Musical Instruments in the bible, Part 7 – Percussion, Part 1

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Musical Instruments in the bible, Part 7

Percussion Instruments, Part 1 – [Menana – Cornets (Sistrum)]

[Study Aired November 2, 2023]

This week we will be looking at the first of five different percussion instruments in the bible, the menana:

  • Menana – Cornets (Sistrum)
    1. Meziltayim – Cymbals
    2. Paamon – Bells
    3. Toph – Timbrel / Tabret
  • Tselatsal (possibly Zelzelim) – Cymbals

Starting with this excerpt from


—————–End of Excerpt—————–

The first and only mention of the Menana is found in (2 Samuel 6:5). 


2Sa 6:5  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 cornetsH4517, and on cymbals. 
2Sa 6:6  And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
2Sa 6:7  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 

The context in which this instrument appears in the bible is where we learn of Uzzah who “put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it” (2Sa 6:5-6). Uzzah represents that carnal part of us that naturally wants to walk to the beat of our own drummer, the way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death (Pro 14:12). Uzzah tried to steady the ark that had been shaken by the oxen carrying it, which kindled God’s wrath against him (2Sa 6:7). These are the sounds that would have been ringing in his ear at that time “on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornetsH4517 and on cymbals” (2Sa 6:5). This event unfolded at Nachon’s threshingfloor, as it is tied to repentance, which is what we experience when our old man is sifted like wheat as opposed to our spiritual life in Christ. Satan desires to destroy and sift us like wheat but cannot if we are in the Lord’s hands in this life (Joh 6:39). In the positive sense, Uzzah’s death represents a new beginning for those who are judged first in this life and carries with it a sobering reminder of the severity and goodness of God (1Pe 4:17, Rom 11:22). Our ability to sin is as natural as the knee-jerk reaction of Uzzah to steady the ark, who meant well but by those actions brought God’s wrath upon him. We pray as the body of Christ, “And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” so that our thoughts and actions are pleasing to God and not going in the way of Cain (Psa 19:14, Jud 1:11).

Pro 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Rom 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Luk 11:4  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Psa 19:14  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Jud 1:11  Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

In the negative sense, the death of Uzzah represents the death of our potential growing life in Christ (Heb 6:3-6), because of our yet carnal mind that wants to help steady God’s plan and purpose with our own carnal actions and self-righteous reasonings (Php 3:9) as opposed to operating by the faith of Christ Who is our hope of glory within (Gal 2:20, Col 1:27) whose spirit gives us the power and ability to handle the holy things (Rev 11:3, Heb 13:10) by overcoming our carnal nature that is naturally against or contrary to the things of the spirit (Rom 11:20-26 , Gal 5:17, Rom 16:17, Col 1:27). 

Heb 6:3  And this will we do, if God permit.
Heb 6:4  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 
Heb 6:5  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 
Heb 6:6  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Rom 11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Rom 11:21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 
Rom 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 
Rom 11:23  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
Rom 11:24  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

This story of Uzzah was written for our sakes (1Co 10:11-12) teaching us that we are all able, in an instance like these oxen did, to shake and disrupt the ark of the covenant that typifies Christ in us as our hope of glory within, our rest into which we are labouring to enter (Heb 12:14-15, Heb 4:9-12). 

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. [even the things the beasts were caused of God to do (Eph 1:11)]
1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Heb 4:9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 
Heb 4:10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. [not trying to steady the ark with our own hands]
Heb 4:11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest [being found with his righteousness and not our own (Php 3:9)], lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief [unbelief being connected to when we have not “ceased from his own works” (Joh 6:28-29, Php 2:12-13)]. 
Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The principle lesson in this story of Uzzah, among many other lessons, is that our help comes from the Lord alone who gives us dominion over the beasts that we are, even when we stumble and fall as we are promised we will do (Pro 24:16). Satan wants to sift us like wheat, and deceive the very elect if it were possible as he tried to do with Christ (Luk 22:31, Mat 24:24, Mat 4:6), but God’s elect are promised that none can take them out of His hand (Joh 18:9) and that we will be more than conquerors through the love of God found in Christ being shed abroad in our hearts (Luk 22:31-32, Rom 8:37-39, Rom 5:5). The Lord is working in the body of Christ to that end to stabilize our relationship with one another in the Father and the Son (Joh 14:20, 1Pe 5:8-10, Joh 17:3).

Joh 14:20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Luk 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
1Pe 5:10  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus [Joh 17:3], after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

The root of the word menanaH4517 is taken from H5128. It’s informative to look at the definition here that closely resembles the actions of the oxen in this story of Uzzah who were caused by God to “shake” and bring about the events that led to Uzzah’s death. His death in the negative represents a drawing back and not living by faith moment when he took the actions he did in trying to steady the ark (Heb 10:38-39).

Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Another thing to gather from this story is the fear that it produced in a displeased David (2Sa 6:8-10), similar to how “great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things” when Ananias and Sapphira died for their disobedience (Act 5:11). It all just seemed so severe for the flesh, and it was (Rom 11:22)!

