Tehillim / Psalms 35, Part 2, Trusting in the Righteousness of God

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This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 35:1-28, the opening verses states א לְדָוִד | רִיבָה יְהֹוָה אֶת-יְרִיבַי לְחַם אֶת-לֹחֲמָי: ב הַחֲזֵק מָגֵן וְצִנָּה וְקוּמָה בְּעֶזְרָתִי: ג וְהָרֵק חֲנִית וּסְגֹר לִקְרַאת רֹדְפָי אֱמֹר לְנַפְשִׁי יְשֻׁעָתֵךְ אָנִי: A Psalm of David. 35:1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me. 35:2 Take hold of buckler and shield And rise up for my help. 35:3 Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’ (NASB) David seeks the Lord’s help to find victory over his enemies. He asks for the Lord Himself to fight against those who fight against him. He says 35:4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me. 35:5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, With the angel of the Lord driving them on. 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery, With the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 35:7 For without cause they hid their net for me; Without cause they dug a pit for my soul. 35:8 Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall. (NASB) The enemy will fall into their own snare and pit that they have dug to destroy the innocent and the righteous. David continues saying 35:9 And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation. 35:10 All my bones will say, ‘Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?’ (NASB) David says that the unrighteous raise up and repay evil for good, they slander without a cause and are like the godless who make jokes at a feast against God (Tehillim / Psalms 35:11-16). David says that the wicked hate him without a cause (35:19), they open their mouths against him (35:21), however it is the Lord who is his Judge (35:22-24). He says כד שָׁפְטֵנִי כְצִדְקְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָי וְאַל-יִשְֹמְחוּ-לִי: כה אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בְלִבָּם הֶאָח נַפְשֵׁנוּ אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בִּלַּעֲנוּהוּ: כו יֵבשׁוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ | יַחְדָּו שְֹמֵחֵי רָעָתִי יִלְבְּשׁוּ-בשֶׁת וּכְלִמָּה הַמַּגְדִּילִים עָלָי: 35:24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness, And do not let them rejoice over me. 35:25 Do not let them say in their heart, ‘Aha, our desire!’ Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed him up!’ 35:26 Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. (NASB) He asks the Lord to judge him according to God’s righteousness. David concludes the Psalm saying 35:27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.’ 35:28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long. (NASB) Truly the Lord is worthy of honor and praise forever! Amen!

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק לה

א לְדָוִד | רִיבָה יְהֹוָה אֶת-יְרִיבַי לְחַם אֶת-לֹחֲמָי: ב הַחֲזֵק מָגֵן וְצִנָּה וְקוּמָה בְּעֶזְרָתִי: ג וְהָרֵק חֲנִית וּסְגֹר לִקְרַאת רֹדְפָי אֱמֹר לְנַפְשִׁי יְשֻׁעָתֵךְ אָנִי: ד יֵבשׁוּ וְיִכָּלְמוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשִׁי יִסֹּגוּ אָחוֹר וְיַחְפְּרוּ חשְׁבֵי רָעָתִי: ה יִהְיוּ כְּמֹץ לִפְנֵי-רוּחַ וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה דּוֹחֶה:

סםר טוביה פרק לה

א לדוד איתגר״אתרברב יהוה במרי תגרתי סדר קרב קבל בעלי קרבתי׃ ב אתקיף תריס ועגיל וקום בסעדי׃ ג ושלוף מורניתא וטרוק י<ת> תקא וזמן לאורעות רודפי אמר לנפשי פריקך אנא׃ ד יבהתון ויכספון תבעי נפשי ירתעון לאחורא ויתכנעון חשלי בישותי בישתי׃

YALMOI 35

35:1 τῷ δαυιδ δίκασον κύριε τοὺς ἀδικοῦντάς με πολέμησον τοὺς πολεμοῦντάς με 35:2 ἐπιλαβοῦ ὅπλου καὶ θυρεοῦ καὶ ἀνάστηθι εἰς βοήθειάν μου 35:3 ἔκχεον ῥομφαίαν καὶ σύγκλεισον ἐξ ἐναντίας τῶν καταδιωκόντων με εἰπὸν τῇ ψυχῇ μου σωτηρία σου ἐγώ εἰμι 35:4 αἰσχυνθήτωσαν καὶ ἐντραπήτωσαν οἱ ζητοῦντες τὴν ψυχήν μου ἀποστραφήτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω καὶ καταισχυνθήτωσαν οἱ λογιζόμενοί μοι κακά

ו יְהִי-דַרְכָּם חשֶׁךְ וַחֲלַקְלַקּוֹת וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה רֹדְפָם: ז כִּי-חִנָּם טָמְנוּ-לִי שַׁחַת רִשְׁתָּם חִנָּם חָפְרוּ לְנַפְשִׁי: ח תְּבוֹאֵהוּ שׁוֹאָה לֹא יֵדָע וְרִשְׁתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר-טָמַן תִּלְכְּדוֹ בְּשׁוֹאָה יִפָּל-בָּהּ: ט וְנַפְשִׁי תָּגִיל בַּיהֹוָה תָּשִֹישֹ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ: י כָּל עַצְמֹתַי | תֹּאמַרְנָה יְהֹוָה מִי כָמוֹךָ מַצִּיל עָנִי מֵחָזָק מִמֶּנּוּ וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן מִגֹּזְלוֹ: יא יְקוּמוּן עֵדֵי חָמָס אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַעְתִּי יִשְׁאָלוּנִי: יב יְשַׁלְּמוּנִי רָעָה תַּחַת טוֹבָה שְׁכוֹל לְנַפְשִׁי: יג וַאֲנִי | בַּחֲלוֹתָם לְבוּשִׁי שָֹק עִנֵּיתִי בַצּוֹם נַפְשִׁי וּתְפִלָּתִי עַל-חֵיקִי תָשׁוּב: יד כְּרֵעַ כְּאָח-לִי הִתְהַלָּכְתִּי כַּאֲבֶל-אֵם קֹדֵר שַׁחוֹתִי: טו וּבְצַלְעִי שָֹמְחוּ וְנֶאֱסָפוּ נֶאֶסְפוּ עָלַי נֵכִים וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי קָרְעוּ וְלֹא-דָמּוּ: טז בְּחַנְפֵי לַעֲגֵי מָעוֹג חָרֹק עָלַי שִׁנֵּימוֹ: יז אֲדֹנָי כַּמָּה תִּרְאֶה הָשִׁיבָה נַפְשִׁי מִשֹּׁאֵיהֶם מִכְּפִירִים יְחִידָתִי: יח אוֹדְךָ בְּקָהָל רָב בְּעַם עָצוּם אֲהַלְלֶךָּ: יט אַל-יִשְֹמְחוּ-לִי אֹיְבַי שֶׁקֶר שֹנְאַי חִנָּם יִקְרְצוּ-עָיִן: כ כִּי לֹא שָׁלוֹם יְדַבֵּרוּ וְעַל רִגְעֵי-אֶרֶץ דִּבְרֵי מִרְמוֹת יַחֲשֹׁבוּן: כא וַיַּרְחִיבוּ עָלַי פִּיהֶם אָמְרוּ הֶאָח | הֶאָח רָאֲתָה עֵינֵינוּ: כב רָאִיתָה יְהֹוָה אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ אֲדֹנָי אֲל-תִּרְחַק מִמֶּנִּי: כג הָעִירָה וְהָקִיצָה לְמִשְׁפָּטִי אֱלֹהַי וַאדֹנָי לְרִיבִי: כד שָׁפְטֵנִי כְצִדְקְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָי וְאַל-יִשְֹמְחוּ-לִי:

ה יהויין היך מוזא קדם זעפא ומלאכא דיהוה דחי׃ ו יהי אורחתהון חשוכא וחכירייא ומלאכא דיהוה רדיף להון׃ ז ארום מגן פרסן לותי שייח מצדהון מצדתיהון מגן כמנו לנפשי׃ ח תתייה שלייא לא יתחכם ידע ומצדתיה די פרס תציידיה בשליא יפל בה׃ ט ונפשי תחדי במימרא דיהוה תדוץ בפורקניה׃ י כולהון אבראי תהויין אמרין יהוה מן כותך פצי עניא מן תקיף מיניה ועניא וחשוכא מן אנסייה׃ יא קיימין סהדי חטופין מאן דלא חכימית שיילין לי׃ יב פרען לי בישתא חלף טבתא בען למתכל לנפשי׃ יג ואנא בעידן מרעותהון לבישית סקא סגיפית בצומא נפשי וצלותי על עובי תתוב׃ יד היך חברא היך אחא דילי הליכית היך אבילא דמתאבל על אימיה חכיר שחיית׃ טו ובתברי חדו ואתכנשו מתכנשין עלי רשיעיא דמככין לי במיל<י>הון ולא חכימית אילו מבזעין משכי ולא מפקין דמא׃ טז במילי שעיעותא ומרהביא וממקניא מעסן עלי ככיהון׃ יז יהוה כמה את חמי אתיב נפשי משלייתהון מבני ארויא גושמי׃ יח אודי קדמך בכנישתא רבא בעמא תקיפא אשבחינך׃ יט לא יחדון עלי בעלי דבבי שיקרא סנאי מגן רמזין בעיניהון׃ כ ארום לא שלמא ממללין ועל צדיקי ארעא דנייחין בעלמא ההוא מילי ניכלאין מחשלין חשבין׃ כא ואפתיאו עלי פומהון אמרו חדוא חדוא חמת עיננא׃ כב חמיתא יהוה לא תשתוק יהוה לא תתרחיק מיני׃ כג איתער ותקיץ לדיני אלהי ומרי ניצחני יהוה לתגרתי׃ כד דון יתי כצדקתך יהוה אלהי ולא יחדון עלי׃

