Tehillim / Psalms 25, Part 1 and 2, Should we ask the Lord to Make us to know His ways?

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This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 25:1-22, David opens saying א לְדָוִד אֵלֶיךָ יְהֹוָה נַפְשִׁי אֶשָּׂא: A psalm of David. 25:1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (NASB) He asks the Lord to not let his enemies be exulted over him and that he not be ashamed in the Lord (ב אֱלֹהַי בְּךָ בָטַחְתִּי אַל-אֵבוֹשָׁה אַל-יַעַלְצוּ אֹיְבַי לִי:) and then states with confidence ג גַּם כָּל-קוֶֹיךָ לֹא יֵבשׁוּ יֵבשׁוּ הַבּוֹגְדִים רֵיקָם: 25:3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. (NASB) What does it mean to act treacherously without a cause? David goes on to say ד דְּרָכֶיךָ יְהֹוָה הוֹדִיעֵנִי אֹרְחוֹתֶיךָ לַמְּדֵנִי: ה הַדְרִיכֵנִי בַאֲמִתֶּךָ | וְלַמְּדֵנִי כִּי-אַתָּה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי אוֹתְךָ קִוִּיתִי כָּל-הַיּוֹם: 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. (NASB) Like David we are to seek the ways of the Lord, to learn His ways so He will lead us into his truth and know the salvation of the Lord. The psalmist continues saying 25:6 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 25:9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. 25:11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. (NASB) David declares the truths of God, His compassion, love, mercy, and forgiving the sins of our youth, the time when one chooses not to walk in righteousness. David continues saying 25:12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. 25:13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land. 25:14 The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant. 25:15 My eyes are continually toward the Lord, For He will pluck my feet out of the net. (NASB) He then repeats himself saying טז פְּנֵה-אֵלַי וְחָנֵּנִי כִּי-יָחִיד וְעָנִי אָנִי: יז צָרוֹת לְבָבִי הִרְחִיבוּ מִמְּצוּקוֹתַי הוֹצִיאֵנִי: יח רְאֵה-עָנְיִי וַעֲמָלִי וְשָֹא לְכָל-חַטֹּאותָי: 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. 25:18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. David concludes saying 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles. (NASB)

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק כה

א לְדָוִד אֵלֶיךָ יְהֹוָה נַפְשִׁי אֶשָּׂא: ב אֱלֹהַי בְּךָ בָטַחְתִּי אַל-אֵבוֹשָׁה אַל-יַעַלְצוּ אֹיְבַי לִי: ג גַּם כָּל-קוֶֹיךָ לֹא יֵבשׁוּ יֵבשׁוּ הַבּוֹגְדִים רֵיקָם: ד דְּרָכֶיךָ יְהֹוָה הוֹדִיעֵנִי אֹרְחוֹתֶיךָ לַמְּדֵנִי: ה הַדְרִיכֵנִי בַאֲמִתֶּךָ | וְלַמְּדֵנִי כִּי-אַתָּה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי אוֹתְךָ קִוִּיתִי כָּל-הַיּוֹם:

סםר טוביה פרק כה

א לדוד קדמך יהוה נפשי אטול בצלו׃ ב אלהי בך במימרך איתרוחצית לא אבהית לא ייחדון בעלי דבבי עלי׃ ג ברם לחוד כל דסכיין לך דסברין במימרך לא יבהתון יבהתון בזוזין וסריקיא׃ ד אורחתך יהוה אודע יתי הילכתך אליף יתי׃ ה דברני בזכותך אדריך יתי בקושטך ואליפינני ארום את הוא אלהא פורקני יתך סברית כל יומא׃

YALMOI 25

25:1 ψαλμὸς τῷ δαυιδ πρὸς σέ κύριε ἦρα τὴν ψυχήν μου ὁ θεός μου 25:2 ἐπὶ σοὶ πέποιθα μὴ καταισχυνθείην μηδὲ καταγελασάτωσάν μου οἱ ἐχθροί μου 25:3 καὶ γὰρ πάντες οἱ ὑπομένοντές σε οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῶσιν αἰσχυνθήτωσαν πάντες οἱ ἀνομοῦντες διὰ κενῆς 25:4 τὰς ὁδούς σου κύριε γνώρισόν μοι καὶ τὰς τρίβους σου δίδαξόν με 25:5 ὁδήγησόν με ἐπὶ τὴν ἀλήθειάν σου καὶ δίδαξόν με ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ θεὸς ὁ σωτήρ μου καὶ σὲ ὑπέμεινα ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν

ו זְכֹר-רַחֲמֶיךָ יְהֹוָה וַחֲסָדֶיךָ כִּי מֵעוֹלָם הֵמָּה: ז חַטֹּאות נְעוּרַי | וּפְשָׁעַי אַל-תִּזְכֹּר כְּחַסְדְּךָ זְכָר-לִי-אַתָּה לְמַעַן טוּבְךָ יְהֹוָה: ח טוֹב וְיָשָׁר יְהֹוָה עַל-כֵּן יוֹרֶה חַטָּאִים בַּדָּרֶךְ: ט יַדְרֵךְ עֲנָוִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט וִילַמֵּד עֲנָוִים דַּרְכּוֹ: י כָּל-אָרְחוֹת יְהֹוָה חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת לְנֹצְרֵי בְרִיתוֹ וְעֵדֹתָיו: יא לְמַעַן-שִׁמְךָ יְהֹוָה וְסָלַחְתָּ לַעֲוֹנִי כִּי רַב-הוּא: יב מִי זֶה הָאִישׁ יְרֵא יְהֹוָה יוֹרֶנּוּ בְּדֶרֶךְ יִבְחָר: יג נַפְשׁוֹ בְּטוֹב תָּלִין וְזַרְעוֹ יִירַשׁ אָרֶץ: יד סוֹד יְהֹוָה לִירֵאָיו וּבְרִיתוֹ לְהוֹדִיעָם: טו עֵינַי תָּמִיד אֶל-יְהֹוָה כִּי הוּא-יוֹצִיא מֵרֶשֶׁת רַגְלָי: טז פְּנֵה-אֵלַי וְחָנֵּנִי כִּי-יָחִיד וְעָנִי אָנִי: יז צָרוֹת לְבָבִי הִרְחִיבוּ מִמְּצוּקוֹתַי הוֹצִיאֵנִי: יח רְאֵה-עָנְיִי וַעֲמָלִי וְשָֹא לְכָל-חַטֹּאותָי: יט רְאֵה אוֹיְבַי כִּי-רָבּוּ וְשִֹנְאַת חָמָס שְֹנֵאוּנִי: כ שָׁמְרָה נַפְשִׁי וְהַצִּילֵנִי אַל-אֵבוֹשׁ כִּי-חָסִיתִי בָךְ: כא תֹּם-וָישֶׁר יִצְּרוּנִי כִּי קִוִּיתִיךָ: כב פְּדֵה-אֱלֹהִים אֶת-יִשְֹרָאֵל מִכֹּל צָרוֹתָיו:

ו אידכר רחמייך יהוה וטבוותך ארום מן עלמא הינון אינון׃ ז חובי טלייותי ומרדי לא תדכר כטבווך היך טובך אדכר לי אנת מטול טיבותך יהוה׃ ח טב ותריץ יהוה בגין כן מליף חייביא באורחא׃ ט מדריך עינוותני בדינא ומליף עינוותני אורחיה׃ י כל הלכתיה דיהוה טיבו וקשוט לנטרי קיימיה וסהידותיה וסהדוותיה׃ יא מן בגלל שמך יהוה ותשבוק לחובי ארום סגי הוא׃ יב מן הוא דין גברא דדחיל מן קדם יהוה ילפיניה באורחא דאיתרעי׃ יג נפשיה בטיבותא תבית ״בטוב עלמא דאתי תאיב ובנוי יחסנון ארעא׃ יד רזא דיהוה גליא לדחלוי וקיימיה לאודעותהון להודעותהון׃ טו עיני מסתכלין תדירא קדם יהוה ארום הוא יפיק ממצדתא ריגלי׃ טז אסתכי לוותי וחוס עלי מטול דיחידאי ועניא אנא׃ יז עקתין דלבבי פתיין משינוקי אפיק יתי׃ יח חמי סיגופי וטורחי ושבוק לכולהון חובי׃ יט חמי בעלי דבבי ארום סגיעו וסנאתא דחטופין סנו יתי׃ כ טור נפשי ושיזיב יתי לא אבהת מטול ארום דסברית לך במימרך׃ כא שלמתא ותריצותא יטרונני ארום סברית במימרך עלך׃ כב פרוק יהוה אלהא ית ישראל מכל עקתוי׃

25:6 μνήσθητι τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν σου κύριε καὶ τὰ ἐλέη σου ὅτι ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνός εἰσιν 25:7 ἁμαρτίας νεότητός μου καὶ ἀγνοίας μου μὴ μνησθῇς κατὰ τὸ ἔλεός σου μνήσθητί μου σὺ ἕνεκα τῆς χρηστότητός σου κύριε 25:8 χρηστὸς καὶ εὐθὴς ὁ κύριος διὰ τοῦτο νομοθετήσει ἁμαρτάνοντας ἐν ὁδῷ 25:9 ὁδηγήσει πραεῖς ἐν κρίσει διδάξει πραεῖς ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ 25:10 πᾶσαι αἱ ὁδοὶ κυρίου ἔλεος καὶ ἀλήθεια τοῖς ἐκζητοῦσιν τὴν διαθήκην αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ μαρτύρια αὐτοῦ 25:11 ἕνεκα τοῦ ὀνόματός σου κύριε καὶ ἱλάσῃ τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ μου πολλὴ γάρ ἐστιν 25:12 τίς ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος ὁ φοβούμενος τὸν κύριον νομοθετήσει αὐτῷ ἐν ὁδῷ ᾗ ᾑρετίσατο 25:13 ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγαθοῖς αὐλισθήσεται καὶ τὸ σπέρμα αὐτοῦ κληρονομήσει γῆν 25:14 κραταίωμα κύριος τῶν φοβουμένων αὐτόν καὶ τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου τῶν φοβουμένων αὐτόν καὶ ἡ διαθήκη αὐτοῦ τοῦ δηλῶσαι αὐτοῖς 25:15 οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου διὰ παντὸς πρὸς τὸν κύριον ὅτι αὐτὸς ἐκσπάσει ἐκ παγίδος τοὺς πόδας μου 25:16 ἐπίβλεψον ἐπ’ ἐμὲ καὶ ἐλέησόν με ὅτι μονογενὴς καὶ πτωχός εἰμι ἐγώ 25:17 αἱ θλίψεις τῆς καρδίας μου ἐπλατύνθησαν ἐκ τῶν ἀναγκῶν μου ἐξάγαγέ με 25:18 ἰδὲ τὴν ταπείνωσίν μου καὶ τὸν κόπον μου καὶ ἄφες πάσας τὰς ἁμαρτίας μου 25:19 ἰδὲ τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου ὅτι ἐπληθύνθησαν καὶ μῖσος ἄδικον ἐμίσησάν με 25:20 φύλαξον τὴν ψυχήν μου καὶ ῥῦσαί με μὴ καταισχυνθείην ὅτι ἤλπισα ἐπὶ σέ 25:21 ἄκακοι καὶ εὐθεῖς ἐκολλῶντό μοι ὅτι ὑπέμεινά σε κύριε 25:22 λύτρωσαι ὁ θεός τὸν ισραηλ ἐκ πασῶν τῶν θλίψεων αὐτοῦ

