The Great Shofar, Rosh Hashanah, and the Disciples of Jesus

The Great Shofar
Every year at Rosh Hashanah, disciples of Jesus hear the shofar in anticipation of the future trumpet of Messiah. (Flickr )
Every year at Rosh Hashanah, disciples of Jesus hear the shofar in anticipation of the future trumpet of Messiah. Jesus predicted that God will "send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other" (Matt. 24:31, MEV). He will gather, "His chosen ones" and bring them back to their land.

The daily prayers of the synagogue entreat God three times a day for the great blast of Messiah's shofar and the ingathering of all Israel:

"Blast the Great Shofar for our freedom. Lift a banner to gather our exiles, and quickly gather us together from the four corners of the earth to our land. Blessed are You, O LORD, who gathers the outcasts of His people Israel" (Amidah 10).

The "great shofar" of Messiah alludes to a prophecy in Isaiah:

"And in that day the great trumpet shall be blown, and those who were ready to perish in the land of Assyria and the outcasts in the land of Egypt shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem" (Is. 27:13, MEV).

The prophet Zechariah says that, although the LORD dispersed Israel as "the four winds of the heavens" (Zech 2:6), He will signal the exiles by "whistling" for them (Zech. 10:8). When the trumpet sounds, "They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt and like a dove from the land of Assyria; And I will let them dwell in their houses, says the Lord" (Hos. 11:11). The LORD says, "though your outcasts are under the farthest part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and bring them back to the place where I have chosen to establish My name" (Neh. 1:9). Moses promised, He will "gather you from all the nations, where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the outmost parts of heaven, from there will the Lord your God gather you, and from there He will get you" (Deut. 30:3-4). Jesus says His angels will gather His elect from "the four winds," or from the four points of the compass:

"Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, "Give them up," and to the south, "Do not keep them back. Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth" (Is. 43:5-6, MEV).

The righteous dead will also hear the sounding of the shofar. Isaiah says, "All you inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth: When he lifts up a banner on the mountains, you will see it; and when he blows a trumpet, you will hear it" (Is. 18:3, MEV).

The shofar of Messiah will awaken the righteous dead. They will rise and meet the Messiah in the air. Then God will quicken the bodies of those believers who are alive at the time of His coming. He will transform their bodies from the mortal state to the immortal state, and they will ascend, following the resurrected, to meet the Messiah:

"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor. 15:51-52, MEV).

Daniel Thomas Lancaster is a writer, teacher, and the Director of Education at the Messianic ministry of First Fruits of Zion (, an international ministry with offices in Israel, Canada, and USA, bringing Messianic Jewish teaching to Christians and Jews. He is the author of several books about the Jewish roots of Christianity, the Jewishness of the New Testament, and he is the author of the Torah Club Bible study program ( He also serves as the teaching pastor at Beth Immanuel (, a Messianic Jewish synagogue in Hudson, Wisconsin.

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