35:5 γενηθήτωσαν ὡσεὶ χνοῦς κατὰ πρόσωπον ἀνέμου καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐκθλίβων αὐτούς 35:6 γενηθήτω ἡ ὁδὸς αὐτῶν σκότος καὶ ὀλίσθημα καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου καταδιώκων αὐτούς 35:7 ὅτι δωρεὰν ἔκρυψάν μοι διαφθορὰν παγίδος αὐτῶν μάτην ὠνείδισαν τὴν ψυχήν μου 35:8 ἐλθέτω αὐτοῖς παγίς ἣν οὐ γινώσκουσιν καὶ ἡ θήρα ἣν ἔκρυψαν συλλαβέτω αὐτούς καὶ ἐν τῇ παγίδι πεσοῦνται ἐν αὐτῇ 35:9 ἡ δὲ ψυχή μου ἀγαλλιάσεται ἐπὶ τῷ κυρίῳ τερφθήσεται ἐπὶ τῷ σωτηρίῳ αὐτοῦ 35:10 πάντα τὰ ὀστᾶ μου ἐροῦσιν κύριε τίς ὅμοιός σοι ῥυόμενος πτωχὸν ἐκ χειρὸς στερεωτέρων αὐτοῦ καὶ πτωχὸν καὶ πένητα ἀπὸ τῶν διαρπαζόντων αὐτόν 35:11 ἀναστάντες μάρτυρες ἄδικοι ἃ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον ἠρώτων με 35:12 ἀνταπεδίδοσάν μοι πονηρὰ ἀντὶ καλῶν καὶ ἀτεκνίαν τῇ ψυχῇ μου 35:13 ἐγὼ δὲ ἐν τῷ αὐτοὺς παρενοχλεῖν μοι ἐνεδυόμην σάκκον καὶ ἐταπείνουν ἐν νηστείᾳ τὴν ψυχήν μου καὶ ἡ προσευχή μου εἰς κόλπον μου ἀποστραφήσεται 35:14 ὡς πλησίον ὡς ἀδελφὸν ἡμέτερον οὕτως εὐηρέστουν ὡς πενθῶν καὶ σκυθρωπάζων οὕτως ἐταπεινούμην 35:15 καὶ κατ’ ἐμοῦ ηὐφράνθησαν καὶ συνήχθησαν συνήχθησαν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ μάστιγες καὶ οὐκ ἔγνων διεσχίσθησαν καὶ οὐ κατενύγησαν 35:16 ἐπείρασάν με ἐξεμυκτήρισάν με μυκτηρισμόν ἔβρυξαν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ τοὺς ὀδόντας αὐτῶν 35:17 κύριε πότε ἐπόψῃ ἀποκατάστησον τὴν ψυχήν μου ἀπὸ τῆς κακουργίας αὐτῶν ἀπὸ λεόντων τὴν μονογενῆ μου 35:18 ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι κύριε ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ πολλῇ ἐν λαῷ βαρεῖ αἰνέσω σε 35:19 μὴ ἐπιχαρείησάν μοι οἱ ἐχθραίνοντές μοι ἀδίκως οἱ μισοῦντές με δωρεὰν καὶ διανεύοντες ὀφθαλμοῖς 35:20 ὅτι ἐμοὶ μὲν εἰρηνικὰ ἐλάλουν καὶ ἐπ’ ὀργὴν δόλους διελογίζοντο 35:21 καὶ ἐπλάτυναν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτῶν εἶπαν εὖγε εὖγε εἶδαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν 35:22 εἶδες κύριε μὴ παρασιωπήσῃς κύριε μὴ ἀποστῇς ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ 35:23 ἐξεγέρθητι κύριε καὶ πρόσχες τῇ κρίσει μου ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου εἰς τὴν δίκην μου 35:24 κρῖνόν με κατὰ τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου κύριε ὁ θεός μου καὶ μὴ ἐπιχαρείησάν μοι 35:25 μὴ εἴπαισαν ἐν καρδίαις αὐτῶν εὖγε εὖγε τῇ ψυχῇ ἡμῶν μηδὲ εἴπαισαν κατεπίομεν αὐτόν

כה אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בְלִבָּם הֶאָח נַפְשֵׁנוּ אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בִּלַּעֲנוּהוּ: כו יֵבשׁוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ | יַחְדָּו שְֹמֵחֵי רָעָתִי יִלְבְּשׁוּ-בשֶׁת וּכְלִמָּה הַמַּגְדִּילִים עָלָי: כז יָרֹנּוּ וְיִשְֹמְחוּ חֲפֵצֵי צִדְקִי וְיֹאמְרוּ תָמִיד יִגְדַּל יְהֹוָה הֶחָפֵץ שְׁלוֹם עַבְדּוֹ: כח וּלְשׁוֹנִי תֶּהְגֶּה צִדְקֶךָ כָּל-הַיּוֹם תְּהִלָּתֶךָ:

כה לא יימרון בלבהון חדיאת נפשנא דילמא דלא יימרון גמרנא יתיה׃ כו יבהתון ויתכנעון ויתכנשון כחדא דחדין על בישותי ילבשון בהתא וכיסופא דמתרברבן עלי׃ כז יבועון ויחדון תבעי צדקי וימרון תדירא יסגי יקרא דיהוה דצבי שלמא דעבדיה׃ כח ולישני תרנן צדקתך כולי יומא תושבחתך׃

35:26 αἰσχυνθείησαν καὶ ἐντραπείησαν ἅμα οἱ ἐπιχαίροντες τοῖς κακοῖς μου ἐνδυσάσθωσαν αἰσχύνην καὶ ἐντροπὴν οἱ μεγαλορρημονοῦντες ἐπ’ ἐμέ 35:27ἀγαλλιάσαιντο καὶ εὐφρανθείησαν οἱ θέλοντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην μου καὶ εἰπάτωσαν διὰ παντός μεγαλυνθήτω ὁ κύριος οἱ θέλοντες τὴν εἰρήνην τοῦ δούλου αὐτοῦ 35:28 καὶ ἡ γλῶσσά μου μελετήσει τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν τὸν ἔπαινόν σου

Tehillim / Psalms 35

A Psalm of David. 35:1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me. 35:2 Take hold of buckler and shield And rise up for my help. 35:3 Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’ 35:4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me. 35:5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, With the angel of the Lord driving them on. 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery, With the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 35:7 For without cause they hid their net for me; Without cause they dug a pit for my soul. 35:8 Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall. 35:9 And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation. 35:10 All my bones will say, ‘Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?’ 35:11 Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know. 35:12 They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul. 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. 35:14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. 35:15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, They slandered me without ceasing. 35:16 Like godless jesters at a feast, They gnashed at me with their teeth. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms Chapter 35

35:1 Of David. Contend, O Lord, with those who contend against me; make war against those who war against me. 35:2 Take up a shield and buckler, and arise as my help. 35:3 And draw the spear and fasten the scabbard; and be prepared to meet those who pursue me; say to my soul, “I am your redeemer.” 35:4 Let those who seek my life be ashamed and embarrassed; let those who plot my ruin shrink back and be subdued. 35:5 Let them be like chaff before the storm-wind, with the angel of the Lord repelling [them]. 35:6 May their paths be dark and murky, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 35:7 For without cause they have spread before me a pit; their net they have hidden for my soul without cause. 35:8 May a sudden calamity, unsuspected, overtake him; and may his net that he spread catch him; let him suddenly fall in it. 35:9 But my soul will rejoice in the word of the Lord; it will be glad in his redemption. 35:10 All my limbs will keep saying, “O Lord, who is like you?” – who saves the poor from the one stronger than he, and the poor and wretched from his oppressor. 35:11 Rapacious witnesses stand up; those whom I have not known question me. 35:12 They repay me evil for good, seeking to bereave my soul. 35:13 But I, in the time of their illness, wore sackcloth; I afflicted my soul with fasting; but my prayer will return to my bosom. 35:14 As if for my friend or brother, I went about like a mourner; like one who mourns for his mother, I was bowed down in gloom. 35:15 But when I was stricken, they rejoiced and even gathered together against me; the wicked, who belittle me with their words, and I knew it not, as if they cut my skin without drawing blood. 35:16 With smooth words and haughtiness and mockery, they grind their teeth against me. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 35

A Psalm of David. 35:1 Judge thou, O Lord, them that injure me, fight against them that fight against me. 35:2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and arise for my help. 35:3 Bring forth a sword, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say to my soul, I am thy salvation. 35:4 Let them that seek my soul be ashamed and confounded: let them that devise evils against me be turned back and put to shame. 35:5 Let them be as dust before the wind, and an angel of the Lord afflicting them. 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery, and an angel of the Lord persecuting them. 35:7 For without cause they have hid for me their destructive snare: without a cause they have reproached my soul. 35:8 Let a snare which they know not come upon them; and the gin which they hid take them; and let them fall into the very same snare. 35:9 But my soul shall exult in the Lord: it shall delight in his salvation. 35:10 All my bones shall say, O Lord, who is like to thee? delivering the poor out of the hand of them that are stronger than he, yea, the poor and needy one from them that spoil him. 35:11 Unjust witnesses arose, and asked me of things I new not. 35:12 They rewarded me evil for good, and bereavement to my soul. 35:13 But I, when they troubled me, put on sackcloth, and humbled my soul with fasting: and my prayer shall return to my own bosom. 35:14 I behaved agreeably towards them as if it had been our neighbour or brother: I humbled myself as one mourning and sad of countenance. 35:15 Yet they rejoiced against me, and plagues were plentifully brought against me, and I knew it not: they were scattered, but repented not. 35:16 They tempted me, they sneered at me most contemptuously, they gnashed their teeth upon me. (LXX)

Tehillim / Psalms 35

35:17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions. 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. 35:19 Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously. 35:20 For they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land. 35:21 They opened their mouth wide against me; They said, ‘Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!’ 35:22 You have seen it, O Lord, do not keep silent; O Lord, do not be far from me. 35:23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right And to my cause, my God and my Lord. 35:24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness, And do not let them rejoice over me. 35:25 Do not let them say in their heart, ‘Aha, our desire!’ Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed him up!’ 35:26 Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. 35:27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.’ 35:28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms Chapter 35

35:17 O Lord, how long will you watch? Deliver my soul from their calamities, my body from the lion’s whelps. 35:18 I will give thanks in your presence in the great assembly; among a mighty people I will praise you. 35:19 Let not my enemies rejoice over me [with] a lie – those who hate me without cause, winking with their eyes. 35:20 For they do not speak peace; and against the righteous of the earth who have rest in this world they plot devious things. 35:21 And they have opened their mouth wide against me [and] said, “Joy! Joy! Our eye has seen it!” 35:22 You have seen, O Lord, do not be silent; O Lord, be not far from me. 35:23 Wake and be alert to my cause, O my God; the Lord is the victor in my dispute. 35:24 Judge me by your generosity, O Lord my God, and they will not rejoice over me. 35:25 Let them not say in their heart, “Our soul is glad”; lest they say, “We have finished him.” 35:26 Let those who rejoice at my harm be ashamed and subdued together; let those who vaunt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 35:27 May those who seek my vindication be glad and rejoice and say always, “May the glory of the Lord be great, he who desires the peace of his servant.” 35:28 And my tongue will sing of your generosity, all the day of your praise. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 35

