O daughter Zion!
I will dwell
In your midst.’
Shall join themselves
In that day.
‘They shall be my people.
I will dwell
In your midst.’
You shall know
That Yahweh of hosts
Has sent me to you.
Yahweh will inherit Judah
As his portion
In the holy land.
He will again choose
Yahweh wanted daughter Zion to sing and rejoice. He was going to come to dwell in their midst, among them. Many nations or people from many different countries would join with Yahweh on that day. Yahweh said that they would be his people. He was going to live among them. Yahweh would inherit Judah, since he had sent his prophet to his Holy Land. This was the first use of this term that was later used in 2 Maccabees, chapter 1. Yahweh had chosen Jerusalem again.
“Those who lived long ago in your holy land,
You hated for their detestable practices.
They had their works of sorcery.
They had their unholy rites.
They had their merciless slaughter of children.
They had their sacrificial feasting of human flesh.
They had their sacrificial feasting of human blood.
These were initiates from the midst of a heathen cult.
These were parents who murdered helpless lives.
You willed to destroy them
By the hands of our ancestors.
Thus the land is the most precious of all to you.
Thus you might receive a worthy colony
Of the children of God.”
Now this author turns to God’s holy land (τῆς ἁγίας σου γῆς) of Canaan and its former inhabitants who lived there long ago. They had detestable practices of sorcery. They had rites of sacrificial children with feasting on human flesh and blood. These heathen cults had parents kill their helpless children. God wanted to destroy all of them because the land was so precious. Thus there he created a colony for the children of God (Θεοῦ παίδων).
“Yet Isreal tested the Most High God.
They rebelled against him.
They did not observe his decrees.
They turned away.
They were faithless,
Like their ancestors.
They twisted like a treacherous bow.
They provoked him to anger,
With their high places.
They moved him to jealousy,
With their idols.
When God heard,
He was full of wrath.
He utterly rejected Israel.”
When the Israelites got to the holy land, they tested God. They rebelled against him. They did not keep his commandments. They were faithless like their ancestors in the desert. They provoked God to anger when they established the high places dedicated to idols in the countryside. When God heard this he was angry. He then utterly rejected Israel.
“Then he led out his people like sheep.
He guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them to safety.
They were not afraid.
However the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
He brought them to his holy hill.
He brought them to the mountain
That his right hand had won.
He drove out nations before them.
He apportioned them for a possession.
He settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.”
God led his people like sheep. Thus the image of the good shepherd goes back to the Exodus itself. He guided his flock of sheep through the wilderness as he led them to safety. Thus they were not afraid. After all he had led them through the waters that never touched them. He brought them to his holy hill or mountain, Mount Sinai. He drove out nations before them as they entered the holy land. The apportionment of this holy land among the Israelite tribes can be found in Joshua, chapters 14-19.
“The wicked borrow.
But they cannot pay it back.
The righteous are generous.
The righteous keep giving.
Those blessed by Yahweh
Shall inherit the land.
However those cursed by him
Shall be cut off.”
The land is key. The righteous shall inherit the land, but the wicked will be cut off from this inheritance. They borrow money, but they cannot pay it back. The righteous, on the other hand, are generous. They keep on giving. Therefore the blessed ones shall inherit the holy land, while the cursed ones will not.
“Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer!
Seek out their wickedness until you find none!
Yahweh is king forever and ever!
The nations shall perish from his land!”
The psalmist wants Yahweh to break the arm of the wicked ones and the evildoers. He wanted Yahweh to seek out all their wickedness until nothing was left. Yahweh was king forever. Those pagan gentile nations shall perish from the holy land of Yahweh. Yahweh’s land indicates that there were some non-Yahweh believers in Israel.