The singing watchman reads further today on the role and holy and spiritual ministry of singers and songs in the ancient times when priests and Levites were appointed to play musical instruments and sing praises and thanksgivings to our God. Here are some interesting important facts about the singers:
- “for the singers had built themselves villages all around Jerusalem.” They lived very near to the city of God.
- they are to “celebrate the dedication (of the Jerusalem wall) with gladness”. They sing very positive happy songs to God.
- they celebrate “both with thanksgivings and singing”. They showed their gratitude to God in songs.
- “with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.” They played musical instruments. (Drums were not mentioned).
- Prior worship they “purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall”. They served the holy God.
- Nehemiah “appointed two large thanksgiving choirs”. They sang in harmonious choirs.
- The singers sang loudly with the choir director. There was a song leader or musical conductor.
- “Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy.” Songs to God were accompanied with sacrifices and rejoicings. Joy and the Holy Spirit came hand in hand. (Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.)
- The singers “kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification.” (Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”)
- They existed during the reign of the two kings, David and Solomon, and “of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.” (The returned remnants under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah continued this important ministry)
- They were called to serve full time as singers to the Lord.
- The whole country supported the singers in all their daily material needs.
Nehemiah chapter 12 (excerpts)
27 Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps. 28 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the countryside around Jerusalem, from the villages… for the singers had built themselves villages all around Jerusalem. 30 Then the priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall.
31 So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs. One went to the right hand on the wall toward the Refuse Gate… as far as the Water Gate eastward.
38 The other thanksgiving choir went the opposite way, and I was behind them with half of the people on the wall, going past the Tower of the Ovens as far as the Broad Wall…and they stopped by the Gate of the Prison.
40 So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God…The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director.
43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.
44 And at the same time some were appointed…for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered. 45 Both the singers and the gatekeepers kept the charge of their God and the charge of the purification, according to the command of David and Solomon his son. 46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chiefs of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47 In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron.