TAPE NO. 115.......By Ella Rose Mast
A MESSAGE FOR TODAY
(From the Ancient Psalms)
Over the years many facts have been lost pertaining to our Faith. Our Scripture tells us that this would happen. Older authors help us to find some of these truths. E.W. Bullinger in 1909 published his book.. 'Studies of the Psalms'. He believed that because of the translations of the Psalms in different versions of Scriptures, that people were missing some of the great meanings of words found there, and would not understand the use made of these great Psalms. Dr. Bullinger quoted Dr. Thirtle, who quoted the late Franz Delitzsch an earlier author as saying there were special words in the Titles of the Psalms for which the meanings had been lost, even as far back as the time when the Septuagint was written.
All agree however that these Titles formed a part of the Sacred Text, and were connected in some way with the use of these Psalms in the Tabernacle and Temple worship of the Israelites.
The Companion Bible used Dr. Thirtle’s key as they put together their translation of the Psalms. Dr. Thirtle believed that the reason for such poor translation is because those who go back in time for their evidence seldom go far enough back. He believes that you must leave the modern professors or interpreters and go on back to the oldest manuscripts, to the earliest Hebrew Bible available. In modern Hebrew the Psalms have been broken up while in the older Hebrew there is no break or space between the lines of the Psalms. As an example Dr. Thirtle calls attention to the 3rd., chapter of Habakkuk. In this Psalm you find the title proper:..'A Prayer of Habakkuk'..the Prophet..upon 'Shigionoth'..which means 'Crying Aloud'. You then find the Psalm proper in verse 2:19. At the end of this Psalm or prayer you find these words:..'To the chief singer on my stringed Instruments'. In the older version this read:...'To the chief musicians of Neginoth'...meaning Music.
In the King James Version this was found at the first of Psalms No.4., but it is actually the end of Psalm 3. Thus Psalms 3, 5, 53, 60, 66, and 75 and Habakkuk 3., are Music Psalms according to the Law. The word Neginoth is from the Hebrew meaning 'to strike', thus these are those for the stringed musical instruments which were used in the worship service of Israel.
The Ferrah Fenton Version of the Bible taken from the Hebrew and published first in 1903., has somewhat different interpretations of the Psalms which are very interesting. The attention to Race is more pronounced in this version..Psalm 80., 'Look down from heaven and see, and visit THY VINE, and the root that your right hand has planted, and the child you had reared for yourself.'
Dr. Bullinger in his research found that the Septuagint translators put all 24 Hallelujahs at the beginning of those Psalms. Thus different translators have guessed at Titles and placements over the years.
When a Psalm which had been written earlier in connection with a certain situation was handed over to the Superintendent of the Worship service it received a new status, and after that was associated with a new application for which it was peculiarly suited. This may have led to some of the differences in the translations. However it is sure that the Psalms were no mere collection of Poems, no, they were all designed and ordered for a special worship service. For conformation turn to II Chronicles 8:13-14., Solomon offered..according to the Commandments of Moses on the Sabbaths, and on the New Moons, and on the Solemn Feasts; three times a year, even in the feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of the Tabernacles. And he appointed according to the order of David, his father, the courses of the Priests and their services, and the Levites to their charges to Praise and ministers before the Priests as the duty of everyday required; the porters also by their courses at ever gate; for so had David, the man of God commanded.' If you need more conformation then turn to II Chronicles 23:19., and Ezra 3:10., as well as the Prophet Nehemiah, for all, many times inform us that the Psalms were ordained by David to be especially adapted for special occasions such as..for instance..when you find the word 'Shoshanim' meaning...lilies. Thus this would
signify that this Psalms is connected with the Spring festivals.
The two great Feasts were of course the Passover...where Lilies are used in a Spring festival. You find the Psalms then connected with the Israelites being brought of Egypt, and then dwelling in Booths which means they dwelt in a protected place. These Israelites thus had different Feasts called 'the Feasts of YAHWEH', and they were connected with HIM, and were to commemorate His acts, and were not merely for the people and their beliefs. Leviticus 23 calls them 'Feasts of YAHWEH'...vs. 2 and 5. The LORD'S Passover...commemorating His Redemption of Israel, and the making of a nation.
Exodus 15:13 and Deuteronomy 24:18 show a people redeemed...and this people YAHWEH kept them dwelling in booths...meaning surrounded by YAHWEH'S protective care. Why? Leviticus 23:43...so that 'Your generations (race) would know that...I made the Children of Israel to dwell in booths (confined and protected). And they dwelt in those booths for 40 years, and YAHWEH was their defense (Deuteronomy 8:2, 15, 16)..why? He did this so that He would see whether they could keep His commandments, but He also led His people, fed them, and brought water from the ROCK...a symbol of Himself, so that they would know they were to depend on HIM.
