Psalm 105


Psalm 105:1–45

God Provides for Israel


Outline of Chapter 105

 

An Introduction to Psalm 105

 

         vv.     1–7           The Reader (Israel), the Focus (Yehowah) and the Ten Imperatives

         vv.     8–12         God’s Covenant with Israel

         vv.    13–15         God’s Protection of Israel

         vv.    16–24         God’s Provisions for Israel in the Time of Joseph

         vv.    25–36         God’s Mighty Works on behalf of Israel during the Time of the Exodus

         vv.    37–42         God’s Provisions for Israel in the Desert 

         vv.    43–45         God Fulfils His Promises to Israel

 

Psalm 105 Addendum


Charts and Maps

 

         Introduction         Theories as to the Authorship and Occasion of Psalm 105

         Introduction         David Moves the Ark of God—a Timeline

         Introduction         Clarke Outlines Psalm 105

         Introduction         The Organization of Psalm 105

 

         v.       1              Make God’s Deeds Known to all the People

         v.       2              Study and Meditate on God’s Word

         v.       2              Praise God for All that He is and Tell Others about Him

         v.       3              We Glory in God’s Perfect Character

         v.       3              UN Study: Best and Worst Places to Live in the World

         v.       3              The Seven Commands of the Spiritual Life in the Age of Israel

         v.       5              Memory is a Part of our Spiritual Life

         v.       5              The Final Three Commands of Psalm 105:4–6

         v.       6              The Alternate Readings of Psalm 105:6

         v.       6              The Catholic Church and Ancient Manuscripts

         v.       7              The Exclusivity of the God of the Jews

         v.       7              God’s Judgments in the Earth

         v.       8              The Problems with Covenant Theology

         v.      10              Jacob vs. Israel

         v.      10              God’s Contract with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Nation Israel

         v.      13              Abraham’s Journeys

         v.      13              The Movements of the Other Patriarchs

         v.      16              Why God Moved Joseph’s Family to Egypt

         v.      17              The Parallels Between the Lives of Joseph and Jesus

         v.      17              The Problem of Pain

         v.      18              Hints to Parents

         v.      22              Various Translations of Psalm 105:21–22

         v.      22              Lessons from the Life of Joseph

         v.      25              God Turns the Egyptian’s Heart to Hate His People

         v.      25              The Egyptians Enslave the Jews

         v.      27              References to the Signs of God Done in Egypt

         v.      28              Is There a Negative in Psalm 105:28?

         v.      28              A Message to the Unbeliever about Brownie Points Given by God

         v.      28              A Shorter Message to the Believer about Witnessing

         v.      29              The First Plague: Water is Turned to Blood

         v.      31              Time Periods and Signs and Miracles of Scripture

         v.      36              Parallel Accounts of God’s Signs and Wonders Against Egypt

         v.      37              What About Reparations?

         v.      37              An Hypothesis Concerning God Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart

         v.      37              Reference Works on Christian Apologetics

         v.      39              A Cloud by Day and a Fire [Lightning?] by Night

         v.      40              The Lord Gave Israel Quail: the Scriptural References

         v.      40              The Abbreviated Doctrine of Manna

         v.      41              The Two No-Water Incidents in the Desert Wilderness

         v.      41              What is Found in the Bible

         v.      42              How God Initially Provided For Israel—a Psalmist’s Summation

         v.      43              The Song of Moses

         v.      44              God Gives the Land of Canaan to the Israelites

         v.      45              Israel’s Responsibility to Keep the Statutes of God

         v.      45              The 17 Rules of the Talmudists to Preserve the Text of the Old Testament

         v.      45              Masorite Checks on the Accuracy of Manuscript Copies

         v.      45              Flavious Josephus on the Accuracy of the Old Testament Text

         v.      45              Will Durant on the Accuracy of the Old Testament Text

         v.      45              Additional Resources on the Integrity of the Scriptures from the Internet

 

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Psalm 105

         Addendum          Bullinger’s Organization of Psalm 105 Side-by-Side Psalm 105


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Darkness (not completed yet)

 

Manna

Messianic Prophecies

 

 

Jesus in the Old and New Testaments

Doctrine of Inspiration

 

 

The Study of Inspiration

 


I ntroduction: Psalm 105 covers God’s relationship to Israel from its human inception—God speaking to Abraham—to the giving to them of the Land of Promise. This psalm covers the history of Israel with a wider sweep than does any other and this psalm covers what is essentially the pre-nation status of Israel. One of the most interesting aspects of the history of Israel as found in this psalm is that the apostasy and degeneracy of Israel is not mentioned. This does not mean that the psalm is inaccurate nor does it mean that the psalmist saw the history of Israel through rose-colored glasses, although that is the impression which is given. This is just a matter of emphasis, and the emphasis in this psalm is upon God and His work on behalf of Israel. So we are examining with a great sweep God’s care of Israel and His promises to Israel throughout the time of the Pentateuch. This psalm seems to be well-suited to follow Psalm 104, which deals with creation, restoration and sustenance of the earth. Psalm 106 seems to logically follow this psalm, as it deals with Israel’s continual failures and God’s grace.


The author and the time period during which this psalm was written can be reasonably guessed at. At first blush, it would appear that David or Asaph wrote this. This is because we have almost the exact same psalm as is found in 1Chron. 16 (at least the first 15 verses are the same). Immediately prior to this psalm in 1Chron. we read: Then on that day [the day of placing the ark of the covenant inside a tent among the people for the first time in years], David first assigned by the hand of Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to Yehowah (1Chron. 16:7). The responsibility given to Asaph and his family was to write psalms in praise of God and/or to perform these psalms of psalms composed by David. This could have been a psalm which had been around for awhile, which was chosen to be read on the day of the Ark was moved. One may reasonably understand this psalm to be illustrative of what David expected rather than something which suddenly had been written by Asaph or by David for the occasion. In the psalms, either the latter portion of the psalm was added at a later date Footnote or it just had not been quoted in its entirety in the 1Chronicles text. A precursory examination of 1Chron. 16 looks as though the praises sung there were sort of a greatest hits montage. That is bits and pieces of several psalms are read. What I believe actually happened is that the writer of 1Chronicles quoted what he remembered of what was sung (to be accurate, the writer of the document which the writer of Chronicles used to write Chronicles). Footnote We tend to recall the first few lines of several songs and hymns and we could quote these from memory, we would be hard-pressed to write down the complete lyrics. This is what I really think happened in 1Chron. 16; therefore, I don’t believe this was a re-working of 1Chron. 16, but that we have the psalm quoted in its entirety here and quoted in part in 1Chronicles. Therefore, that would place the time that this psalm was written prior to the time of David and Asaph; and since it was sung during their time for such an important occasion, this Psalm 105 was likely a classic song of praise to them, meaning that it had been around for say, 20 or more years (maybe even 200 or more years).


Furthermore, this psalm seems to have been written by whoever wrote Psalms 104 and 106, the three of which form an historical trilogy. The problem with this interpretation is that Psalm 106 appears to be written during the dispersion, which occurred long after 1Chron. 16. This would indicate that we do not have the same author—at least, not for Psalm 106—as we do for the previous two psalms. Now, it very well could be, that this psalm was written first, and then a later psalmist came along and decided to bookend this psalm by writing Psalm 104 and 106. We do not have enough information to take a dogmatic stand here.


Another theory is, David or Asaph wrote this psalm, and it is clearly lifted from the book of Genesis. As you may recall, the first time that David attempted to move the Ark of God, one of the Ark’s caretakers died. This psalm is sung during the second and successful moving of the Ark. What would make sense is, not only did David search the Scriptures in order to determine the proper way to move the Ark, but he was also moved by some of the things which he read, and he wrote this psalm about these things. It will be clear that some of these lines were lifted right out of Genesis—not word-for-word, but clearly thought-for-thought.


Let me offer another scenario: this author took the psalm of 1Chron. 16 and added to it. Then he wrote Psalm 106 as a companion psalm.


The subject matter of this psalm appears to be very similar to that of Psalm 78; however, Psalm 78 has a narrower historical sweep and a completely different purpose. Psalm 78 seems to be a call to the nation Israel to turn from their evil; Psalm 105 calls to Israel to turn to God in gratitude for His grace, protection and provision.


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Let’s summarize these theories of authorship and include others which have been suggested:

We should stipulate to the fact that, the singing of this psalm was a part of the celebration of moving the Ark into Jerusalem. It appears to have been sung—at least in part—after David had placed the Ark into the tent which he constructed for it (see 1Chron. 16:1, 7–22). This would indicate that at least half of this psalm (vv. 1–15) had been written prior to moving the Ark into Jerusalem.

Bear in mind, it is possible that Psalm 105 was written earlier in Israel’s history and brought out for the placing of the Ark into Jerusalem. Hence, we will examine theories as to both the authorship and the occasion of the writing of Psalm 105.

Because some theologians suggest that some author added to this psalm after the moving of the Ark, it may be worthwhile to at least divide the psalm into two parts:


Part One: The reader is given 10 or 11 imperatives (vv. 1–8) and then the general nature and events of God’s covenant to Israel is given (vv. 9–15).


Part Two: The history of Joseph (vv. 16–24) and the history of the exodus (vv. 25–43) and some concluding remarks (vv. 44–45) are given.


I do not agree with a severing of this psalm, which I will discuss further below.

Theories as to the Authorship and Occasion of Psalm 105

Theologian

Theory

Barnes

Barnes suggests that the first half of this psalm had been written by David specifically for the occasion of moving the Ark, but that someone added a second half to this psalm at a later time:


The author of this psalm is unknown, as is the occasion on which it was composed. It resembles the seventy-eighth psalm in the fact that both are of an historical nature, recounting the dealings of God with his people in their deliverance from the bondage in Egypt. The object of the former psalm however, seems to have been “to recall the nation from their sins,” and to vindicate the dealings of God with the Hebrews in his arrangements for their government, or in the change of the administration, by giving the government to the tribe of Judah under David, rather than to Ephraim; the object of this psalm is “to excite the people to gratitude” by the remembrance of the goodness of God to the people in former times. Accordingly this psalm is occupied with recounting the mercies of God - his various acts of intervention in their history - all apppealing to the nation to cherish a grateful remembrance of those acts, and to love and praise him.


The first sixteen verses of the psalm are substantially the same as the first part of the psalm composed by David when he brought up the ark, as recorded in 1Chron. 16:8-22. But at that point the resemblance ceases. Probably the author of this psalm found in the one composed by David what was suitable to the occasion on which this was composed, and adopted it without any material change. In the remainder of the psalm, he has simply carried out in the history of the Jews what was suggested by David in the psalm in 1 Chr. 16, and has applied the idea to the other events of the Jewish history, as furnishing a ground of praise. The psalm is a mere summary of the principal events of that history to the time when the people entered the promised land - as laying the foundation of praise to God. Footnote

Clarke

We find several verses of this Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16, from which it is evident that David was the author of the principal part of it: but it was probably enlarged and sung at the restoration of the people from the Babylonish captivity. Footnote


To me, it is amazing that, because half the psalm is not recorded in 1Chron. 16, that so many assume that the second half must have been written at a later date.

Gill

This psalm was penned by David, and sung at the time when the ark was brought from the house of Obededom to the place which David had prepared for it; at least the first fifteen verses of it, the other part being probably added afterwards by the same inspired penman. Footnote

Kukis

It is very common for us to know the first few lines or the first stanza of a song, and throughout the end of 1Chron. 16, that appears to have been the case. No psalm is quoted in its entirety. This does not mean that half of these psalms were known when the Ark was moved, and that some mysterious author added the other half to the psalms years later. This probably indicates the writer-historian recording the words which he recalls being sung. In another culture, had the titles of these psalms been known and clearly associated with the psalms sung, an historian may have just given us the title of the psalms sung. Therefore, it is my opinion that all of these psalms had been written in their entirety prior to the moving of the Ark. What proves this is Bullinger’s outline/organization of Psalm 105 below. This psalm is simply too carefully designed to simply be the product of two authors throwing it together with several intervening decades or centuries. For someone to have this opinion, much more is needed that simply the fact that the chronicler records only the first half of this psalm in 1Chron. 16. Since no psalm was recorded in 1Chron. 16 in its entirety, I see no reason to require that two authors produced psalm 105 centuries apart.


As to authorship, I am at a loss. Although I lean toward David as the human author, 1Chron. 16:7 might be interpreted to indicate that Asaph wrote these psalms. In any case, even though the discussion of authorship can be interesting, what stands is the psalm itself, its impact and its meaning.


What is occurring in 1Chron. 16 is a renewing of Israel under David and a renewing of God’s covenant Israel. The Tabernacle appears to have fallen into disuse and the Ark of God had been kept in storage. This should not be the case for a theocracy/monarchy like Israel. Therefore, as David brings these people to some sort of spiritual renewal, doctrine must be disseminated. This psalm gives an excellent summary of God’s covenants with Israel and how He has fulfilled these covenants.

Spurgeon

This historical Psalm was evidently composed by King David, for Psalm 105:1–15 of it were used as a hymn at the carrying up of the ark from the house of Obed–edom, and we read in 1Chron. 16:7. “Then on that day David delivered first this Psalm, to thank the Lord, into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.” Such a song was suitable for the occasion, for it describes the movements of the Lord's people and his guardian care over them in every place, and all this on account of the covenant of which the ark; then removing, was a symbol.


The removal of the ark was a fit occasion for proclaiming aloud the glories of the Great King, and for publishing to all mankind the greatness of his doings, for it had a history in connection with the nations, which it was well for them to remember with reverence. Footnote

Now, even though I am right at least 90% of the time, I do include the opinions of other authors, most of whom were excellent theologians and exegetes of their time. I provide these other theories for two reasons: (1) Out of respect for these men who have gone before and (2) to make this exegesis of Psalm 105 a nearly one-stop affair. You should be able to read through my examination of Psalm 105 and emerge on the other side without any requirement to read further on it. I don’t mean to discourage further examination; my intention is to cover this psalm in great detail and unflinching thoroughness.


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Allow me to speak to dogmatism for a moment. There are some interesting topics that we may speculate about: e.g., who wrote this particular psalm and the ones around it. We can be dogmatic about this psalm having been written for the moving of the Ark or at least before (the first 15 verses anyway), and after that, we are not allowed to be dogmatic, as we do not have enough information. I lean strongly toward this psalm being composed as a whole and by a man with a very precise and complex mind, as the organization of this psalm is a wonder to behold (you’ll see later on in this introduction). This certainly suggests David, who was a genius; but it does not exclude Asaph or an author from a previous age.


Where we are allowed to be dogmatic is when it comes to doctrinal principles: our salvation being provided for us in grace by Jesus Christ, attained to by faith alone in Christ alone; the Trinity; the depravity of man, etc. I was spiritually raised at Berachah Church where the pastor, R. B. Thieme Jr., was nothing if not dogmatic. However, this does not mean that we dogmatic about each and everything that we say related to the Bible. Some things lend themselves to dogmatism (the fundamentals of the faith) and some things do not (for instance, the time, place and authorship of some psalms).


No matter what the theories are, this psalm was undoubtedly a part of the celebration of the moving of the Ark by David into Jerusalem. If you have not studied this, let me give you a brief synopsis of this event:

David Moves the Ark of God—a TImeline

Scripture

Summary

1Chron. 13:1–4

David decides to move the Ark of God into Jerusalem. What appears to be the case is, there was not a normal amount of public worship in Israel as prescribed by the Law of Moses. The City of the Priests, Nob, had been attacked by Saul, who killed all of the priests and their wives and children, and the Ark of God, the heart and soul of the Tabernacle, was essentially kept in storage after the Philistines returned it to Israel (see also 1Sam. 5–7 22).

2Sam. 6:1–11

1Chron. 13:5–14

David first attempted to move the Ark out of storage into Jerusalem, following the pattern of the Philistines, who returned the Ark to Israel after it caused great distress in their land. This attempt ended in failure. One of the Ark’s caretakers, Uzzah, died as a result of touching the Ark. David halted the moving of the Ark and took it to the nearest farmhouse, where it remained with Obed-edom.

2Sam. 6:13–16

1Chron. 15

When David hears that the farm where the Ark had been taken was enjoying great prosperity (he finds this out a scant 2 months or so after leaving the Ark there), David does some research about moving the Ark. He then moves the Ark of God to Jerusalem with great pomp and celebration. I would theorize that David spent at least a week and perhaps as long as a month reading Scripture, taking notes, writing psalms, and organizing a celebration for the movement of the Ark.

2Sam. 6:17–17

1Chron. 16

The Ark is placed into a tent constructed specifically for it, and the celebration continues in Jerusalem. At this time, Psalm 105:1–15 is sung (it is my opinion that the entire psalm was sung).

2Sam. 7

1Chron. 17

David concerns himself with the building of a permanent home for the Ark (the Temple), but he is told that his son would do that instead.

I think that it is a good idea to have, whenever possible, a rough idea as to the background of a psalm; an historical context within which to place the psalm.

What might be an important point to some is, David did not attempt to bring the Tabernacle and the Ark to Jerusalem together. What his thinking was is, he would bring the Ark to Jerusalem and then He would build a permanent structure for God in Jerusalem. Because this was in his mind, he did not find it necessary to bring the Tabernacle to Jerusalem.

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I always like to include an alternate outline:

Clarke gives us a simple summary of this psalm: The Psalm is a history of God’s dealings with Abraham and his posterity, till their settlement in the promised land. Footnote

Clarke Outlines Psalm 105

Scripture

Incident

Psalm 105:1–5

An exhortation to praise God for His wondrous works

Psalm 105:6–16

God’s goodness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Psalm 105:17–22

God’s goodness to Joseph in Egypt

Psalm 105:23–25

God’s goodness to Israel in Egypt

Psalm 105:26

God’s goodness to Moses in the same land

Psalm 105:27–36

The plagues sent on the Egyptians

Psalm 105:37–38

The deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt

Psalm 105:39–43

How God supported the Jews in the wilderness

Psalm 105:44–45

God brings the Jews into Canaan

What is interesting is, I superficially reviewed my own outline of many years ago and found it to be reasonable, and I kept it, changing one section title. However, this division seems reasonable, although it barely coincides with mine; and the outline below seems to be right on target.

This was taken from Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, Psalm 105 introduction.

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Unfortunately, the outline of this psalm does not give us the true picture of the careful corresponding parallelism found in this song. If you tend to bypass outlines or glance through them, but not really, you need to refresh your brain, and look this over carefully. Bullinger provides an outstanding outline for Psalm 105, which I edited somewhat:

The Organization of Psalm 105

         A.     Exhortation to praise the Lord (in the second person plural) (vv. 1–7).

                            B.The basis of praise; God makes a covenant with Abraham to be fulfilled in the future (vv. 8–12).

                                                                 1.      The covenant is remembered (vv. 8–10).

                                                                 2.      The Land is promised (v. 11).

                                                                 3.      The People are described (v. 12).

                                               C.     The patriarchs (vv. 13–22).

                                                                 1.      The journeyings of the Patriarchs (v. 13).

                                                                 2.      The grace and protection given them (vv. 14–15).

                                                                 3.      Their affliction (v. 16).

                                                                 4.      Joseph’s mission to deliver Israel (vv. 17–22).

                                                                                    a.      The sending of the deliverer (v. 17).

                                                                                    b.      His trial by the Word of God (vv. 18–19).

                                                                                    c.      The deliverance (vv. 20–22).

                                               C.     The nation Israel (vv. 23–41).

                                                                 1.      The journeyings of the people (v. 23).

                                                                 2.      The grace and protection given them (v. 24).

                                                                 3.      Their affliction (v. 25).

                                                                 4.      Moses’ mission to deliver Israel (vv. 26–41).

                                                                                    a.      The sending of the deliverer (v. 26)

                                                                                    b.      His trial by the Word of God (vv. 27–36).

                                                                                    c.      The deliverance (vv. 37–41).

                            B.The basis of their praise—God begins to fulfill his covenant with Abraham (vv. 42–45).

                                                                 1.      The covenant is remembered (vv. 42–43).

                                                                 2.      The Land is inherited (v. 44).

                                                                 3.      The People are described (v. 45).

         A.     Exhortation to praise the Lord in the second person plural (v. 45).1

The organization of this psalm is quite impressive to me. I have enjoyed writing from my earliest youth, but when I see the incredible organization here, it simply blows me away. Did David (or whoever wrote this) actually have this who outline in his mind while writing this? Did it evolve organically? Did he jot a few notes on scratch paper, and then develop the psalm?

One of the interesting interactions is between the writer of Scripture and God the Holy Spirit. Although it is difficult to see when reading a translation, the style of writing varies dramatically from book to book. John writes with the simplest of Greek, using an incredibly limited vocabulary. Moses painstakingly records events as well as the words of God, being careful to distinguish between God’s Words and his own in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. Most of Samuel is straightforward narrative, which is reasonably easy to translate and to understand. Some of the psalms are reasonably easy to understand and others are almost impenetrable (e.g., Psalm 68). Invariably, there are a large number of words sprinkled throughout the psalms which are different from those typically found in narratives and historical writings. In the case of this particular psalm, I believe that the author has a particularly complex mind, the kind of mind that can play a mean game of chess;2 the kind of mind that can look to what is not written yet, and to somehow hold this in his brain until he gets that far. I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit was the One to give this psalm is style and organization; the Holy Spirit no doubt breathed divine information through the human author, but I believe that the author’s intelligence, vocabulary and writing style was left intact. Even though this is a fairly simple recounting of the history of Israel, the organization of this is genius.

I may need to do a side-by-side of this organization and the psalm itself at the end.

The precise organization of this psalm suggests that it was composed as a whole unit rather than half being written prior to the moving of the Ark, and the 2nd half at some later date.

1  This was taken and slightly changed from Bullinger’s great book Figures of Speech Used in the Bible; E. W. Bullinger; Ⓟoriginally 1898; reprinted 1968 by Baker Books; pp 382–383.

2  One time, I followed the moves of a chess match between two professional chess players (this was in a news column), and, insofar as I could determine, one man had the other one beat 15 moves in advance; that is, there was a tipping point not too far into the game, when one player went on the offensive and the other player was unable to recover from being on the defensive. In those final moves, I could not, for the life of me, come up with any alternate move that would have turned things around. Obviously, I have played chess before, but how any man can see a dozen moves in advance completely awes me. The writer of this psalm is like a chess player looking a dozen moves down the road.


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With regards to the title of this psalm, Clarke writes: The hallelujah which terminates the preceding Psalm, is made the title of this by the Vulgate, Septuagint, Ethiopic, and Arabic: but it has no title either in the Hebrew or Chaldee. The Syriac considers it a paraphrase on the words, “Fear not, Jacob, to go down into Egypt; and teach us spiritually not to fear when we are obliged to contend with devils; for God is our shield, and will fight for us.”  Footnote


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The Reader (Israel), the Focus (Yehowah) and the Ten Imperatives


Give thanks to Yehowah;

call in His name;

Make known in the peoples His deeds.

Psalm

105:1

Give thanks to Yehowah;

[and] call upon His name.

Make His deeds known among the peoples.

Give thanks to Jehovah and call upon His name.

Make His deeds known to all people throughout the world.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Dead Sea Scrolls                   O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

For [His steadfast love endures forever!

O give thanks to the Lord, call] on His name; make known [His de]eds among the peoples! This psalm is found after Psalm 147 in 11QPsa (and most likely in 4QPse). These are the only two psalm scrolls which preserve this psalm. Footnote

Masoretic Text                       Give thanks to Yehowah;

call in His name;

Make known in the peoples His deeds.

Septuagint                              Alleluia. Give thanks to the Lord, and call upon His name; declare His works among the heathen.

 

Significant differences:           There is no difference between the Greek and the Hebrew; except that the Greek takes the title for this psalm from the previous Psalm. the Dead Sea Scrolls have an additional line in v. 1.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Praise the LORD and pray in his name! Tell everyone what he has done.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Give thanks to the LORD, proclaim his greatness; tell the nations what he has done.

New Jerusalem Bible             Alleluia!

 

Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name,

proclaim his deeds to he peoples!


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             O give praise to the Lord; give honour to his name, talking of his doings among the peoples.

Easy English (Churchyard)    Say "thank-you!” to the LORD.

Tell (everybody) his name.

Tell people in every country what he has done.

HCSB                                     Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples.

JPS (Tanakh)                         Praise the Lord;

call on His name;

proclaim His deeds among the peoples.

NET Bible®                             Give thanks to the LORD!

Call on his name!

Make known his accomplishments among the nations!.

New International Version      Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;

make known among the nations what He has done.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     O give thanks to Jehovah; call on His name; make His deeds known among the peoples.

