Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 97-101

Psa 97.1-12 is another psalm that is read at the beginning of the Sabbath, which we know is a picture of the Day of the Lord, the Messianic Kingdom and also known as the Atid Lavo (future age/coming). There is no heading or author mentioned but some believe it may have been written by David (Septuagint, Latin Vulgate, etc). Since the Scripture is silent about this, we will not speculate.

Psa 97.1-6 speaks about God’s reign and his greatness over the creation and how the nations should rejoice because justice has returned to the earth (v 1). Clouds and thick darkness surrounded him (his fullness is obscured); and righteousness and justice are the foundation (the basic principles) of his throne (v 2). A fire goes before him (the Torah is the basis-Deut 33.2) and burns up his adversaries round about (no escape from judgment-v 3). His lightnings (“barak”-Psa 149.6) lit up the world and the earth saw and trembled (at Sinai, but also when Yeshua returns). God illuminates man’s intellect with “flashes” of truth and understanding because Yeshua is the light of the world (v 4). The mountains (arrogant nations and kings who reject salvation) melted (disappeared) like wax at the presence of Yehovah, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth because they now realize it (v 5). The heavens (lightning, thunder and all the atmospheric manifestations that cause harm on his enemies-Ezek 38.22) declare his righteousness and the evidence that he is God, and all the peoples (of the earth) witness his glory when the wicked are punished by his justice (v 6).

Psal 97.7-9 tells us that the people are taught about graven images. Let those be ashamed who serve graven images because they are foolish in their idolatry, who boast themselves in idols instead of Yehovah. Worship him, all you gods (powers, rulers and the fictitious deities of the heathen-v 7). Zion (the Kahal/assembly of God’s people) heard this and was glad (because they had true faith) and the daughters of Judah (also the Kahal) have rejoiced because of thy judgments that have been carried out (v 8). For Yehovah is the Lord Most High over all the earth and he is exalted far above the gods (powers, rulers and false deities of the heathen-v 9).

Psa 97.10-12 tells us about Yehovah’s deliverance. We are to love the Lord and hate evil because it is a fruit of faith (Rom 12.5). He preserves the souls of his tzaddikim (saints) by guarding them from danger that could harm their confidence, and he delivers them from the plots and the conspiracies of the wicked (v 10). Light (spiritual) is sown like seed for the righteous (Luke 13.1-23) and gladness for the upright in heart because they have understanding and God’s mercy shines its light on them (v 11). Be glad in Yehovah, you righteous ones; and give thanks to his holy (has a kedusha) name. Now, “name” in Hebrew is “Zekor” and it means “remembrance” or “memorial.” Exo 3.15 says the name is “Yehovah” and that “this is my memorial name forever (olam).” That means how his name is to be spoken. Man will remember this name because the vowel markings for “olam” are the same vowel markings for Yehovah (v 12).

Psa 98.1-9 speaks about the homage of the creation and man to the judge of the world. Again, this is recited at the beginning of the Sabbath (a picture of the Messianic Kingdom) and simply bears the title, “A Psalm” and is the only psalm to have this heading. Some believe it was written by David such as the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, but since the author’s name is absent we will not venture to identify the writer.

Psa 98.1-3 is a praise to God as a savior and it is very similar to what Miriam said in Luke 1.46.55. She may have had this psalm in mind when she said it. It begins by saying that we are to sing to Yehovah “a new song.” and we have already discussed that this term means “Messiah has come” and it is an idiom for the Messianic Kingdom (Psa 33.3, 96.1; Isa 42.10). God has done wonderful things (the reason for the new song) and his “right hand” (a term for the Messiah) and his holy arm (“zeroah” and another term for the Messiah-Isa 53.1) gained victory for “him” (the Father-v 1). Yehovah has made known his salvation (“yeshuato” and a form of Yeshua) and he has revealed his righteousness (by faith) in the sight of the non-Jews (v 2). He has remembered his mercy and his faithfulness to the house of Israel (because of the promises to the fathers-Mic 7.20), all the ends of the earth have seen the “yeshuat” (salvation) our God. The name Israel (“Yisrael” can be formed by using the initials of Israel and Jacob (the letter “yod” is a “y” sound), Sarah (shin is “s” sound), Rivka (Rebecca with the “resh” or “r” sound), Abraham (the letter “aleph” with an “ah” vowel sound under it) and Leah (the “lamed” or “l” sound). Israel is the spiritual title of Jacob, one of the patriarchs (v 3).

