Tehillim / Psalms 78, Part 2, Mashiach and the Torah

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 78:1-72, the psalm opens saying, א מַשְֹכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי-פִי: A Maskil of Asaph. 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. (NASB) Notice how Asaph states “his Torah,” to listen, incline the ears to the words of his mouth. He says, ב אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי-קֶדֶם: ג אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵם וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ-לָנוּ: ד לֹא נְכַחֵד | מִבְּנֵיהֶם לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת יְהֹוָה וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה: 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, 78:3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 78:4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. (NASB) Why does he mention dark sayings? He speaks of not hiding what has happened in the past, but to instruct our children of how the Lord has worked in our lives. He continues saying, ה וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת | בְּיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָה שָֹם בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה אֶת-אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם: ו לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ | דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם: ז וְיָשִֹימוּ בֵאלֹהִים כִּסְלָם וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי-אֵל וּמִצְוֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ: 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, 78:6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 78:7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, (NASB) Notice how he says the Lord has placed a testimony in Jacob. What exactly is Asaph talking about? This testimony is something that will cause their faith to increase. He says, ח וְלֹא יִהְיוּ | כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה דּוֹר לֹא-הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא-נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת-אֵל רוּחוֹ: ט בְּנֵי-אֶפְרַיִם נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי-קָשֶׁת הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב: י לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹהִים וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת: יא וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם: 78:8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God. 78:9 The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, Yet they turned back in the day of battle. 78:10 They did not keep the covenant of God And refused to walk in His law; 78:11 They forgot His deeds And His miracles that He had shown them. (NASB) Asaph concludes his psalm saying, ע וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן: עא מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְֹרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ: עב וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם: 78:70 He also chose David His servant And took him from the sheepfolds; 78:71 From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. 78:72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands. (NASB) The Lord chose David, He also choses us to be His people.

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק עח

א מַשְֹכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי-פִי: ב אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי-קֶדֶם: ג אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵם וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ-לָנוּ: ד לֹא נְכַחֵד | מִבְּנֵיהֶם לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת יְהֹוָה וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה:

סםר טוביה פרק עח

א שכלא דרוח קודשא על ידוי דאסף אצית עמי אוריתי אצלון אודניכון למימרי פומי׃ ב אפתח במתל פומי אביעא חדון דמן לקדמין׃ ג די שמענן וידעינן להון ואבהתן תניאו לנא׃ ד לא נכסי מבניהון לדר בתראי משתעיין תושבחתא דיהוה ועושניה ופרישוותיה די עבד׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 78

78:1 συνέσεως τῷ Ασαφ προσέχετε λαός μου τὸν νόμον μου κλίνατε τὸ οὖς ὑμῶν εἰς τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ στόματός μου 78:2 ἀνοίξω ἐν παραβολαῖς τὸ στόμα μου φθέγξομαι προβλήματα ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς 78:3 ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν καὶ ἔγνωμεν αὐτὰ καὶ οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν διηγήσαντο ἡμῖν 78:4 οὐκ ἐκρύβη ἀπὸ τῶν τέκνων αὐτῶν εἰς γενεὰν ἑτέραν ἀπαγγέλλοντες τὰς αἰνέσεις τοῦ κυρίου καὶ τὰς δυναστείας αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ θαυμάσια αὐτοῦ ἃ ἐποίησεν

ה וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת | בְּיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָה שָֹם בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה אֶת-אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם: ו לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ | דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם: ז וְיָשִֹימוּ בֵאלֹהִים כִּסְלָם וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי-אֵל וּמִצְוֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ: ח וְלֹא יִהְיוּ | כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה דּוֹר לֹא-הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא-נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת-אֵל רוּחוֹ: ט בְּנֵי-אֶפְרַיִם נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי-קָשֶׁת הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב: י לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹהִים וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת: יא וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם: יב נֶגֶד אֲבוֹתָם עָשָֹה פֶלֶא בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְֹדֵה-צֹעַן: יג בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם וַיַּצֶּב-מַיִם כְּמוֹ-נֵד: יד וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם וְכָל-הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ: טו יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיַּשְׁקְ כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה: טז וַיּוֹצִא נוֹזְלִים מִסָּלַע וַיּוֹרֶד כַּנְּהָרוֹת מָיִם: יז וַיּוֹסִיפוּ עוֹד לַחֲטֹא-לוֹ לַמְרוֹת עֶלְיוֹן בַּצִּיָּה: יח וַיְנַסּוּ-אֵל בִּלְבָבָם לִשְׁאָל-אֹכֶל לְנַפְשָׁם: יט וַיְדַבְּרוּ בֵּאלֹהִים אָמְרוּ הֲיוּכַל אֵל לַעֲרֹךְ שֻׁלְחָן בַּמִּדְבָּר: כ הֵן הִכָּה-צוּר | וַיָּזוּבוּ מַיִם וּנְחָלִים יִשְׁטֹפוּ הֲגַם-לֶחֶם יוּכַל-תֵּת אִם-יָכִין שְׁאֵר לְעַמּוֹ:

ה ואקים סהדותא בדבית יעקב ואוריתא גזר בדבית ישראל די פקיד לאבהתן להודעותהון לבניהון׃ ו מן בגלל די ידעון דר בתראי בנין דמתילדין יקומון ויתנון לבניהון׃ ז וישוון באלהא סוברהון ולא יתנשון עובדי אלהא ופיקודוי ינטרון׃ ח ולא יהוון היך אבהתהון דר מסרהבן ומרגיז דר דלא מתקן לביה למריה ולא הות מהימנא באלהא רוחיה׃ ט כד הוו יתיבין במצרים איתרברבו בני אפרים מינינו קיצא וטעו ונפקו תלתין שנין קדם עד לא קיצא בזיני קרבא וגיברין נטלי קשתא אפיכו הפכו קדל ואיתקטלו ביום סידרי קרבא׃ י מטול דלא נטרו קיים אלהא ובאוריתיה סריבו להלכא׃ יא ואתנשיאו עובדוי עמא בית ישראל ופרישותיה די אחמי יתהון׃ יב קביל אבהתהון אברהם יצחק ויעקב ושיבטיא דאבהתהון עבד פרישן בארעא דמצרים חקל טאניס׃ יג בזע ימא בחוטרא דמשה רבהון ואעבירינון ואוקים מיא צרירין היך זיקא׃ יד ודברינון בעננא ביממא וכל ליליא בנהור אשא׃ טו בזע טורין טינרין בחוטריה דמשה רבהון במדברא ואשקי כד בתהומיא רברבן׃ טז ואפיק נוזליא דמיא מן כיפא ואוחית היך נהרין דנגדין מיא׃

78:5 καὶ ἀνέστησεν μαρτύριον ἐν Ιακωβ καὶ νόμον ἔθετο ἐν Ισραηλ ὅσα ἐνετείλατο τοῖς πατράσιν ἡμῶν τοῦ γνωρίσαι αὐτὰ τοῖς υἱοῖς αὐτῶν 78:6 ὅπως ἂν γνῷ γενεὰ ἑτέρα υἱοὶ οἱ τεχθησόμενοι καὶ ἀναστήσονται καὶ ἀπαγγελοῦσιν αὐτὰ τοῖς υἱοῖς αὐτῶν 78:7 ἵνα θῶνται ἐπὶ τὸν θεὸν τὴν ἐλπίδα αὐτῶν καὶ μὴ ἐπιλάθωνται τῶν ἔργων τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ ἐκζητήσουσιν 78:8 ἵνα μὴ γένωνται ὡς οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν γενεὰ σκολιὰ καὶ παραπικραίνουσα γενεά ἥτις οὐ κατηύθυνεν τὴν καρδίαν αὐτῆς καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστώθη μετὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτῆς 78:9 υἱοὶ Εφραιμ ἐντείνοντες καὶ βάλλοντες τόξοις ἐστράφησαν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ πολέμου 78:10 οὐκ ἐφύλαξαν τὴν διαθήκην τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἤθελον πορεύεσθαι 78:11 καὶ ἐπελάθοντο τῶν εὐεργεσιῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν θαυμασίων αὐτοῦ ὧν ἔδειξεν αὐτοῖς

כא לָכֵן | שָׁמַע יְהֹוָה וַיִּתְעַבָּר וְאֵשׁ נִשְּׂקָה בְיַעֲקֹב וְגַם-אַף עָלָה בְיִשְֹרָאֵל: כב כִּי לֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בֵּאלֹהִים וְלֹא בָטְחוּ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ: כג וַיְצַו שְׁחָקִים מִמָּעַל וְדַלְתֵי שָׁמַיִם פָּתָח: כד וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם מָן לֶאֱכֹל וּדְגַן שָׁמַיִם נָתַן לָמוֹ: כה לֶחֶם אַבִּירִים אָכַל אִישׁ צֵידָה שָׁלַח לָהֶם לָשֹבַע: כו יַסַּע קָדִים בַּשָּׁמָיִם וַיְנַהֵג בְּעֻזּוֹ תֵימָן: כז וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף: כח וַיַּפֵּל בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֵהוּ סָבִיב לְמִשְׁכְּנֹתָיו: כט וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְֹבְּעוּ מְאֹד וְתַאֲוָתָם יָבִא לָהֶם: ל לֹא-זָרוּ מִתַּאֲוָתָם עוֹד אָכְלָם בְּפִיהֶם: לא וְאַף אֱלֹהִים | עָלָה בָהֶם וַיַּהֲרֹג בְּמִשְׁמַנֵּיהֶם וּבַחוּרֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל הִכְרִיעַ: לב בְּכָל-זֹאת חָטְאוּ-עוֹד וְלֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בְּנִפְלְאוֹתָיו: לג וַיְכַל-בַּהֶבֶל יְמֵיהֶם וּשְׁנוֹתָם בַּבֶּהָלָה: לד אִם-הֲרָגָם וּדְרָשׁוּהוּ וְשָׁבוּ וְשִׁחֲרוּ-אֵל: לה וַיִּזְכְּרוּ כִּי-אֱלֹהִים צוּרָם וְאֵל עֶלְיוֹן גֹּאֲלָם: לו וַיְפַתּוּהוּ בְּפִיהֶם וּבִלְשׁוֹנָם יְכַזְּבוּ-לוֹ:

יז ואוסיפו תוב עוד למיחטי קדמוי למרגז קדם עילאה במדברא צחי במדבר צהי׃ יח ונסיאו אלהא בליבהון למישאל אוכלא מיכלא לנפשיהון׃ יט ואיתרעמו קדם יהוה אלהא אמרו האית יוכלא קדם אלהא ייי לסדרא פתורא במדברא׃ כ הא כבר מחא בטינר ודיבו מיא ונחליא נגדין הלחוד לחמא יכיל למיתן אם יתכן מזונא לעמיה׃ כא בכן שמיע קדם אלהא ייי ורגיז ואישתא איתסקת בדבית יעקב ולחוד תקוף רוגזא סליק בישראל׃ כב ארום לא הימינו באלהא ולא איתרחיצו בפורקניה׃ כג ופקיד שחקי מלעיל ודשי שמיא פתח׃ כד ואחית עליהון עילויהון מנא למיכל ועבור שמיא יהב להון׃ כה מזון דנחת ממדור מלאכיא אכלו בני נשא זוודין שלח יהב להון לשבעא׃ כו אטיל רוח קידומא בשמיא ודבר בעושניה רוח דרומא׃ כז ואחית עליהון עילויהון היך כעפרא בסרא והיך חלא דימא עופא דפרח׃ כח ואפיל ואשרי במצע משיריתיה חזור חזור למשכנוי׃ כט ואכלו ושבעו לחדא וריגוגיהון איתי להון׃ל לא זרו מן ריגוגיהון עד כדין כדון מיכלהון בפומהון׃ לא ורוגזא דאלהא סליקת בהון וקטיל בגיבריהון ועולימי ישראל אחמיט אחמטו׃ לב בכל דא חבו תוב ולא הימינו בפרישותוי׃ לג ושיצי בלמא יומיהון ושנתיהון בבהולתא׃ לד בזמן דקטלינון תייבין ותבעו יתיה ויתובון ויצלון קדם אלהא׃ לה ואדכרו ארום אלהא תקיפיהון ואלהא עילאה פרקינון׃ לו ושרגיגון ליה בפומהון ובלישנהון מכדבין ליה בעידן צלותהון׃

78:12 ἐναντίον τῶν πατέρων αὐτῶν ἃ ἐποίησεν θαυμάσια ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ ἐν πεδίῳ Τάνεως 78:13 διέρρηξεν θάλασσαν καὶ διήγαγεν αὐτούς ἔστησεν ὕδατα ὡσεὶ ἀσκὸν 78:14 καὶ ὡδήγησεν αὐτοὺς ἐν νεφέλῃ ἡμέρας καὶ ὅλην τὴν νύκτα ἐν φωτισμῷ πυρός 78:15 διέρρηξεν πέτραν ἐν ἐρήμῳ καὶ ἐπότισεν αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐν ἀβύσσῳ πολλῇ 78:16 καὶ ἐξήγαγεν ὕδωρ ἐκ πέτρας καὶ κατήγαγεν ὡς ποταμοὺς ὕδατα 78:17 καὶ προσέθεντο ἔτι τοῦ ἁμαρτάνειν αὐτῷ παρεπίκραναν τὸν ὕψιστον ἐν ἀνύδρῳ 78:18 καὶ ἐξεπείρασαν τὸν θεὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν τοῦ αἰτῆσαι βρώματα ταῖς ψυχαῖς αὐτῶν 78:19 καὶ κατελάλησαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ εἶπαν μὴ δυνήσεται ὁ θεὸς ἑτοιμάσαι τράπεζαν ἐν ἐρήμῳ 78:20 ἐπεὶ ἐπάταξεν πέτραν καὶ ἐρρύησαν ὕδατα καὶ χείμαρροι κατεκλύσθησαν μὴ καὶ ἄρτον δύναται δοῦναι ἢ ἑτοιμάσαι τράπεζαν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ

לז וְלִבָּם לֹא-נָכוֹן עִמּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנוּ בִּבְרִיתוֹ: לח וְהוּא רַחוּם | יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ וְלֹא-יָעִיר כָּל-חֲמָתוֹ: לט וַיִּזְכֹּר כִּי-בָשָֹר הֵמָּה רוּחַ הוֹלֵךְ וְלֹא יָשׁוּב: מ כַּמָּה יַמְרוּהוּ בַמִּדְבָּר יַעֲצִיבוּהוּ בִּישִׁימוֹן: מא וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיְנַסּוּ אֵל וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל הִתְווּ: מב לֹא-זָכְרוּ אֶת-יָדוֹ יוֹם אֲשֶׁר-פָּדָם מִנִּי-צָר: מג אֲשֶׁר-שָֹם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתוֹתָיו וּמוֹפְתָיו בִּשְֹדֵה-צֹעַן: מד וַיַּהֲפֹךְ לְדָם יְאֹרֵיהֶם וְנֹזְלֵיהֶם בַּל-יִשְׁתָּיוּן: מה יְשַׁלַּח בָּהֶם עָרֹב וַיֹּאכְלֵם וּצְפַרְדֵּעַ וַתַּשְׁחִיתֵם: מו וַיִּתֵּן לֶחָסִיל יְבוּלָם וִיגִיעָם לָאַרְבֶּה: מז יַהֲרֹג בַּבָּרָד גַּפְנָם וְשִׁקְמוֹתָם בַּחֲנָמַל: מח וַיַּסְגֵּר לַבָּרָד בְּעִירָם וּמִקְנֵיהֶם לָרְשָׁפִים: מט יְשַׁלַּח-בָּם | חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים: נ יְפַלֵּס נָתִיב לְאַפּוֹ לֹא-חָשַֹךְ מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם וְחַיָּתָם לַדֶּבֶר הִסְגִּיר: נא וַיַּךְ כָּל-בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי-חָם: נב וַיַּסַּע כַּצֹּאן עַמּוֹ וַיְנַהֲגֵם כָּעֵדֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר: נג וַיַּנְחֵם לָבֶטַח וְלֹא פָחָדוּ וְאֶת-אוֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּסָּה הַיָּם: נד וַיְבִיאֵם אֶל-גְּבוּל קָדְשׁוֹ הַר-זֶה קָנְתָה יְמִינוֹ:

לז מטול דלבהון לא מהימן מכוון עימיה ולא הימינו בקיימיה׃ לח והוא רחמנא מכפר עוייתהון ולא מחבל יתהון ומסגי למיתב מן רוגזיה ולא יוחי בהון כל חימתיה ריתחיה׃ לט ודכיר ארום בני בסרא הינון אינון רוחא דאזיל ולא תאיב אתיב׃ מ כמה יסרבון ליה במדברא ירגזון קדמוי באתר צדיא׃ מא ותבו ונסיאו קדם אלהא וקדישא דישראל איתיו תיוהא׃ מב לא אידכרו ית ניסא דידיה ויומא דפרקינון מן מעיקא׃ מג דשוי במצרים אתוהי ותימהוי בחקל טאניס׃ לד והפך לדמא לאדם אריתיהון ונוזליהון לא שתן מנהון׃ מה יגרי בהון עירבובי חיות ברא וגמיר יתהון ועורדעניא ויחביל יתהון׃ מו ויהב ומסר לזחלא עיבוריהון וליעותהון לגובאי׃ מז וקליף בברדא גופניהון ושקמתהון בכרזובא׃ מח ומסר לברדא בעירהון וגיתיהון לרישפין די נור׃ מט יגרי בהון מאתן וחמשין מחן בתקוף רוגזיה בריתחא ובתריכותא ובעקא דמשתלחן בעידן בידיהון דאזגדין דעבדין בישין׃ נ יטייל בכביש תוקפיה לא מנע ממותא נפשהון ובעירהון לממותנא מסר׃ נא וקטל כל בוכרא במצרים שירוי שיורי צעריהון במשכניהון דחם׃ נב ואטיל היך ענא עמיה ודברינון היך ענא עדרא רעיא במדברא׃ נג ואשרינון לרוחצן ולא דחלין וית בעלי דבביהון חפא ימא׃ נד ואעלינון לתחום אתר בית מקדשיה טור דין די קנת ימיניה׃

78:21 διὰ τοῦτο ἤκουσεν κύριος καὶ ἀνεβάλετο καὶ πῦρ ἀνήφθη ἐν Ιακωβ καὶ ὀργὴ ἀνέβη ἐπὶ τὸν Ισραηλ 78:22 ὅτι οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν ἐν τῷ θεῷ οὐδὲ ἤλπισαν ἐπὶ τὸ σωτήριον αὐτοῦ 78:23 καὶ ἐνετείλατο νεφέλαις ὑπεράνωθεν καὶ θύρας οὐρανοῦ ἀνέῳξεν 78:24 καὶ ἔβρεξεν αὐτοῖς μαννα φαγεῖν καὶ ἄρτον οὐρανοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς 78:25 ἄρτον ἀγγέλων ἔφαγεν ἄνθρωπος ἐπισιτισμὸν ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοῖς εἰς πλησμονήν 78:26 ἀπῆρεν νότον ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἐπήγαγεν ἐν τῇ δυναστείᾳ αὐτοῦ λίβα 78:27 καὶ ἔβρεξεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς ὡσεὶ χοῦν σάρκας καὶ ὡσεὶ ἄμμον θαλασσῶν πετεινὰ πτερωτά 78:28 καὶ ἐπέπεσον εἰς μέσον τῆς παρεμβολῆς αὐτῶν κύκλῳ τῶν σκηνωμάτων αὐτῶν 78:29 καὶ ἐφάγοσαν καὶ ἐνεπλήσθησαν σφόδρα καὶ τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν αὐτῶν ἤνεγκεν αὐτοῖς 78:30 οὐκ ἐστερήθησαν ἀπὸ τῆς ἐπιθυμίας αὐτῶν ἔτι τῆς βρώσεως αὐτῶν οὔσης ἐν τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν

נה וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם | גּוֹיִם וַיַּפִּילֵם בְּחֶבֶל נַחֲלָה וַיַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם שִׁבְטֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: נו וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת-אֱלֹהִים עֶלְיוֹן וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ: נז וַיִּסֹּגוּ וַיִּבְגְּדוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם נֶהְפְּכוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה: נח וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ בְּבָמוֹתָם וּבִפְסִילֵיהֶם יַקְנִיאוּהוּ: נט שָׁמַע אֱלֹהִים וַיִּתְעַבָּר וַיִּמְאַס מְאֹד בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל: ס וַיִּטּשׁ מִשְׁכַּן שִׁלוֹ אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן בָּאָדָם: סא וַיִּתֵּן לַשְּׁבִי עֻזּוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְיַד-צָר: סב וַיַּסְגֵּר לַחֶרֶב עַמּוֹ וּבְנַחֲלָתוֹ הִתְעַבָּר: סג בַּחוּרָיו אָכְלָה-אֵשׁ וּבְתוּלֹתָיו לֹא הוּלָּלוּ: סד כֹּהֲנָיו בַּחֶרֶב נָפָלוּ וְאַלְמְנֹתָיו לֹא תִבְכֶּינָה: סה וַיִּקַץ כְּיָשֵׁן | אֲדֹנָי כְּגִבּוֹר מִתְרוֹנֵן מִיָּיִן: סו וַיַּךְ-צָרָיו אָחוֹר חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם נָתַן לָמוֹ: סז וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף וּבְשֵׁבֶט אֶפְרַיִם לֹא בָחָר: סח וַיִּבְחַר אֶת-שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה אֶת-הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב: סט וַיִּבֶן כְּמוֹ-רָמִים מִקְדָּשׁוֹ כְּאֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ לְעוֹלָם: ע וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן: עא מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְֹרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ: עב וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם:

נה ותריך מן קדמיהון עמיא עממיא ואשרי יתהון בעדב אחסנתיה ואשרי במשכנהון שבטיא דישראל׃ נו ואנסיאו וארגיזו קדם אלהא עילאה וסהידותיה לא נטרו׃ נז וזורו וארשיעו היך אבהתהון אתהפיכו היך קשתא דרמיא גיררין׃ נח וארגיזו קדמוי בנסכיהון ובפסיליהון ובצילמוניהון אקנון יתיה׃ נט שמיע קדם אלהא ורגז ורחקת נפשיה לחדא בישראל׃ ס ושבק משכנא דשילו משכן די שרת תמן שכינתיה בגו בני נשא׃ סא ומסר לשיביתא אורייתיה ושיבהוריה ביד מעיקא׃ סב ומסר לקטלין בחרבא עמיה ובאחסנתיה ארגיז׃ סג עולימוהי אכלת אשתא ובתולתיה לא אשתבחן משבחן׃ סד כהנוי בקטלא דחרבא יפלון וארמלתוי לא ספיקן ספיקו דתבכוון׃ ת׳׳ בעידן דשבו פלשתאי ארונא דיהוה בחרבא נפלו כהני שילו חפני ופנחס ובעידן דבשרו נשוהי לא בכיין ארום מיתו אוף אינון בהדא יומא׃ סה ואיתער היך דמיך יהוה היך גברא גיברא דמתפקח מן חמרא׃ סו ומחא מעיקוי בטחוריא באחוריהון קלנא דעלמא יהב להון׃ סז ורחיק במשכנא דפריס על תחומיה דיוסף ובשבט אפרים לא רעא׃ סח ואיתרעי ית שבט יהודה ית טורא דציון די רחים׃ סט ובנא היך קרנא דרימנא מקדשיה מעתד היך ארעא דיסדה לעלמי עלמין׃ ע ואתרעי בדוד עבדיה ודבריה מן עדריא דענא׃ עא ומן בתר מיינקן אייתיה למשלט ביעקב עמיה ובישראל אחסנתיה׃ עב ומלך עליהון עילויהון בשלימות ליבביה ובסוכלתנות אידוי ידברינון׃

78:31 καὶ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀνέβη ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν ἐν τοῖς πίοσιν αὐτῶν καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς τοῦ Ισραηλ συνεπόδισεν 78:32 ἐν πᾶσιν τούτοις ἥμαρτον ἔτι καὶ οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν ἐν τοῖς θαυμασίοις αὐτοῦ 78:33 καὶ ἐξέλιπον ἐν ματαιότητι αἱ ἡμέραι αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ ἔτη αὐτῶν μετὰ σπουδῆς 78:34 ὅταν ἀπέκτεννεν αὐτούς ἐξεζήτουν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐπέστρεφον καὶ ὤρθριζον πρὸς τὸν θεὸν 78:35 καὶ ἐμνήσθησαν ὅτι ὁ θεὸς βοηθὸς αὐτῶν ἐστιν καὶ ὁ θεὸς ὁ ὕψιστος λυτρωτὴς αὐτῶν ἐστιν 78:36 καὶ ἠπάτησαν αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν καὶ τῇ γλώσσῃ αὐτῶν ἐψεύσαντο αὐτῷ 78:37 ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν οὐκ εὐθεῖα μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ οὐδὲ ἐπιστώθησαν ἐν τῇ διαθήκῃ αὐτοῦ 78:38 αὐτὸς δέ ἐστιν οἰκτίρμων καὶ ἱλάσεται ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις αὐτῶν καὶ οὐ διαφθερεῖ καὶ πληθυνεῖ τοῦ ἀποστρέψαι τὸν θυμὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐχὶ ἐκκαύσει πᾶσαν τὴν ὀργὴν αὐτοῦ

78:39 καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὅτι σάρξ εἰσιν πνεῦμα πορευόμενον καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστρέφον 78:40 ποσάκις παρεπίκραναν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ παρώργισαν αὐτὸν ἐν γῇ ἀνύδρῳ 78:41 καὶ ἐπέστρεψαν καὶ ἐπείρασαν τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὸν ἅγιον τοῦ Ισραηλ παρώξυναν 78:42 οὐκ ἐμνήσθησαν τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ ἡμέρας ἧς ἐλυτρώσατο αὐτοὺς ἐκ χειρὸς θλίβοντος 78:43 ὡς ἔθετο ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ τὰ σημεῖα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ τέρατα αὐτοῦ ἐν πεδίῳ Τάνεως 78:44 καὶ μετέστρεψεν εἰς αἷμα τοὺς ποταμοὺς αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ ὀμβρήματα αὐτῶν ὅπως μὴ πίωσιν 78:45 ἐξαπέστειλεν εἰς αὐτοὺς κυνόμυιαν καὶ κατέφαγεν αὐτούς καὶ βάτραχον καὶ διέφθειρεν αὐτούς 78:46 καὶ ἔδωκεν τῇ ἐρυσίβῃ τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῶν καὶ τοὺς πόνους αὐτῶν τῇ ἀκρίδι 78:47 ἀπέκτεινεν ἐν χαλάζῃ τὴν ἄμπελον αὐτῶν καὶ τὰς συκαμίνους αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ πάχνῃ 78:48 καὶ παρέδωκεν εἰς χάλαζαν τὰ κτήνη αὐτῶν καὶ τὴν ὕπαρξιν αὐτῶν τῷ πυρί 78:49 ἐξαπέστειλεν εἰς αὐτοὺς ὀργὴν θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ θυμὸν καὶ ὀργὴν καὶ θλῖψιν ἀποστολὴν δ ἀγγέλων πονηρῶν 78:50 ὡδοποίησεν τρίβον τῇ ὀργῇ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατο ἀπὸ θανάτου τῶν ψυχῶν αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ κτήνη αὐτῶν εἰς θάνατον συνέκλεισεν 78:51 καὶ ἐπάταξεν πᾶν πρωτότοκον ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἀπαρχὴν τῶν πόνων αὐτῶν ἐν τοῖς σκηνώμασι Χαμ 78:52 καὶ ἀπῆρεν ὡς πρόβατα τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνήγαγεν αὐτοὺς ὡς ποίμνιον ἐν ἐρήμῳ 78:53 καὶ ὡδήγησεν αὐτοὺς ἐν ἐλπίδι καὶ οὐκ ἐδειλίασαν καὶ τοὺς ἐχθροὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάλυψεν θάλασσα 78:54 καὶ εἰσήγαγεν αὐτοὺς εἰς ὅριον ἁγιάσματος αὐτοῦ ὄρος τοῦτο ὃ ἐκτήσατο ἡ δεξιὰ αὐτοῦ 78:55 καὶ ἐξέβαλεν ἀπὸ προσώπου αὐτῶν ἔθνη καὶ ἐκληροδότησεν αὐτοὺς ἐν σχοινίῳ κληροδοσίας καὶ κατεσκήνωσεν ἐν τοῖς σκηνώμασιν αὐτῶν τὰς φυλὰς τοῦ Ισραηλ 78:56 καὶ ἐπείρασαν καὶ παρεπίκραναν τὸν θεὸν τὸν ὕψιστον καὶ τὰ μαρτύρια αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐφυλάξαντο 78:57 καὶ ἀπέστρεψαν καὶ ἠσυνθέτησαν καθὼς καὶ οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν καὶ μετεστράφησαν εἰς τόξον στρεβλὸν 78:58 καὶ παρώργισαν αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς βουνοῖς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐν τοῖς γλυπτοῖς αὐτῶν παρεζήλωσαν αὐτόν 78:59 ἤκουσεν ὁ θεὸς καὶ ὑπερεῖδεν καὶ ἐξουδένωσεν σφόδρα τὸν Ισραηλ 78:60 καὶ ἀπώσατο τὴν σκηνὴν Σηλωμ σκήνωμα αὐτοῦ οὗ κατεσκήνωσεν ἐν ἀνθρώποις 78:61 καὶ παρέδωκεν εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν τὴν ἰσχὺν αὐτῶν καὶ τὴν καλλονὴν αὐτῶν εἰς χεῖρας ἐχθροῦ 78:62 καὶ συνέκλεισεν εἰς ῥομφαίαν τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ ὑπερεῖδεν 78:63 τοὺς νεανίσκους αὐτῶν κατέφαγεν πῦρ καὶ αἱ παρθένοι αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐπενθήθησαν 78:64 οἱ ἱερεῖς αὐτῶν ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ ἔπεσαν καὶ αἱ χῆραι αὐτῶν οὐ κλαυσθήσονται 78:65 καὶ ἐξηγέρθη ὡς ὁ ὑπνῶν κύριος ὡς δυνατὸς κεκραιπαληκὼς ἐξ οἴνου 78:66 καὶ ἐπάταξεν τοὺς ἐχθροὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω ὄνειδος αἰώνιον ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς 78:67 καὶ ἀπώσατο τὸ σκήνωμα Ιωσηφ καὶ τὴν φυλὴν Εφραιμ οὐκ ἐξελέξατο 78:68 καὶ ἐξελέξατο τὴν φυλὴν Ιουδα τὸ ὄρος τὸ Σιων ὃ ἠγάπησεν 78:69 καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν ὡς μονοκερώτων τὸ ἁγίασμα αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ γῇ ἐθεμελίωσεν αὐτὴν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα 78:70 καὶ ἐξελέξατο Δαυιδ τὸν δοῦλον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνέλαβεν αὐτὸν ἐκ τῶν ποιμνίων τῶν προβάτων 78:71 ἐξόπισθεν τῶν λοχευομένων ἔλαβεν αὐτὸν ποιμαίνειν Ιακωβ τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ Ισραηλ τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ 78:72 καὶ ἐποίμανεν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ ἀκακίᾳ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν ταῖς συνέσεσι τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ ὡδήγησεν αὐτούς

Tehillim / Psalms 78

A Maskil of Asaph. 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, 78:3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 78:4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, 78:6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 78:7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, 78:8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God. 78:9 The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, Yet they turned back in the day of battle. 78:10 They did not keep the covenant of God And refused to walk in His law; 78:11 They forgot His deeds And His miracles that He had shown them. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 78

78:1 A teaching of the Holy Spirit, composed by Asaph. Hear, O my people, my Torah; incline your ears to the utterances of my mouth. 78:2 I will open my mouth in a proverb; I will declare riddles from ancient times. 78:3 Which we have heard and known, and [which] our fathers told to us. 78:4 We will not hide it from their sons, recounting the psalms of the Lord to a later generation, and his might, and the wonders that he performed. 78:5 And he established a witness among those of the house of Jacob, and he decreed a Torah among those of the house of Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their sons. 78:6 So that another generation, sons still to be born, should know; they will arise and tell it to their children. 78:7 And they will place their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, and they will keep his commandments. 78:8 And they will not be like their fathers, a stubborn and vexing generation, a generation whose heart was not firm with its lord, and its spirit was not faithful to God. 78:9 While they were living in Egypt, the sons of Ephraim became arrogant; they calculated the appointed time, and erred; they went out thirty years before the appointed time, with weapons of war, and warriors bearing bows. They turned around and were killed on the day of battle. 78:10 Because they did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in his Torah. 78:11 And the people, the house of Israel, forgot his deeds and his wonders that he showed them. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 78

A Psalm of instruction for Asaph. 78:1 Give heed, O my people, to my law: incline your ear to the words of my mouth. 78:2 I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter dark sayings which have been from the beginning. 78:3 All which we have heard and known, and our fathers have declared to us. 78:4 They were not hid from their children to a second generations; the fathers declaring the praises of the Lord, and his mighty acts, and his wonders which he wrought. 78:5 And he raised up a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, to make it known to their children: 78:6 that another generation might know, even the sons which should be born; and they should arise and declare them to their children. 78:7 That they might set their hope on God, and not forget the works of God, but diligently seek his commandments. 78:8 That they should not be as their fathers, a perverse and provoking generation; a generation which set not its heart aright, and its spirit was not steadfast with God. 78:9 The children of Ephraim, bending and shooting with the bow, turned back in the day of battle. 78:10 They kept not the covenant of God, and would not walk in his law. 78:11 And they forgot his benefits, and his miracles which he had shewed them; (LXX)

Tehillim / Psalms 78

78:12 He wrought wonders before their fathers In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. 78:13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through, And He made the waters stand up like a heap. 78:14 Then He led them with the cloud by day And all the night with a light of fire. 78:15 He split the rocks in the wilderness And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths. 78:16 He brought forth streams also from the rock And caused waters to run down like rivers. 78:17 Yet they still continued to sin against Him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert. 78:18 And in their heart they put God to the test By asking food according to their desire. 78:19 Then they spoke against God; They said, ‘Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? 78:20 ‘Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out, And streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?’ 78:21 Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; And a fire was kindled against Jacob And anger also mounted against Israel, 78:22 Because they did not believe in God And did not trust in His salvation. 78:23 Yet He commanded the clouds above And opened the doors of heaven; (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 78

78:12 In front of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes of their ancestors, he performed wonders in the land of Egypt, the field of Tanis. 78:13 He split the sea with the staff of Moses their leader, and made them to pass through, and he made the water stand up, fastened like a skin bottle. 78:14 And he guided them with the cloud by day, and all of the night with the light of fire. 78:15 He split mountains with the staff of Moses their leader in the wilderness; and he gave drink as if from the great deeps. 78:16 And he brought forth streams of water from the rock, and he made water come down like flowing rivers. 78:17 But they continued still to sin before him, to provoke anger in the presence of the Most High in the dry wilderness. 78:18 And they tempted God in their heart, to ask for food for their souls. 78:19 And they complained in the presence of the Lord; they said, “Is there the ability in the presence of God to set a table in the wilderness?” 78:20 Behold, he already has smitten a rock, and water gushed out, and streams flowed; is he also able to give bread, or to arrange food for his people? 78:21. Then it was heard in the presence of God, and he was angry, and fire was made to come up on those of the house of Jacob, and also harsh anger came up on Israel. 78:22 For they did not believe in God, and did not put their trust in his redemption. 78:23 And he commanded the skies above and he opened the windows of heaven. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 78

78:12 the miracles which he wrought before their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the plain of Tanes. 78:13 He clave the sea, and led them through: he made the waters to stand as in a bottle. 78:14 And he guided them with a cloud by day, and all the night with a light of fire. 78:15 he clave a rock in the wilderness, and made them drink as in a great deep. 78:16 And he brought water out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down as rivers. 78:17 And they sinned yet more against him; they provoked the Most High in the wilderness. 78:18 And they tempted God in their hearts, in asking meat for the desire of their souls. 78:19 They spoke also against God, and said, Will God be able to prepare a table in the wilderness? 78:20 Forasmuch as he smote the rock, and the waters flowed, and the torrents ran abundantly; will he be able also to give bread, or prepare a table for his people? 78:21 Therefore the Lord heard, and was provoked: and fire was kindled in Jacob, and wrath went up against Israel. 78:22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation. 78:23 Yet he commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 78:24 and rained upon them manna to eat, and gave them the bread of heaven. 78:25 Man ate angels’ bread; he sent them provision to the full. (LXX)

Tehillim / Psalms 78

78:24 He rained down manna upon them to eat And gave them food from heaven. 78:25 Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance. 78:26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens And by His power He directed the south wind. 78:27 When He rained meat upon them like the dust, Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas, 78:28 Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their dwellings. 78:29 So they ate and were well filled, And their desire He gave to them. 78:30 Before they had satisfied their desire, While their food was in their mouths, 78:31 The anger of God rose against them And killed some of their stoutest ones, And subdued the choice men of Israel. 78:32 In spite of all this they still sinned And did not believe in His wonderful works. 78:33 So He brought their days to an end in futility And their years in sudden terror. 78:34 When He killed them, then they sought Him, And returned and searched diligently for God; 78:35 And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. 78:36 But they deceived Him with their mouth And lied to Him with their tongue. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 78

78:24 And he made descend on them manna to eat, and he gave them the grain of heaven. 78:25 The sons of men ate food that came down from the abode of angels; he sent them provisions unto satiety. 78:26 He made the east wind move in the heavens, and guided the south wind by his strength. 78:27 And he made flesh descend on them like dust, and flying fowl like the sand of the sea. 78:28 And he made them fall in the midst of his camp, round about its tents. 78:29 And they ate and were very satisfied; so he brought to them their craving. 78:30 They did not turn from their craving, still their food was in their mouth 78:31 And the anger of God went up on them, and he slew some of their champions, and he subdued the young men of Israel. 78:32 For all this they sinned again, and did not believe in his wonders. 78:33 And he ended their days with nothingness, and their years with disaster. 78:34 Whenever he killed them, they sought him, repenting; and they will repent and pray in the presence of God. 78:35 And they remembered, for God is their strength, and the Most High God is their redeemer. 78:36 And they enticed him with their mouth, and they lie to him with their tongue. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 78

78:26 He removed the south wind from heaven; and by his might he brought in the south-west wind. 78:27 And he rained upon them flesh like dust, and feathered birds like the sand of the seas. 78:28 And they fell into the midst of their camp, round about their tents. 78:29 So they ate, and were completely filled; and he gave them their desire. 78:30 They were not disappointed of their desire: but when their food was yet in their mouth, 78:31 then the indignation of God rose up against them, and slew the fattest of them, and overthrew the choice men of Israel. 78:32 In the midst of all this they sinned yet more, and believed not his miracles. 78:33 And their days were consumed in vanity, and their years with anxiety. 78:34 When he slew them, they sought him: and they returned and called betimes upon God. 78:35 And they remembered that God was their helper, and the most high God was their redeemer. 78:36 Yet they loved him only with their mouth, and lied to him with their tongue. 78:37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant. (LXX)