Young's Updated LT              Give thanks to Jehovah—call in His name, Make known among the peoples His acts.


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist begins with 3 imperatives to the reader (hearer): give thanks to Jehovah; call upon His name; and make His deeds known to all people.


Psalm 105:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâdâh (הָדָי) [pronounced yaw-AWH]

give thanks, praise, celebrate; confess

2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperative

Strong’s #3034 BDB #392

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Give thanks to Yehowah;... This psalm opens with the second person plural, Hiphil imperative of to give thanks (this word means to cast or throw in the Qal or Piel; and to confess in terms of naming one's transgressions (in the Hithpael; possibly in the Hiphil). These are not just arbitrary meanings; the concept is that we are throwing or casting something before God when the word is found in the Hiphil or the Hithpael. In the Hiphil, the causative stem, a strong case could be made for there to first be motivation, which comes from God’s Word in the soul.


Psalm 106:1 reads: Hallelujah (Praise the Lord)! Give thanks to Yehowah, for He is good; for His grace is everlasting. Isa. 12:2: “Observe, God is my salvation. I have trusted and I will not be afraid; for Yehowah God is my strength and song; and He also has become my deliverance.” This psalm fully focuses upon God and His provision for and protection of the Israelites. The psalmist calls the people to praise God for what He has done and to express thanks to Him for His grace.


Application: We have a very large Old Testament which should not be ignored simply because we are in the Church Age. Although, we are not under the Law of Moses, there are a great many things in the Old Testament which would benefit us. When we are unsure about our relationship to God, or unsure about just how much a part of our lives God is involved in, then we look to Israel and we look to see how God functioned in the nation Israel. this psalm begins with 10 imperatives, but then moves to a history of Israel from the patriarchs through to the nation God brought through the desert. We ought not to focus on the miracles or dramatic signs, but upon the care and involvement of God with nation Israel, from beginning to end. When we observe the jealous brothers of Joseph selling him into slavery to the Egyptians (actually, this is not exactly what occurred). Obviously, this would appear to be a great injustice, a great wrong which needs to be righted; and, for many today in Joseph’s place, you would have hauled your brothers into court and sued them for their actions. But here is God’s hand in all of this: God sent Joseph to Egypt to prepare the way for his family. Psalm 105 tells us this straight out: God sent a man before them (v. 17a). So, when we face difficult circumstances, we look back to Joseph; we look back to what God did for all Israel; and we recognize that God works in our lives as well, and in ways that we may not fully appreciate while they occur.


This verse begins a set of 10 imperatives. From the very start, we are told to give thanks to God.


Let me hypothesize that each of these imperatives will be related to the content of this psalm. God has done many things on behalf of Israel—He has made many promises to Israel and He will keep these promises. For these reasons, the hearer ought to give thanks to God.


Psalm 105:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Although the bêyth preposition is primarily a preposition of proximity, it can also mean in, among, in the midst of; at, by, near, on, before, in the presence of, upon; with; to, unto, upon, up to; in respect to, on account of; because of; by means of, about, concerning.

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027


Translation:...[and] call upon His name The reader is enjoined here to call by means of His Name, to call in the Name of Him, etc. The implication is that one is calling to God but the emphasis is that it is by means of His Name, a reference to the second person of the trinity, Jesus Christ. All believers have direct access to God, when in fellowship. Our prayers are automatically based upon the saving work of Jesus Christ. He is what gives us access to God the Father. One of the actions which brings us into God’s plan in a significant way is correct prayer. God has set up a certain protocol for prayer that, when we fulfill that, we have made significant impact in God’s plan. Our prayer life is like a touchdown pass; it is a significant occurrence in the game. And any believer can participate in this way and such participation glorifies God, Who made provision for your prayers in eternity past. Now, the key is protocol: you must be filled with the Spirit (i.e., you have recently named your sins to God) and you address your prayers to God the Father. The more doctrine that you have, the more effective your prayers can be. The less doctrine you have, the more often you beg God to make it stop hurting or you beg Him to get you out of a jam that you got yourself into or you ask Him for things that you shouldn’t be asking for (e.g., for some person’s hand in marriage when they would make you one of the most miserable people on earth). “And it will come to pass that whoever calls on the name of Yehowah will be delivered.” (Joel 2:32a).


We will view a number of things which God has done on behalf of Israel, and many were the result of calling upon His name or calling for God to act by means of His name. Because He has come through in the past, we ought to continue to have the faith to call upon Him.


Psalm 105:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâda׳ (עַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to cause to know, to make one know, to instruct, to teach

2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperative

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

׳ammîym (םי .ַע) [pronounced ģahm-MEEM]

peoples, nations; tribes [of Israel]; relatives of anyone

masculine plural collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

׳ălîylâh (הָלי̣לֱע) [pronounced al-ee-LAW]

actions, deeds; wanton acts

feminine plural noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5949 BDB #760


Translation: Make His deeds known among the peoples. Now, God had a plan for Israel and part of this plan was for them to reach out to the Gentiles. Your godly ones will bless You and they will speak of the glory of Your kingdom and they will talk of Your power—the power to make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom (Psalm 145:10b–12). Sing to Yehowah; bless His name. Proclaim good news of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations—His wonderful deeds among all the peoples (Psalm 96:2–3). What I find fascinating is that God did not send out missionaries from the nation Israel as He does from the church. You would expect that in a time of more restricted travel and restricted flow of information that God would have the Israelites going out into the world to evangelize the world. However, that is His plan today, even though we have almost instant informational access to things which occur half-way around the world. God has not changed; He provides everyone with positive volition a chance to believe in His Son, regardless of geographical location and linguistic barriers. So God saw to it that His blessing of the nation Israel was made clear around the world, and everyone had a chance to believe in Jesus Christ based upon His reputation. This purpose is stated here in this psalm; the third verb is the 2nd person plural, Hiphil imperative of to know. The similarity of the two words is an alliteration, as we have the bêyth (without the dagesh) also repeated.


What is to be made known among the peoples is His acts, deeds, practices. This is a reference to all that God had done on behalf of Israel; not only the miracles and wonders of God’s acts which took them out of Israel, but everything which preceded that. In fact, that is exactly what this psalm is about—to extol the works of God.


What was well-known to the people in the land around Israel was how God brought them out of Egypt and put them in this land flowing with milk and honey. Many people outside the nation Israel were saved in this way, by having God’s deeds made known to them.

 

Gill remarks: His deeds among the people are the effects of his counsel, wisdom, power, and goodness; such as the works of creation and providence, and especially of grace, and salvation; and which were to be published among the Heathen, for the glory of his name: and indeed the Gospel, which is ordered to be preached to all nations, is nothing else than a declaration of what Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, have done and do. Footnote


Throughout Scripture, God calls upon us to make known His power, majesty and deeds.

Make God’s Deeds Known to all the People

Scripture

Incident

Psalm 89:1

I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 96:3

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Psalm 145:4–7,

11–12

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. .

Isa. 12:4

And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.

Daniel 4:1–3

King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Daniel 6:26–27

“I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions."

These passages were suggested by Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge; by Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, and others about 1880, with introduction by R. A. Torrey; courtesy of E-sword, Psalm 105:1.


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Sing to Him;

sing praises to Him;

Declare in all of His wonderful acts!

Psalm

105:2

Sing to Him.

Sing praises to Him.

Declare [or, meditate about] all of His extraordinary acts!

Sing to Him and perform music to Him!

Study about all of His extraordinary acts.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Sing to Him;

sing praises to Him;

Declare in all of His wonderful acts!

Septuagint                              Sing to Him, and sing praises to Him: tell forth all His wonderful works.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek adds in the kai conjunction.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Sing praises to the LORD! Tell about his miracles.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Sing praise to the LORD; tell the wonderful things he has done.

The Message                         Sing him songs, belt out hymns, translate his wonders into music!

New Living Testament           Sing to him; yes, sing his praises,

Tell everyone about his miracles.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Let your voice be sounding in songs and melody; let all your thoughts be of the wonder of his works.

Easy English (Churchyard)    Sing songs to him, make music for him.

Speak about all the great things that he has done.

God’s Word                         Sing to him. Make music to praise him. Meditate on all the miracles he has performed.

NET Bible®                             Sing to him!

Make music to him!

Tell about all his miraculous deeds!.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; talk of all His wonderful works.

WEB                                      Sing to him, sing praises to him! Tell of all his marvelous works.

Young's Updated LT              Sing to Him—sing praise to Him, Meditate on all His wonders.


What is the gist of this verse? We have 3 more imperatives in this verse: sing to Him; sing praises to Him; and mediate upon or tell of His wondrous deeds.


Psalm 105:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shîyr (רי ̣ש) [pronounced sheer]

to sing

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #7891 BDB #1010

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: Sing to Him. In this stanza, we have three more 2nd person plural imperatives. The first imperative implores us to sing to God, which is what this psalm is all about—it is performed by the Levites before an audience of perhaps thousands, and it is possible that they are being enjoined to sing along.


Psalm 105:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

zâmar (ר ַמָז) [pronounced zaw-MAHR]

to sing; to make music in praise of God, to make melody; properly to cut off (i.e., to divide up [a song] into its various parts)

2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperative

Strong’s #2167 & #2168 BDB #274

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: Sing praises to Him. The entire thrust of this psalm was a song which celebrated the praises of God and glorified His great works on behalf of Israel.


The difference between this and the previous verb is, the previous verb appears to apply to singing with one’s voice, and this verb appears to involve musical instruments and/or praise. The first verb emphasizes the voice and the 2nd verb emphasizes the content or the accompaniment.


There is a song from opera which is absolutely amazing Footnote ; however, when I see the actual meanings of the words in English, I am less than impressed. However, I have heard a doctrinal message applied to this song, and it is quite stirring, both due to the content and the music itself.


Psalm 105:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

sîyach (ַחי ̣) [pronounced SEE-ahkh]

communicate, declare, speak of, talk about; meditate, study

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #7878 BDB #967

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

pâlâ (א ָלָ) [pronounced paw-LAW]

things done wonderfully; therefore, incredible works, miracles, extraordinary acts

feminine plural, Niphal participle with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6381 BDB #810


Translation: Declare [or, meditate about] all His extraordinary acts! When making this music, the words are to remain in the realm of the doctrine of the wondrous works which God has done. This 6th imperative has two essential meanings: the hearer is both to meditate and study the acts of God; and he is to declare these acts to others. Although the immediate context calls more for the declaration of God’s works, one must first know what God has done before one can declare them.


We are told again and again in Scripture to study God’s marvelous works:

Study and Meditate on God’s Word

Scripture

Incident

Deut. 6:6–9

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Psalm 77:12

I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.

Psalm 119:27

Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.

Luke 24:15–27,

31–32

While they [2 disciples of Jesus] were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. And He said to them, "What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?"


And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?"


And He said to them, "What things?"


And they said to Him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find His body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."


And He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.


And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?"

Luke 24:44–48

Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."

1Tim. 4:16

Be conscientious about yourself and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

2Tim. 2:15

Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

 

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Throughout the psalms, the reader (or listener) is directed to sing or to proclaim God’s character, His grace and His powerful works.

Praise God for All that He is and Tell Others about Him

Scripture

Incident

Ex. 13:8–9

You shall tell your son on that day, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.

Psalm 27:6b

And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy. I will sing, yes I will sing praises to Yehowah

Psalm 30:4–5

Sing praise to Yehowah, you, His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name, for His anger is but for a moment and His grace is for a lifetime. Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning

Psalm 78:4–8

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalm 146:2

I will praise Yehowah while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being

 


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Application: It is reasonable to study specific doctrines, to repeat them in your mind (or even aloud) so that you can communicate these things to others. Obviously, all believers should be able to clearly communicate the gospel and to be able to approach it from several different angles. After all, this is the greatest work of God.


There is nothing wrong with studying aspects of what God has done as well. Studying anatomy, psychology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, etc. are all wondrous works of God, and these are amazing things to study. One of the fascinating things about God’s universe is, no matter how narrow the field that we choose and how deep that we study it, there is always much more to know. When studying God’s creation or even those things which come as a result of His creation (philosophy, mathematics, economics, politics), it is extraordinarily complex and wonderful, and after having chosen a narrow discipline, we generally find out that all we know is a small percentage of what there is t know. Take the single cell, which is the bulding block of all life—one would think, that is simple enough. After all, we are made of millions of cells, so how complex could studying individual cells? After all, we can see them under a microscope; we can isolate them, we can study them in a variety of circumstances—and yet, our knowledge of cells is quite incomplete. We could study particular groups of living cells, and still, after, say, 8 years of university training, we can know a lot, but we should also recognize how little we know as well.


My field of study in school was primarily mathematics. When I began, I was relatively unimpressed. I had to pick up with mathematics where I left off—well, in fact, I backtracked somewhat, and began with College Algebra, Analytic Geometry and Trigonometry. There was obviously much more to these topics than what I covered, but I felt that I had a relatively good grasp of the material. When I picked up my rather heavy Calculus book, I was somewhat amazed as to its heft, and then more surprised that this contained 4 courses worth of material. In going through the first two years, it became clear to me that we were only skimming the surface of this particular discipline. After that, mathematics became a lot more difficult (apart from Linear Algebra and early statistics courses). I recall getting this tiny book on Series and Sequences, and then finding out on the first day that we would only cover about 4 chapters of this tiny book, and I thought to myself, whoa, how easy! I was wrong about that. But, when I first realized that I had barely skimmed the surface of my discipline is when I took some graduate courses in mathematics at U of H. Not only were there a lot of offerings in the list of courses, and quite a number of self-directed courses (which surprised me) and courses which appeared to be rather open-ended and organic (they appeared to vary from year to year, depending upon the professor’s approach), but the library selection of math books was overwhelming. I needed to go to the library and pick up a couple of reference books, as my professor was difficult to understand and the assigned textbook was not much help. When I came to the section on mathematics, I was rather surprised. I saw something which I did not know existed: bookcase after bookcase after bookcase of books on mathematics. I had no idea there were so many; and it was not a matter of having 10–20 books on the same topic, but there were such a variety of different sorts of mathematics which I was never aware of, even having had a Bachelors degree in mathematics. I recall seeing topic after topic that I had no clue about: fuzzy sets, vector bundles. I never even estimated how many shelves of books there were. In retrospect, there seems to me like there were 50–100' of bookshelves, floor to ceiling, books on both sides, essentially filled—thousands of books on mathematics. At this point I realized, I have barely scratched the surface of my own discipline. Compared to what I could know, I knew such a tiny percentage of my major that it was almost embarrassing. There were more books on the shelves there about topics that I did not even have a clue about, than there were books where I had some kind of an idea what was inside.


Mathematics might even be seen as an indirect creation of God. My point in all of this is, no matter how far we plumb the depths of God’s creation, the best we can do is scratch the surface; the best we can do is come to a relative few generalizations and principles. We live during an age of the explosion of knowledge, and the more we know, the more we recognize that we don’t know. The more we know, the more we realize that in any discipline, there is much more still to be discovered than we already know.


There is an attempt to secularize schools today as much as possible. We misapply our constitution (the separation of church and state, a phrase which does not even occur in the constitution), and anything which has anything to do with Jesus Christ is removed from learning. For instance, I recall learning many of the great Christmas hymns in school; now, these are hymns which today some schools ignore completely, or they are presented at parity with the songs of Satan’s religions. The bulk of our schools were founded by Christians interested in the study of God’s creation. The vast majority of our scientists, past and present, believe in God—the majority of those believe in Jesus Christ. And yet, there are these activists who attempt to take anything smattering of Christianity out of our public schools (including the colors red and green during the Christmas holidays).


Not surprising to most Christians, the further and further our schools move from Jesus Christ, the more dangerous they become and the less learning which takes place and the more indoctrination which takes place. What seems to be fascinating about today’s school system is, there are so many children who emerge from high school lacking some of the barest essentials in the realm of reading, writing, history, mathematics and science; and yet, so many of them seem to have strongly formed political opinions. It seems backwards to not have essential knowledge of the world around you, and yet to have strong opinions, nevertheless. The Bible tells us: Meditate on His wondrous works. This is what school ought to be.


And since I am on this tangent, let me add, some kids are going to be left behind! I am of the opinion that a significant number of students 10–20% ought to drop out of high school around their Sophomore year and start some kind of apprenticeship. There should also not be such a push for college, and making some kids feel like they are rejects because they have chosen not to go to college. College should be for approximately 50% of our students who graduate from high school. The other 50% are not 2nd class people, nor have they been left behind. High school needs to provide a good overall background for a child, and be rigorous enough so that child actually has some fundamental knowledge which they can regurgitate.


Praise in a name of His holiness;

rejoices a heart of those seeking Yehowah.

Psalm

105:3

Praise His holy name.

[Let] the heart of those who seek Yehowah rejoice.

Praise His holy name;

and let the heart of those who seek Jehovah rejoice.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Dead Sea Scrolls                   Glory in [His ho]ly name [let the] heart [of the one who seeks] His grace rejoice!

Masoretic Text                       Praise in a name of His holiness;

rejoices a heart of those seeking Yehowah.

Septuagint                              Glory in his holy name: let the heart of them that seek the Lord rejoice.

 

Significant differences:           None between the Latin, Greek and Hebrew. However, in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the second line has those seeking His grace and in the Syriac, they seek His face. .


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Celebrate and worship his holy name with all your heart.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Be glad that we belong to him; let all who worship him rejoice.

The Message                         Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs, you who seek GOD. Live a happy life!

New Living Testament           Exalt in his holy name;

O worshipers of the Lord, rejoice.

Revised English Bible            Exalt in his hallowed name;

let those who seeks the Lord be joyful in heart.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Have glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who are searching after the Lord be glad.

Easy English (Churchyard)    Be proud of his holy name.

Everybody that goes to the LORD (in his house), be very happy!

God’s Word                         Brag about his holy name. Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

HCSB                                     Honor His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

NET Bible®                             Boast about his holy name!

Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek Jehovah rejoice.

Young's Updated LT              Boast in His Holy Name, The heart of those seeking Jehovah rejoice.


What is the gist of this verse? This third verse has one more imperative followed by an indicative: we are enjoined to boast [glory] in His holy Name [reputation, personage]; and then we are told that those who seek Jehovah God will rejoice.


Psalm 105:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlal (ל ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHL]

to be praised; to glory, to boast onself, to be celebrated

2nd person masculine plural, Hithpael imperative

Strong’s #1984 BDB #237

The Hithpael is generally known as the intensive reflexive. However, this is an oversimplification, and not applicable here. The Hithpael conveys the idea that one puts himself into the state or the action of the verb, which is an achieved state. Seow gives several uses: (1) Its primary use is reflexive—the verb describes action on or for oneself. That is, the subject of the verb is also the object of the verb. However, this does not completely convey the reflexive use, as there are examples where the verb takes on another object. These verbs are known as tolerative—the subject allows an action to affect himself or herself. (2) Reciprocal use: Occasionally, the Hithpael denotes reciprocity; that is, they worked with one another, they looked at one another. (3) The third use is known as iterative, which means that the Hithpael suggests repeated activity (he walked about, he walked to and fro, and turned back and forth). (4) The fourth use is known as estimative: the verb indicates how one shows himself or regards himself, whether in truth or by pretense (he pretended to be sick, they professed to be Jews). Footnote The Hithpael is intensive (and sometimes seen as an accomplished state).

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

qôdesh (שדֹק) [pronounced koh-DESH]

holiness, sacredness, apartness, that which is holy, holy things

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6944 BDB #871

This word is occasionally use to mean a sacred [holy, set apart] place; a sanctuary. It is not used that way here, but its use may be significant.


Translation: Praise His holy name,... This is the 7th of the 3rd person masculine plural, imperatives. Praising God’s holy name is not unlike declaring His wondrous works. His works emanate from His holy character, which is expressed by the phrase His holy name. So, that final imperative in this group of 7 calls for us to praise or celebrate God’s perfect character.


We have reason, by way of experience and by way of Bible doctrine in our souls to boast or to glory in God; this glorying in His name means that we rejoice concerning His perfect character. This doesn’t mean that we repeat His name over and over again as though it is some sort of a magic formula. God’s name is His character; it is His perfect righteousness and His perfect justice. And our only way of grasping what His perfect character is through His Word:

We Glory in God’s Perfect Character

Scripture

Incident

Psalm 33:21–22

For our heart rejoices in Him because we trust in His holy name. Let your grace, O Yehowah, be upon us, according as we have hoped in You

Psalm 89:16

In Your name, they rejoice all the day; and by Your righteousness, they are exalted

Psalm 138:2

I will bow down toward Your holy temple and I will give thanks to Your name for Your grace and for Your truth; for You have magnified Your Word above all Your Name

Jer. 9:23–24

Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."

1Cor. 1:29–31

No flesh should glory before God. But of him are you+ in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption: that, according to as it is written, He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.

Gal. 6:14

But far be it from me to glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

From God’s character proceeds His plan.


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Another minor consideration here is, this is the 7th of the imperatives, and 7 is used to indicate God’s perfection or to indicate completion. Speaking of 7's (this is quite the segue), one of the fascinating things in this world is the 7 day work week. This is almost universal in our world, and yet few secularists seem to ask why. A mathematician might may 6 the number of days in a week, as it is known as a perfect number (the sum of its proper divisors is 6). 6 is also known as the number of man. Once the number of days in a year were known, choosing 5 might have been a good choice, since the number of days in the year are divisible by 5. Or, perhaps 8 days might be chosen. However, the work week is 7 days because God restored the earth in 6 days, and rested on the 7th.


I stopped here and discussed the number 7, as the psalmist follows this 7th imperative with an indicative (more properly, a Qal imperfect).


Psalm 105:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

sâmach (חַמָ) [pronounced saw-MAHKH]

to rejoice, to be glad, to be joyful, to be merry

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #8055 BDB #970

In the Hebrew text, this is clearly a Qal imperfect; however, the Latin, Greek and Syriac all render this as an imperative (at least, my English versions of the Latin and Syriac do, along with the Greek text). .

lêb (בֵל) [pronounced laybv]

heart, inner man, mind, will, thinking

masculine singular construct

Strong's #3820 BDB #524

bâqash (שַקָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

the ones seeking, those who are searching; the ones who desire, those attempting to get, the ones demanding (requiring, striving after, asking, seeking with desire and diligence)

masculine plural Piel participle

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: [Let] the heart of those who seek Yehowah rejoice. This is an odd duck of a phrase; prior to this, we have 7 2nd person masculine plural, imperatives, and suddenly we have a 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect (although many translators incorrectly render this as a 3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperative). Footnote In any case, it jumps out at you from the midst of so many imperatives (7 imperatives precede this phrase; and 3 imperatives follow it). The psalmist is not longer telling the reader what to do, but he states that the one whose heart seeks Jehovah will rejoice and they will be happy. Prov. 8:17: I [Bible doctrine] love those who love me; And those who seek me diligently will find me. Isa. 55:6–7: Seek Yahweh while he may be found; call+ on him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Lam. 3:25: The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.


God has allowed me to get up every morning and study His Word. Now and again, like all men with fee of clay, I have other concerns; however, if my life changed drastically, what I would miss the most would be these few hours which I can spend in His Word. There are some evenings where it is a moderate struggle to stop what I am doing and get off the Bible class. I could use a number of rationalizations here to allow myself to stay home, as has been the case for my entire Christian life. However, if my life were ever radically changed, the most difficult thing for me to lose would be His Word.


In many Muslim countries, we could be stoned to death for studying God’s Word. To openly worship the Lord of Glory would be to take our own lives in our hands. On top of that, just to find a Bible teacher who knows what’s what, would be even more difficult. We live in the greatest nation which has ever been, and that is due to the fact that God’s Word is readily available. This is due to the fact that we send missionaries to other lands to proclaim God’s Word. And, our greatness is based upon our relationship with God’s people, the Jews.




Speaking of the greatness of the US, let me mention a recent UN survey:

UN Study: Best and Worst Places to Live in the World

Commentary

Graphic

Periodically, the United Nations does a study and ranking of the countries. The latest study, just put t in November of 2007, ranks Iceland as the best nation in the world, and the United States slipped from 8th place to 12th place (since the last such study was done). 175 nations, including Hong Kong and the Palestinian territories, are rated with such criteria as life expectancy, real per capita income, and education levels.


