Tehillim / Psalms 109, ספר תהילים קט, Part 2, The Principle on which the Lord God Rules over this World

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 109:1-31, the Psalm opens saying, א לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר אֱלֹהֵי תְהִלָּתִי אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ: ב כִּי פִי רָשָׁע וּפִי-מִרְמָה עָלַי פָּתָחוּ דִּבְּרוּ אִתִּי לְשׁוֹן שָׁקֶר: 109:1 O God of my praise, Do not be silent! 109:2 For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. (NASB) The enemy seeks to destroy using false information. David continues in his psalm saying, ג וְדִבְרֵי שִֹנְאָה סְבָבוּנִי וַיִּלָּחֲמוּנִי חִנָּם: ד תַּחַת-אַהֲבָתִי יִשְֹטְנוּנִי וַאֲנִי תְפִלָּה: ה וַיָּשִֹימוּ עָלַי רָעָה תַּחַת טוֹבָה וְשִֹנְאָה תַּחַת אַהֲבָתִי: 109:3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without cause. 109:4 In return for my love they act as my accusers; But I am in prayer. 109:5 Thus they have repaid me evil for good And hatred for my love. (NASB) David speaks of the wicked man, that his prayer become sin (109:7), 109:9 Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow. (NASB), where his children will wander about and beg (109:10). He goes on to speak of the man will see financial ruin (109:11), and none of God’s lovingkindness (mercy, Chesed) would be given to him (109:12). He speaks of the reversal of blessing, (109:13) and he says 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. (NASB) Their iniquity is so great, David speaks of their memory being cut off forever (109:15), and the reason being, he persecuted the needy (109:16), even putting them to death. He loved cursing, (109:17) he did not delight in blessing, in fact, he clothed himself in cursing. (109:18) Do you know anyone that does or behaves like this? David says, 109:20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, And of those who speak evil against my soul. 109:21 But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; (NASB) David speaks of his own afflicted heart (109:22), the weakness of his body (109:24), and how he has become a reproach to the wicked (109:25). The psalm concludes saying, 109:26 Help me, O Lord my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness. 109:27 And let them know that this is Your hand; You, Lord, have done it. 109:28 Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, they shall be ashamed, But Your servant shall be glad. 109:29 Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. 109:30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him. 109:31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul. (NASB) David speaks of the mercy of the Lord to save his people, especially those who are in great suffering and need.

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק קט

א לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר אֱלֹהֵי תְהִלָּתִי אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ: ב כִּי פִי רָשָׁע וּפִי-מִרְמָה עָלַי פָּתָחוּ דִּבְּרוּ אִתִּי לְשׁוֹן שָׁקֶר: ג וְדִבְרֵי שִֹנְאָה סְבָבוּנִי וַיִּלָּחֲמוּנִי חִנָּם: ד תַּחַת-אַהֲבָתִי יִשְֹטְנוּנִי וַאֲנִי תְפִלָּה: ה וַיָּשִֹימוּ עָלַי רָעָה תַּחַת טוֹבָה וְשִֹנְאָה תַּחַת אַהֲבָתִי:

סםר טוביה פרק קט

א לשבחא על יד דוד תושבחא אלהים שבחתי לא תשתוק׃ ב ארום פומא דרישעא ופומא דניכלא עלי פתחו מלילו עמי לישן דשקר׃ ג וממללי סנותא חזרו יתי ואגיחו עמי מגן׃ ד חלף די רחימוית סטנו לי ואנא אצלי׃ ה ושוון עלי בישתא חלף טבא וסניתא ושנאתא חלף דרחימית׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 109

109:1 [To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; 109:2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 109:3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 109:4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. 109:5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 109:6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

ו הַפְקֵד עָלָיו רָשָׁע וְשָֹטָן יַעֲמֹד עַל-יְמִינוֹ: ז בְּהִשָּׁפְטוֹ יֵצֵא רָשָׁע וּתְפִלָּתוֹ תִּהְיֶה לַחֲטָאָה: ח יִהְיוּ-יָמָיו מְעַטִּים פְּקֻדָּתוֹ יִקַּח אַחֵר: ט יִהְיוּ-בָנָיו יְתוֹמִים וְאִשְׁתּוֹ אַלְמָנָה: י וְנוֹעַ יָנוּעוּ בָנָיו וְשִׁאֵלוּ וְדָרְשׁוּ מֵחָרְבוֹתֵיהֶם: יא יְנַקֵּשׁ נוֹשֶׁה לְכָל-אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ וְיָבֹזּוּ זָרִים יְגִיעוֹ: יב אַל-יְהִי-לוֹ משֵׁךְ חָסֶד וְאַל-יְהִי חוֹנֵן לִיתוֹמָיו: יג יְהִי-אַחֲרִיתוֹ לְהַכְרִית בְּדוֹר אַחֵר יִמַּח שְׁמָם: יד יִזָּכֵר | עֲוֹן אֲבֹתָיו אֶל-יְהֹוָה וְחַטַּאת אִמּוֹ אַל-תִּמָּח: טו יִהְיוּ נֶגֶד-יְהֹוָה תָּמִיד וְיַכְרֵת מֵאֶרֶץ זִכְרָם: טז יַעַן אֲשֶׁר | לֹא זָכַר עֲשֹוֹת חָסֶד וַיִּרְדֹּף אִישׁ-עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן וְנִכְאֵה לֵבָב לְמוֹתֵת: יז וַיֶּאֱהַב קְלָלָה וַתְּבוֹאֵהוּ וְלֹא-חָפֵץ בִּבְרָכָה וַתִּרְחַק מִמֶּנּוּ: יח וַיִּלְבַּשׁ קְלָלָה כְּמַדּוֹ וַתָּבֹא כַמַּיִם בְּקִרְבּוֹ וְכַשֶּׁמֶן בְּעַצְמוֹתָיו: יט תְּהִי-לוֹ כְּבֶגֶד יַעְטֶה וּלְמֵזַח תָּמִיד יַחְגְּרֶהָ: כ זֹאת פְּעֻלַּת שֹטְנַי מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה וְהַדֹּבְרִים רָע עַל-נַפְשִׁי: כא וְאַתָּה | יְהוִה אֲדֹנָי עֲשֵֹה-אִתִּי לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ כִּי-טוֹב חַסְדְּךָ הַצִּילֵנִי: כב כִּי-עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן אָנֹכִי וְלִבִּי חָלַל בְּקִרְבִּי: כג כְּצֵל כִּנְטוֹתוֹ נֶהֱלָכְתִּי נִנְעַרְתִּי כָּאַרְבֶּה: כד בִּרְכַּי כָּשְׁלוּ מִצּוֹם וּבְשָֹרִי כָּחַשׁ מִשָּׁמֶן: כה וַאֲנִי | הָיִיתִי חֶרְפָּה לָהֶם יִרְאוּנִי יְנִיעוּן רֹאשָׁם: כו עָזְרֵנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָי הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי כְחַסְדֶּךָ: כז וְיֵדְעוּ כִּי-יָדְךָ זֹּאת אַתָּה יְהֹוָה עֲשִֹיתָהּ: כח יְקַלְלוּ הֵמָּה וְאַתָּה תְבָרֵךְ קָמוּ | וַיֵּבשׁוּ וְעַבְדְּךָ יִשְֹמָח: כט יִלְבְּשׁוּ שֹוֹטְנַי כְּלִמָּה וְיַעֲטוּ כַמְעִיל בָּשְׁתָּם: ל אוֹדֶה יְהֹוָה מְאֹד בְּפִי וּבְתוֹךְ רַבִּים אֲהַלְלֶנּוּ: לא כִּי-יַעֲמֹד לִימִין אֶבְיוֹן לְהוֹשִׁיעַ מִשֹּׁפְטֵי נַפְשׁוֹ:

