The Day of Sounding

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

Leviticus 23:24 (KJV)

Blowing of trumpets – Would it surprise you to know that the actual text says nothing about trumpets? There is only one holy day wherein God commands the blowing of trumpets, and this isn’t it. This day mentioned here in Leviticus 23 should be more properly translated as the day of sounding.

The Hebrew word is tĕruw`ah (teruah) which literally means “a shout of joy.” There’s nothing here about blowing trumpets. So where do we get this idea from? Well around the time of the second temple, the widely accepted rabbinic teaching proclaimed this day as the beginning of the new year. You’ve heard of Rosh Hoshanah, right? That’s Hebrew for “New Year” or “Head of the Year”, which rabbinically (not Biblically) has been identified as Yom Teruah (Day of Sounding). And so one theology is that the association of trumpets on this day made its mark deep into the text and interpretations… and we now know this holy day as the Day of Trumpets.

History is amazing. Blowing of trumpets is possibly just an oral tradition, or it was introduced at the time when Yom Teruah became Rosh Hoshanah, the New Year. Either way, it’s not Biblical. But just because it’s not Biblical doesn’t make it wrong. It’s a day of sounding, and there’s no law forbidding the blowing of trumpets. Just don’t do it because you think you have to – it’s definitely not a requirement.

But what about that other day… the one wherein we’re commanded to blow trumpets? That day is in the Jubilee year on Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. Only one day every 49 years is required to blow the trumpets (Leviticus 25:9). And that kind of ties us in, doesn’t it? There’s something special about the number seven. Every seventh day is a Sabbath. The seventh month begins with Yom Teruah. Every seventh year is the shemitah. The seventh shemitah is a Jubilee.

We’re called to remember this on the Day of Sounding, Yom Teruah. It is a day of rest and holy convocation. We’re to recognize that YHVH rested on the seventh day and made it holy just as the first day of the seventh month is also holy. Remember the creation of the universe and what a small part we play in it. Remember our Creator, YHVH, and all He has fulfilled. During this day, raise up your voices and shout for joy in praise to the Almighty.

4 thoughts on “The Day of Sounding”

  1. love it. in preparation for a ‘becedva’ i came to the same realization after a bit of searching. that there is a huge connection of trumpets with jubilee not with blowing of trumpets. definitely warrants further investigation. keep on mark.

    by the way…i’ll be posting more often from now on.

  2. Definitely please post more. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these topics, and am sure you’ll find things in your research that I’ve never pondered. We’ll keep each other keeping on. 🙂

  3. Mark, I was reading Psalm 89 and wondered what vs 15 meant by: Blessed is the people that know the joyful SOUND: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance…My mind asked…what is the joyful sound? so I went to Blue Letter bible and looked up Sound and it said : tᵉrûwʻâh, ter-oo-aw’; from H7321; clamor, i.e. acclamation of joy or a battle-cry; especially clangor of trumpets, as an alarum:—alarm, blow(-ing) (of, the) (trumpets), joy, jubile, loud noise, rejoicing, shout(-ing), (high, joyful) sound(-ing)
    When I read your [post I wondered if the Strongs was incorrect. Can you please address this for me please. Thank you,Diana

    1. Hi Diana! Thanks for reaching out about this. First, I’d say that the Strong’s Concordance is not wrong. It’s just not complete. Strong provides a small limited definition of the words. While his definition does include “especially a clangor of trumpets,” it’s not the first definition listed. I touched on this a bit in the post about how “trumpets” was added to this definition through the association with Rosh Hoshanah. It is widely understood today that this word includes the sound of trumpets, but my point above is that it doesn’t have to be trumpets. A loud verbal shout of praise is also acceptable, and more likely the contextual definition for the people at the time.

      It also comes down to how it is used in context. Here, it can quite literally mean “Day of Shouting” while in other areas, it definitely relates to a trumpet (ie. Lev 25:9) because it mentions the trumpet (shofar) distinctly in the verse.

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