Tehillim / Psalms 147, ספר תהילים קמז, Part 2, The Word draws near so We can do Likewise

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-20, the psalm opens saying, א הַלְלוּיָהּ | כִּי-טוֹב זַמְּרָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ כִּי-נָעִים נָאוָה תְהִלָּה: ב בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַם יְהֹוָה נִדְחֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יְכַנֵּס: ג הָרוּפֵא לִשְׁבוּרֵי לֵב וּמְחַבֵּשׁ לְעַצְּבוֹתָם: ד מוֹנֶה מִסְפָּר לַכּוֹכָבִים לְכֻלָּם שֵׁמוֹת יִקְרָא: ה גָּדוֹל אֲדוֹנֵינוּ וְרַב-כֹּחַ לִתְבוּנָתוֹ אֵין מִסְפָּר: 147:1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. 147:2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 147:4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. 147:5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (NASB) This demonstrates the great love of God. In His Love, He raises up the afflicted (147:6), and He does justice against the wicked (147:6). We are told to sing to the Lord (147:7) who pours out His blessing upon the earth (147:8) He gives blessing to the beasts, to the righteous, and the unrighteous (147:9). The Psalmist states that the Lord does not delight in men taking matters into their own hands (i.e. God helps those who help themselves) (147:10). The Psalmist states, יא רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה אֶת-יְרֵאָיו אֶת-הַמְיַחֲלִים לְחַסְדּוֹ: יב שַׁבְּחִי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם אֶת-יְהֹוָה הַלְלִי אֱלֹהַיִךְ צִיּוֹן: יג כִּי-חִזַּק בְּרִיחֵי שְׁעָרָיִךְ בֵּרַךְ בָּנַיִךְ בְּקִרְבֵּךְ: יד הַשָּׂם גְּבוּלֵךְ שָׁלוֹם חֵלֶב חִטִּים יַשְֹבִּיעֵךְ: טו הַשֹּׁלֵחַ אִמְרָתוֹ אָרֶץ עַד-מְהֵרָה יָרוּץ דְּבָרוֹ: 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. 147:12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 147:13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your sons within you. 147:14 He makes peace in your borders; He satisfies you with the finest of the wheat. 147:15 He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. (NASB) The psalm concludes saying, טז הַנֹּתֵן שֶׁלֶג כַּצָּמֶר כְּפוֹר כָּאֵפֶר יְפַזֵּר: יז מַשְׁלִיךְ קַרְחוֹ כְפִתִּים לִפְנֵי קָרָתוֹ מִי יַעֲמֹד: יח יִשְׁלַח דְּבָרוֹ וְיַמְסֵם יַשֵּׁב רוּחוֹ יִזְּלוּ-מָיִם: יט מַגִּיד דְּבָרָו [דְּבָרָיו] לְיַעֲקֹב חֻקָּיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו לְיִשְֹרָאֵל: כ לֹא עָשָֹה כֵן | לְכָל-גּוֹי וּמִשְׁפָּטִים בַּל-יְדָעוּם הַלְלוּיָהּ: 147:16 He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. 147:17 He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold? 147:18 He sends forth His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow. 147:19 He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the Lord!(NASB)

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק קמז

א הַלְלוּיָהּ | כִּי-טוֹב זַמְּרָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ כִּי-נָעִים נָאוָה תְהִלָּה: ב בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַם יְהֹוָה נִדְחֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יְכַנֵּס: ג הָרוּפֵא לִשְׁבוּרֵי לֵב וּמְחַבֵּשׁ לְעַצְּבוֹתָם: ד מוֹנֶה מִסְפָּר לַכּוֹכָבִים לְכֻלָּם שֵׁמוֹת יִקְרָא: ה גָּדוֹל אֲדוֹנֵינוּ וְרַב-כֹּחַ לִתְבוּנָתוֹ אֵין מִסְפָּר:

סםר טוביה פרק קמז

א הללויה שבחו אלהא ארום טב לזמרא קדם אלהנא ארום בסים יאיא תושבחתא׃ ב בני ירושלם יהוה גלוות ישראל יכנס יכנש׃ ג דמסי לתבירי לבא ומסיק ארוכין לצעריהון למרעיהון׃ ד מני סכום לכוכביא לכולהון בשמא קרי׃ ה רב מרנא וסגי חילא לסוכלתנותיה לית סכום׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 147

147:1 αλληλουια Αγγαιου καὶ Ζαχαριου αἰνεῖτε τὸν κύριον ὅτι ἀγαθὸν ψαλμός τῷ θεῷ ἡμῶν ἡδυνθείη αἴνεσις 147:2 οἰκοδομῶν Ιερουσαλημ ὁ κύριος καὶ τὰς διασπορὰς τοῦ Ισραηλ ἐπισυνάξει 147:3 ὁ ἰώμενος τοὺς συντετριμμένους τὴν καρδίαν καὶ δεσμεύων τὰ συντρίμματα αὐτῶν 147:4 ὁ ἀριθμῶν πλήθη ἄστρων καὶ πᾶσιν αὐτοῖς ὀνόματα καλῶν 147:5 μέγας ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν καὶ μεγάλη ἡ ἰσχὺς αὐτοῦ καὶ τῆς συνέσεως αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀριθμός

ו מְעוֹדֵד עֲנָוִים יְהֹוָה מַשְׁפִּיל רְשָׁעִים עֲדֵי-אָרֶץ: ז עֱנוּ לַיהֹוָה בְּתוֹדָה זַמְּרוּ לֵאלֹהֵינוּ בְכִנּוֹר: ח הַמְכַסֶּה שָׁמַיִם | בְּעָבִים הַמֵּכִין לָאָרֶץ מָטָר הַמַּצְמִיחַ הָרִים חָצִיר: ט נוֹתֵן לִבְהֵמָה לַחְמָהּ לִבְנֵי עֹרֵב אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָאוּ: י לֹא בִגְבוּרַת הַסּוּס יֶחְפָּץ לֹא-בְשׁוֹקֵי הָאִישׁ יִרְצֶה: יא רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה אֶת-יְרֵאָיו אֶת-הַמְיַחֲלִים לְחַסְדּוֹ: יב שַׁבְּחִי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם אֶת-יְהֹוָה הַלְלִי אֱלֹהַיִךְ צִיּוֹן: יג כִּי-חִזַּק בְּרִיחֵי שְׁעָרָיִךְ בֵּרַךְ בָּנַיִךְ בְּקִרְבֵּךְ: יד הַשָּׂם גְּבוּלֵךְ שָׁלוֹם חֵלֶב חִטִּים יַשְֹבִּיעֵךְ: טו הַשֹּׁלֵחַ אִמְרָתוֹ אָרֶץ עַד-מְהֵרָה יָרוּץ דְּבָרוֹ: טז הַנֹּתֵן שֶׁלֶג כַּצָּמֶר כְּפוֹר כָּאֵפֶר יְפַזֵּר: יז מַשְׁלִיךְ קַרְחוֹ כְפִתִּים לִפְנֵי קָרָתוֹ מִי יַעֲמֹד: יח יִשְׁלַח דְּבָרוֹ וְיַמְסֵם יַשֵּׁב רוּחוֹ יִזְּלוּ-מָיִם: יט מַגִּיד דְּבָרָו [דְּבָרָיו] לְיַעֲקֹב חֻקָּיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו לְיִשְֹרָאֵל: כ לֹא עָשָֹה כֵן | לְכָל-גּוֹי וּמִשְׁפָּטִים בַּל-יְדָעוּם הַלְלוּיָהּ:

