My article on “The Birds, the Temple and the Pilgrims” was published by Crisis Magazine on Saturday. I think you will enjoy it!


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The Bible mentions swallows and sparrows that have an envious place for nesting. They have built their nests at the altars of the Lord—in God’s very presence in the Temple.

“The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God” (Psalm 84:3).

Psalm 84 was written, in part, for the pilgrims crisscrossing Israel and Judah to arrive with rejoicing at the jubilant festivals in Jerusalem. All of their trials and difficulties of the journey will be compensated for as the arrive in the Holy City. As they trudge along, they envy the birds that continually dwell undisturbed at the altars of God.

The heading for Psalm 84 says, “A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.” They were descendants of Aaron the High Priest, through his son Kohath. They were the “guardians of the entrance” of the tabernacle and later the Temple (1 Chronicles 9:19). Other passages include them as a guild of temple singers.

So, we are not surprised that twelve of the psalms are attributed to the Sons of Korah as composers and singers for the national worship of God.

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In one passage we read that “All Judah…fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice” (2 Chronicles 20:18-19).

The average Israelite would not know about these birds nesting near the altars of God, but the Korahites, guarding the gates and entrances of the Temple and preparing and providing the music for Temple worship, would have had these birds swooping over their heads in the sacred sanctums of the House of God.

As singers, they probably noticed the calls and songs of the birds. When the birds do what God created them to do, they praise and bring glory to their creator. They joined in the praise of Almighty God as they flew through the clouds of incense…

For the whole article and its relationship to the pilgrimage journeying to the Temple, click HERE.