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Musical Instruments of the Bible

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Musical Instruments of the Bible

Music fills the courts of heaven as heavenly beings praise our Lord and Creator. When God created the world, the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy (Job 38:7). God created man in His own image, to be a instrument of praise. He gave humans the ability to sing and to make music with musical instruments to complement the voice.

Music was an important part of the worship service at the temple. Certain groups of the Levitical tribes were designated as temple musicians and singers, offering their praises to God. David had a real gift of music, providing soothing harp music to King Saul when the king was distraught. David also commissioned most of the instruments and songs for the temple services. He also wrote most of the songs in Psalms, the longest book in the Bible.

Songs and poetry were also means to improve the memory, to help remember significant events or warnings. The Song of Moses is a good example of this.

From the introduction of the harp and flute early in Genesis to the song of the redeemed in God's heavenly city, music fills the Holy Scriptures. A number of songs are included in their entirety in this compilation. Our prayer is that your heart will be filled with music as together we study what the Bible has to say about music, songs and musical instruments.

The Shofar is the Ramshorn Trumpet and the Silver Trumpet

Shofar The shofar was (is) blown in different ways for different purposes. The Shofar is usually made from a rams horn, but longer spiral instruments are made from ibex horns. The shofar is the world's oldest wind instrument and an instrument of spiritual warfare. It is often translated in the Bible as trumpet. The word yovel is translated as "Jubilee" in Leviticus 25, but as "Shofar", or trumpet, in Joshua 6. The shofar is the sound of freedom or release from bondage!

The shofar was to be blown in God's presence (2 Samuel 6:15), to crown kings (1 Kings 1:15), to call people to consecrate themselves (Joel 2:1), to announce the coming of God's judgment (Joel 2:1), and to herald the coming of the Lord (Revelation 11:15). It is also a call to the resurrection of the dead (1 Thesalonians 4:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52).

The Tekieh is a single blast, rising at the end. It is a call to worship and praise. (Psalm 150:3)

The Shavarim are three rising blasts. The Shavarim calls for repentance and humility. (Isaiah 58:1)

The Teruah is a series of nine short blasts. It is a call to warfare, a celebration of victory or other celebration. (Psalm 47:5)

The Tekieh Gadol (Gadol means great, big or high) is a very long held and loud Tekieh. This is the sound like that which the Lord sounded on Sinai. Jewish tradition says that God took the two horns of the ram that was sacrificed instead of Isaac on Mount Moriah and that he blew one on Sinai, but He will blow the other to announce the coming of Messiah) That means this is the sound of the "Last Trumpet".

The Harp

Harp It is well known that David played the harp and used it while he composed many of the psalms. He was called to play to Saul to comfort him when his spirit was troubled.

The harp (nevel in Hebrew) had a part in worship, prophecy and healing.

The lyre (Kinnor in Hebrew) is smaller and a more portable, personal instrument.

The biblical harp was not heard in Israel for 2000 years, but has recently returned. Micah and Shoshanna Harrari made aliyah to Israel taking their harp making trade with them. When they researched harps, they discovered that the ten stringed harp of King David was considered a symbol of Israel. (Psalm 144:9).

Words in the Bible that refer to music or musical instruments.

harp(ist, ists, s)
horn, ram's horns
stringed instruments
music of the strings
the strings
music(al, ian, ians)
sing(er, ers, ing, s)

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"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."