ו מסובר ענוותנייא יהוה מכיך ממאיך רשיעיא עדי ארעא׃ ז שבחו קדם יהוה בתודתא זמרו קדם אלהנא בכנורא׃ ח דחפי שמיא בענני דמתקן לארעא מטרא דימרבי טוריא עסביא׃ ט יהיב לבעירא מזונה לבני עורבא דיקרן׃ י לא בגבורתא דירכיבין על סוסי יצבי לא בשוקי גוברין גיברין רהטונין יצבי יתרעי׃ יא רעי יהוה ית דחלוי ית דמוריכין לטוביה׃ יב שבחי ירושלם ית יהוה שבחי אלהיך ציון׃ יג ארום תקף תקיף נגרי תרעייך בריך בנייכי במצעייך׃ יד דשוי תחומיך שלם שמן וטוב חטים יסבעינך׃ טו דמשדר מימריה לארעא עד סרהובא ירהוט מילוליה׃ טז דיהב תלגא חיור היך עמר גליד היך קטם יבדר׃ יז מטלק קרחיה פליג היך ריסוקין דמן קדם קוריה מן איפשר ליה למיקם׃ יח ישדר קידום קיריס חימתיה וימסינון ינתיב רוחיה זלחין מיא׃ יט דתאני דבריא דאוריתא ליעקב קיימוי ודינוי לישראל׃ כ לא עבד היכנא לכל עמא ודינין לא הודעינון הללויה שבחו אלהא׃

147:6 ἀναλαμβάνων πραεῖς ὁ κύριος ταπεινῶν δὲ ἁμαρτωλοὺς ἕως τῆς γῆς 147:7 ἐξάρξατε τῷ κυρίῳ ἐν ἐξομολογήσει ψάλατε τῷ θεῷ ἡμῶν ἐν κιθάρᾳ 147:8 τῷ περιβάλλοντι τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐν νεφέλαις τῷ ἑτοιμάζοντι τῇ γῇ ὑετόν τῷ ἐξανατέλλοντι ἐν ὄρεσι χόρτον καὶ χλόην τῇ δουλείᾳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων 147:9 διδόντι τοῖς κτήνεσι τροφὴν αὐτῶν καὶ τοῖς νεοσσοῖς τῶν κοράκων τοῖς ἐπικαλουμένοις αὐτόν 147:10 οὐκ ἐν τῇ δυναστείᾳ τοῦ ἵππου θελήσει οὐδὲ ἐν ταῖς κνήμαις τοῦ ἀνδρὸς εὐδοκεῖ 147:11 εὐδοκεῖ κύριος ἐν τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτὸν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐλπίζουσιν ἐπὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ 147:12 αλληλουια Αγγαιου καὶ Ζαχαριου ἐπαίνει Ιερουσαλημ τὸν κύριον αἴνει τὸν θεόν σου Σιων 147:13 ὅτι ἐνίσχυσεν τοὺς μοχλοὺς τῶν πυλῶν σου εὐλόγησεν τοὺς υἱούς σου ἐν σοί 147:14 ὁ τιθεὶς τὰ ὅριά σου εἰρήνην καὶ στέαρ πυροῦ ἐμπιπλῶν σε 147:15 ὁ ἀποστέλλων τὸ λόγιον αὐτοῦ τῇ γῇ ἕως τάχους δραμεῖται ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ 147:16 τοῦ διδόντος χιόνα ὡσεὶ ἔριον ὁμίχλην ὡσεὶ σποδὸν πάσσοντος 147:17 βάλλοντος κρύσταλλον αὐτοῦ ὡσεὶ ψωμούς κατὰ πρόσωπον ψύχους αὐτοῦ τίς ὑποστήσεται 147:18 ἀποστελεῖ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ καὶ τήξει αὐτά πνεύσει τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ καὶ ῥυήσεται ὕδατα 147:19 ἀπαγγέλλων τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ τῷ Ιακωβ δικαιώματα καὶ κρίματα αὐτοῦ τῷ Ισραηλ 147:20 οὐκ ἐποίησεν οὕτως παντὶ ἔθνει καὶ τὰ κρίματα αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐδήλωσεν αὐτοῖς

Tehillim / Psalms 147

147:1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. 147:2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 147:4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. 147:5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. 147:6 The Lord supports the afflicted; He brings down the wicked to the ground. 147:7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises to our God on the lyre, 147:8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. 147:9 He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens which cry. 147:10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. 147:12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 147:13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your sons within you. 147:14 He makes peace in your borders; He satisfies you with the finest of the wheat. 147:15 He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. 147:16 He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. 147:17 He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold? 147:18 He sends forth His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow. 147:19 He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the Lord!(NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 147

147:1 Hallelujah! For it is good to make music in the presence of our God, for it is pleasant, praise is comely. 147:2 The Lord is the builder of Jerusalem, he will gather the exiles of Jerusalem. 147:3 Who heals the broken hearted, and applies bandages to their hurts. 147:4 He numbers the sum of the stars, calling them all by name. 147:5 Great is our lord and abundant in power; there is no sum of his intelligence. 147:6 The Lord supports the meek, he humbles the wicked to the ground. 147:7 Sing praise in the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving; make music in the presence of our God with the harp. 147:8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass grow on the mountains. 147:9 He gives to the beast its food, to the young of the raven that cry out. 147:10 He will not desire the strength of those who ride on horses; he will take no pleasure in the thighs of swift men. 147:11 The Lord takes pleasure in those that fear him, who wait long for his goodness. 147:12 Praise, O Jerusalem, the Lord, praise your God, O Zion. 147:13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates, he has blessed your sons in your midst. 147:14 Who has set peace at your border, he will satisfy you with the fat of wheat. 147:15 Who sends his word to the earth, with speed his speech will run. 147:16 Who gives snow as white as wool, he will scatter frost like ash. 147:17 Who casts his hail parceled out as crumbs; who is able to stand before his cold? 147:18 He will send the east wind of his wrath and melt them; he will make his wind blow [and] waters flow. 147:19 Who tells the words of Torah to Jacob, his statutes and judgments to Israel. 147:20. He has not acted so with every people; he did not tell them his judgments. Hallelujah! (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 147

