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Tuesday, May 28th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 25

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-7

Chief Singers and Musicians, 1 Chronicles 25:1-7

These verses set forth the chief families of the Levites who were devoted to the service of song and music in the temple. It is unclear why the captains of the host are mentioned in connection with their separation. Three chief men were set apart to this work; Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. Asaph was head of the choir, and some twelve of the Psalms are titled to him, or his sons. This may mean that they were prepared for his choral use, or he may have been the author of some of them. There were four sons of Asaph over the remainder of his family. They were of the Levitical family of Gershon.

Jeduthun was of the Levitical family of Merari. Some think he is the same person called Ethan in other places. He and his family assisted the Asaphites in the choir, and played on the harp also. Jeduthun had six sons who were over other members of the family.

Heman was of a very prominent. family in Israel, the son of Joel and grandson of the prophet Samuel. His family composed the orchestra, and provided most of the musical instrumentation in the temple worship. His was also the largest family of the three, being fourteen sons and three daughters. It seems the daughters may also have been included among the musicians. They represented the Levitical family of Kohath. Heman is called the king’s seer, which means that he received revelations from the Lord for the king and conveyed them to him. To "lift up the horn" means that he exalted the word of God to the king.

It is said that these men all ’prophesied" with their songs and instruments of music. Many times in the Old Testament the word "prophesy" is used in about the same sense as "preach" is used today. All singing and music should exalt the Lord and extol His word, and that is just what these people did so long ago. Their service was for the Lord and advanced His name and cause in Israel.

The chief musicians then, were three: Asaph, with four sons under his hand; Jeduthun, with six sons under him; Heman, with fourteen sons (and possibly three daughters over the ladies of the choir). Under all these were many other singers and musicians to the total number of two hundred and eighty-eight. What a wonderful medley of voice they must have rendered in praise of the Lord! (Ephesians 5:18-21; Colossians 3:16).

Verses 8-31

Twenty-four Orders, Verses 8-31

These verses show how the four sons of Asaph, six sons of Jeduthun, and fourteen sons of Heman formed the twenty-four orders of the music department in the temple worship.

Each of the twenty-four sons was responsible for twelve of his family, including himself, in the two hundred eighty-eight member group.

The American Standard Bible renders verse 8, "And they cast lots for their duties, all alike, the small as well as the great, the teacher as well as the pupil."

This clarifies somewhat the reference to "wards" in the King James Version.

Each of the men named as sons of the three fathers of the singers and musicians in verses 1-7 cast lots for places of leadership in the service of song and instrument. Some were more proficient than others, and some were teachers and others pupils, but each son had his place to serve.

There is some variation in the names between the first listing and this in verses 8-31. For instance, Zeri becomes lzri (vs. 3, 11); Asarelah becomes Jesharelah (vs. 2, 14); Uzziel is written Azareel (vs. 4, 18); Shebuel is Shubael (Vs. 4, 10).

Shimei (v. 17) is not mentioned earlier, but must be the sixth son of Jeduthun, not named with his five brothers (v. 3).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 25". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-chronicles-25.html. 1985.
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