Ten Days of Awe


“Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps.” Numbers 10:2

The Bible Matrix aligns a lot of apparently unrelated incidents. When certain things appear repeatedly at the same point in the structure, we can confidently conclude, despite the earnest protestations of our learned friends, that these relationships are trustworthy indicators of the symbolic meanings God has given to the corresponding things. Liberal scholars believe that the idea of resurrection was “developed” by Hebrew theologians over the centuries. This is because they fail to see the contant symbols of the coming resurrection beating throughout the Old Testament in types and dark sayings. The drums reach a crescendo in the later New Testament epistles until the trumpets finally blast a terrifying staccato in the Revelation. This is the first resurrection.

Heralds of Change

The Feast of Trumpets was also known as the “ten days of awe.” At this time, Israel was summoned before God as an army, and every male over 20 (the military force) paid for the privilege. These ten days were a time to repent before the Day of Atonement, the “Day of the Lord.”

The first reference to the Feast of the Trumpets is found in Leviticus 23:24 “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest [shabbaton], a memorial proclamation with a blast of trumpets (ziccaron teruah), a holy convocation.” The Hebrew phrase ‘ziccaron teruah’, can be literally translated as “a remembrance blast.”

The second major reference is found in Numbers 29:1 “On the first day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It is a day for you to blow the trumpets (yom teruah).”

The Hebrew word in both references is teruah, which is a term for the series of staccato sounds on a wind instrument with the purpose of sounding an alarm. This unique feature of the ritual of the Feast of Trumpets was the blowing of the shofar, the curved ram’s horn announcing the beginning of the heavenly trial each year during which God judged each person with mercy and compassion before the execution of His judgment on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) when the destiny of each Israelite was revealed for the coming year determined by his response or failure to respond, to the call to repentance and reconciliation. Those who had fully repented before or by the end of Yom Teruah, were exempt from the process of the heavenly court trial in the ten days which followed.

The blowing of the Shofar is an awakening call upon the people to examine their lives, mend their ways, and experience divine cleansing and restore their relationship with God. “In the trial imagery,” writes Rabbi Irving Greenberg, “the shofar blast communicates: Oyez! Oyez! This court is in session! The Right Honorable Judge of the World is presiding!” (Rabbi Irving Greenberg, The Jewish Way. Living the Holidays ( New York, 1988), p. 195)

God has always had a heart to warn people before He executes His judgment and this shofar ritual reflects Yahweh’s desire to alert and summon us to repentance so that He can vindicate us on His judgment day. [1]

Silver Nemesis

Now, here’s some correspondences.