Alleluia, a Psalm of Aggaeus and Zacharias. 147:1 Praise ye the Lord: for psalmody is a good thing; let praise be sweetly sung to our God. 147:2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; and he will gather together the dispersed of Israel. 147:3 He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. 147:4 He numbers the multitudes of stars; and calls them all by names. 147:5 Great is our Lord, and great is his strength; and his understanding is infinite. 147:6 The Lord lifts up the meek; but brings sinners down to the ground. 147:7 Begin the song with thanksgiving to the Lord; sing praises on the harp to our God: 147:8 who covers the heaven with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who causes grass to spring up on the mountains, [and green herb for the service of men;] 147:9 and gives cattle their food, and to the young ravens that call upon him. 147:10 He will not take pleasure in the strength of a horse; neither is he well-pleased with the legs of a man. 147:11 The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear him, and in all that hope in his mercy. 147:12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Sion. 147:13 For he has strengthened the bars of thy gates; he has blessed thy children within thee. 147:14 He makes thy borders peaceful, and fills thee with the flour of wheat. 147:15 He sends his oracle to the earth: his word will run swiftly. 147:16 He gives snow like wool: he scatters the mist like ashes. 147:17 Casting forth his ice like morsels: who shall stand before his cold? 147:18 He shall send out his word, and melt them: he shall blow with his wind, and the waters shall flow. 147:19 He sends his word to Jacob, his ordinances and judgments to Israel. 147:20 He has not done so to any other nation; and he has not shewn them his judgments. (LXX)

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-20, the psalm opens saying, א הַלְלוּיָהּ | כִּי-טוֹב זַמְּרָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ כִּי-נָעִים נָאוָה תְהִלָּה: ב בּוֹנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַם יְהֹוָה נִדְחֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יְכַנֵּס: ג הָרוּפֵא לִשְׁבוּרֵי לֵב וּמְחַבֵּשׁ לְעַצְּבוֹתָם: ד מוֹנֶה מִסְפָּר לַכּוֹכָבִים לְכֻלָּם שֵׁמוֹת יִקְרָא: ה גָּדוֹל אֲדוֹנֵינוּ וְרַב-כֹּחַ לִתְבוּנָתוֹ אֵין מִסְפָּר: 147:1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. 147:2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 147:4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. 147:5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (NASB) This demonstrates the great love of God. Here we are told the Lord heals the broken hearted. The Lord is the Creator, and the Scriptures tell us how the Lord God heals, restores, and gives life to those who feel lost and hopeless inside. The evil one on the other hand, his goal is to tear us down. David says the Lord gathers the outcast and binds up the wounds of those who are hurt. This happens when we make the choice to submit our lives to the Lord. If we submit our lives to Him, He will be there to help, strengthen, and raise us up. Obeying God’s word, reading the Bible, and making a commitment to Him, the Lord will give us the necessary tools to move on and grow in our lives. We have to honestly take a step back and examine our relationship with the Lord and with others. In order to do this, we have to make every effort to remove the prejudices, grudges, and presuppositions that effect us and influence us in our lives. We also must examine our lives for sin and problems, repent of them, and it is only then that we will be able to grow and learn from our mistakes. Ask the Lord God Almighty, our Father in heaven, for His forgiveness and He will in turn help us to learn to forgive too. We are told not to dwell for long on what we did wrong, or on what the other person did wrong. We simply ask for forgiveness or our actions and let go of resentment and bitterness that we may be holding on to. It is in this way the Lord helps us and as David said, The Lord heals the broken hearted. We read the following in Isaiah 66.

Isaiah 66:1-2

כה אמר יהוה השמים כסאי והארץ הדם רגלי אי־זה בית אשר תבנו־לי ואי־זה מקום מנוחתי 66:1 Thus said the LORD: The heaven is My throne And the earth is My footstool: Where could you build a house for Me, What place could serve as My abode? ואת־כל־אלה ידי עשתה ויהיו כל־אלה נאם־יהוה ואל־זה אביט אל־עני ונכה־רוח וחרד על־דברי 66:2 All this was made by My hand, And thus it all came into being —declares the LORD. Yet to such a one I look: To the poor and brokenhearted, Who is concerned about My word.

Isaiah speaks of heaven being God’s throne and the earth His footstool and how He is the Creator of all things. The Lord then states though He created all things, yet to the one He looks is to the poor and the broken hearted. Ibn Ezra states the following concerning this verse:

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 66:2:3

But to this man will I look, etc. Although heaven is my throne, yet will I look to the poor and to him that is of a contrite spirit. I will look, I will direct my eye, my attention to him; it is the opposite of I will hide my face from you (1:15)

Isaiah says the Lord turns his eyes towards the poor and the brokenhearted because such people are concerned about His Words. The meaning of trembling over the word of the Lord is explained in Isaiah 66:3 which states, שוחט השור מכה־איש זובח השה ערף כלב מעלה מנחה דם־חזיר מזכיר לבנה מברך און גם־המה בחרו בדרכיהם ובשקוציהם נפשם חפצה 66:3 As for those who slaughter oxen and slay humans, Who sacrifice sheep and immolate dogs, Who present as oblation the blood of swine, Who offer incense and worship false gods— Just as they have chosen their ways And take pleasure in their abominations. Ibn Ezra continues in his commentary saying the following:

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 66:3 Part 1

He that killeth an ox, etc. I look to him that trembleth at my word, not to those that sacrifice burnt offerings, and at the same time act badly; for he that killeth an ox, מכה איש is as guilty as if he slew a man; it is considered as murder on his part, because the offering is not brought properly; or is guilty as if he struck a man, not killing, but hurting and wounding him;

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 66:3Part 2

He that sacrificeth a lamb before me, is guilty, ערף כלב as if he killed a dog;

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 66:3 Part 3

עֹרֵף֭ with the accent on the last syllable is participle Kal of ערף to cut off the neck; comp. וערפו and they shall strike off the neck (Deut. 21:4); when it has the accent on the last syllable but one (עׁ֭רֶף neck) it is a noun;

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 66:3 Part 4

he that offereth an oblation is guilty דם חזיר as if he offered the swine’s blood;

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 66:3 Part 5

מזכיר לבונה he that burneth incense—comp. אזכרה incense (Lev. 2:2)—is guilty, מברך און as if he blessed iniquity.

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 66:3 Part 6

גם המה Even they, namely, your forefathers; the word אבותיכם is to be supplied.

These things are concerned with being fake and going through the motions with our relationship with God as opposed to having a heart felt desire to obey and following His Word. The Lord God Almighty offers a perfect love. When we allow the Lord God Almighty and His Messiah into our hearts, He will heal our broken hearts. By embracing His love, His Mercy, and His Son, we are embracing the divine creator who will come through for us and who will never leave our side. Ibn Ezra speaks of the significance of going before the Lord with an offering, the Lord looks to see if a man trembles at His Word or not. He says that to slay an ox is synonymous to one having slew a man and this is considered as murder on the part of the one bringing the sacrifice if he does not consider the significance of his deed and the importance of the sacrifice. Notice how the one who offers a ox is guilty as if slaying a man, the one who offers a lamb is as if he had slew a dog (possible allusion to a gentile), the one who offers an oblation is as one who offered swine’s blood, and the one who burns incense is as if he had blessed iniquity. These things become true for the one who goes before the Lord and does not consider the weightiness of obeying God’s commands that are given in the sacrifices. Might there be a parallel here to one having faith in the Messiah Yeshua? In Matthew 7 Yeshua speaks of the judgment day and those who neglected to obey the command and claimed to believe in Yeshua as a part of the family of God by faith alone. Our actions speak volumes and our intention is also very important because it speaks to the heart of our faith in Yeshua and our Father in heaven.

