Tehillim / Psalms 148, ספר תהילים קמח, Part 2, Raising the Horn of Messiah

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 148:1-14, the psalm opens saying, א הַלְלוּיָהּ | הַלְלוּ אֶת-יְהֹוָה מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם הַלְלוּהוּ בַּמְּרוֹמִים: 148:1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! ב הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-מַלְאָכָיו הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-צְבָאָו [צְבָאָיו]: 148:2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! ג הַלְלוּהוּ שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-כּוֹכְבֵי אוֹר: 148:3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! ד הַלְלוּהוּ שְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם וְהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר | מֵעַל הַשָּׁמָיִם: 148:4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! ה יְהַלְלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי הוּא צִוָּה וְנִבְרָאוּ: 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. (NASB) The psalmist speaks to the heavens, the angels, the sun, moon, and stars, all of God’s creation to sing praises to His name because He commanded and they were created. The power of God in His Word, He speaks and things happen. (Isaiah 55:11) The Psalmist continues saying the following, ו וַיַּעֲמִידֵם לָעַד לְעוֹלָם חָק-נָתַן וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר: 148:6 He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away. (NASB) Left on their own the heavens and the earth will remain established. The Psalmist says, ז הַלְלוּ אֶת-יְהֹוָה מִן-הָאָרֶץ תַּנִּינִים וְכָל-תְּהֹמוֹת: ח אֵשׁ וּבָרָד שֶׁלֶג וְקִיטוֹר רוּחַ סְעָרָה עֹשָֹה דְבָרוֹ: ט הֶהָרִים וְכָל-גְּבָעוֹת עֵץ פְּרִי וְכָל-אֲרָזִים: י הַחַיָּה וְכָל-בְּהֵמָה רֶמֶשֹ וְצִפּוֹר כָּנָף: יא מַלְכֵי-אֶרֶץ וְכָל-לְאֻמִּים שָֹרִים וְכָל-שֹׁפְטֵי אָרֶץ: יב בַּחוּרִים וְגַם-בְּתוּלוֹת זְקֵנִים עִם-נְעָרִים: יג יְהַלְלוּ | אֶת-שֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי-נִשְֹגָּב שְׁמוֹ לְבַדּוֹ הוֹדוֹ עַל-אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם: 148:7 Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps; 148:8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; 148:9 Mountains and all hills; Fruit trees and all cedars; 148:10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and winged fowl; 148:11 Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; 148:12 Both young men and virgins; Old men and children. 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. (NASB) The Psalmist then calls all creatures on the earth to praise His name. The Psalm concludes saying, יד וַיָּרֶם קֶרֶן | לְעַמּוֹ תְּהִלָּה לְכָל-חֲסִידָיו לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל עַם-קְרֹבוֹ הַלְלוּיָהּ: 148:14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the Lord!(NASB)

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק קמח

א הַלְלוּיָהּ | הַלְלוּ אֶת-יְהֹוָה מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם הַלְלוּהוּ בַּמְּרוֹמִים: ב הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-מַלְאָכָיו הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-צְבָאָו [צְבָאָיו]: ג הַלְלוּהוּ שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-כּוֹכְבֵי אוֹר: ד הַלְלוּהוּ שְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם וְהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר | מֵעַל הַשָּׁמָיִם: ה יְהַלְלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי הוּא צִוָּה וְנִבְרָאוּ:

סםר טוביה פרק קמח

א הללויה שבחו אלהא שבחו ית יהוה ברייתא קדישיא מן שמיא שבחו יתיה כל חילי אנגלי מרומא׃ ב שבחו יתיה כל מלאכיא די מ שמשין קדמוי שבחו יתיה כל חילוותיה׃ ג שבחו יתיה שמשא וסיהרא שבחו יתיה כל כוכבי נהורא׃ ד שבחו יתיה שמי שמיא ומיא דיתלין במימרא מעילוי שמיא׃ ה ישבחון ית שמא דיהוה ארום הוא פקיד ואתבריין׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 148

148:1 αλληλουια Αγγαιου καὶ Ζαχαριου αἰνεῖτε τὸν κύριον ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις 148:2 αἰνεῖτε αὐτόν πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ αἰνεῖτε αὐτόν πᾶσαι αἱ δυνάμεις αὐτοῦ 148:3 αἰνεῖτε αὐτόν ἥλιος καὶ σελήνη αἰνεῖτε αὐτόν πάντα τὰ ἄστρα καὶ τὸ φῶς 148:4 αἰνεῖτε αὐτόν οἱ οὐρανοὶ τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑπεράνω τῶν οὐρανῶν 148:5 αἰνεσάτωσαν τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου ὅτι αὐτὸς εἶπεν καὶ ἐγενήθησαν αὐτὸς ἐνετείλατο καὶ ἐκτίσθησαν

ו וַיַּעֲמִידֵם לָעַד לְעוֹלָם חָק-נָתַן וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר: ז הַלְלוּ אֶת-יְהֹוָה מִן-הָאָרֶץ תַּנִּינִים וְכָל-תְּהֹמוֹת: ח אֵשׁ וּבָרָד שֶׁלֶג וְקִיטוֹר רוּחַ סְעָרָה עֹשָֹה דְבָרוֹ: ט הֶהָרִים וְכָל-גְּבָעוֹת עֵץ פְּרִי וְכָל-אֲרָזִים: י הַחַיָּה וְכָל-בְּהֵמָה רֶמֶשֹ וְצִפּוֹר כָּנָף: יא מַלְכֵי-אֶרֶץ וְכָל-לְאֻמִּים שָֹרִים וְכָל-שֹׁפְטֵי אָרֶץ: יב בַּחוּרִים וְגַם-בְּתוּלוֹת זְקֵנִים עִם-נְעָרִים: יג יְהַלְלוּ | אֶת-שֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי-נִשְֹגָּב שְׁמוֹ לְבַדּוֹ הוֹדוֹ עַל-אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם: יד וַיָּרֶם קֶרֶן | לְעַמּוֹ תְּהִלָּה לְכָל-חֲסִידָיו לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל עַם-קְרֹבוֹ הַלְלוּיָהּ:

