Tehillim / Psalms 71, Part 2, We have a lot to give praise to the Lord by what He has done!

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 71:1-24, the psalm opens saying, א בְּךָ-יְהֹוָה חָסִיתִי אַל-אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם: ב בְּצִדְקָתְךָ תַּצִּילֵנִי וּתְפַלְּטֵנִי הַטֵּה-אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי: ג הֱיֵה לִי | לְצוּר מָעוֹן לָבוֹא תָמִיד צִוִּיתָ לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי כִּי-סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה: ד אֱלֹהַי פַּלְּטֵנִי מִיַּד רָשָׁע מִכַּף מְעַוֵּל וְחוֹמֵץ: 71:1 In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed. 71:2 In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me. 71:3 Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. 71:4 Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man, (NASB) As we had learned, “shame” is equated to sin, and therefore David is asking the Lord to keep him from sinning declaring the Lord’s righteousness delivers and rescues him. He continues saying, the Lord is his hope and confidence (71:5), the Lord has sustained him from birth (71:6), how many have marveled over David because of the Lord (71:7), and the result is his mouth is filled with praises for the Lord (71:8). David looks to the past, how the Lord has helped him and delivered him to seek God’s help for the future from his enemies that are working against him (71:9-12). He asks the Lord to cause his enemies to be ashamed saying, יג יֵבשׁוּ יִכְלוּ שֹטְנֵי נַפְשִׁי יַעֲטוּ חֶרְפָּה וּכְלִמָּה מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי: 71:13 Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me. (NASB) On the other hand, David says that he will continually praise the Lord and speak of the righteousness of God (71:14-17), and that he does not know all of the things the Lord has done to save him. Again he declares the Lord’s ability to deliver and save and asks the Lord not to forsake him (71:17-18). David concludes his Psalm saying, יט וְצִדְקָתְךָ אֱלֹהִים עַד-מָרוֹם אֲשֶׁר-עָשִֹיתָ גְדֹלוֹת אֱלֹהִים מִי כָמוֹךָ: כ אֲשֶׁר הִרְאִיתַנִו| [הִרְאִיתַנִי] | צָרוֹת רַבּוֹת וְרָעוֹת תָּשׁוּב תְּחַיֵּינִו [תְּחַיֵּינִי] וּמִתְּהוֹמוֹת הָאָרֶץ תָּשׁוּב תַּעֲלֵנִי: כא תֶּרֶב | גְּדֻלָּתִי וְתִסֹּב תְּנַחֲמֵנִי: כב גַּם-אֲנִי | אוֹדְךָ בִכְלִי-נֶבֶל אֲמִתְּךָ אֱלֹהָי אֲזַמְּרָה לְךָ בְכִנּוֹר קְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל: כג תְּרַנֵּנָּה שְֹפָתַי כִּי אֲזַמְּרָה-לָּךְ וְנַפְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר פָּדִיתָ: כד גַּם-לְשׁוֹנִי כָּל-הַיּוֹם תֶּהְגֶּה צִדְקָתֶךָ כִּי-בשׁוּ כִי-חָפְרוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי: 71:19 For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? 71:20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 71:21 May You increase my greatness And turn to comfort me. 71:22 I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 71:23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed. 71:24 My tongue also will utter Your righteousness all day long; For they are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my hurt. (NASB)

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק עא

א בְּךָ-יְהֹוָה חָסִיתִי אַל-אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם: ב בְּצִדְקָתְךָ תַּצִּילֵנִי וּתְפַלְּטֵנִי הַטֵּה-אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי: ג הֱיֵה לִי | לְצוּר מָעוֹן לָבוֹא תָמִיד צִוִּיתָ לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי כִּי-סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה: ד אֱלֹהַי פַּלְּטֵנִי מִיַּד רָשָׁע מִכַּף מְעַוֵּל וְחוֹמֵץ:

סםר טוביה פרק עא

א במימרך יהוה רחיצית התרחיצית לא אבהת לעלם׃ ב בצדקתך פצי יתי ושזבינני אצלי תצלי לותי אודנך ופרוק יתי׃ ג הוי לי לטינר תקיף עשין למיעל תדירא פקדתא למפרק יתי ארי ארום תוקפי וכרך חוסני את אנת׃ ד אלהא שזיב יתי מן יד רשיעא מן ידא דמרי עילא עולא וחטוף׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 71

71:1 τῷ Δαυιδ υἱῶν Ιωναδαβ καὶ τῶν πρώτων αἰχμαλωτισθέντων ὁ θεός ἐπὶ σοὶ ἤλπισα μὴ καταισχυνθείην εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα 71:2 ἐν τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ σου ῥῦσαί με καὶ ἐξελοῦ με κλῖνον πρός με τὸ οὖς σου καὶ σῶσόν με 71:3 γενοῦ μοι εἰς θεὸν ὑπερασπιστὴν καὶ εἰς τόπον ὀχυρὸν τοῦ σῶσαί με ὅτι στερέωμά μου καὶ καταφυγή μου εἶ σύ

ה כִּי-אַתָּה תִקְוָתִי אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה מִבְטַחִי מִנְּעוּרָי: ו עָלֶיךָ | נִסְמַכְתִּי מִבֶּטֶן מִמְּעֵי אִמִּי אַתָּה גוֹזִי בְּךָ תְהִלָּתִי תָמִיד: ז כְּמוֹפֵת הָיִיתִי לְרַבִּים וְאַתָּה מַחֲסִי-עֹז: ח יִמָּלֵא פִי תְּהִלָּתֶךָ כָּל-הַיּוֹם תִּפְאַרְתֶּךָ: ט אַל-תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי לְעֵת זִקְנָה כִּכְלוֹת כֹּחִי אַל-תַּעַזְבֵנִי: י כִּי-אָמְרוּ אוֹיְבַי לִי וְשֹׁמְרֵי נַפְשִׁי נוֹעֲצוּ יַחְדָּו: יא לֵאמֹר אֱלֹהִים עֲזָבוֹ רִדְפוּ וְתִפְשֹוּהוּ כִּי אֵין מַצִּיל: יב אֱלֹהִים אַל-תִּרְחַק מִמֶּנִּי אֱלֹהַי לְעֶזְרָתִי חיּשָׁה [חוּשָׁה]: יג יֵבשׁוּ יִכְלוּ שֹטְנֵי נַפְשִׁי יַעֲטוּ חֶרְפָּה וּכְלִמָּה מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי: יד וַאֲנִי תָּמִיד אֲיַחֵל וְהוֹסַפְתִּי עַל-כָּל-תְּהִלָּתֶךָ: טו פִּי | יְסַפֵּר צִדְקָתֶךָ כָּל-הַיּוֹם תְּשׁוּעָתֶךָ כִּי לֹא יָדַעְתִּי סְפֹרוֹת: טז אָבוֹא בִּגְבֻרוֹת אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה אַזְכִּיר צִדְקָתְךָ לְבַדֶּךָ: יז אֱלֹהִים לִמַּדְתַּנִי מִנְּעוּרָי וְעַד-הֵנָּה אַגִּיד נִפְלְאוֹתֶיךָ: יח וְגַם עַד-זִקְנָה | וְשֵֹיבָה אֱלֹהִים אַל-תַּעַזְבֵנִי עַד-אַגִּיד זְרוֹעֲךָ לְדוֹר לְכָל-יָבוֹא גְּבוּרָתֶךָ: יט וְצִדְקָתְךָ אֱלֹהִים עַד-מָרוֹם אֲשֶׁר-עָשִֹיתָ גְדֹלוֹת אֱלֹהִים מִי כָמוֹךָ: כ אֲשֶׁר הִרְאִיתַנִו| [הִרְאִיתַנִי] | צָרוֹת רַבּוֹת וְרָעוֹת תָּשׁוּב תְּחַיֵּינִו [תְּחַיֵּינִי] וּמִתְּהוֹמוֹת הָאָרֶץ תָּשׁוּב תַּעֲלֵנִי: כא תֶּרֶב | גְּדֻלָּתִי וְתִסֹּב תְּנַחֲמֵנִי: כב גַּם-אֲנִי | אוֹדְךָ בִכְלִי-נֶבֶל אֲמִתְּךָ אֱלֹהָי אֲזַמְּרָה לְךָ בְכִנּוֹר קְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל: כג תְּרַנֵּנָּה שְֹפָתַי כִּי אֲזַמְּרָה-לָּךְ וְנַפְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר פָּדִיתָ: כד גַּם-לְשׁוֹנִי כָּל-הַיּוֹם תֶּהְגֶּה צִדְקָתֶךָ כִּי-בשׁוּ כִי-חָפְרוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי:

ה ארום את אנת הוא סוברי יהוה אלהי רוחצני מן טליותי׃ ו עליך סמכית מן כריסא מן מעינא דאמי אומי אנת את מפקי במימרך תושבחתי תדירא׃ ז היך תמהא הויתי לסגיעין ואנת ואת רוחצני ועושנא דילי׃ ח יתמלי פומי תושבחתך כל יומא שיבהורך׃ ט לא תטלוק יתי לעידן סיבו כד יפסוק חילי לא תשבקינני׃ י ארום אמרו בעלי דבבי עלי ביש בישו ונטרי נפשי יתמליכו כחדא׃ יא למימר אלהא שבקיה רדופו ואחידו יתיה ארום לית דפצי׃ יב אלהא לא תרחיק מיני אלהי ייי לסעדי זריז׃ יג יבהתון ישתיצון סוטני נפשי יתעטפון קלנא וכיסופא תבעי בישותי׃ יד ואנא תדירא אוריך ואצלי ואוסיף על כל תושבחתך׃ טו פומי ישתעי צידקותך כל יומא פורקנך ארום לא ידעית מיניינהון׃ טז איעול בגבורתא דיהוה אלהים אדכר צדקותך בלחודך לבלחודך׃ יז אלהי אליפתני בניסיא מן טליותי ועד העידנא השתא אתני פרישתך׃ יח ולחוד עד זקנתא וסיבותא אלהא לא תשבק יתי עד דאתני תקוף אדרעך דרועך לדר דרי לכל די ייתי כח גבורתך׃ יט וצדקתך אלהא עד שמי מרומא די עבדתא רברבן אלהא מן כוותך׃ כ די אחמיתני עקן סגיען ובישן תתוב תחי יתנא ומתהומיא ארעיתא תתוב תסיק יתנא׃ כא תסגי רב{י}ותי ותחזור תנחמינני׃ כב לחוד אנא אודי קדמך בזייני זמר וניבלא אתני קושטך אלהי אשבח קדמך בכינרא קדישא דישראל׃ כג תיבוען סיפוותי ארום אשבח קדמך ונפשי די פרקתא׃ כד לחוד לישני כל יומא תרנן צדקתך ארום בהיתו איתבהיתו ארום איתחסדו תבעי בישותי׃