Tehillim / Psalms 25:1-22 begins with David saying א לְדָוִד אֵלֶיךָ יְהֹוָה נַפְשִׁי אֶשָּׂא: A psalm of David. 25:1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (NASB) The Hebrew text says literally “To David, unto You Lord (YHVH) my soul I lift/raise up.” What does David mean to “lift/raise up” (נַפְשִׁי אֶשָּׂא) his soul? Many times in the Masoretic text (the Hebrew scriptures) we are exhorted to “wait on the Lord” and we are told the advantages of the person who takes this approach to life. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Tehillim / Psalms 27:14) “For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” (Tehillim / Psalms 37:9) “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope…” (Tehillim / Psalms 130:5). Strength, courage, and hope is found in waiting upon the Lord God Almighty. The word אֶשָּׂא “essa” is derived from the word נשא “nassa,” and this word is often used in the Scriptures to refer to lifting or bearing up something. Take for example in Parashat Noach (Bereshit / Genesis 7:17) the text says the waters lifted up the ark of Noah from the earth (יז וַיְהִי הַמַּבּוּל אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם עַל-הָאָרֶץ וַיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּשְֹאוּ אֶת-הַתֵּבָה וַתָּרָם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ:) or in Parashat Ki Tisa (Shemot / Exodus 32:32) Moshe says in Shemot / Exodus 32:32 וְעַתָּה אִם-תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם-אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתּ saying אם תישא “if you will carry, lift, bear, endure, or suffer” חַטָּאתָם “their sin.” Moshe is asked God to forgive the peoples sin by lifting up or bearing their iniquity. The translators of the NASB understood this to mean “if You will forgive their sin” as it is translated in English (NASB). Interestingly, Moshe is asking God “to carry, bear, endure, and suffer” the sins of the people for them in a way that results in the forgiveness of sins. When we
“lift up the soul” unto the Lord, we are directing our inner most being, our will and conscious, to focus upon the exaltation of the Lord God of Israel. An example may be taken from Parashat Noach, that as the waters lifted the ark of Noah, Noah and his family were lifted high above the raging waters of the great storm. Similarly, when we look to direct our attention to the Lord, our souls are lifted up from the adversity of life and we place our trust in His Son, Yeshua the Messiah and we can truly be at peace even in the midst of great turmoil.

Tehillim / Psalms 25

A psalm of David. 25:1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 25:2 O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me. 25:3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. 25:6 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 25:9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. 25:11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. 25:12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. 25:13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land. 25:14 The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant. 25:15 My eyes are continually toward the Lord, For He will pluck my feet out of the net. 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. 25:18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. 25:19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred. 25:20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms Chapter 25

25:1 Of David. Before you, O Lord, I lift up my soul in prayer. 25:2 O my God, in you I have put my trust; I will not be disappointed; my foes will not rejoice over me. 25:3 Truly, all who look to you will not be disappointed; robbers and rogues will be disappointed. 25:4 Show me your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. 25:5 Lead me by your merit and teach me, for you are God, my redemption; in you I have placed my hope every day. 25:6 Remember your mercies, O Lord, and your favors, for they are eternal. 25:7 The sins of my youth and my transgressions do not remember; according to your goodness remember me, because of your grace, O Lord. 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he teaches sinners on the path. 25:9 He guides the humble in judgment; and teaches the humble his way. 25:10 All the ways of the Lord are kindness and truth to those who keep his covenant and his testimony. 25:11 Because of your name, O Lord, you will forgive my sin, for it is great. 25:12 Who is the man who is reverent in the presence of the Lord? He will teach him the way he has chosen. 25:13 His soul will lodge in kindness, and his children will inherit the earth. 25:14 The mystery of the Lord is revealed to those who fear him; and his covenant is to instruct them. 25:15 My eyes look always before the Lord, for he will bring my feet out of the trap. 25:16. Look towards me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and afflicted. 25:17 The troubles of my heart have spread; bring me out of my anguish. 25:18 See my pain and vexation, and forgive all my sins. 25:19 See my foes, for they have become many; and the enmity that the rapacious have towards me. 25:20 Keep my soul and save me; I would not be disappointed because I hoped in you. 25:21 Innocence and honesty will guard me, for I hoped in your word. 25:22 Redeem Israel, O Lord, from all his troubles. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 25

A Psalm of David. 25:1 To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul. 25:2 O my God, I have trusted in thee: let me not be confounded, neither let mine enemies laugh me to scorn. 25:3 For none of them that wait on thee shall in any wise be ashamed: let them be ashamed that transgress without cause. 25:4 Shew me thy ways, O Lord; and teach me thy paths. 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art God my Saviour: and I have waited on thee all the day. 25:6 Remember thy compassions, O Lord, and thy mercies, for they are from everlasting. 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my sins of ignorance: remember me according to thy mercy, for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he instruct sinners in the way. 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: the meek will he teach his ways. 25:10 All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to them that seek his covenant and his testimonies. 25:11 For thy name’s sake, O Lord, do thou also be merciful to my sin; for it is great. 25:12 Who is the man that fears the Lord? he shall instruct him in the way which he has chosen. 25:13 His soul shall dwell in prosperity; and his seed shall inherit the earth. 25:14 The Lord is the strength of them that fear him; and his covenant is to manifest truth to them. 25:15 Mine eyes are continually to the Lord; for he shall draw my feet out of the snare. 25:16 Look upon me, and have mercy upon me; for I am an only child and poor. 25:17 The afflictions of my heart have been multiplied; deliver me from my distresses. 25:18 Look upon mine affliction and my trouble; and forgive all my sins. 25:19 Look upon mine enemies; for they have been multiplied; and they have hated me with unjust hatred. 25:20 Keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I have hoped in thee. 25:21 The harmless and upright joined themselves to me: for I waited for thee, O Lord. 25:22 Deliver Israel, O God, out of all his afflictions. (LXX)

Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon

[בָּגַד] verb act or deal treacherously

Qal Perfect בָּֽגְדָה Jeremiah 3:20 14t.; Imperfect יִבְגֹּד Malachi 2:15 5t.; נִבְגַּד Malachi 2:10; Infinitive absolute בָּגוֺד Isaiah 48:8; Jeremiah 5:11; construct בְּגֹד Isaiah 33:1; בִּגְדוֺ Exodus 21:8; Participle בֹּגֵד Proverbs 22:12 11t.; בּוֺגֵד Isaiah 33:1 10t.; — act or deal treacherously, faithlessly, deceitfully, in the marriage relation, in matters of property or right, in covenants, in word and in General conduct.

a. absolute 1 Samuel 14:33; Job 6:15; Psalm 78:57; Isaiah 24:16; Isaiah 33:1 (twice in verse); Isaiah 48:8; Malachi 2:11. compare phrases אחי בגדו כמו נחל my brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook Job 6:15; בֹּגְדִים בָּנָ֑דוּ וּבֶגֶד בּוֺגְדִים בָּגָ֑דוּ the treacherous have dealt treacherously, yea in treachery have the treacherous dealt treacherously Isaiah 24:16 (striking alliteration); בֹּגְדֵי אָוֶן treacherous in wickedness Psalm 59:6.

b. with בְּ Exodus 21:8 (E), Judges 9:23; Isaiah 33:1 (twice in verse); Jeremiah 3:20; Jeremiah 5:11; Jeremiah 12:6; Lamentations 1:2; Hosea 5:7; Hosea 6:7; Malachi 2:10,14,15,16.

c. with accusative Psalm 73:15.

d. with מִן pregnant, בָּֽגְדָה אִשָּׁה מֵרֵעָהּ acteth treacherously (in departing) from her friend Jeremiah 3:20. The participle is used Proverbs 2:22 8t., Psalm 25:3; Psalm 59:6; Psalm 119:158; Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 24:16 (twice in verse); Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 3:8,11; Jeremiah 9:1; Habakkuk 1:13; Habakkuk 2:5; בֹּגְדֵי בָ֑גֶד dealers treacherously in treachery (very treacherously) Jeremiah 12:1.