  1. The Feast of Trumpets correponds to Maturity in the Bible Matrix. It is about the summoning of the body. The symbols that communicate this are plural. It is not the Feast of “Trumpet.”
  2. The trumpets were silver. At this point in the account of Abraham’s purchase of the field from Ephron, he buys it with silver. Gold is the head and silver the body, sun and moon. Trumpets also celebrated the new moon. In Solomon’s “bridal” kingdom, the king as head amassed gold so that silver became a common thing. The head was lifted up and the body became ubiquitous. This is postmillennialism in type.
  3. The body is the body coming out of the grave. This sounds a warning to those who put it in the grave. It is music that cracks the ground. When Jesus rose, the soldiers became as dead men. But new soldiers rose from the grave as a testimony and went to Jerusalem to witness.
  4. Throughout the Bible there are “two legal witnesses” after Testing. They always occur at Maturity. Firstly, two or more witnesses were required to make a judgment. Eyes and ears (and nostrils!) are plural. The apostolic witness is symbolised as these two witnesses, trumpeting a warning to those who slew the firstfruits church. The heavenly court was in session. [2]
  5. Even more interesting is the time span of ten days. Daniel and his friends were (symbolically) resurrected after ten days (Dan. 1:15). The church in Smyrna was about to suffer severe persecution. Jesus gives them the symbol of ten days. If they were faithful they would be judged worthy of the crown of life. But this also carries the connotation that their suffering would be a testimony against their enemies, the Judaising synagogue of Satan.
  6. Guess what also appears at Maturity? Yes, there is plunder (very frequently). But there are also plagues. In Exodus, Moses and Aaron were the two witnesses. Israel is the body coming out of the grave, and there are ten plagues. And then much Egyptian plunder. [3] The plagues, like the Ten Words from Sinai later on, are two groups of five, like two trumpets. Five is the number of military power. The blood and frogs and hail and lice were the fingers of God. They bore the sword of judgment against Egypt. They warned Pharaoh that the court was in session: the first plague being a reminder of his murder of the Hebrew infants, and the last being an atonement — Pharaoh’s “day of the Lord”  — for his crime.
    Later, twelve spies were sent into Canaan. The ten who were unfaithful were struck down (as plagues) and the faithful two, Joshua (Jew) and Caleb (Gentile [Kenizzite]) were the two trumpets. These two men were the only two who survived the wilderness. They pictured the resurrection body, a miraculous New Covenant.
    All these warnings were military in nature. They were two cherubim. God raises up armies ex nihilo, from the very created order. In the New Testament, John says He can raise up the rocks to praise Him, [4] which brings me to the final point.
  7. The death and ascension of the Covenant head is silent. He is led as a lamb to the slaughter. The resurrection is the time for music and song. Hence Moses’ tent was silent — the sacrifice of blood — and David’s was filled with music (including Gentile worshippers – together in one body) — the sacrifice of praise. [5] The Old Covenant was the silent witness of the Law. The New is the worldwide testimony of the church. Jesus stood before His accusers and was basically without defense. Paul stood before his accusers and they couldn’t shut him up. One day in court wasn’t enough! The Trumpets are warnings, but they are also the song of the bride. She is an army of Holy Ones rejoicing over the destruction of her enemies like Miriam and Deborah and Mary.

So, we get the picture of what the apostolic testimony was really about. This makes a great deal of the historic interpretation of the diaspora epistles irrelevant, or at the very least, badly focussed. [6] All this imagery also makes sense of a testimony from the Jewish historian, Josephus:

On the twenty-first of the month Artemisium [the last day of the 2nd Passover season In A.D.66, there appeared a miraculous phenomenon, passing belief. Indeed, what I am about to relate would, I imagine, have been deemed a fable, were it not for the narratives of eyewitnesses and for the subsequent calamities which deserved to be so signalized. For before sunset throughout all parts of the county [everywhere throughout Judea] chariots were seen in the air and armed battalions hurtling through the clouds and encompassing the cities. [7]

Two trumpets sound the warning — ten days. Seven trumpets bring the bowls — atonement.

“So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” Revelation 8:6

Sharp Words, Soft Hearts

This subheading turns around one of Doug Wilson’s titles, “Smooth Words, Hard Hearts.”

Are you suffering? It is the conviction of the Spirit. Chastening that makes us chaste. The court is in session. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Although it often feels like 400 years, the staccato of the trumpets will come, and if you are faithful to Jesus, they bring vindication. That’s only personally, of course. You are a member of a body, and as a body, the church is faithful, an army of wise virgins. The day of corporate rejoicing will come. There is no “if.” In its way, the hard words of the Spirit are music in our ears.

During the Ten Days, God judges His people. We are judged now that we might not be judged later. At the end of this process comes Atonement. The veil is torn. The walls come down and we see Him as He is. He makes His face to shine upon us, as gold and silver, like sun and moon.

[1] From Hebrew Roots on wikibooks
[2] See Two Witnesses.
[3] See Vile Bodies or Bright Young Things.
[4] See Crying Stones.
[5] See The Sacrifice of Praise.
[6] See The Cosmic Lawsuit and Hebrews as Deuteronomy.
[7] See Angels in the Trees – 2.

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