New American Standard Bible
Who improvise to the sound of the harp, And like David have composed songs for themselves,
King James Bible
That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
Darby Bible Translation
that chant to the sound of the lute, and invent them instruments of music, like David;
World English Bible
who strum on the strings of a harp; who invent for themselves instruments of music, like David;
Young's Literal Translation
Who are taking part according to the psaltery, Like David they invented for themselves instruments of music;
Amos 6:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
That chant to the voice of the lyre - Accompanying "the voice of the lyre" with the human voice; giving vocal expression and utterance to what the instrumental music spoke without words. The word, which Amos alone uses in this one place, describes probably a hurried flow of unmeaning, unconsidered words, in which the rhythm of words and music was everything, the sense, nothing; much like most glees.
The English margin "quaver" has also some foundation in the root, but does not suit the idiom so well, which expresses that the act was something done "to the voice of the lyre," accompanying the music, not altering the music itself. In fact, they would go together. An artificial, effeminate music which should relax the soul, frittering the melody, and displacing the power and majesty of divine harmony by tricks of art, and giddy, thoughtless, heartless, soulless versifying would be meet company. Debased music is a mark of a nation's decay, and promotes it. The Hebrew music seems to have been very simple; and singing appears to have been reserved almost exclusively for solemn occasions, the temple-service, or the greeting of victory 1 Samuel 18:7. "Singing men and singing women" were part of the state of David and Solomon 2 Samuel 19:35; Ecclesiastes 2:8. Else the music at the feasts of the rich appears rather to be mentioned with blame Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 24:9. Songs they had Proverbs 25:20; but the songs, for which the Hebrew exiles were celebrated, and which their Babylonian masters required them to sing, "the songs of Zion" Psalm 137:3-4, were the hymns of the temple, "the Lord's song."
And invent to themselves instruments of music - The same pains, which David employed on music to the honor of God, they employed on their light, enervating unmeaningful music, and, if they were in earnest enough, justified their inventions by the example of David. Much as people have justified our degraded, sensualizing, immodest dancing, by the religious dancing of Holy Scripture! The word can mean no other than devised. David then did "devise" and "invent" instruments of music for the service of God. He introduced into the temple-service the use of the stringed instruments, the "kinnor," (the "lyre") and the "nebel" (the "harp") in addition to the cymbals. Whence these, in contrast with the trumpets, are called "the instruments of David" (2 Chronicles 29:26, compare 2 Chronicles 29:25, and 1 Chronicles 15:16, 1 Chronicles 15:19-21, 1 Chronicles 15:24). Probably, in adapting them to the temple-service, he, in some way, improved the existing instrument; having been, in early youth, remarkable for his skill upon the harp 1 Samuel 16:16, 1 Samuel 16:18, 1 Samuel 16:23. As he elevated the character and powers of the, perhaps rude, instrument which he found, and suited it to the service of God, so these people refined it doubtless, as they thought, and suited it for the service of luxury and sensuality. But what harm, they thought, in amending the music of their day, since so did David?
LibraryA Sermon for the Time Present
I am going to begin with the last verse of the text, and work my way upwards. The first; head is, a trying day for God's people. They are sorrowful because a cloud is upon their solemn assembly, and the reproach thereof is a burden. Secondly, we will note a glorious ground of consolation. We read in the seventeenth verse, "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." And, thirdly, …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 33: 1887
1 Chronicles 15:16
Then David spoke to the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their relatives the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, loud-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.
1 Chronicles 23:5
and 4,000 were gatekeepers, and 4,000 were praising the LORD with the instruments which David made for giving praise.
Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; But they do not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, Nor do they consider the work of His hands.
"So I will silence the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps will be heard no more.
"The songs of the palace will turn to wailing in that day," declares the Lord GOD. "Many will be the corpses; in every place they will cast them forth in silence."
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