2 Chronicles 29:, The Sacrificial Musicians of Israel

"Worship in the temple was carried on by the priests and Levites, and not by the congregation... At its center, temple worship was not a congregational assembly; nevertheless, by custom people did gather in the courts at the time of sacrifice. The Levites did the singing." Doctor Jack Lewis

Alfred Edersheim explains how the people were put "outside the camp" as the gates were closed when the loud sound began (God is careful to call it noise) during the animal sacrifice. The people's congregation did not worship in the temple.


MDF writes:

2 Chronicles 29:25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.

To suggest that God wanted his people to praise and worship him with musical instruments during Old Testament days but now commands that we not do so is just plain stupid, especially when there is no command to not use musical instruments. All of God's commands are in effect until his otherwise changes them. The same for a king, the same for a nation, the same for a parent. Unless a command is changed it is still in effect!! To suggest otherwise is not even close to smart.


You will not find anywhere in the Law of Moses a command to use musical instruments to praise and worship God. That command came from Gad the Seer to David. God was providing a remedy for David's census sin which brought on a plague against the people. God permitted David to slaughter and burn animals at the old Jebusite high place which is defined as Sodom by John in Revelation. David was too fearful of ever returning to God's Tabernacle at Gibeon.

Remember that God offered Israel the Book of the Covenant which was like that given to Abraham.

Israel went through the "ceremony" wedding themselves to the Covenant of grace.

When Moses didn't come down from the mountain, the people made their own god to lead them back to Egypt. This was Apis the bull who was agent of Osiris. When they "rose up to play" they sang, danced and played instruments to arouse their new god.

As a result, God gave The Book of the Law which Jeremiah says "was not good" and Paul said was added because ot transgression--not to prescribe spiritual worship.

God declared the Tabernacle "off limits" to the "strangers" which consisted of all who where not of the clergy class. The priests replaced the individual's right to approach God and the Levites as military staff kept the common people away from the symbolic presence of God.

God predicted that Israel would not be faithful and his sentence of judgment as a result of this idolatry would be carried out.

Later, they "fired" God and demanded a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations. Again, God promised that the kings would destroy them but He would not be listening.

David's sin of the census brought on the bargain with God for a plague stopping ritual. This was not for daily congregational worship with instruments.

See that this is quite identical to the NATION'S superstitions and was not in the plan of God for Israel's good.

Hundreds of years later it was repeated when Hezekiah purified the king, kingdom, temple and priesthood. The people never participated in these rituals except to fall on their face "outside the camp" or gates.

Because there was never a command, example or remote inference that the common people worshiped with instruments, we don't look for a command to outlaw that which was never lawful.

The writings of Paul explicitely outlaws instruments, however, when he prescribed the human voice and heart as one of the allowable "instruments of accompaniment" to a psalmos.

The historical church clearly understood this for about 1250 years and then instruments were added as a seeker-friendly effort to attract the fair-goerers to their cathedral city.

The Jews understood that instruments were not appropriate outside of Jerusalem and the Temple sacrifices. Nevertheless, in 1815 AD they added instruments but hired Gentile musicians because it was generally agreed that playing instruments on the seventh-day Sabbath was not consistent with keeping it holy. They didn't "go to church" on the Sabbath, you know. We may still keep the Sabbath holy by remaining at home and devoting ourselves to God. Then we can go to "church" which has replaced the "assembly" on Sunday.

The Catholic Encyclopedia scholarship agrees with this as did all of the Reformers not connected with the Anglican (Catholic) system.

Only after a general rejection of inspiration in the mid to late 19th century did groups such as the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterians and Anglican-derived Disciples of Christ and others add instruments. Again, no one looked for authority because you need no authority if the Bible is not inspired.

Modern medical science affirms that most music which makes us "feel" something sold as "spiritual" is a drug high left over after the body creates endorphins to heal the pain inflicted by modern forms of harmony where the irritating "dog barks" and "water drips" are present but somewhat hidden. "Congregational singing with four-part harmony singing -- ever so loudly -- secular songs now incarnated into the blue book or the red book or the gold book as sacred is no less destructive.

Whether you agree or not, research into this issue will fill in the blanks left by almost all modern sermonizing and versifying God's Word where the goal is not true worship but, as Jesus warned, doing everything in their power to "take away the keys to knowledge."

Sure hope you don't try building an ark just because Jesus didn't say: "Thou shalt not build an ark." The New Testament knows that the external rituals were for the ceremonial purification of the carnal body. They had no spiritual value and could not purify the conscience.

The more music you play trying to "move into the presence of God" who is not far from all of us the less secure you will feel and you will be forced to get bigger and bigger "fixes" from the "worship team" until it burns you out and burns you up. Because music is addictive you may never be able to obey Jesus and go into your closet to worship in spirit (in mind) and in truth.

If I tell my child to "walk ten paces" I mean walk ten paces. "But, she whines, you didn't tell me not to walk eleven paces. And you didn't say 'STOP.'" "I know honey, but when I said walk ten paces I excluded walking eleven paces. You should have known where the lawn ends and Lake Washington begins."

Sorry, I am late Michal, I wore out another computer and had to get going again.

Ken

I have taken another whack on Hezekiah's Refom here.


Without understanding "the rest of the story" is is easy to read 2 Chronicles 29:25 to mean:

And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps.... for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets

However, it is too easy to mentally interpret the history of the Old Testament in a foreshortened way. By analogy, when we use a telephoto lens to take a picture, things a mile away look like they are at the end of the camera. Hezekiah's (29:25) plague-stopping "housecleaning" of the temple comes about 300 years after David's first plague-stopping ritual. 500 years later when the Jews returned from Babylon, the temple cleansing ritual again jumps all of the way back to David for authority for what is identical to exorcism in the pagan or like the nations temples. This makes sense because the temple was first built after Israel "fired" God and demanded a human king so that they could worship like the nations.

So we don't grasp this plague-stopping ritual which was not by command for Jewish worship but as a result of Hezekiah's bargain with God.

Therefore, a few isolated events at the secular temple all appear to be consecutive when fabricated into sermons or Bible stories. However, they are little islands of attempts to remove the filth of the temple and the filth of the clergy, set in a huge ocean of paganism especially among the clergy who stole from the poor to give to the rich who were often consumed in play-religion with music (Amos 5; 6; 8; Isaish 5) while they deprived the "congregation" of the Word of God.

The use of musical Levites in temple dedication or temple purification or plague-stopping in a few major accounts begins about the year 1000 B.C. and ends about 500 B.C. Therefore, reading them as closely-related proof texts to define worship will lead to the wrong conclusion. Remember that:

"Israel was governed as a theocracy (immediate government by God). Israel's movements were directed by God (40:36, 37), war was proclaimed by God (Num 31.1, 2), leaders were appointed by Him (Num 27, 18, 20), and land in Canaan was distributed by Him (Jos 13. 1-7). God used Moses, Joshua, and later the prophets as the intermediaries through whom He governed." (Harper Study Bible, p. 109).

Then the elders of Israel rejected the Word of God and demanded a visible "pastor" to lead them like the nations so that they could worship like the nations. We still hear this excuse for repudiating the "flock" over which men have become masters trying to rebuild the "temple" even if it has to restore "musical worship teams." Nay, it will go beyond Judaism and dip into paganism to make women into Levitical musicians. However,

"The Israelite state was not founded with divine blessing. Rather, it was allowed as a grudging concession, just as a parent lets a child have his way in order that he may learn his folly from experience." (Anderson, Bernard, Theology of the O.T. p. 163).

Stephen got himself murdered (Acts 7) when he condemned the pagan-like worship defined by Amos and stated that the temple was that "grudging concession to David" but not part of His unalterable law.

When people reject God and walk in their own ways God ordains it by His permissive will because you cannot force carnal people to live in a spiritual relationship with Him. When Israel "rose up to play" at Mount Sinai with Egyptian music God tore up the covenant and gave the Book of the Law to govern a lawless people. However, he prophesied about their demand for a king who would ultimately lead Israel into destruction. Therefore, when the Monarchy was permitted it was an example of secular people who demanded to worship in a secular way.

Therefore,

"In one sense the creation of the monarchy was providential...In retrospect, one can say that events which brought about the collapse of the Confederacy and the rise of the Israelite state were not...devoid of divine purpose. God's revelation is relevant to the whole of human life--to economics, politics, and every sphere of human activity.

<>If God would speak to the nations through Israel,
then Israel must undergo the experience of being a nation in order that she might appreciate the wealth of nationhood and attack the idolatrous power of nationalism." (Anderson, p. 163)

However, it is absolutely ignored that God speaks by allowing people to demonstrate an "unapproved example" by presenting them as a visual aid to the watching world. Worship under the Kings under the unlawful kingdom therefore is always an example of paganism driven by self seeking and self appointed power hounds.

