Bible Verses About Drums

Throughout history, drums have played an important role in various cultures around the world. The usefulness of drums can even be traced back to the Bible where they were used regularly in both religious ceremonies and war.

Of course, the elaborate drum sets we regularly see played today (like this one) are very different from the timbrel and cymbals referred to in Biblical text.

What is a Timbrel?

By Ratomir Wilkowski, www.RKP.org.pl – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10824434

The timbrel mentioned in Bible verses is a hand drum that was very similar to the modern-day tambourine. The timbrel was the principal percussion instrument in ancient Biblical times.

In ancient Israelite culture, the timbrel (or tabret) was a favorite instrument of the women and was often used with dances to accompany songs. The timbrel was also used by King David and his musicians when he danced before the Ark of the Covenant.

What did Bible cymbals look like?

Credit: Alexander Ancient Art

The ancient cymbals referred to in the Bible were smaller and thicker than the cymbals used today. They were used both to mark time and as musical accompaniment by musicians and priests.

Drums in the Bible

1 Corinthians 13:1

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Psalm 150:4

Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.

Psalm 149:3

Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.

Exodus 15:20

Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing.

Psalm 150:3

Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre.

Psalm 150:5

Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals.

Isaiah 30:32

And every blow of the rod of punishment, Which the LORD will lay on him, Will be with the music of tambourines and lyres; And in battles, brandishing weapons, He will fight them.

Psalm 81:2

Raise a song, strike the timbrel, The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.

Amos 5:23

“Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.”

Matthew 11:17

and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

Jeremiah 51:20

He says, “You are My war-club, My weapon of war; And with you I shatter nations, And with you I destroy kingdoms.

1 Corinthians 13:1

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 Samuel 6:5

Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.

Jeremiah 31:4

“Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you will take up your tambourines, And go forth to the dances of the merrymakers.

Psalm 33:2

Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.

Isaiah 5:12

Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; But they do not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, Nor do they consider the work of His hands.

2 Kings 4:3

Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, even empty vessels; do not get a few.

Isaiah 24:8

The gaiety of tambourines ceases, The noise of revelers stops, The gaiety of the harp ceases.

Psalm 68:25

The singers went on, the musicians after them, In the midst of the maidens beating tambourines.

2 Kings 23:10

He also defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire for Molech.

2 Kings 3:15

“But now bring me a minstrel ” And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

Daniel 3:5

that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.

1 Samuel 10:5

“Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying.

1 Chronicles 13:8

David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals and with trumpets.

Joshua 6:20

So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.

Joel 2:1

Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming;

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