properly שׁוֹפָר, shophar' (prob. from שָׁפִר, to be bright, with reference to the clearness of sound; comp. שָׁפרָה, Ps 16:6), Gr. σάλπιγξ, Lat. buccina, a loud-sounding instrument, made of the horn of a ram or of a chamois (sometimes of an ox), and used by the ancient Hebrews for signals, for announcing the יוֹבֵל, "jubilee" (Le 25:9), for proclaiming the new year (Mishna, Rosh Hashanah, 3 and 4), for the purpose of war (Jer 4:5,19; comp. Job 39:25), as well as for the sentinels placed at the watch-towers to give notice of the approach of an enemy (Eze 33:4-5). Shophar is generally rendered in the A.V. "trumpet," but "cornet" is used in 1Ch 15:28; 2Ch 15:14; Ps 98:6; Ho 5:8. "Cornet" is also employed in 2Sa 6:5, for מנִעִנעַים, menaanim', sistra, a musical instrument or rattle, which gave a tinkling sound on being shaken (used in Egypt in the worship of Isis; see Wilkinson, 2:323 sq.). Finally, in Da 3:5,7,10,15, for the Chald. (and Heb.) term קֶרֶן, ke'ren, a horn (as elsewhere rendered) or simple tube.
Oriental scholars for the most part consider the shophar and the keren to be one and the same musical instrument; but some Biblical critics regard the shophar and the חֲצוֹצרָה, chatsotserah' (invariably rendered "trumpet" in the A.V.), as belonging to the species of the keren, the general term for a horn (Joel Brill, in preface to Mendelssohn's version of the Psalms). Jahn distinguishes keren, the horn or crooked trumpet," from chatsotserah, the straight trumpet, an instrument a cubit in length, hollow throughout, and at the larger extremity so shaped as to resemble the mouth of a short bill" (Archaolog. 95, 4, 5); but the generally received opinion is, that keren designates the crooked horn, and shophar the long and straight one. The cornet properly denotes a shrill wind military instrument of wood, now mostly superseded by the oboe. It was blown with a mouth-piece, and varied in size and tone (Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle). The sounds emitted from the cornet in modern times are exceedingly harsh, although they produce a solemn effect. SEE MUSIC.
"The silver trumpets (חֲצוֹצרוֹת כֶּסֶŠ) which Moses was charged to furnish for the Israelites were to be used for the following purposes: for the calling together of the assembly, for the jdurneying of the camps, for sounding the alarm of war, and for celebrating the sacrifices on festivals and new moons (Nu 10:1-10). The divine command through Moses was restricted to two trumpets only, and these were to be sounded by the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests of the sanctuary, and not by laymen. It would seem, however, that at a later period an impression prevailed that 'while the trumpets were suffered to be sounded only by the priests within the sanctuary, they might be used by others, not of the priesthood, without the sacred edifice' (Conrad Iken's Antiquitates Hebraicae, par. 1, sec. 7, 'Sacerdotum cum instrumentis ipsorum'). In the age of Solomon the 'silver trumpets' were increased in number to 120 (2Ch 5:12); and, independently of the objects for which they had been first introduced, they were now employed in the orchestra of the Temple as an accompaniment to songs of thanksgiving and praise.
"Yobel', יוֹבֵל, used sometimes for the 'year of Jubilee' (שׁנִת הִיּוֹבֵל; comp. Le 25:13,15, with 25:28, 30), generally denotes the institution of Jubilee; but in some instances it is spoken of as a musical instrument, resembling in its object, if not in its shape, the keren and the shophar. Gesenius pronounces yobel to be 'an onomato-poetic word, signifying jubilum or a joyful sound, and hence applied to the sound of a trumpet signal, like , תּרוּעָה' ('alarm,' Nu 10:5); and Dr. Munk is of opinion that ' the word YOBEL is only an epithet' (Palestine, p. 456 a, note). Still it is difficult to divest yobel of the meaning of a sounding instrument in the following instances: 'When the trumpet (הִיּוֹבֵל) soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount' (Ex 19:13); 'And it shall come to pass that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn' (בּקֶרֶן הִיּוֹבֵל, Jos 6:5); 'And let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns' (יוֹבלַים שׁוֹפרוֹת, Jos 6:6). SEE JUBILEE.
