Instrumental Music as Worship Forbidden By the Law of Moses

Music Worship - Instruments Forbidden By the Law of Moses? Yes! While there are isolated instances of Psalmists singing and playing with musical instruments, many of these instruments were not allowed in the temple. Therefore, instruments were used for personal praise or to signal animal sacrifices connected with purification or dedication ceremonies; not for congregational worship.

When the congregation of Israel assembled for instruction, musical praise with instruments was forbidden by the Law of Moses. God gave this law as the result of their rising up to play at Mount Sinai as they worshipped the golden calf with singing, dancing naked and playing musical instruments. Speaking of the hymn after crossing the Red Sea, Smith's Bible Dictionary says that:

"The triumphal hymn of Moses had unquestionably a religious character about it; but the employment of music in religious services, though idolatrous, is more distinctly marked in the festivities which attended the erection of the golden calf." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, Music, p. 589).

It happened this way:

Israel worshiped idols which included the musical worship of various Egyptian deities (Eze 20:7). They were told to "throw away" the old abominations. They had a history which said that the gods lived in the musical instruments. When you played, you seduced the demons into speaking to you through "lifeless instruments."

Israel refused to repent and worship Yahweh. As a result, they were insulting the name of Yahweh Therefore, His first impulse was to destroy them totally in Egypt. There was nothing in the people worth saving (Eze 20:8).

Only to protect His Name, God brought them out into the wilderness to keep the Egyptians from making fun of Him. This was a covenant of grace.

God first gave Moses the ten words or commandments. After swearing to keep the oral (written on the heart) form of the Book of the Covenant--a renewal of the Abrahamic Covenant--the Israelites, perhaps under the influence of the mixed multitude escaping from Egypt with them, grew impatient for Moses to come down from Mount Sinai with the written code of about 70 laws. These laws were good and could be kept. They put the ten commandments into practical forms. That is, they were enabling legislation. (Eze 20:11)

Sacrifice was conditional. A covenant relationship said: "If you sacrifice you must do it this way." However, after rejecting the covenant by worshiping as they had in Egypt, the Law said: "You must sacrifice."

The Israelites worshiped as their Egyptian captors worshiped because they needed some legalistic sign from their "gods." Abandoning Jehovah, they asked Aaron, their priest, to permit them to repeat the Apis or calf worship which is defined as play. Even though there was no law, Moses recognized two roles for music: warfare and idolatry

Moses, the prophet, said that it was not a sign of war or a sign of victory, but "it is singing that I hear."  This involved singing, dancing, instrumental music and more.  Aaron made them a golden calf as visible image and claimed that the image just "jumped out of the fire."

This profaned God, his commandments and the Sabbath (Eze 20:13). Jewish authorities claim that they never played musical instruments on the seventh-day sabbath. Even to tune the strings would be the work of human merit and would pollute the sabbath. Pollute includes the following:

Chalal (h2490) khaw-lal'... is figurative of: to profane a person, place or thing, to break one's word, ... denom. (from 2485) to play the flute: eat as common things, gather the grape thereof, take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay, sorrow, stain, wound.

It is important to remember that music was added only after Isreal "fired" Yehweh as their "King" and demanded a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations.

David added instrumental music but it was in connection with the new temple-state or secular temple with the loss of God's rule. David never engaged the 'congregation' in singing with instrumental accompaniment.

The "music" or really a great crashing sound was for animal sacrifices in or around Jerusalem and in connection with animal sacrifices. These events were not true congregational worship but for dedication or purification of buildings or civil and clergy personnel.

The people in the area "fell on their face" when the officials were involved with sacrifices but they were incidental spectators at best.

The Sabbath day was a day of true worship because it abandoned all human appetites and spent the day thinking about or worshipping God. They did not have musical rituals on the Sabbath and even if they did the "congregation" could not attend the one location of the musicians:

"Playing on musical instruments is prohibited on Sabbaths and holy days, and even to engage a non-Jew to play for Jews on Sabbath is considered a 'shebut' or disturbance of the Sabbath rest." Second, "music, except at marriage ceremonies, is generally prohibited, in token of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem." (Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. IX, p. 432, quoted by Kurfees, Instrumental Music).

