From Prof Steven Plaut in Israel – And now a word from our sponsor

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu 2

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu



Ari Bussel forwarded a fascinating piece from Steven Plaut. Mr. Plaut entitled his email “And now a word from our sponsor”. The theme is the fascinating part. I am not checking the validity of the theme but since Ari Bussel sent the forward; that works for me. Mr. Plaut shows that “Hamas” is a word in the Old Testament. Of course Steven Plaut is also referring to the Islamic terrorist organization that desires to destroy Israel, kidnap and/or kill Jews. Ari Bussel and Steven Plaut write from a Jewish perspective and are pro-Israel. Ari provides the text Hebrew and English side by side to reference the short discourse of Steven Plaut. I am placing the side-by-side Hebrew-English Scripture preceding Plaut’s forwarded article. This is just as it was sent to me.


While researching the article I discovered that Steven Plaut had this posted at Zionist Conspiracy. Steven Plaut cites in the article his thoughts are based “…on an article published by the controversial Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu”. I tried to Google that article but the closest thing I could find is a Yeranen Yaakov post entitled, “Rav Shmuel Eliyahu: “Thank Hashem for Miracles” and Explains Every חמס in Tehillim”. This is dated 7/17/14. Between Ari Bussel and Steven Plaut (and now Yeranen Yaakov) I am discovering just how ignorant I am pertaining Judaism. This self-realization is a bit disheartening because I consider myself a staunch Christian Zionist in my support for Israel and the Jewish people. At any rate the Yeranen Yaakov post is actually a brief description of Psalms in Judaic-Hebrew called “Tehillim. Then the post is linked to Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu writing in Hebrew. I have put together a Microsoft Word translation of the pdf file, but in all the copy and pasting I forgot that Hebrew is written from right to left rather than the English I am used to written from left to right. I’ll spend some time trying to piece together the translation and if I can make some sense out of it I may post.


Without further ado here is the email sent to me by Ari Bussel.


JRH 7/21/13

Please Support NCCR


From Prof Steven Plaut in Israel

Sent by Ari Bussel

Sent: 7/20/2014 9:56 AM


I knew that the word HAMAS appears in the Bible, as we just read it in the weekly portion during Operation Protective Edge.


Here are several of the references for ease of reading the below forwarded e-mail.


May the Almighty, Lord of Hosts, be walking with Israel’s soldiers to battle, and may what is foretold in Deuteronomy 20:1-4 become and continue to be fulfilled:



ד  כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם–לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם-אֹיְבֵיכֶם, לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם.

4 for the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’






Genesis 6:11, 13



יא  וַתִּשָּׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ, לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים; וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ, חָמָס.

11 And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

יב  וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְהִנֵּה נִשְׁחָתָה:  כִּי-הִשְׁחִית כָּל-בָּשָׂר אֶת-דַּרְכּוֹ, עַל-הָאָרֶץ.  {ס}

12 And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. {S}

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים לְנֹחַ, קֵץ כָּל-בָּשָׂר בָּא לְפָנַי–כִּי-מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ חָמָס, מִפְּנֵיהֶם; וְהִנְנִי מַשְׁחִיתָם, אֶת-הָאָרֶץ.

13 And God said unto Noah: ‘The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.


Psalms 7:13-18



יג  אִם-לֹא יָשׁוּב, חַרְבּוֹ יִלְטוֹשׁ;    קַשְׁתּוֹ דָרַךְ, וַיְכוֹנְנֶהָ.

13 If a man turn not, He will whet His sword, He hath bent His bow, and made it ready;

יד  וְלוֹ, הֵכִין כְּלֵי מָוֶת;    חִצָּיו, לְדֹלְקִים יִפְעָל.

14 He hath also prepared for him the weapons of death, yea, His arrows which He made sharp.

טו  הִנֵּה יְחַבֶּל-אָוֶן;    וְהָרָה עָמָל, וְיָלַד שָׁקֶר.