This is such a joke. Apart from Australia of the top 12, these are nations which are not going to have people from all over the world trying to move there. One of our greatest problems at this time is dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants who have moved into our country. At the same time, one of France’s greatest problems at this time is rioting Muslims, who have, up to this point, killed over 100 French policemen.

best_nations.jpg.jpg

 

There is nothing more fascinating that human viewpoint. Now that this study is out, it will be interesting to see the sudden influx of people to Iceland.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071127/us_nm/un_development_index_dc_5;_ylt=AsYABFrEORugybGeAN674ZTmWMcF and http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,313227,00.html


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To go off on another tangent, also recognize that the forces at work here are not so much to secularize our schools and our society, but to remove Jesus Christ from our schools and our society. Foot washing baths for Muslims at airports or at public schools? No problem. In fact, there are even some public schools where there is Muslim worship which occurs in the classroom during school hours. But songs about Jesus Christ sung by our school’s choirs? That is a whole other issue. And bear in mind, these same forces which want to remove Jesus Christ from our lives also would like to turn us away from Israel as an ally. Footnote


What occurs to me is, in these first 7 commands, that David is laying out the spiritual life of the Old Testament, which culminates in the inner happiness of the Old Testament believer. This is only an hypothesis, but, as we go through this, bear in mind that we do not have the filling of the Holy Spirit for all believers in the Age of Israel.

The Seven Commands of the Spiritual Life in the Age of Israel

Scripture

Commentary

Give thanks to Yehowah;

Believers in the Old Testament—particularly the Jews—were to recognize all that God has done on their behalf, and to appropriately thank God for His multiple blessings.

[and] call upon His name.

When there are difficulties, trials or tribulations, the believer is to call upon God for His strength and power.

Make His deeds known among the peoples.

Old Testament believers were to tell of what God has done to those around them. This began early in the family, the father passing along this information to his sons and daughters.

Sing to Him.

Music can be particularly moving and is a great pleasure of life; and the Old Testament believer is enjoined to sing to God.

Sing praises to Him.

It is important that what we sing has meaning and is related to truth; here, they are called upon to sing praises to God.

Declare [or, meditate about] all of His extraordinary acts!

We must have doctrine in our souls in order to speak the truth. The believer must first study and learn what God has done, and then he is able to declare to all what God has done.

Praise His holy name.

Based upon what God has done, the Old Testament believer understood the character of God, and he was to praise God’s character, which is represented by His name.

[Let] the heart of those who seek Yehowah rejoice.

This 8th phrase is not a command, but what happens when these other commands are followed. The end result of these actions is happiness in the soul of the believer.

Also notice the parallels above, where each command has a parallel command.

Now, quite obviously, rebound (naming one’s sins to God) and salvation are not named here, and the assumption is, the person reading or hearing this psalm is a believer in Jesus Christ and in fellowship with God.


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Seek Yehowah and His strength;

seek His faces continually.

Psalm

105:4

Study [or, seek] Yehowah and His strength [or, majesty];

continually seek His face [with intense desire].

Study Jehovah and His majesty and glory;

and continually seek His presence.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Seek Yehowah and His strength;

seek His faces continually.

Septuagint                              Seek ye the Lord, and be strengthened; seek his face continually.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek LXX looks at His strength as being a passive verb. There is only a letter or so difference between the two approaches. The Latin and Syriac are in agreement with the Greek.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Trust the LORD and his mighty power.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Go to the LORD for help; and worship him continually.

The Message                         Keep your eyes open for GOD, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.

New Jerusalem Bible             Rely on the mighty Lord;

constantly seek his face.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Let your search be for the Lord and for his strength; let your hearts ever be turned to him.

Complete Apostles’ Bible      Seek the Lord, and be strengthened; seek His face continually.

Easy English (Churchyard)    Visit the LORD, who is so powerful.

Always go to him (in his house).

God’s Word                         Search for the LORD and his strength. Always seek his presence.

HCSB                                     Search for the LORD and for His strength; seek His face always.

JPS (Tanakh)                         Turn to the Lord, to His might

seek His presence constantly.

NET Bible®                             Seek the LORD and the strength he gives!

Seek his presence continually!

New International Version      Look to the Lord and his strength;

seek his face always.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Seek, inquire of and for the Lord, and crave Him and His strength [His might and inflexibility to temptation, seek and require His face and His presence continually] evermore.

LTHB                                     Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His face without ceasing.

Young's Updated LT              Seek Jehovah and His strength, Seek His face continually.


What is the gist of this verse? We return to imperatives, and the reader (hearer) is enjoined to seek Jehovah and His power and strength and to seek His face (presence) continually.


Psalm 105:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

dârash (שַרָ) [pronounced daw-RASH]

to seek, to make inquiries concerning, to consult, to investigate, to study, to follow, to inquire

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #1875 BDB #205

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳ôz (זֹע) [pronounced ģohz]

strength, might; firmness, defense, refuge, protection; splendor, majesty, glory praise

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5797 BDB #738

The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions, render this, "seek the Lord, and be strengthened."


Translation: Study [or, seek] Yehowah and His strength [or, majesty];... We have two different words here often given the same translation. The first is the Qal imperative of to seek, to consult, to investigate, to study, to follow, to make inquiries concerning, to consult, to inquire. We seek God by the study of His Word.


In this world, we are weak. A tiny bacteria or virus can bring us down. We are nothing before a hurricane, tornado, volcanic explosion, earthquake, or any other natural disaster. The demons which plague us are smarter, know more scripture and are stronger than we are. I’ve seen powerful, strong men laying in bed, debilitated with some disease, their former physical prowess now irrelevant to their lives. We may fool ourselves and think that we are strong and powerful, but death will overcome every single one of us, and some of us will die by some debilitating disease which robs us of our strength and power. Furthermore, the true strength and power is in our minds—it is what we think. Our soldiers—particularly our marines and special forces—learn an incredible mental toughness which takes them through all kinds of disasters and pressures. Just this past month, Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, NY, received the Medal of Honor posthumously for incredible bravery under to the most tremendous pressure. He was killed June 27-28, 2005, while leading a four-man, special reconnaissance mission east of Asadabad in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. The team was trying to find a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain when it came under fire, the Navy said. Murphy was shot when he crawled into the open trying to signal for help. Two others were killed in the incident; one survived. Footnote My understanding is, these men were heavily outnumbered, on a secret mission, so their exact whereabouts were unknown, and Michael Murphy, without any regard for his own personal safety, moved out in the open, putting himself under direct fire, so that he could contact his base for support (they were unable to contact their base under cover where they were; the mountainous terrain blocked communications). This is mental toughness; this is incredible bravery. And this Michael Murphy is not some tough kid from the hood, but his father describes him as "honest, kind, caring -- probably the antithesis of what you would call a warrior."  Footnote He learned this mental strength in boot camp and it was a part of his character.


Few of us will ever face that sort of a life and death situation—however, we study and seek God’s strength, so that our lives can be honorable and reflect impersonal love and self-control. We will all be placed under pressure and God will reveal Himself through us, if we have His strength and power.


One of the buzzwords of the 90's was empowerment. I must admit that my concept of that word is a person who has no strength of character, who gets pushed around, and essentially feels worthless, so he has got to grab a hold of some empowerment. God’s strength is ours. Sometimes He has to take away our strength so that we fully realize His strength. However, usually when He teaches us through experience—for instance, to rely on His strength, to have patience in Him, to remain morally pure, etc.—when God teaches us through experience, it is often because we refused to learn it from His Word. Personally, it is a hell of a lot easier for me to learn this directly from his Word that a stove is hot, rather than to hold my hand down on it and discover that for myself.


Application: By the way, if you are one of those people who has to learn by experience, then that’s fine—just don’t tell anyone that you are a Christian. It embarrasses the rest of us when you have first identified yourself with Jesus Christ and then you spend most of your life putting your hand on hot stoves for all to see. You are why unbelievers point and say, “Now that’s why I have no interest in fundamentalist Christianity; Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites.”


Application: So that I don’t leave this phrase in a self-righteous huff, please recognize that, if you have perfect standards, which all believers should have, then you are going to naturally be hypocritical—that cannot be helped. However, when you conduct your life in a public realm, you must realize that others are watching you if they realize that you are a believer in Jesus Christ. So, if you are going to lie, cheat and steal in business, then keep your faith a secret; if you are going to carouse, drink, use drugs and chase women, then keep your faith in Christ on the down low. What I am speaking of here is a consistent pattern of life.


Application: And just so we are clear on this, once you have become a believer in Jesus Christ, then if you continue with a lifestyle as I have described above, part of that lifestyle is going to include divine discipline.


Psalm 105:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bâqash (שַקָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

seek, search out, desire, strive after, attempt to get, require, demand, ask, seek with desire and diligence

2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperative

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

tâmîyd (די.מ ָ) [pronounced taw-MEED]

continuously, continuity

masculine singular noun/adverb

Strong’s #8548 BDB #556


Translation: ...continually seek His face [with intense desire]. The second verb is the Piel imperative of to seek or to seek with desire and diligence. There is motivation and intensity attached to the second verb. Here, we have to watch ourselves. We are not seeking some mystical presence of God or some warm, runny feeling because God is near. God is always near and His hand is always in our life and His presence is always with us. However, the concept of seeking His face goes directly to being in fellowship and know His perfect character, which comes only from knowing His Word—which is how He has revealed Himself to us.


There are those who complain because they do not feel God’s presence in their lives; they do not feel that God has involved Himself in their lives; they do not see any sort of visible manifestation of His face. The problem—big surprise here—is not with God. As has been said, God is omnipresent—He is everywhere. He is omniscient—He knew every heartache, every problem, every difficulty that we would face and He knew these things in eternity past. This means that we will never face a problem for which He did not make provision for in eternity past. When we we are not aware of God’s presence (and I mean aware in the sense of knowing, not feeling), then it is generally a matter that we have not grown spiritually. God’s perfect character is ascertained through His Word; He has not revealed Himself in any other way in our dispensation. We don’t need to seek some great emotional experience nor do we need to give credence to the great emotional experiences of others. If someone tells you that they had this great experience or dream and here is what God said to them or revealed to them, just quietly move away. We have a completed canon of Scripture with God’s relationship to you fully explained in the greatest detail. And when it comes to spiritual impact, no one can compare to a person with God’s Word in his soul. We can only hope that we will be known as: This is the generation of those who seek Him; who seek Your face. [Listen], O Jacob! (Psalm 24:6).


Remember His incredible works which He has done;

His wonders and judgements of His mouth,...

Psalm

105:5

Recall His incredible works which He has done,

[as well as] His wonders [and signs] and the judgments which He has spoken [lit., of His mouth],...

Call to mind God’s incredible works as well as His wonders and signs and all wisdom, judgment and guidance from the Word of God,...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Remember His incredible works which He has done;

His wonders and judgements of His mouth.

Septuagint                              Remember his wonderful works that he has done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;...

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Remember his miracles and all his wonders and his fair decisions.

Good News Bible (TEV)         You descendants of Abraham, his servant; you descendants of Jacob, the man he chose: remember the miracles that God performed and the judgments that he gave.

The Message                         Remember the world of wonders he has made, his miracles, and the verdicts he's rendered—...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Keep in mind the great works which he has done; his wonders, and the decisions of his mouth;...

Easy English (Churchyard)    Remember the great things that he has done.

(Remember) his *miracles and what he said (to Pharaoh)...

God’s Word                         Remember the miracles he performed, the amazing things he did, and the judgments he pronounced,...

NET Bible®                             Recall the miraculous deeds he performed,

his mighty acts and the judgments he decreed [the Hebrew reads “and the judgments of his mouth”],...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                [Earnestly] remember the marvelous deeds that He has done, His miracles and wonders, the judgments and sentences which He pronounced [upon His enemies, as in Egypt] [Psalm 78:43–51].

English Standard Version      Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,...

Young's Literal Translation     Remember His wonders that He did, His signs and the judgments of His mouth. .


What is the gist of this verse? The final imperative requires the reader (hearer) to call to mind all of the wonders which God did, His signs and pronouncements of judgement. We may reasonable assume that the writer is pointing us primarily in the direction of what God did for Israel when in Egypt and when He led them out of Egypt into the Land of Promise.


Psalm 105:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

zâkar (ר ַכ ָז) [pronounced zaw-KAHR]

remember, recall, call to mind

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #2142 BDB #269

pâlâ (א ָלָ) [pronounced paw-LAW]

things done wonderfully; therefore, incredible works, miracles, extraordinary acts

feminine plural, Niphal participle with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6381 BDB #810

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793


Translation: Recall His incredible works which He has done,... The reader (or hearer) is enjoined to call to mind all of the great works which God has done. The things which we are to remember are His extraordinary works and His wonders, signs, miracles. We often do not realize how important and what an impact was the exodus and God’s works among mankind from the past. However, the psalmists continually point our attention in that direction. I will recall the deeds of the Lord; I will certainly remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and I will think on all of your deeds (Psalm 77:11–12). Many, O Yehowah my God, are the wonders which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us. There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count (Psalm 40:5). This is how Moses instructed the Generation of Promise: “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’ You will not be afraid of them; you will remember well what Yehowah your God did to Pharaoh and to all of Egypt; the great trials which your eyes saw and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which Yehowah your God brought you out. So Yehowah your God will do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.” (Psalm 7:17–19).

 

Spurgeon comments: Memory is never better employed than upon such topics. Alas, we are far more ready to recollect foolish and evil things than to retain in our minds the glorious deeds of Jehovah. If we would keep these in remembrance our faith would be stronger, our gratitude warmer, our devotion more fervent, and our love more intense. Shame upon us that we should let slip what it would seem impossible to forget. We ought to need no exhortation to remember such wonders, especially as He has wrought them all on the behalf of His people. Footnote


Psalm 105:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

môphêth (תֵפמ) [pronounced moe-FAITH]

a wonder, sign, miracle; a proof [of divine involvement], a sign [of a future event]

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4159 BDB #68

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mîshepâţ (ט ָ  ׃ש  ̣מ) [pronounced mishe-PAWT]

judgement, justice, a verdict rendered by a judge, a judicial decision, a judicial sentence, a verdict, the judgement of the court; the act of deciding a case, the place where a judgement is rendered

masculine plural construct

Strong's #4941 BDB #1048

peh (ה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804


Translation:...[as well as] His wonders [and signs] and the judgments which He has spoken [lit., of His mouth],... God’s judgments and decisions reflect His perfect character. His actions reflect His perfect character and His integrity.

 

Clarke speaks of the judgments of God’s mouth, and says they are Whatever He has spoken concerning good or evil. His commands, promises, threatenings; and particularly what He has foretold, and what He has done. Footnote

 

Gill on this judgments of His mouth, as well as a summation of this verse: [the judgements of His mouth are] the laws and statutes given at Sinai: each of which were indeed to be remembered: but "His wonders" may take in all the wonderful things done in Egypt and in the wilderness, and in settling the Israelites in the land of Canaan; and "his judgments" may also intend the judgments which He threatened to bring upon the enemies of Israel, and which He did bring upon them as He said. The wonders of His grace, of His law and Gospel, His judgments and His testimonies, are not to be forgotten. Footnote


We are continually called upon to remember what God has done and what He has said:

Memory is a Part of our Spiritual Life

Scripture

Incident

Deut. 7:18–19

You will not be afraid of them but you will remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out. So will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.

Deut. 8:2–3

And you will remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that He might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Psalm 77:11–12

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds.

Psalm 103:2–5

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,  who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Isa. 43:18–19

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Luke 22:19

And Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me."

Quite obviously, in order to remember something, you must know that thing in the first place. So recalling God’s works on behalf of Israel, or His saving work, or His Word all require that we know about these things in the first place.

This list of passages all came from Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge; by Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, and others about 1880, with introduction by R. A. Torrey; courtesy of E-sword, Psalm 105:5.


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I believe that what is in the writer’s mind is, he is pointing us toward the exodus, which will be brought out in much of the rest of this psalm. The psalmist is going to take us on a journey of the history of the Jewish people, which will take us from Abraham to the conquering of the land of Canaan. However, the primary focus will be on the exodus and on Israel in the desert.


Psalm 78 looks at this from a different perspective; I will only quote a portion of it, but the psalmist speaks of Israel’s continued unfaithfulness to God and their lack of faith in Him as contrasted with God’s faithfulness to Israel and His continued hand in their affairs: Psalm 78:40–55: How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted the Mighty God, and troubled the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His hand, the day when He ransomed them from the enemy, when He brought to pass His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the fields of Zoan; turned their rivers into blood, and their streams, so that they could not drink. He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. He also gave their crops to the caterpillar, and their labor to the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore trees with frost. He also gave up their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to lightning. He cast upon them His burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, by sending evil angels. He made a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, but gave their life over to the plague, and struck all the firstborn in Egypt, the first of their strength in the tents of Ham. But He made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; and He led them on safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, this mountain which His right hand had acquired. He also drove out the nations before them, allotted them an inheritance by a surveyor's line, and made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents. Our passage instead focuses on what men should do and why they should trust in God and seek Him.


We have had 7 commands, which relate to the spiritual life of the Old Testament believer, followed by a result. Then we have 3 more commands below, which possibly may be related to the Trinity.

The Final Three Commands of Psalm 105:4–6

Scripture

Incident

Study [or, seek] Yehowah and His strength [or, majesty];

We are to study the strength and power and character of God the Father, Whose plan is great and all-encompassing.

continually seek His face [with intense desire].

Through God the Holy Spirit, we seek Who and What God is; this is done by the Word of God, which is made understandable by God the Holy Spirit.

Recall His incredible works which He has done,

[as well as] His wonders [and signs] and the judgments which He has spoken [lit., of His mouth],

God’s Works and the judgments which He makes is made manifest through God the Son, the manifest person of the Trinity. Every time we find a mention of a manifestation of God in the Old Testament (e.g., the burning bush, the Angel of the Lord), this is God the Son, who would become our Great Mediator.

O progeny of Abraham, His servant,

O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones.

These commands are addressed to the children of Israel.

I will admit, this may be a little forced; however, I do not feel that these 7 and then 3 commands given in this psalm are just miscellaneous interchangeable commands which are just thrown in here. I may not have fully apprehended their meaning, but I am sure that someone else will come along and place them into the correct structure.


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This verse, and the verses prior to it, have to be addressed to someone; in v. 6 which follows, it will be clear that the psalmist is addressing the descendants of Abraham.


...O seed of Abraham, His servant,

O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones.

Psalm

105:6

...O progeny of Abraham, His servant,

O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones.

...you who are the descendants of Abraham, God’s servant,

you who are the sons of Jacob, God’s chosen ones.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...O seed of Abraham, His servant,

O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones.

Peshitta                                  ...O you descendants of Abraham, His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen one.

Septuagint                              ...seed of Abraam, his servants, children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

 

Significant differences:           The only difference is, servant is plural in the Greek and in the Dead Sea Scrolls . Seed in the Peshitta is plural and his chosen one in the Peshitta is in the singular. Footnote The Latin agrees with the Hebrew exactly.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       You belong to the family of Abraham, his servant; you are his chosen ones, the descendants of Jacob.

New American Bible              You descendants of Abraham his servant,

offspring of Jacob the chosen one!

New Jerusalem Bible             Stock of Abraham, his servant,

children of Jacob whom he chose!

New Living Testament           O children of Abraham, God’s servant,

O descendants of Jacob, God’s chosen one.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             O you seed of Abraham, his servant, you children of Jacob, his loved ones.

Complete Apostles’ Bible      ...you seed of Abraham, His servants, you children of Jacob, His elect.

Easy English (Churchyard)    Abraham your father was (the LORD’s) servant.

(The LORD) chose Jacob and you are (Jacob’s) sons.

God’s Word                         ...you descendants of his servant Abraham, you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      ...O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

NRSV                                     O offspring of his servant Abraham,

children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

Young's Literal Translation     O seed of Abraham, His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones.


What is the gist of this verse? The previous 10 imperatives are addressed to the descendants of Abraham and Jacob.


Psalm 105:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

zera׳ (ע -ר∵ז) [pronounced ZEH-rahģ]

a seed, a sowing; an offspring, progeny, descendant; posterity

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2233 BDB #282

Aberâhâm (םָהָרב-א) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4

Some codices have Israel instead of Abraham here. Furthermore, the parallel passage in 1Chron. 16:13 reads the seed of Israel.

׳ebed (ד ב ע) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

According to Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible, which takes its lead from Ginsburg’s Hebrew Notes, this should be plural (as it is found in the Septuagint and the Syriac codices). The parallelism of this verse would not necessarily bear out such a view. In the Hebrew, it is singular, singular; plural, plural.


Translation: ...O progeny of Abraham, His servant,... From vv. 1–5, we have ten imperatives delivered to the listener; in v. 6 we identify the listener. This is to whom the psalm is addressed.

 

Gill comments: These [the seed of Abraham] are the persons all along before addressed; the Israelites, who descended from Abraham, were his natural seed and offspring, and who had reason to give thanks unto the Lord and praise his name, since so many and such wonderful things had been done for them; though all that were his natural seed were not the children of God; and such who have the same faith he had, and tread in the steps he did, are Christ's, and partakers of his grace; these are Abraham's seed. Footnote


Your Bible probably reads seed of Abraham...sons of Israel. However, some codices read seed of Israel and/or sons of Jacob rather than seed of Abraham...sons of Israel here. 1Chron. 16:13 reads seed of Israel...sons of Jacob. Furthermore, the parallelism is retained when we use Israel and Jacob, two names for the same person. The Bible often used these names in parallel poetical lines: For Yehowah has chosen Jacob for Himself and Israel for His own possession (Psalm 135:4). However, on the other hand, the Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and Latin all have O seed of Abraham here. So, apparently when this psalm was performed in public on the occasion of moving the Ark of God, they sang O seed of Israel...O sons of Jacob. At this point in time, I really do not know what to make of it, why the psalm reads one way and why the public performance has this slight difference. When we get into 1Chron. 16, I will see if anything occurs to me.


Now, when it comes to the fundamental doctrines of Scripture, this slight change is meaningless. In the psalm, we speak to those who are descended from Abraham, the father of the Jews, as well as to those who have been descended from Jacob, as a Jew had to be descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is possible that the psalmist here is emphasizing the testimony of Abraham: Abraham believed God and it was credited to his account as righteousness (Gen. 15:6 Rom. 4:3 Gal. 3:6). Why this would be different in the performance of the psalm is beyond me; however, either reading has no effect on any doctrine.


What would be most popular would be sons of Abraham. Any Israelite would want to be associated with Abraham instead of with Israel. Why would anyone have changed this? Simply because Abraham was a great man and being descended from Abraham is an honor. However, there is little in Jacob’s life to recommend him, other than his great love and devotion to Rachel. Therefore, there would have been times in Israel’s history where Abraham was more politically correct to mention than Jacob. Therefore, a slight adjustment to this psalm by some apostate but well-meaning scribe is One possible explanation.


We have previously examined the life of Abraham and the life of Abraham was exemplary; however, throughout the history of Jacob, we often wonder why God ever references him again. From his young age as a manipulator to his later years as a complaining, self-centered adult, we find very little in his life to recommend him. However, God’s Word continually speaks of the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Why is this? Jacob is illustrative of God’s grace; he is an heir of the promise by faith in Jesus Christ and is remembered by God throughout eternity. Why is this important to us? For two reasons. One cannot help but examine the unsavory history of Israel, her unfaithfulness, her idolatries, her turning completely away from God’s Word, and then conclude that God just gave all His promises, lock stock and barrel, over to the church. That is patently untrue! In fact, that is Satan’s own lie! God has not forgotten nor has He forsaken Israel. It will be Israel and not the Church which is foremost in the time of the Great Tribulation. In fact, at the time of the tribulation, the Church will have been removed from the earth and the church which remains will be in great apostasy (as is Israel and her people today). The second reason is that many of you are total loosers in the spiritual life. You believed in Jesus Christ, but then fell out of fellowship 13 minutes after believing and you haven’t named your sins to God since then. In other words, you have been pretending to be this great Christian warrior, whereas, in fact, you are pathetic Christian hypocrite, a total embarrassment to Jesus Christ. Why is Jacob important to you? Because it is obvious that Jacob is saved by grace and not by works. And if God fulfilled all His promises to Jacob and his seed, and God will fulfill all of His promises to you.


Psalm 105:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Ya׳ăqôb (בֹקֲע-י) [pronounced yah-ģuh-KOHBV]

supplanter; insidious, deceitful; to circumvent and is transliterated Jacob

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3290 BDB #784

bâchîyr (רי.חָ) [pronounced baw-KHEER],

chosen, chosen ones, elect [ones]

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #972 BDB #104


Translation: ...O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones. Here, we clearly have a reference to Jacob, and the significance is grace, as noted above. Jacob did little in his life to recommend him as a great believer. He made mistake after mistake after mistake, and clearly recorded his shortcomings in the Word of God (I personally believe that a portion of Genesis was written by Jacob).

