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1 Samuel 16:16

1 Samuel 16:16

Let our Lord now command thy servants which are before thee,
&c.] Meaning either themselves, or some of a more inferior rank, who were in some post and office at court, waiters there, such as yeomen of the guards:

to seek out a man who is a cunning player on the harp:
a musical instrument much in use in those days:

and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee;
when in a melancholy mood, and Satan takes the advantage of it to distress and terrify, to spread the gloom, and stir up evil passions, and promote distraction and confusion:

that he shall play with his hand:
upon the harp, that being not an instrument of wind, but of hand music:

and thou shalt be well:
music being a means of cheering the spirits, and removing melancholy and gloomy apprehensions of things, and so of restoring to better health of body and disposition of mind; and that music has such an effect on the bodies and minds of men is certain from observation and experience in all ages. Music has been found to be medicine to various diseases, not only for the curing of the bite of vipers, and of the tarantula, but for easing the pains of the sciatica, and for helping persons labouring under the disorders of the frenzy {k}; and Pythagoras used to compose the mind, and remove the perturbations of it, by the use of the harp F12, the thing here advised to.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 4. c. 13. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 17. Vid. Philostrat. Vit. Apollon. Tyan. l. 5. c. 7.
F12 Seneca de Ira, l. 3. c. 9.
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