15 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity; yea, he conceiveth mischief, and bringeth forth falsehood.

טז  בּוֹר כָּרָה, וַיַּחְפְּרֵהוּ;    וַיִּפֹּל, בְּשַׁחַת יִפְעָל.

16 He hath digged a pit, and hollowed it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

יז  יָשׁוּב עֲמָלוֹ בְרֹאשׁוֹ;    וְעַל קָדְקֳדוֹ, חֲמָסוֹ יֵרֵד.

17 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violence shall come down upon his own pate.

יח  אוֹדֶה יְהוָה כְּצִדְקוֹ;    וַאֲזַמְּרָה, שֵׁם-יְהוָה עֶלְיוֹן.

18 I will give thanks unto the LORD according to His righteousness; and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. {P}


Psalms 11:5-6


ה  יְהוָה, צַדִּיק יִבְחָן:    וְרָשָׁע, וְאֹהֵב חָמָסשָׂנְאָה נַפְשׁוֹ.

5 The LORD trieth the righteous; but the wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth.

ו  יַמְטֵר עַל-רְשָׁעִים, פַּחִים:    אֵשׁ וְגָפְרִית, וְרוּחַ זִלְעָפוֹת–מְנָת כּוֹסָם.

6 Upon the wicked He will cause to rain coals; fire and brimstone and burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.


Psalms 18:49-50 (but the whole chapter is relevant)


מט  מְפַלְּטִי, מֵאֹיְבָי:    אַף מִן-קָמַי, תְּרוֹמְמֵנִי; מֵאִישׁ חָמָס, תַּצִּילֵנִי.

49 He delivereth me from mine enemies; yea, Thou liftest me up above them that rise up against me; Thou deliverest me from the violent man.

נ  עַל-כֵּן, אוֹדְךָ בַגּוֹיִם יְהוָה;    וּלְשִׁמְךָ אֲזַמֵּרָה.

50 Therefore I will give thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the nations, and will sing praises unto Thy name.



Psalms 25:19 (see the translation “CRUEL HATRED”)


יט  רְאֵה-אֹיְבַי כִּי-רָבּוּ;    וְשִׂנְאַת חָמָס שְׂנֵאוּנִי.

19 Consider how many are mine enemies, and the cruel hatred wherewith they hate me.


Psalms 35:12, 15, 20 (just several examples of modern-day behavior of our enemies; see the complete chapter for more verses)


י  כָּל עַצְמוֹתַי, תֹּאמַרְנָה–    יְהוָה, מִי כָמוֹךָ:
מַצִּיל עָנִי, מֵחָזָק מִמֶּנּוּ;    וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן, מִגֹּזְלוֹ.

10 All my bones shall say: ‘LORD, who is like unto Thee, {N}
who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?’

יא  יְקוּמוּן, עֵדֵי חָמָס:    אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַעְתִּי, יִשְׁאָלוּנִי.

11 Unrighteous witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I know not.

יב  יְשַׁלְּמוּנִי רָעָה, תַּחַת טוֹבָה:    שְׁכוֹל לְנַפְשִׁי.

12 They repay me evil for good; bereavement is come to my soul.




טו  וּבְצַלְעִי,    שָׂמְחוּ וְנֶאֱסָפוּ:
נֶאֶסְפוּ עָלַי נֵכִים,    וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי;
קָרְעוּ    וְלֹא-דָמּוּ.

15 But when I halt they rejoice, and gather themselves together; {N}
the abjects gather themselves together against me, and those whom I know not; {N}
they tear me, and cease not;




כ  כִּי לֹא שָׁלוֹם, יְדַבֵּרוּ:    וְעַל רִגְעֵי-אֶרֶץ–דִּבְרֵי מִרְמוֹת, יַחֲשֹׁבוּן.

20 For they speak not peace; but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.



Psalms 55:10, 24 (the enemy and division from within?)


