Tehillim / Psalms 92, ספר תהילים צב, Part 2, There remains a Sabbath Rest

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 92:1-15, the Psalm opens saying, א מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר לְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת: ב טוֹב לְהֹדוֹת לַיהֹוָה וּלְזַמֵּר לְשִׁמְךָ עֶלְיוֹן: A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day. 92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; (NASB) The psalmist continues saying, ג לְהַגִּיד בַּבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ וֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ בַּלֵּילוֹת: ד עֲלֵי-עָשֹוֹר וַעֲלֵי-נָבֶל עֲלֵי הִגָּיוֹן בְּכִנּוֹר: ה כִּי שִֹמַּחְתַּנִי יְהֹוָה בְּפָעֳלֶךָ בְּמַעֲשֵֹי יָדֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן: 92:2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, 92:3 With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre. 92:4 For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. (NASB) Giving the Lord praise for what He has done, He has entered into our lives and saved us, delivering us from the enemy, from bondage to sin and death. For this we too can give praise as the psalmist states, ו מַה-גָּדְלוּ מַעֲשֶֹיךָ יְהֹוָה מְאֹד עָמְקוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ: ז אִישׁ בַּעַר לֹא יֵדָע וּכְסִיל לֹא-יָבִין אֶת-זֹאת: ח בִּפְרֹחַ רְשָׁעִים | כְּמוֹ עֵשֶֹב וַיָּצִיצוּ כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן לְהִשָּׁמְדָם עֲדֵי-עַד: ט וְאַתָּה מָרוֹם לְעֹלָם יְהֹוָה: 92:5 How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. 92:6 A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: 92:7 That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. 92:8 But You, O Lord, are on high forever. (NASB) Those who are unwise do not recognize the work of the Lord in their lives. The psalm continues saying, י כִּי הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ | יְהוָה כִּי-הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ יֹאבֵדוּ יִתְפָּרְדוּ כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן: יא וַתָּרֶם כִּרְאֵים קַרְנִי בַּלֹּתִי בְּשֶׁמֶן רַעֲנָן: יב וַתַּבֵּט עֵינִי בְּשׁוּרָי בַּקָּמִים עָלַי מְרֵעִים תִּשְׁמַעְנָה אָזְנָי: 92:9 For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered. 92:10 But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. 92:11 And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me. (NASB) The one’s who commit sin in their lives will scatter. Based upon these words, it may be concluded that the Lord is the One who gathers together His people. The wicked scatter because they do not have a unifying goal, to obey God’s Torah. The psalm concludes saying, יג צַדִּיק כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח כְּאֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יִשְֹגֶּה: יד שְׁתוּלִים בְּבֵית יְהֹוָה בְּחַצְרוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַפְרִיחוּ: טו עוֹד יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵֹיבָה דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִּים יִהְיוּ: טז לְהַגִּיד כִּי-יָשָׁר יְהֹוָה צוּרִי וְלֹא-עַ ְלָתָה [עַוְלָתָה] בּוֹ: 92:12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 92:13 Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. 92:14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, 92:15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (NASB) The righteous man is able to recognize the glory of God and how He has worked in his life!

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק צב

א מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר לְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת: ב טוֹב לְהֹדוֹת לַיהֹוָה וּלְזַמֵּר לְשִׁמְךָ עֶלְיוֹן: ג לְהַגִּיד בַּבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ וֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ בַּלֵּילוֹת: ד עֲלֵי-עָשֹוֹר וַעֲלֵי-נָבֶל עֲלֵי הִגָּיוֹן בְּכִנּוֹר:

סםר טוביה פרק צב

א שבחא ושירא די אמר אדם קדמאה על יומא דשבתא׃ ב טב לאודאה קדם יהוה ולשבחא שמך עילאה׃ ג לתנאה לתנויי בצפרא טובך וקושטך בלילון׃ ד על פום כנורא דעשרתי נימין ועל פום ניבלא עלי ריננת כינרייא׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 92

92:1 ψαλμὸς ᾠδῆς εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ σαββάτου ἀγαθὸν τὸ ἐξομολογεῖσθαι τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ ψάλλειν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ὕψιστε 92:2 τοῦ ἀναγγέλλειν τὸ πρωὶ τὸ ἔλεός σου καὶ τὴν ἀλήθειάν σου κατὰ νύκτα 92:3 ἐν δεκαχόρδῳ ψαλτηρίῳ μετ᾽ ᾠδῆς ἐν κιθάρᾳ

ה כִּי שִֹמַּחְתַּנִי יְהֹוָה בְּפָעֳלֶךָ בְּמַעֲשֵֹי יָדֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן: ו מַה-גָּדְלוּ מַעֲשֶֹיךָ יְהֹוָה מְאֹד עָמְקוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ: ז אִישׁ בַּעַר לֹא יֵדָע וּכְסִיל לֹא-יָבִין אֶת-זֹאת: ח בִּפְרֹחַ רְשָׁעִים | כְּמוֹ עֵשֶֹב וַיָּצִיצוּ כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן לְהִשָּׁמְדָם עֲדֵי-עַד: ט וְאַתָּה מָרוֹם לְעֹלָם יְהֹוָה: י כִּי הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ | יְהוָה כִּי-הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ יֹאבֵדוּ יִתְפָּרְדוּ כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן: יא וַתָּרֶם כִּרְאֵים קַרְנִי בַּלֹּתִי בְּשֶׁמֶן רַעֲנָן: יב וַתַּבֵּט עֵינִי בְּשׁוּרָי בַּקָּמִים עָלַי מְרֵעִים תִּשְׁמַעְנָה אָזְנָי: יג צַדִּיק כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח כְּאֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יִשְֹגֶּה: יד שְׁתוּלִים בְּבֵית יְהֹוָה בְּחַצְרוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַפְרִיחוּ: טו עוֹד יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵֹיבָה דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִּים יִהְיוּ: טז לְהַגִּיד כִּי-יָשָׁר יְהֹוָה צוּרִי וְלֹא-עַ ְלָתָה [עַוְלָתָה] בּוֹ:

ה ארום אחדיתני יהוה בעובדך בעובדי אידך אביע אבוע׃ ו כמה הינון רברבין עובדך יהוה לחדא עמיקין מחשבתך׃ ז בר נש שטיא טפשא לא ידע וכסילא ושטיא לא יתביין ית דא׃ ח כד מיתלבלבן רשיעיא היך עסבא ונצצין כל עבדי שקר ועתיד דישצינון אלהא עד עלמא׃ ט ואת ואנת רמא ועילאה בעלמא הדין יהוה ואת ואנת רמא ועילאה לעלמא דאתי׃ {ת׳׳א} ואנת ידך עיליתא לאיתפרעא מן חייביא לעלמא דאתי ליום דינא רבא ייי ואנת ידך עיליתא למיתן אגר טב לצדיקיא לעלמא דאתי ייי׃ י ארום הא בעלי דב<ב>ך מצלחין בעלמא הדין יהוה ארום הא בעלי דבבך יהובדון לעלמא דאתי ומתפרשין מן סיעתהון דצדיקיא כל עבדי שקר׃ יא וזקיפתא היך רימנא תוקפי רביתא יתי במשח רבותא רטיבא דזית עבוף׃ יב ואיסתכלת עייני בהובדנא דמעיקי בקיימין עלי לאבאשא שמען אודני קל תברהון׃ יג צדיקא היך דיקלא ילבלב פירין היך ארזא בליבנן יסגא ויעביד שרשין׃ יד בנוי יהויין שתילין בבית מקדשא דיהוה בדרת בית אלהנא ילבלבון׃ טו תוב כאבהתהון יעבדון בנין בשיבו דהינין ורטיבין יהון׃ טז מטול דיחוון דיירי ארעא ארום תריץ יהוה תקפי תקיפי ולית עוולתא ביה׃

92:4 ὅτι εὔφρανάς με κύριε ἐν τῷ ποιήματί σου καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις τῶν χειρῶν σου ἀγαλλιάσομαι 92:5 ὡς ἐμεγαλύνθη τὰ ἔργα σου κύριε σφόδρα ἐβαθύνθησαν οἱ διαλογισμοί σου 92:6 ἀνὴρ ἄφρων οὐ γνώσεται καὶ ἀσύνετος οὐ συνήσει ταῦτα 92:7 ἐν τῷ ἀνατεῖλαι τοὺς ἁμαρτωλοὺς ὡς χόρτον καὶ διέκυψαν πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν ὅπως ἂν ἐξολεθρευθῶσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος 92:8 σὺ δὲ ὕψιστος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα κύριε 92:9 ὅτι ἰδοὺ οἱ ἐχθροί σου ἀπολοῦνται καὶ διασκορπισθήσονται πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν 92:10 καὶ ὑψωθήσεται ὡς μονοκέρωτος τὸ κέρας μου καὶ τὸ γῆράς μου ἐν ἐλαίῳ πίονι 92:11 καὶ ἐπεῖδεν ὁ ὀφθαλμός μου ἐν τοῖς ἐχθροῖς μου καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐπανιστανομένοις ἐπ᾽ ἐμὲ πονηρευομένοις ἀκούσεται τὸ οὖς μου 92:12 δίκαιος ὡς φοῖνιξ ἀνθήσει ὡσεὶ κέδρος ἡ ἐν τῷ Λιβάνῳ πληθυνθήσεται 92:13 πεφυτευμένοι ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ κυρίου ἐν ταῖς αὐλαῖς τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν ἐξανθήσουσιν 92:14 ἔτι πληθυνθήσονται ἐν γήρει πίονι καὶ εὐπαθοῦντες ἔσονται 92:15 τοῦ ἀναγγεῖλαι ὅτι εὐθὴς κύριος ὁ θεός μου καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀδικία ἐν αὐτῷ

