Psallo and the Septuagint

The Septuagint () translation into Greek caused them to use the word "psallo" because the Psalms are identified as war tune or to arouse panic in the enemy. Psallo was chosen because it speaks of making war, making perverted love and only remotely to "shoot forth a real hymn." Psallo simply means to pluck with the fingers and never with a plectrum. 

It helps to understand that the direct command was to SPEAK that which is written: the word SPEAK is defined as the opposite of poerty or music

See Anonymous: Sophocles, a native of Greece, and long professor of Greek at Harvard University, published a lexicon, the title-page of which is: "A Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (from B.C. 146 to A.D. 1100). It embraces the period of Jesus and his apostles." He enumerates the Greek writers embraced in, and bearing on, the period. In making a lexicon for that period he consulted all the writers of nearly two thousand years, embracing the New Testament and the Septuagint edition of the Old Testament.

During this period he did not find a single example of "psallo" being used to mean anything else, save to chant, to sing.

He defines "psallo" and its derivatives: "'Psallo' ; to chant, to sing; 'psalmos' psalm; 'psalmodia' psalm singing; 'psalmodas' psalmist; 'psaltarion' psalter, or collection of, songs; 'psaltes' ;a chanter, church singer; 'psaltria' ; chantress; 'psaltos' played upon the psaltery, sung; 'psaltodeo' to sing to the harp.

"Only "psaltos" carries the idea of playing on the instrument.

"Psaltodeo" is composed of two words the "psalm" and the "ode." The ode refers to lyric poetry, or poetry to be sung with the lyre. Hence the two words combined mean to sing to a harp or instrument. This shows "psallo" alone cannot refer to both the voice and the instrument. Had he found "psallo" used in a different sense during this period by an accredited writer, he would have been dishonest not to give this additional meaning. I do not believe an example of a different use of it can be found in the Greek literature of any age of the world.

Psalmos also appears in the  as equivalent to the Hebrew word neginah [5058]. This Hebrew term is used to describe a wide variety of songs. Neginah is translated by psalmos in Lam 3:14 (song), in Lam 5:14 (music) and in Ps 69:12 (song). It is striking to observe that in the  translation of Lam 3:14 and Ps 69:12, psalmos, or its verbal form, is used for songs that are not only uninspired but are in fact the product of the wicked, even drunkards, who mocked God and His word. The Hebrew term neginah is used elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures of: the songs of the wicked, Job 30:9 (song); the inspired praise of God, Psalm 61 title (Neginah-a song performed on a stringed instrument); and the uninspired praisd of the Lord composed by King Hezekiah, Is 38:20 (my songs).

        Lam 3:12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
        Lam 3:13 He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.
        Lam 3:14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day.
        Lam 3:15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.
        Lam 3:16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.
        Lam 3:17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.

Prophetic of Jesus as was the JUDAS musical attack in Psalm 41

    Psa. 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;
            and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

H2781 cherpâh kher-paw' From H2778 ; contumely, disgrace, the pudenda:—rebuke, reproach (-fully), shame.
H2778 châraph khaw-raf' A primitive root; to pull off, that is, (by implication) to expose (as by stripping); specifically to betroth (as if a surrender); figuratively to carp at, that is, defame; denominatively (from H2779 ) to spend the winter:—betroth, blaspheme, defy, jeopard, rail, reproach, upbraid.
    Psa. 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
    Psa. 69:11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
    Psa. 69:12 They that sit in the gate speak against me;
            and I was the song of the drunkards.
Thayer gives many definitions and uses of the word Psalmos. The first is "to pluck off, to pull out the hair". Even at first glance we both know that this is not the definition we need, but we must ask why is the word defined in this way. This particular meaning of Psalmos is attributed (by Thayer) to Aeschylus between the years 525 and 426 B.C. This is obviously not the definition to what the Apostle Paul wrote in the early first century

If psallo is in the text it is there to forbid the OUTWARD "psallo" which is never pretty.

Aeschylus, Persians Xerxes
[1060] And with your fingers tear the robe which drapes you.
Anguish, anguish!
Pluck out your locks, and lament our host.
With clenched nails, with clenched nails, with loud wailing.
Let tears moisten your eyes.
[1065] I am drenched with tears.
Euripides Bacchae: Already like fire does this insolence of the Bacchae blaze up, a great reproach for the Hellenes. [780]  But we must not hesitate. Go to the Electran gates, bid all the shield-bearers and riders of swift-footed horses to assemble, as well as all who brandish the light shield and pluck bowstrings with their hands, so that we can make an assault against [785]  the Bacchae. For it is indeed too much if we suffer what we are suffering at the hands of wome


Psalmos , ho, twitching or twanging with the fingers, psalmoi toxôn E.Ion173 (lyr.); toxêrei psalmôi [toxeusas] Id.HF1064 (lyr.).

