How many times is Music mentioned in the Bible? (What does the Bible say about Music?)

As a born-again Christian, Music plays a vital role in my worship routine. Just the other day, while driving to work and listening to my favorite worship album, I couldn’t help but wonder about what the Bible says regarding Music. I was eager to find out, so during our next Bible study session, I posed the question to my friends, and we embarked on an adventure through the Scriptures to unearth the truth about God’s view on Music. Our discussion commenced with the query, “How many times is music mentioned in the Bible?”

The word “music” appears about 8 times in the Bible, and among the scriptures that talk about it is 1 Chronicles 6:31-32. Also, there are many other references to singing, instruments, and worship that relate to Music in the Bible, for instance, in Psalm 95:1 and Psalm 33:2-3. According to theologians, Music is a form of communication and expression that can be used to glorify God and draw us closer to Him.

In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into this discussion and uncover what the Bible says about Music. To also learn about the history of Music in the Bible, what type of musical instruments were used in the Old Testament, and who was the first musician in the Bible, keep reading.

What does the Bible say about Music?

The Bible emphasizes that Music is a form of worship and praise to God, as seen in Psalm 150, and a great way of communicating amongst believers, as mentioned in Colossians 3:16. Also, the Bible warns us not to misuse Music, particularly for self-glorification or to promote sinful behavior, as implied in Amos 6:5. It’s worth knowing that although the word “music” isn’t frequently mentioned in the Bible, there are many references to singing, playing instruments, and worship that relate to Music as mentioned earlier.

The Bible also shows us the significant role that Music played in the worship routine of people in the Old Testament, as mentioned in scriptures like 1 Chronicles 15:16-24, where we see King David organizing the Levites to play various instruments and sing as they brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. In the New Testament, Music is also mentioned severally, and we see it being used for worship and spreading the Gospel, as explained in Ephesians 5:19.

Bible verses about Music

What does the Bible say about Music?
Bible verses about Music. Image source: Pixabay

Aside from the verses already discussed, other scriptures about Music include Psalm 98:4-6, where the Bible encourages the use of musical instruments to make a joyful noise before the Lord, suggesting that Music can be a way of expressing joy and celebration in our relationship with God.

Psalm 147:7 encourages us to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving, reminding us that Music can be used to express gratitude to God for His goodness and provision.

1 Chronicles 16:9 calls us to sing to the Lord, reminding us that Music is a way of proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

James 5:13 reminds those suffering or in trouble to pray and those who are happy to sing songs of praise, suggesting that Music can be used to express both our joys and sorrows to God.

Finally, Psalm 98:1 calls us to sing to and celebrate and rejoice in God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Who was the first musician in the Bible?

The Bible doesn’t explicitly state who the first musician was. However, many scholars agree that based on the accounts given in the Bible, Jubal, who’s described in Genesis 4:21 as “the father of all who play the lyre and pipe,” was the first musician. According to these scholars, Jubal was an early musician and the inventor of these instruments and is believed to be within the lineage of Cain. Also, King David, who’s described in 1 Samuel 16:23 as playing the lyre for King Saul, is considered one of the earliest musicians in the Bible. He’s credited with writing many of the Psalms, which are full of musical expressions of worship and praise to God.

What are the musical terms used in the Bible?

The Bible contains several musical terms used to describe different aspects of Music, and one of these terms is “Mizmor,” the Hebrew word for “psalm.” Psalms refer to sacred songs or hymns of praise, often accompanied by musical instruments. Another term used in the Bible is “Tehillah,” the Hebrew word for “hymn,” which refers to a song of praise or thanksgiving. The term “melody” is also used in the Bible to describe a musical tune or theme.” “Zamar,” meaning “to make music” or “to sing praises,” is also often used in the Old Testament to describe the act of singing praises to God. Finally, “Ron,” meaning “shouting” or “shouts of joy,” is used in several passages in the Old Testament to describe the act of shouting or singing praises to God with joy and exultation.

What is the history of Music in the Bible?

What does the Bible say about Music?
History of Music in the Bible. Image source: Pixabay

One of the earliest references to Music in the Bible can be found in the book of Genesis, where Jubal, the son of Lamech, is mentioned as the father of all those who play the harp and flute. Throughout the Old Testament, Music was used in a variety of contexts, including worshiping, praising, and even prayer, and this is evident in the book of Psalms, which is essentially a collection of songs and poems of worship. In the New Testament, Music continues to play an important role, particularly in the book of Revelation, where John describes a vision of the heavenly throne room, where he sees the twenty-four elders and four living creatures singing a new song to the Lamb of God. Scholars imply that this vision portrays Music as an integral part of worship in heaven.

Historically, scholars have found evidence of musical instruments and musical notation dating back to ancient Israel, for instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which include fragments of musical texts that are believed to have been used in Jewish worship. Similarly, archaeological excavations have uncovered numerous examples of musical instruments, including harps and lyres.

Was Satan in charge of Music in Heaven?

The idea that Satan was in charge of Music in heaven isn’t explicitly stated in the Bible. Still, rather, it’s a theological interpretation based on verses like Ezekiel 28:12-19, which describes the King of Tyre (who’s interpreted to be Satan) as having been in the Garden of Eden and as being “the anointed cherub who covers.” Some interpreters see a connection between the King of Tyre’s description as a cherub, and the fact that cherubim are associated with Music in other passages of the Bible, like in Psalm 99:1. The interpretation that Satan was in charge of Music in heaven seems to come from a combination of a few different passages, including Isaiah 14:11. It’s important to note that these interpretations aren’t universally accepted among scholars and theologians, with some arguing that the passages commonly associated with this idea don’t necessarily support it.

What types of musical instruments are mentioned in the Old Testament?

What does the Bible say about Music?
Types of musical instruments. Image source: Pixabay

Some of the musical instruments mentioned in the Old Testament include the harp, which was one of the most common musical instruments. A popular appearance of the harp is in 1 Samuel 16:23, where King David plays the harp to soothe King Saul’s troubled spirit. The lyre was another instrument mentioned in the Old Testament. Additionally, the trumpet is mentioned in the Old Testament and was commonly used to call the people of Israel to worship and to announce the arrival of kings and other dignitaries.

Flutes are also mentioned and were often used in celebrations like weddings. The tambourine and cymbals are also discussed as being played during religious processions. Finally, horns made from a ram’s horn were commonly used in the Old Testament as a call to assembly, a signal for battle, and a warning of impending danger. Horns were also used in religious ceremonies.

What are the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs mentioned in the Bible

Psalms are often considered a type of poetry in the Bible that’s set to Music, and many of the psalms are attributed to King David. Hymns, on the other hand, are songs of praise and worship typically written to honor God. They often have a more structured and formalized composition than Psalms, with a clear focus on the religious message and theological content. Spiritual songs are a broader category that encompasses a wide range of religious Music that expresses personal feelings of faith, joy, and gratitude, like the Song of Moses in Exodus 15.

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