What Does the Bible Say About . . . .

Music, Songs and Musical Instruments


Music fills the courts of heaven as heavenly beings praise our Lord and Creator. When God created the world, the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy (Job 38:7). God created man in His own image, to be a instrument of praise. He gave humans the ability to sing and to make music with musical instruments to complement the voice.

Music was an important part of the worship service at the temple. Certain groups of the Levitical tribes were designated as temple musicians and singers, offering their praises to God. David had a real gift of music, providing soothing harp music to King Saul when the king was distraught. David also commissioned most of the instruments and songs for the temple services. He also wrote most of the songs in Psalms, the longest book in the Bible.

Songs and poetry were also means to improve the memory, to help remember significant events or warnings. The Song of Moses is a good example of this.

From the introduction of the harp and flute early in Genesis to the song of the redeemed in God's heavenly city, music fills the Holy Scriptures. A number of songs are included in their entirety in this compilation. Our prayer is that your heart will be filled with music as together we study what the Bible has to say about music, songs and musical instruments.


Parentheses ( ) enclose the various suffixes used.

harp(ist, ists, s)
horn, ram's horns
stringed instruments
music of the strings
the strings

music(al, ian, ians)
sing(er, ers, ing, s)
trumpet(s) [musical applications only]

Note: There are no references to any drum type instruments mentioned in the New International Version of the Holy Bible such as: drum(s), percussion and rhythm or beat. Tambourines and cymbals are the only percussion instruments mentioned. The Hebrew from which word "sistrums" came, has also been translated as "castenets" or "cornets" in other translations of the Bible. It is only used once in the Bible, in 2 Sam. 6:5.

The word trumpet is used frequently in non-musical settings such as for warning, a battle signal and for religious occasions prior to some important declaration. The usage of trumpets in those settings have been left out of the text compilation. Where trumpets are used for musical purposes or to announce Christ's "second coming," the verses have been retained.


Gen. 4:20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute.

Gen. 31:26 Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You've deceived me, and you've carried off my daughters like captives in war. 27Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn't you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of tambourines and harps? 28You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters good-by. You have done a foolish thing.

Praise for God's deliverance

Exod. 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. 3The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name. . . . 19When Pharaoh's horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. 21Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea."

Singing and dancing accompanied the worship of the golden calf

Exod. 32:17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, "There is the sound of war in the camp." 18Moses replied: "It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear." 19When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.

Num. 21:16 From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the LORD said to Moses, "Gather the people together and I will give them water." 17Then Israel sang this song: "Spring up, O well! Sing about it, 18about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank-- the nobles with scepters and staffs."

Introduction: Songs as poetry were a mechanism used frequently in days of old to improve recall. The song of Moses is such as song. Since it is referred to in Revelation as being sung by those standing on the sea of glass, I have included it in its entirety.

Deut. 31:19 "Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. 20When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. 21And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath." 22So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites. . . . 30And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:

The Song of Moses

Deut. 32:1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
     3I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! 4He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
     5They have acted corruptly toward him; to their shame they are no longer his children, but a warped and crooked generation. 6Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?
     7Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you. 8When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. 9For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.
     10In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, 11like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. 12The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.
     13He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag, 14with curds and milk from herd and flock and with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of Bashan and the finest kernels of wheat. You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
     15Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior. 16They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. 17They sacrificed to demons, which are not God-- gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear. 18You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.
     19The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20"I will hide my face from them," he said, "and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 21They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding. 22For a fire has been kindled by my wrath, one that burns to the realm of death below. It will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains.
     23"I will heap calamities upon them and spend my arrows against them. 24I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust. 25In the street the sword will make them childless; in their homes terror will reign. Young men and young women will perish, infants and gray-haired men. 26I said I would scatter them and blot out their memory from mankind, 27but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy, lest the adversary misunderstand and say, `Our hand has triumphed; the LORD has not done all this.'"
     28They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. 29If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be! 30How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up? 31For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede. 32Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness. 33Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras. 34"Have I not kept this in reserve and sealed it in my vaults? 35It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them."
     36The LORD will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. 37He will say "Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in, 38the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!
     39"See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. 40I lift my hand to heaven and declare: As surely as I live forever, 41when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. 42I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders."
     43Rejoice, O nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.
     44Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46he said to them, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law.