Psalmoi toxôn does not mean "sing and play a harp" WITH a bow.  Psalmoi just means pluck or twang a bow.

toxêrei psalmôi [toxeusas]
[Furnished with the Bow]  +  [Twitching with the fingers] + [Shoot with the bow or metaphor Send forth a hymn]
3. c. acc. rei, shoot from a bow, metaph., discharge, send forth, t. humnous Pi.I.2.3 hath shot these arrows in vain, E.Hec.603
Pi.I.2.3 The men of old, Thrasybulus, who mounted the chariot of the Muses with their golden headbands, joining the glorious lyre, lightly shot forth their honey-voiced songs for young men, if one was handsome and had [5] the sweetest ripeness that brings to mind Aphrodite on her lovely throne. For in those days the Muse was not yet a lover of gain, nor did she work for hire. And sweet gentle-voiced odes did not go for sale, with silvered faces, from honey-voiced Terpsichore. But as things are now, she bids us heed [10] the saying of the Argive man, which comes closest to actual truth: “Money, money makes the man,” he said, when he lost his wealth and his friends at the same time.


Anti-psallô , A. [1] play a [2] stringed instrument [3] in accompaniment of song, a. elegois phorminga Ar.Av.218 .

Ar.Av.218 .Aristophanes, Birds
Epops rushes into the thicket.

From within; singing.

Chase off drowsy sleep, dear companion. [210]  Let the sacred hymn gush from thy divine throat in melodious strains; roll forth in soft cadence your refreshing melodies to bewail the fate of Itys, which has been the cause of so many tears to us both. [215] Your pure notes rise through the thick leaves of the yew-tree right up to the throne of Zeus, where Phoebus listens to you, Phoebus with his golden hair. And his ivory lyre responds to your plaintive accents; [220] he gathers the choir of the gods and from their immortal lips pours forth a sacred chant of blessed voices.


Pektis a stringed instrumnent, played with the fingers (not plēktron), shepard's pipe, pan's pipes, cage or net for catching birds.

With psallo you CANNOT use a guitar pick or play ANY other musical instrument.
A. anything to strike with:
1. instrument for striking the lyre, plectrum,
spear point.
You cannot play an instrument and sing psalms

Krekon Krekô ,
2. strike a stringed instrument with the plectron, magadin Diog.Ath.1.10 ; barbita D.H.7.72 : generally, play on any instrument, aulonAr.Av. 682 (lyr.): less freq.c.dat., krekeindonakiAPl.4.231 (Anyte): c. acc. cogn., pêktidôn psalmois k. humnon T


You are absolutely LOCKED to plucking a STRING with your FINGERS and not with a PLECTRUM. There is no scholar which can use psallo to give you authority to blow a flute.

AUGUSTINE: on the Morals of the Manichaeans riducules them for believing that the gods came out of brass and other things by rubbing or abrading (making melody with them). Augustin uses figurative language much like Paul's warning that our melody must never be external but in the heart:

Augustine on the Psalms noted that making melody external is a work which David always performed trying to find God whom he believed had become lost:

"Make melody unto the Lord upon the harp: on the harp and with the voice of a Psalm" (ver. 5). Praise Him not with the voice only; take up works, that ye may not only sing, but work also.

He who singeth and worketh,
maketh melody with psaltery and upon the harp.

Therefore, Augustine makes the harp figurative:

Now see what sort of instruments are next spoken of, in figure: "With ductile trumpets also, and the sound of the pipe of horn" (ver. 6). What are ductile trumpets, and pipes of horn?

Ductile trumpets are of brass: they are drawn out by hammering; if by hammering, by being beaten,

ye shall be ductile trumpets, drawn out unto the praise of God, if ye improve when in tribulation: tribulation is hammering, improvement is the being drawn out. Job was a ductile trumpet.

"The psaltery (psalterion, saltere, sauterie, Psalterium, Psalter, salterio) is an ancient intstrument seen in many forms. Early versions were simply a wooden board with gut strings stretched between pegs. The strings were plucked with fingers or by plectra (the name might have derived from the Greek psallein meaning plucked with fingers).

"The name of psaltery entered Christian literature in the 3rd century B.C. translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint where, in the Psalms, nebel was translated psalterion. Thus, Nebuchadnezzar's idolatrous ensemble included the Aramic psantria. Notice, also, that the book of Psalms has also become known as the Psalter (or psalterium), from the hymns sung with this harp. Source


Nebel (h5035) neh'-bel; ay'-bel; from 5034; a skin- bag for liquids (from collapsing when empty); hence a vase (as similar in shape when full); also a lyre (as having a body of like form): - bottle, pitcher, psaltery, vessel, viol

Nabel (h5034) naw-bale'; a prim. root; to wilt; gen. to fall away, fail, faint; fig. to be foolish or (mor.) wicked; causat. to despise, disgrace: - disgrace, dishonour, lightly esteem, fade (away, - ing), fall (down, -ling, off), do foolishly, come to nought, * surely, make vile, wither..

