There has been some controversy over the ‘last trumpet’ in the Bible. So, I thought I’d do a little research on the history of the trumpet itself and on how and why it was used in Bible times, in an effort to make it more clear as to the meaning or indication of the verse in 1 Corinthians that speaks of the last trump in relation to the rapture of the church.
Trumpet-like instruments have historically been used as signaling devices in battle, with examples dating back to at least 1500 BC.
We’re not given much information about what the trumpets Moses was to make in Numbers, chapter ten, actually looked like, other than that they were made of silver, made of hammered work and made of one piece. God instructs how these trumpets were to be made. There are some ancient coins from this era that have pictures of these trumpets engraved on them. In those days, the blowing of these trumpets were the signals used to alert the people to assemble and move, or march. And (drum roll please!), He blows those trumpets to cause people to follow Him. In other words, they were used to direct the actions and movements of the people of Israel. Interesting that they are of silver which means ‘redemption’, and so the Rapture trumpet will call us to our redemption from this earth.
Back in that day, of course they had no cell phones, loud speakers, sirens or flares, so Israel was to be guided by the blowing of the trumpets. Both a ‘call to assemble’ and a ‘call to march’ were communicated with the trumpets. The basic idea is that the silver trumpets are used to signal to the people that an instruction from God has come; and then to signal how people are to respond. The trumpets are sort of like air-raid sirens.
So, basically, the first trumpet blast was to signal the people to get ready, or assemble. And the last trumpet blast was to get moving, or march. Again, I repeat, the last trump blast was to get the people moving! (hint, hint)
This system of sounding a horn was neither new nor invented by Israel. It had been in use for centuries before them in almost all known cultures. Originally, as is the case here with Israel, the main use was military.
These silver trumpets are not the same thing as shofars. We can know that by their description and their specific names. In Hebrew these silver trumpets are called “Hatsotserah,” while Shofar is the Hebrew word for an animal horn or antler. A Shofar is not an earlier more ancient and primitive version of a Hatsotserah, as some have supposed, and their uses are different, not so much in WHAT they are used for, but rather WHO uses them. In the Bible, the common people used a Shofar, but the silver trumpets can only be blown by priests. (Side note: Jesus was referred to as “High Priest” several times in the Bible. Just sayin’.)
By the way, this is not about playing music or songs on a trumpet. This is about sounding detailed blasts, BY certain people and FOR certain people. The silver trumpet is not a musical instrument. The Israelites had dedicated musical instruments and they played them, usually while accompanying the singing of Psalms. But silver trumpets were communication devices.
So, in conclusion, and in light of my opinion that there are no coincidences with God, I think some interesting things to note are:
-The Trumpet Call of God is different than other trumpets because it is blown at God’s command.
-The Trumpet CALL of GOD will only be heard twice on earth. The first time was at Mt Sinai when the Law was given. The last time will be at the Rapture of the Church.
-If we compare these two blasts, we can see several similarities.
- At Mt Sinai, the Israelites were redeemed from slavery. At the Rapture of the Church, believers will be redeemed from sin.
- At Mt Sinai, they were consecrated (meaning to make or declare sacred). At the Rapture, the Church will be perfected.
- At Mt Sinai they washed their clothes. Believers will be given clean clothes.
- God came to the mountain top. Jesus will come to a cloud.
- At Mt Sinai, Moses and Aaron went up. At the Rapture, believers will go up.
- At Mt Sinai, Israel was wed to God. Believers will be wed to Jesus at the Rapture.
- At Sinai, God dwelt with Israel. At the Rapture, we will dwell with Jesus.
- At Sinai, was the presentation of God’s Law. The Rapture is the manifestation of His Grace.
- Only priests were allowed to blow the silver trumpets. Christ is referred to several times in the Bible as our High Priest.
- The use of trumpets in that day was also a signal of worship. And I’m pretty sure that when He calls us up to meet with Him in the clouds, we will worship more than ever before.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls refer to the use of the trumpet as sounding “at the appointed time of God.” Nobody on earth knows the day or the hour of the Rapture to come, but the trumpet blast then will come only at the appointed time of God.
- The last trumpet blast in Bible times was to signal the people to move. The last trumpet blast at the Rapture will signal our move. Only our move will be UP, though, instead of forward.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold, 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, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
I’m looking forward to hearing that special silver trumpet sound and to hear Him say “Come up here”!
1 Peter 2:5
1 Thessalonians 4:16
1 Corinthians 15:51-52