Background: around 953 BC
King David wanted to build a temple to the Lord but was told that he should not. Instead he turned the task over to his son Solomon. Solomon assigned families of the Levities, who were one of the 12 tribes and who had been set apart by God to assist the Priests with their duties, different tasks. Three families of the Levites, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were assigned to "prophecy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals (1 Chr. 25:1)." Heman had 14 sons and 3 daughters that he taught to worship God with music. Earlier Heman and his family were also assigned to play music whenever the ark of the covenant was being moved (1 Chr. 15:16), and when the tabernacle was set up (1 Chr. 6:31-33).Facts about them:
- They were Levites, which meant they had been assigned the task of ministering in the sanctuary and were to assist the priests with their duties. Unlike the rest of the tribes the Levites received no land of inheritance. Instead, they, as a people, were offered up to the Lord as an offering. They were the Lord's peculiar property;
- They had 14 brothers. Their names were Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth;
- Their father's name was Heman and he was the "the king’s a seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn" (1 Chr. 25:5);
- They were instructed by their father to play songs with cymbals, psalteries, and harps;
- They played music in the temple;
- Their music was service to God.
Speculations about them:
I was curious about what a psaltery, harp, and cymbal were, and what the music would sound like. I found this picture of a psaltery, which they say is played kind of like a violin. Here is more information about them if you are interested.
- Music is a way to worship God;
- It can be a woman's (and a man's) calling in life to prophesy and worship God through music;
- Women can prophesy;
- Women were, and still are, allowed to serve in the temple and participate in sacred rituals;
- The Lord wants and expects women to work along side their brethren in serving in the temple and prophesying.
- What do you imagine their music sounded like?
- Why is music so important? Why would God specifically call people to worship him through music?
- Why were all 14 brothers named and none of the 3 daughters?
- What does music mean to you in your life? How do you use it to prophesy or worship God?