Imágenes de páginas



Greek Delta inverted T. The body of it was of wood and hollow, and was enclosed with a piece of leather tensely drawn. The chords were extended on the outside of the leather, and were fixed at one end into the transverse part of the triangular body of the instrument. Such is its form at the present day in the East, but it has only five strings in its modern shape, 2 Sam. 6: 5. 1 K. 10: 12. There was another instrument of this kind used in Babylonia ; it was triangular in form, in Greek it is called oaußúxn, in Hebrew,

ad and ; it had originally only four, but subsequently twenty strings, Dan. 3: 5, 7, 10, 15.

The chords of stringed instruments are denominated 09:23, Ps. 150: 4. At first they were the usual sort of strings twisted from flax or some like substance, but subsequently were manufactured from the entrails of sheep. Chords of the last kind are mentionod by Homer, as a recent invention.


1. THE ORGAN, (as it is called in the English version,) Heb. das, uggab, Gen. 4: 21. It may be called the ancient shepherd's pipe, corresponding most nearly to the ovoys, or the pipe of Pan among the Greeks. It consisted at first of only one or two, but afterwards of about seven pipes made of reeds and differing from each other in length. The instrument, called mashrokitha, anpinen, used in Babylon, Dan. 3: 5. was of a similar construction.

II. 3777 halil, ribana nehiloth, and apy nekeb, are wind instruments resembling the one just described, made of various materials, such as wood, reeds, horns, and bones. As far as we may be permitted to judge from the three kinds of pipes now used in the East, the Hebrew instrument called nehiloth is the one that is double in its structure, halil is perhaps the one of simpler form, having a single stem with an orifice through it, while nekeb answers to the one without an orifice, Is. 5: 12. 30: 29. Jer. 48: 36. Ps. 5: 1. Ezek. 28: 13.

[ocr errors]

3: 5, 10, was 'a wind instrument made of reeds, by the Syrians called sambonja, by the Greeks samponja, and by the Italians zampogna. According to Servius, it was of a crooked shape.

IV. THE HORN OR CROOKED TRUMPET, 722. This was a very an



cient instrument. It was made of the horns of oxen, which were cut off at the smaller extremity, and thus presented an orifice, which extended through. In progress of time ram’s horns were hollowed and employed for the same purpose. This instrument was called also prej shophar, as we may learn both from Josephus and Jerome. It is probable, that in some instances, it was made of brass fashioned so as to resemble a horn. It was greatly used in war, and its sound resembled thunder.

V. The straiGHT TRUMPET, ,xixn. This instrument was straight, a cubit in length, hollow throughout, and at the larger extremity shaped so as to resemble the mouth of a small bell. In times of peace, when the people or the rulers were to be assembled together, this trumpet was blown softly, which was expressed by the Hebrew word wan. When the camps were to move forward or the people to march to war, it was sounded with a deeper note ; this was expressed by the Hebrew verby 77, and by the phrase yon

[ocr errors][merged small]

I. bon, an, rendered in the English version, tabret and timbrel, Gen. 31: 27. It consisted of a circular hoop either of wood or brass, three inches and six tenths wide, was covered with a skin tensely drawn, and hung round with small bells. It was held in the left hand, and beaten to notes of music with the right. The ladies through all the East, even to this day, dance to the sound of this instrument, Exod. 15: 20. Job 17: 6. 21: 12. 2 Sam. 6: 5.

II. THE CYMBAL, DW , nisy. There were two kinds of cymbals formerly, as there are to this day, in the East. The cymbal, called ,7999 , consisted of two flat pieces of metal or plates ; the musician held one of them in his right hand, the other in his left, and smote them together, as an accompaniment to other instruments. This cymbal and the mode of using it may be often seen in modern armies and military trainings. The second kind of cymbals, you may, Ps. 150: 5. consisted of four small plates attached, two to each hand, which the ladies, as they danced, smote together. But nibxa, Zech. 14: 20. [Eng. vers. bells,] are not musical instruments, as some suppose, nor indeed bells,



but concave pieces or plates of brass, which were sometimes attached to horses for the sake of ornament.

III. O'99997, menaaneim, 2 Sam. 6: 5; the word is derived from yod, to move or to be shaken. We may suppose, therefore, it was an instrument corresponding to the sistrum, by which word Jerome in his Latin version has rendered it. If this were the case, we may suppose also, that like the sistrum, (in Greek gelotoov, from otiw to shake,) it was a rod of iron bent into an oblong shape, or square at two corners and curved at the others, and furnished with a number of moveable rings, so that when shaken or struck with another rod of iron, it emitted the sound desired. The instrument used by the women, which occurs under the word 3923:2, 1 Sam. 18: 6, probably differed from the more common sistrum only by being of a triangular form.

