Psalm 81 and the Feast of Trumpets

Psalm 81 and the Feast of Trumpets

Psalm 81 is a festive psalm

Psalms 81:1 To the Chief Musician. On An Instrument of Gath. A Psalm of Asaph. Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob.

KJV Psalms 8:1 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.

Hebrew Interlinear “for·the·one-making-it-permanent on the·winetrough to·Asaph”

The Zondervan NIV Study Bible comments: either a winepress or a song of the winepress

Psalms 81:2 Raise a song and strike the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the lute.

Festive time. A command for all the people to come together in celebration

Psalms 81:3 Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.

This is a chapter read by some at this time of the year. Today, I would like to go through it a little more thoroughly to show why as well as make some correlations to the meaning of the day.

A lot of confusion surrounding this verse: new moons, Passover, trumpets, and Feast of Tabernacles

Establish the context of these verses


Not the silver trumpets blown throughout the year

The trumpets of Numbers 10 are not specifically dedicated to a day.

Numbers 10:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
Numbers 10:2 “Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps.
Numbers 10:3 When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
Numbers 10:4 But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you.
Numbers 10:5 When you sound the advance, the camps that lie on the east side shall then begin their journey.
Numbers 10:6 When you sound the advance the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall begin their journey; they shall sound the call for them to begin their journeys.
Numbers 10:7 And when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but not sound the advance.
Numbers 10:8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations.
Numbers 10:9 “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.
Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God.”

Leviticus 23:23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Leviticus 23:24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month [new moon], you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.
Leviticus 23:25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’ ”

It was a ram’s horn blown at the beginning of Trumpets.

Full moon?

Psalms 81:3 Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.

KJV Psalms 81:3 Blow up the trumpet [shofar] in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

This word does not really appear any other place; Proverbs 7:20 simliar translations; slightly different words

[at the fullness of the month, new moon]; Hebrew experts: covered moon;

Only one feast day at this appointed time: The Feast of Trumpets

There is no law or statute to blow the ram’s horn or celebrate every new moon or full moon and every sacred festival day.

There is only one festival where it is commanded

Numbers 29:1 ‘And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets


Superscription: It is associated with the fall harvest of grapes.

Psalms 81:4 For this is a statute for Israel, A law of the God of Jacob.

For both spiritual and physical

Psalms 81:5 This He established in Joseph as a testimony, When He went throughout the land of Egypt, Where I heard a language I did not understand. [a lip that I did not know]

It is saying that the timing of this holy day coincides with an event in Joseph’s life

Genesis 41:37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.
Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Genesis 41:39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.
Genesis 41:40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Genesis 41:41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
Genesis 41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.
Genesis 41:43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
Genesis 41:45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:47 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly.

Joseph was a type of Christ:

  • Both are shepherds
  • Most loved of their fathers
  • Prophesied to be rulers
  • Betrayed for the price of a slave
  • Both were made slaves
  • Falsely accused
  • Had God’s Spirit
  • Both were given a name meaning Savior
  • Both are Saviors
  • Etc

So this is an admonition for their immediate future as well as ours. Talking about why things will be the way that they are before He returns as the Feast of Trumpets represents

God is now speaking here

Psalms 81:6 “I removed his shoulder from the burden; His hands were freed from the baskets.

God is speaking “I”

Freed from slavery, God is saying have you forgotten your prior state?

Well, let me remind you:

Psalms 81:7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
“the secret place of thunder”: giving of His law and covenant at Mount Sinai,

Exodus 19:16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.
Exodus 19:17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
Exodus 19:18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
Exodus 19:19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.

So what do you think they remembered when they blew the shofar on this day? Also at his return?

Tested and they failed

Exodus 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the faultfinding of the children of Israel, and because they put the LORD to the proof by saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

Answers this in :8 By saying that He was there all along they just needed to listen

Psalms 81:8 “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! O Israel, if you will listen to Me!
Psalms 81:9 There shall be no foreign god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god.
Psalms 81:10 I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

:10 is the opening to the 10 Commandments – the law of God

And then the first commandment is reiterated.

What do you think this brought to mind? Was there any doubt that there was a God and He was with them?

Psalms 81:11 “But My people would not heed My voice, And Israel would have none of Me.

Throughout the Old Testament it is plain to see that Israel failed to “listen” and continued to fall away – which God allowed:

Psalms 81:12 So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels.

Free moral agency – hoping that they would choose Him

Psalms 81:13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!

But they didn’t and wouldn’t – if they had then He would have been there for them and protected them.

Psalms 81:14 I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn My hand against their adversaries.

David was often fighting enemies – if the Israelites had remembered these words before going into battle – how would they have acted?

Once Israel went into captivity…
When Judah went into captivity…

Jeremiah 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jeremiah 30:2 “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
Jeremiah 30:3 For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’ ”
Jeremiah 30:4 Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah 30:5 “For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace.
Jeremiah 30:6 Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale?
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
Jeremiah 30:8 ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them.
Jeremiah 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them.
Jeremiah 30:10 ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD, ‘Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid.

Ezekiel 39:22 “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.

Revelation 14:19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Revelation 14:20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

Revelation 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Psalms 81:15 The haters of the LORD would pretend submission to Him, But their fate would endure forever.

This is how God defines the Israelites who hate him – those that pretend to submit to Him and His word.

1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

These are the commandments of God; the same ones that Asaph is talking about today: the 10 Commandments, the Holy Days and specifically the Feast of Trumpets. If the Israelites would have listened then God would have been with them and blessed them and:

Psalms 81:16 He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

There is good news always at the end in the ongoing plan of God. Though history for the modern day Israelites is repeating itself today and they will end up going through the a time more horrible than anyone can imagine…the Good News is that the Day of Trumpets foreshadows a time when Christ will return and free the Israelites and become King of Kings ruling the entire world and bringing about a time of unparalleled peace and prosperity!