Nabal (h5036) naw-bawl'; from 5034; stupid; wicked (espec. impious): - fool (-ish, -ish man, -ish woman), vile person. 

That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: Daniel 3:5

Pecanteriyn (h6460) pes-an- tay-reen'; a transliteration of the Gr. yaltherion, a lyre: -- psaltery. 

And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. Is.5:6

Zamar (h2167) zaw-mar'; a prim. root [perh. ident. with 2168 through the idea of striking with the fingers]; prop.

> to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i. e. play upon it;
> to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music: -
> give praise, sing forth praises, psalms.

Zamar (h2168) zaw-mar'; a prim. root [comp. 2167, 5568, 6785]; to trim (a vine): - prune.

1. Sing (h6030 speak) unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Psalm 147:7

2. Zamar (h2167) zaw-mar'; a prim. root [perh. ident. with 2167 through the idea of striking with the fingers]; prop. to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i. e. play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music: - give praise, sing forth praises, psalms.

3. Kinnowr (h3658) kin-nore'; from an unused root mean. to twang; a harp: - harp.

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music (yavlate, [2] psalate, "to touch sharply, to pluck, pull, twitch") to our God on the harp" (Psalm 147:7).


"having each one a harp (kithara),
and golden bowls full or incense,

which are the prayers of he saints.

And they sing (ado) a new song (ode) -- the tour and twenty elders in heaven.

"Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music (yavlate,[2] psalate, "to touch sharply, to pluck, pull, twitch") to our God on the harp" (Psalm 147:7).

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Psa 18:49

Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power. Psa 21:13

The word praise makes sense. However, if we substitute an instrument it just doesn't make sense

Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and (make music, touch the strings of an instrument) thy power. Psalm 21:13

Shiyr (h7891) sheer; or (the orig. form) 7788 (1 Sam. 18:6), shoor; a prim. root [rather ident. with 7788 through the idea of strolling minstrelsy]; to sing: - behold [by mistake for 7788], sing (-er, - ing man, -ing woman).

Zamar (h2167) zaw-mar'; a prim. root [perh. ident. with 2168 through the idea of striking with the fingers];

prop. to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i. e. play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music: - give praise, sing forth praises, psalms.


Zamar (h2168) zaw-mar'; a prim. root [comp. 2167, 5568, 6785]; to trim (a vine): - prune.
Camar (h5568) saw-mar'; a prim. root; to be erect, i. e. bristle as hair: - stand up, tremble.

Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: Job 4:15

My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. Ps.119:120

Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; Lev 25:3 

Herodotus shows the effeminate connecton and separates harp-playing and singing. After the "walls had been broken down" it was requested of Cyrus that rather than destroy the barbarian enemy, just reincarnate them into women:

Grant, then, forgiveness to the Lydians, and to make sure of their never rebelling against thee, or alarming thee more, send and forbid them to keep any weapons of war, command them to wear tunics under their cloaks, and to put buskins upon their legs,

and make them bring up their sons to cithern-playing (Kitharizein), singing (psallein), and huckstering

So wilt thou soon see them become women instead of men, and there will be no more fear of their revolting from thee." Click for Herodotus context

You may want to scan down through the emphasized text to see the entire "breaking down the walls, ritual prostitution instrumental music" story.

"If the meaning of certain verses may be in doubt, what is clear is that an instrument did not inhere in the word psallo in the Septuagint." Everett Fergusons psallo, septuagint,

An article on the Septuagint () Greek version in the Catholic Encyclopedia may be read by clicking here.

Dr. Everett Ferguson, A Capella Music in the public worship of the church, published by Biblical Research Press, Abilene, Texas. notes that "In the Psalms in the Septuagint, Psalm 33:2; 71:22; 98:5; 144:9; 147:7; 149:3, the word psallo is followed by the preposition en and the name of the instrument.} Two examples make this clear. 

Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; praise becomes the upright. [1] Praise (confess) the Lord on the harp; play to him on a psaltery of ten strings. [3] Sing to him a new song; [3] play skillfully with a loud noise. Psalms 32:1

None of these were for congregational worship but for quite different purposes. Click for the colored chart to see that these are not associated with the majority of Psalms which speak only of singing. In another passage from the Septuagint:

LXX:  God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with a sound of a trumpet. Psalm 47:5

In Numbers 10, the silver trumpets were signaling devices and were not musical devices. When the congregation assembled the "alarm" or loud rejoicing ceased (10:7). In the following verses a form of psallo is quite similar to Paul's command for the Christian congregation (See Ferguson, p 5). When the procession is over, the Septuagint describes what the people do:

LXX: Sing (psalate) praises to our God, sing praises: sing praises to our King, sing praises. Psalm 47:6

For God is king of all the earth: sing praises with understanding. Psalm 47:7

This is equivalent to Paul's command to make melody in the heart or with the understanding. Furthermore, it is not a command to "listen" to musical instruments and a worship team.