We are told in God’s love He does the following:

Masoretic Text

ו מְעוֹדֵד עֲנָוִים יְהֹוָה מַשְׁפִּיל רְשָׁעִים עֲדֵי-אָרֶץ: ז עֱנוּ לַיהֹוָה בְּתוֹדָה זַמְּרוּ לֵאלֹהֵינוּ בְכִנּוֹר: ח הַמְכַסֶּה שָׁמַיִם | בְּעָבִים הַמֵּכִין לָאָרֶץ מָטָר הַמַּצְמִיחַ הָרִים חָצִיר: ט נוֹתֵן לִבְהֵמָה לַחְמָהּ לִבְנֵי עֹרֵב אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָאוּ: י לֹא בִגְבוּרַת הַסּוּס יֶחְפָּץ לֹא-בְשׁוֹקֵי הָאִישׁ יִרְצֶה:

Tehillim / Psalms 147:6-10

147:6 The Lord supports the afflicted; He brings down the wicked to the ground. 147:7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises to our God on the lyre, 147:8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. 147:9 He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens which cry. 147:10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. (NASB)

Aramaic Targum

ו מסובר ענוותנייא יהוה מכיך ממאיך רשיעיא עדי ארעא׃ ז שבחו קדם יהוה בתודתא זמרו קדם אלהנא בכנורא׃ ח דחפי שמיא בענני דמתקן לארעא מטרא דימרבי טוריא עסביא׃ ט יהיב לבעירא מזונה לבני עורבא דיקרן׃ י לא בגבורתא דירכיבין על סוסי יצבי לא בשוקי גוברין גיברין רהטונין יצבי יתרעי׃

Toviyah / Psalms 147:6-10

147:6 The Lord supports the meek, he humbles the wicked to the ground. 147:7 Sing praise in the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving; make music in the presence of our God with the harp. 147:8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass grow on the mountains. 147:9 He gives to the beast its food, to the young of the raven that cry out. 147:10 He will not desire the strength of those who ride on horses; he will take no pleasure in the thighs of swift men. (EMC)

These verses tell us that in His Love, He raises up the afflicted (147:6), and He does justice against the wicked (147:6). We are told to sing to the Lord (147:7) who pours out His blessing upon the earth (147:8) He gives blessing to the beasts, to the righteous, and the unrighteous (147:9). The Psalmist states that the Lord does not delight in men taking matters into their own hands (i.e. God helps those who help themselves) (147:10). This appears to be what Isaiah 66:3 is saying, שוחט השור מכה־איש זובח השה ערף כלב מעלה מנחה דם־חזיר מזכיר לבנה מברך און גם־המה בחרו בדרכיהם ובשקוציהם נפשם חפצה 66:3 As for those who slaughter oxen and slay humans, Who sacrifice sheep and immolate dogs, Who present as oblation the blood of swine, Who offer incense and worship false gods— Just as they have chosen their ways And take pleasure in their abominations. (NASB) The Lord God does not delight when men take matters into their own hands. The Lord wants us to trust in Him and to order our lives according to His Word.

The Psalmist states, יא רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה אֶת-יְרֵאָיו אֶת-הַמְיַחֲלִים לְחַסְדּוֹ: יב שַׁבְּחִי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם אֶת-יְהֹוָה הַלְלִי אֱלֹהַיִךְ צִיּוֹן: יג כִּי-חִזַּק בְּרִיחֵי שְׁעָרָיִךְ בֵּרַךְ בָּנַיִךְ בְּקִרְבֵּךְ: יד הַשָּׂם גְּבוּלֵךְ שָׁלוֹם חֵלֶב חִטִּים יַשְֹבִּיעֵךְ: טו הַשֹּׁלֵחַ אִמְרָתוֹ אָרֶץ עַד-מְהֵרָה יָרוּץ דְּבָרוֹ: 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. 147:12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 147:13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your sons within you. 147:14 He makes peace in your borders; He satisfies you with the finest of the wheat. 147:15 He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. (NASB) Job understood this truth of fearing God and knowing Him, finding favor in His eyes. In the midst of Job’s pain and loss he said, “Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28) Solomon wrote “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Mishley / Proverbs 9:10) and David wrote the same in Tehillim / Psalms 111:10. In the days of the Apostle Paul, the gentile believers thought they could continue to participate in their own sensual inclinations and rituals of the idolatrous culture they lived in. In the wilderness, the people also thought they could participate in the sexually immoral idolatrous neighbors and even to sacrifice their children to gain personal favors without losing God’s protection. Even Eli and his sons thought they could follow in their own ways and yet continue to receive the protection and favor of God. They were wrong. Just as the psalmist states, 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. 147:12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! (NASB) The psalmist speaks of waiting upon the mercy/grace (לְחַסְדּו) of God. This is an active part of those who following in God’s ways. Isaiah wrote the following saying,

Isaiah 65:12

65:12 “Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.”

It is interesting how the Psalm and the words of Isaiah do not fit into today’s affirmative, seeker friendly church environment. Todays contemporary Christianity illustrates a reluctance to use the word “fear” when referring to God. We are called by His Spirit to honor and respect the Lord God Almighty and His Messiah Yeshua, and these words remind us that our loving Father in heaven is also a “jealous” God and an uncompromising Judge who has little tolerance for lukewarm “obedience” and self-pleasing “worship.” The fear of God is deeply rooted in the covenant of mercy the Lord has shown His people, this is illustrated in a couple places from the Psalms.

KJV: “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” (Tehillim / Psalms 25:14)

NKJV: “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” (Tehillim / Psalms 25:14)

NIV: “The Lord confides in those who fear Him; he makes his covenant known to them.” (Tehillim / Psalms 25:14)

Living Bible: “Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him.” (Tehillim / Psalms 25:14)

• • •

KJV: “The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” (Tehillim / Psalms 147:11)

NKJV: “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his mercy.” (Tehillim / Psalms 147:11)

NIV: “The Lord delights in those who fear Him; who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Tehillim / Psalms 147:11)

Today’s English Version: “He takes pleasure in those that honor Him; in those who trust in His constant love.” (Tehillim / Psalms 147:11)

Notice how the fear of the Lord is connected to knowing God’s covenant for His people, and having hope in the mercy/grace of God. This word “fear” (יְרֵאָיו) clashes with today’s attempt to market God to the postmodern masses. In addition to this, the words “righteous” and “merciful” both remind us of our sin and inadequacy and to whom we are standing before, a holy and righteous God. These words all bring the discomforting suggestion that God indeed is “holier than we are” which is an unpleasant notion for those who prefer to believe that God is and thinks like me. This is the imagery that is given in the seeker sensitive or consensus-based fellowship churches today. God’s standard for holiness among His people is far higher than we are led to believe in our churches. Todays theologies begin to blur the lines between unbelievers and believers, between purity and this world’s profanity. The Lord God Almighty wants a purified Body of believers who take hold of His Word and sanctifying their lives to make it a part of their lives. According to the book of Acts, in the early church, the fear of God spread greatly and also led to the adding to the body of believers (see Acts 5:1-14). The surrounding community showed two typical kinds of responses. While “the people esteemed them highly,” only those whom God was drawing to Himself were added to the faithful believers. “None of the rest dared join them” because the fear of God was on them. This does not sound like today’s marketing strategies, does it? While God’s love is unconditional, His promises are not. Most of God’s promises are linked in the same passage they appear to guidelines and conditions leading to their fulfillment. The Lord God calls us to know and follow His ways, and not to follow and know our ways. We are told to deny ourselves and let the “flesh” be put to death. We are told in our weakness the Lord God will empower us to overcome. This is why the psalmist states in Tehillim / Psalms 147:13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your sons within you. 147:14 He makes peace in your borders; He satisfies you with the finest of the wheat. 147:15 He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. (NASB) The Lord is working to empower us to overcome according to His Word.

