The Calling of Shofar – Yovel / JUBILEE /


The Jubilee is the Messiah Himself. Only in Him our lives can be really changed, only in Him we have our restoration in heritage, the one that we have lost in the Garden of Eden.

shofar jubilee“… On the day of Atonement you shall make the shofar to sound throughout all your land;
10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants/ It shall be a JUBILEE for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. (Lev.25 :1-15).
The word JUBILEE is familiar to us, it comes from the Latin JUBILAEUS that is a modification of the ancient Hebrew “yobel,” or more correctly “yovel”.
Here we must note that in Hebrew there are no vowels, but only consonants.
So, this word (jubilee) in Hebrew can be read in two ways:

Voice of Shofar

“YoVeL” – what means a ram or a ram’s horn. But it also can be read as a passive form of the verb –

“YuVaL” – “led”, as stated in Isaiah: «… He was led as a lamb to the slaughter … for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.» (Isaiah 53 :7-8).
So the ram is called “YoVeL” (jubilee) in Hebrew because of the fact that an important feature of the sheep nature is obedience, willingness to follow the shepherd humbly, so to be led “YuVaL.”

This gives us a very important idea about the third name of the shofar, of its essence as “Yovel”.

The 50th year is called the year “Yovel”, i.e. the year of a ram or the year of blowing the ram’s horn. The year got its name from the name of the shofar — Yovel that was announcing about it. The sacrificial animal horn “Yovel” announced the great liberation, coming into peace, the return of everyone into his heritage.

To return to their heritage in the 15th century from the creation of the world the children of Israel crossed the Jordan. To inherit the promised land, they had to destroy the obstacle standing on their way — the thick walls of Jericho. That event was a key one not only in the Jewish History, but also for the future of humanity. The sound of the shofar, the horn Yovel announced a special period – the time of the Lord’s favor for them.

If the Sinai Shofar was blowing from heaven ,
at the walls of Jericho, God called the priests -(kohanim) to stand before Him, commanding them to blow the shofar. Israel at this point becomes a kind of horn Yovel that was able to destroy obstacles, proclaiming “liberty in God».

(Josh.6 :1-10)
2 And the Lord said to Joshua, «See! I have given Jericho into your hands, its king, and its mighty the men of valor.
3You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.
4 and seven kohanim shall bear seven shofars – yovels (jubilees) before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march the city seven times, and kohanim shall blow the shofars;
5 …when they make a long blast with the Keren – Yovel, when you hear the voice of the shofar, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.

Archeologists discovered walls of 8 meters width. It’s heights was the same as it’s width. Some legends assert that Jericho city was surrounded by 7 rows of such walls. A strange thing was discovered by archeologists, the walls collapsed not inside as it usually happen when they are attacked from outside, but on the contrary, they felt down outside. This prove that their destruction was a result of something else than undermining or an attack.
They were crushed down from the very foundation and on all sides simultaneously. This happened by the will of God. Shofar played a special role in this.

Both in the episode of giving the Torah on Mount Sinai, and at the walls of Jericho, we read about the (long) enduring sound (“mshoh yovel”). From Hebrew it can be translated as “the bleating of a sheep.” And, if at the foot of Sinai, at the conclusion of the covenant, the children of Israel heard the “bleating of a sheep” (Yovel) from heaven …, the walls of Jericho were destroyed by the same enduring bleating of a sheep “Yovel” emanating from the blowing shofars by the Kohanim.
15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times.
16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the shofars, that Joshua said to the people: «Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the shofars. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the shofar, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
It was a brilliant victory.
In the name “shofar – yovel” there is a tremendous power that no force, no army, no locks and no inaccessible walls can resist it.
However, in this episode of biblical history it is important to see something more than just the pulling down of a stronghold and a victorious military operation.

This is the only Scripture where we can find the third name of the shofar (“Keren” – “shofar” and “yovel”) at the same time.

Voice of Shofar

This gives us the evidence of the uniqueness and importance of the event. All the three properties and actions of the horn were shown at the same time:
– “Keren” – the will and glory of God revealed – “the perfect calling.”
– “Shofar” – improvement, change – the “perfect correction.”
– “Yovel” – healing, restoration of rights – “perfect freedom.”
Those six days when the kohanim were blowing, and all Israel was listening in silence, were a time of special, mystical creation. That blowing and the whole camp listening attentively made something important on the earth, in the universe, in the heart of every listener.

Those six days of creation were a time of putting into order, creating relationships between God and His people on a new level.
God brings Israel to His resting place, a special sacred territory, the Promised Land, that is a prototype of the church.
He prepares them for the religious rite:
– He humbles and cleans them in the desert for forty years,
– He makes a covenant at Mount Sinai with the people, and as a seal of that He circumcises all those who were born during the campaign,
– like at the ritual cleansing of the priesthood, He immerses them in the waters of Jordan,
– and it was, “the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.» (Josh.5 :13-15)

So our fathers are standing at the entrance to the Land of Canaan, just like at the entrance of the temple for the religious rite to the Lord. After taking the land into possession the descendants of Abraham are to come into special presence of God.
Israelis marching around the walls of the city were the image of the living temple built by God out of His people in the Holy Land:
“Seven kohanim bearing seven shofars-yovels before the ark of the Lord went on continually and blew the shofars. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord while the kohens continued blowing the shofars. (Josh.6: 13)

This story shows that it was not a usual marching and not routine preparations to conquer Canaan but a very special event. It was unusual in this situation that the Ark of the Covenant was carried not by the Levites but by the kohanim. As it was an exclusive obligation of the Levites to carry the ark.

