Tehillim / Psalms 149, ספר תהילים קמט, Part 2, Godliness and living for the Lord

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 149:1-9, the psalm opens saying, א הַלְלוּיָהּ | שִׁירוּ לַיהֹוָה שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּתוֹ בִּקְהַל חֲסִידִים: 149:1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. (NASB) When the Psalmist speaks of the “godly ones” who is he referring to? What does it mean to live a godly life? The Psalmist continues saying, ב יִשְֹמַח יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּעֹשָֹיו בְּנֵי-צִיּוֹן יָגִילוּ בְמַלְכָּם: ג יְהַלְלוּ שְׁמוֹ בְמָחוֹל בְּתֹף וְכִנּוֹר יְזַמְּרוּ-לוֹ: ד כִּי-רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה בְּעַמּוֹ יְפָאֵר עֲנָוִים בִּישׁוּעָה: 149:2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. 149:3 Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. 149:4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. (NASB) Note the singular pronoun being used as a reference to a multitude (Israel). The Psalmist states, ה יַעְלְזוּ חֲסִידִים בְּכָבוֹד יְרַנְּנוּ עַל-מִשְׁכְּבוֹתָם: 149:5 Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds. (NASB) The godly ones are those who choose to live their lives according to God’s Word and seek God’s help to overcome sin. The Psalm concludes saying, ו רוֹמְמוֹת אֵל בִּגְרוֹנָם וְחֶרֶב פִּיפִיּוֹת בְּיָדָם: ז לַעֲשֹוֹת נְקָמָה בַּגּוֹיִם תּוֹכֵחֹת בַּל-אֻמִּים: ח לֶאְסֹר מַלְכֵיהֶם בְּזִקִּים וְנִכְבְּדֵיהֶם בְּכַבְלֵי בַרְזֶל: ט לַעֲשֹוֹת בָּהֶם | מִשְׁפָּט כָּתוּב הָדָר הוּא לְכָל-חֲסִידָיו הַלְלוּיָהּ: 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 149:7 To execute vengeance on the nations And punishment on the peoples, 149:8 To bind their kings with chains And their nobles with fetters of iron, 149:9 To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord! (NASB) The Lord is the God who prepares our hands to make war. Not only to make war, but also to bring and preserve the peace.

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק קמט

א הַלְלוּיָהּ | שִׁירוּ לַיהֹוָה שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּתוֹ בִּקְהַל חֲסִידִים: ב יִשְֹמַח יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּעֹשָֹיו בְּנֵי-צִיּוֹן יָגִילוּ בְמַלְכָּם: ג יְהַלְלוּ שְׁמוֹ בְמָחוֹל בְּתֹף וְכִנּוֹר יְזַמְּרוּ-לוֹ: ד כִּי-רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה בְּעַמּוֹ יְפָאֵר עֲנָוִים בִּישׁוּעָה: ה יַעְלְזוּ חֲסִידִים בְּכָבוֹד יְרַנְּנוּ עַל-מִשְׁכְּבוֹתָם: ו רוֹמְמוֹת אֵל בִּגְרוֹנָם וְחֶרֶב פִּיפִיּוֹת בְּיָדָם: ז לַעֲשֹוֹת נְקָמָה בַּגּוֹיִם תּוֹכֵחֹת בַּל-אֻמִּים: ח לֶאְסֹר מַלְכֵיהֶם בְּזִקִּים וְנִכְבְּדֵיהֶם בְּכַבְלֵי בַרְזֶל: ט לַעֲשֹוֹת בָּהֶם | מִשְׁפָּט כָּתוּב הָדָר הוּא לְכָל-חֲסִידָיו הַלְלוּיָהּ:

סםר טוביה פרק קמט

א שבחו קדם יהוה שבח חדת תושבחתיה דידיה בקהלא דחסידי׃ ב יחדון דבית ישראל בעבדיהון בני ציון ידוצון במלכיהון׃ ג ישבחון שמיה בחינגין בתופין וכינרין יזמרון ליה׃ ד ארום רעותא דיהוה בעמיה ישבחו ישבהר עינוותנייא בפורקנא׃ ה יבועון חסידי ביקרא ירננון על דמכיהון׃ ו תושבחן דאלהא בעונקיהון והיך סייפא דיוסטרא באידיהון׃ ז למעבד נקמתא בעמיא בעממיא מכסנותא באומיא׃ ח למיסר מלכיהון בשירין ויקיריהון בכבלי דפרזלא׃ ט למיעבד בהון דין דכתיב באוריתא שיבהורא הוא לכל חסידוי הללויה שבחו אלהא׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 149

149:1 αλληλουια ᾄσατε τῷ κυρίῳ ᾆσμα καινόν ἡ αἴνεσις αὐτοῦ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ ὁσίων 149:2 εὐφρανθήτω Ισραηλ ἐπὶ τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτόν καὶ υἱοὶ Σιων ἀγαλλιάσθωσαν ἐπὶ τῷ βασιλεῖ αὐτῶν 149:3 αἰνεσάτωσαν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἐν χορῷ ἐν τυμπάνῳ καὶ ψαλτηρίῳ ψαλάτωσαν αὐτῷ 149:4 ὅτι εὐδοκεῖ κύριος ἐν λαῷ αὐτοῦ καὶ ὑψώσει πραεῖς ἐν σωτηρίᾳ 149:5 καυχήσονται ὅσιοι ἐν δόξῃ καὶ ἀγαλλιάσονται ἐπὶ τῶν κοιτῶν αὐτῶν 149:6 αἱ ὑψώσεις τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ λάρυγγι αὐτῶν καὶ ῥομφαῖαι δίστομοι ἐν ταῖς χερσὶν αὐτῶν 149:7 τοῦ ποιῆσαι ἐκδίκησιν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἐλεγμοὺς ἐν τοῖς λαοῖς 149:8 τοῦ δῆσαι τοὺς βασιλεῖς αὐτῶν ἐν πέδαις καὶ τοὺς ἐνδόξους αὐτῶν ἐν χειροπέδαις σιδηραῖς 149:9 τοῦ ποιῆσαι ἐν αὐτοῖς κρίμα ἔγγραπτον δόξα αὕτη ἐστὶν πᾶσι τοῖς ὁσίοις αὐτοῦ

Tehillim / Psalms 149

149:1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. 149:2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. 149:3 Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. 149:4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. 149:5 Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds. 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 149:7 To execute vengeance on the nations And punishment on the peoples, 149:8 To bind their kings with chains And their nobles with fetters of iron, 149:9 To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord! (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 149

149:1 Sing in the presence of the Lord a new psalm; his praise is in the assembly of the pious. 149:2 They of the house of Israel will rejoice in their maker; the children of Zion will exult in their kings. 149:3 They will praise his name with dances, with drums and harps they will make music to him. 149:4 For the pleasure of the Lord is in his people; he will glorify the humble with redemption. 149:5 The pious will revel in glory; they will meditate upon their beds. 149:6 The psalms of God are in their throats, and in their hands like a two-edged sword. 149:7 To wreak vengeance on the Gentiles, rebuke among the nations. 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron. 149:9 To execute on them the judgment written in the Torah; this is glory for all his pious ones. Hallelujah! (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 149

Alleluia. 149:1 Sing to the Lord a new song: his praise is in the assembly of the saints. 149:2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him; and let the children of Sion exult in their king. 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sings praises to him with timbrel and psaltery. 149:4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; and will exalt the meek with salvation. 149:5 The saints shall rejoice in glory; and shall exult on their beds. 149:6 The high praises of God shall be in their throat, and two-edged swords in their hands; 149:7 to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments among the peoples; 149:8 to bind their kings with fetters, and their nobles with manacles of iron; 149:9 to execute on them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. (LXX)

