Tehillim / Psalms 27, Part 2, The Lord Who is the Light of Life

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This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 27:1-14, David opens saying א לְדָוִד | יְהֹוָה | אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי מִמִּי אִירָא יְהֹוָה מָעוֹז חַיַּי מִמִּי אֶפְחָד: 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? (NASB) What does David mean by “the Lord is his light?” He goes on to say that ב בִּקְרֹב עָלַי | מְרֵעִים לֶאֱכֹל אֶת-בְּשָֹרִי צָרַי וְאֹיְבַי לִי הֵמָּה כָּשְׁלוּ וְנָפָלוּ: ג אִם-תַּחֲנֶה עָלַי | מַחֲנֶה לֹא-יִירָא לִבִּי אִם-תָּקוּם עָלַי מִלְחָמָה בְּזֹאת אֲנִי בוֹטֵחַ: 27:2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 27:3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. (NASB) David’s confidence is in the Lord protecting and Saving (יִשְׁעִי) him from his enemies. He believes the Lord will cause his enemies to stumble and fall and that the size of the armies that come against him does not cause him to fear because the Lord is with him. David says ד אַחַת | שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאֵת-יְהֹוָה אוֹתָהּ אֲבַקֵּשׁ שִׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהֹוָה כָּל-יְמֵי חַיַּי לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם-יְהֹוָה וּלְבַקֵּר בְּהֵיכָלוֹ: 27:4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. (NASB) David requests to dwell in the house of the Lord all of his days, how did the Lord accomplish this in his life? He goes on to say ה כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי | בְּסֻכֹּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה יַסְתִּרֵנִי בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ בְּצוּר יְרוֹמְמֵנִי: ו וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי עַל-אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי וְאֶזְבְּחָה בְאָהֳלוֹ זִבְחֵי תְרוּעָה אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה לַיהֹוָה: ז שְׁמַע-יְהֹוָה קוֹלִי אֶקְרָא וְחָנֵּנִי וַעֲנֵנִי: 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. 27:7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. (NASB) David concludes saying יא הוֹרֵנִי יְהֹוָה דַּרְכֶּךָ וּנְחֵנִי בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר לְמַעַן שׁוֹרְרָי: יב אַל-תִּתְּנֵנִי בְּנֶפֶשׁ צָרָי כִּי קָמוּ-בִי עֵדֵי-שֶׁקֶר וִיפֵחַ חָמָס: יג לוּלֵא הֶאֱמַנְתִּי לִרְאוֹת בְּטוּב-יְהֹוָה בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים: יד קַוֵּה אֶל-יְהוָה חֲזַק וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ וְקַוֵּה אֶל-יְהֹוָה: 27:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. 27:12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 27:14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (NASB)

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק כז

א לְדָוִד | יְהֹוָה | אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי מִמִּי אִירָא יְהֹוָה מָעוֹז חַיַּי מִמִּי אֶפְחָד: ב בִּקְרֹב עָלַי | מְרֵעִים לֶאֱכֹל אֶת-בְּשָֹרִי צָרַי וְאֹיְבַי לִי הֵמָּה כָּשְׁלוּ וְנָפָלוּ: ג אִם-תַּחֲנֶה עָלַי | מַחֲנֶה לֹא-יִירָא לִבִּי אִם-תָּקוּם עָלַי מִלְחָמָה בְּזֹאת אֲנִי בוֹטֵחַ: ד אַחַת | שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאֵת-יְהֹוָה אוֹתָהּ אֲבַקֵּשׁ שִׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהֹוָה כָּל-יְמֵי חַיַּי לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם-יְהֹוָה וּלְבַקֵּר בְּהֵיכָלוֹ:

סםר טוביה פרק כז

א לדוד יהוה מימרא דייי נהורי ופורקני ממן אדחל יהוה עושנא דחיי ממן אדחל אדלוח׃ ב כד יתקרבון יקרבון עלי מבאשין לגמרא ית בסרי מעיקיי ובעלי דבבי הינון אינון איתקלו ונפלו׃ ג אין תשרי עליי משירית רשיעי לא ידחל לבבי אין תקום עלי קרבא בדא אנא סביר מתרחיץ׃

YALMOI 27

27:1 τοῦ δαυιδ πρὸ τοῦ χρισθῆναι κύριος φωτισμός μου καὶ σωτήρ μου τίνα φοβηθήσομαι κύριος ὑπερασπιστὴς τῆς ζωῆς μου ἀπὸ τίνος δειλιάσω 27:2 ἐν τῷ ἐγγίζειν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ κακοῦντας τοῦ φαγεῖν τὰς σάρκας μου οἱ θλίβοντές με καὶ οἱ ἐχθροί μου αὐτοὶ ἠσθένησαν καὶ ἔπεσαν 27:3 ἐὰν παρατάξηται ἐπ’ ἐμὲ παρεμβολή οὐ φοβηθήσεται ἡ καρδία μου ἐὰν ἐπαναστῇ ἐπ’ ἐμὲ πόλεμος ἐν ταύτῃ ἐγὼ ἐλπίζω

ה כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי | בְּסֻכֹּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה יַסְתִּרֵנִי בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ בְּצוּר יְרוֹמְמֵנִי: ו וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי עַל-אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי וְאֶזְבְּחָה בְאָהֳלוֹ זִבְחֵי תְרוּעָה אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה לַיהֹוָה: ז שְׁמַע-יְהֹוָה קוֹלִי אֶקְרָא וְחָנֵּנִי וַעֲנֵנִי: ח לְךָ | אָמַר לִבִּי בַּקְּשׁוּ פָנָי אֶת-פָּנֶיךָ יְהֹוָה אֲבַקֵּשׁ: ט אַל-תַּסְתֵּר פָּנֶיךָ | מִמֶּנִּי אַל-תַּט בְּאַף עַבְדֶּךָ עֶזְרָתִי הָיִיתָ אַל-תִּטְּשֵׁנִי וְאַל-תַּעַזְבֵנִי אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי: י כִּי-אָבִי וְאִמִּי עֲזָבוּנִי וַיהֹוָה יַאַסְפֵנִי: יא הוֹרֵנִי יְהֹוָה דַּרְכֶּךָ וּנְחֵנִי בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר לְמַעַן שׁוֹרְרָי: יב אַל-תִּתְּנֵנִי בְּנֶפֶשׁ צָרָי כִּי קָמוּ-בִי עֵדֵי-שֶׁקֶר וִיפֵחַ חָמָס: יג לוּלֵא הֶאֱמַנְתִּי לִרְאוֹת בְּטוּב-יְהֹוָה בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים: יד קַוֵּה אֶל-יְהוָה חֲזַק וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ וְקַוֵּה אֶל-יְהֹוָה:

ד חדא בעיתי מן קדם יהוה יתה אתבע דאיתיב בבית מקדשא דיהוה כל יומי חיי למחמי בבסימותא דיהוה ולבשקרה ולבקרא בהכליה׃ ה ארום יטשינני בטלליה ביום בישתא בישותא יטמרינני בטימור משכניה בכרך תקיף ירורם יתרם יתי׃ ו והשתא וכדון יתררם רישי על בעלי דבבי חזור חזור לי ואכוס ואנכס במשכניה ניכסי רעוא ביבבא אשבח ואב יוע קדם יהוה׃ ז קבל יהוה צלותי במקראי קלי אצלי וחוס עלי ורחים יתי׃ ח לך אמר לבי בעו אפי ית סבר אפך יהוה אתבע׃ ט לא תסלק שכינתך מיני לא תצלי ברוגזא לעבדך סייועי הויתא לא תטלטל יתי ולא תשבקינני אלהא פורקני׃ י מטול ארום דאבא ואימא ישבקו שבקו יתי יהוה ומימרא דייי יכנוש לי׃ יא אלפני יהוה אורחתך ודברני בהילכתא תריצא מטול תושבחי ייי׃ יב לא תמסרינני ברעות מעיקי ארום קמו עלי סהדי שיקרא וממללי חטופא׃ יג אילולי די הימנית למחמי בטובא דיהוה בארעא דחיי עלמא׃ יד סבור על יהוה תקוף תקיף ועלים לבך וסבור על יהוה׃

27:4 μίαν ᾐτησάμην παρὰ κυρίου ταύτην ἐκζητήσω τοῦ κατοικεῖν με ἐν οἴκῳ κυρίου πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ζωῆς μου τοῦ θεωρεῖν με τὴν τερπνότητα τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ἐπισκέπτεσθαι τὸν ναὸν αὐτοῦ 27:5 ὅτι ἔκρυψέν με ἐν σκηνῇ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κακῶν μου ἐσκέπασέν με ἐν ἀποκρύφῳ τῆς σκηνῆς αὐτοῦ ἐν πέτρᾳ ὕψωσέν με 27:6 καὶ νῦν ἰδοὺ ὕψωσεν τὴν κεφαλήν μου ἐπ’ ἐχθρούς μου ἐκύκλωσα καὶ ἔθυσα ἐν τῇ σκηνῇ αὐτοῦ θυσίαν ἀλαλαγμοῦ ᾄσομαι καὶ ψαλῶ τῷ κυρίῳ 27:7 εἰσάκουσον κύριε τῆς φωνῆς μου ἧς ἐκέκραξα ἐλέησόν με καὶ εἰσάκουσόν μου 27:8 σοὶ εἶπεν ἡ καρδία μου ἐζήτησεν τὸ πρόσωπόν μου τὸ πρόσωπόν σου κύριε ζητήσω 27:9 μὴ ἀποστρέψῃς τὸ πρόσωπόν σου ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ μὴ ἐκκλίνῃς ἐν ὀργῇ ἀπὸ τοῦ δούλου σου βοηθός μου γενοῦ μὴ ἀποσκορακίσῃς με καὶ μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃς με ὁ θεὸς ὁ σωτήρ μου 27:10 ὅτι ὁ πατήρ μου καὶ ἡ μήτηρ μου ἐγκατέλιπόν με ὁ δὲ κύριος προσελάβετό με 27:11 νομοθέτησόν με κύριε τῇ ὁδῷ σου καὶ ὁδήγησόν με ἐν τρίβῳ εὐθείᾳ ἕνεκα τῶν ἐχθρῶν μου 27:12 μὴ παραδῷς με εἰς ψυχὰς θλιβόντων με ὅτι ἐπανέστησάν μοι μάρτυρες ἄδικοι καὶ ἐψεύσατο ἡ ἀδικία ἑαυτῇ 27:13 πιστεύω τοῦ ἰδεῖν τὰ ἀγαθὰ κυρίου ἐν γῇ ζώντων 27:14 ὑπόμεινον τὸν κύριον ἀνδρίζου καὶ κραταιούσθω ἡ καρδία σου καὶ ὑπόμεινον τὸν κύριον

In Tehillim / Psalms 27, David opens in verse one saying א לְדָוִד | יְהֹוָה | אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי מִמִּי אִירָא יְהֹוָה מָעוֹז חַיַּי מִמִּי אֶפְחָד: 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? (NASB) What does David mean by “the Lord is his light?” If we perform a simple search for the key words “light,” “Lord,” “God,” and various combinations of those words in the Scriptures, the results will produce more than 100 search results. We will select a few of these verses to discuss and try to understand how the Lord is a light to David, let’s begin with what the Torah has to say about “light.” The first reference to “the light” (הָאוֹר) is found in Bereshit / Genesis 1:3-5.

Bereshit / Genesis 1:3-5

1:3 Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. 1:4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 1:5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (NASB) ג וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי-אוֹר וַיְהִי-אוֹר: ד וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאוֹר כִּי-טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ: ה וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים | לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד:

Tehillim / Psalms 27

27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? 27:2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 27:3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. 27:4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. 27:7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. 27:8 When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.’ 27:9 Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! 27:10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lord will take me up. 27:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. 27:12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 27:14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms Chapter 27

27:1 Of David. The Lord is my light and my redemption; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; whom shall I fear? 27:2 Whenever evildoers come near to me to destroy my flesh, my oppressors and my foes – they have stumbled and fallen. 27:3 If an army of the wicked encamps against me, my heart will not fear; if battle rises against me, in this I place my hope. 27:4 One thing I have sought from the presence of the Lord; that thing I will continue to seek: that I should dwell in the sanctuary of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the pleasantness of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. 27:5 For he will hide me in his shadow in the day of evil, he will conceal me in the hiding place of his tabernacle, in a mighty fortress he will raise me up. 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up over my enemies round about; and I will slaughter acceptable sacrifices in his tabernacle; I will sing praise and be glad in the presence of the Lord. 27:7 Receive, O Lord, my prayer when I call, and have mercy on me and pity me. 27:8 To you my heart said, “Seek my face”; your countenance, O Lord, I will seek. 27:9 Do not remove your presence from me; do not turn in anger to your servant; you have been my help; do not exile me and do not abandon me, O God my redemption. 27:10 Because my father (abba) and my mother have abandoned me, but the Lord will gather me in. 27:11 Teach me, O Lord, your ways, and lead me by a straight path because of my psalm. 27:12 Do not hand me over to the will of my oppressors, for the false witnesses have risen against me, and those who speak rapacity. 27:13 Had I not believed I would look on the goodness of the Lord in the land of eternal life! 27:14 Hope in the Lord; strengthen and fortify your heart; and hope in the Lord. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 27

A Psalm of David, before he was anointed. 27:1 The Lord is my light and my Saviour; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the defender of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 27:2 When evil-doers drew nigh against me to eat up my flesh, my persecutors and mine enemies, they fainted and fell. 27:3 Though an army should set itself in array against me, my heart shall not be afraid: though war should rise up against me, in this am I confident. 27:4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, this will I earnestly seek: that I should dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, that I should behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and survey his temple. 27:5 For in the day of mine afflictions he hid me in his tabernacle: he sheltered me in the secret of his tabernacle; he set me up on a rock. 27:6 And now, behold, he has lifted up mine head over mine enemies: I went round and offered in his tabernacle the sacrifice of joy; I will sing even sing psalms to the Lord. 27:7 Hear, O Lord, my voice which I have uttered aloud: pity me, and hearken to me. 27:8 My heart said to thee, I have diligently sought thy face: thy face, O Lord, I will seek. 27:9 Turn not thy face away from me, turn not thou away from thy servant in anger: be thou my helper, forsake me not; and, O God my Saviour, overlook me not. 27:10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord has taken me to himself. 27:11 Teach me, O Lord, in thy way, and guide me in a right path, because of mine enemies. 27:12 Deliver me not over to the desire of them that afflict me; for unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and injustice has lied within herself. 27:13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and let thy heart be strengthened: yea wait on the Lord. (LXX)

Other references in the Torah to light are found in Shemot / Exodus 10:23, 13:21, and 25:37.

Shemot / Exodus 10:23

10:23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings. (NASB) כג לֹא-רָאוּ אִישׁ אֶת-אָחִיו וְלֹא-קָמוּ אִישׁ מִתַּחְתָּיו שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים וּלְכָל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל הָיָה אוֹר בְּמוֹשְׁבֹתָם:

Shemot / Exodus 13:21

13:21 The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. (NASB) כא וַיהֹוָה הֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם יוֹמָם בְּעַמּוּד עָנָן לַנְחֹתָם הַדֶּרֶךְ וְלַיְלָה בְּעַמּוּד אֵשׁ לְהָאִיר לָהֶם לָלֶכֶת יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה:

Shemot / Exodus 25:37

25:37 ‘Then you shall make its lamps seven in number; and they shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it. (NASB) לז וְעָשִֹיתָ אֶת-נֵרֹתֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה וְהֶעֱלָה אֶת-נֵרֹתֶיהָ וְהֵאִיר עַל-עֵבֶר פָּנֶיהָ:

Vayikra / Leviticus 24:2

24:2 ‘Command the sons of Israel that they bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually. (NASB) ב צַו אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר תָּמִיד:

Shemot / Exodus 10:23 states during the plague of darkness over Egypt, God gave the children of Israel light in their dwellings. The Scripture literally states that no man was able to see his brother and that of the children of Israel, God gave them light “in their dwellings” (בְּמוֹשְׁבֹתָם). Does this suggest that the Lord enabled them to kindle a flame in their homes but were unable to see from one home to the next? Did the Lord suppress the Egyptians ability to kindle a flame in their dwellings? If this was the case, the Egyptians would have had to grope around in the dark for everything, to find food, water, to goto the bathroom, etc. Having light within, in the dwelling place is a very personal and intimate description of the Lord’s work to provide for His people. Shemot / Exodus 13:21 states that the Lord led the children of Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night “to give them light” that they might travel by both day and night. In the midst of the night, a time when the wicked get up to sin, the Lord provides a light for His people to walk by so that they would not sin. Shemot / Exodus 25:37 states that they were to make a Menorah (lamp-stand) that had seven lamps that would show light in the space in front of it in the Tabernacle. Vayikra / Leviticus 24:2 states the menorah is to be kept burning continually before the Lord. According to these verses, we see the Lord is the one who creates light, he provides light for the children of Israel, in their dwellings and on the way (path) they should go. The Lord also gives light in the darkness. In addition to this, there is a command to keep the light burning in the Tabernacle, we might find a parallel to our lives that the Lord gives the light of His truth, but we also must walk in that light and truth according to God’s Word.

According to the Torah, within the holy place of the Tabernacle, the Menorah overshadowed the altar and the table of show-bread. The original instructions God gave to Moshe concerning the design and construction of the menorah is found in Shemot / Exodus 25:31-40. The Menorah is translated as “lamp-stand” or “candle sticks” in most English translations. The Menorah was manufactured out of one piece of hammered pure gold (Shemot / Exodus 25:36, לו כַּפְתֹּרֵיהֶם וּקְנֹתָם מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ כֻּלָּהּ מִקְשָׁה אַחַת זָהָב טָהוֹר:). The lamps were arranged to give light towards the front of the Menorah meaning that the candles pointed forward. The Menorah was constructed with seven branches, three on each side and one in the middle. The one piece of gold was hammered and worked so that all of the branches were formed being drawn from the central piece. During the Feast of Dedication (Hanukah) each night one candle is lit beginning with the central candle that is used to light the other candles. It is also interesting when lighting the other candles we get a picture of the central candle “bowing down” before the other candles giving them flame. The bowing down draws a parallel with Yeshua the Messiah bowing down taking on the role of a servant and laying his life down on our behalf. In this way the Menorah symbolizes the unique relationship between God and His people and symbolizes the light of life that God gives to His people. The menorah therefore is illustrative of God’s divine light and is symbolic of the truth the Lord has revealed to His ekklesia in Yeshua according to the Torah of God where the seven candles represent the completeness of God’s plan. Therefore, during the Feast of Dedication, the light expresses the fullness of truth and life that is found in Yeshua the Messiah (John 1:1-14) and being members of His body (2 Corinthians 12:12-27) we are also to show forth His light that is in us. The Feast of Dedication (Hanukah) is a reminder that we remain committed to the truth God has revealed in the Messiah.

According to the description of the construction of the menorah in Shemot / Exodus 25:37, we read the following, לז וְעָשִֹיתָ אֶת-נֵרֹתֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה וְהֶעֱלָה אֶת-נֵרֹתֶיהָ וְהֵאִיר עַל-עֵבֶר פָּנֶיהָ: 25:37 ‘Then you shall make its lamps seven in number; and they shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it. (NASB) The text literally says וְהֵאִיר עַל-עֵבֶר פָּנֶיהָ: “the light shall pass over the face” indicating that the candles or lamps are arranged to give light towards the front of the Menorah. The six candles point forward and concentrate the light in one direction. This suggests we are to look forward and not back on our life and past sins. The menorah was not meant simply for to give light over a very large space. The purpose of the design was to shine forth the light as a single source and not a diffuse light like that of an ordinary candle. This description suggests that the menorah was designed with a special meaning, something more than a purely physical practical purpose of giving light inside of the Holy Place in the Mishkhan (Tabernacle). In the Scriptures, there is another description of the Menorah found in the prophets, in Zechariah 4:1-10.

זכריה פרק ד פסוק א-י

א וַיָּשָׁב הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי וַיְעִירֵנִי כְּאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יֵעֹור מִשְּׁנָתֹֽו׃ ב וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי מָה אַתָּה רֹאֶה [וַיֹּאמֶר כ] (וָאֹמַר ק) רָאִיתִי ׀ וְהִנֵּה מְנֹורַת זָהָב כֻּלָּהּ וְגֻלָּהּ עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ וְשִׁבְעָה נֵרֹתֶיהָ עָלֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה וְשִׁבְעָה מֽוּצָקֹות לַנֵּרֹות אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשָֽׁהּ׃ ג וּשְׁנַיִם זֵיתִים עָלֶיהָ אֶחָד מִימִין הַגֻּלָּה וְאֶחָד עַל־שְׂמֹאלָֽהּ׃ ד וָאַעַן וָֽאֹמַר אֶל־הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי לֵאמֹר מָה־אֵלֶּה אֲדֹנִֽי׃ ה וַיַּעַן הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הֲלֹוא יָדַעְתָּ מָה־הֵמָּה אֵלֶּה וָאֹמַר לֹא אֲדֹנִֽי׃ ו וַיַּעַן וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי לֵאמֹר זֶה דְּבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶל לֵאמֹר לֹא בְחַיִל וְלֹא בְכֹחַ כִּי אִם־בְּרוּחִי אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹֽות׃ ז מִֽי־אַתָּה הַֽר־הַגָּדֹול לִפְנֵי זְרֻבָּבֶל לְמִישֹׁר וְהֹוצִיא אֶת־הָאֶבֶן הָרֹאשָׁה תְּשֻׁאֹות חֵן חֵן לָֽהּ׃ פ ח וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹֽר׃ ט יְדֵי זְרֻבָּבֶל יִסְּדוּ הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה וְיָדָיו תְּבַצַּעְנָה וְיָדַעְתָּ כִּֽי־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶֽם׃ י כִּי מִי בַז לְיֹום קְטַנֹּות וְשָׂמְחוּ וְרָאוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן הַבְּדִיל בְּיַד זְרֻבָּבֶל שִׁבְעָה־אֵלֶּה עֵינֵי יְהוָה הֵמָּה מְשֹׁוטְטִים בְּכָל־הָאָֽרֶץ

Zechariah 4:1-10

4:1 Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and roused me, as a man who is awakened from his sleep. 4:2 He said to me, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; 4:3 also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.’ 4:4 Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, ‘What are these, my lord?’ 4:5 So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ And I said, ‘No, my lord.’ 4:6 Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. 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!’’‘ 4:8 Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 4:9 ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 4:10 ‘For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.’ (NASB)

Zechariah is speaking to the Angel and says רָאִיתִי ׀ וְהִנֵּה מְנֹורַת זָהָב כֻּלָּהּ וְגֻלָּהּ עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ וְשִׁבְעָה נֵרֹתֶיהָ עָלֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה וְשִׁבְעָה מֽוּצָקֹות לַנֵּרֹות אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשָֽׁהּ׃ ‘I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it. (NASB) This description is different from the description given in Shemot / Exodus 25. In Zechariah’s description of the Menorah, he sees the lamp-stand with a bowl over top of it (4:2). There is a bowl with seven spouts that feed the Menorah lamps with olive oil. The visual description of the Menorah and the oil represents a type of God’s Holy Spirit where the bowl is the supplier that represents the Lord. Zechariah identifies the seven lamps as שִׁבְעָה־אֵלֶּה עֵינֵי יְהוָה הֵמָּה מְשֹׁוטְטִים בְּכָל־הָאָֽרֶץ “the eyes of the Lord ranging to and fro throughout the earth” (4:10). Notice a similar passage in Revelation 5:6 that says Καὶ εἶδον ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ τῶν τεσσάρων ζῴων καὶ ἐν μέσῳ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων ἀρνίον ἑστηκὸς ὡς ἐσφαγμένον, ἔχων κέρατα ἑπτὰ καὶ ὀφθαλμοὺς ἑπτά, οἵ εἰσιν τὰ [ἑπτὰ] πνεύματα τοῦ θεοῦ ἀπεσταλμένοι εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν. “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes (ἔχων κέρατα ἑπτὰ καὶ ὀφθαλμοὺς ἑπτά), which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Is there a parallel being drawn to the seven lamps on the Menorah with the Seven Spirits and the Eyes of the Lord? The apostle John also wrote in Revelation 1:12-20 saying Καὶ ἐπέστρεψα βλέπειν τὴν φωνὴν ἥτις ἐλάλει μετ’ ἐμοῦ: καὶ ἐπιστρέψας εἶδον ἑπτὰ λυχνίας χρυσᾶς, 1:12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; (יב ואפן לראות את הקול המדבר אלי ויהי בפנותי וארא שבע מנרות זהב׃) this is the Menorah described according to the Torah text. John goes on to say: καὶ ἐν μέσῳ τῶν λυχνιῶν ὅμοιον υἱὸν ἀνθρώπου, ἐνδεδυμένον ποδήρη καὶ περιεζωσμένον πρὸς τοῖς μαστοῖς ζώνην χρυσᾶν: 1:13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. The Messiah stands at the center place of the Menorah. ἡ δὲ κεφαλὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ αἱ τρίχες λευκαὶ ὡς ἔριον λευκόν, ὡς χιών, καὶ οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτοῦ ὡς φλὸξ πυρός, 1:14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. καὶ οἱ πόδες αὐτοῦ ὅμοιοι χαλκολιβάνῳ ὡς ἐν καμίνῳ πεπυρωμένης, καὶ ἡ φωνὴ αὐτοῦ ὡς φωνὴ ὑδάτων πολλῶν, 1:15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. καὶ ἔχων ἐν τῇ δεξιᾷ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ ἀστέρας ἑπτά, καὶ ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ ῥομφαία δίστομος ὀξεῖα ἐκπορευομένη, καὶ ἡ ὄψις αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος φαίνει ἐν τῇ δυνάμει αὐτοῦ. 1:16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. Καὶ ὅτε εἶδον αὐτόν, ἔπεσα πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ὡς νεκρός: καὶ ἔθηκεν τὴν δεξιὰν αὐτοῦ ἐπ’ ἐμὲ λέγων, Μὴ φοβοῦ: ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, 1:17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, καὶ ὁ ζῶν, καὶ ἐγενόμην νεκρὸς καὶ ἰδοὺ ζῶν εἰμι εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, καὶ ἔχω τὰς κλεῖς τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τοῦ ἅ|δου. 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. γράψον οὖν ἃ εἶδες καὶ ἃ εἰσὶν καὶ ἃ μέλλει γενέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα. 1:19 ‘Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. τὸ μυστήριον τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀστέρων οὓς εἶδες ἐπὶ τῆς δεξιᾶς μου, καὶ τὰς ἑπτὰ λυχνίας τὰς χρυσᾶς: οἱ ἑπτὰ ἀστέρες ἄγγελοι τῶν ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησιῶν εἰσιν, καὶ αἱ λυχνίαι αἱ ἑπτὰ ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησίαι εἰσίν. 1:20 ‘As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. (NASB) John describes the “seven Ekklesion” (ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησιῶν) to which Yeshua wrote the “seven letters” one to each Ekklesion is described in Revelation 2-3, these lampstands on the Menorah represent the seven Ekklesion (ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησιῶν) of God. The Ekklesia (ἐκκλησία) is the biblical description of all believers who remain in Yeshua the Messiah. The members (you and I) of the Ekklesia are God’s messengers to bear witness to the truth of God. The members of the ekklesia are lit on fire for God, dedicated and filled with His Holy Spirit (olive oil), and all of this is accomplished in the Messiah. There is a parallel here with the construction of the Menorah and a believer’s life. This is most likely how David understood the Lord is his light and his salvation in Tehillim / Psalms 27:1, א לְדָוִד | יְהֹוָה | אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי מִמִּי אִירָא יְהֹוָה מָעוֹז חַיַּי מִמִּי אֶפְחָד: 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? (NASB) Yeshua also said in Matthew 5:14 Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου. οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη: ‘You are the light (φῶς) of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; οὐδὲ καίουσιν λύχνον καὶ τιθέασιν αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν, καὶ λάμπει πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ. 5:15 ‘nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. οὕτως λαμψάτω τὸ φῶς ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὅπως ἴδωσιν ὑμῶν τὰ καλὰ ἔργα καὶ δοξάσωσιν τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. 5:16 ‘Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (NASB) Yeshua tells us the light that is within us is set on a hill that goes out into the world. We should be speaking of the light of life (Yeshua the Messiah) to the lost daily.

The prophet Isaiah also wrote about the light saying the following about the light of God in Isaiah 42 and 49:

Isaiah 42:6

42:6 ‘I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, (NASB) ו אֲנִי יְהֹוָה קְרָאתִיךָ בְצֶדֶק וְאַחְזֵק בְּיָדֶךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם:

Isaiah 42:16

42:16 ‘I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.’ (NASB) טז וְהוֹלַכְתִּי עִוְרִים בְּדֶרֶךְ לֹא יָדָעוּ בִּנְתִיבוֹת לֹא-יָדְעוּ אַדְרִיכֵם אָשִֹים מַחְשָׁךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם לָאוֹר וּמַעֲקַשִּׁים לְמִישׁוֹר אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים עֲשִֹיתִם וְלֹא עֲזַבְתִּים:

Isaiah 49:5-6

49:5 And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And My God is My strength), 49:6 He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’ (NASB) ה וְעַתָּה | אָמַר יְהֹוָה יֹצְרִי מִבֶּטֶן לְעֶבֶד לוֹ לְשׁוֹבֵב יַעֲקֹב אֵלָיו וְיִשְֹרָאֵל לֹא [לוֹ] יֵאָסֵף וְאֶכָּבֵד בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וֵאלֹהַי הָיָה עֻזִּי: ו וַיֹּאמֶר נָקֵל מִהְיוֹתְךָ לִי עֶבֶד לְהָקִים אֶת-שִׁבְטֵי יַעֲקֹב וּנְציּרֵי [וּנְצוּרֵי] יִשְֹרָאֵל לְהָשִׁיב וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם לִהְיוֹת יְשׁוּעָתִי עַד-קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ:

Isaiah is speaking prophetically regarding the Lord and the servant of the Lord through whom he is going to appoint a covenant to the people that will function as a light to the nations. Therefore the covenant of God is also represented symbolically as the light of God which takes us full circle back to Bereshit / Genesis 1 when the Lord said “Let there be light” and there was “light” before the sun, the moon, and the stars were created. Isaiah continues saying that the Lord will guide the blind by a way they do not know and in paths they do not know and he will make darkness into light before them. This again is suggestive of the Lord giving Isaiah a prophetic voice of the Lord desiring to call the nations and to walk in His ways saying He will make them to know and walk in paths they did not know. According to the Scriptures, the blind are those who do not know God’s ways and darkness is paralleled to sin, wickedness, and to those who do not know the Lord. Note our text from Shemot / Exodus 10:23 that states during the plague of darkness over Egypt, God gave the children of Israel light in their dwellings, literally stating that no man was able to see his brother and that of the children of Israel, God gave them light “in their dwellings” (בְּמוֹשְׁבֹתָם). The Egyptians had no light because they did not know God. The language Isaiah is using here states the Lord will lead and guide the nations in truth and in salvation (Isaiah 49:6). We find a parallel to this at the end of the book of Revelation (21:10-11, 23-24, 22:5).

Revelation 21:10-11

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 10καὶ ἀπήνεγκέν με ἐν πνεύματι ἐπὶ ὄρος μέγα καὶ ὑψηλόν, καὶ ἔδειξέν μοι τὴν πόλιν τὴν ἁγίαν Ἰερουσαλὴμ καταβαίνουσαν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, 11ἔχουσαν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ: ὁ φωστὴρ αὐτῆς ὅμοιος λίθῳ τιμιωτάτῳ, ὡς λίθῳ ἰάσπιδι κρυσταλλίζοντι

Revelation 21:23-24

21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 21:24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 23καὶ ἡ πόλις οὐ χρείαν ἔχει τοῦ ἡλίου οὐδὲ τῆς σελήνης, ἵνα φαίνωσιν αὐτῇ, ἡ γὰρ δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐφώτισεν αὐτήν, καὶ ὁ λύχνος αὐτῆς τὸ ἀρνίον. 24καὶ περιπατήσουσιν τὰ ἔθνη διὰ τοῦ φωτὸς αὐτῆς: καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς τῆς γῆς φέρουσιν τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν εἰς αὐτήν

Revelation 22:5

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever. 5και νυξ ουκ εσται εκει και χρειαν ουκ εχουσιν λυχνου και φωτος ηλιου οτι κυριος ο θεος φωτιζει αυτους και βασιλευσουσιν εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων

Again here in Revelation the light of the holy city Jerusalem is very precious and is paralleled to precious stones, the nations will walk by the light of the Lamb who is Yeshua the Messiah, and the significance of this light that is given from God is so great that the sun and moon will no longer be needed because the Lord will give the people light. In addition to this, in Mishley / Proverbs 20:27, King Solomon wrote 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the innermost parts of his being. (NASB) The spirit within us is a light that God uses to search our hearts, or as Solomon said to search all the innermost parts of our being. David stating the Lord is his salvation and whom should he fear suggests his understanding is that the Lord is good to those who walk in righteousness, Tehillim / Psalms 27:1, א לְדָוִד | יְהֹוָה | אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי מִמִּי אִירָא יְהֹוָה מָעוֹז חַיַּי מִמִּי אֶפְחָד: 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? (NASB) The Lord gives His truth in and according to the Scriptures and He has provided salvation by His messiah and we do not fear anyone for God is with us.

David continues saying ב בִּקְרֹב עָלַי | מְרֵעִים לֶאֱכֹל אֶת-בְּשָֹרִי צָרַי וְאֹיְבַי לִי הֵמָּה כָּשְׁלוּ וְנָפָלוּ: ג אִם-תַּחֲנֶה עָלַי | מַחֲנֶה לֹא-יִירָא לִבִּי אִם-תָּקוּם עָלַי מִלְחָמָה בְּזֹאת אֲנִי בוֹטֵחַ: 27:2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 27:3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum states ב כד יתקרבון יקרבון עלי מבאשין לגמרא ית בסרי מעיקיי ובעלי דבבי הינון אינון איתקלו ונפלו׃ ג אין תשרי עליי משירית רשיעי לא ידחל לבבי אין תקום עלי קרבא בדא אנא סביר מתרחיץ׃ 27:2 Whenever evildoers come near to me to destroy my flesh, my oppressors and my foes – they have stumbled and fallen. 27:3 If an army of the wicked encamps against me, my heart will not fear; if battle rises against me, in this I place my hope. (EMC) and the Septuagint states 2ἐν τῷ ἐγγίζειν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ κακοῦντας τοῦ φαγεῖν τὰς σάρκας μου οἱ θλίβοντές με καὶ οἱ ἐχθροί μου αὐτοὶ ἠσθένησαν καὶ ἔπεσαν 3ἐὰν παρατάξηται ἐπ’ ἐμὲ παρεμβολή οὐ φοβηθήσεται ἡ καρδία μου ἐὰν ἐπαναστῇ ἐπ’ ἐμὲ πόλεμος ἐν ταύτῃ ἐγὼ ἐλπίζω 27:2 When evil-doers drew nigh against me to eat up my flesh, my persecutors and mine enemies, they fainted and fell. 27:3 Though an army should set itself in array against me, my heart shall not be afraid: though war should rise up against me, in this am I confident. (LXX) There is no expansion on the Hebrew text in the Aramaic and Greek translations, the Lord is our salvation and our redemption, we have confidence in the Lord’s protection and there is no fear of our enemies.

