Tag Archives: Israel

The Feast of Trumpets

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The last three holy convocations or “festivals” that the Lord commanded the Jewish people to observe are the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. Each occurred in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, the month called Tishrei. The Feast of Trumpets heralded the arrival of that seventh month. It also began what is known as the Ten Days of Awe between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, wherein the penitent humble themselves in preparation for the great Day of Atonement.

But besides announcing the arrival of the seventh month and introducing the final cycle of festivals, the Feast of Trumpets had a meaning in its own right. What was that meaning?

The Original Meaning of the Feast of Trumpets

Leviticus 23:23-27 maps out God’s commandments concerning this festival:

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.'”

The only other reference to this festival in the Torah (Pentateuch) is Numbers 29:1ff. Neither passage provides much information regarding the original meaning of this feast. But, by examining the text in Leviticus 23, we note that the day was to be a memorial with blowing of trumpets. This is our only clue. The word “memorial” indicates that the event to be remembered had taken place prior to this ordinance.

To solve the puzzle, we must ask ourselves what extremely significant event, involving the blowing of trumpets, took place in the national life of Israel? What spiritual event was of such great importance that God commanded the people to remember it every year? I believe the Bible points to one outstanding event—connected to the blowing of trumpets—that required memorializing.

“When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain. So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder” (Exodus 19:13b, 16-19).

In Exodus chapters 19 and 20 we read the account of God’s appearance on Mount Sinai and the initial giving of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 19:5 depicts God inviting the children of Israel into a covenant: the Mosaic Covenant. In a spectacular revelation, God manifested His presence in the smoke and fire on Mount Sinai—as He came to covenant with His people amidst the sound of a trumpet that caused the people to tremble. They promised to do everything that the Lord commanded.

This cataclysmic event was to be stamped indelibly upon the memory of the people of Israel. Every year, at the Feast of Trumpets, those same-sounding trumpet blasts reminded Israel that they were a people under covenant; a nation who had accepted the responsibilities of being God’s people. By doing so, the nation also prepared herself for the Day of Atonement, eight days later, when they would repent and find atonement for all they had done to break this covenant.

The Fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets

I believe that the truest fulfillment of this festival is Jesus’ offer of the New Covenant to all who would receive it.

“‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you'” (Luke 22:20b).

We who have accepted the New Covenant remember this fact every time we take communion. The bread and the cup remind us of the cataclysmic events of the Lord’s death and resurrection. They remind us of our responsibilities in being New Covenant-people. We repent and show remorse for our sin in falling short of this high and holy calling. Through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, we receive the full and final atonement provided by the New Covenant.

Original article: Feast of Trumpets

Total Reprisal

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In reading the Old Testament, many people with effete modern sensibilities are shocked to read the totality of some of the ancient battles and wars listed therein. Instances where the Israelites destroyed murderous rival tribes down to the last soul, regardless of age or gender.

These naysayers are the same people who defend radical terrorist armies like ISIS/ISIL, Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, and other murder cults as just being moody and misunderstood political movements, rather than acknowledging their unprecedented barbarism, soul-freezing sadism, and malevolence.

These same sympathizers vanished from the ancient histories millennia ago, if for no other reason than they were absorbed, enslaved, or annihilated by the fiendish forefathers of the very savages they try to excuse today.

Then, like today, better men and women saw these degenerates for what they were and recognized their moral duty to themselves and Mankind to sweep them from the Earth before they could heap further anguish on the living.

Like the Philistines of old, many modern regional powers of the Middle East are heartless and tyrannical: killers that would be your overlords.

So why did ancient Israelites have to go to such military extremes?

Because they were surrounded not by one or two ISIS-class threats, but dozens over many centuries.

History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

We know America will not rid the stage of these terrorists like we did the Nazis of World War II. Then, like now, the non-Conservatives were content (and many were complicit) to let monsters rule over some distant less fortunate part of the world. Today our government tries to keep a leash on useful monsters—after all, you just have to let the beast off its chain from time to remind the people you need more of their time, money, resources, and sons and daughters to fight your wars.

In our defeated post-republic America, we have rationalized away the courage to save the world.

And the world knows it.

Where are the cruel Amorites? The Philistines?

As they were—Gone.

Nicely swept from history by ancient Israel.

There is only one way to deal with an army of sociopaths.

Turn them into a graveyard of sociopaths.

Ancient Israel knew this.

Modern Israel knows this too.

Benjamin Netanyahu Addresses Congress

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke for nearly 50 minutes to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. He received 26 standing ovations.  We will have lots of analysis on CNN.com/GPS in the minutes and hours ahead. What did you think?

Do you have a question for Netanyahu? At 1pm, Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev (@israelpm) will answer YOUR questions live.

Submit your questions now via iReport, through the Global Public Square and on Twitter with the hashtag #BibiSpeech.

Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) of CNN (@natlsecuritycnn) and Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) of Foreign Policy (@fp_magazine) will interview Regev live at 1pm today using your questions.

LIVE BLOGGING NETANYAHU’S SPEECH

12:07: Netanyahu concludes to standing ovation. “May God bless you and may God forever bless the United States of America.”

12:07: Netanyahu to Abbas: “Tear up your pact with Hamas….Make peace with the Jewish state.”

12:06: Netanyahu reaffirms Hamas is the Palestinian version of al Qaeda.

12:05: “Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction and terrorism….Hamas’ leader condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden and praised him as a holy warrior.”

