Yom Teruah is better known as Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets or the Day of the Shofar sounding. Biblically, Yom Teruah is never called Rosh Hashanah. It is always known as the Day of Blowing Shofars. Yom is the Hebrew word for day and Teruah is the Hebrew word for shout or blast of war, warning, or joy. The word shofar comes from a root meaning beauty but shofar is also literally translated as a sense of incising. Incising means to cut or burn into; as such, the sound of the shofar was more than a horn blast to the ancient Hebrews. It was a cutting or burning into the heart and soul of the people. A shofar is an instrument that prepares the people for meeting God. The Rabbis said the shofar foreshadows the jubilant proclamation of freedom when the Jewish people will return home to Israel. It will be the sound of the end of their exile. In that sense, it is the sound of the end and the beginning.
In fact, Yom Teruah is not the beginning of the year but an ending. The sound of the shofar signals something coming to a close. At Yom Teruah, it signals the Sabbath month that mirrors the Sabbath day which closes the week. During Yom Kippur, the shofar signals the closing up of all the sins committed the previous year. It also signals the closing of the books. The shofar at the Feast of Tabernacles heralds the final harvest or ingathering. It is the signal of coming home. All the Latter Feasts are related to the Latter days.
Sounding the trumpet (shofar) has the ability to stir the heart to repentance. It calls us to return to God. Many Christians forget that the Old Testament is just as important as the New Testament. Prophecy makes this truth abundantly clear. In terms of the shofar, how do we know it is a sound that calls us to God or stirs us to repentance? Answering this question requires us to return to the Garden of Eden.
After Adam and Eve sinned, we find that, “they heard the voice (Hebrew word “kol”) of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of God among the trees of the garden.” (Gen. 3:8) How does a “voice” go walking? This particular Hebrew word for sound or voice, kol, echoes with another kol, the sound of the shofar. In Exodus 19:16 we read, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders (kol) and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice (kol) of the shofar exceeding loud; so that all the people in the camp trembled.” The kol of Sinai is the same kol that walked in the garden and asked the question, “Where are you?”
“Where are you?” is not God asking for a GPS location. It is God asking “where are you?” spiritually or where are you directing you heart? The Day of Blowing the Shofar is the day God’s people hear the shofar (kol). The shofar is the voice that walks. It is the sound that comes seeking the state of our soul – the soul of the Beloved. During the season of Teshuva, the shofar (kol) is the voice that walks to His beloved and asks, “Where are you?”
When we look at the shofar in scripture, we learn it’s significance and meaning. One of the first things we discover is that it is a signal of the presence of God(2 Sam. 6:15). The supernatural sound of the shofar was the sound of the presence of God – the sound of God coming down to his people from his Holy mountain. It was so loud the people trembled. In the Last Days, it will be the same God coming down. 2 Sam. 6:15
“So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.” The ark was where the presence of God rested. It was the sound of God coming to his rest. God in his glory was coming to his house. When we hear the shofar two responses should result, one is that we tremble in the presence of God and two that we draw near to Him ( Exodus 20:18-21; Lev. 25:8-10).
Sounding the shofar is to bring about the will of God. The shofar is able to break down walls. Joshua 6:5 says:
“And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
At Jericho, they blew the shofar and the people shout. Blowing the shofar and shouting are the same Hebrew word. The shofar was the sound of entering the promised land. It was the sound of crashing walls. It signaled the end of one nation and the beginning of another.
The blowing of the shofar signals the closing of the Harvest and the closing of our sin. When the shofar is sounded in Jerusalem, it told the people – “the time has come for you to get your eyes back on God”. It told them the summer harvest was at an end. The shofar said, “you better do what you have to do and do it now because the time of harvest is coming to a close.” Prophetically we need to finish it up and not wait.
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the Lord has done it?
The sounding of the shofar is the warning of God’ judgment. We are in the last days – we are closer to judgment. It calls us to repentance like no other sound (Is. 27:13; Is. 58:1; Zeph 1:16).
Blow a trumpet in Zion;
sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near,
2 a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful people;
their like has never been before,
nor will be again after them
through the years of all generations.
It is the sound of the Day of the Lord – the Day of Judgment. The shofar on Yom Teruah tells us to get ready for judgment of Yom Kippur and atonement. It doesn’t matter if we are saved or not – judgment comes. The shofar is to wake us up because the judgment of God is coming so get right. Its an alarm.
It is able to bring fear to even the most hardened heart (Judges 7:16 – 22; 1 Sam. 13:3; 2 Sam. 2:28).
But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.
Gideon blew the shofar and Called the people for war.