The psalm concludes saying, טז הַנֹּתֵן שֶׁלֶג כַּצָּמֶר כְּפוֹר כָּאֵפֶר יְפַזֵּר: יז מַשְׁלִיךְ קַרְחוֹ כְפִתִּים לִפְנֵי קָרָתוֹ מִי יַעֲמֹד: יח יִשְׁלַח דְּבָרוֹ וְיַמְסֵם יַשֵּׁב רוּחוֹ יִזְּלוּ-מָיִם: יט מַגִּיד דְּבָרָו [דְּבָרָיו] לְיַעֲקֹב חֻקָּיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו לְיִשְֹרָאֵל: כ לֹא עָשָֹה כֵן | לְכָל-גּוֹי וּמִשְׁפָּטִים בַּל-יְדָעוּם הַלְלוּיָהּ: 147:16 He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. 147:17 He casts forth His ice as fragments; Who can stand before His cold? 147:18 He sends forth His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow. 147:19 He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the Lord!(NASB) The psalmist speaks of the Lord sending forth frost and ice before whom no man can stand. He parallels this to the Lord declaring His statutes and judgments (חֻקָּיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו) and the people who know who He is by His commands. There is a parallel here to what Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1.

1 Timothy 1:5-20

1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1:6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 1:7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. 1:8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 1:10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 1:14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 1:16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1:18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. (NASB)

Notice here what Paul is saying, he speaks of the Torah as instructing us in love from a pure heart and a good conscience that is coupled to a sincere faith. He speaks of others who stray from this truth teaching the Torah with a hatred as opposed to having love and mercy for one another. He then makes a very important statement saying, 1:8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 1:10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. (NASB) Paul writes speaking of the Torah and calls this description of the Torah being good and for the rebellious person as being the gospel message that had been entrusted to him. This seems to parallel Hebrews 4 that speaks of the people in the wilderness who received the gospel message but refused to take hold of it because of their sin. The Torah is a fundamental part of the gospel message, this is why the Psalmist stated what he did saying, יט מַגִּיד דְּבָרָו [דְּבָרָיו] לְיַעֲקֹב חֻקָּיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו לְיִשְֹרָאֵל: כ לֹא עָשָֹה כֵן | לְכָל-גּוֹי וּמִשְׁפָּטִים בַּל-יְדָעוּם הַלְלוּיָהּ: 147:19 He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances to Israel. 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the Lord!(NASB) We know God and His Messiah by walking in their footsteps. It is only when we walk along side of someone do we truly know and understand a person and what they have gone through. This is how God designed it, and is the reason the living Word of God came to dwell amongst men, for the purpose of drawing nearer to us so that we in turn may draw nearer to God according to His Word! Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 147 has 3 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 2, and 3. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 147, Part 1, 2, and 3.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 147, Part 1, 2, and 3

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion unto all generations. Praise you the Lord/ Praise you the Lord; for it is good to sin praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely (Tehillim / Psalms 146:10-147:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announce salvation; that say unto Zion, Your God reigns.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the fact that the Lord God reigns from everlasting to everlasting.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis reason that when the Lord is praised is when He raises up His people and brings His redemption.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Hence, it is said, He will exalt the horn of His people. Why does the conclusion of the verse speak of Israel as a people near unto Him? Because Israel is a people that draws near to Him through its obedience to the commandments, a people that the Holy One blessed be He, draws nearer to Him than He draws any other people. As Israel says, But as for me, the nearness of God is my good (Tehillim / Psalms 73:28). Hence, it is said, The children of Israel, a people near unto Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14).”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Another comment, The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise you the Lord. Praise you the Lord; for it is good to sing praises unto our God, The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 146:10-147:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings (Isaiah 52:7).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of the joy of the salvation of God.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis parallel this to a man who loads down a came having a greater burden than the others with more examples on why there is joy and good tidings in the Lords salvation.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the dispersed of Israel. He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-3). A mortal king, if he is addressed by a poor man with the scar of a burn on his hand, will not respond to the man, however noble the man may be, because the king finds the scar repulsive. Not so the Holy One blessed be He. All addresses to Him are welcome. He says, Address Me with praise, and you will be acceptable to Me, For it is good to sing praises unto our God He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-3).”

Part 3

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 147:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Even as the Holy One blessed be He, will be acknowledged King by the recital of songs and the singing of praises, so only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises, so only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises will Jerusalem be rebuilt.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of how the Lord seeks to take care of the downcast and down trodden.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis describe the down trodden as the one’s who fear the Lord and hold onto His Word.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “He said, Behold, then, I will rebuild it and heal you, as it is said The Lord does build up Jerusalem He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. And as it is also written In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people, and heals the stroke of their wound (Isaiah 30:26). What, then, is the bruise of His people? The desolation of Jerusalem. And what is meant by heal the stroke of their wound? That he who made Jerusalem desolate, will rebuild it. In that hour there will be no trouble, no sighing, no sorrow, as it is said, And the ransomed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they will obtain joy and gladness; and sorrow and sighing will flee away (Isaiah 35:10). And the children of Israel will rejoice forever.”

Midrash Tehillim 147 Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion unto all generations. Praise you the Lord/ Praise you the Lord; for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely (Tehillim / Psalms 146:10-147:2).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announce salvation; that say unto Zion, Your God reigns.” The Entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמז סימן א

א הללויה כי טוב זמרה אלהינו כי נעים נאוה תהלה. אמר ישעיה מה נאוו על ההרים וגו׳ (ישעיה נב ז), אך בשמים יראים ממני, שנאמר הודו על ארץ ושמים (תהלים קמח יג), אימתי כשהוא מרומם קרן של ישראל, שנאמר וכל קרני רשעים אגדע תרוממנה קרנות צדיק (שם תהלים עה יא), לכך נאמר וירם קרן לעמו, ולמה נמשלו ישראל לקרן, מה הקרן בראש היא נתונה, כך הם ישראל ראש לכל האומות, שנאמר ונתנך ה׳ לראש (דברים כח יג), לכך נאמר וירם קרן לעמו וגו׳, מהו עם קרובו, העם שהם קרבין לו במצות, העם שקרבן הקב״ה יותר מכל האומות, וכן הוא אומר ואני קרבת אלהים לי טוב וגו׳ (תהלים עג כח), לכך נאמר לבני ישראל עם קרובו.

