Christian Biblical Reflections.21

((Here are pages (521-560) CBR, Chapter III, (Christian Biblical Reflections.21, the 4th submission or installment) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018)) (Here is the PDF of CBR.1-3. Poetic Books of OT: updated and completed and further edited, corrected, and renumbered (pages 1-560)) :CBR.1-3.Aug12,2018.ChristBibReflect.mjmselim.Orgnl.08112018 (2)

 

     The Poetic Books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Songs shows human experiences in a fuller way than we have yet seen in the Scriptures. We are brought back to Genesis & Deuteronomy & to the other Books in a special way which may be said is more spiritual & elevated. These Poetical Books are focused on the Divine relations of God & man in wisdom & love with all things divine. Biblical Poetry is like natural poetry in the world which displays human experiences in the languages & tongues of mankind of countless variety & forms. In Genesis we have man’s first venture in poetic expression of music among the Cainites of Enoch City in the Land of East Eden in the family Lamech & his sons: Gen. 4:19-24: Lamech took unto him two wives: Adah & Zillah; Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of tent-dwellers & cattle-folks. His brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all musicians or players of harp & pipe. Zillah, bare Tubal-Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass & iron: & the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. And Lamech said unto his wives:

Adah & Zillah hear my voice: Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech:
For I have slain a man for wounding me: And a young man for bruising me:
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold: Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

     This development of Poetry & Music would contribute to the world before the Flood, and after the Flood, in the Land of Shinar, later called the Land of Sumer & Accad, it would dominate in the customs & cultures of the earliest Mesopotamians. The earliest civilizations were prolific in their poetic & musical expressions in songs, prayers, chants, melodies, as well as various musical performances in civic or religious observances, and many personal pursuits. The content of their songs & poems were filled with their history & beliefs of every sort from the distant past to their present living, and their future hopes & longings. Basic human experiences found musical expressions in poetic inspiration, as it would eventually be adapted to history & prophecy.
When we turn to the literature of those ancient times, in the translated & interpreted works as Pritchard’s Ancient Near East Texts, Anthology of Texts & Pictures, or Kramer’s Sumerian Literature of Poetry, Myths, History, &c, or Wilfred G. Lambert’s Babylonian Wisdom Literature, or Lukenbill’s Ancient Records of Assyria & Babylonia, or even Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, and a great many other such scholarly works (as Jastrow’s), we are overwhelmed at early man’s poetic & musical constitution. They spoke & prayed, they sang & played of God, & the gods, goddesses, idols, heaven, demons, spirits, powers, nature, creation; they imagined & promoted ideas & beliefs about their origins, their history & life, of their country & people, of kings & priests, of temples & holy places; and countless other things of humanity or divinity. Creation, Judgment, & Salvation were universal themes of their poetry; the Land & the People & the Book was their fascination. Dilmun was their original Paradise & Eden; life, death, good, evil, truth, fiction, righteousness, wickedness, sex, violence, government, and thousands of human experiences are found in their poems & songs, in their psalms & hymns, and in all their literature which survived decay & destruction. The Temple & the Throne were their sacred worship & service in all aspects of life & death. War & peace, love & hate, work & play was universal at all levels & in each person & family.
When we read their poems & songs, the hymns & psalms, we find very primitive & simple poetic forms that were easily performed with simple musical instruments of strings as lyres & harps; of drums of many sorts; and of wind instruments as pipes & flutes; and this besides the sounds generated by the human body of the mouth, hands, & feet; including the bodily movements & dancing. But when we turn to the Bible we read a far better story of man’s poetic heart & mouth. The reason for this is related to truth, which true wisdom must have to elevate man. We may compare the Texts of the ancients in their poetry and we will not find the higher nobler expressions of truth as wisdom. Barron’s Archaeology & the Bible in Two Parts of the Lands & the Documents relating to the Bible, compares analogies to Genesis and the Pentateuch as a whole as history; then he selects the Texts treating from Joshua through Esther. In dealing with the Poetic Books (Part II, Chapters 20-23, he compares the Bible account against “A Babylonian Job” (or Lambert’s ‘Babylonian Pilgrim’s Progress’), and another like poem; then some Psalms & Poetic pieces of Hymns, Songs, and examples of the Books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & the Song of Songs. But after his selections, his comments shows how far apart the Bible Books are to the Babylonian Documents: “…This story has some striking similarities to the book of Job. It presents also some striking dissimilarities…Here the parallelism with the book of Job ends. The two works belong to widely different religious worlds. Job gains relief by a vision of God—an experience which made him able to believe that, though he could not understand the reason for the pain of life or its contradictions and tragedy, God could, and Job now knew God.(See Job 42 : 4-6.) Tabu-utul-Bel, on the other hand, is said to have gained his relief through a magician. We are apparently told by the fragmentary text that at last he found a conjurer who brought a messenger from the god Marduk, who drove away the evil spirits which caused the disease, and so Tabu-utul-BSl was relieved. This difference sets vividly before us the greater religious value and inspiration of the book of Job. It treats the same problem that the Babylonian poet took for his theme, but between the outlook of the poet who composed Job and that of the Babylonian poet there is all the difference between a real experience of God and faith in the black art.”
It is the same with all the other Poetic examples given, and after reading, and in some cases rereading, I fail to appreciate what these scholars admire or esteem in theses comparisons & analogies. Here is Barton again: “Both from Babylonia and from Egypt a large number of hymns and prayers have been recovered. Some of these are beautiful on account of their form of expression, the poetical nature of their thoughts, and the sense of sin which they reveal. Most of them are clearly polytheistic, and it is rare that they rise in the expression of religious emotion to the simple sublimity of the Old Testament Psalms. Such likenesses to the Psalms as they possess only serve to set off in greater relief the rich religious heritage which we have in our Psalter.” And it continues throughout, telling us that these polytheistic inspirations were often beautiful & sublime aspirations of worship. But we sees in Scriptures truth that reveals these errors & conceits. But before we turn to the Book of Job we need to review Lambert’s “The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer (Ludlul Bel Nemeqi, often called the ‘Babylonian Job’). He tells us the Poem of the Sufferer is an Ancient Classic original in 4 or 5 tablets, and some 400-500 lines. He outlines the Plot: [Intro.]; Narrator (Ludlul) forsaken by Marduk (Lord of Wisdom) & Goddess; All forsake him, both Kings & Slaves; Disease & Sickness afflicts him; Promised Deliverance in 3 Dreams; Saved & Healed by Marduk & others (Demons, &c). Lambert does not see or attempt to merge Job & Ludlul, but does deal with the problem: “What solution then can we find? He takes an old theologoumena about the remoteness and inscrutability of the gods, and turns them round to mean that all values must be inverted with the gods, so that what is considered right among men must be wrong with the gods, and vice versa.” Lambert concludes: “… For a long time it has been customary to refer to ‘Ludlul’ as “The Babylonian Job”, and so long as knowledge was restricted to the second tablet such a description was justified. Seen now in a more complete form it will not bear the title so readily. Quantitatively the greater part of the text is taken up with showing how Marduk restores his ruined servant, and only a small part with trying to probe the reason for the suffering of the righteous. In places the writer deliberately sheets away from plainly facing this problem because of its blasphemous implications….The world is ruled by the lord Marduk, from whom justice is expected by his servants. Yet Marduk allows even the most devoted to suffer. The author of ‘Ludlul’ finds no answer adequate to solve this mystery. All he can say is that though it be the lord who has smitten, yet it is the lord who will heal.” And though the examples in the Proverbs & Doctrines & Love Songs of profanity are less frequent, and not as offensive, yet their profundity is more obvious & deficient.
The Society of Biblical Literature tells us, in praise of Lambert’s Works, in their review published by RBL: “Much more might be said about this magnum opus, but suffice it to say in conclusion that just as Prof. Lambert’s Babylonian Wisdom Literature enables a generation of students to understand better the Hebrew books of Job, Proverbs and Qoheleth, so his Babylonian Creation Myths will help future generations of students understand better the creation themed texts in Genesis, Job, the Psalter and the Prophets. Students around the world will find it difficult to measure their depth of gratitude not only for this volume but also that Prof. Lambert lived long enough to complete it.”

     The Book of Job is Hebrew Bible Poetry which serves as an excellent Preface & Introduction to the Psalms & Biblical Poetry. All we know about Job is found only in the Book of Job and outside of the Book he is mentioned only in Ezekiel & James, which tells us that he was righteous as Noah & Daniel, and that he was patient & favored by the Lord. In Genesis 10 Aram benShem had a 5th son named Uz, and Shem is called the Father of the Hebrews (Eberites, Heberites); in Gen. 22 Abraham’s brother Nahor had 8 sons by his wife Milcah: Uz, the 1st, then 2nd Buz, & 3rd Kemuel the abiAram (father of Aram, the Aramaeans); then the 4th-7th, then the 8th was Bethuel abiRebekah (Rebekah’s father, Rebekah was Isaac’s wife); and in Gen. 36 Jacob’s son Esau (Edom) in relations to the Seirites or Horites of Canaan & Edom (7 sons & a daughter named Timna); one of the 7 sons of the Horites of Seir-Edom was Dishan (chief, sheikh), he was abiUz & abiAran of the Land of Edom. These are recorded in the generations & genealogies of 1st Chronicles chapter 1. We learn that Uz is a Semitic-Aramaic-Hebrew-Edomite name. The Land of Uz was in Land of Edom or near its borders of the Edomite Sheiks. The Edomites were mixed with the Canaanites & Hebrews & Ishmaelites quite often, which may be seen by other names recorded in the Book of Job (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, Elihu benBarachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, Sabeans, Chaldeans (Casein), Qedemites (beneyQedemm sons of the East, Easterners, Middle Easterners), Tema, Sheba, desert, wilderness, &c.
The Book reads very simple, the outline is clear: its Beginning & its Ending encloses the Job & Friends in Debate with the Lord & the Adversary as Players. The Discourses or Parables are 20 Speeches in all, and chapter 19 is the hallway point in the debate. The Prologue & Epilogue, the Introduction & Conclusion, determine the nature & verdict of the great debate. The divine test & the human choices are all seen as they unfold as interactions & responses. Job as Man (Adam) is a good man, righteous, upright, God-fearing, sin-hating, honorable, noble, kind, &c. The questions are why, how, & what as to his virtue & relations to God & man. Mankind in the nations, peoples, & families of the earth is also on trial of the same nature & purpose, that is, for the same reason; which in Job is brought out in various ways & words. So far, the Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Assyrian, and all other ancient documents of the Job motif do not even come in as a distant second, no, they cannot be seen on the tract. ( The Greek LXX version & the modern Byzantine Text adds this ancient traditional note (Brenton’s translation): “This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausis (Uz, Oz), on the borders of Idumea (Edom) and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab (Yobab, see Gen. 10:29; 36:33; 36:34; Josh. 11:1; & 1st Chron 1 & 8.); and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abram. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And his friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovereign the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans.”)

     Job begins the debate with his lament & curse of his life at conception & birth, that his birthday & life is a mistake & crime, and all in the eyes & hands of God. This self-judgment of depression & grief is responded to by his Three Friends, in turns, one at a time, to which Job must reply & respond in turn & in cycles or rounds. Job ‘answered and said,’ 9 times in the debate, 2 times Job ‘took up his parable (proverb, mashal)’, before he ends his words in debate; he did not answer or reply to Elihu; and Job answered & replied to the Lord twice. Job ends his 1st speech with his calamity & tragedy which he once feared has now come upon him.
Eliphaz is cautious or hesitant to reply or respond to Job’s lament: Job once was a good man & leader, but now is disturbed & anguished at his misfortunes; as if man does not reap what he sows; or that God treats man unfairly in judgment; even in my dreams God has revealed to me: “Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?” Man is nothing to God, is less than the angels, a puny creature; man is foolish & wicked, born to trouble & fly as sparks. God to the contrary is fair, great, awesome, gracious, righteous; He saves, blesses, judges, and cares for the poor, needy, orphans, helpless, fearful, & persecuted, &c. Eliphaz concludes: ” Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; Hear it, and know thou it for thy good.”
Poor Job must answer all this in tears and sufferings with now a broken heart, as the Psalmist would say: “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, Who did eat of my bread, Hath lifted up his heel against me.” and “But it was thou, a man mine equal, My companion, and my familiar friend.” Job desires his troubles to be measured & weighed before Shaddai (the Almighty Provider-Nourisher) Who is now against him, and desires that God would just get it over with by killing him; why must He torment me slowly instead of a quick death as if I am able to endure the pain & agony. But should not a doomed man God-forsaken not find a little kindness from his friend (Eliphaz), even if it is true, quote: “Even to him that forsaketh the fear of the Almighty (Shaddai).” Job denounced such ‘friends’ & ‘brethren’ as ‘deceitful brooks’ good only for the ‘caravans of Tema’ and the ‘companies of Sheba’. Job complains to his friends that he has never begged them for bribe or pity, nor for help & protection, and even in this condition he would gladly listen if they had anything true & wise to say; but instead you sell the orphan & your friend, and cannot see his plight & dilemma. Job continues that human experience is a warfare, slavery, misery, with no salvation in sight & no comfort from man. So Job turns to God in prayer & praise, debating with El Shaddai of his life, times, sufferings, conflicts, &c. Job begs God for forgiveness & healing, at least for a brief time before he dies.
Bildad answers Job, like Eliphaz, and the debate heats up against Job. Job answers Bildad in deeper depression & rejection, bewildered at his friends enmity; and his argument turns him to God in prayer & praise. Then its Zophar’s turn to the same effect, and Job’s response in turn & in kind. The 2nd Cycle starts in chapter 15 & ends in 21, with Job in chapter 19 telling us that the speeches, theirs & his, number 10 thus far, and that they have in them only reproached & mistreated him. The 19th chapter is filled with important truth & prophecy, and we cite this passage as example: (19:1-29, ASV 1910)
Then Job answered and said: How long will ye vex my soul, And break me in pieces with words? These ‘ten times’ have ye reproached me: Ye are not ashamed that ye deal hardly with me. And be it indeed that I have erred, Mine error remaineth with myself. If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, And plead against me my reproach; Know now that God hath subverted me [in my cause], And hath compassed me with His net. Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry for help, but there is no justice. He hath walled up my way that I cannot pass, And hath set darkness in my paths. He hath stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head. He hath broken me down on every side, and I am gone; And my hope hath He plucked up like a tree. He hath also kindled His wrath against me, And He counteth me unto Him as [one of] His adversaries. His troops come on together, And cast up their way against me, And encamp round about my tent. He hath put my brethren far from me, And mine acquaintance are wholly estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, And my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me for a stranger; I am an alien in their sight. I call unto my servant, and he giveth me no answer, [Though] I entreat him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, And my supplication to the children of mine own mother. Even young children despise me; If I arise, they speak against me. All my familiar friends abhor me, And they whom I loved are turned against me. My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, And I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; For the hand of God hath touched me. Why do ye persecute me as God, And are not satisfied with my flesh? Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! That with an iron pen and lead They were graven in the rock forever! But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last He will stand up upon the earth: And after my skin, [even] this [body], is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God; Whom I, even I, shall see, on my side, And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger. My heart is consumed within me. If ye say, How we will persecute him! And that the root of the matter is found in me; Be ye afraid of the sword: For wrath [bringeth] the punishments of the sword, That ye may know there is a judgment.”

     We must turn from this type of reflection of the Book of Job, leaving it to the readers to pursue for themselves the entire Book in this way. We have in Job the struggle of human ideas, beliefs, doctrines & the like; the human experiences & expressions becomes the pursuit of wisdom, sophism, and in turn philosophy. The men who endeavored to master human wisdom were called wise men, sages or sophists, and this developed into philosophy of the philosophers. The Art of Wisdom in a global & international way advanced clearly from the Patriarchal times to the times of the Monarchies. The poets & prophets, the seers at first, contributed to the quest for science & wisdom. Within human wisdom was mixed the divine wisdom of historic memories & myths, then experiential & experimental advancement throughout the world, and periodically divine interaction added or modified human knowledge, understanding, & intellect. The wise men became the Counselors among men, especially to the Kings, whether a Balaam or an Ahithophel (of whom it was said: “And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man inquired at the Oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.”). So men like Ahithophel, Hushai the Archite, and thousands of such men, would teach the people in their generations both human & divine wisdom. Solomon would become in Israel the greatest of these wise men. Job was such a man.
In Job we learn that wisdom is not inherited but slowly acquired, and that in animals God has so made them that various degrees of wisdom is seen in their natural instincts, or lack thereof. We learn from created creatures various forms & features of wisdom, and also from all of nature. Divine Wisdom must intervene & interact with man, God must manifest His wisdom within man’s world for man to know, understand, & experience divine things. Job records the human struggle common to all mankind descended from the created pair, and whatever was transmitted from the original beginning, would undergo the changes & adaptations to man’s life & living. Wisdom & all spiritual things related to wisdom are abstractions of truth & reality & life. We learn to understand & to appreciate wisdom by learning from others, at first from parents & family, then the larger circles of life & society. So we return to the Book of Job.
In Job we read of many things of the ancient world of the Middle East, and very detail items of the ancient Semites & Arabs. But it is the knowledge of God and all that relates to Him that makes the Book of utmost value. God is presented as Jehovah, the Lord (Adonai, Adon), & Shaddai, with few occurrences of El, Eloah. God resides in heaven, has a court of angels & sons, including Satan as a visitor, Job was His servant & worshipper; all comes from Him & all is His; He loves the good & hates the evil; He permits sin & evil, but demands & commands goodness, righteousness, holiness, &c; He sets bounds & limits to trials & tests by Satan; He solicits prayer, praise, & sacrifices. God is to be loved & feared, to be obeyed & believed; He is wise & powerful; God responds & replies; He receives & rejects; He creates & makes; He saves & judges; He is to be sought & discovered; He draws & detours men; He reveals & conceals; He has knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, &c. God pursues & captures; He gives hope; He promises eternal life; He judges all men; His Spirit prevails all creation; He favors the poor & needy, but abhors & removes the wicked. The godly seeks God but the wicked will have nothing to do with God; the hypocrite is known to God Who will destroy them; the family of the wicked is contrary to God, but the children of the righteous follow God; nothing is hid from God, He sees all, knows all, always; the godless have no hope with God, He will not listen to their cry or prayer; the godly have God from womb to tomb; God is to be trusted even when it appears that He is destroying; His judgment is kind to His servant; God does whatever He wants without giving account to man; He gives songs in the night, watches over man, works for man’s good; all nature speaks of God & His ways; creation is God’s work; nature reveals Him; God is Elohim, He is Jehovah, He is El Shaddai, He is the Lord , &c &c.
In Job wisdom is related to knowledge, understanding, counsel, insight, &c. It comes from God & leads to God & keeps us with God; wisdom comes with power, might, strength, maturity; it is with the aged & elders; and it is not found with fools & the wicked. Silence is wisdom at times; wisdom seeks man that man May seek wisdom & find God. Wisdom lives with God, resides with Him, and dwells with understanding. The proud & hypocrite & the foolish think & claim to have wisdom but will be found liars. God shows the secrets of wisdom: wisdom is God’s mystery, more valuable than wealth, more precious the gold; better than power & fame; wisdom is the best of the best in life & living. Job concludes his 1st Parable: “And unto man He (God) said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.”
The Book of Job speaks of Wisdom as a Divine Quality, an Attribute of God, His Nature; it is a masculine quality & property, and not yet seen in its feminine character & form as in the Book of Proverbs. Experience, skill, training, discipline, practice, comes from wisdom and leads to wisdom. The wise are full of wisdom but the foolish have little or none. But wisdom comes in two forms, one of nature, the other of God. Divine wisdom is truth in God, and is of His Spirit & Word, it is spiritual leading to eternal life. Job & his companions were wisdom & truth seekers, but at times did not find true wisdom, and often spoke words contrary to truth & wisdom. Wisdom must always be sought related to God, and all things which are removed from God leads away from proper wisdom. Though man must seek wisdom & truth, yet it is God’s works & words that finds man, satisfying his search & need. A cobbler may have wisdom as a master craftsman, an expert of soles & shoes, but this wisdom is merely natural, and of little lasting worth, being of temporal value, not adequate for eternity. This is why Job & his friends were deficient in true wisdom, having not the words of God revealed in a fuller way (and in the words are His commandments, like the Law or Bible). Job in frustration said to his friends that they were the people that only have wisdom, and when they die wisdom will be gone. Elihu complains against Job & his friends for their lack of wisdom, yet they argued against Job or God, and in turn condemned Job or implicated & insinuated that God was a Culprit, mischievous & arbitrary. Elihu cites & quotes their words & charges to expose their ignorance & error; but he cannot reason from the Word, from God’s actual history with man in the generations from Adam to Job. So Elihu also fell short of the true wisdom that ends debates of all types.
But God in Job seeks man, and we in Job are drawn to seek & find God. Mankind is a story of Job, and the Job-story will continue till the end, and the end will also be a happy ending for God & man.

     We move on to the Psalms of David & his House. We have said that Genesis & Deuteronomy, along with the other Books were preparatory to the Poetic Books, and that the Key Book of Poetry is the Book of Psalms of the Writings of Scripture. The poetry of the Psalms are the songs, hymns, & poems coming from human experiences & history. It is a Treasury of David, his House, his People, & his God. Its uniqueness in expression was that of the musical instruments that were used in their composition & performance. They were Psalms because they were sung while the psalms-instrument of the lyre & harp & the like were played along with the voice & words. David as a shepherd boy played & sang the psalms to the Lord God of Israel, often while caring for his father’s sheep, and in time these psalms of songs & hymns became part of his Psalter of Israel and the Church. They were David’s praises & worship, his prayers & loves for God, His people, and all His works & wonders. Thus the Psalter was being formed in David the Shepherd Boy to become the Sweet Psalmist of Israel.

     The Book of Psalms comes to us in 5 Divisions often compared to the Books of Moses. Book I: 1-41; Bk II: 42-72; Bk III: 73-89; Bk IV: 90-106: Bk V: 107-150. We may remember theses 5-fold divisions thus:

Book One with Forty-One: Book Two ends Seventy-Two.
David’s Prayers ends One & Two & Praises starts Three to Five.
Book Three starts Seventy-Three: Book Four Ninety ‘more
Book Five ‘One O Five’ to ‘One Five O’: Thus Five Div’sions go.

The first two divisions (Psalms 1-42-72) are Davidic and we trace David’s earliest experiences from a child to manhood, from shepherd to king. The divisions of Books 3 & 4 shows David’s House, both of the House of Israel & the House of Judah, dealing with the Throne & the Nation as the People of God. It ends with the covenant & promises to Israel & David in the dispensation of the Nation of Israel, and is a hallway marker; and ends with the Psalm to or for Solomon. The 3rd division begins with 9 Psalms of Asaph, few of or for the sons of Korah, 1 of David, and 1 of Ethan the Ezrahite (the same who is compared with Solomon’s wisdom: “For he (Solomon) was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all the nations round about.” Book 4 begins with Moses the Man of God’s Prayer, and it appears & commonly believed that Psalms 91 is also of Moses. The division of Book ends with the review of Israel’s history with God & the Land & the Book. Book 5 like Deuteronomy of Moses is the largest and fullest division of the Psalms with clear focus on the Book or Word, and with the House of Prayer, Praise & Worship. All ends in HalleluYahs.
But the Book of Psalms goes deeper still; and the experiences are not just David’s, but David’s experiences are mixed with those of others. True poetry, both natural & spiritual, is always more than the individual, but the individual is always part of the whole, and connected to others in spirit & life. As we relate to the Psalms, the Psalms relate to others; to the patriarchs of Genesis, to the fathers & elders of Israel, to the Books from Genesis – Job, and to other things, places, & persons in many ways, and for many reasons. Thus it is that Adam as Man with Mankind, with men & women, with Messiah, with David & Israel, and also with us. The Enemy is there as he is here, the Fall is then & now, the type becomes the antitype, the first is with the last, and many such things. The Victims in the Garden are victims in the world, earth a large garden dominated by the serpent against us & against God. Abel is an example that cries out still; the Flood God’s great regret of fallen man; Abram suffers as a stranger in a strange land promised by God as his inheritance, and his people (the Hebrews) must suffer 430 years before salvation comes; Joseph suffers with his brothers & with Egyptians, and we could go on and write another Book of these examples. The Spirit of Inspiration like the Spirit of Prophecy witnesses in a testimony of like experiences & meaning. So we have in one instance or example the case or correspondence of another, taking up points of complements, as well as contrasts. Messiah must in Himself take up all these things, fitted to His experience of the incarnation & divine manifestation, so that our experiences are fulfilled in God in answer to Job’s words, his prayers, and all his longings. Christ must take in all men, and all things, to fulfill salvation, to sheath judgment, and to issue a new creation. David becomes our teacher, example, and our helper in this poetic enterprise of Scripture. David must identify with the shepherd Abel & Joseph, he must fill up & extend the human experience, that is the life lived, then leave us with a way to move forward by his attraction & prediction or advancement as he advertises his spirit & heart. Christ must then make this part of His nature in several ways, so that all men may be drawn to Him, and to God. For this reason prophecy becomes so important to understand, and history so prophetic. But enough of these things for now, we return to the Psalter.

     The Book of Psalms expresses the intimate relationship that exists between God & man, it brings all human concerns & interests as it relates to God, but it is built on the revealed God. The Lord as Jehovah is fully acquainted & involved with His people. In Psalms 1 we read of the blessed one who are not like the ungodly in the various relations of life, but delights in the Lord’s Law daily & always; and as a fruitful Tree well-watered by the Word (the Law) prospers & flourish; but the wicked are blown away in life & sinners fall in judgment: the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked perish. This then is the contents of the Preface Psalm of the Two Ways, of Light & Darkness. The Law of the Lord is the Treasure of Israel to whom that Law was given in covenant. That Law was for man also the Word revealed of God’s thoughts, His likes & dislikes, His permissions & prohibitions for living in many detailed ways. The commandments in the Law as the Word formed & conformed man in God’s image, and in man as a mirror God is reflected, seen & known. With understanding & knowledge the believer & follower of God as the Lord must in wisdom & in beauty find how to express & share this Treasure, this ‘blessedness’ which constitutes the inner man of the psalmist. The Jews are in habit of making their Books by the first word or words of that Book (Sepher, Sefer) rather than the theme or subject content of the Book. The first word of the Book of Psalms is the 1st words of Psalms 1 which is r$A) $yèi)fh-y”r×:$Ûa) (’Ashrey¯¯a’ish Asher = ‘Blessed is the-man who’). There are three Alephs (AAA), the 1st word is Ashrey (Blessed, Blessedness, Happy, &c), which suggest in appearance a-sh’rey which suggest Sher or Shir which means Song, and Sherim is Songs. and Sheri is my Song or Song of… So the Book of Psalms could have been the Book of Blessedness or Blessings, and in turn the Sepher Shirim or the Book of Songs. The Psalms are Songs of the Blessed, and the contents of the Songs the Jews call Tehellim or Praises & Prayers (Tephilloth, Tefillot, see also Tefillah,Tefillin). The Songs of Praises are to be sung with music & dance, in joy or sorrow. In the New Testament when the Lord began His Sermon on the Mount teaching He began with ‘Blessed’ (Ashley in Hebrew; in Aramaic Tubaihon > tuba’ > tob, tov (good). The blessed ones are the ones with goodness, and goodness is the good that comes from God; and the good is opposite the evil and contrary to God. So to conclude Psalm 1 we have the theme for the Book of Psalms in the Contrast between the Good & the Evil, between light & darkness. between the godly & the ungodly, and between saints & sinners.
In Psalms 2 we have the 1st Messianic Song: Why do the Gentiles, the peoples & their leaders, oppose the Lord & His Anointed? The lord laughs at the silly Gentiles; His Anointed King & Son will rule the world, all the nations, with power & judgment; so be warned & wise to fear Him & to kiss Him; and ‘blessed’ are His refugees. David as King in Israel standing for God’s interest on earth, opposed by the nations of the earth, one & all; the Gentiles who seek to David from being God’s King & Christ. David as King represents God as King, God as King governs the world as His creation; man God’s image was defaced, the kingdom blurred, the way corrupted, and God’s purpose seemed thwarted or nullified. But God only laughs at His enemies attempt to negate His will, or obstruct His word. And here also is the 1st of the few times the red, blue or purple must be used:

(Yet I have set My King: Upon My holy hill of Zion.
I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son; This day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will give [Thee] the nations for Thine inheritance,
And the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.)

     In David this Psalm was to be fulfilled, but not by that David in the flesh; but another David, Beloved, the Beloved Son of God, David’s Son & Seed, is spoken of in this prophetic Psalm. David against Saul, against the Lords of the Philistines, against Egypt, against Assyria, and all others, must find a way to establish God’s Kingdom on earth by building a Home for God in Jerusalem. The House of God , the Temple of the Lord, must be built before David sleeps. This inspiration & aspiration found expression in David’s songs & harp & dance. But the other David, the greater than Solomon must build the House of God, which is the Church of the living God. This House is not of wood & stones but of living trees and living stones, as members of the Body of the Christ. David could not enter in to many of the features of this prophecy, nor could he understand how far off its fulfillment & realization would be; that a thousand years would pass for the thing he was building to vanish, and another 2,000 years to initiate the reality if the new creation. Yet the Psalm speaks of the blessedness of those who know & see these things, and of us who believe, receive, and enjoy these blessings. And what is here understood in Psalm two, is in all the other Psalms just as true. The many details of the Kingdom must all be fulfilled in due course. The spiritual things of which the Spirit speaks in David to us & to all are being worked out in time before our eyes, though we often do not see or hear. It is the Word as His Sword, Rod, Hammer, and all such metaphors, by which Christ the Messiah-King effects all things revealed, sealed, or concealed.
We come some other Psalms as illustrations of the Christ & the Word. We will briefly notice some other psalms to further help our understanding of Biblical Poetry. In Psalm 3 is a Mizmor of David, when he fled from his son Absalom (2nd Sam. 15). David’s son who been exiled for killing his half-brother Amnon, who had raped Absalom’s full sister Tamar, who had been ordered by David to attend to Amnon who pretended to be sick, but was determined to violate his beautiful sister. This rape of incest in David’s House was predicted by Nathan the Prophet at the mouth of the Lord, for the adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and the murder of Uriah by Joab’s (David’s uncle & General) cooperation in battle against the Ammonites, saying: “the sword shall never depart from thy house,…I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house; and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” David already had seen some of these transpire, and now Absalom was the latest & most significant as to the Throne & the Kingdom. David cries out to the Lord because of his many enemies & adversaries; they mock him as a God-forsaken soul like Job experienced; but like Job, David persists in his trust & hope in God as his Shield, Glory, & Uplifter & Savior (Selah!); the Lord sustains him, even in sleep, midst 10,000s of people opposed to him; he bids arise to save, as so often before, destroying his foes; salvation is the Lord’s. His blessings (bir’ka) on His people (Selah!). David is the antitype of Job, and such who suffer persecution by family & friends; he is the type of Messiah Who takes up and takes in what is God’s portion in David. David’s sin, as with Adam & Eve, must be judged, and God vindicated from complicity or as an accomplice. Yet He must bring about all His declared intentions, and ‘devil-be-dammed’ (as the Lord indicated that the Gentiles would by this curse the Lord’s name). But David had come to terms with sin, and in repentance found reform; but now he is learning the cost of the sin, and the price to be paid. So the Lord must enter the world as Man, flesh & blood, and identify as Sin for sinners. He too would be mocked, persecuted, wronged, and suffer at sinners’ hands & mouths; and He would be the Innocent Victim & willing Sacrifice. Messiah as Jehovah incarnate, Emmanu-El, must meet the Devil & Satan, the Ancient Foe, prove God’s love & faithfulness, then meet our need for such a Savior & risen Lord. To the Lord is Salvation & Blessing (Yeshuah & Berakah); as we say LeChaim! L’Elohim!
Psalm 4 is like Psalm 3, but common, and more like Job & Joseph & Messiah. Psalm 5 like Psalms 1-4, like Job, Joseph, Messiah, and so many saints of old and anew. The contrast between to righteous & the righteous. between the goo & the evil, is repeated here also. In Psalms 6 David’s sorrow is severe like Job’s, he is near death in agony & tears; his hope is in God, the Lord will hear & save him though it seems so long in waiting. Psalm 7 is said that David sang this Song because of the words of the Benjamite (ben-Yemini) Cush. (Some think the ‘Benjamite Cush’ was the ‘Benjamite Shimei’, and that he was of the ethnicity of Cush or Ham, that is Africa. But what is recorded of Shimei benGera benBenjamin does not lead us to that interpretation. Shemei was of Saul’s House & Family. But let’s suppose we say that he was the Cushite, then the story & context of 2nd Sam. 16 would describe the Psalm as dealing with the ‘curse’ of Shimei on David & his House in Absalom’s rebellion. But we do not know who the ‘Benjamite Cush’ was from what is recorded. But the Psalm does not suggest a case of a mad-mouth reviler; but rather of a case like in Psalm 3 concerning Absalom’s rebellion. And we find a context of 2nd Sam. 18-19 where Joab (David’s uncle & General) sent a runner named Cushi (> Cush, < ‘Cushite’. see in Ges. Lex.) to tell David ‘what he had seen’, that is of Absalom’s death; and further , before that a certain unnamed soldier, of David’s men under Joab, told Joab that he saw Absalom hanging in an oak-tree by his hair that got caught in the branches as he fled David’s men. Joab was upset that this man did not kill Absalom on the spot, and he would have been rewarded; but he objected that reminded Joab of David’s charge not to harm Absalom; but Joab was disgusted, and quickly got to Absalom, and killed him. When Cushi (a Cushite) came & reported to David after Ahimaaz benZadok outran him, he told David that the Lord had avenged David from the rebels; David asked if Absalom was safe; Cushi answered: “The enemies of my lord the King, and all that rise up against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the King was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! And it was told Joab, Behold, the King weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people; for the people heard say that day, The King grieveth for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people that are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. And the King covered his face, and the King cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” This is a far better context from which issues such an important poetic piece. It is such a context from which the Messiah in David’s experience comes forth, and helps us in future Psalms to more easily & readily identify & interpret the Spirit’s thoughts. The Throne & Kingdom were in peril, but the Lord the Warrior, Judge, Savior, and true King preserved both David & his House for better things, with happier ending.
Psalm 8 is most excellent; it is Messianic to be sure. and important in the Gospels and in the Book of (Epistle to the) Hebrews. The Lord’s Name & Glory is transcendent beyond the heavens, and man & earth are incorporated. The Enemy & Avenger is checked; man & angels are involved; man will be lord of earth as God originally planned. Psalm 9 is like Psalms 1-8, various elements of each forming this inspiration, namely, of ‘Muth-labben’ which in Hebrew is }è”Bal tUÛm:la( (‘al-muth lab-ben’ = on son’s death, Concerning a Son’s Death) which would take us to several places in David’s life. The Psalm is Alphabetic-Acrostic but unusual in form, it goes with Psalm 10. Psalms 11-16 are like Psalms 1-10, and Messiah enters in as did David, before & after. The New Testament cites Psalms 16 in Christ’s resurrection. Psalms 17 & 18 are like Psalms 1-16; Psalms 17 a Prayer-Song; and Psalm 18 very profound of David’s experience dodging death at the hands of his enemies, and at Saul’s insane persecution. Psalm 19 is unique in contemplation of the Divine Works & Word; the starry Heavens, the Earth’s benefit; the Law of God & the Lord’s Servant. Psalms 20 & 21 are precious royal Psalms, and Christ is easily seen in David’s words. Psalm 22 is all Messiah: like Abel, Job, Joseph, and many others, He suffers for God & man; He did His work well, and God heard Him, saved Him , and saves us in Him. Psalm 23 is the best Shepherd Song of David & Messiah. And so goes many of the Psalms (psalms 24-31), each connecting with some of the previous Psalms in experiences & expressions. Some touch Messiah’s place more fully & clearly than others; but all dealing with the same things in the spiritual world as reflected in the natural world. The Great Three Themes are ever there; the Trine Objects & Subjects ever in view; and both Covenants & Dispensations ever intertwined. Psalms 32 is quite instructive in David’s deep turmoil as to his condition, deeds, and his relations to the Lord. Psalms 33-36 like some before and some to follow are filled with various things & ways that are Messianic in part or whole, at different levels. Such is also Psalms 37 which is the context & content of Christ’s Beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount. So too Psalms 38-41, like the Psalms 1-37, each aiding & adding to the fuller experiences & expressions of the Christ. The Messiah will find in the Book, especially the Book of Psalms, all that was useful & necessary to fulfill all things of God for man. We leave David’s Psalter Book I with a selection from Psalms 40 & 41: (ASV 1910) (Compare with John 17)

“I waited patiently for Jehovah; And He inclined unto Me, and heard My cry.
He brought Me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay;
And He set My feet upon a rock, and established My goings.
And He hath put a New Song in My mouth, even Praise unto our God:
Many shall see it, and fear, And shall trust in Jehovah.
Blessed is the Man that maketh Jehovah his trust,
And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Jehovah My God, are the wonderful works which Thou hast done,
And Thy thoughts which are to us-ward; They cannot be set in order unto Thee;
If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and Offering Thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast Thou opened:
Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required.
Then said I, Lo, I am come; In the Roll of the Book it is written of Me:
I delight to do Thy will, O My God; Yea, Thy Law is within My heart.
I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the Great Assembly;
Lo, I will not refrain My lips, O Jehovah, Thou knowest.
I have not hid Thy righteousness within My heart;
I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation;
I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the Great Assembly.
Withhold not Thou Thy tender mercies from Me, O Jehovah;
Let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve Me.
For innumerable evils have compassed Me about;
Mine iniquities have overtaken Me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of My head; And My heart hath failed me.
Be pleased, O Jehovah, to deliver Me: Make haste to help Me, O Jehovah….
Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, From everlasting & to (eternity). Amen, & Amen.”

     The Psalms in Book II follow the Psalms of Book I, but the Monarchy is more prominent, along with the Lord’s House. Psalms 45 is a Song of Loves (Love Song) (Shir Yedidoth > Shir Yadid (Song of my Beloved) > Shir Dawid, Shir Dodh, Shir Dudh: Song of David, Love Song, Lovers Song, Friend’s Song, Song of Friendship, Song of Fellowship, Beloved’s Song, &c. (see Ges.Lex.)) The Love Song is that of the prophetic-Messianic King who is typified by David the Beloved of the Lord, and who named his son Solomon (Peace, as in Jeru-Salem = City of Peace), but the Lord called the child’s name ‘Jedidiah, YedidiYah, and is added ‘for the Lord’s sake, for the Lord’s account; the preposition is very emphatic & used with the conjunction ‘and’ & prefixed with the common prep, ‘be-‘. This teaches us to discern something deeper hidden from immediate sight, a thing stored beneath the appearance. David is the Lord’s Beloved, Solomon is the Lord’s David, the Lord’s Beloved. The Song is of the Beloved, both David & Solomon, because both typifies Christ the Messiah , the true eternal Beloved of the Father, God’s Son. The Psalm therefore is a perfect preface & introduction to the Love Song called Solomon’s Song of Songs of Loves. The prophetic scribe is revealing Messiah as the best Man of mankind, whether Jew or Gentile, a Mighty Warrior perfectly balanced in opposite qualities of truth & humility, of force & mildness, a fierce Lion & gentle Lamb. He is the King; but more, He is God:

“Thy Throne, O God, is forever & ever: A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness:
Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee With the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.”

The picture that follows is that of the Royal Wedding & Marriage of King & Queen; the picture of God & Man, of the Lord & Israel, & of Christ & the Church. It is the millennial Kingdom & the Eternal Ages to follow. We pass over to Psalms 51 which comes out of Nathan the Prophet coming to David from the Lord concerning his adultery with Bathsheba. We all feel what David felt & expressed in this penitential Song & Prayer. David’s experiences & expressions become extended & enlarged in the Psalms that make up the rest of Book II, Psalms 68 & 69 is most instructive of Messiah, both His corporate history with Israel, and His personal history for the Church (that is the Gentiles, the nations). The last of David’s Psalms is 72 of Book Two, it closes thus:

Blessed be Jehovah God, the God of Israel, Who only doeth wondrous things:
And blessed be His glorious Name forever; & let the whole earth be filled with His Glory.
Amen, & Amen. The Prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

     We will very briefly survey Books III, IV, & V; only considering for a moment certain special Psalms: 78, 110, 119, & 145. Psalms 73-89 are the Asaph’s Psalter, Psalms of Asaph with a few of Korah, David, & of the Sage, Ethan the Ezrahite. The Psalmist enters into the national & corporate experiences of the House & People; even in the individual experience the focus is the Nation in covenant relationship, and all that is implied by that relations enters in; it is predominately the ‘we’ that speaks in the Songs. So in Psalms 78 Messiah enters & shines as the Voice to His people: (I capitalize & italicize to show the emphasis more clearly.)

Give ear, O My people, to My Law: Incline your ears to the Words of My mouth.
I will open My mouth in a Parable; I will utter Dark Sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah,
And His strength, and His wondrous works that He hath done.
For He established a Testimony in Jacob, And appointed a Law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know [them], even the children that should be born;
Who should arise and tell [them] to their children,
That they might set their hope in God, And not forget the Works of God,
But keep His Commandments, And might not be as their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that set not their heart aright,
And whose spirit was not stedfast with God….

Psalms 79-89 repeat & extend the former Psalms, and Book III ends: “Blessed be Jehovah for evermore. Amen, & Amen. Psalms 90-90, Moses’ Prayer & Songs brings us to a different experience with a history that goes back to the Exodus from Egypt, it really is a transition & anticipation of the journey’s end to the new land. The desert or wilderness experience is well expressed beginning with Moses looking back to the God of Eternity and consummating in HalleluYahs. The trial & temptation of God’s people have an end with a reward. Book IV ends: “Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to eternity. And let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye Jehovah.” The final division of the Book of Psalms is Book V, which begins with Psalm 107 and ends with 150, 57 Psalms, the longest division, as the 1st division is the 2nd longest with 41 Psalms. It begins in the desert-wilderness experience of the 4th division, the same settings of Psalms 106, but emphasizes deliverance & transition into victorious praise, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness the children of men. Book 5 is elevated & transcendental on many levels & in many of the Songs. We leave the reader, the student, the school at, and all lovers of the Bible & the Book of Psalms to test what has been said & testified; and we must go to Psalm 110. It is all Messiah:

The ‘Lord’ saith unto My Lord:
Sit Thou at My Right Hand, Until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.
The ‘Lord’ will send forth the rod of Thy strength out of Zion:
Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.
Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of Thy power, in holy array:
Out of the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.
The ‘Lord’ hath sworn, and will not repent:
Thou art a Priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord at Thy Right Hand Will strike through kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations, He will fill [the places] with dead bodies:
He will strike through the head in many countries:
He will drink of the brook in the way: Therefore will He lift up the head.

    We close our reflections on the Book of Psalms with these last comments on Psalms 119, 145, and the HalleluYah Psalms. The 119th Psalm, 118th for Catholics, is a new kind of Psalms, elevated, transcendent, & spiritual, it is all about the Word as expressed in the Law, Commandments, Testimonies, Statutes, Precepts Judgments, and the like. We say it is the Word expressed in the Law, rather the Law expressed in laws, words, commands, &c. The Decalogue was in essence first & foremost 10 Words, and the Words were the Word that came from God’s mouth; just His Name is expressed variously as Jehovah or Shaddai, as Elohim or Adonai, and so forth. The words used in this Great Alphabet Psalm of 22 Hebrew Letters of 8 Verses per Letter are repeated throughout the Letter-stanzas. There are about 10 primary Words & about 20 secondary Words used throughout in a designed or deliberate manner. ‘Word’ or ‘Words’ for Dabar or Debarim, and a few other Hebrew words occurs some 40 times; ‘Law’ (never ‘Laws’) for Torah (except in about 3 cases) occurs some 25 times; 4 words occur a little over 20 times each: commandments, testimonies, precepts, statutes; judgments & righteous-judgments together occurs a total of 20 times (15+5); the rest of the words are very rare, many only once or twice, and many of those dependent on the primary words. Thus we learn that the emphatic word for the revealed will of God is the Word or Words. The Jew have that word in the Law, the Torah; but the Christian have the Word in the Gospel in the person of the incarnate Word.

Psalms 119: 1-8: Aleph (A) 1st Letter :

(A) Blessed are they that are perfect in the Way: Who walk in the Law of Jehovah.
(A) Blessed are they that keep His Testimonies: That seek Him with the whole heart.
(A) Yea, they do no unrighteousness; They walk in His Ways.
(A) Thou hast commanded [us] Thy Precepts: That we should observe them diligently.
(A) Oh that my ways were established: To observe Thy Statutes!
(A) Then shall I not be put to shame: When I have respect unto all Thy Commandments.
(A) I’ll give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, When I learn Thy Righteous-Judgments.
(A) I will observe Thy Statutes: Oh forsake me not utterly.

Psalms 119: 169-176: Tau (T) 22nd Letter:

(T) Let my cry come near before Thee, Jehovah: Give me understanding according to Thy Word.
(T) Let my supplication come before Thee: Deliver me according to Thy Word.
(T) Let my lips utter praise: For Thou teachest me Thy Statutes.
(T) Let my tongue sing of thy word: For all Thy Commandments are Righteousness.
(T) Let Thy hand be ready to help me: For I have chosen Thy Precepts.
(T) I have longed for Thy salvation, O Jehovah: And Thy Law is my delight.
(T) Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee: And let Thine Ordinances help me.
(T) I’ve gone astray like lost sheep: Seek Thy servant: For I do not forget Thy Commandments.

     The Songs of Degrees, Psalms 120-134, are Songs sung in the journey to the Temple, they are Pilgrims Songs & Hymns, and were used in worship & feasts. These Psalms & the most of the rest echoes the other Psalms, the lead to Praises in Jerusalem & in the Temple. The 7 Psalms 138-144 are special Davidic Psalms. The most exalted of all the Davidic Psalms is 145; the HalleluYah Psalms concludes the Book of Psalms.

Psalms 145:1-21: Aleph – Tau (‘Nun’ absent.) (1-13 = ’Aleph,B,G,D,H, W,Z,Ch,T,Y, K,L,M; 14-22 = S, ‘Ayin, P,Tz, Q, R, Sh, Tau)

David’s Praise (Tehillah leDawid) Beloved’s Praise:
1 I will extol Thee, my God, O King; And I will bless Thy name for ever & ever.
2 Every day will I bless Thee; And I will praise Thy name for ever & ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall laud Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts.
5 Of the glorious majesty of Thine honor, And of Thy wondrous works, will I meditate.
6 And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts; And I will declare Thy greatness.
7 They shall utter the memory of Thy great goodness, And shall sing of Thy righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious, and merciful; Slow to anger, and of great lovingkindness.
9 The Lord is good to all; And His tender mercies are over all His works.
10 All Thy works shall give thanks unto Thee, O Lord; And Thy saints shall bless Thee.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, And talk of Thy power;
12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, & glory of the majesty of His kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, & Thy dominion [is] throughout all generations.
14 Jehovah upholdeth all that fall, And raiseth up all those that are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all wait for Thee; And Thou givest them Their food in due season.
16 Thou openest Thy hand, And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, To all that call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him; He also will hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord preserveth all them that love Him; But all the wicked will He destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak Jehovah’s Praise ; & let all flesh bless His holy Name for ever & ever.

The Book of Proverbs of Solomon benDavid, Israel’s King, is the Poetry of Wisdom, of Divine Education & Spiritual Training in accordance to the Word revealed & the Law of God. We read:

“To know Wisdom & Instruction: To discern the Words of Understanding:
To receive Instruction in Wise Dealing: In Righteousness & Justice & Equity:
To give Prudence to the simple: To the young man Knowledge & Discretion:
That the wise man may hear, and increase in Learning:
And that the man of understanding may attain unto Sound Counsels:
To understand a Proverb, and a Figure: The Words of the Wise, and their Dark Sayings.
The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of Knowledge: Fools despise Wisdom & Instruction.

    Solomon continues in Wisdom as a Parent, speaking to children, a son or a daughter, as a Father or Mother in Instruction & Law as adornments to growth. Wisdom says: consent not to sinners’ enticement & temptation to evil; to violence against the innocent; &c. They are like those in the Psalms, & in Job, & in the other Books of Scripture, are in a hurry to their own doom; their lusts, greed, desires, loves, and such will be their own ruin & death. But Lady Wisdom preaches a good sermon to any & all everywhere who will hear & obey: to not love (& therefore to hate) simplicity & naivete, mocking, folly, &c; to turn at Wisdom’s reproof, to get the Spirit of Wisdom & the Words of Wisdom. Wisdom invites, gives counsel & reproof; but if refused & rejected Wisdom laughs at their calamity & mocks their fears, whether storm or whirlwind of anguish & pain. Wisdom refuses & rejects those who turn only after their doom & ruin. Those who hate knowledge & will not fear the Lord, but persist in self-will, pride, rebellion, stubbornness, &c, will eat their fruit, be filled with their own devices; as the simple backsliders are slain, and the careless fools are destroyed. But those who listen to Wisdom are safe & sound from the evil end. And so Lady Wisdom in Solomon’s Proverbs & Parables continues in the Divine Doctrine.

     Wisdom to a Son: receive the words, treasure the commandments, incline to wisdom, pursue understanding; to seek & search the riches of Wisdom in the fear of the Lord & knowledge of God. The Lord gives wisdom, He speaks knowledge & understanding; reserves wisdom for the upright, shields the genuine, guards the paths of justice, & preserves the way of His saints: to understand righteousness, justice, equity, & every good path. Wisdom for the heart, knowledge for the soul, discretion to watch, understanding to keep: to deliver from the evil way, from perverse men of wickedness & darkness, who enjoy evil & perversity, crooked ways, & wayward paths; to deliver from the strange woman, the flatterer of words, the teaser & temptress, who forsakes her childhood friend, & forgets the covenant of God; her house inclines to death, her paths to the dead; those who visit her never return, & never attain the paths of life: walk in the way of the good, in the paths of the righteous; the upright dwells in the land, the perfect remain in it; the wicked shall be cut off. the treacherous rooted out. So Lady Wisdom continues in chapters 3-9. Wisdom is most excellent: wisdom is in the law & commandments, gives days & years & peace, teaches kindness & truth, leads to good understanding with God & man. Trust in the Lord with all the heart, lean not on human understanding, always acknowledge Him, He will direct the paths, be not self-wise & conceited….fear & honor the Lord, despise not His chastening & reproof, the Lord loves to reprove as a Father the son he delights in; happy & blessed to find wisdom & understanding, better than silver & gold, more precious than rubies, nothing compares to Lady Wisdom; she has & she is: length of days , riches & honor, ways of pleasantness & peace, a tree of life, & happy are those who find her. The Lord by Wisdom founded the earth, by understanding established the heavens,…
But Solomon in Wisdom reveals the children’s father: my sons, listen to your father’s instruction & with understanding; I was my father’s son (like David & Solomon & Bathsheba), my mother’s tender & only beloved; he taught me to retain the words, to keep the commandments to live: get wisdom & understanding, never forget or declined from the words; never forsake her, she will preserve; love her, she will keep & protect….Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs teaches concerning life & living, learning & obedience, wickedness & virtue, dangers of evil & avoidance of evil doers, of the righteous & of their ways, of diligence & faithfulness, of the straight & narrow path of the godly, of the crooked & wide way of sinners,….Wisdom teaches of discretion & wisdom in sexual matters, of the strange woman, of attraction & allurement, of seduction & temptation, of lust & forbidden loves, of avoidance of prostitution & immorality, of spending time & money on vice & sex, of the price for vice & the cost for the lost, of evil with the vulgar crowd & the evils among the saints, to be satisfied with what belongs to self & not to seek what is not one’s own, to be satisfied with one’s wife & lover only, to embrace only a wife & avoid other women, the Lord sees & knows man’s ways & levels man’s paths, sexual sins ensnares sinners & vice imprisons the disobedient, ignorance & folly is the end of the wayward & curious….Wisdom teaches against surety & guaranty of others debts & loans & the consequences of defaults & liabilities, of humility in money matters, of business transactions conduct, of avoidance of debts & money promises, of procrastinations & neglect of payments, learn from the birds to fly away from money dangers, from ants in frugality, of laziness & slothfulness, of poverty & lack of funds, perverse talk & vulgar ways, of foolish bodily gestures & perversity in behavior, of the outcome of evil & discord, of the things & ways of the ungodly that the Lord hates as haughtiness, lying, murder, wicked plotters & schemers or scam artists, mischief seekers, false witnesses, & disturbers of peace & makers of discord & divisions of family & friends….Wisdom warns against staying from the right & good paths, of faithfulness to training & discipline, to remember that the commandment is a lamp, the law is light, correction the way of life & living; avoid fornication & adultery, curb lusts & porn, harlotry is a fire in the bosom that consumes the heart & the pocket-book, adultery may lead to death, adultery is like robbery & its penalty is severe & destruction, it sounds & dishonors, it brings shame & reproach, it causes jealousy & vengeance & demands death….Wisdom must ever be sought & loved, wisdom must be a companion & partner, a sister & relative; wisdom protects against sexual temptation & promiscuity, to avoid the house of harlots, to avoid whores, to resists sexual temptations & enticements for it leads to shame & death, to jail & ruin & vengeance; Lady Harlot & Madam Whore resides in the House of Death on the Way to Hell (Sheol) & the Chambers or Cells of the Dead: her many wounded Captives & Prisoners, her Host of the Slain & Conquered.
Wisdom in chapter 8 is Lady Wisdom quite different than the Mistress of Vice & Lust: She also cries & solicits in the streets & market-places with understanding, she visits the city gates & courts & doors, she calls to men, old & young, to the simpletons & fools, to the ignorant & untrained, she speaks of an understanding heart, of excellent things, right things, (orthodoxy), of truth & against wickedness, of righteousness & against perversity, she speaks to those who understand & know, to the reachable & learners & seekers; wisdom is the most valuable of possessions & wealth, nothing compares to Lady Wisdom: (Proverbs 8:12-9:6)

I Wisdom have made Prudence My Dwelling: & find out Knowledge [&] Discretion.
The Fear of Jehovah (the Lord) is to hate evil:
Pride, & arrogancy, & the evil way, & the perverse mouth, do I hate.
Counsel is Mine, & sound knowledge: I am understanding; I have might.
By Me Kings reign, & Princes decree justice.
By Me Princes rule, & Nobles, [even] all the Judges of the earth.
I love them that love Me; & those that seek Me diligently shall find Me.
Riches and honor are with Me: [Yea], durable wealth & righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold: & My revenue than choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness: In the midst of the paths of justice:
To cause those that love Me to inherit substance: & that I may fill their treasuries.
Jehovah possessed Me in the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning: Before the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth:
When there were no fountains abounding with water:
Before the mountains were settled: Before the hills was I brought forth:
He had not made the earth yet, nor the fields: Nor the beginning of the dust of the world.
When He established the heavens, I was there: When He set a circle on the face of the deep: When He made firm the skies above: When the fountains of the deep became strong:
When He gave to the sea its bound: The waters to not transgress His commandment:
When He marked out the foundations of the earth:
Then I was by Him, [as] a Master Workman; & I was daily [His] delight:
Rejoicing always before Him: Rejoicing in His habitable earth:
& My delight was with the sons of men.
Now therefore, [My] sons, hearken unto Me: For blessed are they that keep My Ways.
Hear instruction, & be wise, & refuse it not: Blessed is the man that heareth Me,
Watching daily at My gates: Waiting at the posts of My doors.
For whoso findeth Me findeth life: & shall obtain favor of Jehovah.
But he that sins against Me wrongs his own soul: All they that hate Me love death.
Wisdom hath builded Her house: She hath hewn out Her seven pillars:
She hath killed Her beasts: She hath mingled Her wine: She hath also furnished Her table:
She hath sent forth Her maidens: She crieth upon the highest places of the city:
Who is simple, let him turn in here: To him that is void of understanding, she saith to him:
Come, eat ye of My bread: & drink of the wine which I have mingled.
Leave off, ye simple ones, and live: & walk in the way of understanding.

     Wisdom continues her speaking, teaching, & preaching to all who will hear, and to those who will come to the Lord for life & living. The Simple Woman is to the contrary: she is ignorant, stupid, naive, foolish, deceives, lies, hellish…. Chapters 10-24 are also additional Proverbs of Solomon which covers a vast range of human experiences & behaviors; contacting the two ways of life & living, between the good & evil, between the right & wrong, between better & best, between light & darkness, between treasure & junk, between healthy & sickness, &c…. Solomon’s Proverbs number into the hundreds, perhaps about 1,000 could be extracted from the Book, and they fall into hundreds of categories & contexts or applications. There is no other Book of the ancient world that has survived that even remotely come close to exhibit wisdom so diverse & comprehensive in such few chapters; and certainly nothing in all the general works of the scholars of the Ancient Near Eastern World. Solomon’s Proverbs focuses or emphasizes the contrast between the wise & the foolish, between wisdom & folly, and from this perspective & viewpoint Proverbs seek to educate Israel & the reader s as to the Divine Doctrine of the revealed Word. It is Divine Philosophy of Psychology, that is Biblical Psychology & Society. It is based on the foundation of the Law, but it is more fundamentally developed on the Word as to human relations to God, and to each other. It deals with the individual as part of the whole, of the family & of the nation. It prepares us for the prophetic word which will in turn be established and extended from the poetic word. Proverbs teaches & develops human conscience by training the mind & heart, the brain & thoughts or thinking, to be conscious of God, of creation, of judgment, of salvation, and of every other divine doctrine important to human survival. Proverbs treats the Man or People with less concern for the Land or the Book, which the prophetic word occupies itself with all three.
Proverbs Chapters 25-29 are said to be additional Proverbs of Solomon copied by the scribes of King Hezekiah of Judah, they treat & cover the same doctrines as the earlier chapters but with their own peculiarities, like the King’s rule & kingdom established by righteousness, versus earlier it was his kindness, favor, and the fear of him.
Proverbs 30 is the prophetic word in poetry: Words of Agur’s benJakeh: The Oracle (Prophecy). The man saith (uttered, prophesied) unto Ithiel, unto Ithiel & Ucal: ([Hebrew text deleted in wordpress, see pdf] = Dibrey ’Agur benYaqeh hammassah Ne’um haggeber):

“Surely I am more brutish than any man: & have not the understanding of man:
& I have not learned wisdom: Neither have I the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who hath ascended up into heaven, & descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in His garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, & what is His Son’s Name, if thou knowest?
Every Word of God is tried: He is a Shield unto them that take refuge in Him.
Add thou not unto His Words: Lest he reprove thee, & thou be found a liar.
Two things have I asked of Thee: Deny me [them] not before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood & lies: Give me neither poverty nor riches:
Feed me with the food that is needful for me:
Lest I be full, and deny [Thee], and say, Who is Jehovah?
Or lest I be poor, & steal: & use profanely the Name of my God.”

     The Poetic Proverbial Parabolic Prophecy continues: warns against slander of servants to their masters; of the 4 depraved generations; of 2 horseleech daughters; of 3 or 4 things never satisfied; of dishonor to parents; of 3 or 4 wonders; of the 3 or 4 unbearable things; of the 4 little creatures but very wise; of the 3 or 4 stately things in their movements; of hasty wrath & thoughts.
Proverbs 31: The Words of King Lemuel; the Oracle which his Mother taught him: (Lemuel = le-mu-’el or lemu-’el (’El)’ and Ges. Lex. says: “(lemo) poetical for (le), found four times in the book of Job”…(Lemu’el) “by God”. Lemu-El = by God, to God, for God, &c; also: if le-mo-el. like in mo-ab. then it means from God, and like lechaim, means to life, that is belonging to & related to life, tha is for life, so to Here perhaps LemoEl, to & from God.)
What, my son? & what, O son of my womb? & what, O son of my vows?
Give not thy strength unto women, Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth Kings.
It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drink wine;
Nor for princes [to say], Where is strong drink?
Lest they drink, & forget the Law, & pervert the justice [due] to any that is afflicted.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, & wine unto the bitter in soul:
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, & remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb: In the cause of all such as are left desolate.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously: & minister justice to the poor & needy.

I have already shared in the Selections from the books & commentaries on the Book of Proverbs my versification of the Worthy Virtuous Woman, so here I only give Scripture in its poetic form:

Worthy Woman: who can find? For her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband trusts in her: & he shall have no lack of gain.
She does him good & not evil all the days of her life.
She seeks wool & flax, & works willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchant-ships: She brings her bread from afar.
She rises also while it is night, & gives food to her household, & their task to her maidens.
She considers a field, & buys it: With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds her loins with strength, & makes strong her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goes not out by night.
She lays her hands to the distaff, & her hands hold the spindle.
She stretches out her hand to the poor: Yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes for herself carpets of tapestry: Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates: When he sits among the Elders of the land.
She makes linen garments & sells them: And delivers girdles unto the merchant.
Strength & dignity are her clothing: & she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom: & the law of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household: & eats not the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up, & call her blessed: Her husband [also], & he praises her, [saying]:
Many daughters have done worthily: But thou excels them all.
Grace is deceitful, & beauty is vain: Woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands: & let her works praise her in the gates.

     We have only a few more matters to share on Proverbs but will include them in the final concluding reflections shortly. We must now turn to the Books of Ecclesiastes & Solomon’s Song of Songs. The Book of Ecclesiastes is also called Sefer Koheleth by the Jews in Hebrew. It is called Ecclesiastes for the Ecclesia or the Church or Assembly. The Preacher was a Churchman, and his Message were Sermons of a peculiar sort of his wisdom. He was like a Pastor or Shepherd, like the Great Shepherd of Whom he refers to at the end of his Book. But he was also a Philosopher of the highest order, taking human experiences, the world of nature & natural things on earth all around him to lead to a spiritual world revealed by God. This & more he tells us plainly in his Book. The Words of the Preacher, Koheleth, who was Solomon benDavid, Jerusalem’s King in Judah of Israel. He summarizes his Message or Sermon or Philosophy thus:

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

     Vanity is made up of vain things, and Vanity is futility, worthlessness, emptiness, false appearances, deceptive adornment, painted faces, masks, and a thousand more descriptions of the world as a Vanity Fair. King Solomon as the Preacher describes humanity in Vanity, their world & our world was & is Vanity & futility, filled with what ought not to be as we try to find what it is. It is the world we are born into, a world of our parents & former generations, but it was also once the world that God created. It is Nature filled with natural wonders of the sun, wind, rivers, seas, &c. Man’s living & labors are repetitious, wearisome, boring, never fully satisfying, it’s the same old-new things, with little remembrance from one age to another generation. For this reason King Solomon, the Preacher, the widest of men, determined to test, prove, experience, try, investigate, &c, in a full & scientific way, with scientific methods & means, to seek & discover Wisdom that God has ordained humanity to live for under heaven. Solomon will not attempt to explore the heavens or beyond, but will restrict his research & experiment to earth, the human world, and ‘common sense’. He tells us after many years he concludes that what he saw & heard, what was & is & what we understand, or experience is all ‘vain’, vanity & wind chasing; as they say, we talk of great theories of what it is to poke holes in the air. We cannot undue what is done, the crooked tree cannot be made straight, the curved rock made flat, what is missing cannot be replaced, as in death or use. the bread eaten cannot be put on the table, not even by vomit. So the Wise Preacher contemplated & reflected within his heart & mind the great questions of how, why, where, who, when, &c in all things he observed & encountered. He expired wisdom & knowledge, madness & folly, mirth & pleasure; he discovered wisdom has grief, knowledge has sorrow, pleasure is vain, laughter is insanity; he added to pleasure & fun wine with wisdom; he made great works, planted & built, had servants & slaves, acquired lands & properties, limitless riches & wealth of gold, silver, &c; singers, musicians, court attendants, a musical world at his disposal; he attained the most, the best, the greatest of all those who were before him, so that few could ever match his attainment in future generations. He refused nothing, he tried everything, anything that might suggest man’s life & living. But after many years he concluded all was Vanity, and endless chasing the wind. He concluded that wisdom was better than insanity & folly as light is better than darkness, yet humanity was all subject to the same fate & doom. Wise or fool, good or evil, sane or insane, rich or poor, great or common, all died the same. The Preacher thus hated life & the human lot or dilemma, he resented that his wealth & possessions would in death all go to those who never earned or labored for it. He painted at those who struggled to get & have then death, sickness, or war takes it all away in a moment. Yet to live & labor & enjoy one’s labor is God’s gift & should be enjoyed. God gives to the good good things, but gives to sinners labor to get only to be taken away and given to the good in God’s sight.
All things have a proper time & season & will not change; God confines man to life’s labor & toil & then to die without ever discovering the eternal secrets of God; man must enjoy his allotted place in creation, content to leave eternal things in God’s heart & hands. The Preacher noticed that righteousness & wickedness often resided at the same place, often were switched, and though God will judge both at the right time & right way, yet man is little better than animals; both die in like manner, & turn to dust. What makes man any better or different? The dead & the unborn are often better off than the oppressed & persecuted living; even success & skill is envied by others to make one’s achievement grief & regret; fools are lazy; vanity to become wealthy without an heir; union is better than a solitary life; a poor wise man better than an old stubborn foolish king; &c &c. The Preacher continued with the many lessons learnt and said this: “Behold, this have I found, saith the Preacher, [laying] one thing to another, to find out the account; which my soul still seeketh, but I have not found: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions…. For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it be love or hatred, man knoweth it not; all is before them….”

We close the Preacher’s Words & Book with these words of his:

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, & let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth,
& walk in the ways of thy heart, & in the sight of thine eyes:
But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, & put away evil from thy flesh;
For youth & the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth:
before evil Days come, & Years draw nigh, & thou shalt say, I’ve no pleasure in them: [old age]
before the sun, light, moon, stars, are Darkened, & the Clouds return after the rain: [vision]
in the day when the Keepers of the House shall tremble: [hands-arms]
& the Strong Men shall bow themselves: [thighs-legs]
& the Grinders cease because they are few: [teeth]
& those that Look Out of the windows shall be Darkened: [eyes]
& the Doors shall be shut in the street: [mouth-lips]
& the Sound of the grinding is low: [ears]
& one shall Rise Up at the voice of a bird: [restless]
& all the Daughters of music shall be Brought Low: [hearing]
& they shall be Afraid of [that which is] High: [fear of falling]
& Terrors [shall be] in the way: [fear-mind]
& the Almond-tree shall Blossom: [grey hairs]
& the Grasshopper shall be a burden: [legs-hips`]
& Desire shall fail: [impotence]
because man goeth to his Everlasting Home: [death]
& the Mourners go about the streets: [funeral]
before the Silver Cord is loosed: [decay]
or the Golden Bowl is broken: [internal organ]
or the Pitcher is broken at the fountain: [internal organ]
or the Wheel broken at the cistern: [internal organ]
& the Dust returneth to the earth as it was: [complete decay]
& the Spirit returneth unto God who gave it: [afterlife]

     Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity. And further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, [and] set in order many Proverbs. The Preacher sought to find out acceptable Words, and that which was Written uprightly, [even] Words of Truth.
The Words of the Wise are as Goads; & as Nails well fastened:
[Words by] the Masters of Assemblies, [which] are given from One Shepherd.
And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many Books there is no end; and much Study is a weariness of the flesh. [This is] the end of the matter; all hath been heard:
Fear God, & keep His commandments; for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Solomon’s Song of Songs is the final Poetic Book of the Psalms Division of the Old Testament, and prepares us for the Prophetic Division beginning with Isaiah. We have given ample selections of this Book to satisfy our curiosity for the hermeneutics of bygone times. The Hebrew begins: Shir hashShirim ’asher liShlomoh (liSolomon, where ‘li’ or ‘le’ means ‘by’ rather than ‘to’. The Greek LXX: Asma Asmatön, ho estin tö Salömön (Asma > adö > aeidö = sing, make-sound, sweet-song, pleasant-song, love-song (as in sweet-marriage-song, wedding-song), romantic-song, &c). The Latins call the Book Canticle of Canticles, as in the ancient Chants. It begins:

“Let him Kiss me with the Kisses of his mouth: For thy Love is better than wine.”

     (The Song begins with the Love Kiss, and therefore it is a Love-Song. We must read the entire Song or Canticles, the Shir Shirim, with this ever in mind as we seek to interpret the words to determine the meaning, or we will drift from the divine sense of the Text. The Singer is not yet identified, but she longs for Love of her Lover or Beloved in a romantic sense. It continues:)

“Thine oils have a goodly fragrance; Thy Name is [as] oil poured forth;
Therefore do the Virgins Love thee: Draw me; we will run after thee:
The King hath brought me into his Chambers:
We will be glad and rejoice in thee:
We will make mention of thy Love more than of wine:
Rightly do they Love thee.
I am black, but comely: Oh ye Daughters of Jerusalem,
As the Tents of Kedar: As the Curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me, because I am swarthy: Because the sun hath scorched me.
My Mother’s Sons were incensed against me: They made me Keeper of the Vineyards;
[But] mine own Vineyard have I not kept.”

     (We learn that the Lover (not yet identified) smells her Beloved Name as Fragrant Oils, as she already disclosed his Love is better than Wine. The Virgins also are attracted to him by the fragrance of his Love; and if her Lover invites her, she & the Virgins will pursue him. The King has brought her into his Chamber, his bridal-chamber, and she & the Virgins are in his Harem & Court. The King is either David or Solomon or both; and we must wait to discover what she discloses to identify him. She & the Virgins enjoy the Harem & Court; and talk of the Lover’s Love rather than Wine; she concludes that they rightly Love her Lover or Beloved. But she admits her humble dark complexion, almost black; and she reveals her humble status of her home under her Brothers, as a Vinedresser for them, to the neglect of her own Vineyard. She continues:)

“Tell me, O thou whom my Soul Loveth: Where thou feedest [thy Flock],
Where thou makest [it] to rest at noon:
For why should I be as one that is veiled: Beside the Flocks of thy Companions?”

(The Lover’s Bride seeks her Beloved Shepherd & his Flock; wishes the freedom to not be veiled to protect her honor, to show modesty, & to conceal her beauty & identity; thus to ward off attraction of the wrong sort. She desires to be like Rebekah at well, or as Rachel with her father’s sheep; and to have no worries among the Shepherds, his Friends. She wishes to be free as Ruth in Boaz’s Field; especially at noon in watering the Flocks. Then another speaks to her:)

“If thou know not, O thou Fairest Among Women: Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the Flock: & feed thy Kids beside the Shepherds’ Tents.”

(We are not told who gives her this advice, but it appears to be the Virgins or Friends of the Shepherd. She will certainly find the Beloved Shepherd at eve by the Shepherds Tents, where her Kids will also be safe. Then it continues with another voice:)

I have compared thee, O my Love: To a Steed in Pharaoh’s Chariots.
Thy Cheeks are comely with plaits [of hair]: Thy Neck with strings of jewels.

(The Lover Shepherd compares his Beloved, his Love, to Pharaoh’s Chariots pulled by a Steed of Horses; her Cheeks as beautiful plaited hair; & her Neck as Jewel Necklaces. The Lover sees in his Love the Object of Royalty & Beauty. Then another voice:)

We will make thee plaits of gold: With studs of silver.”

(The voice must be the Virgins wishing to help her adornment; & to please her Beloved.)

“While the King sat at his table: My Spikenard sent forth its Fragrance: My Beloved is unto me [as] a Bundle of Myrrh: That lieth betwixt my Breasts.
My Beloved is unto me [as] a Cluster of Henna-flowers: In the Vineyards of En-gedi.”

(The Royal Banquet of King & Court & Harem is perfumed with her Fragrance of the Nard; her Beloved is as Myrrh between her Breasts, that is on her Chest; & he is as Henna-Flowers. Theses , spices, herbs, & plants are all used for important functions, & are costly. Love seeks in Lovers to not only beautify the Lover for the Beloved, but also to enhance the sweet & pleasant odor of Loves. Solomon as the widest of men, wiser than Ezra the Ezrahite, wiser than Ahithophel the Divine Counselor, wiser than David & Saul, who mastered music & poetry, was surely hiding secrets in this Song of Songs of Love. The expression: ‘My Beloved…That lieth betwixt my Breasts.’ is in Hebrew: (Dodi li ben Shadai yalin) Dodi is the Beloved, David, & Shadai is the Nurturing Breasts as El Shaddai is the Nurturing God for His people. It is a hidden picture of the Beloved Shepherd King, David, resting at her Breasts as He lay dying in his last days, when Abishag the Shunammite (same as Shulammite, from Shulem, Shunem, Salem; see Ges, Lex.) the most beautiful damsel & virgin in Israel in all his borders, and she was brought to King David, who was very old, to attend him, to cherish him, and to rest in his bosom to get heat. Yes David rested at her bosom as she rested at his. But David never had conjugal relations with her; thus she remained a Virgin & a Mystery of the Kingdom. You get the Picture. The Text continues with the last voices of chapter 1:)

Behold, thou art Fair, my Love: Behold thou art Fair: Thine Eyes are [as] Doves.
Behold, thou art Fair, my Beloved, yea, Pleasant: Also our couch is green.
The Beams of our House are Cedars, [&] our Rafters are Firs.

(The Voices are those of both Beloved, both Lovers, the Love & Beloved; both admiring each other; both share the same bed & couch; and both share the same Royal House or Palace of Cedars (for the King of Tyre sent to David cedars to build him a house to dwell therein). The Bride is both a Queen & a Guest or Stranger in the Palace; just Abishag, while David was alive, was as a Queen, though not the Queen Mother, but as a Concubine or Mistress. After David died, she was one of Solomon’s Harem & Court, and with peculiar & mysterious relations & privileges. We will hurry through the rest of the Song, assured that the reader by now has enough of our view & doctrine to reflect in their own consideration of Solomon’s mystery.)

     In chapter 2: The Lovers continue their exchange: “I am a Rose of Sharon: A Lily of the Valleys. As a Lily among Thorns: So is my Love among the Daughters. As the Apple-Tree among the Trees of the Wood: So is my Beloved among the Sons. I sat down under his Shadow with great delight, & his Fruit was sweet to my Taste. He brought me to the Banqueting-House: & his Banner over me was Love. She praises him, & he praises her; both admire each other, with easy & ready pictures. Their relations become confused & complex; they find each other away; they long for each other; the Daughters of Jerusalem are admonish to disturb him or her till they are invited to do so. They are very intimate with each other as Spouses; he is a Shepherd-King, free to move among the valleys & hills, in the fields & on the mountains; their vineyards are now unattended, spoiled by the foxes; her loneliness is tormenting & unbearable; the watchers or guards & Jerusalem’s daughters or virgins are not favorable to her any longer. She is lost in her longing & love for her Beloved; & the Beloved longs for her & their reunion. Solomon & Jerusalem daughters are compared to her & her Beloved. She is his Sister & Bride; he is her Lover & Friend 7 the Chief of Ten Thousand. Both describe each other in excellent romantic poetical figures of speech & metaphors. The language is natural romance, no lust or porn is to be seen, herd, or thought. Her experience is a rich romantic novel of a simple poor, but very attractive virgin given as a wife, a sister & spouse, to a Shepherd King who was the glory of Israel & father of Solomon. She is admired, but teased & taunted, she is praised but pitied. She not only most beautiful, but quite different & unique among the virgins of Jerusalem & the royal harem: “There are 60 queens, and 80 concubines & virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled, is [but] one; She is the only one of her mother; She is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and called her blessed; [Yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.” In her solitary experience & longing of her love-sickness she wanders about in search of him or peace, they in turn say: “Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. Why will ye look upon the Shulammite, As upon the dance of Mahanaim?” Here is another mystery, but let reader seek its meaning. We will close this brief look at Solomon’s Song & Poem with his last words of the Songs:

Oh that thou wert as my Brother, That sucked the Breasts of my Mother!
[When] I should find thee without, I would Kiss thee; Yea, and none would despise me.
I would lead thee, [and] bring thee into my Mother’s House: Who would instruct me;
I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine: Of the juice of my pomegranate.
His left hand [should be] under my head, And his right hand should embrace me.
I adjure you, O Daughters of Jerusalem: That ye stir not up, nor awake [my] Love, Until he please.
Who is this that cometh up from the Wilderness: Leaning upon her Beloved?
Under the Apple-tree I awakened thee: There thy Mother was in travail with thee,
There was she in travail that brought thee forth.
Set me as a Seal upon thy heart: As a Seal upon thine arm:
For Love is strong as Death; Jealousy is cruel as Sheol;
The flashes thereof are flashes of fire: A very flame of Jehovah.
Many waters cannot quench Love: Neither can floods drown it:
If a man would give all the substance of his house for Love: He would utterly be contemned.
We have a Little Sister: And she hath no Breasts:
What shall we do for our Sister: In the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a Wall: We will build upon her a turret of silver:
And if she be a Door: We will enclose her with boards of cedar.
I am a Wall, and my Breasts like the towers [thereof]
Then was I in his eyes as one that found Peace.
Solomon had a Vineyard at Baal-Hamon: He let out the Vineyard unto keepers;
Every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand [pieces] of silver.
My Vineyard, which is mine, is before me:
Thou, O Solomon, shalt have the thousand: & those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
Thou that dwellest in the Gardens: The Companions hearken for thy Voice: Cause me to hear it: So Make haste, my Beloved:
And be thou like to a Roe or to a Young Hart: Upon the Mountains of Spices.

     (The Shulammite-Shunammite imagines in her Love that her Lover could have been as her brother, her mother’s son, nursed at the paps; no shame or dishonor would be found in her open & public affections for her sibling. As a brother, a young man, she would bring her Lover home to be instructed & guided by her mother about Love relationship. Her Lover would embrace her with his hands, the left & the right, holding her, hugging her in tender 7 shapeless Love. This romantic desire is in the Shunammite is caused by the unfulfilled & unrequited intimacy of her experience with King David, who was too old & too weak to satisfy her female emotions of Love. Her body served her Lover to warm & comfort him, but her soul could not stimulate his soul to Love, nor could his body be aroused to Love. Her need was truly great. This was not her experience with Solomon, whose wife was the Egyptian Princess, Pharaoh’s daughter, and with whom Solomon would live apart from the harem. Many of Solomon’s wives & concubines were queens & princesses, and many of them served & worshipped idols; the vineyards at Baal-Hamon was related to the idol Baal, and the silver pieces were as tribute of conquest. The Shepherd Girl was not like that; she was simple, humble, & in Love with the Shepherd-King. Solomon could have become her Lover, but it would come with shame, incest, and peril to the Throne & ruin to the Kingdom. When David’s 5th son, Solomon’s older brother, Adonijah benHaggith after he failed to usurp the Throne & the Kingdom, he solicited Bathsheba to petition King Solomon to let him marry Abishag the Shunammite, but Solomon in his wisdom, responded but why not ask for the Kingdom also; so that day he put Adonijah the usurper to death. This left the Shunammite with a mystery & history to memorialize in imaginations & reality. The Song tells her Love Story, and honors her Love as a type & picture of that Greater Love between God & creation, the Lord & Israel, and between Christ & the Church. Her relations with the harem maidens, her harem sisters, the Virgin Daughters of Jerusalem is settled, and she warns them not to awaken her Beloved till he arises. She will have her Beloved, her David, as her Brother, Lover, King, Shepherd, and Lord. Her Love will ever abide, and will intensity as she ages, she will yearn & pine for their reunion on that other side beyond this life & beyond death. Nothing will extinguish her Love for the Beloved, it burns as Jehovah’s Flames, as He Who’s Name is Jealous, and hell itself is not to match that jealousy of Love. Her virginity is safe, her body fully developed, her Lover was satisfied unto death, and she is now at Peace. Solomon may attend to his Vineyard, but she will attend to her Vineyard; her Beloved dwells in the Gardens, Paradise, but his Companions & Friends all listen to hear his Voice, she longs to hear his Voice. She bids her Beloved King-Shepherd in his freedom to hasten from the Mountain of Spices & Balsams, from the Mountain in the Heavens. (The Hebrew word for ‘spices’ is ({y×imf&:b = besamim; but without the niqqud vowel-points it is ‘bshmym’, the exact letters for ‘in-the-heavens, in-heaven’, namely ‘bshmym’ which makes us think of the hidden mystery in the Song of Songs by Solomon.)

     We have reached the end of the 5 Poetic Books, and will close our reflections with these final words concerning biblical poetry & spiritual music. The biblical history recorded in the historical books of the Bible is the content & context of the musical poetry, what they call ‘poesy’. It goes back to man’s earliest days on earth; it developed in the patriarchs, and an example is seen the chapters of Genesis in God’s communications with man. beginning with the Creation Week of Genesis 1; it is seen in Gen. 9 in the Covenant after the Flood; in Noah’s Curse & Blessing on his Sons from whom the Nations or Gentiles came. In Gen. 27 we find poetry in the patriarchal blessings of Isaac on Jacob & Esau; it is found in the blessings on virgins & women in marriage; and we have it the blessings of fathers on their sons & children for the future generations. We read it in Jacob-Israel’s blessings on his 12 sons of the 12 Tribes of Israel, Joseph’s portion doubled in his sons Ephraim & Manasseh. We find it in Balaam benBeor in his Prophecy in Parables (Num.23); and in Moses’ final words to Israel in Song & Covenantal-Dispensational Blessings (Deut. 32 & 33). The poetic language is allied to prophecy, and history is interpreted into prophecy, thus personal history, experiences, becomes spiritual expressions of a prophetic nature. When God delivers Israel from Egypt the poetry is expressed in the Song of Moses & Israel to the Lord. (Ex.15) Thereafter it occurs more frequent from one generation to another. The musical development is less visible till we reach the monarchy in Israel, which also is seen in the contemporaneous nations near & far.
Poetry is by nature a method & form by which we express our interpretations, impressions, our interests, our doctrines at different levels. Our ability to uses musical instruments of various sorts helps us in this musical or poetic expression. Our Songs in their many forms define much of our culture. We could easily find thousands & millions of examples in songs, hymns, psalms, poems, & more, which would illustrate all our beliefs & practices both individual & collective. Religious Poetry within the larger general Poetry of a nation or people is also very abundant. It is the favorites & selections of the most popular that allows us to focus & enjoy on certain songs of common interest & taste. Biblical Poetry is even more expressed in regards to Scriptural truth or doctrines. But all songs, especially with any degree of human or divine inspiration will teach us & charm us in both mind & mood. Bible Poetry is built on the Poetic Books of the Old Testament (Pentateuch-Chumash), and Jewish & Christian Poetry are modifications of Bible Poetry. In fact Islam, by the Quran of Muhammad the Prophet & Founder, is also an extension of Bible Poetry, or as they express it the Poetry of the Book.
But the most attractive poetry of any type & people are the love-songs, love-songs of any & every variety & category. These love-songs when performed with great skill & beauty, that is with some perfection, become universally endeared to mankind, and often cross over to all nations. The spiritual meaning & value to religious poetry is often part of non-religious poetry, often hidden at a level just below or beyond the natural sense or words. The sense of love-songs is within the meaning, and the meaning is deeper still; and that is not even taking into account mere application or association. But often our secular & popular songs are misused & misunderstood just like proverbs & parables & we lose the value & truth of the songs; and worse, God is cheated & shorted. We cannot spend a lot of time to enlarge this matter of understanding the love-songs, which could easily become a Book of itself, to be added to the many such books already available, both old & new. We will however select some special songs to help as examples at the close of our comments here.
The wisdom literature of Israel in the Bible and outside at large, interacting with the Gentiles, shows a common development among the nations. As Israel learned Hebrew among the ancient Aramean, and with other cross influences, and as they learned to write Hebrew with the Phoenicians & Egyptians & Canaanites, so too in their poetry & music it was mutual sharing & borrowing. It was always this way, and it’s been that way ever since; and we today see it plainly in plain sight in myriad ways. In the Prophetic Books & the New Testament (of course with the Apocrypha in the transition) we will see the international & global relationship it more clear precise ways.

     Here are some Selections of Jewish & Christian Poetry as related to Biblical Poetry as examples of our reflections.

1: The Hymn Of Glory (Shir haChabod) The Ark is opened. Synagogue Service. (“Shir HaKavod is better known by its opening words, Anim Zemiros (“Sweet Hymns”). The song is popularly attributed to Rav Yehuda HaChasid, though it was more likely composed by his father, Rabbi Shmuel ben Kalonymus HaChasid of Speyer (12th century), who also composed Shir HaYichud (The Song of Unity). Shir HaKavod is a series of couplets (except for the last line) that describe what God metaphorically “looks like.” Accordingly, the song is replete with imagery from the Books of the Prophets.”)

1
Sweet hymns shall be my chant and woven songs: Thou art all for which my spirit longs
Within the shadow of Thy hand: All Thy mystery to understand.
While Thy glory is upon my tongue: My inmost heart with love of Thee is wrung:
So though Thy mighty marvels I proclaim: Songs of love wherewith I greet Thy name.
2
I have not seen Thee, yet I tell Thy praise: Nor known Thee, yet I image forth Thy ways.
For by Thy seers’ & servants’ mystic speech: Thou didst Thy sov’ran splendour darkly teach.
& from the grandeur of Thy work they drew: The measure of Thy inner greatness, too.
They told of Thee, but not as Thou must be: Since from Thy work they tried to body Thee:
To countless visions did their pictures run: Behold through all the visions Thou art one.
3
In Thee old age and youth at once were drawn: The grey of eld, the flowing locks of dawn.
The ancient Judge, the youthful Warrior: The Man of Battles, terrible in war:
The helmet of salvation on His head. And by His hand and arm the triumph led.
His head all shining with the dew of light: His locks all dripping with the drops of night.
4
I glorify Him, for He joys in me. My crown of beauty He shall ever be!
His head is like pure gold: His forehead’s flame: Is graven glory of His holy name.
& with that lovely diadem ’tis graced: The coronal His people there have placed.
His hair as on the head of youth is twined. In wealth of raven curls it flows behind.
His circlet is the home of righteousness: Ah, may He love His highest rapture less:
& be His treasured people in His hand: A diadem His kingly brow to band.
By Him they were uplifted, carried, crowned. Thus honoured inasmuch as precious found.
His glory is on me, and mine on Him: And when I call He is not far or dim.
Ruddy in red apparel, bright He glows: When He from treading Edom’s wine-press goes.
Phylacteried the vision Moses viewed: The day he gazed on God’s similitude.
He loves His folk; the meek will glorify. And, shrined in prayer, draw their rapt reply.
5
Truth is Thy primal word; at Thy behest: The generations pass—O aid our quest:
For Thee, and set my host of songs on high. And let my psalmody come very nigh.
My praises as a coronal account. And let my prayer as Thine incense mount.
Deem precious unto Thee the poor man’s song: As those that to Thine altar did belong.
Rise, O my blessing, to the lord of birth: The breeding, quickening, righteous force of earth.
Do Thou receive it with acceptant nod: My choicest incense offered to my God.
And let my meditation grateful be: For all my being is athirst for Thee.

2: (Yigdal = Magnify [the Living God]”, Jewish hymn which shares with Adon ‘Olam the place of honor at the opening of the morning & the close of the evening service. It is based on the 13 Articles of Faith (the 13 Creeds) formulated by Rambam, Moses ben Maimon. This was not the only metrical presentment of the Creeds, but it has outlived all others.)

1. The living God O magnify & bless: Transcending Time & here eternally.
2. One Being, yet unique in unity: A mystery of Oneness measureless.
3. Lo ! form or body He has none, and man: No semblance of His holiness can frame.
4. Before Creation’s dawn He was the same: The first to be, though never He began.
5. He is the world’s & every creature’s Lord: His rule & majesty are manifest:
6. & through His chosen, glorious sons exprest: In prophecies that through their lips are poured.
7. Yet never like to Moses rose a seer. Permitted glimpse behind the veil divine.
8. This faithful prince of God’s prophetic line: Received the Law of Truth for Israel’s ear.
9. The Law God gave He never will amend: Nor ever by another Law replace.
10. Our secret things are spread before His face: In all beginnings He beholds the end.
11. The saint’s reward He measures to his meed: The sinner reaps the harvest of his ways.
12. Messiah He will send at end of days: & all the faithful to salvation lead.
13. God will the dead again to life restore: (In His abundance of almighty love.
(Then blessed be His name, all names above: & let His praise resound for evermore.

3: Praise give to God! Synagogue Service Song & Psalm.

King of the Universe: Potent to free His folk.
Faithful His word to keep. Swift in forgiving sin,
Call His Name gratefully: Praise give to God.
Blest, praised and powerful: Granting His people grace:
He to display His might: Metes in His palm the sea.
Sing to Him, chant to Him: Praise give to God.
Saving His holy folk: Purging to sanctify.
Shrined in His holy house: ‘Mid Abram’s holy seed.
Laud ye His holy Name: Praise give to God.
Hymned in His mighty skies. He yet His folk forgives.
After His mighty word. Wherefore, O congregants.
Seek Him and seek His strength: Praise give to God.
All by His word was made. He alone worked and wrought:
He is your Pardoner. Therefore, O folk that trust.
Ponder His miracles: Praise give to God.
Doing His servant’s word: Glorious in heav’n and earth:
Shriving His worshippers: Called by His high design:
Israel His servant’s seed: Praise give to God.
Lo, He outspread the earth: Thrones on the orb of earth.
Pardons the salt of earth. Call then earth’s Architect:
God throughout all the earth: Praise give to God.
He living high enthroned: Gracious and merciful.
Will to His shrine return. Sons of His covenant:
Heed it eternally. Praise give to God.
Babes of His heritage: Lambs of His private fold.
God will fulfil the word. Pledged in His holy Law,
Vowed unto Abraham: Praise give to God.
God plans salvation and: Life for His followers:
Pardoning sinfulness: Moses this heard and made:
Doctrine in Israel: Praise give to God.
Ruler of all the worlds: Fixed is His word for aye,
Hid is His face from all. Ours but to praise His Name:
Blessed be Israel’s God: Through all eternity
Praise give to God. (Praise give to God!)

4: Lord of the World by Solomon ibn Gabirol. Spain (1021? – 1058). English version by Israel Zangwill from Hebrew. The Shophar is sounded. Synagogue Service Hymn & Creed.

Lord of the world, He reigned alone: While yet the universe was naught.
When by His will all things were wrought: Then first His sov’ran Name was known.
And when the All shall cease to be: In dread lone splendour He shall reign.
He was, He is, He shall remain: In glorious eternity.
For He is one, no second shares His nature or His loneliness:
Unending and beginningless: All strength is His, all sway He bears.
He is the living God to save: My Rock while sorrow’s toils endure
My Banner and my Stronghold sure: The Cup of Life whene’er I crave.
I place my soul within His palm: Before I sleep as when I wake:
And though my body I forsake: Rest in the Lord in fearless calm.

