The twenty-four positions for the musical Levites (1 Chr 25:9-25:31)

“The first lot fell for Asaph to Joseph. The second lot went to Gedaliah, to him and his brothers and his sons, twelve. The third lot went to Zaccur, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The fourth lot went to Izri, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The fifth lot went to Nethaniah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The sixth lot went to Bukkiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The seventh lot went to Jesarelah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The eighth lot went to Jeshaiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The ninth lot went to Mattaniah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The tenth lot went to Shimei, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The eleventh lot went to Azarel, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The twelfth lot went to Hashabiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The thirteenth lot went to Shubael, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The fourteenth lot went to Mattithiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The fifteenth lot went to Jeremoth, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The sixteenth lot went to Hananiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The seventeenth lot went to Joshbekashah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The eighteenth lot went to Hanani, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The nineteenth lot went to Mallothi, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The twentieth lot went to Eliathah, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The twenty-first lot went to Hothir, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The twenty-second lot went to Giddalti, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The twenty-third lot went to Mahazioth, his sons and his brothers, twelve. The twenty-fourth went to Romamti-ezer, his sons and his brothers, twelve.”

This is much like the Levites in chapter 24. There are 24 specific jobs. Here there seems to be 12 people per position. 3 positions went to the sons of Asaph, (1) Joseph, (3) Zaccur, and (5) Nethaniah. 5 positions went to the sons of Jeduthun, (2) Gedaliah, (8) Jeshaiah, (10) Shimei, (12) Hashabiah, and (14) Mattithiah. However, 13 of these positions went to the sons of Heman, (6) Bukkiah, (9) Mattaniah, (13) Shubael, who may be the same as the son of Heman, Shebuel, (15) Jeremoth, (16) Hananiah, (17) Joshbekashah, (18) Hanani, (19) Mallothi, (20) Eliathah, (21) Hothir, (22) Giddalti, (23) Mahazioth, and (24) Romamti-ezer. The 4th position went to (4) Izri, who is never mentioned elsewhere in the biblical literature. The 7th position went to (7) Jesarelah, who is never mentioned elsewhere in the biblical literature. The 11th position went to (11) Azarel, whose name appears elsewhere, but not as a son of the 3 main cantors. Clearly Heman and his family dominated with over half these positions. Only 3 people, who were not from these 3 families, were named to a position.

The sons of Asaph (1 Chr 25:1-25:2)

“The list of those who did the work and of their duties included the sons of Asaph. Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah were the sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph. They prophesied under the direction of the king.”

Asaph was from the Gershonites. There are 2 other people with the name of Asaph. Some Psalms (73-83) are attributed to this Asaph as well as this group of singers who called themselves the sons of Asaph. The 4 sons of Asaph also prophesied under the direction of Asaph and King David. (1) Zaccur is a name that appears 4 other times. (2) Joseph was, of course, the son of Israel who brought the Israelites to Egypt. However, there were over 20 biblical people with this same name. There were 3 other people with the name of (3) Nethaniah. (4) Asarelah only appears here and nowhere else. These prophetic singers were under the king and not free lance prophets.