David then states ד אַחַת | שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאֵת-יְהֹוָה אוֹתָהּ אֲבַקֵּשׁ שִׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהֹוָה כָּל-יְמֵי חַיַּי לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם-יְהֹוָה וּלְבַקֵּר בְּהֵיכָלוֹ: 27:4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. (NASB) David requests to dwell in the house of the Lord all of his days, how did the Lord accomplish this in David’s life? As we walk in His ways, we will see His goodness and faithfulness. What takes place is when we walk in faith, we are put face-to-face having encounters with our Savior. Through the circumstances of David’s life, he walked in God’s ways and the Lord taught him to walk in His ways and gave him victory over his enemies. David asked the Lord to lead him and to help him and God was faithful, the Lord led him and protected him from his enemies. He goes on to say ה כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי | בְּסֻכֹּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה יַסְתִּרֵנִי בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ בְּצוּר יְרוֹמְמֵנִי: ו וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי עַל-אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי וְאֶזְבְּחָה בְאָהֳלוֹ זִבְחֵי תְרוּעָה אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה לַיהֹוָה: ז שְׁמַע-יְהֹוָה קוֹלִי אֶקְרָא וְחָנֵּנִי וַעֲנֵנִי: 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. 27:7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. (NASB) David seeks the Lord’s protection and he does so in the Tabernacle. The great lesson we learn of the tabernacle is that the Lord God came down to dwell among His people. According to the Torah, we find various accounts of God visiting men, these visitations are culminated in the Lord dwelling with men in the Tabernacle (Mishkhan) or Tent of Meeting (Ohel Moed). The Apostle John picks up on this thought and uses the word “tabernacled” (והדבר נהיה בשר וישכן בתוכנו ונחזה תפארתו כתפארת בן יחיד לאביו רב חסד ואמת׃) to describe how the Word of God dwelled among men in the Messiah. The Tabernacle served as God’s dwelling place for 500 years among the children of Israel; Shemot / Exodus 25:8 states “Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” Up until the point of the giving of the Torah, this was an entirely new way of understanding God who revealed His desire for a relationship with man. We know in Parashat Bereshit that the Lord God walked in the garden with Adam (Bereshit / Genesis 3:8). He visited the patriarchs and communicated His will to them, but He never lived on earth until the Tabernacle was built among His people who are redeemed and separated from the nations. In a similar way we can never worship until God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:22 states that the Tabernacle was “the place of meeting” (Shemot / Exodus 29:42-43). The Lord met with Moshe, Aaron, and the people and revealed Himself to them. In addition to this, the Tabernacle was not just a “place of worship,” but it was also a “place of witness.” In Bamidbar / Numbers 17:7-8 the “tent of meeting” is called “the tabernacle of witness.” (ז וַיְהִי בְּהִקָּהֵל הָעֵדָה עַל-מֹשֶׁה וְעַל-אַהֲרֹן וַיִּפְנוּ אֶל-אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וְהִנֵּה כִסָּהוּ הֶעָנָן וַיֵּרָא כְּבוֹד יְהוָֹה: ח וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶל-פְּנֵי אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד:) The Tabernacle was a witness of the presence of God, Shemot / Exodus 40:33-34 states, “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” The cloud functioned as a witness of the presence of God among His people.” Shemot / Exodus 40:38 states “The cloud of the Lord was upon the Tabernacle by day and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all Israel, throughout all their journeys.” Would that not have been an amazing sight to see the Tabernacle burning with the presence of God? The Tabernacle also function as a witness of the purity of God. How this occurs is the words “tabernacle” (המשכן, אוהל-מועד) or “sanctuary” (מקום קדוש) carry with them the concept of holiness. Over thirty times in the book of Shemot / Exodus alone the word holy (קדוש) occurs in relation to the Tabernacle. The plate of pure gold that was attached to the breastplate worn by Aaron was inscribed “Holiness to the Lord.” The court of the Tabernacle was called “the holy place.” According to Vayikra / Leviticus 6:16-26, the first compartment of the Tabernacle was called “the holy place.” The innermost room that contained the Ark of the Covenant was called “the most holy place.” See (Shemot / Exodus 26:33-34) The Tabernacle was also known as a witness of the Protection of God. While the pillar of cloud and fire stood over the Tabernacle, nothing could touch or enter the Tabernacle or the people of God! At night as we read in Shemot / Exodus 40:38, the tabernacle itself burned with the presence of God. If our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, should our lives not burn with the presence of God and a desire to share God’s truth to others? The Tabernacle was also a witness of the Provision of God. The Tabernacle stood as God’s promise of provision and protection for His people in the wilderness. Today we can claim these same promises of provision and protection as we walk in God’s ways in His Messiah Yeshua.

It is interesting that David says ו וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי עַל-אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי וְאֶזְבְּחָה בְאָהֳלוֹ זִבְחֵי תְרוּעָה אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה לַיהֹוָה: 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. (NASB) The word David uses here to describe shouts of joy is תְרוּעָה (nf. shout, cry, blast, cheer, ovation, trumpet call) which is the word used for the trumpet call. The trumpet call is performed by the Shofar. In Tehillim / Psalms 81:1-4 we also read the Psalmist shouting for joy using the trumpet call of the shofar.

ספר תהילים פרק פא

ב הַרְנִינוּ לֵאלֹהִים עוּזֵּנוּ הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב: ג שְֹאוּ-זִמְרָה וּתְנוּ-תֹף כִּנּוֹר נָעִים עִם-נָבֶל: ד תִּקְעוּ בַחֹדֶשׁ שׁוֹפָר בַּכֵּסֶה לְיוֹם חַגֵּנוּ: ה כִּי חֹק לְיִשְֹרָאֵל הוּא מִשְׁפָּט לֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב:

Tehillim / Psalms 81:1-4

81:1 Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob. 81:2 Raise a song, strike the timbrel, The sweet sounding lyre with the harp. 81:3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast day. 81:4 For it is a statute for Israel, An ordinance of the God of Jacob. (NASB)

The Shofar (Ram’s horn) is often used in warfare, for example, the Torah states in Bamidbar / Numbers 10:9 ‘When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the Lord your God, and be saved from your enemies. (NASB) Therefore the Shofar may be used as an instrument of spiritual warfare. Are shouts of joy a form of spiritual warfare? Note the context within which David is speaking in Tehillim / Palms 27:6. The Ram’s horn also brings to memory the ram caught in the thicken by its horns when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son and God provided a ram at Mount Moriah (Bereshit / Genesis 22:13). The ram prepared by God is a picture of the substitutionary atonement that God prepared from the foundation of the world, His Son Yeshua, for the sins of the world. The first occurrence of the word love in the Torah (Bereshit / Genesis 22:2) refers to a father’s love for his only son who was offered as a sacrifice, a foreshadowing of the message of the gospel (John 3:16). There is a connection of the sacrificial redemption involving spiritual warfare between God and Satan (Bereshit / Genesis 3:15). As believers in Yeshua, the blast of the shofar represents the shout of God’s victory over the power of sin and death.

In the Scriptures the Shofar is first mentioned in Shemot / Exodus 19:16 when the Torah was first given to Israel during Shavuot (Feast of Weeks, Pentecost). The Scriptures say “So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.” “And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.” The Shofar is also mentioned in connection with both Rosh Hashanah / Yom Teruah (Vayikra / Leviticus 23:24, Bamidbar / Numbers 29:1) and Yom Kippur (Vayikra / Leviticus 25:9). The shofar was also used to sound alarms for the camp of Israel (Bamidbar / Numbers 10:5-6, Ezekiel 33:3), to convene assemblies, to announce the new moon and the Jubilee Year, to herald messages, and to coronate kings. The shofar was also used when Joshua waged war against Jericho (Joshua 6:4-20) and during other military campaigns (Judges 7:22). When Israel engaged the enemy in battle, the priests and Levites would first prepare the way by sounding the Shofar (2 Chronicles 3:12, Nehemiah 4:14, Jeremiah 4:19, Amos 2:2, Zephaniah 1:6, etc).

The Shofar was also used during worship at the Tabernacle and the Temple. It was sounded when the Ark of the covenant was returned to the camp (1 Samuel 4:5, 2 Samuel 6:15) and was regularly used as an instrument of praise in the Temple (2 Chronicles 15:14, Tehillim / Psalms 47:6, 89:16, and 150:5). Blowing the Shofar declares that the Lord God is the King of the universe as it says in Tehillim / Psalms 98:6 “With trumpets and the sound of the horn Shout joyfully before the King, the Lord.” (NASB) The Shofar also signals Israel’s glorious, redemption during the Day of the Lord at the end of the age (Isaiah 27:13 and Joel 2:1).

Yeshua spoke of the Shofar blast from the angels who would gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other in Matthew 24:31. At the sound of the great shofar Scripture says the dead will be raised and death itself will be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:51-57). The sound of the Shofar was also used as a call to repentance (Teshuvah). It suggests to say “Sleeping ones! Awaken from your sleep! Slumbering ones! Awaken from your slumber! Examine your deeds. Remember your Creator and do Teshuvah.” This idea is expressed elsewhere in the Scriptures (i.e. John 11:11, Romans 13:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Daniel 12:1-2, and Tehillim / Psalms 78:65). The sound of the Shofar calls us to return to the Lord and seek His face. Since finding God is our greatest joy, King David wrote “Happy are the people who know teruah” (the shofar blast) (Tehillim / Psalms 89:16, טז אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם יוֹדְעֵי תְרוּעָה יְהֹוָה בְּאוֹר-פָּנֶיךָ יְהַלֵּכוּן:).

The word Shofar (שופר) comes from the root Shafar (שפר) meaning “to beautify,” alluding to the beautification of our ways as we turn to God in repentance.

There are four primary types of Shofar blasts

  1. Tekiah (תקיעה) A long single blast (the sound of the King’s coronation).
  2. Shevarim (שברים) Three short wail-like blasts (signifying repentance).
  3. Teruah (תרועה) Nin staccato blasts of alarm (to awaken the soul).
  4. Takiah haGadol (תקיעה הגדול) A great long blast (for as long as you can blow).

The sequence of every shofar blowing is a series of short blasts, and then a “Last Trump” the “Takiah haGadol” is held as long as possible. According to the Scriptures, there are three appointed “Pilgrimage Feast Days” in a Year when the Shofar is blown, (i) Passover (Pesach) and Unleavened bread, (ii) Shavuot (Feast of weeks, Pentecost, First Fruits), and (iii) Succot (Feast of booths, Tabernacles). Additional references for the Shofar in the Scriptures are as follows, the shofar was used for the coronation of kings in Nissan (1 Kings 1:34,39), Israel will be advised of the advent of the Messiah with the sound of the shofar (Zechariah 9:14,16), the ram’s horn, the shofar, is a reminder of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and God’s provision of a ram as a substitute (Bereshit / Genesis 22:13), the shofar was blown to announce the beginning of festivals (Bamidbar / Numbers 10:10), the blowing of the shofar is a signal for the call to repentance (Isaiah 58:1), the blowing of the shofar ushers in the day of the Lord (Joel 2:1), the blowing of the shofar is sounded at the rapture of the believers and the resurrection of the dead (1 Thessalonian 4:16), John was taken up to Heaven in the Book of Revelation by the sound of the shofar (Revelation 4:1), Israel conquered in the battle of Jericho with the blast of the shofar (Joshua 6:20), the watchman who stood upon Jerusalem’s walls blew the shofar (Ezekiel 33:3-6), the shofar is a reminder that G-d is sovereign (Tehillim / Psalm 47:5), the shofar was blown to signal the assembly of the Israelites during war (Judges 3:27, 2 Samuel 20:1), the Torah was given to Israel with the sound of the shofar at Mount Sinai (Shemot / Exodus 19:19), seven shofarim are sounded when God judges the earth during the tribulation (Revelation 8-9), the shofar will be blown at the time of the in-gathering of the exiles of Israel to their place (Isaiah 27:13), and the shofar was blown to announce the Jubilee year on the Day of Atonement (Vayikra / Leviticus 25:9). Thus, the shofar (trumpet blast) has many uses throughout the Scriptures, and the most important being the significance of spiritual awakening. Therefore, when David says ו וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי עַל-אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי וְאֶזְבְּחָה בְאָהֳלוֹ זִבְחֵי תְרוּעָה אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה לַיהֹוָה: 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. (NASB) this words need to be taking with the understanding of shouts of joy like one who sounds תְרוּעָה the trumpet blast.