The Song of Deborah and Barak

Judg. 5:1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song: 2"When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves-- praise the LORD! 3"Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I will sing to the LORD, I will sing; I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel. 4"O LORD, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water. 5The mountains quaked before the LORD, the One of Sinai, before the LORD, the God of Israel. 6"In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the roads were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths. 7Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. 8When they chose new gods, war came to the city gates, and not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel. 9My heart is with Israel's princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the LORD! 10"You who ride on white donkeys, sitting on your saddle blankets, and you who walk along the road, consider 11the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recite the righteous acts of the LORD, the righteous acts of his warriors in Israel.

Judg. 11:34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, "Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break." 36"My father," she replied, "you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.

1Sam. 10:5 [Samuel said to Saul] "After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. 6The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.

David plays his harp to soothe King Saul

davidplayingharp.jpg (96922 bytes)

1Sam. 16:15 Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better." 17So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me." 18One of the servants answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him." 19Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep." 20So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul. 21David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him." 23Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands

1Sam. 18:5 Whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the people, and Saul's officers as well. 6When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. 7As they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." 8Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" 9And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 10The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11and he hurled it, saying to himself, "I'll pin David to the wall." But David eluded him twice.

1Sam. 19:8 Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him. 9But an evil spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp, 10Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

1Sam. 21:10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11But the servants of Achish said to him, "Isn't this David, the king of the land? Isn't he the one they sing about in their dances: "`Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands'?" 12David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath.

1Sam. 29:4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with him and said, "Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master's favor than by taking the heads of our own men? 5Isn't this the David they sang about in their dances: "`Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands'?" 6So Achish called David and said to him, "As surely as the LORD lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until now, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don't approve of you.

2Sam. 3:32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner's tomb. All the people wept also. 33The king sang this lament for Abner: "Should Abner have died as the lawless die? 34Your hands were not bound, your feet were not fettered. You fell as one falls before wicked men." And all the people wept over him again.

Israel celebrates with all their might before the Lord

2Sam. 6:3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.

2Sam. 19:34 But Barzillai answered the king, "How many more years will I live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? 35I am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between what is good and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks? Can I still hear the voices of men and women singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36Your servant will cross over the Jordan with the king for a short distance, but why should the king reward me in this way?

David's song of deliverance

2Sam. 22:1 David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-- from violent men you save me. 4I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
     5"The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 6The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 7In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.
     8"The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. 9Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 10He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 11He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 12He made darkness his canopy around him-- the dark rain clouds of the sky. 13Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. 14The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 15He shot arrows and scattered [the enemies], bolts of lightning and routed them. 16The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of breath from his nostrils.
     17"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 18He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 19They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. 20He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
     21"The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. 22For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God. 23All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. 24I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. 25The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.
     26"To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, 27to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. 28You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. 29You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. 30With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
     31"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 32For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? 33It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 34He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. 35He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36You give me your shield of victory; you stoop down to make me great. 37You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. . . .
     49[The Lord] sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me. 50Therefore I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing praises to your name. 51He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever."

2Sam. 23:1 These are the last words of David: "The oracle of David son of Jesse, the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, Israel's singer of songs: 2"The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.

1Kgs. 1:39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, "Long live King Solomon!" 40And all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound. 41Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, "What's the meaning of all the noise in the city?" 42Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, "Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news." 43"Not at all!" Jonathan answered. "Our lord King David has made Solomon king.

Solomon wrote over a thousand songs

1Kgs. 4:31 [Solomon] was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite --wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.

1Kgs. 10:11 (Hiram's ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones. 12The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)

2Kgs. 3:14 Elisha said, "As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you or even notice you. 15But now bring me a harpist." While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha 16and he said, "This is what the LORD says: Make this valley full of ditches. 17For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD; he will also hand Moab over to you.

David chose men to minister with music at the tabernacle

1Chr. 6:31 These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the LORD after the ark came to rest there. 32They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them. 33Here are the men who served, together with their sons: From the Kohathites: Heman, the musician, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, . . . [etc.]

1Chr. 9:33 Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night. 34All these were heads of Levite families, chiefs as listed in their genealogy, and they lived in Jerusalem.

1Chr. 13:7 They moved the ark of God from Abinadab's house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it. 8David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals and trumpets.

