Lyrist from the tomb-painting of Khnumhotep II, Beni-Hasan, Egypt. Twelfth Dynasty, ca. 1900 BCE

An Old Testament KnoWhy relating to the reading assignment for Gospel Doctrine Lesson 22: “The Lord Looketh on the Heart” (1 Samuel 9-11; 13; 15-17) (JBOTL22A)

Question: What was the religious role of music in the life and times of David?

Summary: From the earliest times, music has played a central role in religion. The book of Samuel is a good example. Before Saul became king, music enabled the Spirit of the Lord to come upon him in the company of prophets; afterward, in Saul’s misery, David’s harp — or, more accurately, lyre (Hebrew kinnôr) — invited the Spirit into his palace once more. Later, in likeness of other nations in the ancient Near East, music and dance became an inseparable part of the institution of kingship in Israel. The Psalms, in a tradition that stretches back to David, contain some of the most significant prophecies of scripture and became the backbone of temple liturgy. In this article, we will explore all these themes and will finish with examples of how the combination of inspired singing and playing continue as important mainstays of the religious life of the Saints today.

The full article may be found at the Interpreter Foundation website: KnoWhy OTL22A — What Was the Religious Role of Music in the Life and Times of David?

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