Tehillim / Psalms 21, Part 2, Great is the Salvation of God

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This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 21:1-13, the Psalm begins saying א לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד: “For the director of music, A psalm of David.” David says ב יְהוָה בְּעָזְּךָ יִשְֹמַח-מֶלֶךְ וּבִישׁוּעָתְךָ מַה-יָּגֶיל [יָּגֶל] מְאֹד:. 21:1 O Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad, And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice! (NASB) It is interesting that he says in God’s strength the king will be glad. The king relies upon the Lord and not upon his own strength, we are told over and over again to call and rely upon the Lord in Scripture. The king also relies upon the Lord’s salvation. Seeking the Lord for His help and salvation, David says ג תַּאֲוַת לִבּוֹ נָתַתָּה לּוֹ וַאֲרֶשֶׁת שְֹפָתָיו בַּל-מָנַעְתָּ סֶּלָה: ד כִּי-תְקַדְּמֶנּוּ בִּרְכוֹת טוֹב תָּשִׁית לְרֹאשׁוֹ עֲטֶרֶת פָּז: ה חַיִּים | שָׁאַל מִמְּךָ נָתַתָּה לּוֹ אֹרֶךְ יָמִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד: ו גָּדוֹל כְּבוֹדוֹ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ הוֹד וְהָדָר תְּשַׁוֶּה עָלָיו: 21:2 You have given him his heart’s desire, And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. 21:3 For You meet him with the blessings of good things; You set a crown of fine gold on his head. 21:4 He asked life of You, You gave it to him, Length of days forever and ever. 21:5 His glory is great through Your salvation, Splendor and majesty You place upon him. (NASB) What does it mean that the king’s glory is great through the salvation of the Lord? David says ז כִּי-תְשִׁיתֵהוּ בְרָכוֹת לָעַד תְּחַדֵּהוּ בְשִֹמְחָה אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ: ח כִּי-הַמֶּלֶךְ בֹּטֵחַ בַּיהֹוָה וּבְחֶסֶד עֶלְיוֹן בַּל-יִמּוֹט: 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence. 21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord, And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken. (NASB) The second half of the psalm David says that the Lord is the one who helps him discover who his enemies are and those who hate him. The Lord will make known those who plot against you from among the sons of men and they will not succeed. The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath those who seek the destruction of His holy ones. The Lord will destroy the off spring of his enemies and turn their weapons back against them for the purpose of saving His anointed one. Everything and everyone that one hates is engraved upon the heart; therefore, seek the Lord to circumcise your heart. Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:16 So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer. (NASB) Because of all of this יד רוּמָה יְהֹוָה בְעֻזֶּךָ נָשִׁירָה וּנְזַמְּרָה גְּבוּרָתֶךָ: 21:13 Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power. (NASB)

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק כא

א לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד: ב יְהוָה בְּעָזְּךָ יִשְֹמַח-מֶלֶךְ וּבִישׁוּעָתְךָ מַה-יָּגֶיל [יָּגֶל] מְאֹד: ג תַּאֲוַת לִבּוֹ נָתַתָּה לּוֹ וַאֲרֶשֶׁת שְֹפָתָיו בַּל-מָנַעְתָּ סֶּלָה: ד כִּי-תְקַדְּמֶנּוּ בִּרְכוֹת טוֹב תָּשִׁית לְרֹאשׁוֹ עֲטֶרֶת פָּז: ה חַיִּים | שָׁאַל מִמְּךָ נָתַתָּה לּוֹ אֹרֶךְ יָמִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד:

סםר טוביה פרק כא

א לשבחא תושבחתא לדוד׃ ב יהוה בעשנך ייחדי ימלוך מליך משיחא ובפורקנך כמא ירנן מרנן לחדא׃ ג רגגת נפשיה יהבת ליה ופירוש סיפוותיה לא כליתא לעלמין׃ ד ארום תקדמיניה ברכן טבן תשוי על רישיה כליל דהב סנינא׃

YALMOI 21

21:1 εἰς τὸ τέλος ψαλμὸς τῷ δαυιδ κύριε ἐν τῇ δυνάμει σου εὐφρανθήσεται ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ἐπὶ τῷ σωτηρίῳ σου ἀγαλλιάσεται σφόδρα 21:2 τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ ἔδωκας αὐτῷ καὶ τὴν θέλησιν τῶν χειλέων αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐστέρησας αὐτόν διάψαλμα 21:3 ὅτι προέφθασας αὐτὸν ἐν εὐλογίαις χρηστότητος ἔθηκας ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ στέφανον ἐκ λίθου τιμίου

ו גָּדוֹל כְּבוֹדוֹ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ הוֹד וְהָדָר תְּשַׁוֶּה עָלָיו: ז כִּי-תְשִׁיתֵהוּ בְרָכוֹת לָעַד תְּחַדֵּהוּ בְשִֹמְחָה אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ: ח כִּי-הַמֶּלֶךְ בֹּטֵחַ בַּיהֹוָה וּבְחֶסֶד עֶלְיוֹן בַּל-יִמּוֹט: ט תִּמְצָא יָדְךָ לְכָל-אֹיְבֶיךָ יְמִינְךָ תִּמְצָא שֹנְאֶיךָ: י תְּשִׁיתֵמוֹ | כְּתַנּוּר אֵשׁ לְעֵת פָּנֶיךָ יְהֹוָה בְּאַפּוֹ יְבַלְּעֵם וְתֹאכְלֵם אֵשׁ: יא פִּרְיָמוֹ מֵאֶרֶץ תְּאַבֵּד וְזַרְעָם מִבְּנֵי אָדָם: יב כִּי-נָטוּ עָלֶיךָ רָעָה חָשְׁבוּ מְזִמָּה בַּל-יוּכָלוּ: יג כִּי תְשִׁיתֵמוֹ שֶׁכֶם בְּמֵיתָרֶיךָ תְּכוֹנֵן עַל-פְּנֵיהֶם: יד רוּמָה יְהֹוָה בְעֻזֶּךָ נָשִׁירָה וּנְזַמְּרָה גְּבוּרָתֶךָ:

ה חיי עלמא שאל מינך יהבת ליה ניגדא דיומיא לעלמי עלמין׃ ו סגי יקריה בפורקנך תושבחתא ושבהורא תשים תשוי עלוי׃ ז מטול די תשויניה בירכן לעלמין תחדיניה בחדוותא די מן קדמך׃ ח מטול דמליך משיחא סביר ביהוה מתרחיץ במימרא דייי ובחסדא דעילאה לא יזוע׃ ט תדבק מחת אידך לכל בעלי דבבך פורענות ימינך תשכח לכל סנאך׃ י תשוינון היך איורא דדמי אתון נורא לעידני רוגזך יהוה ברגזיה יסלעמינון ותיכלינון כאישתא ישלהבינון ותגמרינון בעור גהנם׃ יא בניהון מארעא תהובד וזרעיתהון מבני נשא׃ יב מטול דחשילו עלך בישתא חשיבו מחשבן בישן ולא יכילונך׃ יג מטול דשויתינון לעמך כתף חד באיטוני משכניך תתקן אורחהון קדמיהון ״תסדר אוריתך קדמוהי׃ יד איזדקף יהוה בעושינך נשבחא ונדוצצא ונרוננא בגבורתך׃

21:4 ζωὴν ᾐτήσατό σε καὶ ἔδωκας αὐτῷ μακρότητα ἡμερῶν εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος 21:5 μεγάλη ἡ δόξα αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ σωτηρίῳ σου δόξαν καὶ μεγαλοπρέπειαν ἐπιθήσεις ἐπ’ αὐτόν 21:6 ὅτι δώσεις αὐτῷ εὐλογίαν εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος εὐφρανεῖς αὐτὸν ἐν χαρᾷ μετὰ τοῦ προσώπου σου 21:7 ὅτι ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐλπίζει ἐπὶ κύριον καὶ ἐν τῷ ἐλέει τοῦ ὑψίστου οὐ μὴ σαλευθῇ 21:8 εὑρεθείη ἡ χείρ σου πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐχθροῖς σου ἡ δεξιά σου εὕροι πάντας τοὺς μισοῦντάς σε 21:9 θήσεις αὐτοὺς ὡς κλίβανον πυρὸς εἰς καιρὸν τοῦ προσώπου σου κύριος ἐν ὀργῇ αὐτοῦ συνταράξει αὐτούς καὶ καταφάγεται αὐτοὺς πῦρ 21:10 τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῶν ἀπὸ γῆς ἀπολεῖς καὶ τὸ σπέρμα αὐτῶν ἀπὸ υἱῶν ἀνθρώπων 21:11 ὅτι ἔκλιναν εἰς σὲ κακά διελογίσαντο βουλήν ἣν οὐ μὴ δύνωνται στῆσαι 21:12 ὅτι θήσεις αὐτοὺς νῶτον ἐν τοῖς περιλοίποις σου ἑτοιμάσεις τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν 21:13 ὑψώθητι κύριε ἐν τῇ δυνάμει σου ᾄσομεν καὶ ψαλοῦμεν τὰς δυναστείας σου

This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 21:1-13, the Psalm begins saying א לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד: “For the director of music, A psalm of David.” David says ב יְהוָה בְּעָזְּךָ יִשְֹמַח-מֶלֶךְ וּבִישׁוּעָתְךָ מַה-יָּגֶיל [יָּגֶל] מְאֹד: 21:1 O Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad, And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice! (NASB) It is interesting that he says in God’s strength the king will be glad. The king relies upon the Lord and not upon his own strength. Throughout the Scriptures we are told and called to trust and rely upon the Lord God Almighty for all our needs. The Aramaic Targum states ב יהוה בעשנך ייחדי ימלוך מליך משיחא ובפורקנך כמא ירנן מרנן לחדא׃ 21:2 O Lord, in your strength the King Messiah will rejoice, and how greatly will he exult in your redemption! (EMC) In these Scriptures David says that the “King” will be glad in God’s strength, whereas, the rabbis translate the Hebrew text as the King Messiah” will rejoice and will exalt in God’s redemption. Biblically speaking, what is a king? The Hebrew word for king is מלך (melech). The meaning of the word king comes from the root word מ.ל.ך “sovereign, monarch, ruler, advisor, to seek or counsel.” The original sense of the word may have been as a counselor if we take the perspective that the counsel of the king was “final” meaning that he had the last word. When thinking of the kings of Israel, naturally we think of king Saul and therefore the use of the word “melech” come to be applied to the one who reigned governmentally over the people or a nation. King Saul ruled over Israel between 1079 BCE – 1007 BCE, and was the first king of the united Kingdom of Israel. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel and reigned from Gibeah. Based upon the biblical narrative on the end of Saul’s life, he fell on his sword and died to avoid capture in the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, along with his three sons.