In Psalm 71 entitled By David, a psalm sung by the sons of Jonadab, and the first who were taken captive. In verse 8 even captives can praise God even if they hang up their harps:

Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may hymn thy glory, and thy majesty all the day Psalm 71:8

H8416 tehillâh teh-hil-law' From H1984 ; laudation; specifically (concretely) a hymn:--praise.

It is not likely that captives could literally play the harp all day. However, God gave mankind an instrument of singing Psalms:

My mouth shall declare thy righteousness openly, and thy salvation all the day; for I am not acquainted with the affairs of men. Psalm 71:15

I will also give thanks to thee, O God, because of thy truth,

on an instrument of psalmody;
I will
[1] sing [2] psalms to thee on the [3] harp, O Holy One of Israel. Psalm 71:22

My lips shall rejoice when I sing (psalo) to thee; and my soul, which thou has redeemed. Psalm 71:23
Moreover also my
tongue shall dwell all the day upon thy righteousness; when they shall be ashamed and confound Psalm 71:24

In Hebrew, the tongue is defined as the "instrument of speech." Here it is the instrument of psalmody. Strongs 3956 (lashown) "used literally as the instrument of licking, eating, of speech."

Augustine, who understood the classical Greek, knew that poetry is symbolic. On Psalm I Augustine understood that the instrument of psalmody does not mean a mechanical psaltery or harp. Psaltery is from the Hebrew:

Keliy (h3627) kel-ee'; from 3615; something prepared, i. e. any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon): - armour ([-bearee]), artillery, bag, carriage, / furnish, furniture, instrument, jewel, that is made of, * one from another, that which pertaineth, pot, /

and way down the list--psaltery,

Knowing this, Augustine defined the instrument of psalmody:

28. "For I will confess to Thee in the vessels of a Psalm Thy truth" (ver. 22). The vessels of a Psalm are a Psaltery.

But what is a Psaltery? An instrument of wood and strings.

What doth it signify? There is some difference between it and a harp: ...there seemeth to be signified by the Psaltery the Spirit, by the harp the flesh.

And because he had spoken of two bringings back of ours from the bottomless places of the earth, one after the Spirit in hope, the other after the body in substance;

hear thou of these two: "For I will confess to Thee in the vessels of a Psalm Thy truth." This after the Spirit: concerning the body what? "I will psalm to Thee on a harp (flesh), Holy One of Israel."

29. Again hear this because of that same "again" and "again." "My lips shall exult when I shall psalm to Thee" (ver. 23). Because lips are wont to be spoken of both belonging to the inner and to the outward man, it is uncertain in what sense lips have been used: there followeth therefore, "And my soul which Thou hast redeemed." Therefore regarding the inward lips having been saved in hope, brought back from the bottomless places of the earth in faith and love, still however waiting for the redemption of our body, we say what? Already he hath said, "And my soul which Thou hast redeemed." But lest thou shouldest think the soul alone redeemed, wherein now thou hast heard one "again," "but still," he saith; why still?

"but still my tongue also:" therefore now the tongue of the body
"all day long
shall meditate of Thy righteousness" (ver. 24): that is, in eternity without end.

Paul said to sing with grace in the heart in place of melody when speaking to the Colossians. And we know that nothing is learned by listening to a lecture: learning takes place when we meditate in the heart.

Ferguson, p. 6, notes that: psallo, septuagint,

"In nearly every case the Septuagint translators have paired psallo with a word for vocal praise.
Note the following instances:
LXX: The word PSALLO in the Septuagint version usually connects with vocal praise.

I will confess you among the nations, O Lord; and
I will sing (
psalo) to your name." Psalms 18:49 (quoted in Rom. 15:19),

Sing (psalate) to the Lord, O you his saints, in recollection of his holiness.' Psalm 30:4,

I will confess you, Lord, with my whole heart,
because you have
heard the words of my mouth;
and I will sing (
psalo) to you before the angels.' Psalms 138:1,

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18
........... Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
........... singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:19

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name:
........... make known his deeds among the people. Psalm 105:1

Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
........... let this be known to all the world. Isaiah 12:5

Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister (public servant) of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: Romans 15:8
.......And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written,
...............(external) For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles,
........... ...(internal) and sing unto thy name. Romans 15:9

LXX: praise the Lord, because he is good;
sing (
psalete) to his name, because he is good.' Psalms 135:3,

I will praise the Lord in my life; I will sing (psalo) to my God as long as I live." Psalms 146:2,

We simply do not have God wishing to be praised by mechanical devices even though the "trees" praise God and "clap their hands" when the "fellers" have been taken into captivity and the trees can honor God by obeying His commands as a tree.

