“Musical Instruments in the bible” Part I – Introduction and “the Voice”

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“Musical Instruments in the bible” Part I – Introduction and “the Voice”

[Study Aired September 14, 2-23]

This is a study on the musical instruments that are mentioned in the bible. There is spiritual significance connected to these physical items, just as there is to the temple of God and the vessels within the temple which we are (1Co 3:16). I’ll be using one main website that I found as a resource for the origins and names of those instruments and where they are mentioned in the bible: 

https://www.biblestudy.org/bible-study-by-topic/musical-instruments.html

I can’t confirm that this is an exhaustive list of all the physical instruments below, and I did want to also add the “voice” as an instrument, which is possibly the most significant and often mentioned one in the bible. In musical parlance, every instrument has its own voice that is generated by various means, whether percussion instruments, stringed or wind instruments, and oftentimes we will hear of their use in a singular manner or together as you would expect in a more orchestral environment, depending on the occasion.

I’m not sure at this point how long this series is going to go but I would like to launch it off by talking solely about the voice as the one instrument that we all have the potential to use. I’ve included a list below of the other instruments that I hope to look at in the coming weeks, Lord willing, and they are categorized in four main groups, voice, percussion, string, wind, and one unknown category that includes one ‘string-like’ instrument.

Excerpt from: https://www.biblestudy.org/bible-study-by-topic/musical-instruments.html:

  • Percussion

Hebrew: Menana
KJV Name: Cornets (Sistrum)
Strong’s: #H4517 
References: 2Samuel 6:5

The Hebrew menana is erroneously translated as “cornets” in the King James Version of 2Samuel 6:5. The word means “to rattle” and likely designates an instrument known as a sistrum.

Sistrums had rings or disks loosely attached to one or more bars fixed across a frame. The frame was constructed out of carved bronze or copper. The Sistrum was played by holding it upright and shaking it, allowing its rings to move back and forth on its bars. The menana was played when King David attempted to escort the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

Hebrew: Meziltayim
KJV Name: Cymbals
Strong’s: #H4700
References: 1Chronicles 13:8, 15:16, 19, 28, 16:5, 42, 25:1, 6, 2Chronicles 5:12 – 13, 29:25, Ezra 3:10, Nehemiah 12:27

The Hebrew word meziltayim means “double tinklers.” This instrument, made of brass, was utilized by the leaders of the Levitical singers and played a prominent role in religious ceremonies.

Hebrew: Paamon
KJV Name: Bell
Strong’s: #H6472
References: Exodus 28:33, 34, 39:25 and 36

Tiny bells and pomegranates were attached to the lower hem of the High Priest’s ephod. Although not loud, the bells signaled his location in the temple’s sanctuary.

Hebrew: Toph
KJV Name: Timbrel / Tabret
Strong’s: #H8596
References: Genesis 31:27, Exodus 15:20, Judges 11:34, 1Samuel 10:5, 18:6, 2Samuel 6:5, 1Chronicles 13:8, Job 21:12, etc.

The Hebrew word toph is translated 10 times as “timbrel” and 8 times as “tabret.” The toph, the oldest and most popular means of percussion, was a musical instrument of the drum kind. The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, in its section on the timbrel and tabret, states the following:

“It is very simple, consisting of a broad or narrow hoop of wood or metal over which the skin of an animal is stretched. Sometimes small, thin pieces of metal are hung upon the rim, which jingle when the timbrel is shaken, as in the modern tambourine.

The instrument is held high in one hand, while the performer beats on the drumhead with the fingers and the back of the other hand.”

Hebrew: Tselatsal (possibly Zelzelim)
KJV Name: Cymbals
Strong’s: #H6767
References: 2Samuel 6:5, Psalm 150:5

Tselatsals produced a loud clanging sound. This musical instrument was played when King David attempted to escort the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

  • String

Hebrew: Asor
KJV Name: Instrument of Ten Strings
Strong’s: #H6218
References: Psalm 33:2, 92:3, 144:9

The only thing known about the Asor was that it was a ten-stringed instrument. It was likely a type of harp such as a zither or lute.