David concludes his Psalm saying יא הוֹרֵנִי יְהֹוָה דַּרְכֶּךָ וּנְחֵנִי בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר לְמַעַן שׁוֹרְרָי: יב אַל-תִּתְּנֵנִי בְּנֶפֶשׁ צָרָי כִּי קָמוּ-בִי עֵדֵי-שֶׁקֶר וִיפֵחַ חָמָס: יג לוּלֵא הֶאֱמַנְתִּי לִרְאוֹת בְּטוּב-יְהֹוָה בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים: יד קַוֵּה אֶל-יְהוָה חֲזַק וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ וְקַוֵּה אֶל-יְהֹוָה: 27:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. 27:12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 27:14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum states יא אלפני יהוה אורחתך ודברני בהילכתא תריצא מטול תושבחי ייי׃ יב לא תמסרינני ברעות מעיקי ארום קמו עלי סהדי שיקרא וממללי חטופא׃ יג אילולי די הימנית למחמי בטובא דיהוה בארעא דחיי עלמא׃ יד סבור על יהוה תקוף תקיף ועלים לבך וסבור על יהוה׃ 7:11 Teach me, O Lord, your ways, and lead me by a straight path because of my psalm. 27:12 Do not hand me over to the will of my oppressors, for the false witnesses have risen against me, and those who speak rapacity. 27:13 Had I not believed I would look on the goodness of the Lord in the land of eternal life! 27:14 Hope in the Lord; strengthen and fortify your heart; and hope in the Lord. (EMC) The Septuagint (Greek) translation also states 27:11 νομοθέτησόν με κύριε τῇ ὁδῷ σου καὶ ὁδήγησόν με ἐν τρίβῳ εὐθείᾳ ἕνεκα τῶν ἐχθρῶν μου 27:12 μὴ παραδῷς με εἰς ψυχὰς θλιβόντων με ὅτι ἐπανέστησάν μοι μάρτυρες ἄδικοι καὶ ἐψεύσατο ἡ ἀδικία ἑαυτῇ 27:13 πιστεύω τοῦ ἰδεῖν τὰ ἀγαθὰ κυρίου ἐν γῇ ζώντων 27:14 ὑπόμεινον τὸν κύριον ἀνδρίζου καὶ κραταιούσθω ἡ καρδία σου καὶ ὑπόμεινον τὸν κύριον 27:11 Teach me, O Lord, in thy way, and guide me in a right path, because of mine enemies. 27:12 Deliver me not over to the desire of them that afflict me; for unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and injustice has lied within herself. 27:13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and let thy heart be strengthened: yea wait on the Lord. (LXX) The translations are in agreement, David is asking the Lord to teach him His ways and to guide him in the path of righteousness because of his enemies. Why does David ask God to teach him His ways and to guide him because of his enemies? Does David say this because when living in unrighteousness the Lord will deliver His children over to their enemies for the purpose of drawing them back to repentance and seeking the face of God? Does the Lord work the same way today, if we were to live in unrighteousness, would the Lord deliver us into the hands of our enemies?

In the Apostolic Writings, Yeshua acknowledged that He is the light saying Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου “I am the light of the world” in John 8:12. He also said εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἔτι μικρὸν χρόνον τὸ φῶς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν. περιπατεῖτε ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε, ἵνα μὴ σκοτία ὑμᾶς καταλάβῃ: καὶ ὁ περιπατῶν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ ὑπάγει. ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε, πιστεύετε εἰς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα υἱοὶ φωτὸς γένησθε. Ταῦτα ἐλάλησεν Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἀπελθὼν ἐκρύβη ἀπ’ αὐτῶν. “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you, he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12:35-36). As the light of the world, Yeshua brought the truth of God into the world in the very way that David is asking (Tehillim / Psalms 27:11) revealing to us the meaning of the Torah. Yeshua has made atonement for us and provides us for the continual presence of God in our lives by the Holy Spirit, he washes us clean and makes us righteous before our Father in heaven. The light of this world is God’s Messiah Yeshua, His light points us in the forward direction and leads us in the straight and narrow path that God wants for us to travel upon by the power of the Spirit. This was the purpose and design of the Messiah’s work, in order for scripture to be fulfilled in our lives, in order for us to obtain salvation and atonement before God, we must place our faith in Yeshua with the understanding of the eating and drinking of His flesh (σάρκα) and blood (αἵματος) Hebraically, the Lord is incorporating the work that He has done into our lives, the atonement that He has brought for us in Yeshua the Messiah. All of Scripture leads us to understand that we are to be a light unto the world for the Glory of God. Is this why David said יא הוֹרֵנִי יְהֹוָה דַּרְכֶּךָ וּנְחֵנִי בְּאֹרַח מִישׁוֹר לְמַעַן שׁוֹרְרָי: 27:11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes. (NASB), in order to be a light to the world? Yeshua’s words are the words of our Father in Heaven (John 7:16). Yeshua declared that He came down from heaven to do the will of the Father (John 6:38). In addition to this, Yeshua said in John 8:28 εἶπεν οὖν [αὐτοῖς] ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Οταν ὑψώσητε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, τότε γνώσεσθε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ἀπ’ ἐμαυτοῦ ποιῶ οὐδέν, ἀλλὰ καθὼς ἐδίδαξέν με ὁ πατὴρ ταῦτα λαλῶ. “I do nothing of myself but as My Father taught me, I speak these things.” Yeshua says ἐδίδαξέν με ὁ πατὴρ ταῦτα λαλῶ that He is here “to teach what the Father speaks.” The light that is spoken of was not meant simply for to give light us alone we are to go out into the world to shine forth the light of God’s mercy and salvation. Yeshua not only guides the way, but He teaches what the Father speaks (ἐδίδαξέν με ὁ πατὴρ ταῦτα λαλῶ) and incorporates the will of God into our lives by our faith in his broken body (σάρκα) and shed blood (αἵματος).

The Menorah symbolizes the unique relationship between God and His people. It is illustrative of God’s divine light and is symbolic of the Ecclesia (ἐκκλησία) and Yeshua in the Torah of God. The Menorah expresses the fullness of the light that is found in Yeshua (John 1:1-14). Being in the Messiah (Christ, Χριστὸς) as members of His body (2 Corinthians 12:12-27) we also show forth His light that is in us according to Matthew 5. God’s command to the people וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה | אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן זַיִת זָךְ כָּתִית לַמָּאוֹר לְהַעֲלֹת נֵר תָּמִיד (Shemot / Exodus 27:20) to bring oil for the lamp to burn illustrates our commitment to uphold the Light of God in Yeshua to the nations just like David is asking the Lord to guide and to teach him in His ways because of our enemies; to shine forth the light that has been given to us by faith in Yeshua the Messiah. In addition to this, the Menorah was made from one piece of pure gold. The source of our strength, spiritual power, and the light of truth today is Yeshua Himself. The oil of God’s Spirit must flow from Him and into us, which is the Holy Spirit. In Revelation the Scriptures suggest the Sheva Menorot (seven lampstands) are symbolic of the Ecclesia (ἐκκλησία), and so as the branches of the Menorah, we too must undergo trials, tests, sufferings, and beatings in this life, just as the branches were beaten and drawn from the central trunk of pure gold as described in the book of Shemot / Exodus. This is the way God molds and forms us to be conformed unto the likeness of His son for His glory. The apostle Paul wrote in Acts 14:22 ἐπιστηρίζοντες τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν μαθητῶν, παρακαλοῦντες ἐμμένειν τῇ πίστει, καὶ ὅτι διὰ πολλῶν θλίψεων δεῖ ἡμᾶς εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ. “We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God,” and David wrote in Tehillim / Psalms 34:19 כ רַבּוֹת רָעוֹת צַדִּיק וּמִכֻּלָּם יַצִּילֶנּוּ יְהֹוָה: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivereth him out of them all” and in Tehillim / Psalms 119:67 עז יְבֹאוּנִי רַחֲמֶיךָ וְאֶחְיֶה כִּי תוֹרָתְךָ שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי: “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep your Word” indicating that being afflicted is indeed the way God brings us back to keep His Word. With what we know about the meaning of the light and the Menorah, is it surprising what Yeshua said in Matthew 12:35 ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ ἐκβάλλει ἀγαθά, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ θησαυροῦ ἐκβάλλει πονηρά. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 12:36 λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶν ῥῆμα ἀργὸν ὃ λαλήσουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἀποδώσουσιν περὶ αὐτοῦ λόγον ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως: And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (KJV) The apostle Peter also wrote it this way, in 1 Peter 2:20 ποῖον γὰρ κλέος εἰ ἁμαρτάνοντες καὶ κολαφιζόμενοι ὑπομενεῖτε; ἀλλ’ εἰ ἀγαθοποιοῦντες καὶ πάσχοντες ὑπομενεῖτε, τοῦτο χάρις παρὰ θεῷ. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 2:21 εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐκλήθητε, ὅτι καὶ Χριστὸς ἔπαθεν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, ὑμῖν ὑπολιμπάνων ὑπογραμμὸν ἵνα ἐπακολουθήσητε τοῖς ἴχνεσιν αὐτοῦ: For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, (NASB) illustrating that we are to shine forth the light of Christ in our lives to the world and to expect suffering if we follow in Christ’s footsteps. This may be the reason David said what he did with regard to asking the Lord to teach him His ways and the right / correct path because of his enemies and then goes on to request not to be delivered to his enemies. This is the meaning of “counting the cost” of following Christ. The beginning of these things occur when we incorporate into our lives the finished work of Yeshua the Messiah and receive salvation before God. What a wonderful design God has created in the illustration of the “light” and in the establishment of the atoning sacrifice. Ask yourself these questions (i) “Have I truly believed in Yeshua incorporating the Work He accomplished into my life?” (ii) “Has my life been typified by this description we find in the Scriptures?” (iii) “Have I asked the Lord to teach me His ways?” (iv) “Does my life shine forth the light Yeshua has given me, and am I standing on a mountain-top as described in Matthew 5?” If the answers to these questions are anything less than YES 100% then it is time to re-evaluate or renew your faith and get back onto the narrow path God has established for our lives. Let’s pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 27 has 7 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Parts 1, 2, 4, and 6. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 27, Parts 1, 2, 4, and 6.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim Chapter 27, Parts 1, 2, 4, and 6

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom will I fear? (Tehillim / Psalms 27:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says These words are to be considered in the light of the verse And the light of Israel will be for a fire, and his holy One for a flame (Isaiah 10:17).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the light and darkness making a contrast with the righteous and the wicked, the wisdom of the righteous and the stumbling nature of the wicked.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon how one is to understand the differences between the light and darkness with respect to the righteous and the wicked.
  • The Concluding phrase says “And so David said, I will sing a Psalm concerning God’s light, as is said A Psalm of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “Another comment on The Lord is my light and my salvation.”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says These words are to be considered in the light of the verse Your words are to be considered in the light of the verse Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Tehillim / Psalms 119:105).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss further the light and darkness making a contrast with the righteous and the wicked.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon how one is to understand the differences between the light and darkness using examples from David’s life and the Psalms.
  • The Concluding phrase says “And what brought about David’s deliverance? It was the word of the Holy One blessed be He, which David fulfilled and which gave him light. Hence David said, Your word is a lamp unto my feet.”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “The Rabbis interpreted the entire Psalm as referring to the New years day and to the Day of Atonement.”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says The Lord is my light on New Year’s Day; since this is the day of judgment, it is said He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noon day (Tehillim / Psalms 37:6).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss how this psalm is interpreted to refer to Yom Kippur.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon the idea that this psalm refers to Yom Kippur describing how God saves Israel when the wicked come upon them.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Rabbi Levi said, The word “this” refers to the body of ordinances concerning the Day of Atonement which You did inscribe for me in Your Torah, beginning with the verse, With this will Aaron come into the holy place (Vayikra / Leviticus 16:3).”

Part 6

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “The verse, For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His pavilion (Tehillim / Psalms 27:5) alludes to the day of the trouble with Batsheva.”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says And now will my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; and I will offer in His Tabernacle sacrifices with trumpet sound (Tehillim / Psalms 27:6).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss way the Lord hides David in his tabernacle.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal) goes on to expand upon how the Lord hides David in his tabernacle by making references to the offering of burnt offerings upon the mountains and high places.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Rabbi Abba son of Kahana commented, three sins were committed in Samuel’s burnt offering, (i) it is written He will not flay the burnt offering (Vayikra / Leviticus 1:6), but Samuel’s lamb was offered unflayed; (ii) it was too young to be brought for a burnt offering, for Scripture says, It will be seven days under the dam; but for the eighth day and onward it may be accepted for an offering (Vayikra / Leviticus 22:27), and Samuel’s offering was not eight days old; (iii) Samuel was a Levite and not a priest.”

Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom will I fear? (Tehillim / Psalms 27:1).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) to the Midrash states “These words are to be considered in the light of the verse And the light of Israel will be for a fire, and his holy One for a flame (Isaiah 10:17).” How are we to understand the light of Israel will be a fire and his holy one a flame? The context of Isaiah 10 begins saying ב לְהַטּוֹת מִדִּין דַּלִּים וְלִגְזֹל מִשְׁפַּט עֲנִיֵּי עַמִּי לִהְיוֹת אַלְמָנוֹת שְׁלָלָם וְאֶת-יְתוֹמִים יָבֹזּוּ: ג וּמַה-תַּעֲשֹוּ לְיוֹם פְּקֻדָּה וּלְשׁוֹאָה מִמֶּרְחָק תָּבוֹא עַל-מִי תָּנוּסוּ לְעֶזְרָה וְאָנָה תַעַזְבוּ כְּבוֹדְכֶם: 10:2 So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans. 10:3 Now what will you do in the day of punishment, And in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth? (NASB) Reading further in Isaiah 10, Isaiah is speaking of the king of Assyria and his arrogance before God.

Isaiah 10:12-19

10:12 So it will be that when the Lord has completed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, ‘I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the pomp of his haughtiness.’ 10:13 For he has said, ‘By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, For I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples And plundered their treasures, And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants, 10:14 And my hand reached to the riches of the peoples like a nest, And as one gathers abandoned eggs, I gathered all the earth; And there was not one that flapped its wing or opened its beak or chirped.’ 10:15 Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood. 10:16 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. 10:17 And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame, And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day. 10:18 And He will destroy the glory of his forest and of his fruitful garden, both soul and body, And it will be as when a sick man wastes away. 10:19 And the rest of the trees of his forest will be so small in number That a child could write them down. (NASB)

יב וְהָיָה כִּי-יְבַצַּע אֲדֹנָי אֶת-כָּל-מַעֲשֵֹהוּ בְּהַר צִיּוֹן וּבִירוּשָׁלָם אֶפְקֹד עַל-פְּרִי-גֹדֶל לְבַב מֶלֶךְ-אַשּׁוּר וְעַל-תִּפְאֶרֶת רוּם עֵינָיו: יג כִּי אָמַר בְּכֹחַ יָדִי עָשִֹיתִי וּבְחָכְמָתִי כִּי נְבֻנוֹתִי וְאָסִיר | גְּבוּלֹת עַמִּים וַעֲתיּדֹתֵיהֶם [וַעֲתוּדוֹתֵיהֶם] שׁוֹשֵֹתִי וְאוֹרִיד כַּאבִּיר [כַּבִּיר] יוֹשְׁבִים: יד וַתִּמְצָא כַקֵּן | יָדִי לְחֵיל הָעַמִּים וְכֶאֱסֹף בֵּיצִים עֲזֻבוֹת כָּל-הָאָרֶץ אֲנִי אָסָפְתִּי וְלֹא הָיָה נֹדֵד כָּנָף וּפֹצֶה פֶה וּמְצַפְצֵף: טו הֲיִתְפָּאֵר הַגַּרְזֶן עַל הַחֹצֵב בּוֹ אִם-יִתְגַּדֵּל הַמַּשּׂוֹר עַל-מְנִיפוֹ כְּהָנִיף שֵׁבֶט וְאֶת-מְרִימָיו כְּהָרִים מַטֶּה לֹא-עֵץ: טז לָכֵן יְשַׁלַּח הָאָדוֹן יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת בְּמִשְׁמַנָּיו רָזוֹן וְתַחַת כְּבֹדוֹ יֵקַד יְקֹד כִּיקוֹד אֵשׁ: יז וְהָיָה אוֹר-יִשְֹרָאֵל לְאֵשׁ וּקְדוֹשׁוֹ לְלֶהָבָה וּבָעֲרָה וְאָכְלָה שִׁיתוֹ וּשְׁמִירוֹ בְּיוֹם אֶחָד: יח וּכְבוֹד יַעְרוֹ וְכַרְמִלּוֹ מִנֶּפֶשׁ וְעַד-בָּשָֹר יְכַלֶּה וְהָיָה כִּמְסֹס נֹסֵס: יט וּשְׁאָר עֵץ יַעְרוֹ מִסְפָּר יִהְיוּ וְנַעַר יִכְתְּבֵם:

The light and the salvation of God is placed in parallel with what the Lord is going to do to the king of Assyria. The Scriptures say 10:15 Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood. (NASB) which is very similar to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? (NASB) We are vessels that are used of God, it is not the other way around. The Scriptures tell us that we need to recognize all peoples on this earth are vessels of some kind. We are either a vessel that brings honor to the Lord, or we are a vessel that dishonors His name. Which kind of vessel do you want to be? Paul teaches us what the Lord expects from His children in his instructions to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:19-21), we are to apply his word, his instruction to our lives to help us become vessels that can be for His use. In the midrash, the rabbis say

In the world’s use, when a man carries about the light of a lamp inside his house, can he say, Such and such a man who is my friend is free to use the light of the lamp, but such and such a man who is my foe is not free to use the light of the lamp? But the Holy One blessed be He, can limit the use of His light. Since He created the light, in the age to come the wicked will not be able to see by His light, as is said The light of the righteous rejoices; but the lamp of the wicked will be put out (Mishley / Proverbs 13:9). (Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 1)

בנוהג שבעולם אדם מוליך אור הנר בתוך פלטין שלו, שמא יכול לומר פלוני שהוא אוהבי ישתמש לאורה, ופלוני שהוא שונאי אל ישתמש לאורה, אלא הכל משתמשין לאורה, אבל הקב״ה [אינו כן, ברא את האור], והרשעים אינן רואין לאורו לעתיד לבא, שנאמר אור צדיקים ישמח ונר רשעים ידעך (משלי יג ט)

The allegory used here of the man that carries a light of a lamp inside his house suggests that those who are guests in the man’s house may use of the light freely. An enemy on the other hand would not be in the house and would not be able to use the light of the lamp freely. The rabbis go on to say that in the Olam Haba the Lord God will create the light and that the wicked will not be able to see by His light. It is interesting to note these parallels in the Apostolic Writings:

Revelation 21:22-24

21:22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 21:23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 21:24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. (NASB)

Revelation 16:9-11

16:9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. 16:10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. (NASB)

Matthew 8:7-12

8:7 Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ 8:8 But the centurion said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8:9 ‘For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it ‘ 8:10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, ‘Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 8:11 ‘I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 8:12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (NASB)

Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25:28-31

25:28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ 25:29 ‘For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 25:30 ‘Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 25:31 ‘But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (NASB)

What is interesting, in Revelation 21:22-24, the Apostle John writes in the new heaven and earth there will be no temple for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. In addition to this, the city has no need of the sun or the moon to shine on it for the glory of God illuminates the city, the lamp of that city is the Lamb of God. He then says the nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. There is a parallel here with respect to Midrash Tehillim 27 Part 1, John speaks of the light of God that is available to those who are the Lord’s. The rabbis give a parable of a man who carries a lamp inside of his house and he who is a friend is free to use the light whereas the enemy is not free to use the light. The rabbis use the proverb of King Solomon (Mishley / Proverbs 13:9) to prove the parable that the lamp of the wicked will be put out. The Apostle John says in Revelation 16:10, 10Καὶ ὁ πέμπτος ἐξέχεεν τὴν φιάλην αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὸν θρόνον τοῦ θηρίου: καὶ ἐγένετο ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ ἐσκοτωμένη, καὶ ἐμασῶντο τὰς γλώσσας αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ πόνου 16:10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, (NASB) when the angel poured out the fifth bowl the throne and the kingdom of the beast became dark. In addition to this, Yeshua the Messiah spoke of the sons of the kingdom as a reference to the children of Israel being cast into outer darkness because they did not have faith. In the parable of the Talents, Yeshua also said that the one who did not use the money that was given him was a worthless slave and is thrown into outer darkness, all of which is consistent with the rabbinic teaching on the light of God.

God replied, When the time of redemption comes and Jerusalem is rebuilt, I will make the light come, saying to Israel, Arise, shine, for the light is come (Isaiah 60:1). But as for the heathen nations of the earth, for them the light will be made into darkness, as is said, And the light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; and it will burn and devour his sit and his samir in one day (Isaiah 10:17). Who are referred to in the phrase “his sit” and “his samir?” Those officials of the nations who maintained themselves in luxury. David said to God, show us light from that light, as is said The Lord is God, and let Him show us light (Tehillim / Psalms 118:27). God replied, As you live, I will make the light come to Israel and make a darkness come to the heathen nations of the earth, as Scripture says, Arise, shine, for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold the darkness will cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you (Isaiah 60:1-2). (Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 1)

אמר לו לכשיגיע הקץ ותבנה ירושלים אני מביאו, שנאמר קומי אורי כי בא אורך (ישעיה ס א), אבל לאומות העולם האור נעשה להם לחושך, שנאמר והיה אור ישראל לאש וקדושו ללהבה [ובערה ואכלה שיתו ושמירו] (שם ישעיהו י יז), מהו שיתו ושמירו, אלו המפונקין שבהן, אמר לו דוד האר לנו מאותו האור, שנאמר אל ה׳ ויאר לנו (תהלים קיח כז), אמר לו חייך שאני מביא אור לישראל וחשך לאומות העולם, שנאמר כי הנה החשך יכסה ארץ וערפל לאומים ועליך יזרח ה׳ (ישעיה ס ב)

Thinking on the Scriptures, in some places the Scriptures say that the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire (i.e. Mark 9:44-48, Revelation 21:8) and Yeshua says that the fire is not quenched and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, whereas in other places in Scripture (shown above) the wicked are cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. These appear to be the same place however a different description is given for the place the wicked are placed for eternity. Skeptics may suggest that the Bible is inconsistent or contradictory with regard to these descriptions of Hell. Is there darkness or is there fire? Scientifically speaking, can you think of any place or way in which both fire and darkness might coexist? There is in fact one place where both a flame (which might be described as the light of the wicked) and darkness do coexist. In astrophysics, science has proven the existence of black holes, if we think on this for a moment, the gravitational pull of a black hole is so great that light itself is incapable of escaping, and this would in fact be a scientific explanation for the case where both the flame (light of the wicked) and darkness are able to coexist. Therefore, the description of Hell containing both “outer darkness” and “where the fire is not quenched” is a description of a place that is fully within the realm of possibility Scientifically speaking. In Midrash Tehillim 27 Part 1, the rabbis say God replied, As you live, I will make the light come to Israel and make a darkness come to the heathen nations of the earth, as Scripture says, Arise, shine, for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold the darkness will cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you (Isaiah 60:1-2). The light is paralleled with the glory of God and this is consistent with John’s account in the book of Revelation in verses 21:22-24. Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 1 concludes saying “What does one find Scripture saying of the time when the Egyptians were pursuing the children of Israel? And the pillar of cloud came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel, and there was the cloud and the darkness, yet gave it light (Shemot / Exodus 14:20). But if the pillar of cloud was there, how could darkness be there? Or if darkness was there, how could the pillar of could be there? Rabbi Hoshaia explained that the pillar of cloud had two faces, a face of light for the children of Israel and a face of darkness for the Egyptians. And so David said, I will sing a Psalm concerning God’s light, as is said A Psalm of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation.” The rabbis discuss the difficulty of understanding how the pillar of light and the cloud of darkness could coexist at the same time before the Red Sea standing between Israel and the Egyptian army. It appears that this may be a source text from the Torah regarding how the Lord gives light to His people, the righteous, and the wicked remain in darkness. At this time, the Lord literally made a division between the light and darkness at the location of the Red Sea and separating the righteous from the unrighteous. The rabbis say that this is explained by the pillar having two faces (שני פרצופין היו, פרצוף של אור לישראל, ופרצוף של חשך למצריים) the word that is used here is פרצוף meaning “face or visage” the reference is to the countenance of God, the Lord literally appeared as a light to Israel and as darkness to Egypt. The text from Shemot / Exodus 14:19-20 states יט וַיִּסַּע מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים הַהֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵי מַחֲנֵה יִשְֹרָאֵל וַיֵּלֶךְ מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם וַיִּסַּע עַמּוּד הֶעָנָן מִפְּנֵיהֶם וַיַּעֲמֹד מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם: כ וַיָּבֹא בֵּין | מַחֲנֵה מִצְרַיִם וּבֵין מַחֲנֵה יִשְֹרָאֵל וַיְהִי הֶעָנָן וְהַחשֶׁךְ וַיָּאֶר אֶת-הַלָּיְלָה וְלֹא-קָרַב זֶה אֶל-זֶה כָּל-הַלָּיְלָה: saying that the angel of the Lord went before the camp of Israel and stood as a cloud between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. And the cloud was darkness that appeared as night and they were not able to go from one to the other all night. David saw this and literally proclaims “The Lord is my light and my salvation” this is exactly what occurred at the crossing of the Red Sea in Shemot / Exodus 14:13 ג וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-הָעָם אַל-תִּירָאוּ הִתְיַצְּבוּ וּרְאוּ אֶת-יְשׁוּעַת יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר-יַעֲשֶֹה לָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אֲשֶׁר רְאִיתֶם אֶת-מִצְרַיִם הַיּוֹם לֹא תֹסִפוּ לִרְאֹתָם עוֹד עַד-עוֹלָם: Moshe tells the people to stand fast and see the “salvation of the Lord” (יְשׁוּעַת יְהֹוָה).

Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 2 opens with the Dibut Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Another comment on The Lord is my light and my salvation.” The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash states “These words are to be considered in the light of the verse Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Tehillim / Psalms 119:105).” The rabbis reference Tehillim / Psalms 119:105 and David’s words of the Word of God being a light for the way we should walk where the Lord is “my light and my salvation.” The rabbis illustrate this in the following way:

With whom may the wicked be compared? With a man who was walking in the middle of the night in the pitch darkness so that he came to a stone, he stumbled over it and when he came to a pit he fell into it. To such a man apply the words The way of the wicked is in darkness; they do not know over what they stumble (Mishley / Proverbs 4:19). And with whom may the righteous be compared? With a man who was walking in the way, but who had a lighted lamp in his hand, so that when he came to a stone, he took heed of it and did not stumble, and when he came to a pit, he took heed of it and did not fall into it. Even so, David said, When I was about to profane the Shabbat, the Torah gave light to me, for it says, Remember the Shabbat day to keep it holy (Shemot / Exodus 20:8). When I was about to commit adultery, the Torah gave light to me, for it says, Both the adulterer and the adulteress will surely be put to death (Vayikra / Leviticus 20:10). (Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 2)

למה הרשעים דומין, למי שמהלך באישון לילה ואפילה, הגיע לאבן ונכשל בה, הגיע לגומץ ונפל בו, וכך הוא אומר דרך רשעים באפלה [לא ידעו במה יכשלו] (משלי ד יט), ולמה הצדיקים דומין, למי שמהלך בדרך, ובידו נר דלוק, הגיע לאבן ונשמר ממנה שלא יכשל, הגיע לגומץ ונשמר עצמו שלא יפול לתוכו, כך אמר דוד באתי לחלל את השבת, והאירה לי התורה, שנאמר זכור את יום השבת (שמות כ ח), באתי לניאוף, התורה האירה לי, שנאמר מות יומת הנואף והנואפת (ויקרא כ י)

They ask the question of to whom may the wicked be compared? A parallel is drawn to darkness and the one who walks in the middle of the night and stumbles and falls into a pit. A quote from Mishley / Proverbs 4:19 is given which says יט דֶּרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים כָּאֲפֵלָה לֹא יָדְעוּ בַּמֶּה יִכָּשֵׁלוּ: 4:19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. (NASB) Note the Hebrew text from Proverbs, it says “the path of the wicked is like darkness” (דֶּרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים כָּאֲפֵלָה) and the word used here is אֲפֵלָה and not the word חשך meaning to “be darkened” or made “dark.” The word used here is אֲפֵלָה meaning “darkness, gloom, dusk, nurk, haziness, gloominess, murkiness, obscurity, benightedness.” The way of the wicked is not made dark, it is dark and gloomy! Those who do not know the Lord God Almighty and His Son Yeshua the Messiah walk in darkness, they do not have the light of God to show the way. Their ways in and of themselves are dark and the Scripture says they do not even realize what their problem is (over what they stumble). These Scriptures reveal to us that we need to seek the Lord to enlighten our souls to the truth of His Word and His ways. Without the Lord’s help in revealing the nature of our sin by conviction of the Holy Spirit, a person would not turn from their ways toward the Lord. On the other hand, the righteous are those who have a lamp in hand and are able to avoid the stone and the pit which causes one to stumble and fall into. The examples given are when David said, When I was about to profane the Shabbat, the Torah gave light to me, for it says, Remember the Shabbat day to keep it holy (Shemot / Exodus 20:8). When I was about to commit adultery, the Torah gave light to me, for it says, Both the adulterer and the adulteress will surely be put to death (Vayikra / Leviticus 20:10). David realized that if it was not for God’s Word he would not have known what he should and should not do with regard to being pleasing to the Lord.

The rabbis continue saying “Another comment on Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. If lamp, why light? If light, why lamp? But David meant this, When I begin with them, still they give forth light. But as I go deeper into Torah, then many gates of light open to me. Hence David speaks of a lamp which broadens into light. A different comment on Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. When did David speak this verse? When he was going into the valley of Pephaim, and yet would not go up into battle against the Philistines until he had inquired of the Urim and Thummim.” What is interesting here is that they are continuing to discuss the light of God’s Word being a lamp to our path and say “But as I go deeper into Torah.” What does it mean to “go deeper into Torah?” They say by going deeper into Torah gates of light (Sha’are Orah) open to me? Is this a kabbalistic concept? They continue with another comment on the word as a lamp to the feet and say that David did not go to battle with the Philistines until he had inquired of the Urim and the Thummim. What is the Urim and the Thummim according to the Torah? Something interesting to think about from the Masoretic text from Parashat Vezot Habracha.

Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:7-9

33:7 And this regarding Judah; so he said, ‘Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah, And bring him to his people. With his hands he contended for them, And may You be a help against his adversaries.’ 33:8 Of Levi he said, ‘Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man, Whom You proved at Massah, With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah; 33:9 Who said of his father and his mother, ‘I did not consider them’; And he did not acknowledge his brothers, Nor did he regard his own sons, For they observed Your word, And kept Your covenant. (NASB)

ספר דברים פרק לג

ז וְזֹאת לִיהוּדָה וַיֹּאמַר שְׁמַע יְהוָֹה קוֹל יְהוּדָה וְאֶל-עַמּוֹ תְּבִיאֶנּוּ יָדָיו רָב לוֹ וְעֵזֶר מִצָּרָיו תִּהְיֶה: ח וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ לְאִישׁ חֲסִידֶךָ אֲשֶׁר נִסִּיתוֹ בְּמַסָּה תְּרִיבֵהוּ עַל-מֵי מְרִיבָה: ט הָאֹמֵר לְאָבִיו וּלְאִמּוֹ לֹא רְאִיתִיו וְאֶת-אֶחָיו לֹא הִכִּיר וְאֶת-בָּנָו לֹא יָדָע כִּי שָׁמְרוּ אִמְרָתֶךָ וּבְרִיתְךָ יִנְצֹרוּ:

Looking at Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:8 ח וּלְלֵוִי אָמַר תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיךָ לְאִישׁ חֲסִידֶךָ אֲשֶׁר נִסִּיתוֹ בְּמַסָּה תְּרִיבֵהוּ עַל-מֵי מְרִיבָה: 33:8 Of Levi he said, ‘Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man, Whom You proved at Massah, With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah; (NASB), it is interesting, the English translation states “Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man” and these being tested at Massah and Meribah. Question: “was it the Thummim and Urim that were being tested or was it the godly men?” Massah is one of the locations which the Torah identifies as having been traveled through by the Israelites, during the Exodus, although the list of visited locations in Sefer Bamidbar (book of Numbers) doesn’t mention it, however, in the Book of Exodus, Massah is mentioned at the same time as Meribah, in a context which suggests that Massah is the same location as Meribah. (see Shemot / Exodus 17, Bamidbar / Numbers 20 and 27, and Devarim / Deuteronomy 32). It is interesting to note that in Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:51 Moshe explains the significance of this location 32:51 because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. (NASB) The historical context of Massah and Meribah involves the people who complained for not having water and Moshe for not sanctifying (breaking faith) the name of the Lord in the midst of the sons of Israel. Back to Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:8, what is it about the Thummim and Urim that were being tested? The English translation leaves a lot of questions. Are “Thummim” and “Urim” a good translation of the Hebrew text in light of the historical background on Massah and Meribah and the context of the Hebrew sentence (33:8)? The first thing to observe is that Thummim and Urim are not the literal translations of the Hebrew words תֻּמֶּיךָ וְאוּרֶיך. In addition to this, looking back to the first verse in Tehillim / Psalms 26:1 we read David saying א לְדָוִד | שָׁפְטֵנִי יְהֹוָה כִּי-אֲנִי בְּתֻמִּי הָלַכְתִּי וּבַיהֹוָה בָּטַחְתִּי לֹא אֶמְעָד: 26:1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity (innocence), And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. (NASB) Analyzing David’s use of the word תֻּמֶּי “thumei” the word תֻּמֶּי means “integrity” or “innocence” and Hebrew lexicons (BDB) state that the word אוּר means “light” or “flame.” Therefore, when Moshe was speaking of the tribe of Levi (Devarim / Deuteronomy 33:8) was he referring to the “innocence and light” that are supposed to belong to godly men, and these were tested at the waters of Massah and Meribah? David’s words from Tehillim / Psalms 26, and Parashat Achari Mot, Moshe said in Shemot / Exodus 33:13 “…Now if I have found favor in your eyes let me know your ways so that I might find favor in your eyes.” What are the ways of God but to walk in innocence and truth (His light, Word, etc), the very thing that was tested at the waters of Massah and Meribah? The complaints of the people show they were not walking in innocence and truth. While in the wilderness, the Lord tested Israel and we learn that they were called to walk in innocence and truth. Today we are also called to walk in innocence and truth before the Lord God Almighty. The truth is the Lord sent His Messiah Yeshua to make atonement for our sins. It might be that David, rather than being confident and arrogant, he humbled himself in innocence and truth and consulted the Lord before going to battle with the Philistines. Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 2 concludes saying “And what brought about David’s deliverance? It was the word of the Holy One blessed be He, which David fulfilled and which gave him light. Hence David said, Your word is a lamp unto my feet.” This is how the Lord’s deliverance works, we are to seek the Lord and His ways, according to His Word, and the Lord will be my light and my salvation. The credit goes to the Lord!

Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “The Rabbis interpreted the entire Psalm as referring to the New years day and to the Day of Atonement.” The say in the Petihta (פתיחתא) that “The Lord is my light on New Year’s Day; since this is the day of judgment, it is said He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noon day (Tehillim / Psalms 37:6).” Taking a fresh look at the entire Psalm, can this entire psalm be interpreted to refer to Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur? Let’s outline Tehillim / Psalms 27.

Outline of Tehillim / Psalms 27

  1. The Lord is my light and my salvation (27:1), looking to the Lord for salvation and redemption.
  2. The Lord delivers us from our enemies (27:2-3, 6, 12).
  3. Seeking to dwell in the house of the Lord (27:4).
  4. Singing praises to the Lord (27:6), offering sacrifices and asking the Lord to be gracious to us (27:7).
  5. Seeking the face of God (27:8-10).
  6. Teach me Your ways Lord (27:11), and be strong and encouraged in the Lord (27:13-14).