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 149:1-9, the psalm opens saying, א הַלְלוּיָהּ | שִׁירוּ לַיהֹוָה שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּתוֹ בִּקְהַל חֲסִידִים: 149:1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. (NASB) When the Psalmist speaks of the “godly ones” who is he referring to? The godly ones are those who seek the Lord God in heaven, and seek to walk in His ways all the days of their lives. When we consider the Psalmists reference to the godly ones, no higher compliment can be paid to a child of God than to call him a godly person. Godliness is the highest calling for God’s people, because no matter how zealous a believer one might be, if he is not a godly person, little of what he does matters. These words “godly” and “godliness” appear only a few times in the Apostolic Writings. All of the Scriptures, the Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim (Tanach) and the Apostolic Writings is a book on godliness. When these words appear in the Scriptures, they are rich with meaning and instruction for us. For example, when the Apostle Paul wanted to describe the life of a believer, he focused upon godliness. He tells us that God’s mercy leads us to say no to ungodliness. He defines ungodliness as worldly passions and sin. He says godliness is defined by living lives that are self controlled, upright, and righteous as we wait upon the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. (Titus 2:11-13) Paul also describes his calling as an apostle of Yeshua the Messiah, and states that he is being called from faith unto faith in those whom God calls, and their knowledge of the truth leads to godliness (Titus 1:1). Paul also emphasizes godliness in his letter to Timothy. Paul says we are to pray for those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. He says that we are to train ourselves to be godly. We are to pursue godliness where the word “pursue” indicates making every effort to achieve this goal. He says godliness with contentment is the greatest gain, having value and influence on this life and for the life to come. According to Peter, we look forward to the day of the Lord, when the earth and everything in it will be destroyed. Having this perspective, he asks “therefore, what kind of people we ought to be?” Peter gives his answer, we are to live holy and godly lives (1 Peter 3:10-12).

1 Peter 3:8-12

3:8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 3:9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 3:10 For, ‘The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 3:11 ‘He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 3:12 ‘For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’ (NASB)

Note how Peter speaks of expecting this great day of the Lord, we are to desire life, to live and to love, to keep our tongues from evil, lips from deceit, turning from evil, doing what is good, seeking and pursuing peace, and that the Lord God Almighty is looking for these kinds of people, the righteous. This is a description of living holy and godly lives. Peter uses this great day to stir up our emotions in regards to our duty as God’s people, to live holy and godly lives. The Torah gives us some hints at godliness in Bereshit / Genesis 5:21 where we are told about Enoch, the father of Methuselah. We are told that Enoch “walked with God.” Note that later on in the book of Hebrews, Enoch is described as one who had faith (chapter 11). The author of Hebrews describes him as one who pleased God. The Torah says Enoch walked with God, and the Apostolic Writings states that he pleased God. Enoch’s life centered upon the Lord God of Israel, he enjoyed a relationship with God, therefore he had devoted his life to the Lord. This is the meaning of godliness. The Greek word for godliness conveys the idea of having a personal attitude towards the Lord that leads to our actions that are pleasing to Him. This is what it means to be devoted to the Lord in all that we do, spiritually, in our hearts, and in our lives. This describes a life that is in action, constantly moving forward. This is not just related to reading the Scriptures and prayer. This is more than that, our devotion to reading the Scriptures and to prayer lead to something more, to living our lives for the Lord God almighty, to practice holiness and righteousness. Godliness includes all of these things, devotion to God, to His Word, and to putting His Word into practice.

The Psalmist continues saying, ב יִשְֹמַח יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּעֹשָֹיו בְּנֵי-צִיּוֹן יָגִילוּ בְמַלְכָּם: ג יְהַלְלוּ שְׁמוֹ בְמָחוֹל בְּתֹף וְכִנּוֹר יְזַמְּרוּ-לוֹ: ד כִּי-רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה בְּעַמּוֹ יְפָאֵר עֲנָוִים בִּישׁוּעָה: 149:2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. 149:3 Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. 149:4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. (NASB) Note the kind of devotion Israel has for the Lord. These verses describe their devotion as an attitude towards the Lord, (i) the fear of God, (ii) the love of God, and (iii) the desire for God, in the sense that their praises go up in rejoicing, in singing, in dancing, and with musical instruments. Because of their attitude towards the Lord, the Lord takes pleasure in His people. The practice of godliness is an exercise in discipline that relates to the commandments of God, and our desire to draw near to Him. The desire for His commandments arises from the character and conduct that is related to godliness. This life includes the community of believers, were we take the time to develop our relationship with God in the communities that we are involved with. For the godly person, all things are done for God’s glory. The Lord God is at the center of our thoughts. All of the ordinary duties that are performed in life are done with an eye to God’s glory. In Paul’s words to the Corinthians, whether he eats or drinks or whatever he does, he does it all for the glory of God.

Note in the Hebrew bible, the singular pronoun may be used as a reference to a multitude (to all of Israel). Take for example Jeremiah 31:10:

Jeremiah 31:8-11

31:8 ‘Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here. 31:9 ‘With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.’ 31:10 Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare in the coastlands afar off, And say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him And keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ 31:11 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob And redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he. (NASB, ז הִנְנִי מֵבִיא אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן וְקִבַּצְתִּים מִיַּרְכְּתֵי-אָרֶץ בָּם עִוֵּר וּפִסֵּחַ הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת יַחְדָּו קָהָל גָּדוֹל יָשׁוּבוּ הֵנָּה: ח בִּבְכִי יָבֹאוּ וּבְתַחֲנוּנִים אוֹבִילֵם אוֹלִיכֵם אֶל-נַחֲלֵי מַיִם בְּדֶרֶךְ יָשָׁר לֹא יִכָּשְׁלוּ בָּהּ כִּי-הָיִיתִי לְיִשְֹרָאֵל לְאָב וְאֶפְרַיִם בְּכֹרִי הוּא: ט שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר-יְהֹוָה גּוֹיִם וְהַגִּידוּ בָאִיִּים מִמֶּרְחָק וְאִמְרוּ מְזָרֵה יִשְֹרָאֵל יְקַבְּצֶנּוּ וּשְׁמָרוֹ כְּרֹעֶה עֶדְרוֹ: י כִּי-פָדָה יְהֹוָה אֶת-יַעֲקֹב וּגְאָלוֹ מִיַּד חָזָק מִמֶּנּוּ: )

Notice how in Jeremiah 31:9 we see the use of the/them as opposed to in 31:10 using the singular pronoun him. In verse 31:11 we read that Israel is the alias for Jacob, who represents the people of Israel in a prophetic writing. Note also that the Hebrew language does not stand on consistency of person or number such that the pronoun “he” does not sound odd with “flock” or “all of Israel,” etc. The central point is that Israel is always the masculine singular in the biblical Hebrew. The Hebrew bible does not know a feminine Israel. The lexicons consistently give a gender of Israel as masculine. Note that traditionally the word “Israel” is given to a people group, and the names of people are masculine, while the names of countries are feminine. Cities are also written in the feminine form. This is consistent with the phrase “Daughter Zion” and “Daughter Jerusalem,” etc. Note how this is consistent with what we read, cities have feminine referents (Ezekiel 16 and 23) and masculine referents are for “peoples” in the case of what we would think of as the nations. In the case of Jeremiah 31, Jacob is the underlying name behind “Israel,” and we understand this in the way the text alternates between the two. We see in Jeremiah 31 Israel as referred to as “he” and as “them” because the translators are accommodating to the English language. The context of this verse is that Israel equals Jacob, referring to a faithful remnant of people in the northern kingdom and in the southern kingdom who will be reestablished through the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31). Because the author is referring to people, the pronouns for Israel are masculine in gender. Note how Hosea the prophet states in Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. (ESV) The way the Hebrew language works, one is able to apply a singular pronoun to represent a whole, and a whole as representing a singular (Jacob). When we consider other biblical texts, such as in Isaiah 53, traditionally due to the anti-christian, anti-messianic, anti-Yeshua polemic, the rabbis interpret this as referring to the nation of Israel. Though this may be the case, as we see from Hosea 11:1, these Scriptures using the singular pronoun may also have prophetic significance as referring to the both the singular and to the many. The Messiah of God having suffered and died for the sins of Israel, and all those who would believe. The pronoun הוא (he) has a sort of bi-directionality referring to the one as well as to the whole.