Psa 71:4 ὁ θεός μου ῥῦσαί με ἐκ χειρὸς ἁμαρτωλοῦ ἐκ χειρὸς παρανομοῦντος καὶ ἀδικοῦντος 71:5 ὅτι σὺ εἶ ἡ ὑπομονή μου κύριε κύριος ἡ ἐλπίς μου ἐκ νεότητός μου 71:6 ἐπὶ σὲ ἐπεστηρίχθην ἀπὸ γαστρός ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου σύ μου εἶ σκεπαστής ἐν σοὶ ἡ ὕμνησίς μου διὰ παντός 71:7 ὡσεὶ τέρας ἐγενήθην τοῖς πολλοῖς καὶ σὺ βοηθὸς κραταιός 71:8 πληρωθήτω τὸ στόμα μου αἰνέσεως ὅπως ὑμνήσω τὴν δόξαν σου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν τὴν μεγαλοπρέπειάν σου 71:9 μὴ ἀπορρίψῃς με εἰς καιρὸν γήρους ἐν τῷ ἐκλείπειν τὴν ἰσχύν μου μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃς με 71:10 ὅτι εἶπαν οἱ ἐχθροί μου ἐμοὶ καὶ οἱ φυλάσσοντες τὴν ψυχήν μου ἐβουλεύσαντο ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ 71:11 λέγοντες ὁ θεὸς ἐγκατέλιπεν αὐτόν καταδιώξατε καὶ καταλάβετε αὐτόν ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ ῥυόμενος 71:12 ὁ θεός μὴ μακρύνῃς ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ ὁ θεός μου εἰς τὴν βοήθειάν μου πρόσχες 71:13 αἰσχυνθήτωσαν καὶ ἐκλιπέτωσαν οἱ ἐνδιαβάλλοντες τὴν ψυχήν μου περιβαλέσθωσαν αἰσχύνην καὶ ἐντροπὴν οἱ ζητοῦντες τὰ κακά μοι 71:14 ἐγὼ δὲ διὰ παντὸς ἐλπιῶ καὶ προσθήσω ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν αἴνεσίν σου 71:15 τὸ στόμα μου ἐξαγγελεῖ τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν τὴν σωτηρίαν σου ὅτι οὐκ ἔγνων γραμματείας 71:16 εἰσελεύσομαι ἐν δυναστείᾳ κυρίου κύριε μνησθήσομαι τῆς δικαιοσύνης σου μόνου 71:17 ἐδίδαξάς με ὁ θεός ἐκ νεότητός μου καὶ μέχρι νῦν ἀπαγγελῶ τὰ θαυμάσιά σου 71:18 καὶ ἕως γήρους καὶ πρεσβείου ὁ θεός μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃς με ἕως ἂν ἀπαγγείλω τὸν βραχίονά σου πάσῃ τῇ γενεᾷ τῇ ἐρχομένῃ τὴν δυναστείαν σου καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου 71:19 ὁ θεός ἕως ὑψίστων ἃ ἐποίησας μεγαλεῖα ὁ θεός τίς ὅμοιός σοι 71:20 ὅσας ἔδειξάς μοι θλίψεις πολλὰς καὶ κακάς καὶ ἐπιστρέψας ἐζωοποίησάς με καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀβύσσων τῆς γῆς πάλιν ἀνήγαγές με 71:21 ἐπλεόνασας τὴν μεγαλοσύνην σου καὶ ἐπιστρέψας παρεκάλεσάς με καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀβύσσων τῆς γῆς πάλιν ἀνήγαγές με 71:22 καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι ἐν σκεύει ψαλμοῦ τὴν ἀλήθειάν σου ὁ θεός ψαλῶ σοι ἐν κιθάρᾳ ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ Ισραηλ 71:23 ἀγαλλιάσονται τὰ χείλη μου ὅταν ψάλω σοι καὶ ἡ ψυχή μου ἣν ἐλυτρώσω 71:24 ἔτι δὲ καὶ ἡ γλῶσσά μου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν μελετήσει τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου ὅταν αἰσχυνθῶσιν καὶ ἐντραπῶσιν οἱ ζητοῦντες τὰ κακά μοι

Tehillim / Psalms 71

71:1 In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed. 71:2 In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me. 71:3 Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. 71:4 Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man, 71:5 For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. 71:6 By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You. 71:7 I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge. 71:8 My mouth is filled with Your praise And with Your glory all day long. 71:9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails. 71:10 For my enemies have spoken against me; And those who watch for my life have consulted together, 71:11 Saying, ‘God has forsaken him; Pursue and seize him, for there is no one to deliver.’ 71:12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my help! (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 71

71:1 In your word, O Lord, I have put my trust; I will never be disappointed. 71:2 In your generosity deliver me and save me; incline your ear to me and redeem me. 71:3 Be a strong mighty rock for me always to come to; you have given commandment to redeem me, for you are my strength and my stout fortress. 71:4 O God, save me from the hand of the wicked man, from the hand of the wrongdoer and the predator. 71:5 For you are my hope, O Lord; my God, my confidence from my youth. 71:6 I have relied on you from the womb; you bring me out of the bowels of my mother; my psalm is always of your word. 71:7 I have became like a portent for many; and you are my confidence and my strength. 71:8 My mouth will be filled with your praise, with your splendor every day. 71:9 Do not cast me away at the time of old age; when my vigor ceases, do not forsake me. 71:10 For my enemies have spoken evil about me, and those who watch my soul have conspired together. 71:11 Saying, “God has forsaken him; pursue and catch him, for there is no one to deliver [him].” 71:12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my aid. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 71

By David, a Psalm sung by the sons of Jonadab, and the first that were taken captive. 71:1 O Lord, I have hoped in thee: let me never be put to shame. 71:2 In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me: incline thine ear to me, and save me. 71:3 Be to me a protecting God, and a strong hold to save me: for thou art my fortress and my refuge. 71:4 Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the sinner, from the hand of the transgressor and unjust man. 71:5 For thou art my support, O Lord; O Lord, thou art my hope from my youth. 71:6 On thee have I been stayed from the womb: from the belly of my mother thou art my protector: of thee is my praise continually. 71:7 I am become as it were a wonder to many: but thou art my strong helper. 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may hymn thy glory, and thy majesty all the day. 71:9 Cast me not off at the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails. 71:10 For mine enemies have spoken against me; and they that lay wait for my soul have taken counsel together, 71:11 saying, God has forsaken him: persecute ye and take him; for there is none to deliver him. 71:12 O God, go not far from me, O my God, draw nigh to my help. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 71

71:13 Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me. 71:14 But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. 71:15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them. 71:16 I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. 71:17 O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. 71:18 And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come. 71:19 For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? 71:20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 71:21 May You increase my greatness And turn to comfort me. 71:22 I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 71:23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed. 71:24 My tongue also will utter Your righteousness all day long; For they are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my hurt. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 71

71:13 Let those who oppose my soul be disappointed [and] destroyed; let those who seek my ruin be covered with disgrace and dishonor. 71:14 And I will always wait, and I will add to all your praise. 71:15 My mouth will tell of your generosity, of your redemption every day, for I do not know their number. 71:16 I will enter in the strength of the Lord God; I will remember your righteousness alone. 71:17 O my God, you have taught me by miracles from my youth; and to this very time I will tell of your marvels. 71:18 And moreover, O God, do not forsake me at the time of old age and gray hair, until I may tell of the strength of your arm to every generation, of your mighty strength to all who will come. 71:19 Your righteousness, O God, [reaches] to the highest heaven, for you have done great things; O God, who is like you? 71:20 You who have shown me great and evil troubles, make us live again; and bring us up again from the deepest depths. 71:21 You will increase my greatness, and you will turn and comfort me. 71:22 Also I will give thanks in your presence with instruments of song, and the lyre; I will tell of your truth, O my God, I will sing praise in your presence with the harp, Holy One of Israel. 71:23 My lips will rejoice, for I will give praise in your presence, and [also] my soul that you have redeemed. 71:24 Also my tongue every day will repeat your generosity, for those who seek my ruin have been disappointed, they have been put to shame. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 71

71:13 Let those that plot against my soul be ashamed and utterly fail: let those that seek my hurt be clothed with shame and dishonour. 71:14 But I will hope continually, and will praise thee more and more. 71:15 My mouth shall declare thy righteousness openly, and thy salvation all the day; for I am not acquainted with the affairs of men. 71:16 I will go on in the might of the Lord: O Lord, I will make mention of thy righteousness only. 71:17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth, and until now will I declare thy wonders; 71:18 even until I am old and advanced in years. O God, forsake me not; until I shall have declared thine arm to all the generation that is to come: 71:19 even thy power and thy righteousness, O God, up to the highest heavens, even the mighty works which thou has done: O God, who is like to thee? 71:20 What afflictions many and sore hast thou shewed me! yet thou didst turn and quicken me, and broughtest me again from the depths of the earth. 71:21 Thou didst multiply thy righteousness, and didst turn and comfort me, and broughtest me again out of the depths of the earth. 71:22 I will also therefore give thanks to thee, O God, because of thy truth, on an instrument of psalmody: I will sing psalms to thee on the harp, O Holy One of Israel. 71:23 My lips shall rejoice when I sing to thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 71:24 Moreover also my tongue shall dwell all the day upon thy righteousness; when they shall be ashamed and confounded that seek my hurt. (LXX)

