Did singers lead all of Israel’s armies into battle?

Psalm 1 in 1628 printing with tune, metrical v...

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Question: I’m trying to do some research into a concept that came to me several years ago concerning the singers and musicians leading the army of Israel into battle. I’m not coming up with much in the way of examples except for one in Psalm 68. For some reason, I had it in my head that they always led the army of Israel into battle. Am I wrong and if not where can I read about it?

Answer: Great question! It seems to me that this was not the normal way Israel did battle. The reason I say that is that in 2 Chronicles 20:21 Jehoshaphat, after receiving a word from the Lord about a battle against Moab and Ammon, appoints singers to precede the army. It seems this was an unusual thing to do given the circumstances. One commentator says, “The report of an army going into battle singing the praises of God is unique in the Bible.” The singers in the procession of Psalm 68 are actually singing of the victory already accomplished. The victorious king is marching back into the city with his victorious army and a host of captives from the defeated army.

The thing we learn from this account of Jehoshaphat is that when we put our trust in God to fight our battles it is only appropriate to praise Him, even before the outcome of the battle is determined, because we are demonstrating our trust in Him by doing so.

Randall Johnson

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