Tehillim / Psalms 78

78:37 For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. 78:38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath. 78:39 Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return. 78:40 How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness And grieved Him in the desert! 78:41 Again and again they tempted God, And pained the Holy One of Israel. 78:42 They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary, 78:43 When He performed His signs in Egypt And His marvels in the field of Zoan, 78:44 And turned their rivers to blood, And their streams, they could not drink. 78:45 He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them, And frogs which destroyed them. 78:46 He gave also their crops to the grasshopper And the product of their labor to the locust. 78:47 He destroyed their vines with hailstones And their sycamore trees with frost. 78:48 He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones And their herds to bolts of lightning. 78:49 He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 78

78:37 Because their heart was not faithful to him, and they did not believe in his covenant. 78:38 But he is merciful, atoning for their sins, and does not destroy them; and he frequently turns from his anger, and he will not hasten all his wrath against them. 78:39 And he remembers that they are sons of flesh, a breath that goes away and does not return. 78:40 How they would rebel against him in the wilderness! They would cause anger in his presence in a desolate place. 78:41 And they turned and tempted God, and brought regret to the Holy One of Israel. 78:42 They did not remember his miracle, and the day that he redeemed them from the oppressor. 78:43 Who set out his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Tanis. 78:44 And he turned their canals to blood, and they could not drink from their streams. 78:45 He will incite against them a mass of wild animals, and exterminate them; likewise frogs, and he will slaughter them. 78:46 And he gave and handed over their grain to the grasshopper, and their toil to the locust. 78:47 And he stripped their vines with hail, and their sycamores with locusts. 78:48 And he handed over their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to sparks of fire. 78:49 He will incite against them two hundred and fifty plagues in the harshness of his anger, in wrath, and in hostility, and in woe; which are sent in due time by evil messengers. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 78

78:38 But he is compassionate, and will forgive their sins, and will not destroy them: yea, he will frequently turn away his wrath, and will not kindle all his anger. 78:39 And he remembered that they are flesh; a wind that passes away, and returns not. 78:40 How often did they provoke him in the wilderness, and anger him in a dry land! 78:41 Yea, they turned back, and tempted God, and provoked the Holy One of Israel. 78:42 They remembered not his hand, the day in which he delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. 78:43 How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Tanes: 78:44 and had changed their rivers into blood; and their streams, that they should not drink. 78:45 He sent against them the dog-fly, and it devoured them; and the frog, and it spoiled them. 78:46 And he gave their fruit to the canker worm, and their labours to the locust. 78:47 He killed their vines with hail, and their sycamores with frost. 78:48 And he gave up their cattle to hail, and their substance to the fire. 78:49 He sent out against them the fury of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and affliction, a message by evil angels. (LXX)

Tehillim / Psalms 78

78:50 He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave over their life to the plague, 78:51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham. 78:52 But He led forth His own people like sheep And guided them in the wilderness like a flock; 78:53 He led them safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea engulfed their enemies. 78:54 So He brought them to His holy land, To this hill country which His right hand had gained. 78:55 He also drove out the nations before them And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents. 78:56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God And did not keep His testimonies, 78:57 But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers; They turned aside like a treacherous bow. 78:58 For they provoked Him with their high places And aroused His jealousy with their graven images. 78:59 When God heard, He was filled with wrath And greatly abhorred Israel; 78:60 So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh, The tent which He had pitched among men, 78:61 And gave up His strength to captivity And His glory into the hand of the adversary. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 78

78:50 He will travel on the path of his harshness, not keeping their soul from death, and handing over their cattle to the plague. 78:51 And he slew all the firstborn in Egypt, the beginning of their sorrow in the tents of Ham. 78:52 And he led his people like a flock, and guided them like a sheep flock in the wilderness. 78:53 And he settled them securely, and they did not fear; and the sea covered their enemies. 78:54 And he brought them into the territory of the site of the Temple, the same mountain that his right hand created. 78:55 And he drove out the Gentiles before them, and settled them in the lot of his inheritance, and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents. 78:56 But they tempted and provoked in the presence of God Most High, and they did not keep his testimony. 78:57 And they relapsed and did evil like their fathers; they became bent like a bow that shoots arrows. 78:58 And they caused anger in his presence with their libations; and they made him jealous with their idols and images. 78:59 It was heard in the presence of God, and he became angry, and his soul was very disgusted with Israel. 78:60 And he abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent where his presence did abide among the sons of men. 78:61 And he handed over his Torah to captivity, and his splendor to the hand of the oppressor. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 78

78:50 He made a way for his wrath; he spared not their souls from death, but consigned their cattle to death; 78:51 and smote every first-born in the land of Egypt; the first-fruits of their labours in the tents of Cham. 78:52 And he removed his people like sheep; he led them as a flock in the wilderness. 78:53 And he guided them with hope, and they feared not: but the sea covered their enemies. 78:54 And he brought them in to the mountain of his sanctuary, this mountain which his right hand had purchased. 78:55 And he cast out the nations from before them, and made them to inherit by a line of inheritance, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. 78:56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies. 78:57 And they turned back, and broke covenant, even as also their fathers: they became like a crooked bow. 78:58 And they provoked him with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. 78:59 God heard and lightly regarded them, and greatly despised Israel. 78:60 And he rejected the tabernacle of Selom, his tent where he dwelt among men. 78:61 And he gave their strength into captivity, and their beauty into the enemy’s hand. (LXX)

Tehillim / Psalms 78

78:62 He also delivered His people to the sword, And was filled with wrath at His inheritance. 78:63 Fire devoured His young men, And His virgins had no wedding songs. 78:64 His priests fell by the sword, And His widows could not weep. 78:65 Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep, Like a warrior overcome by wine. 78:66 He drove His adversaries backward; He put on them an everlasting reproach. 78:67 He also rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. 78:69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has founded forever. 78:70 He also chose David His servant And took him from the sheepfolds; 78:71 From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. 78:72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 78

78:62 And he handed over his people to those who slay with the sword, and became angry with his inheritance. 78:63 The fire consumed his young men, and his young women were not respected. 78:64 His priests will fall with the killing of the sword, and his widows had no time to weep. Another Targum: At the time when the Philistines captured the ark of the Lord, the priests of Shiloh, Hophni and Phinehas fell by the sword; and at the time when they informed his wives, they did not weep, for they too died on that same day. 78:65 And the Lord woke up like a sleeper, like a man who opens his eyes from wine. 78:66 And he smote his oppressors on their behinds with hemorrhoids; he gave them eternal disgrace. 78:67 And he was disgusted with the tabernacle spread over the territory of Joseph; and he took no pleasure in the tribe of Ephraim. 78:68 But he was pleased with the tribe of Judah, with Mount Zion that he loves. 78:69 And he built his sanctuary like the horn of the wild ox, fixed like the earth that he founded forever and ever. 78:70 And he was pleased with David his servant, and took him from the flocks of sheep. 78:71 And he brought him [away] from [following] after sucklings to rule over Jacob his people, and over Israel his inheritance. 78:72 And he reigned over them in the perfection of his heart, and he will guide them by the understanding of his hands. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 78

78:62 And he gave his people to the sword; and disdained his inheritance. 78:63 Fire devoured their young men; and their virgins mourned not. 78:64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows shall not be wept for. 78:65 So the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and as a mighty man who has been heated with wine. 78:66 And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he brought on them a perpetual reproach. 78:67 And he rejected the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim; 78:68 but chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Sion which he loved. 78:69 And he built his sanctuary as the place of unicorns; he founded it for ever on the earth. 78:70 He chose David also his servant, and took him up from the flocks of sheep. 78:71 He took him from following the ewes great with young, to be the shepherd of Jacob his servant, and Israel his inheritance. 78:72 So he tended them in the innocency of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Part 1a

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 78:1-72, the psalm opens saying, א מַשְֹכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי-פִי: A Maskil of Asaph. 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. (NASB) Notice how Asaph states “his Torah,” to listen, incline the ears to the words of his mouth. The word Torah (תורה) is derived from the root word לירות or yareh (ירה) meaning as a verb “to shoot, fire (arms), cast, throw (ancient).” The verb is used having the meaning to shoot an arrow and hitting the mark. That mark was the object being aimed at hitting, an therefore the word Torah has the meaning of hitting the mark. In the books of Moshe, the target is truth, God’s truth, and how one is to understand the differences between truth and falsehood, how we are to draw near to the Lord, and how to relate to the Lord, and what it means to walk in righteousness and holiness. Based upon the derived meaning of the word Torah (תורה), the aim or goal of Torah is to teach us the truth about the Lord God in heaven, the creator of the universe. With this sense on the word Torah (תורה), the meaning of Torah is direction, teaching, instruction, or doctrine. In addition, with the knowledge that the Torah we receive God’s instructions to His people, the usual translation of this word as law is not quite accurate. Note how the Aramaic Targum translates this verse, Tehillim / Psalms 78:1 א שכלא דרוח קודשא על ידוי דאסף אצית עמי אוריתי אצלון אודניכון למימרי פומי׃ 78:1 A teaching of the Holy Spirit, composed by Asaph. Hear, O my people, my Torah; incline your ears to the utterances of my mouth. (EMC) The rabbis translate the words of Asaph as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, and as the instruction or teaching of Asaph that is inspired by the Lord God Himself. The Targum (the rabbis) is in agreement with this interpretation of the word Torah (תורה).

While studying the Septuagint, a statistical analysis of the Greek text reveals that the most common way the word Torah (תורה) is rendered is by the Greek words nomos (νόμος) or nomo. The Greek text uses the word nomos (νόμος) in a variety of ways, one of which is law, however nomos is not limited in its translation to mean “law.” For example in Mishley / Proverbs 1:8 שְׁמַע בְּנִי מוּסַר אָבִיךָ וְאַל־תִּטֹּשׁ תֹּורַת אִמֶּֽךָ׃ 1:8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. (NIV) and the Septuagint translation, ἄκουε υἱέ παιδείαν πατρός σου καὶ μὴ ἀπώσῃ θεσμοὺς μητρός σου, where the word Torah is translated as θεσμοὺς meaning “instruction.” In a similar way, within the writers of the Apostolic Writings renders the Hebrew word Torah (תורה) using the word nomos (νόμος) or nomo (ὑμῶν), where in some instances, it is more appropriate to translate nomos as God’s “teaching or instruction” rather than “law.” There are two Hebrew words that are derived from the same root as Torah, moreh (מורה) and horeh (הורה). A moreh is one who imparts instruction to his/her students, and a horeh is a reference to a parent who teaches and instructs the his or her child. As a result of the word Torah taking on a greater meaning that simply “law,” Judaism uses the word Torah in a very broad sense. For example, sometimes the word Torah is used to describe the Talmud. In other instances, the Torah may be a reference to the Oral Torah, the Mishnah.

According to the Sages, the Oral Torah was communicated to Moshe on the mountain of Sinai, and Moshe wrote down the written Torah, the Scriptures. The oral Torah was transmitted orally through the generations until Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi authorized for the oral Torah to be written down due to the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem. The writing of the oral Torah is called the Mishnah. The Mishnah was completed around approximately 200 CE. Following the writing of the Mishnah, the sages began to write commentaries on the Mishnah and the Torah in the MT, and these commentaries are called the Gemara. The Gemara was combined with the Mishnah into one work called the Talmud. There are two Talmuds, one produced in Israel (Jerusalem Talmud) and the other produced in Babylonia (Babylonian Talmud). The Jerusalem Talmud was completed in approximately the year 400 CE and the Babylonian Talmud was completed roughly around 500 CE. Today, Judaism for the most part (the Orthodox) consider the Babylonian Talmud to be the more authoritative of the two Talmuds. As a result of the communicating of the Sages discussions in written form (commentary), the writing of the Mishnah, and Judaism’s use of the Talmud for hundreds of years, the Talmud is also considered to be the Oral Torah, the same Oral Torah that was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai and, therefore, carries great authority. As a result of these things, it is important to study and to know the Mishnah and the Talmud. Learning about the interpretations of the rabbis may help to interpret and understand many passages in the Scriptures, their application to our lives, and for understanding the Apostolic Writings. The important point to remember while studying the Mishnah, the Talmud, and the rabbis, is to understand that these are interpretations of the Scriptures, and interpretations are always open for debate on their authoritative nature. The rabbis do not hold a greater spiritual authority over our lives than do the written Scriptures. The written Word of God, the Tanach and the Apostolic Writings take a priority. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. (NASB) The point is to be careful not exceed what is written, this is obviously a reference to the written Scriptures, the Word of God, since the Mishnah and the Talmud would not have been written until hundreds of years later, Paul was not making reference to these texts. In addition, the word Torah (תורה) has been applied as a reference to all of Scripture, even Yeshua himself used the word Torah within this context (see John 10:25-30 and Yeshua answering his opponents referencing Tehillim / Psalms 82:6 and saying “it is written in your Torah,” etc) This is one of the NT references where Torah (νόμῳ) is interpreted as “instruction.” (10:34 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Οὐκ ἔστιν γεγραμμένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὑμῶν Ἐγὼ εἶπα Θεοί ἐστε) Yeshua demonstrated that the word Torah (תורה) can be used as a reference to the entire bible and not just the first five books of Moshe. As Yeshua demonstrated, the word Torah (תורה) may be applied as a reference to all of Scripture, therefore, this term should be used first and foremost as a reference to the books of Moshe, but we may also use Torah to speak of all of Scripture. The idea of all of Scripture as referring to Torah, is that all of us are to be yielding our members to our Father in heaven, and to Yeshua the Messiah. The manner in which we do this is to be obedient to the command. This was and is the purpose of the Lord giving His Holy Spirit to His children, to empower our lives and to help us to overcome sin. Overcoming sin is synonymous to being obedient to the commands, since sin is by its very definition “disobedience.”

Asaph continues saying the following, ב אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי-קֶדֶם: ג אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵם וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ-לָנוּ: ד לֹא נְכַחֵד | מִבְּנֵיהֶם לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת יְהֹוָה וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה: 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, 78:3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 78:4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. (NASB) What does he mean by dark sayings of old? The Apostle Paul mentions to the Ephesians saying, 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; (NASB) This is the concept of something being hidden from since the beginning. Parables (מָשָׁל) are coupled to these dark sayings of old, which suggests that these things are written to in such a way so as to be searched out. The Lord places types, shadows, ceremonies, that are not so clearly understood, so that the nature of truth is not clearly discerned. Why do you think the Lord functions in this manner? Take for example the ashes of the red heifer. In Bamidbar / Numbers 19:1, we read the following, א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר: ב זֹאת חֻקַּת הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה יְהוָֹה לֵאמֹר דַּבֵּר | אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה תְּמִימָה אֲשֶׁר אֵין-בָּהּ מוּם אֲשֶׁר לֹא-עָלָה עָלֶיהָ עֹל: 19:1 ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, 19:2 “This is the regulation from the Torah which ADONAI has commanded. (CJB) In Parashat Chukot, the red female cow (red heifer) is burned to ashes. We are told the one who is clean collects the ashes and places the ashes in a clean place. The person who collected the ashes however becomes unclean from touching the ashes. The ashes are placed in water and the ash-water mixture is for the purification of uncleanness. Notice how touching the ash-water mixture causes one to become unclean, but yet these waters are used for the purpose of sprinkling for purification, to make one clean before entering the temple after having touched some dead thing. This mixture has the capacity to make one both clean and unclean. This would be considered a good example of what Asaph and Paul are trying to say regarding the hidden things, or as Asaph says the “parable; I will utter dark sayings of old.” (בְמָשָׁל פִּי אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי-קֶדֶם) These things need to be searched out to understand their meaning. The MT adds further mystery saying the red heifer is more than a commandment, it is an statute or an ordinance (חקת) that is to be followed without question. The Talmudic commentaries suggest a link between the red heifer and the sin of the Golden Calf. (see Shemot / Exodus 32) The ashes of the Parah Adumah (פרה אדומה, Red Heifer) were divided into three parts. Rambam (Laws of the Red Heifer, chapter 3) explains saying the following:

“And they used to divide all the ashes into three portions: one was kept on the Rampart, one on the Mount of Olives, and one was apportioned among all the watches of the priests. Those ashes which were apportioned among all the watches the priests used for sanctifying water of purification, and the ashes kept on the Mount of Olives ordinary Israelites used for sprinkling, and the ashes kept on the Rampart were carefully reserved, for it is said, And it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel, (Bamidbar / Numbers 19:9) teaching that some of the ashes should be reserved. So, too, they used to reserve on the Rampart some of the ashes of every red heifer they had burnt. Now nine red heifers were prepared from the time this commandment was received until the Temple was destroyed the second time: the first, Moshe our master prepared, the second, Ezra prepared, and there were seven from Ezra to the destruction of the Temple. And a tenth King Mashiach will prepare, may he soon be revealed!”

Notice something about Rambam’s commentary, he speaks of the separating of the ashes for three groups, the rampart which is a reference to the path up to the Temple mount, the priests, and the common person. Rambam also mentions that there was only a certain number of red heifers who have been slaughtered, and that the King Messiah will prepare the tenth red heifer. Therefore, there appears to be a conceptual relationship between the laws of the Parah Adumah (פרה אדומה, Red Heifer) and the coming of Mashiach. This is why the Rambam mentions the awaiting of Messiah’s arrival in the laws of Parah Adumah, although the Messiah is mentioned in his Yad HaChazakah (in his Mishneh Torah) before the laws of the Parah Adumah. In the Torah, it was taken by faith the ashes of the red heifer would cleanse one from being unclean from the touching of a dead body. All throughout the Torah we can see faith is the mechanism God uses to make us clean and to forgive us of our sins. One of the roles of the Torah is to teach us justification by faith, which is spoken of in the Apostolic Writings. We see this kind of faith being put into operation within the statutes of the red heifer, and we find the culmination of the instructions of Torah in the Messiah Yeshua. The writer of the book of Hebrews understood the ultimate purpose of the Torah. Hebrews 10:1-10 states 10:1 For the Torah has in it a shadow of the good things to come, but not the actual manifestation of the originals. (NASB) The author of the book of Hebrews speaks of not hiding what has happened in the past, but to instruct our children in how the Lord has worked in our lives.

Something to note, according to the rabbis, the exile from the Land of Israel is related to the concept of ritual defilement by reason of coming in contact with the dead. The parallel is related to a spiritual death, because it was through iniquity that the Lord caused the people to leave the Land. The ashes of the Parah Adumah for purification from the defilement of death alludes to the time of the coming of Mashiach. The coming of the King Messiah is connected to a time of redemption and salvation from exile and from our enemies as we have studied previously. When one leaves the bonds of spiritual death (sin), one then cleaves unto the Lord. Note the rabbis concept (Rambam) of the separating of the ashes of the red heifer, (i) each Parah Adumah that is mentioned, a portion is set aside to be a keepsake until the time of Mashiach, and (ii) for each Parah Adumah this tradition of setting aside a portion of the ashes causes the tradition to trace its association back to the first Parah Adumah, which Moshe made. Note also that the red heifer was sacrificed outside of the Temple Mount in contrast to the other sacrifices which lends itself to an interesting connection to Yeshua following in step with the Torah regarding the work of the Messiah.

The Targum states, 78:1 A teaching of the Holy Spirit, composed by Asaph. Hear, O my people, my Torah; incline your ears to the utterances of my mouth. 78:2 I will open my mouth in a proverb; I will declare riddles from ancient times. 78:3 Which we have heard and known, and [which] our fathers told to us. 78:4 We will not hide it from their sons, recounting the psalms of the Lord to a later generation, and his might, and the wonders that he performed. (EMC) Notice how the dark sayings of old, the proverb, or the riddle from old, was told to us from our fathers. Asaph says these things are not to be concealed or hidden from our children, they are to be recounted, to be remembered, so that we can praise the Name of the Lord for the wonders that He has performed. This is the importance of traditions, to pass down the knowledge of the Lord and what He has done, to remember His glory and to have the expectation of the Lord working in our lives in a similar way.

