saph was a Levite who led the musicians in the temple of God. He lived in the time of Kings David and Solomon and was present at the opening of the temple. Asaph’s descendants were also musicians.
Asaph, the temple musician
Asaph belonged to the tribe of Levi, who was in charge of all service in the temple. He was a professional musician and also trained other musicians. Asaph was so good at his job that he was chosen to lead all the temple musicians!
One day King David decided to take the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He organized a large procession and charged the Levites with music. Asaph and two of his relatives were chosen to lead the musicians. Thus, Asaph participated in the procession as a conductor and playing the cymbals ( 1 Chronicles 15: 17-19 ).
See here more about musical instruments in the Bible.
After the ark was placed in Jerusalem, Asaph became chief of the tabernacle’s musicians ( 1 Chronicles 16: 4-5 ). Years later, Asaph was present as a leader of the musicians at the inauguration ceremony of the temple that Solomon built ( 2 Chronicles 5: 12-14 ).
In addition to being chief of the temple musicians, Asaph was also:
- Prophet(also called seer) – he prophesied to the sound of music – 1 Chronicles 25: 1-2
- Music teacher– Asaph taught and mentored the youngest musicians – 1 Chronicles 25: 6
- Poet– some Psalms were written by Asaph and his descendants
Asaph was a God-fearing man, who used his gift for the glory of God. Composing and singing psalms, Asaph taught the community of Israel to praise God.
See also: 5 characteristics that all praise songs should have .
The Bible says little about Asaph but he left an impressive legacy! For several generations, his descendants continued as temple musicians, following in his footsteps. Even after exile in Babylon, when the Israelites rebuilt the temple, Asaph’s descendants were called to be the official musicians before God ( Ezra 3: 10-11 ).