35:17 O Lord, when wilt thou look upon me? Deliver my soul from their mischief, mine only-begotten one from the lions. 35:18 I will give thanks to thee even in a great congregation: in an abundant people I will praise thee. 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies without a cause rejoice against me; who hate me for nothing, and wink with their eyes. 35:20 For to me they spoke peaceably, but imagined deceits in their anger. 35:21 And they opened wide their mouth upon me; they said Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it. 35:22 Thou hast seen it, O Lord: keep not silence: O Lord, withdraw not thyself from me. 35:23 Awake, O Lord, and attend to my judgment, even to my cause, my God and my Lord. 35:24 Judge me, O Lord, according to thy righteousness, O Lord my God; and let them not rejoice against me. 35:25 Let them not say in their hearts, Aha, aha, it is pleasing to our soul: neither let them say, We have devoured him. 35:26 Let them be confounded and ashamed together that rejoice at my afflictions: let them be clothed with shame and confusion that speak great swelling words against me. 35:27 Let them that rejoice in my righteousness exult and be glad: and let them say continually, The Lord be magnified, who desire the peace of his servant. 35:28 And my tongue shall meditate on thy righteousness, and on thy praise all the day. (LXX)

This week’s study is from Tehillim / Psalms 35:1-28, the opening verse states א לְדָוִד | רִיבָה יְהֹוָה אֶת-יְרִיבַי לְחַם אֶת-לֹחֲמָי: A Psalm of David. 35:1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me. (NASB) David uses the word רִיבָה which is translated to me “contend” (BDB Lexicon) he is asking the Lord to contend with his enemies. It is interesting that this word spelled as רִיבָה is used three times in the Tanach (Tehillim / Psalms 35:1, 70:22, and 119:154). According to the NASB, Tehillim / Psalms 119:154 is translated as קנד רִיבָה רִיבִי וּגְאָלֵנִי לְאִמְרָתְךָ חַיֵּנִי: 119:154 Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word. (NASB) Based upon Tehillim / Psalms 119:154, contending is synonymous with “plead my cause.” The Septuagint states 35:1 τῷ δαυιδ δίκασον κύριε τοὺς ἀδικοῦντάς με πολέμησον τοὺς πολεμοῦντάς με A Psalm of David. 35:1 Judge thou, O Lord, them that injure me, fight against them that fight against me. (LXX) The rabbis translate the Septuagint saying δίκασον (dikason) “judge,” David is asking the Lord to judge these people and because of their obvious guilt the Lord will fight for him. David believes the Lord will fight against those who fight (or make war) with him. He then describes exactly what he is asking for from the Lord saying ב הַחֲזֵק מָגֵן וְצִנָּה וְקוּמָה בְּעֶזְרָתִי: ג וְהָרֵק חֲנִית וּסְגֹר לִקְרַאת רֹדְפָי אֱמֹר לְנַפְשִׁי יְשֻׁעָתֵךְ אָנִי: 35:2 Take hold of buckler and shield And rise up for my help. 35:3 Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’ (NASB) David calls upon the Lord to lift ax and spear to physically save him from his enemies and yet he also believes that the Lord is the salvation for his soul. Is David thinking in a physical sense or a spiritual sense for the Lord’s salvation? Today do we confuse the two on our own lives? As we can see here in the first few verses, David was a mighty warrior but he relied upon the Lord for his strength. David is one of the great spiritual leaders of the ancient nation of Israel. He was the king of Israel, and ruled in the period about 1000 CE. Under his rule, and by the power of God, Israel was established as a major national power. Studying the period between the conclusion of the Torah, the people entering into the Promised Land (Books of Joshua, Judges, and 1 and 2 Samuel), and David becoming king, we understand that this was known as the period of the Judges where God would bring a judge (prophet) to deliver Israel from her enemies. During this time the people had generally been fragmented and the Scriptures say semi-frequently “… and everyone did what was right in their own eyes,” meaning the people did what they wanted and that there was no true spiritual leader until the time of David and as an effective leader, physically and spiritually, David led Israel to God as a nation. The historical accounts of the book of Samuel and Chronicles detail the life and deeds of David. Many of the Psalms detail David’s thoughts and daily concerns. These chapters record a great diversity of emotions, from joy to despair and we are given an insight into the thoughts of one of the great leaders of Israel’s early history. Because of this, David become a type of savior as we read in the book of Acts:

Acts 13:16-23

13:16 Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, ‘Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 13:17 ‘The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it. 13:18 ‘For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness. 13:19 ‘When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance all of which took about four hundred and fifty years. 13:20 ‘After these things He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 13:21 ‘Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 13:22 ‘After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ 13:23 ‘From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, (NASB)

Here the Apostle Paul uses David as a Spiritual leader, and an example of how God raised up David in place of Saul, and how the Lord brought to Israel in a parallel manner, Yeshua the Messiah.

In the Roman culture, historically, people had associated persecution and shame to a great extent with the displeasure of the gods, or of God. We read this in the book of Job where much of the arguments are the result of trying to explain the reason for Job’s situation and his righteousness. After those horrible things had happened to him, the first of Job’s friends to speak was Eliphaz the Temanite. His comment connected the cause of Job’s problems with his actions saying:

Job 4:7-9

4:7 ‘Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed? 4:8 ‘According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity And those who sow trouble harvest it. 4:9 ‘By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end. (NASB)

ז זְכָר-נָא מִי הוּא נָקִי אָבָד וְאֵיפֹה יְשָׁרִים נִכְחָדוּ: ח כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאִיתִי חֹרְשֵׁי אָוֶן וְזֹרְעֵי עָמָל יִקְצְרֻהוּ: ט מִנִּשְׁמַת אֱלוֹהַּ יֹאבֵדוּ וּמֵרוּחַ אַפּוֹ יִכְלוּ:

Note that suffering is not necessarily connected to our iniquity like Eliphaz the Temanite was saying to Job. Typically David is seen as a great leader, and because he was great, he was successful. It is true that he was successful, however these passages in the Psalms shows that his success was dependent upon the Lord God Almighty. Before David became king of Israel, for a long time, he suffered the persecution of Saul, and had many conflicts with the Philistines. In addition to this, during David’s reign as king he also had enemies and throughout his life he trusted the Lord despite his hardships. Tehillim / Psalm 25 reflects David’s trust and hope:

Tehillim / Psalm 25:1-5

25:1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 25:2 O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me. 25:3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. 25:4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. (NASB)

Instead of himself being put to shame, David’s hope was that the treacherous people (the unrighteous, wicked) would be put to shame by the actions of God. David trusted that the Lord would deliver him and therefore seeks the Lord’s help to find victory over his enemies. He asks for the Lord Himself to fight against those who fight against him. He says ד יֵבשׁוּ וְיִכָּלְמוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשִׁי יִסֹּגוּ אָחוֹר וְיַחְפְּרוּ חשְׁבֵי רָעָתִי: ה יִהְיוּ כְּמֹץ לִפְנֵי-רוּחַ וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה דּוֹחֶה: ו יְהִי-דַרְכָּם חשֶׁךְ וַחֲלַקְלַקּוֹת וּמַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה רֹדְפָם: ז כִּי-חִנָּם טָמְנוּ-לִי שַׁחַת רִשְׁתָּם חִנָּם חָפְרוּ לְנַפְשִׁי: ח תְּבוֹאֵהוּ שׁוֹאָה לֹא יֵדָע וְרִשְׁתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר-טָמַן תִּלְכְּדוֹ בְּשׁוֹאָה יִפָּל-בָּהּ: 35:4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me. 35:5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, With the angel of the Lord driving them on. 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery, With the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 35:7 For without cause they hid their net for me; Without cause they dug a pit for my soul. 35:8 Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum states ד יבהתון ויכספון תבעי נפשי ירתעון לאחורא ויתכנעון חשלי בישותי בישתי׃ ה יהויין היך מוזא קדם זעפא ומלאכא דיהוה דחי׃ ו יהי אורחתהון חשוכא וחכירייא ומלאכא דיהוה רדיף להון׃ ז ארום מגן פרסן לותי שייח מצדהון מצדתיהון מגן כמנו לנפשי׃ ח תתייה שלייא לא יתחכם ידע ומצדתיה די פרס תציידיה בשליא יפל בה׃ 35:4 Let those who seek my life be ashamed and embarrassed; let those who plot my ruin shrink back and be subdued. 35:5 Let them be like chaff before the storm-wind, with the angel of the Lord repelling [them]. 35:6 May their paths be dark and murky, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 35:7 For without cause they have spread before me a pit; their net they have hidden for my soul without cause. 35:8 May a sudden calamity, unsuspected, overtake him; and may his net that he spread catch him; let him suddenly fall in it. (EMC) David asks again like he did in Tehillim / Psalms 25 that those who wait to take his life be made ashamed. He also asks that his enemies would fall into the traps that they have already set up, that their plots would turn back upon them and they would be overtaken. It is interesting that those who are “ashamed” are paralleled to those who are unrighteous, wicked, and who plot evil against the innocent. What does the Apostolic Writings have to say concerning being “ashamed?” Are there different types of shame described in the Scriptures? One example of shame can be seen in Peter’s life at the time of the crucifixion. Before this event Peter and the other disciples were confident and supportive of Yeshua. They claimed that they were ready to die for him:

Matthew 26:31-35

26:31 Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ 26:32 ‘But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.’ 26:33 But Peter said to Him, ‘Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.’ 26:34 Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ 26:35 Peter said to Him, ‘Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.’ All the disciples said the same thing too. (NASB)

However, when it come down to speaking of their faith before their accusers, Peter was reluctant to admit he even knew Yeshua and during Yeshua’s trial, he denies knowing him.