Hebrew: Gittith
KJV Name: Gittith
Strong’s: #H1665
References: Psalm 8:1, 81:1 and 84:1

The name gittith suggests this musical instrument was retrieved by King David in the Philistine city of Gath.

Hebrew: Kathros
KJV Name: Harp
Strong’s: #H7030
References: Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15

Found only in the book of Daniel, the kathros (an Aramaic word) was a stringed instrument played at Nebuchadnezzar’s court. It was possibly a type of lyre.

Hebrew: Kinnor
KJV Name: Harp
Strong’s: #H3658
References: Genesis 4:21, 31:27, 1Samuel 10:5, 16:16, 23, 2Samuel 6:5, 1Kings 10:12, 1Chronicles 13:8, 15:16, 21, 28, 16:5, etc.

The kinnor has the distinction of being the first musical instrument recorded in Scripture. Its creation is credited to a man named Jubal who was of Cain’s lineage (Genesis 4:16 – 21). The kinnor is sometimes referred to as David’s harp.

This instrument is small enough to be played while walking (1Samuel 10:5) and made of wood. Its strings were crafted from sheep tripe. David, when an evil spirit bothered King Saul, would play his kinnor and chase the demon away (1Samuel 16:23)! The kinnor was used to worship and praise God (2Samuel 6:5, Psalm 43:4), utter prophecies (1Chronicles 25:3), and bid farewell to loved ones (Genesis 31:27).

Hebrew: Nebel
KJV Name: Psaltery, Viol
Strong’s: #H5035
References: 1Samuel 10:5, 2Samuel 6:5, 1Kings 10:12, 1Chronicles 13:8, 15:16, 20, 28, 16:5, 25:1, 6, 2Chronicles 5:12, 9:11, etc.

Nebel, in 23 Old Testament places, is translated “psaltery.” It is translated, in Isaiah 5:12, 14:11, Amos 5:23 and 6:5 as “viol.” Jewish tradition states that the Nebel stood upright as opposed to the handheld kinnor.

The psaltery, a type of harp, may have had as many as ten strings (Psalm 33:2, 144:9). It was used when the Ark of the Covenant was moved (1Chronicles 15:28) as well as in worshiping God (25:6).

Hebrew: Psanterin
KJV Name: Psaltery
Strong’s: #H6460
References: Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15

This instrument was used in the court of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar. It may have resembled a dulcimer that had its strings struck with small hammers.

Hebrew: Sabbka
KJV Name: Sackbut
Strong’s: #H5443
References: Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15

This instrument was used in the court of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar. It may have been a type of lyre or harp with four strings.

  • Wind

Hebrew: Halil
KJV Name: Pipe
Strong’s: #H2485
References: 1Samuel 10:5, 1Kings 1:40, Isaiah 5:12, 30:29, Jeremiah 48:36

The halil was one or two pieces of wood that were hollowed out with two or more holes. Its first Scriptural mention involved it being played by a group of prophets. This pipe was commonly played at festive occasions and during pilgrimages to Jerusalem. It could also be used during mourning (Jeremiah 48:36) and at funerals.

Hebrew: Hatsotserah
KJV Name: Trumpet
Strong’s: #H2689
References: Numbers 10:2 – 10, 31:6, 2Kings 11:14, 12:13, 1Chronicles 13:8, 15:24, 28, 16:6, 42, 2Chronicles 5:12 – 13, 13:12, etc.

The hatsotserah, a different musical instrument than the shofar, is mentioned 29 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. Hatsotserahs were trumpets that were straight, narrow and quite long (possibly .9 meters or 2.9 feet). They were constructed out of silver (Numbers 10:1 – 2) or gold, had a flared end and produced a high shrill tone.

This type of trumpet was used to signal the Israelites, when they wandered the wilderness for forty years, to assemble and break camp (Numbers 10:5). It was an important part of temple worship (1Chronicles 15:28, 2Chronicles 15:14) and considered one of the sacred utensils (2Kings 12:13, Numbers 31:6). The hatsotserah was blown on New Moons and other festive occasions as well as at the temple’s daily offerings (2Kings 11:14, Hosea 5:8, Psalm 98:6).