"The sounding of the cornet (תּקַיעִת שׁוֹפָר) was the distinguishing ritual feature of the festival appointed by Moses to be held on the first day of the seventh month, under the denomination of a day of blowing trumpets' (יוֹם תּרוּעָה, Nu 29:1), or 'a memorial of blowing of trumpets'
(זַכרוֹן תּרוּעָה, Le 23:24); and that rite is still observed by the Jews in their celebration of the same festival, which they now call 'the day of memorial' (יוֹם הִזַּכָּרוֹן), and also 'New Year' (רֹאשׁ הִשָּׁנָה). 'Some commentators,' says Rosenmüller, 'have made this festival refer to the preservation of Isaac (Genesis 22), whence it is sometimes called by the Jews 'the Binding of Isaac' (עֲקֵדִת יַצחָק). But it is more probable that the name of the festival is derived from the usual kind of trumpets (ram's horns) then in use, and that the object of the festival was the celebration of the new year and the exhortation to thanksgivings for the blessings experienced in the year just finished. The use of cornets by the priests in all the cities of the land, not in Jerusalem only (where two silver trumpets were added, while the Levites chanted the 81st Psalm), was a suitable means for that object' (Morgenland, vol. 2, No. 337, on Le 23:24).
"Although the festival of the first day of the seventh month is denominated by the Mishna 'New Year,' and notwithstanding that it was observed as such by the Hebrews in the age of the second temple, there is no reason whatever to believe that it had such a name or character in the times of Moses. The Pentateuch fixes the vernal equinox (the period of the institution of the Passover) as the commencement of the Jewish year; but for more than twenty centuries the Jews have dated their new year from the autumnal equinox, which takes place about the season when the festival of 'the day of sounding the cornet' is held. Rabbinical tradition represents this festival as the anniversary of the creation of the world, but the statement receives no direct support from Scripture. On the contrary, Moses expressly declares that the month Abib (the moon of the spring) is to be regarded by the Hebrews as the first month of the year: 'This month shall be unto you the beginning (ראשׁ) of months; it shall be the first (ראשׁ) month of the year to you' (Ex 12:2) (Munk, Palestine, p. 184 b). SEE YEAR.
"The intention of the appointment of the festival 'of the sounding of the cornet,' as well as the duties of the sacred institution, appear to be set forth in the words of the prophet, 'Sound the cornet (שׁוֹפָר) in Zion, sanctify the fast, proclaim the solemn assembly' (Joe 2:15). Agreeably to the order in which this passage runs, the institution of 'the festival of sounding the cornet' seems to be the prelude and preparation for the awful day of atonement. The divine command for that fast is connected with that for
'the day of sounding the cornet' by the conjunctive particle אִך. 'Likewise on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement' (Le 23:27). Here אִך (likewise) unites the festival 'of the day of sounding the cornet' with the solemnity of the day of atonement precisely as the same particle connects the 'festival of tabernacles' with the observance of the ceremonial of 'the fruit of the hadar-tree, the palm branches,' etc. (Le 23:34-40). The word 'solemn assembly' (עֲצָרָה) in the verse from Joel quoted above applies to the festival 'eighth day of solemn assembly' (שׁמינַי עֲצֶרֶת) (Le 23:36), the closing rite of the festive cycle of Tisri (see Marks, Religious Discourses, 1:291- 2).
"Besides the use of the cornet on the festival of 'blowing the trumpets,' it is also sounded in the synagogue at the close of the service for the day of atonement, and, among the Jews who adopt the ritual of the Sephardim, on the seventh day of the feast of tabernacles, known by the post-biblical denomination of 'the Great Hosannah' (הוֹשִׁענָה רִבָּה). SEE TRUMPET.