Matthew 26:73-74

26:73 A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.’ 26:74 Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!’ And immediately a rooster crowed. (NASB)

Yeshua predicted this would happen and what Peter would say and do as we read in Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ (NASB) The example given by Peter of the temptation to deny Yeshua reveals to us that there is a risk of allowing shame and fear to get in the way of our trust in God. What is interesting is that David asks the Lord to make the unrighteous, the wicked men who seek his life to be ashamed. There is a parallel to shame and unrighteousness. Therefore, being ashamed of Christ, in and of itself is also a form of unrighteousness. The Apostle Paul saw the issue with shame while writing to the Romans. He said the following:

Romans 1:15-18

1:15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’ 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (NASB)

15οὕτως τὸ κατ’ ἐμὲ πρόθυμον καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς ἐν Ῥώμῃ εὐαγγελίσασθαι. 16Οὐ γὰρ ἐπαισχύνομαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστιν εἰς σωτηρίαν παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι, Ἰουδαίῳ τε πρῶτον καὶ Ελληνι: 17δικαιοσύνη γὰρ θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἀποκαλύπτεται ἐκ πίστεως εἰς πίστιν, καθὼς γέγραπται, Ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται. 18Ἀποκαλύπτεται γὰρ ὀργὴ θεοῦ ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν καὶ ἀδικίαν ἀνθρώπων τῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐν ἀδικίᾳ κατεχόντων,

Notice how he states that he is not ashamed of the gospel and it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Not being ashamed is connected to righteousness and the power of God, whereas wrath is to those who are ungodly, unrighteous, wicked, and who suppress the truth in their unrighteousness, referring to those who are ashamed of the truth and suppress that truth, the truth of Yeshua the Messiah. Paul quotes from Habakkuk 2:4 “the righteous man shall live by faith,” and the context suggests that one’s faith in the Lord will keep from being ashamed. This brings us back to the context of the Psalm, that David seeks the Lord to deliver him, by faith he believes the Lord will give him victory and he will not be ashamed. Therefore, He believes the enemy will fall into their own snare and pit that they have dug to destroy the innocent and the righteous because the Lord is at work to protect His people.

David continues saying ט וְנַפְשִׁי תָּגִיל בַּיהֹוָה תָּשִֹישֹ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ: י כָּל עַצְמֹתַי | תֹּאמַרְנָה יְהֹוָה מִי כָמוֹךָ מַצִּיל עָנִי מֵחָזָק מִמֶּנּוּ וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן מִגֹּזְלוֹ: 35:9 And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation. 35:10 All my bones will say, ‘Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?’ (NASB) He says that his soul will rejoice in the Lord and exult in the Salvation of the Lord (בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ). David then says “all of my bones say” Adonai Mi Chamocha (יְהֹוָה מִי כָמוֹךָ) “who is like You Lord” which seems to be an obvious reference to Parashat Beshlach from Shemot / Exodus 15:9-13 for those who read the Hebrew text.

Shemot / Exodus 15:9-13

15:9 ‘The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ 15:10 ‘You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters. 15:11 ‘Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? 15:12 ‘You stretched out Your right hand, The earth swallowed them. 15:13 ‘In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation. (NASB)

ט אָמַר אוֹיֵב אֶרְדֹּף אַשִּׂיג אֲחַלֵּק שָׁלָל תִּמְלָאֵמוֹ נַפְשִׁי אָרִיק חַרְבִּי תּוֹרִישֵׁמוֹ יָדִי: י נָשַׁפְתָּ בְרוּחֲךָ כִּסָּמוֹ יָם צָלֲלוּ כַּעוֹפֶרֶת בְּמַיִם אַדִּירִים: יא מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם יְהֹוָה מִי כָּמֹכָה נֶאְדָּר בַּקֹּדֶשׁ נוֹרָא תְהִלֹּת עֹשֵֹה פֶלֶא: יב נָטִיתָ יְמִינְךָ תִּבְלָעֵמוֹ אָרֶץ: יג נָחִיתָ בְחַסְדְּךָ עַם-זוּ גָּאָלְתָּ נֵהַלְתָּ בְעָזְּךָ אֶל-נְוֵה קָדְשֶׁךָ:

In Parashat Beshlach, the Lord has just miraculously delivered Israel from the hands of the Egyptians and the people declare “Adonai Mi Chamocha” (יְהֹוָה מִי כָמוֹךָ) “who is like You Lord.” The Scriptures say that the enemy had the plan to pursue, overtake, and divide the spoil, that he will draw the sword and destroy Israel. The Lord caused the wind to blow, splitting the waters, and drowned the Egyptians and the people make this statement “who is like You Lord.” David appears to be utilizing this phrase in his Psalm and with a similar imagery regarding how the Lord destroys the enemies of Israel.

The Aramaic Targum states ט ונפשי תחדי במימרא דיהוה תדוץ בפורקניה׃ י כולהון אבראי תהויין אמרין יהוה מן כותך פצי עניא מן תקיף מיניה ועניא וחשוכא מן אנסייה׃ 35:9 But my soul will rejoice in the word of the Lord; it will be glad in his redemption. 35:10 All my limbs will keep saying, “O Lord, who is like you?” – who saves the poor from the one stronger than he, and the poor and wretched from his oppressor (EMC) The rabbis translate Tehillim / Psalms 35:9-10 to say that David’s soul rejoices in the “Word of the Lord” (במימרא דיהוה). The Rabbis saying David “rejoices in the Word of the Lord” illustrates for us how important it is for us to have the Word of God, in order to know how the Lord works in our lives to save and to redeem our souls. The Septuagint translation says 35:9 ἡ δὲ ψυχή μου ἀγαλλιάσεται ἐπὶ τῷ κυρίῳ τερφθήσεται ἐπὶ τῷ σωτηρίῳ αὐτοῦ 35:10 πάντα τὰ ὀστᾶ μου ἐροῦσιν κύριε τίς ὅμοιός σοι ῥυόμενος πτωχὸν ἐκ χειρὸς στερεωτέρων αὐτοῦ καὶ πτωχὸν καὶ πένητα ἀπὸ τῶν διαρπαζόντων αὐτόν 35:9 But my soul shall exult in the Lord: it shall delight in his salvation. 35:10 All my bones shall say, O Lord, who is like to thee? Delivering the poor out of the hand of them that are stronger than he, yea, the poor and needy one from them that spoil him. (LXX)

According to Tehillim / Psalms 35:11-16, David says that the unrighteous raise up and repay evil for good, they slander without a cause and are like the godless who make jokes at a feast against God, יא יְקוּמוּן עֵדֵי חָמָס אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַעְתִּי יִשְׁאָלוּנִי: יב יְשַׁלְּמוּנִי רָעָה תַּחַת טוֹבָה שְׁכוֹל לְנַפְשִׁי: יג וַאֲנִי | בַּחֲלוֹתָם לְבוּשִׁי שָֹק עִנֵּיתִי בַצּוֹם נַפְשִׁי וּתְפִלָּתִי עַל-חֵיקִי תָשׁוּב: יד כְּרֵעַ כְּאָח-לִי הִתְהַלָּכְתִּי כַּאֲבֶל-אֵם קֹדֵר שַׁחוֹתִי: טו וּבְצַלְעִי שָֹמְחוּ וְנֶאֱסָפוּ נֶאֶסְפוּ עָלַי נֵכִים וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי קָרְעוּ וְלֹא-דָמּוּ: טז בְּחַנְפֵי לַעֲגֵי מָעוֹג חָרֹק עָלַי שִׁנֵּימוֹ: 35:11 Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know. 35:12 They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul. 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. 35:14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. 35:15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, They slandered me without ceasing. 35:16 Like godless jesters at a feast, They gnashed at me with their teeth. (NASB) Notice how the wicked (the unrighteous) give false witness, they pay evil for good, they rejoice at the stumbling of others, and they bring slander and behave as godless jesters. David says that He humbled himself before God in sackcloth and prayer. Should we behave like the wicked and rejoice at their stumbling or should we be different? According to Mishley / Proverbs 24:17-18, King Solomon said יז בִּנְפֹל אוֹיִבְיךָ [אוֹיִבְךָ] אַל-תִּשְֹמָח וּבִכָּשְׁלוֹ אַל-יָגֵל לִבֶּךָ: יח פֶּן-יִרְאֶה יְהֹוָה וְרַע בְּעֵינָיו וְהֵשִׁיב מֵעָלָיו אַפּוֹ: 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; 24:18 Or the Lord will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him. (NASB) The Proverbs of Solomon goes on to warn us to be careful with gloating over disaster (Mishley / Proverbs 17:5) and call for the righteous to care for their enemies, to clothe them and feed them (Mishley / Proverbs 25:21) something God Himself said in Parashat Kedoshim (Vayikra / Leviticus 19:17–18) and Yeshua reiterated in Matthew 5:44. The Apostle Paul also brings come clarity on the topic in Romans 12:14-21.

Romans 12:14-21

12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 12:17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. 12:20 ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NASB)

The whole idea of not rejoicing for the wicked is evidenced according to Ezekiel 18:23 and 33:11, which states “As surely as I live,” declares the Lord God, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, oh house of Israel?” The Lord would rather that men repent and turn from their ways and seek Him. The Apostle Paul’s instruction indicates the kind of people we are supposed to be, like David, humbling ourselves, feed and take care of those who persecute us, bless and not curse, and not paying evil for good, etc.

The Aramaic Targum and the Septuagint say the following:

Aramaic Targum

יא קיימין סהדי חטופין מאן דלא חכימית שיילין לי׃ יב פרען לי בישתא חלף טבתא בען למתכל לנפשי׃ יג ואנא בעידן מרעותהון לבישית סקא סגיפית בצומא נפשי וצלותי על עובי תתוב׃ יד היך חברא היך אחא דילי הליכית היך אבילא דמתאבל על אימיה חכיר שחיית׃ טו ובתברי חדו ואתכנשו מתכנשין עלי רשיעיא דמככין לי במיל<י>הון ולא חכימית אילו מבזעין משכי ולא מפקין דמא׃ טז במילי שעיעותא ומרהביא וממקניא מעסן עלי ככיהון׃

Tehillim / Psalms 35:11-16

35:11 Rapacious witnesses stand up; those whom I have not known question me. 35:12 They repay me evil for good, seeking to bereave my soul. 35:13 But I, in the time of their illness, wore sackcloth; I afflicted my soul with fasting; but my prayer will return to my bosom. 35:14 As if for my friend or brother, I went about like a mourner; like one who mourns for his mother, I was bowed down in gloom. 35:15 But when I was stricken, they rejoiced and even gathered together against me; the wicked, who belittle me with their words, and I knew it not, as if they cut my skin without drawing blood. 35:16 With smooth words and haughtiness and mockery, they grind their teeth against me. (EMC)

Septuagint

35:11 ἀναστάντες μάρτυρες ἄδικοι ἃ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον ἠρώτων με 35:12 ἀνταπεδίδοσάν μοι πονηρὰ ἀντὶ καλῶν καὶ ἀτεκνίαν τῇ ψυχῇ μου 35:13 ἐγὼ δὲ ἐν τῷ αὐτοὺς παρενοχλεῖν μοι ἐνεδυόμην σάκκον καὶ ἐταπείνουν ἐν νηστείᾳ τὴν ψυχήν μου καὶ ἡ προσευχή μου εἰς κόλπον μου ἀποστραφήσεται 35:14 ὡς πλησίον ὡς ἀδελφὸν ἡμέτερον οὕτως εὐηρέστουν ὡς πενθῶν καὶ σκυθρωπάζων οὕτως ἐταπεινούμην 35:15 καὶ κατ’ ἐμοῦ ηὐφράνθησαν καὶ συνήχθησαν συνήχθησαν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ μάστιγες καὶ οὐκ ἔγνων διεσχίσθησαν καὶ οὐ κατενύγησαν 35:16 ἐπείρασάν με ἐξεμυκτήρισάν με μυκτηρισμόν ἔβρυξαν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ τοὺς ὀδόντας αὐτῶν