ו והקימינון וקיימינון לעלמי עלמין גזירתא יהב ולא יעבר׃ ז שבחון ית יהוה מן ארעא תניניא וכל תהומיא׃ ח אשא וברדא תלגא וקטרא רוח עלעולא עבדא פתגמיה׃ ט טוריא וכל גלמתא אילן דעבד פירין וכל ארזין׃ י חיתא חיותא וכל בעירא ריחשא וציפר גדפא דפרח׃ יא מלכיא דארעא וכל אומיא רברבניא וכל דייני נגודיא ארעא׃ יב עולימיא רווקין ולחוד בתולן סביא עם טליא׃ יג ישבחון ית שמא דיהוה ארום תקיף שמיה בלחודוי לבלחודוי תושבחתיה על ארעא ושמיא׃ יד וזקף איקר מלכותיה לעמיה שבחא לכל חסידוי לבני ישראל עמא דקריבין ליה שבחו ית יהוה׃

148:6 ἔστησεν αὐτὰ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος πρόσταγμα ἔθετο καὶ οὐ παρελεύσεται 148:7 αἰνεῖτε τὸν κύριον ἐκ τῆς γῆς δράκοντες καὶ πᾶσαι ἄβυσσοι 148:8 πῦρ χάλαζα χιών κρύσταλλος πνεῦμα καταιγίδος τὰ ποιοῦντα τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ 148:9 τὰ ὄρη καὶ πάντες οἱ βουνοί ξύλα καρποφόρα καὶ πᾶσαι κέδροι 148:10 τὰ θηρία καὶ πάντα τὰ κτήνη ἑρπετὰ καὶ πετεινὰ πτερωτά 148:11 βασιλεῖς τῆς γῆς καὶ πάντες λαοί ἄρχοντες καὶ πάντες κριταὶ γῆς 148:12 νεανίσκοι καὶ παρθένοι πρεσβῦται μετὰ νεωτέρων 148:13 αἰνεσάτωσαν τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου ὅτι ὑψώθη τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ μόνου ἡ ἐξομολόγησις αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ γῆς καὶ οὐρανοῦ 148:14 καὶ ὑψώσει κέρας λαοῦ αὐτοῦ ὕμνος πᾶσι τοῖς ὁσίοις αὐτοῦ τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ λαῷ ἐγγίζοντι αὐτῷ

Tehillim / Psalms 148

148:1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! 148:2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! 148:3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! 148:4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. 148:6 He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away. 148:7 Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps; 148:8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; 148:9 Mountains and all hills; Fruit trees and all cedars; 148:10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and winged fowl; 148:11 Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; 148:12 Both young men and virgins; Old men and children. 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. 148:14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the Lord!(NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 148

148:1 Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, holy creatures in heaven; praise him, all hosts of angels on high. 148:2 Praise him, all angels that minister in his presence; praise him, all his hosts. 148:3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all stars of light. 148:4 Praise him, heaven of heavens, and the waters that are suspended by his word above the heavens. 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. 148:6 And he established them for ages upon ages; he gave a decree and none will violate it. 148:7 Praise the Lord in the earth, sea serpents and all abysses. 148:8 Fire and hail, snow and vapor, storm wind fulfilling his command; 148:9 Mountains and all hills, [every] tree that produces fruit, and all cedars; 148:10 Animals and every beast, creeping things and the winged bird that flies; 148:11 Kings of the earth and all peoples; rulers and all judges[110] of the earth. 148:12 Lads and even girls, old men and youths; 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name is mighty, he alone; his praise is over earth and heaven. 148:14 And he has lifted up glory for his people, praise for all his pious ones, for the children of Israel, the people who are close to him: Praise the Lord! (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 148

Alleluia, a Psalm of Aggaeus and Zacharias. 148:1 Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the highest. 148:2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. 148:3 Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all ye stars and light. 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and the water that is above the heavens. 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he spoke, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created. 148:6 He has established them for ever, even for ever and ever: he has made an ordinance, and it shall not pass away. 148:7 Praise the Lord from the earth, ye serpents, and all deeps. 148:8 Fire, hail, snow, ice, stormy wind; the things that perform his word. 148:9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: 148:10 wild beasts, and all cattle; reptiles, and winged birds: 148:11 kings of the earth, and all peoples; princes, and all judges of the earth: 148:12 young men and virgins, old men with youths: 148:13 let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name only is exalted; his praise is above the earth and heaven, 148:14 and he shall exalt the horn of his people, there is a hymn for all his saints, even of the children of Israel, a people who draw near to him. (LXX)

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 148:1-14, the psalm opens saying, א הַלְלוּיָהּ | הַלְלוּ אֶת-יְהֹוָה מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם הַלְלוּהוּ בַּמְּרוֹמִים: 148:1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! ב הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-מַלְאָכָיו הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-צְבָאָו [צְבָאָיו]: 148:2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! ג הַלְלוּהוּ שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-כּוֹכְבֵי אוֹר: 148:3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! ד הַלְלוּהוּ שְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם וְהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר | מֵעַל הַשָּׁמָיִם: 148:4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! ה יְהַלְלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי הוּא צִוָּה וְנִבְרָאוּ: 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. (NASB) The psalmist speaks to the heavens, the angels, the sun, moon, and stars, all of God’s creation to sing praises to His name because He commanded and they were created.

Bereshit / Genesis 1:1 — “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

The angels of God are His servants, sent by Him into the world to do His will and according to the Scriptures, one of the most important roles of angels is praising and glorifying God.

Isaiah 6:1-4

6:1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 6:2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 6:3 And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.’ 6:4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. (NASB)

Here Isaiah sees into heaven and what he sees is two angels seated next to the Lord God Almighty. These two angels were chanting the phrase “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts” to praise the Lord. The repetition by the angels signifies emphasis and the importance of always rejoicing in the Lord as we continue through out lives each day. Isaiah states that the whole earth is full of His glory, and therefore all creatures should join in praising Him! There is a parallel found in the book of Revelation in the Apostolic Writings.

Revelation 5:9-13

5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 5:10 ‘You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.’ 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 5:12 saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ (NASB)

In the book of the Revelation of John we read the inhabitants of heaven unite together in honoring the Lamb of God. This passage is to show us that there is universal harmony in heaven, and that all peoples unite in celebrating the victory of the Lamb of God. The text describes a countless number of angels coming together with all creation to rejoice in the beauty of God’s kingdom. Based upon these Scriptures, and what the Psalmist is writing saying, ב הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-מַלְאָכָיו הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל-צְבָאָו [צְבָאָיו]: 148:2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! (NASB) we know that in heaven above the angels are praising God even though we live in a dark and sinful world. The world that is above is a world of blessed angels celebrating the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb of God in heaven. These angels are always praising God, and they call on us to do the same on Earth. This is seen in the statements from Luke.

Luke 2:13

“And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward man.’”

