Tehillim / Psalms 93, ספר תהילים צג, Part 2, The Majesty of God and His People

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In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 93:1-5, the Psalm opens saying, א יְהֹוָה מָלָךְ גֵּאוּת לָבֵשׁ לָבֵשׁ יְהֹוָה עֹז הִתְאַזָּר אַף-תִּכּוֹן תֵּבֵל בַּל-תִּמּוֹט: 93:1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. (NASB) What does it mean to be clothed with majesty? How is this related to the children of God and what do the rabbis have to say concerning God’s majesty, glory, and His Torah? The psalmist also states the Lord has girded Himself with strength which leads to the firm establishment of the world. How are we to understand this verse? The psalmist continues saying, ב נָכוֹן כִּסְאֲךָ מֵאָז מֵעוֹלָם אָתָּה: 93:2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. (NASB) The throne of God represents His kingship and rule over the earth and all of creation. This is emphasized by saying, ג נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת | יְהוָה נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת קוֹלָם יִשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת דָּכְיָם: ד מִקֹּלוֹת | מַיִם רַבִּים אַדִּירִים מִשְׁבְּרֵי-יָם אַדִּיר בַּמָּרוֹם יְהֹוָה: 93:3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves. 93:4 More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea, The Lord on high is mighty. (NASB) Why does the psalmist use the natural elements to describe the power of God? Is it because man has no control or power over the wind or the waters of the sea but the Lord does? Note the connection to Yeshua calming the seas at the word of His mouth. The psalm concludes saying, ה עֵדֹתֶיךָ | נֶאֶמְנוּ מְאֹד לְבֵיתְךָ נָאֲוָה-קֹדֶשׁ יְהֹוָה לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים: 93:5 Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore. (NASB) The concluding verse leads to a number of questions. What is the testimony of God? How is the testimony confirmed? What does it mean to bear the testimony of God? How does the testimony effect others? Does it effect our relationship with the Lord in heaven? Is there salvation for the one who has no testimony? Let’s explore these questions in this weeks Psalm study!

עברית Hebrew ארמי Aramaic ελληνικός Greek

ספר תהלים פרק צג

א יְהֹוָה מָלָךְ גֵּאוּת לָבֵשׁ לָבֵשׁ יְהֹוָה עֹז הִתְאַזָּר אַף-תִּכּוֹן תֵּבֵל בַּל-תִּמּוֹט: ב נָכוֹן כִּסְאֲךָ מֵאָז מֵעוֹלָם אָתָּה: ג נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת | יְהוָה נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת קוֹלָם יִשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת דָּכְיָם: ד מִקֹּלוֹת | מַיִם רַבִּים אַדִּירִים מִשְׁבְּרֵי-יָם אַדִּיר בַּמָּרוֹם יְהֹוָה: ה עֵדֹתֶיךָ | נֶאֶמְנוּ מְאֹד לְבֵיתְךָ נָאֲוָה-קֹדֶשׁ יְהֹוָה לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים:

סםר טוביה פרק צג

א יהוה מליך גיותנותא אלבש אלבש יהוה עושנא ואיזדרז לחוד תקיף תקין תבל דלא תזדעזע׃ ב מתקן כורסייך מן לקדמין מן עלמא את אלהא׃ ג זקיפין נהרוותא יהוה זקיפין נהרוותא קלהון בשירתא יקבלון נהרוותא אגר שבחיהון׃ ד מן קלן דמיין סגיעין ממשבחייא תברי ימא רבא משבח בשמי מרומא יהוה׃ ה סהידוותך קשיטין לחדא לבית מקדשך יאין יאוון וקדישין יהוה לאוריכות יומין׃

ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 93

93:1 εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ προσαββάτου ὅτε κατῴκισται ἡ γῆ αἶνος ᾠδῆς τῷ Δαυιδ ὁ κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν εὐπρέπειαν ἐνεδύσατο ἐνεδύσατο κύριος δύναμιν καὶ περιεζώσατο καὶ γὰρ ἐστερέωσεν τὴν οἰκουμένην ἥτις οὐ σαλευθήσεται 93:2 ἕτοιμος ὁ θρόνος σου ἀπὸ τότε ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος σὺ εἶ 93:3 ἐπῆραν οἱ ποταμοί κύριε ἐπῆραν οἱ ποταμοὶ φωνὰς αὐτῶν 93:4 ἀπὸ φωνῶν ὑδάτων πολλῶν θαυμαστοὶ οἱ μετεωρισμοὶ τῆς θαλάσσης θαυμαστὸς ἐν ὑψηλοῖς ὁ κύριος 93:5 τὰ μαρτύριά σου ἐπιστώθησαν σφόδρα τῷ οἴκῳ σου πρέπει ἁγίασμα κύριε εἰς μακρότητα ἡμερῶν

Tehillim / Psalms 93

93:1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. 93:2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. 93:3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves. 93:4 More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea, The Lord on high is mighty. 93:5 Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore. (NASB)

Toviyah / Psalms 93

93:1 The Lord is king, he has put on greatness; the Lord has put on strength and girded himself; also he made strong the world, so that it will not be shaken. 93:2 Your throne is established from the beginning; from eternity you are God. 93:3 The rivers lift up, O Lord, the rivers lift up their voice in song; the rivers will receive a reward for their praise. 93:4 The Lord is more to be praised in the highest heavens than the sound of many waters, the praiseworthy [waters], the breakers of the great sea! 93:5 Your testimonies are very true, beautiful and holy for your sanctuary, O Lord, for length of days. (EMC)

Psalmoi / Psalms 93

For the day before the Sabbath, when the land was first inhabited, the praise of a Song by David. 93:1 The Lord reigns; he has clothed himself with honour: the Lord has clothed and girded himself with strength; for he has established the world, which shall not be moved. 93:2 Thy throne is prepared of old: thou art from everlasting. 93:3 The rivers have lifted up, O Lord, the rivers have lifted up their voices, 93:4 at the voices of many waters: the billows of the sea are wonderful: the Lord is wonderful in high places. 93:5 Thy testimonies are made very sure: holiness becomes thine house, O Lord, for ever. (LXX)

In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 93:1-5, the Psalm opens saying, א יְהֹוָה מָלָךְ גֵּאוּת לָבֵשׁ לָבֵשׁ יְהֹוָה עֹז הִתְאַזָּר אַף-תִּכּוֹן תֵּבֵל בַּל-תִּמּוֹט: 93:1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. (NASB) What does it mean to be clothed with majesty? How is this related to the children of God and what do the rabbis have to say concerning God’s majesty, glory, and His Torah? Ramban on Bereshit / Genesis 1:1, Part 4 has the following to say.

Ramban on Genesis 1:1, Part 4

And it stated, Elohim (God), [which means] the master of all the forces, as the root word [here] is el, which is power; and it is a compound word, [made up of] el [and] hem (them), as if ‘power’ were relational (and would be understood as power of them), and ‘them’ refers to all the other powers; meaning ‘the Power over all the powers.’ And a secret will also be elucidated about this [later]. If so, the correct simple meaning of the verses is that its meaning is: At first, “God created the heavens” since he brought forth their material from nothing, “and the earth,” bringing forth its material from nothing. “And the earth” includes the four basic elements, as per (Genesis 2:1), “And the earth and the heavens and all their hosts were completed,” which includes the whole terrestrial globe. And so [too] (Psalms 148:7), “Praise the Lord from the earth, the sea monsters and all the depths,” and besides them, [there] are many other [such references]. And behold, with this creation, which was like a small [and] fine dot, and without substance, were created all of the creations in the heavens and the earth. (ואמר “אֱלֹהִים”, בעל הכחות כלם, כי המלה עיקרה “אל”, שהוא כח, והיא מלה מורכבת, “אל הם”, כאלו “אל” סמוך, “והם” ירמוז לכל שאר הכוחות; כלומר, כוח הכוחות כולם. ועוד יתבאר סוד בזה. אם כן יהיה פשט הכתובים על נכון, משמעותו, בתחילה “בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם”, כי הוציא חומר שלהם מאין, “וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ”, שהוציא החומר שלה מאין. “וְהָאָרֶץ” תכלול ארבע היסודות כולם, כמו “וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאָם” (להלן ב א), שתכלול כל הכדור התחתון. וכן “הַלְלוּ אֶת ה’ מִן הָאָרֶץ תַּנִּינִים וְכָל תְּהֹמוֹת” (תהלים קמח ז), וזולתם רבים. והנה בבריאה הזאת, שהיא כנקודה קטנה דקה ואין בה ממש, נבראו כל הנבראים בשמים ובארץ. )

Ramban states that the root meaning of the word Elohim (אֱלֹהִים) means “power,” and is a compound words consisting of the words “el” and “hem” (them) meaning the “power of them.” The word “them” is a reference to all the other powers, of men on earth and/or the spirit world. In this understanding, the Lord is the power over all creation because He is the author and creator. Ramban gives examples on how the Psalmist and others gave praise to the Lord God in heaven because of His power. All things were made to give honor and glory to the Lord in heaven.