Tehillim / Psalms 92

A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day. 92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; 92:2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, 92:3 With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre. 92:4 For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. 92:5 How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. 92:6 A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: 92:7 That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. 92:8 But You, O Lord, are on high forever. 92:9 For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered. 92:10 But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. 92:11 And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me. 92:12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 92:13 Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. 92:14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, 92:15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 92

92:1 A psalm and song that the first Adam uttered concerning the Sabbath day. 92:2 It is good to give thanks in the presence of the Lord, and to praise your name, O Most High. 92:3 To recount your goodness in the morning, and your truth in the nights, 92:4 According to the harp of ten strings, and according to the lyre, upon the murmuring of harps. 92:5 For you have made me glad, O Lord, by your works; I will rejoice in the works of your hands. 92:6 How great are your works, O Lord; your thoughts are very deep. 92:7 A foolish son of man will not know it, and a fool will not comprehend this. 92:8 While the wicked flourish like grass and all workers of deceit blossom, God is going to destroy them forever. 92:9 But you are high and supreme in this age, O Lord, and you are high and supreme in the age to come. Another Targum: And you, your hand is supreme to punish the wicked in the age to come, in the great day of judgment, O Lord; and you, your hand is supreme to give a good reward to the righteous in the age to come, O Lord. 92:10 For, behold, your enemies, O Lord, for behold, your enemies will perish in the age to come; and all the workers of deceit will be separated from the band of the righteous. 92:11 You have raised up my might like a wild-ox; you have anointed me with moist anointing oil of the leafy olive. 92:12 And my eye has looked on the perdition of my oppressors; my ear has heard the sound of the destruction of those who stand against me to do harm. 92:13 The righteous man will grow fruit like the palm-tree, like the cedar in Lebanon he will grow and produce roots. 92:14 His sons will be planted in the sanctuary of the Lord; in the court of the house of our God they will flourish. 92:15 Again like their fathers they will produce sons in old age; they will be plump and juicy. 92:16 So that the inhabitants of the earth might tell it, for the Lord is upright; my strength, and there is no wrong in him.

Psalmoi / Psalms 92

A Psalm of a Song for the Sabbath-day. 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to thy name, O thou Most High; 92:2 to proclaim thy mercy in the morning, and thy truth by night, 92:3 on a psaltery of ten strings, with a song on the harp. 92:4 For thou, O Lord, hast made me glad with thy work: and in the operations of thy hands will I exult. 92:5 How have thy works been magnified, O Lord! thy thoughts are very deep. 92:6 A foolish man will not know, and a senseless man will not understand this. 92:7 When the sinners spring up as the grass, and all the workers of iniquity have watched; it is that they may be utterly destroyed for ever. 92:8 But thou, O Lord, art most high for ever. 92:9 For, behold, thine enemies shall perish; and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. 92:10 But my horn shall be exalted as the horn of a unicorn; and mine old age with rich mercy. 92:11 And mine eye has seen mine enemies, and mine ear shall hear the wicked that rise up against me. 92:12 The righteous shall flourish as a palm-tree: he shall be increased as the cedar in Libanus. 92:13 They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 92:14 Then shall they be increased in a fine old age; and they shall be prosperous; that they may declare 92:15 that the Lord my God is righteous, and there is no iniquity in him. (LXX)

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 92:1-15, the Psalm opens saying, א מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר לְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת: ב טוֹב לְהֹדוֹת לַיהֹוָה וּלְזַמֵּר לְשִׁמְךָ עֶלְיוֹן: A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day. 92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; (NASB) According to the opening verse of the psalm, this psalm was composed for the Shabbat (הַשַּׁבָּת). The Midrash on Tehillim / Psalm 92 states that this psalm was composed by Adam.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 3

Rabbi Levi taught, When Adam sinned against the command of the Holy One blessed be He, God sat in judgment upon him to punish him. But what was the outcome? You find that Adam was created on the eve of the Shabbat, In the first hour, he came into being as thought; in the second hour, God consulted the ministering angels; in the third, God gathered the dust; in the fourth, God kneaded the dust; in the fifth, God made the golem; in the sixth, God jointed the parts; in the seventh, God blew breath into him; in the eighth, God stood him on his feet; in the ninth, God enjoined him; in the tenth, he sinned; in the eleventh, he was brought to judgment; in the twelfth, he was driven out, driven out because when God was about to decree his destruction, the Shabbat Arrived and brought about his expulsion instead. Even as the ministering angels were applying to Adam the verse Adam abides not in honor; he is like the beasts, they are destroyed (Tehillim / Psalms 49:13), note that it is not written he is like the beast, he is destroyed, but he is like the beasts they are destroyed, implying that both Adam and eve were about to be destroyed, at the moment the Shabbat arrived and became Adam’s advocate, saying to the Holy One blessed be He, during the six days of creation, no one suffered punishment. And will You begin it with me? Is this my holiness? Is this my rest? And thus Adam was saved by the Shabbat plea from destruction in Gehenna. When Adam saw the power of the Shabbat, he was about to sing a hymn in her honor. But the Shabbat said to Adam, Do you sing a hymn to me? Let us, I and you, sing a hymn to the Holy One blessed be He. Hence it is said, It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 92:2).

Psalm 92 is recited three times during all of Shabbat:

The concepts brought out in the Midrash is that Adam was created on Friday, and he said this psalm on the onset of the Shabbat due to the mercies of God to forgive him of his sins. The Shabbat is said to have been the reason he was driven out of the Garden of Eden, as opposed to his destruction. The Shabbat is said to have been an advocate for Adam following his sin. The rabbis parallel the destruction of Adam to the destruction of the Shabbat holiness and rest. This illustrates for us the significance in the connection to the mitzvah on the shabbat and God’s call to man to have a Sabbath day of rest. The rabbis say that Adam would be destroyed in Gehenna, and then saw the power of the Shabbat and sang a song which became this psalm. It is not a psalm that speaks about the Shabbat, but one that was recited on the Shabbat. This was Adam’s first day of existence and he marveled at the work of the Creator.

The Shabbat is a time of joy, and there are six Psalms that make up the bulk of the Kabbalat (traditional) Shabbat service corresponding to the six days of creation. In Orthodox congregations, Kabbalat Shabbat consists of Tehillim / Psalms 95 through 99, Tehillim / Psalm 29, the hymn L’khah Dodi/Come my beloved, Tehillim / Psalms 92 and 93, and a lengthy reading from the Talmud governing the Shabbat.

According to the Aseret ha-Dibrot, the “Ten Commandments,” we are told “Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy” (Shemot / Exodus 20:8). The question is “How are we to keep the Shabbat holy?” To put this in the most simple terms, the Shabbat day should be different. It is a day dedicated to the worship of the Lord and our rest in Him. This doesn’t mean we live for ourselves six days and then consecrate one day for God. No! The Apostle Paul wrote, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Paul suggests that our entire lives and all we do is to be sanctified for the Lord as holy. Yet, for His glory and our spiritual rest and satisfaction, the Lord God has called us to distinguish one day out of seven. As a result of the mitzvah on consecrating the Shabbat as “holy,” this causes us to ask the following questions:

  1. “Can our children play sports on the Shabbat?”
  2. “Can we finish up last week’s work or prepare for this week’s work?”
  3. “Can we watch TV or go to a restaurant, the theatre, or play golf?” etc.

It is important to note that these questions are often prompted not by, “How can I honor the Lord?” but by, “What can I get away with on the Sabbath?” A topic of concern however these days is that many of God’s people do not even ask these questions any longer and believe the Shabbat is simply another day of the week. Part of the strategy of the evil one is to destroy humanity’s trust in the Lord, for example, the theory of evolution which is used as a humanistic way of understanding the origin of man and life on earth. This false information is spun into a belief system and tradition. For centuries, even in Yeshua’s time there were traditions that spoke contrary to God’s Word placing doubt on the significance of certain aspects of our faith, such as the belief in the resurrection (Sadducee) or holding the practice of netilat yadayim above keeping one’s heart pure, or dedicating something as a korban for the purpose of not having to help one’s parents (see Mark 7). As a result of these traditions and others, the evil one has been able to subvert the importance of obeying God’s Word, such as in the case of observing the Shabbat. The Scripture states, “but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.” (Shemot / Exodus 20:10). Notice how this is for everybody, and how no one disagrees with the clear meaning of this text, however millions are finding ways not to follow God’s Word. The reason being is the result of the general ignorance of the Scriptures in the Ekklesia and the clever arguments the evil one creates to prejudice God’s people against the holiness of the Shabbat in favor for changing the day from the seventh day (יום שבת) to the first day of the week (יום ראשון). Studying the Scriptures, these seven things may be concluded about the Shabbat:

Conclusions on the Shabbat

  1. The Seventh-day Sabbath Establishes God’s Sovereignty
  2. The Seventh-day Sabbath Was Made for Everyone
  3. It’s Not About Just Keeping Any Day
  4. We Know the True Seventh Day
  5. The Sabbath Is Not a Memorial of Deliverance Out of Egypt
  6. The Sabbath Is Not Meant to Memorialize the Resurrection
  7. The Sabbath Will Be Celebrated for Eternity

Point no. 1, speaks of the controversy of evolution, and the Torah account of the creation. Moshe wrote God’s Word saying, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. … For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is: … wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Shemot / Exodus 20:8-11, ח זָכוֹר אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ: ט שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִֹיתָ כָּל-מְלַאכְתֶּךָ: י וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַיהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא-תַעֲשֶֹה כָל-מְלָאכָה אַתָּה | וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ: יא כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת-יָמִים עָשָֹה יְהֹוָה אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ אֶת-הַיָּם וְאֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר-בָּם וַיָּנַח בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי עַל-כֵּן בֵּרַךְ יְהוָֹה אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ:). Why did the Lord God say to remember the Shabbat (זָכוֹר אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת)? The reason: to forget the true Sabbath is to forget the true Creator.

