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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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kinnor With ten strings, played on with a plectrum (quill), according to Josephus; but also with the hand by David (1 Samuel 16:23; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 19:9). Jubal invented it, the simplest kind of stringed instrument, and the" organ" (ugab ), rather the "pipe," the simplest kind of wind instrument; his brother Jabal was" father of such as dwell in tents and have cattle." The brotherhood accords with the fact that the leisure of a nomad life was well suited to the production and appreciation of music (Genesis 4:20-21). The harp was the earliest of all musical instruments, and the national instrument of the Hebrew.

They used it, not as the Greeks, for expressing sorrow, but on occasions of joy and praise (Genesis 31:27; 2 Chronicles 20:28; Psalms 33:2); therefore, it was hung on the willows in the Babylonian captivity (Psalms 137:2; Job 30:31). The words "My bowels shall sound like an harp" (Isaiah 16:11) do not allude to the sound as lugubrious, but to the strings vibrating when struck. There was a smaller harp played with the hand, as by the walking prophets (1 Samuel 10:5), besides the larger, with more strings, played with the plectrum. Its music, as that of other instruments, was raised to its highest perfection under David (Amos 6:5). It was an important adjunct to the "schools of the prophets."

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Harp'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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