Yahweh and the David covenant (Ps 132:11-132:12)

“Yahweh swore to David a sure oath.

Yahweh will not turn back.

‘I will set on your throne

One of the sons of your body.

If your sons keep my covenant,

If they keep my decrees

That I shall teach them,

Their sons also forevermore

Shall sit upon your throne.’”

This section is based on the Prophet Nathan’s dream in 2 Samuel, chapter 7, as Yahweh swore an oath or covenant with David. This will be different from the covenant with Abraham and Moses. This covenant sets up a direct line of the sons of David who will be on the throne forever. However, there is a condition to it. They must keep his covenant and the decrees that Yahweh was going to teach them. If they followed his decrees, their sons would sit on the throne forever.

Going to get the Ark of the Covenant (Ps 132:8-132:10)

“Rise up!

Yahweh!

Go to your resting place,

You and the Ark of your might.

Let your priests be clothed with righteousness.

Let your faithful shout for joy.

For your servant David’s sake

Do not turn away

The face of your anointed one.”

The psalmist wanted Yahweh to rise up and go to his resting place. He wanted Yahweh and the Ark of the Covenant to go to Jerusalem. He wanted the priests to be clothed with righteousness and the faithful people to shout for joy. He wanted David, Yahweh’s servant and anointed one, not to be turned away. The trip of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem can be found in 2 Samuel, chapter 6.

Remembering David and Yahweh (Ps 132:1-132:5)

A song of ascents

“Yahweh!

Remember in David’s favor.

Remember all the hardships he endured.

Remember how he swore to Yahweh.

Remember how he vowed to the mighty one of Jacob.

‘I will not enter my house.

I will not get into my bed.

I will not give sleep to my eyes.

I will not give slumber to my eyelids.

I will not do these things

Until I find a place for Yahweh,

A dwelling place for the mighty one of Jacob.’”

Psalm 132 is another in this series of pilgrimage songs or psalms on the ascent to Jerusalem. However, this longer psalm celebrates the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem at the time of David, based on 2 Samuel, chapter 7. This psalmist asks Yahweh to remember that he had favored David in all his hardships. He wanted Yahweh to remember that David had vowed to the mighty one of Jacob. David said that he would not enter his house, go to bed, and let his eyes sleep, or let his eyelids slumber until he had found a dwelling place for Yahweh, the mighty one of Jacob. Yahweh was called the mighty one of Jacob. Obviously this is an exaggeration that David would not sleep until he built a place for the Ark of the Covenant, considered to be the presence of Yahweh.

David, the anointed one (Ps 89:19-89:28)

“Then you spoke in a vision

To your faithful one.

You said.

‘I have set the crown

On one who is mighty.

I have exalted one chosen from the people.

I have found my servant David.

With my holy oil

I have anointed him.

My hand shall always remain with him.

My arm also shall strengthen him.

The enemy shall not outwit him.

The wicked shall not humble him.

I will crush his foes before him.

I will strike down those who hate him.

My faithfulness shall be with him.

My steadfast love shall be with him.

In my name shall his horn be exalted.

I will set his hand on the sea.

I will set his right hand on the rivers.

He shall cry to me.

‘You are my Father!

You are my God!

You are the rock of my salvation!’

I will make him the first born.

I will make him the highest of the kings of the earth.

I will keep by steadfast love for him forever.

My covenant with him will stand firm.’”

This section is based on 2 Samuel, chapter 4, when the prophet Nathan had a vision or dream from Yahweh about the building of the Temple, the importance of David, and his role. David was to be the faithful one. The crown was placed on this mighty servant of God. He was chosen from the people to be the anointed one as king. The hand and arm of Yahweh would remain with David, so that his enemies and the wicked ones would not outwit him or humble him. Yahweh would be with him, so that his hands and arms would control the rivers and the seas. He would cry to Yahweh because Yahweh was his father, his God, and his rock of salvation. Yahweh would keep his steadfast love and covenant with David forever.

The power of God (Ps 60:1-60:4)

To the choirmaster leader, according to Lily of the Covenant, a Miktam of David, for instruction, when he struggled with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

“O God!

You have rejected us!

You have broken our defenses!

You have been angry!

Restore us!

You have caused the land to quake.

You have torn it open.

Repair the cracks in it!

It is tottering.

You have made your people

Suffer hard things.

You have given us wine to drink

That made us reel.

You have set up a banner

For those who fear you.

You want us to rally

To it from the bow.”

