The Ancient Harp
The harp has always been
known to be a beautiful sounding stringed instrument. The above
painted sketch is from an actual harp in ancient Biblical times.
The Harp in the Ancient World
In ancient times the harp was
played with the hand while walking. It had multiple strings and sometimes a
"And Saul's servants said unto
him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now
command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a
cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil
spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou
shalt be well."
1 Samuel 16:15-16
"And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on
harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals."
2 Samuel 6:5
"After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that 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: And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
1 Samuel 10:5-6
The Bible mentions
the "harp" many times:
1 Samuel 16:23 - And it
came to pass, when the [evil] spirit from God was upon Saul, that
David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul
was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
10:5 - After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where
[is] the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass,
when thou art come thither to the city, that 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:
- Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the
cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer,
and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I
have made; [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same
hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who [is] that
God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
- Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I
[myself] will awake early.
- Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the
cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds
of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down
[and] worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had
Chronicles 25:3 - Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun;
Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six,
under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a
harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD.
108:2 - Awake, psaltery and harp: I [myself]
will awake early.
16:16 - Let our lord now command thy servants, [which are]
before thee, to seek out a man, [who is] a cunning player on an
harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit
from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou
shalt be well.
- Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear
the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut,
psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and
worship the golden image:
23:16 - Take an harp, go about the city, thou
harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs,
that thou mayest be remembered.
- [That] at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute,
harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick,
ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the
king hath set up:
147:7 - Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise
upon the harp unto our God:
150:3 - Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him
with the psaltery and harp.
31:27 - Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal
away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee
away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?
71:22 - I will also praise thee with the psaltery, [even]
thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp,
O thou Holy One of Israel.
- The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice
endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.
- And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe,
and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the
LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.
Corinthians 14:7 - And even things without life giving
sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a
distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or
16:11 - Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp
for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh.
- Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the
psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings.
4:21 - And his brother's name [was] Jubal: he was the father
of all such as handle the harp and organ.
- My harp also is [turned] to mourning, and my organ
into the voice of them that weep.
- I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying
upon the harp.
- Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant
harp with the psaltery.
- Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the
harp with a solemn sound.
149:3 - Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing
praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
- They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the
sound of the organ.
- Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy:
yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
- Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the
harp, and the voice of a psalm.