Placed a shofar in every man’s hand. 300 shofars blew and victory came. Victory came at the blowing of the shofar for those in the army of the Lord. It is the sound of an advancing army – the sound of breakthrough – the sound of conquest – the sound of Victory – the sound of wall coming down.
The shofar is the sound of warning – an alarm and it is the sound of the watchman. It is the sound to wake up the city. Prophetically, the watchman’s work is in the night and spiritually we are in the night. The night was the watchman’s time of rising. We must be vigilant. We cannot sleep when others fall asleep spiritually. The mantle of the watchman is on us and the charge is for us to sound the alarm to wake up the sleeping. The watchman has to stay separate from the city in order to warn them. If we are in the city, we can’t be watchman. We have to be above the junk of our culture and be a light. The watchman waits for the dawn to come.
The sound of the Shofar is linked to the sound of war. The shofar is used to alert us and to call us to battle against the enemies of God (Job 39: 24-25; Ez. 33:3; Joel 2:1; 1 Cor. 14:8). It is the sound of a coming army. The sound of impending judgment. It caused fear and trembling. Prophetically it is the sound of war and danger. Mt. 24:29-31. It is a time of fear and trembling for unbelievers.
My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
Oh the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
I cannot keep silent,
for I hear the sound of the trumpet,
the alarm of war.
Crash follows hard on crash;
the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my tents are laid waste,
my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the standard
and hear the sound of the trumpet?
The shofar was used as a marker of time – it marks the beginning and the end and it marks when things change. Jubilee comes through the shofar. Prophetically : Rev. 10:7
but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
When the 7th trumpet is sounded it marks the end of this age. It marks a change of time – the end of one age ushers in the beginning of the other. It was the sound of freedom being proclaimed throughout the land. It proclaimed the year of release the year of restoration. Even the word JUBILEE (Yobel Hb.) – ram’s horn trumpet. So for God’s people the sound of the shofar is the sound of freedom, liberty, restoration, and release
8 “You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field.
13 “In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property. 14 And if you make a sale to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. 15 You shall pay your neighbor according to the number of years after the jubilee, and he shall sell to you according to the number of years for crops. 16 If the years are many, you shall increase the price, and if the years are few, you shall reduce the price, for it is the number of the crops that he is selling to you. 17 You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.
18 “Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely. 19 The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely. 20 And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?’ 21 I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years. 22 When you sow in the eighth year, you will be eating some of the old crop; you shall eat the old until the ninth year, when its crop arrives.
The sound of praise is the shofar.
Ps. 150:3 “Praise him with trumpet sound;”
The sound of the shofar is the sound of God’s victory.
God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
As we can see, the sound of the shofar is definitely linked to the end times. In fact, it is especially linked to these times. God has set up the entire age as a Hebrew year.
The gospels begin in the spring and then comes the harvest – the fall and this is where we are now. The Hebrew year closes in Sept – Oct. Yom Teruah ushers in all that is linked to the end times – the part that is still to come. It ushers in the feasts prophetically by ushering in the days of awe. Trumpets are the signal that it is the beginning of the end. God’s purposes are being fulfilled – prophecy is being fulfilled.
The shofar calls the people to repentance. Israel will repent. The coming of Israel to the fullness of God happens at the end of the age. In Hebrew, repentance has a double meaning. (Teshuva means repentance and to return). The end times will be days of return. Israel will return and as the church we need to return to an Acts kind of church.
The shofar calls God’s people to gather. It calls the people to repent before God.
It is a sign of the Holy Gathering – particularly in Jerusalem for the appointed times of God. Prophetically, it is the call for the children of Israel to gather in Zion. The end times could only begin if the children of Israel were together in their homeland and this has happened – May 14, 1948. In fact, Israel has nearly 6,000,000 Jews now and has the largest population of Jews in the world. So we are in the Last Days – no doubt about it. When we look at what’s going to happen in the end times with other countries, the other countries are always a backdrop to what’s going to happen in Israel. Thus, the shofar calls God’s people back to Jerusalem. It is the only city in which they can meet Yeshua – all eyes will be on Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the key to peace or war Zechariah 14. The Lord will fight for Jerusalem so we must all turn back to Jerusalem.
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16 gather the people.
Consecrate the congregation;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her chamber.
God gathers his people with the shofar –
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
I Thess. 4:16-18
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
I Cor. 15:52
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed
Sounds of the shofar are enough to wake the dead. It is interesting that the only trumpets in the New Testament are in the end times. The shofar is a key to the end times. We live in the days of awe prophetically and we must be a prophetic people with no fear because the future is not against us.