Poem of consolation (Isa 57:14-57:15)

“It shall be said.

‘Build up!

Build up!

Prepare the way!

Remove every obstruction

From my people’s way.’

Thus says the high lofty One

Who inhabits eternity,

Whose name is Holy.

‘I dwell in the high holy place.

I also dwell with those

Who are contrite,

Who are humble in spirit,

In order to revive

The spirit of the humble,

In order to revive

The heart of the contrite.’”

Third Isaiah says that they should build up the way for God’s people. They were to prepare this way by removing all obstructions. Then the one holy eternal one said that he dwelt in his high holy place. However, he also dwelt with the contrite and the humble of spirit. He wanted to revive the spirit of the humble and the heart of the contrite.

Yahweh brings peace (Ps 85:8-85:9)

“Let me hear what

God Yahweh will speak.

He will speak peace

To his people.

He will speak peace

To his faithful.

He will speak peace

To those who turn to him in their hearts.

Surely his salvation is at hand

For those who fear him.

Thus glory may dwell in our land.”

The psalmist wanted to hear Yahweh speak. He wanted to hear him speak about peace. He wanted Yahweh to bring peace to his people. He wanted Yahweh to bring peace to his faithful ones who turned to him in their hearts. Salvation was at hand for those who feared Yahweh because the glory of God dwelt in the land. This glory of God probably refers to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Do not forget us (Ps 74:1-74:3)

A Maskil of Asaph

“O God!

Why do you cast us off forever?

Why does your anger smoke

Against the sheep of your pasture?

Remember your congregation!

You acquired it long ago.

You redeemed it.

It was to be the tribe of your heritage.

Remember Mount Zion!

There you came to dwell.

Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins!

The enemy has destroyed everything

In the sanctuary.”

Like the preceding psalm, Psalm 74 is a Maskil or psalm of Asaph, the Temple singer, part of the series that begins book 3 of the psalms. This appears to be a national lamentation, post-exilic, after the destruction of the Temple. This starts out as a cry for help. Asaph wants to know why God has cast them off forever. Why was God angry at his own sheep? God should remember his congregation that he acquired long ago. He had redeemed this tribe at Mount Zion to be his heritage as he dwelt there. Somehow the idea that God lived in the Temple was a common theme. However, here was the problem. The Temple was in ruins, destroyed by the enemy. Everything in the sanctuary had been destroyed. What is the exact reference? Was this the Babylonian captivity?