“Here are the men who served, together with their sons: From the Kohathites: Heman, the musician, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, son of Elkanah . . ..” 1 Chronicles 6:33-34 (NIV)
When reading the Bible there is a temptation to pass quickly through the seemingly endless lists of genealogies. But contained therein, as with any genealogy, are clues to discovering hidden treasures of historical significance if one is willing to dig deeper to find out more.
In reading through the first book of Chronicles this week I came across one list of “son of’s” that caught my attention. I had never noticed before that the Prophet Samuel, who ledIsrael as its last judge and ultimately ended up anointing David as the King of Israel, had a grandson named Heman who was a musician. That piqued my curiosity and so I began to poke around in the cross references to see if I could find out more about this Heman.
What I discovered about Heman is that he was a real “He Man” and someone every man should want to emulate. His name, Heman, means faithful and his life was marked by that very trait. He was an amazingly multi-talented man gifted not only musically, but also as a prophet and a leader in David’s kingdom. In addition he was a man richly blessed by God as a father and he passed on to his sons his passion and skills in serving God. We are told that some of them followed in his footsteps in “the ministry of prophesying accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals.” (1 Chronicles 25:1) Heman is one of the few men in the Bible who exercised authority and influence concurrently in both a priestly and prophetic realms while also serving in an official governmental capacity answerable directly to the king.
As a very talented musician, proficient with both percussion and stringed instruments, Heman was also a priest as a descendent of Aaron. And in addition to possessing outstanding leadership qualities he was a man whom God’s hand was obviously upon. (1 Chronicles 25:5) David therefore appointed him and Asaph to be in charge of all the worship in the tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant resided. (1Chronicles6:31-32) In that Tent of Meeting, which served as the center ofIsrael’s worship until Solomon built the temple, rotating music teams under Heman and Asaph’s supervision provided praise to God 24/7.
If that were not enough, Heman, like his grandfather Samuel, was also a “seer” or prophet. In fact, that gifting was so remarkable that David appointed him as his official seer. In that role Heman related directly to David, served as his personal counselor and had his ear whenever the Lord would reveal things to him. (1 Chronicles 25:5-6)