Tanak Foundations- Concepts in Psalms 49-50

Psa 49.1-20 is another psalm written by the sons of Korah. They recognized that monetary greed is the root of evil and in their final psalm they talk about the relationship between man’s material possessions and man’s spiritual mission and the true meaning of life. It also teaches about faith in a future life and that is why it is placed after the preceding psalm that ends, “He will guide us in this world and the next.” The heading reads, “For the Conductor, by the sons of Korah, a Song.”

Psa 49.1-4 is an introduction and it begins, “Hear this (wisdom) all peoples (everyone relying on money) give ear (listen) all inhabitants of decaying earth, both sons of Adam (lowly) and sons of man (Ish in Hebrew and denotes all the great men-Isa 2.9). The psalmist is going to speak wise sayings and the meditations of his heart and it will be insightful.

He will incline his ear to a parable and express (solve) his riddle (a dark saying) on the harp (kinor). The harp is synonymous with the soul in Prov 20.27. The more God plucked David’s heart with affliction the more beautiful his songs were. The soul is stimulated in the same way as a harp. Mark 5.1 says that Yeshua and the others “came to the other side of the sea.” The Sea of Galilee is shaped like a harp and Yeshua did much teaching there. The Sea of Galilee is also called “Kinneret” from the Hebrew “kinor” meaning harp, and there was a town by that name (Josh 19.35; Num 34.11; Deut 3.17. It was changed to “Gennesaret” in Luke 5.1 and Yeshua ministered there (Matt 14.34; Mark 6.53). The harp is the only instrument that can be played by “the wind” (ruach). In the same way, our hearts are “plucked” by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (see Psa 33.2 notes). That is why Yeshua used the setting of the sea that is shaped like a harp for many of his teachings (v 1-4).

Psa 49.5-9 gives us the things money cannot buy, the righteous have no fear of the day of evil like the wicked (v 5). Those who trust in their wealth cannot save themselves or redeem anyone, and they cannot redeem themselves from sin and death (v 6-7). The redemption of the soul is “costly” (impossible) by a rich man, but not with God (1 Pet 1.18; 1 Tim 2.6). The rich shouldn’t even try (v 8). Though a rich person should live a long time (“a thousand years twice”-Ecc 6.6), and not see the pit of corruption, he still couldn’t redeem his brother (v 9).

Psa 49.10-12 says that he sees wise men die, along with the foolish and stupid, so this should not convince the rich man that he can’t redeem anyone (v 10). They devise plans so their estates last forever, and they can call land after themselves, like Egypt is “Mizraim” in Hebrew (a person) and Ethiopia is “Cush” (after a person). Alexandria is named after Alexander the Great. It is futile for men to immortalize himself and his memory.

There is a poem by the English poet Percy Shelley that illustrates this verse called “Ozymandias.” It talks about the inevitable decline of kings, princes, rulers and nobles who have a tendency to overstate their greatness. The poem paraphrases an inscription at the base of a statue that said, “King of Kings am I, Ozymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works.” Ozymandias means ‘tyrant” and is the Greek name for Ramses II. The poem reads as follows, “I met a traveler from an antique land who said, ‘Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, tell that its sculptor well those passions read which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, the hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; and on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; look on my works, ye mighty ang despair!’ Nothing besides remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away.” This poem illustrates the truth the psalmist is trying to convey in this psalm.

Psa 49.13-15 says that the foolish follow their ways because they think it is the right way, and so do those who follow them (v 13). Like sheep they will die and give no thought to their fate. Death will be their shepherd (rule over them). But the righteous will rule over them when the “sun of righteousness” calls them in the resurrection, and their body will be for Sheol (grave) to consume (v 14). God will redeem us from death because he trusts (putting his faith to action) in the Lord (v 15).

Psa 49.16-20 tells us that we should apply the wisdom that the psalmist is giving. Don’t be afraid when a man grows rich and increases his house (v 16), he can’t take it with him. When he perishes his glory will not go with him (v 17). While he was alive he congratulates himself and flatterers came and made the rich man’s complacency even worse (v 18). He shall go to the wicked in Gehenna and they shall never see the light of eternal glory in the resurrection of the righteous, or what is called the “first resurrection” (v 19). man was created in the image of God and has potential in the Lord, but in his pursuit of wealth he is oblivious to this glory and does not understand it. He is still like the beats that perish or silenced animals (dead ones) because they don’t know God either (Isa 1.3). He has neglected his mission (v 20).

Psa 50.1-23 tells us that God instructs man through judgment, in the true nature of worship, exposing hypocrisy and encouraging the righteous. The heading reads, A Psalm of Asaph.” It is the first of his psalms and he was a singer and musician in David and Solomon’s day (1 Chr 15.17-19, 16.5-7, 25.6). He wrote eleven more psalms (73-83) and his name means “gatherer.”

Psa 50.1-6 begins with three names of God. The “mighty one (El), God (Elohim), the Lord (Yehovah) has spoken (issued a call) to all mankind to serve him” (v 1). He comes out of Mount Tzion (mark) for judgment (Isa 2.2-4, Mic 4.1-3). A fiery wrath will come from him and disperse justice in the earth, and he starts with those around him (Psa 89.8; 1 Pet 4.17) and closest to him (v 2-3). He calls the heavens (angels) and the kings of the earth to avenge his people (Deut 32.36, 43). Israel will be gathered to him (return from exile, etc), those who made a covenant with him at Sinai (Exo 19.5-6, 24.1-8). Only heaven can relate to God’s righteousness and he alone is the judge (v 4-6).

In Psa 50.7-15 he begins by addressing Israel and testifies against them. He does not reprove the their external korbanot (v 7-8) or any animal in worship. Every animal belongs to God that exists in the world (Psa 24.1; Matt 6.26). But he does say that along with the external worship they must have the right heart and attitude, faith, repentance and love. He wanted them to pay their vows and them call upon Yehovah in the “day of trouble” and he will rescue them and they will honor him (v 9-15).

The idea in these verses are not a new one. Isa 1.1-31 and Psa 51.19 talks about the same thing. The idea is this. The sacrificial system would appear brutal unless it is administered in an almost perfect religious environment. The people were missing the point. It is not the keeping of the Torah ceremonies that was the issue, but what they were putting into it. God looks at our desire to keep the Torah, not on our ability to keep every point of it perfectly. But the people in these verses did not have the heart, the essence, of what the commandment was even there for. The issue is, the mundane performance of the Torah commands that were void of their deeper concerns of love, mercy, justice and kindness towards God and others was not what God required. Yehovah required the korbanot along with a contrite heart. Without that, the sacrifices were a waste of time (v 14-15).

Psa 50.16-21 tells us that Yehovah rebukes the wicked (rasha) and those who disobey the Torah, “What right have you to tell of my statutes (Torah)?” They were unworthy to use the Torah because it had no effect on them. A scholar who has outward piety but fails to practice is a hypocrite. They fear man rather than God. The Torah has no personal effect on their desires (heart). They are only on his lips (v 16). Their hypocrisy can be seen because they hate discipline (the Torah boundaries and limitations. They say “I am free from the Law”) and they sin against the eighth (pleased with a thief), seventh (associate with adulterers) and ninth (bear false witness) commandments (v 17-20). He gave them time to repent (“I kept silence”) and they thought he was unaware of their concealed crimes, but God will indict them before their very eyes (v 21).

Psa 50.22-23 says that he wants them to understand the clear meaning of this rebuke, lest he “tear you in pieces” like a lion with none to deliver them (v 22). He who offers a korban honors Yehovah and to him who “orders his way aright” shall see the salvation of God. This is the true measure of the heart. There is an extra Hebrew letter “nun” (“n” sound) in the word “yechabdani” (glorifies, root is “kivod”) and this means that a thanksgiving sacrifice honors God twice. The letter “nun” in Hebrew means “continued life and activity.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 46-48

Psa 46.1-11 is another psalm by the sons of Korah. Some scholars believe it was written after the death of their father and they were saved. This psalm is also prophetic of when Israel would be threatened by armies and earthly desolations. The heading reads, “For the Conductor. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamot, a song.” The “Alamot” is a musical instrument in the Temple (1 Chr 15.20). The word means “virgins” and is related to “almah” (virgin, young maiden-Isa 7.14)). It is beleived that this instrument gave high “maiden-like” pleasant tones.

Psa 46.1-3 begins like many other psalms, with a crisis in the life of the author. God protects (is a refuge) and is a very present help (“ezra”) in “distresses” (plural). This is an allusion to the day of the Lord when Israel will be in distress (v1). As a result, that knowledge will cast out all fear even if the earth should change. Isa 51.6 says that there will be a cataclysmic day in the future, similar to 2 Pet 3.10-12. The heavens will “vanish” like smoke and the earth will “wear out like a garment.” The “mountains” (kingdoms) will slide into the heart of the sea of global war (v 2). Its “waters” of unconverted humanity (ISa 57.20) will roar (in defeat) and foam. But the righteous will glory (literally “pride”) when God displays his might as described in verse 2. Again we have ‘Selah” meaning “to pause and think about what was just said, to prostrate (v 3).

Psa 46.4-7 begins by saying that “there is a river” (Torah is a channel of truth-Ezek 47.1-12; Isa 12.3; Rev 22.1-2) whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High.” This is the opposite of the waters that roar and foam in the world. The Torah coming out of the Temple in Jerusalem shall bring peace to the nations (Isa 2.2-4; Mic 4.1-5). God’s Shekinah is in the midst of her and Jerusalem and the Temple will not be moved, and God will help when morning dawns, when the shadows and the darkness disappear (v 5).

The nations rage (Psa 2) but God gives no regard to their rage (Zech 14.12; Exo 15.15). That’s because the Lord of the Armies (Yehovah Tzava’ot) is with Israel; the God of Jacob is their stronghold. Why is “God of Jacob” used? Because of all the patriarchs (fathers), Jacob had a life full of trials and affliction (v 6-7). Also in a Hebrew parallelism, Israel is the name of Jacob.

Psa 46.8-9 says to leave Jerusalem and behold what God has done to the nations, called “the works of God.” He has destroyed the armies of the earth (v 8) and he has put an end to war and destroys the weapons used to make war. This concept is also seen in Isa 2.4 and Mic 4.3 (v 9).

In Psa 46. 10-11 the Lord speaks with the familiar, “Stop (desist, relax, let go of your assault on the Torah) and know (through repentance and experience) that I am God (so your efforts against me will fail).” Then he speaks in a Hebrew parallelism. God will be exalted among the nations (when he destroys their sovereignty) and he will be exalted in the earth (Zech 14.9). Then Psa 46.7 is repeated in verse 11 to point out that the redemption has come and the Yehovah is blessed. The psalm ends with “Selah” indicating that the reader should pause and think about what was just said, and to prostrate.

Psa 47.1-9 is another psalm of the sons of Korah and a Rosh Ha Shanah psalm and read seven times during the services. It is never done with other psalms. This is a psalm of praise after a victory. It is also a coronation psalm and refers to the “acclamation” portion of the coronation process in verse 1, where it says, “Clap your hands.” Some think this psalm was written when the Ark was brought from the house of Obed-edom. The heading reads, “For the Conductor. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.”

This psalm is very eschatological and describes the defeat of all the nations who stood against Yehovah and the Messiah. Another theme of this psalm is the shofar blast and it alludes to the shofar blast on Rosh Ha Shanah, whose biblical name is Yom Teruah, which means “the awakening blast” (Num 29.1).

Psa 47.1 begins with, Clap your hands (the acclamation of a king) all peoples (amim).” This is not only talking to the redeemed in Israel, but to all the nations who have been defeated in the Birth-pains by the Messiah. It goes on to say, “Shout to God with the voice of joy.” A “shout” is associated with Rosh Ha Shanah and you can see it in 1 Thes 4.16 where it says, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout.” 1 Cor 15.52 is another Rosh Ha Shanah passage and tells us what day Yeshua comes for the believer in the Natzal. The term “last rump” is used and it is an idiom for Rosh Ha Shanah.

Psa 47.2 says that the Lord is to be feared (in awe of) and great a “great king” over all the earth (his realm). Psa 47.3-4 tells us about his care for the elect of Israel and the believer in general. He subdues the people and puts the nations under the feet of the Messiah when he comes (Isa 49.22-23). He has chosen us for himself (Eph 1.3-6; Psa 28; Deut 31.9) before the foundation of the world. The believer is the glory of Jacob whom he loves (Gen 28.7; Deut 8.7-9; Ezek 24.21).

Psa 47.5 says, “God has ascended (to help Israel) with a shout.” The word “shout” is “teruah” in Hebrew which is a shofar blast and a name for Rosh Ha Shanah in Num 29.1 called “Yom Teruah.” Then it goes on to say, “The Lord with the sound of a trumpet” (ram’s horn) and that is a parallelism from the previous phrase. We have already said in 1 Thes 4.13-18 that it is Rosh Ha Shanah, and verse 16 says, “and the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout (teruah) with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God and the dead in Messiah shall rise first.”

As a result, there is a call to praise God in Psa 47.6-7. We should “make music” like David (2 Sam 6.5, 15) because he is the “King of all the earth” (Zech 14.9). To “sing praises” means to “make music” in Hebrew and in verse 7 is says, “make music, O enlightened (Hebrew “maskil” or instructed) one.”

Psa 47.8 says that God reigns over the nations (not just Israel now) and he sits on his “throne of holiness.” Rebellion against God cannot be found because he is welcomed throughout the world, especially at the beginning of his reign on earth after the birth-pains when all the survivors of the birth-pains are believers and they go into the remainder of the Day of the Lord rejoicing that the False Messiah and the evil nations have been destroyed.

Psa 47.9 tells us that we have another Rosh Ha Shanah verse. “The princes (nobles of Isa 13.1-3) of the people have assembled themselves (Psa 27.5); the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth (strong ones, princes, rulers) belong to God (are under his control); he is highly exalted.” These “shields” were there to protect the people, but now God will shield them through his power.

Again, if you are interested in the concept of the Natzal and how this psalm (and other scriptures_ apply to the coming of Yeshua on Rosh Ha Shanah, please go to the teaching in “Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (Rapture)” on this site

Psa 48.1-14 speaks of the future glory of Jerusalem when the Messiah rules and reigns from the city. It is the song of the day for the second day of the week and sung by the Levitical choir in the Temple, sung right before the Tamid service. It also alludes to the second day of the week of creation when there was a division between the heavenly and the earthly parts of creation, and Yehovah ruled over them both. This separation between the heaven and the earth is a picture of the separation between the spiritual and the physical. It is interesting to note that this psalm was a song to be sung and written by the sons of Korah, whose father instigated the great mutiny, or separation, against Moses.

Psa 48.1-3 tells us about the greatness of God and the writer connects this phrase with the city of Jerusalem, “his holy mountain.” The concept that Jerusalem is a “holy mountain” (mountain of kedusha) is a concept alluding to Mount Tzion. There are three mountains in Scripture with a kedusha. They are Mount Sinai, Mount Moriah and Mount Tzion (v 1).

Psa 48.2 says, “Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth.” The word “elevation” is “nof” and it means that Jerusalem is perfectly situated on Mount Tzion (elevation) and will be a joy to the nations (Isa 60.15). It located in “the sides of the north” and the word “north” is “tzaphon.” North is seen as a position of power, intelligence and wisdom. This also alludes to the Temple which sits north of the city of David. On the north side of the Temple courts there was a place called the “Beit Hamit’bchaim” which means “The House of/to Life.” It was where the korbanot (animal sacrifices) of atonement were killed (Lev 1.11; Ezek 8.5) and you can see they saw that this was “to/of life.” Isa 14.13 uses the “north” to refer to heaven where God is enthroned. So this verse portrays a connection between the earthly Mount Tzion and the heavenly one.

The word “Tzion” means “marker” or “monument.” This site is a memorial or a “marker” of God’s mercy, truth, kedusha and his name Yehovah. What makes the city, Temple and Mount Tzion great is that the Messiah will be sitting on his throne and the Torah, which has never been done away with, will go forth (Isa 2.2-4, Mic 4.1-8). Because it is the city of the Great King (David-Isa 29.1) and Messiah. God will be in her palaces (Temple) and he is known as the “stronghold” and Jerusalem’s defense (v 2-3).

Psa 48.4-8 tells us that king’s assembled themselves to attack Jerusalem and they saw and understood that Yehovah defended the city. They were in pain like a woman in childbirth. The names of those kings have been forgotten, but Jerusalem remains. With the “east wind” (a term for the Messiah and God’s judgment-Exo 14.21; Ezek 27.26) he broke the “ships of Tarshish” (Spain, known for the port called Tartessos, symbolic of sea-going nations and islands of the sea), meaning he destroyed their ships like in a hurricane. They have heard and seen the prophecies come true, and God will establish Jerusalem forever (v 7-8).

Psa 48.9-14 says that besides his power, the people also know he is a God of mercy and lovingkindness, and they thought about it “in the midst of the Temple.” It was the Temple that showed God’s lovingkindness to the people. It was where his doctrines were taught and where he “dwelt” (v 9). God’s deeds do match the name of Yehovah and this name will fill the whole earth with his praises. His “right hand” (a term for the Messiah) is full of righteousness (as defined by the Torah) and blessings for the people. The “daughters of Judah” (surrounding cities) will rejoice at his judgments (v 11).

The city of Jerusalem also represents God’s faithfulness, and the people, especially the nations, are invited to walk around the city and count the towers, denoting power and strength (v 12). Then it says in v 13, “Consider her ramparts on the small walls that run along the larger wall, and go through her palaces so that it can be told to the next generation.”

Psa 48.14 closes and says that this same God who made the beautiful city of Jerusalem will be our guide forever and ever (L’Olam Vaed), and he will guide us “until death” meaning in this world (Olam Ha Zeh) and the next (Olam Haba).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 44-45

Psa 44.1-26 is the third psalm by the sons of Korah and it is a description of how Yehovah allowed Israel to conquer the land. It also shows Israel’s suffering and the non-Jews coming into the faith. This concept is nothing new. This “coming” is a sign to Israel of their continuing (election” and “chosenness” otherwise there would be no Israel or faith to come into. Paul quotes this psalm in Rom 8.35-39. This is also read in a time of national distress and it recounts God’s gracious dealings in the past. The heading reads, “For the Conductor. A Maskil (instruction) of the sons of Korah.”

In Psa 44.1-3 we learn about the past victories of God. The people have heaard with their own ears what their fathers have told them about what God (attribute of Justice) did in their days (they saw it themselves), in the days “days of old” or in the first or Egyptian Redemption (v 1). Israel did not take the land by their military power but by the hand of Yehovah. He drove out the nations and then planted Israel as his vineyard (Isa 5.1-2) and he banished Canaan (v 2).

Israel did not possess the land by their own power but by the “right hand” and “arm” (both terms for the Messiah) of Yehovah and the “light of they presence” which is the Shekinah, and open miracles. God was with them as long as they walked in the Torah (v 3).

Psa 44.4-8 tells us that the psalmist want God to command victories in their day as well (v 4), or “through you” or “B’cha” in Hebrew. This has the numerical value of 22. The Targum translates this by “your word” because the Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters (“Tehillim” by Mesorah Publications, p. 548). Through the word of God they will push back their enemies, and through “thy name ” (Yehovah) they will trample down those who rise up against them. This is a Hebrew parallelism in that “through you” (the word) and “through his name” (Yehovah) are similar concepts.

They do not trust in carnal weapons (bow and sword). They have been saved from their enemies by God (“Elohim” or the atrribute of Justice) and they boast and give thanks to his name “all the days” and “forever” (olam). This is an allusion to the 7000 year plan of God and the Olam Haba (world to come). Then we have the word “Selah” which means to “pause and think” about what was just said. It is also a musical interlude related the the concept of “prostration” (v 6-8).

You would think that these verses would be leading to more thanks and praise, but in Psa 44.9-16 that is not what we have. It descends into asking why God has rejected and dishonored them by not appearing for them or going out with their armies like in 1 Sam 4 when they took the Ark but lost the battle (v 9). God caused them to run and turn their backs to the enemy like in the days of Eli in 1 Sam 4.10 (v 10).

Israel was a covenant people and everything was in the hands of the Lord. If they were defeated it was because the Lord’s hand was in it. Look at how many times “thou” (you) is used in Psa 44.10-16 for example. He has caused them to run in battle, losing their possessions and given as sheep to be slaughtered and scattered among the nations, sold as slaves, a reproach to their neighbors and a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples (“shake their heads”).

Psa 44.17-19 tells us that all of this has come upon them but they have not forgotten God. The writer presents a case that they have not forgotten the Torah (v 17) and their hearts have not strayed from the way (another word for the Torah), but God has crushed them in place of jackals. The word “jackal” is “tannim” and it is used for a wild creature that lives in a place where humans cannot. It is a term used for a serpent or dragon that lives in the wilderness. The wilderness is seen as the domain of Ha Satan. The writer feels that God had covered them with the “shadow of death” alluding to the threat of death.

In Psa 44.20-26 the writer continues to present the case that they have not rejected the Lord. If they did forget, wouldn’t God know it? Would he not know it if they participated in idolatry by extending their hands to a strange god(v 20-21)?

But they were defeated despite their compliance with the Torah and are killed as sheep to be slaughtered “for his sake.” Paul quotes this in Rom 8.36. This means they suffered in faithfulness to Yehovah, and because they were faithful to the Torah. Paul quotes this to tell us that even in defeat, we will not be separated from the love of God and the Messiah and we will be conquerors in the long run (v 22).

They want God to “arouse thyself” (act) and “wake up” from his “sleep.” He didn’t actually believe that God was sleeping, but it looked like it. They need help (v 23). God’s inaction (“hide they face”) has led them to think God has forgotten their troubles. Their “soul” (nafshaynu) has “sunk down in the dust” (fell flat on their face) and have reached their lowest point. They need God to “rise up” and redeem them through his kindness. This will show that Israel is God’s people and he has not “concealed” himself any longer (v 24-26).

Psa 45.1-17 is very eschatological and it celebrates the King’s marriage and is very similar to the Song of Songs (Hebrew “Shir ha Shirim”) in theme. This is a Rosh Ha Shanah psalm and the marriage of the Messiah is one of the themes of that particular festival, and it is also associated with the coronation of the Messiah, along with Psalm 2, 24, 47, 48, 72, 110; Dan 7 and Rev 4-5.

Eschatologically, the marriage and coronation of the Messiah occur on the same day in heaven. That day is Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation, and is the background of 1 Cor 15.51-55, 1 Thes 4.13-18 and Rev 4.1 to 5.14. Scholars explain that this psalm as a wedding song celebrating the marriage of a bride and groom who begin marriage with two very different and sometimes conflicting personalities. They will ultimately blend together in perfect sublime harmony. In light of their interpretations the title “A Song of Endearments” (Shir Y’Didot) is very appropriate (“Tehillim”, Mesorah Publications, p. 559). In “Tehillim” p. 560 it says, “Radak and Ibn Ezra maintain that this song was dedicated to Messiah. Ibn Ezra adds that it may refer to David himself; for the names of Messiah and David are one, as seen in the verse, ‘And David, my servant will be a prince for them forever (Ezek 37.24-25).'”

For a more detailed look at the timing of the Natzal and the themes of Rosh Ha Shanah, see the “Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Natzal (rapture)” on this site.

The heading is verse 1 in a Jewish Published Bible as we have said before and it reads, “For the Conductor; according to the Shoshanim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.” Now, there are a few things to unpack here. The “Shoshanim” are lilies (or roses) that are shaped like trumpets (Num 10) and one of the themes for Rosh Ha Shanah (Num 29.1; 1 Cor 15.51-55; 1 Thes 4.13-18; Rev 4.1). It also alludes to a name of the Messiah in Song 2.1. The word “maskil” means an instruction and it alludes to the fact that the sons of Korah were “enlightened” about Moses being the anointed of God and the “shaliach” (sent one) of Yehovah. To go against him like their father did was wrong. This is also called a “Song of Endearments” in Hebrew because the term here is not singular (y’didut) but plural (y’didot). This alludes to a number of friends (feminine) or endearments (“Tehillim” p. 560-561).

Psa 45.1-2 says the heart of the psalmist is “stirred or moved” with a good theme concerning the Messiah and will compose a fine song as a result. He says that this song is fit for a king, meaning Messiah. His tongue is the pen (articulates what is in the heart) of a ready writer being moved by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). He says, “You are fairer than the sons of men” and this language can be seen in the Song of Songs and alludes to the greatness of the Messiah (Isa 52.13). The spirit of prophecy is referred to in the phrase, “grace is poured through thy lips” and as a result God (Elohim) has blessed the Messiah “for eternity” (L’Olam) and this concept can be seen in Luke 4.22.

Psa 45.3-5 the king has “grace through his lips” but that does not mean he is weak. It says, “Gird thy sword on thy thigh, O mighty one (givor).” The sword is seen as a “sharp mind in the Torah” (Psa 149.6; Heb 4.12) and the thigh is where the tzitzit (symbolic of Yehovah and the Torah) lay. Yeshua is seen returning for battle with the name of Yehovah written on his thigh because he is sitting on a horse and the tzitzit are laying on his thigh (Rev 19.15-16). In “majesty” he rides on in victory (Rev 19.11) for the cause of truth (Torah) and meekness (his character) and righteousness (as defined by the Torah-Isa 11.4). The “right hand” speaks of skill (Psa 137.5) and is an idiom for the Messiah (v 4). God’s arrows (weapons of the king like famine, war, pestilence-Rev 6.2) and the people are conquered. Spiritually, his arrows are what pricks the heart (Acts 2.37, 7.54) and how one repents from sin (v 5).

Psa 45.6-10 tells us that this verse is alluding to Yeshua. Heb 1.8 quotes Psa 45.6-7. Luke 1.31-32 refers to the fact that Yeshua will be the king. The king is called “Elohim” and his throne is for “eternity” (L’Olam). Because his scepter is righteousness and he hates wickedness, God (the Father) has anointed him (the Messiah). The anointing is one of the five aspects of a coronation. The author of Hebrews, who we believe is Paul, has shown us that he applied these verses to Yeshua. These verses not only show us that yeshua is God, but the Father regards him as God also (v 6-7).

All his garments (a picture of his character) are myrrh (spiritually pure/white) and aloe (used in incense, symbolic of prayer) and cassia (spreads in the wind-Ruach Ha Kodesh described that way); the palaces that God will give us in the Olam Haba will surpass any of the palaces in the world (v 8). The king’s daughters (for the sake of imagery, these are believers. Just as the king is seen as a “son” his wife is alluded to as his “daughter.” It is the same as queen and bride-1 Chr 28.5-6) are among the noble ladies, and the queen (Israel or the kahal as a whole) stands at thy right hand (term for the Messiah).

In Psa 45.10-12 these verses are speaking of the bride. In the spirit of Gen 2.24, she is to leave the world of unbelief. The Messiah is to be preferred above all human relations and “fathers” (v 10). Then the king will desire “your beauty” (the righteousness he gives us-1 Pet 3.3; Rev 19.8). The bride also recognizes that the king is her husband, but should also be honored as her Lord and worthy to be worshiped by faith in him, hope, love, prayer, praise and keeping the Torah (v 11).

The daughter of Tyre (symbolic of the non-Jews) will come with a gift (symbolizing the superiority of Israel in the Messianic Kingdom-Isa 45.14, 60.16, 66.19-20) and the rich among the people (of every nation) will desire to show friendship to the queen (v 12).

Psa 45.13-15 says that the king’s daughter (in the sense that the Messiah is the “son”) is glorious within because she is joined with the king. She is the same as the “bride” and “queen” (see v 9 notes). Her clothing “without” is interwoven with gold and speaks of her character “interwoven” by God (v 13).

She will be led to the king in embroidered work (not filthy rags) and the virgins, her companions (non-Jewish believers) who follow her will be brought to “thee” (Messiah-Eph 5.22-32). Virgins are used here for the sake of imagery in this psalm. These “friends” are certainly part of the Kahal of God (v 15).

