"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?" I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the Desert"
- Isaiah 43:18-19 (NASB)
The shofar is not primarily a musical instrument. Its purpose has to do with making a prophetic alarm - a proclamation of what was to follow.
There are two types of shofars used today: the small one is the ram's horn, while the larger Yemenite shofar comes from an African antelope called the Kudu.
As an instrument of proclamation,
announcing the presence or coming of the Lord.
"When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder." (Exodus 19:19 NASB)
To praise God.
"With trumpets and the sound of the horn; shout joyfully before the King, the LORD" (Psalm 98:6 NASB)
As an early warning siren.
"When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and be saved from your enemies." (Numbers 10:9 NASB)
To assemble the people.
"Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east assembled themselves; and they crossed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel. So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him." (Judges 6:33-34 NASB)
To assemble the troops.
"At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us." (Nehemiah 4:20 NASB)
To call God's people to worship Him.
"It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem." (Isaiah 27:13 NASB)
At the swearing of an oath to God.
"Moreover, they made an oath to the LORD with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with horns."
(2 Chronicles 15:14 NASB)
In the midst of battle.
"Then the LORD will appear over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning; and the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, and will march in the storm winds of the south." (Zechariah 9:14 NASB)
To announce the beginning of festivals.
"You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family." (Leviticus 25:9-10 NASB)
NOTE: One of the Hebrew words for "trumpet" is also the
word for "jubilee." The "Year of Jubilee" begins with
the sounding of the trumpet.
"After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice which I had heard, addressing me like [the calling of] a war trumpet said, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place in the future." (Revelation 4:1 AMP)
At the return of the Messiah.
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NASB)
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