Psalm 150:4
Praise him with the tambourine and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Timbrel and dance.—See Psalm 149:3.

Stringed instruments.—Minnîm. Literally, parts, so threads, so here, as in LXX. and Vulg., “with” or “on strings.” (See Note, Psalm 45:9.)

Organs.—Heb., ‘ugab, which has been variously identified with the syrinx, or Pan’s pipes, of the Greeks, with the “bagpipe,” and even with a rude instrument embodying the principle of the modern organ. (See Bible Educator, 2:70, 183, 229.)

150:1-6 A psalm of praise. - We are here stirred up to praise God. Praise God for his sanctuary, and the privileges we enjoy by having it among us; praise him because of his power and glory in the firmament. Those who praise the Lord in heaven, behold displays of his power and glory which we cannot now conceive. But the greatest of all his mighty acts is known in his earthly sanctuary. The holiness and the love of our God are more displayed in man's redemption, than in all his other works. Let us praise our God and Saviour for it. We need not care to know what instruments of music are mentioned. Hereby is meant that in serving God we should spare no cost or pains. Praise God with strong faith; praise him with holy love and delight; praise him with entire confidence in Christ; praise him with believing triumph over the powers of darkness; praise him by universal respect to all his commands; praise him by cheerful submission to all his disposals; praise him by rejoicing in his love, and comforting ourselves in his goodness; praise him by promoting the interests of the kingdom of his grace; praise him by lively hope and expectation of the kingdom of his glory. Since we must shortly breathe our last, while we have breath let us praise the Lord; then we shall breathe our last with comfort. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Such is the very suitable end of a book inspired by the Spirit of God, written for the work of praise; a book which has supplied the songs of the church for more than three thousand years; a book which is quoted more frequently than any other by Christ and his apostles; a book which presents the loftiest ideas of God and his government, which is fitted to every state of human life, which sets forth every state of religious experience, and which bears simple and clear marks of its Divine origin.Praise him with the timbrel - Hebrew, תף tôph. See this described in the notes at Isaiah 5:12. It is rendered tabret and tabrets in Genesis 31:27; 1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 18:6; Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 24:8; Isaiah 30:32; Jeremiah 31:4; Ezekiel 28:13; timbrel and timbrels in Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34; 2 Samuel 6:5; 1 Chronicles 13:8; Job 21:12; Psalm 81:2; Psalm 149:3; and in the margin in Jeremiah 31:4. The word does not occur elsewhere. It was an instrument that was struck with the hands.

And dance - See this word explained in the notes at Psalm 149:3. Dancing among the Hebrews seems to have accompanied the timbrel or tabret. See Exodus 15:20,

Praise him with stringed instruments - מנים minniym. This word means strings, from a verb which means to divide; and the proper reference would be to slender threads, as if they were divided, or made small. It is nowhere else applied to instruments of music, but might be properly applied to a harp, a violin, a bass-viol, etc. The word strings is indeed applied elsewhere to instruments of music Psalm 33:2; Psalm 144:9; 1 Samuel 18:16; Isaiah 38:20; Habakkuk 3:19, but the Hebrew word is different. Such instruments were commonly used in the praise of God. See the notes at Psalm 33:2.

And organs - Hebrew, עוגב ‛ûgâb. See this word explained in the notes at Job 21:12. It occurs elsewhere only in Genesis 4:21; Job 21:12; Job 30:31; in all of which places it is rendered organ. The word is derived from a verb meaning to breathe, to blow; and would be applicable to any wind-instrument. It here represents the whole class of wind-instruments. The word organ is a Greek word, and is found in the Septuagint in this place; and hence, our word organ has been introduced into the translation. The Greek word properly denotes

(a) something by which work is accomplished, as a machine;

(b) a musical instrument;

(c) the material from which anything is made;

(d) the work itself. (Passow, Lexicon).

Our word organ, as used in music, suggests the idea of a combination of instruments or sounds. That idea is not found in the Hebrew word. It denotes merely a wind-instrument. Neither the Hebrews nor any of the ancient nations had an instrument that corresponded with the organ as we now use the term.