5: SongsExileHebrewPoets.Tr,NinaDavis.Phil.JPSA.1901
(I am the Suppliant: Baruch ben Samuel died in Mayence in 1221. He wrote Talmudical commentaries and works in law, besides many poems for the synagogue. I am the Suppliant is a Sdichaii recited in the Musaf Service of the Day of Atonement. (Baruch ben Samuel (died April 25, 1221), also called Baruch of Mainz to distinguish him from Baruch ben Isaac, was a Talmudist and prolific payyeṭan, who flourished in Mainz at the beginning of the thirteenth century.)
Stanza: 2: line 1, Jeremiah 4:19. St. 7: line 4, Lamentations 1:1. St.13: line 4, Lam. 1:18. St. 15, line 4, Genesis 27:2. St. 16, line 4, Psalm 39:13. St. 17, line 2, Hosea 1:6; line 3, Ps. 17:1. St. 18, line 4, Numbers 11:15. St. 19, line 4, Jonah 2:8. St. 21, line 4, Ps. 30:10. St. 22, line 4, Gen. 37:7. St. 23, line 4, Gen. 48:19. St. 25, line 3, Ps. 119:176. St. 26, line 4, Gen. 44:28. St. 27, line 4, Song of Songs 5:6. St. 30, line 4, Gen. 23:11. St. 31, line 4, Gen. 29:19. St. 32, line 4, Lam. 3:56.)

I am the Suppliant: Baruch benSamuel:
I:A
1.
I am the suppliant for my people here: Yea, for the House of Israel, I am he;
I seek my God’s benign and heedful ear: For words that rise from me.
2.
Amid the walls of hearts that stand around: My bitter sighs surge up and mount the sky;
Ah ! how my heart doth pant with ceaseless bound: For God, my Rock on high.
3.
With mighty works & wondrous He hath wrought: Lord of my strength, my God. When me He bade
To make a Sanctuary for Him, I sought: I labored, and ’twas made.
4.
The Lord, my God, He hath fulfilled His word: He ruleth as an all-consuming Fire:
I came with sacrifice, my prayer He heard: Then granted my desire.
5.
My sprinkling He accepted at the dawn: Of this, the holiest day, the chosen one,
When with the daily offering of the morn: The High Priest had begun.
I:B
6.
And when the services thereafter came: In glorious order, each a sacred rite,
I, bending low, and calling on the Name: Confessed before His sight.
7.
The holy Priests, the ardent, for their sin: Upon this day made their atonement then,
With blood of bullocks and of goats, within: The city full of men.
8.
The Priest with glowing censer seemed as one: Preparing for the pure a way by fire.
Then with two rams I came, e’en as a son: That cometh to his sire.
9.
The bathings and ablutions, as ’twas meet: Were all performed according to their way;
Then passed before the throne of God complete: The service of the day.
I:C
10.
And when sweet strains of praise to glorify: Burst forth in psalmody and songs of love,
Yea, when I heard the voice uplifted high: I raised my hand above.
11.
The rising clouds of incense, mantling o’er:The mercy-seat, lent savor to its grace :
Then glory filled me, and my soul would soar: To yon exalted place.
II:A
12.
Of ancient times I dream, of vanished days: Now wild disquiet rageth unrestrained;
Scorned and reproached by all, from godly ways Have I, alas, refrained.
13.
Afar mine eyes have strayed, and I have erred: And deaf I made mine ears, their listening quelled;
And righteous is the Lord, for at His word: I sorely have rebelled.
14.
Perverseness have I loved, and wrongful thought: And hating good, strove righteousness to shun,
And in mine actions foolishness have wrought: Great evil have I done.
II:B
15.
Pardon, I pray Thee, our iniquity: O God, from Thine high dwelling, and behold
The souls that in affliction weep to Thee: For lo ! I have grown old.
16.
Work for me, I beseech Thee, marvels now: O Lord of Hosts ! in mercy lull our fears;
Answer with potent signs, and be not Thou: Silent unto my tears.
17.
Open Thine hand exalted, nor revile: The hearts not comforted, but pierced with care,
Praying with fervent lips, that know not guile: O hearken to my prayer !
18.
Look Thou upon my sorrow, I implore: But not upon the sin that laid me low ;
Judge, God, the cause of mine affliction sore: Let me not see my woe.
II:C
19.
O Thou, my Maker! I have called on Thee: Pictured my thought to Thee, pronounced my word;
And at the time my spirit failed in me: Remembered I the Lord.
20.
Behold my wound, O Thou Who giv’st relief! Let me Thine ears with voice of weeping win;
Seek in Thy mercy balsam for my grief: But seek not for my sin.
21.
Give ear unto my voice, O list my call! And give me peace, for Thou art great to save.
What profit is there in my blood, my fall: Down low unto the grave?
III:A
22.
But I unceasing will declare Thy praise: Grant my atonement, though I sinned so oft.
Bring not my word to nothingness, but raise: My fallen sheaf aloft.
23.
Redeem Thy son, long sold to bondage grim: And on his substance let Thy blessing flow;
How long, O Lord, ere Thou wilt say to him: “I know, my son, I know,”
24.
“I see thee heavy-laden with thy care: With sorrow’s burden greater than thy strength;
I hear thee wailing: yea, but I will spare: And will redeem at length.”
III:B
25.
And now, O my Redeemer, lo! behold: The chains that bind me ‘neath their cruel sway,
And seek Thy servant, wandered from the fold: A lost sheep, gone astray.
26.
Beauty’s perfection lieth fallen low: Broken and waste, which stood in majesty;
The glory is gone forth, and fled, for woe! The One went out from me.
27.
My strong bars He hath broken every one: He hath been wroth with me: I am bereft.
For my belov’d hath turned aside and gone: A desert am I left.
28.
My gates are sunken, they that stood so high: My sacred doors are shattered and laid waste;
Lo! they are moved and vanished hence; and I: Am humbled and disgraced.
29.
Dumb are mine advocates in mine appeal: High in their pride my scorners raise their crest;
They quench my light, they darkly do conceal: My welfare and my rest.
III:C
30.
O Lord, my God ! all strength doth dwell in Thee: O hear my voice, as humbly here I bow;
And let the sentence of Thy judgment be: “Take thou my blessing now.”
31.
Behold me fallen low from whence I stood: And mine assembly with compassion see;
And this my soul, mine only one, ’tis good: To give it unto Thee.
32.
Take back Thy son once more, and draw him near: Hide not from him the radiance of Thine eye,
Turn not away, but bend a favoring ear: Unto my plaint, my cry.

6: How Great Thou Art. English Translation of Boberg’s Swedish “O Store God” by Stuart K. Hine (1885). (“Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. It was translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own. The composition was set to a Russian melody. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades. It was voted the United Kingdom’s favourite hymn by BBC’s Songs of Praise. “How Great Thou Art” was ranked second (after “Amazing Grace”) on a list of the favourite hymns of all time in a survey by Christianity Today magazine in 2001. Wikipedia.org)

1.
O Lord my God: When I in awesome wonder
Consider all: The works Thy Hand hath made:
I see the stars: I hear the (mighty) thunder:
Thy pow’r throughout: The universe displayed,
2.
When through the woods: And forest glades I wander:
I hear the birds: Sing sweetly in the trees:
When I look down: From lofty mountain grandeur:
And hear the brook: And feel the gentle breeze,
3.
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
4.
When Christ shall come: With shouts of acclamation:
And take me home: What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow: In humble adoration
And there proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
5.
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

7: Firm Foundation formerly attributed to K. in John Ribbon’s Selections of Hymns in 1787; K.is either George Keith (commonly believed) or more correctly Robert Keene.

1.
How firm a Foundation ye saints of the Lord: Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said: To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
2.
In every condition, in sickness, in health: In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home & abroad, on the land, on the sea: As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
3.
“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed: For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strength’n thee, help thee, & cause thee t’stand: Upheld by My righteous, omnipot’nt hand.”
4.
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go: The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee (thy) trouble to bless: And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”
5.
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie: My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design: Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
6.
“Even down to old age all My people shall prove: My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
& when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn: Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.”
7.
“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose: I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake: I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake!”
[8.]
[Thus on God’s Foundation th’saints d’now stand: Awaiting th’Lord, from th’ Father’s right hand;
The (sheep and the Shepherd) are truly now one: In glory forever, while sufferings are done.]

(sts. 1-7 based on Isaiah 40-44-66. stz1= 1 Cor.3:11; st.2= Psalms; st.3= Isa.41:10; st.4-5= Isa.43:2; st.6= Rom.8:35-39, Heb.13:5, Deut.31:6; st.7= Mat.11:28-30, 16:18, 28:18-20; [st.8= Heb.13:8,20-21, 1Pet.5:4, John 10, 17.] (st.8 added in 1975 by mjm)

8: Joys from Fount of Paradise: Fount of Life Eternal. Translation of St. Augustine’s Latin Song. Monastery & Convent Hymn (Augustine’s Song. St, Bishop, of Hippo. 4thc. Latin-English. From The Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. vol 34, Feb 1899, p168, n2. Joys of Paradise or Fount of Life Eternal, or Fount of Paradise. Verses inspired by Scripture: Gen., Psalms, Song of Sol., Rev., &c.)

1.
For the Fount of Life Eternal: Panteth the enamored soul,
From its bonds th’ imprisoned spirit: Seeketh freedom of control,
Exiled here it turns and flutters: Struggling for its native goal.
2.
When ’neath trial and confusion: Pressed by misery and pain,
It beholds its glory clouded: By the breath of deadly bane,
Present evil but enhanceth: Memory of a perished gain.

3.
Who can voice the joy surpassing: Of that endless peace supreme,
Where the living pearls of beauty: In the lofty dwellings gleam,
Where the spacious halls and mansions: With a golden glory stream?
4.
Precious are the gems compacted: In that palace, stone on stone,
Purest gold like unto crystal: Is upon the highway strown:
Free of dust and spotless ever: For no darkening stain is known.

5.
Blighting Winter, burning Summer: There no longer hold their sway,
Spring perpetual bright with roses: Bloometh, knowing no decay:
Lilies glisten, crocus gleameth: Balsam sendeth perfumed spray.
6.
Verdant are the springing meadows: And the honied rivers flow,
Odors breathe their sweet aroma: As the spicy breezes blow,
In the groves, with fruit unfailing: Leafy boughs are bending low.

7.
There no fickle moon appeareth: Nor do planets speed their way,
For the Lamb is light undying: Of that happy land alway,
Night and time are ever banished: For ’tis never ending day.
8.
There the saints in light supernal: As a glorious sun-burst shine,
Crowned triumphant then, exulting: In an ecstacy divine,
They recount their glorious conquests: With the raging foe in line.

9.
Free from stain, their battle over: E’en the flesh is glorified;
Flesh transfigured, with the spirit: Doth in harmony abide,
Peaceful with a holy stillness: Troubled by no sinful tide.
10.
Freed from weight of all mutation: To their Source they swiftly rise,
On the Face of Truth Eternal: Gazing with enraptured eyes,
Thence to draw reviving sweetness: From the Fount of Paradise.

11.
They rejoice in changeless being: Glory in a steadfast will,
Lit with vivifying rapture: Subject to no passing ill,
Sickness flying, health undying: Though eternal, youthful still.
12.
Thus they have perennial being: For transition now is o’er;
Thus they flourish, bloom and flower: Ne’er decaying, as of yore.
Strong with an immortal vigor: Death is conquered evermore.

13.
Knowing Him Who knoweth all things: In all knowledge they delight,
E’en the secret of each bosom: Charmeth now each ravished sight,
One in mind, in will, in spirit: They in all of good unite.
14.
“ Star shall differ,” for the glory: Is apportioned to the pain,
But in bond of sweet communion: Charity doth so ordain,
That the treasure each possesseth: Shall enrich the common gain.

15.
To the body flock the eagles: For the royal feast is spread,
Saints and Angels rest together: On celestial bounty fed;
Citizens of earth and heaven: Seek the One Life-giving Bread.
16.
Famished yet restored with plenty: What they have they yet desire,
Sated, yet they languish never: Nor doth hunger ever tire.
Ever longing they are feasting: Yet to feast they still aspire.

17.
Songs of melody enchanting: Their melodious voices raise,
String and psaltery are mingled: With the jubilee of lays,
Offering to the King Eternal: Homage of the victor’s praise.
18.
Happy soul to whom the vision: Of the Heavenly King is known,
Who hath seen the vast creation: Circling ‘neath His lofty throne,
Sun and moon and sphery splendor: In their varied beauty shown.

19.
Thou, O Christ, the Palm of battle: Lead me to Thy land of rest,
When I shall have loosed the sword-belt: Cast the buckler from my breast,
Make me sharer in the guerdon: Thou bestowest on the blest.
20.
Prove the valor of Thy warrior: When the din of war is rife,
But refuse not sweet refreshment: To the victor after strife,
Be Thyself my Prize Eternal: Thou, my Everlasting Life.

9:
Bridal Love. (The Bride) John 14:3 & Solomon’s Song of Songs. (Individual and Corporate.) (This Hymn and Song has been wrongly attributed to certain others, confused that it was signed by the initials P.G. It is not Unknown, Anonymous, P.G., or Gerhardt. It is Bevan’s rendition of Gerhard Tersteegen (Ter Stegeen) German Hymns and words while she resided at her home at Princes Gate (P.G.): “A favourite device of hers was to use merely the initials of the house where she was staying when she wrote a hymn.” “Another complication was that Mrs. Bevan preferred to convey the general sense of an original rather than to imitate it word for word. Often in the final version there was more of the translator than of the translated. In this she (probably unconsciously) was following the precedent of that first great translator of German hymns into English, John Wesley. It was perhaps significant that she wrote a biography of him.” The Hymn was at times ascribed to the Plymouth Brethren, the group Emma Frances Shuttleworth Bevan and her husband was in fellowship with on a regular basis. But the Hymn was not in the Little Flock Hymns in 1856, and not in Darby’s revision in 1881. But it first occurred in Bevan’s “Service of Song in the House of the Lord” (p33-34), 1884. In several of her works of translations and original songs it is clear that rendition is that of TerSteegen and the other Mystics, especially the Germans, like the Friends of God. Bevan in her own search for an intimate relationship with God in Christ, was drawn to the German Mystics that preceded and prepared for the Reformation. Though a contented married woman, with many children, her ardent fervent zeal and affections were ever drawn to the Bridal Love of Christ and the Church. She found her native High Church Woman experience inadequate to satisfy this intense romantic spiritual tryst. The Plymouth Brethren gave her partial and temporary relief and comfort as she pursued Him Who alone satisfies. In TerSteegen she found great consolation and example, along with those of that way and school; all of which is recorded in several of her books. Tersteegen is one of those Christians whose life exemplifies the spiritual life of inner contemplation and subjective experience of Christ. He and his kind are often labelled mystics of Christian Mysticism. The church has always had many Christians, men and women, sisters and brothers, who have devoted themselves to God and Christ in such a manner that they could not be ignored or impeded. He, like so many, have their own unique story that explains and clarifies their peculiar life. The spiritual believer as a Christian will not easily fit the natural category we often define or identify them by, and thus often be branded and rejected or persecuted. The mystery and ministry of which they occupy themselves are often indescribable and foreign to our senses and culture. They will always exist as a witness and testimony to the mass of mankind. They are subject to all human defects as the rest of us, including depression and insanity. Their love is intense in the spirit as it also is seen in the flesh; they are driven by nature to seek the spirit of life and God. As Christians they are Christ intoxicated and obsessed, for good or ill. Christ’s cross and glory, His passion and incarnation, His relations to God and man, are their only concern in their mortality; and always longing to be at home, or for their Beloved to return. mjm.)

I Individual
1
’Midst the darkness, storm, and sorrow: One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow: Christ will come for me.
’Midst the peace, the joy, the glory: And the light, God’s own,
Christ for me is watching, waiting: Waiting ’til I come.

2
Long the blessed Guide has led me: By the desert road;
Now I see the coming splendor: Splendor of my God.
There amidst the love and glory: He is waiting yet;
On His hands a name is graven: He can ne’er forget.

3
There, amidst the songs of heaven: Sweeter to His ear
Is the footfall through the desert: Ever drawing near.
There, made ready are the mansions: Radiant, still, and fair;
But the Bride the Father gave Him: (Still) is (needed) there.

II Corporate
4
Who is this, Who comes to meet ‘us’: On the desert way,
As the Morning Star foretelling: God’s unclouded day?
He it is Who came to win ‘us’: On the cross of shame;
In His glory well ‘we’ know Him: Evermore the same.

5
O the blessed joy of meeting: All the desert past;
O the wondrous words of greeting: He shall speak at last!
He and ‘we’ together ent’ring: The fair realm above;
He and ‘we’ together sharing: All the Father’s love.

6
Where no shade nor stain can enter: Nor the gold be dim,
In His holiness unsullied: ‘we’ shall walk with Him.
Meet Companion then for Jesus: From Him, for Him, made—
Glory of God’s grace forever: There in ‘us’ displayed.

7
He who in His hour of sorrow: Bore the curse alone;
‘We’ who through the lonely desert: Trod where He had gone;
He and ‘we’ , in that bright glory: One deep joy shall share—
‘Ours’, to be forever with Him: His, that ‘we’ am there.

10:
The God of Abraham Praise
(Thomas Olivers 1770 based on Jewish Synagogue Piyut (Poem) Yigdal Elohim Chai (Magnify the Living God; Prayer Creed) chanted by Meyer (Meier) Leon (Michael Leoni) in London. Tune or Traditional Melody: Leoni or Yigdal.) (Part I: Individual Call; Part II: Corporate Journey; Part III: Universal End. Also note the use of colon (:) used musically or phonetically to separate lines in a stanza or verse that May be displayed separate as a shorter line. Note that ( ) of a word or few words are notation of alternate words that may be better or preferred substitute; & the use of ‘ ‘ single quote-marks of a word or words for emphasis, such as ‘Jesus’ for ‘Joshua or JehoShua’. Note on verse 12: (host) could be altered to (‘cert) for (concert or c’ncert); the original ‘host’ rhymed with the original ‘Ghost’ in Holy Ghost, inherited from the Germanic or Teutonic Indo-European roots of the English language, but is now almost abandoned in common use except in certain Christian circles whose roots go back a few hundred years or more; the Latin ‘Spirit’ even in the Reformation period was already dominate in English usage which may easily seen in the AKJV of 1611. And finally, the ( ) enclosing the 5 words are the original punctuation of the composer. I have not hesitated to use or altered capitalization to enhance honor and dignity and reverence.)

I.
1
The God of Abrah’m praise: Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days: And God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM! By earth and Heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred Name: Forever blessed.
2
The God of Abrah’m praise: At Whose supreme command
From earth I rise—and seek the joys: At His right hand;
I all on earth forsake: Its wisdom, fame, and power;
And Him my only Portion make: My Shield and Tower.
3
The God of Abrah’m praise: Whose all sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my happy days: In all (my) ways.
He calls a worm His friend: He calls Himself my God!
And He shall save me to the end: Thro’ Jesus’ blood.
4
He by Himself has sworn; I on His oath depend,
I shall, on eagle wings upborne: To Heav’n ascend.
I shall behold His face; I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace: Forevermore.
II.
5
Tho’ nature’s strength decay: And earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds (I) urge (my) way: At His command.
The wat’ry deep (I) pass, With ‘Jesus’ in (my) view;
And thro’ the howling wilderness: (My) way pursue.
6
The goodly land (I) see, With peace and plenty bless’d;
A land of sacred liberty: And endless rest.
There milk and honey flow: And oil and wine abound,
And trees of life forever grow: With mercy crowned.
7
There dwells the Lord our King: The Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin: The Prince of Peace;
On Sion’s sacred height: His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light: Forever reigns.
8
He keeps His own secure, He guards them by His side,
Arrays in garments, white and pure: His spotless bride:
With streams of sacred bliss: With groves of living joys—
With all the fruits of Paradise: He still supplies.
9
Before the great Three-One: They all exulting stand;
And tell the wonders He hath done: Through all their land:
The list’ning spheres attend: And swell the growing fame;
And sing, in songs which never end: The wondrous Name.
III.
10
The God Who reigns on high: The great archangels (sing),
And “Holy, holy, holy!” cry: “Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same: And evermore shall be:
Jehovah—Father—Great I AM: We worship Thee!”
11
Before the Savior’s face: The ransomed nations bow;
O’erwhelmed at His almighty grace: Forever new:
He shows His prints of love: They kindle to a flame!
And sound thro’ all the worlds above: The slaughtered Lamb.
12
The whole triumphant (host): Give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy (Spir’t):” They ever cry.
Hail, Abrah’m’s God, and mine! (I join the heav’nly lays,)
All might and majesty are Thine: And endless praise.

11:
(Millenial Praises, Containing a Collection of Gospel Hymns, in Four Parts; adapted to the Day of Christ’s Second Appearing, Composed for the use of His People. Hancock, Printed by Josiah Tallcott. Junior.1813. Part 4, Hymn 17.Adventist. Printed also in The Day Star for 1845 with note that it was used by the Philadelphian Brethren.) (Choice Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Designed to Aid in the Devotions of Prayer, Conference, and Camp-Meetings”, Winsor,VT.Pub. by N.C. Goddard, 1836. Hymn 88.Methodist.)

Israel’s Canaan Journey
1
The old Israelites knew what it was they must do,
If fair Canaan they would possess,
They must still keep in sight of the pillar of light,
Which led on to the promised rest.
2
The camps on the road could not be their abode,
But as oft as the trumpet should blow,
They all glad of a chance of a further advance,
Must then take up their baggage and go.

3
I am thankful indeed for the heavenly Head,
Which before me hath hitherto gone;
For that pillar of love which doth onward still move,
And doth gather our souls into one. –
4
Now the cross bearing throng are advancing along,
And a closer communion doth flow,
Now all who would stand on the promised land,
Let them take up their crosses and go-

5
The way is all new, as it opens to view,
And behind is a foaming red sea;
So none now need to speak of the onions and leeks,
Or talk about garlicks to me.
6
My mind’s in pursuit, I must have the good fruit,
Which on Canaan’s rich vallies doth grow,
Although millions of foes should rise up and oppose,
I will take up my crosses and go.

7
What tho’some in the rear preach up terror & fear,
And complain of the trials they meet ;
Though the giants before with great fury do roar,
I’m resolved I will never retreat.
8
We are little, ’tis true, and our numbers are few,
And the sons of old Anak are tall;
But while I see a track I will never give back,
But go on at the risk of my all.

9
Though while scatter’d around in this wilderness ground,
With good manna a while we’ve been fed;
This will not always do, we must rise and go thro’.
Till we feed on the heavenly bread.
10
Now the morning doth dawn for the camps to move on,
And the priests with their trumpets do blow;
As the priests give the sound, and the trumpets resound,
All my soul is exulting to go.

11
On Jordan’s near side I can never abide,
For no place here of refuge I see,
Till I come to the spot, and inherit the lot
Which the Lord God will give unto me.
12
Now ’tis union I seek with the pure and the meek,
So an end to all discord and strife;
Since I have fix’d mine eyes on the heavenly prize,
I will go, at the risk of my life.

13
If I am faithful and true, and my journey pursue,
Till I stand on the heavenly shore,
I shall joyfully see what a blessing to me,
Was the mortifying cross which 1 bore.
14
Since these losses are gain, I will never complain,
But so long as I am able to move,
With the resolute few I’m resolv’d to go through,
Till I reach the fair Canaan above,
15
All my honors and wealth, all my pleasures and health,
I am willing should now be at stake,
If my Christ I obtain, I shall think it great gain
For the sacrifice which I shall make.
16
When I all have forsook, like a bubble ’twill look,
From the midst of a glorified throng,
Where all losses are gain, where each sorrow & pain,
Are exchanged for the conqueror’s song.

We may find many more examples in the thousands, millions, and since the beginning of human history, even billions of poetic expressions. We each have favorites, and each drawn to different types of music & poetry. For me certain religious poetry is appealing, and yet others repulse me. Biblical accuracy weigh heavily in the form in songs & poems. In secular music I find the Oldies But Goodies of the 50s- 70s are appealing to me; I am fond of the older Country Music, especially Ballads. I like artists like Marty Robbins, Gene Pitney, Bob Dylan, Jonny Cash, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Harry Bellefonte, Jim Croce, &c. Some of my favorite songs in the secular world are: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; Big Iron, Kingston Town; Coward of the County; El Paso; My Woman, My Woman, My Wife; The Story of My Life; I Need Your Love; She’s Just a Drifter; Devil Woman; The Gambler; You Gave Me a Mountain This Time; &c. I like the music on the soundtracks of some plays & movies, as the Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, and Sound of Music. There are hundreds & thousands of my favorites, and each one I seek to learn from in accordance to the truth of Scripture. I try to identify with what is good & true with God & Christ. I endeavor to find God & Christ in those songs or poems that are elevated in human experiences. The Lord is easily the Hero & His heart’s desire the heroine, be it mankind, Israel, or the Church. Music & musical instruments unfortunately does not influence me as to my concern in a given poetic piece. Of course I would prefer to cite actual example of the songs, hymns, and poems to illustrate my reflections, but I have no desire to get entangled in copyright laws & rules. I could not find any public domain poetry, especially in love-songs that clearly exemplify the modern experiences of my age & generation. Music & Poetry often are quite restrictive in limits & taste for a certain generation or two. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah or Broken Hallelujahs is a prime & rare example of a current phenomenon in this regard. Each generation undergo significant changes from the old to the new. Our current generation is shockingly departing for their parents’ paths. The minority groups ever-increasing alienation from the majority in all their culture & customs.
Music & Poetry in songs, poems, verses, lines are a dominate force in our society today, and in truth has always been in several ways. The collective experiences of the national groups or classes have their distinctive expressions & genre. The Black culture in music & poetry is different than White; the Christian is different than non-Christians; the Jewish, Muslim, American Indian, the Hindu, the Buddhist, and the non-religious or secularist, one and all have their own unique musical-poetical properties, and they all share common influences both active & passive. The ever changes of progression from old to new, from the past to the present to the future is a constant consistent feature of poetic expression. A good artist, by voice or acting, by sound or fame, can make even a poor poetic or musical piece, whether songs or poems, into a treasured popular song for the fans. Many are the songs, hymns, ballads, and such like, that the original author or composer never dreamed that he or she was giving birth to a cultural masterpiece.
All this concludes are Chapter III of CBR of the 5 Poetic Books which prepares us for the final Prophetic Books of the Old Testament, namely of the Greater or longer Prophets of Isaiah Jeremiah & Ezekiel; and the Minor or shorter Prophets of Daniel & the 12 Minor Prophets from Hosea to Malachi. These Two Divisions or Parts will be treated in two chapters in the Key Book of Isaiah & of Daniel, both representing the manual symbolic Digits of the 4th & 5th Finger of the Bible Hand of the Divine Word. We have sought to establish the Divine Word is compositionally interconnected & codependent & related as one unit or form like the hands; and that the two hands consists of 10 fingers, digits, and the digital divisions are composed of other books that belong to the key books as essential members or parts. We have journeyed from the origins of all things from the eternal & infinite God to the Foundations of the Word & World, then we arrived at the Law or rather the Second Law which shows the spiritual direction & manner in which the Word would be seen, heard, lived, and fulfilled.
We have arrived to the 3rd station & highest summit of the Old Testament in the Psalms with the other poetic Books of wisdom & truth & love & life. Our hermeneutical skills or training will prepare us to spiritually understand the Prophets, and in turn advance us toward the New Testament.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.20

CBR.20: Proverbs – Song of Songs: III. Poetic Books: Job-Songs. mjmselim. July29, 2018
((Here are pages 375-486 of CBR, Chapter III, (in three submissions pages 375-402, CBR.18 (Job), 402-450 CBR.19 (Psalms), 450-486 CBR.20 (Proverbs-Song of Songs) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. This Chapter III & Part III will be added to the PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, along with the final pages of the Chapter in a few days. CBR. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018))

PROVERBS: (Selections from various authors, writers, commentaries, &c.)
Solomon’s: Mashals: (Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Truth; Life & Death, etc.)

1: A Picture is worth a thousand words; so a Proverb or Parable a book of a thousand pages.

2: From: Biblical Commentary of Proverbs of Solomon, by Franz Delitzsch.Translated from German, by M. G. Easton. Clarks Theological Library, 4th Serial Edition. (1884)

Older Book of Proverbs 1-24: External Title of Book,(1:1-6). Motto of Book, (1:7). Introductory Mashal Discourse (IMD):
1st IMD (1:8-19): Warning against Fellowship of those who Sin against their Neighbor’s Life & Property.
2nd IMD (1:20-ff): Discourse of Wisdom to Her Despisers.
3rd IMD (2:): Earnest Striving after Wisdom as Way to Fear of God & to Virtue.
4th IMD (3:1-18): Exhortation: Love & Faithfulness & Self-Sacrificing Devotion to God, as True Wisdom.
5th IMD (3:19-26): World-Creative Wisdom as Mediatrix of Divine Protection.
6th IMD (3:27-35): Exhortation to Benevolence & Rectitude.
7th IMD (4:1-5:6): Recollections of His Father’s House.
8th IMD (5:7-23): Warning against Adultery & Commendation of Marriage.
9th IMD (6:1-5): Warning against Inconsiderate Suretyship.
10th IMD (6:6-11): Call to Sluggard to Awake.
11th IMD (6:12-19): Warning against Deceit & Malice.
12th IMD (6:20-ff): Warning against Adultery, by Reference to its Fearful Consequences.
13th IMD (7:): Warning against Adultery: Representation: its Abhorrent & Detestable Nature: Example.
14th IMD (8:):Discourse of Wisdom concerning Her Excellence & Her Gifts.
15th IMD (9:): Double Invitation: of Wisdom & of Her Rival Folly.
1st Collection of Solomonic Proverbs, (10:1-22:16):

Exhortations to Fidelity & other Social Virtues; to Humility and Gentleness; against Drunkenness, Slothfulness, Quarrelsomeness, etc.; to the Exercise of Justice, Patience and Submission to God. Admonitions as to the Obtaining and Preserving of a Good Name; etc.

1st Appendix to 1st Collection of Solomonic Proverbs, (22:17-24:22):
Admonition to lay to heart the “Words of the Wise”. Treatment of the Poor. Warnings against Avarice, Intemperance, & Licentiousness; against Fellowship with Wicked and Foolish. Admonition to Right Conduct toward others. Warning against Slothfulness —a Mashal Ode.

2nd Collection of Solomonic Proverbs (which Men of Hezekiah collected), (25-29):
Admonition to Kings & Subjects to the Fear of God and Practice of Righteousness. Warnings against Folly, Indolence, & Malice; against unseemly Boasting & Anger. Value of Friendship. Contentious Woman. Influence of Mutual Intercourse. Exhortation to Rural Industry —a Mashal Ode. Warnings against Unscrupulous, Unlawful Dealings. Divers Ethical Proverbs: Warnings against Stubbornness, Flattery, Wrath, etc..

1st Appendix to 2nd Solomonic Collection of Proverbs, (30):
“Words of Agur” —his Confession of Fruitless Search for Wisdom. Mashal Ode —Prayer for Middle State between Poverty & Riches. Priamel —a Wicked Generation. Four Insatiable Things. Eye that mocketh. Four Incomprehensible Things. Four Intolerable Things. Four Things that are Small and yet Wise. Four Creatures that are stately in going.

2nd Appendix to 2nd Solomonic Collection of Proverbs, (31:1-9):
“Words of Lemuel” —his Mother’s Counsel for Kings.

3rd Appendix to 2nd Solomonic Collection of Proverbs, (31:10-31):
Alphabetical Poem (“Golden A B C for Women”) in praise of Virtuous Matron.

3: From: Book of Proverbs, Criticcl Exegetical Commentry. International Critical Commentary Old Tetament . Crawford H. Toy. (1899)

Introduction. § 1. Names.
1. Masoretic title is Proverbs of Solomon ((mshly shlmh), [Sepher] Mishlë Shelömö, by the later Jews usually abridged to Mishlë)…..2. By early Christian writers the book was commonly called Wisdom or All-virtuous Wisdom, (hë panaretos sophia), names which were also given to ‘Ben-Sira’ (‘Ecclesiasticus’) and ‘Wisdom of Solomon’…..

§ 2. Divisions.
Divisions of Book indicated in text itself are as follows:
I: Group of discourses on wisdom and wise conduct (1-9):1. General title (1:1), purpose of Book (1:2-6), central or fundamental principle (1:7); 2. Warning against consorting with sinners (1:8-19); 3. Wisdom’s appeal (1:20-33) ; 4. Wisdom as guardian against bad men & women (2:); 5. Advantages attending obedience to the sage’s instruction, fear of Yahweh, & devotion to wisdom (3:) ; 6. Exhortation to obey sage (4:); 7. Warning against unchaste women (5:); 8. Three paragraphs, against suretyship, indolence, slander, here misplaced [?] (6:1-19); 9. Warning against unchaste women (6:20-35); 10. Similar warning (7:); 11. Function of Wisdom as controller of life, & as attendant of Yahweh in creation of world (8:); 12. Wisdom & Folly contrasted as hosts (9:1-6,13-18), & interjected, misplaced [?] paragraph of apothegms on wisdom (9:7-12).
II: Collection of aphorisms in couplet form (10:1-22:16).
III: Two collections of aphoristic quatrains (22:17-24:22, & 24:23-34).
IV: Collection of aphoristic couplets (25:-29:).
V: Collection of discourses of various characters (30:, 31:): “words of Agur” (30:1-4); certainty of God’s word (30:5-6); prayer for moderate circumstances (30:7-9); against slandering servants (30:10); collection of aphorisms citing certain things arranged in groups of fours (30:11-33); instruction to a king (31:1-9); description of model housewife (31:10-31).
The purpose of all these sections is the inculcation of certain cardinal social virtues, such as industry, thrift, discretion, truthfulness, honesty, chastity, kindness, forgiveness, warning against the corresponding vices, and praise of wisdom as the guiding principle of life. If we compare ‘Proverbs’ in this regard with ‘Ben-Sira’, we find that the latter, while it deals in general with the same moral qualities, goes more into detail in the treatment of social relations, and has more to say of manners as distinguished from morals.

§ 3. Structure of the Material.
The divisions indicated above suggest, by their differences of tone and content, that the Book has been formed by the combination of collections of various dates and origins. It is not probable that one man was the author of the philosophical discourses of chs. 1:-9:, the pithy aphorisms of 10:1-22:16, the quatrains of 22:17-24, the couplets of 25:-29:, and the mixed material of 30:, 31:.
A similar conclusion is indicated by the repetitions which occur in the Book. Thus, as between II. and III. we find ‘variant couplets’;… ‘identical line’s…. As between II. & IV.: ‘identical couplets’;… ‘variant couplets’;… ‘identical lines’…. As between III. & IV., an ‘identical line’….
From these repetitions we infer that the collectors of II., III., IV., were mutually independent —no one of them was acquainted with the work of the others. In I. and V. we find no matter that can be called repetition; the peculiar tone of each of these divisions kept it apart from the others; 6:1-19 & 9:7-12 are misplaced [?].
Subdivisions or smaller collections also appear to be indicated by repetitions within each of the three middle sections. Within II.: ‘identical’ or ‘equivalent couplets’:… ‘identical’ or ‘equivalent lines’ Within III.:… ‘couplets’ or ‘lines’: (the couplets which in 23:1,11 form one quatrain are in 22:23, 28 divided between two quatrains);… (a similar division of couplets). Within IV. : 28:12 & 29:2……

4: From: Commentary on Book Proverbs. Moses Stuart. (1860)

Introduction: Section 2: Leading Divisions (Parts) of Book: 6 Different Titles in 3 Sections (Portions) or 6 Divisions or Parts. (1-9; 10-22; 22-24; 25-29; 30; 31; (7th Division (Part) = 31:10-31.)

§ 4. Arrangement and Characteristics of Part I., including 1:8-9:18.
(1) As arranged in the Hebrew, this part consists of 247 verses. Nearly all of these are ‘simple parallelisms’, i.e. they consist of two members or clauses in each verse. Only 11 triplets are found, in the whole (Ch: 1, 3-5, 7-9; none in 2 & 6). The distribution of the parallelisms, as to the different species of them, is very unequal. If I have reckoned rightly, there are 209 ‘synonymous’ parallelisms; 36 synthetic; & only 4 ‘antithetic’, which last are all in one group, viz.: 3: 32-35. In the whole 247 verses, we have only 11 exceptions to ‘bimembral’ parallelism; & these contain each 3 clauses.
(2) From this survey of the kinds of parallelism, it is evident that Part I differs widely from the style and manner of Part II. Here, ch. 10-15 exhibit 186 ‘antithetic’ verses, & only 23 ‘synthetic’; while ch. 16-22: 16 reverse this order, & exhibit 24 ‘antithetic’, & 159 ‘synthetic’. But in neither of these two divisions of Part II do we find the ‘synonymous’ parallelism at all; while in Part I there are 209 to 36 ‘synthetic’ & 4 antithetic. These parallelistic distinctions, therefore, between the two divisions, are of a most palpable and striking nature. Specially is this the case with ch. 10-15, where the antithetic equals 186, the ‘synthetic’ are only 23, and there are no synonymous parallelisms. Yet this last species makes up almost the entirety of Part I. What bearing this may have on the ‘sameness’ of authorship in both cases, will come in due time to be discussed.
(3) Part II, i.e. 10:1-22:16, contains only 3 verses, (19:7,23; 21:20), where the ‘triplet’ is employed; & even in these, there is synthetic parallelism. In this division, moreover, ‘no subject is continued so as to comprise more than one verse or sentence’. This last circumstance is very striking, when contrasted with Part I. Here the same subject is continued, in 2,3,4,5, 10, 15, & even up to 25 verses; & this occurs so constantly, that ‘connected and in some degree prolonged discourse’ is, we may well say, altogether the usual order of the day (E.g. 57 examples in ch. 1-9). I find only 4 cases out of the whole in which a subject is completed by one verse, viz. 3:30, 33-35. This certainly is very remarkable, and has nothing like to it in ‘extent’, in any other portions of the book of Proverbs, and very little which is like to it even in ‘kind’. Only 23:29-35; 24:30-34; 27:23-27; 31:3-7, 10-31, afford specimens (all excepting one are brief) of the like nature, throughout all the rest of the book. Most distinctly marked, then, is Part I, as to treating subjects ‘continuously’, and constituting a kind of short discourse, rather than a gnome; for this is the character and tenor of the composition in this Part. All these things seem to plead strongly for different authors; but the discussion of this question must be deferred, for a little time.
(4) A subordinate and artistic classification appears, here and there, in groups of ‘tens’. So 1:10-19; 3:1-10, 11-20; 4:10-19; 8:12-21, 22-31. The like of this we meet with nowhere else, in this book. I call it artistic, because, somewhat like that of the alphabetical Psalms, such an arrangement appears to be purposely made, for the sake of aiding the memory.
(5) Many paragraphs in Part I. are headed with the address: ‘My son.’ (10 times) ‘This appears nowhere in Part’ II, and but very rarely in the latter part of the book. But this address does not stand at the head of every new and distinct paragraph, although it serves to distinguish paragraphs so far as it goes. It is easy, however, to distinguish them by the subject-matter of their contents, without the aid of such an address. This is another striking point of difference between Parts I and II, on which we must touch again hereafter.
(6) Some of the most extended sentences in all the Bible, are found in Part I. For example, the whole of chap. 2 (twenty-two verses) is in reality but one sentence. Then again, examine 1:29-33, which is virtually of the same description; and so 6:20-26; 7:6-20; 8:22-31; 9:13-18, with many others of less extent indeed, but still longer than is elsewhere common in the book of Proverbs. This is, at least, a circumstance that must be brought into the account, when we come to inquire about ‘authorship’.
(7) The name of (’Elohim) occurs nowhere in Proverbs, except in 2:5,17, and in the little work of Agur, 30:5,9. Everywhere else (Yehowah) is employed, to designate the ‘Godhead’. To speak in the language of some recent critics, the authors were ‘Jehovists’, and not ‘Elohists’. And such being the case, would it not seem probable, that this second chapter came from the hand of a person, who was different from the other writers? We must weigh this in the sequel.
(8) The poetic character of some portions of Part I, is greatly elevated above the rest of the book, with the exception, perhaps, of 31:10-31, which contains the exquisite eulogy of a virtuous woman. In solemn and awful grandeur,1:20-33 is hardly surpassed by any monitory passage of the sublime Isaiah. Indeed, it reminds one of many passages of a like nature in this prophet. There we have that lofty and glowing description of Wisdom, in 8:12-36, hardly surpassed by any scriptural writer. Such is the all pervading spirit of the poet which breathes through it, that on an aesthetical ground it can well claim a high preeminence. Then, in 7: 6-27, is a picture of the “strange woman,” which for vivacity, simplicity, and graphic power, has seldom been exceeded. Nothing can be more discrepant than these pieces are, from the poetry which pervades not only Part II, but the whole book, with some two or three exceptions of a very limited extent. The cause of this difference in style is not merely the different subject-matter of Part1 and that of the rest of the book; for there is plainly another and ‘different spirit’ in the lofty aspirations of the first portion of the book from that of the rest. One is constrained to feel that he is in different company, when he reads Part I, and then the rest of the Proverbs. Still, as there is almost always some room for debate, where taste merely is concerned, we must not place so much reliance on this aesthetical judgment, as on plain and simple matters of fact.
(9) In case the compositions of different authors are comprised in Part I, there is still a pervading unity of design in the whole. The principal design of all is, to lead the young in the way of happiness and peace; to warn them against the dangers and attractive temptations which often assail them; and to show them that they will be safe only by acquiring that heavenly wisdom, which will guide them in attaining to the highest good. There are indeed, here and there, a few brief passages which are apparently isolated; e. g. 3:30-35. But almost throughout the whole, the main objects which have been stated are in view.
We have now before us the design and the individual characteristics of Part I. We seem, then, in some good measure, to have prepared the way for the discussion of the questions which yet remain.
…..

§ 6. Characteristics of Part II, 10:1-22:16:
The great question of authorship is here decisively answered, by the inscription to the piece as it stands in 10:1.There is no critical ground for suspecting that this inscription is incorrect. The ‘time’ when it was written, is of course also settled. What remains is, to exhibit the distinctive characteristics of the writing now before us.
(1) The piece itself seems to be divided, or distinguished as to its method, into two leading portions, viz. 10-15. (which I shall name A), and 16-22:16, (named B). I refer to the ‘kinds of parallelism’ respectively employed in each part, A & B. The part A has 186 ‘antithetic’ parallelisms, & 23 ‘synthetic’; while, on the other hand, the part B has 24 only of the first kind, and 159 of the latter, (see § 4. 2). In the first, the ‘antithetic’ is altogether predominant; in the second, the ‘synthetic’. What led to such an evident diversity of manner in the two parts, we are unable to say. It seems probable, however, that, at first, the two compositions were ‘separate’, and were composed at different times, although by the same writer. ‘Diversity’ may have been an object designed to be accomplished by the change of parallelisms. In other respects than that of the different kinds of parallelism, there is very little, in regard to any discrepancy, that deserves particular notice. We shall soon see that the same general characteristics belong, for the most part, to both divisions.
(2) All throughout the piece is of one tenor, as to ‘the completion of sentences by a single verse’; for every verse forms an independent and complete sentence. Rarely is there ever a similarity of subject in two or more continuous verses, so as to connect them even in a loose way. And so palpable is this trait, that the ‘order’ of the verses might be almost indefinitely changed, without any serious injury to any part of the piece. Even the two parts of the same verse very rarely run into each other, so as to form one composite sentence. The exceptions to this are nearly all in one single chapter, viz. in 20:10, 11,12, 14, 19, 21, 30. Such a rigid method, from beginning to end, both in A & B, shows that the writer had a special design in view, viz. to insert only such proverbs as were complete in one verse, whatever the kind of parallelism might be. This method, although of frequent occurrence in the sequel of the book, is nowhere else so rigidly observed as here.
In A., as we have seen, almost the whole of the verses are of the ‘antithetic’ order; and in B., of the ‘synthetic’. The general rule as to completing the sense, is common to both parts; and so is it also in regard to the respective length of the parallelisms; but in B., there are very few examples of the ‘antithetic’ kind. In 21:15, 20, 26, 28,29, 31; 22:3, are included nearly, if not quite, all the cases of this nature. This does not indeed show a difference of authorship, but merely a different design in the writer as to method, in A & B. It looks very much as if originally there were two ‘libelli’, the one for ‘antithetics’, and the other for ‘synthetics’. It is impossible to examine the whole matter minutely and critically, without coming to the conclusion that such an arrangement is ‘designed’, and not accidental. But one author, however, is admissible in the present case, because the general principle of systematic arrangement, in other respects, is so uniform throughout, and so entirely consistent, as to imply that the whole plan proceeded from one and the same mind.
(3) There is another characteristic exhibited in some passages of Part II, which shows a peculiar ‘artistic’ (if I may so call it) construction. This is, that the same word or words or one or more words of the like import, which are leading and important words, are arranged consecutively in two or more verses, and repeated in each, although the general tenor of meaning in the verses themselves is different. For example: In 10:6,7, we find (tzaddiq) & (reshatzim) in both verses. So in 10:14,15, (mechittah), stands in both; so 10:16,17, (lehaiyim);10:18,19, (siphtey) & (sephathayik); 10:20,21, both (tzaddiq) & (lebh); 10:28,29, (reshatzim); 10:31,32, (tahpukoth). chapter) look like ‘designed’ arrangement. So also 11:8,9, (nechslatz) & (yechaletzu); 11:10,11, (qiryah) & (qereth); 11:25,26, (berakah); 11:30,31, (tzaddiq). Again, in 12:5,6,7, (reshatzim); 12:15,16, (’awil). In 14:12,13, (’achrithah); 14:17,18, (’i); 14:26,27, (yir’ath Yehowah). In 15:31,32, (nn?Tir). In 16:27,28,29, (ia”,K ). In 18:6,7, (kesil); 18:10,11, (‘oz) & (‘uzzo); 18:18,19, (midwanim). —These are specimens. More might be added; but these will suffice. Such a thing is evidently the result of ‘designed’ grouping; and probably it was done in order to aid the memory of the pupil.
The like to this, and for a like purpose, may be seen in 15:33 and 16:1-7,9,11, where the word (Yehowah) occurs 10 times in succession. So in 16:10, 12,13,14,15, (melek) occurs (partly in the plural) five times. And the like to all this is sometimes found in the Psalms, probably thus composed for the sake of easy remembrance.
A few (very few) cases occur, of like matter in two continuous verses; even then each may be taken separately, and be disconnected without injuring either verse. But there is no general plan in such an arrangement; and each verse, although similar, is in fact independent of the other.
There is, moreover, throughout Part II, a general correspondence in the measure or length of the clauses, or verses. Generally, the first clause has 4 words, and the second 3; but sometimes they stand 4 & 4, and 5 & 3; and in a few cases, 3 & 3. In a few cases, also, where small words are attached to larger ones by a Maqqeph [hyphen], there are 9, and even 10 & 11 words; see 17:2,8; 19:18; 21:1.
In some cases, (but few), there is, in the second clause, a virtual repetition of the sentiment of the first; e.g. in 11:7; 14:19,26; 16:16; 17:6; 18:3. Sometimes (very rarely) the second clause is exegetical of the first; as in 15:3. In a few cases, the second clause gives the reason or ground of the first; e.g. 16:26; 21:7. Comparatives by ‘as’ sometimes appear; as in 10:26; 11:32 ((ke) being implied). The comparative degree by (min) is not unfrequent; as in 15:16,17; 16:8,19; 17:10; 21:19.
We must not omit to mention, that there is a considerable number of cases, in which there is a repetition of a preceding proverb, in a dilferent place. Thus 14:12, and 16:25, (comp. 21: 2). 21: 9 and 19 ; and so a ‘repetition’ of one clause of a verse; e.g. 10:1 & 15:20; 10:2 & 11:4; 10:15 & 18:11; 15:33 & 18:12; and specially is this identical as to one clause, in 11:21 & 16:5; 14:31 &17:5; 19:12 & 20:2.
This last circumstance suggests to our consideration, that there were various sources from which Part II must probably have been derived. “We cannot well suppose that Solomon sat down to the composition of Part II as he would in order to write chap. 8, i.e. his eulogy on Wisdom. In the last case, he probably drew directly from his own conceptions, without reliance on any other writing. But in the case of mere gnomes or popular proverbs, he was in quite a different position. Many, perhaps most, of these proverbs were such as common sense and long experience had for substance already suggested to the minds of intelligent men. They were floating among the common people, and subjected thereby to more or less disfigurement or change. Solomon’s mind, under divine influence, could easily recognize such of these proverbs as were true and useful; and, acknowledging them to be so, he transferred them into ‘written’ language, so that they might be rendered permanent in their true and proper sense, and be thus guarded against alterations. These common maxims of life, thus sanctioned by him when in such a state, became ‘authoritative’ and general truths. Of course, we may properly assign the ‘authorship’ of them to him; for he selected them, adopted them, and published them as consonant with his own views. They were only of ‘traditional’ currency before this; but now they became a part of Scripture, under the sanction of Solomon.
We are obliged, as it seems to me, to account in this way for the many ‘repetitions’, in Part II, of the same things. One sole concipient writing, purely from his own mind, in a composition like this, would never have repeated the same things so often, and within so limited a space. His memory could scarcely be so treacherous, as to forget what he had just said. The only probable way, then, in which these repetitions came to be introduced, was through the medium already described. If Solomon wrote three thousand proverbs, he must have been a great lover of ‘gnomic’ lore, and probably must have read [& heard] everything of that nature which was then in circulation. Doubtless, at times, he selected whole paragraphs from other collections, and, transferring them to his own, just as they were, and because he assented to the truth of them, he transcribed them in the state in which they stood in other Mss. In this way, we may suppose many of the maxims in Part II to have been transferred from other collections of gnomes, and when the transfer was made, it was (as usual in ancient times) made without curtailing or expunging. Hence came about the repetitions in question, because they were connected with other matter which was not repetitious. We may suppose, that most well-read [knowing] persons of that day would recognize at once what was new, and what had been transferred. We cannot now do what they could then do; but we can easily see how the whole matter of repetition might take place; and that without supposing the wise king to have forgotten himself, or rather, to have forgotten what he had just written. The proverbs transferred from common life into Part II, are now of course just as valid, by the sanction of Solomon, as they would have been, had he composed them all ‘de novo’.
I see no other probable way of accounting for the phenomenon in question. It seems hardly feasible to make out the probability of a ‘de novo’ composition; and specially at the expense of taxing the writer’s memory with failure, and denying him a consciousness of what he had just written. But as the matter has now been represented, we find no serious difficulties attendant upon the repetition of the same gnome. It does seem probable, at least, that some such cause occasioned the repetition now in question; for the only motive of ‘repetition’, independent of this consideration, must have been the special importance of the matter repeated. But investigation will show, that in the present instance it could not have sprung from this source, because the things repeated, to say the least, are not more important than many other things not repeated.
We must call to mind here, that Solomon wrote or composed some 3,000 proverbs; while in the Book before us, less than one third part of these are contained. He might then, in compiling Part II, have selected much from his own previous ‘libelli’. Who can show even a probability that he did not? Still, one would naturally suppose that, in selecting and transferring his own compositions, he would take more liberty of omitting what was repetitious, than he would when extracting from others. Most probably, then, the ‘repetitions’ occur in cases of extracting from others, while we may still believe that Solomon selected much from his own previous writings, which was adapted to his design in the writing of Part II…….

§ 7. Characteristics of Part III, 22:17-24:34.
The general inscription in 1:1-7, refers to The Words Of The Wise, as one thing which the Book is designed to teach, v. 6. Here now, in 22:17, we find that ‘same title’, in an exhortation to give a hearing ear to such words: ” Hear ‘the words of the wise’.” Again, in 24: 23, some additions to ‘the words of the wise’ are said to be made ; and these are contained in 24:23-34. Here, then, we have at least two collections of those ‘words of the wise’. In the first, the compellation, ‘My son’, is several times repeated; but in the second part it does not at all appear. —Our next question is :How is Part III. characterized?
(1) In Part III, the construction of the verse or metre is nothing like so regular as in Part II. We have indeed here (as there) verses of 8, 7, & 6 words; but they stand mingled with others of 11 words, (22:29; 23:31,35); of 14 words, (23:29); & even of 18 words, (24:12). In some of these instances, distinct traces of proper parallelism can hardly be discovered. They are a kind of measured prose. Here, moreover, the parallelisms are all ‘synthetic’, excepting only 24:16, which is ‘antithetic’. Here also sentences completed in one verse are the ‘exception’, (and a small one); those in two or more, are the ‘rule’. Very often, three verses are combined in a sentence. e.g. 23:1-3, 6-8, 19-21. In one case, 24:30-34, we have 5 verses; & in 23:29-35 (virtually one compound sentence) we have even 7 verses. All this makes a great variety & a miscellaneousness in the composition. In general, Part III is strikingly different from anything which precedes it.
(2) Here, as in Part I., we have the address: ‘My son’. And where this is not prefixed to a paragraph, an address is often made to the second person singular, ‘thou’.
(3) As to the ‘arrangement’ of the proverbs here, some times those similar in their tenor are brought together; e.g. 23:15, seq. But in general, no pains appears to have been taken to make out arrangements regularly consecutive. Neither the compiler, nor the original concipients, seem to
have felt the necessity of subjecting themselves to the ordinary gnomic rules; for in some places we have, as it were, short parables; e.g. 23:29-35; 24:30-34.
On the whole, then, the discrepancy between Part III, and the preceding Parts, is striking, and would of itself raise doubts in the mind of the reader, as to identity of authorship in each of the Parts. But when to all this is superadded the distinctive titles in 22:17, and 24:23, it would seem that there is little room for critical doubt, that the authors of Part III are different from that or those of the preceding Parts. But,……

§ 8. Characteristics of Part IV chap. 25-29.
The ‘authorship’, and of course the ‘time’ of compilation, is here made certain. This Part contains ‘the Proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, copied out’, 25:1. ‘The men of Hezekiah’ must of course mean, the sacred scribes in the service of the king, or his counsellors. Among these doubtless were many excellent men, who would zealously perform such a labor. The verb (hetztiqu), rendered ‘copied out’, lit. means, ‘to transfer from one place to another’. In respect to a ‘writing’, this must mean, ‘to transcribe’, or ‘to copy’. Sept., very happily: (exegrapsanto). This shows that other volumes, or portions of volumes, comprising the gnomic compositions of Solomon, were then in circulation, besides what is contained in Parts I, II, above. From them the scribes of the pious king made a selection, and chaps. 25-29 is the fruit of this selection. We must notice the characteristics.
(1) In respect to ‘parallelisms’, there are 93 ‘synthetic’, & 35 ‘antithetic’ ones, but no synonymous members of verses. In respect to the metres, they very much resemble those in Part II, the verses mostly consisting of 8, 7, & 6 words. In some cases, two closely connected verses contain of course many more; e.g. 25:6,7, comprise 20 words; & 25:21,22 amount to 18 words. The antithetic verses (=35) are strenuously and regularly antithetic. But in chaps. 25-27, most of the verses are ‘comparisons’, either in the strict, or in the freer sense. In many, we can hardly make out a parallelism; e.g. 25: 8,9,10, 21,22; 26:18,19; 27:1; 29:12. Yet there is a ‘symmetry’ even here, in respect to the form of the clauses. We meet here with repeated instances of a proverb extended to several verses; which is altogether different from Part II. There are some passages, e.g. 26: 23, 28, and 27:23, 27, which have a lofty poetic spirit, quite different from that of common gnomes.
(2) There is a striking resemblance in Part IV to Part II, in regard to the repetition of the same word or phrase in different verses. E.g. 25:1 & 2, (melakim); 25:4 & 5, (hago); 25:8,9,10, (ribh); 25:11,12, (zahabh); 25:19, (yom tzarah), & 25:20, (yom qarah); 26:3-12, (kesil) (sing. or plur.) in each of the 10 verses; 26:13-16, (‘atzel) in each verse; 26:20,21, (‘etzim); 27:1,2, (tithhallel) & (yehallel); 27:5,6, (’ahabah) & (’ohebh). So in 27:7,9, (mathoq) & (metheq); 28:4,7,9, (torah); 28:3,6, (rash); 28:2,16, (ya’arik); 28:12,28, (qoiim); 29:2,16, (birboith tzadiqim) & (birboth resha‘im); 28:14 & 29:1, (maqsheh); 29:8,10, (’anshey). All this looks like designed selection and arrangement, in such a way as to attract attention, and to help fix passages in the memory; and this may becalled ‘Solomonic’; for it is very common in Part II.
(3) The point of striking difference between Part II & IV is, that in the latter, there are many cases of two or more verses connected in one sentence, which is never the case in Part II; e.g. 25:6 & 7, 9 & 10, 21 & 22; 26:18 & 19; 27:15 & 16. Moreover, in 26:23-28, there are 6 verses united; & in 27:23-27, there are 5…..

§ 9. Characteristics of Part V chap. 30.
In the Commentary on 30:1, the title to this Part is fully discussed; and the attempt is made to show, that the most probable meaning of v. 1 is this: “The words of Agur, the son of her who was obeyed in Massa,” [i.e. of the Queen of Massa]. It is there shown, that Massa was probably a region or city, lying east of the gulf of Akaba, once possessed by the Amalekites, who at last were expelled by ‘the sons of Simeon’. These last settled down in the room of the expelled, during the time of Hezekiah, whose scribes copied out Part IV of the book of Proverbs; 1st Chron. 4:41-43. It seems natural, then, to suppose that Parts V and VI must have been united to the book of Proverbs, after Part IV had been joined to it; and the arrangement itself speaks for this. Whether the addition was made by the same ‘men of Hezehiah’, who selected and added Part IV, we have no means of determining with certainty. But in itself it seems quite probable. It is clear, that Agur was a son of the queen of Massa; and, as king Hezekiah reigned some twenty-nine years, and as the Simeonites may have made their conquest of Massa and settled there in the earlier part of his reign, they may, as living in a distant country, have had, and probably they did have, an Emir or prince of their own to rule over them; and this prince may have been the father both of Agur and Lemuel, for they seem to be brothers, and sons of the same mother; see on 30:1. The queen in question, may have been such in consequence of the demise of her husband, who gave her his throne; and on this account, as chap. 30 was written during her reign, Agur is spoken of as being her son. A distinguished woman she must have been, according to 30:1, 31:1. It is not said of Agur, however, that he was a ‘king’; yet of ‘Lemuel’ (probably his older brother) this is said, 31:1. But as Agur was the son of a queen, he of course was a prince.
Chap. 30, then, came in all probability from the hand of a ‘Hebrew’. So the language itself of course indicates. There is nothing specially ‘provincial’ in the diction; although the form and manner of the composition is altogether ‘sui generis’. If the sacred scribes of Hezekiah selected this composition of Agur, and judged it meet to be joined to the rest of the Book of Proverbs, we should be satisfied that it properly belongs there.
(1) In regard to the ‘parallelisms’ here, all but three are of the ‘synthetic’ order. Three are partially antithetic. In regard to the ‘quantity’ or space assigned to one & the same subject, some are completed in one verse; others in two; more frequently there are three verses, as in 18-20, 21-23; sometimes four, as in 24-28, & once even six, 1-6. The length of the verses here is often widely discrepant from that in Part II; for here are verses of 11, 12, 13, & even 24 words (v. 4).
Strict correspondence of the parallelisms is not regarded much here. Many of them, likewise, are but little more than measured prose, excepting the poetic spirit which reigns in them. This, and the kind of metre belonging to them, probably contributed to place this composition in a book of poetic proverbs.
There are some things in chap. 30 which are altogether peculiar. The repeated reckoning there of ‘two’ things (v. 7); of four things in vs. 11-14; then of three increased by a fourth in vs. 15,18,21,29; then of four things in v. 24; is unlike in extent to anything else in the whole Bible, excepting in Amos 1 & 2, where we have ‘three’ & then a ‘fourth’ added, 8 times in succession. There is, in our text, a kind of play of the fancy upon the numbers; & the gradual increase, first from two to three, then to three with an appendix, & then four, shows a design or plan of arrangement in the writer’s mind. It is plain, indeed, that the design of Agur is not to develop merely maxims or rules of conduct. In fact, there is little of precept here, excepting it be obtained in the way of making out deductions from what is said in the representations of things. Some of the matter is very grave, and attains to a high moral sublimity; see vs. 2-6, where the unsearchable nature of God and the excellence of his truth are strikingly developed. Then come some excellent sentiments, in vs. 7-9. Then follow four classes of individuals, who seem to be held up to indignation, vs. 11-14. Next, we have one of the (chidoth) (enigmas), which seem to be plainly adverted to in the general introduction to the book, 1:6. It is difficult to make out the moral of vs. 14,15. The ‘insatiability’ of the things named there belong to mere natural objects, and has no moral character. It is probable, that under these (chidoth) is couched some moral truth, which is designedly left for the reader to discover if he can. Perhaps the passage relates to avarice; perhaps to sensual appetites which are nourished, and which grow stronger by indulgence. More difficult still would it be, to find out the design of vs. 18,19, were it not that v. 20 gives us some clue. The amount of what is here said seems to be, that wickedness may sometimes be so concealed, that no traces of it can be discovered by any one, besides those who commit it. The design of vs. 21-23 is like that of vs. 11-14, viz. to hold up to our dislike several ‘incongruous’ things. On the other hand, in vs. 25-28, there are four notable examples of sagacity and active industry and order, which are designed to stimulate us. Last of all, come exemplars of comeliness and strength. Nothing in all these particulars seems to be dependent on the manner of their consecution. They are seized as they occur to the mind, while it is employed in the excogitation of something which is designed to be enigmatical. Consequently, there is no mutual connection between them, and each is independent of the other. And after all that we can do in the way of inquiry, such passages as vs. 15,16, and also vs. 29-31, remain in a good measure among the real (chidoth). They seem to be written more for the sake of entertaining and interesting the reader, (if I may so speak), than for his direct instruction. They are evidently designed to whet his curiosity, and set him on the alert, in order that he may educe from them something useful. Surely, such an object is not beneath the office of him who teaches youth, in a book like the present, which has not a few passages of witty and sarcastic irony. Why should this be entirely excluded? Did not Elijah use the most cutting irony, in speaking to the priests of Baal? A heathen moralist has said, that “ridicule sometimes cuts deeper than severity.” And when the wise king has said, that “a sluggard, who dips his hand into the dish, will not so much as bring it to his mouth,” in order that he may feed himself; and also that “the sluggard will not turn himself over in bed, but must be rolled over by others,” has he not uttered sarcasm, and held up such a man to ridicule? Even so with Agur. When he says that “there is a generation, —O how lofty are their eyes, and their eyelids lifted up!” (v. 13), and again, when he says that “there are four things which the earth cannot endure,” and counts among these “a servant who comes to bear rule,” and “an ugly woman who comes to be married,” does he not teach in the way of ‘sarcasm’? vs. 21-23. Verses 18-21 are indeed of a peculiar tenor; but the point to be illustrated, viz. concealed wicked doings, is vividly illustrated by the similes adduced; although in the last of them there is a boldness of illustration that seems somewhat hazardous, in the view of things as now regarded by us.
On the whole, this chapter has no parallel, and even no similar, in all the Bible. And still, the moral and religious tone of it is high. Look specially at 1-6, 8 & 9, 17, 32,33. The language is vivid and poignant throughout. And if (chidoth) comes within the plan of the whole collection of the book of Proverbs, as 1:6 assures us it does, we cannot wonder that ‘the men of Hezekiah’, or the like men who came after them, added the piece before us to this Book. In the narrower sense, hardly any of the verses in it are proverbs; but the instructions given assume the general costume of proverbs, i.e. they exhibit ‘metre’ and ‘parallelism’, although in the laxer sense.
The tenor of this chapter seems to render it certain, that the general introduction in 1-7 was not written, until this was added, and probably chap. 31 also; for 1:6 appears pointedly to recognize such a composition as this. That the compilers of Part IV, the men of Hezekiah, made this addition to the Book, and wrote the general introduction, cannot indeed be positively proved; but it still remains quite probable, that the book was completed, and brought to its present form, by them. If so, then was it completed not far from 700 B.C. There is nothing in its diction or in the facts to which it adverts, that renders a junior age of this composition necessary, or even probable.

§ 10. Characteristics of Part VI chap. 31.
The introduction, in v. 1, tells us that the sequel contains ‘The words of king Lemuel’. It tells us also, that he was ‘king of Massa’; and since 30:1 presents us with a ‘queen of Massa’, and Lemuel is said (31:1) to have been taught by his mother; and since the two compositions (in ch. 30, 31) are united together, as if they came from the same or a like source; we may reasonably conclude, that “both originated in Massa, and at or near the same time. For this cause, it was natural to associate them together, as the compiler has done. In case this is conceded, then the time, place, and author, are sufficiently ascertained, if what has been said in § 9 is correct.
The part appropriate to Lemuel consists only of vs. 1-9. The king was warned, he says, by his sagacious mother, against wine, & women, & oppression in the judgment of causes. The ‘parallelisms’ here are altogether regular, and unusually synonymous. The verses, indeed, are not all of the same length; but there is nothing specially notable in regard to them, in this respect. The composition is through and through ‘gnomic’ in its cast, and the precepts given are not only excellent in a moral point of view, but highly important. Well might Agur exalt the excellence of a mother, who could teach thus; and in a filial and honorable manner did he behave, when, although a king, he attributed to her the honor of the composition which he wrote down.

Chap. 31: 10—31.
I have not ranked this as a ‘seventh’ Part of the Book, (as might be done), because it seems to me probable, from the connection here, that the same mother who taught Lemuel, composed the eulogy that follows, of a virtuous, or rather of an energetic woman; or else the son, perhaps, may have composed it in honor of his mother. If it be objected that such occupations as are here described, could not well be attributed to the ‘queen-mother’, it should be called to mind, that the queens of small nations or tribes were not exempt, in those times, from labor, or rather from overseeing the affairs of their household. Every classical reader is familiar with the story of Penelope, the wife of Ulysses, and of the web which she daily wove. But it is not necessary, that this should apply personally to the queen herself of Massa; it is sufficient that she, or whoever wrote the piece, had right views of the importance of industry and care in the mistress of a household, and has given us the outline of them.
As to the eulogy itself, it is in the highest style of parallelistic writing. In perfection of metre, scarcely any even of the Psalms exceed it. Nearly every verse is a synonymous parallelism, and the whole composition has an air of such simplicity, vivacity, and ‘naivete’, that it is truly admirable. From whatever quarter the composition came, there is no discerning reader who would not regret its omission. The tenor of it is, indeed, not the same as that of the Proverbs in general ; but as it inculcates, in a most attractive manner, both industry and frugality, it falls in entirely with the general spirit and design of the Proverbs.
One other circumstance should be noted. This is, that the song is ‘alphabetical’, like a number of the Psalms, and the book of Lamentations. This method of writing reminds one of our ‘acrostics’. Beyond all doubt, such a composition must be designedly ‘artistic’. Why this fashion of writing should be introduced, we may not be able to say with certainty, but there is much probability that the object in view was to make songs easy to be remembered. The ‘alphabetic’ order of the verses would plainly aid recollection. Whether this method of writing belongs only to the later Hebrew, as Ewald, and after him Bertheau, asserts, is a question that does not concern the passage before us; for this was composed, as we have seen, in Hezekiah’s time, or soon after, i.e. not far from 700 B.C. But in regard to Ewald’s general assertion, it may be said, that violence must be done to the Hebrew text, in order to make it good; for Ps. 25, 34, 37, are expressly ascribed to David, in the title. I know not how the genuineness of such titles can be disproved. If not, then David, the leader of all lyric poets among the Hebrews, practised this method of writing, and of course it did not originate with the later Hebrews.

§ 11. Plan of the Book:
…When commentators of the present day have done their utmost, they are obliged to confess,as I have done, that they can see but darkly. There are parts of the chapter that yet remain in a measure unexplained, —not as to the language, perhaps, but as to the ‘design’ of the writer. Nearly the whole chapter puts on veiled or enigmatical forms. The meaning of most can be made out by diligence; but it requires not a little both of diligence and of knowledge to make it out satisfactorily. In view of this, all seems to be plain in 1:6. Not only is 22:17-24:34 designated by ‘the words of the wise’, but the closing part of the book seems to be specifically designated by ‘dark sayings’ and ‘enigmas’.
From this view of the matter, it appears quite certain, that ‘the general introduction in 1:1-7 was designed to cover the whole ground’, and therefore must have been written when the collection or compilation was completed. Of course this introduction came from a later hand, from someone who lived at or after the time of Agur and Lemuel.
The whole order of the book in general reminds us of the order of the five parts of the Psalms. Passing by Prov. 1-9, as an appropriate introduction to the book in general, we have in Part II the proverbs of Solomon; in Part III the words of the wise; in Part IV again the proverbs of Solomon; in Parts V, VI, the words of Agur and Lemuel. So with the book of Psalms; Part I the Songs of David, 2-41. Part II songs of Davidic singers, 42-50. Part III. David again, 51-72. Part IV. Davidic singers again. (Exceptions in these parts are few). So there comes David, his contemporary singers, and then David again, followed again by them. So in Proverbs; beginning with c. 10, we have first Solomon, then his contemporaries; then Solomon again, followed at the close by Agur and Lemuel. The two last Parts, like the two last in the Psalms, were added to the book, before extant, a considerable time after the first two were in circulation……
(Stuart writes at close of his Preface: Should a kind Providence still preserve me in life, with the power of action, I think seriously of endeavoring, at some future period, to write a commentary on this book, altogether adapted to common readers, that is, to the great mass of our population. There is no book on earth of deeper interest, in a social, moral, industrial, and economical point of view, than the book of Proverbs. May and should it not have a wider diffusion, and be more read and studied, and better understood? I believe it may, if it shall be duly provided with popular and appropriate illustrations. I hesitate, indeed, as to my own competency duly to perform this task; but I cannot hesitate as to cherishing an ardent desire that it should be speedily and well performed.)

5: Proverbs 31:10-31King James Version (AKJV) (8.8.8.8.Doubled) (mjm.2017)
1
The Worthy Woman who can find? Far above rubies is her price!
Her husband’s heart in her confides: He needs no other spoil or heist;
Without evil she does him good: Within all of her living days;
For wool and flax she ever seeks: And with her hands she works her ways.
2
She is lik’n to the merchant’s ships: Which brings her food from very far.
She wak’ns early, e’en in the night: Feeds house and maid’ns from her store.
She sees a field, and she invests: With fruit of hands, she plants her vines.
She girds her loins with might and strength: And with both arms she seeks and finds.
3
She perceiveth her wares are good: Her candle goes not out at night.
She lays her hands to the spindle: She holds the distaff with her might.
She extends her hand to the poor: And her hands to those needing foods.
She braves the snow for her family: Clothes them in scarlet finest hoods.
4
She weaves her cloths with tapestry; Her silk purple clothin by hand.
Her husband is known in the Gates; And sits with Elders of the land.
She makes fine lin’n garments to sell; Supplies girdlebelts to merchant trade.
Strength and honor are her clothing; Then she’ll rejoice in what she’s made.
5
She opens her mouth with wisdom: Her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looks well to her family’s ways: She eats not the bread of idl’ness.
Her children grows to call her blessed: Her husband also praises her well:
“Many daughters have done virt’ously:  But thou above them doth excell.
6
Favor deceives, and beauty vain: But praised is’woman who fears the Lord.
Give her from the fruit of her hands: In the Gates praise her works and word.
(“Who can find a virtuous woman? Far above rubies is her worth!
Many daughters have done well: But thou excellest in thy birth.”)

 

 

ECCLESIASTES: Koheleth (Preacher): (Life & Experience; Vanity, Futility, Duty, Eternity, etc.)

1: Compare Erasmus Praise of Folly.

2: From: Biblical Companion, Introduction to Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures .etc. William Carpenter. (1836)

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books. (Holden “Attempt to Illustrate Book of Ecclesiastes,”)
….”The conclusion of the work is worthy of an inspired author: “Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man,” &c. The following synopsis is from the work just referred to (Attempt to Illustrate Book of Ecclesiastes. Paraphrase & Notes. Rev, George Holden (1822)
Part I: [Solomon’s Words: Koheleth: Vanity of Vanitiies: All is Vanity on Earth in the World of Man Seeking Wisdom:]
Vanity of all earthly conditions, occupations, & pleasures; & of all earthly things (1:2); unprofitableness of human labour, & transitoriness of human life (1:3-11); vanity of laborious inquiries into ways & works of man (1:12-18); luxury & pleasure are only vanity & vexation of spirit (2:1–11); though the wise excel fools, yet, as death happens to them both, human learning is but vanity (2:12–17); vanity of human labour, in leaving it they know not to whom (2:18–23); emptiness of sensual enjoyments (2:24–26); though there is a proper time for the execution of all human purposes, yet are they useless & vain; divine counsels, however, are immutable (3: 1-14); vanity of human pursuits proved from wickedness prevailing in courts of justice, contrasted with righteous judgment of God (3:15–17); though life, considered in itself, is vanity, for men die as well as beasts, yet in the end, it will be very different with the spirit of man and that of beasts (3:18–22); vanity is increased unto men by oppression (4:1–3); vanity of prosperity (4:4); vanity of folly, or of preferring the world to true wisdom (4:5-6); vanity of covetousness (4:7-8); though society has its advantages, yet dominion & empire are but vanity (4:9-16); errors in performance of divine worship, which render it vain & unprofitable (5:1-7); vanity of murmuring at injustice; for though the oppression of the poor and the perversion of judgment greatly prevail, they do not escape the notice of the Almighty (5:8-9); vanity of riches, with an admonition as to the moderate enjoyment of them (ver. 10-20); vanity of avarice (6:1-9).
Part II: [Conclusion Word of Wisdom: Fear God & Obey His Commandments is Man’s Duty:]
Nature, excellence, & beneficial effects of wisdom, or religion [living]. Since all human designs, labours, and enjoyments are vain, it is natural to inquire, What is good for man? What is his supreme good (6:10–12)? Answer is contained in the remainder of the book. Praise of character and reputation (7:1); affliction improves heart, & exalts character of the wise (vii. 7:2-10); excellence of wisdom (7:11-14); objection, with the answer (7:15-8:7); evil of wickedness shows the advantage of true wisdom (8:8–13); objection, with the answer (8:14-9:1); objection with the answer (9:2, 10, 17); the banefulness of sloth (x. 18); the power of wealth (10:19); an exhortation against speaking evil of dignities (10:20); an exhortation to charity and benevolence (11:1-10); exhortation to early cultivation of religious habits [wisdom] (12:1–7); the conclusion (12:8–14).

3: From: Attempt to Illustrate Book of Ecclesiastes. Rev, George Holden. (1822)

Preliminary Dissertation:
….”The idea that the Bible is easily understood, flatters the self-sufficiency of ignorance and fanaticism; but the great difficulty attending its interpretation is a fact too palpable to be denied, except by those who are benighted in the mists of prejudice, or who have never doubted, only because they have never inquired…. Of all the Hebrew writings, none present greater obstacles to the expositor than the book of Ecclesiastes. Together with the obscurities which it has in common with the other Jewish canonical Scriptures, it possesses some peculiar to itself; and, with respect to the style of the work, the author’s design, the nature of his argument, and the chain of his reasoning, the opinions of critics and commentators have diverged to an incredible distance”….

4: From: Book Koheleth, Commonly Called Ecclesiastes, Relation to Modern Criticism & Doctrines of Modern Pessimism with Critical & Grammatical Commentary & Revised Translation, etc. Donnellon Lectures 1880-81. Rev, Charles H.H. Wright, D.D. (1883)

New Translation: [Koheleth’s Words (Preacher’s Sermons): David’s Son, Jerusalem’s King]
§ 1. Absolute Vanity of Everything Earthly: Earthly Phenomena: Circle with no real progress.
§ 2. Koheleth’s 1st Discovery: Vanity of Wisdom.
§ 3. Koheleth’s 2nd Discovery: Vanity of Pleasure & Riches.
§ 4. Koheleth’s 3rd Discovery: Vanity of Wisdom: End of Wise Man & Fool is alike; Riches obtained by much Toil are Vanity; Conditions necessary for cheerful Enjoyment.
§ 5. Short-sightedness & Powerlessness of Men before God, (Disposer & Arranger of all things).
§ 6. Unrighteous Actions of Men left to themselves: Men Compared to Beasts that perish.
§ 7. Misery common to Man: Oppression of Man by his fellow; Rivalry & Useless Toil of Man.
§ 8. Disadvantages of Man being Alone by himself & Benefit of Companionship.
§ 9. Vanity of popular enthusiasm for a new monarch 290
§ 10. Vanity in Religion: Divine Worship & Vows.
§ 11. Vanity of Riches: State under Despotic Rule; Riches Little Advantage; Gathered for others.
§ 12. Ultimatum: Vanity of possessing Riches Without Enjoying them.
§ 13. Insatiability of Desire.
§ 14. Human Powerlessness & Short-sightedness with Respect to Destiny.
§ 15. Proverbs concerning things to be Preferred by Man.
§ 16. Patience & Wisdom best Preservatives in Time of Oppression & Adversity.
§ 17. Importance of keeping “Middle Mean,” & Practical Advantages of Wisdom.
§ 18. Snare by which Men are generally Caught: Wicked Woman.
§ 19. Benefit of Wisdom in Days of Oppression: Wise Man will be Obedient & Patient, Knowing that there is a God who Judgeth Earth.
§ 20. Man Knows Not Work of God, but is in all things Conditioned by a Higher Power than his own, which Permits the same things to Happen to all alike.
§ 21. Fate that awaits all, State of Dead: Men ought therefore to Enjoy Life, while working for their Daily Bread. Uncertainties of Life & Certainty of Death in an Unexpected Time.
§ 22. Poor Wise Man & Benefits of Wisdom.
§ 23. Usefulness of Wisdom & Danger of Folly, Shown by Various Proverbs.
§ 24. Fool Noted for his Useless Talk & Aimless Toil.
§ 25. Misery of Land Cursed with Foolish King, & Necessity of Prudence in Subjects of such a Monarch.
§ 26. Wisdom of Beneficence: Future belongs to God, & Man ought to Labour & Enjoy Life while he can.
§ 27. Song of Koheleth: Days of Life & Days of Death.
§ 28. Epilogue: [Koheleth’s (Preacher’s) Final Words & Message: Wisdom & Man’s Duty: Fear God & Keep His Commadments & God’s Judgment]

Grammatical & Critical Commentary. Appendix: Excursus:
I. Talmud and the Old Testament Canon, with special reference to Hagiographa.
II. Talmudic statement that “Holy Scriptures defile hands.”
III. “Men of Great Synagogue.”
IV. Grammatical peculiarities of Book of Koheleth, & Glossary.
Index of Texts (200+) & General Names & Subjects (500+).

Chapter I: Admission of Book of Koheleth into Canon of Jewish Church:
Tradition of Talmud; Hezekiah & his Religious Reforms; His College of Scribes; Succeeded by men of Great Synagogue; Their work with respect to Canon; Views of Kuenen & Robertson Smith as to legendary character of that tradition; Summary of their leading arguments; Arguments in favour of its historical truth; Testimonies of Talmud; Early difficulties felt with regard to Book of Ecclesiastes; These difficulties, according to tradition, solved by men of Great Synagogue; Later contests with respect to Ecclesiastes between the Schools of Hillel & Shammai; Book admitted into the Canon previous to that controversy; Explanation of point in dispute; “Holy Scriptures defile hands”; Canonicity of Book of Ecclesiastes; Herodian theory of Professor Graetz; Book of Ecclesiastes quoted as canonical in interview between Herod the Great & Ben Buta; & Discussion respecting the Messianic Age between Gamaliel & his disciple; Probabilities in favour of that disciple having been St. Paul, note; Book of Ecclesiastes prior to Herodian era; Antilegomena of the Old and New Testament Canons.

“”Moses received the law from Sinai, and delivered it to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the men of the Great Synagogue.” Such are the opening words of the remarkable treatise of the Talmud, entitled Massecheth Aboth, “the Sayings of the Fathers,” often termed Pirke Aboth, or “the Chapters of the Fathers.” The Prophets and the men of the Great Synagogue were, according to the Talmudic tradition, important links in the line of succession, not only of the Law, but also of the other Sacred Writings of the Jews.
In the latter days of the Jewish monarchy, Hezekiah was remarkable for the extent and boldness of his religious reforms. He restored the true religion of Jahaveh, the precepts and ritual of which had been disregarded in the dark days of Ahaz, and suppressed the open practice of idolatry throughout the land. But while he brake down the carved and molten images erected in every place, and according to the Jewish tradition destroyed the books of sorcery and incantations then current among the people, he also manifested the utmost concern in all matters connected with the preservation of the Sacred Writings of the nation. For this purpose, as may be inferred from Proverbs 25:1, he organized a special company of learned men interested in the study of that ancient literature. They busied themselves in collecting from all sides the Sacred Writings then extant, and in multiplying copies of those books. Under their superintendence a considerable number of the proverbs of Solomon, not previously included in the Book of Proverbs, were rescued from oblivion and added to the original collection. On account of such labours Hezekiah has been justly styled by a great modern critic and expositor, “the Pisistratus of Israelitish Literature.”
This important company, or College of Scribes, entitled in the Proverbs, “the men of Hezekiah king of Judah ” (inasmuch as the society was originally founded by that monarch), continued to exist as a Jewish institution for several centuries. It may have lasted, under some form or other, down to and during the period of the exile. According to the Talmud, ” Hezekiah and his college wrote Isaiah, Proverbs, Song of Songs and Koheleth” (Baba Bathra, 15 a). This statement is not to be regarded as a stupid anachronism. The fact that Hezekiah died previous to Isaiah was not forgotten, and the word “wrote ” was probably used in the sense of “copied out and edited.” For the College of Hezekiah continued in existence for centuries after the death of that monarch. “The men of Hezekiah” appear to have employed themselves in editing correct copies of the Sacred Writings, and while doing so to have occasionally, as in the case of the Book of Proverbs, added new matter to the old. It is highly probable that this body decided from time to time what books were to be regarded as of Divine authority. First estimates the period of its activity as extending from B.C. 724, when Hezekiah ascended the throne of Judah, to B.C. 444, when Nehemiah became governor of Judaea. “The men of Hezekiah” no doubt included in their number some of the “former prophets” (Zech. 1:4) and others known afterwards as “the latter prophets.” Hence that company may, perhaps, be referred to in the passage quoted from the Treatise Aboth, under the general term of “the Prophets.”
According to the tradition referred to, “the men of the Great Synagogue” in later days discharged the functions performed in earlier times by “the men of Hezekiah.” The establishment of the Great Synagogue is generally ascribed to Ezra. The accounts given of its origin and acts cannot, indeed, in all points be relied on as historically correct. Part of the work said to have been accomplished by the members of this body is thus described by Rashi: “The men of the Great Synagogue, namely, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, seeing that Ezekiel and Daniel had died during the Babylonian Exile, and that the books of the twelve minor Prophets, as also the history of Esther,” were of small size, wrote out these anew from the books of the exile and formed the twelve into one book, in order that the single books might not be lost on account of their small size, and thus Esther and the four other books, Ruth, Koheleth, Song of Songs, and Lamentations, were united together. But they did so because they knew that after them the prophetic spirit would depart from Israel.” See his Comm. on Baba Bathra, 15 a.”……..[Chapter II compares Ecclesiastes (Koheleth of Solomom) with Ecclsiasticus (Sepher of Yoshua (Book of Jesus) benSirach. Chapter III compares Book of Wisdom with Book of Koheleth. Chapters IV & V considers Authorship & Authenticity against certain extreme Scholars & Critics. Chapter VI is against extreme Natural Rationalists & Social Philosophers of Modern Pessimism & Science & Buddhism. Chapter VII treats Book of Koheleth’s Pessimism (Fatalism) & Reation to Future State & Character of Women & Modern Pessimism. Chapter VIII closes with examination of last chapter of Koheleth concerning Days of Life & Days of Death.] (Wright’s Notes & Comments & Translation are excellent.)

5: From: Coheleth Commonly Called the Book of Ecclesiastes. Translations from Original Hebrew. Commentary Historical Critical, by Christian David Ginsburg. (1861) (Almost 300 pages of Introduction, 1/2 the Book. A very influential Book on future generations for serious scholars & students & his Massorah, 4 large volumes, is still a unique standards for Jews & Christians Biblical studies.)

Introduction: Section I: Title of Book, & Signification:
“This book is called in Hebrew (Qoheleth) ‘Coheleth’, the appellation which its hero gives himself. This term occurs seven times in the book; three times in the beginning (1:1,2,12), three times at the end (12:8,9,10), and once in the middle (7:27) of it. That it is not a proper name, but an ‘appellative’, is evident from its having the article in 12:8, and especially from its being construed with a feminine verb in 7:27. It is generally agreed that ‘Solomon’ is described by this designation, as David ‘had no other son’ who was King of Israel in Jerusalem; ‘vide’ 1:1,12.
The precise signification of this appellation has, from time immemorial, been a matter of great contention, and the occasion of numerous and most conflicting opinions. According to its form (qoheleth) is participle active feminine, Kal, from (qahal), kindred with (qol), Greek (kaleö), Latin ‘calo’, and our English word ‘call’; it signifies primarily ‘to call’, then ‘to call together’, ‘to assemble’, ‘to collect’. Like (dober), (kozeb), (noger), (qoweh), (shocher), this participle is the only instance in which ‘the Kal’ is used; but the sense is easily ascertained from the other conjugations. As the Niphal (niqhal) ‘i.e’. the passive of Kal, means ‘to be called’, ‘to be collected together’ (Exod. 32:1; Levit. viii. 8:4; Numb. 16:3; 17:7; Josh. 18:1; 22:12 ‘al’.), (qoheleth) the Kal part. act. fem. means ‘congregatrix’, ‘die Bersammeinde’, ‘die Bersammierin’, ‘collectress’, ‘female gatherer’. Now the difficulty consists in determining three questions, viz., what did Solomon collect? why does he bear this name here? and how came it to be in ‘the feminine gender’?…. (1) Natural signification of (qoheleth) therefore is, ‘an assembler of scattered people into the more immediate presence of God’; ‘a gatherer of those afar off unto God’; and we retain the literal meaning of ‘assembler’, ‘gatherer’…..(2) He has it ‘because it is descriptive of the design of the book, and because it connects his labours here with his work recorded in’ 1st Kings 8…..[After examining 13 views of Solomon as Qoheleth, both ancient and modern, he writes:] These interpretations are so far-fetched, and so unnatural, that they require no refutation, and the enumeration of them will tend to shew the soundness of the explanation we defend. (3)…Because Solomon personifies Wisdom, who appears herself, in Prov. 1:10, & 8:1, &c, as Coheleth, or ‘the Gatherer’ of the people….Such a personification of wisdom also occurs in the New Testament, as will be seen from a comparison of Luke 11:49,50, with Matt. 23:34, and is in perfect harmony with the notions which were current about Solomon, who is regarded as wisdom incarnate, and is represented as teaching in this capacity (Book of Wisdom, 7:7-9).”