Psa 45.16-17 says that in place of your fathers (who have died in the flesh) will be your sons (the elect) that come from the marriage. You (Messiah) will make them princes to rule and reign with him in the Messianic Kingdom (Rev 20.4-6). Because he has chosen a bride and has given her gifts (new life), the name of the Messiah to be remembered in all generations and the “peoples” (non-Jews, the nations) will praise him forever (L’Olam Vaed) and will accept his sovereignty (v 16-17).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 41-43

Psa 41.1-13 is the last of a series of psalms that deal with David, his sins and the affliction they caused. In addition, it is the last psalm of Book 1. Remember, the Book of Psalms is divided into five books that many see as an allusion to the five books of Torah. David is suffering from two evils: the afflictions because of his sins and the betrayal of his friends. In the Sowd level (secret, hidden), this psalm is considered by some to be a prophecy about Yeshua, and Yehuda Ben Sicarii (Judas Iscariot), although this certainly applies to David in the Peshat level (literal). The heading reads, “For the Conductor. A Psalm of David.”

Psa 41.1-3 begins by saying how blessed (empowered to succeed) is the person who considers wisely the poor. The word “poor” is singular and it alludes to David himself and the Messiah (Psa 40.17). They will be delivered in “the day of trouble.” This alludes to Jerusalem’s destruction when those who acted wisely in regards to the prophecy of Yeshua were delivered and those who rejected him were caught up inside the city (Matt 24.21) when the Roamsn came forty years later to conquer Jerusalem. Those that believed fled into the Jordanian wilderness to the east. This is where David went when he fled from Absalom, and it will be where the Jews and non-Jews will flee from the False Messiah on Nisan 10, the exact half-way point of the birth-pains (Rev 12.14-17). In the peshat level, these verses tell us that God will protect the person who acts wisely towards the sick. Yehovah will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him to health.

Psa 41.4-9 says David wants Yehovah to be graacious to him and heal the unrest in his soul because of his sins (v 4). His enemies speak evil against him and they just want him to die. This was certainly true about Yeshua also in Matt 26.1-5 (v 5). David says that when his enemies did come to see him they speak lies and their heart “gathers wickedness to itself” meaning they will use anything he says to trap him-Matt 22.15-17). Then they go outside to spread lies against him to anyone who will listen (v 6).

All who hated David (and Yeshua) whisper together against him and plot against him (v 7). A wicked thing (“davar belial” or a word of ruin) is “poured out” like poison, and he who lies down will not rise again (v 8).

Even David’s close friend Ahitophel, a person David trusted and who shared meals with him, lifted his heel (power) against him (v 9). In the sowd level this clearly alludes to Judas (Mark 14.17-18; John 13.21-29).

In Psa 41.10-12 it says that David wants God to be gracious to him and “raise me up” (it also means “resurrection” in Mark 16.16 and alludes to Yeshua) that “I may repay them.” This alludes to Rom 12.19 where it says, “vengeance is mine, I will repay” in verse 10. By this David (and Yeshua) knew that God was pleased with them because their enemies did not triumph over them (v 11).

By comparison, David had integrity when compared to his enemies and he would be in God’s presence in the Olam Habs (v 12). This psalm ends with a doxology, which will be seen at the end of all the five books of psalms. He blesses Yehovah, the God of Israel from the “L’Olam Vaed” (everlasting world before Eden) to the “L’Olam Vaed” (everlasting world after the 7000 years in the Olam Haba). Then David closes with “Amen” (from the word “emunah” meaning faith/action/confidence) and “Amen” meaning be believes everything that was just said.

Psa 42.1-11 is the beginning of Book 2 of the Psalms and corresponds to the second book of the Torah, which is called ‘Shemot” or “Names.” It is called Exodus in most English published Bibles, but that is not the name of the book in the Scriptures or Hebrew thought. It is unclear as to when these psalms were divided into five books, but it dates back before the Masoretic (traditional) Text was compiled by the 10th century A.D.

In Book 1 (Psa 1-41) the name Yehovah occurs 272 times and Elohim (God) only 15 times. In Book 2 (Psa 42-72) Elohim occurs 164 times and Yehovah only 30 times according to James Montgomery Boice. In Book 1, 37 of the 41 psalms are attributed to David. The four remaining are unattributed. So, David is the only known writer in Book 1.

In Book 2, David authored 18 of the 31, but now other writers appear like Asaph, Solomon and the sons of Korah (bald). Three have no author named. Now, the sons of Korah were Levites from the family of Kohath. By the time of David they served in the “Music Department” in the Temple. Korah led a mutiny against Moses in Num 16, and God passed judgment on Korah and they all died. However it seems that some if not all of the sons of Korah survived (Num 26.9-11) and used their abilities to praise Yehovah. This psalm is the Psalm of the day for the second day of Sukkot.

The heading for Psa 42 says, “For the Conductor. A maskil (instruction) of the sons of Korah.” This would be a good time to bring out six guidelines to fight depression. First, pour out our feelings to God not your friends. Second, remember what God has done for you in the past. Third, make a decision to praise God and your emotions will follow. Fourth, think on God, not the problem. Fifth, pray for guidance and sixth, verbalize your faith.

Psa 42.1-4 begins with the imagery of a deer overcoming its fears and timidity and panting (aching) for water. In the same way, our soul should overrule its fears and timidity and pant for the water of the word of God This means we will do anything to get to the truth (v 1) because that is our life.

The soul of a believer thirsts for God and is satisfied only with the living water found in the study of the Scriptures (Isa 55.7). The the writer says, “when shall I come and appear before God” in the Temple. The people loved the Temple and all its ceremonies. There was the music, the choir, the service of the priests, the blessing of the High Priest as he stood with his back to the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim, and there were manifestations of the power of God. Turning your back in the Temple was never done except during these blessings and the songs that were sung by the Levitical choir. This taught that the blessing and the words of the songs was coming from God through the priests and choir to the people (v 2).

Psa 42.3 says “My fears have been my food day and night” meaning “I cried even when eating.” Meanwhile, there were people who said, “Where is your God” making the problem worse. If God is as David and others have said, why isn’t he appearing to help. On top of all this, painful memories make things worse. Going to the Temple with others at the festivals, singing with joy is just a memory now (v 4).

Psa 42.5-8 tells us that the psalmist pulled back from these memories to correct himself (his soul) and asks why his soul is “bowed down” and in so much distress? He tells himself to “hope in God” (wait on the promises to manifest, expect it) because this mood will pass. Worldly hope is closer to “wishing” something will happen. On the other hand, biblical hope is a sure thing based on the promises of God. He will again praise God for the help of his “faces” (pannim) which is translated as “presence” (v 5).

He again admits his soul is “bowed down” and he remembers the Lord from the land in the north, in the land of the Jordan, near Mount Hermon and an unknown mountain called Mizar (small). Now we know why his soul is “cast down.” He is far away from the Temple and could not appear there because he is in the north (v 6).

Psa 42.6-7 tells us about prayer when in “deep”depression.” He felt like the water at the end of a waterfall, “deep calls to deep” or buried under raging waters, meaning one judgment after another (Psa 69.1; 88.6-7, 17-18). The name Yehovah is rarely used in Book 2, but it is used here with confidence that he will command his lovingkindness (mercy/grace) to the depressed “in the daytime” (literally “dawn”) meaning “openly where all can see, and “his song will be with me in the night” when it can get really depressing.

Psa 42.9-11 gives us some deeper insight into the psalmist’s depression. He says “to God my rock” (Cela or clefted rock), “why have you forgotten me?” He concludes that because God did not deliver him immediately, that God had “forgotten” him, but this is the language of unbelief. It appeared that way but it was not true. But the battle is not over, but the taunts of the enemy is not over, either. Because it looks like God has forgotten the writer, they say, “Where is your God?” This was like a sword piercing and cutting him. Again he asks his soul in confidence, “Why are you cast down.” Remember this phrase is used when sheep lay down in a small ditch and can’t get back on their feet again. If the shepherd doesn’t come along and get that sheep back on their feet they will die.

He encourages himself to “hope” in God. Again, and it is worth repeating, biblical hope is a sure thing because it is based on the promises of God, not “I wish something to happen.” He will praise God, who is the “help (Hebrew “Yeshuat”) of my countenance (his face) and my God.”

Psa 43. 1-5 is a continuation of the preceding psalm and the writer wants deliverance from the same problems as in Psalm 42. There is no heading for this psalm and there is much speculation about who wrote this, David or the sons of Korah for instance. However, the style is similar to the sons of Korah, and maybe that is why there is n o heading. The writer wanst God (Elohim) to vindicate (avenge) him and plead his case (champion his casue). Remember, when Elohim is used a person is requesting justice. When Yehovah is used it is an appeal for mercy. The writer wants his case brought against an ungodly nation in general. If this was written by David, he is referring to Israel who sinned with Absalom, or the Philistines. He seeks deliverance from the deceitful and unjust man in general. He knew how hard it was to deal with such a one (v 1).

God was his strength so he wondered why he had no relief yet. He interpreted this delay as a “why has thou rejected me.” This is the language of unbelief again. It appeared so, but it was not true. According to his thinking, God should have delivered him from his enemies (Rev 6.5) and depression (v 2).

He needs the “light” and the “truth” so they can lead him. These are terms for the Torah (Psa 119.105; Psa 25.5). Then he says, “Let them (light and truth in the Torah) bring me to thy holy hill (Mount Moriah).” Then he will go to “thy dwelling place” meaning the Temple in general, and the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies) and Ha Kodeshm (Holy Place) in particular (v 3).

Then he will go to the Mizbe’ach (altar) with joy to renew the covenant of Sinai with korbanot, which was one of the purposes for offering the korbanot. The korbanot were a “continuing testimony as zevachim (celebratory feasts) to the ongoing rededication that Israel celebrates with its partner in the covenantal center that is the Temple” (see the book “The Temple” by Joshua Berman, p. 135). But he will not only praise God with the korbanot, but also with music (v 4).

Again, the writer talks to himself (“why are you cast down, O my soul”) and encourages himself so that he does not surrender to depression and discouragement. His hope is in God, the help (“yeshuat”) of his face because he is looking to the Lord for his salvation from distress and trouble.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 38-40

Psa 38.1-8 begins with David asking God not to rebuke him in his wrath and displeasure, nor chasten him in his rage. God’s “arrows” (sharp, heavy afflictions) have sunk deep in him, and God’s “hand” upon him weighs him down. Physically, he is suffering from head to toe, and he could not just rest because of his sin.

His iniquities (his punishment) have gone “over his head” (like a flood) and they are a heavy burden upon his conscience. His “wounds” (sins, stripes-Isa 53.5) grows foul because of his foolishness, as all sin does. He is burdened, perplexed and disturbed in his own thoughts and he is “bowed down” in shame and mourning. His “loins” (thoughts, self-awareness) are filled with futility (burning) and there is no soundness (health) in all his flesh because he is distraught and recounts his troubles over and over. He is crushed and he groans (roars) because of the groaning of his heart.

Psa 38.9-12 tells us that his “desire” (intentions) is to be delivered. His sighing is not hidden in God. It makes no difference if David expresses his inward feelings out loud, or he does it privately inside himself. God knows either way. David’s loved ones and friends stand aloof because of “my plague” (or stroke, blow, mark or spot), and this is how his loved ones were treating him. Others set traps to kill him, some try to injure him and destroy him, while others devise deceit. But Psa 38.13-14 tells us that David pretended not to hear and ignored them, and he made no reply to what they said to justify himself.

Psa 38.15-22 tells us that David set his hope on the Lord. Even now he has not given up. He does not want his enemies to rejoice over him when his feet “slip” and magnify themselves against him. We all slip through corruptions of nature, temptations and snares. David said he was ready “to fall” as he often did. He wants God to help him not to fall. His sin is ever before him and he has a godly sorrow (2 Cor7.10). He says he is “full of anxiety” because of his sin and this means “careful.” He does not want to do it again in the future so he is careful. But his enemies are “alive” and full of energy against him, and for no good reason. They also render evil for good (Psa 35.12), and oppose him because he follows what is good (the Lord and his Torah-Psa 63.8; Psa 119.1-176).

His enemies wish that he be eternally forsaken, and David asks Yehovah to not let their wish come true. He wants the Lord to be close even though others around him avoid him. David wants God to “hasten” to his redemption because God is the Lord of his salvation. The word for assistance “ezer” and it is temporary, but the word used here is “t’shuah” (salvation) and it is permanent. When God is the agent of salvation, David knows it is forever.

Psa 39.1-13 is a psalm that reflects the mood of a crushed man (or nation) who is clothed in defeat and failure. It also talks about the brevity of life and the vanity of it (no purpose). The heading says, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical choir), For Yedutan. A Psalm of David.” Yedutan means “praising” and he had six sons. Just as David divided the Levites into 24 courses to assist the Priests, these six families were under these six sons, and they were under the charge of Yedutan to sing in the Temple. In total, there were 288 singers and 12 were assigned to each course (1 Chr 25.3-7). Yedutan is also mentioned in the heading of Psa 62 and 77. The occasion for this psalm was the rebellion of Absalom by some scholars, and some believe it was written during David’s chastisement as seen in the previous psalm, with which we agree.

Psa 39.1-6 begins with David saying (in his heart) that he wanted to be wise when speaking before his enemies. He kept silent so long that he was like a man who has lost his power of speech. What he wanted to say was “penned up” within him. He thought it was easier to be silent than to speak wisely. George Washington said he thought it was better to be silent because it was easier to make enemies than friends. David wanted to know when all this will end (his afflictions like Job 6.11) and when his death would come (“extent of my days”). He has made David’s life as “handbreadths” (a certain span of time) and those days and years are as nothing in the sight of God compared to eternity. All human existence is nothing but futile, and all the earthly pursuits are vain as Solomon said in Ecc 1.2.

Psa 39 7-11 says after all this, what is meaningful in the world? David knows he can only turn to Yehovah for his help. David looked to God for deliverance from sin (Rom 7.24 through 8.4). He does not want to be the reproach of a “naval” or “fool.” David knows that his sufferings are justified. He wants the wicked punished so that they won’t reproach the righteous by saying, “We must be right because God only punishes you” (v 7-8).

David was silent because there was nobody to scream at or blame for what was happening to him (v 9). He wants to be released from his suffering because he has learned his lesson. Why prolong it because of the hostility of God’s hand is killing him (v 10). With different circumstances (reproofs) he has chastened David for his sins (v 11).

Psa 39.12-13 says that David wants Yehovah to hear his prayer and not be silent. He is a stranger with God (Ger) in this world, so he is not alone. He is a sojourner with Yehovah like his forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. David does not want the Lord to look at him with correction anymore “before I depart” (die) and is no more. The psalm ends without a decision.

Psa 40.1-17 begins with the heading, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical choir). A Psalm of (to) David.” IN the preceding psalms David was in a great deal of distress. This psalm is one of joy after God’s hand was lifted upon him, but he still faced problems (v 12-17). He shows confidence in God and this psalm alludes to the Messianic Redemption.

There is a concept we have mentioned before but we want to repeat it. When Elohim (God) is used it relates to the attribute of justice and judgment according to Jewish thought. When Yehovah (LORD) is used it relates to the attribute of mercy.

Psa 40.1-3 tells us that David praises Yehovah for hearing his cry and delivering him, even though he did not deserve it. He brought him up from the “pit of destruction” (turbulent waters) and the miry clay (a variety of problems and ailments). He put a “new song” (Shir Chadash) in his mouth about Yehovah. The word “song” is usually “shirah” which is feminine. But here it is the masculine “shir” (see comments on Psa 33.3). Every new victory gives birth to new sorrows, persecutions and afflictions, so the feminine “shirah” is used. But here, it is masculine and it alludes to the Messiah who comes with salvation to deliver us from those sorrows, persecutions and afflictions. Then we will have the redemption is full, and sorrow will be no more (v 1-3).

Psa 40.4-5 tells us how blessed (empowered to succeed) is the man who has made Yehovah his trust (Jer 17.7) and has not turned to the “proud” (rahavim) and to those who stray into falsehood. The word “proud” is related to “Rahab” meaning “extended” and to “rav” meaning great. The proud have an extended or over-inflated ego. This word also relates to some eschatological concepts related to the False Messiah like Leviathan (Job 9.13, 41.33; Isa 27.1, 51.9). It also alludes to Egypt, pride, harlot and a broad wall (Psa 87.4, 89.10; Isa 30.7; Ezek 32.12). David praises the Lord for all his wonders and his thoughts towards us. We cannot account for all the good he does.

Psa 40.6-8 is very messianic and allude to Yeshua as the servant of God, a concept you will see elsewhere in Scripture, especially Isa 40 through 66. Without emunah (faith/action) sacrifices and meal offerings are not desired by Yehovah. Even David understood this and Yeshua said as much, too. His ears have been “opened” like a servant’s ears are pierced. When the servant wanted to stay in the master’s house his ear was pierced with an awl to the doorpost of the house (Exo 21.5-6). The Olah (burnt) and the Chata (sin) offering God did not require because he would have preferred that we don’t sin at all (v 6).

Psa 40.7 is full of messianic implications, but in the Peshat (literal level) it was about David. His kingship was prophesied “in the scroll of the book” but in the Sowd (hidden, secret level), this also refers to the Messiah. In Matt 26.54 Yeshua said, “How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled (given meaning) that it must happen this way.” John 5.46-47 says that if we believe Moses (Torah) we would believe Yeshua because he “wrote of me.” But if we do not believe Moses (his writings) how can we believe in Yeshua?

After his resurrection he was talking to several talmidim (students), and beginning with Moses (Torah) and with all the prophets he explained to them the things concerning himself in those Scriptures (Luke 24.27).

Psa 40.8 goes on to say, “I delight to do thy will (in the Torah), O my God.” This also talks about the Messiah who offered himself and his willingness to come and these verses are quoted in Hebrews 10.5-10. The Torah is within his heart (desires, intentions, thoughts). In smaller sense, this can be applied to David also, but the larger meaning is about Yeshua.

Psa 40.9-10 also says that the basar (good news, glad tidings) was proclaimed in the great congregation (kahal). This word is where the word “gospel” comes from. As you can see, the “gospel” was preached before Yeshua. That will seem strange to people but most people do not have the biblical understanding of what the Basar/gospel really is. The gospel or “basar” was preached to Abraham ( 2000 years before Yeshua) and Israel in the wilderness (1500 years before Yeshua), and David also proclaimed the “gospel” a thousand years before Yeshua, and so did Yeshua (Luke 4.16-21). He will not restrain his lips, meaning he will take every opportunity to proclaim the basar. Both David and Yeshua gave public proclamations about the basar.

Psa 40.11-13 tells us that even though David praised Yehovah for his past and even present mercies, he was not going to presume about the future (v 11). His sins were more numerous than “the hairs of my head” and his heart “has failed me” (deprived of peace) and he can’t concentrate on the things of God (v 12).

Psa 40.13-15 gives David’s prayer for help. even though he has many sins he still looks to Yehovah to spare him (v 13). His enemies still pursue him to put an end of his life. David wants them to be “astounded” on the heels of their shame; who follow their own wicked ways (v 14). His enemies exclaim, “Aha, aha” and are very happy to see David’s problems, but David prays for their fall (v 15).

Psa 40.16-17 tells us that David wants all who seek Yehovah to be glad in the Lord. But David (and Yeshua) is “poor and needy” and wants Yehovah to be aware of it and to be quick to assist him.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 34-37

Psa 34.1-22 has the heading, ” To David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.” David was fleeing from Saul and David went to the Philistine city of Gath, but could not find safety there (1 Sam 21.10-22.1). After that David went to the cave at Adullam where others joined him. This psalm seems to have been written at the cave and after these others joined him.

This psalm is a Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur reading (Rosh Ha Shanah Machzor, Mesorah Publications, p. 230-231) and each verse begins according to each succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet, except for the letter Vav, number six in Hebrew and it means the number of man, nail, peg and secure. The Aleph-Tav is the first and last letter of the alphabet and is a title for the Messiah, and a word (“Et”) meaning that it points to what follows after it.

Psa 34.1-3 tells us about a life that is full of praise. If we are to boast in anything, we should boast in the Lord (Jer 9.23). The humble will hear how David overcame Achish and be encouraged.

Psa 34.4-8 teaches that David had a simple testimony. He looked to Yehovah to save him from Achish, and he did. But in verse 5 it says, “They (this experience is not his alone)looked to him and were radiant (from God’s glory or “kivod”-2 Cor 3.18. This radiance is proof they are close to Yehovah and look to him), and their faces were not ashamed (God did not forsake them).

Psa 34.6-7 tells us that David was a “poor man” who cried and Yehovah heard him. He acted insane and certainly had to do it in order to escape death, at least in David’s mind. The angel of Yehovah (“of the covenant”-Isa 63.9) encamps around those who fear him, and rescues them. Whether this is talking about Yeshua or another angel is not clear, but whoever it is will be able to guard and rescue believers.

Psa 34.8-10 invites a believer to “taste and see” (with our spiritual senses based on emunah, faith) that Yehovah is good (Heb 6.5; 1 Pet 2.3). Blessed (empowered to succeed) is the person who trusts in the Lord. Then he says, “O fear Yehovah, you his saints!” The word for “saint” is “kodeshayiv” which means one set apart and abstains. They will have no want and all that is necessary to succeed (Psa 23.1).

The young lions lack and suffer hunger and this alludes to those who are pushy and exert themselves to get what they want. But the one who seeks (“darash”) meaning “to ask, pursue, follow or seek out” the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.

Psa 34.11 starts out with the letter “lamed” (L sound) which means teaching, control, speak and authority and that’s why it says, “Come (and learn) and listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” He who desires life here and now and length of days that he may see good should keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit. We should depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.

Psa 34.15-18 says that the person described above will know that God constantly takes notice of him and guards him, and the face of God is against evildoers. Believers are under the watchful eye of our shepherd.

Psa 34.19-22 tells us that God cares for his people even though they go through afflictions (like David). He will “keep all his bones” meaning that David can look on his own body and see that not “one of them is broken.” This was Yeshua’s experience in John 19.36. Thn it says “evil shall slay the wicked” because what was designed for others shall come upon them-Prov 11.8). Yehovah will redeem the soul of his servants and none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned (Rom 8.1).

Psa 35.1-28 begins with “To David” and again it alludes to the Ruach Ha Kodesh speaking through him, or it was written by someone else for David. David pleads with Yehovah to redeem him from the problems caused by his many enemies. He wants Psa 34.22 put into practice. This psalm seems to be written when he was persecuted by Saul or from Absalom. In addition, keep Yeshua in mind as always when you read the psalms.

Psa 35.1-8 says that David wants God to fight with those who fight with him. He wants Yehovah to take up a “buckler” (a shield called a “Zinah” which protects on four sides) and a “magen” (a smaller shield). He wants him to take up the “spear” (like Saul threw at him in 1 Sam 18.11). David did not defend himself, but he could have (1 Sam 26.7-9). He wants God to “say to my soul” (inject strength) and say “I am your salvation.” He wants them to be ashamed (an inner shame) and humiliated ( a deep embarrassment). David says, “Let them be like chaff (a type of the unbeliever) before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them on.

Psa 35.9-14 it says that David praises God for his coming deliverances and then talks about how he showed his enemy good, and now they repay him with evil. When they were sick he prayed and mourned for them, as if they were family.

But Psa 35.15-16 says when he stumbled they rejoiced over him. They gathered together and slandered him and like “jesters” they gnashed their teeth at him. Mockers call good bad, and flatterers call bad good.

In Psa 35.17-18 he says, “How long will you look on” and this shows that David believed that God was omniscient. He wants the Lord to rescue his life (soul) from the lions. He will give Yehovah thanks in the congregation (Hebrew “Kahal” or “assembly”).

Psa 35.19-21 gives us the reasons for his vindication before his enemies who mock him and hate him without a cause, and “wrongfully” his enemies. They devise evil against the “quiet” (broken, people of the land). They said, “Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it” (What their hearts wished for, or they saw David’s distress).

But Psa 35.22-26 says God has seen all this and he wants him to take notice of his cause (do something). He wants God (Elohim) to judge him according to God’s righteousness standards in the Torah. Let his enemies be ashamed and not rejoice over news of David’s death, and clothed in shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over him.

Psa 35.27-28 tells us that he wants God’s people to rejoice over his vindication. In doing this they will magnify the Lord because God’s servant David has prospered. David’s tongue will speak of God’s righteousness and he will praise him all day long.

Psa 36.1-12 portrays a contrast between those who defy God and those who serve him. It begins with the heading, “For the Conductor, for the servant of Yehovah, for David.” Only Psalm 18 uses “servant of Yehovah” in the heading. Psalm 18 comes from an older David, and Psalm 36 comes from a younger David. This is saying that David was the servant of Yehovah as a youth and in his old age.

Psalm 36.1-4 tells us about the “Rasha” (wicked person). They don’t fear the judgment of God because “he flatters himself in his own eyes” (makes him seem attractive) and he does not acknowledge sin for that reason. He has ceased to be “wise” and he won’t allow himself to draw a moral lesson from anything that might influence him to repent and change.

But Psa 36.5-9 tells us the lovingkindness of God is extends (in) to the heavens, and he executes his purposes (faithfulness) reaches to the skies. In other words, the natural order of things that God has set up in the world are reliable and unchanging. We don’t need to worry about global warming or climate change, or asteroids destroying all life on earth like the unbelievers try to tell us today (Gen 9.21-22; Psa 33.4, 148.1-6). He preserves man and beast, and mankind can take refuge in the “shadow of his wings” and drink their fill in the household of God (Eph 2.11-22). We can “drink” or take in of the river of his delights (true teaching) because “in thy light (teaching) we see light (understand).”

Psa 36.10-12 is a prayer for Yehovah’s continued lovingkindness to those who “know him” (Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.3-4). He asks God to protect him from the “foot of pride” (some proud enemy), nor let the hand of the “rasha” (wicked) drive him away. Lawless ones have fallen to judgment and and have been cast down unable to rise (in the assembly of the righteous).

Psa 37.1-40 is simply headed, “To David.” When the heading is simply “L’David” in Hebrew then it is neither a prayer a song or prayer. It is the Ruach speaking through him or it was written by another and given to him. It continues the same theme as Psa 36.

Psa 37.1-6 starts out with godly counsel for the righteous. We are not to fret because of evildoers. Yeshua said the same thing in Matt 5.39 and so did Solomon in Prov 24.19. This means we are not to “compete” with evil. We should not be envious of wrongdoers either (Prov 23.17). They will wither away and fade (Psa 90.5). It goes on to tell us that we are to trust (put faith into action) in Yehovah and do good. Delight (redirect our emotions) ourselves in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (Isa 58.14; Matt 6.33). We are to commit our way (walk) to Yehovah (Prov 3.5-6) and trust (put faith to action) in him and he will do what we can’t. Then we will have nothing to hide when he brings forth our righteousness as the “light” (Matt 6.1) of noonday.

Psa 37.7-11 tells us that we should “rest in Yehovah” which means to be quiet before him, don’t be overwhelmed by present events and “wait” for future developments which will make God’s plan more evident. Again, we are not to fret (compete with and be anxious) ourselves with others who prosper and carry out wicked schemes. Don’t be angry and calm others. Do not fret because it leads to evil doing. Evildoers will be cut off but those who wait (submit to future developments in God’s plan) will “inherit” (Possess) the land (Matt 5.5). David says, “Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more” (so don’t look at the present). We will look for “his place” (he has forfeited his earthly place and possessions, but also in the Olam Haba) and he will not be there. However the “humble” (meek) will “inherit” (possess) the land, and will delight themselves (the wicked will never enjoy peace of mind) in abundant prosperity (Hebrew “Shalom” which is understood as complete peace, nothing lacking).

Psa 37 12-15 says that even though the wicked seem to have a “foolproof” plot against us, we are not to be concerned, Yehovah laughs at them (Psa 2.4) because his “day” is coming. If they draw their sword and bend the bow to strike us, their sword will enter their own heart and their bows will be broken. In other words, should they instigate trouble, their efforts against us will fail and be fruitless.

