Yom Teruah Part 3
The Bible is a marriage covenant. Both the Tanach (Old Testament) and the Brit Hadashah (New Testament) describe how G-d through the Mashiach (Messiah), the Bridegroom, is in the process of marrying His bride, the believers in Him who will ultimately live and dwell with Him forever.
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G-d ordained and established marriage and its divine sanctity in the Torah, the very first book of the Bible, Genesis (Bereishit), when He brought Adam and Eve together to become one flesh (Genesis 2:21-24). In doing so, we have a vivid foreshadowing of the Messiah being married to those who would believe in Him. Let’s examine this closer.
Rosh Hashanah: The Wedding of the Messiah
Adam is a type of the Messiah Yeshua. Adam was made after the likeness of Yeshua (Romans 5:14). Yeshua (Jesus) was made in the likeness of Adam (Philippians 2:8). In fact, Yeshua is called the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-47). In Genesis 2:21, G-d had a deep sleep fall upon Adam. Sleep is synonymous with death (Daniel 12:2; John11:11-14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Ephesians 5:14). The deep sleep that G-d caused to fall upon Adam is a picture of the crucifixion and death of Yeshua, as Messiah ben Joseph. G-d brought a deep sleep upon Adam so He could take a rib from the side of his flesh. This required the shedding of blood. This is a picture of Yeshua who was pierced in the side of His flesh, shedding His own blood when He hung on the tree (John 19:34).
From the rib of Adam, G-d made Eve. Likewise, by the death of Yeshua and faith (emunah) in Him, G-d established the assembly of believers known in Hebrew as the kehilat. The believers in the Messiah, His bride, become wedded to Him by faith (emunah). This marriage can be seen in the Tanach (Old Testament) as well as in Jeremiah 23:5-6, as it is written, …. this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6). In Jeremiah 33:15-16, it is written, “…this is the name wherewith she shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 33:16). So from these passages in Jeremiah, we can see that a wedding is taking place. Therefore, by accepting, trusting, and believing in the Messiah, the bride of Messiah, His followers, become one with Him. These people would include both Jew and non-Jews who have lived since Adam and would include Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon as well as the prophets.
G-d gave the wedding customs, service, and ceremonies to the Jewish people (Romans 3:2; 9:4) to teach us about the Messiah Yeshua (Colossians 2:16-17). With this in mind, let’s examine the biblical wedding ceremony that G-d gave to the Jewish people. The ancient Jewish wedding ceremony G-d gave to the Jewish people to teach us about the wedding of the Messiah consisted of 12 steps.
1: The Selection of the Bride.
The bride was usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom. The father would send his trusted servant, known as the agent of the father, to search out the bride. An excellent example of this can be seen in Genesis 24. In this chapter, Abraham (a type of G-d the Father) wishes to secure a bride for Isaac (a type of Messiah) and sends his servant Eliezer (a type of the Holy Spirit [Ruach HaKodesh]) to do this task (Genesis 24:2-4; 15:2). It is the role of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) to convict the world of sin and lead them to G-d (John 16:7-8). Just as the bride was usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom, so the believers in the Messiah are chosen by G-d (John 15:16). The bridegroom chose the bride and lavished his love upon her and she returned his love. This can be seen in Ephesians 5:25, as it is written, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself of it.” In Genesis 24, Rebekah (Rivkah) consented to marry Isaac (Yitzchak) even before she ever met him. Today, the believers in the Messiah Yeshua consent to become the bride of Messiah even though we have never seen Him. First Peter (Kefa) 1:8 speaks of this, as it is written, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
2: The Bride Price Was Established.
A price would have to be paid for the bride. The agreed upon price was called a mohar in Hebrew. Yeshua, being our bridegroom, paid a very high price for His bride, the body of believers. The price He paid was His life. Yeshua considered the price He had to pay for His bride before His death as He went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray in Matthew (Mattityahu) 26:39, as it is written, “And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Yeshua was, in essence, saying, “Father, You have chosen this bride and I have agreed to the terms, but do you realize the price that is being asked for her?” Our mohar, our bride price, was His life. First Peter (Kefa) 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” In First Corinthians 6:20 it is written, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
3: The bride and groom are betrothed to each other.
