“Sackbut” or a stringed instrument in Daniel 3:5 et al.?
"That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:" (Daniel 3:5, KJV)
“Sackbut” refers to the ancient trombone – a wind instrument. The Encyclopedia Judaica suggests that “שׂבּכא (sabbeka)” at Daniel 3:5 is the Aramaized version of the Greek word, “sambuke” (Vol. 12, p. 565). The sambuke is the elderberry tree (in fact, “Sambucus” is the botanical name for the elderberry tree). For centuries its hollow stems have been used as materials for instruments. Most modern lexicons associate the sambuke in the Bible (sabbeka) only with stringed instruments made from the wood. However, sambuke wood was used also for wind instruments. Elderberry flutes can be found even today. Hence, “sambuke” may refer either to a wind instrument or a stringed instrument made from the wood.
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