The anger of Yahweh (Isa 30:27-30:28)

“See!

The name of Yahweh

Comes from far away.

It burns with his anger,

In thick rising smoke.

His lips are

Full of indignation.

His tongue is

Like a devouring fire.

His breath is

Like an overflowing stream

That reaches up to the neck.

He sifts the nations

With the sieve of destruction.

He places on the jaws of the people

A bridle that leads them astray.”

Is this an allusion to the Assyrians as they attack Jerusalem? The name of Yahweh comes from a distance. Could this be an indication of the far off Assyrians? Or was this Yahweh himself angry? He burns with anger so that smoke is rising up. His lips and tongue were full of indignation and fire. His breath was like an overflowing stream that reached to your neck. He used a sieve to sift out the destruction of the various nations. He placed a bridle on the jaws of the people to lead them in the wrong direction. This is either a description of an anthropomorphic mad Yahweh or how Yahweh made the Assyrians mad.

The blessing of the high priest Simon (Sir 50:20-50:21)

“Then Simon came down.

He raised his hands

Over the whole congregation

Of Israelites.

He pronounced

The blessing of the Lord

With his lips.

He gave glory in his name.

They bowed down

In worship

A second time.

They received

The blessing

From the Most High.”

The high priest Simon then came down and raised his hands over the whole congregation of Israelites. He then pronounced the blessings of the Lord with his lips, as he gave glory to the name of the Lord, Yahweh. This Day of Atonement was one of the few times that the high priest was able to say the name of the Lord, Yahweh, although it is not explicitly stated here. They all bowed down in worship a second time in order to receive the blessing of the Most High God.

Carefulness (Sir 22:27-22:27)

“Who will set a guard

Over my mouth?

Who will put an effective seal

Upon my lips?

Thus I may not fall

Because of them.

Thus my tongue may not

Destroy me.”

Sirach wants a guard on his mouth and a seal on his lips. He is afraid that he might fall because of what he says. He was afraid that his tongue would destroy him. After all, he did speak and write a lot.

The effect of the female lover (Song 7:6-7:9)

Male lover

“How fair you are!

How pleasant you are!

O loved one!

Delectable maiden!

You are stately as a palm tree.

Your breasts are like its clusters.

I say

I will climb the palm tree.

I will lay hold of its branches.

O may your breasts be

Like clusters of the vine!

The scent of your breath is like apples.

Your kisses are

Like the best wine

That goes down smoothly.

They glide over my lips and teeth.”

What has been the effect of this female lover on the male lover? We find that he saw her as fair, pleasant, and delectable. She appeared stately as a palm tree. Then he went into an elaborate description of her breasts that were like clusters of a palm tree, not like gazelles or fawns. He wanted to climb this palm tree and grab hold of its branches, her breasts. He wanted her breasts to be like clusters in a vineyard. Then he went on to talk about her apple scented breath. He proclaimed that her kisses were sweeter than wine. They were in fact the best wine that went done smoothly over his lips and teeth. Certainly this was a vivid graphic description of how he perceived his lover.

Keep me from wicked deeds (Ps 141:3-141:4)

“Set a guard over my mouth!

Yahweh!

Keep watch over the door of my lips!

Do not turn my heart to any evil!

Do not let me busy myself

With wicked deeds

In company

With those who work iniquity!

Do not let me eat of their delicacies!”

David wanted Yahweh to guard his mouth and his lips so that he would not speak evil. He wanted Yahweh to keep his heart from evil. David did not want to busy himself with wicked deeds among those who were iniquitous. He did not want to eat of the delicacies of iniquity.

The thirst for God (Ps 63:1-63:4)

A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah

“O God!

You are my God!

I seek you!

My soul thirsts for you!

My flesh faints for you!

I am like in a dry and weary land.

There is no water.

So I have looked upon you

In the sanctuary.

I behold your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love

Is better than life,

My lips will praise you.

So I will bless you

As long as I live.

I will lift up my hands.

I will call on your name.”

This Psalm 63 refers to the time that David was in the wilderness with his outlaw band of warriors against King Saul. There is no indication of any choral element in this psalm. David was seeking God. His soul was thirsty for God, like in Psalm 42. His flesh was faint without God. He was like in a dry and weary land without water. He wanted to look on the sanctuary of God, but it did not exist at this time. He wanted to behold the power and glory of God. He realized the steadfast love of God was better than life itself. His lips would praise and bless God as long as he lived. He was going to lift up his hands and call upon the name of God.

David’s broken contrite heart (Ps 51:15-51:17)

“O Lord!

Open my lips!

My mouth will declare your praise.

You have no delight in sacrifice.

If I were to give a burnt offering,

You would not be pleased.

The sacrifice acceptable to God is

A broken spirit,

A broken heart,

A contrite heart.

O God!

You will not despise.”

David wanted God to open his lips and mouth so that they might praise God. He seemed to imply that God was not that pleased with sacrifices and burnt offerings. What God really wanted was a broken spirit and a contrite broken heart that would not despise him.