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.

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Yahweh as king (Ps 99:1-99:5)

“Yahweh rules as king.

Let the peoples tremble!

He sits enthroned upon the cherubim.

Let the earth quake!

Yahweh is great in Zion.

He is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name!

Holy is he!

Mighty King!

Lover of justice!

You have established equity.

You have executed justice.

You have executed righteousness in Jacob.

Extol Yahweh!

Our God!

Worship at his footstool!

Holy is he!”

Psalm 99 continues the theme of Yahweh as king. Once again there is no title to this psalm. Yahweh rules as king. The people tremble. He sits enthroned on the angelic cherubim in Zion over all the people. This holy king should be praised because his name is awesome. He is the mighty holy king who loves justice and equity. He has executed justice and righteousness upon the descendants of Jacob. We should extol holy Yahweh as our God when we worship at his footstool. We see the repeated refrain “holy is he.”

Call upon God (Ps 55:16-55:19)

However I call upon God.

Yahweh will save me.

Evening and morning,

And at noon,

I utter my complaint.

I moan.

He will hear my voice.

He will redeem me unharmed,

From the battle that I wage.

Many are arrayed against me.

God will hear.

God will humble them.

God is enthroned from of old.

Because they do not change.

They do not fear God.”

Selah

David’s response to this problem was to call on God.  Yahweh would  save him.  He uttered his complaint, morning, noon, and evening.  He was confident that he would be saved and remain unharmed in the battle.  Even though a lot of people were against him, God would hear and humble them.  God sat on his old throne.  They would lose because they would not change.  They did not fear God.  Once again there is a musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.

The kingdom of King Artaxerxes (Esth 1:1-1:4)

“It was after this that the following things happened in the days of King Artaxerxes, the same Artaxerxes who ruled over one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. In those days, when King Artaxerxes was enthroned in the capital city of Susa, in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his friends and other persons of various nations, the Persians and the Median nobles, as well as the governors of the provinces. After this, he had displayed to them the wealth of his kingdom and the splendor of his bountiful celebration during the course of one hundred eighty days.”

Now we begin the story of Esther with the Hebrew text. This was the great King Artaxerxes (465-424 BCE) with a huge empire from India to Ethiopia. This Persian king, which is now Iran, had over 127 provinces. So that when we read about Samaria in the Province Beyond the River Euphrates in Nehemiah and Ezra, it was only 1 of 127 provinces. This was the 3rd year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, about 462 BCE. The capital city was Susa, a town that dates back to about 5,000 BCE, about 7, 000 years old. Susa was a major Persian city that went out of favor when it was captured by the Greek Alexander the Great in 331 BCE. King Artaxerxes had invited most of the 127 governors, nobles, and especially the Persian and Median nobles to see the wealth and splendor of his kingdom for about 6 months, 180 days. Persia and Media were old friendly neighboring countries.