Only they were allowed to participate in the carrying of parts and accessories of Mishkan (Tabernacle).

The responsibility of the Kohanim was to appear before the Most High making a religious rite before the ark of the Covenant.
Thus, God’s command for the kohanim (priests) to carry the Ark of the Covenant on their shoulders was a sign from God to emphasize the nature of actions accomplished by Israel – the rites and worship service.

– The Ark is a kind of a center immersed into the sounding of the shofar like the Holy of Holies in the shadow of cherubim.
– The Kohanim together with the Ark surrounded by the voice of the shofar are placed inside of the column marching in the same way as the Holy of Holies is placed in the Holy.
– Israelis with strangers that joined their camp are like Temple courts.

An emphatic appeal to the number “7” in this whole situation (7 horns, 7 kohanim, 7 circles around the city on the 7th day) is an indication to the perfect action, the fullness of God, and the perfect relationship between Israel and the Creator.

It is very symbolic, that the seventh day which was a sacred symbol of the covenant between the Creator and Israel — the Shabbath day – became a day when the Jericho stronghold was destroyed.

On the Sabbath day (the seventh day) 1500 years after the Jericho walls fall and prophetic rites of Israelis in the “Living Temple” the Galilean Rabbi and teacher, Messiah Yeshua standing in the middle of the synagogue in Nazareth declared the greatest breaking of fetters, strongholds and all bondage, first proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor (Is.61 :1-3)

“And He began to say to them:
“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

His words like the cry of the shofar shocked all those who were in the synagogue, brought them into thrill. All of them said “Amen” to those words. (Luke 4:21)

The echo from Sinai could be heard in those words. It sounded like the Jericho walls being crushed, barriers destroyed, the chains being cast off.

The Jubilee is the Messiah Himself. Only in Him our lives can be really changed, only in Him we have our restoration in heritage, the one that we have lost in the Garden of Eden.

Saying “Today this Scripture is fulfilled…”, He proclaimed the great liberation – Shnat Ratzon-le-Adonai (the Lord’s year of favor) – Yovel.

Saying, “The spirit of God is upon Me …, the Lord has anointed Me to preach the good news,” the Messiah announces, “I am the Yovel proclaiming the liberty.” I am the Lamb led to the slaughter (YuVaL), I am the Yovel ..

Epilogue

That was the history of the shofar from the time of Abraham, our father, and up to the present day:

The lamb provided by the Eternal was shown to our father Abraham in the bush and became a substitute of Yitzhak (Isaac) on the altar. He made it a burnt offering – “ola”, and the horn (keren – announcing the calling) was lifted up from the earth together with it. (Gen.22: 13).

rosh ashana

shofar video

Israel, standing at Mount Sinai was the first to hear the sound of this horn (the shofar calling for correction) from the heaven (Ex.19: 16). The Lord Himself blowing it gave the knowledge of this voice to His people. From that time on, He commanded Israel to blow the shofar. (Lev.25: 9)
The calling of Abraham and his descendants is like the horn in the hands of the Creator, This horn bears the sound of the good news and the ray of light (KEREN) brings the light of the word of God into this world.
Israel should blow the shofar and listen to its sounding, until the Lord blows the shofar “ Yovel “ once again (Zech.9 :14). Thus He will proclaim the great liberty (jubilee) for all the nations, for everyone who will obey His voice.
“Blessed is the people that knows the joyful sound of the shofar (תרועה יהוה)! They walk in the light of thy countenance, O Lord. “

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Comments
  1. Suzanna

    I humbly PRAISE GOD for you Ephraim, sharing these intricate thoughts on the meanings that are bound up in the words and the use of HA SHOFAR, in 3 forms…
    Recently, I have been taking notice of the times “A loud voice” is mentioned in ‘Revelation’ – indicating YAWEY’S SOVEREIGN audible DIRECTIONS of every event… [Sometimes given as a ” VOICE from the Throne”.] The first is in ch.1:10, described in several translations as “a great voice like the calling of a TRUMPET.” – The last is in ch.21:3 in different words.
    “A great voice out of Heaven” [KJV] & “a Mighty voice from the Throne” [AmpV.] “A loud shout from the Throne” [L.B.]
    So maybe God will lead you to link these also with the 3 meanings of the Hebrew words? A GOD WHO SPEAKS! It is so precious! Thank you for sharing – I hope I’ll be able to find the aticle again one day, somewhere.~
    Suzanna for the G.O. Fellowship in N.Z.

  2. omidiora tayo

    Thanks a lot ephraim, the article was a torching one…because they didn’t explain very well like this in many of the bible versions we read..I ve really learn a lot from you brother…..shalom

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