Section III: Design & Method of Book:
Design of this Book, as has already been intimated (‘vide supra’, p. 2), is ‘to gather together the desponding people of God from the various expediencies to which they have resorted, in consequence of the inexplicable difficulties and perplexities in the moral government of God, into the community of the Lord, by shewing them the utter insufficiency of all human efforts to obtain real happiness, which cannot be secured by wisdom, pleasure, industry, wealth, &c., but consists in the calm enjoyment of Ufa, in the resignation to the dealings of Providence, in the service of God, and in the belief in a future state of retribution, when all the mysteries in the present course of the world shall be solved’.
Method which the sacred writer adopts to carry out this design is most striking and effective. Instead of writing an elaborate metaphysical disquisition, logically analyzing and refuting, or denouncing, ‘ex cathedra’, the various systems of happiness which the different orders of minds and temperaments had constructed for themselves, Solomon is introduced as recounting his painful experience in all these attempts. Thus by laying open, as it were, to the gaze of the people the struggles of a man of like feelings with themselves, who could fully sympathise with all their difficulties, having passed through them himself, and found the true clue to their solution, the sacred writer carries out his design far more touchingly and effectively than an Aristotelian treatise, or the Mount Ebal curses upon the heads of the people, would have done.
Book consists of ‘a Prologue’, ‘four sections’, and ‘an Epilogue’: the Prologue and Epilogue are distinguished by their beginning with the same phrase (1:1; 12:8), ending with two marked sentences (1:11; 12:14), and embodying ‘the grand problem’ and ‘solution’ proposed by Coheleth; whilst the four sections are indicated by the recurrence of the same formula, giving the result of each experiment or examination of particular efforts to obtain real happiness for the craving soul (2:26; 5:19; & 8:15).
Prologue: 1:2-11 —gives the theme or problem of the disquisition. Assuming that there is ‘no hereafter’, that the longing soul is to be satisfied with the things ‘here’, Coheleth declares that all human efforts to this effect are utterly vain & fruitless; that conscious man is more deplorable than unconscious nature: he must speedily quit this life, whilst the earth abides for ever; the objects of nature depart and retrace their course again, but man vanishes and is for ever forgotten.
1st Section: 1:11-2:26 —records the failure of different experiments to satisfy the cravings of the soul with temporal things, thus corroborating the allegation in the Prologue, & also shewing what their disappointment from this point of view led to. Coheleth, with all the resources of a monarch at his command, applied himself assiduously to discover, by ‘the aid of wisdom’, the nature of earthly pursuits, & found that they were all fruitless, since they could not rectify destinies. Reflecting, therefore, upon the large amount of wisdom he had acquired, he came to the conclusion that it is all useless, as the accumulation of it only increased his sorrow and pain. He then resolved to try ‘pleasure’, to see whether it would yield the desired happiness, but found that this too was vain, and hence denounced it; for, having procured every imaginable pleasure, he found that it was utterly insufficient to impart lasting good. Whereupon he compared wisdom with pleasure, & though he saw the former had a decided advantage over the latter, yet he also saw that it does not exempt its possessor from death & oblivion, but that the wise & the fool must both alike die & be forgotten. This made him hate both life & the possessions which, though acquired by industry & wisdom, he must leave to another, who may be a reckless fool, convincing him that man has nothing from his toil but wearisome days & sleepless nights; that there is, therefore, nothing left for man but to enjoy himself; yet this, too he found was not in the power of man, God gives this power to the righteous & withholds it from the wicked, and that it is, after all, transitory.
2nd Section: 3:1-5:19. — Having shewn in the preceding section that neither ‘wisdom’ nor ‘pleasure’ can ensure lasting good for man, Coheleth now shews that ‘industry’ is also unable to secure it.
All the events of life are permanently fixed, & hence the fruitlessness of human labour. God has indeed prescribed bounds to man’s employment, in harmony with this fixed order of things, but man through his ignorance often mistakes it, thus again shewing that there is nothing left for man but the enjoyment of the things of this world in his possession, being the gift of God to the righteous. The cause of this immutable arrangement in the events of life is, that man may fear God, & feel that it is He who orders all things. The apparent success of wickedness does not militate against this conclusion, since there is a fixed day for righteous retribution; but even if, as is affirmed, all terminates ‘here’, & man & beast have the same destiny, this shows all the more clearly that there is nothing left for man but to enjoy life, since this is his only portion. The state of suffering, however, according to this view, becomes desperate, & death, & not to have been born at all, are preferable to life. The exertions made, in spite of the prescribed order of things, either arise from jealousy, & fail in their end, or are prompted by avarice, & defeat themselves. Since all things are thus under the control of an Omnipotent God, we ought to serve Him acceptably, trust to His protection under oppression, remember that the rich oppressor, after all, has not even the comfort of the poor labourer, & that he often brings misery upon his children& himself. These considerations, therefore, again shew that there is nothing left for man but to enjoy life the few years of his existence, being the gift of God.
3rd Section: 6:1-8:15. —’Riches’ comes now winder review, and it, too, is shewn to be utterly unable to secure ideal happiness, since the rich man can neither overrule the order of Providence, nor know what will conduce to his well-being. And lastly, ‘prudence’, or what is generally (tailed ‘common sense’, is examined and shewn to be as unsatisfactory as all the preceding experiments. Coheleth thought that to live so as to leave a good name; to listen to merited rebuke; not to indulge in a repining spirit, but to submit to God’s Providence; to be temperate in religions matters; not to pry into everybody’s opinions —lessons of prudence or common sense, higher wisdom being unattainable; to submit to the powers that be, even under oppression, believing that the mightiest tyrant will ultimately be punished, and that, though righteous retribution is sometimes withheld, which, indeed, is the cause of increased wickedness, yet that God will eventually administer rewards and punishments , that this would satisfy him during the few years of his life. But as this did not account for the melancholy fact that the fortunes of the righteous and the wicked are often reversed all their life-time, this common sense view of life too proved vain; and Coheleth therefore recurs to his repeated conclusion, that there is nothing left for man but to enjoy the things of this life.
4th Section: 8:15-12:7. —To shew more strikingly the force of his final conclusion, submitted at the end of this section, Coheleth gives first a ‘resume’ of the investigations contained in the preceding sections. Having found that it is impossible to fathom the work of God by wisdom; that even the righteous & the wise are subject to this inscrutable Providence, just as the wicked; that all must alike die and be forgotten, & that they have no more participation in what takes place here; that we are therefore to indulge in pleasures here while we can, since there is no hereafter; that success does not always attend the strong & the skilful; & that wisdom, though decidedly advantageous in many respects, is often despised and counteracted by folly; that we are to be patient under sufferings from rulers, who by virtue of their power frequently pervert the order of things, since violent opposition may only tend to increase our sufferings; that the exercise of prudence in the affairs of life will be more advantageous than folly that we are to be charitable, though the recipients of our benevolence appear ungrateful, since they may after all requite us; that we are always to be at our work, and not be deterred by imaginary failures, since we know not which of our efforts may prove successful, and thus make life as agreeable as we can, for we must always bear in mind that this isthe only scene of enjoyment; that the future is all vanity: but as this too did not satisfy the craving of the soul, Coheleth at last came to the conclusion, ‘that enjoyment of this life, together with a belief in a future judgment, will secure real happiness for man, and that we are therefore to live from our early youth in the fear of God and of a final judgment’, when all that is perplexing now shall be rectified.
Epilogue: 12:8-12. —Thus all human efforts to obtain real happiness are vain; this is the experience of the wisest & most painstaking Coheleth; the Sacred Writings alone are the way to it; there is a righteous Judge, who marks, & will in the great day of judgment judge, everything we do; we must therefore fear Him, & keep His commandments.”

Section V: Historical Sketch of Exegesis of Book: (Reviews & Examination of key works.)
A: Jewish Expositions. (p. 27-99): Wisdom of Solomon, Midrash Jewish works, Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra (Rabe), Maimonides (Rambam), &c.
B: Christian Expositions.(p. 99-243): Gregory (Thaumaturgus), Gregory of Nyssa, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Olympiodorus, Elias of Crete, Hugo of St. Victor, &c, Nicholas de Lyra, Reformers (Luther, Melancthon, &c), &c.
Then, after 200 pages of reviews of Jewish & Christian & others relating to Qoheleth, Ginsburg writes: “What lessons of humility and forbearance ought we to learn from the sketch of what has befallen this book, when we see that ‘the pious’ and ‘the learned’, both among Jews and Christians, have, with equal confidence, advanced the most opposite and contradictory theories about its meaning! We are positively assured, as we have seen, that the book contains the holy lamentations of Solomon, together with a prophetic vision of the splitting up of the royal house of David, the destruction of the temple, and the captivity; and we are also told that it is a discussion between a refined sensualist or hot-headed worldling, and a sober sage —That Solomon makes known in it his repentance to all the Church, that thereby he might glorify God, and strengthen his brethren, thus imitating his father David in the fifty-first Psalm; and that he wrote it ‘.’ when he was irreligious and skeptical, during his amours and idolatry ” —That “the Messiah, the true Solomon, who was known by the title, Son of David, addresses this book to the saints ; “and that a profligate, who wanted to disseminate effectually his infamous sentiments, palmed it upon Solomon. It teaches us to despise the world, with all its pleasures, and flee to monasteries; it shews that sensual gratifications are man’s greatest blessings upon earth —It is a philosophic lecture delivered to a literary society upon topics of the greatest moment; it is a medley of detached and heterogeneous fragments belonging to various authors and different ages —It describes the beautiful order of God’s moral government, proving that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord; it proves that all is disorder and confusion, and that the world is the sport of chance —It is a treatise upon the ‘summum bonum’; it is “a chronicle of the lives of the kings of the house of David, from Solomon down to Zedekiah ” —Its object is to prove the immortality of the soul; and to deny a future existence —It is designed to comfort the unhappy Jews in their misfortunes; it contains the gloomy imaginations of a melancholy misanthrope —It “is intended to open Nathan’s speech (1st Chron. 17) touching the eternal throne of David; “it propounds the modern discoveries of anatomy, as well as the Harveian theory of the circulation of the blood —”It foretells what will become of men or angels to eternity (as found rebelliously fixing in their first-creation life and state of vanity, or obediently surrendering it for the second), in eternal life or death; “it propounds a view of life inclining to fatalism, scepticism, and epicureanism! What a solemn lesson for the pious and for the learned to abstain from dogmatism, and what an admonition not to urge one’s own pious emotions or ingenious conceits as the meaning of the Word of God!”

SONGS: Sherim: (Lovers Love Songs: Bride & Groom, David & Solomon, Israel & Messiah, etc.)
(Canticles: Solomon’s Song of Songs has been Outlined or Arranged in several important ways which govern the way the Book is interpreted: in 12 Canticles or 7 or 8; in various Acts & Scenes. The Book has been & is still viewed from extremes as Puritanical or Pornagraphic, and both are very wrong.)

1: From: Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ about the year 1843 Exhibited in a Course of Lectures, by William Miller. (Miller was the primary influence for the Adventist Movement in America in the 19th century, which in turn became the 7th Day Adventist Church which became global or international; and Adventism continued to produce or form many other movements & groups (WatchTower & Jehovah’s Witness; Armstrong’s World Wide Church of God; &c.)

Lecture 18: Solomon’s Song: 8:5: “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?”
“The text is a passage of divine inspiration, which strikes the mind of the hearer or reader with more than ordinary power and force; and is propounded by way of question, as though in the answer we might receive much instruction and useful knowledge. It is truly so; and may the Spirit of God assist us to gather honey from this beautiful flower from the wilderness. We find it in the Songs of Solomon, which are highly figurative and allegorical, and were when composed presented in poems or songs; but by reason of the translation they have come to us in prose. Some have supposed, that when Solomon composed this Song, or Songs, they were composed for dramatical performances, either as preludes, interludes, or epilogues. But I am of opinion that it was composed for a prophetic song of Christ and his church. But be that as it may, they certainly do represent, in rich and beautiful figures, the character and love of Christ for his church; likewise, her character and love towards her divine Master, her connection to him, and her dependence upon him in this state of trial. That the church has been, and will be, in a state of trial as long as she remains imperfect, cannot be doubted by any man of common reflection, perception, or knowledge. She has enjoyed her seasons of prosperity; and has been strongly tried in scenes of adversity. In tracing her history from the patriarch Abraham to the present day, we find her variable as the wind, and changeable as the weather. [The following descriptions are taken from the Songs and other Bible verses :] To-day, she is coming up out of the wilderness leaning on the arm of her beloved; to-morrow, “like a young roe leaping upon the mountains, and skipping upon the hills.” Now she is seen among the trees of the woods; next in a palace of silver inclosed in boards of cedar. There we saw her in the clefts of the rock; here we behold her in the broad way, in the streets of the great city. Again we find her among the foxes of the desert; and anon we perceive her seeking him whom her soul loveth. She is asleep on her bed by night; and the same night the watch finds her in the city. Behold her Lord, knocking at the door for admittance, while she is too indolent to arise and let him in. The next moment she is opening to her beloved; but he had withdrawn himself. At one time the voice of her beloved sounding over the hills, and echoing among the mountains like the roar of distant thunder, has no impression; next the soft whisper of love gains all her attention. Here blows the rough north wind and strong south wind upon her spices; yet they put forth no fragrancy. And there the lightest breeze makes her roses blossom, and all the air is perfume. See her countenance to-day black as the tents of Kedar; and to-morrow comely as the daughters of Jerusalem, and fair as the purple curtains of Solomon. Today she is “a garden barred, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed;” to-morrow “a garden open, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” Now she is weak as a babe; a single watchman can “smite, wound, and take away her vail;” and then she is courageous and valiant, “terrible as an army with banners.” Today she is made to keep another’s vineyard; to-morrow she is realizing a thousand pieces of silver from her own. She is truly a changeable being, carried about by the slightest circumstances. This is the description of the church, as given to us in this Song of Solomon’s. I shall therefore show in explanation of our subject, I. What has been the general character of the church in the wilderness; II. Her character when out of the wilderness; and, then, III. Make an application of our subject, by showing in what state the church may be considered at the present time……

2: Biblical Companion, Introduction Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures .etc. William Carpenter. (1836)

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books.
3. The manner in which the Song of Solomon has been interpreted by most expositors, has had
the effect of exposing it to unmerited ridicule and contempt. Not entering into the style and spirit
of oriental poesy, they have given to some passages a coarse and indelicate appearance; and, not
distinguishing between the literal and the allegorical senses, they have destroyed the consistency and beauty of the poem, while they have bewildered the mind of the reader. To understand it well, requires not only a renewed heart and an enlightened mind, but a sober and cautious judgment. The spiritual senses must be exercised to discern clearly spiritual truths, and the imagination must be curbed by a reverential apprehension of the majesty and condescension of God. Among the Jews, they were not allowed to read it until they had attained the sacerdotal age of thirty years [30 for the Ecclesiastes (Koholeth) but 40 for the Song of Songs (Sher Sherim)].

3: From: Book of Canticles, or Song of Solomon, according to the English Version, Revised & Explained from the Original Hebrew. [F. Rolleston] (1859)

“In some cases it may be found that the modern Jews themselves take the least refined view of the meaning. Similar instances occur in poetry far less ancient and difficult. Should the pointing of the Hebrew text sometimes seem to require accommodation, it must be remembered that manuscripts vary, and that points, however ancient, however useful, are of human, not divine, origin. There are in Hebrew two words for love, one, Aheva, desiring1; another, (whence David, [beloved],) abiding, satisfying love . They may here be distinguished by 1 and 2, as the genders by (*, m) masculine, (†, f) feminine. These, as well as the beautiful word for a female friend [girl-friend], meaning a companion with whom to feed, break bread, (consequently in the East a bride or wife,) are very imperfectly appreciated in translations.
The ancient Jews understood this book to be an allegory of God’s love to the Jewish Church; the early Christians understood it as shadowing forth the love of Christ to the Christian Church, typified under the same figure by St. Paul, Eph. 5:32. A very large portion of the Christian Church in all ages has so considered it, and so it is interpreted here. Being part of the Jewish canon, to which our Lord referred as “the Scriptures”, thus giving it His infallible sanction, no further evidence of its inspiration need be sought: it is part of that Word of God “which cannot be broken”. Similar faith in the inspiration of the Apocalypse has always existed in the Christian Church. Before any of its predictions had been explained by the events, that faith reposed on Its internal divineness. The words were of God, spoken by the glorified Redeemer to all coining time. By such as knew and loved His words in the Gospel, the words of the Apocalypse were recognized as His. In both these mysterious portions of the ” One Book,” the Bible, the subject is the same, the love of Christ to His Church, her wanderings, her woes, her final union to her Lord in glory. Her inward feelings, those more or less experienced by every believer, are especially dwelt on in the earlier, her outward trials and earthly vicissitudes, in the later book. The termination of those troubles is in both the same. At the end of the Canticles the bride comes up out of the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved; as the bride of the Apocalypse, after long exile in its dreary solitudes, is brought to the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the abode of peace, wherein is the throne of God and of the Lamb.
It has been inferred that the English translation of the Book of Canticles could not be depended upon as to the speeches of the different speakers, from the difference of some of the ancient translations, especially as given in Walton’s Polyglot, but this difficulty is here met.
The English Version generally agrees with the pointed Hebrew that is given in Bagster’s Polyglot, which is the received text. Ancient translations may have been made from corrupt MSS., or from unpointed ones, in which case the gender of particular words could not always be clearly determined. As for instance the pronouns “thou,” “thee,” and “thy,” which in the spoken and pointed Hebrew are distinguished, but not in the unpointed. It is scarcely necessary to explain that the points express unwritten vowels, by which some pronouns and some parts of the verb are made feminine. The pronouns “he” and “she,” “this ” and “that,” do not depend on points, but are written with different letters, as are the feminine verbs in many parts of their conjugation. In these cases the gender does not admit of a doubt. In the Keri, or Jewish correction of their MSS., nothing occurs to alter the genders of the speakers, as given in the received text, though in chap. 4:9, the gender of the adjective “one,” as applied to “eyes,” is made regular. The verses in which the gender is fixed by letters, and not by mere points, are these: 1: 9,13-16; 2: 2-3, 6-10, 13, 16-17; 3: 1-6, 11; 4: 1, 7-12, 16; 5: 1, 2. 4-6, 9-16; 6: 1-4, 9-10, 13; 7: 1-11, 13; 8: 5, 8, 13-14.
In other places the pronouns “thou,” “thee,” “thy,” determine the genders by their points, with which the English generally agrees. But in chap. 8:5, 2nd clause, where the English is indefinite, the unpointed Hebrew is equally so, though the points make the five pronouns masculine. The verb translated “to raise” cannot apply to an infant, but is “to wake,” as in chap. 5:2; 3:5; 4:16. In chap. 2:1, it is probably the Bride who speaks, as there are two forms of the noun “lily,” and the feminine is here used. Though a noun-substantive be not altered in gender to suit the speaker, yet where there are two forms, as (shishn) and (shishnh), the use of the feminine would indicate a woman being the thing compared to it. “Rose” is always feminine, and though in Hebrew the comparison might be applied to the King, it is less likely; still it must be remeinbered that in Prov. 8 and Hag. 2 a noun with a feminine (or rather neuter) termination is so applied.
Luther prefaces his “High Song” of Solomon, by saying it is the desire of the Christian Church for her bridegroom Christ, and that the Christian Church longs for her bridegroom Christ in expectation and betrothment.
Some have held, that in the Canticles were set forth “the several ages and periods of the Christian Church, in agreement with the seven Churches of Asia, as [Johannes] Cocceius and those that follow him; as thus: [This dispensational interpretation in turn influenced the dispensational views of the 7 Churches of the Book of Revelation as Prophetic History of the Church & Churches.]
Ephesian Church, Cant. 1:5-7, from the Ascension of Christ to A.D. 370;
Smyrnean Church, Cant. 2:1-17, from A.D. 371 to 707;
Church at Pergamos, Cant. 3:1-11, from A.D. 708 to 1045;
Thyatiran Church, Cant. 4:1-5:1, from A.D. 1046 to 1383;
Sardian Church, Cant. 5:2-6:8, from A.D. 1384 to 1721;
Philadelphian, Cant. 6:9-7:14, from A.D. 1722 to 2059;
Laodicean, Cant. 8:1-14, from A.D. 2060, onwards;
“but these senses are very arbitrary, uncertain, & precarious.” (John Gill, in his Commentary) “There seem to be allusions & references to various passages of this book in the New Testament; see Matt. 21:33; 25:1. Mark 12:1. Luke 20:9. Matt. 25:1, &c. John 3:8, 29; 6:44. 2nd Cor. 11:2. Eph. 5:27, & Col. 2:17. Rev. 3:20; 19:7, 8, compared with Cant. 1:3, 4; 2:17; 4:1, 16; 5:1, 2; 7:13; 8:11, 12.” (Gill.)
The ancient Jews called this book “the holy of holies;” the Syriac version, ” the wisdom of wisdoms of Solomon.” By the Jews, ancient and modern, its inspiration and authenticity have never been questioned. “They have a saying, that wherever the word Solomon is used in this Song the Holy One is meant, the Holy God, or Messiah.” (Maimonides, quoted by Gill.) That they were familiarized by the prophets with this allegorical showing forth of the love of the Redeemer to the Church may be seen in the subjoined texts. Might it not be imparted to Adam before the fall or the creation of Eve? (Gen. 2) Betrothing, (Hos. 2:16-20. Isa 54:5. Eph. 5:29, 32.) Espousals, (Jer. 2:2; 3:14. 2nd Cor. 11:2. Isa. 62:4-5,) thy sons, rather thy builders. (Rev. 19:17.) (Isa. 50:1, divorcements.) Bride, (Isa. 11:18; 61:10; 62:5; Rev. 19.) Wife, (Isa. 54:1. Rev. 21:9. Ps. 45.) throughout.

His Revised Version with Notes: Song of Songs of Solomon: [David = Beloved; Solomon = Peace (masculine); Shulamite, Shulamith = Peace (feminine) (Pacifica); Jerusalem, Yeru-Salem = City of Peace; compare with AbiShag Shunamite (> Shunem = Shulem = Sulem = Salem = Salam), and see Gesenius (old and new) under Shulammith, Shulamite.]

Chapter I: [Shulamite Shepherdess & Jerusalem’s Virgin Daughters & Shepherd-King]
Bride [She to Virgins & to Him] [Shulamite Shepherdess: Beloved, Lover, Love, Friend] Speaks (1:1-4a), Virgins [Daughters of Jerusalem] to Bride [& Groom] (1:4b), Bride (1:5a), [to] Virgins (1:5b), Bride (1:5c), [to] Virgins (1:5d), Bride to Virgins [as Vine-Keeper] (1:6), Bride to King [Shepherd-King: David: Groom: Beloved, Lover, Love, Friend] (1:7), King [to Her as Shepherdess & Steed in Pharaoh’s Chariots ] (1:8-9), Virgins to Bride [Her Adornment] (1:10-11), Bride [ She to Them off Him] (1:12-14), King [He to Her] (1:15), Bride [She to Him] (1:16-17).

Chapter II: [Rose & Lily & Tree & Stag-Hart & Dove ]
Bride [Rose & Lily] (2:1), King [He of Her] (2:2), Bride [She of Him] (2:3-6), King [Charge to Them of the Beloved] (2:7), Bride [She of Him] (2:8-13), King [ He to Her as Dove] (2:14), Bride [She of & to Him] (2:15-17).

Chapter III: [Shepherd-King-David & King Solomon & Jerusalem’s Daughters]
Bride [She of Him & Watchmen] (3:1-4), King [Charge to Them of the Beloved](3:5), Virgins[: Coming Wilderness Traveler & King Solomon & His Glory & Jerusalem’s Daughters] (3:6-11).

Chapter IV: [Lover’s Love & Beloved’s Spouse & Beauty Compared]
King [He of & to Her of Her Beauty] (4:1-5), Bride [Desire to Escape] (4:6), King [He to & of Her] (4:7-15), Bride [Call to Winds to Blow on His Garden](4:16).

Chapter V: [Groom in His Garden & Friends. She Dreams of Her Beloved & Watchmen & Jerusalem’s Daughters & Her Beloved & His Beauty]
King [Groom comes to His Garden with Friends (5:1), Bride [She Dreams of Her Beloved] (5:2), Bride [She Dreams of Her Beloved & Meets Watchmen] (5:3-7), Bride [ She Charges Jerusalem’s Daughters to Tell Him] (5:8), Virgins [They Reply to Her about Him] (5:9), Bride [Her Handsome Beloved & His Beauty Compared & Jerusalem’s Daughters] (5:10-16).

Chapter VI:
Virgins [They to Her of Her Beloved] (6:1), Bride [Her Beloved in His Garden] (6:2-3), King [He to Her of Her Beauty as Jerusalem & Flock of Goats & Flock of Sheep & Pomegranate & Queen & Dove & Companions] (6:4-9), Virgins [They of Her as Morning, Moon, Sun, & Banners] (6:10), Bride [She Goes to Garden with People’s Chariots] (6:11-12), Virgins [They to Her to Return] (6:13a), Bride [See Shulamite as Company of 2 Armies (MahaNaim)] (6:13b).

Chapter VII: [They to Her of Her Beauty & He of Desire for Her & Her Desire for Her Beloved]
Virgins [They to Her of Her Beauty] (7:1-5), King [He to & of Her & His Desire] (7:6-9), Bride [Her Desire for Her Beloved to Elope] (7:10-13).

Chapter VIII:
Bride [She Desires Him as Brother with Mother’s Instruction ] (8:1-3), King [Charge to Jerusalem’s Daughters] (8:4), Virgins [They of Her with Him] (8:5a), Bride [She to Him as Her Babe & Love] (8:5b-7), Mother’s Sons (Her Brothers) [They of Her as Little Sister] (8:8-9), Bride [She as Wall & Towers to Him Compared to Solomon’s Vineyard but Her Vineyard is Hers] (8:10-12), King [Desire to Hear Garden Dweller] (8:13), Bride [She Desires Her Beloved to Come as Roe or Hart on High Places (Mountains) of Balsams (Spices, Heavens)] (8:14).

4: From: Commentary of Song Songs, Ancient & Medieval Sources, by Richard F. Littledale, LLD. (1869)

Introduction: Song of Songs. Canticles. Solomon’s.
I: Canonicity of Song: ….”One fact alone remains undisputed, that of its inclusion within the Canon, both Jewish and Christian, from the earliest times of which we have any record.”…
Rabbinical Estimate of it: …..”Fully in accordance with this position is the remark of Rabbi Akiba, a contemporary of the Emperor Hadrian, saying, “ The entire history of the world does not present an epoch like the day when the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for though all the Hagiographa are holy, yet the Song of Songs is most holy.”…
First Objection to Mystical View Refuted: “It has been objected in modern times against the alleged admission by the ancient Jews of a mystical import underlying the letter, that they prohibited the perusal of the Canticles by all persons below thirty years of age, whence it has been argued either that the book was given in vain so far as all who died in youth were concerned, or that the very fact of with holding it establishes the denial of its spiritual character. This objection, apart from its failing to settle whether the Jews were. right or wrong in their discipline on this head, falls to the ground for two reasons; first, that the Rabbins extended the same prohibition to the beginning of Genesis and the earliest and latest chapters of Ezekiel, without any impeachment of their inspiration; and secondly, that the Eastern Church, like the Church of England, while avowedly upholding the mystical sense, refrains, on grounds of expediency, from public reading of the Canticles in divine worship, though the place of the book in the Old Testament Canon, as received by Christians, has been acknowledged ever since the earliest known list was drawn up by Melito, Bishop of Sardis, about A.D. 170.”

     III: “The third question, and that which has been most eagerly contested of all, concerns the Interpretation of the Song, whether it is to be Mystical, Allegorical, or Literal, and in each of these cases what is the Method to be followed. As before, there is a Traditional View in possession, which has the pleas of remote antiquity, continuous tenure, and perfect consistency with itself in its favour. This view, common to the Talmud and Targum and to all Christian writers (with a brief exception to be noticed presently) for sixteen centuries, is that the poem is wholly mystical, with no historical basis whatsoever, and that it denotes the relations between ‘God’ and His Church, albeit there is much variety of detail in setting forth the particulars of this relation. An Intermediate View supposes an historical foundation for the Song, preferably the bridal of Solomon with Pharaoh’s daughter, and holds that a superstructure of religious allegory has been raised on this basis, as in that other case of the Exodus, so frequently used as a type of spiritual deliverance from sin. And a Third View, almost exclusively modern, denies all inner meaning to the poem, save of the most incidental kind, and maintains a literal exposition. The Mystical Interpretation, which forms the subject matter of the commentary in this volume, and which traces the history of the Divine dealings with man under the Law and the Gospel, has in its favour a cumulative mass of evidence of a very cogent nature. In the first place, the relationship of marriage is very frequently used in Scripture to denote the union between ‘God’ and the chosen people, the ornaments of a bride and abundant progeny are the promised rewards of devotion and obedience, barreness and divorce are the threatened punishments of spiritual adultery. There is thus no antecedent improbability, as has been alleged, in the nuptial imagery of the Song having a mystical signification. This comes out most clearly in from the that Book which has most obviously approached, if not actually borrowed, the Language of the Canticles, namely, the prophecy of Hosea, in which the marriage of ‘God’ to Israel, and her sins against the nuptial bond, are steadily dwelt upon. A further illustration is afforded by the language of the forty-fifth Psalm, which represents a King, who is styled ‘Lord’ and ‘God’, as the Spouse of a Virgin Bride, and which is directly applied to ‘Christ’ in the Epistle to the Hebrews. As the structure of this Psalm, like that of the 72nd, absolutely forbids its literal application to any mere human sovran, save at the hands of those who are resolved to see no Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, be the evidence what it may, it contributes a most important item of proof to the tenability of the traditional view. This is further borne out by the Gospels, the Pauline Epistles, and the Revelation. The Baptist speaks of ‘Christ’ as the Bridegroom, and of himself as the Bridegroom’s friend; while the ‘Saviour’, in defending His disciples from the charge of religious laxity, applies the name Bridegroom to Himself, and that of “children of the bridechamber” to His followers. St Paul illustrates the metaphor further by declaring that he has “espoused” his converts “ as a chaste virgin, to ‘Christ’,” and that earthly marriage is only a type of a heavenly mystery. The Apocalypse, with its description of the heavenly Jerusalem as the Bride of the Lamb, and of the final triumph of the redeemed as His marriage feast, completes the chain of Scriptural evidence; and if the mystical interpretation of the Canticles be set aside, it becomes exceedingly difficult to explain the use of this peculiar imagery, which cannot be traced to any other source.
The plea that not marriage, but courtship, which leads to marriage, is the scope of the Song, has been urged against the Catholic view, but vainly in the face of the recurrent phrase “the Virgin of Israel” in the Old Testament, and the clear statement of the New that the marriage has not yet come, and only the be trothal has taken place. The next argument of weight is that which serves to repel the ‘a priori’ objections taken to the form and diction of the poem as a vehicle for spiritual ideas. If it could be shown that the Song, if mystically explained, is an isolated phenomenon, having no parallel in any literature, very much would be done towards discrediting the ancient view. But such is not the case. (Parallels in Arabic & Persian Literature:) The Arab nation, which in blood and language is most nearly allied to the Hebrews, has preserved to the present day the custom of chanting in Public Worship Songs in which the religious meaning is veiled under the ordinary terms of earthly love. The service at which these are recited is called a ‘Zikr’, the poems themselves (usually in honour of Mohammed) ‘muweshshah’.”……

4: Solutions Proposed for this difficulty: “The sense that this is so has prompted, at solutions different eras, various tentative solutions of the difficulty. The earliest of these was propounded by Theodore of Mopsuestia in the 1st quarter of the 5th century, and represented the Song as merely an epithalamium [< epi ‘upon’ + thalamos ‘bridal-chamber’] on the marriage of Solomon with Pharaoh’s daughter or with Abishag the Shunammite. This theory, after being condemned in express and forcible terms in the 5th General Council, disappeared completely for more than 800 years, when it was reproduced for a moment by Gregory Abulfaraj. It rested again till revived by Grotius, who allowed it, nevertheless, to include an allegory; and it was finally developed into a very elaborate form by the celebrated Bossuet, in 1690, whose genius gave it a measure of popularity amongst scholars till the early part of the present century, when the ingenious criticisms of Dr. Mason Good (some of which had been anticipated long before by Natalis Alexander,) established the utter incongruity of the language of the Song with the circumstances of a State alliance and with the national surroundings of an Egyptian princess, to whom the pastoral character of the Bride could in no wise be accommodated. The eloquent words in which Theodoret expresses the mind of the Church in his day against the views ascribed to Theodore of Mopsuestia merit citation. In the preface to his commentary on the Canticles, he says: “Since the majority of those who ‘slander the Song of Songs and deny it to be a spiritual book, weave fables unworthy of crazy old women, some of them saying that Solomon the Wise wrote it concerning himself and Pharaoh’s daughter; a few authors of the same stamp alleging that Abishag the Shunammite is the Bride, and not Pharaoh’s daughter; while others, taking a somewhat more philosophical view, call it the Royal Speech, so as to understand the people by the Bride and the King by the Bridegroom; we think that we shall be well employed in refuting at the outset of our exposition these false and mischievous theories, and then will proceed to set forth the true and clear meaning of the author. And yet these men ought to know that the holy Fathers, much their superiors in wisdom and spiritual insight, were they who placed this Book amongst the divine Scriptures, and approving it as full of the ‘Spirit’, pronounced it worthy of the Church. For had they thought otherwise, they would never have included a work whose subject was passion and desire in the number of Holy Writ….Not only Eusebius of Palestine, and Origen the Egyptian, and Cyprian of Carthage, crowned with the diadem of martyrdom, and men earlier than they were and nearer to the Apostles, but also those who were afterwards famous in the Churches, Basil the Great in his exposition of the beginning of Proverbs, and the two Gregories, allied to Basil, one by blood and the other by friendship, and that valiant champion of religion Diodorus, and John, who to this day waters the whole earth with the streams of his teaching, and they who came still later, all pronounced this Book to be spiritual…. Coming then from the old to the new Bride, let us in this wise interpret the Song of Songs, and rejecting false and mischievous theories, let us follow the holy Fathers, and recognize one Bride conversing with one Bridegroom; and learn from the holy Apostles who that Bridegroom and Bride may be. For the inspired Paul teaches us that, writing thus, ‘I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ,’ (2 Cor. 11:2). He calls her a Bride who is made up of many. For he does not say, ‘ I have betrothed ‘thee’ [sing. individ.],’ but ‘you’ [plur., collectiv.] that is, holy souls,’ perfected in virtue. For Divine Scripture understands the Church by the Bride, and calls ‘Christ’ the Bridegroom.””…

(Sample:) Commentary: Chapter I:1-3: (Verses < Old & New Testaments; Quotes < Church Fathers, Rabbis, &c. e.g.: Origen; Ex.15:1; Num. 21:17; Deut. 32:1; Jud. 5:1; 2nd Sam. 22:; Is. 5:; Targum; Is.30:29; Aponius; Ricard.; Victorin.;Rupert.; Theodore; Eph. 5:19; Nicol. Argent.; Honor.; Aug.; St Greg.; Magn.; St Bernard; &c.)
1: The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.
‘Song of songs’. (Origen:) “As we have been taught by Moses that there are not only holy holies, that there are not only other Sabbaths, but Sabbaths of sabbaths; so now we are taught, by the pen of Solomon, that there are not only songs, but a Song of songs. Blessed, truly, is he who enters into the holy place, but more blessed he who enters the Holy of holies. Blessed is he who keepeth the Sabbath, but more blessed who kee eth the Sabbath of sabbaths. So, too, blessed is he who understands songs, and sings them, for no one does sing save on high festivals, but much more blessed is he who sings the Song of songs. And as he, who enters into the holy place, still needs much ere he is able to proceed into the Holy of holies, and as he who keeps the sabbath enjoined on the people by the ‘Lord’, wants many things that he may keep the Sabbath of sabbaths, so too he who traverses all the songs of Holy Writ, finds it no easy thing to ascend to the Song of songs. Thou must needs go out of Egypt, and, issued thence, cross the Red Sea, that thou mayest sing the first song, sayin, ‘I will sing unto the ‘Lord’, for He hath triumphed gloriously.’ (Exod. 15:1) And even though thou mayest have sung this first song, thou art still far from the Song of songs. Pass spiritually through the wilderness, till thou comest to the well, which the princes dug, that thou mayest there sing the second song. Afterwards approach the borders of the Holy Land, and, standing on Jordan’s banks, sing the song of Moses, ‘Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.’ Yet again, thou needest soldiers, and the inheritance of the Holy Land, and that a bee should prophesy to thee and judge thee —for Deborah is, by interpretation, bee —that thou mayest utter that hymn also, which is contained in the Book of Judges. Ascending to the record of the Kings, come to the song when David escaped from the hands of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul, and said, ‘The ‘Lord’ is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer.’ Thence thou must reach Isaiah, that thou mayest say with him, ‘I will sing to my Beloved a song of my Beloved touching His vineyard.’ And when thou hast traversed all these, go up yet higher, that thou mayest with pure soul cry unto the Bridegroom this song of songs.” The Targum counts up ten songs, adding to Origen’s list those of Adam, sung after his fall and pardon; Joshua’s at Ajalon; and a tenth, never yet uttered, to be sung by the people of ‘God’ at the end of their long captivity, to which applies that prophecy, “Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept.” This one, however, is the Song of songs, because as ‘Christ’ our ‘Lord’, as Man, surpassing all Apostles, Patriarchs, Prophets, and heavenly powers, is King of kings, and ‘Lord’ of lords, so this song, since entirely concerning Him and His Bride, excels, and includes in itself, all the hymns of victory, of thanksgiving, of instruction, and of lamentation in Holy Writ, just as the bridal feast surpasses all others, and since no blessing which other songs commemorate can be compared with the Incarnation. And as the Apostle tells his hearers to speak to themselves “in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs,” we understand that psalms, accompanied by an instrument, denote the active life of charity, and hymns the contemplative life, and songs, embracing these two, are the life of the righteous, who give soul and body to ‘God’; while the ‘Song of songs’, that holy secret which only ‘God’s’ unction can teach, only spiritual experience can make clear, is the life of the perfect. The Song is Solomon’s, the third in order of his books, following Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, to teach us that after they have passed the purgative way, by following the moral precepts of the first of these; and the illuminative way, by learning in the second that all earthly things are vanity, and ‘God’ alone to be desired; we attain in the third place to the unitive way, and by it make our entrance into the Holy of holies, where the High Priest, our Bridegroom, stands, that we may there sin the song of perfect love, —there only, for “how shall we sing the ‘Lord’s’ song in a strange land? It is ‘Solomon’s’, for Solomon means Peaceful, and ‘Christ’, to Whom it in truth appertains, is “our Peace,” having been “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

2: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.
First, say the Fathers in general, it is the cry of the Synagogue, ‘God’s’ ancient Church, yearning for the Incarnation of ‘Christ’, and desiring that ‘God’ would no more speak to her only by the voices of angels and prophets, but face to face. I care not, she says, to hear Moses, who is slow of speech to me, the lips of Isaiah are unclean, Jeremiah cannot speak, for he is a child, and all the Prophets are tongueless. Let Him of Whom they speak, Himself speak, ‘let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth’. And His answer is set down for us by the Apostle: “ God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His ‘Son’.” She asks for His kiss, because as two separate bodies unite in the act of kissing, so ‘Christ’, by His becoming flesh, united ‘God’ and man together, two natures in One Person. And as a kiss denotes peace and reconciliation, it is the fit greeting of Him, our peaceful Solomon, Who came to us as ‘God’ and Saviour’. It is also the cry of the Gentile world, yearning for the teaching of the ‘Holy Spirit’ for as t e breath of one that kisses is felt by the one that is kissed, so by the kiss of ‘Christ’, we understand the inspiration of the ‘Holy Ghost’ Whom He hath sent. Next, the words belong to every faithful soul which desires the presence of its ‘Lord’. See, exclaims a Saint, how sudden is the opening of her address. Asking a great thing from a mighty Person, she uses no customary fiattery, she takes no indirect way to that which she longs for. She makes no preface, she seeks not to conciliate good-will, but breaking out from the abundance of her heart, says, in plainest and boldest words, ‘Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth’. ‘His mouth’. Yes, but it is not every one who dares ask this, but only such as have already received the pledge of love, and desire it again. For us sinners it is fitter to fall down trembling at the feet of our righteous ‘Lord’, like the publican, not daring to look up, but like the sinful woman, content to kiss His feet, and to bathe them with our tears. Then, when He hath said, “Thou art made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing happen to thee,” we may dare to rise a little, and kiss the Hand which has cleansed and lifted us, giving Him the homage and glory which are His due. At last, after man tears and prayers, we may, in fear and trembling, lift our heads to His glorious month, not merely to gaze upon it, but to kiss it. To Thee, O ‘Lord Jesus’, to Thee has my heart fitly said, Thy Face, ‘Lord’, will I seek. For Thou madest me to rear of Thy mercy betimes in the morning, when, as I lay in the dust, kissing Thy sacred footsteps, Thou forgavest me the sins of my life. Then, as the day grew on, Thou madest glad the soul of Thy servant, bestowing on me the grace of holy living in the kiss of Thy Hand. And now what remains, O gracious ‘Lord’, save that in the fulness of light, in the fervour of the Spirit, Thou, mercifully admitting me to the kiss of Thy mouth also, wouldst fill me with joy with Thy countenance? Note, too, how it is said ‘Let Him kiss me’, with no name particularized, no context to explain who is meant. And that because to the Bride there can be but One to think of, because her word ever is, “ Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none on earth I desire in comparison of Thee.” She asks, too, not for a single kiss, but for ‘kisses’, for those seven great gifts of the ‘Spirit’ which ‘Christ’ bestows, and for other graces besides. And He gives them in four ways, by His Incarnation, by His conversation amongst men as their Teacher, by mystical incorporation with us for our redemption, and by the final glory which He promises. Peace with ‘God’ in ‘Christ’, is then the scope of the Bride’s longings, as she prays for illumination, for love, for perfect union with Him of Whom she says, “Full of grace are Thy lips, wherefore ‘God’ hath blessed Thee for ever.” His lips, which give the kiss, are His truth and sweetness, hers, which receive it, are her understanding and affection. And He has heard the cry of His Bride, and answered it, giving her more than she asked, giving her Himself again and again in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. “ The soul,” observes an ancient writer, “ sees herself cleansed from all her sins, and fitted to approach the Altar of ‘Christ’. She sees the wondrous sacrament and saith, Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth, let ‘Christ’ Himself impress His kiss on me.” And Simeon Metaphrastes, in that hymn which the Eastern Church puts in the mouth of her children before Communion, speaks of the kiss which the penitent soul offers in turn to her ‘Lord’ in that sacred rite:

More than the harlot I have erred, who, learning Thine abode,
Made purchase of the precious nard, and boldly took her road
To seek and to anoint Thy feet, O ‘Christ’, my ‘God’ and ‘Lord’,
And, as she came with love to greet, was not by Thee abhorred.
So, ‘Word’ of ‘God’, calm Thou my fears, and give me, not despised,
Thy feet to clasp, and kiss, and wash with tears, that nard unpriced.

The soul may kiss her Lord also by acts of love and compassion towards His poor, and will be rewarded by Him therefore with that last kiss which He will give at the Doom, saying, “Come, ye blessed.” But they who have not so kissed Him here, shall see His face no more, for He will turn His back upon them. And that which is true of the Church, and true of every believing soul, is especially true of her who is the Church’s fairest ornament, the purest and most blessed of Saints, the Virgin Mother of ‘God’. The words are her prayer to ‘God’ the ‘Father’, that by the breath of His mouth, which is the ‘Holy Ghost’, He may give her that ineffable kiss, His Only-begotten ‘Son’. When the Angel brought her the marvellous tiding s of her true betrothal, then by her answer, “ Behold the handmaid of the ‘Lord’, be it unto me according to thy word,” she did in truth say, ‘Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth’. And after His nativity, the prayer was yet more literally answered, when the tender Mother hung over her infant ‘Lord’, and clasped Him to her breast. And His love so endured that even at the last moment of life He bent to offer His kiss. “He bowed His head to His Mother,” says a holy writer, “ and to all mankind, as though bidding His last farewell, and offering the kiss of peace. See here, O faithful soul, the unspeakable love of thy ‘God’, that He loved us unto the end.” And we learn hereby the pain as well as the sweetness of His kiss…..

‘For Thy love is better than wine’. The change from the third person to the second, from speaking ‘of’ the Bridegroom to speaking to Him, denotes, some Fathers say, is swift appearing in fulfilment of His Bride’s desire, coming even before He is actually called; showing how more than ready ‘God’ ever is to answer our prayer, according to that saying of the Prophet, “ Before they call, I will answer: and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” The LXX and Vulgate have ‘Thy breasts’. And some tell us that the gentle teaching of ‘Christ’, drawn from the secret treasures of His wisdom and knowledge, is meant thereby, milk fitted for babes, ‘better than the wine’ of human wisdom or even of the old Law. Philo of Carpasia and several others see in the ‘breasts’ the two Testaments, both given by ‘Christ’, whence the sincere milk of the Word, refreshing, and not hurtful like wine, is granted to mankind. And a kindred explanation is found in those writers who will have the Apostles and Doctors of the Church to be meant here. The ancient exposition of the Three Fathers interprets the words of the hidden grace of the Holy Eucharist, with which agrees well that passage of St Chrysostom: “See ye not with what eagerness infants seize the breast, with what pressure the fix their lips upon the teats? Let us approach with no less desire to this Table, and to the spiritual breast of this Chalice, nay, with yet greater longing , let us, as sucking children, drink in the grace of the ‘Spirit’; let it be our one sorrow, our one grief, if we be stinted of this spiritual food.” Some of the interpretations, however, bring us back to the true mean of the literal Hebrew, ‘Thy loves’. Thus St Bernard bids us see here the long-suffering of ‘Christ’ in bearing with sinners, and His loving-kindness in receiving them when they return to Him…..

3: Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth,
therefore do the virgins love thee.
The first clause here does not exactly represent the existing Hebrew text, nor yet any of the chief versions. The true rendering is, ‘Pleasant for odour are Thine ointments’. The LXX reads, ‘The perfume of Thine ointments is above all spices’. And the Vulgate, connecting the words with the previous verse, has ‘[Thy breasts are] fragrant with the best ointments’. The Bride, observes Origen, had already some acquaintance with spices, to wit, the words of the Law and the Prophets, wherewith, before the Bridegroom’s coming, she was partially instructed and trained for the service of ‘God’, as still in her early youth, and under tutors and governors, for “ the Law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto ‘Christ’.” All these were spices, wherewith she seems to have been nourished and made ready for her Bridegroom. But when the fulness of time was come, and she came of age, and when the ‘Father’ sent His Only-begotten into the world, anointed by the ‘Holy Ghost’, the Bride, smelling the fragrance of the divine unction, and perceiving that all those spices which she had been hitherto using were far inferior compared with the sweetness of this new and heavenly ointment, saith, ‘The perfume of Thine ointments is above all spices’….. All Thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia.” The Latin Fathers, following the Vulgate, explain the passage somewhat differently. As they often speak of the Apostles and Doctors of the Church as the breasts of Christ, so they call them here ‘fragrant’, because eminent for miracles and holiness, so that the perfume of their righteousness came abroad, giving delight and refreshment to their hearers. And in this sense we may take the words of S. Paul: “Now thanks be unto GOD, which always causeth us to triumph in ‘Christ’ and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place, for we are unto ‘God’ a sweet savour of ‘Christ’.” St Bernard, who supposes the breasts to be of the Bride as well as of the Bridegroom, tells us that she is fragrant with the triple unction of contrition, devotion, and of piety; the first pungent, causing pain, the second lenitive, soothing pain, the third healing, and even expelling disease. The first is made by the soul breaking and grinding her sins in the mortar of conscience, and then distilling them within the crucible of a glowing heart with the fire of penitence and grief, that she may say, “My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus musing, the fire kindled.””…..

On 6:13 of the Shulamite: Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.
The first question to be settled here is the meaning of the name ‘Shulamite’. One literalist view is that it is a local appellation from a supposed place ‘Shulem’, formed by the same analogy as Shunammite from Shunem. And in fact the LXX does read ‘Sunamitis’, and the Vulgate did read it, so that a reference to Abishag has been seen here by some ancient writers, and Abishag herself by some modern ones. Another opinion is that the name is strictly a proper one, the personal name of the Bride, akin, perha s, to ‘Shelomith’, the feminine form of the name Solomon. And this brings us closer to the mystical view, which takes the word as an adjective, and explains it variously as “belonging to Solomon,” or “daughter of Salem,” or “perfect ;” or again, most satisfactorily, as “ Peaceful,” which last is supported by the authority of Aquila, who translates it (eirëneuousa). One other suggested meaning is that of Symmachus, who, deriving the epithet from (shalal), ‘shalal’, ‘spoliavit’, views it as equivalent to “ plundered,” or “ captive,” (eskuleumenë). Either of these last-given meanings will suit the Synagogue, to which the Targum applies the verse, paraphrasing thus: “’Return’ to Me, O congregation of Israel, ‘return’ to Jerusalem, ‘return’ to the House of My Law, ‘return’ to receive prophecy from the Prophets who prophesy in the Name of the Word of the ‘Lord’. Israel heard and obeyed the call, notes De Lyra, and returned at four several times after the Captivity; first, under Zorobabel and Ezra, in the reign of Cyrus; secondly, in the next migration headed by Ezra in the seventh year of Artaxerxes; thirdly, under Nehemiah; and, fourthly, when Judas Maccabeus cleansed and restored the profaned sanctuary. The ‘We’, then, Who desire to look upon the Shulamite, and therefore call her back, may best be taken, as many of the Fathers do take it, of the Most ‘Holy Trinity’, calling the wandering Church, Jewish or Christian, or the soul which has gone astray, back to its true home, to the presence of the Divine Countenance. It is, notes Rupert, the Voice of Amminadab Himself as He sits upon His chariot, saying, Thou, ‘O Shulamite’, that is, captive or depised, thou, O faith, O dignity of the true Priesthood (wellnigh given up to oblivion through carnal ceremonies, so that the Synagogue knows not, and thinks not that her father Abraham was justified by thee, and not by the Law, as it is written, “Abraham believed ‘God’, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,”) ‘return’, and again I say, ‘return’, and a third time I say, ‘return’, and a fourth time I say, ‘return’, one call for each horse of My chariot. For I was born and I suffered to this end, that thou mightest return, and rise again, and ascend into heaven to Me, and therefore till thou dost return I cease not My calling upon thee…..
‘What will ye see in the Shulamite?’ Who asks the question, and of whom? They reply , for the most part, that the Bridegroom addresses the daughters of Jerusalem, and tells them of the aspect which the Synagogue will present when it has returned to the faith. The Three Fathers alone suppose that the Shulamite herself both puts the questlon and answers it. As it were the com any of two armies. The ancient versions and the English one have each lost something in translating this verse. The latter, by rendering (mecholath) ‘mecholath’, merely ‘company’, has missed the true force of the word, which is ‘dancing company’, preserved in the (choroi) of the LXX and the ‘choros’ of the Vulgate. On the other hand, these versions have omitted to take notice of the dual form ‘Mahanaim’, found here as in Gen. 32:2, and have turned it merely as ‘camps’, with no mark of number. There appears at first sight, says Theodoret, an inconsistency between the words ‘choirs’ and ‘camps’, for the one has to do with feasting, and the other with war. But as the Bride is made up of many Saints, she is like to camps because of her valiant soul and warlike panoply, and she is at the same time the choir which as in its mouth the praises of ‘God’. And after showing how David tells us of the Church’s song and St Paul of her weapons and conflict, the good Bishop continues: That the Saints are not merely like camps, but like choirs also, let us hear the ‘Lord’ telling: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went out to meet the Bridegroom.” He says well, then, ‘What will ye see in the Shulamite, who cometh like chairs of camps?’ (LXX) He does not say, “camps of choirs,” but ‘choirs of camps’. For the choirs are gathered out of the camps, since when brave soldiers in camps have been victorious, they return singing the paean, and chanting in the dance the song of triumph. So the old Western hymn for All Saints:
Spouse of ‘Christ’, in arms contending, O’er each realm beneath the sun,
Blend with prayers for help ascending, Notes of praise for triumphs won.

‘What will ye see?’ Nothing else save these military choirs? No blood of victims, no rite of circumcision? No, all is gone save combat and praise, because “it seemed good to the ‘Holy Ghost’ to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.” And observe, that as in choirs it is necessary that the cassiodor, singers and dancers should keep time together, we have here a type of the need of harmony and union in the Church. And if we dwell on the phrase dancing, we shall remember how the women of Israel went out after Miriam with timbrels and dances, when she sang of the overthrow of the Egyptians; how the Psalmist bids the children of Sion raise their King in the dance and with the cymbals; how the saddest of Prophets can yet declare that in the day of the ‘Lord’s’ redemption “the virgin shall rejoice in the dance.” But this dance, as Theodoret has already told us, is not merely one of girls, nor yet of peaceful priests, such as David shared in when he danced before the ark. It is one of tried warriors, whose swords and shields make the music to which they keep step; and it is of ‘two armies’, not met in deadly rivalry, but in close and perfect alliance, met in her who is the Peaceful, the Church Triumphant, where the two bands move beneath Jacob’s staff, Jew and Gentile in the Church Militant on earth, men and Angels in the Church Triumphant in heaven. Until the great day of the last battle against the hosts of evil shall dawn, these two choirs join in the mingled Song of Moses and the Lamb, but the time will come when the Song of Moses, with its echoes of war, shall be forgotten, and only the new Song of eternal peace shall be heard from the lips of the Peaceful as she sings the praises of the Prince of Peace, her Spouse…..
And they will truly be ‘Mahanaim’, the two heavenly armies of the ‘Lord’ of Hosts, for the ranks of the celestial hierarchies, long broken since the fall of the rebels under Lucifer, shall be filled up with ransomed men, now “like the Angels which are in heaven.”

5: From: Essay on Canticles, Song of Songs, Translation of Poem, Short Explanatory Notes. Rev, W. Houghton. (1865)

Introduction: Essay on Canticles: (After survey & selections of the various views of Jews & Christians in the hermeneutics of the Song in allegory, type, & literal senses, admiring Lowth in leading the way from allegory to literalism, basing his book and doctrine in Ginsburg work, and dedicating his volume to Bishop Colenso as the Apostle and Prophet of the new Higher Biblical Criticism, he gives us his doctrine:) “The simple story of this beautiful poem may be told in a few words. A village girl of Shulem, the only daughter of her widowed mother, is betrothed to a young shepherd. Their attachment appears to have excited the fears of her brothers, who were anxious for her welfare and the preservation of her chastity. They kept a strict watch over her and sent her to look after the vineyards on their farm, where continual exposure had the effect of burning her complexion.
Whether the young Shulamite was married to her shepherd lover at the time of which the poem treats, or whether she was still only betrothed, it is not easy to decide positively. I incline to the opinion that the young couple were married. One day when on a visit to or from her garden, where she had gone to see the opening buds of spring, —all unawares, she fell in with the cortege of King Solomon, who was, it is probable, on a spring visit to the country. Her beauty and attractions arrest the king’s attention, and he captures [?] the Shulamite damsel, places her in the royal palanquin, and takes her, an unwilling companion, to the palace at Jerusalem. She is introduced into the harem, where her sun-burnt face attracts the notice of the fair ladies of the court. True to her humble shepherd lover, the virtuous girl resists all the allurements of Solomon to win her affection. She will think only of her own true love; she asks the other ladies of the harem to leave her alone that she may enjoy the thoughts of his excellence and the assurance that she was his and he hers. The shepherd is supposed to follow her to the palace, and to gain sight of her from the outside of the palace. Solomon, finding that all his advances are in vain, allows her to leave the royal palace. Hand in hand the two faithful lovers proceed to her home, and under the quince tree, where the love-spark was first kindled, they stop and renew their vows of constancy and fidelity. The companions of the shepherd see them coming, and when they meet he asks his young wife* to sing for them, which she does in words she had formerly used under the circumstances of their separation. *(The question as to whether the Shulamite and shepherd were or were not married, can only be decided, in the absence of other indications, by the meaning of the Hebrew word ,(kallah) (‘callah’), which, being most probably derived from a root signifying “to crown,” favours the opinion of those who maintain that the pair was wedded. The word also signifies “daughter-in-law,” and is so rightly rendered by the English version in several passages.)
Such are the main features of the plot of this poem, which I now present before my readers.

Commentary: Specimen of Chapter 1:1-3:
Ch. 1:1. The Song of Songs, Which is Solomon’s. Part I.
A Court Lady of the Harem addressing Solomon.*(This is simply the inscription, and certainly not the statement of the author of the poem; it is similar to the inscriptions in the Book of Psalms, ascribing certain Psalms to different authors, as “a Psalm of David,” “a Psalm or Song of Asaph,” &c, and should have been printed in small type distinct from the poem itself. The inscriptions of the Psalms are, it is well known, not always trustworthy. They are, in some cases, “due to the guess of a later writer.” (See Perowne on the Psalms, p.105) The question of authorship must be decided by the internal evidence supplied by the style and contents of the different hymns.
2. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, For thy caresses are better than wine; *(The scene is supposed to be laid in the gynaecium, or women’s apartment of Solomon’s tent, or summer-house in the country. The king is surrounded by the court ladies, who address him in amorous language. The Shulamite is brought in, and begs her lover to deliver her. The court ladies look with astonishment upon her, and are inclined to despise her on account of her sun-burnt face, occasioned, as she tells them, by the harsh conduct of her brothers, who compelled her to keep their vineyards. She longs to know where her shepherd lover is feeding his flock (1:1-7). Some commentators suppose that the Shulamite is, in verses 2 to 4, addressing her absent lover. This may be so. The details in the distribution of the verses will always be more or less a matter of taste, unless the text affords a decisive hint.)
Thy ointments are lovely with fragrance.*(The ancient Jews were in the habit of anointing their heads, hands, and clothes, with perfumed ointments; “oil of myrrh “was a favourite cosmetic.)
3. Like ointment is thy name diffused; Therefore do the damsels love thee.
(Outline of Canticles Song: Shulamite (‘to her absent lover’). (1:4a); Court Ladies ‘addressing’ Solomon. (1:4b); Shulamite (to Jerusalem’s Daughters (Virgins, Maidens of the Court& Harem) . (1:5-6); Shulamite: ‘She addresses her absent Lover’. (1:7); Court Ladies. (1:8); Solomon.*(Solomon praises the Young Girl’s beauty (9-11); she dwells on her Love to her Shepherd Spouse (12-14); Solomon reiterates his admiration (15); the Shulamite () for her Beloved (16); the Shulamite compares herself to the Flowers of the Vale of Sharon (2:1); the Shepherd Lover admires her above all other women (2:2); the Shulamite dwells in thought upon her beloved (2:3).)….&c

Houghton closes his Canticles Essay thus: *Mr Plumptre characterizes M. Kenan’s work on the Canticles as “bringing down a noble poem to the level of an operatic ballet at a Parisian theatre.” (” Smith’s Dictionary,” iii. p.1352, note.) Do the following extracts from M. Renan’s volume warrant so severe a stricture?
“The poem is neither mystical, as theologians have wished to make it; nor unbecoming, as Castalion believed it; nor simply erotic, as Herder would have it: it is moral, it is summed up in one verse, the 7th of ch. 8: ‘Rien ne peut resister a l’amour sincere; quand le riche pretend acheter l’amour, il n’achete que la honte.’ [“Nothing can resist sincere love; When the rich pretend buy love, he buys only the shame.” = “Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can the floods drown it. Though a man were to offer all his wealth for love, He would be utterly despised.”] The object of the poem is not the voluptuous passion that languishes in the harems of the degenerate East, nor the equivocal sentiment of the Hindoo and Persian quietist; but true love, love which inspires courage and sacrifice, preferring free poverty to servile riches, hating everything untrue or base, and ending in calm happiness and fidelity.” (p.137) Again, “The Song of Songs is a secular book, but by no means a frivolous one. Those features which may offend us are the same which are found in all ancient poetry.
Besides, we must remark that the only two really sensual passages have for their object the presentation of the harem and the manners of Solomon’s court in an odious light, and serve as a kind of contrast. The poor shepherdess who preferred him she loved to Solomon, ought not to be despised. None of her contemporaries, though more civilized, in the immoral world in which she lived would have done as she did; no daughter of Memphis or Babylon, a thousand years before Christ, would have resisted a king or preferred a hut to a harem. The Shulamite was a saint in her time. Do not let us criticise, according to the rules of our modern proprieties, each word of this ingenuous peasant girl. The book which shows us, ten centuries before Christ, virtuous love true and strong, though not yet perhaps lofty and delicate, is, in one sense, a sacred book. Let us remember what Niebuhr replied to a young pastor troubled by the necessity of admitting a lovesong into the Biblical canon: ‘As for me,’ said the illustrious critic with vivacity, ‘I should believe that something was wanting in the Bible if there could not be found there any expression of the deepest and strongest of the feelings of mankind.'”
Some writers have attempted to establish an identity between the Shulamite and Abisbag the Shunammite, —the young damsel who cherished David in his old age (1st Kings 1:3),— and believe they have discovered therein a clear explanation of some of the circumstances of Solomon’s accession. “The historical starting-point of the Song of Songs,” says Mr Plumptre, “connects itself, in all probability, with the earliest facts in the history of the new reign. The narrative as told in 1st Kings 2 is not a little perplexing. Bathsheba, who had before stirred up David against Adonijah, now appears as interceding for him, begging that Abishag the Shunammite, the virgin concubine of David, might be given him as a wife. Solomon, who till then had professed the profoundest reverence for his mother, his willingness to grant her anything, suddenly flashes into fiercest wrath at this. The petition is treated as part of a conspiracy in which Joab and Abiathar are sharers. Benaiah is once more called in, Adonijah is put to death at once. Joab is slain even within the precincts of the tabernacle, to which he had fled asan asylum. The facts have an explanation. Mr Grove’s ingenious theory, identifying Abishag with the heroine of the Song of Songs, resting, as it must do, on its own evidence, has this further merit, that it explains the phenomena here. The passionate love of Solomon for the ‘fairest among women’ might well lead the queen-mother, hitherto supreme, to fear a rival influence, and to join in any scheme for its removal. The king’s vehement abruptness is, in like manner, accounted for. He sees in the request at once an attempt to deprive him of the woman he loves, and a plot to keep him still in the tutelage of childhood, to entrap him into admitting his elder brother’s right to the choicest treasure of his father’s harem, and therefore virtually to the throne, or, at least, to a regency in which he would have his own partisans as counsellors. With a keen-sighted promptness he crushes the whole scheme.”
There is no doubt whatever that Adonijah’s desire to marry Abishag accounts in the most natural manner for his own death and the concomitant circumstances of Solomon’s accession, as described by Mr Plumptre; but there is not a fragment of evidence, beyond the fact that the heroine of the Song of Songs and Abishag were both inhabitants of Shunem, and were both beautiful women, to show that they were identical; while there is clear and positive proof that they were distinct personages. The whole plan and structure of the poem contradicts “this ingenious theory.” The Shulamite is a young girl, probably married, at all events betrothed, —whose affections Solomon is represented as vainly endeavouring to gain; while Abishag would be his own concubine according to his successionary right in his father’s harem.*(The expressions which the Shulamite uses in praise of her shepherd spouse are all referred by Prof. Plumptre to Solomon,) Again, how can we possibly reconcile with this view the statement that the heroine of the Song of Songs makes of herself, viz. that she was swarthy or sun-burnt? Did the fair Abishag who shared the luxuries of David’s palace become a keeper of her brother’s vineyard, immediately after the death of the old king? [The conjecture of Plumptre & Houghton are both near but not exact. Shulamite & Shunamite are the same names & meaning; both are from Shunem or Shulem, which means Salem (Peace) as in HeruSalem; Solomon’s Song is this Love Story of Abishag as the Shulamite-Shunamite Solomonitess, the Female Solomon; and the Beloved is David the Shepherd-King, to whom Abishag was given as a secondary wife, or concubine, though he never knew her carnally or sexually, but was her Spouse & Friend, and thus she was an unrequited Lover, Wife, Queen, in love , but a lost, deprived, love for her Beloved, (her David); and her life would be most touching & significant, thus prophetical & mysterious of Jerusalem & New Jerusalem, that is of Divine Love between God and Man in Christ. This is her Story told by Solomon.]
The Song of Songs, stripped of the garb of fanciful allegory with which it has so long been surrounded, is one of the most beautiful books in the Bible, and contains a lesson of high moral value which deserves to last as long as the world endures. “Every part of this song,” as Bishop Bossuet has said, “abounds in poetical beauties; the objects which present themselves on every side are the choicest plants, the most beautiful flowers, the most delicious fruits, the bloom and vigour of spring, the sweet verdure of the fields, flourishing and well-watered gardens, pleasant streams, and perennial fountains. The other senses are represented as regaled with the most precious odours, natural and artificial; with the sweet singing of birds and the soft voice of the turtle; with milk and honey and the choicest of wine. To these enchantments are added all that is beautiful and graceful in the human form, the endearments, the caresses, the delicacy of love. If any object be introduced which seems not to harmonize with this delightful scene, such as the awful prospect of tremendous precipices, the wildness of the mountains or the haunts of lions, its effect is only to heighten, by the contrast, the beauty of the other objects, and to add the charms of variety to those of grace and elegance.” But the essential part of the Song of Songs is the example of morality which it sets for the copy and admiration of all ages. The successful struggle against sin under circumstances of unusually strong temptation, —this is the point to which the moral compass of this exquisite poem is steadfastly turned. Dreamy allegorisers may satisfy themselves with their own mystical interpretations, but the man or woman who seeks for instruction in the way of practical righteousness, will value only the simple story of the poem, the story of the virtue and fidelity of a Hebrew village girl, —a story to be read with delight both by prince and peasant, a story of human love, pure and devoted, which shall find a response in the heart of humanity as long as time shall last.*(I have been informed by Dr Kalisch that modern Jewish scholars have for the most part abandoned all allegorical interpretations of this book.)
“For love is strong as death, Inexorable as the grave is ardent affection;
Its burnings are burnings of fire, With the flames of Jehovah.
Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can the floods drown it.
Though a man were to offer all his wealth for love, He would be utterly despised.”

6: From: Wisdom Literature of Old Testament. W. T. Davison, DD. (1900)

Chapter 12: Song of Songs:
…..”2. Admitting, however, the literal as the primary meaning of the poem, it is yet possible to maintain that it has an ideal and typical significance. The well-known commentator, Delitzsch, may serve as perhaps the best representative of those who take this view. According to him, the Song is, as it appears at first sight, a love-poem. The maiden who figures so largely in it is not the daughter of Pharaoh, but “a country maiden of humble rank, who by her beauty and by the purity of her soul filled Solomon with a love for her which drew him away from the wantonness of polygamy, and made for him the primitive idea of marriage, as it is described in Gen. ii. 24, a self-experienced reality. This experience he here sings, idealising it after the manner of a poet; i.e., removing the husk of that which is accidental, he goes back to its kernel and its essential nature. We have before us six dramatic figures, each in two divisions, which represent from within the growth of this delightful relation to its conclusion….. The Song represents paradisaical, but yet only natural love. It stands, however, in the Canon of the Church, because Solomon is a type of Him of whom it can be said, ‘a greater than Solomon is here.” Referred to Him the antitype, the earthly contents receive a heavenly import and glorification. We see therein the mystery of the love of Christ and His Church shadowed forth, not, however, allegorically, but typically.” *(Introduction to Commentary) It will be seen that this mode of applying the words to the Church of Christ differs materially from that before described. It violates no rule of exegesis, and if it can be maintained, reconciles the obvious meaning of the words with that deeper meaning which spiritually-minded readers have delighted to find in them.
According to this view, the outline of the poem is somewhat as follows. The Shulamite (vi.13) is a country maiden from the north of Palestine, who has been raised by Solomon to the rank of queen. She is a stranger among the daughters of Jerusalem, in appearance, in habits, and in her thoughts and feelings. The development of the little drama is very slight, the only progress in it being that by which the simple country girl teaches the wise man the superior joys of wedded love in its purity, weaning him from the luxury and indulgence of court-life as enjoyed by Oriental monarchs, to the delights of the pure affection of one husband for one wife. A number of graceful pictures succeed one another, all heightening the effect of the climax when it is reached, and helping to set forth the value and Divine significance of marriage as a holy bond uniting two souls together, who pass readily enough from thoughts of earthly to thoughts of heavenly love. The transition from this train of thought to the level on which St. Paul describes marriage as a mystery, a pattern of the relation between Christ and His Church, is easy and natural.
The poem, as thus interpreted, divides itself into six parts: (1) Anticipation, 1:2-2:7; (2) Awaiting, 2:8-3:5; (3) Espousal & Results, 3:6-5:1; (4) Absence, 5:2-8; (5) Presence, 5:9-8:4; (6) Love’s Triumph, viii. 8:5-12; Conclusion, 8:13-14.
The scene is laid partly in Jerusalem, partly in Solomon’s park, partly at the Shulamite’s home in the country. The persons who speak in this lyrical drama are the Shulamite maiden, Solomon the king, and the daughters of Jerusalem who serve as chorus. “In the first half of the dramatic pictures, Shulamith rises to an equality with Solomon; in the second half, Solomon descends to an equality with Shulamith. At the close of the first, Shulamith is at home in the king’s palace; at the close of the second, Solomon is at home with her in her Galilean home.”
3. It has been increasingly felt, however, for the last half-century, among the majority of scholars, that the difficulties in the way of this hypothesis are insuperable. That Solomon should appear alternately as a stately king and as a simple shepherd, and that he should be found abandoning his court for a country cottage, appears on the face of it improbable; while a closer examination of the structure of the poem reveals the fact that it is not as simple as the above theory would make it. The view which Ewald was the first to work out, and which has been adopted since his time by Ginsburg and others, though with many subordinate modifications,” may be described as follows.
The poem is a pastoral drama, in which the action is represented by a number of lyrical monologues, with occasional dialogue of the very simplest form. The persons are Shulamith, the maiden-heroine; her shepherd-betrothed, whose home, like hers, is in North Palestine; Solomon the King, the ladies of his court, the Shulamite’s brothers, certain citizens of Jerusalem, and perhaps one or two minor interlocutors. The scene opens in Jerusalem, where the Shulamite is detained against her will [?] by Solomon, who desires to take her as his bride among the many ladies of the royal household. She, however, is full of the thought of her shepherd-lover, to whom, in spite of all the attractions held out to her, she continues faithful. The poem describes, in by no means regularly sustained fashion, the admiration of Solomon, the devotion of the Shulamite to her absent betrothed, her dreams of the past and her home among the Northern hills, the unsuccessful attempts made to excite her ambition and induce her to assume queenly rank, closing by a description of her return to her parental home, her reunion with her shepherd-lover, and the triumph of pure and loyal natural affection. More in detail, the scheme would be as follows:

Part I: 1:2-2:7: Shulamite & Ladies of Court in conversation; they fail to understand her longing for her Absent Friend. (1:2-8) Solomon seeks to win the Shulamite’s Love. Her thoughts are elsewhere; she begs that there may be no attempt to excite and transfer her Affections. (1:9-2:7)
Part II: 2:8-3:5: Reminiscences of scenes from the past life of the Shulamite, when she was happy with her Beloved in her Northern home. She hopes that their separation may speedily end. (2:8-17) Dream, in which the Shulamite seems to go in search of her Lover. (3:1–5)
Part III: 3:6-5:8: Citizens of Jerusalem describe the Royal Pageant which is seen approaching; Solomon in his Palanquin, with his Crown of State. (3:6-11) Solomon seeks again to win the Shulamite’s Love, and praises her Beauty. (4:1-7) Shulamite and her Lover in real or ideal interview. (4:8-5:1) Second dream, in which the Maiden seeks her Beloved in vain throughout the city. (5:2-8)
Part IV: 5:9-8:4: Ladies in conversation with the Shulamite concerning her Shepherd-Lover. (5:9-6:3) King enters, & seeks again to win the Maiden’s Affection; but with less success than ever, as she declares her unswerving Love for the Absent One, and desire to be with him once more. (6:4-7:4)
Part V: 8:5-14: Shulamite approaches, leaning on her Lover’s arm. She recounts her history, her brother’s care for her welfare, her own purity and constancy; & the Poem closes with a brief Song expressive of the happiness of the pair reunited in their home among the hills. (8:5-14)

This may be described as the generally prevailing modern view of the poem. Some of the chief arguments which have led to its adoption in preference to the simpler and perhaps more spiritual interpretation previously described are these, First, the difficulty of supposing that Solomon could fill the various parts implied in such a hypothesis; appearing first as a shepherd in a country home, then as king in his palace, then returning again to the simplicity of country life and remaining in it. Secondly, the unlikelihood that a self-respecting maiden, with the feelings of pure affection expressed in the poem, could consent to be one in a royal harem consisting of many queens and concubines, as described in ch. vi. 8. Thirdly, the difference in language and tone observable in the addresses both of Solomon to the Shulamite, and of the Shulamite to her Beloved, make it difficult, if not impossible, to suppose that only two persons are concerned in them. One supposition introduced to relieve this difficulty, and make what has been called the “King-hypothesis” seem more probable than the “Shepherd-hypothesis,” implies an estrangement between Bride and Bridegroom almost on the morning after their marriage, and in ch. iv. 6 it would appear that the Bride proposes on her very wedding day to withdraw from the company of her husband……

We must close this part of our reflections of these Selections which could be extended to infinity. We return to Biblical Reflections with some fuller survey & observations to the Poetic Books.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.19

CBR.19: Psalms: III. Poetic Books: Job-Songs. mjmselim. July29, 2018
((Here are pages 375-486 of CBR, Chapter III, (in three submissions pages 375-402, CBR.18 (Job), 402-450 CBR.19 (Psalms), 450-486 CBR.20 (Proverbs-Song of Songs) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. This Chapter III & Part III will be added to the PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, along with the final pages of the Chapter in a few days. CBR. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018))

PSALMS: (Selections from various authors, writers, commentaries, &c.)

1: Tehellim: Tehilloth (Hallels (Praises), Tephilahs, Tefillahs, (Prayers), Sherim (Songs))
Psalter has from ancient times been divided into five books: Book I (Genesis): Psalms 1-42; Book II (Exodus): Psalms 43-72; Book III (Leviticus): Psalms 73-89; Book IV (Numbers): Psalms 90-106; Book V (Deuteronomy): Psalms 107-150.
Titles Descriptive of Character of Poem: Psalm. ‘Mizmor’, rendered ‘Psalm’, is a technical term found only in the titles of the Psalter. It is prefixed to 57 Psalms, and with few exceptions is preceded or followed by the name of the author, generally that of David.

2: A Guide to the Psalms by W. Graham Scroogie Published in 1995 by Kregel Publications; Originally published by F.H. Revell, 1978.(1948-1978, parts) Great collection of facts, details, charts, and tables of the Book of Psalms gathered from dozens of Books. (Along with his “Unfolding Drama of Redemption”, the Guide to the Psalms is very useful & helpful. The same recommendation is here given to Spurgeon’s Treasury of David which Scroogie utilized & enhanced.)

3: From: Introduction to the Psalter: “What the heart is in man, that the Psalter is in the Bible.” Joh. Abnd. (Biblical Commentary on the Psalms. v1. Franz Delitzsch, DD. Translated from German, latest edition & revised by the author, in 3 vols. by Rev., David Eaton. FBL, Ed, W R Nicoll.(1887))

I. Position of the Psalter among the Hagiographa, and more especially among the Poetical Books.
“The Psalter everywhere forms an integral portion of the so-called ‘Kethubim’ or ‘Hagiographa’. Its position among these, however, is somewhat variable. It seems to follow from Luke 24:44, that in pre-Talmudic times it opened that division of the Canon (see also 2nd Macc. 2:13; and Philo ‘Vita Contempl.). In the Hebrew MSS. of the German class the prevalent sequence of the books is really as follows: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, then the five Megilloth (Scrolls, Rolls); and this order has been followed in our common printed editions. The Masora, however, and the MSS. of the Spanish class begin the Kethubim with Chronicles, which they unskilfully separate from Ezra-Nehemiah, and then make the Psalms, Job, Proverbs, and the five Megilloth follow. And according to the Talmud (‘Bathra’,14b) the right sequence is as follows: Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs; the Book of Ruth precedes the Psalter as being its prologue, [but the Book of Job is a far better prologue and introduction to the Psalms & the Poetic Books;] for Ruth is the ancestress of him to whom the sacred lyric owes the era of its richest efflorescence.
That the Psalter should open the division of the ‘Kethubim’ is undoubtedly the most natural arrangement, if for no other reason than this, that in its nucleus it represents the time of David, just as Proverbs and Job represent the Chokma-literature of the time of Solomon [but if Job is pre-Mosaic, or Patriarchal with Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, then its proper place precedes the Psalter]. It is self evident, however, that it is only among the ‘Kethubim’ that it could find its proper place. The first place in the Canon is taken by the codex of the giving of the law. This codex is the foundation of the Old Covenant and of Israel’s nationality as well as of all its subsequent literature; it is the (Thorah, Torah), in contradistinction to which all the other sacred writings are reckoned (qabalah, kabbalah) (tradition resting on it). This fundamental five-fold book is followed by two series of historical writings, to which there is given the collective title (Nebiim, Nevi’im). The first of these two series consists of writings of a prophetical character that relate to the past, and bring down the history of Israel from the occupation of Canaan to the first dawning of light in the penal condition of the Babylonian exile (‘Prophetae priores’ (Early or Prior Prophets). The second series relates to the future; it consists of predictive writings composed by prophetical authors, which reach down to the time of Darius Nothus, and indeed to Nehemiah’s second stay in Jerusalem during the reign of that Persian monarch (‘Prophetae posteriores’ (Later or Posterior Prophets)). Regarded chronologically, the first series would correspond better with the second, if the historical books of the Persian period (Chronicles-Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther) had been joined to it; but for a good reason this was not done. The literature of Israel has struck out two sharply distinguished methods of writing history, viz. the annalistic and the prophetic, as types of which we may regard the Elohistic and Jehovistic methods in the Pentateuch and in Joshua. Now those historical books of the Persian period are annalistic, and not prophetic, in their character (although the Books of Chronicles have taken up and embodied many remnants of the prophetic method of writing history, just as, conversely, the Books of Kings have done with many remnants that are annalistic); they could not therefore be placed among the ‘Prophetae priores’. Only with Ruth the case is different. This short book bears such a close resemblance to the end of the Book of Judges (chaps, 17-21) that it might very well stand between it and Samuel. Its original position was behind the Book of Judges, just as the Lamentations of Jeremiah stood after the book of his prophecies; and it is only for liturgical reasons that both these books have been placed among the so-called Megilloth (Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes,and Esther, —the order in which they follow one another in our ordinary printed editions, according to the calendar of the festivals). It is self-evident that all the remaining books could be embraced only in the third division of the Canon, which (as could hardly have been otherwise in addition to (Thorah) and (Nebi’im)) received the general title of (Ketuvim, Kethubim); a title which, as the grandson of Ben-Sira renders it in his prologue (B.C. 132), signifies (ta alla patria biblia). This name is given to writings, and that too sacred writings (grapheia or hagiographa, to use an expression current, in the time of Epiphanius), upon which one can take one’s stand, and to which one can appeal with (k’k’tub) or (d’k’tib) (gegratai gar).1 Accordingly, although this title has not the same meaning, it has the same value as (k’t’bi qodesh); but it would be a mistake to regard it as equivalent to (ketubim baruch haqodesh); for the doctrine of three degrees of inspiration, according to which (baruch haqodesh) is the third degree, that, viz. which is associated with the greatest independent mental activity of the writer, cannot be traced further back than Maimonides (d.1204).
II. Names of the Psalter.
At the close of Psalm 72 we find (v. 20) the subscription: “‘the prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.'” Here the whole of the preceding Psalms are comprehended under the name (Tephilloth, Tefillot). This is surprising, for, with the exception of Ps.17 (and further on 86, 90, 102, 142), they are all otherwise entitled, and many, ‘e.g’. Pss. 1 and 2, contain no invocation of God, and therefore do not have the form of prayers. Nevertheless the collective name (Tephillah) is suitable to all the Psalms. The essential element in prayer is the direct and undiverted turning of the soul to God, the absorption of the spirit in thoughts of Him. All the Psalms participate in this, the essential element in prayer even those that are didactic, and such hymns as Hannah’s song of praise, which is introduced in 1st Sam. 2:1 with (watithpalel).
The external title borne by the Psalter is (Tehillim) (Sepher, Sefer), for which (Tillim) (apocopated Tilli) is also commonly used, as Hippolytus (‘ed. de Lagarde’, p. 188) testifies : (‘Hebraioi periegrapsan ton biblon Sephra Theleim’ (in Eusebius: Thallim, Tallim). This name also may surprise us; for the greater number of the Psalms are hardly hymns in the proper sense; most of them are elegiac or didactic, and only one (Ps.145) is directly entitled (Tehillah). But this collective name of the Psalms is also admissible; for they all participate in the essential nature of the hymn, viz. in that which is its real object, the glorifying of God. Those that are narrative praise the ‘magnalia Dei’; those that are plaintive praise Him likewise, inasmuch as they turn to Him as the sole helper, and close with the grateful assurance that they will be heard; and the verb includes both: the ‘magnificat’ and the ‘de profundis’. Instead of the dissimilate plural, (Tehillim) (if we may coin such a technical term), the language of the Masora prefers the most natural plural form of the noun, and throughout calls the Psalter (Sepher Tehilloth) (‘e.g’. on 2 Sam. 22:5). (In the Masora the Psalter is not called (Hallela ); only the so-called ‘Hallel’ [Hallels] (Ps.113-118) bears this name…)
In Syriac the Psalter is called ‘Kethobo demazmure’, in the Koran [Quran] ‘zabur’ (not ‘zubur’, as Golius and Freytag vocalize it), a word which in Arabic signifies nothing more than “writing” (synon. ‘kitab’ ; ‘vid’. on 3:1), but which is perhaps a corruption of ‘mizmor’, from which a plural, ‘mezamir’, which is found in Jewish-Oriental MSS., is formed by a change of vowels. A plural of ‘mizmor’ does not occur in the Old Testament. Even in the post-biblical ‘usus loquendi’ it is but seldom that either ‘mizmorim’ or ‘mizmoroth’ occurs as a name of the Psalms. In Hellenistic Greek the corresponding (Psalmoi) (> psallaein = zimmer) is so much the more common; the collection of the Psalms is called (Biblos Psalmön (Luke 20:42; Acts1:20) or (Psaltërion), the name of the stringed instrument (‘psanterin’ in the Book of Daniel) being metaphorically transferred to the hymns sung to its accompaniment. Psalms are songs for the lyre, and therefore lyric poems in the strictest sense.

