What Are The Ten Shirot ?

The 10 Shirot (or Ten Shirot, where "Shirot" means "Songs" in Hebrew) are the Songs above all other songs in the Hebrew Bible according to Jewish tradition and above any song that has ever been created in the world since Creation.

The 10 Shirot mark historical events in Jewish history and in the history of the world. The 10 Shirot are not mere melodies, but are the only true Songs in the world in that they express the harmony of Creation as well as marking the aforementioned historical events in human history. For this reason, the 10 Shirot are separated from all other songs by their being written with a capital "S" for "Shirot" or "Shira" (singular form of "Shirot"), and in English with a capital "S" for "Song" or "Songs".

The Ten Shirot are listed in the following chart in the order of their occurrence in history, the name of the Song and the historical context within which the Song was placed, and the verses in the Hebrew Bible where the Song is located.

Historical Order That The Songs Appear In The Hebrew Bible Name of Song and Reason for Song Where Song is Found in the Hebrew Bible
1st Song Mizmor Shir l'Yom Ha-Shabbos ("A Psalm for the Sabbath Day" in Hebrew): this is the Song that Adam sang after the Creation was completed. Psalm 92
2nd Song Shira Shel Yam or "Shirat Ha-Yam" or "Shiras Ha-Yam" ("The Song of the Sea" in Hebrew): this Song is sung by the Hebrews following the drowning of the Egyptian army in the "Sea of Reeds" or the "Red Sea" and the saving of the Hebrews from returning to slavery in Egypt. Exodus 14:30-15:19
3rd Song Shiras Ha-Be'er (literally: "Song of the Well" in Hebrew, where "Well" in this case refers to a source for water). This Song was sung as a result of the miracle that G-d created to save the Hebrews from being ambushed by the Amorites, who hid in caves as the Hebrews were preparing to cross the second mountain range of two mountain ranges that bordered the Arnon River [now known as: Wady Mojib (or Wady el-Mojib)] in what is now Jordan on their way to Canaan after 40 years of wandering in the Sinai Desert. Because those who carried the Ark of the Covenant preceded the Hebrews, it caused the mountains to sink and the valley to rise, crushing the Amorites in their hideouts in the caves. The Hebrews would not have noticed this if the Well of water which accompanied them did not throw up pieces of the corpses. Thus this miracle created by G-d with the Well resulted in the Hebrews bursting forth in the "Song of the Well" in commemoration of this miraculous event. Book of Bamidbar or Book of Numbers (Numbers 21:16-18)
4th Song "Ha'azinu" ("to hear", "to listen" in Hebrew) in Parshas Ha'azinu or Parshat Ha'azinu (literally: "Weekly Torah Reading of Listening" or "Weekly Torah Reading of Hearing" in Hebrew): The word "ha'azinu", generally translated as "listen", or "hear", literally means to "give ear" in Hebrew, as in to actively hear or listen and understand what is being said to oneself. In the case of the Song "Ha'azinu", this means that the Hebrew/Jewish people must actively hear or listen to the message that is being said to them by Moses so that they will be able to pass this message down to future generations. Therefore, "Ha'azinu" was not sung by the Hebrews, but sung to the Hebrews by Moses so that they would hear and listen to what was sung to them. "Ha'azinu" was sung to the Hebrews by Moses prior to his death and at the conclusion of the Hebrews' 40-year wanderings in the Sinai Desert. This Song was sung by Moses to help assure the spiritual future of the Hebrews and included words of warning, of instruction, and of hope, and reaffirms G-d's care and love of the Hebrews to the Hebrews in all circumstances. "Ha'azinu" reflects the vicissitudes of the present and future destiny of Israel, the ups and downs, the rises and the declines. It is not a testimony to the past, but rather a warning for the present and the future. It was sung to a people who were mostly already born into physical freedom, so there was no need for the Hebrews to suddenly rejoice in song as at the "Sea of Reeds" or the "Red Sea", but rather, to listen and hear Moses in a restrained and dour manner. In contrast, the "Shiras Ha-Yam" or "Song of the Sea", sung a little over 40 years earlier by Moses and his sister Miriam at the "Sea of Reeds" or the "Red Sea", was sung as an instantaneous outburst of joy at the realization of the Hebrews' physical freedom after the miraculous event at the "Sea of Reeds" or the "Red Sea". Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52
5th Song "Shiras Ha-Givon" ("The Song of Givon", where "Givon" is a place in the valley of Ayalon near Jerusalem) in the Book of Yehoshua or Book of Joshua. Joshua was the leader commissioned to lead the conquest of Canaan, and he exhorted the "sun [to] stand still upon Gibeon/And you, the moon, in the valley of Ayalon" in order to enable him to wage war and to defeat Adoni-Zedek, king of Jerusalem and his allies and enable the Hebrews to enter Canaan and set up the divisions of land for each Hebrew tribe as well as establishing a sanctuary at Shiloh, which served as a holy city and stood for 200 years until the First Temple was built by King Solomon. Referenced in: Joshua 10:12-15, however, this Song is actually taken from the Book of Jasher, Chapter 89
6th Song Song of Devorah or Song of Deborah. This Song was sung by the Prophetess Deborah (or "Devorah" in Hebrew) after the Hebrew armies defeated the armies of Canaan, led by their general, Sisera. Devorah also sings about Yael, the wife of Heber the Keni, who used a spike and a hammer to drive the spike through the head of Sisera while he slept. Judges 4:4-5:31
7th Song Song of Chana or Song of Hannah. Hannah was the mother of the Prophet Samuel. The Song of Hannah calls attention to the "humiliation" and "misery" of a barren woman, namely Hannah herself (1 Samuel 1:11), who confides her pain to G-d. After her prayers are completed, she is then blessed with a child, Samuel. Essentially, the Song of Hannah is the story of a woman who was barren for a long time and then was blessed with a child. This is but one of many examples of the power of prayer in the Hebrew Bible. I Samuel 2:1-10
8th Song Song of David or "Shirat David" in Hebrew. In this Song, which has the distinction of being the only Song of the 10 Songs or 10 Shirot to be mentioned twice in the Hebrew Bible, King David recounts the desperate state of his very survival and existence during parts of his long and varied career, and he sings a Song of praise to G-d and dedicates the Song to G-d after the G-d had saved him from the hands of all his enemies and from the hands of Saul, the King of Israel prior to David. 2 Samuel 22; Psalm 18 (minor differences from 2 Samuel 22)
9th Song Song of Songs or Song of Solomon ("Shir Ha-Shirim" in Hebrew). The Song of Songs is traditionally seen to be an allegory for the relationship between G-d and Israel by utilizing the example of the love between a man and a woman. The Song of Solomon or Song of Songs is a book in the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, one of the five Torah scrolls, or five "megillot" in Hebrew.
10th Song Song of Mashiach or Song of the Messiah: this Song has yet to be sung. It will be sung during the times of Mashiach or the Messiah, after Mashiach appears on Earth. Isaiah 9:2-7, 26:1

Share/Save/Bookmark          Subscribe