Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 69-71

Psa 69.1-36 is a psalm where David pours out his soul in feelings of distress over the events he is going through. A single person is spoken of here and it alludes to Israel as a whole and Messiah, and to David individually. So look for that when you read this psalm. The heading reads, “For the Conductor; upon Shoshanim, of David (L’David).” Shoshanim means “roses” or in some case as “lilies” (Psa 45 and are trumpet shaped) and it may refer to a six-stringed instrument and may also refer to the red color of the rose, alluding to the blood of those oppressed, martyred or abused. This psalm is referred to seven times in the Brit Chadasha (Renewed Covenant).

Psa 69.1-4 talks about David drowning in the waters (troubles) that have threatened him (Psa 88.6-7, 16-18). He has sunk in the mire and there is no way he can get out. He is in deep waters and a flood (rushing current) overwhelms him (v 1-2). He is worn out by his crying and his eyes fail (couldn’t see his way out) while waiting for the Lord, meaning he was still serving God (v 3). Those that hate him have no reason for it, and they are too many to count. They desire to kill him (cut him off) and make use of every opportunity to lie and deceive. He is even been held responsible for things he didn’t do and made to pay for it anyway (v 4).

Psa 69.5-12 talks about how David has many against him. God knows David sins and they are not hidden (v 5). He prays that those who wait on Yehovah for salvation will not be disappointed in the Lord because of David (v 6). God has ordained this trouble in David’s life and he has borne the reproach. He is estranged from his own people and relatives like Yeshua was in John 1.11 and 7.5 (v 8). He had a zeal to build the Temple and it caused the reproach of those who hated Yehovah to fall on him (v 9). No matter what David did, like fasting or mourning, his enemies came against him for it (v 10). When he gave signs of repentance, like sackcloth, he was made fun of and “dismissed” (v 11). The rulers who sit in the gate (courts) spoke against him (and Messiah) and even drunkards (the lowest) mocked him (v 12).

Psa 69.13-15 says that despite all this David (Messiah) will rely on the Lord to deliver him and directs his prayer to him “at an acceptable time” meaning when Yehovah is open to hear. He wants the Lord to answer him with a good outcome (v 13). He wants deliverance out of the swamp of evil and does not want to be engulfed by them (v 14). The flood of water (the abyss of death) is soon to swallow him up so he does not want the deep (the pit) to swallow him up and shut its mouth over him. This speaks about a cistern for well or rain water that had an opening that was shut by a huge stone (v 15).

Psa 69.16-18 tells us David needed a speedy rescue and he did not want the Lord to hide his face in unforgiving anger because he was in trouble now (v 16-17). He wants Yehovah to “draw near” to his soul (to rescue him) and ransom him because of his enemies (who were all over him) and ready to take his life (v 18). God knew about all the ways David has suffered, and he also sees all the concealed plans of his adversaries (v 19).

Psa 69.20-21 says that David is sick with a broken heart (he has given up hope) and looked for comfort from his friends, but David found none (Mark 14.33-41). He was walking through this alone (v 20). They gave him gall (insults) for his food (to increase his pain) and vinegar to drink to increase his thirst. You will see that these verses were applied to Yeshua in Matt 27.34; Mark 15.36; Luke 23.26 and John 19.29-30 (v 21).

In Psa 69.22-28 David is asking for the defeat of his enemies. He says “let their table (an idiom for a conspiracy) become a snare.” This also alludes to Annas and Caiaphas meeting to trap Yeshua (Matt 26.1-5). Since he cannot convince them about the truth, David calls for the Lord to deal with them (v 22). Let their eyes be darkened (spiritual blindness) and let their loins (strength) shake with terror (weak). He wants the Lord to “pour out” (not a few drops) his indignation on his enemies (v 24). May their camp (house) be desolate with no one remaining (v 25). Yeshua said this about the house of Shammai in Matt 23.38. They persecuted David whom God had been dealing with and they proudly talk about the pain they inflicted (v 26) and David wants the Lord to let them proceed until they fall into ruin and not come into God’s mercy and good (v 27). May their names perish forever and not be written with the righteous in the Olam Haba (v 28).

Psa 69.29-33 tells us that David not only prayed for the destruction of his enemies as we have just seen, but also wanted Yehovah to rescue him (v 29). He will praise Yehovah and whom he is and magnify him with thanks giving for being heard and helped during these afflictions (v 30). This will please God better than the best of the Levitical korbanot like an ox or a bull (v 31).. The humble (truly repentant) will see this and rejoice and those who seek the Lord will be filled with life (born again from above), lifting the faithful from misery to gladness (v 32). God listens to the voice of those who need salvation and does not despise his prisoners (those bound by sin). He releases the captives and sets them free (v 33). Let all the creatures in heaven and earth give honor to his name (v 34). For Yehovah will save Israel (Zion) and will build the cities of Judah (these are named because they were the most prominent locations in Israel and home of the kingly tribe) and God’s people will have these for their eternal possession forever (v 35). And the “seed” of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will inherit it and those who love his name (the righteous) will dwell there (v 36).