Hebrew: Kehren
KJV Name: Cornet
Strong’s: #H7162
References: Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15

This musical instrument, found only in the book of Daniel, was commonly used in the court of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar. According to Clarke’s Commentary, it was a horn that could make a deep and hollow sound as well as one that was piercing.

The cornet, along with other instruments, was used by Nebuchadnezzar at the dedication of a huge golden statue in his likeness. The statue was 60 cubits (at least 87.5 feet or 26.7 meters) tall by six cubits (8.75 feet or 2.67 meters) wide.

Babylon’s officials, as well as the people, were commanded to bow down and worship the image when they heard the instruments play (Daniel 3:3 – 5). All those refusing to do so would be put to death in a fiery furnace. Daniel’s three friends, who rejected this idolatry, were thrown into this fiery trial of their faith but were miraculously saved by God (Daniel 3).

Hebrew: Mashroqiy
KJV Name: Flute
Strong’s: #H4953
References: Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15

This instrument is found only in Daniel in the KJV. It, along with others, was used by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to signal when those he ruled over were to worship a huge golden statue made in his likeness. The mashroqiy may have been the Chaldean name for a flute with two reeds. Tyndale’s Dictionary and the ISBE believe it was similar to Pan’s pipe.

Hebrew: Shofar
KJV Name: Cornet / Trumpet
Strong’s: #H7782
References: Exodus 19:16, 19, 20:18, Leviticus 25:9, Joshua 6:4 – 20, Judges 3:27, etc.

The Hebrew word shofar is recorded 72 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, all of which are mistranslated in the KJV. It is erroneously called a trumpet 68 times and a cornet 4 times (Psalm 98:6, 1Chronicles 15:28, 2Chronicles 15:14, Hosea 5:8). The shofar and trumpet, according to the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, are two distinct instruments as delineated in Psalm 98:6 and 1Chronicles 15:28.

The shofar is mentioned more than any other musical instrument in the Bible. It is the only instrument that survives in its original form that is still used in modern Jewish liturgy. It was usually made from the curved horn of a ram or goat. Shofars announced the New Moons and Sabbaths (Psalm 81:3), warned of approaching danger, and signaled the death of nobility.

Hebrew: Ugab
KJV Name: Organ
Strong’s: #H5748
References: Genesis 4:21, Job 21:12, 30:31, Psalm 150:4

The ugab is the second musical instrument mentioned in Scripture. It was created by Jubal who also made the first harp (Genesis 4:16 – 21). The KJV translation of ugab is a bit misleading as it was not some kind of keyboard-based instrument. It was a flute-like wind instrument, possibly a double or manifold pipe, made of wood or ivory. It could be used to praise and rejoice before God (Psalm 150:4) or while mourning (Job 30:31).

  • Unknown Type

Hebrew: Sumponia
KJV Name: Dulcimer
Strong’s: #H5481
References: Daniel 3:5, 10, 15

The KJV word “dulcimer,” found only in Daniel, is a mistranslation. Modern dulcimers are percussion based musical instruments that possess metal strings that are hit with lightweight hammers. Smith’s Bible Dictionary, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) and Wilmington’s Guide, however, all state the sumponia was possibly a type of bagpipe.

Tyndale’s Dictionary, however, argues the sumponia couldn’t have been a bagpipe, as musicologists believe no such instrument existed at the time of King Nebuchadnezzar. The uncertainty of the Hebrew makes it difficult to know what is being referenced.

———————– end of excerpt  ————————

These instruments listed above can have a negative and positive application in their use, which is brought out in scripture. Each instrument symbolizes a means by which we can glorify God, or in the negative application bring glory to ourselves that Christ warned His disciples about in Matthew 6:1-4. I’ll get to that point more extensively as we get into our study, but for now I just want to make clear like everything God has created, there is potential to use it for good or to abuse these liberties that God gives us in this life for an occasion to our flesh (Gal 5:13). God knows our hearts (Jer 17:9), and those hearts need to be overcome little and by little so that our actions which our Father “seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” Christ, our hope of glory within, is that means to a glorious end as we present our bodies a living sacrifice, being made into instruments of righteousness to His glory and honor (Col 1:27, Ecc 7:8, Ecc 3:11, Rom 12:1-2).

