is the rendering in the A.V. of the Chaldee sabbeka (written סִבּכָא in Da 3:5, but שִׂבּכָא in Da 3:7,10,15; thought by Gesenius, Thesaur. s.v., to be from סָבִך, to weave, from the entwined strings), which the Sept. and Vulg. render by the corresponding σαμβύκη, sambuca, which, in fact, are mere transcriptions of the Chaldee word. The English version has evidently imitated the word. The sackbut, however, is an old English name for a wind instrument (see the Bible Educator, 4, 150), but the Greek and Roman sambuca had strings (see Smith, Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v.). "Mr. Chappell says (Pop. Mus. 1, 35), 'The sackbut was a bass trumpet with a slide, like the modern trombone.' It had a deep note, according to Drayton (Polyolbion, 4, 365):

The hoboy, sagbut deep, recorder, and the flute.'

Bible concordance for SACKBUT.

The sambuca was a triangular instrument with four or more strings played with the fingers. According to Athenseus (14, 633), Masurius described it as having a shrill tone; and Euphorion, in his book on the Isthmian games, said that it was used by the Parthians and Troglodytes, and had four strings. Its invention is attributed to one Sambyx, and to Sibylla its first use (Athen. 14, 637). Juba, in the 4th book of his Theatrical History, says it was discovered in Syria, but Neanthes of Cyzicum, in the first book of the Hours, assigns it to the poet Ibycus of Rhegium (ibid. 4, 77). This last tradition is followed by Suidas, who describes the sambuca as a kind of triangular harp. That it was a foreign instrument is clear from the statement of Strabo (10, 471), who says its name is barbarous. Isidore of Seville (Origin. 3, 20) appears to regard it as a wind instrument, for he connects it with the sambucus, or elder, a kind of light wood of which pipes were made. The sambuca was early known at Rome, for Plaitus (Stich. 2, 2, 57) mentions the women who played it (sambucoe, or sambucistrioe, as they are called in Livy, 39, 6). It was a favorite among the Greeks (Polybius, 5, 37), and the Rhodian women appear to have been celebrated for their skill on this instrument (Athen. 4, 129). There was an engine called sambuca used in siege operations, which derived its name from the musical instrument, because, according to Athenaeus (14, 634), when raised it had the form of a ship and a ladder combined in one." Rawlinson (Ancient Monarchies, 3, 20) thinks that the Chaldee sabbeka was a large harp resting on the ground like that of the Egyptians. SEE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.

Definition of sackbut

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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