Manners & Customs: Music
Music in the Ancient World
David and Music
David the boy musician. Through the centuries Israel shepherd boys have played their simple dual-piped flutes made of reed, in the presence of their flocks. The strains of the music are minor, but it appeals to both the shepherd and the sheep. No doubt David's musical experience began with this instrument, when he cared for the family flock. But in addition to playing on this shepherd's instrument, young David became famed for his ability to use what our Bible versions have called "a harp." Now the instrument was not large enough to be like what Westerners today would call a harp. It would be more appropriate to call it "a lyre." Such an instrument is actually a modified form of harp, being portable.
The sound-chest forms the base of it. "From the end of this arise two rods curved or straight connected above by a crosspiece, and the strings are stretched upward from the base to the crosspiece."
When Saul's servants were asked to look for someone who could play on this instrument with ability, one of their number said: "I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing" (I Samuel 16:18). And thus David came to play for King Saul when he had one of his fits of sadness, in order to refresh him.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
David and Psalms
David the writer and collector of Psalms. David not only played on instruments, he also under all kinds of situations, penned beautiful Psalms that helped to make up the Hebrew hymn book, we call the Book of Psalms. He drew upon his boyhood experiences to write his immortal Shepherd Psalm (Psalm 23). He wrote of his experiences when he fled from the hand of King Saul and hid in a cave (Psalm 57). And he celebrated the deliverance which the LORD gave him over all his enemies by writing Psalm 18. When he repented of his great sin, he gave to the world his Penitential Psalm (Psalm 51). Thus in writing down under the Spirit's inspiration his personal experiences, men and women through the centuries have been spiritually blessed. But it must be remembered that these Psalms of David (and of other Hebrews) were originally songs of Israel. No doubt many of the Psalm not written by David were collected by him and inserted in the king's musical selection of poems for use in divine worship. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
David Inventor of Musical Instruments
David the originator of certain musical instruments. The chronicler of the Hebrew kings says of David, "Four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith" (I Chronicles 23:5). And again, "And the Levites stood with the instruments of David" (II Chronicles 29:26). Either King David was himself the inventor of these instruments for worship, or at least he was responsible for their invention, for they were called his instruments. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
David Leader of Hebrew Worship
David the organizer of Hebrew musical worship. It would appear that the Hebrew liturgy for many years following David's life was what was originally prescribed by him.
The musical service rendered by the Levites in the worship of the sanctuary was organized by David. He was responsible for appointing certain ones to this task. "And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God" (I Chronicles 16:42). We are told that Heman had fourteen sons and three daughters. And "all these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of GOD, according to the king's order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight" (I Chronicles 25:6, 7).
No doubt these singers and players sang Psalms accompanied by instruments. When King David became organizer and director of Hebrew sacred music, it may be said that he made his nation famous for its music for years to come. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Jesus and His Disciples Sang Together
The fourth reference is what happened at the end of the Last Supper. The record reads: "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives" (Mark 14:26). Unquestionably what JESUS and his disciples sang was from the Psalms. It was the custom of the Jews to sing at the close of the Passover meal, Psalm 115 to 118. The manner of singing was what we would call chanting, and the music itself was in the minor key. Orthodox Jews today observe similar customs. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Jesus Spoke of Minstrels
When JESUS came into the home where the ruler's daughter had died, Matthew says: "He saw the minstrels" (Matthew 9:23). The minstrels were flute-players. In the Orient even today, professional mourners are called in to express sorrow for the loss of the deceased one. And if the family can afford to do so, as would be true of the ruler, flute-players are also brought in to express mourning through these instruments. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Jesus Spoke of Music and Dancing
A third reference to music is in CHRIST's famous story of the Prodigal Son. When the wayward boy returned home, his father celebrated with a banquet. And when the elder brother came in from the field it is said "he heard music and dancing" (Luke 15:25). It was customary at banquets to have singers and players on instruments, especially flute-players, along with dancers. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Jesus spoke of the Pipe
JESUS spoke of the children playing in the market place. "We piped unto you, but ye have not danced. We have mourned to you, and ye have not wept" (Luke 7:32). There are two groups of children represented here. One of them has a pipe, perhaps a shepherd's flute, and plays upon it as is done at a wedding procession all the way to the feast, saying:
"Let's play wedding." But the other group refuses to join in the play. Then the one group begins to sing and wail as is done in a funeral procession, suggesting, "Let's play funeral," but the other group continues obstinately to refuse to co-operate.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Jubal the First Musician
ORIGIN OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS -
JUBAL, THE PIONEER MUSICIAN. Concerning him Scripture says: "He was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ [pipe]" (Genesis 4:21). Doubtless this means he was the inventor of these musical instruments, and as he was not many generations removed from Adam, we may infer that music has always played an important role in the history of mankind.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Music in Ancient Babylon and Ur
Babylonian musical instruments preceding Abraham. Since Abraham spent his early life in Ur of the Chaldees, it is more than likely that some of the musical instruments used by the patriarchs had their origin in that land. Woolley's excavations at Ur brought to light from one of the death pits in connection with a royal tomb, four harps or lyres, one of which was a magnificent specimen. The artistic beauty of these gold and mosaic musical instruments emphasizes the fact that the musical art was at a high level in those ancient days.