Point no. 2, the Shabbat is for everyone. It is important to note how most all Christians call God’s fourth commandment the “Jewish Sabbath.” However, nowhere is this expression found in the Torah or anywhere in the Bible. The seventh day is called “the sabbath of the Lord,” (שַׁבָּת לַיהוָֹה) and it is never called “the sabbath of the Jew” (see Shemot / Exodus 20:10). The Torah describes the origin of the Shabbat in the following way, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made. … And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” (Bereshit / Genesis 2:1-3). Based upon these Scriptures, which day did God bless and sanctify, and how was the day to be kept holy? By resting. Could any of the other six be kept holy? No. Why? Because the Lord God commanded not to rest those days but to work. The seventh day is different from all the other days because it has God’s blessing.

Point no. 7, the Shabbat will be celebrated for all eternity. Note the prophet Isaiah states, 66:22 ‘For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘So your offspring and your name will endure. 66:23 ‘And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from sabbath to sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me,’ says the Lord. (NASB) Note how Isaiah speaks of eternity and how we will be going from Shabbat to Shabbat. In addition, the author of the book of Hebrews states the following:

Hebrews 4:4-12

4:4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; 4:5 and again in this passage ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ 4:6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 4:7 He again fixes a certain day, ‘Today,’ saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, ‘Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.’ 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 4:9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 4:10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 4:11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (NASB)

The author of Hebrews speaks of the seventh day rest, entering into this rest, and parallels the power of God’s Word to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. The Sabbath is so precious to the Lord that He will have His people observe it throughout all time and on into eternity. If it is so precious to Him, should it not be precious to us? If we are going to keep it throughout eternity, why not keep it now? It is also interesting to observe how most of the commandments begin with the words, ‘‘Thou shalt not,’’ but the fourth commandment is introduced with the word to “Remember the Shabbat” (זָכוֹר אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת) Why? Because the Lord is commanding us to call something to memory that already existed and easily may be forgotten by the worries and business of the week and our lives.

The psalmist continues saying, ג לְהַגִּיד בַּבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ וֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ בַּלֵּילוֹת: ד עֲלֵי-עָשֹוֹר וַעֲלֵי-נָבֶל עֲלֵי הִגָּיוֹן בְּכִנּוֹר: ה כִּי שִֹמַּחְתַּנִי יְהֹוָה בְּפָעֳלֶךָ בְּמַעֲשֵֹי יָדֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן: 92:2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, 92:3 With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre. 92:4 For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. (NASB) Giving the Lord praise for what He has done, He has entered into our lives and saved us, delivering us from the enemy, and from bondage to sin and death. The Torah states the following:

Shemot / Exodus 19:4-7

19:4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 19:5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 19:6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.’ 19:7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. (NASB)

ד אַתֶּם רְאִיתֶם אֲשֶׁר עָשִֹיתִי לְמִצְרָיִם וָאֶשָּׂא אֶתְכֶם עַל-כַּנְפֵי נְשָׁרִים וָאָבִא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָי: ה וְעַתָּה אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּקֹלִי וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-בְּרִיתִי וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים כִּי-לִי כָּל-הָאָרֶץ: ו וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ-לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר תְּדַבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: [חמישי] ז וַיָּבֹא מֹשֶׁה וַיִּקְרָא לְזִקְנֵי הָעָם וַיָּשֶֹם לִפְנֵיהֶם אֵת כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר צִוָּהוּ יְהוָֹה:

This is a purpose for which we are called, “19:5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 19:6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ (NASB)” We are called to be obedient, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. This is significant! Peter called upon these Scriptures to describe who we are, saying, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). It is for these things the Lord is working in our lives to make and conform us unto the likness of His son Yeshua the Messiah. We are called for the purpose of praising and worshiping the Lord God of Israel because of what He has done and what He is doing in our lives. This is one of the job descriptions of a believer, to declare the Lord God is worthy to be praised for all that He has done. Note how worship involves hearing, speaking, and doing (listening, obeying). Our service and worship to the Lord God in heaven is followed through by what is in our hearts and minds which is coupled to our actions. So our worship and praise involves giving God the praise (upward), and receiving instructions from above (from His Word), and a worship that carries out God’s instructions in the world around us. This may be what the psalmist meant by Tehillim / Psalms 92:4, ה כִּי שִֹמַּחְתַּנִי יְהֹוָה בְּפָעֳלֶךָ בְּמַעֲשֵֹי יָדֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן: 92:4 For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. (NASB) The Lord is working in our lives to bring about a people who are willing to glorify His Name!

For these reasons we too are able to give praise as the psalmist states, ו מַה-גָּדְלוּ מַעֲשֶֹיךָ יְהֹוָה מְאֹד עָמְקוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ: ז אִישׁ בַּעַר לֹא יֵדָע וּכְסִיל לֹא-יָבִין אֶת-זֹאת: ח בִּפְרֹחַ רְשָׁעִים | כְּמוֹ עֵשֶֹב וַיָּצִיצוּ כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן לְהִשָּׁמְדָם עֲדֵי-עַד: ט וְאַתָּה מָרוֹם לְעֹלָם יְהֹוָה: 92:5 How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. 92:6 A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: 92:7 That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. 92:8 But You, O Lord, are on high forever. (NASB) Those who are unwise do not recognize the work of the Lord in their lives. These words describe spiritual discernment. The words אִישׁ בַּעַר describe a man who is “foolish, ignorant, or stupid,” in the sense of not taking to knowledge what the Scriptures say and believing, not having faith. The works of the Lord God in heaven are inexpressible, great, and wonderful, indicated by the depth of His wisdom in power, creation, and miracles for His people. The foolish person does not understand this, nor is he interested in seeking the Lord, the creator, the God of Israel. The majesty and greatness of the Lord as described in the Scriptures and in our lives, the one who is void of spiritual discernment does not understand this, which is why the psalmist states, 92:6 A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this (NASB) and then parallels this to the wicked who flourish in their iniquities, destined for the day of their destruction. The prosperity of the wicked, or the pleasures of sin are momentary, which renders the destruction of the wicked within the context of the mercies of God because He gave the unrighteous plenty of time to repent and turn from their ways. The Lord God sits on high (Tehillim / Psalms 92:8) and His truth and justice remains forever.

The psalm continues saying, י כִּי הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ | יְהוָה כִּי-הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ יֹאבֵדוּ יִתְפָּרְדוּ כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן: יא וַתָּרֶם כִּרְאֵים קַרְנִי בַּלֹּתִי בְּשֶׁמֶן רַעֲנָן: יב וַתַּבֵּט עֵינִי בְּשׁוּרָי בַּקָּמִים עָלַי מְרֵעִים תִּשְׁמַעְנָה אָזְנָי: 92:9 For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered. 92:10 But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. 92:11 And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me. (NASB) The one’s who commit sin in their lives will scatter. Based upon these words, it may be concluded that the Lord is the One who gathers together His people. The wicked scatter because they do not have a unifying goal, to obey God’s Torah. In Tehillim / Psalms 85, if we read this psalm again, you will note that the psalmist seeks the Lord God of Israel asking for restoration and mercy. The context of the psalm is within the exile of the people from the land, and the psalmist asks the Lord to restore the land to His people. The psalm brings forward the idea of peace, righteousness, and well being, and Tehillim / Psalms 85:10-11 states, יא חֶסֶד-וֶאֱמֶת נִפְגָּשׁוּ צֶדֶק וְשָׁלוֹם נָשָׁקוּ: יב אֱמֶת מֵאֶרֶץ תִּצְמָח וְצֶדֶק מִשָּׁמַיִם נִשְׁקָף: 85:10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 85:11 Truth springs from the earth, And righteousness looks down from heaven. (NASB) Based upon the way the psalm is written, there are four voices that speak, the psalmist states Mercy (חֶסֶד) and Truth (אֱמֶת) have met together, and Righteousness (צֶדֶק) and Peace (שָׁלוֹם) have kissed. Then the psalmist states that Truth (אֱמֶת) comes up from the earth and Righteousness (צֶדֶק) looks down from heaven. These are important concepts here, the psalm treats these concepts as being alive where Mercy, Truth, Righteousness (Justice), and Peace are no longer simply ideas but living and breathing. The point is that for a community of people to live in peace, there must be Mercy, Truth, and Justice. A community of people who live and work together, especially in the marriage relationship, requires reconciliation through the concepts of Mercy, Truth, and Justice, which become living concepts as they are applied to our lives and lived out. When we strive to do these things, they become alive just as the psalm is suggesting. This is the challenge that we are faced, to resolve issues, to be involved in negotiations, and to build relationships between friends and enemies using mercy, truth, justice, and peace. This seems to also be the conclusion of King Solomon, Yeshua the Messiah, and Paul according to the following Scriptures.