The Psalmist continues saying, ה יַעְלְזוּ חֲסִידִים בְּכָבוֹד יְרַנְּנוּ עַל-מִשְׁכְּבוֹתָם: 149:5 Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds. (NASB) The godly ones are those who choose to live their lives according to God’s Word and seek God’s help to overcome sin. The question is though, how do we live godly lives? The Apostle Paul wrote, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) James wrote, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:7-10) Paul speaks of resisting evil when we are tempted, and to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. How does one draw near to God? Today, we do so through His Word, the Scriptures, in prayer,and by the way that we live our lives. David wrote in the Psalms saying the following, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Tehillim / Psalm 51:10) and “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” (Tehillim / Psalm 119:11) Often we step onto the wrong path which takes us to sin as we live our lives and fail to act upon God’s truth. Yeshua, in one passage of the Bible, examines the freedom found in truth, and the enslaving power of sin and lies. In that passage, the Lord states plainly, the truth sets us free. The point is we either respond to the truth or to a lie (John 8:31-47). Being godly means that we choose to do what God wants us to do. James wrote, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) James speaks of perseverance and standing firm. Note how perseverance can also be a factor of our thought life. For example, what begins as merely a “wandering thought” can quickly tempt someone to act sinfully (James 1:14-15). These kinds of sins in our thought life can involve pornography, fornication, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, and almost any other ungodly practices. The Scriptures tells us to do the following in such situations.

  • Stand firm against temptation (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:6-9, 2 Timothy 2:22).
  • Confess your sins to a brother or sister in the Messiah and ask the Lord (pray) to be healed (James 5:16).
  • Hide God’s Word in your heart just as David wrote in the Psalm (Tehillim / Psalm 119:11), and believe trusting in God’s strength to help you overcome sin (Hebrews 4:12).
  • Give the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15) hat leads to being filled with the peace and joy of the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).
  • Teshuvah (Repentance) includes change not just from the outside, but also from within (see Mishley / Proverbs 23:7). It helps to fill our minds with God’s thoughts, not worldly thoughts (i.e. get into the Word of God).
  • Get actively involved in a community of believers (church or synagogue).
  • Study the Bible daily.
  • Pray continually and befriend other like-minded people.

The Scriptures teach us that the Lord God can be trusted to not let us be tempted beyond our ability to withstand it, and He will show us a way to escape our temptations. (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The Psalm concludes saying, ו רוֹמְמוֹת אֵל בִּגְרוֹנָם וְחֶרֶב פִּיפִיּוֹת בְּיָדָם: ז לַעֲשֹוֹת נְקָמָה בַּגּוֹיִם תּוֹכֵחֹת בַּל-אֻמִּים: ח לֶאְסֹר מַלְכֵיהֶם בְּזִקִּים וְנִכְבְּדֵיהֶם בְּכַבְלֵי בַרְזֶל: ט לַעֲשֹוֹת בָּהֶם | מִשְׁפָּט כָּתוּב הָדָר הוּא לְכָל-חֲסִידָיו הַלְלוּיָהּ: 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 149:7 To execute vengeance on the nations And punishment on the peoples, 149:8 To bind their kings with chains And their nobles with fetters of iron, 149:9 To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord! (NASB) The last part of the Psalm suggests that it is the Lord God who prepares our hands to make war. Not only to make war, but also to bring and preserve the peace. Studying the history of Israel and of the world, the Lord God Almighty allows the gentile nations to assume great power even over His holy ones and the Holy City Jerusalem as we read in Luke 21:24 “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (NASB) Because of having been given this power, and how the nations choose to use this power, this brings the gentile nations before God for judgment. In this history of Israel we learn that Israel has been judged not just once, but many times. We learn according to the Scriptures, that God has already exercised his judgment upon angels, Adam and Eve in the beginning, upon cities (Sodom and Gomorrah), and upon nations (Egypt, the Land of Canaan, etc). In the world wide flood of Noah, all of the world was subject to the judgment of God due to sin. The idea of judgment coming upon the world, is illustrated in the Messiah Yeshua who went to the cross to be judged in our place, to bear our sins, so that we might be overcomer’s in him. (John 16:11) God’s children also experience the disciplinary judgment of God according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:32. Tehillim / Psalms 149:6-9 speaks of the judgment of the nations and of God empowering His people to bring them to justice. This has great significance in the sense of the Lord dealing with a wicked world. The final judgment of all will be the great white throne before whom we will all stand. In Matthew 25:33-36 we read how Yeshua points out “how one lives” as a prominent reason why one goes to heaven or to hell. According to this, all peoples of the earth will be divided into two groups which are described as sheep and goats. Do you see the significance of the differences between sheep and goats? Goats for example will eat anything, their ability to consume even the worst of things (poison ivy, etc) illustrates how the goat does not use discernment as to what he is bringing into his body. This isn’t about the dietary laws but about what we do in this life and make a part of who we are. Remember, what we eat becomes a part of us and Yeshua used this analogy just as Solomon did in regards to eating and drinking what wisdom has prepared. The goat does not eat with wisdom and careful consideration. The sheep on the other hand have a very restricted diet, and they must drink from still waters. Sheep are analogized to being at peace, and taking careful consideration to what one brings into his or her life to make it a part of who one is. This illustration of sheep and goats are significant and relates to how we have lived our lives. After having divided the people, he says to the ones on the right, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matthew 25:34-36). This declaration is remarkable because attention is given to how these people served God in feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty drink, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and those in prison. Yeshua further states that they who have done these things have done them to Him personally. Yeshua goes on to state to the ones on the left saying, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.” (Matthew 25:41-43) These people then ask when did we neglect these things? Their apparent ignorance illustrates their choice of life style that focused upon themselves as opposed to others. The judgment that is pronounced upon them is in relation to having mercy towards others in the name of the Messiah. These Scriptures illustrate for us what the Lord is looking for in our lives. The righteous enter into heaven because of their mercy towards others, whereas the unrighteous go to hell because of their lack of mercy and their uncaring attitudes. This is a common theme throughout history, where the nations attack God’s people due to their wicked hearts and desire to oppress their neighbors as opposed to having mercy and living in peace. This is a warning to us and a blessing. A warning to seek the ways of God, to integrate God’s Word making it a part of our lives as opposed to the selfish behaviors. The conclusion of Tehillim / Psalms 149 speaks of God using us for His purposes. He works in our lives not just to make war, but for peace and for mercy and for loving others. If we are His in the sense that we have faith and claim to be His children, these things should be evident in our lives. Do you have these things in your life? Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 149 has 6 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 2, 5, and 6. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 149, Part 1, 2, 5, and 6.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 149, Part 1, 2, 5, and 6

