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The inventor of the musical instrument, like the first poet, and the first forger of metal, was a descendant of Cain. We learn this from the passage which states of Jubal:
Genesis 4:21, "And his brother's name [was] Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ."
This man, therefore, invented the wind and stringed instruments. Before him, there was probably only some percussion instruments on which early ancestors may have beaten. It is from Jubal that we get the word "jubilee." However, the ancients called musicians and singers "kayne" or the descendants of Cain.
The first mention of music after the deluge is the narrative in Genesis where Laban asks Jacob:
Genesis 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?"
This shows that music played an important part in the festivities of the home. It also seems to show that music was preserved by Noah and his family during the flood. No doubt instruments of music were taken on board the ark, and Noah and his family were able to cheer themselves during their year's sojourn in that monstrous boat. These instruments in the hand of Laban show that the musical instruments had found their way into the upland country of Syria.
In the Exodus, after the people of Israel had escaped from Egypt to the opposite shores of the Red Sea, Moses and the people sang a victory song.
Exodus 15:1, "1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spoke, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea."
The voices of thousands, in fact over a million, singing this song of praise glorifying Jehovah, must have been glorious.
Miriam, the sister of Moses, celebrated this event with the women of the camp.
Exodus 15:20-21, "20 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. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea."
The voice of the women, and the instruments of music are combined in praise to God. The two instruments called the timbrels and dances will be studied further later.
At Beer, God gave the people water and the people of Israel sang this song.
Numbers 21:17, "Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it."
Moses gave instruction to Israel before he died. Some of these warnings were by means of songs.
Deuteronomy 31:30, "And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended."
Singing was used for instructive purposes, and for admonishing the people of God. Just as the majority of us learned our ABC's by song, so some of God's Word was taught by song. Joshua used instruments of music, called trumpets of ram's horns, to bring down the walls of Jericho.
Joshua 6:4, "And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets."
Deborah and Barak celebrated their victory in war by songs in the time of the Judges.
Judges 5:1-3, "1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, 2 Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. 3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, [even] I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing [praise] to the LORD God of Israel."
Jephthah's daughter also used instruments of music to run to greet her father.
Judges 11:34, "And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she [was his] only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter."
She used them to greet loved ones, rather than send them away, as Laban had proposed to do for Jacob.
Saul was welcomed home from the battle of the Philistines by the women shouting and playing on instruments of music.
I Samuel 18:6, "And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music."
David, who was very cunning on the harp, often played his harp to comfort King Saul.
I 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."
When King Saul was troubled with evil spirits, David came to play to relieve his situation.
1Samuel 18:10, "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and [there was] a javelin in Saul's hand."
We should pause here to note that up to this point in time, instruments of music were not commanded by God. He did not institute instrumental music in worship in the law of Moses. The only music used in the days of Moses was spontaneous praise to God by the people. A ram's horn was blown to call the assembly together.
Numbers 10:7-9, "7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. 8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. 9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies."
But God never ordained instrumental music as a part of the law in the worship of God.
DAVID AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF MUSIC
It was during the days of David that instrumental music was commanded in the worship by God. David was the one who was used of God to introduce music as a systematic art among the Hebrews. The Scriptures state in:
II Chronicles 29:25, "And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for [so was] the commandment of the LORD by his prophets."
The remaining verses of the chapter show instrumental and vocal music being used in the worship of God, as God commanded.
Professional musicians became popular in both the palace and the temple. Chenaniah was one of the first teachers of music.
I Chronicles 15:22, "And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, [was] for song: he instructed about the song, because he [was] skilful."
David gathered musicians around him and used them in the service of God. They played and sang and even gave prophecies by means of Psalms, as even David himself did. Later, a king of Israel selected two hundred and eighty-eight men to play their instruments in praise to God, while Jeduthun and others prophe-sied.
I Chronicles 25:1-3, "1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was: 2 Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king. 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. "
Instruments of music are even called: "Instruments of music of the Lord."
II Chronicles 7:6, "And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy [endureth] for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood."
At one time 4000 men were used to praise the Lord with these instruments.