ו אסער עלוי רשיעא וסיטנא יקום על ימיניה׃ ז באידייניה יפוק חייב וצלותיה תהי לחובתא׃ ח יהון יומוי קלילין מניין שנוי יירת אוחרן׃ ט יהון בנוי יתמי ואתתיה ארמלתא׃ י ומטלטלא יטלטלון בנוי וישאלון ויבעון מה הות צדיתהון׃ יא יגבב מוזופא לכל דיליה ויבזון נוכראין ליעותיה׃ יב לא יהי ליה נגיד חסדא ולא יהי ליה חייס על יתמוי׃ יג יהי סופיה לאישתצייא בדר אוחרן חורן יתמח שמהון׃ יד ידכיר עויית אבהתוי קדם יהוה וחובת אמיה לא תתמחי׃ טו יהווין קביל מימרא דיהוה תדירא וישיצי מארעא דכרניהון׃ טז מטול דלא אידכר למעבד טיבו ורדיף גבר עניא וחשוכא ומכיך לבא לאתקטלא׃ יז ורחים לוטא ואתית ליה ולא איתרעי בברכתא ואתרחקת מיניה׃ יח ולבש לווטא היך לבושא ועלת היך מיא בגושמיה והיך משחא באיברוי׃ יט תהוי ליה היך לבושא יתעטף ולקמור תדירא יזרזינה׃ כ דא עובדא דשוטני מן יהוה ודמללין בישתא על נפשי׃ כא ואת אלהים יהוה עבד עמי מן בגלל שמך היך טובך וחסדך פצי יתי׃ כב ארום עניא וחשיכא אנא ולבי שפי בגווי׃ כג היך טולא בצליותיה אתגמרית אטלטילית היך גובאי׃ כד רכובי איתקלו מצומא וביסרי פתרן מלמהוי פטים׃ כה ואנא הויתי קלנא להון יחמון יתי יטלטלון רישיהון׃ כו סעוד לי יתי יהוה אלהי פרוק יתי היך חסדך׃ כז וידעון ארום מחתך דא אנת את יהוה עבדתה׃ כח ילטטון הינון אינון ואת תברך יקומון ויבהתון ועבדך יחדי׃ כט ילבשון סוטני כיסופא ויעטפון היך מעילא בהתהון׃ ל אודי אהודי יהוה לחדא בפומי ובמצע חכימיא אשבחיניה׃ לא ארום יקום מן ימינא דחשוכא למפרוק ממדיני נפשיה׃

109:7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. 109:8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office. 109:9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. 109:10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. 109:11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. 109:12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. 109:13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 109:15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. 109:16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. 109:17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. 109:18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. 109:19 Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 109:20 Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul. 109:21 But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. 109:23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. 109:24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness. 109:25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads. 109:26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: 109:27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it. 109:28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice. 109:29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle. 109:30 I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude. 109:31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

Tehillim / Psalms 109

109:1 O God of my praise, Do not be silent! 109:2 For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 109:3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without cause. 109:4 In return for my love they act as my accusers; But I am in prayer. 109:5 Thus they have repaid me evil for good And hatred for my love. 109:6 Appoint a wicked man over him, And let an accuser stand at his right hand. 109:7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, And let his prayer become sin. 109:8 Let his days be few; Let another take his office. 109:9 Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow. 109:10 Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. 109:11 Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder the product of his labor. 109:12 Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, Nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. 109:13 Let his posterity be cut off; In a following generation let their name be blotted out. 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. 109:15 Let them be before the Lord continually, That He may cut off their memory from the earth; (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 109

109:1 For praise, composed by David; a psalm. O God, my praise, do not be silent. 109:2 For the mouth of wickedness and the mouth of deceit are open against me, they have spoken with me [with] a lying tongue. 109:3 And those who speak hatred have surrounded me, and fought against me for no cause. 109:4 Because I have loved, they opposed me; but I will pray. 109:5 And they gave me evil for good, and hatred where I had given love. 109:6 Appoint over him a wicked man, and may an adversary stand at his right hand. 109:7 When he is judged, let him come out a sinner, and may his prayer become an act of sin. 109:8 May his days be few, may another inherit the number of his years. 109:9 May his sons be orphans, and his wife a widow. 109:10 And may his sons yet wander, and beg, and seek what has become their wasteland. 109:11 May the creditor gather up all that is his, and may strangers plunder his toil. 109:12 May he have none to extend kindness, and may he have none to pity his orphans. 109:13 May his end be destruction; may their name be effaced in the next generation. 109:14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered in the presence of the Lord; and may his mother’s guilt not be effaced. 109:15 May they be facing the decree of the Lord always; and may their memory perish from the earth. 109:16 Because he did not remember to do good, and persecutes the poor and needy man, and the lowly of heart, to be slain. 109:17 And he loves cursing, and it came to him; and he took no pleasure in blessing, and it was far from him. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 109

For the end, a Psalm of David. 109:1 O God, pass not over my praise in silence; 109:2 for the mouth of the sinner and the mouth of the crafty man have been opened against me: they have spoken against me with a crafty tongue. 109:3 And they have compassed me with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 109:4 Instead of loving me, they falsely accused me: but I continued to pray. 109:5 And they rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 109:6 Set thou a sinner against him; and let the devil stand at his right hand. 109:7 When he is judged, let him go forth condemned: and let his prayer become sin. 109:8 Let his days be few: and let another take his office of overseer. 109:9 Let his children be orphans, and his wife a widow. 109:10 Let his children wander without a dwelling-place, and beg: let them be cast out of their habitations. 109:11 Let his creditor exact all that belongs to him: and let strangers spoil his labours. 109:12 Let him have no helper; neither let there be any one to have compassion on his fatherless children. 109:13 Let his children be given up to utter destruction: in one generation let his name be blotted out. 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 109:15 Let them be before the Lord continually; and let their memorial be blotted out from the earth. 109:16 Because he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the needy and poor man, and that to slay him that was pricked in the heart. (LXX)

Tehillim / Psalms 109

109:16 Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, But persecuted the afflicted and needy man, And the despondent in heart, to put them to death. 109:17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him. 109:18 But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, And it entered into his body like water And like oil into his bones. 109:19 Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself, And for a belt with which he constantly girds himself. 109:20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, And of those who speak evil against my soul. 109:21 But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; 109:22 For I am afflicted and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. 109:23 I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like the locust. 109:24 My knees are weak from fasting, And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness. 109:25 I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head. 109:26 Help me, O Lord my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness. 109:27 And let them know that this is Your hand; You, Lord, have done it. 109:28 Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, they shall be ashamed, But Your servant shall be glad. 109:29 Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. 109:30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him. 109:31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 109