The Mishnah Pirkei Avot 6:1 and 6:11 have the following to say:

Mishnah Pirkei Avot 6:1

The Rabbis taught in the language (style) of the Mishnah: Rabbi Meir says: Anyone who involves himself in Torah for its own sake merits many things, and moreover the entire world is worthwhile for his sake; He is called “friend,” “beloved,” “lover of the Omnipresent,” “lover of [all] creatures,” “delighter of the Omnipresent,” “delighter of [all] creatures.” He is clothed in humility and reverence, and it prepares him to be righteous, devout, upright and trustworthy, and it distances him from sin, and draws him near to merit. We enjoy from him counsel and comprehension, understanding and strength, as it is said (Proverbs 8:14): “Mine is counsel and comprehension, I am understanding, mine is strength.” It gives him kingship and dominion, and [the ability to] investigate in judgment, and the secrets of the Torah are revealed to him, and he becomes like an ever-strengthening spring, and like a river that does not stop. He is modest and long-tempered, and forgives insult to him; And it enlarges him and raises him above all [that God] made. ( שנו החכמים בלשון המשנה. ברוך שבחר בהם ובמשנתם. רבי מאיר אומר כל העוסק בתורה לשמה, זוכה לדברים הרבה. ולא עוד אלא שכל העולם כלו כדאי הוא לו. נקרא רע, אהוב, אוהב את המקום, אוהב את הבריות, משמח את המקום, משמח את הבריות, ומלבשתו ענוה ויראה, ומכשרתו להיות צדיק חסיד ישר ונאמן, ומרחקתו מן החטא, ומקרבתו לידי זכות, ונהנין ממנו עצה ותושיה בינה וגבורה. שנאמר (משלי ח) לי עצה ותושיה אני בינה לי גבורה, ונותנת לו מלכות וממשלה וחקור דין, ומגלין לו רזי תורה, ונעשה כמעין המתגבר וכנהר שאינו פוסק, והוי צנוע וארך רוח, ומוחל על עלבונו, ומגדלתו ומרוממתו על כל המעשים.)

Mishnah Pirkei Avot 6:11

Everything that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created in this world, He created only for His honor, as it says (Isaiah 43:7): “Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My honor, I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” And it also says (Exodus 15:18 ), “The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.” (כל מה שברא הקדוש ברוך הוא בעולמו, לא בראו אלא לכבודו, שנאמר (ישעיה מג, ז), כל הנקרא בשמי ולכבודי בראתיו יצרתיו אף עשיתיו.ואומר (שמות טו, יח), ה’ ימלך לעלם ועד.)

Rabbi Meir compares the one who studies Torah as to one who is a friend of God, who loves the Lord, and is at peace with the creation of God. The rabbinic interpretation of the one who studies God’s Word is “He is clothed in humility and reverence, and it prepares him to be righteous, devout, upright and trustworthy, and it distances him from sin, and draws him near to merit. We enjoy from him counsel and comprehension, understanding and strength…” Note how the study of Torah gives such a person who devotes himself to doing so “kingship and dominion” and the ability to judge. He is modest, slow to anger, and forgives insult, etc. These things occur as a result of the Lord working and living in the life of the person who draws near to Him in His word. The Lord reigns, and He is clothed with majesty. For the one who draws himself near to know the Lord God in heaven, the glory of God dwells upon such a person, and the Lord endows him with power to overcome the world. The rabbis say in Pirkei Avot 6:11 that all things were created for the purpose of bringing glory and honor to the Lord God in heaven. The commentary Shney Luchot HaBrit, Shmini, Torah Ohr 53 has the following to say:

Shney Luchot HaBrit, Shmini, Torah Ohr 53

Rabbi Meir says in Avot 6:1 that כל העוסק בתורה לשמה זוכה לדברים הרבה “Whosoever studies Torah for its own sake will merit many דברים.” In view of Rabbi Shimon’s statement about the potential problems arising out of דברים הרבה, we seem to have a contradiction between the statements of these two sages. We also wonder what these דברים הרבה can possibly be in view of the long list of benefits listed in that same Mishnah as accruing to people whose preoccupation with Torah is totally altruistic (showing a selfless concern for the well-being of others; unselfish).

The commentary Shney Luchot HaBrit states that the benefit of studying Torah is altruism, which is the practice of selfless concern for the well-being of others. Based upon these few references to the rabbis, when the psalmist says,א יְהֹוָה מָלָךְ גֵּאוּת לָבֵשׁ לָבֵשׁ יְהֹוָה עֹז הִתְאַזָּר אַף-תִּכּוֹן תֵּבֵל בַּל-תִּמּוֹט: 93:1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. (NASB) The Lord places his glory upon the person who draws near to Him in His Word, and the everlasting nature of God, His righteousness and His strength, causes us to not doubt His ability to save us. The majesty of God is His righteousness and holiness, and His strength is found in the power of God to overcome anything, coupled with his mercy and grace.

The psalmist continues saying, ב נָכוֹן כִּסְאֲךָ מֵאָז מֵעוֹלָם אָתָּה: 93:2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. (NASB) How are we to understand the meaning of the throne of God being established from old? The rabbis have some to say concerning the ancient establishment of God’s throne. The commentary Akeidat Yitzchak has the following to say:

Akeidat Yitzchak 101:3

Concerning Gehinnom it is written (Isaiah 30:33) “For Tophet in the valley of Hinnom has been prepared of old. He made it very deep; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord kindles it like a stream of brimstone.” Of the throne of G’d it is said: (Psalms 93:2) “Your throne is firmly established from time immemorial.” Of the holy Temple it is written in Jeremiah 17:22 “on high from the beginning, the place of Your sanctuary.” Of the name of the Messiah it states (Psalms 72:17) “His name continues since prior to the sun.”

In Akeidat Yitzchat’s commentary, he states that Gehinnom (Hell) was prepared from old. Notice how all of these things are brought into the context of the everlasting, Gehinnom, the Throne, the Temple, and the Messiah. The rabbis believe each of these things have been established from the beginning, punishment for sins, the reign and authority of God, His dwelling place, and the name of His Savior.

Ein Yaakov states the following:

Ein Yaakov, Nedarim 4:6

(Fol.39b) R. Simon b. Lakish said: “Where do we find a hint in the Torah that it is a duty to visit a sick person ? From the following passage (Num. 16:29) If these men die the common death of all men, and he visited after the visitation of all men, then the Lord hath not sent me.” How does he infer it from this? Said Raba, it means thus: “If these men die as old men die, that they will be sick upon their beds and people will visit them. What will then people say? ‘The Lord has not sent these plagues to them.’” Raba lectured : “What is the meaning of the passage (Ib., ib.) But if the Lord create a new thing [why repeated twice the verb create?] This means: If Gehenna had been created for them, it is all right ; but if not, then the Lord should create it now for them.” Is this so? Have we not been taught in a Baraitha that seven things preceded the creation of the world? They are the Torah, Repentance, Paradise, Gehenna, the Throne of the Divine Majesty, the Temple, the name of Messiah. That the Torah [was created before creation we infer] from the following passage (Pr. 8, 22) The Lord made me the beginning of His way. As for Repentance, it is written (Pr. 90, 2) Before yet the mountains were brought forth, etc., and after it is written Thou turnest man to contrition and sayest, ‘Return ye children of men! As for Paradise, it is written (Gen. 2:3) And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden (Mikedem) to the eastward. As for Gehenna, it is written (Is. 30, 33) For already of old is Topeth made ready. As for the Throne of the Divine Majesty and the Temple, it is written (Jer. 17:12) A Throne of glory, exalted from the beginning of time, is the place of our Sanctuary. And as for the name of Messiah, it’ is written (Ps. 72:17) In the presence of the sun, his name shall flourish. Hence we see from the foregoing that Gehenna was created before creation.] We must therefore say that Moses said thus: “If the opening was created here, good and well ; but if not, then let the Lord create it right here.” But it is written (Ecc. 1:9) There is nothing new under the sun. We must therefore explain it that Moses said: “If the opening is not around here, then let it be moved over there.”

