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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 25

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

First Chronicles Chapter 25

1 Chronicles 25:1 "Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:"

David knew the value of worship with song and praise. The men, in the verse above, are descendents of Asaph, who were called to prophecy with musical accompaniment. This might seem strange to you on the surface, but it is not. The book of Psalms are songs, but they are, possibly, some of the best prophecies in the Bible, as well. We discussed in previous lessons, that not all ministry involves preaching. Songs, spiritual music, and praise are all part of worship, as well.

1 Chronicles 25:2 "Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king."

Asaph actually wrote 12 of the Psalms, himself. He was a prophet of God, but he did his prophesying in song. Some of the most beautiful messages in the church today come from Hymns like "Amazing Grace". It appears, that Asaph prophesied to David privately.

1 Chronicles 25:3 "Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD."

Jeduthun was of the family of Merari. He was one of the masters of the sacred music. His name means praise, or praising. He is sometimes called Ethan. In 2 Chronicles 35:15, he is called the king’s seer. The other six mentioned, here, are his sons. His prophecy was associated with music.

1 Chronicles 25:4 "Of Heman: the sons of Heman; Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, [and] Mahazioth:"

1 Chronicles 25:5 "All these [were] the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters."

This is, probably, the same Heman in the 88th Psalm. He had fourteen sons and three daughters, who followed in their father’s call to ministry. He was, also, a seer. He was an inspired musician of sacred music. His specialty seemed to be on the horn.

1 Chronicles 25:6 "All these [were] under the hands of their father for song [in] the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman."

All of these, mentioned in the previous verses of this lesson, ministered in music, song, and prophecy in the temple. There is a list of the various instruments they played in the verse above. As we said earlier, David was aware of the value of inspired music and song in the worship services, and was setting all of this up for the worship in the temple, when Solomon builds it.

1 Chronicles 25:7 "So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, [even] all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight."

These 288, not only understood music and song, but taught others in the spiritual value of the Psalms. It was then, and is now, a very integral part of worship to have spiritual music and song prepare your heart to receive the message God has for His followers. They were taught, themselves, in this special ministry, and they would teach others who came later.

1 Chronicles 25:8 "And they cast lots, ward against [ward], as well the small as the great, the teacher as the scholar."

This casting of the lots was to determine when they should minister in the temple. There seemed to be 24 who took the lead. Each of these 24 had 11 people under them. The one mentioned was the teacher with 11 scholars they trained.

1 Chronicles 25:9 "Now the first lot came forth for Asaph to Joseph: the second to Gedaliah, who with his brethren and sons [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:10 "The third to Zaccur, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:11 "The fourth to Izri, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:12 "The fifth to Nethaniah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:13 "The sixth to Bukkiah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:14 "The seventh to Jesharelah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:

1 Chronicles 25:15 "The eighth to Jeshaiah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:16 "The ninth to Mattaniah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:17 "The tenth to Shimei, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:18 "The eleventh to Azareel, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:19 "The twelfth to Hashabiah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:20 "The thirteenth to Shubael, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

This is a list of the choirs. They did not all sing and play at once. The one at the beginning of the list would take the first duty and then on down the line, until each group had served their time in the service of the LORD, then it would begin at the beginning again. The following Scriptures are still part of the listing of the singers and musicians who ministered in the music.

1 Chronicles 25:21 "The fourteenth to Mattithiah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:" 1 Chronicles 25:22 "The fifteenth to Jeremoth, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:23 "The sixteenth to Hananiah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:24 "The seventeenth to Joshbekashah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:25 "The eighteenth to Hanani, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:26 "The nineteenth to Mallothi, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:27 "The twentieth to Eliathah, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:28 "The one and twentieth to Hothir, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:29 "The two and twentieth to Giddalti, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:30 "The three and twentieth to Mahazioth, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve:"

1 Chronicles 25:31 "The four and twentieth to Romamti-ezer, [he], his sons, and his brethren, [were] twelve."

The 24 groups of twelve each make up the 288 mentioned earlier. The number "12" means a representative of the whole. These 288 would furnish the ministry in music and song for the temple. They would be well trained in their behavior in the temple, as well as their ministry. They would each take their turns ministering in the temple. The ministry of music and song descended from generation to generation, just like the priesthood did.