"It is still banned by rigid adherents to old ways; but in ordinary conservative congregations it is unhesitatingly employed at weddings and other services on week days" (Isadore Singer, Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 134).

Again God's judgment would be to pour out His wrath in the wilderness. Again, to protect His name God would no longer "personally" go with Israel as part of The Book of the Covenant of grace. Because when they sinned His personal Holiness would cause Him to destroy the entire nation. However, He would send His presence which is Himself or the "Rock" in another form. When the time came, He would carry out His sentence of dispersion and death.

An idol (human or materialistic) of sight or sound is important to people who have no faith and need to see, hear or feel the nearness of their gods. Music was the most common tool or weapon to force the people into the presence of their pagan gods.

By ignoring the abiding presence of Jehovah, they followed a pagan pattern: they mocked the old God in order to appease the new god of Egypt and to seduce him into their presence again. This is the eternal theme of seeing God as lover so that you can know Him personally, which is to say, sexually.

Because of this sin, God gave them the Book of the Law which had 613 laws and, according to the prophets, was not good. The ten words are never repeated in the same form and the laws were to preserve Israel in a purely physical sense as they went into Canan:

I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by; Eze.20:25

Therefore, the record of the law period is for our learning but not for our pattern. In Romans four, Paul explained that living by the faith of Abraham and not by the law was what made people acceptable to God. In Genesis 26:5, this "faith" meant keeping God's commandments out of love rather than fear. Many Psalms are a poetic history of the various periods and are objective truth. However, true Israelite history is not always suitable for legalistic liturgy.

At the moment of their sin, Israel was sentenced to captivity and destruction because they would not repent and turn back to the Covenant of grace. The new law with all of its rules was given by God to preserve physical life as Israel moved into and under the influence of Canaanite Baalism where there was no spiritual life. History show that the primary purpose of the law was to prevent the clergy from mortally wounding the common people who found God out on the farms and pastures. These pagan-like shepherds would "eat the lambs for lunch" and trample all of the fresh water (of the Word) so that the sheep could not even drink it. God said: "You offer the sacrifice to me but you eat the meat." We might say: "You offer the music to me but you enjoy it for yourselves."

Israel would immediately go to the high places where the prophesying professionals sang, danced, played musical instruments and engaged in fertility rituals. The signs during Saul's confirmation are proof that God was already carrying out His death sentence. This included sacrificing their children at Topheth where they played the tabrets and other musical instruments to drown out the scream of burning children and "bring the priest of Molech into the presence of his god

In the New Testament, we understand that Law rituals were for the ceremonial purification of the outward body but had no effect upon the soul.

This means that there would have been no "Law of Moses" if Israel had not rejected God's direct rule as their king, friend and father. This rejection of God would happen in its fatal form when Israel again rejected Him and demanded a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations. God warned that the kings would destroy the nation.

To prove it, He gave them a sign that they had fatally mocked Him. He sent the professional, musical prophets from the high places and then destroyed their wheat crop. The musical prophets as merchants of the fertility rituals could bring you into the presence of the gods and force Him to give you a good harvest. Therefore, this sign proved that Jehovah gave fertility and could remove it. They could, in turn, asked their idols to give them food to keep from starving. But they had no food (Amos 8).

Sirach tells us the story of Israel's move beyond redemption:

Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch. Ecclesiasticus 48:1.

He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number. Ecclesiasticus 48: 2.

By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire. Ecclesiasticus 48: 3.

How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have? Ecclesiasticus 48: 4.