This safety of their dwelling in the Wilderness was then to become an observance of Israel's Tabernacle, and they were to then look forward to the settlement of HIS people in their own land. The Universal symbol of Spring is of course flowers, and of Autumn it is Fruit. The nation of Israel was thus symbolized as a 'Vine' again and again, and is also spoken of as a Lily. Just as you have the Rose as a symbol of England, and the Thistle as a symbol of Scotland, thus the Lily was the flower that represented Israel.
If you will look to the writings of Esdras (Ezra) it says:...'Oh! YAHWEH that bearest rule, of all the woods of earth, and of all the trees, thereof thou has chosen...ONE VINE..and of all the land of the world thou has chosen one country, and of all the flowers of the world...ONE LILY. And of all the depth of the sea thou has FILLED ONE RIVER (race), and of all builded cities, thou hast hallowed Zion (the Kingdom) unto thyself; and of all the fowls thou has created, thou has named thee ONE DOVE (Spirit), and of all the animals thou has provided ONE SHEEP, and among the multitude of people thou has gotten ONE PEOPLE. And unto this people whom thou lovest, thou gavest a LAW THAT IS APPROVED OF ALL. And now O Yahweh why hast thou given this ONE PEOPLE over unto many? (II Esdras 5:23-28).'
As you read of the 'knops and flowers (Exodus 26:31)...the pomegranates are described as 'globes' and in other places in scriptures we see the pomegranates used in decorating the Temple as well as Lilies. And the Bells on the High Priest's dress were the bell-like flowers of Exodus 28:33-34., and the Lily of the Vine thus were all used in connection with Israel.
The Hebrew Shekel at times had on one side a 'lamb' for Passover, and on the other side the 'wine bowl' for Tabernacle. The 1/2 Shekel had a triple Lily, and a Wine Bowl. About 130 B.C., Simon Maccabee had a silver shekel which carried on one side a cup, perhaps a pot of manna, or perhaps the symbol of Restoration as YAHSHUA would drink the cup. On the reverse was a flower, or perhaps the 'rod that budded.'
In the older Israelite cemeteries you constantly see the 7 branched Candlesticks with the Knops and flowers, or Lilies and Pomegranates, and sometimes a triple Lily. When you have 'Ears to Hear', the Lily on a tomb says:...'Here lies one of YAHWEH'S Redeemed.' And the Pomegranate says:..'Here lies one SAFE in YAHWEH'S keeping.' Thus the Lily symbolizes the Passover, and the Pomegranate the Tabernacle truth of Divine Preservation.
There are two Passover Psalms, and 3 Tabernacle Psalms and all are intensely Nationalistic. One is appropriate to the oppression in Egypt, the Divine Deliverance, and then YAHWEH'S Redemption. The word...ALALAMOTN relates to the Maidens choir, when over the proper Psalm the meaning becomes clear. And as you study the three Psalms in light of the true significance of the Feast, and the Tabernacle, you will see our People in YAHWEH'S keeping, and the appeals are to YAHWEH as Divine Keeper. The Hebrew word has a wider meaning then 'relating to'...the word is Gittith... and is to be recognized as THE WORD OF GOD.
There are two Psalms where another word is connected with the Shoshannim Psalms meaning Lilies, and connected with the Spring festival, and that word is Eduth, and it means YAHWEH'S Testimony to His people, or the whole Divine Revelation.
The word Shushan, or Shochannin, refer to the Spring Festival, and the word Eduth refers to some special testimony. If it were the Passover title it would only be the word Shochannin. It is thus associated with 'The Feast of Weeks', and it seems to have been forgotten that it was a miracle from YAHWEH that made them to dwell safely in the Wilderness. In modern times this Feast has become a meaningless thing, as a....Feast of the Jews. Then it became a commemoration of the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai. However YAHWEH'S redemption of Israel had two great objects..to bring them out of the land of Egypt, and to bring them into a land. For instance..Deuteronomy 6:23., 'He brought us out of thence, that he might bring us in.'
The 'Feast of Weeks' was 50 days from the Passover, actually the real conclusion of the Passover. Thus the 'Feast of Passover' commemorates the goodness of YAHWEH in bringing His people out of Egypt. And the 'Feast of Weeks' celebrated the goodness of YAHWEH IN BRINGING THEM INTO THE LAND. Now the 'Feast of Weeks' was not kept in the Wilderness. The Ordinance was: 'When you come into the land that I shall give you'. There were 5 special injunctions as to the observance of 'The Feast of Weeks'.