A cylinder-seal of a queen of the land of Abraham's birth, who reigned about a thousand years before his time, reveals the fact that timbrels were being used at banquets and at religious gatherings.
Jacob's father-in-law Laban, lived in Babylonian territory, and when Jacob left him in haste, he said to him: "Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly . . . that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?" (Genesis 31:27). This suggests the possibility that some of these musical instruments as used in Babylonia found their way into the life of the early Hebrews. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Music in Ancient Egypt
Egyptian musical instruments influencing Moses and Israel. Moses received a thorough education at the hands of the Egyptians, and music was an important part of his training. Music was greatly emphasized in Egyptian religious services. The following instruments were used by them: the harp, the lyre, the flute, the tambourine, and cymbals. Dancing was commonly connected with the use of musical instruments.
Some phases of Egyptian musical customs most probably followed the Israelites from Egypt into the land of Canaan.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Music in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Jubal was the inventor of musical instruments (Gen. 4:21).
Hebrews were much given to the cultivation of music.
history and literature afford abundant evidence of
the Deluge, the first mention of music is in the
Laban's interview with Jacob (Gen. 31:27). After
passage of the Red Sea, Moses and the children of
their song of deliverance (Ex. 15).
But the period of Samuel, David, and Solomon was the
age of Hebrew music, as it was of Hebrew poetry.
Music was now
for the first time systematically cultivated. It was
essential part of training in the schools of the
Sam. 10:5; 19:19-24; 2 Kings 3:15; 1 Chr. 25:6).
There now arose
also a class of professional singers (2 Sam. 19:35;
The temple, however, was the great school of music.
conducting of its services large bands of trained
players on instruments were constantly employed (2
Sam. 6:5; 1
Chr. 15; 16; 23;5; 25:1-6).
In private life also music seems to have held an
place among the Hebrews (Eccl. 2:8; Amos 6:4-6; Isa.
24:8, 9; Ps. 137; Jer. 48:33; Luke 15:25).
Music in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
(For illustrations, see DANCE; DAVID; FLUTE; HARP;
JEDUTHUN.) Its invention is due to a Cainite, Jubal son of
Lamech, "father (first teacher) of all such as handle the
harp (lyre) and organ" (pipe). "The lyre and flute were
introduced by the brother of a nomadic herdsman (Jabal); it
is in the leisure of this occupation that music is generally
first exercised and appreciated" (Kalisch: Genesis 4:21).
"Mahalaleel," third from Seth, means "giving praise to God,"
therefore vocal music in religious services was probably
earlier than instrumental music among the Cainites (Genesis
5:12). Laban the Syrian mentions "songs, tabret
(tambourine), and harp" (Genesis 31:27); Job (Job 21:12)
"the timbrel (tambourine), harp, and organ (pipe)". Instead
of "they take," translated "they lift up (the voice)," as in
Isaiah 42:11, to accompany "the tambourine," etc. (Umbrett.)