You who raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High; Ecclesiasticus 48:5.

who brought kings down to destruction, and famous men from their beds; Ecclesiasticus 48: 6.

who heard rebuke at Sinai and judgments of vengeance at Horeb; Ecclesiasticus 48: 7.

who anointed kings to inflict retribution,

and prophets to succeed you. Ecclesiasticus 48: 8.

O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. Hosea 13:9

I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? Hosea 13:10

I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. Hosea 13:11

What Happened at Mount Sinai to Destroy the Whole Nation

When the Israelites grew impatient with God they rejected Him and mocked Him because they wanted instant results. They denied the miracle of the Red Sea and other signs that the True God of all creation was personally guiding and carrying for them:

AND when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods (elohim), which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. Ex.32:1

And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Exo 32:6

It was the collective assembly of the Congregation of Israel accompanied by the musical worship of Egypt which doomed them. It was a sign that they would not wait quietly for God to whisper His written covenant message of grace "in a voiced silence." To prevent this from happening at any future "congregational assembly" God gave them a new law. David would repeat this "play" as a "congregational" effort to move the ark with music. This failed and the second move was centered around the king, priests, military leaders and the "city officials." In paganism, ceremonial processions with music was always an effort to "relocate" their gods to make them more useful.

Amos said that they thought they had their god in a little tabernacle or ark-like chest by which they carried him even as He led them! Later, David believed that he was bringing God to Jerusalem when he and the whole congregation rose up to play with singing, dancing naked and playing instruments.

The word play is from the Hebrew:

Cachaq (h6711) tsaw-khak'; a prim. root; to laugh outright (in merriment or scorn); by impl. to sport: - laugh, mock, play, make sport.

Paul warned the Romans and Corinthians about this "rising up to play." This was singing with instrumental music and more:

"The triumphal hymn of Moses had unquestionably a religious character about it; but the employment of music in religious services, though idolatrous, is more distinctly marked in the festivities which attended the erection of the golden calf." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, Music, p. 589).

"Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance (play)'" (1 Cor. 10:7).

Paul also concemned this in Romans 10 when he defined the Egyptian "sending across the sea" to get a better spokesman than God. Therefore, he warns us not to try to "ascend" or "descend" speaking of these "rising up to play" rituals.

This was mocking Jehovah God as they rejected Him and worshiped Apis. Elsewhere we see that this was seduction, the theme of all ancient worship with music:

And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: Ge.39:17

The word "played" is used of David to show that this word means that they played the instruments:

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 Sam 6:5

This "play" is also the Hebrew:

Sachaq (h7832) saw-khak'; a prim. root; to laugh (in pleasure or detraction); by impl. to play: - deride, have in derision, laugh, make merry, mock (-er), play, rejoice, (laugh to) scorn, be in (make) sport.

As Samson was ready to be sacrificed the pagans wanted him to dance in the same way the Jewish clergy would try to get Jesus to sing and dance. The word for "play" in Exodus and David's musical dance are interchangeable:

And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport (7832) . And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport (6711) : and they set him between the pillars. Judges 16:25

Therefore, the play at Mount Sinai and the Play of Samson and the Play of David were equivalent. Rising up to play is symbolic of literal or spiritual death. The movie pictures poor blind Samson "dancing" as he is pricked with swords sand spears, spat upon and slapped. This was a true prophetic picture of John the Baptist as a result of song and dance.

Notice the parallel root meaning of PLAY and PLAYING music:

Play is:

Sachaq (h7832) saw-khak'; a prim. root; to laugh (in pleasure or detraction); by impl. to play: - deride, have in derision, laugh, make merry, mock (-er), play, rejoice, (laugh to) scorn, be in (make) sport.

shachaq (h7833) shaw-khak'; a prim. root; to comminate (grind into powder) (by trituration or attrition): - beat, wear.

This is quite identical to the "alarm" to be used to panic the enemy during warfare but not used for the assembly:

Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; a prim. root; to mar (espec. by breaking); fig. to split the ears (with sound), i. e. shout (for alarm or joy): - blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.