109:18 And he wore cursing like a garment, and it entered his body like water, and was like oil to his limbs. 109:19 May it be to him like a garment, let him be wrapped in it; may he gird himself with it as a perpetual belt. 109:20 This is the deed of those who oppose me from [following] the Lord, and of those who speak evil to my soul. 109:21 And you, O God, the Lord, deal with me for your name’s sake; deliver me according to your goodness and kindness. 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is quiet within me. 109:23 I am finished, like a shadow when it lengthens; I have wandered like a locust. 109:24 My knees stumble from fasting; my flesh is lean, and no longer fat. 109:25 And I have become a disgrace to them; they will see me, they will shake their heads. 109:26 Help me, O Lord, my God; redeem me according to your kindness. 109:27 And they will know that this plague, you, O Lord, have done it. 109:28 They will curse, but you will bless; they will arise and be disappointed, but your servant will rejoice. 109:29 Those who oppose me will be clothed in shame, and their infamy will cover them like a cloak. 109:30 I will thank the Lord greatly with my mouth, and I will praise him in the midst of the sages. 109:31 For he will stand at the right hand of the needy, to redeem from the discords of his soul. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 109

109:17 He loved cursing also, and it shall come upon him; and he took not pleasure in blessing, so it shall be removed far from him. 109:18 Yea, he put on cursing as a garment, and it is come as water into his bowels, and as oil into his bones. 109:19 Let it be to him as a garment which he puts on, and as a girdle with which he girds himself continually. 109:20 This is the dealing of the Lord with those who falsely accuse me, and of them that speak evil against my soul. 109:21 But thou, O Lord, Lord, deal mercifully with me, for thy name’s sake: for thy mercy is good. 109:22 Deliver me, for I am poor and needy; and my heart is troubled within me. 109:23 I am removed as a shadow in its going down: I am tossed up and down like locusts. 109:24 My knees are weakened through fasting, and my flesh is changed by reason of the want of oil. 109:25 I became also a reproach to them: when they saw me they shook their heads. 109:26 Help me, O Lord my God; and save me according to thy mercy. 109:27 And let them know that this is thy hand; and that thou, Lord, hast wrought it. 109:28 Let them curse, but thou shalt bless: let them that rise up against me be ashamed, but let thy servant rejoice. 109:29 Let those that falsely accuse me be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their shame as with a mantle. 109:30 I will give thanks to the Lord abundantly with my mouth; and in the midst of many I will praise him. 109:31 For he stood on the right hand of the poor, to save me from them that persecute my soul. (LXX)

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 109:1-31, the Psalm opens saying, א לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר אֱלֹהֵי תְהִלָּתִי אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ: ב כִּי פִי רָשָׁע וּפִי-מִרְמָה עָלַי פָּתָחוּ דִּבְּרוּ אִתִּי לְשׁוֹן שָׁקֶר: 109:1 O God of my praise, Do not be silent! 109:2 For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. (NASB) The enemy seeks to destroy using false information. The Apostle warned of this according to Romans 16:17-20.

Romans 16:17-20

16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 16:18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 16:19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (NASB)

Paul says we are to “keep an eye on those who cause dissensions” (Romans 16:17). This sounds similar to the concept of “divide and conquer,” one of the fundamental tenants of those aligned with falsehood. The psalmist speaks of giving praises unto the Lord, whereas the wicked cause divisive language to be said about God’s people. In Romans and elsewhere in Paul’s teaching, strife is condemned, whereas for the behavior of God’s people unity is to be upheld. This unity is the dividing wall that Paul spoke of that had been torn down according to Ephesians 2:8-19.

Ephesians 2:8-19

2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. 2:11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’ by the so-called ‘Circumcision,’ which is performed in the flesh by human hands 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 2:17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, (NASB)

The key phrase from Paul’s words is “the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” in the sense that by the commandment Israel was told to not live as the nations do, where an “ordinance” is “a piece of legislation enacted by a municipal authority.” The point was due to the nations serving their own gods, Israel was to distance themselves for the purpose of not taking upon themselves the manner in which the nations served their gods, to take these things and use them in the service of the Lord God of Israel (see Devarim / Deuteronomy 8). As a result, legislation was enacted in Jewish Halachah to distance the non-Jewish person from Israel. This had the effect of preserving the Jewish identity, but more importantly, of obedience to the Torah command. By faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the heart of the non-Jewish person is changed, and such a person begins to live their lives for the God of Israel and learn to live according to the commands. It is within this context that this wall of division was taken down by the way the Lord interacts in the hearts of the non-Jewish person. This is the way in which Paul has sought to demonstrate the unity which Jews and Gentiles experience in the Messiah (Christ). Paul was not advocating the abolition of the Torah commands. According to Romans 14 and 15, Paul had forbidden debate and tension which can arise out of differing Halachic views, especially in the case of the non-Jewish person entering into the faith and becoming overwhelmed with all of the Halachah in regards to the Torah. The Deceiver (Satan) seeks to further his cause by taking away from God’s Word and saying that a portion of God’s word is irrelavent for our lives today. The deceiver does so by adding fuel to the flames of friction and discord as the psalmist states 109:2 For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. (NASB).

David continues in his psalm saying, ג וְדִבְרֵי שִֹנְאָה סְבָבוּנִי וַיִּלָּחֲמוּנִי חִנָּם: ד תַּחַת-אַהֲבָתִי יִשְֹטְנוּנִי וַאֲנִי תְפִלָּה: ה וַיָּשִֹימוּ עָלַי רָעָה תַּחַת טוֹבָה וְשִֹנְאָה תַּחַת אַהֲבָתִי: 109:3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without cause. 109:4 In return for my love they act as my accusers; But I am in prayer. 109:5 Thus they have repaid me evil for good And hatred for my love. (NASB) Here David speaks of being surrounded by people who hate him and fight against him without a cause. Why do you think they hate him so much? Could it be because of his undevoted attention to God’s Word, speaking of the truth and life that is found in His word? Teachers who depart from the truth engage in speculation and argumentation which results in strife and friction in a similar way in which we read here in the psalm. Paul wrote to Timothy saying the following, “If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” (1 Timothy 6:3-5) Paul also taught that truth in doctrine is essential for our growth. He said in 1 Timothy 4:6-7 “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.” (NASB) Paul also wrote saying in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (NASB) Paul also taught the Romans that we should beware of false doctrine saying in Romans 16:17-18, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (NASB) Note how these kinds of people are not always readily apparent as David said in his Psalm, “109:3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without cause. 109:4 In return for my love…” Here Paul writes that some come with smooth words and flattering speech in order to deceive the hearts of those who do not have understanding. Concerning this word “doctine,” one of the significant issues related to this is found in the underlying theologies that one’s faith is based upon. There tends to be a misuse of the word “doctrine” today in the sense that a new doctrine is being taught (i.e. hypergrace movement). Many preachers have not taken the time to examine the Scriptures at a depth in which they should, but having a superficial understanding choose to teach the doctrines and underlying theologies of the college they attended during seminary. In addition, some make the mistake of teaching long before they are ready to do so. The Lord knows the heart of the individual, and it might be that there is no divisive or deceptive motivation in the hearts of some who are involved in the hypergrace movement where one may simply be truely deceived and unaware of the faultiness of their doctrine. The point is we need to be aware of the truth of the Scriptures and sensitive in the spirit to in order to discern the divisive person. What David describes in his Psalm are those who are devisive and maliciously seek to be harmful and destroy. This is the definition of a false doctrine. A parallel text may be found in Revelation 2:14-15 which says, 2:14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 2:15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. (NASB) This was a letter sent by way of the angel of the church in Pergamos. Note the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the leaders suppressing the people, and keeping them from following the Messiah in His ways, because the ministers place themselves in between the Messiah and the people stating the people must believe their doctrine. The word Nicolaitan (Νικολαϊτῶν) means “victor over the people” the Greek word “nikee” means “victor,” and the word “laos,” means the people or the lay members. Put these two words together and you have Nicolaitanes. Also notice in verse 2:16 God states He would come and fight this Church that disobeyed Him where the angel writes “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” What we find here is a prophetic biblical record of a doctrine called the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans,” a doctrine that God hates proving the existance of the concept of “false doctrine.” If there is false doctrine, then there must be truth that stands in opposition to what is false. Paul wrote the following in Ephesians 4:14-15, saying, 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, (NASB) Paul speaks of spending time in the Word of God and growing up to become like the Messiah. What was the Messiah like? He was selfless, compassionate, laid his life down for others, walked in the ways of the Father in heaven, lived in righteousness, holiness, justice, and truth. No lie was found in him, and he spoke the truth of God’s Word, teaching the Torah to all peoples.