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 71:1-24. This is the first psalm that opens without an introductory line to introduce the purpose for David making the psalm. Some commentators (e.g. Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary) believe this to be an “anonymous” psalm by the reason that the psalm is not introduced as a psalm of David. The Psalmist appears to at once begin his request of the Lord for deliverance saying, א בְּךָ-יְהֹוָה חָסִיתִי אַל-אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם: 71:1 In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed. (NASB) He says “in You, Lord (YHVH), is my refuge (חָסִיתִי)” taken from the root word חסה meaning as a verb, “to spare, have mercy on, have pity on,” he is saying that it is due to the Lord’s mercy and pity upon him that he finds a place of refuge in the Lord. And that He will not be “ashamed forever” (אַל-אֵבוֹשָׁה לְעוֹלָם) meaning that with the Lord’s help, he will never be ashamed. As we had learned previously in Tehillim / Psalms 70, “shame” is equated to sin, and therefore David is asking the Lord to keep him from sinning declaring the Lord’s righteousness is what delivers and rescues him. ב בְּצִדְקָתְךָ תַּצִּילֵנִי וּתְפַלְּטֵנִי הַטֵּה-אֵלַי אָזְנְךָ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי: ג הֱיֵה לִי | לְצוּר מָעוֹן לָבוֹא תָמִיד צִוִּיתָ לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי כִּי-סַלְעִי וּמְצוּדָתִי אָתָּה: ד אֱלֹהַי פַּלְּטֵנִי מִיַּד רָשָׁע מִכַּף מְעַוֵּל וְחוֹמֵץ: 71:2 In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me. 71:3 Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. 71:4 Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man, (NASB) David says “in Your righteousness” (בְּצִדְקָתְךָ) “deliver me” (תַּצִּילֵנִי). How does righteousness deliver? King Solomon said in Mishley / Proverbs 11:4, ד לֹא-יוֹעִיל הוֹן בְּיוֹם עֶבְרָה וּצְדָקָה תַּצִּיל מִמָּוֶת: 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. (NASB) Note how the righteousness of God stands emphatically at the beginning of the sentence in the MT. In Tehillim / Psalms 71, David dwells a lot upon the idea of the righteousness of God (Tehillim / Psalms 71:2, 71:15-16, 71:19, and 71:24). David has a lot to say concerning righteousness according to the Psalms.

Summary – David speaking of Righteousness

Tehillim / Psalms 5:8-12

5:8 O Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; Make Your way straight before me. 5:9 There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue. 5:10 Hold them guilty, O God; By their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, For they are rebellious against You. 5:11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. 5:12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 15:1-3

15:1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. 15:3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 34:12-20

34:12 Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good? 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. 34:14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. 34:15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry. 34:16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth. 34:17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. 34:20 He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 37:23-32

37:23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 37:24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. 37:25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread. 37:26 All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing. 37:27 Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. 37:28 For the Lord loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. 37:29 The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever. 37:30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice. 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip. 37:32 The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 37:39-40

37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. 37:40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 55:22

55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 58:11

58:11 And men will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!’ (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 71:14-16

71:14 But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. 71:15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them. 71:16 I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 97:10-12

97:10 Hate evil, you who love the Lord, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 97:11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous And gladness for the upright in heart. 97:12 Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, And give thanks to His holy name. (NASB)

Tehillim / Psalms 112:1-9

112:1 Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments. 112:2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. 112:3 Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. 112:4 Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. 112:5 It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. 112:6 For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever. 112:7 He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 112:8 His heart is upheld, he will not fear, Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries. 112:9 He has given freely to the poor, His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted in honor. (NASB)

David asks the Lord to lend him His righteousness (5:8) because of his enemies, suggesting again that the righteousness of God is what delivers him from his enemies. The righteousness of God brings His justice, and justice brings judgment against sin, the sin of his enemies. David receives judgment in the form of mercy, the wicked man (the enemy) receives judgment in the form of God’s wrath. He asks the Lord to make his way straight because the enemy, the unrighteous way is not straight. He asks who may dwell in the holy hill of the Lord? Those who live righteously and choose to walk upright before the Lord God according to His Torah. (15:1-3) The man who desires life, length of days, and to see good, is the one who lives a righteous life. (34:12-15) The one who lives righteously, his steps are established by the Lord. The reason being, the righteous choose to live according to God’s Torah, which is God’s way of living a righteous life. (37:23) The Lord is our salvation and strength (37:39-40), which is a function of His mercy and grace, to deliver from the enemy. The Lord sustains the righteous and does not allow them to be shaken (55:22). The righteousness of God is the salvation and the continual help He provides to His people (71:14-16). The Lord preserves those who are His, and because of His preservation, we are able to praise His holy Name. (97:10-12). The righteous greatly rejoice in God’s commands (112:1) and the one who delights in the commands, his descendants will be mighty in the earth where the generation of the upright will be blessed (112:2).

David continues in his psalm saying the following:

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 71:5-12

71:5 For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. 71:6 By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You. 71:7 I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge. 71:8 My mouth is filled with Your praise And with Your glory all day long. 71:9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails. 71:10 For my enemies have spoken against me; And those who watch for my life have consulted together, 71:11 Saying, ‘God has forsaken him; Pursue and seize him, for there is no one to deliver.’ 71:12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my help! (NASB)

ה כִּי-אַתָּה תִקְוָתִי אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה מִבְטַחִי מִנְּעוּרָי: ו עָלֶיךָ | נִסְמַכְתִּי מִבֶּטֶן מִמְּעֵי אִמִּי אַתָּה גוֹזִי בְּךָ תְהִלָּתִי תָמִיד: ז כְּמוֹפֵת הָיִיתִי לְרַבִּים וְאַתָּה מַחֲסִי-עֹז: ח יִמָּלֵא פִי תְּהִלָּתֶךָ כָּל-הַיּוֹם תִּפְאַרְתֶּךָ: ט אַל-תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי לְעֵת זִקְנָה כִּכְלוֹת כֹּחִי אַל-תַּעַזְבֵנִי: י כִּי-אָמְרוּ אוֹיְבַי לִי וְשֹׁמְרֵי נַפְשִׁי נוֹעֲצוּ יַחְדָּו: יא לֵאמֹר אֱלֹהִים עֲזָבוֹ רִדְפוּ וְתִפְשֹוּהוּ כִּי אֵין מַצִּיל: יב אֱלֹהִים אַל-תִּרְחַק מִמֶּנִּי אֱלֹהַי לְעֶזְרָתִי חיּשָׁה [חוּשָׁה]:

Targum Pseudo Jonathan

Toviyah / Psalms 71:5-12

1:5 For you are my hope, O Lord; my God, my confidence from my youth. 71:6 I have relied on you from the womb; you bring me out of the bowels of my mother; my psalm is always of your word. 71:7 I have became like a portent for many; and you are my confidence and my strength. 71:8 My mouth will be filled with your praise, with your splendor every day. 71:9 Do not cast me away at the time of old age; when my vigor ceases, do not forsake me. 71:10 For my enemies have spoken evil about me, and those who watch my soul have conspired together. 71:11 Saying, “God has forsaken him; pursue and catch him, for there is no one to deliver [him].” 71:12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my aid. (EMC)

ה ארום את אנת הוא סוברי יהוה אלהי רוחצני מן טליותי׃ ו עליך סמכית מן כריסא מן מעינא דאמי אומי אנת את מפקי במימרך תושבחתי תדירא׃ ז היך תמהא הויתי לסגיעין ואנת ואת רוחצני ועושנא דילי׃ ח יתמלי פומי תושבחתך כל יומא שיבהורך׃ ט לא תטלוק יתי לעידן סיבו כד יפסוק חילי לא תשבקינני׃ י ארום אמרו בעלי דבבי עלי ביש בישו ונטרי נפשי יתמליכו כחדא׃ יא למימר אלהא שבקיה רדופו ואחידו יתיה ארום לית דפצי׃ יב אלהא לא תרחיק מיני אלהי ייי לסעדי זריז׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 71:5-12

71:5 For thou art my support, O Lord; O Lord, thou art my hope from my youth. 71:6 On thee have I been stayed from the womb: from the belly of my mother thou art my protector: of thee is my praise continually. 71:7 I am become as it were a wonder to many: but thou art my strong helper. 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may hymn thy glory, and thy majesty all the day. 71:9 Cast me not off at the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails. 71:10 For mine enemies have spoken against me; and they that lay wait for my soul have taken counsel together, 71:11 saying, God has forsaken him: persecute ye and take him; for there is none to deliver him. 71:12 O God, go not far from me, O my God, draw nigh to my help. (LXX)

71:5 ὅτι σὺ εἶ ἡ ὑπομονή μου κύριε κύριος ἡ ἐλπίς μου ἐκ νεότητός μου 71:6 ἐπὶ σὲ ἐπεστηρίχθην ἀπὸ γαστρός ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου σύ μου εἶ σκεπαστής ἐν σοὶ ἡ ὕμνησίς μου διὰ παντός 71:7 ὡσεὶ τέρας ἐγενήθην τοῖς πολλοῖς καὶ σὺ βοηθὸς κραταιός 71:8 πληρωθήτω τὸ στόμα μου αἰνέσεως ὅπως ὑμνήσω τὴν δόξαν σου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν τὴν μεγαλοπρέπειάν σου 71:9 μὴ ἀπορρίψῃς με εἰς καιρὸν γήρους ἐν τῷ ἐκλείπειν τὴν ἰσχύν μου μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃς με 71:10 ὅτι εἶπαν οἱ ἐχθροί μου ἐμοὶ καὶ οἱ φυλάσσοντες τὴν ψυχήν μου ἐβουλεύσαντο ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ 71:11 λέγοντες ὁ θεὸς ἐγκατέλιπεν αὐτόν καταδιώξατε καὶ καταλάβετε αὐτόν ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ ῥυόμενος 71:12 ὁ θεός μὴ μακρύνῃς ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ ὁ θεός μου εἰς τὴν βοήθειάν μου πρόσχες

David continues saying, the Lord is his hope and confidence (71:5), the Lord has sustained him from birth (71:6). The Aramaic Targum states that David thanks the Lord through his relying upon the Lord from the day he was born when the Lord brought him out of the bowels of his mother, that his psalms are always about God’s word. The Scriptures provide us with a future hope, we see and read how the Lord has saved His people in the past, and hope and pray for the Lord to help us in our present need and at a future time. The rabbis translate the Aramaic Targum to say David’s mouth will praise the Lord because of His splendor, as opposed to the MT that states many have marveled over David because of the Lord (71:7). The Lord’s deliverance causes one to marvel, and the result is the mouth is filled with praises for the Lord (71:8). David looks to the past, how the Lord has helped him and delivered him to seek God’s help for the future from his enemies that are working against him (71:9-12).