This is the first stage of marriage known as kiddushin. I have spoken at length of betrothal in Chapter 6, concerning Shavuot. Remember, betrothal is the first of two steps in the marriage process. Betrothal in Hebrew is known as erusin or kiddushin. Betrothal legally binds the bride and the groom together in a marriage contract, except they do not physically live together. Historically, G-d betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:19-20). Whenever you accept the Messiah into your heart and life, you become betrothed to Him while living on the earth.
4: The Betrothal Contract, The Ketubah
A written document is drawn up, known as a ketubah. This betrothal contract is called, in Hebrew, a shitre erusin. The ketubah is the marriage contract that states the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The word ketubah means “that which is written.” The groom promised to work for her, to honor, support, and maintain her in truth, to provide food, clothing, and necessities, and to live together with her as husband and wife. The ketubah was the unalienable right of the bride. The ketubah must be executed and signed prior to the wedding ceremony. The Bible is the believer’s ketubah. All the promises that G-d provided for the believers in the Messiah are legally ours, as it is written in Second Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen….”
5: The Bride Gives Consent
The bride must give her consent. As we saw in Chapter 6, which dealt with Shavuot (Pentecost), G-d betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai as stated in Jeremiah 2:2. Israel consented to the marriage proposal from G-d and said, “I do,” as it is written in Exodus (Shemot) 24:3. Likewise, the personal application (halacha) to those who desire the Messiah to come into their hearts and lives is to accept His invitation to do so by faith (emunah), as it is written in Romans 10:8-10: What, then, does it say? The Word is near you in your mouth and in your heart: that is the word about trust [emunah] which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgments and thus continues toward deliverance (Romans 10:8-10 Jewish New Testament Version). So, even today, to become the bride of Messiah you must still say “I do” to Him.
6: Gifts are Given and A Cup of the Covenant
Gifts were given to the bride and a cup called the cup of the covenant was shared between the bride and the groom. The rite of betrothal (erusin) is completed when the groom gives something of value to the bride and she accepts it. The gift most often given today is the ring. When the groom places the ring on the bride’s finger, the rite of betrothal is completed. This completed rite is known in Hebrew as kiddushin, which means “sanctification.” The gifts to the bride are symbols of love, commitment, and loyalty. The gift G-d gives to those who accept the Messiah is the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) (John 14:26; 15:26-27; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). When Yeshua ascended to Heaven, He gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:7-8). These gifts included righteousness (Romans 5:17-18), eternal life (Romans 6:23), grace (Romans 5:12,14-15), faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and other spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1,4). These included wisdom, knowledge, healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, the discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-11), as well as the gifts of helps and administration (1 Corinthians 12:28). In addition, at this time the cup of the covenant was shared and sealed between the bride and the groom with the drinking of wine. In doing so, the couple drinks from a common cup. The cup is first given to the groom to sip, and then is given to the bride. This cup, known as the cup of the covenant, is spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-33, as it is written: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jeremiah 31:31-33). Yeshua spoke of the cup of the New Covenant (Brit Hadashah) in Luke 22:20.
7: Bride Cleansed in Mikvah
The bride had a mikvah (water immersion), which is a ritual of cleansing. Mikvah is a Hebrew word that means “pool” or “body of water.” Mikvah is a ceremonial act of purification by the immersion in water. It indicates a separation from a former way to a new way. In the case of marriage, it indicates leaving an old life for a new life with your spouse (Genesis 2:23-24; Ephesians 5:31). Immersing in the mikvah is considered spiritual rebirth. The reason is that a mikvah has the power to change a person completely. Concerning the marriage to Israel at Mount Sinai, G-d said in Ezekiel 16:8-9, as it is written, “…I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee… and thou becamest Mine. Then washed I thee with water….” The washing, or immersion, here refers to that of Israel before the people received the Torah when G-d betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:14-15). Yeshua spoke to the Pharisee, Nicodemus (Nakdimon), that he must be born anew (immersed) to enter into the Kingdom of G-d (John [Yochanan] 3:1-7). The believers in the Messiah are to be immersed in the name of Yeshua (Acts 19:4). The Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) is the immerse of G-d (Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5; 11:15-16).