David continues in his psalm saying the following in regards to the wicked man who promotes false doctrine:

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 109:8-19

109:8 Let his days be few; Let another take his office. 109:9 Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow. 109:10 Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. 109:11 Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder the product of his labor. 109:12 Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, Nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. 109:13 Let his posterity be cut off; In a following generation let their name be blotted out. 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. 109:15 Let them be before the Lord continually, That He may cut off their memory from the earth; 109:16 Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, But persecuted the afflicted and needy man, And the despondent in heart, to put them to death. 109:17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him. 109:18 But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, And it entered into his body like water And like oil into his bones. 109:19 Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself, And for a belt with which he constantly girds himself. (NASB)

Targum Translation

Toviya / Psalms 109:8-19

109:8 May his days be few, may another inherit the number of his years. 109:9 May his sons be orphans, and his wife a widow. 109:10 And may his sons yet wander, and beg, and seek what has become their wasteland. 109:11 May the creditor gather up all that is his, and may strangers plunder his toil. 109:12 May he have none to extend kindness, and may he have none to pity his orphans. 109:13 May his end be destruction; may their name be effaced in the next generation. 109:14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered in the presence of the Lord; and may his mother’s guilt not be effaced. 109:15 May they be facing the decree of the Lord always; and may their memory perish from the earth. 109:16 Because he did not remember to do good, and persecutes the poor and needy man, and the lowly of heart, to be slain. 109:17 And he loves cursing, and it came to him; and he took no pleasure in blessing, and it was far from him. 109:18 And he wore cursing like a garment, and it entered his body like water, and was like oil to his limbs. 109:19 May it be to him like a garment, let him be wrapped in it; may he gird himself with it as a perpetual belt. (EMC)

David speaks of the wicked man, that his prayer would become sin (109:7), and says 109:9 Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow. (NASB), where his children will wander about and beg (109:10). He goes on to speak of the man seeing financial ruin (109:11), and none of God’s lovingkindness (mercy, Chesed) would be given to him (109:12). He speaks of the reversal of blessing, (109:13) and he says 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. (NASB) Their iniquity is so great, David speaks of their memory being cut off forever (109:15), and the reason being, he persecuted the needy (109:16), even putting them to death. He loved cursing, (109:17) he did not delight in blessing, in fact, he clothed himself in cursing. (109:18) Do you know anyone that does or behaves like this? Mishley / Proverbs 15:9 states, ט תּוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה דֶּרֶךְ רָשָׁע וּמְרַדֵּף צְדָקָה יֶאֱהָב: 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves one who pursues righteousness. (NASB) Notice how the Lord hates the way of the wicked, but the one who pursues righteousness He loves. David wrote in the Psalms saying, “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Tehillim / Psalm 1:5-6) The way of the wicked will cause him to not stand before the Lord, just as the psalmist is saying according to Tehillim / Psalms 109:8-19. The point is made when David said, how blessed is the man who delights in and meditates on the Law of the Lord (Tehillim / Psalm 1:2). The most significant blessings that come from spending time and meditating upon God’s Word is personal growth in knowledge of Him and His ways and then applying His word to our lives. It is in His word that He draws us to Himself to walk in His ways. The pursuit and practical application of righteousness is the accrediting of righteousness by our faith to draw our lives in parallel to His Words. Our faith in Yeshua the Messiah brings a spiritual righteousness before the God of Israel, our pursuit of righteousness in this life brings with it the practical aspect of our faith which fuels the increasing delight in God’s Word for those who trust in Him. Delighting in the Torah as David says will give us strength to obey Him and resist the lure of the counsel of the wicked, the way of the sinner, and the seat of scoffers (Tehillim / Psalms 1:1). In addition, taking delight in the Torah will also bring prosperity, a life of fruitfulness in season that bears forth the fruit of the glory of God and of eternal reward for those who by our lives are influenced by the gospel. Studying the first four books of the Apostolic Writings, and of the epistles of Paul and the disciples, it becomes obvious the gospel message is in the ability of the Messiah to empower us to overcome sin in this world, essentially, he enables us to walk in God’s Ways, the Torah is the gospel message which is coupled to the Messiah. The reason being, for those who delight in God’s law recognize their short comings and the need for a redeemer Messiah. The wicked on the other hand are not like this, they do not find enjoyment in the Torah, nor allow themselves to be nourished by it. They are dry, useless, and like chaff that are tossed about and carried away by the wind. Fear lays hold of them, they become faint of heart and flee, and they are covered with eternal contempt. Note the contrast in Tehillim / Psalms 1 of the standing tree that flourishes in righteousness as opposed to the lifeless chaff of wickedness which is driven away by the wind. The Lord is always attentive to the way of the righteous and preserves them. Note also how the way of the righteous is hidden from those in the world. This is why Paul says what he does to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:19, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (NASB) The wicked will be driven away like chaff, just as the psalm states, 109:13 Let his posterity be cut off; In a following generation let their name be blotted out. 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. (NASB) Where the iniquity of his fathers would lead to him having never been born, or to that of being cut off and not to be remembered again because of his sin. Ezekiel speaks of these things according to Ezekiel 33:9-17.

Ezekiel 33:9-17

33:9 ‘But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life. 33:10 ‘Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?’’ 33:11 ‘Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ 33:12 ‘And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, ‘The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’ 33:13 ‘When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die. 33:14 ‘But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, 33:15 if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 33:16 ‘None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live. 33:17 ‘Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right. (NASB)

Not only will the wicked be driven away like chaff, but their way will be utterly destroyed, as well. Ezekiel states, 33:17 ‘Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right. (NASB) where the unrighteous do not see the error of their ways but literally believe the way of the God of Israel is not right. Note that the Lord says, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die? (Ezekiel 33:11). This is summed up in the verse from the Apsotolic Writings which states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

David concludes his psalm saying the following:

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 109:20-31

109:20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, And of those who speak evil against my soul. 109:21 But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; 109:22 For I am afflicted and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. 109:23 I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like the locust. 109:24 My knees are weak from fasting, And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness. 109:25 I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head. 109:26 Help me, O Lord my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness. 109:27 And let them know that this is Your hand; You, Lord, have done it. 109:28 Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, they shall be ashamed, But Your servant shall be glad. 109:29 Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. 109:30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him. 109:31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul. (NASB)

Aramaic Targum

Tovia / Psalms 109:20-31

109:20 This is the deed of those who oppose me from [following] the Lord, and of those who speak evil to my soul. 109:21 And you, O God, the Lord, deal with me for your name’s sake; deliver me according to your goodness and kindness. 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is quiet within me. 109:23 I am finished, like a shadow when it lengthens; I have wandered like a locust. 109:24 My knees stumble from fasting; my flesh is lean, and no longer fat. 109:25 And I have become a disgrace to them; they will see me, they will shake their heads. 109:26 Help me, O Lord, my God; redeem me according to your kindness. 109:27 And they will know that this plague, you, O Lord, have done it. 109:28 They will curse, but you will bless; they will arise and be disappointed, but your servant will rejoice. 109:29 Those who oppose me will be clothed in shame, and their infamy will cover them like a cloak. 109:30 I will thank the Lord greatly with my mouth, and I will praise him in the midst of the sages. 109:31 For he will stand at the right hand of the needy, to redeem from the discords of his soul. (EMC)

