1 Chronicles 6 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting

From 1 Chronicles 6

13 the Chronicle

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

13 A Bible Genealogy

We are more than half way through the genealogies. The accounts start describing the government David installed and peoples functions.

31 These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the LORD after the ark rested there. 32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order. (1 Chr 6.31-32)

David installed musicians to praise the LORD in the temple. They sung songs as well. Singing is an expression of emotion. Joy, fervour, love and sorrow all find expression in song. Perhaps they sung the Psalms. The people gathered to worship in sacrifice and perhaps they sung together as well. God’s people have been singing his praises for millennia.

33 These are the men who served and their sons.

Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer, the son of Joel, son of Samuel, 34 son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah, 35 son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai, 36 son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah, 37 son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, 38 son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel; 39 and his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, namely, Asaph the son of Berechiah, son of Shimea, 40 son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah, 41 son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah, 42 son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei, 43 son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi. 

44 On the left hand were their brothers, the sons of Merari: Ethan the son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch, 45 son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah, 46 son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer, 47 son of Mahli, son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi.

48 And their brothers the Levites were appointed for all the service of the tabernacle of the house of God. (1 Chr 6.33-48)

Brothers, standing side by side in worship together. These are the names of all the musicians who served the LORD and the people. They include Levites among them. Some other Levites had another role. The genealogies list their role.

49 But Aaron and his sons made offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense for all the work of the Most Holy Place, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. (1 Chr 6.49)

Aaron and his sons were especially assigned to the service of making burnt offerings and looking after the Most Holy Place. The offerings specified in the Law are burnt offerings (Lev 1.1-17), grain offerings (Lev 2.1-16), peace offerings (Lev 3.1-17), sin offerings (Lev 4.1-5.13), and guilt offerings (Lev 5.14-6.7).

Be careful not to assume all offerings are for sin. Offerings also include aspects of worship, fellowship and thanksgiving. In this case however, the Levites are specifically described as making atonement for Israel. In the Old Testament, Israel continued to behave in a manner that required ongoing atonement to placate the LORD’s wrath.

50 These are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son, 51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son, 52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son, 53 Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son. (1 Chr 6.50-53)

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu are not mentioned. They died offering unauthorised fire (Num 10.1-3). Perhaps that is why they were omitted from this list.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Music played a major role in the lives of people in biblical times. It was used in both sacred and secular activities and was most often associated with joy and celebration.

Music comes from God and God’s presence inspires music (Ps 96.12; 98.4-6).

1 Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

2 The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! (Ps 98:1–6)

Music is closely associated with praise and worship (Ps 33.2-3; Jdg 5.3; Neh 12.27). Music was employed extensively in the tent of meeting and the temple (1 Chr 25.1,6-7; Ezra 2.65).

Music was used to celebrate victory (2 Chr 20.27-28; Ex 15.1-21; 1 Sa 18.6-7; Isa 30.32). Feasts involved music (Isa 5.12; Amos 6.4-6). People liked listening to music and found it pleasurable (Ecc 2.8; 2 Sam 19.35).

Prophets sometimes prophesied to music (1 Sam 10.5-6; 2 Ki 3.14-19).

14 And Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. 15 But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him. (2 Ki 3.14-15)

Lack of music can be a sign of judgment (Isa 24.8).

Story of Jesus

Jesus sang with his disciples. Jesus sung a hymn with his disciples on the night of the last supper.

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Mk 14.22-26)

After he sung the hymn with them he predicted his death and resurrection.

27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” (Mk 14.27-28)

Leading up to his passion and death, Jesus sung with his brothers praises to his Father.

Isn’t that amazing!?!


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