Singers In The Bible

This article will discuss the singers mentioned in the Bible, including those who entertained for King Solomon, those who served in the temple in Jerusalem and those who sang at other events.

Singing in the Bible signifies freedom, justice and redemption. When we consider all that this means, as well as the cultural differences between ancient times and modern times, it’s amazing that a people group renowned for musical talent still exists today.

Biblical singers were popular composers and performers, who were also well known for their stunning looks and unique voices. Singers such as Miriam, Deborah, Chloe and Anna stood out as famous singers in the Bible because they performed songs to God’s glory.

The Bible includes many people who somehow used their voices to minister to God, others, or just themselves. They sang songs of sorrow or rejoicing (Genesis 4:21-22). They sang songs of worship to God (Exodus 15:1-3; Psalm 29:3-4). They instructed others in song (Psalm 32:2; Proverbs 14:7; Ecclesiastes 12:8). They were even named for the songs they sang (Numbers 21:17).

Singers In The Bible

Since the Bible really does not say much at all about music ministers, it is difficult to arrive at an explicitly biblical position on women music ministers / worship leaders. After the exodus, Miriam functioned in at least one instance as somewhat of a worship leader (Exodus 15:20-21). At the Tabernacle, male Levites seem to be the ones who led in worship (Numbers 8:25-26; 1 Chronicles 9:33). In Judges 5, Deborah and Barak led the Israelites in a song. Second Samuel 19:35 and Second Chronicles 35:25 mention “singing men and women” (see also Ecclesiastes 2:8).

David appointed men from among the Levites (1 Chronicles 15:16-24), who were skilled singers and used brass cymbals, harps, trumpets, and other instruments to accompany the singing. First Chronicles 5:12-13 gives a description of the Levites who led the music at the dedication of Solomon’s temple, and they were all men. In the days of the rebuilding of the Temple, the sons of the Levites were appointed to lead the music in the Temple service (Ezra 3:10; Nehemiah 12:24). Psalm 68:25 says, “The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.” The women were participating in, but not leading, the worship.

The New Testament contains no specific instructions or examples of how worship was, or should be, practiced in the Christian church. The New Testament nowhere speaks positively or negatively regarding female music ministers / worship leaders. Some point to 1 Timothy 2:12, that a woman is not to teach or take authority over a man, as a prohibition against women leading men in worship. However, this text is better understood as focusing on the pastoral role of shepherding/teaching than on other forms of leadership. Further, it is questionable whether leading worship involves any “authority” that would violate 1 Timothy 2:12. In what sense does a worship leader have authority over the worshipers? Could a woman lead with an instrument, but just not with her voice? Does not a woman playing piano/organ in some sense result in her “leading” the worship?

In summary, there is nothing explicit in Scripture that would forbid women from serving in the role of worship leader. Many women are undeniably very gifted/skilled in worship, whether by voice or instrument. These gifts most definitely should not be ignored or neglected: “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (Ephesians 5:19 ESV).

Singers In The Bible

1 Chronicles 15:16 ESV / 13 helpful votes 

David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.

Hebrews 2:12 ESV / 8 helpful votes 

Saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

Ephesians 5:19 ESV / 8 helpful votes 

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

Psalm 104:33 ESV / 8 helpful votes 

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

Colossians 3:16 ESV / 7 helpful votes 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Daniel 3:5 ESV / 7 helpful votes 

That when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

Psalm 22:3 ESV / 7 helpful votes 

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

2 Chronicles 20:22 ESV / 7 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.

Hebrews 13:15 ESV / 6 helpful votes 

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Leave a Reply