Shofar Blowing - When did Israelites sound the Shofar?
During Biblical times, shofars had been used on many occasions. We can learn the reasons for shofar blowing by examining the biblical context within which shofars are mentioned. Here are some of the places in the Bible where references to Shofar blowing are made:
Shofar blowing when Receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai
Shofars were used to connect the people of Israel with God and remind them to fulfill His commandments. It was blown
received God’s commandments on Mount Sinai.
“…And the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled…And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.”
(Exodus 19, 16-20)
Shofar blowing for Announcement of a Jubilee
Shofars were used for announcing the Holy days, such as the beginning of a new year or time of the Jubilee.
“Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you…it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field” (Leviticus 25, 8-12)
Shofar blowing at The capture of Jericho
Shofars were used for calling the army to war and for inducing fear within the hearts of enemy soldiers.
“And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of ram’s horns before the ark. …and the priests shall blow the trumpets… when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet….then the wall of the city will fall down flat.” (Joshua 6, 1-5)
Shofar blowing at a Coronation of a King
Shofars were used to announce the coronation of a king.
“Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” (Kings 1, 39)
Shofar blowing when Praising God
Shofars were blown in order to praise God and rejoice in His glory and are still blown for this purpose today.
“Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!” (Psalms 150:3)
These are but a few examples for the use of the Shofar during Biblical times. Its powerful sound established this resounding instrument as a symbol of the unbreakable bond between God and His People.