(Je·duʹthun) [possibly from a root meaning “laud”].
1. A Levitical musician. Apparently Jeduthun had previously been called Ethan, for prior to the Ark’s arrival in Jerusalem, “Ethan” is connected with the other musicians, Heman and Asaph, whereas afterward “Jeduthun” is in this same association. (1Ch 15:17, 19; 25:1) There is no ancestry of Jeduthun given; there is for Ethan. (1Ch 6:44-47) And there are no descendants of Ethan mentioned; there are for Jeduthun. (1Ch 9:16) Changing the name from Ethan [meaning “Enduring; Everflowing”] to Jeduthun [possibly from a root meaning “laud”] was certainly in line with the assignment he was given.—1Ch 16:41; see ETHAN No. 3.
Jeduthun and his family of musicians participated in several celebrations when “thanking and praising Jehovah” was in order (1Ch 25:3); for example, when the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem. (1Ch 16:1, 41, 42) Of the 24 divisions into which David’s reorganization separated the sanctuary musicians, the 2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th lots fell to the six sons of Jeduthun, all working under their father’s direction. (1Ch 25:1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19, 21) The sharing of these duties by Jeduthun, Asaph, and Heman meant that each of the three main branches of Levites (Merari, Gershom, and Kohath respectively) was represented among the temple musicians. (1Ch 6:31-47) All three groups praised Jehovah with music when Solomon inaugurated the temple. (2Ch 5:12, 13) Jeduthun’s descendants are mentioned during the reign of Hezekiah and even among the exiles who returned from Babylon.—2Ch 29:1, 12, 14, 15; Ne 11:17.
Three of the psalms mention Jeduthun in their superscriptions. Two of them (Ps 39, 62) read “To the director of Jeduthun” (“after the manner of [the choir of] Jeduthun,” Ro ftn on superscription of Ps 39), while the third (Ps 77) reads “To the director on Jeduthun.” (NW; Ro; “upon,” AT) In each case the composition of the psalm is attributed to someone else, the first two to David and the third to Asaph; so there is no suggestion that Jeduthun composed them, though he is elsewhere called “the visionary of the king” and it is also said that he “was prophesying with the harp.” (2Ch 35:15; 1Ch 25:1, 3) Therefore, the superscriptions of these three psalms are evidently instructions for their performance, perhaps identifying a style or even a musical instrument that was somehow associated with Jeduthun, or that he or his sons may have invented, introduced, developed, or made common through usage.