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The Psalms of Asaph (לְאָסָף) are the twelve psalms numbered 50 and 73 – 83 of the Psalter. They were composed in the northern territories of Israel during Biblical times. They underwent some redaction after 722 BC, but appear to have been intact by the post-exilic period. The origin and identity of the person of Asaph is ambiguous, and it is difficult to know whether or not there was an identifiable progenitor for this family name. The Asaphite priests had a pre-exilic role to provide musically-based or induced prophecy, and a post-exilic role singing praise to God.

Identity of Asaph

The genealogical tables of the Books of Chronicles cite the original Asaph as the son of Berechiah ( ). According to the Chroniclers, the sons of Asaph, Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah, were assigned by David to prophesy "to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals" ( ). In the post-exilic period, the Ezra/Nehemiah writings cite 148 "...singers: the sons of Asaph..." among the returnees to Persianmarker Yehudmarker ), although gives the number as 128.


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