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The Shofar

"On the seventh day they rose early at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times: it was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priests [see Levites] had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout; for The Lord has given you the city." (Joshua 6:15-16 RSV)

The original Hebrew word translated as trumpet in the above account of the Fall Of Jericho was shofar, or ram's horn.


The shofar has been used from Old Testament times right to the present. It was blown on the Sabbath, it announced the New Moon (see the Bible Calendar), and was used to proclaim the crowning of a new king (a ceremony still used today at the swearing in of a new Israeli president).

The most solemn modern use of the shofar is during the Rosh Hashana, or New Year, time of year (see The Feast Of Trumpets and The Day Of Atonement).

Other references to the shofar in The Bible:

"But the Spirit of The Lord took possession of Gideon; and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him." (Judges 6:34 RSV)

"and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet [see Prophets] there anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, 'Long live King Solomon!'" (1 Kings 1:34 RSV)

"God has gone up with a shout, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet." (Psalm 47:5 RSV)

"Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 81:3-4 RSV)

"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins." (Isaiah 58:1 RSV)

"Then The Lord will appear over them, and His arrow go forth like lightning; the Lord God will sound the trumpet, and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south." (Zechariah 9:14 RSV)

Fact Finder: Will a great trumpet sound on the day of The Return Of Jesus Christ?
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

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