Connecting the Rapture, Rosh Hashanah, and the Place of Trumpeting

A reminder of where our true hope lies.

Whenever I visit the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, I’m eager to walk to the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. I’ve never been to this corner on Rosh Hashanah or during the Feast of Trumpets, but I’d love to go there then. Archaeologists have uncovered a large portion of the first-century street that stretched north along the original Western Wall.

Echoes of Rosh Hashanah— To the Place of Trumpeting

(Photo: The southwest corner of the Temple Mount at left. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

One hundred meters north of the corner is the part of the Western Wall where locals and tourists pray. But beneath the ground, Jerusalem’s Central Valley has been filled in with the rubble of the Second Temple’s destruction in A.D. 70.  As a result, the beautiful modern plaza stands about 30 feet above the first-century street uncovered at the southwestern corner.

There at the corner lies a reminder of something Jesus predicted 37 years before the temple’s destruction.

And of a promise He made that could be fulfilled at any moment.

Archaeology Points to Prophecy

The excavations near the corner of the Temple Mount came about through the generosity of a distinguished member of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (who also owned the Detroit Pistons). The 33-foot-wide first-century street was laid with stone slabs, some a foot thick.

Standing on the street today, it isn’t hard to imagine the Romans hurling the massive temple stones from above, literally crushing and pressing the pavement blocks into the ground.

Jesus predicted this destruction on His last visit to the temple in AD 33:

Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” —Matthew 24:1–2

Archaeologists have removed most of the rubble, but they left one pile of stones just as they found them—the street still depressed from the force of the impact.

First-century street showing the Temple's destruction.

(Photo: First-century street showing the Temple’s destruction. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Rosh Hashanah and the Place of Trumpeting

One of the main reasons I continually return to this corner of the Temple Mount is because of one particular stone that lies on the street far below where it originally stood. Shaped as a corner, the stone bears the Hebrew inscription: “To the place of trumpeting.” The original inscription is in the Israel Museum, but a replica lays where the original did.

This stone represented the pinnacle of the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount, the place where priests would stand and overlook Jerusalem as they blew trumpets to announce the Sabbath and the start of festival days. The Feast of Trumpets especially relates to this act:

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.’ —Leviticus 23:24–25; cf. Numbers 29:1–6

Stone with the Hebrew inscription: "To the Place of Trumpeting"

(Photo: Stone with Hebrew inscription: “To the Place of Trumpeting.” Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Today, the Feast of Trumpets prepares the way for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. The Lord originally intended the trumpets to call God’s people together in preparation for the fall festival of Yom Kippur—where the Lord would forgive sins on the basis of shed blood. “Blow the trumpet at the new moon,” Asaph wrote, “At the full moon, on our feast day” (Psalm 81:3).

Alfred Edersheim offers some helpful background on the blowing of trumpets:

Originally the Shophar was probably a ram’s horn (Josephus, Ant. v. 5, 6), but afterwards it was also made of metal. The Shophar was chiefly used for its loud and far-sounding tones (Exodus 19:16, 19; 20:18; Isaiah 58:1). At the Feast of the New Year, one priest with a Shophar was placed between those who blew the trumpets; while on fast-days a priest with a Shophar stood on each side of them—the tones of the Shophar being prolonged beyond those of the trumpets. In the synagogues out of Jerusalem the Shophar alone was blown at the New Year [Heb. “Rosh Hashanah”], and on fast-days only trumpets. (The Temple: Its Ministry and Services)

Devotional Thought for the Place of Trumpeting:

Read Leviticus 23:24–25; Numbers 29:1–6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Hearing the shophar echo across Jerusalem takes my mind in several directions:

  • I think of the “Place of Trumpeting” at the Temple Mount and the opening line from the song, “Yerushalaim Shel Zahav,” which says, “A shophar calls out on the Temple Mount in the Old City.”
  • I try to imagine the priests of old standing at the pinnacle of the temple, calling God’s people to worship at the High Holidays. I also think about the renewal and rededication that Rosh Hashanah necessitates.
  • I think the Lord’s promise of the Rapture, when the Lord Jesus calls His people to Himself—at any moment in fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets.