Background: After the failure of Saul, David led Israel into military victory and into untold wealth. This wealth was also built, as God prophesied, upon the backs of slave labor and forced tithes.

When the nations had been defeated, David numbered the warriors in violation of the Law of Moses. A great plague broke out and God sent a message by Gad to give David three choices of punishment. David's choice allowed 70,000 men to be slain.

The message or command from God through Gad was how to stop the plague. God through Gad did not tell them how to worship. Nor are plague-stopping rituals permitted unless your own "temple" is polluted.

Hundreds of years later, the people were worshiping idols at the high places and Jerusalem. The Temple was a cesspool of idolatry. Again, God sent a plague and Hezekiah "made a deal with God" which involved shutting down the outlying centers of worship which always tended toward idolatry, and returning the national, civil worship back exclusively to Jerusalem. The people always worshiped God "outside the camp" by right living and social justice.

Hezekiah looked all of the way back to David's plague-stopping animal sacrifices for a pattern. Within this context, people searching for "the lost authority for musical worship" lift instruments out of the event but ignore the purpose of offering animal sacrifices while doing "Temple house-cleaning" and "clergy cleansing" to stop another plague.

This was not "congregational worship" but was removing clergy and "buildings and ground" filth from the nation. The effects were purely physical and were not remotely related to worship "in spirit" which Christ died to bring to mankind. Key examples of David's noise (never music) added to the noise of the trumpets to serve the priests. The key events with or without David's added music:

c. 962 B.C. David's Plague Stopping Animal Sacrifice

c. 960 B.C. Solomon's Dedication of the Temple built with slave labor and by selling some cities into foreign hands.

c. 715 B.C. Hezekiah's Plague Stopping by Cleansing the Temple [247 years]

c. 640 B.C. Josiah's Reform

c. 592 B.C. Jerusalem filled with Pagan practices. Prophesied of Idealized temple where Levites are deprived of priestly duties they had usurped. A theocratic rule would be restored revolving around the Temple which is a Spiritual presence of God.

c. 390 B.C. Rebuilding the Temple after Captivity.

c. 300 B.C. Day of Atonement Pre-Davidic Trumpets only to signal.

c. 75 A.D. Levites seek to be restored as Vestured musicians. Josephus attributes the fall of the nation to the Levites and predicts that their restoration as singers wearing priestly garb (worship) would again destroy the nation.

Between sporadic efforts to purge the temple of idolatry, it was always a den of thieves and a house of merchandise. Solomon was the key importer of paganism made necessary to keep the peace without having to fight.

To try to restore the musical noise used during animal sacrifice may repudiate the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus. It clearly repudiates the claimed Christ-O-Centric claim of musical worship and puts theatrical performers at the-O-Center.

With all due respect for women musical performers who may not know the history, no Biblical or church history precedent can be found for theatrical performance by women. Again, recognizing that it was never Christian or faithful Jewish women involved, the only precedent, well known to Paul and the Corinthians, Ephesians and the Colossians was the "Sacred Prostitute" who was the musical uncovered prophesier in paganism.


962 or 247 years before Hezekiah.

Again, when the wars were over, David and the commanders of the army had a huge number of Levites on their hands. These men had served to sing and play loud music or noise to panic the enemy. In First Corinthians 13 Paul speaks directly to the noise-making "music" and compares it to speaking in tongues.

This was a legitimate purpose of the two silver trumpet of Numbers 10:

David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service: 1 Chronicles 15:1

Prophesying was not predicting the future but singing and playing instruments. They were poets and not revealers of God's Word.

Out of 36,000 Levites, David and the commanders of the army assigned 4,000 to be musicians at headquarters. These musicians were not spiritual leaders. For instance, Asaph means "the collector" and it comes from a word meaning to "take away, remove, destroy, assemble, gather together, take away utterly." Jeduthun means "to throw a stone" or to "wring ones hands in worship." The open hand always means "personal power." These musical teams forced people to fall to the ground when the temple sacrifices were going on or they forced laborers to build the temple. Later, after Solomon died this will be acknowledged as putting the Israelites into slavery even as modern restored Levitical Musical Worship Teams plan to dominate the "audience."

When the wars were over, the king did not want the army turned loose without jobs. Therefore, he decided to take a census with the view of maintaining a standing army and an unauthorized clergy class. Rather than retiring them back to their farms, the burden for their support was placed upon the people.

"Evidently the census findings were to be the basis for military conscription, taxation, or forced labor. By this action every man was reminded that he owed his primary allegiance not to his tribal unit, but to the king. The plan backfired...He also inaugurated the policy of forcing his subjects into work camps (2 Sam. 20:24), a despotic practice which, under Solomon, became a hated symbol of tyranny." (Anderson, p. 183).

"Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah. So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, "Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are. But Joab replied to the king, "May the LORD your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing? Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand. "-- 2 Sam 24:1-3, 9

"Here (2 Sam. 24:1) the Lord is said to have incited David, in 1 Chr. 21:1 Satan incited him. Both are true, God was the ultimate cause in the sense that he permitted Satan to incite David." (Harper's Study Bible, p. 478).

To accomplish his purpose without paying the redemption price,

AND Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1

This brought on great problems and David took the blame. While the musical authority is attributed to Gad in 1 Chronicles 29:25, we need to look back to this first plague-stopping ritual to see what part Gad played in relaying information to David:

And the Lord spake unto Gad, Davids seer, saying, 1 Chronicles 21:9

[David was not God's religious leader. A seer is a stargazer and God had turned Israel over to worship the STARRY HOST, Stephen in Acts 7]

Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 1 Chronicles 21:10

So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Choose thee 1 Chronicles 21: 11

Either three years famine;
or three months to be destroyed before thy foes,
........... while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;
or else three days the sword of the Lord,
........... even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the Lord
........... destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel.

Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. 1 Chronicles 21: 12

This "command of God through Gad" was a multiple-choice option which really meant that the command came from David:

And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. 1 Chronicles 21: 13

So the Lord sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 1 Chronicles 21: 14

God had some problems with this secular "David" who would hide behind the lives of the people for his own sins:

And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the Lord beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 1 Chronicles 21: 15

And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 1 Chronicles 21: 16

David finally confessed: Here is what GOD COMMANDED.

And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done?

let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my fathers house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. 1 Chronicles 21: 17

Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that

David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 1 Chronicles 21: 18

And David went up at the saying of Gad,
........... which he spake in the name of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 21: 19

Gad was not prescribing spiritual worship; he was telling David how he could stop the plague on the innocent people which David was responsible for.

And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 1 Chronicles 21: 20

And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. 1 Chronicles 21: 21

Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price:
........... that the plague may be stayed from the people. 1 Chronicles 21: 22

Remember, that David the king confessed his own sins. Therefore, what David is about to do is to show that David the king is guilty for the troubles which God predicted that the kings would inflict upon the people.

And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. 1 Chronicles 21: 23

And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 1 Chronicles 21: 24

Or the equivalent price: And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 2 Sam 24:24

<>So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 1 Chronicles 21: 25
And
David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. 1 Chronicles 21: 26
And the Lord commanded the angel; and he
put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. 1 Chronicles 21: 27

Here is the clear inspired testimony of what God, through Gad the king's seer, commanded David to do. This was not "congregational worship" but it was a plague-stopping covenant between the king and God Whom he represented. David was not a priests so David sought forgiveness for his own sins as king over the secular, like the nations kingdom.

> David and the commanders of the Army had not yet assigned the warrior musical Levites to be the peaceful nation's musical Levites.

> > This is the only commandment of God through Gad the king's seer.

> > > Therefore, the commandment of God through GAD the king's seer was not for the use of instruments David had invented for his own personal praise.

At that time when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 1 Chronicles 21: 28

Because God stopped the plague as proven by lighting the fire as a supernatural sign, David knew that--as king--he was permitted to make sacrifices there. David did not speak of spiritual worship but of continuing to pay for his own sins by sacrificing what He personally owned. That is, David paid for his own sins.

He then began to sacrifice at Jerusalem.

For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. 1 Chronicles 21: 29

David confirmed that God gave a concession to David. Therefore, David did not have a direct command to "worship" at Jerusalem but he obtained grace for His own sins. This did not make David a spiritual person but one eternally fearful in the Psalms that God was going to take His life (spirit) form him:

But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 21: 30

Therefore, God through Gad gave David the king of the nation a commandment for the animal sacrifices at Jerusalem but this was not for the "congregational worship" of the common people.