X. Preliminary Theological Considerations.
The expositor of the Psalms may place himself either upon the standpoint of the poet, or upon that of the Old Testament community, or upon that of the Church. It is a fundamental condition of progress in exegesis that these three standpoints be kept separate, and that a distinction be accordingly drawn between the two Testaments [Delitzsch is very right!], and, in general, between the several stages [ages, dispensations, covenants, etc.] through which the revelation and the knowledge of redemption have passed. For not only redemption itself but also the revelation and the knowledge of it have had a progressive history, which reaches on from Paradise down through time into eternity. Redemption realises itself in a system of facts, in which God’s loving purpose to redeem sinful humanity is unfolded; and the revelation of redemption anticipates this gradual realization, in order at once to guarantee its Divine authorship, and to render its comprehension possible. In the Psalms there is presented to us more than half a millennium of this progressive realization, disclosure, and apprehension of redemption. And when we take into account the fact that one Psalm is dated from the time of Moses, and that the retrospective glances of the historical Psalms go back even to the age of the patriarchs, we may say that there is scarcely an occurrence that constituted an epoch in connection with the history of redemption, from the election of Abraham down to the new position assigned in the world to the post-exilic nation, which does not somehow or other find its expression in the Psalter. Nor is it merely facts external to it that re-echo in its lyrics; but seeing that David, next to Abraham [and Moses] undoubtedly the most significant religious character of the Old Testament, is its chief author, it is itself a direct, integral portion of the history of redemption. And it is also a source of information for the history of the revelation of redemption, inasmuch as it flowed not merely from the spirit of faith, but also at the same time largely from the spirit of prophecy; above all, however, it is our most important memorial of the progressive apprehension of the knowledge of redemption, seeing it shows how, between the giving of the law from Sinai, and the proclamation of the gospel from Sion, the final and essential redemption broke a path for itself in the consciousness and the spiritual life of the Jewish Church.
1. We shall consider, in the first place, ‘the relation of the Psalms to the prophecy of the coming Christ’. When the human beings, whom God had created, had ruined themselves by falling into sin, He did not abandon them to the doom of wrath which they had chosen for themselves, but visited them on the evening of that most unhappy day, in order to make that doom a disciplinary medium of His love. This visitation of Jahve-Elohim was the first step taken by Him in connection with the history of redemption towards the goal of the Incarnation; and the so-called ‘protevangelium’ was the laying of the first foundation of the verbal revelation of Himself by means of the law and the gospel a revelation which prepared the way, in accordance with the plan of redemption, towards this goal of the Incarnation and the restoration of humanity. The way of this redemption, which breaks a path for itself in history,” and at the same time also announces itself to the human consciousness, runs through the whole of Israel’s career; and the Psalms show us with what vital energy this seed-corn of words and deeds of divine love has unfolded itself in the hearts of believing Israelites. They bear the impress of the time, during which the preparation of the way of redemption was concentrated upon Isirael, and the hope of redemption had become a national hope; for after humanity [the Gentiles] had broken up into separate nationalities, redemption retired within the limits of a chosen people, in order that it might there come to maturity, and then, bursting these limits, become the possession of the whole human race. At that time the promise of the coming Mediator was in its third stage [after Adam-Noah & Abraham-Moses]. The prospect of victory over the power of temptation in the human race had been connected with the seed of the woman, the prospect of a blessing for all peoples, with that of the patriarch; in these days, however, when David became the creator of psalm-poetry to be used in divine worship, the promise had become Messianic [Dispensation of David-Messiah]; it pointed the hope of the faithful to the king of Israel, and in fact to David and his seed; redemption and glory, for Israel in the first place, and indirectly also for the Gentiles, were looked for through the mediatorial office of Jahve’s Anointed. The fact that among all the Davidic Psalms there is found but one (viz. Ps.110), in which, as in his last words (2 Sam. 23:1-7), he looks out into the future of his seed and has the Messiah objectively before him, is accounted for only by the circumstance, that up to this time he himself was the object of Messianic hope, and that it was only gradually, and more especially in consequence of his deep fall, that this hope was dissevered from him personally, and transferred to the future. Then when Solomon ascended the throne, the Messianic longings and hopes centred, as Ps. 72 shows, upon him; they applied to the one final Christ of God, but for a long time they clung enquiringly, and, on the ground of 2 Sam. 7, with perfect right, to the direct son of David. Even in Ps. 45, it is a descendant of David, contemporary with the Korahite singer, to whom the Messianic promise is applied as a marriage blessing, in the hope that it may be realised in him. But it soon became manifest that neither in this king, any more than in Solomon, had He jet appeared, who is the full realisation of the Messianic idea; and when, in the time of the later kings, the kingdom of David became more and more glaringly inconsistent with its sacred vocation, Messianic hope broke entirely with the present, which became merely the dark back-ground, from which the image of the Messiah, as being purely future, stood forth in relief. The (Ben-Dawid), around whom the prophecy of the period of the later kings revolves, and whom even Ps. 2 sets forth before the kings of the earth, in order that they may pay him homage, is (even supposing that the ( echrith) was expected to dawn immediately after the present) an eschatological person. In the mouth of the Old Testament Church even Pss. 45 and 132, seeing that their contents pointed to the future, have become Messianic in a prophetical or eschatological sense. It is surprising, however, that the number of such Psalms as are not merely typically Messianic is so small, and that the Church of the post-exilic period (We refer to the period immediately after the Exile; for towards the end of the Maccabaean period, Messianic hope broke ont afresh, as the Salomonic Psalter shows: its revival and declension are determined by the law of contrast.) has not enriched the Psalter with a single Psalm that is Messianic in the stricter sense. In the later portion of the Psalter, theocratic Psalms, as distinguished from those that are strictly Messianic, are more numerously represented. By theocratic Psalms we mean such as have to do, not with the kingdom of Jahve’s Anointed, which overcomes and blesses the world, not with the Christocracy, in which the theocracy attains the summit of its representation, but with the theocracy as such, completed both outwardly and inwardly in its self-manifestation, not with the Parousia of a human king [Man], but with the Parousia of Jahve Himself, with the kingdom of God revealed in all its glory. For the proclamation of redemption contained in the Old Testament runs on in two parallel lines: the one has as its termination the Anointed of Jahve, who rules over all nations from out of Zion, the other, the Lord Himself, sitting above the Cherubim, to whom the whole earth pays homage. These two lines do not meet in the Old Testament; it is the history of the fulfilment of prophecy that first makes it clear that the Parousia of the Anointed One and the Parousia of Jahve are one and the same. And of these two lines the divine is the one that predominates in the Psalms; the hope of the psalmists, more especially after the kingdom had ceased in Israel, is generally directed beyond the human mediation directly towards Jahve, the author of redemption. The fundamental article of Old Testament faith runs (Yeshu athah l’Yhwh) (3:9; Jon. 2:10). The Messiah is not yet recognised as a God-man. Accordingly the Psalms know neither of prayer to Him, nor of prayer in His name. But prayer to Jahve and for Jahve’s sake is essentially the same thing. For Jahve implies Jesus. Jahve is the Saviour. The Saviour, when He shall appear, is nothing else save the (Yeshu ah) of this God in a visible manifestation (Isa. 49:6).
As regards the divine-human goal of Old Testament history, we distinguish five classes of Psalms, which point to it. Since 2 Sam. 7 the promise of the Messiah is no longer connected with the tribe of Judah in general, but with David [House of David]; and it points not merely to the endless duration of his kingdom, but also to one scion of his house, in whom the divinely appointed destiny of his seed to be a blessing, first to Israel, and thence to all the nations of the world, is to be fully realised, and without whom, therefore, the Davidic kingdom would be a headless trunk. Psalms in which the poet, looking beyond his own age, comforts himself with the vision of this king, in whom the promise is finally fulfilled, we call ‘Messianic in an eschatological’ and indeed ‘directly eschatological’ sense. Such Psalms do not merely base themselves upon the word of prophecy that was already in existence, but even carry it still further; it is only by means of their lyrical form that they are distinguished from prophecy in the strictest sense; for prophecy is a proclamation, and the Psalms are spiritual songs.
The Messianic purport of the Psalms, however, is not limited to the element of strict prediction, to which the future becomes objective. Just as natural life presents a series of stages [ages, periods, decades, generations, etc.], in which the lower stage of existence points preformatively to that which is next in order above it, and indirectly to that which is highest, so that, ‘e. g’, in the globular form of a drop there is announced the striving after organism, as it were, in the simplest fugitive outline, so the progress of history, and more especially of the history of redemption, is also typical; and the life of David, not only as a whole, but also most surprisingly even in individual traits, is a ‘raticinium [ratiocinium] reale’ [real reason] of the life of Him, whom prophecy regards as David [the Beloved] raised up again as it were in a glorified form, and whom it therefore directly names (Obedi Dawid = My Servant David) (Ezek. 34:23 f.; 37:24 f.) and (Dawid Malkam = David their King) (Hos. 3:5; Jer. 30:9). Such Psalms, in which David himself (or even a poet putting himself into David’s position and mood [prophetic identification & association]) gives lyrical utterance to typical critical events in his life, we call ‘typico-Messianic’ Psalms. To this class, however, there belong not only such as have David, directly or indirectly, for their subject; for the path of suffering which was trodden by all the Old Testament saints in general, and more especially by the prophets in the fulfilment of their calling (‘vid’. on 34:20 f.; and Ps. 69), has become in a certain sense a (tupos tou mellontos). All these Psalms, not less than those of the first class, may be cited in the New Testament with (hina plëröthë ); only with this difference, that in the former it is the prophetic word, in the latter the prophetic history, that is fulfilled. The older theologians, especially the Lutheran, oppose the assumption that there are such typological citations of the Old Testament in the New; (The 5th Ecumenical Council also denied it, when it condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia’s typical interpretation of Pss. 16, 22, & 69.) they had not yet attained to the organic view of history [the dispensational view] granted to our age, and were therefore also without the true counterpoise to their rigid theory of inspiration.
There is, however, also a class of Psalms, which we call Messianic in a ‘typico-prophetical’ sense. These are Psalms in which David, when describing experiences of his [the] inner and outer life which were already typical in themselves, is raised above the limits of his own individuality and time, and uses regarding himself hyperbolical expressions, which were not to become full historical truth until they became so in Christ. [Add to this is the experiences of others, such as Joseph & Job, who give grounds for reflection and analogy to the poet and to reader or future generations.] Such Psalms are typical, inasmuch as their contents are rooted in the individual, but typical history of David; at the same time, however, they are prophetical, in asmuch as they give expression to that which is present and individual in complaints, hopes and descriptions that point far beyond the present, and are first fulfilled in Christ. The psychological possibility of such Psalms has been called in question; with the same injustice, however, as it was objected to Kant, on account of his distinction between an intelligible and a sensible Ego, that he posited two subjects in one personality. The mystery of these Psalms is at bottom the mystery of all poetry. The genuine lyric poet does not give a mere copy of the impressions of his empirical Ego; an ideal Ego, as Vinet says somewhere [in his Outlines of Theology, and other writings, 2nd Section, Chap. 1.II ‘Different Elements of Christianity’], overhears, as it were, this empirical Ego; it is this second soul that makes the poet. Now, just as the poet does not form a mere cast of his impressions, but idealises them, i.e. seizes them by the root of their idea, and stripping off and abstracting all that is adventitious and unimportant lifts them up into the region of the ideal, so David also in these Psalms idealises his [and others] experiences and anticipations. The natural result of this is, that these are reduced to that in them which is essentially typical; he does this, however, not in a condition of poetical self-stimulation, but as moved by the Spirit of God; and this has the further consequence, that the lifting up of his experiences into the region of the ideal is at the same time a lifting of them up into the region of the antitype; in other words, the statement of his [the] typical fortunes and the corresponding moods has assumed the form of a predictive statement of the fortunes and moods of his antitype. (To en autö pneuma Christou (1st Pet. 1:11) —this is the soul of his ideal Ego; this is his “second soul.”
Besides these three classes of Messianic Psalms, we may regard such Psalms as the forty-fifth and the seventy-second as forming a fourth class of ‘indirectly eschatologico-Messianic’ Psalms. These are Psalms in which, in keeping with the circumstances of the time at which they were composed, Messianic hopes were centred upon a contemporary king, without, however, having been fulfilled in him; so that in the mouth of the Church, which was still waiting for their final fulfilment, they have become eschatological hymns, and we are perfectly justified in interpreting them ‘as such’, as well as in their bearing upon their own time.
A fifth class is formed by the ‘eschatologico-Jehocistic’ Psalms. These concern themselves with the Parousia of Jahve, and with the consummation of His kingdom that is being gradually brought about by means of judgment (‘vid’. Ps. 93). The number of these Psalms preponderates in the Psalter. They contain the other premise for the divine-human end of the history of redemption. Lightning-like illuminations of this end are to be found in the prophets. But it is reserved to history itself to draw the final conclusions of the ‘unio personalis’ from these human and divine premises. The Redeemer, to whom the faith of the Old Testament betook itself, is Jahve. Its hope was centred, not in the human, but in the Divine King. That the Redeemer, when He should appear, would be God and man in one person, was an idea foreign to the consciousness of the Old Testament Church. And it is only in individual rays that the knowledge, that He would be sacrifice and priest in one person, breaks in upon the Old Testament darkness, the pole star of which is (YHWH) and only (YHWH).
2. When we turn now, in the second place, to consider the ‘relation of the Psalms to the legal sacrifices’, we find that this also is different from what we, looking at the matter from the standpoint of fulfilment, would naturally expect. It is true there are not wanting passages, in which the offering of the outward, legal sacrifice is recognised as a taking part in religious worship on the part of the individual and the Church (66:15; 51:21); but those passages are more numerous, in which the external sacrifice is compared so disparagingly with the (logikë latreia), that, no regard being had to its divine appointment, it appears as something not really desired by God at all, as a shell that should be cast away, as a form that should be broken in pieces (40:I f.; 50; 51:18 f.). It is not this, however, that surprises us. This is the very point, wherein the Psalms contribute their share towards the progress of the history of redemption; it as the process of writing the law upon the heart, commenced already in Deuteronomy [and before that in Genesis], that is continued here upon the ground of the memorable word of Samuel (1 Sam.15:22 f.); it is the gradually waxing spirit of the New Testament, that in this and in other respects in the Psalter is breaking down the legal barriers, and stripping off the (stoicheia tou kosmou), as a butterfly casts off its chrysalis. But what is put in the place of the sacrifices that are criticised so disparagingly? Contrition of heart, prayer, thankfulness, self-surrender to God in the doing of His will; just as in Prov. 21:3, doing justly; in Hos. 6:6, kindness; in Mic. 6:6-8, doing justly, love, humility; and in Jer. 7:21-23, obedience. This is what is surprising. The sacrifice that is depreciated is looked upon merely as a symbol, not as a type; it is regarded only ethically, not in its connection with the history of redemption; it is only so far as it is a gift to God (qorban), not so far as the gift is appointed to be an expiation (kapparah), that its character is brought out; —in one word, the mystery of the blood remains undisclosed. In a case, where the New Testament consciousness must think of sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ, mention is made (51:9) of the sprinkling that formed part of the legal ritual for the cleansing and putting away of sin; but although the language is plainly figurative, there is no explanation of the figure. Whence comes this? —Because, speaking generally, the sacrifice of blood, as such, remains a question in the Old Testament, to which almost only Isa. 53 (in addition to Zech.12:10 and 13:7) gives a plain answer that is in keeping with the historical fulfilment. It is in such late prophetic words as these, that the delineation of the Passion and the self-sacrifice of Christ first becomes the subject of direct prediction; and it is the history of the fulfilment given in the Gospels that first shows, how closely in keeping with the Anti-type was the form that the Spirit, which spoke through David in his passion Psalms, gave to the utterances of the type regarding himself. In regard to reconciliation as well as redemption in general, the believing confidence of the Old Testament, as it expresses itself in the Psalms, rested upon Jahve. He is not only the Saviour, but also the Reconciler (mekapper), from whom propitiation is entreated and hoped for (79:9; 65:4; 78:38; 85:3, etc.). At the end of the way which He took through history to redemption Jahve is indeed God in Christ, and the blood that was given by Him as a typical means of propitiation (Lev. 17:11) is, in the Anti-type, that of the God-man, and so far His own (Acts 20:28).
3. Advancing from this point, we shall now, in the third place, look at the ‘relation in which the Psalms stand to the New Testament righteousness of faith, and to the New Testament morality that flows from the fundamental law of all-embracing love’. With respect both to the idea of reconciliation and of redemption, the Psalms undergo a metamorphosis in the consciousness of the praying New Testament Church, a metamorphosis rendered possible by the unfolding and specialising of redemption that have taken place since they were written, and with which they fit in without constraint. Only in two points does it seem difficult to make the precatory contents of the Psalms amalgamate with the Christian consciousness. The one of these is the ethical self-consciousness, bordering upon self-righteousness, that frequently as serts itself before God in the Psalms [as it did in Job]; the other is the jealous wrath against enemies and persecutors that discharges itself in fearful imprecations. The self-righteousness, it is true, is only in appearance; for the righteousness to which the psalmists appeal is not the merit of works, not a sum of good deeds, that are recounted to God with a claim for reward, but a bending of the will and a shaping of the life, that is in accordance with the mind of God, that has its roots in the emptying of self and in the surrendering of one’s self to Him, and that looks upon itself as the result of His justifying, sanctifying, preserving and guiding grace (73:25 f.; 25:5-7; 19:14; etc.). Nor is there wanting an acknowledgment that the basis of our nature is inherently sinful (51:7), that apart from God’s grace man is justly liable to be condemned before Him (143:2), that the sins even of the converted are many and to a great extent unknown to himself (19:3), that forgiveness of sins is the indispensable condition of blessedness (32:1 f.), that a new and divinely created heart is an absolute necessity (51:12) -there is an acknowledgment, in short, that the way of salvation consists in penitence, forgiveness and renewal. On the other hand, however, it is no less true that, in the light of the vicarious satisfaction of Christ and of the Spirit of regeneration, there is rendered possible an ethical self-criticism which cuts far more deeply and distinguishes far more precisely; that the tribulation, which befalls the New Testament believer, while it does not indeed excite in him the same keen sense of the wrath of God which is so frequently expressed in the Psalms, nevertheless, in view of the cross upon Golgotha and the heaven opened to him, sinks deeper into his inmost heart, seeing it now appears to him as an appointment of chastening, proving and preparing love; and that, now the righteousness of God, which makes over our unrighteousness, and which is accounted a gift of grace even by the Old Testament consciousness, is presented for our believing appropriation as a righteousness that has been worked out historically through the active and passive obedience of Jesus, the dissimilarity as well as the reciprocal conditionality of the righteousness of faith and the righteousness of life has become a fact of the inner life that is far more clearly recognised and is fraught with more important consequences. (Cf. Kurz [Kurtz], Zur Theologie der Psalmen, iii.: Die Selbst-gerechtigkeit der Psalm-sanger in the Dorpater Zeitschrift, 1865, 352-358. (Compare: History of the Old Covenant from the German of J.H. Kurtz translated & edited by Alfred Edersheim & James Martin (1859), and Edersheim’s Bible History Old Testament (1876-87.1890).) “The righteousness of faith set forth in the Old Testament, and represented by the evangelium visibile of the ritual of sacrifice, has not yet attained the fundamental and primary position assigned to it in the New Testament, and more especially by Paul. Its position is rather secondary and auxiliary; justification does not present itself to the consciousness as a condition of the sanctification that is to be striven after, but only as a complement of the defects that adhere to the sanctification that has been inadequately attained.”) Nevertheless it is not impossible to translate even such self-testimonies as 17:1-5 into the language of the New Testament consciousness [experience & reality]; for they do not hinder the latter when using them from thinking especially of the righteousness of faith, of the divine deeds that are sacramentally applied, and of the life of regeneration that asserts itself victoriously in the midst of the old every-day life. By means of them the Christian must also feel himself earnestly exhorted to self-examination, to see whether his faith is actually manifesting itself as the productive power of a new life; and here too the difference between the two Testaments loses its harshness in view of the great truths  condemnatory of all moral shallowness that the Church of Christ is a Church of saints, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin, and that he who is born of God does not sin.
As regards the so-called imprecatory Psalms, however, it is certainly true that, in the attitude of the Christian and the Church to the enemies of Christ, the longing for their removal is outweighed by the longing for their conversion. On the assumption, however, that they will not be converted, and will not anticipate the penal judgment by repenting, the passing over of the jealousy of love into that of anger is justified also in the New Testament (‘e. g’. Gal. 5:12); and on the assumption that their devilish obduracy has become absolute, even the Christian need not shrink from praying for their ultimate overthrow. For the kingdom of God does not come only by the way of grace, but also by the way of judgment; the coming of God’s kingdom is what is longed for by the suppliant of the Old Testament as well as of the New ‘vid’. 9:21, 59:14, etc.); and in the Psalms also every imprecation of judgment upon those, who set themselves to oppose the coming of this kingdom, is made upon the assumption of their persistent impenitence (‘vid’. 7:13 f.; 109:17). Where, however, as in Pss. 69 and 109, the imprecations enter into the most minute details, and extend to the descendants of the unhappy mortal and even to eternity, there is no other justification of them than that they have proceeded from a prophetic spirit; and they cannot be appropriated by the Christian in any other sense, than that, as he uses them in prayer, he ascribes glory to the righteousness of God, and commends himself the more earnestly to His grace.
4. ‘The relation of the Psalms’, in the fourth place, ‘to the last things’ is also such that, in order to their becoming an expression in prayer of the faith of the New Testament, they need to be deepened and adjusted. For what Julius Africanus says regarding the Old Testament: (oudepö dedoto elpis anastaseös saphës) is true at least of the time previous to Isaiah. In one of his latest cycles of apocalyptic prophecies (c. 24-27) Isaiah first foretells the first resurrection, i.e. the resuscitation of the company of martyrs that have fallen a prey to death (26:19), as well as, with enlarged field of vision, the cessation altogether of death (25:8); the Book of Daniel, that Apocalypse of the Old Testament sealed until the time of fulfilment, first predicts the general resurrection, i.e. the awakening of some to life and of others to judgment (12:2); between these two prophecies stands Ezekiel’s vision of the bringing of Israel out of the Exile under the figure of a creative reanimating of a large field of dead bodies (c. 37) —a figure, which at least presupposes that, to the wonder-working power of God’s faithfulness to His promise, that which it represents is not impossible. But even in the latest Psalms the knowledge of redemption nowhere shows itself as yet so far advanced that these prophetic words regarding the resurrection could have been transformed into a dogmatic, integral portion of the Church’s faith; the hope that the scattered bones will spring up again ventures to suggest itself at first only in a bold figure (141:7); the hopeless darkness of Sheol is not rolled away (6:6; 30:10; 88:11-13); where mention is made of deliverance from death and Hades, what is meant is the preservation, already experienced (e.g.86:13) or hoped for (e.g.118:17), of the living from their attack; and there are other passages alongside of these, which declare the impossibility of escaping from this universal human fate (89:49). On the other hand, there are also passages in the Psalms, in which the hope, not to fall a prey to death, is expressed in so absolute a manner, that the thought of this unavoidable destiny is swallowed up entirely by the assurance of life in the strength of God the living One (66:14, and especially 16:9-11); others in which the gracious fellowship with Jahve is set over against this temporal life and its possessions (17:14 f.; 63:4) in such a manner, that there naturally results the antithesis of a life that transcends time and extends beyond this transitory state of existence; others in which the destiny of the godless is contrasted with that of the righteous as dying with living, defeat with triumph (49:15), so that the conclusion is inevitably suggested that the former die, although they seem to live for ever, while the latter live for ever, although they die; and others in which the psalmist seems to anticipate that, instead of having to fall a prey to death and Hades, he will be translated to God’s presence somewhat after the manner of Enoch and Elijah (49:16; 73:24). But nowhere do we find in the Psalms an article of faith that was generally received; we merely see how faith in a future life has striven to penetrate the gloom, at first only as an individual conclusion drawn from premises that were experimentally certain to the believing consciousness; and far from the grave and Hades being deprived of their power by an explicit knowledge of a better future, they have rather only vanished momentarily, as it were, before the ecstatic feeling of a life derived from God, a feeling which disregards them, and have not therefore as yet been actually and permanently overcome. For the very same reason there is not to be found in the Psalms any more than in the Book of Job a perfectly satisfactory theodicy in respect of such a distribution of lots on this side the grave as seems incompatible with God’s righteousness. Pss. 7; 49; and 73. no doubt approximate to the right solution; but even the solution given in them is still but an anticipation and a suggestion.
Nevertheless there is nothing clearly revealed in the New Testament which was not already stirring in the Psalms. For in the view of the psalmists death and life are such radical notions (notions, that is to say, apprehended by them as rooted in the principles of divine wrath and divine love), that it is easy for New Testament faith, to which they have been fully disclosed even to their background in hell and heaven, to adjust and deepen all the utterances in the Psalms that refer to them. It is by no means contrary to the mind of the psalmist, if in such passages as 6:6 the New Testament suppliant substitutes Gehenna for Hades; for the psalmists dread Hades only as being the realm of wrath or of separation from God’s love, which is the true life of men. Nor is it contrary to the mind of the poets to think in 17:15 of the future beholding of the face of God in all His glory, and in 49:15 of the resurrection morning; for the hopes that are expressed there in a spiritually exalted condition of soul are really, so far as regards their truly satisfying fulfilment, hopes that belong to the future life. As Oetinger says, there is no essential New Testament truth that is not contained in the Psalms, if not (noi) (in its unfolded sense), at least (pneumati). The Old Testament harrier already encompasses the gradually developing life of the New Testament, which is one day to break through it. The eschatology of the Old Testament leaves a dark background, which is laid out, as it were, to be divided by the New Testament revelation into light and darkness, and to be lit up into a wide perspective that extends into the eternity that lies beyond time. Wherever it begins to dawn in the eschatological darkness of the Old Testament, it is already the first morning rays of the sunrise of the New, that is thus announcing itself. In this respect also the Christian cannot refrain from disregarding the barrier of the psalmists, and understanding the Psalms according to the mind of the Spirit, who, even during the development of redemption and of the knowledge of it, kept the goal and the consummation steadily in view. Thus understood the Psalms are hymns of the Israel of the New Testament no less than of that of the Old.
The Church, when it uses the language of the Psalms as supplications, celebrates the unity of the two Testaments, and science, when expounding them, does honour to the distinction between the Old and the New. They are both in the right: the former in regarding the Psalms in the light of the one essential salvation, the latter in keeping apart the sacred eras, and the various stages through which the knowledge of salvation has passed.

     His comment on Psalm 1:1: “The collection of the Psalms and that of the prophecies of Isaiah resemble one another in this, that the latter begins with a discourse, the former with a Psalm, neither of which has a title, but which open the two collections after the manner of prologues. From Acts 13:33, where the words, “Thou art my Son …” are quoted as being found (en tö prötö psalmö), we perceive that in very early times Ps. 1 was regarded as a prologue to the collection. The reading, (en tö prötö psalmö tö deuterö), which was already rejected by Griesbach, is an old correction. But that way of counting rests upon tradition. A scholium from Origen and Eusebius says regarding Pss. 1 and 2 : (en tö Hebraikö sunnëmenoi). So also Apollinaris: “(Epigraphs ho psalmos heurethë dicha, Hënömenos de tois par’ Hebraiois stichois). For it is an old Jewish view, as Albertus Magnus remarks: ‘Psalmus primus incipit a beatitudine et terminatur in beatitudinem, i.e. it begins with (’asheri) (1:1) and ends with (’asheri) (2:12), so that, as is said in ‘Berachoth’, 9.b (cf.j. ‘Taanith’, 2:2), Pss. 1 and 2 consequently form one whole (chda parshh). This was certainly not the original state of the case. No doubt Pss. 1 and 2 coincide in several respects (there (yhnh), here (yhnu); there (wdwd…t’bd), here (wthabdu); there (’ashri) at the beginning, here at the end); but these phraseological coincidences do not warrant us to conclude (with Hitzig) that both were composed by the same author, and still less that they were originally members of but one whole. The two anonymous hymns belong together only so far as the one is fitted to form the proem of the Psalter from its ethical, the other from its prophetical side. It is questionable, however, if even this was present to the mind of the compiler. It is possible that it was simply because of these coincidences that Ps. 2 was attached to Ps.1; the latter is the real prologue of the Psalter, which is arranged in the form of a Pentateuch after the pattern of the Thora. For the Psalter is Yea and Amen in hymns to the divine word of the Thora. For this reason it begins with a Psalm which contrasts the destiny of the lover of the Thora with that of the godless, —an echo of the exhortation (Josh.1:8) in which, after the death of Moses, Jahve commends the book of the Thora to his successor, Joshua. Just as the New Testament Sermon on the Mount, seeing it is a proclamation of the engrafted law, begins with (makarioi), so the Old Testament Psalter, which aims from first to last at this engrafting, begins with (’ashri). The first book of Psalms begins with two ‘aschres’ (1:1; 2:12) and ends with two ‘aschres’ (40:5; 41:2). A whole series of Psalms begins with (’ashri)) (Pss. 32; 41; 112; 119; 128) ; although we must not on that account assume that there was a special kind of ‘Aschre’ Psalms; for Ps. 32 ‘e. g’. is a (miskil), Ps. 112 a ‘Hallelujah’, Ps. 128 a (Shut haM‘aluth).”

4: Acrostic & Peculiar Psalms:
Acrostic AlphaBet Psalms: Aleph-Tau, 22 Hebrew Letters.
Psalms: 9,10,37: 2 verses for each of the 22 Hebrew Letters
Psalms: 25,34: 1 verse each letter
Psalms: 111,112: ½ verse each letter
Psalm 119: 8 verses each letter (8×22=176)
Psalm 145: 1 verse each letter (#14, Nun, is missing)
Additional acrostics chapters can be found in Lamentations & Proverbs. In Esther the TetraGrammaton (YHWH) haShem (The Name) or Shem haMeforash (The Special Name) occurs 4 times as hidden acrostics.
Psalms are verbally or literally repeated whole or in part, and may words & phrases are found in other portions of the Old Testament: Psalms: 15 & 53; 18 & 2nd Sam. 22; 36 & 57; 40 & 70; 57 & 108; 60 & 108; and various verses in Psalms 135 &144. Compare variations of Psalms 71, 86, 135, & 144, with other Psalms 5-6, 9, 17, 22, 25-28, 31, 35, 40, 54-57, 72, 77, 116, & 130.

5: From: Biblical Companion, Introduction to Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures, &c by William Carpenter (1836)

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books.
3. Another thing demanding attention in reading the poetical parts of the sacred writings, is the change of persons, which often occurs without the least intimation being given by the writer. This is occasioned in many cases by the form of composition —dialogue, or a kind of dramatic ode— in which there are different characters introduced, sustaining their respective parts. This observation applies more particularly to the book of Psalms, to the remarks on which the reader is referred.

Section II . Book of Psalms:
3. In these Compositions we are presented with every variety of Hebrew poetry. Some of them were prepared for particular solemnities in the Jewish worship; others appear to have been designed generally to celebrate the glorious perfections of God; and a few to have been drawn forth by the peculiar circumstances or experience of the inspired writers [and of others]. They abound in the most impressive and consoling predictions. One greater than David is continually presenting Himself, even Christ the Redeemer. Divine inspiration so guided the Psalmist, that in many instances his words, at the same time that they referred with sufficient precision to the circumstances of his own life, prefigured, in terms the most accurate and sublime, the humiliation, the sufferings, the triumphant resurrection, and the universal and eternal kingdom of the Messiah. Dr. Horsley has considered the greater part of the Psalms as a kind of dramatic ode, consisting of dialogues between certain persons, sustaining certain characters, as the priests, Levites, singers, &c. “The other persons introduced are Jehovah, sometimes as one, sometimes as another, of the Three Persons: Christ, in His incarnate state, is personated sometimes as a Priest, some times as a King, sometimes as a Conqueror.”: And in these reciprocations and divisions of parts, we discern, according to Dr. Lowth, the immediate cause of the disposition of the verse into equal strophes or stanzas [or lines], and why these consisted for the most part of distichs, in a sort of parallelism to each other, the last line responding to the first, and seconding, educing, and enforcing the sense. A recent writer has very materially extended this doctrine of parallelism, and, by an arrangement of several of the Psalms, has succeeded in showing that each one is a complete parallelism, either of the alternate or the introverted kind. In some cases, the parallelism will be found to depend on a correspondence of the topic; sometimes on an agreement of the person: but whatever form the Composition may assume, it will be found susceptible of great elucidation by the arrangement of the parallelism.” (See Boys’s Key to the Book of Psalms.)

5: Psalms in Order of Chronology: The following arrangement from the Scripture Magazine,(Vol. iii. pp. 296,297.) is chiefly compiled from Mr. Townsend’s Historical and Chronological Arrangement of the Old Testament.

Psalms: Numbers. Authors. (Probable Occasions.) Passage Connexions. (Date B. C.)
88….Heman. (Affliction of Israel in Egypt.) Exod. 2:25. (1531)
90….Moses. (Shortening of man’s life.) Numb. 14:45. (1489)
9……David. (Victory over Goliath.) 1st Sam. 18:4. (1063)
11….David. (Advised to flee to mountains. 1st Sam. 19:3. (1062)
59….David. (Saul’s soldiers surrounding town.)1st Sam.19:17. (1062)
56….David. (With Philistines at Gath.) 1st Sam. 21:15. (1062)
34….David. (Leaving city of Gath.) 1st Sam. 21:15. (1062)
142..David. (In cave of Adullam.) 1st Sam. 22:1. (1062)
17….David. (Priests murdered by Doeg.) 1st Sam. 22:19. (1062)
52….David} 109; 35; 140. (Persecution by Doeg) 1st Sam. 22:19. (1062)
64….David} 31. (Persecution by Saul.) 1st Sam. 23:12. (1061)
54….David. (Treachery of Ziphites.) 1st Sam. 23:23. (1061)
57….David} 58. (Refusal to kill Saul.) 1st Sam. 24:22. (1061)
63….David. (Wilderness of Engedi.) 1st Sam. 24:22. (1061)
141..David. (Driven out of Judea.) 1st Sam. 27:1. (1058)
139..David. (King of all Israel.) 1st Chron. 12:4. (1048)
68….David. (First removal of Ark.) 2nd Sam. 6:11. (1042)
132..David. (Second removal of Ark.) 1st Chron. 15:4. (1042)
105..David} 106; 96. (Ark taken from Obed-Edom’s.) 1st Chron. 16:43. (1042)
2……David} 45; 22; 16; 118; 110. (Nathan’s prophetic address.) 1 Chron.17:27. (1042)
60….David} 108. (Conquest of Edom by Joab.) 1st Kings xi. 20. 1040
20….David} 21. (War with Ammonites & Syrians.) 2nd Sam. 10:19. (1036)
51….David.. (Confession of adultery & murder.) 2nd Sam. 12:15. (1034)
32….David} 33; 103. (Pardon & thanksgiving.) 2nd Sam. 12:15. (1034)
3……David. (His flight from Absalom.) 2nd Sam. 15:29. (1023)
7……David. (Reproaches of Shimei.) 2nd Sam. 16:14. (1023)
42….David} 43; 55; 4; 5; 62; 143; 144; 70; 71. (By Jordan, from Absalom.) 2nd Sam.17:29. (1023)
18….David. (Conclusion of his wars.) 2nd Sam. 22:51. (1019)
30….David. (Dedication of Araunah’s threshing-floor.)1st Chron. 21:30. (1017)
91….David. (After his advice to Solomon.) 1st Chron. 28:10. (1015)
145..David. (Review of his past life.) 1st Chron. 28:10. (1015)
40….David} 41.61. 65. 69.78. (Dates & occasions unknown.) 1st Chron. 17:21. (1015)
6……David} 8; 19; 12; 23; 24; 28; 29; 38; 39; 86; 95; (After accession.) 1st Chron. 28:21. (1015)
101..David} 104; 120; 121; 122; 124; 131; 133. (After accession.) 1st Chron. 28:21. (1015)
72….David. (Coronation of Solomon.) 1st Chron. 29:19. (1015)
47….Solomon} 97-100. (Ark removed into Temple.) 2nd Chron. 7:10. (1004)
135..Solomon} 136. (Dedication of Solomon’s Temple.) 2nd Chron. 7:10. (1004)
82….Asaph & others} 115; 46. (Reign of Jehoshaphat.) 2nd Chron. 20:26. (896)
44….Hezekiah. (Blasphemous message of Rabshakeh.) 2nd Kings 19:7. (710)
73….Asaph} 75; 76. (Destruction of Sennacherib’s army.) 2nd Kings 19:19. (710)
79….Asaph} 74.83. 94. (Burning of Temple at Jerusalem.) Jer. 39:10. (588)
137..Asaph & Ethan & others} 130; 80; 77; 37; 67; (Babylonian Captivity.) Dan. 7:28. (541-538)
53….Asaph & Ethan & others} 49; 50; 10; 13-15; 25. (Babylonian Captivity.) Dan. 7:28. (541-538)
26….Asaph & Ethan & others} 27; 36; 89; 92-93; 123. (Babylonian Captivity.) Dan. 7:28. (541-538)
102..Daniel. (Near close of Captivity.) Dan. 9:27. (538)
126..Sons of Korah} 85. (Cyrus’s decree for restoring the Jews.) Ezra 1:4. (536)
107..Various} 87; 111-113. (Israel’s return from Captivity.) Ezra 3:7 (536)
114..Various} 116; 117; 125; 127. (Israel’s return from Captivity.) Ezra 3:7. (536)
128..Various} 134. (Israel’s return from Captivity.) Ezra 3:7 (536)
84….Sons of Korah} 66. (Foundation of second Temple.) Ezra 3:13. (535)
129..Ezra or Nehem. (Opposition of the Samaritans.) Ezra 4:24. (534)
138..Haggai or Zech.(Rebuilding of Temple.) Ezra 6:13. (519)
48….Various} 81; 146-150. (Dedication of second Temple.) Zech. 8:23. (519)
1……Ezra} 119. (Manual of devotion.) Neh.13:3. (444)

6: From: Book of Psalms, Introduction & Notes. Bk1,Psalms1-41. A F Kirkpatrick,DD. Cambridge Bible Commentary for Schools and Colleges 1901:

1. Psalter has from ancient times been divided into 5 Books: Book I (Genesis): Psalms 1-42; Book II (Exodus): Psalms 43-72; Book III (Leviticus): Psalms 73-89; Book IV (Numbers): Psalms 90-106; Book V (Deuteronomy): Psalms 107-150.

2. Titles Descriptive of Character of Poem:
Psalm: ‘Mizmor’, rendered ‘Psalm’, technical term found only in Titles of Psalter. It is prefixed to 57 Psalms, & with few exceptions is preceded or followed by the name of the author, generally that of David. Verb from which ‘mizmor’ is derived occurs frequently in Psalter but rarely elsewhere. It appears originally to have meant ‘to make melody’, like the Lat. ‘canere’, but came to be applied specially to instrumental music, as distinguished from vocal music. ‘Mizmor’ then means ‘a piece of music’, a song with instrumental accompaniment.
Song: ‘Shir’, rendered ‘song’, is the general term for a song or canticle. It occurs 30 times in Titles, generally preceded or followed by ‘mizmor’, & not unfrequently in Text of Psalms, & in other Books. It is applied to secular as well as sacred songs.
Maschil: is found as Title of 13 Psalms, 11 of which are in Books II & III. Meaning is obscure.
Michtam: occurs in the Title of 6 Psalms, preceded or followed by ‘of David’. It is probably, like ‘Maschil’, Musical Term, meaning of which cannot now be determined.
Shiggaion: occurs in Title of Psalm 7, & Prayer of Habakkuk is said to be ‘set to Shigionoth’. Word is derived from verb which means ‘to wander’.
Prayer: stands as the title of five Psalms. In Subscription to Psalm 72 preceding collection of Davidic Psalms is designated as ‘Prayers of David’. Hab. 3 is called Prayer of Habakkuk.
Praise: is Title of one Psalm only (145), though ‘Praises’ came eventually to be the title of the whole book.

3. ‘Titles connected with Musical Setting or Performance’:
To Chief Musician: R.V. For Chief Musician: perhaps rather Of Precentor: is prefixed to 55 Psalms, of which only 2 are anonymous, and most bear the name of David. 52 of these are in Books I-III, & 3 in Book V. It is found also in the Subscription to Habakkuk’s Prayer. Verb, of which the word is a participle, is used in Chronicles & Ezra in sense of ‘superintending’, and in 1st Chr.15:21 in the specific sense of ‘leading’ (R.V.) music. There can be little doubt that the word ‘m’naeach’ means ‘precentor’, or ‘conductor’ of Temple Choir, who trained Choir & led Music, & refers to use of Psalm in Temple Services. It seems to have been Term belonging to older Collection, which went out of use in later times. At any rate Translators of LXX did not understand its meaning.
Selah: This Term, though not belonging to the Titles, may conveniently be discussed here. Word is found 71 times in Psalter in 39 Psalms, 3 times in Habakkuk 3, & nowhere else in the O.T. In 16 Psalms it occurs once; in 15 twice; in 7 (and in Hab. 3) 3 times: in 1, 4 times. Of these Psalms 9 are in Book I: 17 in Book II: 11 in Book III; none in Book IV: 2 only in Book V. It is to be further noted that all these Psalms, with exception of anonymous 66 & 67, bear name of David or of Levitical singers (the sons of Korah, Asaph, Heman, Ethan); & all bear indications of being intended to be set to music. Majority of them (28 of the 39: cp. Hab. 3:19) have, ‘For Chief Musician’ in Title, frequently with further specification of the instruments or melody. Of the remaining 11, 8 are designated ‘mizmor’, ‘psalm,’ 2 ‘maschil’, & 1 ‘shiggaion’. It may fairly be inferred from these facts that Selah is a technical term of great antiquity, having reference to musical accompaniment. Its precise meaning, however, is quite uncertain. Explanation given in Oxford Hebrew Lexicon, p. 699, also deserves consideration.
Higgaion: occurs in 9. 16 along with Selah as Musical Direction, & in Text of 92:3, ‘with ‘higgaion’ upon harp.’ It denotes apparently Instrumental Interlude of some kind. Word has the sense of ‘meditation’ in 19:14, & according to usage of cognate verb, which denotes growling of lion, moaning of dove, or of a mourner, it should mean ‘murmuring’, ‘meditative music’, rather than ‘resounding music’.
Two Terms refer to ‘musical instruments’:
On Neginoth: rather, with music of stringed instruments: occurs 6 times in Psalter: and in Hab. 3:19 we find ‘on my stringed instruments’. Upon Neginah: rather, with music of stringed instrument: may be variation of expression, or may indicate melody to which Psalm was to be sung. Word is derived from verb meaning ‘to play on stringed instruments’. It occurs elsewhere in the sense of ‘music’ or ‘song’. The title no doubt indicates that the Psalm was to be accompanied by stringed instruments, perhaps by these only.
Upon Nehiloth: R.V. with Nehiloth, or (marg.) wind instruments: in Ps. 5 only. Possibly flutes of some kind are meant. For use of these in sacred music see Is. 30:29 (a pipe); & on their use in services of the Second Temple see Edersheim, ‘Temple and its Services’, p. 55. It is not however the usual word for ‘flute’.
Two terms probably indicate Character or Pitch of Music.
Upon Alamoth: R.V. set to A.: is found in Title of Ps. 46, & may possibly once have stood in Title of Ps. 9, & either as Subscription to Ps. 48, or in Title of Ps. 49. Term appears to mean ‘in manner
of maidens’, or, ‘for maidens’ voices: ‘soprano’.
Upon Sheminith2: R.V. set to S., i.e. as marg., ‘eighth’: probably denotes that setting was to be an octave lower, or, on lower octave: ‘tenor’ or ‘bass’. Both terms occur together in 1 Chr.15:19-21. Heman, Asaph, & Jeduthun were appointed “with cymbals of brass to sound aloud”: 8 other Levites, “with psalteries set to Alamoth ” ; & 6 “with harps set to Sheminith, to lead.”
Upon Gittith: R.V. set to Gittith: occurs in Titles of Pss. 8, 81, 84. In form ‘Gittith’ is fem. adj. derived from ‘Gath’. Rendering of LXX, Symm., & Jer. ‘For’ or ‘over the winepresses’ may however preserve true reading, indicating that these Psalms were sung at Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering at the end of the vintage. Ps. 84 appears to have been specially intended for that festival; & Ps. 84 is virtually ‘Psalm of going up,’ for the use of pilgrims to three Great Feasts.
To Jeduthun: R.V. after the manner of J. (62, 72): probably means that the Psalm was set to some ‘melody’ composed by or called after David’s chief musician (1st Chr. 16:41). In the title of Ps. 39 Jeduthun appears to be named as the chief musician intended.
Series of obscure titles probably indicate ‘melody’ to which the Psalm was to be sung by a reference to the opening words of some well-known song. Such are the titles of Ps. 9: set to Muth-labben (R.V.), meaning possibly ‘Die [Death] for Son’. Ps. 22: set to Ayyeleth hash-shachar, i.e. ‘hind of morning. Pss. 45, 69: set to Shoshannim (R.V.), i.e. Lilies. Ps. 60: set to Shushan Eduth (R.V.), i.e. The lily of testimony. Ps. 80: set to Shoshannim Eduth (R.V.), i.e. Lilies, testimony. All these titles probably denote the melody to which Psalm was to be sung, not subject of the Psalm or a lily-shaped instrument. Ps. 56: set to Yonath elem rechokim, i.e. ‘Silent Dove of them that are afar off’: or, as read with different vowels, ‘Dove of the distant Terebinths’. Four Psalms (57-59, 75) have Title, [set to] Al-tashcheth, i.e. ‘Destroy not’, possibly the vintage song to which there is allusion in Is. 65:8. Titles of Ps. 53: set to Mahalath: & 88: set to Mahalath Leannoth: are extremely obscure, but probably belong to this class…..
……few titles refer to the liturgical use of the Psalm. In the time of the Second Temple, each day of the week had its special Psalm, which was sung at the offering of the morning sacrifice…..”A Psalm, Song for Sabbath Day.”….to Bring to Remembrance, or, as R.V. marg., to Make Memorial, may indicate that they were sung at Offering of Incense: & that of Ps. 100, Psalm of Thanksgiving (R.V.), marg. for Thank-offering, may mark that it was sung when Thank-offerings (56:12) were offered…. Song at Dedication of House,….To teach is part of Title prefixed to Ps. 60…. Song of Degrees, rather, Song of Ascents (R.V.), or, for Goings up, is Title prefixed to 15 Psalms (120-134), which appear to have formed separate Collection, bearing Title ‘Songs of the Goings up’ (or, ‘of Going up’), which was afterwards transferred to each separate Psalm……Psalms bears names of: Moses, David, Solomon, Asaph, Korah’s sons, Heman…..
What then is their value? It seems probable that, in many cases at least, they indicate the source from which the Psalms were derived rather than the opinion of the collector as to their authorship….
While then the titles of the Psalms cannot be supposed to give certain information as to their authors, and many of the Psalms bearing the name of David cannot have been written by him, we are not justified in rejecting the titles as mere arbitrary conjectures. They supply information concerning the earlier stages of the growth of the Psalter ; and it is not unreasonable to inquire whether a Psalm taken from a collection which bore David’s name may not have been actually composed by him. In criticising the title of a Psalm and endeavouring to fix its date by the light of its contents much caution is necessary….

(Chapter 8: Messianic Hope):
“Poetry was the handmaid of Prophecy in preparing the way for the coming of Christ. Prophetic ideas are taken up, developed, pressed to their full consequences, with the boldness and enthusiasm of inspired imagination. The constant use of the Psalms for devotion and worship familiarised the people with them. Expectation was aroused and kept alive. Hope became part of the national life. Even Psalms, which were not felt beforehand to speak of Him Who was to come, contributed to mould the temper of mind which was prepared to receive Him when He came in form and fashion far other than that which popular hopes had anticipated ; and they were recognised in the event as pointing forward to Him. Cp. Lk. 1, 2.
This work of preparation went forward along several distinct lines, some of which are seen to converge or meet even in the O.T., while others were only harmonised by the fulfilment. Thus (1) some Psalms pointed forward to the Messiah as Son of God and King and Priest : others (2) prepared the way for the suffering Redeemer: others (3) only find their full meaning in the perfect Son of Man: others (4) foretell the Advent of Jehovah Himself to judge and redeem.
All these different lines of thought combined to prepare the way for Christ; but it must be remembered that the preparation was in great measure silent and unconscious. It is difficult for us who read the O.T. in the light of its fulfilment to realise how dim and vague and incomplete the Messianic Hope must have been until the Coming of Christ revealed the divine purpose, and enabled men to recognise how through long ages God had been preparing for its consummation.
(1) Royal Messiah….(2) Suffering Messiah…..(3) Son of Man….(4) Coming of God….(5) Nations….

(Chapter 10: Psalter in Christian Church):
If a history of the use of the Psalter could be written, it would be a history of the spiritual life of the Church. From the earliest times the Psalter has been the Church’s manual of Prayer and Praise in its public worship, the treasury of devotion for its individual members in their private communing with God. “No single Book of Scripture, not even of the New Testament, has, perhaps, ever taken such hold on the heart of Christendom. None, if we may dare judge, unless it be the Gospels, has had so large an influence in moulding the affections, sustaining the hopes, purifying the faith of believers.
With its words, rather than with their own, they have come before God. In these they have uttered their desires, their fears, their confessions, their aspirations, their sorrows, their joys, their thanksgivings. By these their devotion has been kindled and their hearts comforted. The Psalter has been, in the truest sense, the Prayer Book both of Jews and Christians.”
“What is the history of the Church,” writes Dean Stanley, “but a long commentary on the sacred records of its first beginnings?… The actual effect, the manifold applications, in history, of the words of Scripture, give them a new instruction, and afford a new proof of their endless vigour and vitality….
The Psalter alone, by its manifold applications and uses in after times, is a vast palimpsest, written over and over again, illuminated, illustrated, by every conceivable incident and emotion of men and nations ; battles, wanderings, dangers, escapes, deathbeds, obsequies, of many ages and countries, rise, or may rise, to our view as we read it.”
It would be impossible in a few pages to trace the history of the use of the Psalter even in the barest outline. All that can be attempted here is to give some few indications of the vast influence which the Psalter has exercised, and of its paramount importance in the history of Christian worship and devotion.
There is no evidence that the entire Psalter was used in the public worship of the Jewish Church, though many Psalms were sung or chanted in the services of the Temple and the Synagogue. But the number of the quotations from the Psalter in the New Testament, and the multitude of indirect allusions to its thoughts and language, prove how familiarly it was known in the apostolic age.
It was upon the Psalms that our Lord’s spiritual life was nourished. The sting of the Tempter’s quotation of Ps. 91 lay in the fact that its words were a precious reality to Him. He sang the ‘Hallel’ (Pss. 113-118) with His disciples at the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30). A Psalm was the subject of His meditation as He hung upon the Cross, and with the words of a Psalm He gave up His life. In the Psalms He and His disciples found the foreshadowing of His own experience (John 13:18; 2:17), and He taught His disciples to understand how they prepared the way for His coming (Luke 24:44). The first Christian hymns —the Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc Dimittis —are composed after the model of Psalms and contain numerous echoes of them. Doubtless the hymns which Paul and Silas sang in the prison at Philippi (Acts 16:25) were Psalms. St James commends the singing of Psalms as the most fitting expression of joyfulness (5:13); St Paul enjoins it as the natural outlet for spiritual enthusiasm and a means of mutual edification (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). It was a common practice at the meetings of the Corinthian Church (1 Cor. 14:26).
As we pass on into later ages we find that the singing of Psalms was not only a constant element of common worship, but a favourite occupation of Christians in their homes and at their work. It was a tradition in the Church of Antioch that the antiphonal singing of Psalms was introduced by Ignatius, the first bishop (c. A.D. 100), who saw a vision of angels praising the Trinity in antiphonal hymns, and delivered the method of singing which he had seen in his vision to the Church at Antioch, whence it spread to all the Churches. The hymns from Holy Scripture which Tertullian in the second century tells us were sung at the agapae or love-feasts were doubtless Psalms. St Jerome, writing from Bethlehem to Marcella, and describing the charms of the Holy Land, tells her that the singing of Psalms was universal. “Wherever you turn the labourer at the plough sings Alleluia: the toiling reaper beguiles his work with Psalms: the vine-dresser as he prunes the vine with his curved pruning-hook sings something of David’s. These are the songs of this province: these, to use the common phrase, are its love ditties: these the shepherd whistles; these are the labourer’s implements.”
St Chrysostom (347-407) thus describes the universality of the use of the Psalms in his day. “If we keep vigil in the Church, David comes first, last, and midst. If early in the morning we seek for the melody of hymns, first, last, and midst is David again. If we are occupied with the funeral solemnities of the departed, if virgins sit at home and spin, David is first, last, and midst. O marvellous wonder! Many who have made but little progress in literature, many who have scarcely mastered its first principles, have the Psalter by heart. Nor is it in cities and churches alone that at all times, through every age, David is illustrious; in the midst of the forum, in the wilderness, and uninhabitable land, he excites the praises of God. In monasteries, amongst those holy choirs of angelic armies, David is first, midst, and last. In the convents of virgins, where are the bands of them that imitate Mary; in the deserts, where are men crucified to this world, and having their conversation with God, first, midst, and last is he. All other men are at night overpowered by natural sleep: David alone is active; and congregating the servants of God into seraphic bands, turns earth into heaven, and converts men into angels.”
When men and women, forsaking their ordinary callings, dedicated their lives to devotion and prayer in monasteries and communities, the singing of Psalms formed a large part of their religious exercises. In course of time the recitation of the Psalter became a clerical obligation as well. Various schemes or uses were drawn up. Fixed Psalms were generally assigned to certain of the canonical hours, while at the other services the remainder of the Psalms were recited ‘in course.’ Thus according to the Roman or Gregorian scheme fixed Psalms were assigned for daily use at Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sext, Nones, and Compline; while at Mattins Pss. 1-109, and at Vespers Pss. 110-150 were taken once a week ‘in course,’ exclusive of the Psalms assigned to the other services. The Benedictine or Monastic scheme was similar, also providing for the recitation once a week of those Psalms which were not recited daily. The Ambrosian scheme, deriving its origin from St Ambrose, and still in use in the province of Milan, only provides for the recitation of the Psalter once a fortnight. In the Eastern Church the Psalter is divided into twenty ‘cathismata’, each of which is subdivided into three ‘staseis’. The whole Psalter is recited once a week ordinarily, and twice a week in Lent, but the details of the arrangement vary according to the time of year.
In this way a portion of the Psalms nearly equal in amount to twice the whole Psalter was recited every week. But many instances are quoted of holy men who recited it much more frequently. It is said that St Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, in the fifth century, repeated it daily; St Maurus, the disciple of
St Benedict, and Alcuin, the famous instructor of Charles the Great, did the same. St Kentigern, bishop of Glasgow, in the sixth century, went through it every night. Bede relates how Ecgbert, a young student of noble birth at an Irish monastery, when attacked by the plague, vowed that if he recovered he would recite the whole Psalter daily in addition to the ordinary canonical hours, as a memorial of praise to God.
A knowledge of the Psalter by heart was required of candidates for ordination. St Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople (A.D. 458—471), refused to ordain as priest anyone who had not been diligent in reciting the Psalter. St Gregory the Great inquired if Rusticus, who had been elected Bishop of Ancona, knew the Psalter by heart, and refused to allow John the Presbyter to be consecrated as metropolitan of Ravenna on account of his ignorance of the Psalter. The second Canon of the second Council of Nicaea (A.D. 587) laid it down that no one was to be consecrated bishop unless he knew the Psalter thoroughly, and the eighth Council of Toledo (A.D. 653) ordered that “no one henceforth shall be promoted to any ecclesiastical dignity who does not perfectly know the whole Psalter” (Can. 8).
Various methods of singing the Psalms were in use in ancient times. (1) Sometimes the Psalm was sung throughout by the choir or congregation. This was called ‘cantus directaneus’, and was the simplest form of singing with little more than monotone. (2) Sometimes the Psalm was sung by a single voice, usually in a very elaborate fashion. This was called ‘cantus tractus’. (3) Sometimes the Psalm was sung in ‘cantus responsorius’, the precentor and the choir or the congregation taking their parts alternately. (4) Sometimes the Psalm was sung in ‘cantus antiphonalis’, the two sides of the choir taking it up alternately. The following passage of St Chrysostom (‘Hom’. 5) is of interest as shewing the congregational character of the singing in his day, and emphasising its significance. “When the Psalm began, it mingled all the different voices together, and one harmonious song was raised. Young and old, rich and poor, women and men, slaves and freemen, all raised the same melody….But it not only united us who were present; it joined the dead with the living. For the blessed Prophet was singing with us…. The Prophet speaks and we all answer, we all respond. You can see no distinction of slave or free, rich or poor, ruler or subject. The inequalities of life are banished; all are united in one choir, all have equal right of speech, and earth imitates Heaven. So great is the nobility of the Church.”
The voices of holy men in every age unite in bearing a concordant testimony to the power and preciousness of the Psalms. A few examples only can be given here.
St Athanasius, in his Epistle to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of the Psalms, the whole of which well deserves study, writes thus:
“They seem to me to be a kind of mirror for everyone who sings them, in which he may observe the motions of the soul, and as he observes them give utterance to them in words. He who hears them read, takes them as if they were spoken specially for him. Stricken in his conscience he repents, or hearing of hope in God, and of the grace which is given to those who believe, he rejoices as if this grace were promised to him in particular, and begins to thank God.. ..He who genuinely studies all that is written in this book of Divine inspiration may gather, as out of a paradise, that which is serviceable for his own need. Methinks that in the words of this book you may find an accurate survey and delineation of the whole life of man, the dispositions of the soul, and the movements of the mind. If a man has need of penitence and confession, if affliction or temptation has overtaken him, if he has been persecuted or has been delivered from the plots of his enemies, if he is in sorrow or trouble, or if he wishes to praise and give thanks and bless the Lord, he finds instruction in the Psalms…. If thou meditate on these things and study the Psalms, thou shalt be able, under the guidance of the Spirit, to grasp their meaning; and thou shalt emulate the life of the divinely inspired men who uttered these words.”
From Alexandria let us pass to Cappadocia, and listen to the eloquent words of St Basil, in the introduction to his Homily on the First Psalm:
“All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable, for it was written by the Spirit to the end that as it were in a general hospital for souls, we human beings might each select the medicine for his own disease…. The prophets provide one kind of instruction, the historians another, the law yet another, and the exhortations of the Proverbs yet another. But the Book of Psalms contains that which is profitable in all of them. It prophesies of the future; it recalls history; it legislates for life; it suggests rules of action; in a word, it is a common storehouse of good doctrines, providing exactly what is expedient for everyone….A Psalm is the calm of souls, the arbiter of peace: it stills the stormy waves of thought. It softens the angry spirit, and sobers the intemperate. A Psalm cements friendship: it unites those who are at variance; it reconciles those who are at enmity. For who can regard as an enemy the man with whom he has joined in lifting up one voice to God? Psalmody therefore provides the greatest of all good things, even love, for it has invented concerted singing as a bond of unity, and fits the people together in the concord of one choir. A Psalm puts demons to flight: it summons the angels to our aid; it is a weapon in the midst of alarms by night, a rest from the toils of day; it is a safeguard for babes, a decoration for adults, a comfort for the aged, a most befitting ornament for women. It makes deserts populous and market places sane. It is an initiation to novices, growth to those who are advancing, confirmation to those who are being perfected. It is the voice of the Church; it gladdens festivals, it creates godly sorrow. For a Psalm calls forth tears even from a stony heart. A Psalm is the employment of angels, heavenly converse, spiritual incense….What mayest thou not learn thence? The heroism of courage; the integrity of justice; the gravity of temperance; the perfection of prudence; the manner of repentance; the measure of patience; in a word every good thing thou canst mention. Therein is a complete theology; the prediction of the advent of Christ in the flesh, the threatening of judgement, the hope of resurrection, the fear of chastisement, promises of glory, revelations of mysteries: all, as in some great public storehouse, are treasured up in the Book of Psalms.”
(Compare this with Richard Hooker’s well known words on the Psalms: “The choice and flower of all things profitable in other looks the Psalms do both more briefly contain, and more movingly also express, by reason of that poetical form wherewith they are written . . . What is there necessary for man to know which the Psalms are not able to teach? They are to beginners an easy and familiar introduction, a mighty augmentation of all virtue and knowledge in such as are entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect among others. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, repentance unfeigned, unwearied patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of that world which is to come, all good necessarily to be either known or done or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief or disease incident into the soul of man, any wound or sickness named, for which there is not in this treasure-house a present comfortable remedy at all times ready to be found.)
In a well-known passage of his ‘Confessions’ (9. 4), St Augustine describes the comfort which he derived from the Psalms in the interval before his baptism.
“In what accents I addressed Thee, my God, when I read the Psalms of David, those faithful songs, the language of devotion which banishes the spirit of pride, while I was still a novice in true love of Thee, and as a catechumen rested in that country house along with Alypius, who was also a catechumen, with my mother at our side, in the dress of a woman but with the faith of a man, with the calmness of age, the affection of a mother, the piety of a Christian. How I addressed Thee in those Psalms! how my love for Thee was kindled by them! how I burned to recite them, were it possible, throughout the world, as an antidote to the pride of humanity. Yet they are sung throughout the world, and there is none that hideth himself from Thy heat. How grieved and indignant was I with the Manichaeans! and yet again I pitied them for their ignorance of those sacraments, those medicines, and their mad rejection of the antidote which might have cured them of their madness. Would that they could have been somewhere near me without my knowledge and watched my face and heard my voice when I read the Fourth Psalm in that time of leisure, and have known the effect of that Psalm upon me. Would that they could have heard what I uttered between the words of the Psalm, without my knowing that they heard… how I spoke with myself and to myself before Thee out of the inmost feelings of my soul. I trembled for fear, and then I became fervent with hope and rejoicing in Thy mercy, O Father. And all these feelings issued forth by my eyes and voice…”
The interpretation of the Psalm and the application of it to his own circumstances which follow are fanciful and far-fetched, but they shew how his heart glowed with fervour as he read, and how he found the Psalms “sweetened with heavenly honey, and luminous with the light of God.”
Luther and Calvin represent the revival of the study of the Bible in the age of the Reformation.
Luther speaks thus of the Psalter, which he found inexpressibly precious in the trials and conflicts of his stormy life:
“You may rightly call the Psalter a Bible in miniature, in which all things which are set forth more at length in the rest of the Scriptures are collected into a beautiful manual of wonderful and attractive brevity. From the Psalms you may learn not the works of the saints only, but the words, the utterances, the groans, the colloquies, which they used in the presence of God, in temptation and in consolation; so that though they are dead, in the Psalms they live and speak. The Psalms exhibit the mind of the saints; they express the hidden treasure of their hearts, the working of their thoughts, and their most secret feelings.”
“This book,” says Calvin, in the Epistle to his Readers prefixed to his commentary, ” I am wont to call an anatomy of all the parts of the soul; for no one will find in himself a single feeling of which the image is not reflected in this mirror. Here the Holy Spirit has represented to the life all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, anxieties, in short, all the stormy emotions, by which human minds are wont to be agitated. The rest of Scripture contains the commands which God gave His servants to be delivered to us. Here the prophets themselves, in their converse with God, because they lay bare all their inmost feelings, invite or compel every one of us to examine himself, that none of all the infirmities to which we are subject may remain hidden. It is a rare and singular advantage when every secret recess is laid open, and the heart purged from the foul plague of hypocrisy and brought out to light.”
One quotation from a modern writer must suffice. With profound insight and unrivalled delicacy of touch the late Dean Church thus describes the Psalms and their work:
“In the Psalms we see the soul in the secret of its workings, in the variety and play of its many-sided and subtly compounded nature —loving, hoping, fearing, despairing, exulting, repenting, aspiring —the soul, conscious of the greatness and sweetness of its relations to Almighty God, and penetrated by them to the very quick; longing, thirsting, gasping, after the glimpses that visit it, of His goodness and beauty —awestruck before the unsearchableness of His judgement, silent before the certainty of His righteousness —opening, like a flower to the sun, in the presence of His light, of the immensity of His lovingkindness”……It has been the work of the Book of Psalms to teach devotion, worship, self-knowledge. “They bring before us in all its fulness and richness the devotional element of the religious character. They are the first great teachers and patterns of prayer, and they shew this side of the religious character….in varied and finished detail, in all its compass and living and spontaneous force….The tongue is loosed to give utterance out of the abundance of the heart, to every mood, every contrasted feeling of the changeful human mind. From all the hidden depths, from all the strange and secret consciousnesses of the awakened and enlightened soul, spring up unexpected and vivid words, in which generation after generation has found the counterpart of its own convictions and hopes and joys, its own fears and distresses and perplexities and doubts, its own confidence and its own sorrow, its own brightest and darkest hours. This immense variety of mood and subject and occasion, with which the reverence and hope of worship are always combined, is a further point in the work of the Book of Psalms. It is a vast step in the revealing of man to man. We know how much we owe of the knowledge of ourselves to the great dramatists, to the great lyrical poets, to the great novelists. Such, in the unfolding to man of all that is really and most deeply involved in the religious character, is the place of the Book of Psalms.”
Luther, as we have seen, calls the Psalms “a Bible in miniature”; and the words which Coleridge uses of the whole Bible may most truly be applied to the Psalms. In them we find copious sources of truth, and power, and purifying impulses; words for our inmost thoughts, songs for our joy, utterances for our hidden griefs, pleadings for our shame and our feebleness. And whatever ‘finds’ us bears witness for itself that it has proceeded from a Holy Spirit, even from the same Spirit, ‘which in all ages entering into holy souls maketh them friends of God and prophets’.

Kirkpatrick’s on Psalms 119:
This great “Psalm of the Law” is based upon the prophetic (Ezra 9:11) presentation of the Law in the Book of Deuteronomy, with the spirit and language of which its author’s mind was saturated. It represents the religious ideas of Deuteronomy developed in the communion of a devout soul with God. It is the fruit of that diligent study of the Law which is enjoined in Deut. 6:1-9, a beginning of the fulfilment of the promise of an inward and spiritual knowledge of it which is proclaimed by Jeremiah (31:33 ff.). The Psalmist is one whose earnest desire and stedfast purpose it is to make God’s law the governing principle of his conduct, to surrender all self-willed thoughts and aims, to subordinate his whole life to the supremely perfect Will of God, with unquestioning faith in His all-embracing Providence and unfailing love.
The ‘Law of God,’ which the Psalmist describes in its manifold aspects as His law, word, promise, commandments, statutes, judgements, precepts, testimonies, ways, is not the law in the narrower sense of the Mosaic legislation or the Pentateuch. The Hebrew word ‘torah’ has a wider range of meaning, and here, as in Pss. 1 and 19, it must be understood to mean all Divine revelation as the guide of life. This it is which kindles the Psalmist’s enthusiasm and demands his allegiance. It is no rigid code of commands and prohibitions, but a body of teaching, the full meaning of which can only be realised gradually and by the help of Divine instruction. It has been said that the Psalmist’s devotion to the Law contains the germ of Pharisaic legalism, but it may be questioned whether the observation is just. Nowhere does the Psalmist allow law to interfere between him and God; never is a formal observance of external rules substituted for the inward devotion of the heart. If sometimes his professions of obedience seem to savour of self-righteousness, his prayers for grace fully recognise that strength to obey must come from God. The Psalm is an acknowledgement of the blessing of a revelation, of the strength which the law gives to Israel in the midst of surrounding heathenism, and to the faithful Israelite in the presence of a prevailing laxity of faith and morals. In an age when the voice of prophecy was rarely heard, or perhaps was altogether silent, it begins to draw strength from meditation on the revelation made to past generations. It points no doubt towards the age of the Scribes, but it represents the best spirit of that age (Cp. Oehler’s O. T. Theology, §§ 84, 201). It is remarkable that a Psalm, emanating from the period in which the ritual law was codified and the Temple became the centre of Israel’s religion, should contain no reference whatever to ceremonial or sacrifice. Doubtless the Psalmist would have included the ceremonial law as a part of God’s commandments, but evidently he does not regard it as the principal part of them. The whole Psalm is animated by a profound inwardness and spirituality, as far removed as possible from the superstitious literalism of a later age. It shews no tendency to substitute mechanical observance of rules for the living application of principles. Such obedience, if it falls short of the full liberty of the Gospel, is at least a step towards it.
The close personal relation of the Psalmist to God is one of the most striking features of the Psalms in general, and in few Psalms is it more marked than in this. In every verse but one (115) or at most two (but on 128 see note) after the first three introductory verses God is addressed; in all but some fourteen verses the Psalmist addresses God in the first person [in prayer], or, which is the same thing, as His servant.
The Psalmist has arranged his meditations in an elaborate alphabetical form, adopted partly perhaps as an aid to memory. The Psalm consists of 22 stanzas, according to the number of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Each of the 8 verses in a stanza begins with the same letter, and the letters are taken in their regular order. The arrangement of Lamentations 3 presents the nearest parallel, but there the stanzas consist of three verses only. This artificiality of structure seems to have hindered many commentators from appreciating the variety of the contents of the Psalm, and many have denied that any real connexion or progress of thought is to be found in it. In a sense this may be true: the verses are not so much linked together by logical connexion as united by their direction to a common centre, but each stanza has, as a rule, some leading thought, which gives it a distinctive character. Those who by long devotional use have become intimately familiar with the Psalm have found a significant variety in the apparent monotony of its language. For them it is ‘the Psalm of the Saints’; ‘the Alphabet of Divine Love’; ‘the Christian’s golden ABC of the praise, love, power and use of the Word of God.’ St Augustine deferred the exposition of it until he had finished the rest of the Psalter, and finally approached it with reluctance & diffidence: “non tarn propter eius notissitnam longitudinem quam propter eius profunditatem paucis cognoscibilem  …quanto enim videtur apertior,    tanto mini profundior videri solet”   (Prooemium in Ps. 118 [119]) [Preface: I have expounded all the rest of the Psalms, which we know the Book of the Psalms containeth, which by the custom of the Church is styled the Psalter, partly by preaching among the people, partly by dictations, as well as I, by the Lord’s help, was able: but I put off the 118th [119th] Psalm, as well on account of its well-known length, as on account of its depth being fathomable by few. And when my brethren deeply regretted that the exposition of this Psalm alone, as far as pertaineth to the Psalms of the same volume, was wanting to my works, and strongly pressed me to pay this debt, I yielded not to them, though they long entreated and solicited me; because as often as I began to reflect upon it, it always exceeded the utmost stretch of my powers. For in proportion as it seemeth more open, so much the more deep doth it appear to me; so that I cannot shew how deep it is. For in others, which are understood with difficulty, although the sense lie hid in obscurity, yet the obscurity itself appeareth; but in this, not even this is the case; since it is superficially such, that it seemeth not to need an expositor, but only a reader and listener. And now that at length I approach its interpretation, I am utterly ignorant what I can achieve in it: nevertheless, I hope that God will aid me with His Presence, that I may effect something. For thus He hath done in all those which, though at first they seemed to me difficult, and almost impracticable, I have succeeded in adequately expounding. But I decided to do this by means of sermons, which might be delivered among the people, such as the Greeks term (homilias, homily). For this is, I think, more equitable, that the assemblies of the Church be not defrauded of the comprehension of this Psalm, by the singing of which, as much as by that of others, they are wont to be charmed. But let the preface end here: we must now speak of the Psalm itself, to which we have thought it right to make this Preface.]. The 119th Psalm, writes Dr Liddon, represents in the highest degree ” the paradox of seeming simplicity overlying fathomless depth. It conveys at first an impression of tautology… it seems to reiterate with little attempt at variety the same aspirations, assurances, prayers, resolutions”; but a close and sympathetic study shews it to be “infinitely varied in its expressions, yet incessantly one in its direction; its variations are so delicate as to be almost imperceptible, its unity so emphatic as to be inexorably stamped upon its every line” (‘The Priest in his Inner Life’, p. 46).
“The 119th Psalm,” says Mr Ruskin, quoted by Archbp. Alexander, Witness of the Psalms, p. 302, “has become of all the most precious to me in its overflowing and glorious passion of love for the law of God.”
Who the author of the Psalm was it is idle to speculate, but we may gather from it some idea of the circumstances among which he lived. He was sorely tried, but in his trials he recognised God’s loving discipline for his good (‘vv’. 50, 67, 71, 75, 107, 153). He had to suffer contempt (22, 39, 42) and even ill-treatment (121, 134) for his adherence to the law. The authorities of the community despised and persecuted him (23, 161); men of position and power, whom he designates as ‘the proud’ or ‘the wicked,’ mocked him, calumniated him, endeavoured to oppress and injure him (51, 61, 69, 78, 84, 85, 86, 95, 122, 150, 157). He was even in danger of his life (87, 109). His persecutors were not heathen, but faithless Israelites, for he describes them as forsaking God’s law (53), wandering from His commandments (21), forgetting His words (139). They were selfish, self-satisfied men of the world, incapable of appreciating true religion (70). Their indifference to the law sometimes aroused his burning indignation (53); sometimes excited his profound sorrow (136). He was confronted by laxity if not actual apostasy (113, 158, 126): evil example might have tempted him to disown his faith and cast in his lot with evil-doers (29, 37, 115), but he has successfully resisted the temptation, for he knows God’s estimate of their character (118, 119), and their certain destiny (155). Under these circumstances, however, it is no easy task for him to maintain his constancy. Repeatedly and earnestly he prays for fuller knowledge of the law and for strength to keep it, for relief from persecution, for protection and preservation.
We can thus form a tolerable idea of the circumstances of the Psalmist, or of the class which he represents, for it is probable that he speaks on behalf of others as well as himself, and interweaves their experiences with his own. This representative character of the Psalm explains some phrases which seem to go beyond individual experience, though it is clear on the whole that an individual and not the community is the speaker. At what time he lived it is impossible to say precisely. That it was in the post-exilic period is certain from the tone and language of the Psalm, but in what part of it is doubtful. The beginning at any rate of the conditions described above is to be found in the evils which Ezra and Nehemiah endeavoured to remedy, and against which Malachi protested. (See e.g. Neh. 5, 6, 13; Mal. 3:13-15.) There are not a few points of contact in thought and language between their writings and the Psalm. It may have been written about the middle of the fifth century B.C., possibly not till considerably later, but certainly not so late as the Maccabean age. There are no traces of the struggles of the time when the possession of a copy of the law and the observance of the characteristic rites of Judaism were punishable with death.
Delitzsch infers from ‘vv’. pff., 99, 100, 141, that the Psalmist was a young man; Ewald from ‘vv’. 84-87 that he was advanced in years. Neither inference seems to be justified. More probably he was a man of mature years, who had learned much by experience, but felt that he had still much more to learn.
Hitzig conjectures that he was a prisoner who beguiled the tedium of his imprisonment by the composition of the Psalm, and Delitzsch is inclined to adopt the suggestion. But there is no sufficient ground for such a hypothesis.
It is not likely that the Psalm was deliberately composed “as a ‘vade mecum’ for Israelite young men.” Doubtless it was well adapted for a compendium of instruction, but it attests itself to be the utterance of heartfelt devotion. Nor again is it a ‘national’ Psalm, in the sense that the Psalmist merges his own personality in that of the community and speaks in its name. Doubtless he speaks for others as well as himself; it is of the essence of inspired poetry to be representative and to possess a catholicity of thought; and often he appropriates the national experience, for to the Israelite membership in the covenant nation was a profound reality; but the Psalm breathes throughout the spirit of the most intense personal conviction, of the most intimate but deeply reverent communion with God.
It will be most convenient to consider once for all the various words for ‘the Law’ which recur so frequently in this Psalm (According to the Massoretic note on ‘v’. 122 one of the ‘ten’ expressions, —pointing to the ‘ten words’ of the Decalogue, —’saying,’ ‘word,’ ‘testimony,’ ‘way,’ ‘judgement,’ ‘precept,’ ‘commandment,’ ‘law,’ ‘statute,’ ‘faithfulness’ (according to another reading ‘righteousness’) occurs in every verse except ‘v’. 122 (to which ‘v’. 132 should be added). ‘Faithfulness’ however is an attribute of the law, not a synonym for it: and the word judgements’ does not always mean ‘ordinances’), and to note some of its most characteristic phrases.
1. ‘Torah’, ‘law,’ LXX (nomos) occurs 25 times. Cp. Deut. 4:8 &c. It has however a much wider range of meaning than ‘law.’ It denotes (a) ‘direction’ or ‘instruction’, whether human (Prov. 1:8) or Divine: (b) ‘a body of teaching’: (c) more definitely, ‘a law’, or (d) ‘a code of laws’, whether the Deuteronomic code or the Levitical legislation, ‘the law of Moses’: and so finally (e) the Pentateuch. Here, as in Pss. 1 and 19, it must be taken in its widest sense, as synonymous with the ‘word’ of Jehovah (Is. 1:10; 2:3), to include all Divine revelation as the guide of life, prophetic exhortation as well as priestly direction, the sum of an Israelite’s duty. (Cp. the use of ‘the law’ to denote the whole O.T. in John 10:34.)
2. ‘Dabar’, ‘word,’ LXX (logos) (20 times), in plur. ‘words’ (3 times), is the most general term for God’s communication of His Will to man, especially through prophets. It will be remembered that the “Ten Commandments” are literally the “Ten Words” (Deut. 4:13). Cp. Deut. 4:2,10; &c.
3. ‘’Imrdh’, ‘saying,’ or collectively ‘sayings,’ LXX (logion) (i9 times), is a poetical synonym for ‘dabar’, rare in prose, but found in Is. 5:24 in parallelism with ‘torah’. Cp. Deut. 23:9.
4. ‘Mitsvah’, ‘commandment,’ LXX (entolë) (21 times in plural, once in singular collectively), denotes a definite command imposed by authority. It is often coupled with the two following words in Deut. (e.g. 6:1).
5. ‘Chuqqim’, 21 times, once chuqqoth, ‘statutes,’ LXX (dikaiömata), lit. something engraved or inscribed, so what is prescribed or enacted. Frequently in Deut. (4:I &c.).
6. ‘Mishpatim’, ‘judgements,’ or ‘ordinances,’ LXX (krimata) (19 times in plur., 4 times in sing.), has some variety of meaning. The idea in the word is “that of a. judicial decision, made authoritatively
once, and constituting a rule, a precedent, applicable to other similar cases in the future” (Driver on Deut. 4:1); but in several passages of the Psalm it means the judicial acts of Jehovah, executing judgement on the wicked, and revealing or vindicating His law. Common in Deut. (4:1 &c.).
7. ‘Piqqudim’, (dikaiömata) (21 times), ‘precepts,’ ‘injunctions,’ LXX (entolai), a poetical word found only in the Psalter (19:8; 103:18; 111:7).
8. ‘‘Edah’ or ‘‘eduth’ (sing. once, plur. 22 times), ‘testimony,’ [witness] LXX (marturia). The idea of the word is “that of an ‘attestation’, or formal affirmation; hence, as referred to God, a solemn declaration of His Will on points (especially) of moral or religious duty, or a protest against human propensity to deviate from it….” The word came to be used” as a general designation of moral and religious ordinances, conceived as a Divinely instituted standard of conduct.” The term ‘testimony’ in the singular is applied to the Decalogue “as a concise and forcible statement of God’s will and human duty” (Driver on Deut. 4:45). Cf. Deut. 4:45; 6:17, 20: in the sing. ‘eduth’ is frequent in Ex., Lev., Num.
9. ‘Derek’, ‘way,’ LXX (hodos), denotes the course of conduct marked out by God’s law. Cp. Deut. 5:33; 9:12, &c.
10. ‘’Orach’, ‘path, a poetical synonym for ‘derek’; not in Deut., but common in Prov.
The ‘attributes’ applied to the Law should also be studied. Like its Author (‘v’. 137, cp. Deut. 32:4) it is perfectly righteous. The note of righteousness is constantly repeated; in all its aspects the Law answers to that perfect standard which God is to Himself for all His works and words. Its faithfulness and truth correspond to the faithfulness and truth of His nature; it is sharply contrasted with all that is false in belief and conduct.
Other constantly recurring expressions should also be noted. The Psalmist’s repeated protestations that he has ‘observed’ or ‘kept’ the law, his resolutions to do so, and his prayers for strength to fulfil them, answer to the repeated injunctions of Deut. (4:2 &c.). ‘With a (my) whole heart,’ with entire devotion of thought and will, is a phrase characteristic alike of this Psalm and of the Book of Deut. (4:29; 6:5 &c.) where it is often coupled with ‘the whole soul,’ the organ of feeling and emotion. In Deut. the Israelites are repeatedly exhorted to learn the statutes and judgements (5:1) and to teach them to their children (4:10); and repeatedly the Psalmist prays that he may be taught. The Psalmist’s reiterated prayers for ‘understanding’ recall the language of Deut. 4:6. ‘Life’ is held out in Deut. (4:I &c.) as the reward of obedience; and for ‘life’ the Psalmist continually pleads — ‘quicken thou me’ — ‘let me live’ (25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154,156, 159, 116, 144). The source of ‘life’ he finds in the law and promises of God (50, 93): and by ‘life’ he means not simply preservation from death, but liberation from all, whether within or without, that crushes and paralyses life, and hinders its proper use and enjoyment; for ‘life’ includes the ideas of light and joy and prosperity. It finds its fullest realisation in communion with God. The original promise of life to the nation is coupled with the promise of the possession of the land, but the latter now drops out of sight, and the conception of ‘life’ is approximating towards the higher meaning of the word in the N.T. Cp. Deut. 8:3. Very noteworthy is the Psalmist’s enthusiastic love for the Law. The love which the Israelite was bidden to cherish for Jehovah (Deut. 6:5 &c.) is kindled by the manifold revelation of His Will in the Law. “O how I love thy law: it is my meditation all the day” (97). It is no irksome restraint of his liberty, but his delight, his joy, his treasure, his comfort, the subject of his meditations by day by night, the source of trust and hope amid all the perplexities and troubles of life. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

7: From: Book of Psalms, Notes Critical Explanatory & Practical Albert Barnes 1868: (Barnes last work of His Bible Commentary was the Book of Psalms, considered for 40 years, and prepared over his last 12 years, in partial blindness. See his Preface & Introduction.)
Introduction:
§ 5. General Character of Book of Psalms: “Psalms are mostly lyrical poetry, that is, poetry adapted to the harp or lyre; to be used in connexion with instrumental music; to be ‘sung’, not ‘read’. Such poetry was common among the ancients, as it is among the moderns. Anacreon, Alcseus, Stesichorus, Sappho, and Horace were eminent among the ancients as ‘lyric’ poets; and the numerous writers of ‘songs’, sacred and secular, among the moderns, are to be ranked in the same class. The phrase ‘lyric poetry’ now, however, is frequently applied to that species of poetry which “directly expresses the individual emotions of the poet” (Webster, Die).”….[Barnes concludes Section 5 with a lengthy passage from De Wette’s Commentary translated by Torrey in the Biblical Repository.]
§ 6. Imprecations in Psalms: [Barnes tries quiet well to honestly explain the harsh and unforgiving expressions & passages found in many Psalms. He closes with: “In some of these ways it is probable that all the difficulties in regard to the “imprecations” in the Psalms may be met. They who deny the inspiration of the Psalms should be able to show that these are not proper explanations of the difficulty; or that they are not consistent with any just notions of inspiration.”]
§ 7. Practical value of Book of Psalms: ….”Hence, in sickness, in bereavement, in persecution, in old age, on the bed of death, the Book of Psalms becomes so invariable and so valuable a companion; and hence, not as a matter of convenience, but as supplying a ‘want’ in the minds of men, and as significant of their value, the Psalms and the New Testament are so often bound together in a single volume. Hence, also, for the aged, for the sick, for those whose powers of vision fail by disease or by years, the Psalms and the New Testament are printed in large type, and bound in convenient forms, that the truths contained in these volumes may be still accessible to the saint ripening for heaven, as the light fails, and as life ebbs away. To the end of the world the Psalms in religious experience will occupy the same place which they now occupy; to the end of the world they will impart comfort to the troubled, and peace to the dying, as they have done in the ages that are past.”
§ 8. Qualifications for preparing a Commentary on Psalms: …..” (6) It may be added that the Book of Psalms, in the main, is so plain, so easy to be understood by the great mass of readers; so expressive of the internal feelings and emotions, as to increase the difficulty in the preparation of a Commentary. The Psalms are so rich; so full of meaning; so adapted to the wants of believers; —they so meet the varied experiences of the people of God, and are so replete with the illustrations of piety; they so touch the deepest fountains of emotion in the soul, that, so far as most of these points are concerned, a Commentary, considered as an additional source of light, does not differ materially from a candle considered as affording additional splendour to the sun. What a man finds in the ordinary perusal of the Psalms as a book of devotion, on the subject of deep experimental piety, is so much in advance of what he will usually find in the Commentary, that he turns from the attempt to explain them with a feeling of deep disappointment, and comes back to the Book itself as better expressing his emotions, meeting his necessities, and imparting consolation in trial, than anything which the commentator can add. He welcomes the Book of Psalms itself as a comforter and a guide; and in the little volume sold now at so cheap a rate, or appended to his pocket Testament, the common reader of the Bible finds more that is suited to his need than he would in the voluminous commentary of Venema; in all the collections in the Critici Sacri; in the Synopsis of Poole; in the Annotations of Grotius; or in the learned expositions of De Wette —elegant as the work of De Wette is,—or of Tholuck, or Hengstenberg.
When these difficulties in composing a Commentary on the Psalms are considered; —when a man who sits down to write one reflects on the qualifications necessary for the task; —and when under the influence of these thoughts, constantly increasing in magnitude, and pressing upon him more and more as he labours for a dozen years, though at intervals, as I have done, in preparing a Commentary on this portion of Scripture, —whatever ardour of desire or confidence of success he may have had at the commencement of his enterprise, he will cease to wonder, as he progresses in his work, that the efforts of others to prepare a Commentary heretofore have been a failure, and he will not be surprised, should his life be lengthened out to see the result of his own labours, if he finds that the world regards that at which he has toiled so long, and which he hoped might be, in some measure, worthy of the Volume he has undertaken to explain, as but adding another to the long list of unsuccessful attempts to prepare a proper exposition of the Book of Psalms.”
(Barnes summary of Psalms 145:) “This is also a Psalm of David, and the last of the series in this part of the collection. It is entitled simply, “Of Praise,” or, in the Hebrew, “Praise by David,” or ” Praise of David ;” —that is, one of David’s songs of praise. It is an alphabetical psalm; that is, each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The arrangement in this respect is complete, except that the letter (n), ‘Nun’ -n- is omitted, for which no reason can be assigned, unless it was from a desire that the psalm might consist of three equal parts of seven verses each. In the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, Latin Vulgate, and AEthiopic Versions, this omission is attempted to be supplied by inserting between vers. 13 and 14 a verse which in Hebrew would begin with a (n), ‘Nun’, —(n’mn), etc.: — “Faithful is the Lord in all his words, and holy in all his works.” This is taken from ver. 17 of the psalm by the change of a word in the beginning —’faithful’ for ‘righteous’, —(n’mn) for (tzdyk). There is no authority for this, however, in the MSS., and it is evidently an attempt to supply what seemed to be an omission or defect in the composition of the psalm. The verse is not in the Chaldee Paraphrase, or in the version of Aquila and Theodotion; and it is certain that as early as the time of Origen and Jerome it was not in the Hebrew text. The Masorites and the Jewish commentators reject it. The sense is in no way affected by the insertion or omission of this, since the verses of the psalm have no necessary connexion in meaning —the composition, as in most of the alphabetical psalms, being made up of independent sentiments suggested in part at least by the necessity of commencing each verse with a particular letter. The psalm does not admit of any particular analysis, and it is impossible now to ascertain the occasion on which it was written.”

8: From: Commentary on Psalms, Primitive & Medieval Writers. John M. Neale. 2nd Ed. (1869)
Introduction: Dissertation I: Psalms Employed in Offices of Church:
1. “If we keep vigil” says St John Chrysostom, ” in the Church, David comes first, last, and midst. If early in the morning we seek for the melody of hymns, first, last, and midst is David again. If we are occupied with the funeral solemnities of the departed, if virgins sit at home and spin, David is first, last, and midst.*(stanza of Theognis). O marvellous wonder! Many who have made but little progress in literature, nay, who have scarcely mastered its first principles, have the Psalter by heart. Nor is it in cities and churches alone that at all times, through every age, David is illustrious; in the midst of the forum, in the wilderness, and uninhabitable land, he excites the praises of ‘God’. In monasteries, amongst those holy choirs of angelic armies, David is first, midst, and last. In the convents of virgins, where are the bands of them that imitate Mary; in the deserts, where are men crucified to this world, and having their conversation with ‘God’, first, midst, and last is he. All other men are at night overpowered by natural sleep: David alone is active; and, congregating the servants of GOD into seraphic bands, turns earth into heaven, and converts men into angels.” Nothing can more admirably shadow out the feelings of the Church to her everlasting heritage, than these words of the great Doctor of the East. The love, the veneration, the delight which she has ever expressed for the Psalter, have almost turned it into a part of her own being. It is not only that, from the beginning till now, the whole book of Psalms has been weekly recited by so many thousand priests, but that the spirit of the Psalter permeates and kindles every other part of the service; that its principal features have received a new and conventional character, have been transfigured from the worship of the synagogue to that of the Church; that, to use the mediaeval metaphor, the trumpets of the tabernacle have given place to the Psaltery and the New Song of the Christian ritual.
2. The Church of the primitive and of the Middle Ages, then, adapted the Psalter to her own needs; she employed all the luxuriance of her imagination to elicit, to develope, —if you will, to play with,— its meaning. There is, to use the word in a good sense, a perfect treasure of mythology locked up in mediaeval commentaries and breviaries, —a mythology, the beauty of which grows upon the student, till that which at first sight appears strange, unreal, making anything out of anything, perfectly fascinates. The richness and loveliness of this system of allegory have never yet been done justice to in our language. Commentaries indeed we have, many of them valuable in their way, but neither calculated nor indeed professing to do more than to explain difficulties, to develope the historical and literal meaning sense and in some of the very plainest passages to point out a possible reference by David to the Son of David…..(4. …the Psalms or Psalter was the most recited Book of the Scriptures , in part and whole, for a thousand years; was required to be memorized for ordination; ignorance of it disqualified consecration of Bishops; and The Eighth Council of Toledo2 (653) orders that ” none henceforth shall be promoted to any ecclesiastical dignity who do not perfectly know the whole Psalter, and in addition to that the usual Canticles and Hymns, and the Formula of Baptism.” In like manner the Council of Oviedo (1050) decrees that “the Archdeacon shall present such clerks for Ordination at the Ember seasons as know perfectly the whole Psalter, the Canticles, the Hymns, the Gospels, and the Collects.”)…..(6. ….Psalter was Divided for Recitation in Divine Service (the Work of God) in the Churches and Monasteries at various Hours of the Day s & Nights (Matins, Nocturns, Lauds, Prime, Tierce, Sexts, Nones, Vespers, Complies, &c.; for Weekdays, Sabbaths, Sundays, Feast Days, Holy Days, &c.)….(9. …Spiritual Explanation of Arrangement:)
10. To begin with the Sunday Nocturns. The ritualists remind us of the three night watches of a besieged city, and thence deduce the triple prayer of a city which, like the Church, is never free from the assaults of her spiritual enemies. More fancifully they make each Nocturn to represent respectively the patriarchal, the legal, and the Christian dispensations. The first Nocturn, divided by its antiphons into three portions, or, as they are technically called, “distinctions,” sets forth the threefold division of the Patriarchal period ; that before the flood; that between the flood and Abraham; and that between Abraham and Moses. In each of these divisions they discover four principal Saints, to each of whom in consequence they attribute one of the Psalms. In the first period, Abel, Enos, Enoch, and Lamech. “Blessed is the man,” says Abel, ” that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly :” thus setting forth the distinction between himself and Cain. ”Why do the heathen so furiously rage together?” exclaims Enos, in whose time the grand division between polytheists and the worshippers of the One true ‘God’ took place. “Thou art my worship, and the Lifter up of my head,” exclaims Enoch, —lifted up, indeed, when translated, that he should not see death. “O ‘Lord’, rebuke me not in Thine indignation,” is the Psalm of Lamech, who was blessed by ‘God’ with a son, the preserver of the human race from the indignation that destroyed the world. I need not explain how, in the same way, they make the four Psalms of the next distinction to signify Noah, Shem, Heber, and Terah, nor the third to set forth Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The second Nocturn, as we have seen, has three Psalms: and these are referred to the three epochs of the legal dispensation: the Priests, the Judges, and the Kings. They are respectively set forth in the 16th Psalm: when the Priest says, “The ‘Lord’ Himself is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup:” in the 17th, where the Judge prays, “Let my sentence —that is, the sentence I shall pronounce—” come forth from Thy Presence;” and the 18th, where the Monarch declares, “Great prosperity giveth He unto His King.” In the same way, the dispensation of grace may be divided into three epochs, —that of Apostolic preaching, that of persecution, and that of peace. Apostolic preaching is set forth by the 19th Psalm, which, as we shall see in its proper place, has always been applied to the Apostles. The epoch of persecution, and therefore of the martyrs, is expressed by the 20th Psalm, ” The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble.” The time of peace is represented by the 21st, “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not denied him the request of his lips.” The appearance of Antichrist is prophesied towards the end of that Psalm; “Thou shalt make them like a fiery oven in the time of Thy wrath:” and then the promise of final felicity; “Be Thou exalted, ‘Lord’, in Thine own strength, so will we sing and praise Thy power.”
With such holy ingenuity did mediaeval writers explain their “Daily Service.”….

16…..(List of Psalms from St Athanasius Epistle to Marcellinus:)
Prayer. Psalm 17, 68, 90, 102, 132, 142.
In prayer, with supplication for deliverance. Psalm 5,6,7, 12,13, 16, 25, 27, 31, 35, 38, 43, 54,55,56, 57, 59, 61, 64, 83, 86, 88,140,141, 143.
In supplication for deliverance alone. Psalm 3, 26, 69, 70,71, 74, 79,80, 123, 130, 131.
In confession of sins. Psalm 51.
If thou desirest to render thanks to ‘God’ for His many marvels, or on the accomplishment of some good work. Psalm 8, 81.
If thou desirest to know how others praise ‘God’. Psalm 113, 117, 125, 146, 147,148, 150.
If thou desirest to stir up thyself to bless GOD. Psalm 103,104.
If thou desirest to praise ‘God’. Psalm 92, 105,106, 107,108, 112, 136, 138.
If thou desirest to sing to ‘God’. Psalm 93, 98.
If thou desirest to remember the mercy and justice of ‘God’. Psalm 101.
If thou desirest to exhort to faith and obedience. Psalm 41.
If thou desirest to show to others of what kind is the man who is a citizen of heaven. Psalm 15, 24.
If thou desirest to ridicule heretics or Gentiles.2 Psalm 76.
If them beholdest heretics gathering together against the House of God. Psalm 83.
If thou desirest to convince heretics. Psalm 87.
If thou desirest to remember benefits of the redemption of man. Psalm 8, 87, 116 (v. 10 to end.)
If thou desirest to admire sermons, and the grace of the preacher. Psalm 19.
If thou wouldest remember the Incarnation of our Lord. Psalm 45, 110.
If thou wouldest remember the Lonn’s Cross. Psalm 22, 69.
If thou wouldest sing of the Resurrection. Psalm 16, 66.
If thou wouldest remember the Ascension. Psalm 24, 47.
If thou wouldest call to remembrance the future judgment. Psalm 50, 72.
If thou wouldest commemorate martyrs. Psalm 79.
If thou wouldest praise GOD on Festivals. Psalm 81, 95.
If thou wouldest sing on Good Friday. Psalm 93.
If thou wouldest sing on Saturday. Psalm 92.
If thou wouldest return thanks on Sunday. Psalm 34, 119.

32. We now turn to the arrangement of the Psalter which has been adopted by the Church at Constantinople. It is divided into 20 sections or cathismata as follows: Psalms:
I: 1-8; II: 9-17; III: 18-24; IV: 25-32; V: 33-37; VI: 38-46; VII: 47-66; VIII: 66-64; IX: 66-70; X: 71-77; XI: 78-86; XII: 86-91; XIII. 92-101; XIV: 102-105; XV: 106-109; XVI: 110-118; XVII: 119; XVIII: 120-132; XIX: 133-143; XX: 144-150
Each of these cathismata is divided into three “staseis;” and at the end of the latter only —not of each Psalm, as in the Western Church—the Gloria is said. The word “cathismata,” in this sense, must not be confounded with the “troparia” so-called.

33. The general arrangement for the lection of the Psalter for Psalms is as follows: In the weeks of the….so that the Psalter is said through once a week. In the six weeks of the Great Fast the quantity is doubled, the Psalter being repeated twice in each week. In Holy Week it is said once, but finishes on the Wednesday. From Maundy Thursday till the Eve of the Anti-Pascha (Low Sunday,) it is not said at all. At the first Vespers of Low Sunday it begins again, and, till the 20th of September, two cathismata are said at Matins and one at Vespers. From the 20th of September till the Vigil of the Nativity, three cathismata in Matins: one, namely the 18th, at Vespers, together with the 133rd and 136th Psalms. Thence, to the Octave of the Epiphany, two at Matins, one at Vespers. Thence, till the Saturday before the Apocreos, one at Matins, one at Lauds, and two at Vespers……
34. (Psalms Repetition at different Seasons, Feasts, Festivals, required different emphases:… “the same sun-ray from the ‘Holy Ghost’ rested, indeed, at all times on the same words, but the prism of the Church separated that colourless light into its component rays: into the violet of penitence, the crimson of martyrdom, the gold of the highest seasons of Christian gladness. Hence arose the wonderful system of Antiphons, which, out of twenty different significations, definitely for the time being fixed one: which struck the right key-note, and enabled the worshipper to sing with the spirit and to sing with the understanding also. Ancient as is the alternate chanting of Psalms in the Church, it may be doubted whether that of antiphons is not of even more venerable antiquity;…An Antiphon, then, in the original sense of the word, was the intercalation of some fragment or verse between the verses of the Psalm which was then being sung : one choir taking the Psalm, the other, the intercalated portion….42. I need scarcely point out to the reader the extraordinary beauty of this intercalation. But this kind of intercalation approximates as nearly to a “Farce” as it does to an Antiphon. A Farce, as is well known, is the insertion in a Gospel, Epistle, or Canticle, such as the ‘Gloria in Excelsis’, of intercalated sentences, intended to have the same effect as an Antiphon, and to fix a determinate sense for the time being, on the composition so farced. But the clauses thus inserted became in process of time thoroughly jejune and miserable; sometimes, in fact, utterly absurd. Hence, from the ludicrous character of the intercalation, the word came to be applied to anything ludicrous: whence its present use….
(Conclusion of Disertation): 81. I have thus endeavoured to sketch out, as briefly as the subject permits, an account of the manner in which the Psalter, while it has been employed in, has itself modified, the Services of the Church. Those who study it as Churchmen, can hardly enter into it as they should do, until they have been taught to consider it in the light in which it has been the aim of this essay to set it before them. I heartily wish that it were more perfect, and less unworthy of the subject; but I have been all along fearful of entering too deeply into minutiae, —interesting, indeed, to Ecclesiastical students, but not necessary in and by themselves to the study of the Psalms. I shall hereafter have occasion to direct the reader’s attention to a subject which will, perhaps, be more widely interesting —the general question of mystical interpretation: which I leave for the Third Dissertation in this work. I can only hope that the blessing of ‘God’ may have been bestowed on what has already been said, and may still accompany that which we yet have to observe.

(Dissertation II: Primitive & Mediaeval Commentators on Psalms:……….)

