How Yom Teruah Became Rosh Hashanah
“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”
Today, few people remember the biblical name of Yom Teruah (better known as the Day of Trumpets) and instead it is widely known as “Rosh Hashanah” which literally means “head of the year” and hence also “New Years.”
Like all Biblical Feast, Yom Teruah points the way to Messiah and is a dress rehearsal heralding the second coming of our beautiful King Messiah Yashuah (1 Corinthians 15:52). As the Bible states, Yom Teruah occurs in the 7th month.
‘Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.
1 Kings 8:2:
“And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.”
Yah clearly distinguished between the 1st and the 7th months in the Holy scriptures.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house…”
“Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.”
Yah clearly explains that the month of Abib is the head of the year, which occurs around Passover. The Day of Trumpets occurs in the 7th month not the 1st month; therefore, the Day of Trumpets has nothing to do with celebrating a New Year. Do you see how the enemy get’s us off track? While we are suppose to be looking for the return of Messiah we are distracted with other things.
How Did We Get Off Track?
The transformation of Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) into Rosh Hashanah (New Years) is the result of pagan Babylonian influence upon the Hebrew nation. The first stage in the transformation was the adoption of the Babylonian month names.
During their sojourn in Babylonia the Hebrew people began to use the pagan Babylonian month names, a fact readily admitted in the Talmud: “The names of the months came up with them from Babylonia.” (Jerusalem Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 1:2 56d)
The pagan nature of the Babylonian month names is epitomized by the fourth month known as Tammuz. In the Babylonian religion, Tammuz was the god of grain whose annual death and resurrection brought fertility to the world.
In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet described a journey to Jerusalem in which he saw the Jewish women sitting in the Temple “weeping over Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14). What an atrocity!
Some of the Babylonian month names found their way into the later books of the Tanakh. We see the Babylonian influence in Esther 3:7: In the First Month, which is the month of Nissan, in the twelfth year of King Achashverosh.”
This verse translates the 1st month into its pagan equivalent (Nissan). By the time of Esther, all the Jews lived within the boundaries of the Persian Empire and the Persians had adopted the Babylonian calendar for the civil administration of their realm. At first, the Jews used these Babylonian month names alongside the Torah month names, but over time the Torah month names fell into disuse.
As the Hebrew people became more comfortable with the Babylonian month names, they became more susceptible to other Babylonian influences.
One field of Babylonian religious influence was in the observance of Yom Teruah as a New Years celebration. From very early times the Babylonians had a lunar-solar calendar very similar to the biblical calendar. The result was that Yom Teruah often fell out on the same day as the Babylonian New Years festival of “(Akitu)”.
The pagan Babylonian celebration of Akitu fell on the 1st day of Tishrei which coincided with Yom Teruah on the 1st day of the Seventh Month. When Jews started calling the “Seventh Month” by the Babylonian name “Tishrei”, it paved the way for turning Yom Teruah into a Jewish Akitu. At the same time, the Rabbis did not want to adopt Akitu outright, so they Judaized it by changing the name of Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) to Rosh Hashanah (New Years).
In contrast to Babylonian paganism, the Torah does not say or imply that Yom Teruah has anything to do with celebrating a New Year. Let’s keep sacred thing sacred. PRAISE YAH!