Thus the "voice," stringed and wind instruments, include all
kinds of music. The Israelite men led by Moses sang in
chorus, and Miriam led the women in singing the refrain at
each interval, accompanied by tambourine and dances (Exodus
Music rude and boisterous accompanied the dances in
honor of the golden calf, so that Joshua mistook it for "the
noise of war," "the voice of them that shout for the mastery
and that cry for being overcome" (Exodus 32:17-18). The
triumphant shout of the foe in the temple is similarly
compared to the joyous thanksgivings formerly offered there
at solemn feasts, but how sad the contrast as to the
occasion (Lamentations 2:7). The two silver trumpets were
used by the priests to call an assembly, and for the
journeying of the camps, and on jubilant occasion (Numbers
10:1-10; 2 Chronicles 13:12). (On the rams' (rather Jubilee)
horns of Joshua 6, see HORNS.) The instruments at
Nebuchadnezzar's dedication of his golden image were the
"cornet," like the French horn; "flute" or pipe blown at the
end by a mouthpiece; "sackbut," a triangular stringed
instrument with short strings, in a high sharp key;
"psaltery," a kind of harp; "dulcimer," a bagpipe, emitting
a plaintive sound, a Hebraized Greek word, sumfonia (Daniel
The schools of the prophets cultivated music as a
study preparing the mind for receiving spiritual influences
(1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 19:19-20): at Naioth; also at
Jericho (2 Kings 2:5; 2 Kings 2:7), "when the minstrel among
Jehoshaphat's retinue played, the hand of Jehovah came upon
Elisha" (2 Kings 3:15); Gilgal (2 Kings 4:38); Jerusalem (2
Kings 22:14). "Singing men and women" were at David's court
(2 Samuel 19:35), also at Solomon's (Ecclesiastes 2:8;
Gesenius translated for "musical instruments and that of all
sorts," shiddah wishidot, "a princess and princesses".) They
also" spoke of Josiah in their lamentations, and made them
an ordinance in Israel" (2 Chronicles 35:25).
Music was often introduced at banquets (Isaiah
5:12), "the harp and viol" (nebel, the "lute", an instrument
with 12 strings), etc. (Luke 15:25.) Amos 6:5; "chant
(parat, 'mark distinct tones,' the Arabic root expresses an
unmeaning hurried flow of rhythmical sounds without much
sense, as most glees) to the sound of the viol, and invent
to themselves instruments of music like David"; they fancy
themselves David's equals In music (1 Chronicles 23:5;
Nehemiah 12:36). He added to the temple service the stringed
psaltery, kinor ("lyre"), and nebel ("harp"), besides the
cymbals. These as distinguished from the trumpets were
"David's instruments" (2 Chronicles 29:25-26; 1 Chronicles
15:16; 1 Chronicles 15:19-21; 1 Chronicles 15:24; 1
Chronicles 23:5). The age of Samuel, David, and Solomon was
the golden one alike of poetry and of music. The Hebrew use
of music was inspirational, curative, and festive or
mournful. David's skill on the harp in youth brought him
under Saul's notice, and he played away Saul's melancholy
under the evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:16-23)...
Music in Naves Topical Bible
1Ch 15:22; 25:7,8; 2Ch 23:13
-Physical effect of, on man
-Discoursed during the offering of sacrifices
Ne 12:42; Hab 3:19
-Chambers for musicians in the temple, in Ezekiel's vision
Re 5:8,9; 14:2,3; 15:2,3
Invented by Jubal
Invented by David
1Ch 23:5; 2Ch 7:6; 29:26; Am 6:5
Made by Solomon
1Ki 10:12; 2Ch 9:11; Ec 2:8
Made by Tyrians
DULCIMER, a double pipe
GITTITH, a stringed instrument
Ps 8; 81; 84
ORGAN, probably composed of pipes furnishing a number of
Ge 4:21; Job 21:12; 30:31; Ps 150:4
SACKBUT, a harp
TIMBREL, a tambourine
VIOL, a lyre
Isa 5:12; 14:11; Am 5:23; 6:5
-SYMBOLS USED IN
A musical term which appears in
And in the title of
(It seems to indicate the rendering of the song by
voices, possibly soprano)
It appears in the titles of
Ps 57:1; 58:1; 59:1; 75:1
(it seems to have been used to indicate the kind of ode,
the kind of melody in which the ode should be sung.)