Tehillim / Psalms 21

Praise for Deliverance. For the choir director. A Psalm of David. 21:1 O Lord, in Your strength the king will be glad, And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice! 21:2 You have given him his heart’s desire, And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. 21:3 For You meet him with the blessings of good things; You set a crown of fine gold on his head. 21:4 He asked life of You, You gave it to him, Length of days forever and ever. 21:5 His glory is great through Your salvation, Splendor and majesty You place upon him. 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence. 21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord, And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken. 21:8 Your hand will find out all your enemies; Your right hand will find out those who hate you. 21:9 You will make them as a fiery oven in the time of your anger; The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath, And fire will devour them. 21:10 Their offspring You will destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men. 21:11 Though they intended evil against You And devised a plot, They will not succeed. 21:12 For You will make them turn their back; You will aim with Your bowstrings at their faces. 21:13 Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms Chapter 21

21:1 For praise; a psalm of David. 21:2 O Lord, in your strength the King Messiah will rejoice, and how greatly will he exult in your redemption! 21:3 You have given him the desire of his soul; and you have not withheld the expression of his lips forever. 21:4 For you will make good blessings go before him; you will place on his head a crown of refined gold. 21:5 Eternal life he asked of you; you gave him length of days forever and ever. 21:6 Great is his glory in your redemption; praise and splendor you will place on him. 21:7 Because you will give him blessings forever; you will gladden him with the gladness that is from your presence. 21:8 Because the King Messiah hopes in the Lord; and through the favor of the Most High he is not shaken. 21:9 The blow of your hand will reach all your foes; the vengeance of your right hand will find all your enemies. 21:10 You will make them like a fiery furnace at the time of your anger, O Lord; in his anger he will swallow them up and the inferno of Gehenna will consume them. 21:11 You will make their children perish from the earth, and their progeny from the sons of men. 21:12 Because they plotted evil against you, they thought evil thoughts, but they could not prevail against you. 21:13 Because for your people you made them one porter in the ropes of your tabernacle; you will prepare their way before them. 21:14 Stand up, O Lord, in your might; let us sing praise and dance in your strength. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 21

For the end, a Psalm of David. 21:1 O Lord, the king shall rejoice in thy strength; and in thy salvation he shall greatly exult. 21:2 Thou hast granted him the desire of his soul, and hast not withheld from him the request of his lips. Pause. 21:3 For thou hast prevented him with blessings of goodness: thou has set upon his head a crown of precious stone. 21:4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him length of days for ever and ever. 21:5 His glory is great in thy salvation: thou wilt crown him with glory and majesty. 21:6 For thou wilt give him a blessing for ever and ever: thou wilt gladden him with joy with thy countenance. 21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Highest he shall not be moved. 21:8 Let thy hand be found by all thine enemies: let thy right hand find all that hate thee. 21:9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven at the time of thy presence: the Lord shall trouble them in his anger, and fire shall devour them. 21:10 Thou shalt destroy their fruit from the earth, and their seed from among the sons of men. 21:11 For they intended evils against thee; they imagined a device which they shall by no means be able to perform. 21:12 For thou shalt make them turn their back in thy latter end, thou wilt prepare their face. 21:13 Be thou exalted, O Lord, in thy strength: we will sing and praise thy mighty acts. (LXX)

When we do think of a king, sometimes we think of the men who rule here on earth before we think on the sovereign Lord, Ruler and King of all the universe. Do you think God was originally in favor of the institution of a “king” in Israel? Does the Torah indicate that God had in mind for kings to rule over Israel or was His original intent to be King and Ruler Himself? Was the original design, based upon the Torah, for the people to go to Him and seek His counsel, where king, מלך (melech) from the root word מ.ל.ך to be a counselor, was for us to seek His counsel and His “final” word on a given matter? Studying the biblical narrative, this is indeed an interesting question. Let’s begin by looking at 1 Samuel 8:1-9:2.

1 Samuel 8:1-9:2

8:1 And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel. 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 8:3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice. 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 8:5 and they said to him, ‘Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.’ 8:6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 8:7 The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8:8 ‘Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods so they are doing to you also. 8:9 ‘Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.’ 8:10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who had asked of him a king. 8:11 He said, ‘This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 8:12 ‘He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 8:13 ‘He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 8:14 ‘He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 8:15 ‘He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 8:16 ‘He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 8:17 ‘He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 8:18 ‘Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.’ 8:19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, ‘No, but there shall be a king over us, 8:20 that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.’ 8:21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. 8:22 The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.’ So Samuel said to the men of Israel, ‘Go every man to his city.’ 9:1 Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor. 9:2 He had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people. (NASB)

א וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר זָקֵן שְׁמוּאֵל וַיָּשֶֹם אֶת-בָּנָיו שֹׁפְטִים לְיִשְֹרָאֵל: ב וַיְהִי שֶׁם-בְּנוֹ הַבְּכוֹר יוֹאֵל וְשֵׁם מִשְׁנֵהוּ אֲבִיָּה שֹׁפְטִים בִּבְאֵר שָׁבַע: ג וְלֹא-הָלְכוּ בָנָיו בִּדְרָכָו [בִּדְרָכָיו] וַיִּטּוּ אַחֲרֵי הַבָּצַע וַיִּקְחוּ-שֹׁחַד וַיַּטּוּ מִשְׁפָּט: ד וַיִּתְקַבְּצוּ כֹּל זִקְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל-שְׁמוּאֵל הָרָמָתָה: ה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו הִנֵּה אַתָּה זָקַנְתָּ וּבָנֶיךָ לֹא הָלְכוּ בִּדְרָכֶיךָ עַתָּה שִֹימָה-לָּנוּ מֶלֶךְ לְשָׁפְטֵנוּ כְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם: ו וַיֵּרַע הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינֵי שְׁמוּאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ תְּנָה-לָּנוּ מֶלֶךְ לְשָׁפְטֵנוּ וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל-יְהֹוָה: ז וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל-שְׁמוּאֵל שְׁמַע בְּקוֹל הָעָם לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר-יֹאמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ כִּי לֹא אֹתְךָ מָאָסוּ כִּי-אֹתִי מָאֲסוּ מִמְּלֹךְ עֲלֵיהֶם: ח כְּכָל-הַמַּעֲשִֹים אֲשֶׁר-עָשֹוּ מִיּוֹם הַעֲלֹתִי אֹתָם מִמִּצְרַיִם וְעַד-הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וַיַּעַזְבֻנִי וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים כֵּן הֵמָּה עֹשִֹים גַּם-לָךְ: ט וְעַתָּה שְׁמַע בְּקוֹלָם אַךְ כִּי-הָעֵד תָּעִיד בָּהֶם וְהִגַּדְתָּ לָהֶם מִשְׁפַּט הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִמְלֹךְ עֲלֵיהֶם: י וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֵת כָּל-דִּבְרֵי יְהֹוָה אֶל-הָעָם הַשֹּׁאֲלִים מֵאִתּוֹ מֶלֶךְ: יא וַיֹּאמֶר זֶה יִהְיֶה מִשְׁפַּט הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִמְלֹךְ עֲלֵיכֶם אֶת-בְּנֵיכֶם יִקָּח וְשָֹם לוֹ בְּמֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ וּבְפָרָשָׁיו וְרָצוּ לִפְנֵי מֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ: יב וְלָשֹוּם לוֹ שָֹרֵי אֲלָפִים וְשָֹרֵי חֲמִשִּׁים וְלַחֲרשׁ חֲרִישׁוֹ וְלִקְצֹר קְצִירוֹ וְלַעֲשֹוֹת כְּלֵי-מִלְחַמְתּוֹ וּכְלֵי רִכְבּוֹ: יג וְאֶת-בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם יִקָּח לְרַקָּחוֹת וּלְטַבָּחוֹת וּלְאֹפוֹת: יד וְאֶת-שְֹדוֹתֵיכֶם וְאֶת-כַּרְמֵיכֶם וְזֵיתֵיכֶם הַטּוֹבִים יִקָּח וְנָתַן לַעֲבָדָיו: טו וְזַרְעֵיכֶם וְכַרְמֵיכֶם יַעְשֹֹר וְנָתַן לְסָרִיסָיו וְלַעֲבָדָיו: טז וְאֶת-עַבְדֵיכֶם וְאֶת-שִׁפְחוֹתֵיכֶם וְאֶת-בַּחוּרֵיכֶם הַטּוֹבִים וְאֶת-חֲמוֹרֵיכֶם יִקָּח וְעָשָֹה לִמְלַאכְתּוֹ: יז צֹאנְכֶם יַעְשֹֹר וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ-לוֹ לַעֲבָדִים: יח וּזְעַקְתֶּם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא מִלִּפְנֵי מַלְכְּכֶם אֲשֶׁר בְּחַרְתֶּם לָכֶם וְלֹא-יַעֲנֶה יְהֹוָה אֶתְכֶם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא: יט וַיְמָאֲנוּ הָעָם לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹל שְׁמוּאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹּא כִּי אִם-מֶלֶךְ יִהְיֶה עָלֵינוּ: כ וְהָיִינוּ גַם-אֲנַחְנוּ כְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם וּשְׁפָטָנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ וְיָצָא לְפָנֵינוּ וְנִלְחַם אֶת-מִלְחֲמֹתֵנוּ: כא וַיִּשְׁמַע שְׁמוּאֵל אֵת כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הָעָם וַיְדַבְּרֵם בְּאָזְנֵי יְהֹוָה: כב וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל-שְׁמוּאֵל שְׁמַע בְּקוֹלָם וְהִמְלַכְתָּ לָהֶם מֶלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל-אַנְשֵׁי יִשְֹרָאֵל לְכוּ אִישׁ לְעִירוֹ: א וַיְהִי-אִישׁ מִבִּן- יָמִין [מִבִּנְיָמִין] וּשְׁמוֹ קִישׁ בֶּן-אֲבִיאֵל בֶּן-צְרוֹר בֶּן-בְּכוֹרַת בֶּן-אֲפִיחַ בֶּן-אִישׁ יְמִינִי גִּבּוֹר חָיִל: ב וְלוֹ-הָיָה בֵן וּשְׁמוֹ שָׁאוּל בָּחוּר וָטוֹב וְאֵין אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל טוֹב מִמֶּנּוּ מִשִּׁכְמוֹ וָמַעְלָה גָּבֹהַּ מִכָּל-הָעָם:

Reading through 1 Samuel 8:1-3, when Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. The names of his sons were Joel and Abijah and they served at Beersheba. According to the Scriptures, Samuel’s sons did not walk in his ways. Samuel’s sons were not like him, the Scriptures say they were greedy for money and accepted bribes. Thus, his sons were corrupt. In addition to this, Samuel’s sons were old enough to be on their own. Despite Samuel’s influence as a man of God in his family, his sons were still corrupt. What is apparent here is what’s indicated by Scripture, each person needs to personally meet the Lord God as their Savior and true King of their lives. Having godly parents does not always result in godly children. These Scriptures indicate growing up in a God fearing household, does not guarantee being faithful to the Lord when one is old without having a personal encounter with the Lord. Samuel’s sons did not develop their own individual faith before the Lord and neither did they remain true to God’s word. Their lives in the Lord were relative, superficial, and habitual instead of deeply accepting God’s sovereignty and holiness. They essentially were going through the motions. Thus, when they were tempted with a bribe, they easily stumbled and could neither act as righteous men nor lead the people in God’s ways.

Does anyone have unsaved children who would like to comment on this?

