What is a Shofar?
The Shofar is a horn used on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). The Shofar (ram’s horn) is often used as an instrument of spiritual warfare (num. 10:9). Normally it is a ram’s horn, but horns of other animals such as goats, can also be used as a shofar. The horns of cattle are prohibited. The Shofar is blown during prayers and the weeping, groaning sound of the Shofar is meant to move the congregants as they realize that they should be the ones weeping and groaning before God due to their misdeeds for the past year. Rosh Hashanah is considered the time when God judges every creature on earth and according to their deeds from the past year, their fate is decided regarding the coming year.
What Kinds of Shofars are there?
There are different kinds of shofars [sociallocker id=”1886″]available. There are short Shofars, long Shofars, curly Shofars, straight Shofars and curved Shofars. There are black Shofars, brown Shofars, beige Shofars and any combination of these colors.
- The most common Shofars are the classic ram horn Shofars. It is used by both Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities and is made from the horn of a domestic ram. Most ram horn Shofars are light in color though black ones are available from black rams.
- The flat ram horn Shofars that are typically used by Moroccan and German Jews. It is related that these were used due to persecution in the past when the Jews would need to hide the Shofar under their clothing. The shape of the flat ram horn Shofar is simple with an upturned end.
- Bavli Shofars are natural, unfinished ram’s horns with a very deep sound and are typically used by Iraqi and Iranian Jews.
- Yemenite Shofars are made from the horn of a kudu antelope and are therefore very long and typically of spiral shape.
Types of Shofars Blasts?
There are four primary types of shofar blasts:
Tekiah: A long single blast (the sound of the King’s coronation)
Shevarim: Three short wail-like blasts (signifying repentance)
Teru’ah: Nine staccato blasts of alarm (to awaken the soul)
Tekiah ha-Gadol: A great long blast (for as long as you can)
Why Blow the Shofar?
- Call to Worship – Hebrew – Tekiah
- repentance & Brokenness – Shvarim
- Warfare & Celebration Teruah
- Healing – the rapture – Tekiah ha-Gadol
PSALM 150:3: ”Praise him with the “BLAST” of the “SHOFAR”. The Shofar was the first musical instrument mentioned in this psalm of David. The Shofar is always associated with a powerful move of God.(WORSHIP) ISAIAH 58:1; Hosea 8:1; Joel 2:1: Repentance – a broken, moaning, and crying sound, signifying that we are broken before the Lord.(REPENTANCE)
GIDEON. brought such complete confusion to the camp of the enemy (the Midianites) with the sounding of 300 SHOFARS that they began to kill one another in their retreat from 300 of Gideon’s men armed with only a Shofar, a torch and a clay pitcher. (WARFARE) Judges 7:15-22
JOSHUA…with the shout and the blowing of the Shofars caused the 25- foot thick, heavily fortified walls of the ancient city of Jericho to crumble and fall to the ground like dust. (WARFARE) Joshua 6
The Shofar is a voice as of God. Exodus 19:19, Rev. 1:10; 4:1
In the tradition of early Judaism: when a bridegroom went to claim his bride, the attendants would announce the coming of the bridegroom with the blowing of the Shofar and a proclamation, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh”. This happens again at the return of Christ, Our Bridegroom. (The Ultimate Healing)
BABYLONIAN TALMUD (Tractate Rosh Ha-Shana, 16b)…Rabbi Isaac says “If the Shofar is not sounded at the beginning of the New Year, evil will befall at the end of it. Why so? Because the “Accuser” (Satan) has not been confused…”
Who Blows the Shofar?
- Does God?…Exodus 19:16-19]
- Do Angels?…Matthew 24:31
- Do Priests?…Numbers 10:8 “
- Who are Priests now?…We are. 1 Peter 2:9
- What effect does the blowing of The Shofar
- have on the enemy?…Judges 7:20-22
- Does Jesus?…1 Thessalonians 4:16
The word shofar first occurs in Exodus 19:16
1) The ram’s horn, the shofar, is a reminder of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and God’s provision of a ram as a substitute. Genesis 22:13
2) The LAW (Torah) was given to Israel with the sound of the shofar from heaven. Exodus 19:19
3)a The Shofar was blown at the start of the year on Yom Teruah. (Rosh Hashanah) (Feast of Trumpets) 1st day of the 7th month. Leviticus 23:24
3)b The Shofar Sounds again on Jubilee year which is the 10th day of the 7th month through out the land. Leviticus 25:9-10
4) The trumpet was blown to announce the beginning of the festivals. Numbers 10:10
5) Israel won the battle of Jericho with the blast of the Shofar. Joshua 6:20
6) Gideon and his army confused and scattered the enemy with the shofar. Judges 7:15-22
7) The shofar was blown to signal the assembly of the Israelites during war. Judges 3:27, 6:34,
II Samuel 20:1, Jer. 4:19, 51:27, Neh. 4:20, Amos 3:6
8) Seven shofars were blown before the ark of God. 1Chr. 15:24, 2Sam. 6:15
9) They took an oath before the Lord…..with trumpets and rams’ horns. 2 Chr. 5:14
10) The shofar was used for the coronation of kings. I.e. King Solomon. I Kings 1:34, 39
11) The shofar is a reminder that God is sovereign. Psalm 47:5
12) The shofar was blown to celebrate the new moon each month. Psalm 81:1-3
13) The shofar was used to accompany other musical instruments during temple ceremonies in Jerusalem and in praise and worship. Psalm 98:6, 150:3-6
14) The shofar will be blown at the time of the in-gathering of the exiles to Israel. Isaiah 27: 13
15) The blowing of the shofar is a signal for the call to repentance. Isaiah 58:1, Hosea 8:1
16) Blown as a warning. Ezekiel 33:3-6, Numbers 10:9, Isaiah 18:3
17) The blowing of the shofar ushers in the day of the Lord. Joel 2:1
18) The shofar is blown to call the sacred assembly. Numbers 10:3, Joel2:15
19) Israel will be advised of the advent of the Messiah with the sound of the shofar. Zechariah 9:14, 16
20) The shofar is sounded at the resurrection of the dead. I Thess. 4:16
21) The shofar (trumpet) is the sound of YHVH’s voice. Rev 1:10
22) John was taken up to Heaven in the Book of Revelation by the sound of the shofar. Revelation 4:1
23) Seven trumpets (shofars) are sounded when God judges the earth during the tribulation. Revelation 8:9 Judaism concerns itself with the “three trumps”. They are called the first trump, the last trump and the great trump. [/sociallocker]