Midrash Tehillim 147, Part 1

1. The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion unto all generations. Praise you the Lord/ Praise you the Lord; for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely (Tehillim / Psalms 146:10-147:2). Isaiah said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announce salvation; that say unto Zion, Your God reigns. Your watchmen will lift up the voice, with the voice together will they sing, break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:7-9). But is it not true that now there is awe of Me only in heaven, as is declared by the verse His glory is above the earth in heaven (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13)? When is there to be awe of Me on earth? When God exalts the horn of Israel, as it is said, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob when the horns of the righteous will be exalted (Tehillim / Psalms 75:10-11). Hence, it is said, He will exalt the horn of His people; all His saints will praise Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14). Why is Israel likened to a horn? Because as the horn is set in the head, so Israel is set at the head of all peoples, for Scripture says, And the Lord will make you the head (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:13). Hence, it is said, He will exalt the horn of His people. Why does the conclusion of the verse speak of Israel as a people near unto Him? Because Israel is a people that draws near to Him through its obedience to the commandments, a people that the Holy One blessed be He, draws nearer to Him than He draws any other people. As Israel says, But as for me, the nearness of God is my good (Tehillim / Psalms 73:28). Hence, it is said, The children of Israel, a people near unto Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14).

The rabbis speak of giving praises to the Lord God Almighty for all that He has done for us. The Psalmist states singing praises is good and becoming of God’s people to do so. This draws out of the concept of the joy of the Lord. The setting of words of praise to melodies is evident from even a casual reading of the Psalms. David wrote in Tehillim / Psalms 96:1-2, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day,” and in Tehillim / Psalms 47:6. “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” In just one verse from the Psalm, David tells us to sing to the Lord 4 times. The Apostle Paul wrote in the Apostolic Writings we’re commanded not once, but twice, to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another when we meet (Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16). Why do you think the Lord God Almighty tell us to bring our praises to Him in song when we meet? God’s people throughout history are always singing. Paul and Silas were singing to the Lord even while in prison. (Acts 16:16-40) We sing because the Lord God Almighty leads by example. In Zephaniah 3:17 the Lord God Almighty exalts over His people saying the following:

Zephaniah 3:12-17

3:12 But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD. 3:13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.” 3:14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! 3:15 The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. 3:16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (NASB)

Zephaniah the prophet spoke the words of God where the Lord God left the meek and the humble, the ones who trust in the Lord as a remnant in the Land of Israel. This is an important concept as it is connected to singing and having a humbleness and purity of heart before the Lord to offer Him praises in song. The Midrash quotes from Isaiah saying, “Isaiah said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announce salvation; that say unto Zion, Your God reigns. Your watchmen will lift up the voice, with the voice together will they sing, break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:7-9).” In the church today there are some churches who believe that musical instruments are not to be used. The argument goes along the lines on reasons why the Church of Christ sings a Capella stating that the church is a New Testament institution, purchased on the cross and established on Pentecost (Matthew 16:18, Acts 2:1–47, 20:28). The Church of Christ teaching and practice is claimed to be upon covenant Jesus delivered by the Spirit (New Testament), not the Law delivered to Moses at Sinai (Old Testament). Replacement theology is obvious here where there is a belief the NT and OT are at odds with one another. Their reasoning goes on saying, “Instrumentals, choirs, and solos hinder all-member participation. Regardless of a congregation’s size, worship always has an audience of one.” Other Churches think that music undermines the Word. Take Augustine for example, he described a struggle in his own soul saying the following:

I am inclined — though I pronounce no irrevocable opinion on the subject — to approve of the use of singing in the church, so that by the delights of the ear the weaker minds may be stimulated to a devotional mood. Yet when it happens that I am more moved by the singing than by what is sung, I confess myself to have sinned wickedly, and then I would rather not have heard the singing. (Augustine, Confessions, XXXIII.50)

Augustine thought that music can distract us from the Word and potentially even undermine the Word. Ulrich Zwingli, a Swiss pastor who lived in the sixteenth century, went even further. He was so concerned about music’s power that for a time he banned music from his gatherings. Music and the Word of God are not meant to be in conflict. David illustrated this in his Psalms and in his use of instruments for singing. Music is a powerful gift from God that complements, supports, and deepens the impact of the words we sing.

Midrash Tehillim 147 Part 1 concludes saying, “Hence, it is said, He will exalt the horn of His people. Why does the conclusion of the verse speak of Israel as a people near unto Him? Because Israel is a people that draws near to Him through its obedience to the commandments, a people that the Holy One blessed be He, draws nearer to Him than He draws any other people. As Israel says, But as for me, the nearness of God is my good (Tehillim / Psalms 73:28). Hence, it is said, The children of Israel, a people near unto Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14).” This concept of drawing near is to the idea that when one walks in the footsteps of another, he is drawing near to his friend. This is the parallel that we have in the commands. The most significant aspect of this is when we look at our lives, if we have a desire to walk in God’s commands, it is the Lord God Almighty who is working in our hearts to do so. The Lord God is near, He dwells in our hearts by His Spirit. The Midrash speaks of the Lord God drawing us nearer to Him, and this certainly is what He does for each one of us. The Lord God drawing near to us, His blessing is good for us and for our benefit.

Midrash Tehillim 147 Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Another comment, The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise you the Lord. Praise you the Lord; for it is good to sing praises unto our God, The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 146:10-147:2).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings (Isaiah 52:7).” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמז סימן ב

ב ד״א כי טוב זמרה אלהינו. אמר ישעיהו מה נאוו על ההרים רגלי מבשר (ישעיה נב ז), כשימלוך הקב״ה הכל הן מבשרים, שנאמר מבשר טוב משמיע שלום (שם שם ישעיהו נ״ב), ואומר רני בת ציון הריעו ישראל (צפניה ג יד ), על איזה דבר, הסיר ה׳ משפטיך (שם שם צפניה ג׳ טו), כך כשימלוך הקב״ה הכל מקלסין לו, וכה״א למעלה מן הפרשה זו, ימלוך ה׳ לעולם (תהלים קמו י), מלך הקב״ה ראוי להללו, למה שהם למלכותו של הקב״ה, אותה שעה הכל מרננין, הכל מקלסין, הכל משבחין, שראו אותו שמלך, לכך נאמר, אומר לציון מלך אלהיך (ישעיה נב ז), ומה כתיב אחריו קול צופיך וגו׳, ואומר, רני בת ציון וגו׳ (צפניה ג יד), על איזה דבר, הסיר ה׳ משפטיך (שם שם צפניה ג׳ טו), כך כשימלוך הקב״ה אותה שעה זמרו לו, לכך נאמר כי טוב זמרה אלהינו, מלך ב״ו אם יחיה יהיה אדם גדול והיה בידו מכוה, אם ישאל עני בשלומו, גנאי הוא לו ואינו משיבו, אבל הקב״ה אינו כן הכל מקובל לו והוא אומר קלסוני, והוא טוב לפני, שנאמר כי טוב זמרה אלהינו וגו׳.