(Dissertation III: Mystical & Literal Interpretation of Psalms:)
1. Having now, through ‘God’s’ goodness, accomplished the fifth part of our task, it seems time to dwell at greater length than hitherto we have done on the system itself on which this commentary is based. Utterly different as it is from the modern style of interpretation, —liable to the charges of fancifulness, unreality, and of making anything out of anything,— I wish now to show that, whatever be the faults of its execution, its principle, at least, is the same as that on which the great commentators of primitive and mediaeval ages wrote, and which they would have recognised as their own. What that principle is, the reader has now had sufficient opportunity of judging; and while none can be more sensible than myself of the innumerable faults in detail for which the foregoing pages may be blamed, for the theory on which they have been composed I need —and I hope to show that I need— no excuse.
2. The mystical interpretation of Scripture, as every one will allow, is the distinguishing mark of difference between ancient and modern commentators. To the former, it was the very life, marrow, the principle essence of ‘God’s’ Word, —the kernel, of which the of early, literal exposition was the shell,— the jewel, to which the outside and verbal signification formed the shrine: by the latter it has almost universally been held in equal contempt and abhorrence; it has been affirmed to be the art of involving everything in uncertainty; to take away all fixedness of meaning; to turn Scripture into a repository of human fancies; to be subversive of all exactitude, and fatal to all truth….
3….The rule laid down by the strictest interpreters of this sort appears to be this: that in those histories of the Old Testament which are applied to our Blessed ‘Lord’ in the New, we may see a type of Him, but in those only. Thus, of the brazen serpent, the Paschal Lamb, Jonah in the whale’s belly, He was undoubtedly the antitype; but Joseph, taken from prison and from judgment, —but Elijah, fasting forty days and forty nights, and translated into heaven, —but David, in his victory over Goliath, —but Samson, destroying the Philistines by his own death,— these are historical characters only, and cannot, without presumption, be invested with a typical signification.
4. Now it is clear that, to those who entertain similar sentiments, the present work will present nothing but an aggregation of the wildest conceits, and the most worthless fancies. If Scripture has not an under-current of meaning, double, triple, quadruple, or even yet more manifold, I confess, not only that my work is a mere waste of labour, time, and paper, which would comparatively matter little, but it also follows that all primitive and mediaeval commentators, from the first century till the Reformation, have more or less been deceiving the Church of ‘God’, —have been substituting their changing fancies for His immutable verities, —have adopted a system which is alike the offspring and the parent of error,— that their folios have been a hindrance to the cause of truth, and the labours of their lives an insult to the to those who principles of genuine interpretation. If any one can believe this, it will matter little what he thinks of the preceding and following pages. I only wish to prove that the mystical principles on which this commentary on the Psalms is written are the principles of the great commentators from the beginning; and if I can show that, I have shown enough.
5. It is well known that, from very early times, a meaning fourfold meaning was attached to the plain text of Scripture. It is expressed in the lines: Litera scripta docet : quid credos, ‘Allegoria’: Quid speres, ‘Anagoge’: quid agas, ‘Tropologia’. And on this principle St Gregory the Great composed his Morals on Job, keeping his skeins of meaning separate, and with marvellous skill pursuing each to the end. Durandus explains the various terms with great neatness: “In like manner, ‘Jerusalem’ is understood, historically, of that earthly city whither pilgrims journey; allegorically, of the Church Militant; tropologically, of every faithful soul; anagogically, of the Celestial Jerusalem, which is our Country.”
6. Let us, in the first place, inquire from Scripture Arguments itself, what probability there is that the Holy Ghost intended such a system of interpretation to be applied to His own Word: then let us see how the early Church felt on the subject: and then what are the advantages, and what are asserted to be the dangers, of the mystical sense.
7. Now it cannot be denied, that to those who eschew the mystical or spiritual interpretation, —and whom we will in this dissertation call ‘literalists’,— a very large portion of Scripture can have nothing but an historical interest. The journeyings of the Israelites to their various encampments, — the genealogies of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, —the numbers of the tribes in the Pentateuch,— the prophecies against the nations whom it pleased ‘God’ to destroy before Nebuchadnezzar, and many such like passages, are to them all but a dead letter. Nay, the same Scott whom I lately quoted ventures, without any apology, to call one such collection of passages by a term which, when we remember Whose is the lightest word of Holy Scripture, can scarcely be called less than profane. He names the genealogies of the first book of Chronicles by the appellation of ‘Thorns’! He is but consistent with himself; but what kind of theory must that be which leads to such a conclusion?
40. In conclusion, do we ordinarily attach sufficient importance to such expressions as that with reference to our ‘Lord’ in the last days of His earthly life? “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Does not this infer a regular tuition in some system of interpretation of which hitherto they knew nothing? He expounded unto them ‘all’ the things concerning Himself. Some of those things, we have already seen, involved what would now be called the deepest mysticism, and forthwith we see its fruits. History is no longer a bare relation of facts —it is a parable. Agar is no longer the concubine of Abraham, but “Mount Sinai in Arabia.” The Mosaic law is a Christian Parable; “saith He it not altogether for our sakes?” Christ is everywhere, in Prophet, Psalm, History: every Old Testament Saint is the type of the Saint of Saints; every persecutor is the forerunner of the Destroyer of souls. And what follows? Observe the depth of study, the profound search, the intensity of investigation of the mystics, contrasted with the jejunity [dullness], the commonplace superficiality of the literalists! To the latter, Scripture is no mine: its treasures are at the surface; a first reading may exhibit as much of the meaning as a twentieth; and hence the stupid dictum of a marvellous genius (Lord Bacon), likening the first interpretation of the Bible to the first crush of the grape, which first crush is not wine, but a sickly and unwholesome must.
Conclusion. 41. In unison with the system which it has been the object of this Essay to unfold, the present Commentary is written. I know that it will be called, by many, fanciful, unreal, destructive of Scripture, will be said to put imagination in the place of reason, and to substitute the words of men for the word of ‘God’. But let this only be borne in mind. Our system is the system, as all must allow, of every saintly Commentator from St Barnabas to St Francis de Sales —the system, as I have endeavoured to show, not only of Isapostolic [?] but of Apostolic writers. The interpretations are none of them my own; their authors are given; they come with greater or less authority; but those that have least will be found to possess some considerable weight. I claim nothing but the poor thread on which the pearls are strung. To collect them has been the happy work of many years —work which has consoled me in trial, added happiness to prosperity, afforded a theme of profitable conversation with dear friends, furnished the subject-matter for numerous sermons. I pray ‘God’ to accept it as an offering to the Treasury of His Church; and to give that system, if it be His will, favour in the eyes of Scriptural students, which I know to be the only method whereby His own, be it declaration or command, can be fully acted out, (ereunate tas graphas….kai Ekeinai Eisin Hai Marturousai Peri Emou).

9: From: Critical & Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms by Charles A. Briggs, D.Lit., Emile Grace Briggs. International Crititical Commentary Old Testament. (1906)

     Preface: “This Commentary is the fruit of forty years of labour. In1867, when making special studies in Berlin with Dr. Emil Rodiger, I began a critical Commentary on the Psalms, the Ms. of which is still in my possession….In the plan of the International Critical Commentary I undertook the volumes on the Psalms, and have been at work upon them ever since. In addition to my work on the theological terms of the new edition of Robinson’s Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon, BDB., I have made a complete lexicon to the Psalter, based on a revised Hebrew text, which I hope ere long to publish. I have spared no pains upon the text of the Psalter, not only in the study of the Versions, but also in the detection and elimination of the glosses in the search for the original texts as they came from their authors. The Theology of the Psalter has been carefully investigated ; only the limits of space prevent me from giving it in this volume….A public Version, in my opinion, should be less pedantic and literal than the Revised Version, and not so slavish in its adherence to the Massoretic text. In this respect the older Versions, especially the Version of the Book of Common Prayer, is to be preferred; for while it is less accurate than the later Versions, it preserves many readings of the Greek and Vulgate Versions which later English Versions unwisely rejected, and it is concerned to give the sense of the original in rhythmical devotional language well suited to the character of a book of prayer and praise….The Psalms are among the most wonderful products of human genius. No other writings but the Gospels can compare with them in grandeur and importance. The Gospels are greater because they set forth the life and character of our Lord and Saviour. The Psalter expresses the religious experience of a devout people through centuries of communion with God. I cannot explain either Gospels or Psalms except as Books of God, as products of human religious experience, inspired and guided by the Divine Spirit.”
Introduction: § 1. “The Psalter belongs to the third division of the Hebrew Canon, entitled Hymns or Prayers, from its chief contents. The Greek Version named it Psalms from the most frequent sub-title, and in this has been followed by other Versions”…..”In the Hebrew Canon the Psalter bears the title Praises, of Book of Praises, because of the conception that it was essentially a collection of songs of praise, or hymn book, to be used in the worship of God; or else Prayers, because it was a collection of prayers, a prayer book. In LXX it is entitled Psalms, doubtless because the word “psalm” was in the titles of such a large proportion of the poems. In early Greek writers it received the name Psalter, which seems a more appropriate name for a collection of Pss. for use in public worship.”….(Hebrew title: Tehillim, Sepher Tehillim; Aramaic Tehilyon; Hallels (Praises); Greek LXX Psalmoi (Psalms, Book of Psalms), (psalmos) is the translation of (mizmyr < zmr, zamir), used in the titles of 57 Pss., ‘song’ or ‘poem’, ‘play, musical instruments, more technical form & indicates a poem with measured lines & strophes, selected for public worship; the Psalter (Psaltërion) of David.
A. Text of Psalter:
§ 2. “The original text of the Psalter was written in the Hebrew language, and in letters which were subsequently abandonedfor the Aramaic script. This latter text has been preserved in Mss., none of which are older than the tenth century ; but they rest upon two important revisions of that century, those of Ben Asher and Ben Naftali, which differ chiefly in Massoretic material.”….
§ 3. “The Massora also gives evidences of variations of text, going back to primitive times, in marginal notes and signs, where the text remains unchanged. Citations in the Talmud and other early Jewish writings give little evidence of other variations of text.”….”These Massorites were so called as masters of Massora, or tradition. Their work was based upon the methods of the Syrian schools with reference to Syriac Literature. The differences between the so-called Babylonian and
Palestinian systems of vocalisation and accentuation show various stages in their work, which continued for several centuries. The earliest stages have left no record, but they may be inferred from the simpler forms of Syriac and Arabic Literature. It is important to notice that all these vowel points and accents are comparatively late in origin, and, although they rest on tradition going back to primitive times, they were still matters of opinion, and by no means have the venerable authority of the consonantal text. The view that they were equally inspired with the consonantal text, held commonly in the 16th century, has been universally abandoned. There are several Massoretic notes and signs which are of great importance, for they indicate variations of text in ancient tradition which the Massorites felt obliged to record, although they did not venture to change the traditional text. These are: (1) The variation between the (qeri) that which should be read, and the (kethibh, ketib, ketiv), that which is written. There are 70 of these in (Psalter).”….
§ 4. “The earliest printed edition of the Hebrew Psalter was published at Bologna in 1477. Independent texts based on Mss. were published at Soncino, in the Complutensian Polyglot, and the second Rabbinical Bible. All subsequent editions were mixed texts, until those of Baer and Ginsburg, which give accurate forms of the Massoretic text of Ben Asher.”….
§ 5. “The earliest Version of the Psalter was that of the Greek Septuagint (LXX), translated from the Hebrew in the second century B.C. at Alexandria, and preserved in many ancient codices, the earliest of the fourth century A.D., giving evidence as to an original Hebrew text, many centuries prior to any Hebrew authorities. The ancient Latin, Coptic, Gothic, Armenian, and Ethiopic Versions are based upon the Greek Version.”….
§ 6. “Several other Greek Versions were made in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th centuries A.D., that of Aquila from the official Hebrew text of the school of Jamnia, that of Theodotion to improve (LXX) in the direction of that text; and that of Symmachus to give a better Greek style. Other minor Versions, indicated as Quinta (5th) and Sexta (6th), were also composed. None of these have been preserved, except in fragments.”….”(LXX) was used in a large proportion of the citations in the NT & Christian writings of the 2nd & 3rd centuries. The Jews of the school of Rabbi Akiba, owing to a literalistic tendency, threw discredit upon (LXX) among the Jews, and so gradually undermined the confidence even of Christians in its accuracy. Accordingly, many attempts were made to make a better Version. The first of these came from Aquila, a pupil of Akiba, who made a new translation from the official text established by the school of Jamnia. This is exceedingly literal and pedantic, and frequently transliterates rather than translates. This Version, indicated by Aq., is chiefly valuable for its evidence as to the official text which it translates. Theodotion (T.LXX) undertook a revision of (LXX) to make it more conformable to the Hebrew text of Jamnia. Its variations from (LXX) also help to the official Hebrew text of the second century rather than to an earlier text. Symmachus (S.LXX) had a later and a different purpose; namely, to improve the style and character of (LXX). It is therefore of value in helping to a text of &. It is difficult to determine the purpose of Quinta and Sexta, but so far as appears they do not give evidence of any knowledge of early Hebrew codd. These efforts did not succeed in producing a text suitable for universal adoption; they in fact increased the confusion and corruption among the Greek codd. by mixed texts. This evil was the chief reason for the masterly work of Origen in his Hexapla. Origen’s Hexapla was the most important Biblical work in ancient times. It gave in six parallel columns the original Hebrew text, the same transliterated, a purified text of (LXX), the Versions of Aq., (S.LXX), (T.LXX), and also, as a sort of appendix, Quinta, Sexta.”….
§ 7. “The Syriac Peshitto (Peshitta, Peshta, Pesht.,Syriac Vulgate) Version was made from a comparison of the Hebrew text with (LXX), and shows the influence of an early Aramaic Targum. It has maintained its integrity since the 4th century.”….”At an early date, probably in the second or third century, a translation of the Psalter was made for the use of Syrian Christians ( SyrcPesht). It was based upon a Hebrew text, but kept (LXX) constantly in view. It also shows traces of the influence of an oral Aramaic Targum earlier than the existing Targum. The author was a good Hebrew scholar, but his purpose was to give a Vrs. for practical use, rather than an exact verbal rendering. He therefore takes liberties with the original from a dogmatic as well as a practical point of view. (SyrcPesht) passed through a number of revisions, but has kept its integrity since the fourth century, as Aphraates in his Homilies uses it essentially in the same form that we now have.”….
§ 8. “Jerome in the early fifth century issued his Latin translation, made from the Hebrew text of his times, but with all the other ancient Versions and Origen’s Hexapla in view.”….”Jerome, after the completion of the two revisions of the old Latin Psalter already mentioned, undertook c. 389 a translation of the entire OT from the original Hebrew, which he completed in 390-405 at Bethlehem. This Vrs. took the place of the old Latin Vrss. in all the books except the Psalter, and is known as the Vulgate (V, Vlg, Vulg, LatVulg, JermVulg). This new Vrs. of the Psalter could not overcome the use of the Gallican Psalter in the usage of the Church. Accordingly, (V) of the Psalter is the Gallican Version, and the Version of Jerome is distinguished from it in reference by the abbreviation (J, Jerm). This Vrs. is exceedingly valuable, especially in the study of the Psalter; for Jerome was not only an able Hebrew scholar, using the best Hebrew texts accessible to him in Palestine, at the time when the Rabbinical School at Tiberius was in its bloom ; but he was also familiar with Origen’s Hcxapla, and the full text of all the ancient Vrss. in earlier Mss. than those now existing. (J) in the main gives evidence as to the Hebrew text of the fourth Christian century. Where it differs from (V) and (LXX) its evidence is especially valuable as giving the opinion of the best Biblical scholar of ancient times as to the original text, based on the use of a wealth of critical material vastly greater than that in the possession of any other critic, earlier or later.”….
§ 9. “The Aramaic Targum of the Psalter in its present form dates from the 9th century, but it rests upon an oral Targum used in the synagogue from the most ancient times.”….”The Targum on the Psalter (T, Targ, Targm, AramTarg) represents a traditional oral translation, used in the services of the synagogue from the first century A.D. The original Hebrew text was constantly kept in view, for it was the custom to read the original before the Targum was read. Therefore the Targum gives evidence as to the traditional Hebrew text, with all the development that that tradition had from the 1st till the 9th century, ever restrained, however, by the original text. The Targum, however, was not simply a translation, but at the same time an explanation of the original, enlarging upon it to give the sense by way of paraphrase. It avoids anthropomorphism, and entirely disregards the poetic form & style.”….
§ 10. “The critical use of Hebrew texts and versions leads back in several stages from the official text of Ben Asher of the 10th century, through the text used by Jerome of the 4th century, the official text of the School of Jamnia of the 2nd century, to the unofficial codices of the 2nd century B.C., which gave the Canonical Psalter in its final edition. But it had already passed through centuries of transmission by the hands of copyists and editors. We have to distinguish, therefore, between the original text of the Psalter of the Canon and the original text of the psalms themselves as they came from their authors.”….
§ 11. “There are several Psalms which appear in different texts in the Psalter itself, or in the Psalter and other Books of the Old Testament. These give evidence of originals differing in some respects from the varying texts that have been preserved.”….”(A) Hebrew poetry is dominated by the principle of parallelism of members. The simplest form is seen in the couplet; but it is extended to a considerable number of lines. There are three primary forms of parallelism: (1) the synonymous, (2) the synthetic, and (3) the antithetic; the synonymous having a more ornate variety which may be called (4) emblematic; the synthetic a more vigorous variety which is (5) stairlike in character. An important variation appears in what is called (6) introverted parallelism. But within these six varieties there are still a great number of combinations in accordance with the nature of the parallelism, whether it extends to entire lines or to the more emphatic words in them. Bishop Lowth (‘De Sacra Poesi Heb’. 1753; cf. Preliminary Dissertation to ‘Isaiah’, 1778) was the first to establish the principle of parallelism in Hebrew poetry, although he based his conclusions on older writers, Rabbi Asarias and especially Schottgen (‘Horae Heb’. Diss. VI. ‘De Exergasia Sacra’). Lowth’s views were at once accepted and have maintained themselves. Lowth distinguished three kinds of parallelism, — the synonymous, the antithetical, and the synthetic. Bishop Jebb (‘Sacred Literature’, § IV. 1820) called attention to a fourth kind, which he properly named “introverted.” Lowth had already recognised it (Prelim. Diss. ‘Isaiah’ 14), but did not name it or emphasize it. Other scholars have noted the stairlike and the emblematic.”….”The Pss., as Philo, Josephus, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome tell us, were composed in several kinds of meter. The measures, however, were not of feet, as in classic Latin and Greek, or of syllables as in Syriac poetry; but of words or word accents, as in Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and the most ancient poetry of other nations. The simplest measure is: (1) the trimeter, measured by three tonic beats; (2) the tetrameter, which has four tones, usually with a caesura in the middle; (3) the pentameter, which has five tones, the caesura usually coming after the 3rd tone, but sometimes for variety of effect after the 2nd; (4) the hexameter, which has six tones, with the caesura usually in the middle, but sometimes for variety after the 2nd or the 4th tones, and occasionally with two caesuras dividing the line into three parts. In the estimation of tones we have to consider that on the one side monosyllabic words are usually not counted, but are attached to the following word and not accented; and on the other side that words of four or more syllables have a secondary accent which is counted in the measures. This is true occasionally of words of three syllables.”….”…To Ley, more than to any other scholar, is due the credit of leading to a correct conception of the measures of Hebrew poetry. I accepted the principle of measurement of Hebrew poetry by accents soon after I began to teach as Professor of Hebrew and cognate languages in Union Theological Seminary, in 1874; and from that time I have given much attention to the subject. My views were published in 1881 (‘Homiletic Quarterly’; ‘Biblical Study’, first edition, 1883).
§ 12. “The Psalms were composed in the parallelisms, measures, and strophical organisations of lyric poetry. When these have been determined with reference to any particular Psalm it is not difficult to see the changes that have been made in the original text.”….
§ 13. “Several Pss. give evidence that they were parts of longer Pss.”….
§ 14. “Many Pss. are composite of two or more original Pss. or parts of Pss. combined for liturgical purposes. Usually the original Pss. were of different poetic structure, and they are combined in various ways by editorial seams.”….(Examples: Psalms: 19; 24; 40; 60; 89; &c.)….
§ 16. “The text of the Psalter shows a large number of errors, just such as one would expect from its transmission through the hands of many different editors and copyists. There are essentially the same kinds of errors and subject to the same rules and principles of classification as those that are found in all Literature.”….”The most of the Pss. were composed in the ancient Hebrew script, resembling the Samaritan letters. They were transliterated into the Egyptian Aramaic script, and finally into the later square Aramaic letters. In each of these scripts errors arose from mistakes as to similar letters both in form and in sound; the transposition of letters in a word or of words in a sentence; the wrong attachment of letters to words, or of words to sentences; the transposition of clauses; and conjectures in the case of defective or illegible Mss.”….
§ 17. “A very large proportion of the changes in the text of the Psalms was due to corrections of the scribes and glossators, who for various reasons endeavoured to improve the text to make it more intelligible and useful.”….”The scribes corrected the text to make it more intelligible. The older writers were concise, and left many things to be inferred by the attentive reader. In the unpointed consonant text the words were not distinctly separated, and forms were written as briefly as possible, so that various interpretations were possible. There were also many abbreviations which might easily have been misunderstood.”….
§ 22. “With the rise of the Higher Criticism, the traditional opinion as to the Davidic authorship of the Psalter was questioned, and soon abandoned by all critics. At first editorship by Ezra and the Davidic authorship of only those Psalms which have David in their titles was proposed; but subsequently internal evidence showed this to be impossible, so that critical opinion gradually came to the result that the final editorship of the Psalter could not have been earlier than the Maccabean period, and that David wrote few, if any, of the Psalms, the most of them being postexilic.”….
§ 23. “The Higher Criticism of the Psalter depends chiefly upon the internal evidence of the Psalms themselves. The titles are valuable for traces of the history of their use ; but their contents, their interrelation, and their relation to other writings of the OT., give the only reliable evidence as to their origin and transmission.”….
§ 24. “The earliest term to appear in the titles was doubtless “Song” (shirah, shr, shiri, shirim) which, in some cases at least, was attached to the originals. It indicated a lyric poem used for singing, especially on joyous occasions; in later times especially in religious worship of praise, and by the Levitical choirs.”….(Examples: Psalms: 18:1 = 2nd Sam 22:; 45; 69; 46; 30;; 92; 108; &c.)….
§ 41. “Selah indicates the abbreviation of a psalm in liturgical use, and marks the place where the closing benediction might be sung. The word itself means: Lift up (the voice in praise). This
interpretation explains the tradition of & that it called for an “interlude,” and the Palestinian tradition, which represents it by the last word of the doxology, “forever.” The term was first attached to psalms in the Psalter of the Mizmorim. ft was used in the Director’s Psalter, and in the Collection of the Elohist, and it continued in use at least until the time of the Psalter of Solomon and the earliest portions of the Jewish Liturgy.”….
§ 43. “The Psalter represents many centuries of growth in the historical origin both of its Psalms, extending from the time of David to the Maccabean period, and of the various minor and major Psalters through which they passed, from the early Persian to the late Greek period, before the present Psalter was finally edited and arranged, in the middle of the second century B.C.”…. (Evolution of Psalter:) “We may assign 7 Pss. in their original form to the early Hebrew monarchy, before Jehoshaphat : 7, 13, 18, 23,24, 60, 110; 7 to the middle monarchy: 3, 20,21, 27, 45, 58, 61; and 13 to the late monarchy: 2, 19, 28, 36, 46, 52, 54,55,56, 60, 62, 72, 87; thus 27 to the period of the Hebrew monarchy. During the Exile 13 were composed: 42-43, 63, 74, 77, 79, 81,82, 84, 88,89, 90, 137, 142. In the early Persian period there was a great outburst of psalmody. As many as 33 Pss. were composed: 4, 6, 9-10, 11,12, 14 (=53), 16,17, 22, 25, 31,32. 34,35, 37,38,39, 41, 57, 59, 64, 69, 70 (= 40) 75,76, 78, 80, 83, 101, 109, 140, 143,144. This was due to several influences. The conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, which aroused the enthusiasm of the exilic Isaiah, called forth lyric songs. The rebuilding of the altar and temple, with the restoration of the worship in Jerusalem, as it was accompanied by prophetic voices, so also by those of lyric poets. The struggles of the pious with the unfaithful in the community, and with the neighbouring little nations, whose jealousy and hatred constantly interfered with the growth and prosperity of the people in Jerusalem, also naturally expressed itself in song. Toward the close of this period the collection of ‘Miktamim’, or golden poems, was made after the example of the older collection of the Book of Yashar. To the middle Persian period, the times of Nehemiah, we may assign 16 Pss.: 5, 8, 15, 26, 29,30, 40, 47, 51, 57, 65,66, 69, 138,139, 141; to the late Persian period, in which internal and external trouble was renewed, 11 Pss.: 27, 36, 44, 48,49,50, 68, 81, 85, 89, 102. In this last period the collection of ‘Maskilim’, or religious meditations, was made; also (DavidPss) was edited as a prayer-book for use in the synagogues, and soon after (KorahPss), more ornate in character. The conquest of Alexander introduced the Greek period, which in its early part was advantageous to the Jews. At the beginning of this period the great royal advent Ps. was composed, 93, 96-100, and soon after 8 other Pss.: 66,67, 73, 86, 91, 95, 108, 145. The Psalter of (AsaphPss) was prepared in Babylonia; and later in Palestine the Psalter of the ‘Mizmorim’, the first of the major Psalters, as a hymn-book for use in the synagogues. Toward the close of this period (DavidKorahPss) was made, using all the earlier Psalters, as a prayerbook for the synagogues, and directions were given for musical rendering. The later Greek period was troublous in Palestine, owing to the constant strife between the kings of Egypt and Syria, and to internal dissensions resulting therefrom. But in the East the Jews were less troubled. There in the early part of this period (ElhmPss) was prepared for synagogue use. To this period we may ascribe 11 Pss.: 1, 19, 24, 71, 77, 89, 92, 94, 103, 139, 144, and the elaborate praise of the Law, 119. In addition 14 Pilgrim Pss., 120-128, 130-134, were composed, and the Pilgrim Psalter collected in this period. Also 16 of the Hallels, 104-107, 111-117, 135-136, 146, 148, 150, were composed and edited in a collection. The Maccabean period began with the persecution of Antiochus and the rise of the Maccabees at the head of the patriotic party. They gradually triumphed, and organised the Maccabean dynasty & kingdom. To this period we may ascribe Pss. 33, 102,109,118, 139; also 129 of the Pilgrim Psalter, & 147, 149 of the Hallels. After the rededication of the temple the present Psalter was prepared, combining Pss. appropriate for use in the synagogue and in the temple, and using all the previous Psalters, especially (David’s, David Director’s,Elham’s Psalters) the Hallels, and the Pilgrim Pss. The collection was divided into three books. Toward the close of the second century the final editor divided it into five books and 150 Pss., in accordance with the same divisions of the Law, allowing for variations in usage.”….
(C. Canonicity of Psalter):
§ 44. “The Psalter was the first of the Writings to win canonical recognition, and it has maintained this recognition in the unanimous consent of Jew and Christian until the present day. The testimony of representative Jews and Christians in all ages is that the Psalter is a holy Book, divinely authoritative, the norm and guide of worship and religious experience.”….

(Briggs Commentary is very scholarly, & lexically thorough, perhaps more than any others, the 1st Psalm (“orphan” Psalm) is explored in 9 pages of small print; however Psalm 145:1-21 is only given 5 pages; but Psalms 119 is covered in 35 pages. His Translation is excellent.)

10: From: Treasury David, Original Expositions, Book of Psalms, etc. 7 Volumes by Charles H. Spurgeon. (1882)

     Preface (vol.1): “The delightful study of the Psalms has yielded me boundless profit and ever-growing pleasure; common gratitude constrains me to communicate to others a portion of the benefit, with the prayer that it may induce them to search further for themselves. That I have nothing better of my own to offer upon this peerless Book is to me matter of deepest regret; that I have anything whatever to present is subject for devout gratitude to the Lord of grace. I have done my best, but, conscious of many defects, I heartily wish I could have done far better. The Exposition here given is my own. I consulted a few authors before penning it, to aid me in interpretation and arouse my thoughts; but, still I can claim originality for my comments, at least so I honestly think. Whether they are better or worse for that, I know not; at least I know I have sought heavenly guidance while writing them, and therefore I look for a blessing on the printing of them. The collection of quotations· was an after-thought. In fact, matter grew upon me which I thought too good to throw away. It seemed to me that it might prove serviceable to others, if I reserved portions of my reading upon the various Psalms; those reserves soon acquired considerable bulk, so much so that even in this volume only specimens are given and not the bulk. One thing the reader will please clearly to understand, and I beg him to bear it in mind; “I am far from endorsing all I have quoted’. I am neither responsible for the scholarship or orthodoxy of the writers. The names are given that each author may bear his own burden; and a variety of writers have been quoted that the thoughts of many minds might be before the reader. Still I trust nothing evil has been admitted; if it be so it is an oversight……..It may be added, that although the comments were the work of my health, the rest of the volume is the product of my sickness. When protracted illness and weakness laid me aside from daily preaching, I resorted to my pen as an avail­ able means of doing good. I would have preached had I been able, but as my Master denied me the privilege of thus serving him, I gladly availed myself of the other method of bearing testimony for his name. O that He may give me fruit in this field also, and His shall be all the praise.”

Expositions of Psalms:
Psalm 1:
Title: This Psalm may be regarded as The Preface Psalm, having in it a notification of the contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. This, then, is the matter of the first Psalm, which may be looked upon, in some respects, as the text upon which the whole of the Psalms make up a divine sermon.
Division: This Psalm consists of two parts: in the first (from verse 1 to the end of the 3rd) David sets out wherein the felicity and blessedness of a godly man consisteth, what his exercises are, and what blessings he shall receive from the Lord. In the second part (from verse 4 to the end) he contrasts the state and character of the ungodly, reveals the future, and describes, in telling language, his ultimate doom.
Exposition:……

Psalm 2:
Title: We shall not greatly err in our summary of this sublime Psalm if we call it The Psalm of Messiah The Prince: for it sets forth, as in a wondrous vision, the tumult of the people against the Lord’s Anointed, the determinate purpose of God to exalt His own Son, and the ultimate reign of that Son over all His enemies. Let us read it with the eye of faith, beholding, as in a glass, the final triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over all His enemies. Lowth has the following remarks upon this Psalm: “The establishment of David upon his throne, notwithstanding the opposition made to it by his enemies, is the subject of the Psalm. David sustains in it a twofold character, literal and allegorical. If we read over the Psalm, first with an eye to the literal David, the meaning is obvious, and put beyond all dispute by the sacred history. There is indeed an uncommon glow in the expression and sublimity in the figures, and the diction is now and then exaggerated, as it were on purpose to intimate, and lead us to the contemplation of higher and more important matters concealed within. In compliance with this admonition, if we take another survey of the Psalm as relative to the person and concerns of the spiritual David, a noble series of events immediately rises to view, and the meaning becomes more evident, as well as more exalted. The colouring which may perhaps seem too bold and glaring for the King of Israel, will no longer appear so when laid upon his great Antitype. After we have thus attentively considered the subjects apart, let us look at them together, and we shall behold the full beauty and majesty of this most charming poem. We shall perceive the two senses very distinct from each other, yet conspiring in perfect harmony, and bearing a wonderful resemblance in every feature and lineament, while the analogy between them is so exactly preserved, that either may pass for the original from whence the other was copied. New light is continually cast upon the phraseology, fresh weight and dignity are added to the sentiments, till, gradually ascending from things below to things above, from human affairs to those that are Divine, they bear the great important theme upwards with them, and at length place it in the height and brightness of heaven.”
Division: This Psalm will be best understood if it be viewed as a fourfold picture. (In verses 1,2,3) the Nations are raging; (4 to 6) the Lord in heaven derides them; (7 to 9) the Son proclaims the decree; and (from 10 to end) advice is given to the kings to yield obedience to the Lord’s Anointed. This division is not only suggested by the sense, but is warranted by the poetic form of the Psalm, which naturally falls into four stanzas of three verses each.
Exposition:….
….”The first Psalm was a contrast between the righteous man and the sinner; the second Psalm is a
contrast between the tumultuous disobedience of the ungodly world and the sure exaltation of the righteous Son of God. In the first Psalm, we saw the wicked driven away like chaff; in the second Psalm, we see them broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel. In the first Psalm, we beheld the righteous like a tree planted by the rivers of water ; and here, we contemplate Christ the Covenant Head of the righteous, made better than a tree planted by the rivers of water, for ‘He’
is made King of all the islands, and all the heathen bow before Him and kiss the dust; while He Himself gives a blessing to all those ­who put their trust in Him. The two Psalms are worthy of the very deepest attention; they are, in fact, the preface to the entire Book of Psalms, and were by some of the ancients, joined into one. They are, however, two Psalms; for Paul speaks of this as the second Psalms (Acts 13:33). The first shows us the character und lot of the righteous; and the
next teaches us that the Psalms are Messianic, and speak of Christ the Messiah —the Prince who shall reign from the river even unto the ends of the earth. That they have both a far-reaching prophetic outlook we are well assured, but we do not feel competent to open up that matter, and must leave it to abler hands”……

11: From: Family Prayer Book, Book Common Prayer, Psalms, etc. Protestant Episcopal Church, by Thomas C. Brownell, LLD. (1868)

     Order for Daily Morning & Evening Prayer: Minister shall begin Morning & Evening Prayer, by reading one or more of the following Sentences of Scripture: (Hab. 2:20; Mal. 1:11; Ps. 19:14; Ezek. 18:27; Ps. 51:3; Ps. 51:9; Ps. 51:17; Joel 2:13; Dan. 9:9,10; Jer. 10:24. Ps. 6:1; St Matt. 3:2; St Luke 15:18,19; Ps. 143:2; 1st John 1:8,9.)
(1.) Under the Law, daily morning & evening devotions were enjoined by God, on all the Israelites. —”Thou shalt offer upon the altar two lambs of the first year day by day continually; the one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning, & the other lamb thou shalt offer at even.” This ordinance was constantly observed by the Jews, during the continuance of their city & polity. It was probably on this account that the primitive Christians set apart these periods as times for solemn worship. And like all the divine ordinances their institution is most consonant to reason, & the fitness of things. Every morning when we awake, we receive, as it were anew, our life from God. —When We arise from our beds, to go forth amidst the cares & temptations of the world, & the dangers & business of the day, nothing can be more reasonable than that we should offer to our merciful Preserver our thanksgivings for his care over us during the unguarded moments of sleep, & for all the blessings He is constantly conferring on us; & that we should supplicate his guidance & protection through the day, as well as his favour & blessing on the work of our hands. —In the evening, too, the same reasons call us to a renewal of the same duties of devotion. Retiring from the labours & vanities of the day, & when our exhausted spirits dispose us to sink down upon our beds, in the attitude & image of death, reason requires of us, that as dying men, we should supplicate the pardon of “God for our omissions of duty, as well as for our follies and positive transgressions; & that we should again commend ourselves to His protection who never slumbers nor sleeps.
But besides the public devotions of the morning & evening, many of the devout Jews were in the habit of retiring to their closets, in the middle of the day for the purpose of private worship. And we have reason to believe that this custom was adopted by the early Christians. We learn that St Peter, “went upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour,” which corresponds with our noon. And we find that this was a common period of Christian worship, in the time of St Cyprian, & Clement of Alexandria. It was not long after, that the Monks, who professed to be more devout than other Christians, added other hours of stated prayer. These stated periods of daily devotion had increased to seven, in the time of Pope Pelagius the 2nd, who established them by a decree, & provided offices of devotion for the several “Canonical hours.” —At the period of the Reformation, our parent Church of England brought back the periods of public worship to the primitive usage, and enjoined only “daily morning & evening prayer.”
But though the Church has appointed these two periods of public worship, she does not thereby excuse any of her children from the essential duty of private devotion. Stated periods for retirement to the closet are salutary for all men. We may worship God, indeed, at any period of the day, & in the midst of our business, by short mental ejaculations, but the use of stated times for private devotion cannot be too highly estimated. Such is the constitution of our nature, that a duty, which we think can be performed at any time, we are apt to defer altogether, unless we regulate our conduct by fixed rules.
In the Cathedral Churches, in England, the regular morning service is constantly performed. But the circumstances of country parishes will not admit of this daily public worship; nor is it practicable in the Parish Churches of this country. But though the dispersed residences, and the secular avocations of Christians, will nor permit them to assemble daily for public worship, none ran be excused for the neglect of Family Devotions. And the American branch of the Church, has set forth “Forms of Prayer to be used in Families,” well suited to their circumstances and their wants. —Those heads of Families, therefore, who live in the habitual neglect of these daily morning & evening devotions, frustrate the benevolent intentions of the Church, & lose one of the most interesting bands of the domestic state: while they are deficient in a duty enjoined not less by the dictates of reason than the authority of Scripture. (T.C.B)
(2.) Prayer is the elevation of the soul to a communion with God; & is commanded by Him as a duty, through the pious & faithful performance of which we obtain all the especial blessings we enjoy. It is a high honour to us that we are permitted & assisted to hold this intercourse, and it is also a source of inestimable benefits to us. But it is a duty of difficult performance. Our attention should be wholly engrossed in the solemn act we are engaged in. The worldly objects which commonly occupy our thoughts must be excluded. Our souls must be suitably humbled under a sense of our unworthiness, & brought to a proper state of serenity by a contemplation of the paternal goodness of God, and the atonement and mediation of the Saviour. [page 62] Hence it results that some preparation of the mind is necessary before we enter upon the sacred duties of devotion.—It is the custom of the Jews, when they enter their synagogues for worship, to stand silent for some time, to meditate on the presence and perfections of God. And in the early ages of Christianity, it was the custom of the Priest to prepare the people’s hearts for worship, by the use of a suitable preface. In imitation of this primitive usage, the Church has prescribed the sentences of Scripture, the reading of which are enjoined by the foregoing Rubrick…….

(18.) The Book of Psalms, is that collection of sacred hymns, which were composed by devout members of the Jewish Church, for the purpose of praising God, both on public and private occasions. They are usually called the Psalms of David, from his composing the greater part of them. The other authors, whose names are mentioned, are Asaph, Ethan, Heman, Moses, and Solomon, but to each of the four last is ascribed only a single psalm; except we suppose that Solomon wrote the 72nd as well as the 127th. Of the 150, about 70 are expressly attributed to David; and there is internal evidence that others, which do not bear his name, are of his composition. From the number and excellence of David’s psalms, he is, in the records of his own times, styled “the Sweet Psalmist of Israel.”
Being not merely works of human ingenuity, but dictated by the Spirit of God, they are adapted to ail states and conditions of the Church. They are found to be as useful to Christians of the present day, as they were formerly to the Jews, or even to the persons themselves by whom they were originally written. From this comprehensive character, and from the intrinsic merits of subject and composition, the psalms have always deservedly been held in the highest estimation. Whatever difference of opinion may have existed among the ancient Christians, either with regard to speculative points of theology, or external forms of worship, all agreed in the use of these hymns, as the most effectual instrument of devotion.
“The ancients, when they speak of the psalms,” says Hooker, “use to fall into large discourses, shewing how this part, above the rest, doth of purpose set forth and celebrate all the considerations & operations, which belong to God: it magnifieth the holy meditations and actions of divine men: it is of things heavenly & universal declaration, working in them whose hearts God inspireth with a due consideration thereof, an habit or disposition of mind, whereby they are made fit vessels both for receipt, and for delivery of whatsoever spiritual perfection. What is there necessary for men to know, which the Psalms are not able to teach? They are to beginners an easy and familiar introduction, a mighty augmentation of all virtue & knowledge in such as are entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, unwearied patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of that world which is to come, all good necessarily to be either known, done, or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief, or disease incident to the soul of man, any wound, or sickness named, for which there is not in this treasure house a present comfortable remedy at all times ready to be found. This is the very cause, why we iterate the Psalms oftener than any other part of Scripture besides; the cause wherefore we inure the people together with their minister, and not the minister alone, to read them, as other parts of Scripture he doth.” (Shepherd)
It is certain the temple service consisted chiefly of forms taken out of this Book of Psalms, 1st Chron.16:1, 7-37; 1st Chron. 25:1,2; & the prayers of the modern Jews are also most chiefly gathered from thence. The Christians undoubtedly used them in their public service in the Apostles’ times. 1st Cor. 14:26; Col. 3:16; and in the following ages it is plain, that they sang the Psalms in the Church by turns, each side answering the other, indeed it appears the Psalms were placed about the beginning of the Prayers, soon after the Confession; & that they were so often repeated at Church, that the poorest Christians could say them by heart, and used to sing them at their labours, in their houses, & in their fields. The author of them, holy David, first set them to vocal & instrumental music; & pious antiquity did use them in their assemblies with music also; & so we may very fitly do, where we have convenience, for this makes our Churches the very emblem of the heavenly choir, which is always represented as praising God in this manner: and experience shews, that music works very much on the affections of well tempered men; it calms their minds; composes their thoughts; excites their devotion; & fills their soul with a mighty pleasure, while they thus set forth his praise.
The Church having thus fitted the Psalms for daily use, it is our duty to say or sing them with great devotion; & if we have performed the foregoing parts of the Liturgy as we ought, nothing can fit us better to sing David’s Psalms with David’s spirit; for all that hath been done hitherto was to tune our hearts, that we may say, “O God, my heart is ready,” or fixed: “I will sing & give praise,” Ps. 108:1. And, as St. Basil notes, this frame of spirit is more necessary in the use of the Psalms, than of any other part of Scripture, the rest being only read to us, but every man is to repeat these as his own words. (Dean Comber.)
As it is so primitive and useful an order to have the Psalms thus read; & as this “Psalter” is an entire body of devotion, having different forms, to exercise several graces, by way of internal act & spiritual intentions, containing in it, confessions, thanksgivings, prayers, praises, and intercessions; let every one be sure to do it standing, sitting being only allowed whilst the Lessons or the Epistle is reading. (Collis.)

(19.) The Christian Church has uniformly appointed the Psalms to be repeated oftener than any other part of Scripture, excepting only that divine form of prayer, which was taught by our Lord Himself, & in our Church makes apart of every service. “Christians,” says Chrysostom, “exercise themselves in David’s Psalms oftener than in any part of the Old, or New Testament —Moses the great Law-giver, who saw God face to face, & wrote of the creation of the world, is scarcely read through once a year. The Holy Gospels, where Christ’s miracles are preached, where God converses with man, where devils are cast out, lepers are cleansed, & the blind restored to sight, where death is destroyed, where is the food for immortality, the holy sacraments, the words of life, holy precepts, precious promises; these we read over once or twice a week. What shall I say of blessed Paul, the preacher of Christ ? His Epistles we read twice in the week. We get them not by heart, but attend to them while they are reading. —But as to David’s Psalms, the grace of the Holy Spirit has so ordered it, that they are repeated night & day. In the vigils of the church, the first, the midst, the last, are David’s Psalms. In the morning, David’s Psalms are sought for, & the first, the midst, & the last, is David. At funeral solemnities, the first, the midst & the last, is David. In private houses the first, the midst, & the last, is David. —Many that know not a letter can say David’s Psalms by heart.”
Jerome tells us, that “in the morning, at the 3rd, 6th, & 9th hour, in the evening, & at midnight, David’s Psalms are sung over in order, & no man is suffered to be ignorant of David’s Psalms.”
From the times of the Apostles, the recitation of Psalms has every where formed one principal part of the service of the Church. Some of the early Christians, in particular those of the East, rehearsed sometimes 20, sometimes 60 psalms in a day. About the year 350, in the Churches of Egypt, 12 were repeated in the morning, and the same number in the evening. This practice made its way into the western Church; for from Jerome we learn, that the whole Book of Psalms was read over once in 7 days. If 24 were read every day, the whole would be read in somewhat less than a week.
With us the Psalms are recited much oftener than any other part of Scripture, & thus far our established practice corresponds with the usage of the ancient Church. At the same time, that all the Psalms may be read in course, and that our Morning & Evening Prayer may not tire or disgust by its prolixity, we assign, for this purpose, the term of thirty days. (Shepherd.)
Standing has usually been considered as the most proper attitude for praise & thanksgiving. Accordingly we find that, in the ancient Church, the Psalms were almost universally recited in this posture. (Shepherd.)
The alternate recitation of the Psalms is not, as far as I at present recollect, enjoined by any Rubrick, nor by any other injunction of our Church. But we uniformly adopt it, & in defence of our practice, we have to allege, that it is perfectly congenial to the usage of antiquity, is sanctioned by the recommendation of the wisest and best among the fathers, has been ratified by respectable councils, & the most approved ecclesiastical laws, & is obviously calculated to keep up the attention, & assist the devotion of the people. (Shepherd.)

(20.) In some parts of the eastern Church Gloria Patri was formerly repeated at the end of the last psalm, which was called Alleluja, because they always selected for the concluding psalm one of those which had the title Alleluja (Hallelujah, Hallelu-Yah) prefixed. The concluding psalm was likewise called Antiphona, or the Antiphonial Psalm, from its being recited in alternate portions, that is, nearly in the same manner in which we repeat all the Psalms.
The ancient practice, however, of all the western Churches, (that of Rome alone excepted) was to repeat Gloria Patri at the end of every psalm. There is a peculiar propriety in this. The Doxology serves for a general application to each psalm. And as a penitential psalm may be followed by a psalm of thanksgiving, & that succeeded by one of adoration or prophecy, if they were not separated by this Doxology,or something of the like nature, subjects very distant and distinct might be strangely & improperly united. (Shepherd.)

(22.) From the Exhortation, at the opening of the service, we learn that one principal end of our meeting together in the house of God, is, “to hear His most holy word.” After reciting a portion of the Psalms there is a peculiar propriety in reading other parts of Holy Scripture. Our minds being elevated, & our affections warmed, by celebrating the praises of God, we are prepared to listen with attention & reverence to the history of His providence, the dispensation of his grace, and the rules of our duty. Here therefore follow, with the intervention only of a hymn, two lessons, the first taken from the Old Testament, the second from the New. The course pursued by the Church points out the order & disposition of the two covenants, and shews the harmony and connexion that exists be tween them. (Shepherd.)
After the Psalms follow the Lessons. For having, according to the Exhortation, “set forth God’s most worthy praise,” we proceed to ” hear His most holy word.” And then a respite is given to the bent of the mind: for, whereas in the work of praising it was active, in hearing it is only attentive. Besides, a different faculty of the soul is now called into employment. In the Psalms the will and affections were employed; but now in the Lessons chiefly the understanding. And, as with the members of the body, so with the faculties of the mind, a change of employment prevents weariness, & affords relief. (Dr. Bisse, Dr. Bennet.) He, which prayeth in due sort, is thereby made the more attentive to hear; and he, which heareth, the more earnest to pray. (Hooker.)
That they, who are blessed with a revelation from God, should read & hear it with reverence, when they assemble to worship Him, is a plain dictate of reason and religion. Accordingly the Jews “read Moses & the Prophets in their synagogues of old time,” as the book of Acts informs us, Acts 13:27, 15:21; & so indeed do writers of their own, in the same age with it: who boast of the practice as a most useful & honourable distinction peculiar to their nation, that the laws of life were thus published to all the people. The primitive Christians, as one of the earliest apologists for them, Justin Martyr, tells us, read at their meeting, both the Jewish prophets, and the writings of the apostles, in proper portions. And when the Church of Rome had broken them into small fragments, interrupted with other things; & had continued to read even these in Latin, after it was no longer understood; our Church rectified both errors; & hath taken care that the Old Testament should be gone through once a year and the New thrice. Only we omit some parts of the former; which are repetitions of what is related in other parts, or bare lists of genealogies and families, or too mystical & abstruse to be edifying in publick; on which last account we omit also the book of Revelation, excepting two or three chapters; matters of such difficulty being wisely thought fitter for the private meditation and study of those, who are qualified to engage in them…….(Abp. Secker.)

Notes Introductory to Psalms:
“The Psalms are an epitome of the Bible, adapted to the purposes of devotion. They treat occasionally of the creation and formation of the world; the dispensations of Providence, and the economy of grace; the transactions of the patriarchs; the exodus of the children of Israel; their journey through the wilderness, and settlement in Canaan; their law, priesthood, and ritual; the exploits of their great men, wrought through faith; their sins and captivities; their repentances and restorations; the sufferings and victories of David; the peaceful and happy reign of Solomon; the advent of Messiah, with its effects and consequences; His Incarnation, Birth, Life, Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, Kingdom, and Priesthood; the effusion of the Spirit; the conversion of the nations; the rejection of the Jews; the establishment, increase, and perpetuity of the Christian Church; the end of the world; the general judgment; the condemnation of the wicked, and the final triumph of the righteous with their Lord and King. These are the subjects here presented to our meditations. We are instructed how to conceive of them aright, and to express the different affections which, when so conceived of, they must excite in our minds. They are, for this purpose, adorned with the figures, & set off with all the graces, of poetry; & poetry itself is designed yet farther to be recommended by the charms of music, thus consecrated to the service of God; that so delight may prepare the way for improvement, & pleasure become the handmaid of wisdom, while every turbulent passion is calmed by sacred melody, & the evil spirit is still dispossessed by the harp of the son of Jesse. This little volume, like the paradise of Eden, affords us in perfection, though in miniature, everything that groweth elsewhere, “every tree that is pleasant to the sight, & good for food :” & above all, that was there lost, but is here restored, the tree of life in the midst of the garden. That which we read, as matter of speculation, in the other Scriptures, is reduced to practice, when we recite it in the Psalms; in those, repentance & faith are described, but in these, they are acted; by a perusal of the former, we learn how others served God, but, by using the latter, we serve Him ourselves. “What is there necessary for man to know,” says the pious and judicious Hooker, “which the Psalms are not able to teach? They are to beginners an easy & familiar introduction a mighty augmentation of all virtue & knowledge in such as are entered before, a strong confirmation to the most perfect among others. Heroical magnanimity, exquisite justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, repentance unfeigned, unwearied patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrors of wrath, the comforts of grace, the works of Providence over this world, and the promised joys of that world which is to come; all good necessary to be either known, or done, or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief or disease incident unto the soul of man, any wound or sickness named, for which there is not, in this treasure-house, a present comfortable remedy at all times ready to be found.” In the language of this divine Book, therefore, the prayers & praises of the Church have been offered up to the throne of grace, from age to age. And it appears to have been the manual of the Son of God in the days of His flesh; who, at the conclusion of His last supper, is generally supposed, and that upon good grounds, to have sung a hymn taken from it who pronounced, on the cross, the beginning of the 22d Psalm; “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” and expired with a part of the 31st Psalm in His mouth; “Into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” Thus He, who had not the Spirit by measure, in Whom were hidden all the treasures of wisdom & knowledge, & who spake as never man spake, yet chose to conclude his life, to solace himself in his greatest agony, and at last to breathe out his soul, in the Psalmist’s form of words rather than his own. No tongue of man or angel, as Dr Hammond justly observes, can convey a higher idea of any book, & of their felicity who use it aright. (Bp. Horne.)
The Psalms very justly make a principal part of the joint praises, that we offer up to God. For though several of them were composed on particular occasions, yet they are plainly fitted for general use; & their insertion into the canon of Scripture proves them to be designed for it: the Jews anciently recited them in the temple, and do still in their synagogues: the New Testament hath recommended them to the Christians , & the whole Church hath sung them ever since. Indeed the subject matter of them is very different: but those of joy are much more numerous, than any other sort: & all of them afford ground of praise at least; the doctrinal, the exhortatory, the historical, as well as the rest. Even the plaintive & petitionary minister cause of thanksgiving to Him, who hath promised to hear, & support, & deliver; & make all “things work together for good to them, that love Him.” Rom. 8:28. Glory therefore to the blessed Three (in) One is a fit conclusion to every Psalm.
But in reading them it must be carefully observed, & may with moderate care be commonly distinguished, in whose person the several sentences are spoken. In some Psalms, or portions of Psalms, it is God, or Christ; in others it is wicked men, that speak. These we must repeat as their sayings: & none as our own, but what were intended for us. Even the words of the Psalmist, if we are to adopt them, may frequently seem so unapplicable to the outward condition, or inward frame, of many in every congregation, that, if they attend to them, they cannot say them with truth. ‘But most of them all good people may say, even of themselves singly, with much truth. For they have constantly enemies, temporal or spiritual, afflictions more or less heavy, valuable mercies, & at times warm feelings of pious dispositions: which, if not present, may be so recalled, & made their own again, as to be very sincerely expressed to God. And what they cannot say in their own name separately, they may truly say in the name of Christ’s Church, of which they are members: & they ought, & surely do, bear some share of the mercies & sufferings, the fears & desires, of every part of it, in every state. And as David, in some of his Psalms, takes on him the person of Christ; in others he seems to take that of his disciples; & to speak, not in any one particular character, but as representing the whole body of believers. Or if there be any passages, which neither of these methods will suit: still we may rehearse them as expressing the case of some eminent worthy of old times, and be affected by it accordingly: for we often are strongly affected by the circumstances, well described, not only of distant but of imaginary persons. We may consider, as we go on, the likeness, or the difference, between his situation, his temper, & our own: and raise from it many reflections of sympathy & caution, of humiliation, encouragement, & thankfulness. Thus, at least, we may bring every thing we say, home to ourselves: & by so doing furnish our minds with a most valuable store of devout thoughts and language, perhaps for many future occasions of our own or others. For the Book of Psalms is so in exhaustible a treasure of every branch of piety, that a more constant use of it, than of any other in the whole Bible hath, with very just reason, been appointed in public forms of prayer, and recommended in private ones.
It may be objected, that in several of them David utters most bitter imprecations against his enemies: in which, to say nothing harsher, we cannot follow him; for the rule of the New Testament is, “Bless & curse not.” Rom. 12:14. But indeed most, if not all, the places, which appear wishes ot evil, may, according to the confessed import of the original, be understood only as predictions of it. Or, supposing them wishes, David might be directed by infinite wisdom to pronounce them even against the opposer of his reigning over Israel; who opposed, at the same time, the known decree of Providence. Repeating them in this view, solely as his, must be innocent: & strongly suggest an important admonition, “not to fight against God.” Acts 23:9. But perhaps in some of these, as well as other passages, he speaks in the person of the whole Church of God, against all its irreconcilable adversaries, whoever they be. Such was Judas: to whom therefore the two most dreadful of these Psalms are applied, (Acts 1:20:) &, with the utmost tenderness to the whole of God’s creation, we may & must desire the overthrow of them, who obstinately hate Him & His laws. For, though we ought much more to desire the repentance, than the death of a sinner, as He Himself doth: yet if they will not repent, we ought to think & speak with approbation & satisfaction, yet mixed with an awful concern, of their punishments here, & sentence hereafter: which last St Paul represents good persons, as joining to pronounce: “Do ye not know, that the saints shall judge the world?” 1st Cor. 6:2. ( Abp. Secker.)
Very few of the Psalms, comparatively, appear to be simply prophetical, & to belong only to Messiah, without the intervention of any other person. Most of them, it is apprehended, have a double sense, which stands upon this ground and foundation, that the ancient patriarchs, prophets, priests, & kings, were typical characters, in their several offices, & in the more remarkable passages of their lives, their extraordinary depressions, & miraculous exaltations, foreshewing Him who was to arise, as the Head of the holy Family, the great Prophet, the true Priest, the everlasting King. The Israelitish polity, & the law of Moses, were purposely framed after the example & shadow of things spiritual & heavenly; & the events, which happened to the ancient people of God, were designed to shadow out parallel occurrences, which should afterwards take place, in the accomplishment of man’s redemption, & the rise & progress of the Christian Church. For this reason, the Psalms composed for the use of Israel, & Israel’s monarch, and by them accordingly used at the time, do admit of an application to us, who are now, “the Israel of God,” & our Redeemer who is the King of Israel. (Bp. Horne.)
It would be an arduous and adventurous undertaking to attempt to lay down the rules observed in the conduct of the Mystic Allegory; so diverse are the modes in which the Holy Spirit has thought proper to communicate His counsels to different persons upon different occasions; inspiring and directing the minds of the prophets according to His good pleasure; at one time vouchsafing more full & free discoveries of future events; while, at another, He is more obscure and sparing in His intimations. From hence ariseth of course a great variety in the Scripture usage of this kind of allegory, as to the manner in which the spiritual sense is couched under the other. Sometimes it can hardly break forth & shew itself at intervals through the literal, which meets the eye as the ruling sense, & seems to have taken entire possession of the words & phrases. On the contrary, it is much oftener the capital figure of the piece, & stands confessed at once by such splendour of language, that the letter, in its turn, is thrown into shades, & almost totally disappears. Sometimes it shines with a constant equable light; & sometimes it darts upon us an a sudden, like a flash of lightning from the clouds. But a composition is never more truly elegant & beautiful than when two senses, alike conspicuous, run parallel together through the whole poem, mutually corresponding with, and illustrating each other. I will produce an undoubted instance or two of this kind, which will shew my meaning, & confirm what has hitherto been advanced on the subject of the mystic allegory.
The establishment of David upon his throne, notwithstanding the opposition made to it by his enemies, is the subject of the second Psalm. David sustains in it a twofold character, literal & allegorical. If we read over the Psalm first with an eye to the literal David, the meaning is obvious & put out of all dispute by the sacred history. There is indeed an uncommon glow in the expression, & sublimity in the figures, & the diction is now & then exaggerated as it were on purpose to intimate, & lead us to the contemplation of higher & more important matters concealed within. In compliance with this admonition, if we take another survey of the Psalm, as related to the person and concerns of the spiritual David, a noble series of events instantly rises to view, and the meaning becomes more evident as well as exalted. The colouring which may perhaps seem too bold and glaring for the king of Israel, will no longer appear so, when laid upon his great Antitype. After we have thus attentively considered the subjects apart, let us look at them together, and we shall behold the full beauty and majesty of this most charming poem. We shall perceive the two senses, very distinct from each other, yet conspiring in perfect harmony, & bearing a wonderful resemblance in every feature & lineament, while the analogy between them is so exactly preserved, that either may pass for the original, from which the other was copied. New light is continually cast upon the phraseology, fresh weight & dignity are added to the sentiment, till gradually ascending from things below to things above, from human affairs to those which are divine, they bear the great important theme upwards with them, & at length place it in the height and brightness of heaven.
What hath been observed with regard to this Psalm, may also be applied to the 72nd; the subject of which is of the same kind, & treated in the same manner. Its title might be, ‘The Inauguration of Solomon’. The scheme of the allegory is like in both; but a diversity of matter occasions an alteration in the diction. For whereas one is employed in celebrating the magnificent triumphs of victory, it is the design of the other to draw a pleasing picture of peace, & of that felicity, which is her inseparable attendant. The style is therefore of a more even & temperate sort, and more richly ornamented. It aboundeth not with those sudden changes of the person speaking which dazzle & astonish; but the imagery is borrowed from the delightful scenes with which creation cheers the sight, & the pencil of the divine artist is dipped in the soft colours of nature. And here we may take notice how peculiarly adapted to the genius of this kind of allegory the parabolical style is, on account of the great variety of natural images to be found in it. For as these images are capable of being employed in the illustration of things divine & human, between which there is a certain analogy maintained, so they easily afford that ambiguity which is necessary in this species of composition, where the Ianguage is applicable to each sense, and obscure in neither; it comprehends both parts of the allegory and may be clearly & distinctly referred to one or the other. (Bp. Lowth.)
The offence taken at the supposed uncharitable & vindictive spirit of the imprecations which occur in some of the Psalms, ceases immediately if we change the imperative for the future, and read not “Let Them Be Confounded,” &c, but, “They Shall Be Confounded,” &c, of which the Hebrew is equally capable. Such passages will then have no more difficulty in them, than the other frequent predictions of divine vengeance in the writings of the prophets or denunciations of it in the gospel intended to warn, to alarm, and to lead sinners to repentance that they may fly from the wrath to come. This is Dr. Hammond’s observation; who very properly remarks, at the same time, that in many places of this sort, as particularly in Psalm 109 (and the same may be said of Psalm 69) it is reasonable to resolve that Christ Himself speaketh in the prophet; as being the person there principally concerned, and the completion most signal in many instances there mentioned: the succession especially of Matthias to the apostleship of Judas. It is true, that in the citation made by St Peter from Psalm 109 in Acts 1:20, as also in that made by St Paul from Psalm 109 in Romans 11:9, the imperative form is preserved; “Let his habitation be void,” &c.; ” Let their table be made a snare,” &c. But it may be considered that the apostles generally cited from the Greek of the LXX version; and took it as they found it, making no alterations, when the passage as it there stood, was sufficient to prove the main point which it was adduced to prove. If the imprecatory form be still contended for, all that can be meant by it, whether uttered by the prophet, by Messiah, or by ourselves, must be a solemn ratification of the just judgments of the Almighty against his impenitent enemies, like what we find ascribed to the blessed in heaven when such judgments were executed. Rev. 11:17,18; 16:5,6,7. See Merrick’s Annotations on Psalm 109 & Witsie’s Miscellan. Sacr. Lib. 1 Cap. 18 Sect. 24. But by the future rendering of the verbs, every possible objection is precluded at once. (Bp. Horne.)
Greatness confers no exemption from the cares & sorrows of life. Its share of them frequently bears a melancholy proportion to its exaltation. This the Israelitish monarch experienced. He sought in piety that peace which he could not find in empire, and alleviated the disquietudes of state with the exercises of devotion.
His invaluable Psalms convey those comforts to others, which they afforded to himself. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out as services for Israelites under the Law, yet no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the Gospel; they present religion to us in the most engaging dress; communicating truths which philosophy could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while history is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calculated alike to profit, & to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination, Indited under the influence of Him to whom all hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they suit mankind in all situations, grateful as the manna which descended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily more & more heightened; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellences, will desire to taste them again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.
And now, could the author flatter himself that any one would take half the pleasure in reading the following exposition, which he hath taken in writing it, he would not fear the loss of his labour. The employment detached him from the bustle & hurry of life, the air of politics, & the noise of folly; vanity & vexation flew away for a season, care & disquietude came not near his dwelling. He arose, fresh as the morning, to his task; the silence of the night invited him to pursue it; and he can truly say that food & rest were not preferred before it.
Every psalm improved infinitely upon his acquaintance with it, and no one gave him uneasiness but the last; for then he grieved that his work was done. Happier hours than those which he spent upon these meditations on the Songs of Sion, he never expects to see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass and moved smoothly & swiftly along; for, when thus engaged he counted no time. They have gone but have left a relish & fragrance upon the mind, and the remembrance of them is sweet. (Bp. Horne.)
That the reader may the more easily turn to such Psalms as will best suit the present state of his mind, according to the different circumstances, whether external or internal, into which, by the changes & chances of life, or the variations of temper & disposition, he may, at any time, be thrown, the common Table of Psalms, classed under their several subjects, is here subjoined.

Prayers:
I. Prayers for Pardon of sin. (Forgiveness) Psalm 6, 25, 38, 51,130. Psalms styled Penitential, 6, 32, 38, 51, 102,130,143.
II. Prayers composed when the Psalmist was Deprived of an opportunity for the public exercise of religion. Psalm 42,43, 63, 84.
III. Prayers wherein the Psalmist seems extremely Dejected, though not totally Deprived of consolation, under his Afflictions. Psalm 13, 22, 69, 77, 88, 143.
IV. Prayers wherein the Psalmist asketh Help of God in consideration of his own integrity, & the uprightness of his cause. Psalm 7, 17, 26, 35.
V. Prayers expressing the firmest Trust & Confidence in God under Afflictions. Psalm 3, 16, 27, 31, 54, 56,57, 61,62, 71, 86.
VI. Prayers composed when the people of God were under Affliction or Persecution. Psalm 44, 60, 74, 79,80, 83, 89, 94, 102, 123, 137.
VII. The following are likewise Prayers in time of Trouble & Affliction. Psalm 4,5, 11, 28, 41, 55, 59, 64, 70, 109, 120, 140,141,142.
VIII. Prayers of Intercession. Psalm 20, 67, 122, 132, 144.

Psalms of Thanksgiving:
I. Thanksgivings for Mercies vouchsafed to particular persons. Psalm 9, 18, 21, 30, 34, 40, 75, 103, 108, 116, 118, 138, 144.
II. Thanksgivings for Mercies vouchsafed to the Israelites in general. Psalm 46, 48, 65, 66, 68, 76, 81, 85, 98, 105, 124, 126, 129, 135, 136, 149.

Psalms of Praise & Adoration, displaying the Attributes of God,
I. General acknowledgments & praise of God’s Goodness & Mercy, & particularly His Care & Protection of good men. Psalm 23, 34, 36, 91, 100, 103, 107, 117, 121, 145,146.
II. Psalms displaying the power, majesty, glory, & other attributes of the Divine Being. Psalm 8, 19, 24, 29, 33, 47, 50, 65,66, 76,77, 93, 95,96,97, 99, 104, 111, 113,114,115, l34, 139, 147,148, 150.

Instructive Psalms:
I. The different characters of Good & Bad men: the Happiness of the one, & the Miseries of
the other, are represented in the following Psalms, 1, 5, 7, 9,10,11,12, 14,15, 17, 24,25, 32, 34, 36,37, 50, 52,53, 58, 73, 75, 84, 91,92, 94, 112, 119, 121, 125, 127,128, 133.
II. The excellence of God’s Law (& Word). Psalm 19, 119.
III. The Vanity of human life. Psalm 39, 49, 90.
IV. Advice to Magistrates. Psalm 82, 101.
V. The virtue of Humility. Psalm 131.

Psalms more eminently & directly Prophetical. Psalm 2, 16, 22, 40, 45, 68, 72, 87, 110, 118.

Historical Psalms: Psalm 78, 105, 106. (Bp. Horne.)

Short Vocabulary:
Giving the signification of some old English words used in this translation, but not commonly spoken or written in this age, at least not in that sense in which our Translators took them.
(Abridged from ” Holy David and his old English Translators clear’d,” 8vo. 1706.)

Beast: ‘Any living creature, except man’; not only our Translators, but Mr. Ainsworth, calls serpents and fish “beasts.” Gen. 3:1; Psal. 104:25. And indeed our last Translators do the same; which shews that the word was taken in this sense for above sixty years after this translation was made.

Blaspheme: ‘To speak reproachfully either of God or man’. If we respect the etymology only it is more properly applicable to man, than to God: for it properly signifies to ‘hurt the fame or credit of another’. Ps. 4:2.

Blasphemy: ‘Reproach, or slander’, either against God, or man. Ps. 73:8.
Commune: ‘To discourse familiarly, to confer notes’.
Counsel: ‘Design, device, decree’, or ‘resolution’ & not only advice, or direction, as it is now commonly taken. Ps. 33:10.
Eschew: ‘Avoid, shun, decline’.
Fain: ‘Glad, merry’. We now use it adverbially, namely, ” I would fain,” that is, ‘gladly’ but we do not commonly use it as an adjective as our ancestors did. See Ps. 71:21.
Flitting: A ‘hasty removal’, or ‘flight’. It is still used in this sense in some parts of England. Ps. 54:8.
Flood: A ‘river’ or ‘stream’. See Ps. 72:8; 89:26. It should seem this word retained this signification commonly in our language at the beginning of the seventeenth century; for our last Translators use it in this sense. Josh. 24:3; Ps. 98:8.
Health: ‘Safety, protection, power of saving, salvation’ both spiritual and temporal. It evidently comes from the old English hael, which had the very same signification. Ps. xxii. 22:1, &c and our last Translators used the word “health” in this sense. Ps. 42:11.
Hell: Not only ‘the place of torments’, but ‘the place or state of deceased souls’, or what we commonly call ‘the other world’. It seems to come from “Helan,” to ‘cover’, or ‘hide’, as the Greek “Hades” likewise signifies ‘an obscure or unknown place’. Our Translators did well to retain the word in this sense, as they do in Ps. 30:3, and often elsewhere: for this helps us to understand those words of our Christian faith “He descended into Hell;” whereas, by losing the ancient signification of words, the people are
in danger to lose the sense and meaning of their Creed. Further, sometimes “Hell” signifies ‘death’ only, as in Ps. 18:4; 96:3.
Host: ‘Army’, or ‘very great company’, very often.
Imagine: To ‘contrive, plot, design’; so it signifies in the statute of treason, which makes it a crime punishable with death, ” to ‘imagine’ the death of the King,” &c. Ps. 2:1, and very often.
Instantly: ‘Importunately, zealously’. Ps. 55:18. We still say that a thing was done “at the instance,” that is, ‘at the earnest request’, of another. The adjective ‘instant’ signifies ‘importunate’, in our last translation, (Luke 23:23,) and in other places.
Leasing: ‘Lying, cheating, dissembling’. Ps. 4:2.
Lust: Not only ‘filthy carnal desires’, but any ‘eagerness of appetite’, or ‘violent irregular inclination’. Ps. 10:2. So to “lust,” and to “list” signify the same thing in this translation. Ps. 73:7.
Malicious: ‘Very bad, evil’, &c. Ps. 59:5. We now commonly understand by this word, ‘spitefid, envious’; the ancients did not so.
Nethermost: ‘Lowest’ Ps. 86:13. “Nether” is used for lower, by our last Translators. Deut. 24:6, &c.
Plague: Any ‘blow’ or ‘stroke’ of God’s correcting or punishing hand, (Ps. 38:17;) not the pestilence only. “To plague,” in common discourse, signifies, to ‘use any severe proceedings’.
Port: ‘Gate’, from the Latin “Porta.” We still call him who keeps the gate porter. Ps. 9:14.
Preacher: Not only ‘he that discourses publicly of religion’, but ‘any one that publishes’ or declares any thing. Ps. 68:11; 59:12. So “to preach” signifies to publish or declare.
Prevent: To go, or be before. There are two designs which one may have in “going before” another; either to guide and help, or to hinder or stop: accordingly the word signifies two contrary things, namely, to help forward, and to oppose, hinder, &c. In the Scripture and Liturgy, it is for the most part taken in the good sense, to ‘guide, help forward, assist’, or ‘be beforehand in kindness’, as in Ps. 21:3; sometimes in the bad sense, to ‘hinder, stand in one’s way’, &c. (Ps. 18:18:) at other places barely
to ‘go’, or ‘be before’, as in Ps. 119:148; and 1st Thess. 4:15.
Quick: ‘Alive’; & so to “quicken,” signifies to ‘give’ or ‘restore life’, to ‘revive’ or ‘enliven’. Ps. 34:2; 22:30.
Rebuke: Not only ‘severe reprehension’, but any manner of ‘hard’ or ‘reproachful language’. Ps. 69:21.
Reproof: is used in much the same sense with the former word ‘rebuke’, & does not only import,
‘grave’ & ‘severe admonition’, but any manner of ‘reproachful language’, any speech whereby we shew our dislike of another’s words or actions. Ps. 69:20.
Simple: ‘Unmixt, plain, without any fraud or guile’, or ‘worldly policy’; like a child, that has no art or cunning to help himself in any difficulty, and therefore is often oppressed and overreached by crafty & sharp men. It is generally used in a good sense in the Psalms and New Testament; namely, for ‘plain, undesigning, though abused’ men; but then, because such are subject to be caught & drawn into evil, by political & artificial men, therefore sometimes it denotes those who by this means are ‘betrayed to sin’, & ‘a fault’ committed through this ‘easy unwary temper’, is called “simpleness.” Ps. 69:5.
Well: A ‘spring, fountain’, or ‘small stream’, not only a ‘deep dug pit’, as now it commonly signifies. Ps. 36:9; 84:6.
Wholesome: ‘Safe’. We still say “wholesome food, air, law, counsel.” Ps. 20:6.
Wiliness: ‘Cunning, guile’. We still use the word “wiles,” from whence this comes. Ps. 10:2.
World: ‘Age, time’, not only the ‘universe’ or ‘earth’: thus it signifies in the doxology “world,’ that is ‘age’, or ‘time’, “without end.” So in the Nicene Creed, “before all worlds;” that is, before all ages, or before time itself was. Ps. 45:18.
Worship: ‘Majesty, dignity, excellency, what deserves to be honoured’, or ‘is honoured’; that glory and power in God, to which we pay our devotion: for so it signified to our Saxon ancestors. Our Translators use the word in this sense, (Ps. 3:3; 96:6;) and elsewhere. We now by “worship,” most commonly mean that ‘honour which we pay to God’; and our Translators often take it in that sense also. Further;
“worship” does not only signify, the eminent dignity which is in God, but that which is in a low degree ‘in man’; & this sense of the word is not yet lost even in our own common language: for we still call that honour & authority which belongs to a magistrate, “his worship.” Our Translators retain the word also in this sense, when they say, that “God gives worship,” that is, honour and dignity, “to them who lead a godly life.” Ps. 84:12. Nay, our last Translators use the word in, the same sense, (Luke 14:10;) where it is said, that the humble guest ” shall have worship in the presence of those who sit at meat with him.” Who can then wonder, that in the matrimonial office the husband is taught to “worship” his wife? that is, ‘to pay her all due respect’? for no one ever understood more by that expression, except he were blinded by unpardonable ignorance, or prejudice. There is then an honour, glory, dignity, or worship in the divine nature; and so there is, or may be, in men too. We must pay honour, glory, worship, principally to God, but in an inferior sense to men. It has been said that most controversies, now depending, are chiefly a strife about words, And from what has been said briefly concerning this & other words in this short vocabulary, it will appear, that several particulars which have been objected against in our Psalter, our Liturgy, & our very Creed, are far enough from being faulty in themselves, & have been thought so by some men, merely because they do not understand their own tongue……

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Christian Biblical Reflections.18

CBR.18: Job: III. Poetic Books: Job-Songs. mjmselim. July29, 2018
((Here are pages 375-486 of CBR, Chapter III, (in three submissions pages 375-402, CBR.18 (Job), 402-450 CBR.19 (Psalms), 450-486 CBR.20 (Proverbs-Song of Songs) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. This Chapter III & Part III will be added to the PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, along with the final pages of the Chapter in a few days. CBR. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018))
((I am now a month behind my plan & desire to post a submission once a month of the Books & the Key Book of the section or division in the Bible. In May a change in the primary PC that I use to study, research, and write on had to be retired, and I upgraded from a 32bit to a 64bit as required by the new Windows 10 updates. Several weeks of conflicts with a few of the software that I use, and other issues of devices and programs, including loss of some notes & pages, further delayed me. Then some personal matters needed attention, in particular our youngest daughter, now an adult, with CP, was hit by a vehicle while she crossed the street, several weeks in the hospital, then several weeks in rehab, followed now by several weeks at home slowly recovering from a severe head injury, She is learning to walk again, memory and speech coming along, but will be months for full recovery. God was kind to grant her life & recovery strength & we pray trusting for wisdom with grace for the rest. The research & selections of the Poetic Books of Wisdom & Love has been greater than I anticipated. I have corrected many errors, whether human or machine, and many more will be corrected as met with from time to time. I have been constrained to adopt new uses of punctuations (like the & sign & omission of the articles &c) to adapt to the digital limitations of standard processes of software & programs, especially as to italics & poetry display. I must regret that as to the single quote-mark (Apostrophe sign) used in the transliterated words from Hebrew, Greek, etc., I also adopted it for ‘italics’ instead of ‘i t a l i c s’, due to my Draft and Notes are done in Notepad with ANSI restrictions & limitations in Fonts; and since I did not want to use ‘Unicode’ for other reasons (when, say, it is viewed in non-Unicode programs or systems), and because I am a simple cobbler, quite limited in my PC skills, despite ‘ever learning new things, I must convert those ‘italics’ as I have time & opportunity, that I delay not any further this submission to the readers. mjm.))

CHAPTER III
Part III: PSALMS – ISAIAH: JOB, PSALMS, PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES, PROVERBS & SONGS.
Part III: PSALMS: JOB – ISAIAH: Poetic Books: Job. David’s Psalms. Solomon’s Proverbs. Solomon’s Koheleth’s Ecclesiastes. Solomon’s Song of Songs.

     The Pentateuch-Chumash of Moses, the Foundational Books of the Law, followed by the Historical Books of the Early Prophets & closing with the Kings of Israel & Judah, with the Nation of Israel in Captivity & Exile, and their return as a remnant of Jews illustrated by the Book of Esther; leads us now to the Poetic Books with the Book of Psalms as the 3rd Great Finger of the Divine Hand of the Word. As Genesis controlled & governed the Old Testament Books, and Deuteronomy, the Second Law built on the 10 Words (Commandments) of Mount Sinai-Horeb, controlled the 3 Books of Moses of Exodus, Leviticus, & Numbers, and also governed the rest of the Old Testament Books of the Tanakh-Mikra, so now the Psalms of David will govern & rule the 5 Scrolls or Megillot from Job to Solomon to the Prophets and to the New Testament. The Hebrews call the Poetic Books the Writings, and they list the 5 Books from Job to Songs as Psalms to Ecclesiastes or Koheleth, but adding also Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, & the Chronicles in their arrangement & order. In our reflections we will consider the 5 Books as they are found in our English Bibles. We will gather all the selections from the various writers who have left us their labors in their works on these Books, using only a mere fraction of what is available and what has been examined, read, & edited. Then after all the Books together in Notes, Outlines, Comments, & the like have been submitted, then we must needs reflect and explore the meaning & sense to our reflections & study. I have tried to restrict the the selections to what was most essential & helpful, with hundred of pages deliberately refusing inclusion to not swell the book. The works & writings of the ancients of the Jews & Christians would alone comprise several volumes of examples & illustrations. My goal is to show in general & readily available biblical literature the path my own search has taken in understanding. In the Poetic Books we are here concerned with I have further departed from my earlier method of the detail digest of the Bible Books, which were examples of how I & we become familiar with Scripture in all its details and peculiarities. The progression of doctrines, the growth of the seeds to plants & seeds, the forms of life from conception to birth to maturity continued to appear in our reading & reflections from Genesis to Esther. The Poetic & Prophetic Books will continue this venue with even more development, unfolding, & modifications as God & man mutually respond to each other, as each adapt to the other, and each fulfills their part —God moving towards His eternal purposes within the world of His creation, both universally & particularly has He determines.

    We will first present the selections on the Poetic Books, then we will offer our reflections with some other contributions relative to the Book. I have edited the Selections to conform towards modern usage & practice; many or frequent Roman Numerals have been changed; the Articles (definite & indefinite) are often omitted in Outlines and Charts or Tables, as well substitution of the Conjunction ‘and’ for &; all Hebrew & Greek words have been transliterated, and I have not adhered to any rigid system, save only general consistency; also I have taken liberty at times to Capitilize or alter the emphasis were it made no sense in modern practice. In all cases my additions & opinions are bracketed or enclosed to indicate that it is not the author or writer of the quote& citation. We have been attentive to the Divine words spoken directly by God in various ways, printed & signified by Red ink, we now add Blue or Purple ink to designate or identify God speaking indirectly by a Personification distinct from Inspiration of the Vehicle or Instrument of communication, as the author, writer, or speaker. We have the words & thoughts of the author or writer of the Book, then in the Book we have God speaking by quotations or citations defined in the writing, then finally we read of God speaking by means of representations of various means & persons, real or virtual, that is, personifications as Wisdom, the Voice in a Dream, as Thoughts in our Minds or Spirits, etc. Here are the Passages in the 5 Poetic Books of this Section:

Red Letters in the Poetic Books:
Job: 1:7a, 8, 12; 2:2a, 3, 6; 33:24 (Elihu’s quote in thought), 37:6 (Elihu’s quote in thought), 38-41 (all Red except Job’s words in 40:3-6); 42:7b-8.
Psalms: 2:6-9; 32:8-9 (but these words we might put in Blue or Purple as if Wisdom Personified speaks as in Proverbs 8); 50:5, 7-23; 60:6-8; 68:22-23; 75:2-5, 10 (again these verses might be Blue or Purple); 81:6-16; 82:2-7 (Red or Blue or Purple); 87:4, 7b (Purple: Red or Blue); 89:3-4, 19b-37; 90:3b (Moses’ quote); 91:14-16; 95:8-11; 105:11, 15; 108:7-9; 110:1, 4; 132:11-18.
Proverbs: (No words are in Red, but Wisdom (Chokhmah-Sophia) Personified speaks in Blue or Purple as a Parent, both Father and Mother in chapters 1-9, but especially in chapter 8 as the Female or Woman (Lady Wisdom).)
Ecclesiastes: (No Red or Blue in Koheleth. The Preacher is the Divine Voice.)
Song of Songs of Solomon: (No Red or Blue in the Song, but the Lovers speak in clear words of Love for the Beloved.)

The number of Quotations or References & Allusions of the Psalms in the New Testament is compared to certain other Old Testament Books are as follows: (See: Toy’s New Testament Quotations (1884))
Job: 8 times; Psalms: 150 times; Proverbs: 28 times; Ecclesiastes: 4 times; Song of Songs: 1 time Deuteronomy: 80 times; Isaiah: 160 times

JOB: (Selections from various authors, writers, commentaries, &c.)

     1: ’IYob, ’Yob, Iob,Job, Yob, Hiob. Unique Book, oldest Book in the Bible, oldest Poetry in the World. Religious Philosophy. Many Questions about the Book with many opposing views. In Job’s trial and sufferings God is tested , tried, and vindicated. Variant Years Job lived: 70+70=140 + 70=210 + 30=240. The Book has an Introduction (Chapters 1-2) & a Conclusion (Chapter 42). The Book is divided into 2 Parts or Halves (Chapters 1-21 & Chapters 22-42); and Job at 19:3 tells us that there were already 10 Times of rounds, turns, or exchanges between him and his friends. The 2nd half of Book reveals another 10 Times, thus in all the Book of Job consists of 20 Exchanges. Its unfortunate that the scholars have universally adopted the notion that ’10 times’ is merely a metaphor or figure of speech for ‘many times’. Pope Gregory the Great in his original 7-volume commentary, reprinted as 3-volume, of Sermons on Job called the Morals of the Book of Job, in the 6th century, (an excellent commentary & influence on the following generations), clearly saw the significance of Job’s 10 Times:
St Pope Gregory the Great, in Morals of the Book of Job, 591 A.D.,1845:
(Job 19:3) (‘Lo, these ten times ye confound me’. 30. On enumerating the successive times of the speeches of Job’s friends, we learn that as yet they had spoken but five times. But for this reason, that he had five times heard rebukes from them, and five times himself replied to their rebukes, he says that he had been ten times confounded; because both herein, viz. that he had been causelessly reproached, he suffered deeply, and in this, that he uttered words of instruction to those that gave no ear, he underwent confusion”.)

2: From: Biblical Companion, Introduction to Reading & Study of Holy Scriptures, etc. William Carpenter (1836):

1. Chapter III of the Poetical Books. Section I. Book of Job:

6. Chief Doctrines of Patriarchal Religion, as collected from different parts of the Poem by Dr. Hales & Mr. Good, are as follow:
(1) Creation of World by one Supreme & Eternal Intelligence. (38-42)
(2) Regulation by Perpetual and superintending Providence. (1:9,21; 2:10; 5:8-27; 9:4-13)
(3) Intentions of Providence effected by Ministrations of Heavenly Hierarchy. (1:6-7; 3:18-19; 5:1; 33:22-23)
(4) Heavenly Hierarchy, composed of various Ranks and Orders, possessing different Names,
Dignities, and Offices. As ‘obelim’= servants; ‘malachim’= angels; ‘melizim’= intercessors; ‘memitim’= destinies or destroyers; ‘alep’= chiliad or thousand; ‘kedoshim’, Sancti, heavenly saints or hosts generally. (4:18; 33:22-23; 5:2; 15:15)
(5) Apostasy, or defection, in some rank or order of these Powers (4:18; 15:15), of which Satan seems to have been one, and perhaps chief, (1:6-12; 2:2-7).
(6) Good and evil Powers or Principles, equally formed by the Creator, and hence equally denominated “Sons of God;” both of them employed by in Administration of Providence; and both amenable to Him at stated Courts, held for purpose of receiving an account of their respective missions. (1:6-7; 2:1)
(7) Day of future Resurrection, Judgment, and Retribution to all mankind. (14:13-15; 19:25-29; 21:30; 31:14)
(8) Propitiation of the Creator, in the case of human transgressions, by Sacrifices (1:5; 42:8); and the Mediation and Intercession of righteous person. (42:8-9)
(9) Idolatrous Worship of Heavenly Bodies a judicial offence, to be punished by Judge.(31:26-28)
(10) Innate Corruption of Man; or what is generally termed “Original Sin.” (14:4; 15:14-16; 35:4)

7. Several of these Doctrines are more clearly developed than others, but the whole of them are fairly deduced from the obvious meaning of the words.

8. Mr. Good, to whom we have been indebted for the foregoing outline, has remarked, that nothing can be more unfortunate for this most excellent composition than its division into chapters, and specially such a division as that in common use; in which, not only the unity of the general subject, but in many instances, that of a single paragraph, or even of a single clause, is completely broken in upon & destroyed. Various other divisions have been adopted. Dr. Hales, who excludes the Exordium & Conclusion, divides it into five parts; but Mr. Good, who justly remarks that these are requisite to the unity of the composition, divides it into six. We follow his arrangement, only dividing his sixth part into two. We have then:
1. History of Job’s Character & Trials (ch. 1-3)
2. First Series of Conversations or Controversy: Eliphaz’s Address (ch. 4-5); Job’s Answer (ch. 6-7); Bildad’s Address (ch. 8); Job’s Answer (ch. 9-10); Zophar’s Address (ch. 11); Job’s Answer (ch. 12-14)
3. Second Series of Controversy: Eliphaz’s Address (ch. 15); Job’s Answer (ch. 16-17); Bildad’s Address (ch. 18); Job’s Answer (ch.19); Zophar’s Address (ch. 20); Job’s Answer (ch. 21:4)
4. Third Series of Controversy: Eliphaz’s Address (ch. 22); Job’s Answer (ch. 23-24); Bildad’s Address (ch. 25); Job’s Answer (ch. 26-31).
5. Elihu’s Four Speeches to Job (ch. 32-37)
6. Jehovah’s 1st & 2nd Address to Job (ch. 38-41).
7. Humiliation of Job & final Prosperity (ch. 42).

3: From: Book of the Patriarch Job Translated from Original Hebrew by Samuel Lee.(1845)

Introduction: Preliminary Remarks:
….”The book is confessedly the most difficult one in the Hebrew Bible. It certainly is one of the most ancient. It was written in a country and in times altogether unlike those in which we live. Its matter and its language are of the most exalted and splendid description; while the influence which it has exerted on the whole Hebrew Bible, and the connexion which its doctrines evidently have with those of the New Testament, cannot but strike the Christian theologian as most interesting and valuable considerations.”
Section 9: On the Scope & Object of the Book of Job:
“A little consideration will enable us to see, that the primary object of this book is, to shew that there is a power attendant on true religion, sufficient to enable its possessor eventually to overcome every temptation and every trial. This, I say, is its ‘primary’ object. For, in the first and second chapters, which were apparently given as a key to the whole, we are informed that Job was a just and perfect man, and one who feared God. This was manifestly his character. It is suggested, however, by the great adversary of mankind, that, whatever appearances might be, a little trial would prove the contrary. The sacred penman assures us, by means of a vision (as already shewn) that, in order to prove the falsehood of this, Job is allowed to be exposed for a season to trials of the severest kind: but still he retained his integrity; and in the end came off victorious, to the entire approval of Almighty God, who restored him, and gave him wealth double in value to that of his former state of prosperity. He is also accepted in making a sort of atonement for the errors of his friends. I think, therefore, no doubt can remain, that this was the ‘primary object’ of this book.
A ‘secondary’ object seems to have been, to shew how very imperfect the notions even of good men are on the moral economy of God. The friends of our patriarch meet, as we are told, for the purpose of condoling with him; and there appears no reason, as far as I can see, for questioning their sincerity. The sufferer proceeds, in the first place, to state his afflictions, and then to pour out those lamentations and complaints which are natural to such a state. His friends, men evidently acquainted with revealed religion, and apparently very much in earnest as to accurate views respecting it proceed to correct him: they professedly take the side of God and their main endeavour is to vindicate His wisdom, justice, and mercy. For this purpose they argue from revelation, from experience, and from very extensive and just views of God’s works; and, as they are too well informed to suppose that there can be any effect without an adequate cause, particularly where there is an all-powerful, wise, and good God overruling all things; their conclusion is, that Job’s sins must have led to his sufferings. The patriarch very justly and very successfully combats their conclusions, without at all calling in question their several general doctrines; —for these were no doubt true, and worthy of all acceptation: —and in this, God Himself eventually declares for him. Their great fault was, the misapplication of truth. They knew not the real cause which led to Job’s trials, and the consequence was, they supposed one which was false; and to this were their arguments universally directed. The pertinacity and warmth with which they pressed their opinions, could not but have added considerably to Job’s sufferings; who evidently had a greater insight into the general dealings of God with believers than they had. Still there is no reason, as far as I can discover, for calling in question either their fidelity, good intentions, or sorrow for their friend. They only did what thousands daily do —they misapprehended the question at issue; and, as they were more willing to believe themselves right, than to stop and consider in how many ways they might be wrong, and, in fact, how very little they could know on the subject; they pressed their sentiments to an extent which real religion, good sense, and the sympathy due to a friend, would hardly justify: and of this, Job’s mission to them from the Almighty (chap. 42.) must have more than convinced them; and have shewn them to demonstration that, although He was truly no less mighty, wise, and good, than they had represented Him, yet that ‘His wisdom was unsearchable, and His ways past finding out’, to men such as they were.
A ‘third’ object apparently was, to provide a book of doctrine, as already remarked, adequate to the wants of believers for ever; illustrating, as just now stated, both the economy of God with His people, and their ignorance as to His thoughts and ways: to keep alive the doctrine of salvation through a Redeemer, the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, and the certainty of a judgment to come. It might seem superfluous, after what has already been said, to dwell on the other doctrines, promises, and experience, inculcated throughout this book, and so frequently appealed to in the subsequent books of the Old Testament, as well as in the New. I shall conclude, therefore, merely by remarking, that the most severe inquiry into its contents, the most careful comparison of it with the rest of Holy Scripture; the genuineness of its piety, the purity and beauty of its morality, the great extent of its range, the exquisite chasteness at once of its style and sentiments, and, above all, the solidity and depth of its devotion, cannot but conspire to recommend it as one of the most valuable productions of antiquity ; at the same time, as a book of undoubted inspiration, and of the most unquestionable canonical authority. And my sincere prayer is, that every reader of it may receive as much pleasure and edification in perusing its declarations, as I have in this endeavour to translate and elucidate them.”