Mishley / Proverbs 25:21

25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; (NASB)

Matthew 5:44

5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (NASB)

Luke 6:27-31

6:27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 6:29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 6:30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 6:31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. (NASB)

Romans 12:18-21

12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. 12:20 ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NASB)

The declarations to be good to our enemies illustrates our calling as the children of God, which is to seek what is needed to establish relationships using Mercy, Truth, Righteousness, Justice, and Peace. These concepts become real and tangible as we apply them to our lives and as we seek the Lord God in heaven in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for help. The most important point is to be consistently seeking the Lord God in heaven for help. When men became enemies to the God of Israel, they also become enemies to one another, because of selfishness and pride. Our God however is for reconciliation, and therefore to stand in opposition to the Lord sets one upon the path of destruction of relationships that are supposed to be connected through Mercy, Truth, Righteousness, Justice, and Peace. The point and the purpose of Romans 12:20 Εὰν οὖν πεινᾷ—ψώμιζε—αὐτοῦ and from the LXX, Mishley / Proverbs 25:21-22, εὰν πεινᾷ—τρέφε [ψώμιζε] αὐτοῦ, ὁ δὲ Κύριος ΑΝΤΑΠΟΔΩΣΕΙ σοι ἀγαθά, is that if a man is hungry, we are called to feed him, and the Lord will work in that man’s life. This especially holds true for the bitter and violent enemy, where the Greek word ψώμιζε, (to feed) illustrates these concepts of mercy, truth, justice, and peace, will facilitate the power of God causing the enemy to repent and be delivered from his sinful ways. Therefore, the purpose of our calling to build relationships in Mercy, Truth, Righteousness, Justice, and Peace, is designed to lead others to repentance and to seek the Lord God of Israel for these very things.

The psalm concludes saying, יג צַדִּיק כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח כְּאֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יִשְֹגֶּה: יד שְׁתוּלִים בְּבֵית יְהֹוָה בְּחַצְרוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַפְרִיחוּ: טו עוֹד יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵֹיבָה דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִּים יִהְיוּ: טז לְהַגִּיד כִּי-יָשָׁר יְהֹוָה צוּרִי וְלֹא-עַ ְלָתָה [עַוְלָתָה] בּוֹ: 92:12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 92:13 Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. 92:14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, 92:15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (NASB) The righteous man is able to recognize the glory of God and how He has worked in his life! What does it mean to be righteous? The definition of righteous as an adjective is to describe a person’s conduct, whether morally right or justifiable or virtuous. Synonyms are “good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, or decent.” Therefore, righteousness is the description of “behavior that is morally justifiable or right.” Such behavior is characterized by accepted standards of morality, justice, virtue, or uprightness according to God’s Word. The Torah’s standard of human righteousness is paralleled to God’s character and constitute the measuring line by which the Lord measures human righteousness. Coupled with these things is a person having the right intent to do a good deed. The question then is are non-believers able to do good in the sense of choosing to perform a good deed (maasim tovim) from a good intent? The Scriptures speak of humanities inability to do anything good:

Bereshit / Genesis 6:5

6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (ESV)

Isaiah 64:6

64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (ESV)

Romans 3:11-12

3:11 None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. 3:12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. (ESV)

Granted, the reference to Bereshit / Genesis 6:5 was for a particular state of the earth at a specific point in time, but it offers the illustration of the intent of the heart of man if left to itself. The point of these Scriptures is that there are a lot of people (non-believers) who are capable of doing good, but there is something missing, the theme that seems to come out from the Tanach and the Apostolic Writings is that without the Lord, nobody has the capacity to do what is truly good. Yeshua stated the following when he was called good.

Luke 18:19

18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. (NIV)

It seems Yeshua is using the word “good” to describe the intrinsic perfection of God’s nature to always do what is right and good. The only way for the individual person to be considered good in this sense is to become “partakers of the divine nature” as Peter says in 2 Peter 1:4 which occurs by faith in the Messiah with the Lord’s help.

2 Peter 1:1-9

1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. (NASB)

Notice how Peter is bringing all of these concepts together, righteousness, knowing God, godliness, escaping corruption, and partaking in the divine nature, which leads to self control, perseverance, kindness and the fruit of the spirit. This partaking in the divine nature is achieved by faith in the Messiah Yeshua, and is paralleled to morality and doing what is good, being considered righteous before the God of Israel, and by taking on and performing the mitzvot in the Torah. The coupling of all these things together illustrate for us that “goodness” in the sight of God is very different from “good” in the sight of men. For example, donating a specified amount of money for a specific cause might be a good action in men’s sight, but the Lord God judges motives, and only He can tell if such an action is really good. Thus, our reason for serving the Lord should be motived out of our love for Him and our desire to draw near, to seek Him and His ways. This is why the psalmist writes saying, יג צַדִּיק כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח כְּאֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יִשְֹגֶּה: יד שְׁתוּלִים בְּבֵית יְהֹוָה בְּחַצְרוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַפְרִיחוּ: טו עוֹד יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵֹיבָה דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִּים יִהְיוּ: טז לְהַגִּיד כִּי-יָשָׁר יְהֹוָה צוּרִי וְלֹא-עַ ְלָתָה [עַוְלָתָה] בּוֹ: 92:12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 92:13 Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. 92:14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, 92:15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (NASB) He speaks of being planted in the house of the Lord and flourishing in the courts of the God of Israel. This draws us to the context of what we have been discussing regarding righteousness before the Lord, and having the correct motivation. Such a person will yield fruit because the Lord has worked a miracle in his or her life. And because we seek the Lord, to know Him, and His Messiah Yeshua, we are able to say as the psalmist says, 92:15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (NASB) Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 92 has 14 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 4, 6, 7, and 14. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 92, Parts 1, 4, 6, 7, and 14.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 92, Part 1, 4, 6, 7, and 14

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “A Psalm, a song, For the Shabbat day (Tehillim / Psalms 92:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Isaac asked, In the verse, See, for that the Lord has given you the Shabbat, therefore He gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days (Shemot / Exodus 16:29)
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of everything that is related to the Shabbat is doubled.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis conclude that a man’s reward for honoring the shabbat is doubled.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “The Shabbat Psalm is also double, for it is said, A Psalm is also double, for it is said, A Psalm, a song. For the Shabbat day (Tehillim / Psalms 92:1).”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “In a different comment on A Psalm, a song.”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “For the Shabbat day, Rabbi Levi said in the name of Rabbi Zimra, For the Shabbat day, that is, for the day which the darkness did not attend.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of the power of the Sabbath light.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal speaking of Adam needing to find two stones which are related to death.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Rabbi Huna taught in the name of Rabbi Abbahu who taught in the name of Rabbi Johanan, On the Day of Atonement also we say the Havdalah, because on this day the fire on the altar used to be extinguished, and a new fire kindled.”

Part 6

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Adam was driven out, and he went forth out of the Garden of Eden and abode on Mount Moriah, for the gates of the Garden of Eden are closed by Mount Moriah.”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “God had taken Adam from there, He returned him, returned him to the place from where he had been taken.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of Adam and mount Moriah.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), making a connection between mount Moriah and the Garden of Eden.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Rabbi Eliezer taught, The Holy One blessed be He, for the sake of decency made garments for Adam and for his helpmate out of the skin which the serpent shed, as is said, And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them (Bereshit / Genesis 3:21).”

Part 7

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “It is a good thing to confess unto the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 92:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Adam said this. He meant, Through me all the generations will learn that when a man confesses his sins and forsakes them, he will be saved from the punishment of Gehenna.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss this world and the world to come.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), saying faithfulness and lovingkindness belong to those in the world to come.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “The Holy One blessed be He, said, I desire from Israel not music of the harp but the solemn utterance of their mouth, as is said For Me a solemn sound, more than a harp (Tehillim / Psalms 92:4).”

Part 14

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “To declare that the Lord is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness (Tehillim / Psalms 92:16).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “They asked Moshe, Who prevented you from entering the Land of Israel?
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the idea the Lord justifying the wicked.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), reasoning how it appears the wicked are justified.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “ Thus, you say, The Lord is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness, and I the Lord say, the remnant of Israel will not do inquity, nor speak lies, neither will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth (Zephaniah 3:13).”