David says, 109:20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, And of those who speak evil against my soul. 109:21 But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; (NASB) This is the reward for the wicked, of their conduct, how they use their hands to commit crimes against man and against God. The manner in which they live is put forth as a part of the whole man, to be repaid justly for his crimes. This is the principle on which the Lord God rules over this world. The basic conclusion is that for those who obey the Lord and His commands, for those who seek to do the will of God and see His righteousness, the Lord will deal compassionately with His people, and great is his mercy (109:21). David calls out to the salvation of God כו עָזְרֵנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָי הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי כְחַסְדֶּךָ: 109:26 Help me, O Lord my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness. (NASB) That one day all will know it is the Lord who saves, and it is in Him that we find satisfaction. This is the point and purpose of His having sent the Messiah Yeshua, so that when we stand before him we will not be ashamed, but will stand victorious. The unrighteous however David says, 109:29 Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. (NASB) The unrighteous have no hope. We on the other hand are able to say, ל אוֹדֶה יְהֹוָה מְאֹד בְּפִי וּבְתוֹךְ רַבִּים אֲהַלְלֶנּוּ: לא כִּי-יַעֲמֹד לִימִין אֶבְיוֹן לְהוֹשִׁיעַ מִשֹּׁפְטֵי נַפְשׁוֹ: 109:30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him. 109:31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul. (NASB) The reason we are able to give our praises unto the Lord is by what David speaks of, the mercy of the Lord to save his people, especially those who are in great suffering and need. Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 109 has 4 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 2, 3, and 4. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 109, Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 109, Part 1, 2, 3, and 4

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “For the leader. A Psalm of David. Hold not Your peace O God of my praise (Tehillim / Psalms 109:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Elsewhere, this is what Scripture says, You will fear the Lord your God; Him you will serve; and to Him will you cleave (Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:20).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of having a fear of the Lord.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis continue saying the fear of the Lord is connected to our praises.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “The Holy One blessed be He, answered the children of Israel, I have long time held My peace, I have been still, and refrained Myself (Isaiah 42:14), that is, refrained Myself from crying out at the deeds of the first three kingdoms. But now on account of Edom, Will I cry like a travailing woman.”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me (Tehillim / Psalms 109:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “What is meant by the words, the mouth opened against Me?
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis say this refers to those who go into the Temple and declare there is no God.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal speaking of the people boasting.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Now is not all this an open mouthing against the Lord? Hence it is said, For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against Me.”

Part 3

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “They compassed me about also with words of hatred (Tehillim / Psalms 109:3).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “What words of hatred? They speak the words of hatred that their father gave them, for it is said, And Esau hated Jacob (Bershit / Genesis 27:41) hated him so much that Esau took vengeance and nursed his hatred.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of the hatred as being defined as hating someone without a cause.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis continue saying a righteous man deals righteously with others.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Therefore, the Holy One blessed be He, said to Israel, They have not left you in peace. Hence, it is said, Thus says the Lord, For three transgressions of Edom, yes, for four, I will not reverse it, because he did pursue his brother with the sword (Amos 1:11).”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “In return for my love they are my adversaries (Tehillim / Psalms 109:4).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “The Holy One blessed be He said, Except for Israel there would be no blessing in the world, for it is said, The Lord will command the blessing with you (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:8).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss that if it were not for Israel, there would be no light in this world.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal saying the Lord rains down His blessing upon His people.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Yet in return for my love they are my adversaries, still I am all prayer (Tehillim / Psalms 104:4). Will evil be recompensed for good? (Jeremiah 18:20). Even though they have laid upon me evil for good (Tehillim / Psalms 109:5), still I am all prayer.”

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “For the leader. A Psalm of David. Hold not Your peace O God of my praise (Tehillim / Psalms 109:1).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Elsewhere, this is what Scripture says, You will fear the Lord your God; Him you will serve; and to Him will you cleave (Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:20).” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קט סימן א

א למנצח לדוד [מזמור] אלהי (תפלתי) [תהלתי] אל תחרש. זהו שאמר הכתוב את ה׳ אלהיך תירא ואותו תעבוד ובו תדבק (דברים י כ), ואם עשית כן הוא תהלתך והוא אלהיך (שם שם דברים י׳ כא), אין לישראל תהלה אלא הקב״ה, ואין להקב״ה תהלה אלא ישראל שנאמר עם זו יצרתי לי תהלתי יספרו (ישעיה מג כא), אמר דוד לפני הקב״ה אתה תהלתי ומחריש, אלהי תהלתי אל תחרש, וכן הוא אומר העל אלה תתאפק ה׳ תחשה ותעננו (שם ישעיה סד יא) ומחריש אתה על כל אלה אלהים אל דמי לך אל תחרש (תהלים פג ב), ואתה מחריש על מה שעשו בתוך ביתך, שנאמר בית קדשנו ותפארתנו [וגו׳] (היתה) [היה] לשרפת אש (ישעיה סד י), אמר להם הקב״ה החשיתי מעולם אחריש אתאפק (שם ישעיה מב יד), הרי שלש מלכיות ראשונות, עכשיו באדום כיולדה אפעה (שם שם ישעיהו מ״ב).

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 1

1. For the leader. A Psalm of David. Hold not Your peace O God of my praise (Tehillim / Psalms 109:1). Elsewhere, this is what Scripture says, You will fear the Lord your God; Him you will serve; and to Him will you cleave (Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:20). If you do these things, He is your praise, and He is your God (Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:20). The people of Israel have praise for no other than the Holy One blessed be He, and the Holy One blessed be He, has praise for no other than the people of Israel, as is said, The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise (Isaiah 43:21). David said to the Holy One blessed be He, Since You are the subject of my praise, will You hold Your peace? Hold not Your people, O God of my praise. Scripture also says, Will You refrain Yourself from these things, O Lord? Will You hold your peace, and afflict us very sore? (Isaiah 64:11). And will You hold Your peace at all our afflictions? O God, do not keep Your silence; do not hold Your peace (Tehillim / Psalms 83:2). How can You hold Your peace considering all that they have done to Your house, as is said, Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised You, is burned up with fire (Isaiah 64:10). The Holy One blessed be He, answered the children of Israel, I have long time held My peace, I have been still, and refrained Myself (Isaiah 42:14), that is, refrained Myself from crying out at the deeds of the first three kingdoms. But now on account of Edom, Will I cry like a travailing woman.