Book of Job: Translation: Chapter Summary: Chapters 1-2: Introduction:
Job’s place of residence, character, wealth; children, religious care for them; cause of his trials. Loss of his wealth and children; his pious resignation to all this. The real cause of Job’s afflictions; his afflictions, and integrity under them; the visit and surprise of his friends.
Chapter 3:
Job reviles the day and circumstances of his birth; he denounces the night of his conception; laments his existence; describes the freedom and rest of the dead; laments that light and life are supplied to the miserable; slates his own deplorable but innocent case.
Chapters 4-5:
Eliphaz apologises for speaking; commends Job’s former conduct, but deplores his dejection on it’s occasion, reminds him of the power of faith; of God’s particular providence over good men, and severity against the wicked. Describes a vision afforded to him, gives its substance. Declares that God is the only sure refuge; that the foolish who seek safety elsewhere fail. Sin natural to man. The great power and goodness of God set forth, shewing that He confounds the wise, but saves the humble. The blessedness of him whom God chastises; his safety under all circumstances, the assurance of such an one, that he shall prosper, and his family after him.
Chapters 6-7:
Job insists on the severity of his afflictions; the insipidity of his friend’s reasoning; requests that God would consider his case; his determination to believe in Him at all events; confesses his weakness as a man, but insists on an inward source of help; the duty of a friend; the unfaithfulness of Job’s friends; favours deeply felt by the distressed; but if injuries are inflicted, they are easily reduced to silence, banished, and destroyed; Job’s friends wearied without any just cause; the arguments of a poor and afflicted man allowed to have no weight; an intreaty to reconsider Job’s case. The state of man a warfare: as the slave hopes for a season of rest, and the hireling looks for his wages, so Job’s days and nights were full of expectation, but were followed only by still greater pains, intimating his approaching death. No earthly return to be expected from the grave. Job, therefore, requests permission to give vent to his sufferings; recites the distresses of his couch, and desires to be let alone; mans worthlessness stated. Job requests a remission of his sufferings; and, as he cannot atone for his sins, deprecates the punishment, and prays for the pardon of them, believing that he soon must die.
Chapter 8:
Bildad rebukes Job on God’s behalf, declaring that God is just, and that if he duly seek Him, his miseries shall come to end; refers Job to the experience of past ages, and instances their sentiments by allusions to natural and historical events, to shew that the wicked are of short duration, and of rapid decay and succession; and concludes by declaring, that the faithful are never forsaken of God, nieither are the sinful encouraged; and that, if he were faithful, such should be his experience.
Chapters 9-10:
Job accedes to the reasoning of Bildad, as to God’s power and man’s inability to plead with Him, and recounts many of His wonderful works: stating, at the same time, his own ignorance and weakness. He further enlarges on his own weakness and unworthiness, introducing his afflictions, and affirming that were he even just —what his opponents charge him with assuming —that would only serve to humble him the more. He concludes the paragraph by maintaining the strict justice of God. He laments the rapid, unprofitable, and painful lapse of his time; his inability to shake off his sorrows; his consciousness of his own sin; and the inability of his afflictions to wash this away. He acknowledges the greatness of God; and concludes by praying that God would take away his afflictions. —Job continues his complaint, desiring to be informed on what principle it is that God chooses to afflict him. Declares that God had wonderfully constructed him, and had dealt favourably with him. Confesses his own sin, and maintains God’s good providence. Speaks, too, of His occasional severity and favour. Laments his own birth, but desires to be restored before his departure.
Chapter 11:
The first answer of Zophar the N’aamathite, in which he accuses Job of much and loud profession of his own purity: wishes that God would answer him, and shew him the transcendent value of wisdom, and the sin under which he so blindly laboured. Asserts the incomprehensibility of the Almighty, and man’s imperfections. Affirms that, if Job had duly regulated his own mind, and put away iniquity from him, he might have looked up in innocence; that, with his sin, his misery would have ceased; and that, although he might have felt occasional distress, yet, on the whole, he should be in safety and peace, while the wicked should entirely fail.
Chapters 12-14:
Job replies, justifying his right and fitness to do so; complains of neglect from his friends; allows the truth of their doctrines, and that it is obvious the hand of God is in this matter; dwells still more particularly on the marks of God’s overruling power, as discoverable from events. Affirms his own fitness, as before, to judge of these matters, and accuses his opponents of ignorance; reproves them for attempting to justify God’s doings on sinful principles; presumes that the awful situation in which he places himself ought to evince his sincerity; and, therefore, requests they would give him a patient hearing; calls earnestly on God to afford him an answer, requesting however a remission of his sufferings in the interval, in order that he may be able to give the deeper consideration to his own case; hopes that the various causes of his trials will be specified; and then briefly enumerates his sufferings. Details the frailty, imperfection, short-lived, and hopeless state of man as such; requests that Divine justice would relax its severity with such an one; being, as to futurity, less hopeful than the stump of a tree which may be buried in the earth; prays that even the grave may prove a hiding-place for him; justifies his hoping still in God, and trusts that his sins shall be forgiven; concludes by stating the miserable life and death of those who are altogether differently circumstanced.
Chapter 15:
Eliphaz rejoins, stating that the arguments of Job are worthless, but nevertheless such as to convict him of impiety; demands whence it is that he lays claim to so much knowledge; why God’s known mercies and declarations are so little regarded by him; and why he is so bold and ready to contend; contrasts the character of God with that of man; and then proceeds to argue from known revealed truths; which declare that the vicious man cannot but be miserable, hopeless, and always beset with fear; and this because of rebellion against God; that, whatever might be his state, it must end in destruction. He ends with an exhortation to live and to act differently.
Chapters 16-17:
Job again answers Eliphaz; reproaches him and his friends with want of sympathy and knowledge; affirms that similar arguing on his own part would be unprofitable; that God has really afflicted him, and that hence it is, his enemies have power to oppress and injure him; enlarges on his afflictions; describes his afflictions more particularly; dwells on his innocency; affirms that his best witness, mediator, judge, and friend, is above, where his cause shall be tried; and looks with hope to the period of his departure. Renews his complaint; calls on his friends for fidelity; complains of their ignorance and perfidy; restates the greatness of his affliction; the effect which his case shall have upon good men generally; the case different with his friends; entreats them, therefore, to change their minds; complains of the unprofitableness of his time, and the ignorance of his friends; looks to the end of his course as the only source of hope.
Chapter 18:
Bildad offers his second reply: complains of the length of the dispute, and that they had been treated too unceremoniously by Job; proceeds to recount the failures of the wicked, in a strain not unlike that resorted to in his former discourse. His arguments are, therefore, quite general, and by no means applicable to the case of the patriarch.
Chapter 19:
Job, in his reply to Bildad, complains of contemptuous treatment [for 10 times or turns], and perseveres in declaring that his affliction is from God; complains also that his cause is disregarded; that he is beset on every side, attacked, and injured; that hosts encompass him, that his friends are put far away from him; that his kinsfolk and friends have deserted him; that his servants, inmates, wife, had all taken part against him; that even the abjects spoke openly against him, and his familiar friends had turned from him; laments his emaciated state of body, and solicits pity; deplores the insensibility of his friends; and wishes that his sufferings were recorded; declares his faith in the Redeemer, who should appear in after-times on the earth; his assurance that he should in his flesh see God and be justified; and warns his friends of the judgment to come.
Chapter 20:
Zophar’s apology for his reply; dwells, as before, on the vanity of wickedness, and the excellency of true religion —particularly here on the former, insisting that ill-gotten wealth shall be rendered back, and ill-won honours soon descend to corruption; dwells on the bitter effects of sin, its natural progress to poverty and misery; on the principle of God’s overruling providence; insists that oppression in principle, shall be followed by its own fruits, distress in experience; and so quick shall this be, that it shall take effect in the very height of one’s enjoyments; shall fall from heaven above, and be generated in the earth beneath, in all the dreadful visitations derivable from these sources; and which shall follow him into another world, while his posterity falls in this; concludes by declaring, that such is the universal portion of the wicked, and that God is the Author of it.
Chapter 21:
Job requests attention to his reply as a right; and which, if granted, could not but administer to his friends satisfaction: asserts that, if he had considered man as his judge, the treatment he had met with would be reasonable enough; allows that the prosperity of the wicked, their growing strength, wealth, health, and family, had greatly perplexed him. Concludes, nevertheless, that he chose not their counsels. He next proceeds to shew that, still they were subject to calamities, afflictions, and other dreadful visitations from God; and that this they themselves saw and felt: and concludes that their experience is, after all, truly miserable. In the next place, he shews that a common fate seems, in these respects, to attend upon all which is the pure result of Divine Providence, the ways of which are inscrutable to man. In the last place, he shews that his opponents had applied this sort of inconclusive reasoning, as sufficient to determine his real character; deprecates the vanities of the rich ungodly man; and concludes that perverseness and error alone had directed the replies of his opponents.
Chapter 22:
Eliphaz here commences a third series of arguments; and, as before, is profuse in excellent remarks, not one of which is applicable to the case of Job. He first dilates on marl’s unprofitableness to God; then on the small importance of Job’s case; then on what he deems his positive sins; and then concludes, that, on this latter account, he was both inevitally blinded, and deservedly visited with affliction. He next accuses him with supposing that, as God is very highly exalted above the heavens. He could not, of necessity, judge a cause so far removed from Him. He next adopts some of Job’s expressions, in the preceding chapter, and retorts their import upon him. He next dwells on the views which the good must take of these occurrences, among whom he evidently includes himself; alludes apparently to the fall of Sodom, &c. by way of illustration; and exhorts Job accordingly: concludes by affirming, that if Job will return to God’s service, he shall be restored to wealth, religious assurance, and real happiness, that his prayers shall be heard, his influence extended, and that by this means he shall be relieved and supported.
Chapters 23-24:
Job complains of the weight of his affliction, and desires to bring his case before God; declares that under His mercy he shall be safe; and laments that he cannot find Him: insists that he shall eventually be delivered, because he has treasured up God’s commands, and has not swerved from them in his conduct; argues that God is independent, and will fulfil all His will; declares that hence he is confounded, knowing, as he does, that all his afflictions come from Him primarily, and from no other power. Renews this argument, and affirms, that believers are necessarily ignorant of many of God’s purposes. He then proceeds to recount some of the vicious practices in which men are allowed to indulge; he states and exemplifies their wicked principles, as centering in a hatred of the light, and as exerting themselves in the works of darkness; the active and rapacious character of such, and their certain fate; recounts their injurious but insinuating properties, their success, their consequent jealousies and anxieties, their short triumph, and final destruction; and concludes by challenging a refutation of his sentiments.
Chapter 25:
Bildad now offers his third and last reply (see chap. 8. & 18.), asserting the all-comprehensive power, majesty, wisdom, and goodness of God. He then compares with this, briefly but pointedly, the weakness, meanness, ignorance, and impurity of man; and asks, Can such a being be just with God? He then calls the attention of Job to the more splendid portions of the universe; all of which he pronounces dull and unclean, with reference to their Maker: and concludes by observing, that much more is man, who, with respect to these, sinks necessarily into the character of a worm!
Chapters 26-31:
Job objects to Biidad’s want of charity, and of wisdom: compares the efficacy of his reasoning with the heathenish notion that dead heroes are still possessed of power; and to this opposes the wisdom and power of God, as evinced in the world about him. Job calls God to witness, —affirming that he is in sound and sane mind, —that nothing but truth shall have utterance with him; and that, at all events, he will never give up his faith. He then refutes the position that his affliction must have arisen from his own wickedness; because the fact is, wicked men do grow rich; and although they may then pass themselves for just and good men, on this faulty hypothesis; still God’s judgments shall, first or last, fall on them and their children. Job now allows that men do possess much learning, and put forth much industry. He dwells on their range both of science and of art; and on the effects and benefits thence derived. He then proceeds to shew, that still true wisdom —such as is calculated duly to deal with this question —is as far beyond the reach of man, as it is more valuable than earthly wealth. He repeats his assertions, adding, that there is a report indeed of this, among the rulers of the darkness of this world, —heathenism itself containing some traditions respecting it; —but that it is known only from God’s revelation. The reason is this: His knowledge is infinite: it is the source of all the wisdom visible in His creation: and He has declared that, as far as man can realise it, the fear of God is the ground on which he must proceed. Job laments his fall from prosperity, during which he had so much power, and did so much good; when he was, consequently, so highly venerated, and had so much reason to expect that his days would end in the happiness usually granted to such a life. But now, he continues, every thing is reversed: now the very dregs of society laughed him to scorn: men who had formerly been banished for their wickedness to the inhospitable deserts. He recounts instances of their insolence, and of his own feelings; states his disappointment, that his usual care and prayers for others had not prevented his affliction; and that thus unaccountably —on vulgar views his happiness had ceased. Gives up all hope of a future family. Joins Bildad in declaring, that God’s judgments are eventually the portion of the wicked; and consequently would be his own, if he had followed their ways. Maintains, nevertheless, that God knew his course to have been different, and yet had laid these afflictions on him. Desires that God would undertake for him, and that all his cause should be carefully gone into. (Job’s words ends.)
Chapters 32-37:
Elihu, seeing that Job’s friends failed to give him a satisfactory answer, is emboldened to shew his views of the subject; apologises for doing so from the consideration of his youth. Declares his sincerity, and challenges Job to refute whatever he may now advance; adduces instances of Job’s rashness; charges him with error, on the ground that the counsels of God are too high for him; and adduces some things in proof; affirms that there is an Intercessor, who undertakes for man in such cases; by whom he obtains redemption, and returns to a state like that of youth, in which he is humble and dependent; claims attention to this. Elihu commences his argument as before, by adducing some of Job’s assertions; which he condemns; enters on the abstract character of God, and vindicates His proceedings; argues against the wickedness and folly of contending with Him; and recounts instances of His justice, omnipresence, goodness, and power; speaks of His dealings with men; reprobates the practice of approaching Him with confessions flattering to self, and hence prescribing in some degree to His wisdom and power; and concludes here, that Job had spoken in ignorance and impiety. Elihu denies that Job is just with God; calla in question some of his arguments advanced on this point; reprobates them on the ground of Job’s ignorance and weakness, alleging that such considerations can apply only between man and man; and concludes that the assumption is false. —Elihu resumes, craving attention from the consideration, that his words shall be sincere, and convincing. Asserts God’s power, mercy, and justice: speaks of His ways, as proving this. Declares the fate of the ungodly, as contrasted with the experience of the humble; affirms that Job’s punishments were intended to bring him to repentance, and prosperity; and warns him not to overlook this. Speaks of God’s power to relieve, and reprobates the disposition to dispute this. Exhorts Job to magnify His doings for the instruction of others. Appeals to the operations of the heavens in proof of His great power and goodness, and of His hatred of sin. The terrors conceived at the discharge of the lightning and noise of the thunder; the wonders of the falling snow and rain: the object of these is, that men may acknowledge Him. Dilates on the habits of the wild beasts; on the action of the elements heat and cold; the spreading out of the rain clouds: all for the fulfilment of the Divine will. Contrasts this with the ignorance and weakness of man; and concludes that, as He cannot be answered as to any of His counsels or ways, it is the duty of man to fear Him.
Chapters 38-42:
Jehovah Himself now proceeds to determine the question at issue. He answers, therefore from the whirlwind. By calling into question Job’s knowledge, on the grounds of his recent birth and excessive impotence; hence averring, that ignorance lay at the bottom of all his complaints. Enters particularly into these considerations, in order to convince Job of the folly of his reasonings. Interrogates him as to the secrets of the deep; as to the phenomena of the light; as to the treasuries of snow and hail; as to the distribution of the light, the winds, the rains, and the course of the thunderbolt; as to the production of the rain, the cold, the frost, the influences of the heavenly bodies on the earth; and whether Job can, by his command, direct their proceedings. He next presses him as to his knowledge and influence, with respect to things on the earth. Whether he can undertake to provide for the ravenous beasts and birds. Whether he knows the times, seasons, and practices of the fugitive mountain tribes; of the fiercer and swifter beasts of the deserts. Enquires whether he can command the more powerful animals to render him service, or can trust to them to secure his profits; whether he has made the horse such as he is, courageous, powerful, and swift; whether he regulates the properties of the more powerful birds. Jehovah continues His interrogatories; and Job confesses his vileness and ignorance. Jehovah resumes, calling upon Job to give evidence of his power; and declares that, when this is done, then will He justify and praise him. Calls upon him to view His power, as evinced in the formation of the more powerful quadrupeds: states their astonishing properties. Directs his attention to the monsters of the deep, and to their terrific characters. Digresses, in order to impress on Job the greater danger of contending with Him who formed these; and proceeds with an enumeration of their astonishing powers, fearful properties, and invincible tempers.
Chapter 42:
Job, humbled by the consideration of the greatness and wisdom of God, ascribes all power to Him, and to himself ignorance and shame; affirming that now indeed he saw God in His true and all- overwhelming character. Eliphaz is now addressed as to himself and friends; and on their part the judgment is, that their error was much greater than that of Job. Eliphaz, and his friends, therefore
now offer up their sin-offering by Job, who acts as priest; and the offering is accepted. After this, the relatives and friends of Job resort to him; and, in addition to his great wealth, which was now double of what it had been, each makes him a suitable present; a second family is given to the Patriarch; and he is blessed with an extraordinary long life [140+70 = 210 years] in the enjoyment of it. Upon the whole, Job’s natural feelings had led him to complain, where his faith ought to have produced acquiescence and thanksgiving. Ignorance of God’s great object in this, was undoubtedly the cause of alt the errors of the Patriarch. Job’s friends were still more to blame, because they had, by the scanty measure of their own understanding, attempted to determine what God would, or would not, do. While Job, therefore, peevishly lamented and complained of the ways of God, they determined, and impiously circumscribed, them.
(Lee’s Parallel & Reference verses in his Notes on Job number in the hundreds.)

4: From: Book of Job by Driver-Gray, (1921), & Introduction to the Old Testament (1921)

Driver-Gray: Prologue, Dialogue [& Monologue], and Epilogue. § 19. The use of the Divine Names in different parts of the Book is as follows: ’El = 55; ’Eloah = 41; Shaddai = 31; ’Elohim = 14; ha’Elohim = 3; Yhwh = 29
There are 63 similar or parallel verses in Job with other OT books (Driver-Gray & others) (Isaiah: 11 passages; Jer. & Lam.: 6+9; Prov.: 13; Psalms: 12; also some 12 times in Gen., Deut., Amos, Mal., Qoh. (Eccleas.) and Apcrph Siriach.

Driver-Gray Outline: (Driver’s last work at death was his commentary on Job.)
1. Introduction or Prologue,1-2.
2. Speeches of Job and Three Friends, 3-31.
3. Speeches of Elihu, 32-37.
4. Speeches of Yahweh with Job’s Responses, 38-42.
5. Conclusion or Epilogue, 42.

Driver-Gray Introduction to Old Testament Literature: v1, sect. 31:
1. Prologue, 1-2
2. Job’s soliloquy, 3
3. Dialogue between the Friends & Job:
First cycle of speeches: Eliphaz, 4-5; Job, 6-7; Bildad, 8; Job, 9-10; Sophar, 11; Job, 12-14
Second cycle of speeches: Eliphaz, 15; Job, 16-17; Bildad, 18; Job 19; Sophar, 20; Job, 21;
Third cycle of speeches: Eliphaz, 22; Job, 23-24; Bildad, 25 (+? 26); Job, 27; Sophar ?, 27;
[28, Poem on Wisdom]; [32-37, Elihu [Monologues]] Job’s closing soliloquy, 29-31
4. Yahweh, 38-40. Job, 40-42
5. Epilogue, 42

5: From: Book of Job by Albert Barnes (1854): General Analysis:

Part First:
Historical Introduction, in Prose, Chs.1-2. [Job, Family, House, Friends, the Lord, Satan, Job’s Afflictions & Sufferings]
Part Second:
Argument, or Controversy, in Verse, Chs. 3-42. [Dialogues, Monologues, Reflections, Questions, Answers, Debate, Observations, Doctrines, Views, Ideas, Concepts, Opinions, Accusations, Warnings, Advice, Excuses, Self-Defense, Theories, Interpretations, etc.; with Praises, Blessings, & Prayers]
I. 1st Series in Controversy, chs. 3-14.
(1.) Job opens discussion by cursing his birth-day, and by bitter complaint of his calamity, ch. 3.
(2.) Speech of Eliphaz, chs. 4-5.
(3.) Answer of Job, chs. 6-7. [to Friends & to God]
(4.) Speech of Bildad, ch. 8.
(5.) Answer of Job, chs. 9-10. [to Friends & to God]
(6.) Speech of Zophar, ch. 11.
(7.) Answer of Job, chs. 12-14. [to Friends & to God]
II. 2nd Series in Controversy, chs. 15-21.
(1.8) Speech of Eliphaz, ch. 15.
(2.9) Answer of Job, chs. 16-17. [to Friends & to God]
(3.10) Speech of Bildad, ch. 18.
(4.11) Answer of Job, ch. 19.
(5.12) Speech of Zophar, ch. 20.
(6.13) Answer of Job, ch. 21.
III. 3rd Series in Controversy, chs. 22-31.
(1.14) Speech of Eliphaz, ch. 22.
(2.15) Answer of Job, chs. 23-24.
(3.16) Speech of Bildad, ch. 25.
(4.17) Answer of Job, chs. 26-31. [to Friends & to God]
IV. Speech of Elihu, chs. 32-37. [to Job & Friends]
V. Close of the Discussion, chs. 38-42.
(1.) Speech of the Almighty, chs. 38-41.
(2.) Response and penitent confession of Job, ch. 42.
Part Third:
Conclusion, in Prose, Ch 42:7-17. [The Lord, Job, Job’s Friends, Restoration & Blessings.]

6: From: Book of Job. New Critical Revised Translation Essays Scansions Date, etc. G. H. B. Wright.(1883)

Wright lists hundreds of examples of verses as parallels & similarities between Job & the other OT Books: Gen., Ex., Deut., Josh., 2nd Sam., Kings, and Isaiah: in attempt to prove Job is an Israelite. He compares Job with passages in Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Habakkuk, Joel, & Jeremiah & Lamentations, & Psalms & Proverbs. The Book of Job displays mastery of Ancient Semitic Poetic forms of cantos, stanzas, and stichi (lines) used irregularly with or without parallelisms and repetitions; with adherence to scansion & paronomasia with other figures of speech or symbolic expressions. Aramaisms are frequent.

7: From: Book of Job Old Testament Commentary on Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, & Homiletical, etc. Editor of German Edition: John Peter Lange, D.D. Translated, Enlarged, and Edited by Philip Schaff, D.D. A Rhythmical Version with Introduction & Annotations by Tayler Lewis, LL.D.; Commentary by Otto Zockler, D.D., Translated from German Edition by L.J. Evans, D.D. General Introduction to Poetical Books by P. Schaff (1874)

1. Schaff: General Introduction to Poetical Books of OT:
Literature, Origin, Religion, Bible, Hebrew Spirit, Merit, Different Kinds, Lyric, Didactic, Prophetic, Dramatic, Diction, and Versification & Parallelism of Members.

2. Lewis: New Rhythmical Version Book of Job:
A. Theism, Ideas of Future Life among Surrounding Nations, Pure Theism to be First Taught, Various Views, Theophany, Grounds of Job’s Commendation, Work of Art, Elihu’s Speech, Book Not a Solution of the Problem of Evil, and Truthfulness of the Narrative.
B. Special Introduction to the Rhythmical Version: Term, Rhythmical or Metrical, Hebrew Parallelism, Divisions, Elements, Lines, Poetry [Poem] or Prose, Language & Style, Text, and Notes Exegetical, Critical, Commentators, etc. With Addenda of Excursus (12 in all) on Chapters 19, 21-28, 21, 22, on Hebrew Word for Wisdom-Truth (tushiyah), 26, 27-30, 28, 29, 30, 33, 38,

3. Zockler-Evans: Preface & Introduction to Commentary:
120 comparisons or correspondences between Job and Isaiah.

Historical Introduction (In Prose): Chap. 1-2: Job’s character & course of life. Divine decree to try Job through suffering. Milder form of trial by taking away his possessions. Preparatory scene in heaven. Execution of decree of trial on possessions and family of Job. Job’s constancy and patience. Severer trial by the loss of health. Preparatory scene in heaven. Fulfillment of the decree in Job’s terrible disease. Job’s steadfastness in piety. Visit of the 3 friends, & their mute sympathy, as an immediate preparation for the action of the poem.

First Chief Division of the Poem: Entanglement, or the controversial discourses [ Dialogue-Monologue Debate] of Job & his 3 friends: Chaps. 3-28:
Outbreak of Job’s Despair, as theme and immediate occasion of the Colloquy: Chap. 3: Job curses his day. He wishes that he were in the realm of the dead rather than in this life. He asks why he, being weary of life, must still live.

First Series of Controversial Discourses [Dialogue Debate]: Entanglement in its beginning: Chaps. 4-14:
Eliphaz & Job: Chaps. 4-7: Accusation of Eliphaz: Man must not speak against God, as Job is doing. Introductory reproof of Job, on account of his unmanly complaint, by which he could
only incur God’s wrath. Account of a heavenly revelation, which declared to him the wrongfulness and foolishness of weak sinful man’s raving against God. Admonition to repentance, as the only means by which Job can recover God’s favor, and his former happy estate. Job’s Reply: Instead of comfort the friends bring him only increased sorrow. Justification of his complaint by pointing out the greatness and incomprehensibleness of his suffering. Complaint on account of the bitter disappointment which he had experienced at the hands of his friends. Recurrence to his former complaint on account of his lot, and an accusation of God.
Bildad & Job: Chaps. 8-10: Bildad’s rebuke: Man must not charge God with injustice, as Job has done, for God never does wrong. Censure of Job on account of his unjust accusation against God. Reference to the wise teachings of the ancients, in respect to the merited end of those who forget God. Softened application of these teachings to the case of Job. Job’s Reply: Assertion of his innocence, and a mournful description of the incomprehensibleness of his suffering as a dark horrible destiny. God is certainly the Almighty and ever-righteous One, who is to be feared; but His power is too terrible for mortal man. Oppressive effect of this omnipotence and arbitrariness of God impels him, as an innocent sufferer, to presumptuous speeches against God. Plaintive description of the merciless severity with which God rages against him, although, as an Omniscient Being, He knows that he is innocent.
Zophar & Job: Chaps. 11-14: Zophar’s violent arraignment of Job, as one who needs to submit in penitence to the all-seeing & all-righteous God: Chap. 11. Expression of the desire that the Omniscient One would appear to convince Job of his guilt: vers. Admonitory description of the impossibility of contending against God’s omniscience, which charges every man with sin. Truly penitent has in prospect restoration of his prosperity, for the wicked how ever there remains no hope. Job’s Reply: Attack upon his friends, whose wisdom and justice he earnestly questions. Ridicule of the assumed wisdom of the friends, who can give only a very unsatisfactory description of the exalted power and wisdom of the divine activity. Resolution to betake himself to God, righteous Judge, who, in contrast with harshness and injustice of the friends, will assuredly do him justice. Vindication of himself addressed to God, beginning with the haughty asseveration of his own innocence, but relapsing into a despondent cheerless description of brevity, helplessness, and hopelessness of man’s life.

Second Series of Controversial Discourses [Dialogue Debate]: Entanglement increasing: Chaps. 15-21:
Eliphaz & Job: Chaps. 15-17: Eliphaz: God’s punitive justice is revealed only against evil-doers.
Recital, with accompanying rebuke, of all in Job’s discourses and conduct that is perverted, and that bears witness against his innocence. Didactic admonition on the subject of the retributive justice of God in the destiny of the ungodly. Job: Although oppressed by his disconsolate condition, he nevertheless wishes and hopes that God will demonstrate his innocence against the unreasonable accusations of his friends. (A brief preliminary repudiation of the discourses of the friends as aimless and unprofitable). Lamentation on account of the disconsolateness of his condition, as forsaken and hated by God and men. Vivid expression of the hope of the future recognition of his innocence. Sharp censure of the admonitory speeches of the friends as unreasonable, and as having no power to comfort.
Bildad & Job: Chaps. 18-19: Bildad: Job’s passionate outbreaks are useless, for the divine ordinance, instituted from of old, is still in force, securing that the hardened sinner’s merited doom shall suddenly and surely overtake him. Sharp rebuke of Job, the foolish and blushing boaster.
Description of the dreadful doom of the hardened evil-doer. Job: His misery is well-deserving of sympathy; it will however all the more certainly end in his conspicuous vindication by God, although not perhaps till the life beyond. (Introduction: Reproachful censure of the friends for maliciously suspecting his innocence). Sorrowful complaint because of the suffering inflicted on him by God and men. Uplifting of himself to a blessed hope in God, his future Redeemer and Avenger. Earnest warning to the friends against the further continuance of their unfriendly attacks.
Zophar & Job: Chaps. 20-21: Zophar: For a time indeed the evil-doer can be prosperous, but so much the more terrible and irremediable will be his destruction. Introduction, violently censuring Job, and theme of the discourse. Expansion of the theme, showing from experience that the prosperity and riches of the ungodly must end in the deepest misery. Job: That which experience teaches concerning the prosperity of the wicked during their life on earth argues not against, but for his innocence. Calm, but bitter introductory appeal to the friends. Along with the fact of the prosperity of the wicked, taught by experience, stands the other fact of earthly calamities befalling the pious and righteous. Rebuke of the friends for setting forth only one side of that experience, and using that to his prejudice.

Third Series of Controversial Discourses [Dialogue & Monologue Debate]: Entanglement reaching its extreme point: Chap. 22-28:
Eliphaz & Job: Chap. 22-24: Eliphaz: Reiterated accusation of Job, from whose severe sufferings it must of necessity be inferred that he had sinned grievously, and needed to repent. Charge made openly that Job is a great sinner. Earnest warning not to incur yet severer punishments. Admonition to repent, accompanied by the announcement of the certain restoration of his prosperity to him, when penitent. Job: Inasmuch as God withdraws Himself from him, and that moreover His allotment of men’s destinies on earth is in many ways most unequal, the incomprehensibleness of His dealings may thus be inferred, as well as the short-sightedness and one-sidedness of the external theory of retribution held by the friends. Wish for a judicial decision by God in his favor is repeated, but is repressed by the agonizing thought that God intentionally withdraws from him, in order that He may not be obliged to vindicate him in this life. Darkness and unsearchableness of God’s ways to be recognized in many other instances of an unequal distribution of earthly prosperity among men, as well as in Job’s case.
Bildad & Job: Chap.25-26: Bildad: Again setting forth contrast between God’s exaltation and human impotence. Man cannot argue with God. Man is not pure before God. Job: Rebuke of his opponent, accompanied by a description, far surpassing his, of exaltation and greatness of God. Sharp Rebuke of Bildad. Description of the incomparable sovereignty and exaltation of God, given to eclipse far less spirited attempt of Bildad in this direction.
Job alone [Monologue]: His closing address to the vanquished friends: Chap. 27-28:
Renewed solemn asseveration of his innocence, accompanied by a reference to his joy in God, which had not forsaken him even in the midst of his deepest misery. Statement of his belief that prosperity of the ungodly cannot endure, but that they must infallibly come to a terrible end. Declaration that true Wisdom, which alone can secure real well-being, and correct solution of the dark enigmas of man’s destiny on earth, is to be found nowhere on earth, but only with God, and by means of pious submission to God.

Second Chief Division of Poem. Disentanglement of mystery through discourses [Monologues]
of Job, Elihu and Jehovah: Chap. 29-42:
First Stage of the Disentanglement: Chap. 29-31: Job’s Soliloquy [Monologue]: Setting forth truth that his suffering was not due to his moral conduct, that it must have therefore a deeper cause. [Negative side of solution of problem.] Yearning retrospect at the fair prosperity of his former life: Describing outward aspect of this former prosperity. Pointing out the inward cause of this prosperity his benevolence and righteousness. Describing that feature of his former prosperity which he now most painfully misses, namely, the universal honor shown him, and his far reaching influence. Sorrowful description of his present sad estate: Ignominy and contempt he receives from men; Unspeakable misery which everywhere oppresses him; Disappointment of all his hopes. Solemn asseveration of his innocence in respect to all open and secret sins: He has abandoned himself to no wicked lust; He has acted uprightly in all the relations of his domestic life; He has constantly practiced neighborly kindness and justice in civil life; He has moreover not violated his more secret obligations to God and his neighbor; He has been guilty furthermore of no hypocrisy, nor mere semblance of holiness, of no secret violence, or avaricious oppression of his neighbor.

Second Stage of the Disentanglement: Chap. 32-37:
Elihu s Discourses [Monologues]: Devoted to proving that there can be really no undeserved suffering, that on the contrary the sufferings decreed for those who are apparently righteous are dispensations of divine love, designed to purify and sanctify them through chastisement [First half of positive solution of problem]. Introduction: Elihu’s appearance, and the exordium of his discourse, giving the reasons for his speaking. Elihu’s appearance (related in prose). Explanation addressed to the previous speakers, showing why he takes part in this controversy. Setting forth that he was justified in taking part, because the friends had shown, and still showed themselves unable to refute Job. Special appeal to Job to listen calmly to him, as a mild judge of his guilt and weakness.
First Discourse [Monologue I]: Of man’s guilt before God: Preparatory: Reproof of Job’s confidence in his perfect innocence; Didactic discussion of true relation of sinful men to God, who seeks to warn and to save them by various dispensations, and communications from above: By the voice of conscience in dreams; By sickness and other sufferings; By sending a mediating angel to deliver in distress; Calling upon Job to give an attentive hearing to the discourses by which he would further instruct him.
Second Discourse [Monologue II] : Proof that man is not right in doubting God’s righteousness: Opening: Censure of the doubt of God’s righteousness expressed by Job; Proof that divine righteousness is necessary, and that it really exists; From God’s disinterested love of His creatures; From the idea of God as ruler of the world; Exhibition of Job’s inconsistency and folly in reproaching God with injustice, and at the same time appealing to his decision.
Third Discourse [Monologue III]: [Zockler-Evans misinterprets Elihu arguements & doctrine.] Refutation of the false position that piety is not productive of happiness to men: Folly of the erroneous notion that it is of small advantage to men whether they are pious or ungodly. Real reason why the deliverance of the sufferer is often delayed, viz-: Lack of true godly fear; Dogmatic and presumptuous speeches against God, which was the case especially with Job.
Fourth Discourse [Monologue IV]: Vivid exhibition of activity of God, which is seen to be benevolent, as well as mighty and just, both in destinies of men, and in natural world outside of man: (Introduction announcing that further important contributions are about to be made to vindication of God). Vindication of divine justice, manifesting itself in destinies of men as a power benevolently chastening and purifying them: In general; In Job’s change of fortune in particular. Vindication of Divine Justice, revealing itself in nature as supreme power and wisdom. Consideration of wonders of nature as revelations of divine wisdom and power: Rain, clouds and storms, lightning and thunder; Agencies of winter such as snow, rain, the north wind, frost, etc. Finally admonitory inferences from what precedes for Job.

Third Stage of the Disentanglement: Chap. 38-42:
Jehovah’s Discourses [Monologues]: Aim of which is to prove that the Almighty [Shaddai] and only wise God [El, Eloah, Elohim], with whom no mortal should dispute, might also ordain suffering simply to prove and test the righteous. [Second half of positive solution of problem.]
First Discourse [Monologue I] of Jehovah, together with Job’s answer: With God, the Almighty and only wise, no man may dispute: Introduction: Appearance of God; His demand that Job should answer him. God’s questions touching His power revealed in the wonders of creation: Questions respecting process of creation; Respecting inaccessible heights and depths above and below earth, and forces proceeding from them; Respecting phenomena of atmosphere, and wonders of starry heavens; Respecting preservation and propagation of wild animals, especially of lion, raven, wild goat, stag, wild ass, oryx, ostrich, war-horse, hawk and eagle. Conclusion of discourse, together with Job’s answer announcing his humble submission.
Second Discourse [Monologue II] of Jehovah, together with Job’s answer: To doubt God’s justice, which is most closely allied to His wonderful omnipotence, is a grievous wrong, which must be atoned for by sincere penitence: Sharp rebuke of God’s presumption which has been carried to the point of doubting God’s justice; Humiliating demonstration of the weakness of Job in contrast with certain creatures of earth, not to say with God: shown by description of Behemoth (hippopotamus); of Leviathan (crocodile), as king of all beasts. Job’s answer: Humble acknowledgment of the infinitude of the divine power, and penitent confession of his sin and folly.

Historical Conclusion (In Prose): Chap. 42: Glorious vindication of Job before his friends. Restoration of his former dignity and honor. Doubling of his former prosperity in respect to his earthly possessions and his offspring.

8: From: Book of Job Origin Growth Interpretation, New Translation, Revised Text. Morris Jastrow, Jr, LLD. (1920)
Foreword:
“A witty Frenchman once remarked of the Bible that as a collection it was ‘plus c’elebre que connu’ [“more famous than known”, that is, more known than read] . It is in the hope of making a contribution towards having the most celebrated of the books of the Bible better known and by that I mean a deeper penetration into its real meaning and significance that I offer a new translation which, based on an entirely revised Hebrew text, will be found to differ materially from the current translations. Preceding the translation and forming the first part of the work, I have given the results of a study of the origin, growth and interpretation of the Book of Job, which represents the outcome of many years of devotion to this remarkable production of antiquity, dealing with problems that are as vital and as puzzling to-day as they were two milleniums ago when the book, after an extended process of amplification, reached its final form…..No modern translator that I know of makes the attempt to distinguish between the original portion of the book and the amplification to which Job, as every literary production in the ancient Orient, was subject. Without such distinction it is entirely hopeless to obtain a correct view of the great masterpiece hopeless indeed to recognize it as a masterpiece. The starting point, therefore, in my study of the origin, growth and interpretation of Job, is a recognition of the separation of the story of Job from the poetical composition in which the two problems suggested by the story, the reason for innocent suffering in the world and for the frequent escape of the wicked from merited punishment, are discussed. The story of Job is like the text of a sermon, or like a parable on which a preacher enlarges. The story is the peg upon which is hung the discussion of two vital problems from which we cannot escape, if we look at things in this world as they are.…
It is to the elucidation of the various aspects of these three strata and their relationship to one another that the first part of this work is devoted; and I trust that after a consideration of what has been set forth, the reader will agree with me in the view that in the magnificent nature poems with which the book closes and which from the literary point of view are the finest in the composite production, there is suggested as a definite and final answer to the two main problems of Job that simple faith in a mysterious power, whose manifestations are to be seen in the world of inanimate & animate nature, constitutes a resting point for man in the ceaseless search to which he is irresistibly led by his own nature to penetrate the mystery surrounding his life. I am aware that to many, as I suggest at various points in my study, it will seem startling as well as painful, to be asked to lay aside views which have the force of time-honored tradition and to look at the great masterpiece from a new and unaccustomed angle. But I am also in hopes that after carefully considering the justification brought forward for the interpretation and for the new translation, my readers will reach the conclusion that the new Job is a greater masterpiece than the traditional one, because relieved of contradictions and freed from inherent difficulties that persist under the traditional view of the book. Let me not be understood as setting up the extravagant claim of having solved all the difficulties in the book. That were presumptuous indeed. An author unless carried away by vanity is always his severest critic. I feel, however, that without exceeding the bounds of proper modesty I may lay claim to having advanced the interpretation of the book to which I have given years of patient study and to which I have become ever more closely attached as I have penetrated deeper into its spirit. That at all events is my hope which, I trust, will not turn out to be a delusion.
In closing this foreword I wish to make special acknowledgment to a modern student of the Old Testament who in my judgment has been more successful than almost any other scholar of the present or past generation, in freeing the Old Testament of textual errors and in illuminating hundreds of passages in all of the books. Alas that the acknowledgment must take the form of a tribute to his memory. Arnold B. Ehrlich, whose name is little known beyond the small circle of special workers, passed away a few months ago after a lifetime devoted to research. He left behind him as his monument a comprehensive work in seven volumes which he modestly called “Marginal Notes (Randglossen) to the Hebrew Bible,” in which as he passes from book to book he makes his comments and textual suggestions in brief but always striking form, with an unfailing instinct as the fruit of profound learning. Though he spent most of his life in New York, he wrote this comprehensive commentary in German, because it was only in Germany that he could find a publisher for a work of this character appealing naturally to a restricted circle. To all students of the Old Testament, however, these Marginal Notes are an indispensable handbook which every one engaged in the study must have constantly at his side. If I were to have made full acknowledgment to Ehrlich in the notes to my translation, his name would have appeared on every page.”

Part I: Folktale of Job & Book of Job.
I: Job Skeptical Spirit in Original Book of Job
II: Origin of Literary Symposium
III: Date of Symposium
IV: Two Jobs
V: Friends in Folktale and in Symposium
VI: Two Conceptions of God
VII: Non-Hebraic Origin of Story of Job
VIII: Oral Transmission ‘Versus’ Literary Production
IX: Modifications in the Folktale. The Figure of Satan
X: “Sons of God”
XI: Four Epilogues to the Book of Job

Part II: Three Strata in Book of Job.
I: Collective and Anonymous Authorship
II: Original Book of Job and Supplements to it
III: Third Series of Speeches of Job and His Friends
IV: Two Appendices to Original Book of Job
V: Composite Character of the Speeches of Elihu
VI: Collection of Nature Poems as Third Stratum
VII: Message of the Nature Poems

Part III: Changes and Additions Within Original Book of Job
I: Jewish Orthodoxy Versus Skepticism
II: Varying Versions of Hebrew Text
III: Additions to Original Book of Job of Purely Explanatory Character
IV: Superfluous Lines

Part IV: How a Skeptical Book was Transformed into Bulwark of Orthodoxy
I: Changes in the Original Book of Job Made in the Interests of Jewish Orthodoxy
II: Additions by Pious Commentators
III: Transformation of Crucial Passages
IV: Orthodox Sentiments Placed in Mouth of Job
V: “Search for Wisdom”
VI: Virtues of Job
VII: Two Appendices as the Coping to Structure of Jewish Orthodoxy

Part V: Book of Job as Philosophy & Literature
I: Insoluble Problem
II: Religious Strain in Original Book of Job.
III: Individualism in Religion
IV: Defects in Job’s Philosophy
V: Attitude Towards Problem of Evil in Speeches of Elihu
VI: Solution of Problem in Nature Poems
VII: New Doctrine of Retribution in Future World
VIII: Literary Form of Job. Symposium not Drama
IX: Zoroastrianism and Book of Job
X: Job & Prometheus
XI: Message of Job to Present Age

New Translation to Fit Book of Job:
I: Story of Job (Chapters 1 & 2)
II: Symposium Between Job and His Friends (Chapters 3-21)
III: Third Series of Speeches (Chapters 22-27)
IV: Two Supplementary Speeches of Job. (Chapters 29-31)
V: Search for Wisdom (Chapter 28)
VI: First Appendix to Book of Job: Elihu’s 4 Speeches with 3 Inserted Poems(Chapters 32-37)
VII: Second Appendix to Book of Job: Collection of 8 Nature Poems (Chapters 38-41)
VIII: Four Epilogues to Book of Job: Chapters 40-42:
1. (Poetical Epilogue, added to 1st Speech put in the Mouth of Yahweh)
2. (Poetical Epilogue, combined with an Introduction, & added to the Description of the Hippopotamus & the Crocodile, as the Second Speech put in the Mouth of Yahweh)
3. (Prose Epilogue to the Symposium)
4. (Original Close of the Folktale)

Notes: (Jastrow’s Notes to his Translation are learned & copious, and covers many doctrines, problems, & authors on Job and the Poetical Books of the Old Testament. I give a sample of his Translation with Notes to 42:12-17):

And Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand (14,000) sheep and six thousand (6,000) camels and a thousand (1,000) yoke of cattle and a thousand (1,000) she-asses. And he had double the number of seven (14) sons (92) and three (3) daughters.(93)
And there were no women in all the land so fair as the daughters of Job. And their father gave them an inheritance with their brothers.(94) And Job lived after this a hundred and forty years (95) [and saw his children and his grandchildren, —four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.] (96)
Notes:
(92) A strange form to express “double seven ” is used and as Ehrlich points out with intent to avoid a confusion with the expression “sevenfold.” The Targum confirms the interpretation by using the common term fourteen. It will be observed that only the number of the sons are doubled, but not that of the daughters. Sons from the Oriental point of view are an asset; daughters a liability.
(93) As an amplification of the folktale of Job, the names of the three daughters of Job are added (v. 14): “And the name of the one was Jemima and the name of the second Kezia and the name of the third Keren-happuch.” The names appear to be plant names and of foreign origin, perhaps transliterations from the Arabic. Kezia is the plant Cassia while Keren-happuch, literally “horn of eye paint,” might designate the “Stibium box,” used by women. In Arabic Jemima is the “dove,” but it is more likely that it here designates some plant. It is likely that in some version of the folktale the names of the sons were also mentioned, as well as the name of Job’s wife.
(94) Again a bit of folk-lore, that is, however, devoid of significance in the present form of the story. The post-exilic Priestly Code (Num. 27:1-11) permits such an inheritance only in case there are no sons.
(95) The Greek version has 170.
(96) Verse 16.b and the whole of verse 17 are omitted in the original Greek version. They are clearly later additions —suggested by Gen. 35:29 —just as the names of the three daughters are fanciful amplifications of the folktale. Such additions are common at the end of ancient books. The Greek version of Theodotion has four additional notes or statements pointing to the continued expansion of the folktale, in the style of the Jewish “Midrash.” They are:
(a) “It is written that Job will again arise with those whom the Lord will resurrect.”
(b) “According to the ‘Syriac’ book (i.e., probably an Aramaic version) he (i.e., Job) dwelt in the land of Uz on the borders of Idumea and Arabia and his name was formerly Jobab (cf. Gen. 36:33). He took to wife an Arabic woman and had a son whose name was Ennon. He himself was the son of Zare (i.e., Zerah, Gen. 36:33), one of the sons of Esau and Bozrah (a misreading of Gen. 36:33, which says ‘from Bozrah’ in connection with Zerah), so that he was the fifth from Abram.”
(c) A third addition, giving the list of the Edomite kings on the basis of Gen. 36:31-39, though only four are mentioned here, as against eight in Genesis:
“And these are the kings who ruled in Edom, over which he himself ruled:
First, Bela the son of Beor, whose city was Dinhabah (cf. Gen. 36:32).
After Bela, Jobab, who was called Job (cf. Gen. 36:33),
After this one, Husham of the land of the Temanites (Gen. 36:34).
After this one, Hadad, son of Barad (Bedad, Gen. 36:35), who slew Midian in the field of Moab and the name of his city was Gethaim” ( = Awith or Gawith, cf. Gen. 36:35).
(d) “The friends who came to him were: Eliphaz of the sons of Esau (cf. Gen. 36:10), king of the Temanites, Bildad the tyrant of the Shuhites, Zophar, the king of the Mineans.”

9: From: Book of Job. Moses Buttenwieser, PhD. (1922)

Preface:
“Popular appreciation of the Book of Job was slow to come. It was not until modern times that the book became generally accepted as “one of the grandest things ever written with pen,” and that the hope expressed by its writer became realized that later ages might bring to his words the understanding to which the minds of his contemporaries were closed. Strange though it may seem, this is in reality not surprising, for up to the last decades of the eighteenth century the selfsame theology prevailed against which Job is depicted as in revolt. It was a theology which accepted as axiomatic the belief in individual material retribution, a theology which discredited human reason, and attributed divine authority to traditional lore or inherited beliefs, and because of the complete sway which this theology held over their minds, men through the ages were as unable to understand the spiritual issues described in the Book of Job as were the orthodox friends of Job in the writer’s own day. Another serious theological barrier to the understanding of Job through the centuries was the dualistic conception rooted in paganism, with its Nature-worship and deification of physical forces, which from about the time the Book of Job was written, exercised an ever-growing influence over the thought of the world. By setting up the other world against this one and exalting the supernatural above the natural, Dualism fostered modes of thought and a spiritual outlook which were fundamentally opposed to the religious spirit and ideals of Job. It is plain that as long as the goal of human endeavor was seen in the life to come, and as long as the pursuit of truth was looked upon as mere presumptuousness inspired by the Devil, men could not possibly have any real understanding of the soul struggle depicted in the drama of Job. They were perforce incapable of understanding how Job could yield, as be did momentarily, to doubt and despair, and yet maintain his faith in God, or how he should emphatically deny all hope in an hereafter, when obviously the solution of his enigma lay in immortality or resurrection. Above all, they were unable to grasp the positive reasoning that runs through the whole drama. And so they missed the two essential points, the hero’s staunch assurance of God’s presence in him, withal his realization of the overwhelming majesty of God, and his conviction that the moral law inherent in man is the supreme reality, the absolute guide for human life and conduct. Through the two thousand years during which Dualism held sway over the minds of men, the Book of Job was, of necessity, “a sealed book,” even as were the writings of the prophets; and not until men’s minds became liberated from the dualistic thrill, and a new era in the progress of human thought set in with the thought and tendencies which came to expression in the second half of the eighteenth century, was any adequate understanding of the book possible. The interpretation of Job which prevailed through the centuries previous to the middle of the eighteenth century shows this beyond peradventure of a doubt.
As early as the Greek translation of Job, we have, I believe, evidence that a fixed interpretation must have been current. Many of the astounding renderings of the Greek, many of the most perplexing deviations from the Hebrew, are due, not as is generally assumed, to any ignorance of Hebrew on the part of the translators, nor yet to the circumstance that their Hebrew copy differed materially from the Masoretic text, but to the fact that the Alexandrian translators were guided in their work by a traditional interpretation, which they accepted without question and followed as a matter of course. (It may be remarked in passing that the translators often show an admirable knowledge of subtle syntactical points, and also that those passages which are innocuous from the point of view of the dogmatic beliefs and religious sentiments of the age are, on the whole, well translated.) Proof of this may be seen in the fact that the strange renderings ref erred to are met with again in the Targumim and Mediaeval Jewish Commentaries, neither of which can have been dependent upon the Greek; their agreement with the latter can, to my mind, be satisfactorily explained only on the ground of a traditional interpretation as source for all three. The renderings in question are much after the manner of the Midrash ; they are arbitrary and fanciful, showing no regard for the grammatical structure or for the meaning of the words. An especially instructive example illustrating this is 12:5-6. If we had only the Greek Version of these verses to go by, we could not but conclude, as Biblical scholars have invariably done, that the Greek had a radically different reading from that of the Masoretic text. The fact, however, that the rendering of these verses in the Greek is substantially the same as in Targum I and II and also in line with Rashi’s interpretation, a thousand years later, and that in the case of these latter it is absolutely certain that it is the Masoretic text which is so arbitrarily interpreted, leaves no doubt as to the true character of the reading of 12:5-6 in the Greek. Another interesting instance of the influence of the traditional interpretation is presented by 14:12,14, in which the Greek, and later the Christian and Jewish exegetes, did away with Job’s denial of a hereafter a proceeding, it may be remarked, which has found emulation among modern scholars. In this latter connection, 19:25-27 may be cited, although not directly illustrating the point in question. Into these verses the belief in resurrection was carried by the Occidental Church, and here again the forced interpretation has been upheld by a number of modem scholars, among others even by some of those who correctly interpret 14:12,14. The fact that as early as the Greek translation a distinctly biased and arbitrary interpretation of Job was established is of the utmost importance from the point of view of sound text-criticism. It dare not be lost sight of for a moment. It is of interest to us also in quite another respect, for who knows, anomalous as this may seem, whether the book would ever have found a place in Sacred Literature, would ever have come down to us at all, were it not for this same biased interpretation which it received at a comparatively early age.”

10: From: Book of Job as a Greek Tragedy, Restored with an Introductory Essay, on the Original Form & Philosophic Meaning of Job. Horace Meyer Kallen. Introduction by Prof. George Foot Moore.(1918)

     Introduction: In 1587 Theodore Beza began a course of lectures on Job in Geneva by dividing the book into acts and scenes, and in the following period several similar at tempts were made. Lowth tells us in the 18th century that scholars all but universally regarded Job as a drama; they counted the acts, and discussed the structure of the play, the catastrophe, the introduction of the ‘deus ex machina’ (God from macine, Divine solution), just as if they were handling an Attic tragedy. In his volume on Hebrew Poetry (1753), which in so many ways makes an era in the subject, Lowth devotes an entire lecture to this question. Taking Aristotle’s Poetics as an incontestable criterion, he finds that, although Job has all the other marks of tragedy, it lacks precisely the essential element, the “actio.” This does not mean it may not be quite superfluous to remark that it is not suitable for acting; tragedies intended to be read, not played, were written before Aristotle’s time, and he himself observes that the proper power of tragedy is felt without scenery, costume, or actors. The “action” which Aristotle demands and Lowth misses is something doing in the drama itself, the doing in which the story, “the soul of the drama,” is unfolded, and by which the tragic event is determined and brought about. Lowth concludes that Job may be called a dramatic poem, but not properly a drama. This has become a critical common place; but the criterion has been forgotten, and modern scholars sometimes repeat Lowth’s argument, which proves at most that Job does not correspond to Aristotle’s philosophy of the drama not character nor sentiments, but only deeds are the cause of men’s weal or woe as a demonstration that Job can not in any sense properly be called a drama. From this orthodoxy there have been some eminent dissidents; Ewald, for example, held that Job is a true drama, constructed with conspicuous art on the necessary principles which are fundamental not merely to Greek tragedy but to all tragedy, and lacking only a formal adaptation to the stage. Dr. Kallen goes a long way beyond these predecessors, however, in his theory that Job is, so to say, a Greek tragedy in Hebrew, specifically modelled after Euripides. (From Preface: But contrariwise, it may be —romance. Should the reader come to think it romance, he will also, I trust, recall, that it is not without a goodly fellowship, compact of thousands of volumes of far, far solider learning, yet no less than this slight thing the winnings of merely adventuring speculation about historic and literary origins, relationships, and meanings. The scholar’s world, like the story-teller’s, is the world of ideas, indeed, and it is true that most of them are false ideas. Were most not false, there would be no generations of scholars to count. Horace M. Kallen.)

11: From: Book of Job. Keil-Delitzsch Old Testament Biblical Commentary. Translated by Francis Bolton. TT Clarke’s Foreign Theological Library (v.10). 2nd Edition Revised, (1869).

Translation & Exposition Book of Job:
1st Part: Opening (Chap. 1-3): Prologue. Job’s disconsolate Outburst of Grief.

2nd Part: Entanglement (Chap. 4-26):
1st Course of Controversy (Chap. 4-14): Eliphaz’ 1st Speech [1] & Job’s 1st Answer [2]. Bildad’s 1st Speech [3] & Job’s 2nd Answer [4]. Zophar’s 1st Speech [5] & Job’s 3rd Answer [6].
2nd Course of Controversy (Chap. 15-21): Eliphaz’ 2nd Speech [7] & Job’s 1st Answer [8].
Bildad’s 2nd Speech [9] & Job’s 2nd Answer [10]. Zophar’s 2nd Speech [11].
Job’s 3rd Answer [12].
3rd Course of Controversy (Chap. 22-26): Eliphaz’ 3rd Speech [13] & Job’s 1st Answer [14].
Bildad’s 3rd Speech [15] & Job’s 2nd Answer [16].

3rd Part: Transition to Unravelment (Chap. 27-31):
Job’s Final Speech to Friends [17] & Job’s Monologue [18]: Part: I, II, III.

4th Part: Unravelment (Chap. 32-42):
Speeches of Elihu [19] (Chap.32-37): Historical Introduction to Section. Elihu’s Speeches: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.
Unravelment In Consciousness (Chap. 38-42):1st Speech of Jehovah [20] & Job’s Answer. 2nd Speech of Jehovah & [20 or 21] Job’s Second Penitent Answer.
Unravelment in Outward Reality (Chap 42).

Appendix: Monastery of Job in Hauran, etc. Addenda. Note on Arabic Words & Abbreviations. Index of Texts (over 200 comparative relevant reference verses from the Books of the Old & New Testaments).
Monastery of Job in Hauran & Tradition of Job, (with Map of District): by J. G. Wetzstein.
(“Auranitis (Hauran) (Arabic: ALA-LC: Hawran), also spelled Hawran, Houran and Horan, is a volcanic plateau, a geographic area and a people located in southwestern Syria and extending into the northwestern corner of Jordan”. Bing search.)
“The oral tradition of a people is in general only of very subordinate value from a scientific point of view when it has reference to an extremely remote past; but that of the Arabs especially, which is always combined with traditions and legends, renders the simplest facts perplexing, and wantonly clothes the images of prominent persons in the most wonderful garbs, and, in general, so rapidly disfigures every object, that after a few generations it is no longer recognizable. So far as it has reference to the personality of Job, whose historical existence is called in question or denied by some expositors, it may be considered as altogether worthless, but one can recognise when it speaks of Job’s native country. By the (’Eretz ‘Utz, erets Us, Uz [Land of Oz]) the writer of the book of Job meant a definite district, which was well known to the people for whom he wrote; but the name has perished, like many others, and all the efforts of archaeologists to assign to the land its place in the map of Palestine have been fruitless. Under these circumstances the matter is still open to discussion, and the tradition respecting Job has some things to authorize it. True, it cannot of itself make up for the want of an historical testimony, but it attains a certain value if it is old, i.e. if it can be traced back about to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, when reliable information was still obtainable respecting that district, although its name was no longer in use.
In all the larger works of travel on Palestine and Syria, we find it recorded that ‘Hauran” is there called Job’s fatherland. In Hauran itself the traveler hears this constantly; if any one speaks of the fruitfulness of the whole district, or of the fields around a village, he is always answered: Is it not the land of Job (‘bilad Ejub’)? Does it not belong to the villages of Job (dia Ejub)? Thus to Seetzen ‘Bosra’ was pointed out as a city of Job; and to Eli Smith even the country lying to the east of the mountains was called the land of Job. In ‘Kanawat’, a very spacious building, belonging to the Roman or Byzantine period, situated in the upper town, was pointed out to me as the summer palace of Job (the inscription 8799 in ‘Corp. Inscr. Graec.’ is taken from it). The shepherds of ‘Da‘il’, with whom I passed a night on the ‘Wadi el-Lebwe’, called the place of their encampment Job’s pasture-ground. In like manner, the English traveler Buckingham, when he wandered through the ‘Nukra’, was shown in the distance the village of ‘Gherbi’ (‘i.e. Chirbet el-ghazale’, which from its size is called ‘el-chirbe kat’ exochën’) as the birthplace and residence of Job, and it seems altogether as though Hauran and the Land of Job are synonymous. But if one inquires particularly for that part of the country in which Job himself dwelt, he is directed to the central point of Hauran, the plain of Hauran (‘sahl Hauran’), and still more exactly to the district between the towns of ‘Nawa’ and ‘Edre‘at’, which is accounted the most fertile portion of the country, covered with the ruins of villages, monasteries, and single courts, and is even now comparatively well cultivated. Among the nomads as well as among the native agricultural population, this district is called from its formation ‘Nukra’ or ‘Nukrat esh-Sham’, a name by which this highly-favoured plain is known and celebrated by the poets in the whole Syrian desert, as far as ‘Irak and Higaz.
But even the national writers are acquainted with and frequently make mention of the Hauranitish tradition of Job; yet they do not call Job’s home Nukra, —for this word, which belongs only to the idiom of the steppe, is unknown to the literature of the language,—but ‘Bethenije’ (‘Batanaea’). It is so called in a detailed statement of the legends of Job: After the death of his father, Job journeyed into Egypt to marry ‘Rahme’ (Rachmah) the daughter of Ephraim, who had inherited from her grandfather Joseph the robe of beauty; and after he had brought her to his own country, he received from God a mission as prophet to his countrymen, viz. to the inhabitants of Hauran and Batanaea ([Arabic sentence omitted]). The historian of Jerusalem, Mugir ed-din el-Hambeli, in the chapter on the legends of the prophets, says: “Job came from el-‘Es, and the Damascene province of Batanaea was his property.” In like manner, in the ‘Geography’ of Jakut el-Hamawi, under the art. ‘Bethenije’, it is said: “and in this land lived Job (‘wakan Ejub minha’).”
Modern exegetes, as is known, do not take the plain of Hauran, but the mountain range of Hauran with its eastern slope, as the ‘Provincia Batanaea’. I have sought elsewhere to show the error of this view, and may the more readily confine myself to merely referring to it, as one will be convinced of the correctness of my position in the course of this article. One thing, however, is to be observed here, that the supposition that Basan is so called as being the land of basalt rocks, is an untenable support of this error. The word basalt may be derived from (Basantis), or a secondary formation, (Basaltis), because Basan is exclusively volcanic; but we have no more right to reverse the question, than to say that Damascus may have received its name from the manufacture of damask. (In the fair at ‘Muzerib’ we again saw the sheikh of the ‘Wesije’-Beduins, whose guest we had been a week before at the Springs of Joseph in western ‘Golan’, where he had pitched his tent on a wild spot of ground that had been traversed by lava-streams. In answer to our question whether he still sojourned in that district, he said: “No, indeed! ‘Nazilin el-jom bi-ard bethene shele’ (we are now encamped in a district that is completely ‘bethene’).” I had not heard this expression before, and inquired what it meant. The sheikh replied: ‘bethene’ [Arabic] is a stoneless plain covered with rich pasture. I often sought information respecting this word, since I was interested about it on account of the Hebrew word (Bashan), and always obtained the same definition. It is a diminutive form, without having exactly a diminutive signification, foreign the language of the nomads it is an acknowledged fact that such a form takes the place of the usual form. The usual form is either ‘bathne’ or ‘bathane’. The Kamus gives the former signification, “a level country”. That the explanation of the Kamus is too restricted, and that of the Sheikh of Wesije the more complete, may be shown from the Kamus itself. In one place it says, The word moreover signifies (a) the thick of the milk (cream); (b) a tender maiden; (c) repeated acts of benevolence. These three significations given are, however, manifestly only figurative applications, not indeed of the signification which the Kamus places ‘primo loco’, but of that which the Sheikh of the W s je gave; for the likening of a “voluptuously formed maiden,” or of repeated acts of benevolence, to a luxurious meadow, is just as natural to a nomad, as it was to the shepherd Amos (ch. 4:1) to liken the licentious women of Samaria to well-nourished cows of the fat pastures of Basan. Then the Kamus brings forward a collective form ‘buthun’ ([Arabic] perhaps from the sing. ‘bathan’ = (Bashan), like [Arabic] from ‘asad’) in the signification pastures [Arabic]; pastures, however, that are damp and low, with a rich vegetation. That the word is ancient, may be seen from the following expression of Chalid ibn el-Welid, the victor on the Jarmuk: “‘Omar made me governor of Damascus; and when I had made it into a ‘buthene’, ‘i.e’. a stoneless fertile plain (easy to govern and profitable), he removed me.”
Jakut also mentions this expression under ‘Bethenije’. Chalid also uses the diminutive as the nomads do (he was of the race of Machz m); probably the whole word belongs only to the steppe, for all the women who were called ‘buth ne’, ‘e.g’. the beloved of the poet Gem l, and others mentioned in the “Diwan of Love” (‘Diwan es-sababe’), were Bedouin women. After what has been said, we cannot assign to the Hebr. (Bashan) any other signification than that of a fertile stoneless plain or low country. This appellation, which was given, properly and originally, only to the heart of the country, and its most valuable portion, viz. the Nukra, would then ‘a potiori’ be transferred to the whole, and when the kingdom of Basan was again destroyed, naturally remained to that province, of which it was the proper designation.)
The home of Job is more definitely described in the following passages. Muhammed el-Makdeshi says, p. 81 of his geography: “And in Hauran and Batanaea lie the villages of Job and his home (‘dia Ejub wa-diaruh’). The chief place (of the district) is Nawa, rich in wheat and other cereals.” The town of Nawa is still more definitely connected with Job by Jakut el-Hamawi under the article ‘Nawa’: “Between Nawa and Damascus is two days’ journey; it belongs to the district of Hauran, and is, according to some, the chief town of the same. Nawa was the residence (‘menzil’) of Job;” and Ibn er-Rabi says, p. 62 of his essay on the excellences of Damascus : “To the prophets buried in the region of Damascus belongs also Job, and his tomb is near Nawa, in the district of Hauran.” Such passages prove at the same time the identity of the Nukra with Batanaea; for if the latter is said to be recognisable from the fact of Job’s home being found in it, and we find this sign in connection with the Nukra in which Nawa with its surrounding country is situated, both names must denote one and the same district. …
…..But that which might injure the authority of Josephus is the contradiction in which it seems to stand to a far older statement concerning ‘Ausitis’, viz. the recognized postscript of the LXX. to the book of Job, which makes Job to be the Edomitish king Jobab. This identification, it may be said, can however only have been possible because ‘Ausitis’ was in or near Edom. But the necessity of this inference must be disputed. It is indeed unmistakable that that postscript is nothing more than a combination of the Jews beyond Palestine (probably Egyptio-Hellenistic), formed, perhaps, long before the LXX., —such a vagary as many similar ones in the Talmud and Midrash. From the similarity in sound of (’Iöbab)) with (’Iöb), and the similarity in name of (Zara), the father of ‘Jobab’, with a son of Re‘uel and grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:13), Job’s descent from Esau has been inferred. That Esau’s first-born was called ‘Eliphaz’ and his son ‘Teman’, seemed to confirm this combination, since (in accordance with the custom of naming the grandson as a rule after his grandfather) ‘Eliphaz’ the Temanite might be regarded as grandson of that ‘Eliphaz’, therefore like Job as great-grandson of Esau and (pemptos apo Abraam). The apparent and certainly designed advantages of this combination were: that Job, who had no pedigree, and therefore was to be thought of as a non-Israelite, was brought into the nearest possible blood-relationship to the people of God, and that, by laying the scene in the time of the patriarchs, all questions which the want of a Mosaic colouring to the book of Job might excite would be met. Now, even if the abode of Job were transferred from the land of ‘Us to Edom, it would be only the consequence of his combination with ‘Jobab’, and, just as worthless as this latter itself, might lead no one astray. But it does not seem to have gone so far; it is even worthy of observation, that (mBotsra) (from ‘Bosra’, the Edomite city), being attached to the misunderstood (huios Zara ek Bosorhras), Gen. 36:33, is reproduced in the LXX. by (mëtros Bosorhras), as also that Job’s wife is not called an Edomitess, but a (gunë Arabissa). And it appears still far more important, that Ausitis lies (en tois horiois tës Idoumaias kai Arabias), so far as the central point of (Idoumaia) is removed by the addition (kai tës Arabias), and Job’s abode is certainly removed from the heart of Idumaea. The ‘Cod. Alex.’, exchanges that statement of the place, even in a special additional clause, for (epi tön horiön tou Euphratou), therefore transfers Ausitis to the vicinity of the Euphrates, and calls the father of Jobab (= Job) (Zareth ex anatolön hëliou) (mebeni qedem). Nevertheless we attach no importance to this variation of the text, but rather offer the suggestion that the postscript gives prominence to the observation: (houtos (viz. Iöb) hermëneuetai ek tës Suriakës biblou.)……
……And now, in concluding here, I have still to explain, that in writing these pages I was not actuated by an invincible desire of increasing the dull literature respecting the (’eretz ‘utz) by another tractate, but exclusively by the wish of my honoured friend that I should furnish him with a contribution on my visit to the ‘Makam Ejub’, and concerning the tradition that prevails there, for his commentary on the book of Job. As to the accompanying map, it is intended to represent the hitherto unknown position of the Makam, the Monastery, and the country immediately around them, by comparing it with two localities marked on most maps, ‘Nawa’ and the castle of ‘Muzerib’. The latter, the position of which we determined in 1860 as 32° 44′ north lat. and 35° 51′ 45″ east long. (from Greenwich), lies three hours’ journey on horse back south of the Monastery. The ‘Wadi Jarmuk’ and ‘Wadi Hit’ have the gorge formation in common with all other wadis that unite in the neighbourhood of ‘Zezun’ and form the Makran, which is remarkable from a geological point of view: a phenomenon which is connected with the extreme depression of the valley of the Jordan. For the majority of the geographical names mentioned in this essay I refer the reader to Carl Bitter’s ‘Geographie von Syrien und Palestina’; others will be explained in my ‘Itinerarien’, which will be published shortly.”

11: From: Book of Job. P1, Oldest Book in the World. P2, Rhythmical Translation, Structure; Brief Explanatory & Critical Notes. E. W. Bullinger, DD. 1903 (Compare Bullinger’s abridgment of the Book of Job in his Companion Bible.)
Preface:
Few Books of the Bible have received more attention than the Book of Job; both as to translations and as to commentaries. The Apocalypse, perhaps, exceeds it; because of its relation to the future, in which we are naturally more interested. The Book of Job carries us back to the remote past, and contains the oldest lesson in the world. It is significant that this oldest book should be devoted to imparting that knowledge, in comparison with which all other knowledge sinks into insignificance.
It is the lesson which is essential to our having peace with God for Time, and to our enjoying the peace of God for Eternity….Thus the ‘Structure’ determines the Scope; and the ‘Scope’, in turn, furnishes the key to the interpretation of the words….The Divine Names & Titles have all been indicated either in the Translation (where the Rhythm allowed it), or in the Notes. Those used in this book may be thus defined & distinguished.
Elohim is God, as the Creator, carrying out His will; God, standing in the relation of Creator to His creatures.
El, is God, as the Omnipotent. The Creator showing forth His power in carrying out His work. “The Almighty” would have been, perhaps, the most appropriate rendering, had not this word been, in the A.V., appropriated as the rendering of “Shaddai.”
Eloah is the God Who is to be worshipped and reverenced, the living God, in contrast with all idols & false gods.
Adonai is God as the Ruler in the earth; and this in relation to the whole Earth, rather than as limited to His own People. It is thus distinguished from Jehovah.
Jehovah is the Eternal God, “Who is, and was, and is to come.” The self-existent God, Who stands in Covenant relation to His own People.
Shaddai is God as All-Bountiful. The Giver of every good gift; the Fountain of all Divine help; and the Supplier of all human need. Not merely Almighty as regards His power, but All-Bountiful as regards His resources.
These are the Divine titles used in the book of Job, and it will be observed that Eloah and Shaddai are the titles that specially mark the character of the book. In our judgment, all the Divine Names and Titles should have been preserved in their original forms in translating the Bible into any language. They should have been transferred (with explanations) instead of being translated. No one word in any language can ever explain all that is contained and implied in the Hebrew original. (To adopt the heathen names and titles, and use them to represent the God of revelation is a still greater mistake.) We have not ventured systematically on so bold a course; but we have adopted it where possible in certain cases, especially with the names Eloah and Shaddai. When we have not been able to do this, we have indicated the different titles in the notes. We have also uniformly distinguished them by the use of different types: for example:
Elohim, God the Creator, we have printed “God.”
El, God the Omnipotent or Almighty, we have printed “God.”
Eloah, God the object of Worship, we have printed (GOD).”
Adonai, God the Ruler in the Earth, we have printed “LORD” (as in A.V.).
Jehovah, God the Eternal One, we have printed Lord (as in A.V.).
Shaddai, God as the All-Bountiful, we have printed “GOD.”

     Thus, the distinguishing features of the following version are: 1. Rhythmical. 2. Based on the Structure of the book. 3. Notes the Figures of Speech. 4. Idiomatic. 5. Critical Readings of Dr. Ginsburg’s Hebrew Bible. 6. Distinguishes the various Divine Names and Titles.

     May we, together, come to the knowledge of Divine “Wisdom”; &, while we justify God & condemn ourselves, learn how mortal man can be just with God; & that, while God is just, He is the
Justifier of all who believe in the Lord Jesus. Christ is the “spirit.” In the book of Job we have the ” body.” But, “as the body without the spirit is dead,” so the “letter” of the word without Christ (the “spirit”) is dead also. May His words be spirit and life, i.e., true spiritual life, to ourselves.

Part I: Oldest Lesson in the World (“The End of the Lord” James 5:11): Book & Structure: Introduction. Adversary’s Assault. Job & his Three Friends. Ministry of Elihu. Ministry of Jehovah Himself. Conclusion.

Part II: Translation of Book of Job: Introduction: Historical. Adversary’s Assault. Three Friends: Their Arrival. Job & His Friends: Job’s Lamentation; Eliphaz 1st Address & Job’s Reply; Bildad’s 1st Address & Job’s Reply; Zophar’s 1st Address & Job’s Reply; Eliphaz 2nd Address & Job’s Reply; Bildad’s 2nd Address & Job’s Reply; Zophar’s 2nd Address & Job’s Reply; Eliphaz. 3rd Address & Job’s Reply; Bildad’s 3rd Address & Job’s Reply; Zophar’s 3rd Address; Job’s Justification. Ministry of Elihu. Jehovah and Job. Three Friends: Their Departure. Adversary’s Defeat. Conclusion: Historical.

Introduction: Oldest Lesson in the World: Lord’s End (Purpose, Object, Design):
We have all “heard of the patience of Job.” But, the great and important question is this, Have we “seen the end” which the Lord had in view in all His dealings with Job? The “end” which He brought about in His own perfect way? The object and purpose of the book are one. Whatever is said and done; whoever speaks or acts; all has reference to one person; and all is designed to bring about one “end.” It is a long book. It consists of forty-two chapters, relating to various events, and different agencies; all brought to bear upon one person, and all directed to one “end ” “the end of the Lord.”
We see Heaven, and Earth, and Hell; Jehovah, and Satan; the Chaldeans, and Sabeans; fire from heaven, and wind from the wilderness; Job’s friends, his wife, and children, all engaged and employed in order to secure one “end.” It is a wonderful book in itself, apart from either the patience of Job, or the end of the Lord.
We might study it with reference to the history involved in the book; its national character; its place in the Canon of Scripture: the time when it was written; the various references to arts and sciences, to natural history, to astronomy, to various objects of Nature, such as jewels, etc. We might study its eschatology; its knowledge of mineralogy, metallurgy and mining operations. We might notice its language; the words and expressions employed, especially those that are peculiar to the book. All these and many other matters might well form subjects of separate study: but we leave all these; because, however interesting each subject might be in itself, it is not the “end” for which the book is given to us. Ancient it is beyond all dispute. It probably belongs to the period covered by the book of Genesis; and, possibly, to the time of Abraham. Its lesson, therefore, is the oldest lesson we could have; and it takes us back to the first lesson taught in the Bible itself. In Gen.1 and 2 we have the creation of man. In Gen. 3 we have the fall of man, and the chapter ends with the statement that man was driven out from the Garden of Eden in judgment (v. 24). Then, in Gen. 4, what have we but ‘the way back again’ to God, in grace? God’s way, which Abel took; and man’s way, which Cain invented.
This, therefore, is the oldest lesson in the world. It is the first great lesson which stands on the fore- front of revelation; and the lesson of the book of Job follows this up and expands it by answering the solemn question, “How should man be just with God?” This is not only the oldest lesson, but it is the most important lesson that it is possible for us to learn. If we know not this lesson, it matters not what else we may know. Our knowledge may be vast, extensive, and deep on all other subjects; but it will not carry us beyond the grave. But the knowledge of this lesson will serve us for eternity; and secure our eternal blessing and happiness. If we know this lesson, it matters little what else we do ‘not’ know. No wonder then that this oldest lesson in the world is thus set at the very opening of God’s Word, following immediately upon the record of the Fall. No wonder that, thus, at the threshold of the Word of God, we have the foundation of Gospel truth securely laid.
The “end” which the Lord had in view in the book of Job was to enforce this lesson in the most powerful way; a way which should serve as an object lesson for all time; and by the manner in which it is set forth should impress its importance upon the hearts and minds of all. Its very structure is designed to attract our attention by exhibiting in a wonderful manner the perfect workmanship of the Spirit of God. The Structure itself speaks to us, if we have ears to hear. It says: If the outward form of the book be so perfect, how perfect must be its spiritual lesson; and how Divine must be its one great object; viz., “the end,” which Jehovah had in view from the beginning; “the end ” which was so blessedly accomplished ; and “the end” for which it is given to us.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.17

(Here are pages 342-375 of CBR.17 of Samuel-Esther, and the details of the Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemia, and Esther. PDF of CBR from Genesis to Esther, 375 pages. mjm) PDF 375 pages: CBR.ChristianBiblicalReflections.mjmselim.05062018

 

   Some reflections on the Books of Kings preliminary to the final Books of the Old Testament History, namely Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Esther:
First, we will lists the Kings of the Kingdoms, the Northern and the Southern, of Israel and Judah, that is of Samaria and Jerusalem. There are 19 Kings in each, all judged or evaluated or measured by King David, and the last King (20th) to rule in each Kingdom was the Gentile King of their Captivity and Exile. The 3 Kings before the Division of the Monarchy: Saul, David, and Solomon, each ruled 40 years.

Kings of Judah: Southern Kingdom: Jerusalem:
1. Rehoboam: First King. (did evil) 17 yrs
2. Abijah (or Abijam or Abia): Son of Rehoboam. (did evil) 3 yrs
3. Asa: Probably son of Abijah. (did right) 41 yrs
4. Jehoshaphat: Son of Asa. (did right) 25 yrs
5. Jehoram (or Joram): Son of Jehoshaphat; husband of Athaliah. (did evil) 8 yrs
6.a. Ahaziah: Son of Jehoram and Athaliah. (did evil) 1 yr
6.b. Athaliah: Daughter of King Ahab of Israel and Jezebel; wife of Jehoram; only queen to occupy the throne of Judah. (did evil) 6 yrs
7. Joash (or Jehoash): Son of Ahaziah. (did right young, did evil older) 40 yrs
8. Amaziah: Son of Joash. (did right young, did evil older) 29 yrs
9. Uzziah (or Azariah): Son of Amaziah. (did right) 52 yrs
10. Jotham: Regent, later King; son of Uzziah. (did right) 16 yrs
11. Ahaz: Son of Jotham. (did evil) 16 yrs
12. Hezekiah: Son of Ahaz; husband of Hephzi-Bah. (did right) 29 yrs
13. Manasseh: Son of Hezekiah and Hephzi-Bah. (did evil) 55 yrs
14. Amon: Son of Manasseh. (did evil) 2 yrs
15. Josiah (or Josias): Son of Amon. (did right) 31 yrs
16. Jehoahaz (or Joahaz): Son of Josiah. (did evil) 3 mnths
17. Jehoiakim: Son of Josiah. (did evil) 11 yrs
18. Jehoiachin: Son of Jehoiakim. (did evil) 3 mnths
19. Zedekiah: ben-Josiah (at 21); kingdom overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar. (did evil) 11 yrs (d.32)
20. Nebuchadnezzar: King of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 11th yr of Zedekiah; & exiled Judah.

Kings of Israel: Northern Kingdom: Samaria:
1. Jeroboam I: Led secession of Israel. (evil) 22 yrs
2. Nadab: Son of Jeroboam I. (evil) 2 yrs
3. Baasha: Overthrew Nadab. (evil) 24 yrs
4. Elah: Son of Baasha. (evil) 2 yrs
5. Zimri: Overthrew Elah. (evil) 7 days
6. Omri: Overthrew Zimri. (evil) 12 yrs
7. Ahab: Son of Omri; husband of Jezebel. (evil) 21 yrs
8. Ahaziah: Son of Ahab. (evil) 1 yr
9. Jehoram (or Joram): Son of Ahab. (evil) 11 yrs
10. Jehu: Overthrew Jehoram. (good and evil) 28 yrs
11. Jehoahaz (or Joahaz): Son of Jehu. (evil) 16 yrs
12. Jehoash (or Joash): Son of Jehoahaz. (evil) 16 yrs
13. Jeroboam Il: Son of Jehoash. (evil) 40 yrs
14. Zechariah: Son of Jeroboam II. (evil) ½ yr
15. Shallum: Overthrew Zechariah. (evil) 1 mnth
16. Menahem: Overthrew Shallum. (evil) 10 yrs
17. Pekahiah: Son of Menahem. (evil) 2 yrs
18. Pekah: Overthrew Pekahiah. (evil) 20 yrs
19. Hoshea: Overthrew Pekah; kingdom overthrown by Assyrians under Sargon II. (evil) 9 yrs
20. Shalmaneser: King of Assyria in 9th yr of Hoshea deported and exiles Israel to Assyria.

   20 High-Priests & Priests from the Exodus to the Captivity: Aaron benAmram, Eleazar benAaron, Phinehas benEleazar, Abishua benPhinehas, Bukki benAbishua, Uzzi benBukki, Zerahiah benUzzi, Meraioth benZerahiah, Azariah benMeraioth, Amariah benAzariah, Ahitub benAmariah, Zadok benAhitub, Hilkiah benShallum, Azariah benHilkiah, Seraiah benAzariah, and Ezra benSeraiah. Joshua benJehozadak, Joiakim benJoshua, Eliashib benJoiakim, and Joiada benEliashib.

We have 600 years of history from Samuel to Malachi, from the establishment of the Monarchy to the close of the Old Testament in the return exiles from Babylon. The Temple had a 500-year history from Solomon to Zerubbabel. During the Monarchy the Prophetic Office developed into the primary instrumentation of Israel’s divine transformation and continuance. God continued to leave room for Israel’s repentance and recommitment to the Mosaic covenant, and by such obedience and renewal He would intervene on their behalf to keep and fulfill all His promises made to them and their forefathers. Messiah must still come, ass the Seed and as Shiloh, and in the Incarnation take up humanity from Adam to the New Testament and eternity. Israel in His dispensational dealing would secure the Gentiles’ participation in His divine and eternal plans for man. Though they were His chosen, favored, and special people, the Elect of God, yet His judgment and chastisement of the nation showed Him to be an impartial and equitable God. His providential allowance of His people’s disobedience displayed His greater and larger concerns with mankind. In His redemptive and convictive work and dealings the nations as excluded Gentiles without special covenant relations, except those of Adam and Noah, would often share the covenant blessings and curses with Israel. Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and others would become His servants and messengers. Cyrus the Persian would become His son and anointed. Mankind was enlarging and maturing at an enormous rate, with new ways of living, working, surviving, understanding, and may such things. The Lord as God to Israel was ever involved in human affairs, both nationally and with individuals.
As we have seen the Book as the Word was gradually and increasingly displacing human and natural government and authority. And as the Dispensation of Israel began with Moses and the Law, so it ends with Ezra the Priest and Scribe of the Book, the Torah and the Tanakh, the Pentateuch and the Old Testament. It was not God’s proper will to institute the Monarchy as a substation of His Headship federally of the nation, but rather to continue to use Judges and Saviors and Heroes raised up as needed to rule and guide His people, as a Shepherd does His flock. The insanity of Saul compared to the zeal and devotion of David displays the Lord’s rejection of the one and the attraction to the other. As the King is the highest authority on earth, and as such, represents Divine Authority of heaven, God must deal with the nation as a Body through the King as its Head. As with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob as Israel, Moses and Aaron, so too the Judges and the Kings. The King’s court with the nation’s elders constituted the government of the people. The Law and the Sacrifice, the Elders and the Priests, together constituted the Testimony and Example of the People. In the individual Kings of both Kingdoms, the evaluation and measurement is a comparison of the ideal, and changes with the degree that ideal is attained or failed. The love of God and fellow man, the Creator and His creatures, the Father and His children, would be examined in Israel’s leadership; and thus religious purity, social responsibility, and family provisions would determine the King’s good or evil, and so too with each and every man. We see the Law was not kept in full national or tribal obedience, in many of its details, and the Book itself was lost and neglected as an essential guidance or rule. In divine judgment, Israel suffering wrath and pain, the rediscovery and the renewal of the Book would again surface or emerge. Such was the picture of the Kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Samaria, from Jeroboam departure from the Law of Moses and the Worship of God, that Kingdom was doomed to failure, and so all its Kings were bad and evil and wicked, because they continued in the apostasy. Only in the negative could any of the Northern Kings be good as Jehu, who exterminated the House of Ahab and Jezebel, but continued apostate like Jeroboam. Not so with the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, where not only the negative was manifest, but also the positive good and right things were displayed in about half of the Kings. The 3 most exceptional were Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah; yet none of these could surpass David; and all of them, David and Solomon included, could not approach the excellency of Messiah, the Christ. Even in Samuel the Seer the defect of human nature is seen in his sons whom he appointed as Judges of the people, but who were more wicked than most of the people, as it was also with Eli the High Priest and his sons.
The Temple is allowed to be built in response to David’s heart, patterned after the Lord’s own heart, but it too was not intended. The temporary and mobile Sanctuary was adequate for a people going through transformation, and strategically needed to adapt to their enemies’ movements against them. The City of David and the Temple of Solomon would establish the local and central government and worship in a way that it could be attacked and subverted in a much more decisive manner, often undetected. It’s true both David and Solomon, and a few other Kings, did enlarge and adorn the Temple as the Lord’s House in worship, praise, celebration, etc. The enemy saw in the Temple gold, silver, brass, and many special and precious objects that they wanted, and so attacked the City and stripped the House of those valuables, and in the end destroyed both City and Temple. The true Temple was not clearly seen, and all the glory of which it spoke and displayed would need await better times and another age to be written in the Scroll of a new covenant and testament.
We must also examine Chronicles in relations to Kings and Samuel. For this we will turn to a work that has given us the details in comparisons.

A Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles in the Text of the Version of 1884 by William Day Crockett. A.M. Professor of English Literature in the State Normal School, Mansfield, Pa. With an Introduction by Willis Judson Beecher, D.D. Professor of the Hebrew Language and Literature in the Auburn Theological Seminary New York Chicago Toronto Fleming H. Revell Company London and Edinburgh. (Andover-Harvard Theological Library 1890 Cambridge, Massachusetts) Copyright, 1897, William Day Crockett. (Analytical Outline & Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.)

Preface.
Many and many a time during the latter years of my College course, as I had taken up my Bible for the daily chapter, had I thought of the time in the near future of my Seminary days, when the Book of Books itself would be my constant study. But the ideal was never realized; for there were ever a hundred other volumes claiming one’s attention: Greek and Hebrew, and Theology and History, and Homiletics and Church Polity, and a score of allied subjects besides. And while the Bible was back of them all, while the Bible inspired them all, there was not in my own life the deep, earnest study of God’s Word for which I had longed for years. Without doubt, it was all my own fault; at any rate, the Bible study was not there.
It was at this juncture that the idea came for a Harmony of the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. I had begun, for my own private Bible study, a Harmony of the Four Gospels. A long walk succeeded the first two hours’ work on the Gospel narratives; and with it came the thought: A thousand men have done this work before; why not accept some of the work that they have done—at least for a while—and try your skill in unplowed fields? The result of that thought was the conception of the present volume.
Until the completion of the first draft of the manuscript, I was not aware that such a work had ever been undertaken before. Since then I have learned that there are certain works, out of date and out of print, that have embodied the conception, more or less fully. But so far as it has been possible to learn, the present work is the only one of its kind. The volume as it stands to-day is the outgrowth of its first conception, in its general outline. The six books of the Old Testament that have been used as material, have been subjected to the most careful analysis; and the result is a “Harmony,” divided into five books, under the general name of “The Books of the Kings of Judah and Israel “—which, by the way, happens to be the title, with the exception of the addition of one letter, of one of the thirty and more Books of Old Testament times now lost to the world —which Books, in their turn, have been, more or less, the original material from which the six books under consideration have been compiled. The question of the compilation or the editing of the said books, however, does not fall within the province of this work.
The result of our study is something more than simply a Harmony of the Books of First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, and First and Second Chronicles; it embodies a careful analytical outline, the value of which, it is thought, will be as great as those sections displaying the Harmony idea—an outline, toward the perfection of which every verse of the six books in question has contributed its share —an outline, in which books, parts, divisions, sections, subsections, and even the subdivisions of the subsections, all have their own individual ‘raison d’itre’.
From the very nature of the case, the Harmony involves a study of the chronology. Such study, while it has been one of the most fascinating features of the whole work, has likewise been the most difficult. In the matter of Biblical chronology, the basal law seems to be, “Every man for himself, and the critic take the hindermost.” In conformity with the workings of this law, the author of the present work does not profess to agree with any one among the many different authorities on Bible chronology —that is, in detail; though it would be here proper to state that all the material available for chronological study has been used, and where traditional views and interpretations have been departed from, it has been only after the maturest consideration and the most careful weighing of evidence.
It would simply be an impossibility, in a volume of this size, to give all the reasons for adopting the particular order in the disputed cases; for those reasons are oftentimes purely internal. A full discussion of the reasons for the particular order of events in Elisha’s life, for example, would occupy many pages. The same may be said of the interpretation of the life and history of David; but where it has been
feasible, attention has been called to such reasons in the footnotes.
For the merits of the chronology, my especial thanks are due to Dr. Willis J. Beecher, of Auburn Theological Seminary, whose study and system of chronology have not only been of inestimable value, but whose personal suggestions have always been most helpful. For a few felicitous phrases in the Analytical Outline, I am indebted to the translators of Lange’s Commentaries.
The text is that of the Revised Version of 1884, which, for purposes of historical study, is confessedly the best English version to be had. The footnotes are, to a great extent, the marginal readings of the Revised Version; though from the natural requirements of the Harmony, several hundred of these have been omitted as needless, and a few others for other reasons. Many have been slightly changed, or added to, for the convenience of the student. The remaining notes are inserted for chronological or other explanatory reasons.
The Four Gospels, as the original material for the study of the life of Christ, must ever be the ground of absorbing and supremist interest to the Bible student. What those four books are to the New Testament, as the field for historical study, the six books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles are to the Old: they are the principal sources of Old Testament history and chronology, and are the books most under discussion to-day. A Harmony of the Gospels has already become the indispensable aid to every student of the life of Christ, or even of the literature of the New Testament. It is hoped that this work will meet a long-felt want for some such study of the principal historical books of the Older Revelation. A “Harmony,” the volume has been called, though, as already stated above, it is much more than a mere Harmony. On the other hand, it is to be remembered that much that is arranged in parallel columns in it is not harmonious—cannot be made harmonious. And yet, in this very connection, it is also to be remembered, that the parallel passages are valuable, not so much for their perfect correspondences as for their many differences; for God’s Word and we are the richer far for every such difference. It is hoped that the careful study of these pages will help to reconcile some of these divergencies. Many will probably never be solved until we come to stand before the Great White Throne. But if this volume will aid in any way to a clearer knowledge of some of the many knowable things, and by that knowledge, aid —though but indirectly —in the fulfilling of the loving Master’s greatest prayer, that the Kingdom may come, it will accomplish that whereunto it is sent.
William D. Crockett.

Introduction.
By Professor Willis J. Beecher, D.D.,
Of the Theological Seminary of Auburn in the State of New York.

