What Is The Meaning Of Trumpets In The Bible?

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Published by Kimberly Wall

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Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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The first time the term “trumpet” appears in the Bible is in Exodus 19:19, when God thunders out the Ten Commandments: “And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice.” The trumpet blast was ear-piercing, and the people were terrified.

In the King James Version of the Bible, trumpets were mentioned 118 times—more than any other instrument. The trumpet is a significant symbol in both the Old and New Testaments.

Key Takeaways

  • Trumpets in the Bible symbolize significant events and actions, including joy, warfare, divine intervention, and the heralding of monumental occurrences such as the return of Jesus Christ.
  • The shofar, or ram’s horn, holds particular significance as a tool for signaling, warning, and symbolizing the forthcoming cataclysmic events before the second coming of Christ.
  • The sound of trumpets signifies not only historical and spiritual milestones in biblical times but also serves as a prophetic indicator of future divine interventions and the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth.

What Is The Meaning Of Trumpets In The Bible?

In biblical times, trumpets were constructed of metal or bone and measured at least two feet in length. They produced a high-pitched sound that could be modulated to some degree, but their primary purpose was signaling rather than generating music.

The ram’s horn, also known as the shofar [1], was used as a signaling device to gather the army (Judges 3:27; 1 Samuel 13:3) or to sound an alarm (Job 39:24–25; Jeremiah 6:1; Amos 3:6). It is referenced 72 times in the Bible, more than any other instrument.

Occasionally, it was heated to make it more malleable for use in straightening or shaping. It made a noise that was both distinct and unfamiliar. Being limited to two or three tones, it was a basic musical instrument.

person blowing a trumpet at the top of a city and trumpet in the bible meaning

What Do Trumpets Symbolize In The Bible?

Sounds Of Joy

Horn references are associated with health, happiness, prestige, and power. Hannah began her prayer of dedication of the miraculous child Samuel to God by stating, “My heart finds joy in the LORD. My head is lifted to the LORD. My mouth mocks my enemies. I rejoice because you saved me” (1 Samuel 2:1).

Tool Of Government

The trumpet was used to assemble the Hebrew nation. It was employed as a warning and call to war (Judges 3:27; 1 Corinthians 14:8). This connection was deep that the ram’s horn is used as a metaphor for the war itself in Jeremiah 4:21: “How long must I see the battle flag and hear the sound of rams’ horns?” Occasionally, horns warn of danger (Amos 3:6). Every Israelite would have been alerted by the ominous sound.

When Israel approached the Promised Land, the first hurdle they encountered was the formidable fortified city of Jericho. God instructed them to march around the city while blowing rams’ horns in order to capture it. On the seventh day, when the rams’ horns resounded from the huge walls, the walls fell and the city was captured (Joshua 6:21–23).

Heavenly Trumpets

When a new monarch was proclaimed, the shofar proclaimed the news (2 Samuel 15:10; 1 Kings 1:34; 2 Kings 9:13). This application merged the symbolism of battle with religious activities, as the monarch was viewed as God’s representative in the nation.

In the latter days, a trumpet will herald the second coming of Jesus Christ, the King, in glory. “It will happen in an instant, in a split second, at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will come back to life. They will be changed so they can live forever” (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

What Is The Significance Of Trumpets?

Silver Trumpet

Silver trumpets are melodic instruments, similar to those used in contemporary bands and orchestras. They were employed to collect the crowd, precisely like buglers did in the past in several combat situations. The silver trumpets also served to announce royal and other ceremonial ceremonies as well as occasions of tremendous rejoicing.

Shofar

The shofar foretells the cataclysmic events before Jesus Christ’s return through the watchman and prophet of God. Without God’s assistance, according to Matthew 24:22, no living creature could be saved alive. God compares the world’s predicted conditions to a woman’s labor pains, but then the blessing, a child, is born.

Seventh Trumpet

In Leviticus 23:24, God commanded the observance of an annual holy day called the Feast of Trumpets. It depicts Jesus Christ’s triumphal return and the saints’ resurrection. When the seventh trumpet blows, the book of Revelation (Revelation 8:2; 11:15) describes seven trumpets: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

The sound of the angel’s trumpet signals the beginning of God’s rule on earth from Jerusalem. God ordained this feast as an annual Sabbath of pleasure to be observed on the first day of the Hebrew calendar’s seventh month.

What Is The Purpose Of Trumpets?