Here, the angels come in a multitude singing of their joy of the Messiah and love for the Lord. They continually praise Him and lift His name up. The angels here were celebrating Yeshua’s birth on earth, knowing that He would one day be the savior of the human race. The heavenly host is a reference to the “army of God” a multitude of angels celebrating peace. Job spoke of the angels desire that God be praised in the best manner and communicate to us their desires to glorify our Creator by saying the following:

Job 38:7

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Here the stars are used as a reference to the great magnitude of angels coming together to sing and rejoice in the Lord. This shows us how angels are loyal servants who sing in chorus to celebrate the Creator who had done marvelous things. In the Apostolic Writings, Yeshua describes angels in a similar manner to illustrate how the angels praise God’s creative power by working in man’s heart.

Luke 15:3-10

15:3 So He told them this parable, saying, 15:4 ‘What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 15:5 ‘When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 15:6 ‘And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 15:7 ‘I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 15:8 ‘Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 15:9 ‘When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 15:10 ‘In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’ (NASB)

Here, the heavenly beings are shown to be rejoicing over those who repent of their sins and turn to God’s ways (His commands). The angels rejoice in man walking in faith turning from the ruin of sin. The angels of God not only celebrate Him, but His children also. Similar to Luke 15:10, the angels are able to rejoice when a sinner has turned to God. Here though, the angels show their deeper love by celebrating those who admitted their faults and sins but were able to humbly ask for forgiveness. The angels rejoice more for the repentance of one sinner than they do for millions that have not fallen. The rejoicing of the angels demonstrates the great value in those who are grateful to God for His mercy.

In the Torah, the first thing we ever read about the Lord God Almighty is His expressing all His power and might by creating a beautiful and magnificent world. While we could never create something as complex, diverse, and abundant, later in God’s Word, we are told to worship Him in a multitude of ways. The Psalmist states because of His power, His creative ability, we are to praise the Lord. The power of God in His Word, He speaks and things happen. (Isaiah 55:11)

Isaiah 55:1-12

55:1 ‘Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. 55:2 ‘Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. 55:3 ‘Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. 55:4 ‘Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. 55:5 ‘Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.’ 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 55:8 ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. 55:9 ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 55:10 ‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 55:12 ‘For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (NASB)

Isaiah speaks of the good things God offers as being free to us who seek the Lord and His ways. Isaiah speaks by the inspiration of God saying, “Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.” (Isaiah 55:2) What we eat becomes a part of our lives making our bodies either healthy or sick. This is paralleled to the Word of God as opposed to turning to the ways of the world, this becomes a part of our lives and we live out what we take into our bodies. Isaiah says in 55:3 explaining what was meant by listening carefully to the Lord, speaking of the everlasting covenant of God. Isaiah says the Lord will call a nation that is not Israel who will run to the Lord to seek His ways. The idea here is when turning to the Lord the wicked turn from unrighteousness to righteousness and truth. 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. (NASB) The Lord is looking for us to even forsake our wicked thoughts. The Lord God wants to create in us a pure heart and He says, 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 55:12 ‘For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (NASB) The Lord wants to give us peace, joy, happiness, and praises to His name for His great mercies.

The Psalmist continues saying the following, ו וַיַּעֲמִידֵם לָעַד לְעוֹלָם חָק-נָתַן וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר: 148:6 He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away. (NASB) Left on their own the heavens and the earth will remain established. The Psalmist says, ז הַלְלוּ אֶת-יְהֹוָה מִן-הָאָרֶץ תַּנִּינִים וְכָל-תְּהֹמוֹת: ח אֵשׁ וּבָרָד שֶׁלֶג וְקִיטוֹר רוּחַ סְעָרָה עֹשָֹה דְבָרוֹ: ט הֶהָרִים וְכָל-גְּבָעוֹת עֵץ פְּרִי וְכָל-אֲרָזִים: י הַחַיָּה וְכָל-בְּהֵמָה רֶמֶשֹ וְצִפּוֹר כָּנָף: יא מַלְכֵי-אֶרֶץ וְכָל-לְאֻמִּים שָֹרִים וְכָל-שֹׁפְטֵי אָרֶץ: יב בַּחוּרִים וְגַם-בְּתוּלוֹת זְקֵנִים עִם-נְעָרִים: יג יְהַלְלוּ | אֶת-שֵׁם יְהֹוָה כִּי-נִשְֹגָּב שְׁמוֹ לְבַדּוֹ הוֹדוֹ עַל-אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם: 148:7 Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps; 148:8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; 148:9 Mountains and all hills; Fruit trees and all cedars; 148:10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and winged fowl; 148:11 Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; 148:12 Both young men and virgins; Old men and children. 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. (NASB) The Psalmist then calls all creatures on the earth to praise His name. Here we find Tehillim / Psalms 148 commanding all creation to praise the Lord God Almighty including the animals. “Wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens” (148:10-13). Passages in the book of Revelation also indicate the animals will praise their creator, “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’” (Revelation 5:13). In the Psalms we find animals being commanded to praise he Lord, and in the Book of Revelation we find the same thing. Praise for the Lord God Almighty on this fallen earth and in the Olam Haba (World to come). The Palmist also states, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Tehillim / Psalm 150:6). Since animals are said to have breath, they are included among those directed to praise God. We are told eight times in the Book of Revelation of “living creatures” “Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’… The living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne” (Revelation 4:8-9). The word translated “living creatures” is the Greek word zoon (ζῴων). Throughout most of the New Testament the word is translated as “animal” and is used to indicate animal sacrifices in the temple and as a reference to wild, irrational animals (see Hebrews 13:11, 2 Peter 2:12, Jude 1:10). In the Old Testament, the Septuagint used zoon (ζῴων) to translate the Hebrew words for animals, including the “living creatures” of the sea (Bereshit / Genesis 1:21 כא וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים וְאֵת כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה | הָרֹמֶשֶֹת אֲשֶׁר שָׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם לְמִינֵהֶם וְאֵת כָּל-עוֹף כָּנָף לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי-טוֹב:, 1:21 καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ κήτη τὰ μεγάλα καὶ πᾶσαν ψυχὴν ζῴων ἑρπετῶν ἃ ἐξήγαγεν τὰ ὕδατα κατὰ γένη αὐτῶν καὶ πᾶν πετεινὸν πτερωτὸν κατὰ γένος καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς ὅτι καλά, Ezekiel 47:9). In extra-biblical writings, zoon (ζῴων) commonly referred to ordinary animals and was used of the Egyptians’ divine animals and the mythological bird called the Phoenix (1 Clement 25:2-3). In virtually every case inside and outside of Scripture, this word means not a person, not an angel, but to a living animal, the creatures that “have life” (כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה). The King James version translates zoon (ζῴων) as “beasts” in Revelation, but the negative connotations of that word led subsequent translators to settle on “living creatures.” The most natural translation would be simply “animals.” That word would likely have been chosen by translators if it didn’t sound so strange for readers to envision talking animals praising God around his throne! (Note how this is possible based upon Parashat Balak, Bilam’s donkey) The “living creatures” look like a lion, ox, a man, and an eagle (Revelation 4:7). They appear to be the same creatures as described in the book of Ezekiel 1:5-14 and Ezekiel 10:10-14, also called the cherubim, who are distinguished from angels (Revelation 15:7). The cherubim are first mentioned in Bereshit / Genesis 3:24, as guardians to the way of life, and is the reason the cherubim were carved as images on the top of the Ark of the Covenant. Their images were carved out of gold and placed on the Ark of the Covenant, indicating their closeness to God.