 

Gill comments: this [sons of Jacob] is added to distinguish the persons intended from the other seed of Abraham in the line of Ishmael; for in Isaac his seed was called, which were the children of the promise, and that in the line of Jacob, and not in the line of Esau; from whom they were called Israel or Israelites, a people whom the Lord chose above all people on the face of the earth; for the word "chosen" may be connected with the children as well as with Jacob. The whole spiritual Israel of God, whether Jews or Gentiles, all such who are Israelites indeed, as they appear to be the chosen of God, so they are bound to praise his name. Footnote


What I should deal with here is, the minor question of should this read O progeny [singular] of Abraham, His servant [singular]; O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones [plural]; or should the first and/or second singular both be plurals? In the Masoretic text and in the Latin, both of the first two words in question are in the singular. In the Syriac (insofar as I can tell from the English translation), the first noun (seed) is in the plural; and in the Greek, the second noun (servant) is in the plural. Footnote I think that from the standpoint of parallelism, this should be singular, singular, plural, plural, as we find in the Hebrew text. Furthermore, I think that there is a logical progression, from Abraham being God’s servant to those born of Jacob being His chosen ones. After all, not all believing Jews behave as if they are God’s servants (Gen X of the exodus generation) are quite the illustration of this. So, I believe that the text, as found in the Hebrew, should stand.


You may have glossed over that last paragraph, so let me lay it out for you:

The Alternate Readings of Psalm 105:6

Psalm 105:6

Source Manuscripts

O seed of Abraham,

Masoretic text; Septuagint; Latin Vulgate

Alt: O seed of Israel,

some codices; text of parallel passage in 1Chron. 16:13

Alt: O seeds of Abraham,

Syriac text (from the English)

His servant,

Masoretic text; some LXX (Septuagint) manuscripts; Syriac text (from the English)

Alt: His servants,

Septuagint, Syriac texts; 11QPsa (of the Dead Sea Scrolls); Latin

O sons of Jacob,

MT, LXX, Latin; Syriac text (from the English)

His chosen ones.

Masoretic text; Septuagint; Latin

Alt: His chosen one.

Some Masoretic texts; 11QPsa (of the Dead Sea Scrolls); Syriac text (from the English)

The MT reads O seed [singular] of Abraham, His servant [singular]; O sons [plural] of Jacob, His chosen ones [plural]. This text does have the most symmetry.

The LXX and Vulgate read: O seed [singular] of Abraham, His servants [plural]; O sons [plural] of Jacob, His chosen ones [plural].

Why do I bother to do this? I read anti-Bible websites and have heard anti-Christian speakers, and their contention is often that some entity came along and made massive changes to the text. I was brought up believing from the teaching of my own household that this mysterious entity (often thought to be the early Catholic Church) removed all of the references to reincarnation from the Bible.

You need to recognize this: there are a number of Old Testament manuscripts which were under the care of a variety of groups, many of which were even at enmity with one another. The Christians, more or less, adopted the LXX version of Scripture; the Jews went back to the Hebrew text (preserving it as the Masoretic text); and the Catholic Church, of course, were caretakers of the Latin Vulgate text (which is actually a VERY GOOD translation; and I say that as a non-Catholic).

Of all the verses in this psalm, v. 6 is by far the most screwed up. Here’s the point: with all of these alternative readings, none of them contradict the accept doctrines of the Bible. Is there a problem with the text? Obviously. Can I tell you which text is the most reasonable? I can make an educated guess. However, no matter which text you choose, for whatever reasons, there is nothing found here to weaken even the most secondary principles of the faith.

Are there problems with the text of the Bible? Yes, but these problems are, for the most part, minor and inconsequential. I have gone through the entire book of Samuel, word by word, and given you most of the alternate readings (I attempted to list them all). 99% of the time, they are like this verse, where you read the alternate texts, and you say to yourself, “Who gives a flying frog about all this; just give me your best guess and we are good to go.”

There is no big religious entity which came along and altered all of the manuscripts in order to present some theological position which we call Christian orthodoxy today. No large entity has ever had control of all of the manuscripts available, insofar as we know. For instance, when the Catholic Church came along, often demonized by unscholarly sceptics, the Jews were preserving their text in at least two different cities; and there were thousands if not tens of thousands of churches which had most or all of Scripture in their own private possession, throughout the world. Furthermore, we have ample manuscripts which predate the Catholic Church, and these manuscripts vary little from later manuscripts (of the Old and New Testaments). Furthermore, we have enough quotations from the Bible from the early fathers to pretty much assemble the entire New Testament.

This came from http://vulsearch.sourceforge.net/html/Ps.html ; http://next.bible.org/chapter/grk-heb/Psa/105 ; and The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible; translation and commentary by Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint and Eugene Ulrich; Harper SF, ©1999, p. 555.

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Because we have books out now like the Da Vinci Code and because there are so many conspiracy theorists out there, and because there is so little scholarship shown by those who denigrate Scripture, let’s have a few points on the Catholic Church and the concept of them altering the holy manuscripts in order to promulgate their Catholic doctrines.

The Catholic Church and Ancient Manuscripts

1.      Unlearned commentators and unscholarly critics often accuse the Catholic Church of coming along and making sweeping changes to the Bible, giving us the Christian doctrines which we hold to today. Some think that doctrines like reincarnation were removed from the text.

2.      This is patently false. There are many manuscript lines apart from those under the control of the Catholic Church.

3.      The Catholic Church, for the most part, was a decent organization from the beginning. Sure, they had some missteps and some theologians who went off in some goofy directions now and again, but the text of Jerome, the Latin Vulate, is quite accurate, and it agrees about 98% of the time with the Hebrew.

4.      When there are disagreements between the Masoretic text, the Septuagint (Greek text) and the Latin Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin translation), they are as inconsequential as Psalm 105:6 above. I am sure that half of the people who read this got bored halfway through and skipped a page or two to where I pick up the text and exegesis again.

5.      Whatever textual differences there are, they are minor, inconsequential and, most of the time, more tedious than interesting.

6.      The Catholic Church did lose its way, eventually, and brought in a number of false doctrines and they did some evil things with regards to the Scriptures.

7.      The Catholic Church decided that the Pope could make statements ex-Cathedra, and that these decisions would carry the same weight as Scripture. So, they did not have to alter the text! When they went bad, they knew there was no way to alter the text, so they decided the Pope could tell us what’s up in the realm of Catholic doctrine. So, do you understand this? They had no reason to ever change the text!

8.      Secondly, the way the Catholic Church messed with the ancient texts is, they would not allow it to be seen by anyone. Now, was it a matter of wanting to preserve some of these ancient texts or were their motives more nefarious? Probably, mostly the latter. However, keeping the text from the masses is much different than changing the text.

9.      And, again, the Old and New Testament texts existed in so many forms and languages by the time the original Catholic Church came along that, there was no way that this entity could have done anything to change to text of Scripture. Had they done this, it would be obvious today: we could set our ancient Greek manuscripts down next to the quotations of ancient fathers next to the supposedly changed text of the Catholics, and the violations to the text would be obvious. However, we can set the Latin Vulgate down next to pretty much any other text of the Bible, Old or New Testament, from any era, and we will find few if any differences; and the differences we find will be like the example above: trivial and inconsequential.

10.    We have a plethora of manuscripts from a variety of groups, all which predate the Catholic Church (which dd not begin as a corrupt organization); even if they had made wholesale changes in the manuscripts in their possession, this would not affect our English translations, which are not based on the Latin Vulgate and most of which do not even reference the Latin Vulgate.

11.    We do have access to the Latin manuscripts; anyone can go online and find the Latin manuscripts in a number of different places. What you will find is, if you lay them down next to manuscripts preserved by other groups, that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between them.

12.    What the Catholics did do is, at some point in time, they decided to declare that the apocrypha text was inspired, and some of their Catholic doctrines come from those texts (prayers for the dead, purgatory, etc.).

13.    So, again, they did not need to alter the texts in their possession; and, had they modified the texts in their possession, these changes would have been apparent to any textual critic.

If you ever discuss the Bible with someone, and they begin making wild claims that the Catholic Church (or some other theological organization) made huge changes to the Scriptures; or that we cannot know what the Bible says because it has simply been translated too many times, then you are dealing with a person who has absolutely no evidence for what he believes, and that he has simply adopted some arbitrary axioms upon which he can base his false doctrine.

Let’s see if I can break this down a different way. Down the road from me is this huge Pentecostal Church, whose doctrines I do not subscribe to. Do you think that if I broke into their church late at night, changed some of the notes on their computers and changed the texts in their library, that, they would walk in the next day and begin teaching accurate doctrine? Do you even think this is possible that I could do such a thing and hot have it noticed? The Catholic Church, by the time it became corrupt, would have had to break into thousands upon thousands upon thousands of churches and either change or remove their ancient manuscripts. And, even if they did something like that, today, we still have an abundance of New Testament manuscripts which predate the Catholic Church.

If you get nothing else from this study, understand these few points:

(1) It would have been physically impossible for the Catholic Church, even when it was at its most powerful, to have somehow located and changed the thousands of manuscripts located throughout the world at that time, most of which had not even been discovered.

(2) Because the Catholics took the apocrypha into the Bible as authoritative and because the Pope was given the power to speak ex-Cathedra, there was no need for the Catholic Church to change anything in the text of the BIble.

(3) We can lay down the Latin text right next to texts which predate that text, and observe that there are no appreciable differences. In the limited study that I have done, I generally find the Latin Vulgate to be closer to the Masoretic text than even the Greek Septuagint (and let me again emphasize that the textual differences in view here are minor).


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Now, what this is all about is two things: individual responsibility and corporate responsibility. We do have a lot of information in Scripture and in the teachings of doctrinal pastors about individual responsibility. Every single one of us must believe in Jesus Christ and then we need to be in fellowship and to take in doctrine. This is our individual responsibility. Your parents cannot believe in Jesus Christ for you; you cannot be born a Christian; you cannot be a Christian because you were baptized as a child; only by your own personal choice to believe in Jesus Christ can you be saved.


Now, what has not gotten enough attention is exegesis and in doctrinal churches, is the concept of corporate responsibility. There are at least 3 clear groups of corporations to which most of us belong: marriage, family and country—which are also the divine institutions set up by God for all mankind. These concepts have not been ignored, and R. B. Thieme Jr. got the ball rolling when he classified these institutions. Furthermore, those who are doctrinal teachers have begun to deal with this subject matter; I just don’t believe that it has been fully developed yet.


In any case, your marriage is a corporate institution and a corporate testimony. Now, I don’t mean that you need to put on some kind of phoney front as a married couple—that is not a testimony to God. However, you need to do everything in your power in order to have a stable and healthy marriage. This includes marrying a believer who is on doctrine and this includes taking in doctrine as a couple. When church does not meet, then you need to set apart time at home in study. Spiritual growth is a daily endeavor. God gives you 24 hours every single day. You spend about 1–2 hours eating food during any given day, and if someone actually prepares a meal, and cleans up the dishes, eating during any given day will run 2–5 hours every single day. So, spending an hour in study is appropriate for the spiritual health of a couple, if only to get them both into fellowship for an hour a day. Prayer from a couple is also very effective. And, so that there is no confusion here, the responsibility here resides with the husband.


The 3rd divine institution is the family. A young couple needs to grow and take in doctrine as a couple, and, when they have children, transitioning to a family study should be seamless. Just as you sit up with your child, teach him or her the gospel and how to pray, teaching that child Bible doctrine should also be a part of your daily life. Your family makes a statement. Your family is a corporate testimony. As a teacher, I met with two Christian parents of a child and this kid was a problem. He was not my worst problem at that school, but he was a problem. The parents sided with the child, did not think that there was anything that he needed to do, and, the next time I faced a problem in that kid’s class, he was the ringleader (I might be overemphasizing his role here). These parents should have sweated that child’s shadow into the wall and they should have read him the riot act. They should not have assumed that, since this kid was a Christian, that he was incapable of doing wrong. They seemed to be confused about the doctrine of the old sin nature. Their child had an old sin nature and they encouraged him to use it, which he did. If you are the parents of a family, your family is a testimony. Your family is a spiritual force. Your family is a corporate entity before God. Every single member of your family has an old sin nature. You need to be aware of that, and take that into consideration.


When I first began teaching in Texas, we have 5 outstanding principles—one for each class and the head principle. Their children were never problems in school. The head principle’s son was a testimony to his father’s love and to his father’s discipline (something which we did not see). The same was true, in that era, of the children of teachers at that school. If you had the son or daughter of some teacher down the hall, or from the next building, at one time, you could depend upon that child to show respect and to work hard. This is what others should expect from your family. When your second born wanders into some teacher’s classroom, the teacher should not be saying to him or herself, “Oh, crap, Charlie Brown had more than one child? Maybe I should put in for retirement.” When a child of yours is seen anywhere, those who know anything about your family’s reputation should be happy. If your child shows up looking for an after school job, if he or she tries out for some sports activity after school, or if he or she walks into a classroom on the first day of school, their reputation for integrity and hard work should precede them.


Now, what I have not touched on is blessing. I do not know how corporations are treated in eternity; however, I think that, in some way, they will be recognized. Now, we will not be married in heaven, which indicates that there will not be families in heaven, per se, but somehow, in some way, I believe that our corporate testimony will be recognized and rewarded.


Now, what should be clear is, God will bless a marriage and a family in time where the spiritual element is in the forefront. This can be quite dramatic. When R. B. Thieme Jr. began teaching about blessing by association, I must admit to having some reservation about that. However, I have seen time after time, my association with my extended family an my association with the places where I have worked, of great blessing which God pours out on these places (and, in most cases, He withdraws these great blessings when I leave). This is reasoning from experience, which is not the proper way to reason, but if you are a growing believer, listening daily to doctrinal teaching, you should notice blessings not just to you but to your family, to your place of worship, and to the place where you work. Exceptions to this are going to occur when God needs to make some changes in your life. I did not move to Texas kicking and scratching; but God did what was necessary to get me here. That involved some pressure. I was never without a job, never hungry, never without rent money—but it was also clear to me that I needed to do something other than remain in my hometown. I have digressed here, but my point is, when the corporations which we belong to are spiritually strong, then God will bless them, bearing in mind that He may want to move you from point A to point B.


Let me pursue this tangent, so I don’t leave you hanging: when it comes to divine guidance, what you need to do is, stay in fellowship and take in doctrine. If you do this, then God will move your from point A to point B if and when He finds it necessary.


There are a number of corporate witnesses which are not divine institutions. You may have a large or a small business—you need to operate that business ethically and fairly, treating your customers with respect and integrity and treating your employs with respect and integrity. I’ve mentions schools—if the principal of a school is a believer in Jesus Christ, then he needs to do everything within his power to deal with all those in his system with integrity. Hell, you might even be in a car pool with 2 other believers, and there is no reason why this cannot have some spiritual dimension to it. Now, this does not mean that you must be engaged in prayer or Bible study for the entire ride into town, but there should be some spiritual dimension, if all those who are a part of this corporation are agreeable.


The final divine institution is that of your country. Here, you do have limited impact, but you do have impact. The members of your church should hold up your country’s leaders in prayer. When you vote, and you should vote, this responsibility should be taken on with prayer and education. Now, on the other hand, recognize that you cannot solve world problems with political machinations. Everyone has an old sin nature; everyone in your church and everyone in your country. So, you cannot fix all the problems in the world by electing just the right candidate. Some believers are going to be moved to campaign for this or that candidate, and there is nothing in Scripture which forbids this (as long as you are growing spiritually); but recognize, your candidate has feet of clay, as will everyone whom he appoints to this or that position. Further, recognize that the election or this or that candidate is not going to usher in the Millennium. Such a thing is not going to occur. Similarly, you may simply be a cheerleader for this or that candidate—that is fine, as long as you recognize, it is not the end of the world if he loses the election nor does his being elected going to insure that everything is going to be all right in your country.


Now, bear in mind, you live in a country with millions of other people. Some of these people simply want a handout, and they will justify it in anyway that they can. In this upcoming election, we have one party offering to give lower class and middle class the world—or, free health care at the very least. If a majority of the people vote for such a program, then they deserve what they get.


Back to the topics at hand: we have individual responsibilities in this life and we have corporate responsibilities; this verse of Psalm 105 speaks to both sets of responsibilities.


He [is] Yehowah our Elohim,

in all the earth, His judgments.

Psalm

105:7

He [is] Yehowah our Elohim

[and] His judgments [are manifest] in all the earth.

He is Jehovah our God and His judgments and decrees are made manifest in all the earth.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       He [is] Yehowah our Elohim,

in all the earth, His judgments.

Septuagint                              He [is] the Lord our God; his judgments [are] in all the earth.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The LORD is our God, bringing justice everywhere on earth.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD is our God; his commands are for all the world.

The Message                         He's GOD, our God, in charge of the whole earth.

New American Bible              The Lord is our God,

who rules the whole earth.

New Jerusalem Bible             He is Yahweh our God,

Is judgements touch the whole world.

New Living Testament           He is the Lord our God;

His rule is seen throughout the land.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             He is the Lord our God: he is judge of all the earth.

Easy English (Churchyard)    He, the LORD, is our God.

What he says is to everyone (that lives) on the earth.

God’s Word                         He is the LORD our God. His judgments are pronounced throughout the earth.

HCSB                                     He is the LORD our God; His judgments govern the whole earth.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

A Voice in the Wilderness      He is Jehovah our God; His justice is in all the earth.

Young's Literal Translation     He is Jehovah our God, In all the earth are His judgments.


What is the gist of this verse? This seems to be a concluding verse, giving reason for the 10 imperatives which have been laid down: Jehovah is God, and His justice and judgments are in all the land.


Psalm 105:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

This pronoun can be used in the emphatic sense.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

Ělôhîym (מי  ̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: He [is] Yehowah our Elohim,... The psalmist makes it clear that we are speaking of Jehovah, the God of Israel. Nowhere in Scripture are we given over to worshiping just any God, or to the idea that we all worship the same God, but that there is and always has been One God that we worship.


We have a number of people who believe that all religions worship the same God; however, this concept is never the approach of Scripture. Both the Old and New Testaments speak of a very specific God, Who has specific characteristics and Who has done specific acts; a God Who is different from all the other gods.

The Exclusivity of the God of the Jews

Scripture

Incident

Gen. 17:7–9

“I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you. I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land where you are traveling, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. I will be their God." God said to Abraham, "As for you, you will keep my covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.”

Ex. 20:2–7

"I am Yahweh your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

Deut. 6:4–5

Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Deut. 26:17–19

“You have declared Yahweh this day to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways, and keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His ordinances, and listen to His voice: and Yahweh has declared you this day to be a people for His own possession, as He has promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; and to make you high above all nations that He has made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that you may be a holy people to Yahweh your God, as He has spoken.”

Joshua 24:16–20

And the people answered and said, Far be it from us to forsake Jehovah to serve other gods. For Jehovah our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And He did those great wonders in our sight, and kept us in all our way in which we went and among all the people through whom we passed. And Jehovah drove out from before us all the people, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We will also serve Jehovah, for He is our God. And Joshua said to the people, You cannot serve Jehovah, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If you forsake Jehovah and serve strange gods, then He will turn and do you harm, and destroy you after He has done you good.

Psalm 16:4a

Their sorrows shall be multiplied who give gifts to another god.

Psalm 95:3–7a

For Jehovah is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is also His. The sea is His, and He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before Jehovah our maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.

Psalm 100:3

Know that Jehovah, He is God. He has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

Isa. 43:10–12

“You are my witnesses, says Yahweh, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, I am Jehovah; and there is none to save besides Me. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shown, when there was no strange god among you; therefore you are My witnesses, says Jehovah, that I am God.”

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.

Acts 4:12

And there is salvation in no other One; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

1Tim. 2:5–6

For there is one God and there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Men often charge the Bible as being filled with contradictions and being simply the product of men. One of the common sentiments of today is, all religions are the same; we all worship the same God, but in a different way. One would think that, in a period of 1500–4000 years (the time period over which the Bible was written), that at least one human author of Scripture would have expressed this sentiment, if this were simply a book written by men and their thoughts about God. However, as you have observed in the verses above, there is only One God and one Mediator between God and man—the man Christ Jesus.


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Psalm 105:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

mîshepâţ (ט ָ  ׃ש  ̣מ) [pronounced mishe-PAWT]

judgement, justice, a verdict rendered by a judge, a judicial decision, a judicial sentence, a verdict, the judgement of the court; the act of deciding a case, the place where a judgement is rendered

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4941 BDB #1048


Translation: ...in all the earth, His judgments. We have no verbs in this verse. When we lack verbs, that indicates that there is great emphasis upon what is being said. The personal pronoun here rarely takes a verb, and is used here in an emphatic sense, increasing the emphatic nature of this verse.


This second phrase is set up as a parallel line, and, since it lacks a verb, it is emphatic as well. Even though those to whom this psalm is addressed are Israelites, their God is the God of this earth whose decisions and judgments affect the entire earth. The word for earth can also mean land; however, the modifying all of indicates taking in a wider piece of ground. With my soul I have sought you in the night. Yes, by my spirit within me, I will seek You early. For when Your just decisions are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Isa. 26:9).

 

Gill comments here: This statement, His judgments are all the earth; does not refer to His laws and statutes, His word and ordinances, or the revelation of His mind and will as faith and worship, which things are sometimes meant by his judgments. However, these things were not in all the earth, but were only known to the people of the Jews at this time (Psalm 147:19). This verse refers, rather, to His judgments on the Egyptians, or to His plagues upon them for refusing to let Israel go, the fame of which was spread throughout the world. Furthermore, we may understand this phrase to take in all the judgments of God in other parts of the world, such as on Sodom and Gomorrah, or the universal deluge, which destroyed the world of the ungodly; by such judgments the Lord is known (Psalm 9:16) and for these He is to be praised; as they are expressive of His holiness and justice; as He will be for His judgments on antichrist, when they are made manifest (Rev. 15:4). This may also respect in general God's government of the world, and his righteous judging in it; Who is a God that judgeth in the earth, and governs it by His power and wisdom, and in righteousness; and this righteous Judge is our God. Footnote


Let me add that God also places His judgments and His righteousness in the hearts of man. This many times causes people to behave in odd and contradictory ways. For instance, strong atheists will absolutely deny Jesus Christ or God of any sort, and yet extol their own morality. Now, just how meaningful is your own morality if you are simply the product of random molecules coming together and evolving from dirt and water in a pond struck by lightning to man? All that should matter to us, as Darwinian products of a random universe is, procreation and the protection of our own young to propagate the species. This, however, does not explain abortion or why atheists believe, for the most part, that abortions are not immoral. If we are random events in a random universe, with only a Darwinian evolved being, which desires to propagate our own, then why would we kill our own children and why would we approve of this? An atheist will explain altruistic behavior (e.g., a soldier dying for his buddies) as simply an extension of the preservation of the species. However, a soldier is there in the first place at war with a whole other people. So if altruism explains why one soldier will die for another and for his country, it does not explain why we would be willing to go to war in the first place. Furthermore, we cannot say it is because we are more genetically well-disposed to those of our own country, having a closer gene pool, because we have a very diverse gene pool in the United States.


One of the problems which men face in their daily lives—those who have rejected Jesus Christ or have not even bothered to take the time to consider who Jesus Christ—is, they have God’s righteousness written in their hearts and this is in conflict with their sin nature. Believers and unbelievers alike have internal battles over what to do at various times. Some people love to ponder this or that moral dilemma; and I recall in school discussing various scenarios and trying to determine what is right or wrong. All believers and unbelievers have this internal struggle, and no matter how degenerate an unbeliever might be, he is going to have some sense of self-righteousness. For instance, in jails, men who have murdered or who have destroyed this lives of thousands of others by selling drugs to them, will still consider themselves morally superior to child molesters. In a random universe, this makes little sense. The atheist may say, the child molesters are destroying the species, so everyone is going to be against that; but murderers and drug dealers destroy the species.


Let me go off on another tangent. People often try to get this one principle and explain everything by it. Darwinian evolutionists will take any behavior, any set of bones found buried in the ground, or any set of events, and attempt to explain it all in terms of evolution. It is a box they cannot seem to see outside of. Once and awhile, when I feel argumentative, I may go to an evolution discussion group, and throw out something like the population curve and how man conforms quite well to a human population curve if we believe that God created man 6000–10,000 years ago, but that evolutionary theory defies this relatively orderly curve by stretching man’s time on this earth far longer than the normal human birth cycle would suggest (I go into greater detail on this in my website where I discuss evolution). Their solution to this is another set of theories about man. In their heart of hearts, because they are opposed to God (and I realize that some of them are not atheists), they believe that another theory made up to support the theory they believe is a legitimate argument.


