Seven Hebrew Words That Will Enhance Your Worship: Zamar

An updated version of this post can be found here.

This is the fourth in a series on Hebrew praise words.  So far we have looked at

Zamar is similar to Tehillah in that it is a musical term of praise.  Zamar means to make music.  Although Zamar is usually translated as “to sing” or “sing praise”, it is actually a root word referring to the plucking of a string and is understood to mean either playing an instrument or singing with an instrumental accompaniment.

Once again, as with the word Tehillah, we are reminded that God loves music and encourages, even commands us, to make music to him.  The word Zamar occurs 42 times in the Old Testament and Tehillah 57 times.  So, just between these two words we are called to make music to God almost 100 times!

Zamar reminds us that God not only loves our verbal praise but also our instrumental praise.  As an example, notice the use of Zamar in Psalm 71:22.

I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises (zamar) to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.

How can we apply this to our worship?  I think one of the most misunderstood times of worship are the musical interludes – those times when the instruments play and the rest of the congregation listens.  Here are some suggestions on how to use those times to worship God:

  • Offering.  If you are one of the instrumentalists, then use the interlude as your personal offering of praise to God.  This is not a time to show off but rather a time to offer to God a gift of praise through your instrument – a time to zamar God.  Play with excellence, but play it to God, not to the people.
  • Meditate.  If you are not playing a musical instrument then don’t zone out during the instrumental times of praise.  Use those times to meditate on God.  Allow the music to draw you closer to God.
  • New Song.  Allow your own song to soar up to God on the wings of the music.  Consider freely singing your own praise to God.  Allow the Spirit of God to touch your heart and voice, and sing out the praise that is in your heart using whatever notes come to you.

God loves music, even instrumental music. 

Question:  Why do you think music is so important to God?  Please leave a comment.

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory

Posted in General Worship, Personal Worship.


  1. I believe music is important to God because as it lifts our spirits to think about Him–esp. praise music–we are adoring Him and all that He is; thus, He gets the ultimate glory. Wind moving through tall grasses or reeds, through lonely pines, or the music of a quiet mountain stream tumbling over water-smoothed rocks–all are forms of music, and all point to the Creator OF the music. Music brings praise to the Creator and the Lover of our souls.

  2. I believe that music touches us in a way that is deeper than words. It moves our spirits. David, when he played his harp, was able to remove the impact of the troubling spirit from Saul. I think music is much more powerful in the spirit realm than we fully understand.

  3. I believe that music is important toGod because it is not only inspiration to the sou land a divine tool to bring or usher God into out midst, but it is also a weapon of mass destruction to the enemy. Our praise replaced lucifer (Satan), who enthroned God in the heavens with sounds. The creative force that music releases into the atmosphere has the power to shift the current. Additionally, it is said that “a sound” precedes movements by The Almighty God. Ultimately Satan is jealous when we give God sincere worship and praise, not only on the intruments or vocally, but especially with our lives.

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