1 Chronicles 25 Questions

1. In 1 Chronicles 25:1, we find that the sons of Asaph were separated out to do what?

2. What is said about their music that is unusual?

3. The book of Psalms are ___________.

4. It is, possibly, best of the ______________ as well.

5. What have we discussed about ministry in previous lessons?

6. Asaph actually wrote _______ of the Psalms, himself.

7. Some of the most beautiful messages come in songs like __________ _________.

8. It appears, that Asaph ____________ to David privately.

9. What does the name "Jeduthun" mean?

10. He was of the family of ___________.

11. In 2 Chronicles 35:15, he is called the king’s ________.

12. Heman, of 1 Chronicles 25:4, here, is, possibly, the one of the _______ Psalm.

13. How many sons and daughters did he have?

14. What instrument did he play?

15. Name some of the instruments that were played.

16. How many, skilled in music and song, were there?

17. What was the purpose of the casting of lots?

18. How many ministered at once?

19. What does the number "12" mean?

20. How many groups of 12 were there?

21. Besides their music and singing, what would they be trained in?

Verses 1-9

1Ch 25:1-9

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

DAVID’S INSTRUMENTALISTS AND SINGERS;

THE PRINCIPAL FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO SERVED

"Moreover David and the captains of the host set apart for the service certain of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of them that did the work according to their service was: of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asharelah, the sons of Asaph, under the hand of Asaph, who prophesied after the order of the king. Of Jeduthun; the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun with the harp, who prophesied in giving thanks and praising Jehovah. Of Heman; the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of Jehovah, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God; Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman being under the order of the king. And the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in singing unto Jehovah, even all that were skilful, was two hundred fourscore and eight. And they cast lots for their offices, all alike, as well the small as the great, the teacher as the scholar."

"Who should prophesy with harps, psalteries, etc."; 1 Chronicles 25:1. The Good News Bible probably has the correct meaning here: "They were to proclaim God’s messages accompanied by the music of harps and cymbals."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 25:1. Prophesy is from NASA and Strong defines it, "to prophesy, i. e. speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse)." It has a very wide extent of meaning, but is used in the present instance to mean they sang with the accompaniment of these musical instruments.

1 Chronicles 25:2-4. A prominent fact connected with David was his love of music. He was an able player and we recall his work while a young man in the service of Saul. Nov that he is in a position of authority, he devotes a great deal of attention to his choir. These men who are said to prophesy were some of the expert players and the king assigned to them some particular instrument to play in connection with the service.

1 Chronicles 25:5. A seer was a prophet in the ordinary sense of that word, whose duty was to speak the words of God concerning the future. But they were also among the musicians, and this man Heman was one of the prophets, and had a large family.

1 Chronicles 25:6-7. The family of Heman, which included many sons and daughters, could play on various instruments, and the king used them in the service. The cymbals were used to beat time, while the psalteries and harps were stringed instruments that were used for service to God under the direction of David. Of course we will not forget that all of this arrangement for the house of God was preparatory, for no such house was yet built. David was not permitted to build it, but he was allowed to prepare for it. So he not only got much of the material ready for the building, but also arranged a vast system of talent among his subjects to engage in the public service to God when the time came for it. There were 288 of these talented persons ready for service.

1 Chronicles 25:8. With such a vast amount of talent available, it was necessary to make provision for an orderly execution of it; this was done by casting lots. Ward means duty, and the thought is that the lots were cast for the enlistment into the service of all the talents whether great or small. Teacher . . . scholar. Among the large number of musicians there were both the instructors and the ones still receiving instructions, and all of them were assigned to their proper place in the service by lot.

Verses 9-31

1Ch 25:9-31

1 Chronicles 25:9-31

"Now the first lot came forth for Asaph to Joseph: the second to Gedaliah; he and his brethren and sons were twelve: the third to Zaccur, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the fourth to Izri, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the fifth to Nethaniah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the sixth to Bukkiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the seventh to Jesharelah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the eighth to Jeshaiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the ninth to Mattaniah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the tenth to Shimei, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the eleventh to Azarel, his sons and his brethren, twelve: the twelfth to Hashabiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the thirteenth, Shubael, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the fourteenth, Mattithiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the fifteenth to Jeremoth, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the sixteenth to Hananiah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the seventeenth to Joshbekashah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the eighteenth to Hanani, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the nineteenth to Mallothi, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the twentieth to Eliathah, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the one and twentieth to Hothir, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the two and twentieth to Giddalti, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the three and twentieth to Mahazioth, his sons and his brethren, twelve: for the four and twentieth to Romamtiezer, his sons and his brethren, twelve."

Regarding David’s injecting the use of mechanical instruments of music, and other noise-makers into God’s worship, see my notes on the two preceding chapters, namely, 1 Chronicles 23,1 Chronicles 24.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 25:9-31. This entire paragraph has to do with the enumeration of the various musicians and their places in the service as determined by the casting of lots.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 25". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-25.html.
 
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