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working, like a leaven, for spiritual mastery in the Chosen People. With this marvelous religious development the growth of music kept pace. The deeper the fervor of faith and the profounder in spirituality the devotion to the Jahveh worship became, the purer were the conception, the appreciation and the use of music. As the heart dictated out of the fullness of faith and reverence, so did the ars divina interpret.

"At this early period then," says Ewald,* "David, as the poet of song, stands at a height which was never afterwards surpassed in Hebrew poetry. It is true that some of his songs. which have come down to us as mere sketches, exhibit the thoughts but little worked out, and still retain about them something of the stiffness and heaviness of antiquity; but most of them show, side by side with a vigorous fullness and creative truth (which is not wanting in the earlier songs, as Ex. xv. Judg. v.), an easy flexibility and softly-moving flow of style which dates its existence as a characteristic of Hebrew poetry from this point, Thus the loftiest power of thought is accompanied by the most exquisite form of expression, and the whole of the most ancient poetry or Lyric of the nation is perfected in David, especially as, even when a powerful king, he did not disdain to encourage at his court, up to his extreme old age, the composition and vocal execution of songs."

The golden era of Hebrew song was succeeded by the brilliant reign of Solomon. The son reaped what the father had sown. The organization of the kingdom, the love of peace that grew out of the possession of national liberty as the result of the defensive wars successfully waged against surrounding enemies, and the intense commercial activity which was developed by later friendly relations with heathen neighbors, formed the groundwork of this splendid age. Solomon inherited the genius of his father, and his wisdom was described as being greater than that of all the Orient-Egypt and Babylon.† At his court, kings and princes and embassies from foreign lands vied with one another to do him homage. Hiram, king of * Ewald, History of Israel, vol. 3, p. 60. † 1 Kings 4: 30.

Tyre, became his friend, and the designs of Egypt against the Hebrews were silenced by marriage with the daughter of the Pharaoh. The vast sums of money collected by David for the building of the Temple, were augmented by the tribute of subject nations and by the gifts of Hiram and the Queen of Sheba. Thus Solomon further honored the memory of his father and the Jahveh worship of his people, by erecting in the Holy City of the Jews the famous temple that bears his name. In that Temple, though insignificant in size when compared with the stupendous religious buildings of Assyria, Babylon and Thebes, and not calculated to accommodate great numbers of worshippers, the music of the Golden Age was perpetuated for a time and the songs of Solomon were sung. So prolific was the muse of this king, that it is said he wrote one thousand and five songs, nearly all of which have been lost. Three psalms which are attributed to him, have been preserved. The first t seems to be a triumphal hymn, and signalizes the final Messianic victory of the Jahveh faith:

Why do the heathen band themselves together
And the people imagine a vain thing?

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Let me tell the decree: Jahveh said to me

Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee!

Ask me and I will give thee the heathen nations for an inheritance,
The uttermost parts of the earth for a possession.

The second glorifies the commerce and industrial growth of the Hebrews. It also plainly is Messianic in spirit.

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The third was probably written during the building of the temple with the intention of encouraging the workers.

Except the Lord build the house,
They labor in vain that build it:
Except the Lord keep the city,

The watchman waketh but in vain.

The fragment of song recorded in the Book of Joshua † is supposed to have been written by an unknown poet who lived during or just before the reign of Solomon, and utilized for his purpose some historic event recounted in the Book of Jasher.

Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon;

And thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.
And the sun stood still and the moon stayed,

Until the nation had avenged themselves upon their enemies.

The Song of Songs, D', is a most precious and passionately beautiful fragment of ethico-idyllic, inspired musical art, and undoubtedly was written by Solomon in early manhood before he adopted the gross and degrading practice of Oriental polygamy. It represents the sacred comedy, as does the Book of Job the sacred tragedy of Israel. In its arrangement, its marvelous unity, its rhythm and beauty of style, its melo-dramatic conception and musical form, it bears the undeniable design of a noble and exquisitely perfect service of song. "The Song of Songs is as much inspired as any of the Psalms. Moved by the Holy Ghost, Solomon wrote this hymn in the midst of a divinely-appointed Messianic revelation. Yes, without calling forth the charge of holding a theory of mechanical inspiration, we can declare that his soul was the harp on which this song was played by the Holy Ghost. For, turning our eyes away from the later life of Solomon, we see within the limits of the hymn how the mystical relation of marital love springs forth from the dark and uncertain waves of polygamy, in the pure and chaste form of its archaic design, and there in Josh. 10: 12, 13.

* Ps. 127.

the Old Testament we contemplate the idea of marriage as the holy reflection of an inseparable psychic bond between two souls, a typifying prelude to the happy restorations to be effected in the reign of the Messiah." *

However, amid all the splendor and achievements of Solomon's time, the process of a slow but certain social and religious decay was at work. Indeed, the worm of disintegration found its way into the national life of the Hebrews through the practices and example of the king himself. Association with the princes of other realms, and marital relations with the court of Egypt, with Moab, Sidon, Ammon, Edom and the Hittite tribes, gradually transformed him from an ardent and heroic devotee of the Jahveh worship, into a religious liberalist of so decided a type that he even invited and tolerated the open and free re-introduction of the idolatrous worship of Chemosh and Moloch, whose degrading rites were celebrated within sight of the temple of Jehovah. Though the priesthood of Israel may thereby have been arrayed against the king, his example and instructions outweighed all their protestations. They could not stem the tide of approaching degeneracy. The old faith wavered and waned, and with it the uses of music sank to the same deplorable level. So rapid and universal, amid the increasing luxury and effeminacy of the times, was the decline of music that not many years after the close of Solomon's reign, the prophet Amos wrote: "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion! . . . . . That chant to the sound of the viol and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David. That is to say, "the same pains which David employed on music to the honor of God, they employed on their light, enervating, unmeaning music, and if they were in earnest enough, justified their inventions by the example of David. An artificial, effeminate music which should relax the soul, frittering the melody, and displacing the power and majesty of divine harmony by tricks of arts and giddy, thoughtless, † Amos 6: 1, 5.

* Delitzsch, Das Hohelied, p. 178.

heartless, soulless versifying would be meet company. Debased music is a mark of a nation's decay and promotes it." *

The same prophet exposed the hypocritical character of divine service in the reign of Ahaz and Manasseh: "Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols." †

A few years later Isaiah bore witness to the prostitution of music as the accompaniment of religious degeneracy: "And the harp and the viol, the tabret and pipe and wine are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands." In view of the loss of the buoyant spirit of faith and the punitive devastation consequent upon Israel's apostasy, he said again: "The mirth of tabrets ceaseth; the noise of them that rejoice endeth; the joy of the harp ceaseth." §

Jeremiah, the next great prophet, was doomed to contemplate the same sad state of things. Said he: "The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music. The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning." ||

When, finally, the measure of iniquity became filled by the desecration and defilement of the temple and the institution of human sacrifices, offered on the altars of Tophet in the valley. of Hinnom, a curse which recognizes the kinship between music and religion was uttered against Israel for its abominations: "Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall be desolate." T

Shorn of their national glory, steeped in idolatrous iniquity and vice, dead to the inspiration and promises of the Jahveh worship, and the prey of internal dissension, the Jews were easily conquered by a foreign foe. But in the Babylonian captivity, once more reduced to servitude, they bewailed the errors of the * Pusey. Minor Prophets; Amos in loco. † Amos 5: 23. ‡ Isa. 5: 12. Isa. 24: 8. || Lam. 5: 14, 15. ¶ Jer. 7: 84; 25: 10.

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