Tehillim / Psalms 35:11-16

35:11 Unjust witnesses arose, and asked me of things I new not. 35:12 They rewarded me evil for good, and bereavement to my soul. 35:13 But I, when they troubled me, put on sackcloth, and humbled my soul with fasting: and my prayer shall return to my own bosom. 35:14 I behaved agreeably towards them as if it had been our neighbour or brother: I humbled myself as one mourning and sad of countenance. 35:15 Yet they rejoiced against me, and plagues were plentifully brought against me, and I knew it not: they were scattered, but repented not. 35:16 They tempted me, they sneered at me most contemptuously, they gnashed their teeth upon me. (LXX)

Both the Aramaic Targum and the Septuagint are interesting, the Rabbis translate David’s words saying of the unrighteous men, 35:15 But when I was stricken, they rejoiced and even gathered together against me; the wicked, who belittle me with their words, and I knew it not, as if they cut my skin without drawing blood. (EMC) whereas the Septuagint states 35:15 Yet they rejoiced against me, and plagues were plentifully brought against me, and I knew it not: they were scattered, but repented not. (LXX) It appears that the Rabbis who translated the Septuagint are drawing a parallel to the Torah on God visiting plagues upon Egypt, or upon the people in the wilderness, and the people do not repent. The Rabbis who translated the Aramaic Targum speak of words that cut the skin without drawing blood. Is it possible the Rabbis are paralleling the making of a covenant agreement to the wicked who do not following God’s ways and speak words without blood? Or maybe simply that words cut deep but do not draw blood to describe David’s feelings of being slandered without ceasing? 35:15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, They slandered me without ceasing. (NASB)

David continues saying that the wicked hate him without a cause (35:19), they open their mouths against him (35:21), however it is the Lord who is his Judge (35:22-24). Tehillim / Psalms 35:17-24 states יז אֲדֹנָי כַּמָּה תִּרְאֶה הָשִׁיבָה נַפְשִׁי מִשֹּׁאֵיהֶם מִכְּפִירִים יְחִידָתִי: יח אוֹדְךָ בְּקָהָל רָב בְּעַם עָצוּם אֲהַלְלֶךָּ: יט אַל-יִשְֹמְחוּ-לִי אֹיְבַי שֶׁקֶר שֹנְאַי חִנָּם יִקְרְצוּ-עָיִן: כ כִּי לֹא שָׁלוֹם יְדַבֵּרוּ וְעַל רִגְעֵי-אֶרֶץ דִּבְרֵי מִרְמוֹת יַחֲשֹׁבוּן: כא וַיַּרְחִיבוּ עָלַי פִּיהֶם אָמְרוּ הֶאָח | הֶאָח רָאֲתָה עֵינֵינוּ: כב רָאִיתָה יְהֹוָה אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ אֲדֹנָי אֲל-תִּרְחַק מִמֶּנִּי: כג הָעִירָה וְהָקִיצָה לְמִשְׁפָּטִי אֱלֹהַי וַאדֹנָי לְרִיבִי: כד שָׁפְטֵנִי כְצִדְקְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָי וְאַל-יִשְֹמְחוּ-לִי: 35:17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions. 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. 35:19 Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously. 35:20 For they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land. 35:21 They opened their mouth wide against me; They said, ‘Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!’ 35:22 You have seen it, O Lord, do not keep silent; O Lord, do not be far from me. 35:23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right And to my cause, my God and my Lord. 35:24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness, And do not let them rejoice over me. (NASB) Scripture reference study bibles state that Yeshua’s words in John 15:25 is a reference to Tehillim / Psalms 35:19. It is interesting how David’s Psalm is speaking of those who do evil things to him without cause. They do not speak peace, they are deceitful against the innocent or those who are quiet, those who are at peace, and they are looking for reasons to accuse him (35:21). This seems to be the context with which Yeshua was speaking his words to the disciples in John 15:18-16:1.

John 15:18-16:1

15:18 ‘If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 15:19 ‘If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 15:20 ‘Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 15:21 ‘But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 15:22 ‘If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 15:23 ‘He who hates Me hates My Father also. 15:24 ‘If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 15:25 ‘But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ 15:26 ‘When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 15:27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. 16:1 ‘These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. (NASB)

Yeshua says that we will see persecution, the world hates us because it has hated Yeshua first. An interesting parallel here with regard to Yeshua the Living Word of God (John 1:1-14), the world hates the Word of God, God’s ways, his instruction (Torah), therefore the world would also hate the Word become flesh, Yeshua the Messiah. It is also interesting that David says 35:24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness, And do not let them rejoice over me. (NASB) Both the Aramaic Targum (כד דון יתי כצדקתך יהוה אלהי ולא יחדון עלי) and the Septuagint (35:25 μὴ εἴπαισαν ἐν καρδίαις αὐτῶν εὖγε εὖγε τῇ ψυχῇ ἡμῶν μηδὲ εἴπαισαν κατεπίομεν αὐτόν) agree with the Masoretic text, David is asking the Lord to judge him according to God’s righteousness. Is this a form or substitutionary righteousness that we understand from the Apostolic Writings?

Aramaic Targum

יז יהוה כמה את חמי אתיב נפשי משלייתהון מבני ארויא גושמי׃ יח אודי קדמך בכנישתא רבא בעמא תקיפא אשבחינך׃ יט לא יחדון עלי בעלי דבבי שיקרא סנאי מגן רמזין בעיניהון׃ כ ארום לא שלמא ממללין ועל צדיקי ארעא דנייחין בעלמא ההוא מילי ניכלאין מחשלין חשבין׃ כא ואפתיאו עלי פומהון אמרו חדוא חדוא חמת עיננא׃ כב חמיתא יהוה לא תשתוק יהוה לא תתרחיק מיני׃ כג איתער ותקיץ לדיני אלהי ומרי ניצחני יהוה לתגרתי׃ כד דון יתי כצדקתך יהוה אלהי ולא יחדון עלי׃

Tehillim / Psalms 35:17-24

35:17 O Lord, how long will you watch? Deliver my soul from their calamities, my body from the lion’s whelps. 35:18 I will give thanks in your presence in the great assembly; among a mighty people I will praise you. 35:19 Let not my enemies rejoice over me [with] a lie – those who hate me without cause, winking with their eyes. 35:20 For they do not speak peace; and against the righteous of the earth who have rest in this world they plot devious things. 35:21 And they have opened their mouth wide against me [and] said, “Joy! Joy! Our eye has seen it!” 35:22 You have seen, O Lord, do not be silent; O Lord, be not far from me. 35:23 Wake and be alert to my cause, O my God; the Lord is the victor in my dispute. 35:24 Judge me by your generosity, O Lord my God, and they will not rejoice over me. (EMC)

Septuagint

35:17 κύριε πότε ἐπόψῃ ἀποκατάστησον τὴν ψυχήν μου ἀπὸ τῆς κακουργίας αὐτῶν ἀπὸ λεόντων τὴν μονογενῆ μου 35:18 ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι κύριε ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ πολλῇ ἐν λαῷ βαρεῖ αἰνέσω σε 35:19 μὴ ἐπιχαρείησάν μοι οἱ ἐχθραίνοντές μοι ἀδίκως οἱ μισοῦντές με δωρεὰν καὶ διανεύοντες ὀφθαλμοῖς 35:20 ὅτι ἐμοὶ μὲν εἰρηνικὰ ἐλάλουν καὶ ἐπ’ ὀργὴν δόλους διελογίζοντο 35:21 καὶ ἐπλάτυναν ἐπ’ ἐμὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτῶν εἶπαν εὖγε εὖγε εἶδαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν 35:22 εἶδες κύριε μὴ παρασιωπήσῃς κύριε μὴ ἀποστῇς ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ 35:23 ἐξεγέρθητι κύριε καὶ πρόσχες τῇ κρίσει μου ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου εἰς τὴν δίκην μου 35:24 κρῖνόν με κατὰ τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου κύριε ὁ θεός μου καὶ μὴ ἐπιχαρείησάν μοι 35:25 μὴ εἴπαισαν ἐν καρδίαις αὐτῶν εὖγε εὖγε τῇ ψυχῇ ἡμῶν μηδὲ εἴπαισαν κατεπίομεν αὐτόν

Tehillim / Psalms 35:17-24

35:17 O Lord, when wilt thou look upon me? Deliver my soul from their mischief, mine only-begotten one from the lions. 35:18 I will give thanks to thee even in a great congregation: in an abundant people I will praise thee. 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies without a cause rejoice against me; who hate me for nothing, and wink with their eyes. 35:20 For to me they spoke peaceably, but imagined deceits in their anger. 35:21 And they opened wide their mouth upon me; they said Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it. 35:22 Thou hast seen it, O Lord: keep not silence: O Lord, withdraw not thyself from me. 35:23 Awake, O Lord, and attend to my judgment, even to my cause, my God and my Lord. 35:24 Judge me, O Lord, according to thy righteousness, O Lord my God; and let them not rejoice against me. (LXX)

What is interesting is in Tehillim / Psalms 7:8, David asks that the Lord judge him according to his righteousness, whereas here he asks the Lord to judge him according to God’s righteousness. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21 saying 21τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς γενώμεθα δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ. 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NASB) Paul said that Yeshua was made “sin” (ἁμαρτίαν, amartian) or in other words, He was made an offering or a sacrifice for sin. This might be the understanding that David has regarding the righteousness of God? Most likely so since David studied the Torah and knew of the Sacrificial system intimately. Note that there are many passages in the Tanach where the word “sin” (ἁμαρτία, amartia) is used in the sense of a sin-offering, or a sacrifice for sin. For example, Hosea 4:8 says, ἁμαρτίας λαοῦ μου φάγονται καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἀδικίαις αὐτῶν λήμψονται τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν 4:8 They feed on the sin of My people And direct their desire toward their iniquity. (NASB) the phrase “They eat up the sin (ἁμαρτίας, amartias) of my people” is a reference to the sin-offerings in the Torah (see also Ezekiel 43:22, 43:25, 44:29, 45:22-23, and 45:25).

