“So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him”. (Samuel I 16:23)
"The healing influence of the sound of the harp has been well–known for many centuries. Woven throughout our ancient traditions are the legends about the Harp of Israel. The ancient Biblical stories of Yuval, David and Serach are wondrous tales of the healing power of the harp music that comes forth from its strings". (Serech, Midrash Hagadol, Vayigash 45:26)
When Joseph’s brothers were returning from Egypt where they had discovered their long-lost brother alive and close to the throne, they worried how to break the news to their father, Jacob. They feared the shock might be too much for him to bear. When they approached Jacob's house, they noticed Asher's daughter, Serech, coming out to greet them. She was an extraordinary girl and she played the harp beautifully.
'Appear before Jacob with your harp,' they instructed her, 'and sing a melody, stating that Joseph is still alive'. Serech slipped quietly into Jacob's tent and stood behind the mourning Jacob. Softly she began to play a tune with the words, 'My uncle Joseph is still alive, he is ruler over Egypt!'
Jacob drank in the words thirstily and enjoyed the pleasant music. "May you be blessed, Serech", he said to her. "You have revived my spirit. May you live forever!"
Jacob's blessing was fulfilled. Serech was still alive in King David's time and was one of the righteous people who was taken to Gan Eden alive.
David & King Saul
Suffering from nightmares, fits of anger and general malaise, King Saul “was tormented by a spirit of sadness and melancholy” (Samuel I 16:14). His servants begged him to seek out a harpist to soothe the troubled king. The servants of Saul loved their king and they searched for the best harpist in the land. The one that was known to be the best was a young shepherd named David.
“One of the young servants spoke up and said, ‘Behold! I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who knows how to play the harp, is a mighty man of valor and a man of war, who understands a matter, is a handsome man, and G-d is with him.’”
The healing power of the harp played by David was quickly proven:
“And it came to pass, that whenever the spirit of melancholy from G-d was upon Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand, and Saul would feel relieved and it would be well with him, and the evil spirit would depart from Saul” (Samuel I 16:14 -23).
Powerful words to describe a situation known all too well by many people in our own times…
While they did not have the scientific ‘proof’ of why and how, the servants of King Saul knew that the sounds of the harp have profound healing effects on the body, mind, and spirit.
In Our Day
In our generation 3000 years later, modern medical research is illuminating the deeper secrets of the harp’s healing power to help us when we need it the most on all levels.
The following articles are presenting some of this research and what is being done in the realm of healing in hospitals, private homes and hospices with the sounds of the harp as well as its use in conjunction with other healing modalities in alternative therapies. The results we are finding are very impressive.