(According to Gesenius, it signifies the murmuring tone
harp, and hence that the music should be rendered in
(Combined with "Selah," it may have been intended to
a pause in the vocal music while the instruments
(Mendelssohn translates it "meditation, thought." Hence,
music was to be rendered in a mode to promote devout
-MAKALATH, MASCHIL, LEANNOTH
These terms are found in the titles of...
Music in Smiths Bible Dictionary
1. The most ancient music. --The inventor of musical
instruments, like the first poet and the first forger of
metals, was a Cainite. We learn from Ge 4:21 that Jubal the
son of Lamech was "the father of all such as handle the harp
and organ," that is, of all players upon stringed and wind
instruments. The first mentioned of music in the times after
the deluge is in the narrative of Laban's interview with
Jacob, Ge 32:27 so that, whatever way it was preserved, the
practice of music existed in the upland country of Syria,
and of the three possible kinds of musical instruments two
were known and employed to accompany the song. The three
kinds are alluded to in Job 21:12 On the banks of the Red
Sea Moses and the children of Israel sang their triumphal
song of deliverance from the hosts of Egypt; and Miriam, in
celebration of the same event, exercised one of her
functions as a prophetess by leading a procession of the
women of the camp, chanting in chorus the burden of the song
of Moses. The song of Deborah and Barak is cast in a
distinctly metrical form, and was probably intended to be
sung with a musical accompaniment as one of the people's
songs. The simpler impromptu with which the women from the
cities of Israel greeted David after the slaughter of the
Philistines was apparently struck off on the spur of the
moment, under the influence of the wild joy with which they
welcomed their national champion. "the darling of the sons
of Israel." 1Sa 18:6,7 Up to this time we meet with nothing
like a systematic cultivation of music among the Hebrews,
but the establishment of the schools of the prophets appears
to have supplied this want. Whatever the students of these
schools may have been taught, music was an essential part of
their practice. Professional musicians soon became attached
to the court.
2. The golden age of Hebrew music. David seems to
have gathered round him "singing men and singing women." 2Sa
19:35 Solomon did the same, Ec 2:8 adding to the luxury of
his court by his patronage of art, and obtaining a
reputation himself as no mean composer. 1Ki 4:32 But the
temple was the great school of music, and it was consecrated
to its highest service in the worship of Jehovah. Before,
however the elaborate arrangements had been made by David
for the temple choir, there must have been a considerable
body of musicians throughout the country. 2Sa 6:5 (David
chose 4000 musicians from the 38,000 Levies in his reign, or
one in ten of the whole tribe. Of these musicians 288 were
specially trained and skillful. 1Ch 26:6,7 The whole number
was divided into 24 courses, each of which would thus
consist of a full band of 154 musicians, presided over by a
body of 12 specially-trained leaders, under one of the
twenty-four sons of Asaph, Heman or Jeduthun as conductor.
The leaders appear to have played on the cymbals, perhaps to
make the time. 1Ch 15:19; 16:5 All these joined in a special
chant which David taught them, and which went by his name.
1Ch 23:5 Women also took part in the temple choir. 1Ch 13:8;
25:5,6 These great choirs answered one to another in
responsive singing; thus the temple music most have been
grand and inspiring beyond anything known before that time.
3. Character of Hebrew music.--As in all Oriental
nations, the music of the Hebrews was melody rather than
harmony, which latter was then unknown. All old and young,
men and maidens, singers and instruments, appear to have
sung one part only in or in octaves. "The beauty of the
music consisted altogether in the melody;" but this, with so
many instruments and voices, was so charming that "the whole
of antiquity is full of the praises of this music. By its
means battles were won, cities conquered, mutinies quelled,
diseases cured." --ED.)
4. Uses of music. --In the private as well as in the
religions life of the Hebrews music held a prominent place.
