Genesis chapter 22 is the source of the ancient rabbinical explanation of the Shofar’s beginning. When Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed, an Angel appeared and stopped Abraham just before he sacrificed Isaac. God provided the sacrifice, a ram caught in a thicket. Here’s the tradition as retold by Jewish sages: After sacrificing the ram, Abraham took one horn of the ram to remember this day and God took the other. Abraham was known to make altars, to keep reminders of whenever and wherever he met God. He would go back and visit those places. Though this is an interesting story about Avraham it is not scriptural but the Shofar is! The first mention of the Shofar in Torah is found in:
Exodus 19:12-17. You are to set limits for the people all around; and say, ‘Be careful not to go up on the mountain or even touch its base; whoever touches the mountain will surely be put to death. 13 No hand is to touch him; for he must be stoned or shot by arrows; neither animal nor human will be allowed to live.’ When the shofar sounds, they may go up on the mountain.” 14 Moshe went down from the mountain to the people and separated the people for God, and they washed their clothing. 15 He said to the people, “Prepare for the third day; don’t approach a woman.” 16 On the morning of the third day, there was thunder, lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain. Then a shofar blast sounded so loudly that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Moshe brought the people out of the camp to meet God; they stood near the base of the mountain.
The Shofar is a spiritual instrument that announces the arrival of God and calls in God’s Glory! The Shofar is a warfare instrument. The Shofar is symbolic of obedience to God! Shofars are made from the horns of the ram, mountain goat, kudu, antelope, and oryx. Because of the Golden Calf incident, a bull’s horn is never kosher for a Shofar. The Shofar grew louder announcing the presence of Adonai.
Exodus 19:19. As the sound of the shofar grew louder and louder, Moshe spoke; and God answered him with a voice.
We are commanded to sound the Shofar on Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets):
Leviticus 23:24. “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar.
The sound of the Shofar staggers and confuses HaSatan who at the first sounding thinks that we are merely complying with the command to blow the Shofar – the second blowing he (HaSatan) thinks it might be the return of Messiah as we know from:
Matthew 24:30-31. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the Land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory. 31 He will send out His angels with a great Shofar; and they will gather together His chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
A translation error from Hebrew to Greek has trumpet being used in most bible translations vice Shofar. There were two silver trumpets that were in the Temple but there were rarely used. The reemergence of the Shofar in the Greater Body of Messiah is a sign of restoration and revival!
Judges 7:15-22 tells the story of Gideon’s obedience and the destruction of the Midianite army by the Israeli army upon the great blast of 300 Shofars! Joshua chapter 6 relates the story of Israel walking around Jericho six times (six being the number of man, man can’t do anything on his own but, seven, the number of the Holy Spirit shows us how God is the only way anything can get done) with incessant Shofar blowing and absolutely no talking then on the seventh 7th time they blow the Shofars and all the people shout at the top of their lungs, the walls of Jericho come crashing down! We see that the Shofar is used in spiritual warfare!
Ephesians 6:12-13. For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. 13 So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing.
Job 2:2 reveals that HaSatan (devil) is walking this earth! I Peter 5:8 says the Devil is roaming about waiting to devour (us!) like a Lion! These passages show us that HaSatan, the enemy does in fact roam the earth! So based on the knowledge given us in the second paragraph of this article, when we blow the Shofar the first time the enemy thinks that we are being obedient and blowing the Shofar as God commands in Leviticus but on the second blast the enemy thinks the Messiah is coming, so he flees before us. This is why we start every service by sounding the Shofar, we sound the shofar in home dedications, and on all the feast days except Yom Kippur! At the final shofar the dead will be raised!
I Corinthians 15:52. It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed.
The establishment of the Messianic Reign and Yeshua’s return to earth is heralded by the sounding of the Shofar!
I Thessalonians 4:16. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise;
Blowing the Shofar while praying over a brother or sister opens the heavens and clears a path for those prayers. Blowing of the Shofar when beginning any type of service will clear the space of any presence of the enemy. God’s glory descends on the sounding of the Shofar! The Shofar is also a powerful intercessory prayer instrument used by watchman and prayer warriors alike! Each Watchman had a shofar, there were hundreds of calls! They would announce sunrise and sunset with the shofar! They would sound the shofar if an enemy approached, they sounded the Shofar in war, they would sound the shofar to begin and end Shabbat! The Shofar is a heavenly communication tool.
TEN REASONS WE BLOW THE SHOFAR.
- When we hear the shofar we are to remember God’s Kingship. In ancient Israel the new king’s reign was announced with the shofar (1 Kings 1:34). When we blow the shofar we remember that Yeshua is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we are to be obedient subjects.