The Psalm concludes saying, יד וַיָּרֶם קֶרֶן | לְעַמּוֹ תְּהִלָּה לְכָל-חֲסִידָיו לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל עַם-קְרֹבוֹ הַלְלוּיָהּ: 148:14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the Lord!(NASB) What does it mean that God lifted up a horn for His people? The Word horn (קֶרֶן) is used throughout the Scriptures. In the Torah, the horn is used to denote the projecting corners of the altar of burnt offerings (Shemot / Exodus 27:2) and of incense (Shemot / Exodus 30:2). The horns of the altar of burnt offerings were to be smeared with the blood of the slain bullock (Shemot / Exodus 29:12, Vayikra / Leviticus 4:7-18). In one situation, a man condemned to die when his crime was accidental, found an asylum by laying hold of the horns of the altar (1 Kings 1:50 and 2:28). The word also denotes the peak or summit of a hill (Isaiah 5:1, where the word “hill” is the rendering of the same Hebrew word). There is also a metaphorical usage in the Scriptures referring to strength (Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:17) and honor (Job 16:15 and Lamentations 2:3). In 1 Samuel 2:1, Hannah prays, “In the Lord, my horn is lifted high,” indicating her understanding on the meaning of the horn as the strength that will come from her having a child. In Luke 1:69 Zechariah praises God that “He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” Here horn may be a reference to the One whom the Lord has chosen to proclaim the salvation and redemption of God. In this case, the prophecy of the “horn of salvation” is a reference to the Messiah who would be the powerful deliverer and king who was soon to be born. Animal horns were also used as receptacles for oil (1 Samuel 16:1) or as a shofar trumpet (Shemot / Exodus 19:16) to declare the victory of God. The prayer in Tehillim / Psalm 92:10 contains both a reference to oil and a figurative use of horn saying, “You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured on me.” Horns are symbols of power, dominion, glory, and fierceness, as they are the chief means of attack sounding the horns for battle and in the case for animals, those animals who have horns use them for defense (Daniel 8:5-9, 1 Samuel 2:1, 16:1, 16:13, 1 Kings 1:39, 22:11, Joshua 6:4-5, Tehillim / Psalms 75:5 Psalms 75:10, 132:17, and Luke 1:69, etc.). For example, in Daniel 7:7 and 24, the ten horns of Daniel’s fourth beast represent ten kings. In Tehillim / Psalm 75:10, Lord God Almighty says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” These words suggest the Lord God will cause the righteous to prevail, no matter how strong the wicked seem to be. In Jeremiah 48:25, the prophet states, “Moab’s horn is cut off” meaning that the strength of Moab is gone. The four horns mentioned in Zechariah 1:18-19 represent the powerful nations that attacked and scattered Israel. The expression “horn of salvation,” has been applied to the Messiah, with the imagery of a salvation of strength, or a strong Saviour (Luke 1:69). In addition, to have the horn “exalted” denotes prosperity and triumph (Tehillim / Psalms 89:17, 89:24). To “lift up” the horn is to act proudly (Zechariah 1:21). Horns are also the symbol of royal dignity and power (Jeremiah 48:25 Zechariah 1:18, Daniel 8:24 ) and were the sound for the battle cry. (Joshua 6:20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. NIV) We often see the horn in Scripture as a symbol of salvation where David writes in Tehillim / Psalm 18:2 saying, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” In the Apostolic Writings, we read the disciples interpretation that Yeshua as the horn of salvation (Luke 1:68-69). A title that was applied to HaShem is also applied to His Messiah as having the power and authority in the concept of both being referred to as “the horn of salvation.” The Messiah has the authority and power of God with Him. The very name Yeshua means “The Lord Is Salvation.” The salvation that Yeshua offers us is strong, triumphant, and powerful. Just like the horns on the altar offered refuge and atonement, Yeshua offers peace, a place of refuge, and cleansing through His word and through his death upon the cross. However strong our spiritual foe, the horn of our salvation is stronger still. Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 148 has 5 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 148, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 148, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Hallelujah. Praise you the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights (Tehillim / Psalms 148:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “These words were spoken to the creatures in heaven. And who are they? The ministering angels, to whom it was said Praise you Him, all His angels (Tehillim / Psalms 148:2).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis reason that the psalmist is speaking with the ministering angels.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis conclude the references to the stars, sun and moon is a reference to people.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Hence, Praise Him, all you stars of light. From this you learn that every righteous man has his own star in heaven, and that his star shines according to his deeds. Hence the verse means, Praise Him, all you whose stars shine brightly.”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Praise Him, you heaven of heavens (Tehillim / Psalms 148:4).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “From the phrase you heaven of heavens you may learn that there are no fewer than three heavens.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of three heavens in relation to the creation giving praise to the Lord.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis speak of the heavens not being able to contain the Lord because of His greatness.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “The waters spoken of in this verse are the waters of creation. Scripture refers to them in the verse, And God called the firmament Shamayim (Bereshit / Genesis 1:8), as if to say Sha Mayim, Be laden with water.”

Part 3

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Let them praise the name of the Lord; for He commanded, and they were created (Tehillim / Psalms 148:5).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “When He created heaven and earth, it was no wearisome labor for the Holy One blessed be He, for it is said, In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven (Bereshit / Genesis 2:4), and also For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth (Shemot / Exodus 20:11).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the midrash speaks of the relative ease at which the Lord created the heavens and the earth.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis say the Lord only had to command it creation happened.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Hence it is said, Let them praise the name of the Lord. Heaven and earth were created on condition that they praise the name of the Lord.”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “He has made them fast forever and ever; He has given them a law which will not be broken (Tehillim / Psalms 148:6).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “What law did He give them?
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of law of God’s creative power.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis say the glory of God’s creation was tainted by man who sinned with blood and hatred.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Thus the children of men did not let the Holy One blessed be He, rejoice in His earth.”