Psa 70.1-5 is a psalm that is very similar to Psa 40.13-17. It may have been written when David was fleeing from Saul. The heading reads, “For the Conductor, of David, for remembrance.” David will remember that the Lord had saved him in the past. David wants Yehovah to save him from persecution (v 1) and let those who seek his life be disappointed in their attempts and wants them to be turned back and confused (v 2). Let their reward be punishment for their sin and derision (v 3). May true believers rejoice and have confidence (emunah or faith) in Yehovah and let those who are truly believers say, “Let God be magnified” (v 4). But David is afflicted and needy (like all believers) and wants the Lord to respond quickly because he had no other helper or deliverer (v 5).

Psa 71.1-24 is a continuation of Psa 70 and may have been written by David according to the Syriac, Latin Vulgate versions and the Septuagint, but there is no heading. This psalm gives further understanding into David’s emotions as he fled from Saul in his younger days, and from Absalom in his latter years, but this psalm does not mention these events so we will not assume that it was written by David. The author’s words seem to express the feelings of those who have gotten older and want Yehovah to bless their latter years.

Psa 71.1-6 begins with the writer saying that he has taken refuge in the Lord and to never let him be a “joke” before his enemies on account of his confidence in Yehovah (v 1). He wants the Lord to deliver him in his “righteousness” (his promises) and to cause the writer to escape (be set free) from harm (v 2). He wants the Lord to be a “rock of habitation” to which he can always come and live securely when there is a need. God has given a command to save him for Yehovah is his rock and fortress (a tower or height or high ground) safe from his enemies (v 3). The writer wants to be rescued from the hand of the wicked. If David wrote this psalm he is possibly referring to Absalom here, who is a type of the False Messiah. He also says he wants to be rescued from the grasp of the wrong doer and ruthless man, and this could be Ahitophel, a type of the False Prophet (v 4). For Yehovah is the hope of the writer and his confidence (meaning faith) since his younger days (v 5). God has sustained him from his birth and has taken him from his mother’s womb and protected him and guided him, and the writer will praise the Lord continually for that (v 6).

In Psa 71.6-11 he says he is a “marvel” (example) for many who see his distressed sate of being and they can see how the Lord is his refuge (v 7). His mouth will give God all the glory for his benefits (v 8). He does not want God to cast him off in his old age and be forsaken when his natural vigor fades (v 9). His enemies speak against him now that he is older and has less energy to fight back and they watch for his life (looking for him to die) and have consulted together (v 10). They say God has forsaken him and they renew their efforts to get control of him. Since he has all these troubles, they think God has forsaken him (v 11).

Psa 71.12-16 says that the author wants the Lord to be close to him (“not far from me”) and when he hides his face he seems to be distant, but that is not accurate because God is everywhere. He is sure that God will help him and he clings to the Lord and he believes what God has promised (v 12). He wants his enemies to be ashamed (disgraced) and consumed (ruined). They should be covered (engulfed) with reproach and dishonor (v 13). But in spite of all the trouble, the writer will continue to hope (expect) and give praise to Yehovah even more. Biblical hope is not like it is understood in English. Biblical hope is an expectation based on God’s promises (Psa 39.7, 62.5), not “wishing” something would happen (v 14). The writer’s mouth will tell of God’s justice on his enemies, and God’s goodness towards him. He can’t count all the blessings in his salvation and righteousness (v 15). He will bring out God’s mighty deeds and make mention of his righteousness, and only his righteousness (v 17).

Psa 71.17-21 tells us that God has instructed the writer from his youth and delivered him. He also knows God will continue to guide him and teach him (v 17). even when he is old and gray (the effects of age) he does not want to be forsaken because he wants to declare to this generation (publish to everyone the mighty works of Yehovah) and to those who are to come (v 18). God’s righteousness reaches to the heavens, meaning far beyond human comprehension). He has done great things and who is like Yehovah? His greatness inspires all who witness it, as in Exo 15.11 (v 19).

God has shown the writer much affliction and trouble, but God will revive him again. He will bring him up from the depths (ruin). The “me” in this verse is written with the Hebrew letter Vav (plural form) and pronounced with the Hebrew letter Yod (singular form). In other words, the word is written in plural form (“us”) but is pronounced in singular form (“me”). The meaning is this, the writer is applying his personal experience to the history of the entire nation. Israel will be driven “out of the city” by the evil of their sons also (v 20). The writer asks the Lord to increase his greatness in the kingdom and to vindicate him before his enemies (v 21).

Psa 71.22-24 says he will praise the Lord with the nevel (harp with 22 strings) because he is faithful to his word. He will also sing praises with the kinor (a lyre with 10 strings) because Yehovah is the “Holy One” of Israel, which means he has a kedusha (v 22). Both vocal (lips) and instrumental music with praise will be given to the Lord because he has been given a victory over his enemies (v 23). He will talk about the righteousness of God because he keeps his word, “For they (his enemies) are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my hurt” (v 24).

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

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