Psa 37.16-22 tells us that the “little” that the righteous has is better than the abundance the wicked has because it won’t last. Yehovah will sustain the righteous and provide. He knows the nature of the days of the “mature” (blameless) and is concerned with their daily needs, and their inheritance is forever. They will not be ashamed in the “time of evil” which is affliction, persecution and old age, and is another name for the Birth-pains, and in the day of famine they will have abundance. The wicked will perish and the enemies of Yehovah will be like “the glory (kivod) of the paastures, they will vanish like smoke. The “glory” alludes to the “fat sheep” (Lev 3.4). They “glory” in their size and weight, not realizing that this fattening is a prelude to its doom.

This is like the story of the piglet, the donkey and her foal. The piglet was idle and ate whatever it wanted. The donkey told her foal, “Don’t be upset. You will see that the piglet was pampered for its doom.” Sure enough, one day the piglet was taken. The foal refused to eat, thinking it was being fattened, too. But the mother said it is not the feeding that marks a creature for slaughter, but it is the idleness of productive work. We also learn in these verses that the wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous gives (v 25.26). They will inherit the land (Matt 25.31-40), but those cursed by God will be cut off (Matt 25.41-46).

Psa 37.23-26 says the steps of a man (Hebrew “strong man” in the faith) are established by Yehovah. When he falls he shall not be hurled headlong (cast off). Even if God should cause the tzadik to fall into poverty or misfortune, he will not cast him away. His chastisement is out of love. But when the wicked fall (v 22) they will never rise (Prov 24.16).

David has “seen it all” and has not seen the righteous forsaken. He may be poor and needy, but not entirely forsaken. he has not seen his descendants begging for bread. Rabbi Meir made three “selahs” a week. One he spent on food, another on clothing and the third he gave away to support Torah scholars. His students asked because he had no money, “What are you doing to provide for your children?” Rabbi Meir said, “If they are righteous, then God will provide for them, as David said, “I have not seen the righteous man forsaken, not his children begging for bread. However, if they are not righteous, then why should I leave my possessions to the enemies of God.” At all times he is gracious and lends and his descendants a blessing (because they are believers).

Psa 37.27-29 says that we are to depart from evil, and do good (Matt 3.8; Luke 3.8; Psa 34.14; Rom 12.21). It also tells us that there is a reward for obeying the Lord through his Torah. They will inherit the land and dwell in it forever in the Olam Haba.

Psa 37.30-31 tells us about the nature of a tzadik (a righteous person). They speak wisdom and justice, and the Torah of God is in his heart (Jer 31.33). The “heart” is seen as their desire, thoughts and intentions. But the wicked “spies” upon the righteous (is jealous) and seeks to kill him. But Yehovah will foil their plots, and not let them be condemned when he is judged. A false witness will not fool a righteous judge. we are to “wait” for Yehovah and “keep his way (Torah). Again, to “wait” means to be quiet before the Lord, don’t be overwhelmed by present events and wait for future developments which will make God’s plan more evident. The righteous will inherit the land, but the wicked will be cut off and the righteous will see it (Psa 91.8).

Psa 37.35-40 teaches us that David has seen a violent, wicked man spread out like a luxuriant tree (well rooted). But then he passed away suddenly and was “no more” (reduced to nothing). He could not be found. But “mark” (pay heed) to the tzadik and how he lives. For there is a “posterity” (a destiny and an aftermath) for the man of peace (shalom). But sinners will be destroyed and the posterity (destiny and aftermath) of the wicked ceases. The righteous will enjoy a salvation that lasts forever in the Olam Haba, and God is their “might” in a time of distress. He will help them and cause them to escape.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 31-33

Psa 31.1-24 was written by David while he was fleeing from Saul, according to some scholars. The heading reads, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical choir), a Song of David.” The author of Psa 71 quotes the first three verses of this psalm. It is quoted many times in the Tanak, Gospels and Epistles. Jonah quotes Psa 31.6 in Jonah 2.8. Jeremiah quotes Psa 31.13 in Jer 6.25, 20.3, 20.10, 46.5, 49.29 and Lam 2.22.

In Psa 31.1-5 David prays for God to rescue him and believes God will answer him. He trusts him and believes the Lord will not shame him before his enemies. He wants the Lord to be his “rock” and “fortress” to save him. In Hebrew it says a “house of fortresses” and this alludes to all the fortresses David and his people lived in.

Now, rock is the Hebrew “tzur” and it can only guard the back, but fortresses have four walls. David was not asking to be delivered because he was so good, but “for your name’s sake.” If the Lord would lead him, it would bring honor to Yehovah. David knew his enemies wanted to trap him (“the net”) but Yehovah can deliver him out of the most clever of traps. But he does not want to live for himself, he committed his “spirit” (“ruachi”) into God’s hands. God had redeemed him and belonged to him, and Yehovah is the God of truth.

Psa 31.6-8 tells us that David did not recognize idols and considered them useless. He will trust in Yehovah and will rejoice in his lovingkindness. He has not turned him over to his enemies and his feet are set in a “large place” meaning safety.

Psa 31.9-13 tells us how David recounts his troubles. He is in distress, his eye wastes away with grief, as well as his physical strength. His life is spent in sorrow and has spent many years in sighing. He is suffering because of his “iniquity.” His enemies have reproached him before his neighbors and he is an object of dread to his friends. Those who see him run from him, and he is forgotten as a dead man. He is a broken vessel (person) and he is slandered and full of fear. Many have plotted against him and have schemed together to take his life. He is suffering physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Psa 31.14-18 tells us that in the midst of all this, he trusts in Yehovah and he is the God of David. David’s “times” (life) is in God’s hands, not his enemies. Ecc 3.1-8 tells us about twenty-eight “times” in our life. There are fourteen positive (waxing) and fourteen negative (waning) times. The moon is a type of the believer, and it has the same thing. From the new moon to the full moon there are fourteen days of waxing stronger and brighter. From the full moon to the hidden moon there are fourteen days of waning.

David wants the Lord to deliver him from his enemies and from those who persecute him. He borrows from Num 6.23-27 and the aaronic Blessing when he says, “Make your face to shine” upon him. He does not want to be put to shame (31.1) because be calls on Yehovah. But he wants the wicked to be put to shame and be silent in Sheol (let them be brought there). He wanted the lying lips silenced (like Doeg the Edomite) who falsely accuse him to Saul.

Psa 31.19-22 says that even though David had his troubles, he believed God was good, and that goodness has been stored up for those who fear him, and take refuge in him (1 Cor 2.9). He hides a believer in the “secret place” of his covering and from the conspiracies of man (Psa 91.1). He keeps them secretly in a booth (sukkah) from quarreling tongues. This secret place or “covering” is so secure that David found that he was saved from the plots of his enemies, and their words. David says God showed him this to be true when he was in Keilah (1 Sam 23.7) and Saul thought that he had him trapped, but David escaped (1 Sam 23.13-14). David thought that he was done, too, but God heard his prayer and he got away (1 Sam 23.26-29) in answer to his prayer.

On Psa 31. 23-24 David gives a call to God’s people to praise him. He preserves the “emunim” (those with emunah/faith) and pays with precision those who are arrogant. The word for “precision” is “yeter” and it means “bowstring” because the arrow must be properly positioned in order to hit the bulls-eye. A “yeter” is also a measuring rope to make exact calculations. David concludes by saying that we should be strong and be full of courage and “hope” (wait and serve believing the promises) in Yehovah. David’s life should inspire us to do that because God delivered him (Psa 27.14; Isa 40.31).

Psa 32.1-11 is a psalm of Teshuvah (repentance). The heading says, “To David, a Maskil.” The word “maskil” means to “give instruction” and any psalm that is introduced with this word indicates that it was to be said through an orator who translated and interpreted this psalm for the benefit of his listeners (Talmud, Pesachim 117a). There are eleven other psalms with this word. This psalm is full of instruction and things to think about and “Selah” (pause/prostrate) is used several times throughout. This is also a psalm of Teshuvah (repentance) and rejoicing in the mercy of God. Sin is dealt with and the sinner is comforted, followed by instruction.

In Psa 32.1-2 we learn of the blessing of a sin that is forgiven. This psalm is also the Song of the Day for Yom Kippur or Shabbat Shuvah (the sabbath that occurs during the ten days of repentance between Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur). One thing that stands out here is God forgave sin before the cross (Jer 31.34) and the sin is “covered” (Kasah” is related to “Keseh” meaning to “conceal”). David says, “Blessed (happy or empowered to be successful) is the man to whom the Lord does not impute (charge) iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit (no false estimate of themselves and is sincere before God).

Psa 32.3-4 tells us what happens when there is unconfessed sin. David’s body wastes away and his body deteriorated because of worry. Day and night he awaited God’s punishment and anxiety sapped his strength. But in Psa 32.5 says that David acknowledged his sin and confessed it, and he believed that Yehovah would forgive him. We don’t know what sin he is talking about, but many commentators believe it was his sin with Bathsheba.

Psa 32.6-7 tells us that David exhorts the godly to seek the Lord when he may be found. There are moments when God is more “accessible” (Isa 55.6). This can also allude to when the heart is free from all disturbances and feels fully ready to “zero in” on repentance. David did not want his enemies to overtake him “in a flood” of affliction.

Then in Psa 32.8-11 David instructs and teaches us in the way which we should go because he has learned a lesson and he will counsel “with my eye upon you” (not walk blindly). He does not want us to be like the horse or mule which “have no understanding.” In other words, the horse and mule need a “bit and bridle” because they are not guided with ease, they need training. David does not want us to be like them. Don’t make the Lord use affliction, tragedy, distress and calamity to keep us “on the way we should go.”

David knew what it was like to live the life of the wicked (temporarily) and he didn’t like it. God’s mercy renewed him and has experienced a rejuvenation that caused him to be glad and shout for joy, and he wants us to follow his example and repent and ask for forgiveness when we have sinned.

Psa 33.1-22 has no heading and it is a Sabbath psalm, and it is also read on Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur. This is a song of praise and seems to have been written by David by the style. It begins with the same words that Psalm 32 ended with. The writer of this psalm wants the believer to “sing for joy” in (because of) the Lord.” Because praise is becoming (fitting) to the upright (l’yasharim) because they can best judge the mercy and glory of Yehovah (v 1).

In Psa 33.2 the writer wants us to give thanks and sing praises to God with a lyre (kinor) and a harp (nevel) of ten strings. The harp is a symbol of the soul, heart, mind, spirit or inward man of the believer. In Arachin 13b of the Talmud it says that the harp 9kinor) of the Temple had seven strings. When Messiah comes it will have eight strings and in the Olam Haba it will have ten (like the ten Comanndments).

In Psa 33.3 it says, “Sing to him a new song (Shir Chadash) and it is in the masculine, and this alludes to the Messiah. In Scripture, “song” is “shirah” and it is feminine, but here it is masculine (shir) becaause the thought is “Messiah has come” and so it is an idiom for the Messianic Kingdom. No more tragedies or persecution. Our music today is on an eight note scale. The Kinor here has a ten note scale and the the “new song” (Psa 96.1, 98.1; Isa 42.10). Then it says “play skillfully (well) with a shout of joy.” The word “shout” is “teruah” and it is a shattering sound similar to the “sighs” or “tearful wimpers” of people who cannot catch their breath. This symbolizes the person broken with affliction and pain. In the Olam Ha Zeh (this present world) it is difficult to sing with joy over the “teruah” or “shattering affliction” but in the Olam Haba (the world to come) when the divine plan of history will be revealed, men will see the purpose of even the worst pains and they will make happy music (a new song) to God even out of the Teruah blast (the book “Tehillim” by Mesorah Publications, p.396).

In Hebrew, “kinor” (harp) has a couple of intersting facts. The kof (“k” sound in Hebrew) and the vav (“v” sound) add up numerically to 26, the number in the name Yehovah (YHVH). The nun (“n” sound) and resh (“r” sound) spell “ner” which means “light.” Prov 20.27 says, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of Yehovah” (Psa 49.4; Rev 14.1-3). The kinor is the only known instrument whose strings can be strummed by the wind (ruach), and the kinor (as we have said) is a picture of the heart, soul and spirit of a man.

Psa 33.4-5 tells us that the word of the Lord (Tanak when this was written) is upright (just) and the believer will rejoice in them. All his works are done in faithfulness. This refers to the natural order of things that God has designed in the universe and in the earth. What God has designed can be relied upon and it won’t change (Gen 9.21-22) and humans do not need to live in fear of “global warming” or “climate change.”

Psa 33.5 says he loves “charity (tzedekah) and justice (mishpat); the earth is full of the lovingkindness (chessed) of Yehovah.” This tells us that sometimes God exercises “charity” and at other times “justice.” Now, charity can be limited but “lovingkindness” fills the earth.

Psa 33.6-12 tells us that God is not only moral (v 5) but he is the God of all power, and by his word the heavens (plural) were made. As we know from Paul in 2 Cor 12.1-5 there is a “third heaven.” The “first heaven” is the sky, where birds and airplanes fly. Then there is the “second heaven” where the sun, moon and stars are. The “third heaven” is where God is, and what Paul is describing. Then the writer says, “and by the breath (ruach) of his mouth all their hosts (armies).” This tells us that creation was immediate, not over ages (Gen 2.1; John 1.3) and the “Davar” is the “Word” (John 1.1). This “Word” can be understood as a divine expression realized in Yeshua.

Prov 30.5-6 says, “Every word of God is tested (examined); he (notice the word of God is a “he”) is a shield to those who take refuge in him. The word of Yehovah “appeared” to Samuel and Yehovah revealed himself to him “by the word of the Lord” (1 Sam 3.21). So, the word of the Lord “appeared.” Do not add to his words lest he reprove you, and you are proved to be a liar (Deut 4.2; Rev 22.18; 1 Cor 4.6; Psa 5.2).” He gathered the waters of the sea, laid up “deeps” in storehouses. This is what “cleaved” or “knifed up” through the earth at the flood (Gen 7.11). We are to fear Yehovah and stand in awe of him. Why?” Because “he spoke and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.” Again, it (the creation) was done immediately, not in ages.

Psa 33.13-17 says that man’s effort and plans do not determine outcomes. God’s plan in the present world and in the future does. Joab believed this in 2 Sam 10.8-14. No king (or president) is saved because he has a mighty army, and a great warrior is not delivered because of his great skill and strength (ask Goliath), and horses (symbolic of power) are a false hope for victory (ask the Syrians in the Yom Kippur War).

Psa 33.18-22 says the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him. It is God’s hand in shaping events and his care of the individual that matters (Matt 10.29). Then verse 19 says, “to deliver their soul from death” and in Hebrew it has the initials of Haman in the book of Esther. The verse ends with “hunger” and that has the same numerical value as Mordechai who fasted three days. This story, as we know, delivered the Jews from death because Haman’s plan did not determine the outcome, God did according to his plan.

Since the writer has praised him and he has seen God’s hand at all angles, he now ends this psalm with the idea of waiting (serving by obeying the Torah) the Lord because he is a help and a shield. He will trust in the name of Yehovah and requests that the lovingkindness (mercy) be upon his people (and not by any works).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 27-30

Psa 27.1-14 is very eschatological in the Sowd level. It is recited for thirty days (the month of Elul) leading up to the “Days of Awe” (Yamin Noraim which are the ten days between Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur and is a picture of the Birth-pains), and it will continue to be recited through Sukkot.

The month of Elul is the sixth month of the religious calendar (alluding to man) and it is followed by the month of Tishri, the sabbatical month. This psalm is also read with Ezek 33.1-7 through the season of Teshuvah (repentance) which is a forty day period from Elul 1 to Yom Kippur, then through to Shemini Atzeret.

Again, it begins, “To (of) David (L’David)” and it carries the idea that the Ruach Ha Kodesh is speaking through David, or it was written by someone else and dedicated to him. This psalm also teaches us not to be distracted by sin but dedicated to serving Yehovah.

Psa 27.1-3 begins with, “The Lord is my light (Psa 119.105) and my salvation” alluding to the Birth-pains that are coming. Light relates to the theme found in 1 Thes 5.1-5 and Eph 5.8-13, which were probably written around the Yamin Noraim, also called the High Holy days of Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur. He goes on to say that he will not fear (the False Messiah and the enemies of God) because God is the “defense” of his life.

When evildoers “came upon me” (these words relate to the word for “battle”=”karav) to kill him, they stumbled and fell. even though an army (host) come against him, he was not going to fear. This will happen against Israel in the Birth-pains also (Rev 12.1-17).

Psa 24.4-7 says that David has asked for one (echad) thing, that he may dwell in the “house of the Lord all the days of my life.” The term “house of the Lord” is an idiom for the Olam Haba (World to Come) and seen in Rev 21.22. It is also called the Mount of the Lord, the Place of his Holiness, the Courtyard of the Lord, the Delight of the Lord, the Tent of the Lord, the Gate of the Lord, the Land of the Living and the Light of the Living (Psa 56.13). There he will behold the beauty of the Lord and meditate in his Temple.

Then David alludes to the Birth-pains and the Natzal (the gathering/rapture) of believers when he says, “For in the day of trouble (“distress” as in Jer 30.7) he will conceal me in his tabernacle (or Temple)” like he did with Joash in 2 Kings 11.1-3. This alludes to the believer being resurrected on Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001 from creation, and brought before Yehovah in his Temple in heaven (Isa 26.16-20, 57.1-2; Zeph 1.14-17, 2.1-3; Psa 81.3; 1 Thes 1.10; John 14.1; Rev 4.1).

He then says, “in the secret place of his tent he will hide me.” Now, Rosh Ha Shanah is also called “Yom Ha Kiseh” which means the “Day of Concealment.” This alludes to the new moon which is “concealed” in heaven until the first sliver can be seen on earth. Rosh Ha Shanah is the only festival that occurs on a new moon (Tishri 1). It is a day called “the day no man knows” until the new moon can be seen. The David says, “He will lift me up on a rock” which is a term for the Messiah. His head will be “lifted up” above his enemies and he will offer korbanot with “shouts of joy.”

The biblical name for Rosh Ha Shanah is “Yom Teruah” (Num 29.1) which means “awakening blast of the shofar.” Paul refers to this in 1 Thes 4.13-18 where he talks about the Natzal (rapture) and says the Lord will “descend from heaven with a shout (teruah), with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet (shofar) of God.” In 1 Cor 15.52 Paul says the Natzal will happen at the “last trump” and the dead will be raised. The term “last trump” is an idiom for Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Teruah.

So, David is not only talking about being delivered in his own life, but he alludes to the resurrection of the righteous and the catching away of the living to heaven before the birth-pains begin on earth. These believers will be called to heaven to attend the wedding and coronation of Yeshua (Rev 4-5).

That is why the psalm is read before the High Holy days of Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur, the first ten days of Tishri. This time period or “season” (1 Thes 5.1) teaches the Natzal on Rosh Ha Shanah/Yom Teruah (gathering/rapture), the Birth-pains (tribulation) and the Second Coming of Yeshua on Yom KIppur.

Psa 27.7-10 also alludes to the Birth-pains and the Yamin Noraim (Days of Awe), where it says in v 7, “Hear (the voice of the shofar), O Lord, when I cry (or plead) with my voice” which is a theme for Yom Kippur (Isa 55.6). In the time of teshuvah (repentance) we are to “seek thy face (my presence-Hos 5.15).” The phrase “thy face” is repeated three times in v 8-9, alluding to the three pilgrim festivals or “Shelosh Regalim” (three foot festivals) where it was mandatory for all males to appear before God (Exo 23.14-17). Again, this indicates that we cannot keep the festivals today because we do not have a Temple in Jerusalem. If you could keep them anywhere, there would be no need for this commandment because you would not need to go to Jerusalem and the Temple, you could just keep them where you were. No need to “walk” anywhere.

Psa 27.10 says that “Yehovah will take me up” (will gather me) and this alludes to the Natzal (Isa 13.2, 18.3; 2 Thes 2.1-8; Rev 4.1). He does not want the Lord to turn in anger towards him, and does not want to be abandoned or forsaken. He wants the Lord to teach his ways to him (Torah) and lead him on a level path because of his enemies and not be delivered over to the “desire” (literally “soul” in Hebrew) of his adversaries and false witnesses (v 11-12).

In Psa 27.13 we have another allusion to the Yamin Noraim. The first word in this verse is “lule” which is the opposite of “Elul.” This leads to the custom of reciting this in the month of Elul, which is the sixth month of the religious calendar, right before Tishri and the High Holy Days.

Psa 28.1-9 is another psalm that begins “To (of) David (“L’David”)” indicating that it was the Ruach Ha Kodesh speaking through him, or written by someone else and dedicated to him. The themes will be similar to Psalm 27 and it is a prayer for help (a petition) and thanksgiving because it was answered.

David is again under distress and he calls the Lord, “my rock.” The word “rock” is very important to David and just as God used a rock to deliver him from Goliath, so he knows his true “rock” is Yehovah, and he wants to be heard (v 1-2).

He wants to be spared from the destiny of the wicked (v 3-5), and this sentiment is echoed in the words of Paul in Rom 1.20-21. David praises the Lord and is pleased with his response in v 6-7. But he not only praises Yehovah for being his strength, but he is also the strength of his people Israel (v 8-9).

Psalm 29.1-11 is written in Hebrew poetic form describing a storm and it is like the voice and power of Yehovah. There is a prayer that is said daily called the “Amidah” or “standing prayer” and also called the Shemoneh Esrai. Much of the Amidah is modeled after this psalm. This psalm may have been sung when David was bringing the Ark to Jerusalem or to the house of Obed-edom. It is recited on the Sabbath as the Torah scroll is returned to the Ark.

You will notice that the name of Yehovah is used eighteen times in these eleven verses. Yehovah is his name (Isa 42.8) and this name has been found in 2300 Hebrew manuscripts written fully with vowel markings. No other name has ever been found.

David warns the “sons of the mighty” to look away from their own power, and to look to Yehovah. He calls them to recognize his nature and to know this God has a covenant with Israel (v 1-2).

In Psa 28.3-9 we have “the voice” written seven times, called the “Kolot” (voices). Rev 10.1-11 talks about the “seven voices” and we believe this is why. So, let’s look at v 3-9 to see if they have a relation to Rev 10.1-11. David says the voice is over the waters (Rev 10.5) and he is the God of glory and thunders (Rev 10.4). His voice is powerful (Rev 10.3..”as a lion roars”) and majestic.

The voice breaks cedars, yes the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf (branches broken off) and Sirion (Mount Hermon) like a young wild ox. This is the effect the voice has on the tallest trees (an idiom for the rulers). The “voice” divides the flames of fire (the lightning) breaks through the clouds and shakes the wilderness (the ground). The “voice” makes the deer to calve (being frightened by it) and strips (makes bare) the forests by beating off the leaves and branches. In his Temple everything says “glory” (Isa 6.3).

Yehovah sat (judged as the king) at the flood (Noah’s) and sits as king forever. He gives strength to his people (Israel, his covenant people) and will bless them with peace, which ultimately will be the redemption through the Messiah (v 10-11).

Psa 30.1-12 begins with the heading, “A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House; Of David.” To some this psalm was written to be sung later when the Temple was built. The word “dedication” is “Chanukat” and is related to the word “Chanukah.” On the other hand, some believe it was David’s palace (house) being referred to here. But there is nothing in this psalm that connects it to the dedication of the Temple or his literal palace (house).

The theme is God and his great power to deliver. This can be recited after any great victory or deliverance. It was recited when the people entered the Temple for the daily services (Sukkot Machzor, p.172, Mesorah Publishers).

If this was written at the dedication of his palace, we see hints of that in verse 1 where David says, “I will extol thee, O Lord, for thou hast lifted me up” compared to 2 Sam 5.11-12 and 1 Chr 14.1-2. After his house was built, these verses say that David knew God had established him as king and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people. David’s enemies did not rejoice over him (v 1).

In the time of his distress, he went to the God of the Covenant and was healed. He either was sick physically, emotionally or whatever, but he received comfort from Yehovah (v 2).

David says, “Thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol” meaning he was delivered from mortal or “grave” danger. and has kept him alive so that he should “not go down to the pit” or with those victims of the plague in 1 Chr 21 who were dead and buried (v 3).

David them exhorts us to praise the Lord and give thanks to his holy name (Yehovah-Isa 42.8). Why? Because his anger is real but temporary, but his favor is forever. Just as weeping may last a night, joy comes in the morning (v 4-5).

In Psa 30.6-9 it tells us about David’s complacency at times, and when he was prosperous he felt strong. But it was really God’s favor, not his prosperity that was his strength. But Yehovah may “hide” his face and this strength gives way to doubt and a lack of faith. It was then he would pray that God “show his face” again. What good would there be to God if his enemies should have victory over him.

Psa 30.10-12 says that David wanted the Lord to have mercy on him and be his “helper.” David says that the Lord did help and turned his mourning into dancing, and his sackcloth into gladness. The word for “soul” in verse 12 is the word “kivod” because it is the most “glorious” part of a person. It comes from God (Psa 16.9) and David will give thanks to Yehovah,

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 24-26

Psa 24.1-10 is a psalm about the true worshiper (John 4.21-24). It starts out with “Of David, A Song” and it is a coronation psalm, along with Psa 2, 45, 47 and 48. It is one of the psalms recited on Rosh Ha Shanah and recited seven times during the services. It was also sung by the Levitical Choir on the first day of the week in the Temple. Why David wrote it is unknown, although some believe it was written when the Ark was brought up to Jerusalem or when the Temple site became known.

This psalm tells us that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Psa 50.9-12). He founded it on the seas and rivers, so we can see the reason why it is recited on the first day of the week, corresponding to the first day of creation.

There is one place that is special to the Lord and that is the Temple Mount, called the “hill of the Lord” (Isa 14.13; Rev 16.16). We know that Ha Satan wants to be worshiped on that mount and that is why the False Messiah will place an idol in the coming Temple and have people worship him.

Psa 15 is a similar psalm about the true worshiper. They are described as having clean hands (actions) and a pure heart (thoughts, intellect). That is the whole point of the laws of Tahorot or the “purity laws” before entering the Temple. These people are the ones who can stand in the Temple and worship. They have not lifted up their soul to idols and vanity (falsehood) and have not sworn falsely or cheated others through false oaths (v 3-4).

He shall receive a blessing (carry it away) and righteousness as a free gift by faith (emunah-Eph 2.8). These are the people in every generation who are seeking his face, even Jacob (Israel). This includes those who are “grafted in” by faith among the non-Jews (Eph 2.11-22). The word “Selah” concludes v 5-6 and it means to “pause and prostrate.”

Psa 24.7-10 tells us about the Ark coming into the city and eventually the Temple. Remember, the Temple has not been built yet when David wrote this, and this also alludes to the Messiah as king. To “open the gates” is an idiom for Rosh Ha Shanah (Isa 13.2, 26.2; Rev 4.1). The gates also refer to the courts where legal proceedings were done.

The Temple gates were seen as “channels” through which eternal spiritual forces can filter down to this world from Yehovah. These gates are called the “Gates for the Everlasting” and this is figuratively seen as Israel and also the judges who sat in the courts at the gates.

There were three courts that sat in the Temple area. The Sanhedrin Gedolah sat in the Beit Avtinas, called the Great Sanhedrin, and another secondary Sanhedrin sat at the entrance (gate) to the Temple courts. A third court sat at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

These verses also allude to Yeshua’s entry into the Temple in what is called the “Triumphant Entry” into Jerusalem four days before Passover (Matt 21.1-12). Then the question is asked in v 8, “Who is the King of glory?” This alludes to the Messiah (Isa 63.1-6; Zech 14.4; Hab 3.3; Deut 33.1-2; Matt 24.27).

Yehovah “dwells” upon the Ark which is seen as a throne, and the Ark went with Israel into battle and gave them victory because Yehovah is “Lord of Hosts” or the “armies.” Then v 9 says, “Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift up you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” These words were already mentioned in v 7. This repetition alludes to the fact that the Ark was removed from the Holy of Holies and then brought back after. However, the Ark was never in the Second Temple, so this must refer to the Messiah because “Who is the King of glory” is used and it must refer to an individual in v 8 and 10.

Psa 25.1-22 begins with, “To (of) David” (L’David) and when this is used it is neither a song or a prayer, but the Ruach Ha Kodesh speaking through David according to Jewish though, or it was written by someone else and given to him. This is the first psalm arranged according to the Hebrew alphabet, from Aleph to Tav. The first letter of these verses are written in order, but not exactly. Why this is, nobody knows. The order lacks the letter Beit, Vav and Kof, and two verses begin with Resh. We do not know why David wrote it, but we know David was in trouble.