Asaph continues saying, ה וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת | בְּיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָה שָֹם בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה אֶת-אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם: ו לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ | דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם: ז וְיָשִֹימוּ בֵאלֹהִים כִּסְלָם וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי-אֵל וּמִצְוֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ: 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, 78:6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 78:7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, (NASB) Notice how he says the Lord has placed a testimony in Jacob. What exactly is Asaph talking about with regard to establishing a testimony in Jacob? Asaph says that He (God) has appointed a law in Israel meaning that He has given Israel His Torah. According to Tehillim / Psalms 81:3-6, the blowing of the Shofar in the festival month was used as a testimony, as a witness, and as a tradition to bear witness of what the Lord has done. Here the witness is given as the blowing of the shofar, not as a verbal recitation of the Scriptures. The sounding of the shofar functions as a witness to the presence of God, His power, and His might. This element of tradition is what comes out of the text from the Psalms from both David and Asaph. We are told that God commanded us to teach the Scriptures to our children, as we read in Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:5-9

6:5 ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6:6 ‘These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 6:8 ‘You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 6:9 ‘You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NASB)

Note that in the previous chapter, Devarim / Deuteronomy 5:1–33, Moshe repeated the Ten Commandments which provides for us the basis for God’s moral law. We are told to hear, listen, learn, keep, and do the commands because obedience to the Torah is the way in which we honor our Father in heaven and Yeshua the Messiah, and is the way in which we open the path for victory and blessing in our lives. Note that obedience isn’t the mechanism for getting God to do something, the Apostolic Writings explains that those who love God will follow His instructions, His ways, His paths, and by walking in the commands we are walking with Him. We are brought into the covenant by faith because of the Lord’s great love, mercy, and grace. As a result, we are told in the Torah again and again how the Lord desires to dwell in our midst. As the children of God, the Lord walks along side us and gives us victory and blessing (see Shemot / Exodus 20:12, Devarim / Deuteronomy 5:16, Romans 2:23, Ephesians 6:2-3, Hebrews 10:16, James 1:25, 2:11, 2:8-26, 1 John 2:3-4, 24, 3:22, 5:2-3, 2 John 6, and Revelation 22:14). Notice how Asaph speaks in rabbinic fashion saying, 78:6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 78:7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, (NASB) He says that the commandment to instruct your children proceeds even to those who have yet to be born, a very rabbinic concept. The Targum states, 78:5 And he established a witness among those of the house of Jacob, and he decreed a Torah among those of the house of Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their sons. 78:6 So that another generation, sons still to be born, should know; they will arise and tell it to their children. 78:7 And they will place their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, and they will keep his commandments. (EMC) Notice the “from generation to generation” which we discussed in the Tehillim / Psalms 77 study. This phrase is utilized to reveal the importance of teaching our children to know the Lord. Tell our children of how the Lord has worked in our lives which is the testimony He has given us which confirms the covenant that He has promised according to the Scriptures.

Asaph continues with an exhortation to the people saying the following:

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 78:8-20

78:8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God. 78:9 The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, Yet they turned back in the day of battle. 78:10 They did not keep the covenant of God And refused to walk in His law; 78:11 They forgot His deeds And His miracles that He had shown them. 78:12 He wrought wonders before their fathers In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. 78:13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through, And He made the waters stand up like a heap. 78:14 Then He led them with the cloud by day And all the night with a light of fire. 78:15 He split the rocks in the wilderness And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths. 78:16 He brought forth streams also from the rock And caused waters to run down like rivers. 78:17 Yet they still continued to sin against Him, To rebel against the Most High in the desert. 78:18 And in their heart they put God to the test By asking food according to their desire. 78:19 Then they spoke against God; They said, ‘Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? 78:20 ‘Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out, And streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?’ (NASB)

ח וְלֹא יִהְיוּ | כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה דּוֹר לֹא-הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא-נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת-אֵל רוּחוֹ: ט בְּנֵי-אֶפְרַיִם נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי-קָשֶׁת הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב: י לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹהִים וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת: יא וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם: יב נֶגֶד אֲבוֹתָם עָשָֹה פֶלֶא בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְֹדֵה-צֹעַן: יג בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם וַיַּצֶּב-מַיִם כְּמוֹ-נֵד: יד וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם וְכָל-הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ: טו יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיַּשְׁקְ כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה: טז וַיּוֹצִא נוֹזְלִים מִסָּלַע וַיּוֹרֶד כַּנְּהָרוֹת מָיִם: יז וַיּוֹסִיפוּ עוֹד לַחֲטֹא-לוֹ לַמְרוֹת עֶלְיוֹן בַּצִּיָּה: יח וַיְנַסּוּ-אֵל בִּלְבָבָם לִשְׁאָל-אֹכֶל לְנַפְשָׁם: יט וַיְדַבְּרוּ בֵּאלֹהִים אָמְרוּ הֲיוּכַל אֵל לַעֲרֹךְ שֻׁלְחָן בַּמִּדְבָּר: כ הֵן הִכָּה-צוּר | וַיָּזוּבוּ מַיִם וּנְחָלִים יִשְׁטֹפוּ הֲגַם-לֶחֶם יוּכַל-תֵּת אִם-יָכִין שְׁאֵר לְעַמּוֹ:

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 78:8-20

78:8 And they will not be like their fathers, a stubborn and vexing generation, a generation whose heart was not firm with its lord, and its spirit was not faithful to God. 78:9 While they were living in Egypt, the sons of Ephraim became arrogant; they calculated the appointed time, and erred; they went out thirty years before the appointed time, with weapons of war, and warriors bearing bows. They turned around and were killed on the day of battle. 78:10 Because they did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in his Torah. 78:11 And the people, the house of Israel, forgot his deeds and his wonders that he showed them. 78:12 In front of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes of their ancestors, he performed wonders in the land of Egypt, the field of Tanis. 78:13 He split the sea with the staff of Moses their leader, and made them to pass through, and he made the water stand up, fastened like a skin bottle. 78:14 And he guided them with the cloud by day, and all of the night with the light of fire. 78:15 He split mountains with the staff of Moses their leader in the wilderness; and he gave drink as if from the great deeps. 78:16 And he brought forth streams of water from the rock, and he made water come down like flowing rivers. 78:17 But they continued still to sin before him, to provoke anger in the presence of the Most High in the dry wilderness. 78:18 And they tempted God in their heart, to ask for food for their souls. 78:19 And they complained in the presence of the Lord; they said, “Is there the ability in the presence of God to set a table in the wilderness?” 78:20 Behold, he already has smitten a rock, and water gushed out, and streams flowed; is he also able to give bread, or to arrange food for his people? (EMC)

ח ולא יהוון היך אבהתהון דר מסרהבן ומרגיז דר דלא מתקן לביה למריה ולא הות מהימנא באלהא רוחיה׃ ט כד הוו יתיבין במצרים איתרברבו בני אפרים מינינו קיצא וטעו ונפקו תלתין שנין קדם עד לא קיצא בזיני קרבא וגיברין נטלי קשתא אפיכו הפכו קדל ואיתקטלו ביום סידרי קרבא׃ י מטול דלא נטרו קיים אלהא ובאוריתיה סריבו להלכא׃ יא ואתנשיאו עובדוי עמא בית ישראל ופרישותיה די אחמי יתהון׃ יב קביל אבהתהון אברהם יצחק ויעקב ושיבטיא דאבהתהון עבד פרישן בארעא דמצרים חקל טאניס׃ יג בזע ימא בחוטרא דמשה רבהון ואעבירינון ואוקים מיא צרירין היך זיקא׃ יד ודברינון בעננא ביממא וכל ליליא בנהור אשא׃ טו בזע טורין טינרין בחוטריה דמשה רבהון במדברא ואשקי כד בתהומיא רברבן׃ טז ואפיק נוזליא דמיא מן כיפא ואוחית היך נהרין דנגדין מיא׃ יז ואוסיפו תוב עוד למיחטי קדמוי למרגז קדם עילאה במדברא צחי במדבר צהי׃ יח ונסיאו אלהא בליבהון למישאל אוכלא מיכלא לנפשיהון׃ יט ואיתרעמו קדם יהוה אלהא אמרו האית יוכלא קדם אלהא ייי לסדרא פתורא במדברא׃ כ הא כבר מחא בטינר ודיבו מיא ונחליא נגדין הלחוד לחמא יכיל למיתן אם יתכן מזונא לעמיה׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 78:8-20

78:8 That they should not be as their fathers, a perverse and provoking generation; a generation which set not its heart aright, and its spirit was not steadfast with God. 78:9 The children of Ephraim, bending and shooting with the bow, turned back in the day of battle. 78:10 They kept not the covenant of God, and would not walk in his law. 78:11 And they forgot his benefits, and his miracles which he had shewed them; 78:12 the miracles which he wrought before their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the plain of Tanes. 78:13 He clave the sea, and led them through: he made the waters to stand as in a bottle. 78:14 And he guided them with a cloud by day, and all the night with a light of fire. 78:15 he clave a rock in the wilderness, and made them drink as in a great deep. 78:16 And he brought water out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down as rivers. 78:17 And they sinned yet more against him; they provoked the Most High in the wilderness. 78:18 And they tempted God in their hearts, in asking meat for the desire of their souls. 78:19 They spoke also against God, and said, Will God be able to prepare a table in the wilderness? 78:20 Forasmuch as he smote the rock, and the waters flowed, and the torrents ran abundantly; will he be able also to give bread, or prepare a table for his people?

78:8 ἵνα μὴ γένωνται ὡς οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν γενεὰ σκολιὰ καὶ παραπικραίνουσα γενεά ἥτις οὐ κατηύθυνεν τὴν καρδίαν αὐτῆς καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστώθη μετὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτῆς 78:9 υἱοὶ Εφραιμ ἐντείνοντες καὶ βάλλοντες τόξοις ἐστράφησαν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ πολέμου 78:10 οὐκ ἐφύλαξαν τὴν διαθήκην τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἤθελον πορεύεσθαι 78:11 καὶ ἐπελάθοντο τῶν εὐεργεσιῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν θαυμασίων αὐτοῦ ὧν ἔδειξεν αὐτοῖς 78:12 ἐναντίον τῶν πατέρων αὐτῶν ἃ ἐποίησεν θαυμάσια ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ ἐν πεδίῳ Τάνεως 78:13 διέρρηξεν θάλασσαν καὶ διήγαγεν αὐτούς ἔστησεν ὕδατα ὡσεὶ ἀσκὸν 78:14 καὶ ὡδήγησεν αὐτοὺς ἐν νεφέλῃ ἡμέρας καὶ ὅλην τὴν νύκτα ἐν φωτισμῷ πυρός 78:15 διέρρηξεν πέτραν ἐν ἐρήμῳ καὶ ἐπότισεν αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐν ἀβύσσῳ πολλῇ 78:16 καὶ ἐξήγαγεν ὕδωρ ἐκ πέτρας καὶ κατήγαγεν ὡς ποταμοὺς ὕδατα 78:17 καὶ προσέθεντο ἔτι τοῦ ἁμαρτάνειν αὐτῷ παρεπίκραναν τὸν ὕψιστον ἐν ἀνύδρῳ 78:18 καὶ ἐξεπείρασαν τὸν θεὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν τοῦ αἰτῆσαι βρώματα ταῖς ψυχαῖς αὐτῶν 78:19 καὶ κατελάλησαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ εἶπαν μὴ δυνήσεται ὁ θεὸς ἑτοιμάσαι τράπεζαν ἐν ἐρήμῳ 78:20 ἐπεὶ ἐπάταξεν πέτραν καὶ ἐρρύησαν ὕδατα καὶ χείμαρροι κατεκλύσθησαν μὴ καὶ ἄρτον δύναται δοῦναι ἢ ἑτοιμάσαι τράπεζαν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ

Asaph exhorts the people saying they were a perverse generation that provoked the Lord. He provides numerous Torah based examples of God’s mercy to deliver the people from bondage. He says, 78:12 He wrought wonders before their fathers In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. (NASB) The Targum says, 8:12 In front of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes of their ancestors, he performed wonders in the land of Egypt, the field of Tanis. (EMC) The Septuagint states, 78:12 the miracles which he wrought before their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the plain of Tanes. (LXX) Each of these translations provides a location for the Lord working miracles in Egypt. What is the plain of Zoan, Tanis, or Tanes? Smith’s bible dictionary states the following:

Zoan — (place of departure), an ancient city of lower Egypt, called Tanis by the Greeks. It stood on the eastern bank of the Tanitic branch of the Nile. Its name indicates a place of departure from a country, and hence it has been identified with Avaris (Tanis, the modern San), the capital of the Shepherd dynasty in Egypt, built seven years after Hebron and existing before the time of Abraham. It was taken by the Shepherd kings in their invasion of Egypt, and by them rebuilt, and garrisoned, according to Manetho, with 240,000 men. This cite is mentioned in connection with the plagues in such a manner as to leave no doubt that it is the city spoken of in the narrative in Exodus as that where Pharaoh dwelt, (Psalms 78:42,43) and where Moses wrought his wonders on the field of Zoan a rich plain extending thirty miles toward the east. Tanis gave its name to the twenty-first and twenty-third dynasties and hence its mention in Isaiah. (Isaiah 19:13; 30:4) (The present “field of Zoan” is a barren waste, very thinly inhabited. “One of the principal capitals of Pharaoh is now the habitation of fishermen the resort of wild beasts, and infested with reptiles and malignant fevers.” There have been discovered a great number of monuments here which throw light upon the Bible history. Brugsch refers to two statues of colossal size of Mermesha of the thirteenth dynasty, wonderfully perfect in the execution of the individual parts and says that memorials of Rameses the Great lie scattered broadcast like the mouldering bones of generations slain long ago. The area of the sacred enclosure of the temple is 1500 feet by 1250.-ED.)

In a National Geographic’s article titled “Lost City of Tanis Found, but Often Forgotten,” states that, the city of Tanis was once the capital of all Egypt, and that Tanis’s royal tombs yielded artifacts on par with the treasures of Tutankhamun. Tanis was known by many names. Ancient Egyptians called it Djanet, and the Old Testament refers to the site as Zoan, Tanis, or Tanes, depending upon the translation. Today it’s called Sân el-Hagar. This appears to have been a place of great wealth and pride for the Egyptian people which naturally lends itself as a suitable place for the Lord to work his power before all of Egypt. The Scriptures say that the Lord brought the miracles to the plain of the ancient city of Zoan.

The MT states, ח וְלֹא יִהְיוּ | כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה דּוֹר לֹא-הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא-נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת-אֵל רוּחוֹ: 78:8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God. (NASB) Asaph states, לֹא-הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא-נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת-אֵל רוּחוֹ the generation of people did not establish, make firm, or prepare their hearts, and they did not have faith in His Spirit (God’s Spirit). According to the Psalm, it is possible to prepare the heart, this was something the rebellious generation failed to do. What does it mean to prepare the heart and then to have faith? In the text, the psalmist draws a parallel to the one who has not prepared the heart and the one who has faith. Having faith, or believing, is to take God’s Word, to understand it, and to apply it to our lives. What Asaph appears to be speaking of is that the heart preparation means to take the time and energy to understand God’s Word and then to apply it to one’s life. The important aspect of our relationship with the Lord is to properly understand God’s Word. The main question we are to seek an answer for is “What did the author intend his hearers to understand?” In the case of Torah study, the Author is God who spoke, moved, and worked through Moshe. With regard to the author’s intent, consider the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of the book?
  2. What is the larger context of the passage?
  3. What is the immediate context of the passage?
  4. What is the main point of the passage?
  5. What principles does the passage teach?
  6. How does God want me to apply these truths?

To answer these questions, begin by reading the passage several times and writing down observations as you read. We are told that this generation of people was stubborn and rebellious, and they did not seek to understand the Word of the Lord God Almighty. The Psalm continues saying, Tehillim / Psalms 78:9 The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, Yet they turned back in the day of battle. 78:10 They did not keep the covenant of God And refused to walk in His law; 78:11 They forgot His deeds And His miracles that He had shown them. 78:12 He wrought wonders before their fathers In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. (NASB) He goes on to list the miracles the Lord performed, dividing the waters, the pillar of cloud and fire, the water the Lord provided for them from the rock, and yet they still remained rebellious before the Lord. We are told in Israel’s history that this spirit of rebellion and unpreparedness led to even Judah forsaking the covenant of God, as the MT states, 78:21 Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; And a fire was kindled against Jacob And anger also mounted against Israel, 78:22 Because they did not believe in God And did not trust in His salvation. (NASB) and the Targum states, 78:21. Then it was heard in the presence of God, and he was angry, and fire was made to come up on those of the house of Jacob, and also harsh anger came up on Israel. 78:22 For they did not believe in God, and did not put their trust in his redemption. (EMC) Asaph stated that the testimony is something that will cause one’s faith to increase. Note how this testimony is the Word of God and how important it is to study and remember what the Lord has done. The remembering, coupled with the Spirit of God will cause us to continue in His covenant by continuing to apply His Word to our lives. The point is that when we walk away from His Word, we are walking away from His covenant. If we have faith, or say that we have faith in Yeshua the Messiah, then we are also to be applying God’s Word to our lives with God’s help. Is this the approach you take to your life and walk before the Lord God Almighty and Yeshua the Messiah?

Asaph continues saying that even in the midst of the rebellious nature of the people, the Lord, in His mercy, provided for His people. He describes the Lord’s provision in the following way.

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 78:23-28

78:23 Yet He commanded the clouds above And opened the doors of heaven; 78:24 He rained down manna upon them to eat And gave them food from heaven. 78:25 Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance. 78:26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens And by His power He directed the south wind. 78:27 When He rained meat upon them like the dust, Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas, 78:28 Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their dwellings. 78:29 So they ate and were well filled, And their desire He gave to them. (NASB)

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 78:23-28

78:23 And he commanded the skies above and he opened the windows of heaven. 78:24 And he made descend on them manna to eat, and he gave them the grain of heaven. 78:25 The sons of men ate food that came down from the abode of angels; he sent them provisions unto satiety. 78:26 He made the east wind move in the heavens, and guided the south wind by his strength. 78:27 And he made flesh descend on them like dust, and flying fowl like the sand of the sea. 78:28 And he made them fall in the midst of his camp, round about its tents. (EMC)

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 78:8-20

78:23 Yet he commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 78:24 and rained upon them manna to eat, and gave them the bread of heaven. 78:25 Man ate angels’ bread; he sent them provision to the full. 78:26 He removed the south wind from heaven; and by his might he brought in the south-west wind. 78:27 And he rained upon them flesh like dust, and feathered birds like the sand of the seas. 78:28 And they fell into the midst of their camp, round about their tents. (LXX)

Asaph states that the people were rebellious and their hearts were unprepared. The Lord provided for their wants and needs by opening the doors of heaven and raining down manna for them to eat. Notice the interpretation of the Torah which states that in the morning, the dew would settle upon the plants and the ground, and the manna was left as little flakes as the dew evaporated in the morning light. Asaph says that God opened the doors to heaven and rained down the manna. The morning dew does not rain down. The point is that the Lord provided them with bread from heaven, which is the Word of God, something they missed because they did not prepare their hearts. The Targum states, 78:24 And he made descend on them manna to eat, and he gave them the grain of heaven. 78:25 The sons of men ate food that came down from the abode of angels; he sent them provisions unto satiety. (EMC) Remember how the rabbis say that the presence of God, His glory, and even the spirit of prophecy descends upon the person who studies Torah, who studies His word. The people did not prepare their hearts, they did not hold fast to the Word of God, and the Lord rained down manna, and the people were confused and said “Ma Hu?” meaning “what is this?” The rabbis go further to describe the manna as angels food and that they ate until their stomachs were satisfied. The Lord gave them bread to eat and also meat. What is interesting is how the Torah is drawing a contrast here between the bread from heaven, spiritual things and God’s word which descends from heaven, which the people were unsatisfied with, they wanted the things of this world which may be paralleled to the flesh (meat) the Lord gave them only after the people had complained about the spiritual food (the bread). Note again how the spiritual food is paralleled to the bread from heaven, the preparing of our hearts before God, and the studying and remembering His Words, faith, His covenant, and applying His Word to our lives. It seems the application of the Word of God is a function of one’s faith, it follows through from our faith in the Lord and our love for Him! Does your faith in God and Yeshua the Messiah function in this way?

