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The Harp String Verses

A psaltery was a stringed musical instrument, a variety of harp or lyre, with ten strings. In English-language translations of the Scriptures, the "Psalms" take their name from psaltery. The actual Hebrew word of the Scriptures, translated as Psalms, is (pronounced) miz-more and means music, or a poem set to music, while the actual Hebrew word of the Psalms, translated as psaltery, is (pronounced) nay-bel and means a bottle, or pitcher - apparently the ancient psaltery was at least in part so-shaped. In the Book of Daniel, the Chaldean word translated as psaltery is actually a transliteration (writing a word in one language the way it sounds in another language) of the Greek word for psaltery. The Greek word psalmoi means playing of harp strings.

The Psalms - "The Harp String Verses"

The psaltery was often played together with harps:


"sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings." (Psalm 33:2 KJV)

"Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp" (Psalm 57:8 KJV)

"I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel." (Psalm 71:22 KJV)

"Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery" (Psalm 81:2 KJV)

Stringed musical instruments were routinely used for royal and religious occasions:

"And David [see King David] and all the house of Israel played before The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals." (2 Samuel 6:5 KJV)

"And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king [i.e. Solomon] made of the almug trees pillars for the house of The Lord, and for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers" (1 Kings 10:11-12 KJV)

The people of Judah did not lose their propensity for stringed instruments during the Babylonian captivity. Upon their return in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah the "psalteries and harps" were still evident:

"And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps." (Nehemiah 12:27 KJV)

Fact Finder: What other stringed musical instrument was well-known to the people of Bible History?
See Lyre

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