About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter - Chapter 12
And Levites (ch. 12:1 - 26)
I will not make comment on the names of priests and
Levites that are mentioned in these 26 verses.
They came with Ezra from Babylon
some 18 years or so earlier.
Of The Wall Of Jerusalem
12:27 - 47)
In verse 27 we see that the priests and Levites were
sought out to meet at the wall in Jerusalem
to celebrate it's completion. This
was a joyous time of singing and of playing of instruments.
It is clear to me that praise to the Lord in song includes the
use of instruments. There
are certain Christian denominations that don't allow any musical
instruments in a meeting. Others
have disqualified certain instruments and have only allowed other
certain instruments into the gathering.
It is my opinion that whatever instrument one has is suitable for
worship. Worship begins in
the heart and works its way out from there.
If our hearts are right in worship, we can use what we have at
our disposal, no matter how much talent we have.
In verse 28 and 29 we see that the singers were
requested to come to the gathering of dedication for the completion of
the wall. We also see in
verse 29 that some singers had built their own villages outside of the
city just for themselves. That's
interesting. We have a small
community of Jews that have gathered together in their own place
because they had the same ministry.
In verse 30 we see one important job of the priests.
They were agents of purification.
They first purified themselves, then the people.
This is much like the Catholic priests of our day.
The problem with Catholic priests is
that once Jesus died on the cross the ministry of priest ended, or at
least should have ended. The
New Testament clearly states that all believers in Christ are priests,
and that Jesus Himself has purified us once and for all.
Therefore, we do not need any priest, any man to represent us
before God. This doctrine is
called the priesthood of the believers.
This dedication service was well organized.
Verse 31 tells us that Nehemiah had the priests go on top of the
wall, or alongside the wall. Both
renderings are acceptable. Also, the singers were divided into 2 choirs.
One alongside or on top of the wall, and the other to the right of the
wall. They would sing
praises to God. It is clear
that singing has been a part of the worship of God for a very long time.
From verses 32 to 36 an number of names in the
procession are listed that I will not comment on.
We also note in verse 36 that a variety of musical
instruments were used in this procession, as King David prescribed.
We know that David was a man of music and he prescribed musical
instruments to be played in times of worship such as this. We
also know of music and singing in heaven.
It is thus clear that music and singing is close to the heart of
Verse 37 speaks of the path this procession took.
Verse 38 tells us about another procession.
We learned earlier that their were two choirs. One choir went one
direction in their procession while the other choir and the other
procession went another way.
From verses 38 to 40 we see the direction of this
second choir. From verses 40
to 43 we see that the two processions ended up at the temple.
Names of certain priests are listed.
Everyone is offering sacrifices, and the context suggests that
these are sacrifices of praise. Everyone
is singing praises, even the women and children.
Verse 43 tells us that the praises of God from the
people in Jerusalem
could be heard from far away. The
music and singing was obviously pretty loud.
Some of us today may not like loud music, but it was loud in this
instance. This is the way if
should be concerning the people of God.
Our praise and worship should be a testimony to all in ear-shot
of this praise.
In verse 44 we see that certain men were appointed to
look after the storehouse in
We see in the book of Malachi that these tithes had
been long forsaken. Malachi
actually wrote these words not too many years later.
By Malachi's day Israel
stopped giving of these tithes.
In verse 45 we see the gatekeepers, the priests, and
the singers all doing their job. Everyone was willing and happy to do
what the Lord wanted them to do. Everyone
had a ministry, a part to play in the people of God.
Yet once, again, this did not last.
In verse 46 we see that the example for such musical
praise and worship was greatly enhanced with King David.
He set aside singers and leaders for praise and worship.
So the Jews in Nehemiah's day wanted to continue the tradition
that their most famous king established.
learn in verse 47 that the gatekeepers and the
singers were full time gatekeepers and singers.
The people provided for their welfare.
Throughout this chapter and throughout the book of Nehemiah, you
will note that these singers played a very important part in the daily