In Numbers 10:2 the trumpets are said to be used for the calling of the edah, or witnesses. Keep in mind that this originally referred to all of the people, even as the priesthood. However the people proved themselves to be unmanageable and in Numbers 11, Moses brings his complaint before God and expresses his preference to by killed rather than continue with a burden that is too heavy for him. (Numbers 11: 11-15). In verse 16, the Lord instructs Moses to gather unto Him seventy men at the tent of meeting, to have a portion of the spirit on Moses placed on them to bear the burden for the people. The calling of the edah is not every one of the children of Israel, but those who were chosen from among the congregation.
Numbers 10:3 states; and when they shall blow with them all the witnesses shall assemble themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting. This is not all the children of Israel as most translations interpret the meaning.
When Moses speaks to the Lord concerning the people complaining about their diet, the Lord says He will provide flesh for them for a whole month until it comes out of their nostrils and it becomes loathsome unto you. Moses responds: “the people are 600,000 soldiers (plus women, children and the elders) and what can be gathered to suffice them?” By this estimation, over two million people would have to gather at the entrance to the tabernacle upon hearing trumpets. Numbers 11:18-23.
Then in verse 4 the captains (nasee) of thousands are called upon the signal of one trumpet blown. The Hebrew word nasee is also translated prince, ruler and chief. It means one who has been elevated or promoted, but also to bear up, such as a burden. In the kingdom of God, rulers are raised up to bear responsibility. When princes in Israel and Judah became like pagans and lived a life of privilege, the nation was undermined. Jesus spoke in regard to John the Baptist: “men in soft apparel dwell in king’s palaces.”
The two trumpet signal calling the witnesses would be in regard to matters of the Law, for they received the anointing to function as judges. The second assembly would pertain to administrative and military affairs and would require the captains of thousands to be in attendance. These are the calling of the assemblies for which the trumpets were to be used. The second function is for the journeying of the camps.
In Numbers 9:17-23 is a description of how the entire camp began and ended every leg of their journey. The movement of the camp was always at the command of the Lord as expressed by the cloud upon the tent of meeting. They kept the charge of the Lord at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses. The hand of Moses is established by trumpet signals described in chapter 10:5&6.
Within these instructions is found another important word for study. The word is translated alarm, blast, and signal, and is blown to initiate the movements of the camp. The Hebrew teruwah is the great shout that brought down the walls of Jericho, that caused the earth to ring when the ark of the testimony was brought out in battle, and when David and his house brought forth the ark into the city of David, which is Mount Zion.
Even more important than to shout is what is shouted, for a people to shout out in harmony is to magnify the Lord. This cannot be attained if everyone shouts out whatever seems right in his own mind.
Blessed are the people who know the teruwah (joyful sound)! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. Psalm 89:15.
Numbers 23:21 prophesies over the Lord’s people “the shout of the King is among them!” The Lord has given us a name to call upon Him as a remembrance for all generations (See The Name of Remembrance). Blessed are the people who know the name of remembrance to shout with the sound (voice) of the trumpet (shofar).
When the jubilee trumpet sounds the voice of shophar, shout a great teruwah, and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend. Joshua 6:5.
The voice of shophar is first introduced in Exodus 19:16, and describes the herald of the Lord’s presence on Mount Sinai. This blast of sound is said to draw near the ones whose heart seeks the Lord. Most of the people withdrew at the presence of the Lord, but the opposite is what was expected. Moses was instructed to set boundaries around the mount, for whosoever touched the border of the mount must be put to death.
Now the just shall live by faith, but if any draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:38 & 39. And again,
For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. For they could not endure what was commanded “and if a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of justified men made perfect. Hebrews 12:18-23.
The voice of shophar is not restricted to being produced by a trumpet or ram’s horn. In Isaiah 58:1 the Lord declares: Cry aloud, spare not, and lift up your voice like a trumpet (lift up the voice of shophar), and show my people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins. They claim to delight in “drawing near” to God by fasting and afflicting their souls.
The voice of shophar is the Spirit of the Messiah or Christ. Jesus said:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour shall come, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. John 5:25. And again:
Marvel not at this, for an hour shall come when all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and those that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but those that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. John 5:27 & 28.
Psalm 47 says God ascends upon the teruwah and the voice of shophar.
Shout unto God with the voice of triumph! The voice of triumph is the shout of the King. The jubilee of reconciliation and drawing near to God, the proclamation of liberty!