1 Corinthians 14:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?

New Living Translation
Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.

English Standard Version
If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played?

Berean Study Bible
Even in the case of lifeless instruments, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone recognize the tune they are playing unless the notes are distinct?

Berean Literal Bible
Even lifeless things giving a sound, whether the flute or harp, unless they give distinction to the sounds, how will it be known what is being piped or being harped?

New American Standard Bible
Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?

King James Bible
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Even inanimate things that produce sounds--whether flute or harp--if they don't make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized?

International Standard Version
In the same way, lifeless instruments like the flute or harp produce sounds. But if there's no difference in the notes, how can a person tell what tune is being played?

NET Bible
It is similar for lifeless things that make a sound, like a flute or harp. Unless they make a distinction in the notes, how can what is played on the flute or harp be understood?

New Heart English Bible
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they did not give a distinction in the sounds, how would it be known what is piped or harped?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For even inanimate things which give sound, whether a flute or harp, if they make no distinction between one tone and another, how will anything that is played or anything that is harped be known?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Musical instruments like the flute or harp produce sounds. If there is no difference in the notes, how can a person tell what tune is being played?

New American Standard 1977
Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And even things without life giving sound, whether flute or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is played or harped?

King James 2000 Bible
And even things without life which give sound, whether flute or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is played?

American King James Version
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

American Standard Version
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Even things without life that give sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction of sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped ?

Darby Bible Translation
Even lifeless things giving a sound, whether pipe or harp, if they give not distinction to the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

English Revised Version
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Webster's Bible Translation
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

Weymouth New Testament
Even inanimate things--flutes or harps, for instance--when yielding a sound, if they make no distinction in the notes, how shall the tune which is played on the flute or the harp be known?

World English Bible
Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they didn't give a distinction in the sounds, how would it be known what is piped or harped?

Young's Literal Translation
yet the things without life giving sound -- whether pipe or harp -- if a difference in the sounds they may not give, how shall be known that which is piped or that which is harped?
Study Bible
Prophecy and Tongues
6Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7Even in the case of lifeless instruments, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone recognize the tune they are playing unless the notes are distinct? 8Again, if the trumpet sounds a muffled call, who will prepare for battle?…
Cross References
1 Samuel 10:5
"Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying.

Matthew 11:17
We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.'

1 Corinthians 14:6
Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?

1 Corinthians 14:8
Again, if the trumpet sounds a muffled call, who will prepare for battle?
Treasury of Scripture

And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

things.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not …

except.

1 Corinthians 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself …

Numbers 10:2-10 Make you two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shall you make …

Matthew 11:17 And saying, We have piped to you, and you have not danced; we have …

Luke 7:32 They are like to children sitting in the marketplace, and calling …

sounds. or, tunes.

(7) And even things without life.--The pipe and harp were the best-known instruments, and the principle just laid down of the inutility of sounds unless they be distinctive is illustrated by reference to them. Whether it was a harp or a pipe which was being played you could not know unless each gives a distinct sound of its own. The point here is not, as the English seems to suggest, that there must be a difference in tune, so as know what is being piped or harped--that illustration comes in in the next verse--but that each instrument has its own peculiar sound.

Verse 7. - Even things without life giving sound. Even musical instruments - flute or harp - dead instruments as they are, must be so played as to keep up the distinction of intervals, without which the melody is ruined and the tune is unrecognizable. Much more is this the ease with the human voice.

"How sour sweet music is,
When time is broke and no proportion kept!"
The indiscriminate use of the tongue is here compared to the dissonance of jarring and unmodulated instrumental sounds, In harmony there must be due sequence and intervals of sound. And even things without life giving sound,.... He instances in things inanimate, that have neither reason, sense, nor life, in musical instruments, and these of various sorts:

whether pipe or harp; wind music, or hand music; either that which is blown with the breath, or pressed or stricken with the hand:

except they give a distinction in the sounds; or "tunes", so as one may be discerned from another; as that this is such a musical note, and that is another:

how shall it be known what is piped or harped? what tune is played; such an use of instruments would be a mere jargon, and not music, and so yield no pleasure to the ear, or mind; and just the like must speaking in an unknown tongue be, to one that understands it not. 7. Translate, "And things without life-giving sound, whether pipe or harp, YET (notwithstanding their giving sound) if they give not a distinction in the tones (that is, notes) how?" etc.

what is piped or harped—that is, what tune is played on the pipe or harp.14:6-14 Even an apostle could not edify, unless he spoke so as to be understood by his hearers. To speak words that have no meaning to those who hear them, is but speaking into the air. That cannot answer the end of speaking, which has no meaning; in this case, speaker and hearers are barbarians to each other. All religious services should be so performed in Christian assemblies, that all may join in, and profit by them. Language plain and easy to be understood, is the most proper for public worship, and other religious exercises. Every true follower of Christ will rather desire to do good to others, than to get a name for learning or fine speaking.
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Alphabetical: a anyone as be being case distinction do either Even flute harp how if in is it know known lifeless make not notes of on or played produce producing sound sounds such that the there they things tones tune unless what will Yet

NT Letters: 1 Corinthians 14:7 Even things without life giving a voice (1 Cor. 1C iC 1Cor i cor icor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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