David concludes the Psalm saying כה אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בְלִבָּם הֶאָח נַפְשֵׁנוּ אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בִּלַּעֲנוּהוּ: כו יֵבשׁוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ | יַחְדָּו שְֹמֵחֵי רָעָתִי יִלְבְּשׁוּ-בשֶׁת וּכְלִמָּה הַמַּגְדִּילִים עָלָי: כז יָרֹנּוּ וְיִשְֹמְחוּ חֲפֵצֵי צִדְקִי וְיֹאמְרוּ תָמִיד יִגְדַּל יְהֹוָה הֶחָפֵץ שְׁלוֹם עַבְדּוֹ: כח וּלְשׁוֹנִי תֶּהְגֶּה צִדְקֶךָ כָּל-הַיּוֹם תְּהִלָּתֶךָ: 35:25 Do not let them say in their heart, ‘Aha, our desire!’ Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed him up!’ 35:26 Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. 35:27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.’ 35:28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum and the Septuagint say the following:

Aramaic Targum

כה לא יימרון בלבהון חדיאת נפשנא דילמא דלא יימרון גמרנא יתיה׃ כו יבהתון ויתכנעון ויתכנשון כחדא דחדין על בישותי ילבשון בהתא וכיסופא דמתרברבן עלי׃ כז יבועון ויחדון תבעי צדקי וימרון תדירא יסגי יקרא דיהוה דצבי שלמא דעבדיה׃ כח ולישני תרנן צדקתך כולי יומא תושבחתך׃

Tehillim / Psalms 35:25-28

35:25 Let them not say in their heart, “Our soul is glad”; lest they say, “We have finished him.” 35:26 Let those who rejoice at my harm be ashamed and subdued together; let those who vaunt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 35:27 May those who seek my vindication be glad and rejoice and say always, “May the glory of the Lord be great, he who desires the peace of his servant.” 35:28 And my tongue will sing of your generosity, all the day of your praise. (EMC)

Septuagint

35:25 μὴ εἴπαισαν ἐν καρδίαις αὐτῶν εὖγε εὖγε τῇ ψυχῇ ἡμῶν μηδὲ εἴπαισαν κατεπίομεν αὐτόν 35:26 αἰσχυνθείησαν καὶ ἐντραπείησαν ἅμα οἱ ἐπιχαίροντες τοῖς κακοῖς μου ἐνδυσάσθωσαν αἰσχύνην καὶ ἐντροπὴν οἱ μεγαλορρημονοῦντες ἐπ’ ἐμέ 35:27ἀγαλλιάσαιντο καὶ εὐφρανθείησαν οἱ θέλοντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην μου καὶ εἰπάτωσαν διὰ παντός μεγαλυνθήτω ὁ κύριος οἱ θέλοντες τὴν εἰρήνην τοῦ δούλου αὐτοῦ 35:28 καὶ ἡ γλῶσσά μου μελετήσει τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν τὸν ἔπαινόν σου

Tehillim / Psalms 35:25-28

35:25 Let them not say in their hearts, Aha, aha, it is pleasing to our soul: neither let them say, We have devoured him. 35:26 Let them be confounded and ashamed together that rejoice at my afflictions: let them be clothed with shame and confusion that speak great swelling words against me. 35:27 Let them that rejoice in my righteousness exult and be glad: and let them say continually, The Lord be magnified, who desire the peace of his servant. 35:28 And my tongue shall meditate on thy righteousness, and on thy praise all the day. (LXX)

David says כה אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בְלִבָּם הֶאָח נַפְשֵׁנוּ אַל-יֹאמְרוּ בִּלַּעֲנוּהוּ: 35:25 Do not let them say in their heart, ‘Aha, our desire!’ Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed him up!’ (NASB) and he uses the word הֶאָח that is translated as “Aha” which is a word used in a conversation to express emotion or feeling and in Hebrew means “Hurray!” He is essentially asking the Lord that his enemies not say “Hurray our Souls” (הֶאָח נַפְשֵׁנוּ) and the Aramaic Targum agrees translating as “Our soul is glad/rejoices” (חדיאת נפשנא). The Septuagint has David saying “Aha aha, it is pleasing to our soul.” Here he restates the prayer of the preceding verses asking the Lord to defend him and his righteous cause. David seems to indicate that he is being subjected to suffering (35:17-22) and he sets the righteousness of God before him. Why do you think David sets the righteousness of God before him? The reason may be that based upon God’s righteousness, He (God) cannot altogether abandon the innocent, the upright and the just. He knows that the righteousness of God will never fail and it is upon His righteousness that our deliverance depends. Because our deliverance is based in the righteousness of God, the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Thessalonians exhorting the faithful to be patient in 2 Thessalonian 1:5-10.

2 Thessalonian 1:5-10

1:5 This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 1:6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 1:7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 1:8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 1:10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed for our testimony to you was believed. (NASB)

Like David, Paul says that God will repay with affliction those who afflict you. Note how the final state of the wicked according to David is 35:26 Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. (NASB) Shame, humiliation, and dishonor are to the wicked. Paul says that Yeshua will return from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of Yeshua. Therefore, the more they vaunt themselves, the more they provoke the wrath of God against themselves. David argues using the righteousness of God with good reason because the Lord is trustworthy. His use of the righteousness of God is encouraging for us today. We can trust and hope in the Lord for his support and answer in prayer and can say along with David כח וּלְשׁוֹנִי תֶּהְגֶּה צִדְקֶךָ כָּל-הַיּוֹם תְּהִלָּתֶךָ: 35:28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long. (NASB) Truly the Lord is worthy of honor and praise forever because He sent to us His Son Yeshua the Messiah to make payment for our sins! Amen! Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 35 has 2 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1 and 2. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 35, Part 1 and 2.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 35, Part 1 and 2

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “A Psalm of David. Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that stive with me; fight against them that fight against me (Tehillim / Psalms 35:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says David’s prayer for himself is to be considered in the light of the verse Therefore hear now this, you afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine; thus says your God that pleads the cause of His people (Isaiah 51:21).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the Lord fighting against David’s enemies and discuss the parallel of Isaiah 51:21 and ask if not drunk with wine then with what?
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis go on to expand upon how the Lord fights for David and for Israel.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Even as He had promised Moshe, Wherefore it is said in the book, the wars of the Lord (Bamidbar / Numbers 21:14), by which He meant, If you occupy yourselves with the Book, I will fight beside you. Hence, David could pray, Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me; fight against them that fight against me.”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “Take hold of shield and buckler, and rise up to my help (Tehillim / Psalms 35:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) “the homiletic introduction” to the Midrash says The Holy One blessed be He, asked David, Do I need a shield or a buckler?
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss David’s words taking hold of the shield and buckler to raise up an help.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis go on to expand upon the shield and the buckler, the Lord asks what will you (David) do for me? David answers saying with all the parts of his body.
  • The Concluding phrase says “Hence, David said, All the parts of my body will say, Lord, who is like unto You.”

Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “A Psalm of David. Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me; fight against them that fight against me (Tehillim / Psalms 35:1).” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash states “David’s prayer for himself is to be considered in the light of the verse Therefore hear now this, you afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine; thus says your God that pleads the cause of His people (Isaiah 51:21).” The rabbis go on to say the following:

Had Israel been asked, If not drunk with wine, then with what? Israel might have replied, Not with affliction. For they rose up against me, and I had no one except You to fight for me. (Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 1)

אלא ממה את שכורת, מצרות ולא מיין הרבה, לפי שעומדין עלי ואין לי מי שילחום בעדי אלא אתה

Note how the rabbis say “if not drunk with wine, then with what?” Studying the Scriptures on the topic of being drunk, we find that it always has a negative connotation. Take for example from Isaiah 29:9-14 that speaks of a type of drunkenness without wine, “spiritual drunkenness.”

Isaiah 29:9-14

29:9 Be delayed and wait, Blind yourselves and be blind; They become drunk, but not with wine, They stagger, but not with strong drink. 29:10 For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers. 29:11 The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, ‘Please read this,’ he will say, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’ 29:12 Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, ‘Please read this.’ And he will say, ‘I cannot read.’ 29:13 Then the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 29:14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.’ (NASB)

התמהמהו ותמהו השתעשעו ושעו שכרו ולא יין נעו ולא שכר כי נסך עליכם יהוה רוח תרדמה ויעצם את עיניכם את הנביאים ואת ראשיכם החזים כסה ותהי לכם חזות הכל כדברי הספר החתום אשר יתנו אתו אל יודע הספר לאמר קרא נא זה ואמר לא אוכל כי חתום הוא ונתן הספר על אשר לא ידע ספר לאמר קרא נא זה ואמר לא ידעתי ספר ויאמר אדני יען כי נגש העם הזה בפיו ובשפתיו כבדוני ולבו רחק ממני ותהי יראתם אתי מצות אנשים מלמדה לכן הנני יוסף להפליא את העם הזה הפלא ופלא ואבדה חכמת חכמיו ובינת נבניו תסתתר