I Gladly accept the invitation to write a few words of introduction to the volume which my friend Mr. Crockett has prepared. Not many words are needed. The plan of the book speaks for itself.
In Old Testament study, at present, the thing that most demands investigation is the Old Testament itself. This fact is so obvious as to be accepted by all and understood by only a very few. By studying the Old Testament itself, some mean the looking up of points therein for illustrating current religious doctrine and experience. Others mean the repeating of the interpretations of the history, as these have been handed down to us from the time of Josephus. Others mean the examination of the new knowledge concerning the Bible derived from travels and surveys and explorations. Yet others understand the mental unraveling of the literary work done by the men who wrote the books of the Old Testament, the analyzing of these into certain real or supposed original documents, with conjectures as to the authorship of the original documents, and the processes by which they were combined until they assumed the form in which we now have them.
All these ways of study have their value, but none of them is, properly speaking, the study of the Old Testament as it now exists. The first is the study of certain matters in the Old Testament, and not of the Old Testament itself. One might pursue it for a lifetime without acquiring anything like a connected idea as to either the books or their contents. The second, except indirectly, is not a study of the Old Testament at all. From babyhood we have been familiar with the current superficial understanding of the events recorded; it is time that we turn from this and ask what the Old Testament actually says concerning these events. The third is indissolubly connected with the second. If through our traditional mistakes we misinterpret the statements made in the Scriptures, this will lead us equally to misinterpret what the monuments have to say on the same subjects. And the fourth form of study above mentioned is not a study of the Old Testament, but of the real or supposed sources of the Old Testament. As far as it is based upon an inadequate understanding of the Old Testament as it stands, so far is it necessarily crude and misleading.
What we need is something different from these four forms of study, something that is presupposed by each of the four, something that is demanded as the basis of each of the four, namely, the study of the contents and the form of the books of the Old Testament as they stand. When we thoroughly understand the things which the existing Old Testament says, and the literary form in which it says them, we shall be better prepared to analyze our existing Scriptures into their primary component parts, and to understand those parts; and we shall be qualified to perceive the true bearing of the information gained by recent discoveries, to estimate traditional interpretations rightly, to appreciate more fully the religious teachings.
It is a thing especially commendable in the work of my friend Mr. Crockett that he has labored in this part of the field, here where labor is needed. He has set himself to understand, and to help others understand, a portion of the contents of the Old Testament itself.
In large sections of the volume he has done nothing more than print parallel accounts in parallel columns for ready reference. So far, the value is merely mechanical —a mere bit of convenient machinery. This by itself was worth the doing, but he has done far more than this. He has himself attained to a firm grasp upon the history as a whole, and has attempted, by a careful analysis, to show others how to take the same grasp. In traversing three fourths of the path this was relatively simple. It was the remaining fourth, lying in separate sections at half a dozen different points, that taxed his skill and industry and patience. The larger half of the value of his work is that which appears, in comparatively small bulk, in these difficult sections.
Of course, not all his results will at once be accepted as final. Every scholar will think him correct to the extent to which he agrees with him, and no further. It is for these best parts of Mr. Crockett’s work that fault is most likely to be found with him. The reader will occasionally miss the confusing but familiar landmarks of the Josephan interpretation of the history, and will be ready at once to exclaim that Mr. Crockett has lost his way. In such instances, however, he will do well to take the trouble to understand the offered interpretation before absolutely rejecting it.
I have enough confidence in the intelligence and industry of the present generation of students of the Bible to lead me to expect that this volume will have wide acceptance and usefulness.
Auburn, New York, June 1897.

Books of the Kings of Judah and Israel:
Book I: Until the Founding of the Monarchy. 1. Genealogical Tables, with Brief Historical Statements. 2. Close of the Theocracy.
Book II: Reign of Saul: 1. Establishment by Samuel of Saul as 1st King of Israel. 2. Saul’s Reign until his Rejection. 3. Decline of Saul and Rise of David.
Book III: Reign of David: 1. 7 1/2 Years in Hebron. 2. Period of David’s Wars. 3. Period of Rest. 4. Period of Internal Dissensions.
Book IV: Reign of Solomon: 1. Beginning of Solomon’s Reign. 2. Solomon’s Glory. 3. Solomon’s Fall and End.
Book V: Kingdoms of Judah and Israel: 1. From Year of Disruption to Rise of Jehu. 2. From Rise of Jehu to Fall of Kingdom of Israel. 3. Kingdom of Judah after Fall of Kingdom of Israel.

Genealogies of Patriarchs (1st Chron. 1): Genealogy: Adam to Noah. Descendants of Noah’s Sons. Shem to Abraham. Descendants of Abraham. Kings and Dukes of Edom. Twelve Sons of Israel
Genealogies of Tribes of Israel (1st Chron. 2 – 9):
Tribe of Judah (1st Chron. 2 – 4). General Genealogies of the Tribe. 3 Accounts of Descendants of Caleb. Family of David. Line of David through Solomon.
Tribe of Levi (1st Chron. 6). Line of Aaron. Descendants of Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. Ancestors of the Songmasters, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan. Cities of the Levites.
Tribe of Reuben (1st Chron. 5).
Tribe of Gad (1st Chron. 5).
Half-Tribe of Manasseh (east of Jordan) (1st Chron. 5).
Tribe of Simeon (1st Chron. 4).
Tribe of Issachar (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Naphtali (1st Chron. 7).
Half-Tribe of Manasseh (west of Jordan) (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Ephraim (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Asher (1st Chron. 7).
Tribe of Benjamin (1st Chron. 8 – 9; 1st Sam. 14). General Genealogies of the Tribe. House of Saul.
Appendix: Additional Historical Statements (1st Chron. 5 & 9). War of the 3 Transjordanic Tribes with Arab Nations. Inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Close of Theocracy: (1st Sam. 1 – 7)

Early Life of Samuel. (1st Sam. 1 – 3)
20. Samuel’s Birth and Infancy. Answer to Prayer. Consecration to the Lord. Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving.
21. Samuel at Shiloh. Faithless Priests. Eli’s Expostulation with his Sons. Samuel’s Ministry before the Lord. Fall of Eli’s House foretold. Samuel’s Call. Samuel established as Prophet.

Period of National Disaster. (1st Sam. 4 – 7)
22. Israel’s Defeat and Loss of Ark.
23. Fall of House of Eli.
24. Ark of God. Chastisement of Philistines for Removal of the Ark. Restoration of Ark with expiatory Gifts. Reception and Settlement of Ark in Israel.
25. 20 Years of Waiting.

Samuel, Last of Judges. (1st Sam. 7)
26. National Repentance through Samuel’s Labors.
27. Israel’s Victory over Philistines.
28. Summary Statement of Samuel’s Work as Judge.

Reign of Saul: (1st Sam. 8 – 15)

Establishment by Samuel of Saul as 1st King of Israel. (1st Sam. 8 – 10)
29. Persistent Demand of the People for King.
30. Samuel meets Saul, who is destined by Jehovah to be King over Israel.
31. Saul is privately anointed by Samuel.
32. Signs of Divine Confirmation.
33. Choice of Saul by Lot at Mizpeh.
34. Installation of Saul as King.
35. Saul’s brief Retirement to private Life.

Saul’s Reign until his Rejection. (1st Sam. 11 – 15)
36. Generic Account of the Whole of Saul’s Reign. (1st Sam. 14)
37. Confirmation and general Recognition of Saul as King. Saul’s Victory over the Ammonites. Confirmation of Saul as King at Gilgal. Samuel’s last Transaction with People at Gilgal.
38. Beginnings of Royalty.
39. War against Philistines. Jonathan’s Exploit in Gibeah. Saul summons Israel to Gilgal. Philistines encamp in Michmash. Distress of Israel. Saul wrongly offers Sacrifice. Samuel’s Prophecy of Retribution. Saul moves his Headquarters to Gibeah. 3 marauding Bands of the Philistines. Jonathan’s bold Attack on Philistines. Flight and Overthrow of Philistines. Saul’s rash Curse and its Consequences.
40. Jehovah’s Rejection of Saul. Commission to destroy Amalek. Saul’s Disobedience. Penalty of Disobedience. Fate of Agag. Samuel and Saul part.

Decline of Saul and Rise of David: (1st Sam. 16 – 28; 2nd Sam. 4; 1st Chron. 10 – 12)

Early History of David. (1st Sam. 16)
41. David chosen and anointed as Saul’s Successor by Samuel.
42. David’s Introduction to Court of Saul.

David’s Advancement and Saul’s growing Jealousy. (1st Sam. 17 – 20; 2nd Sam 23;1st Chron.11)
43. The Story of David and Goliath. Invasion of the Philistines. The Challenge of Goliath. David is sent by his Father to his Brethren in the Army. David accepts Goliath’s Challenge. David’s Contest with Goliath. David once more in the royal Presence. The Deed of Shammah. The Rout of the Philistines.
44. David at the Court of Saul. Saul attaches David to his Suit. Jonathan’s Friendship for David.
David’s Popularity. Saul’s Hatred toward David. Saul’s artful Attempt against David’s Life. David’s increasing Popularity. Jonathan proves his Friendship for David.
45. David is forced to leave Court. David escapes by Michal’s Help. David’s Flight to Ramah and Saul’s Pursuit. Conference between David and Jonathan. Jonathan learns his Father’s Intentions towards David. Parting between David and Jonathan.

David’s Outlaw Life. (1st Sam. 21 – 27; 1st Chron. 12)
46. David’s Flight. To Nob, to Ahimelech, High Priest. To Achish, King of Gath. To Cave of Adullam. To Mizpeh of Moab, where he finds Asylum for his Parents. To Forest of Hereth, in Judah.
47. Saul’s Vengeance on Priests of Nob.
48. David in Keilah. David rescues Keilah. Abiathar joins David. David escapes from Keilah.
49. David’s last Meeting with Jonathan.
50. David’s Betrayal by Ziphites.
51. David’s Escape from Saul in Wilderness of Maon.
52. David in Wilderness of En-gedi: He spares Saul in Cave.
53. Death of Samuel.
54. David in Wilderness of Paran: History of Nabal and Abigail.
55. David’s matrimonial Relations.
56. David, betrayed again by Ziphites, spares Saul 2nd Time.
57. David again in Land of Philistines. David once more flees to Achish, King of Oath. Achish grants Ziklag to David. David’s Operations while at Ziklag. List of Men who came to David at Ziklag.

Saul’s Downfall in War with Philistines. (1st Sam. 28 – 30; 2nd Sam. 4; 1st Chron. 10 &12)
58. Philistines prepare for Campaign against Israel.

59. David and Philistine Invasion of Israel. Achish places Confidence in David. David encamps with Philistines in Aphek: Israelites pitch in Jezreel. David, dismissed from Philistine Army, starts for Ziklag. Philistines march toward Jezreel. List of Men who joined David on his Way to Ziklag.
60. David’s Victory over Amalekites who had destroyed Ziklag.
61. Philistines pitch in Shunem: Israelites in Gilboa.
62. Saul’s Visit to Witch of Endor.
63. Fall of House of Saul. Battle of Mount Gilboa. Accident to Mephibosheth.

Reign of David. (2nd Sam.; 1st Kings 1 – 2; 1st Chron. 3 & 29)
7 1/2 Years in Hebron. (2nd Sam. 1 – 4)
David’s Behavior on Hearing of Saul’s Death.
64. News of Saul’s Death is brought to David.
65. David’s Lamentation for Saul and Jonathan.

Rival Kingdoms. (2nd Sam. 2 – 3)
66. David is anointed King over Judah.
67. David’s Message to the Men of Jabesh-gilead.
68. Ish-bosheth is made King of Israel.
69. Civil War.
70. David’s Family in Hebron.

Events leading to David’s Elevation to Throne of Israel. (2nd Sam. 3 – 4)
71. Abner’s Quarrel with Ish-bosheth.
72. Abner’s Desertion to David: Michal restored to David.
73. Joab’s Murder of Abner: David’s Lamentation.
74. Murder of Ish-bosheth.
75. David punishes Murderers of Ish-bosheth.

Period of David’s Wars. (2nd Sam. 5; 8; 10 – 12; 21; 23; 1st Chron. 11 – 12; 14; 18 – 20; 1st Kings 11)
76. David is made King over Israel.
77. Data concerning Number of Warriors who made David King.
78. Jerusalem captured and made the Capital.
79. Defensive Wars against Philistines. 1st Campaign. David goes “down to the Hold.” Gadites who “separated themselves unto David.” Deed of “3 mighty Men.” David’s Victory at Baal-perazim. 2nd Campaign.
80. David’s Alliance with Hiram of Tyre.
81. Offensive Wars against Philistines. Summary of these Wars.1st Campaign. Withdrawal of David from active military Service. 2nd Campaign. 3rd Campaign. 4th Campaign.
82. Ammonite-Syrian Campaign. David’s Ambassadors insulted by Ammonites. Israelitish Victory under Leadership of Joab.
83. Syrian Campaign.
84. 2nd Ammonite Campaign. Joab lays Siege to Rabbah. David’s Fall. David’s Repentance. Capture of Rabbah.
85. Campaign against Moab. Conquest by David. Exploit of Benaiah.
86. Decisive Campaign against Hadadezer.
87. Subjugation of Damascus.
88. Submission of Hamath.
89. Subjugation of Edom.
90. Summary of David’s Wars: Nations conquered.
91. List of David’s Heroes. “1st 3.” Jashobeam. Eleazar. Shammah. The “3 mighty Men.” Their Exploit at Bethlehem. Abishai. Benaiah. Remaining Heroes.
92. Administration and Officers of Kingdom during this Period.
93. David’s Song of Thanksgiving.

Period of Rest. (2nd Sam. 6 – 7; 9; 12; 1st Chron. 13 – 17)
94. Removal of Ark from Kirjath-jearim. To House of Obed-edom. To Jerusalem. David’s Hymn of Praise. Concluding Statements.
95. Promise of eternal Dominion to House of David. David’s Purpose to build Temple to Jehovah. The Lord’s Answer through Nathan. David’s Prayer and Thanksgiving. David’s Kindness towards Jonathan’s Son, Mephibosheth. Birth of Solomon. David’s Family in Jerusalem.

Period of Internal Dissensions. (2nd Sam. 13 – 15; 21; 24; 1st Chron. 21)

Family Troubles. (2nd Sam. 13 – 15)
99. Amnon’s Crime.
100. Absalom’s Vengeance.
101. Absalom’s Flight and Sojourn in Geshur.
102. Recall of Absalom. Joab’s Stratagem. Absalom’s Return. Absalom and his Family. Absalom’s Waiting in Jerusalem. Absalom’s Readmission to Court.
103. Absalom stealing Hearts of Men of Israel.

National Calamities. (2nd Sam. 21; 24; 1st Chron. 21)
104. 3 Years’ Famine. Execution of Saul’s Grandsons. Burial of Saul and his Sons.
105. 3 Days’ Pestilence. David’s Sin in numbering the People. Choice of Punishments. Pestilence. David purchases Araunah’s Threshing-floor and erects Altar.

David’s Final Arrangements. (1st Chron. 22 – 29)
106. Preparations for Building of Temple. Temple Site chosen. David’s Plans and Foresight. David’s Charge to Solomon. David’s Charge to Princes.
107. National Convention. Convention summoned. Data concerning the Officials “gathered.” Number and Distribution of the Levites. 24 Houses of the Levites. Duties of the Levites. 24 Courses of Priests. 24 Classes of Singers. Courses of Doorkeepers. Officers of Treasuries of “House of God.” Officers and Judges “for outward Business. 12 Captains of Army. Chiefs of 12 Tribes. Overseers of King’s Treasuries and Possessions. Officers of State. Convening into Assembly of the secular Officials “gathered.” Public Acts in National Convention. David causes Solomon to be made King (1st Time). David’s Address. David directs Solomon concerning the Building of Temple. Contributions of David and the Officials for Building of Temple. David’s Thanksgiving and Prayer. Close of Convention.

Absalom’s Rebellion. (2nd Sam. 15 – 16)
108. Outbreak of Rebellion.
109. David’s Flight. He hastily leaves Jerusalem. Ittai’s Fidelity. Priests and Ark. Hushai is sent back to City. Lying Ziba [here WDC is mistaken about Ziba, it is Mephibosheth that was lying] and his Present. Cursing of Shimei.
110. Absalom in Jerusalem. His Entrance into the City. Hushai meets Absalom. Counsels of Ahithophel.
Ahithophel’s Counsel is thwarted by Hushai. Hushai’s Message to David. Ahithophel’s Suicide.
111. Civil War. Absalom’s Pursuit. Reception of David at Mahanaim. Battle of Mount Ephraim. Absalom is murdered by Joab. Tidings brought to David: his Grief for Absalom.

Restoration of David’s Authority. (2nd Sam. 19 – 20)
112. Joab’s Reproval of David’s unworthy Grief.
113. Negotiations for David’s Recall.
114. David’s Return. Homeward March begins. Shimei is pardoned. Meeting with Mephibosheth.
Barzillai’s Farewell. Strife between Judah and Israel
115. Sheba’s Insurrection. Outbreak of the Revolt. David re-enters Jerusalem. Joab, after murdering Amasa, pursues Sheba. Siege of Abel of Beth-maacah, Death of Sheba, and End of Rebellion.
116. Officers of State after the Restoration.

Closing Days of David’s Life. (1st Kings 1 – 2; 2nd Sam. 5; 1st Chron. 3; 29)
117. David’s failing Health: Abishag the Shunammite.
118. Solomon is made King “2nd Time.” Adonijah attempts to seize Kingdom. Nathan and Bath-sheba’s counter Coup d’ ‘etat. Solomon’s 2nd Anointing. Adonijah’s Alarm and Submission.
119. David’s last prophetic Words.
120. David’s last Words to Solomon.
121. Death of David.

Reign of Solomon. (1st Kings 2 – 11; 1st Chron. 29; 2nd Chron. 1 – 9)
Beginning of Solomon’s Reign. (1st Kings 2 – 3; 2nd Chron. 1)
122. Solomon’s Accession to Throne.
123. Solomon’s Removal of his Adversaries. Adonijah, asking Abishag to Wife, is put to Death.
Abiathar is degraded from Priesthood. Joab’s Flight and Death. Elevation of Benaiah and Zadok. Shimei meets with his Deserts.
124. Solomon marries Pharaoh’s Daughter.
125. Spiritual Condition of Solomon and his Kingdom.
126. Solomon’s Sacrifice at Gibeon.
127. Solomon’s Dream and Prayer for Wisdom.
128. God’s Gift of Wisdom manifest by Solomon’s Judgment on Harlots

Solomon in all his Glory: (1st Kings 5 – 10; 2nd Chron. 1 – 9)
129. Preparations for Building of Temple. League with Hiram, King of Tyre. Solomon’s Levy of Laborers.
130. Building of Temple. Commencement of Temple. God’s Promise to Solomon. Dimensions of Temple. Materials of Temple. Porch. Windows. Stories. Most Holy Place. Cherubim. Veil. Walls. Floor. Doors.
131. Completion of Temple. Building of Royal Palace. Thirteen Years in Building. House of Forest of Lebanon. Porch of Pillars. Porch of Throne. King’s own Dwelling House. House of Pharaoh’s Daughter. Materials of Buildings. Great Court.
132. Making of Vessels, etc., pertaining to Temple. Hiram Artisan of Tyre. Two Pillars. Altar of Brass. Molten Sea. Ten Bases. Ten Lavers. Courts. Summary of Hiram’s Work in Brass. Summary of golden Vessels, etc. Completion of Work.
133. Dedication of Temple. Removal of Tabernacle and its Contents from Zion to Temple. Solomon’s opening Address and Blessing. Solomon’s dedicatory Prayer. God’s constant Care invoked. When an Oath is made at Altar. In Defeat. In Drouth. In Famine and Pestilence. For Stranger. In Battle. In Captivity. Close of the Prayer. Solomon’s closing Benediction. Divine Confirmation. Sacrifice and public Festival. God’s second Appearance to Solomon.
134. Solomon’s Activity and Fame. Solomon’s and Hiram’s Exchange of Cities. Subjugation of Hamath. Removal of Pharaoh’s Daughter to her own House. Building of Millo: Affair with Jeroboam. Levy of forced Labor. Building of the Cities. Solomon’s Worship. Navies of Solomon and Hiram. Visit of Queen of Sheba.
135. Glory of Solomon. Princes. Commissaries. Solomon’s Wisdom. Solomon’s Revenue and Splendor.
Solomon’s Chariots, Horsemen, and Traffic. Extent and Security of Kingdom.

Solomon’s Fall and End: (1st Kings 11; 1st Chron. 9)
136. Strange Wives turn away Solomon’s Heart.
137. God’s Anger and Threatening.
138. Solomon’s Adversaries. Hadad the Edomite. Rezon Son of Eliada. Jeroboam Son of Nebat.
139. Death of Solomon

Kingdoms of Judah and Israel: (1st Kings 12 – 22; 2nd Kings 1 – 25; 1st Chron. 5; 2nd Chron. 11 – 36)

Year of Disruption to Rise of Jehu: (1st Kings 12 – 22; 2nd Kings 1 – 10; 1st Chron. 11 – 22)

Kingdom of Judah [Southern] & Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
140. Introduction: Accession of Rehoboam and Revolt of 10 Tribes.
141. Reign of Rehoboam. Rehoboam’s Plans against Israel frustrated by Prophet Shemaiah. Adherence of Levites in all Israel to Rehoboam. Rehoboam is further strengthened by Immigration of other pious Israelites. Rehoboam’s Fortifications. Rehoboam’s Family. Judah’s Apostasy under Rehoboam. Invasion of Shishak. (Constant Warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.) Death of Rehoboam.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
142. Reign of Jeroboam. Jeroboam is made King over Israel. Jeroboam takes Measures to establish his Kingdom. “Man of God out of Judah.” Prophecy against Jeroboam’s Altar in Beth-el. Withering and Restoration of Jeroboam’s Hand. Disobedience of the Man of God. Man of God is slain. “Old Prophet ” buries Man of God, and confirms his Words. Jeroboam’s Persistence in Evil. Ahijah’s Prophecy against House and Kingdom of Jeroboam. Jeroboam’s Inquiry concerning his sick Child. Ahijah’s Prophecy and its partial Fulfillment. (Constant Warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.) (War between Abijah and Jeroboam.) Death of Jeroboam.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
143. Reign of Abijah. Abijah’s Accession to Throne. War between Abijah and Jeroboam. Family of Abijah.
Character of Abijah. Death of Abijah.
144. Reign of Asa. Asa’s Accession Throne. Ten Years of Peace. (Death of Jeroboam.) Character of Asa: His first Reforms. Asa’s Policy of Defense. Asa’s Victory over Zerah the Ethiopian. Warning of Prophet Azariah. Second Reformation under Asa. 4 Years of Peace. Reforms in Worship. Renewal of the Covenant. Removal of Maacah, Queen Mother. War between Asa and Baasha. Warning of the Prophet
Hanani. Asa’s Transgression. Asa’s Illness. Death of Asa.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
145. Reign of Nadab. Nadab’s Accession to Throne. Character of Nadab. Death of Nadab.
146. Reign of Baasha. Baasha’s Accession to the Throne. (War between Asa and Baasha.)
147. Reign of Elah.
148. Reign of Zimri.
149. Reigns of Tibni and Omri. Civil War. Omri marries his Son Ahab to Jezebel of Zidon. Omri becomes sole King.
150. Reign of Omri. 1st 6 Years in Tirzah. Omri makes Samaria his Capital. Character of Omri. Death of Omri.
151. Reign of Ahab. Ahab’s Accession to Throne. Character of Ahab. Rebuilding of Jericho. (Jehoshaphat marries his Son Jehoram to Athaliah, Daughter of Ahab.) Persecution of the Prophets. Elijah the Tishbite. Famine foretold. Elijah hides by the Brook Cherith. Elijah in Zarephath. Elijah raises the Widow’s Son. Elijah goes to meet Ahab. Elijah’s Challenge. Jehovah versus Baal. Baal’s Priests are slain. Promise of Rain. Elijah’s Flight to Horeb. God’s Revelation to Elijah. Call of Elisha. Ahab’s first Syrian Campaign. Ben-hadad besieges Samaria. Ben-hadad’s arrogant Claims. God’s Promise of Victory. Ahab’s Victory over the Syrians. Ahab’s second Syrian Campaign. Prophet’s Warning. Ahab again victorious. Ahab spares Ben-hadad. Prophet’s Rebuke. 3 Years of Peace. Story of Naboth. Naboth ‘s Vineyard is coveted by Ahab. Jezebel causes Naboth’s Death. Ahab’s Doom pronounced by
Elijah. Ahab’s Repentance gains him a Respite. Ahaziah becomes co-regnant with Ahab. (Jehoshaphat joins Ahab in his third Syrian Campaign. Ahab resolves to recover Ramoth-gilead. Ahab’s Prophets promise him the Victory. Micaiah’s Prophecy. Battle of Ramoth-gilead: Defeat and Death of Ahab.)

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
152. Reign of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat’s Accession to the
Throne. Character of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat strengthens his Kingdom. Mission of the Princes, Levites, and Priests. Jehoshaphat’s increasing Power. Jehoshaphat marries his Son Jehoram to Athaliah, Daughter of Ahab. Jehoshaphat joins Ahab in his third Syrian Campaign. Ahab resolves to recover Ramoth-gilead. Ahab’s Prophets promise him the Victory. Micaiah’s Prophecy. Battle of Ramoth-gilead: Defeat and Death of Ahab. Prophet Jehu’s Judgment on Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat’s further Reforms in Worship and Law. Wondrous Deliverance from Children of Moab and Ammon and Mount Seir. Invasion. Jehoshaphat’s Prayer. Jehovah’s Answer through Jahaziel. Annihilation of the Invading Armies. Spoil. Triumphant Return to Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat’s Shipping Alliance with Ahaziah. Jehoram becomes co-regnant (co-regent) with Jehoshaphat. Jehoram ‘s sixfold Fratricide. Jehoshaphat joins Jehoram of Israel in an Expedition against Moabites. March. Elisha’s Promise of Water and Victory. Morning brings Water. Moabites defeated by the allied Armies. Death of Jehoshaphat.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
153. Reign of Ahaziah. Ahaziah becomes sole King. Character of Ahaziah. Revolt of Moab.
(Jehoshaphat’s Shipping Alliance with Ahaziah.) Ahaziah’s Illness. Jehovah’s Message by Elijah.
Death of Ahaziah.
154. Reign of Jehoram. Jehoram’s Accession to Throne. Character of Jehoram. Elisha Son of Shaphat. Translation of Elijah. Elijah’s Spirit rests upon Elisha. Elisha heals the noxious Waters at Jericho. Cursing of the Children. Elisha’s Journeying. Increase of the Widow’s Oil. Elisha promises Son to
hospitable Shunammite. Elisha heals the noxious Pottage at Gilgal. Elisha feeds one hundred Men
with twenty Loaves. Elisha restores Life of the Shunammite’s Son. 7 Years’ Famine Foretold. Recovery of lost Ax. (Jehoshaphat joins Jehoram of Israel in an Expedition against the Moabites.) Elisha and Syrians. Elisha reveals Ben-hadad’s Plans. Syrian Bands smitten with Blindness at Dothan. Elisha leads blinded Syrians to Samaria. Jehoram restores Shunammite’s Land because of Elisha’s Miracles. Story of Naaman. Healing of Naaman’s Leprosy. Naaman’s Gratitude. Gehazi’s Sin and Punishment. Siege of Samaria. Ben-hadad besieges Samaria. Suffering from Famine. King’s Messenger of Vengeance and Elisha’s Promise of Plenty. Discovery of the four Lepers. Lepers’ Report confirmed, and Elisha’s Promises fulfilled. Elisha’s Interview with Hazael. (Ahaziah aids Jehoram in the Defense of Ramoth-gilead.) Jehoram goes for Healing to Jezreel. (Jehu’s Successful Conspiracy. Ahaziah visits Jehoram in Jezreel.) At Elisha’s Command, Jehu is anointed King over Israel, at Ramoth-gilead. Jehu is proclaimed King by his Brother Officers. (Jehu proceeds to Jezreel and slays Jehoram. Ahaziah is, in turn, also slain by Jehu’s Command.) Fate of Jezebel. Judgment on House of Ahab. Massacre of the Princes Royal of Judah. Jehu attaches Jehonadab to his Support. Complete Success of the Usurper.
155. Reign of Jehoram. Jehoram becomes sole King. Character of Jehoram. Revolt of Edom. Revolt of Libnah. Posthumous Message from Elijah. Invasion of the Philistines and Arabians. Jehoram’s Illness. Death of Jehoram.
156. Reign of Ahaziah. Ahaziah’s Accession to the Throne. Character of Ahaziah. Ahaziah aids Jehoram in the Defense of Ramoth-gilead. Jehu’s Successful Conspiracy. Ahaziah visits Jehoram in Jezreel. Jehu proceeds to Jezreel and slays Jehoram. Ahaziah is, in turn, also slain by Jehu’s Command. (Massacre of the Princes Royal of Judah.)

Rise of Jehu to Fall of Kingdom of Israel: (2nd Kings 10 – 17; 2nd Chron. 22 – 31)

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
157. Reign of Jehu. Jehu’s Destruction of Baal. Jehovah’s Promise to Jehu and his House. Jehu walks in the Sins of Jeroboam. “Cutting short ” of Israel. Death of Jehu.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
158. Reign of Athaliah. Having slain all Seed Royal save Joash, Athaliah usurps Throne. Rescue of Joash. Jehoiada elevates Joash to Throne. Athaliah meets with her Deserts.
159. Reign of Joash. Joash’s Accession to Throne. Covenant made by Jehoiada. Joash’s Character as influenced by Jehoiada. Spiritual Condition of the Kingdom. Joash’s matrimonial Affairs. Joash’s Commands to repair Temple. Repairing of Temple. Temple Worship. Death of Jehoiada. Sins of Joash. Stoning of Zechariah. Hazael’s Operations in Judah. Reverses of Judah. Hazael subdues Gath. Hazael bought off by Joash. Death of Joash.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
160. Reign of Jehoahaz. Accession of Jehoahaz. Character of Jehoahaz. Oppression of the Syrians. Repentance of Jehoahaz. Jehoash becomes co-regnant with Jehoahaz. Hazael reduces Israel low. Death of Jehoahaz.
161. Reign of Jehoash. Jehoash becomes sole King. Character of Jehoash. Encouraging Prophecy of
Elisha on his Deathbed. Death of Elisha. Miracle in Elisha’s Tomb. Fulfillment of Elisha’s Prophecy: Success of Jehoash over Benhadad. (Amaziah hires 100,000 Mercenaries out of Israel, but subsequently dismisses them.) (Dismissed Israelitish Mercenaries pillage the Cities of Judah.) (War between Amaziah and Jehoash.) Death of Jehoash.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
162. Reign of Amaziah. Amaziah ‘s Accession to the Throne. Character of Amaziah. Amaziah plans an Expedition against Edom. Amaziah hires 100,000 Mercenaries out of Israel, but subsequently dismisses them. Amaziah’s Success in Edom. Dismissed Israelitish Mercenaries pillage the Cities of Judah. Amaziah’s further Wickedness. War between Amaziah and Jehoash. Last 15 Years of Amaziah’s Reign. Death of Amaziah. Interregnum of 11 Years.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
163. Reign of Jeroboam II. Accession of Jeroboam II. Character of Jeroboam II. Jehovah saves Israel by the Hand of Jeroboam II. Continued Apostasy of Israel. Death of Jeroboam II. Interregnum of 22 Years.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
164. Reign of Uzziah. Uzziah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Uzziah. Spiritual Condition of Kingdom. Uzziah’s prosperous Years. Building of Eloth. Uzziah’s Success in War. Uzziah’s Building and Husbandry. Uzziah’s Army. Uzziah’s Fame. Uzziah’s Sin and Punishment. Regency of Jotham. Death of Uzziah.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
165. Reign of Zechariah. Zechariah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Zechariah. Death of Zechariah.
Fulfillment of Jehovah’s Promise to Jehu.
166. Reign of Shallum.
167. Reign of Menahem. Menahem’s Accession to Throne. Character of Menahem. Invasion of Pul, King of Assyria. Death of Menahem.
168. Reign of Pekahiah. Pekahiah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Pekahiah. Death of Pekahiah. 169. Reign of Pekah. Pekah ‘s Accession to Throne. Character of Pekah. Beginning of the Captivity. (War between Jotham and Rezin and Pekah.) (War between Ahaz and Rezin and Pekah. Ahaz is defeated by the allied Kings. Oded the Prophet procures Release of Jewish Captives.) Tiglath-pileser captures many
Cities in northern Israel, and deports many Captives. Death of Pekah.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
170. Reign of Jotham. Jotham’s Accession to the Throne. Character of Jotham. Spiritual Condition of the People. Jotham’s Building. Subjugation of the Ammonites. War between Jotham and Rezin and Pekah. Death of Jotham.
171. Reign of Ahaz. Accession of Ahaz. Character of Ahaz. War between Ahaz and Rezin and Pekah. Ahaz is defeated by the allied Kings. Oded the Prophet procures Release of Jewish Captives. Edomite and Philistine Invasions. Ahaz seeks Help from Tiglathpileser. Tiglath-pileser captures Damascus. Ahaz becomes Tributary to Tiglath-pileser. Ahaz continues in his wicked Ways. Death of Ahaz. Interregnum of 9 Years.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
172. Reign of Hoshea. Hoshea’s Accession to Throne. Character of Hoshea. (Many of Subjects of Hoshea unite with the People of Judah in Keeping Passover. Preparations for the Passover. Keeping of the Passover. Keeping of “other 7 Days.” Enthusiasm aroused results in widespread Iconoclasm.) Hoshea becomes Tributary to Shalmaneser. Secret Alliance with Egypt. Shalmaneser besieges Samaria. Fall of Samaria. Imprisonment of Hoshea.

Kingdom of Judah [Southern]:
173. The Reign of Hezekiah (first 6 years). Hezekiah’s Accession to Throne. Character of Hezekiah.
Cleansing of Temple. Reconsecration of Temple. Many of the Subjects of Hoshea unite with People of Judah in Keeping Passover. Preparations for Passover. Keeping of Passover. Keeping of “other 7 Days Enthusiasm aroused results in widespread Iconoclasm. Hezekiah’s further religious Reforms.

Kingdom of Israel [Northern]:
174. Appendix to the History of Kingdom of Israel. Sins for which Israel was carried into Captivity. Peoples that were brought to inhabit Samaria. Plague of the Lions. Mixed Character of the Samaritans’ Religion.

Kingdom of Judah after Fall of Kingdom of Israel: (2nd Kings 18 – 25; 2nd Chron. 32 – 36)
175. Reign of Hezekiah (last 23 years) Hezekiah throws off Assyrian Yoke. Hezekiah’s successful Philistine Campaign. Sennacherib’s first Invasion of Judah. Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery. Hezekiah’s Reception of Babylonian Embassy. Hezekiah’s Wealth and Building. Sennacherib’s second Invasion of Judah. Sennacherib enters Judah. Hezekiah’s Precautions. Advance against Jerusalem: Rabshakeh’s Message. Reply of Hezekiah’s Ministers. Further Insolence of Rabshakeh. Despair of Hezekiah’s Ministers. Hezekiah’s Message to Isaiah. Isaiah’s Answer. Rabshakeh’s Departure. Sennacherib’s Letter to Hezekiah. Hezekiah’s Prayer. Jehovah’s Answer through Isaiah. Overthrow of the Assyrians. Hezekiah once more prosperous. Death of Hezekiah.
176. Reign of Manasseh. Manasseh’s Accession to Throne. Manasseh’s excessive Idolatries. Death of Sennacherib. Accession of Esar-haddon as King of Assyria. Jehovah’s Message “by His Servants the Prophets.” Manasseh’s further Crimes. Manasseh’s Captivity. Acts of Manasseh after his Restoration. Spiritual Condition of People. Death of Manasseh.
177. Reign of Amon. Amon’s Accession to Throne. Character of Amon. Death of Amon.
178. Reign of Josiah. Josiah ‘s Accession to Throne. Josiah’s godly Character. Josiah’s Life and Character not sufficient to atone for Judah’s Sins. Josiah’s early Reformations. Repairing of Temple. Book of Law. Finding of Book of Law. Effect of Discovery on Josiah. Words of Huldah the Prophetess. Reading of Book of Law. Making of Covenant. Josiah’s further Reformations. Fulfillment of Prophecy of “Man of God out of Judah.” Keeping of the Passover. Death of Josiah.
179. Reign of Jehoahaz. Accession of Jehoahaz. Character of Jehoahaz. Jehoahaz is deposed by Pharaoh-necoh.
180. Reign of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim is made King by Pharaoh-necoh. Captivity of Jehoahaz. Character of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim Tributary to Pharaoh-necoh. Jehoiakim Tributary to Nebuchadnezzar. Jehoiakim’s Rebellion. Jehoiakim’s many Adversaries. Death of Jehoiakim.
181. Reign of Jehoiachin. Jehoiachin’s Accession to Throne. Character of Jehoiachin. Jehoiachin is taken Captive by Nebuchadnezzar,
182. Reign of Zedekiah. Zedekiah is made King by Nebuchadnezzar. Great Deportation to Babylon. Character of Zedikiah. Zedekiah’s Rebellion. Wickedness of People the Cause of their Ruin. Siege of Jerusalem. Zedekiah is taken Captive by Nebuchadnezzar.
183. Appendix to the History of the Kingdom of Judah. Overthrow of Jerusalem. Remaining Nobles Slain.
Treasure taken by the Chaldeans. Last Deportation to Babylon. Length of the Captivity. Gedaliah is made Governor of Judah. Murder of Gedaliah and Flight of People. Jehoiachin is set at Liberty. Proclamation of Cyrus permitting Return from Captivity.

(From: Ezra, Nehemia and Esther with Introductions, Notes, and Comments on the Authorized and Revised Versions. By George Carter (1901), Relfe Brothers, LTD. London)

Preface. In compiling the Introductions and Notes, the Author begs to acknowledge his indebtedness to the following books: The Speaker’s Commentary; the Pulpit Commentary; Keil’s Commentaries; Dr. Ryle’s Ezra and Nehemiah (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges); and Glazebrook’s Lessons from the Old Testament.

The Book of Ezra. Introduction.
1. Title and Authorship of the Book. The two books bearing the name of “Ezra” and “Nehemiah” were in the Hebrew Canon of Scripture one book, with the title of “The Book of Ezra.” But although there is a striking similarity in the style of the two books, yet the general opinion is that the books are the composition of two distinct writers.
The Christian Church has been unanimous in its opinion that the book which bears the title of “The Book of Ezra” in the Christian Canon of Scripture, was written by Ezra himself. Some modern critics, however, assert that only a portion of the book was written by Ezra, and they base their belief on the fact of the varying transitions from the first to the third person which occur in the course of the narrative. But this theory has not much weight when we consider that such changes of persons were common in ancient writers.
2. Life and Character of Ezra. The only information we possess about Ezra is obtained from his own book, and that of Nehemiah. His life, as gathered from these sources, falls
naturally under two headings:
(1) His Life as Governor of Judaea. Ezra was of the sacerdotal order, being descended from Hilkiah, the High Priest in the reign of Josiah. During the reign of Artaxerxes he held a high and important position in the Persian Court, since we find he had easy access to the king, but how he acquired that position we are not told. His great aim was to bring about a religious reformation among his countrymen in Jerusalem by teaching them the “statutes and judgements of God,” and he was well fitted for the task, since we read that he was “well read in the Law, and skilful and ready in its exposition.” Accordingly, he obtained a commission from his royal master allowing him to go to Jerusalem and take with him all those Jews that wished to return to their native land, investing him with full powers to carry out certain social and religious reforms, and granting him many privileges. In the seventh year of Artaxerxes he set out, accompanied with a band of adult males, numbering 1,773, and their families, and after a journey of four months reached Jerusalem in safety. He then handed over to the custody of the priests the sacred vessels, which he had received from Artaxerxes, and gave the king’s commissions to the different satraps of the province.
His first step was to compel the Jews to give up the heathen wives that they had married. Shortly after his arrival at Jerusalem the princes of the people complained to him about the mixed marriages. His grief and indignation were intense. “I rent my garment and my mantle,” he says, “and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.” But he applied himself earnestly to the task, and in six months all the Jews had discarded their heathen wives. After this he returned to Babylon.
(2) His Life as the Leading Priest under the rule of Nehemiah. About B.C. 444 he returned to Jerusalem, and occupied a position, purely ecclesiastical, under the governorship of Nehemiah. In the discharge of his priestly duties only two facts are recorded of him: (a) That he made arrangements for regular reading and expounding of the Law to the people, he himself taking the lead; (b) That he headed one of the processions formed to perambulate the walls on the day of their dedication. Ezra is the most prominent figure in the Story of the Return of the Exiles. He was in such high favour with King Artaxerxes that he made him governor of Judaea, and in the performance of the duties connected with that high office he was remarkable for his integrity, his moderation, his earnestness of purpose and his patriotism. His use of “persuasion rather than force” is contrasted favourably with the “fiery and intrepid zeal” of his successor, Nehemiah. As a priest and minister of God’s word his piety, his zeal for God’s service, and his anxious care for the spiritual welfare of his countrymen are most conspicuous.

Analysis of the Book of Ezra.
Part I. (Chapters 1 – 6)
The First Return of the Exiles, under Zerubbabel.
1. The Decree of Cyrus, addressed to all the Jews living throughout his dominions: (1) Giving them permission ” to go up to Jerusalem and rebuild the house of the Lord God of Israel; (2) Calling upon all his subjects to facilitate their journey with gifts of gold and silver, goods, boasts of burden and freewill-offerings for the building of the Temple.
2. The Response to the Decree. (1) The chiefs of the houses of Judah and Benjamin, and a band of men numbering 42,360, together with their families and their servants, set out on their journey to Jerusalem; many of the Ten Tribes also accompany them; (2) All the sacred vessels of the Temple which Nebuchadnezzar had carried to Babylon are committed to the care of Zerubbabel.
Note —No doubt a great number of the exiles preferred to remain in the land of their captivity for the following reasons: (a) They were in a very prosperous condition; (b) They lacked patriotism and religious enthusiasm; (c) They feared the long and perilous journey from Babylon to Jerusalem. Those who remained are called “The Jews of the Dispersion.”
3. The Religious Services are restored, and the Foundation of the Temple laid. The Altar of Burnt Sacrifice is set up on the site of the old one; the Feast of Tabernacles is kept; the Daily Sacrifice and the Set Feasts are permanently established. The Foundation of the Temple is also laid.
4. Opposition made by the Samaritans to the Building of the Temple. (1) Zerubbabel refuses the help of the Samaritans. They hire counsellors against the Jews and frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus. (2) At the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus they hinder the work by sending an accusation against the Jews to that king. (3) When Artaxerxes ascended the throne, Bishlam, Mithredath and Tabeel wrote a letter to him laying the most grievous charges against the Jews as a nation. Artaxerxes sends an answer to the effect that the work of building the Temple should be discontinued.
5. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah urge the people on to finish the work, whereupon the old enemies of the Jews inform King Darius that the work was again commenced, and that the Jews referred to the Decree of Cyrus as their authority for so doing.
6. The Decree of Darius. Darius orders a search to be made, and the Decree of Cyrus is discovered at Achmetha, and confirmed by him. The Temple is then completed, and its dedication follows.
Note —Here a break occurs in the narrative, extending from B.C. 516, the date of the Dedication of the Temple, to B.C. 458, when Ezra undertook his commission.

Part II. (Chapters 7 – 10)
The Second Return of the Exiles, under Ezra.
1. Ezra’s Commission. Ezra receives a commission from Ahasuerus, the details of which are as follows: (1) That permission should be given to all those Jews who were so minded to go up with Ezra to Jerusalem; (2) That Ezra should convey to Jerusalem all the gold and silver which the king and his counsellors freely offered unto the God of Israel; (3) That he should buy bullocks, rams and lambs for the sacrifices in the Temple; (4) That he should draw on the royal treasury for the expense of keeping up the services of the Temple; (5) That all priests, Levites, and other officers connected with the Temple Service should he exempt from every kind of taxation; (6) That Ezra should be empowered to appoint magistrates and judges to instruct the people and to punish evil-doers with death, banishment, confiscation or imprisonment. The number of adult males who accompanied Ezra (including Levites and Nethinims) was 1,773.
2. The Journey to Jerusalem. (1) On reaching the river Ahava Ezra finds that there are no Levites in his company, but through the influence of Iddo a number of Levites and Nethinims are induced to join; (2) He then proclaims a fast with a view to entreat God’s protection for the journey, and consigns the sacred vessels and gifts of the king and his nobles to the safe custody of the priests; (3) In spite of the opposition of enemies and robbers he arrives safely at Jerusalem, after a journey of about four months, and hands over the king’s commissions to the different satraps, and the sacred vessels to the care of the priests of the Temple.
3. The Religious Reforms carried out by Ezra. The Marriages with Heathen Women are Annulled.
The princes of the people complain to Ezra about the marriages of their countrymen with the heathen women. Ezra is filled with indignation and horror, and in the name of the people makes a public confession of sin to God. The people repent and, on the recommendation of Shechauiah, make a covenant to put away their strange wives and they confirm the covenant with an oath. Ezra then orders a general fast to be kept, and issues a proclamation summoning all the people to Jerusalem. At Ezra’s request the people agree to put away their strange wives. Only four showed any opposition to this arrangement; all the rest followed Ezra’s advice. Then follows a list of the names of those who had married strange wives. Here the book closes somewhat abruptly.

Chronology of Events in Ezra & Nehemiah & Esther:
From Destruction of Jerusalem to End of Administration of Nehemiah.
B.C.
598: Zedekiah is made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, but relying on the assistance of Pharaoh-hophra, king of Egypt, he rebels (2 Kings 24:17-20; Ezekiel 17:15).
588: Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem and destroys it. Zedekiah, while trying to escape, is captured and sent to Babylon (2 Kings 25.).
562: Evil-Merodach succeeds his father, Nebuchadnezzar, on throne of Babylon. He releases Jehoaddin from captivity (2 Kings 25: 27-30).
559: Neriglissar murders Evil-Merodach, and succeeds him.
555: Laborosarchad, son of Neriglissar, is cruelly murdered in 1st year of his reign by a band of conspirators, one of whom, Narbonidus, seizes throne.
538: Belshazzar succeeds Narbonidus, his father. His great Feast. Babylon is taken by Cyrus, and Belshazzar slain (Dan. 5.).
536: Edict of Cyrus, permitting Jews to return to their own land (Ezra 1:1).
536: First return of Exiles, under Zerubbabel, Tirshatha of Judaea. (Ezra 1:5-11).
535: Foundation of New Temple laid (Ezra 3:10-13).
529: Death of Cyrus Cambyses (= Ahasuerus, Ezra 4:6), his son, succeeds him.
522: Psuedo-Smerdis (=Artaxerxes, Ezra 4:7) ascends throne, but is deposed and slain by Darius Hystaspes.
521: Darius Hystaspes (= Darius, Ezra 4:24) becomes king.
520: Prophets Haggai & Zechariah urge on Jews to complete the work of rebuilding Temple (Ezra 5: 1).
520: Darius Hystaspes confirms the Decree of Cyrus (Ezra 6.).
516: Completion and Dedication of Temple (Ezra 6:15-16).
488: Esther is made Queen by Xerxes (= Ahasuerus, Esther 2:17), son of Darius Hystaspes.
488: Institution of the Feast of Purim (Esther 9:26-28).
458: Ezra is appointed Tirshatha by Artaxerxes (= Artaxerxes Longimanus, Ezra 7:11-26).
458: Second return of Exiles, under Ezra (Ezra 8.).
445: Nehemiah is appointed Tirshatha by Artaxerxes Longimanus (= Artaxerxes, Neb. 9:1-9). He rebuilds Walls of Jerusalem, and carries out many reforms (Neh. 3. & 4.).
444: Dedication of Walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:27-43).
413: Nehemiah Returns to Persia, but comes back to Jerusalem in 428.
413: His Second Reformation (Neh. 13.).

Outline of Book of Ezra:

Part I: (Chapters 1-6) 1st Return of Exiles under Zerubbabel.
Decree of Cyrus (Cyrus 1st Year). Response to Decree and Restoration of Sacred Vessels (5,400 vessels of gold and silver).
Register of the Return Remnants: Names of Leaders. Names of Heads of Families and Number of the Returned. Numbers of the Returned by Towns and Places. Names and Numbers of the Families of Levites, Singers, and Children of Porters. Names and Numbers of Families of Nethinim and of Solomon’s Servants. Account of Israelites and Priests of Uncertain Genealogy.
Sum Total (42,360) of all Remnants, together with Number of their Slaves (7,337) (200 Singers of Men & Women) and Baggage Animals (736 Horses; 245 Mules; 435 Camels; 6,720 Donkeys).
Altar of Burnt Sacrifice is restored, Feast of Tabernacles kept, and Daily Sacrifice offered.
Appointed Feasts are permanently established, and Materials got ready for Re-building of Temple.
Foundation of Temple is laid. (2nd Year of Return)
Zerubbabel refuses the help of the Samaritans in Building Temple. They hinder the work during the reigns of Cyrus and Ahasuerus.
Opposition to Building of Temple during the reign of Artaxerxes. Bishlam and his friends make most grievous charges against Jews to the King.
Artaxerxes sends an answer to the effect that Rebuilding of Temple should cease. (Ceased till 2nd year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.)
Prophets Haggai and Zechariah urge People on to finish the Work. Neighbouring Tribes make a complaint to Darius against Jews.
Decree of Cyrus is discovered at Achmetha and confirmed by Darius.
Temple is Completed and Dedicated. (6th year King Darius reign.)

Part II: (Chapters 7-10) 2nd Return of Exiles under Ezra.
Ezra’s Genealogy; his Arrival at Jerusalem. (7th year of King Artaxerxes of Persia)
Ezra’s Commission from King Ahasuerus (Artaxerxes).
Ezra’s Thanksgiving.
Ezra’s Measures for Inducing certain Levites and Nethinim to Join his Expedition.
Details of Journey; Fast at the River Ahava; Sacred Gifts are committed to care of Priests and Levites.
Ezra Arrives at Jerusalem; Consigns Treasure to Care of Priests, and gives King’s Commission to Governors.
Religious Reforms affected by Ezra at Jerusalem. Princes complain to Ezra about the Mixed Marriages. Ezra’s Indignation and Horror.
Ezra’s Confession and Prayer.
Repentance of People. On Recommendation of Shechaniah they make Covenant and confirm it by Oath.
Ezra’s fast. Proclamation is made summoning all People to Jerusalem.
People agree to Put Away their Strange Wives.

Notes on Ezra:
Cyrus king of Persia: Cyrus was a Persian by birth. He took the city of Babylon on the night of Belshazzar’s feast, and became king.

the first year: i.e. the first year of his reign at Babylon.

word of the Lord, etc.: i.e. God’s purpose. The allusion is to the prophecy of Jeremiah, in which the prophet had fixed the date of the return by assigning a duration of seventy years to the Captivity. The prophecy runs thus: “Thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished for Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” (Jer. 29:10).

Note 1. —The “Seventy Years” most be regarded as a round number, extending from the year B.C. 598, when Jehoiachin and the greater part of the people were carried away captive, to B.C. 536.

Note 2. —For Ezekiel’s Prophecy of the Restoration, under the “Vision of the Dry Bones,” and Isaiah’s poetical description of the journey of the exiles through the ‘Wilderness from Babylon to Jerusalem, see page 79 = Prophecies Relating to the Return (Remnant):
(1) Ezekiel’s Prophecy of the Restoration under the vision of the Dry Bones. (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
(2) Isaiah foretells the Restoration of the Exiles. (Isaiah 40.)

The whole congregation: The total number here given is 42,360, and it agrees with the total stated in Nehemiah (Neh. 7:66), but it does not agree with the sum of the particulars as given either by Ezra or in Nehemiah, as the following table will show: According to Ezra & Nehemiah:
Men of Israel: 24,144 (Ezra); 25,406 (Nehemiah)
Priests 4,289 (Ezra); 4,289 (Nehemiah) Levites proper, Choral Levites, Doorkeepers,
Nethinim, etc.: 341 (Ezra);360 (Nehemiah)
Solomon’s Servants: 392 (Ezra); 392 (Nehemiah)
Those who could not prove their Israelitish origin: 652 (Ezra); 642 (Nehemiah)
Sum total: 29,818 (Ezra); 31,089 (Nehemiah)
No satisfactory explanation of this discrepancy has been given.
Note —Some think that the number 42,360 was the number of the “heads of families” only, the whole company being from 150,000 to 200,000.))

The Book of Nehemiah:
1. Title and Authorship. It has already been noticed that the two books bearing the names of “Ezra” and “Nehemiah” were in the Hebrew Canon united into one book, under the title of the “Book of Ezra.” Subsequently, however, the book was divided into two parts, called the “First and Second Books of Ezra,” and about the close of the fourth century the “Second Book of Ezra” was called the “Book of Nehemiah.” Most critics allow that Chapters 1-7 and Chapter 13 were written by Nehemiah himself, and that the remaining portions were, in all probability, drawn up under his authority. The parts which are ascribed to Nehemiah are distinguished by their graphic, bold and vigorous style.
2. Character and Work of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the son of Hachaliah and of the tribe of Judah, and held the important office of cup-bearer to King Ahasuerus. Like Ezra, he was a man of eminent piety: zealous in God’s service, and lived in strict conformity to the Law. He was habitually a man of prayer, and the “short ejaculatory prayers” which appear throughout the book are the outpourings of a deeply religious soul, and show how much he depended upon God in carrying out all his undertakings. He was, moreover, a man of action, and his untiring energy is nowhere better seen than in the rapidity with which he completed the building of the city wall, in the face of so many difficulties from within and from without the city. After the completion of the work his whole aim was to raise the spiritual condition of his people, and to accomplish his purpose he often had recourse to the most drastic measures, and showed no mercy to those who transgressed God’s law. But his patriotism, his liberality, and his unselfishness won the affection of his countrymen, and although no tomb marks his last resting place, yet, as Josephus says, “the city walls form his best and most lasting monument.” (Pulpit Commentary.)

Analysis of the Book of Nehemiah.
Part I.
Nehemiah’s First Visit to Jerusalem and the Restoration of the City Walls.
1. Nehemiah’s Commission. Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to King Ahasuerus, and while in the performance of the duties of his office, he learnt from his kinsman Hanani, and certain other Jews, who had recently returned from Jerusalem, the sad state of the city; how that the “people there were in great affliction, the walls were broken down, and the gates burned with fire.” Overwhelmed with grief, “for several days he sat down and wept and mourned and fasted and prayed.” His mourning continued for four long months and at last attracted the notice of the king, who, on learning its cause, gave him a commission, empowering him to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city walls and the palace of the governor. Ahasuerus also gave him a body-guard and horsemen as a protection for the journey. Nehemiah at once set out for Jerusalem. Meanwhile, three men —Sanballat, Tobiah and Geahem, all of whom held subordinate positions under the Syrian satrap —were grieved when they heard that “a man was come to Jerusalem to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.”
2. Nehemiah secretly surveys the City Walls. Shortly after his arrival Nehemiah made a secret survey of the walls, and then called together the priests and the rulers and laid before them his plan. They were unanimous in their consent to assist him, and said “Let us rise up and build.”
3. The Building of the Wall. To hasten on the work Nehemiah apportions different parts of the wall to different classes of people —the priests, the goldsmiths, and the merchants. Sanballat and his friends still continued their opposition, but Nehemiah baffled all their attempts to hinder the work by taking the following precautions: (1) He armed all the people with swords and bows, and ordered them to take up their position behind the walls, and there await the attack of the enemy; (2) He divided his own servants into two bands, one of which consisted of those who were engaged in actual labour and the other of armed men; (3) He caused all the actual builders, who needed the use of both hands for their work, each to gird his sword on his side, while the bearers of burdens should work with one hand and carry a weapon in the other; (4) At night every man was to retire within the city, so as to be ready for an attack of the enemy. Nehemiah, his kinsmen, and his servants, kept guard in turns, and “none of them,” he tells us, “put off their clothes, saving that everyone put them off for washing.” Under this arrangement the walls were finished in the short space of fifty-two days.
4. Troubles which arose inside the City, and how Nehemiah overcame them. The poor were in extreme poverty, and complained of the oppression of the rich nobles. The causes of this state of things were the large families of the poor, the dearth and the heavy taxation. The poor said that they had been compelled to mortgage their lands, vineyards and their houses to buy themselves food; to borrow money on their lands and their vineyards to pay the king’s taxes, and even to sell their sons and daughters into bondage to pay the high rate of interest. They appealed to Nehemiah as the new governor to remedy these evils. Nehemiah advised the rich nobles: (1) To restore all the lands, vineyards and houses which they held in pledge; (2) To remit to their debtors all the interest which they had illegally taken. This the nobles agreed to do.
Nehemiah testified to his own unselfish conduct by assuring his countrymen (a) That since his appointment as governor he had not taxed them for his own support or that of his court; (b) That he and his attendants had done their share of the work of building the wall; (c) That he had not bought any land, as indeed, he might have done with advantage, at a time when the famine was raging; (d) That he had maintained daily, at his own expense, one hundred and fifty guests (probably foreign Jews).
5. The Intrigues of Sanballat and Tobiah against Nehemiah. (1) Four times they invited him to a conference in a village near Jerusalem, with a view to assassinate him, but Nehemiah very wisely refused to go; (2) They gave out that he was heading a rebellious movement against the king, a statement which Nehemiah denied; (3) They hired a false prophet named Shemaiah to persuade Nehemiah to seek refuge within the Temple, knowing that if he did so, he would incur the charge of desecration, and be branded as a coward by his countrymen. Nehemiah rejected their proposal.
6. The Wall being finished, Nehemiah makes an arrangement for the effectual guarding of the Gates. He ordered: (1) That the gates should not be opened until the sun was hot and the guards at their posts; (2) That they should be closed before the guards left them; (3) That the inhabitants should undertake the duty of watchmen.
Part II.
The Religious Reforms carried out by Nehemiah.
1. Arrangements are made for the public reading and expounding of the Law. Ezra takes the lead in the affair.
2. The Feast of Tabernacles is kept in strict accordance with the Law.
3. A day of general fasting, prayer and confession is instituted.
4. The Levites give the people a solemn address, reminding them of God’s goodness towards them in times past, and their ingratitude.
5. A covenant is made with God, in which the people bind themselves: (1) Not to intermarry with the heathen; (2) Not to trade on the Sabbath-day; (3) To observe the Sabbathical Year; (4) To pay one-third of a shekel for the maintenance of the Temple services; (5) To give the first fruits and tithes to the priests.
Note —To supply the wood necessary for the burnt sacrifices lots were cast among the priests, Levites and the people.
6. To counteract the attempts of the enemy to destroy the city Nehemiah makes an arrangement for increasing the population within the walls. Lots are cast “to bring one of ten to dwell in the holy city.”
7. The dedication of the city walls follows amidst the greatest rejoicing.
8. Officers are appointed to collect tithes and other dues, and further arrangements are made for the carrying on the Temple services.
9. After Nehemiah had been governor twelve years, and had carried out many reforms, he returned to Shushan. We are not told how long he remained at the Persian court, but on his return to
Jerusalem, he found that many abuses had crept in during his absence. These abuses he now proceeded to remedy; they were: (1) The non-payment of tithes; (2) The desecration of the Temple buildings by Tobiah, who had been permitted by Eliashib, the High Priest, to reside within its sacred precincts; (3) The profanation of the Sabbath by such practices as the treading of grapes, bringing in of sheaves, the carrying of burdens, the lading of asses, and the sale of fish; (4) The intermarriages of the Jews with the heathen.
Note.—Two important points of historical interest are brought before our notice in the books of “Ezra” and “Nehemiah”: (1) The rise of two parties in the Jewish community —the one headed by Ezra and Nehemiah remarkable for its strict observance of the Law; the other, headed by Eliashib, the High Priest, noted for its laxity in its observance of the Law and its favourable attitude towards the Gentile element in the population; (2) The origin and development of the enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans.

Outline of Book of Nehemiah:

Part I: (Chapters 1-7) Nehemiah’s 1st Visit to Jerusalem & Restoration of City Walls.
Nehemiah receives evil tidings of the State of Jerusalem. (20th year of Captivity.)
Nehemiah’s Prayer.
Nehemiah’s intense grief attracts the notice of King. He obtains Commission to Rebuild the Walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah’s journey to Jerusalem.
Survey of Walls and resolves to Rebuild them. Sanballat and his friends oppose him.
Names of those who undertook to rebuild the walls, and the parts they rebuilt (Repaired).
Attempts made by Sanballat and his friends to hinder the work.
Precautions taken by Nehemiah.
Troubles within Walls and how Nehemiah met them. People complain of the oppression of Nobles.
Nehemiah advises the nobles (1) To restore all the lands and vineyards which they held in pledge; (2) To remit all the interest which they had illegally taken. The nobles consent to do so.
Nehemiah’s unselfish conduct towards his countrymen.
Intrigues of Sanballat and Tobiah against Nehemiah. (1) They invite him to a conference with a view to assassinate him.
Shemaiah, a false prophet, is hired by Sanballat to persuade Nehemiah to seek refuge within the Temple.
Walls are Finished. Discouragement of Enemies of Jews and Treasonable Correspondence of the Jewish Nobles.
Walls being now Rebuilt, Nehemiah makes arrangements for guarding the gates.

Part II: (Chapters 8-10)
Public Reading and Expounding of the Law by Ezra.
Feast of Tabernacles is kept in strict accordance with the Law.
Day of general Fasting, Prayer and Confession of sins is instituted.
Solemn Address of Levites, reminding the People of God’s goodness towards them in times past and their ingratitude: (1) Call of Abram, and God’s covenant with him. (2) Bondage in Egypt and Deliverance therefrom. Destruction of Egyptians in Red Sea. (3) Journey through Wilderness, Giving of Law on Mount Sinai, and Worshipping of Golden Calf. (4) Conquest of Canaan, and Settlement therein. (5) Disobedience of Israelites, their Oppression, and Deliverance by Judges. (6) Present Humiliation of Israelites. Their Determination to make a Covenant with God.
Terms of Covenant: (1) Marriages with Heathen and Trading on Sabbath were prohibited. (2) Sabbatical Year was to be Observed, Tax of 1/3rd of a Shekel Imposed for Maintenance of Service of Temple. (3) Firstfruits and Tithes were to be Given to the Priests.

Part III: (Chapters 11-13) Miscellaneous Facts.
Arrangement made for Increasing the Population of Jerusalem.
Dedication of the City Walls.
Officers are Appointed to Collect the Tithes and Other Dues.
Arrangements made for Carrying Out the Temple Services.
Religious Reforms Carried Out by Nehemiah. (1) The Israelites Separate themselves from the Mixed Multitude. (2) Nehemiah Casts Forth the Furniture of Tobiah out of the Chambers of the Temple, and Restores the Chambers to their proper use. (3) Nehemiah Provides for the Proper Maintenance of
the Levites. (4) Nehemiah takes Measures to Ensure the Proper Observance of the Sabbath. (5) He takes Prompt Action Against the Mixed Marriages.
Note: (The prophet Malachi gives a pathetic description (Mal. 2:13) of the discarded wives appealing to God, and “covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with sighing.”)

Notes on Nehemiah:
Eliashib: he was the grandson of Jeshua (Joshua), the high priest, who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Sheshbazzar).
Note: “The second part of the Book of Nehemiah (chap. 8-10) is generally
supposed to have been written by another hand. The reasons for this statement are: (1) Nehemiah is spoken of in the Third Person; (2) He is called the Tirshatha, whereas in the earlier chapters he has the title of Pekah; (3) He retires into the background, his place being taken by Ezra, who holds the
first and most prominent position.” (Speaker’s Commentary.)

Outlines of Great National Confession made by Levites:
1. Ascription of Praise to God as the Creator and Preserver of the Universe.
2. Concise Summary of the Past History of the Israelites including:
(1) Call of Abram, the Change of his Name and God’s Covenant with him.
(2) Affliction in Egypt and Deliverance therefrom, and Destruction of Egyptians.
(3) Journey of Israelites through Wilderness under God’s Protecting Care. Bread of Heaven and Water from Rock are Miraculously Provided for their Sustenance.
(4) Giving of Law on Mount Sinai, and Worshipping of Golden Calf.
(5) Frequent Murmurings of Israelites and God’s Long Sufferance.
(6) Forty Years’ Wanderings in Wilderness; Conquest of Land and Settlement therein.
(7) Disobedience of Israelites; their Oppression by their Enemies, and Deliverance by Judges.
(8) They Confess that their Punishment has been Result of their Wickedness.
3. Present Humiliation of Israelites; their Determination to make Covenant with God.

Exodus of Exiles under Zerubabbel Compared with that under Ezra:

Zerubabbel.
1. Cyrus, being stirred up by God, issued a decree giving permission to those Jews who belonged to
the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to return to their own land to re-build the House of God which was at Jerusalem, and to carry back with them the sacred vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon.
2. Zerubbabel, a prince of the house of David, was appointed the Tirshatha.
3. No mention is made of the powers and privileges conferred on Zerubbabel.
4. The number of adults (males) who went up with Zerubbabel, including priests, Levites, Nethinim,
etc., is given as 42,360.
5. A very considerable number of priests and Levites went up with Zerubbabel.
6. Cyrus called upon all his subjects to assist the poorer Jews by every means in their power.
7. Zerubbabel’s main object was to re-build the Temple.
8. No details of Zerubbabel’s journey from Babylon to Jerusalem are recorded.

Ezra.
1. Artaxerxes, induced in all probability by Ezra, issued a decree giving permission to Jews of every tribe, who were so minded, to return to their land, and to take with them the offerings of
gold and silver which the king, his courtiers and his subjects had given them.
2. Ezra, a priest descended from Aaron, was appointed the Tirshatha.
3. A full description of the powers and privileges conferred on Ezra is recorded.
4. The number of adults (males) who went up with Ezra, including priests, Levites and Nethinim, is stated as being 1,773.
5. In Ezra’s company there were very few priests, about 28 Levites and 220 Nethinim.
6. Artaxerxes ordered that all persons connected with the services of the Temple should be exempt
from taxation of every kind.
7. Ezra’s main abject was to bring about a religious reformation among his countrymen in Jerusalem.
8. A short description of Ezra’s Journey is given in Ezra 8.

The Book of Esther. Introduction.
The “Book of Esther ” relates a story in the history of the “Jews of the Dispersion,” as those Jews were called who did not avail themselves of Cyrus’ decree and return to their own land. The great peculiarity of the book is the entire absence of all religious teaching. The name of God nowhere occurs in the book, nor is there any allusion to Palestine, Jerusalem, the Temple, or the Law, but there is an indirect allusion to “prayer” in 4:16. Moreover, the Hand of God is clearly seen directing the course of events, and the main object of the book is to show that the “Jews of the Dispersion” were no less the object of Divine protection than their brethren who had returned to Palestine (see 4:14). But another object of the book is evidently to encourage the observance of the Feast of Purim among the Jews, by showing why the Feast was instituted. The story is told with a considerable amount of literary and dramatic skill, but the name of the writer is unknown.

Analysis of the Book of Esther.
1. Vashti, the Queen of Ahasuerus is deposed. The book opens with an account of the greatness of King Ahasuerus and the two great feasts given by him at Shushan: (1) To his nobles and princes; (2) To all the people in Shushan. Vashti, the queen, refuses to obey the king’s command to appear unveiled before the king and his princes. The anger of the king is so great that Memucan, one of the king’s wise men, advises that Vashti should be deposed, and her dignity conferred on another.
2. Esther is chosen Queen in the place of Vashti. Young virgins are sought throughout the king’s dominions, one of whom the king is to select as queen. The king chooses Esther, a Jewess, who had been brought up with Mordecai, her uncle. Mordecai discovers a plot against the king’s life formed by two of the king’s chamberlains. The conspirators are put to death, and the event written in the book of the “Chronicles of the Kings of Persia.”
3. Haman’s Advancement. Haman, the Agagite, is raised to the position of grand vizier. Mordecai refuses to pay him due respect, whereupon Haman forms the plan of exterminating the whole of the Jews. Ahasuerus sanctions the plan, and decrees are issued to that effect. The mourning of Mordecai and the Jews.
4. Esther appeals to the King to revoke the Edict. Esther, at the peril of her life, resolves to appeal to the king to revoke the edict. She is graciously accepted by the king, and invites the king and Haman to a banquet. But her courage fails her, and she invites the king and his minister to a second banquet. Incensed by Mordecai’s conduct, Haman orders gallows to be erected in the court of his own house on which Mordecai may be impaled (hanged).
5. Haman’s humiliation and fall. Meanwhile the king orders Haman to do honour to Mordecai for the services he had rendered. At the banquet Esther denounces Haman as the enemy of the Jews. The king, in his rage, orders Haman to be impaled on the gallows which had been erected for Mordecai.
The highest honours are conferred on Mordecai.
6. The Jews are avenged of their Enemies. At Esther’s request the king issues a counter-edict, allowing the Jews to defend themselves if attacked by their enemies. On the 13th day of the month Adar, the day fixed for the massacre, the Jews, aided by the Persian governors and officers, slay 500 in Shushan, and on the next day 300 more, and Haman’s ten sons are also hanged. In the provinces as many as 75,000 are said to have been slain.
7. The Feast of Purim is instituted. To commemorate so great a deliverance Mordecai and Esther ordered two days, the 14th and the 15th of the month Adar, to be kept as days of rejoicing. The book closes with a short account of Ahasuerus’ greatness and Mordecai’s efforts to establish peace and to increase the prosperity of his countrymen.

Outline of Book of Esther: (Chapters 1-10)
Two Great Feasts of Ahasuerus. (1) To his Nobles and Princes. (2) To all the People in Shushan.
Queen Vashti Refuses to obey King’s Command.
Memucan Advises that Vashti should be Deposed and her Dignity Given to Another.
Esther is Chosen Queen in Place of Vashti.
Mordecai Discovers Plot Against the Life of King Ahasuerus.
Hainan’s Advancement. Mordecai Refuses to do him Reverence.
Haman Resolves to Exterminate the Whole of the Jewish Race. Ahasuerus Sanctions his Plan and Issues a Decree to that Effect.
Mourning of Mordecai and Jews.
Esther Resolves to Appeal to King to Revoke Edict.
Esther is Graciously Received by King. She invites King and Haman to Banquet, and while there invites
them to 2nd Banquet.
Haman’s Exultation is Damped by Mordecai’s Refusal to Pay him Reverence. Zeresh, Haman’s Wife, advises Haman to erect Gallows on which Mordecai may be Impaled (Hanged).
Mordecai is Rewarded for the Services he had rendered the King.
Haman’s Humiliation.
Esther Denounces Haman as the Enemy of Jews.
Ahaseurus Orders Haman to be Impaled (Hanged) on Cross he had Erected for Mordecai.
Mordecai is Advanced to Haman’s Position.
At Esther’s Request Ahaseurus Issues a Counter-Edict for Jews’ Preservation.
Jews are Avenged of their Enemies.
Institution of the Feast of Purim.
Greatness of Mordecai.

 

Notes on Esther:
Ahasuerus: generally supposed to be Xerxes, the son of Darius Hystaspes, who led the famous expedition against Greece.
Vashti the queen: The Amestris of secular history.
in the royal house: i.e. the royal harem.
To bring Vashti the queen before the king: As Persian ladies never showed themselves unveiled except to their nearest relations, the king’s order was a gross insult to Vashti.
the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, etc.: In all probability the writer here gives Mordecai’s true descent from a certain Kish, who was of the tribe of Benjamin.
Who had been carried away: “Who” refers to Kish. The Second Captivity is here referred to, when Jeconiah (Jehoiakin) was carried away captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
Hadassah: Like other Jews of the time of the Captivity, Esther had two names. Hadassah is the Hebrew word for “myrtle,” Esther is the Persian word for “star.” By adopting the Persian name Hadassah Esther was able to conceal her Jewish descent.
hanged on a tree: rather, they were impaled on a stake, or crucified, the ordinary death of criminals.
it was written in the book, etc.: Among the Persians important public events were carefully recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kingdom.

Select Notes: Chief Persons Mentioned.

Ahasuerus (1): (Ezra iv. 6); probably Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus. All we read of him is that, at the beginning of his reign, Bishlam and his companions, adversaries of the Jews, “wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem,” and the result was that the building of the Temple was stopped.

Ahasuerus (2): (Esther 1:1); generally supposed to be Xerxes, and the opinion is strengthened by the fact that the capricious conduct of Ahasuerus, as related in the Book of Esther, agrees with what we know of Xerxes. We are told that Xerxes scourged the tempestuous sea, and caused the engineers of his bridge to be put to death, because it was damaged by a storm; so Ahasuerus deposed his queen, because she refused to appear unveiled before his guests, and willingly gave his consent to the extermination of the whole of the Jewish people merely to satisfy the caprice of a court favourite.
Ahasuerus’ dominions, we are told, extended from India even unto Ethiopia, and included one hundred and twenty-seven provinces. In the third year of his reign he gave two great feasts on a most magnificent scale (see Esther 1:6,7). The first feast was given to all his princes and nobles, and lasted one hundred and eighty days, during which time the king took special delight in showing “the riches of his glorious kingdom, and the honour of his excellent majesty.” This was followed by a second feast, to which all the dwellers in Shushan were invited; and at the same time Vashti, the queen, also entertained all the women who resided in the royal palace.
In the midst of his drunken revelries, Ahasuerus ordered Vashti, his queen, to appear unveiled before his guests —”to show her beauty, for she was fair to look upon”; but Vashti indignantly refused to obey the king’s command, as, indeed, she had a perfect right to do, according to the customs of the country; “therefore was the king very wroth and his anger burned within him.”
To appease the king and to prevent the re-election of Vashti, Memucan, one of the king’s wise men, advised that Vashti should be deposed, and a royal proclamation issued to that effect, lest, by her contumacious conduct, the women of Persia, following the example set them by the queen, should despise their husbands and refuse to obey them. Further, he advised that fair young virgins should be sought out from every part of the empire, and one of them selected by the king to fill the place of the deposed queen.
The thing pleased the king, and out of the many maidens gathered together unto Shushan the palace, the king chose Esther, a Jewess, “who had neither father nor mother, and was very fair and beautiful” and had been brought up by Mordecai, her cousin. Following the instructions laid down by Mordecai, Esther did not disclose her kindred or her people.
Plots and intrigues were common occurrences in Oriental courts; and shortly after Esther’s election, we read that Mordecai discovered a plot formed by two of the royal chamberlains to assassinate the king. He at once informed Esther, who, in turn, told the king. The conspirators were executed, and the event recorded in the Chronicles of the Persian kings.
Ahasuerus then promoted Haman, the Agagite, to be his grand vizier, and bade all his servants to prostrate themselves before him and do him reverence. Mordecai alone refused to obey the king’s order, whereupon Haman was so incensed that he formed the design of exterminating all the Jews throughout the king’s dominions. Lots were cast to obtain a propitious day for the massacre, and the lot fell on the thirteenth day of the month Adar (12th month, our December). His next step was to obtain the king’s sanction for the undertaking; and to do this he represented that the Jews were a people scattered abroad throughout all the provinces of his kingdom; that their laws were different to the laws of other nations; that they did not obey the king’s commands; and that it was not for the king’s benefit to allow them to live. He also said that if the Jews were exterminated the confiscation of their property would bring no loss than 10,000 talents ((1 million dollars per talent of gold, more or less, in today’s value; if silver talents the value is 5%, more or less, of that of gold, 20 talents of silver = 1 talent of gold)) into the royal treasury.
The king willingly agreed to this proposal, and took off his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, telling him that “the silver was his and the people also, to do with them as it seemed good to him.” Letters containing the king’s decree were dispatched with all possible speed to all the people throughout his dominions, with instructions “to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children, and women, in one day, even the thirteenth day of the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” Then we read “that the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.”
When Mordecai perceived what was done, he put on sackcloth and ashes, and, uttering loud and bitter cries of lamentation, came even before the king’s gate. Esther was informed of his doings by her maids and chamberlains, and sent raiment to clothe him, but he received it not. She then sent Hatach, her chamberlain, to enquire the reason of his mourning; whereupon he informed her of the king’s cruel order, and sent her a copy of the writing of the decree, and charged her to go in before the king and make request for her people. At first Esther hesitated; any man or woman, she said, who approached the king unbidden was put to death. Mordecai’s reply was to the effect that she was not to imagine that because she was queen she would escape death; if she refused to supplicate the king, deliverance would arise from some other quarter, and destruction would fall upon her and her father’s house. Mordecai’s words produced the desired effect; she sent word to Mordecai that he should gather together all the Jews in Shushan, and fast; that she and her maidens would also fast; and she added, in a spirit of true resignation, “I will go in unto the king, although it is contrary to law; and if I perish, I perish.”
On the third day Esther put on her royal apparel and stood in the inner court of the palace. She was so graciously received by the king that he promised to give her anything she might ask for. She then requested that the king and Haman would come to a banquet which she had specially prepared for them. The king assented, but when the opportunity came for her to plead for her people, her heart failed her, and she merely requested that the king and his minister would attend a second banquet on the morrow.
Haman went forth from the queen’s presence with a joyful heart; but when he saw that Mordecai “stood not up nor moved for him, his heart was full of indignation against him.” Still he refrained himself and went home; and calling together his friends and his wife, recounted to them the glory of his riches, the multitude of his children, and the distinctions which the king had heaped upon him, and concluded by saying that the queen had conferred on him the greatest honour of all by inviting him alone to a banquet with the king. Yet all this, he said, afforded him no satisfaction so long as he saw Mordecai, the Jew, sitting at the king’s gate and refusing to do him honour. On hearing this, Zeresh, his wife, was so impatient for Mordecai’s death that she advised that a gallows, fifty cubits high, should be erected in the court-yard of the house, and that the king’s permission should be obtained on the morrow to hang Mordecai thereon; meanwhile, that Haman should go merrily in with the king unto the banquet. “And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.”
The following night the king could not sleep, and so he ordered the chronicles of the kingdom to be read to him. On being informed by his servants that Mordecai had not been rewarded for the services he had done (Esther 2:21), the king asked who was in the court. Now it happened that Haman had come into the court in the early morning to get the king’s sanction to hang Mordecai; and when the court officials informed the king that Haman was present, he bade his minister do honour to Mordecai by leading him through the city, clad in royal robes and riding on the king’s own horse. Haman was compelled to carry out the king’s order; but after he had done so, “he hastened to his house mourning, and having his head covered.” When Haman had told his wife Zeresh and his wise men all that had happened, they predicted that his recent humiliation was an omen of his ultimate downfall. “If,” said they, “Mordecai is of Jewish origin, before whom thou hast begun to fall, then thou shalt not prevail against him; but shalt surely fall before him. While they were talking with him, the king’s chamberlains came and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.”
At the second banquet the king again asked Esther what her petition was, and, in reply, she begged that her life and that of her people might be spared, “for she and they were sold to be destroyed, to be slain and to perish.” The king then asked who it was that had dared in his heart to do so terrible a deed. Esther replied, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman.” The king then arose in anger from the banquet, and went into the palace garden; but on his return he found that Haman had fallen on the couch whereon Esther was lying, apparently in the act of pleading for his life. But the king put the worst construction on his degraded minister’s conduct, and thought that he intended to do violence to the queen; and so he sentenced him to death, and ordered him to be impaled (hanged) on the very gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai.
The same day King Ahasuerus installed Mordecai in Haman’s place, with the full powers of a grand vizier. But, although Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was removed, the edict of destruction still hung over their heads. To avert so terrible a calamity, Esther “Fell down at the king’s feet and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman and the device that he had devised against the Jews.” But by the laws of the Medes and Persians the decree could not be rescinded; and so the king issued a counter-edict, giving the Jews permission “to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish all these that would assault them.” Accordingly, on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, the day fixed for the massacre, the Jews slew five hundred in Shushan, and on the next day three hundred more; while, in the provinces, as many as 75,000 are said to have been destroyed.
The last mention of Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther is that “he laid a tribute upon the land and upon the isles of the sea.”

Artaxerxes (1): (mentioned in Ezra 4:7-9) is generally supposed to be the Pseudo-Smerdis, who succeeded Cambyses. In the above quoted passage wo read that Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe, acting for Bishlam, Mithredath and Tabeel, the enemies of the Jews, wrote to King Artaxerxes stating that the Jews were a rebellious people, and that if the king allowed Jerusalem to be rebuilt he would have no dominion on this side the river Euphrates. Accordingly Artaxerxes ordered a search to be made among the records of the kingdom, and the charges laid against the Jews were found to be true, and so the king ordered “that the city should not be builded until another commandment should be given from him.”

Artaxerxes (2): i.e. Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ezra 7:11) king of Persia. Two facts are recorded of him: (1) He appointed Ezra Tirshatha of Judaea, and gave him a commission conferring on him many privileges. (2) He also gave a commission to Nehemiah to re-build the walls of Jerusalem, and made him Tirshatha.

Zerubbabel: (called also Sheshbazzar) (Ezra 5:14-16) was the son of Shealtiel, and a prince of the royal house of David. He was the leader of the first band of Exiles who returned to their own land, and from Hag. 2:23 we gather that he had received a special mission from God to undertake the work. “In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee.” He was urged on by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to complete the building of the Temple, but after this he suddenly disappears from the page of history.

Final reflections and conclusions to the Books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther of the Historical Books of the Old Testament. The two lengthy selections from the works of Crockett and Carter above allows us to grasp the relations and sequence of events and details in this period of Israel’s history. The generations cover some 500 years, and the transition from the Theocracy of the Judges to the Monarchy of the Kings is recorded with great care. The Historical Books prepares us for the Poetical Books (Job to Solomon’s Song) which in turn prepares us for the Prophetic Books (Isaiah to Malachi).
W.G. Scrooggie in his great work “The Unfolding Drama of Redemption” “the Bible as a Whole”, 3 volumes in one (1976, ©1953 vol. 1, ©1957 vol. 2, ©1970 vol. 3) using the literary motif of the Theatrical Drama of Shakespearean style he presents the Divine Story of Creation and Judgment and Salvation in Divine Acts. The Redeeming Purpose in Revelation, Progression, and Consummation Unfolded in Prologue (Gen. 1-11), Act I (Gen. 11- Malachi), Interlude (Malachi-Matthew), Act II (Matthew-Jude), and Epilogue (Book of the Revelation). Old Testament Begins with the Creation to the Fall to the Flood to Babel; a Divine Covenant of Law Embodied in the History & Literature of a Semitic Race: in 3 Scenes of the Hebrew Family, the Israelitish Nation, and the Jewish Church; then Judaism and Heathenism Preparing the World for the Advent of the Messiah; then the New Testament with a Divine Covenant of Grace Embodied in the History & Literature of the Christian Church: in 2 Scenes of the Introduction of Christianity into the World by Jesus the Messiah, and Progress of Christianity in the World to Close of the 1st Century A.D.; and ends with a Vision of Grace & Christ the Lord (Head) of the Church, a Vision of Government & Christ as Judge of the World, and a Vision of Glory & Christ as King of the Universe. In the Age of the Monarchy, page 238, he writes: After citing Jeremiah 18:1-10 of “the clay was marred in the hand of the potter” “In this story the LORD is the Potter and Israel is the clay. Under the Theocracy the clay was marred in the hand of the Potter, so ‘He made it again another vessel’, Monarchy. A second time the clay defaulted, and the Potter made it yet again, and this time, a Dependency…. It is of vital importance to understand the significance of this change from Theocracy to Monarchy; and two things should be carefully considered: first, the long anticipation of a monarchy; and secondly, the Divine disapproval of it when it came.”
We initiated our survey and reflections in the Historical Books with Joshua and Judges, then then the beautiful and meaningful story of Ruth the Moabite Gentile woman who married an Israelite and brought into relations to the Covenant People and the Covenant God, the Lord God of Israel. She is a widow in the Land of Moab and clings to Naomi her mother-in-law, and she returns with her to Judah of Israel and marries Boaz of the Tribe of Judah, and in time became the great grandmother of King David and the Lord Jesus the Messiah, the Christ of God. In comparison and contrast to the Book of Ruth is the Book of Esther of a Jewish woman concealing her Jewish roots and race by taking on her Persian name and identity in place of her Hebrew name Hadassah, the niece of the Benjaminite Mordecai the Jew. Esther the Jew of the Covenant People and God is exiled outside the Covenant Land, the Promised Land, and she marries a Gentile Persian King, and becomes a Queen of Persia, and in time saves her People from genocide. In Ruth the Lord God is mentioned frequently, but in Esther His name or reference to Him is never recorded. In both Books God never speaks in red.
The Divine Red Words in the Books of Samuel – Esther is interesting and instructive. In 1st Samuel 2 we read that a Man of God said to the High Priest Eli: “Thus saith Jehovah, Did I reveal Myself unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt [in bondage] to Pharaoh’s house? and did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to go up unto Mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? Wherefore kick ye at My sacrifice and at Mine offering, which I have commanded in [My] habitation, and honorest thy sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel My people? Therefore Jehovah, the God of Israel, saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before Me forever: but now Jehovah saith, Be it far from Me; for them that honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thy house. And thou shalt behold the affliction of [My] habitation, in all the wealth which [God] shall give Israel; and there shall not be an old man in thy house for ever. And the man of thine, [whom] I shall not cut off from Mine altar, [shall be] to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thy heart; and all the increase of thy house shall die in the flower of their age. And this shall be the sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die both of them. And I will raise Me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in My heart and in My mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before Mine anointed forever. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thy house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread.” Then in chapter 3 in the call of the boy Samuel and a word to him of the Lord’s judgment against the House of Eli. Next in chapter 8 He speaks to Samuel against Israel for rejecting the Lord as their King; so he gives them a King after their heart in chapter 9. He speaks in Red in a few verses in chapters 10, 14, 15-16, 23, 24 (a quote by David’s men to David), and 30:8 a sentence. In 2nd Samuel the Words in Red are chapters: in 2 only 4 words (in Hebrew 2 words); in 3 one sentence as a quote; in 5 a few verses; in 7, the Lord by Nathan to David concerning the House of the Lord; in 12; 21 (a sentence about the Gebeonite against Saul’s House); and finally in David’s last words and acts, a few verses in 23 and 24. This trend continues in the Kings and Chronicles, the Lord speaking infrequently and intermittingly as the need demands, even with His favorite Kings like Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah. 1st Kings chapters: 3; 5-6 (3 verses); 8; 9; 11; 12-14; 16-22 (a few verses in each chapter). In 2nd Kings the Red Words are found in chapters: 1-4, few verses in each; 7; 9-10; 15 (a sentence); 17-23, the longest passage in 19:20-34 against the King of Assyria. It is the same in the Chronicles; 1st Chronicles chapters: 11, one verse, a quote, about King David; 14; 16-17; 21-22; and 28. 2nd Chronicles chapters: 1 (two verses to Solomon); 6; 7; 11-12; 18; 20-21; 24-25 (two verses total); 33 to Manasseh; and 34 to Josiah. He is hiding in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. In Ezra the Red Words is found in chapter 9, a quote of two verses in Ezra’s prayer. In Nehemiah the Red is in chapter 1, two verses quoted in Nehemiah’s prayer. As said before Esther is blank, all black and white.
The Dispensational Covenantal relationship between the Lord and Israel from Theocracy to Monarchy to the Captivity under Gentile Power brings us to a new dispensational covenantal relationship between the people and God. The Deuteronomy measurement of the Mosaic Law was unable to preserve the people from judgment or oppression; their condition was such, as it is with all humans of all times and places, that they needed a Savior to save them from themselves, from sin and sins, and from Satan. It is this in view we are about to enter something new and better in the Poetic Books and to be followed by the Prophetic Books; from Poetry to Prophecy. Genesis and Deuteronomy as the two key Books will still govern in the new dispensational revelation and dealings and experiences; but a higher and more spiritual way will unfold in preparation for the New Testament and the Messiah-Christ.

CHAPTER III
Part III: PSALMS – ISAIAH: JOB, PSALMS, PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES, PROVERBS & SONGS.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.16

(Here are pages 298-342 of CBR 16, 1st & 2nd Kings. Several personal family matters (but God is good and merciful!) has delayed my installments of the Reflections of the Historical Books from Kings to Esther. The PDF will also be linked installment CBR 17 of these Books. I’ve tried to correct obvious errors and mistakes but will have wait as time goes by to catch the others. I note for the reader that in the PDF version the small additions and revisions I make without notice. mjm.)