It is interesting to note how Ein Yaakov points out that it is a duty for God’s people to visit the sick and provides a reference to the Torah as a proof text. Studying God’s Word is always associated with producing a change in one’s heart to walk in God’s ways. The idea is that the one who pursues the Torah (God’s instruction) has already set his heart to seek the Lord God in heaven. Ein Yaakov opens with the duty of a man to visit the sick, which is based upon the command of God (Bamidbar / Numbers 16:29). This is consistent with Yeshua’s spoke of the importance of taking care of the sick and poor person, and what James said concerning pure and undefiled religion.

Matthew 25:35-37

25:35 For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, 25:36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’ 25:37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink?

James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 2:15

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.

James 2:16

If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that?

Yeshua spoke of our taking care of those who are poor, hungry, and thirsty, and our doing so is synonymous to having done so to Yeshua himself. James speaks of one’s faith and taking care of those in need. James 1:27 parallels the pure and undefiled religion to that of not becoming polluted by the world. The pollution of the world may result in changing one’s heart to not take care of those who are in need. The cares of this world are selfishness, pride, and the search for financial gain, all of which are opposite to what the Lord God wants for our lives. The establishment of God’s throne is also found in the concept of accepting and living with the understanding that the Lord God in heaven has the primacy (authority) in our lives. We who are His people are defined by who we are in the Messiah Yeshua, as the rabbis said was also established from before the creation of the world.

The establishment of the throne of God is emphasized by the psalmist saying, ג נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת | יְהוָה נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת קוֹלָם יִשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת דָּכְיָם: ד מִקֹּלוֹת | מַיִם רַבִּים אַדִּירִים מִשְׁבְּרֵי-יָם אַדִּיר בַּמָּרוֹם יְהֹוָה: 93:3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves. 93:4 More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea, The Lord on high is mighty. (NASB) Why does the psalmist use the natural elements to describe the power of God? Is it because man has no control or power over the wind or the waters of the sea but the Lord does? The commentary Maaseh Nissim on Pesach Haggadah on the ten plagues has the following to say concerning the power of God.

Maaseh Nissim on Pesach Haggadah, Magid, The Ten Plagues 5:1-3:

Background: People often ask why ten plagues? Wasn’t God powerful enough to convince the Egyptians with one devastating plague that would force them to free the Israelites from Egypt? Rabbi Lorberbaum answers this question in a novel way by connecting the plagues with the ten utterances with which God created the world. The plagues are the opposite of creation – they represent the ten acts of un-creation. They made Pharaoh aware that just as God could create the world he also had the power to take away the blessings of creation. These ten utterances play an important role in the history of Jewish thought and in Jewish mysticism in particular. They are often associated with the ten Sephirot with which the world is created. These are the ten plagues. Why are there ten plagues? Why were these ten plagues the ones with which the Holy One chose to strike the Egyptians? “The world was created with ten utterances. What does this teach? It teaches us that the punishment of the wicked who destroy the world created by ten utterances is increased while the righteous who preserve the world created by ten utterances are rewarded.” Pirke Avot 5:1. According to the sages the world was created through an act of speech. There were ten utterances by God through which creation came about. These utterances are found in the opening chapter of Genesis. Nine of them begin, “And God said,” and the tenth begins with the word, Bereshit, “in the beginning,” which the Talmud considers to be an “utterance.” If God is all-powerful then certainly He could create the world with a single utterance. So why was it necessary for the Holy One to create the world through a series of such utterances instead? According to Pirke Avot, “The Ethics of the Fathers,” the ten utterances were meant to increase the punishment due to the wicked that destroy the world through their actions. This way instead of just one punishment for a single utterance, they are liable for ten punishments, one for each aspect of creation that they destroy through their actions. Similarly, the increase in utterances increased the reward due to the righteous. Pharaoh denied the existence of God by refusing to free the Israelites. We see this in the beginning of Exodus when he responds to Moses’ request by saying, “Who is the Lord that I should heed Him?” (Exodus 5:2) He is not simply a tyrant; Pharaoh is also an atheist who denies God as the creator of everything. The plagues are an attempt to show Pharaoh just how powerful the Holy One really is. Just as God creates and maintains the universe, so God has the power to “un-create” the universe as well. Each plague is related to one of the ten utterances. Just as each utterance expresses the creation of one particular aspect of the universe, so, through each plague, God reverses His creation. In this way Pharaoh saw that, just as God could create the world, so too He had the power to reverse the creation of the world. The plagues were an illustration of the power of God and the powerlessness of the Pharaoh. The Plagues, however, do not follow the chronological order of the utterances of creation and the creation of the world. What logic is there to the order of the plagues, then? The plagues reflect creation in a different fashion. They are listed both sequentially and thematically. The first five plagues reflect creation. The second half reflects on the human being and his basic needs.

The rabbis open with the ten plagues of God asking why the Lord chose ten plagues when He could have performed only one and caused the Children of Israel to leave Egypt. The ten plagues are connected to the ten utterances during the creation. The plagues are the opposite of the creation. The reason the ten plagues are associated to the ten utterances, is because “It teaches us that the punishment of the wicked who destroy the world created by ten utterances is increased while the righteous who preserve the world created by ten utterances are rewarded.” The idea is that the ten utterances during the creation illustrates the wicked will receive ten punishments due to their sins. This consequentially increases the reward of the righteous. Pharaoh denied the existence of the Lord God, and so the Lord chose these ten plagues, which paralleled the ten utterances, as proof for Pharaoh. The commentary states, “The plagues are an attempt to show Pharaoh just how powerful the Holy One really is. Just as God creates and maintains the universe, so God has the power to “un-create” the universe as well. Each plague is related to one of the ten utterances. Just as each utterance expresses the creation of one particular aspect of the universe, so, through each plague, God reverses His creation. In this way Pharaoh saw that, just as God could create the world, so too He had the power to reverse the creation of the world. The plagues were an illustration of the power of God and the powerlessness of the Pharaoh.” And so the psalmist uses the natural elements to describe the power of God because man has no control over the wind, the water, the sea, or the weather, but the Lord God in heaven does.

When thinking on the power of God, coupled to the creation account and the Lord speaking the world into existence, we are reminded of the power that we have been given in our tongues. Our words are very powerful, we can use them to create, inspire, and build up, or to tear down, destroy, and even cause death. The prophet Isaiah states the following.

Isaiah 58:13

58:13 if you restrain your foot because it is the sabbath; refrain from accomplishing your own needs because it is my holy day; if you proclaim the sabbath a delight and the holy day of Hashem honored. and you honor it by not engaging in your own affairs, from seeking your own needs or discussing the forbidden.

ישעיהו נ״ח:י״ג

(יג) אִם־תָּשִׁ֤יב מִשַּׁבָּת֙ רַגְלֶ֔ךָ עֲשׂ֥וֹת חֲפָצֶ֖יךָ בְּי֣וֹם קָדְשִׁ֑י וְקָרָ֨אתָ לַשַּׁבָּ֜ת עֹ֗נֶג לִקְד֤וֹשׁ יְהוָה֙ מְכֻבָּ֔ד וְכִבַּדְתּוֹ֙ מֵעֲשׂ֣וֹת דְּרָכֶ֔יךָ מִמְּצ֥וֹא חֶפְצְךָ֖ וְדַבֵּ֥ר דָּבָֽר׃

Isaiah speaks of engaging in our own affairs and seeking our own needs. This selfishness is what leads to the sinfulness of Lashon Hara, and causes destruction by the power of the tongue. Ezekiel states the following concerning the power of the tongue.

Ezekiel 22:9

22:9 In thee have been talebearers to shed blood; and in thee they have eaten upon the mountains; in the midst of thee they have committed lewdness.

יחזקאל כ״ב:ט׳

(ט) אַנְשֵׁ֥י רָכִ֛יל הָ֥יוּ בָ֖ךְ לְמַ֣עַן שְׁפָךְ־דָּ֑ם וְאֶל־הֶֽהָרִים֙ אָ֣כְלוּ בָ֔ךְ זִמָּ֖ה עָשׂ֥וּ בְתוֹכֵֽךְ׃

Ezekiel speaks of the one who lies is synonymous to shedding blood. According to the rabbis, there are five categories of Lashon Hara.