I Chronicles 23:5, "Moreover four thousand [were] porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, [said David], to praise [therewith]."
When Solomon dedicated the temple, we read that it was so well received by God that His glory filled the house of God. The priests could not minister at the altar for the cloud of His glory.
II Chronicles 5:12-14, "12 Also the Levites [which were] the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, [being] arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:) 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers [were] as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up [their] voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, [saying], For [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: that [then] the house was filled with a cloud, [even] the house of the LORD. 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God."
Solomon had a many voice, salaried choir with furnished houses, but years later the choir and musicians seemed to fall into disuse due to idolatry. Then in Hezekiah's day, the instruments and choir were brought back together again to praise the Lord, as the prophets had commanded David.
II Chronicles 29:25-29, "25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for [so was] the commandment of the LORD by his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began [also] with the trumpets, and with the instruments [ordained] by David king of Israel. 28 And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: [and] all [this continued] until the burnt offering was finished. 29 And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped."
God again received the Jews because they had returned to keeping His commands of the law of Moses, and of the ordinances He had later revealed to His servant David.
During the captivity, the Jews hung their harps on the willows and wept. They had been renowned for their music and the captors wanted them to play and sing their songs.
Psalms 137:3b, "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."
But they could not. The golden age of music was over. They would not return to their music until Jerusalem was again theirs.
MUSIC AFTER CAPTIVITY
When Josephus wrote, he informs us that music of David was sung in several sorts of meter. Some were trimeters, and some dentameters. He says that Moses' song was a hexameter. [Antiquites, 7;12:3]. He also informs us that after the captivity the foreign king gave them instruments to use in the worship of God [Antiquites 11:3;8]. He shows them returning to Jerusalem with instruments of music in great joy. [Antiquites 11:3,9]
Ezra 2:41, "The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight."
Nehemiah 7:44, "The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight."
In Jesus' day the temple still resounded with joy, as they sang to the accompaniment of all kinds of instruments, for we are told by one, Jesus, the son of Sirach, "The singers sang praises with their voice, with variety of sounds was there made sweet melody." Ecclesiasticus 1:18.
The above brief survey of music in the Old Testament helps us see the growing use of music. From starting out with a worldly descendant of Cain, it progressed into the very worship of God in His holy temple, by His command. The instruments are found right in the temple where Jesus went to worship. After Jesus died, the apostles still went to worship in the temple.
Acts 2:46, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart."
Acts 3:1, "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, [being] the ninth [hour]."
Acts 24:11, "Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship."
However, after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., the Jews forbade the use of instruments in worship. "As long as the Judaeo-Christians remained one of the Jewish sects, they continued the musical traditional of their forefathers." Again, "How far Judaism's prohibition of all instrumental music used shortly after the destruction of the temple had influenced the cause of events, is hard to determine. It seems, though, that up to the third century Judaeo-Christians' opinions were still heeded by the Church." [Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. II, p.283 and 285]. Thus the Jews hung their harps again on the willows and would sing no more the songs of praise to God. That the Church temporarily joined this practice is a sad commentary on their understanding of the destruction of Jerusalem. But that is not the subject of this paper.
THE CHARACTER OF HEBREW MUSIC
As in all oriental music, the Hebrews' music was not as much harmony as melody. All the singers, old and young, male and female, usually sang in unison. However, there are exceptions. Sometimes the leaders would sing the first half of a verse and the congregation would finish it. Other times the leader would sing a verse and the rest would repeat it. At other times he, the leader, would sing and the people would sing the refrain of "Amen" or "Hallelujah." Sometimes the different classes of people would sing parts. For example, young maidens or young men would sing the melody. The musical accompaniment sustained the melody. Sometimes the same Psalms would be repeated by another person in a lower or higher key. This repetition would seem monotonous, but it did cause the Psalms to be familiar to the worshippers. One must remember that oriental music today is still strangely foreign to our Western ears.
It should be remembered that harps, flutes, and cymbals would be good instruments for melody. It was, no doubt, a shrill sound compared to our music today. As we later note musical language, we shall see other types of singing and music. The different meters mentioned by Josephus seem to tell us that their music may have been more varied than we suppose.