In all of the reenactments of this national sacrificial system, only the king, the clergy and commanders of the army or representatives of the people (stationary men) were permitted to engage in this civil ritual for the dedication or purification of the king or temple.

What follows in David's life is the establishment of a national shrine for the national rituals involving the upper levels of national leadership.

Earlier. David transported the Ark of the Covenant, he thought that he was transporting God to his own new tent in Jerusalem, God cannot be put into a box. Telling the Jews this simple fact got Stephen murdered by the Jerusalem clergy.

"David succeeded in transferring the traditions of the Confederacy to Jerusalem: the Ark, the Tabernacle, the priesthod.

<>"But in this change something happened to the character of 'Israel,' to the structure of the community.
"No longer was Israel, the people of God, bound together on the basis of covenant
allegiance to Yahweh at the central sanctuary; "Israel was now bound together politically, on the basis of a contract between king and people (II Sam. 5:3).

"As citizens of the state, the people of Israel owed allegiance to a king who could take a census, exact forced labor, and require submission to his power... As Israel became a state modeled after other oriental monarchies, more and more she lost her distinctive character and faced the danger of being swallowed up in the power struggle and cultural stream of the Near East." (Anderson, p. 188).

"The king thereby produced two main centers of worship--erusalem, the city of God (Ps. 46:5; 48:3), with reference especially to Mount Zion, which was Yahweh's 'holy hill' (9:11; 3:5), and Gibeon, the significance of which was centrated in its high place, where the old Tabernacle was by this time located (I Chron. 16:39) (Theology of the OT, p. 365)

After the processional with music in which the ark was brought to Jerusalem it is said:

"The ancient Tabernacle was now divided; the ark was brought into Zion, whereas the brazen altar at least, and probably the vessels of the holy place (ex. 25:23-40; 37:10-28; 40:22-27), were established in the high place at Gibeon.

Asaph and the singers (1 Chron. 6:31-47; 15:16-19; 16:5; 25:6) were left before the ark,
while the priests ministered in Gibeon before the Tabernacle (16:39)." (Schofield Bible, p. 478-479).

David was given a concession according to Stephen to set up the new capital in Jerusalem. However, God does not dwell in temples but, according to Jesus, is worshiped in spirit and in truth. Therefore, the "congregation" of Israel worshiped God out in their own homes with prayer and learning the Word of God and right living. Religion consisted of "personal righteousness and the practice of social justice."

"The original altar of Burnt-offering continued at Gibeon with the Tabernacle (2 Chr. 1:3, 5). David must have erected a new altar for sacrifice at Jerusalem.

> The sacrifices commanded by the Law were, it appears, offered at the former place (Gibeon);

> at the latter were offered voluntary additional sacrifices." (Albert Barnes, 1 Chron, p. 347).

Note that the burnt offerings were commanded by God through Gad. There was no instrumental music because they had not yet been reassigned from the Army to the civil-political capital.

Therefore, anything which is later done by Gad's message from God does not include instrumental music. The command for musical instruments are elsewhere always attributed to David the king and the commanders of the Army or princes of the city.

Later events of dedication or purification would identify this event as a way to stop plagues or to "certify" or purify the temple and other capital buildings.

They will always separate "the trumpets of God" for the sacrifices from "the instruments of David" for the "burden bearing" events such as the great labor involved in the removal and burning sacrificial carcasses. Look again, to see that the musical Levites were under the king and army captains or commanders:

MOREOVER David (king) and the captains (Sar h8269) 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: 1 Chon .25:1

Prophesy, here, means to sing certain work songs along with loud instrumental sound. Work songs were common in all of the other kingdom of the world which Israel had now become. If you begin to grasp the implication of processing, transporting and burning tens of thousands of animals then you grasp that this is not "spiritual worship."

Service means:

Abodah (h5656) ab-o-daw'; from 5647; work of any kind: - act, bondage, / bondservant, effect, labour, ministering (-try), office, service (-ile, -itude), tillage, use, work, * wrought

Abad (h5647) aw-bad'; a prim. root; to work (in any sense); by impl. to serve, till, (caus.) enslave, etc.: - * be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, / husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.

This was the same kind of work an oxen performed.

When Hezekiah became king the temple and whole nation was so polluted that the priests would no longer serve. Alternative altars were set up outside the city. A plague needed to be stopped. As a purely political ploy Hezekiah had to force everyone back close to the city because he knew that it was being threatened. Therefore, Hezekiah made a PLAGUE STOPPING ceremony for which he reaches all of the way back to David for a PATTERN.

In Hezekiah's "plague stopping" covenant suggested by the king and accepted by God, he looks back over 250 years to get the "authority." Notice that none of these "sacrificial congregations" involved the common people. This was a POLITICAL sacrifice and only the rulers were involved:

OBSERVERS<>: Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers (Sar h8269) of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. 2 Chron 29:20
PRICE PAID:  And they brought
seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, <>
FOR WHAT:
for a
sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. 2 Chron 29:21a
BY WHOM: And he
commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 2 Chron 29:21b

So they killed the bullocks, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: likewise, when they had killed the rams, they sprinkled the blood upon the altar: they killed also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar. 2 Chron 29:22

And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them: 2 Chron 29:23

And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: 2 Chron 29:24a

It would be a sin beyond redemption to use this as PROOF-TEXT for using instrumental music in the church.

Next, the Burning Phase begins for the entire nation represented (always) by the king, clergy, city officials and tribal representatives (stationary men):

<>for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 2 Chron 29:24b
........And he set the
Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps,
........according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the kings seer,
and Nathan the prophet:

........for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. 2 Chron 29:25

> Based on ALL parallel accounts the command for the warrior's instruments was by the KING and commanders of the army.  If you insist that this was commanded by God then the command is only for a PLAGUE-STOPPING ANIMAL SACRIFICE and not for worship.

We have seen that the only commandment of the Lord through Gad, the king's seer, was for the burnt animal sacrifices.

GOD DID NOT COMMAND SUCH OFFERINGS UNTIL AFTER ISRAEL'S FATAL SIN.

Therefore, God did not command instrumental music as the CIVIL part of animal sacrifices.

The Book of the Covenant intended that voluntary offerings be on EARTH altars. Or IF on stone that they be UNCUT. Israel repudiated that.

And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord,
........ and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking,
........ but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; Jeremiah 7:13

Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust,
........ and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. Jeremiah 7:14

And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Jeremiah 7:15

Therefore pray not thou for this people,
........ neither lift up cry nor prayer for them,
........ neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. Jeremiah 7:16

Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? Jeremiah 7:17

The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Jeremiah 7:18

She was a very old divinity indeed, even then, and she had borne many names. In Mesopotamia she was known as Ishtar, in Syria-Palestine as Ashtoret. She reached Egypt as Ashtartu and in southern Arabia she appeared as a male god named Athtar. All these names, by the way, have their root in a Semitic verb that denotes irrigation; everywhere she is associated with the waters that give fertility to the land. There are indications of similar goddesses from other parts of the Mediterranean world and from India. The Greeks called her Astarte and identified her with their own Aphrodite.

Astarte (for convenience’ sake, I’ll use the Hellenized version of her name) was a key figure in the cult of sacred sexuality that was central to the religious life of the ancient Semites. Its basic assumptions were quite simple and, it seems, enormously attractive: humanity was part and parcel of a divine cosmos. The rhythms of nature, particularly the sequences of the seasons and the movements of the stars, were suffused with divine forces. Using later religious terminology, we might say that the rhythms of nature were means of grace or sacraments. These same divine forces were also to be found within human beings, notably in their sexual and agricultural activity (the two were closely linked: the same creative powers gave fertility to the human womb and to the land). The cult of sacred sexuality put one in touch with the divine forces in the cosmos and within oneself. That cult, logically enough, tended everywhere toward the orgiastic. The temples of Astarte had attached to them priestesses or sacred prostitutes (the Hebrew Bible calls them kedeshot, "holy women"; the Greeks called them "hierodules," or "servants of the holy"), who offered sexual relations not for pleasure (though that might have been an occasional fringe benefit) but as a sacrament. (To defend the cult against the charge of sexism, I might add that some of its establishments also had male priests with similar functions.) In addition to its institution of sacred prostitution, the cult had a number of special occasions (harvest festivals and the like) on which normal sexual prohibitions were suspended and, according to the accounts we have, a good time was had by all. Peter Berger

Eve, Mary, Zoe and others become the co-redemptrix with Jesus Christ: Mary is pictured with the sacred heart blazing fire and with nail prints in her hands.

Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? Jeremiah 7:19
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel;
Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. Jeremiah 7:21

21. Put ... burnt offerings unto ... sacrifices ... eat flesh--Add the former (which the law required to be wholly burnt) to the latter (which were burnt only in part), and "eat flesh" even off the holocausts or burnt offerings. As far as I am concerned, saith Jehovah, you may do with one and the other alike. I will have neither (Isa 1:11 Ho 8:13 Am 5:21,22).

For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: Jeremiah 7:22

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. Jeremiah 7:23

GOD DID NOT PERMIT THE TEMPLE UNTIL DAVID'S FATAL ERROR. After this, God condensended to David and permitted him an ALTERNATIVE ALTAR at Jerusalem--called Sodom by John--which was a Jebusite High place.

Therefore, God did not command instrumental music as any part of spiritual worship.

Chrysostom notes that:

Not a word of Temple, and the place is holy through the appearance and operation of Christ.

Far more wonderful this than the place which is in the Holy of Holies: for there God is nowhere said to have appeared in this manner, nor Moses to have thus trembled. And then the greatness of His tender care.

"I have seen, I have seen the affliction of My people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt." (v. 34.) See, how he shows, that both by kindnesses, and by chastisements, and by miracles, God was drawing them to Him: but they were still the same. That God is everywhere present, they learned.

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me" (v. 36, 37): set at naught like me. Him, likewise, Herod wished to kill, and in Egypt He found preservation just as it was with the former, even when He was a babe, He was aimed at for destruction.

"This is he, that was in the Church in the wilderness with the Angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us." (v. 38.)

Again no mention of temple, none of sacrifice.

"With the Angel," it says, "he received the lively oracles to give unto the fathers." It shows, that he not only wrought miracles, but also gave a law, as Christ did. Just as Christ first works miracles, and then legislates: so did Moses. But they did not hear him, keeping their disobedience, even after the miracles: "To whom," he says, "our fathers would not obey:" (v. 39) after the wonders done in those forty years. And not only so, but just the contrary: "but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt.

Editor's Note 7: dia gar touto epishmainetai. The meaning is: Stephen was accused of speaking against "the customs,"-sacrifices, temple, feasts, etc. Therefore he significantly points to that critical conjuncture. from which these "customs" date their introduction:

<>namely, the Provocation at Horeb.
Prior to that, he tells of "living oracles," life-giving precepts:
after it
, and as its consequence, sacrifices, etc.,

those statutes which were not good, and ordinances by which a man shall not live, as God says by Ezekiel.

Not a word of sacrifice till then: and the first mention is, of the sacrifices offered to the calf. In like manner, "they rejoiced," "the people ate and drank, and rose up to play:" and in consequence of this, the feasts were prescribed: kai eufrainonto, fhsin: dia touto kai eortai.-'Epishmainetai might be rendered, "he marks," "puts a mark upon it" (so the innovator, who substitutes, touto kai Dauid epishmainomenoj legei): we take it passively, "there is a mark set over it-it is emphatically denoted." In the active, the verb taken intransitively means
........... "to betoken or announce itself," "make its first appearance."-

> No commandment of God is said to be the commandment of a man. The ONLY commandment to David through Gad was a way to stop the PLAGUE. In effect, this was to PAY FOR THEIR OWN SINS.

> This commandment was prior to the king and army commanders making the warrior musicians into civil servants for the government.

> Therefore, God through Gad did not command the musical Levites to participate. The temple participation by the commanders of the army and the musical Levites under the control of the king and military was for the civil or military nature of the kingdom which God had permitted knowing that it would be a "like the nation's" system and would destroy the nation.

Again, be aware of the King and civil rituals which were never part of the Law as God gave it. The changes came after Israel's elders fired God as King and Leader:

"The original altar of Burnt-offering continued at Gibeon with the Tabernacle (2 Chr. 1:3, 5). David must have erected a new altar for sacrifice at Jerusalem. [When Solomon became king he returned to Gibeon and not to Jerusalem]

<>> The sacrifices commanded by the Law were, it appears, offered at the former place (Gibeon);
> at the latter were offered voluntary additional sacrifices." (Albert Barnes, 1 Chron, p. 347).

As this "plague stopping" covenant ritual continues, the writer makes a clear distinction between God's part and the king's part:

And the

Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the
........... priests with the trumpets. 2 Chron 29:26

And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar.

<>And when the burnt offering began,
the song of the Lord began also with the trumpets,
........... and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. 2 Chron 29:27

This could never be considered "music" in the "symphonia" or four-part harmony sense. Therefore, it is always called noise and not music.

And all

<>the congregation worshipped (not the "people's congregation"), and
the
singers sang, and
the
trumpeters sounded:
and all this
continued
..... ....until the burnt offering was finished. 2 Chron 29:28

The "congregation" in these events is always defined. For all temple rituals the incidental general population would be put outside the gate or "outside the camp." Hezekiah's congregation was the king, the commanders of the army in Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites.

Animal sacrifices paid a debt the people owed to God to make them totally aware of their sinfulness and their ultimate doom for those who could not "worship in spirit" and honor the Word which took place at other appointed times and places (synagogues).

Those who performed the animal sacrifices were involved in a horrible work effort and they were not worshiping God:

<>And when they had made an end of offering,
<>the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped. 29:29

Notice that the SOUNDING began the BURING and ended the BURNING.

This was NOT worship.

Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer.
........... And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped. 2 Chron 29:30

"Since the Scripture expressly states that the musical instruments sounded 'until the burnt-offering was finished' the congregational praise which followed must have been a capella." (Notes on The Biblical Doctrine of Worship, Presbyterian Church of N.A.).

The apocryphal book, Ecclesiasticus, has Sirach describing the activities for the Day of Atonement which is consistent with the pre-Davidic use of multiple instruments:

"Then the sons of Aaron shouted and blew their trumpets of beaten silver, they sounded a mighty fanfare as a reminder before the Lord.

Instantly the people as one man fell on their faces to worship the Lord their God, the Almighty, the Most High.

Then the choir broke into praise in the full sweet strains of resounding song,

while the people of the Most High were making their petitions to the merciful Lord,
until the liturgy of the Lord was finished and the ritual complete" (Ecclu. 50:16-19, NEB).

This was NOT worship but PAYING for their sins: for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. 2 Chron 29:21a

To use this legalistic PATTERNISM would be to REPUDIATE the Word as the only true SACRIFICE. And that is the meaning of MUSIC.

Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart, burnt offerings. 2 Chron 29:31

And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 2 Chron 29:32

Again, this had NOTHING to do with the people's congregation and EVERYTHING to do with cleaning up the temple which was the KING'S SHRINE and not the public's WORSHIP CENTER.

Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Micah 6:6

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? Micah 6:7

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8

Consistent with Edersheim's outline, when the general people made sacrifices there was no instrumental music.

Having established peace for the nation, and being kept away from God's symbolic presence at the original Tabernacle (or house). Jerusalem became the political capital and the rituals were exclusively for the king, princes or stationary men, the priests and levites and city officials.

David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service: 1 Chron 25:1

Three hundred years later Hezekiah will jump back to this event when another plague broke out. Whatever happened at this event, it was not congregational worship. Because God had warned that the kings would destroy the nation, and because the nation of Israel was almost totally devoted to the idolatry "like the nations," Hezekiah proposes and apparently God permits a ritual which in other like the nations temples was exorcism.

Dedicating or purifying "buildings and grounds" is not worship.


"Not before David's time do professional musicians appear in the Bible. From where did they come? Considering the apparent connection of professional musicians and the institution of monarchy, we must bear in mind that in the neighboring countries, Egypt and Assyria, the professional musician was an old and familiar figure. It seems that the midrash alludes to an ancient tradition when it relates that King Solomon's Egyptian wife, daughter of the Pharaoh, carried in her dowry a thousand foreign instruments. Yet an instrument is of no use without a musician able to play it. Hence we may assume that the systematic import and subsequent training of professional musicians took place in the Era of David and Solomon." (The Int. Std. Bible Dict., p. 457).

2 Chronicles 7-8 Dedicating the Temple 1019 B.C.

Remember that God allowed kings "like the nations" who would rule like the nations, worship like the nations, enslave like the nations and destroy like the nations. This was by God's permissive will to demonstrate living without His direct guidance. Between David and Hezekiah we find Solomon who built the temple. That temple lost its significance five years after Solomon's death.

Jumb back to the idolatry at Mount sinai. There, God changed the nature of the Tabernacle and set the Levites like "flaming cherubim" to stand before it and keep all of the common people out of God's symbolic presence. An Israelite, now a "stranger," who ventured into the holy place would have been killed by a Levite.

God conditionally sentenced Israel to captivity and death in the wilderness.

When Israel's elders "fired" God and demanded a king like the nations, it was so that they could worship like the nations. God sent the musical prophesiers to musically predict their doom.

