A cursory reading of the book of Revelation will reveal an obvious fact: trumpets and trumpetry are referenced many times. The high frequency of references to trumpets and trumpetry within the book of Revelation is important to consider. Trumpets represent a symbolism and metaphor with deep spiritual meanings.
The trumpet was long seen as the noblest of instruments. It was not an instrument of the common man or woman, like the drum. The trumpet was an instrument that was difficult to fashion during the time of John the Divine. It required careful craftsmanship and metalworking techniques not discovered until centuries later.
But even the crude versions of trumpets available in John the Divine’s time were seen as special instruments fit for kings, queens, and other royalty. Thus it is not at all a surprise that the trumpet and the act of trumpetry would be associated with God and his angels.
The noble nature of the trumpet figures deeply in the writings of John the Divine. Revelation 1:10 compares the voice of the Lord to that of a trumpet, indicating its greatness. It should be noted that what follows this reference to trumpets and trumpetry is one of the best known phrasings from the entire biblical text: “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.”
The presaging of such a unique message reveals its importance. Further along, Revelation 4:1 also describes the Lord speaking in the way of a trumpet.
Revelation 8:2 is among the most important of verses, for it does not mention just one trumpet, but it mentions seven angels with seven trumpets: “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.”
Yet again trumpets and trumpetry are directly connected with God. This is a common theme throughout the text of Revelation; trumpets and trumpetry ascend from this mortal world into the realm of God and the angels themselves.
Revelation 8:6 proceeds to describe the playing of these trumpets: “And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” These trumpets and the trumpetry of the angels lead to the Great Tribulation.
A thorough reading of this section of Revelation is a must in order to truly comprehend the importance of the trumpet as the musical instrument of God. It was not a harp nor a drum that will invoke the Tribulation, but rather a trumpet.
The trumpet is not just a symbol of shrill sounds, but it is a symbol of the power of God; the power of God’s will and intent. Only through a thorough reading of these Revelation verses will one fully understand God’s use of trumpetry.
The final mention of trumpets and trumpetry in the book of Revelation appears in verse 18:22:
“And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee.”
Although it lacks the destruction and raw divine power of the earlier references to trumpetry, this verse indicates the result of the Tribulation, which itself was triggered by the trumpetry of the seven angels. Not even the human trumpeters, who are considered distinct from mere musicians, will be spared.
While the trumpet may be one of the angels’ tools of Tribulation, a human mastery of trumpetry will not shield one from the Tribulation. Trumpets are powerful instruments, but only in the hands of God and his seven angels.
I hope that this introduction to the role of trumpets and trumpetry within the book of Revelation has been informative. This is a very intense subject which deserves more scrutiny than I can readily perform here, so I encourage one to read through Revelation once more, to gain a firm insight into trumpets and the role of trumpetry during the Tribulation.
One will not be disappointed to gain a better understanding of what has been called the Divine Instrument. The power of trumpets and trumpetry are essential to understand if one desires to fully comprehend the will of God.