Note how the Midrash states, “If you do these things, He is your praise, and He is your God (Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:20),” that if we fear the lord, serve Him, and cleave to him, this will be our praise to the Lord. What does it mean to cleave unto the Lord? Devarim / Deuteornomy 10:20 states, כ אֶת-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּירָא אֹתוֹ תַעֲבֹד וּבוֹ תִדְבָּק וּבִשְׁמוֹ תִּשָּׁבֵעַ: 10:20 You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. (NASB) The meaning of the word ‘cleave’ (תדבק) is relatively complex:

דָּבַק

(v)

to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch

(Qal)

to cling, cleave to

to stay with

(Pual) to be joined together

(Hiphil)

to cause to cleave to

to pursue closely

to overtake

(Hophal) to be made to cleave

The unfortunate fact is in English the word is capable of two almost entirely opposed meanings where to cleave means to either split (divide) something or to join one’s self to something. Therefore, one must rely upon context in order to identify which of these two meanings was intended. Looking at Brown, Driver, and Briggs (BDB) lexicon, the word for cleave is rendered from seven Hebrew, one Aramaic and three Greek words. The Hebrew words are a variation on the word דָּבַק meaning to cleave. The latter two words are rare, where we find the Aramaic equivalent of דָּבַק. and the Greek transliteration of דָּבַק is in adjective form and is a variation on the root Hebrew word. The meaning of דָּבַק in the BDB is given as “to cling” or “to stick to” something. The Pual form means “to be joined together” and the Hiphil “to pursue closely.” The first use of the word in the Torah is found in Bereshit / Genesis 2:24 in relation to the union between a man and a woman. This word is also used in relation to the grip of sin in our lives and in our relationship with the Lord, as we see the use of the rabbis according to the Midrash from Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:20. The New Testament word expressing cleaving to the Lord is not the one relating man to wife. Instead it is prosmenō (προσμένω) which means “1) to remain with, to continue with one 2) to hold fast to: the grace of God received in the Gospel 3) to remain still, tarry, stay.” From the Greek text, we see the focus is not so much on the closeness of joining but on the permanency of being and remaining joined. The Midrash states:

The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise (Isaiah 43:21). David said to the Holy One blessed be He, Since You are the subject of my praise, will You hold Your peace? Hold not Your people, O God of my praise. Scripture also says, Will You refrain Yourself from these things, O Lord? Will You hold your peace, and afflict us very sore? (Isaiah 64:11). And will You hold Your peace at all our afflictions? O God, do not keep Your silence; do not hold Your peace (Tehillim / Psalms 83:2).

The fear of the Lord that leads to our service unto the Lord, is to cleave to Him. The meaning of cleaving is to seek the Lord all the days of our lives, to live a repentant life, to humble ourselves, and to rely upon the Lord for everything. We do not rely upon the miracles in our lives that the Lord has brought. We rely upon the Lord Himself who is able to sustain us on a daily basis, in food, drink, cloths, and peace between men. For those who pursue the Lord, we take it upon ourselves to study God’s Word, to draw near by the way we live our lives for Him. To grow in Him through His word, is to understand how we are called to live our lives for Him. It is in this manner of worship that the Midrash states, “The people of Israel have praise for no other than the Holy One blessed be He, and the Holy One blessed be He, has praise for no other than the people of Israel, as is said, The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise (Isaiah 43:21).” The manner in which we are to cleave (דָּבַק) unto the Lord, this way of living our lives for Him, bearing His testimonies in our lives for all eternity (Isaiah 40:7-8), this is how we give praises to the Lord, and how He places His glory upon each one of us.

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 1 concludes saying, “How can You hold Your peace considering all that they have done to Your house, as is said, Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised You, is burned up with fire (Isaiah 64:10). The Holy One blessed be He, answered the children of Israel, I have long time held My peace, I have been still, and refrained Myself (Isaiah 42:14), that is, refrained Myself from crying out at the deeds of the first three kingdoms. But now on account of Edom, Will I cry like a travailing woman.” The midrash concludes with comments on the destruction of the Temple of God. The enemy seeks to kill, steal, and destroy from our lives, where our bodies are supposed to be a place prepared for as a sanctuary for the Lord. Remember in Tehillim / Psalms 108, we discussed how each man is to make a sanctuary in the recesses of his heart. In a similar way, sin is the enemy of our lives, and sins goal is for the destruction of that Temple that is created in our hearts, the place in our hearts where the Lord dwells. This is why it is so important for us to guard our hearts. The enemy seeks for us to turn from our faithfulness, and to give in to sin in our lives. This calls for perseverance. Revelation 14:12 according to the NIV states “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus,” whereas the NASB states, “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” The idea is that we are called to remain faithful and strong regardless of the circumstances in our lives. Our remaining strong in the faith is brought forth by the fruit of our lives, to remain in the commands of God being joined (cleaving) to God’s Word and its application in our lives for His glory!

Midrash Tehillim 119, Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me (Tehillim / Psalms 109:2).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “What is meant by the words, the mouth opened against Me?” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קט סימן ב

ב כי פי רשע ופי מרמה עלי פתחו. ומה פתחו, נכנסו לבית המקדש ואמרו היכן אלהיהם ירד ויתקיים עליהם, שנאמר ואמר אי אלהימו [וגו׳] יקומו ויעזרוכם (דברים לב לז לח), כך היו אמרו בבית המקדש ידינו רמה ולא ה׳ פעל כל זאת (שם שם דברים ל״ב כז), אין זה פתחון פה, לכך נאמר כי פי רשע ופי מרמה עלי פתחו.

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 2

2. For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me (Tehillim / Psalms 109:2). What is meant by the words, the mouth opened against Me? It means that when the wicked came into the Temple, they said, Where is their god? Let him come down and maintain their cause now, as is said, Where are their gods, the rock in whom they trusted, Let him rise up and help you (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:37-38). Thus they spoke in the Holy Temple and even more, boasting, Our high hand and not the Lord has done all this. (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:27). Now is not all this an open mouthing against the Lord? Hence it is said, For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against Me.

The rabbis speak of the wicked being deceitful to the children of God even to the going into the Temple of God and questioning the existence of the Lord God Almighty. This question “Prove to me that God exists” is a challenge as old as religion itself. Religion is defined as a noun as “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.” According to the religion of the Scriptures (i.e. Judaism) the belief in the existence of God is axiomatic (unquestionable), yet there are so many who still question this very foundational premise. In addition, it is also difficult to articulate a convincing response for those who do not believe God exists. The reason being, based upon the study of the Psalms alone, we understand that it is the Lord God in heaven who also facilitates faith and belief in His existance. Furthermore, any answer given to such a question is usually followed by a torrent of protest questioning such a belief, such as “if there is a God, where was He during the Holocaust?” and, “why do bad things happen to good people?” etc. According to Judaism, the Thirteen Principles of Faith, based on the commentary of Maimonides to Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1 may be summarized in the following: way

The first four principles of Faith

  1. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the Creator and Guide of all the created beings, and that He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
  2. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is One and Alone; that there is no oneness in any way like Him; and that He alone is our God was, is, and will be.
  3. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is incorporeal; that He is free from all anthropomorphic properties; and that He has no likeness at all.
  4. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the first and the last.

The wicked come before both men and God and state, “Where is their god? Let him come down and maintain their cause now, as is said, Where are their gods, the rock in whom they trusted, Let him rise up and help you (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:37-38). Thus they spoke in the Holy Temple and even more, boasting, “Our high hand” and not the Lord has done all this. (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:27).” The great Jewish philosophers disagreed as to which is the strongest proof that God exists. Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in his book Kuzari (2:26) argues that, “the highest faith is that derived through tradition alone, in which case metaphysical proof should only be used as a last resort to preclude disbelief.” Maimonides (Moreh Nevuchim 3:51) disagrees. He argues that, cour faith begins with the traditions that have been transmitted to us by our ancestors and in our sacred literature. This is alluded to in the verse, “Hear O Israel, the Lord God, He is one.”

