Zemar. All kinds of music.
Music of instruments...
“When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, liar, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden image that king Nebuchadnezzar has set up.”When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, liar, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden image that king Nebuchadnezzar has set up.”
According to the Strongs concordance, the use of the word music in this verse indicates instrumental music. The verse could be read, “... and all kinds of instrumental music...”.
The word music here is transliterated zemar. Zemar means music of instruments.
Languages can be complex at times. Languaging can be even more so.
The language itself is concrete, like hardware. Languaging (semantics) however, is more esoteric. It can be misconstrued. Languaging is not what you say but how you say it. It is more subject to viruses, much like software.
Zemar not Zamar
Zemar comes from another word transliterated Zamar. Zamar means to touch and possibly strike the strings or parts of a musical instrument accompanied by voice.
The word Zamar is translated in the Scriptures many other times as praise, sing, sing psalms, sing fourth.
The word zemar in our text is only used four times throughout Scripture. The word zamar is used over 40.
Music only, no words
The word for this post is Zemar. This word is suggestive of music only, no words.
It appears King Nebuchadnezzar used instrumental music to impose Idolatry into the culture.
This was a crafty move because instrumental music is music expressed in its truest form. Instrumental music originates out of the condition and desire of a heart and effectively communicate so.
Many people believe music to be a language.
There is a message in purpose to all music, even instrumental. The message and purpose of the music King Nebuchadnezzar and his chosen musicians was a call to worship.
Instrumental music was used to bring all the peoples attention to the idle and the false god.
What is Missing?
Something was missing from the music of king Nebuchadnezzar. What was it?
Words were missing from the music.
Words help clarify and bring meaning to the music’s message and purpose. Words, even if they are abstract and poetic, help define the mission of the music.
In the Episcopal liturgy, there is a prayer called the prayer of confession. This is a prayer of the people. In this congregational prayer there are these words which I am reminded. “We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.”
It is what we have left on done that draws my attention. The instrumental music of king Nebuchadnezzar’s court left out the critical, most important part. Words.
Could this have been a strategic to attempt to deceive and miss guide this cultural and political move by expressing half truths?
Over the course of history, writing has proven to change lives. I write to continue the legacy.