What in the Heck is a Gittith? (Psalm 8)

Psalm 8

For the music leader. According to the Gittith. A psalm of David.

8 Lord, our Lord, how majestic
    is your name throughout the earth!
    You made your glory higher than heaven!
From the mouths of nursing babies
    you have laid a strong foundation
    because of your foes,
    in order to stop vengeful enemies.
When I look up at your skies,
    at what your fingers made—
    the moon and the stars
    that you set firmly in place—
        what are human beings
            that you think about them;
        what are human beings
            that you pay attention to them?
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
    crowning them with glory and grandeur.
You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
    putting everything under their feet—
        all sheep and all cattle,
        the wild animals too,
        the birds in the sky,
        the fish of the ocean,
        everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth! (Psalm 8:1-9, Common English Bible.

Today is Flashback Friday. The past several weeks I have posted some of my oldest posts once again. To date, these posts have all been a couple of years old. Today’s post is different. I originally wrote and posted it in February of this year. It wasn’t one of my best performing posts originally but since then it has been the best performing post ever. There have been five months that outperformed February when it first posted. With that, I thought it was time to repost, “What the Heck is a Gittith?”

From time to time, we encounter a word in the Bible and we don’t know its meaning. In reality, some of these words, we haven’t a clue as to what they might mean. When we encounter one of these words, it is my intention to pause and give you a background meaning I have found in my research of that word.

Today we encounter one of those words. The word Gittith is one of those words. It is believed to be either a musical stringed instrument or a certain style or genre of music.

Gittith can be found in three places in Scripture, Psalm 8, Psalm 81, and Psalm 84. In each case, Gittith is part of the instructions at the very beginning of each psalm.

The largest group of opinions states that word points to a stringed instrument. It easily could have been one that looks something like the picture at the top. I find that an interesting instrument. Much like an acoustic guitar, the body those sound holes are important. That box on the body of the instruments serves much like the body of a guitar. So the sound needs a place to come out of the body hence, the sound hole. I did find pictures of what some scholars to believe the instrument that did not have sound holes.

When someone strikes up a heavy metal song, Christian or not, they know the heavy metal sound. If a Gittith was a particular genre or styles, you likely would have known when the choir started singing the song.

These two opinions are not the only ones available. The word is often, as it is in the Common English Bible, left untranslated. Others translate it as we have already seen it, into a Hebrew word meaning “wine.” Another translation uses the Philistine city of Gath.

One final possibility says that Gittith might have been a popular song tune in the Hebrew world. Putting new lyrics to an old favorite is nothing new. I do that pretty regularly these days. I know others do that too. In the United Methodist Hymnal there is a hymn titled “The Gift of Love.” There is one other in the hymnal using that tune in they hymnal, “Where Love is Found.” The third is a pretty recent addition to songs going with that tune titled, “Hymn of Praise.” The fourth song is one I wrote. If you are interested, let me know.

We may never know what Gittith means this side of eternity. And I have a basic theory that when we get there we are going to be too busy with a gillion other things to even care. So who is right? Only God know.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission is given for non-commercial purposes.

Source: Bible Odysesey

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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