And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 1 Samuel 18:6

And the women answered (responsive singing) one another as they played (h7832), and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 1 Samuel 18:7

And Saul was "ground into a fine powder"

And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 1 Samuel 18:8

Playing music in an external sense in Greek:

Psallo psal'-lo; prob. strengthened from psao , (to rub or touch the surface; comp. 5597); to twitch or twang, i.e. to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes): - make melody, sing (psalms)

Psocho (g5597) pso'-kho; prol. from the same base as 5567; to triturate, i.e. (by anal.) to rub out (kernels from husks with the fingers or hand): - rub.

This is also related to Jesus "grinding Judas" to bits by his sign:

Psomion (g5596) pso-mee'-on; dim. from a der. of the base of 5597; a crumb or morsel (as if rubbed off), i.e. a mouthful: - sop.

Plato, Laws

I say, to produce this effect, chants appear to have been invented, which really enchant, and are designed to implant that harmony of which we speak.
........ And, because the mind of the child is incapable of enduring serious training,
........ ........ they are called plays and songs, and are performed in play;
........ just as when men are sick and ailing in their bodies,

their attendants give them wholesome diet in pleasant meats and drinks, but unwholesome diet in disagreeable things,
........ in order that they may learn, as they ought, to like the one, and to dislike the other.

And similarly the true legislator will persuade, and, if he cannot persuade,

will compel the poet to express, as he ought, by fair and noble words, in his rhythms, the figures, and in his melodies, the music of temperate and brave and in every way good men.

Based upon the meaning of the word "play" and other examples, their mocking always included musical instruments. In their minds they could honor another god with music only by mocking or insulting the True God Who did not respond to their immediate wants. The musical mocking which caused Israel to fail as they worshiped Apis who was merged with Osiris and is explained in ancient literature. This clearly involved musical instruments.

The Egyptians, and now the Hebrews, were using musical instruments to create such excitement that people believed that foreign gods were leading them. Therefore, when God gave the two silver trumpets He wrote an explicit law which rejected musical instruments as tools for calling the gods. He excluded them from assembly for listening to Him.

Because musical worship was so tempting, God directed them to make two silver trumpets primarily to signal marches or war. Remember that Moses recognized three uses of instrumental music and loud singing: the panic of defeat, the joy of military victory and what he called "singing" which he recognized as idolatry.

Their music was to create great excitement or panic but had no value in getting a message from the True God as trumpets and drums had been with the pagan gods. Even when they were added to temple rituals they were used along with David's instruments to signal the beginning and ending of the animal sacrifice. The "congregation" did not worship in the temple with instruments. To prove it, God heard from heaven and not from the musicians and priests in the darkened temple as Solomon dedicated it to Him.

God told Moses that instruments were to disperse the people:

When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. Nu 10:5

When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. Numbers 10:6

What if the Jubilee "vocal" Trumpet Quartet choose that moment to "praise the Lord?"

When Moses called Israel together for instructions from God, they could use the trumpets much like a church bell. That is, the two loud trumpets could be heard for miles and the people would gather at one place. More probable, as in the later song, just the leaders or elders gathered, heard the message and returned to their tribes to tell them what God wanted them to know. No preacher wants the choir singing while he preaches. Much less does God want music when He is trying to speak through His Word.

Therefore, they could not turn this assembly into a "praise the Lord" pagan ritual. This would tell God that they didn't care about hearing from Him. For instance, you wish to warn your friend that a tornado is coming. He comes at your signal but plays his trumpet and dances while you speak. He has insulted you by saying that you have nothing important to say to him. He has to suffer the natural results of insulting you and remaining ignorant.

The shofar or ram's horn was also used. However, it was not a musical instrument and later Jews outlawed adding holes to change the pitch.

"In addition to the sacred trumpets of the Temple, whose use was restricted, even in war and in battle, to the priests, there were others used by the Hebrew generals.