1. Thou shalt keep.
2. Thou shalt give.
3. Thou shalt rejoice.
4. Thou shalt obey.
5. Thou shalt observe.
There were two Psalms handed to the Chief Musician for Liturgical use. In both the people are already in the land, but enemies are there also, and their voice is like dogs, as to their noise and greediness. But YAHWEH is the defense of His people, and they give HIM praise for His deliverance. This Psalm concludes:..'I will sing of thy power; yea I will sing aloud of thy Mercy.' Psalms 79 is suited for the 'Feast of Weeks'...'We thy people, sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks forever.'
In Psalms 82., you read:..'Ye are Gods...Elohim, and all of you are children of the Most High.' Elohim...were also considered as earthly Judges, representing YAHWEH in Earth.
In the fourth Book of Psalms (91 on)...the message is rest for the earth is desired, then anticipated and then celebrated as YAHWEH'S throne is in the heavens, but His Kingdom is over all. Then as always our people, after finding rest, lost it, as they failed to value what YAHWEH had provided. But still they are a part of the coming Kingdom rule, THE COMING KINGDOM AND HIS RULE WHICH EMBRACES TODAY.
David in his Psalms outlines his belief, and trust, and confidence in YAHWEH and His work as YAHSHUA...which would surely come. 'Praise of these people whom He has chosen for His own Inheritance.' (Psalms 33:12) He then shows the contrast of the lawless and the Righteous, and the future blessings...for 'Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting.' Psalm 41:13.
Psalms 42 to 72 could be called the Exodus Book for they are mainly concerning Israel's ruin, her redemption by her Redeemer. As we then see, the Psalms represent the 'sin offering' the 'Burnt offering', and the 'Trespass offering', in fact all the Psalms were used for all the services of Israel. In the Psalms you learn of the Lawless One, the man of earth, the rebellious one which we call the Devil and Serpent. We also learn of this coming MAN...CHRIST JESUS..His mission on earth, and His deliverance of His people. Thus we have the story of the suffering, and the Glory of the Man...CHRIST JESUS, as the God of Israel as the Good Shepherd on earth, in death (John 10:11) and the Great Shepherd in Heaven by Resurrection, then the Chief Shepherd coming in Glory to earth, to Zion..the Kingdom...referred to in Psalm 22:22-30., and Psalm 24...as Messiah, is the chief Shepherd in Glory. All the Psalms of David we remember come from the man of God's choice.
In all the Psalms we also find the Yoke over God's people, and how it is to be broken:.....
'Blessed are all they who put their trust in HIM'.
All Blessings for (Adam) man is with subjection to, and occupation with, God's Law. This is the Tree of Life, and when in subjection to become like a well watered tree in the Paradise of YAHWEH.
As the man (Adam) rebelled against God, the ruin then could only be repaired by the Man Jesus the Christ, the seed of the Woman (Israel). The message of the great continuous battle between the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness ends with evil making war against He who sits on the White Horse (Revelation 12:12), and the Beast (World Order system), and the rulers of earth, and all their armies gather to make war on this God of Israel and his army. They are thus to be taken, and with him (Satan) also the False Prophet. Here then is the final judgment scene on earth. Then it will be said:..'The Son of Man'...David's greater son will then destroy him (the devil...the man of sin) who has had this power of death. David thus in his life time knew, he totally trusted and believed that YAHWEH would deliver Goliath into his hand. As you study the Psalms then the message is the same:...'All this assembly shall know, and the Righteous (those thinking right) shall see, and fear and laugh at him (Satan), who has fooled the people for so long.' Psalm 52. Some writers say in criticism that this is simply speaking of a Jew in high places, some think it a catch word of an older hymn, thus the misunderstanding goes on. The aim seems to be to 'degrade the WORD OF GOD, even with less respect than they bestow on other books.
When David wrote his Psalms and for special occasions handed them over to the Worship service of Israel, they became instructions for the people of God, for all times...yes even for today as we Praise HIM, and wait for developments in HIS 'Time Schedule'. As the Israelites for instance brought up the ARK, this being a very special occasion and it was accompanied with singing and dancing. This was a great celebration and of course it would be recorded in other parts of the Scripture as well. As we read of the great disasters which came to Israel as they chose an earthly king so as to be like those around them, that this was allowed for a purpose of education. David tells us that at his time in earth, it was as of a Night time, but the day would dawn, and HE..as the sun coming up to cover the whole earth...with HIS light, would bring promises. Isaiah the Prophet also spoke of this time:....'Behold a king shall rule in Judgment.' 32:1.
David refers to this Coming Day as being the complete fulfillment of God's unconditional Covenant made with HIM, as to his throne. And David's prayer (Psalm 72) ends with these words:.....(vs 18-20)
'Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel who only doeth wondrous things: And blessed be his Glorious name, and let the whole earth be filled for ever with His Glory.'
