Songs of Praise

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There is a trace of you in every alleluia, in every song that I sing.

-Audrey Assad, For Love of You

Music is an incredibly important aspect of my devotionals, with a particular emphasis on Christian music. As both a singer and dancer (and at one point a violinist), it has always been an important part of my life.

However, some forms have become rather sacred to me. Although I grew up perfectly comfortable with singing in front of a crowd, I tend not to sing in public anymore, or rather I don’t sing for just anyone anymore. I reserve it for those most important to me, with my god at the forefront. There are a number of reasons for this, and the relationship between Lucifer and music is one of them.

Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

-Ezekiel 28:13

 The passage above, when used in reference to Lucifer, is sometimes used to suggest that he had some connection to music.The ‘tabrets and pipes’ could possibly refer to the sockets and grooves on which the precious jewels are set into, as has been argued by some biblical scholars, but it is more widely accepted that they are musical instruments of a sort. But rather than being external instruments, the wording also suggests that Lucifer himself was a living instrument.

There are also other references scattered throughout scripture, one which speaks of the noise of thy viols, or in some versions ‘harps’(Isaiah 14:11), and his title as a Morningstar (When all the morningstars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7)).

In some interpretations, Lucifer was considered to have been in the order of Seraphim before his fall. The Seraphim are said to have surrounded the throne of God, constantly singing a condensed version of the Trisagion hymn—“Holy, holy, holy is the lord”.

Lucifer, before being known as such, was first referred to in scripture as Helel ben Shachar, or Helel son of Shachar/Dawn. As this passage in Isaiah is commonly accepted as a mistranslation from the King James Vulgate and directed towards mortal kings, ‘Lucifer’ acts not as a name but as a title. Furthermore, Helel ben Shachar is thought to be a murky reference to Canaanite mythos in which Helel, son of Shachar and grandson of the King-God El stages a rebellion against his grandfather. This is highly speculative however, because as far as I know there is no mention of a Helel figure in what information we have of Canaanite mythology.

Helel is often translated into ‘shining one’, but it’s derivation is not exactly known. It is speculated that it’s root is ‘halal’, which roughly means to be clear, to shine, to boast, to celebrate. Interestingly enough, ‘halal’ is also the root for Hallelujah/Alleluia, which means ‘Praise Jah/YHWH’. It is an exceptionally joyful exclamation, and because of this it’s use is all but forbidden during the solemn and penitent Lenten period within Catholicism. Upon Easter Vigil however, the Alleluia returns in threes—much like the seraphic song of ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ referenced above. 

And while this may be a bit of a stretch scripture-wise, some believe that it was Lucifer who led the angels in these songs of praise, and that he had a position as likened to a high priest or worship leader before his fall. The precious stones mentioned in Ezekiel 28:13 are mentioned again in Exodus 28:15-21, but this time they are used to describe the garb of Aaron, the high priest of the Israelites and brother to Moses. He had also been commanded to adorn his vestments with bells, so that each step he took would ring with music and be a wordless praise of God.

(Painting: Mourning Genius (1902) – Nikolaos Gyzis)

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2 thoughts on “Songs of Praise

  1. […] Songs of Praise (awakeninlight.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] I actually spoke a bit about these verses in a previous post, so I’m just going to link you to my entry Songs of Praise […]

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