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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(מְתֹפְפוֹת ; Sept. φθεγγόμεναι ; Vulg. murmurantes), an obsolete word used in the A. V. of Nahum 2:7 in the sense of drumming, or making regular sounds. The Hebrew word is derived from תֹּ, "a timbrel," and the image which it brings before us in this passage is that of the women of Nineveh, led away into captivity, mourning with the plaintive tones of doves, and beating on their breasts in anguish, as women beat upon their timbrels (comp. Psalms 68:25 [26], where the same verb is used). The Sept. and Vulg., as above, make no attempt at giving the exact meaning. The Targum of Jonathan gives a word which, like the Hebrew, has the meaning of "tympanizantes." The A.V., in like manner, reproduces the original idea of the words. The "tabour" or "tabor" was a musical instrument of the drum type, which with the pipe formed the band of a country village. We retain a trace at once of the word and of the thing in the "tabourine" or "tambourine" of modern music, in the "tabret" of the A.V. and older English writers. To "tabour," accordingly, is to beat with loud strokes as men beat upon such an instrument. The verb is found in this sense in Beaumont and Fletcher, The Tamer Tamed ("I would tabor he"), and answers with a singular felicity to the exact meaning of the Hebrew. See Plumptre, Bible Educator, 4:210.

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Tabering'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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