Isaiah speaks of a spiritual drunkenness that refers to God’s judgment upon sin and apostasy (i.e. walking way from the Torah). Note how the rabbis ask the question of not being drunk with wine and respond saying “not with affliction, for they rose up against me, and I had no one except You to fight for me.” They respond saying that they are not “drunk with affliction” because that would make the Lord to be guilty of not being their protection. Throughout the Scriptures we read of drunkenness as a metaphor such as in the book of Revelation, the Apostle John wrote of Mystery Babylon, mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth and that she makes the inhabitants of the earth drunk on the wine of her fornication and commits adultery herself. The kind of drunkenness described in Revelation is that she is drunk with blood, the blood of the saints and martyrs of Yeshua the Messiah. In a practical sense, being drunk is the taking in excess of alcohol and then becoming very disordered and obnoxious (out of control) and this is being used metaphorically to refer to sin. The metaphor of being drunk brings the imagery of drinking from a cup as in the making of a covenant with someone. In the Scriptures, we make a covenant with God or with sin? According to traditional Jewish literature marriage is called “kiddushin,” which translates as “sanctification” or “dedication.” The “Sanctification” indicates that there is a spiritual bonding and “Dedication” indicates that the couple now have an exclusive relationship, that involves total dedication of the bride and groom to each other. In ancient Hebrew tradition, when a young man and woman were to be betrothed (engaged) for marriage, the groom poured wine into his cup and invited the woman to drink from his cup, and when she does she is considered betrothed to the young man. She drinks in agreement that she is his and the marriage covenant is accepted. The Apostle Paul makes a reference to this when he speaks to the church in 2 Corinthians 11:2 saying “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” We are betrothed, set apart as holy to Christ. Similarly, during the Pesach meal, Yeshua poured wine into His cup and blessed it telling the disciples to “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (see Matthew 26:27-28). By drinking from His cup the disciples accepted the terms of the New Covenant. It was a symbolic betrothal or engagement of the disciples to the Messiah (Christ). This is an important concept because we commemorate this covenant agreement with Yeshua the Messiah during each Passover (Pesach) service, we renew our spiritual engagement to the Messiah, which then culminates with the marriage feast after He returns (see Revelation 19:9). Take note of something here, Before we were called out of this world, we all walked according to the ways of the world (Ephesians 2:2-3). We walked in disobedience, conducting ourselves according to the lusts of the flesh and fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind. We essentially were drinking from the cup of Babylon by ingesting a false way of life, living only for ourselves and our flesh and the culture around us that God says is filthiness (see Revelation 17:1-6; 18:1-6). The Lord tells us to come out of Babylon so that we do not share in the sins of her promiscuous cup and the consequences of doing so brings the wrath of God that is poured out on her, if we are found to be in her (drinking her cup) we will receive that wrath as well. The Apostle Paul says that formerly we were slaves to sin and its consequences. Now however, under the New Covenant, we drink from the Messiah’s cup and agree to His terms. This frees us from the wrath of God (the penalty of sin) as well as empowering us by the Holy Spirit to remain faithful to our engagement to Christ. Paul warns us that God is jealous toward His people, and that we must choose our loyalty saying “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” (1 Corinthians 10:21-22). So, we either drink of the cup of the Messiah and remain faithful to our commitment, or we drink of the cup of demons and walk sinfully to the flesh. If we have drunk from Christ’s cup, can we continue to sip from the cup of this world, its culture, the flesh, and false religious systems? Can we drink of His cup (Christ’s), accepting His proposal for marriage, and still have intimate interactions with the cup of Babylon which includes fornications, adulteries, and murders to name a few? If we considered these things, even in this morally debased world, any marriage that had these things done would be grounds for nullifying the marriage.

In Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 1, the rabbis ask the question of not being drunk with wine and say that Israel would not be drunk with affliction because the Lord had risen up to fight for her, saying “The congregation of Israel prayed to the Holy One blessed be He, If You do not rise up for me, I have no one to rise up for me. And again Israel said O Lord, You have pleaded the causes of my soul, You have seen my wrong; judge my cause. You have seen all their vengeance, You have heard their taunt, O Lord. The lips of those that rise up against me (Lamentations 3:60-62). Therefore, You did rise up for me.” (אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקב״ה, אם אין את עומד לי, אין מי שיעמוד לי, וכן הוא אומר רבת אדני ריבי נפשי, ראיתה ה׳ עותתי שפטה משפטי, ראיתה כל נקמתם, שמעת (כל) חרפתם ה׳ (איכה ג נח נט ס סא), לפיכך אתה עומד לי) The midrash continues saying:

מדרש תהלים פרק לה סימן א

וכן הוא אומר הבה לנו עזרת מצר (תהלים ס יג, וקח יג), לכך נאמר ריבה ה׳ את יריבי לחם את לוחמי, יכול (יהא) עבד בשר ודם (יכול) לומר כך לבעליו, אדוני ריבה עם אויבי וצא והלחם על ידיי, וכן אמר הקב״ה לדוד, דוד עסוק בתורה ואני אלחום מלחמותיך, וכן אמר משה על כן יאמר בספר מלחמות ה׳ (במדבר כא יד), אם אתם עוסקים בספר, אני נלחם על ידיכם, לכך נאמר ריבה ה׳ את יריבי לחם את לוחמי.

Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 1

Again, in another Psalm, speaking for Israel, David prayed Give us help from trouble (Tehillim / Psalms 60:13, 108:13). And in this Psalm, praying for himself, David said, Plead my cause, O Lord with them that strive with me; fight against them that fight against me (Tehillim / Psalms 35:1). Could a mortal servant venture to say such a thing to his master as Plead my cause, O Lord, with my enemies and go forth to fight because of me? But the Holy One blessed be He, said to David, David occupy yourself with Torah, and I will fight your wars. Even as He had promised Moshe, Wherefore it is said in the book, the wars of the Lord (Bamidbar / Numbers 21:14), by which He meant, If you occupy yourselves with the Book, I will fight beside you. Hence, David could pray, Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me; fight against them that fight against me.

The Lord God (the Holy One blessed be He) tells David to occupy himself with Torah and then He will fight his wars. The Talmud has the following to say about “occupying one’s self with Torah” from Sotah 22b.

Talmud Bavli Sotah 22b

”Anyone who occupies himself in the [observance of the] Torah in order to receive reward or avoid punishment is [considered as] one who occupies himself [in the Torah] insincerely (lit., ‘not for its sake;’ Heb: ‘shelo lishma’ שלא לשמה). And anyone who occupies himself in [the Torah] not out of fear nor to receive reward but out of love for the Master of the whole world (lit., ‘land’) who commanded [us to observe] it, he is occupying himself sincerely (lit., ‘for its sake’). The Sages said, ‘One should always occupy himself in the Torah even insincerely, since from insincerity comes sincerity’ (http://www.e-daf.com)

The point of the Talmudic commentary is one does not obey the Lord simply for to avoid punishment or to get out of hell. One is to obey the Lord because he loves the Lord. This is very similar to Yeshua’s words when he was speaking to His disciples in John 14:15 ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (NASB) If we seek the God of Israel and His ways, He will be faithful to fight our wars, like David is requesting in the Psalm, and to work in our lives, to make us successful to overcome sin and live in righteousness, holiness, and justice towards others. If we do occupy ourselves in God’s Word, we will remain in Yeshua the Messiah, and produce much fruit. Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 1 concludes saying “Even as He had promised Moshe, Wherefore it is said in the book, the wars of the Lord (Bamidbar / Numbers 21:14), by which He meant, If you occupy yourselves with the Book, I will fight beside you. Hence, David could pray, Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me; fight against them that fight against me.” The interpretation is that if we occupy ourselves with the book (in the Torah, or all of Scripture) the Lord will fight beside us. What are your thoughts on this? Will studying God’s Word cause Him to fight by our sides? Would the Lord not just naturally fight by our side by the nature of the covenant we have in Yeshua the Messiah? Studying God’s Word (occupying ourselves in the book) is one way of having fellowship with the Lord, we set our minds on Him and we are choosing to spend time with Him to dwell on His word and the application in our life. If we desire and seek the Lord in our lives daily, he will most certainly be by our side. What does it mean to “be by our side” or “fight by our side?”

Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Take hold of shield and buckler, and rise up to my help (Tehillim / Psalms 35:2).” The homiletic introduction to the Midrash says “The Holy One blessed be He, asked David, Do I need a shield or a buckler?” The Lord declares the enemies to be like chaff in response to whether he needs a shield or a buckler.

Your enemies are like chaff before the wind. When I let the wind blow upon them, they fly. As Isaiah said, The voice said, Cry! And he said, What will shall I cry? That all flesh is grass, The wind of the Lord blows upon it (Isaiah 40:6-7). All the parts of my body say, Lord who is like unto You? (Tehillim / Psalms 35:10). The Holy One blessed be He, asked David, David what will you do for Me? And David answered, I will praise You with all the parts of my body. (Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2)

יהיו כמוץ לפני רוח, רוח אני נופח בהם, והם פורחים, וכן אמר ישעיה קול אומר קרא ואמר מה אקרא [וגו׳] כי רוח ה׳ נשבה בו (ישעיה מ ו ז), כל עצמותי תאמרנה ה׳ מי כמוך, אמר לו הקב״ה דוד מה אתה עושה לי, אמר לו אני אשבחך בכל אבריי

The rabbis say the Lord simply blows upon the enemy and they fall over or blow away and they quote from Isaiah 40:6-7 to back up this assertion and then state that all the parts of the body say “Lord who is like unto you?” quoting from Tehillim / Psalms 35:10. The rabbis then state that the Holy One blessed be He asks David what he will do for him and David answers that he will praise him with all the parts of his body. Remember in Midrash Tehillim 32, Part 4, the midrash speaks of Tehillim / Psalms 32:11 (“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, you righteous; and sin for joy, all you that are upright in heart”) (see the Tehillim / Psalm 32 study) Rabbi Judah son of rabbi Simon taught that the Holy One blessed be He said within your body are 248 precepts, and if you keep the Torah I will keep your body.

Rabbi Judah son of rabbi Simon taught that the Holy One blessed be He, said Within your body are two hundred and forty eight precepts. If you keep the Torah, I will keep your body, as it is said, He keeps all his bones, not one of these precepts is broken (Tehillim / Psalms 34:21). Rabbi Eliezer son of Jacob taught in the name of rabbi Phinehas son of Jair that the Holy One blessed be He said, I made the inclination to evil. Watch that it bring you not to sin. Should it bring you to sin, take care to repent, and I will relieve you of your sin, as is said, I have made, and I will lift up; I Myself will carry, and will deliver you (Isaiah 46:4) from the punishment of Gehenna. Hence it is said Blessed is he whose transgression is lifted up, and whose sin is pardoned (Tehillim / Psalms 32:1). (Midrash Tehillim 32, Part 4)

אמר ר׳ יהודה בר׳ סימון אמר הקב״ה, רמ״ח איברים יש בך, ורמ״ח מצות עשה יש בתורה, אם קיימת את התורה אני מקיים את גופך, שנאמר שומר כל עצמותיו אחת מהנה לא נשברה (שם תהלים לד כא). אמר ר׳ אליעזר [בר יעקב] בשם ר׳ פנחס בן יאיר אמר הקב״ה אני עשיתי את יצר הרע, הזהר שלא יחטיאך, משהחטיאך הוי זהיר לעשות תשובה, ואז אשא עונך, שנאמר אני עשיתי ואני אשא ואני אסבול ואמלט (ישעיה מו ד), מדין של גיהנם, לכך נאמר אשרי נשוי פשע כסוי חטאה.