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Hallelujah. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints (Tehillim / Psalms 149:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, Remember you not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now will it spring forth The beasts of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise (Isaiah 43:18-21).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis reason that the praises we will sing unto the Lord God Almighty will be for those things that He does new.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis give many examples of the Lord doing a new thing.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “And when will there be such praise of Him? When He lifts up the horn of Israel, as it is said, He will exalt the horn of His people; all His saints will praise Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14).”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Another comment, Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints (Tehillim / Psalms 149:1), Scripture says of the giving of the Torah that All the kings of the earth will praise You, O Lord, for they have heard the words of Your mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 138:4).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Does this verse mean that the kings of the earth listened to, and were willing to accept, Your Torah?
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of the kings of the earth giving praise to the Lord God Almighty because He gave his Torah to all men.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis say that the kings of the earth heard the word of the Lord but they would not accept it.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Rabbi Abbahu taught, It was known to the Holy One blessed be He, that the peoples of the earth would not accept the Torah. Why, then, did He give them and chance to accept it? Because the way of the Holy One blessed be He, is first to give His creatures a chance, and only after they refuse the chance, does He banish them from the world. The Holy One blessed be He, does not act like a tyrant towards His creatures. Hence, it is said, For His name alone is exalted (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13).”

Part 5

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Rabbi Shabbethai taught, Let the saints exult in glory; let them sing for joy because of their beds (Tehillim / Psalms 149:5).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Come and see how the saints will enjoy themselves when they pass over into the Garden of Eden.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the midrash speaks of the Olam Haba and the people praising God when entering into heaven.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis make a contrast between the righteous and the wicked.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Hence it is said, The saints will exult in glory, the high praises of God are in their mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 146:6). The Holy One blessed be He, will say, Because of Me are in your mouths, therefore for your sake I will fight the battles that will free you from exile and servitude. Thus, Scripture declares that the mouth of Israel is their sword, as is said, A swore of mouths in their hand (Tehillim / Psalms 149:6).”

Part 6

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “To execute vengeance upon the nations (Tehillim / Psalms 149:7).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Where fore vengeance? In vengeance, says the Holy One blessed be He, for what they have done to Israel, of which it is said, The vengeance of the blood of Your servants which is shed (Tehillim / Psalms 79:10).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of the judgment of God and the people whom He uses.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis say that judgment will be executed only upon kings.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “And it is further written, The children of Israel will go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me (Isaiah 66:20, 24). And what else is contained in the written judgment? The sinners will be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked be no more (Tehillim / Psalms 104:35). Hence, it is said, To execute upon them the written judgment.”

Midrash Tehillim 149, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Hallelujah. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints (Tehillim / Psalms 149:1).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Isaiah said, Remember you not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now will it spring forth The beasts of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise (Isaiah 43:18-21).” What Isaiah is saying is not to look back upon the past and the reason being, looking back will not allow us to see what is ahead. If we are ever to going to move on to new things, we must learn that we cannot depend upon past victories to sustain us. The Scriptures speak of God’s past victories, this brings us to faith, but now we are looking for what the Lord God of Israel has for us in the future. Studying the history of Israel, the Lord God delivered Israel from bondage (Egypt) and then the people wondered in the wilderness for 40 years due to their sin. The Lord then led them into the Land of Canaan and conquered the people of Canaan. As history continued, due to Israel’s sin, the people were split into the northern (Israel) and southern (Judah) kingdoms, and then they were taken into captivity into Babylon. Now they were in captivity. All of their past victories (in the Scriptures) provide them with the need to seek the Lord God Almighty for a new victory and a new miracle to bring them back to the Land of Israel. Isaiah states that the question isn’t about what God has done, but “what is God doing in your life right now?” or “What is it that you want Him to do in your life right now?” Isaiah states that the Lord God is forming a people for Himself that will tell of His praises. We cant dwell upon past failures. We are to repent, turn from sin, and seek the Lord’s help to overcome and move forward in our lives. The children of Israel experienced great blessings throughout their history. From the first Passover, to the crossing of the Red Sea, to conquering the Land of Canaan and the building of the Temple, the children of Israel had seen the Lord God work powerfully in their lives. The Psalmist writes the following according to Tehillim / Psalms 85.

Tehillim / Psalms 85:4-9

85:4 Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Your indignation toward us to cease. 85:5 Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? 85:6 Will You not Yourself revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You? 85:7 Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord, And grant us Your salvation. 85:8 I will hear what God the Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly. 85:9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. (NASB)

These things remind us to trust in the Lord for new things, because he is our salvation and our help. The entire midrash states the following:

Midrash Tehillim 149, Part 1

1. Hallelujah. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints (Tehillim / Psalms 149:1). Isaiah said, Remember you not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now will it spring forth The beasts of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise (Isaiah 43:18-21). That is, the Holy One blessed be He, said, Because I will make all things new, you will sing a new song unto Me, as it is said, Sing unto the Lord a new song. And who are the assembly of the saints? Israel, for is it not said in the preceding Psalm He will exalt the horn of His people; all His saints will praise Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14)? Whenever the children of Israel see the Holy One blessed be He, they become saints. When they saw God at the Red Sea, they became saints who sang a song, as it is said, Then sang Moshe and the children of Israel this song (Shemot / Exodus 15:1). When they saw God at Sinai, they became upright men, as it is said, He lays up sound wisdom for the upright (Mishley / Proverbs 2:7). And what song did they sing at Sinai? They sang, Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth (Song 1:2). When they saw God at the Tent of Meeting, they became upright men, as it is said, And Moshe and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting, and came out, and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. And there came forth fire from before the Lord, and when all the people saw it, they shouted, and fell on their faces (Vayikra / Leviticus 9:23-24). It is also written, Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, praise is becoming for the upright, sing unto Him a new song (Tehillim / Psalms 33:13). And when they see God in the world to come, they will become saints, as it is said, Sing His praise in the assembly of the saints. Let Israel rejoice in His Maker. And why such singing? Because Israel will see God and rejoice, and God will rejoice in them. Praise the Lord from the earth, Fire and hail, snow and vapor (Tehillim / Psalms 148:7-8). From these verses you learn that in heaven there is nothing evil, neither fire nor hail, neither snow nor vapor. These come from the earth, as it is said, Praise the Lord form the earth, Fire and hail, snow and vapor (Tehillim / Psalms 148:7). Scripture also says Evil will not sojourn with You (Tehillim / Psalms 5:5). That is to say, nothing evil sojourns with God. All that is evil is on earth. But if so, why does Scripture say, Then the Lord caused to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven (Bereshit / Genesis 19:24)? Because the Holy One blessed be He, decreed from heaven that His rains be turned into fire on earth. Praise the Lord mountains and all hills (Tehillim / Psalms 148:7-9). David said, Let the mountains praise God because He knows even their weight, as it is said Who weighed the mountains in scales? (Isaiah 40:12). Scripture also says The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like young sheep (Tehillim / Psalms 114:4). Hence, it is said Praise the Lord mountains and all hills. David said, Since all creation praises the Holy One blessed be He, ought not man be willing to praise his Creator? If creeping things and winged fowl (Tehillim / Psalms 148:10) acknowledge God, why should not man honor Him? So, too, Scripture says, The beasts of the filed will honor Me (Isaiah 43:20). Hence, it is said, Praise the Lord beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged fowl (Tehillim / Psalms 148:10). One would have expected David to say first, Praise the Lord, kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth (Tehillim / Psalms 148:11), and then say, Praise the Lord, you sea monsters and all deeps. But David speaks first of the praise of the sea monsters and the creeping things and then of the praise of the kings of the earth, because the Holy One blessed be He, meant the older creatures to be first in praise of Him. Hence, it is said, Praise the Lord, you sea monsters, and all deeps, etc., and then Praise the Lord, kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth; both young men (bahurim) and maidens, old men, youths (nearim); let them praise the name of the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 148:11-13). Why does David add the word nearim (youths) to the verse, seeing the bahurim, earlier in the verse, has the same meaning? Because the words old men, youths, reveal the promise of the Holy One blessed be He, that the old will be made young, as it is said, Praise the Lord who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Tehillim / Psalms 103:1-5); and as it is also said They that wait for the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). Hence, it is said, Old men, youths. Since it is said Praise the Lord from the earth, why does the Psalmist add Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth in heaven (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13)? As things go in the world, a mortal king usually has a nobleman or a viceroy to share the burden of kingship with him, and because they share the burdens of office with him, they share honor with him whenever honor is bestowed upon him. Not so the Holy One blessed be He. He needs no nobleman, no prince, no lieutenant, as it is said For what god is there in heaven or on earth, that can do according to Your works, and according to Your mighty acts (Devarim / Deuteronomy 3:24). There is no other who can do His work, He is alone. As Scripture says, I am the Lord, that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone. That spread abroad the earth. Who is with Me? (Isaiah 44:24) There is no one with Him to share His burden with Him, He is alone. He says, Even to your old age, I am He, and even to hoar hairs will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear, yes, I will carry, and will deliver you (Isaiah 46:4). Hence, He alone is to be praised, as it is said, Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name along is exalted; His glory is above the earth in heaven (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13). As things go in the world, a mortal king maintains his residence in a certain city. The people of another city are not to much in awe of him as are the people of the city where he maintains his residence. Why not? Because he resides far from them. Not so the Holy One blessed be He, He dwells in heaven, but all the earth is in awe of Him, as it is said, His name alone is exalted, and His praise above the earth in heaven (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13). And when will there be such praise of Him? When He lifts up the horn of Israel, as it is said, He will exalt the horn of His people; all His saints will praise Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14).