Midrash Tehillim 147, Part 2

2. Another comment, The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise you the Lord. Praise you the Lord; for it is good to sing praises unto our God, The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 146:10-147:2). Isaiah said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings (Isaiah 52:7). That is, when the Lord will reign, everything will bring good tidings, as Scripture says, announcing peace, bringing good tidings, announcing salvation. Thus also it is said Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem (Zephaniah 13:14). At what event? When the Lord has taken away your judgments the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of you (Zephaniah 13:15). And so when the Holy One blessed be He, reigns, everything will sing praises unto Him. Thus also the preceding Psalm says, The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely. That is, when the Holy One blessed be He, is King, it will be proper to praise Him. Why? Because everything will belong to the kingdom of the Holy One blessed be He. Then all will sing, all will shout praises, all will laud Him because all will see Him reigning. Hence, it is written How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings that say unto Zion, Your God reigns. And what does the next verse declare? Your watchman will lift up the voice, with the voice together will they sing, Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:7-9). So Scripture says again, Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel; be glad, and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:14). At what event? When The Lord has taken away your judgments The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of you (Zephaniah 3:15). So when the Holy One blessed be He, reigns, in that hour you are to sing praises unto Him. Hence, it is said The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise you the Lord. Praise you the Lord. For it is good to sin praises unto our God. For it is pleasant, and praise is comely. The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the dispersed of Israel. He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-3). A mortal king, if he is addressed by a poor man with the scar of a burn on his hand, will not respond to the man, however noble the man may be, because the king finds the scar repulsive. Not so the Holy One blessed be He. All addresses to Him are welcome. He says, Address Me with praise, and you will be acceptable to Me, For it is good to sing praises unto our God He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-3).

The rabbis compare singing praises unto the Lord to the messenger who brings good news to God’s people. Whenever you have good news, do you sing praises in your heart or immediately pray thanking the Lord for His Mercy? The midrash continues saying, “That is, when the Lord will reign, everything will bring good tidings, as Scripture says, announcing peace, bringing good tidings, announcing salvation. Thus also it is said Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem (Zephaniah 13:14). At what event? When the Lord has taken away your judgments the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of you (Zephaniah 13:15).” We do not need to worry about or fear death. The Lord God Almighty has a plan and purpose for our lives. Even before we were born, he planned all the days of our lives (Tehillim / Psalms 139:16) because we were ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Tehillim / Psalms 139:14). Our lives begin at the moment of conception and God’s love extends even to the womb to cause growth and life. Zechariah’s original audience was a group of people who needed to be reminded that “the Lord reigns.” Zechariah was a priest and prophet, who prophesied to the people who had returned to Jerusalem devastated after many years in exile. Zechariah directs their gaze to the Lord God in heaven as having brought them back to the land with messages of hope and salvation. Zechariah states that our God reigns and that He has not finished working in the lives of his people! The renewal of hope is the promise of a restored relationship with God. The midrash speaks of this hope and the fact that the Lord God reigns and it is because He reigns that we sing praises to His name. “Thus also the preceding Psalm says, The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely. That is, when the Holy One blessed be He, is King, it will be proper to praise Him. Why? Because everything will belong to the kingdom of the Holy One blessed be He. Then all will sing, all will shout praises, all will laud Him because all will see Him reigning.” This appears to be an expectation of the kingdom of God and how when all things belong to God then all will give praise. This alludes to a messianic expectation of the first century Jewish audience understanding the phrase “kingdom of heaven” or “kingdom of God.” The Pharisees expected a messiah within the context of the kingdom of God. The Psalm of Solomon reflects the view of the coming messiah that is coupled to the coming of the kingdom. The messianic expectation was viewed as a foreign invader who will be removed by the messiah. This will bring great joy, just as the midrash states,

Hence, it is written How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings that say unto Zion, Your God reigns. And what does the next verse declare? Your watchman will lift up the voice, with the voice together will they sing, Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:7-9). So Scripture says again, Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel; be glad, and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:14). At what event? When The Lord has taken away your judgments The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of you (Zephaniah 3:15). So when the Holy One blessed be He, reigns, in that hour you are to sing praises unto Him. Ence, it is said The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise you the Lord. Praise you the Lord. For it is good to sin praises unto our God. For it is pleasant, and praise is comely.

Rome was viewed as a foreign invader who will be removed when the messiah comes. The rabbinic interpretations were the one who brings good news declaring to Zion Your God reigns, is indicative of the messianic fulfillment because it would take place by God’s hand. If these sorts of messianic expectations were popular in Galilee in the early first century, then we have good reason to read Jesus’ teaching as intentionally messianic and we are able to understand some of the confusion and disappointment among the Jews who heard him teach focusing upon forgiveness from sins, healing, peace, and love. There was a wide range of believe about the Messianic kingdom, the restoration of David’s rule, and the future reign of God in the Judaisms of the Second Temple Period.

Midrash Tehillim 147 Part 2 concludes saying, “The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the dispersed of Israel. He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-3). A mortal king, if he is addressed by a poor man with the scar of a burn on his hand, will not respond to the man, however noble the man may be, because the king finds the scar repulsive. Not so the Holy One blessed be He. All addresses to Him are welcome. He says, Address Me with praise, and you will be acceptable to Me, For it is good to sing praises unto our God He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim / Psalms 147:1-3).” The Lord is in the process of constructions when it comes to our lives. The midrash speaks of the Lord building up the place of His dwelling (Jerusalem), gathering His people, healing the broken heart, etc. All of these are examples of the great love the Lord has for us.

Midrash Tehillim 147 Part 3 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 147:2).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Even as the Holy One blessed be He, will be acknowledged King by the recital of songs and the singing of praises, so only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises, so only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises will Jerusalem be rebuilt.” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמז סימן ג

ג בונה ירושלים וגו׳. כשם שהקב״ה מלך בהלל וזמירות, כך ירושלים אינה נבנית אלא בהלל ובזמירות, וכן אתה מוצא בבנין האחרון, שנאמר ויסדו הבונים את היכל ה׳ ויענו בהלל ובהודות וגו׳ (עזרא ג י יא), לכך נאמר כי טוב זמרה אלהינו. נדחי ישראל יכנס. ומי הן הנדחין, קרח וכל עדתו שנדחו מפי משה רבינו ע״ה, ועכן שנדחה מפי יהושע, וכה״א ונתתי לה את כרמיה משם ואת עמק עכור (הושע ב יז), ואיזה עמק עכור, מה שאמר יהושע, ויאמר יהושע מה עכרתנו (יהושע ז כה), לכך נאמר נדחי ישראל יכנס. ד״א נדחי ישראל יכנס. אלו עשרת השבטים, שנאמר וישליכם אל ארץ אחרת וגו׳ (דברים כט כז), וכן אמר הכתוב, ובאו האובדים בארץ אשור והנדחים בארץ מצרים (ישעיה כז יג), אותה שעה אין לישראל מכאוב, עד שהן מתרפאין, שנאמר הרופא לשבורי לב, אמר הקב״ה אם נכוית ידו נתרפא שבר לב של ישראל, לא נשבר לבם אלא בשביל שחרבה ירושלים, שנאמר על זה היה דוה לבנו (איכה ה יז), א״ל הקב״ה על מה אמרו לו על הר ציון ששמם, אמר להם הרי אני בונה ומרפא אתכם, שנאמר הרופא לשבורי לב, וכתיב ביום חבוש ה׳ את שבר עמו ומחץ מכתו ירפא (ישעיה ל כו), מהו שבר עמו, זה חרבן ירושלים, ומהו מחץ מכתו, מי שהחריבה הוא בונה אותה, אותה שעה אין צרה ואין אנחה ואין יגון, שנאמר ששון ושמחה ישיגו ונסו יגון ואנחה (שם ישעיהו לה י), ויהיו שמחים לעולם.