Calling The Assembly 

As Moses did several times in the desert, the leader of Israel’s children would gather the congregation for certain objectives. The Bible refers to Moses calling for the assembling of the congregation for education, teaching, rebuke, etc. The way it is written, you nearly get the impression that Moses screamed in a loud voice, causing everyone to rush toward him. This, however, would have been accomplished by the sound of trumpets.

A trumpet can also be used to gather the Hebrews away from someone or to celebrate. Sheba, son of Bichri, a wicked man, sounded the trumpet to rally the Hebrews against David after the war with Absalom (2 Samuel 20:1–2).

Moving Camp

The second use of trumpets was to relocate the Israelite encampment. Moses and the children were led by God through the wilderness. There was a particular pattern to how the Israelites camped and traveled.

Heading To War

The second use of trumpets was to signal the impending start of warfare, as when Joshua and the Israelites attacked Jericho (Joshua 6:1–9). Aside from serving as a war cry, they also served as a spiritual rallying cry, reminding people that God was on their side (Numbers 10:9).

Throughout the Bible, someone always blows the trumpet to rally the Hebrews to battle against one another or foreign nations. When something suspicious was spotted, the watchman would blast a trumpet to alert the Hebrews of impending destruction (Joel 2:1; Amos 2:1–3). The fate of the kingdom depended on whether or not the people listened to the warning.

Celebration And Sacrifice

For the Hebrews, trumpets were a crucial feature of their festivals and ritual sacrifices. Feast days, sacrifices, New Moon days, Sabbath days, and any other occasion on which a celebration was held would all call for the sounding of trumpets. To herald the installation of a new king, for instance, trumpets would be blown (2 Samuel 15:10; 2 Kings 9:13; 1 Kings 1:33–40).

Procession, Music, And Worship

Finally, trumpets are utilized throughout the Bible during processions, musical performances, and acts of devotion. It is certain that trumpets were employed to create music and express gladness and joy during the procession that brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city of David. We raise our voices and blow trumpets to praise God.

For example, when David carried the Ark of the Covenant into David’s city, he was greeted with joy, shouting, and the sounding of trumpets (2 Samuel 6:15; 1 Chronicle 15:28; 1 Chronicle 16:1–6; 41–43).

In another instance, King Solomon joyfully and pompously dedicated the Temple to God with music, singing, and the sound of trumpets (2 Chronicles 5:2–14).

person holding a trumpet standing on top of a building during sunset and trumpet in the bible meaning

Summary

When Jesus Christ returns, we should expect a moment of great turmoil for the entire world, as heralded by the sound of trumpets. When men hear God’s trumpet, they will be so terrified that their hearts will burst. The bright side is that it will herald a brand new era for humankind. In Jerusalem, the saints will be resurrected, and the kingdom of God will begin.

Even now, all throughout the land and the entire planet, the trumpets of God are resounding. Now is not the time to hold back or be dishonest. God expects us to make sense of what’s going on so that everyone might be forewarned and ready for what’s coming to the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Trumpets Symbolize In The Bible?

In the Bible, trumpets symbolize a range of concepts including divine presence, intervention, and communication, as well as war, victory, and major announcements. They are often used to signal important events, gather people, and herald significant religious and social moments.

What Is The Trumpet Of The Lord In The Bible?

The trumpet of the Lord in the Bible refers to a divine instrument used by God or His messengers to announce significant events, warnings, or the manifestation of God’s power. It is associated with God’s direct intervention in human affairs, particularly in the context of judgment and salvation.

What Does The Blowing Of The Trumpet Mean In The Bible?

The blowing of the trumpet in the Bible signifies a call to attention or action, such as gathering people, signaling the start of a war, marking the beginning of a religious festivity, or warning of impending danger. It is a powerful auditory symbol used by God or His people to communicate important messages.

Why Is The Trumpet Significant?

The trumpet is significant because it serves multiple symbolic functions in biblical texts. It acts as a tool for divine communication, a signal for gathering or war, and an instrument in worship and celebration. Its sound is meant to provoke a response, whether it be of reverence, readiness, or remembrance.

What Does The First Trumpet Mean In The Bible?

In the Bible, the first trumpet generally signals the beginning of a divine intervention or a series of significant events. Specifically, in the book of Revelation, the sounding of the first trumpet marks the onset of the first of seven judgments from God, ushering in a period of tribulation and transformation.

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