י  בַּלַּע אֲדֹנָי, פַּלַּג לְשׁוֹנָם:    כִּי-רָאִיתִי חָמָס וְרִיב בָּעִיר.

10 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongue; for I have seen violence and strife in the city.


כד  וְאַתָּה אֱלֹהִים,    תּוֹרִדֵם לִבְאֵר שַׁחַת–
אַנְשֵׁי דָמִים וּמִרְמָה,    לֹא-יֶחֱצוּ יְמֵיהֶם;
וַאֲנִי,    אֶבְטַח-בָּךְ.

24 But Thou, O God, wilt bring them down into the nethermost pit; {N}
men of blood and deceit shall not live out half their days; {N}
but as for me, I will trust in Thee.


Psalms 72:9, 14


ט  לְפָנָיו, יִכְרְעוּ צִיִּים;    וְאֹיְבָיו, עָפָר יְלַחֵכוּ.

9 Let them that dwell in the wilderness bow before him; and his enemies lick the dust.



יד  מִתּוֹךְ וּמֵחָמָס, יִגְאַל נַפְשָׁם;    וְיֵיקַר דָּמָם בְּעֵינָיו.

14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence, and precious will their blood be in his sight;


Psalms 73:3-6 (like so many among us, in Tel Aviv and the Knesset, demonstrating for Hamas and the Gazans)


ג  כִּי-קִנֵּאתִי, בַּהוֹלְלִים;    שְׁלוֹם רְשָׁעִים אֶרְאֶה.

3 For I was envious at the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

ד  כִּי אֵין חַרְצֻבּוֹת לְמוֹתָם;    וּבָרִיא אוּלָם.

4 For there are no pangs at their death, and their body is sound.

ה  בַּעֲמַל אֱנוֹשׁ אֵינֵמוֹ;    וְעִם-אָדָם, לֹא יְנֻגָּעוּ.

5 In the trouble of man they are not; neither are they plagued like men.

ו  לָכֵן, עֲנָקַתְמוֹ גַאֲוָה;    יַעֲטָף-שִׁית, חָמָס לָמוֹ.

6 Therefore pride is as a chain about their neck; violence covereth them as a garment.


Psalms 140: which I bring in full, for its relevancy

Psalms Chapter 140 תְּהִלִּים

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ, מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד.

1 For the Leader. A Psalm of David.

ב  חַלְּצֵנִי יְהוָה, מֵאָדָם רָע;    מֵאִישׁ חֲמָסִים תִּנְצְרֵנִי.

2 Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man; preserve me from the violent man;

ג  אֲשֶׁר חָשְׁבוּ רָעוֹת בְּלֵב;    כָּל-יוֹם, יָגוּרוּ מִלְחָמוֹת.

3 Who devise evil things in their heart; every day do they stir up wars.

ד  שָׁנְנוּ לְשׁוֹנָם, כְּמוֹ-נָחָשׁ:    חֲמַת עַכְשׁוּב–תַּחַת שְׂפָתֵימוֹ סֶלָה.

4 They have sharpened their tongue like a serpent; vipers’ venom is under their lips. Selah

ה  שָׁמְרֵנִי יְהוָה, מִידֵי רָשָׁע–    מֵאִישׁ חֲמָסִים תִּנְצְרֵנִי:
אֲשֶׁר חָשְׁבוּ,    לִדְחוֹת פְּעָמָי.

5 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; {N}
who have purposed to make my steps slip.

ו  טָמְנוּ גֵאִים, פַּח לִי–    וַחֲבָלִים, פָּרְשׂוּ רֶשֶׁת לְיַד-מַעְגָּל;
מֹקְשִׁים שָׁתוּ-לִי    סֶלָה.

6 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; {N}
they have set gins for me. Selah

ז  אָמַרְתִּי לַיהוָה, אֵלִי אָתָּה;    הַאֲזִינָה יְהוָה, קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנָי.