Reading 1 Samuel 8:4-5, the Scriptures say 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 8:5 and they said to him, ‘Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.’ (NASB) The people wanted good leadership and recognized the poor spiritual leadership of Samuel’s sons and did not want to return to the days of Eli and his sons. As a result of this, the people of Israel come up with three reasons to ask for a king: (i) Samuel was getting old, (ii) His sons were not qualified to lead the people, and (iii) they wanted to be like the neighboring nations. When the people asked for a king, we read 8:6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ And Samuel prayed to the Lord. (NASB), and so Samuel responded with being very disappointed. Samuel prayed to the Lord because the people sought a king. He was not happy with the people’s demand. 8:7 The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8:8 ‘Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods so they are doing to you also. (NASB) According to 1 Samuel 8:7-8, the Lord says their request for a king was a rejection of the Lord God Almighty being King over them and not specifically a rejection of Samuel. Based upon the statement and response during the conversation between the Lord and Samuel, did the prophet act in the position as king over the people? The people saying “Give us a king to judge us” suggests that the prophet who judges may in fact have acted as a king in a way over the people. Note again how the king, מלך (melech) from the root word מ.ל.ך means to be a counselor, and the people would seek the counsel of the prophet to know the will of the Lord. The prophet’s word that was from God was the “final” word on a given matter? What is a prophet? The word for prophet in Hebrew is נביא (navi) and scholars have not agreed upon the exact derivation of this word. Brown Driver and Briggs Lexicon states that the navi is a spokesman, speaker, prophet, and is applied to many people in the Scriptures, to Abraham, Moshe, Samuel, Elijah, and many more. The root meaning of the word is “to call” which emphasizes that the prophet was called by God to be His spokesman. The Gesenius’ lexicon (by Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius 1786 – 1842) states that navi is derived from the root word נבע meaning “to boil” however, most scholars reject this theory today. The word as it is used in the Hebrew bible is with such variety that its exact meaning is not well understood. In the end it is defined as “prophet” based on the actions of the person that it is describing. Other terms that are used of the prophet are רֹאֶה (seer) from the root meaning “to see, to look at,” this word is used to refer to a prophet in 1 Samuel 9:9 ט לְפָנִים | בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל כֹּה-אָמַר הָאִישׁ בְּלֶכְתּוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֱלֹהִים לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה עַד-הָרֹאֶה כִּי לַנָּבִיא הַיּוֹם יִקָּרֵא לְפָנִים הָרֹאֶה: 9:9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, ‘Come, and let us go to the seer’; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.) (NASB) And another word used to refer to a prophet is חֹזֶה (choze, or חזון chazon) meaning “vision,” or “revelation,” and this word is used as a synonym for “prophet” in 2 Samuel 24:11, יא וַיָּקָם דָּוִד בַּבֹּקֶר פ וּדְבַר-יְהֹוָה הָיָה אֶל-גָּד הַנָּבִיא חֹזֶה דָוִד לֵאמֹר: 24:11 When David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer (חֹזֶה), saying, (NASB) Clearly, based upon these Scriptures, the prophet was God’s spokesman, and the characteristic introduction of the prophet on the word of the Lord is to say “Thus says the Lord…” indicates that the prophet has heard from God and is speaking the Word of the Lord and not his own words. The prophet spoke as one who is required to speak and deliver God’s word that has been given him. The true prophet of God, his message would remain consistent regardless of the circumstances and the people to whom he was speaking. According to the use of the words רֹאֶה (seer) and חֹזֶה (choze, or חזון chazon) meaning “vision,” or “revelation,” the prophet receives wisdom and knowledge through his communication with God, he is made aware of “seeing” future events. In addition to this, signs and wonders may also accompany the message of the prophet to substantiate that his words are from the Lord God of Heaven.

The king is known as one to whom one seeks advise or counsel. The prophet would seek the advise of the King of the universe (God) when the people would come asking for a word from the Lord. The word רֹעה (roeh) “a shepherd” is used metaphorically of a ruler or king according to 2 Samuel 5:2, 2 Samuel 7:7, Tehillim / Psalms 78:72, Jeremiah 3:15 and 23:2-4, Ezekiel 34:2-23, 1 Chronicles 11:2, and 1 Chronicles 17:6. In 1 Samuel 9:16, the word ְנָגִיד (nagid) meaning “a ruler” or “prince,” comes from the root meaning “the one who stands in front,” appears as if it is used to refer to a king who is set apart for the throne but is yet to reign. This seems to be how the word is used in 1 Samuel 9:16 טז כָּעֵת | מָחָר אֶשְׁלַח אֵלֶיךָ אִישׁ מֵאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן וּמְשַׁחְתּוֹ לְנָגִיד עַל-עַמִּי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת-עַמִּי מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים כִּי רָאִיתִי אֶת-עַמִּי כִּי בָּאָה צַעֲקָתוֹ אֵלָי: 9:16 ‘About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.’ (NASB) It is interesting that in Daniel 9:25, the phrase מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד (Mashiach nagid) the “Messiah the prince” is designated as the heir to the throne כה וְתֵדַע וְתַשְֹכֵּל מִן-מֹצָא דָבָר לְהָשִׁיב וְלִבְנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַם עַד-מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד שָׁבֻעִים שִׁבְעָה וְשָׁבֻעִים שִׁשִּׁים וּשְׁנַיִם תָּשׁוּב וְנִבְנְתָה רְחוֹב וְחָרוּץ וּבְצוֹק הָעִתִּים: 9:25 ‘So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. (NASB) The word שר (sar) is also used meaning “a prince,” “captain,” or “chief.” The root meaning indicates “to rise in splendor.” This term is use of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 as the “Prince of peace.” Throughout the Scriptures, ultimately we see that God was intending for the Messiah to become king and ruler over Israel, especially in the prophetic literature.

So we come back to the original question whether God was originally in favor of the institution of a king in Israel according to the Torah? Does the Torah indicate that God had in mind for kings to rule over Israel or was His original intent to be King and Ruler Himself? On occasion, the Scriptures appear to point in opposite directions on this question. On the one hand we find the Davidic kingship in very positive terms and a significant amount of theology has been developed around this especially in the Apostolic Writings and references to the Messiah in the Tanach. On the other hand, the words of God from 1 Samuel 8 seem to speak against the institution of king. If we carefully study the biblical narrative from Deuteronomy through 2 Kings, a few conclusions can be made regarding kings. Based upon Scripture, the godly king was the one who led the people in worship and in keeping the mitzvot (commandments) and essentially keeping the covenant of God. The king was also the one who was trusted by the Lord to fight Israel’s battles with their enemies. Looking at the Scripture references above, Kings had many different functions, and they were described in diverse terms such as “lord,” “judge,” “shepherd,” “leader of the armies,” and so on. The Lord God did in fact give Israel provision in the Torah for a king according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 17:14-20.

Devarim / Deuteronomy 17:14-20

17:14 ‘When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 17:15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. 17:16 ‘Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17:17 ‘He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. 17:18 ‘Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 17:19 ‘It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 17:20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel. (NASB)

יד כִּי-תָבֹא אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ וְאָמַרְתָּ אָשִֹימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ כְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי: טו שֹוֹם תָּשִֹים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִֹים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא-אָחִיךָ הוּא: טז רַק לֹא-יַרְבֶּה-לּוֹ סוּסִים וְלֹא-יָשִׁיב אֶת-הָעָם מִצְרַיְמָה לְמַעַן הַרְבּוֹת סוּס וַיהוָֹה אָמַר לָכֶם לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה עוֹד: יז וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה-לּוֹ נָשִׁים וְלֹא יָסוּר לְבָבוֹ וְכֶסֶף וְזָהָב לֹא יַרְבֶּה-לּוֹ מְאֹד: יח וְהָיָה כְשִׁבְתּוֹ עַל כִּסֵּא מַמְלַכְתּוֹ וְכָתַב לוֹ אֶת-מִשְׁנֵה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת עַל-סֵפֶר מִלִּפְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם: יט וְהָיְתָה עִמּוֹ וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּיו לְמַעַן יִלְמַד לְיִרְאָה אֶת-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהָיו לִשְׁמֹר אֶת-כָּל-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶת-הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה לַעֲשֹתָם: כ לְבִלְתִּי רוּם-לְבָבוֹ מֵאֶחָיו וּלְבִלְתִּי סוּר מִן-הַמִּצְוָה יָמִין וּשְֹמֹאול לְמַעַן יַאֲרִיךְ יָמִים עַל-מַמְלַכְתּוֹ הוּא וּבָנָיו בְּקֶרֶב יִשְֹרָאֵל:

Based upon these Scriptures, the Torah suggests that the Lord did intend for Israel to have a king. The idea for Israel to have a king was therefore not contradictory to the ruling of God over the nation of Israel. When we read in Scripture 1 Samuel 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 8:5 and they said to him, ‘Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.’ (NASB) The people wanted to be “like the nations” and were therefore rejecting God’s rule by His representative. The people did not want the one who was “called of God” to judge them, they wanted a king like the nations to judge them. The Lord’s original intention was to install a king who would represent His rule over the people, a godly king who would lead the people in worship and in keeping the covenant of God. According to the Scriptures, God’s chosen king would have the following characteristics (1) he would be divinely appointed (i.e. not having gained the throne by his own efforts), (ii) he would be a man “after God’s own heart,” meaning that his plan and agenda would be established by God’s rule and care of the nation of Israel, (iii) David was chosen by God as His king, all subsequent kings would come from David’s family, God had promised David that his throne would be established forever, meaning his dynasty would be an eternal one (see 2 Samuel 7:16), and (iv) the king’s office would remain distinct from the priests (1 Samuel 13:12-15), this much is apparent from the life of king Saul. According to Zechariah 6:13, prophetically, the office of king and priest would eventually be united in the Messiah, that was foreshadowed by David himself who offered sacrifices and wore the priest cloths when he operated as king (2 Samuel 6:17 and 8:18), following the order of Melchizedek who was also both a king and a priest (see Bereshit / Genesis 14:18 and Tehillim / Psalms 110). Ultimately, we see God’s plan throughout Israel’s history included the monarchy as a means of accomplishing his purposes for humanity and for His Messiah Yeshua to be prophet, priest, and king, ruler over all, and all being made subject to His rule and reign (Colossians 2:9-10).

According to the Scriptures, the godly king is to lead the people in worship and in keeping the covenant of God. As husbands and fathers on this earth, men are placed as head over the household (see Ephesians 5:22-31, 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 3:3-5, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7) and are given the responsibility to lead his family in prayer and worship and the keeping of the covenant of God. What a great responsibility that is given to men on this earth. According to Tehillim / Psalms 21:1-2, the king is to rely upon the Lord’s salvation meaning He is to seek the Lord for His help and salvation.

Reading through Tehillim / Psalms 21:2-5, David says ג תַּאֲוַת לִבּוֹ נָתַתָּה לּוֹ וַאֲרֶשֶׁת שְֹפָתָיו בַּל-מָנַעְתָּ סֶּלָה: ד כִּי-תְקַדְּמֶנּוּ בִּרְכוֹת טוֹב תָּשִׁית לְרֹאשׁוֹ עֲטֶרֶת פָּז: ה חַיִּים | שָׁאַל מִמְּךָ נָתַתָּה לּוֹ אֹרֶךְ יָמִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד: ו גָּדוֹל כְּבוֹדוֹ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ הוֹד וְהָדָר תְּשַׁוֶּה עָלָיו: 21:2 You have given him his heart’s desire, And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. 21:3 For You meet him with the blessings of good things; You set a crown of fine gold on his head. 21:4 He asked life of You, You gave it to him, Length of days forever and ever. 21:5 His glory is great through Your salvation, Splendor and majesty You place upon him. (NASB) Notice the way in which David is writing this psalm. He says, “You give him his hearts desire and do not withhold his requests,” “You greet him with a crown of pure gold,” “You gave to him length of days forever and ever,” (נָתַתָּה לּוֹ אֹרֶךְ יָמִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד) and “His glory is great through Your salvation” (גָּדוֹל כְּבוֹדוֹ בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ) and that God has placed splendor and majesty upon Him. Who is this person that the Lord does these things? How is the glory of this king great in God’s salvation? The rabbis translate this to be the “king Messiah” in Targum Pseudo Jonathan.