Five Categories of Lashon Hara

  1. Speech that causes disputes due to “he said, she said” conversation which may cause confusion
  2. Speech that is harmful or derogatory
  3. Speech that is untrue derogatory
  4. Speech which causes pain – emotionally, physically, and financially
  5. Words that are close to Lashon Hara

In Talmud Bavli, Ketubot 5b, the Rabbis explain that the design of our bodies is in such a way as to minimize our speech since man is given two eyes, two ears, and two nostrils, but only one mouth. It is said that the reason man has earlobes is so that they can be used as earplugs when lashon hara is being spoken. In addition, in the same talmudic text, it also included fingers are another way to block out gossip rather than using our earlobes. The rabbis ask the question, “Why are the fingers tapered like pegs?” They answer saying, “So that if one hears anything improper he can insert them in his ears.”

The significance of the tongue is brought out in the commentary Shelah Torah Ohr 128 which states the following:

Shelah, Ki Teitzei, Torah Ohr 128

(128) The use man can make of his mouth is what basically distinguishes him from other living creatures. The Torah describes Adam as having become a living creature in Genesis 2,7. Onkelos renders this as “man (Adam) became a talking creature.” From this stems the duty of man to fulfill all the promises he makes with his mouth. The Torah (23,24) specifically commands: מוצא שפתיך תשמור, “You must fulfill what has crossed your lips.”…From this it is clear that such utterances are binding upon us. The formula וידברלאמור which we frequently find in the Torah may be a warning that what is uttered externally, i.e. דבור, should reflect what has been formulated already within us, i.e. אמירה. The ability to formulate thoughts into words is almost divine; this is why we must take great care with everything that crosses our lips.

The rabbis say that a man’s mouth is what sets him apart from the animal kingdom. The rabbinic interpretation of Adam becoming a living creature is based upon the Targum Onkelos (Bereshit / Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God created Adam from dust of the ground, and breathed upon his face the breath of lives, and it became in Adam a Discoursing Spirit. וּבְרָא יְיָ אֱלֹהִים יַת אָדָם עַפְרָא מִן אַדְמְתָא וּנְפַח בְּאַפּוֹהִי נִשְׁמְתָא דְחַיֵי וַהֲוַת בְּאָדָם לְרוּחַ מְמַלְלָא:) He was given a talking spirit (רוּחַ מְמַלְלָא). By reason of the Lord giving man the ability to speak and reason, it is required of him to fulfill all the promises he makes with his mouth. The rabbis continue saying the Torah commands that one must fulfill what has crossed your lips. Therefore, it is warned that whatever we utter externally we should carefully reflect upon what we have formulated within before speaking. The ability to formulate thoughts into words is also a gift of God and evidence for the need of our taking great care with what we say with our lips.

A Chasidic tale also vividly illustrates the danger of improper speech. The tale says the following,

A man went about the community telling malicious lies about the rabbi. Later, he realized the wrong he had done, and began to feel remorse. He went to the rabbi and begged his forgiveness, saying he would do anything he could to make amends. The rabbi told the man, “Take a feather pillow, cut it open, and scatter the feathers to the winds.” The man thought this was a strange request, but it was a simple enough task, and he did it gladly. When he returned to tell the rabbi that he had done it, the rabbi said, “Now, go and gather the feathers. Because you can no more make amends for the damage your words have done than you can recollect the feathers.”

The ability to create speech is very significant, because our words are very powerful, we can use them to create, inspire, and build up, or to tear down, destroy, and even cause death (physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc). This may be the emphasis placed by the psalmist when he said, ג נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת | יְהוָה נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת קוֹלָם יִשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת דָּכְיָם: ד מִקֹּלוֹת | מַיִם רַבִּים אַדִּירִים מִשְׁבְּרֵי-יָם אַדִּיר בַּמָּרוֹם יְהֹוָה: 93:3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves. 93:4 More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea, The Lord on high is mighty. (NASB) The waters lifting their voice illustrates for us the power of the tongue to make sound, to be boastful and proud, to harm, tear down, destroy, and to cause death. There is definitely a parallel to the force of pounding waves which has these same capabilities of physical destruction. The tongue however also has the power to make well, to inspire, and build up, to encourage, and speak words of love, kindness, and care. It is in this way the Lord calls us to live in the Messiah Yeshua, to offer our words for peace, love, and gentleness towards others. In addition, note the connection to Yeshua calming the seas at the word of His mouth. There are many ways the Scriptures describe the power of our words. In addition, our words are capable of expressing our faith in the Lord God in heaven and in the Messiah, where Paul said in Romans 10:17, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of the Messiah (Christ).

The psalm concludes saying, ה עֵדֹתֶיךָ | נֶאֶמְנוּ מְאֹד לְבֵיתְךָ נָאֲוָה-קֹדֶשׁ יְהֹוָה לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים: 93:5 Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore. (NASB) The concluding verse leads to a number of questions.

  1. What is the testimony of God?
  2. How is the testimony confirmed?
  3. What does it mean to bear the testimony of God? How does the testimony effect others?
  4. Does it effect our relationship with the Lord in heaven?
  5. Is there salvation for the one who has no testimony?

In the Torah, Vayikra / Leviticus 26:1-5 begins with the statement “if you walk in My statutes and keep My commands so as to carry them out…” This is related to the testimony of God, since we are told who owns the statutes and the commandments. The ownership of the “statutes” (בְּחֻקֹּתַי) and the “commandments” (מִצְוֹתַי) is the Lord and not man. This statement implies that the statutes and commands in the Torah are give by God to His people. Therefore, those who trust and believe in Him will desire to walk in God’s ways. This concept is born out of the natural progression of the Torah’s narrative, that the Lord God delivered a mixed multitude and brought a mixed multitude of people before the mountain of Sinai and gave them His Torah to live by. The resurrection themes in the midrash on Tehillim / Psalms 68-71 lend itself to the interpretation of the newness of life, the new man is raised up by God to walk in righteousness, holiness, justice and truth according to His Torah (Instruction). Studying the “mixed multitude” whom God delivered from Egypt provides us with a foreshadowing of what our Father in Heaven had planned from the beginning, that both Jew and non-Jew (Gentile) are grafted into one family of God (Galatians 3:28). The Scriptures state that God sanctifies both the Jew and non-Jew in the same way, He saves us in the Messiah Yeshua by faith in the same way, and the Lord wants us to live and walk before Him in the same way, in the way that brings glory to His name.

King David in his last moments of life, spoke to his son Solomon saying, “Be a man” and keep the charge of the Lord your God (וְשָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת-מִשְׁמֶרֶת | יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ) to walk in His ways (לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו) to keep His statutes (לִשְׁמֹר חֻקֹּתָיו) His commandments (מִצְוֹתָיו) His judgments (וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו) and His testimonies (וְעֵדְוֹתָיו) that are written in the Torah of Moshe (כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה). The reason was so that he will succeed in all he does. In the Hebrew text, observe the pronominal suffixes. All of the pronominal suffixes indicate that these ways, statutes, commands, judgments, and testimonies belong to the Lord. How does this relate to the testimony of God? We hear a lot today regarding being a disciple (a talmid) of Yeshua. In order to do this we need to be students (Talmidim) of God’s Word and then go and do likewise (e.g, apply God’s Word to our lives). It is important to note how there is more to a talmid than simply being a student. A student today wants to know what the teacher knows for the grade, to complete the class or the degree or even to do so out of respect for the teacher. In the biblical contest, a talmid wants to be like the teacher and even to become what the teacher is. Therefore, the student was passionately devoted to his rabbi and noted everything he did or said. He walked in the way He did in every aspect. The rabbi-talmid relationship was a very intense and personal system of education. Note how this is the relationship we are called to have in Yeshua the Messiah! We are told to “abide” in Christ (see John 15). The rabbi-talmid relationship was very intense and the rabbis of the first century were looking for the smartest and the brightest of students. As a result, when a student went to a rabbi and asked to be his Talmid (Disciple) the rabbi would test him and ask him a series of questions to test his knowledge and understanding of the Torah and the prophets and the writings, in addition to the Mishnah and Talmud (e.g. or the interpretations of the rabbis). Following a series of questions, the rabbi would quickly discover whether or not the person was exceptional and worthy to be his talmid. As the rabbi lived and taught his understanding of the Scriptures, his students (talmidim) listened and watched and imitated him so as to become like him. Eventually they would become teachers passing on a similar lifestyle and understanding of the Scriptures to their own talmidim. In this process of oral testing, the rabbis would ask the student “do you have an ear to hear?” The meaning was “do you have understanding?” Do you know Torah, can you interpret the Tanach, do you know Mishnah, do you know Talmud (the interpretations of the rabbis) etc? Do you know the purpose for God sending His Messiah according to the Scriptures? Note something Yeshua asked his disciples in Matthew 15:16, he asked “Are you still so dull?” Having been with Yeshua for a period of time he expected them to have understanding of the parables he taught. They were walking in his ways and discussing the parable, a colloquial teaching technique of the rabbis in their day. With this background information, can you imagine what it would have been like for a person who was not exceptional to have been invited by a rabbi to follow him? When Yeshua went to each of his disciples, he said to them “follow me,” this is why they immediately got up, left all that they had and followed him. Yeshua asking them to follow him was an act of great honor, to be taught by a brilliant rabbi. They were given an opportunity to study at the feet of Yeshua the Messiah. Generally speaking, with regard to the testimony of God, the Lord Himself gives us a testimony that is coupled to our actions as the students of Yeshua the Messiah. To follow in the footsteps of the Messiah, having studied the Torah’s statutes and commands, it quickly becomes apparent that in the commands we take on the character of God, to be loving, merciful, kind, long-suffering, and forgiving towards others. It is in this way we can say as the psalmist stated, ה עֵדֹתֶיךָ | נֶאֶמְנוּ מְאֹד לְבֵיתְךָ נָאֲוָה-קֹדֶשׁ יְהֹוָה לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים: 93:5 Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore. (NASB) Living our lives for the Lord, He has provided us with His instructions, and directs our ways to the testimonies of God, which implies doing and observing what God has told us, which testifies of having the purpose of mind that is centered upon the Lord and Yeshua the Messiah. Let’s Pray!