David is troubled by some enemy and David “lifts up” his soul to Yehovah. He trusts Yehovah and does not want his enemies to have victory over him. When he uses the word “wait” it means to serve. It does not mean to do nothing. David is serving God and doing what he needs to do in being Torah observant. He is confident that he will not be ashamed. He does not want the enemy to use his failure as evidence that God does not value faith in him. This has nothing to do with personal embarrassment. However, David prays that his enemies will be embarrassed (v 1-3).

David wants to know God’s ways and to teach him “thy paths.” This refers to learning the Torah and how it applies to him. The word “Torah” means “teaching and guidance” and this is a Hebrew parallelism (v 4). He says it a different way in v 5 by saying, “lead me in they truth and teach me.” He is the God of his salvation and on him David will “wait” by being Torah observant.

He wants the Lord to “remember” (Hebrew “zakar”) his mercy, grace and love which have been demonstrated “from of old” or since the creation oif the world. Mercy and grace was demonstrated in the earth with Adam, it did not start after the death of Yeshua in what was called the ‘Age of Grace” which is taught by many others today (v 6).

He does not want the Lord to remember the sins “of my youth” or his willful transgressions. He was born with a corrupt nature and it showed itself even as an infant, as it does with all of us. He wants the Lord to have mercy on him, not because he deserved it but because he didn’t deserve it. God’s nature is is to be merciful and good (v 7).

God is good and upright because that is who he is and he teaches sinners (the chata’im) the way to repentance found in the Torah (v 8). The “humble” or “meek” in v 9 are those who see themselves as lost and miserable and he teaches them “his way” (Torah). All the paths of Yehovah are grace and truth to those who keep his covenant and testimonies, also the Torah (v 10).

He wanted God to pardon his iniquity “for your name’s sake” not David’s merits or good works. His intentional sis are great against the light and knowledge gave gave him (v 11).

The person who fears God will receive understanding from Yehovah about the Torah and how he should walk. That is called “knowing the Lord” and the difference between them and the “lawless” which means “without Torah, Torah-less or no Torah” (Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.3-4). Then he will live in goodness and his seed will inherit the earth (v 12-13).

The “hidden counsel (sowd, secret) of the Lord” is for those who fear Yehovah. They will know the Torah and the covenant (Ezek 13.8; Matt 13.11). The word “sowd” can also mean “mystery” (v 14).

David says he is looking toward the Lord and he will “pluck” (exit) his feet out of the “net.” God will keep us from walking into every type of deception that Ha Satan tries to bring upon us. We will not be deceived by the lawless (Torah-less) doctrines of Replacement Theology or the False Messiah when he comes (Matt 24.24). To be “plucked up” out of the net is also an allusion to the Natzal (Rapture) coming before the Birth-pains (v 15).

David wants the Lord to fill the void that has caused him to feel lonely and troubled. He wants God to bring him out of his distress (v 16-17). God sees us and will forgive our sins when we repent (Teshuvah). He will also protect us from our enemies, who hate us (v 18). When we are in the Lord, it doesn’t matter how many enemies we have or what they try to do with us. We will be protected (Rom 12.19). He will “guard” your soul and we will not be ashamed. This means his faith in God will not be used against him by the wicked saying God doesn’t help those who place their trust in him.

Then David says, “Let integrity (common sense) and uprightness (wisdom from the knowledge gained from the Torah) preserve me, for I wait (serve the Lord by observing the Torah) on thee” (v 21). David is not only concerned with his own redemption, but also the redemption of all Israel. As a good shepherd, he is concerned with the welfare of his flock (v 22).

Psa 26.1-12 is another one that starts out “To (of) David” (L’David) which to many indicates the Ruach Ha Kodesh is speaking through him, or mit was written by someone else and given to him. There have been attempts to try and place the time of its writing, but that remains a mystery.

David begins by asking God to judge (“shaphat”) him because he has walked in his integrity. He is not asking him to enter into judgment with him as far as salvation, but according to his “cause” before others. For example, between Saul and him, or Absalom. He has walked innocently in the issues he has been accused of, like seeking to harm Saul (1 Sam 24.9) for instance. He says he is pure in his intentions.

David trusted the Lord without “skipping” (“wavering”) and and wants Yehovah to “test” (examine) his cause and “prove him.” He wants God to test his “mind” (kidneys) and his heart (lev), meaning his thoughts and desires. This is a verb parallelism. He knows that God’s lovingkindness and mercy is “before his eyes (in sight) because David walked in “your truth” (Torah). He does not sit with those with no faith or hypocrites (v 1-4).

He also says he hates “the assembly (kahal) of the evil doers” and does not sit with the “wicked” (rashim). He will wash his hands in innocence (clear conscience) before God as he approached the altar to offer korbanot (v 5-6). David loved the Mishkan because it was the House of the Lord (Beit El or “Bethel”) and the place where the glory (kivod) dwells (the Mishkan).

The Mishkan was a microcosm of the physical world. The curtains covering it was like the heavens above, and the veil (Paroket) separating the Holy of Holies was like the sky that separates the upper waters from the lower waters. The laver was like “the seas” and the Menorah was like the sun, moon and stars (luminaries). The Keruvim were like the winged birds and the animal life. The High Priest (Kohen Ha Gadol) was like Adam and the Messiah. The Sabbath is the resting place in God’s presence (v 8).

David does not want his soul to be taken away with the sinners (chata’im) or murderers, meaning he wants the Lord to preserve his life. Just as he separated himself from the wicked in his life and he does not want to be with them in death (v 9). He knew that the wicked had evil plots and took bribes. A bribe is a reward for doing evil (v 10).

David proclaims that he will walk in his integrity (in Torah) even though he is in danger. But God needed to help him and show him mercy (v 11). He is standing on a level place (so he won’t fall or stumble) because he is not in the assembly of the wicked, but will bless the Lord publicly, meaning “in the congregations” and not as one who has been cut off or “separated from the congregations.”

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalm 23

Now we come to one of the most popular portions of Scripture, Psalm 23.1-6. David recalls his life as a shepherd during one of his trials and Jewish scholars believe he wrote this when he was a fugitive from King Saul and his army. He may have been hiding in a dry, desolate forest called “Yair Charet” or the “Forest of Hereth” (1 Sam 22.5). Yehovah did not forsake David and he wrote this song that would not only give himself comfort, but this psalm would be a comfort to untold millions through the ages who were poor, facing possible death in war, widows, orphans, prisoners and anyone in distress.

The psalm begins with “A Song of David” and we are going to look at this psalm through the eyes of a shepherd, a desert shepherd warrior. We will be using as a source a book called “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” by Phillip Keller, Zondervan Publishing House. We will highlight some of his thoughts on this psalm because he was a shepherd and has some great insights. We recommend that if you want a detailed look at this psalm through the eyes of a shepherd that you purchase this book.

Psalm 23.1 begins with, “Yehovah is my shepherd” and David is going to speak as if he is one of the sheep in the care of Yehovah, the good shepherd. David knows that being under the care of Yehovah’s management and control is to his advantage, and he doesn’t have the conflict other sheep do under Ha Satan’s “management.” Like many animals, sheep don’t take care of themselves and we need to ask ourselves, “Do I belong to the Lord? Do I recognize he has all rights over me and can tell me what to eat, where to go, how to worship?” David knows that Yehovah has given him safety, care, direction and freedom and he is committed to him.

Yeshua declared that he was the shepherd in this psalm in John 10.11. But, who is he exactly? We like to throw out concepts but do we really know what we are talking about? Is he really the creator of all things, even the Torah, the Sabbath, the kosher laws and true worship? Is he really full of wisdom and right in all he does? Does he really care for his creation?

David knew that the life of a flock of sheep totally depends on what kind of shepherd manages it, what kind of man he really is. Some shepherds were wise, caring and courageous and willing to defend his sheep. These sheep would be content and be healthy. On the other hand, some shepherds were just hired to do a job, a hireling, and were not going to put themselves out much for the sheep, especially if it got dangerous. The life of sheep totally depends on what kind of shepherd they have.

If Yehovah is our shepherd, we should know who he is (Jer 9.23-24). He knew us before we were born (Eph 1.4) and he made provisions for our salvation before the world was. He wanted us under his care because that is the best place to be. In these words, David seems proud to say that Yehovah is his shepherd, he is almost bragging about it.

Then David says, “I shall not want.” David says this because the Lord is an expert at taking care of him and he does not need anything. He is not talking about physical or material needs only here. The welfare of the sheep depends on the skill and protection of the shepherd, and David knows he has a good one. Whoever manages our lives makes all the difference. Ha Satan is a bad shepherd and his “flock” has many “wants” and “needs” and his sheep feeds on lies, distortions, false doctrine and deception. You could say his pastures are deadly.

As we look at David’s life, he had many physical “wants” when he was running from Saul, Absalom, the Philistines and others. He was hungry, thirsty, no shelter and tired. Believers are foolish to think that we will never have lack or needs. Physical prosperity is not necessarily a mark of God’s blessings (Rev 3.17). What David is saying here is referring to something else. David or the believer shall not be in need of expert care and management from Yehovah.

But, on the other hand, a “hireling” shepherd can be deaf to the sheep under his care. They won’t be concerned about the welfare of his flock, and they will not take care of the pastureland either. He will not spend time with the sheep and just let them scrounge around for themselves to find food (the truth of Scripture). Predators will hunt them down and robbers will steal them and abuse them. This flock will have poor pasture land, full of dead grass, weeds and things that will harm them. In the winter, they will not have enough good feed to sustain them. Adequate shelters from the wind and the cold will be non-existent, and they will be seen shivering in the cold, tired, hungry and cold. They will have polluted water to drink, with all the parasites that go along with that. The lack of salt and trace minerals will also cause them to be sick. This is because the bad shepherd just doesn’t care. These sheep will want green grass and good water, but won’t get it. If they are wounded, bruised, diseased and full of parasites inside and out, they won’t get any help.

Ha Satan is an evil shepherd like that and laughs at the life of all those poor, sick and uncared for sheep all around us. We all know people who are rich and have the world at their disposal on the outside, but inside they are poor and without happiness. Conversely, we all know people who don’t have much of what this world has to offer but are of happy and joyous.

What David is talking about is contentment and satisfaction. David is saying he is content with how the Lord manages him, and nothing is too hard for his shepherd when it comes to taking care of his flock. Yehovah will stop at nothing to manage his sheep correctly and provide them with good food, water and healthy benefits.

But, many believers are not content with God’s control. The story of the “Machloket” (controversy) of Korah is a major example of that. Female sheep are called “Ewes” and they can be very attractive and it may seem that they can be very lucrative to own, but they can get restless and not very content and they will cause more problems than the other sheep. Sheep that are not content with their state will try to break free and get out of a fence. She will even teach the younger lambs to do the same thing. To save the rest of the sheep, she will need to be removed. She is like the person who is never satisfied and will never be able to say, “I shall not want.” Contentment is the sign of a person who has put all their trust into the hands of Yehovah and is satisfied with the way he is being led and managed (1 Pet 5.7).

Psa 23.2 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures” and this is very significant. There are four things that a sheep needs in order to lie down. They must be unafraid, no contention with other sheep, not bothered by insects or parasites, and they must not be hungry. This is also true with people. A person who is full of fear cannot rest and this fear will control them day and night. It will come with unseen events, tensions between others and irritations, and they must have their needs met. David goes on to say, “He leads me beside quiet waters” and the word for quiet is the Hebrew “Menuchah” and it means a tranquil rest, a matrimonial rest (Isa 11.10). A good shepherd knows where the best water is, and where the turbulent water is. Water is life to a flock of sheep, but getting “quiet” waters is not easy. Watering places can be made and the sheep can be led down to where these waters are. The shepherd may need to use his hands to help water his thirsty flock.

Water can also come down from the rain and settle on the grass. Many don’t know this, but sheep can go for a long time without drinking, especially if the weather is not too hot. Water can also come from ponds and streams and it is important for the shepherd to know where the good watering places are.

Spiritually, water is a type of the Word of God in the Scriptures (Eph 5.26) and the people who drink in the Tanak, Gospels and Epistles everyday are more likely to be more balanced and able to handle the pressures of the day (Isa 8.20). But many believers don’t do that. They try to quench their thirst with money, jobs, family and entertainment. But after all that is over they are still thirsty. All the world and its enticements cannot satisfy a thirsty soul. People turn to drugs because it is easy, but the deep wells of God are hard to dig and it takes time. We may go through afflictions by the leading of God, but even those times are for our own benefit. But people don’t want to be led of God, they want to stop and drink from filthy pools of water instead of the clean, cool waters of the Word of God.

Psa 23.3 says, “He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Remember, David is speaking like a sheep who is in the care of a good shepherd, but even David or sheep can be depressed and feeling “down.” Psa 42.11 says, “Why are you sunk down (in despair), O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise him , the help (“yeshuat”) of my countenance (face) and my God.” Hope in Jewish thought is not like it is understood by many. It is not a “wish.” It is a “sure thing based on God’s word.”

Any shepherd will tell you about a “cast down” sheep. This is when a sheep turns over on his back and they can’t get back on their feet. They will just lie there and try to get up, but can’t. If the shepherd does not come along and get that sheep back on their feet they will die. So when the shepherd counts his sheep and one is missing, he must get out there to find it because it is in trouble and may be “cast down.” So, how does this happen?

If a shepherd has fat sheep or one with a long fleece, it will lie down in a groove to relax, but the body shifts and then settles in. Their feet can’t touch the ground and they will panic and this only makes things worse. They will lie there, feet up in the air and the gases in their bellies begin to take over. It expands and blood circulation is cut off to the legs. If they are not put back on their feet, within hours or days, depending on the weather, they will be dead. This is the story behind the parable of the good shepherd who goes out to find one of his missing sheep in Matt 18.12-14.

Yehovah is like that shepherd who goes out to find one who is missing. He wants us to stand up on our own two feet. He has compassion for his people who are “cast down” emotionally or physically and he wants to restore us.

We tend to be like sheep and we want to find a nice, comfortable spot to lie down. But when we do that we could be heading for trouble, because we don’t want to go out on a limb and be uncomfortable for the things of God and the Torah. We don’t want to stand up for the Sabbath, that is too hard. And just when we think we have reached success and acceptance in the world, that is when we are in the most danger.

Sheep can be cast down because they have too much wool. This symbolizes the person who has accumulated much in this world, but these possessions can weigh us down, too. Sheep can be overweight and become cast down. They are eating a rich diet and this is not healthy. This must be corrected or it could lead to disaster for that sheep.

Spiritually, Rev 3.17 addresses this and it says that riches can be a sign that we are in danger. Worldly possessions and wealth is not a sign that you are spiritually well off. Just like a shepherd who must cut off the wool of his sheep, or put his sheep on a diet, Yehovah may do the same with us. At the time it may seem terrible but it can keep us from being a cast down sheep.

Yehovah will lead us in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Sheep are like people and are creatures who can get into “ruts” by doing the same thing over and over. Pastureland can be over grazed and become ruined. In the 1800’s, the cattle people did not like the sheep people because the flocks would come in and ruin the pastures and follow the same paths until everything is nothing but ruts.

Sheep cannot take care of themselves. They need to be managed and given direction. If you leave them alone there will be nothing but disaster. If an owner just buys sheep and leaves them alone, they will ruin everywhere they go. Trails will become valleys and erosion on the hills can cause a whole field to be useless. All this happens because the sheep were left to themselves. They will eat the grass until the roots are gone, and this causes the land to be nothing but dirt.

David was a shepherd and he knew all of this and he kept his sheep moving. He would take them from place to place so that the land was not overgrazed. This will also keep the trails from turning to deep ruts.

Spiritually, we go on our path through life and do things over and over again, and we get into “ruts.” We have the same habits that caused ruin in the lives of others. We did things “our way” and never really cared about what others wanted, but the end of all that is death (Prov.14.12, 16.25). We end up like the sheep who go over the same ground and trails and we end up on barren land.

On the other hand, Yeshua wants us to follow his leading and he will lead us on the paths of righteousness, which is the Torah. The early believers were Jewish and they were Torah observant, and the sect was called “The Way” or “Ha Derek.” This path is only for those who are not stubborn, arrogant or selfish. Those attributes lead to destruction, not righteousness.

Yeshua wants us to follow him, so let him lead. He wants us to walk with him. Being one who is not a follower and insisting on his way only has no place in the Kingdom of God. David said in Psa 19.8, “The Torah of Yehovah is perfect, it restores the soul.”

In Psa 23.4 David says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (harm), for thou art with me.” Psa 23.1-3 has David, or the sheep, boasting about his shepherd. Psa 23.4-6 has David, or the sheep, talking directly to his shepherd. This is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible. This describes a place of danger and David may have had his experiences in the desert in mind. But David was a shepherd and this also carries the meaning of a shepherd taking his sheep to the mountain grazing areas, but he must pass through some valleys to get there. These mountain pastures are very rich.

The trip to these mountain grazing areas through these valleys is very dangerous because there are predators hiding in the rocks and crevices. Sudden rain and snow storms can also come out of nowhere that can send a lot of water through these valleys, causing floods, mud slides and avalanches. These all can cause trouble for the flock. If a sudden snow storm comes up, the sheep can get wet and with the freezing temperatures, it can kill them. But a good shepherd is prepared for all this and will use his skills to protect his flock. So the sheep respond, “I will fear no harm because you (the shepherd) is with me.”

Spiritually, we will all go through valleys but we must remember that our shepherd is with us and taking us to higher ground to a rich feeding ground and good water. Believers want the mountain top experiences but they do not want to go through the valleys. But you can’t get to the higher places without the valleys.

Yeshua said he would be with us and never turn and leave us alone, that would be a bad shepherd, so we should fear no harm as well. Our past experiences with Yehovah should give us confidence (faith) and we can go into the dark valleys in our lives without fear. When the other sheep see our confidence, it should encourage them also.

The last part of Psa 23.4 says, “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” A shepherd in the field carries little in the way of equipment. In ancient times they carried a rod and a staff, like Moses did. A rod is a short “club” that is made out of a very hard wood. He will learn how to throw it at a high rate of speed and be very accurate. It can also be used in discipline. They will throw it a sheep who is misbehaving or wandering away. They may be getting close to a cliff or rushing water.

The “rod” is is also used to examine and count the sheep. This is called “coming under the rod” in Ezek 20.37. It will push wool to the side to examine wounds or other problems. It was always good to examine his sheep. Yehovah uses the Torah to examine us (Psa 139.23-24). We won’t be able to “pull the wool over the eyes off the Lord.”

Another way the rod is used is for protection. The shepherd must protect himself and his sheep from predators, or pushing brush aside to look for snakes or other “critters.” The rod will never leave the hand of a diligent shepherd.

Now we come to the staff. It is the main symbol of a shepherd, as we have all seen. No other job uses a shepherd’s staff. It is a symbol of authority, discipline and defense. A staff also speaks of salvation, rescue and comfort because it is long and slender, with a “hook” on the end. The shepherd will carefully pick it out, shape it and cut it to fit his needs. If the rod speaks of the Torah, the staff speaks of the Prophets under the inspiration of the Ruach Ha Kodesh. He consoles, comforts and shows us his correction.

A staff can be used to gently lift a lamb and place it with its mother. He does not want to put his scent on the lamb or its mother may reject it. The shepherd can also use it to draw a sheep over to himself. He can use it to guide or simply lay it against the side of a sheep to let it know he is there. But the staff is also used to lift sheep out of the water, or to get them out of thorn bushes and other dangerous spots. In the same way, the Prophets through the Ruach comforts us, guides us and can draw us closer to our shepherd, and even get us out of trouble.

Psa 23.5 says, “Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.” So, let’s break this down piece by piece. In this verse, remember the sheep are coming to their summer pastures in the high country. The Spanish word “Mesa” means “table” and that is where they are going here. A “table” is a good pasturing area.

The shepherd must go ahead of the sheep to “prepare the table” for his flock. He will put minerals in certain areas and will decide where they were going to camp so that they can have the best grass. He will check the area to see where the grass grows best and see if there are any poisonous weeds, and if there are, he will get rid of them. David was thinking about all of this when he wrote these words.

The shepherd must also keep an eye on predators like bears, lions, coyotes in the area. Many times while hiking we have seen cougar tracks, coyotes and other predators. When we are in the mountains, we know that somewhere up in the rocks these predators are watching us, especially if the dogs are with us. They are looking for any opportunity to attack. Sometimes shepherds will say that they they will find wounded and mutilated sheep, but never saw a coyote or a cougar do it. The damage is done before the shepherd could react. Only an alert shepherd can head off an attack, knowing they are watching.

This is a picture of Yeshua as our shepherd. He knows we are just flesh and we will put anything into our mouths, not knowing it is bad for us, so he will remove these things from us. He also knows every trick of the Devil, who is a lion seeking to attack us. Many believers don’t take this roaring lion serious enough, but the evidence of his attacks are everywhere. That is why we should stay close to our shepherd at all times by prayer, observing the Torah and study.

A good shepherd will also clean out the water sources of debris before they can drink. In all things, the shepherd goes ahead to take care of anything that might harm his sheep before they even get to the good pasture.

Spiritually, Yeshua has gone ahead of us to prepare every situation we come to for our benefit. He knows us and he knows what we need, and for the most part, we will never really know everything he has done for us. But what we can do is rest and have confidence in him and realize that his very presence is for our own benefit. Ha Satan is a predator and he will not overtake us.

Our lives have mountains, obstacles and deep valleys to go through, or over, and not everything is going to be peaceful. The predator can still attack, or we will eat poisonous doctrine. Massive storms will afflict us, but we must remember that our shepherd is still there.

To “anoint” the head of sheep is a practice that goes back centuries. In the summer, there will be flies. When watching programs about an Alaskan summer, you will see the people and animals being attacked by flies and everyone is swatting them away. These flies can cause much affliction among the flock. It can cause sheep to be very disquieted and if not dealt with, they will be in distress. The nose fly will come around the head and they can get into the nose. If eggs are hatched in the nasal membrane the worms can burrow into the flesh causing swelling and irritation.

The sheep will try to get relief and beat their heads on rocks, trees and the dirt. They could also kill themselves in a rush to get relief. They will panic and run. But a good shepherd knows what to do. They will take linseed oil, sulphur and tar and smear it around the head and nose. Once this is done, they sheep cease being distressed and their frustration level drops. But this needs to be done over and over again in order to get relief. As a flock, this can take a lot of time but the shepherd knows they are being helped and their demeanor will change to being less stressed.

Spiritually, when the “flies” in this life begin to bother us, the Ruach Ha Kodesh will bring us relief. We need to have our head anointed with the oil of contentment and quietness daily. People and circumstances can “bug” us to the point we become agitated, but Yehovah will be there to help us. We all get irritable and our flesh can flare up, but our shepherd will bring us relief.

Another problem sheep have is scabs. It is a disease that is common with sheep. Tiny microscopic parasites will infect the sheep and this can be passed on to the others. Sheep rub their heads together to be friendly, but that is how the infection spreads. When a sheep that was designated as a korban came, it was to be without spot or blemish, which included not having scabs. To control this, linseed oil, suphur and other ingredients was used, and David may have used olive oil mixed with other spices to deal with this in his sheep.

Spiritually, we can have a “scab” which is false doctrines and ideas. We have contact with others to be friendly (rub our heads together) and these false ideas spread, causing much damage in the flock. False teachings can shape our thoughts and desires and we can become contaminated by contact with others. But, we need to avoid such people. We need to fellowship with people who believe in Yeshua and want to follow the Torah. By doing this, we will not be contaminated with the ideas of the world, false doctrine and Replacement Theology.

The summer is also the time for reproduction, and great battles can happen between the rams over the females. They will “butt heads” and hit each other with tremendous force, causing a horrible sound. The shepherd will smear grease on the heads of the rams so that when they hit each other, their heads will just glide off each other.

In the faith, people are like that. We will “butt heads” over doctrine and other emotional issues causing much damage. That is when we need the Ruach to come in and change us. We need to see how vain all this is and to be content with whatever comes our way. We must inform others about the Torah and the Messiah, but our job is not to convince them. If they don’t listen, we don’t need to take it personally. Give them to Yehovah.

Eventually, summertime ends and it starts to get colder, which means the weather is changing, and snow and blizzards are coming. These storms can come up suddenly also. We have experienced this in the mountains several times. You are driving along and all of a sudden you are in the middle of a major snowstorm. We even got a flat tire one time in the middle of a blizzard. When we left it was fine. Once through the blizzard, it was sunny again. A shepherd and his sheep will go through this cold weather together.

The shepherd will carry with him a mixture of wine or brandy, with some water. Whenever the sheep, especially a lamb, gets cold they would pour a little down their throats. Immediately, the lambs would become energized again. But in order to do this, the shepherd had to be in the weather with them.

David shared his wine with his sheep and was aware of any change in the weather or coming storms in the life of his flock. Yeshua shared the wine of his blood with us, and we became born again and energized. He is like the Good Samaritan who poured in the “oil and the wine” to help us heal (Luke 10.34).

This brings us to Psa 23.6 where it says, “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” All of the care we have briefly talked about is summed up in this verse. David knows that whatever has happened to him, or will happen, goodness and merch will follow. That is the advantage of having Yehovah as his shepherd.

Do we feel this way about our shepherd? How do we react when life takes a turn we didn’t see coming? Do we really believe Yehovah is in control? As the good shepherd, he does not give up on us, so goodness and mercy will also follow us

We know that sheep who are mismanaged can ruin good pasture land, but if they are managed correctly these sheep can be a great advantage to these fields. Sheep manure is very balanced and when scattered can be very healthy for a field.

Anciently, sheep were called “golden” because they were a benefit. They would leave their manure behind and the fields would benefit. Their manure was healthy because they often ate other plants, not just grass. They would rest on the high places and this caused those areas to prosper as well.

Spiritually, what we leave behind should be a blessing to others, too. Do we leave behind the truth or false doctrine? Isa 52.7 says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet that brings good news (basar), that publishes peace.” Nobody is going to live a perfect life, and we all experience bad things that we probably caused, but we also can “deposit” the things that can prosper the land also.

David is so satisfied with his shepherd that he does not want anything to change. Yehovah loves his flock and his flock loves him back. They do not want to be separated from each other. The word “house” in this verse has a deeper meaning. The first word in the Torah is “B’reshit” and the first letter of that word is written with an enlarged “Beit” which means “house.” At creation, God was not only creating a physical universe, but he was creating and building a “house.” David had a good life and was satisfied with his shepherd and he wanted to be in that “house” forever.

David is talking about the “home” ranch where the shepherd lives. Remember, David is writing this psalm from a sheep’s perspective. This psalm goes over a whole year in the life of the flock, and now he is back home again.

Yehovah has taken the sheep from the good feeding grounds and waters of the home pastures, up through the valleys and passes to the high mountains for the summer, and where it is much cooler. As fall comes, the weather changes as we all know and the sheep are led back down to the ho.me ranch again for the winter. They have come full circle and are safe. David seems to be boasting about the last year and how he has made it safely back to the home of his shepherd. He has been protected from all predators and life challenging situations because his shepherd is wise, skilled and knows what he is doing. That is all any sheep can ask.

We should feel this way about our shepherd and boast about how great he is. We should tell others about all the situations we have been through unharmed because the shepherd has taken care of us. But, not everyone is part of this flock

Many people are being managed by a heartless shepherd called Ha Satan. These poor creatures are left alone to fend for themselves. They are left out in the cold, freezing with their backs to the wind because they have no shelter. They are neglected, hungry and sick. They are tormented by insects and cannot rest, hunted by wolves and other predators. They are sheep with little hope and they try to escape under the fences to get to better feeding grounds on the pasture of the good shepherd. When they do, they eat so much that they cannot even stand up and will lie down under a tree, but their digestive system can kill them because they are not used to such a rich diet. If the heartless shepherd finds them like that, he would take a knife and slit their throats because he doesn’t care. They left the pasture and will do it again, so he just gets rid of them.

