to be the whole of Judah. It signifies both the heavenly dwelling of God as well as the earthly Promised Land. Jerusalem has been selected as the place of God’s dwelling, but here we see the marriage of the Land with God, the Church, and Israel, in such a way that you cannot distinguish any of them from the others.
You see, the Feast of Trumpets is about more than just the return of Jesus. It is about the restoration of all things. It is about the marriage of His people unto Him – all of His people. It is about the marriage of heaven and earth. It is about the wedding of God that has been in the heart of God since the foundations of the world. This is the fulfillment of the eschaton. After this, all that remains is the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles, which are also eschatological in nature.