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Every time we hear the sound of a ram’s horn, or shofar, we should be reminded of the coming of Christ. As a believer in Jesus, we love to read about His life here on earth.

However, when we read the Bible, it is difficult to imagine the sounds of Biblical Israel. Fortunately, we do not have to imagine one of those sounds, since the shofar has remained unchanged from ancient times. 

Decorated Jerusalem shofar

As we read through the Old Testament, we see the shofar being used over and over as a call to war or for a warning.  From Joshua to Nehemiah the shofar was a ready tool for alerting the people. Indeed, the people were advised by the prophet Ezekiel to heed the sound of the shofar, lest the enemy come upon them unaware. 

According to Psalms 47 God has gone up with the sound of a shofar. One day, hopefully soon, the city of Jerusalem, and indeed the whole world, will shake with the sound of the shofar again as Jesus the Messiah descends to the Mount of Olives. In Numbers, God commands for wars to be announced by the shofar. It is not a coincidence that our Warrior King will come at the sound of a shofar! He comes to “judge and make war” in righteousness. As He ascended, so shall He return. 

I like to hold a shofar while all of this and more drifts through my mind. So much of the Bible is far removed from our understanding or ability to experience, but not the shofar. You can touch it, hold it and, with a bit of practice, learn to play it. You can recreate the war call of ancient Israel’s kings, prophets and commoners for yourself. You can walk into Zak’s shop on Christian Quarter Road in the old city of Jerusalem, see the wide variety of shofars that he has and choose one to take home.

When you put the shofar to your lips and you play the ancient trumpet call of the desert, you can let your imagination run wild. If you are like me, you will pause every now and again to listen “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:”

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