THE USES OF HEBREW MUSIC
Music was used among the Hebrews for more than the worship of God in the temple. It was used at joyous occasions, as we have already noted, to send away or to greet loved ones as Jephthah's daughter and Laban did. It was used to soothe the troubled in mind, as David did for King Saul. Solomon appears to have gathered musicians for pure delight.
Ecclesiastes 2:8, "I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, [as] musical instruments, and that of all sorts."
It was used in bridal processions.
Jeremiah 7:34, "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: for the land shall be desolate."
Music was used to express love to one's lover. Read Song of Solomon and Psalms 45:1-17.
There was the wailing chant of mourners at funerals, as well as those who sang as they toiled. Shepherds, like David, played their harps as they tended sheep. Prostitutes used the instruments as bait to entrap men, and to advertise their wares.
Isaiah 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."
On the other hand, as the people of God went went up to their festivals, they sang pieces of music which spoke of the Lord.
Read Psalms chapter 84
Isaiah 30:29, "Ye shall have a song, as in the night [when] a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel."
The ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem with great joy and singing.
I Chronicles 13:8, "And David and all Israel played before God with all [their] might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets."
I Chronicles 15:16-28, "16 And David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren [to be] the singers with instru-ments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; 18 And with them their brethren of the second [degree], Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters. 19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, [were appointed] to sound with cymbals of brass; 20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth; 21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel. 22 And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, [was] for song: he instructed about the song, because he [was] skilful. 23 And Berechiah and Elkanah [were] doorkeepers for the ark. 24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah [were] doorkeepers for the ark. 25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy. 26 And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams. 27 And David [was] clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also [had] upon him an ephod of linen. 28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps."
The school of the prophets seemed to encourage music throughout Israel.
I Samuel 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."
II Kings 3:15, "But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him."
From the above, we see that music was used in the home, as well as in the palace, the temple, and the field of service. Israel was no stranger to music. It played an important part in her history.
INSTRUMENTS OF MUSIC IN OLD TESTAMENT
There has been a great controversy as to the instruments among the Hebrews, but the discoveries on the monuments of Egypt, Assyria, and other nations, have thrown much light upon the form and nature of these instruments. There are three basic types of instruments. There are wind instruments, stringed instruments, and percussion instruments. We shall study them in that order. [The numbers following the Hebrew word is from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance for a more exhaustive, personal study.]
WIND INSTRUMENTS INCLUDE:
Horn: The "kehren" (7162) seems to have been some kind of an animal's horn. Joshua 6:5 It was made from a ram's horn. It's translated "cornet" in some places.
Trumpet: The "shophar" (7782) means "curved horn" and is used in Zechariah 9:14-15. The trumpet was sometimes made of metal. It was used in worship by the Levites.
Straight trumpet: The "khatsotseraw" (2689) is a trumpet which means "to quiver;" usually it is thought to be straight. Josephus says it was one cubit long. Numbers 10:1-2 and 9-10.
Oboe or pipe: The "khawleel" (2485) is a perforated pipe, thought to be an oboe. I Samuel 10:5; I Kings 31:40.
Silver trumpet: The "yabale" (3104) is a silver trumpet used to signal. Joshua 6:5.
Flute: The "mashrokee" (4953) makes a whistling sound, and is called a flute. Daniel 3:5.
Cornet: The "tawkah" (8628), which was distinguished from a trumpet, is improperly translated "trumpet." It means "to sound or clatter," and is thought to be a cornet. Ezekiel 7:14.
Organ: The "oog gawb" (5748), sometimes called the syrinx, is an organ which used a reed. It is a pipe. Job 21:12.
Dulicimer: the "seefonehyaw" (5481) is a bag pipe instru-ment with two reeds. Daniel 3:5, 10.
THE PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS
Tabret or timbrel: The "tofe" (8596) is a tabret, a trimbel or a tambourine, and is used in Genesis 31:27. It's a narrow hoop covered with tightened skin and struck with the hand. It's sometimes call "hadrus."
