The Book of the Covenant at Mount Sinai was the "gospel" of Grace. It was a restatement of the Abrahamic covenant which had no mandatory rituals or priesthood. Paul goes back to Abraham to define the meaning of the GOSPEL. This would be the final offer of receiving A holy spirit at the time and place of water baptism. This process makes it possible to escape this world when it burns up with fire. Think about it: the only offer.

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Sounding the Shofar 

Israel used the shofar or the silver trumpets to call allembly, to signal sacrifice or to panic the enemy in battle. However, Numbers 10:7 outlaws the musical alarm or shouting for joy when Israel came together in congregation for instructions. The Jews honored this non-musical use. These are sounds seem to connect us to the ancient Hebrews being called to prayer or worshipful silence before G_d. More notes below. Kenneth L. Sublett

Where to purchase Shofars and other supplies

Judaica gifts and Shofar Store
This is a picture is similar of one I just received.  
In the picture will notice that this on has notches on the ends: these perform as impedance match to the air.  Under the Law the ram's horns were tuned to the same note (sound) and it was unlaful to notch or add holes. Blowing 120 ram's horns making one sound at the temple dedication doeth not music make.
Listen to The shofar

Sofar calls
Shofar sounding the Tekiah: the "blast," one long blast with a clear tone.
Shofar sounding the Shevarim: a "broken," sighing sound of three short calls.
The Teruah: the "alarm," a rapid series of nine or more very short notes.
The Tekiah Gedolah: "the great Tekiah," a single unbroken blast, held as long as possible.
A combination of Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, ending with a Tekiah Gedolah.
See Jewish Liturgical Music and other links

"The Shofar is the ritual instrument of the ancient and modern Hebrews, the only Hebrew cultural instrument to have survived until now. Of
martial origin, the shofar was a priestly instrument in Biblical times. According to the Mishna, two different forms of shofar were used in the Temple: one made of ibex horn, its bell ornamented with gold, was sounded at New Year and during the Yovel Days; one made of ram's horn, with silver ornamentation, was sounded on fast days.

The shofar could be used to call the assembly (Qahal or Synagogue) in the wilderness. However, the ALARM could not be blown which included "making a joyful noise before the Lord." This was not musical worship but the universal warrior's cry that their god was superior. See how the Alarm is outlawed.

We learn from the Mishna and the Talmud that in the Hellenistic period no improvements or modifications that might affect the tone were permitted: no gold-plating of its interior, no plugging of holes, no alteration of its length (the minimum permissible length of a ritually approved horn was 3 handbreadths);

the shofar tone was to be preserved unaltered. Nor was the process of steaming or boiling permitted.

Apart from its liturgical uses the shofar was closely connected with magical symbolism. Its blast destroyed the walls of Jericho, and in the Dead Sea scrolls we read that during battles shofar blowers sounded a powerful war cry to instill fear into the hearts of the enemy while priests blew the six trumpets of killing. Historically the shofar has also served in a number of popular usages: it was sounded during rites to bring rain, in the event of local disasters, and so on. In our times its liturgical use is restricted to New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). See Photos HERE.

See the Dead Sea Scrolls War Rule to see how musical instruments were used for warfare or signalling: they were never a musical instrument in that they played a tune while the people sang psalms.

The shofar is a ram's horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet. One of the most important observances of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar in the synagogue. A total of 100 notes are sounded each day. There are four different types of shofar notes: tekiah, a 3 second sustained note; shevarim, three 1-second notes rising in tone, teruah, a series of short, staccato notes extending over a period of about 3 seconds; and tekiah gedolah (literally, "big tekiah"), the final blast in a set, which lasts (I think) 10 seconds minimum. Click the shofar above to hear an approximation of the sound of Tekiah Shevarim-Teruah Tekiah. The Bible gives no specific reason for this practice. One that has been suggested is that the shofar's sound is a call to repentance. The shofar is not blown if the holiday falls on Shabbat. Jewish Holidays.

Medieval and Renaissance Instruments. 