The rabbis state because God makes all things new, the people will sing a new song to Him. The proof text was that of the dividing of the Red Sea. The people saw the great miracle God had performed, the entire Egyptian army was destroyed, and as a result, they sang a new song to the Lord to praise and glorify His name. The rabbis speak of the glory of God and the people rejoicing in the Lord. The midrash states that the people will see God and rejoice, and the Lord will rejoice in His people. The explanation for the fire, hail, snow, and vapor rejoicing, is that these things come from the earth, and are not inherently evil. Evil does not sojourn with the Lord, and that everything evil is on the earth. The midrash suggests that the blessing of God that rains down on earth, will turn to a curse if one is living in sin based upon the Torah story of Sodom and Gomorrah. (“All that is evil is on earth. But if so, why does Scripture say, Then the Lord caused to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven (Bereshit / Genesis 19:24)? Because the Holy One blessed be He, decreed from heaven that His rains be turned into fire on earth.”) The midrash goes on to speak of how all of creation brings glory to God, and by reason of this, man should also give glory to God.

The Midrash continues saying the following:

But David speaks first of the praise of the sea monsters and the creeping things and then of the praise of the kings of the earth, because the Holy One blessed be He, meant the older creatures to be first in praise of Him. Hence, it is said, Praise the Lord, you sea monsters, and all deeps, etc., and then Praise the Lord, kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth; both young men (bahurim) and maidens, old men, youths (nearim); let them praise the name of the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 148:11-13). Why does David add the word nearim (youths) to the verse, seeing the bahurim, earlier in the verse, has the same meaning? Because the words old men, youths, reveal the promise of the Holy One blessed be He, that the old will be made young, as it is said, Praise the Lord who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Tehillim / Psalms 103:1-5); and as it is also said They that wait for the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). Hence, it is said, Old men, youths. Since it is said Praise the Lord from the earth, why does the Psalmist add Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth in heaven (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13)? As things go in the world, a mortal king usually has a nobleman or a viceroy to share the burden of kingship with him, and because they share the burdens of office with him, they share honor with him whenever honor is bestowed upon him. Not so the Holy One blessed be He. He needs no nobleman, no prince, no lieutenant, as it is said For what god is there in heaven or on earth, that can do according to Your works, and according to Your mighty acts (Devarim / Deuteronomy 3:24). There is no other who can do His work, He is alone. As Scripture says, I am the Lord, that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone. That spread abroad the earth. Who is with Me? (Isaiah 44:24)

The concept of the young and old, the Lord God Almighty will make the old men young is understood from the sense that the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). These things that seems impossible for man are not impossible for the Lord, this then illustrated in the comparison to the king who has a viceroy as opposed to the Lord God Almighty who did not have a need to share the burden of creation or that of taking care of His people with anyone else.

Midrash Tehillim 149 Part 1 concludes saying, “There is no one with Him to share His burden with Him, He is alone. He says, Even to your old age, I am He, and even to hoar hairs will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear, yes, I will carry, and will deliver you (Isaiah 46:4). Hence, He alone is to be praised, as it is said, Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name along is exalted; His glory is above the earth in heaven (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13). As things go in the world, a mortal king maintains his residence in a certain city. The people of another city are not to much in awe of him as are the people of the city where he maintains his residence. Why not? Because he resides far from them. Not so the Holy One blessed be He, He dwells in heaven, but all the earth is in awe of Him, as it is said, His name alone is e3xalted, and His praise above the earth in heaven (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13). And when will there be such praise of Him? When He lifts up the horn of Israel, as it is said, He will exalt the horn of His people; all His saints will praise Him (Tehillim / Psalms 148:14).” Praise has the ability to promote productivity in our lives. We are told the earth yields its produce in the presence of praise (Tehillim / Psalms 17:5-6). Praising the Lord also chases away despair as Isaiah said it is “the oil of gladness instead of mourning.” (Isaiah 61:3) Praising the Lord is also an effective weapon against the evil one. The evil one hates when we praise the Lord and this is because those fallen angels gave up God’s praises when they in pride decided to leave the heavenly abode to be worshiped and to be like God (pride).

Midrash Tehillim 149 Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Another comment, Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints (Tehillim / Psalms 149:1), Scripture says of the giving of the Torah that All the kings of the earth will praise You, O Lord, for they have heard the words of Your mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 138:4).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Does this verse mean that the kings of the earth listened to, and were willing to accept, Your Torah?” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמט סימן ב

ב [ד״א] שירו לה׳ שיר חדש. ואמר במתן תורה יודוך ה׳ כל מלכי ארץ כי שמעו אמרי פיך (תהלים קלח ד), שמא שמעו ורצו לקבל תורתך לאו, עד שבא מיכה המורשתי ופירש, שנאמר ועשיתי באף ובחמה נקם את הגוים אשר לא שמעו (מיכה ה יד), הא למדת ששמעו ולא קבלו, בא דוד ונתן עליה הודאה, שנאמר אתה האל עושה פלא הודעת בעמים עוזך (תהלים עז טו), אמר דוד מודה אני לך פלאים שעשית בעולם שהודעת תורתך לכל האומות שבעולם ולא רצו לקבל, שאין עוזך הכתוב כאן אלא תורה, שנאמר ה׳ עוז לעמו יתן (שם תהלים כט יא), א״ר אבהו גלוי היה לפני הקב״ה שאין אומות העולם מקבלין את התורה, ומפני מה יצא ידיהן, כך הם מדותיו של הקב״ה לצאת ידי בריותיו, ואח״כ הוא טורדן מן העולם, לפי שאין הקב״ה בא בטירוניה עם בריותיו, לכך נאמר כי נשגב שמו לבדו.