The kings had their court musicians, 2Ch 35:25; Ec 2:8 and
in the luxurious times of the later monarchy the effeminate
gallants of Israel amused themselves with devising musical
instruments while their nation was perishing ("as Nero
fiddled while Rome was burning"). But music was also the
legitimate expression of mirth and gladness The bridal
processions as they passed through the streets were
accompanied with music and song. Jer 7:34 The music of the
banquets was accompanied with song and dancing. Lu 15:26 The
triumphal processions which celebrated victory were
enlivened by minstrels and singers. Ex 15:1,20; Jud 5:1;
11:34 There were also religious songs. Isa 30:29; Jas 5:13
Love songs are alluded to; in Ps 45:1 title, and Isai 5:1
There were also the doleful songs of the funeral
procession, and the wailing chant of the mourners. The
grape-gatherers sang at their work, and the women sang as
they toiled at the mill, and on every occasion the land of
the Hebrews during their national prosperity was a land of
music and melody.
Music in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
1. The Sole Art Cultivated
2. A Wide Vocabulary of Musical Terms
3. Place in Social and Personal Life
4. Universal Language of Emotions
5. Use in Divine Service
6. Part at Religious Reformations
II. THEORY OF MUSIC
1. Dearth of Technical Information
2. Not Necessarily Unimpressive
III. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
3. Percussion Instruments
That the Hebrews were in ancient times, as they are at the
present day, devoted to the study and practice of music is
obvious to every reader of the Old Testament. The references
to it are numerous, and are frequently of such a nature as
to emphasize its importance. They occur not only in the
Psalter, where we might expect them, but in the Historical
Books and the Prophets, in narratives and in declamations of
the loftiest meaning and most intense seriousness. And the
conclusion drawn from a cursory glance is confirmed by a
1. The Sole Art Cultivated:
The place held by music in the Old Testament is unique.
Besides poetry, it is the only art that Art seems to have
been cultivated to any extent in ancient Israel. Painting is
entirely, sculpture almost entirely, ignored. This may have
been due to the prohibition contained in the Second
Commandment, but the fidelity with which that was obeyed is
2. A Wide Vocabulary of Musical Terms:
From the traces of it extant in the Old Testament, we can
infer that the vocabulary of musical terms was far from
scanty. This is all the more significant when we consider
the condensed and pregnant nature of Hebrew. "Song" in our
English Versions of the Bible represents at least half a
dozen words in the original.
3. Place in Social and Personal Life:
The events, occasions, and occupations with which music was
associated were extremely varied. It accompanied leave-
taking with honored guests (Gen 31:27); celebrated a signal
triumph over the nation's enemies (Ex 15:20); and welcomed
conquerors returning from victory (Jdg 11:34; 1 Sam 18:6).
It was employed to exorcise an evil spirit (1 Sam 18:10),
and to soothe temper, or excite the inspiration, of a
prophet (2 Ki 3:15). The words "Destroy not" in the titles
of four of the Psalms (compare Isa 65:8) most probably are
the beginning of a vintage-song, and the markedly rhythmical
character of Hebrew music would indicate that it accompanied
and lightened many kinds of work requiring combined and
uniform exertion. Processions, as e.g. marriages (1 Macc
9:39) and funerals (2 Ch 35:25), were regulated in a similar
way. The Psalms headed "Songs of Degrees" were probably the
sacred marches sung by the pious...
Music Scripture - 2 Chronicles 23:13
And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at
the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king:
and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with
trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and
such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes,
and said, Treason, Treason.
Music Scripture - 1 Chronicles 15:22
And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, [was] for song: he
instructed about the song, because he [was] skilful.
Music Scripture - Habakkuk 3:19
The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like
hinds' [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high
places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Music Scripture - Nehemiah 12:42
And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and
Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers
sang loud, with Jezrahiah [their] overseer.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS FOR THE USE OF MUSIC
Among the Hebrews, vocal and instrumental music together with dancing were employed on most occasions of great joy. Victories in battle were thus celebrated. In this way the women of Israel ce1ebrated the victory of young David and the army of Saul over the Philistines. "And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick" (I Samuel 18:6). At the coronation of the boy King Joash, music was prominent. "And all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise" (II Chronicles 23:13). Music was also part of the entertainment at banquets. "And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts." Thus wrote Isaiah about the feasts of his day (Isaiah 5:12).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Old Testament Musical Instruments
CHARACTER OF SOME OLD TESTAMENT MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
It has already been indicated that the Old Testament word "harp" describes a "lyre." The word "organ" is the "pipe," and is more like our flute than any other instrument. The "psaltery" and "viol" are stringed instruments, there being much uncertainty concerning their exact nature. "The cymbal consisted of two large and broad plates of brass, of a convex form; which being struck against each other, made a hollow ringing sound. They form in our days, a part of every military band."
