Christ as the Star of the Morning
From Numbers 24, we know that the "star out of Jacob" is Christ. But can we find in the Old Testament that the "morning star" is Christ?
In Job:3, Job curses the day of his birth:
May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,
In Job 38:4, God answers Job, saying along the way that the morning stars existed before creation.
Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone - while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
This can be understood to mean that the morning stars are entities, distinct from the angels, that existed before the world. That could include the Messiah.
Isaiah 14 applies a parable about Lucifer, sometimes translated as light-bringer or morning star, to the King of Babylon:
4That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
5The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
6He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
7The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.
8Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.
9Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
11Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
17That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
18All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
19But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
20Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
From A.D. 231, in Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book I, chapter 13: "But the angels also wonder at the peace which is to be brought about on account of Jesus on the earth, that seat of war, on which Lucifer, star of the morning, fell from heaven, to be warred against and destroyed by Jesus."
I guess where I am going with this is that while Christ might rightly be compared to a morning star, and the New Testament does say this, the connection in the Old Testament seems rather weak for David to have understood the Messiah as a "morning star" and then chosen an alleged "morning star" instrument to represent the Messiah.
We would have to say that the Bible portrays, either literally or allegorically, that:
1. before the earth was created there were "morning star" beings distinct from the angels, based on Job.
2. the Messiah would be a star, based on Numbers 24
3. therefore the Messiah must be one of these allegorical beings.
4. therefore David must have had the Messiah, as opposed to other morning stars, in mind when he said to play Psalm 22 on a "morning star."
One problem is that Job might have meant the morning stars literally as beings, but Numbers only meant them allegorically, or vice verse. Another problem- why couldn't in purely logical terms the Messiah have been another kind of star besides a morning star?
I see the logic in connecting the Old Testament words about the Messiah to a morning star in the Old Testament, but it seems like a weak connection.The Ayeleth Hashachar: a Musical Instrument
Favoring the theologians' proposal that Psalm 22:1 refers to an instrument called the Star of the Morning are the Psalms' frequent use of the opening phrase "on the __________" to apparently refer to an instrument.
Psalm 5:1: "To the conductor, on nehiloth, a song of David."
The 12th century Rabbi Rashi comments:
on nehiloth: Menachem interpreted all of them: nehiloth, alamoth, gittith, jeduthun, that they are all names of musical instruments, and the melody of the psalm was according to the melody fit for that instrument.
Psalm 8:1 : To the conductor, on the gittith, a song of David.
Psalm 81:1 : For the conductor, on the gittith, of Asaph.
(These are two different verses.) Rashi comments: the gittith: A musical instrument that came from Gath
Psalm 39:1. For the conductor, to Jeduthun, a song of David.
Rashi writes: to Jeduthun: The name of one of the singers, and there was also a musical instrument called Jeduthun.
But maybe the Rabbis were just assuming that there were musical instruments by those names?
The lyrics of at least two of the Psalms begin by singing with instructions to sing with musical accompaniment.
Psalm 33:2. Give thanks to the Lord with a harp; with a lyre of ten melodies make music to Him
Psalm 108: 3. Awaken, you psaltery and harp; I shall awaken the dawn.
Further, in at least two instances, it's clear that the Psalms do use the phrase "on the ____" to refer to musical instruments, because they are described elsewhere in the Old Testament as instruments.
Psalm 6:1 To the conductor with melodies on the sheminith, a song of David.
Rashi: on the sheminith: A harp of eight strings, known as sheminith, and so we find (in I Chron. 15:21): “So-and-so and his sons on the sheminith to conduct.”
Psalm 12:1 For the conductor on the sheminith, a song of David.
Rashi: on the sheminith: The eight stringed harp.
Psalm 46:1 For the conductor, a song of the sons of Korah, on alamoth.
Rashi: on alamoth: The name of a musical instrument in Chronicles (I Chron. 15:20).
Rashi comments on Psalm 22:1 that the Ayeleth Hashachar/Morning Star/Doe of the Morning is a musical instrument. But how does he know? Maybe he is just assuming that some Psalms begin with musical instruments, so the Ayeleth Hashachar must be one too.
The problem with making such an assumption is that often Psalms start with phrases like "on the roses" and "on the lilies." Instead of calling these musical instruments, Rashi says that these are just words with a poetic meaning.
So maybe a Psalm's opening phrase "on the ________," is not enough to mean a musical instrument, and scholars shouldn't just assume it.
But maybe the rabbis knew from someplace else that the Ayeleth Hashachar referred to a musical instrument?
Since the phrase "on the _____" certainly refers to musical instruments in at least two instances, and David sings to sing Psalms on musical stringed instruments in two instances, but I don't know if the phrase "on the _____" ever refers to a melody in the Psalms, the "Ayeleth Hashachar" most likely refers to a musical instrument.
On a sidenote: Were harps used in Judaic Temple services before the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD?
Synagogues and Orthodox churches generally don't use them, even when singing the Psalms.
We still have the question: How do we know that the Star of the Morning was an instrument, but that the Doe fo the Morning was a melody?
The Song of Solomon, David's son, has a song with a night-morning/winter-spring theme where a doe is behind lattice and her lover looks in and gets her to leave. Lattice on a window is like prison bars, so we could propose that the "Doe of the Morning" is a song with a resurrection theme.
But how do we know that the "Doe of the Morning" is not be the name for a musical instrument?
Therefore, Psalm 22:1 says to use an instrument, and scholars have asserted that there was an instrument called the star of the morning. But does "doe of the morning" being the name for a song mean that it cannot be the name of an instrument too?