Midrash Tehillim 149, Part 2

2. Another comment, Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of the saints (Tehillim / Psalms 149:1), Scripture says of the giving of the Torah that All the kings of the earth will praise You, O Lord, for they have heard the words of Your mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 138:4). Does this verse mean that the kings of the earth listened to, and were willing to accept, Your Torah? No! To this question Micah the Morashtite gave God’s explicit answer, saying, I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the nations, because they listened not (Micah 5:14). From this you learn that the kings of the earth listened, but did not accept. Therefore, when David came, he offered thanks to God in the words You are the God that does wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples (Tehillim / Psalms 77:15). In speaking thus, David meant, I thank You for the wonders You did in the earth when You would have made known Your Torah to all the peoples of the earth though they were unwilling to accept it. The words Your strength clearly allude to the Torah, for it is said, The Lord will give strength clearly allude to the Torah, for it is said, The Lord will give strength unto His people (Tehillim / Psalms 29:11). Rabbi Abbahu taught, It was known to the Holy One blessed be He, that the peoples of the earth would not accept the Torah. Why, then, did He give them and chance to accept it? Because the way of the Holy One blessed be He, is first to give His creatures a chance, and only after they refuse the chance, does He banish them from the world. The Holy One blessed be He, does not act like a tyrant towards His creatures. Hence, it is said, For His name alone is exalted (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13).

The midrash speaks of at the giving of the Torah and of all the kings of the earth giving praise to the Lord God Almighty. If we think about it, the kings of the earth rarely care to hear the word of the Lord. King David in His psalm expresses the belief that if they hear the word of the Lord and come to accept it, they would know the power and might of God. The word of God has the power to draw us to piety and the hope that one day all will confess their faith in the God of Israel. The rabbis ask the question, “Does this verse mean that the kings of the earth listened to, and were willing to accept, Your Torah?” The answer is no, because of what the prophet Micah wrote, “I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the nations, because they listened not (Micah 5:14).” We are told that this teaches us that the Lord God offered the Torah to the nations, but they rejected. We know this to be true based upon the Torah, which states in Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (NASB) The Lord God chose for Himself a people from among the nations, and giving His Torah to His people and by doing so He gave His people eternal life. It is in this way that we find the truth of eternal life explained in the sense that the acceptance of God’s Word is the expression of the choice of the people, and the act of living in God’s ways includes the evidence of God working in their lives for His glory and for eternal life for those who accept Him and His ways. The rabbis say that it was not the Lord God who chose Israel, it was the nations who refused to accept his Torah. We read this from select references from the Jewish literature:

Talmud Bavli Avodah Zara 2b

R. Johanan says: This teaches us that the Holy One blessed be He offered the Torah to every nation and every tongue, but none accepted it, until He came to Israel who received it!”

Sifre Devarim 343

“they were unable to accept even the seven commandments accepted by Bne Noah and threw them off”

The nations refused to accept the ways of God but chose their own ways, this is found in the prohibitions we read in the Torah which the nations were unable to accept. This is evidenced in how murder is epidemic in the nations, adultery, idolatry, and immorality. The Midrash states, “when David came, he offered thanks to God in the words You are the God that does wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples (Tehillim / Psalms 77:15). In speaking thus, David meant, I thank You for the wonders You did in the earth when You would have made known Your Torah to all the peoples of the earth though they were unwilling to accept it. The words Your strength clearly allude to the Torah, for it is said, The Lord will give strength clearly allude to the Torah, for it is said, The Lord will give strength unto His people (Tehillim / Psalms 29:11).” The idea here is the Torah gives strength to God’s people. The Torah being given to the people expresses a special bond that exists only with God and His people, those who would join themselves with the Lord and with Israel. After quoting a familiar midrash Maharal states that God asked all the nations to receive the Torah, he explains in Gevurot Hashem 72, “We do not find that the Lord sent them prophets. Rather, he checked their suitability to receive the Torah. He did not find them prepared, and this is the meaning of their rejection. For certainly an animal “rejects” intelligence by virtue of the fact that he is without the infrastructure for intelligence, and likewise the gentiles were not prepared to accept the Torah, but Israel was.” He says the unwillingness of the nations to receive the instructions of God meant that they lacked a certain level of intelligence, the nations of the world lack the quality that would enable them to accept the Torah. What is this quality? Maimonides gives us an answer in Moreh Nevukhim. (2, 25), where he asked the question, “Why did God give the Torah to a special nation, and not to any other?” He says, “The answer to them all is that so was His will. So decreed His divine wisdom… we cannot fathom His will or the ways of His Wisdom.” Moses Mendelsohn in the 18th century stated “according to the true tenets of Judaism, all the world’s inhabitants are invited to share in a life of contentment” for they all were granted “the powers of reason.” Judaism’s conclusion is that the Torah is reasonable and makes sense and anyone who considers God’s ways would be unreasonable to not accept what God wants for him/her. In other words, he says the nations are crazy for not believing in the God of Israel and accepting His words and blessings for their lives.

Midrash Tehillim 149 Part 2 concludes saying, “Rabbi Abbahu taught, It was known to the Holy One blessed be He, that the peoples of the earth would not accept the Torah. Why, then, did He give them and chance to accept it? Because the way of the Holy One blessed be He, is first to give His creatures a chance, and only after they refuse the chance, does He banish them from the world. The Holy One blessed be He, does not act like a tyrant towards His creatures. Hence, it is said, For His name alone is exalted (Tehillim / Psalms 148:13).” This idea of giving the nations, or all the earth, a chance to accept God’s word illustrates His great mercy and love for people, whether Jew or Gentile. Having such a merciful God, who in their right mind would reject Him? The same reasons may be applied to His Messiah Yeshua as well!

Midrash Tehillim 149 Part 5 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Rabbi Shabbethai taught, Let the saints exult in glory; let them sing for joy because of their beds (Tehillim / Psalms 149:5).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Come and see how the saints will enjoy themselves when they pass over into the Garden of Eden.” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמט סימן ה

ה א״ר שבתאי יעלזו חסידים בכבוד ירננו על משכבותם. בא וראה היאך הצדיקים מתענגים כשם שעובדים, וגוזר ומציעין תחתיהן מצעות והם מתענגים ואומרים כי אי אפשר לישן במטה הזאת אלא בזו, והקב״ה אומר בני התעוררו עלי לפי רצונכם, שנאמר והתענג על ה׳ וגו׳ (שם תהלים לז ד), ומנין שהן אומרים אי אפשר לישן בזו, שנאמר יבוא שלום ינוחו על משכבותם (ישעיה נז ב), ולא נאמר אלא על משכבותם משכבות הרבה כשהן מציעין להם בגן עדן משכבות יפים, וכיון שהן רואין אותו הן מרננין, למה על מה שהתקין להם, לכך נאמר ירננו על משכבותם, מרננין ומקלסין ומרוממין אותו, שנאמר רוממות אל בגרונם, א״ל הקב״ה אע״פ שקלסתם אותי בנבלים ובכנורות, אינו ערב לפני אלא בגרונם, אוי להם לרשעים מה הם שומעים באזניהם, אמר הקב״ה לא יקלסו אותי הרשעים בגרונם, למה שריחם רע, שנאמר קבר פתוח גרונם לשונם יחליקון (תהלים ה י), אבל הצדיקים קלוסן ערב לפני ביותר, שנאמר כי קולך ערב ומראך נאוה (שם שיר השירים ב יד), וכתיב יערב עליו שיחי (תהלים קד לד), לכך נאמר רוממות אל בגרונם, אמר הקב״ה אתם מרוממין אותי, ואני עושה מלחמה בעדכם כדי להצילכם מן הגליות ומן השעבוד, וכן אמר הכתוב פיהם של ישראל הוא חרבם, שנאמר וחרב פיפיות בידם.