This is what Ha Satan does. These sheep tried to get good feed on their own, but they did not belong in that pasture and didn’t know the good shepherd. The world is like a ranch where the shepherd doesn’t care for the sheep. Ha Satan is a heartless owner and he has impoverished sheep under his management. These sheep long for a better life but can’t escape.

Yeshua is the door to the life David is talking about (John 10.9). He is the good shepherd and he cares for his sheep, unlike the heartless shepherd. Zech 11.17 says, “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!”

There is big difference between the sheep under the care of Yehovah (Jer 3.14-15) and the sheep under the mismanagement of the evil shepherd (Jer 23.2). The phrase, “house of the Lord” is also referring to the Kingdom of God (Isa 2.2-4) and to the Olam Haba, or “the world to come.” The sheep of Yehovah can truly say, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 21-22

Psa 21.1-13 is not only about David, but it is also messianic, as are many of the psalms. Remember, we must look at these psalms from the Peshat (literal, simple), Remez (alluded to, hint), Drash (explore, ask) and Sowd (secret, hidden) level. We also need to keep in mind that these psalms can be seen from six different reference points at times. They are the Historical, Messiah’s first coming, Messiah’s second coming, The Birth-pains, the Day of the Lord and the Olam Haba.

We know that the future redeemer of Israel (Yeshua the Messiah) is also called “David” in Ezek 37.25, and both David and Messiah both suffer at the hands of their enemies, who refuse to accept his kingship. Both overcome their enemies and are accepted ultimately. Again, this psalm begins with “For the Conductor; a Psalm of David.” This is verse 1 in a Jewish published Bible, so keep that in mind also.

David (and Messiah) rejoice in the strength of Yehovah. The word “glad” (NASB) is the word “yishmach” in Hebrew and it has the same letters as “Mashiach” and it alludes to the fact that there will be joy at the coming of the Messiah. David may have written this psalm at the beginning of his reign in Hebron. He prayed that his shaky beginning would finally be established (v 1).

In Psa 21.2 it says, “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and thou hast not withheld the request of his lips.” In Berakot 5.5 of the Mishnah it says if the words of a prayer flow smoothly from the mouth with no hesitation, it is a sign that his request has been accepts by Yehovah. Selah (pause/prostrate) is used again for the reader to reflect on what has just been said.

In Psa 21.3-7 there are reasons for the king’s happiness and rejoicing. He has blessings of good things and placed the crown of pure gold on his head. He asked “life of thee” and this alludes to Yeshua in the garden (Matt 26.42, Luke 22.42), as well as David asking for physical life when he fled from Saul, Absalom and others. He also asked for “length of days” and it was given to him forever and ever. This refers to David’s royal line and that it will live forever as promised through Yeshua (2 Sam 7.13; Rev 5.13). Majesty and slendor was given to him and God has made him a blessing forever. He is joyful with the gladness of his presence, literally “face.”

The Targums (Aramaic paraphrase) and the Talmud render the word “king” as “Melek Mashiach” in verse 7 and this shows that the Jewish belief was these words speak of the Messiah. However, a change to this interpretation happened in the Middle Ages because Christianity interpreted it that way, too. The Jewish teachers said it was better to interpret this as just referring to David than to agree that Yeshua was the Messiah.

Psa 21.8-10 talks about how Yehovah will defend his people. He says”your right hand (a term for the Messiah) will find out those who hate you.” It also says that he will make them “as a fiery oven” at the time of God’s anger. He will devour them with fire and swallow them up.

The Roman General Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. with fire. In another example of “Midah Kneged Midah” (measure for measure) Titus requested that when he died they were to burn his body by fire and scatter his ashes in the sea. He said this so that the God of the Jews couldn’t find him and bring him before a tribunal of justice.

Psa 21.11-12 give the reasons why judgment came upon the enemies of God. They intended evil and devised a plot, but they didn’t win. We know they did this to David and Yeshua (Matt 26.1-5). They will be scattered and the Lord will take aim with his arrows at their faces. God’s judgment is seen as arrows. David ends this psalm with praise for Yehovah “in strength.” This takes us right back to Psa 21.1 where David started by saying “Yehovah, in thy strength the king (David, Messiah) will be glad.”

This brings us to Psa 22.1-31 which in the Peshat (literal, simple) refers to times in the life of David where he felt forsaken. But this also refers to Yeshua, especially at the crucifixion in some verses. It can also be read by anyone who is being persecuted. The meek and the innocent suffer also and their feelings are expressed in this psalm.

We are going to look at this psalm in a little more detail than some others because it is so important, looking at David without ignoring the allusions to Yeshua. Of course, the first verse in a Jewish published Bible says, “For the Conductor; on the Aiyelet Ha Shachar. A Psalm of David.”

In this verse we have some important concepts. So, let’s start with “Aiyelet Ha Shachar.” It can mean “the deer of the dawn.” The “deer” aspect alludes to the “meek and innocent” as mentioned before, and is a type of the believer in Psa 42.1-5. Ha Shachar refers to the “dawn” or the “morning star.” The “morning star” is the sun and we have already said this is a type of the Messiah (Mal 4.2; Psa 19.4-5; Rev 22.16). So, this can be understood as “the Deer (believer) of the Sun (Messiah).”

Immediately in verse 1 we have an issue we need to deal with. It starts out by saying, “My God, my God (answer me), why hast thou forsaken me?” In Hebrew it says, “Eli, Eli, lama azavtani.” Azavtani means “forsaken” in Hebrew and these are the words of unbelief and Yeshua would have never said this, and that’s because he didn’t. Yeshua said “sabachtani” and we want to quote from the book “Idioms in the Bible Explained and a Key to the Original Gospels” By George Lamsa, P. 102-104. It gives us an explanation of this verse and shows us the meaning of the word “sabachtani” and why Yeshua was not exactly quoting Psa 22.1. We want to quote it to give you a proper dissection of this phrase.

Lamsa begins by taking “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani” and says, “All the versions of the Gospels have retained these words in the original tongue and given them a different meaning. Matthew, according to the Eastern version, does not translate them, because he wrote to the people who had seen Jesus and heard him preaching. It also seems probable that the later writers did not agree on its exact meaning when they translated them into Greek. This term even at present is only used by the Aramaic speaking people in Assyria, the same language the Galileans spoke at the time of our Lord. This phrase in Aramaic means. “My God, my God, for this I was kept (this was my destiny, I was born for this).”

“Jesus did not quote the Psalms. If he had he would have said these words in Hebrew instead of Aramaic, and if he had translated them from Hebrew he would have used the Aramaic “nashatani” which means “forsaken me” instead of the word “sabachtani” which in this case means “kept me.” Even the soldiers who stood by the cross did not understand what Jesus said in that hour of agony and suffering. They thought that he was calling on Elijah because the word Elijah in Aramaic is “Elia” which is similar to that for God, “Eli.”

“In those last minutes of suffering Jesus watched the crowd, which was composed of Rabbis, Priests, men and women of Jerusalem, who had come up to watch him dying. Some insulted him. Others spitting in his face, and others calling him names and challenging his claim that he is a man of God but instead that he was a malefactor and a sinner. Jesus only made a statement to himself and to the friends who were standing and hiding in the crowds near the cross. That he was born for that hour that he may bear witness to the truth and open the way for the others who were to be crucified-that that was his destiny. That there was nothing else that could have given such a glorious victory as the cross.”

“The disciples and women who were from Galilee never for a moment could have thought that Jesus said that God had forsaken him. How could he say that when he had told his disciples that the whole world would forsake him, even they, but that the Father would be with him. When he told Peter that if he wished he could bring angels to fight for him, and when he said, “Father, let it be thy wish if I should drink this cup.” These words, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani” even today are used by Assyrians when they suffer and die unjustly. Instead of complaint and dissatisfaction, they leave everything to God. They believe that it is God’s desire that they should pass through such experiences. This is the reason why in the east people do not commit suicide.”

Yeshua was not quoting this psalm on the cross, he was saying that this was his destiny, why he came into the world (Eph 1.4; John 12.27). There was no spiritual separation between the Father and Yeshua as some teach (Col 1.19-20; 2 Cor 5.19). David is expressing a sense of puzzlement here. He is asking, “Why would you forsake me?” David wonders why God is so far from helping him. This is a cry of one who feels abandoned. david knew what it was like to experience God’s deliverance, so he is asking “Why?” This has nothing to do with Yeshua. on the cross.

Psalm 22.2-3 says that David made many prayers to God and feels God has not heard him, something Yeshua never believed or said. This is exactly the situation that Job was in but David does not charge God (like Job). He appeals to him on confidence by saying, “Yet you are holy (has a kedusha), O thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” So he remembers who God is and all the times he has helped the Fathers in the past. They trusted in him, they cried out and were delivered.

But in Psa 22.6-8 David feels very insignificant. He says, “But I am a worm, and not a man.” The word for “worm” there is the word “tola” in Hebrew and it is where the scarlet color comes from that was used in the Temple and the Mishkan. It is called “tolat shanni.” So, let’s look at this worm and the concept behind it.

The “tola” worm can be found in the Middle East and used to make a scarlet (crimson) dye. When the female has “babies” she finds a tree (anything wooden) and attaches herself to it. Her hard shell cannot be detached without killing her. She lays her eggs and when the young are old enough to take care of themselves, the mother dies. As she dies, she oozes a scarlet liquid that stains the wood, and the young. They are scarlet for the rest of their lives. After three days, the dead mother’s crimson body loses its color and turns into a white wax, which falls to the ground like snor.

When David said this, it is a clear allusion to Yeshua who gave up his life on a tree so that those who believe can be “washed” in his blood and their sins can be “as white as snow ” (Isa 1.18; Rev 1.5).

David goes on to say he is reproached by men and despised by the people. Yeshua was a Nazarene and so he was despised (Matt 2.23; Isa 49.7, 53.3). Nazareth was an idiom for “despised” in the Talmud. Even the Gospels say, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth (John 1.46)?”

Everyone who looks at David “sneers” and they “separate the lip” and “wag their head.” These are mocking gestures and this can certainly be applied to Yeshua also (Matt 27.41). Psa 22.8 is quoted by those around the cross in Matt 27.43.

But Psa 22.9-13 tells us that instead of shaking the confidence of David (and Yeshua) he still appealed to God, and even though he felt abandoned, he did not abandon the Lord. David says that God has been near to him, even in his mother’s womb, and has taken care of him, but now trouble is near and there is none to help, so David has to rely on Yehovah. He says, “strong bulls” have encircled him, speaking of strength and vigor. This also speaks of those who stood around the cross (Matt 27.41). They opened their mouth “on” David to tear him to pieces, as a “ripping” lion.

In Psa 22.14 it says David was “poured out like water” meaning he had a loss or diminishing strength, the opposite of having his cup “overflowing” as in Psa 23.5 which means an abundant blessing and strong. All his bones are “out of joint” and this shows how extreme David’s suffering was, but it is also prophetic of Yeshua on the cross.

Psa 22.15 says, “my spittle is dry like baked clay” meaning his strength is diminished. Liquids in the body lubricates the body’s various systems. That is why Yeshua “spat on the ground, and made clay and applied it to the man’s eyes who was born blind (John 9.6).” It speaks of “strength” and it alludes to what the Lord did with Adam when he was created by the power of God. Clay denotes a man being “formed” in the hands of the master potter (Jer 18.1-6; Isa 29.15-16, 45.9; Job 10.9, 33.6). His tongue cleaves to his palate and “thou dost lay me in the dust of the earth” (grave). This also alludes to Yeshua (John 19.28-30).

Psa 22.16-18 says that “dogs (vicious men) have surrounded me, a band of evildoers has encompassed me.” From the Hebrew letter “ayin” in “evildoers” going every 26 letters is spells, “a sign for (of) Yeshua.” It goes on to say, “they pierced my hands and my feet.” This verse in the Septuagint (LXX) says this, and it alludes to the crucifixion (Matt 27.38). In the Masoretic text it says, “as a lion” and it may be a way to avoid a clear interpretation about Yeshua being crucified by later Hebrew teachers. David then says, “I can count all my bones.” David examines his wounds and knows he has nothing broken, but when a victim is scourged (like Yeshua was), his bones can be exposed. Josephus says, “Hereupon our rulers supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator; where he was whipped, till his bones were laid bare” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 5, Verse 3).

David’s enemies rejoice over him and “look, they stare at me.” He goes on to say, “They divide my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots.” He was so powerless, they even took his clothes. This may refer to his royal garments and speaks of what Absalom did trying to usurp the throne. However, this is also a clear allusion to what happened to Yeshua in John 19.23-24 and Matt 27.35. In Psa 22.19-22 we have David appealing to the Lord for help. He doesn’t want the Lord to be too far away from him and wants him to hurry to assist him. He wants the Lord to “deliver my soul from the sword.” The first letters of the three words in Hebrew here (“hatzilah maherev nafshi”) spells the name “Haman.”. Then he says, “my only one (soul) from the grip of the dog.” He wants to be saved “from the lion’s mouth (v 13) and from the horns (power) of the wild oxen.”

Psa 22.22-23 tells us that David (and Yeshua) was not forsaken. He says, “I will tell of they name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly (kahal) I will praise thee.” He then says, “you who fear the Lord (the Godfearers who were non-Jewish) praise him (Est 8.17 is an example, also Acts 10.1-48); all you descendants of Jacob (Jewish people), glorify him, and stand in awe of him all you descendants of Israel.” This alludes to the three groups that make up “the Kahal” or assembly. When Israel came out of Egypt there were three groups called Israel, Judah and the mixed multitude of non-Jews. When Yeshua returns, there will be the same three groups because Isa 11.12 says, And he (Messiah) will lift up a standard (a term for Messiah) for the nations (the non-Jews), and will assemble the banished ones of Israel (northern tribes), and will gather the dispersed of Judah (two southern tribes).”

Then we have an important verse (v 23) that shows David (and Yeshua) were not forsaken. It says, “For he (God) has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted (David/Yeshua), neither has he hidden his face from him, but when he cried to him for help, he heard him.”

Yehovah let Yeshua be taken, and any “abandonment” was physical, not spiritual. Yeshua did not “spiritually die” and become forsaken by God as some still teach today in the Faith Movement (John 16.32). Was the Ruach Ha Kodesh withdrawn? No, according to Heb 9.14. God did not accept the judgment of men of the world concerning any guilt concerning Yeshua. He was always the perfect Korban Ha Chataat (sin offering-2 Cor 5.21).

In Isa 22.25-31 David tells us that his praise will be of God and he will fulfill his vows in the great “assembly” (kahal) because God has been faithful to him, and there is hope for the poor. They shall eat and be satisfied, all those who seek him will praise the Lord. All people will remember and turn (repent) to Yehovah, including the non-Jews. For the kingdom is Yehovah’s, and he rules the nations. All the prosperous of the earth will eat a consecrated meal to God, or a Lord’s Supper, as seen in Isa 25.6 and Matt 8.11. Even those who have died will bow before him (Isa 26.19; Phil 2.10), even those who “cannot keep his soul alive (second death of the unbelievers). Posterity will serve him (the seed of Isa 53.10), and all will come and declare his righteousness to a people who will be born (Isa 66.7-9; Isa 53.1) that he has performed.”

As we can see, this psalm teaches that even though David was undergoing a tremendous trial, he was not forsaken. How much more should we realize that Yeshua was not forsaken at the cross either. This goes back to where we started in Psa 22.1. Yeshua did not quote that verse on the cross, but said “to this end I was born, this is my destiny (the meaning of sabachtani, not azavtani). It was his destiny to be born and die for the sins of many (Matt 26.28; Heb 9.28) and he was not forsaken.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 19-20

Psa 19.1-14 tells us about how precise and flawless the heavens are, which are a manifestation of the wisdom and power of God. However, they are not the ultimate source of revelation. The study of God’s word in the Scriptures gives us the ultimate source of God’s revelation to man (Rom 1.1-32). This psalm is part of the readings for Yom Kippur and the Sabbath.

This psalm (song) begins, “For the Conductor; a Song of David.” Psa 19.1-6 says the “heavens are telling of the glory (kivod) of God.” They “stimulate” man to sing praises to God. The “expanse” declares the work of God’s hands and they “speak” to man but there is no speech or words. Their precision is evident all over the earth (Rom 1.19).

Psa 19.4-5 talks about “their line” (like a plumb line used in construction) is very precise. He placed a “tent” (ohel) for the sun. The sun is surrounded by a jacket of gases called an atmosphere. This atmosphere is composed of several layers called the photosphere, the chromosphere and the corona. The corona is the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere and it can be seen during an eclipse, for example.

The sun is also seen as a “bridegroom coming out of his chamber (the wedding chamber called a “chupah”-Joel 2.15; Isa 26.20). This gives us a picture of a wedding where the guests come out to great the bridegroom. All creation is like that every morning. It rejoices when the light of the sun is seen and felt.

Eschatologically, these verses also allude to the coming of the Messiah (Joel 2.15-16; Isa 26.20; Mal 4.2). Yeshua came with a “protective covering” called the flesh because he is Yehovah (Phil 2.5-8; Heb 13.8). We could not live if we saw him in all his glory as Yehovah without the flesh. The earth would “burn up.”

Believers are seen as the righteous and so the moon is a picture of this concept. Just as the moon has no light in itself, the righteous do not have any light of our own, either. But, they “reflect” the light of the sun (Isa 30.26).

When Yeshua returns and comes out of this “chamber” in heaven after the wedding week (Birth-pains-Joel 2.15-16) creation will see him and rejoice as the light of the sun is seen and felt. It’s “rising” is from the extreme end of the eastern sky to the extreme end of the western sky. When Yeshua returns, “every eye will see him” (Rev 1.7) and nothing will be hidden from his light.

Then in Psa 19.7-9 David tells us about the great value of the Torah. He says the Torah of the Lord is “perfect, restoring the soul (nefesh).” It is “blameless” and it is to make the soul complete. It removes the person from the path that leads to destruction because the word “restore” in v 7 is “shuv” in Hebrew and it carries the idea of “convert” (Matt 19.21; Mark 10.21; Exo 31.18; Jam 1.25; Isa 42.21; 2 Cor 3.6; Rom 7.12-13; Matt 5.48).

Then David uses a second word relating to the Torah and that is the word “testimony” in v 7 and it is “edut” in Hebrew. The “edut” (also means witness) is sure (Hebrew word “emunah” where we get the word “faith” from in English, meaning confidence and action), making wise (chachmah) the simple” (Isa 33.6; Heb 11.1).

The third word used for the Torah here is “precepts” and that is “pekude” in Hebrew, meaning “orders.” It is saying that they are” right, rejoicing the heart.” This would include the laws in the Torah that we can’t explain, like the kosher laws, etc. A fourth word is used which is “commandments” (mitzvah) and it means “good works.” The only good works we can do is keeping the Torah. These commandments “are pure (clear cut), enlightening the eyes” and this would include moral laws pertaining to adultery, murder, theft and the like.

The fear of the Lord is another way of saying the Word of the Lord. The word connects us to the “awe” (reverence) of God. This fear (or the word) is “pure (tahor), enduring forever” (olam). This is a fifth way of describing the Word of God (Torah). A sixth way is seen in what David says, “The judgments of the Lord are true (emet) and righteous (zadik) altogether.” The word for “judgments” is “Mishpatim” and these laws would include Temple and ritual laws.

Before we move on, let’s look at these terms again because they are important. They are so important that they are mentioned in some form in every verse of Psa 119.1-176 as we shall see when we get there. We know about the word “Torah” and it is translated as “law.” In the New Testament, the Greek word “nomos” is a loan word from Hebrew and the Aramaic and used for the Torah, translated “law” in English. The primary Aramaic word for the Torah in the Tanak portions of the Aramaic Peshitta is “namosa” and it is a from a Semitic root (“Nem”) meaning “to civilize.” The word Torah means “teaching, guidance and instruction.”

The word “Mitzvot” means “commandments” as we have said and is fulfilled by a specific action. These actions would include the moral laws like murder, theft, robbery and adultery for instance. The word “Chukim” means “statutes” and this would include the commands we don’t understand, like the kosher laws, various washings and the Red Heifer (Parah Adumah).

The “Mishpatim” are the “judgments” as we have said and these are what we can understand and they are made up of ordinances, decrees and social laws, including the Temple service. The “Edut” are the “testimonies” such as prophecies and evidence (witness). All of these words are used over and over again in the Scriptures so it would be a good idea to be familiar with them and to know the differences.

In Psa 19.10-11 David tells us about the great value of the Torah, Mitzvot, Chukim, Mishpatim and Edut. They should be more desirable than gold or any earthly luxury. They are sweeter than honey meaning they are not a burden, as some say (Matt 11.29-30; 1 John 5.3; Prov 24.13). Honey is only sweet for a time, but not Torah wisdom. If you eat too much honey you can get sick (Prov 25.16), but not so with the Torah.

David says, “by them thy servant (eved) is warned.” The word for “warned” is “zahar” and it means to “shine, to send out light, to teach.” It is related to the word “Zohar” which mean “radiance or splendor.” It is translated as a “window” in Gen 6.16. In keeping the Torah there is great reward (v 11).

In Psa 19.12 it says in the first part of the verse that the clearer you understand the Torah the clearer our sins are so we can deal with them (1 John 3.4; Rom 3.20). This is where the instruction, guidance and teaching of the Torah comes in. Errors are due to our imperfect levels of understanding and reasoning. David says in the second part of v 12 that he wants the Lord to “acquit me of hidden faults.” These are the unknown sins and are impossible to connect unless Yehovah shows us.

In Psa 19.13 David says that he wants to be restrained from intentional sins. Where he says “then I shall be blameless (perfect, mature)” there is an extra Hebrew letter “Yod” after the aleph. This edtra Yod has the numerical value of ten, and it represents the Ten Commandments, the perfect code of law. Then David will be acquitted (cleared) of great transgression (open rebellion).

In Psa 19.14 david ends this psalm with a verse that is used in Hebrew prayers. He says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart (do not limit me to just my words but also the thoughts of my heart/mind/soul/spirit. Pay attention to those, too!) be acceptable (find favor) before you, Yehovah, my rock (David uses rock again) and my redeemer (from sin and mistakes). Redeemer is the word “Goel” and it means a “kinsman redeemer.” So lets talk about that concept.

To be a “Goel” or kinsman redeemer a person had to meet three criteria. He had to be the next of king, be willing to redeem and be able to redeem. So, for Yeshua to be our Goel and redeemer, he had to be our “next of kin.” That is one reason he had to become a man and be the “first-born.” He had to be related to us by blood. He also had to be willing to be our Goel, and that was why he came to earth (John 18.28-38; Luke 23.6-25). He also had to be able to redeem by paying the redemption price (John 19.28-30).

Psa 20.1-9 has the theme that the salvation of God’s people does not depend on physical power, but on prayer. It begins, “For the Conductor; a Psalm of David.” Then David says, “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble.” This can mean when an enemy lines up against you, but the “day of trouble” is also an idiom for the Birth-pains of the Messiah (Dan 12.1; Luke 21.28). Then it says “May the name of the God of Jacob set you on high” ( on the high ground, impregnable). Here we see an allusion to the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Gen 35.3; Jer 30.4-8).

This psalm has nine verses and this alludes to a nine month pregnancy and then the “birth-pains.” It also has 70 words in Hebrew corresponding to the 70 nations of the world who will be against Israel and the Messiah during the birth-pains.

God will send “help” (“ezracha”) from the sanctuary and the courts in the Temple were called the “Azarah” and it is related to the word used here in Hebrew. Before a battle they would offer bread and burnt offerings (1 Sam 13.8-12) and God would “remember” them (Num 10.9-10). Then we have the word “Selah” meaning to pause or prostrate (v 1-3).

David wants to protect the kingdom and the people, and this was his desire. Our desires should also be in line with God’s purposes so that he fulfills our plans. That is what “in the Spirit” means. As a result, we will return from our spiritual battles and others will sing for joy because of our victory, and raise banners over the captured enemy and their territory (v 4-5).

David says he knows that Yehovah will save “his anointed” and this is in reference to himself as the anointed king, but this also alludes to the Messiah when he returns from his battles after the birth-pains. Some thought that there was no salvation for David from God, but his victory shows he truly was God’s “anointed” (Mashiach).

Some who attack trust in chariots and horses, but that means nothing if Yehovah is not our defense (Exo 15.11). David also knows that God guides him and orders his steps, and he will trust in the name of Yehovah (Prov 18.10). The charioteers fell and were defeated, but David and the righteous were “invigorated.”

Then he says, “Save (“hoshiah”) O Lord; may the king (Yehovah) answer us in the day we call.” Israel and those who led her are answered when they called out in prayer, and very often that is the only powerful weapon they have (v 6-9). We need to remember that we have a mouth that can be a tremendous weapon when we pray (Jam 5.16).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 14-18

Psalm 14.1-7 begins with the heading, “For the Conductor; of David” meaning a psalm of David. The fool (one who acts contrary to reason) says in his heart “There is no God” (for me). The word “fool” here is the word “naval” and it contains the meaning of a degraded man who denies God. We know about the story of Naval in 1 Sam 25 and that his name is our word for “fool” here, and what he did to David and the consequences (1 Sam 25.37).

Here is a concept to remember. There are no honest atheists (who say there is no God). When talking to one who says they are an atheist, ask them if God can exist outside of their cosmic knowledge, and an honest person will say “Yes” or that they are not sure. That would make them an Agnostic (don’t know) and not an atheist at least. But if they are dishonest they will say “No.” That would mean they have all knowledge of the universe and they know that God does not exist, which is insane, which makes them dishonest.

Psa 14.1 gives us the sad condition of an unbeliever. He denies the obvious about Yehovah, he denies a moral authority and you can’t convince them otherwise. The universe alone is proof of an intelligent designer. The very fact that man exists proves there is a God. Disbelief leads man to corruption. Fallen man instinctively does evil.

So, Yehovah “looks down” from Heaven and observes man, even though man does not believe in him. He looks to see if there is anyone who “understands.” The word for “understands” is “maskil” and it means an instruction, one who understands the spiritual Torah. Man on his own does not seek God because sin refuses to call itself sin, and being sinners makes it impossible to see ourselves as sinners. David says, “there is none who does good” and even if we are not an atheist, it still applies to believers (v 2-3).

After dealing with fallen man, he now deals with believers in a fallen world. It looks like the sinners are strong and have an advantage over God’s people. Don’t they know that they are in great trouble? God never left the righteous and even though they mock the plans of “the poor” (afflicted Israel; the righteous) God is still their refuge. David then says because of that, sinners will never win. salvation (Hebrew “yeshua”) will come and Yehovah will “restore” his people and rejoice in their deliverance (v 4-7).

Psalm 15.1-5 tells us who is fit for communion with God and are known by obedience to the Torah. We are to do good based on the Torah, and love kindness as defined by the Torah. We are to walk humbly with Yehovah, which means “mindful of the circumstances.” Other verses that talk about obedience to the Torah and communion with God are Matt 7.21-23 and 1 John 2.3-4. Who may live in his tents on his holy hill? Psalm 15.2-5 tells us. Now, the word “hill” in Hebrew is “har” meaning “mountain” and it alludes to a kingdom (Dan 2.35) and Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount. Satan desires to sit as God on “the mountain of the assembly.” In Hebrew it is “har moh’ged” or “moed.” Moed is a word used for the festivals.

Rev 16.16 says, “They (the frogs/demons of Rev 16.13-15) gathered them together (assembled) to the place which in Hebrew is called “Har-mohgedon” meaning “mountain of the assembly (festivals-Isa 14.13).” Since the festivals can only be kept in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, this is talking about Mount Moriah. Many teach that this is the “Battle of Armageddon” but there is no “Battle of Armageddon and there is no “Mount Megiddo.”

Har-mohged (moed) means “mount of the assembly” (for festivals) or the “mountain of the appointed times” as seen in Isa 14.13. Satan has always tried to pervert the true worship of God in the Torah and make people follow a replacement theology which replaces the Torah. The real issue in Rev 16.16 is “who are we going to follow?” The frogs (demons) will gather people to the mountain of the appointed times where Torah is taught (Temple Mount) and will try to get you to follow the False Messiah who will be “lawless” (without or no Torah). To say we are “not under the Law (Torah)” means you have forsaken the Torah of God to follow a false theology (Hos 4.6 says “the knowledge” in Hebrew).