Psa 98.4-6 speaks of a song and music with many instruments. Shout joyfully to Yehovah, all the earth, and break forth and sing for joy and sing praises with no restraints (v 4). Play music (meaning “strum with the fingers) to Yehovah with the lyre (kinnor) and with the lyre and with the sound of melody (v 5). With trumpets (Hebrew “tzotzrot”) and the sound of the horn (a ram’s horn or “shofar”) shout joyfully before the king, the Lord (Hebrew “Yehovah”-v 6).

Psa 98.7-9 tells us about the acclamation of the king. As we have said at the beginning of Psalms, there are five aspects to the coronation of a Jewish king. They are the Investiture, the Anointing, the Acclamation, the Enthronement and the Homage. Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it will rejoice at the universal peace brought by Yeshua (v 7). Let the rivers (those who sail on them) clap their hands (in acclamation to welcome the king-2 Kings 11.12) and let the mountains sing together in joy (v 8) before Yehovah, for he is coming to judge the earth (a Yom Ha Din Yom Kippur), and he will judge the world with righteousness (as found in the Torah), and peoples (the nations) with equity and fairness (v 9).

Psa 99.1-9 is another Sabbath psalm and it speaks about God’s just and holy (has a kedusha) rule, and a Yom Ha Din (Day of Judgment). Again, there is no heading or author named but some believe it was David, and it does make mention of Samuel.

Psa 99.1-5 begins by describing God’s Shekinah (presence in the Temple. Yehiovah reigns and let the people tremble with reverence and awe. He is enthroned (sits) above the Cherubim, and this alludes the Maaseh Merkavah (the work of the chariot) in Ezek.1-128, which we learn is the throne of God. Let the earth shake (inspired with awe) and we see that the court is seated for judgment as in Dan 7.9-10 (v 1). Yehovah is great in Zion (where the Ark was; his throne) and he is exalted above all the nations (v 2). Let them praise God’s great and awesome name, for it is holy (has a kedusha). Matt 6.9 is understood as, “May your name be sanctified” (v 3). The strength of the Lord loves justice (has a sense for fairness). You have established equity (true justice) and he has made justice and righteousness in Jacob through the Torah (v 4). We are to exalt (publicize) Yehovah our God and worship (prostrate) at his footstool (wherever the Ark was, the Mishkan or Temple-Isa 66.1) because he is holy (has a kedusha-v 5).