Yes, Psalm 21., may have been written for and in connection with David's Coronation, but like all the special Psalms of David, it also refers to David's GREATER SON...David's LORD. When handed over to the Chief Musician for use in the worship service, it assumes this new status, and a new application, and is for all YAHWEH'S people...for all times. This makes Psalm 21., Israel's National emblem, for while the enemies rule then there will be no Peace. We thus live as in dark places but we have a Divine prophecy that this great time will come when the Day Star rises, and God's people will take heed in their hearts.
In Psalm 45., in this Psalm of David, in verse 2...Children in Hebrew are sons, and men in Hebrew are Adamites. David is talking to his God, his Greater Son to come. In older versions our author tells us that Psalm 45-46 are somewhat mixed up. But in spite of the Higher critics, we have in our Hebrew Manuscripts and Bibles the same line for line as it was 2,500 plus years ago, because of the work to preserve, and the work of such men as Dr. Thirtle who refused to accept modern literary criticism. The Higher Critics did not want you to know the deeper meanings of these Psalms. The King and the Queen were symbols, not only of those times but also of a later time when Israel become the wife of YAHSHUA...who will stray no more. Thus David's troubles were very real to him, but they also had a much, much deeper meaning.
As you read of the mourning of the Dove which is found both in the writings of Hezekiah as well as David, this reference to the Dove tells us that this is the mourning with the spirit. As these Psalms were then handed over to the Chief Musician for the Israelite service, it then is also referring to the Messiah, to his betrayal by Judas of Iscariot, and it thus could fulfill a two fold application. Acts 11:30. For David was a Prophet, and he spoke of The Christ. Thus David's inspired words stand for all times, for the comfort and instructions of the people of YAHWEH.
You will remember that in the Wilderness wandering YAHWEH threatened to destroy the whole nation that Moses led (Exodus 32:10), and Moses prayed that YAHWEH WOULD NOT DESTROY His people, His inheritance, then David in his time did the same thing. Some of his Psalms were prophetic, referring to future times of trouble, even the 'Latter Days' spoken of in Deuteronomy 4:30. For in Asaph's days, Zion was not in the hands of the enemy. A day was also coming...'The Day of Jacob's Trouble' when the same appeal would be made to Divine Mercy:...'Destroy Not'.
Yes, David was a Prophet, and he spoke of Millennial Days, he spoke of the Resurrection, of The Christ. No one has suggested that all the Psalms were written after the Millennium, thus why cannot they refer to the future...to the Latter Days? They were Universal Psalms, carrying Psalms of humiliation, and appeals to the Mercy of their God, based on the Everlasting Covenant.
The Great Truth brought out in Psalm 3 is:...'I will not be afraid of 10,000's of people that have set themselves against me round about. Arise O YAHWEH, save me O My God, for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou has broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD, thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
This is also that which is proclaimed in Ephesians 1:18...'The Hope of his calling'...is Sonship, Resurrection, and Inheritance.
Yes, true inheritance for His People is YAHWEH who is YAHSHUA in the flesh, thus David could say:...I both lay me down and sleep, for thou YAHWEH alone maketh me to dwell in safety.' In his Psalms then David has left you great truths with references to Resurrection, to a deliverance from death, from the grave itself, for David knew that YAHSHUA (The Christ) would one day set on His throne.
Those Psalms listed as the Maschil Psalms are the Understanding Psalms. Starting with Psalm 32., these are considered as INSTRUCTIONS...on the method to put away sin, and see forgiveness enjoyed. The first of these Psalms are especially suited for use at 'The Feast of the Tabernacle'. The message being:...there is safety in YAHWEH'S keeping, and HE who is Israel's Deliverer is also Israel's keeper. There are five Psalms of which the purpose of or object is stated in the Title. Psalm 38 & 60 are listed as David's Psalms, the other three are anonymous. Psalm 92 is said to be for the use on the Sabbath Day. Psalm 100 is a Psalm of Praise, of Thanksgiving, and to be used in those instances. Psalm 102 is said to be a prayer of the afflicted when overwhelmed. 13 Psalms are said to have Historical Titles which relate to some event in David's life, but all also point to David's Greater Son. All of these Psalms pertaining to David are easy to find, and they point to certain events but they are not meant just to repeat history itself, but to reflect on some special circumstance in connection with it. In Psalm 60., the total loss of the enemy is 18,000 whereas Joal's share was 12,000 since he took six months longer in finishing his task. I Kings 2:15-16.