Rabbinic Commentary

The Rabbinic Commentary (Midrash) on Tehillim / Psalms 93 has 8 parts. Reading through the Midrash we will be looking at Part 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8. Let’s begin by outlining Midrash Tehillim Chapter 93, Parts 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8.

Outline of Midrash Tehillim / Psalms, Chapter 93, Part 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8

Part 1

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength (Tehillim / Psalms 93:1).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Elsewhere, this is what Scripture says, You are great and Your name is great in strength.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis question whether the Lord God is king of the nations or only of Israel?
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis conclude that the Lord reigns over all.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “And with another, in the war with Edom, as it is said, Who is this that comes from Edom, with crimsoned garments from Bozrah? This One glorious in His apparel (Isaiah 63:1). And with the seventh garment, in the days of the Messiah, as it is said His rainment was as white snow (Daniel 7:9).”

Part 3

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Your throne is established of old (Tehillim / Psalms 93:2).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “This, His throne, is one of the six things that existed in His thought before the creation of the world, namely, the throne of glory, the king Messiah, the Torah, Israel, the Sanctuary, and repentance.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of the things God created before the creation.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), the rabbis expand upon the mashal speaking of the seven things the Lord created.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Before the mountains were brought forth You turn man to contrition; and says, Return, you children of men (Tehillim / Psalms 90:2-3).”

Part 4

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voices (Tehillim / Psalms 93:3).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Simeon son of Yohai taught, When the Philistines captured the Ark, they lifted themselves up in pride, saying, We have captured not only the Ark, but also the God in the Ark.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis speak of how the Philistines boasted taking the Ark of the covenant.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), by comparing the boasting to the sound of the sea.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Of I will be the tearing of them, Rabbi Samuel son of Nahmani said that the upper intestine of the Philistines was torn to pieces; but Rabbi Simeon son of Lakish said that the lower intestine of the Philistines was torn to pieces. Hence, The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods life up, but I will be the tearing of them.”

Part 7

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “In a different comment, the verse is read, The floods have carried off the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 93:3).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Woe unto the wicked nations who think that they carried off only Israel into captivity.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the wickedness of Israel being the cause of her exile.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), speaking of the tribulations and the things Israel had to go through due to her sins.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “And when God comes down to the deep, the waters of the deep are called great waters, as it is said, You walked through the sea with Your horses, through the heap of great waters (Habakkuk 3:15).”

Part 8

  • The Midrash introduces the Psalm with the דיבור המתחיל (Dibur Hamathil) saying, “Your testimonies are very sure, let holiness become Your house, O Lord, for evermore (Tehillim / Psalms 93:5).”
  • The פתיחתא (Petihta) the homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Moshe said to the Holy One blessed be He, Master of the universe, when You make low the voice of the Torah and the voice of the Holy Temple, then You raise up the voice of the wicked nations.
  • The משל (mashal) “the parable,” goes on to explain the פתיחתא (Petihta), the rabbis discuss the voice of the wicked as opposed to the voice of the Torah.
  • The נמשל (Nimshal) “expansion on the parable” expands upon the משל (mashal), with the Lord being merciful, full of grace, mercy, and longsuffering.
  • The Concluding phrase says, “Lest it be argued that as God prolongs His patience with the wicked, He also prolongs His patience with the righteous, therefore the next verse says, The Lord is a God of vengeance a God of vengeance shows forth (Tehillim / Psalms 94:1).”

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 1 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength (Tehillim / Psalms 93:1).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Elsewhere, this is what Scripture says, You are great and Your name is great in strength.” The Scriptures declare the greatness of God in His mercy to forgive and to overcome the enemy and save His people. Jeremiah the prophet calls the Lord “King of the nations” and the midrash states “The Holy One blessed be He, asked Jeremiah, You call Me King of the nations, but am I not King of Israel?” Is there a contradiction here with regard to calling the Lord King of the nations as opposed to being the King of Israel? Why do you think the rabbis would formulate the question of whether the Lord is King of the nations or just over Israel? Does being King of the nations cause a problem for understanding who God is? In the history of Israel, the king rules the Land and the people, and functions as a leader to cause the people to follow after the ways of God. The difficulty is if the Lord is King of the nations, then why do the nations sin so greatly before their King and Lord in heaven? This isn’t necessarily the manner in which the Lord functions as King over the nations as opposed to the way the Lord functions over Israel. The midrash continues saying the following:

Jeremiah replied, Because You said to me, I have appointed you a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5), therefore I call You King of the nations also. For it befits You (Jeremiah 10:7) this kingship befits You. Rabbi Hanina taught, There is one to whom clothes are becoming, but whose clothes are not beautiful. And there is another whose clothes are beautiful, but to whom clothes are not becoming. But the Holy One blessed be He, He becomes His clothes, and His clothes become Him, The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty.

Jeremiah said that the Lord had appointed him as the prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5 ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ NASB, ה בְּטֶרֶם אֶצָּורְךָ [אֶצָּרְךָ] בַבֶּטֶן יְדַעְתִּיךָ וּבְטֶרֶם תֵּצֵא מֵרֶחֶם הִקְדַּשְׁתִּיךָ נָבִיא לַגּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ:) As a result, the rabbis conclude that the Lord is also the King of the nations. The Lord reigns and this is paralleled to the Lord clothing Himself with majesty and strength. Note how the Midrash states that there are those whose clothes are becoming but not beautiful, and another whose clothes are beautiful but not becoming, and the Lord whose clothes are both beautiful and becoming. Note clothing is a reference to the glory of God, to His wisdom, to His Torah, the deeds that we do, etc. In fact, the things the Lord clothes himself with becomes a part of who He is. This is the meaning behind the Psalm, “The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength (Tehillim / Psalms 93:1).” When we walk in God’s ways with our whole heart and in purity (not self seeking), God’s ways become a part of our lives. This is the meaning of what Jeremiah said in his book, Jeremiah 9:25-10:11.

Jeremiah 9:25-10:11

9:25 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised 9:26 Egypt and Judah, and Edom and the sons of Ammon, and Moab and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.’ 10:1 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 10:2 Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; 10:3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 10:4 ‘They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. 10:5 ‘Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good.’ 10:6 There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your name in might. 10:7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You. 10:8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion their idol is wood! 10:9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Violet and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skilled men. 10:10 But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation. 10:11 Thus you shall say to them, ‘The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’ (NASB)

Note how Jeremiah speaks of those who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised. This speaks of the intentions of the heart. Jeremiah calls out Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, and Moab. Jeremiah speaks to Israel not to learn the ways of these nations and the customs of these people. The nations serve gods of wood, stone, and metal, who have no eyes to see, no ears to hear, they have no tongue to speak, and have hands and legs that do not move requiring them to be nailed and fixed to a surface so they do not fall down, etc. The people of the nations do not fear the Lord God in heaven who is King and reigns over all. Jeremiah says “the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King” (10:10) “The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength (Tehillim / Psalms 93:1).” The gods of the nations who are made of wood and stone will perish from the earth and from under the heavens because they are made of perishable items, whereas the Lord God in heaven is the creator of all. These idol gods are clothed with deception, delusion, and lies. The Lord God on the other hand is clothed with righteousness, holiness, justice, and truth. The Midrash states that the Lord is clothed with seven garments.