Aramaic Translation

ב יהוה בעשנך ייחדי ימלוך מליך משיחא ובפורקנך כמא ירנן מרנן לחדא׃ ג רגגת נפשיה יהבת ליה ופירוש סיפוותיה לא כליתא לעלמין׃ ד ארום תקדמיניה ברכן טבן תשוי על רישיה כליל דהב סנינא׃ ה חיי עלמא שאל מינך יהבת ליה ניגדא דיומיא לעלמי עלמין׃

21:2 O Lord, in your strength the King Messiah will rejoice, and how greatly will he exult in your redemption! 21:3 You have given him the desire of his soul; and you have not withheld the expression of his lips forever. 21:4 For you will make good blessings go before him; you will place on his head a crown of refined gold. 21:5 Eternal life he asked of you; you gave him length of days forever and ever. (EMC)

Septuagint (Greek)

21:2 τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ ἔδωκας αὐτῷ καὶ τὴν θέλησιν τῶν χειλέων αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐστέρησας αὐτόν διάψαλμα 21:3 ὅτι προέφθασας αὐτὸν ἐν εὐλογίαις χρηστότητος ἔθηκας ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ στέφανον ἐκ λίθου τιμίου 21:4 ζωὴν ᾐτήσατό σε καὶ ἔδωκας αὐτῷ μακρότητα ἡμερῶν εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος 21:5 μεγάλη ἡ δόξα αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ σωτηρίῳ σου δόξαν καὶ μεγαλοπρέπειαν ἐπιθήσεις ἐπ’ αὐτόν 21:6 ὅτι δώσεις αὐτῷ εὐλογίαν εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος εὐφρανεῖς αὐτὸν ἐν χαρᾷ μετὰ τοῦ προσώπου σου

21:2 Thou hast granted him the desire of his soul, and hast not withheld from him the request of his lips. Pause. 21:3 For thou hast prevented him with blessings of goodness: thou has set upon his head a crown of precious stone. 21:4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him length of days for ever and ever. 21:5 His glory is great in thy salvation: thou wilt crown him with glory and majesty. 21:6 For thou wilt give him a blessing for ever and ever: thou wilt gladden him with joy with thy countenance. (LXX)

In addition to this, the Septuagint translates the Masoretic text very close to the Hebrew text. Let’s take a closer look at these verses, beginning with the Hebrew word בִּרְכוֹת “blessings.” To help us understand how the word בִּרְכוֹת is used in the Scriptures, we survey the various occurrences of this word in the Tanach. Searching the Hebrew Scriptures produces the following results:

ספר תהילים פרק כא

עָלָיו: ז כִּי-תְשִׁיתֵהוּ בְרָכוֹת לָעַד תְּחַדֵּהוּ בְשִֹמְחָה אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ: ח כִּי-הַמֶּלֶךְ בֹּטֵחַ בַּיהֹוָה וּבְחֶסֶד עֶלְיוֹן בַּל-יִמּוֹט: ט תִּמְצָא יָדְךָ לְכָל-אֹיְבֶיךָ יְמִינְךָ

Tehillim / Psalms 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence. (NASB)

ספר תהילים פרק פד

מַעְיָן יְשִׁיתוּהוּ גַּם-בְּרָכוֹת יַעְטֶה מוֹרֶה: ח יֵלְכוּ מֵחַיִל אֶל-חָיִל יֵרָאֶה אֶל-אֱלֹהִים בְּצִיּוֹן: ט יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים צְבָאוֹת שִׁמְעָה תְפִלָּתִי הַאֲזִינָה אֱלֹהֵי

Tehillim / Psalms 84:6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. (NASB)

ספר משלי פרק י

בַּקָּצִיר בֵּן מֵבִישׁ: ו בְּרָכוֹת לְרֹאשׁ צַדִּיק וּפִי רְשָׁעִים יְכַסֶּה חָמָס: ז זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב: ח חֲכַם-לֵב יִקַּח מִצְוֹת וֶאֱוִיל שְֹפָתַיִם

Mishley / Proverbs 10:6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (NASB)

ספר משלי פרק כח

כ אִישׁ אֱמוּנוֹת רַב-בְּרָכוֹת וְאָץ לְהַעֲשִׁיר לֹא יִנָּקֶה: כא הַכֵּר-פָּנִים לֹא-טוֹב וְעַל-פַּת-לֶחֶם יִפְשַׁע-גָּבֶר: כב נִבֳהָל לַהוֹן אִישׁ רַע עָיִן וְלֹא-יֵדַע

Mishley / Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished. (NASB)

מגילת שיר השירים פרק ז

כְּמִגְדַּל הַשֵּׁן עֵינַיִךְ בְּרֵכוֹת בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן עַל-שַׁעַר בַּת-רַבִּים אַפֵּךְ כְּמִגְדַּל הַלְּבָנוֹן צוֹפֶה פְּנֵי דַמָּשֶֹק: ו רֹאשֵׁךְ עָלַיִךְ כַּכַּרְמֶל וְדַלַּת רֹאשֵׁךְ כָּאַרְגָּמָן מֶלֶךְ

Song of Solomon 7:4 Your neck is like a tower of ivory, Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon By the gate of Bath-rabbim; Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, Which faces toward Damascus. (NASB)

מגילת קהלת פרק ב

כָּל-פֶּרִי: ו עָשִֹיתִי לִי בְּרֵכוֹת מָיִם לְהַשְׁקוֹת מֵהֶם יַעַר צוֹמֵחַ עֵצִים: ז קָנִיתִי עֲבָדִים וּשְׁפָחוֹת וּבְנֵי-בַיִת הָיָה לִי גַּם מִקְנֶה בָקָר וָצֹאן הַרְבֵּה הָיָה לִי

Ecclesiastes 2:6 I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. (NASB)

It is interesting that in the books of the Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes, the word בִּרְכוֹת “blessings” is translated as “pools” or “ponds.” The word for “blessings” is used throughout the Scriptures to refer to the Lord who gives blessings, the righteous and faithful will abound in blessings, and rain from heaven is a blessing from God. This may be why the word for “blessings” (בִּרְכוֹת) is translated as pools of water, it is the refreshing result of living in righteousness and justice before our God. Comparing the Hebrew text with the Aramaic Targum, something very interesting may be observed. Tehillim / Psalms 21 says ד כִּי-תְקַדְּמֶנּוּ בִּרְכוֹת טוֹב תָּשִׁית לְרֹאשׁוֹ עֲטֶרֶת פָּז: 21:3 For You meet him with the blessings of good things; You set a crown of fine gold on his head. (NASB) and the Aramaic Targum states ד ארום תקדמיניה ברכן טבן תשוי על רישיה כליל דהב סנינא׃ 21:4 For you will make good blessings go before him; you will place on his head a crown of refined gold. (EMC) God will make good blessings to go before the King that David is speaking of, the rabbis say blessings will go before the King Messiah. The idea that is presented here by the rabbis when comparing the translations, is that God is making this King a blessing to mankind or to the world in the sense that blessings will go before Him. The text is written in such a way that it seems the blessing that goes before him suggests He is made to be a source of blessing to others. Think on something every interesting, in Revelation 1:6, the Apostle John wrote that Yeshua made us to be priests and kings unto God. Taking these Scriptures into consideration, blessings should go forth before each of us who are in Yeshua the Messiah to others. We are to be a blessing to others and to bless rather than to take as the children of God.

Since blessing is going before the King Messiah, it is desirable to live in the presence of the King. Blessings would abound to others through his reign. Reading the context of the verses (i.e. the interpretation of one verse does not occur with the exclusion of neighboring verses), Tehillim / Psalms 21:5 states ה חַיִּים | שָׁאַל מִמְּךָ נָתַתָּה לּוֹ אֹרֶךְ יָמִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד: 21:4 He asked life of You, You gave it to him, Length of days forever and ever. (NASB) and the Aramaic Targum states ה חיי עלמא שאל מינך יהבת ליה ניגדא דיומיא לעלמי עלמין׃ 21:5 Eternal life he asked of you; you gave him length of days forever and ever. (EMC) The words “forever and ever” (עוֹלָם וָעֶד) here undoubtedly refer to the eternal blessings that would proceed from the Messiah that is the descendant of David. The Scriptures, undoubtedly given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, reveal to us the one whom David is speaking of here is in fact the King Messiah. As a result of this the Scriptures then state ז כִּי-תְשִׁיתֵהוּ בְרָכוֹת לָעַד תְּחַדֵּהוּ בְשִֹמְחָה אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ: ח כִּי-הַמֶּלֶךְ בֹּטֵחַ בַּיהֹוָה וּבְחֶסֶד עֶלְיוֹן בַּל-יִמּוֹט: 21:6 For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence. 21:7 For the king trusts in the Lord, And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken. (NASB) The Lord God Almighty will make the Messiah most blessed forever. The anointed one trusts in the Lord and will not be shaken. Even today we can trust the Lord and not be shaken. Hallelujah!

The second half of the psalm (Tehillim / Psalms 21:8-12), David gives the examples of how the Lord works for the righteous.

ט תִּמְצָא יָדְךָ לְכָל-אֹיְבֶיךָ יְמִינְךָ תִּמְצָא שֹנְאֶיךָ: י תְּשִׁיתֵמוֹ | כְּתַנּוּר אֵשׁ לְעֵת פָּנֶיךָ יְהֹוָה בְּאַפּוֹ יְבַלְּעֵם וְתֹאכְלֵם אֵשׁ: יא פִּרְיָמוֹ מֵאֶרֶץ תְּאַבֵּד וְזַרְעָם מִבְּנֵי אָדָם: יב כִּי-נָטוּ עָלֶיךָ רָעָה חָשְׁבוּ מְזִמָּה בַּל-יוּכָלוּ: יג כִּי תְשִׁיתֵמוֹ שֶׁכֶם בְּמֵיתָרֶיךָ תְּכוֹנֵן עַל-פְּנֵיהֶם:

21:8 Your hand will find out all your enemies; Your right hand will find out those who hate you. 21:9 You will make them as a fiery oven in the time of your anger; The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath, And fire will devour them. 21:10 Their offspring You will destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men. 21:11 Though they intended evil against You And devised a plot, They will not succeed. 21:12 For You will make them turn their back; You will aim with Your bowstrings at their faces.