Sistrum: The "menahah" (4517) makes a rattling sound. II Samuel 6:5 is thought to be a sistrum that was shaken. It was of Sumerian origin.
Tinklers: The "metsayleth" (4700) was a double tinker, a type of double cymbal. I Chronicles 13:8.
Triangle or Dance: The "shalosh" (7991) was a triangle that one used for effect. It was also called the "dance," because it accompanied "merry making." I Samuel 18:6.
Cymbals: The "tselawtsal" (6767) was a cymbal. Psalms 150:5. There the instruments were used to mark time. There were both hand (large or loud) and thumb (high sounding) cymbals. I Chronicles 16:5. History says all cymbals were forbidden at the second temple in the century before Christ for some reason.
Bells: The "pahamone" (6472) were bells worn by the priests and were sometimes shaken or struck to music. Exodus 28:33-35.
Drum - tramourine: The "tawfaf" (8608) is a drum. There were several varieties of this instrument, from drum like tom-toms to kettledrums. An Egyptian drum was 2 1/2 feet tall and used to call men together. The most common type was like a tambourine. In Psalms 68:25 it is improperly translated "trimbrels." Some say it could be heard from Jerusalem to Jericho. This contradicts those who say Israel had no drums.
THE STRINGED INSTRUMENTS
The gath: The "ghitteeth" (1665) was a harp from Gath. Psalms chapter 8. It seems to have been used at vintage season. Isaiah 16:10.
The harp: the "kinnore" (3658) is a harp. Some of these have three strings, while others have more. It is usually made of almug (algum) wood. I Kings 10:12. Josephus says it had ten strings.
The viol or lute: The "nehbel" (5035) is a skin bag thought to be a lute or a viol, as used in I Samuel 10:5. This is usually made up of six strings across a wooden body. Amos 5:3.
The sackbut: The "sabbekaw" (5443) is mentioned in Daniel 3:5, and is thought to be a four-stringed instrument.
Zither: The "awsore" (6218) is a ten-stringed instrument, much like a lyre. It came from Phoenicia and was rectangular in shape. Psalms 33:2; 144:9.
Psaltery: The "pesantayreen" (6460) was made of fir wood, and gives forth a very soothing tone. It had twelve strings, and was of Greek origin. Daniel 3:7.
Lyre: The "keethawroce" (7030) was made of sheep's intestines, which were stretched over a sounding board, over a blank space and attached to a bar. A pick was used to play it. I Samuel 16:23.
1) The "kelee" (3627) is a type of psaltery without as many strings. I Chronicles 16:5.
2) The "mane" (4482) is a stringed instrument. Psalms 150:4.
Lute: The "machalath" (4257) is to be rubbed to make music. Psalms 88. It has a long, flat neck and a hollowed body of
wood, whose surface is perforated with holes.
VOCABULARY OF MUSICAL TERMS
Aijeleth shachar: (365 and 7837) Psalms 22, literally means "a doe of the dawn." It is to be sung to a tune by that title.
Alamoth: (5961) literally means "virgins." It is found in Psalms 46:1 and I Chronicles 15:20. It seems to indicate the rendering of song by female voices, probably soprano or falsetto.
Altaschith: (516) is the title of Psalms chapters 57-59 and 75. It literally means, "Thou must not destroy," which may mean that it was sung to a tune already in existence by that name. It is the same form as is found in Moses' prayer. "O Lord God, destroy not thy people." Deuteronomy 9:6. Notice, all these Psalms are for deliverance from the evil men.
Gittith: (1665) is a song to be sung on a harp of Gath, most of which are joyful Psalms. Psalms 8, 81, and 84.
Higgaion: (1902) is a murmuring sound to denote solemnity. It is rendered solemn sound in Psalms 92:3, where it is to be played plainifly. The word is translated "meditation" in Psalms 19:14 and 5:1.
Jeduthun: (3038) is a man's name, who was to sing this song. Psalms 39. There are several examples of others who were specifically assigned songs.
