“Jesus will reign
Over the house
Of Jacob forever.
There will be
To his kingdom.”
καὶ βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ἰακὼβ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, καὶ τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.
Luke indicated that this rule of Jesus would be over the whole house of Jacob (καὶ βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον Ἰακὼβ) forever (εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας). No longer would it just be Judah or Judea, but all the tribes of Israel, or the sons of Jacob, would be reunited. This sounds like a political and religious unification of Israel. However, there would be no end to his kingdom (καὶ τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔσται τέλος), since this was not a temporary rule, but an eternal one. The house of Israel would be united under Jesus forever. It did not exactly work out that way.
“The Lord created his works
From the beginning.
When he made them,
He determined their boundaries.
He arranged his works
In an eternal order.
Their dominion was
For all generations.
They are neither hungry
Nor growing weary.
They do not abandon their tasks.
They do not crowd one another.
They never disobey his word.
The Lord looked upon the earth.
He filled it with his good things.
With all kinds of living beings
He covered its surface.
In to it
They must return.”
Sirach’s concept of creation was as a developed static work. The Lord determined the eternal boundaries of all the created things on earth. Thus there was the domination of certain species over others. Nature does not grow weary or hungry. The things of the earth do not abandon their tasks nor crowd each other out. They never disobey the Lord. He has filled this earth with good living things. However, all these living things will return to the earthly surface since they are not individually eternal.
“Yahweh exists forever!
Your word is firmly fixed in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations.
You have established the earth.
It stands fast.
By your appointment
They stand today.
All things are your servants.
If your law had not been my delight,
I should have perished in my misery.
I will never forget your precepts.
You have given me life.
I am yours!
I have sought your precepts.
The wicked lie in wait
To destroy me.
But I consider your decrees.
I have seen a limit to all perfection.
But your commandment is exceedingly broad.”
Yahweh is eternal in heaven. His faithfulness endures forever. He has established the earth and keeps it going. All things are his servants. This psalmist admits that if he did not have this delightful law, he might have perished in his misery. He would never forget the precepts of Yahweh since they gave him life. He gave himself fully to Yahweh. He relied on Yahweh to save him since he always sought his precepts. However, the wicked lay in wait for him in order to destroy him. The psalmist would consider the decrees of Yahweh and seek perfection because of the broad commandments. So ends this section on the twelfth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Lamed.
You laid the foundation of the earth.
The heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish.
But you will endure.
They will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing.
They pass away.
But you are the same.
Your years have no end.
The children of your servants
Shall live secure.
Their offspring shall be established
In your presence.”
This psalm ends with a tribute to the eternal Yahweh, who had laid the foundation for the earth. He has made both heaven and earth, which will both pass away just like the changing of clothes. However, Yahweh would not pass away. He would be the same since his years have no end. Their offspring and children would be established in the presence of eternal Yahweh.
A prayer of Moses, the man of God
You have been our dwelling place,
In all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Before you had formed the earth,
Before you had formed the world,
From everlasting to everlasting,
You are God.”
Psalm 90 is one of the few psalms of Moses, not David or the other Temple singers. This is a hymn that praises eternal Yahweh who is the psalmist’s dwelling place. Yahweh existed before the mountains came to be. He existed before the earth or the world was formed. Yahweh is the eternal everlasting God.
“The prayer was to this effect,
‘O Lord, Lord God,
Creator of all things,
You are awe-inspiring.
You are strong.
You are just.
You are merciful.
You alone are king.
You are kind.
You alone are bountiful.
You alone are just.
You are almighty.
You are eternal.
You rescue Israel from every evil.
You chose our ancestors.
You consecrated them.
Accept this sacrifice on behalf of all your people Israel!
Preserve your portion!
Make it holy!
Gather together our scattered people!
Set free those who are slaves among the gentiles!
Look on those who are rejected and despised!
Let the gentiles know that you are our God!
Punish those who oppress!
Punish those who are insolent with pride!
Plant your people in your holy place,
As Moses promised.’”
This is a beautiful prayer that emphasizes a theology of the attributes of God. God is a king, awe-inspiring, strong, just, merciful, kind, bountiful, almighty, and eternal. Then there was the turn to how God had rescued Israel and helped their consecrated ancestors. They want their sacrifice made holy. They wanted their scattered people to return, especially from the gentile slavery. They wanted God to look kindly on the rejected, the despised, and the oppressed. However, God should punish the oppressors and the prideful insolent people. Finally they wanted their people be brought back to the holy place as Moses had promised. Jerusalem was the holy place as they were scattered among the hostile gentiles.