The "dulcimer" (Daniel 3:5) is rendered is the same as the "bagpipe."
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Prophets and Music
THE PROPHETS' USE OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Beginning with Samuel, the prophets of Israel made much use of music and musical instruments in connection with then prophesying. Samuel told Saul, "Thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy" (I Samuel 10:5). Music helped to create the right atmosphere for spiritual exercises of devotion. Concerning Elisha the prophet it was said: "But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him" (II Kings 3:15).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Refusing to Sing in Babylon
ABSENCE OF MUSIC IN THE CAPTIVITY
In predicting the judgment of the captivity days for Israel because of her sins, the prophet said: "The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth" (Isaiah 24:8). Music largely ceased among the captive Hebrews in Babylonia. The exiles composed a psalm in which they said:
"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps (lyres) upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning" (Psalm 137:1-5).
The Babylonian captors had heard of the songs of Zion for which Jerusalem was noted, and asked their captives to sing one of them for them. But the Jewish religious singing was so vitally connected with the Temple of Jerusalem that they refused to sing such a song in a foreign land. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
The shepherd's flute. A dual-piped flute of reed is generally carried by the Arab shepherd. It is true that minor strains of music come from this flute, but the heart of the shepherd is stirred, and the sheep of the flock are refreshed by the invigorating music that comes from this simple instrument. There can be little question but that David used such an instrument when he was with his flock, in the same way the shepherd lads have done for centuries around Bethlehem. It is of interest to know that the word in the Arabic language which is the equivalent of the Hebrew word for "psalm" is mazmoor, which means "played on a pipe or flute." [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Song of Miriam
The Song sung by Moses and Miriam at the Red Sea is one such a song (Exodus 15). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Song of Miriam After Crossing the Red Sea
MUSICAL CELEBRATION OF RED SEA VICTORY
After the miraculous crossing of Israel through the Red Sea, the victory over the Egyptians was fittingly celebrated with music. "And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances" (Exodus 15:20). There was the singing of a song, the words of which Moses gives us. This was accompanied by the use of the timbrel, and along with it was dancing. This timbrel was a circular hoop, made of either wood or brass, and covered with skin tightly drawn, and with small bells hung around it. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Songs in the New Testament
NEW TESTAMENT SONGS AND MUSIC
The New Testament contains a number of songs, not all of which are ordinarily considered to be songs. There is the Magnificat, or Song of Mary, sung in anticipation of the birth of JESUS (Luke 1:46-55); and the Benedictus, or Song of Zacharias, sung after the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:67-79); and the Song of the Angels, sung to the Bethlehem shepherds upon the birth of JESUS (Luke 2:14); the Apostle Paul's Hymn of Redemption (Ephesians 1:3-14)12; and a Hymn of the Early Church (I Timothy 3:16).
John's book of Revelation contains several references to songs and music. "A new song" is sung in Heaven in chapter 5:9, 10. "The Song of Moses" and "The Song of the Lamb" are sung in chapter 15:3, 4. Babylon's fall is described graphically, and concerning it John said: "And the In his vision of Heaven John "heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps," and a song was sung before GOD's throne (Revelation 14:2,3). The word for "harp" used here is not the equivalent of the Old Testament word, more correctly rendered "lyre," which was a portable harp. Rather it is indeed a harp, the music of which is sweeter than that of earth's most beautiful instruments. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Songs in the Old Testament
SOME SONGS OF THE HEBREW BIBLE
In addition to the Book of Psalms, there are numerous Hebrew poems that were originally sung as songs and are now a part of the Hebrew Bible. Some editions of the Scriptures print these in poetic form. The Song sung by Moses and Miriam at the Red Sea is one such a song (Exodus 15). When GOD gave Israel water in the wilderness, they sang the Song of the Well (Numbers 21:17,18). And Moses put his final warnings and instructions to Israel into a song which he taught them (Deuteronomy 32). The Song of Deborah (Judges 5) was sung in order to celebrate a victory over the Canaanites. The Song of Hannah (I Samuel 2) was sung as a mother's thanksgiving for the birth of her son Samuel. And the Song of Solomon was a song celebrating the love between the LORD and Israel His bride. Other songs might be added to this list.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Sound of the Trumpet
ISRAEL'S USE OF TRUMPETS
The trumpets as used by the Hebrews were in three forms. The earliest form was made from the horn of an ox or a ram. A second form was a curved metallic trumpet. And a later form was the straight trumpet, a representation of which is seen on the Arch of Titus.