Part 5

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps (Tehillim / Psalms 148:7).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory (Isaiah 43:7).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of those who give God praise are those who are called by His name.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis describe the praising the creatures He made.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Even now, no man knows how many deeps there are, so that the sons of Korach are quoted as saying, Deep calls to deep (Mishley / Proverbs 42:8). Hence, it is said, Praise the Lord, you sea monsters and all deeps as many deeps as there are shall praise the name of the Lord.”

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Hallelujah. Praise you the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights (Tehillim / Psalms 148:1).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “These words were spoken to the creatures in heaven. And who are they? The ministering angels, to whom it was said Praise you Him, all His angels (Tehillim / Psalms 148:2).” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמח סימן א

א הללויה הללו את ה׳ מן השמים הללוהו במרומים. אלו שבשמים, ומי הם, מלאכי השרת, הללוהו כל מלאכיו כשם שיש צבאות הרבה בארץ, כך הם בשמים, אלה תולדות השמים והארץ בהבראם (בראשית ב ד). הללוהו כל צבאיו, ומי הם צבאיו שעושין צביונו של הקב״ה, שנאמר ברכו ה׳ כל צבאיו (תהלים קג כא), לכך נאמר הללוהו כל צבאיו. הללוהו שמש וירח. ומי הן שמש וירח, האבות והאמהות, שהן משולות בשמש ובירח, שנאמר והנה השמש והירח וגו׳ (בראשית לז ט). הללוהו כל כוכבי אור. ומי הן כוכבי אור אלו הצדיקים, שנאמר ומצדיקי הרבים ככוכבים (דניאל יב ג), לכך נאמר הללוהו כל כוכבי אור, מכאן אתה למד שכל אחד מהן יש לו כוכב בשמים, ולפי מעשיו כך כוכבו מאיר, לכך נאמר הללו אותם שכוכביהם מאירים.

Midrash Tehillim 148, Part 1

1. Hallelujah. Praise you the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights (Tehillim / Psalms 148:1). These words were spoken to the creatures in heaven. And who are they? The ministering angels, to whom it was said Praise you Him, all His angels (Tehillim / Psalms 148:2). Even as there are many hosts of creatures on earth, so are there many in the heavens. Because the verse says, These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created (Bereshit / Genesis 2:4), therefore it is said, Praise you Him, all His angels, praise you Him, all His hosts. Who are these hosts? They who do the will of God, of whom it is said, Bless the Lord, all you His hosts; you ministers of His, that do His pleasure (Tehillim / Psalms 103:21). Hence Praise you Him, all His hosts. Praise you Him, sun and moon (Tehillim / Psalms 148:3). Who are meant by sun and moon? The Patriarchs and the Matriarchs who were likened to the sun and to the moon by Joseph when he said, And behold the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me (Bereshit / Genesis 37:9). Praise Him, all you stars of light (Tehillim / Psalms 148:3). Who are meant by stars of light? Righteous men, of whom it is said, And they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3). Hence, Praise Him, all you stars of light. From this you learn that every righteous man has his own star in heaven, and that his star shines according to his deeds. Hence the verse means, Praise Him, all you whose stars shine brightly.

The rabbis say that the palmists call for the heavens to praise the Lord is a reference to the created creatures that are in heaven, the ministering angels. The midrash states there are creatures other than angels in heaven referring to Bereshit / Genesis 2:4 which states, “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created.” The midrash states, “therefore it is said, Praise you Him, all His angels, praise you Him, all His hosts. Who are these hosts? They who do the will of God, of whom it is said, Bless the Lord, all you His hosts; you ministers of His, that do His pleasure (Tehillim / Psalms 103:21).” The psalm is overwhelmingly focused on blessing the Lord. What does it mean to bless the Lord? According to the midrash we can bless the Lord by living according to His will. This means not just speaking well of God and of His greatness and goodness. This means going further and expressing our lives for Him according to His will, from the depths of the soul, to live according t o His Word. David says in Tehillim / Psalms 103, “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” is saying that real (true) speaking about God’s goodness and greatness must come from the soul, from deep within. This is why the Midrash quotes from Tehillim / Psalms 103 speaking of those who bless the Lord from the soul do so by doing the will of God according to His word. To bless the Lord with our mouths without the soul is a form of hypocrisy. Just as Isaiah the prophet stated, Yeshua said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8). What David is saying in his psalm is to not fall into this trap, to become complacent, to just think about the Lord one time a week and to live our lives in the way that seems fit in our own eyes the remainder of the week.

The midrash continues speaking of the sun, moon, and stars, as they are related to the created things in the heavens. These are paralleled to the Patriarchs and the Matriarchs who are considered as steadfast as the sun, the moon, and the stars. (see Bereshit / Genesis 37:9) Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 1 concludes saying, “Who are meant by stars of light? Righteous men, of whom it is said, And they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:3). Hence, Praise Him, all you stars of light. From this you learn that every righteous man has his own star in heaven, and that his star shines according to his deeds. Hence the verse means, Praise Him, all you whose stars shine brightly.” The stars are a reference to those who turn many to righteousness. This is a quote from Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (NIV) Yeshua said in Matthew 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (NIV) Solomon wrote in Mishley / Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise. (NIV) The reason being, walking in God’s ways are not just pleasing to Him but also to us, to live our lives for the Lord, and to bless His holy name in this way. God wants us to order our lives according to His Word. By doing this we bear His testimonies and bring glory to His name.

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Praise Him, you heaven of heavens (Tehillim / Psalms 148:4).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “From the phrase you heaven of heavens you may learn that there are no fewer than three heavens.” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמח סימן ב

בv הללוהו שמי השמים. מכאן אתה למד שאינן אלא גשמים, וכה״א הנה השמים ושמי השמים (מ״א מלכים א׳ ח כז), לכך נאמר הללוהו וגו׳. והמים אשר מעל השמים. אלו המים אותן מי בראשית, שנאמר ויקרא אלהים לרקיע שמים (בראשית א ח), שא מים.