4. organs—or pipe, a wind instrument, and the others were used in worship. No text from Poole on this verse. Praise him with the timbrel and dance,.... Or "pipe" (u); See Gill on Psalm 149:3;

praise him with stringed instruments; or divers "kinds" (w) of instruments not named, as R. Saadiah Gaon; and which, as Aben Ezra says, had all one sound or note; what they were is not known, as also many of them that are particularly mentioned;

and organs; which have their name from the loveliness of their sound; these are of ancient original and use, Genesis 4:21; but were not of the same kind with those now in use, which are of much later invention.

(u) "et tibia", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus. (w) "varia symphonia", Cocceius.

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. with the timbrel and dance] See on Psalm 149:3. The P.B.V. cymbals seems to be a slip of Coverdale’s, which was not corrected in the Great Bible, as he renders tôph correctly by tabret, i.e. a small drum, in Psalm 149:3.

with stringed instruments and pipes] The word minnîm, ‘stringed instruments,’ occurs in Psalm 45:8 (R.V.): the ugâbh, mentioned in Genesis 4:21; Job 21:12; Job 30:31, was probably the syrinx or Pan’s-pipes, a wind instrument consisting of a collection of reeds or pipes. See Stainer, Music of the Bible, Ch. vi. The two terms may include string and wind instruments generally, as “harp and pipe” in Genesis 4:21; and as the words are not elsewhere used in connexion with religious ceremonies, they may be meant to suggest that all instruments, secular as well as sacred, should be enlisted in this service of praise. The A.V. organs follows the LXX and Vulg.Verse 4. - Praise him with the timbrel and dance (comp. Psalm 149:3). Praise him with stringed instruments and organs; literally, with strings and pipe. "Organs" are, of course, out of the question. The "pipe" intended is probably the double pipe so often represented on the monuments of Egypt, Assyria, and Phoenicia. The glance is here directed to the future. The people of the present have again, in their God, attained to a lofty self-consciousness, the consciousness of their destiny, viz., to subjugate the whole world of nations to the God of Israel. In the presence of the re-exaltation which they have experienced their throat is full of words and songs exalting Jahve (רוממות, plural of רומם, or, according to another reading, רומם, Psalm 56:1-13 :17), and as servants of this God, the rightful Lord of all the heathen (Psalm 82:8), they hold in their hand a many-mouthed, i.e., many edged sword (vid., supra, p. 580), in order to take the field on behalf of the true religion, as the Maccabees actually did, not long after: ταῖς μὲν χερσὶν ἀγωνιζόμενοι ταῖς δὲ καρδίαις πρὸς τὸν Θεόν εὐχόμενοι (2 Macc. 15:27). The meaning of Psalm 149:9 becomes a different one, according as we take this line as co-ordinate or subordinate to what goes before. Subordinated, it would imply the execution of a penal jurisdiction over those whom they carried away, and כּתוּב would refer to prescriptive facts such as are recorded in Numbers 31:8; 1 Samuel 15:32. (Hitzig). But it would become the religious lyric poet least of all to entertain such an unconditional prospect of the execution of the conquered worldly rulers. There is just as little ground for thinking of the judgment of extermination pronounced upon the nations of Canaan, which was pronounced upon them for an especial reason. If Psalm 149:9 is taken as co-ordinate, the "written judgment" (Recht) consists in the complete carrying out of the subjugation; and this is commended by the perfectly valid parallel, Isaiah 45:14. The poet, however, in connection with the expression "written," has neither this nor that passage of Scripture in his mind, but the testimony of the Law and of prophecy in general, that all kingdoms shall become God's and His Christ's. Subjugation (and certainly not without bloodshed) is the scriptural משׁפּט for the execution of which Jahve makes use of His own nation. Because the God who thus vindicates Himself is Israel's God, this subjugation of the world is הדר, splendour and glory, to all who are in love devoted to Him. The glorifying of Jahve is also the glorifying of Israel.
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