Yahweh as king (Ps 99:1-99:5)

“Yahweh rules as king.

Let the peoples tremble!

He sits enthroned upon the cherubim.

Let the earth quake!

Yahweh is great in Zion.

He is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name!

Holy is he!

Mighty King!

Lover of justice!

You have established equity.

You have executed justice.

You have executed righteousness in Jacob.

Extol Yahweh!

Our God!

Worship at his footstool!

Holy is he!”

Psalm 99 continues the theme of Yahweh as king. Once again there is no title to this psalm. Yahweh rules as king. The people tremble. He sits enthroned on the angelic cherubim in Zion over all the people. This holy king should be praised because his name is awesome. He is the mighty holy king who loves justice and equity. He has executed justice and righteousness upon the descendants of Jacob. We should extol holy Yahweh as our God when we worship at his footstool. We see the repeated refrain “holy is he.”

Yahweh is king (Ps 97:1-97:5)

“Yahweh is king!

Let the earth rejoice!

Let the many coastlands be glad!

Clouds and thick darkness are all around him.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

Fire goes before him.

Fire consumes his adversaries on every side.

His lightning lights the world.

The earth sees it.

The earth trembles.

The mountains melt like wax

Before Yahweh,

Before the Lord of all the earth.”

Psalm 97 is another untitled psalm about the kingship of Yahweh.   Yahweh is the king who rules the earth. The earth and the coastlands rejoice and are glad. Clouds and darkness are all around Yahweh. Righteousness and justice are the foundations of this throne. Fire consumes all his adversaries. His lightning strikes the world. The earth sees it and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before Yahweh, the Lord of all the earth.

Yahweh questions Job about the stellar constellations (Job 38:31-38:33)

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?

Can you loosen the cords of Orion?

Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season?

Can you guide the Bear with its children?

Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?

Can you establish their rule on the earth?”

The ancients were well aware of the heavens and their clusters of stars. The Greek named the Pleiades constellation as the nearest cluster of stars to earth. It has 7 bright blue stars, usually referred to as the 7 sisters chained together. Orion was a cluster of stars as a great Greek hunter. Mazzaroth is more difficult to ascertain, but it may mean the whole star system. The Bear constellation may refer to the big bear and little bear constellations. Job was asked if he knew the laws of the heavens. If he did not know them, then how could he establish any rules on earth? This was a common thought. Since you did not know the laws of heaven, how could you determine the laws of earth?

Other rules for contact with unclean things (Lev 11:32-11:40)

“Anything which any dead animal falls on shall be unclean, whether an article of wood, cloth, skin or sacking, any article that is used for any purpose.  It shall be dipped into water.  It shall be unclean until the evening.  Then it shall be clean.  If any of them falls into any earthen vessel, all that is in it shall be unclean.  You shall break the vessel.   Any food that could be eaten shall be unclean if water from any such vessel comes upon it.  Any liquid that could be drunk shall be unclean if it was in any such vessel.  Everything on which any part of the carcass falls shall be unclean.  Whether an oven or stove, it shall be broken in pieces.  They are unclean and shall remain unclean for you.  But a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean.  While whatever touches the carcass in it shall be unclean.   If any part of their carcass falls upon any seed set aside for sowing, it is clean.  But if water is put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.  If an animal of which you may eat dies, anyone who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.  Those who eat of its carcass shall wash their clothes and be unclean until the evening.  Those who carry the carcass shall wash their clothes and be unclean until the evening.”

If any dead animals touch anything, whether it is wood, cloth, or skin that is also unclean until the evening.  It has to be dipped in water.  If any unclean thing falls into a vessel, you have to break the vessel.  Any food or drink from that vessel is also unclean.  On the other hand, water in a stream or cistern is clean as are seeds.  However, anything in the water or a wet seed is unclean.  Even the clean animals become unclean when they die.  So that if you touch a dead clean animal you become unclean until you wash your clothes and evening comes.  You have to destroy your earthen vessels and break your stove if the unclean touches it.  This seems harsh compared to the unclean until evening.