Hebrew Highlights 28 – Blow a Trumpet
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
Most of you will be familiar with a famous scripture in JOEL 2:15-19 “Blow a trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room And the bride out of her bridal chamber. Let the priests, the Lord's ministers, Weep between the porch and the altar, And let them say, "Spare Thy people, O Lord, And do not make Thine inheritance a reproach, A byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, 'Where is their God?'" Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, And will have pity on His people. And the Lord will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine, and oil, And you will be satisfied in full with them; And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.”
Trumpets are mentioned over 100 times in the Bible. There are two words for the noun “trumpet” in the Hebrew Old Testament. The first is “shofar” or ram’s horn, and the second is “chatsotsrah” which is used still today for man-made silver or other metal trumpets. Both of them have great significance throughout the scriptures.
Now, here’s a trivia question for you: Who was the first trumpet player in the Bible? Let’s begin our research in EXO 19:16-20. “So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. And the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”
Who played the trumpet. Some might say that the sound came from wind in the rocks. Others claim it may have been the Angel Gabriel. However, when Moses ascended, and God descended to meet him, there was no angel present. So, could it have been the Lord himself?
PSA 47:5 lends support to this idea. “God has ascended with a shout, The Lord, with the sound of a trumpet.” Still not convinced?
OK, so how about ZEC 9:14, “Then the Lord will appear over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning; And the Lord God will blow the trumpet, And will march in the storm winds of the south.” Or maybe ISA 27:13, “It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown; and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”
Another question may arise. Has God put His trumpet in the closet, like many high school marching band members who go on to business school?
Well, not according to 1TH 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”
What is so special about a trumpet sound, be it a ram’s horn, with only 5 notes, or a modern 3-valve pro-model with a 2 and a half octave chromatic range? Why can’t the Lord descend with the sound of a Tenor Saxophone, or maybe a Harp?
Well, very simply, the trumpet easily produces a clear, loud sound, which anyone can understand. Just ask the parents of any ten year old trumpet student.
1CO 14:8 says “For if the trumpet produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?”
Actually, according to REV 4:1, the voice of God itself is like a trumpet. “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things."
Now, don’t feel left out if you can’t get a sound on a shofar, and never studied cornet as a child. You can still make your sound known, as in ISA 58:1, "Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression, And to the house of Jacob their sins.”
In other words, God will continue to raise the battle cry on his trumpet. You, be his mouthpiece!
Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem.