Psalm 130

Psalm 130 is a song of ascent. This probably means that pilgrims sang them as they traveled to Jerusalem to go to the Temple/festivals. It is becoming clear that each has its own tone or voice. This one seems about contrition and waiting on God. I imagine it had a mellow or easy listening tune.

An element of this psalm is its use of Lord and LORD. Many English translations use this technique to distinguish between Adonai and YHWH (Jehovah). I am going to wander a bit here and talk about different names that are used for lord and how God is referred to in more casual conversation. The Chosen highlights some of this and many people may miss it.

Lord-This is the word Adon (Strong’s H113) or Adonai (y) (H136). This is more of a title than an attribute. They also used lord for humans-Ex. Sari called Abram adonay. My NIV Concordance has some form of this word used over 900 times in the Scriptures. Americans do not use lord, unless we are talking about an important person in the UK, so I know I don’t really appreciate this title.  

LORD-Christians know this word as Jehovah, but Hebrews/Jews do not say this name out of reverence, so they may use Adonai or Hashem (The Name). We can replace it with the Eternal (I like this.) This is an attribute of who God is. It is a shame that we have reduced it to slang and cussing.

Back to Psalm 130-This is one of thirty-five Psalms that use Adonai (Lord). This has a pattern of using Jehovah (H3068) and then Adonai. We see this in 1+2, 3 (has both), and 5+6. Verse seven has two Jehovah in it. Verse three uses Yah for LORD. Waiting and hope seem to be the main ideas for this song of ascent, with forgiveness and redemption being the reason for waiting and hoping.

Psalm 126

Psalm 126 is a joyous song. You can almost hear the up-tempo beat and see everyone dancing, jumping, and skipping to this musical delight as they went to Jerusalem and the Temple for the pilgrimage festivals. It has a classic statement/response style and would have had everyone in the group singing along. (I will italicize the response parts below.)

If I could pick a writer or when it was written, it has to be Ezra the priest in the time of Cyrus of Persia. This comes at the end of the seventy years of exile predicted by Jeremiah. This book rightfully follows 2 Chronicles 36:22-23. Jeremiah was dead. Ezekiel probably was dead, but Daniel was an old man (Daniel 10:1) and I can imagine the joy he had in seeing the captives returning to Jerusalem. (Reference Daniel 9:1-3) I forget these three prophets lived and spoke during the time in Babylon and the fall of Jerusalem.

My NIV has, in its footnotes, that verses one and four could be different, so I will use the KJV and change those two verses.

1When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. (When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like men restored to health.)

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. (Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev.) NIV

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Logos-Seek

A look into the word “seek” is well worth the time. As with many words, seek changes in the number of times it is used and how it is rendered, depending on the translation you use. KJV has it almost 300 times, while the NIV has it about 150 times. Part of this study is to look at the word seek in the Greek-zeteo and its variation-epizeteo. I will reference Luke 12:30-31; Matthew 6:32-33 is the favored verse because it has “and His righteousness” in it. The biggest reason for using Luke is that it has the word seek in both verses. (Free thought-righteousness in Matthew is almost redundant because the only way to seek His kingdom includes looking for His righteousness. It is not a separate thing that stands out by itself or something separate.) Luke 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)

The first seek, associated with the world and pagans, is epizeteo. The prefix “epi” adds a lot to the meaning of zeteo. Epizeteo occurs thirteen times in the New Testament according to Mounce and is Strong’s # G1934. (PLEASE, do not look at just one reference source or dictionary for a meaning of a word.) A very general idea is that by adding “epi” it becomes intensified and is at an extreme level of seeking or wanting something. Matthew uses epizeteo two more times-12:39 and 16:4. Both refer to a wicked and adulterous generation that wants miraculous signs and all they will get is the sign of Jonah. (May I suggest you look at all the times epizeteo is used in the Gospels and the Epistles.) First, “the sign of Jonah” may not have been understood by those listening. We get it because the story has been narrowed down to the part where he was in the whale and “dead”. Second, the need for miracles on demand is and was a problem. Jesus used miracles to show that He had the power/authority of God working in Him so that they would seek God and His kingdom, not just the miracle. The Jews, by the first century, had developed a list of things the Messiah would have to do to be the Messiah. John in his Gospel speaks about the miracles. We have stressed seven, but there are more written in that book than just seven. We may need to see miracles, but God loves righteousness and wants us to enter His kingdom with a changed heart and life.

The second verse tells us to seek the kingdom of God, that seek is zeteo, it is Strong’s # G2212. So, why not switch the two words? The writer used epizeteo in Hebrews 11:14 and 13:14 when it talks about looking for the land and city of our own. I feel the important word in the second verse is “first” (proton) and not just the seek This word “first” is in Matthew 6:33. If we will first seek God because He wants a relationship with us and has given us Jesus on the cross, His blood that covers us, and grace for everything (pas) else; we may not care about going crazy for what the world has to run after.

In the First Covenant (Old Testament) God starts in Deuteronomy and goes to Malachi telling us to seek Him, that He loves it when we do, that we will be found by Him. One verse, however, stood out-Malachi 2:15. This speaks about what God seeks after-Godly offspring. That explains the attacks of the woke and ungodly against children in the womb and at such early ages of four and five years old.

https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/epizeteo

https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/zeteo

Jesus Knew and Told the Disciples 

Jesus knew He was to be sacrificed and told His disciples about it frequently. If you want to do your own study I used search words like: reject, suffer, third day, decay, raised, resurrect, crucify (ide), deliver, and lifted up. These are NIV words, so KJV and other translations may be different. After much thought, I am going to list references and clues of the verses from the different writers. Yes, there will be overlap in the stories or settings, but I hope this is the best way to make a reference work. A separate post on “God Raised” is in the works and will follow very soon.

Christians, writers, and movie-makers all seem to have an opinion about the disciples and how they act at Jesus’ last Passover. I will say this the matter of His crucifixion was not a hidden topic, Jesus taught them. He also said several times that the disciples were to go to Galilee and the mountain after He was killed. It took them a while to acct on that also; even after two personal visits from our risen Lord. To be fair, I am not sure I would have been any better.

Matthew  

  • 16:21 – This is the tell all of the predication verses. They are in Caesarea Philippi (north of Lake Galilee) and Jesus ask the disciples who He is? Jesus clearly states He will be killed by the Sanhedrin and three days later He will rise to life again. The group travels to the “mountain of transfiguration”.  
  • 17:9 – Jesus, Peter, James, and John are in the presence of Moses and Elijah during the transfiguration. They were coming down and the disciples were told not to speak of this until He has been raised from the dead. 
  • 17:22,23 – There may have been some R and R because they come together in Galilee and Jesus adds that He will be betrayed (delivered), killed, and rise in three days. They are going to the East Bank to prepare for the trip into Jerusalem and Passover.
  • 20:18,19 – On the East Bank, Jesus teaches about the kingdom and adds that He will be handed over to the Gentiles (Romans) mocked, beaten, and crucified before being dead three days and coming back to life.
  • 21:42 – Jesus quotes Psalm 118 in His silencing of the leaders. On the Temple Mount, who were challenging His authority. This is about the stone being rejected but it was needed to build the Temple. 
  • 26:2 – This is the same day, Tuesday of Holy Week, and Jesus and the disciples are on the Mount of Olives. He has given them a series of parables on the kingdom and the end times. He tells them His death will be in two days. 
  • 27:64 – Even the Sanhedrin knew Jesus had prophesied that He would be killed and raised to life in three days. The leaders were talking to Pilate. 

Mark

  • 8:31 – This is the same as Matthew 16.
  • 9:12 – The same as Matthew 17:9.
  • 9:31 –   The same as Matthew 17:22,23.
  • 10:33,34 – The same as Matthew 20:18,19.
  • 12:10 – The same as Matthew 21:42.

Luke 

  • 9:22 – The same as Matthew 16. SEE PSALM 88 + 89.
  • 9:44 – The same as Matthew 17:9. Luke changes or adds that Jesus told all of the disciples after the boy was healed, but the meaning was hidden from them.
  • 13:32 – No one else has this story. Jesus has been told that Herod (the fox) is looking for Him. The reply is that He will reach His goal on the third day.
  • 17:25 – This is with several teachings about the kingdom and end times. Jesus uses Noah and Lot as comparisons to how it will be.
  • 18:32,33 – The same as Matthew 20:18,19 or at least set on the east bank or Mount of Olives.
  • 20:17 – The same as Matthew 21:42.
  • 24:7 and 24:46 are given after the fact. 24:46 says that He opened their minds to understand what happened.