Midrash Tehillim 119, Part 2 concludes saying, “Now is not all this an open mouthing against the Lord? Hence it is said, For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against Me.” The Lord God of Israel intend for us to live our lives according to His instructions. This is why the unrighteous are always described in this way in contrast to the Torah (Law) of God. Israel was called to walk a very straight and narrow line, following His commandments to live in righteousness, justice, and truth. We too are also called to walk in the straight and narrow. As a believer in the Messiah, have you chosen the path of righteousness, justice, and truth?

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 3 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “They compassed me about also with words of hatred (Tehillim / Psalms 109:3).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “What words of hatred? They speak the words of hatred that their father gave them, for it is said, And Esau hated Jacob (Bereshit / Genesis 27:41) hated him so much that Esau took vengeance and nursed his hatred.” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קט סימן ג

ג ודברי שנאה. מה השנאה שמדברים בשנאה שמסר להם אביהם, שנאמר וישטם עשו את יעקב (בראשית כז מא), נוקם ונוטר שנאה. וילחמוני חנם. חנם הם נלחמים עמי, אמרו ישראל אנו כששלחנו אצלו באהבה נהגנו עמו, שנאמר וישלח משה מלאכים [וגו׳ כה אמר אחיך ישראל] (במדבר כ יד), אבל הוא ויאמר (אליהם) [אליו] אדום פן בחרב אצא לקראתך (שם שם במדבר כ׳ יח), אמרו ישראל אני שלום וכי אדבר המה למלחמה (תהלים קכ ז), אמר הקב״ה לישראל לא הניחו אתכם, לכך נאמר כה אמר ה׳ על שלשה פשעי אדום [וגו׳] על רדפו בחרב אחיו (עמוס א יא).

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 3

3. They compassed me about also with words of hatred (Tehillim / Psalms 109:3). What words of hatred? They speak the words of hatred that their father gave them, for it is said, And Esau hated Jacob (Bershit / Genesis 27:41) hated him so much that Esau took vengeance and nursed his hatred. And fought against me without a cause (Tehillim / Psalms 109:3), that is, they fight against me without provocation. For the people of Israel said, We, when we sent messengers to Esau, we conducted ourselves with good will, as is said And Moshe sent messengers unto the king of Edom, Thus said your brother Israel (Bamidbar / Numbers 20:14). On the other hand, Edom said unto him, Lest I come out with the sword against you (Bamidbar / Numbers 20:18). The people of Israel said, I am all peace; but when I speak, they are for war (Tehillim / Psalms 120:7). Therefore, the Holy One blessed be He, said to Israel, They have not left you in peace. Hence, it is said, Thus says the Lord, For three transgressions of Edom, yes, for four, I will not reverse it, because he did pursue his brother with the sword (Amos 1:11).

Based upon the homoletic introduction to the Midrash, the rabbis say that Esau took vengeance and nursed his hatred of Jacob. How did Esau take vengeance against Jacob? Based upon the Torah, Jacob fled from the presence of Esau to Haran and the Lord blessed him greatly, with a large family and much wealth. When he returned to the Promised Land, he met Esau and they had missed each other and had only good words to speak to one another. What exactly does it mean that Esau took vengeance? Could this be in reference to his decision to violate the covenant of God by taking from the daughters of the Hittites? The rabbis also say that he nursed his hatred. What does it mean to nurse hatred? To nurse hatred means to cultivate, to take care of, to cause to grow, and to encourage hatred to increase. What the rabbis are speaking of are the concepts of Nekima and Netira. Nekima (or Nekamah) is what we call taking revenge i.e. not lending an item to another person and Netira is what we call bearing a grudge. The Torah speaks of these things as the prohibitions of netira and nekima. Note that the prohibition on revenge is not limited to vigilantism and violence. This concept of Nekima includes the mere refusal to lend items to another due to a prior similar act. For example, “I will not lend this guy something because he would not lend to me,” etc. This is the concept of Netira, that of holding a grudge. This is related to God’s instructions to maintain peace and harmony. While studying the commands of God, it is the act of exacting retribution that is fundamentally prohibited. The Torah is concerned with the destructive mindset of one waiting for the right moment to take revenge. This is what Yeshua was teaching in Matthew 5:38. In the Talmud Bavli Yoma 23a, the rabbis define the prohibition of nekima as the refusal to lend out a tool to one who has previously refused to do so. This description does not mean that the only type of prohibited nekima is refusing to help another with one’s property. Note that we do not read in the Torah that Esau offered to help Jacob settle in the land of Canaan by offering something to him. Esau did offer that his men go along with Jacob to help with the cattle, but nothing of material value was offered. Sifra Kedoshim 2:4 uses the same examples from the Talmud to describe Nekima, but it introduces them differently. The rabbis ask “What is revenge and what is bearing a grudge?” they ask, “How far does the power of revenge extend?” and “How far does the power of bearing a grudge extend?” These questions suggest that the prohibitions of Kekima and Netira also extend to speech, which have the capacity to be more severe forms of vengeance as opposed to one’s actions.

The Midrash states:

And fought against me without a cause (Tehillim / Psalms 109:3), that is, they fight against me without provocation. For the people of Israel said, We, when we sent messengers to Esau, we conducted ourselves with good will, as is said And Moshe sent messengers unto the king of Edom, Thus said your brother Israel (Bamidbar / Numbers 20:14). On the other hand, Edom said unto him, Lest I come out with the sword against you (Bamidbar / Numbers 20:18).

Jacob sought to be at peace and the Lord was with him to attain that peace that he desired. The midrash speaks of a provocation without a cause. Rambam (Hilkhot De’ot 7:7) speaks of the attitude of one who seeks revenge and the unnecessary anger that interpersonal disputes may cause.

Hilkhot De’ot 7:7

Even though it is not punishable by lashes, it is a very bad trait. Instead, a person should be forgoing of his rights as regards all mundane things, for men of understanding consider all these things as vanity and emptiness which are not worth seeking revenge for.

Rambam continues to identify netira (holding a grudge) as being the root cause of taking revenge. One who is able to avoid bearing a grudge will not come to avenge himself or herself. The idea is that we are to seek to prevent out hearts from holding a grudge. He continues saying the following:

A person who acts in this manner violates the prohibition against bearing a grudge. One should eradicate the thing from his heart and not bear a grudge. For as long as one nurses a grievance and keeps it in mind, one may come to take vengeance. Therefore, the Torah emphatically warns us not to bear a grudge, so that the impression of the wrong shall be obliterated and no longer remembered. This is a proper quality which permits a stable environment, trade, and commerce to be established among people.

Without our seeking the Lord’s help daily, we will be unable to overcome the jealousies that may raise up to cause us to refuse help of another. Have you ever experienced this sort of negative mindset? Have you ever sought forgiveness for having this kind of attitude?

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 3 concludes saying, “The people of Israel said, I am all peace; but when I speak, they are for war (Tehillim / Psalms 120:7). Therefore, the Holy One blessed be He, said to Israel, They have not left you in peace. Hence, it is said, Thus says the Lord, For three transgressions of Edom, yes, for four, I will not reverse it, because he did pursue his brother with the sword (Amos 1:11).” The idea is that we are able only to control our own behavior towards others, and we have no power over how others perceive us outside of our doing what the Lord God Almighty desires of us and of what Yeshua the Messiah demonstrated in his life as our example. The general consensus is that as God’s people we are to live at peace with one another, pray for our enemies, and seek to live in righteousness, justice, and truth, by the hand of God in our lives (with His help).