Asaph continues saying the following:

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 78:30-36

78:30 Before they had satisfied their desire, While their food was in their mouths, 78:31 The anger of God rose against them And killed some of their stoutest ones, And subdued the choice men of Israel. 78:32 In spite of all this they still sinned And did not believe in His wonderful works. 78:33 So He brought their days to an end in futility And their years in sudden terror. 78:34 When He killed them, then they sought Him, And returned and searched diligently for God; 78:35 And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. 78:36 But they deceived Him with their mouth And lied to Him with their tongue. (NASB)

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 78:29-36

78:29 And they ate and were very satisfied; so he brought to them their craving. 78:30 They did not turn from their craving, still their food was in their mouth 78:31 And the anger of God went up on them, and he slew some of their champions, and he subdued the young men of Israel. 78:32 For all this they sinned again, and did not believe in his wonders. 78:33 And he ended their days with nothingness, and their years with disaster. 78:34 Whenever he killed them, they sought him, repenting; and they will repent and pray in the presence of God. 78:35 And they remembered, for God is their strength, and the Most High God is their redeemer. 78:36 And they enticed him with their mouth, and they lie to him with their tongue. (EMC)

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 78:29-36

78:29 So they ate, and were completely filled; and he gave them their desire. 78:30 They were not disappointed of their desire: but when their food was yet in their mouth, 78:31 then the indignation of God rose up against them, and slew the fattest of them, and overthrew the choice men of Israel. 78:32 In the midst of all this they sinned yet more, and believed not his miracles. 78:33 And their days were consumed in vanity, and their years with anxiety. 78:34 When he slew them, they sought him: and they returned and called betimes upon God. 78:35 And they remembered that God was their helper, and the most high God was their redeemer. 78:36 Yet they loved him only with their mouth, and lied to him with their tongue. (LXX)

Note how while the food was in their mouths, they appear to not have been thankful for the provision of the Lord, the Lord then stuck them down for their lack of sense of gratitude. Note how the Torah speaks of eating and being satisfied:

Devarim / Deuteronomy 8:10-12

8:10 And thou shalt eat and be satisfied, and bless the LORD thy God for the good land which He hath given thee. 8:11 Beware lest thou forget the LORD thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His ordinances, and His statutes, which I command thee this day; 8:12 lest when thou hast eaten and art satisfied, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein…then thy heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage…and thou say in thy heart: ‘My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth.’

דברים ח׳:ז׳-י״ח

( (י) וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת יקוק אֱלֹהֶיךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לָךְ. (יא) הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת יקוק אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְבִלְתִּי שְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם. (יב) פֶּן תֹּאכַל וְשָׂבָעְתָּ וּבָתִּים טוֹבִים תִּבְנֶה וְיָשָׁבְתָּ…וְרָם לְבָבֶךָ וְשָׁכַחְתָּ אֶת יקוק אֱלֹהֶיךָ הַמּוֹצִיאֲךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים….וְאָמַרְתָּ בִּלְבָבֶךָ כֹּחִי וְעֹצֶם יָדִי עָשָׂה לִי אֶת הַחַיִל הַזֶּה.

The Torah speaks of eating and being satisfied and then “blessing the Lord for the good things He has provided.” This is what the people lacked, they lacked the gratitude of God’s provision. They had not prepared their hearts before or after the meal. The rabbis have a few comments on this topic which draws these things into context:

Mishneh Torah, Blessings 1:4

(4) So it is that there are three forms of blessing: blessing for deriving benefit, blessing for fulfilling a mitzvah, and blessing of thanks. Expressions of praise and gratitude and requests in order to remember the Creator always and to fear Him.

משנה תורה, הלכות ברכות א׳:ד׳

(ד) נמצאו כל הברכות כולן שלשה מינים ברכות הנייה וברכות מצות וברכות הודאה שהן דרך שבח והודיה ובקשה כדי לזכור את הבורא תמיד וליראה ממנו.

Rambam says that the blessing is given over the meal by reason of three things, for deriving benefit, fulfilling a mitzvah, and for thanks unto God. Notice how we are to be thankful for being able to obey God’s commands. In other words, we are to be thankful for the Lord giving us the ability to overcome sin. We are to be thankful for the Lord’s mercy and the benefit of what He has done for us, in the provision, wealth, and even for the breath that we have. The blessings we speak of unto the Lord, are for the purpose of expressing our gratitude and praise of the Lord for His wondrous works in our lives. The following is some comments from Rav Kook’s Guide for the Perplexed.

For the Perplexed of the Generation 4:9 (Rav Kook)

(9) When the existence of gratitude and recognition of the good becomes lacking from existence, the spirit of man is left without sparkle or shine. Therefore it is impossible for existence not to include this perfection, because it can only come when there is a free will involved in the benefit of creation.

לנבוכי הדור ד׳:ט׳

(ט) מציאות ההודאה והכרת טובה כשתחסר מהמציאות ישאר רוח האדם בלא זיו וזוהר, על כן לא יתכן שתהיה המציאות הכללית חסרה ההשתלמות הזאת, שאינה באה כי אם בהיות רצון חפשי מתעסק בטובת היצור.

Rabbi Kook states that without gratitude and thanks, one does not recognize the source of the blessings upon our lives. When one does not recognize this thing, one does not have the spark of life within him that comes from God. The interpretation is that the very fact that we exist and have life is by reason of the Lord and His creation, and we are to be thankful for having the opportunity to live and to give thanks. The important point of this study thus far is the importance of the preparing of our hearts before God, to be sensitive to spiritual things, to study and remember His Words, to have faith, to be thankful of His covenant, and to seek to apply His Word to our lives. The application of the Word of God is a function of one’s faith, which follows by our thankfulness of His mercy, all of which is by reason of our love for Him!

Part 1b

In Tehillim / Psalms 78, we read of the wisdom of Asaph according to His Torah (א מַשְֹכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי-פִי: A Maskil of Asaph. 78:1 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. NASB). Asaph continues in his psalm saying,לז וְלִבָּם לֹא-נָכוֹן עִמּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנוּ בִּבְרִיתוֹ: 78:37 For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum states, לז מטול דלבהון לא מהימן מכוון עימיה ולא הימינו בקיימיה׃ 78:37 Because their heart was not faithful to him, and they did not believe in his covenant. (EMC) What is the difference between being faithful to God and believing in the covenant of God? Being faithful and believing in the covenant is related to being obedient to the covenant agreement that has been made between those who are making or who have made a covenant with one another. According to the Scriptures, the faithfulness of God is true and He has been shown us His faithfulness over and over again. The author of Hebrews 6:18 states that the Lord God does not lie, nor does He break a promise that He says He will fulfill. Every covenant He made is kept. In the Scriptures we read testimony after testimony of God’s faithfulness and we know this to be true in each life that has been changed in the Messiah Yeshua. A statistical analysis of the Tanach and the Apostolic Writings reveals that the accounts of covenants between the Lord God and His people occur approximately 277 times in the Scriptures. Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:9 states “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (NASB) Asaph however mentions that the people were not faithful to God and neither were they faithful to His covenant. Faithfulness to the Lord is connected to the one who loves the Lord, loves His ways, and walks and serves Him according to His Word, meaning that the person who is faithful is obedient to the commands because of His love for the Lord. The one who does not love the Lord is not interested in obeying the commands. There are those however who state that they love the Lord but refuse to be obedient to the commands saying that grace covers all. This is what is called “sloppy grace.” We should not be sloppy in our service to the Lord, because that does not bear the testimony of a faithful people.

Asaph continues saying the following,

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 78:38-51

78:38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath. 78:39 Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return. 78:40 How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness And grieved Him in the desert! 78:41 Again and again they tempted God, And pained the Holy One of Israel. 78:42 They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary, 78:43 When He performed His signs in Egypt And His marvels in the field of Zoan, 78:44 And turned their rivers to blood, And their streams, they could not drink. 78:45 He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them, And frogs which destroyed them. 78:46 He gave also their crops to the grasshopper And the product of their labor to the locust. 78:47 He destroyed their vines with hailstones And their sycamore trees with frost. 78:48 He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones And their herds to bolts of lightning. 78:49 He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels. 78:50 He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave over their life to the plague, 78:51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.

לח וְהוּא רַחוּם | יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ וְלֹא-יָעִיר כָּל-חֲמָתוֹ: לט וַיִּזְכֹּר כִּי-בָשָֹר הֵמָּה רוּחַ הוֹלֵךְ וְלֹא יָשׁוּב: מ כַּמָּה יַמְרוּהוּ בַמִּדְבָּר יַעֲצִיבוּהוּ בִּישִׁימוֹן: מא וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיְנַסּוּ אֵל וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל הִתְווּ: מב לֹא-זָכְרוּ אֶת-יָדוֹ יוֹם אֲשֶׁר-פָּדָם מִנִּי-צָר: מג אֲשֶׁר-שָֹם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתוֹתָיו וּמוֹפְתָיו בִּשְֹדֵה-צֹעַן: מד וַיַּהֲפֹךְ לְדָם יְאֹרֵיהֶם וְנֹזְלֵיהֶם בַּל-יִשְׁתָּיוּן: מה יְשַׁלַּח בָּהֶם עָרֹב וַיֹּאכְלֵם וּצְפַרְדֵּעַ וַתַּשְׁחִיתֵם: מו וַיִּתֵּן לֶחָסִיל יְבוּלָם וִיגִיעָם לָאַרְבֶּה: מז יַהֲרֹג בַּבָּרָד גַּפְנָם וְשִׁקְמוֹתָם בַּחֲנָמַל: מח וַיַּסְגֵּר לַבָּרָד בְּעִירָם וּמִקְנֵיהֶם לָרְשָׁפִים: מט יְשַׁלַּח-בָּם | חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים: נ יְפַלֵּס נָתִיב לְאַפּוֹ לֹא-חָשַֹךְ מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם וְחַיָּתָם לַדֶּבֶר הִסְגִּיר: נא וַיַּךְ כָּל-בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי-חָם:

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 78:38-51

8:38 But he is merciful, atoning for their sins, and does not destroy them; and he frequently turns from his anger, and he will not hasten all his wrath against them. 78:39 And he remembers that they are sons of flesh, a breath that goes away and does not return. 78:40 How they would rebel against him in the wilderness! They would cause anger in his presence in a desolate place. 78:41 And they turned and tempted God, and brought regret to the Holy One of Israel. 78:42 They did not remember his miracle, and the day that he redeemed them from the oppressor. 78:43 Who set out his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Tanis. 78:44 And he turned their canals to blood, and they could not drink from their streams. 78:45 He will incite against them a mass of wild animals, and exterminate them; likewise frogs, and he will slaughter them. 78:46 And he gave and handed over their grain to the grasshopper, and their toil to the locust. 78:47 And he stripped their vines with hail, and their sycamores with locusts. 78:48 And he handed over their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to sparks of fire. 78:49 He will incite against them two hundred and fifty plagues in the harshness of his anger, in wrath, and in hostility, and in woe; which are sent in due time by evil messengers. 78:50 He will travel on the path of his harshness, not keeping their soul from death, and handing over their cattle to the plague. 78:51 And he slew all the firstborn in Egypt, the beginning of their sorrow in the tents of Ham.

לח והוא רחמנא מכפר עוייתהון ולא מחבל יתהון ומסגי למיתב מן רוגזיה ולא יוחי בהון כל חימתיה ריתחיה׃ לט ודכיר ארום בני בסרא הינון אינון רוחא דאזיל ולא תאיב אתיב׃ מ כמה יסרבון ליה במדברא ירגזון קדמוי באתר צדיא׃ מא ותבו ונסיאו קדם אלהא וקדישא דישראל איתיו תיוהא׃ מב לא אידכרו ית ניסא דידיה ויומא דפרקינון מן מעיקא׃ מג דשוי במצרים אתוהי ותימהוי בחקל טאניס׃ לד והפך לדמא לאדם אריתיהון ונוזליהון לא שתן מנהון׃ מה יגרי בהון עירבובי חיות ברא וגמיר יתהון ועורדעניא ויחביל יתהון׃ מו ויהב ומסר לזחלא עיבוריהון וליעותהון לגובאי׃ מז וקליף בברדא גופניהון ושקמתהון בכרזובא׃ מח ומסר לברדא בעירהון וגיתיהון לרישפין די נור׃ מט יגרי בהון מאתן וחמשין מחן בתקוף רוגזיה בריתחא ובתריכותא ובעקא דמשתלחן בעידן בידיהון דאזגדין דעבדין בישין׃ נ יטייל בכביש תוקפיה לא מנע ממותא נפשהון ובעירהון לממותנא מסר׃ נא וקטל כל בוכרא במצרים שירוי שיורי צעריהון במשכניהון דחם׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 78:38-51

78:38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath. 78:39 Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return. 78:40 How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness And grieved Him in the desert! 78:41 Again and again they tempted God, And pained the Holy One of Israel. 78:42 They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary, 78:43 When He performed His signs in Egypt And His marvels in the field of Zoan, 78:44 And turned their rivers to blood, And their streams, they could not drink. 78:45 He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them, And frogs which destroyed them. 78:46 He gave also their crops to the grasshopper And the product of their labor to the locust. 78:47 He destroyed their vines with hailstones And their sycamore trees with frost. 78:48 He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones And their herds to bolts of lightning. 78:49 He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels. 78:50 He made a way for his wrath; he spared not their souls from death, but consigned their cattle to death; 78:51 and smote every first-born in the land of Egypt; the first-fruits of their labours in the tents of Cham. (NASB)

78:38 αὐτὸς δέ ἐστιν οἰκτίρμων καὶ ἱλάσεται ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις αὐτῶν καὶ οὐ διαφθερεῖ καὶ πληθυνεῖ τοῦ ἀποστρέψαι τὸν θυμὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐχὶ ἐκκαύσει πᾶσαν τὴν ὀργὴν αὐτοῦ 78:39 καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὅτι σάρξ εἰσιν πνεῦμα πορευόμενον καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστρέφον 78:40 ποσάκις παρεπίκραναν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ παρώργισαν αὐτὸν ἐν γῇ ἀνύδρῳ 78:41 καὶ ἐπέστρεψαν καὶ ἐπείρασαν τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὸν ἅγιον τοῦ Ισραηλ παρώξυναν 78:42 οὐκ ἐμνήσθησαν τῆς χειρὸς αὐτοῦ ἡμέρας ἧς ἐλυτρώσατο αὐτοὺς ἐκ χειρὸς θλίβοντος 78:43 ὡς ἔθετο ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ τὰ σημεῖα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ τέρατα αὐτοῦ ἐν πεδίῳ Τάνεως 78:44 καὶ μετέστρεψεν εἰς αἷμα τοὺς ποταμοὺς αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ ὀμβρήματα αὐτῶν ὅπως μὴ πίωσιν 78:45 ἐξαπέστειλεν εἰς αὐτοὺς κυνόμυιαν καὶ κατέφαγεν αὐτούς καὶ βάτραχον καὶ διέφθειρεν αὐτούς 78:46 καὶ ἔδωκεν τῇ ἐρυσίβῃ τὸν καρπὸν αὐτῶν καὶ τοὺς πόνους αὐτῶν τῇ ἀκρίδι 78:47 ἀπέκτεινεν ἐν χαλάζῃ τὴν ἄμπελον αὐτῶν καὶ τὰς συκαμίνους αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ πάχνῃ 78:48 καὶ παρέδωκεν εἰς χάλαζαν τὰ κτήνη αὐτῶν καὶ τὴν ὕπαρξιν αὐτῶν τῷ πυρί 78:49 ἐξαπέστειλεν εἰς αὐτοὺς ὀργὴν θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ θυμὸν καὶ ὀργὴν καὶ θλῖψιν ἀποστολὴν δ ἀγγέλων πονηρῶν 78:50 ὡδοποίησεν τρίβον τῇ ὀργῇ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατο ἀπὸ θανάτου τῶν ψυχῶν αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ κτήνη αὐτῶν εἰς θάνατον συνέκλεισεν 78:51 καὶ ἐπάταξεν πᾶν πρωτότοκον ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἀπαρχὴν τῶν πόνων αὐτῶν ἐν τοῖς σκηνώμασι Χαμ

Asaph says that though the people have sinned, the Lord has compassion (רַחוּם) and forgives (יְכַפֵּר) their sins, לח וְהוּא רַחוּם | יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ וְלֹא-יָעִיר כָּל-חֲמָתוֹ: 78:38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum translates the text in the following way, לח והוא רחמנא מכפר עוייתהון ולא מחבל יתהון ומסגי למיתב מן רוגזיה ולא יוחי בהון כל חימתיה ריתחיה׃ 8:38 But he is merciful, atoning for their sins, and does not destroy them; and he frequently turns from his anger, and he will not hasten all his wrath against them. (EMC) The MT states יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן suggesting that the Lord is atoning for the sins of the people. The Torah makes it clear that blood (דם) is used as a means for consecration (sanctification; dedication, devotion) as well as a means for atonement (כפרה) with God. Remember also, blood was used on the door-posts (mezuzot) of the houses in Egypt to escape judgment and the death of the first born, and later blood was used as a means for confirming the covenant given at Sinai (Shemot / Exodus 24:8). Note also that all of the instruments used in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) were set apart and consecrated by blood (Shemot / Exodus 29:20-21, Hebrews 9:21). The blood was used to “make atonement” for the soul upon the altar as the Torah states in Vayikra / Leviticus 17:11 saying, “and I have given it for you on the altar to atone (לְכַפֵּר) for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life” (כִּי־הַדָּם הוּא בַּנֶּפֶשׁ יְכַפֵּר). When the Lord forgives, is Asaph saying that it is the Lord who atones and not man who is doing so? Generally, the interpretation by most Christian commentators is that man earned his salvation by bringing the sacrifice to make atonement for himself. Here however, the psalm of Asaph is suggesting that it is the Lord who is making the atonement. The blood is connected to the holiness of life through a sacrificial death. Justice requires that sin is punished whereby justice is served by the shedding of blood. Remember the Scriptures teaching that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:22) and that the soul that sins shall die (Bereshit / Genesis 2:17, 3:19, Ezekiel 18:4, 20). In the Torah, the system of animal sacrifices with blood in the Mishkan was meant to “atone” for sin, to mend the relationship man had with our Father in heaven, and it appears that through the appointment of the commandment, it is the Lord who is bringing atonement in blood, and not the person who has brought the animal. Another interpretation may be related to the priestly service, the priest acts in the name of God on behalf of the Lord and for the people to bring atonement. The work of the priest may function as the Lord Himself making the atonement for His people as Asaph is saying. Specifically, within the Chatat Korban (sin offering) or Asham Korban(guilt offering), the worshiper would bring a kosher animal to the entrance of the Mishkan and place his right hand on the animal’s head confessing his sins over the animal for the purpose of transferring his sin to the animal, something that was a function of faith. The animal was then slain and the blood collected. We are told according to the Talmud Bavli Menachot 110a, in the “life-for-life” principle, the Lord accepted the animal in place of the worshiper, the one who had brought the offence against the Lord. All of these concepts are coupled to the process of Teshuvah, in the sense of personal and communal teshuvah, where one must have a truly repentant heart. Note that during Yom Kippurim, Vayikra / Leviticus 16, outlines the Tabernacle (mishkan) procedure for atonement on a national scale saying, “For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before the Lord” (כִּי־בַיּוֹם הַזֶּה יְכַפֵּר עֲלֵיכֶם לְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי יְ-הוָה תִּטְהָרוּ) This day is marked by repentance, prayer, and fasting all day long. Vayikra / Leviticus 16:21 states, “and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, whatever their sins,” (וְהִתְוַדָּה עָלָיו אֶת־כָּל־עֲוֹנֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת־כָּל־פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם לְכָל־חַטֹּאתָם) it is the High Priest who confesses the sins of the people which had occurred on an individual level within the context of the national atonement. This implies a more intimate relationship with the High Priest, to each individual, found within the command to confess the sins of the people before God. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kipur) is a day that culminates a period of deep introspection about our relationship with God, that is supposed to be preceded by a period in which we ask individuals that we have wronged to forgive us (see Maimonides, Hilchot Teshuva 2:9). During Yom Kipur the following confession is made, ועל כלם אלו-ה הסליחות סלח לנו מחל לנו כפר לנו, “for all of these sins, O God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.” Seeking the Lord’s forgiveness asking Him to forgive, pardon, and grant atonement note the Hebrew words מחל ,סלח, and כפר. Within the three words that are used here, forgive (סלח), pardon (מחל), and atonement (כפר), there is something very important to understand based on the biblical text, that the word “forgive” in some cases is in the sense of “forgive and forget” whereas in other cases a sin may be forgiven but not totally forgotten. This is in the context of our seeking the forgiveness of sins does not necessarily cause the consequential punishment for sin to be erased. For example, Jeremiah 50:20 says the following,

בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וּבָעֵת הַהִיא נְאֻם יְ-הוָה יְבֻקַּשׁ אֶת עֲוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵינֶנּוּ וְאֶת־חַטֹּאת יְהוּדָה וְלֹא תִמָּצֶאינָה כִּי אֶסְלַח לַאֲשֶׁר אַשְׁאִיר

Jeremiah 50:20

In those days and at that time, declares the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, and there shall be none; the sins of Judah, and none shall be found; for I will pardon those I allow to survive.”

