(ay' ssaf) Personal name meaning, “he collected.” 1. Father of court official under King Hezekiah (715-686 B.C.), who in sadness reported the threats of Assyria to the king (2 Kings 18:1). 2. Levite musician David appointed to serve in the tabernacle until the Temple was completed (1 Chronicles 6:39). Asaph was the father of the clan of Temple musicians who served through the history of the Temple. A member of the clan was among the first to return from Exile in 537 B.C. (1 Chronicles 9:15). Part of the musical responsibility included sounding the cymbal (1 Chronicles 15:19). David established the tradition of delivering psalms to Asaph for the Temple singers to sing (1 Chronicles 16:7). Asaph and the singers ministered daily (1 Chronicles 16:37). Their musical service could be called “prophesying” (1 Chronicles 25:1-7). Descendants of Asaph delivered prophetic messages under God's Spirit (2 Chronicles 20:14-19). Later generations sang the songs of Asaph “the seer” (2 Chronicles 29:30).
Psalms 73-83 are titled “Psalms of Asaph” or similar titles. This may refer to authorship, the singers who used the Psalms in worship, or to a special collection of Psalms. See Psalms 73-83.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'ASAPH'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".