8: Bridegroom Departs to Prepare a Place
The bridegroom departed, going back to his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber. At this point, the bridegroom leaves for his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber for his bride. It was understood to be the man’s duty to go away to be with his father, build a house, and prepare for the eventual wedding. Before he goes, though, he will make a statement to the bride. “I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you.” This is the same statement Yeshua made in John 14:1-3 before He went to His father’s house in Heaven, as it is written: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Fathers’ house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:1-3).
9: Bride is Set Apart While Bridegroom is Away
The bride was consecrated and set apart for a period of time while the bridegroom was away building the house. Before the bridegroom could go and get the bride, the groom’s father had to be satisfied that every preparation had been made by the son. Only then could he give permission to the son to go and get the bride. In other words, while the bridegroom was working on the bridal chamber, it was the father who “okayed” the final bridal chamber. The bridegroom did not know when his father would declare the bridal chamber fit and send him to go get his bride. This is exactly what Yeshua was referring to in Mark 13:32-37. Meanwhile, the bride was to wait eagerly for the return of the bridegroom. In the mind of the bride, the bridegroom could come at any time, even in the middle of the night or at midnight. Therefore, she had to be ready at all times. Yeshua referred to this in Mark 13:32-37 and Matthew 25:1-13. While waiting for her bridegroom to come, the bride had to have thought to herself, “Is he really coming back for me? Is he really going to keep his word?” This was the thought that Peter (Kefa) answered in Second Peter 3:1-13.
10: Bridegroom To Return With a Shout & The Blowing of The Shofar
The bridegroom would return with a shout, “Behold, the bridegroom comes” and the sound of the ram’s horn (shofar) would be blown. The time of the return of the bridegroom was usually at midnight. When the bridegroom did come, he came with a shout (Matthew 25:6) and with the blowing of a shofar (trumpet) (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1). The marriage between the bride and the groom will take place under the chupah or wedding canopy. Since Heaven is a type of chupah, we can see that when Yeshua gives a shout for His bride, accompanied by the blowing of a shofar (trumpet), the marriage between Yeshua and His bride will take place in Heaven. The marriage ceremony will have a sacred procession. For this reason, the bridegroom (Yeshua) will be led to the chupah first. When the bridegroom approaches the chupah, the cantor chants, “Blessed is he who comes.” “Blessed is he who comes” is an idiomatic expression meaning “welcome.” Yeshua said that He would not return for His bride until these words were said (Matthew 23:39). The groom is greeted like a king under the chupah. During this time Yeshua, the bridegroom, will be crowned King under the chupah, which is Heaven.
11: Bride is Swept Away For a Week to Bridegrooms House (Heaven)
He would abduct his bride, usually in the middle of the night, to go to the bridal chamber where the marriage would be consummated. This is the full marriage, known in Hebrew as nesu’in. The bride and groom will go to the wedding chamber, or chadar in Hebrew, where the marriage will be consummated. They will stay in that wedding chamber for seven days, or a week. At the end of the seven days, the bride and groom will come out from the wedding chamber. This can be seen in Joel 2:16. The word week in Hebrew is shavuah. It means a “seven.” It can mean seven days or seven years. An example of the Hebrew word for week (shavuah) meaning seven years can be found in Daniel 9:24, as it is written, “Seventy weeks [shavuah, 490 years] are determined upon thy people…” and in Daniel 9:27, “And he [the false Messiah known as the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [shavuah, seven years]….” The week referred to in Daniel 9:27 is known to Bible believers as the tribulation period. The Jewish people understand this time to be the birthpangs of the Messiah known in Hebrew eschatology as the Chevlai shel Mashiach. This is taken from Jeremiah 30:5-7. From this we can see that the believers in the Messiah will be with the Messiah in Heaven for His wedding while the earth will be experiencing the seven-year tribulation period, or the Chevlai shel Mashiach, in Hebrew.