In Jeremiah’s ideal future, the sin is completely removed and disappears. The sins being forgiven and removed however does not necessarily cause the consequences to be removed as well. For example, after the sin of the spies in the book of Bamidbar / Numbers, Moses asks God to forgive the sin of the people saying the following in Bamidbar / Numbers 14:19-20,

סְלַח־נָא לַעֲוֹן הָעָם הַזֶּה כְּגֹדֶל חַסְדֶּךָ וְכַאֲשֶׁר נָשָׂאתָה לָעָם הַזֶּה מִמִּצְרַיִם וְעַד הֵנָּה׃ וַיֹּאמֶר יְ-הוָה סָלַחְתִּי כִּדְבָרֶךָ׃

Bamidbar / Numbers 14:19-20

Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to Your great kindness, as You have forgiven this people ever since Egypt. And the Lord said, ‘I pardon, as you have asked.’

Note how Moshe asks the Lord to forgive the peoples sins (iniquity) which is a key reference from the Torah which appears in the selichot prayers (forgiveness prayers), as a precedent for God forgiving us. However, this forgiveness is not like that of Jeremiah; as the following verses make clear, the sin is in some sense forgiven where the entire nation is not destroyed, but the consequences of sin is not erased. We read in Bamidbar / Numbers 14:22, “My Presence and the signs that I have performed in Egypt and in the wilderness” (אֶת־כְּבֹדִי וְאֶת־אֹתֹתַי אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתִי בְמִצְרַיִם וּבַמִּדְבָּר), reveals to us that the power of God is present to overcome anything, and the power of God is present to forgiven sins as well, the point is that though the sin is forgiven, the consequences of punishment will very likely continue to follow. The point is that confession of sin, even of the most sincere type, does not automatically imply the removal of sins consequences. Some sins have lasting consequences, and the most we can hope for is that the consequences be mitigated through the mercy of God, via His great compassion and grace. Seek the Lord in helping us to walk through the consequences of our sins and continue to bring glory to His name in Teshuvah.

Though the Lord knew the future sins of the people, we read in the Torah and in the Psalm that He led his people when Asaph states the following, נב וַיַּסַּע כַּצֹּאן עַמּוֹ וַיְנַהֲגֵם כָּעֵדֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר: נג וַיַּנְחֵם לָבֶטַח וְלֹא פָחָדוּ וְאֶת-אוֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּסָּה הַיָּם: נד וַיְבִיאֵם אֶל-גְּבוּל קָדְשׁוֹ הַר-זֶה קָנְתָה יְמִינוֹ: נה וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם | גּוֹיִם וַיַּפִּילֵם בְּחֶבֶל נַחֲלָה וַיַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם שִׁבְטֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: 78:52 But He led forth His own people like sheep And guided them in the wilderness like a flock; 78:53 He led them safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea engulfed their enemies. 78:54 So He brought them to His holy land, To this hill country which His right hand had gained. 78:55 He also drove out the nations before them And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum states, נב ואטיל היך ענא עמיה ודברינון היך ענא עדרא רעיא במדברא׃ נג ואשרינון לרוחצן ולא דחלין וית בעלי דבביהון חפא ימא׃ נד ואעלינון לתחום אתר בית מקדשיה טור דין די קנת ימיניה׃ נה ותריך מן קדמיהון עמיא עממיא ואשרי יתהון בעדב אחסנתיה ואשרי במשכנהון שבטיא דישראל׃ 78:52 And he led his people like a flock, and guided them like a sheep flock in the wilderness. 78:53 And he settled them securely, and they did not fear; and the sea covered their enemies. 78:54 And he brought them into the territory of the site of the Temple, the same mountain that his right hand created. 78:55 And he drove out the Gentiles before them, and settled them in the lot of his inheritance, and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents. (EMC) The Lord led the people, guiding them to their destination. Isaiah 42:16 states, “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.” (NASB) The Lord says that He will lead the blind and bring them to their own land, as a blind people that need guiding, and that He would remove the obstacle that is in their way. The Targum states that the Lord led the people to the territory of the site of the Temple, and the MT states that He brought them to the holy land. The blind is a reference to the people who do not realize the significance of going into the Land and the power of God to deliver the Land into their hands. They were not only blind, but spiritually ignorant of what the Lord had given them, His Torah, and the importance of trusting and relying upon Him.

Asaph continues saying the following,

Masoretic Text

Tehillim / Psalms 78:56-68

78:56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God And did not keep His testimonies, 78:57 But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers; They turned aside like a treacherous bow. 78:58 For they provoked Him with their high places And aroused His jealousy with their graven images. 78:59 When God heard, He was filled with wrath And greatly abhorred Israel; 78:60 So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh, The tent which He had pitched among men, 78:61 And gave up His strength to captivity And His glory into the hand of the adversary. 78:62 He also delivered His people to the sword, And was filled with wrath at His inheritance. 78:63 Fire devoured His young men, And His virgins had no wedding songs. 78:64 His priests fell by the sword, And His widows could not weep. 78:65 Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep, Like a warrior overcome by wine. 78:66 He drove His adversaries backward; He put on them an everlasting reproach. 78:67 He also rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. 78:69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has founded forever. (NASB)

נו וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת-אֱלֹהִים עֶלְיוֹן וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ: נז וַיִּסֹּגוּ וַיִּבְגְּדוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם נֶהְפְּכוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה: נח וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ בְּבָמוֹתָם וּבִפְסִילֵיהֶם יַקְנִיאוּהוּ: נט שָׁמַע אֱלֹהִים וַיִּתְעַבָּר וַיִּמְאַס מְאֹד בְּיִשְֹרָאֵל: ס וַיִּטּשׁ מִשְׁכַּן שִׁלוֹ אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן בָּאָדָם: סא וַיִּתֵּן לַשְּׁבִי עֻזּוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְיַד-צָר: סב וַיַּסְגֵּר לַחֶרֶב עַמּוֹ וּבְנַחֲלָתוֹ הִתְעַבָּר: סג בַּחוּרָיו אָכְלָה-אֵשׁ וּבְתוּלֹתָיו לֹא הוּלָּלוּ: סד כֹּהֲנָיו בַּחֶרֶב נָפָלוּ וְאַלְמְנֹתָיו לֹא תִבְכֶּינָה: סה וַיִּקַץ כְּיָשֵׁן | אֲדֹנָי כְּגִבּוֹר מִתְרוֹנֵן מִיָּיִן: סו וַיַּךְ-צָרָיו אָחוֹר חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם נָתַן לָמוֹ: סז וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף וּבְשֵׁבֶט אֶפְרַיִם לֹא בָחָר: סח וַיִּבְחַר אֶת-שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה אֶת-הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב: סט וַיִּבֶן כְּמוֹ-רָמִים מִקְדָּשׁוֹ כְּאֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ לְעוֹלָם:

Aramaic Targum

Toviyah / Psalms 78:56-69

78:56 But they tempted and provoked in the presence of God Most High, and they did not keep his testimony. 78:57 And they relapsed and did evil like their fathers; they became bent like a bow that shoots arrows. 78:58 And they caused anger in his presence with their libations; and they made him jealous with their idols and images. 78:59 It was heard in the presence of God, and he became angry, and his soul was very disgusted with Israel. 78:60 And he abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent where his presence did abide among the sons of men. 78:61 And he handed over his Torah to captivity, and his splendor to the hand of the oppressor. 78:62 And he handed over his people to those who slay with the sword, and became angry with his inheritance. 78:63 The fire consumed his young men, and his young women were not respected. 78:64 His priests will fall with the killing of the sword, and his widows had no time to weep. Another Targum: At the time when the Philistines captured the ark of the Lord, the priests of Shiloh, Hophni and Phinehas fell by the sword; and at the time when they informed his wives, they did not weep, for they too died on that same day. 78:65 And the Lord woke up like a sleeper, like a man who opens his eyes from wine. 78:66 And he smote his oppressors on their behinds with hemorrhoids; he gave them eternal disgrace. 78:67 And he was disgusted with the tabernacle spread over the territory of Joseph; and he took no pleasure in the tribe of Ephraim. 78:68 But he was pleased with the tribe of Judah, with Mount Zion that he loves. 78:69 And he built his sanctuary like the horn of the wild ox, fixed like the earth that he founded forever and ever. (EMC)

נו ואנסיאו וארגיזו קדם אלהא עילאה וסהידותיה לא נטרו׃ נז וזורו וארשיעו היך אבהתהון אתהפיכו היך קשתא דרמיא גיררין׃ נח וארגיזו קדמוי בנסכיהון ובפסיליהון ובצילמוניהון אקנון יתיה׃ נט שמיע קדם אלהא ורגז ורחקת נפשיה לחדא בישראל׃ ס ושבק משכנא דשילו משכן די שרת תמן שכינתיה בגו בני נשא׃ סא ומסר לשיביתא אורייתיה ושיבהוריה ביד מעיקא׃ סב ומסר לקטלין בחרבא עמיה ובאחסנתיה ארגיז׃ סג עולימוהי אכלת אשתא ובתולתיה לא אשתבחן משבחן׃ סד כהנוי בקטלא דחרבא יפלון וארמלתוי לא ספיקן ספיקו דתבכוון׃ ת׳׳ בעידן דשבו פלשתאי ארונא דיהוה בחרבא נפלו כהני שילו חפני ופנחס ובעידן דבשרו נשוהי לא בכיין ארום מיתו אוף אינון בהדא יומא׃ סה ואיתער היך דמיך יהוה היך גברא גיברא דמתפקח מן חמרא׃ סו ומחא מעיקוי בטחוריא באחוריהון קלנא דעלמא יהב להון׃ סז ורחיק במשכנא דפריס על תחומיה דיוסף ובשבט אפרים לא רעא׃ סח ואיתרעי ית שבט יהודה ית טורא דציון די רחים׃ סט ובנא היך קרנא דרימנא מקדשיה מעתד היך ארעא דיסדה לעלמי עלמין׃

Septuagint

Psalmoi / Psalms 78:56-69

78:56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies. 78:57 And they turned back, and broke covenant, even as also their fathers: they became like a crooked bow. 78:58 And they provoked him with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. 78:59 God heard and lightly regarded them, and greatly despised Israel. 78:60 And he rejected the tabernacle of Selom, his tent where he dwelt among men. 78:61 And he gave their strength into captivity, and their beauty into the enemy’s hand. 78:62 And he gave his people to the sword; and disdained his inheritance. 78:63 Fire devoured their young men; and their virgins mourned not. 78:64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows shall not be wept for. 78:65 So the Lord awakes as one out of sleep, and as a mighty man who has been heated with wine. 78:66 And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he brought on them a perpetual reproach. 78:67 And he rejected the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim; 78:68 but chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Sion which he loved. 78:69 And he built his sanctuary as the place of unicorns; he founded it for ever on the earth. (LXX)

78:56 καὶ ἐπείρασαν καὶ παρεπίκραναν τὸν θεὸν τὸν ὕψιστον καὶ τὰ μαρτύρια αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐφυλάξαντο 78:57 καὶ ἀπέστρεψαν καὶ ἠσυνθέτησαν καθὼς καὶ οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν καὶ μετεστράφησαν εἰς τόξον στρεβλὸν 78:58 καὶ παρώργισαν αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς βουνοῖς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐν τοῖς γλυπτοῖς αὐτῶν παρεζήλωσαν αὐτόν 78:59 ἤκουσεν ὁ θεὸς καὶ ὑπερεῖδεν καὶ ἐξουδένωσεν σφόδρα τὸν Ισραηλ 78:60 καὶ ἀπώσατο τὴν σκηνὴν Σηλωμ σκήνωμα αὐτοῦ οὗ κατεσκήνωσεν ἐν ἀνθρώποις 78:61 καὶ παρέδωκεν εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν τὴν ἰσχὺν αὐτῶν καὶ τὴν καλλονὴν αὐτῶν εἰς χεῖρας ἐχθροῦ 78:62 καὶ συνέκλεισεν εἰς ῥομφαίαν τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ ὑπερεῖδεν 78:63 τοὺς νεανίσκους αὐτῶν κατέφαγεν πῦρ καὶ αἱ παρθένοι αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐπενθήθησαν 78:64 οἱ ἱερεῖς αὐτῶν ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ ἔπεσαν καὶ αἱ χῆραι αὐτῶν οὐ κλαυσθήσονται 78:65 καὶ ἐξηγέρθη ὡς ὁ ὑπνῶν κύριος ὡς δυνατὸς κεκραιπαληκὼς ἐξ οἴνου 78:66 καὶ ἐπάταξεν τοὺς ἐχθροὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω ὄνειδος αἰώνιον ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς 78:67 καὶ ἀπώσατο τὸ σκήνωμα Ιωσηφ καὶ τὴν φυλὴν Εφραιμ οὐκ ἐξελέξατο 78:68 καὶ ἐξελέξατο τὴν φυλὴν Ιουδα τὸ ὄρος τὸ Σιων ὃ ἠγάπησεν 78:69 καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν ὡς μονοκερώτων τὸ ἁγίασμα αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ γῇ ἐθεμελίωσεν αὐτὴν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα

Asaph states that the people were unrighteous and rebelled (MT), and provoked (Targum, LXX) the Lord and did not keep His testimonies (נו וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת-אֱלֹהִים עֶלְיוֹן וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ:). What is the significance of keeping the testimonies of God? What does it mean to keep the testimonies? When thinking on the meaning of a testimony, we are reminded of the Torah mandate that the testimony of one witness is insufficient, it must be established by two or three witnesses (Devarim / Deuteronomy 19:15). Notice in the Torah all of the miracles the Lord provided for the deliverance of Israel, each one functions as a testimony of the mercy of God. The Lord bears witness in His word, by the way He delivered Israel again and again; His testimony has been established by the two or three witnesses as stated in Devarim / Deuteronomy 19:15. In Devarim / Deuteronomy 19, the testimony is a verbal confession of what happened. In the Psalm, Asaph says they did not “keep” (שָׁמָרוּ) His testimonies (וְעֵדוֹתָיו). What is a testimony that is kept? The testimonies appears to be a reference to the traditions, such as Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. The testimony is a visible reminder of God’s supremacy and power to deliver. Keeping the testimony is the Proclamation of God as Lord and Savior. In Isaiah 43:8-13, the prophet depicts the nations as forming a legal assembly to proclaim the superiority and saving work of their gods. However, their case proves groundless since their gods are blind (eyes that do not see) and deaf (ears that do not hear). The idol gods of the nations were constructed of common materials and their makers were men. The Lord God whom we serve was not made by human hands, He is the creator of all things. Thus, the message of the nations is nothing but a lie (Isaiah 43:10-12, 44:9-20). The nations have no case since their gods are unable to support their claims (Isaiah 44:11). Israel however is told to take on the testimonies of God as a witness (Isaiah 43:10-12, 44:8) to proclaim His power as Lord of all, and that apart from him there is no salvation (Isaiah 43:11). The point and importance of the testimonies is found not only within the traditions, but also in the way one lives his or her life before God. This is the meaning of the phrase “the testimony of Yeshua” that is mentioned four times in the book of Revelation.

In Revelation 1:2, John refers back to the first verse, which says that God gave Yeshua the Messiah this special message; and the Messiah in turn sent it to John by an angel. In other words, the book of Revelation is “the testimony of Yeshua.” Revelation 12:17 states that the true Ekklesia has this testimony and keeps the commandments of God. Notice the parallel here to Asaph’s words, the unrighteous generation rebells and provokes the Lord by not keeping His commands, His testimonies, whereas, the righteous have faith and keep His commands. This is the meaning of what Yeshua said in John 15:14, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (NASB) The commandments of God and Messiah’s instructions are one and the same. In Revelation 19:10, the angel quickly restrains John from worshiping him. Instead, the angel said, “Worship God! For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.” As we have studied previously, “Prophecy” can either refer to foretelling the future or it can be a reference to inspired preaching. Note how the phrase the “spirit of prophecy” in the rabbinic literature is always within the context of studying Torah, living righteously, and the presence of God resting upon His people. This statement is rich with rabbinic and Torah context that takes us right back to Asaph’s words, the people rebelled and provoked God and did not keep his testimonies, whereas the righteous people do not provoke God and live in the testimonies. This is what John meant in 1 John 5:11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. (NASB) Eternal life in the Messiah is characterized by righteousness, truth, justice, and holiness. The testimonies of God is undeniably a reference to the Torah, and the importance of God’s people to observe the Torah commands, precepts, and statutes. The Lord God has historically, time and again, revealed himself to Israel and redeemed them from the oppression of the enemy. God’s revelation of himself to Moshe, the giving of the Torah, the abiding presence in the tabernacle, and His redemption of Israel functions as a witness, and our living these things today, not only in the moral imperatives found in the Torah, but also in the traditions, we are proclaiming the evidence of God’s power to redeem, deliver, and save lives. The testimony is equivalent to a proclamation of truth. Our lives today present historical evidence attesting to God’s power as creator and sustainer, redeemer, deliverer, and savior.