Note.—The names of musical instruments which are very little known, are as follows.

I. 7193., higgaion, Ps. 9: 16. 92: 4; perhaps this word was used to designate some sort of song or poem.

II. nina, gittith, Ps. 8: 1. 81: 1. 84: 1. derived from na, a wine press ; an instrument, which was played at the treading out of the grapes. Some suppose, it derived its name from Gath, a city of the Philistines.

III. 22 nanay, almuth labben, Ps. 9: 1; a better reading of the Hebrew would be ea nanas, for Ben was the name of a musician in the time of David, i Chron. 15: 18. What the meaning of the word nanny, is, is not very clear; perhaps it was a kind of harp, and hence, 1 Chron. 15: 20. is interchanged with straw, a harp of eight strings.

IV. jan7", jeduthun, Ps. 39: 1, 67: 1, an instrument thus denominated from some musician of that name.

V. onna mahalath, Ps. 88: 1. 53: 1, perhaps an instrument like the shepherd's pipe ; comp. the Ethiopic word mahlet, which in Gen. 4: 21. answers to the Greek x10 doa. Some other words and phrases, such as shushan-eduth, Ps. 60: 1. appear to be enigmatical inscriptions of the psalms, to which they are prefixed.

[blocks in formation]

The Mohammedans esteem dancing a sport unworthy the dignity of a man, and accordingly leave it to the women. It is practised in such an indecorous manner among the modern orientals, that they would be still nearer the truth, if they should pronounce it an art unworthy to be indulged in by either sex. It was different anciently. Among the Greeks it was a sort of pantomime, a mimic representation of the common actions of life, and, in some instances, of deeds of war. It was accordingly admitted among the gymnastic sports. The dancers danced to the notes of the timbrel; they exhibited many inflections of the body and many gesticulations with the hands; they danced, beating the foor in a circle, following the one they had chosen for a leader, with regular and artificial pulsations of the feet, Exod. 15: 20. Judg. 11: 34. 1 Sam. 18: 6—7. Jer. 31:4, 13. Sometimes men, who were singers or musicians, took a part in these dances ; in this case the singers went forward, those who played on instruments followed, and the dancing women girded them on both sides, Ps. 68: 26. The dance was called in Hebrew binn; it was practised on the national festivals, and made part of the sacred worship. The nobles and the princes of the people engaged in this ceremony, but did not mingle in it with the common multitude. This was the ground of the reproach, which Michal threw out against David, who danced before the ark in company with the rest of the people, 2 Sam. 6: 16 -23. In the later periods of the Jewish history, the kings and great men appear to have been rather the spectators, than the parties in dances, see Matt. 6: 21--25.

Note.--The art of oratory never flourished in the East. Paul, accordingly, when he appeared among the Greeks who estimated eloquence very highly, although it was at that time degenerate and declining, was not listened to with that interest, with which he might otherwise have been. Paul, however, displays, in his speeches recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, a good arrangement and no little skill in the art of persuasion.



$98. The Origin OF THE SCIENCES.

When the arts had been reduced by long practice and meditation to fixed and definite rules, they were succeeded by the sciences; which in fact are nothing more than the reduction, into a more regular and philosophic form, of those rules and theories, which have been ascertained and approved by inquiry and práce tice. We are able to discover the beginnings, the indistinct vestiges of the sciences in very remote periods; and in some nations more strikingly than in others. The Egyptians and Babylonians excelled in scientific knowledge all others. The Arabians also are favourably mentioned in this respect, 1 K. 4: 30; also the Edomites, Jer. 49: 7. The Hebrews became renowned for their intellectual culture in the time of David, and especially of Solomon, who is said to have surpassed all others in wisdom; a circumstance, which was the ground of the many visits, which were paid to him by distinguished foreigners, 1 K. 5: 9—14. His example, which was truly an illustrious one, was beyond question imitated by other kings. The literature of the Hebrews was limited chiefly to ethics, religion, the history of their nation, and natural history; on which last subject, Solomon wrote many treatises no longer extant. The Hebrews made but little progress in science and literature after the time of Solomon. During their captivity, it is true, they acquired many foreign notions, with which they had not been previously acquainted; and they subsequently borrowed much, both of truth and of falsehood, from the philosophy of the Greeks. The author of the book of Wisdom, with some others of the Jewish writers, has made pretty good use of the Greek philosophy. It is clear, notwithstanding this, that the Jews after the captivity fell below their ancestors in respect to history; as the published annals of that period are not of a kindred character, with those of the primitive ages of their country.

« AnteriorContinuar »