The Title of the Book of Psalms....Sepher Tehillim....means a book of Praises, and we must then look beyond all the historical references and SEE....David's Greater Son overshadowing the Psalms as he does the rest of the Old Testament. In otherwords in the word....Lamenatzeacha..we see not only the Tabernacle, and Temple director but The Christ (YAHSHUA) as well. He alone harmonizes all the other renderings. Into them all we see YAHSHUA (Luke 24:44)...HE is the end, but also the beginning. It is HE who conquers. It is He who is the 'Root and offspring of David (Revelation 22:16). It is HE who is David's Son, and also David's LORD. As you unravel this greater meaning, you have a much deeper meaning, you had a meaning as to the purpose of the Psalms in their pattern of Israel's worship services.
Over the years the word...'Selah'..has had many interpretations. If it means just 'to pause' or to 'lift up' then what is here for our learning, in both those meanings? What is there to point out the doctrine, the teaching, or instructions for our life here today? What then is written here for our learning? If you do not approach the Scripture as Divine Revelation then it is hopeless to find the true meaning. If you receive it not as the word of men, but as it is in Truth...THE WORD OF GOD, which effectually works in them that believe (I Thessalonians 2:13). Only then will the blessing and teaching come when you 'study' the usage of the word...'Selah', only then when we seek to find all about it from the way in which the Holy Spirit has employed it...will we understand. The scope of use of this Ancient word will give its meaning. The study of the word 'Selah' depends on the gift of the Spiritual mind, not on the power of the natural understanding 'opened' by the Spirit of God.
This word 'Selah' occurs 74 times in the Bible, all in the Old Testament, 71 times in the Book of Psalms, and 3 times in the prayer of Habakkuk chapter three. Out of the 150 Psalms it is confined to 39 Psalms. In the first Book of Psalms (1-41) it is found 17 times in 9 Psalms. In Book 2 (42-72) it is found 30 times in 17 Psalms. In Book 3 (72-89) it is found 4 times in 2 Psalms.
In the 39 Psalms which contain the word 'Selah' ., in 31 of them the Ancient word Lam'natzeach means...for the Chief Musician, thus these Psalms were handed over to the Director of the worship service of Israel. In the Ancient Hebrew according to Dr. Bullinger and others, this word 'Selah' did not always occur at the beginning or end of a Psalm, therefore we must look for a different understanding of this most important word. It was in fact the CONNECTING LINK of two thoughts, or two statements, or two subjects, thus at times it was found in the Middle of a Psalm.
For an example:...Psalm 3., here there are 4 'Selah's', and they are found between verses 2 and 3., and between 4 and 5., and between verses 8 and 4:1. 'Many there be that say of me (my soul) My glory, and the lifter up of
Here the contrast stands out sharply and clearly. Ordinary people...we would say Enosh people know God only as the Creator, but they know not YAHWEH. Whereas David knew YAHWEH as His Covenant LORD. He knew that YAHWEH was his protector, and would restore him and his kingdom, and in due time lift up his head. Thus 'Selah' here connected the fact that there was two different types of men, here in the flesh. The second 'Selah' occurs between verse 4 and 5., and is meant to convey the truth also contained in Philippians 4:6.
'Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made unto God. And God's Peace which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus the Christ.'
This PEACE which must reign in the presence of HIM who see the end from the beginning must be wonderful and Perfect. It is just the fact that we do not SEE beyond the moment which fills us with care, and prevents us from enjoying the KEEPING POWER of that Divine and perfect plan, and place. We therefore must be taught as David was taught before us:......
'I cried unto YAHWEH with my voice,
and HE heard me out of His Holy Mountain.'
I laid me down and slept,
I awakened, for YAHWEH sustained me.'
Here David teaches us that we like him can lay down and sleep no matter what...because he and we trust in YAHWEH who is YAHSHUA our Savior. Thus David slept in Peace, his heart and mind, kept by the Peace (understanding) of YAHWEH to whom he had cried, and by whom he was answered and sustained.
The third 'Selah' occurs at the end of the Psalm before Psalm 4:1., commences. It thus connects 2 Psalms which both refer to the same circumstances, the time when David had fled from his son Absalom. This had been a terrible night for David. In the Greater meaning this was concerning.....INHERITANCE..for here his throne was in danger of being cast down. Psalms 89, 39, 44) As always this was the connecting link..Selah connecting two meanings. Two types of people have been shown in the division of the Psalms. Two types of people have been shown in the division of the Psalms. And we are also to denote this discrimination between the lawless one, or man of earth, and the man of God.
David had chosen the House of Obed Edom's house for the Ark to rest in, because this man was a Gittite, a dweller in Gath. This however was a city of the Levites (Joshua 21:24) in which this special family of the Kohathites lived (Joshua 21:20). Thus Obed-Edom was a Kohathite, and was therefore qualified to take charge of the Ark.
Then we read:........