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “A Psalm, a song, For the Shabbat day (Tehillim / Psalms 92:1).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Isaac asked, In the verse, See, for that the Lord has given you the Shabbat, therefore He gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days (Shemot / Exodus 16:29)” The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק צב סימן א

א מזמור שיר ליום השבת. אמר ר׳ יצחק ראו כי ה׳ נתן לכם (את) השבת (שמות טז כט), מהו ראו, אמר ר׳ יוסי מרגניתא דיהיבת לכון, כל עיסקא דשבת כפול, לחם משנה שני העומר לאחד (שם שם שמות ט״ז כב), קרבנה כפול, שנאמר וביום השבת שני כבשים (במדבר כח ט), עונשה כפול, שנאמר מחלליה מות יומת (שמות לא יד), שכרה כפול, שנאמר וקראת לשבת עונג (ולקדוש) [לקדוש] ה׳ מכובד (ישעיה נח יג), אזהרותיה כפולות, זכור ושמור, מזמור כפול, מזמור שיר ליום השבת.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 1

1. A Psalm, a song, For the Shabbat day (Tehillim / Psalms 92:1). Rabbi Isaac asked, In the verse, See, for that the Lord has given you the Shabbat, therefore He gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days (Shemot / Exodus 16:29), what is implied by the word See? Rabbi Jose answered that God meant, See the pearl that I have given you! Everything which has to do with the Shabbat is double, viz, And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each man (Shemot / Exodus 16:22). The Shabbat offering is double, as is said, And on the Shabbat day two male lambs of the first year, and two tenths parts of the ephah of fine flour (Bamidbar / Numbers 28:9). Punishment for its profanation is double, as is said Every one that profanes it will in dying be put to death (Shemot / Exodus 31:14). Reward for honoring it is double, as is said, If you call the Shabbat a delight and honor it, then I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father (Isaiah 58:13-14). Admonitions concerning it are double, for it is said, Observe the Shabbat day to keep it holy (Devarim / Deuteronomy 5:12). The Shabbat Psalm is also double, for it is said, A Psalm is also double, for it is said, A Psalm, a song. For the Shabbat day (Tehillim / Psalms 92:1).

The rabbis focus upon Shemot / Exodus 16:29, כט רְאוּ כִּי-יְהוָֹה נָתַן לָכֶם הַשַּׁבָּת עַל-כֵּן הוּא נֹתֵן לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי לֶחֶם יוֹמָיִם שְׁבוּ | אִישׁ תַּחְתָּיו אַל-יֵצֵא אִישׁ מִמְּקֹמוֹ בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי: 16:29 ‘See, the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.’ (NASB) and the first word in the verse רְאוּ (See) asking what it is the Lord is saying here in the word “See?” The conclusion is that the Lord divided the sixth day into two for the purpose of being able to provide for the Shabbat so that one does not need to work on the Shabbat. e.g. the Lord doubled the amount of manna given to the people on Friday so they had enough for the Shabbat. In addition, according to Bamidbar / Numbers 28:9, the Shabbat offering is doubled as well, ט וּבְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת שְׁנֵי-כְבָשִֹים בְּנֵי-שָׁנָה תְּמִימִם וּשְׁנֵי עֶשְֹרֹנִים סֹלֶת מִנְחָה בְּלוּלָה בַשֶּׁמֶן וְנִסְכּוֹ: 28:9 ‘Then on the sabbath day two male lambs one year old without defect, and two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and its drink offering: (NASB) This doubling is also applied to the profanation of the Shabbat as requiring a doubling of the punishment (X2). The doubling language may be a way of emphasizing the importance of the Sabbath rest, to draw near to the Lord God in heaven and to work on building family relationships. This doubling language also reminds us of the Torah references to Shabbat Shabbaton (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן). There are two types of days that are called Shabbat Shabbaton (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן), Yom Kippur and the weekly Shabbat. This unique title is given to these days but not to the other holidays. The words Shabbat Shabbaton (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן) appear in connection to the Shabbat according to Shemot / Exodus 31:15 and 35:2, and Vayikra / Leviticus 23:2-3 (Shemot / Exodus 16:23). In relation to Yom Kippur (Vayikra / Leviticus 16:31 and 23:2).

The Shabbat

ספר שמות פרק לא

טו שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים יֵעָשֶֹה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָֹה כָּל-הָעֹשֶֹה מְלָאכָה בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת מוֹת יוּמָת:

ספר שמות פרק לה

ב שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶֹה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יִהְיֶה לָכֶם קֹדֶשׁ שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן לַיהוָֹה כָּל-הָעֹשֶֹה בוֹ מְלָאכָה יוּמָת:

ספר ויקרא פרק כג

ב דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם מוֹעֲדֵי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר-תִּקְרְאוּ אֹתָם מִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ אֵלֶּה הֵם מוֹעֲדָי: ג שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶֹה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ כָּל-מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשֹוּ שַׁבָּת הִוא לַיהֹוָה בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם:

Yom Kippur

ספר ויקרא פרק טז

לא שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן הִיא לָכֶם וְעִנִּיתֶם אֶת-נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם חֻקַּת עוֹלָם:

ספר ויקרא פרק כג

ב דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם מוֹעֲדֵי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר-תִּקְרְאוּ אֹתָם מִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ אֵלֶּה הֵם מוֹעֲדָי: ג שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּעָשֶֹה מְלָאכָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ כָּל-מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשֹוּ שַׁבָּת הִוא לַיהֹוָה בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם:

The question the rabbis have concerning the meaning of the phrase “Shabbat Shabbaton” (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן) is whether this is an adjective modifying the word Shabbat, or does it function as a noun on its own? (See Rambam on Vayikra / Leviticus 23:24). Does the word Shabbaton detract from the word that it modifies? It is interesting to note that the Medieval and Modern commentaries, maintain different understandings of the term “Shabbat Shabbaton.” Ibn Ezra on Vayikra / Leviticus 16:31 states that both words are nouns whose placement is interchangeable. Shabbat Shabbaton (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן) is the same as “Shabbaton Shabbat.” Elsewhere (Shemot / Exodus 16:23, peirush katzar), Ibn Ezra explains that the suffix Shabbat-“on” as being possessive. Therefore, the word Shabbaton means “your Shabbat.” However, it is more easily understood as Shabbaton to be an adjective which modifies the word Shabbat. Another way to understand the doubling of the word is that of emphasis. The Hebrew language uses the repetition of words as a form of emphasis. For example, in Devarim / Deuteronomy 31:18, יח וְאָנֹכִי הַסְתֵּר אַסְתִּיר פָּנַי בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא עַל כָּל-הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה כִּי פָנָה אֶל-אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים: 31:18 ‘But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods. (NASB) The words “Khasteir astir” (הַסְתֵּר אַסְתִּיר) are translated as “I will surely hide.” The second appearance of the word, even in a slightly different form, serves to emphasize the previous word. That is how Ibn Ezra understands Shabbaton in our context, it repeats and thereby emphasizes the rest as if to say “You must surely rest.” A halakhic reading of the phrase is slightly different with regard to the other holidays, for example, work related to cooking is permitted. Shabbat Shabbaton (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן) teaches us that the rest on Shabbat and Yom Kippur is complete, with no exceptions. Rashi on Shemot / Exodus 31:15 calls Shabbat Shabbaton a “restful rest (margo’a),” which Rabbi Menachem Kasher (Torah Shelemah, Shemot / Exodus 31:81) states that the repetition simply repeats the wording. Rather than emphasizing the word, the meaning of the doubling is that resting from work is without exception. In this reading, “Shabbaton” may be an adjective, describing the rest as restful, “You will have a restful rest,” as opposed to the more active rest on other holidays. On the other hand, Rabbi Sa’adia Gaon, quoted by Ibn Ezra (Shemot / Exodus 16:23, peirush katzar), takes the opposite approach saying that Shabbaton is written to limit the Shabbat, a term that somehow diminishes the requirement of the Shabbat. Radak (Tehillim / Psalms 17:8) also adopts this approach, as does the Netziv (Chavos Yair 1 #12). In his Ha’amek Davar (Shemot / Exodus 31:15, Vayikra / Leviticus 23:32), the Netziv explains that the extra word Shabbaton teaches some limiting aspect about the day. It is less than a complete Shabbat because of the Shabbaton modifier. The easiest way to take this phrase, Shabbat Shabbaton (שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן), is that the doubling is meant for emphasis to strengthen the reference and importance of the Shabbat. Note the English translations on this phrase (taken from www.biblehub.com):

JPS, RSV, NKJV – “a sabbath of solemn rest”

KJV, NIV – “a sabbath of rest”

Net Bible, NJPS – “a sabbath of complete rest”

Living Torah – “a sabbath of sabbaths”

The Targum Onkelos chooses to render the term literally, essentially without explanatory translation. The general consensus is the word Shabbaton maintains rest. Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 1 concludes saying, “Reward for honoring it is double, as is said, If you call the Shabbat a delight and honor it, then I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father (Isaiah 58:13-14). Admonitions concerning it are double, for it is said, Observe the Shabbat day to keep it holy (Devarim / Deuteronomy 5:12). The Shabbat Psalm is also double, for it is said, A Psalm is also double, for it is said, A Psalm, a song. For the Shabbat day (Tehillim / Psalms 92:1).” The repeating of the word Shabbat Shabbaton suggests emphasis on the importance of taking time to rest, to spend time with the Lord and with our families. Isaiah says that honoring the Shabbat will cause us to be raised up to the high places of the earth, the Lord will set us above the rest. In the mitzvah found in the opening verses in Parashat Kedoshim, on honoring mother and father an the Shabbat, Rashi, Ein Yaakov, and the Mishnah Keritot 6:9, speak of the significance of the Shabbat as honoring God in heaven, and is paralleled to honoring our mother and father on earth. Notice how contained in the mitzvah on the Shabbat all of these concepts are brought together which do set us apart from the rest of the world, and that is the significance of the Sabbath Rest.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamatil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “In a different comment on A Psalm, a song.” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “For the Shabbat day, Rabbi Levi said in the name of Rabbi Zimra, For the Shabbat day, that is, for the day which the darkness did not attend.” According to the rabbis, on the Shabbat, there was no darkness.

