To bring fire
To the earth.
How I wish
That it was
Πῦρ ἦλθον βαλεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν, καὶ τί θέλω εἰ ἤδη ἀνήφθη.
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that he came to bring or cast fire or judgment (Πῦρ ἦλθον βαλεῖν) to the earth (ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν). Jesus wished (καὶ τί θέλω) that this fire had already started or kindled (εἰ ἤδη ἀνήφθη). It appeared that Jesus wanted the judgment day to come sooner. He wanted the judgment of fire to come quickly. Fire was also a symbol of the Holy Spirit, purification, or presence of his love. Jesus wanted things to get going. Are you anxious about things to start?
“On that day,
It shall be said
‘Do not fear!
Do not let your hands
Is in your midst!
He is a warrior
Who gives victory.
He will rejoice
He will renew you
In his love.
He will exult
With loud singing
As on a day of festival.”
Zephaniah emphasized that on that great day, Jerusalem would have Yahweh in their midst. They were not to fear or let their hands grow weak. Yahweh, their God, would be a warrior for them. Yahweh was going to rejoice and be glad about them. He would renew them with his love. He would exult over them with loud singing, as on the various festival days.
“Incline your ear!
Come to me!
Thus you may live!
I will make with you
An everlasting covenant.
Because of my steadfast one!
My sure love for David!
I made him a witness to the people.
I made him a leader.
I made him commander for the people.
You shall call nations
That you do not know.
Nations that you do not know
Shall run to you.
Because of Yahweh
The Holy One of Israel,
Has glorified you.”
Second Isaiah notes that Yahweh has made an alliance with Israel. Once again, there is the command or call for people to listen or see, as if they are not. Yahweh was going to make an everlasting covenant because of his love for King David, so that they might live. He had made David a witness, a leader, and a commander for his people. Now many nations that they do not know, or nations that do not know them, will come to them because of Yahweh. Their God, the Holy One of Israel, will glorify the name of Israel.
“You have ravished my heart!
You have ravished my heart
With a glance of your eyes,
With one jewel of your necklace.
How sweet is your love!
How much better is your love
The fragrance of your oils is better
Than any spice!
Your lips distil nectar!
Honey and milk are under your tongue.
The scent of your garments is
Like the scent of Lebanon.”
This male lover than goes into a praise of her wonders. He calls her a bride and a sister. Sister is a term of endearment in Egyptian poetry. Bride is used as an aspiration term, what he wants to happen. She has ravished his heart. She has stolen his heart with her glancing eyes and jeweled necklace. Her love is sweet and better than wine. Her fragrance is better than any spices. Her lips are like fruity nectar. She seems to have milk and honey under her tongue just like the Promised Land was always full of milk and honey. Her garments smelt like Lebanon. I assume that this was a good smell of cedar wood.
“Is your steadfast love declared in the grave?
Is your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness?
Is your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?”
Now the psalmist asks a series of questions that indicate that if he died he could no longer show his love to God or tell people about God’s wonderful things. He would be in the grave. Abaddon is another name for Sheol, since there would be no contact with the living. If he died he would be in the land of darkness and forgetfulness.
“I have told the glad news of deliverance
In the great congregation.
I have not restrained my lips.
As you know!
I have not hidden
Your saving help within my heart.
I have spoken of your faithfulness.
I have spoken of your salvation.
I have not concealed your steadfast love,
I have not concealed your faithfulness,
From the great congregation.”
David has proclaimed the good news of salvation to the great Jewish congregation where later they would gather in the Temple. He has not kept quiet. He has not hidden his love for Yahweh. He has spoken about his saving help, the faithfulness, and steadfast love of Yahweh. He has not concealed the faithfulness of Yahweh toward him and his faithfulness towards Yahweh. He has done all this publicly in the great assemblies.
“Be mindful of your mercy!
Be mindful of your steadfast love!
They have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth!
Do not remember my transgressions!
According to your steadfast love,
For your goodness’ sake!
David wanted Yahweh to be merciful. He wanted him to remember his love from long ago. Yahweh was not to remember the sins of his youth or other transgressions. However, he was to remember only love because Yahweh is good.
“I am there.
I call upon you.
You answer me!
Incline your ear to me!
Hear my words!
Wondrously show your steadfast love!
O savior of those who seek refuge!”
The psalmist calls to God to answer him. He wanted God to turn his ear toward him. This is a common theme of God listening with his ear. He wanted God to hear his words. He wanted God to show his love. He wanted protection from his adversaries. He was seeking love and refuge in God.