Now when Saul was King of the Hebrews, the Spirit of the Lord had left him, and he suffered terribly.  “Saul’s attendants said to him, ‘see, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.  Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp.  He will play when the evil spirit from God comes to you, and you will feel better.’” (I Samuel 16: 15-16)  It is in this way that David came in to the service of Saul.  David was skilled at the harp, and Saul was comforted by him.  In fact, Saul grew to like David so much that David became one of Saul’s armor bearers.  You can see David’s love for music throughout his life.  As I’m sure you are aware, many of the Psalms are attributed to David, and in his later years, he organized musical groups of players of instruments and singers for the purpose of praising the Lord. (See I Chronicles 23: 5)  For many years, critics of the Bible argued that musical instruments and organized musical groups were not in existence at the time of David.  It was hard to dispute that claim, as there really wasn’t evidence outside the Bible.  That is until the second half of the 20th century, when once again archeology steps forward to support the Bible.

Excavations now show that not only was there music at the time of David, but the development of music and musical instruments can be shown to date well before the time of David.   Tombs in Egypt have been discovered dating back to 1900 BC, that depict Asiatic Semites coming in to Egypt, and one of them is carrying a lyre.  Other tombs show people carrying lyre’s and double oboes.  At the royal cemetery at Ur, dating back to 2500 BC, show lyres, harps, and a set of pipes.  The picture with this blog is of the Standard of Ur dating back to the same time.  It pictures a banquet scene with entertainment provided by a person playing the lyre and a singer.  From the 21 century BC, archeologists have discovered numerous hymns, pre-dating David by over one thousand years.  So I guess, Bible critics will have to look somewhere else!

About The Author

Dan Porte
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Dan is a graduate of Otterbein College (now University). He graduated with a degree in education. From time to time Dan still substitute teaches. His interest in history led him to investigate the historical accuracy of the Bible. This, in turn, led to a full investigation of Apologetics.

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