The Holy One blessed be He, is clothed with seven garments.

  1. With one, he was clothed in the fighting at the Red Sea, The Lord reigns;
  2. He is clothed with majesty, names that which clothed Him in the fighting at the Red Sea, as is also said, I will sing unto the Lord, for He triumphed with majesty (Shemot / Exodus 15:1).
  3. And with another, he was clothed at Sinai, for The Lord is clothed. He has girded Himself with strength (Tehillim / Psalms 93:2) names the strength which He gave to His people at Sinai.
  4. And with another, in the war with Babylon, for it is said He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing (Isaiah 59:17), and also For it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of His Temple (Jeremiah 51:11).
  5. And with another, in the war with Media, for it is said, He put on righteousness as a coat of mail (Isaiah 59:17), and also Mordecai went forth from the presence of the king in royal apparel (Esther 8:9).
  6. And with another, in the war with Edom, as it is said, Who is this that comes from Edom, with crimsoned garments from Bozrah? This One glorious in His apparel (Isaiah 63:1).
  7. And with the seventh garment, in the days of the Messiah, as it is said His rainment was as white snow (Daniel 7:9).

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 1 concludes with the seven garments the Lord is clothed with. How do you cloth yourself each day? The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians about clothing themselves in the following way.

Ephesians 6:10-18

6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (NASB)

Note how the power of God is described in the persons life as putting on these things which are the attributes of God, faith, righteousness, peace, salvation, and prayer. Paul points out that we wrestle with spiritual forces and not specifically with men because it is through men the spiritual forces operate. The power of God is manifest in the one who clothes himself properly. What does that look like? This is the manner in which one lives, to strive for righteousness, justice, and truth in our lives. In the Midrash, the power of God is described by the manner in which He clothes Himself, with might and power to defend Israel at the Red Sea, to give His people His Torah at Sinai, and to make war with mighty nations such as Babylon, Media, and Edom. The rabbis say the Lord clothes Himself with white, purity, as in the days of the Messiah. This is similar to what John wrote in his epistle, 1 John 3 6 No one who remains in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has seen Him or known Him. 3: 7Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Christ is righteous. 3:8 The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the very start. This is why the Son of God was revealed, to destroy the works of the devil. (NASB) The Children of God know that the Lord is pure, holy, and righteous, and would not allow the unholy and impure thing to dwell with him. Wicked men make allowance for gratifying impure desires and lusts. May we as the followers of Yeshua the Messiah, show forth who we are by expressing mercy, obedience, and humbleness of mind towards the Lord and men on earth and daily clothing ourselves with these things!

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 3 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Your throne is established of old (Tehillim / Psalms 93:2).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “This, His throne, is one of the six things that existed in His thought before the creation of the world, namely, the throne of glory, the king Messiah, the Torah, Israel, the Sanctuary, and repentance.” Note the order of these things the Lord thought before the creation of the world. His throne, establishing His authority and reign over all. The king Messiah which shows forth the mercy of God to send His deliverer and Salvation for His people. The Torah as a way of life for a people who have the Lord God reigning over them, and to whom the king Messiah has been sent. The sanctuary, a place to meet with God and to seek Him. And Teshuvah (תשובה) repentance, The manner in which we seek the Lord for forgiveness of sin and turning from our wicked ways towards the righteous ways of God.

The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק צג סימן ג

ג נכון כסאך מאז. זה אחד מששה דברים שעלו במחשבה קודם בריאת העולם ואלו הן. כסא הכבוד, מלך המשיח, והתורה, וישראל, ובית המקדש, והתשובה. כסא הכבוד, דכתיב נכון כסאך מאז. מלך המשיח, שנאמר לפני שמש ינון שמו (תהלים עב יז). התורה, ה׳ קנני ראשית דרכו קדם מפעליו מאז (משלי ח כב). ישראל, שנאמר זכור עדתך קנית קדם (תהלים עד ב). בית המקדש, שנאמר כסא כבוד מרום מראשון מקום מקדשנו (ירמיה יז יב). התשובה, שנאמר בטרם הרים יולדו (תהלים צ ב), וכתיב תשב אנוש עד דכא ותאמר שובו בני אדם (שם שם תהלים צ׳ ג).

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 3

3. Your throne is established of old (Tehillim / Psalms 93:2). This, His throne, is one of the six things that existed in His thought before the creation of the world, namely, the throne of glory, the king Messiah, the Torah, Israel, the Sanctuary, and repentance. Of the throne of glory, it is written, Your throne is established of old; of the king Messiah, it is written, His name will be continued before the sun (Tehillim / Psalms 72:17); of the Torah, it is written, The Lord made me as the beginning of His way, before His works of old (Mishley / Proverbs 8:22); of Israel, it is said, Remember Your congregation, which of old You did make Your own (Tehillim / Psalms 74:2); of the sanctuary, it is said, A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary (Jeremiah 17:12); of repentance, it is said, Before the mountains were brought forth You turn man to contrition; and says, Return, you children of men (Tehillim / Psalms 90:2-3).

The rabbis go on to clarify the six things the Lord had on His mind before the creation. The throne of God was established before the creation, this occurred at an indeterminate time, and defines the meaning of “from old.” The king Messiah, his name is said to be established as long as the sun remains (Tehillim / Psalms 72:17 May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines; And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed. NASB, ז יְהִי שְׁמוֹ לְעוֹלָם לִפְנֵי שֶׁמֶשׁ יִנֹּין [יִנּוֹן] שְׁמוֹ וְיִתְבָּרְכוּ בוֹ כָּל-גּוֹיִם יְאַשְּׁרוּהוּ:) The Torah is described as the beginning of God’s ways, also something that has been from old, from since before the creation. The Sanctuary is paralleled to the throne of God. Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 3 concludes with the sixth thing the Lord thought upon, Teshuvah (תשובה) Repentance saying, “Before the mountains were brought forth You turn man to contrition; and says, Return, you children of men (Tehillim / Psalms 90:2-3).” The word Teshuvah is generally translated as repentance and there is a well known prayer recited on the High Holy Days that Teshuvah, Tefillah, and Tzedakah, translated as “Repentance,” “Prayer,” and “Charity” can avert the evil decree. Teshuvah is translated as “return” and signifies a return to a previous state of obedience. Classically, Teshuvah is comprised of three things, (i) the regret of a misdeed, (ii) the decision to change, and (iii) the verbal expression (confession) of one’s sins. Technically, whenever one sins, one is mandated to perform Teshuvah (to repent). Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. It is important to remember John the Baptist, Yeshua, and the disciples all taught repentance and the kingdom of heaven. If you want to have a part of the kingdom of heaven, then the starting place is to seek the Lord God our Father in heaven in the Name of Yeshua the Messiah for help, to overcome sin and to walk in God’s ways.

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 4 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voices (Tehillim / Psalms 93:3).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Rabbi Simeon son of Yohai taught, When the Philistines captured the Ark, they lifted themselves up in pride, saying, We have captured not only the Ark, but also the God in the Ark.” It is interesting how the noise of the ocean waves are paralleled to the cry of war and victory. The floods lifting their voices is a reference to utter destruction, the waves breaking through and causing damage and death. In a similar manner, the Philistines capturing the Ark of the Covenant, they lifted themselves in pride, therefore pride is synonymous to causing destruction, chaos, and death. Note the significance of their capturing the Ark, they claim in their pride to have captured God. The parallel comparison suggests that the one who is prideful is doing something similar by not recognizing it is the Lord God in heaven who is the author and creator and has all things in His hands.

The entire midrash states the following:

מדרש תהלים פרק צג סימן ד

ד נשאו נהרות ה׳. אמר ר׳ שמעון בן יוחי בשעה ששבו פלשתים את הארון, התחילו מתגאין ואומרין לא לארון שבינו, אלא לאלוה שבארון, הדא הוא דכתיב נשאו נהרות ה׳ ואין נהרות אלא פלשתים, שנאמר (הנני) [הנה ה׳] מעלה (עליך)[עליהם] את מי (נהר) [הנהר] העצומים (ישעיה ח ז), אמר הקב״ה ישאו נהרות דכים, אני מדכאך ביסורין קשים. דכים, אמר ר׳ שמואל בר נחמני כנה הפנימית שלהם נשרת, ר׳ שמעון בן לקיש אמר כנה החיצונה נשרת, הוי נשאו נהרות ה׳.