"In use, someone, normally the rabbi, calls out the notes in the official sequence, one at a time. In response to each call the shofar blower plays the note. Prior to the playing and in the middle of each set, there is a prayer to be read. Overall, there are about 100 blasts in the service." From an E-mail from Jules Reichel -

If the shofar and its tones, like the Law of Moses, must be preserved unaltered, this would seem to prevent its "improvement" to become a true musical instrument to sound concurrent with worship. After the destruction of the Temple the shofar was permitted specificially because it was not a musical instrument.

"Only in Ps 150:3 is it (shophar) mentioned with most of the other really musical instruments. Hence, we must conclude that the function of the shophar was to make noise--be it of earthly or of eschatological character--but not to make music. After the destruction of the temple and the general banishment of all instrumental music, the shophar alone survived, just because it was not a musical instrument."(International Dictionary of the Bible, p. 473, Abingdon).

We discuss the shofar in Musical Worship in the modern sense Forbidden in the Law.

Alfred Edersheim shows that the trumpets and the "music" were not for congregational worship. Rather, the loud penetrating sounds were to send signals so that a great body of people knew when to worship in the sense of bowing.

The temple and worship "like the nations" was permitted only when Israel's elders fired God and demanded a nation and worship "like the nations." The prophets and Stephen make it clear that whatever you can see as "worship" after the beginning of the Monarchy was a return to their prayed-for Babylonian or Egyptian musical idolatry.

"Despite the differences between the Mosaic and the Egyptian cults, it can hardly be denied that Egyptian influence on Jewish musical practices were quite significant. They would stand to reason because of the high quality of egyptian cultic music.

The tambourine or timbrel, a hoop of bells over which a white skin was stretched, came from Egypt. Miriam used this instrument to accompany the singing and dancing on the shores of the Red Sea (Ex. 15).

The trumpet blown for decampment, at the gathering of the people and on different cultic occasions, especially during sacrifices (2 Chron. 30:21; 35:15; Num 10:2), was the signaling instrument of the Egyptian army.

The sistrum, according to 2 Sam 6:5, was used by the Israelites and bore the name mena'anim. It was the same as the Egyptian kemkem which was employed in the cult of Isis.

2 Sam 6:5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord
on all manner of instruments made of fir wood,
even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels,
and on cornets, and on cymbals.

H4517 mena‛na‛men-ah-ah' From H5128 ; a sistrum (so called from its rattling sound):--cornet.
H5128 na noo'-ah A primitive root; to waver, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively (as subjoined):--continually, fugitive, X make to [go] up and down, be gone away, (be) move (-able, -d), be promoted, reel, remove, scatter, set, shake, sift, stagger, to and fro, be vagabond, wag, (make) wander (up and down).

"The name of psaltery entered Christian literature in the 3rd century B.C. translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint where, in the Psalms, nebel was translated psalterion. Thus, Nebuchadnezzar's idolatrous ensemble included the Aramic psantria. Notice, also, that the book of Psalms has also become known as the Psalter (or psalterium), from the hymns sung with this harp. Source

"The ritual dance was probably widespread in the ancient East. David's performance has Egyptian parallels. Seti I, the father of Rameses II, and three other Pharaohs are said to have danced before a deity, and Asiatic monuments attest the custom elsewhere... The description of David's dance: he 'danced before Jehovah with all his might... leaping and dancing before Jeh' (2 S 6: 14-16) suggests three features that particular display and the mode of dancing which it represented: violent exertion, leaping (Mephassez) and whirling round (mekharker) . Perhaps the whirling dance of Islam is a modern parallel to the last." (Int Std Bible Ency., Games, p. 1170).

