Psalm 81:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon. Announce the sacred month, the beginning of months, when the Lord brought his people out of the house of bondage. Clear and shrill let the summons be which calls all Israel to adore the Redeeming Lord.

In the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. Obedience is to direct our worship, not whim and sentiment: God's appointment gives a solemnity to rites and times which no ceremonial pomp or hierarchical ordinance could confer. The Jews not only observed the ordained month, but that part of the month which had been divinely set apart. The Lord's people in the olden time welcomed the times appointed for worship; let us feel the same exultation, and never speak of the Sabbath as though it could be other than "a delight" and "honourable." Those who plead this passage will keep such feasts as the Lord appoints, but not those which Rome or Canterbury may ordain.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. Blow up the trumpet, etc. The Jews say this blowing of trumpets was in commemoration of Isaac's deliverance, a ram being sacrificed for him, and therefore they sounded with trumpets made of ram's horns: or in remembrance of the trumpet blown at the giving of the law; though it rather was an emblem of the gospel and ministry of it, by which sinners are aroused, awakened and quickened, and souls are charmed and allured, and filled with spiritual joy and gladness. John Gill.

Verse 3 The trumpet. The sound of the trumpet is very commonly employed in Scripture as an image of the voice or word of God. The voice of God, and the voice of the trumpet on Mount Sinai, were heard together ( Exodus 19:5 Exodus 19:18-19 ), first the trumpet sound as the symbol, then the reality. So also John heard the voice of the Lord as that of a trumpet (Re 1:10 4:1), and the sound of the trumpet is once and again spoken of as the harbinger of the Son of Man, when coming in power and great glory, to utter the almighty word which shall quicken the dead to life, and make all things new ( Matthew 24:31 1 Corinthians 15:52 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ). The sound of the trumpet, then, was a symbol of the majestic, omnipotent voice or word of God; but of course only in those things in which it was employed in respect to what God had to say to men. It might be used also as from man to God, or by the people, as from one to another. In this case, it would be a call to a greater than usual degree of alacrity and excitement in regard to the work and service of God. And such probably was the more peculiar design of the blowing of trumpets at the festivals generally, and especially at the festival of trumpets on the first day of the second month. Joseph Francis Thrupp.

Verse 3 "In the new moon," etc. The feast of the new moon was always proclaimed by sound of trumpet. For want of astronomical knowledge, the poor Jews were put to sad shifts to know the real time of the new moon. They generally sent persons to the top of some hill or mountain about the time which, according to their supputations, the new moon should appear. The first who saw it was to give immediate notice to the Sanhedrim; they closely examined the reporter as to his credibility, and whether his information agreed with their calculations. If all was found satisfactory, the president proclaimed the new moon by shouting out, mikksd[vh! "It is consecrated." This word was repeated twice aloud by the people; and was then proclaimed everywhere by blowing of horns, or what is called the sound of trumpets. Among the Hindus some feasts are announced by the sound of the conch, or sacred shell. Adam Clarke.

Verse 3 In the time appointed. The word rendered the time appointed, signifies the hidden or covered period; that is, the time when the moon is concealed or covered with darkness. This day was a joyful festival, returning every month; but the first day of the seventh moon was most solemn of the whole; being not only the first of the moon, but of the civil year. This was called the feast of trumpets, as it was celebrated by the blowing of trumpets from sunrising to sun setting; according to the command, "It shall be a day of the blowing of trumpets to you." This joy was a memorial of the joy of creation, and the joy of giving the law; it also preindicated the blowing of the gospel trumpet, after the dark, the covered period of the death of Christ, when the form of the church changed, and the year of the "redeemed" began; and finally, it prefigured the last day, when the trumpet of God shall sound, and the dead shall be raised. Alexander Pirie.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS