Christian Churches of God

No. 047




The Shofar and the Silver Trumpets

 (Edition 1.5 20030308-20130905)

1Corinthians 14:8 states: “For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle”. This concept is an interesting one with far-reaching connotations. The trumpet has a long and important history in the Church. The importance thereof will be examined in this paper. It is our responsibility to give a clear message to the people so they know what to do.




Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA




(Copyright © 2003, 2013 Storm Cox, ed. Wade Cox)



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The Shofar and the Silver Trumpets


In the beginning, God the creator Father existed; an eternal being of great energy and power. His nature is Good and from which the Law emanates as an expression of pure logic. Our Father as a function of His will chose to create the Word of God and, also, the other sons of God who are Elohim. The Word of God was to be the first of the creation of God under whom the creation was to be organised. From the beginning, the Law, the plan and the angelic host were formulated and made manifest. The angels then, under direction, helped to re-build the physical world and then man. See the papers The Purpose of the Creation and the Sacrifice of Christ (No 160); The Angel of YHVH (No. 024); The God We Worship (No. 002) and The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).


The plan of God was to have one creation under Him, working as a unified and powerful force, to make manifest His incredible plan. Alas, the great angelic schism occurred that saw a third of His angelic creation take an adversarial position against the government of God, and seek to alienate and destroy God’s creation.


This concept has been symbolised in the Bible by two particular trumpets, the Shofar or Keren (a Hoval or Horn of the ram) and by two silver trumpets known as the hazozarahs (Num. 10).


The English language translations of the Bible have obscured the understanding of the nature and structure of the angelic host. The lazy labelling of Eloah and Elohim as God has obscured important understanding. In the same way the imprecise grouping of wind instruments all under the label of trumpet, or to a lesser level, cornet, has been obscured. This paper will examine these instruments and hopes to shed some light on the important power they have as well as the hope of God and His servants that they represent.


The Shofar

The first concept of the ram’s horn or Shofar, is given in the book of Genesis, as is understood in the Encyclopedia Judaica, upon the giving of the ram to Abraham at the sacrifice of Isaac. Isaac’s sacrifice was a story given, that blue printed the sacrifice of Christ on the stake, for our redemption. In the same way the rite of passage structure appears in Islam also, as the sacrifice of Ishmael from the Koran (see the paper Genesis 22, Judaism, Islam and the Sacrifice of Isaac (No. 244)).


Both stories (and particularly the Bible text) are a blue print of the Passover sequence, where the unblemished ram was taken, slaughtered and eaten. The bones and remaining flesh were not to be held over till morning. The remaining item was the horn of the unblemished ram. This horn is a symbol of God the Father, and His nature of Law that emanates from Him. It is also a symbol of the eternal nature of God, the future success and victory that God will have and the future of the creation, submissive to the One True God.


The first mention of the Shofar begins in Exodus chapter 19. We read:

Exodus 19:9-13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee forever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. 10And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.


The trumpet mentioned here refers to the Shofar. The word used is Yobel, which means a blast of a horn.


Exodus 19:14-19  And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. 16And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that were in the camp trembled. 17And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.


The shofar or ram’s horn is being blown by other than those of the congregation. It was loud and long. It was sounded by angels to announce the presence of the Angel of Yahovah, as he came as the Father’s representative. The shofar and its blowing are an announcement of God’s presence and His authority that emanates from it. From this announcement the Law was given to Moses via Christ from God the Father. This concept is an extension of the one discussed in the introduction. That is, God and Christ making the Law manifest prior to the physical creation being formed. Hence, the Law was given in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. This was prior to the organisation of the people in the book of Numbers.


As God chooses to represent Himself via the shofar, He chooses to give us our own horn to represent us. He gives us this in Numbers chapter 10.

Numbers 10:1-2  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.


The concept of making the two silver trumpets, from one piece of silver, refers to the two elements of creation. The physical and the spiritual exist side by side as two parts of the one single plan.


Numbers 10:3  And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.


When both are blown the entire creation is called to congregate; both angels and man, to the house of God.


Numbers 10:4 And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.


Here, this concept of the angelic host being brought together with man is represented by the use of one horn for the princes, the primary governmental level of creation, and the second trumpet is for the secondary creation.


Numbers 10:5-12  When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. 6When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. 8And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. 9And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. 10Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God. 11And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony. 12And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.


In verse 8 God orders us to blow these trumpets at our High Days as an ordinance forever throughout our generations.


Following the making of these trumpets as an alarm for the creation and a call to arms, the cloud was taken up off the tabernacle of the testimony. That cloud was placed over Israel on the coming out of Egypt. In Exodus 19:9 you read:

Exodus 19:9 And the lord said to Moses “I come unto you as a thick cloud.”


This cloud was a cloud of protection that left the congregation after giving the congregation a system of warning, and a method of calling back that cloud when the nations and tribes needed it. A failure to blow these horns meant the angelic realm was not brought to war with us, to fight our battles and protect us from our enemies.


The trumpets were also ordered to be blown over the burnt offerings. The offering system was given to Adam and understood by his family right through to the death of Christ. The offering system was put in place as a symbol of the processes undertaken by the creation within the plan of God. Simply put, it means a conversion of a solid into a gas with impurities extracted. The clean animal dies and then is burnt, or refined in fire like silver with the dross remaining as ash, and the spirit joining the spiritual realm to be presented to God “as a pleasing odour”. The blowing of the silver trumpets was an announcement of the process of translation and unification with the Father. The sound made the offering a memorial. Without the blowing of these horns the offering was incomplete, or made void.


So God is symbolised by the shofar, the angelic creation by one silver horn, and mankind by the other silver horn. This was explained by David in Psalm 47:5, yet translated badly it hid this concept. Let us examine Psalm 47:5:


God (SHD 430) - Elohim

Is Gone up – Exalted


With a shout (SHD 8643) – teruwah (clamor – acclamation of joy, battle cry as clangor of trumpets) i.e. the sound created by the Hazozarah

The Lord (SHD 3068)-Yehovah (God the Father)

With the sound of a Trumpet (SHD 7782) – Shofar


If we read Zephaniah 1:16 we see the same concept used in relation to this.


Zephaniah 1:16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.


To translate it correctly we would read:

“A day of the Shofar and the teruwah (chatsotsserah alarm) against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.”


So Psalm 47:5 should read:

We exalt the elohim with the alarm and Yehovah with the shofar.


We will deal with the importance of this shortly.


Later we will examine the important symbolism of the blowing of the shofar together with the silver trumpets. Firstly, we will look at examples of the use of the shofar in the Bible.


Probably the most famous and clearest representation of the use of the shofar is told in the book of Joshua, in reference to Jericho. This is an incredible story of the power of God. This story can be understood from the paper The Fall of Jericho (No. 142).


The most common use of the shofar was in battle. The silver trumpets were blown for the people, and asked for protection in war in times of attack from enemies, and the day-to-day violence that the people had to endure. The shofar being blown in battle was for different reasons. The battles where the shofar was blown, were battles that God ordained to be fought, and were one of the key aspects of His plan and government in those areas at that time.


The word shofar is number 7782 in the SHD and the relevant Scriptures pertaining to the shofar can be examined.


We now understand the meaning and uses of both forms of the horn. Just before we look into the blowing of these horns together, let us first look at Daniel 3. This gives an interesting picture into the understanding and importance that people had in all kingdoms, on the relationship between God and the sounding of the horn.


As we know, the Hebrew name for the type of shofar other than shofar was keren (or horn) e yovel or horn of the ram. Now a keren was simply a horn, and most probably a form of shofar, that was manipulated or fashioned from metal via human hands, thus making it ritually unclean and unusable as a “shofar”.


We read in Daniel 3:

Daniel 3:1-15 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4Then a herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 5That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: 6And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 7Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 8Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews. 9They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. 10Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: 11And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 13Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?


The word Keren or horn is translated as cornet. The horn here is the primary instrument. All other instruments are played to accompany the horn as King David set up (Zech. 13). What Nebuchadnezzar sought to do here was to make an idol, a false God, using a system established by God. With the blowing of the shofar he uses a horn fashioned by the hands that fashioned his idol, forcing people to bow down and worship; a complete copy of the system that God established using the shofar as His system. The repetition of the order is interesting.


Let us now examine the examples given in the Bible regarding the use of the silver trumpets and the shofar together.


First we will examine 1Chronicles chapter 15.

1Chronicles 15:1-29 And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. 2Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever. 3And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it. 4And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites: 5Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren {a brethren: or, kinsmen} an hundred and twenty: 6Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty: 7Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty: 8Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred: 9Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore: 10Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve. 11And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab, 12And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. 13For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order. 14So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. 15And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD. 16And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy. 17So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; 18And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters. 19So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass; 20And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth; 21And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.  22And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful. 23And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark. 24And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark. 25So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy. 26And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams. 27And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the songb{b song: or, carriage} with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen. 28Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. 29And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart. (The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.