Midrash Tehillim 149, Part 5

5. Rabbi Shabbethai taught, Let the saints exult in glory; let them sing for joy because of their beds (Tehillim / Psalms 149:5). Come and see how the saints will enjoy themselves when they pass over into the Garden of Eden. God Himself will decree that beds be prepared for them. And the saints, enjoying themselves, will say, It does not suit me to sleep in this bed, only in that one. And the Holy One blessed be He, will say My children fuss with Me as much as you like, as it is said Delight yourself also in the Lord; He will give you the desires of your heart (Tehillim / Psalms 37:4). And how do we know that they will say, It does not suit me to sleep in this bed? Because Scripture says The righteous man will enter into peace, they will rest in their beds (Isaiah 57:1-2), specifying their beds to show that many beds, beautiful beds, will be prepared for the righteous in the Garden of Eden. And as soon as they see God, they will sing for joy. Why? Because of what God has prepared for them. Hence, it is said, They will sing for joy because of their beds (Tehillim / Psalms 149:5). They will sing for joy, will sing His glory, and will shout His high praise, as it is said The saints will be joyful in glory; they will sing for joy because of their beds. The high praises of God will be in their mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 149:6). The Holy One blessed be He, will say to them, Even though you praise Me with psalteries and with harps, your praise is not sweet to Me until it comes from your mouths. Woe unto the wicked! What must their ears hear! The Holy One blessed be He, says to them, Let not the wicked praise Me with their mouths, because their breath is foul, as it is said Their throat is an open grave as they make smooth their tongue (Tehillim / Psalms 5:10). But the saints, their praise is very sweet to Me, as it is said O My dove let Me hear your voice; for sweet is your voice (Song 2:14), and as it is also written I will sing praises to my God my meditation of Him will be sweet (Tehillim / Psalms 104:33-34). Hence it is said, The saints will exult in glory, the high praises of God are in their mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 146:6). The Holy One blessed be He, will say, Because of Me are in your mouths, therefore for your sake I will fight the battles that will free you from exile and servitude. Thus, Scripture declares that the mouth of Israel is their sword, as is said, A swore of mouths in their hand (Tehillim / Psalms 149:6).

In this midrash, the rabbis speak of the people of God giving praise to God’s name when they enter into the Olam Haba and the Garden of Eden (paradise). In the world to come, the Lord will prepare a place for His people. This is illustrated in the midrash the rabbis say “God Himself will decree that beds be prepared for them.” This is very similar to what Yeshua spoke to his disciples in John 14.

John 14:1-14

14:1 ‘Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 14:2 ‘In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3 ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 14:4 ‘And you know the way where I am going.’ 14:5 Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ 14:6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 14:7 ‘If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.’ 14:8 Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ 14:9 Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 14:10 ‘Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 14:11 ‘Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 14:12 ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 14:13 ‘Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 ‘If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 14:15 ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (NASB)

Note how the rabbis are speaking of a people who are in a covenant relationship with God, and their ultimately being brought to be with God in the world to come. Then the Lord says He will prepare a place for them to rest, and though they argue with this bed God prepares, the Midrash says “And the Holy One blessed be He, will say My children fuss with Me as much as you like, as it is said Delight yourself also in the Lord; He will give you the desires of your heart (Tehillim / Psalms 37:4). And how do we know that they will say, It does not suit me to sleep in this bed? Because Scripture says The righteous man will enter into peace, they will rest in their beds (Isaiah 57:1-2), specifying their beds to show that many beds, beautiful beds, will be prepared for the righteous in the Garden of Eden. And as soon as they see God, they will sing for joy.” Within this context Yeshua speaks of going to a place, to be with God, and in that place the Lord God has prepared many dwelling places. He reassures them that if he goes, he will return, and if he prepares a place for us, he will return to receive us and take us to be in the place that He has prepared. The disciples do not understand where he is going and ask to be told, and Yeshua speaks of knowing the way as having seen the Father in heaven, and having seen and been with Yeshua, they should also have seen and known the Father in heaven as well. When Philip asks to be shown the Father, Yeshua speaks of having seen and known him (Yeshua) and seeing and knowing his works of righteousness. Yeshua speaks of the Father being in and moving inside of him, to do the works of the Father for His glory. He goes on to say that for the one who remains in him (Yeshua) will also do the same works, and then he says 14:15 ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (NASB) This way of God that is spoken of, is seeking the Father in heaven, in His Son Yeshua, and living our lives according to His commands (the Torah). Note the significance of the Father being in Yeshua. The same must take place for us as well, God’s Spirit dwelling in us to enable us to walk in His ways. And because of these things, as the Midrash states, “The high praises of God will be in their mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 149:6).”

Midrash Tehillim 149 Part 5 concludes saying, “Hence it is said, The saints will exult in glory, the high praises of God are in their mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 146:6). The Holy One blessed be He, will say, Because of Me are in your mouths, therefore for your sake I will fight the battles that will free you from exile and servitude. Thus, Scripture declares that the mouth of Israel is their sword, as is said, A swore of mouths in their hand (Tehillim / Psalms 149:6).” Because of God’s glory, we praise His name. Because of His wonderful works in our lives, we praise His name. Because God fights our battles and saves us every day, we praise His name. There are so many reasons to give praises, and glory, and honor to His name!

Midrash Tehillim 149 Part 6 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “To execute vengeance upon the nations (Tehillim / Psalms 149:7).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Where fore vengeance? In vengeance, says the Holy One blessed be He, for what they have done to Israel, of which it is said, The vengeance of the blood of Your servants which is shed (Tehillim / Psalms 79:10).” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק קמט סימן ו

ו לעשות נקמה בגוים. אי זו היא נקמה, אמר הקב״ה מה שנקמו לישראל, שנאמר נקמת דם עבדיך השפוך (תהלים עט י), ולא נקמת אדם, אלא אל נקמות ה׳ וגו׳ (שם תהלים צד א), ואומר הרנינו גוים עמו וגו׳ (דברים לב מג), וכתיב אל קנא ונוקם ה׳ (נחום א ב), כל הנקמות האלה יש לרשעים אצל הקב״ה, לכך נאמר לעשות נקמה בגוים וגו׳, ושמא תאמר כל ההדיוטות, אמר הקב״ה לאו אלא למלכים, שנאמר לאסור מלכיהם וגו׳, ולמה שמלכים באו עלי, שנאמר למה רגשו גוים וגו׳ (תהלים ב א), לכך נאמר לאסור מלכיהם וגו׳, אמר הקב״ה אשרי שישלם לך את גמולך (שם תהלים קלז ח), ומה גמלו להם לישראל ואת עיני צדקיהו עור ויאסרהו בנחשתים (מ״ב מלכים ב׳ כה ז), וגם אני כך אעשה להם, שנאמר ונכבדיהם בכבלי ברזל, אמר הקב״ה מה הם סבורים ששכחתי מה שעשו, כתובה היא לפני, שנאמר לעשות בהם משפט כתוב, ואיזהו משפט כתוב, הנה היום בא בוער כתנור (מלאכי ג יט), וכתיב ויצאו וראו בפגרי האנשים (ישעיה סו כד), לעשות בהם משפט כתוב, ואיזהו משפט כתוב, יתמו חטאים מן הארץ (תהלים קד לה), לכך נאמר לעשות בהם משפט כתוב.

