Who Is Asaph in The Bible? Asaph’s Life

By Charalampos •  Updated: 03/30/23 •  6 min read

People who have read the Old Testament have probably heard the name Asaph. But who was this man and what parts of the Old Testament did he write? In this article, we’ll explore everything we know about Asaph.

Who is Asaph?

Asaph is a name that appears several times in the Bible, particularly in the book of Psalms.

He was a Levite and one of the chief musicians in the temple during the reigns of King David and his son Solomon. Asaph was responsible for leading the choir in the worship of God and composing psalms that were sung during the temple services.

He was a very honorable man at that time. Asaph was not only a psalmist, but also occupied an equal position with David.

«King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped.» (2 Chronicles 29:30)

«For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.» (Nehemiah 12:46)

Psalms of Asaph

Psalms of Asaph

Asaph’s name also appears in several places in the book of Psalms, including Psalms 50 and 73-83.

In these psalms, Asaph is called the author or composer. Asaph’s psalms often express a deep sense of the justice and righteousness of God and the need for his people to trust in Him.

He wrote many psalms, for example, twelve psalms are attributed to Him, of which the 49th is in the second book, and the remaining 72-82 form the main foundation of the third.

One of Asaph’s most well-known psalms is Psalm 50, which begins with the words, “The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets”.

In this psalm, Asaph describes God’s judgment on his people and their need to offer true sacrifices of thanksgiving and to trust in God rather than in their own strength or wealth.

In Psalm 73, Asaph writes about the question of why the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous suffer.

He writes, “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments” (Psalm 73:13-14).

In Psalm 82, Asaph calls upon God to judge the wicked rulers and judges who oppress the poor people.

He writes, “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:2-4). However, in the end, Asaph comes to the conclusion that God is just and that the wicked ones will eventually face judgment.

Life of Asaph

Life of Asaph

Asaph’s psalms reflect his deep faith in God and his belief that God is just and righteous. They also demonstrate his skill as a musician and composer.

As the chief musician in the temple, Asaph would have played a significant role in leading the people of Israel in worshiping God.

Asaph’s Sons

Apart from his role as a musician and composer, Asaph also had two sons named Jeduthun and Heman who were also musicians in the temple. Asaph and his descendants served in the temple for many generations.

«David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals.» (1 Chronicles 25:1) Thus, his sons also held important positions with their father.

Asaph had many descendants, for example, in a list of the men who performed this service, many of his descendants are mentioned:

«From the sons of Asaph, there were Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asarelah. They worked under the direction of their father, Asaph, who proclaimed God’s messages by the king’s orders» (1 Chronicles 25: 2) It can be assumed that Asaph also had great respect in his family since he had so many relatives to help him.

Asaph Helped King Hezekiah

In 2 Chronicles 29, Asaph is described as one of the Levites who helped King Hezekiah to restore temple worship after it had been neglected during the reign of his father Ahaz.

Asaph and his fellow Levites purified the temple, repaired the instruments, and offered sacrifices to God.

Being A Composer

Asaph’s role as a composer is mentioned in several places in the Bible. For example, 1 Chronicles 16, describes the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Asaph is mentioned as one of the priests who played instruments and offered sacrifices before the Ark.

The chapter also includes a psalm of thanksgiving composed by David, which Asaph and his fellow Levites would have sung during the worship service.

Asaph’s life and work remind us of the important role that worship plays in our spiritual lives. Through his psalms and his leadership in the temple, Asaph helped the people of Israel to connect with God and to express their faith in powerful ways. Today, we can still learn from his works and worship to deepen our own relationship with God.

Final Thoughts

it can be concluded that Asaph was a Levite and one of the chief musicians in the temple during the reigns of King David and his son Solomon.

He is best known for his 12 psalms, which express his deep faith in God and his belief in God’s justice and righteousness.

His name is mentioned many times in the Old Testament, we can learn about his sons, who also worshipped God, as well as about his important role in the history of the Israeli people.

Asaph’s legacy as a musician and composer has had a great impact on the worship of God in Christianity.

The influence of Asaph’s music and psalms can still be seen today in Christian traditions. The psalms which he wrote are part of the Old Testament and are read and sung in Orthodox churches in worship services.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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