But I especially consider the grace that the shophar’s call represents—urging worshippers to come before the Lord who forgives sins on the basis of the sacrifice God required (Leviticus 16:30). We know that ultimate sacrifice was His Son, Jesus.

Rosh Hashanah and the Feast of Trumpets are great reminders that the Rapture could occur any day, and at any moment, and that our hope lies beyond this life—and not in it.

Question: What helps you live with continual reminder that the Rapture could occur at any moment? To leave a comment, just click here.

The Place of Trumpeting on the Map:

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  • Anne

    Your beautiful descriptions of this area and the reminder of the coming of the rapture enhance my desire to be ready for it. This is giving depth to my preparation for the upcoming study of Daniel and all of its prophetic truth.

    • That sounds super, Anne. Daniel is “the key to prophetic revelation,” to quote John Walvoord. I hope your study is rich, rewarding, and inspiring. (And I hope you can squeeze the Rapture between Daniel’s 69th and 70th weeks!)

  • Robert

    but before the rapture even happens the Anti christ needs to come out in the open. Because from that time we will have the 3 and a half years of his rule then christ will return.

    • Great plug for the mid-trib view, Robert, but it’s probably obvious from my post that I hold to the pre-trib view that Christ comes for His church before the tribulation. Nevertheless, thanks for your comment, and God bless your ministry, brother.

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  • Jane Franks

    One of the great reminders this week has been reading these very vivid and thought provoking posts. This is fabulous, Wayne, and such a witness for our Lord. Thank you so much!

  • Toad Uoff

    I just wanted to point out an error in your story.

    Herod’s Temple was the THIRD Yewish Temple of Yerusalem, not the 2nd, plus, the Trumpeting Stone plays in with the Yew’s Messiah Prophecy, which declares BOLDLY that the Yew’s Messiah will come during the existence of the THIRD Temple, which was Herod’s Temple and while Herod’s Temple stood, that period was known as The Days of the Messiah and once the Temple fell, the Days of the Messiah ended.

    Also, there is ABSOLUTELY no “J” in Hebrew and to correct the ERROR, just change the J to a Y. With that, the correct name of the Yew’s Messiah’s is Yeshua or Yehoshuah, not Jesus.

    Ribbit 🙂

    • Thanks for your commitment to keeping us straight, Toad. You’ll also want to let the archaeologists in Yerushalaim know your insight about the Third Temple. They’re still stuck with the majority of credible scholars who understand Herod’s Temple as the Second Temple.

      • Toad Uoff

        History is clear, if you don’t read the Yew’s version of it.

        Solomon’s Temple was the 1st Temple, it was destroyed by hostile forces. Zerubbabel’s Temple was the 2nd Temple and it was in DISREPAIR at the time Herod offered to rebuild the Temple. The Rabbis of the day originally wouldn’t let Herod raze Zerubbabel’s Temple to build the 3rd Temple because they feared he would not rebuild after he tore it down, so Herod cut them a deal; he would amass all of the building materials, the entire workforce, and hire 1000 Rabbis to oversee the project. After Herod made that offer, the Rabbis of the day agreed and, after a elaborate closing ceremony, Zerubbabel’s Temple was torn down, then the Temple Mount was first enlarged significantly, then the 3rd Temple was built and it only took 18 months from start to finish, then they continued adding onto the courtyard area for the next 100 years or so.

        The Yew’s refuse to acknowledge Zerubbabel’s Temple was torn down and REPLACED but that’s because if they were to admit that, it would be the end of Judaism, since it would mean that Yeshua was their Messiah and since he brought a new religion with him called Christianity, all Yew’s today are nothing more than Christians in DENIAL.

        You should note Pontius Pilot and how he caught the Yew’s Messiah had just shown up, since Yeshua refused to do anything to save himself and since the timeframe that all went down was known as The Days of the Messiah, Pontius knew Yeshua was the Yew’s Messiah and since the Yew’s Messiah qualified as political at that time, Pontius had no choice but to wash his hands of the matter and Pontius did one hell of a job “marking” Yeshua for all in the future to know he was the Yew’s Messiah.