John 

In keeping with John’s mission to show Jesus as the Son of God many of his references are out of the above timeline. He also likes the phrase “lifted up” because it identifies with Moses.

  • 2:22 – This is more about the disciples believing the scriptures about Jesus’ death.
  • 3:14 – Jesus talking to Nicodemus about Moses’ bronze serpent.
  • 8:28 – Jesus is talking to Pharisees and says He will be lifted up then they will know the father spoke to Him.
  • 12:32 + 34 – A voice from heaven had spoken and said He would die and bring people to Him. The crowd then questions why the Messiah would die.

Some of the Scriptures that are about Jesus’ suffering, death, and rising to new life.

  • Psalm 16:10
  • Psalm 49:9
  • Psalm 22:24
  • Psalm 42:10
  • Psalm 55:3
  • Psalm 88:15
  • Psalm 119: 50 + 107 +153
  • Then there are the types and shadows of Jonah, Joseph, and Isaac. 

Ezrahite-Ethan and Heman

This study started with Psalms 88 + 89. The authors are Heman and Ethan the Ezrahites. I thought a quick look in Bible Gateway and Strong’s and it will be done quick-wrong. Please note that the names of Heman and Ethan are used many times in Scripture and they are not the same people. We normally associate those names with two descendants of Levi who led worship for David and probably Solomon in the First Temple. This took some time to sort out the Ezrahites appear to be from the tribe of Judah

Ezrahite—This name appears to originate with Zerah, the second son of Tamar and Judah (Genesis 38:27-30). Perez, the first twin out, is the one in David and Jesus’ lineage (Matthew 1, 1 Chronicles 2:10-12). Reference Strong’s #250 Hebrew. They must have been very intelligent because King Solomon in 1 Kings 4:31 is said to be wiser than them. 1 Chronicles 2:6 list the same names and calls them the sons of Zerah. Mahol could be an “unnamed father” who was not important in the family tree, they did things like that in making these lists. 1 Kings could give the idea that they were contemporaries of Solomon, while 1 Chronicles 2 gives the impression that they are much older, like Moses or before. To add to the possibilities, Heman was a seer for King David and Psalm 89 (Ethan) mentions David (more on this later). I will hold on to the older idea and offer some ideas why.

Heman (Psalm 88) – The “title” to this Psalm is imposing. It is a song. It is a psalm. (Yes, those are slightly different according to Strong’s.) It is for the music director. No one is sure what mahalath leannoth really is, and Heman wrote it. To me, that just seems like it had been around a while by the time it got to David. There are no timestamps in this psalm, as far as I could tell. So, trying to place it in history by the association with events or names is hard.

I think it has a somber tone, but many of the entries in Book Three are “dark”. I have felt that way in my life. If Heman wrote it during a period of struggle when nothing seems to be happening in his life, the tone is understandable. Verses 8-18 are very Messianic and show what Jesus endured starting in the Garden and going through the statements He made on the cross.

On a different note-Heman means faithful, and Ezrahite is cherished. It is the only psalm identified as belonging to Heman the Ezrahite, so he must have been special to have had it included in Scripture.   

Ethan – The meaning of Ethan is permanent, so is extended out to be the idea of a chieftain. According to Strong’s, the word is translated as strong or strength.

This Psalm seems to be in the time of David because it uses his name and the promises of God to David seem to be repeated in the psalm. Okay, I am stepping out on a limb here without a lot of proof. David, as a Hebrew word, is very special. If you convert the letters to numbers, it adds up to fourteen (see Matthew). It also means “beloved”. There are many websites, Jewish and Christian, that explore the meaning and etymology of this name. So, if you replace David with beloved and refer the passages to Israel/Judah, it still seems to make sense. Yes, that is weak at several levels, but it works. 

This psalm also has some negative parts and a section 26-37 that are Messianic and refer to the time Jesus was on the cross.

Well, studies may not always answer questions, but I learned many things doing this. So, my time was well spent and I hope you got something from reading this post of Heman and Ethan the Ezrahite.