Ehud sounded the trumpet to assemble Israel against the Moabites, whose king, Eglon, he had slain (Judg. 3:17-30).

Gideon took a trumpet in his hand, and gave each of his followers one, when he assaulted the Midianites (7:2, 16).

Joab sounded the trumpet as a signal of retreat to his soldiers, in the battle against Abner (II Sa. 2:28), in that against Absalom 18:16), and in the pursuit of Sheba, son of Bichri (20:22)." (Book, Hist. Digest., p. 321).

"the trumpets were assigned a number of complicated signals, which implied their ability of blowing legato, staccato, and trills, and tonguing, all in unison, not 'simultaneously,' but 'as with one mouth.'

Moreover, these apocalyptical trumpets bear different names: trumpets of assembly, of battle, of the slain, of ambush, etc. In generaly, they were used to terrorize the enemy into panic (Judges 7:19-20). This function was, for all practical purposes, identical with that of the trumpets of Revelation. In the temple the signals of the trumpet introduced every ceremony and every sacrifice." (Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, p. 472-3, Abingdon).

"All the various usages of the shophar (Ram's horn trumpet) can be viewed under one category: that of a signaling instrument.

It sounded all signals in war and peace; it announced the new moon, the beginning of the sabbath, the death of a notable; it warned of approaching danger; it heraled excommunication; it was instrumental in exorcisms and magic healing." (Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, p. 473, Abingdon).

Music was usually associated with the king who was the agent of the "gods." Rituals with music were the kings rituals even while the common people might witness the ceremony:

"Wind instruments in primitive cultures also serve nonreligious functions. In New Guinea, bamboo trumpets were once played
........ to frighten an enemy during battle and
........ to alert a village that the victorious warriors were coming home with the corpses of the foes.

Conch-shell trumpets are used for signaling in the Pacific coastal regions of Columbia and in the Ecuadoran highlands.

"Trumpets also may be associated with the office of king or chief, as in West Africa, where their use is strictly controlled by tribal law. "wind instrument" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

There is no way that the common people could perform the musical worship for the civil state.

Musical Praise Not Permitted

The people of Israel did not gather to make animal sacrifices in the wandering years in the wilderness. Later, when Amos condemned Israel for turning to music and ignoring the Word of God, he equated it to the musical play in the wilderness.

From several passages in the Bible, we understand that people were gathered into God's presence when He had some message to give to them.

AND Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the Lord hath commanded, that ye should do them. Ex.35:1

Their worship was in honoring God by silently listening to the message through Moses. Therefore, God warned Moses:

But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm (blow the trumpets). Nu 10:7

Modern medicine understands that musical worship teams or instrumental music or just loud vocal singing splits the ears, alarms the rational part of the brain and shuts it down so that we listen only with our emotion. This loud sound literally breaks down the walls of our mind. Therefore, God condemned and outlawed it as worship.

The alarm or mental aggitation God outlawed is from the Hebrew word:

Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; a prim. root; to mar especially by breaking; figuratively: to split the ears with sound, i. e. shout for alarm or joy: - blow an alarm, make a joyful noise, smart, shout for joy, sound an alarm, triumph.

The final rejection of God was in demanding that they be given a king like the nations so that they could win battles and worship like the nations. God warned them that they would not get away with it and the kings would destroy the nation.

The use of this triumph music during the period of the kings who replaced the Theocratic rule of Yahweh will be covered in a separate section. For now, it is important to jump ahead to see how this word for triumph is fully explained by the attempt of Judas and the Jewish clergy to triumph over Jesus. Using the same word, Psalm 41 prophesied that Judas would not triumph (ruwa) over Jesus as a magical method of the enchanters. Jesus directly connected this to instrumental music as an attack upon Him.