The Lord will make known to us those who plot against us from among the sons of men and they will not succeed. The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath against those who seek the destruction of His holy ones. The Lord will destroy the off spring of his enemies and turn their weapons back against them for the purpose of saving His anointed one. In fact, we are told that if we have anything against our brother, to make right with him before bringing a sacrifice before the Lord (Matthew 5:23-26). Hate is engraved upon the heart and if we are to go before the Lord with a pure heart, we need to seek the Lord to circumcise your hearts. (Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:16 So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer. NASB) Our enemies do not have uncircumcised hearts, they plot and plan for evil and destruction. As a result of God’s deliverance from our enemies, His working to save us, to reveal to us our enemies, to work in our lives to draw us nearer to Himself, because of all of these things we can say יד רוּמָה יְהֹוָה בְעֻזֶּךָ נָשִׁירָה וּנְזַמְּרָה גְּבוּרָתֶךָ: 21:13 Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power. (NASB)

Comparing the Aramaic Targum and the Septuagint with the Masoretic text we read the following:

ט תדבק מחת אידך לכל בעלי דבבך פורענות ימינך תשכח לכל סנאך׃ י תשוינון היך איורא דדמי אתון נורא לעידני רוגזך יהוה ברגזיה יסלעמינון ותיכלינון כאישתא ישלהבינון ותגמרינון בעור גהנם׃ יא בניהון מארעא תהובד וזרעיתהון מבני נשא׃ יב מטול דחשילו עלך בישתא חשיבו מחשבן בישן ולא יכילונך׃ יג מטול דשויתינון לעמך כתף חד באיטוני משכניך תתקן אורחהון קדמיהון ״תסדר אוריתך קדמוהי׃

21:9 The blow of your hand will reach all your foes; the vengeance of your right hand will find all your enemies. 21:10 You will make them like a fiery furnace at the time of your anger, O Lord; in his anger he will swallow them up and the inferno of Gehenna will consume them. 21:11 You will make their children perish from the earth, and their progeny from the sons of men. 21:12 Because they plotted evil against you, they thought evil thoughts, but they could not prevail against you. 21:13 Because for your people you made them one porter in the ropes of your tabernacle; you will prepare their way before them. (EMC)

21:8 εὑρεθείη ἡ χείρ σου πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐχθροῖς σου ἡ δεξιά σου εὕροι πάντας τοὺς μισοῦντάς σε 21:9 θήσεις αὐτοὺς ὡς κλίβανον πυρὸς εἰς καιρὸν τοῦ προσώπου σου κύριος ἐν ὀργῇ αὐτοῦ συνταράξει αὐτούς καὶ καταφάγεται αὐτοὺς πῦρ 21:10 τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῶν ἀπὸ γῆς ἀπολεῖς καὶ τὸ σπέρμα αὐτῶν ἀπὸ υἱῶν ἀνθρώπων 21:11 ὅτι ἔκλιναν εἰς σὲ κακά διελογίσαντο βουλήν ἣν οὐ μὴ δύνωνται στῆσαι 21:12 ὅτι θήσεις αὐτοὺς νῶτον ἐν τοῖς περιλοίποις σου ἑτοιμάσεις τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν

21:8 Let thy hand be found by all thine enemies: let thy right hand find all that hate thee. 21:9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven at the time of thy presence: the Lord shall trouble them in his anger, and fire shall devour them. 21:10 Thou shalt destroy their fruit from the earth, and their seed from among the sons of men. 21:11 For they intended evils against thee; they imagined a device which they shall by no means be able to perform. 21:12 For thou shalt make them turn their back in thy latter end, thou wilt prepare their face. (LXX)

It is interesting that the rabbis speak of the vengeance of God, in the Aramaic Targum, against the enemy of his people with the fire and the inferno of Gehenna (Hell). The reference to Gehenna coupled with fire is a place of suffering and torture and according to the rabbinic literature is known to be the residence of condemned souls, the wicked (unrighteous, unjust people), i.e. see the rabbinic commentary on Midrash Tehillim 1 and elsewhere throughout the midrashic literature on the psalms. The Aramaic Targum states that the Lord will make the children of the wicked perish from the earth and even their children’s children to perish, because they plotted against God’s people. In the Septuagint, the Rabbis parallel the children with fruit and seed. The wicked lay in wait, however, the Lord is our Salvation. The Psalm warns men not to attack or plot against the righteous. David says if the wicked plot against the righteous, God will reveal their plans, they will loose the fruit of their labors and even the lives of their own children. Based on this psalm, the enemy (a wicked man) “with mischievous intent,” moves stealthily lurking for the opportunity of doing wrong and of plotting and planning. It is only by the Salvation of God that his plans are made known to us. Note how the Psalm does not name a person specifically but names the enemy (the wicked) who act in this manner towards the righteous ones of God. Great is the salvation of the Lord our God, and great are the ways that He works in our lives for His glory. יד רוּמָה יְהֹוָה בְעֻזֶּךָ נָשִׁירָה וּנְזַמְּרָה גְּבוּרָתֶךָ: 21:13 Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power. (NASB)

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 21 has 5 parts. Reading through this week’s Midrash we will be looking at Parts 1, 2, 4, and 5. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 21, Parts 1,2,4, and 5.

Midrash Tehillim Chapter 21, Parts 1,2,4, and 5

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) “For the leader. A Psalm of David. The king will joy in Your strength, O Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 21:1-2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says “These words are to be read in the light of what Scripture says elsewhere, In that day there will be a root of Jesse, which will stand for an ensign of the peoples, unto him will the nations seek (Isaiah 11:10)”
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss this root of Jesse as the King Messiah.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon what will the King Messiah do? He will teach the people and the nations will seek him.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Unto him will the nations seek. Rabbi Khanina said in the name of Rabbi Akha, What can His rest will be glory mean except that god will bestow a portion of His supernatural glory upon the king Messiah. Hence it is said, The king will joy in Your strength, O Lord.”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) “Another comment on The king will joy in Your strength, O Lord. Scripture says elsewhere, Who is this King of glory? (Tehillim / Psalms 24:10).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says “Rabbi Simon asserted, To whom can this King of glory refer except to that one King who bestows upon those who fear Him a portion of His own glory.”
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the King of glory, who is He?
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon the King of glory being the King Messiah.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Or, finally, strength refers to the Temple, for it is said I will break the pride of your strength (Vayikra / Leviticus 26:19).”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) “For You meet him with the blessing of goodliness (Tehillim / Psalms 21:4)”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says “The phrase blessings of goodliness refers, according to Rabbi Judah, to the blessings which were given to Moshe who was called a goodly child, as is said She saw him that he was a goodly child (Shemot / Exodus 2:2).”
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis go on the discuss the phrase “blessings of goodliness” and how God blesses through the Torah.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon how God blesses and to whom He blesses and honors.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Rabbi Yudan said it was put upon him at the Jordan, for as it is written of Moshe They were afraid to come near to him (Shemot / Exodus 34:30), so is it written of Joshua at the Jordon, They feared him, as they feared Moshe (Joshua 4:14).”

Part 5

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) “For You will make him most blessed forever (Tehillim / Psalms 21:7).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says this verse (21:7) “means that all the nations will bless themselves in the king Messiah.”
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis go on to discuss the King Messiah and who he is.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon how the King Messiah will draw near to the Holy One blessed be He.
  • The Concluding phrase says “The rabbis say that Gehenna will still exist in the time to come, for it is said Behold the day comes that will burn as an oven and all that do wickedly will be stubble; and the day that comes will burn them up (Malachi 3:19), and so on as above. ”

Midrash Tehillim 21, Part 1, opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “For the leader. A Psalm of David. The king will joy in Your strength, O Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 21:1-2).” The homiletic introduction (פתיחתא) to the Midrash opens saying “These words are to be read in the light of what Scripture says elsewhere, In that day there will be a root of Jesse, which will stand for an ensign of the peoples, unto him will the nations seek (Isaiah 11:10).” It is interesting here in Midrash Tehillim 21 Part 1, rabbi Tankhuma says that the King Messiah will come to teach the nations of the earth.

Rabbi Tankhuma said, The King Messiah will come for no other purpose than to teach the nations of the earth thirty precepts such as those of the Booth, the Palm branch, and the Tefillin. (Midrash Tehillim 21, Part 1)

אמר ר׳ תנחומא אין מלך המשיח בא אלא ליתן לאומות העולם שש מצות, כגון סוכה ולולב ותפילין

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the concept of the King Messiah, the Anointed One of God will come to deliver His people from oppression and sin. Studying the Tanach, there are many references throughout Scripture and in the Torah specifically regarding the Messiah, the Holy One of God. (Scripture that directs our attention to the Messiah of God.) As a result of this, we read based upon Isaiah 11:10, the rabbis develop their understanding of the Messiah along side of the doctrine of God, the Torah, the Land of Israel, etc, and so the King Messiah has become a core doctrine of sorts within the fundamental and essential teachings of Judaism. The hope of the Messiah appearing has been a major focus point in Judaism and was a major driving force in its belief and behavior throughout the centuries. It might also be said that the doctrine of the Messiah has helped to preserve the Jewish people throughout the history of Israel, that God has promised to send a deliverer to save His people from their enemies. We also read in the Torah from Parashat Behukotai (Vayikra / Leviticus 26:3-27:34) that God is establishing and rising up His covenant in a way that only He can do. The purpose is so that He will dwell with his chosen people and to walk in our midst so that He will be our God and we will be His people. It is in this special way God is making His covenant in the Memra (מֵימְרֵהּ, the Word) and the Word of God becoming alive and being born into this world in Yeshua the Messiah.

The King Messiah and His identity is questioned here in the midrash, and throughout history His identity has been sought after. When the Messiah comes, it is also questioned by the rabbis what will be His purpose? What will He do? It is interesting that in Midrash Tehillim 21, Part 1, the rabbis say that “The King Messiah will come for no other purpose than to teach the nations of the earth thirty precepts such as those of the Booth, the Palm branch, and the Tefillin.” Take note of what the rabbis are saying here, He (the King Messiah) will come and teach the nations of the earth thirty precepts, and the three precepts the rabbis give in the midrash are “the Booth” (Tabernacles, Succot), “the palm branch,” and “Tefillin” (Prayer). What is interesting is these three examples the rabbis provide us describe the work of the King Messiah as three major categories for the thirty precepts which are not listed. The first example of the teaching of the Messiah is the Booth, a reference to Succot. Succot represents the children of Israel who lived in temporary dwellings during the wilderness journey and of God tabernacling with them, His Word, and the Lord God dwelling among (in the midst of) His people. The second example is that of the palm branch. In the Apostolic Writings, the Scriptures tell us people cut branches from palm trees and laid them across the path for Yeshua as he entered Jerusalem during his triumphal entrance just prior to his crucifixion. The people greeted Yeshua (Matthew 21:1-9) as the Messiah who potentially may become their political leader and not as the one in whom God had sent to take away the sins of the world. Their shout “Hosanna” meant “save or salvation is now.” In ancient times, palm branches symbolized goodness and victory. They were often depicted on coins and important buildings. Solomon had palm branches carved into the walls and doors of the temple (1 Kings 6:29). We read in the Apostolic Writings that the Apostle John saw people from every nation raise palm branches to honor Yeshua (Revelation 7:9).

The rabbis discuss the work of the King Messiah when he comes, but a fundamental Messianic concept in Judaism is the aspect of the “hiddenness” of the Messiah. The idea is that the Messiah is already present and hidden amongst his people. In the one sense, the Lord God Almighty Himself is hidden from us since no eye can see Him and live. We can however discern his presence through the creation, we can know the designer’s hand by the instruments of His work in the creation. We can understand something of His character on our own consciences in moral judgment that everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. However, we do not know him directly unless He has chosen to reveal Himself to us. If we think about it, even the fact of His existence is hidden from us and is the reason we need to live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Lord God Almighty is hidden from knowledge and understanding until He graciously and powerfully speaks to us through His word in our hearts, minds, and lives. Note the key point here is that He reveals Himself to us in His word. The written Word of God witnesses to the Messiah and speaks prophetically of the Lord’s plan to bring the Messiah to save His people. In the Tanach the prophets speak of the Messiah and therefore the rabbis write in the Talmud Bavli Berekot 34b that “All the prophets spoke only of the days of the Messiah.” If we study the topic of soteriology (Theology the doctrine of salvation) and the Messiah, there is an abundance of Scripture that back God’s plan to bring the Messiah into this world for the purpose of Saving His people according to the Tanach. As a result of these things, the rabbis developed a doctrine of eschatology of the King Messiah who is a Redeemer and Savior of the people. From the Tanach and specifically the prophets, the Messiah’s return was seen in light of the apocalyptic expectation of a redeemer, however, his identity, mission, and arrival are hidden in the future for the Day of the Lord, the restoration from Exile, and the Judgment of the Nations. Thus from the rabbinic literature there is no clear picture (path) for understanding the King Messiah and we are left to ponder the mystery of God’s work in this case. It just might be the reason the rabbis describe the Messiah in this way so as to allow one to ponder the significance of the Scriptures on this topic and on who the Messiah is, His purpose, and to allow for the Lord God to bring His deliverer into this world without man’s help. Note that the Day of the Lord includes judgment against the nations, against Israel, and the promise of a future of peace and life, and even of the redemption of all of creation, according to the book of Revelation. Thus these rabbinic concepts are not foreign to the Apostolic writers. The Kingdom will be restored to the Davidic King, who will be enthroned in Jerusalem in a time of peace, justice, fertility and covenant obedience (the millennial reign, 1000 year reign according to Revelation 20:1-3). In fact, the Kingdom is even now restored to the Davidic King, Yeshua the Messiah and we wait for the day that He sits down upon His throne to rule and to reign. The spiritual aspect of this concept, Yeshua should be ruling and reigning in our hearts today!

