The suffering servant of Yahweh (Isa 50:5-50:6)

“I was not rebellious.

I did not turn backward.

I gave my back

To those who struck me.

I gave my cheeks

To those who pulled out my beard.

I hid not hide my face

From insult.

I did not hide my face

From spitting.”

Now Second Isaiah has this teaching servant become a suffering servant of Yahweh. He had not been rebellious nor turned his back on Yahweh. If anyone struck him, he turned his back to them. If anyone pulled on his beard, he did not turn away since he gave up his cheeks. If anyone insulted him by spitting on him, he did not turn his face to cover it. This suffering servant was very passive in the face of an attack.

The role of the king (Prov 16: 10-16:15)

“Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king.

His mouth does not sin in judgment.

Honest balances and scales are Yahweh’s.

All the weights in the bag are his work.

It is an abomination for kings to do evil.

The throne is established by righteousness.

Righteous lips are the delight of a king,

He loves those who speak what is right.

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death.

Whoever is wise will appease it.

In the light of a king’s face

There is life.

His favor is like the clouds

That bring the spring rain.”

This next section follows the medieval concept of the diving right of kings. Thus the king speaks in the name of Yahweh. His decisions are thus inspired by Yahweh. He does not sin in making his judgments. He expects, like Yahweh, to have honest scales and balances, so that there should not be any false weights in bags on the scales. Thus, it is an abomination for a king to do evil because the throne was established by righteousness, which should be the delight of the king. The king loves those who speak correctly and rightly. On the other hand, his wrath is a messenger of death. The wise ones are able to appease his anger. You will have life if the king’s face lights upon you. His favors are like refreshing spring rains.

Steady my steps (Ps 119:129-119:136)

Phe

“Your decrees are wonderful.

Therefore my soul keeps them.

The unfolding of your words gives light.

It imparts understanding to the simple.

With open mouth I pant.

Because I long for your commandments.

Turn to me!

Be gracious to me!

It is your custom toward those who love your name.

Keep my steps steady

According to your promise!

Never let iniquity have dominion over me!

Redeem me from human oppression!

Thus I may keep your precepts.

Make your face shine upon your servant.

Teach me your statutes!

My eyes shed streams of tears.

Because your law is not kept.”

The psalmist wanted to remain steady in his steps that were following the law, since Yahweh’s decrees are wonderful. The unfolding of his words gives light so that he has a simple understanding. He longed and panted for Yahweh’s commandments. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him because Yahweh loved him. He wanted his steps kept steady just as Yahweh had promised. He did not want iniquity to have dominion over him. He wanted to be redeemed from human oppression. He would then be able to keep the precepts of Yahweh because his face shines on him. He wanted to learn the statutes. He cried when he learned that some people did not keep the law. So ends this section on the seventeenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Phe.

Yahweh hears the cry of the just (Ps 34:15-34:18)

Phe     

“The eyes of Yahweh are toward the righteous.

His ears are open to their cry.

Ain     

The face of Yahweh is against evildoers.

He would cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Cade   

When the righteous cry for help,

Yahweh hears.

He rescues them from all their troubles.

Qoph  

Yahweh is near to the brokenhearted.

He saves the crushed in spirit.”

Once again, Yahweh has eyes, ears, and a face to hear and see. There was this continual cry to have Yahweh listen to them. Much like “the eyes of Texas are on you” so too the eyes of Yahweh on the righteous ones. The ears of Yahweh are open to hear the righteous cry. The face of Yahweh was against the evildoers, whose memory would be wiped away. When the righteous cry, Yahweh hears them with his ears. He rescues them from all their troubles. He is near to the broken hearted. He saves those with a crushed spirit.

David trusts Yahweh (Ps 31:14-31:18)

“But I trust in you!

Yahweh!

I say.

‘You are my God.’

My times are in your hand.

Deliver me

From the hand of my enemies!

Deliver me

From the hand of my persecutors!

Let your face shine on your servant!

Save me in your steadfast love!

Do not let me be put to shame!

Yahweh!

I call on you!

Let the wicked be put to shame!

Let them go dumbfounded to Sheol!

Let those who speak insolently

Against the righteous,

With pride and contempt,

May their lying lips be stilled!”

David trusted in Yahweh. Truly Yahweh was his God. He had full confidence in him. He placed his life in the hands of God. He hoped that he would be delivered from the hands of his enemies and persecutors. He wanted Yahweh’s face to shine on him to give him light. He wanted Yahweh to act out of his steadfast love and not put him to shame.   Instead he wanted the wicked to be put to shame. He wanted them to go dumbfounded into Sheol, the underworld of death. He wanted their lying lips stilled. He wanted those who had spoken insolently against the righteous ones with pride and contempt to be quiet. David wanted the tables turned on his enemies because he trusted in Yahweh.

Praise to Yahweh (Ps 22:21-22:24)

“You have rescued me

From the horns of the wild oxen.

I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters.

In the midst of the congregation

I will praise you.

You who fear Yahweh!

Praise him!

All you offspring of Jacob!

Glorify him!

Stand in awe of him!

All you offspring of Israel!

He did not despise me.

He did not abhor me.

He did not forget the affliction of the afflicted.

He did not hide his face from me.

But he heard,

When I cried to him.”

Apparently things turned out okay because Yahweh rescued David or the psalmist. He now wanted to give praise and thanksgiving. He was rescued from the horns of the wild oxen. Now he wanted to profess the name of Yahweh before his brothers, his sisters, and the whole congregation. He wanted to praise Yahweh, but he also wanted all the offspring of Jacob and Israel to do the same.  It is interesting to note that both names are here and they mean the same thing. Yahweh did not despise or abhor him in his affliction. Yahweh never hid his face but in fact heard his call when he cried out to Yahweh.

The defeat of the Yahweh’s enemies (Ps 21:8-21:12)

“Your hand will find out all your enemies.

Your right hand will find out those who hate you.

You will make them like a fiery furnace

When you appear.

Yahweh will swallow them up in his wrath.

Fire will consume them.

You will destroy their offspring from the earth.

You will destroy their children from among humankind.

If they plan evil against you,

If they devise mischief,

They will not succeed.

You will put them to flight.

You will aim at their faces,

With your bows.”

Yahweh will find his enemies and those who hate him. He will then defeat them as a fiery furnace or swallow them up. Fire will consume them, even their offspring. Their children will be destroyed. Anyone who tried to plan or devise evil or mischief against Yahweh will not succeed. They will be put to flight as arrows will hit them in the face.