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 4

4. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voices (Tehillim / Psalms 93:3). Rabbi Simeon son of Yohai taught, When the Philistines captured the Ark, they lifted themselves up in pride, saying, We have captured not only the Ark, but also the God in the Ark. Of this, it is written, the floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods being the Philistines, of whom it is said, From the flood, the land of the Philistines (1 Kings 5:1). And the floods lift up, but I will be the tearing of them (Tehillim / Psalms 93:3). God said, When the Philistine floods lift up, I will tear them with cruel punishments. Of I will be the tearing of them, Rabbi Samuel son of Nahmani said that the upper intestine of the Philistines was torn to pieces; but Rabbi Simeon son of Lakish said that the lower intestine of the Philistines was torn to pieces. Hence, The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods life up, but I will be the tearing of them.

The parallel of the floods is compared to 1 Kings 5:1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always been a friend of David. (NASB, א וְנַעֲמָן שַֹר-צְבָא מֶלֶךְ-אֲרָם הָיָה אִישׁ גָּדוֹל לִפְנֵי אֲדֹנָיו וּנְשֹֻא פָנִים כִּי-בוֹ נָתַן-יְהֹוָה תְּשׁוּעָה לַאֲרָם וְהָאִישׁ הָיָה גִּבּוֹר חַיִל מְצֹרָע:) and Tehillim / Psalms 93:3 saying, ג נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת | יְהוָה נָשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת קוֹלָם יִשְֹאוּ נְהָרוֹת דָּכְיָם: 93:3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves. (NASB) The floods lifting up their waves is described as hearing the sound of the waves (voices) and the parallel is to everything being swept away. The allusion here is to calamity, danger, and death, which is compared to wild waves hammering against the rocks. The waves being compared to the Philistines is as if they were angry or intended on sweeping everything away, the waves spread out their attack, similar to an attacking army, however the sea shore is unmoved, similar to the one who trusts in the Lord God in heaven. The Lord is above all, and His throne is established from old, it is unshaken. The key point is that the Philistines are distinguished by their pride, arrogance, and haughtiness. Their pride is a commonality for the nations, as Jeremiah described Babylon who took pride in her idolatry and immorality. When a nation, a people, or an individual takes pride in these things, destruction comes swiftly.

Jeremiah 51:8

51:8 Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; Wail over her! Bring balm for her pain; Perhaps she may be healed. (NASB)

Revelation 14:8

14:8 Then a second angel followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, who has made all the Gentiles to drink the wine of the passion of her immorality.” (NASB)

Revelation 18:2

18:2 And he cried out in a mighty voice: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a lair of demons. She is a haunt for every unclean spirit, a hideout for every unclean bird, and a hold for every detestable beast. (NASB)

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 4 concludes saying, “I will be the tearing of them, Rabbi Samuel son of Nahmani said that the upper intestine of the Philistines was torn to pieces; but Rabbi Simeon son of Lakish said that the lower intestine of the Philistines was torn to pieces. Hence, The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up, but I will be the tearing of them.” The conclusion of the Midrash speaks of the viciousness of the floods, the pride of the Philistines, and the Power of God to overcome. The Midrash describes God’s power as “the upper intestine of the Philistines being torn to pieces,” and regarding the floods, “I will be there tearing of them.” This describes the power of pride which stands in opposition to the Lord in heaven. This is consistent with Paul’s writings to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of the Messiah…

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 7 opens with the Dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “In a different comment, the verse is read, The floods have carried off the Lord (Tehillim / Psalms 93:3).” The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Woe unto the wicked nations who think that they carried off only Israel into captivity.” The Midrash speaks of Israel being carried off into captivity and the nations not knowing that they have also brought with them the Lord God in heaven. This is similar to what Isaiah said in Isaiah 52:10-15.

Isaiah 52:10-15

52:10 The Lord has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God. 52:11 Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the Lord. 52:12 But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. 52:13 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. 52:15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand. (NASB)

We read the words of Isaiah to Israel regarding the exile, and of one being lifted up. The Midrash continues saying, “For not only Israel had wicked actions carried off into captivity, but The floods have carried off the Lord, the floods being the nations, of whom it is said, Ah, the rushing of the nations that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters (Isaiah 17:12). Therefore it is said, The floods have carried off the Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their breaking that is, by persecutions, the nations broke the children of Israel to bits. But now the floods will come and also break the wicked nations to bits. By the noise of many waters (Tehillim / Psalms 93:4) in the next verse is meant that the wicked nations came into the Holy Temple and made a noise of triumph within it.” The concept put forward here is when the nations carried Israel off into captivity, they also carried off the Lord God in heaven. The Lord has His eyes upon Israel to take care of her while she is away from the Land, and to eventually bring her back. The floods being used as a description of the destructive power of the nations, are now used to describe the nations themselves being broken due to the floods.

The midrash continues saying the following:

Thus, also Scripture says, They have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast (Lamentations 2:7) that is, the nations made a noise of triumph in the Holy Temple. In a different exposition, the phrase is read, The noise of great waters and means that the waters of the deep are called great waters, for it is said You walked through the sea with Your horses, through the heap of great waters (Habakkuk 3:15); this verse proves that the waters of the deep are called great waters. And proof that the waters of the deep are called great waters? It is said Under the firmament when they went I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters (Ezekiel 1:23-24). A parable of a king who had two legions. When the king visited with the one, it was called great, for it was said, Great is the legion with whom the king visits. And when the king came down to the other legion, it was said, Great is this legion to whom the king comes. Just so, when the Holy One blessed be He, is on high, the waters on high are called great waters, as it is said, Under the firmament when they went I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty (Ezekiel 1:24). (Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 7)

The rabbis go on to describe the waters that will destroy the nations. First, the reference to the waters of the deep being called great seems to draw us back to the flood of Noah in Bereshit / Genesis 6, and the power of God to destroy the wicked peoples of that time. The verses referring to the waters of the deep are considered great waters. A parable is told of a king who visited two legions, when the king visited each legion, they were called great. A parallel is drawn between the Lord in heaven who is on high, the waters under the firmament are considered great, and so the Lord sits above all and over all and has the power to overcome all. Ultimately, our Father in heaven has the authority and power to save His people, the floods are considered a way to describe the power of God to overcome what seems impossible.

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 7 concludes saying, “And when God comes down to the deep, the waters of the deep are called great waters, as it is said, You walked through the sea with Your horses, through the heap of great waters (Habakkuk 3:15).” The waters of the deep draw us to the creation account, as the Talmud Bavli Chagigah 12a summarizes:

Talmud Bavli Chagigah 12a

“Heaven and earth”, as it is written, (Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Chaos and desolation, as it is written, (Genesis 1:2) “And the earth was chaos and desolation.” Light and darkness, darkness as it is written, (Genesis 1:2) “and darkness was upon the face of the deep,” light as it is written, (Genesis 1:2) “And God said, Let there be light.” Wind and water, as it is written, (Genesis 1:3) “and the wind of God floated upon the face of the waters.”

The Talmud describes the state prior to the creation as being “Chaos and desolation” which is coupled to the water of the deep upon which the Spirit of the Lord God in heaven hovered over. The Lord is all powerful and has the capability to overcome all things. This is described as the waters obeying the Lord in the Midrash “You walked through the sea with Your horses, through the heap of great waters (Habakkuk 3:15).” Note how obedience is connected to the Lord being in the midst. The waters obeyed and the Lord went through the midst thereof. The waters may also be described as chaotic motion, which sounds a lot like our lives at times. The point may be that as our lives (emotions and events) are chaotic, the Lord calls us to following in His word and in His ways for the purpose of bringing order, and stability into our lives. If we rely and trust upon the Lord God in heaven and in His Messiah Yeshua, He will bring stability to our lives, both emotionally and in the events that occur each day. And simply to be at peace in the midst of our troubles.