Psa 99.6-9 speaks of God’s revelation to his priests and is a picture of the Messianic Kingdom. Moses and Aaron are among his priests, and so is Samuel who call on his name. They called on Yehovah and he answered them. These three were used because they were some of the chief prophets by the time this was written, but they were prominent priests. Moses dedicated the Mishkan as high priest and served for a few days, then Aaron took over. Samuel also served in that very same Mishkan. These are named to show the calibre of the people who served there (v 6). God spoke to them in the pillar of cloud (Aaron and Moses) and they kept the testimonies (edut) and the statutes (chukim) that he gave them. This will be a good time to define some words we will see all over the Scriptures because two of them are mentioned here. Law in Hebrew is “Torah” and it means instruction, guidance and teaching. To say “we are not under the Law” means they are not under the instruction, guidance and teaching of God. The word “commandments” is “mitzvot” and it means good works also. It alludes to the moral laws like stealing or adultery, etc. Statutes is “chukim” and it alludes to the laws that we don’t understand or can explain, like the laws of the Red Heifer or the Kosher laws. Judgments is “mishpatim” and it covers ordinances, social laws and decrees, like the Temple service. The testimonies is the word “edut” and these are prophecies and evidences that give a witness. Now, Jewish law according to the rabbis consists of five categories of “Halakah” or “how to walk.” First we have the written Scriptures. Next we have that which has been derived from Scripture, and then that which is not derived from Scripture but tradition says it was, like the Oral Law. Then we have rabbinic decrees and last we have customs (ethics). We believe that the written Scriptures always takes precedence over the others if there is a conflict. If a law or custom does not conflict, then it is permissible to do it but we should not judge others if they don’t (v 7). God answered the prayers of Israel when they asked for forgiveness and he was a forgiving God to them and an avenger of their deeds (sins) because he did not let them enter the land of Canaan (v 8). Exalt (publicize) Yehovah and worship at his holy hill (Mount Moriah and the Temple Mount-Lev 19.30) because Yehovah is holy (has a kedusha).

Psa 100.1-5 is a psalm of thanksgiving and is the only psalm that has that title. It exhorts all the earth to serve and worship Yehovah. It was sung in the Temple during the thank offering, and after surviving danger one would bring a thank offering and would recite this psalm. No author is given.

Psa 100.1-3 tells us that we should serve and worship Yehovah, but not out of fear or bondage. All the earth should “shout” (call out) joyfully to Yehovah (v 1). We should serve him with gladness and come before him (in the Temple) with joyful singing because the people loved the Temple (v 2). Yehovah is God and he has made us (Acts 17.28) and not ourselves, or “evolution.” We are his people and the sheep if his pasture (Isa 53; Psa 23; Ezek 34; Jer 23; John 10-v 3).

Psa 100.4-5 shows us how to enter the Temple with thanks and praise. We are to enter his gates (of the Temple) with thanksgiving and his courts (azarah) with praise. We are to give thanks to him for all his blessings (he has empowered us to succeed) and we are to bless his name by proclaiming his many works (v 4). Yehovah is good (Psa 25.8, 34.8) and his mercy and kindness is everlasting (always sufficient). His faithfulness (in fulfilling his promises) goes out to all generations (v 5).

Psa 101.1-8 is a psalm of David that may be the guidelines he set forth to guide him in his life, and as he ruled as king. He had to reform the abuses of King Saul.

Psa 101.1-5 tells us that david recognized and appreciated God’s mercy to him and he wants to live a righteous life. He will sing of the mercy and justice of Yehovah (2 Sam 8.15) and will sing praises for granting him his favor in making him king-v 1). He will give heed (pay attention to) the blameless way (the Torah) and wants to know when Yehovah will come to him to help and assist him. David will walk within his house in the integrity of his heart, avoiding evil-v 2). He is not going to set any worthless thing before his eyes to inflame his heart and turn to his imaginations. He hates the work of those who have fallen away (from the Torah and God) and that attitude will not fasten its grip (cling) on him (v 3). A perverse heart shall depart from him because he cannot be friends with it. He does not want to know evil because he will be oblivious to it and will not imagine it-v 4). Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor he will destroy (oppose) and no one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will not be tolerated by allowing them to be in his presence (v 5).

Psa 101.6-8 tells us what kind of men David is looking for to serve him. His eyes will be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with him. They will be people who walk in a blameless way (the Torah) and they will be the ones who will minister with him as he rules as king (v 6). Anyone who practices deceit by frauds, lies and flattery) shall not dwell within his house or have a position there. Anyone who speaks falsehood has a habit of speaking lies and they will not maintain their position before him at court as king. David will not permit anyone like that to be there (v 7). every morning (daily, constantly) he will destroy all the wicked of the land by making a general reformation and to punish iniquity according to the Torah. He would cut them off from the city of the Lord because it was a place with a kedusha (v 8).

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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