7 I have said unto the LORD: ‘Thou art my God’; give ear, O LORD, unto the voice of my supplications.

ח  יְהוִה אֲדֹנָי, עֹז יְשׁוּעָתִי;    סַכֹּתָה לְרֹאשִׁי, בְּיוֹם נָשֶׁק.

8 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, who hast screened my head in the day of battle,

ט  אַל-תִּתֵּן יְהוָה, מַאֲוַיֵּי רָשָׁע;    זְמָמוֹ אַל-תָּפֵק, יָרוּמוּ סֶלָה.

9 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; further not his evil device, so that they exalt themselves. Selah

י  רֹאשׁ מְסִבָּי–    עֲמַל שְׂפָתֵימוֹ יכסומו (יְכַסֵּימוֹ).

10 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.

יא  ימיטו (יִמּוֹטוּ) עֲלֵיהֶם, גֶּחָלִים:    בָּאֵשׁ יַפִּלֵם; בְּמַהֲמֹרוֹת, בַּל-יָקוּמוּ.

11 Let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

יב  אִישׁ לָשׁוֹן, בַּל-יִכּוֹן בָּאָרֶץ:    אִישׁ-חָמָס רָע–יְצוּדֶנּוּ, לְמַדְחֵפֹת.

12 A slanderer shall not be established in the earth; the violent and evil man shall be hunted with thrust upon thrust.

יג  ידעת (יָדַעְתִּי)–כִּי-יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה, דִּין עָנִי:    מִשְׁפַּט, אֶבְיֹנִים.

13 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the poor, and the right of the needy.

יד  אַךְ צַדִּיקִים, יוֹדוּ לִשְׁמֶךָ;    יֵשְׁבוּ יְשָׁרִים, אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ.

14 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Thy name; the upright shall dwell in Thy presence. {P}






Ari Bussel


And now a word from our sponsor


By Steven Plaut

July 20, 2014 3:19:42 AM PDT


As so often happens these days, the best contemporary and timely commentary on current events can be found in the Bible.


The following is largely based on an article published by the controversial Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, son of the late chief rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu (and the rabbi the Far Left most loves to hate for his suggesting that people in Safed rent their apartments out to Jews and not Arabs).  But putting politics aside:


He begins by arguing that the fact that over 1000 rockets were fired into Israel with almost no casualties at all clearly represents (in his opinion) Divine intervention.   He notes that a single Hamas attack on Egyptian troops killed and injured more than did the 1000 plus rockets fired at the Jews.   He considers it a manifestation of the expression in prayer of the construction of a Succah of Peace over Israel and Jerusalem. 


He then goes on to explore the Biblical term “Hamas.”  The word Hamas appears throughout the Bible in the Hebrew text.  The first place it appears is in the story of Noah, to describe the evil of that generation.  But what exactly does the word mean?  In the authoritative Onkelos translation of Biblical text into Aramaic, Hamas is translated as “kidnapping.”  Still think the Bible is out of date?


In Genesis in the story of Noah it says that the earth was filled with Hamas kidnapping.   We know how this was fixed.


In the psalms, which are traditionally attributed to King David, the term Hamas appears 14 different times in 12 different chapters.   In Psalm 7, the behavior of the Hamas people is described.  It says that they not only attack with swords and arrows but shoot explosive fiery projectiles.   The same Psalm describes Hamas people as those who obsessively lie and as those who dig tunnels in order to cause injury to their victims.  King David writes explicitly that these tunnels will turn into the graves of the Hamas.


Chapter 11 of Psalms describes how the Hamas loves to shoot at innocent people, meaning women and children.  The Psalm predicts that fire and brimstone will rain down upon the Hamas.  Drones and choppers are not mentioned.  In Chapter 18 King David describes how to defeat Hamas enemies and mentions a bow of copper, which reminds us a bit of a Dome of Iron.  He predicts that his soul will be rescued from the Hamas.  In Chapter 25 the Hamas are described as people driven by obsessive blind hatred for Jews.  In Chapter 35 Psalms asks God for protection against the Hamas liars and false witnesses.  In Chapter 55 Psalms predicts that the Hamas barbarians will fight among themselves.  Chapter 72 of Psalms again predicts that Israel will be rescued from Hamas.  In Chapter 73 Hamas people are described as lazy bums and as parasites.