Midrash Tehillim 147, Part 3

3. The Lord does build up Jerusalem, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 147:2). Even as the Holy One blessed be He, will be acknowledged King by the recital of songs and the singing of praises, so only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises, so only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises will Jerusalem be rebuilt. You will find that this was true of the rebuilding of the Second Temple, for it is said, And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they sang one to another in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord (Ezra 3:10-11). Hence, it is said, For it is good to sing praises unto our God. He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. Who are the outcasts of Israel? Korah and his entire company who were cast out at the command of Moshe our master, peace to him. Achan, also, who was cast out a the command of Joshua. Scripture says, however, Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly unto her. And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of troubling (Achor) for a door of hope (Hosea 2:16-17). What valley of troubling is described her as a door of hope? The very valley of Achor where Joshua said to Achan, Why have you troubled (achor) us? (Joshua 7:25). Hence, it is said, He gathers the outcasts of Israel. Another comment, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. These are the ten tribes of Israel, of whom it is said, The Lord cast them into another land (Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:27). So, too, Scripture says, And it will come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet will be blown, and they will come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts n the land of Egypt (Isaiah 27:13). In that hour the children of Israel will have no sicknesses, for then and there they will be healed, as it is said, He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim/ Psalms 147:3). The Holy One blessed be He, said, If a hand which is burnt can be healed, surely the breach in the heart of Israel can be healed. The heart of Israel is broken only because Jerusalem is desolate, as it is said For this our heart is faint, for these things our eyes are dim. Because of the Mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it (Lamentations 5:17-18). Thus, when the Holy One blessed be He, asked, Why is your heart faint? Israel replied Because of the Mountain of Zion, which is desolate. He said, Behold, then, I will rebuild it and heal you, as it is said The Lord does build up Jerusalem He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. And as it is also written In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people, and heals the stroke of their wound (Isaiah 30:26). What, then, is the bruise of His people? The desolation of Jerusalem. And what is meant by heal the stroke of their wound? That he who made Jerusalem desolate, will rebuild it. In that hour there will be no trouble, no sighing, no sorrow, as it is said, And the ransomed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they will obtain joy and gladness; and sorrow and sighing will flee away (Isaiah 35:10). And the children of Israel will rejoice forever.

When the rabbis saying, “only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises, so only by the recital of songs and the singing of praises will Jerusalem be rebuilt” we are reminded of what James wrote to the romans to “count it all joy” (James 1:2-3) and the significance of praising God in purity of heart. Yeshua said “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Having a pure heart will bring joy to our hearts. Everyone wants to be happy, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to have a pure heart. Having a pure heart means that we do not hold onto sinful or impure thoughts, we deny and put these thoughts to death. The motivation behind our actions are in purity and not rooted in sin, Getting a pure heart and keeping does not occur by accident. To get a pure heart we have to put our lives in order according to God’s Word and with others, and ask for forgiveness when necessary. In Tehillim / Psalm 119:9 David said, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By taking heed according to Your word.” God’s word is key to purity and is the instruction manual for helping us keep our hearts pure. When we order our lives, this brings joy to our lives. The Midrash continues saying the following:

You will find that this was true of the rebuilding of the Second Temple, for it is said, And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they sang one to another in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord (Ezra 3:10-11). Hence, it is said, For it is good to sing praises unto our God. He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. Who are the outcasts of Israel? Korah and his entire company who were cast out at the command of Moshe our master, peace to him. Achan, also, who was cast out a the command of Joshua. Scripture says, however, Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly unto her. And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of troubling (Achor) for a door of hope (Hosea 2:16-17). What valley of troubling is described her as a door of hope? The very valley of Achor where Joshua said to Achan, Why have you troubled (achor) us? (Joshua 7:25). Hence, it is said, He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

It is interesting how the midrash speaks of the Lord gathering together the outcasts and used the examples of Korach and Achan. In Parashat Korach, we learn how Datan, Aviram, and Korach were all prideful in their wanting to take the priesthood from Moshe and Aaron. Achan, in the book of Joshua, had covetousness in his heart, he took and hid precious items in the midst of his tent. These men did not live with pure hearts before the living God and the paid with their lives. The idea being put forward here may be related to the mercy of God. God’s mercy is so great, having even been extended even to these men if they had repented.

The midrash continues saying,

Another comment, He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. These are the ten tribes of Israel, of whom it is said, The Lord cast them into another land (Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:27). So, too, Scripture says, And it will come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet will be blown, and they will come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt (Isaiah 27:13). In that hour the children of Israel will have no sicknesses, for then and there they will be healed, as it is said, He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Tehillim/ Psalms 147:3). The Holy One blessed be He, said, If a hand which is burnt can be healed, surely the breach in the heart of Israel can be healed. The heart of Israel is broken only because Jerusalem is desolate, as it is said For this our heart is faint, for these things our eyes are dim. Because of the Mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it (Lamentations 5:17-18). Thus, when the Holy One blessed be He, asked, Why is your heart faint? Israel replied Because of the Mountain of Zion, which is desolate.

The midrash speaks of the Lord binding up the wounds and healing the broken hearted within the context of these men Korach and Achan, and also within the context of Assyria and Egypt. This kind of mercy only comes by the way of our surrendering to the Lord, confess our sins and letting go, not to give into anger, being joyful in all circumstances, being a witness to His love, and letting the Lord into our hearts to do the healing. If we do these things, we will not become like the men described in Parashat Korach or like Achan.

Midrash Tehillim 147 Part 3 concludes saying, “He said, Behold, then, I will rebuild it and heal you, as it is said The Lord does build up Jerusalem He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. And as it is also written In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people, and heals the stroke of their wound (Isaiah 30:26). What, then, is the bruise of His people? The desolation of Jerusalem. And what is meant by heal the stroke of their wound? That he who made Jerusalem desolate, will rebuild it. In that hour there will be no trouble, no sighing, no sorrow, as it is said, And the ransomed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they will obtain joy and gladness; and sorrow and sighing will flee away (Isaiah 35:10). And the children of Israel will rejoice forever.” This teaches us the Lord builds of a place for His name. This is related to His healing our hearts, binding up our wounds, and lifting us up so we are able to bear His testimonies. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 14:17 “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Paul spoke of the kingdom of God in the sense of the Lord pouring out His blessing upon the place that He rules sovereignly. The kingdom of God manifests itself as God’s name is hallowed and His commands are obeyed. (Matthew 6:9-10, 6:33, Luke 13:22–29). Only those who repent and trust in Him and His Messiah become citizens in the kingdom, and only the citizens of His kingdom have eternal life (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). By the Spirit of God we are shown mercy for repentance, our faith is increased, and we are empowered to serve our Creator and to live righteously (obey the commandments), these things produce evidence for the Lord God living in our hearts and provide grounds for the Father accepting us as His children (Romans 6, James 2:14-26). This is the meaning of abiding in the Messiah, and walking in His footsteps. Our Father in heaven gives us joy and love (Romans 5:1-5) and abiding joy that comforts us even in times of affliction (1 Thessalonians 1:6). Peace and joy are the greatest gifts the Lord gives us through His Messiah Yeshua. The Spirit of God delivers this to our hearts! Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 147-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!