The Feast of Trumpets 2023 – The Day of Judgment or the Rapture?

In Blog, Feast Days by S. L. Ozbun2 Comments

This year, 2023, most calendars have the Feast of Trumpets starting at sundown on Friday, September 15th, and ending at sundown on Sunday, September 17th. However, it is important to note and remember that the Feast of Trumpets begins the new year on the Hebrew calendar which is indicated by the sighting of the sliver of the new moon. Therefore, we technically don’t know exactly when the feast will start.

The Feast of Trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah, is the first of the fall feast, and the beginning of the Jewish New Year. Yom Teruah literally means the day of shouting or blasting, and the term Rosh Hashanah literally means the head of the year. The Feast of Trumpets is a mystery in many respects. The Bible doesn’t give us an apparent purpose for the Feast, only that it is to be remembered and that it is to take place on the 1st day of the 7th month.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 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. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:23-25 KJV)

In this article, I’m going to shed some light on the possible meaning and expectation of this Feast of Yehovah, or more accurately, this appointed time of Yehovah. Many believe Trumpets is the best candidate for the time of the Rapture of the Church, and I agree, it is the best candidate for that fulfillment. Feast of Trumpets is also viewed within Jewish tradition as the day of Judgment, known in Hebrew as Yom HaDin. However, there really isn’t any scriptural evidence for this tradition. It mostly comes from the oral tradition and is written about in the Jewish Talmud. With that said, many Christians associate the Rapture event along with the Day of the LORD or Yom HaDin, the day of judgment. For the believer in Messiah, Trumpets should be a time of joy and hope, but for the rest of the world, it is a day of great dread.

Feast of Trumpets 2021

Rather than speculate on the Rapture doctrine, let us first focus on the Feast of Trumpets as it was commanded to be remembered in the Torah. The commandment in Leviticus was for Israel to remember the date, take a sabbath and memorialize the blowing of the Trumpet. One doesn’t need to think hard to remember a specific and important time in Israel’s history where they would have heard the blasting of a trumpet. I believe the answer to this mystery is found in the book of Exodus, chapters 19-20.

It is important to read both chapters 19 and 20 to get a full context of the story and I recommend doing that before proceeding further into this article.

And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. (Exodus 19:16-20 KJV)

No doubt, the Israelites knew what the point was of “remembering the blowing of the Trumpets.” I believe this Feast points back to when God called upon the Israelites to be His people and made himself know on Mount Sinai and gave them the Ten Commandments.

In regards to this awesome event on Mount Sinai, there are a couple of important things to take note of. First, it wasn’t just a trumpet sound, but a voice of the trumpet. Secondly, it was at this moment that God came down on the Mount, and Moses was called up to the Mount. This sounds very familiar to a couple of passages found in the New Testament, in regards to catching up of the saints.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:14 KJV)

The Apostle Paul is making a claim that a day is coming when the LORD will come down, with a shout, with a voice, and with a trump, and then the saints will be caught up. There seems to be an obvious connection between this trump in the last days, and the trump the Israelites heard at the base of Mount Sinai.

Furthermore, we also see similar language used in the book of Revelation. Let’s examine a couple of verses, starting with the very first chapter in the book.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea (Revelation 1:10-11)

Here we have the voice of Messiah likened to the sound of a trumpet! This is not an accident!

Let’s look at another verse.

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. (Revelation 4:1-2)

Once again, John hears a voice, which is likened to a trumpet, and this time he is caught up in the throne room of heaven. Is this all just a coincidence, or is the word of God trying to let us in on a mystery?

It’s also interesting to note, that before all Judgement is poured out upon the world, John sees a great multitude in heaven, which can not be numbered, standing there in white robes, who have come out of tribulation.

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Revelation 7:9-17 KJV)

It is after this event that we see the 7th seal opened, and the trumpet judgments begin to come down upon the whole earth. As I have stated in many of my writings and podcasts over the years, I don’t put my name on any of the many rapture doctrines. The reason being, I simply don’t know, God knows. However, these facts do seem to point towards, at the very least, a pre-wrath rapture event.

We must not forget, our job as believers is to ALWAYS be watching and ALWAYS be ready for His marvelous appearance.

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:13 KJV)

Now, it should be noted, and the question may be raised, if we don’t know the day or hour, how then can we speculate the Rapture would happen on the Feast of Trumpets? Obviously, this is problematic for this view. However, I believe we know the season for which to start looking, but we don’t know the exact day or hour. Furthermore, if Messiah is to come for His bride on this Feast, we wouldn’t necessarily know which year this would happen. Again, we should always be ready and always be watching. The argument that I am making in regard to the Feast of Trumpets, is that is an appointed time of Yehovah, Messiah has fulfilled the spring feast in His first coming, therefore it makes sense that he will fulfill the fall feast in His second coming. This certainly doesn’t mean it has to be fulfilled in the way we might believe or understand. For me, the Feast of Trumpets is a high watch time, but our heads should be lifted high every day, longing and looking for His return.

There are many more connections we could make. However, I want to focus on one last and important understanding, in regard to the Feast of Trumpets. While the bible doesn’t give us much to go on, when trying to understand the point of this Feast, we do see an example of the day being lived out, albeit, many don’t know about it. It can be found in the book of Nehemiah. The reason we know this story is happening on the Feast of Trumpets is that the writer provides us the date, saying, “upon the first day of the seventh month.”

And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. 12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them. 13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. 14 And they found written in the law which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: 15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. 16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. 18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner. (Nehemiah 8 KJV)

In this wonderful story, we see the people of God asking to hear the law of the LORD. Ezra brings out the books and he, along with the Priest, begins to teach the Israelites, who had not long before returned from captivity. They weep when they hear the words of the law. However, Ezra commands the people not to weep or be sad on this day, rather they should be joyful, they should eat fat and drink sweets, and send portions to one another. I believe this goes to prove that for God’s people, this is not a day or time of judgment, this is not Yom HaDin, rather it’s a day of celebration and expectation.

Admittedly, the times we find ourselves in look very bleak and without much hope. However, we must remember, this is not our home. We are only sojourners in a foreign land. We are not citizens of this world, but citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.

This year, remember the blowing of the trumpets, not just the blast of the past on Mount Sinai, but look forward to the last trump, which singles for us, that it is time to go home.

Maranatha, come quickly LORD JESUS, come quickly!

S. L. Ozbun on Twitter
S. L. Ozbun
Shawn L. Ozbun is an independent podcaster, author, and commentator on many biblical topics. Shawn is a student of the scriptures, ancient writings, Dead Sea Scrolls, and biblical Hebrew language. Above all, Shawn is passionate about furthering the Kingdom of God, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


  1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, all the effort and time you spent on this.
    You have been a blessing to us, a lot of valuable learning and information.
    May YAHWEH continue to bless you and your family!

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