Moses was commanded of the LORD to make two silver trumpets which were to be sounded forth "for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps" (Numbers 10:2). Also GOD told them: "If ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets" (Numbers 10:9). The fiftieth year, or the Year of Jubilee, was ushered in on the Day of Atonement by the blowing of the trumpets (Leviticus 25:8, 9). Throughout the history of Israel, trumpets were used to gather the people together in times of war that they might go to battle, and usually in times of peace that they might come to the sanctuary for the purpose of divine worship.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Trumpet in Naves Topical Bible
Made of ram's horn
-Made of silver
-Uses of, prescribed by Moses
-Used in war
Job 39:24,25; Jer 4:19; 6:1,17; 42:14; 51:27; Eze
2:2; 3:6; Zep 1:16; 1Co 14:8
-To summon soldiers
2Sa 2:28; 18:16; 20:22
-By Gideon's soldiers
-In war, of Abijah
-In the siege of Jericho
-Sounded in time of danger
Eze 33:3-6; Joe 2:1
-Used at Mount Sinai
Ex 19:13-19; 20:18; Heb 12:19
-On the great day of atonement
-At the jubilee
-At the bringing up of the ark of the covenant from the
household of Obed-edom
2Sa 6:5,15; 1Ch 13:8; 15:28
-At the anointing of kings
1Ki 1:34,39; 2Ki 9:13; 11:14
-At the dedication of Solomon's temple
2Ch 5:12,13; 7:6
1Ch 15:24; 16:42; 25:5; Ps 81:3,4
-At Jehoshaphat's triumph
-At the foundation of the second temple
-At the dedication of the wall
Isa 27:13; Eze 33:3; Joe 2:1; Zec 9:14; Mt 6:2
Mt 24:31; 1Co 15:52; 1Th 4:16; Re 1:10; 4:1; 8; 9:1-
See MUSIC, INSTRUMENTS OF
THE WEDDING PROCESSION
The bridegroom set out with the bride from the house of her parents, and there followed a grand procession all the way to his house. The streets of Asiatic cities were dark, and it was necessary that anybody venturing forth at night should carry a lamp or torch (cf. Psalm 119:105). Those invited guests, who did not go to the bride's home were allowed to join the procession along the way, and go with the whole group to the marriage feast. Without a torch or lamp they couldn't join the procession, or enter the bridegroom's house.
The Ten Virgins waited for the procession to arrive at the point where they were waiting; and five wise ones were able to proceed because they had a reserve supply of oil for their lamps; but the foolish virgins lacked that oil and so, not being ready, they were barred from the wedding feast (Matthew 25:1-13).
The lamps carried by these virgins have been described by Dr. Edersheim:
"The lamps consisted of a round receptacle for pitch or oil for the wick. This was placed in a hollow cup or deep saucer, . . . which was fastened by a pointed end into a long wooden pole, on which it was borne aloft.
In going from the bride's house to the groom's house, the bride allowed her hair to be loose and flowing, and she had her face veiled. Some of her own relations preceded her in the procession, and scattered ears of parched grain to the children along the way. There were demonstrations of joy all along the road to the destination. Part of the procession included men who played on drums or other musical instruments. And there was dancing along the way.
One of the punishments Jeremiah predicted for the Jews, because of their sins, was the taking away of wedding joys. "Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride" (Jeremiah 7:34).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
If you notice a broken link or any error PLEASE report it by clicking
© 1995-2014 Bible History Online