The trustworthy servant (Ps 119:17-119:24)

Gimel

“Deal bountifully with your servant.

Thus I may live and observe your word.

Open my eyes!

Thus I may behold

Wondrous things out of your law.

I am an alien in the land.

Do not hide your commandments from me!

My soul is consumed with longing

For your ordinances at all times.

You rebuke the insolent.

You rebuke the accursed ones,

You rebuke those who wander from your commandments.

Take away from me their scorn and contempt.

I have kept your decrees.

Even though princes sit plotting against me,

Your servant will meditate on your statutes.

Your decrees are my delight.

They are my counselors.”

This psalmist maintained that he was a trustworthy servant. He wanted to live and observe the word of God. He wanted his eyes opened so that he could see all the wondrous things of the law. He was like an alien in his own land. He did not want Yahweh to hide the commandments from him. He was consumed with following the laws of Yahweh. He knew that Yahweh rebuked those who wandered from keeping his commandments, the insolent and the accursed ones. Even if other princes were plotting against him, this psalmist would continue to meditate on Yahweh’s statutes. The psalmist delighted in Yahweh’s decrees since they were like his counselors. Thus this section on the third consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Gimel, came to an end.

Jonathan and the peace treaty (1 Macc 9:70-9:73)

“When Jonathan learned of this, he sent ambassadors to Bacchides to make peace with him and obtain release of the captives. Bacchides agreed and he did as Jonathan said. He swore to Jonathan that he would not try to harm him as long as he lived. He restored to him the captives whom he had previously taken from the land of Judah. Then he turned and departed to his own land. He never came back into their territory. Thus the sword ceased from Israel. Jonathan settled in Michmash. He began to judge the people. He destroyed the godless out of Israel.”

When Jonathan heard that General Bacchides was leaving, he sent messengers to him to make peace and exchange prisoners. General Bacchides agreed with Jonathan. He swore that he would not harm Jonathan as long as he lived. They then exchanged prisoners or captives. General Bacchides left for his own land and never came back again. Thus there was peace in Israel. For someone unknown reason, Jonathan did not go to Jerusalem. Instead he settled in Michmash, about 8 miles northeast of Jerusalem and about 9 miles south of Bethel, where Saul had his fight with the Philistines. Jonathan was more like the early Israelite judges and Samuel than a king. However, he did destroy the godless renegades.