Someone in my congregation sent me an article by Nehemiah Gordon about the origins of the name ‘Rosh Hashanah’ for the Feast of Yahweh referred to in Scripture as ‘Yom Teruah’ or ‘day of shouting/blowing.’
This is worth reading and further research…. Certainly, Nehemiah, as a Karaite Jew, misses the significance of the Feasts he lists as a picture of Messiah, but he makes some interesting points about Babylonian paganism’s effect on Judaism and practice. If we seek truth, we must be aware of error in BOTH the Judaic Camp and the Christian Theologian Camp.
Hold this with an open hand and do further research, but it certainly merits strong consideration.
On the 1st day of the Seventh month (Tishrei) the Torah commands us to observe the holy day of Yom Teruah which means “Day of Shouting” (Lev 23:23-25; Nu 29:1-6). Yom Teruah is a day of rest on which work is forbidden. One of the unique things about Yom Teruah is that the Torah does not say what the purpose of this holy day is. The Torah gives at least one reason for all the other holy days and two reasons for some. The Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread) commemorates the Exodus from Egypt but it is also a celebration of the beginning of the barley harvest (Exodus 23:15; Lev 23:4–14). The Feast of Shavuot (Weeks) is a celebration of the wheat harvest (Ex 23:16; 34:22). Yom Ha-Kippurim is a national day of atonement as described in great detail in Leviticus 16. Finally the Feast of Sukkot (Booths) commemorates the wandering of the Israelites in the desert but it is also a celebration of the ingathering of agricultural produce (Ex 23:16). In contrast to all these Torah festivals, Yom Teruah has no clear purpose other than that we are commended to rest on this day.
The name of Yom Teruah may provide a clue as to its purpose. Teruah literally means to make a loud noise. This word can describe the noise made by a trumpet but it also describes the noise made by a large gathering of people shouting in unison (Nu 10:5–6). For example,
“And it shall come to pass when the ram’s horn makes a long blast, when you hear the sound of the shofar, the entire nation will shout a great shout, and the wall of the city shall fall in its place, and the people shall go up as one man against it.” (Joshua 6:5)
In this verse the word “shout” appears twice, once as the verb form of Teruah and a second time as the noun form of Teruah. Although this verse mentions the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn), the two instances of Teruah both refer to the shouting in unison of the Israelites which was followed by the fall of the walls of Jericho.
While the Torah does not explicitly tell us the purpose of Yom Teruah its name may indicate that it is intended as Continue at the original post.
Please return for comments and discussion…