David continues asking the Lord to not let his enemies be exulted over him and that he not be ashamed in the Lord (ב אֱלֹהַי בְּךָ בָטַחְתִּי אַל-אֵבוֹשָׁה אַל-יַעַלְצוּ אֹיְבַי לִי:) and then states with confidence ג גַּם כָּל-קוֶֹיךָ לֹא יֵבשׁוּ יֵבשׁוּ הַבּוֹגְדִים רֵיקָם: 25:3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. (NASB) What does it mean to act treacherously without a cause? It is interesting that the phrase

הַבּוֹגְדִים רֵיקָם translates literally “treacherously empty handed (emptily),” so this person who deals treacherously empty-handed means that he acted deceitfully without a cause. Would it be ok to act deceitfully if one had a cause? During Yeshua’s ministry, he continually affirmed the “inner meaning of the Torah” however He extended the reach of the Torah to include the inner heart attitude of the person. Observing the Law was not simply a matter of adhering to various external conduct but also involved examining the heart and soul. Take for example, Yeshua said in Matthew 5:21-22, that the Torah forbids murder, and then extended it further saying “you shall not murder, but I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause is liable to excommunication; whoever insults his brother is liable to punishment, and whoever calls his brother a fool is in danger of the fires of hell” In a similar way Yeshua dealt with adultery saying that most people focus upon the external action, however one’s heart that is filled with adultery is the same as having performed the act. The point is that we are called to be merciful and to forgive, even if someone has given us a cause to be angry at them. Here in Tehillim / Psalms 25:3 David is saying that the wicked go about and act treacherously without a cause, it is in their nature, it is who they are, and he requests of the Lord to cause them to be ashamed of their ways and their actions. The Aramaic and Greek translations state the following:

Aramaic Targum

25:1 Of David. Before you, O Lord, I lift up my soul in prayer. 25:2 O my God, in you I have put my trust; I will not be disappointed; my foes will not rejoice over me. 25:3 Truly, all who look to you will not be disappointed; robbers and rogues will be disappointed. (EMC)

א לדוד קדמך יהוה נפשי אטול בצלו׃ ב אלהי בך במימרך איתרוחצית לא אבהית לא ייחדון בעלי דבבי עלי׃ ג ברם לחוד כל דסכיין לך דסברין במימרך לא יבהתון יבהתון בזוזין וסריקיא׃

Septuagint

A Psalm of David. 25:1 To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul. 25:2 O my God, I have trusted in thee: let me not be confounded, neither let mine enemies laugh me to scorn. 25:3 For none of them that wait on thee shall in any wise be ashamed: let them be ashamed that transgress without cause. (LXX)

25:1 ψαλμὸς τῷ δαυιδ πρὸς σέ κύριε ἦρα τὴν ψυχήν μου ὁ θεός μου 25:2 ἐπὶ σοὶ πέποιθα μὴ καταισχυνθείην μηδὲ καταγελασάτωσάν μου οἱ ἐχθροί μου 25:3 καὶ γὰρ πάντες οἱ ὑπομένοντές σε οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῶσιν αἰσχυνθήτωσαν πάντες οἱ ἀνομοῦντες διὰ κενῆς

It is interesting how the Aramaic Targum translates that David lifts his soul in “prayer,” adding the word “prayer.” He also places his trust in Him and the rabbis translate the Hebrew text to say that “I will not be disappointed” and “my foes will not rejoice over me.” They go on to say that “those who look to You will not be disappointed” whereas “robbers and rogues will be disappointed.” The Septuagint states something similar, those who wait upon the Lord are seeking his face and looking to Him for help. The rabbis who translated the Septuagint pick up on the shame aspect of David’s words and state that those who wait upon the Lord will not be ashamed, whereas those who transgress without a cause will be ashamed.

David goes on to say ד דְּרָכֶיךָ יְהֹוָה הוֹדִיעֵנִי אֹרְחוֹתֶיךָ לַמְּדֵנִי: ה הַדְרִיכֵנִי בַאֲמִתֶּךָ | וְלַמְּדֵנִי כִּי-אַתָּה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי אוֹתְךָ קִוִּיתִי כָּל-הַיּוֹם: 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. (NASB) It is interesting here that David requests the Lord to cause him to know the ways of the Lord saying דְּרָכֶיךָ יְהֹוָה הוֹדִיעֵנִי using the Hiphil verbal form הוֹדִיעֵנִי for the word ידע meaning “to know” in a very intimate way. The Hiphil stem is used to express causative action with an active voice. David seeks the Lord to cause him to know his ways, this is beyond the simply individual seeking to know God’s ways, he is asking the Lord the participate in an active way to work in David’s life in such a way so as to know the Lord according to His Word and in the commandment. Do we seek the Lord like David did? Are we seeking the ways of the Lord, to learn His ways, and specifically so He will purposefully lead us into his truth so that we might know the salvation of the Lord? The Scriptures say הַדְרִיכֵנִי בַאֲמִתֶּךָ | וְלַמְּדֵנִי כִּי-אַתָּה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי אוֹתְךָ קִוִּיתִי כָּל-הַיּוֹם beginning with the word הַדְרִיכֵנִי asking the Lord to “lead me” in your truth (בַאֲמִתֶּךָ). The reason David asks the Lord to lead him is because He is “the God of my salvation” and because of the salvation of the Lord he says “For You I wait all the day.” David goes on to describe how the Lord does these things (the characteristics of the Lord saving him).

Summary

  • 25:6 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. (ו זְכֹר-רַחֲמֶיךָ יְהֹוָה וַחֲסָדֶיךָ כִּי מֵעוֹלָם הֵמָּה:)
  • 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. (ז חַטֹּאות נְעוּרַי | וּפְשָׁעַי אַל-תִּזְכֹּר כְּחַסְדְּךָ זְכָר-לִי-אַתָּה לְמַעַן טוּבְךָ יְהֹוָה:)
  • 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. (ח טוֹב וְיָשָׁר יְהֹוָה עַל-כֵּן יוֹרֶה חַטָּאִים בַּדָּרֶךְ:)
  • 25:9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. (ט יַדְרֵךְ עֲנָוִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּט וִילַמֵּד עֲנָוִים דַּרְכּוֹ:)
  • 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. (י כָּל-אָרְחוֹת יְהֹוָה חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת לְנֹצְרֵי בְרִיתוֹ וְעֵדֹתָיו:)
  • 25:11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. (יא לְמַעַן-שִׁמְךָ יְהֹוָה וְסָלַחְתָּ לַעֲוֹנִי כִּי רַב-הוּא:)

David declares the truths of God, His compassion, His love, His mercy, and His forgiving the sins of our youth, the time when one chooses not to walk in righteousness. David seems to have taken these attributes of God not only from his own life but also from Parashat Ki Tisa (Shemot / Exodus 30:11-34:35) which details the sin of idolatry by the children of Israel and their breaking the newly established covenant with the Lord. In Parashat Ki Tisa, the children of Israel failed to recognize the covenant they had made with the Lord as it says in Shemot / Exodus 20:3 ג לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל-פָּנָי: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” The reading, the people demanded that Aaron make gods to go before them in Shemot / Exodus 32:1 (א וַיַּרְא הָעָם כִּי-בֹשֵׁשׁ מֹשֶׁה לָרֶדֶת מִן-הָהָר וַיִּקָּהֵל הָעָם עַל-אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו קוּם | עֲשֵֹה-לָנוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר יֵלְכוּ לְפָנֵינוּ כִּי-זֶה | מֹשֶׁה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָנוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לֹא יָדַעְנוּ מֶה-הָיָה לוֹ:) This was a great sin before God but yet the Lord fulfilled His promise, in the midst of the sin of the people and the Lord gives Moshe a fresh revelation of His glory. According to Shemot / Exodus 34:1-5 the Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him (Moshe) (ה וַיֵּרֶד יְהוָֹה בֶּעָנָן וַיִּתְיַצֵּב עִמּוֹ שָׁם וַיִּקְרָא בְשֵׁם יְהוָֹה:) Here the cloud (עָנָן) is associated with the presence of God. It is interesting that looking at this verse in Shemot / Exodus 34:5 it says “and descended YHVH in the cloud and ‘stood before’ with him there, and proclaimed in the name of YHVH.” Based on the structure of the sentence, the one proclaiming the name is the Lord Himself. The context indicates that the Lord God descended (His glory descended) and He proclaimed His own Name and declared the kind of God that He is that is consistent with the promises that were made to the Patriarchs. In Shemot / Exodus 34:6 God says ו וַיַּעֲבֹר יְהוָֹה | עַל-פָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא יְהוָֹה | יְהֹוָה אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב-חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת: 34:6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness (Grace, חֶסֶד) and truth; (NASB) The repeated use of God’s Name emphasizes to the listener to stop and reflect on the meaning and the description that follows. The meaning of God’s Name was first revealed in Shemot / Exodus 3:14 the Lord said יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל-מֹשֶׁה אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה תֹאמַר לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל אֶהְיֶה שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם: 3:14 God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’‘ (NASB) God says to Moshe “I AM WHO I AM” the meaning of the name is translated from the first person form of the verb היה (to be) refers to God’s life giving existence, the Lord is self existent, He exists and depends upon no one and nothing except His own will. In the attributes God lists of Himself in Shemot / Exodus 34, His compassion was demonstrated in 32:14 and His being favorable is demonstrated in 33:12-17 the process in which Moshe seeks to find favor and God agrees with Him. His slowness to grow angry is attested too in Parashat Ki Tisa and in Shemot / Exodus 14:11-12. All of these things describe His unchanging love and reliability that is demonstrated in the discussion Moshe has with the Lord and being able to plead on behalf of the people. The cancellation (forgiveness) of the people’s disobedience with the golden calf is consistent with who God is נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים נֹשֵֹא עָוֹן וָפֶשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה וְנַקֵּה לֹא יְנַקֶּה פֹּקֵד | עֲוֹן אָבוֹת עַל-בָּנִים וְעַל-בְּנֵי בָנִים עַל-שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל-רִבֵּעִים 34:7 who keeps lovingkindness (Grace, חֶסֶד) for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin;…” The Lord reveals Himself in His works and in His relationship with His people, this is very similar to the way David is describing the Lord in Tehillim / Psalms 25.

The first thing God revealed about Himself is that He is compassionate in the word רַחוּם that illustrates for us that He has a deep love for His people. In addition to this, the Lord makes his compassion a matter of choice saying יט וַיֹּאמֶר אֲנִי אַעֲבִיר כָּל-טוּבִי עַל-פָּנֶיךָ וְקָרָאתִי בְשֵׁם יְהוָֹה לְפָנֶיךָ וְחַנֹּתִי אֶת-אֲשֶׁר אָחֹן וְרִחַמְתִּי אֶת-אֲשֶׁר אֲרַחֵם: “I will show compassion on whom I show compassion” in Shemot / Exodus 33:19. God’s compassion is extended only to those who He chooses to have compassion upon. Because the Lord is compassionate he is also loving and never forgets the covenant that He has made with our fathers which He swore to them (see Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:31). David in the Psalm seems to draw upon the Torah text to say that all of the paths are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. The Aramaic Targum and the Septuagint describe Tehillim / Psalms 25:6-11 in the following way.