David suggests that his hold age may have a part in the Lord forsaking him. Why do you think that is? He says “71:9 Do not cast me away at the time of old age; when my vigor ceases, do not forsake me.” (EMC)? What is the point that David is making about his age? Could it be that one’s sins add up over a lifetime? Could it be that one’s sins cause the heart to become callused such that one might sin and not have the conviction of the Holy Spirit? The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NKJV) When a person makes sin their way of life, there is no hope in the appearing of the righteous judge. We should be striving to make righteousness a way of life and not sin. Paul speaks of the one who looks forward to the appearing of the Lord Yeshua. These concepts are all very similar to what Paul wrote to Titus in Titus 2:11-14 saying, 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 2:14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (NASB) The mercy (grace) of God is what brings the Lord’s salvation and righteousness. According to Paul, the salvation of God instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live our lives in righteousness and truth. This is as opposed to what the Septuagint states, 71:10 For mine enemies have spoken against me; and they that lay wait for my soul have taken counsel together, 71:11 saying, God has forsaken him: persecute ye and take him; for there is none to deliver him. (LXX) The unrighteous are not the sons of God and therefore they have none to protect them from destruction (none to deliver them). The righteous are those who both choose to believe in the Lord God Almighty and His Messiah Yeshua, and choose to obey the Lord according to His word, and the Lord credits them with His righteousness. This is again similar to what Peter wrote in his epistle in 1 Peter 2:9-16.

1 Peter 2:9-16

2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 2:10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 2:13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 2:14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 2:16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. (NASB)

The Lord calls us out of darkness into His light, His truth, and His righteousness and justice. Based upon these Scriptures, Peter says that the Lord called us out of darkness, whereas, David says that the Lord has sustained him from his youth. How does the Lord sustain us from our youth if He has called us from darkness? Is the Lord with a person while they are “in the darkness” which is to say while one is “living unrighteously?” David said in Tehillim / Psalms 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (NIV) and in Tehillim / Psalms 54:4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. (NIV) The Lord sustains us by placing within our hearts to listen and obey, to flee from lustful desires, and to do good deeds. Are you being convicted in your heart of these things? For this reason Peter says, 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 2:16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. (NASB) If we choose to live this way, the Lord promises to make our paths straight and to preserve us. The point is that once we know the difference between right and wrong, we are called to strive for what is right for the honor and glory of God.

Mishley / Proverbs 4:18

4:18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. (NKJV)

Mishley / Proverbs 10:2-3

10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, But righteousness delivers from death. 10:3 The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked. (NKJV)

Mishley / Proverbs 15:28-29

15:28 The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil. 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. (NKJV)

Matthew 5:6

5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (NKJV)

Matthew 5:10

5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (NKJV)

Matthew 13:43

13:43 “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (NKJV)

Matthew 25:46

25:46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (NKJV)

Romans 5:17

5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

All of Scripture speaks of the gift of righteousness the Lord God in heaven gives to his people and the mercy He shows in sustaining us. These Scriptures from Proverbs, Matthew, and Romans, and more, also speak of our responsibility of walking in righteousness, truth, justice, and love towards one another. On the other hand, the unrighteous, the wicked, David asks the Lord to cause his enemies to be ashamed saying, יג יֵבשׁוּ יִכְלוּ שֹטְנֵי נַפְשִׁי יַעֲטוּ חֶרְפָּה וּכְלִמָּה מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי: 71:13 Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me. (NASB) Is it ok to ask the Lord to cause our enemies to go to destruction or to be ashamed? I believe that it is ok to seek the Lord to bring His Justice, which consequentially brings his judgment. If the enemy is coming by reason of something I have done, Lord help me to change my ways, to be humble, and to turn away from sin. And if the enemy comes not by reason of sin, Lord, Your Name be glorified!

Note what Daniel said speaking of the last days in Daniel 12:1-3.

Daniel 12:1-3

12:1 ‘Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 12:2 ‘Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. 12:3 ‘Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (NASB)

א וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יַעֲמֹד מִיכָאֵל הַשַּׂר הַגָּדוֹל הָעֹמֵד עַל-בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ וְהָיְתָה עֵת צָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִהְיְתָה מִהְיוֹת גּוֹי עַד הָעֵת הַהִיא וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יִמָּלֵט עַמְּךָ כָּל-הַנִּמְצָא כָּתוּב בַּסֵּפֶר: ב וְרַבִּים מִיְּשֵׁנֵי אַדְמַת-עָפָר יָקִיצוּ אֵלֶּה לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם וְאֵלֶּה לַחֲרָפוֹת לְדִרְאוֹן עוֹלָם: ג וְהַמַּשְֹכִּלִים יַזְהִרוּ כְּזֹהַר הָרָקִיעַ וּמַצְדִּיקֵי הָרַבִּים כַּכּוֹכָבִים לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:

Daniel speaks of a book wherein a persons whose name is written will be saved. In Daniel 12:2, it says “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel is speaking of the Olam Haba (the World to Come) and eternal salvation and the resurrection. The Septuagint translates this verse saying, “And many that sleep in the breadth (πλάτει) of the earth shall arise, some to life eternal, and some to reproach, some to dispersion (διασπορὰν) and eternal shame.” In the MT, Daniel writes חֶרְפָּה (shame) and דִרְאוֹן (contempt). These terms are written as “reproach” and “dispersion,” in the Septuagint as an attempt to render חֲרָפות (haraphot), “shame.” In the Septuagint, “dispersion” is omitted, and χώματι (“an embankment”) is written. The Vulgate has a somewhat singular version stating, “And many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to life eternal, and some to contempt, in order that they may always see it (ut videant semper).” Daniel states that “many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake…” indicating that sleep is a symbol of death which is used frequently in both the Tanach and the Apostolic Writings. (Tehillim / Psalm 13:3, Job 3:13, Acts 7:60, 1 Corinthians 15:6) In addition, “Dust” is a common phrase for the grave as we find in Job 7:21, Tehillim / Psalm 22:30, 30:10, and Bereshit / Genesis 3:19. The reference here is to those who are both dead and buried. What we find here in Daniel is a belief in the resurrection. This is a distinct reference to the resurrection of the body; it is stated that those who “sleep in the dust” will “awake.” It is important to note that at the resurrection the condition of each person is fixed, one is either raised to “everlasting life” or to “everlasting contempt.” The resurrection as it is described here is on an individual basis and not national, as shown by the contrasted conditions of the individuals who are raised to life. The prophet Isaiah also stated in Isaiah 26:14-19, proclaiming the same belief. Ezekiel 37:1-14 describes the resurrection was for Israel, and it is important to note that there was no such belief of resurrection in Greek mythology.

David continues in his psalm saying that he will continually praise the Lord and speak of the righteousness of God (71:14-17), and that he does not know all of the things the Lord has done to save him. Again he declares the Lord’s ability to deliver and save and asks the Lord not to forsake him (71:17-18).

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 71:13-18

1:13 Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me. 71:14 But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. 71:15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them. 71:16 I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. 71:17 O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. 71:18 And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come. (NASB)

יג יֵבשׁוּ יִכְלוּ שֹטְנֵי נַפְשִׁי יַעֲטוּ חֶרְפָּה וּכְלִמָּה מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי: יד וַאֲנִי תָּמִיד אֲיַחֵל וְהוֹסַפְתִּי עַל-כָּל-תְּהִלָּתֶךָ: טו פִּי | יְסַפֵּר צִדְקָתֶךָ כָּל-הַיּוֹם תְּשׁוּעָתֶךָ כִּי לֹא יָדַעְתִּי סְפֹרוֹת: טז אָבוֹא בִּגְבֻרוֹת אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה אַזְכִּיר צִדְקָתְךָ לְבַדֶּךָ: יז אֱלֹהִים לִמַּדְתַּנִי מִנְּעוּרָי וְעַד-הֵנָּה אַגִּיד נִפְלְאוֹתֶיךָ: יח וְגַם עַד-זִקְנָה | וְשֵֹיבָה אֱלֹהִים אַל-תַּעַזְבֵנִי עַד-אַגִּיד זְרוֹעֲךָ לְדוֹר לְכָל-יָבוֹא גְּבוּרָתֶךָ:

Targum Pseudo Jonathan

Toviyah / Psalms 71:13-18

71:13 Let those who oppose my soul be disappointed [and] destroyed; let those who seek my ruin be covered with disgrace and dishonor. 71:14 And I will always wait, and I will add to all your praise. 71:15 My mouth will tell of your generosity, of your redemption every day, for I do not know their number. 71:16 I will enter in the strength of the Lord God; I will remember your righteousness alone. 71:17 O my God, you have taught me by miracles from my youth; and to this very time I will tell of your marvels. 71:18 And moreover, O God, do not forsake me at the time of old age and gray hair, until I may tell of the strength of your arm to every generation, of your mighty strength to all who will come. (EMC)

יג יבהתון ישתיצון סוטני נפשי יתעטפון קלנא וכיסופא תבעי בישותי׃ יד ואנא תדירא אוריך ואצלי ואוסיף על כל תושבחתך׃ טו פומי ישתעי צידקותך כל יומא פורקנך ארום לא ידעית מיניינהון׃ טז איעול בגבורתא דיהוה אלהים אדכר צדקותך בלחודך לבלחודך׃ יז אלהי אליפתני בניסיא מן טליותי ועד העידנא השתא אתני פרישתך׃ יח ולחוד עד זקנתא וסיבותא אלהא לא תשבק יתי עד דאתני תקוף אדרעך דרועך לדר דרי לכל די ייתי כח גבורתך׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 71:13-18

71:13 Let those that plot against my soul be ashamed and utterly fail: let those that seek my hurt be clothed with shame and dishonour. 71:14 But I will hope continually, and will praise thee more and more. 71:15 My mouth shall declare thy righteousness openly, and thy salvation all the day; for I am not acquainted with the affairs of men. 71:16 I will go on in the might of the Lord: O Lord, I will make mention of thy righteousness only. 71:17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth, and until now will I declare thy wonders; 71:18 even until I am old and advanced in years. O God, forsake me not; until I shall have declared thine arm to all the generation that is to come: (LXX)

