What does a trumpet symbolize in Scripture? In a nutshell, “Hey everyone, pay attention.” It doesn’t necessarily signal something negative. But it can, as in “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the Day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand.”
In this case, despite what a popular song mistakenly portrayed, the trumpet’s sound signals trouble is at hand, and not a victory. In fact, it prophetically alerts the Israelites to the coming of the Day of the Lord. If you’ve been following these blogs, you now know this means Israel will be invaded as it never has been before.
On a positive note—pun intended—that trumpet’s sound also heralds the Jews’ Third Day revival. When they see Jesus Christ coming in the clouds, they finally recognize Him as the Messiah. “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:39).
This brings us to another purpose for a trumpet’s clarion call. Leviticus 23:24 describes it as “a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.” In this case, it was blown to call the people to the God-ordained festivals. The Fall festivals coincided with the end of the fruit harvest, whereas the earlier Spring festivals closed out the grain harvests.
Colossians 2:16-17 tells us that the Jewish festivals are prophetic shadows of Christ’s first and second coming. The first four Spring festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost foreshadowed Christ’s first coming. The last three festivals, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles, are celebrated together and come in the 7th month of the Jewish year, which is the beginning of the Jews’ civil calendar.
The Jewish people call the first of the Fall feasts Rosh Hashanah, which means “head of the year.” It is equivalent to our New Year’s Day celebration. It foreshadows Christ’s second coming. That is why Paul referred to it in 1 Cor. 15:5-52. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (emphasis added).
When we recognize the two ways the trumpet was used in Jewish culture, we can see that the last trumpet that signals the rapture of the Church is NOT the same as the last of the 7 trumpet judgments in the book of Revelation. For one thing, Paul’s last trumpet is heard as the 7th Day dawns, which is Christ’s 1,000-year reign. The first 3½ years of that reign is called the Wrath of that Day, when God’s vengeance is unleashed on evil. The 7th trumpet judgment, on the other hand, is heard as the 3½ years of God’s wrath are about to end. In fact, it heralds the final blow to the Antichrist and his company.
That is why, when the final trumpet judgment sounds, the 7th trumpet, there is a heavenly declaration: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15) As spoken in Heaven, so shall it be done on the earth.