"The Israelite state was not founded with divine blessing. Rather, it was allowed as a grudging concession, just as a parent lets a child have his way in order that he may learn his folly from experience." (Anderson, Bernard, Theology of the O.T. p. 163).

God "seduced" David into the muster because the kings were God's Divinely-ordained agents to lead the nation into captivity and death.

The plague-stopping ceremony was the BURNING PHASE of the sacrifice.

Now, the temple dedication will return to David's experience for authority.

"As soon as he acceded to the throne, Solomon consolidated his position by liquidating his opponents ruthlessly, one by one.

Once rid of his foes, he established his friends in the key posts of the military, governmental, and religious institutions. In an ancient Middle Eastern empire, this was almost the only means of establishing stable government."

"The vigour of Solomon's building program made it oppressive. For example, men had to put in one month out of every three in forced labour. In theory, such labour was to be performed by the Canaanites--not by the noble Hebrew tribesmen, who were supposed to be the administrators, priests, and fighters. But Solomon's demands were such that there were not enough Canaanites to go around, so that Israelites were forced to do menial labour for the crown." (Britannica)

Now, during David's life he could never return to Gibeon where Solomon later sought the presence of the Lord. David's worship was "added because of transgression" and David had to live as a secular king but he was not a spiritual leader or law-giver.

Albert Barnes notes of the reign of Solomon that:

The original altar of Burnt-offering continued at Gibeon with the Tabernacle (2 Chr. 1:3, 5). David must have erected a new altar for sacrifice at Jerusalem.

The sacrifices commanded by the Law were, it appears, offered at the former place (Gibeon);at the latter were offered voluntary additional sacrifices." (Barnes, 1 Chron, p. 347).

And, again, we quote:

For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. 1 Chronicles 21: 29

But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 21: 30

This explains Stephen's statement that God permitted the temple -- in which He could not live -- to be built as a "concession to David" and the Chronicler says "because His mercy endures forever."

This means that the Temple was to be the king's chapel for national worship but it was not the place for congregational worship of the people.

When Solomon became king, he did not go to Zion but to Gibeon to speak to the Lord. When he built the temple it was not at the City of David but at Jerusalem at the top of the hill. Therefore, the religious center was still at Gibeon.

In the dedication of the Temple, we understand perhaps better that the instruments were the king's instruments:

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. 2 Chronicles 5:2

Solomon also invited only certain people into the temple while the "people's congregation" was outside the camp.

And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep:

1. so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 2 Chronicles 7:5

2. And the priests waited on their offices: (Religious)

1A. the Levites also with instruments of musick of the Lord, which David the king had made to praise the Lord, because his mercy endureth for ver,

when David praised by their ministry;

2A. and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood (only those called to be present or stand fast). 2 Chronicles 7:6

Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat. 2 Chronicles 7:7

Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the Lord on the altar of the Lord, which he had built before the porch, 2 Chronicles 8:12

The commandment of God: Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles. 2 Chronicles 8: 13

In tabular form:

The Chronicler
Albert Barnes
1. so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 2 Chronicles 7:5
at the latter were offered voluntary additional sacrifices." (Barnes, 1 Chron, p. 347)
2. And the priests waited on their offices: (Religious)
The sacrifices commanded by the Law were, it appears, offered at the former place (Gibeon);
Music played, temple filled with smoke or darkness, priests could not minister, people prayed to God, He answered from heaven, not the temple.
This is confirmed when Solomon went to Gibeon to enquire of the Lord. Later, the people were put outside the gates or camps when the music began.
1A. the Levites also with instruments of musick of the Lord, which David the king had made to praise the Lord, because his mercy endureth for ever,

when David praised by their ministry;

David must have erected a new altar for sacrifice at Jerusalem. [Acts 7, Stephen agreed and got murdered]
2A. and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood (only those called to be present or stand fast). 2 Chronicles 7:6
The original altar of Burnt-offering continued at Gibeon with the Tabernacle (2 Chr. 1:3, 5).
Now, why is it that we pull musical noise makers out of this context and do not burn animals in the church parking lot?

Again, this is not congregational worship but as with all musical performance the dedication of the temple. Other musical events will perform purification of the temple.

Note: These are designated sabbaths but not the Sabbath which must be kept holy. Outside of these dedicatory or purication rituals the Jews understood that without Jerusalem and animal sacrifices there is no legality for musical worship:

"Playing on musical instruments is prohibited on Sabbaths and holy days, and even to engage a non-Jew to play for Jews on Sabbath is considered a 'shebut' or disturbance of the Sabbath rest." Second, "music, except at marriage ceremonies, is generally prohibited, in token of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem." (Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. IX, p. 432, quoted by Kurfees).

David was the secular king and as such did not regulate "congregational worship." 2 Chronicles 29:25 is not clear but when interpreted in the context of God commanding through Gad we understand that God permitted David to stay away from Gibeon "because his mercy endureth forever."

There are two other parallell statements of this command during plague-stopping or purification of the temple animal sacrifices.

In these events, the command is clearly the command of David by God's permissive will but not for congregational worship.

Therefore, it is not wise to take 2 Chronicles 29:25 out of its context as an unchanged command for Christian worship

The commandment of David: And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate:

for so had David the man of God commanded. 2 Chronicles 8: 14

The Syriac Version Comparison

God: Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the Lord on the altar of the Lord, which he had built before the porch, 2 Chronicles 8:12

Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles. 2 Chronicles 8:13

David: And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded. 2 Chronicles 8:14

And they departed not from the commandment of the king unto the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures. 2 Chronicles 8: 15

Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord, and until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was perfected. 2 Chronicles 8: 16

There is no command, example or inference that the early church met in assembly for a "praise" service. Praise was always telling others about what God had revealed about Himself.

The praise of David, however, was part of the civil state to add impressive sights just as Washington, D.C. might have the Marine Corp Band play. This praise was:

Halal (g1984) haw-lal'; a prim. root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causat. to celebrate; also to stultify: - (make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool (- ish, -ly), glory, give [light], be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, [sing, be worthy of] praise, rage, renowned, shine.

Lucian of Samosata wrote: "This heroic entry into his long-left home placed Alexander conspicuously before the public;

he affected madness, and frequently foamed at the mouth-a manifestation easily produced by chewing the herb soap-wort, used by dyers;

So he (David) pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman (Heb. Halal), making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. 1 Samuel 21:13

Riyr (h7388) reer; from 7325; saliva; by resemblance broth: - spittle, white [of an egg].

but it brought him reverence and awe. [God nor king punishes the insane: everyone knew that. That is the meaning of the "praise" often used when in fear of God.]

The two had long ago manufactured and

fitted up a serpent's head of linen; they had given it a more or less human expression, and painted it very like the real article;

by a contrivance of horsehair, the mouth could be opened and shut, and a forked black serpent tongue protruded, working on the same system.

I don't think you want to burn animals in repudiation of the Death of Lord Jesus, and without the animal sacrifices there is no need for the loud noise.


2 Chronicles 29: When Hezekiah Became King 715?

Again, historical foreshortening tends to give us a false picture of the temple and the "musical worship" of the Levites. The temple was a great burden to the people and they probably more often than not refused to bring in the tithe to feed the huge staff of a "like the nations temple." These pagan temples were the source of morally perverted priests and "would be" priests and sons of the prophets. They did nothing, not even removing the filth from the temple.

Idols were moved in and out of the temple, ritual prostitution took place and the Israelites even burned their children to Molech in Topheth which was "the king's music grove" named after the tabret or tambourine.

Scripture, if we will read, supports this by recording only a few events of "musical worship" at the temple. Then, it is not congregational worship but dedication or purification rituals.

For instance, when Hezekiah became king:

He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them. 2 Chronicles 29: 3

And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, 2 Chronicles 29: 4

And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites; sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. 2 Chronicles 29: 5

For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs. 2 Chronicles 29: 6

Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel. 2 Chronicles 29: 7

Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. 2 Chronicles 29: 8

For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 2 Chronicles 29: 9

Next, Hezekiah proposes to bargain with God. Because the kingdom is a "like the nations" kingdom and the worship is like the nations, Hezekiah essentially proposes an exorcism ceremony.

This cannot be a command if Hezekiah looks back over 300 years to decide how to MAKE A CONTRACT with God:

Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. 2 Chronicles 29: 10

My sons, be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense. 2 Chronicles 29: 11

Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites: and of the sons of Merari; Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehalelel: and of the Gershonites; Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah: 2 Chronicles 29: 12

And of the sons of Elizaphan; Shimri, and Jeiel: and of the sons of Asaph; Zechariah, and Mattaniah: 2 Chronicles 29: 13

And of the sons of Heman; Jehiel, and Shimei: and of the sons of Jeduthun; Shemaiah, and Uzziel. 2 Chronicles 29: 14

Of the Levites:

And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came,

according to the commandment of the king,
by the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 29: 15

The Levites had no right to enter the place of worship even to perform a housecleaning:

Of the Priests:

And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord.