Jonath-elem-rechokim: (3128), which is "the silent dove of them afar off" in Psalms 56, is to be sung to the same tune by that name.
Leannoth: (6030) Psalms 88 is singing together by course.
Mahalath: (4257) Psalms 53 and 88 means "to be rubbed." Thus, it is to be played on the instrument we call a lute. It was to be plaintive or mournful.
Maschil: (4905) Psalms 53 means "to instruct a didactic poem or meditative ode."
Michtam: (4387) is "an engraving or poem." Psalms chap-ters 16, and 56-60. The expression, "O God" appears in each of these Psalms.
Muth-labben: (4192) Psalms 9 literally says, "to die for the Son." Probably this was sung to a song by that title. Some think that it is a funeral ode. Some think that it was a song to be sung by young men.
Neginah or neginoth: (5058) Psalms chapters 4, 6, 54-55, 61, 67, 76 are music to beat a tune with the fingers on stringed instruments. Most of these are Psalms of escape.
Nehiloth: (5155) Psalms 5 is to play on a flute or on a wind instrument.
Selah: (5542) Psalms 32, and others too numerous to mention, means "to hang or suspend." It is a cessation of the words, a pause for effect.
Sheminith: (8067) Psalms chapters 6 and 12 are songs which were to be played on an eight-stringed lyre and on lower octaves. Some believe that it was to only be sung by men's voices. I Chronicles 15:21.
Shiggaion: (7692) is a rambling poem or rhapsody to be shouted. Psalms 7; Habakkuk 3:1.
Shoshannim: (7692) Psalms chapters 45 and 69 are to be played on a straight trumpet.
Shushan-eduth: (7802) Psalms chapters 60 and 80 is the title of a popular song to which this song was to be sung, namely, "Lily of Testimony."
CONCLUSION AND PRACTICAL OBSERVATION
To sum up our study of the music of the Old Testament, we have traced its history from Cain's descendant, Jubal, to the temple's destruction in 70 A.D. We have studied about 28 instruments of the percussion, wind, and string varieties. We have seen the various uses that music played in their lives. We have seen the vocabulary of musical terms and how songs were sung to old familiar tunes, as well as addressed to specific persons, and in what mood the song was to be sung. The music of the Old Testament is interesting and informative. In the words of John Calvin, speaking of the Old Testament Psalms:
"This Book I am wont to style an anatomy of all parts of the soul. For no one will discover in himself a single feeling whereof the image is not reflected in this mirror. Nay, all griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, anxieties, in short, all those tumultuous agitations where with the minds of men are want to be tossed. The Holy Spirit hath here represented to the life."
The music of Israel was glorifying to God as He commanded through David and His prophets. The law of Moses was given totally to Moses. That which was given to David was not given at Mt. Sinai, and is not repealed. Psalms 92:1-3, "It is a good thing," says the Psalmist, "to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High, to show forth Thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, 3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery, upon the harp with a solemn sound."
May my reader appreciate again the rich heritage we have for the praise we offer to God. Music is the universal language of the soul. We would, therefore, state in closing the practical insights this study should have given each reader.
First: It is permissible to sing religious songs to secular tunes. Look at "Aijeleth shachar."
Second: Women sometimes sang alone and it was not a contradiction to their rule, that women were to learn in silence. Look at "Alamoth."
Third: Instrumental music was used without the voice for interludes, and to set the mood of the songs. Look at "Selah."
Fourth: It is proper to design songs for certain instruments, people or occasions. Look at "Neginoth," "Jedu-thun," and "Muthladden."
Fifth: It is proper to have responsive singing or to sing by course.
Sixth: That music can be an aid to setting the mood for the occasion. Look at "Leannoth."
Seventh: That music is designed for instruction, as well as praise. Look at "Maschil."
Eighth: Drums are proper in the worship of God . Look at "Tawfat."
Ninth: That instrumental music is not repealed, as it was commanded of David, and not of Moses. It is what was revealed at Mt. Sinai that has been repealed.
Psalms 150:6, "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."
[The above article was written by Brother Faull when he
was a Freshman in Bible College at 18 years old.]