Finally in Psalm 140, Hamas is mentioned three times as evil ones even when they pretend to be seeking peace.



Edited by John R. Houk

Asaph the Musician-Prophet


John R. Houk

© July 16, 2012


I was meditating on the Psalms authored by Asaph under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and I began to wonder who he was. All I knew about Asaph is that he was in Psalms and that he had an association with King David. I began if there were more details about Asaph’s life.


Here is the Psalm that enlarged my curiosity about Asaph:


Psalm 79 NKJV


1 O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance;
Your holy temple they have defiled;
They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.
2 The dead bodies of Your servants
They have given as food for the birds of the heavens,
The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth.
3 Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem,
And there was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors,
A scorn and derision to those who are around us.


5 How long, Lord?
Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You,
And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob,
And laid waste his dwelling place.


8 Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us!
Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us,
For we have been brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation,
For the glory of Your name;
And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins,
For Your name’s sake!

10 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let there be known among the nations in our sight
The avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.

11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You;
According to the greatness of Your power
Preserve those who are appointed to die;
12 And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom
Their reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.

13 So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture,
Will give You thanks forever;
We will show forth Your praise to all generations.


So I was thinking if Asaph lived during David’s day, how in the world was Jerusalem laid waste and the Holy Temple defiled?


The answer is that Asaph served through the reigns of David and Solomon and in the beginning of Rehoboam the son of Solomon.


Asaph lived to a ripe old age and his descendants were spiritual leaders through Judah’s captivity to Babylon and Persia’s release for the return of the Jews to their homeland.


Here are some cross posts from three different websites that brings clarity to the importance of Asaph as a Musician-Prophet.


JRH 7/16/12

Please Support SlantRight 2.0 – Donations are not tax deductible but are appreciated to help with the bills.


Who was Asaph?


Written by Richard Thompson

Monday, 30 May 2005 00:00

Last Updated Monday, 01 May 2006 19:44


Have you ever been disillusioned with people? Have you ever had life just not work out the way you expected it to? Have you ever wondered why it seems the faithful suffer while the wicked prosper? Have you ever questioned God when it seemed like He wasn’t keeping His promises? If so, you will want to learn about one of the great men of faith in the Bible who faced all of those tests and asked all those questions. His name was Asaph. Most Christians do not even recognize his name. Even those who do, do not seem to recognize his importance. They probably just know he had something to do with the Psalms.


It is recognized that Asaph was David’s music director, and probably wrote much of the original, now lost, music for David’s Psalms, but much more importantly, he wrote twelve Psalms. He wrote more of the Bible than Peter, James, Jude, Jonah, Amos, Micah, Joel, Malachi, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Nahum, Haggai, or Obadiah. Interestingly enough, if we take the time to dig it out, the Bible tells more about Asaph’s life than it tells us about any other author of scripture except Moses, David, Samuel, and perhaps Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah. We know the times Asaph lived in (circa 1020 – 920 BC), from David’s reign, through Solomon’s to Rehoboam’s. We know he lived in Jerusalem. We know that he worked as the director of music at David’s Tent of Meeting and at Solomon’s Temple. We also know a great deal about his personal and family life. We also know the great historical and spiritual events which were the context of Asaph’s life. It is important to reconstruct Asaph’s life because, without understanding his life and times, it is impossible to fully comprehend the faith amidst adversity that Asaph’s Psalms reflect!


