Bible Articles on the Topic of Shofar

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

The Trumpet

In ancient Israel, each city had a person positioned upon the wall in order to call out a warning about the approach of unexpected and possibly hostile people. This watchman had to “sound the trumpet” if an enemy was approaching, so that the townspeople could get ready for an attack. Prophets in Israel took on the function of spiritual “watchmen” (Ezekiel 3:17; Jeremiah 6:17), warning the people of impending punishment by God unless the nation changed its way.

Fooling the Satan Inside of Us

This may seem a little bit counterintuitive at first. If the month of Elul¹ is an awakening process culminating in Rosh Hashana [the Jewish celebration of the New Year], wouldn’t it make sense to blow more blasts of the Shofar [ram’s horn] on Erev Yom Teru’ah [the evening before “the day of shouting and horn blowing,” i.e., New Year’s Eve]? Chazal’s² [(our Jewish sages’)] famous answer is even more counterintuitive—“to fool the satan,” they wrote. By not blowing shofar on Erev Rosh Hashana [New Year’s Eve], we theoretically put the Yetzer Hara [the Evil Inclination] “at ease,” so that it won’t be ready to prosecute when it counts on the Day of Judgement.

A Shofar Symbolizes the Binding of the Evil Inclination

The Gemara (Rosh Hashana 16a) states: “Why do we use a Shofar [horn] from a ram? [Answer:] Because God said, ‘Blow before me a Shofar of a ram and I will recall the merit of “Akeidat Yitzchak”—Yitzchak’s [Isaac’s] binding on the altar. [Avraham offered-up a ram after he was forbidden to sacrifice his son]. Furthermore, I will view you as if you have bound yourselves on the altar’.”

The Walls of Jericho

Physics is pitted against a Bible story with this simple question: could a team of trumpeters really bring down the walls of Jericho?

Horn

hôrn (Hebrew and Aramaic קרן, ḳeren; κέρας, kéras; for the “ram’s horn” (יובל, yōbhēl) of Joshua 6 see MUSIC, and for the “inkhorn” of Ezekiel 9:1-11 (קסת, ḳeṣeth) see separate article):

Shofar

The ancient ritual horn of Israel, representing, next to the ‘Ugab or reeds, the oldest surviving form of wind-instrument. As a rule “shofar” is incorrectly translated “trumpet” or “cornet”; its etymology shows it to signify either “tuba” (comp. Jastrow, “Diet.”) or, more accurately, “clarion” (comp. Gesenius, “Dict.” ed. Oxford). It is mentioned frequently in the Bible, from Exodus to Zechariah, and throughout the Talmud and later Hebrew literature. It was the voice of a shofar, “exceeding loud,” issuing from the thick cloud on Sinai that made all in the camp tremble (Exodus 19:16, 20:18); and for this reason, while other musical instruments were in each age constructed according to the most advanced contemporary practise (comp. ‘Ar. 10b), the trumpet family itself being represented by the long, straight silver “ḥaẓoẓerah,” the shofar has never varied in structure from its prehistoric simplicity and crudity.

Trumpet

Trumpet is in the A.V. usually the rendering of one or the other of the two Hebrew words detailed below; but besides these it occasionally stands as the representative of the following: יוֹבֵל,Exodus 19:13, the jubilee (q.v.) trumpet; תָּקוֹעִ takea, Ezekiel 7:14, prop. the blowing of the trumpet. SEE TRUMPETS, FEAST OF.

Blow the Trumpet

Shofar

Blow the Trumpet In Zion

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Blow the Trumpet In Zion

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The Great Hailing

shofar

The Priests Blowing the Trumpets

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The Priests Blowing the Trumpets of Rams’ Horns

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The Priests Blowing the Trumpets of Rams’ Horns Around jericho

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The Priests Blowing the Trumpets of Rams’ Horns Before the Ark of the Lord

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Psalm 134

Shofar

Rosh-Hashana

Shofar

The Seven Trumpets of Jericho

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Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, literally “head [of] the year”) is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (Hebrew: יוֹם תְּרוּעָה), literally “day [of] shouting/blasting,” sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days (Hebrew: יָמִים נוֹרָאִים Yamim Nora'im, lit. “Days [of] Awe”) specified by Leviticus 23:23–32, which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.

Shofar

A shofar (pron. /ʃoʊˈfɑːr/, from Hebrew:  שׁוֹפָר , [ʃoˈfaʁ]) is an ancient musical horn made of ram’s horn, used for Jewish religious purposes. Like the modern bugle, the shofar lacks pitch-altering devices. All pitch control is done by varying the player’s embouchure. The shofar is blown in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and at the very end of Yom Kippur, and is also blown every weekday morning in the month of Elul running up to Rosh Hashanah. Shofars come in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the choice of animal and level of finish.