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Introduction | Purchase | Shofar Basics | Shofar History

Shofars through the ages (Shofar History)

“All you people of the world, you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it,
and when the shofar sounds, you will hear it.”
Isaiah 18:3

A craftsman polishing a ram's horn shofar

Polishing a ram's horn shofar. ©Used with permission.

Did You Know?

In the Spanish Diaspora, Jewish shofars were flat and straight with a low pitch. This was because in the past Jews were not permitted to carry or play the shofar and had to hide their horns underneath their clothing. The Shephardic communities have preserved this straight, low pitched rams horn shofar.

The significance of the shofar can be traced back to the very foundations of the Jewish nation. First mentioned when the Israelites gathered at Mt Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19), the shofar has played an important role throughout Biblical history. The walls of Jericho crumbled to the sound of the priests rams' horns shofars (Joshua 6:4) and Jesus' return will be marked with the “sound of the shofar” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The Jewish shofar (sometimes misspelt as shophar) was sounded at the Jubilee Year and Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24). It was used for military purposes including declaring war (Nehemiah 4:20), to sound an alarm (Ezekiel 33:3) and to announce victory (1 Samuel13:3). The Israelites also used to blow the shofar events and processions (1 Chronicles 15:28) and as an accompaniment in music and festivals (Psalm 98:6)

The shofar was sounded at the coronation of kings (2 Samuel 15:10), including declaring God as King of Kings (Psalm 47:5-6). It is also strongly associated with the voice of God (Exodus 19:16-19 and Zechariah 9:14).

Today, the shofar (also known as a Jewish horn) still plays a significant role in Israel and amongst Jewish communities worldwide. Jews play the shofar to welcome the Shabbat and to announce the new year and new moon. It is central to the celebration of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and is sounded on Yom Kippur to mark the end of fasting. The shofar is often sounded at Jewish weddings and as part of official Israeli government events.

How to use and care for your shofar.

Our Shofar range
Ram's Horn Shofars, Yemenite Kudu Shofars, Oryx Shofars and Rams Anointing Horns.

Shofar is often mentioned in the Old Testament Blowing a shofar

Introduction | Purchase | Shofar Basics | Shofar History

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Banners in the Bible

Numbers 2:1-34
(also Numbers 10:11-27) The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: "The Israelites are to camp around the Tent of Meeting… each man under his standard with the banners of his family."On the east… Judah are to encamp under their standard.
On the south… Reuben under their standard.
Then the Tent of Meeting and the camp of the Levites will set out in the middle of the camps. They will set out in the same order as they encamp, each in his own place under his standard.
On the west… Ephraim under their standard.
On the north… Dan, under their standard. They will set out last, under their standards.
So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each with his clan and family.

Isaiah 49:22
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders'.

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