1 Chronicles 25:7
So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) So the number of them, with their brethren . . . was two hundred fourscore and eight.—This total of two hundred and eighty-eight skilled musicians (24 × 12) shows that each of the twenty-four leading minstrels, called in 1Chronicles 25:2-4 the “sons” of Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman, was associated with a company of eleven “brethren,” who were experts in the chanting of the sanctuary. The twenty-four leaders accompanied the singing of their choirs with instrumental music.

1 Chronicles 25:7. All that were cunning — Who were so skilful that they were able to teach others; and, together with their scholars, made up the four thousand mentioned 1 Chronicles 23:5.

25:1-31 The singers and musicians. - David put those in order who were appointed to be singers and musicians in the temple. To prophesy, in this place, means praising God with great earnestness and devout affections, under the influences of the Holy Spirit. In raising these affections, poetry and music were employed. If the Spirit of God do not put life and fervour into our devotions, they will, however ordered, be a lifeless, worthless form.With their brethren - i. e., "with others of the tribe of Levi." Each son of Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman, was at the head of a band of twelve skilled musicians, consisting partly of his own sons, partly of Levites belonging to other families 1 Chronicles 25:9-31. The 24 band-leaders, together with their bands, formed a body of 288 persons (24 x 12 equals 288) Besides these, we hear of there being above 3,700 singers, who were probably divided, like the trained musicians, into 24 courses, which must have contained about 155 each 1 Chronicles 23:5. 6, 7. All these were under the hands of their father—Asaph had four sons, Jeduthun six, and Heman fourteen, equal to twenty-four; making the musicians with their brethren the singers, an amount of two hundred eighty-eight. For, like the priests and Levites, they were divided into twenty-four courses of twelve men each, equal to two hundred eighty-eight, who served a week in rotation; and these, half of whom officiated every week with a proportionate number of assistants, were skilful and experienced musicians, capable of leading and instructing the general musical corps, which comprised no less than four thousand (1Ch 23:5). All that were cunning; who were so skilful that they were able to teach others.

Two hundred fourscore and eight; which, together with their scholars, make up the four thousand mentioned 1 Chronicles 23:5.

So the number of them, with their brethren,.... Who each of them had twelve with them, as after reckoned:

that were instructed in the songs of the Lord; taught how to sing them:

even all that were cunning; expert and well skilled in the science of singing:

was two hundred and eighty eight; for there being twenty four classes answerable to those of the priests, and twelve in each class, twelve times twenty four makes two hundred and eighty eight.

So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. in the songs of the Lord] R.V. in singing unto the LORD.

cunning] R.V. skilful; as 1 Chronicles 15:22, where the same Heb. word is used.

two hundred fourscore and eight] The number corresponds with the twenty-four courses of twelve members each about to be enumerated.

Verse 7. - This verse introduces a large additional number of those called for the present brethren of the foregoing twenty-four. These brethren (partly composed of their sons, as appears from vers. 9-31) were to aid in the songs of the Lord, and were apparently under instruction for that purpose. Each one of the twenty-four had eleven associated subordinates with him, and for whose instruction and service he was probably answerable. These would, of course, multiply up to the two hundred four score and eight mentioned in the verse. This verse appears (contrary to the interpretation of Keil, Bertheau, and others) with sufficient precision to mark two classes מְלֻמְּדֵי־שִׁיר, and הַמֵּבִּין, the latter not embracing the former, but the two together making up the two hundred and eighty-eight spoken cf. These two classes will surely satisfy the "teacher and the scholar" classification of the following verse; the classes are denoted by the same Hebrew roots. In ver. 7 the passive Pual participle of the instructed and the Hiphil participle of the cunning, or skilled, correspond exactly with the "scholar" (תַלְמִיד) and the "teacher" (מֵּבִין) of ver. 8. The contents of vers. 9-31 point to the same, being as they are without an allusion to any other outsiders - to any but the already introduced names of "sons" and "brethren." The supposing, therefore, of any allusion here to the "four thousand" of 1 Chronicles 23:5 seems unnecessary and unnatural in whatever way they were distributed - and probably enough it was in an analogous manner - no distinct reference is made to them here. 1 Chronicles 25:71 Chronicles 25:6 is the subscription to the enumeration, 1 Chronicles 25:2-5. כּל־אלּה are not the fourteen sons of Heman, but all the sons of Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. All these were under the direction of their fathers for song in the house of Jahve, with cymbals ... for the service in the house of God under the direction of the king, etc. אביהם is used distributively of each father of the sons named. Bertheau supplies after אביהם the name Heman, and thereby the first half of the verse contradicts the second, which he correctly understands to refer to the twenty-four persons enumerated. - In 1 Chronicles 25:7 the total number is given. Their number (the number) of the sons of Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman (i.e., of the twenty-four 4 + 6 + 14 mentioned by name), with their brethren, was 288 (24 x 12); whence we learn that each of those named had eleven אחים, all of them שׁיר מלמּדי שׁיר, learned, practised in song for Jahve. In כּל־המּבין the sons and the brothers are both included, in order to give the total number. מבין, having understanding, knowledge of a thing, denotes here those who by education and practice were skilled in song - the accomplished musicians. Their number was 288, and these were divided into twenty-four choirs (classes). David had, according to 1 Chronicles 23:5, appointed 4000 Levites for the performance of the music. Of these, 288 were מבינים skilled in song; the others were scholars (תּלמידים), as 1 Chronicles 25:8 shows, where מבין and תּלמיד are the two categories into which the musicians are divided.
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