2Sa 6:8  And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. 
2Sa 6:9  And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me? 
2Sa 6:10  So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite. 

The world will see the actions of God sparing the few before sparing the vast majority of mankind (Mat 22:14) as being severe and will be displeased (Mat 20:11-13), not knowing that their actions, like Uzzah’s, of claiming their own righteousness is all they can do unless the Lord builds the house, working in us both to will and do of God’s good pleasure in this age, which is to give the elect the kingdom (Mat 7:22-23, Psa 127:1, Php 2:12-13, Luk 12:32).

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

If we are apprehended by Christ in this age as that sacrifice that is bound to the altar being spoken of in Psalm 118 (Rom 12:1, Psa 118:27), then all boasting is going to be excluded by the law of faith (Php 3:13, Rom 3:27), being those blessed servants who have been given the power to be found faithfully providing spiritual meat in due season, and able through Christ to forget what is behind us as we reach forth to those things which are before (Mat 24:43-51, Php 3:14-15).

Psa 118:27  God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Rom 3:27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 

Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up [Mar 13:37].
Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. [be ready always (Luk 21:26-28) and give God all the glory for that readiness of the bride who will be made ready (Rev 19:7)]
Mat 24:45  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Mat 24:46  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Mat 24:47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
Mat 24:48  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
Mat 24:50  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Rom 11:22).

Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 
Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 
Php 3:15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.


This study regarding the menana percussion instrument is very closely tied to the story of Uzzah found in 2 Samuel 6:5-8. God’s elect are called out of the world and told not to touch the unclean thing (2Co 6:17), and what we can learn from Uzzah is that the unclean thing is not the physical ark that represents Christ, but the sinful actions that come from within the man [Uzzah – and all of us] God causes to take actions that are against Him [the unclean man touching the clean ark] (Rev 18:4, Mat 15:11, Mary represents the church, the body of Christ [Col 1:24] wanting to touch Christ in the flesh but in need of going through a process of judgment to be able to maturely handle the things of God [Joh 20:17, 2Co 5:16]). We must be raised in heavenly places in order to touch the things of God that are hidden from the world, as we die daily in Christ (Eph 2:6, Rom 6:3-4).

Rev 18:4  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her [Isa 4:1, Isa 3:1], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Mat 15:11  Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. 

Joh 20:17  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

2Co 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more [The process is to go from the natural to the spiritual (1Co 15:46)].

The ‘unclean thing’ is not any of these five percussion instruments, but rather the unclean thing is in us, while being ‘touched’ or ‘heard’ yet not hearing “another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Christ tells us the world can hear His words, and at the same time not believe (Joh 12:47). The world hears God’s word but doesn’t confess that Christ has come in their flesh, because He has not done so at this time (1Jn 4:3-6, Rom 8:9). 

Joh 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: [I measure him not (Rev 11:2)] for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world [each man in his own order (1Co 15:23-24)].

1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jn 4:5  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1Jn 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 

Of those who are in the world God says, “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.” Hearing means there is a relationship in the world; a partnership that is saving its own flesh. God’s elect hear the voice of the true Shepherd who has called us to lose our life in order to find it, and by grace through faith (Eph 2:8) are led of the spirit of God and given the power to seek God’s will in all things as Christ did (Mat 16:25-26, Mat 24:13, Joh 5:30). 

Mat 16:25  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Joh 5:30  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

The word measure is connected to percussion instruments and music in general, (which “serve typically to delineate or emphasize rhythmexcerpt from Percussion instrument | Definition, Types, History, Examples, & Facts | Britannica),  and the spiritual significance for us is twofold. Firstly, we are not to measure the court (Rev 11:2), that is to try to change a world Christ tells us to come out of and says this of “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (1Jn 4:17). Secondly, the elect’s life is being measured and judged in Christ who we are maturing into (Mat 7:2) because we are blessed to hear and believe God’s words (Rev 1:3) and continue in them (Rev 11:1-2, Eph 4:13, Eph 4:16). 

Mat 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 7:3  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye [Rev 11:1]; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye [judging matters in the body, examining ourselves, our own flesh and bones (Eph 5:30, 1Co 11:31-32), looking well to the flock (1Pe 4:17, Act 20:28and one day, Lord willing, we will judge all the nations of this world (1Co 6:2, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10)]. 
Mat 7:6  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Rev 11:1  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
Rev 11:2  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

We believe in God and Christ (Joh 14:1-4) who make it possible for us to witness to the world that we are being led by the spirit of God, a spirit that bears witness that we are His sons and daughters (Rom 8:14-16). The measure that the body of Christ is becoming is described in these verses, and is connected to the 144,000 who represent the bride of Christ:  (Rev 7:4, Rev 14:1, Rev 14:3, Rev 21:17)

Rev 7:4  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Rev 14:1  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

Rev 14:3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Rev 21:17  And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

Next week, Lord willing, we will continue to look at the last few percussion instruments on this list.

  • Meziltayim – Cymbals
  • Paamon – Bells
  • Toph – Timbrel / Tabret
  • Tselatsal (possibly Zelzelim) – Cymbals

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