Does this Psalm outline the things that makes one think of the Moed Yom Kippur? The Day of Atonement is described in Vayikra / Leviticus 16, the text describes that Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th day of the month of Tishri which concludes 10 days of repentance that began with Rosh Hashanah. Vayikra / Leviticus 16 describes the temple service and sacrificial ceremony the High Priest would perform on this day. Yom Kippur is marked by fasting and prayer to seek forgiveness before God and others. In the Torah, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year and illustrates our need for repentance and forgiveness of sins before a Holy God. Judaism teaches that it was during the month of Elul the sin of the golden calf had occurred in Parashat Ki Tisa (Shemot / Exodus 32-33). Following the sin of the golden calf, Moshe went up the Mountain of Sinai to receive the second set of Tablets on Rosh Chodesh Elul. On that day, the children of Israel sounded the shofar to remind themselves to stray no more after idol worship. In addition to this, the sound of the shofar strikes awe into one’s heart and inspires us to return to the ways of God according to the Torah. The phrase “Day of Atonement” is written in Hebrew as “Yom Kippurim” (יוֹם הַכִּפֻּרִים) in Vayikra / Leviticus 23:27 and literally means “Day of the covering or atoning.” This is the one time a year the High Priest was allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies, to call upon the Name of the Lord, and to offer blood upon the Kaporet (Mercy Seat). It is believed that on the 10th of Tishri Moshe came down from the Mountain of Sinai bearing the second set of tablets following the forgiveness of Israel in their sin of Chet Ha’egel (the golden calf). At this time the one man Moshe went before God to see if he could make atonement for the people for their sin in Shemot / Exodus 32:31-33, saying 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 was not certain if he could appease God following the great sin of the children of Israel at the foot of the mountain.

The month Tishri is the first month in the modern Jewish calendar and it corresponds to the seventh month in the biblical calendar. In the Torah, the Lord tells the nation of Israel that this is a day of affliction and self-denial (see Vayikra / Leviticus 16:29-31, 23:27-32). In the Scriptures, the Lord provides a summary of instructions for Israel concerning the observance of Yom Kippur (see Vayikra / Leviticus 23:26-32 and Bamidbar / Numbers 29:7-11). In ancient Israel, the observance of Yom Kippur centered around the Temple service. During this time, the High Priest woke up early for ritual purification and preparation of his heart for the holiday. After the initial preparation, the priest offered a bull as a sacrifice both for himself and his family (Vayikra / Leviticus 16:6). He then selected and consecrated two separate male goats. One goat is selected by lot as a sacrifice for God and the other to bear the sin of the people which would later be lead into the desert to die (Vayikra / Leviticus 16:7-10). The priest would take the blood of the bull which he had sacrificed as a sin offering for himself and his family, and placed it upon the altar before entering into the inner room of the temple to sprinkle the blood upon the Ark of the Covenant (Vayikra / Leviticus 16:11-14). The High Priest would sacrifice the goat selected by lot to die on behalf of the nation before entering into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the goat’s blood upon the Mercy Seat (Vayikra / Leviticus 16:15). The priest would then place some of the blood from the goat that was sacrificed onto the second goat. At this point the High Priest confessed the sins of the nation over the second goat and then the goat was lead into the wilderness to die (Vayikra / Leviticus 16:21-22). The removal of the goat from the camp symbolized the removal of sins from Israel. The essential lesson from the Temple sacrifice for this Holy Day is that God provided a means for atonement, the only method of atonement for sins is through the offering of a living sacrifice. The most significant aspect of this day is that this is the day one man would enter in before God and make atonement on behalf of an entire nation. Does this sound familiar? In our remembrance we have the freedom to observe this holy day and to celebrate the day in a way that draws attention to God’s Messiah. The followers of Yeshua the Messiah recognize that atonement is available to God’s people through the death and resurrection of Yeshua. The Lord God Almighty provided atonement in and through the sacrifice of His Messiah just like the offering of the living sacrifice that is illustrated in the Temple ritual. Therefore, for believers, Yom Kippur does not represent a time of apprehension and fear or of worrying about one’s position before the Lord God; rather, we can with confidence recognize that our salvation is Yes and Amen in Yeshua. This was the time of the year the sin of the golden calf had occurred and Moshe went before God saying וְעַתָּה אִם-תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם-אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתּ “if you will carry, lift, bear, endure, or suffer their sin,” not knowing what the Lord was going to do. Moshe also said וְאִם-אַיִן “and if not” מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתּ “erase/destroy me from your book that you have written.” Here Moshe was unsure about forgiveness without an living sacrifice; Moshe suggested that he might take their place. Today we don’t have to be unsure and we don’t have to give our own lives as an offering for atonement; the Lord did this for us, sending His only Son Yeshua to make atonement on our behalf. While studying Tehillim / Psalms 27, all of the components of Yom Kippur appear to be present, seeking God, the sacrifices, being delivered from our enemies, the Lord not turning His head from us, singing praises to the Lord, salvation, learning God’s ways, seeking God’s face, etc. It is not surprising that the Rabbis say in the midrash that the entire Psalm refers to Yom Kippur.

Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 6 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “The verse, For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His pavilion (Tehillim / Psalms 27:5) alludes to the day of the trouble with Batsheva.” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash states “And now will my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; and I will offer in His Tabernacle sacrifices with trumpet sound (Tehillim / Psalms 27:6).” The rabbis say that David’s request to be hidden in the Tabernacle was during the day of trouble with Batsheva and going on to Tehillim / Psalms 27:6, the rest of the midrash discusses the altar and various altars that were built according to the Tanach. Joshua building an altar on mount Ebal, a prophet is the one who is allowed to build an altar in a high place, and Elijah who offered sacrifices on mount Carmel, and Gideon who used his father’s bullocks tearing down the altar his father had built to Asherah and building an altar and sacrificing the animals using the wood from the Asherah. As a result of this the rabbis say the following.

Rabbi Abba son of Kahana commented that in the offering of Gideon’s bullocks seven sins were committed, (i) wood of an Asherah was used; (ii) hewn stones were used; (iii) one bullock was set aside for idolatry; (iv) the other bullock had, in fact, been worshiped already; (v) the sacrifice was offered at night (vi) by one who was not a priest, (vii) and on a high place, this being expressly forbidden. Nevertheless, because of the need of the hour, the offering was received. Proof concerning Gideon the son of Joash, yes, but what of Samuel? Scripture says, Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord (1 Samuel 7:9). Rabbi Abba son of Kahana commented, three sins were committed in Samuel’s burnt offering, (i) it is written He will not flay the burnt offering (Vayikra / Leviticus 1:6), but Samuel’s lamb was offered unflayed; (ii) it was too young to be brought for a burnt offering, for Scripture says, It will be seven days under the dam; but for the eighth day and onward it may be accepted for an offering (Vayikra / Leviticus 22:27), and Samuel’s offering was not eight days old; (iii) Samuel was a Levite and not a priest. (Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 6)

אמר ר׳ (אחא) [אבא בר כהנא] שבע עבירות נעשה בפרות של גדעון, בעצי אשרה, באבנים פסולות, ושור שהיה מוקצה לעבודה זרה, ושור הנעבד, ונקרב בלילה, ובזר, ואיסור במה, ואעפ״כ לצורך שעה נתקבל, אין לי אלא גדעון בן יואש, שמואל מניין, תלמוד לומר ויקח שמואל טלה חלב אחד ויעלהו עולה [כליל] לה׳ (ש״א שמואל א׳ ז ט), אמר ר׳ אבא בר כהנא שלש עבירות נעשה בעולתו של שמואל, כתיב והפשיט את העולה (ויקרא א ו), וטלה של שמואל הוא ועורו, ומחוסר זמן, והתורה אמרה והיה שבעת ימים תחת אמו ומיום השמיני והלאה (ויקרא כב כז), וטלה שלו לא היה בן שמונת ימים, ולוי היה שמואל.

The rabbis say that during Gideon’s offing he had committed seven sins. They say he used the wood of an Asherah, he used hewn stones, one of the bulls was set aside for idolatry, the other had been worshiped already, the sacrifice was offered at night, Gideon was not a priest, and that he offered the bull on a high place which is forbidden in the Torah (Devarim / Deuteronomy 12:13). According to the Torah we have the following list of commands regarding (i) idolatry, idolaters, and idolatrous practices, (ii) the temple, the sanctuary, and sacred objects, and (iii) sacrifices and offerings.

Idolatry, Idolaters and Idolatrous Practices

  1. Not to use the ornament of any object of idolatrous worship (Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:25)
  2. Not to make use of an idol or its accessory objects, offerings, or libations (Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:26)
  3. Not to drink wine of idolaters (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:38)
  4. Not to worship an idol in the way in which it is usually worshiped (Shemot / Exodus 20:5)
  5. Not to bow down to an idol, even if that is not its mode of worship (Shemot / Exodus 20:5)
  6. Not to prophesy in the name of an idol (Shemot / Exodus 23:13, Devarim / Deuteronomy 18:20)
  7. Not to hearken to one who prophesies in the name of an idol (Devarim / Deuteronomy 13:4)
  8. Not to lead the children of Israel astray to idolatry (Shemot / Exodus 23:13)
  9. Not to entice an Israelite to idolatry (Devarim / Deuteronomy 13:12)
  10. To destroy idolatry and its appurtenances (Devarim / Deuteronomy 12:2-3)
  11. Not to love the enticer to idolatry (Devarim / Deuteronomy 13:9)
  12. Not to turn one’s attention to idolatry (Vayikra / Leviticus 19:4)
  13. Not to adopt the institutions of idolaters nor their customs (Vayikra / Leviticus 18:3 and 20:23)
  14. Not to make use of the property of city that has been so led astray (Devarim / Deuteronomy 13:18)

    The Temple, the Sanctuary and Sacred Objects

  15. Not to build an altar of hewn stone (Shemot / Exodus 20:22)
  16. To prepare the oil of anointment and anoint high Priest and kings with it (Shemot / Exodus 30:31)

    Sacrifices and Offerings

  17. To sanctify the firstling of clean cattle and offer it up (Shemot / Exodus 13:2, Devarim / Deuteronomy 15:19)

According to the Torah, one is not to use an object of idolatrous worship, however in the book of Judges chapter 6, Gideon cut down the Asherah pole and used the wood as firewood for the altar of God. Does the wood, because it was previously used for idol worship, become unqualified for starting a fire on the altar of the Lord? The Scriptures also say that the cattle must be sanctified (set aside) before offering it up. The bulls were originally set aside for idol worship, does this disqualify the bulls for the altar of the Lord? The Scriptures also state that the altar of the Lord is not to be built with hewn stone (Shemot / Exodus 20:22), the Scriptures do not specifically detail the kind of stone Gideon used so this may be an assumption of the rabbis that he used hewn stone. In addition to this, the rabbis reference Samuel and state that he committed three sins when he made the offering to the Lord in 1 Samuel 7:9, saying that he offered the lamb unflayed, it was too young to be brought as an offering, and Samuel was a Levite and not a priest. What exactly are the rabbis trying to say regarding Tehillim / Psalms 27:5-6 which states 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 27:6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. (NASB)? The rabbis say that it was because of the need of the hour that the sacrifice was accepted (Midrash Tehillim 27, Part 6). Did Gideon violate the command of God? It is interesting to note that it was the Lord God Almighty who told Gideon exactly what he is supposed to do regarding his father’s idolatry. The midrash seems to be making a distinction between what is perceived to be a sin and what God has commanded. The reason for the distinction is to explain how these laws have been given for justice and for the sake of righteousness, to shape our character in how we live and follow God’s Word. We are taught according to the Scriptures to practice justice and not to depend upon our own strength, we are to depend upon the Lord and what His Word tells us. Based upon the list of commands from the Torah, it does appear that Gideon violated a couple of the commands. An attempt is being made to bring these laws to human understanding, how could we be given these commands and then the Word of the Lord comes to Gideon telling him to sacrifice the bulls that were set apart for idol worship, use the wood that was set apart as an idol, and though it is not explicitly stated to make a offering to the Lord by day, Gideon does so at night because he feared his father’s house for what he was about to do. Gideon acted in obedience to God’s Word and he was successful. The Word of God requires obedience of us and this is what the Lord is looking for in our lives. The sin of disobedience to the Word of the Lord was what originally divided man and woman, estranging the man and the woman from each other in the accusations that were made laying blame on someone else. The wilderness journey was also a place for God to test His people and to help them to learn faith and obedience. As followers of Yeshua we have come to love and respect all of scripture (the Tanach and the Apostolic Writings). We are the sons and daughters of God who have been chosen to bear His name before the world. The midrash states that it was because of the “need of the hour” that the offering was accepted. It may feel like the need of the hour gives us a valid reason to disobey God, however, this is not what the midrash is saying. Because of the need of the hour, Gideon and Samuel made haste to bring an offering according to the Word of the Lord. In this day and age, sin is greatly increasing and there is a need to carefully examine ourselves, our own lives, to see if we have any form of rebellion in our hearts toward the Lord? If there is, repent now and seek the Lord through Yeshua the Messiah immediately for the hour is near! Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 27-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!