It is interesting that in Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2, David answers within his body he will give praise, and that in a previous midrash within the body there are 248 precepts. According to the Talmud Bavli Makkot 23b-24a, Rabbi Simlai says “Six hundred and thirteen precepts were communicated to Moshe, three hundred and sixty five negative precepts corresponding to the number of solar days in the year, and two hundred and forty eight positive precepts, corresponding to the number of the members of man’s body.” (מכות דף כג.ב דרש רבי שמלאי: שש מאות ושלש עשרה מצות נאמרו לו למשה, שלש מאות וששים וחמש לאוין כמנין ימות החמה, ומאתים וארבעים ושמונה עשה כנגד איבריו של אדם. אמר רב המנונא: מאי קרא? (דברים ל״ג) תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה, תורה בגימטריא) The rabbis sought to determine the exact number of commandments found in the Torah (613) and those that are related or paralleled to the human body (248) which are positive. What is interesting is that taking this into consideration, obeying (observing) the Torah is considered giving praise to the Lord. It is also interesting that by obeying God’s commands we are essentially doing good to our bodies by keeping from sin. Note that the reason we were created was to bring glory to the Lord God Almighty. In Midrash Tehillim 32, Part 4, the rabbis say that “If you keep the Torah, I will keep your body, as it is said, He keeps all his bones, not one of these precepts is broken (Tehillim / Psalms 34:21).” So there is a lot that can be said regarding keeping God’s word in our hearts, in our minds, and living for Him. Note Yeshua’s words in John 15. Yeshua speaks of abiding in Him and in His word, bearing fruit, and obeying His commandments.

John 15:1-14

15:1 ‘I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 15:2 ‘Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 15:3 ‘You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 15:4 ‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 15:5 ‘I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 15:6 ‘If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 15:7 ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 15:8 ‘My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 15:9 ‘Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 15:10 ‘If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 15:11 ‘These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 15:12 ‘This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 15:13 ‘Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 15:14 ‘You are My friends if you do what I command you. (NASB)

Note what Yeshua says in John 15:8 ‘My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (NASB) Now take note of what is being said in both Midrashim Tehillim 32 Part 4 and 35 Part 2. Both of these midrashim are speaking of giving praise to the Lord and the way of doing so is by obeying Him which means obeying His commands and studying Torah (God’s Word). In John 15:7, Yeshua says “whatever you ask and it will be done for you” parallels Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2 that the Lord will fight by our sides answering our prayer if we are in His word. These are fascinating parallels within rabbinic thought that are consistent with the Apostolic Writings and Yeshua’s teachings. Note also in Midrash Tehillim 32, Part 4, the midrash speaks of the inclination to evil and that should you sin one should repent and the Lord will relieve us of our sin and lift us up and the Lord Himself will carry and deliver us from the punishment of Gehenna (Hell). The rabbis speak of the fruits of repentance. What does Yeshua say in John 15? In John 15:5-6, Yeshua speaks of Himself as the vine and our abiding in Him and producing fruit. Those who do not produce fruit are cast into the fire and burned. Remaining in Christ, we are saved from destruction, keeping His word in our hearts, looking to Him, seeking Him, obeying Him, there are some significant parallels here in rabbinic thought and Yeshua’s teaching regarding salvation. The most important thing to remember is how the body and spirit are intertwined in the sense that feeding the spirit the Word of God is the major point to remember. Our lives are not about the works of the flesh but about living in the Spirit and then our choices and bodies will follow. The focus should be with regard to seeking the Lord, growing to know Him better and having a relationship with the Lord through the Word of God and then to consider how we are living our lives.

Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2 states that “David answered, I will praise You with all the parts of my body.” The midrash then proceeds to list 23 parts of David’s body that praises the Lord.

Parts of the Body that Praises God

According to Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2

  1. With my head, when in prayer I bend my head and bow down.
  2. With my hair on my head, when I fulfill the ordinance You will not round the corners of your heads (Vayikra / Leviticus 19:27) and when I lay Tefillin on my head.
  3. With my neck, when I fulfill the precept of wearing fringes.
  4. With my eyes, when I fulfill the precept It will be unto you for a fringe that you may look upon it (Bamidbar / Numbers 15:39).
  5. With my mouth, I speak Your praise, as when My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 145:21).
  6. With my lips, also, I praise You as when My lips utter praise (Tehillim / Psalms 119:171).
  7. With my beard, when I obey the ordinance Neither will you mar the corners of your beard (Vayikra / Leviticus 19:27);
  8. With my tongue, when My tongue will speak of Your righteousness (Tehillim / Psalms 35:28);
  9. With my face, when I fall down on my face to the earth (Bereshit / Genesis 48:12);
  10. With my throat, as when My throat was dried (Tehillim / Psalms 69:4); with my heart, as when Your word I have laid up in my heart (Tehillim / Psalms 118:11);
  11. With my breast, when in reading the Shema, I lay the fringes against the heart in keeping with the precept, These words which I command you this day, will be upon your heart (Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:6).
  12. With the back of my body and the front of my body, when I throw my praying shawl about me, two of its corners behind me, and two of its corners before me.
  13. With my right hand, when I write with it, or when I point out with it the sound reasoning in Torah.
  14. With my left hand, when I fasten the hand Tefillin to it, or when I hold my fringes in it at the reading of the Shema.
  15. With my nose, when I smell spices with it during the blessing said at the outgoing of Shabbat.
  16. With my ears, when I listen with them to the sound reasoning of Torah.
  17. With my nails, when I examine the light reflected in them while the Havdalah blessing is being spoken at the end of the Shabbat.
  18. With my inmost parts, as is said Your Law is in my inmost parts (Tehillim / Psalms 40:10);
  19. With all that is within me, as is said All that is within me, bless His Holy Name (Tehillim / Psalms 103:1);
  20. With my reins, as is said, Yes, in the night seasons my reins instruct me (Tehillim / Psalms 16:7).
  21. With my male organ, at circumcision and at the uncovering of the corona; with my knees, at bending my knees in prayer; again with my knees, when I act as godfather for children whom I hold for circumcision on my knees.
  22. With my right foot, from which the shoe is loosed in the right of Halisah.
  23. With my left foot, the first one I move at the end of the Eighteen Benedictions when I take three steps backward to retire from God’s presence.

What is interesting while reading through the list of the things that David said he would do for the Lord to give Him praise, is that many of these things appear to be related to traditions with references to the Torah (i.e. Vayikra / Leviticus 19:27 and not to round the corners of your beard). For the most part, we might be able to categorize these things as being performed in a particularly way according to tradition. So, we can ask the following questions: “How does one bow down one’s head or how does one prepare one’s self for prayer?” (see the Sidur) “How does one place Tefillin on one’s head? How is one to look upon the fringes? How do you give praise to the Lord with your lips? How does one lay the fringes upon one’s heart, is there a correct way or wrong way? How should the prayer shawl be placed around the body?” With the right hand one reasons Torah and one binds the Torah to the left hand, note that tefillin is wrapped in a particular way according to tradition. Note also the Havdalah candles mentioned in point number 17 are traditional and not written in the Torah. The right foot and the loosing of the right of Halisah to get out of the duty of the leverite law, and the eighteen benedictions to be prayed every morning and evening, all of these things are found in Jewish tradition. All of these things were at one point in history transmitted orally. For example, one would show his son how to tie tefillin. All of these things can be categorized in tradition, and some having a latter origin (i.e. Number 17 and the Havdalah service) and we do not know whether David actually performed the Havdalah blessings at the end of Shabbat like what is done today. Nevertheless, with this in mind, it appears the midrash is making the point that Tradition is another way to give praise to the Lord. In the time of the first century and prior to that traditions were transmitted orally which brings to mind the Mishnah.

The Mishnah was redacted in 220 CE by Rabbi Yehudah haNasi when, according to the Talmud, the persecution of the Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions dating from Pharisaic times (536 BCE – 70 CE) might be forgotten. It is therefore named for being both the one written authority (codex) secondary only to the Tanach as a basis for the passing of judgment, a source and a tool for creating laws, and the first of many books to complement the Bible for interpretation of the commands in the written Torah. The Mishnah contains six main divisions and Rabbinic commentaries on the Mishnah over the centuries were redacted as the Gemara, which, coupled with the Mishnah, make up the Talmud. The Mishnah reflects debates between 1st century BCE and 2nd century CE by the group of rabbinic sages known as the Tannaim. The Mishnah teaches the oral traditions by example, presenting actual cases being brought to judgment, usually along with the debate on the matter and the judgment that was given by a wise and notable rabbi based on the halacha, mitzvot, and spirit of the teaching that led his interpretation of the Scriptures. The Mishnah was designed to reveal the practice of the mitzvot as presented in the Bible, and aims to cover all aspects of human living, serve as an example for future judgments, and, most important, demonstrate the practical exercise of the Biblical laws, which was needed at the time when the Second Temple was destroyed (70 CE). The Mishnah does not claim to be the development of new laws, but rather the collection of existing traditions.

Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2 states that “David answered, I will praise You with all the parts of my body,” and the midrash proceeds to list 23 parts of David’s body that praises the Lord, which we conclude that by tradition one is able to give praise unto the Lord. David said the following about praises to the Lord in Tehillim / Psalms 92:1-6.

Tehillim / Psalms 92:1-6

92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; 92:2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, 92:3 With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre. 92:4 For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. 92:5 How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. 92:6 A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: (NASB)

א מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר לְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת: ב טוֹב לְהֹדוֹת לַיהֹוָה וּלְזַמֵּר לְשִׁמְךָ עֶלְיוֹן: ג לְהַגִּיד בַּבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ וֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ בַּלֵּילוֹת: ד עֲלֵי-עָשֹוֹר וַעֲלֵי-נָבֶל עֲלֵי הִגָּיוֹן בְּכִנּוֹר: ה כִּי שִֹמַּחְתַּנִי יְהֹוָה בְּפָעֳלֶךָ בְּמַעֲשֵֹי יָדֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן: ו מַה-גָּדְלוּ מַעֲשֶֹיךָ יְהֹוָה מְאֹד עָמְקוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ:

According to the Psalms that we have studied thus far (Tehillim / Psalms 1-35), David is a man who knew the value of being thankful and expressing his thankfulness to the Lord. The Scriptures say that the Lord was looking for a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) and David was that man. He sung songs to the Lord, he gave thanks to God as an act of worship, he was a man of prayer, and he was very grateful for and honored the Lord in everything he did. Midrash Tehillim 35, Part 2 concludes saying “Hence, David said, All the parts of my body will say, Lord, who is like unto You.” This is quote from Shemot / Exodus 15:11 יא מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם יְהֹוָה מִי כָּמֹכָה נֶאְדָּר בַּקֹּדֶשׁ נוֹרָא תְהִלֹּת עֹשֵֹה פֶלֶא: 15:11 Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? (NASB) Notice how this phrase is a form of praise to the Lord in and of itself. “Who is like you among the gods, O LORD!” The midrash points out the traditions are a way in which we live out our faith before God, how we worship Him, and David said “All the parts of his body will say ‘who is like You’” is a model for us today, all of our parts, in all we do, we should do in service to the Lord! This is very similar to what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NASB) These are words we should all put into practice. Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 35-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!