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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 Chronicles 25



Verses 1-31

1 Chronicles 25:1. Prophesy with harps. They sung, as well as played, in the service of the Lord, the compositions or psalms of holy men. The harp is the lyre of the Latin versions. Music in religious worship has a divine sanction; and in the hands of these men it must have acquired perfection. Yet in the primitive church, partly through poverty, and partly through persecution and fear, it was not much used. We do not read of music in churches till after the time of Constantine. See Psalm cl.

1 Chronicles 25:5. All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer, viz. fourteen sons that blew the horn; his three daughters were equally trained to music. They were nobly born, and enjoyed religious dignity in the temple of the Lord. Asaph and his sons had the first rank.


Though no temple was now either built or begun; yet so great a number of priests, of levites, of singers, and of worshippers, could not attend the sanctuary without shelter from the rain and stormy weather. Hence we read of the workmen being considerable in number: the buildings round about Zion were of course many, and the whole of this little city was devoted to God, and the accommodation of his people. Hence also we read so often that the sacred pavilion or tabernacle is called the house and temple of the Lord.

We here find that the singers, like the priests and levites, were divided into courses, to prophesy or sing with the harp. The musical instruments were numerous, and the musicians four thousand. The perfection they acquired in music and in sacred song was enviable to the satraps, or lords of Babylon. Psalms 137. But all this grandeur and sublimity of Hebrew worship was pleasing to God no farther than it might aid the devotion of the heart, and the elevation of the national mind. With him the contrition of the heart is the most grateful sacrifice, and its melody the sweetest music. The great masters of music, whose devotion rests in sounds, are to be classed with those lukewarm prophets to whom the Lord will say at last, Depart hence, I know you not. Let us learn so to worship God on earth, that we may be counted worthy of a name and a place in his house for ever, and to sing around his throne above.


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 25:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.

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