Midrash Tehillim 148, Part 2

2. Praise Him, you heaven of heavens (Tehillim / Psalms 148:4). From the phrase you heaven of heavens you may learn that there are no fewer than three heavens. Likewise, Scripture says, Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You (1 Kings 8:27). Hence, Praise Him, you heaven of heavens. And you waters that are above the heavens (Tehillim / Psalms 148:4). The waters spoken of in this verse are the waters of creation. Scripture refers to them in the verse, And God called the firmament Shamayim (Bereshit / Genesis 1:8), as if to say Sha Mayim, Be laden with water.

The Midrash speaks of the concept of the heaven of heavens. The early books of the Tanakh refer to Heaven (Heb. Shamayim), but not a Third Heaven or a specific number of heavens. Heaven is mentioned several times in the first chapter of sefer Bereshit (Genesis). It appears in the first verse as a creation of God. His dividing the light from the darkness in verses 4 and 5 this has been interpreted by the rabbis as the separation of heaven into two sections, day (referring to God’s throne) and night (where our universe is contained). In verse 8 heaven refers to the atmosphere over the earth in which birds fly, and in verse 14 it’s the setting for the celestial lights, later identified (verse 16) as the sun, moon and stars. We also find in the Tanach that Heaven is also called shamayi h’shamayim (שׁמי השׁמים or “Heaven of Heavens”) translated as the “highest heavens” where this phrase is mentioned in passages such as Bereshit / Genesis 28:12, Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:14 and 1 Kings 8:27 as a distinctly spiritual realm containing (or being traveled by) angels and God.

Bereshit / Genesis 28:12

28:12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (NASB, יב וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם מֻצָּב אַרְצָה וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמָיְמָה וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ:)

Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:14

10:14 Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. (NASB, יד הֵן לַיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַשָּׁמַיִם וּשְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם הָאָרֶץ וְכָל-אֲשֶׁר-בָּהּ:)

1 Kings 8:27

8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built! (NASB, כז כִּי הַאֻמְנָם יֵשֵׁב אֱלֹהִים עַל-הָאָרֶץ הִנֵּה הַשָּׁמַיִם וּשְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם לֹא יְכַלְכְּלוּךָ אַף כִּי-הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר בָּנִיתִי:)

In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul wrote, “I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person, whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.” In the Second Book of Enoch, the Third Heaven is described as a location “between corruptibility and incorruptibility” containing the Tree of Life, “whereon the Lord rests, when he goes up into paradise.” (see the book of 2 Enoch 8) The book of Enoch describes two springs in the Third Heaven, one of milk and the other of honey, along with two others of wine and oil, flowing down into the Garden of Eden. In contrast with the common concept of Paradise, the Second Book of Enoch also describes it as “a very terrible place” for those who do wrong, with “all manner of tortures” inflicted by merciless angels on “those who dishonor God, who on earth practice sin against nature,” including sodomites, sorcerers, enchanters, witches, the proud, thieves, liars and the sexually immoral.

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 2 concludes saying, “The waters spoken of in this verse are the waters of creation. Scripture refers to them in the verse, And God called the firmament Shamayim (Bereshit / Genesis 1:8), as if to say Sha Mayim, Be laden with water.” It is known that water is required for life. This is not a statement supporting the evolution of life, but having life that was created, sustaining life from day to day by living waters that flows from God.

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 3 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Let them praise the name of the Lord; for He commanded, and they were created (Tehillim / Psalms 148:5).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “When He created heaven and earth, it was no wearisome labor for the Holy One blessed be He, for it is said, In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven (Bereshit / Genesis 2:4), and also For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth (Shemot / Exodus 20:11).” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמח סימן ג

ג יהללו את שם ה׳ כי הוא צוה ונבראו. לא היה יגיעה לפני הקב״ה כשבראם, שנאמר ביום עשות ה׳ אלהים וגו׳ (שם בראשית ב ד), וכתיב כי ששת ימים עשה ה׳ (שמות כ יא), לא היה יגיעה לפני הקב״ה, אלא צוה ונבראו לעצמן, לכך נאמר יהללו את שם ה׳, שעל מנת כן נבראו להיות מקלסין אותו.

Midrash Tehillim 148, Part 3

3. Let them praise the name of the Lord; for He commanded, and they were created (Tehillim / Psalms 148:5). When He created heaven and earth, it was no wearisome labor for the Holy One blessed be He, for it is said, In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven (Bereshit / Genesis 2:4), and also For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth (Shemot / Exodus 20:11). It was no wearisome labor for the Holy One blessed be He. He had only to command, and they formed themselves. Hence it is said, Let them praise the name of the Lord. Heaven and earth were created on condition that they praise the name of the Lord.

The midrash speaks of the creation not being a wearisome labor for the Lord God Almighty. The rabbis say that the Lord only had to command and the creation formed itself. This leads to the question of evolution. When biologists first started to hypothesize how life arose, there were many questions. Based upon our modern understanding of chemistry and biology, in all organisms alive today, we know that a lot of the work is accomplished by proteins. Proteins are able twist and fold into a diversity of shapes, including acting as enzymes, substances that catalyze a large number of chemical reactions. We also know that all of the information needed to make proteins is stored in DNA molecules. The basic conclusion is, you cannot make new proteins without DNA, and you can’t make new DNA without proteins. So question then asked is which came first, proteins or DNA? Back in 1960s there was a discovery, that RNA could fold in a similar way to a protein, but with a reduction in complexity of the structure. As a result, scientists then decided to investigate RNA as the precursor to life and replicating systems. The question was if RNA could catalyze reactions as well as storing information, some RNA molecules might be capable of becoming a replicating system (producing more RNA molecules). The idea was these RNA replicators would have had no need for proteins. They could do everything by themselves. The significance of this statement on RNA is that it was recognized the immense complexity of proteins and reactions catalyzed by proteins and therefore in order to “prove” evolution, scientists needed more simpler structures that could perform similar tasks. Without a simple elementary reaction mechanism, one would have to believe in a creator based upon what we observe in cell biology. In the year 2000, the mechanism of the protein-making factories in cells was discovered. This work confirmed that cells use RNA enzyme and the idea was if proteins are made by RNA then the RNA must have come first. Still, some issues remained. For one thing, it remained unclear whether RNA really was capable of replicating itself. Nowadays we know that DNA and RNA need the help of many proteins to copy themselves. By the year 2001, scientists had discovered RNA molecules that use other RNA as templates to make longer molecules. (Science, vol 292, p 1319) Scientists were looking for the “Goldilocks chemistry” to explain the theory of evolution without the existence of God. Many questions remain, of course. Where did the first replicators arise? What was the first life like? How did the transition to DNA and proteins, and the development of the genetic code, come about? Most biologists think there must have been something like a cell right from the start, to contain the replicator and keep its component parts together. That way, individuals could compete for resources and evolve in different ways. The most significant point is that even under the right conditions, the probability of molecules coming together to form the self replicating RNA or whatever it was is astronomical. The Torah tells us that in the beginning God created. The midrash states that all the Lord had to do was give the command and the creation formed itself. This does not mean that the creation evolved being guided by God’s hand. We are told the Lord spoke and He brought forth life. In the case of man, the Lord formed man with His own hands and then breathed life into man to become a living, thinking person who has the capacity to be creative and to shape and modify his environment having been created in the image of God. Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 3 concludes saying, “Hence it is said, Let them praise the name of the Lord. Heaven and earth were created on condition that they praise the name of the Lord.” It is because of God’s great power to create and to give life that we praise His holy name! In addition, it is because of God’s mercy that we can be thankful for the Lord revealing Himself to us and for giving us faith in Him. Great and mighty are His ways, and greatly is He to be praised!