According to the Tanach, the word Mashiach (משיח) may refer to people who are set apart for service to the Lord such as prophets, priests, and kings. Take for example when the Babylonian exiles returned to Israel, Zerubbabel (6th century BCE) is understood from Messianic terms. During the Maccabees revolt against the Seleucids (2nd century BCE), they too were understood from Messianic terms and a number of sects emerged from this period during the Hellenistic period. The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) found in the ruins of Qumran belonged to a sectarian community whom most scholars believe were Essenes; the DSS describe the appearance of two Messiahs, a Messianic King and a High Priest. Other groups expected a deliverer from Roman rule. The war against Rome was seen as an eschatological struggle that would result in the Messianic age. The hidden Messiah may be found in texts such as the gospel of John, 2 Esdras, Midrash Tehillim, the Targumim, and the book of Revelation. The question is “why must the Messiah be hidden?” The common answer is “sufficient penance has not yet been done for the sins of Israel; and until there is genuine conversion of obedience to the Torah the Messiah cannot be revealed.” Thinking on this concept of the “hidden Messiah,” take note how Yeshua kept himself hidden from the people in the Apostolic gospels. Yeshua kept himself hidden and only revealed himself to the disciples during the various stages of his ministry. It is only following His resurrection that he begins with Moshe and the prophets and expounds to His disciples the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27). Note how these truths were hidden from them until “He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45) Also note the use of secrecy in Mark’s Gospel and many scholars (i.e. William Wrede) have attempted to explain Yeshua’s commands to keep silent after performing miracles. In addition to this, take note of the silencing of demons, and Yeshua’s commands that the disciples not to make known his identity. Yeshua also speaks in parables (Mark.4:10-12) for the purpose of hiding hide his identity. Therefore, the concept of the hidden Messiah is well established in Judaism of the first century. The rabbinic mindset of the “hidden Messiah” is a very biblical concept that was carried on into the Tannaim era and we find it here in the Midrash on Tehillim(Tannaim – group of Jewish sages/teachers who were active between 70 to 200 of the Christian era and their main literary product is the Mishnah wherein their views are recorded). With Rabbinic Judaism replacing the Temple ritual following the destruction of the second Temple (70 CE), the Hidden Messiah become a large part of a complex picture of the Messianic expectation of Judaism. Studying the Masoretic Text (Tanach), it is not possible to derive an exact picture of who the Messiah will be. Therefore, concepts of the Messiah were projected into the future restoration and salvation of Israel. As a result of this, the Messiah took on the idea of being hidden and pre-existent with God in the sense that His pre-existent hiddenness suggests to us that He is more than simply a man but one who is waiting for the moment when God will send Him to accomplish Israel’s salvation. The concept of the preexistence of the Messiah accords with the general Talmudic view which holds that “The Holy One, blessed be He, prepares the remedy before the wound” (Talmud Bavli, Megillot 13b). The preexistence of the Messiah means that the exile of Israel (the wound) was predetermined by God in the six days of Creation. And so, the creation of the Messiah, the ultimate healer of the great national disaster of Israel, at that early date according to the rabbis, the hiddenness of the Messiah become a necessity and we learn that this was in fact God’s plan all along to reveal the Messiah at the given time, following the Resurrection. Talmud Bavli Pesachim 54a and Nedarim 39a also states “Seven things were created before the word was created: The Torah, Repentance, the Garden of Eden, Gehenna, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, and the name of the Messiah….The name of the Messiah, as it is said: May his name endure forever, may his name blossom before the sun (Tehillim / Psalms 72:17)” In the Talmud, the name of the Messiah is linked to the verse from Tehillim / Psalms 72:17 which states יז יְהִי שְׁמוֹ לְעוֹלָם לִפְנֵי שֶׁמֶשׁ יִנֹּין [יִנּוֹן] שְׁמוֹ וְיִתְבָּרְכוּ בוֹ כָּל-גּוֹיִם יְאַשְּׁרוּהוּ: 72:17 May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines; And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed. (NASB) It is interesting here in the Talmud the rabbis say “the name of the Messiah” rather than “the Messiah” possibly as an anti-Christian polemic against Yeshua. Nevertheless, the pre-existence of the hiddenness of the Messiah suggests that the Messiah will be revealed in God’s timing. Can you see the parallels in both the rabbinic literature and the Apostolic Writings? Studying the Rabbinic literature, the rabbis discussion of the Messiah’s name, nature, coming, and destiny is inconclusive. The King Messiah is not a central doctrine, but it is secondary to the major and generative categories of the rabbinic system. In general terms, the Talmudic understanding of the Messiah is that He will come during a time of trouble and oppression of the Jewish people and that is exactly what Yeshua did, He come at the perfect time for the Lord to work His will and plan for the salvation of Israel and for the nations to then seek after the King Messiah. The Concluding phrase of Midrash Tehilllim 21 Part 1 says “Unto him will the nations seek. Rabbi Khanina said in the name of Rabbi Akha, What can His rest will be glory mean except that god will bestow a portion of His supernatural glory upon the king Messiah. Hence it is said, The king will joy in Your strength, O Lord.” This thought process is definitely in line with the Apostolic Writings and the words of Yeshua Himself.

Midrash Tehillim 21, Part 5 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “For You will make him most blessed forever (Tehillim / Psalms 21:7).” The פתיחתא (Petihta), “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says this verse (21:7) “means that all the nations will bless themselves in the king Messiah.” The rabbis go on to discuss the King Messiah and who he is. Studying the Scriptures on the Messiah, the Righteous Branch, the King Messiah, the Priest Messiah, the Anointed One (משיח), the Promised One who would one day come to deliver God’s people and in whom God’s kingdom is to be established in Israel and in the World is in fact found within the pages of the rabbinic literature as we briefly examined, and most importantly, within the pages of the Holy Scriptures. The hope of the Messiah runs throughout the Tanakh where Mashiach will restore the Kingdom of David (Jeremiah 23, 30:9, and Ezekiel 34:23). He will restore the Temple in Zion (Isaiah 2:2, Michah 4:1, Zechariah 6:13, and Ezekiel 37:26-28). He will regather the exiles (Isaiah 11:12, 43:5, and 51:11). He will offer a New Covenant to Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-35). He will usher peace into this world coupled with the knowledge of the true God (Isaiah 2:4 and 11:9). He will swallow up death and disease (Isaiah 25:8) bearing our iniquities (Isaiah 53). He will raise the dead to new life (Isaiah 26:19), and He will teach the Torah with the knowledge of the God of Israel for the purpose of uniting all of mankind as one as it says in Zechariah 14:9 וְהָיָה יְהוָה לְמֶלֶךְ עַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יִהְיֶה יְהוָה אֶחָד וּשְׁמֹו אֶחָֽד׃ “God will be king over all the world and in that day God will be one and His name will be one.” The key verse on which the idea of “Messiah the King” that rules in righteousness with dominion over all is found in Nathan’s oracle to King David in 2 Samuel 7:10-16 that says י וְשַֹמְתִּי מָקוֹם לְעַמִּי לְיִשְֹרָאֵל וּנְטַעְתִּיו וְשָׁכַן תַּחְתָּיו וְלֹא יִרְגַּז עוֹד וְלֹא-יֹסִיפוּ בְנֵי-עַוְלָה לְעַנּוֹתוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה: יא וּלְמִן-הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי שֹׁפְטִים עַל-עַמִּי יִשְֹרָאֵל וַהֲנִיחֹתִי לְךָ מִכָּל-אֹיְבֶיךָ וְהִגִּיד לְךָ יְהֹוָה כִּי-בַיִת יַעֲשֶֹה-לְּךָ יְהֹוָה: יב כִּי | יִמְלְאוּ יָמֶיךָ וְשָׁכַבְתָּ אֶת-אֲבֹתֶיךָ וַהֲקִימֹתִי אֶת-זַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִמֵּעֶיךָ וַהֲכִינֹתִי אֶת-מַמְלַכְתּוֹ: יג הוּא יִבְנֶה-בַּיִת לִשְׁמִי וְכֹנַנְתִּי אֶת-כִּסֵּא מַמְלַכְתּוֹ עַד-עוֹלָם: יד אֲנִי אֶהְיֶה-לּוֹ לְאָב וְהוּא יִהְיֶה-לִּי לְבֵן אֲשֶׁר בְּהַעֲוֹתוֹ וְהֹכַחְתִּיו בְּשֵׁבֶט אֲנָשִׁים וּבְנִגְעֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם: טו וְחַסְדִּי לֹא-יָסוּר מִמֶּנּוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר הֲסִרֹתִי מֵעִם שָׁאוּל אֲשֶׁר הֲסִרֹתִי מִלְּפָנֶיךָ: טז וְנֶאְמַן בֵּיתְךָ וּמַמְלַכְתְּךָ עַד-עוֹלָם לְפָנֶיךָ כִּסְאֲךָ יִהְיֶה נָכוֹן עַד-עוֹלָם: 7:10 ‘I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, 7:11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. 7:12 ‘When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 7:13 ‘He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 7:14 ‘I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 7:15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 7:16 ‘Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.’’‘ (NASB) The covenant spoken of here was not fulfilled by Solomon and therefore the Seed that is raised up after David (וַהֲקִימֹתִי אֶת-זַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ) is the very seed that is referred to in the covenant blessings the Lord had spoken to Avraham and to his children in Parashat Lech Lecha. The One referred to here is the King Messiah, the Anointed King who will sit upon the throne forever and ever (וְכֹנַנְתִּי אֶת-כִּסֵּא מַמְלַכְתּוֹ עַד-עוֹלָם). Based on the Scriptures, Yeshua is both משיח בן-יוסף “the Messiah son of Joseph” (the suffering servant) and משיח בן-דוד “the Messiah son of David” (the reigning King). He is the Anointed Prophet, Priest, and King that is foreshadowed through the Tanakh in the use of the word משיח (Mashiach, Messiah, anointed one) and the various offices held by chosen men of God as prophets, priests, and kings. Therefore the Messiah is interpreted to occupy each of the offices as prophet, priest, and king. Note that David operated in all three offices as prophet, priest, and king during his life. As a result David’s life foreshadows the Messiah and provides for us a Messianic expectation of the coming Messiah just like the rabbis suggest and connect the reign of David and his throne to the King Messiah.

