Let humans bless God (Dan 3:60-3:63)

“Bless the Lord!

All people on earth!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord!

O Israel!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord!

You priests of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord,

You servants of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!”

Every human on earth should bless, praise, and exalt the Lord. Three groups get special attention. Of course, there is Israel itself, its priests, and the servants of the Lord. Perhaps these servants are a special group of priests or those who follow the Lord in a special way. All of them should bless, praise, and exalt the Lord, just like everyone else on earth.

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Hymn to Yahweh (Jer 20:12-20:13)

“O Yahweh of hosts!

You test the righteous!

You see the heart!

You see the mind!

Let me see your retribution

Upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you!

Sing to Yahweh!

Praise Yahweh!

He has delivered

The lives of the needy

From the hands of evildoers.”

Jeremiah praises Yahweh. He knows that God tests the righteous ones because he sees their hearts and minds. Jeremiah wanted retribution to come upon those who had opposed him. However, he has committed his cause to Yahweh. They were to sing and praise Yahweh, because he has delivered the lives of the needy from the evildoers.

The invitation to praise God (Sir 39:12-39:15)

“I have more on my mind

To express.

I am full

Like the full moon.

Listen to me!

My faithful children!

Blossom like a rose!

May it grow

By a stream of water!

Send out fragrance

Like incense!

Put forth blossoms

Like a lily!

Scatter the fragrance!

Sing a hymn of praise!

Bless the Lord

For all his works!

Ascribe majesty to his name!

Give thanks to him

With praise!

Give thanks

With songs on your lips!

Give thanks

With harps!

This is what

You shall say in thanksgiving.”

Sirach assumes the first person singular in talking to his children. He has a lot more to tell them because his mind is like a full moon. He wanted his children to be like rose blossoms and grow by a water stream. He wanted the scent of the lily blossoms to be like incense that would be scattered around. He wanted them to sing a hymn of praise to the majestic Lord. The Lord should be blessed for all his works. Praise and thanksgiving should be given to the Lord with songs and harps. He was about to tell them what they should say in their thanksgiving prayer.

Praise Yahweh (Ps 145:21-145:21)

Tav

“My mouth will speak the praise of Yahweh.

All flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.”

This psalm ends with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet in italic. David would have his mouth speak praise to Yahweh. He wanted all flesh to bless his holy name forever.

A hymn of praise to Yahweh (Ps 102:12-102:17)

“Yahweh!

You are enthroned forever.

Your name endures to all generations.

You wilt rise up.

You will have compassion on Zion.

It is time to favor it.

The appointed time has come.

Your servants hold its stones dear.

Have pity on its dust.

The nations will fear the name of Yahweh.

All the kings of the earth fear your glory.

Yahweh will build up Zion.

He will appear in his glory.

He will regard the prayer of the destitute.

He will not despise their prayer.”

There is this beautiful hymn to Yahweh, who is enthroned as king forever. His name will endure through all generations. He will rise up and have compassion on Zion, his holy city and temple. The appointed time has come. His servants hold its stones holy. Yahweh should have pity on its dust. All the countries and kings would fear the name and glory of Yahweh. Yahweh would rebuild Zion and appear in all his glory. He has regard for the prayer of the destitute and will not despise their prayers.

Public worship (Ps 66:1-66:4)

To the choirmaster leader, a song, a psalm

”Make a joyful noise to God!

All the earth!

Sing the glory of his name!

Give glorious praise to him!

Say to God.

‘How awesome are your deeds!

Because of your great power

Your enemies cringe before you.

All the earth worships you.

They sing praises to you.

They sing praises to your name.’”

Selah

Psalm 66 is a public worship thanksgiving song and psalm with a choral leader. It has a strong communitarian rather than individualistic tone. In fact, it is almost cosmic with all the earth asked to chime in with a joyful noise to God. They were to sing glory to his name. God’s deeds were awesome. He had such great power that his enemies would cringe. The whole earth worshipped God. They sang praises to him and his name. This section concludes with a musical interlude meditative pause, the Selah.