Ferguson notes that "Only in Psalms 33:3; 98:4ff.; 144:9; and 149:3 do we have psallo with an instrument in parallelism with "singing."

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise. Psalm 33:3

Augustine translates this as poetry or symbolic language. (Psalms are poetry, you know.)

2. "Praise the Lord with harp:" praise the Lord,
unto Him your bodies a living sacrifice.

"Sing unto Him with the psaltery for ten strings" (ver. 2):
        let your
members be servants to the love of God, and of your neighbour, in which are kept both the three and the seven commandments.
3. "Sing unto Him a new song:" sing unto Him a song of the grace of faith. "Sing skillfully unto Him with jubilation" (ver. 3):
        sing skillfully
unto Him with rejoicing.

Now, look at Paul's equating melody to grace. External melody means "grinding you into a fine power" like SOP. Therefore, external melody repudiates grace. There is not a hint of "music" in Paul's direct command to get away from demon worship with wine, women and song:

Be filled with the Spirit (My words are Spirit and Life)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom

Speaking to yourselves

teaching and admonishing one another

In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

singing and making melody

singing with grace

in your heart to the Lord;

in your hearts to the Lord. Col 3:16

4. "For the
Word of the Lord is right:" for the Word of the Lord is right, to make you that which of yourselves ye cannot be. "And all His works are done in faith" (ver. 4): lest any think that by the merit of works he hath arrived at faith, when in faith are done all the works which God Himself loveth.

Paul restricted Christian "singing" to the Word of Christ (Colossians 3) or His Spirit (Ephesians 5) which is in His Word (John 6:63). Augustin and all of the church Fathers agree. In another Psalm:

"O God, I will sing a new song to thee: I will play to thee on a psaltery of ten strings. Psalm 144:9

Augustine understands the symbols of poetry to mean: "What doest thou among them with thy pastoral scrip with five stones in it? Say it to me in another form: that same law which thou hast signified by five stones, signify in some other way also. "I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God" (ver. 9). "A new song" is of grace; "a new song" is of the new man; "a new song" is of the New Testament. But lest thou shouldest think that grace departeth from the law, whereas rather by grace the law is fulfilled,

"upon a psaltery of ten strings will I sing unto Thee."

Upon the law of ten commandments: therein may I sing to Thee; therein may I rejoice to Thee; therein may "I sing to Thee a new song;" for, "Love is the fulfilling of the law."

But they who have not love may carry the psaltery,

sing they cannot.
Contradiction cannot make my psaltery to be silent.

The saints shall rejoice in glory; and shall exult on their beds. Psalm 149:5

The high praises of God shall be in their throat, and the two-edged swords in their hands; Psalm 149:6

to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishment among the peoples; Psalm 149:7

to bind their kings with fetters , and their nobles with manacles of iron; to execute on them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints Psalm 149:8

See how God connects musical praise to bring judgment against people in Isaiah 30:32  below.

In Psalm 149 Augustine utterly condemns out ward praise by performers and puts spiritual praise "in the hearts" and even upon thy bed:

6. "The saints shall exult in glory" (ver. 5). I would say somewhat important about the glory of the saints. For there is no one who loveth not glory.

But the glory of fools, popular glory as it is called, hath snares to deceive, so that a man, influenced by the praises of vain men, shall be willing to live in such fashion as to be spoken of by men, whosoever they be, in whatsoever way.

Hence it is that men, rendered mad, and puffed up with pride, empty within, without swollen, are willing ever to ruin their fortunes

by bestowing them on stage-players, actors, men who fight with wild beasts, charioteers. What sums they give, what sums they spend! They lavish the powers not only of their patrimony, but of their minds too.

They scorn the poor, because the people shouteth not that the poor should be given to, but the people to shout that the fighter with wild beasts be given to. When then no shout is raised to them, they refuse to spend; when madmen shout to them, they are mad too:

nay, all are mad, both performer, and spectator, and the giver.

This mad glory is blamed by the Lord, is offensive in the eyes of the Almighty. ...Thou choosest to clothe the fighter with wild beasts, who may be beaten, and make thee blush: Christ is never conquered; He hath conquered the devil, He hath conquered for thee, and to thee, and in thee; such a conqueror as this thou choosest not to clothe. Wherefore? Because there is less shouting, less madness about it.

They then who delight in such glory, have an empty conscience. Just as they drain their chests, to send garments as presents, so do they empty their conscience, so as to have nothing precious therein.

7. But the saints who "exult in glory," no need is there for us to say how they exult: just hear the verse of the Psalm which followeth: "The saints shall exult in glory,

they shall rejoice in their beds:" not in theatres, or amphitheatres, or circuses, or follies, or market places, but "in their chambers."

What is, "in their chambers"? In their hearts. Hear the Apostle Paul exulting in his closet: "For this is our glory, the testimony of our conscience."

