In the previous chapter, the trumpet of God was briefly examined in terms of its initiation of the sequence of the three-stage event that has been studied thus far. Just what could Paul have meant by the "trumpet of God" in I Thessalonians 4:17? Does the idea of God Almighty placing a gold or silver trumpet to his mouth come to mind? Given his omnipotence, the idea of the Creator of the universe placing a literal trumpet to his mouth in heaven seems a bit unnecessary. Could it be that the trumpet of God is actually his voice rather than a trumpet that he places to his mouth and blows?
Fortunately, there is a wealth of scripture that will shed some light on these questions. The first is Exodus chapter 19, in which the scene is set for the giving of the Ten Commandments. The following is the Septuagint version of the passage:
Exo 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day, as the morning drew nigh, there were voices and lightnings and a dark cloud on Mount Sinai. The voice of the trumpet [salpiggo] sounded loud, and all the people in the camp trembled.
Exo 19:17 And Moses led the people forth out of the camp to meet God, and they stood by under the camp.
Exo 19:18 Now Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke, because God had descended upon it in fire; and the smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the people were exceedingly amazed.
Exo 19:19 And the sounds of the trumpet [salpiggo] were growing much louder. Moses spoke, and God answered him with a voice.
It is clear from this famous account that the voice heard from the mountain was the sound of a trumpet. As God spoke to Moses, his voice reverberated and shook Mount Sinai, and the people were extremely terrified. When Paul recounted this spectacle in the letter to the Hebrews, the voice of the trumpet is again mentioned:
Heb 12:18 For you have not come to something that can be touched, to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind
Heb 12:19 and the blast of a trumpet [salpiggos] and a voice uttering words such that those who heard begged to hear no more
The trumpet and the voice are again combined in describing Godís communication to the Israelites. Another example of supernatural communication and trumpets is found in Revelation, when John encountered the Lord on the isle of Patmos:
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lordís Day when I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet [salpiggo],
Rev 4:1 After these things I looked, and there was a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet [salpiggo] said: "Come up here so that I can show you what must happen after these things."
Revelation chapter 1 states that John heard the resurrected Jesus Christ speaking to him, who would have been seated at the right hand of God after his ascension. In both cases, John described the voice he heard as a loud trumpet blast.
The Voice and the Shaking
In each of the verses explored above, the Greek words salpiggi or salpiggo are used to describe a trumpet or the sound of the trumpet. These Greek words are also found in the two prophetic passages in I Corinthians and I Thessalonians in describing the sound just before the dead are resurrected:
I Cor 15:52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet [salpiggi]. For the trumpet will sound [salpisei], and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
I The 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet [salpiggi] of God [theos], and the dead in Christ will rise first.
According to Strongís Concordance, these words are associated with the reverberation and vibration sound made by a trumpet when it is blown. These Greek words have root word origins that are too interesting and important to bypass. Again according to Strongís Concordance, one root word is salos, which means the quavering or billowing of the waves on the sea, and is used but once in the New Testament:
Luke 21:25 "And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves [salou].
A second root word for the Greek salpiggo is saino, which means to be shaken, troubled or disturbed. Saino, too, is used but once in the New Testament:
I The 3:3 so that no one would be shaken [sainesthai] by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.
But it gets even more interesting. The Greek saino for "would being shaken" is derived from the Greek verb saleuo, which according to Strongís Concordance means to waver, shake, or agitate. This verb is used several times in the New Testament, but it also has a primary root verb. That primary verb is seio, which means to rock or vibrate to and fro, to cause to tremble or tremor, or to cause to shake or quake. One important verse that was discussed in the previous chapter uses this verb:
Mat 27:51 Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook [eseisthe] and the rocks were split apart.
The primary Greek verb seio is the word from which the English "seismograph", a device that measures earthquakes, is derived. It is also the root of the Greek noun seismos, the common word for earthquake or shaking in the New Testament, and is used in an important verse that was also discussed in the previous chapter:
Rev 11:13 Just then a major earthquake [seismos] took place and a tenth of the city collapsed; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake [seismos], and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Using these root words, a pattern of clues begins to form regarding what the trumpet of God may actually be, and what will happen when it is sounded:
- The voice of the trumpet was heard when God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and when John heard the voice of the Lord on the isle of Patmos.
- The voice of the trumpet on Mount Sinai was so loud that it caused the earth to shake and vibrate.
- The trumpet of God will be sounded when the Lord descends and the dead in Christ are resurrected.
- The Greek word for the voice of the trumpet is salpiggo, which is derived from a verb that is related to the reverberation or vibration sound of a trumpet.
- The Greek salpiggo has its roots in salos, saino, saleuo, and seio, which are all used in the New Testament to describe motion, shaking, quaking, reverberation, or vibration. The Greek word seismos, or earthquake, is derived from the primary verb seio.
This pattern of clues reveals that the voice of the Lord is the sound of a trumpet. The meaning of the Greek word "trumpet" has its roots in motion and vibration, and a trumpet will sound at the resurrection of the dead in Christ, which will be a worldwide resurrection. His voice will sound like the reverberating sound of a trumpet, causing the dead in Christ to awake from death and rise with an imperishable body, and powerful shaking in the surrounding earth. The shout of command may be similar to the command given Lazarus: to "come forth!". Jesus confirmed that his voice is what would cause the dead to rise:
Joh 5:28 "Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice
Joh 5:29 and will come outóthe ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation.
This passage is referring to the resurrection of the dead, which has been reviewed in previous chapters. In I Thessalonians 4:16 and I Corinthians 15:52, Paul revealed the mystery of the resurrection of the dead, but Jesus foretold the event by stating that the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. That voice will not only contain a command to come out of the grave, but will also produce a massive shaking on the earth.
A passage that blends this study together is Hebrews 12:18-21, where Paul provided a short recounting of what took place in Exodus chapter 19 on Mount Sinai. After this description, Paul indicated a future shaking on the earth and in the heavens is coming, comparing it to the shaking of the earth on Mount Sinai:
Heb 12:26 Then his voice shook [esaleusen] the earth, but now he has promised, "I will once more shake [seiso] not only the earth but heaven too."
This verse follows Paulís account of what happened on Mount Sinai at the giving of the Ten Commandments, discussed above. The verb esaleusen is from saleuo, meaning to shake or agitate, and the verb seiso is from seio, meaning to cause to vibrate or quake, both of which were discussed above. This verse is therefore stating that Godís voice shaking the earth when he descended on Mount Sinai is an example of the a future seiso, or shaking, that is to come on the earth.
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The preceding was an excerpt from the 6th chapter of Earthquake Resurrection: Supernatural Catalyst for the Coming Global Catastrophe by David W. Lowe. The book features a unique prophetic model involving a pattern with earthquakes and resurrections which sheds new and intriguing light on the future resurrection in connection with a global catastrophe. If you have comments or questions about this excerpt or the book, you may