Song (prop. שַׁיר, shir, (ᾠδή). Songs were generally used on occasions of thanksgiving and triumph, as the song of Moses at the deliverance from Pharaoh and his host (Ex 15:1); the song of Israel at the well of Beer (Nu 21:17); the song of Moses, in Deuteronomy (ch. 32); that of Deborah (Jg 5:12); that of David on bringing up the ark (1Ch 13:8); of Hannah (1 Samuel 2); of the Virgin (Lu 1:46); of the four-and-twenty elders (Re 5:8); of Moses and the Lamb (Re 15:3). But a few also were sung on occasions of sorrow, such as that of David on Saul and Jonathan (2Sa 1:18, etc.); the Lamentations of Jeremiah, and the song he composed on the death of Josiah (2Ch 35:25). It is said of Tyre, in Eze 26:13, as one mark of her desolation,
"I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease, And the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard."
Songs and viols were the usual accompaniments of sacrifices among the Jews and heathens (Am 5:23).
"Sacrifica, dulces tibia effundat modos, Et nivea magna victima ante aras cadat." (Senec. Troad.)
Ec 11:4, "And all the daughters of song shall be brought low," i.e. all the organs which perceive and distinguish musical sounds, and those also which form and modulate the voice; age producing incapacity of enjoyment, as old Barzillai remarks (2Sa 19:35); and as Juvenal notices, thus translated by Dryden:
"What music or enchantilg voice can cheer A stupid, old, impenetrable ear?"
Psalm 68 describes the manner of Jewish musical festivities:
⇒See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
"The singers went before, After came the players on instruments, Between the damsels playing on timbrels."
In Ho 2:15 singing implies the manifestation of the divine favor, where the Targum says, "I will work miracles for them, and perform great acts, as in the day when they ascended up out of the land of Egypt." In this sense a song denotes a great deliverance and a new subject of thanksgiving; so a new song, as in Ps 40:3; Re 5:9, and elsewhere, implies a new work of salvation and favor, requiring an extraordinary return of gratitude and praise. SEE HYMN; SEE PSALM; SEE SINGING.