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to youward. 2 Cor. 1:12

Suneidesis (g4893) soon-i'-day-sis; from a prol. form of 4894; co- perception, i.e. moral consciousness; - conscience.

Suneido (g4894) soon-i'-do; from 4862 and 1492; to see completely; used (like its prim.) only in two past tenses, respectively mean. to understand or become aware, and to be conscious or (clandestinely) informed of: - consider, know, be privy, be ware of.

For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; 2 Cor. 1:13

"On the other hand, there is reason to fear lest any be pleasing to himself, and so seem to be proud, and boast of his conscience. For every one ought to exult with fear, for that wherein he exulteth is God's gift, not his own desert.

For there be many that please themselves, and think themselves righteous; and there is another passage which goeth against them, which saith, "Who shall boast that he hath a clean heart, and that he is pure from sin?" There is then, so to speak, a limit to glorying in our conscience, namely, to know that thy faith is sincere, thy hope sure, thy love without dissimulation.

"The exultations of God are in their mouths" (ver. 6). In such wise shall they "rejoice in their closets," as not to attribute to themselves that they are good, but praise Him from whom they have what they are, by whom they are called to attain to what they are not, and from whom they hope for perfection, to whom they give thanks, because He hath begun.

8. "And swords sharpened on both sides in their hands." This sort of weapon contains a great mystical meaning, in that it is sharp on both sides.

By "swords sharpened on both sides," we understand the Word of the Lord: it is one sword, but therefore are they called many, because there are many mouths and many tongues of the saints.

How is it two edged? It speaks of things temporal, it speaks also of things eternal. In both cases it proveth what it saith, and him whom it strikes, it severeth from the world. Is not this the sword whereof the Lord said, "I am not come to send peace upon earth, but a sword"?

Observe how He came to divide, how He came to sever. He divideth the saints,
He divideth the ungodly, He severeth from thee that which hindereth thee.

The son willeth to serve God, the father willeth not: the sword cometh, the Word of God cometh, and severeth the son from the father. ...Wherefore then is it in their hands, not in their tongues?

"And swords," it saith, "sharpened on both sides in their hands." By "in their hands," he meaneth in power. They received then the word of God in power, to speak where they would, to whom they would, neither to fear power, nor to despise poverty. For they had in their hands a sword; where they would they brandished it, handled it, smote with it:

and all this was in the power of the preachers.
For if the Word be not in their hands, why is it written,

"The Word of the Lord was put in the hand of the Prophet Haggai"? Surely, brethren, God set not His Word in His fingers. What is meant by, "was put in his hand"?

It was put into his power to preach the Word of the Lord. Lastly, we can understand these "hands" in another way also. For they who spake had the word of God in their tongues, they who wrote, in their hands.

Augustin's comments on Psalm 150 can be found by Clicking Here. Most of the historical scholars understood the Psalms as poetic language and did not fall into the trap of having trees clapping their hands.

"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 generally, 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." (International Dictionary of the Bible, p. 472-3, Abingdon).

"The instruments were used as worship to God and to give glory and elat to the earthly kingdom. They were tolerated by God as were many other things during this period, that he did not approve.

The establishment of the kingdom itself was an act of rebellion against God" (David Lipscomb, Queries and Answers, pp. 226, 227, and Gospel Advocate, 1899, pp. 376, 377).

"The timbrel "was a typical women's instrument. It is mentioned seven times in the OT; thus it must have been very popular. Although it occurs in the Psalter and in religious hymns (Exod 15; Jer. 31:4), it was not permitted in the temple. Its function in the Bible was restricted to secular or religious frolicking, cultic dances, or processions (e. g., II Sam. 6:5; 1I Chr. 13:4; Ps. 68:25). Its absence in the temple ritual was possible due to the strong female symbolism, which always accompanied the tambourine, and which made its use so popular at all fertility rites." (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, p. 474, Abingdon).

"Only in Ps 150:3 is it (shophar) mentioned with most of the other really musical instruments. Hence, we must conclude that the function of the shophar was to make noise--be it of earthly or of eschatological character--but not to make music.

"After the destruction of the temple and the general banishment of all instrumental music,

the shophar alone survived, just because it was not a musical instrument." (International Dictionary of the Bible, p. 473, Abingdon).

Instrumental noises were part of the like the nations Monarchy or Kingdom period. Aside from private use, this "music" was only connected to animal sacrifices and at or around the temple.

After Jesus, all sacrifices are completed and it may be legalistic to try to, like David, search for the "lost God."