'Such are they that worship HIM--
That seek thy face O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O ye Gates;
And lift up yourselves ye everlasting doors,
That the King of Glory can come in'.
After describing the worthiness of the Ark bearers, and their qualifications to enter, then...SELAH..transfers our thoughts to, and connects them with the Entrance of the Ark itself, even YAHWEH, Himself whom it represents. Thus this word..is the connecting link everywhere it is used.
Again in Psalm 48 the word 'Selah' is used between verses 8 and 9 to call our attention to that demand made in Psalm 46:10 and in Psalm 47:9., to the word..Damah..meaning to be still, silent, or to rest.
'As we have heard, so have we seen,
In the city of YAHWEH of hosts,
In the city of our God;
YAHWEH will establish it forever.
We have rested O YAHWEH in the thought of thy loving kindness,
In the midst of thy temple,
According to thy name, O YAHWEH,
So is thy praise unto the ends of the earth.' (verse 10)
Thus we see that this word 'Selah' in the Book of Psalms neither begins nor ends a Psalm, but does both by connecting together either by contrast what precedes with what follows; conveying lessons, and proving once more that 'Whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning.' Romans 15:4.
Let us turn to the Book of the Prophet Habakkuk, chapter 3., for in this Psalm there are 3 Selah's. One is in the middle of verse 3, one in the middle of verse 9., and the third is between verses 13 and 14. This is a model Psalm which gives us the key to the usage of this word Selah, for in two out of the three occurrences we find it in the middle of passages which were numbered as verses. Selah cannot be claimed either for beginning or ending a subject, but rather for connecting what precedes with what had been brought and celebrated in the destruction of the enemy (vs. 13) and bids us consider the magnitude of it when contrasted with the enemies previous boasting and exultation..(vs. 15). If we can now fix our attention on what is spiritual rather than on a tune; or on the matter rather than on the melody, then we shall see something worthy of the Word of God. It will then matter not whether the word Selah is derived from....Salah to pause, or from Salal meaning to 'up lift'. Both meanings together do not exhaust their application. We can now apply both to ourselves, and see that WE ARE ALSO TO PAUSE, AND THINK UPON WHAT HAS BEEN SAID, AND THAT IT IS WE WHO ARE TO 'LIFT UP' OUR HEARTS FOR SOME DEEPER ADDITIONAL TEACHING, AND THUS LEARN THE LESSON WHICH EACH OCCURRENCE OF THE WORD...SELAH...WAS INTENDED TO TEACH US.
Also in the Books of Psalms is what is termed 'The songs of Degrees', and over the years they also have been studied. When working for an explanation of the title of these Psalms it was acknowledged that all wisdom and knowledge necessary are found in the pages of our Bible. According to Dr. Bullinger and Dr. Thirtle all that is needed is a child-like mind and a spiritual understanding. The latter is the Gift of God, thus all praise belongs to HIM, alone. With this spiritual eyesight even a child can understand; without it, the wisest man can know nothing because the 'things of the Spirit of God are spiritually discerned'.
The first act of a spiritual mind of one who believes YAHWEH-YAHSHUA would be to act as Ezra did, and open the Book and look and see what God has said. There are 15 Psalms with the Title of..'A song of the Degrees'. It was a well known fact that they would take something in a certain song or Psalm and call the song by that name. Thus a 'song of the degrees' would be a song relating to certain well known events mentioned in this WORD OF GOD. In the Gospel of Mark (12:26) we read:...Have ye not read in the Book, how Moses at the bush (heard) God speak?...and the reference here is to Exodus 3:6., this is very obvious.
In 2 Samuel 1:18., David bade them teach the children of Judah the story of the bow. Many were the interpretations of this passage, yet looking closely...David was lamenting over the death of Jonathan, and Saul, thus the children of Judah were to be taught the 'song of the bow'...this was the bow of Jonathan. Then what about the degree by which the Shadow of the Sundial of Ahaz went back as a sign of the 15 years which were added to the life of Hezekiah? This record is found in 2 Kings 20:8-11 where the word in Hebrew for Degree is exactly the same Hebrew word as is now in the Title of these 15 Psalms.
Isaiah after talking to YAHWEH informs Hezekiah that he would be given more time to live here in the flesh. Hezekiah even asked for a sign and he received it. Also Hezekiah's songs were to be sung accompanied by an instrument. The Shadow of the Sundial went back 10 degrees and 15 years were added to Hezekiah's life. Thus 15 songs were composed corresponding to the ten degrees, whereas five of them were considered for this purpose, four of the Psalms of David and one of Solomon's answered this purpose also and fitted in exactly in this story. The subject in the first Psalm of each of the five groups of 3 Psalms is affliction, the second is reminding you that YAHWEH is our help. The third is of Blessing and Peace in Zion (the Kingdom).