12:05: “Peace cannot be imposed. It must be negotiated.” Netanyahu urges all to resist Palestinian push for statehood at the United Nations this September.

12:o3: “There is an America beyond the beltway but Israel on the 1967 lines would be only 9 miles wide. So much for strategic depth. It’s therefore absolutely vital that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized…and that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan river.”

12:o1: “In the Middle East, the only peace that can hold is a peace you can defend. Peace must be anchored in security.”

12:oo: Jerusalem must remain the united capitol of Israel.”

11:58: Netanyahu says Israel will incorporate certain new population centers and “other areas of national strategic importance.”  This is likely a veiled reference to areas Israel has a keen security interest in, chief among them the Jordan Valley.  The future of the Jordan Valley, and whether it would be under permanent Palestinian or Israeli security control, has long been a source of tension and disagreement.

11:57: “Israel will be generous on size of the state, but very firm on where we put the border with it.”

– Disturbance in House chamber during Netanyahu’s speech by Deirdre Walsh: A woman was removed from the House Chamber by U.S Capitol Police Tuesday after interrupting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a  joint meeting of Congress. Police escorted her out of the chamber and she was heard screaming “equal rights for Palestine” loudly on the third floor of the Capitol outside the chamber. She also yelled, “The occupation of Palestine is indefensible.” U.S. Capitol Police appear to be taking her out of the building for processing

11:55: Netanyahu says the issue is about recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

11:53: Calls on Mahmoud Abbas to stand before his people and say, “‘I will accept a Jewish state.’ Those six words will change history.”

11:53: “The continue to educate their kids to hate….They continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees. My friends, this must come to an end.”

11:51: “The Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it. Our conflict has never been about the existence of a Palestinian state. It is about the existence of a Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about.” Netanyahu laying blame for lack of peace at the feet of the Palestinians.

11:51: “If benefits of peace are so clear, why has peace eluded us?”

11:50: “Peace could make the regime of a broader Arab-Israeli peace a realistic possibility.”

11:47: “In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers.” Acknowledges Israel will have to give up elements of “historic homeland.”

11:46: Calls for economic and political support for those committed to peace – Egypt and Jordan. “We must also find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians.”

11:43: Netanyahu now turns to peace, drawing on his own background. “I lost my brother, so no one in Israel wants a return to those terrible days.”

11:42: “The more Iran believes all options are on the table, the less the chance of confrontation.”

11:41: “History will solute you, America!” says Netanyahu.

11:40: “In much of the international community, calls for our destruction are met with utter silence. It’s even worse because their are many who condemn Israel for defending itself against Iran’s terror proxies. Not you. Not America.”

11:37: Case against Iran: (a) spur nuclear arms race; (b) give terrorists a nuclear umbrella; and (c) empower nuclear terrorism. “Threat to my country cannot be overstated.”

11:36: Says democracy has begun to take root in the Arab World. Says a Middle East that is genuinely democratic will be truly at peace. “But while we work for the best…we must also recognize that powerful forces oppose this future….Foremost among these forces is Iran.”

11:34: “Of 300 million Arabs, less than 1/2 of 1% are truly free and they’re all citizens of Israel. This startling fact reveals a basic truth: Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East. Israel is what is right about the Middle East.”

11:33: Quotes George Eliot, who predicted “‘The Jewish state will shine like a bright star of freedom amidst the despotism of the East.’ She was right.”

11:31: “Today, the Middle East stands at a fateful crossroads… I pray the people of the region choose…the path of liberty.”

11:30: Netanyahu says “This is real democracy” because unlike “farcical parliaments” in Tehran or Tripoli, there is no such free speech. Very strong riposte to the protester.

11:29: Someone in the audience shouts and interrupts the PM’s speech. The audience rises and cheers to drown her out.

11:28: Netanyahu is now addressing the Arab Spring, saying it evokes 1989 Berlin and Prague.

11:27am: Thanks President Obama for his commitment to Israel. Making the case for why America is Israel’s best ally.

11:27am: “We defend ourselves.” Netanyahu is delivering a number of punchy applause-lines.

11:26am: “Israel has always been pro-American; Israel will always be pro-American.”

11:25am: Netanyahu congratulates President Obama for getting bin Laden. “Good riddance.”

11:24am: “Israel has no better friend than America. And America has no better friend than Israel.” Again a standing ovation.

11:24am: Netanyahu notes friends of Israel in the audience, “Democrats and Republicans alike.” This gets a standing ovation.

11:23am: Netanyahu begins address saying he’s “deeply moved by this warm welcome” and by the honor of addressing Congress a second time.

11:22am: Speaker Boehner introduces Netanyahu to sustained applause.

11:21am: Netanyahu is at the podium.

11:20am: Netanyahu enters to sustained applause. U.S. Rep Eric Cantor follows.

11:17am: Secretary Clinton and Gates are not in the audience. CNN’s Dana Bash says not to read into that.

11:12am: Here’s some of what to watch for in the speech:

– What does Netanyahu say about the Palestinians? About Mahmoud Abbas? About Hamas?

– What does he say about President Obama, the ’67 lines and swaps?

– What does he say about  Iran?

– What does he say about the United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood in September?

– How does he explain why peace hasn’t come to pass?

11:07am: Vice President Joe Biden also introducing members of Congress.

11:06am: Speaker John Boehner is speaking now introducing members of Congress.