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English. Hebrew and Greek. Description.


(Zech. xiv. 20.


The LXX. translates the Hebrew by a word meaning "bridle." The Hebrew word has such an evident affinity to the two following words (translated "cymbals"), that it would seem to refer to metal cups suspended to bridles, either for ornament, or to tinkle.


(1 Chron. xv. 16, 19, 28; xvi. 5, 42; xxv. 6;
2 Chron. v. 13; xxix. 25;
Ezra iii. 10.)

1. Metziltaim.

These words (1 and 2) do not mark different species: but the latter is generic, since it is used (Ps. cl. 5) with two differential adjectives, marking two species, e.g. (1) "loud;" (2) "high-sounding:" the former probably shaped like a soup-plate, with wide flat rim, and played by being strapped to the hands, and clashed together; the other, conical, cup-like, with thin edge, played by bringing down the one sharply on the other while held stationary, eliciting a high-pitched note. Cymbals are mentioned as accessories to music in sacred dances. David appointed Asaph chief of the cymbalists.

(Neh. xii. 27;
2 Sam. vi. 5;
Ps. cl. 5.)

2. Tzeltzelim.

(1 Sam. xviii. 3.)

3. Shalishim.

It only occurs once; is translated "instruments of music," or "three-stringed instruments." They were probably "triangles," "sistra," or "rattles" with only three metal rods run through a bow with a handle, a very common Eastern instrument. See Cornet, Mena’an’im.


(Gen. xxxi. 27;
1 Sam. x. 5; xviii. 6;
Is. v. 12; xxiv. 8; xxx. 32; Jer. xxxi. 4; Ezek. xxviii. 13.)

1. Toph.

Job xxi. 12).

The same Hebrew word (sing, and pi.) is used for "tabret" and " timbrel," except in one place (see 2); therefore only one instrument is meant, viz. a simple tambourine, used with the cymbals, as an accompaniment to dancing and singing. There is no proof of cymbals or bells being attached to Jewish tabrets, and so constituting them "timbrels."

(Ex. xv. 20;
Judg. xi. 34;
2 Sam. vi. 5;
Job xxi. 12;
Ps. lxxxi.2; cxlix. 3; cl. 4.)

(Job xvii. 6.).

2. Tophet.

Tabrets were used to drown the cries of human victims sacrificed, or "passed through the fire," in the valley of Hinnom. Hence the furnace itself was called tophet, and in Job xvii. 6 the word means an "abomination" (as in Jer. xix. 12, 13), rather than "tabret."

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