2 Chronicles 5:12
Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
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(12) All of them of Asaph . . . brethren.—Heb., to all of them, to Asaph, to Heman, &c., &c., and to their sons, and to their brethren. This use of the particle le (to, for) is characteristic of the chronicler, whose style in these verses stands in marked contrast with the former part of the chapter. As to the Levitical guilds of musicians, comp. 1Chronicles 25:1-7; 1Chronicles 15:16, seq.

Arrayed in white linen.1Chronicles 15:27.

Having cymbals and psalteries and harps.With cymbals and nebels and kinnors (harps and lutes, or guitars). (See 1Chronicles 15:28.)

Stood at the east end of the altar.Were standing east of the altar.

And with them . . . trumpets.And with them priests, to a hundred and twenty, were trumpeting with trumpets. (See 1Chronicles 15:24.)

An hundred and twenty.—Thus five to each of the twenty-four classes of the priests.

The mark of parenthesis should be cancelled.

5:11-14 God took possession of the temple; he filled it with a cloud. Thus he signified his acceptance of this temple, to be the same to him that the tabernacle of Moses was, and assured his people that he would be the same in it. Would we have God dwell in our hearts, we must leave room for him; every thing else must give way. The Word was made flesh; and when he comes to his temple, like a refiner's fire, who may abide the day of his coming? May he prepare us for that day.From the ark - Or, according to a different reading here and according to 1 Kings 8:8, some read, "the ends of the staves were seen from the Holy place."

There it is unto this day - This should be corrected as in the margin.

12. the Levites which were the singers—On great and solemn occasions, such as this, a full choir was required, and their station was taken with scrupulous regard to their official parts: the family of Heman occupied the central place, the family of Asaph stood on his right, and that of Jeduthun on his left; the place allotted to the vocal department was a space between the court of Israel and the altar in the east end of the priests' court.

with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets—The trumpet was always used by the priests, and in the divine service it was specially employed in calling the people together during the holy solemnities, and in drawing attention to new and successive parts of the ritual. The number of trumpets used in the divine service could not be less than two (Nu 10:2), and their greatest number never exceeded the precedent set at the dedication of the temple. The station where the priests were sounding with trumpets was apart from that of the other musicians; for while the Levite singers occupied an orchestra east of the altar, the priests stood at the marble table on the southwest of the altar. There both of them stood with their faces to the altar. The manner of blowing the trumpets was, first, by a long plain blast, then by one with breakings and quaverings, and then by a long plain blast again [Brown, Jewish Antiquities].

No text from Poole on this verse.

See Chapter Introduction Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
12. of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons] R.V. even Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons. Cp. 1 Chronicles 25:1-7.

being arrayed in white linen] R.V. arrayed in fine linen.

psalteries … harps] See 1 Chronicles 13:8, notes.

at the east end of the altar] Looking westward, facing the Holy of Holies. To face the East was to turn the back upon the sanctuary; Ezekiel 8:16.

trumpets] See 1 Chronicles 15:24, note.

Verse 12. - This verse, marked off in the Authorized Version in brackets, is most graphic. First all the priests, who were not hors de combat, i.e. all the "courses" of them together, thronged the arena; and now they are joined by all the Levites who were singers, of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun (1 Chronicles 25:1-31), i.e. twenty-four choirs in one, with their sons and their brethren; and this collected choir is arrayed in white linen; and they have three kinds of musical instruments - cymbals (Psalm el. 5) and psalteries (or lutes) and harps (1 Chronicles 16:5; 1 Chronicles 25:1); and they take up their station at the east end of the altar, and still further a strong support flanks these of a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets (1 Chronicles 16:6). So ends our inopportune Authorized Version parenthesis. But to what all this? It is a scene in a nation's history, in the universal Church's history; it is witnessed from heaven, and by Heaven's will recorded in the book on earth, which will endure through all generations, as long as the sun and moon endure, as ushering in the moment when, as described in the next verse, to the unanimous fervent adoration and praise of man, God bent a willing, gracious ear, and to earth the glory of heaven drew nigh. Cymbals. The word used here (מְצִלְתַּים), denoting strictly "pair of cymbals," occurs eleven times in Chronicles, once in Ezra, and once in Nehemiah. Another form of essentially the same word occurs once in 2 Samuel 6:5 and twice in Psalm 150:5. This last passage notes two kinds of cymbals - the "loud" and the "high-sounding." It was the former of these that Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun used, and their use was probably to regulate or beat the time (see Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 1:375, 376; Conder's 'Handbook to the Bible,' p. 167, 2nd edit.). Psalteries (נֶבֶל). This word occurs twenty-eight times in the Old Testament, but of these it is translated (Authorized Version) four times as "viols" (Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 14:11; Amos 5:23; Amos 6:5); it is also once rendered "vessels of flagons" (Isaiah 22:24), but the margin offers the version "instruments of viols." While the cymbal was, of course, an instrument of percussion, the psaltery was one of strings - its use was as an accompaniment to the voice. The first mention of it is very interesting (1 Samuel 10:5). Compare also David's and Solomon's psaltery in 2 Samuel 6:5; 2 Chronicles 9:11. Harps (כִּנּור). This word occurs forty-two times, beginning with Genesis 4:21. Trumpets (חֲלֺצצְרָה). This word (including eleven of the personal forms of it, as e.g. the person blowing the trumpet) occurs just forty times, beginning with Numbers 10:2. It was the straight tuba, and was not, therefore, the same with the ram's-horn shaped buccina (שֹׁפָר), generally rendered in the Authorized Version "cornet," but sometimes "trumpet;" the specialty of the cornet being to blow a sound for a signal or summons of some sort, whether secular as in war, or sacred as for some festival. The trumpets of our verse evidently (Numbers 10:8) were in a particular sense the instrument of the priests. 2 Chronicles 5:12All the Levitic singers and musicians were also engaged in it, to make the festival glorious by song and instrumental music: "and the Levites, the singers, all of them, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, and their sons and brethren, clad in byssus, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, stood eastward from the altar, and with them priests to 120, blowing trumpets." The ל before כּלּם and the following noun is the introductory ל: "as regards." On the form מחצררים, see on 1 Chronicles 15:24; on these singers and musicians, their clothing, and their instruments, see on 1 Chronicles 15:17-28 and 2 Chronicles 25:1-8.
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