The fall feast days of the Lord are just around the corner. My family and I are starting to make plans for these exciting holy days.
In the same way that the sping high holidays hold special meanings and significance in the lives of us as Hebrews and as believers in Christ- the fall high holidays are equally as important times. They are days filled with remembrance, repentance, thanksgiving, and joy.
Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot
Yom Teruah or the feast of trumpets is the first fall high holiday of the Lord. This is a day of remembrance and a day of blowing trumpets. Yom teruah is observed on the first day of the seventh month of the Hebrew Calendar or Tishrei. This is the first day of the moon’s cycle called the new moon or Rosh Chodesh. Historically, Rosh Chodesh is a day of celebration and feasting (1 Samuel 20: 5; 18; Psalm 81: 3 – 4; 2 Kings 4: 22 – 23). Although Rosh Chodesh isn’t a commanded holiday or day of rest, Yom teruah is the exception. This is a day of remembrance, a day to blow trumpets, and a day of rest.
It is also believed by many that during the feast of trumpets, Jesus will come back to earth (1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 52; 1 Thessalonians 4: 15 – 18).
Leviticus 23: 24 – 25:
“24 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a rest, a memorial of trumpets: it shall be to you a holy convocation. 25 Ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall offer a whole-burnt-offering to the Lord. ”
Numbers 29: 1: “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, there shall be to you a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work: it shall be to you a day of blowing the trumpets.”
How to Celebrate The Feast of Trumpets
Yom Teruah is a holiday that doesn’t have a stated meaning or set observance – outside of resting and blowing the trumpets. However, we can observe this day by resting and remembering, and being thankful for the promises that God made to us.
Day of Rest
It is a day of rest- a sabbath rest day. On days like this we treat them like sabbath days- no working, cooking, etc. You and your family can prepare a special meal in advance to share and fellowship with each other.
Day of Remembrance
This is a day of remembrance and worship and a day for blowing the trumpets.
You can use this day to study Torah, and you can read the promises that God made to us and how he kept them throughout the Bible.
A Day of Worship
Psalm 81: 3 – 4:
“3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, In the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. 4 For this was a statute for Israel, And a law of the God of Jacob.” KJV
Psalm 98: 4 – 6:
“4 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 5 Sing unto the Lord with the harp; With the harp, and the voice of a psalm. 6 With trumpets and sound of cornet Make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.”
Trumpets were used throughout the Bible to signal battle, for celebration, or for worship. You can use this day to remember the promises of the Lord, and for worship.
Sometime during Yom teruah blow a trumpet/shofar or listen to them. There are also many recordings on Youtube that you and your family can listen to if you don’t have a shofar or know how to blow one.
Yom Kippur or the day of atonement is the only day of the year when the children of Israel would have their sins atoned for by the High Priest. It is the holiest day of the year, and it is observed by not working, and fasting. Yom Kippur occurs on the tenth day of the seventh month.
Leviticus 23: 26 – 32:
“26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month is a day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation to you; and ye shall humble your souls, and offer a whole-burnt-offering to the Lord. 28 Ye shall do no work on this self-same day: for this is a day of atonement for you, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 Every soul that shall not be humbled in that day, shall be cut off from among its people.
30 And every soul which shall do work on that day, that soul shall be destroyed from among its people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your habitations. 32 It shall be a holy sabbath to you; and ye shall humble your souls, from the ninth day of the month: from evening to evening ye shall keep your sabbaths.”
How to Celebrate The Day of Atonement
No workday and fasting
The Day of Atonement is usually celebrated as a sabbath-rest day and by fasting. The Bible refers to afflicting your souls and not working – this is usually translated as fasting but it could also be not working at all – by observing a strict no workday. Some people fast completely, have a partial fast, or don’t fast at all. Study the scriptures and ask Elohim what you and your family believe would be the most appropriate way of observing.
Praying and meditating on Scripture
This is a holy day, it is important to read about how the High priests would make atonement for our sins in the past. It is also important to read how Jesus acts as our high priest now, following the resurrection (Hebrews 10).
Remembering and giving thanks for our atonement through Jesus
Hebrews 10: 1 – 4:
“1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. ”
Hebrews 10: 10 – 14:
“10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
Jesus the Messiah is our atonement for our sins forever. As believers in Christ, the Day of Atonement should be a day of joy and thankfulness, because our sins are atoned for forever.
We should observe this day, but instead of uncertainty and mourning this day we should have joy in our hearts that our sins are forgiven and completely atoned for in Jesus.
Sukkot or the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Ingathering is the last fall high holiday of the Lord. This holiday is observed between the 15th and 22nd of the seventh month of the Hebrew Calendar or Tishrei. The first and the last days are sabbath-rest days and during the first seven days, we are commanded to build and dwell in booths.
It is also believed that Jesus was born during Sukkot (John 1: 10 – 14).
Leviticus 23:33 – 44:
“33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, there shall be a feast of tabernacles seven days to the Lord. 35 And on the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work. 36 Seven days shall ye offer whole-burnt-offerings to the Lord, and the eighth-day shall be a holy convocation to you; and ye shall offer whole-burnt-offerings to the Lord: it is a time of release, ye shall do no servile work.
37 These are the feasts to the Lord, which ye shall call holy convocations, to offer burnt-offerings to the Lord, whole-burnt-offerings and their meat-offerings, and their drink-offerings, that for each day on its day: 38 besides the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and besides all your vows, and beside your free-will-offerings, which ye shall give to the Lord. 39 And on the fifteenth day of this seventh month, when ye shall have completely gathered in the fruits of the earth, ye shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days; on the first day there shall be a rest, and on the eighth day a rest. 40 And on the first day ye shall take goodly fruit of trees, and branches of palm trees, and thick boughs of trees, and willows, and branches of osiers from the brook, to rejoice before the Lord your God seven days in the year.
41 A perpetual statute for your generations: in the seventh month ye shall keep it. 42 Seven days ye shall dwell in tabernacles: every native in Israel shall dwell in tents, 43 that your posterity may see, that I made the children of Israel to dwell in tents, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 44 And Moses recounted the feasts of the Lord to the children of Israel.”
How to Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles
Dwell in tabernacles
We are commanded to build and to dwell in booths as a reminder of how God caused our ancestors to dwell in booths or tents in the wilderness following the Exodus from Egypt. Many people go camping during this week-long celebration. You could also build your own tent/ booth structure in your backyard and decorate it with tree branches and blankets.
Praise the Lord every day
We are commanded to praise the Lord and to have joy in our hearts during this week-long celebration. Sukkot is a joyous time, read the Word, have a feast, and rejoice!
The Fall Feast days can be summed up in Remembrance. Remembrance for the promises that God has made to us. A remembrance that Jesus completely atoned for our sins once and for all. And lastly, a remembrance that God caused our forefathers to dwell in booths and that he was with them and he will always be with us as well. I hope your feast days are filled with remembrance, thanksgiving, and joy. Shalom!