        Western history has been rewritten by the Zionist Yew’s! eWe can’t believe everything you read concerning the Yews, they are hiding the truth from everyone because once it’s determined the Abomination of Desolation went down in 70 AD, the Yew’s indigenous hold on Palestine ends and they have to leave, which is about to go down!

        Also, the 1st run of Revelations has already gone down. We are now in the 2nd run of Revelations, the inverted run, described by Nostradamus & Casey and is explained by Rev 20:7, which dictates:

        “When the 1000 year reign of Christianity ends (Byzantine Empire), the Devil Lawyer shall be loosened from the Bar to occupy the Benches and Legislatures to enslave the world.

        Consider yourself enslaved!

        Ribbit 🙂

        • Toad Uoff

          Here are a couple of links for you to read:

          http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14304-temple-of-herod

          https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/temple-of-herod?lang=eng

          Ezekiel’s Temple is/was Herod’s Temple. 😉

          Ribbit 🙂

          • Toad Uoff

            One more thing, Glen Beck erred with his proof that Barrack Obama is the Anti-Christ, in that Revelations is clear, you WILL love the Anti-Christ and Revelations doesn’t beat around the bush when explaining why you will love him; the Anti-Christ will deceive you into loving him. Whereas Glen and his followers ALL hate Barrack and since Revelations has a built in Curse Stone, Glen and his followers are cursed/jinxed, whereas the Curse Stone is the part where it says “Do not add to or subtract from or change the meaning of the words herein.” Glen and his Barrack Obama Anti-Christ followers are guilty of subtracting from.

            Barrack is a distraction in place to distract everyone from the real Anti-Christ.

            Ribbit 🙂

      • Toad Uoff

        Credible Scholars? Who made them credible?

        Answer: their Government led Education.

        “Nothing interferes with my learning [of the truth] more than my formal [government led] education.” – Albert Einstein

        So your so called credible scholars are only credible on paper, in real, they are fools, as Einstein explained.

        “The greater the government led education, the greater the fool.” – Old Toad Proverb

        Ribbit 🙂

        Ps: The Universe is an Open System and there is no death in an Open System, so Reincarnation is going down. 😉

  • Malcolm Horlock

    Wayne,

    I suspect that the ‘Place of the Blowing’ stone may also add some background colour to the second temptation (‘second’ according to the order in Matthew’s account) faced by our Lord in the Wilderness of Judea.

    I see the second temptation as being more directly related to His Messiahship than had been the first. Your quotation from Edersheim is apposite (from ‘The Temple: Its Ministry and Services’, Chapter 8, ‘The Second Lot’). He wrote elsewhere, ‘‘Jesus stands on the lofty pinnacle of the Tower, or of the Temple-porch, presumably that on which every day a Priest was stationed to watch, as the pale morning light passed over the hills of Judaea far off to Hebron, to announce it as the signal for offering the morning sacrifice. If we might indulge our imagination, the moment chosen would be just as the Priest had quitted that station’, A. Edersheim, ‘The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah’, Book III, chapter I.

    In brief, the first great event of the Temple day was the offering of the morning sacrifice – which took place as the first streaks of sunlight appeared. From the top of a high tower in the Temple, several hundred feet above the Kidron Valley below, a priest would sound the blast of a trumpet when the sun first came into sight, as a signal for the service to begin in the Temple court. At that moment, the court would be thronged with a multitude of expectant worshippers, all with their eyes pinned on the top of the tower as they awaited the signal.

    And, although I have no way of being sure, for all I know, it was at such a moment that the devil suggested to our Lord that He should cast Himself down – in full view of the captive audience. And had not the prophet Malachi foretold some 400 years before that ‘the Lord’ would ‘suddenly come to His Temple’, Mal. 3. 1? Surely, nobody in the Temple court that day could possibly mistake so obvious – and so sensational – a fulfilment.