The entire Midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק צב סימן ד

ד דבר אחר [מזמור שיר ליום השבת]. אמר ר׳ לוי בשם ר׳ זימרא ליום השבת ליום שלא שימשה עמו אפילה, אתה מוצא בכל יום כתיב ויהי ערב ויהי בוקר, ובשבת אין כתיב ערב, אמר ר׳ לוי בשם ר׳ נזירא שלשים ושש שעות היה יום השבת, ערב שבת, והלילה שהיה, ושבת עצמה, וכיון שראה אדם מוצאי שבת עם דמדומי חמה התחיל החשך ממשמש ובא, התחיל אדם טופח על פניו, ואמר אוי לי שמא זה שאמר הקב״ה הוא ישופך ראש (בראשית ג טו), הוא מביאו עכשיו, שנאמר ואומר אך חשך ישופני [ולילה אור בעדני] (תהלים קלט יא) מה עשה הקב״ה, זימן לו שתי אבנים, אחת של אופל ואחת של צלמות, שנאמר קץ שם לחשך ולכל תכלית הוא חוקר אבן אופל וצלמות (איוב כח ג), ונטל אדם הראשון שתי האבנים והקישן זו לזו, ויצא מהן אש, והבדיל עליו בורא מאורי האש, לפיכך אנו מבדילין על האור במוצאי שבת אמר ר׳ הונא בשם ר׳ אבהו בשם ר׳ יוחנן אף ביום הכפורים מבדילין ששבת האש באותו היום.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 4

4. In a different comment on A Psalm, a song. For the Shabbat day, Rabbi Levi said in the name of Rabbi Zimra, For the Shabbat day, that is, for the day which the darkness did not attend. You find that it is written of the other days, And there was evening and there was morning, one day, but the words, There was evening are not written of the Shabbat. Rabbi Levi said in the name of Rabbi Nezira, The Shabbat light continued throughout thirty-six hours, throughout the hours of the day preceding the Shabbat, throughout the hours of the night which should have been dark, and throughout the Shabbat day itself. At the close of the Shabbat, with the setting of the sun, Adam saw a darkness come creeping upon him, and he began striking himself upon the face, crying out, Woe to me! Can it be that the serpent to whom the Holy One blessed be He, said Adam will bruise your head (Bereshit / Genesis 3:16) can it be he whom God now brings on, as is said Surely in the darkness the serpent will bruise me (Tehillim / Psalms 139:11)? What did the Holy One blessed be He, then do? He had Adam find two stones, one of thick darkness, and the other of death’s shadow, for it is said Man sets an end to darkness, and searches out to the furthest bound the stones of thick darkness, and searches out to the furthest bound the stones of thick darkness and of the shadow of death (Job 28:3). Adam took up the stones and smote them one against the other until fire shot forth from them, whereupon he cited the benediction which is part of the Havdalah, Blessed are You who creates the light of the fire. Hence, at the close of the Shabbat we say the Havdalah over a light. Rabbi Huna taught in the name of Rabbi Abbahu who taught in the name of Rabbi Johanan, On the Day of Atonement also we say the Havdalah, because on this day the fire on the altar used to be extinguished, and a new fire kindled.

The reason the rabbis say there was no darkness on the Sabbath day was because it is not written in Scripture “there was evening and there was morning, one day” when the Shabbat was created in Bereshit / Genesis. The conclusion is that there was 36 hours of light to make the Scriptures consistent due to the absence of the phrase that was repeated 6 times. Following the Shabbat, the rabbis say that Adam felt a darkness coming upon him, and this is related to the sin that he had committed. The Midrash then says Adam took two stones, “one of thick darkness, and the other of death’s shadow, for it is said Man sets an end to darkness, and searches out to the furthest bound the stones of thick darkness, and searches out to the furthest bound the stones of thick darkness and of the shadow of death (Job 28:3). Adam took up the stones and smote them one against the other until fire shot forth from them, whereupon he cited the benediction which is part of the Havdalah, Blessed are You who creates the light of the fire.” The point of the Midrash might be related to the heaviness of sin and its consequences. David said in Tehillim / Psalms 32:3-4, ‘When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.’ (NIV) One of the problems for some believers today is an unwillingness to take responsibility for sin. I believe this is the end result of the Hyper-grace movement! One may confess the sin after it has been committed, but afterwards there is complacency. We often hear complaints about someone suffering due to the sins of others, but rarely hear how others are hurting as a result of the things we ourselves have done. It is a rare thing to hear someone talk about how they feel the Lord’s hand is heavy upon them due to something they have done. The reason being sin is shameful and we are unwilling to bring our own sins into the light. In addition, the reason may also be due to modern Christian theology. Christian theology tends to teach as a result of being forgiven of sin in the Messiah (Christ), the consequences of sin doesn’t matter anymore, even though people are hurt by it. We speak of the greatness of God to forgive, and at the same time, speak of others who are unable to forgive as being small or faulty in some way. The point is that we do not simply come to the Lord for forgiveness, we also need to be sensitive to how sin hurts others and make restitution. The Torah actually speaks of doing such a thing. If we are unable to feel the effects of our own sins, then how alive are our hearts? Therefore, our confession of sin should be deeply felt, we should feel the weightiness and heaviness of sin if we are a spiritual people. According to the Midrash, Adam smote the two stones together and produced flame. One stone represented darkness, the other death, and the two when struck together burn, representing sin that burns within a person who holds onto it. Sin inflames the flesh to want more and more of it. Adam recited the Havdalah prayer and praises the Lord for creating the light. Note how Yeshua taught his disciples to pray so that they are not overcome by temptation. (see Matthew 26:41-46) God’s light represents truth and righteousness, the two things the Lord and His Messiah Yeshua are leading us into.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 4 concludes saying, “Rabbi Huna taught in the name of Rabbi Abbahu who taught in the name of Rabbi Johanan, On the Day of Atonement also we say the Havdalah, because on this day the fire on the altar used to be extinguished, and a new fire kindled.” The Midrash appears to be speaking of the fire of sin being extinguished and a new fire being kindled in our lives, one that is fueled by righteousness and truth. This provides us with the concept of a newness of life, and of a new creation. The new creation is described in the Apostolic Writings by Paul who said, 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” The word “therefore” draws us back to verses 2 Corinthians 5:14-16 where Paul speaks of all believers having died with Christ and now no longer live for themselves. We no longer live as the world lives, we are now walking in the spirit. Our “death” is a reference to the life of sin. Paul said that we are buried with Yeshua, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so we are also raised up to “walk in newness of life” (see Romans 6:4). The new person who was raised up in the Messiah (Christ) is what Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 5:17 as the “new creation.” He created something entirely fresh and unique, and this new thing is similar to what the Midrash calls the fires being snuffed out and a new fire being lit in its place upon the altar.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 6 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Adam was driven out, and he went forth out of the Garden of Eden and abode on Mount Moriah, for the gates of the Garden of Eden are closed by Mount Moriah.” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “God had taken Adam from there, He returned him, returned him to the place from where he had been taken.” It is interesting how the Midrash states that Adam was driven from Eden and he went to dwell on Mount Moriah. We are also told that the Lord had created Adam on Mount Moriah and that the gates of the Garden of Eden are closed by the Mount. This holy place Moriah (מוֹרִיָּה) is the name given to a mountain range in Bereshit / Genesis, and is the location of the sacrifice of Isaac (the Akedah). In the book of Chronicles, Mount Moriah is reported as the location of Araunah’s threshing floor, and that the Temple of Solomon was built over Araunahs threshing floor (2 Chronicles 3). This led to the rabbinic interpretation the peak of Moriah is the location of the Temple mount in Jerusalem.

The entire Midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק צב סימן ו

ו [גורש אדם ויצא מגן, וישב לו בהר המוריה, ששערי גן עדן סמוכין להר המוריה, משם לקחו ולשם החזירו במקום שנלקח, שנאמר ויקח ה׳ אלהים את האדם (בראשית ב טו), מאיזה מקום לקחו, ממקום בית המקדש, וישב חוץ לגן עדן בהר המוריה, שנאמר לעבוד את האדמה אשר לוקח משם (שם בראשית ג כג), רבי יהודה אומר הקב״ה שמר את (השבת) [שבת ראשון] בעליונים, ואדם שמר אותו תחלה, והיה יום השבת משמרו מכל רע ומכל סרעפי לב, שנאמר ברב שרעפי בקרבי תנחומיך ישעשעו נפשי (תהלים צד יט). ר׳ יהושע בן קרחה אומר מן האילן שנחבאו תחתיו לקחו עלים ותפרו, שנאמר ויתפרו עלה תאנה (בראשית ג ז), ר׳ אליעזר אומר מן העור שהפשיט הנחש, עשה הקב״ה כתנות כבוד לו ולעזרו, שנאמר ויעש ה׳ אלהים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם (שם שם בראשית ג׳ כא)].

