1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shofar

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

SHOFAR, Schofar or Shofer, the ancient ram's horn trumpet of the Hebrews, sometimes also translated cornet in the English Bible. The shofar consisted of a natural horn turned up at the bell end, and, having a short conical bore of very large calibre, it would be capable of producing at most the fundamental octave and twelfth. The shofar has continued in use in the Jewish synagogue until the present day, being blown with great solemnity once every year at the impressive service held on the Day of Atonement. The shofar was more generally used by the Israelites than the other horn Keren, and although figuring largely as a signal instrument in battle, and used for rousing the people against the foe, it can hardly be regarded as a military instrument, but rather as the token of God's presence in their midst, to give them the victory as in the case of Joshua and Gideon. It was the shofar that was used to call the people together on a solemn feast day (Ps. lxxxi. 3). (K. S.)