12: The Marriage Supper for Guests of Father of the Bride
Finally, there would be a marriage supper for all the guests invited by the father of the bride. The bride and the groom would be in the wedding chamber for seven days. When the bride and the groom initially went into the wedding chamber, the friend of the bridegroom stood outside the door. All the assembled guests of the wedding gathered outside, waiting for the friend of the bridegroom to announce the consummation of the marriage, which was relayed to him by the groom. John (Yochanan) the Immerser (Baptist) referred to this in John 3:29. At this signal, great rejoicing broke forth (John 3:29). The marriage was consummated on the first night (Genesis 29:23). The bloodstained linen from this night was preserved. It was proof of the bride’s virginity (Deuteronomy 22:13-21). On the wedding day, the bridegroom is seen as a king and the bride as a queen. During the consummation of the marriage, the bridegroom (Yeshua) will be crowned King over all the earth and the bride (the believers in Yeshua, the Messiah) will live with Him and rule with Him forever. The crowning of the King and the marriage can be seen in Isaiah 62:3-7. At the end of the week (seven-year tribulation, or birth pangs of the Messiah), the marriage supper will take place. The marriage supper will not take place in Heaven. After the marriage, the bride and Groom will return to earth. The marriage supper will be taking place on earth and only the invited guests of the Father of the Groom (G-d the Father) will be present at the banquet meal. This can be seen in Revelation 19:7-16 and 20:4. Yeshua spoke of the marriage supper and the banquet in Luke 12:35-38 and Matthew 8:11. The wedding supper is a theme of the festival of Sukkot, which will be discussed further in a later chapter. During Sukkot, the people were instructed by G-d to build a temporary shelter. One of the things G-d instructed the people to do is eat there. When they eat, they are to set a plate for seven different people. Among the seven whom a plate is set for are Abraham (Avraham), Isaac (Yitzchak), and Jacob (Ya’akov). This is what Yeshua was referring to in Matthew 8:11. The unbelievers in the Messiah will attend a separate banquet where the fowls of the air will eat their flesh. This can be seen in Revelation 19:17-18. The home of the bride was Jerusalem and it was the bridegroom who came to the bride to dwell with her. It is from Jerusalem that the believers in the Messiah during the Messianic age, or Millennium, will reign with the Messiah. This can be seen in Revelation 21:1-3; Ezekiel 43:1-2,7; Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-5; and Zechariah 2:l0-12. In concluding this section on the wedding, whenever anyone hears the message of the basar (gospel), it is a wedding proposal by G-d to accept Him and be a part of His bride. G-d desires that we accept His invitation and give Him our response of “I do.” In fact, Revelation 22:20 is a proposal by Yeshua Himself to accept Him and be a part of His bride. His message in this verse is “Come.” Will you say, “I do” to the Messiah’s proposal to you?
The Resurrection of the Dead
One of the reasons for blowing the shofar is to proclaim the resurrection of the dead. In addition, the thirteenth principle of the Jewish faith is the belief in the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead will take place on Rosh HaShanah (Talmud, Rosh HaShanah l6b). In First Corinthians 15:52, the apostle Paul (Rav Sha’ul) tells us that the resurrection of the dead will be “at the last trump.” Earlier, in First Corinthians 15:14, he wrote that without the Messiah rising from the dead, our faith is in vain.
The First Trump, Last Trump, and The Great Trump
We cannot go to the Book of Revelation and say that the voice of the seventh angel (Revelation 11:15) is the last trump. In the first century, the last trump (shofar) meant a specific day in the year. In Judaism, there are three trumpets (shofarim) that have a name. They are the first trump, the last trump, and the great trump. Each one of these trumpets indicates a specific day in the Jewish year. The first trump is blown on the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) (Exodus 19:19). It proclaimed that G-d had betrothed Himself to Israel. The last trump is synonymous with Rosh HaShanah, according to Theodore Gaster in his book, Festivals of the Jewish Year, in his chapter on Rosh HaShanah. Herman Kieval also states the same thing in his book, The High Holy Days (Volume I, Rosh HaShanah, Chapter 5, Footnote 11), in the chapter on the shofar. The great trumpet is blown on Yom Kippur, which will herald the return of the Messiah Yeshua back to earth (Matthew 24:31).
Trump in Jewish Tradition
The first and last trump relate to the two horns of the ram, which according to Jewish tradition, was caught in the thicket on Mount Moriah when Abraham (Avraham) was ready to slay Isaac (Yitzchak) and offer him up as a burnt offering (olah). This ram became the substitute for Isaac (Yitzchak) even as Yeshua became the substitute for us and provided life for us through His death.