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “He has made them fast forever and ever; He has given them a law which will not be broken (Tehillim / Psalms 148:6).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “What law did He give them?” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמח סימן ד

ד ויעמידם לעד לעולם חק נתן ולא יעבור. ואיזה חק נתן, שאמר להם, יהי רקיע וגו׳ (בראשית א ו), מאותו היום לא זזו, ברא הקב״ה לשמוח בו כביכול לא היתה בו שמחה, לפי שחטא אדם נתקללה האדמה, שנאמר ארורה האדמה וגו׳ (שם בראשית ג יז), בא קין והרג הבל, א״ל אי הבל אחיך קול דמי אחיך צועקים אלי מן האדמה וגו׳ נע ונד תהיה בארץ (שם בראשית ד י יב), ולא הניחו להקב״ה לשמוח בעולמו.

Midrash Tehillim 148, Part 4

4. He has made them stand forever and ever; He has given them a law which will not be broken (Tehillim / Psalms 148:6). What law did He give them? The Law, Let there be a firmament, etc. (Bereshit / Genesis 1:6). Ever since their creation, heaven and earth have not budged. The Holy One blessed be He, created the earth to rejoice in it, if one dare speak thus, but God has had no joy from the earth because after Adam sinned the earth was cursed, as it is said, Cursed is the ground for your sake (Bereshit / Genesis 3:17). Then came Cain and slew Abel, and God asked, Where is Able your brother? And Cain answered, I know not; am I my brother’s keeper? And God replied, What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood from your hand a fugitive and a wanderer will you be in the earth (Bereshit / Genesis 4:10-12). Thus the children of men did not let the Holy One blessed be He, rejoice in His earth.

The midrash speaks of the power of God to make His creation stand and to be the creator of the heavens and the earth, and how the Lord has given His people the Torah which cannot be broken. This parallels Parashat Haazinu when Moshe speaks of the steadfastness of the heavens and the earth in relation to the steadfastness of God’s Torah where the creation stands as a testimony to the covenant God has made with His people. The Lord had given us His command and statutes to live by and it is because of man’s sin and rebellion that there must be a judgment day (a day of the Lord). The following references to the Tanach speak of this day of the Lord.

Amos 5:18-20

5:18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, For what purpose will the day of the Lord be to you? It will be darkness and not light; 5:19 As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him. 5:20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?

Isaiah 2:12-21

2:12 For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud and lofty And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased. 2:13 And it will be against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, Against all the oaks of Bashan, 2:14 Against all the lofty mountains, Against all the hills that are lifted up, 2:15 Against every high tower, Against every fortified wall, 2:16 Against all the ships of Tarshish And against all the beautiful craft. 2:17 The pride of man will be humbled And the loftiness of men will be abased; And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, 2:18 But the idols will completely vanish. 2:19 Men will go into caves of the rocks And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the Lord And the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. 2:20 In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats Their idols of silver and their idols of gold, Which they made for themselves to worship, 2:21 In order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs Before the terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble.

Zephaniah 1:14-2:3

1:14 Near is the great day of the Lord, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the Lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. 1:15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 1:16 A day of trumpet and battle cry Against the fortified cities And the high corner towers. 1:17 I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the Lord; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung. 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the Lord’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth. 2:1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, 2:2 Before the decree takes effect The day passes like the chaff Before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you. 2:3 Seek the Lord, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.

The prophets of God speak of the day of the Lord and how we as God’s people long for that great day, and that this day will not come in the light, but in darkness because with it will bring God’s judgment for all the world. For those of us who are in the Lord, and who have received His mercy and forgiveness, we will not suffer in the wrath of God. Isaiah states this day is for the proud and lofty of heart, this day is against all of those who lift themselves up so that they will be humbled. Great will be the distress of that day, men will tremble, and will walk as the blind because they have sinned against the Lord (Zephaniah 1:17). All of those who devote themselves to sin will be devoured in the fire of the Lord on that great day. Those who rest in the Lord however will not feel shame. The midrash states that the Holy One blessed be He created the earth to rejoice in it, but the sins of men caused the earth to be cursed and thus the Lord God did not have joy from the earth. Zechariah states those who humble themselves are those who carried out His ordinances, and seek His righteousness in humility. (2:3 Seek the Lord, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the Lord’s anger.)

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 4 concludes saying, “Thus the children of men did not let the Holy One blessed be He, rejoice in His earth.” The question then is does the Lord take delight in His creation? How do we know this? In Bereshit / Genesis 1 we read of the Lord putting His creation in order and not chaos. Five times the Lord steps back, looks at his creation and declares, “And God saw that it was good” (verses 4, 12, 18, 21, 25). And when all was finished and man and woman were created in his own image, it says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” This suggests that the Lord God delighted in His word, He looked and it gave him pleasure in the sense that He was pleased with his creative effort. David says in Tehillim / Psalms 104:31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever, may the Lord rejoice in his works. (NASB) This is a declaration of what will happen. The psalmist assures himself in confidence and hope, that the glory of the Lord will cover all of the earth just as the waters covers the sea (Bamidbar / Numbers 14:21, Habakkuk 2:14). He has no doubts in the glory of the Lord enduring forever, and that the Lord rejoices in His works. We too rejoice in His works because He is working in our lives, drawing us near, and putting in our hearts a desire to walk in His ways!