    So, in tempting Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple, the devil may well have been suggesting that He make a public display of His Messiahship. Indeed, as I suspect you know, ‘Yalkut’ (a 13th century haggadic compilation on the books of the Old Testament) says, ‘Our Rabbis give this tradition: In the hour when King Messiah comes, He stands upon the roof of the Sanctuary, and proclaims to Israel, saying … the time of your redemption draws near. In that hour … all shall come … and fall on their faces before Messiah and before Israel, and say, We will be servants to Him and to Israel’. (Quoted in Edersheim’s ‘Life and Times’, Book III, chapter 1.

    Without doubt then, following such a miraculous descent, Jesus would have been instantly acclaimed as the Messiah, rather than as a carpenter – which is all He had been to date – and would have secured a great following for Himself. And then, if it had proved necessary, they would have ‘come to take Him by force to make Him king’ – which, according to John 6. 15, happened some time later after He miraculously fed a multitude of 5,000 men.

    I believe that it was during excavations in Jerusalem following the Six Day War of 1967 – when Israel regained control of some of old Jerusalem – that Benjamin Mazar, found the block from the parapet of the south-western corner of the Temple, which carried the inscription, ‘the place of the blowing (of the trumpet)’.

    But, of course, our Lord had no intention of dazzling the worshippers at Jerusalem into following Him. Indeed, as you know well, He always refused to perform any miracle simply for show.

    Malcolm

    • Thanks for these fascinating insights, Malcolm. Yes, I’m aware of these additional nuggets you mention and wrote about them in my book, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus. I think when Satan tempted Him to jump down, forcing God to save Him and impressing the crowds that He was the Christ, it was all a temptation to grab the glory without the cross. We face that same temptation today—to shortcut our carrying the cross in favor of some quick solution outside of God’s will. Thanks again.

  • Carrie Honeycutt

    Wayne,
    I just want to thank you once again for sharing your thoughts and insights with us. It always helps me to understand God’s words a little more.

    • You’re welcome, Carrie! I’m grateful for your encouragement. God bless.

  • Kevin Guess

    Rev. 20:22. I regularly quote this.

    • Excellent, Kevin! I love this. Thank you, brother.

  • Tibor Meszaros

    What helps you live with continual reminder that the Rapture could occur at any moment? You asked … my answer is found in God’s promise in Matthew 24:14 : our Lord foretells the preaching of the gospel in all the world and then the end shall come. That gives me motivation to be a fisherman of man. It keeps me humble and salty. It ignites my faith to be the light to this fallen world that I am part of. It kindly reminds me of what CS Lewis once said (paraphrasing) that Jesus did not come to make bad people good but dead people alive. Peace

    • Any verse that keeps us on our toes, Tibor, is doing its job. Thanks for your dedication.

  • Mitch Sorensen

    Hi Wayne, there is a very interesting book about the
    location of the temple. I know there has been much controversy about the
    location on the temple mount, but what if the location was never on the
    temple mount? What if the location was in the city of David? “The
    Temple” by Bob Cornuke. Check it out.

  • Rev. Bill Reeves

    I have walked that wall back in 1976 with Jim Munson

    • Wow, Bill! What a tremendous honor. All of us who love biblical geography owe a huge debt of thanks to James Monson.

  • Sandy Smith

    Most recently studying 1 Peter and noticing references to our hope and the revelation of Jesus Christ in that book. Chapter 1 vv. 3-5 say “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
    Loving His appearing……..clinging to hope!
    “Maranatha” 1 Cor 16:22

    One note, you may have written this article a while back. Davidson passed on in 2009. The Pistons are now owned by Tom Gores, so perhaps “owns” should be changed to owned” to update it.

    Thanks always for your wonderful teaching, brother!!! I’m learning…..

    • I love those verses from 1 Peter. Thank you, Sandy, for sharing them. Thanks also for helping me fact-check! I have updated the post. God bless.

  • ARM BAR

    The rapture can come at any moment actually means,God will come at any moment,just as He says in the Bible,and as we get closer to the Lord Jesus’ second coming,so His Prophecies are almost all Fulfilled before our eyes.

    • It’s exciting to think He could come today, isn’t it? Oh that He would!