Transferred to the Levites : you singer/musicians cannot even clean out the garbage from the type of the body or church of Christ.

And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron. 2 Chronicles 29: 16

Modern musical worship teams use Levitical musicians involved with animal sacrifices as "proof-text" for their clergy roles. Many women then ignore the Levitical rule and become clergy musicians.

Men ignore the demand that they be of the tribe of Aaron in order to get their "cut of the meat" and to claim the Levitical tithe to support their empty theatrical performance.

However, worship under Christ is "in spirit" or in the mind as we meet Christ in "the most holy place." Those who claim to be Levitical musicians are clearly told that they have no right to "eat" or be on the dole at our purely Spiritual altar. Indeed, they cannot enter:

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines: For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. Hebrews 13: 9

We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Hebrews 13: 10

For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Hebrews 13: 11

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Hebrews 13: 12

Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Hebrews 13: 13

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Hebrews 13: 14

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13: 15

Rather than "plucking" the strings of a physical harp the Christian plucks the fruit from their lips which is speaking one to another:

Harpazo (g726) har-pad'-zo; from a der. of 138; to seize (in various applications): - catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

The Levitical musicians were "within the camp" but never in the Most Holy Place. When the musicians played and the sacrifices began the people were put "outside the camp" and therefore did not participate in the sacrificial system with music.

All of the sacrificial system with its carnal, typical rituals was "inside the camp" where even Christ would be included:

Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the Lord: so they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 2 Chronicles 29: 17

Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof. 2 Chronicles 29: 18

Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 29:19

This is very much like "David's stopping the plague" sacrifices as he sacrificed in Jerusalem because he was too frightened of God to return to Gibeon where the Tabernacle rested. This does not involve a congregational worship service.

To use this as authority for musical worship may be to deny Christ as the true sin offering. It is trying to restore a "religion of the flesh" when God has given us a religion of the spirit or mind. It is again allowing the clergy musicians an office for a crust of bread and a taste of the sacrificial fat. Paul said they have no right to go before the altar of our worship.

Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 29:20

And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering

for the kingdom, and
for the
sanctuary, and
for
Judah.

And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 29:21

So they killed the bullocks, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: likewise, when they had killed the rams, they sprinkled the blood upon the altar: they killed also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar. 2 Chronicles 29:22

Fact: This passage has to do with animal sacrifices to make atonement for the nation of Judah and polluted buildings and grounds. It was not "congregational worship with instrumental accompaniment." And it most assuredly was not a "Musical Worship Team" attempting to bring the people into the presence of God. Nor was it a dance team to provide God a platform upon which He could land.

Fact: Musical Worship Teams which yank this event out of context believe and practice a redemptive, mediating, sacrificial role. It is not unusual, for instance, to kick the Lord's Table as symbol of His presence off the "high place" where the pulpit is "The Most Holy Place."

The priests and Levites were trying with all of their human skills to keep God from destroying the nation. The people were incidental to this, were outside of the temple and probably outside of the temple area, could not hear any "music" because of the loud trumpets making a "wall" to sound the people away from the ritual. The instruments at the place of throat-cutting, skinning, cutting and burning in all like the nations temple were to "keep the evil sounds away from the ears of the priests."

Conclusion: To take this as authority for musical worship is an awful admission of being lost and perhaps beyond redemption. Such Triumphing-Over violates the Law in Numbers 10:7 and denies the value of the once-for-all sacrifice of Lord Jesus Christ.

And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation (representatives only); and they laid their hands upon them: 2 Chronicles 29:23

And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar,
to
make an atonement for all Israel: for

the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 2 Chronicles 29:24

What: And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps,
......Authority: according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the kings seer,

What: and Nathan the prophet:
...... Authority: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. 2 Chronicles 29:25

So the Levites stood ready with David's instruments,
...... and the priests with the trumpets. 2 Chronicles 29:26

First Cycle
Second Cycle

according to the commandment of David

So the Levites stood ready

and of Gad the kings seer,

with David's instruments,

and Nathan the prophet:
for so was the commandment of the Lord

and the priests

by his prophets

with the trumpets.

If there are not two commands from two different sources then we have this passage reading:

And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps according to the commandment of David, Gad, Nathan and the Lord.

This is not how it reads.

Getting Ready with Instruments

"Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar.
...... As the offering began,

singing to the LORD began also,
...... accompanied by trumpets
...... and the instruments of David king of Israel. 2 Chr 29:27

Music (noise) Signaled the End of Burning

If we are going to follow Hezekiah, while the clergy-priest and the clergy-musicians perform the true service we must bow or fall on our face until the Levites give the all-clear signal. To do otherwise might endanger our lives.

The whole assembly (those called)
bowed in worship,
while the singers sang
and the trumpeters played.
All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed. 2 Chr 29:28

Worship in this sense was to bow or fall prostrate on the ground while the animals were being sacrificed.

"All had hitherto been preparatory. Now Hezekiah gave orders that 'the burnt offering--i.e. the daily morning sacrifice should be offered upon the Brazen Alter in front of the porch, thus restoring and reinstituting the regular Temple-service. A burst of music gave notice to the people of the moment when the old worship recommenced." (Barnes, p. 416).

The "assembly" was not the nation of Israel nor the nation of Judah nor the people of Jerusalem. The assembly was those whom Hezekiah had gathered to go to the temple which, to this point, was not a place of Jewish worship but of pagan worship. In addition to the priests and Levites

When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. 2 Chr 29:29

King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.

So they sang praises with gladness and (they) bowed their heads and worshiped. 2 Chr 29:30

Now, the Levites are to praise God with the words which David had composed for such purposes and bowed their heads and worshipped. It would be physically impossible and spiritually unseemly if the Levites continued to play their instruments as they performed their own worship. Furthermore, this seems to indicate that the Levites were not actually worshiping as they played during the burning.

The musical instruments did not accompany congregational singing while they were worshiping. Rather, the instruments were like a church bell or buzzer which sounded the beginning and ending of worship. The people were not in this "church" building but outside.

Only when the regular Temple service was established would it be proper for people to approach with the confidence that they would not be destroyed and their service would be accepted.

"Since the Scripture expressly states that the musical instruments sounded 'until the burnt-offering was finished'

the congregational praise which followed must have been a Capella." (Notes on The Biblical Doctrine of Worship, Presbyterian Church of N.A.).

However, the entire "congregation" did not sing. The assembly was the Levites who did the singing while they, the king and the officials fell on their faces.

The Syriac version

The Septuagint version partially moves away from saying that God commanded musical instruments for this plague-stopping ritual. The Syriac moves totally away and makes it say that David sang the message of the prophets.

There are other parallel passages which say that the authority was from DAVID who was king along with the commanders of the army. The temple was a NATIONAL TEMPLE and never a "church house" where the non-official Jewish people met to worship with "congregatonal singing with instrumental accompaniment."

Because this passage is often distorted to prove that GOD commanded musical worship when it is clear that this was a CONTRACT out of Hezekiah's own head for physical cleaning, rather than falsely accuse God we should look for other ways to implicate the Scripture in many outright contradictions.

We are blessed that are several parallel passages and other early translations of 2 Chron 29:25 which clarify what is left obscure. While the proof is not conclusive, it should prevent this text from being used as the best proof for God's approval of music. One of the older versions reads--

Hezekiah appointed the Levites in the house of the Lord,

with instruments of music, and the sound of harps,
and with the
hymns of David, and hymns of Gad, the King's prophet;

for David sang the praise of the Lord his God, as from the mouth of the prophets" (Syriac Version).

This agrees with the Temple-Dedication ritual:

1. so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 2 Chronicles 7:5

2. And the priests waited on their offices: (Religious)

1A. the Levites also with instruments of musick of the Lord, which David the king had made to praise the Lord, because his mercy endureth for ver,

when David praised by their ministry;

2A. and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood (only those called to be present or stand fast). 2 Chronicles 7:6

And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate:

for so had David the man of God commanded. 2 Chronicles 8: 14

Nehemiah after the return from Captivity.

c. 962 B.C. David's Plague Stopping Animal Sacrifice

c. 960 B.C. Solomon's Dedication of the Temple built with slave labor and by selling some cities into foreign hands.

c. 715 B.C. Hezekiah's Plague Stopping by Cleansing the Temple

445 B.C. Nehemiah sent up to "restore and rebuild" the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:5-8. The book of Nehemiah begun.