He who walks with integrity (innocence, not a schemer) and works righteousness (walks in the Torah); speaks truth (God’s Torah is truth-Psa 119.160); does not slander (evil tale-bearing); nor does evil to his neighbor (anyone he has contact with); nor takes up a reproach against his friend (disgraces or insults those close); in whose eyes a reprobate is despised (repulsive); but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not lend his money out for interest; not takes a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken (v 2-5).

It is interesting to note this as well. The Torah has 613 commands according to Jewish thought, and David lists eleven in Psa 15. Isaiah has six in Isa 33.15, and then lists two in Isa 56.1. Habakkuk has one in Hab 2.4 and Yeshua has one in Matt 22.37.

Psa 16.1-11 starts out with “A Mikhtam of David.” A “mikhtam” means “a crown” and it alludes to having this psalm played on the best instruments with a great melody. According to Peter in Acts 2.25-28 and Paul in Acts 13.35-37, this psalm relates to Yeshua, his suffering and ultimate exaltation.

David has “emunah” (faith/confidence/action) in God even in troubled times, probably the reason he wrote it. He wants Yehovah to “preserve” (“shamar” or keep/guard) him. He is not complaining, but he is confident in God (faith). David knew that Yehovah alone was his God and without him there is no good in him (David).

The tzadikim (saints/righteous) in the world were David’s delight, even though they were not perfect. But those who served idols were going to have nothing but trouble. He was not going to follow paganism and their empty rituals. There was nothing good in idolatry, so David says Yehovah is hi “inheritance” (v 1-6). David will bless Yehovah who has given him counsel. No false god could do that. He has set Yehovah first in his life because he is “at my right hand” (secure) and he will not be shaken (v 1-6).

David says his “mind” (Hebrew “kilyaoti” or “kidneys” meaning the inner man) has instructed him in the night. His “heart” (lev) is glad and his “glory” (“kivod” meaning “soul” here) rejoices. His flesh (Hebrew “basar” where we get the word “gospel” from) will dwell securely. God will not abandon his soul (“nafshi”) to Sheol (lower world), neither will he allow his “holy one” (David and alludes to Messiah) to undergo decay (Matt 228.6; John 21.14; Acts 2.25-28, 13.35-37). He has made known to David the “path of life” (Torah-Prov 3.1-17; Jer 6.16). In God’s presence (his face) David finds fulness of joy, and “in thy right hand” (where Yeshua is-Psa 110.1; Heb 1.3) there is pleasure forever (v 7-11).

Psa 17.1-15 is simply entitled, “A Prayer of David” and scholars are not sure when this was written, but it does talk about a time when David needed help (and there were many). David presents his plea to Yehovah and wants him to hear his case and look at what’s happening with equity. David says that God has tested his heart (examined it) and has “visited” (pakod) him in the night (of affliction) and found that he has not been plotting mischief. David was careful to not gossip or speak evil (calle”d lashon ha ra” or the “evil tongue”) about those who were after him in these troubles. David walked in the Torah and has kept away from the paths of the violent and robbers. David wanted to walk in God’s paths (Torah) so that he does not slip (v 1-5).

Psalm 17.6-12 tells us that David has emunah (faith/confidence/action) that Yehovah hears his call for help. He wants Yehovah to show his “lovingkindness (first time used in Psalms) by his right hand.” The “right hand” is an idiom for the Messiah and David says he is trusting Yehovah as “saviour” to protect him from those who rise up against him and his kingdom (v 6-7).

David wants to be protected like the “apple of the eye” or literally “little man” which is the pupil. When you look at someone, they can themselves as a “little man” in your pupil. This is another way of saying that God does not take his eye off of us and David wants to be protected like one would protect their eyes (Deut 32.10; Prov 7.2; Zech 2.8). Another idiom can be seen when he says, “Hide me under your wings” and it carries the idea of a mother bird who shelters her young from harm (Matt 23.37).

David uses these two idioms in a parallelism to express the idea that he needs to be protected from his enemies. These enemies “are enclosed in their own fat” or materialism, lust and folly. Like a beast they have surrounded David and are stalking him. The enemy is like a lion who is eager to kill him, lurking in hidden places (v 8-12).

David wants Yehovah to confront his enemies and bring them to their knees. God uses these enemies to chastise David (“from men which are thy hand”), who are of the world and only have a “portion in this life” and nothing more. But as for David, who does not desire to be in their place, he will behold the Lord and be like the Lord (“thy likeness”) when he awakes at the resurrection (v 13-15).

Psa 18.1-50 also appears in 2 Sam 22.2-51 in original form. This psalm is very Messianic. Anytime you have a “song” in the Scriptures it will be Messianic in character and message. However, if we only see the “messianic” in things we can miss other messages. 2 Sam 22.2-51 is the Haftorah for Deut 32 which is read on “Matan Torah” which is the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Ezekiel 1 parallels Sinai because it is a “Ma’aseh Merkavah” or “Work of the Chariot (throne of God).”

The heading for Psalm 18 says, “For the Conductor; a psalm of David the servant of Yehovah, who spoke the words of this song to Yehovah on the day that Yehovah delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.” And David then said, “I will love you, Yehovah, my strength.” All of that is verse 1 in a Hebrew Bible.

In Psalm 18.2 we can see the word “rock” is used, and this word is very important to David. We will have “rock” used nine times in Deut 32 and four times in Psalm 18, and five times in 2 Sam 22. Rocks are important to him because they were used to deliver him from Goliath (1 Sam 17.10). The five rocks David picked up allude to when David and his men killed five giants altogether (1 Sam 17; 2 Sam 21.22), and Moses wrote the five books of Torah. The Book of Psalms is also divided up into five books.

We know that Nebuchadnezzar’s giant statue was dropped by a “rock” (like Goliath) in Dan 2.44-45. Zechariah talks about Jerusalem being a burdensome “rock” (Zech 12.3). Yehovah is David’s rock and fortress. The word “fortress” has the same root as Masada, the fortress near the Dead Sea. David will take refuge in this rock.

Yehovah is also David’s “shield” (magen0Psa 84.9; Prov 30.5) and the “horn” (power) of his salvation (a form of Yeshua) and stronghold (high tower). He calls on Yehovah and is saved from his enemies (v 1-3). The “cords of death encompassed” him and these are snares that were laid for him all his life. The torrents (troubles) of godless people frightened him (v 4-5). But he called on Yehovah in his distress and cried to God for help, and Yehovah heard his voice out of his Temple in Heaven (v 4-6).

Psalm 18. 7-15 tells us about the fate of the enemies of David and Israel. In reading these verses, keep what happened to Egypt and Pharaoh in mind, and this is what will happen to Europe and the False Messiah. The earth shook and quaked and the foundations were trembling and were shaken because Yehovah was angry (Isa 24.1-23, 13.13). God’s anger went out of his nostrils depicting his wrath. Fire (judgment) from his mouth devoured, and coals were kindled. Yeshua used this expression in Luke 12.49.

He bowed the heavens and came down. This means he came so fast it seemed like he “bent” the heavens down, making it dark for David’s enemies (v 7-9). He rode (in order to come quickly) upon a “keruv” (angel) and flew as an eagle swooping down on prey (Deut 28.49) on the wings of the wind (Ruach). This expression is very similar to Ezek 1.1-28. This is seen as part of the Maaseh Merkavah throne of God.

He made “darkness” (the troubles inflicted on the enemy) his hiding place (they didn’t recognize his presence), and in a parallelism, his “canopy (sukkah) was around him (hiding him). Dark waters and thick clouds (misfortunes) will come down on the enemy like heavy rain. Brightness (lightning) and the thick clouds of disaster came upon the enemy (like the Egyptians). These clouds produced hail and flaming coals on the enemy (v 10-12).

Yehovah thundered and uttered his voice to frighten them and sent out his “arrows” (lightning flashes) to scatter them (v 13-14). Then the “channels” of water appeared in reference to the splitting of the red Sea, and some believe there were twelve paths that opened up to let each tribe cross at the same time. The bottom of the sea was laid bare at the rebuke of Yehovah, the blast of his nostrils. This was to show that God has dominion over the domain of Leviathan (Isa 27.1), the great sea monster, which is a type of Satan and the False Messiah (v 15).

And Just like Moses and his ancestors, God sent from on high and took David out of his “many waters” (troubles) and delivered him from his “strong enemy” (Goliath, Saul, etc). They confronted him but Yehovah brought him out into a “broad place” meaning “safety.” Yeshua refers to this concept in Matt 7.13-14 where he says, “Enter the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way broad (seems safe) that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow (when entered, it is unpleasant because the flesh is hedged up with afflictions and troubles) that leads to life, and few are those who find it” (v 17-19).

The Lord rewarded David according to his righteousness (his cause and innocence to the things he was charged with). He kept (guarded) the Torah and never departed into idolatry. He believed in God’s power, his guidance, his promises and covenants. God’s judgments (mishpatim) were before him and David loved and respected them. He conformed his whole life around the Torah. When David says he was “blameless” it means he was sincere, complete, mature and walked in faith (emunah) and not by works righteousness. It does not mean he never sinned. He kept himself from “my iniquity” and this refers to taking Saul’s life, which he was tempted to do. As a result, having proved and supported his claim of being clean of hands, God has blessed him (v 20-24).

Psa 18.25-26 shows how God displays the concept of “Midah Kneged Midah” meaning “measure for measure.” With the devout (chasidim), and with the “blameless” (wholehearted), God shows himself “blameless” (wholehearted), and with the “pure” (trustworthy) he shows himself “pure.” With the “crooked” (evil schemers) he shows himself “astute” (twisted, perverted and makes their plans crooked).

David understands in these verse the concept that God deals with a man in the way he treats others. Yeshua said the same thing in Matt 7.2, “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” This illustrates the concept of “Midah Kneged Midah.” Where does David and Yeshua get this concept? From Lev 26.23-24, “And if by these things you are not turned by me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times (completely) for your sins.”

Psa 18.27-29 says that God will save the afflicted, but he will resist the proud (Jam 4.6; 1 Pet 5.5). God will give David the “light” to rule and show his way through the darkness (troubles, misunderstanding). David can “smash” an armed enemy, and with the help of God, he can “leap” a wall. This was seen when David “charged” into the line of battle toward Goliath (1 Sam 17.48) and when he took fortified cities.

Psa 18.30-36 tells us that God’s ways are blameless (complete) and his word is “tried” (flawless like refined gold). He is a “shield” (magen) to all who take refuge in him (Prov 30.5-6). God will give David the power to over come his enemies because Yehovah is real and the false gods of the nations are nothing.

Psa 18. 37-42 talks about how Yehovah gave David victory over all his enemies (Amalekites, Philistines, Moabites, Edomites and the Syrians). He made them retreat and David destroyed them. The Psa 18.43045 says that he delivered David from the “contentuions” of the nations and placed him at the head of them. This alludes to the Messiah also as seen in Psalm 2. Yeshua will subdue the nations after he returns at the end of the Birth-pais. They will hear and obey him, and “foreigners” (nekar) will submit to him. The word “submit” literally means “they lied to me.” They denied that they waged war with him. Fear will get the best of them and they will come out of their fortresses.

Psa 18. 46-50 says that David loved the Lord even more for all the great things he has done. He says, “exalted be the God of my salvations.” God is pronounced “Elohay” and it is the only time in Scripture that it is spelled full with a “vav” (aleph, lamed, vav, hay, yod). This teaches that when Yeshua (salvation) comes, all things that are missing will be “full.” David says that Yehovah has delivered him from all his enemies, and has put him above all who have risen up against him. He rescued him from “the violent man.” This is in reference to Saul, but will also apply to the False Messiah.

David says he will give thanks to Yehovah among the nations, and sing praises to his name. Then he says, “He (Yehovah) gives great salvations (yeshuat) to his king (David, Yeshua) and shows lovingkindness (“chessed” or “mercy”) to his anointed (mashiach), to David and his descendants (literally “seed” and refers to Yeshua ultimately) forever (olam).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 8-13

Psa 8.1-9 tells us that David refers to the glory of God in creation and things that display his glory and alludes to the Messianic Kingdom. The headings says, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra/choir) on the Gittit. A Psalm (song) of David.” Now, the “Gittit” is a special musical instrument designed by experts in Gath according to some scholars. This is the Psalm of the Day for Simchat Torah at the end of Sukkot.

Yehovah is master over all the creation and he displays his glory through weak things like infants and babes. His manifestations in creation are designed to siloence those who are hostile to God (v 1-2). David considers the heavens as the “work of your fingers” and the moon and the stars as “ordained” be Yehovah. he knows that only God could have created these. Perhaps this was written at night when you could see these clear.

In contrast, what is frail man in comparison to these, that Yehovah would even care what happens to him. The word “man” (enosh) denoted mortality, not something eternal (Dan 7.13, Matt 16.13, Psa 80.17). Yet God has made him “a little lower than the angels” despite being frail. Man surpasses all living creatures in intelligent speech and rationale, and has crowned him with a soul and majesty (splendor).

He has also given man sovereignty over the earth, over all sheep and oxen, the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea. Examples of this is King Solomon and how he lectured people about all these areas (1 Kings 4.33-34), Daniel had dominion over the lions, Samson over the foxes, Elijah over the ravens and Jonah over the great fish. Men were given special dominion over wildlife. No living creature is beyond the grasp of man, not the birds of heaven or the fish of the sea. After David relates God’s kindness and gifts to man, he is in awe of his might and just how insignificant man really is (v 3-9).

Psa 9.1-20 tells us how David responds to his enemies, and Israel’s adversaries, like Goliath, Absalom, Nabal, Laben, Esau and Amalek. The heading reads, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra/choir), on Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.” The phrase “Muth-laben” is challenging but it basically means “death (Muth) of the son (L’ben).” This alludes to the death of the “son of perdition” after Messiah arrives and we enter into the future messianic redemption. The False Messiah is typified by Goliath, Absalom, Nabal, Laben, Esau and Amalek. The psalm alludes to the destruction of the False Messiah and how his name (reputation and glory) will be blotted out, just as the previous psalm discussed the Messianic Kingdom. The psalm concerns the Yomot Mashiach (Days of the Messiah) and the future Messianic Redemption.

David’s victories over his enemies are pictures of this redemption. That event is superior to all the wonders God has performed (v 1-2). When David’s enemies retreated like the Philistines did after Goliath was killed, they stumbled and fell. God executed justice when David defended the name of God (Yehovah). God “rebuked the nations” like Amalek when they came against Israel and destroyed them (Num 24.20), and he blotted out their name forever (Exo 17.13-14). The enemy has come to ruin, and uprooted their cities and blotted out their memory because of the “eternal sword” in the Hebrew. This sword is the Messiah and his Torah (v 1-6).

But God is enthroned forever and he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness (Isa 11.1-5) and execute judgment for the nations with fairness. The Lord will be a city of refuge for those oppressed, and those who “know” (Yada=Jer 9.23; Isa 33.6; Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.1-4) the name will trust Yehovah (v 7-10).

In Psa 9.11-12 David then wants the people to praise God who will be the blood avenger (goel/kinsman redeemer) and remembers them (Num 35.33-34; Gen 4.10). Psa 9.13-14 says, “Be gracious to me O Lord; behold my affliction from those who hate me, you who does lift me from the gates of death.” The word “gracious” is “channayni” in Hebrew and it has three Hebrew letter “nuns” consecutively in it. The Hebrew letter “nun” speaks of “life” and David requests extra mercy so he can live and tell all of God’s praises so all can rejoice in God’s “salvation” (“yeshua” is the root in Hebrew).

The nations have been caught in their own net and he has executed judgment (mishpat). In the “work of his own hands the wicked is snared.” Then we have the words “Higgaion (meditation)” and “Selah (pause and think, prostrate)” on these concepts at the end of v 16 (v 15-16).

Psa 9.17-20 says that the wicked will return (shall be turned) to Sheol (the Second Death-Ezek 32.17-32; Rev 20.14) even “all the nations who forget God.” The needy will not always be forgotten nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever (Isa 11.4). David wants Yehovah to “arise” (answer) and let not man prevail. He wants the nations judged before him and “put them in fear” (Num 10.35; Psa 9.5, 14.5, 62.9).

Psa 10.1-18 tells us that it has no title or author named like some of the previous psalms did, and the author wants the Lord to overthrow the wicked, and it is considered a psalm of lamentation. The writer mourns God’s seemingly indifference to his troubles and this psalm is read during Yamin Noraim, or the ten days of awe between Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur. This time period is a picture of the Birth-pains. The writer questions the inactivity of God against the wicked, but God is not really inactive as we all know (Deut 4.7).

There are allusions to the False Messiah in this psalm. The wicked (False Messiah and Ha Satan) are full of pride and they persecute the righteous. The Rashim (wicked) praise themselves for desiring this, and what God wants never enters their mind (v 1-4).

God’s ways are painful to the wicked, and the Torah is “out of his sight.” The wicked always think that they will never fall or have anything “evil” (Ra in Hebrew) happen to them. Their speech is evil and full of wickedness, deceit and oppression. He ambushes the innocent and watches like an owl for the poor. Like a lion he lurks to catch them unaware.

The False Messiah will come and be very humble at first, catching the weak and the spiritually unenlightened with his (Satan’s) mighty ones or “angels” (Rev 12.7-9). He admits that there is a God but thinks “God has forgotten” (he doesn’t care). He has hidden his face and he will never see it (v 10-11).

But the believer responds to this evil by asking God to “arise (answer)” and “lift up thy hand (take action).” Do not forget the afflicted he says. The wicked say that what they do doesn’t matter and God “will not require it” (v 12-13). But the Lord does see what they do and will “take it into” his hand. We see this concept in the Birth-pains (tribulation period) for sure, and he will “break the arm” (strength) of the wicked and remove wickedness from the earth (v 14-15).

Yehovah is king “forever and forever” (“L’Olam Vaed” in Hebrew) and the false nations and unbelievers will not be around in the Olam Haba, or the “world to come” (Heb 6.5; Rev 19.11-16; 1 Cor 15.24-28). God was paying attention all along. Even though the wicked seemed to prosper, in the end they will be cut off. He will remove the preoccupation we have with the problems of this world and cause us to be able to hear the truth of the Torah, vindicating the oppressed and do justice. The “man of the earth” (the False Messiah/unbelievers) will cause “terror no more” (v 16-18).

Psa 11.1-7 starts out with the heading, “For the Conductor; of David.” This psalm chronicles a history of treachery and slander by those who wished to see David dead. However, David trusts in the Lord as a refuge (1 Sam 26.19; Psa 118.6). David fled like a bird to the mountains and caves in Saul’s territory. Whoever sympathized with Saul told him where David was. They “bend the bow” (their tongues) and “make ready their arrows” (tail-bearing, gossip) to secretly get David. If God’s ways (Torah) are destroyed, what can David do, or any righteous person (v 1-3).

But Yehovah is ruling in heaven and he is aware of what is going on. He examines the righteous and the wicked, and he hates those who love “violence” (Hamas in Hebrew). God will test a righteous person to bring out his potential in faith (emunah/confidence/action) and let the righteous one know what he is capable of. But on the wicked, even prosperity is a trap (Psa 69.22). In the Birth-pains, God will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind down on the heads of the wicked (Rev 9.18; 14.10, 20.10). But the righteous will see the face of God (v 4-7).

Psa 12.1-8 is prophetic and foretells a time when the wicked will succeed over the poor and righteous, but it ends by saying God will protect them. This is typified in the story of Saul and David.

The heading reads, “For the Conductor; upon the Shemonit. A Psalm of David.” Now, a “Shemonit” is an eight-stringed instrument. So, right off, we have an allusion to a “new beginning” (the meaning of number eight in Hebrew) and the Olam Haba (the eighth day after the seven thousand years). The Festival of Sukkot teaches the Messianic Kingdom. Korbanot (70 bulls total) were brought for seven days symbolizing the 70 nations who surround Israel. As each day progressed, the number of bulls offered diminished, meaning the influence of the nations in the Kingdom will diminish. But on the Eighth Day of the festival, called “Shemini Atzeret” the korbanot picture only Israel who will remain alone above the nations in the eighth day, or the Olam Haba.

David wants help from God because the devout man has disappeared, meaning that nobody can help him against Saul, a picture of the False Messiah. Nobody is telling Saul the truth about David (“they speak falsehood”) and they are telling Saul where David is hiding. David wants the Lord to shut them up and be quiet. They didn’t think anyone could stop their destructive tongues as they came against David. But the Lord will arise and bring David to safety (v 1-5).

In comparison to the word of the tail-bearers, God’s word (Torah) is pure (tahor) as if they were silver, refined “seven times” meaning completely pure. God will preserve his own words and he will preserve his people, like David. But the wicked will still exist, lurking and waiting to devour the righteous. Unbelievers prefer vileness over the pure goodness of the God’s word in the Torah and all the Scriptures (v 6-7).

Psa 13.1-6 is also prophetic. It starts out, “For the Conductor. A Psalm of David.” This psalm is about exile and this is typified by David’s escape from Absalom and being “exiled” from Jerusalem. The words, “How long” is mentioned four times and this alludes to four exiles (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome). This also alludes to the four thousand years from the sin of Adam to the coming of Yeshua. He came on the “fourth day” eschatologically, and Messiah is seen as the “sun” in Psa 19.4-5, 84.11 and Mal 4.2, which was created on the fourth day in Gen 1.14-19. The fourth word in Gen 1.1 in Hebrew is “et” which is written with the Aleph and the Tav, the first and the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. This word symbolizes the Messiah in Zech 12.10 where it says, “And they shall look upon me (“et” is there in Hebrew as if referring to Yeshua) whom they have pierced.” Yeshua is called the “first and the last” in Rev 22.13, and he was also from Judah, the fourth son of Leah in Gen 29.31-35 (v 1-2).

David wants the Lord to enlighten his eyes and answer him, lest he sleeps the “sleep of death” and be in darkness. He does not want his enemy to say “I have overcome him” and his enemies rejoice when he is shaken (v 3-4). But David trusts in the Lord and all their boasting or the dangers he is facing will shake the confidence he has in Yehovah. His heart will rejoice in “thy salvation” (“Yeshua” is the root in Hebrew). He will sing to Yehovah because he has dealt bountifully with him, meaning he has rewarded him greatly, compensating him for his troubles (v 5-6).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak foundations-Concepts in Psalms 3-7

Psa 3.1-8 is a “Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” Now, right off we have a concept that we need to bring out. The heading in non-Jewish Bibles that introduce this psalm just quoted here is the first verse in Jewish published Bibles. To understand the psalm the reader must understand the historical background concerning Absalom’s revolt (2 Sam 13 through 18). For more information on this, go to “Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel” part 11 through 16.

In Psalm 2 we learned that the nations rebel against Yehovah and his Messiah. A picture of this can be found in the story of David, who is a type of the Messiah, and Absalom being a type of the False Messiah (2 Sam 13 through 18). These chapters describe a seven year drama that is a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God, from the sin of Amnon (the first Adam) and the death of Absalom (the False Messiah) and David restoring his kingdom.

David laments about his adversaries and how they have increased, showing the extent of the rebellion. The word for “many” in verse 2 is “rabim” meaning the great men of the time. Keep in mind that this psalm in the Peshat level (literal/historical) is about David and Absalom, but it is also a picture of the Messiah and the False Messiah in the birth-pains (what Christianity calls the Tribulation) in the Sowd level (deeper meaning). They say there is no deliverance for David.

Then we have the word “Selah” and this word is only found in Psalms, and three times in Habakkuk. It is a musical notation that basically means to “watch what is next” after a pause or a prostration. But David knows God is a “shield” (magen) to him (Prov 30.4-6) in verse 3. He cried to Yehovah and he answered from his “holy mountain” (Zion where the Ark was).

David could sleep because he had confidence in Yehovah and was not afraid of the masses who followed Absalom (False Messiah) and who have set themselves against him by making war and trying to trap him (v 5). David says, “Arise, O Lord; save me, Omy God.” Yehovah is figuratively represented as “asleep” here to denote his apparent indifference, but David also knows God has helped him in the past. He has “shortened the teeth of the wicked” in the past. His enemies were like beasts of prey who had powerful teeth (v 6-7).

He knows “salvation (Hebrew “Yeshua”) belongs to Yehovah” and God’s responsibility is to save his people, and the people’s responsibility is to bless God for it. That is why David says in v 8, “They blessing be upon they people.” Selah (pause, prostrate) is used at the end of this psalm telling us to stop and reflect for a moment because Psalm 4 continues with the same concepts.

Psalm 4.1-8 was also written by David as he fled from Absalom, so this will also have prophetic themes. He addresses his enemies who follow Absalom, so this is a message to those who follow after false messiahs. Again, verse one in Jewish published Bibles is, “For the Conductor; with instrumental music. A Psalm of David.” Now, the “conductor” is the Levite who was designated to direct the Temple musicians. The “instrumental music” is “N’ginot” in Hebrew meaning the instruments used in the Temple.

God has always answered David in the past so he wants Yehovah to be gracious (unmerited favor) to him now. David followed the Torah and knows God hears him (Prov 28.9). The followers of Absalom are called “sons of men” and asks, “How long will my honor (his enemies did not call David by name when angry, only “son of Jesse”) be a reproach.” He asks how long will they love worthless things and seek deception (false reports about David)?” Again, we have the word “Selah.” He says, “Know (yada) that Yehovah has set apart the devout one (a “chassid” or one who follows the Torah) for himself” and they will not succeed against him (v 1-3).

If they have no sense of “awe” for David, at least fear God. Then we have “selah” again telling us to “stop and think” (v 4). He wants them to “turn” (repent) and offer the sacrifices of righteousness and be sincere. He knows that those who follow Absalom are only concerned about themselves. He wants them to abandon their evil and have genuine repentance (teshuvah). Only God can satisfy them, not killing David for their own gain (v 5).

They wanted David dead so their “dreams would come true” but they should not look around at others who seem to be prospering for now (v 6). David says that even though it looks like the followers of Absalom prosper, God’s truth means more to him than their prosperity (v 7). David can sleep knowing that God hears him, so he can get some rest (Matt 11.27-30) in safety. This is the ideal state of a believer (v 8).

Psa 5.1-12 describes those in the revolt who take concepts of Torah and distort them for their own benefit and needs, and only in appearance, wanting power and honor (like Absalom and the False Messiah). The first verse in a Jewish published Bible reads, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra); for the flute (“nechilot”). A Psalm of David.” Each psalm was to have a certain sound made by certain instruments. We know that the one who played the flute was called the “pierced one” and this clearly alludes to Yeshua.

David wants Yehovah to give ear to his words and “consider my groaning (perceive my thoughts/meditation).” he says he will pray “in the morning” and eagerly watch for the answer (v 1-3). Because God does not take pleasure in wickedness (“rasha”) and no evil dwells (remains under protection) with him, it is inevitable that evildoers will be punished, like Ahitophel and Absalom (v 4-6). But David will enter “thy house” and worship toward your holy “heichal” and bow before the Lord (where the Shekinah and the Ark was in David’s time) in reverence (v 7).

He wants Yehovah to lead him in “they righteousness” which means the Torah because my “watchful enemies” will try to exploit any weakness or errors (v 8). They are not sincere in what they say and their heart is treacherous. Their throat is a dwelling place for corruption (like a grave). Their words “flatter” but that covers only from their mouths outward (v 9). David may have Doeg the Edomite and Ahitophel in mind here.

He wants the Lord to convict them of their guilt and cast them down from their lofty offices. They are rebellious against God because they reject his king. When he topples the wicked, the righteous will “be glad.” God will shelter (sukkah) them and those who love “your name” (Yehovah), and they will be liberated from their bonds, resulting in exultation and a feeling of overcoming the resistance. This is proof that their joy is in God and not because of material things. God will surround the righteous with favor like a shield. The word in Hebrew here for shield in not “magen” but “zinah.” a zinah shield is one which protects the person from almost four sides and it is a full body shield, much larger than a “magen.” It is also called a “buckler” in Psa 35.2 (v 10-12).

