“[A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.] LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.”
Several of the psalms begin with the instruction “with stringed instruments”. Although this instruction is not included in verse 1 of the psalm, it is, in fact, part of the inspired text. We can verify this by looking at the identical phrase at the end of Habakkuk 3:19. The instruction is given to the choirmaster, or chief of singers. It could simply be that Hebrew did not have a word to use for “conductor of the tabernacle orchestra”, but it is true that many stringed instruments produce a sound akin to that of the human voice.
We do not know for sure what stringed instrument was used. We know that King David played a harp, but this would not have been a huge symphony orchestra harp. Rather, it would have been even smaller than a Celtic harp, and the player could probably have sat with the instrument resting on his lap. The sound, which is, after all, just vibrations of the air, is produced by vibrating a string – by plucking, hitting, or bowing it. Today’s stringed instruments include guitars, violins, and pianos.
We have discussed before that the first musician mentioned in the Bible was from the wicked Cainite line. But, in Psalms we see how musical sounds created by such instruments could be used to praise our Creator. He who created sound gave us the creativity to use those sounds for beautiful effects.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the gift of music. Thank You especially for those musicians that know You and love You, and use their music for Your praise and glory. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: What Does the Bible Say about Music? < https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-music.html >, accessed 1/28/2020. Image: Piano strings, Public Domain image.
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