Selah

Psalm 60 has one of the longest titles of any of the psalms. As opposed to the earlier individual complaints of David, this is a group lament. Once again it is a choral song to the tune of “Lily of the Covenant,” which will be the tune of Psalm 80 also. According to 2 Samuel, chapter 8, it was David himself who killed the 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of the Salt. This was on an adventure into southern Syria. He actually had been successful but this psalm is more about failure. Somehow God has rejected them, a theme often heard in the later time of captivity. Their defense had been broken. God was angry with them so he wanted God to restore them. They have had a mini earthquake so that there were cracks in the ground. The people had been suffering. Unfortunately, they had been drinking the wrong kind of wine. They wanted to rally around God’s banner out of the distance of bows and arrows. This section ended with a musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.

May God have mercy (Ps 51:1-51:2)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone into Bathsheba

“Have mercy on me!

O God!

According to your steadfast love,

According to your abundant mercy,

Blot out my transgressions!

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity!

Cleanse me from my sin!”

Psalm 51 is the great penitential psalm when David was confronted by the prophet Nathan for his sexual encounter with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel, chapters 11 and 12. Eventually, David and Bathsheba were punished with the death of their first born. David wanted God’s mercy because of God’s steadfast love. This psalm is like Psalm 6 as a lament that is addressed to God directly. David wanted his transgressions blotted out. He wanted his iniquities washed away. He wanted to be cleansed from his sin. He wanted everything back to normal.

Final praise of Yahweh (Ps 18:49-18:50)

“For this I will extol you!

Yahweh!

Among the nations,

I will sing praises to your name.

Great triumphs he gives to his king.

He shows steadfast love to his anointed.

To David

And his descendants forever.”

Once again like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, David sings Yahweh’s praises among the nations at the end of this psalm. Yahweh was the tower of salvation to his anointed King David. May his descendents be loved forever. So ends this hymn of praise from a conquering king in thanksgiving for his various victories. The enemies are all gone. The Davidic dynasty begins. Notice that the last few phrases speak explicitly of David in the third person, rather than the first person of the previous verses.

Blessed be Yahweh (Ps 18:46-18:48)

“Yahweh lives!

Blessed be my rock!

Exalted be the God of my salvation!

God gave me vengeance.

He subdued peoples under me.

He delivered me from my enemies.

Indeed,

You exalted me above my adversaries.

You delivered me from the violent ones.”

Once again like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh lives as David’s rock of salvation. Yahweh should be blessed. Yahweh gave him vengeance against his enemies. He exalted him above all his adversaries. Yahweh delivered David from all the violent people against him. Yahweh had given David vengeance.

Yahweh helps David conquer all (Ps 18:43-18:45)

“You delivered me from strife with the peoples.

You made me the head of the nations.

People whom I had not known served me.

As soon as they heard of me

They obeyed me.

Foreigners came cringing to me.

Foreigners lost heart.

They came trembling out of their strongholds.”

Once again like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh helped David become the head of many nations. They all wanted to obey him, even when he did not know them. Foreigners came trembling to him as they lost heart. Yahweh had made David famous.

Yahweh is David’s rock (Ps 18:31-18:42)

“Who is God except Yahweh?

Who is a rock, besides our God?

This is the God who girded me with strength.

He made my way safe.

He made my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He set me secure on the heights.

He trains my hands for war.

Thus my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me

The shield of your salvation.

Your right hand has supported me.

Your help has made me great.

You gave me a wide place for my steps under me.

My feet did not slip.

I pursued my enemies.

I overtook them.

I did not turn back

Until they were consumed.

I struck them down.

Thus they were not able to rise.

They fell under my feet.

You girded me with strength for the battle.

You made my assailants sink under me.

You made my enemies turn their backs to me.

Those who hated me

I destroyed.

They cried for help.

However, there was no one to save them.

They cried to Yahweh,

However he did not answer them.

I beat them fine.

They were like dust before the wind.

I cast them out

Like the mire of the streets.”

Once again, like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh was the strength and rock for David. His feet were like the hoofs of a deer in their ability to run fast. Yahweh made his arms so strong that he could even use a bronze bow. Yahweh made his feet steady so that he would never slip. When the battle raged, he was faster and stronger than his enemy. He crushed his enemies. They were utterly destroyed as they were struck down and fled. No one was there to save them, even when they cried out to Yahweh. David beat them like the dust of the earth. As usual, there was no indication of any empathy for enemies. He just wiped them out completely.