71:13 αἰσχυνθήτωσαν καὶ ἐκλιπέτωσαν οἱ ἐνδιαβάλλοντες τὴν ψυχήν μου περιβαλέσθωσαν αἰσχύνην καὶ ἐντροπὴν οἱ ζητοῦντες τὰ κακά μοι 71:14 ἐγὼ δὲ διὰ παντὸς ἐλπιῶ καὶ προσθήσω ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν αἴνεσίν σου 71:15 τὸ στόμα μου ἐξαγγελεῖ τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν τὴν σωτηρίαν σου ὅτι οὐκ ἔγνων γραμματείας 71:16 εἰσελεύσομαι ἐν δυναστείᾳ κυρίου κύριε μνησθήσομαι τῆς δικαιοσύνης σου μόνου 71:17 ἐδίδαξάς με ὁ θεός ἐκ νεότητός μου καὶ μέχρι νῦν ἀπαγγελῶ τὰ θαυμάσιά σου 71:18 καὶ ἕως γήρους καὶ πρεσβείου ὁ θεός μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃς με ἕως ἂν ἀπαγγείλω τὸν βραχίονά σου πάσῃ τῇ γενεᾷ τῇ ἐρχομένῃ τὴν δυναστείαν σου καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου

Notice how David says that “I will hope continually and praise you more and more,” (71:14) and continues saying “my mouth will tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation (תְּשׁוּעָתֶךָ) all day long.” (71:15) The Aramaic Targum states David will wait always and add to God’s praise, and that his mouth will tell of the Lord’s generosity, and His redemption because he cannot number all of the times the Lord had saved him. The rabbis say the Lord taught David by miracles and so he will tell of His marvels. Some of the marvels the rabbis might be referencing may be taken from the midrashic literature. In the midrashic literature we are told that David’s life as a shepherd had prepared him for his position as king. He treated the sheep entrusted to his care lovingly and tenderly, wherefore God said, “He understands how to pasture sheep; therefore he shall become the shepherd of My flock Israel” (Midrash Tehillim 78 and Midrash Rabbah Shemot 2, Part 2). In the lonely desert David found opportunity to display his extraordinary strength and courage where he strangled with his hands four lions and three bears that attacked his flock (see Midrash on Samuel 20). The Midrash also has the following description saying:

David was once in great danger when he came upon a gigantic reem (Giant Animals in Hebrew Lore) asleep. Taking it for a high mountain, he tried to climb it; but the animal awakened suddenly, and David found himself lifted high up into the air on its horns. David now vowed to God to build a temple 100 ells high—as high as the horns of the reem—if He would save him from the beast, and God thereupon sent a lion, which, as “king of the animals” (compare Talmud Bavli Chagigah 13b), exacted respect even from this gigantic beast, which fell down before the lion, enabling David safely to alight. Then a deer came, which the lion immediately pursued, so that David escaped both from the reem and the lion” (Midrash Tehillim 22, Part 22).

According to the rabbis, David was greatly respected of the Lord God in heaven. David’s shepherding life ended in his twenty-eighth year, when Samuel anointed him king. Based upon the wild stories given by the rabbis, David had a lot to give praise to the Lord God Almighty for the deliverance He has provided throughout his life, even from his youth from both man and beast.

David concludes his Psalm saying the following:

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 71:19-24

71:19 For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? 71:20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 71:21 May You increase my greatness And turn to comfort me. 71:22 I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 71:23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed. 71:24 My tongue also will utter Your righteousness all day long; For they are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my hurt. (NASB)

יט וְצִדְקָתְךָ אֱלֹהִים עַד-מָרוֹם אֲשֶׁר-עָשִֹיתָ גְדֹלוֹת אֱלֹהִים מִי כָמוֹךָ: כ אֲשֶׁר הִרְאִיתַנִו| [הִרְאִיתַנִי] | צָרוֹת רַבּוֹת וְרָעוֹת תָּשׁוּב תְּחַיֵּינִו [תְּחַיֵּינִי] וּמִתְּהוֹמוֹת הָאָרֶץ תָּשׁוּב תַּעֲלֵנִי: כא תֶּרֶב | גְּדֻלָּתִי וְתִסֹּב תְּנַחֲמֵנִי: כב גַּם-אֲנִי | אוֹדְךָ בִכְלִי-נֶבֶל אֲמִתְּךָ אֱלֹהָי אֲזַמְּרָה לְךָ בְכִנּוֹר קְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל: כג תְּרַנֵּנָּה שְֹפָתַי כִּי אֲזַמְּרָה-לָּךְ וְנַפְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר פָּדִיתָ: כד גַּם-לְשׁוֹנִי כָּל-הַיּוֹם תֶּהְגֶּה צִדְקָתֶךָ כִּי-בשׁוּ כִי-חָפְרוּ מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתִי:

Targum Pseudo Jonathan

Toviyah / Psalms 71:19-24

71:19 Your righteousness, O God, [reaches] to the highest heaven, for you have done great things; O God, who is like you? 71:20 You who have shown me great and evil troubles, make us live again; and bring us up again from the deepest depths. 71:21 You will increase my greatness, and you will turn and comfort me. 71:22 Also I will give thanks in your presence with instruments of song, and the lyre; I will tell of your truth, O my God, I will sing praise in your presence with the harp, Holy One of Israel. 71:23 My lips will rejoice, for I will give praise in your presence, and [also] my soul that you have redeemed. 71:24 Also my tongue every day will repeat your generosity, for those who seek my ruin have been disappointed, they have been put to shame. (EMC)

יט וצדקתך אלהא עד שמי מרומא די עבדתא רברבן אלהא מן כוותך׃ כ די אחמיתני עקן סגיען ובישן תתוב תחי יתנא ומתהומיא ארעיתא תתוב תסיק יתנא׃ כא תסגי רב{י}ותי ותחזור תנחמינני׃ כב לחוד אנא אודי קדמך בזייני זמר וניבלא אתני קושטך אלהי אשבח קדמך בכינרא קדישא דישראל׃ כג תיבוען סיפוותי ארום אשבח קדמך ונפשי די פרקתא׃ כד לחוד לישני כל יומא תרנן צדקתך ארום בהיתו איתבהיתו ארום איתחסדו תבעי בישותי׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 71

71:19 even thy power and thy righteousness, O God, up to the highest heavens, even the mighty works which thou has done: O God, who is like to thee? 71:20 What afflictions many and sore hast thou shewed me! yet thou didst turn and quicken me, and broughtest me again from the depths of the earth. 71:21 Thou didst multiply thy righteousness, and didst turn and comfort me, and broughtest me again out of the depths of the earth. 71:22 I will also therefore give thanks to thee, O God, because of thy truth, on an instrument of psalmody: I will sing psalms to thee on the harp, O Holy One of Israel. 71:23 My lips shall rejoice when I sing to thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 71:24 Moreover also my tongue shall dwell all the day upon thy righteousness; when they shall be ashamed and confounded that seek my hurt. (LXX)

71:19 ὁ θεός ἕως ὑψίστων ἃ ἐποίησας μεγαλεῖα ὁ θεός τίς ὅμοιός σοι 71:20 ὅσας ἔδειξάς μοι θλίψεις πολλὰς καὶ κακάς καὶ ἐπιστρέψας ἐζωοποίησάς με καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀβύσσων τῆς γῆς πάλιν ἀνήγαγές με 71:21 ἐπλεόνασας τὴν μεγαλοσύνην σου καὶ ἐπιστρέψας παρεκάλεσάς με καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀβύσσων τῆς γῆς πάλιν ἀνήγαγές με 71:22 καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι ἐν σκεύει ψαλμοῦ τὴν ἀλήθειάν σου ὁ θεός ψαλῶ σοι ἐν κιθάρᾳ ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ Ισραηλ 71:23 ἀγαλλιάσονται τὰ χείλη μου ὅταν ψάλω σοι καὶ ἡ ψυχή μου ἣν ἐλυτρώσω 71:24 ἔτι δὲ καὶ ἡ γλῶσσά μου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν μελετήσει τὴν δικαιοσύνην σου ὅταν αἰσχυνθῶσιν καὶ ἐντραπῶσιν οἱ ζητοῦντες τὰ κακά μοι

David says God’s righteousness reaches to the heavens. What does it mean that His righteousness reaches to the heavens? This could be a reference back to the Torah account of creation, by the Word of the Lord He spoke all things into existence. For this reason he gives God the praises. In Tehillim / Psalms 9:1-10, David gives praise to the Lord. In order to praise God in an acceptable manner, we must praise him with our whole heart. When we give thanks for a particular mercy, we should remember former mercies just as David is doing here in his Psalm. Our joy however should not be on the gift as much as upon the Giver, the Lord in heaven. The praises we give and attribute to the Lord is according to His mercies and triumphs that He has brought in the life of His people. The might and power of God is what keeps the enemy at bay, and causes our enemies not to be able to stand before us. The judgment of God is according to truth, righteousness, and justice, as opposed to the way of the unrighteous, injustice, and the wicked man. The way of the Lord is sure, straight, and a solid foundation, this is why we are able to run to Him as our refuge and depend upon Him, for His power to save, to deliver, and to redeem as David says in Tehillim / Psalms 71. By reason of these things, those who know Him also believe in His truth and faithfulness, and we rejoice in his word and in His promises and find rest in knowing that He is in control. And as a result, we can trust in Him even to the end, in the midst of both blessing and trouble. For those who have tasted of the goodness of God, who is there that would not seek Him, the One who has never forsaken those that seek Him? Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 71 has 4 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 2, 3, and 4. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 71, Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 71, Part 1, 2, 3, and 4

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “In You, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me not be put to shame in the world (Tehillim / Psalms 71:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “This Psalm comes close to the matter of the preceding Psalm, in which David said, Master of the universe, if such is the promise, then, in You, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me not be put to shame in the world.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon David’s words speaking about “shame” and its parallel to sin.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal saying the Lord will not allow Israel to be ashamed in the world to come.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “As Isaiah said, O Israel, that are saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you will not be ashamed no confounded in the world without end (Isaiah 45:17).”

Part 2

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “Deliver me in Your righteous and rescue me (Tehillim / Psalms 71:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “The congregation of Israel said to the Holy One blessed be He, When You deliver us…
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon David’s words and discuss the Lord delivering Israel because of their good works.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal stating that it is not because of Israel’s good works, but because of God’s righteousness they are delivered.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “For You did say to Hezekiah, That which you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have listened (Isaiah 19:20). Why? Because You inclined Your ear. Hence, it is said, Incline Your ear unto me and save me.”

