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Tuesday, January 6 2015
Psalm 46: The Women's Song Of Alamoth
"A Song upon Alamoth"
When the Israelites completed their crossing of the sea at the time of the Exodus (see Crossing The Sea; also How Long Were They Slaves?), they sang a victory song for the opportunity that the LORD was giving to them - to use, or to lose (see Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible? and Liberation, Not Liberal-ation).
"15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying,
The verses above do not specifically state whether all of the Israelites sang with Moses - or just the men. It seems that it was just the men, singing their part, because the women, led by Miriam, the sister of Moses, then sang their song in response i.e. "Miriam answered them." Whether the Israelites already had a tradition of male and female music, sang together as one, is unknown - however, as we will read, it did exist at least from that day on.
"15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
In the time of King Solomon, "men singers and women singers," just as they performed at the Exodus, provided music in Israel.
"2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts." (Ecclesiastes 2:8 KJV)
"Alamoth," from the Hebrew word pronounced awl-law-mawth, referred to the female soprano singing voice. While often recorded in reference to musical instruments, it was actually referring to the key in which the music was played for soprano voices. King David, the father of King Solomon, composed a wide repertoire of Psalms (keeping in mind that the Psalms were prayers and prophecies set to music e.g. see Psalm 4: David's Prayer and Psalm 22: David's View From The Cross), including those to be played and sung by soprano voices e.g. "To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth" i.e. a song for soprano.
"46:1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.
This Day In History, January 6
871: The Battle of Ashdown between the Danes and the West Saxons under Ethelred and Alfred the Great.
1066: Harold Godwinson, England's last Anglo-Saxon king, was coronated as Harold II. He succeeded his deceased brother-in-law, Edward the Confessor.
1099: Henry V, second son of Henry IV and his first wife Bertha of Turin, was crowned king of Germany.
1169: England and France agreed to peace when Louis VII and Henry II met at Montmirail.
1205: Philip of Swabia, King of the Germans, became "King of the Romans" (Latin: Rex Romanorum; German: Romisch-Deutscher Konig; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1540: King Henry VIII of England married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
1558: The French seized the British-held port of Calais.
1781: During the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade the island (Jersey is the largest island in the English Channel).
1848: Pope Pius IX, in his encyclical letter "In Suprema Petri Apostoli Sede" ("On The Supreme Throne Of Peter The Apostle"; see also Papal Bull) invited the Orthodox Church to reunite with the Church of Rome.
1884: Austrian monk Gregor Mendel died. He made many scientific discoveries involving genetics.
1912: German geophysicist Alfred Wegener published his (correct) theory of continental drift. Although obvious, such as in how the west coast of Africa and the east coast of South America would fit together perfectly (because they were joined long ago), Wegener was rejected and mocked in his own time for it. It was only in the 1950s that continental drift became accepted by science.
1929: King Alexander of Yugoslavia abolished the constitution, dissolved the government and established a royal dictatorship.
1959: The British jet Lightning P-1 flew twice the speed of sound.
1969: President Charles de Gaulle of France banned French arms sales to Israel.
1989: Emperor Hirohito of Japan died at age 87. He reigned 62 years.
1990: Poland's Communist Party leaders agreed to its dissolution and replacement by a non-Marxist party.
2009: In response to continuous rocket attacks on civilian population centers by Palestinian terrorists, Israel began a counter-attack on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.