The ark moves to Jerusalem with much fanfare and music


1Chr. 15:15 And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the LORD. 16David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals. 17So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel; from his brothers, Asaph son of Berekiah; and from their brothers the Merarites, Ethan son of Kushaiah; 18and with them their brothers next in rank: Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom and Jeiel, the gatekeepers. 19The musicians Heman, Asaph and Ethan were to sound the bronze cymbals; 20Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah were to play the lyres according to alamoth, 21and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel and Azaziah were to play the harps, directing according to sheminith. 22Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it.

1Chr. 15:25 So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of units of a thousand went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-edom, with rejoicing. 26Because God had helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed. 27Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the singers, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. 28So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouts, with the sounding of rams' horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps. 29As the ark of the covenant of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.

A psalm of thanks

1Chr. 16:4 He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to make petition, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel: 5Asaph was the chief, Zechariah second, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom and Jeiel. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals, 6and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow the trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God.
     7That day David first committed to Asaph and his associates this psalm of thanks to the LORD:
     8Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 11Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 12Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 13O descendants of Israel his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones. 14He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 15He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, 16the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. 17He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: 18"To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit."
     19When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, 20they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. 21He allowed no man to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: 22"Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm." 23Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. 24Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 25For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 26For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 27Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place. 28Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, 29ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 30Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 31Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!" 32Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! 33Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
     34Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35Cry out, "Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise." 36Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said "Amen" and "Praise the LORD."

1Chr. 16:41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the LORD, "for his love endures forever." 42Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were stationed at the gate. 43Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

A four thousand member choir and orchestra

1Chr. 23:4 David said, "Of these, twenty-four thousand are to supervise the work of the temple of the LORD and six thousand are to be officials and judges. 5Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the LORD with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose."

1Chr. 25:1 David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service: 2From the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asarelah. The sons of Asaph were under the supervision of Asaph, who prophesied under the king's supervision. 3As for Jeduthun, from his sons: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six in all, under the supervision of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied, using the harp in thanking and praising the LORD. 4As for Heman, from his sons: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael and Jerimoth; Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti and Romamti-ezer; Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir and Mahazioth. 5All these were sons of Heman the king's seer. They were given him through the promises of God to exalt him. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. 6All these men were under the supervision of their fathers for the music of the temple of the LORD, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the supervision of the king. 7Along with their relatives --all of them trained and skilled in music for the LORD --they numbered 288.

Commentary: One of David's chosen directors for the ministry of music was Asaph. He was very talented and wrote a number of the Psalms. His descendants provided music at the temple for many generations and even after the Babylonian captivity when the temple was rebuilt. You will notice his name is mentioned frequently as you read on.

All lifted their voices to the Lord

2Chr. 5:12 All the Levites who were musicians --Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives --stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. 13The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, 14and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.

2Chr. 7:5 And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God. 6The priests took their positions, as did the Levites with the LORD's musical instruments, which King David had made for praising the LORD and which were used when he gave thanks, saying, "His love endures forever." Opposite the Levites, the priests blew their trumpets, and all the Israelites were standing.

2Chr. 9:10 (The men of Hiram and the men of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood and precious stones. 11The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the LORD and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)

2Chr. 15:14 They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.

King Jehoshaphat, with a choir, goes to battle

2Chr. 20:20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful." 21After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." 22As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. . . . 27Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets. 29The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.

2Chr. 23:12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the king, she went to them at the temple of the LORD. 13She looked, and there was the king, standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and singers with musical instruments were leading the praises. . . . 18Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the LORD in the hands of the priests, who were Levites, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the LORD as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered.

Hezekiah's celebrates with his people and worships God

2Chr. 29:25 He stationed the Levites in the temple of the LORD with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David and Gad the king's seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the LORD through his prophets. 26So the Levites stood ready with David's instruments, and the priests with their trumpets. 27Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the LORD began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. 28The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed. 29When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed their heads and worshiped.

2Chr. 30:21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing, while the Levites and priests sang to the LORD every day, accompanied by the LORD's instruments of praise. 22Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of the LORD. For the seven days they ate their assigned portion and offered fellowship offerings and praised the LORD, the God of their fathers.

2Chr. 31:2 Hezekiah assigned the priests and Levites to divisions --each of them according to their duties as priests or Levites --to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, to minister, to give thanks and to sing praises at the gates of the LORD's dwelling. 3The king contributed from his own possessions for the morning and evening burnt offerings and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moons and appointed feasts as written in the Law of the LORD.

Skilled musicians

2Chr. 34:12 The men did the work faithfully. Over them to direct them were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descended from Kohath. The Levites --all who were skilled in playing musical instruments-- 13had charge of the laborers and supervised all the workers from job to job. Some of the Levites were secretaries, scribes and doorkeepers.

