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Sunday, April 2 2017

The Sound Of The Psalteries

"The Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps"

A "psaltery" was an ancient stringed musical instrument, one of a number of variations of harp. The Book of Psalms (as it was later known), much of which was written as song (see the Fact Finder question below), takes its English-language name from the psaltery.

The earliest Hebrew word of the Holy Scriptures, that is now commonly translated as Psalms, (pronounced) miz-more, means music, or a poem set to music, while in the actual Hebrew word of the "Psalms," which is translated as psaltery, (pronounced) nay-bel, means a bottle, or a pitcher - from the shape of the ancient psaltery.

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.


Psalteries were among the instruments played when King David brought The Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (see How Long Was Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel? and The Ark Of The LORD In The City Of David). Notice that both psalteries and harps are specified ("on harps, and on psalteries") - the words were not simply used interchangeably for the same instrument.

"6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.

6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. 6:4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.

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 cornets, and on cymbals." (2 Samuel 6:1-5 KJV)

Later, when King Solomon completed the Temple to house The Ark (see David's Temple Prophecy and The Temple That Solomon Built), psalteries were again heard as The Ark was placed in the Temple.

"5:7 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: 5:8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. 5:9 And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day. 5:10 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.

5:11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: 5:12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:) 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; 5:14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God." (1 Chronicles 5:7-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: When did singing begin?
See Singing In History And Prophecy

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This Day In History, April 2

742: Charlemagne, king of the Franks, was born. King from 768 (with his brother), he later ruled most of Europe when crowned emperor in 800 (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes).


1118: Baldwin I died at age 60. As king of the crusader state of Jerusalem (1100-1118), he expanded the kingdom and secured its territory, formulating an administrative apparatus that was to serve for 200 years as the basis for Frankish rule in Syria and "Palestine" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1513: Florida (as it is known today) was discovered (although the natives already knew that it was there) and claimed for Spain by Spanish explorer and conquistador Ponce de Leon.

Spanish Exploration

1524: At age 40, Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli (a former Roman Catholic priest) publicly married the widow Anna Meyer. Their marriage lasted until his death at the Battle of Kappel in 1531.

1550: Jews were expelled from Genoa Italy.

1657: Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III died (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1755: British naval commander Commodore William James captured the pirate stronghold of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.

1801: During the Napoleonic Wars, the Danish fleet was heavily damaged by the British under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen.

1863: The Richmond Bread Riot. Starvation caused hundreds of mothers to riot in Richmond, Virginia, demanding that the rebel Confederate regime release emergency food supplies that were being held primarily for the military.

1865: During the U.S. Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

1912: The just-completed Titanic went out on its first sea trials under its own power. Its first and only voyage lasted 6 days, from April 10 to 15 1912, before the "unsinkable" ship struck an iceberg and sank in less than 3 hours in the north Atlantic.


1917: The U.S. declared war on Germany in the First World War (1914-1918) - 2 years and 8 months after the war in Europe began.

1932: U.S. aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh (see also Who Was The First To Fly?) paid over $50,000.00 ransom for his kidnapped son, who was later found dead.

1975: Toronto's CN Tower was topped off at a height of 1,815 feet, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the world at the time.

CN Tower

1982: Argentina seized the Falkland Islands and overthrew the British administration. Britain responded with a naval task force which recovered the islands.

1990: Saddam Hussein threatened to "incinerate half of Israel" with advanced chemical weapons if it joined a war against Iraq (the result of the later invasion Iraq proved that Saddam had no "weapons of mass destruction").

2002: Israeli military forces surrounded the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem after armed Palestinians had retreated there.

2005: Karol Jozef Wojtyla / Pope John Paul II, died at age 84.


Copyright © Wayne Blank