Take courage because Yahweh was with them (Hag 2:4-2:5)

“Says Yahweh!

‘Yet now take courage!

O Zerubbabel!

Take courage!

O Joshua!

Son of Jehozadak!

The high priest!

Take courage!

All you people

Of the land!’

Says Yahweh.

‘Work!

I am with you!’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘According to the promise

That I made you

When you came

Out of Egypt.

My Spirit abides

Among you!

Fear not.’”

Haggai used the same formula titles for all his oracles.  Everyone was to have courage, including Governor Zerubbabel, the high priest Joshua, and all the people of the land.  They were to get to work.  Yahweh was going to be with them, just as he helped them to come out of Egypt.  They were not to be afraid, because he had promised that his Holy Spirit would abide with them.

The upright man (Prov 2:20-2:22)

“Therefore walk in the way of good people.

Keep to the paths of the just.

The upright will inhabit the land.

The innocent ones of integrity will remain in it.

But the wicked will be cut off from the land.

The treacherous will be rooted out of it.”

The young people were to walk in the way of the good people. Thus they would become upright and righteous as they kept to the path of the just ones. The upright will then inherit, inhabit, and abide in the land. The innocent ones who live with integrity will remain on the land. However, the wicked ones will be cut off from the land. The liars and the treacherous infidels will be rooted out of the land. Notice that the big reward and punishment is the land.

The names of God (Ps 91:1-91:2)

“You live in the shelter of the Most High.

You abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

You will say to Yahweh.

‘My refuge and my fortress.

My God,

In whom I trust.’”

Psalm 91 has no title, unlike many of the other psalms. This psalm starts with 4 different names for God, which is unusual since normally only 2 or 3 names are used, God or Yahweh. First we live in the shelter of the Most High God that is El Elyon in Hebrew and gphyistos in Greek, the highest one. Next we abide in the shadow of the Almighty God that is El Shaddai in Hebrew and the more familiar Greek pantokrator, creator of all. Normally when the Israelites speak to God they call him with the more familiar Yahweh that is the proper name for the God of Israel, more commonly the Hebrew epigram YHW. He seems to be an Israelite warrior God who gets angry a lot. He could not be depicted with any statues or idols. Later Jewish prayer life changed the pronunciation of Yahweh with the word Adonai in its place. The common translation of Yahweh into Greek was kurios, or Lord. Thus many bibles use this term “Lord” for Yahweh. So what did he say to Yahweh? Yahweh is his refuge and fortress. However, then we have the 4th term for God, Elohim in Hebrew and Theos in Greek. Using Theos in Greek put God at the same level as other gods, but clearly Adonai or Yahweh was the monotheistic God in the later writings. Obviously this psalmist trusted in God.

The mighty Bashan Mountains (Ps 68:15-68:16)

“O mighty mountain!

Mountain of Bashan!

O many-peaked mountain!

Mountain of Bashan!

O many-peaked mountain!

Why do you look with envy

At the mount that God desired for his abode?

Yahweh will reside there forever.”

The mighty Bashan Mountains, east of the Sea of Galilee, today are called the Golan Heights, the border between Israel and Syria. These peaked mountains were a place of dispute in the biblical times, and even today. These mountains looked with envy on the mountain that Yahweh chose to abide, which would be Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Thus we have the personification of mountains.