Leviticus 23:24
Speak to the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) A memorial of blowing of trumpets.—Literally, remembrance blowing, for which see Numbers 29:1, the only place in the Old Testament where this festival is named as “the day of blessing,” i.e., the trumpets. As the first of Ethanim, as the month is called in the Bible (1Kings 8:2), or Tishri, as the Jews call it, in which this festival occurs, is the commencement of the civil new year, this festival was called “the Festival of New Year” ever since the time of the second Temple, and has been regarded as preparatory to the great day of Atonement, which is ten days later. The blowing of trumpets, therefore, which was the distinguishing feature of this festival, was designed to summon the Israelites to enter upon the work of sanctification, which will be accounted to them as a merit in the sight of God, and for which they are promised to be especially remembered before the Lord (Numbers 10:9-10). Hence its name, Remembrance blowing—the blowing of trumpets, which will make them to be remembered before the Lord. The synagogue, however, takes the name more in the sense of “reminding” God of the merits of the patriarchs and his covenant with them, and for this reason has appointed Genesis 21:1-34; Genesis 22:1-24, recording the birth and sacrifice of Isaac, as the lesson for this festival.

Leviticus 23:24. A sabbath — Solemnized with the blowing of trumpets by the priests, not in a common way, as they did every first day of every month, but in an extraordinary manner, not only in Jerusalem, but in all the cities of Israel. They began to blow at sunrise, and continued blowing till sunset. This seems to have been instituted, 1st, To solemnize the beginning of the new year, whereof, as to civil matters, and particularly as to the jubilee, this was the first day; concerning which it was fit the people should be admonished, both to excite their thankfulness for God’s blessings in the last year, and to direct them in the management of their civil affairs. 2d, To put a special honour upon this month. For, as the seventh day was the sabbath, and the seventh year was a sabbatical year, so God would have the seventh month to be a kind of sabbatical month, on account of the many sabbaths and solemn feasts which were observed in this, more than in any other month. And by this sounding of the trumpets in its beginning, God would quicken and prepare them for the following sabbaths, as well that of atonement, and humiliation for their sins, as those of thanksgiving for God’s mercies.23:23-32 the blowing of trumpets represented the preaching of the gospel, by which men are called to repent of sin, and to accept the salvation of Christ, which was signified by the day of atonement. Also it invited to rejoice in God, and become strangers and pilgrims on earth, which was denoted by the feast of Tabernacles, observed in the same month. At the beginning of the year, they were called by this sound of trumpet to shake off spiritual drowsiness, to search and try their ways, and to amend them. The day of atonement was the ninth day after this; thus they were awakened to prepare for that day, by sincere and serious repentance, that it might indeed be to them a day of atonement. The humbling of our souls for sin, and the making our peace with God, is work that requires the whole man, and the closest application of mind. On that day God spake peace to his people, and to his saints; therefore they must lay aside all their wordly business, that they might the more clearly hear that voice of joy and gladness.A sabbath - Here and in Leviticus 23:39 a word which should rather be rendered a sabbatical rest.

Blowing of trumpets - Here and in Numbers 29:1, literally "shouting". There is no mention of trumpets in the Hebrew text of the Law in connection with the day. However, there is no reason to doubt the tradition that the day was distinguished by a general blowing of trumpets throughout the land, and that the kind of trumpet generally used for the purpose was the curved horn of an animal or a cornet of metal, such as was used at Sinai Exodus 19:16, and on the Day of Jubilee Leviticus 25:9. It must have differed in this respect from the ordinary festival of the New moon when the long straight trumpet of the temple alone was blown (Numbers 10:2; Exodus 25:23; see cut).

Seventh month - Called by the Jews in later times it was called Tisri, but in the Old Testament Ethanim, 1 Kings 8:2. According to the uniform voice of tradition "the first day" of this month was the first day of the Civil year in use before the Exodus, and was observed as the festival of the New year. Some have viewed it as a commemoration of the Creation of the world Job 38:7 : others, as the anniversary of the giving of the Law.

24. In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath—That was the first day of the ancient civil year.

a memorial of blowing of trumpets—Jewish writers say that the trumpets were sounded thirty successive times, and the reason for the institution was for the double purpose of announcing the commencement of the new year, which was (Le 23:25) to be religiously observed (see Nu 29:3), and of preparing the people for the approaching solemn feast.

A memorial of blowing of trumpets, i.e. solemnized with the blowing of trumpets by the priests; not in a common way, as they did every first day of every month, Numbers 10:10, but in an extraordinary manner, not only in Jerusalem, but in all the cities of Israel. This seems to have been instituted,

1. To solemnize the beginning of the new year, whereof as to civil matters, and particularly as to the jubilee, this was the first day; concerning which it was fit the people should be admonished, both to excite their thankfulness for God’s blessing in the last year, and to direct them in the management of their civil affairs.