Verse 28 of this chapter is badly translated obscuring the events that were transpiring. The verse should be translated as:

Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the lord with Teruwah (the Alarm), and with the sound of the shofar and with the silver trumpets.


This simultaneous blowing is showing that David was reunifying the created host back under God in submission. The shofar, announcing the presence of the power of God within the ark, and the silver trumpets, are blown to call the people and the angelic realm to gather together as a unified power.


The daughter of Saul despised David as he was removing the power of Saul, and placing things back in the correct order and attitude, that was to be enjoyed by the people of God.


2Chronicles 15 tells a similar story:

2Chronicles 15:1-19 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: 2And he went out to meet {a to meet... Heb. before Asa} Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.  3Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. 4But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. 5And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. 6And nation was destroyed {b destroyed: Heb. beaten in pieces} of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.  7Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 8And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD.  9And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. 10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep.  12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. 15And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about. 16And also concerning Maachah the mother {c mother: that is, grandmother} of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 17But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. 18And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19And there was no more war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa (The King James Version, (Cambridge) 1769).


2Chronicles 15:14 should be translated as such:

And they swore unto the Lord with a loud voice,

and with shouting, (SHD 8643) – teruwah (the alarm)

 and with trumpets, (SHD 2689) – Hazozarah (silver trumpets)

 and with cornets. (SHD 7782) - Shofars


This story of Asa is an important one and mirrors the situation we understand today. Israel has had a long period without a “teaching ministry” and without the knowledge of the One True God. They gathered together and entered into a covenant with God as a form of restoration and reunification. The shofar was blown to symbolise that God was eternal, and they were submissive to His authority. The silver trumpets were blown to call the people together and the angelic host back under the one umbrella. The significance is lost with lost understanding.


We too have entered into a new covenant and look forward to this reunification. David discussed this concept in Psalm 98 and it should be translated as such.


We read:

Psalm 98:1-9: A Psalm.

1 O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. 2The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. 3He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 5Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. 6With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. 7Let the sea roar, and the fullness {a the fulness...: or, all it containeth} thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  8Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together 9Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. (The King James Version, (Cambridge) 1769.


Psalm 98:6:

With Trumpets (SHD 2689) – Hazozarah (silver trumpets)

And the sound of a cornet (SHD 7782) - Shofar

Make a joyful noise before the King.


Here David is depicting a time when Christ returns, and the entire creation is unified under the government of God. Hence, the simultaneous blowing of both together. This same concept we examined earlier in Zephaniah 1:16.


The prophet looks forward to a time where all aspects of the creation, both angelic and physical, are gathered together as one again.


This future event was given to us in Leviticus as a holy day. It is a holy day where we are ordered to blow both the shofar and the silver trumpets together, to commemorate this coming time of victory and reunification.


Leviticus 23:24 reads:

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation


It should be translated as:


Leviticus 23:24:

Speak unto the children of Israel saying,

In the seventh month - Tishri

In the first day of the month - new moon,

Ye shall have Sabbath,

A memorial day of blowing (SHD 8643) – teruwah i.e. make acclamation through clanging the trumpets as in Psalm 47:5.


The text does not mention trumpets, neither shofar nor hazozarah. From this text and Psalm 81:3, we are commanded to blow both sets of trumpets on this day, signifying the reunion of (Yehovah, the Father) the shofar, and the elohim (the creation, angelic and earthly), the two hazozarah.


The claim is that Leviticus 25 is a command to blow the shofar on the Day of Atonement each year. This is incorrect as Leviticus 25 refers to the jubilee year.


The Bible is clear as to when and how the trumpets are to be used, and they are a fundamental part of instruction and our religious process and responsibility.


The book of Revelation talks about the time of the end when the angels blow the trumpets of God, to order the events that lead to the second coming of the Messiah.


1Corinthians 15:52 referring to the sound of the shofar states that “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”


Upon the giving of the law in the time of Moses, till the final judgment and resurrection of the last of God’s creation, the shofar was sounded to begin, and the shofar sounded to end. Like the bell that rings to announce school is in, and the bugle that blows reveille, the shofar is blown to rally the creation to action and change.


It is the responsibility of the Church to blow the trumpets and to give clear messages. It is our responsibility to show people when and where to gather and martial for worship and activity. It is our responsibility to listen and hear the sound and to follow its instruction.


We must be ever at the ready listening for the trumpet of 1Thessalonians 4:16-17.


“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:


“Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”