517 years later Nehemiah looked all the way back to David.

The purification ceremony USED NO INSTRUMENTS just as David used no instruments.

For Nehemiah, the trumpets were used as warning signals:

For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. Ne.4:18

In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. Ne.4:20

Notice that only the singers are mentioned and that Nehemiah looks backward 517 years for an example. David used no instruments for the plague stopping ceremony and neither did Nehemiah.

And both the singers and the porters

kept the ward (sentry) of their God,
and the
ward of the purification,

according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. Nehemiah 12:45

For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers,
and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. Nehemiah 12:46

Or in the NIV

They performed the service of their God and the service of purification,

as did also the singers and gatekeepers, according to
the commands of
David and his son Solomon. Neh 12:45NIV

For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the singers and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. Neh 12:46

Their service was "hard bondage" under king David and the commanders of the army. Now their service is to warn the "common" people away and set a watch to keep them out of the quarantined temple ritual.

Mishmereth (h4931) mish-meh'-reth; fem. of 4929; watch, i. e. the act (custody) or (concr.) the sentry, the post; obj. preservation, or (concr.) safe; fig. observance, i. e. (abstr.) duty, or (obj.) a usage or party: - charge, keep, to be kept, office, ordinance, safeguard, ward, watch.

Mishmar (h4929) mish-mawr'; from 8104; a guard (the man, the post, or the prison); fig. a deposit; also (as observed) a usage (abstr.), or an example (concr.): - diligence, guard, office, prison, ward, watch.

Shamar (h8104) shaw-mar'; a prim. root; prop. to hedge about (as with thorns), i. e. guard; gen. to protect, attend to, etc.: - beware, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep (-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch (-man).

"The NIV says that they performed "the service of purification" according to the commands of David. Of course, until the time of the commands by David and the building by Solomon there was no city and no temple to purify."

Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense. Neh 13:9

And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. Neh 13:10

Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Neh 13:11KJV

So I rebuked the officials and asked them, "Why is the house of God neglected?" Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. Neh 13:11NIV

Look again at the KJV defining the old pattern of David which did not include instruments:

When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. 2 Chr 29:29

King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.

So they sang praises with gladness and (they) bowed their heads and worshiped. 2 Chr 29:30

The Syriac version agreeing with the Temple Dedication version makes it clear that the source of the music was David and Gad--they wrote or received the hymns. However, when David sang the praise of his God it was as from the mouth of the prophet.

If God ever commanded musical instruments as mechanical means of worshiping Him, we would have a record of it.

In 2 Chronicles 29:25 there is a natural but not really clear division between the commandments of God and the commandments of David.

What, then, Did God clearly command and have recorded?

The Command of God was to--

Sound the ram's horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast; Psa 81:3

this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. Psa 81:4

He established it as a statute (everlasting ordinance) for Joseph when he Psa 81:5

The Presbyterian, George Girardeau noted that "The 81st is attributed to Asaph, and may well have been composed after the dedication of the temple.

"It may also be observed, while this Psalm is under notice, that the argument derived from it in favor of the early use of musical instruments by the Israelites has no value. The words are: "Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt."

"The statute, law, ordinance here mentioned manifestly relates especially to the feast of the Passover, which, when it occurred at the new moon, was attended with the solemn blowing of trumpets, as the parallel passage shows: Ex. 13:8, 9, 14-16.

"If this is not deemed satisfactory, let the statute, law or ordinance be pointed out which enforced the use of timbrels, harps and psalteries upon the Israelites in connection with their exodus from Egypt. Until that is done loose assertion will avail nothing.

The musical introduction was with the instruments of David. However, the "everlasting ordinance" was to sound the ram's horn or silver trumpets as a warning for the people to bow down.

And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. Numbers 10: 8

And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm (shouting, clapping, rejoicing to panic the enemy) with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. Numbers 10: 9

Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God. Numbers 10: 10

David was the head of a "like the nation's" kingdom after the elders of Israel repudiated God and His Word. God prophesied that the kings would bring the nation to destruction. Scripture supports the fact that David changed the system of worship into a like the nations central worship which was common to all of the surrounding nations.

The Testimony of Edersheim
Edersheim points out that the "stationary men" represented the 'congregation" but that the people were shut out of the sacrificial offering:

First: As the last great gate slowly moved on its hinges, the priests, on a signal given, blew three blasts on their silver trumpets,

summoning the Levites

and the 'representatives' of the people (the 'stationary men') to their duties, and announcing to the city that the morning sacrifice was about to be offered.

Second: As the president gave the word of command, which marked that 'the time of incense had come,' '

the whole multitude of the people without' withdrew from the inner court, and fell down before the Lord, spreading their hands in silent prayer.

See Edersheim's proof that the music of the Levites was not in the temple but in the Court of Women.

Jamison-Fausett-Brown notes that:

"In the Jewish temple, musical instruments and singing resounded during the whole time of the offering of the sacrifices, which formed the first part of the service.

But at the offering of incense, solemn silence was kept ("My soul waiteth upon God," Ps 62:1; "is silent," Margin; Ps 65:1, Margin),

Duwmiyyah (h1747) doo-me-yaw'; from 1819; stillness; adv. silently; abstr. quiet, trust: - silence, silent, waiteth.

the people praying secretly all the time. The half-hour stillness implies, too, the earnest adoring expectation with which the blessed spirits and the angels await the succeeding unfolding of God's judgments. A short space is implied; for even an hour is so used (Re 17:12 18:10,19). 

Third, The temple Music was blown and songs sung. This excluded all people not of the tribe of Levi. It also excluded all women.

Fourth: This closed the morning service. [Note: only representatives of the people were present. The common Jews did not participate in this temple service]

It was immediately followed by the sacrifices and offerings which private Israelites might have to bring, and which would occasionally continue till near the time for the evening service

Conclusion: the sacrificial worship was for the secular Temple-State and not for the congregation of Israel.

Again: fulfillment in the New Covenant: The animals were burned outside the "worship center."

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Hebrews 13:12

Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Hebrews 13:13
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Hebrews 13:14

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

The Testimony of the Septuagint

This version makes it clear that if you drag authority for instrumental praise out of this context you are by definition repudiating the once-for-all sacrifice of Lord Jesus Christ:

And the priests slew them and offered their blood as a propitiation on the altar; and they made atonement for all Israel: for the king said, The whole-burnt-offering, and the sin-offerings are for all Israel 2Chr 29:24LXX

1--And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, and lutes, and harps,

according to the commandment of king David, and of Gad the king's seer,

God spoke to the secular, like the nations, king by the seer:

Chozeh (h2374) kho-zeh'; act. part. of 2372; a beholder in vision; also a compact as looked upon with approval: - agreement, prophet, see that, seer, stargazer.

Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Isa 47:13

The Seers were professional astrologers:

Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: Am7:12

Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. Micah 3:7

Chazah (h2372) khaw-zaw'; a prim. root; to gaze at; mentally to perceive, contemplate with pleasure: spec. to have a vision of: - behold, look, prophesy, provide, see.

Diviners:

Qacam (h7080) kaw-sam'; a prim. root; prop. to distribute, i. e. determine by lot or magical scroll; by impl. to divine: - divine (-r, - ation), prudent, soothsayer, use divination.

That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; Isaiah 44:25

2--and Nathan the prophet:

for by the commandment of the Lord the order was in the hand of the prophets 2 Chr 29:25LXX

God spoke spoke to the priests in a religious sense by the prophet:

Nabiy (h5030) naw-bee'; from 5012; a prophet or (gen.) inspired man.: - prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.

And the

1--Levites stood with the instruments of David,
2--and the priests with the trumpets. 2 Chr 29:26LXX

The idea of mocking Jesus during His "sacrifice" would have been a great musical celebration. See an artist's rendition.

No commandment of God is a Commandment of Man

By looking back to the original giving of the Law we see the giving of the silver trumpets solely for signaling. It would be strange indeed if the multitude of instruments were by the express will of God when we see that the OT writers, without exception, declare that they were by the commandment of David.

This is clearly such a contradiction that David Lipscomb was led to say:

"NO command of God was ever so ascribed to man. The use of the instruments of music in the Old Testament were of man, not of God." (Tract on music, Lipscomb).

If Instrumental music was specifically authorized by God we might expect the Holy Spirit to say that the instruments were by the command of God in every instance. God is not a coward and there would be no reason to leave the issue obscure. That is, the Holy Spirit would not have to make a decided effort to ascribe instruments to David if they were by the command of God.