Actually Hezekiah was a remarkable man. He is the only man ever known who lived 15 years beyond that which was allotted, and lived those 15 years in safety and prosperity, having humbled himself before YAHWEH...because of his pride when meeting the Ambassador of Babel.
The Degrees if the sun reversing, and the 15 years of Hezekiah's life prolonged may call to mind the 15 Psalms of Degrees, beginning with Psalm 120 forward. These are Hezekiah's songs that were sung with the accompaniment of the stringed instruments in the House of the LORD. Isaiah 38:20. In Hezekiah's request..or invitation..these songs were offered for all Israel, and critics fail to extend this term...Israel to ALL ISRAEL as Hezekiah insisted on doing, in his keeping of the Passover.
Now; we ask...Did YAHWEH LENGTHEN THE LIFE OF HEZEKIAH FOR NO SPECIAL PURPOSE? We have ample evidence that Hezekiah did not devote these extra 15 years to his own selfish purpose as some have suggested. No...he was busy reforming the worship service of the House of YAHWEH. Care was taken that all was done...'According to the Commandments of David' (2 Chronicles 24:25) with the instruments of David, and with all Praise given to YAHWEH, WITH THE WORDS OF DAVID. (Verse 30) We are told that the WORD of YAHWEH was Hezekiah's delight, and was at once his authority, and his guide in all the services which he undertook. Hezekiah recorded that 'in every work that he began in the service of the House of YAHWEH, and in the Law, and in the Commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and he prospered. 2 Chronicles 31:21.
The reforming of the service of the Temple was completed, the enemy defeated, thus how could those 15 years been better used than to bring together all Israel once more, and to accomplish the editing of the Sacred Work? This would require Divine Guidance and inspiration. Who then was better qualified for this work, or more worthy of it than Hezekiah? After him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 2 Kings 18:5. If human instrumentality was to be used by YAHWEH who was more suitable than Hezekiah? And what time more suitable than those special...'God given years?'
Yes, the law was given to Israel through Moses at Sinai, for the Kingdom, but it was the first and prime duty of a king to make 'to himself' a copy of the law, in which he took such delight, and from the study of which he was to impressed with the importance of the Passover being for ALL ISRAEL.
If Sennacherib was able to record his siege of Jerusalem on a cylinder of stone, then surely Hezekiah was able to record his deliverance from this siege. he had a guild of men to do this recording for him. Proverbs 25:1. These men were copyists, transcribers, and transmitters of the Sacred Text. Their work would hardly have begun and ended with the 'Proverbs of Solomon' but have extended to all other sacred writings. And when the copyists finished their work then Hezekiah signed them with three letters which were of his name....He Ze K.
After all was it not time that such a work should be done, for the days of Judah's kings and kingdom were numbered in that old land. The ten tribes had been taken captive 12 years before this, and the recent seize of Jerusalem, and the land of Judah should surely have been a warning that the Sacred Books should be collected and transcribed, and preserved, to give ALL ISRAEL their Sacred works. Since there were other Books later which contained these 3 same letters at the end, then surely other editors of the Sacred Text continued to use this formula, since the knowledge came down to them saying:...'Be strong,' and they replied 'We will be strong', then the Prophets used this same tri-grammaton....HZK.
In Scripture, in Kings, Chronicles, and Isaiah we have the chronological order of the historical facts. In the 'Songs' we have the Divine Order according to their spiritual significance. In these 'Songs of the Degree' Hezekiah prayed with reference to the disturbers of Zion's Peace. In the History we read that after YAHWEH cut off the hosts of Sennacherib in one night, then Sennacherib returned to his own land 'with shame of face'.
Isaiah 38:3., tells us that Hezekiah's grief was real and deep. He also cried to heaven (2 Chronicles 32:20) and he sent for Isaiah to help him. And always the prayers end with hope, and that the 'Prayed to'...God of Israel...would deliver Jerusalem..for (2 Kings 19:34)...'My servant David's sake'. Hezekiah also appealed to the northern ten tribes to return to YAHWEH, and Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:2-4)...'for the character was his zeal for the HOUSE OF YAHWEH.' It was, as you remember, that Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:24) who had shut up the HOUSE OF YAHWEH, and Hezekiah was then the one who opened the doors of the HOUSE OF YAHWEH and repaired them in the first month of the first year of his reign. After the Reformation of the temple, Hezekiah continually went to that structure.
There is reference to children in 'The Songs of Degrees' but Hezekiah was childless. Psalm 132., shows that he remembered...'The sure Mercies' promised to David, when God said:..'I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall be poured out of thy bowels, and I will establish this kingdom.' 2 Samuel 7:12. Hezekiah knew that there would never be 'wanting' one to sit upon David's throne, and yet here he had no heir to his kingdom. Psalm 125:3-5.......