In Pirkei Avot (the sayings of the fathers), Rabbi Eliezer tells us that the left horn (first trump) was blown on Mount Sinai, and its right horn (the last trump) will be blown to herald the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 18:3 and First Thessalonians 4:13-18 speak of the resurrection of the dead. First Thessalonians chapter 5 continues with the day of the L-rd and the birthpangs of the Messiah. The festivals will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, tell you that the resurrection of the dead precedes the time of Jacob’s trouble (also known as the tribulation). First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that the dead in Messiah will rise first and that the catching away of the believers will immediately follow.
The Jewish Wedding, Trump & Rapture
The term rapture comes from the Greek word harpazo, which means “to seize, catch away, catch up, pluck, pull, take by force” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). The Hebrew equivalent is the word natzal. Isaiah 26:2-3, 19-20 and 57:1-2 all speak clearly of the resurrection of the dead, the taking of the believers, and the hiding of the believers from the indignation (the tribulation). Daniel 12:1-2 also speaks of the resurrection of the dead, the tribulation, and the salvation of Israel through the tribulation. Zephaniah 1:14-18 and 2:2-3 tells about the terrible times during the day of the L-rd, the birthpangs of the Messiah, and issues a decree to repent and turn to G-d before that day to be hid from that time. Psalm 27:5 says the righteous will be hid in the time of trouble. This psalm is read every day during the 40-day period of Teshuvah. Second Thessalonians 2:1 says, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him.” The phrase, “gathering together” comes from the Greek word episunagoge, which means “an assembly.” In Numbers 10:2-3, the trumpet is blown to assemble the people. The blowing of the trumpet and the assembling of the people also appear together in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.
Yom HaKeseh: The Hidden Day
In Psalm 27:5 it is written, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.”
Yet another name for Rosh HaShanah is Yom HaKeseh, “The Day of the Hiding” or “the Hidden Day.” The term keseh or keceh is derived from the Hebrew root kacah, which means to “conceal, cover, or hide.” Every day during the month of Elul, a trumpet is blown to warn the people to turn back to G-d, except for the thirtieth day of Elul, the day preceding Rosh HaShanah. On that day the trumpet is not blown and is therefore silent. This is because much about Rosh HaShanah is concealed and shrouded in mystery. The mystical aspect of Rosh HaShanah is indicated in Scripture: “Sound the shofar on the New Moon, in concealment of the day of our festival” (Psalm 81:3). Satan, the accuser, is not to be given notice about the arrival of Rosh HaShanah, the Day of Judgment.
Rosh Ha Shanah: Nobody Knows The Day or the Hour
Rosh HaShanah is called Yom HaKeseh, or the Day of the Hiding because it was hidden from satan (Ha satan), the adversary. The Bible says that satan comes to rob and to steal (John10:10, and to confuse (1 Corinthians 14:33). Because it is the Day of Judgment, it is symbolically hidden from satan (satan did not know and understand the plan of the cross [tree], First Corinthians 2:7-8). This was hidden from him as well. Believers never said when the day of Rosh HaShanah was; they simply said, “Of that day and hour no one knows, only the Father.”
One of the reasons most often given to disclaim that the resurrection of the dead and the catching away of the believers is on Rosh HaShanah is the statement given by Yeshua in Matthew 24:36, as it is written, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Because Rosh HaShanah was understood to be the hidden day, this statement by Yeshua is actually an idiom for Rosh Hashanah. Thus it should be given as proof that He was speaking of Rosh HaShanah because Rosh HaShanah is the only day in the whole year that was referred to as the hidden day or the day that no man knew.
Spiritual Application (Halacha). Rosh HaShanah takes place on the new moon. Colossians 2:16-17 says that the new moon will teach about the Messiah. The Jewish (biblical) month is based upon a lunar cycle. The moon can barely be seen as the cycle begins. But then the moon turns toward the sun and begins to reflect the light of the sun. The sun in the sky is a picture of Yeshua (Malachi 4:2), and the moon is a picture of the believers in the Messiah. The sun has its own light, but the moon’s light is a reflection of the sun. When we first become believers in Yeshua, we can hardly be seen spiritually, and we know very little about G-d. But then our lives begin to revolve around the Messiah as the moon revolves around the sun. As we begin to turn more and more toward the center of creation, we begin to reflect that light (Yeshua) more and more, just as the moon reflects the light from the center of the solar system.
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