CHOIRS IN THE BIBLE TIMES
Singing has always been a part of worship and praise to God. When God laid the foundation of the earth, "the morning stars sang together" job 38:4,7. The great-great-grandson of Adam and Eve was given the name Mahalalel, meaning "giving praise to God by singing"-Gen.5:12. God also sings for joy - Zephaniah 3:17.
Psalms, the longest book in the bible, is a collection of hymns written by many composers. The book of psalms was used as a hymn book in bible times. Two other book in the Old Testament. Song of Solomon and Lamentation,are also collection of songs,but hymn and songs are found in many other books of the bible, from the song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-18 to the song of Moses and the lamb in Revelation 15:3-4.
From the form of the psalms, we know that many of them were written to the sung antiphonally, either by two choirs (psalm 20) or by a choir and congregation (psalm136). The organization of choir and orchestra of Levites for religious service by David and the name of their skilled choir director Chenaniah is recorded in 1 Chronicles 15:16-24. At the dedication of the temple of Solomon, all the musicians wore new "choir robe". While 120 levites played trumpets, other sang and played cymbals, harp and lyres. As the orchestra played and the choir sang. the glory of the LORD filled the temple 2Chronicles5:12-14.
After the trumpet had been built, the choir members formed a distinct group of priests. Of 38,000 Levites, David selected 4,000 for the musical service of the temple, as singers and instrumentalist, because of their skill -1 Chronicles 15:16. Among these men were 288 skilled musicians, the others being considered as students -1 Chronicles25:7-8. The temple had 2,000 singers, divided into two choirs. When the temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, many of the priest, along with other Jewish leaders, were taken to captive to Babylon. Some of those taken were choir members-psalm 137:2-4.