The calendar months of ancient Israel, referred to in the Old Testament, were based on the moon phases, as well as tied to the seasons and harvests of the year. The continued correspondence with the seasons was achieved by adding a thirteenth month seven times in 19 years, which made the Hebrew calendar luni-solar. (Some of the world’s calendars, such as the Islamic one, are based purely on the moon phases and hence are not tied to the seasons.) Each month started with a new moon and was marked by special worship. The first day of the first month, corresponding to March-April or spring in the northern hemisphere, was for Israel the beginning of the sacred year.
In the first month (Hebrew Abib) and seventh month (Hebrew Tishri), special festivals occurred either on the new moon or the full moon. The Feast of Trumpets (Jewish Rosh Hashanah) was kept on the first day of the seventh month – a new moon. The Passover and the First Day of Unleavened Bread were kept on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the first month – a full moon. The beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles (Jewish Sukkoth) was on the fifteenth day of the seventh month – also a full moon. Pentecost (referred to as the Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament) and the Day of Atonement (Jewish Yom Kippur) fell between the new moon and full moon. Orthodox Jews are still observing these festivals. The Feast of Trumpets (Jewish Rosh Hashanah) marks the start of the civil year.
Based on related scriptures, the Feast of Trumpets, a new-moon festival, may be seen as foreshadowing Jesus Christ’s second coming to the earth, the near-ness and fruition of which will be heralded by a literal or figurative trumpet sound. The Messiah’s return will be a dramatic turning point and a new beginning in world history. Scriptures refer to this period as the Day of the Lord or Day of God. It is also portrayed as a day of darkness, clouds and gloominess, war and slaughter, and judgment. In contrast, for the people of God, it is a day of resurrection to eternal life – also a turning point and a new beginning in a glorified and immortal existence.
It has been suggested that Jesus’ birth or first coming – another dramatic event in the history of Israel and humankind – also occurred at the time of the Feast of Trumpets, rather than on the traditionally observed December date. While this cannot be conclusively proven, certain biblical facts give support to the idea. Shepherds were keeping their flocks in the fields – December would have been too cold to do this in Palestine. A bright star appeared to herald Christ’s birth – suggesting a dark night rather than a full-moon night. Christ’s ministry started when he was about thirty and ended after three and a half years – in the middle of the first month, at Passover time.
The full-moon festivals also point to climactic events. Passover and Unleavened Bread bring to remembrance the Exodus – God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt’s Pharaoh and grinding slavery. In its New Testament parallel and fulfilment, Jesus Christ, through his death, has delivered spiritual Israel, the church, from Satan and the power of death which enslaves all of us in fear. He inaugurated the new covenant and opened the way into the kingdom of God through forgiveness and reconciliation. Humans now have the opportunity to become children of God. Jesus has also delivered each person turning to him from the slavery and penalty of sin.
The Feast of Tabernacles, the last festival of the Israelite year, started at the time of the full moon and was a celebration of the main harvest. Some believe that when Jesus Christ returns, he and the immortal saints will rule on earth for a thousand years (or an indeterminate period), teaching humanity the ways of God. The festival could be seen as pointing to this period. Another way of viewing this ancient harvest celebration is as the great harvest (typifying salva-tion) of all humanity. This is in contrast to the small first-fruit harvest commemorated during the spring and early summer festivals of Passover and Pente-cost.
God’s kingdom over the earth is described as a time when the divine way of life will fill the earth, Satan will be forever banished, and all deception will come to an end. Wars, sickness, suffering, crying and death will be things of the past. The new earth, where God dwells with his people, will be full of light. Neither the sun nor the moon will be needed. With God being fully and totally all and in all, the climax of God’s plan of salvation will have been accomplished. But while we wait and look forward to this wonderful consummation, each month the changing moon in the sky can keep renewing our hope.
 Numbers 10:10; 28:11-14; 2 Chronicles 8:12-13; Ezekiel 46:3; Amos 8:4-5; Exodus 12:2
 Leviticus 23:23-25, 5-8, 34-39; 15-16; 27-32
 Isaiah 27:13; Zechariah 9:14; Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; Revelation 8:2-10:7; 11:15-18
 Isaiah 13:9-13; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 30:2-3; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Revelation 16:14
 Daniel 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23, 50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 5:8-10
 Matthew 2:1-2, 9; Luke 2:8-20; 3:23; John 18:28-32, 39-40
 Exodus 12:6-17, 21; John 1:10-13; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:14-22; 3:1-6; Hebrews 2:14-15; 8:10-13; 10:16-20
 Romans 6:6-7, 11-14, 17-23; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
 Revelation 20:1-6, Zechariah 14:16-21
 Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Matthew 9:35-38; 13:36-43; Revelation 14:15-16
 Isaiah 2:2-5; 11:6-10; Zechariah 14:5-9; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-6
From: Divine Reflections in Times and Seasons by Eva Peck