Comments on Amos and the Septuagint ()

Amos issued a similar warning against Israel because they did use carnal weapons or instruments. And their warfare was against their own people whose money they stole in daily "offerings." As a result, the Assyrians became the stronghold and defeated them as they hungered and thirsted for the Word. Therefore, God said--

Take thou away from me the noise (rumbling of the multitude) of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. Am.5:23 (Cf O.T. Melody from "pruning the vine")

Or in the Septuagint: psallo, septuagint, psallo, septuagint,

Remove from me the sound of thy [1] songs, and
I will not hear the [2] music of thine [3] instruments." Amos 5:23 
But let judgment roll down as water,
and righteousness as an impassable torrent." Amos 5:24 

The Septuagint version has a different reading in most musical passages. In Amos six God warns the clergy who took unlawful wages from the poor people and then had an easy chair in an office where no "evangelist" had better be caught when the last trumpet sounds--

Ye who are approaching the evil day, who are drawing near and adopting false sabbaths; Amos 6:3

who sleep upon beds of ivory, and live delicately on their couches, and eat kids out of the flocks, and sucking calves out of the midst of the stalls; 6:4 (stolen by the tyrants)

who excel in the sound of musical instruments;
they have regarded them as
not as fleeting pleasures; 6:5

Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. Am.5:23

Or: who excel (marginal "applaud") in the sound of musical instruments; they have regarded them as abiding, not as fleeting pleasure." Amos 6:5  (Jesus did read this version).

Pepys, ravished (raped) by the sound of wind music in the theatre, was reminded of the time when he was in love with his wife.

"For some people this is the height of enjoyment, provided the music presents no problems. But it is neither a substantial nor a lasting pleasure, and it is limited by the endowments of individual performers."

At the heart of this warning is a band of women or wives who "ruled over" the clergy and treated the 'contributors' as slaves. God called them "cows of Bashan" which speaks to the musical bull or cow worship.

Every one knows that music is fleeting pleasure. It has no abiding value. We listen to it, enjoy the piece but when the music ceases the pleasure is gone. The only remaining value are the words. We can carry words around in our head (heart) as speak to ourselves. We cannot play the instruments in our heads. For that reason, all humanity has put its lasting information into words.

Music on the Holy Days psallo, septuagint, psallo, septuagint,

Israel whom Amos condemned were playing music on their holy day which had been expanded into many days.

It is claimed that:" is admitted that instrumental music was not employed in the synagogue on the Sabbath. The reason assigned is, that it would have infringed the law of the Sabbath requiring a cessation of all unnecessary work. Now, the question arises, how, in view of that law, it was employed in the temple on the Sabbath? The answer given is, that God, in that case, by his authority relaxed the rigor of the fourth commandment, and warranted work which otherwise would have been unjustifiable...

Girardeau responds: "I rejoin: A relaxation of the Sabbatic law, in favor of the temple-services, is not granted. Whatever was necessary or proper, according to God's appointment, in order to the observance of his worship, was provided for in that law. It was not requisite for God to dispense with his own authority to secure compliance with it." (John L. Girardeau, p. 72).

See more notes in connection with the Shofar which was retained after the destruction of the temple specificially because it was NOT a musical instrument.

The entire Monarchy period was a violation of God's Law. The people "fired" God and demanded a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations. God turned them over to human kings but first sent the sign of the musical prophesiers (male but effeminate) from the Philistine high places to turn Saul into another man which means to "pervert him." The quiet farmer turned into a self-glorifying warrior and took the credit by errecting a monument to himself and taking on religious authority which no king had

Of music on the Sabbath day or for religious purposes:

"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).

While special sabbaths were called, Jewish authorities deny that musical instruments were lawful on this weekly holy day. Even so:

"There is nothing to show that the blowing of the trumpets, on festival days and at the beginning of months, over the offerings

was accompanied by singing on the part of priests and Levites.

There is no mention of that fact, and Jewish tradition opposes the supposition. Moreover, it is almost certain that the blowing of trumpets on such occasions was a representative act performed by the priests, and that consequently

it was not accompanied by the singing of the congregation" (Girardeau, p. 28-29).

In the KJV Amos repeats the common theme: music as the cause or result of ignoring the Word and the people-

That chant (scatter words much like tongues) to the sound (breath) of the viol (5034), and invent (plot in a malicious sense) to themselves instruments (h3627 or weapons) of musick (singing) , like David; Am.6:5

That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Am 6:6

Chanting or "excelling" is-- psallo, septuagint, psallo, septuagint,

Parat (h6527) paw-rat'; a prim. root; to scatter words, i. e. prate or hum: - chant.

Therefore is the name of it called Confusion (); because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:9

"The central meaning of the Arabic root is "anticipating another," then hurry, negligence, excess, inadvertence in act, and, in speech, exaggeration in praise, and 'got the first word,' 'spoke precipitately, the tongue outrunning the sense.' Walid... says that the corresponding Arabic participle is used to those 'who extemporize poetry, i. e. sing extempore without thought. (Barnes, Albert, Amos, p. 308). Barnes identifies this with "soulless versifying which Bruner in The Holy Spirit identifies as "low-level glossolalia."