Aramaic Targum

ו אידכר רחמייך יהוה וטבוותך ארום מן עלמא הינון אינון׃ ז חובי טלייותי ומרדי לא תדכר כטבווך היך טובך אדכר לי אנת מטול טיבותך יהוה׃ ח טב ותריץ יהוה בגין כן מליף חייביא באורחא׃ ט מדריך עינוותני בדינא ומליף עינוותני אורחיה׃ י כל הלכתיה דיהוה טיבו וקשוט לנטרי קיימיה וסהידותיה וסהדוותיה׃ יא מן בגלל שמך יהוה ותשבוק לחובי ארום סגי הוא׃

25:6 Remember your mercies, O Lord, and your favors, for they are eternal. 25:7 The sins of my youth and my transgressions do not remember; according to your goodness remember me, because of your grace, O Lord. 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he teaches sinners on the path. 25:9 He guides the humble in judgment; and teaches the humble his way. 25:10 All the ways of the Lord are kindness and truth to those who keep his covenant and his testimony. 25:11 Because of your name, O Lord, you will forgive my sin, for it is great. (EMC)

Septuagint

25:6 μνήσθητι τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν σου κύριε καὶ τὰ ἐλέη σου ὅτι ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνός εἰσιν 25:7 ἁμαρτίας νεότητός μου καὶ ἀγνοίας μου μὴ μνησθῇς κατὰ τὸ ἔλεός σου μνήσθητί μου σὺ ἕνεκα τῆς χρηστότητός σου κύριε 25:8 χρηστὸς καὶ εὐθὴς ὁ κύριος διὰ τοῦτο νομοθετήσει ἁμαρτάνοντας ἐν ὁδῷ 25:9 ὁδηγήσει πραεῖς ἐν κρίσει διδάξει πραεῖς ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ 25:10 πᾶσαι αἱ ὁδοὶ κυρίου ἔλεος καὶ ἀλήθεια τοῖς ἐκζητοῦσιν τὴν διαθήκην αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ μαρτύρια αὐτοῦ 25:11 ἕνεκα τοῦ ὀνόματός σου κύριε καὶ ἱλάσῃ τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ μου πολλὴ γάρ ἐστιν

25:6 Remember thy compassions, O Lord, and thy mercies, for they are from everlasting. 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my sins of ignorance: remember me according to thy mercy, for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he instruct sinners in the way. 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: the meek will he teach his ways. 25:10 All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to them that seek his covenant and his testimonies. 25:11 For thy name’s sake, O Lord, do thou also be merciful to my sin; for it is great. (LXX)

The Aramaic Targum states that God instructs sinners who are “on the path” (באורחא) and according to the use of this word we understand that God is instructing the “guilty” who are living God’s “way of life, precepts” (Qumran, Cave 4 text, Syr. 4Q246 .2.5). So it seems that the Lord is instructing the one who is trying to live according to God’s way of life (the Torah). Those who follow God’s ways are humble, and God guides them in His judgment and teaches the humble His ways. His ways are kindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimony. Is it possible to keep the covenant of God and not keep His testimony? Note, the Septuagint states that 25:10 All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to them that seek his covenant and his testimonies. (LXX) The Lord is merciful to those who “seek” His covenant and His testimonies. This is different from the Masoretic text which says 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. (י כָּל-אָרְחוֹת יְהֹוָה חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת לְנֹצְרֵי בְרִיתוֹ וְעֵדֹתָיו:) Is keeping the covenant of God and His testimonies synonymous with “seeking” His covenant and His ways? The rabbis who translated the Septuagint realized that David requested for the Lord to cause him to know His ways (הוֹדִיעֵנִי) and to be an active participant in his life. As a result, they say in Tehillim / Psalms 25:10 All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to them that seek his covenant and his testimonies.(LXX) that the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to those who seek Him, His covenant, and His testimonies.

David goes on to say יב מִי זֶה הָאִישׁ יְרֵא יְהֹוָה יוֹרֶנּוּ בְּדֶרֶךְ יִבְחָר: 25:12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. (NASB) What does it mean to “fear the Lord” and that He will instruct in the way he should choose? Does this mean that we should be afraid of the Lord? IS David saying that we should be afraid of future judgment for sins? According to Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:12, we read the following:

Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:12-13

10:12 ‘Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 10:13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? (NASB)

יב וְעַתָּה יִשְֹרָאֵל מָה יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֹׁאֵל מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי אִם-לְיִרְאָה אֶת-יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל-דְּרָכָיו וּלְאַהֲבָה אֹתוֹ וְלַעֲבֹד אֶת-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשֶׁךָ: יג לִשְׁמֹר אֶת-מִצְוֹת יְהוָֹה וְאֶת-חֻקֹּתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לְטוֹב לָךְ:

Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:12 states what the Lord requires of us, that we “fear the Lord” (yirat HaShem, לְיִרְאָה אֶת-יְהֹוָה). It is interesting that Moshe mentions this first, that we must learn to properly fear the Lord and it is only then when we will be capable of walking (לָלֶכֶת) in all His ways (בְּכָל-דְּרָכָיו), to love Him (וּלְאַהֲבָה אֹתוֹ), and to serve Him (וְלַעֲבֹד אֶת-יְהוָֹה) with all our heart and soul. The requirement to fear the Lord (לְיִרְאָה אֶת-יְהֹוָה) is placed first, just like in Tehillim / Psalms 25:12, David’s question on the man who fears the Lord leads (precedes) the rest. According to King Solomon, “the fear of the Lord is what leads to life” (Mishley / Proverbs 19:23, כג יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה לְחַיִּים וְשָֹבֵעַ יָלִין בַּל-יִפָּקֶד רָע:). The word translated as “fear” comes from the Hebrew word יִרְאָה “yirah” which has a range of meaning in the Scriptures and may also mean “awe” or “reverence.” According to Jewish tradition, there are three levels of yirah. The first level is the fear of unpleasant consequences or punishment (i.e. “yirat haonesh,” יראת הענש). This has the meaning that we normally understand when we hear of the word “fear.” There is some anticipation of dire consequences, pain, something that needs to be avoided, or rejected, keeping us from doing things we should not be doing. The second type of yirah concerning breaking God’s Torah (i.e. anxiety over breaking the Law) (“yirat Hamalkhut,” יראת המלכות). This type of fear causes people to do good deeds out of fear that the Lord will punish them in this life or in the Olam Habah (the world to come). This kind of fear is rooted in self preservation, the motivation is mixed with a genuine desire to honor God and to avoid God’s righteous wrath for sin (see Shemot / Exodus 1:12, Vayikra / Leviticus 19:4, Matthew 10:28, and Luke 12:5). Take for example Vayikra / Leviticus 19:14, the Mitzvah (commandment) given is not to curse the deaf of place a stumbling block before the blind. The Torah adds that “you are to fear the Lord your God.” The Lord does not ignore injustice or those who practice wickedness. The Lord God is our judge and according to the Apostle Paul, every deed we have committed will be made known. 1 Corinthians 3:13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. (NASB) and we will all appear before the judgment seat of the Messiah so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10). The third kind of yirah is based upon a profound reverence for life that comes from discerning the glory of God in all of His creation, (“yirat Harommemut,” יראת הרוממות). Here “fearing” (יִרְאָה) and “seeing” (ראה) are connected in the sense that we are aware of the majesty of God’s presence in our lives and of His glory in His creation. As a result of having this type of yirah, one realizes by the power of the Holy Spirit, a love for good causes one to hate evil (Mishley / Proverbs 8:13) this is a way of fearing God. This is also how the Apostle John describes those people who are in the Messiah with respect to fear in relation to both good and evil. John 3:20-21, 20πᾶς γὰρ ὁ φαῦλα πράσσων μισεῖ τὸ φῶς καὶ οὐκ ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα μὴ ἐλεγχθῇ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ: 21ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα φανερωθῇ αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα ὅτι ἐν θεῷ ἐστιν εἰργασμένα. 3:20 ‘For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 3:21 ‘But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.’ (NASB) Yeshua the Messiah taught that in order for a person to choose good over evil, one needs a spiritual rebirth (John 3:3). David is saying that the man who fears the Lord is the one who is walking in His paths of righteousness, this is why the Lord will instruct him in the way he should choose. If we walk in the path of righteousness, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will not choose wickedness as opposed to righteousness.

As a result of asking “who is the man that fears the Lord,” David continues saying יג נַפְשׁוֹ בְּטוֹב תָּלִין וְזַרְעוֹ יִירַשׁ אָרֶץ: יד סוֹד יְהֹוָה לִירֵאָיו וּבְרִיתוֹ לְהוֹדִיעָם: טו עֵינַי תָּמִיד אֶל-יְהֹוָה כִּי הוּא-יוֹצִיא מֵרֶשֶׁת רַגְלָי: 25:13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land. 25:14 The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant. 25:15 My eyes are continually toward the Lord, For He will pluck my feet out of the net. (NASB) Comparison of the Aramaic Targum and the Septuagint, we read the following.

Aramaic Targum

25:13 His soul will lodge in kindness, and his children will inherit the earth. 25:14 The mystery of the Lord is revealed to those who fear him; and his covenant is to instruct them. 25:15 My eyes look always before the Lord, for he will bring my feet out of the trap. (EMC)

יג נפשיה בטיבותא תבית בטוב עלמא דאתי תאיב ובנוי יחסנון ארעא׃ יד רזא דיהוה גליא לדחלוי וקיימיה לאודעותהון להודעותהון׃ טו עיני מסתכלין תדירא קדם יהוה ארום הוא יפיק ממצדתא ריגלי׃

Septuagint

25:13 His soul shall dwell in prosperity; and his seed shall inherit the earth. 25:14 The Lord is the strength of them that fear him; and his covenant is to manifest truth to them. 25:15 Mine eyes are continually to the Lord; for he shall draw my feet out of the snare. (LXX)

25:13 ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγαθοῖς αὐλισθήσεται καὶ τὸ σπέρμα αὐτοῦ κληρονομήσει γῆν 25:14 κραταίωμα κύριος τῶν φοβουμένων αὐτόν καὶ τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου τῶν φοβουμένων αὐτόν καὶ ἡ διαθήκη αὐτοῦ τοῦ δηλῶσαι αὐτοῖς 25:15 οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου διὰ παντὸς πρὸς τὸν κύριον ὅτι αὐτὸς ἐκσπάσει ἐκ παγίδος τοὺς πόδας μου

David says סוֹד יְהֹוָה לִירֵאָיו the “sod” of the Lord is for those who fear Him. The word סוֹד (sod) means “secret” or “secret counsel” whereas the Rabbis translate “sod” as רזא meaning “mystery” or “allegorical explanation.” The Septuagint translates “The Lord is the strength of them that fear him; and His covenant is to manifest truth to them.” It is interesting that this “secret counsel” of the Lord to those who fear Him, is related to those whose strength is in the Lord and His covenant truth. What exactly is David trying to say here? It is the Lord who has the true counsel for your life, He is the one who has “the” answers to all of our problems and questions. His truth is what will sets us free. This is given to those who seek, trust, and obey the Lord, the wicked do not have the truth of God given to them, therefore, what the Lord has revealed to us concerning His truth is a “secret counsel” to those who fear Him. We do not go to the world around us for counsel when the Counselor lives right within our hearts and has promised to give wisdom to those who ask in faith!