Part 3

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “Be my strong habitation (Tehillim / Psalms 71:3) in my exile, my habitation whereupon I may continually resort.”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “In my exile, when I am in anguish, I go into a synagogue for prayer, and my prayer becomes a strong tower for me, as is said, The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it, and is safe (Mishley / Proverbs 18:10)…
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon David’s words discussing the Lord rescuing David from the hand of the unrighteous.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal using examples from the wicked Ishmael and Esau.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “The congregation of Israel said, How many wonders did You perform for me in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness. Because You are my strong refuge, therefore, will my mouth be filled with Your praise (Tehillim / Psalms 71:8).”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying “Cast me not off in the time of the old age (Tehillim / Psalms 71:9).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “The congregation of Israel said, I have become old in my exile.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon David’s words seeking the Lord’s help to the Babylonian exile and the lack of the people’s good works.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal stating that the people realize it is not by their good works that they are saved or that the Lord answers. The Lord answers them purely by reason of His righteousness.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Some maintain that You will quicken me again means that You will bring me out of exile which is like death and the abyss. And thereupon I also will give thanks unto You, etc. (Tehillim / Psalms 71:22).”

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “In You, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me not be put to shame in the world (Tehillim / Psalms 71:1).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “This Psalm comes close to the matter of the preceding Psalm, in which David said, Master of the universe, if such is the promise, then, in You, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me not be put to shame in the world.” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק עא סימן א

א (לדוד) בך ה׳ חסיתי אל אבושה לעולם. זה המזמור סמוך לדברי של מעלה, אמר דוד רבונו של עולם אם כן ההבטחה, בך ה׳ חסיתי אל אבושה לעולם, וכי לא נתביישו ישראל בעולם הזה שאמר אל אבושה לעולם, אלא אמר דוד דיינו שנתביישנו בעולם הזה, ולא נבוש לעולם הבא, וכן ישעיה אמר ישראל נושע בה׳ תשועת עולמים לא תבושו ולא תכלמו עד עולמי עד (ישעיה מה יז).

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 1

1. In You, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me not be put to shame in the world (Tehillim / Psalms 71:1). This Psalm comes close to the matter of the preceding Psalm, in which David said, Master of the universe, if such is the promise, then, in You, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me not be put to shame in the world. But were not the children of Israel put to shame in this world, even though Scripture has them saying, In You, O Lord, do I put my trust, let me not be put to shame in the world? David meant, however, Let it be enough that we are put to shame in this world; let us not be put to shame in the world to come. As Isaiah said, O Israel, that are saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you will not be ashamed no confounded in the world without end (Isaiah 45:17).

David said in Tehillim / Psalm 25:3 No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame. In Tehillim / Psalm 35:4 he says, “May those who seek my life be disgraced,” and in Tehillim / Psalms 6:10 “All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame.” The idea of shame is paralleled to sin in one’s life. Is there hope in the Lord if we are living in sin? According to the Apostle John, he said in 1 John 3:6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning… (NASB) David seeks the Lord to help him not to be ashamed in this world. He is essentially asking the Lord to help him not to sin. The midrash states however, “But were not the children of Israel put to shame in this world, even though Scripture has them saying, In You, O Lord, do I put my trust, let me not be put to shame in the world?” How was Israel put to shame in this world? Jeremiah 17:13 states, “O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD.” (NASB) In the Scriptures, we are told the righteous have their names written down. (see Shemot / Exodus 32:32-33, and Malachi 3:16) However, here we are told by Jeremiah that the unrighteous, their names will also be written down, recorded somewhere for the reason of their turning away from the Lord on this earth. The idea is that there will be a book of remembrance written before the Lord for both the righteous and the unrighteous. The Book represents the Lord God’s forever seeing, wakeful, careful watch, and His unfailing knowledge of who we are at the deepest level, even the hidden place in our lives that may be filled with sin. The question is whether these things are also noted in His book of remembrance? In various places throughout Scripture, Tehillim / Psalm 56:8, or Revelation 20, we are told that the dead will be judged. There must be some written record of our deeds if that is what will take place. According to the prophet Daniel, he saw books were opened (Daniel 7:10 “A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.” NASB). This idea of a book recording all the events of one’s life is similar to what we read throughout the Tanach of the events of the kings of Israel being recorded in some form of national record wherein were noted the kings important events, achievements, accomplishments, etc. This is similar to what is found in the cuneiform inscriptions (see 1 Kings 11:41, Ezra 4:15, 6:1, Esther 6:1, and Revelation 20:12) found at Ugarit. This book of remembrance is believed to be set before the eyes of the Lord, to remind him of the pious ones according to the rabbis (Talmud Bavli Berakhot 6). Judaism refers to the book of remembrance as the Book of Life (ספר החיים) which is the book in which God records the names of every person who is destined for Heaven or the World to Come. According to the Talmud the books are opened on Rosh Hashanah, and the book for the wicked is called the Book of the Dead. Judaism also speaks of the book of the intermediate, where the concept of good deeds causes the scales of justice to tilt towards one side as opposed to the other. In addition, extra mention is made for the Book of Life during the Amidah recitations during the Days of Awe, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.

In addition to this, an interesting theme we find in the Scriptures is that the Torah is “the testimony of God.” Specifically, we are told the ten commandments are “the tablets of the testimony,” and the ark of the covenant is also called “the ark of the testimony” (Shemot / Exodus 25:16-22). The testimony was given so we would be able to remember the work, power, deliverance, salvation, and redemption of God’s people from Egypt with the hope and expectation that He will do the same for each of us too. With this in mind,The covenant that the Lord made with us in the Messiah Yeshua, We are told that He has written his Torah upon our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-37). Using this reasoning, he writes His testimony upon our hearts. We are told in the Apostolic Writings, that He makes us a new creation for the purpose of saving us and setting us free from sin. This is how His presence is tangible in our lives for the Glory of God (Revelation 12:11) and the salvation from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). He said “… in this present evil world,” which means that our salvation is effectual in this life and not just in the world to come. Some have relegated all the benefits and the power of God to save us, to the world to come only. The power of God is however more tangible than that in our lives and His power is available to us today, to heal us, to protect us, and to deliver us from sin, etc., all of which is given as a testimony so we can go into this world and proclaim the glory and power of our Father in heaven. This may be what David is thinking of in the Psalm, and the rabbis saying that “In You, O Lord, do I put my trust, let me not be put to shame in the world?” Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 1 concludes saying, “David meant, however, Let it be enough that we are put to shame in this world; let us not be put to shame in the world to come. As Isaiah said, O Israel, that are saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you will not be ashamed not confounded in the world without end (Isaiah 45:17).” The idea is that the Lord will not allow us to be put to shame in this world by reason that He will give us a testimony of His glory, and power, and work in our lives. Scripture provides endless examples of how the presence of God delivered Israel from their enemies. Moshe was convinced that without God’s presence in his life, or with Israel, they would not survive with success entering the Promised Land (see Parashat Ki Tisa). Each of us have been given a powerful testimony of what God’s presence has done for us in guiding our lives. This is the meaning of our trusting in the Lord, and the Lord not allowing us to be put to shame in this world, or in the world to come!

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 2 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Deliver me in Your righteousness and rescue me (Tehillim / Psalms 71:2).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “The congregation of Israel said to the Holy One blessed be He, When You deliver us not because of our righteousness, not because of the good works which we have accumulated, but You will deliver us, whether today, or tomorrow, on account of Your righteousness, as it is said, And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor, therefore, He put on righteousness as a coat of mail (Isaiah 59:16-17).” What is interesting is that we find here Judaism teaching that God saves not because of our own righteousness (or our own good deeds), but because of the righteousness of God. The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק עא סימן ב

ב בצדקתך תצילני ותפלטני. אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקב״ה כשתושיעני לא בצדקה ובמעשים טובים שיש בידנו אתה מושיעני, אלא בין היום ובין מחר בצדקתך גאלנו, שנאמר וירא כי אין איש וישתומם כי אין מפגיע [וגו׳] וילבש צדקה כשרין (ישעיה נט יו יז), לכך נאמר בצדקתך תצילני ותפלטני. הטה (אלהי) [אלי] אזנך והושיעני. אם תטה אלי אזנך אז אדע כי תשמע, שנאמר אהבתי כי ישמע ה׳ את קולי תחנוני (תהלים קטז א), מיד יושיעני, שנאמר דלותי ולי יהושיע (שם שם תהלים קט״ז ו), וכן חזקיה אמר (אלהים הטה) [הטה ה׳] אזנך ושמע (מ״ב מלכים ב׳ יט יו, ישעיה לז יז), ובשביל שהטית [שמעת והושעת, שכן אמרת לו אשר התפללת אלי אל סנחרב מלך אשור שמעתי (מ״ב שם מלכים ב׳ י״ט כ), למה בשביל שהטית], לכך נאמר הטה (אלהי) [אלי] אזנך והושיעני.

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 2

2. Deliver me in Your righteous and rescue me (Tehillim / Psalms 71:2). The congregation of Israel said to the Holy One blessed be He, When You deliver us, You will deliver us not because of our righteousness, not because of the good works which we have accumulated, but You will deliver us, whether today, or tomorrow, on account of Your righteousness, as it is said, And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor, therefore, He put on righteousness as a coat of mail (Isaiah 59:16-17). Hence, it is said, Deliver me in Your righteousness, and rescue me. The verse concludes, Incline Your ear unto me, and save me, if You but incline Your ear unto me, then I know that You heed, as is said, I love the Lord, because He heeds my voice and my supplication, because He has inclined His ear unto me (Tehillim / Psalms 116:1). And at once He saves me, as is said, When I was brought low, He saved me (Tehillim / Psalms 116:6). So, too, Hezekiah said, Incline Your ear, O Lord, and heed (Isaiah 37:17). And because You inclined Your ear, You did heed and save. For You did say to Hezekiah, That which you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have listened (Isaiah 19:20). Why? Because You inclined Your ear. Hence, it is said, Incline Your ear unto me and save me.

The rabbis say “When You deliver us, You will deliver us not because of our righteousness, not because of the good works which we have accumulated, but You will deliver us, whether today, or tomorrow, on account of Your righteousness…” This sounds very reminiscent of what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians and to Titus.