Who was Asaph? I have included the scriptural support for much of this in Appendix 1, but here I will include only a summary. Asaph was a young priest from the tribe of Levi, when David brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem in about 1000 to 995 BC. His father, Berekiah was appointed Doorkeeper of the Ark, and Asaph was so talented that David put him in charge of the music before the Ark of the Covenant. He was assisted there by his brother Zechariah. He was probably in his twenties at the time.[1] At that time the main tabernacle and the most senior priests and Levites were at Gibeon, but Asaph was in charge of the music in Jerusalem where the Ark and the King were.[2] We know that Asaph kept that position at least until the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem almost forty years later. At that time the worship services of the Tent of Meeting and the Tabernacle were consolidated in the Temple, and the Ark of the Covenant was reinstalled in its rightful place in the Holy of Holies next to the Holy Place.


Asaph served in Jerusalem for all of David’s reign, and no doubt set to music, many of the Psalms that God gave David. He was in Jerusalem when God gave David the great promise that David would have a son who would be the Messiah, and reign forever. He had to have been very close to David. He was probably afflicted by a little hero worship of David. Who wouldn’t have been? He also heard David tell the people and elders of Israel that his son Solomon was the answer to God’s promise of a son who would build God’s temple and establish a kingdom that would last forever. He saw the death of David, the accession of Solomon, and the building of the Temple. He thought he was standing on the verge of Israel’s Millenium (sic). He was on the mountaintop!


After Solomon’s dedication of the Temple, Asaph saw Israel’s “golden age” turn into something quite apart from what he expected. After a promising beginning, Solomon turned his back on God and pursued power, wealth, luxury, and human wisdom,[3] as well as worship of other gods.[4] To finance these pursuits the people were oppressed with slavery [5] and taxes.[6] Asaph saw Solomon become a wicked man who entrusted the administration of his Kingdom to other wicked men. There is good reason to believe (see Appendix 5) that during Solomon’s reign, Asaph’s brother Zechariah [7] was assassinated in the Temple by Solomon’s agents. Neither Asaph nor Zechariah would keep silent about Solomon’s wickedness. Zechariah paid the ultimate price.


After Solomon’s death, Asaph, now an (sic) very old man saw David’s kingdom torn in two by God’s decree The northern part, restless under Solomon’s punishing taxes and resentful at his wasteful luxury, rebelled and took Jeroboam as King, and the southern part, mostly the tribe of Judah, went with Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. The northern kingdom rejected the Levites and the temple. After that, the Egyptians invaded, along with Israel’s neighbors, took Jerusalem, burned and stripped the Temple, killed many of the priests, and left, mocking Israel, and Israel’s God. Since many of Asaph’s relatives served in the temple as either musicians or doorkeepers, many of them must have perished in this attack. In the winter of his years Asaph surveyed the wreckage of his hopes. The Kingdom was destroyed, the Temple was in ruins, many of his own family had been killed, and “Solomon as the Messiah” had been exposed as a fraud!


If there was ever a man who had an excuse for being disillusioned, Asaph was that man. David, his hero, who had been used mightily by God in his earlier years, had, in his last years, deceived the people, and himself, about what God had told him about Solomon. David had indicated that Solomon was the Messiah! Then Solomon, who God spoke to twice, and had greatly blessed, turned from the wisdom and grace of God to the worship of idols and a philosophy more suited to Neitsche than the son of David. Pick almost any verse in Ecclesiastes for confirmation! Asaph and his family, who had remained faithful to the truth, for a recompense, became victims of violence and murder at the hands of the Solomon and the Egyptians.


Yet, through it all, Asaph finds God’s faithfulness a strong tower of hope. God reveals to Asaph the ultimate truth of what He had promised. It was not what man’s ignorance and David’s impatience sought, but what God’s wisdom provided. And it was better! Oh, so much better! It was not Solomon! It was not Solomon’s destroyed kingdom and burned Temple! And not Solomon’s worldly despairing wisdom! It was not Solomon’s corrupting and corruptible riches! It was Jesus Christ the “Solomon” (Prince of Peace) who was to come! It was His eternal Kingdom, His perfect wisdom, His true riches, and the Temple of His body!


