1 Corinthians 14:7

7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?

Read 1 Corinthians 14:7 Using Other Translations

And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played?
Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.

What does 1 Corinthians 14:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Corinthians 14:7

And even things without life giving sound
He instances in things inanimate, that have neither reason, sense, nor life, in musical instruments, and these of various sorts:

whether pipe or harp;
wind music, or hand music; either that which is blown with the breath, or pressed or stricken with the hand:

except they give a distinction in the sounds;
or "tunes", so as one may be discerned from another; as that this is such a musical note, and that is another:

how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
what tune is played; such an use of instruments would be a mere jargon, and not music, and so yield no pleasure to the ear, or mind; and just the like must speaking in an unknown tongue be, to one that understands it not.

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