Ephesians 2:8-10

2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (NASB)

Titus 3:3-8

3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 3:6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 3:7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 3:8 This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. (NASB)

The mercy of God is a gift, Paul says that we are not saved by our good works so that no one can boast. We are however created for the purpose of doing good works. The good works that Paul is referring to are those which our Father in heaven has prepared before hand, to live according to the commandments in His Torah. To Titus he says that formerly we were foolish living in sin (disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another). The Lord saved us in spite of our sins, and we are called to turn from our sins and living righteously and in holiness before the Lord. Many times we hear that what the messianic movement espouses is a form of legalism and that Judaism for sure is legalistic in nature teaching that one must earn their salvation. We also hear that in the OT Israel had to earn their salvation whereas today salvation is the free gift of God in the Messiah Yeshua. The question is “What does it mean that good works are the result of salvation?” According to Paul in Ephesians 2:8-10 and Titus 3:3-8, he says that we are not saved by good works. The point of Paul’s statements is that our works are done in the flesh and are not sufficient to satisfy the requirement for atonement. Note that good works (maasim tovim) are pleasing to the Lord even though they fall short of His glory (Romans 3:20 and Isaiah 64:6). Note also what we had discussed earlier, in the Psalms and in the Torah portion, salvation has both an eternal and temporal application. We are saved only by the mercy and graciousness of God and by reason of His Son Yeshua the Messiah from an eternal aspect, however in this temporal earthly world, the Lord works in our lives in a combination of both His righteousness and our obedience to the commands. We are saved because the Lord God is gracious and merciful and has designed a way for His righteousness to be placed upon His people (Tehillim / Psalm 86:5, Ephesians 2:4). The teaching from the Apostolic Writings is that when Yeshua became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), and we believe he did this for us, we are given His righteousness. His death paid the price and his resurrection showed God’s acceptance of the work of the Messiah. This is similar to the midrashic and Psalm concept of “Deliver me in Your righteous and rescue me (Tehillim / Psalms 71:2).” When we believe in the Messiah, the Lord empowers us to live our lives for His glory. The former sins of disobedience, deceit, being enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life thinking in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another, we now have the conviction of heart and spirit to not do those things any longer. To know our Father in heaven is to see sin the way He sees it and to walk in His footsteps and in the footsteps of the Messiah according to the Torah. 1 John 3:9 says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” Instead of sin, the faithful child of God produces “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Remember that Teshuva is the act of turning from sin, turning one’s life in a new direction, away from sin and towards the Lord God in heaven and His ways. The Salvation (Righteousness) the Lord provides us, gives us both a testimony in our lives of His glory, and enables us to live “in the Spirit” and thereby truly performing good works (Galatians 5:16) with a fully committed heart for God’s glory. This is why Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (NASB) The goal of the Lord saving us was not just to rescue us from hell, but also that we would walk in His ways and reflect His character and goodness to the world. The Lord God delights to see us becoming more like His Son (Romans 8:29) which is why our good works are pleasing in His eyes. When the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) makes His dwelling place inside of us, God’s Spirit prompts us to do things that bring glory to His name (John 14:26). Our desire to please the Lord grows as our understanding of Him grows. The desire to please God results in our good works.

This is why it is biblically inconsistent to say that someone has been saved but has not changed. Many people go through the outward motions of giving their lives to the Messiah, but do not exhibit lifestyle changes. Their lives which “was” filled with sin do not change and so their sins remain. This is why Paul wrote about the former sins of disobedience, deceit, being enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life thinking on malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. Paul says these things are the former life and the one who says he is in the Messiah is not to behave in this way any longer. The Lord helps to change the former ways, and if there is no evidence of change from the former ways, the question should be whether the Lord God is really working in one’s life? This is what James calls “dead” faith (James 2:26). An interesting analogy is that when you walk into a dark room and flip the light switch, you expect light. If there is no light, you rightly assume something is wrong with the power that gives the light or with the bulb itself. It would be illogical to state that the light is on when the room remains dark. (Note that this is the problem with Christian churches accepting Homosexuality, they don’t understand who they are in the Messiah.) Yeshua the Messiah stands as a light in the darkness and gives light, illuminating one’s heart (John 12:46) and in a similar manner, our lives are to shine forth the light and truth of God, His glorious power of delivering us from our sins.

Based upon the midrash, Judaism’s approach to righteousness before the Lord God in heaven, is consistent with what Yeshua, the disciples, and Paul taught. This is understood from the rabbis comments saying, “Hence, it is said, Deliver me in Your righteousness, and rescue me. The verse concludes, Incline Your ear unto me, and save me, if You but incline Your ear unto me, then I know that You heed, as is said, I love the Lord, because He heeds my voice and my supplication, because He has inclined His ear unto me (Tehillim / Psalms 116:1). And at once He saves me, as is said, When I was brought low, He saved me (Tehillim / Psalms 116:6). So, too, Hezekiah said, Incline Your ear, O Lord, and heed (Isaiah 37:17). And because You inclined Your ear, You did heed and save.” Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 2 concludes saying, “For You did say to Hezekiah, That which you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have listened (Isaiah 19:20). Why? Because You inclined Your ear. Hence, it is said, Incline Your ear unto me and save me.” In addition to these things, we also find the idea that maasim tovim (good works) causes the Lord to incline His ear to listen to us. The following Scriptures provide a basis for this:

Tehillim / Psalms 66:18

66:18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; (NASB)

Mishley / Proverbs 28:9

28:9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination (NASB)

1 Peter 3:7

3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (NASB)

James 1:5-7

1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 1:7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. (NASB).

Notice the consistency between the Ketuvim, Neviim, and the Apostolic Writings. The idea is that if we regard sin, if we hold onto sin, the Lord will not hear our prayers. Paul writes with this in mind when he told us that we are called to honor our wives so that our prayers will not be hindered and to have faith without doubting from James. The prayer without faith also goes unanswered. Again we find a consistent approach to understanding how we should be approaching our walk and faith before the Lord from both Judaism and the Apostolic Writings. The heart that is wholly devoted to the Lord, that is humble and prays, that performs Teshuva on a daily basis, and seeks the Lord’s help to do so by faith in the Messiah Yeshua, the Lord will help by the power of His Spirit to overcome this world and the sin that is in our lives.

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 3 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Be my strong habitation (Tehillim / Psalms 71:3) in my exile, my habitation whereupon I may continually resort.” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “In my exile, when I am in anguish, I go into a synagogue for prayer, and my prayer becomes a strong tower for me, as is said, The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it, and is safe (Mishley / Proverbs 18:10), and further, And it will come to pass, that whosoever will call on the name of the Lord will be delivered (Joel 3:5).” The question is “how does a synagogue and one’s prayer become a strong tower into which one may run and be safe?” We know that prayer is the service of the heart, and is one of the many ways that our love for the Lord God is expressed. Though one may pray in private, praying with a congregation has always traditionally been preferable in Judaism. Therefore, every effort should be made to join a congregation or group of people in prayer. The primary purpose of the synagogue is as a house of prayer (beit tefilah). Although much prayer takes place outside of the synagogue, group prayer is extremely important in Judaism. For example, certain prayers may only be said in the presence of a minyan, a group of at least 10 adults (10 men in Orthodox shuls).

The entire midrash on Tehillim / Psalms 71, Part 3 states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק עא סימן ג

ג היה לי לצור מעוז. בגלות. לבא תמיד. כיון שאני בצער בגלות, ואני נכנס בבתי כנסיות להתפלל, תהיה לי תפלתי מגדל עוז, שנאמר מגדל עז שם ה׳ (משלי יח י), וכתיב כל (הנקרא בשמי) [אשר יקרא בשם ה׳] ימלט (יואל ג ה). מכף מעול. זה ישמעאל. וחומץ. זו אדום, שגזירותיו שגזר עלי קשים כחומץ. כי אתה תקותי (וה׳) [ה׳ אלהים] מבטחי מנעורי. מימי אברהם יצחק ויעקב. עליך נסמכתי מבטן. בגלות מצרים, כשגזר פרעה כל הבן הילוד היאורה תשליכוהו (שמות א כב). ממעי אמי אתה גוזי. כמה שנאמר וכן נגוזו ועבר (נחום א יב), שהוצאתני בשלום, והוצאתני מיד מצרים. כמופת הייתי לרבים. כמה נסים עשית לי במצרים ובים ובמדבר, למה (כי אתה) [ואתה] מחסי עוז, לכך ימלא פי תהלתך.

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 3

3. Be my strong habitation (Tehillim / Psalms 71:3) in my exile, my habitation whereupon I may continually resort. In my exile, when I am in anguish, I go into a synagogue for prayer, and my prayer becomes a strong tower for me, as is said, The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it, and is safe (Mishley / Proverbs 18:10), and further, And it will come to pass, that whosoever will call on the name of the Lord will be delivered (Joel 3:5). Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man (Tehillim / Psalms 71:4), the unrighteous man is Ishmael; and the cruel man is Edom whose decrees enacted against me are as bitter as vinegar. For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth (Tehillim / Psalms 71:5), my trust from the times of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. By You have I been held up from birth (Tehillim / Psalms 71:6), that is, from the time during the banishment in Egypt which Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born you will cast into the river (Shemot / Exodus 1:22). You are He that cut me loose (gozi) from my mother’s womb (Tehillim / Psalms 71:6). Gozi is a form of the verb gazaz, cut down, which occurs in the verse, Even so will they cut down (nagozzu) (Nahum 1:12). You are He who cut me loose from my mother’s womb in safety, and You are also He who cut me loose from the power of Egypt. I am as a wonder unto many (Tehillim / Psalms 71:7). The congregation of Israel said, How many wonders did You perform for me in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness. Because You are my strong refuge, therefore, will my mouth be filled with Your praise (Tehillim / Psalms 71:8).