This triumph of the Jewish clergy was repeating exactly what happened when their ancestors rejected God by rejecting Moses. Stephen told the clergy that they had failed to hear Moses but they would hear Jesus:

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. Ac 7:37

This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: Ac 7:38 (Christ's words were Spirit and Life, John 6:63, and Jesus Christ was the Rock which followed them)

To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Ac 7:39

Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods (theos) to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. Ac 7:40

And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced (make merry) in the works of their own hands. Ac 7:41

Making merry is described as a secular activity: Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick (concert of musical harmony) and dancing. Lu 15:25

God rejoices when we repent like a human father when his wayward son comes home. However, God is pure or Holy Spirit. He does not get hungry and, He said, that if He did He would not tell us about it. He doesn't need to be entertained with musical instrument. If He did, He can call a ten-thousand angelic band to His rescue.

When we come together to honor Christ but rejoice in the talent or works of our own hands we engage in a legalistic attempt to worship. The result is that we "thrust God from us."

There is no song, sermon or mechanical device made by human effort which has any legal merit in worshiping God. Any use of these tools is a legalistic attempt to find the invisible God through external means. Joel promised that even young, innocent girls would "prophesy" as a sign of God's double purpose at Pentecost: to pour out His spirit or mental disposition on those who would speak it to the whole world; and to pour out His baptism of fire to burn up the chaff. This was very similar to the prophesying boys (really "girls") singing and playing as a sign of judgment upon Saul.

As Israel rejected God as king and demanded a human king, the signs were musical prophesying by the effeminate young "prophets" from the pagan high places and the destruction of the wheat crop. In the ultimate fulfillment by Jesus Christ, the signs would be to try to triumph over Him by the use of instruments of music. The other sign was that He would "burn up" their harvest to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Using the same word for triumph condemned by Moses, Psalm 41 prophesied that Judas would not triumph (ruwa) over Jesus. This was part of their "witchcraft

All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt (affliction). Psa 41:7

This whisper was:

Lachash (h3907) law-khash'; a prim. root; to whisper; by impl. to mumble a spell (as a magician): - charmer, whisper (together).

Judas would try to triumph over Jesus after "Satan came into him." Jesus called the clergy Pharisees and Sadducees a "brood of vipers" or serpents. They would try to enchant Jesus and triumph over Him with their little flutes. This is the same as the serpent's hissing to Eve in the Garden of Eden:

Nachash (h5175) naw-khawsh'; from 5172; a snake (from its hiss): - serpent

These words are directly connected to the brass musical instruments which "whispered and muttered" to give the fortune teller or prophetess a message from the "dust" or underworld and helped the old men dream a message from the gods. The tempters were Chaldeans or Babylonians who tried to defeat God's influence through musical prophesying or bringing you into the presence of the gods. They were the visible manifestations and agents of the invisible Satan.

See the Nagas

It is a little-known mystery, therefore, that the Judas bag (he was a thief) was for "carrying the mouthpieces of wind instruments." Judas would be classed along with the clergy who "piped" for Jesus to frighten or panic Him into rising up like a warrior to go into battle against the Romans. Or they would force Him to dance the Dionysos, choral dance which would mark Him as effeminate. Science now knows that music creates the "fight or flight" syndrome and both have a sexual relationship. It didn't work of Jesus. This Judas bag is from the Greek:

Glosokomon (g1101) gloce-sok'-om-on; from 1100 (speaking in tongues) and the base of 2889; prop. a case to keep mouthpieces of wind-instruments in, i.e. (by extens.) a casket or (spec.) purse: - bag.

This is related to speaking in tongues and "of the world" which is from:

Chathath (g2865) khaw-thath'; a prim. root; prop. to prostrate; hence to break down, either (lit.) by violence, or (fig.) by confusion and fear: - abolish, affright, be (make) afraid, amaze, beat down, discourage, (cause to) dismay, go down, scare, terrify.

The next verse shows that friend-turned-enemy Judas will not triumph over Jesus even as Satan used him as his change agent:

By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. Psa 41:11

This is the same effort to panic or triumph over others with a great noise of joy:

Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; a prim. root; to mar especially by breaking; figuratively: to split the ears with sound, i. e. shout for alarm or joy: - blow an alarm, make a joyful noise, smart, shout for joy, sound an alarm, triumph.

