By Jonathan L. Friedmann

Track was once crucial to the way of life of old Israel. It followed actions as assorted as guide exertions and royal processionals. At key junctures and in center associations, musical tones have been used to bring messages, exhibit feelings, boost communal bonds and identify human-divine touch. This e-book explores the problematic and multifaceted nature of biblical tune via an in depth check out 4 significant episodes and genres: the music of the ocean (Exod. 15), King Saul and David's harp (1 Sam. 16), using tune in prophecy, and the booklet of Psalms. This research demonstrates how tune contributed to shaping and outline the self-identity of old Israel.

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Additional info for Music in Biblical Life: The Roles of Song in Ancient Israel

Sample text

As evidence of this persistent partnership, Beimel offers three sayings from Jewish mystics of the eighteenth century, each celebrating the spiritual efficacy of sacred sounds: “The gates of song precede the gates of repentance” (Rabbi Pinchos of Koretz); “The temple of song is nearest to the source of holiness” (Rabbi Nachman of Breslov); “There are gates in heaven which can be opened by song alone” (anonymous kabbalistic saying). These quotations are not mere hyperbolae. Like the array of biblical verses that unequivocally disclose the intersection of music and God’s presence, these mystic pronouncements— poetic though they may be — speak to a palpable phenomenon felt by worshipers through the ages and across denominational divides.

This relationship is present in the majority of the Bible’s musical depictions, and the authors clearly perceived religious expression as music’s primary purpose, whether that was an accurate reflection of society or a by-product of the book’s religious emphasis. For most readers of the Bible, it is the connection of music and devotional practice that makes its musical citations relevant for religious life. It is, in fact, possible to use these verses as authoritative backing for the incorporation of song in modern services.

You made Your wind blow, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the majestic waters. Who is like You, O God, among the celestials; Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in splendor, working wonders! You put out your right hand, the earth swallowed them. In Your love You lead the people You redeemed; In Your strength You guide them to Your holy abode (vv. 9 –13). Sung by Miriam and the Women: Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea (vv.

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