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 8 opens with the dibur Hamathil (דיבור המתחיל) saying, “Your testimonies are very sure, let holiness become Your house, O Lord, for evermore (Tehillim / Psalms 93:5). ח עדותיך נאמנו מאד. אמר משה לפני הקב״ה רבש״ע It is interesting how we are told in the midrash that holiness is becoming of God’s house, and according to the psalm in the Targum 93:5 Your testimonies are very true, beautiful and holy for your sanctuary, O Lord, for length of days. (EMC, ה סהידוותך קשיטין לחדא לבית מקדשך יאין יאוון וקדישין יהוה לאוריכות יומין׃) and in the English translation 93:5 Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore. (NASB, ה עֵדֹתֶיךָ | נֶאֶמְנוּ מְאֹד לְבֵיתְךָ נָאֲוָה-קֹדֶשׁ יְהֹוָה לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים:) Holiness is about being set apart from sin. Is it possible to be set apart in the Messiah Yeshua if we are living in sin? The homiletic introduction to the midrash states, “Moshe said to the Holy One blessed be He, Master of the universe, when You make low the voice of the Torah and the voice of the Holy Temple, then You raise up the voice of the wicked nations.” What does it mean to make low the voice of the Torah and the Temple? To make low the voice sounds like a way to describe the way one looses interest, a reduced admiration, or a decrease in consideration of the significance of Torah in one’s life. Rashi comments on the making low of the voice of God in the following way.

Rashi on Leviticus 1:1:1-2:

ויקרא אל משה AND [THE LORD] CALLED UNTO MOSES — All oral communications of the Lord to Moses whether they are introduced by דבר or by אמר or by צו were preceded by a call (to prepare him for the forthcoming address) (Sifra). It is a way of expressing affection, the mode used by the ministering angels when addressing each other, as it is said (Isaiah 6:3) “And one called unto another [and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts]”. To the prophets of the nations of the world, however, God revealed himself in a manner which Scripture describes by an expression ordinarily used for denoting events of a casual character and of uncleanness, as it is said, (Numbers 23:4) “and God happened to meet (ויקר) Balaam” (the term ויקר, from the root ,קרה, is connected with מִקְרֶה which denotes “chance”, “occurrence”, and has also the meaning of “uncleanness”, by analogy with Deuteronomy 23:11: ‎לא יהיה טהור מקרה לילה) (cf. Bereishit Rabbah 52; Leviticus Rabbah 1). ויקרא אל משה AND HE CALLED UNTO MOSES — This implies that the Voice went on and reached his (Moses’s) ears only but all the other Israelites did not hear it). One might think that for the subsections there was also such a call! It, however, states, “[And the Lord called unto Moses] and spake (וידבר) [to him]”, thus intimating that a דבור, a complete section had (was preceded by) a call (e. g., in our text chapters 1—4), but not the subsections. And what purpose did these subsections serve (i. e., why are the larger sections broken up into smaller ones)? To give Moses an interval for reflection between one division and another and between one subject and another — something which is all the more necessary for an ordinary man receiving instruction from an ordinary man (Sifra).

Rashi speaks of the Lord revealing Himself and speaking in such a way saying “is descriptive of an expression of ordinary use for denoting events of a casual character and of uncleanness.” Rashi uses the example of the Lord speaking to Bilam in such a way as “chance, occurrence” and is paralleled to “uncleanness.” The point is to try and understand the meaning of the words “to make low the voice” as it is related to changing the emphasis of the word of God that was spoken to Bilam and how that is related to listening to the words of the Torah as they apply to our lives. Rashi says that the Lord spoke softly such that Moshe heard the voice of God and the Israelite community did not hear it. The Lord called to Moshe, and Moshe listened. The making low the voice suggests that one must quiet himself, humble himself, and seek the Lord in His Word and to listen for His voice. The making low the voice of the Torah and the Temple, may be related to the people in their sins were not concerned with the holiness of God, they did not seek to know Him according to His word (note that living in His ways are synonymous to knowing and understanding the Lord). When the Midrash says “when You make low the voice of the Torah and the voice of the Holy Temple, then You raise up the voice of the wicked nations,” when one considers the words of the Torah as having none effect upon our lives, that is synonymous to not desiring to seek the Lord according to His word, not trying to apply Scripture to our lives, and the result is wickedness prevails and as the Midrash states “the voice of the wicked nations raise up.” It is interesting how the Midrash states the Lord is the one who does this. This is similar to what we read in 2 Thessalonians 2 on the man of lawlessness, and those who reject God’s Torah, 2 Thessalonians 2:11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie (NIV) The reference to the man of lawlessness does not necessarily have to refer to the Antichrist, and based upon the context, appears to be a warning from Paul to the individual who allows sin to reign in his or her life.

Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 8 continues saying the following:

And when You raise up the voice of the Torah and the voice of the Holy Temple, then You make low the voice of the wicked nations. Accordingly, in the Let holiness become Your house, O Lord, for evermore, it is as though Moshe said, When You again set holiness in Your house, let it not be for a time as at the first, but let it be for eternity. Rabbi Simon taught, In the Torah are mentioned thirteen attributes of God through every one of which the Holy One blessed be He, may grant mercy to the children of Israel, for it is said, The Lord, the Lord, God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin (Shemot / Exodus 34:6-7). Rab said that there are eleven such attributes. And the rabbis said that there are ten such. Which one of these attributes was Moshe thinking of when he prostrated himself in prayer? Rab said, the attribute of His being abundant in goodness, for it is said, And Moshe made hast, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped (Shemot / Exodus 34:8). Rabbi Eliezer son of Jacob said, The attribute of His being long suffering. The rabbis said, the attribute of mercy. Rabbi Isaac taught that Moshe said to the Holy One blessed be He, When a man sins, why do You not punish him at once? The Holy One blessed be He replied, You will have occasion to mention My slowness to anger. If any other man had spoken thus, he would have spoken shamefully. But you to whom I revealed my Attributes, should you speak thus? As you live, you will have occasion to call upon them. And indeed, not long afterwards, the Holy One blessed be He, said to Moshe, I will smite them with the pestilence, and destroy them (Bamidbar / Numbers 14:12), whereupon Moshe entreated, Let the power of the Lord be great, according as You have spoken, saying, The Lord is slow to anger, and plenteous in loving kindness (Bamidbar / Numbers 14:17-18). Rabbi Haggai related, When I used to go down into the synagogue of Tiberias, the one with the double colonnade, I would hear the voices of young children within the synagogue, all of them blessing the Lord and saying, Your testimonies are very sure, for the prolonging of our days. (Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 8)

The rabbis contrast this with raising up the voice of the Torah and the voice of the Temple. This has the effect of lowering the voice of the wicked nations. The rabbis speak of the mercy of God and his attributes according to Shemot / Exodus 34, forgiving iniquity, His abundant goodness and truth, etc. The mercy of God is designed to not punish man immediately, but to allow him time for repentance and to consider his ways and to change them. Midrash Tehillim 93, Part 8 concludes saying, “Lest it be argued that as God prolongs His patience with the wicked, He also prolongs His patience with the righteous, therefore the next verse says, The Lord is a God of vengeance a God of vengeance shows forth (Tehillim / Psalms 94:1).” The Midrash describes the mercy of God as being given to both the righteous and the unrighteous. The obvious parallel in the Apostolic Writings is Matthew 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

(NASB) Tehillim / Psalms 145:9 states the Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all He has made. The Lord God is also “kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35). Barnabas and Paul later said something similar saying, “He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17). In addition to His compassion, goodness, and kindness, God also gives His patience upon both the righteous and the unrighteous. The Lord exercises “long-suffering” toward His people (Nahum 1:3), and every breath that the wicked man takes is an example of the mercy of our holy God. In addition to these things, the Lord is involved in restraining the amount of sin in the life of the individual and in society. The Scriptures record the Lord God directly intervening and restraining individuals from sinning. In Bereshit / Genesis 20, the Lord restrained Avimelech from touching Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and affirmed it to him in a dream by saying, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her” (see Bereshit / Genesis 20:6). Another example of the Lord restraining the wicked hearts of evil men is seen in His protection of the Land of Israel from being invaded by the pagan nations on their border. The Lord God commanded the men of Israel that three times a year they would leave their plot of land to go and appear before Him (Shemot / Exodus 34:23) to ensure at least three times a year the men of Israel would move their hearts and lives towards Jerusalem and the holy place (the Sanctuary). This would ensure the protection of God’s people from invasion by repentance from their sins. The Lord would protect the people even though the pagan nations surrounding them desired their land year-round, the Lord promised that “no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God” (Shemot / Exodus 34:24). Another example, the Lord restrained David from taking revenge on Nabal for scorning the messengers that David sent to greet him (see 1 Samuel 25:14). Abigail, Nabal’s wife, recognized God’s grace when she pleaded with David not to seek vengeance against her husband, “since the Lord has kept you, my master, from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands…” (1 Samuel 25:26). David acknowledged this truth by responding, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you…” (1 Samuel 25:34). We serve a merciful God who sent His Son Yeshua the Messiah to lay down His life for ours! Praise the Lord! Let’s Pray!

Tehillim 93-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!