Asaph concludes His Psalm saying, ע וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן: עא מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְֹרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ: עב וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם: 78:70 He also chose David His servant And took him from the sheepfolds; 78:71 From the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. 78:72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands. (NASB) The Aramaic Targum states the following, ע ואתרעי בדוד עבדיה ודבריה מן עדריא דענא׃ עא ומן בתר מיינקן אייתיה למשלט ביעקב עמיה ובישראל אחסנתיה׃ עב ומלך עליהון עילויהון בשלימות ליבביה ובסוכלתנות אידוי ידברינון׃ 78:70 And he was pleased with David his servant, and took him from the flocks of sheep. 78:71 And he brought him [away] from [following] after sucklings to rule over Jacob his people, and over Israel his inheritance. 78:72 And he reigned over them in the perfection of his heart, and he will guide them by the understanding of his hands. (EMC) The Septuagint states, 78:70 καὶ ἐξελέξατο Δαυιδ τὸν δοῦλον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνέλαβεν αὐτὸν ἐκ τῶν ποιμνίων τῶν προβάτων 78:71 ἐξόπισθεν τῶν λοχευομένων ἔλαβεν αὐτὸν ποιμαίνειν Ιακωβ τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ Ισραηλ τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ 78:72 καὶ ἐποίμανεν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ ἀκακίᾳ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν ταῖς συνέσεσι τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ ὡδήγησεν αὐτούς 78:70 He chose David also his servant, and took him up from the flocks of sheep. 78:71 He took him from following the ewes great with young, to be the shepherd of Jacob his servant, and Israel his inheritance. 78:72 So he tended them in the innocency of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. (LXX) The MT states that the Lord chose David taking Him from the sheepfolds and caring for those that are more helpless than he was. The Aramaic Targum states that the Lord was pleased with David. Before David was taken to serve Saul and chosen to be king, he lived a very simple and humble life taking care of sheep. David was a very modest youth, this may be understood by his looking after and taking care of his father’s flocks. His heart burned with a love for God and for His people, which he expressed in the Psalms he composed and in playing on the lyre. He also felt a deep love for his lambs and for every living creature; whenever he brought out his flocks to pasture, we can imagine how he led the young lambs to graze among the fresh, tender young grasses, for they did not yet have any teeth. He had great courage and was not afraid of any wild animal. He had no fear, except of the Lord God alone. When the lion or bear attacked his flocks and herds, David would rush to deliver, rescue, and save the animal under his care from the beast. We are told in the Scriptures, even in spite of the knowledge that he himself was not to have a hand in building the Temple of God, David continued his work serving the Lord and began to collect the materials needed for the building as well as money to pay for it. All the treasures he had assembled during his reign, gold and silver and copper, precious stones and wood, he had placed in the care of a man called Shabuel, a direct descendant of Moshe, who was appointed to take charge of this treasury. King Solomon later had before him only the task of constructing the Temple because he had all of the materials that were needed. David’s reign lasted for forty years; the first seven years he reigned in Hebron over the tribe of Judah, and the remaining thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel. We see according to the Scriptures that David was a man whose heart he dedicated to the service of the Lord. In his humility and innocence the Lord was pleased to make him king, as Asaph states, 78:72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands. (NASB) Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 78 has 21 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 4, 6, 8, 18, and 21. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 78, Parts 1, 4, 6, 8, 18, and 21.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 78, Part 1, 4, 6, 8, 18, and 21

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Maschil of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 78:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “These words are to be considered in light of what Scripture says elsewhere, Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, the day that you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb (Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:9-10).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis begin with comments regarding the remembering the word of the Lord for the purpose of not forgetting what was seen at the foot of the mountain of Sinai and in Mitzrayim.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal saying the only reason the Lord God made a covenant with Israel was for the giving of the Torah which functions as a testimony in this world and in the world to come.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and the Law is a prescription (sam) for Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 78:5). What does the word sam mean? It means that the Law which the Holy One blessed be He, prescribed for the children of Israel is a medicine of life, as is said, It will be a medicine in your navel (Mishley / Proverbs 3:8).”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Another comment on Man did eat angels’ food, By man is meant the children of Israel, of whom it is said, Joshua called for every man of Israel (Joshua 10:24)…”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “… by angels’ food is meant that they became thereby as mighty as angels.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the manna in relation to those who ate of the manna had eaten angel’s food, and they do not need to ease themselves.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal and try to reason why the children of Israel rebelled against the Lord when He performed His miracles in their midst, and fed them angel’s food and did not need to ease themselves. The idea may be they could continue in their study of the Torah by removing the need to take the time to ease one’s self.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Hence, it is said, Man did eat the bread of the mighty, He caused an east wind to blow, and by His power He brought in the south wind (Tehillim / Psalms 78:25-26).”

Part 6

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying ,“For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works (Tehillim / Psalms 78:32).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Berechiah, Rabbi Levi, and Rabbi Simeon son of Jose taught in the name of Rabbi Meir that the Holy One blessed be He, let Jacob see a ladder upon which Babylon climbed up seventy rungs and came down, Media climed up fifty two rungs and came down, Greece climbed up a hundred and eighty rungs and came down. But when Edom climbed higher than these, Jacob saw and was afraid.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon the psalmist’s words how the people did not believe in the Lord even in the midst of the miracles of God. Notice how this same thing happened in the midst of the people when Yeshua the Messiah performed miracles, there was no faith in some people.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal speaking of the fear of the Lord, the ladder of Jacob, and the presence of God departing.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works, to mean that if Jacob had climbed up the ladder, he would not have had to come down again, and we would not now be suffering in the present slavery.”

Part 8

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “But He, being full of compassion, gives iniquity, and destroys not; yes, many a time does He turn His anger away, and does not stir up all His wrath (Tehillim / Psalms 78:38).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “These words are to be considered in the light of the verse, O Lord, correct me, but (ak) in measure (Jeremiah 10:24).
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon the psalmist’s words saying that the Lord does not stir up all of His wrath but only a small portion of His wrath.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal speaking of the resurrection of the dead.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “But even as they were consumed in the wilderness, so will they be comforted in the wilderness, for it is said, Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness and speak comfortably unto her (Hosea 2:16).”

Part 18

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “In the verse And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, to this mountain which His right hand had gotten (Tehillim / Psalms 78:54).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “sanctuary refers to the Holy Temple. He drove out the nations before them, and allotted them for an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents (Tehillim / Psalms 78:55) that is, in the tents of the thirty one kings of Canaan.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon the psalmist’s words saying that the Lord forsook the Tabernacle at Shilo.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal and weave in concepts with regard to the construction materials of the Tabernacle, Korach, and Nadav and Avihu dying being consumed by fire.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Rabbi Berechiah said in the name of rabbi Eliezer, Be fore the time of redemption comes, the Holy One blessed be He, makes Himself out to be asleep, if one may dare speak thus. The Lord will awaken as one out of sleep, indeed, when the time of redemption comes, God will be like a mighty man recovering from wine.”

Part 21

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “He chose David also His servant, and took him because of his separations of the sheep (Tehillim / Psalms 78:70).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Joshua the priest taught, What is meant by the phrase his separations?
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis comment upon the psalmist’s words discussing separations, that David separated some sheep from others.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal speaking of the Lord feeding His sheep. Do different sheep receive different foods?
  • The Concluding phrase says, “He said, My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 145:21), these are the very words with which he began his Psalm in praise of the Holy One blessed be He.”

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “A Maschil of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth (Tehillim / Psalms 78:1).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “These words are to be considered in light of what Scripture says elsewhere, Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes saw, the day that you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb (Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:9-10).” What does it mean to “take heed to yourself” and to “keep your soul?” The rabbis are quoting from Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:9-10, to draw our attention and place special emphasis on the worship of the Lord is to be conducted without the use of images. This is what draws the distinction of the God Israel from all the other nations. Within these verses we are told the importance of teaching our children the Word of God, something of which seems to have been neglected in Israel indicated by the next generation failing to obey the Lord, raising up and not “knowing” the works the Lord had done for Israel (Judges 2:10). The idea of “taking heed” and “keeping the soul” is connected to studying God’s Word for the purpose of remembering what He has done for us. The experiences of the nation of Israel recorded in the Torah is meant not only for that generation, but also for all the generations to come. It is for this reason that the prophets, and the psalms call upon their contemporaries to remember what happened to Israel long ago according to the Torah, this is why the writers of the Apostolic Writings call upon the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings (Romans 1) in their appeal to hear the gospel message, to remember the promises of God, and His mercies that are bestowed upon his children.

The Midrash continues saying the following.

The Holy One blessed be He, made a covenant with the children of Israel only for the sake of the Torah, that it might not be forgotten out of their mouths. As Scripture says, He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a Law in Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 78:5), to the end that it will not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed (Devarim / Deuteronomy 31:21). (Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 1)

The rabbis say that the Lord made a covenant with Israel for the sake of the Torah, that it would not be forgotten out of their mouths. Again, this is an obvious conclusion based upon the Torah text from Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:9-10, to love the Lord your God with all our hearts, minds, and strength. According to the Midrash, and the conclusion of Asaph in the Psalm we read in the Targum, 78:5 And he established a witness among those of the house of Jacob, and he decreed a Torah among those of the house of Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their sons. 78:6 So that another generation, sons still to be born, should know; they will arise and tell it to their children. 78:7 And they will place their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, and they will keep his commandments. (EMC) One of the purposes of the covenant is to remember God’s Word, and not to forget.

The Midrash continues saying,

Now in order that no man should say to you, The Psalms of David are not Torah, whereas, in fact, they are Torah, as Books of the Prophets are also Torah, therefore, it is said, Give ear, O my people, to my teaching (my Torah). And not only the revelations, but even the riddles and the parables, they are also Torah. Hence, the Holy One blessed be He, gave this admonition to Ezekiel, son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable (Ezekiel 17:2). And Solomon admonished, To understand a proverb, and a figure; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings (Mishley / Proverbs 1:6). Therefore, Asaph goes on to say, I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter dark sayings concerning days of old (Tehillim / Psalms 78:2). It was asked of Asaph, Whence do you know what you speak of? Have you perhaps seen it? And he answered, I know it from hearing it, as is said in the next verse, That which we have heard and known (Tehillim / Psalms 78:3). (Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 1)

Notice how the Midrash states that some people may say that the Psalms of David are not Torah, however, the rabbis believe the psalms are Torah. This gives credence to the understanding of the Torah as “God’s instructions for His people,” this concept is a rabbinic way of understanding that all of Scripture is inspired by God. The rabbis say that even the riddles and parables are for instruction and teaching. Examples are given from Ezekiel, Solomon, and Asaph saying that he will open his mouth with dark sayings concerning days of old. The point of mentioning parables is that sometimes parables are difficult to understand. The inherent nature of the difficulty in understanding the parable causes us to ponder what was said and to search out, to find understanding, to draw near to the Lord, and to seek the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth the Lord is seeking for us to understand. Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 1 concludes saying, “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and the Law is a prescription (sam) for Israel (Tehillim / Psalms 78:5). What does the word sam mean? It means that the Law which the Holy One blessed be He, prescribed for the children of Israel is a medicine of life, as is said, It will be a medicine in your navel (Mishley / Proverbs 3:8).” It is interesting how the rabbis say that the Torah is given as a medicine of life. Note that Torah is a reference to all of Scripture, thus, the conclusion is that God’s Word as a whole is meant for our help, for understanding, for comfort, and peace in the Lord. In addition, we learn about Yeshua the Messiah and the glory of His overcoming death, who intercedes on our behalf, and of whom Hebrews 1:1-3, states 1Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις 2ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι’ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας: 3ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, 1:1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (NIV) The author of Hebrews speaks of remembering the Scriptures (the Prophets), and the power of the Word of God, coupled with the concepts of the purification for sins that we get from the Torah. The authors of the Apostolic Writings understood that God’s Torah (His Word) is a medicine not only for our souls, but for remembering the gift of God, and the Messiah Yeshua who died for our sins, in whom we have the forgiveness of sins and all of the promises of God from since the beginning of Creation.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “Another comment on Man did eat angels’ food, By man is meant the children of Israel, of whom it is said, Joshua called for every man of Israel (Joshua 10:24)…” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “… by angels’ food is meant that they became thereby as mighty as angels.” The manna that showed up miraculously every day, except on the Shabbat, is called “Angels’ food” and the rabbis say that the phrase “Angels’ food” is meant that the people became mighty as angels. How did eating the manna make the people mighty as angels? What exactly are the rabbis trying to say here? The children of Israel traveled in the wilderness on their way to the mountain of Sinai. While traveling for three days, there was no food or water and the result was they were suffering with thirst. We read in the Torah in Shemot / Exodus 15:24-26 the following, 15:24 So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’ 15:25 Then he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. 15:26 And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.’ (NASB) The children of Israel seemed to possess an evil heart of unbelief. They were unwilling to endure hardships (such as hunger and thirst) in the wilderness. The Scriptures say that they were being tested by God to see if they would do what was right before Him. However, when they met with difficulties on the way, they regarded them as punishment and grumbled against Moshe and the Lord in heaven. Their confidence in God failed, and they could see nothing before them but death. The Lord worked through the hand of Moshe to sweeten the waters so that it was possible to drink. However, the people used to complain further was we read in Shemot / Exodus 16:2 The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 16:3 The sons of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ (NASB) After this the Lord causes manna to descend to feed the people. There does seem to be a significant amount of unbelief in the hearts of the people; but how did eating manna cause them to be mighty as angels?

The entire Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 4 states the following.

מדרש תהלים פרק עח סימן ד

ד דבר אחר לחם אבירים אכל איש. לחם שנעשו אבירים כמלאכים. אכל איש. אלו ישראל, שנאמר כל איש ישראל (יהושע י כד), אמר ר׳ שמעון בן לקיש ישראל היו מתרעמין ואומרים יש לך ילוד אשה אוכל ואינו מוציא, ראית מימיך אדם יש לו רחיים נותן לתוכה חטים ואינה מוציאה קמח, אמר הקב״ה בטובה שאני עושה לכם והשויתי אתכם למלאכי השרת שלא יהו נפנין, הן מתרעמין עלי, ואמרו ונפשנו קצה בלחם הקלוקל (במדבר כא ה), כלומר מקולקל, עד אנה ינאצוני [וגו׳] בכל האותות אשר עשיתי בקרבו (שם במדבר יד יא), בתוך קרביו ומעיו של ישראל, שהיו אוכלין ואינן מוציאין כלום. אמר ר׳ אייבו בשש שעות ביום בא יתרו, וירד המן לישראל בשבילו כנגד ששים ריבוא, וירד לו כנגד כל האיברים, הוי לחם אבירים. והיאך המן יורד להם, היתה הרוח מנשבת ומכבדת כל פני האדמה, ועושין אותן כשלחנות של פז ואבן יקרה, ואחר כך הטל יורד להם, שנאמר וברדת הטל על המחנה לילה ירד המן עליו (במדבר יא ט), היו ישראל יוצאין ומלקטין אותו עד ארבע שעות, שלא תזרח השמש שלא ימסה, שנאמר וילקטו אותו בבקר בבקר איש כפי אכלו וחם השמש ונמס (שמות יו כא), הוי לחם אבירים אכל איש.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 4

4. Another comment on Man did eat angel’s food, By man is meant the children of Israel, of whom it is said, Joshua called for every man of Israel (Joshua 10:24); and by angels’ food is meant that they became thereby as mighty as angels. Rabbi Simeon son of Lakish taught, The children of Israel were troubled, and they said, Can one born of woman eat and not have to void? Have you in your lifetime ever seen a man with a mill into which he puts wheat but does not make flour? The Holy One blessed be He, said, I so favored the children of Israel that like ministering angels they have no need to ease themselves, yet they murmur against Me and say, Our soul loathes this light bread (Bamidbar / Numbers 21:5), that is, this corrupted bread. How long will this people provoke Me? And how long will it be that they believe in Me, for all the signs which I have performed in their innermost parts (Bamidbar / Numbers 14:11), that is, in the intestines and bowels of Israel, who, though they ate, voided nothing. Rabbi Aibu taught that Jethro arrived in the sixth hour of the day, For his sake manna enough for the sixty myriads of Israel came down; for this sake enough came down for every organ of each body in Israel. Hence, it is said, Man did eat the bread of the mighty; He sent provisions to the full (Tehillim / Psalms 78:24). How did the manna come down to the children of Israel? A wind would blow and sweep clean the surface of the ground, making it look like tables of gold and precious stones, and after that the dew would fall for the children of Israel, as it is said, And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it (Bamidbar / Numbers 11:9), and then the children of Israel would come out and gather the manna until the fourth hour of the day before the sun shown upon it and melted it, as is said, And they gathered it every morning when the sun was hot, it melted (Shemot / Exodus 16:21). Hence, it is said, Man did eat the bread of the mighty, He caused an east wind to blow, and by His power He brought in the south wind (Tehillim / Psalms 78:25-26).

The midrash shows the rabbis discussing the manna in relation to those who eat of the manna had eaten angel’s food, and thus they do not need to ease themselves (not have to void). This is placed in parallel to the one who places wheat in a mill to make flour, which dictates the natural order of things, however, the Lord provides bread from heaven which does not function as bread from earth requiring one to make void (excrement). The Lord was working miracles in the midst of Israel, and yet the people maintained rebellion in their hearts. The rabbis cite Bamidbar / Numbers 14:11 and ask why the people do not believe in the Lord when the Lord has performed miracles in their “innermost parts.” Note how the manna functioned as a miracle to sustain them at the innermost parts, giving the people nutrition and strength. Note also how the Lord performs miracles in our innermost parts in the Messiah Yeshua, who comes down from above, whose words nourish our souls, and who creates in us a newness of heart and life. It is easy to see the parallels to the Messiah in the work of God to save His people here both in the Torah and in the Apostolic Writings.

The midrash provides an example of the rabbinic expansion on the Torah text to enhance or elicit an emotional response to what was taking place in the wilderness saying, “A wind would blow and sweep clean the surface of the ground, making it look like tables of gold and precious stones, and after that the dew would fall for the children of Israel, as it is said, And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it (Bamidbar / Numbers 11:9).” The idea here is the Lord is providing an extravagant banquet for the people, even turning the land into gold tables for the people to eat from. In addition, the idea of not having to make void (produce excrement) is that excrement is an unclean thing, and not having to do so lifts the people up to a different status. Through the manna, they become as angels who do not produce waste like men do here on earth, and thus the people have the opportunity to remain in the presence of God, and to study Torah. The rabbinic idea could be that by removing the need to ease one’s self, one could continue to devote himself to the study of the Torah. Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 4 concludes saying, “Hence, it is said, Man did eat the bread of the mighty, He caused an east wind to blow, and by His power He brought in the south wind (Tehillim / Psalms 78:25-26).”

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 6 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works (Tehillim / Psalms 78:32).” The context is found in the miracles the Lord performed when delivering Israel from bondage in Egypt, and those He performed in the dividing of the red sea, and the water and the manna while the people were traveling to Sinai. The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Berechiah, Rabbi Levi, and Rabbi Simeon son of Jose taught in the name of Rabbi Meir that the Holy One blessed be He, let Jacob see a ladder upon which Babylon climbed up seventy rungs and came down, Media climbed up fifty two rungs and came down, Greece climbed up a hundred and eighty rungs and came down. But when Edom climbed higher than these, Jacob saw and was afraid.” What is the purpose of saying these nations climbed the ladder in Jacob’s dream in Parashat Toldot? The rabbis comment upon the psalmist’s words how the people did not believe in the Lord even in the midst of the miracles of God. Notice how this same thing happened in the midst of the people when Yeshua the Messiah performed miracles. The occurrence of a miracle does not necessarily elicit faith in those who are not the children of God. This is what the rabbis are attempting to draw out in their comment upon the children of Israel in the wilderness who believed not in His wondrous works. These nations at one point or another believed in the God of Israel. Look at how he used the king of Babylon; Daniel 4 states, “Let King Nebuchadnezzar become wet with the dew of heaven. Let him live like the animals among the plants of the earth.” Nebuchadnezzar was bragging about himself and the Lord humbled him. Following the number of years the Lord had ordained for his humbling, Nebuchadnezzar gave glory to the Lord God of Israel, and so the rabbis say that Babylon climbed seventy rungs up the ladder. Notice Edom climbed the highest of them all, higher than one hundred and eighty rungs and it says that Jacob was afraid. This is a reference to Esau who is the father of Edom. Esau received all of his father’s (Isaac) wealth, but yet he did not value the covenant of God and he did not value the promises of God.

