Were only Levites allowed to use instruments in worship?


Dear sir,

Please help me resolve a question regarding the use of instrumental music in worship by Christians. Although it is not prohibited specifically, the fact that God specified singing ought to warrant its prohibition through the principle of "silence of the Scriptures" as indicated by Hebrews 7:14.

The problem is that, under the old Covenant, God specified the use of instruments in worship to be employed by the Levites. That should mean that worshiping God with instruments by anyone not a Levite was not authorized. Right? Well, David was of the tribe of Judah. He not only worshiped God with instruments himself, but he commanded through the Psalms all to do the same.

This presents a potential problem for Christians who are adamantly opposed to their use (it appears to me), if the Greek does not necessarily (absolutely and without question) prohibit accompaniment with instruments.

Thank you in advance for helping me see through this quandary.


Psalms 150 does not restrict the use of instruments to just the tribe of Levi; therefore, the argument falls apart.

Thank you for your quick response. Absolutely. Psalms 150 is one of many that seem to be instructions for members of other tribes as well. I was referring to what is stated in 2 Chron.29:25 where the commandment of the Lord was for the Levites to play the instruments. Would that not mean anyone else using instruments was unauthorized usage?

No, because more general commands also exist.

For example, there is a command for elders to pray for the sick, that does not mean that only elders can pray for the sick. It only means they are required to do so. Another example is that an elder is not to be soon angered, but that again doesn't mean that only elders must control their temper.

Levites were required to play instruments during certain worship ceremonies. Other passages state more generally that instruments were used under the Old Law for worship. Examples, such as David, show that people in other tribes also played instruments. Therefore, there wasn't a restriction.

The instructions for worship at the temple were specific for that particular assembly. Levitical musicians were not required at other times. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

I think we are going to really have to get our ducks in a row because more and more churches are leaving the old paths to adapt to the culture, all in the name of evangelism. I am so glad I found your website as I searched for a good answer to what at first appeared to be a weakness to our "silence of the Scriptures" argument. You have helped me.

God bless you.