When we say, authorize, we mean that God has in some Biblical fashion commanded the use of instruments. What we can find is God's command to sound the two silver trumpets to announce the festivals such as Passover (Exo 12:14). Clark speaks for early Methodists and agrees that--

"It was by the hand or commandment of the Lord and his prophets that the Levites should praise the Lord; for so the Hebrew text may be understood:

"and it was by the order of David that so many instruments of music should be introduced into the Divine service." (Adam Clark, Commentary on 2 Chron. 29:25).

Then Clark says:

"But were it evident, which it is not, either from this (2 Chron. 29:25) or any other place in the sacred writings, that instruments of music were prescribed by Divine authority under the law, could this be adduced with any semblance of reason that they ought to be used in Christian Worship? No..." (Adam Clark, Commentary, Vol. II, PP. 690-691).


2 Chronicles 34 Josiah's Reform

JOSIAH was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 2 Chronicles 34:1

And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 34:7

Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. 2 Chronicles 34:8

And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 34:9

And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the Lord, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and amend the house: 2 Chronicles 34:10

Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 2 Chronicles 34:11

And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam,

of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward;
and other of the Levites,
all that could skill of instruments of musick. 2 Chronicles 34:12

Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters. 2 Chronicles 34:13

The Levites were assigned to be burden bearers or burden leaders as a result of the musical idolatry at Mount sinai. Musical instruments had a way of establishing a cadence and "group mind" which made bearing the burdens easier to force upon people.

This was the same practice in the burning process of disposing of, say 25,000, animal carcasses. This was never "an act of worship."

And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses. 2 Chronicles 34:14

An overseer can superintend with kind or hostile intent. He is:

Nacach (h5329) naw-tsakh'; a prim. root; prop. to glitter from afar, i. e. to be eminent (as a superintendent, espec. of the Temple services and its music); also (as denom. from 5331), to be permanent: - excel, chief musician (singer), oversee (-r), set forward.

Amos, in the Septuagint, warns that the people thought that those excel in music thought that it had an abiding value. However, God said that it was just a fleeting pleasure:

Ye who are approaching the evil day, who are drawing near and adopting false sabbaths; Amos 6:3LXX

who sleep upon beds of ivory, and live delicately on their couches, and eat kids out of the flocks, and sucking calves out of the midst of the stalls; 6:4 (stolen by the tyrants)

who excel in the sound of musical instruments; they have regarded them as abiding, not as fleeting pleasures; 6:5 LXX

When Solomon died and civil war broke out, it was freely confessed that Solomon had enslaved even the Israelites in order to build the temple.


Chronoogy of the Return

Return under Sheshbazzar 536 Ezra 2:1, 2
Foundation of temple 534 Ezra 3:8-13
Building stopped 521 Ezra 4:24
Restoration by Zerubbabel 520 Ezra 6:14
Appeal of Haggai and Zechariah 520 Ezra 6:14
Second temple dedicated 515 Ezra 6:16-22
Ester becomes queen 478 Est. 2:17
Ester saves people 473
Ezra's first return 458 Ezzra 7:10
Nehemiah at Susa 445
Nehemiah Rebuilding walls 445 Neh. 2
Nehemiah back to Susa 433
Nehemiah's reforms 432 Neh. 13:4-7
Aided by Malachi 428
Ezra's Reform 398

After the return from Captivity:

Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together,

to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites. Ezra 3:9

And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord,

they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets,
and the
Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals,

to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. Ezra 3:10

In I Chronicles. 6:31

This would have to be after the ordinance of David the king because God never gave such a command and Gad didn't either. The command was a method for stopping the plague which resulted from David's grand schemes and sin.

And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. Ezra 3:11

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: Ezra 3:12

So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off. Ezra 3:13

NOW when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the Lord God of Israel; Ezra 4:1

Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. Ezra 4:2

When the "ecumenical movement" was rejected the local created great difficulties for the rebuilding effort. The effect of the loud rejoicing was to stop the work.

And Nehemiah writes:

And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited. Nehemiah 12:44

And both the singers and the porters

kept the ward (sentry) of their God,
and the
ward of the purification,

according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. Nehemiah 12:45

For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. Nehemiah 12:46

However, after this the temple would not be heard from for a hundred years when pigs were being offered on the altar.

On the other hand:

"The solemn ritual described in Neh. 8-10 is one of the most important moments in the history of Israel: this is as it were the official birth of Judaism. The gathering does not take place in the Temple, but in the public square. It does not consist of bloody sacrifices, but of reading the law and prayer. Here is the birth of the Synagogue worship." (Charpentier, How To Read the Bible, p. 75)


The Inter-Testament Period

The apocryphal book Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) has Sirach describing the activities for the Day of Atonement which is consistent with the pre-Davidic use of multiple trumpets as signaling devices--

When he put on his glorious robe and clothed himself with superb perfection and went up to the holy altar, he made the court of the sanctuary glorious. Ecclesiasticus 50: 11.

And when he received the portions from the hands of the priests, as he stood by the hearth of the altar with a garland of brethren around him, he was like a young cedar on Lebanon; and they surrounded him like the trunks of palm trees, Ecclesiasticus 50: 12.

all the sons of Aaron in their splendor with the Lord's offering in their hands, before the whole congregation of Israel. Ecclesiasticus 50: 13.

Finishing the service at the altars, and arranging the offering to the Most High, the Almighty, Ecclesiasticus 50: 14.

he reached out his hand to the cup and poured a libation of the blood of the grape; he poured it out at the foot of the altar, a pleasing odor to the Most High, the King of all. Ecclesiasticus 50: 15.

Then the sons of Aaron shouted, they sounded the trumpets of hammered work, they made a great noise to be heard for remembrance before the Most High. Ecclesiasticus 50: 16.

Again, only a select few were at the altar while the people were outside the gates. This is why there was a great sound produced. This was a signal to those outside of the gates to fall down and worship:

Then all the people together made haste and fell to the ground upon their faces to worship their Lord, the Almighty, God Most High. Ecclesiasticus 50: 17.

And the singers praised him with their voices in sweet and full-toned melody. Ecclesiasticus 50: 18.

And the people besought the Lord Most High in prayer before him who is merciful,

till the order of worship of the Lord was ended; so they completed his service. Ecclesiasticus 50: 19.

After the clergy ritual was over,

Then Simon came down, and lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, to pronounce the blessing of the Lord with his lips, and to glory in his name; Ecclesiasticus 50: 20.

and they bowed down in worship a second time, to receive the blessing from the Most High. Ecclesiasticus 50: 21.

While no instruments are involved during this time, earlier Sirach noted:

Wine and music gladden the heart, but the love of wisdom is better than both. Sirach 40:20.

The flute and the harp make pleasant melody, but a pleasant voice is better than both. Sirach 40 21.


Josephus

"Now as many of the Levites, which is a tribe of ours, as were singers of hymns, persuaded the king to assemble a sanhedrim, and to give them leave to wear linen garments, as well as the priests

for they said that this would be a work worthy the times of his government, that he might have a memorial of such a novelty, as being his doing. Nor did they fail of obtaining their desire; for the king, with the suffrages of those that came into the sanhedrim, granted the singers of hymns this privilege, that they might lay aside their former garments, and wear such a linen one as they desired;

and as a part of this tribe ministered in the temple, he also permitted them to learn those hymns as they had besought him for.

Now all this was contrary to the laws of our country, which, whenever they have been transgressed, we have never been able to avoid the punishment of such transgressions. (Antiq. XX.ix.6).

We repeat: the people did not worship in the Temple which was for the King and the Civil State. Those in attendance were excluded from the temple. The musical performance is not called "worship" even for the clergy. Rather, worship was bowing or falling to the ground.

"Worship in the temple was carried on by the priests and Levites, and not by the congregation...

At its center, temple worship was not a congregational assembly; nevertheless, by custom people did gather in the courts at the time of sacrifice. The Levites did the singing." (Lewis, Jack p. 24)

"It seems to be acknowledged by all descriptions of Christians, that among the Hebrews instrumental music in the public worship of God was essentially connected with the sacrifices to be offered upon great and solemn days.

But as all the sacrifices of the Hebrews were completely abolished by the death of our blessed Redeemer, so instrumental music... being so intimately connected with sacrifice, and belonging to a service which was ceremonial and typical, must be abolished..." (John L. Girardeau, quoting the Presbyterian Richie, p. 69).

The music of David had value only for dedication or purification of officials or buildings and grounds. It had no abiding spiritual value and was not used for the worship of God.

We do not believe that God ever commanded musical instruments. To they extent they were allowed in the temple it was because the temple was a like the nations capital of the kingdom which was itself against God's will. Nevertheless, He gave commandments for the government to preserve physical life.

However, nothing associated with temple worship had any lasting value -- else Christ would not have come and shut it down for the third time.

Kenneth Sublett Comments Welcome

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