- When we hear the shofar we are to remember to be God’s worshippers. God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The Shofar is used in worship and in fact heads the list of instruments in Psalm 150, which are used to worship God. “Praise Him with the Shofar.”
- When we hear the Shofar we are to remember our need to repent. The Shofar signaled the approach of danger. We are in danger without repentance. “Blow a Shofar in Zion and sound an alarm on my holy mountain… consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly. Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning, and rend your heart and not your garments” (Joel 2:1, 12- 13).
- When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the faithfulness of the Patriarch. The Shofar is made from a ram’s horn. It reminds us of the Akedah, the binding and Abraham’s intended sacrifice of Isaac. Because of this act of faith, God promised to bless the Jewish people and give us victory over our enemies. The Shofar is a reminder of our covenant with God because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the binding of Messiah Yeshua, our ultimate Akedah. Abraham prophesied that God would provide for Himself the Lamb for the burnt offering (Genesis 22:8). Messiah Yeshua was offered up as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world on that same spot two thousand years later.
- When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the Shofar that accompanied the revelation of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, and that all Scripture is divinely inspired by God.
- When we hear the Shofar we are to remember the battle alarm for war. “Near is the great day of the L-rd, near and coming very quickly… a day of Shofar and battle cry” (Zephaniah 1:14-16). Messiah will return and fight during the greatest battle of all time, the battle of Armageddon. We are in the middle of a battle that has been raging for the soul of humanity. HaSatan and his fallen angels are fighting for people to share their destiny. Messiah Yeshua is fighting for people to share His eternal destiny.
- When we hear the Shofar we are to remember our resurrection that will take place at Messiah’s return when the Shofar blows (1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
- When we hear the Shofar we are to be reminded of Aliya, our people’s restoration to the Land of Israel. Messiah Yeshua will gather all of Israel’s exiles.
Isaiah 27:13. On that day a great shofar will sound. Those lost in the land of Ashur will come, also those scattered through the land of Egypt; and they will worship ADONAI on the holy mountain in Yerushalayim.
- When we sound the Shofar we are asking God to remember us. The sounding of the Shofar is like a prayer that ascends to God’s throne saying, “O Lord, may the sound of our Shofar ascend before Your throne. Remember Your covenants, forgive us, save us, and deliver us.” As an instrument of proclamation, announcing the presence or coming of the Lord.
Catalyst of the fear of the Lord Ex.19:16, 20:18
God hears and answers prayers Ex. 19:19
Reminder of taking rest- Lev. 23:24
Command to the Priests Num. 10:8
Essential in going to war Num. 10:9, 31:6
Blown in offering sacrifice (Now praise and Worship) Num. 10:10
To be blown constantly in battle Josh. 6:8-9
Precedes the shout Josh. 6:16, 6-20
Blown while on a journey Judg. 3:27
Evidence of the Spirit of the Lord
Coming upon you Judg. 6:34
Corporate blowing is powerful Judg. 7:8,20,22
Blown by leadership to get attention
Of God’s people I Sam. 13:3
To cease from warfare II Sam. 2:28
Blown during installation and anointing
of leadership I Kings 1:34
To accompany the dethroning of
wicked leaders II Kings 11:14
Instrument used during great celebrations I Chr. 13:8
God ascends in it’s blowing Ps. 47:5
Priestly instrument of praise and worship II Chr. 29:26,28
Ps. 10:3, Ps. 98:6
II Sam. 6:15,
A powerful catalyst to bring God’s Glory II Chr. 5:13
To sound when being attacked II Chr. 13:14
Blown when building Ezra. 3:10
The alarm of war Jer. 4:19
Rallies the people for battle Neh. 4:20
It arouses God for Battle Job 39:24-25
Prophetic warning for God’s people Ezek. 33:3-4
Blown as a standard is being raised Isaiah 18:3
Blown in fleeing for safety Jer. 6:1
A sound for the watchman Jer. 6:17
The rebellious refuse it’s warning Jer. 42:13-14
Consecrating a fast Joel 2:15
God Himself blows it!!!!!!!! Zech. 9:14
Gives commands to angelic hosts Matt. 24:31
Blown by angelic hosts Rev. 8:6
When blown the dead will be raised I Cor. 15:52
The Lord descends in it’s sound I Thes. 4:16
Sounds like the voice of God Rev. 1:10, 4:1
Finally, the sounding of the Shofar Heralds the Day of the Lord:
Joel 2:1. “Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!” Let all living in the land tremble, for the Day of ADONAI is coming! It’s upon us!
Until the Shofar Sounds again, be blessed!
Rabbi Eric S Carlson