As you read the Psalms of Asaph you will see how much his Psalms speak to the events of his life and times. Psalm 73 reflects Asaph’s bitterness at the murder of his brother. It also gives us a much needed commentary on what was happening in Israel in the years between the dedication of the Temple and the end of Solomon’s reign. In the narration in Kings and Chronicles this period is almost a blank! Psalm 82 and 75 reflects Asaph’s disillusionment with Solomon and his realization that Solomon was not the Prince of Peace that would come. Psalms 76 and 80 reflect Asaph’s pain during the division of Solomon’s kingdom when Rehoboam took Judah and Jeroboam took Ephraim and nine other tribes. Psalms 74 and 79 reflect Asaph’s distress at the invasion of Shishak the king of Egypt. Asaph was an old man of at least a hundred years old when he wrote many of his Psalms. (see also Appendix 8)


I have grouped the Psalms of Asaph into six categories. I have also added some commentary on them that might be useful. Following that are Appendixes 1-8 which I document some of my conclusions. I have put them at the end of the paper to keep the body of it from being too dry and academic. I wanted, however to provide some answers for those who might ask, “Where in the world did he get that!”

With that introduction, I give you the Psalms of Asaph.




[1] Though in the beginning under Moses the age of Levites who served was 30 to 50 years, under David it was 20. Numbers 4:1-3 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: “Take a census of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting. 1 Chronicles 23:24 These were the descendants of Levi by their families–the heads of families as they were registered under their names and counted individually, that is, the workers twenty years old or more who served in the temple of the LORD. If Asaph’s father was young enough to serve as doorkeeper (under 50), it is likely that that asaph was under 30, but at least 20.


[2] For the first thirty years, Asaph was technically under Heman, but Heman ministered at the tabernacle in Gibeon, while Asaph ministered at the tent of meeting where the Ark of the Covenant was located on Mount Zion next door to David’s palace in Jerusalem.


[3] Ecclesiastes 1:17-18 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.


Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly–my mind still guiding me with wisdom.


Ecclesiastes 2:4 I undertook great projects:


Ecclesiastes 2:7a I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house.


Ecclesiastes 2:7b I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.


Ecclesiastes 2:8a I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces.


Ecclesiastes 2:8b I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well–the delights of the heart of man.


[4] 1 Kings 11:5-10 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done. On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command.


[5] 1 Kings 9:15 -21


[6] 1 Kings 5:13,12:4


[7] He was the man Jesus referred to in Matthew 23:32-35 and Luke 11:50-51. It is also possible that he was the man who wrote Psalms 94.




Who was Asaph?


Posted by Terry Enns

July 1, 2012

Words of Grace


This morning we will read the last of the Psalms attributed to Asaph (Ps. 83).  The superscriptions indicate that he also wrote Psalms 50 and 73-83.  So who was this man who wrote a dozen of the collected songs in the Israelite hymn book?


From 1 Chron. 16:4-5, we know that he was a leading Levite musician and cymbalist.  Part of the duties of the Levites was to write and lead the music in corporate worship.  Asaph apparently was a significant man among these musicians.


While no one passage offers a full explanation of who he is (the inscriptions in his psalms offer nothing more than his name, for instance), the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible offers this summary of his life:


Four of Asaph’s sons conducted under him and participated in the dedication of the Temple (2 Chron 5:12). The “sons of Asaph” are mentioned as choristers in the Temple (1 Chron 25:1; 2 Chron 20:14). The office seems to have been hereditary (1 Chron 25:1, 2). From all indications, in addition to leading the singing and sounding the cymbals before the Ark, Asaph headed a school of music, where his children are said to number 148 (Neh 7:44). The sons of Asaph do not appear to be very prominent before the Exile. Some 128 of his family returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:41) and served in Zerubbabel’s temple (Ezra 3:10). The sons of Asaph of later times formed a guild and were prominent in the revivals of the nation’s faith. They shared the ministry of music with the sons of Korah in the later period of OT history.