We have some people today called 9/11 Truthers who see our present historical events going down as a part of some great conspiracy by Bush and our government. They will show up to event after event (often to liberal speakers) and scream out their talking points. No matter what you say or no matter how you try to reason with them, 9/11 was some great, grandiose plot perpetrated by George Bush and/or the Bush government, and, they leveled one of the buildings in the Twin Tower are (I think it was tower 7?) with explosives. Now, never mind that this silliness has been dealt with scientifically, and it has been shown that their theories are nonsensical; and never mind that setting up a building with explosives requires a great deal of time to do, and is not something which can be done surreptitiously; they are convinced that all this was done so that George Bush could justify our going to Iraq so that we could take their oil (and, it does not matter that the US, to this date, has not received a drop of Iraqi oil yet). Their minds are blinded to logic and reason.


Global warming is another one of these all-encompassing explanations for natural disasters. We are still having fires in southern California and, within a day or so of these fires beginning, people were blaming global warming for this disaster. Footnote Hurricane Katrina? Blame it on global warming (and the same global warming devotees warned us of horrendous hurricanes to continue to come, and they have been far, far off on their estimations for 2006 and 2007).


There are those today who hate President Bush and everything which he does is considered foolish and/or evil. Some have dubbed this Bush hatred syndrom or Bush derangement syndrom. Footnote Now, obviously, those who feel this way are going to be those on the left, so even though the top 3 candidates for the Democrats will not guarantee that we will leave Iraq even by the end of their first term in office, this is not a serious problem to their supporters, even though their supporters may, simultaneously, call for the immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and blame Bush for all of it. Hollywood actors bemoan the loss of our civil liberties, like free speech, blaming George Bush, and make these complaints know on national television programs. These same people, because they hate Bush and love Bill Clinton, think that Bush is somehow destroying all of their civil liberties, yet they seem to be unfazed when Clinton got involved in The Road to 9/11, and made several attempts to have its airing stopped, and did have an effect on the final cut of this movie. Furthermore, it appears as though he has successfully blocked the release of this film on DVD as well. However, those suffering from their irrational hatred of Bush think that somehow, George Bush is limiting their freedoms, and that they need to have a Democrat back in the Oval office to restore all of these freedoms, simultaneous to President Clinton being involved in the censuring of The Road to 9/11.


What I am saying is, when you reject the truth of Jesus Christ; when you reject Bible doctrine; then your soul requires some unifying principle to pull everything together. It is an inherent need. When we reject truth, our souls must replace it with something else, no matter how irrational. For random beings in a random universe, this makes very little sense. However, these things have their source in God’s judgments on this earth, which find their way even into our own souls; and the function of the sin nature, which is in rebellion against truth and righteousness. R. B. THieme Jr. called this the vacuum of the soul—when you reject the truth, your soul sucks in false doctrine and false concepts, and this eventually forms a calcification of the soul, or scar tissue of the soul. Footnote


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God’s judgments are said to be in all the earth; His judicial verdicts. In other words, His perfect righteousness will be applied and His perfect justice will render just decisions throughout the earth. There are times—in fact, innumerable times—when God judges and applies His judgment to individuals and nations; and there are times when He appears to let things go.

God’s Judgments in the Earth

1.      God is God over believers. God is the Father of those who believe in Jesus Christ. God is not the Father of those who choose not to believe in Jesus Christ.

2.      For this reason, God does not discipline those who are not His children.

3.      God does discipline His children, which means us.

4.      So, what about unbelievers? What does God do about them?

5.      God puts some pressure on some unbelievers in order to get them to believe in Him. When I believed in Jesus Christ, I recall being terribly unhappy and in what I believed to be desperate straits. It was simply God’s pressure applied to me to get me to stop what I was doing and to consider the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people come to believe in Jesus Christ after being put under a little pressure. This is not discipline nor is it necessarily God’s justice (although it could be); it is the loving hand of God.

         a.      In the previous point, I said that God pressured me to get me to stop what I was doing. I don’t mean that I was involved in gross immorality and sin and that He was looking to stop me from that (although I was), but that He simply got to me stop my life’s activities and worries long enough to consider Who and What Jesus Christ is.

         b.      Many people are so involved in their own lives, in sin, in altruism, in their family, that it is difficult for them to simply take the time to consider Jesus Christ. For the bulk of my life, both as an unbeliever or a believer, I have been busy. However, God brought me to a point to where I had to stop and think about the good news of Jesus Christ.

6.      Some unbelievers cross a believer. Some unbelievers actually intentionally seek to do wrong to a believer. God, on occasion, deals with these unbelievers. Now, bear in mind, every person who refuses to believe in Jesus Christ will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, so nothing on this earth can compare to that in terms of human suffering. However, when an unbeliever does wrong to a believer, God often deals with that situation and with that unbeliever.

7.      Of course, when any believer does wrong, God deals with that believer in time. He may simply allow natural consequences to come to pass and He may personally discipline us.

8.      When we sin and then name our sin, God’s judicial verdict is to forgive us that sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, thus restoring temporal fellowship. No doubt, this occurs a million times a day throughout the earth.

We can depend upon ultimate justice, and when we are face to face with God in eternity, we will be satisfied with the way that God handled everything, and we will understand His perfect application of His perfect integrity to all things in the earth.

It is clear that there are some things which we take with us and many things which we leave behind. We may accumulate more toys than anyone else we know before we die, but these toys remain here on this earth. I am personally blessed with a great many material things. When I die, they stay here and I go. However, what seems to be the case is, the doctrine in our souls will go with us. Our spiritual understanding seems to have some part to play in the next life, although it is not completely clear as to what that is. My educated guess is, that, somehow, our spiritual understanding is going to put us ahead of the curve in some way. That is, we may enjoy a greater and deeper appreciation of God and His character in eternity than someone who simply believed in Jesus Christ and then went his own way after salvation. The only thing that I can come up with to illustrate this is: let’s say there is this beautiful woman with a wonderful soul. Now, two men may potentally marry this woman. The first man might appreciate her beauty, but little else. The other man not only appreciates the beauty of this woman, but he understands and loves the soul of this woman. That second man is going to have a much greater relationship with this woman. Maybe, in some way, this illustrates the difference between believers in God’s presence with and without doctrine. Both will have an abiding appreciation for God; but one will have a deeper appreciation for God.

In any case, no matter what, the believer with doctrine is going to have an easier time understanding God and His function on this earth. This makes our lives on this earth much more meaningful. We have purpose and definition, and we have a grasp of what God is doing and why He is doing it.


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God’s Covenant with Israel


He remembered to forever His covenant;

a word He mandated to a thousand of generation.

Psalm

105:8

He remembers His covenant forever;

He mandates [His] word for a thousand generations.

He will remember His covenant promises forever;

His commands stand for a thousand generations.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       He remembered to forever His covenant;

a word He mandated to a thousand of generation.

Septuagint                              He has remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded for a thousand generation,...

 

Significant differences:           None


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He will never forget his agreement or his promises, not in thousands of years.

Good News Bible (TEV)         He will keep his covenant forever, his promises for a thousand generations.

The Message                         And he remembers, remembers his Covenant-- for a thousand generations he's been as good as his word.

New American Bible              He remembers forever his covenant,

the pact imposed for a thousand generations.

New Jerusalem Bible             He remembers his covenant for ever,

the promise he laid down for a thousand generations,...

New Living Testament           He always stands by his covenant—

the commitment he made to a thousand generations.

Revised English Bible            He is ever mindful of his covenant,

the promise he ordained for a thousand generations.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             He has kept his agreement in mind for ever, the word which he gave for a thousand generations;...

Easy English (Churchyard)    He will always remember his covenant.

He will never, never forget his promises.

HCSB                                     He forever remembers His covenant, the promise He ordained for a thousand generations—...

JPS (Tanakh)                         He is ever mindful of His covenant,

the promise He gave for a thousand generations.

NET Bible®                             He always remembers his covenantal decree,

the promise he made [Heb “[the] word he commanded.” The text refers here to God’s unconditional covenantal promise to Abraham and the patriarchs, as vv. 10-12 make clear] to a thousand generations —...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                He is [earnestly] mindful of His covenant, and for ever [it is imprinted on His heart], the word which He commanded and established to a thousand generations;...

LTHB                                     He has remembered His covenant forever; the Word He commanded to a thousand generations...

Young’s Updated LT             He has remembered to the age His covenant, The word He commanded to a thousand generations;...


What is the gist of this verse? God makes promises and He remembers these promises forever.


Psalm 105:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

zâkar (ר ַכ ָז) [pronounced zaw-KAHR]

to remember, to recall, to call to mind

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2142 BDB #269

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳ôwlâm (םָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM]

long duration, forever, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5769 BDB #761

Together, these words mean to eternity to perpetuity; with regards to perpetuity to antiquity. It is possible that the idea here is that this means to eternity, with regards to antiquity; to eternity future to eternity past; for the future with reference to the distant past.

berîyth (תי .ר) [pronounced bereeth]

covenant, pact, alliance, treaty, alliance

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1285 BDB #136


Translation: He remembers His covenant forever;... God does not have to search His memory banks for a specific bit of information; He maintains knowledge of all things at all times. God comprehends all things from all time periods all at once. The term memory here is an anthropopathism, ascribing a human function—memory—to God. God actually has no need to remember anything, as He carries in His mind not only all events and thoughts and emotions of history, but all alternative events, thoughts and emotions. God knows the end from the beginning, so when He made a covenant with Israel, this was a covenant which was made with the knowledge of all that Israel would do. Israel did not take God to the breaking point, where God suddenly, in absolute frustration, said, “Dammit, you damn Jews! I simply cannot put up with your negative volition anymore. Forget this covenant I made to you; I’m giving it to these nice Gentiles over here, and they are going to be your spiritual ancestors and the covenant will go to them.” We may think like that and act accordingly. We may have a child on drugs whom we have promised to love forever; but, that child may take us to the point of completely disowning him. God does not do that; He cannot make a promise and then just take it back in frustration. This implies that God is not omniscient.


The psalmist has asked the listener to remember all of the incredible feats which God has done and reminds the listener here that God remembers the contract which He made with Israel which stands for a thousand generations. In covenant theology, God has all but abandoned Israel, making the land of Israel at best a final battleground for Armageddon. However, God does not renege on His promises or on His contracts. A thousand generations is not a limiting time period, but one which is poetic for all the history of man. “To show mercy toward our fathers and to remember His holy covenant—the oath which He swore to Abraham our father.” (Luke 1:72–73). “Know therefore that Yehowah your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His grace to a thousands generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; but He repays those who hate Him to his face—He will destroy them. He will not delay him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.” (Deut. 7:9–10). “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed.” (Ezek. 16:60–61a; see also Psalm 106:5 111:5).


For the Israelite who is exposed to covenant theology, a promise like this must seem pretty thin. God made certain promises to Israel; He made a contract with Jacob. God has never forgotten that contract. His character would not allow Him to change all of the terms of the contract. You cannot exegete the Old Testament and think that the church is simply a spiritualized Israel and that all of the promises made to Israel now fall into the lap of the church in some sort of a spiritual fulfillment. God remembers His covenant that He made with Israel and His Word stands throughout all eternity. We can take God at His Word just as Israel can take God at His Word.


Psalm 105:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

dâbâr (רָבָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter, command

masculine singular noun

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

tsâvâh (ה ָו ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-VAW]

to commission, to mandate, to lay charge upon, to give charge to, charge, command, order

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong's #6680 BDB #845

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

eleph (ף ל א) pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

dôwr (ר) [pronounced dohr]

generation; race; people; age, period, time period [of a generation], a time slice

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1755 BDB #189


Translation: ...He mandates [His] word for a thousand generations. The idea here is, He mandates His Word or His doctrines forever. A thousand generations is simply a poetic statement to indicate forever. God did not make promises to Abraham, but, then, after 1000 generations, decide to take them all back—this is not how God operates. That which He commands remains forever and ever. What is going to be in view here are His promises to Israel, which will encompass His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


Let us just assume that, for the sake of argument, that God is here being literal, rather than figurative (literal would mean that His mandates will stand for a thousand generations; figuratively, that means forever). So, even if we take this literally, we are speaking of 30,000–40,000 years. That in itself tells us that God’s promises to Israel are still in effect.


Covenant theology believes that all of the promises which were made to Abraham were transferred to his spiritual seed, which they see as the church. That is, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob understood the promises in one way, but God meant them in a different way, and meant for them to be passed along to their spiritual seed, which they see as the church. This introduces several problems.

Now, I should say up front that I am not an expert in covenant theology; I have not spent countless hours studying this particular area of theology. I have the gist of covenant theology in my mind, so I may get a few details wrong.

The Problems with Covenant Theology

1.      Covenant theology believes that God’s clear and specific promises appear to be spiritualized as to their content and to whom the promises are made.

2.      God made specific promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob about a specific piece of real estate that God would give them (a piece of real estate that God has not completely given to Israel, even when they were at their peak).

3.      Covenant theology maintains that:

         1)      Israel was so unfaithful that God could not stand it any more.

         2)      When Israel crucified Jesus Christ, and then did not come to Him after, this was simply too much for God, and God changes His promises to them and transferred these promises to the church, which they view as spiritual Israel.

         3)      I am not sure that anyone in the church, even under covenant theology, expects to personally have a stake in the physical territory of Israel. So, I believe that we somehow, in covenant theology, retain the gist of what was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, although I am not completely clear as to what that gist is.

         4)      Now, despite the fact that many Jews did believe in Jesus Christ, apparently Israel was so corrupt that God just could not stand it anymore, and decided that these promises would no longer apply to a particular blood line.

4.      There are a number of general problems with covenant theology.

         1)      God’s very specific promises cannot seem to be taken literally.

         2)      Those to whom God makes His promises may not see those promises fulfilled.

         3)      God’s patience can only endure so much. After some point in time, God throws up His hands and says, “Screw them; I’ve given the Jews everything and they act like this. I am through with this people. They suck.”

         4)      With covenant theology, God’s promises, His faithfulness and His patience are all under attack. His very character is challenged by covenant theology.

5.      Covenant theology ignores the many distinctives between Israel and the Church.

         1)      The church has a heavenly hope; Israel has an earthly hope.

         2)      God will meet the believers in the air at the rapture, but His feet will touch down on the Mount of Olives to protect the Jews in the Tribulation.

         3)      The church did not begin in Abraham’s tent but on the day of Pentecost around 30 a.d.

6.      What covenant theology tries to get around is dispensations. However, the problem is this: if the church began in Abraham’s tent 4000 years ago, what about before that time? There had to be a different administration (dispensation) of God’s household prior to the church in Abraham’s tent. So covenant theology does not abrogate the concept of dispensations, it simply tries to make fewer of them.

7.      The idea behind a dispensation is, God works during a specific period of time using a different set of people, a slightly different spiritual skill set, with different mechanics. Even under covenant theology, this is the case when differentiating between Israel and the church. God seemed to function in the Old Testament differently than he does in the New. Dispensationalists and Covenant Theologians can mostly agree with this.

         1)      God seemed to work primarily with the nation Israel or with the Jews as per almost every Old Testament book. The exception would be the first quarter of the book of Genesis and the book of Job.

         2)      In our era, God works through any church, in any country, in any nationality. This does not appear to be the case in the Old Testament.

         3)      God uses ceremony and sacrifices in the Old Testament; these are no longer used in the Church Age.

         4)      God has given he Holy Spirit for the Church Age; the Holy Spirit was not given to everyone in the Old Testament.

8.      Covenant theology denies God’s essence.

         1)      God is omniscient and God is truth.

         2)      When God chose Abraham and when God made His promises to Abraham, God knew everything that Abraham would do and God knew everything about Abraham’s son, and his son, and all of the Jews for thousands of generations.

         3)      Because God is omniscient, God knew everything about every single Jew before He made any promises to Abraham; God knew this in eternity past, before man was created.

         4)      Why would an all-knowing God establish a covenant with Abraham and his descendants if God knew that Abraham’s descendants would, as a whole, reject Jesus Christ as Savior?

         5)      Covenant theology either treats God as if He did not know what would happen or as if God knew these things, but still made the promises to Abraham, knowing that He would significantly alter these promises in the future.

         6)      In other words, covenant theology is an assault on God’s essence.

9.      Prior to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God dealt somewhat differently with man.

         1)      This is a dispensational difference. God clearly works through Israel through most of the Bible; however, it is clear, in a dozen or so chapters of Genesis and in the book of Job, that God did not deal primarily with the nation Israel, because there was no nation Israel.

         2)      The fact that God deal differently with man before Israel indicates that it is possible that God would deal differently with man after Israel.

         3)      Dispensations simply affirms that, God deals with different entities throughout history, and that He works through these different entities in order to achieve His plan. God works through the church universal today. That is, God works through the body of believers today, despite the fact that we are quite imperfect.

         4)      Does God work through the Jew today? Yes, he does—through Jews who are believers in Jesus Christ.

                  (1)     Any person who believes in Jesus Christ today is saved and is placed into Christ, whether Jew or Gentile—there is no difference.

                  (2)     However, the Jew who is saved during this dispensation is not an heir to the promises which God made to Israel, but is an heir to all things by virtue of being in Christ.

                  (3)     A saved Jew today is not a part of corporate Israel, receiving all of the promises of Abraham at some future date, but he is a member of the church universal and will receive the promises which God makes to believers today.

                  (4)     God does not work through the nation Israel any differently than He works through the nation of France or England. There are believers in Israel, and God works through them. There are churches in Israel, and God works through them.

                  (5)     However, be clear in this regard: God does protect His people. The United States has received great blessing, unlike that given to any other nation ever, and part of the reason for this is our relationship to the nation Israel. The nation Israel is filled with Jews—some of them believers and some of them unbelievers. However, from them (as well as from Jews all over the earth) will come their fleshly descendants who will, in the Tribulation, believe in Jesus Christ, and God will work through them in the Tribulation.

                  (6)     If we, as a nation, ever turned our backs on Israel, you will see the prosperity and the freedoms of this nation disappear so fast, it will make your head spin.

         5)      Dispensationalists understand that man before Abraham, was treated as a whole somewhat differently than man during the time of the nation Israel, and somewhat differently than man in the Church Age.

                  (1)     Do not think that dispensationalists believe that the Jews are saved by works, but we in the Church Age are saved by grace. This is a ridiculous position and a distortion of dispensationalism. It is clear the Jesus Christ died for all mankind, past, present and future; and that we receive eternal life through believing in Him. To the Jews, He was Jehovah Elohim, but they had to trust in the God of the Jews, and not in Molech or Aphrodite.

                  (2)     All dispensationalism means is, God works somewhat differently through different entities today than He did during the Age of Israel and somewhat differently than He did prior to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

                  (3)     God used to work primarily through the nation Israel. God spoke to specific people in Israel; God had Scripture recorded through the hand of various Jews; God’s laws and ordinances, for the most part, were designed for the nation Israel.

                  (4)     This is why there are dietary laws, laws about the Sabbaths, and various ordinances and national laws which the church, to some degree, ignores. We may study these laws and evaluate them and make limited application to ourselves, but we don’t, for instance, forbid the eating of pork; we don’t keep calves in our backyards so that we can later sacrifice them to God. We do not gather at the one Tabernacle (or, later, the Temple). Jewish males three times a year were to gather at the Tabernacle (or Temple) on specific holy days. We don’t do that. Now, we may go to Church on Christmas and Easter, but in your city, there are perhaps hundreds of churches. If we did things as Israel did, there would be one huge Temple, and we would gather there thrice a year...and I don’t mean 1 Temple per town or 1 Temple per nation, but I mean one (1) Temple only. Okay? But we don’t do that. We are not under the law to Israel.

                  (5)     We gather at a variety of churches, which is much more like the Jewish synagogue system, which, to my knowledge, has no specific authorization in Scripture. That does not mean that synagogues were wrong; Jesus Himself spoke in at least one synagogue. However, they were not specifically laid out as spiritual entities in the Old Testament. However, for us, of the Church Age; there are these spiritual entities known as churches, and God primarily works through the church. This brings up a tangent: does God work through other organizations today, like mission boards, or web sites, or campus organizations—and I believe that would have to be answered in the affirmative; just as God, I am certain, worked through synagogues in the Age of Israel.

                  (6)     However, to return to the original point: it is clear that God did not work through the nation Israel nor did he hold us to the Law of Moses prior to Abraham. Therefore, God had to work with a different entity in a slightly different way (He could not work with the nation Israel or with the Law of Moses, because they did not exist at that time).

                  (7)     If God could work differently with mankind, through different entities, prior to the Age of Israel; it only stands to reason that Me could potentially have a different program after the destruction of the nation Israel.

10.    However, what we can never let go of is, God’s promises to Israel are literal and they will be fulfilled. The Jews that we see here and there, in this or that nation, are not just throw-away remnants of a dead and bygone era; they are a testimony to God’s faithfulness to His Word. We will never see the destruction of the Jews ever. Satan wants to destroy the Jews. Satan has about 20 nations in the Middle East under his control, and these nations want to see the destruction of nation Israel. If they could, some would even prefer to see a huge hole where Israel is, even if it meant destroying some holy relics of Islam. This is not just a handful of radicals; this is the sentiment of huge portions of the populations of these nations. And yet, Israel is there; Israel is prosperous; and Israel has stood up against some of the greatest odds that we could imagine. Do you think that it is some kind of a wild coincidence that the greatest ally of Israel just happens to be the only superpower on this earth? Do you think our prosperity just sort of happened? Don’t be foolish. God will maintain a contingent of Jews throughout the world, and they will continue to live, despite the many Satanic attacks against them. Furthermore, we, as a nation, will continue to survive and to prosper, as long as we maintain a close relationship with nation Israel.

11.    My point in all of this is, even though covenant theologians try to blur the distinctions between the church and Israel, they still believe in the distinctions which are listed above. Since they believe in those distinctions, they are, to that extent, dispensationalists. They cannot deny the distinctives that they themselves hold to.

Now, do not be confused here. God’s promises are never to be applied to unregenerate Israel. For those who are Jews who do not believe in Jesus Christ, there are no promises from God to them, other than the promise that they will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ and that they will burn forever in the Lake of Fire. However, regenerate Israel will be the recipient of all God’s promises to Abraham; the church will not.


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Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


By the way, God is going to go on and on about His covenant with Israel, which He originally made with Abraham. Does this make sense for God to repeatedly speak about His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; speak of its lasting for a 1000 generations, and then for God to throw this covenant out? Does it make sense for God to simply change most of His covenant (or to spiritualize it), and to later say, “Okay, I changed My mind. Israel is just a lot worse than I expected them to be. Forget Israel. Forget the Jews. They had their chance, but they pissed Me off just once too often. They are just bad people. I think I am going to work through the Gentiles now, but I will let a couple of Jews join in. These new Gentiles will be the recipients of My covenant to Israel, and the terms are going to be changed a little; this way, it will appear as though I am keeping My word.” That is not just wrong, it is blasphemous and, as explained above, denies God’s omniscience and His veracity.


We read about God’s covenant to Israel because He intends to keep this covenant. For God to do anything less would indicate that God is not God.

The alternative view is simple: God made specific promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and to His people the Jews. These promises reflect God’s perfect essence, including His sovereignty, His veracity and His omniscience. God has not abrogated these promises; God has not set them aside for good; and God has not reworked these promises for a different entity. We read about God’s covenant to Israel because He intends to keep this covenant. For God to do anything less would indicate that God is not God.


...which He had cut [with] Abraham

and His solemn oath to Isaac.

Psalm

105:9

...which [covenant] He made with Abraham;

even His solemn oath to Isaac.

...which promise He made to Abraham;

even His solemn oath which He later made to Isaac.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Dead Sea Scrolls                   ...the covenant that He made] with [this preposition in 11QPsa is different from the MT, but the meaning is roughly the same] Abraham, [11QPsa lacks the wâw conjunction of the MT] His sworn promise to Isaac,...

Masoretic Text                       ...which He had cut [with] Abraham

and His solemn oath to Isaac,...

Septuagint                              ...which he established as a covenant to Abraam, and he remembered his oath to Isaac.

 

Significant differences:           None between the Greek and the Hebrew. There are some minor differences between the Masoretic text and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are noted in the Dead Sea Scrolls.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       God made an eternal promise...

Good News Bible (TEV)         He will keep the agreement he made with Abraham and his promise to Isaac....