2Chr. 35:15 The musicians, the descendants of Asaph, were in the places prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun the king's seer. The gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their posts, because their fellow Levites made the preparations for them. 16So at that time the entire service of the LORD was carried out for the celebration of the Passover and the offering of burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD, as King Josiah had ordered.

2Chr. 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the men and women singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. 26The other events of Josiah's reign and his acts of devotion, according to what is written in the Law of the LORD-- 27all the events, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

Ezra 2:40 The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel (through the line of Hodaviah) 74. 41The singers: the descendants of Asaph 128. . . . 64The whole company numbered 42,360, 65besides their 7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 200 men and women singers.

Ezra 2:70 The priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers and the temple servants settled in their own towns, along with some of the other people, and the rest of the Israelites settled in their towns.

Ezra 3:10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel. 11With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Ezra 7:6 Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him. 7Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.

Singers and other temple workers were exempted from paying tax

Ezra 7:24 [King Artaxerxes, wrote to the treasurers of Trans-euphrates] You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God.

Ezra 10:24 From the singers: Eliashib. From the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem and Uri.

Neh. 7:1 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed.

Neh. 7:44 The singers: the descendants of Asaph 148. . . 66The whole company numbered 42,360, 67besides their 7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 245 men and women singers. . . . 73The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers and the temple servants, along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns.

Neh. 10:28 "The rest of the people --priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand-- 29all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our Lord. . . . 38A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury. 39The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and oil to the storerooms where the articles for the sanctuary are kept and where the ministering priests, the gatekeepers and the singers stay. "We will not neglect the house of our God."

Neh. 11:22 The chief officer of the Levites in Jerusalem was Uzzi son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica. Uzzi was one of Asaph's descendants, who were the singers responsible for the service of the house of God. 23The singers were under the king's orders, which regulated their daily activity.

The dedication of the temple

Neh. 12:8 The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and also Mattaniah, who, together with his associates, was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. . . .
     27At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. 28The singers also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem --from the villages of the Netophathites, 29from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem. 30When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall.
     31I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate. 32Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them, 33along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 35as well as some priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, 36and his associates --Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani --with musical instruments [prescribed by] David the man of God. Ezra the scribe led the procession. 37At the Fountain Gate they continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the house of David to the Water Gate on the east.
     38The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top of the wall, together with half the people --past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall, 39over the Gate of Ephraim, the Jeshanah Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. At the Gate of the Guard they stopped.
     40The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I, together with half the officials, 41as well as the priests --Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets-- 42and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer. The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah. 43And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
     44At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites. 45They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the singers and gatekeepers, according to the commands of David and his son Solomon. 46For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the singers and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the singers and gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.

Neh. 13:4 Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, 5and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, singers and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests. . . . 9I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense. 10I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. 11So I rebuked the officials and asked them, "Why is the house of God neglected?" Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.

Job 21:11 They send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance about. 12They sing to the music of tambourine and harp; they make merry to the sound of the flute. 13They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.

Job 29:11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, 12because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. 13The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing. 14I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.

Job 30:8 A base and nameless brood, they were driven out of the land. 9"And now their sons mock me in song; I have become a byword among them. . . . 30My skin grows black and peels; my body burns with fever. 31My harp is tuned to mourning, and my flute to the sound of wailing.

Job 35:9 "Men cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. 10But no one says, `Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, 11who teaches more to us than to the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?'

Job 36:23 Who has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, `You have done wrong'? 24Remember to extol his work, which men have praised in song. 25All mankind has seen it; men gaze on it from afar.

Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: 2"Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? 3Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-- 7while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Introduction: The word Psalms means Songs. The entire book is primarily composed of songs and poems, songs of praise, of lament, of mourning, or thanksgiving. Being the longest book of the Bible, it would be impractical to repeat the book in its entirety here. Therefore, bits and snatches, and some entire chapters have been repeated here to whet the reader's appetite. It is recommended that the reader obtain a copy of the Holy Bible and read through the book of Psalms at least once to gain an appreciation of the music and prayers of the past.

