False childbirth (Isa 26:16-26:18)

“O Yahweh!

In distress,

They sought you.

They poured out a prayer

When your chastening way

Was on them.

Like a woman with child,

Who writhes,

Who cries out in her pangs,

When she is near her time,

So were we

Because of you!

Yahweh!

We were with child!

We writhed!

But we gave birth

Only to wind!

We have won no victories

On earth.

No one is born

To inhabit the world.”

Isaiah, once again, speaking directly to Yahweh, the Lord, sought him in his distress. He and his friends felt like they had the pains of childbirth. They felt like they were filled with labor pains, but there was no child to be born. They only passed gas, not a new born child. They had no victories on earth. There were no new children to inhabit this earth.

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Thanksgiving for past victories (Ps 108:7-108:9)

“God has promised in his sanctuary.

‘With exultation

I will divide up Shechem.

I will portion out the Vale of Succoth.

Gilead is mine.

Manasseh is mine.

Ephraim is my helmet.

Judah is my scepter.

Moab is my washbasin.

On Edom

I hurl my shoe.

Over Philistia

I shout in triumph.’”

This section is a repeat almost word for word of the same victories mentioned in Psalm 60. God directly promised or spoke in his sanctuary to David. This is one of the few times that this phraseology is used, assuming that the sanctuary of the Temple was completed. This probably was a prophet speaking in the name of God, but there is no specific indication here. He rattled off a series of Israelite victories. Shechem was a former Canaanite city that was now divided up and part of the territory of Manasseh. Succoth was conquered during the time of the Judges. Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River where the tribes of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh lived. Only 3 Israelite tribes are mentioned here, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah. Judah would become the favorite when the split between the north and the south took place as the north became known as Israel. Moab was a mere washbasin on the east side of the Dead Sea. Edom was in the north. The phrase “hurl a shoe” seemed obsolete until some Iraqi journalist hurled his shoe at President George W. Bush to show his contempt. Philistines were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus this is a list of the various victorious Israelite battles.

Sing about Yahweh’s victory (Ps 98:1-98:3)

A psalm

“O sing to Yahweh a new song!

For he has done marvelous things!

His right hand

Has gotten him victory.

His holy arm

Has gotten him victory.

Yahweh has made known his victory.

He has revealed his vindication

In the sight of the nations.

He has remembered his steadfast love.

He has remembered his faithfulness

To the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen

The victory of our God.”

Psalm 98 has a non-descript title, a psalm, so that it is like Psalm 96. We are called to sing a new song to Yahweh because he has done marvelous things. His right hand and holy arm have provided victories for the Israelites. He has shown his victories, vindication of Israel before all nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen God’s victories.

The past victories (Ps 60:6-60:8)

“God promised in his sanctuary.

‘With exultation

I will divide up Shechem.

I will portion out the Vale of Succoth.

Gilead is mine!

Manasseh is mine!

Ephraim is my helmet!

Judah is my scepter!

Moab is my washbasin!

On Edom I hurl my shoe!

Over Philistia I shout in triumph.’”

The prayer was answered. God directly promised or spoke. This is one of the few times that this phraseology is used. It also assumes the sanctuary of the Temple is completed. This probably was a prophet speaking in the name of God, but there is no specific indication here. He listed off the Israelite victories. Shechem was a former Canaanite city that was now divided up and part of the territory of Manasseh. Succoth was conquered during the time of the Judges. Gilead was on the eastern side of the Jordan River where the tribes of Gad and half tribe of Manasseh lived. Only 3 Israelite tribes are mentions, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Judah. Judah would become the favorite with the split between the north and the south, when the north became known as Israel. Moab was a mere washbasin, the east side of the Dead Sea. Edom was in the north. The phrase “hurl a shoe” seemed obsolete until some Iraqis journalist hurled his shoe at President George W. Bush to show his contempt. Philistines were on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Thus this is a victorious Israel, so why are they complaining?

Pride in the name of Yahweh (Ps 20:6-20:8)

“Now I know

That Yahweh will help his anointed one.

He will answer him

From his holy heaven.

He will provide mighty victories by his right hand.

Some take pride in chariots.

Some take pride in horses.

Our pride is in the name of Yahweh

Our God.

They will collapse and fall.

However we shall rise.

We shall stand upright.”

They had complete confidence in Yahweh that he would help his anointed one the king. Yahweh would answer him from heaven. He would provide victories with his right hand. While others take pride in their chariots and horses, they took pride in the name of Yahweh, their God. The others would collapse and fall, but they would rise and stand upright. Victory was theirs if Yahweh would be with them.

Final praise of Yahweh (Ps 18:49-18:50)

“For this I will extol you!

Yahweh!

Among the nations,

I will sing praises to your name.

Great triumphs he gives to his king.

He shows steadfast love to his anointed.

To David

And his descendants forever.”

Once again like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, David sings Yahweh’s praises among the nations at the end of this psalm. Yahweh was the tower of salvation to his anointed King David. May his descendents be loved forever. So ends this hymn of praise from a conquering king in thanksgiving for his various victories. The enemies are all gone. The Davidic dynasty begins. Notice that the last few phrases speak explicitly of David in the third person, rather than the first person of the previous verses.