The rabbis say that one’s prayer may become a strong tower for safety. The concept that we find here, from a rabbinic perspective, is that prayer has the power to protect one from harm. The idea is that one may through intercession in prayer, build up a wall of protection through one’s prayers. Through prayer one places a protective cover of prayer, in the spirit realm, where the enemy is blocked from coming further to bring harm. According to the Scriptures, we also find this concept of the wall of protection that is established through prayer. For example, in Mishley / Proverbs 18:10, Solomon said, י מִגְדַּל-עֹז שֵׁם יְהֹוָה בּוֹ-יָרוּץ צַדִּיק וְנִשְֹגָּב: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Solomon says the מִגְדַּל-עֹז “strong tower” is שֵׁם יְהֹוָה “name of the LORD.” The Name of the Lord God is connected to His works and His Word. The Scriptures are given to us for the purpose or remembrance and to provide for us the expectation of a future hope. The Scriptures describe His nature, character, titles, perfections, and attributes, such as His faithfulness, goodness, grace, favor, power, and mercy. In the midst of the oppressions, disasters, difficulties, temptations, ill-treatment, severity, injustice, and inconsiderateness, that we go through in life, the “Name of the Lord,” the awesome power of God, His unfailing love for us and His righteousness that He gives to us becomes a boundary or a border around His people. In this context we are “safe” because we trust and believe the Lord is able to beset the enemy and set us far above the danger that may surround us. The Lord God has the power to cause us to go completely unnoticed if we were to talk straight through the camp of the enemy. In Tehillim / Psalm 18:2, David referred to God as “my high tower.” Here the Lord is pictured as a place to climb up into, a place of defense, high and lifted up, a refuge which is out of reach of the enemy. The idea here is that through prayer one becomes “unreachable” to the reproach of the enemy. In Tehillim / Psalm 61:3, David refers to the Lord again as a “strong tower from the enemy.” In addition, we are told that the Lord God’s protection is greater than mighty walls. The Lord’s help serves as walls where He Himself is the defender of His people in the place of walls. Isaiah 26:1 says 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: ‘We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security. (NASB) Isaiah 60:18 states, 60:18 ‘Violence will not be heard again in your land, Nor devastation or destruction within your borders; But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise. (NASB) The point here is that the Lord’s salvation function as walls of protection. Zechariah 2:5, describes the Lord as being a “wall of fire round about,” “For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.” Note how the Salvation of God, according to Yeshua the Messiah in Matthew 16:18, we are told that the gates of Hell will never be able to prevail against them, in parallel fashion to what is being taught by the rabbis, and what we find here in these few references to the Scriptures. The power of God to save us through our prayers denotes the supernatural protection that occurs when God’s people pray and yield to the calling of the Holy Spirit to pray which is to seek the Lord God our Father in heaven for help and salvation from our enemies.

The midrash continues saying the following:

Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man (Tehillim / Psalms 71:4), the unrighteous man is Ishmael; and the cruel man is Edom whose decrees enacted against me are as bitter as vinegar. For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth (Tehillim / Psalms 71:5), my trust from the times of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. By You have I been held up from birth (Tehillim / Psalms 71:6), that is, from the time during the banishment in Egypt which Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born you will cast into the river (Shemot / Exodus 1:22). You are He that cut me loose (gozi) from my mother’s womb (Tehillim / Psalms 71:6). Gozi is a form of the verb gazaz, cut down, which occurs in the verse, Even so will they cut down (nagozzu) (Nahum 1:12). You are He who cut me loose from my mother’s womb in safety, and You are also He who cut me loose from the power of Egypt.

The rabbis speak of God’s deliverance from the hand of the unrighteous man. The exile, is paralleled to the countries that have conquered and subjugated Israel, such as Rome, Greece, Egypt, and Babylon, and the men Ishmael and Edom (Esau) are often paralleled with these nations as we have seen in the previous midrashim. The idea here in the midrash is the Lord God performs miracles for His people, the Lord is the One who is involved in saving the child through the birthing process. The Lord cuts the child loose from his mother and sets him on the path to becoming the man He wants him to become. In a similar fashion, the Lord cut Israel loose from bondage in Egypt, and set them upon the path to become the people He had chosen. In like manner, He has set us free from the bondage of sin in the Messiah Yeshua to become the people that He has chosen, and the set us upon the path of righteousness and truth. Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 3 concludes saying, “I am as a wonder unto many (Tehillim / Psalms 71:7). The congregation of Israel said, How many wonders did You perform for me in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness. Because You are my strong refuge, therefore, will my mouth be filled with Your praise (Tehillim / Psalms 71:8).” We are a wonder to many by reason of How the Lord God in heaven has changed our lives. Because of this we can rest assured the Lord is our strong refuge and for this reason we are filled with praises to the Lord God in heaven. Halelluia!

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Cast me not off in the time of the old age (Tehillim / Psalms 71:9).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash (the פתיחתא, Petihta) states, “The congregation of Israel said, I have become old in my exile.” The context that is being placed here in the Dibur Hamathil and the homiletic introduction is that the nation of Israel has become old in their exile meaning they have been in exile a long time, and they are asking the Lord not to be forgotten (or cast off). In terms of the MT, the word “Exile” denotes the fate of the people of Israel who were carried into exile from the nation of Israel (the Promised Land) and from the Kingdom of Judah during the 6th century BCE. The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק עא סימן ד

ד אל תשליכני לעת זקנה. שזקנתי בגלות. ככלות כחי. שאין בי מעשים טובים, אל תעזבני. וכל המזמור מצער הגלות הזה. אלהים למדתני מנעורי. מימי אבותי אני מלומד בנסים. ועד הנה אגיד נפלאותיך. בכל עת וזמן ורגע. וגם עד זקנה ושיבה. עד סוף הגלות. לדור [לכל] יבוא. לבניי ולבני בניי, כמו שנאמר ביציאת מצרים, ולמען תספר באזני בנך ובן בנך (שמות י ב). תשוב תחייני, זו תחיית המתים. ומתהומות הארץ תשוב תעלני. זו עליית בלועים, שעתידין קרח וכל עדתו לעלות. ויש אומרים תשוב תחייני מן הגלות הדומה למיתה ולתהום, ואחר כך גם אני אודך [וגו׳].

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 4

4. Cast me not off in the time of the old age (Tehillim / Psalms 71:9). The congregation of Israel said, I have become old in my exile. When my strength fails, that is, when I lack good works, forsake me not. And all the rest of the Psalm deals with the anguish of the present exile. O God, You have trained me since my youth (Tehillim / Psalms 71:17). Ever since the days of our fathers we have trained to expect miracles. And hitherto have I declared Your wondrous works (Tehillim / Psalms 71:17) time after time in all seasons. Now, also when I am old and grey headed (Tehillim / Psalms 71:18), I will declare Your works until the end of exile. Until I have declared Your strength unto the next generation Your might to everyone that is to come, to my sons and to my son’s sons. The same thing is said in the account of the exodus from Egypt, That you may declare to the ears of your son and your son’s son what I have wrought upon Egypt. You will quicken me again (Tehillim / Psalms 71:20), that is, quicken me at the resurrection of the dead. The words, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth, allude to the bringing up of those me who are swallowed in the abyss, even Korach and his entire company will be brought up again. Some maintain that You will quicken me again means that You will bring me out of exile which is like death and the abyss. And thereupon I also will give thanks unto You, etc. (Tehillim / Psalms 71:22).

The rabbis continue their discussion on the Dibur Hamathil saying the following:

When my strength fails, that is, when I lack good works, forsake me not. And all the rest of the Psalm deals with the anguish of the present exile. O God, You have trained me since my youth (Tehillim / Psalms 71:17). Ever since the days of our fathers we have trained to expect miracles. And hitherto have I declared Your wondrous works (Tehillim / Psalms 71:17) time after time in all seasons. Now, also when I am old and grey headed (Tehillim / Psalms 71:18), I will declare Your works until the end of exile. Until I have declared Your strength unto the next generation Your might to everyone that is to come, to my sons and to my son’s sons. The same thing is said in the account of the exodus from Egypt, That you may declare to the ears of your son and your son’s son what I have wrought upon Egypt. You will quicken me again (Tehillim / Psalms 71:20), that is, quicken me at the resurrection of the dead. The words, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth, allude to the bringing up of those me who are swallowed in the abyss, even Korach and his entire company will be brought up again.

The rabbis comment “When my strength fails, that is, when I lack good works, forsake me not.” The idea here is when we get old, is it our strength that fails that cause one to lack good works? What does it mean to lack good works? Could this be the result of living a long life and becoming dulled to effects of sin in one’s life? How important is training ourselves to do good deeds, to live righteously, in light of the idea that as one gets older one has the capacity to be more sinful? The rabbis comment saying that the Lord God has trained David from his Youth (Tehillim / Psalms 71:17) and so the idea is that being raised up to know the Lord, one continues in the ways of the Lord and to expect the Lord to work in one’s life, to be trained to expect miracles. Because of the way the Lord has worked in our lives, He has given us a testimony to declare His wondrous works (Tehillim / Psalms 71:17) at all times, and when we are old, we will continue to declare His wonders and His working in our lives. The declaration of God’s good works is to be told to the generation to come, to our sons and daughters. They say, “The same thing is said in the account of the exodus from Egypt, That you may declare to the ears of your son and your son’s son what I have wrought upon Egypt. You will quicken me again (Tehillim / Psalms 71:20), that is, quicken me at the resurrection of the dead.” This concept of the resurrection is similar to what we had previously studied, when the people of Israel arrived at the mountain of Sinai, they died, and the Lord caused the dew of the resurrection to fall upon them and revived them (see Targum Pseudo Jonathan and Tehillim / Psalms 68:10 study). The stories from the Torah has the capacity of raising one from the dead. What the rabbis are trying to say is that the wonders of God, His mighty works, His miracles, His power, the testimony of Scripture has the power to convict the spirit, and to raise us up to obedience, to have a desire to draw near to the Lord, to obey His word, to live for Him, to know Him, and to expect great things from the Lord God in heaven. The rabbis say, “The words, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth, allude to the bringing up of those me who are swallowed in the abyss, even Korach and his entire company will be brought up again.” That even the great sin of Korach who went down to the grave alive, when the ground opened up according to Parashat Korach, the Lord has the power to raise even the entire company of Korach from the grave. What the rabbis are teaching here is being in sin, one is as dead before God. On the other hand, being in the Messiah Yeshua, is as one is alive before God.

Midrash Tehillim 71, Part 4 concludes saying, “Some maintain that You will quicken me again means that You will bring me out of exile which is like death and the abyss. And thereupon I also will give thanks unto You, etc. (Tehillim / Psalms 71:22).” The rabbis are paralleling the exile to being as one who is dead and in the abyss, in Sheol, a place of darkness and want. The testimony of the Scriptures provides us with a hopeful and future expectation of the Lord, of His greatness, His power to deliver, to save, and even to resurrect us from the dead both in this world and in the world to come, to restore us and to make us new. Our God is truly an awesome God! Halelluia! Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 71-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!