The Message                         It's the Covenant he made with Abraham, the same oath he swore to Isaac...

New American Bible              Which was made with Abraham,

confirmed by oath to Isaac,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             The agreement which he made with Abraham, and his oath to Isaac;...

Easy English (Churchyard)    (He will remember) the covenant that he made with Abraham

and the special promises that he made to Isaac.

God’s Word                         ...the promise that he made to Abraham, and his sworn oath to Isaac.

HCSB                                     ...the covenant He made with Abraham, swore to Isaac,...

JPS (Tanakh)                         He is ever mindful of His covenant,

the promise He gave tor a thousand generations,

that He made with Abraham,

swore to Isaac. I included v. 8 here, in order to reveal the entire context.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     ...which He cut with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac;...

NRSV                                     ...the covenant that he made with Abraham,

his sworn promise to Isaac,...

Young's Updated LT              ...That He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac,...


What is the gist of this verse? Vv. 8–10 should not have been separated. In these verses, we have a promise from God, a covenant, made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and this covenant would stand forever.


Psalm 105:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

kârath (תַרָ) [pronounced kaw-RAHTH]

to cut off, to cut down; to kill, to destroy; to make a covenant

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #3772 BDB #503

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Aberâhâm (םָהָרב-א) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4


Translation: ...which [covenant] He made with Abraham;... Here we refer back to the previous verse which a covenant which God made, that He is always mindful of; and a promise, which God has given for a 1000 generations. This promise and this covenant, God made with Abraham. Further down, we will examine the content of this promise in greater detail.


Psalm 105:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shebû׳âh (ה ָע ֻב  ׃ש) [pronounced sheb-voo-AH]

a solemn oath, a curse

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7621 BDB #989

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Yisechâq (קָח.י) [pronounced yihse-HAWK]

he laughs; laughing; transliterated Isaac

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3327 & #3446 BDB #850

This is also spelled Yitsechâq (קָחצ.י) [pronounced yihyse-HAWK]. When you hear about manuscript discrepancies in the Old Testament, many of them simply involve alternate spellings.


Translation: ...even His solemn oath to Isaac. These few verses should not have been separated. In this verse, God is said to have made specific promises to Abraham and to his son Isaac. Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yehowah appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God. Walk before Me and be complete, and I will give My contract between Me and you; and I will multiply you exceedingly.” And Abram fell on his face, and God spoke to him, saying, “As for Me, observe: My contract is with you and you will become the father of a multitude of nations...And I will establish My contract between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting contract, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your temporary residence, all the land of Canaan, for an eternal possession; and I will be their God.” (Gen. 17:1–5, 7–8). And Yehowah appeared to Isaac...and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and I will multiply your descendants, for the sake of My servant Abraham.” (Gen. 26:24). This covenant which was made by God with Abraham, and then confirmed to Isaac, was not based upon the Law. The Law did not exist at the time that God made this contract with Abraham. What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a contract previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise (Gal. 3:17–18). Note that these words of Paul fly in the face of covenant theology; God made His promise to Abraham prior to the Law, and that the Law did not change or mitigate God’s promise.


There is another thing which I want to mention now. There are lying spirits out there who tell you that they have been to heaven, often several times, that they speak to God. Some are sitting on the sofa watching Lavern and Shirley and God speaks to them. These are charlatans or they are speaking with demonic apparitions or they are having religious delusions. In any case, these men are not speaking to God nor is God speaking to them. Because their adherents do not comprehend the Old Testament which they claim to read and study, they think that every five minutes God appeared to someone and started talking. It is incorrect to view the patriarchs as, Abraham drove around in a range rover over the land with God riding shotgun, talking to him all the time. Now, God did speak to Abraham a remarkable number of times. God spoke to Abram thrice (Gen. 12:1–3, 7 15:1–18) prior to his ninety-ninth birthday. Then God spoke to Abram on his ninety-ninth birthday (Gen. 17:1–22) and two times after that (Gen. 18:1–33 22:1–18). Abraham was great. He was a tremendous hero of the Old Testament. It is because of his faith that God made promises to Abraham as had never been made before to any one man. And, in a day where there was no completed canon of Scripture, God spoke to Abraham on five occasions. You’re thinking, maybe Abraham just didn’t record all the times that God spoke to him. Just what the hell do you think happened? Abraham didn’t record one of them because God just wanted to talk? Maybe God was just giving his opinion of Lavern and Shirley, and therefore was not as important as the other 5 times that He spoke to Abraham. Do you think that Abraham simply forgot to mention of few of his direct conversations with God? Do you think that the record got lost because God is unable to preserve His Word? Furthermore, God only spoke to Isaac twice (Gen. 26:2–5, 24). Okay, you’re wondering, what about Moses or Ezekiel or Isaiah? God spoke to these men many times for extended lengths of time, and they recorded word-for-word what God said. The bulk of what those men wrote was extended quotations from God and that is Scripture. The tripe that we hear coming out of the mouths of some current preachers and evangelists about their visits with God is appalling. God is not going to hang out with you on the sofa and watch TV; God is not going to take you up to heaven and splash around with you in the river of life. These things are foolishness. When God speaks directly to man, there is a reason, and, most of the time, the content is recorded as Scripture. These events were not everyday occurrences, nor were they trivial events. Furthermore, it is not necessary for God to speak directly to man now, because what we need to know is found in His Word.


Application: God has recorded His complete and connected message to man. His direct conversations with man have been few and substantive in Scripture; they are not often and trivial, as we find in today’s charismatic community. You do not need God to tap you on the shoulder to make a left or a right turn; you need Bible doctrine in your soul, you need to be filled with God the Holy Spirit, and then God will take care of the rest. God can provide divine guidance if those things are in place. He is able to do that now.


Application: Now I know a number of people who are Christians and who have no idea, day to day, what they ought to do. They are lost; they are confused. Should they take this job or should they take that job? These people have 3 things in common: (1) when it comes to divine guidance, they are interested in divine guidance as it related to them and their well-being. They may give lip service to doing God’s will, but they want what is going to give them the best life. (2) They do not take in doctrine regularly even if they have loads of time in their life to fit doctrine in. (3) They do not think about getting back into fellowship.


Application: For those of you who want practical application, if you are reading a book and the author begins to talk of any time which God audibly spoke to him or came to him in a dream, throw the book out; if someone on the radio starts telling you God talks to him, turn the radio off; if on TV, there is some preacher speaking of his conversations with God, change the channel. That person is either a messenger of Satan or deluded to the point of walking insanity.


In the next verse, we will more closely examine what promises God made with respect to the patriarchs and to whom He made them.


And so He causes her to stand to Jacob to a decree;

to Israel in a covenant of long duration;...

Psalm

105:10

Therefore, He decrees it [His covenant] as [lit., to, for] a statute to Jacob;

[and] as [lit., in] an eternal covenant to Israel;...

He confirms this decree to Jacob and an eternal covenant to Israel;...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so He causes her to stand to Jacob to a decree;

to Israel in a covenant of long duration.

Septuagint                              And he established it to Jacob for an ordinance, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant;...

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,...

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD made a covenant with Jacob, one that will last forever.

The Message                         The very statute he established with Jacob, the eternal Covenant with Israel,...

New American Bible              and ratified as binding for Jacob,

an everlasting covenant for Israel;...

New Living Testament           He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,

to the people of Israel as a never-ending treaty.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he gave it to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an eternal agreement;...

Easy English (Churchyard)    He made it sure to Jacob with a law

and to (the people of) Israel with a covenant

that will never have an end.

HCSB                                     ...and confirmed to Jacob as a decree and to Israel as an everlasting covenant:...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     ...and He confirmed it to Jacob for a Law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,...

Young's Updated LT              ...And he establishes it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel--a covenant age-during,...


What is the gist of this verse? God confirms His covenant with Jacob as a statute and a covenant to Israel forever.


Psalm 105:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âmad (ד ַמ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD]

to cause to stand [firm], to maintain; to station, to cause to set up [place, raise up, erect], to establish, to preserve; to decree, to impose [a law, mandate]; to ordain, to appoint, to destine; to stand still; to present [one] before [a king]

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #5975 BDB #763

Finding an and so in poetry is quite rare. Interestingly enough, we find a wâw consecutive and this exact same verb (but with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix) in Psalm 148:6, a psalm which may have been sung when David was bringing the Ark to Jerusalem.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Ya׳ăqôb (בֹקֲע-י) [pronounced yah-ģuh-KOHBV]

supplanter; insidious, deceitful; to circumvent and is transliterated Jacob

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3290 BDB #784

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

chôq (קֹח) [pronounced khoke]

decree, that which is decreed; statute; boundary, defined limit; an appointed portion of labor, a task

masculine singular noun

Strong's #2706 BDB #349


Translation: Therefore, He decrees it [His covenant] as [lit., to, for] a statute to Jacob;... The contract which God made with Abraham and confirmed it with Isaac and then confirmed with Jacob (Gen. 28:15–18 35:9–12) was, for all intents and purposes, a statute, law, an everlasting contract. Again, the eternal aspect of the covenant is emphasized. At the end of this verse, Israel is not used as the God-given name for Jacob, but for the nation Israel.


Psalm 105:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

berîyth (תי .ר) [pronounced bereeth]

covenant, pact, alliance, treaty, alliance; contract

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #1285 BDB #136

׳ôwlâm (םָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM]

long duration, forever, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5769 BDB #761


Translation:...[and] as [lit., in] an eternal covenant to Israel;... It makes little sense for us to approach this as a promise made to Jacob twice (Jacob is also known as Israel). So, before we go any further, we should look at how Jacob and Israel are used together in poetic literature.


There are at least seven different ways in which the names Jacob and Israel are used in tandem:

Jacob vs. Israel

Verses:

Jacob

Israel

Isa. 8:17–18

Jacob as the conniving believer

Jacob as the mature believer

Psalm 78:21 Isa. 41:14 43:1 41:5

Israel in apostasy or the unregenerate in Israel

Israel as a spiritually strong nation

Psalm 78:77 Footnote

All the inhabitants of Israel

The regenerate inhabitants of Israel

Psalm 105:8–10:

Jacob, the person

Israel, the nation

Psalm 14:7 53:6 Isa. 14:1–2

The nation Israel

The nation Israel

Psalm 22:23 135:4 147:19

Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites

Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites

Psalm 78:5 Isa. 27:6 29:23

The recently regenerated in Israel

The mature believers in Israel

I did this chart many years ago and I do not recall if this is original with me or if I took it from another author. I am about 90% certain that this is original.


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This verse is not fully appreciated apart from vv. 8–9; we have: He remembers to an age His covenant—

a Word He commanded to a thousand of generations; which He made with Abraham and His sworn oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed to Jacob for a statute to Israel a covenant of long duration;... The topic of this passage is the contract which God made with Abraham; He made a sworn oath to his son Isaac; God later confirmed that oath to Jacob and it then became a statute, written, a covenant of long duration to the nation Israel. If you look at this any other way, it would appear silly to mention Jacob twice when the covenant was originally made with Abraham, who was a great man spiritually; Jacob was mediocre at best.


It may be best to see this as a whole, exegeted bit by bit:

God’s Contract with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Nation Israel

Psalm 105:9–11

Commentary

Parallel Scripture and Comments

This is the covenant that he made with Abraham...

Originally, God made a contract with Abraham, portions of which were repeated several times, and listed below.

God spoke to Abraham on several occasions, making the following promises to him (there are too many to include in this one column).


The promises which God made to Abraham included (1) a great nation would come from Abraham; (2) that blessing would be associated with that nation (and those who cursed it would be cursed); (3) a large piece of land was given to Abraham; (4) this inheritance would come to the son of his loins through Sarah; (5) that man nations would come from Abraham; (6) that Abraham’s progeny would be like the sand of the sea; (7) and that one Son of Abraham would be blessing to all the world.

And Jehovah had said to Abram, “Go out from your land and from your kindred, and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and curse the one despising you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:1–3). God gives Abraham an order to leave his family (his father’s house) and he is promised by God that He would make a great nation of him. Furthermore, there would be blessing associated with those who bless those from Abraham and cursing associated with those who curse this line. Even though God gives Abram an order here, this appears to be an unconditional covenant.

And after Lot had separated from him, Jehovah said to Abram, “Now lift up your eyes and look northward and southward and eastward and westward from the place where you are. For all the land which you see I will give to you, and to your seed always. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can count the dust of the earth, then your seed also will be counted. Rise up! Walk through the land, in its length and in its breadth, for I will give it to you” (Gen. 13:14–17). God promises to make a great people out from Abraham and He promises to give Abraham a huge plot of land, which He tells Abraham to walk through.

After these things the Word of Jehovah came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram; I am your shield, your reward will increase greatly.” And Abram said, “Lord Jehovah, what will You give to me since I am going childless and the son of the inheritance of my house is Eleazar of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold! You have given no seed to me; and lo, the son of my house is inheriting of me!” And behold! The Word of Jehovah came to him saying, “This one shall not be inheriting. But he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir.” And He brought him outside and said, “Look now at the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be.” And he believed in Jehovah. And He counted it to him for righteousness. And He said to him, “I am Jehovah who caused you to come out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it” (Gen. 15:1–7). God makes it clear that Abram’s inheritance would go to a son born from his own loins.

And when Abram was ninety nine years old, Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am the Almighty God! Walk before me and be perfect; and I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you very much.” And Abram fell on his face. And God spoke with him, saying, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. And your name no longer shall be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham. For I have made you a father of many nations. And I will make you very fruitful, exceedingly. And I will give you for nations. And kings shall come out of you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and your seed after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you. And I will give to you and to your seed after you the land of your sojourning, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham, “You shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you in their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. And it shall be a token of the covenant between Me and you. And a son of eight days shall be circumcised among you, every male in your generation, he that is born in the house, or bought with silver from any son of a foreigner who is not of your seed. The child of your house and the purchase of your money circumcising must be circumcised. And My covenant shall be in your flesh for a perpetual covenant. And an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” And God said to Abraham, “You shall not call your wife Sarai by her name Sarai, for Sarah shall be her name; and I have blessed her and have also given to you a son from her. Yea, I have blessed her and she shall become nations; kings of people shall be from her.” And Abraham fell on his face and laughed. And he said in his heart, “Shall one be born to a son of a hundred years? And shall Sarah bear, a daughter of ninety years?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” And God said, “Your wife Sarah truly shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. And I have established My covenant with him for a perpetual covenant with his seed after him. And as to Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall father twelve chiefs, and I will make him a great nation. And I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” (Gen. 17:1–21). Abraham is told to circumcise his child (not yet conceived) to indicate a covenant between God and him. Abraham is promised that kings and nations would come from him. Furthermore, he is promised that he would bear a child in his old age by Sarah.

And He said, “Returning I will return to you at the time of life; and, Behold! A son shall be to your wife Sarah.” And Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, and it was behind Him. And Abraham and Sarah were aged, going on in days. The custom as to women had ceased to be to Sarah. And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After my being old, shall there be pleasure to me; my lord also being old?” And Jehovah said to Abraham, “Why has Sarah laughed at this, saying, Indeed, truly shall I bear, even I who am old? Is anything too difficult for Jehovah? At the appointed time I will return to you, at the time of life, and there will be a son to Sarah.” And Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh; for she was afraid.” And He said, “No, but you did laugh.” And the men rose up from there and looked on the face of Sodom. And Abraham was going with them, to send them away. And Jehovah said, “Should I hide from Abraham that which I am doing? And Abraham shall become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. For I have known him, so that whatever he may command his sons and his house after him, even they may keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice; to the intent that Jehovah may bring on Abraham that which He has spoken of him.” (Gen. 18:10–19). God promises that he would make a great nation of Abraham, and that all of the nations through him would be blessed. Furthermore, those of Abraham’s house would keep the way of Jehovah.

Nehemiah refers to this same covenant in a prayer in Neh. 9:7–8: You are Yahweh the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, and found his heart faithful before you, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his seed, and have performed your words; for you are righteous.

After Abraham had come to the point of offering up his son by Sarah, Isaac, God spoke to him. And He said, “I have sworn by Myself,” declares Jehovah, “that on account of this thing you have done, and have not withheld your son, your only son, that blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the shore of the sea. And your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies. And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.” (Gen. 22:16–18). There would be a great number who would come from Abraham’s loins and that all of the nations would be blessed in him. This is the greatest promise, as it is a promise that Jesus Christ would come from Abraham.

...and the oath He swore to Isaac...

God also spoke to Isaac, and reconfirmed His oath to Abraham, that his descendants would be like the stars of the heavens, that God would give them a huge plot of land, and that al the nations would be blessed in his Seed, the Lord Jesus Christ.

And a famine was in the land besides the famine in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, to Gerar. And Jehovah appeared to him and said, “Do not go down into Egypt; stay in the land which I shall say to you. Reside in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your seed I will give all these lands. And I will cause to rise My oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will increase your seed like the stars of the heavens, and I will give to your seed all these lands. And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves in your Seed, because Abraham listened to My voice and heeded My charge, My commands, My statutes, and My laws.” And Isaac lived in Gerar (Gen. 26:1–7).

...(He confirmed with to Jacob as a decree...

God promises Jacob that his descendants would be as the dust of the earth and that they would go in all directions, and that all of the world would be blessed in Jacob and in his Seed, Jesus Christ. God also promises to bring Jacob back to the land. That is an important addition to the Abrahamic covenant. God would later move Jacob’s family to Egypt, and bring them back into the land 400 years later. God will also distribute the Jews throughout the world and then bring them back to the land of Canaan.

And he dreamed. And, behold, a ladder was placed on the earth, its top reaching to the heavens. And, behold, the angels of God were going up and going down on it! And, behold, Jehovah stood above it and said, “I am Jehovah the God of your father Abraham, and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying, I will give it to you and to your seed. And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your Seed. And, behold, I will be with you and will guard you in every place in which you may go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not forsake you until I have surely done that which I have spoken to you” (Gen. 28:12–15).

...and to Israel as an eternal covenant):...

Here, we might take the sum of what God has said to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and consider those words to be God’s covenant to the nation Israel; or we can take the words from Ex. 19, where God tells Moses to tell Israel that, if they keep God’s covenant, they will become a special treasure to Him above all the nations; they will become a kingdom of priests to Him.

And Moses went up to God. And Jehovah called to him from the mountain, saying, “You shall say this to the house of Jacob, and tell it to the sons of Israel. You have seen what I did to Egypt; and I bore you on wings of eagles and brought you to Me. And now if listening you will listen to My voice, and will keep My covenant, you shall become a special treasure to Me above all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall become a kingdom of priests for Me, a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” And Moses came and called the elders of the people. And he put all these words before them which Jehovah commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, All which Jehovah has spoken we will do. And Moses brought back the words of the people to Jehovah (Ex. 19:3–8).

...saying, “I will give you the land of Canaan as your allotted inheritance.”

In God speaking to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the land of Canaan was spoken of as their inheritance several times. However, bear in mind, this is not the only part of God’s covenant to them, but it might be taken in this psalm as representative of all of God’s promises to Israel.

The primary covenant was made with Abraham; that made to his son and grandson merely confirmed the Abrahamic covenant. For this reason, we do not have an Isaacic or a Jacobic covenant.

This was a point which Stephen made in Acts 7: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, 'Get out of your land, and from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.' Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when he still had no child (Acts 7:2b–5). He was making a point based upon this promise of God.

The writer of Hebrews summed this covenant up on a later date, emphasizing the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out to the place which he was to receive for an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he went. By faith, he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith, even Sarah herself received power to conceive, and she bore a child when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised. Therefore as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as innumerable as the sand which is by the sea shore, were fathered by one man, and him as good as dead. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and embraced them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking after a country of their own. If indeed they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had enough time to return. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith, Abraham, being tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had gladly received the promises was offering up his one and only son; even he to whom it was said, "In Isaac will your seed be called;" accounting that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Figuratively speaking, he also did receive him back from the dead. By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. By faith, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff (Heb. 11:8–21).

One of the points I have made earlier is, God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are real promises made to real people and their descendants. The ideal place for God to revoke, rework or re-explain this promise would have been the book of Hebrews. However, the writers of Scripture, from the book of Genesis even to the book of Hebrews, speak of a promise made to a specific set of people and to their progeny.

In fact, the writer of Hebrews, to some extent, argues that we ought to trust God, and cites God’s promise to Abraham and his seed as a reason why: For God is not unrighteous, so as to forget your work and the labor of love which you showed toward his name, in that you served the saints, and still do serve them. We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, that you won't be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he swore by himself, saying, "Most surely I will bless you, and I will surely multiply you." Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by a greater one, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil; where as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 6:10–20). If God’s promises to Abraham were somehow spiritualized away, then these words of the writer of Hebrews would ring quite hollow.

I now it may seem as if I am beating a dead horse here about the incorrect notions of Covenant Theology. If you are tired of hearing that, just recognize that, when God makes a promise, then His character and essence demand that He stand behind the promise. God has given hundreds of promises to us—Church Age believers—in Scripture; so we are allowed to take a hold of them and hold God to them.

And let us close this out with a very apropos prayer of the writer of Hebrews: Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, our Lord Jesus, make you complete in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen (Heb. 13:20–21).


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...to say “To you, I give a land of Canaan a portion of your inheritance.”

Psalm

105:11

...saying “To you, I will give the land of Canaan [as] your inherited territory;”...

...saying to you, “I will give you the land of Canaan as your appropriate possession;”...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...to say “To you, I give a land of Canaan a portion of your inheritance.”

Septuagint                              ...saying To you will I give the land of Chanaan, the line of your inheritance:...

 

Significant differences:           I do not know the meaning of the Greek word rendered line by Brenton. That is the only possible difference between the Greek and Hebrew. The Latin is identical to the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...when he said, "I'll give you the land of Canaan."

Good News Bible (TEV)         "I will give you the land of Canaan," he said. "It will be your own possession."

The Message                         Namely, "I give you the land. Canaan is your hill-country inheritance."

New Jerusalem Bible             ...saying, ‘To you I give a land,

Canaan, your allotted birthright.’

New Living Testament           “I will give you the land of Canaan

as your special possession.”

Revised English Bible            ‘I shall give you the land of Canaan’, he said,

‘as your allotted holding.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Saying, To you will I give the land of Canaan, the measured line of your heritage:...

Easy English (Churchyard)    He said, "I will give to you (Jacob) the land of Canaan.

It will belong to you, (people of Israel).

God’s Word                         ...by saying, "I will give you the land of Canaan. It is your share of the inheritance."

HCSB                                     "I will give the land of Canaan to you as your inherited portion."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     ...saying, To you I will give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;...

Young’s Updated LT             Saying, “To you I give the land of Canaan, The portion of your inheritance.”


What is the gist of this verse? A portion of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was to give to them the land of Canaan.


Psalm 105:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâthan (ן ַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

Kena׳an (ן -ע-נ) [pronounced keNAH-ģahn]

which possibly means merchant and is transliterated Canaan

masculine proper noun; territory

Strong’s #3667 BDB #488


Translation: ...saying “To you, I will give the land of Canaan... I have listed the promises in the previous verse which God delivered to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This, in the psalms, is a representative promise of all those given to Abraham, but it is stated specifically in Gen. 17:8. Furthermore, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are continually associated with the land of Canaan throughout the book of Genesis.


Psalm 105:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

chebel (לבח) [pronounced KHEB-vel]

rope, cord, bands; a measuring rope; a territory, lot, portion; a group [of things]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2256 BDB #286

We find this word translated in the KJV as region, country, lot, cord, territory, portion, line, sorrow, rope, bands, tacklings, destruction, coast. Chebel occurs fewer than sixty times and is given twelve different translations. That this refers to a cord or a rope is undeniable in Joshua 2:15 Jer. 38:6 (in both cases, men are lowered with a rope). It is used for the rope or cord which is used to drag a stone (2Sam. 17:13); the rope or cord for a tent (Isa. 33:20); and a rope used to bind (Esther 1:6 Job 40:25 Ezek 27:24). Chebel is used for a measuring rope or a measuring line (2Sam. 8:2 Zech. 2:5). Therefore, this word can figuratively be used for a portion or lot of land which has been measured out (1Kings 4:13 1Chron. 16:18). Then we have the vêyth preposition and the word chebel (ל ב ח) [pronounced KHEB-vel ], and it means cord, territory, band; actually, this has been given a myriad of renderings, but the idea is that this is a rope or cord, but it can also refer to that which has been roped off or allotted to. Since chebvel generally refers to a rope or a band which ties things together, it can also be used less literally for a group of things. In 1Sam. 10:5, it refers to a group of or a band of.

nachălâh (ה ָל ֲחַנ) [pronounced nah-khuh-LAW]

inheritance, possession, property, heritage

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5159 BDB #635


Translation: ...[as] your inherited territory;”... This is a very specific portion of land which has been set aside for Israel. It is not clear to me whether to you should be a part of the quotation or not. However, it appears to be a part of the verb to give rather than the verb to say.