2. To put a special honour upon this month. For as the seventh day was the sabbath, and the seventh year was a sabbatical year; so God would have the seventh month to be a kind of sabbatical month, for the many sabbaths and solemn feasts which were observed in this more than in any other month. And by this sounding of the trumpets in its beginning, God would quicken and prepare them for the following sabbaths, as well that of atonement and humiliation for their sins, as those of thanksgiving for God’s mercies. Speak unto the children of Israel,.... For all the people of Israel were concerned in the following precept, and obliged to observe it, even priests, Levites, Israelites, proselytes, and freed servants; though other servants, and women, and children, were not obliged to hear the sound of the trumpets (b), and which were blown not in Jerusalem only, but in all cities and towns where the sanhedrim was (c); and it was the hearing of them the people were bound unto, and not less than nine distinct soundings were they obliged to hear (d); to which perhaps respect is had in Psalm 89:15,

in the seventh month; the month Tisri, as the Targum of Jonathan, which was the seventh from the month Nisan or Abib; which was appointed the first month of the year, on account of the Israelites coming out of Egypt in it; otherwise, before, this month Tisri was the first, and so it still continued, for the fixing the years, and settling the sabbatical and jubilee years, and for the planting of trees and herbs (e):

in the first day of the month shall ye have a sabbath; not entirely as the weekly sabbath, in which no manner of work at all was to be done, but in which no servile work was to be done; and was observed in like manner as the first and seventh days of unleavened bread, and the day of pentecost, Leviticus 23:7,

a memorial of blowing of trumpets; which, according to the Jewish writers, was continued from sun rising to sun setting (f); but what this blowing of trumpets was a memorial of is not easy to say; some think it was in memory of the wars the people of Israel had with their enemies the Amalekites and Canaanites, and the victories they obtained over them, and particularly in remembrance of the walls of Jericho falling down at the sound of rams' horns; but then it must be by anticipation: it is more commonly received with the Jews (g) that it was on the account of the binding of Isaac on this day, being delivered through a ram being sacrificed in his stead; and on this account it is said, that the trumpets blown on this day were made of rams horns, and no other might be used (h); yea, that ram's head was used to be eaten on this day, in remembrance of the ram of Isaac, and also to intimate that the Jews would be the head and not the tail (i): the Jews also say, that this day, every year, was a sort of day of judgment, in which God sat and judged men, and also determined all events of the following year (k); and this was attended with blowing of trumpets, to strike a terror into them, and put them in mind of the judgment of God, and to induce them to repent of their sins (l): and it may be observed, that the resurrection of the dead, in order to the last general judgment, will be attended with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, 1 Corinthians 15:52; whether this is so represented in reference to this notion, let it be considered: but as this was New Year's Day, as before observed, this ceremony seems to have been appointed to express joy for all the mercies and blessings of the last year; and the rather, at this time of the year all the fruits of the earth were gathered in, not only the barley and the wheat, but the oil and wine, and under such grateful acknowledgment, to expect the divine blessing to attend them the following year; and besides, at this time of the year, it was generally thought by the Jews (m), and by others, that the world was created, and this blowing of trumpets might be in memory of that, and as an emblem of the shoutings of the sons of God, the angels, the morning stars, who sang for joy when the foundations of the earth were laid, Job 38:6; to which it may be added, this seventh month was very memorable for holy solemnities, as the day of atonement on the tenth, and the feast of tabernacles, which began on the fifteenth, and therefore was ushered in with blowing of trumpets to make it the more significant, and particularly to put the people in mind to prepare for the day of atonement near at hand; and so Gersom observes, that as the sound of a trumpet strikes men with fear, the design of this precept was, to fill the mind with fear, and to excite to repentance and brokenness of heart, and humiliation for sin, and to search their works and actions, and correct what was amiss, and so be ready for the day of atonement: hence Ainsworth thinks, that this was a figure of the ministry of John the Baptist preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; but rather it seems to be an emblem of the Gospel, and the ministry of it, in the acceptable year of the Lord, or the Gospel dispensation, which is sometimes signified by the blowing of the great trumpet, and by the ministers of it lifting up their voice like a trumpet, Isaiah 27:13; by which sinners are roused and awakened to a sense of their sin and danger, and to hear a joyful sound of love, grace, mercy, peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation through Christ: the Jews say (n), this blowing of trumpets was to disturb Satan, when he came to accuse the Israelites; it is certain there is nothing gives him more disturbance than the pure and powerful preaching of the Gospel, which he endeavours to obstruct as much as possible, and there is nothing like what that brings to silence his accusations, see 2 Corinthians 4:3,

an holy convocation; on which the people were called together to holy exercises; and so the Jews observe it to this day; for after they return home from attendance to the blowing of the trumpets in their synagogues, they sit down to meat, and spend the rest of the day in hearing sermons, and in other religious exercises (o).

(b) Maimon. Hilchot Shophar ve Succah, c. 2. sect. 1.((c) Ibid. sect. 8. (d) Ib. ch. 3. sect. 1. Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. No. 590. sect. 1.((e) Misn. Roshhashanah, c. 1. sect. 1.((f) Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 588. sect. 1. Lebush, par. 2. c. 588. sect. 1.((g) R. Alphes, par. 1. fol. 346. 2. & Jarchi in loc. (h) Maimon. ut supra, (b)) c. 1. sect. 1. Schulchan Aruch, ib. c. 526. sect. 1.((i) Schulchan Aruch, ib. c. 583. sect. 2. Lebush, ib. 583. sect. 2.((k) Misn. Roshhashanah, c. 1. sect. 2. T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 16. 2.((l) Leo Modena's History of Rites of the present Jews, par. 3. c. 5. sect. 7. (m) T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 10. 2.((n) Targum Jon. in Numbers 29.1. R. Alphes, par. 1, fol. 346. 2. T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 16. 2.((o) Leo Modena, ut supra. (l))

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

(k) That is, about the end of September.

(l) Or, a holy day to the Lord.

(m) Which blowing was to remind them of the many feasts that were in that month, and of the Jubile.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. blowing of trumpets] See on Leviticus 23:2-3.In addition to the loaves, they were to offer seven yearling lambs, one young bullock, and two rams, as burnt-offerings, together with their (the appropriate) meat and drink-offerings, one he-goat as a sin-offering, and two yearling lambs as peace-offerings.
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