David continues saying טז פְּנֵה-אֵלַי וְחָנֵּנִי כִּי-יָחִיד וְעָנִי אָנִי: יז צָרוֹת לְבָבִי הִרְחִיבוּ מִמְּצוּקוֹתַי הוֹצִיאֵנִי: יח רְאֵה-עָנְיִי וַעֲמָלִי וְשָֹא לְכָל-חַטֹּאותָי: יט רְאֵה אוֹיְבַי כִּי-רָבּוּ וְשִֹנְאַת חָמָס שְֹנֵאוּנִי: כ שָׁמְרָה נַפְשִׁי וְהַצִּילֵנִי אַל-אֵבוֹשׁ כִּי-חָסִיתִי בָךְ: כא תֹּם-וָישֶׁר יִצְּרוּנִי כִּי קִוִּיתִיךָ: כב פְּדֵה-אֱלֹהִים אֶת-יִשְֹרָאֵל מִכֹּל צָרוֹתָיו: 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. 25:18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. David concludes saying 25:19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred. 25:20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles. (NASB) Note how the Aramaic Targum states 25:21 Innocence and honesty will guard me, for I hoped in your word. 25:22 Redeem Israel, O Lord, from all his troubles. (EMC) ( כא שלמתא ותריצותא יטרונני ארום סברית במימרך עלך׃ כב פרוק יהוה אלהא ית ישראל מכל עקתוי׃) Why are innocence and honesty so important? Based upon the Scriptures, honesty is a direct reflection of who we are (our character). In addition to this, our actions are a reflection on our faith in the Lord, and therefore our actions reflect the truth we believe in which becomes our witness before God and people. If we learn how to be honest this will also help us keep a clear conscious because one would not be lying all of the time. In fact, according to the Torah, God made honesty a mitzvah (commandment) in Shemot / Exodus 20:16 יג לֹא תִרְצַח ס לֹא תִנְאָף ס לֹא תִגְנֹב ס לֹא-תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר: 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (NIV) The Lord sets the example for all of His people regarding honesty. Mishley / Proverbs 11:3 states “Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.” David says “integrity and uprightness” (תֹּם-וָישֶׁר) will preserve him because he waits upon the Lord. Integrity and uprightness means to live in honesty and innocence before the Lord. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in Romans 12:3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. (NLT) Is it possible to do these things without the Lord’s help? Should we ask the Lord to “Make” us to know His ways? In Tehillim / Psalms 25, David asks the Lord to make known His ways, to teach him His paths, to lead him in His truth because He is the God of our salvation. I think that is good advice, have you asked the Lord to show you His ways, to reveal His truth, and His salvation? Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 25 has 14 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Parts 1, 5, 9, and 11. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 25, Parts 1, 5, 9, and 11.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim Chapter 25, Parts 1, 5, 9, and 11

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) A Psalm of David. Unto You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul (Tehillim / Psalms 25:1).
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says These words are to be considered in the light of the verse In the same day you will give him his hire, neither will the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and he lifts his soul unto him (Devarim / Deuteronomy 24:15).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss David lifting up of his soul to the Lord.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon the parable, the Lord asks David why he lifts his soul to Him and David says because he has a hireling.
  • The Concluding phrase says “When You lend Your neighbor any manner of loan, You will not enter his house to fetch his pledge and if he be poor you will surely restore him the pledge when the sun goes down (Devarim / Deuteronomy 24:10-12).”

Part 5

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) My God, I have put my trust in You (Tehillim / Psalms 25:2).
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says Rabbi Isaac said, In You means in Your Torah, for the numerical value of the letters in bk (in You) is twenty two, the number of letters in the Hebrew Alphabet.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis tell a parable of a man who was captured and appealed to a master to be released from prison.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon the parable, and contrast the parable to the Holy One blessed be He who we may trust and appeal to for our cause.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Hence David prayed, Let none that wait on You be ashamed; they will be ashamed who act deceitfully with respect to their emptiness, that is, men who fast without repentance will be ashamed.”

Part 9

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) My transgressions, like the sins of my youth, remember not (Tehillim / Psalms 25:7).
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says According to rabbi Yudan, David said to the Holy One blessed be He, Master of the universe, may my sins and transgressions be considered like the sins of my youth before You, and so have no substance whatever.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss two kings parables to illustrate the sins of our youth.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon the parables, and state that these illustrate the mercy and goodness of God
  • The Concluding phrase says “Even so, the Holy One blessed be He, says to the righteous, I consider this a great favor on your part, for I created My world because of you; and were it not for you, all the goodness which I have prepared for the future, of which it is said Oh how abundant is Your goodness, which You have laid up for them that fear You (Tehillim / Psalms 31:20), to whom could I give it?”

Part 11

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth (Tehillim / Psalms 25:10).
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says Lest one think that the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth for all men, the verse ends saying, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss how the Lord’s paths are mercy and truth.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon the mercies of God and illustrates these by showing how the Lord is merciful to His children.
  • The Concluding phrase says “And the proof that the Lord buries the dead? The verse So Moshe died and he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab (Devarim / Deuteronomy 34:5-6).”

Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “A Psalm of David. Unto You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul (Tehillim / Psalms 25:1).” David opens his Psalm stating that he lifts his soul to the Lord. The rabbis say in the פתיחתא, Petihta “These words are to be considered in the light of the verse In the same day you will give him his hire, neither will the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and he lifts his soul unto him (Devarim / Deuteronomy 24:15).” The midrash discusses how David thought of himself as a hireling, someone who worked for the Lord on this earth. The rabbis discuss the Scriptures from Devarim / Deuteronomy 24:10-15 that says י כִּי-תַשֶּׁה בְרֵעֲךָ מַשַּׁאת מְאוּמָה לֹא-תָבֹא אֶל-בֵּיתוֹ לַעֲבֹט עֲבֹטוֹ: יא בַּחוּץ תַּעֲמֹד וְהָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה נֹשֶׁה בוֹ יוֹצִיא אֵלֶיךָ אֶת-הָעֲבוֹט הַחוּצָה: יב וְאִם-אִישׁ עָנִי הוּא לֹא תִשְׁכַּב בַּעֲבֹטוֹ: יג הָשֵׁב תָּשִׁיב לוֹ אֶת-הָעֲבוֹט כְּבוֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְשָׁכַב בְּשַֹלְמָתוֹ וּבֵרֲכֶךָּ וּלְךָ תִּהְיֶה צְדָקָה לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: [שביעי] יד לֹא-תַעֲשֹׁק שָֹכִיר עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן מֵאַחֶיךָ אוֹ מִגֵּרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּאַרְצְךָ בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ: טו בְּיוֹמוֹ תִתֵּן שְֹכָרוֹ וְלֹא-תָבוֹא עָלָיו הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ כִּי עָנִי הוּא וְאֵלָיו הוּא נֹשֵֹא אֶת-נַפְשׁוֹ וְלֹא-יִקְרָא עָלֶיךָ אֶל-יְהֹוָה וְהָיָה בְךָ חֵטְא: 24:10 ‘When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not enter his house to take his pledge. 24:11 ‘You shall remain outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you. 24:12 ‘If he is a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge. 24:13 ‘When the sun goes down you shall surely return the pledge to him, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you; and it will be righteousness for you before the Lord your God. 24:14 ‘You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns. 24:15 ‘You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the Lord and it become sin in you. (NASB) They say that this applies to the Holy One blessed be He (God) that He will give us His hire at the end of the day. How does this verse and the hireling explain the verse from Tehillim / Psalms 25:1 “A Psalm of David. Unto You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul?” The rabbis say that when a man goes and asks for his wage, he is lifting his soul to him. In the same way when we pray, we lift our souls to the Lord, our lives depend upon the Lord. This is consistent with the Aramaic Targum which says א לדוד קדמך יהוה נפשי אטול בצלו׃ 25:1 Of David. Before you, O Lord, I lift up my soul in prayer. (EMC) The midrash then speaks of Hadrian’s persecution with regard to the wages and their giving up their lives for hallowing the name of God. The Jewish Encyclopedia describes Hadrian’s rebellion in the following way.