Many people are covenant theologians today because they have studied a few proof texts, settled the issue in their mind, and they ignore most of the Old Testament. They either don’t study it or the few times they find themselves in the Old Testament, they gloss over the repeated promises of God to Israel. And Yehowah appeared to Abraham and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” (Gen. 12:7a). And Yehowah said to Abram, afer Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all of the land which you see, I will give that land to you and to your descendants forver.” (Gen. 13:14–15). On the day Yehowah made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have give this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Gen. 15:18). Then Yehowah spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land of Canaan, this is the land what will fall to you as an inheritance.” (Num. 34:1–2a). These promises are pretty specific and they have never been completely fulfilled. If you are a covenant theologian, then you believe that God is lying to Abraham right here, or, at the very least, misrepresenting just what is really being promised to who. God has told Abraham about a particular piece of real estate and He has told Abraham that his descendants will have this land. Covenant theologians think that all of this gets spiritualized. A real estate agent does not help a buyer to sign an earnest money contract for a particular piece of property, and then consummate the deal by closing with another buyer on another piece of property. If I made a deal like this as a real estate agent, I would lose my license. However, God can be trusted—God will give this piece of real estate to the seed of Abraham. God will secure the property on their behalf in the Tribulation and it will be theirs in the Millennium. Those who will occupy this land will not be the Jews of all past and future generations, but they will be the Israelites who will come out of the Tribulation and they will not live in some spiritualized promised land but they will live in the area stretched out between the Euphrates River and the Nile. For those of you who have been to the holy land or have seen pictures, you might be thinking that even as a gift, this is not that great of a deal; and I would tend to agree with you completely. However, in the Millennium, the desert will bloom like a crocus. And He has cast the lot for them and His hand has divided it to them by line and they will possess it forever, from generation to generation, they will dwell in it. The wilderness and the desert will be glad. And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom like the crocus. It will blossom profusely and rejoice with the rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of Yehowah, the majesty of our God.” (Isa. 34:17–35:2).

 

Matthew Henry writes: The patriarchs had a right to it, not by providence, but by promise; and their seed should be put in possession of it, not by the common ways of settling nations, but by miracles; God will give it to them himself, as it were with his own hand; it shall be given to them as their lot which God assigns them and measures out to them, as the lot of their inheritance, a sure title, by virtue of their birth; it shall come to them by descent, not by purchase, by the favour of God, and not any merit of their own. Heaven is the inheritance we have obtained (Eph. 1:11—in Christ also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will). And this is the promise which God has promised us (as Canaan was the promise he promised them), even eternal life (1John 2:25—This is the promise which he promised us, the eternal life; Titus 1:2—in hope of eternal life, which God, who can't lie, promised before eternal times). Footnote

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown tie these promises to the remainder of this psalm: Out of the whole storehouse of the promises of God, only one is prominently brought forward, namely, that concerning the possession of Canaan [Psalm 105:11]. Everything revolves around this. The wonders and judgments have all for their ultimate design the fulfilment of this promise. Footnote The promises of God will be fulfilled, and His dealings with the people of Israel bear this out.


This reminds me somewhat of the concept of Manifest Destiny, the belief expressed in the mid-1800's, that the United States would eventually stretch from sea to sea. This doctrine probably sped up the addition of lands west of the Mississippi River.


In their being men of a number as a few

and visitors in her.

Psalm

105:12

...when they were [but] a few men [there]

and visitors in it [the land].

...even though, at that time, they were but a few men

who temporarily lived in the land.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       In their being men of a number as a few

and visitors in her,...

Septuagint                              ...when they were few in number, very few, and sojourners in it.

 

Significant differences:           Even though there is a slight different in the way few is worded in the Greek and the Hebrew, there do not appear to be any significant differences between the languages.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       At the time there were only a few of us, and we were homeless.

Good News Bible (TEV)         God's people were few in number, strangers in the land of Canaan.

The Message                         When they didn't count for much, a mere handful, and strangers at that,...

New Jerusalem Bible             When they were insignificant in numbers,

a handful of strangers in the land.

New Living Testament           He said this when they were few in number,

a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Easy English (Churchyard)    Once, there was only a small number of them (the people of Israel).

(There were) only a few of them and they were nomads (in Canaan).

God’s Word                         While the people of Israel were few in number, a small group of foreigners living in that land,...

HCSB                                     When they were few in number, very few indeed, and temporary residents in Canaan,...

JPS (Tanakh)                         They were then few in number,

a mere handful, sojourning there,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     ...when they were a few men of number; very few, and aliens in it.

NRSV                                     When they were few in number,

of little account, and strangers in it,...

WEB                                      When they were but a few men in number, Yes, very few, and foreigners in it.

Young's Literal Translation     In their being few in number, But a few, and sojourners in it.


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist points out that these promises were made to Israel when there were only a handful of them living in the land of Canaan.


Psalm 105:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

math (תַמ) [pronounced math]

male, man, male offspring; few men however, there is not an emphasis here upon sex or gender

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #4962 BDB #607

miçephâr (רָ ׃ס ̣מ) [pronounced mise-FAWR

number, counted, numerical total; a recounting, a narration

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4557 BDB #708

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

me׳aţ (טַע ׃מ) [pronounced me-ĢAHT]

a little, fewness, few

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4592 BDB #589

Together, the kaph preposition and me׳aţ mean nearly, almost, within a little, shortly, quickly, suddenly, scarcely, very little.


Translation: ...when they were [but] a few men [there]... In the Aramaic and the Syriac, this reads: in your being men of number as few. Footnote It also reads that way in the 1Chronicals passage; under those circumstances, the quote from v. 11 would have extended into v. 12.


Their smallness in number has been noted several times in Scripture. When Simeon and Levi reacted incorrectly to the rape of their sister, their father Jacob told them: “You have brought trouble upon me, by making me odious among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and my men, being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me and I will be destroyed, I and my household.” (Gen. 34:30b). Jacob’s obvious worry was, these Canaanites which Simeon and Levi riled, could completely annihilate Jacob’s family. When Jacob’s family moved to Egypt, they could be easily numbered. Moses said to the nation Israel in one of his last addresses: “Yehowah did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.” (Deut. 7:7; see also 26:5).


This psalm is being read during the moving of the Ark, after Canaan has been conquered and reasonably secured by the Israelites. David also, at this point in time, has taken over a major section of the land of Canaan, namely Jerusalem. So, like many people, whose view of history begins at their day of birth, these promises were taken for granted during David’s generation. They were born in the land of Canaan, which was ruled over, for the most part, by the Jews. The psalmist makes that point that God made these promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when there were only a handful of them in the land.


There is another point to be made here: we should not disparage the smallness of anything, if it is of God, the smallness is not an issue. A church may be small and it may remain so for its entire existence; however, if the pastor is teaching carefully the Word of God, even if it is to but a handful of people, that is all that matters. Some of the criticisms of Berachah Church, particularly in its early days, was that believers there sat on their hands and took in doctrine. This is because, the manifest wisdom of that day was, we ought to be working for God. We ought to be out doing something for God. Now, eventually, evangelists, missionaries and pastors came out of Berachah Church, but it did not happen overnight. Our faithfulness needs to be directed toward God; our service and our life, at times, may not seem like much is going on. However, we are not to judge our ministry and our lives by how large it is. Numbers mean little to God. Of course, there honorable believers in Jesus Christ who have huge ministries. One can’t help but think of Billy Graham and the millions of people whom he has reached; and he has led his life in an exemplary manner as well. I once heard someone try to put Billy Graham down, and the best he could come up with was, He owned some large dogs which stayed in his bedroom. Now, I don’t know if this is true, or if we are really speaking of 1, 2 or 3 dogs; but I wish my life showed this amount of faithfulness, that the worst someone could say about me is, “I think he owns big dogs.”


I’ve gone off track here. The point is was originally trying to make is, we have different sized ministries. For every Billy Graham, there are a ten thousand people like you and me. We may or may not come into contact with a lot of people. We may or may not have a flashy, prominent position. This is never the issue. God is not going to apportion out estate in the heavenly kingdom according to the number of people we lead to Christ. However, our rewards will be based upon what He has given us and what we do with it. You might be some old retired guy, saved after retirement, and the only person you come into contact with, outside of your church, is your unbelieving wife. She might be your entire ministry. You entire mission field might be this one person. Size is never the issue; your faithfulness is the issue.


Psalm 105:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gûwr (ר) [pronounced goor]

visitors, temporary residents, sojourners

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #1481 BDB #157

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88


Translation: ...and visitors in it [the land],... We have less appreciation for what historically occurred than we should. God took this small family, many of whom were not really the nicest people (as we studied in the latter half of Genesis), and He promised them, because of their ancestor Abraham, to give them this land in which they temporarily lived. The peoples of the land were big men, lawless and degenerate, and they outnumbered this small family of the descendants of Abraham by tens of thousands to one. On their own, there would have been no way for them to conquer and to possess the land. But it was God Who chose them to give the land to. Such a promise should have seemed utterly absurd, apart from the fact that it was from God. By faith, Abraham lived as an alien in the Land of Promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents temporarily, as did his son and grandson Isaac and Jacob, fellow-heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:9–10).


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God’s Protection of Israel


And so they walk [about] from a nation unto a nation,

from a kingdom unto a people another.

Psalm

105:13

Then they wandered from nation to nation,

from a kingdom to another people.

Then they walked about

from nation to nation,

from one kingdom to another.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so they walk [about] from a nation unto a nation,

from a kingdom unto a people another.

Septuagint                              And they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       We wandered from nation to nation, from one country to another.

Good News Bible (TEV)         They wandered from country to country, from one kingdom to another.

The Message                         Wandering from country to country, drifting from pillar to post,...

New Living Testament           They wandered back and forth between nations

from one kingdom to another.

Revised English Bible            ...roaming from nation to nation,

from one kingdom to another;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Easy English (Churchyard)    They moved from country to country, from one kingdom to another.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      ...wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,...

WEB                                      They went about from nation to nation, From one kingdom to another people.

Young's Literal Translation     And they go up and down, from nation unto nation, From a kingdom unto another people.


What is the gist of this verse? God moved Abraham, Isaac and Jacob about that general region. There were several groups of people who occupied the Land of Promise, and these few Jews moved freely among them.


Psalm 105:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk [up and down, about]; to wander, to prowl; to go for oneself, to go about, to live [walk] [in truth]; to flow

3rd person masculine plural, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

The Hithpael is the reflexive of the Piel. The Hithpael conveys the idea that one puts himself into the state or the action of the verb, which is an achieved state. Seow gives several uses: (1) Its primary use is reflexive—the verb describes action on or for oneself. That is, the subject of the verb is also the object of the verb. However, this does not completely convey the reflexive use, as there are examples where the verb takes on another object. These verbs are known as tolerative—the subject allows an action to affect himself or herself. (2) Reciprocal use: Occasionally, the Hithpael denotes reciprocity; that is, they worked with one another, they looked at one another. (3) The third use is known as iterative, which means that the Hithpael suggests repeated activity (he walked about, he walked to and fro, and turned back and forth). (4) The fourth use is known as estimative: the verb indicates how one shows himself or regards himself, whether in truth or by pretense (he pretended to be sick, they professed to be Jews). Footnote

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

gôwy (י) [pronounced GOH-ee]

people, nation

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

gôwy (י) [pronounced GOH-ee]

people, nation

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156


Translation: Then they wandered from nation to nation,... These 3 patriarchs did not wander about aimlessly; often God moved them from point A to point B. For Abraham in particular, God wanted him to walk about the land that He would give Abraham’s descendants.


Application: God does have a geographical will for us, and sometimes that requires us to move from one city to another, and often, from one state to another. God’s geographical will is not difficult to figure out, as long as you have some doctrine. Now, unlike Abraham, Isaac or Jacob, God is not going to come to you in a dream or in a theophany and point you in the right direction. Circumstances are going to guide you, and sometimes these are difficult circumstances. Some of the simple things are, you cannot find a job in your field, or you get fired from a job with little hope of being rehired in your area; and sometimes, the place of opportunity is half way across the United States. There was a lot of migration in the United States from east to west due to a variety of economic hardships. I personally moved from California to Texas for economic and vocational reasons; and in retrospect, it is clear, that was God’s geographical will for my life. However, there are a number of circumstances. You may, in some way or another, meet and fall in love with someone who lives in another place—if you get married, one of you has to move. A family member may suffer from a disease which requires some relocation in order to get treatment. Sometimes, a child goes off to school and ends up living and working in that general geographical area. As long as you have some doctrine, figuring out where God wants you to move is not going to be difficult. It could be as simple as, you visit another area, you like it, and you investigate moving there. On the other hand, this does not mean that you have all your personal belongings packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.


Application: Divine guidance in the Christian life is a fairly organic and natural process. All you have to do is, get your hour of doctrine everyday and stay filled with the Spirit and God will take care of the rest. That is all there is to divine guidance in the Church Age.


Psalm 105:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

mamelâkâh (ה ָכ ָל  ׃מ ַמ) [pronounced mahme-law-kaw]

kingdom, national government; sovereignty, dominion, reign, dynasty; used to refer to both the royal dignity and to the country of a king

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4467 BDB #575

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun in the construct form

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

achêr (ר̤ח-א) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, other as well as foreign, alien, strange

masculine singular adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29


Translation: ...from a kingdom to another people. In Canaan, there were a number of independent nations and peoples. Almost all of them were wholly degenerate, and some of them believed in and practiced child sacrifice, which marks the height of human degeneracy. They had not reached this level of degeneracy when Abraham was in the land, but by the time that Moses returned to the land of Canaan, these godless men had become animals.


Application: Degeneracy takes time. We see this in the radical Muslims, who went from being quite moral and legalistic (like the majority of Muslims in the US), to becoming radicalized to where a huge number of them would readily celebrate the martyr death of their son or daughter, at any age, and would willingly influence them in that direction. That is degeneracy. We had a recent incident in Boulder, Colorado, where speakers from Californian spoke to a high school there, and spoke about experimenting with sex (homosexual as well as heterosexual), experimenting with unprotected sex, and taking drugs—all during a required school assembly. 30 years ago, such a thing would have had almost every parent in that school district up in arms and calling for the heads of the principal and all those involved. At this point in time (2007, in the following school year), insofar as I know, all relevant school personnel are still employed. That is degeneracy. We have a huge number of institutions which allow minors to receive abortions without parental consent. There is a clinic associated with a junior high school which will distribute birth control pills to children as young as 11—without informing the parents—and yet the school nurse would not dole out a single aspirin without parental permission and provision. That is degeneracy. The United States has gone from being an extremely moral and noble nation on the whole (the World War II generation) to a very degenerate, self-centered set of generations (beginning with my generation on down to the present).


Application: Now, what we do have is a significant pivot. Footnote Whereas, you can go to almost any high school in the US and ask any random student, what do you owe your country, and that student will be either nonplussed or he will rail against such a notion; there are still those who understand the greatness of the United States and are willing to fight and die for our nation. It is this pivot of patriotism, and, far more importantly, the pivot of believers with doctrine in their souls, which preserves our nation. Jesus told His disciples “You are the salt of the earth;” meaning that, believers are the preservers of a nation, as salt is a preservative. God continues to bless our nation and one of the reasons is the pivot of mature believers.


The point here is that this small family did not even do what would have been expected. If God gave them this land, human viewpoint would say that they would have to remain in the land and to increase their population tremendously. Instead, the generations of the family of Abraham moved from place to place, finally leaving Canaan for Egypt, as Joseph ruled in Egypt. Most of Gen. 12 20:1 records the movements of Abram; Gen. 26 the movement of Isaac; and Jacob’s in Gen. 28 and 31. And God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve.” (Gen. 15:13–14a). This psalm is to be taken chronologically, then this verse takes in a wide window of history and the following verses amplify that view.


Since the psalmist refers to the moving around of the patriarchs from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another group of people, it might be somewhat instructive to see their movements.

Abraham’s Journeys

Scripture

Incident

Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife. They went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan. They came to Haran, and lived there (Gen. 11:31).

Abram and Lot were taken as an extended family from Ur to Haran. I don’t know that the exact route shown below is accurate, but it is certainly a reasonable approach.

Now Yahweh said to Abram, "Get out of your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you, and make your name great. You will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. In you will all of the families of the earth be blessed." So Abram went, as Yahweh had spoken to him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother's son, all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls who they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan. Into the land of Canaan they came. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. The Canaanite was then in the land. (Gen. 12:1–6).

God told Abram to leave his family and continue to move west into the land which God would give to him and his descendants. Abram settles in Shechem.


As above, the exact route is not stated in this passage, so the route shown on the map below is reasonable.

He left from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh, and called on the name of Yahweh. Abram traveled, going on still toward the Negev. There was a famine in the land. Abram went down into Egypt to live as a foreigner there, for the famine was sore in the land (Gen. 12:8–10).

Abram moves to Bethel and then down into Egypt.


Bethel is not shown on the map below, but it is roughly halfway between Shechem and Jerusalem. The Negev is the area south of the Promised land; it is the desert area between Egypt and Israel (roughly speaking)

Abram went up out of Egypt: he, his wife, all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negev. Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. He went on his journeys from the South even to Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on the name of Yahweh. (Gen. 13:1–4).

The Negev is the desert area between Egypt and the Land of Promise.


It appears as though Abram had been moved down to Egypt in order to test him.

Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan for himself. Lot traveled east, and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom (Gen. 13:10–12).

Sodom and Gomorrah are located near the southern tip of the Dead Sea. Lot chose this area to live in; while God promised Abraham a huge area would be given to him and to his descendants.

Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, "Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land which you see, I will give to you, and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your seed may also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to you." Abram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to Yahweh (Gen. 13:14–18).

This is an interesting passage. God tells Abram to walk through the land of Canaan, and Abram moves his tent to Hebron. It is unclear whether Abram walked throughout the land of Promise at this time. Other than the rescue mission named below, we do not hear of any specific movement of Abram for several chapters. Furthermore, we hear of his location by the oaks of Mamre in Gen. 13:18 14:13 18:1, which suggests no movement.

journey_abraham.jpg

 

An army led by a coalition of king took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their things, and went their way. They took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who lived in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. One who had escaped came and told Abram, the Hebrew. Now he lived by the oaks of Mamre, the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner; and these were allies of Abram. When Abram heard that his relative was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan (Gen. 14:11–14).

This is a fascinating passage, which follows the war between kings in Gen. 14:1–10. Abram apparently has developed some friends in his general area including, surprisingly, the Amorite.


This passage also includes what is called a gloss. There was no such thing as Dan for several hundred years, and the Dan which is spoken of is not established until the time of the Judges, when the tribe of Dan takes over a small area in northern Israel. So, at some point in time, someone changed the text here from whatever this area was called to Dan.


The red line in the map above between Hebron and Damascus is probably the route which Abram took. It is possible that, in this rescue, Abram saved a young man from Damascus, who is named Eliezer (Gen. 15:2).

Abraham traveled from there toward the land of the Negev, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in Gerar (Gen. 20:1).


Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days (Gen. 21:34).

If you compare the maps, Abram moved south-southeast. He apparently was well established in Hebron, so that when he moved to Gerar, he was in an area where we would now be considered an outsider.


Like Dan above, this may be a gloss. In Gen. 10;14, we find out who the Philistines are descended from and this verse does suggest that they were a force during the time of Abraham.

gerar1.jpg

 

It might be interesting to note that, this map to the left does not include all of the land given to Abraham’s descendants from God. The land mass goes from the river of Egypt (probably the Nile) all the way to the Euphrates River (Gen. 15:18). So, the large map above gives us a good idea as to how much land God will give to the Jews.

He said, "Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of" (Gen. 22:2).

Abraham was not moving here; this was the trip where Abraham offers up his own son to God as a shadow image of Jesus Christ.


It is suggested that this might refer to Golgotha in Jerusalem, which would suggest a 70 mile journey. Given that this journey took 3 days (Gen. 22:4), such a distance would be easy to cover, even through occasionally difficult terrain.

So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba (Gen. 22:19).

Abraham moved due east 20–30 miles.

Sarah died in Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron), in the land of Canaan (Gen. 23:2a).


Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre, the field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth. There was Abraham buried, with Sarah his wife (Gen. 25:9–10).

Nothing is said about Abraham and Sarah traveling back to Hebron; however, obviously they had to in order for Sarah to die there. It is unclear whether they lived there or were here on business (or pleasure). Hebron is due north from Beersheba 25–35 miles. The tenor of this chapter suggests that Abraham remained in this area after the death of Sarah, as he now owned land here. Furthermore, since Abraham is buried here with his wife, that suggests that he remained here in Hebron for the rest of his days.


An alternate opinion is, Abraham, Sarah and Isaac continued to live in the Negev, but Abraham purchased a burial cave in Hebron, where he and his wife were eventually laid to rest.


The reason that all of this sounds confused is, Isaac will apparently be living in the Negev and his mother’s tent will be there as well, as we see in the next doctrine.

Some of you have children, and you celebrate Christmas and birthdays. Now, if you have not completely spoiled or screwed up your children, one of the most pleasurable things for a parent is to give their children presents on these days, and then to sit back and watch them open up the presents and play with them. God did not simply promise to give Abraham and his progeny the land of Canaan; God also had Abraham walk through this land, to get a feel for it.

This first excellent map came from http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/abrajrfl.html (as you examine this doctrine, you may find it beneficial to open up this map in your browser for easy reference).

The second map comes from http://maps.google.com/ (Gerar)

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Abraham appeared to do most of the traveling, and God apparently did this to give him an idea as to the amount of land that his descendants would someday own.

I did not include Gen. 24 below where Abraham’s servant went up to Mesopotamia to fetch Isaac’s wife for him, as this is not really a trip made by any of the patriarchs.

The Movements of the Other Patriarchs

Scripture

Commentary

Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi. For he lived in the land of the Negev...Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. (Gen. 24:62, 67).


It happened after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac, his son. Isaac lived by Beer Lahai Roi (Gen. 25:11).

psalm105.gif

In Gen. 25:9–10, both Isaac and Ishmael will bury their father Abraham in Hebron. However, what appears to be the case is, Isaac has been living in the Negev, just outside of Beer Lahai Roi.


One explanation is, Isaac moved there possibly after his mother’s death but before his father’s death. He inherited the tent of his mother, which is spoken of in Gen. 24:67. This appears to be supported by Rebekah comforting Isaac after his mother’s death, spoken of in the same verse.


Another explanation is, Abraham and his family were living in the Negev, but Abraham chose to purchase a burial plot up in Hebron (however, Sarah is said to have died there in Hebron).


A third explanation is, Abraham had established a ranch in the Negev as well as in Hebron and Isaac oversaw the southern ranch (or Abraham retained or later established a second residence in Hebron). Abraham was a successful rancher, and establishing two areas of residence is not out of the question, whether that was commonly done in those days or not.

There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, to Gerar. Yahweh appeared to him, and said, "Don't go down into Egypt. Dwell in the land which I will tell you of. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you. For to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and will give to your seed all these lands. In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." Isaac lived in Gerar (Gen. 26:1–6).

There was a famine in the Negev, and Isaac was tempted to take his family (which now included his two sons, Jacob and Esau) down to Egypt. However, God told him to remain in the Negev, so he settled in Gerar, a Philistine city.

Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year one hundred times what he planted. Yahweh blessed him. The man grew great, and grew more and more until he became very great. He had possessions of flocks, possessions of herds, and a great household. The Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped, and filled with earth. Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go from us, for you are much mightier than we." Isaac departed from there, encamped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there Gen. 26:12–17).

Isaac was greatly blessed, and apparently became one of the most powerful men in the city of Gerar. For this reason, the Philistines harass him and their king finally asks Isaac to move. He did move from the city of Gerar to the Valley of Gerar, which I would assume is relatively close.

Isaac went up from there to Beersheba (Gen. 26:23).

This was because Isaac continued to have problems with the Philistines and he disputed with them over water rights.

Isaac called Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, "You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Paddan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father. Take a wife from there from the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother” [So] Isaac sent Jacob away. He went to Paddan Aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, Rebekah's brother, Jacob's and Esau's mother...Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran (Gen. 28:1, 2, 5, 10).

What had happened was, Esau married 2 Hittite women, which had given his mother, Rebekah, no end grief. Paddan Aram is north-northeast from Beersheba, around the Euphrates River. It can be found on the large map in the previous doctrine. Jacob will remain there for 20 years or so (Gen. 31:38), and his mother will die in the meantime.