In Parashat Vayeshev, God is setting the stage for Joseph to be the Messiah of ancient Israel in the physical saving of the children of Israel. Through God’s divine direction, Pharaoh set Joseph up into the highest position of power in the land of Egypt. He will be placed as administer of the law in order to store food for the specific purpose of saving both the nations and Israel from starvation in the coming famine. Joseph functioned as a type of Messiah, the Lord God is setting him up to be a physical savior and a crucial piece in God’s plan for Israel. By the power of God Joseph preserved life in Israel and in Egypt in a way that foreshadows the true Savior Yeshua the Messiah who was to come to save us from our sins and preserving life for the Olam Habah (the world to come). Joseph entered into prison falsely accused, Yeshua was falsely accused. Joseph grew up shepherding his Father’s flock; Yeshua is the true Sheppard leading all men into God’s truth and righteousness. Joseph ruled as the greatest power in Mitzrayim but remained under the authority of Pharaoh. Yeshua will rule as the greatest power over all nations of the earth and the entire universe but He will rule under and according to the authority of God our Father in Heaven. Luke 3:23 states that Yeshua was about 30 years old when he began his ministry and interestingly, Joseph was taken out of prison at around 30 years of age beginning his saving ministry telling others of the dream and-interpretation of the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had given him. Joseph gives the children of Israel physical food, whereas Yeshua gives us spiritual food (John 6:27). Joseph kept his family, and the nation of Egypt alive with grain, and Yeshua makes us alive spiritually and physically (John 10:10) and gives us life everlasting. As we study these scriptures it becomes apparent by the examples of the great men of faith foreshadowing the One who was to come, God’s King Messiah is Yeshua .

The text of Bereshit / Genesis 49:10 translated into Aramaic is very rabbinic and very Apostolic regarding how this verse is understood to be messianic from ancient times. The Targum Onkelos states עַלְמָא עַד דְּיֵיתֵי מְשִׁיחָא meaning “until the Messiah comes.” Below is a comparison of Bereshit / Genesis 49:10 from the Masoretic text shown along side of the Aramaic translations from the Targum Onkelos, Pseudo Jonathan, Neofiti, FTP Genesis, and FTV Genesis. Let’s look at the Aramaic text from the Targumim.

פרשת ויחי ספר בראשית פרק מט פסוק ח-יב

י לֹא-יָסוּר שֵׁבֶט מִיהוּדָה וּמְחֹקֵק מִבֵּין רַגְלָיו עַד כִּי-יָבֹא שִׁילֹה וְלוֹ יִקְּהַת עַמִּים:

תרגום אונקלוס ספר בראשית פרק מט פסוק י

לָא יְעִידֵי עָבֵיד שֻולטָן מִדְבֵית יְהֻודָה וְסָפְרָא מִבְנֵיבְנוֹהִי עַד עָלְמָא עַד דְיֵיתֵי מְשִיחָא דְדִילֵיה״דיליה ״ הִיא מַלכֻותָא וְלֵיה יִשתַמעֻון עַמְמַיָא׃

פסבדו יונתן ספר בראשית פרק מט פסוק י

לא פסקין מלכין ושליטין מדבית יהודה וספרין מאלפי אורייתא מזרעיה עד זמן די ייתי מלכא משיחא זעיר בנוי ובדיליה יתימסון עממייא

תרגום ניופתי ספר בראשית פרק מט פסוק י

לא פסקין מלכין מין דבית יהודה ואף לא ספרין ״ולא סברין מלפין ״ מלפי אוריה מבני בנוי עדזמן דייתי מלכא משיחא דדידיה היא מלכותא וליה ישתעבדון כל מלכוותא״אומי׳״׃

פרק מט פסוק י FTP Genesis

לא יפסקון מלכין ושלטנין מדבית יהודה ולא ספרין ומלפי אורייא מבני בנוי עדזמן דייתי מלכא דמשיחא דעתיד למיקום מדבית יהודה

פרק מט פסוק י FTV Genesis

לא פסקין מלכין מדבית יהוד׳ אוף לא סברין מלפי אורייתה מן בני בנוי עדזמן דייתי מלכא משיחא דדידיה היא מלכותא וליה עתידין ישתעבדון כל מלכוותה דארעא

Comparing these various Aramaic translations (shown above), it is interesting to note that Targum Pseudo-Jonathan says “until the time when the King Messiah will come, the youngest of his sons, and because of him nations shall melt away” (לא פסקין מלכין ושליטין מדבית יהודה וספרין מאלפי אורייתא מזרעיה עד זמן די ייתי מלכא משיחא זעיר בנוי ובדיליה יתימסון עממייא). So here we find the eschatological connection to the Messiah, the day of the Lord, and the destruction of the nations. In Midrash Tehillim the connection to the Messiah, the day of the Lord, and the destruction of the nations is discussed at length, however, in Part 5 of Midrash Tehillim 21, all of the nations will bless themselves in the King Messiah. In each of these Aramaic Targums, the one who is coming (Shiloh, שִׁילֹה) is the “king Messiah” (מלכא דמשיחא). Each Targum says essentially the same thing עַד דְיֵיתֵי מְשִיחָא (Onkelos: “until Messiah comes”), עד זמן די ייתי מלכא משיחא (Pseudo-Jonathan: “until the time the King Messiah comes”), עדזמן דייתי מלכא משיחא (Neofiti: “until the King Messiah comes”), עדזמן דייתי מלכא דמשיחא (FTP Genesis: “until the King Messiah comes”), and עדזמן דייתי מלכא דמשיחא (FTV Genesis: “until the King Messiah comes”). As a result of the Aramaic translations, there is much to be said in the Rabbinic literature concerning the King Messiah as we find here in Midrash Tehillim 21. Midrash Rabbah on Bereshit (Genesis) provides some insights on the messianic nature of this verse centered on the scepter (staff) that will not depart from Judah. The rabbinic literature states that this verse alludes to the Messiah Son of David (see Midrash Rabbah on Genesis 97, 98 parashah 8, and 99 parashah 8). The Concluding phrase of Midrash Tehillim 22 Part 5 states “The rabbis say that Gehenna will still exist in the time to come, for it is said Behold the day comes that will burn as an oven and all that do wickedly will be stubble; and the day that comes will burn them up (Malachi 3:19), and so on as above.” In the eschatological event of the last days, the rabbis say that Gehenna (hell) will exist in the olam habah (world to come) in which the wicked will burn. The nations are also correlated to the wicked and so this midrash suggests that the rabbis believe the King Messiah will come or be revealed at some point prior to the great day of judgment. In this time the nations will seek the King Messiah and will bless themselves in Him. The Messiah is often referred to as “King Messiah” מלך המשיח as is noted here in the midrash, the nations hope will be for Him (the Messiah) just as it is written, “In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.” (NIV) “Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.” (NASB) therefore, the afflicted people He will save and He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (see Isaiah 11:10). This is in fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham saying in Bereshit / Genesis 22:18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (NASB)

Midrash Tehillim 21, Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Another comment on The king will joy in Your strength, O Lord. Scripture says elsewhere, Who is this King of glory? (Tehillim / Psalms 24:10).” In the homiletic introduction (פתיחתא) the rabbis say “Rabbi Simon asserted, To whom can this King of glory refer except to that one King who bestows upon those who fear Him a portion of His own glory.” They ask the question concerning the King of Glory, and state that this is none other than the one who gives to others His own glory. With this premise, the rabbis make the following statements in the midrash.

A mortal king, one may not call his viceroy king, yet the Holy One blessed be He, called Moshe god, when He said to him See I have made you a god to Pharaoh (Shemot / Exodus 7:1).

מלך בשר ודם אין קוראין לסגן שלו בשמו, והקב״ה קרא למשה בשמו, שנאמר ראה נתתיך אלהים לפרעה (שמות ז א)

God will call the King Messiah after His own name, for it is said of the king Messiah This is his name whereby he will be called, The Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).

וקורא למלך המשיח בשמו, שנאמר וזה שמו אשר יקראו ה׳ צדקנו (ירמיה כג ו)

Note that the rabbis say “the king of flesh and blood” (מלך בשר ודם) referring to a “mortal king” who the Holy One blessed be He called Moshe “god” saying in Shemot / Exodus 7:1 “See I have made you a god to Pharaoh.” Within this context, the rabbis say the Lord God will call the King Messiah after His own name and refer to Jeremiah 23:6. In the Tanakh, the Messiah is also referred to as the הר-הגדול (Har Hagadol) in Zechariah 4:7 מִֽי־אַתָּה הַֽר־הַגָּדֹול לִפְנֵי זְרֻבָּבֶל לְמִישֹׁר וְהֹוצִיא אֶת־הָאֶבֶן הָרֹאשָׁה תְּשֻׁאֹות חֵן חֵן לָֽהּ׃ 4:7 ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ the reason being, He (the Messiah) towers above the Patriarchs, is greater than Moshe, and is greater than the ministering angels. This is also apparent from the midrash. The Messiah is the Lord’s anointed one (כִּי-מְשָׁחֲךָ יְהֹוָה, 1 Samuel 24:7, 24:11, 2 Samuel 19:22, and Tehilim / Psalms 2:2) where Mashiach functions as a noun naming a particular person. This is referencing the anointed king. On occasion, the Hebrew spelling changes to indicate the Messiah’s relationship to the Lord, such as the use of the construct form to indicate “The Anointed of the Lord.” In Tehilim / Psalms 2:2 ב יִתְיַצְּבוּ | מַלְכֵי-אֶרֶץ וְרוֹזְנִים נוֹסְדוּ-יָחַד עַל-יְהֹוָה וְעַל-מְשִׁיחוֹ: Mashiach is referred to as “His” (the Lord’s) Anointed King who is the son that is the only begotten of God (2:7) ז אֲסַפְּרָה אֶל חֹק יְהוָה אָמַר אֵלַי בְּנִי אַתָּה אֲנִי הַיּוֹם יְלִדְתִּיךָ:. The Messiah is also known as משיח נגיד (Mashiach Nagid) “Messiah the Prince (governor),” the one who would be cut off according to Daniel 9:25 (כה וְתֵדַע וְתַשְֹכֵּל מִן-מֹצָא דָבָר לְהָשִׁיב וְלִבְנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַם עַד-מָשִׁיחַ נָגִיד שָׁבֻעִים שִׁבְעָה וְשָׁבֻעִים שִׁשִּׁים וּשְׁנַיִם תָּשׁוּב וְנִבְנְתָה רְחוֹב וְחָרוּץ וּבְצוֹק הָעִתִּים:). Note also that this is the same word נגיד (Nagid, governor, prince) used when God chose David to be king in 1 Samuel 13:14 (יד וְעַתָּה מַמְלַכְתְּךָ לֹא-תָקוּם בִּקֵּשׁ יְהֹוָה לוֹ אִישׁ כִּלְבָבוֹ וַיְצַוֵּהוּ יְהֹוָה לְנָגִיד עַל-עַמּוֹ כִּי לֹא שָׁמַרְתָּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר-צִוְּךָ יְהֹוָה:) drawing a parallel to king David. The Messiah is also known as the צמח צדיק ”the righteous branch” that is written in Jeremiah 23:5 and how the rabbis use the verse in Midrash Tehillim 21 Part 2, (הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם-יְהֹוָה וַהֲקִמֹתִי לְדָוִד צֶמַח צַדִּיק וּמָלַךְ מֶלֶךְ וְהִשְֹכִּיל וְעָשָֹה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה בָּאָרֶץ:) and Zechariah 6:12 (וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה־אִישׁ צֶמַח שְׁמֹו וּמִתַּחְתָּיו יִצְמָח וּבָנָה אֶת־הֵיכַל יְהוָֽה׃). If we dig a little deeper in Midrash Rabbah on Bamidbar / Numbers we read that the rabbinic thought on צמח צדיק ”the righteous branch” is the title of the Messiah just like the rabbis in Midrash Tehillim describe this verse in reference to the King Messiah who will be called by God’s name.