Ps. 5:0 For the director of music. For flutes. A psalm of David. . . . 10Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. 11But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Ps. 7:0 A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite. . . . 17I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name

Ps. 8:0 For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David. 1O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

Ps. 9:0 For the director of music. To [the tune of] "The Death of the Son." A psalm of David. 1I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. 2I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. . . . 10Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. 11Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. 12For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. . . . 18defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Ps. 13:0 For the director of music. A psalm of David. . . . 5But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

Ps. 18:0 For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: 1I love you, O LORD, my strength. . . . 48You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me. 49Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; I will sing praises to your name. 50He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.

The heavens declare the glory of God

Ps. 19:0 For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. . . . 14May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Ps. 21:0 For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1O LORD, the king rejoices in your strength. How great is his joy in the victories you give! . . . 13Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.

Ps. 22:0 For the director of music. To [the tune of] "The Doe of the Morning." A psalm of David. 1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?

Ps. 27:5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. 7Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.

The Lord is my strength and my shield

Ps. 28:6 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. 7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 8The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

Ps. 30:0 A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David. 1I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. 33O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. 4Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. 5For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. . . . 11You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Ps. 31:0 For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

You are my hiding place

Ps. 32:6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. 7You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah 8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 9Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. 11Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Ps. 33:1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. 2Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. 4For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Ps. 40:0 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 1I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. 4Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Ps. 42:0 For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. 1As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" 4These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. 5Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon --from Mount Mizar. 7Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life. 9I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?" 10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?" 11Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Ps. 43:3 Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. 4Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. 5Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Ps. 45:0 For the director of music. To [the tune of] "Lilies." Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. A wedding song. 1My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

The music of the strings makes you glad

Ps. 45:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. 8All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. 9Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. . . . 17I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.

Ps. 46:0 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song. 1God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Clap your hands all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy

Ps. 47:0 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. 1Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. 2How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! 3He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. 4He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. Selah 5God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. 6Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. 7For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. 8God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. 9The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.

Ps. 48:0 A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. 1Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

Ps. 49:0 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. 1Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, 2both low and high, rich and poor alike: 3My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding. 4I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle: . . .

Ps. 51:0 For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. 1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. . . . 13Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. 14Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. . . . 19Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Ps. 52:0 For the director of music. A maskil of David. When Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him: "David has gone to the house of Ahimelech." 1Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?

Ps. 53:0 For the director of music. According to mahalath. A maskil of David. 1The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.

Ps. 54:0 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David. When the Ziphites had gone to Saul and said, "Is not David hiding among us?" 1Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might.

Awake my soul!

Ps. 57:0 For the director of music. [To the tune of] "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave. 1Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. . . . 6They spread a net for my feet-- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path-- but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah 7My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. 8Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 9I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 10For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 11Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

Ps. 58:0 For the director of music. [To the tune of] "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A miktam. 1Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly among men?

Ps. 59:0 For the director of music. [To the tune of] "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A miktam. When Saul had sent men to watch David's house in order to kill him. 1Deliver me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me. . . . 15They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied. 16But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. 17O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

Ps. 60:0 For the director of music. To [the tune of] "The Lily of the Covenant." A miktam of David. For teaching. When he fought Aram Naharaim and Aram Zobah, and when Joab returned and struck down twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 1You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us; you have been angry --now restore us!

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I

Ps. 61:0 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. Of David. 1Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. 4I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah 5For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6Increase the days of the king's life, his years for many generations. 7May he be enthroned in God's presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. 8Then will I ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.

Ps. 63:4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Ps. 65:0 For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song. 1Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. 2O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come. 3When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. 4Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. 5You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, 6who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, 7who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. 8Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy. 9You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. 10You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. 11You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. 12The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. 13The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

Make His praise glorious

Ps. 66:0 For the director of music. A song. A psalm. 1Shout with joy to God, all the earth! 2Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! 3Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. 4All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." Selah 5Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!

May the Lord bless us and make His face shine upon us

Ps. 67:0 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song. 1May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, Selah 2that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. 3May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 4May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. Selah 5May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 6Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. 7God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Sing to God, sing praise to His name