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “In return for my love they are my adversaries (Tehillim / Psalms 109:4).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “The Holy One blessed be He said, Except for Israel there would be no blessing in the world, for it is said, The Lord will command the blessing with you (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:8).” The entire Midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קט סימן ד

ד תחת אהבתי ישטנוני. אמר הקב״ה אלמלי ישראל לא היה ברכה בעולם, שנאמר יצו ה׳ אתך את הברכה (דברים כח ח), ואלמלי ישראל לא היו המאורות זורחים, שנאמר אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה [חוקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי] (ירמיה לג כה), ולא היה המטר יורד, שנאמר יפתח ה׳ לך את אוצרו הטוב (דברים כח יב), אמרו ישראל לאומות העולם כל אלה עושה לכם הקב״ה בשבילנו, ואתם שונאים אותנו, שנאמר תחת אהבתי ישטנוני [שבעים פרים אנו מקריבים בחג על שבעים אומות, ואנו מתפללים עליהם שירדו גשמים, הוי תחת אהבתי ישטנוני ואני תפלה]. הישולם תחת טובה רעה (ירמיה יח כ), הוי וישימו עלי רעה תחת טובה, לכך ואני תפלה.

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 4

4. In return for my love they are my adversaries (Tehillim / Psalms 109:4). The Holy One blessed be He said, Except for Israel there would be no blessing in the world, for it is said, The Lord will command the blessing with you (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:8). And except for Israel, no lights would shine in heaven, as it is said, But for the people of My covenant I would not have established day and night, nor the ordinances of heaven and earth (Jeremiah 33:24); and the rain would not come down, for it is said, The Lord will open unto you His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain of your land (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:12). Accordingly, the people of Israel said to the nations of the earth, Because of us, the Holy One blessed be He does all these things for you, and yet you hate us, as is said, In return for my love they are my adversaries. At the festival of Tabernacles we offer up seventy bullocks of the seventy nations, and we pray that rain will come down for them. Yet in return for my love they are my adversaries, still I am all prayer (Tehillim / Psalms 104:4). Will evil be recompensed for good? (Jeremiah 18:20). Even though they have laid upon me evil for good (Tehillim / Psalms 109:5), still I am all prayer.

The rabbis make the comment that without Israel, there would be no blessing in the world. What do you think they mean by making such a statement? Note how the Midrash quotes from Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:8 saying, ח יְצַו יְהוָֹה אִתְּךָ אֶת-הַבְּרָכָה בַּאֲסָמֶיךָ וּבְכֹל מִשְׁלַח יָדֶךָ וּבֵרַכְךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ: 28:8 ‘The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. (NASB) As we read these passages, we see how the Lord will bless those in the midst of the people of Israel, the blessing of God goes with His people. As we read the incredible story of the God of Israel’s revelation at Mt. Sinai, it is easy to forget that the Jewish people waited over 400 years to hear the voice of God that seemed so familiar to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Going through history, 1400 years from the time of the giving of the Torah at Sinai, from the stories of Abraham and of Moshe, these remarkable stories tend to get lost in the reading of the Apostolic Writings. What is forgotten is that the Lord God of Israel is a God who follows a process. The dictionary defines “process” as a noun meaning “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.” The ways of the Lord certainly falls within this description within His interactions with His people. The Lord was in the process of restoring His people to Himself from since the time of be’gan eden (בְגַן-עֵדֶן, in the garden of Eden). The Lord takes His time where each step is intentional in which the Lord moves his people closer and closer to restoration and redemption. The same may be said of our relationship with the Lord and with others. In our relationship with the Lord, we draw near, we study His word, and we put His word into practice in order to shape and to mold ourselves into the people He would have us to be. Most certainly, He is in the process of fulfilling every promise He ever made to the people of Israel, bringing them back to their Land from all the nations of their dispersion and greatly blessing the nations (the entire word) by His people. It is within this context, the Torah context, that we understand the message of the Midrash, where the rabbis make the comment that without Israel, there would be no blessing in the world. The Lord said in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:8 “I will bless,” just as He said in Bereshit / Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” One of the promises is that Israel will be a blessing to the nations. Why do you think it is today so many nations stand in opposition to Israel? It is because the enemy knows what God’s Word declares about His people. The Hebrew word for “bless” in this passage is barach (ברך). The word means to do or give something of value to someone else; it refers to a special favor, a mercy, or a benefit; a gift bestowed by God. The Torah endows the meaning of the word, infusing the blessing with holiness or divine purpose. It is the root of the word brachah (ברכה) which we find in countless passages in the Tanakh and the Writings of the Apostles which begin with the words, “Blessed is he who…” The root meaning is “to kneel” showing the humility of the one bringing the blessing. This draws in the context of humbling ourselves before God and receiving mercy and being given a divine purpose to live our lives for Him. When the Lord God made this promise of blessing to Abraham, He created a new way of looking at our relationship with Him. The beauty is found in the expressions of blessing through our relationship with Him, that is expressed through the cycle of interconnection and interdependence, with the God of creation dwelling in our midst. This relationship calls us to holiness, righteousness, and love through an everlasting covenant we are invited to participate in.

The Midrash continues saying the following:

And except for Israel, no lights would shine in heaven, as it is said, But for the people of My covenant I would not have established day and night, nor the ordinances of heaven and earth (Jeremiah 33:24); and the rain would not come down, for it is said, The Lord will open unto you His good treasure, the heaven to give the rain of your land (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:12). Accordingly, the people of Israel said to the nations of the earth, Because of us, the Holy One blessed be He does all these things for you, and yet you hate us, as is said, In return for my love they are my adversaries. At the festival of Tabernacles we offer up seventy bullocks of the seventy nations, and we pray that rain will come down for them.

The midrash states that Israel has caused the light to shine in heaven because the Lord had said that He has established day and night for His people. The rains that fall upon Israel are a part of that blessing the Lord would send to His people. As the rain is sent to Israel, so too it falls upon the nations, but yet the nations hate Israel and do not recognize the source of the blessing they have received. Note how Israel also offers up bulls upon the altar, 70 in all, corresponding to the 70 nations, and praying for the nations to receive the blessing of God. This is important because it is consistent with the Yeshua’s teaching in Mathew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (NASB)

Midrash Tehillim 109, Part 4 concludes saying, “Yet in return for my love they are my adversaries, still I am all prayer (Tehillim / Psalms 104:4). Will evil be recompensed for good? (Jeremiah 18:20). Even though they have laid upon me evil for good (Tehillim / Psalms 109:5), still I am all prayer.” Note how the rabbis say even in the midst of hatred the enemy sends towards God’s people, a child of God are to continue in prayer for the peace and prosperity of her enemies. Prayer for your enemies is one of the deepest forms of love, because it means that you have to really want that something good happens to them. This seems to be what is being expressed according to the Midrash. The point is that in our actions, one might do nice things for his or her enemy without any genuine desire that things go well with them. On the other hand, going in prayer on their behalf is to go in the presence of God who knows your heart, and intercede with the Lord on their behalf. This may be for their blessing, it may be for their repentance, and it may be that they would be awakened to the enmity in their hearts. Praying for our enemies may also be concerned with their stopping their downward spiral of sin, even if it takes a form of calamity to do so. The prayer for our enemies however according to Matthew 5:44 is always for their good. This is the attitude that Yeshua had when he hung upon the cross. Saying “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Yeshua is calling us not just to do good things for our enemy, like greeting them and helping supply their needs; he is also calling us to want their best, and to express those wants in our prayers even when the enemy is doing the worse to us. Our hearts should want this for them and for the presence or God in their lives. We are to pray as the apostle Paul did for his people, especially for those who made life very hard for Paul. “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” (Romans 10:1) Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 109-Part1-and-2

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!