Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 25

 

Twenty-four Orders of Levite Musicians

Continuing the census and organization of the men of the tribe of Levi that began in 1 Chronicles 23, “David and the captains of the host” arranged the musicians who would minister in the worship of the Temple. David was intimately involved in the Tabernacle’s music and the music ministry’s organization in the Temple. As both a poet and musician, the king understood music’s important role in worshipping the LORD.

Three primary Levitical families are identified (1 Chronicles 25:1): “the sons of Asaph (1 Chronicles 25:2), and of Heman (1 Chronicles 25:4-5), and of Jeduthun (1 Chronicles 25:3).” The sons of those families were described as “separated to the service…who should prophesy [i.e., inspire by song] with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals” (1 Chronicles 25:1).

David appointed the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to serve in the ministry of music (1 Chronicles 25:1). Heman stands out not only as a chief musician, but “God gave to [him] fourteen sons and three daughters” (1 Chronicles 25:5). Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, evidently were excellent musicians, passing their skills to their children who served under their father’s direction “in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God” (1 Chronicles 25:6). Altogether, there were 288 musicians who were described as “instructed [taught] in the songs of the Lord, even all that were cunning [skilled]” (1 Chronicles 25:7).

Of course, as noted earlier, there were 4000 singers and musicians whom David appointed to “offer praises to the LORD” (1 Chronicles 23:5). These were divided by lot into twenty-four companies who ministered in the Temple in the morning and evening (1 Chronicles 25:8-31)

 

Closing thoughts –

Worshipping the LORD was central to Israel as a nation, and the music ministry had an essential role. The orchestra and choir consisted of Levites whose lives were dedicated to ministering daily in the Temple. The 21st-century church would be wise to return to that standard and remember the responsibility of those who minister in music was to “prophesy,” literally to inspire by word and song.

Godly character and musicianship were essential for those who ministered in music before the LORD and His people.

Questions to consider:

1) What instruments were employed in worship in the Tabernacle and later the Temple? (1 Chronicles 25:1, 6)

2) What word described the skill of those who were chosen and trained to lead worship in music and song? (1 Chronicles 25:7)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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