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David Guzik :: Study Guide for 1 Chronicles 25

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Musicians for the Temple

A. The musicians for the temple.

1. (1Ch 25:1) Musicians separated for service.

Moreover David and the captains of the army separated for the service some of the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals. And the number of the skilled men performing their service was:

a. David and the captains of the army separated for the service: Interestingly, the captains of the army took part in the selection and organization of the musicians or "worship leaders" for Israel. David sensed a connection between the security of the kingdom and the worship and honoring of God.

i. "Chapter 25 concerns David's organization of the four thousand Levitical musicians (23:5) into courses of service that correspond to those of the priests and temple Levites (chapter 24)." (Payne)

ii. "David did give high regard to the counsel of his military commanders (1 Chronicles 11:10; 12:32; 28:1), even in liturgical affairs (cf. 1 Chronicles 13:1; 15:25)." (Payne)

b. Who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals: Their service was connected with the dynamic of prophesy in the sense that it was inspired by God. Their ministry in music was not merely the product of good musicianship; it was a gift of the Holy Spirit being exercised through them.

i. "This work of praise is thrice described by a somewhat singular, and, in this connection, arresting word, 'prophecy.' The use of this word here is a revelation of the true value of the service of music in the sanctuary of God." (Morgan)

ii. "Either they supplied messages direct from God in the manner of the classical prophets, for which the Levite Jahaziel (2 Chronicles 20:14-17) provides an obvious analogy, or their praise was itself seen as 'prophecy' in that it proclaimed God's word with God's authority." (Selman)

2. (1Ch 25:2-6) The sons of Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman.

Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied according to the order of the king. Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp to give thanks and to praise the LORD. Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king's seer in the words of God, to exalt his horn. For God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the direction of their father for the music in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps, for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the authority of the king.

a. Asaph, who prophesied according to the order of the king: 12 Psalms are attributed to Asaph (Psalm 50 and Psalms 73 through 83).

b. Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp to give thanks and to praise the LORD: Jeduthun's music ministry was so inspired by the Spirit of God that it could be said that he prophesied with a harp.

c. Heman the king's seer: "He is called the king's seer, either because the king took special delight in him, or because he frequently attended upon the king in his palace, executing his sacred office there, while the rest were constantly employed in the tabernacle." (Poole)

d. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the authority of the king: These enormously talented and Spirit-anointed men knew how to submit themselves under the leadership of David, under the authority of the king.

i. We note the prominent place of the sons of Heman, and that all these were under the direction of their father for the music in the house of the LORD. "How one would like to have seen Heman coming into the Temple with his children! It was largely owing to him and their mother that they were what they were." (Meyer)

ii. Under the direction of their father: "Heman's children were 'under the hands of their father.' Young people must not get the upper hand." (Meyer)

iii. Yet we also see that Heman was among those under the authority of the king. "But if you would rule well, you must obey. Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, were under the king. The man who is himself under authority, can say, Go, come, do this or that, with the calm assurance of being obeyed." (Meyer)

B. The result of the casting of lots for their duty.

1. (1Ch 25:7-8) The number of skillful musicians.

So the number of them, with their brethren who were instructed in the songs of the LORD, all who were skillful, was two hundred and eighty-eight. And they cast lots for their duty, the small as well as the great, the teacher with the student.

a. They cast lots for their duty, the small as well as the great, the teacher with the student: David didn't give the choice worship assignments only to the most talented and greatest. He let God do the choosing and it was both a prevention of pride for the great and the teacher, and a learning opportunity for the small and the student.

2. (1Ch 25:9-31) The divisions of the musicians.

Now the first lot for Asaph came out for Joseph; the second for Gedaliah, him with his brethren and sons, twelve; the third for Zaccur, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the fourth for Jizri, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the fifth for Nethaniah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the sixth for Bukkiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the seventh for Jesharelah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the eighth for Jeshaiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the ninth for Mattaniah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the tenth for Shimei, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the eleventh for Azarel, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the twelfth for Hashabiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the thirteenth for Shubael, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the fourteenth for Mattithiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the fifteenth for Jeremoth, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the sixteenth for Hananiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the seventeenth for Joshbekashah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the eighteenth for Hanani, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the nineteenth for Mallothi, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the twentieth for Eliathah, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the twenty-first for Hothir, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the twenty-second for Giddalti, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the twenty-third for Mahazioth, his sons and his brethren, twelve; the twenty-fourth for Romamti-Ezer, his sons and his brethren, twelve.

© 2006 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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