Ps. 68:0 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song. 1May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. 2As smoke is blown away by the wind, may you blow them away; as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. 3But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.
     4Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds-- his name is the LORD-- and rejoice before him. 5A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
     7When you went out before your people, O God, when you marched through the wasteland, Selah 8the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. 10Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.
     11The Lord announced the word, and great was the company of those who proclaimed it: 12"Kings and armies flee in haste; in the camps men divide the plunder. 13Even while you sleep among the campfires, the wings of [my] dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold." 14When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land, it was like snow fallen on Zalmon.
     15The mountains of Bashan are majestic mountains; rugged are the mountains of Bashan. 16Why gaze in envy, O rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the LORD himself will dwell forever? 17The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord [has come] from Sinai into his sanctuary. 18When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious-- that you, O LORD God, might dwell there.
     19Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah 20Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.
     21Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies, the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins. 22The Lord says, "I will bring them from Bashan; I will bring them from the depths of the sea, 23that you may plunge your feet in the blood of your foes, while the tongues of your dogs have their share." 24Your procession has come into view, O God, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary. 25In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the maidens playing tambourines. 26Praise God in the great congregation; praise the LORD in the assembly of Israel. 27There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them, there the great throng of Judah's princes, and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.
     28Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, O God, as you have done before. 29Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring you gifts. 30Rebuke the beast among the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations. Humbled, may it bring bars of silver. Scatter the nations who delight in war. 31Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush will submit herself to God. 32Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, Selah 33to him who rides the ancient skies above, who thunders with mighty voice. 34Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies. 35You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!

Ps. 69:0 For the director of music. To [the tune of] "Lilies." Of David. 1Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. . . . 10When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn; 11when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. 12Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards. 13But I pray to you, O LORD, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. . . . 29I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me. 30I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. 31This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs. . . . 34Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, 35for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; 36the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.

You have redeemed me

Ps. 71:21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. 22I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you-- I, whom you have redeemed. 24My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.

Ps. 75:0 For the director of music. [To the tune of] "Do Not Destroy." A psalm of Asaph. A song. 1We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds. . . . 8In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs. 9As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob. 10I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.

Ps. 76:0 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song. 1In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel. . . . 12He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth.

Ps. 77:0 For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm. 1I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. . . . 5I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; 6I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: 7"Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?

Ps. 78:62 He gave his people over to the sword; he was very angry with his inheritance. 63Fire consumed their young men, and their maidens had no wedding songs; 64their priests were put to the sword, and their widows could not weep.

Ps. 80:0 For the director of music. To [the tune of] "The Lilies of the Covenant." Of Asaph. A psalm. 1Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth . . . 19Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.

Begin the music!

Ps. 81:0 For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph. 1Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! 2Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre. 3Sound the ram's horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast; 4this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

Ps. 84:0 For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. 1How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! . . . 12O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Ps. 87:0 Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. A song. 1He has set his foundation on the holy mountain; . . . 6The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: "This one was born in Zion." Selah 7As they make music they will sing, "All my fountains are in you."

Ps. 88:0 A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth. A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite. 1O LORD, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you.

Ps. 89:0 A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. 1I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. 2I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. . . . 11The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. 12You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name. 13Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

Ps. 90:13 Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. 14Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.

Ps. 92:0 A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day. 1It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, 2to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. 4For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. 5How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts!

Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation

Ps. 95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.

Sing to the Lord a new song

Ps. 96:1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 6Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; 12let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; 13they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.

Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains shout for joy

Ps. 98:0 A psalm. 1Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn-- shout for joy before the LORD, the King. 7Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; 9let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Ps. 100:1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Ps. 101:0 Of David. A psalm. 1I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise. 2I will be careful to lead a blameless life-- when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart.

Ps. 104:11 They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. 13He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

Ps. 104:31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works-- 32he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. 33I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 34May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.

Ps. 105:1 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 2Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 3Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

Ps. 106:11 The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived. 12Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. 13But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel.

Ps. 107:21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. 22Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. 23Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. . . . 43Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.

Ps. 108:0 A song. A psalm of David. 1My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. 2Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 3I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 4For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

The Lord is my strength and my song

Ps. 118:14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 15Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!

Ps. 119:54 Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. . . . 172May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.

Ps. 120:0 A song of ascents. 1I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.

Ps. 121:0 A song of ascents. 1I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from?

Ps. 122:0 A song of ascents. Of David. 1I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."

Ps. 123:0 A song of ascents. 1I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.

Ps. 124:0 A song of ascents. Of David. 1If the LORD had not been on our side-- let Israel say-- 2if the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, 3when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; 4the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, 5the raging waters would have swept us away. 6Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. 7We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. 8Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Ps. 125:0 A song of ascents. 1Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy

Ps. 126:0 A song of ascents. 1When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. 2Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." 3The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. 4Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. 5Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. 6He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

Ps. 127:0 A song of ascents. Of Solomon. 1Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

Ps. 128:0 A song of ascents. 1Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.

