Thursday, March 26, 2009

Article on Psalm 51 by Baeric

Baeric was inspired at the thought of our reading Psalm 51 this week, did some serious research, and wrote for us a very interesting article about interpretation of the Old Testament (and for Psalms in particular), and the application of these principles to Psalm 51.

Please read this before the study if you have time. It's a very interesting article indeed, and will provide us with material to discuss. Baeric will most likely be providing us with a short summary or excerpt during the study.

Paslm 51 - a contribution by Baeric

Often the origins of the bible are forgotten or misunderstood, and we need to focus on the idea that the bible is a jewish book, written by jews, about jews, for jews. The lack of this focus often leads to many misinterpretations through lack of understanding of how the jewish teachers taught and learnt. The teaching mechanisms used are called PARDES meaning garden, and the letters are PRDS: These stand for:

PESHAT : Literal meaning of the words as they are written

REMEZ : Alluding to or hinting at (as YeShua was well known to do with his parables)

DERUSH : Exegesis meaning the use of many scriptures to expound scripture

SODE : The secret meaning that requires much study to find and confirmed in Prov 25:2, Deut 29:29; Isa 55: 8 and 9

Deut 29:29 The secret [things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

Prov 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings (we are a royal priesthood a holy nation) is to search out a matter. (1 Pet 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people...)

Isa 55:8 and 9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Therein lies a demonstration of REMEZ, DERUSH and SODE.

Psalm 51 is likely the greatest prayer of repentance recorded in the bible. The opening verse speaks of God's lovingkindness and this alludes back to Psalm 36:7 where David writes about the Bathsheba incident too. Psa 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Here David mentions about the shadow of God's wings. This is a prophetic cameo, of where Malachi writes in verse 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings. The word SUN here is used in REMEZ fashion to indicate the brightness of the sun and that without the sun the world would not be sustainable, and this alludes to the fact that we, the royal priesthood, would not live without Christ, God's son, and He is the light of the world. This verse is alluded to by Christ, in Mat 9:20 where a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. The word hem here, is from the Greek word, kraspedon or the Hebrew tzitzit meaning tassel or fringe. This tassel or fringe, refers to the tassels found on YeShua's prayer shawl. This is commanded in Deut 22:12 and Num 15:37-40.

Deut 22:12 Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself and in

Num 15:37-40 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

The prayer shawl comes from the word TALITH meaning little tent, and remember Paul was a tent maker... and he made these shawls. These tassels or the hem, are knotted five times to remind Jews of the five books of Moses. The four spaces between these knots represent the letters of God?s name, YHWH. And the knots along the prayer shawl edges use exactly 613 knotted strings, representing the 613 laws of the Torah. Thus, when David wrote in Psalm 1, he loved the law, he was referring to this prayer shawl, and all it represents.

Psalm 51 is David crying out for mercy and forgiveness for his sinful state, to God. David had Uriah murdered, and slept with Bathsheba. Nathan came and gave David a message from God stating the God knew of David's sin, and in remez style, alludes to the idea that God knew of Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden. Once Nathan had given David this message, David instantly repented from his sins, and thus we have psalm 51. So, before David can repent, there has to be a revelation from God to show that he must repent, and David then has the responsibility to repent. This is a prophetic cameo of where John the Baptist is calling out as a voice from he wilderness to repent and believe. David cries out in verses 3, 4 and 5 out about his transgressions showing that he is aware of the plurality of his sins; crying out about his sins as he has sinned against God only, showing the viral like nature of the sin he committed, and iniquities acknowledging the sinful nature of man, going to his birth to demonstrate the deep roots of sin in his life.

David called out three times, once to God, once to Christ and once to the Holy Spirit. Verse 7 states "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" and this alludes to the cleansing nature of the Holy Spirit. David cries out to God in verse 10 to create in him a new heart, and to renew his spirit and verse 11 not to remove the Holy Spirit from him, and here we have an early acknowledgement of the existence of the Holy Spirit and to restore him to salvation in verse 12. Thus indicating that salvation is not a permanent state, and that we, through our sin, can divorce ourselves from God, and place ourselves in a place where we need to repent from, and turn back to God. Paul in Romans 12:2 alludes to this when he states that we need to be renewed. David is reaching out to touch the hem to be made whole and complete, by seeking the healing in His wings.

God acknowledged that David was a man after His own heart, meaning that as soon as David knew and realised his sin, he repented immediately without hesitation. This represents how we ought to be living our daily Christian walk. To be so in touch with God, that we are constantly reaching out to touch and be covered by the healing in God's wings. Psalm 51 is prophetic of the gospel message, to repent, and believe, to seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.



Anglican Ecumenical Bible Study in Second Life said...

Thanks so much for this, Baeric.

Funny enough, for all I've read of philosophical hermeneutics, this is new to me - Jewish hermeneutics. This has been a fascinating read for me.

Anglican Ecumenical Bible Study in Second Life said...

I forgot to add:

Many many thanks to Helene for doing an AWESOME job of leading the Bible study for this challenging psalm!

Ailsa Wright said...

Thanks for your help in introducing the psalm, Baeric. I think it gave us a very good start indeed.

Lots of new stuff for me to learn about. Well done for giving even Wilf something new!!


Debbie said...

The explanation of the language used in this Psalm was very enlightening to me. Baeric, you did a wonderful job of analyzing the passage and it helped me to read it before the meeting - I always feel a little behind because I'm not so analytical. Thanks for taking it on, Baeric, and your overview inworld was good - we enjoyed it as well. Love in Him, Liliana