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GITTITH ():

A musical instrument mentioned in Ps. viii. 1, lxxxi. 1, lxxxiv. 1. The word is explained by Gesenius ("Thesaurus," s. v. ) as meaning "striking instrument," but it is now generally held to denote a zither. Rashi, following the Targum, derives the name from "Gath"; it would then mean "fabricated by the people of Gath." He also quotes a Talmudic saying that "Gittith" is an allusion to Edom, which will be trodden down like a wine press (; compare Isa. lxiii. 3), and combats this view by arguing that the context of the chapter has nothing to do with Edom. Ibn Ezra explains the name "Gittith" as referring to the fact that the above-mentioned psalms were composed for the sake of the descendants of Obed-edom the Gittite, who was a Levite. The interpretation (also found in the Septuagint) that "Gittith" means "to be sung to the tune of the wine-presses" is ridiculed by Ibn Ezra.

E. G. H. M. Sel.
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