Psa 6.1-10 was written when David was sick and bed-ridden, and is a prayer for mercy in a time of trouble. The first verse says, “For the Conductor (of the Levitical orchestra); with instrumental music; upon an eight-stringed lyre (called a “shemonit”). A Psalm of David.”

So, right off we have an allusion to the eighth day of Sukkot called “Shemini Atzeret.” It is a picture of the eighth day in biblical eschatology which is called the Olam Haba, or the “world to come. The number eight in Jewish thought is the number of a “new beginning” and the Olam Haba is a time when the Messianic Redemption has been completed (1 Cor 15. 20-28; Rev 21 and 22). It is the number of “release” from this world and when all things “become new.” David may be using an eight string instrument here because he is alluding to being free from the lusts that drew him, and to the time when the righteous will be free from the lusts that drew them as well.

So, on top of all that, there is another message here. A six-stringed instrument alludes to the physical, or the Olam Ha Zeh, which is a sis thousand year period from creation to the beginning of the Day of the Lord. A seven-stringed instrument speaks of the spiritual, perfection, completion and alludes to the Day of the Lord, also called the Messianic Kingdom and the Atid Lavo. An eight-stringed instrument alludes to a release from this world (the seven thousand years) and the entering into the Olam Haba (world to come). A ten-stringed instrument alludes to being one, a harmonious “Kahal” which is the eschatological congregation or assembly of true believers in Yeshua who keep the Torah.

David’s choice of the eight-stringed “Shemonit” to play with this psalm shows his anguish over breaking the Torah because of sin. He did not write this psalm only for himself, but for every person in distress with a sickness. It is a plea for forgiveness and mercy. David asks God to lighten his hand upon him. Chastening is a sign we belong to him (Heb 12.7). Whatever his sin was he deserved what was happening to him (v 1).

In Psa 6.2-3 it tells us he had physical weakness and pain. He also had a spiritual weakness and pain. He asks, “How long” till he is healed. He wants the Lord to return (desist) from his anger and rescue him from his sickness. He says he cannot praise the Lord in Sheol (death). He is tired from sighing and has shed so many tears he “swims” in his bed, and his eyes are sore and red (v 4-7). Psa 6.8-10 shows that David is confident that the Lord has heard his prayers and he will be delivered, and that is not good news to his enemies and they will be “greatly dismayed.”

Psa 7.1-17 tells us that David is justified in his dealings with Saul. Again, the heading says, “A Shigayon of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush a Benjaminite.” This is verse one in a Jewish published Bible, and refers to Saul (1 Sam 9.1). A “shigayon” is a musical instrument (Hab 3.1). But the word can mean “error” or “mistaken choice.” What this is exactly we don’t know, but it could be referring to when David cut off Saul’s tzitzit in 1 Sam 24.1-22.

In Psa 7.1-2 David says that he trusts Yehovah and wants to be saved from those who pursue him. He says he does not deserve this abuse and wants Yehovah to evaluate him. He often had the advantage over Saul but did not take advantage of it. If he did, then let his enemies overtake him (v 3-5). But, since he did not do this, he wants Yehovah to defend him and let the evil of the wicked come to an end, for Yehovah tests (examines) the hearts (lev) and minds (literally “kilyaot” or kidneys). This is a Hebrew parallelism meaning the “heart” is the same as the “kidney” as far as a center for the thoughts and desires of the person. God is his shield (magen) and he saves the righteous in heart because he knows who they are (v 6-11).

If (because) the evildoer does not turn, he (God) will sharpen his sword and bends his bow to cause affliction and trouble. The person who caused this to others and did not repent will have these things come upon him for an example. He (wicked) labors (like in childbirth) in wickedness and is pregnant with mischief and lies. He digs a pit for others but will fall into it himself. His mischief will return upon his own head. David will give thanks to the Lord because everything God does is just. We must come to the understanding that either God controls all things or he doesn’t. As for David, he believes that God’s ways are right because they are his ways, not because he fully sees them as so (v 12-17).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 1-2

We are going to begin a conceptual study in the Book of Psalms, called “Tehillim” in Hebrew. These are also called “hymns” and “praises” (Matt 26.30). This collection of songs was inspired by the Ruach Ha Kodesh, with several authors that we will point out along the way. David wrote the greater number and the rest were written by the name it bears in the heading. There are several psalms where the author is unknown.

Another word for “song” is “Zemer” and it is related to the word “Zomer” meaning “to prune.” The teaching is, bad habits must be pruned away, and music, song and singing helps do that.

One should also read the Psalms as a book about spiritual warfare because this is when you learn to fight like many of the authors did, so we must understand the context and setting. The Psalms will teach about the Messiah and the Redemption, so they are very eschatological (Luke 24.44). We will point out those eschatological verses when we come to them and you will be amazed at just how prophetic they are.

There are 150 psalms divided up into five books. Book 1 goes from Psalm 1 to Psalm 41; Book 2 goes from Psalm 42 to Psalm 72; Book 3 covers Psalm 73 to Psa 89; Book 4 goes from Psalm 90 to Psalm 106 and Book 5 covers Psalm 107 to Psalm 150.

These five books of the Psalms also correspond to the five books of the Torah. Book 1 alludes to Bereshit (Genesis); Book 2 alludes to Shemot (Exodus); Book 3 is the chiastic center of the Torah and alludes to Vayikra (Leviticus); Book 4 alludes to B’Midbar (Numbers) and Book 5 alludes to Devarim (Deuteronomy).

We will find out that certain psalms were used for certain times. For instance, the Hallel (Psa 113-118) was read five times a year and sung in the Temple. There were certain psalms that were read on certain days of the week and also sung in the Temple by the Levites. Psalm 24 was read on the first day of the week (Sunday); Psalm 48 was read on the second day (Monday); Psalm 82 was read on the third day (Tuesday); Psalm 94 was read for the fourth day (Wednesday); Psalm 81 was read on the fifth day (Thursday); Psalm 83 was read on the sixth day of the week (Friday) and Psalm 92 was read on the seventh day Sabbath. The Levites stood on a platform called the Duchan which had several steps. You never turned your back to the Holy of Holies because it was seen a disrespect to the King of Kings, but the Levites sang with their backs to it. This is because they were not singing to God, but God was singing through the Levites to the people. He was speaking to the people through the particular psalm being read. We will show you an incident where this played a role in history, two thousand years apart.

We also have what is called the “Psalms of Ascent” and they are comprised of Psalms 120 to 134. They are also called the “Pilgrim Songs” because they were sung as the worshipers went up to Jerusalem, especially for the “Shelosh Regalim” or the “Three Foot Festivals” mentioned in Exo 23.14-17. Again, we will not be going verse by verse at first through the Psalms but we will be bringing out certain concepts that will add to our understanding. Eventually (about Psa 116) we will take a Psalm and go verse by verse because we will want to get into more detail. Another concept to bring out here is when Elohim (God) is used in the text, it will relate to judgment. When Yehovah (the Lord) is used in the text, it alludes to mercy. So, with that said, let’s get into the text.

Psa 1.1-6 tells us about the walk of the Tzadik (Righteous) and the walk of the Rashim (Wicked). This psalm is without a title and many scholars believe it was written by David. The Tzadik does not walk (halak), stand or sit in the counsel, way, or seat of the scoffers. If they did, they would reduce themselves to their level. But the Tzadik delights in the Torah of Yehovah and meditates (chews the cud, speaks out loud) in it day and night.

The Tzadik/righteous will be like a tree planted by the streams of water (irrigation canals). Certain trees in the Scriptures will symbolize believers (Isa 61.3; Jer 17.8; Psa 92.12). It will yield its fruit in due season (mature-2 Tim 4.2; Isa 4.2; Mark 7.1-2; Jer 17.8). Its leaf (ordinary conversation has value that protects the fruit-Ezek 47.12) does not wither and he prospers.

On the other hand, the Rasha (wicked) are just the opposite. They are like chaff (useless and don’t produce fruit-Jer 17.6). They will not stand (survive) in the judgment, nor sinners (Chataim, average people) in the assembly (Adat=congregation as in Matt 16.13-26; Ezek 13.8-9) of the tzaddikim. Yehovah knows (approves, nurtures) the way (derech,) of the tzaddikim (righteous), but the way (derech) of the wicked (rashim) will perish because of the seeds of their own erosion and destruction come about without any help from God (Ezek 6.11-14).

Psa 2.1-12 is called an “Enthronement Psalm” and it goes with Psa 24, 45, 47, 48 and 110, 1 Kings 1.30-39,, 2 Kings 11 and Rev 4-5 which either talk about or allude to the coronation of the Messiah (Yeshua). In this psalm, the nations rebel against Yehovah, his Messiah and the Torah. Now, there are five aspects to the coronation of a Jewish king. They are the Investiture with insignia, the Anointing, The Acclamation, the Enthronement and the Homage.

The king will come before the people and oil was poured over his head, symbolizing the anointing of the Ruach Ha Kodesh and he has been empowered to rule as king. That is why a king is referred to as the “anointed of Yehovah.” The word “Mashiach” or Messiah means “anointed one.” However, each king was not “the” Messiah and was seen as paving the way for “”the” Messiah in the future

Psa 2.1-3 tells us that the nations (goyim) rebel against Yehovah and the leaders meditate (hagah) in vain, sitting together against Yehovah and against his “anointed” (Mashiach or Messiah). They want to “tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us.” This is referring to the Torah commands, and like Nimrod, they are “against” the Lord and his Torah. The mitzvot (commandments) and the teachings (fetters and cords) are torn off because they do not want to be bound to the Torah. They believe they are “free from the Law (Torah)” and have become lawless (“anomos” in Greek meaning “without Torah, Torah-less”).

But Psa 2.4-6 says the Lord laughs at them from heaven (he is enthroned there). God is not trying to conquer the nations, he already owns the earth. It is the nations who are in conflict with him. He will hold them in derision and confuse, frustrate and agitate them. He may “laugh” in heaven but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing anything. He will speak to those in conflict with him, warning them. He wants man to know that he has installed a king in Israel, upon “Zion, my holy mountain” and that is why this is an Enthronement psalm.

In Psalm 2.7 the Messiah speaks and he will teach the Torah (“Hoq” in Hebrew meaning the decrees). Yeshua says, “He (the Father) said to me, ‘Thou art my son, today, I have begotten you.'” Jewish kings were seen as adopted sons of God (1 Chr 28.5-7; John 1.49; Matt 16.16) so there must be a king when the Kingdom of God returns (Matt 3.1; 16.18; Luke 2.1, 3.22, 3.38). The word “begotten” means that Yeshua was not created, he was the creator (Col 1.16-17). This word relates to two beings of the same nature. We “create” a picture but we “beget” children.

Psa 2.8-9 says Yehovah has given his Messiah “the nations as an inheritance” (Dan 7.13-14; Rev 5.1-14). He will rule over them and break them with a “rod of iron” which is a name for the Torah. It is either a blessing to the believer or a curse to the unbeliever, and is seen as a “sword” (Rev 2.27; Isa 2.2-4; Heb 4.12). He will shatter their plans and utterly break them like an earthenware vessel. So, let’s look at what an earthenware vessel means.

Jer 19.1-15 gives us some concepts on this phrase and there is an allusion to what Yeshua did in his ministry. This chapter is also related to Jer 7.31-34, so we will pick up concepts from both Jer 19 and Jer 7.

Jer 19 tells us about how Yehovah tells Jeremiah to take an earthenware vessel, and take some elders and senior priests with him, and go to the Valley of Ben-hinnom. This is where the Potsherd Gate was at the southern end of the city, overlooking the Valley of Hinnom and where it connects to the Kidron Valley. This area is also called the Tophet (place of fire). Potters had their houses outside the city due to the fires and smoke. Winds would blow the smoke east, away from the city and this area is where innocent blood was shed because the people burned their children in fire to Baal and Moloch. That is why this area will not be known as “Tophet” or the “Valley of Ben-hinnom” but the Valley of Slaughter (Jer 19.6). God was going to make the city of Jerusalem a desolation and terrible things were going to happen (v 7-9).

Then Jeremiah was to break the earthenware jar in the sight of all the men who came with him. Jeremiah went to the Azarah (court) of the Temple after he prophesied and prophesied that Yehovah was going to bring on the city “the entire calamity” that he has declared. Jer 7.31-34 basically says the same thing.

Now, these verses are very prophetic. Jeremiah prophesied near Tophet and this is the area where the Royal Stoa would be eventually in Herod’s Temple at the time of Yeshua. This is where he overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple complex. Jeremiah also prophesied about a coming siege to Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Yeshua also prophesied about a coming siege by the Romans on Jerusalem. In addition, this will also happen again during the Birth-pains.

The Feast of Leviathan is also alluded to in Jer 19.7 where Yehovah will “give their carcasses as food for the bird of the sky and the beast of the earth.” This will happen in the Roman siege and will also happen in the Birth-pains. Zech 12 through 14 describes a siege of Jerusalem in the latter days (“in that day”-Zech 12.3). The False Messiah will be driven back to Jerusalem and then he will be captured and killed by Yeshua after he returns to the city (Matt 24.29-31; Rev 19.20-21).

Then we will have what is called the “Warrior Judgment” described in Matt 25.31-46. Unbelievers who have survived the birth-pains will be gathered to Jerusalem first for this judgment and Yeshua judges them and they are killed. Then the righteous who have survived the birth-pains will be gathered and judged, and they enter the kingdom alive (Matt 13.24-30). The dead bodies of the Rashim (wicked) and the Chata’im (sinners) will be taken to the Tophet (the Valley of Slaughter-Jer 19.6) just south of Jerusalem where their will become food for the birds and the beasts (Jer 19.7; Luke 17.33; Matt 13.40-41, 24.28; Rev 19.17-18, 21; Ezek 29.2-7, 32.2-8). All of this is alluded to in the Remez level of interpretation in Psa 2.9.

Psa 2.9-12 tells the kings of the earth to show discernment (think about it) and “Do homage to the Son” or King Messiah (1 Chr 28.5-7). This is the fifth step in the coronation of a Jewish king previously mentioned. God’s wrath could be kindled and how blessed is the person who takes refuge in Yehovah and his Messiah.

In the book “Rosh Ha Shanah and the Mesianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good, p. 134-135, Good says that Psa 2.12 is a controversial verse. It can be translated several ways, and a Jewish published Bible and a non-Jewish published Bible will differ. For instance, in the Mesorah Publications commentary called “Tehillim” (Psalms), p. 71, it says about Psa 2.12, “Yearn for purity lest he grow wrathful and your way be doomed, for a brief moment his anger will blaze.” In a KJV Bible it says, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry” and it goes on. In the NASB it says, “Do homage to the Son, lest he become angry” and it goes on.

In the Jewish Midrashim (interpretations), the way it is written in most non-Jewish Bibles does not damage or “destroy” the ancient meaning of the verse. Good then quotes a midrash from “The Midrash on Psalms” that says, “In another comment the verse is read, ‘Do homage to the Son’ (Psa 2.12). What parable fits here? That of a king who became angry at the inhabitants of a certain city, and the inhabitants of the city went and pleaded with the king’s son to mollify the king. So he went and mollified his father. After the king was mollified by his son, the inhabitants of the city were about to sing a song of homage to the king. But the king said to them: ‘Is it to me that ye would sing a song of homage? Go and sing a song of homage to my son. Had it not been for him, I would long ago have destroyed the inhabitants of this city.’ Likewise, when the people of the earth will be told, ‘O clap your hands, all you peoples; shout unto God with the voice of triumph (Psa 47.2)’ and it will be about to sing a song of homage to the Holy One, blessed be he, he will say: ‘Is it to me that you would sing a song of homage? Go and sing it to Israel. Had it not been for them, the earth would not have endured for a single hour, for it is said, if I whet my glittering sword, and my hand take hold on judgment…I will make my arrows drunk with blood…sing aloud, O ye nations to his people (Deut 32.41-43).'” So, to “kiss” or “do homage” to the Son in verse 12 is consistent with the ancient writings.

We will pick up here with Psalm 3 next time.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Conclusion

In Job 39.1-30 Yehovah speaks of the animals cut off from the care of man, but are cared for by Yehovah, like mountain goats, wild donkeys and the wild ox. Does Job know when they give birth? No, but it happens, and they grow in the open field and provide for themselves. They avoid the cities and choose to live alone. Not being tamed, they are not used for wagons or ridden (v 1-12).

In Job 39.13-18 God asks if he understands the ostrich. Can Job explain why a bird with wings can’t fly? The ostrich forgets where she laid her eggs and is unconcerned because God has made her forget wisdom. But she can lift herself eight feet or higher and laughs at the horse and the rider because they can’t catch her very easy. God is showing Job strange examples and what he has created that Job can’t explain.

In Job 39.19-25 he asks Job if he understands the horse. Where does it get its strength and can Job create one and give the horse its mane and make it snort? The horse pans in the valley where the battle is and laughs at fear. He is not afraid of all the weapons around him and races over the ground to confront the enemy. He is pleased when he hears the trumpet. Can Job give an explanation for this attitude in war? But even a well-trained horse can throw off the restraints, so it is never totally under man’s control.

Then in Job 39.26-30 Yehovah brings up the hawk. can Job explain how it soars? Can Job command and eagle? It lives on high, in an inaccessible place. Its young sucks up the blood of the slain (like at the Feast of Leviathan-Luke 17.37, Matt 24.28, Rev 19.21). Since Job is so ignorant of the natures of these creatures, how can he dispute with God about his dealings?

Job 40.1-2 begins by saying, “Will the faultfinder contend with the almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.” What can Job say at this point? He says he is insignificant and says he will lay his hand on his mouth (or stop talking). Job thought God was absent in all his afflictions but now knows that is untrue after all the examples just given in Job 39 of God’s activity with nature. This leaves Job without words (v 3-5).

Job 40.6-7 it says that he answers Job out of the storm that is upon him. He tells Job to “gird up his loins” and prepare to answer him. He says, “Will you really annul my judgments” (by making your judgments? Will Job condemn God? There is no way of vindicating his innocence and integrity without charging the Lord with unrighteousness. Or does Job think he was an “arm” (power) like God (v 8-9). If he has that power, then Job is to do the things only God can do. Well, Job knows he has no power to do what God does and he knows where his place really is. Since he can’t, he can’t save himself by his own right hand either (v 10-14).

Job 40.15-24 now describes a creature called the Behemoth, which God has made. Behemoth means “great beasts” and most scholars believe this refers to the hippopotamus, but this description does not fit any known animal. This could be a dinosaur that he is describing (along with Leviathan in Job 41) hundreds of years after the flood of Noah, but the description does not match a dinosaur in what it does (like 41.3 “will he speak to you softly?” Dinosaurs don’t do that). The word “dinosaur” was not used till about 1841, and the Bible calls them “dragons” or “great beasts” (Behemoth) in Gen 1. For more information on this subject go to the website “Creation Worldview” by Dr. Grady McMurtry and look for the video called “Dinomania.” You can also view it on YouTube.

We are going to look at the text in Job first, then we will look at the eschatological meanings of the Behemoth. We will also do this with the Leviathan (twisted serpent) on Job 41.1-34. The Behemoth (“Behemot” in Hebrew) is another example of God’s greatness and to show how weak Job really is. If he can’t bring the Behemoth under control, the lowest animals of which he only selects one from the land and one from the sea, how can Job govern the world and question the Lord on how he does it?

The Behemoth eats grass like an ox and his strength is in his loins and muscles. He bends his tail like a cedar, meaning it is smooth, thick and round. But he is not saying it is as long as a cedar. He is put together in strength and his bones are “like tubes of bronze” and limbs are “like bars of iron” (strong). He is the first of God’s way and God has given him a “sword” (teeth). The narrative goes on to describe its food (grass), and he lies down in the reeds and marches (covertly) and is not afraid of a fast moving river. He is confident, though the Jordan River rushes into his mouth. He can “throw it out” with great force. Can anyone capture him by open force? The answer is no!

Now, the Behomoth is also an eschatological picture of the False Prophet, just as Leviathan is an eschatological picture of the False Messiah. So, we are going to look at these two creatures as a study of two eschatological “beasts” coming from the land (the Behemoth/False Prophet-Rev 13.11) and the sea (Leviathan/False Messiah-Rev 13.1-2 ). These “beasts” are also a picture of of Assyria (Gog and Magog/Russia) and Egypt (Europe) in prophecy. So, let’s take an eschatological look at the Behomoth and then Leviathan.

We will notice in Job 40.15-24 and Job 41.1-33 that two “beasts” are presented. We have briefly gone over the Behemoth, so let’s briefly talk about Leviathan in the text, and then look at them prophetically.

Leviathan is a sea creature who is presented as a creature that is very powerful . Humans are powerless against him. He is first mentioned in Job 3.8 and how sailors were fearful of him. The name “Leviathan” means “twisted serpent” (Lev’yitan) and is mentioned in Psa 74.12-14; Psa 104.26; Isa 27.1; Isa 51.9 and Job 26.12-13 to name a few places. Job was powerless against Leviathan just like he is powerless against Satan. Only Yehovah can defeat both of them (Job 41.1-9)

The point Yehovah makes in Job 41.10 is, “Who then is he that can stand before me.” If Job can’t control Leviathan, who is Job to contend with God who has the power to defeat Leviathan. Only God can make war with him (Psa 74.13-14).

Leviathan is described in Job 41.12-17 to make the point that Job has no chance against him. He sneezes flash forth light (expelling his breath, having held it under water. Rays of sun light hit the water and it looks like fire. In Job 41.22-34 it talks about the power of Leviathan. Who is able to stand against him, and the last verse says, “He is king over all the sons of pride” (Hebrew “Rahab”).

Eschatologically, the behemoth and Leviathan are two beasts. The Behemoth is on land and Leviathan is from the sea. They will represent the False Prophet who comes from the land (Rev 13.11), and Leviathan comes from the sea (Rev 13.1; Ezek 29.3, 32.2; Psa 74.13). God says, “Will he make supplications to you, or will he speak to you with soft words (Job 41.3)?” Dan 7.8, 7.20 and 11.21 says the False Messiah will flatter with his words.

Job 41.6 says, “Will the companions make a banquet of him” celebrating his capture and defeat? Yes, at the Feast of Leviathan after Yeshua returns. Job 41.8 says that once you battle him you won’t want to do it again, meaning “who can make war with him.” This alludes to the False Messiah in Rev 13.4 where it says, “who is like the beast, and who is able to make war with him?”

Job 41.34 talks about pride, and that is a characteristic of the False Messiah and those who follow him (Dan 11.36). The word “pride” is “Rahab” in Hebrew and that word has several meanings. It means “Egypt, broad, prostitute and pride” (Job 9.13, 26.12, Isa 30.6-7, Ezek 32.2). Rahab is another name for the False Messiah and Leviathan (Isa 51.9, 27.1; Job 9.13; Psa 74.13-14). Leviathan is “king over all the sons of Rahab” (John 8.44). We have more information on the False Messiah, Leviathan and Rahab in our prophecy teachings and in our study of the False Messiah called “Torah and New Testament Foundations-The False Messiah” on this site.

So, these beasts in Job 40 and 41 correspond to the two beasts in Rev 13. However, there is another application to this. The Behemoth alludes to Assyria/Gog and Magog/Russia, and Leviathan alludes to Egypt/Europe. We know from prophecy that Behemoth (Assyria/Gog and Magog/Russia) will be at war with Egypt/Europe. Isa 20.1-6 describes a three year war between Assyria and Egypt. Eschatologically, we know that things that happened before will happen again and this war between Assyria and Egypt is a picture of a three year war between Russia and Europe and the False Messiah during the first three years of the birth-pains (tribulation). Russia will be winning this conventional war, and feeling confident, Russia (Gog and Magog) will invade Israel on Rosh Ha Shanah at the beginning of the fourth year of the birth-pains, and be destroyed by Yehovah on Yom Kippur.

In the Scriptures, Pharaoh is king over Egypt and he is a picture of the False Messiah who will rule over Europe after the Natzal (rapture) and the destruction of Babylon (USA), as seen in Jer 50-51; Isa 13, Isa 14; Isa 18; Isa 21; Isa 24; Isa 25; Isa 47; Isa 48; Rev 14.8; Rev 17 and Rev 18. For a detailed study of this subject see our teaching called “Is America Babylon?” on this site.

In Jewish Eschatology, this battle between Behemoth and Leviathan can be seen in a prayer called “Akdamut” (introductions) recited on Shavuot. In the “Complete Artscroll Siddur” by Mesorah Publications, p. 719, a portion of this prayer says, “Our predetermined portions having been set aside with elevation, they sport with Leviathan and the ox of lofty mountains-when they interlock with one another and engage in combat, with his horns the Behemoth will gore with strength, the fish will leap to meet him with his fins, with power. Their creator will approach them with his mighty sword (Messiah and the Torah to defeat them). A banquet for the righteous will he prepare and feast. They will sit around tables of precious stones and gems, before them will be flowing rivers of balsam. They will delight and drink their fill from overflowing goblets of sweet wine that since creation was prepared in pressing tanks.”

The Feast of Leviathan is reserved for the unrighteous when Messiah comes (Ezek 29.1-7, 32.1-8; Isa 66.23-24; Matt 24.27-28; Luke 17.37; Rev 19.21. In the sowd (hidden, deeper level) Job 40-41 is a character study of the False Messiah and the False Prophet. In the Peshat (literal) level, God is using two of his creatures to show Job that if he can’t bring under control these two lower animals (compared to man), how can he possibly govern the world and question the Lord on how he does things.

In Job 42.1-17 we have the final chapter of Job, and Job finally gets to answer the Lord, with repentance for his lack of knowledge. He says that he knows that God can do all things after Yehovah has shown him his power over creation. Job has presumed many things because of his lack of knowledge and understanding of God’s ways. He says, “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?” Job admits it is him (v 3). Job also says he has said things without understanding, things that are hidden from him.

With humility, and without complaining, he says, “Hear now, and I will speak, I will ask you, and do instruct me. I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Therefore, I retract (my words) and repent in dust and ashes (v 4-5).” Job accused God of doing all these things to him and demanded an answer, and Job now realizes he went too far, and God has finally revealed himself to him. Now Job understands what God has been showing him.

Up to now, Job has only “heard” about God, but now he “sees” him for himself, without the theology of others. Job in some ways was a “religious” man but did not have much of a personal experience to this level yet. He knew about God, but he didn’t “know” him. We are to believe that God controls all things because he just showed Job he did, and God’s ways are right because they are his ways, not because we finally “see” they are his ways. James 5.11 gives the purpose for these things, and God kept Job from evil during his afflictions (Jude 24; Col 1.17; Phil 2.13).

Job 42.7-9 tells us that God was displeased with Job’s three friends. It is not that what they knew about the Lord was wrong, they said God was just, reproves sin, delivers from trouble etc (Job 5.17-27). Its just that they were ignorant of God’s hidden purposes. Job’s suffering was great, but their words only made things worse. Yehovah tells them to take seven bulls and seven rams and go to Job and offer up a Korban Olah for themselves and Job, and Job would pray for them (forgive them). For then the Lord will accept him and Yehovah will not do with them according to their foolishness. This is because they have not spoken of the Lord what is right, as Job has done.

So, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar went and did what the Lord had commanded, and the the Lord accepted Job’s prayer for them. God does not mention Elihu and dismisses him entirely, which is interesting. They all presented Yehovah as angry and performing judgment of Job, which he wasn’t, and this is what kindled God’s anger against them.

In Job 42.10-17 it says that God restored Job and freed him from his distress after he prayed for his three friends. Job was an outcast, even among his own family (Job 19.13-14), but now he has been restored to them as well. They comforted him and gave him gifts to help make up for his losses.

And so Yehovah blessed the latter years of Job more than what he had at the beginning. He doubled his possessions and he had seven more sons and three more daughters. And on top of that, he lived 140 more years and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations, and died an old man and full of days.

Finally, in an interesting note to remember, Job never does find out what we all knew from the beginning. He never finds out that all of his troubles are the result of the dispute between God and Satan as to whether Job would curse God and remain faithful. God knew he would because God “kept him.” And this is a fitting ending for us, too. We may never know why God has allowed certain trials into our life, and we should especially be careful when judging what’s happening to others. God does not need anyone’s permission to do what he does. Job trusted God in his trials, and we should, too. This book shows us that in the final analysis, the “whys” don’t really matter.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 9

Job 34.1-37 tells us that after a pause to see if Job would make a reply, Elihu continued by saying, “Hear my words, you wise men.” He is either talking to some bystanders because he has already voiced his displeasure with Job’s three friends, or he is being ironic. He says the “ear tests words” to distinguish between good and bad, and in this case the words of Job.

