Celtic and Biblical Drums for Loud Praise and Military Parade

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Some have attacked our assemblies for usage of bagpipes and drums at our annual pilgrimage festivals and crusades. We hope to set the record straight that these are orthodox Biblical instruments. Write to marshalofsalem(at)yahoo.com if you have any questions, corrections or additions for this article.

The Irish “drums”(taboret – KJV) and “bag pipes”(psaltery – KJV) dates to the first century BC (when Jeremiah the prophet came with the Aaronic priesthood, David’s harp, Baruch the scribe, the King’s daughters, and David’s literal throne, the stone of scone. Vast proof abounds that proclaim this Biblical transplanting God’s Kingdom to the British Isles. Numerous records such as the annals of Ireland, genealogies of Saints, Jeremiah’s dated grave, and Princess Tea Tephi’s place in the genealogy Irish nobles all stand as additional proofs of the Israelite heritage of Ireland today.)

Biblical drum instrument

Example of a historic Israelite drum/taboret or “Toph” in Hebrew. The Irish bodhran.

Instrument of choice by the sons of Aaron. It is called “Ireland’s native drum from pre-Christian times”. One of the traditional military instruments of the Celtic lands. It maintained heavy use in Scotland and England after the Celtic Gauls were decimated by Rome. In traditional Cornish music they call it a crowdy-crawn. The bodhran was also found among the Celtic music of Galicia, often accompanying the gaita gallega (galician bagpipes).


Heralded the world over, the “Irish Race” is called “the sons of Aaron”. It is a common phrase to say, rather than “he’s an Irishman” to say “he is a son of Aaron”.

This was no-doubt founded by the sister of Aaron, Miriam the prophetess, as in the following passage. She demonstrated great zeal, leading the war music from Israel’s first battle:


Exo 15:20-21 KJV – 20 “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to YAHWEH, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.”


The Hebrew here for timbrel is ‘Toph’. Tambourines and timbrels are mentioned on many occasions throughout the Old Testament and, other than cymbals, seem to be the only percussion instruments referred to. “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance.. ” Psalm 150:3-6.


‘The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments’, says that “tambourine” in Scripture comes from the Hebrew word “Tof” or “Toph” (Hebrew; pl.tuppin), the other English translations being “timbrel” or occasionally “tabret”. It says that these are indeed frame drums(as the bodhran), without jingles, and adds that, because frame drums were commonly used in the surrounding areas that it is likely the ancient Israelites used them as well. The Oxford ‘Companion of Musical Instruments’ says of “historical tambourines”, that they are ancient frame drums, as far as can be seen, without jingles.

‘Percussion Instruments and their History’ by the late James Blades, also refers to instruments of Mesopotamia and Egypt circa 1100 BC. These include frame drums, small kettledrums (baz) and vase shaped drums made of clay. Blades comments, “In biblical references the words tinkling and metal are used in connection with bells and cymbals, but not with tabret or timbrel, (commonly mis-translated as tambourine).”


You didn’t know bagpipes were the Biblical Psaltry instrument?

It is translated from the Hebrew word nebel. If you simply look in strong’s dictionary, or any lexicon really, you’ll read it’s an instrument of a collapsible bag and pipes.



There are many more verses about using such loud instruments of war in our Spiritual war for His Kingdom to come and be done on earth, the great inspiration and motivational tunes for our encouragement and advancement in the earth. Heaven sure is bound to have some awesome instruments beyond our current technical understanding of any modern electrical type. There is plenty of verses that demand we renew, and create new tunes in our cultural tribal warfare. I will list some of these below. We are told to sing unto Him “new songs” not just re-singing the oldest. We are to constantly make new melodies (based on the universal truths of His word) and sing in our hearts unto Him at all times.


Love, care and value has many manifestations. It’s not always manifested in smiles, it may often be manifested in weeping. It may be manifested in anger. It may also be manifested in “hating evil” and singing His words of vengeance He has promised He will do to those who have chosen to remain evil and not repent. Not to enflame others, as is only our own inspirational song. We are to “warn the wicked” in love, with pleading in tears if need be, so long as is possible, urging them that they will repent.


There are many forms of tunes for various situations. Song and melody is to often be used in teaching and admonishing,


Col 3:16 KJV – 16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to YAHWEH.”


It may be said there are many upgraded versions of these instruments that echo loudly for thousands to hear, as in the ancient days, for our motivation and inspiration toward His great thundering and mighty exploits He has wrought upon the earth. In heaven it speaks of great blasts of music and the making of loud noises and tumult with such instruments. On the other hand there is always the more calm and peacrful music. I believe without the loud you cannot truly enjoy the peaceful or more calm tunes.


Noting peace is something the Scriptuer says that is chased after or perused, KJV mistranslated it to “follow” after peace. Peace is a constantly moving object. It is not something that we can find by laying down, but it can take much effort. With that said it may help to have more vigorous music! Surely after reading some more Bible verses on Biblical music you will find the true music of God. The word God is the word for “mighty”.


Many of Israel’s wars were won by the loud music and singing alone! There is great power in praise! There isn’t always calm and quiet praise, sometimes it is more loud and with great vigor.


Here are some verses that give you an idea of music was not so limited as one might tell you:


Psa 150:5 KJV – 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Psa 149:3 Let them praise his Name in the dance : let them sing praises unto him with tabret and harp.

Psa 33:3 KJV – 3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

Psa 98:4 KJV – 4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Psa 150:4 KJV – 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Psa 149:5-9 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;

To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

Psa 98:4 KJV – 4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Psa 118:14-16 KJV – 14 The LORD [is] my strength and song, and is become my salvation. 15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation [is] in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. 16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

Psa 33:2 KJV – 2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings.

Psa 144:9 KJV – 9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

Psa 5:11 KJV – 11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Psa 32:11 KJV – 11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.

Psa 47:1, 5 KJV – 1 [[To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.]] O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. … 5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

Psa 132:16 KJV – 16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

Zep 3:14 KJV – 14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

1Th 4:16 KJV – 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Ch 13:8 KJV – 8 And David and all Israel played before God with all [their] might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

1Ch 15:16, 28 KJV – 16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren [to be] the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy. … 28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.

1Ch 16:42 KJV – 42 And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun [were] porters.

1Ch 25:1 KJV – 1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:

2Ch 5:12-13 KJV – 12 Also the Levites [which were] the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, [being] arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:) 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers [were] as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up [their] voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, [saying], For [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: that [then] the house was filled with a cloud, [even] the house of the LORD;

Neh 12:27 KJV – 27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, [with] cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.


Our music throughout all of Christendom does also fit in this below picture. As we know He is coming back to throw all the wicked into the great winepress, till the blood is up to the horse’s bridle for 600 miles (in the valley of Armageddon). He has promised to punish all who will not be godly (godly is “mighty” in the original). He promises even worse for those who delight in and promote the advancement of lawlessness or unrighteousness. We don’t want to see any perish, but that they repent. However, God has said they can only get away with committing great crimes, frauds and evils for so long.



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