Who am I?
My name is Gary Webb. In the past, I have had the privilege of serving in number of different pastoral roles. Today, I live with my wife, Kelanie, in Jacksonville, Florida. I currently have the honor of serving as the “Steward of Ministry” at Christian Healing Ministries here in Jacksonville..
(The ideas expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect any particular ministry or church).
Who is Kenaniah?
There are actually two men in Scripture who bear this name. There is the Kenaniah who, along with his sons, were made officials and judges over Israel in 1 Chronicles 26:29. Then there is the Kenaniah who appears in David’s list of leading Levites. This Kenaniah is only mentioned twice in Scripture, but these two brief glimpses give us enough information to form a faint outline of the function and giftedness of this unique leader in Israel’s worship history.
Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it. – 1 Chronicles 15:22 (NIV)
Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the musicians, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. – 1 Chronicles 15:27 (NIV)
Verse 27 makes it pretty clear that this individual had a leadership role in the singing culture of Israel’s musical Levites. Verse 22 provides us with a little more mystery. The core of this mystery stems from the Hebrew noun “maśśā.” This is the term in verse 22 that the NIV translates as “singing.” While the NIV makes a good choice here, there is more to “maśśā” than just simple singing. In other places in scripture, this term is used to speak of “burdens,” “loads,” or “lifting” (see Exodus 23:5, Numbers 4:27, 2 Chronicles 35:3). This has led some to believe that Kenaniah was skillful and in charge of lifting up or carrying the Ark of the Covenant. This is a possibility, but the context of this verse and verse 27 seems to be pointing to something else. Many believe that Kenaniah was simply skillful at lifting up his voice in song. Others however have postulated that the work of Kenaniah not only had to do with simple song, but also the delivery of prophetic oracles (see the use of “maśśā” in 2 Chronicles 24:27). Music in the days of David and most of the Old Testament was not seen solely as temporal art. Music had an intrinsic connection with the unseen. Many of the early seers and prophets had significant connections to music (1 Samuel 10:5, 2 Kings 3:15, 1 Chronicles 25:3) and the essence of the Psalms certainly had prophetic bent to their nature and delivery. Therefore, it is quite possible that Kenaniah was in charge of and an instructed in carrying the burden of prophetic utterance put to song. In other words, he was not only in charge of pitch and time, but delivering the beautiful stream of praise and revelation in the midst of worship.
Many of us treat our lives as one who plays a temporal song. We try to hit the right notes and stay in rhythm, but our sense of the Holy Other is weak or vague at best. I believe God is longing to awaken our awareness of his presence in our times in Scripture, our times in worship and our times of growth and development as disciples of Jesus. This is the one of the major flames in my heart and why I have chosen this unique name for a blog. May He bless us as we learn, worship, and grow together.