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 5 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps (Tehillim / Psalms 148:7).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory (Isaiah 43:7).” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמח סימן ה

ה הללו את ה׳ מן הארץ וגו׳. אמר ישעיהו, כל הנקרא בשמי וגו׳ (ישעיה מג ז), לא ברא הקב״ה את אדם אלא לכבודו, וכה״א, כל פעל ה׳ למענהו וגו׳ (משלי טז ד), בראן להיות מקלסין וקלסוהו, שנאמר השמים מספרים וגו׳ (תהלים יט ב), וכשם שהשמים וכל אשר בהם מקלסין אותו, כך הארץ וכל אשר בה מקלסין אותו, שנאמר הללו את ה׳ מן הארץ, הכל מקלסין את המלך, ומי המקלס אותו בתחלה, בני פלטרין ואח״כ בני המדינה, לכך נאמר הללו את ה׳ מן השמים וגו׳, לאחר שקלסוהו בשמים, ומי מקלס תחלה, מי שהוא גדול מחברו, ומי הם הגדולים אלו התנינים, שנאמר ויברא אלהים את התנינים הגדולים (בראשית א כא) , לפיכך הם מקלסין תחלה, שנאמר תנינים וכל תהומות, וכמה תהומות הן לא נתפרשו, וכה״א באין תהומות חוללתי (משלי ח כד), וכתיב תהומות יכסימו (שמות טו ה), ועד עכשיו אין אדם יודע כמה הם, עד שאמרו בני קרח תהום אל תהום וגו׳, לכך נאמר תנינים וכל תהומות, כלם יהללו את שם ה׳.

Midrash Tehillim 148, Part 5

5. Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps (Tehillim / Psalms 148:7). Isaiah said, Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory (Isaiah 43:7). The Holy One blessed be He, created man only for the sake of His glory. As Scripture says, The Lord has made every thing to bear witness to His glory (Mishley / Proverbs 16:4). He created the heavens to sing His praises, and so they sing them, as it is said, The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork (Tehillim / Psalms 19:2). And even as the heavens and all that is in them sing the praises of God, so also the earth and all that is in it sing His praises, as it is said, Praise the Lord from the earth. All sing the praises of the king. And who ought first to praise him? The people of the palace, and the people of the city. Hence, it is said Praise you the Lord from the heavens and then, Praise the Lord from the earth. After God’s praises are sung from the heavens, who ought to be the first on earth to sing His praises? He that is larger than his fellow creatures. And who are the largest? The sea monsters (Bereshit / Genesis 1:21). Therefore, the first on earth to sing God’s praises are the sea monsters, to whom it is said, You sea monsters, and all deeps (Tehillim / Psalms 148:7). How many deeps there are is not stated explicitly in Scripture. One verse says, When there were no depths, I was brought forth (Mishley / Proverbs 8:24). And another reads, The deeps cover them (Shemot / Exodus 15:5). Even now, no man knows how many deeps there are, so that the sons of Korach are quoted as saying, Deep calls to deep (Mishley / Proverbs 42:8). Hence, it is said, Praise the Lord, you sea monsters and all deeps as many deeps as there are shall praise the name of the Lord.

The Midrash states that the reason God created man was only for His glory. The Lord took pleasure in creating man because we reflect His glory. This tells us much about God’s character. Note how two people can desire the same thing for two completely different reasons, one being honorable, and the other being perverse. When we reflect God’s glory, we do so having a singleness of mind and unity in the Spirit for the things of God, an not from a perverse heart. It is for these two reasons the Lord God is pleased with His creation. The reason is for His glory, as we read in Tehillim / Psalms 104:31. This suggests that the joy of God is found in His works, owing to the fact that we are the extension of His glory when we humble our lives, and order our lives according to His word. The Lord God Almighty is faithful to His covenant with us, and long suffering, or enduring in His works to conform us unto the likeness of His son. The Lord rejoices in his works because His works are an expression of His glory. Tehillim / Psalms 19 states “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” The Son of God (Yeshua the Messiah) is also said to be the reflection of God’s Glory. (Hebrews 1:3) We are told that the work of creation was the work of God’s living Word which Paul says was done so through His Son Yeshua (1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16). The creation therefore is the expression of the overflow of the life and joy of the Lord. In addition to this, the Lord God rejoices in the works of creation because His creation praises Him. This is found in what we read in Tehillim / Psalms 148.

Tehillim / Psalms 148:3-13

148:3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! 148:4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! 148:5 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. 148:6 He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away. 148:7 Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps; 148:8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; 148:9 Mountains and all hills; Fruit trees and all cedars; 148:10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and winged fowl; 148:11 Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; 148:12 Both young men and virgins; Old men and children. 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. (NASB)

The sun and moon and stars testifying to us about God and of His power. In wisdom the Lord has made them all! The Lord delights in the expression of his wisdom. This universe is simply a masterpiece of wisdom and order. Taking for example the complexity of the human body, the amazing work of knowledge and wisdom is easily observable. The rabbis of the midrash understand this when they say, “He created the heavens to sing His praises, and so they sing them, as it is said, The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork (Tehillim / Psalms 19:2). And even as the heavens and all that is in them sing the praises of God, so also the earth and all that is in it sing His praises, as it is said, Praise the Lord from the earth. All sing the praises of the king. And who ought first to praise him? The people of the palace, and the people of the city. Hence, it is said Praise you the Lord from the heavens and then, Praise the Lord from the earth.”

Midrash Tehillim 148 Part 5 concludes saying, “Even now, no man knows how many deeps there are, so that the sons of Korach are quoted as saying, Deep calls to deep (Mishley / Proverbs 42:8). Hence, it is said, Praise the Lord, you sea monsters and all deeps as many deeps as there are shall praise the name of the Lord.” The point that may be drawn out from the midrash is to not be too critical (judgmental) against our brother. Today, the idea of public opinion has the ability to make or break a candidate, a business, or a news reporting agency. Sure being a little critical is necessary in light of the age that we live in that is filled with fake news, false doctrines, and false religions. The midrash speaks of the Lord God in His creative power is glorified, and not just in this, but also in His great mercy to forgive. The psalm speaks of God rejoicing in the works of creation because they point us beyond themselves to God himself. When we observe God’s creative power, not just in the universe, but also in the hearts of men, we are stunned by awe and praise to His great name. Paul wrote this is but the back side of His glory being seen darkly through a glass. What we are learning here is that not even a billion galaxies will satisfy the soul. Only God and God alone will the soul find satisfaction.

Tehillim / Psalm 104:31-34

104:31 Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; Let the Lord be glad in His works; 104:32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. 104:33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 104:34 Let my meditation be pleasing to Him;

As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. (NASB)

Tehillim 148-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!