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

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