Mena'anim--SISTRUM (KJV-- "cornet")
The root designates a shaken instrument--whether a rattle (beads in a gourd) or a sistrum. Most believe mena'anim was a sistrum, which was common, especially in Egypt. It consists of a handle and a frame with jingling cross-bars. It produced a sound, when shaken. David used a mena'anim (2 Samuel 6:5)

The solemnity celebrated on the occasion of the transferring of the Ark to Sion, as well as the dances of the daughters of Israel at the annual feast of the Lord of Shiloh (Judg 21:21), were similar in thier musical embellishments to Egyptian customs in the liturgy and at parades. As Herodotus reports,

women sang the praises of Osiris while likenesses of the gods were born about and, during the festival of Diana at Bubastis, choirs of men and women sang and danced to the beating of drums and the playing of flutes." (Quasten, Johannes, Music and Worship in Pagan and Christian Antiquity, p. 65)

On the Psalms. The Argument Prefixed by Hippolytus, Bishop of Rome, to His Exposition of the Psalms. bishop of Rome, Ante-Nicene, V, p. 170

The book of Psalms contains new doctrine after the law of Moses.

And after the writing of Moses, it is the second book of doctrine.
Now, after the death of Moses and Joshua, and after the judges, arose David,
who was deemed
worthy of bearing the name of father of the Saviour himself;

and he first gave to the Hebrews a new style of psalmody, by which he abrogates the ordinances established by Moses with respect to sacrifices, and introduces the new hymn and a new style of jubilant praise in the worship of God; and throughout his whole ministry he teaches very many other things that went beyond the law of Moses.

The truly greak kings always sought to restore the worship commanded by God through Moses. This musical worship would have been private devotion and:

"The absence of instrumental music from the services of the tabernacle continued not only during the wandering of the Israelites in the desert, but after their entrance into the promised land, throughout the protracted period of the Judges, the reign of Saul, and a part of David's. This is a noteworthy fact.

Although David was a lover of instrumental music, and himself a performer upon the harp,
was not until some time after his reign had begun
that this
order of things was changed."
(Girardeau, George, Instrumental Music, p. 29).

Of the pipe or organ mention in Psalm 150:

Edersheim makes it clear that the pipe was played only in the procession to Jerusalem from the far cities.

Isaiah 30 compares the Assyrians procession to the "place of burning" with the Timbrels and harps. In the LXX or Septuagint version, God asks, "Must you always go in procession to the temple with music." This was a common practice when they marched to the Temple and then to Topheth which was the place where innocent children were burned in the red-hot arms of Molech as they played loud instruments to drown out the evil sounds of sacrificed children and to help the priest get a message from the idol. Assyria includes Jerusalem, Egypt, Sodom or (Jerusalem which is Egypt and Sodom in the book of Revelation). All will find themselves being marched off to some kind of hell to the beat of musical instruments.

And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. Isa 30:32

"Its (pipe = to love passionately) was apparently a secular instrument and is never listed in the temple orchestra;

only in Ps. 150:4 it is mentioned in a religious (but not ritual) function.
ethos (ethical character) was not blameless at all, ase we see from Genesis Rabbah 50: 'The angels said to Lot: 'There are players of the pipe (organ) in the country, hence it ought to be destroyed.'" Its rabbinical identification with the aboda, the flute of the notorious Syrian bayaderes (temple dancers), emphasizes the erotic element which already the Hebrew name suggests." (Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, p. 460, Abingdon).

The pipe was invented and promoted by Jubal and not God. The view of scholars who knew the original languages claim that SATAN came into Jubal (Genun) just as Satan came into Judas whose "Judas bag" contained the "mouthpieces of wind instruments."

And his brothers name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. Genesis 4:21

Musical worship in the Bull cult in Egypt.

Was Miriam an Egyptian Prophetess?

Introduction to the Reasons for Failure at Mount Sinai

Musical Idolatry at Mount Sinai as "rising up to Play"

How this abrogated The Book of the Covenant and imposed The Book of the Law

How the Kabbalah treats the Law of Moses and the Temple retrospectively

Psalm 81: Did God Command Instrumental Music for Worship

Psalm 106 Augustine Etc.

The Account in The Epistle of Barnabas


See some research data on the Synagogue. Both ekklesia and synagogue are Greek words for an assembly. There are several words used in the Old Testament defining a religious assembly

See our index on many papers on instrumental music as worship.
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