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. (1 Chron. 15:17, 19; 25:1) There is no ancestry of Jeduthun given; there is for Ethan. (1 Chron. 6:44-47) And there are no descendants of Ethan mentioned; there are for Jeduthun. (1 Chron. 9:16) Changing the name from Ethan [meaning “long-lived, permanent, ever-flowing”] to Jeduthun [meaning “praiser”] was certainly in line with the assignment he was given.—1 Chron. 16:41; see ETHAN No. 3.
Jeduthun and his family of musicians participated in several celebrations when “thanking and praising Jehovah” was in order (1 Chron. 25:3); for example, when the ark of the covenant was brought to Jerusalem. (1 Chron. 16:1, 41, 42) Of the twenty-four divisions into which David’s reorganization separated the sanctuary musicians, the second, fourth, eighth, tenth, twelfth and fourteenth lots fell to the six sons of Jeduthun, all working under their father’s direction. (1 Chron. 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. (1 Chron. 6:31-47) All three groups praised Jehovah with music when Solomon inaugurated the temple. (2 Chron. 5:12, 13) Jeduthun’s descendants are mentioned during the reign of Hezekiah and even among the exiles who returned from Babylonian captivity.—2 Chron. 29:1, 12, 14, 15; Neh. 11:17.
Three of the psalms mention Jeduthun in their superscriptions. Two of them (39, 62) read “To the director of Jeduthun” (“after the manner of [the choir of] Jeduthun,” Ro, ftn. on superscription of Psalm 39), while the third (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.” (2 Chron. 35:15; 1 Chron. 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.