Gal 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Mat 6:1  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Mat 6:2  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:3  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
Mat 6:4  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:  

Ecc 7:8  Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 

Ecc 3:11  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

There are also modern versions or spin offs of all these instruments that we will be looking at, and countless others that exist in our society that are never mentioned in the bible. This is what makes this subject so interesting to us, because we know that it’s not the instrument itself that carries the most important message, but what we do with what God has given us. This is always the point whether we’re talking about music, or the preparation of food and drink and how we use them, as well as our jobs, or whatever skill that God has given us on the earth. We are living instruments in His hands, and it is the Lord who is orchestrating all our actions, both to will and to do of His good pleasure (1Co 10:31-33, 1Co 3:22-23, Php 2:11-13).

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 
1Co 10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: [Rom 14:21-23, Rom 14:3
1Co 10:33  Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 
1Co 3:23  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. 

Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 
Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

With all this in mind, let us begin by looking at our first, and what I believe is the most significant, instrument – our “voice“, remembering what we just read that with the voice “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. What a blessing it is when we can do that with a voice of praise and thanksgiving to our Father. The voice itself is not what is in question, otherwise a mute person could never praise God with their voice, but in truth we can all praise God in our spirit. That is the central point being made with all these instruments, including the voice. It is not what gift we have. It is what we do with what we have in our spirit that ought to be rejoicing always and again I say rejoice (Php 4:4), as we grow in learning to glorify God in our spirits, which oftentimes is reflected by our outward actions in life.

Php 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

The first time the word ‘sing’ is mentioned in the (KJV) bible is in Exodus 15:1. That is significant as it shows us the main reason we should praise God with our voices, that reason being because of the victory He gives us over our flesh, symbolized by “the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea” (Exo 15:1). That victory is something God’s elect are blessed to experience first in this life through Christ, and the reason the Psalmist was inspired to write these verses, (Psa 107:8, Psa 107:15, Psa 107:21, Psa 107:31), reminding us to offer up the sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise to God (Heb 13:15).

Exo 15:1  Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 

Psa 107:8  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 
Psa 107:15  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 
Psa 107:21  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 
Psa 107:31  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 

Heb 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 
Heb 13:16  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 

The word Sing is mentioned 102 times [not always the same Strong’s number], Sung is mentioned 5 times and Singeth is mentioned once. For our consideration I want to start by looking at this entry of the word “singH6031” which is only used in these verses, (Exo 32:18, Isa 27:2-3). The use of the word ‘sing’ in this context shows us that singing can be an expression of sorrow, of affliction, of joy, and many other emotions that are associated when we are lifting up our voice to the Lord.

Exo 32:18  And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that singH6031 do I hear. 

Isa 27:2  In that day singH6031 ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. 
Isa 27:3  I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.

Another word we want to consider in God’s word is the word “voices”G5456 which is used 128 times. I want to focus on its use in Revelation in these verses, (Rev 4:5; Rev 8:5; Rev 8:13; Rev 10:3; Rev 10:4; Rev 11:15; Rev 11:19; Rev 16:18), that are talking about a language that only the elect can speak and interpret. This word “voices”G5456 represents the new voice or language that comes out of those who are part of New Jerusalem (Rev 3:12, Rev 21:2). When Christ took His disciples aside to sing a hymn with them, it was a symbolic moment of this truth that we would one day be of one voice, in harmony of spirit and truth, praising our Father in heaven together (Joh 4:23-24). All the world will join in that harmony of praise after their heavens have been purified and God is all and all, when “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time” (Mat 26:30, 1Co 15:28).

Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Mat 26:30  And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

1Co 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 

Rev 4:5  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voicesG5456: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God

Rev 8:5  And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voicesG5456, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. 