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 6

6. Adam was driven out, and he went forth out of the Garden of Eden and abode on Mount Moriah, for the gates of the Garden of Eden are closed by Mount Moriah. God had taken Adam from there, He returned him, returned him to the place from where he had been taken. For it is said, And the Lord God took Adam he had been taken. For it is said, And the Lord God took Adam (Bereshit / Genesis 2:15). From what place had He taken him? From the place where the Temple was to stand. And he dwelled outside of the Garden of Eden on Mount Moriah, as it is said, Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to fill the ground from whence he was taken (Bereshit / Genesis 3:23). Rabbi Judah said, Above, the Holy One blessed be He, kept the first Shabbat, while Adam kept it below; and the Shabbat day kept Adam from hellish grief and from all the cares of heart, as is said When my cares are many within me, Your comforts delight my soul (Tehillim / Psalms 94:19). Rabbi Joshua son of Karkha taught, It was from the tree under which they hid that Adam and Eve took leaves and sewed them together, as is said, And they sewed fig leaves together (Bereshit / Genesis 3:7). Rabbi Eliezer taught, The Holy One blessed be He, for the sake of decency made garments for Adam and for his helpmate out of the skin which the serpent shed, as is said, And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them (Bereshit / Genesis 3:21).

It is interesting in the midrash the rabbis say, “For it is said, And the Lord God took Adam (Bereshit / Genesis 2:15). From what place had He taken him? From the place where the Temple was to stand. And he dwelled outside of the Garden of Eden on Mount Moriah, as it is said, Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to fill the ground from whence he was taken (Bereshit / Genesis 3:23).” So the basic premise is that the Lord removed Adam from the holy place where the Temple was to stand and so the Garden of Eden was in that location. It is believed the tree of life stood at the most holy place on Mount Moriah. So the Lord had him stand outside of that place upon Moriah, and the rabbis say that the gates to the Garden were closed in that place. Then the Lord gave Adam the Shabbat rest saying, “the Shabbat day kept Adam from hellish grief and from all the cares of heart, as is said When my cares are many within me, Your comforts delight my soul (Tehillim / Psalms 94:19).” The Lord used the example of His resting on the seventh day of Creation to establish the principle of the Shabbat for His people and so the question is, “do you consider yourself a part of His people?” And “what does it mean to be called ‘His people?’” And “does the phrase ‘His people’ only refer to Israel?” Or “what does it mean to be called a child of God?” etc. In Shemot / Exodus 20:8-11 and Devarim / Deuteronomy 5:12-15, the Lord God gave the fourth commandment to “remember” the Sabbath day and to “keep it holy.” One day out of every seven, God’s people are called to rest from their labors and give the same day of rest to their servants and animals. This was not just a physical rest, but a cessation of laboring. Whatever work they were engaged in was to stop for a full day each week. The Sabbath day was established so the people would rest from their labors, and take time to draw near to the Lord God in heaven and to spend time with family. The timing of this day (the seventh day) has been established by the Lord according to the Scriptures and has not changed. The midrash speaks of Adam finding rest from the grief and the cares of the heart, and how the Lord comforts the soul. Hebrews 4:9-13 states:

Hebrews 4:9-13

4:9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 4:10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 4:11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (NASB)

The author of Hebrews speaks of entering into the Sabbath rest of God and refraining from working, and confirms that the Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. Again, “Are those who believe in Yeshua the Messiah considered the people of God?” If the answer is “YES” then why is the church considered something “other” today? Note in Hebrews 4:11, the author speaks of being diligent to “enter that rest” otherwise one would be found in the same situation as the example of disobedience the people had found themselves in during the wilderness journey. What is this Sabbath rest and the “entering in” the author is speaking of? He continues writing saying that the Word of God is powerful and sharper than a two edged sword and divides the soul and spirit and is able to judge the intentions of the heart. Note the connection here to the body and the spirit, and one’s thoughts and intentions. One’s attitude towards the Sabbath rest is evident by how one lives and obeys God’s Word. The Author of Hebrews goes on to say the following:

Hebrews 4:14-16

4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (NASB)

He speaks of our High Priest, Yeshua the Messiah, who entered into the Heavenly Holy of Holies with his blood. Note he speaks of holding fast to our confession of faith in Yeshua and the connection to the commandment of the Sabbath rest. Yeshua was tempted and overcame, unlike us who fall short. Our High Priest can sympathize with us with regard to our weaknesses and He stands in the presence of God our Father in heaven. By our faith we are able, empowered to overcome, and walk in truth and righteousness according to God’s Word. This is the Lord’s work in our lives. Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 6 concludes in a similar manner saying, “Rabbi Eliezer taught, The Holy One blessed be He, for the sake of decency made garments for Adam and for his helpmate out of the skin which the serpent shed, as is said, And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them (Bereshit / Genesis 3:21).” The Scriptures themselves speak of the Lord and how He provided for His children what they needed making garments of skin for them to clothe themselves. Today, the Lord seeks that we would walk in His righteousness and truth, clothing us with His ways in the Messiah Yeshua so that we may be set free from sin, and enter into His rest.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 7 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “It is a good thing to confess unto the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 92:2).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Adam said this. He meant, Through me all the generations will learn that when a man confesses his sins and forsakes them, he will be saved from the punishment of Gehenna.” It is very important to recognize how Judaism understands the necessity of repentance. Repentance (תשובה, “teshuva”) is one element of atoning for sin according to Judaism. A Jewish penitent is traditionally known as a baal teshuva (“master of repentance,” בעל תשובה). An alternative modern term is hozer be’teshuva (חוזר בתשובה, “returning in repentance”).

The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק צב סימן ז

ז [טוב להודות לה׳. אדם הראשון אמרו, (כדי שילמדו) [בי ילמדו] כל הדורות שכל מי שמודה על פשעים ועוזב ניצול מדינה של גיהנם, שנאמר טוב להודות לה׳ ולזמר לשמך עליון. להגיד בבקר חסדך. לכל באי העולם הבא, שהן דומין לבוקר. ואמונתך בלילות. לכל באי העולם הזה שהוא דומה ללילה, יגידו ויאמרו אמונתו וחסדו של הקב״ה שעשה עמי, והצילני מדינה של גיהנם. עלי עשור ועלי נבל. כל עדות נאמנות לישראל בעשרה, הכנור שהיה דוד מנגן בו בעשרה [נימין], עדות [המת] בעשרה, עדות ברית (מלח) [מילה] בעשרה, עדות ברכת השם בעשרה, עדות חליצה בעשרה, [עדות ברכת נשואין בעשרה], שנאמר ויקח (בועז) עשרה אנשים (רות ד ב), אמר הקב״ה איני רוצה מישראל זמר בכינור, אלא הגיון פיהם, שנאמר עלי הגיון בכנור].

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 7

7. It is a good thing to confess unto the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 92:2). Adam said this. He meant, Through me all the generations will learn that when a man confesses his sins and forsakes them, he will be saved from the punishment of Gehenna. Thus, It is a good thing to confess unto the Lord. It is a good thing, to show forth Your lovingkindness in the morning (Tehillim / Psalms 92:3) that is, to all those who dwell in the world to come, which is like the morning; and Your faithfulness in the night seasons, that is, to all those who dwell in this world, which is like the night. Accordingly, the verse means that Adam said, the dwellers in the world to come and in this world will show forth and declare the faithfulness and the lovingkindness of the Holy One blessed be He, which he manifested to me when He saved me from the punishment of Gehenna. For Me and instrument of ten strings, and for Me the psaltry (Tehillim / Psalms 92:4). Among the people of Israel all assemblies, to be legally valid, require the presence of ten men, even as the harp upon which David played had ten strings. The service at the burial of the dead requires the presence of ten men; the service at a circumcision requires the presence of ten men; the blessings of the Lord requires the presence of ten men; Halisah requires the presence of ten men; the marriage service requires the presence of ten men, for it is said, And he took ten men of the elders of the city (Ruth 4:2). The Holy One blessed be He, said, I desire from Israel not music of the harp but the solemn utterance of their mouth, as is said For Me a solemn sound, more than a harp (Tehillim / Psalms 92:4).

The rabbis speak of the necessity of repentance. Repentance is connected to the root meaning of Teshuvah (תשובה) which is to turn (שוב) from sin. The Midrash speaks of “when a man confesses his sins and forsakes them, he will be saved from the punishment of Gehenna (Hell).” The idea is that confession of sin before the Lord must also be coupled to physically modifying one’s behavior, in the sense of acting in a way opposite to that of the sin that was committed (e.g. for the sin of lying, one should speak the truth. Or other forms of sin may require making restitution, etc.) The Babylonian Talmud emphasizes performing charitable deeds, praying, and studying Torah are ways of physically modifying one’s action and are capable of replacing the requirement of sacrifice when the Temple is not active. This is connected to the concept of the Lord desiring obedience first over sacrifice by route.

Midrash Avot D’Rabbi Nathan 4:5

Once, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai was walking with his disciple, Rabbi Yehoshua, near Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple. Rabbi Y’hoshua looked at the Temple ruins and said “Alas for us!! The place that atoned for the sins of the people Israel lies in ruins!” Then Rabbi Yohannan ben Zakkai spoke to him these words of comfort: “Be not grieved, my son. There is another equally meritorious way of gaining ritual atonement, even though the Temple is destroyed. We can still gain ritual atonement through deeds of loving-kindness. For it is written ‘Lovingkindness I desire, not sacrifice.’” (Hosea 6:6)

Talmud Bavli Sukkah 49

Rabbi Elazar said: Doing righteous deeds of charity is greater than offering all of the sacrifices, as it is written: “Doing charity and justice is more desirable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3).