It is true that Job said he was a righteous man and God is to blame for his problems, but Job has been associating with bad people (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar) according to Elihu. He is basically saying the same things they were, nothing new hear. But remember, Satan is totally left out of the equation concerning what is happening to Job.

Elihu says a lot of true things through these verses, But the Lord is also using him to lead Job to the conclusion that man is to believe God’s ways are right because they are “his” ways, not because we fully see they are his ways. He either controls all things or he doesn’t. Most believers think that we or some other entity has a say in what happens, but that is not true (v 1-10).

But Elihu is wrong about what is behind Job’s afflictions. He tells Job that God does not do these things unless you are a sinner, but Elihu does not see the hand of Satan in this (Job 1.6-12, 2.6-10). But, he is correct in saying that God does not need permission to do what he does (v 11-15).

He then tells Job to listen to him because Job thought that justice was not done in his case. He tells him that Job is not in a position to judge whether what is to be condemned or not. One would not go to an earthly king and tell him what was right or wrong, so how can Job tell God what is just. The king will die like everyone else and be in the hands of God (v 16-20).

God knows what the steps of man are and sees everything. Job is not going to get over on the Lord. He does not need to consider man as to when he will judge him, he will do it when he pleases. God has not set a time for Job yet. God always does the right thing according to Elihu, but he misses the mark overall as it applies to Job. If everything that happens is right, and if God is in control and does everything that happens, then the category of “evil” disappears. This is where Elihu goes wrong (v 21-20). He then tells Job what he should have said in repentance. Job’s trials will not be removed until they produce the desired effect, and Job is in rebellion for arraigning his justice (v 31-37).

Job 35.1-16 Elihu goes on to challenge other speeches by Job. He will appeal to Job’s conscience and reason, and says Job is being self-righteous in thinking he has a cause to question the cause of his afflictions. He rebukes Job for saying in Job 21.15 that living right had no benefit to him. Job wants to be vindicated because he did believe God was just, he just didn’t understand. Elihu accuses Job of saying something something he didn’t say because Job is saying the wicked said this in 21.15.

But Elihu isn’t saying anything different than Job’s three friends have said, but he thinks he is. He says God is so far above man that there is nothing that man can do to the advantage of God (v 1-8). Job doesn’t get an answer because he is proud and insincere. In Job 35.10 it says, “But no one says, ‘Where is God my maker.'” The word “maker” here is in the plural “makers” in Hebrew alludes to the triune Godhead (Psa 149.2; Ecc 12.1). He thinks Job is crying “against” God and not “to” him (v 12). Job had expressed despair of ever seeing and enjoying the favor of God, and tells Job God will not listen to Job’s empty mouth, who “multiplies words without knowledge” and that Job is lying (v 9-16).

Job 36.1-33 tells us that after pausing, Elihu continues with new information and now claims to speak for the Lord (v 1-2). He says his words are not false like Job’s other friends and that “one who is perfect in knowledge is among you.” Only he can search out the most minute details of God (37.16) and Elihu is saying that only he can reveal God’s ways. This sin is also attributed to Satan in Ezek 28.11-19, the power behind the king of Tyre (v 1-4).

Elihu teaches that God is perfect in his justice and he rewards the righteous and and punishes the wicked. If God shows them their sins and they repent, then they will prosper. If not, they will “perish by the sword.” Elihu believes Job is denying this fact and that is why he is suffering setback after setback. If Job would have repented, God would have removed him from his distress (v 5-16). But because Job didn’t repent, the judgment of the wicked has fallen upon him, and his riches won’t save him. He says Job has chosen this instead of prosperity.

This is what frustrated Job. This type of “counsel” was of no use to him because he knew he has no need to repent, he was right with God. Job never said he never sinned, but he was not going to give a show of repentance just to please his friends. He will repent of certain sins that occurred during his discussions with his friends in Job 42.1-6, but he wasn’t going to give a show of repentance for his friends. Job just couldn’t put his finger on why all this has been happening to him. Elihu thinks that Job had a low opinion of God so he tries to build the Lord up in Job’s eyes (v 17-23).

Instead of arraigning the Lord, Job should exalt his work. His works are visible to all, but we only see in part (v 26). This will be shown later in Job 42 and just how wrong these friends were about God and Job. Just how unsearchable God is can be seen in a storm, so Job is wasting his time demanding answers. God is beyond having to explain anything to Job. This is all very true, but again Elihu misapplies this to Job’s situation (v 24-33).

In Job 37.1-24 Elihu shows God’s greatness in other works of nature. Again, he has an inaccurate and low vision of God because by showing God’s greatness he is trying to coerce Job into repentance. He is misapplying these statements to Job’s situation (v 1-13).

Elihu tells Job that he does not have the knowledge that he thinks he has, and Elihu is approaching Job with some correct concepts but his premise is wrong. He thinks Job’s problems are a result of his sins. Elihu’s point is Job cant’s explain God’s wonders so stop contending with him. He says that Job should fear God because he does not regard those who are “wise in heart ” in their own conceits (v 14-24).

Starting in Job 38.1-41 we begin to deal with God’s response to all this. He has been silent for the past 35 chapters and Job has said he has not heard from Yehovah, but now he will. There are several concepts to consider here. First, God will never explain to Job why he has been suffering and Satan’s role in it all, but he will provide Job with the answer that restores his faith and God is the one in control.

Everything in creation knows its place and follows the course chosen for it. Creation is not in the hands of fate, but are in the hands of God. Secondly, man is to believe God’s ways are right because they are his ways, not because we fully see they are so (Job 42.1-6). Yehovah answers Job out of the whirlwind already gathering in Job 37. Elihu sees an approaching storm and uses it as an example of the power of God.

God begins by asking, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” He is referring to Job and his friends where their words obscure rather than threw light on God’s ways (v 1-2). He tells Job to “gird your loins like a man” and get ready for battle. He wants Job to answer him and instruct the Lord (v 3).

He asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth! Tell me if you have understanding.” Job wasn’t there when God did it, and yet Job takes it upon himself to dive into the secret works and ways of God. He wanted Job to tell him if he had understanding, which he didn’t. So Job had no right to question God or his ways (v 4).

When he laid the foundations of the earth the “morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” This refers to the angels who saw God lay the foundation of the earth. This also alludes to Eph 1.4 and the elect who were chosen in him “before the foundation of the earth” (v 5-7). God also set the boundaries for the sea when the water was shut up in the bowels of the earth when it was first created, like an infant in the womb of the mother. It was these waters that came up and “knifed” through the earth at the time of flood. He also made the cloud as a garment, like a garment for a newborn (v 8-9).

He placed boundaries on the sea like a cradle to hold the sea (v 10-11). God tells Job “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know it’s place?” This applies to any morning, but especially alludes to the first morning in Gen 1.3. At night the earth is “tohu” (unformed) and “bohu” (unfilled). But when the light of the sun comes in day 4, God’s imprint of beauty comes to light or “it is changed like clay under the seal.” The wicked have no light because they are the “night” and their arm is broken, which means they have weakened power (v 14-15).

The Lord then talks about the subterranean passages and depths and says, “Have walked in the recesses of the deep (“tehom” or abyss). Has Sheol (the abode/place of the dead) been revealed to Job (v 16-17)? Can he see into that dimension? The answer is “No.”

In Job 38 19-24 some very interesting things are said by the Lord to Job. He says, “Where is the way to the dwelling of light” meaning light has mass. How did this concept get into the Bible unless God revealed it? He then asks if Job can take hold of that light and lead it to where it came from. What about the darkness (v 20)? The answer is, “No.” What God is doing and will continue to do here is to show us just how little we know concerning these matters. Job should know because he was born then, right? His days reached back to the beginning of time, right (v 21).

God then states that God produces the snow and “the storehouses of the hail” which is reserved for the “time of distress, for the day of war and battle” (v 22-23)? This alludes to the Day of the Lord, but also it refers to the fact that God uses hail as judgment (Exo 9.24; Josh 10.11; Isa 28.2,17). He will use it against Gog and Magog (Russia) in Ezek 38.22 and during the birth-pains against (Rev 16.20-21).

Job 38. 25-30 tells us that God directs the rain and steers its course to cover more than one spot, and countless canals are marked out for them, and a way for the thunderbolt. He brings rain on a land “without people” so it can’t be man who guides its course. And the “parent” of rain (“has the rain a father?”) is also the parent of ice and frost (v 28-30).

He then explains the constellations and exposes Job to the fact that he can’t manage any change in the heavens, but God can (v 31-33). Can Job manage the clouds and call forth rain. Can he send forth lightnings so that man can see them? Can he give the mind the ability to interpret the signs of the weather? No, but God can (v 34-38). Can Job give the animals the instincts they need to hunt their prey and satisfy their appetites? Man doesn’t care for the raven, but God does (v 39-41).

We will pick up in Job 39.1-30 in the conclusion.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 8

Job 30.1-31 begins by telling us that Job believes he has lost all of the respect he had just talked about in Chapter 29, and he also discusses his overall unhappy situation that he finds himself in.

He says these people were young and lazy and they are gaunt from not working. He didn’t even want to put their fathers to work with the dogs to watch his flock because they weren’t even at the level of the dogs! They were like locusts that live off the land and took whatever they wanted. They were useless and driven from the community because they were no good, and went to live in caves and rocks. They gathered together for protection and hid themselves wherever they felt safe. They were fools without a good name (v 1-8).

Now these people who Job would not have let run with his dogs taunt him and stay away from him like they were too good for him. He sits as a defenseless man (“loosed his bowstring”) and Job thinks God is doing it to him, but we know he wasn’t. They had no bridle to restrain them and they hindered Job. They have stolen from him and nobody has stopped them. Job sees himself as a city (believers were seen that way-Jer 1.18; Ecc 9.14) with a huge breach and the enemy has plundered him (v 9-15).

Job has physical and spiritual pain and he is exhausted. The “days of affliction” have taken its toll and pain penetrates him at night and he thinks God is distorting his garments meaning God is grabbing him with a disease and binds him about the collar (it surrounds him) and throwing him down. He cries out to God but gets no answer. That was hard for Job to take and he felt that God wanted to bring him to his death, to the “house of meeting for all the living” (his body to the grave and his soul to be with God-2 Cor 5.1). He knows that God is merciful so why is he afflicting “a heap of ruins” (v 16-24).

Job has wept for others in need so why doesn’t Yehovah treat him the same way? He is “seething within” (a fever) and he can’t rest. He didn’t expect the “days of affliction” to come so soon. He is like the jackels who cry and howl and nobody cares. His “harp” and “flute” once used in joy are now used in mourning (v 25-31).

In Job 31.1-40 Job continues to maintain his innocence and this will be some of his last words, and he refutes the words of his three friends. He maintains that he is a righteous man man and he feels he has been mistreated due to his suffering and afflictions. He did not look on young women in lustful ways, so that isn’t the cause of his problems. he made a covenant with his eyes no to do this. This type of thing was not from God (Lev 18.1-18) and it leads to destruction. He knows that Yehovah sees him all the time (v 1-4) and then Job says he is not guilty of falsehood or has done anything to create a fraud to others. He wants the Lord to “weigh me with accurate scales” or to judge him. He says if all of this is untrue, “let me sow and another eat, and let my crops be uprooted” (v 5-8).

He also says he is not an adulterer nor has his heart been enticed by a woman. He says if he has been unfaithful to his wife, let her be taken and given to another. The effects of adultery destroys everything and this includes having to “uproot all my increase” or finances (v 9-12). He also maintains that he has not treated his servants unfairly. He knew he would have to answer to God if he did (Eph 6.9). He was a human being and so were his servants and were equal to him in God’s eyes (v 13-15).

Job did not keep the poor from their desire to be treated with kindness, nor has he caused the “eyes of the widow to fail” waiting for help. He shares his meals with orphans. If he saw an orphan or a widow in need he did something. He knew that chastisement and the correction of Yehovah would have fallen on him if he did nothing (v 16-23). He also says he was not greedy for gold or looked at the sun and moon as objects of worship. This was a sin and it called for judgment if he did any of these things, so he didn’t (v 24-28).

Job claims that he did not rejoice at the destruction of his enemies. This is also evidence of a man who is after God’s own heart (Ezek 33.11). No person had to sleep in the street because Job was hospitable. He has not “covered my transgression like Adam” contrary to what his friends have been saying about him. Adam blamed Chava and tried to cover up his sin. He also did not cover up his sin because he was afraid of the multitude. So, God is not holding him guilty of hiding any sin.

Job then makes a final plea to the Lord to hear his case. Then he says something very interesting. In Job 31.35 he says, “Here is my signature (or mark). In Hebrew it is “tavi” meaning “my mark.” In Hebrew, the last letter in the alphabet was “tav” and in ancient Hebrew it was shaped like an “X” with crossed sticks. The letter carried the meaning of “covenant, cross, seal, sign and finished.” In a way he is saying, “This is my cross.” When Yeshua said, “It is finished” he is alluding to the meaning of the letter tav while he was on the “cross” (the tav) and sealing the New “Covenant” of Jer 31 with his own blood. Job is ending his speech here and he wants an answer for what God had done to him. He will later repent of this sin of accusing God in Job 42.5-6.

He feels that God was his “adversary” or “prosecutor” and wants his indictments written out by God so he can challenge them in defense. He was confident in what he has been saying so he could approach God “like a prince” (v 28-37).

Job calls one last witness, his land and property. These were not obtained by fraud, covetousness or deceit, or has he eaten its fruits without paying the laborer. If he has, let the curses that came upon Adam (Gen 3.17) and Cain (Gen 4.11) come upon his land (v 38-40). Then the chapter ends with “the words of Job are ended.” This does not mean Job does not say anything else in later chapters, but he is done arguing his case.

Job 32.1-22 tells us that Job’s three friends had nothing more to say. They thought Job was beyond help because “he was righteous in his own eyes’ (v 1). Now another character enters into the discussion by the name of Elihu (my God is he) the son of Barachel (blessing of God) the Buzite (Buz is the son of Nahor and a brother of Uz-Gen 22.21; Job 4.1) of the family of Ram (or Aram, the son of Kemuel and a brother of Buz-Gen 22.21). He has been a bystander and had been listening to the previous discussions. So we see by these names that Job and these people lived after the time of Abraham. Like we said before, we believe Job was a grandson of Jacob, the son of Issachar (Gen 46.13).

He was not only angry with Job, but also his three friends because they were not very convincing and condemned Job anyway. Elihu was younger so he waited out of respect to the others before he spoke. He thought that “age” (experience) should speak because there was no wisdom. But there is a wisdom that does not come from age, but it is a gift from God. So he is presenting himself as a man with spiritual discernment like a “sage” (v 1-10).

He listened to everyone and he heard none of them refute Job. He said whatever happens to Job it is God who is bringing it. He tells the three others that it doesn’t matter what they have said, he says don’t let your past arguments with Job come upon him and he will not use their arguments with Job because he has some new thoughts about it all, so don’t think I am taking sides against you (v 11.14).

The three others were amazed and dismayed, and they didn’t say a word. Elihu paused, then decided to share his opinion. He said he is just a simple man without titles and rank but he is fermenting “like wine inside of him and he must speak.” He will “stick to the facts” with a simple presentation (v 15-22). What Elihu doesn’t know is a lot, and he will claim to speak for God and also makes the mistake that he thinks God is causing Job’s afflictions.

Job 33.1-33 begins with Elihu challenging Job’s case. But we see right away that Elihu talks too much. The first seven verses are long-winded. He wants to show Job and his three friends that he is just as spiritual as they are. He demonstrates a pride and a wordiness and has taken over a chapter to just introduce himself (Chapter 32 and v 1-7).

He begins to say that he has listened to Job’s words and that Job claims to be innocent of any transgressions or sins, which is true, but also not true. Job never claimed to be without sin, but God had mercy on him and he has been forgiven. So we know that Elihu talks too much and he doesn’t listen very well. So he is going to tell Job he is “not right in this.” He is correct in saying God did not owe Job an explanation for his actions. God speaks in many ways and maybe Job has not perceived it. So, let’s look at Job 33.14-17 to look at how God speaks for our own knowledge and information.

Elihu says God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices, so Job may have missed it. He speaks in a dream or a vision of the night, when men sleep. He opens up the ears of men and “seals their instruction.” We can see ins Scripture how God speaks in dreams, often several times to confirm a matter (Gen 41.32; Job 33.29). God does speak in dreams, visions, a trance, mind flashes and directly (Bat Kol). He can also speak through circumstances, dark speech, parables, puns, a still, small voice, prophecy, the Scriptures and messengers. Elihu is saying that God is speaking to Job through the circumstances and his afflictions to save his soul (v 13-18).

He says, “Man (Job) is also chastened on his bed, and with increasing complaint in his bones.” He then goes on to describe what is happening with Job (v 19-22). God did send “an angel as mediator” but he is not listening. Perhaps Elihu had himself in mind here (v 23) and as his messenger, Job needs to receive his words and take action. Job needs to turn to God, and then he will be in his favor.

Then in Job 33.29 he says, “Behold, God does all these (admonishments) often times with men (when one admonishment doesn’t work, he sends another). Literally, “often times” means “two times, or with three.” This can also apply to dreams or any other mode of communication that the Lord would choose to speak with us. Why does God do it? To turn back “his soul from the pit.”

But Elihu’s argument is basically the same thing that Job’s three friends have been saying. He is rehashing what they already said, which was, “Job, you are a sinner and you are blaming God. If you repent and turn from your sin, things will go better for you.” In his pride, Elihu thought he could say all this better than the others, but there is nothing new here (v 24-30).

Maybe Job wanted to speak, but Elihu told him, “Listen to me, keep silent and let me speak.” He said if Job did this, then Elihu “will teach you wisdom.” Evidently, he didn’t think Job was wise enough to judge for himself as to whether what Elihu said was wise (v 31-33).

We will pick up in Job 34.1-37 in Part 9.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Job-Part 7

Job 24.1-25 tells us that Job continues his answer to Eliphaz. He points out that the wicked prosper and judgment does not seem to come upon them. Job is going to give examples of evil that seem to go unpunished, rejecting what Eliphaz has said. Some move landmarks that distinguished one property from another, and they steal flocks by force. They drive away the donkeys of those who are in need. He goes on to describe the actions of the wicked (v 1-8).

Some oppress the weak, the orphans and the helpless and leave them with no shelter or clothing (v 9-11). It seems that those who are guilty go unpunished (v 12). He then goes on to describe the deeds of the wicked that are done in darkness (stealing, murder, adultery). They “shut themselves up by the day” meaning they do not appear during the day. The morning is like “the shadows of death” to them (v 13-17).

The sinner is “insignificant” and they swiftly pass away. Job wasn’t against the wicked being punished in the afterlife, he just didn’t think that punishment should begin there. He thought that they should be punished in some way in this life, too (v 18-21). To Job, it seems that the wicked get ahead and the rich gain more and more. It also seems to Job that Yehovah is letting the wicked off easy, and die in exalted positions (Job 21.13) and not in a painful and lingering death as we might expect.

In Job 25.1-6 Bildad speaks for the last time and sums up what he has to say to job about his afflictions. Job’s friends have accused him of being a thief, a robber, and everything else in between, except for being a murderer. They said he oppressed widows, orphans, the poor and helpless, and said God was punishing Job for all of this. They never considered the fact that it might be Satan afflicting a righteous man. Job blamed Yehovah, too, and he didn’t understand why all of this was happening.

Bildad is frustrated with Job and can only repeat what has already been agreed upon by everyone, that God is great and to oppose him was futile (no purpose to it), and God has a great army (“stars/angels”) at his disposal. Bildad is stating the obvious here. Man is nothing but a sinner compared to the Lord, so Job needs to repent. Man cannot be compared to Yehovah. Bildad is presenting the total depravity of man and he ends his speech with a hopeless view of man as a “maggot” and a “worm” (“tola”). Man is also weak and despised. But if man was a “maggot” and a “worm” who were they to pass judgment on Job? This truth did not stop Job’s friends from judging him, however.

This will be the last statement from Job’s three friends, but another individual named Elihu (my God is he) the son of Barachel (God has blessed) the Buzite (contempt) will speak up starting in Job 32, so we will touch on him later.

Job 26.1-14 tells us that Job rebukes Bildad and says he has been no help to him at all. But, he is also talking to the other two as well. Job could find no help in what they have told him and wondered if they ever helped anyone. Job knew the Lord better than they did (v 1-3). He then begins to describe the power of God and says his knowledge of God is not inferior to theirs, and he shows this be describing the greatness of God in Sheol, the earth, sky, sea and the universe (v 4).

Then Job describes the same imagery he gave in Job 10.21-22. There is not place that is hidden from Yehovah. He uses a name for Satan in v 6 that we will see in Rev 9.11. Abaddon means “destruction” and is a term for Satan, but it also alludes to the place of destruction because all the wicked are sent there. Then Job says in v 7, “He stretches out the north (“tziphon”) over an empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing.” He is talking about the atmosphere (Psa 33.6-9). This is a unique statement from over 3500 years ago, and unique in all the ancient civilizations. Only Job makes this statement about the suspension of the earth on “nothing.” There is a picture of the earth sent by Apollo 17 on December 7, 1972 with the earth hanging on nothing in outer space. There is another photo of our solar system taken by Voyager 1 from 4 billion miles away which shows the earth as a “Pale Blue Dot” as it was called. Job knew that 3500 years ago.

In our galaxy (where the earth is located), in order to travel north you would travel out of our solar system. If you could look down on our solar system, the earth is on the north. To travel south, it would send you into the equatorial axis of the galaxy. To go east or west, it would send us along the plane of the galaxy where 100 billion stars are located that make up our galactic system. There are few stars north of us, but beyond Polaris and a few others, there are literally billions of light years of empty space (no planets, stars and galaxies).

He says God “obscures the face of the full moon” but it means “hidden moon” there (“kiseh”-Psa 81.3). This alludes to Rosh Ha Shanah, but it can also refer to being hidden by the clouds. Job goes on to describe the horizon as being a “circle” on the surface of the waters (Psa 104.9). Even the “pillars of heaven” (mountains) tremble and are amazed at his rebuke (v 8-11).

Then in Job 26.12-13 we have a prophetic statement concerning the False Messiah. He says, “He quieted the sea with his power.” The sea was seen as unconverted humanity (Isa 57.20) and the domain of Satan. Yeshua did this in Matt 8.26; Mark 4.35-39 and Luke 8.22-25 showing he has dominion over the domain of Satan. The sea was also seen as the abode of Leviathan, a seven-headed sea creature that is used as a picture of the False Messiah (Rev 13.1). This creature is well developed within Jewish eschatology. Yeshua quieted the sea and is taking dominion over the domain of Satan and the False Messiah (Gen 1.1-2; Exo 14.1-25; Isa 57.20). The verse continues by saying, “and by his understanding he shattered Rahab.” Rahab has a meaning in Scripture as a prostitute/harlot, a broad wall, pride and Egypt (Psa 51.9; Job 9.13; Psa 89.10; Psa 74.13; Psa 87.4; Job 41.33; Isa 30.6-7).

In Job 26.13 it says, “By his breath the heavens are cleared; his hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.” The serpent is Satan here and it also alludes to Pharaoh, who had a serpent on his crown. Pharaoh is also a picture of the False Messiah and he ruled Egypt (Rahab). Egypt is a picture of Europe in prophecy where the False Messiah will come from (Dan 9.26). Leviathan is a fleeing serpent in Isa 27.1 and another name for the False Messiah. You can see where all these terms “overlap” in the study of biblical eschatology, and yet Job knew Jewish eschatology even then.

Job knows that his description of God and his power are only the “fringes of his ways” and only touched the surface. Job says that very little is spoken ( a faint word or whisper) about the Lord in his day, however, and that applies today (v 14). There are few who understand the power of God (1 Cor 2.9). So little is heard about God that we only know “in part.” But there is such an abundence of his power that it remains incomprehensible and never to be thoroughly understood until he chooses to exercise that power (v 14).

In Job 27.1-23 Job pauses while he waits for Zophar to take his turn and respond, but he doesn’t say anything, so Job continues. As in an oath, Job says the Lord has taken away his wealth and prosperity, and has dealt with him harshly. But as long as he has life, he will not speak unjustly (Gen 2.7; Acts 17.25). He will not say that his three friends are right concerning him, either. He was not going to let anyone take his integrity. He will hold fast to his cause because his heart does not condemn him. His enemy is anyone who opposes his cause and it is they who would be found in error of God and him. Because of their false accusations, Job thinks his friends deserve the punishment they think he is getting (v 1-7).

They think he is a hypocrite. He says that the Lord does not hear their cries. Job is not a hypocrite and now he is going to teach them a few things. He knows they do not understand many things and are fools (v 8-12). Job says that the wicked will be judged and in the end he will not be blessed. In doing this he actually describes some of the things that are happening to him. Hut even though it looks like judgment of God, it really isn’t (v 13-23).

Job 28.1-28 continues with Job’s instruction and he describes man’s search for money in the form of gold and silver. The earth brings forth food (wheat, barley, vegetables) and coal (“fire”). Man is willing to work very hard for what is hidden in the earth, which is seen as a treasure house (v 1-11). Man knows where to find these things but where can the wisdom of God and his dealings with man be found? Where can man find his plans and government?

Man has no concept of the value of God’s wisdom. The depths of the earth say wisdom is not there, and the sea says “it is not in me.” You can’t buy the wisdom of God with gold and silver and it is worth more than any valuable stone (onyx, sapphire, glass, coral, crystal, topaz, etc). Job asks, “Where then does wisdom come?” It is hidden from all men and concealed from the birds of the sky. In other words, no matter how close to heaven they fly or how good they can see on the ground (like an eagle), they cannot find it. Even Abaddon (Satan) and death (the land of the dead) have heard about it, but cannot find it (v 12-22).

Job 28.23-28 says only God understands its way and knows its place because he is wisdom. He is the source and the sum total of all wisdom. He sees everything and he is in control of the natural world. He controls unstable things like the wind and the rain. He regulates the times for it and measures out the amount, even the direction of the lightning. And to man he says, “Behold, in the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Our wisdom is in fearing the Lord and keeping the commandments (Ecc 12.11-14).

In Job 29.1-25 Job longs for the days before he suffered the loss of his children, health and possessions and when God “watched over me” to keep him from calamity. His favor and light (“lamp”) shone over him and he had a zeal for life. He had the counsel of God (counsel is “sowd” in Hebrew meaning a deeper level) and the hidden things of God did not escape him.

At this time, Job thinks he is out of the presence of God. He was wealthy and prosperous and “the rock poured out for me streams of oil” (olives in the rocks on the mountains, like the Mount of Olives). He had influence in the “gate of the city” where business was done. The young men stepped back in respect when they saw him, and the old men arose and stood (an oriental custom). Even the princes and the nobles listened to him (v 1-10).

They not only did they give their ears to hear him, they liked him (“blessed”-v 11). They felt this way because he delivered the poor and the orphan. He gave good counsel to the unlearned (“eyes to the blind”) and feet to the lame (helped them walk in the ways of the Lord, and helped get their claims heard by his friendship). He fought oppressors (“broke their jaws”) and broke their power (“snatched the prey from his teeth”). He thought that he would “die in my nest” (at home with his family) and live a long life. His “root” spread out to the waters (he was “planted by a stream of waters”-Psa 1.3) and he was well-watered by the teachings of God. He could protect himself from those who might harm him (v 11-20).

People would listen and wait for his counsel, and agreed with what he said. His words “dropped on them” (like the dew in Deut 32.2) and they entered them (soaked into them). They waited (longed for) his words like rain. They opened their mouth as for the spring rain to take in his counsel. They did not provoke him or disturb his peace. He advised them on what steps to take and “dwelt as a king (had authority) among the troops, and comforted those who were discouraged (v 21-25).

We will pick up in Job 30.1-21 in Part 8.

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