The Midrash continues saying the following.

The Holy One blessed be He, said to him, Therefore fear not, O Jacob My servant (Jeremiah 30:10), Even as the former fell, so will the latter fall. Then the Holy One blessed be He, said to Jacob, you climb up also. But Jacob said, Master of the universe, I am afraid, lest I will have to come down. The Holy One blessed be He, said, God’s mercy, no. Fear not, O Jacob My servant, says the Lord; You will not have to come down, O Israel. Where is the proof that the Holy One blessed be He, let our father Jacob see the Temple built, see sacrificial gifts offered up, priests performing their holy service, and finally, the Presence departing? In the verse, And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it (Bereshit / Genesis 28:12). No dream is without meaning. Thus the ladder represents the Temple; the top of it reached to heaven alludes to the sacrificial gifts, whose savor, when offered up, reaches heaven; angels of God ascending and descending on it represents the priests, who, as they ascend and descend the ramp, are called angels, as is said, For he the priest is the angel of the Lord of hosts (Malachi 2:7). Finally, Behold, the Lord stood beside him (Bereshit / Genesis 28:13) has the same force as the verse, I saw the Lord standing beside the altar (Amos 9:1). (Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 6)

The rabbis conclude that Jacob climbed higher than all the other nations, but more than this, the Lord did not require that Jacob to climb back down the ladder. The raising up the ladder and remaining is compared to the Lord showing Jacob the Temple, the sacrificial gifts offered up, and the priests performing their holy service. The ladder signifies the connection between Heaven and earth, in which the rabbis interpret in the midrash as prayers and the smoke of the sacrifices offered in the Holy Temple were the solidifying factors that connected the Lord God in heaven with Israel. Note also another interpretation may be that the ladder alludes to the giving of the Torah as another connection between heaven and earth, God’s instructions for His people that has descended from heaven to earth. In this interpretation, it is also significant that the Hebrew word for ladder, sulam (סלם) and the name for the mountain on which the Torah was given, Sinai (סיני) have the same gematria or numerical value of the letters. The gematria is a system that assigns numerical value to a word or phrase in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to one another. Bear in mind that the numerical values being equal does not solidify the connection between the ladder and Sinai. The better interpretation would be taken from the meaning of the text of the angels ascending and descending, the connection between Heaven and Earth, and the place (mount Moriah) upon which there is a connection to the Lord which is found in the Temple services and prayer, and to Moshe who ascended and descended on Sinai. The Midrash states specifically saying, “Thus the ladder represents the Temple; the top of it reached to heaven alludes to the sacrificial gifts, whose savor, when offered up, reaches heaven; angels of God ascending and descending on it represents the priests, who, as they ascend and descend the ramp, are called angels, as is said, For he the priest is the angel of the Lord of hosts (Malachi 2:7).” A New Testament interpretation for this may also be found in Revelation 8:4 which states, 8:1 When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 8:2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 8:3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. (NASB) Here we find the prayers and the Temple service in connection to the prayers of God’s people going up before the throne of God in heaven.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 6 concludes saying, “Rabbi Jose son of Zimra in the name of Rabbi Simeon son of Jose taught that Rabbi Meir took the verse, For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works, to mean that if Jacob had climbed up the ladder, he would not have had to come down again, and we would not now be suffering in the present slavery.” The final conclusion was that Jacob did not climb the ladder because he was afraid which then resulted in the present slavery of the people in Babylon. The significance is that of climbing or seeking the Lord, and the importance of prayer and the Temple service before the Lord. The people did not find value in the presence of God in their midst which was evidence by the miracles the Lord had performed before them and to save them from their enemies. How important is prayer and the service of the Lord today in your life? How important is the presence of God in your life today? If these things are not important to you, to seek the Lord in repentance and humility before Him, the Lord will bring calamity for the purpose of drawing you back, and drawing you near. Are you going through calamity, hardships, and trials today? The continuance of illness or weakness may also be for the purpose of remaining strong in the Messiah Yeshua. This was the point Paul made for the Lord not healing his eyes. There may be reasons for calamity happening, but we do not always receive the answers why, which is the reason we are to continue to seek the Lord and to do what is right as we walk before Him.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 8 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “But He, being full of compassion, gives iniquity, and destroys not; yes, many a time does He turn His anger away, and does not stir up all His wrath (Tehillim / Psalms 78:38).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “These words are to be considered in the light of the verse, O Lord, correct me, but (ak) in measure (Jeremiah 10:24).” The idea is that God’s children have the realization that they have sinned and need the mercy of God and forgiveness of their sins. The consequences do not always disappear even though our sins are forgiven by God. The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק עח סימן ח

ח והוא רחום יכפר עון ולא ישחית. זהו שאמר הכתוב יסרני ה׳ אך במשפט (ירמיה י כד), אמר ר׳ יהודה ב״ר סימון אך למעט, וכאן נמי ולא ישחית והרבה להשיב אפו ולא יעיר כל חמתו, כל חמתו אינו מעיר, אבל מעיר מקצת חמתו. ויזכור כי בשר המה רוח הולך ולא ישוב. [דילמא סברין אינשין דלא חייא מתייא, שנאמר רוח הולך ולא ישוב], חס ושלום, אלא זה יצר הרע שהוא עמו בעולם הזה. כמה ימרוהו במדבר יעציבוהו בישימון. בשאילת מן ושליו ומי באר ושאר נסיונות, מה סופיהן, במדבר הזה יתמו ושם ימותו (במדבר יד לה), במדבר לקו ובמדבר מתנחמין, שנאמר הנה אנכי מפתיה והולכתיה המדבר (הושע ב יו).

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 8

8. But He, being full of compassion, gives iniquity, and destroys not; yes, many a time does He turn His anger away, and does not stir up all His wrath (Tehillim / Psalms 78:38). These words are to be considered in the light of the verse, O Lord, correct me, but (ak, אך) in measure (Jeremiah 10:24). Rabbi Judah son of Simon taught that ak (אך), but, is a disjunctive signifying restraint, hence, here He destroyed not; yes, many a time does He turn His anger away, and does not stir up all His wrath, means that God stirs up not all His wrath, but stirs up only a part of His wrath. So He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passes away, and comes not again (Tehillim / Psalms 78:39). Is this verse to be taken as confirmation of the notion people have that the dead will not be resurrected? That flesh is a wind that passes away, and comes not again? God forbid. This verse refers to the inclination to evil which passes away with a man at the time of death and will not return with him at the time that the dead are resurrected. How often did they provoke Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert. (Tehillim / Psalms 78:40) with their demands for manna, for quail, for water from the well, and with other provocations. And what was to be their end? In this wilderness they will be consumed, and there will they die (Bamidbar / Numbers 14:35). But even as they were consumed in the wilderness, so will they be comforted in the wilderness, for it is said, Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness and speak comfortably unto her (Hosea 2:16).

The rabbis focus upon the word אך meaning “hardly, scarcely” in relation to במשפט judgment, which is translated as to judge “in measure.” The rabbis interpret this word to mean that the Lord restrains Himself from destroying due to sin. The concept here is that the mercy of God causes only a portion of His wrath to come and not the full measure. The reason is, “He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passes away, and comes not again (Tehillim / Psalms 78:39).” The weakness of the body in this world is that we die and pass away. This is interpreted as “the inclination to evil which passes away with a man at the time of death and will not return with him at the time that the dead are resurrected.” (ויזכור כי בשר המה רוח הולך ולא ישוב. [דילמא סברין אינשין דלא חייא מתייא, שנאמר רוח הולך ולא ישוב], חס ושלום, אלא זה יצר הרע שהוא עמו בעולם הזה.) Notice how the rabbis say the Yetser Hara will pass away with the death of the body. The Yetser Hara (the evil inclination) is connected to the flesh and is not necessarily a spiritual malady. The interesting thing though is that there is a distinction made between the righteous and the unrighteous in the world to come, Daniel 12:2 says, 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. (NASB) The Scripture does not say that they will be raised in the lust of their flesh, but that in disgrace and everlasting contempt or shame, meaning their sins were not forgiven, and they will bear their guilt before God and men for all eternity. Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 8 concludes saying, “But even as they were consumed in the wilderness, so will they be comforted in the wilderness, for it is said, Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness and speak comfortably unto her (Hosea 2:16).” The verse from Hosea appears to suggest that the Lord will call unto His people to draw them back to Himself. This is what happens to us today, the Lord calls out to our hearts, and we, if we are willing, answer that calling.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 18 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “In the verse And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, to this mountain which His right hand had gotten (Tehillim / Psalms 78:54).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “sanctuary refers to the Holy Temple. He drove out the nations before them, and allotted them for an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents (Tehillim / Psalms 78:55) that is, in the tents of the thirty one kings of Canaan.” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק עח סימן יח

יח ויביאם אל גבול קדשו הר זה קנתה ימינו. זה בית המקדש. ויפילם בחבל נחלה וישכן באהליהם שבטי ישראל. באהליהם של (מלאכים) [שלשים ואחד מלכים]. ויטש משכן שילו. ר׳ אלעזר ור׳ יוסי בר חנינא שניהם אומרים כתוב אחד אומר ויטש משכן שילו, וכתוב אחד אומר ותביאהו בית ה׳ (שילה) [שילו] (ש״א שמואל א׳ א כד), בית אבנים מלמטן, ויריעות עזים מלמעלן, ר׳ זעירא אמר קרשים היו, שנאמר ויטש משכן שילו. ויתן לשבי עוזו. זה הארון. בחוריו אכלה אש. זה נדב ואביהוא. אבן חנין אומר שקרנין היו, והיו אומרים איזה אשה היתה הוגנת לנו, [אנו בני כהן גדול, משה דודנו מלך, זקננו נשיא, ואיזה אשה הוגנת לנו], לכך בחוריו אכלה אש, למה לפי דבתולותיו לא הוללו. כהניו בחרב נפלו. זה חפני ופנחס. ויקץ כישן ה׳. אמר ר׳ ברכיה בשם ר׳ אליעזר עד שלא יבא הקץ הקב״ה עשה עצמו כישן כביכול ויקץ כישן ה׳, אבל כשיבא הקץ כגבור מתרונן מיין.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 18

18. In the verse And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, to this mountain which His right hand had gotten (Tehillim / Psalms 78:54), sanctuary refers to the Holy Temple. He drove out the nations before them, and allotted them for an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents (Tehillim / Psalms 78:55) that is, in the tents of the thirty one kings of Canaan. He forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which He placed among men (Tehillim / Psalms 78:60). Both rabbi Eleazar and rabbi Jose son of Khanina taught the following, Since one verse speaks of the Tabernacle of Shiloh, the Tent which He placed among men, while another verse speaks of it as The House of the Lord in Shilo (1 Samuel 1:24), therefore, the lower portion of the sanctuary in Shiloh must have been built of stones with coverings or goats hair for a roof. According to rabbi Ze’era, the lower portion of the sanctuary in Shiloh was built of boards, since it is called the Tabernacle of Shiloh. And delivered His strength into captivity (Tehillim / Psalms 78:61), His strength was the Ark of the Covenant. The fire devoured their young men (Tehillim / Psalms 78:63) devoured Nadav and Avihu. Abba Khanin said, Nadav and Avihu were boastful men, for they said, What woman is worthy of us? We are the sons of the High Priest, our uncle Moshe is king, our grandfather is a prince. What woman can possibly be worthy of us. Accordingly, the fire devoured their young men. Why? Because their virgins had no marriage song. Their priests fell by the sword (Tehillim / Psalms 78:64), that is, Hophni and Phinehas fell. Then the Lord will awaken as one out of sleep (Tehillim / Psalms 78:65). Rabbi Berechiah said in the name of rabbi Eliezer, Be fore the time of redemption comes, the Holy One blessed be He, makes Himself out to be asleep, if one may dare speak thus. The Lord will awaken as one out of sleep, indeed, when the time of redemption comes, God will be like a mighty man recovering from wine.

The midrash continues saying that the Lord caused Israel to dwell in the tents of the kings of Canaan, and goes on to say that the Lord forsook the Tabernacle at Shilo. The rabbis expand upon the mashal and weave in concepts with regard to the construction materials of the Tabernacle, Korach, and Nadav and Avihu dying being consumed by fire. They say that the strength of God was the Ark of the Covenant (זה הארון). How was the Ark of the Covenant the strength of God? According to 2 Chronicles 6:41 Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. (KJV) The Scriptures state explicitly that the Ark was the strength of God. The ark of Your strength is most likely a reference to its use in war (1 Samuel 4:3-7) The Ark is called by several names, sometimes it is just referred to as “The ark” (Shemot / Exodus 25:14 , Vayikra / Leviticus 16:2, Bamidbar / Numbers 3:31, etc). In other places it is “The ark of the testimony” (Shemot / Exodus 31:7, Bamidbar 4:5, Joshua 4:16), and at other times as “The ark of the covenant” (Joshua 3:6), or “The ark of the covenant of the Lord” (Bamidbar / Numbers 10:33, Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:8, Joshua 4:7, etc), or as “The ark wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 8:21), or “The ark wherein is the covenant of the Lord, that he made with the children of Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:11), or “The ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth” (Joshua 3:11), etc. The Ark of the Covenant is supposed to have contained the Ten Commandments, a copy of the Torah, and Aaron’s staff that budded, all of these are a testimony to His glory and the work He had done to deliver Israel from bondage. The names of the Ark is a representation of the Testimony of God and therefore the Lord worked mighty miracles while the Ark was present in Israel. The Ark, by reason of its prominence in the Bible, forms an important subject of discussion by the Rabbis. As a result, there are many sayings related to the Ark of the Covenant of God in the Talmud and the Midrashim. They discuss the dimensions, position, material, contents, miraculous powers, final disposition, and various incidents directly or indirectly connected with the Ark. In addition, all of these things are weaved into the narrative of popular Jewish legends, and are also of interest as reflecting the poetical spirit in which many of the rabbis functioned as teachers. In Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 18, the rabbis draw upon these things to illustrate God’s ability and power to deliver His people and to bring them to the mountain of Sinai, of which they call the border of His sanctuary. Note that the sanctuary is connected to Jacob’s ladder and the ascending and descending of angels, and of Moshe upon the mountain. This ascending and descending imagery is illustrated in the rabbis saying that Moshe ascended into heaven to receive God’s Torah and bring it down to man on earth. These things are then paralleled to the land of Israel, mount Moriah, and the Temple in Jerusalem. God’s strength is found in His ability to shape history, nations, and men, even in the midst of their disobedience before Him, as in the case of His people as illustrated in the midrash. Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 18 concludes saying, “Rabbi Berechiah said in the name of rabbi Eliezer, Be fore the time of redemption comes, the Holy One blessed be He, makes Himself out to be asleep, if one may dare speak thus. The Lord will awaken as one out of sleep, indeed, when the time of redemption comes, God will be like a mighty man recovering from wine.” When the Lord wakes as out of being asleep, does he awake being angry for being wakened, or is He in a happy state? The move of the Lord in our lives should not be by reason of our sins to draw us back to Himself, rather, we are supposed to live righteously and by reason of our calling out to the Lord in righteousness and humility should the Lord move. Our sins should not go up as a cry before the Lord as what had happened in Parashat Noach. The idea here in the midrash is that the Lord has set an appointed time for the redemption of His people. The illustration of the Lord God being like a mighty man recovering from wine, may be by reason that it appears the Lord is unconcerned or not moving on behalf of his people for a period of time, similar to the disregard of the person who is enamored with alcohol who doesn’t care but simply wants to lay around and sleep. It seems though that this illustration is not quite correct. The Lord tarries for righteousness sake, in order to see whether His people will continue to do what is right even in the midst of the appearance that the Lord is not moving, healing, or saving.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 21 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying “He chose David also His servant, and took him because of his separations of the sheep (Tehillim / Psalms 78:70).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Joshua the priest taught, What is meant by the phrase his separations?” The rabbis say that it is by reason that David separated the sheep he tended in a particular way that caused the Lord to choose him. It might be that he chose to be tender and kind to the sheep that he took care of. The Lord saw the intention of his heart and chose David because He knew he would remain faithful all of his life.

The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק עח סימן כא

כא ויבחר בדוד עבדו ויקחהו ממכלאות צאן. אמר ר׳ יהושע הכהן מה ממכלאות, שהיה דוד כולא אלו מפני אלו, מוציא את הגדיים ומאכילן ראשי עשבים, מוציא את התיישים ומאכילן אמצען של עשבים, ומוציא את הזקנות ומאכילן עיקרן של עשבים, אמר הקב״ה הואיל ויודע לרעות את הצאן, יבא וירעה את צאני, אלו ישראל, שנאמר [ואתנה] (ואתן) צאני (יחזקאל לד יז). וירעם (בתום) [כתום] לבבו [ובתבונות כפיו ינחם]. ר׳ אבהו בשם ר׳ יוחנן אמר ישב וחישב לו שלא יהיה משמר נוטל עם חבירו בשדה אחוזה. אמר ר׳ יודן משקילס דוד להקב״ה בכל מיני קילוסין, מהו אומר בסוף, תהלת ה׳ ידבר פי (תהלים קמה כא), תהלה לקילוסו של הקב״ה.

Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 21

21. He chose David also His servant, and took him because of his separations of the sheep (Tehillim / Psalms 78:70). Rabbi Joshua the priest taught, What is meant by the phrase his separations? It means that David kept some sheep separate from others. He would lead out the lambs and let them feed on the upper part of the herbage. He would then lead out the rams and let them feed on the middle part of the herbage; and finally he would lead out the old ewes and let them feed on the scuffle of the herbage. Accordingly, the Holy One blessed be He, said, seeing that David knows how to feed the sheep, let him come and feed My sheep, the people of Israel, of whom it is said, And as for you, My sheep (Ezekiel 34:17). So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands (Tehillim / Psalms 78:72). Rabbi Abbahu said in the name of rabbi Johanan, David set to the other of priestly watches in such a way that in years of Jubilee, one priestly watch should not take over a second field of possession before a sister watch had the opportunity to take over one field of possession. Rabbi Yudan said, After David had praised the Holy One blessed be He, with all kinds of praise in an acrostic Psalm, what did he finally say? He said, My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 145:21), these are the very words with which he began his Psalm in praise of the Holy One blessed be He.

The rabbis expand upon the mashal saying, “He would lead out the lambs and let them feed on the upper part of the herbage. He would then lead out the rams and let them feed on the middle part of the herbage; and finally he would lead out the old ewes and let them feed on the scuffle of the herbage.” Why does David cause these different animals to feed on different parts of the grass? It may be that this is a reference to the lambs having sensitive stomachs and thus need only the most tender portions of food. The Rams are more robust and are able to eat the middle portion, the stiffer stalks of herbage. The old ewes are experienced, as the one who is spiritually experienced (able to eat the meat of the world), as compared to the one who is young and new to the faith who requires milk as opposed to meat. This may be the point the rabbis are drawing out in the midrash, which is indicated by the rabbis saying that the Lord chose David because he knows how to feed the sheep as a reference to the people of Israel. Midrash Tehillim 78, Part 21 concludes saying, “He said, My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 145:21), these are the very words with which he began his Psalm in praise of the Holy One blessed be He.” The midrash speaks of David leading the people and composing His psalms. David praised the Lord with all kinds of praises. Yeshua the Messiah said that David spoke of Him as the Messiah of Israel which was foretold by the Jewish prophets. This was the early understanding of who Yeshua was and is the reason why the Canaanite woman came to Him saying, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Matthew 15:22) for the healing of her demon possessed child, and why the blind man cried out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38) to be healed of his sight. David is connected to the Messiah as a teacher, a prophet, a priest, and a king. And today we are able to give our praises to the Lord God our Father in heaven because of Yeshua the Messiah, our Savior, King, and Lord. Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 78-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!