Hebrew Word – New Song

First day of the New Year so it is time to sing a NEW SONG!!!


New Song


chādāš šiyr


We’ve all heard the old expression that someone is “singing a different tune” or has “changed his tune.” The expression probably arose in the Middle Ages among wandering minstrels. As they traveled from court to court, they thought it prudent to change the words of their songs to please each baron.


Long before the Middle Ages, however, God’s people were singing a new song, and that song was of much greater joy and significance. New is the Hebrew chādāš (H2319), which often indicates something new in the sense of “never seen or done before.” It appears in Eze_18:31, for example: “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit.”


Song, then, is šiyr (H7892), a type of lyrical song or religious song. It also appears several times in Ezra and Nehemiah to refer to songs of Levitical choirs. In Neh_12:46, for example, Nehemiah recounts that in David’s day music directors led “songs of praise.”


Significantly, it is at times also used in a negative way. Amos uses it to picture the apathy of the people, as they lay around eating, drinking, strumming their musical instruments, and singing, totally oblivious to God’s coming judgment (in Amo_6:5, “music” is šiyr). Here is a warning to the world, and even the church, concerning complacency and an insatiable desire for entertainment and leisure.


It is when we see these two words together, however, that we discover a wondrous truth. The term new song appears seven times in the OT, and in each case we see a new song being composed in response to what God has done. “Fresh mercies,” writes commentator Adam Clarke, “call for new songs of praise and gratitude.” The first occurrence, in fact, is Psa_33:3, which is set in the context of the great event of Creation.


What, then, could be more appropriate as we start a new year than to be reminded to sing a new song every day? Does not each day bring new mercies, new blessings, new joys, new triumphs? It also reminds us that we do, indeed, “sing a different tune” than the world.


Scriptures for Study: Read the other OT occurrences of new song, noting how God is being praised for what He has done: Psa_40:3; Psa_96:1; Psa_98:1; Psa_144:9; Psa_149:1; Isa_42:10. Note also the two NT occurrences of new song: Rev_5:9; Rev_14:3. New is the Greek kainos (G2537), “something new in quality,” having never existed before.





Filed under Hebrew

3 responses to “Hebrew Word – New Song

  1. Pingback: Song of the day #29 – You Always Make Me Smile | Ben Chu & Music

  2. KB

    This is certainly very helpful to me as a worship pastor. Thanks for sharing!


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