The trumpet is the most frequently referenced instrument in the Bible, by far. But what was the trumpet used for in Bible times? The answer can be found in this post, as we explore the use of trumpet music for people of the Old Testament. Trumpets are mentioned in over ninety verses in the Old Testament alone, so there are definitely some patterns that we can see from all these passages.
Purposes of the trumpet in the Old Testament - summary
As I read through these various Bible verses about trumpets, I found there were several uses for trumpets that were specifically mentioned. Among these were the following:
Passages that talk about the trumpet - verse listing and summaries
Here is a listing of all the references to trumpets that I could find in the Old Testament, and a brief summary of the context of each:
Wow -- if you made it through the reading of that whole list, you deserve some kind of award. If you also looked up and read each of the corresponding verses, you are a true scholar. This Bible study was very enlightening to me. The trumpet is a common theme in the Bible; and by studying these themes we can draw parallels and compare Scripture with Scripture. I hope you have benefited, as I have, from this look at the most frequently mentioned instrument in the Bible. Stay tuned for a (much shorter) summary of trumpet verses in the New Testament!
Have you seen the other posts in this series? Read them here:
Music in the Bible #1
Music in the Bible #2
Music in the Bible #3
Music in the Bible #4
If you'd like to add anything to this post, please feel free to leave your comments. Thanks!
Rick McDonnell is a vocalist, voice teacher, and the head blogger at Harmony Passion. Rick enjoys family time, barbershop quartets, singing at church and community events, personal finance, technology, P90X workouts, and studying and teaching the Bible as the youth director at his church. Rick and his wife Bethany use the knowledge gained by earning college degrees in music to teach voice and piano students in their home studio and in music studios in nearby Thomasville, GA.
3/28/2015 04:48:55 pm
Where can I find a trumpet like the one pictured here? I need one for a prop. It does not have to work.
Alan, I have had the best results looking for this type of specialty item on eBay. I would search for "bugle" and see what is available. It is likely you could find both playing and non-playing versions. If you want a longer style bugle, I would search for "herald bugle". Good luck!
1/4/2017 12:08:43 pm
hey Rick! since the last trump in the Revelation is blown by God, but the seven trumpets by angels, could it mean that "the last trump" should also be the last on your list?
6/1/2015 02:22:35 am
I'm doing a study on trumpet sounds specifically in the book of Judges when Gideon called for a gathering in sixth chapter I was just curious if in your study if you had come across any information how these specific calls would have sounded. have these trumpet calls been passed down from generation to generation in the nation of Israel I just thought it would be interesting to hear how distinctive the sounds were.
To be honest, Gavin, I'm not sure what they sounded like. If I were to guess, I would think that the trumpet calls of Bible times would sound quite different from military calls we hear today. Some of the calls were played on ram's horns, which in contrast to horns of brass or other metals would have more mellow warm sound, and less of bright clean edge we would associate with trumpets today. In Babylon, the sackbut was used, which is the equivalent to the modern-day trombone. It is likely that without modern precision engineering, however, this instrument would have had a more airy, breathy sound than our modern trombone.
Marinus de Bruijne
11/19/2015 12:56:52 am
Hallo Rick. I am so glad to find a kindred spirit regarding music in the Bible. I am a pastor of the Walvis Bay Baptist Church in a small town called Walvis Bay, Namibia (South Western Africa). I am a self taught musician and vocalist and leads our corporate singing. I have started a study on music in the Bible about three years ago. My first step was to list all the verses pertaining to music, secondly to order them and thirdly to draw some kind of general guideline for music in our corporate singing from these texts. I have asked very much the same questions you have: what instruments were use, how were they used, when were they used etc. My first post on my blog was "What instruments were used in the Bible", "The Bible and bands" and "the Bible and amplification. It is just amazing that two people could think so alike in these matters. I would like to keep in touch and share some ideas and research?
7/1/2016 09:50:43 am
I was preparing Sermon about Trumpet from Numbers 10:1-10. And I got much help from your article. Thank you very much for your kind efforts. Khadga from Nepal: South Asia.
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