Leviticus 23:24

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.

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 Psalms 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 Numb. xxix. 1. R. Alphes, par. 1, fol. 346. 2. T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 16. 2.
{o} Leo Modena, ut supra. (