Ps. 132:0 A song of ascents. 1O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured. . . . 8arise, O LORD, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. 9May your priests be clothed with righteousness; may your saints sing for joy." 10For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed one. . . . 15I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food. 16I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy. 17"Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. 18I will clothe his enemies with shame, but the crown on his head will be resplendent."

Ps. 133:0 A song of ascents. Of David. 1How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

Ps. 134:0 A song of ascents. 1Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.

Ps. 135:1 Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD, 2you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. 3Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. 4For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession.

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept as we remembered Zion

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Ps. 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 2There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" 4How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? 5If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget [its skill].

Ps. 138:0 Of David. 1I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing your praise. 2I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. 3When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted. 4May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth. 5May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great. 6Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. 7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. 8The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-- do not abandon the works of your hands.

Ps. 139:0 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 1O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. . . . 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Ps. 144:9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, 10to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.

Ps. 145:6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. 8The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

Ps. 146:1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. 2I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

How good and fitting to sing praises to our God

Ps. 147:1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 2The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.

Ps. 147:6 The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. 7Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. 8He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.

Ps. 149:1 Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. 2Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. 3Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. 4For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. 5Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.

Praise the Lord!

Ps. 150:1 Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. 2Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. 3Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, 4praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, 5praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. 6Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart

Prov. 25:19 Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. 20Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

Prov. 29:6 An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad. 7The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

Eccl. 2:8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well --the delights of the heart of man. 9I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

Eccl. 7:5 It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. 6Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.

Eccl. 12:1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"-- 2before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; 4when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; 5when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets. 6Remember him --before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, 7and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Song 1:1 Solomon's Song of Songs. 2Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine.

Song 2:11 See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. 12Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. 13The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me."

Woe to those who sing and play but have no regard for the Lord

Isa. 5:1 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. 2He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. . . . 11Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. 12They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands. 13Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; their men of rank will die of hunger and their masses will be parched with thirst.

Isa. 12:1 In that day you will say: "I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. 5Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. 6Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you."

Isa. 14:5 The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, 6which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression. 7All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing. 8Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, "Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down." . . . 11All 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.

Isa. 16:9 So I weep, as Jazer weeps, for the vines of Sibmah. O Heshbon, O Elealeh, I drench you with tears! The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit and over your harvests have been stilled. 10Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards; no one sings or shouts in the vineyards; no one treads out wine at the presses, for I have put an end to the shouting. 11My heart laments for Moab like a harp, my inmost being for Kir Hareseth.

Isa. 23:14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish; your fortress is destroyed! 15At 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: 16"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." 17At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire as a prostitute and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth.

The sounds of gaiety will be stopped

Isa. 24:1 See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants-- . . . 8The gaiety of the tambourines is stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent. 9No longer do they drink wine with a song; the beer is bitter to its drinkers. 10The ruined city lies desolate; the entrance to every house is barred. 11In the streets they cry out for wine; all joy turns to gloom, all gaiety is banished from the earth. 12The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pieces. 13So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest. 14They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD's majesty. 15Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. 16From the ends of the earth we hear singing: "Glory to the Righteous One." But I said, "I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!"

Isa. 25:4 You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall 5and like the heat of the desert. You silence the uproar of foreigners; as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you

Isa. 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. 2Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. 3You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. 4Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

Isa. 27:1 In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. 2In that day-- "Sing about a fruitful vineyard: 3I, the LORD, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it.

Isa. 30:27 See, the Name of the LORD comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire. 28His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck. He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction; he places in the jaws of the peoples a bit that leads them astray. 29And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. 30The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. 31The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria; with his scepter he will strike them down. 32Every stroke the LORD lays on them with his punishing rod will be to the music of tambourines and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.

The eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped - Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy

Isa. 35:1 The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. 3Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." 5Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. 8And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Death cannot praise you

Isa. 38:18 For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness. 19The living, the living --they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness. 20The LORD will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the LORD.

Isa. 42:10 Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. 11Let the desert and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops. 12Let them give glory to the LORD and proclaim his praise in the islands.

Isa. 44:22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you." 23Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, O earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.

Isa. 49:12 See, they will come from afar-- some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan. " 13Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. 14But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." 15"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 17Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. 18Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live," declares the LORD, "you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.

Isa. 51:3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. 4"Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. . . . 10Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over? 11The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isa. 52:8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. 9Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

Isa. 54:1 "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD. 2"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.

The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands

Isa. 55:10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isa. 65:13 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. 14My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.

Jer. 20:12 O LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause. 13Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.

