David assigned the priests, the sons of Aaron, in their divisions, 24 divisions in all. Two divisions served each month at the tabernacle. Since there was a morning sacrifice, and an evening sacrifice, every day, then one division served in the morning shift, and one division served in the evening shift. But now there was a schedule of service, so that the tabernacle would experience no lack, and the priests likewise would experience no idleness.
Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were of the 6000 Levites who were assigned to be musicians. Asaph was skilled and very great. David wrote the majority of the Psalms in the book of Psalms, but Asaph wrote the next in number. He prophesied in singing, in other words, he wrote songs under the direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and they were added to the book of Psalms, which means they were Thus saith the LORD, the word of God. The name Asaph means “collector” or “gatherer,” and I think his name was given to him prophetically, because he collected the songs of the LORD and wrote them down and preserved them.
Heman means “faithful;” he was the king’s seer or prophet. But because Heman the seer was assigned with the musicians, he also “prophesied in song,” and his sons after him. His songs were like prayers to the LORD that are completely in line with the LORD’s heart and what He is doing in the earth at that moment. Thus the meaning of the prophecy in song is more Spirit- inspired and less foretelling the future — but the future could be told; many of the Psalms are prophetic about the Messianic kingdom.
Prophetic worship, prophesying in song during the worship service, is something that is increasing in the churches now. Worship leaders like Misty Edwards (IHOP Kansas City) have spread the idea and practice. In fact, IHOP Kansas City got the idea for continual praise going up before the LORD, 24/7, with worshipers in teams taking shifts, from this practice and schedule that King David instituted. You know, the things of the Spirit that go on in our churches, we think they are new. In fact, they are old, LOL. God was working in these ways in Israel, long before the coming of Jesus. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, and His Spirit is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Jeduthun means “laudatory” or praiseworthy, Think of these three as the worship leaders. Asaph wrote the songs, with Heman helping. Heman directed the choirs, the singers. And Jeduthun directed the instruments (1 Chr 25:6).
The musicians were divided into 24 divisions, as the priests were. So a set of Levites accompanied each set of priests. Two groups were serving at the Tabernacle at any one time (each set of two served for one month, two groups of priests and two groups of Levites, of the musicians, gatekeepers, etc.) This is because sacrifices were offered morning and evening, and praise was offered morning and evening, so there was a morning shift, and an evening shift. If you were a priest or a Levite, you were off eleven months of the year, but you worked HARD for the one month you served in the Tabernacle. And when you were in your “off” time, you still practiced music, or taught the Law or taught Torah at schools or something like that.
We are also a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9), and we also, any of us who makes himself a vessel for honorable use (2 Tim 2:21), can serve as a singer, musician, prophet, helper or servant to the priests (pastors and leaders), gatekeeper, treasurer, meeter of needs, administrator, or judge. Paul’s list of gifts in Rom 12 did not just come out of thin air – many of them are rooted in these divisions which King David, a type of Yeshua, divided the Levites into.