The Hebrew word zamar means to worship Adonai with music. Zamar has a root meaning of ‘pruning a tree’ and the rhythm of cutting would make a musical sound when branches were pruned. From this definition, zamar means to pluck a stringed instrument.
Yuval was the ancestor of all who play lyre and flute (Genesis 4:21). Seven Psalms begin: “For the leader. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David …” These Psalms were played –– plucked –– in David’s Tabernacle where worship for Adonai took place while he was King. David offered a zamar of praise with his harp, and the evil spirits tormenting King Saul would leave (1 Samueal 16:23).
Zamar is found 46 times in Scripture; lyre is found 44 times and ten-stringed harp is found 13 times.
“Arise Adonai, in your strength: and we will sing and zamar your power” (Psalm 21:13).
“Give zamar to Adonai with the lyre, zamar to him with a ten-stringed harp” (Psalm 33:2).
“Zamar to Adonai, for he has triumphed — this is being made known throughout the earth” (Isaiah 12:5).
Hebrew Word Pictures
Pluck Strings – zamar – זמר
ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘cut’ or ‘divide.’
מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’
ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for zamar: divide the chaos of the highest authority.