The Prophet Musicians

This study on the role of the Prophet Musicians was done particularly for Impac Jazz, but I felt  that I should share it with other musicians who follow this blog.

God told Prophets David the King, Gad and Nathan to appoint musicians to minister before the ark of His Presence (1 Chron 25: 1; 2 Chronicles 29: 20).  The Chiefs were Asaph; Heman; Jeduthun:

 

 ASAPH“Gatherer”

HEMAN

“faithful”

JEDUTHUN

“praising”

He was a recorder or secretary to the King David (2 Kings 18: 18 & 37). He was the Chief Musician of the three (Psa 39, 62 & 77). The translation of Chief musician indicates that he excelled, was the Overseer.He wrote music for the King’s psalms – e.g. 4, 6, 8, 9, 11. 12, 13, 14, 18
His job was to minister (sharath) to the Lord in the temple (1 Chron 16: 37).
Sharath   also means:* to serve (Genesis 39: 4)* do service (Exodus 39: 41)
He was King David’ seer or prophet (2 Chron 29: 30) – told him the secrets of God. King David’s seer or prophet (1 Chron 25: 5) King David’s seer or prophet (1 Chron 35: 15)
He and his sons were musicians/ played the cymbals (1 Chron 16: 5; Ezra 3: 10) He played the trumpets and cymbals (1 Chron 15: 19 & 16: 42).His sons played the horn (1 Chron 25: 5) Played trumpets and cymbals(1 Chron 16: 42)
He and his sons were singers (1 Chron 15: 19; 2 Chron 35: 15; Neh 7: 44 & 11: 22; Ezra 2: 41) A singer (1 Chron 6: 33 & 15: 15 & 16)
They sang songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God (2 Chron 29: 30; Neh 12: 46) He was responsible for giving thanks when King David brought back the ark from captivity (1 Chron 16: 41). Sang praises (1 Chron 16: 41)
They were worshippers (2 Chron 29: 30).
The sons of Asaph were intercessors – they gave thanks in prayer (Nehemiah 11: 17)
Asaph was a songwriter– Psalms 50; 73; 76; 77; 78; 79; 80; 81; 82; 83The nation sang his songs (2 Chron 29: 30) Heman wrote Psalm 88:O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day [and] night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
Asaph and his sons were prophets – they prophesied (naba) with their instruments (1 Chron 25: 1) He was a prophet (1 Chron 25: 1 & 5) He and his sons prophesied with harps, psaltries/guitar like instrument and cymbals (1 Chron 25: 1, 6)
Naba means to give instructions when the Spirit of the Lord comes on you (Numbers 11: 25 – 27; 1 Samuel 6: 10, 11, 13
Important example:Jahaziel a descendant of Asaph prophesied the word of the Lord to the King Jehoshaphat and to the Jewish nation when they were threatened by invasion(2 Chronicles 20: 14).
How did they do it?Play and another would sing out the prophecy (Elijah in 2 Kings 3: 11 – 19 spoke or sang a prophecy to the nation when a musician played)
They would play the music and sing the prophecies also called parables or secrets:“I will incline mine ear to a parable … open my dark sayings upon the harp” (Ps 49: 4)Also Asaph in Psalm 78: 2
Jesus also confirmed that these musicians were prophets who exposed secrets of God. The Lord Himself always spoke to the multitudes in parables:That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (the musician in Psalm 49 & 78), saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world (Matthew 13: 34 & 35)
The sons of Asaph also had administrative duties in the temple (Neh 11: 22) His sons were porters in the temple
The ultimate job of the musicians and singers was to usher in the presence of the Lord.For example, this was done in such a powerful way at the dedication of the Temple that the Lord revealed His Presence in a cloud which filled the temple (2 Chron 5: 12 – 14).
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