Jewish Encyclopedia on the Hadrian Rebellion

“Hadrian was a Roman emperor that lived between 117-138 CE. At the very beginning of his reign he was called upon to suppress the final outbreaks of Jewish rebellion at Cyrene and Alexandria. According to a late but trustworthy source, he is said to have enticed the Jews of Alexandria into the open country, where about 50,000 of them were killed by his soldiers (Eliyahu R. xxx. 3). Afterward he seems to have avoided conflict with the Jews and to have granted them certain privileges. Jewish legend says that R. Joshua b. Hananiah was on friendly terms with him, and that Hadrian intended to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem (Gen. R. lxiv.). This agrees with the statement of Epiphanius (“De Mensuris et Ponderibus,” § 14) that the emperor commissioned the proselyte Akylas (Aquila) who, according to the rabbinical legend, was related to him, to supervise the building at Jerusalem, this of course referring to the city and not to the Temple. Other Christian sources, as Chrysostom, Cedrenus, and Nicephorus Callistus, say that the Jews had intended to build the Temple themselves; but a passage in the Epistle of Barnabas (xvi. 4), though its interpretation is disputed among scholars—seems to indicate that the Jews expected the pagans to rebuild the Temple. Scholars differ as to the cause of the rebellion. Spartianus (“Hadrianus,” § 14) reports that the Jews rebelled because circumcision was prohibited; while Dion Cassius says (lxix. 12) that Hadrian attempted to turn Jerusalem into a pagan city, which the Jews regarded as an abomination, and they therefore rebelled. It is possible that both of these measures were responsible for the rebellion; on the other hand, it is also possible that they were merely the consequences of it. Hadrian, who had a gentle disposition, was lauded throughout the great empire as a benefactor; he indeed so proved himself on his many journeys. Israeli cities like Cæsarea, Tiberias, Gaza, and Petra owed much to him; and his presence in Judea in 130 is commemorated on coins with the inscription “Adventui Aug[usti] Judææ.” He therefore could have had no intention of offending the Jews; but as a true Roman he believed only in the Roman “sacra” (Spartianus, l.c. § 22). It may have happened that in his zeal to rebuild destroyed cities he had disregarded the peculiarities of the Jews. The law against circumcision was founded on earlier Roman laws, and did not affect the Jews only. So long as the emperor was in Syria and Egypt the Jews remained quiet; but after his departure in 132 the rebellion under Bar Kokhba broke out. A series of magnificent edifices that Hadrian erected in Jerusalem are enumerated in a source that gathered its information probably from Julianus Africanus (“Chron. Paschale,” ed. Dindorf, i. 474; “J. Q. R.” xiv. 748). The temple of Jupiter towered on the site of the ancient Temple, with a statue of Hadrian in the interior (Jerome, Comm. on Isaiah ii. 9). The Jews passed through a period of bitter persecution; Sabbaths, festivals, the study of the Torah, and circumcision were prohibited, and it seemed as if Hadrian desired to annihilate the Jewish people. His anger fell upon all the Jews of his empire, for he imposed upon them an oppressive poll-tax (Appian, “Syrian War,” § 50). The persecution, however, did not last long, for Antoninus Pius revoked the cruel edicts.”

Simon bar Kokhba (שמעון בר כוכבא‎) (died 135 CE) was the Jewish leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi (“Prince”). His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 CE following a two-year war. What is interesting is that in Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 1, the rabbis remember Hadrian’s persecution which included the prohibition of circumcision, against the Shabbat, against the festivals and against the study of Torah. In addition to this the people thought Hadrian was going to rebuild the temple but instead built a temple to Jupiter with a statute of Hadrian himself in the interior. This illustrates Roman Emperor worship which was prevalent in those days. As a result of this, the Midrash states that the Jews gave their lives in pledge to the hallowing of the Name of God. The midrash does not go any further but to related this to Devarim / Deuteronomy 24:10-12 and the withholding of the pledge from the hireling. How does this relate to the David’s words for lifting the soul to God in Tehillim / Psalms 25:1? According to the rabbis, the people involved gave their lives in pledge to the Lord to hallow His Name. Did the Lord God enter into the houses of these men (Bar Kokhba revolt and the sanctifying of the Name of God) and require their lives for the pledge? No! They gave heir lives for the sake of the holiness of God’s name. Can you imagine laying down your life simply for the sake of hallowing the Name of God? If and when the time comes when our lives are required of us for the sake of believing in Yeshua the Messiah and we die for our faith, is this the same thing these men did in the laying down of their lives for the sanctification of the Name of God?

Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 5 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “My God, I have put my trust in You (Tehillim / Psalms 25:2).” The rabbis say that David, speaking of trusting, is speaking of trusting in the Torah (in the Word of God). They justify this interpretation using the Gematria (method of interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures using the numerical value of words) saying “Rabbi Isaac said, In You means in Your Torah, for the numerical value of the letters in bk (in You) is twenty two, the number of letters in the Hebrew Alphabet.” The rabbis next speak of a parable to illustrate David’s words of trusting in God. The parable at a glance gives witness not only to the supreme worth of the kingdom but also to its cost in self-dedication. This is the primary and inclusive condition of “entrance into” and of “life within” the kingdom of God. Based upon the rabbis parable, one needs to be completely dedicated to God in faith and trust to be saved from death. Faith in and of itself requires trust in the God of Israel and the recognition that our ultimate destiny is ultimately in God’s hands. The kingdom that is described in the parable is God’s gift, not a human achievement. Let’s read the parable that is used to illustrate these things.

Another comment on My God, I have put my trust in You, It happened that there lived in Caesarea a great man who had fame throughout the region. One night as the guards of the region made their rounds, they came upon a stranger whom they arrested. The stranger said to them, Do not strike me. I am so and so’s retainer. When they heard this they let go of him, but kept him under guard until morning. In the morning, they brought the stranger before the great man and said, Last night we came upon this retainer of yours. The great man asked, my son, do you know me? The stranger replied No, The great man asked, How then are you my retainer? And the stranger replied, I appeal to you. I am not your retainer; but I put my trust in you. Had I not said, I am so and so’s retainer, they would have struck me. Thereupon the great man said, Since he put his trust in me, let go of him. Even so, David said, My God I have put my trust in You, let me not be ashamed. And because I put my trust in You, let not my mine enemies triumph over me (Tehillim / Psalms 25:2). And not only me, but Let none that wait on You be ashamed; they will be ashamed that deal treacherously without cause (Tehillim / Psalms 25:3).

אחר אלהי בך בטחתי. מעשה היה בקיטון, והיה שם איש גדול, והיה לו שם במדינה, והיה שם איש אחד, והיו שומרי המדינה עוברין, מצאו אכסנאי אחד ותפסוהו, אמר להם אל תכוני בן ביתו של מלך אני, כיון ששמעו כן הניחוהו, ושמרוהו עד הבקר, בבקר הביאוהו אל בית המלך, ואמרו בן ביתך מצאנו אמש, אמר לו המלך בני אתה מכיר אותי, אמר לו לאו, אמר לו אם כן היאך אתה בן ביתי, אמר לו בבקשה ממך אני איני בן ביתך, אלא אדוני המלך בך אני בטחתי, שאלמלא לא אמרתי כן היו מכין אותי, אמר להן המלך הואיל ובטח בי הניחו לו, כך אמר דוד ה׳ אלהי בך בטחתי אל אבושה, ובשביל שהבטחתי בך אל יעלצו אויבי לי, ולא אני בלבד, אלא גם כל קויך לא יבושו, יבושו הבוגדים ריקם

Based upon the rabbis parable, the stranger lied that he was a retainer of a very great man in order to save his life. He had faith that the stranger would not turn him over to die. In addition to this, the had completely dedicated himself to trust in this man just as we should do personally with the Lord God of Heaven and Yeshua His Messiah. The parable has the great man (who parallels God) stating that “since he had placed his trust in me, let go of him.” Faith in the Lord and in His power and authority resulted in his being made free from those who had the authority to take his life. The rabbis continue in the midrash drawing upon a parallel with the temple services and going before the Lord to pray, the priest goes before the Lord and the people have their eyes upon the priest. They illustrate a principle of the one praying for the people, the people whose eyes, hearts, and prayers were with the one who stood before God, as a result of this, the Lord God will also hear their prayers. Does this sound familiar from the Apostolic Writings? According to Hebrews 7:21-26, we read the author of the book of Hebrews say 21ὁ δὲ μετὰ ὁρκωμοσίας διὰ τοῦ λέγοντος πρὸς αὐτόν, Ὤμοσεν κύριος, καὶ οὐ μεταμεληθήσεται, Σὺ ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, 22κατὰ τοσοῦτο [καὶ] κρείττονος διαθήκης γέγονεν ἔγγυος Ἰησοῦς. 23καὶ οἱ μὲν πλείονές εἰσιν γεγονότες ἱερεῖς διὰ τὸ θανάτῳ κωλύεσθαι παραμένειν: 24ὁ δὲ διὰ τὸ μένειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἀπαράβατον ἔχει τὴν ἱερωσύνην: 25ὅθεν καὶ σῴζειν εἰς τὸ παντελὲς δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους δι’ αὐτοῦ τῷ θεῷ, πάντοτε ζῶν εἰς τὸ ἐντυγχάνειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν. 26Τοιοῦτος γὰρ ἡμῖν καὶ ἔπρεπεν ἀρχιερεύς, ὅσιος, ἄκακος, ἀμίαντος, κεχωρισμένος ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν, καὶ ὑψηλότερος τῶν οὐρανῶν γενόμενος: 27ὃς οὐκ ἔχει καθ’ ἡμέραν ἀνάγκην, ὥσπερ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς, πρότερον ὑπὲρ τῶν ἰδίων ἁμαρτιῶν θυσίας ἀναφέρειν, ἔπειτα τῶν τοῦ λαοῦ: τοῦτο γὰρ ἐποίησεν ἐφάπαξ ἑαυτὸν ἀνενέγκας. 7:21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, ‘The Lord has sworn And will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever’‘); 7:22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 7:23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 7:24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 7:26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 7:27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. (NASB) Note how the author of the book of Hebrews draws a parallel to the priesthood and the Messiah. In Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 5, the rabbis speak of having faith in God and in the mighty one who has the power to free from death. In addition to this, they say one man is needed to go before God to pray, as is illustrated in the temple service (i.e. Yom Kippur). In a similar way, the Apostolic Writings speak of the intercessory role of the Messiah, that he is before our Father in Heaven, the Lord hears our prayers because of the Messiah, and the Messiah is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him because He is near to the Lord God Almighty. Yeshua stands before the Father in Heaven, and because He is there before God, our Father in Heave hears our prayers because our eyes, hearts, and prayers are with the one who stands before God. When being humble, despised, dying, and dead, He had the power to accomplish so great a work as reconciling us to God, how much more may we expect that He will be able to keep us now that He is the living, exalted, and triumphant Redeemer, raised to life and interceding on our behalf before the throne of God (Romans 8:34). It is interesting to find a similar concept in the minds of the rabbis with regard to the one who goes before the Lord and God hearing all of prayers of the people because of this one whose eyes are on God. The Midrash concludes saying “Hence David prayed, Let none that wait on You be ashamed; they will be ashamed who act deceitfully with respect to their emptiness, that is, men who fast without repentance will be ashamed.” Going off of Tehillim / Psalms 25:3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. (NASB) the rabbis take it one step further, that to fast without repentance will result in shame before God.

Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 9 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “My transgressions, like the sins of my youth, remember not (Tehillim / Psalms 25:7).” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash states “According to rabbi Yudan, David said to the Holy One blessed be He, Master of the universe, may my sins and transgressions be considered like the sins of my youth before You, and so have no substance whatever.” (אמר ר׳ יודן אמר דוד לפני הקב״ה רבונו של עולם יהיו חטאיי ופשעיי כחטאות נעוריי לפניך, ולא יהיה בהם ממש) Why do the rabbis say that David is asking that his sins be like the sins of his youth that they have no substance? They speak of two parables to illustrate this verse from Tehillim / Psalms 25:7.

Parable 1

Rabbi Eleazar told a parable of a king who prepared a great banquet and charged his steward, Invite me merchants; do not invite my artisans. Thereupon his steward said, My lord king, so abundant is your banquet that the merchants will not be able to eat it all, unless the artisans are part of the company. Even so, David said, According to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness sake, O Lord, as is said The Lord is good to all (Tehillim / Psalms 145:9).

Parable 2

Rabbi Jose son of Hanina told a parable of a king who prepared a banquet and invited guests. The fourth hour passed, and the guests did not come. The fifth and sixth hours passed and still the guests did not come. By evening the guests began to arrive. The king said to them, I am beholden to you. Had you not come, I would have had to throw the whole banquet to my dogs. Even so, the Holy One blessed be He, says to the righteous, I consider this a great favor on your part, for I created My world because of you; and were it not for you, all the goodness which I have prepared for the future, of which it is said Oh how abundant is Your goodness, which You have laid up for them that fear You (Tehillim / Psalms 31:20), to whom could I give it?

משל א

אמר ר׳ אלעזר משל למלך שעשה סעודה גדולה, ואמר לאפיטרופין שלו זמין לי בני אדם תגרים, ואל תזמין לי בעלי מלאכה, אמר לו אדוני המלך ־ סעודתך גדולה היא, והתגרין לא יספיקו לאוכלה, אלא עם בעלי מלאכה, כך אמר דוד כחסדך זכר לי אתה למען טובך ה׳, שנאמר טוב ה׳ לכל (תהלים קמה ט).

משל ב

ר׳ יוסי [בר חנינא] אמר משל למלך שעשה סעודה, וזימן את האורחין, הגיעו לארבע שעות ביום ולא באו, לחמש, לשש ולא באו, לעת ערב התחילו האורחין ממשמשין ובאין, אמר להן טובה גדולה אני צריך להחזיק לכם, לפי שאילולא באתם כל הסעודה הייתי משליך לכלבים, כך אמר הקב״ה לצדיקים, טובה גדולה אני מחזיק לכם, שבשבילכם בראתי את עולמי, שאילמלא אתם כל הטובה שהתקנתי לעתיד, שנאמר מה רב טובך אשר צפנת ליראיך (שם תהלים לא כ), למי הייתי נותנה.

Reading through the parables, these are known as “kings parables” and here the rabbis speak of a king who prepared a banquet with invited guests. These two parables remind us of the two parables that Yeshua the Messiah taught during his ministry, (i) the parable of “The Great Banquet” (Matthew 22:1-14 and Luke 14:15-24) and (ii) the “Parable of the Wedding Feast” (Luke 14:7-14). Let’s look at these parables from the gospel of Matthew and Luke.

Matthew 22:1-14

22:1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, 22:2 ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 22:3 ‘And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 22:4 ‘Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, ‘Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.’’ 22:5 ‘But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 22:6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 22:7 ‘But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 22:8 ‘Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 22:9 ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 22:10 ‘Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 22:11 ‘But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 22:12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 22:13 ‘Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 22:14 ‘For many are called, but few are chosen.’ (NASB)

1Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν εἶπεν ἐν παραβολαῖς αὐτοῖς λέγων, 2Ὡμοιώθη ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ βασιλεῖ, ὅστις ἐποίησεν γάμους τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ. 3καὶ ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ καλέσαι τοὺς κεκλημένους εἰς τοὺς γάμους, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελον ἐλθεῖν. 4πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους λέγων, Εἴπατε τοῖς κεκλημένοις, Ἰδοὺ τὸ ἄριστόν μου ἡτοίμακα, οἱ ταῦροί μου καὶ τὰ σιτιστὰ τεθυμένα, καὶ πάντα ἕτοιμα: δεῦτε εἰς τοὺς γάμους. 5οἱ δὲ ἀμελήσαντες ἀπῆλθον, ὃς μὲν εἰς τὸν ἴδιον ἀγρόν, ὃς δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν ἐμπορίαν αὐτοῦ: 6οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ κρατήσαντες τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ ὕβρισαν καὶ ἀπέκτειναν. 7ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ὠργίσθη, καὶ πέμψας τὰ στρατεύματα αὐτοῦ ἀπώλεσεν τοὺς φονεῖς ἐκείνους καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν ἐνέπρησεν. 8τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ, Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν, οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι: 9πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν, καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους. 10καὶ ἐξελθόντες οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς συνήγαγον πάντας οὓς εὗρον, πονηρούς τε καὶ ἀγαθούς: καὶ ἐπλήσθη ὁ γάμος ἀνακειμένων. 11εἰσελθὼν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς θεάσασθαι τοὺς ἀνακειμένους εἶδεν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπον οὐκ ἐνδεδυμένον ἔνδυμα γάμου: 12καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Ἑταῖρε, πῶς εἰσῆλθες ὧδε μὴ ἔχων ἔνδυμα γάμου; ὁ δὲ ἐφιμώθη. 13τότε ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τοῖς διακόνοις, Δήσαντες αὐτοῦ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας ἐκβάλετε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον: ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων. 14πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί.

Luke 14:7-14

14:7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 14:8 ‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 14:9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 14:10 ‘But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 14:11 ‘For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’ 14:12 And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. 14:13 ‘But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14:14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ (NASB)

7Ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς κεκλημένους παραβολήν, ἐπέχων πῶς τὰς πρωτοκλισίας ἐξελέγοντο, λέγων πρὸς αὐτούς, 8Οταν κληθῇς ὑπό τινος εἰς γάμους, μὴ κατακλιθῇς εἰς τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν, μήποτε ἐντιμότερός σου ᾖ κεκλημένος ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ, 9καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν καλέσας ἐρεῖ σοι, Δὸς τούτῳ τόπον, καὶ τότε ἄρξῃ μετὰ αἰσχύνης τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον κατέχειν. 10ἀλλ’ ὅταν κληθῇς πορευθεὶς ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον, ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ κεκληκώς σε ἐρεῖ σοι, Φίλε, προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον: τότε ἔσται σοι δόξα ἐνώπιον πάντων τῶν συνανακειμένων σοι. 11ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται. 12Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν, Οταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον, μὴ φώνει τοὺς φίλους σου μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους, μήποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι. 13ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς, κάλει πτωχούς, ἀναπείρους, χωλούς, τυφλούς: 14καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι, ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων.

Luke 14:15-24

14:15 When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, ‘Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’ 14:16 But He said to him, ‘A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; 14:17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 14:18 ‘But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ 14:19 ‘Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ 14:20 ‘Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ 14:21 ‘And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 14:22 ‘And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 14:23 ‘And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. 14:24 ‘For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’‘ (NASB)

15Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Μακάριος ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ. 16ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ἄνθρωπός τις ἐποίει δεῖπνον μέγα, καὶ ἐκάλεσεν πολλούς, 17καὶ ἀπέστειλεν τὸν δοῦλον αὐτοῦ τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ δείπνου εἰπεῖν τοῖς κεκλημένοις, Ἔρχεσθε, ὅτι ἤδη ἕτοιμά ἐστιν. 18καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀπὸ μιᾶς πάντες παραιτεῖσθαι. ὁ πρῶτος εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ἀγρὸν ἠγόρασα καὶ ἔχω ἀνάγκην ἐξελθὼν ἰδεῖν αὐτόν: ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον. 19καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν, Ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά: ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον. 20καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν, Γυναῖκα ἔγημα καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὐ δύναμαι ἐλθεῖν. 21καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος ἀπήγγειλεν τῷ κυρίῳ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα. τότε ὀργισθεὶς ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ, Ἔξελθε ταχέως εἰς τὰς πλατείας καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως, καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ ἀναπείρους καὶ τυφλοὺς καὶ χωλοὺς εἰσάγαγε ὧδε. 22καὶ εἶπεν ὁ δοῦλος, Κύριε, γέγονεν ὃ ἐπέταξας, καὶ ἔτι τόπος ἐστίν. 23καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος πρὸς τὸν δοῦλον, Ἔξελθε εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς καὶ φραγμοὺς καὶ ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν, ἵνα γεμισθῇ μου ὁ οἶκος: 24λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων τῶν κεκλημένων γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου.

