in place of the life of the owner. Undoubtedly the judges would take circumstances into consideration in such a case. (Ex. 21:29, 30) Also, an individual scheming to have another person killed by presenting false testimony was himself to be put to death.—Deut. 19:18-21.
The Law permitted self-defense but restricted an individual’s right to fight for his property. Bloodguilt came upon one who, though catching a thief in the act of breaking into his home, killed the lawbreaker in the daytime. This was evidently because thievery did not carry the death penalty and the thief could be identified and brought to justice. At night, however, it would be difficult to see what one was doing and to ascertain the intentions of an intruder. Therefore, the person killing an intruder in the dark was considered guiltless.—Ex. 22:2, 3.
In the first century C.E. those seeking to kill Jesus were identified as ‘children of the Devil,’ the first murderer or manslayer. (John 8:44) The scribes and Pharisees decorated the tombs of righteous ones, claiming that they would not have been sharers in putting the prophets to death. Yet they manifested the same murderous spirit toward the Son of God.—Matt. 23:29-32; compare Matthew 21:33-45; 22:2-7; Acts 3:14, 15; 7:51, 52.
HATRED EQUATED WITH MURDER
Murders issue forth from the heart of an individual. (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; compare Romans 1:28-32.) Therefore, anyone hating his brother would be a murderer or manslayer. (1 John 3:15) Christ Jesus also associated murder with wrong attitudes such as an individual’s continuing wrathful with his brother, speaking abusively to him or wrongly judging and condemning him as a “despicable fool.” (Matt. 5:21, 22) It appears that the words of James (5:6), “You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one,” may be understood in the same light. By showing favoritism to the rich and despising or hating the poor, those addressed by James had, as it were, become guilty of murder. As treatment accorded to his brothers is considered by Christ Jesus as being meted out to him, these persons had also figuratively murdered him.—Compare James 2:1-11; Matthew 25:40, 45; Acts 3:14, 15.
Although followers of Christ might be persecuted and even murdered for righteousness’ sake, they were not to be found suffering for having committed murder or other crimes.—Matt. 10:16, 17, 28; 1 Pet. 4:12-16; Rev. 21:8; 22:15.
One of the gifts of God by which man can render praise and thanksgiving to his Creator as well as give expression to his emotions, his sorrows and his joys. Especially has singing been prominent in the worship of Jehovah God, but instrumental music, too, has played a vital role. It has served not only to accompany the vocalists but also to complement their singing. So it is not surprising that references to both vocal and instrumental music abound in the Bible from beginning to end, in association with true worship and otherwise.—Gen. 4:21; 31:27; 1 Chron. 25:1; Rev. 18:22.
The Bible’s first reference to music is before the Flood, in the seventh generation following Adam: “[Jubal] proved to be the founder of all those who handle the harp and the pipe.” This may describe the invention of the first musical instruments or perhaps even the establishment of some kind of musical profession.—Gen. 4:21.
In patriarchal times music seems to have been an integral part of life, judging from Laban’s desire to give Jacob and his own daughters a musical farewell. (Gen. 31:27) Song and instrumental accompaniment marked the celebration of the deliverance at the Red Sea and the victorious returns from battle of Jephthah, David and Saul.—Ex. 15:20, 21; Judg. 11:34; 1 Sam. 18:6, 7.
On each of the two occasions that were involved in transporting the Ark to Jerusalem, vocalists and instrumentalists were present. (1 Chron. 13:8; 15:16) In the later years of David’s life, Jehovah, through his prophets Nathan and Gad, directed the establishment of the music organization for the sanctuary.—1 Chron. 23:1-5; 2 Chron. 29:25, 26.
The musical organization begun by David was fully realized at Solomon’s temple. The grandeur and magnitude of the music at the dedication of the temple can be appreciated from the fact that the trumpeters alone numbered one hundred and twenty. (2 Chron. 5:12, 13) But as the nation grew lax in its faithfulness to Jehovah, all features of true worship suffered, including the music. However, when Kings Hezekiah and Josiah instituted their reforms, as well as when the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile, efforts were made to reestablish the arrangement of music that Jehovah had indicated he desired. (2 Chron. 29:25-28; 35:15; Ezra 3:10) Later, when Nehemiah inaugurated the wall of Jerusalem, the Levitical singers, with full instrumental accompaniment, contributed greatly to the joy of the occasion. (Neh. 12:27-42) While the Scriptures say nothing more about music in connection with temple worship after Nehemiah’s time, other records, such as the Talmud, tell of music being used there until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.
ARRANGEMENT AT THE TEMPLE
In conjunction with the preparations for Jehovah’s temple, David set aside four thousand Levites for musical service. (1 Chron. 23:4, 5) Of these, two hundred and eighty-eight were “trained in song to Jehovah, all experts.” (1 Chron. 25:7) The whole arrangement was under the direction of three accomplished musicians, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun (apparently also named Ethan). Since each of these men was a descendant of one of Levi’s three sons, Gershom, Kohath, and Merari, respectively, the three chief Levitical families were thus represented in the temple music organization. (1 Chron. 6:16, 31-33, 39-44; 25:1-6) The sons of these three men totaled twenty-four, all of whom were among the aforementioned two hundred and eighty-eight skilled musicians. Each son was appointed by lot to be the head of one division of musicians. Under his direction were eleven more “experts,” selected from his own sons as well as other Levites. In this manner the two hundred and eighty-eight ([1 + 11] x 24 = 288) expert Levitical musicians, like the priests, were separated into twenty-four courses. If all the remaining 3,712 ‘learners’ were thus divided, it would average about one hundred and fifty-five more men to each of the twenty-four divisions, giving a ratio of about thirteen Levites in various stages of musical education and training to each expert. (1 Chron. 25:1-31) Since the trumpeters were priests, they would be in addition to the Levitical musicians.—2 Chron. 5:12; compare Numbers 10:8.
The Bible gives very little information concerning the shape or construction of the more than a dozen different musical instruments that it mentions. Hence, most authorities draw heavily on what archaeologists have discovered about the instruments used by contemporary surrounding nations. However, this may not always be a reliable guide, since it appears that Israel excelled in music in comparison with her