Haran is a city in Paddan Aram. Jacob went there by way of Bethel, according to Gen. 28:11–19.

Yahweh said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers, and to your relatives, and I will be with you." Jacob fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead (Gen. 31:3, 21).

Jacob worked for his Uncle Laban for 14 years, to secure the hands of Leah and Rachel, Laban’s daughters. He continued to work for Laban while 11 of his sons and at least 1 daughter were born to him by 4 different mothers.


Jacob leaves Laban surreptitiously and Laban chases and catches up to him at Galeed, also called Mizpah (Gen. 31:48–49). After their disputes are resolved, Jacob continues toward the Land of Promise, angels of God speaking to him in Mahanaim (Gen. 32:1–2).


Jacob seems to be traveling along the east side of the Dead Sea, as he sends messengers ahead into Edom to speak with Esau, whom he still fears (Gen. 32:3–8). Jacob also prays to God about this in Gen. 32:9–12.


Then Jacob appears to either travel as far south as Seir; or, he and Esau met at the northeast corner of the Dead Sea, both traveling a fair distance to get there (Gen. 33:14).

So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his cattle. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city (Gen. 33:16–18).

Jacob and Esau settled their differences, and Jacob then settled in Shechem. Succoth and Shechem are near one another, close enough for Jacob to build a permanent residence in one, but set up a ranch in another. It is possible that Jacob settled for a few years in Succoth and then moved to Shechem, after getting a feel for the general area.


It is also possible that, Succoth is simply an area on the outskirts of Shechem, named by Jacob, even though the map below designates them as different cities.

shechem,succoth.jpg

 

Shechem and Succoth are both in the center of this map and this indicates that Jacob most have gone far south first, to settle things with his twin brother Esau, and then he went up north to Shechem. This opens up a whole host of problems for me. If Jacob had gone down to Seir, then he was relatively close to his father, Isaac, yet he moves northward. I did suggest that he and Esau met partway to Seir. In Shechem, Jacob is within traveling distance of his father, but he is still quite a distance away. It is unclear why he did not return to his father. However, bear in mind, that he has lived away from home for more than 20 years. I am at a point in my life where I could return to the area where I was raised; however, I believe that God has placed me here where I presently live.

God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel, and live there. Make there an altar to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother." Then Jacob said to his household, and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, change your garments. Let us arise, and go up to Bethel. I will make there an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went." They gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. They traveled: and a terror of God was on the cities that were round about them, and they didn't pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan (the same is Bethel), he and all the people who were with him (Gen. 35:1–6).

Two sons of Jacob, Levi and Simeon, killed a number of men in the Shechem area to avenge their sister, who had been raped. This made moving from there a viable option for the family of Jacob.


Bethel is almost 30 miles due south of Shechem.

They traveled from Bethel. There was still some distance to come to Ephrath, and Rachel travailed. She had hard labor. It happened that, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid, for now you will have another son." It happened, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni, but his father named him Benjamin. Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath (the same is Bethlehem) (Gen. 35:16–19).

We do not seem to have a reason for this move. It is not clear that God has told Jacob to move; and the death of his mother’s nurse may have been related to why Jacob and family moved (see Gen. 35:8), as she would have been like a mother to Jacob. We are told in this same passage that Rachel’s nurse was buried below Bethel

There is some movement in this general north-south line, which includes Succoth, Bethel, Bethlehem, Hebron and Beersheba.


Isaac seems to have settled in Beersheba (Gen. 26:23), although 20 or more years have passed since he moved there.


When Jacob returns with his family, he first goes to Succoth and then the Shechem (recall, we do not know the exact relationship between these two places) (Gen. 33:16–18).


After the rape incident in Shechem, God tells Jacob to move south to Bethel to live (Gen. 35:1).


Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah, is buried below Bethel (Gen. 35:8). This may be here by way of information.


Then Jacob moves southward, and his wife Rachel, gives birth to their second son, and dies during childbirth. She is buried in Bethlehem. Gen. 35:16–19.


This brings us to Jacob’s next move.

bethel,hebron2.jpg

 

Jacob came to Isaac his father, to Mamre, to Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac lived as foreigners. The days of Isaac were one hundred eighty years. Isaac gave up the spirit, and died, and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. Esau and Jacob, his sons, buried him (Gen. 35:27–29).

What appears to be the case is, Isaac had moved a little north to Hebron, and that his sons came there to see him near the end of his life. It is possible that they went there at his death.

The final move is a series of events set into motion by a number of sins, including favoritism and jealousy. Jacob clearly favors his last son, Joseph, born to him by Rachel before she died. His brothers are jealous of this and jealous of Joseph’s dreams, which seem to indicate a closer relationship to their God.


Joseph eventually is sold into slavery to Egyptian royalty, which is the result of a long series of events, where he is sold and resold as a slave. Gen. 37


Joseph, through some unusual circumstances, rises to a very high position in Egypt, the 2nd or 3rd in command. This is partially due to his correct interpretation of the dream of the Pharaoh, which predicted 7 years of prosperity followed by 7 years of depression. Because of this, Egypt made plans to deal with the 7 years of want by setting into storage many years supply of grain. They had enough grain to sell to surrounding lands. Jacob and the rest of his family came under hardship, due to this lack of rain, and finally, he sent his sons down to Egypt to buy grain. All of this resulted in Jacob and his entire family moving down to Egypt, where the people of Israel would multiply greatly and reside for the next 400 years. Gen. 39–50

When I was first saved, I did not have any interest in where this or that city was. However, as I examine these passages in greater detail, I get interested in why this person moves to one city, and how this relates to the others in his life who live in other cities. I don’t know if there is any spiritual growth involved here; it is simply an area of interest to me. When I go to a new city, I like getting maps of the city and just get a feel for how it is set up.

The first map was taken from http://www.bible.org/assets/netbible/ot2.jpg

The second map came from E-sword, their graphics viewer: 018a The Land of Canaan Abraham to Moses.

The third map is Map 021a Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from E-sword.


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Believers in the Church Age have a heavenly hope, which Jesus took time to explain with very little detail from time to time. I can pretty much reassure you that we are not going to be angles sitting on clouds with harps in our hands, singing hymns throughout all eternity. We are made in the image of God, and we have characteristics which parallel His. One of the characteristics which is a part of almost every person is creativity. Now, this creativity may simply be the person who takes a messy house and straightens it out; or a person who plans and landscapes their yard; someone who creates a form for their company; someone who paints; but we all have a creative aspect to our personalities which must come out. If you went to a paint store to buy paint for your house, and they only had 15 color choices, you’d go somewhere else. Women, in particular, are going to choose a specific color combination for specific areas. It is their innate nature. Behind the scenes, you have those who create these different colors and a variety of paint finishes—it is all a part of man’s creative process. If we weren’t creative, every hardware store, garden store, and home supply store would go out of business overnight.


For me, I enjoy writing; however, I also enjoyed laying out the floor plan for my house and then working on the plans from room to room. When I taught school, I enjoyed developing my own worksheets, tests and course outlines. We all have this innate desire to create, and God not only allows us to be creative during our time here on earth, but there is not reason to think that He will stifle this desire in eternity. Think back to God creating Adam, and what God did next. He brought the animals to Adam to see what he would name them. That is a creative process; this is like the parent giving his child blocks or some creative toy, and then sitting back and watching the child make something of it.


All of this comes from God’s creative nature, which is indeed phenomenal. The human body is made up of so many different systems which are in harmony with one another; and a variety of organs which interact, which have a variety of functions. You can take a young child, and begin to explain some of the functions of his own body to him (the breathing in of oxygen and the blood distributing this oxygen throughout), and the child can understand some of the fundamentals of the human body. Then, every single year after that, you can explain in greater detail, the systems of our own bodies, and even if someone is in school for 50 years, there will still be more to learn about the function of the human body. We are wonderfully made. God is a creative Being. No man or group of men will every be able to completely plumb the depths of the human body, because God created our bodies with such masterful detail and such interdependence, that it is impossible to fully comprehend all that He has done.


What is more amazing is, God took 3 fundamental building blocks—protons, neurons and electrons—and built from these an entire universe with great complexity and interdependence. God has taken things so small that we cannot, with all of our science, isolate and photograph, because they are so small—and yet, God can build from these infinitesimally small building blocks, things which are too large for us to even imagine. We do not fully appreciate even the size of the earth; let alone the size of Jupiter or the Sun. And God created all of this from the smallest building blocks (which, apparently, are made up of even smaller building blocks).


I have gone pretty far afield here—from Abraham’s travels through the Land of Promise to man’s creative being, but I am fairly sure that there was some straight line of tangents in there somewhere. Footnote Back to the main action: God not only brought Abraham and his sons through the land of Canaan on several occasions, but God kept them safe as well.


He did not permit a man to oppress them,

and so He rebuked upon them kings.

Psalm

105:14

He did not permit anyone [lit., a man] to oppress {or, exploit] them.

He reproved kings on their account,...

He did not permit anyone to oppress or exploit them.

In fact, He even disciplined kings for their sakes,...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       He did not permit a man to oppress them,

and so He rebuked upon them kings.

Septuagint                              He suffered no man to wrong them; and he rebuked kings for their sakes:...

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       God did not let anyone mistreat our people. Instead he protected us by punishing rulers...

Good News Bible (TEV)         But God let no one oppress them; to protect them, he warned the kings:...

The Message                         He permitted no one to abuse them. He told kings to keep their hands off:...

New Jerusalem Bible             he allowed no one to oppress them;

for their sake he instructed kings,...

New Living Testament           Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.

He warned kings on their behalf.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             He would not let anyone do them wrong; he even kept back kings because of them,...

Easy English (Churchyard)    (The LORD) did not let anyone hurt them.

He was angry with kings and gave help to (his people).

God’s Word                         He didn't permit anyone to oppress them. He warned kings about them:...

JPS (Tanakh)                         He allowed no one to oppress them,

He reproved kings on their account,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                He allowed no man to do them wrong; in fact, He reproved kings for their sakes,... [Gen. 12:17 20:3–7]

New King James Version       He permitted no one to do them wrong;

Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,...

WEB                                      He allowed no one to do them wrong. Yes, he reproved kings for their sakes,...

Young's Updated LT              He did not allow any to oppress them And He reproves kings for their sakes.


What is the gist of this verse? God did not allow anyone to oppress the patriarchs or their families as they moved about the land of Canaan; in fact, on some occasions, God even reproved kings on their behalf.


Psalm 105:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

nûwach (ַחנ) [pronounced NOO-ahkh]

to deposit, to set down; to cause to rest [to set down]; to let remain, to leave; to depart from; to abandon; to permit

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #5117 (and #3240) BDB #628

âdâm (ם ָד ָא) [pronounced aw-DAWM]

a man, a human being, mankind, Adam

masculine singular noun

Strong's #120 BDB #9

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âshaq (ק ַש ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SHAHK]

to exploit, to oppress, to wrong, to extort

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #6231 BDB #798


Translation: He did not permit anyone [lit., a man] to oppress [or, exploit] them. Here we have a small, but very successful family: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There are several passages which indicate their level of success (one which stands out to me is the gift which Jacob gave to Esau, which was an extravagant herd of animals). Now, with this small but very successful family, one might expect that there would be jealousy, particularly from those who have lived in Canaan all of their lives, and that there might even be an attack against Abraham to seize all that he had. However, God saw to it that Abraham had complete freedom of movement. When God wanted Abraham to move from point A to point B, God made certain that points A and B were safe, as well as all points in between.


Psalm 105:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâkach (חַכָי) [pronounced yaw-KAHK]

when there is no dispute involved, this word means: it means to correct [with punishment], to rebuke, to refute, to reprove; to punish

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3198 BDB #406

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

When not showing a physical relationship between two things, ׳al can take on a whole host of new meanings: on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, besides, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by on to, towards, to, against, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to. It is one of the most versatile prepositions in Scripture. This word often follows particular verbs. In the English, we have helping verbs; in the Hebrew, there are helping prepositions.

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: He reproved kings on their account,... During the times that the Patriarchs were moving about, God saw to their safety; God protected them from hostile peoples and vicious kings. Jacob and his family were given safety from hostile peoples: As they journeyed, there was a terror of God upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob (Gen. 35:5). But Yehowah struck down Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife (Gen. 12:17; see also 20:1–17).


By the way, if you read through these incidents involving Abraham (and Isaac, if memory serves) and these various rulers, you’ll find that these rulers were often very moral and had a clear sense of right and wrong. It was not a matter of, Abraham being perfect and some local ruler being completely out of line; but often, Abraham made mistakes, and God still protected him.


Application: What God does on our behalf is pretty amazing. We actually see very little of it. When it comes to demonic attacks, we do not see any of what God does in that regard. When it comes to attacks by individuals, sometimes we see God’s protection and sometimes we don’t. Almost everywhere I worked, I ran into those who were hostile toward me, with the exception of two jobs which come to mind. God ran interference, God provided for me, and I always had more work offered to me than I could ever possibly do. If you can make peace, then obviously, make peace; however, if you work with those whose minds are set, then you do your work as unto God, and you let God handle the rest. And, in every one of these circumstances, even if I got fired, God always moved me to better circumstances.


Application: As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are hated by Satan and his legions; and there are believers and unbelievers out in the world who hate you as well. I knew one person who carried a grudge against me for at least a decade if not more, and without a reason. Things could have been worse than they were, since I worked with this person, but God even ran interference on my behalf for a number of years. My point in saying this is, God does the same for you. You may or may not be aware of the people who are out there who despise you. I knew about this person and there was not a thing in the world I could do about it; I made several attempts to establish peace between us, but to no avail. Now, of course, you could be an obnoxious individual who tends to infuriate those who are around you, but, if you are somewhat normal, and you try to get along with those around you, there are still going to be those who despise you. There is very little that you can do about that. However, what you can do is allow God to run interference for you, as He did for Abraham.


Abraham continually ran into those who were more powerful than him, even kings who had soldiers and servants at their beck and call. What Abraham had by way of material prosperity was impressive, and no doubt desired by many in his periphery. However, God protected Abraham, just as God protects us. It is even worthwhile to note that God protected Abraham’s stuff as well.


I don’t want you to misinterpret this. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had problems; they all faced difficulties. They had disagreements about property rights, water rights, employment compensation, etc. They were dealt with unfairly, they were cheated, and many envied what they had. It was clear to Satan that God was working His plan through this family, and Satan did whatever he could to disrupt their lives; yet, God not only protected the patriarchs, but He prospered them as well.


The next verse tells us more about God’s protection of Abraham.


You will not touch in My anointed ones

and to My prophets, you will not do evil.

Psalm

105:15

...[saying], “Do not touch My anointed ones

and do not harm [or, do evil to] My prophets.’

...saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones and do not cause harm to My prophets.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       You will not touch in My anointed ones

and to My prophets, you will not do evil.

Septuagint                              ...Touch not my anointed ones; and do my prophets no harm.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...and telling them, "Don't touch my chosen leaders or harm my prophets!"

Good News Bible (TEV)         "Don't harm my chosen servants; do not touch my prophets."

New Living Testament           “Do not touch these people I have chosen,

and do not hurt my prophets.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Saying, Put not your hand on those who have been marked with my holy oil, and do my prophets no wrong.

Easy English (Churchyard)    He said, "Do not hurt my special servants.

Do not *harm my *prophets".

NET Bible®                             ...saying,[The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons] "Don't touch my chosen [Heb “anointed”] ones!

Don't harm my prophets!"


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

WEB                             "Don't touch my anointed ones! Do my prophets no harm!"

Young’s Updated LT             “Strike not against My anointed, And to My prophets do not evil.”


What is the gist of this verse? God protects those who are His own; particularly those who are fulfilling their place in the plan of God (in this case, prophets).


Psalm 105:15a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

al (ל-א) [pronounced al]

not; nothing; none

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39.

nâga׳ (ע ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHĢ]

to touch, to reach into; to violate, to injure; to come to a person; to strike

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5060 BDB #619

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Mâshîyach (-חי.שָמ) [pronounced maw-SHEE-ahkh]

anointed, anointed one, transliterated Messiah

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #4899 BDB #603


Translation: ...[saying], “Do not touch My anointed ones... This psalm moves from third person to first person when quoting God. I should clarify this; God did not necessarily say this verbally to anyone in particular and this is not recorded elsewhere in Scripture; however, the principle of this verse is true. This is inspired poetic license. That is, this was and is God’s policy, not formally stated until this psalm.


Application: In the Age of Israel, there were a very small percentage of believers who had the Holy Spirit who actually took part in God’s plan. The average believer stood on the side line and cheered, at best. However, we are all given the privilege of participating in God’s plan in the Church Age and we are all His anointed ones and His prophets. Now don’t get weird on me and take that literally and think that you need to go stand on a street corner and start predicting the future. This means that you have a definite part in God’s plan which is accomplished only through the filling of the Spirit and by the learning of God’s Word. When you begin to approach God’s plan for your life, particularly an execution of that plan as a mature, Spirit-filled believer, you come under God’s full protection. You may not know it, but there is evil which lurks behind every corner looking to get you and God has you under constant protection. Think about it: if He has a plan for your life, and all of it depends upon Him, then obviously God will make it possible for you to fulfill that plan.


The word used here—anointed ones—suggests to us how the Holy Spirit was involved with those used in God’s plan in the Old Testament. He anointed them; God the Holy Spirit smeared them or applied oil to them, so, in some way, they had the power of the Holy Spirit, but there appears to be the limitation that it could be taken away (as David prayed, “Take not Your Holy Spirit from me”). Apart from the Holy Spirit being removed from such a believer, I don’t know if there is much difference between the believer in the Old Testament anointed by God the Holy Spirit and the believer of the New Testament indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. The Pharaoh of Egypt, when struggling with his dream, remarked, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?" (Gen. 41:38). Obviously, Pharaoh is not the spiritual expert here; however, God the Holy Spirit allowed these words to be recorded in Scripture, to help us to understand those in the Old Testament who are anointed by the Holy Spirit.


Allow me one additional tangent here. We may not know God’s exact mechanics—i.e., just exactly what are the mechanics behind the filling of the Holy Spirit; however, all we need to know are our mechanics—what we do in order to attain the filling of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, we certainly do not understand all of the bodily functions involved with drinking a glass of water—we have a rough idea of what occurs, but not much more—but many of us know the physical benefits of drinking several glasses of water each day. So, I know that there is a cleansing process which is involved with drinking water; however, I may not be able specifically lay out the entire physical process involved, apart from it goes in one end and comes out the other, but I know that it is good for me.


And, as I move from tangent to tangent, let me add, there is nothing wrong with eating that which is best for our bodies. God did design our bodies to function well with vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as fibre. God has constructed for us an incredible, durable physical body, and feeding it intelligently is not anti-Christian. This does not mean that you need to push your diet upon anyone else (other than your children, who must learn to eat their vegetables), nor should we necessarily tie our meals to spirituality, apart from giving thanks to God for what He has given us. However, God was concerned with the actual diets of the Jews and He was fairly specific. Whereas, we are not under these dietary laws, this does not mean that we ought to live on a diet of chocolate and ice cream. It is called self-control, against which there is no law.


Psalm 105:15b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâbîy (אי̣בָנ) [pronounced nawb-VEE]

spokesman, speaker, prophet

masculine plural noun with the 1st person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #5030 BDB #611

al (ל-א) [pronounced al]

not; nothing; none

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39.

râ׳a׳ (ע ַע ָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAHĢ]

to make evil, to do evil, to do ill, to cause to do evil, to cause something injurious to be done, to do harm

2nd person masculine plural, singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #7489 BDB #949


Translation: ...and do not harm [or, do evil to] My prophets.” The use of the word prophet here indicates that God considered the Patriarchs to be prophets. Under the concept of developing revelation, they were not so referred to during the time that they recorded their own history in Genesis; however, since this psalm has a specific historical period which it covers, there is no reason to suppose that prophet here refers to anyone other than Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The one who bears God’s message or His Word is a prophet. This does not mean that they spent a substantial portion of their lives speaking about future events; a prophet simply communicates God’s message to man, which message may include prophecy, as God perceives all events outside of time. Furthermore, there is no indication that Abraham, Isaac or Jacob had extensive congregations or, for that matter, any sort of congregation. If anything, they communicated divine viewpoint to their families and servants, and they recorded God’s Word, which is the book of Genesis; and this qualifies them to be called prophets.

 

Gill: Abraham is expressly called a prophet in Gen. 20:7, and so were Isaac and Jacob; men to whom the Lord spoke familiarly in dreams and visions, as he used to do with prophets; and who taught and made known the mind and will of God to others, as well as foretold things to come; they being the Lord's servants, his prophets, they were revealed unto them (Num. 12:7). Footnote Wesley adds: God’s Anointed ones and My prophets, refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; who are called God's anointed, because they were consecrated to be his peculiar people, and to be kings and princes in their families. And they are called prophets, because God familiarly conversed with them and revealed his will to them, and by them to others. Footnote


Application: Do not be concerned about your impact as a believer. Be concerned about being filled with God the Holy Spirit and with learning doctrine. God will handle getting you to the right place at the right time and God will see to it that you have the opportunity to participate in the correct activities. Furthermore, do not be discouraged if what you do is small. God may have put you on this earth to come into contact with a half dozen specific people. God’s ministry with you may involve a handful of people. I don’t know anything about Lewis Sperry Chafer, for instance. I don’t know how many people that he taught during his tenure at Dallas Theological Seminary, but I am willing to wager that it was not very many. I am sure at the typical Billy Graham meeting, there are 100 times more people than Chafer taught in all the time he was at Dallas. The only student of his that I know of is R. B. Thieme Jr., who endeavored to essentially teach Chafer’s Systematic Theology to his congregation. In turn, Bob has had a profound affect on Christianity in the 20th and 21st centuries. You simply don’t know how large or how small the job is which God has for you. When it comes to numbers, numbers mean nothing. You may witness to a half dozen people in your lifetime and you may witness to that many people every day. Your ministry might extend to a handful of sick people or a handful of prisoners. The last thing that we need to worry about his the numbers. You do your work as unto the Lord, and God will bless and protect you. There is apparently some sort of scorecard, but it is related to God’s plan for our lives and the potential which He has set out before us.


Our verse reads: “Do not touch My anointed ones and do not cause harm to My prophets.” An Old Testament illustration of this verse is Isaac. You will recall that Isaac misrepresented his wife as his sister the to king in Gerar, in order to protect himself. At that time, Abimelech was the king of the Philistines and, and he was a relatively moral man. When he found out that Rebekah was the wife of Isaac, he upbraided Isaac for his deception, indicating that the Philistines viewed adultery as a terrible sin. Abimelech then decreed, “He who touches this man or his wife will be executed.” (Gen. 26:11b). This was the general order of business with the people of God in their travels. God saw to it that they remained protected.


Spurgeon Footnote makes a point, which I will restate: Here, and in Gen. 20:7, Abraham (and, by extension, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph) is called a prophet. A specific priesthood would be assigned to the Jews. Furthermore, Abraham was told that kings would come out of him (from his descendants). This gives us a threefold designation for the patriarchs and their descendants: prophets, priests and kings. This is the same threefold description which will be applied to our Lord, the Messiah (i.e., the Anointed One), future in time from the patriarchs and from this psalm.


By the way, in case you are not able to differentiate these terms in your mind, a prophet represents God to man, speaking God’s words to men; and a priest represents man to God, offering up to God that which gives us access to God.


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God’s Provisions for Israel in the Time of Joseph


And so He calls a famine upon the land;

every staff of bread He broke.

Psalm

105:16

He then summoned a famine over the land;

He broke into pieces every piece [lit., staff] of bread.

He called for a famine over the land and reduced the food supply to nothing.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so He calls a famine upon the land;

every staff of bread He broke.

Septuagint                              Moreover he called for a famine upon the land; he broke the whole support of bread.

 

Significant differences:           There appears to be no difference between the Greek and the Hebrew; however the construct before bread is somewhat difficult to understand.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       God kept crops from growing until food was scarce everywhere in the land.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD sent famine to their country and took away all their food.

The Message                         Then he called down a famine on the country, he broke every last blade of wheat.

New Living Testament           He called for a famine ion the land of Canaan,

cutting off its food supply.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he took away all food from the land, so that the people were without bread.

Easy English (Churchyard)    (The LORD) sent a famine to the land (of Canaan).

He destroyed all the food that they were storing.

God’s Word                         He brought famine to the land. He took away their food supply.

New International Version      He called down famine on the land