The Definition and Meaning of the Harp as a Catholic Christian Symbol
Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the Harp? The harp is a plucked stringed instrument, with a long history going back to biblical times, which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. The Harp Christian Symbol represents music, instruments, joy and worship in praising God.
Ps. 71:22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
The harp is also recognized as an attribute of King David as told in I Chronicles 13:8:
And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
Reference to the Harp Christian Symbol in the Bible
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Harp Christian Symbol in the Bible.
(Heb. kinnor), the national instrument of the Hebrews. It was invented by Jubal (Gen. 4:21). Some think the word _kinnor_ denotes the whole class of stringed instruments. It was used as an accompaniment to songs of cheerfulness as well as of praise to God (Gen. 31:27; 1 Sam. 16:23; 2 Chr. 20:28; Ps. 33:2; 137:2).
In Solomon's time harps were made of almug-trees (1 Kings 10:11, 12). In 1 Chr. 15:21 mention is made of "harps on the Sheminith;" Revised Version, "harps set to the Sheminith;" better perhaps "harps of eight strings."
The soothing effect of the music of the harp is referred to 1 Sam. 16:16, 23; 18:10; 19:9. The church in heaven is represented as celebrating the triumphs of the Redeemer "harping with their harps" (Rev. 14:2).
The definition and the meaning of Symbols or Icon in early religious art forms. A Catholic sign or icon, such as the Harp Christian Symbol, is an object, character, figure, or color used to represent abstract ideas or concepts - a picture that represents an idea. A religious icon, such as the Harp Christian Symbol, is an image or symbolic representation with sacred significance. The meanings, origins and ancient traditions surrounding Christian symbols date back to early times when the majority of ordinary people were not able to read or write and printing was unknown. Many were 'borrowed' or drawn from early pre-Christian traditions.