1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 25

The Singers and Their Divisions.

NUMBER AND OFFICE OF THE SINGERS. V. 1. Moreover, David and the captains of the host, the princes of chap. 23, 3; 24. 6, legislative and judicial officers, separated to the service of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, their playing being an expression of inspiration and enthusiasm, music tending to aid the feeling of exaltation, with psalteries, and with cymbals. And the number of the workmen, of the men engaged for this purpose, according to their service, was: v. 2. Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah (or Jesharelah), the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king, literally, "by the hands of the king," under the personal direction of Asaph and the other masters. V. 3. Of Jeduthun: The sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, and Zeri (or Izri), and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, that is, including Shimei mentioned v. 17, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, working under his direction, who prophesied with a harp to give thanks and to praise the Lord. As it has been the practice of the prophets to rouse their prophetic spirit by the inspiring influence of music. so this became a custom in later times for the arousing of religious enthusiasm. Cp. 2 Kings 3, 15. V. 4. Of Heman: The sons of Heman; Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel (or Azareel), Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. V. 5. All these were the sons of Heman, the king's seer in the words, the matters, of God, a mediator of divine revelations to the king, like Jeduthun, 2 Chron. 25, 15, and Gad, chap. 21, 9, to lift up the horn, since he was the special instructor and the leader in the wind instruments. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters, the fact that children are a gift of God being emphasized time and again in Holy Scripture. V. 6. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the Lord, the four sons of Asaph, the six of Jeduthun, and the fourteen of Heman, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, in charge of the liturgical part of divine worship, according to the king's order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. V. 7. So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the Lord, the leaders among the musicians in the king's Tabernacle and in that at Gibeon, even all that were cunning, was two hundred four-score and eight. There were thus twenty-four classes, or choirs, of twelve musicians each, one class of skilful and experienced leaders being engaged for a week at a time, and having charge, in rotation, of those of the four thousand singer who were then on duty. Songs of praise, skillfully rendered in honor of the Lord, are a delight to Him, especially if the work is done systematically and in harmony.

DIVISIONS OF THE SINGERS INTO ORDERS. V. 8. And they cast lots, ward against ward, as well the small as the great, the teacher as the scholar. The lot was cast over the divisions or companies to determine their arrangement according to master and assistants, so that nothing was left to capricious choice. V. 9. Now, the first lot came forth for Asaph to Joseph; the second to Gedaliah, who with his brethren and sons, his companions in the art of music and singing, were twelve; v. 10. the third to Saccur; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 11. the fourth to Izri; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 12. the fifth to Nethaniah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 13. the sixth to Bukkiah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 14. the seventh to Jesharelah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 15. the eighth to Jeshaiah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 16. the ninth to Mattaniah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 17. the tenth to Shimei; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; Vo 18. the eleventh to Azareel; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 19. the twelfth to Hashabiah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 20. the thirteenth to Shubael; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 21. the fourteenth to Mattithiah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 22. the fifteenth to Jeremoth; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 23. the sixteenth to Hananiah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 24. the seventeenth to Joshbekashah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 25. the eighteenth to Hanani; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 26. the nineteenth to Mallothi; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 27. the twentieth to Eliathah; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 28. the one and twentieth to Hothir; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 29. the two and twentieth to Giddalti; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 30. the three and twentieth to Mahazioth; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve; v. 31. the four and twentieth to Romamti-ezer; he, his sons, and his brethren were twelve. This was the way in which the musicians were arranged in the order of their service, all in agreement with the principle that God is a God of order, and that all disturbing elements should be kept from church services, in order not to interfere with the devotion of the worshipers.