Paul blamed the Corinthians because their "songs" came out of their own "spirit" while he commanded everyone to sing inspired material.

While the Jews were rejoicing, God warned that the Assyrians were being defeated with the same music. The implication was that Israel had no reason to rejoice--they would be next. The , as usual, puts a negative twist on music because Israel could not hear the "trumpet" and the hoof-beat of the enemy. Isaiah asked--

Must ye always rejoice, and go into my holy places continually, as they that keep a feast? and must ye go with a pipe, as those that rejoice into the mountain of the Lord, to the God of Israel? Isaiah 30:29

And the Lord shall make his glorious voice to be heard, and the wrath of his arm, to make a display with wrath and anger and devouring flame: he shall lighten terribly, and his wrath shall be as water and violent hail. Isaiah 30:30 

For by the voice of the Lord the Assyrians shall be overcome, even by the stroke wherewith he shall smite them. Isaiah 30:31

And it shall happen to him from every side, that they from whom their hope or assistance was, in which he trusted, themselves shall war against him in turn with drums and with harp. Isaiah 30:32

For thou shalt be required before thy time; has it been prepared for thee also to reign? nay, God has prepared for thee a deep trench, wood piled, fire and much wood; the wrath of the Lord shall be as a trench kindled with sulphur. Isaiah 30:33 

See the whole story of how God will destroy with music.

Why would God be pleased by the very instruments which are symbolic of His wrath?

He then warned that Assyria would be consumed just as some Jews burned their infants in the red hot arms of the idol Molech while they were blowing flutes and beating on drums -- the tabrets which gave their name to Topheth -- hell itself:

2. Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols:(great mirth ) the worm (maggot) is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. Is.14:11

Ezekiel psallo, septuagint,

Ezekiel also prophesied that the music and musicians of Tyre would be cast into sheol. It is not coincidental that forcing people to honor the theatrical performers rather than hearing God through His Word is often related to breaking down the walls to allow the enemy to come in and, perhaps, pick up some of the financial load. Ezekiel said however, speaking for God, that:

They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. Ezek 26:12

I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. Ezek 26:13

then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of long ago. I will make you dwell in the earth below, as in ancient ruins, with those who go down to the pit, and you will not return or take your place in the land of the living. Ezek 26:20

Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. Ezek 33:30

And they come unto thee as the people cometh,
and they sit before thee as my people,
and they hear thy words,
but they will not do them:
for with their mouth they shew much love,
but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ezek 33: 31

And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song

of one that hath a pleasant voice,
and can play well on an instrument:
for they hear thy words,
but they do them not. Ezek 33: 32

And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. Ezek 33: 33

Again, the  is more forceful in showing that both the music and the musicians would be silenced--

"And he shall destroy the multitude of thy musicians, and the sound of thy psalteries shall be heard no more." Ezek. 26:13 

And the voice (sound) of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee;

and no craftsman (artisan), of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; Rev 18:22

Tyre, like the Babylon harlot religion would learn nothing from captivity:

At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king's life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: Isaiah 23:15

"Take up a harp, walk through the city, O prostitute forgotten; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered." Isaiah 23:16

The king of Tyre, like the king of Babylon, was a type of Lucifer who is bi-sexual and attracts customers like a prostitute. However, the king of Tyre wanted to be remembered as a male. His, indeed, was a masculine journey.

The  says that Tyre will be returned to her "primitive" state and the gain will go to the Lord before "The earth shall be completely laid waste."

Now, what about the claim that psallo in the Septuagint is authority for instrumental music even when Paul defined the "singing" as inward and directed to the Lord as we praise Him by telling others about His Word?

"If the meaning of certain verses may be in doubt, what is clear is that an instrument did not inhere in the word psallo in the Septuagint. Psallo could translate a word meaning 'play' (nagan), a word meaning only 'sing' (shir), or the general word (zamar). The meaning would cover all occurrences is 'make melody.' This could include making melody on an instrument, as in the classical use of the word,  but in the preponderance of occurrences it clearly refers to vocal music. Ferguson, p.7.

This is absolutely clear if you just look at the passages where Zamar or Nagan are used. Their definition IS NOT singing and playing an instrument at the same time. The word is at times ASSOCIATED with singing but SINGING is always defined by its own word. Makes sense: singing is singing and playing is playing and you cannot define BOTH with one word. You sing a song AND if an instrument accompanies you then the INSTRUMENT is always named.

See our chart under Arndt by Clicking Here. This chart associates instruments with legal festivals or with other non-worship rituals. The majority of the Psalms are sung with no instruments.

Kenneth Sublett Comments welcome

Musical Index psallo, septuagint, o, lucian of samosata,

Home Page psallo, psallo, septuagint, lucian of samosata, psallo, lucian of samosata, psallo, lucian of samosata, psallo, lucian of samosata,

Counter added 11.22.04 1817  4.28.11 10111