According to the Midash, repentance is an act of kindness towards others and towards God, and the purpose is to show the Olam HaZeh (this world) and have the expectation of the Olam HaBa (the world to come) and to declare the faithfulness of the one who is repentant. The act of repentance is paralleled to the service of the Lord and to making music and giving praise unto the Lord.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 7 concludes saying, “The Holy One blessed be He, said, I desire from Israel not music of the harp but the solemn utterance of their mouth, as is said For Me a solemn sound, more than a harp (Tehillim / Psalms 92:4).” The point is that repentance is not simply the utterance of one’s mouth. Words are empty without action. This is why James said in James 2:14-26 that faith without works is dead. Faith without the demonstration of the fruit of the spirit in one’s life is to non-effect. Therefore, faith in Yeshua the Messiah is not effective without repentance and actively seeking to turn from sin.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 14 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “To declare that the Lord is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness (Tehillim / Psalms 92:16).” The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “They asked Moshe, Who prevented you from entering the Land of Israel?” The Midrash ask why Moshe was not permitted to enter the Promised Land. The Midrash continues stating the following. He replied, I prevented it. They asked him, Was it not the Holy One blessed be He, who kept you out? He replied No. Speak not thus. Even if you should see the Holy One blessed be He, appear to justify the wicked man and condemn the righteous man, The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of truth and without iniquity (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:4).” The point is that there may be the appearance of the wicked succeeding but that should not be taken as a means to say the Lord justifies the wicked. The discussion based upon the Midrash has the rabbis saying to Moshe that it was the Lord who kept Moshe out of the Promised Land and not Moshe’s actions. The idea is that Moshe was a righteous man and it appeared as if the Lord is doing this to a righteous man. The Scriptures say that the Lord Justifies based upon one’s faith.

James 2:23

2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. (NASB)

And so the idea is that Moshe did not maintain faith to sanctify the name of the Lord before the people. In addition we read the following from Parashat Mishpatim, Shemot / Exodus 23:7.

Shemot / Exodus 23:7:

23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not; for I will not justify the wicked. (NASB, מִדְּבַר־שֶׁ֖קֶר תִּרְחָ֑ק וְנָקִ֤י וְצַדִּיק֙ אַֽל־תַּהֲרֹ֔ג כִּ֥י לֹא־אַצְדִּ֖יק רָשָֽׁע׃)

Moshe certainly was not a wicked man, but he did fail to sanctify the name of the Lord before the people and for that reason he was denied the right to enter the Promised Land.

The entire Midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק צב סימן יד

יד להגיד כי ישר ה׳ [צורי ולא עולתה בו]. אמרו לו למשה מי גרם לך שלא ליכנס לארץ, אמר להם אני גרמתי, אמרו לו ולא הקב״ה עשה לך, אמר להם חס ושלום אפילו אם רואים שהקב״ה מצדיק את הרשע, ומרשיע את הצדיק, [הצור תמים פעלו כי כל דרכיו משפט] אל אמונה ואין עול (דברים לב ד). אמרו לו לאדם הראשון מי גרם לך מיתה, אמר להם אני גרמתי לי, אמרו לו ולא עשה לך הקב״ה, אמר להם חס ושלום, משל לחולה שהיה מושלך למטה, הלך הרופא וראה אותו, התחיל מצוה עליו, ואמר לו דבר פלוני אכול ודבר פלוני לא תאכל, שהוא רע לך ומסוכן למות, אכל וסיכן למות, אמרו לו שמא הרופא עשה לך, אמר להם אני הוא שעשיתי לעצמי, שאילו שמעתי לו מה שצווני לא הייתי מת, כך אמרו לאדם הראשון, לא הקב״ה עשה לך שתמות, אמר להם לאו, אני הוא שעשיתי לעצמי, שנאמר מכל עץ הגן אכול תאכל (בראשית ב טז), שהוא טוב לך, ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל (שם שם בראשית ב׳ יז), שהוא סיכן לך למות, ועברתי על צוויו ואכלתי, ואני הוא שעשיתי לעצמי, הוי כי ישר דבר ה׳. אמר ר׳ יוחנן הוא קולע אל יראיו, ויראיו קולעין לו, אתה אומר להגיד כי ישר ה׳ [ולא עולתה בו], אף אני אומר שארית ישראל לא יעשו עולה ולא ידברו כזב ולא ימצא בפיהם לשון תרמית (צפניה ג יג).

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 14

14. To declare that the Lord is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness (Tehillim / Psalms 92:16). They asked Moshe, Who prevented you from entering the Land of Israel? He replied, I prevented it. They asked him, Was it not the Holy One blessed be He, who kept you out? He replied No. Speak not thus. Even if you should see the Holy One blessed be He, appear to justify the wicked man and condemn the righteous man, The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of truth and without iniquity (Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:4). They asked Adam, Who brought death to you? He replied, I brought it upon myself. They asked him, Was it not the Holy One blessed be He, who caused you to die? He replied No. Speak not thus. I am like the sick man who was confined to his bed. When the physician came and looked at him, he enjoined him, You may eat such and such a thing, but do not eat such and such a thing, which will be bad for you and dangerous even unto death. But the sick man ate and was about to die. The people asked him, Was it perhaps the physician who is causing you to die? He replied, I myself have caused my death. If I had given heed to what the physician enjoined me, I would not be dying. So when Adam was asked, Was it not the Holy One blessed be He, who caused you to die? He replied, No, I myself caused my death, for it was said to me Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat (Bereshit / Genesis 2:16) from every tree which is good to you. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will not eat of it (Bereshit / Genesis 2:17), because it is dangerous for you even unto death. And because I trespassed against His injunction and ate, I myself caused my death. Hence, the word of the Lord is upright. Rabbi Johanan taught, God enwreathes them that fear him, and they that fear God enwreathe Him. Thus, you say, The Lord is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness, and I the Lord say, the remnant of Israel will not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth (Zephaniah 3:13).

The Midrash proceeds from the example of Moshe to the example of Adam asking who it was that brought death into his life (מי גרם לך מיתה). Adam said that he brought it upon himself (אמר להם אני גרמתי לי). The rabbis say that it is the Lord who caused him to die (ולא עשה לך הקב״ה). Adam proceeds to tell a parable in the following way:

He replied No. Speak not thus. I am like the sick man who was confined to his bed. When the physician came and looked at him, he enjoined him, You may eat such and such a thing, but do not eat such and such a thing, which will be bad for you and dangerous even unto death. But the sick man ate and was about to die. The people asked him, Was it perhaps the physician who is causing you to die? He replied, I myself have caused my death. If I had given heed to what the physician enjoined me, I would not be dying. So when Adam was asked, Was it not the Holy One blessed be He, who caused you to die?

The point of the parable (משל) was to describe how he is sick and dying due to his own sins because he did not listen to the instructions of the physician. This draws an obvious parallel to the instructions of God, the Torah, upon which the Mishnah Pirkei Avot speaks extensively on the importance of Torah study for our lives according to chapter 6.

Mishnah Pirkei Avot 6:4:

This is the way [to toil in] Torah: eat bread with salt and drink a small amount of water and sleep on the ground and live a life [whose conditions will cause you] pain and in Torah you toil; if you do so (Psalms 128: 2) “happy shall you be, and it shall be well with you” – happy shall you be in this world, and it shall be well with you in the world to come. (כך היא דרכה של תורה, פת במלח תאכל ומים במשורה תשתה ועל הארץ תישן וחיי צער תחיה ובתורה אתה עמל, אם אתה עשה כן, (תהלים קכח) אשריך וטוב לך. אשריך בעולם הזה וטוב לך לעולם הבא.)

The Mishnah speaks of the importance of Torah study, in the sense that it should take precedence above the comforts of life. This is a description of conforming one’s life to asceticism, a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Christian authors of late antiquity such as Origen, St. Jerome, St. Ignatius, John Chrysostom, and Augustine interpreted the meaning of certain Biblical texts believing the Scriptures motivate one to follow a highly asceticized religious environment. Scriptural examples of asceticism may be found in the lives of John the Baptist, Yeshua the Messiah, each of the twelve apostles and even Paul. In addition, the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed the ascetic practices of the ancient Jewish sect of Essenes who took vows of abstinence to prepare for a holy war. We also know according to 1 Samuel 21, David and his men before going out to war would prepare themselves to meet the Lord which involved a certain amount of asceticism in their lives. They kept themselves from having sex which allowed them to eat the bread of the presence from the Tabernacle. Drawing near to the Lord is important and the rabbis encourage a more ascetic life style and studying the Word of God that will benefit us both in this world and in the world to come. In the Midrash, Adam’s conclusion is “And because I trespassed against His injunction and ate, I myself caused my death. Hence, the word of the Lord is upright.” Adam sought the pleasures of life, eating from the tree presented something he wanted, to be as God is, and through disobedience, he died spiritually and bodily death followed.

Midrash Tehillim 92, Part 14 concludes saying, “Thus, you say, The Lord is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness, and I the Lord say, the remnant of Israel will not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth (Zephaniah 3:13).” The Midrash concludes with Zephaniah 3:13 with the proclamation to not do iniquity. With the Lord’s help, we are able! Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 92-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!