My name is Terry Enns and I have served as the pastor of Grace Bible Church in Granbury, Texas since August, 1990. My wife, Raye Jeanne, and I were married in May, 1987 and we have two daughters, Elizabeth and Emily.


I am a graduate of the University of North Florida (B.A.) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.). My father, Paul Enns, is also a graduate of DTS. READ MORE





Holman Bible Dictionary


(ay’ ssaf) Personal name meaning, “he collected.” 1. Father of court official under King Hezekiah (715-686 B.C.), who in sadness reported the threats of Assyria to the king (2 Kings 18:1). 2. Levite musician David appointed to serve in the tabernacle until the Temple was completed (1 Chronicles 6:39). Asaph was the father of the clan of Temple musicians who served through the history of the Temple. A member of the clan was among the first to return from Exile in 537 B.C. (1 Chronicles 9:15). Part of the musical responsibility included sounding the cymbal (1 Chronicles 15:19). David established the tradition of delivering psalms to Asaph for the Temple singers to sing (1 Chronicles 16:7). Asaph and the singers ministered daily (1 Chronicles 16:37). Their musical service could be called “prophesying” (1 Chronicles 25:1-7). Descendants of Asaph delivered prophetic messages under God’s Spirit (2 Chronicles 20:14-19). Later generations sang the songs of Asaph “the seer” (2 Chronicles 29:30). Psalms 50:1, Psalms 73-83 are titled “Psalms of Asaph” or similar titles. This may refer to authorship, the singers who used the Psalms in worship, or to a special collection of Psalms. See Psalms 73-83. (Bold Emphasis Mine)


Excerpt on Asaph



Asaph ministered at the tabernacle as a Levite. When David recaptured the ark of the covenant and returned it to Jerusalem, Asaph was appointed by the other Levites “to raise sounds of joy” on the cymbals (1 Chron. 15:16). Later on, Asaph was elevated from cymbal player to chief musician. David commissioned him to be among those who ministered and worshiped regularly in the tent of meeting, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD (1 Chron. 16:5).


When David assembled other musicians for worship in the tent of meeting, he chose some who were the “sons of Asaph.” The “sons of Asaph” could refer to Asaph’s blood relatives or those he was mentoring. These “sons” were to serve the Lord by prophesying with lyres, harps and cymbals (1 Chron. 25:1-2).


Asaph and his sons served so faithfully under David that Solomon appointed them to serve at the dedication of the temple. It was there that “the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD.” And they sang, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (2 Chron. 5:13). Side-by-side, Asaph faithfully taught, instructed, and ministered with his sons and others, who in turn did the same to their sons, who in turn taught their sons, and on down the line for generations.


About 100 years later, king Jehoshaphat prayed for protection against the invading armies and received a prophetic word given by Jahaziel, one of the sons of Asaph (2 Chron. 20:14). 140 years after that, during when Hezekiah was king, the sons of Asaph were among the Levites who cleansed and consecrated the temple so worship to God could be restored. (2 Chron. 29:12-15)


80 years later, after the great apostasy and the Book of the Law was found, King Josiah wanted to celebrate Passover again. The singers turned out to be descendents of Asaph (2 Chron. 35:15).


When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem from their captivity in Babylon, nearly 400 years after the dedication of the temple, Ezra records that numbered the exiles included 148 “singers: the sons of Aspah (sic).”  And when the foundation of the temple was laid, once again it was the sons of Asaph who led the worship (Neh. 7:44; 11:17).


Asaph and his descendents were purposeful and intentional in passing on the practice and understanding of musical worship to future generations. And their focus was unmistakeable (sic): “God is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.” They took seriously the command to proclaim that truth to coming generations.


How seriously do we take the command to tell the coming generations what we know of God and worshiping God?


… (The Legacy of Asaph – Learning to Sing in the Same Room; by Bob Kauflin; 9/3/09; Worship Matters)

%d bloggers like this: