Temple 201-Temple Choir and Music-Conclusion

God is letting the Temple choir instruct the people about how to worship him perfectly. Let’s look at this in some detail. On the altar, a man stood on one side of the horns with two flags with which he would signal. There were two people with two silver trumpets nearby and when he signaled, they would blow the trumpets. When that happened, the director of the choir, who is standing behind the choir, had two cymbals and when he put them together, that was the signal for the choir to begin singing. That took timing and practice.

There are five major categories of korbanot. They are the Olah (burnt); the Asham (guilt); Minchah ( bread, and there were 13 of them); Shelemim (peace) and the Chata’at (sin). Which one of these do you think was the most offered of these five korbanot? It was the Shelemim, the peace offering. It had nothing to do with sin, but praise and worship in the Temple.

When you went to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple, you went there to do business with God. To go to Jerusalem without visiting the Temple was like go to your hometown and not seeing your parents. It would have been seen as negligent. The term “Selah” means “to prostrate.” In the Temple, when the psalms were being sung and they came to this word, thousands would prostrate before the Lord. In congregations today, the music director picks songs for everyone to sing in the services. However, it was not that way in the Temple. The Levitical choir director did not come in that day and decide what to sing. The songs were set because they were already “ordained” by God for a certain time. By the time of Yeshua, much of the Temple worship had been done that way for 1500 years, dating back to the Mishkan, Moses and Aaron. David was given more instructions by the Lord in 1 Chr 28.11-19. So, when Passover came, there were set psalms they were singing. These psalms were called the Hallim (Psalm 113-118). These were sung as a group and only sung at certain times. You could sing any of these psalms one at a time, but they were not sung together as the Hallim except at certain times. Psalm 120 through 134 are called the “Psalms of Ascent.” These can be sung when you go to Jerusalem and in the Temple at certain times, but not all together at other times.

The Rabbi’s would sing their teachings in what was called a “Nigun.” You could tell who your rabbi was by the “nigun” you used. We have discussed what the highest form of worship was. It was the Temple worship and the meals consecrated to God from the korbanot. So, when you came to Jerusalem after a journey, you brought a korban shelem (peace offering). If you came for a festival, you brought a shelem. If you came from the desert, you brought a shelem. If you came to do business with God, you brought a shelem. Whenever you came, you brought a shelem. The residents of Jerusalem tried to go everyday. If they did, they could bring a shelem every few weeks. We know from Acts 2.46 they believers came day to day.

A portion of this shelem was burnt on the altar and a portion was given to the kohanim and a portion taken home by the worshipper to be eaten in a “meal consecrated to God” or a Lord’s Supper. There was a ceremony with these meals and psalms from the Temple. These meals lasted for hours and the Messiah could be seen in everything they did. For example, just read a Passover Haggadah and you will see Messiah on every page. In many homes, the Passover is sung entirely. Worship came home from the Temple with all the music they heard.

In Christianity, they say there are two things “instituted by Christ” and that was baptism and the Lord’s Supper. However, this is not accurate. Immersions (baptisms) were done before Sinai (Gen 35.2 for example) and Hebrews 6 talks about immersions as being an elementary principle of the faith. The “Lord’s Supper” can be seen as far back as Gen 2 and all over the Torah, whenever a meal to God or with God is mentioned.

The Torah says that all the males were to appear before the Lord during the Shelosh Regalim, or the three pilgrim festivals. There were 24 districts in Israel and the people from each district would go in groups up to Jerusalem. The people would assemble in the “county seat” of the district. A leader would then say, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” A flutist called the “Chayil” meaning “pierced one” (an allusion to Yeshua being pierced) is first. The word “chayil” is related to the word “challah” because it means “to be pierced.” Next came a bull that had silver and myrtle on the horns. Next, those in the Levitical choir from that district came and they would lead the Psalms of Ascent (120-134) in antiphonal style. They were followed by the worshippers. The district would depart and they would pick up other district groups, and then others until there was this massive caravan of worshippers coming up to the Temple. Once they got to the Pool of Shiloach, all these districts would send a delegation to Jerusalem saying that the people from that district had arrived. The city came out and greeted them and gifts were readied. As they arrived at the southern steps, they sang Psalm 120. At the Huldah Gates to the courtyard of the Temple, they sang Psalm 122.

The Temple Choir, in all its history, made a mistake once. When the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, they sang the wrong Psalm for the Day. Certain psalms were sung on certain days. On the first day of the week (Sunday), they sang Psalm 24. On the second (Monday), Psalm 48. On the third, Psalm 82. On the fourth, Psalm 94. On the fifth, Psalm 81. On the sixth, Psalm 93. On the seventh (Sabbath), Psalm 92. When the Temple fell, it was the Sabbath and they were to sing Psalm 92, but they sang the psalm for the fourth day (Wednesday), Psalm 94. As the Levitical choir was singing, the Romans slaughtered them. The psalm they were singing dealt with the vengeance of God, and most people believed that was why they sang it. However, in 1967 we have what is called the Six Day War. Israel was going to be attacked by the Arabs, but Israel attacked first with their air force. They took out the Arab jets as they sat on the runway in Egypt. Israel attacked the Golan Heights and won. They told King Hussein of Jordan not to enter the war, but he got pushed by Arab pressure to enter. The Arabs were telling the people that they were winning, but they weren’t. Israeli paratroopers took the Temple Mount. The Israeli’s didn’t have TV stations and so they didn’t listen to the propaganda that the Arabs were winning, but they were listening on the radio and knew that Israel was winning the war and then they heard that the Temple Mount was in Jewish hands. The day they took the Temple Mount was Wednesday, June 7, 1967. The mystery of why the last, functioning Levitical choir in the Temple sang Psalm 94 (for a Wednesday) was explained, it was a Wednesday when they got control of the Temple Mount again. Like we have said before, the psalms by the Levitical choir were sung “to the people” from God, and in 70 AD this was fulfilled for all to see. They sang about a future Wednesday when the Temple Mount would be back in Jewish hands, all according to the plan of God.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, The Temple, Understanding the New Testament

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