We remember Jephthah's daughter who joined the musical rejoicing team intended to gratify the warriors returning in triumph over the enemy. She may have been a human sacrifice because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. We also remember the women musicians gratifying the soldiers. By praising David, they mocked their king, Saul. From that moment, Saul eyed David, feared him and attemped to murder him as he played his own little harp.

We can say, therefore, that God gave Moses a law which prevented the horn blowers and musical rejoicers from triumphing over God when He was trying to speak to the congregation of Israel. In modern terms, they mocked Him by honoring another god, a singer or a speaker.

We can say that this practice was never used in congregational worship without the Word being ignored and the people going into captivity (Amos 5-6; Isa 5; Eze 33)

We can say that it was prophesied that Judas would try to triumph over Jesus.

We can say that Judas collected money in a bag for carrying mouthpieces of wind instruments.

We can say that they tried to triumph over Jesus to force him to dance the Dionysus, choral dance when they piped or blew their wind instruments. This woman's dance would mean that they triumphed over God and mocked or polluted Him so that they could continue to sell sick sheep for sacrifices and short change the worshipers believing that the priests brought them into the presence of God.

They could not force Jesus to "join their fellowship" by singing and dancing. As a result they tortured Him. In Hebrew 11:35 and Fourth Maccabees the torture device, like a wheel or X was to stretch the person on a drum frame-the tyre typanum. The bones were pulled out of joint (Psa 22:14) and they beat Him with a rod which is defined as the baton.

Male prostitutes or dogs surrounded Him and yelped at Him. In afflicting Him they "sang, shouted and sang responsively" (Psa 22:24).

However, God was not listening to the mocking music but heard the quiet prayer of Jesus. Like the literal first temple dedication, as the priests and musician made a great noise, the temple was turned into darkness so the priests could not minister. However, the people (represented by Jesus) were "outside the gates" as they offered their prayers and God heard from heaven. The sign was complete.

In a spiritual sense, Jesus "triumphed over" Judas as He gave him the sop. The sop is a crumb which results from:

Psocho (g5597) pso'-kho; prol. from the same base as 5567; to triturate, i.e. (by anal.) to rub out (kernels from husks with the fingers or hand): - rub.

The word from which this grinding to bits comes is the word translated melody in the external or instrumental music sense:

Psallo (g5567) psal'-lo; prob. strengthened from psao, (to rub or touch the surface; comp. 5597); to twitch or twang, i.e. to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes): - make melody, sing

Melody and all musical terms in the Old and New Testament are from roots which mean to triumph over others to take their inheritance or pollute them. This is why Paul demanded that the "melody" be in our minds so that the Words of Christ "break our hearts."

Trying to triumph over people in an external way with music guarantees that there will be darkness as Christ is literally mocked as the musical worship teams ignore His Words and His commands through Paul that women should not exercise their pecularly musical (sexual) authority when he wants us to listen to Him. They, too, will go into spiritual captivity.

They killed Jesus, in part, because He said:

They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. Lu.7:32

According to Paul, trying to worship God with a mechanical device is an attempt to "speak unknown tongues" or to worship God unconsciously in the same sense that we just breathe without thinking about it. However, this can happen even without an instrument.

By singing and speaking to God while He was trying to speak to the congregation and the unbelievers, they were trying to triumph over God because they believed their silly songs and sermons were superior to His Word.

The word "piped" is connected to a word which means "to breathe unconsciously." Therefore, Paul warned that lifeless instruments do not have the ability to speak to us. If the musician gets a magical message such as a tongue to speak or sing, Paul warned that it comes out of the person's own spirit (1Cor 14:2) and not from God as they tried to speak to Him rather than listen to Him. However, He said that they were just "speaking into the air" (1Cor 14:9). Paul said that:

Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 1Co.14:7

This means that the instrument is dead and lifeless and cannot worship, instruct or edify the congregation. That is why God outlawed instruments when the congregation assembled.

