v’-ra-AH et ha-KHE-rev ba-AH al ha-A-retz v’-ta-KA ba-sho-FAR v’-hiz-HEER et ha-AM
Military and Spiritual Preparedness
At the beginning of this chapter, Yechezkel (Ezekiel) compares the job of a prophet to a city’s watchman. Just as the guard alerts the townsfolk of impending danger, so is the prophet responsible for warning the people about the consequences of their actions. Ancient Israelite cities were built with towers connected to their walls where the watchmen would sit. In order to warn inhabitants of approaching enemies, the watchmen would blow a shofar (horn). In Judaism, the shofar has both military significance, and religious significance. By using the image of a shofar, Yechezkel combines the two themes of military and spiritual preparedness.