Jer. 30:18 "This is what the LORD says: "`I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. 19From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.

You will again take up your tambourines and dance with the joyful

Jer. 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. 4I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. 5Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. 6There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, `Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.'" 7This is what the LORD says: "Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, `O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.' 8See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return.

Jer. 48:35 In Moab I will put an end to those who make offerings on the high places and burn incense to their gods," declares the LORD. 36"So my heart laments for Moab like a flute; it laments like a flute for the men of Kir Hareseth. The wealth they acquired is gone.

Lam. 3:13 He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. 14I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long. 15He has filled me with bitter herbs and sated me with gall. . . . 61O LORD, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me-- 62what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long. 63Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs. 64Pay them back what they deserve, O LORD, for what their hands have done.

Lam. 5:13 Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood. 14The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music. 15Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.

Ezek. 26:7 "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. . . . 12They 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. 13I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. 14I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Ezek. 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 14You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 16Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 17Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.

Commentary: The King James Version of the Bible translates the underlined portion of verse 13 as follows: "the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." Tabrets are tambourines, and pipes are flutes. All other versions that I have seen translate that passage more like the NIV, though the NASB footnotes the settings and sockets (mountings) as possibly meaning tambourines and flutes.

Ezek. 33:31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

Music accompanied Nebuchadnezzar's attempt to be worshipped

Dan. 3:1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
     4Then the herald loudly proclaimed, "This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: 5As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace."
     7Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

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    8At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. 9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "O king, live forever! 10You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon --Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego --who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up."
     13Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"

16Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
     19Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 1So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22The king's command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
     24Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?"
     They replied, "Certainly, O king."
     25He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."
     26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!"
     So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
     28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way."
     30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Hosea 2:14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. 15There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. 16"In that day," declares the LORD, "you will call me `my husband'; you will no longer call me `my master. '

Songs in a land without justice are not wanted by God

Amos 5:22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Amos 6:4 You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. 5You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. 6You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.

When destruction comes, your singing will turn into weeping

Amos 8:1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2"What do you see, Amos?" he asked. "A basket of ripe fruit," I answered. Then the LORD said to me, "The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. 3"In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies --flung everywhere! Silence!" . . . 9"In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. 10I will turn your religious feasts into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.

Jonah 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. 9But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD." 10And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Micah 2:3 Therefore, the LORD says: "I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity. 4In that day men will ridicule you; they will taunt you with this mournful song: `We are utterly ruined; my people's possession is divided up. He takes it from me! He assigns our fields to traitors.'" 5Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the LORD to divide the land by lot.

Hab. 3:17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

Zeph. 3:13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid." 14Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! 15The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. 16On that day they will say to Jerusalem, "Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. 17The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Matt. 9:23 When Jesus entered the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him.

Matt. 11:16 "To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 17"`We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' 18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon.' 19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

The disciples sang a hymn after the Passover meal

Matt. 26:29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." 30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Mark 14:25 "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God." 26When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Luke 7:31 "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: "`We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.' 33For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, `He has a demon.' 34The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, `Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' 35But wisdom is proved right by all her children."

The loving father celebrates the return of his wayward son

Luke 15:20 So [the prodigal son] got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21"The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ' 22"But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. 25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27`Your brother has come,' he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

Paul and Silas sang hymns while in jail

Acts 16:22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.

Rom. 15:8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs 9so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name." 10Again, it says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." 11And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples."

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal

1Cor. 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Tongues versus intelligible words

1Cor. 14:6 Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7Even 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? 8Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. 12So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.
     13For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 16If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.
     18I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21In the Law it is written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me," says the Lord.
     22Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers. 23So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"
     26What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two --or at the most three --should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.
     29Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

At the sound of the trumpet the dead will be raised imperishable!

1Cor. 15:51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 55"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Col. 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Lord will descend with the trumpet call of God!

1Ths. 4:15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Hebr. 2:11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." 13And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."

James 5:13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!

Rev. 5:7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." 11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" 14The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Only the 144,000 could learn to sing this song

Rev. 14:1 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. 2And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

The great multitude sings the song of Moses

Rev. 15:1 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues --last, because with them God's wrath is completed. 2And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God 3and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 4Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."

Rev. 18:21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. 22The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. 23The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world's great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.

End of the Verse Compilation


Compilations in this series which will shed additional light on subjects touched on in this compilation include:

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Creation of the World
Holy Spirit
Judgment & The Day of the Lord

Resurrection & Transformation