The word "weapon" and "instrument" come from the same Hebrew and Greek words. The equivalent word in Hebrew speaks of musical instruments along with swords. The equivalent word in Greek is translated as weapon but it is clear that Paul is speaking of battle with words to convince others.

The weapons of carnal warfare were lifeless musical instruments used as weapons to pollute or abrade the people into subjection. However, the Words of Christ "spoken to one another" are His weapons while the literal weapons of rejoicing are outlawed during the assembly:

For the weapons (instruments) of our warfare are not carnal (lifeless), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds 2Co.10:4

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2Co 10:5

Suppose that Satan comes to our church to do battle against the Word of God. He gives everyone good reasons for believing that He and not God should be worshipped. He exhalts himself above the Word of God. You whip out your little flute and get the girl-team grinding away with "praise songs" and you do battle with Satan's arguments. You have used your carnal instruments as weapons to fight. As a result, you have rejected God's words just as Israel did at Mount Sinai as they rose up to play to triumph over God and honor a bull. In the end, Satan triumphs and you loose. Therefore, Paul's instrument or weapon was his mouth as the sword of the Spirit delivering the Words of Christ. His singing or praise was the "fruit of the lips."

They Treated Jesus Like a Dancing Girl

The only other person called upon to do this choral dance was Herodias. It pleased Herod and made his "mind sail away" with lust. His rational mind was bypassed and he permitted Herodias to murder John the Baptist. John's "head" was literally separated from his lifeless body and could never speak the Word of Christ again. Satan triumphed over John with musical rejoicing. They would try to triumph over Jesus using the same music and effeminate dance but it would not work on God Who had His head well attached to His shoulders.

In the prophecy of Judas and Jesus, the conclusion is that:

All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. Ps.22:29

All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. Is.14:11

This worship is not self-boast but the Hebrew is:

Shachah (h7812) shaw-khaw'; a prim. root; to depress, i. e. prostrate (espec. reflex. in homage to royalty or God): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.

Only a "seed" would continue to worship Messiah. They would not "sing" to the nations with instrauments but they would declare Christ's righteousness to the world:

They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this. Psa 22:31

Nagad (h5046) naw-gad'; a prim. root; prop. to front, i. e. stand boldly out opposite; by impl. (causat.), to manifest; fig. to announce always by word of mouth to one present..

This means that you cannot declare Christ's righteousness with a harp or piano. We praise our friend by telling others about them. We do not praise them by singing, dancing and playing instruments while telling others how great old Joe is but really saying: "watch me, listen to me." We triumph over old Joe by praising ourselves as the motive behind all idolatry. This is the meaning of halal as a common Hebrew word for praise.

The temple has been destroyed for the third and final time. Worship is in "spirit and in truth." That is, worship is mental with a devotion to the Words of Christ. The church has become God's Holy Temple.

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Ep.2:21

And Habakkuk warned:

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. Hab 2:19

But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Hab.2:20

David lived under the Law of Moses given to discipline a people doomed to pagan idolatry. He never felt confident and thought that God might take His spirit or life from him as he had Saul for disobedience. Therefore, he expressed the lostness of those living under a law of punishment and judgment. If we understand him literally, we can understand what Habakkuk condemned:

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. Psa 57:8

It is more likely that this is figurative language of "singing to the Gentiles."

Earlier, we noted that the pagans believed that Satan and his demons came into musical instruments. Therefore, the sounds of air and string were sold for money to be the voice of the "gods" giving the paying worshiper a message about a wife, a cow or a lost goat. God is here. We "live, move and have our being in Him." Therefore, He does not have to be aroused and called into His temple. Nor do we need professional, clergy musicians to "lead us into the presence of God."

See Part Two

Musical Worship Index

Restoration Movement Index

Home Page

Kenneth L. Sublett

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