Rev 8:13  And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voiceG5456, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voicesG5456 of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! 

Rev 10:3  And cried with a loud voiceG5456, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voicesG5456.

Rev 10:4  And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. 

Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voicesG5456 in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 

Rev 11:19  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voicesG5456, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Rev 16:18  And there were voicesG5456, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

The first time the word “praisingH1984” is used in the bible is in 2 Chronicles 5:13 where we learn that there is a oneness that is involved with praising God. The common denominator that brings us to praise God is this reason, “For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” This idea of worshiping God ‘for his mercy endures forever’ is a very repeated reality that is found throughout God’s word. Here are forty-eight verses that have some combination of the words “mercy” or “endure” or “endureth” to make the point clear that God’s mercy endures forever, and we should be filled with thanks and praise for that reality.

2Ch 5:13  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 musick, 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; 

1Ch 16:34  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

1Ch 16:41  And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever;

2Ch 7:3  And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

2Ch 7:6  And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick 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. 

2Ch 20:21  And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Ezr 3:11  And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 

Psa 23:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psa 52:8  But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever

Psa 61:7  He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him

Psa 77:8  Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

Psa 89:2  For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. 

Psa 106:1  Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 107:1  O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 118:1  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 118:2  Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 118:3  Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 118:4  Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 118:29  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 136:1  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:2  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:3  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:4  To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:5  To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:6  To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:7  To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:8  The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:9  The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:10  To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:11  And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:12  With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:13  To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:14  And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever: 
Psa 136:15  But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:16  To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:17  To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:18  And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:19  Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:20  And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:21  And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:22  Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:23  Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
Psa 136:24  And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:25  Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psa 136:26  O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 138:8  The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. [Luk 13:32]

Jer 33:11  The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD. 

Mic 7:18  Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

Hopefully with this first entry of musical instruments in the bible, it is clear to us that the voice is one of, if not the most powerful instrument, used to praise God, not just with a beautiful harmonious sound as all instruments can do, but also with a language of praise toward God (Psa 92:1) that is elevated through the accompanying expression that the voice can produce.

Psa 92:1  A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: 

Briefly, what about the negative use of our voices? The verse that comes to mind is that we can have all truth, and if that truth is not spoken in love, it is as a clanging gong (1Co 13:1-8). 

1Co 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 
1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 
1Co 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 
1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 
1Co 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 
1Co 13:7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

Similarly, the voice can be as pitch perfect as possible and full of deep expression, and even expressing truth in that endeavor, and yet if it is not being done prayerfully and to the glory of God it is as a clanging gong to Him, and just another occasion to glorify our flesh (Eph 4:15, 1Jn 5:2). Only God and Christ, who is our life and our reason we exist, is worthy of all our praise and thanksgiving, and we can’t praise and worship God in heaven in spirit and in truth unless we are given His spirit within (Rom 8:9, Joh 4:23-24). God’s Spirit helps us grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18) as we’re lead into all truth (Joh 16:13), and it reveals to us just how great and worthy of all praise our Father is for His sovereign hand in our lives that is making us into a new vessel of honour as His workmanship (Jer 18:4, Eph 2:8-10). To walk worthy with God is to acknowledge that He alone is worthy of all praise, and of all glory and all honour, for all the things that He is doing as His will unfolds before us (Rev 4:8-11, Eph 1:10-12).

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 

Jer 18:4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 
Rev 4:9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipG4352 him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Eph 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 

This concludes our installment with the first instrument, “the voice“, and in the following weeks I will most likely pair some of the other instruments to make the study long enough. We will also see how instruments work together in harmony at some point, providing for us a spiritual lesson of how the body is fit together by God (1Co 12:18) who is Christ’s head and the one who is fulfilling God’s will within His body the church (Php 2:12-13, Col 1:24, Eph 5:30). We could say that we are a spiritual orchestra in that sense and that God is using each joint, each instrument of God, “according to the effectual working in the measure of every part [every instrument], maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 
Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: 

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

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