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.

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The sons of Heman (1 Chr 25:4-25:6)

“The sons of Heman were Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him. God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. They were all under the direction of their father for the music in the house of Yahweh. They played cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God.”

Heman had 14 sons and 3 daughters. Apparently, they all performed music in the house of Yahweh, the Temple, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. Heman was also called a seer or prophet to the king. Of Heman’s 14 listed sons, 8 of them are names that only are mentioned here and in the giving of the lots, but nowhere else in the biblical literature, (1) Bukkiah, (8) Eliathah, (9) Giddalti, (10) Romamti-ezer, (11) Joshbekashah, (12) Mallothi, (13) Hothir, and (14) Mahazioth. There were 9 different people with the name of (2) Mattaniah, but this Mattaniah will be in charge of the 9th group of singers. There were 8 different people with this name of (3) Uzziel. There was only 1 other (4) Shebuel. There were 7 different people with the name of (5) Jerimoth. There were 13 different people with the name of (6) Hananiah. There were 5 different people with the name of (7) Hanani.