'Lo children are the heritage of YAHWEH:
And the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man
So are children of thy youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.' 2 Kings 18:2.
Hezekiah's son Manasseh was then 12 years old when Hezekiah died thus he must have been born in the third year of the added 15 years. Actually Hezekiah had more than just one child in those years.
According to Dr. Bullinger and Dr. Thirtle, the last 2 of those Psalms.....133 and 134., deal almost exclusively with the Passover. it was a Divine and blessed resolve on the part of Hezekiah, after the HOUSE OF YAHWEH had been cleansed and opened to have a Passover, and this he decreed in the second month (2 Chronicles 30:1-3). This would be for ALL ISRAEL...for the House of Judah and the House of Israel now separated. (2 Chronicles 30:5-6) And many of the tribes of the House of Israel came from the tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh, from Issachar, Zebulon and Asher, all came to Jerusalem for this Passover. 2 Chronicles 30:11-18. This was before their migration westward.
Psalms 133 talks about how good it was for 'brethren' to come together, and we now see the blessing of unity, and life for evermore. Josephus also speaks of how Hezekiah sent to all Israel this message..to come..to return to their Ancient practices, to worship YAHWEH, and to celebrate once more all in one body. This was an invitation only, but it would be to their advantage and would make them happy and we see that many of them came. Thus at that time they were well aware of who they were and who their brethren were.
Israel's unity was as One Nation, One worship, and the true church of today is united in One spiritual body. Ephesians 4:1-4. All members of His body are thus united. Israel of old referred to wickedness as the mingling with the heathen, and the learning of their works, and the practicing of their abominations, thus it was religious 'iniquity', and spiritual wickedness.
In Psalms 126., the distress is ending, and in the Hebrew as the distress is ended comes the restoring to the former estate, after trouble. Remember that Job was given twice as much as he had before. It was like the awakening from a dream. Always it was great things that YAHWEH did for Israel and cause the world (order) to see:....
'A going forth let him go, weeping
Bearing his basket of seed;
A coming in he will come, rejoicing,
Bearing his sheaves.'
It was while Solomon slept that YAHWEH gave him all those great and wonderful gifts, even more than he had asked for...I Kings 3:5-15. It was while Adam slept that YAHWEH gave him a wife..Genesis 2:21-22. It was while Abraham slept that YAHWEH gave him the land by an unconditional covenant... Genesis 15:12-16. Yet some will say that the Hebrew words are unintelligible. Perhaps so, because the things of the Spirit of God are spiritually discerned...I Corinthians 2:4.
The 'Songs of Degrees' ends in worship of YAHWEH, in praise of those wonderful deliverances, as Hezekiah said:....
' YAHWEH was ready to save me; therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life, in the House of YAHWEH.' Isaiah 38:20.
Today we remember that it was Hezekiah who brought a representation of ALL ISRAEL back to Jerusalem to worship, before the great migration westward began. Later the Apostles were sent to ALL ISRAEL. Today we pray that YAHWEH AS YAHSHUA will soon bring ALL ISRAEL back to their Ancient Faith, to the Gospel of the Kingdom. In the Scripture in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 24., we find Jesus talking to the Apostles and telling them of signs to watch for as the end of all this rule of earth by Satan, and we read of wars and rumors of wars, and all these things that must come to pass, but this is not the end of this World Order, they were told, but it is 'THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS'. Thus according to the Companion Bible this sorrow means Birth Pangs. Since we now have the World Order under control of Lucifer trying to put their final symbol of a 'One World Government' in place, then this beginning of Sorrows must mean the RISE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN EARTH. And we are promised that those who hang on to their Ancient Faith until this end time of trouble will then be saved...meaning delivered. Then the Gospel of the Kingdom can be preached, not only to Israel as it has been, but now all over the world, as...A WITNESS AS TO THE GREAT PROGRAM OF GOD ALMIGHTY. At that time the World Order will be able to see this program and understand their place in the Great Mosaic of time.
Thus a message for today from the Psalms is still the Ancient message, that there is a wondrous plan for this earth, and we must accept the fact that it is God's plan and we can not hurry it but we can know who we are, and what we are in earth to do, and hang on to that Ancient Faith until HIS TIME TABLE is fulfilled. We can watch events today, but it is now time for the Almighty to bring this situation under control so that the whole World Order can see who is in charge. This we wait for, and pray for, and praise HIM who has made it all possible. When the great learning experience is over then we can have Rest in the program of the Kingdom, not before.
MAY YAHWEH BLESS