Where Did Music Come From?
August 11, 2018
Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
We ended last week’s Tree with the music of birds – one of God’s coolest creations. GEN 1:28 talks about the birds in the Garden of Eden: God blessed them [Adam and the woman]; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Now let’s look at Adam and the woman and their relationship to music. The Psalms in particular show that music is vital in worshiping God. In fact, in the Psalms, God commands the use of music as part of worshipping, especially on the weekly Sabbaths and annual festivals. It makes sense then, that God might have instructed Adam in the basic principles of music.
As we know, God created the world in six days. On the seventh day, after He was finished creating the universe, He rested: Thus, the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (GEN 2:1-3) The seventh day is called “sabbath of the Lord.” It’s never called the sabbath of the Jew. This is taught in EXOD 20:10: but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God…
To further support this, look at the apostle Luke, a Gentile writer, who was well educated in Greek culture, a physician by profession and a companion of the apostle Paul at various times. Luke often refers to things that were particularly Jewish. He writes of the “nation of the Jews,” “the people of the Jews,” “the land of the Jews,” and the “synagogue of the Jews.” (see ACTS 10:22; 12:11; 10:39; 14:1). But he never refers to a sabbath of the Jews, even though he mentions the Sabbath repeatedly.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also taught that: … “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. (MARK 2:27). The Sabbath was made for man’s rest from work and from the cares and anxieties of the world. It was made to give us an opportunity to get our attention away from earthly concerns and direct it to Eternity and the things above. The Sabbath is a time for us to refresh our bodies by relaxing and forgetting the troubled world and to focus on God and to remember all that He’s done for us as Our Creator, Our Preserver, Our Supporter, and The Redeemer of the world.
Now, Adam and the woman were the only two people who existed when God established the Sabbath. There were no Jews in the world until 2,000 years later. So, it stands to reason that the Sabbath was never meant for the Jews. When Our Lord uses the term “man” in MARK 2:27, he’s using the generic word, referring to all mankind. Not just the Jews. The same word (“man”) is used in connection with the institution of marriage that was also introduced at creation. Certainly, no one can believe that marriage was made only for the Jews.
Since God created man on the sixth day and used the seventh day to teach him essential spiritual truths, is it possible that this first “worship service” might have been without worship music? Probably not. Look at PSA 92:1 (The Message Bible): What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the High God! To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night, Accompanied by dulcimer and harp, the full-bodied music of strings.
Pick up your Bible and look at the words above PSALM 92. These words are called the inscription and are part of the original Divinely inspired Hebrew text. They read: “A Psalm, a Song for the sabbath day.” The inscription in the Hebrew bible reads: “A Psalm and song which Adam uttered on the Sabbath day.” The Jews teach that Adam “uttered” it on the Sabbath. That doesn’t mean he wrote it. It means he sang it! Maybe God —ready to instruct Adam on that first Sabbath day — had a hymn for him and the woman to sing. How appropriate this Psalm would be, because it actually teaches that it’s a “beautiful thing” to give thanks and sing praise to God!
And if PSALM 92 is potentially the first hymn, for the first man and woman, then we have some incredible insight into the Garden of Eden! Verse 3 in the King James translation reads: Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. The term “solemn sound” is from a Hebrew word that implies meditating or musing. Music — singing hymns especially — was given to humans largely to draw our minds closer to God, especially on the day He has set aside for special worship of Him.
Think for a moment about how musical instruments are named in this Psalm. And think about the stringed instruments mentioned. Stringed instruments are much more complex in design than simple wind or percussion instruments. Could musical instruments have been in the Garden? Maybe they could! God had just created a much more complex thing — the human body! And God designed the Garden to be where His Presence was. So, why not?? God’s heavenly presence is surrounded by music — not just vocal but instrumental as well. This is evident in REV 5:8-10 (The Message Bible): So, I looked, and there, surrounded by Throne, Animals, and Elders, was a Lamb, slaughtered but standing tall. Seven horns he had, and seven eyes, the Seven Spirits of God sent into all the earth. He came to the One Seated on the Throne and took the scroll from his right hand. The moment he took the scroll, the Four Animals and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb. Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl filled with incense, the prayers of God’s holy people. And they sang a new song: Worthy! Take the scroll, open its seals. Slain! Paying in blood, you bought men and women, Bought them back from all over the earth, Bought them back for God. Then you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God, Priest-kings to rule over the earth.
Let’s look at something you might not know about. It’s a place called Megiddo which is a kibbutz in northern Israel. A kibbutz is a communal settlement which is typically a farm. Today, Megiddo is located near Megiddo Junction, which is also the site of a bus terminal and a high-security prison. In the 1920s, excavations in Megiddo uncovered approximately 20 floor stones dating to 3,300-3,000 B.C. The carvings on one of them depicted a female harpist with a triangular shaped instrument which had eight or nine strings. It depicts quite an advanced musical instrument. Archaeologically, this harp appears out of nowhere, especially if it had to evolve from a one-stringed instrument.
But what does this all mean to our Biblical study? It’s that, it’s possible that mankind’s musical and instrumental advancements might very well had been washed away in the Noah’s Flood. But God could have revealed the fundamentals of sound science to man, just as He revealed the fundamental principles of farming.
Adam could have started with a multi-string harp. If God patterned Eden after the heavenly design, then why not? Clearly Eden’s garden depicted God’s presence. The Bible reveals that, wherever God’s presence is, there is music: the heavenly throne room, the ark of the covenant, the first and second temples (which housed the ark), and the area in question here—the Garden of Eden.
ISA 51 contains a prophecy of how the world will look when Our Lord and Savior, The Messiah, returns in power and glory: Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody. This verse is about Earth when it’s restored to the way things were in Eden. You can see that it gives us an idea of what life was like for Adam and Eve before they were kicked out of the Garden. This verse clearly mentions music which is described as “the sound of melody.” The Hebrew word for melody means psalm and comes from the root word “to pluck.” Maybe God would have given Adam a psalm to sing on the first Sabbath day! Could God have given him an instrument and taught him how to pluck it as he and the woman sang praises?
As Christians, we know that EVERYTHING comes from God. Historians may try to guess but we know that music didn’t originate clumsily or by chance from prehistoric Neanderthals. The capacity for music had no beginning—like Our Heavenly Father Who is surrounded by it; Who created it in His angelic creation, in the physical universe, and into the garden sanctuary where He planted the first human beings. By being given the ability to understand, appreciate, enjoy and produce music, we can enjoy something with an eternal past—the very mind and greatness of God, The Creator!