Midrash Tehillim 149, Part 6

6. To execute vengeance upon the nations (Tehillim / Psalms 149:7). Where fore vengeance? In vengeance, says the Holy One blessed be He, for what they have done to Israel, of which it is said, The vengeance of the blood of Your servants which is shed (Tehillim / Psalms 79:10). Not the vengeance of man will befall the nations, but the vengeance of God to whom vengeance belongs (Tehillim / Psalms 94:1). Thus, also, Scripture says, Praise His people, you nations, for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:43). And thus also it is written, The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries (Nahum 1:2). All these avenging are stored up with the Holy One blessed be He, for the wicked nations. Hence, it is said, To execute vengeance upon the nations, and chastisements upon the peoples. Lest you suppose that vengeance will be executed upon the common people, the Holy One blessed be He, says, No! Only upon kings, as it is said, To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron (Tehillim / Psalms 149:8). And why upon them alone? Because kings set themselves against Me, as it is said The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 2:2). Hence, it is said, To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of irons. The Holy One blessed be He, also says, O daughter of Babylon, happy will he be that recompenses upon you your deed which you did (Tehillim / Psalms 137:8). And what did the Babylonians do to Israel? They put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon (2 Kings 25:7). Therefore, I also will do the same to them, as it is said, To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron (Tehillim / Psalms 149:8). The Holy One blessed be He, says, What do they think? That I have forgotten the judgment they gave Zedekiah? Yes, My judgment of them is written down before Me, as it is said to execute upon them the written judgment (Tehillim / Psalms 149:9). And what is the written judgment of them? Behold, the day comes, it burns as a furnace; and all the proud, and all that work wickedness, will be stubble (Malachi 3:19). And it is further written, The children of Israel will go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me (Isaiah 66:20, 24). And what else is contained in the written judgment? The sinners will be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked be no more (Tehillim / Psalms 104:35). Hence, it is said, To execute upon them the written judgment.

The rabbis refer to the Psalm speaking of the Lord taking vengeance upon the nations because of the nations afflicting Israel. The rabbis make a distinction between God and man saying the following, “Not the vengeance of man will befall the nations, but the vengeance of God to whom vengeance belongs (Tehillim / Psalms 94:1). Thus, also, Scripture says, Praise His people, you nations, for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:43). And thus also it is written, The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries (Nahum 1:2). All these avenging are stored up with the Holy One blessed be He, for the wicked nations. Hence, it is said, To execute vengeance upon the nations, and chastisements upon the peoples.” In many places we read in the Scriptures of the Lord saying through His prophets that He will bring judgment against the nations. A sampling of verses are as follows:

Tehillim / Psalms 149:7

149:7 To execute vengeance on the nations And punishment on the peoples (NASB)

Ezekiel 39:21

And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. (NASB)

Obadiah 1:15

For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head. (NASB)

Amos 1:1-2:7

1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa, which he envisioned in visions concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. 1:2 He said, ‘The Lord roars from Zion And from Jerusalem He utters His voice; And the shepherds’ pasture grounds mourn, And the summit of Carmel dries up.’ 1:3 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron. 1:4 ‘So I will send fire upon the house of Hazael And it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad. 1:5 ‘I will also break the gate bar of Damascus, And cut off the inhabitant from the valley of Aven, And him who holds the scepter, from Beth-eden; So the people of Aram will go exiled to Kir,’ Says the Lord. 1:6 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Gaza and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they deported an entire population To deliver it up to Edom. 1:7 ‘So I will send fire upon the wall of Gaza And it will consume her citadels. 1:8 ‘I will also cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, And him who holds the scepter, from Ashkelon; I will even unleash My power upon Ekron, And the remnant of the Philistines will perish,’ Says the Lord God. 1:9 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Tyre and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they delivered up an entire population to Edom And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood. 1:10 ‘So I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre And it will consume her citadels.’ 1:11 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Edom and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, While he stifled his compassion; His anger also tore continually, And he maintained his fury forever. 1:12 ‘So I will send fire upon Teman And it will consume the citadels of Bozrah.’ 1:13 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead In order to enlarge their borders. 1:14 ‘So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah And it will consume her citadels Amid war cries on the day of battle, And a storm on the day of tempest. 1:15 ‘Their king will go into exile, He and his princes together,’ says the Lord. 2:1 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Moab and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime. 2:2 ‘So I will send fire upon Moab And it will consume the citadels of Kerioth; And Moab will die amid tumult, With war cries and the sound of a trumpet. 2:3 ‘I will also cut off the judge from her midst And slay all her princes with him,’ says the Lord. 2:4 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Judah and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they rejected the law of the Lord And have not kept His statutes; Their lies also have led them astray, Those after which their fathers walked. 2:5 ‘So I will send fire upon Judah And it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem.’ 2:6 Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for money And the needy for a pair of sandals. 2:7 ‘These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless Also turn aside the way of the humble; And a man and his father resort to the same girl In order to profane My holy name. (NASB)

The prophets speak of that great day of the Lord when He will exact judgment against the nations. Amos provides reasons why the Lord will do these things. He says His judgment comes because of the sword the nations brought against Israel, because the nations deported the people of Israel, because the nations delivered the people up to other nations (Edom, note that in the rabbinic literature, Edom = Rome), because brothers pursued one another with the sword (Edom and Israel), because the nations ripped upon pregnant women killing both the mother and the child, because the nations burned the bones of kings to ashes (showing lack of respect for the dead), because the nations rejected God’s Torah (even Israel and Judah), and because they sell the righteous for money. These wicked ways according to Amos lead to the judgment of God. Notice how the midrash speaks of the leaders having greater responsibility to God saying, “Lest you suppose that vengeance will be executed upon the common people, the Holy One blessed be He, says, No! Only upon kings, as it is said, To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron (Tehillim / Psalms 149:8). And why upon them alone? Because kings set themselves against Me, as it is said The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 2:2).” This parallels what James wrote saying, teachers will be “judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1) James 3:1 states, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach.” Literally, James says that teachers know they will receive the greater judgment. Evidently the implication is that one who stumbles or does the very thing he teaches against, or if he teaches something that is not truth, then judgment is going to be stricter. The most important concept here is that “knowing what one is supposed to do” makes one accountable to do it. Paul wrote to the Romans saying in Romans 1:20, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” This teaches us how there will be no excuse on the day of judgment since the invisible attributes of God, His creative ability, are compelling us to seek Him out and praise His name. The principle behind this judgment being spoken of is that you will be judged because you knew what you should do. The assumption is teachers, by teaching, are claiming to know what they ought to do and, therefore, they have greater judgment if they fall short. Secondly, knowing more makes one more accountable. For example, in Luke 12:47-48 we are told the servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will receives a severe beating, and the one who did not know but did what deserved a beating receives a light beating. Yeshua states in Luke 12:48 “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” Paul further wrote to the Romans saying in Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” He wrote to the Corinthians saying in 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” He also wrote to the Ephesians in Ephesians 6:8 saying, “Knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bond-servant or is free.” There is a correlation between to rewards and the things that we do in this world which are the fruit of our faith.

Midrash Tehillim 149 Part 6 concludes saying, “And it is further written, The children of Israel will go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me (Isaiah 66:20, 24). And what else is contained in the written judgment? The sinners will be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked be no more (Tehillim / Psalms 104:35). Hence, it is said, To execute upon them the written judgment.” The idea here is that God’s children were treated horribly by the nations who served false gods and themselves. There will come a day however where God’s people will prevail, and each one of us will go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men who rebelled against the Lord. This teaches us how the Lord God will justify His people according to His righteousness and how we are to strive for His righteousness and truth. Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 149-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!