מדרש רבה במדבר פרשה יח סימן כא

כא מנצפ״ך האותיות כפולות צופים אמרום כ״ך נרמז לאברהם לך לך למאה שנה יוליד מ״ם ליצחק (בראשית כו) כי עצמת ממנו מאד רמזו שהוא וזרעו עצומים בב׳ עולמות נ״ן ליעקב הצילני נא מציל בשני עולמות פ״ף לישראל למשה (שמות ג) פקד פקדתי אתכם צ״ץ (זכריה ו) הנה איש צמח שמו וגו׳ זה משיח ואומר (ירמיה כג) והקימותי לדוד צמח צדיק ומלך מלך והשכיל ועשה משפט וצדקה בארץ שר חמשים כ״ד ספרים הוסיף עליהם י״א מן תרי עשר חוץ מן יונה שהוא בפני עצמו וששה סדרים ותשעה פרקים דתורת כהנים הרי נ׳ (שיר השירים ו) ששים המה מלכות ס׳ מסכתות ושמנים פילגשים פ׳ בתי מדרשות שהיו בירושלים כנגד פתחיה ועלמות אין מספר משנה החיצונה (שם שיר השירים ג) הנה מטתו שלשלמה ששים

Midrash Rabbah on Bamidbar / Numbers Parashah 18 section 21

The Midrash states using Zechariah 6 (זכריה ו) “Behold, a man whose name is the shoot (צמח שמו), and who shall shoot up, this is the Messiah” and according to Jeremiah 23 (ירמיה כג) “and I will raise up to David a “Righteous Branch” (צמח צדיק) who will reign as king and prosper, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land, prince the Messiah.” This is the Messiah (זה משיח).

Isn’t it interesting how the Rabbis have a similar thought as the writers of the Apostolic Writings? Midrash Rabbah is written in Hebrew and Aramaic and is a collection of ancient rabbinic homiletic interpretations on the book of Bamidbar / Numbers. It is interesting here found in the midst of Midrash on Bamidbar in Parashah 18 section 21 (פרשה יח סימן כא) we read that צמח צדיק ”the righteous branch” is the title of the Messiah and that these verses from Jeremiah and Zechariah are a Messianic expectation that God will call the King Messiah by His name. The rabbinic commentary calls upon Zechariah 6 and Jeremiah 23 as the biblical proof texts for the interpretation of the “righteous branch” and its connection to the King Messiah. The Concluding phrase of Midrash Tehillim 21, Part 2 states “Or, finally, strength refers to the Temple, for it is said I will break the pride of your strength (Vayikra / Leviticus 26:19).” The rabbis end with a discussion on the “strength of the Lord” and how does the King Messiah rely up the strength of the Lord? The examples the rabbis provide are that of the Torah, the Ark of the Covenant, the kingship, and the Temple. Various things are referred to as the Lord’s strength. The rabbis say “The king will stand, and rule in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God (Micah 5:3)” (זהו שאמר הכתוב ועמד ורעה (בשם) [בעוז] ה׳ (מיכה ה ג)). This is what Yeshua has done, He remained in the strength of the Name of the Lord, lived His life perfectly keeping the Torah, and laying His life down to make atonement for each and every one of those who trust in Him and believe this is what He did. What an amazing parallel in the Apostolic Writings don’t you think?

Midrash Tehillim 21, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “For You meet him with the blessing of goodliness (Tehillim / Psalms 21:4)” The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says “The phrase blessings of goodliness refers, according to Rabbi Judah, to the blessings which were given to Moshe who was called a goodly child, as is said She saw him that he was a goodly child (Shemot / Exodus 2:2).” The Midrash says “According to the Rabbis, this phrase refers to the blessings of Torah, of which God said, I give you goodly doctrine; forsake you not the law (Mishley / Proverbs 4:2). He asked live of You, You give it to him; even length of days forever and ever (Tehillim / Psalms 21:5). Rabbi Johanan taught, Scripture mentions three men Solomon, Ahaz, and the king Messiah, to each of whom the Holy One blessed be He, said, Ask of Me.” (רבנן אמרו ברכת התורה שנקראת טוב, שנאמר כי לקח טוב (משלי ד ב). חיים שאל ממך. אמר ר׳ יוחנן שלשה בני אדם אמר להן הקב״ה שאל, ואלו הן שלמה ואחז ומלך המשיח) So the rabbis believe “goodliness” refers to the blessings of the Torah and Rabbi Jonathan says three men God said “Ask of Me” were Solomon, Ahaz, and the King Messiah. How do the rabbis come to the conclusion that the Lord says “Ask of Me” to the King Messiah? Why do the rabbis say the “blessing of goodliness” is referring to the “blessing of the Torah?” According to Parashat Ki Tisa (Shemot / Exodus 33:12-34:26). Moshe has asked the Lord God to forgive the sins of the Children of Israel (וְעַתָּה אִם-תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם). Moshe asks the Lord to reveal Himself and His glory (וַיֹּאמַר הַרְאֵנִי נָא אֶת-כְּבֹדֶךָ). The Lord commands Moshe to make two stone tablets like the previous ones (וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה פְּסָל-לְךָ שְׁנֵי-לֻחֹת אֲבָנִים כָּרִאשֹׁנִים וְכָתַבְתִּי עַל-הַלֻּחֹת אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ עַל-הַלֻּחֹת הָרִאשֹׁנִים אֲשֶׁר שִׁבַּרְתָּ) and He will write on them the words that were on the previous set of Tablets. Then, Moshe demonstrates for us the importance of knowing God according to His ways in his statement וְעַתָּה אִם-נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ הוֹדִעֵנִי נָא אֶת-דְּרָכֶךָ וְאֵדָעֲךָ לְמַעַן אֶמְצָא-חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ וּרְאֵה כִּי עַמְּךָ הַגּוֹי הַזֶּה meaning ‘Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.’ (NASB) Moshe asks the Lord God stating that “If I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You and find favor in Your sight.” (אִם-נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ הוֹדִעֵנִי נָא אֶת-דְּרָכֶךָ וְאֵדָעֲךָ) In this Hebrew Sentence, we find a chiastic literary structure where there appears to be an inversion in the phrase or clause on the order of words with respect to the first clause or phrase. For example: “Now if I have found favor in your eyes –> let me know your ways –> so that I might find favor in your eyes.” Having found favor in God’s eyes, Moshe desires to know God in a more intimate way, for the purpose of living correctly so the Lord looks favorably down upon him. This also should be our desire to know God more intimately for the purpose of being pleasing in His sight. This text shows us the order of obedience; we have found favor in God’s eyes because He loves us and by faith, now we obey the Lord so that we can continue to walk in His favor, His love, and His blessing by the faith that we have. This is how the rabbis understood the “blessing of goodliness” to refer to the “blessing of the Torah.” Living our lives according to the Torah, we will find favor, love, and blessing. This is in fact valid for us as believers in Yeshua the Messiah today. Because of our faith, we have favor, love, and blessing, and faith also comes by the evidence of how our lives are lived in accordance to God’s Word. The rabbis say in Midrash Tehillim 21 Part 4,. “That is to say, even the honor of the king Messiah is great only through God’s works. Glory and great worship will You lay upon him (Tehillim / Psalms 21:6) means that You O God, lay a master’s glory and a disciple’s great worship upon the king Messiah.” (גדול כבודו בישועתך. גדול במפעליו. הוד והדר תשוה עליו. הוד של רב, והדר של תלמיד, כענין שנאמר ונתתה מהודך עליו (במדבר כז כ)) Notice how the rabbis say the honor and glory of God is placed upon the King Messiah. In addition to this, “great worship, the master’s glory, and the disciples great worship is laid upon the King Messiah.” Is this not what has in fact taken place in Yeshua the Messiah? This rabbinic understanding of the King Messiah is a significant parallel to Yeshua the Messiah in the Apostolic Writings. The rabbis say the King Messiah is great through the work of God. Note the work of God in Yeshua’s life, two examples, He kept the Torah perfectly and the Lord God Almighty raised Him from the dead (the resurrection). Also note the context of the midrash, the rabbis quote 1 Samuel 2:6 and speak of the resurrection of the dead.

1 Samuel 2:8-10

2:8 ‘He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the world on them. 2:9 ‘He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. 2:10 ‘Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed.’ (NASB)

ח מֵקִים מֵעָפָר דָּל מֵאַשְׁפֹּת יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן לְהוֹשִׁיב עִם-נְדִיבִים וְכִסֵּא כָבוֹד יַנְחִלֵם כִּי לַיהֹוָה מְצֻקֵי אֶרֶץ וַיָּשֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶם תֵּבֵל: ט רַגְלֵי חֲסִידָו [חֲסִידָיו] יִשְׁמֹר וּרְשָׁעִים בַּחשֶׁךְ יִדָּמּוּ כִּי-לֹא בְכֹחַ יִגְבַּר-אִישׁ: י יְהֹוָה יֵחַתּוּ מְרִיבָו [מְרִיבָיו] עָלָו [עָלָיו] בַּשָּׁמַיִם יַרְעֵם יְהֹוָה יָדִין אַפְסֵי-אָרֶץ וְיִתֶּן-עֹז לְמַלְכּוֹ וְיָרֵם קֶרֶן מְשִׁיחוֹ:

Note how in 1 Samuel 2:8, the Scriptures say that He (God) will “raise the poor from the dust” suggesting resurrection from the dead (i.e. we are created from the dust from the dust of the earth, and to dust we will return Bereshit / Genesis 3:19). Glory and great worship the Lord will lay upon Him (the King Messiah) and note the rabbis clarify the meaning to say that the “disciple’s great worship is laid upon the King Messiah.” Do these concepts not sound very familiar in the life, work, and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah? Based upon the midrash on Tehillim / Psalms 21, the rabbis lay out what they are looking for in the King Messiah. This appears to line up explicitly with Yeshua, the gospel of Christ, and the teaching of the Apostles in the Apostolic Writings. So why don’t the rabbis recognize Yeshua as the Messiah, the Holy One of God? The Rabbis then say “Glory, accordingly, is to be understood as in God’s command to Moshe’s concerning Joshua, You will put of Your glory upon him (Bamidbar / Numbers 27:20). Note that it is said of you glory, and not all your glory. Where, then, was all the glory of Moshe put upon Joshua? Rabbi Yudan said it was put upon him at the Jordan, for as it is written of Moshe They were afraid to come near to him (Shemot / Exodus 34:30), so is it written of Joshua at the Jordon, They feared him, as they feared Moshe (Joshua 4:14).” So the laying on of the glory of God to the King Messiah is explained in the comparison of the Torah text on Moshe and Joshua, Moshe is transferring leadership to Joshua by the laying on of hands before the entire congregation of Israel. It is in this way the Lord God Almighty transfers His glory to His Word, the Word through whom the heavens and the earth were created. Isn’t that awesome? In Yeshua the Messiah, we give glory, honor, praise, and worship. Yeshua is Lord of all creation and rightly so, He is the Word of the Living God! Let’s pray!

Tehillim 21-Part1-and-2  Notes: Notes_Psalms-21

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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!