In the first parable from Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 9, the rabbis speak of a king who prepares a banquet but asks that the “artisans” not be invited to the feast. The servants speak to the king that his abundance is so great that they will be unable to eat all of the banquet meal unless the artisans are invited also. Here the king is choosing who may attend and who may not, it is left to the will of the king to give the blessing of a banquet feast to whom he chooses. In the second parable, the rabbis speak of a time when the king prepared a banquet and invited guests, however, the guests would not come. The parable states that the fifth and sixth hours passed and the guests still didn’t come until the evening. The king responded that he would have thrown the entire banquet to the dogs if they had not come. This parable sounds like Yeshua’s parable in Matthew 22:1-14 and those who would not come the king asked to invite anyone they could find on the highway, the poor, etc to come and eat. The rabbis also say that God created the world for the righteous. Back in Midrash Tehillim 6, Part 3, we read “The King as ruler,” “The King as Father of Israel,” The King as Father of a Son,” and “The King who rules over all mankind (nations).” The king is paralleled to the Holy One Blessed be He, the Lord God of Israel. The Talmud Bavli Shabbat 153a describes a parable of a king who announced a banquet without stating the time. Those who had the foresight dressed for the occasion and waited whereas those who were foolish went about their ordinary work, confident that they would be informed of the time. Then, suddenly the call was made to come to the banquet. The wise were dressed properly whereas the fools come in their dirty garments. The king was pleased with the wise and angry with the foolish. This sounds very similar to the parable of the “Wedding Feast” in Like 14:7-24. The parable of the wedding feast is a common kings parable in the rabbinic literature. In Yeshua’s ministry, He spoke in parable form and proclaimed the gospel in parables as a sign of judgment upon the people who refused to repent. These parables were introduced by Yeshua with the phrase “the kingdom of heaven is like” and then a story the people could relate to is given. In Matthew 21:33-46 (Christ’s authority), Matthew 21:23-27 (Parable of two sons) and Matthew 21:33-46 (Parable of the wicked servants), Yeshua is addressing the failure of the religious leaders to repent and believe. The failure to repent and believe brought the judgment of God. Matthew’s parable of the wedding feast is similar to one in Luke 14:15-24, where the interpretation of the parable has caused difficulty for most commentators who try to contrast two ideas (i) the need to accept the invitation of the king (the gospel message) and (ii) the need to respond appropriately (obedience). Note that within Yeshua’s parable is the concept of “complete renewal” with the mention of the proper clothing that must be worn indicates that the old way of life must be laid aside and the new life be taken up for the glory of God. The commentators Davies and Allison state “The royal wedding feast is the eschatological banquet (also held by most modern commentators), the dual sending of the servants is …. the sending of God’s messengers. The murder of the servants represents the murder of the prophets and Jesus .. the third sending of the servants is the mission of the church.” They continue saying the second part of the parable is “allegorically describing the last judgment, which extends to those within the church”, those without the “wedding garment of the resurrection body or its garment of glory.” Should the wedding feast parables be thought of as merely referring to the eschatological events that will take place in the future? (Think about the Salvation of God, do we think primarily of the eschatological conclusion of salvation and forgiveness of sins when we think of the Salvation of God?) What we find here are parables that are very similar between the rabbinic thought and Yeshua’s parables which illustrate the mercy of God. In Tehillim / Psalms 25:7, David says “My transgressions, like the sins of my youth, remember not” and the rabbis say in their midrash that David is asking the Lord God to consider his transgressions like the sins of his youth which have no substance. The suggestion here is that his sins were forgiven and are now no longer remembered. The rabbinic parables parallel Yeshua’s parables in the sense that God is merciful and forgiving and the rabbis say in fact that the Lord God created the world specifically for the righteous. The rabbis conclude Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 9 saying “Even so, the Holy One blessed be He, says to the righteous, I consider this a great favor on your part, for I created My world because of you; and were it not for you, all the goodness which I have prepared for the future, of which it is said Oh how abundant is Your goodness, which You have laid up for them that fear You (Tehillim / Psalms 31:20), to whom could I give it?” According to Yeshua, God gives his mercy and grace to whom He pleases. The interesting point is that when the Lord invites us, we are to respond obediently to His calling and to do so in the way that He has made for us. The way He has provided is in His Messiah Yeshua, by faith, and according to His Word. This seems to be consistent with Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 11, which opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth (Tehillim / Psalms 25:10)” and the rabbis then stating that “Lest one think that the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth for all men, the verse ends saying, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies” in the פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash. The paths of mercy and truth are not for all men, they are only for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. The discussion continues on who receives the paths of mercy and truth.

Another comment on All the paths of the Lord. When the Holy One blessed be He, said to Moshe, go and tell the children of Israel you will walk after the Lord your God (Devarim / Deuteronomy 25:10), they replied, Moshe, our Master, who can walk after the Lord? Is it not written The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm (Nahum 1:3)? And is it not said, Your way is in the sea, and Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps are not known (Tehillim / Psalms 77:20)? Thereupon Moshe said to the children of Israel, I will tell you the paths of the Lord. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, By mercy is meant deeds of loving kindness, and by truth is meant the Torah of the Lord. For to whom will the paths of the Lord be given? Unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. (Midrash Tehillim 25, Part 11)

דבר אחר כל ארחות ה׳. בשעה שאמר הקב״ה למשה לך אמור להם לישראל אחרי ה׳ אלהיכם תלכו (דברים יג ה), אמרו לו רבינו משה ומי יכול לילך אחריו, והלא כתיב וה׳ בסופה ובסערה דרכו (נחום א ג), ואומר בים דרכך ושבילך וגו׳ (תהלים עז כ), אמר להם אני אומר לכם דרכיו של הקב״ה, כל ארחות ה׳ חסד ואמת, חסד זו גמילות חסדים, ואמת זו תורה, ולמי נתן, לנוצרי בריתו

The rabbis say that the way of the Lord being mercy and truth is for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies is meant that “mercy” is deeds of loving kindness, and “truth” is the Torah of the Lord. The rabbis teach that we are to meditate on deeds of loving kindness throughout the day and that we should train ourselves for the attribute of chesed (kindness). The first is to love the Lord our God “this love should be fixed firmly in his heart, whether he receives good from the Holy One, Blessed Be He, or suffering and chastisement, both should be considered expressions of G-d’s love for him. As the verse states, ‘Faithful are the wounds inflicted by a loving friend…’(Proverbs 27:6). Furthermore, it is written,’…and with all your might’ (Deut. 6:5), which the sages interpret as meaning, ‘With whatever measure He metes out to you’ (Talmud Bavli Berachot 9:5), thereby including all attributes in the attribute of chesed. Thus, although the secret of divine conduct, which stems from the attribute of malchut (sovereignty), may be expressed as severity, it is connected to chesed.” The rabbis go on to list the deeds of lovingkindness (i) provide for children, (ii) visit the sick, (iii) give charity to the poor, (iv) give hospitality to strangers, (v) bringing a bride to the bridal canopy, and (vi) making peace between a man and his fellow, to name a few. This acquiring or training ourselves to have the attribute of chesed (mercy or kindness) sounds very similar to what the Apostle Paul says in the book of Philippians chapter 4.

Philippians 4:5-13

4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 4:12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (NASB)

Being humble, prayerful and gentle are all key attributes that Paul is saying we should think upon continually, and on doing good to others. The rabbis say that God has given us by example (of chesed) saying “the Holy One blessed be He adorns maidens and seeks out husbands for them; that He visits the sick and buries the dead.” They then go on to provide Scriptural evidence that the Lord demonstrated by example the attributes of chesed.

God’s Example to us of Chesed according to the Rabbis

  1. The proof that the Lord God adorns maidens and seeks out husbands for them? The verse And with the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man, He plaited the hair (banah) of the woman, and brought her unto the man (Bereshit / Genesis 2:22). The word banah suggests that the Holy One blessed be He, plaited Eve’s hair, and brought her thus adorned to Adam, for in the cities by the sea a woman’s hair is called binyata.
  2. The proof that the Lord visits the sick? The verse And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre (Bereshit / Genesis 18:1).
  3. The proof that the Lord buries the dead? The verse So Moshe died and he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab (Devarim / Deuteronomy 34:5-6).

In Midrash Tehillim 25, we find many rabbinic parallels, in the parables of Yeshua and to the Apostle Paul and his thoughts on the attributes of chesed, the midrash speaks of God’s mercy and forgiveness. The rabbis say that the Lord God created the world specifically for the righteous, this is a truth that is found throughout the Scriptures. According to Yeshua, God gives his mercy and grace to whom He pleases according to the kings parables of the feasts. The interesting point is that when the Lord invites us, we are to respond obediently to His calling and to do so in the way that He has made for us. The way He has provided is in His Messiah Yeshua, by faith, and according to His Word. David in Tehillim / Psalms 51 expressing the importance of being cleansed in 51:9 saying תְּחַטְּאֵנִי בְאֵזוֹב וְאֶטְהָר תְּכַבְּסֵנִי וּמִשֶּׁלֶג אַלְבִּין “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (NASB) David implies the internal cleansing from sin in the phrase תְּחַטְּאֵנִי בְאֵזוֹב וְאֶטְהָר translating literally as “my sins in hyssop and I will be clean” here David is asking the Lord to cleans him inwardly. David desires not only that his sins be forgiven him but that his heart would be made pure in Tehillim / Psalms 51:12-13 יב לֵב טָהוֹר בְּרָא-לִי אֱלֹהִים וְרוּחַ נָכוֹן חַדֵּשׁ בְּקִרְבִּי: יג אַל-תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וְרוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ אַל-תִּקַּח מִמֶּנִּי: (“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”, Note the English bible reference is 51:10-11). The Hebrew text says “create in me a clean heart in the sense of ritual purity, and a right/correct new spirit inside of me.” David recognized that in sin, his relationship with God was estranged and he asks the Lord to not cast him away from His presence and do not take away His Holy Spirit (אַל-תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וְרוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ אַל-תִּקַּח מִמֶּנִּי). In Tehillim / Psalms 51:12-13, we see that sin can estrange us from God’s Holy Spirit, which is another way to say that when we sin we are acting in opposition to the leading of God’s Spirit. In the final verses of Tehillim / Psalms 51, David recognizes that the Lord is looking for repentance, justice (מִשְׁפָּט) and righteousness (צְדָקָה) the Lord is looking for those who are obedient to Him יח כִּי | לֹא-תַחְפֹּץ זֶבַח וְאֶתֵּנָה עוֹלָה לֹא תִרְצֶה: יט זִבְחֵי אֱלֹהִים רוּחַ נִשְׁבָּרָה לֵב-נִשְׁבָּר וְנִדְכֶּה אֱלֹהִים לֹא תִבְזֶה: “For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” In addition to this, in Tehillim / Psalms 51:15 David says טו אֲלַמְּדָה פשְׁעִים דְּרָכֶיךָ וְחַטָּאִים אֵלֶיךָ יָשׁוּבוּ: “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted/turn to You.” This Psalm explicitly states that God’s way and our relationship with God are connected. The Lord provided a way for the absolution of sin according to the Torah, therefore we need to look to the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness that He has provided in His Messiah. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (NASB) Note that if we practice these things, in Yeshua the Messiah (Christ Jesus) Paul says the God of peace will be with you. Do you want the God of peace to be with you? Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 25-Part1-and-2

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