KINGS: I and II. (22 & 25 Chapters)

1st KINGS: 22 Chapters: King David’s Death & King Solomon & the Lord’s Temple to Death of King Jehoshaphat of Judah (Southern Kingdom: Jerusalem) and Death King Ahab of Israel (Northern Kingdom: Samaria). The Prophet Elijah.
Now King David was old and ill, and was cold despite blankets; his servants requested that a young virgin be found for the King, to stand before him, to cherish him, and to lay in his bosom, to warm the King. They searched thru all the borders of Israel and found Abishag the Shunamite, and brought her to the King. The damsel was beautiful; she cherished the King, and ministered to him; sexually he knew her not.
Now Adonijah ben-Haggith exalted himself to be made King; he prepared chariots and riders, and 50 front runners. David, his father, had never displeased him negatively; and he was handsome, and born after Absalom. He conspired with Joab ben-Zeruiah and the Priest Abiathar to usurp the throne; but Zadok the Priest, and Benaiah ben-Jehoiada, and Nathan the Prophet, and Shemei, Rei, and David’s mighty men were not with Adonijah. He slaughtered sheep and oxen and fatlings by the Stone of Zoheleth beside En-rogel; he invited his brothers the King’s sons, with all the men of Judah the King’s servants; but he did not invite Nathan the Prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or Solomon his brother. Nathan asked Bath-sheba, Solomon’s mother, if she heard that Adonijah reigns, but David knows not. He counseled her to save her life and Solomon’s life, by going to King David and reminding him that he swore to her that Solomon will succeed to his throne; and while relating that, I will appear to confirm thy words. She went to the King’s room, and Abishag was ministering to him; she bowed, and he asked what she wanted; she recalled to the King his oath to her by the Lord God that Solomon will accede to the throne; but instead Adonijah reigns without thy knowledge; and he offers sacrifices, inviting the King’s sons, Abiathar, and Joab; and he did not invite Solomon. All Israel is awaiting my Lord the King to announce who shall sit on his throne; for after the King dies and laid to rest, I and my son Solomon shall be regarded as offenders. Then Nathan the Prophet came, and David was notified, and he reported to the King just as Bathsheba had related, and that the people say, Adonijah lives! Then David ordered that they bring Bathsheba to him; and as she stood in his presence King David said: as the Lord lives, Who delivered my soul from all adversity, as I swore by the Lord, the God of Israel, that Solomon shall reign after me, so I will do it today! Bathsheba bowed and said, may my Lord King David live forever. Then he called for the Priest Zadok, the Prophet Nathan, and Benaiah ben-Jehoiada; and they came before the King; and he said: take some of my servants and cause Solomon to ride on my mule, and bring him to Gihon; there let Zadok and Nathan anoint him King over Israel, and to blow the trumpet, and proclaim: King Solomon lives! Then follow him till he is seated upon my throne as King in my place, as I have appointed him Prince over Israel and over Judah. Benaiah answered, Amen! the Lord, the God of my lord the King, be so with Solomon, to make his Throne greater the Throne of my lord King David. So Zadok, Nathan, Benaiah, with the Cherethites and Pelethites, went and caused Solomon to ride on King David’s mules to Gihon; and the Priest Zadok took the oil out of the Tent and anointed Solomon; and the trumpets sounded, and the people shouted: King Solomon lives! The people followed with playing pipes and rejoicements, and the earth resounded with the celebrations. Adonijah and his people heard the excitement after they had eaten; and Joab asked why the celebration of trumpets in the city; and the Priest Jonathan appeared, and Adonijah asked: thou art a good man with good news: but he answered our lord King David has inaugurated Solomon King, with the help of Zadok, Nathan, Benaiah, and the Cherethites and Pelethites, to ride on the King’s mules, and anointed him King in Gihon; this is the sound of the celebrations ye heard; and Solomon sits on the Throne of the Kingdom; with the blessings of the King’s servants that God make Solomon’s Name greater than David’s, and his Throne a greater Throne; and the King bowed on his bed. And the King said: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, Who has seated one on my Throne in my presence. Adonijah and his guests were afraid of Solomon; and he went and took hold of the Horns of the Altar; and Solomon was informed that Adonijah in fear has taken hold of the Horns of the Altar demanding that King Solomon sware that he will not put him to death; Solomon replied that if he was a worthy man, not a single hair of his head will fall, but if wicked, he shall die; so he sent for him, and he came and bowed to King Solomon; and he told him to go home.
In David’s final days as death was inevitable, he encouraged his son Solomon to be a strong man, to obey the Lord God, to walk in His ways, keep His statutes, commandments, ordinances, and testimonies, which are written in the Law of Moses; that thou may prosper in all thy works and ways. May the Lord establish His word of promise to me, that if thy children watch their ways, walk in truth before Me with all their heart and soul, there will never lack man to sit on the Throne of Israel. 1st, remember what Joab did to me, in killing two generals of the armies of Israel, Abner and Amasa, shedding war blood in peace time, with his girdle and shoes; therefore in thy wisdom do not let his grey head enter sheol (hell, grave, death) in peace. 2nd, be kind to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite to eat at thy table; for he accompanied me in my flight from thy brother Absalom. 3rd, Shimei ben Gera a Benjamite of Bahurim grievously cursed me on my way to Mahanaim; but then on my return he met me at Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord I would not put him to death; he is guilty deserving death, thou art a wise man; so bring his gray head to sheol (hell, grave, death) with blood. Thus David died and was buried in the City of David; he reigned 40 years over Israel: 7 years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem.
Solomon sat on the Throne of David his father, and His Kingdom was established greatly: 1st, Adonijah ben-Haggith came to Bathsheba; she asked if he came in peace; he said, yes; he said he came to make a request; she asked, what; he said that the Kingdom was mine, and Israel expected me to rule; but the Lord gave it my brother; so my petition is that thou may ask King Solomon to give me Abishag the Shunamite to marry; she said: I will ask the King. She went to King Solomon, who rose to meet her, and bowed to her, then sat on his throne; and he had a throne set for the King’s mother to sit at his right. She told him she has a petition that she wish not to be denied; he said ask, I will not deny thee; let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother in marriage; the King answered his mother: why ask only for her for him, why not ask for the Kingdom to be his and Abiathar’s and Joab’s, since he is my older brother. He swore: God punish me more, if Adonijah has not asked this against his own life! As the Lord lives, Who has established me on the Throne of my father David, and made a House for me as promised; Adonijah will die today! So Solomon sent Benaiah, who put him to death. 2nd, Abiathar the Priest the King told to return to his fields in Anathoth; for though he deserved to die, he will spare him for now because he carried the Ark of the Lord Jehovah before my father David, and shared in all his afflictions. Thus Solomon ejected him from the Priesthood to fulfill the Lord’s word concerning the House of Eli in Shiloh. 3rd, Joab heard these reports, for he had conspired with Adonijah, but not with Absalom; so he fled to the Tent of the Lord, and held to the Horns of the Altar. King Solomon was told, and he sent Benaiah to go strike him; so he came to the Lord’s Tent and demanded Joab to come out by the King’s order; but he replied that he chooses to die here; Benaiah related it to the King, who replied that he should do as he ask; then bury him; thus remove the blood shed by Joab from my father’s house; thus the Lord will return his blood on his own head, who killed two righteous and better men (generals Abner and Amasa) than himself, without my father’s consent, their blood be on Joab’s head and on his seed forever; but peace be on David, his seed, his house, and his throne forever. Benaiah went and killed him, and he was buried in his own house in the desert. The King put Benaiah in his place as General over the army; Zadok (ben-Ahitub, abi-Ahimaaz & abi-Azariah & abi-Shallum) replaced Abiathar. Then he called for Shimei and commanded him to build a house in Jerusalem and to stay there and not to leave it to go elsewhere, for on that day he would surely die (dying die); thy blood is on thy head; he answered the King it was a good word, I will obey. So he stayed in Jerusalem many days; then about 3 years later two of his servants ran off to King Achish ben-Maacah of Gath; and they told Shimei his servants were in Gath; so he saddled his donkey and retrieved his servants; it was told to Solomon; the King called Shimei, and said: did I not adjure thee by the Lord that never to travel out of Jerusalem because thou wilt die; and thou saidst the word is good; why then did thou not keep the Lord’s oath and my commandment? yu know all the wickedness of yur clever heart, as yu did to David my father; now the Lord turns yur wickedness on yur head; but King Solomon shall be blessed, and David’s Throne shall ever be established before the Lord. The King commanded Benaiah to strike him to death; and the Kingdom was then established in the hands of Solomon.
Solomon in affinity (alliance, treaty) with Pharaoh, King of Egypt, married Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her to the City of David till he completed the building of his own house (palace), the House (Temple) of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. The people still sacrificed in the High-Places, for no House was yet built to the Lord’s Name. Solomon loved the Lord, walking in David’s statues; but he still sacrificed and burnt incense in the High-Places. He went to Gibeon to sacrifice at the Great High-Place: 1,000 burnt-offerings he offered on that Altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to him in a dream at night, and God said: ask what I should give yu; and he answered: Yu’v shown my father David great lovingkindness because he walked before Yu in truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart; and now this kindness to give him a son to sit on his Throne; now, O Lord my God, Yuv made Yur servant King in place of David, though I am only a boy; not knowing how to go out or come in; Yur servant is among Yur chosen people, great and innumerable; so give Yur servant an understanding heart to judge Yur people, that I may discern between good and evil: for who is able to judge Yur great people? The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for understanding to discern justice; and God said to him, because yu have asked this, instead of long life, or riches, or the life of yur enemies; therefore I have given yu and understanding heart; so that none has ever before been like yu, nor will ever arise one like yu; and I have also given to yu riches and honor, that no King will be like yu during yur lifetime; and if yu walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and commandments, as yur father David, I will also lengthen yur days. Then Solomon awoke from his dream; then came to Jerusalem, and stood before the Lord’s Ark of Covenant, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, with a feast for all his servants.
Now 2 women, whores, came before the King: one said that they both shared a house together, they both birthed at the same time alone; on the 3rd day after birthing, the other woman’s child died, because she slept on it; she then took my child, and placed her dead child in my bosom; but when I awoke it clearly was not my baby that I gave birth; then the other woman replied, no, the living is my child, but the dead baby is yurs. The King perplexed at the two women, ordered a sword to be brought and to take the baby and divide it in two, then give each woman a half; then the true mother begged the King, from her compassion for her baby, my lord, let her have the child, do not kill it; but the other woman said, no, let it be divided, neither hers or mine. The King ordered the child to be given the other woman, do not kill it, because she is the mother. Thus all Israel heard of King’s judgment, and feared because of God’s wisdom in him for justice.
King Solomon over all Israel: his Princes were: the Priest Azariah ben-Zadok; the Scribes Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha; the Recorder Jehoshaphat ben-Ahilud; the Army General Benaiah ben-Jehoiada; the Priests Zadok and Abiathar; the Captain of Officers Azariah ben-Nathan; the Chief Minister and King’s Friend Zabud ben-Nathan; the Chief of Domestics Ahishar; and the Chief of Labor Adoniram ben-Abda. He had 12 Officers of Israel for Food Provisions for the King’s Household, one for each month in the year: 1st, Ben-hur of the Hills of Ephraim; 2nd, Ben-deker in Makas, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan; 3rd, Ben-hesed in Arubboth of Socoh and the land of Hepher; 4th, Ben-abinadab in Dor’s Height, married to Solomon’s daughter; 5th, Baana ben-Ahilud in Taanach and Megiddo, Beth-shean near Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah to and beyond Jokmeam; 6th, Ben-geber in Ramoth-gilead with the towns of Jair ben-Manasseh, with the region of Argob in Bashan having 60 great walls and brazen bars; 7th, Ahinadab ben-Iddo in Mahanaim; 8th, Ahimaaz in Naptali, also married to Solomon’s daughter Basemath; 9th, Baana ben-Hushai in Asher and Bealoth; 10th, Jehoshaphat ben-Paruah in Issachar; 11th, Shimei ben-Ela in Benjamin; and 12th, Geber ben-Uri was sole officer in the Land of Gilead, the country of Sihon the King of the Amorites, and Og the King of Bashan. Thus Judah and Israel were innumerable feasting joyously; and Solomon extended rule over all the Kingdoms from the River to the Land of the Philistines (by the Sea), to Egypt’s border: they all paid tribute and served Solomon while he lived; and his provisions for a single day was 30 measures of fine flour, 60 measures of meal, 10 fat oxen, 20 oxen in pastures (for milk), 100 sheep, besides harts, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowls. His dominion extended over all the country and Kings on westside of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza: ruling in peace; and every man in Judah and Israel dwelling safely, from Dan to Beersheba in his reign. He had 40,000 (or 4,000) stalls of horses for chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. The 12 monthly officers provided food for the King and his court at his table in every detail; and barley and straw for the horses, along with swift steeds handled by men.
God gave Solomon surpassing wisdom and understanding, with largeness of heart as sands of the seashore; he excelled the wisdom of the children of the east (the Easterners), and of Egypt; wiser than all, than Ethan the Ezrahite, or Heman, Chalcol, Darda, or the sons of Mahol; and his fame spread far and wide to the nations. He spoke 3,000 proverbs, and 1,005 songs: speaking of trees, as the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop of the wall; and of beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes. The peoples and kings of the earth visited on hearing of his wisdom.

     Now King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon after he heard that Solomon was anointed King in David’s place; for he was a lover (friend) of David. Solomon replied to Hiram: Yu know David my father could not build a House to the Lord God due to the wars on every side, till He subdued them. Now He has given me rest and peace without adversary or disturbance. So I intend to construct a House to the Lord God’s Name, as He spoke to my father David. Therefore command that yur servants cut cedar trees of Lebanon, along with my servants; and I will pay for yur servants as yu suggest: for none of us are skilled to cut timber like the Sidonians. Hiram rejoiced at this request, saying: the Lord be blessed for giving to David such a wise son over such a great people. He replied that he would fill the order for trees of cedar and fir; my servants will transport them to the sea, then on rafts float them down to the appointed port, then unloaded for yu to transport inland; in turn yu will pay as I may desire, and provide for my household. So Hiram supplied all the timber as Solomon needed; and he gave him 20,000 measures of wheat for food to his household, and 20 measures of pure oil annually. So the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, and also peace between them both, and they made a league together. Solomon levied a labor force from Israel of some 30,000 men; he sent them by increments of 10,000 per month, then returned home for 2 months before going back to Lebanon for a month; and Adoniram was overseer of the labor force. Solomon had 70,000 that carried cargo, and 80,000 hewers or miners in the mountains; besides his chief officers over the work, he had 3,300 foremen or supervisors. As he commanded they mined for great and costly stones, and to lay the foundation of the House; which the builders of Solomon and Hiram and the Gebalites fashioned, and prepared the timber and the stones for the House.
In the 480th year after the Exodus, in Solomon’s 4th year of reign, in the 2nd month, Ziv, he began the construction of the Lord’s House: its length was 60 cubits (c.90-100′), by width 20 cubits (c.30-35′), by height 30cbt (c.40-50′). The Porch before the Temple of the House: 20cbt (c30+’) in length, same as the width, and 10cbt (c.15′) in breadth at front entrance. The Windows of fixed lattice-work; opposite the Walls he built Stories around it, for the House and the Oracle; with Side Chambers around; the Lower Story (1st Floor, Level 1) of 5cbt (c.7-8′) wide; 2nd Level (Story, Floor) was 6cbt (c.12′) wide; 3rd Floor (Level, Story) was 7cbt (c.10-11′); the Outside of the House had Offsets around with Hold in the Walls of the House. The House construction was with Stones quarried and finished, so no hammer or axe or iron tool was heard in the building. The Door of the Middle Side Chambers were at the Right Side, Winding Stairs in the Mid-Level to the Top-Level. The House was built and finished, and covered with Beams and Planks of Cedar. Then the Lord’s word came to Solomon, saying: this House yu are building, if yu walk in My statutes, execute My ordinances, and perform My commandments, then will I establish My word as spoken to yur father David; and I will dwell with the Israelites, and not forsake My people Israel. So Solomon completed the construction of the House: the Walls inside the House were of Cedar Boards; from the Floor to the Walls of the Ceiling inside with Wood, Fir Wood Floors; 20cbt (c.30′) in the backside of the House of Cedar Boards from the Floor to the Ceiling Walls, for it (the Holy Place) and the Oracle, the Most Holy Place; the House or Temple in front of the it (the Holiest) was 40cbt (c.60+’); inside the House was Cedar carved with Knops and Open Flowers; all was of Cedar, nothing visible of stone; the Oracle in the midst of the House for the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant; the Oracle was 20cbt (c.30+’) long by 20cbt (c.30+’) wide by 20cbt (c.30+’) high, overlaid with Pure Gold; the Altar was covered with Cedar. Solomon overlaid the whole House with Pure Gold; he drew Chains of Gold across the front of the Oracle; the House was covered and finished in Gold; the Altar near the Oracle was overlaid with Gold; on the Oracle was Two Cherubs of Olive Wood standing 10cbt (c.15′) high, with both Wings of each Cherub of 5cbt (c.7-8′), and 10cbt (c.15′) space arching and facing to touch one another, both Cherubim were exactly alike in measure and form; the Cherubim was placed in the Inner House, their Wings outstretched upward touching both opposite Walls and facing and touching each other’s Wings in the center of the House; the Cherubim were overlaid with Gold; on all the Walls of the House were carved Figures (Pictures, Likenesses) of Cherubim, Palm-trees, and Open Flowers, overlaid inside and outside, as was the Floor of the House. The entrance for the Oracle had Olive-wood Doors; the Lintel and two Door-posts were 1/5th the size; both Doors of Olive-wood, with carvings of Cherubs, Palm-trees, and Open Flowers, overlaid and spread with Gold; for entrance of the Temple Door-posts of Olive-wood, of 1/4th size, with Two Leaves for both Folding Doors each; with carvings like the other Doors, overlaid with Gold fitted on the graven work. The Inner Court had Three Courses of Hewn Stone and One Course of Cedar Beams. Thus the Foundation of the Lord’s House was laid in his 4th year in the month Ziv, and completed in the 11th year in Bul, the 8th month, in all its details and fashion; in all 7 years of construction.
Solomon built and completed his Palace (House) in 13 years: the House was constructed from the forest of Lebanon: 100cbt (c.150+’) long by 50cbt (c.75+’) wide by 30cbt (c.45+’) high; with 4 rows of Cedar Pillars, with Cedar Beams on each; it was covered with Cedar above over the 45 Beams, that were on the Pillars; 15 in a row; with Beams in 3 rows; and Windows facing each other across in 3 ranks; the Doors and Posts were made square with Beams, with Windows facing across one another in 3 ranks. The Porch of Pillars were: 50cbt (c.75+’) long by 30cbt (c.45+’) wide; with a Porch in front, and Pillars in front the entrance. The Porch of his Throne for Judgment was covered with Cedar from Floor to Floor. He made like it also his House or Home to live in, and its Court in the Porch. Also the House or Home for Pharaoh’s daughter, Solomon’s wife, he made like it, with Porch; all these with Costly Hewn Stones by measurement, sawed and cut on both sides; from the Foundation to the Coping, on the outside to the Great Court. The Foundation was of Great Costly Stones, some of 10cbt (c.15′), and some of 8cbt (c.12′); above at top were Costly Hewn Stones by measure, and Cedar-wood. The Great Court enclosed with 3 courses of Hewn Stones, and 1 course of Cedar Beams; just as in the Inner Court of the Lord’s House; and of the Porch of the House.
Now Solomon had contracted Hiram of Tyre, the son of widow of the tribe of Naphtali and of a man of Tyre; he was a master craftsman and experienced brass worker, filled with wisdom, understanding, and skill. He appeared before Solomon to work his craft: he fashioned 2 Brass Pillars 18cbt (c.27+’) high, with a line of 12cbt (c.18+’) enclosing each of them; he made 2 molten Brass Capitals for the tops of the Pillars, both were 5cbt (c.7-8′) in height; both Capitals with nets or embroideries of checker-works, and wreaths of chain-work, 7 per Capital each; the 2 Pillars had 2 rows all around in network to cover the Capitals on top of the Pillars; the Capitals were of lily-work of 4cbt (c.6′); the Capitals were above at the top of both Pillars, near or tapered to the belly near the network, with 200 Pomegranates in rows around both Capitals. The Pillars were set up at the Porch of the Temple, one at the right called Pillar of Jachin, and the other at the left, called the Pillar of Boaz; the tops of the Pillars were of lily-work; thus were the Pillars finished. The Molten Sea Laver he made of 10 cbt (c.15′) circular, brim to brim, 5cbt (c.7-8′) high, with a line of 30cbt (c.45+’) enclosing them; under its brim around it were 2 rows of casted Knops; standing or resting on a base of 12 Oxen: 3 facing the north, 3 facing the west, 3 facing the south, and 3 facing the east; the Sea was elevated on the Base with the Oxen backs inward to the center; the Sea was 1 handbreadth (c.4-5″) thick; its brim was like a brim of a cup, with lily-like floral design; and it held 2,000 baths of water. He made 10 Brass Bases, 4cbt (c.6′) long by 4cbt (c.6′) wide by 3cbt (c.4-5′) high. The Bases were made thus: with Panels between Ledges; on the Panels were Lions, Oxen, and Cherubs; on the Ledges was a Pedestal above, and beneath the Lions, Oxen, and Cherubs were wreaths of hanging work; each Base had 4 Brazen Wheels and Brass Axles; and its 4 feet had Undersetters, and underneath the Laver Molten Undersetters, each with Wreaths at the side; its Mouth inside the Capital at the top was 1cbt (c.27-30″); its Mouth like a Pedestal shape was 11/2cbt (c.30-33″); its Mouth had engravings; their Panels were foursquare or box shape; the 4 Wheels underneath the Panels; the Axletrees (Shaft, Rod) of the Wheels were in the Base; the Wheel was 11/2cbt (c.30-33″). The Wheels were made like Chariot Wheels: with Axletrees, Felloes, Spokes, and Naves, and all were molten; with 4 Undersetters at the 4 Corners of each Base’s bottom; the top of the Base circular 1/2cbt (c.10-12″) high, and its Stays and Panels were of the same; the Plates of its Stays and Panels of graved Cherubs, Lions, and Palm-trees, each in its place, with wreaths around; thus were the 10 Bases casted alike with one measure and form. He made 10 Lavers of Brass, each held 40 baths of water; each were 4cbt (c.6′); the 10 Lavers were on 10 Bases; 5 Bases on the right side of the House, and 5 Bases on the left of the House; the Sea was on the right side of the House eastward and southward. So Hiram made Lavers, Shovels, and Basins; he completed and finished all his work and craft for King Solomon in the Lord’s House: the 2 Pillars, the 2 Bowls of the Capitals on top of the Pillars, the 2 Networks to cover the 2 Bowls of the Capitals on the Pillars; the 10 Bases, and 10 Lavers on 10 Bases; and 1 Sea with 12 Oxen under it; and Pots, Shovels, and Basins: all these Vessels Containers and Wares he made of Burnished Brass for King Solomon for the Lord’s House.
The King casted them in the Plain of Jordan, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarethan. Solomon did not weigh these many Vessels, so the weight was not known. Solomon made all the Vessels for the Lord’s House: the Golden Altar, the Golden Table of Showbread of Presentation, and the Golden Candlesticks or Lampstands: 5 Lampstands on the right, and 5 Candlesticks on the left, before the Oracle, made of Pure Gold, with Flowers, Lamps, Tongs, each of Gold; Pure Golden Cups, Snuffers, Basins, Spoons, and Firepans; and Golden Hinges for both the Doors of the Inner House, the Most Holy Place, and the doors of the House or Temple. Thus all the work and construction in the building of the Lord’s House was fully completely finished. Solomon brought in the dedicated things of his father David: Silver, Gold, and Vessels; and put them in the Treasuries (Storehouses) of the Lord’s House.
Then King Solomon assembled the Elders of Israel, Leaders of the Tribes, and Princes of the Families of Israelites in Jerusalem, to bring up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant out of Zion, David’s City; in the 7th month of Ethanim the Elders and Priests and Levites took up the Ark and the Tent of Meeting and all the Holy Vessels in the Tent to relocate them. King Solomon and the Assembly of Israel stood before the Ark sacrificing sheep and oxen without number. The Priests brought in the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the Oracle of the House, to the Most Holy Place, under the Wings of the Cherubs; which spread forth their Wings over the place of the Ark, and covered the Ark and the its Staves (Poles), but the Poles were so long that the ends were seen outside in the Holy Place before the Oracle, but not seen beyond on the outside; and are there to this day (time of Hezekiah and Isaiah); in the Ark was only the Two Stone Tablets of Moses, put there at Horeb, when the Lord covenanted with Israel after the Exodus from Egypt. When the Priests came out of the Holy Place, the Cloud filled the Lord’s House, so that the Priests could not minister because of the Cloud of the Lord’s Glory filled the Lord’s House. Solomon’s Blessings: The Lord said He dwells in thick darkness; but I’ve built Yu a House of Habitation, an Eternal Dwelling-place; the King turned around facing to bless the Assembly of Israel while they stood: The Lord God of Israel be blessed, Who spoke to my father David, and has now fulfilled it, saying: From the day of My people Israel’s Exodus from Egypt I have not chosen a city of any tribe to build a House form My Name; but I chose David to be over My people Israel. Now my father David’s heart was to build a House for the Lord God of Israel; but He said to him: yur heart is well to build for Me a House for My Name, but yu must not build the House, but the son from yur loins shall build the House for My Name. The Lord has established His Word, and I have risen in the place of my father David to sit on Israel’s Throne, as He promised; and I have built the House for the Lord’s Name, Israel’s God. In it I’ve placed the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant made with our fathers from the time of the Exodus. Solomon stood before the Lord’s Altar in the Assembly of Israel’s presence, and spread forth his hands toward heaven, and said: (Solomon’s Prayer):

Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Yu in Heaven or on earth, keeping Covenant
and showing lovingkindness to Yur servants, who walk before Yu with all their heart;
and kept Yur promise to my father David;
Yu spoke with Yur mouth and fulfilled it today with Yur hand.
Now keep that promise to David that there will not fail a man to sit on Israel’s Throne,
if yur children (sons) walk before Me has yu’v walked;
I pray, let Yur word be now verified.
But will God indeed dwell on earth, when all the heavens cannot contain Yu;
how much less this House that I’ve built!
Yet respect and regard the prayer and supplication of Yur servant’s prayer this day:
that Yur eyes be open toward this House night and day,
the Place where Yu said Yur Name will abide, and to my prayer;
to hear my supplication; and of Israel’s prayer toward this Place;
hear from Yur Dwelling-place and forgive.
(1) If a man sin against his neighbor,
and he swears under oath before Yur Altar in this House;
hear from heaven and respond and judge Yur servants,
condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head,
and justifying the righteous, giving him according to his righteousness.
(2) When Israel is defeated by the enemy, because they sinned against Yu,
then turn to Yu to confess Yur Name to pray and petition to Yu in this House;
hear and forgive them, and return them to the promised land Yu gave to their fathers.
(3) When heaven withholds the rain because they sinned against Yu;
if they pray toward this Place to confess Yur Name,
and turn from their sin in Yur afflicting them;
hear and forgive all of them;
when Yu teach them the good way for them to walk,
and send rain on Yur Land, that Yu gave them for an inheritance.
(4) If there is in the land famine, pestilence, blasting mildew, locust, caterpillar,
(or any such plague);
if the enemy besiege them in their cities; whatever plague or sickness;
then what prayer and supplication be made by any man, or by Yur people Israel,
for every man will know the plague of his own heart;
and he spreads forth his hands toward this House:
hear and forgive, respond and render accordingly to the heart,
for Yu alone know the hearts of every man of mankind;
that they may fear Yu all the days of their lives in the Land.
(5) The foreigner (stranger, alien,) not of Israel, from a distant country or nation
for Yur Name’s sake
(for they will hear of Yur great Name and of yur mighty Hand and outstretched Arm);
and he comes and pray towards this House:
hear and respond to what he calls for or invokes;
that all peoples of the earth may know Yur Name, to fear Yu as Israel does,
and know that this House I’ve built is called by Yur Name.
(6) If Yur People battles their enemy in any direction,
and pray to the Lord, toward the Chosen City and the House of Yur Name:
hear their prayer and supplication, and maintain their cause.
(7) If they sin against Yu (for every man sins),
and Yu’re angry with them, to deliver them to the enemy,
to be carried away captive to their enemy’s land both far or near;
and then they consider their captivity,
and turn again in supplication and confessing that they’ve sinned
and acted perversely and done wickedly;
and if they return to Yu with all their heart and soul while captives,
and pray toward their Promised Land and Chosen City and the House of Yur Name:
hear their prayer and supplication, and maintain their cause;
and forgive Yur People who’ve sinned against Yu of all their transgressions and trespasses; grant them compassion in their captivity from their conquerors
(for their Yur people and Inheritance delivered from Egypt (Exodus) the Iron Furnace (Hell)); that Yur Eyes be open to Yur servant’s and Israel’s supplication,
to listen to them whenever they cry to Yu:
for Yu separated them from among all peoples of the earth for Yur Inheritance,
as Yu spoke to Yur servant Moses at the Exodus, O Lord Jehovah.
When Solomon ended his Prayer and Supplication to the Lord, he arose from his knees before the Lord’s Altar, with his hands spread forth toward heaven, he stood and blessed the Assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying:
the Lord is blessed, He has given rest to His People Israel as He promised:
not a word of His promise by His servant Moses has failed;
may He be with us as He was with our fathers, and not leave or forsake us;
to incline our hearts to Him, to walk in His ways, to keep His commandments,
and statutes, and ordinances, which He commanded our fathers.
May these words of supplication to the Lord God, be near to Him night and day,
that He may maintain the cause of His servant and of His People Israel,
as each day may require;
that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord only is God alone.
Let your heart be perfect with the Lord our God,
to walk in His statutes, and to keep His commandments, as it is today.

   Then the King and all Israel offered sacrifice before the Lord. Solomon offered the sacrifice of peace-offerings to the Lord, 22,000 oxen, and 120.000 sheep. So the King and the Israelites dedicated the House of the Lord. That day the King hallowed or sanctified the middle of the Court that was before the Lord’s House, where he offered the burnt-offering, meal-offering, and the fat of the peace-offerings, because the Brazen Altar before the Lord was too small to receive the various sacrifices and offerings. So Solomon held a Feast with Israel, a great Assembly, from the Entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt, before the Lord God, for 2 weeks or 14 days. On the 8th day after the second week he dismissed the People; and they blessed the King, and returned home joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord showed to His servant David, and to His People Israel.
After Solomon had finished the building of the Lord’s House (Temple), and the King’s House (Palace), and everything he his heart desired; then the Lord appeared to him the 2nd time as the 1st in Gibeon; and said to him: I have heard yur prayer and supplication yu’ve made before Me: I have hallowed (sanctified) this House yu’ve built for My Name forever, and My eyes will always be on it. If yu walk before Me as did yur father David, in the integrity of heart and uprightness, to do all I have commanded yu, and keep My statutes and ordinances; then I will establish the Throne of yur Kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised yur father David, that a man from yu will not fail to sit on Israel’s Throne. But if ye and your sons shall turn away from following Me, to not keep My commandments and statutes I’ve set before you, but to go and serve and worship other gods; then I will cut off Israel from the Promised Land; and this House hallowed for My Name, will I cast out of My sight; and Israel shall become a proverb and byword among all peoples. And of this high and exalted House shall everyone passing it be astonished and hiss, and ask: why has the Lord done this to this Land and House? And they will answer: because they forsook the Lord their God Who delivered their fathers from Egypt, and went out to lay hold on other gods to worship and serve them; thus the Lord brought this evil on them.
So after 20 years, Solomon completed the construction of the two Houses, the Lord’s Temple and Solomon’s Palace (for King Hiram of Tyre had provided Solomon with cedar and fir trees, with gold, according to his desires); that he gave Hiram 20 cities in the land of Galilee. Hiram came from Tyre to see the Cities, and was displeased, and said: what are these cities, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul to this day. Now Hiram sent to the King 60 talents of gold. The reason for King’s Solomon levy was to build the Lord’s Temple, and Solomon’s Palace, and Millo, and Jerusalem’s Wall, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer. Pharaoh King of Egypt took and burnt Gezer and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and gave it to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. So Solomon built Gezer, and lower Beth Horon, and Baalath, and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land; and all the store-cities of Solomon, and cities for his chariots, cities for his horsemen, and everything Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. The people that were in Canaan which the Israelites did not eradicate, the Amorites, the Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, Solomon raise a levy of bondservants (slaves) to this day; but no Israeli was made slaves; but instead they were made men of war, and his servants, his princes, captains, and rulers (guardians, keepers) of his chariots and horsemen. Solomon had 550 Chief Officers over the work, ruling or managing the workforce. After Pharaoh’s daughter moved from David’s City into her own House (Palace), then he built Millo. 3 times a year Solomon offered burnt and peace offerings before the Lord on the Lord’s Altar that he built; thus he finished the House (Temple).
King Solomon made a Navy of Ships in Ezion-Geber, near Eloth, on the shore (seaport) of the Red Sea (Yam Suph (Gulf of Aqaba)) in the Land of Edom. Hiram sent in the Naval fleet servants and shipmen (sailors) of the sea along with Solomon’s servants. They sailed to Ophir and loaded thence gold, 420 talents ((75 lbs = 1 talent = 1-1.5 million dollars 2014-2018; 420 talents = some 30,000 pounds, c. 420-500 million dollars, or 1/2 billion $)), and brought it to Solomon.
When the Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame concerning the Lord’s Name (the Temple and the Palaces), she came to test him with difficult questions; she visited Jerusalem with a great train, camels carrying spices, great quanities of gold, and precious stones; and when she arrived she conversed with Solomon from her heart concerns; and he answered her questions and desires; nothing was hidden or unknown from the King of her interests. After the Queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the House he built, the food of his table, the sitting of his servants or Court, the attendance of his Ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent up to the Lord’s House; she was breathless without spirit. Then she said to the King: It was a true report I heard in my country of yur acts and wisdom, which I did not believe the words; now I see for myself, that the half had not been told me of yur wisdom and wealth exceeding yur fame. Happy and blessed are yur men and servants, who stand before yu to hear yur wisdom; blessed be the Lord yur God, Who delighted to set yu on the Throne of Israel: for He ever loved Israel, and so made yu King, to do justice and righteousness. The Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon 120 talents of gold (some 9,000 pounds, or some 10 million $), a cargo (storehouse) of spices, and precious stones: never again were brought such abundance of spices. And Hiram’s naval fleet besides the gold of Ophir, brought thence great quanities of almug-trees and precious stones. Solomon made from the almug-trees Pillars for the Lord’s House (Temple), the King’s House (Palace), also harps and psalteries for singers: never again were seen such almug-trees to the present (time of Isaiah and Hezekiah). King Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba all her desires and request, besides his gifts to her from his Royal bounty. So she returned to her country with her servants. The total weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 gold talents (or some 50,000 pounds or 666 million to 1 billion $) ((about 10% of the Israel’s annual wealth; or a rich billionaire today (2014-2018) in USA would need to have annual income of 10% of 20 trillion $ to equal Solomon’s wealth, that is, he must be a trillionaire; compare J.D. Rockefeller, one of the richest man of modern times, at 350 billion $ net worth in 1900s was 1-2% of US GDP); ((it is a mistake to say that Solomon’s wealth annually continued equally for some 20-40 years, making his wealth blown out of proportions)); besides that (the taxes and tributes and gifts) of the traders and merchants, and the various Kings of the mixed people, and of the governors of the country. King Solomon made 200 bucklers or shields of gold, each shield was made with 600 gold shekel coins (c. $300,000 a shield); and 300 shields of beaten gold, each weighing 3 pounds of gold per shield (c. $50-60,000 each), and he stored them in the House of Forest in Lebanon. The King also made a great Ivory Throne overlaid with finest gold; there were 6 steps to the Throne, its top was round or curved at the back, with staves or poles on both sides under the seat, with 2 Lions standing by the poles; and besides the 6 steps were two rows of Lions: not the like was in any other Kingdom. All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, all the vessels of the Forest House in Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver, for silver was of little worth in the days of Solomon. The King had at sea a Navy fleet to sail to along with Hiram’s fleet to Tarshish once every three years, with the imports of gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. So King Solomon exceeded all the Kings of the earth in wealth and wisdom; and all the earth sought the presence (face) of Solomon to hear the wisdom of God in his heart. Each man brought his tribute of silver and gold vessels, raiment or garments, spices, horses, and mules, a rate or payment yearly. Solomon accumulated chariots and horsemen, some 1,400 chariots, and 12,000 horsemen ((about 8 horsemen to a chariot, or 4 horses and horsemen to a chariot and 4 extra horsemen as reserve)), and kept in the Chariot Cities and with the King in Jerusalem. He made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and cedars as plenty as sycamore trees of the lowlands. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt; the King’s Merchants or Buyers purchased them in droves or teams at a fixed price. A chariot imported from Egypt cost 600 silver-shekels (c. 5-50 dollars at different times and places per coin, or $3,000 – $30,000 per chariot); and a horse for 150 silver shekels or 1/4 the cost of a chariot, or some $1,000 to $5,000 per horse; and so for all the Kings of the Hittites and Syria supplied as abled.
King Solomon loved many foreign women, beside Pharaoh’s daughter (Egyptian), women and girls of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; those nations (Gentiles) which the Lord told the Israelite not to go among them, or let them come among yu; because they will surely turn yur heart to follow their gods: Solomon clung (was adhered, was addicted) to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines (secondary wives); and his wives turned away his heart when he was old to follow other gods (their idols), so that his heart was not perfect with the Lord as was his father David. Solomon went after Ashtoreth the Goddess (Idol) of the Sidonians, and Milcom the Abomination (Idol) of the Ammonites: he did evil before the Lord, not fully following Him as did David. Solomon even built a High-Place for Chemosh the Abomination (Idol) of Moab, in the mount before Jerusalem, and also for Molech the Abomination (Idol) of the Ammonites: thus he did for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. The Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the Lord God of Israel, Who appeared to him twice, and commanded him against following after idols: but he disregarded or disobeyed the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon: Since yu have done this in disobedience to My covenant and statutes to yu, I will surely rip the Kingdom from yu, and give it to yur servant; but I will not do it in yur days for yur father David’s sake, but will by yur son’s hand; but not all the Kingdom, but will reserve one tribe to yur son, for the sake of My servant David and for My chosen place Jerusalem.
Now the Lord raised up an Adversary (Opposer, Enemy, Satan) to Solomon: 1st: Hadad the Edomite, of the King’s seed in Edom; for when David was in Edom, and the Army General Joab went to bury the slain, after he had killed all the males in Edom: for Joab and Israel remained in Edom for 6 months in order to kill all the males; but Hadad, as a young child, escaped with some Edomite servants of his father to go into Egypt. They arose out of Midian and came to Paran, thence they took men and came into Egypt, to Pharaoh King of Egypt, who gave him a house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land. Pharaoh favored Hadad, and married him to his wife Queen Tahpenes’ sister; and Queen Tahpenes’ sister gave birth to Hadad a son, Genubath, who Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s House, and was raised as one of Pharaoh’s sons. Later Hadad heard in Egypt that David and Joab were dead; he asked Pharaoh to permit him to return to his country. But Pharaoh objected asking what he lacked to seek to return to his homeland; and he replied he lacked nothing, but insisted his request. Then a 2nd Adversary God raised up against Solomon in Rezon ben-Eliada, who fled from his master King of Zobah; for he gathered men, and became their Troop Captain; after David killed some of them; the others fled to Damascus and stayed and reigned there. Hadad became Israel’s Adversary all the days of Solomon for mischief; and he abhorred Israel and reigned over Syria. Then the 3rd to lift his hand against the King was Jeroboam ben-Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredam Solomon’s servant, whose widowed mother was Zeruah. The reason he rebelled against the King was: Solomon built Millo, repaired the breach of David’s City. Now Jeroboam was a brave warrior, and Solomon noticed he was industrious (ambitious) so he gave him charge over the labor-force of the House of Joseph. Later, Jeroboam left Jerusalem, and the Prophet Ahijah the Shilonite encountered him (Ahijah was clothed in a new garment), and when the two of them were alone in the field; that Ahijah ripped the new garment into 12 Pieces; and said to Jeroboam: take 10 Pieces, for the Lord God of Israel says that He will rend the Kingdom from Solomon and give yu 10 Tribes: (but he will retain one Tribe for David’s and Jerusalem’s sake) for they have forsaken Me, and have worshipped Idols (goddess and gods): Ashtoreth of the Sidonians, and Chemosh of the Moabites, and Milcom of the Ammonites; refusing to walk in My ways, or to do what’s right in My eyes, or to keep My statutes and ordinances, as David did. I will not sever the whole Kingdom in his lifetime, but I will let him be Prince, for David’s sake, My chosen and obedient servant; but I will partition the Kingdom from his son, and give to yu 10 tribes; and reserve one tribe to his son, that David may have a Lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, My chosen city for My Name. I will let yu reign, as yur soul desires, over all Israel as King. If yu will obey My commands, walk in My ways, do what is right to Me, to keep my statutes and commandments, as David did, then I will build yu a sure House, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to yu. Thus will I afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. So Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam; but he escaped and fled to Egypt, to Shishak the King of Egypt, and stayed there till Solomon died.
Now the rest of the Acts and Works of Solomon are written in the Book of Solomon’s Acts. Solomon reigned over Israel, in Jerusalem, for 40 years; then he slept with his fathers; and was buried in the City of David; and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.
Rehoboam (1st King of Judah, Southern Kingdom (SK)): at Shechem Israel came to make him King; Jeroboam ben-Nebat, still in Egypt, heard; and they sent and called him; Jeroboam and the Assembly of Israel addressed Rehoboam: yur father made our yoke grievous; make his burdensome service and heavy yoke on us lighter, and we will serve yu. He requested they return in 3 days for his reply; he then took counsel with the Elders of his father Solomon’s reign, for an answer to the people; they advised him to serve the people, to reply to them, and speak kindly to them, then they will serve yu always. But rejecting the Elders counsel he turned to his younger peers and friends, and they advised him to tell the people: my little finger is thicker than my father’s loins (1,000 times thicker); my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, but I will add to it; he chastised (punished, disciplined) you with whips, but I will use scorpion-whips. So on the 3rd day the King answered Jeroboam and the people roughly, against the Elders’ counsel, and followed the young men’s words. Thus, the Lord established His word by the Prophet Ahijah. Israel in response to the King said: What portion or inheritance have we in David ben-Jessie? to your tents, Israel! now see to yur own House David! So, Israel returned home; but the Israelites living in the cities of Judah were ruled by Rehoboam. King Rehoboam sent Adoram the Overseer of the laborers, but Israel stoned him to death; so, the King quickly fled back to Jerusalem. Israel continued to rebel against David’s House to this date (Isaiah-Hezekiah times).
Israel heard of Jeroboam’s return and they invited him to the Assembly, and they made him Israel’s King (1st King of Israel, Northern Kingdom (NK)); thus, only the tribe of Judah followed David’s House. After Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he assembled the House of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 drafted fighters, to fight the House of Israel, to regain the Kingdom for Solomon’s son Rehoboam. But God’s Word came to the Man of God, Shemaiah, saying: Tell Rehoboam ben-Solomon, Judah’s King, and the House of Judah and Benjamin, and the rest of the people: The Lord says ye are not to go to war against your brothers the Israelites; everyman must return home; because this division is of Me. So, they heard and obeyed the Lord’s word.
Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim and lived there; then he built Penuel; and he said in his heart: the Kingdom will return to David’s House, if they go up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s House at Jerusalem; they will have a change of heart, and return to King Rehoboam of Judah, and will kill me. King Jeroboam took counsel, then made 2 Golden Calves, and said to Israel: it is too much for you to visit Jerusalem; This is yur Gods (God) Who saved yu from Egypt! So he put one in the Bethel and the other in Dan; and made Houses of High Places, and Priests from among the people, who were not Levites; he ordained a Feast in the 8th month, on the 15th day, like the Feast in Judah; and he went up to the Altar in Beth-El, sacrificing to his Calves he had made and placed in Beth-El. So he went up to his Altar in Beth-El on the 15th of the 8th month, his own heart’s device, and ordained a Feast for the Israelites; and he burned Incense.
Now a Man of God from Judah by the Lord’s word came to Beth-El, and Jeroboam stood by the Altar to burn Incense: he proclaimed against the Altar by the Lord’s word: Altar, Altar, the Lord says a son born of David’s House, named Josiah; he will sacrifice the Priests of the High Places, who burn Incense on it, and they will burn on yu men’s bones. He signified it by the Lord’s word: this Altar will be rent, and its ashes dispersed. Hearing the Man of God’s curse, Jeroboam moved his hand from the Altar, and ordered the man to be arrested; but his hand pointing to the man became paralyzed (dried, rigid), so he could not bend it. The Altar was rent, and the ashes scattered as predicted. So he asked the Man of God to entreat the Lord God, and to pray to restore my hand; and he did, and it was so. The King invited the Man of God to be his guest with a reward; he replied that he was warned not to eat or drink in the place, not even to return by the same way. So the Man of God departed from Beth-El by another route. Now in Beth-El was an old Prophet; one of his sons told him of the works of the Man of God, and of his words to the King. He inquired which direction the Man of God took, and he had them saddle a donkey; he rode to meet him; he asked him if he was the Man of God from Judah; he replied: yes, I am. He invited him to dine with him at home; but he replied that he could not by the Lord’s strict command; the old man replied: I too am a Prophet like yu; and the Lord’s Angel (Messenger) spoke to me by the Lord’s word: bring him back to dine with yu; but this was a lie. So he went home with him and dined; at the table the Lord’s word came to the old Prophet; and he proclaimed to him: the Lord says: Cause yu have disobeyed the Lord God’s verbal command in eating and drinking in BethEl, yur body will not be buried in yur fathers’ sepulchre. After he left the old prophet’s house, on the way a lion met and slew him, and his body was tossed at the roadside, and the lion and his donkey stood beside the body. Travelers seeing the body with the lion and donkey, reported it in the city where the old prophet was; and he heard and went and brought back the young’s prophet body to his home; and explained that this young prophet was disobedient and the Lord caused the lion to tear him to pieces; so he mourned for him, and told his sons to bury him in his own sepulchre, and after I die, my bones must be laid next to his: for his words and prophecy from the Lord against the Altar of BethEl and against all the Houses of the High Places throughout Samaria will take place.
But Jeroboam continued in his evil ways, making from the common people, or any who desired to be consecrated, Priests of the High Places: this became the Sin of the House of Jeroboam to cut off and to destroy.
At that time Jeroboam’s son Abijah fell sick; he sent his wife, the child’s mother, to disguise herself, and to go to the Prophet Ahijah, who told him that he would be King, who was in Shiloh; and sent with her 10 loaves, and cakes, and a cruse of honey: that he may tell what will happen to the child. She went and came to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh; and Ahijah was blind from old age; and the Lord had said to him that Jeroboam’s wife will visit him pretending to be another woman, asking concerning her sick son. When Ahijah heard the sound of her feet at his doorway, he spoke up saying: come in, wife of Jeroboam, why pretend to be someone else? I am sent to yu with heavy news: Go tell Jeroboam the Lord God of Israel says: I exalted yu and made yu Prince over Israel, and I ripped the Kingdom away from David’s House and gave it to yu; yet yu have not behaved as My servant David, who kept My commandments, who followed Me with all his heart, to do what was right to Me; but yu have done more evil than those before yu, in making other gods and molten images, to provoke me to anger, to cast Me behind yur back: so I will bring evil on the House of Jeroboam, to cut off from Jeroboam any male-child shut up or at large in Israel, to sweep away Jeroboam’s House as one sweeps away dung (manure). The one who dies of Jeroboam in the city will the dogs eat; the one who dies in the fields birds of the sky will eat; as the Lord has spoken. Return home, and when yu enter the city yur child shall die; and Israel will mourn and bury him; for he alone of Jeroboam shall be buried, for some good thing toward the Lord is found in him; and the Lord will raise up a King in Israel who shall cut off Jeroboam’s House in that day. The Lord will strike Israel as a shaken reed in the water; and will uproot Israel from the promised good Land, and will scatter them beyond the River, for their Asherim, provoking the Lord’s anger. He will surrender Israel for Jeroboam’s sins, and Israel’s sin. She returned home to Tirzah, and when she came to her doorway the child died; and Israel mourned and buried him as the Lord said by His servant the Prophet Ahijah. The rest of the Acts of Jeroboam, how he warred and reigned, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings.; he reigned 22 years and rested with his forefathers; and his son Nadab (2nd NK) reigned in his place.
Rehoboam ben-Solomon (1st SK) reigned in Judah: he was 41, he ruled for 17 years (d. 58) in Jerusalem, the Lord’s chosen City of Israel’s tribes, for His Name; and his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonite. Judah, again, by their evil and sins provoked the Lord to jealousy, more than their forefathers: they built their High Places, and Pillars, and Asherim on high hills and under green trees; there were sodomites (male prostitutes) in the land: they practiced all the abominations of the nations the Lord drove out before Israel. In the 5th year of King Rehoboam, Shishak King of Egypt invaded Jerusalem; and he took away the treasures of the Lord’s House (Temple), and of the King’s House (Palace); removing everything, also Solomon’s golden shields. But Rehoboam replaced them with brass shields, and committed them to the care of the Captain of the King’s Palace Guards; and whenever the King went to the Lord’s Temple the guards carried them, then returned them to the guard-chamber. The rest of Acts of Rehoboam, his deeds, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually; Rehoboam died and was buried with his forefathers in David’s City, his mother Naamah was Ammonite; and his son Abijam (2rd SK) reigned in his place.
In the 18th year of King Jeroboam ben-Nebat (1st NK), Abijam (2nd SK) commenced his rule in Judah; he ruled 3 years in Jerusalem; and his mother was Maacah bath-Abishalom. He continued in his father’s sin, with an imperfect heart towards the Lord, unlike his forefather David. The Lord God for David’s sake granted him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up and establish his son in Jerusalem (for David ever did the right things before the Lord, not departing from His commandments all his life, except the case of the Hittite Uriah). The war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continued all his days. The rest of the Acts and Deeds of Abijam are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings; he warred with Jeroboam; he died and was buried with his forefathers in David’s City; and his son Asa (3rd SK) reigned in his place
In the 20th year of King Jeroboam, Asa (3rd SK) commenced his rule in Judah; he ruled 41 years in Jerusalem; his mother (grandmother) was Maacah bath-Abishalom. Asa did right in the Lord’s eyes as David his forefather; he expelled the sodomites (male prostitutes, homo-sexuals); he removed his father’s idols; and he ousted his mother (grandmother) as Queen for her abominable Asherah Image, which he cut down and burnt in the Brook Kidron. The High Places were not removed; yet his heart was always perfect with the Lord. He brought into the Lord’s House the dedicated things that his father and himself had dedicated of silver, gold, and vessels. War continued always between Asa and King Baasha of Israel. King Baasha of Israel assaulted Judah, and built Ramah, to prevent anyone to go to or come from King Asa of Judah. Asa then took the silver and gold treasures of the Lord’s Temple and the King’s Palace, and entrusted them to his servants, and sent them to King Ben-Hadad ben-Tabrimmon ben-Hezion of Syria at Damascus, saying: a League exist between us and our fathers; a present to yu of silver and gold to break yur Treaty with King Baasha of Israel to depart from me. Ben-Hadad accepted King Asa, and sent Army Captains against the cities of Israel, and struck Ijon, Dan, Abel-Beth-Maacah, Chinneroth, and the land of Naphtali. Baasha heard news, and abandoned Ramah, and stayed in Tirzah. King Asa proclaimed to Judah, none is exempted to transport the stones and timber of Ramah of Baasha’s construction to rebuild Geba, Benjamin, and Mizpah. The rest of the Acts, Power, and Deeds of Asa are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. But in old age his feet were diseased; he died and was buried with his forefathers in David’s City; and his son Jehoshaphat (4th SK) ruled in his place.
In the 2nd year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah, Nadab ben-Jeroboam (2nd NK) commenced his rule in Israel; he ruled Israel 2 years; he did evil in the Lord’s eyes, walked in his father’s way and sin, who made Israel sin. Baasha ben-Ahijah (3rd NK) (New Line) of Issachar’s House conspired against him, and killed him at Gibbethon of the Philistines, for Nadab and Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.
In the 3rd year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah, Baasha (3rd NK) murdered him (Nadab) and ruled (by usurpation) in his place; then as King he murdered all of Jeroboam’s House, just as the Lord foretold by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite; for Jeroboam’s sins causing Israel to Sin and provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger. The rest of the Acts and Works of Nadab are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. There was always war between Asa and King Baasha of Israel.
In the 3rd year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah Baasha ben-Ahijah (3rd NK) commenced his reign in Israel at Tirzah; he ruled 24 years; doing evil in the Lord’s eyes, walking in Jeroboam’s way and sin, causing Israel to sin.
The Lord’s Word came to Jehu ben-Hanani against Baasha, saying: I exalted yu from dust to be Prince over My people Israel; yu have walked in the way of Jeroboam, caused Israel to sin, to enrage Me with their sins; I will wipe out Baasha and his House, and make yur House like that of Jeroboam ben-Nebat: the dead of Baasha in the city will be eaten by the dogs, and the dead in the fields the birds will eat. The rest of the Acts, Deeds and Power of Baasha are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. He died and was buried with his forefathers in Tirzah; his son Elah (4th NK) ruled in his place. The Prophet Jehu ben-Hanani was sent by the Lord’s word against Baasha and his House, cause of his evil before the Lord, provoking His anger by his works, like that of Jeroboam’s House, and for murdering him.
In the 26th year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah, Elah ben-Baasha (4th NK) commenced his reign over Israel in Tirzah; he ruled for 2 years; his servant Zimri, captain of 1/2 his chariots, conspired against him. In Tirzah he got drunk in Arza’s House, who was over the household in Tirzah: Zimri (5th NK) went in and murdered him in the 27th year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah, and reigned (by usurpation) in his place. Zimri (5th NK) commenced his reign in Israel and sat on his throne; he murdered the House of Baasha to the last male child (kin, friends). Zimri destroyed Baasha’s House by the Lord’s word spoken by the Prophet Jehu, for the sins of Baasha and Elah, causing Israel to sin to provoke the Lord’s anger with their vanities. The rest of the Acts and Deeds of Elah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings.
In the 27th year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah, Zimri (5th NK) ruled in Tirzah for 7 days. The people were encamped against Gibbethon of the Philistines; they heard that Zimri has conspired and assassinated the King; so Israel made Omri (6th NK), the Army General, King over Israel that day in the camp. So Omri and Israel went up and besieged Tirzah. When Zimri saw the city was taken, he went into the castle of the King’s House, and burnt the King’s House over him, and he died; for his sins in all the evil he did in the Lord’s sight, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, in his sin, to make Israel to sin. The rest of the Acts of Zimri, and his Treason, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. Now the people of Israel were divided: half followed Tibni benGinath; and the other half followed Omri. The people that followed Omri prevailed against those who followed Tibni benGinath; so Tibni died, and Omri ruled.
In the 31st year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah, Omri (6th NK) commenced his reign over Israel; and he ruled 12 years; but 6 years in Tirzah. And he bought the Hill Samaria of Shemer for 2 talents of silver (c. $ 60,000); and he built a city on the hill and named it Samaria after its owner Shemer. Omri did evil in the Lord’s eyes; doing more wickedly than those before him. He walked in the way of Jeroboam benNebat, in his sins which he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities. Now the Rest of the Acts of Omri, and his Power, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. So Omri slept with his forefathers and was buried in Samaria; and his son Ahab (7th NK) ruled in his place.
In the 38th year of King Asa (3rd SK) of Judah, Ahab benOmri (7th NK) commenced his reign over Israel; and reigned in Samaria for 22 years. Ahab benOmri did evil in the Lord’s sight more than those before him. As if it was a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam benNebat, he married Jezebel daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians and went and served and worshipped him. He erected an altar for Baal in Baal’s House, which he had built in Samaria. Ahab made the Asherah; he did more to provoke the anger of the Lord God of Israel than those before him. In his days Hiel the BethElite rebuilt Jericho: he laid the foundation at the cost (loss) of his firstborn Abiram; and he set up the gates at the cost (loss) of his youngest son Segub; just as the Lord’s word spoken by Joshua benNun.

     Elijah the Tishbite of the sojourners of Gilead, said to Ahab: as the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there will be no dew or rain except by my word. The Lord’s word came to him: leave and go eastward, hide by the Brook Cherith by the Jordan; drink from the brook, and I have charged the ravens to feed yu there; and he did so. The ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morn and eve, and he drank from the brook. When the brook dried up because there was no rain, the Lord’s word came: go stay at Zarephath of Sidon; I have commanded a widow there to sustain yu. He came to Zarephath, at the city gate was a widow gathering sticks; he asked her to draw a little water in a container for him to drink; as she went to do so he, called out to her to bring him a morsel of bread in her hand; but she said: as the Lord yur God lives, I have no cake, but only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in the cruse; I am gathering two sticks to prepare a meal for me and my son, to eat then to die. Elijah told her fear not, but to go do as she said, but first make him a little cake to eat, then she may make for herself and her son. For the Lord God of Israel says: the meal jar shall not waste, and the cruse of oil not fail, till the Lord sends rain on the earth. So she did as Elijah spoke, and he and she and her house ate for days according the Lord’s word by Elijah. After these things, the son of the widow and mistress of the house fell very sick and stopped breathing. She asked Elijah: Man of God are yu come to bring my sin to remembrance and to kill my son! He told her to give him her son, he took him from her bosom and carried him to his guest room and laid him on his bed; then he stretched himself over the child three times, and cried out to the Lord God: please restore the child’s soul; and the child revived; he then brought the child down from his chamber into the house and gave him to his mother; and said yur son lives! She said to him that I now know that yu are a Man of God, and the Lord’s word in yur mouth is truth.
Many days later, the Lord’s word came to Elijah, in the 3rd year (of the drought), to go show himself to Ahab before I send the rain. Elijah went to show himself to Ahab, the famine being severe in Samaria. Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household (now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly; for he hid 100 of the Lord’s prophets, 50 to a cave, and fed them bread and water, when Jezebel murdered the Lord’s prophets); and said: go through the land, to the water fountains and brooks, to find perhaps grass for the horses and mules, the beasts, to stay alive. Ahab and Obadiah divided the land between them, one went one way, the other went the opposite direction. Elijah met Obadiah on his way; he recognized him and asked is this my lord (master) Elijah? He answered it was he, and to go tell yur lord (master) Ahab that Elijah is here. He replied: have I sinned that yu deliver yur servant into the hands of Ahab to kill me? As the Lord God lives, my lord (master) has sent and searched every nation and kingdom for yu; making them swore that they have not found yu. Now yu say go tell him Elijah is here; and after I have gone to tell him, the Lord’s Spirit will carry yu elsewhere, and Ahab will not find yu where I told him and will kill me: but yur servant fears the Lord from my youth. Where yu not told that when Jezebel murdered the Lord’s prophets, that I hid 100 by sets of 50 in caves, and fed them with bread and water? Elijah answered: as the Lord lives, before Whom I stand, I will this day show myself to Ahab. Obadiah reported to Ahab, and he went to meet Elijah; he asked him: are yu the troubler of Israel? he replied: I have not troubled Israel, rather yu and yur father’s house, in forsaking the Lord’s commandments, to follow Baalim. Now gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, with the 450 prophets of Baal, and the 400 prophets of Asherah, to eat at Jezebel’s table; and Ahab sent and gathered the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah approached the people and said: how long will you limp between two sides? if the Lord is God, follow Him; if Baal is, then follow him; but the people said nothing. Elijah said: I alone remain a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450. Bring two bullocks: let them choose one bullock for themselves, and let them cut it in pieces, lay it on the wood without fire. Now call on your God; but I will call on the Lord’s name; they agreed, and they did so. They shouted and cut themselves with knives and lances, till the blood poured out; they carried on from noon till the evening sacrifice; yet there was not heard a voice or answer regarding the oblation. Elijah then called the people and repaired the overturned altar of the Lord. Elijah took 12 stones, one for each tribe of Jacob’s sons, to whom the Lord’s word designated or renamed Israel; he built an altar to the Lord’s Name; he made a trench around the altar, wide enough to contain two measures of seeds; he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, laying the parts on the wood; then he ordered that 4 jars of water be poured out on the burnt-offering on the wood; then again, the second and third time the same, till the water flowed about the altar and filled the trench. At the time of the evening oblation the Prophet Elijah approached and cried out: Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, be known today that Yu are the God of Israel and I have done these things at Yur word; hear me, that this people know that Yu are God, and has turned about their hearts. Then the Lord’s fire fell, and consumed the burnt-offering, the wood, and the stones, the dust, and licked up the water in the trench. The people saw and fell to their faces, saying: the Lord is God! Elijah ordered to arrest the prophets of Baal, let none escape; and they brought them to the Brook Kishon, and slew them. Elijah told Ahab to go and eat and drink for the abundance of rain; Ahab went to do so, and Elijah went to the top of Carmel; he bowed himself to the ground, his face between his knees; he told his servant to look toward the sea; and he said I see nothing; he told him to look 7 times, and on the 7th time he said there is a small cloud the size of a man’s hand; he told him to tell Ahab to leave quickly that the rain do not stop yu; quickly the sky became dark with clouds and wind, with much rain. Ahab rode to Jezreel: the Lord’s hand was on Elijah, he girded his loins, and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
Ahab told Jezebel what Elijah did, and how he killed all the prophets by sword; Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah swearing that God do to me and more, if by tomorrow I make not yur life as one of the slain. So he fled for his life to BeerSheba of Judah, there he left his servant and went further a day’s journey (some 10-20 miles) into the desert, and sat down under a juniper-tree, desiring to die: it is enough Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers. He rested and slept under the juniper-tree; then an angel (messenger) touched him, saying: arise and eat. He looked and saw near his head a cake baked on the coals, and a cruse of water; so he ate and drank, and slept again; again the Lord’s angel (messenger) awoke him the 2nd time to eat and drink, cause the journey is a great distance; so he did; and he went on its nourishment or strength for 40 days and nights unto Horeb the Mount of God (in Midian, some 100 miles (160 kms) away). There he rested in a cave; and the Lord’s word asked him: what are yu doing here Elijah? He said: I have been jealous for the Lord God of hosts; the Israelites have forsaken Yur covenant, thrown down Yur altars, murdered Yur prophets, and I alone remain, and they seek to kill me. He told him to go outside, and to stand on the mount before the Lord. The Lord passed by, and a great strong wind rent the mountains, and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind and earthquake; but He was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake a fire; but He was not in the fire; after the fire was a still small voice (a whisper). When Elijah heard the whisper, he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. Then a voice asked: why are yu here Elijah? He answered as before. The Lord told him to return on the way to the desert of Damascus (some 300 miles or 450 kms): then anoint Hazael as king over Syria; and Jehu benNimshi as king over Israel; and Elisha benShaphat of AbelMeholah as prophet in yur place. He who escapes from Hazael’s sword shall Jehu slay, and he who escapes from Jehu’s sword shall Elisha slay. Yet I will still reserve 7,000 in Israel of the knees of those who have not bowed to Baal, and mouths that have not kissed him.
So he departed, and he found Elisha benShaphat plowing with (driving) 12 yokes of oxen. Elijah came near and threw his mantle on him; he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, asking: please let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, then I will follow yu; he told him go return, for what have I done to yu? He returned home, then took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them, boiled their flesh with the wood of the yokes, and fed the people; then he left to follow Elijah and ministered to him. (These 3 anointings by Elijah are fulfilled in Elisha in 2nd Kings 2, and by Elisha in chapters 8-9.)
King BenHadad of Syria gathered his armies allied with 32 kings, with horses and chariots, then besieged and fought Samaria; he sent messengers to King Ahab of Israel, into the city, saying: yur silver, gold, wives, children and finest things are mine. Ahab replied that it is as he has said, all is yurs. Again BenHadad sent messengers adding: surrender yur silver, gold, wives and children; but I will also send my servants tomorrow to search yur House, and the houses of yur servants, to take the best and most pleasing things. Ahab summoned the Elders of Israel, and said: see how this man seeks mischief; he demanded my wives, children, silver, and gold; an I did not refuse him. The Elders and the people advised him to listen or consent. So he told the messengers of BenHadad: tell my lord and king, that his first request he would comply, but not this second request. They reported back to benHadad, who resent a threat: the gods do more to me if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me. Israel’s king answered: let not him who girds armor boasts as one who takes it off after the battle. BenHadad received the message while he and the kings were drinking in the pavilions; he said to his servants: prepare to attack. Then a prophet came to Ahab, saying: the Lord says: yu see this great host? I will deliver them into yur hands, and yu will know I am the Lord. Ahab asked by whom; he replied: the Lord says by the young men and princes of the provinces. He asked, who should commence the battle; and he replied, yu. He then mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, 232; then he mustered the people, 7,000; marching at noon. Meanwhile BenHadad continued getting drunk in the pavilions with the 32 allied kings. So the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; then BenHadad sent out, and they told him that some men of Samaria have come; he replied to take them alive, whether for peace or war. So they went outside the city to the young provincial princes, and the army that followed them; and they killed them all; and the Syrians fled with Israel in pursuit; and King BenHadad of Syria escaped by horse and horsemen. The King of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots and slaughtered the Syrians. Then the prophet came near to the King of Israel, and said: strengthen yurself and mark carefully yur actions, for at the return of the year the King of Syria will come up against yu. Now the servants of the King of Syria said to him: their God is a God of Hills; therefore they were stronger than we; let us fight them in the plain, and we will prevail. But first replace the kings by substituting each one with a captain; then muster an army like the one defeated, equal in horses and chariots; then we’ll fight them again in the plain, and prevail; and so they did. So at the year’s return BenHadad mustered an army and went to Aphek to fight Israel; Israel mustered with food supplies and encamped, in appearance as two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country. A Man of God came and told the King of Israel: the Lord says, Because the Syrians have said, the Lord is a God of the Hills but not God of the Valleys; I will deliver this great multitude into yur hands; and you shall know I am the Lord. So they camped opposite each other for 7 days; on the 7th day the battle engaged; and Israel slew 100,000 Syrian footsoldiers in one day. The rest fled to a city of Aphek; and its wall fell on the remaining 27,000; and BenHadad fled and hid in the inner chamber of the city. Then his servants said: we have heard that the kings of Israel are merciful kings; let us dress in sackcloth around our waists, and ropes on our heads, and go to the King of Israel; perhaps he will spare us. So they came thus to the King of Israel, and said: BenHadad, yur servant, asks to be spared; he asked in reply if he was still alive? he is my brother. The men listened carefully to see his mind; replying yur brother BenHadad. He told them to bring him back to him; and he caused him to ride in his chariot. He said to him: the cities that my father took from yur father I will restore; and yu will make streets for yu in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria. Then he covenanted with him and let him go. Then one of the sons of the prophets, by the Lord’s word, said to his companion: strike me, please; but the man refused; so he said to him: cause yu obeyed not the Lord’s voice, after yu leave a lion will kill yu; and so it happened. Then he found another man and said: please strike me; the man struck and wounded him. So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the pathway; he disguised himself, with a headband over his eyes. As the king passed by, he shouted out: yur servant went out in the battle; a man turned and brought a man to me and said: guard this man; if he is missing then yur life shall be for his, or yu must pay a silver talent. As yur servant was busy about; he escaped. The King of Israel said to him: yu have decided yur judgment! He quickly removed the headband from his eyes; and the King of Israel discerned he was of the prophets. Then he told him: the Lord says, because yu let go from yur hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore yur life shall be for his life; and yur people for his people. So the King of Israel returned heavy and displeased to Samaria.
Afterwards, Naboth the Jezreelite vineyard was close to King Ahab’s palace in Samaria; and Ahab asked Naboth to give him his vineyard to become his garden of herbs, being so close; he said he would trade him with a better vineyard or buy it at full value. But Naboth refused saying God forbids him to give away his forefather’s inheritance (in compliance to the Mosaic Law). Ahab went home heavy and displeased, and laid on his bed, turning away his face, and refusing to eat. His wife Jezebel asked him why his spirit was sad so not to eat; he told her about Naboth’s vineyard; she replied: do yu not govern the Kingdom of Israel; arise and eat with a merry heart, for I will give yu the Jezreelite Naboth’s vineyard. Then she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed with his seal, to the Elders and Nobles in Naboth’s city; saying: proclaim a fast, set Naboth on high among the people; set 2 men, base fellows, to witness against him that he cursed God and the King; then take him out and stone him to death; so they did as she instructed; and sent word to Jezebel that Naboth was stoned to death. So Jezebel told Ahab to go take possession of Naboth’s vineyard, because he is dead. So Ahab went to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard; but the Lord’s word came to Elijah the Tishbite: go meet King Ahab of Israel of Samaria in the Jezreelite Naboth’s vineyard, where he is taking possession of it, and say: the Lord says, have you murdered and taken ownership? the Lord says, where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, they’ll lick yur blood! Ahab said to Elijah: have yu found me, O my enemy? he replied: I have found yu, cause yu have sold yurself to do evil in the Lord’s eyes. I will bring evil on yu, and utterly sweep yu away, and will cut off from Ahab every man-child, and the one shut up and the one free in Israel; I will make yur house like the house of Jeroboam benNebat, and like the house of Baasha benAhijah, for the provocation with which yu have provoked My anger, and made Israel to sin. And the Lord says of Jezebel: the dogs shall eat Jezebel by the rampart of Jezreel. He who die of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and he who dies in the field shall the birds of the heavens eat. (There was none like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the Lord’s sight, whom his wife Jezebel stirred up. Who did abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites did, whom the Lord cast out before the Israelites.) When Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes, and put sackcloth, and went softly. Then the Lord’s word came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying: because Ahab humbles himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days; but will bring it in his son’s days on his house.
Now 3 years passed with war between Syria and Israel; but in 3rd year King Jehoshaphat (4th SK) of Judah visited the King of Israel (Ahab the 7th NK); who said to his servants: RamothGilead is ours, but we are still, and have not taken it from the hands of Syria; and to Jehoshaphat he said: will yu go to battle with me to RamothGilead? and he answered him: I am as yu are, my people as yur people, and my horses as yur horses. But Jehoshaphat asked if there was a prophet of the Lord to inquire or consult; the King of Israel said there is only man, Micaiah ben-Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesy good about me, but only evil. Jehoshaphat replied, let not the King say so. The King of Israel ordered an officer to quickly bring him; both Kings were sitting each on his throne, Israel and Judah, clothed in their robes, in an open place at the entrance of the Gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. Then Zedikiah benChenaanah made horns of iron, saying: the Lord says, with these shall yu push the Syrians till they are consumed; likewise all the prophets prophesied, saying, go up to RamothGilead and prosper; for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the King. But the messenger bringing Micaiah, said to him: the words of the prophets all agree for good to the King; please let yur words agree for the good; but Micaiah said: as the Lord lives, what He speaks to me, I will speak. The King asked him: Micaiah, shall we to battle to RamothGilead, or forbear? He answered: go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the King. The King responded: how many times must I adjure yu to speak to me only the truth in the Lord’s name! So he said: I saw Israel scattered on the mountains as sheep without a shepherd; and the Lord said: these have no master, let them return each man to his house in peace. The King of Israel said to Jehoshaphat: I told yu he would not prophesy good about me, but only evil. So he responded: hear the Lord’s word: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and the host of heaven standing by Him on the right and the left. The Lord said, who shall entice Ahab to go up and fall at RamothGilead? One answered this way, another answered otherwise; then a spirit came forward, and stood before the Lord, and said: I will entice him. The Lord ask how? he said, I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets; so He said, go do it, and prevail. Now then, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets; and the Lord has spoken evil concerning yu. Then Zedekiah benChenaanah struck Micaiah on the cheeks, and said: which way went the Lord’s Spirit from me to speak to yu? Micaiah said: yu will see on the day when yu hide yurself in the inner chamber. The King of Israel ordered that Micaiah be taken to Amon the city governor, and to Joash the King’s son; and tell them: the King says to imprison this man and feed him bread and water of affliction or scarcity, till I return safe. Micaiah responded: if yu return in peace, then the Lord has not spoken by me; and he added, listen up you peoples! So the King of Israel and Jehoshaphat King of Judah went to RamothGilead. The King of Israel told Jehoshaphat: I will disguise myself and go into the battle; but yu put on yur robes. Now the King of Syria had commanded the 32 chariot captains: fight with no one, small or great, but only with the King of Israel. So the chariot captains saw Jehoshaphat and said: it is the King of Israel; and turned to fight against him; but Jehoshaphat cried out. So when the chariot captains saw it was not the King of Israel, they stopped pursuit. Now a certain man drew his man at venture and struck the King of Israel between the joints of the armor; so he told his chariot driver: turn yur hand, take me from the army, for I am seriously wounded. The battle increased that day; the King stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians and died at even; and the blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the chariot. Then about sunset a shout went thru the army: every man to his tent and to his country! Thus the King (Ahab) died and was brought to Samaria and was buried. They washed the chariot by a pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots washed themselves there); according to the Lord’s word. Now the rest Acts and Deeds of Ahab, and the Ivory House he built, and the Cities he built, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. So Ahab slept with his forefathers; and his son Ahaziah (8th) ruled in his place.
Jehoshaphat benAsa (4th SK) commence to reign over Judah in the 4th year King Ahab (7th NK) of Israel. Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he commenced his reign; and he reigned 25 years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name Azubah bathShilhi. he walked in the ways of his father Asa (abiAsa); turning not aside from what was right in the Lord’s sight; however the High-Places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the High-Places. Jehoshaphat made peace with Israel’s King (Melek Israel). The rest of the Acts of Jehoshaphat, and his Might and Wars, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. The rest of the Sodomites, remaining from the days of his father Asa, he removed from the land. There was no king in Edom, only a deputy as king. Jehoshaphat commissioned ships of Tarshish (Spain) to go to Ophir (Arabia) for gold; but they could not, cause the ships were wrecked at EzionGeber (Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, YamSuph). Then Ahaziah benAhab said to Jehoshaphat: let my servants go with yur servants in the ships; but Jehoshaphat refused. So Jehoshaphat slept with his forefathers and was buried with them in the City of David his forefather; and his son Jehoram (5th SK) ruled in his place.
Ahaziah benAhab (8th NK) commence to reign over Israel in Samaria in the 17th year of King Jehoshaphat (4th SK) of Judah; and he ruled 2 years over Israel. He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes. and walked in the ways of his father and mother and Jeroboam benNebat, wherein he made Israel to sin; and served and worshipped Baal and provoked the Lord God of Israel’s anger; like his father had done.

2nd KINGS: 25 Chapters: King Ahab’s Death to the Northern Kingdom Captivity & Exile by Assyria’s Kings to the Southern Kingdom Captivity & Exile by Egypt’s & Babylon’s Kings. Prophet Elijah & Prophet Elisha. The Reforms of Kings Hezekiah & Josiah.

   Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. And Ahaziah (8th) fell through the window in his upper chamber in Samaria, and was sick; so he sent messengers, and told them: go, inquire of BaalZebub, the God of Ekron, if I will recover of this sickness? But the Lord’s Angel (Malak Yehowah) said to Elijah the Tishbite: go up to meet the messengers (angels, malachey, malachi) of the King of Samaria, and say: is it because there is no God in Israel that ye go to inquire of BaalZebub the God of Ekron? Thus says the Lord: yu will not come down from yur bed but will surely dye. Then Elijah departed. The messengers returned to him; he asked why they returned; they told him of an encounter with a man with words from the Lord. He asked them to describe the man; they said he was a hairy man, girt with a leather girdle (belt) around his waist. He said: it is Elijah the Tishbite. Then he sent to him a captain with his 50; and he came to him as he was sitting on the top of the hill; and he said to him: Man of God, the King says come down! Elijah answered the captain of 50: if I be a Man of God, let fire from heaven consume yu and yur 50; and so it happened. Again, he sent another captain of 50 with 50, with the same words; and it happened as before that fire consumed the captain and his 50. Again, a 3rd time he sent another captain of 50 with his 50; but the 3rd captain of 50 came and fell on his knees before Elijah, saying: please let my life and these 50 of yur servants, be precious in yur sight; now fire from heaven consumed the two former captains of fifty with their fifty; but now let my life be precious in yur sight. Then the Lord’s Angel (Messenger) told Elijah to go down with without fear; and he went with him to the King; and he said to him: the Lord says, since yu have sent messengers to inquire word of BaalZebub, Ekron’s God, instead of Israel’s God; therefore yu will die in yur bed. So he died by the Lord’s word from Elijah.
And Jehoram (or Joram benAhab) (9th NK) began to rule in his place in Israel and Samaria, in the 2nd year of Jehoram (5th SK) the son of King Jehoshaphat (4th SK) of Judah, because he had no son. The Rest of the Acts of Ahaziah (8th NK) are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings.
When it was time for the Lord to take up or transport Elijah to heaven (in the sky), Elisha accompanied him from Gilgal. Elijah told Elisha to please wait here; for the Lord has sent me further to BethEl; but he replied: as the Lord lives, and as yur soul lives, I will not leave yu; so they both went to BethEl. The Sons of the Prophets (Prophetic Sons or School) at BethEl approached Elisha, and said: yu know the Lord will take away (rapture, transport) yur master today from yur head; he replied, I know it, but keep quiet. Again Elijah told Elisha to please wait here, for the Lord has sent me further to Jericho; but he replied as before; so they went to Jericho. Likewise the Sons of the Prophets said to Elisha as did those before, and he replied the same. The 3rd time Elijah told Elisha to wait here, for the Lord has sent him further to Jordan; and he replied as before; and they went on. Then 50 men of the Sons of the Prophets stood opposite facing them while they both stood by the Jordan. Elijah took his mantle and wrapped it together, and struck the waters, and they divided in two, so they both crossed on dry ground. After they crossed, Elijah asked Elisha to ask what he should do for him before he is taken; he replied, please let a double portion of yur spirit be on me. Yu have asked a hard thing; if yu see me when I am taken from yu, it shall be only then be so done. So as they walked and talked, a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which separated them apart; and Elijah went up by whirlwind into heaven. Elisha saw it and shouted: my father! my father! (Abi, Abi) the chariots of Israel and their horsemen! (riders). He no longer saw him; and he grabbed and ripped his own clothes into pieces. Then he took up Elijah’s mantle that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the Jordan; and he struck the waters with Elijah’s fallen mantle, saying: where is the Lord God of Elijah? the smitten waters were divided in two; and Elisha crossed over. The Sons of the Prophets (Beney-hanN’biim, BeniNebiim) at Jericho across from him, said: Elijah’s spirit rests on Elisha; and they came and met him, and bowed to the ground. They said to him: please, let 50 strong men of yur servants from among us go search for yur master; perhaps the Lord’s Spirit has raptured or transported him, and thrown him on some mountain, or into some valley; but he replied: you must not send. They continued to urge him till he was ashamed; and said: send. The 50 men went and searched for 3 days but did not find him; so they returned and stayed at Jericho; and he told them: I told you not to go. The men of the city (Jericho) told Elisha: my lord sees that the city is pleasant, but the water is bad, and the land miscarries (unproductive): he replied: bring me a cruse, put salt in it; and they brought it to him; he went to the spring of the waters, and threw salt in it. and said: the Lord says, I have healed these waters to longer cause death or miscarriage; thus the waters were healed to this date (Isaiah’s time). From there (Jericho) he went to BethEl; while going on, some youths from the city mocked him, saying: go up (go on, go away), yu baldhead! go up, yu baldhead! he turned around and saw them, and cursed them in the Lord’s name. Then there came out two she-bears (female bears) from the woods (forest) and tore to pieces some 42 youths. From there (BethEl) he went to Mount Carmel, and then returned to Samaria Jehoram (Joram) benAhab (9th NK) commenced his reign over Israel in Samaria in the 18th year of King Jehoshaphat (4th SK) of Judah, and he reigned 12 years. He did evil in the Lord’s sight, but not like his father or mother; he removed the Baal Pillar his father made. But he continued in clinging to the sins of Jeroboam benNebat that caused Israel to sin. Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep-master; and rendered to the King of Israel the wool of 100,000 lambs, and 100,000 rams; but after Ahab died he rebelled and refused. So King Jehoram left Samaria, and mustered Israel; and sent for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, saying: the King of Moab has rebelled against me; will yu go to battle with me against Moab; and he said: I will go; I am as yu, my people as yurs, and my horses as yurs. And he asked: which way will we go; and he answered, by the way of the wilderness of Edom. So the 3 Kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom went by a circuit of 7 days journey; but there was no water for the army, or for the animals that followed. The King of Israel said: the Lord has called these 3 Kings to deliver them into the hands of Moab. But Jehoshaphat said: is there prophet of the Lord to inquire from the Lord? One of Israel’s King’s servants answered: Elisha benShaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah. Jehoshaphat responded: the Lord’s word is with him. So the 3 Kings went to him; and Elisha said to the King of Israel: what have I do with yu? go to yur father’s and mother’s prophets! And Israel’s King answered: no! for the Lord has called these 3 Kings to deliver them into the hand of Moab. And Elisha said: as the Lord of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, where it not that I regard the presence (face) of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would not be toward yu, or see yu. Now bring me a minstrel; then the minstrel played, and the Lord’s hand came upon him; and he said: the Lord says: make this valley full of trenches; for the Lord says, you shall not see wind or rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, and you shall drink, you and your cattle. This is a light thing in the Lord’s eyes; also he will deliver the Moabites into your hand; and you must strike the fortified cities, the choice cities, every good tree, and seal the water fountains, and mar the good pieces of land (lots) with stones. So in the morn, about the time of offering the oblation, that water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water. When the Moabites heard that the Kings were come to fight against them, they all gathered who could bear arms, and went up and stood at the border. They rose early in the morn, the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water opposite them was red as blood; and they said: this is blood; the Kings are surely destroyed, and have beaten each other; now then, Moab, to the spoil. When they came into the camp of Israel, the Israelites arose and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they continued in the land striking the Moabites; just as the Lord instructed, up to Kir-hareseth, where they left the stones; yet the slingers went about it and struck it. The King of Moab saw the battle was against him, took 700 swordsmen, to break through to the King of Edom; but they could not. He then took his oldest son, the heir to the throne, and offered him as a burnt-offering on the wall. There was great rage against Israel: and they departed and returned to their home land.
(1st) A woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha: yur servant, my husband, is dead; yu know that he feared the Lord: now the creditor is come to take my two children as servants (slaves). Elisha asked: how may I help yu; what is in yur house? she replied, I only have a pot of oil. He told her to go, borrow many empty containers from yur neighbors; then close yur door behind yu and yur sons; pour out into all the vessels, and set aside the full containers. So she went and did so; and after the last vessel she asked her sons for another container, but they said there is no more; so the oil stopped. She reported it to the Man of God; and he told her to sell the oil, pay her debt, and for her and her sons to live on the rest.
(2nd) Afterwards, Elisha went to Shunem, where was a great woman, who constrained him to eat bread; so whenever he passed by, he turned in to eat bread. Then she told her husband: I perceive this is a holy Man of God, that passes by continually; let us make a little chamber on the wall, and set in the room a bed, table, chair, candlestick; that whenever he visits he may stay there. So he visited again, and went into the room and rested. He said to his servant Gehazi: call this Shunammite; he called her, and she came and stood before him. Then he said to him to ask her: yu have been careful in caring for us; what can be done for yu? would yu be spoken of to the King, or general of the army? but she answered: I dwell among my own people. He said again to him: what is to be done for her? Gehazi answered: she has no son, and her husband is old. He told him to call her; when he called her, and she stood at the door. And he said to her: at this season next year, yu will embrace a son; but she responded: no my lord, Man of God, do not lie to yur handmaid! But the woman conceived, and gave birth to a son that season the next year; as Elisha said. Years later, when the child was older, the boy was with his father with the reapers (harvest time, Autumn); and he said to his father: my head hurts! so he said to his servant to carry him back to his mother; so he took him to her, and he sat on her knees till noon, then died. She took him up and laid him on the bed of the Man of God, then shut the door, and left; she called her husband and requested: send to me a servant and a donkey, that I may visit the Man of God and then return. And he answered: why must yu go to him today? it is not new moon or sabbath; she said, its ok, She saddled a donkey, and told her servant, drive fast; slow not down the riding, unless I tell yu! She went and came to the Man of God to Mount Carmel. The Man of God saw her at a distance, and he said to his servant Gehazi: there is the Shunamite; run to meet her, and ask: is it well with yu, with yur husband, and the child? she answered all is well. When she came to the Man of God to the hill, she grabbed his feet. Gehazi came to push her away, but the Man of God told him to leave her alone: her soul is vexed; and the Lord has hid it from me, and not told me. Then she said: did I desire a son from my lord? did I not say, do not deceive me? Then he told Gehazi to gird his loins, take his staff in hand, and go his way: if yu meet any man, greet him not; if any greet yu, do not respond: and place my staff on the face of the child. But the child’s mother said: as the Lord lives, and yur soul lives, I will not leave yu; so he arose and followed her. Gehazi arrived and did as instructed, placing it on the child’s face; but there was no response; so he returned to meet him, and said: the child is not awake (alive). But when Elisha came into the house, the child was dead on the bed; he went and shut the door, he and the child in the room; and he prayed to the Lord; then got up, laid on the child, his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, his hands on the child’s hands; he stretched himself over him; and the child’s flesh became warm. Then he got up, walked about in the house; then again stretched himself over the child; and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. He called Gehazi, and said: call the Shunamite; so he called her; and she came to him; and he said: take yur son; but she went in and fell at his feet bowing; then she took her son and left.
(3rd) Then Elisha again visited Gilgal; there was a famine in the land; the sons of the prophets (prophetic sons, disciples) were sitting before him; and he said to his servant: set on the great pot, and boil pottage for the sons of the prophets. Someone went out to the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it wild gourds, a lap full, and returned, and shred them into the pot of pottage; but they did not know them (being non-edible). So they poured out the soup to eat; but as they were eating the pottage, they cried out: Man of God, there is death in the pot; and they could not eat. But he said: bring me some meal, and throw it into the pot; then he said: pour out for the people to eat; and there was no harm in the pot.
(4th) Now there came a man from BaalShalishah, and brought the Man of God bread of the first-fruits, 20 loaves of barley, and fresh ears (kernels) of grain in his sack; and he said: give to the people to eat. His servant replied: what, should I set this before 100 men? But he replied: give to the people to eat; for the Lord says: they shall eat and have leftovers! And so it was as the Lord’s word.

   (5th) Naaman the captain (General) of the army of the King of Syria, he was a great man with his master, and honorable. for by him the Lord gave victory to Syria; he was a mighty man (valiant warrior) and a leper. Now the Syrians had gone out in bands (earlier), and had taken captive a little maiden (young girl); and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said to her mistress: wish that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria, for he would recover (heal) him of his leprosy. Someone went in and said to his Lord: thus spake the girl from the land of Israel. Then the King of Syria said: now go, I will send a letter to the King of Israel. So he departed, and took with him 10 talents of silver (c. 800 lbs; c. 1/2 million $), and 6,000 gold coins (=2 talents of shekels; c.150 lbs, c. 1/2 million $), and 10 changes of clothes (royal robes) (about 5,000-10,000 dollars total). And he delivered the letter to the King of Israel, saying: when this letter is given to yu, see, I have sent my servant Naaman to be healed of his leprosy. When the King of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes, and said: am I God, to kill and resurrect, that this man does send to recover a man from his leprosy? but consider please to see he seeks a quarrel with me. When Elisha, the Man of God, heard that the King of Israel ripped his clothes, that he sent and asked why? let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a Prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of Elisha’s house; Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying: go wash (dip) in the Jordan 7 times, and yur flesh will renew, and yu shall be clean. Naaman, in anger and rage, went away saying: I thought he would at least come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper (leprosy). Are not the rivers of Damascus, Abanah and Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? could I not wash (dip) in them, and be clean? But his servants came near and spoke to him: my father, if the Prophet had bid yu to do some great thing, would yu not have done it? how much more when he says to wash (dip) and be clean. Then he went down and dipped 7 times in the Jordan as the Man of God instructed; and his flesh was renewed as of a little child, and he was clean. He returned with his company to the Man of God, and stood before him; and said: I now know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; please take a present from yur servant. But he said: as the Lord lives, before Whom I stand, I will receive nothing. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. Naaman requested: please, let there be given to yur servant 2 mules’ burden of earth; for yur servant will hereafter not offer burnt-offering nor sacrifice to other gods, but only to the Lord. In this thing may the Lord forgive yur servant: when my master goes into Rimmon’s House to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in Rimmon’s House, the Lord pardon yur servant. He replied: go in peace. He left at a short distance; and Gehazi, servant to Elisha the Man of God, said: my master has spared Naaman the Syrian by not receiving from his hands what has brought; as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him. He pursued, and Naaman saw him, and stepped down from his chariot to meet him, and asked if all was well. He said all is well; my master has sent me, saying: just now has arrived from the hill-country of Ephraim two young men of the Sons of the Prophets; please, give a talent of silver (1/10) and 2 changes of clothes (1/2). Naaman answered: please, take 2 talents; and he bound 2 talents of silver in 2 bags, with 2 changes of clothes, and laid them on 2 of his servants; and they carried them. When they came to the hill, he took them from their hand, and put them in the house; and he let the men return. Then he went in and stood before his master; and Elisha said: Where have you come from Gehazi? he said: yur servant didn’t go anywhere. And he said: did not my heart go when the man left his chariot to meet yu? Is it a time to receive money, garments, oliveyards, vineyards, sheep, oxen, men-servants, and maid-servants? Therefore Naaman’s leprosy shall cling to yu and to yur seed forever. And he went out from his presence a leper, snow-white.

   (6th) Now the Sons of the Prophets said to Elisha: this place we are staying is too narrow for us; let us go across the Jordan, taking each man a log to build us a place there to live. He answered them: go; but someone said: please go with yur servants; he answered: I’ll go; so he went. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down wood; but as one was felling the log, the axe-head fell into water; and he shouted: oh no, my master! it was borrowed. And the Man of God asked: where did it fall? and he showed him the place; and he cut down a stick, and threw it in, and made the iron to swim; and he said: take it out; so he put his hand out and took it.
(7th) Now the King of Syria warred against Israel; and he counseled with his servants: in such a place will be my camp. The Man of God sent to the King of Israel, saying: beware not to pass such a place; for there the Syrians are coming down. So the King of Israel sent to the place warned of by the Man of God; thus saved himself 3 times. The King of Syria’s heart was very troubled about this; so he asked his servants to tell him who was for the King of Israel? One of his servants said: not so, my Lord King, but Elisha the Prophet in Israel relates yur words spoken in the bedroom to the King of Israel. He told them to go see where he is, and bring him; and he was told that he resides at Dothan. So he sent horses, chariots, and a great host; which came by night and surrounded the city. The servant of the Man of God rose early and went outside, and saw the host with horses and chariots surrounded the city; then said to him: Master, what shall we do? But he answered him: fear not; for more are with us than with them. So Elisha prayed: Lord, please open his eyes to see. The Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha asked the Lord: please strike these people with blindness; so He did according to Elisha’s word. Then Elisha said: this is not the way or the city; follow me; I will bring you to the man you seek; thus he led them to Samaria. Then Elisha prayed again: Lord, open the eyes of these men to see; and He again did so; and they saw that they were in Samaria. The King of Israel saw them and asked Elisha: my father, shall I strike them? shall I strike them? But he answered: yu must not strike them; would yu strike yur captives taken by yur sword and bow? set bread before them to eat and drink, and then return to their master. Thus he prepared a great provision for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away to their master. Thus the bands of Syria no longer raided the land of Israel.
(8th) After this, BenHadad King of Syria gathered his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. There was a great famine in Samaria when it was besieged; so that a donkey’s head sold for 80 silver-pieces (a horse was sold before for 150 silver-pieces, and 1/4th kab of dove’s dung (used as fertilizer in ordinary times, and often contained undigested grain or seeds) for 5 silver pieces (30 pieces of silver bought a slave; and a silver shekel worth 4 drachmas or dinars, or about a week’s wage of a poor laborer; thus kab=quart, 1/4th kab=2handfulls or 2 cups). Then as the King of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman shouted to him: help, my lord O King. The King replied: if the Lord does not help yu, whence shall I help yu? from the threshingfloor? from the winepress? And the King asked: what troubles yu? she answered: this woman told me to give her my son to eat him today, then we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled and ate my son; the next day I demanded her to give yur son to be eaten; but she has hid her son. When the King heard the words of the woman; he tore his clothes (while he was passing on the wall); and the people saw him with sackcloth over his flesh. He then said: God do more to me if the head of Elisha benShaphat shall remain on him this day! But Elisha was sitting in his house, the Elders sitting with him; and he sent a man from him: but before the messenger came to him, he told the Elders: you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Look, when the messenger arrives, shut and bolt the door behind him: is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him? So while he was still talking to them, the messenger arrived: so he said: this evil is of the Lord; why should I wait any longer for the Lord?
Thus Elisha said: Listen to the Lord’s word: the Lord says: tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour before a shekel, and two measures of barely for a shekel (shekel= a week’s wages), in the gate of Samaria. Then the captain on whose hand the King leaned answered the Man of God: if the Lord should make windows in heaven, will this happen? But he replied: yu will see it with yur own eyes, but will not eat of it. Now there were 4 leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another: why sit we here till we die? If we say, we will enter the city, the famine in it will be our death; if we stay here we will also die. Let us fall to the host of the Syrians; if they spare us, we’ll live; if they slay us, we will but die. They arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; but when they reached the utmost fringe of the Syrians’ camp, they found no man. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and noise of horses, as the noise of a great host; and they said: the King of Israel has hired against us the Kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to come upon us. So they arose and fled in the twilight, leaving their tents, horses, donkeys, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. So when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent, and ate and drank, and took thence silver, gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; then they came back, entered another tent, and did likewise. But then they said: we do not do well; this day is a day of good news, and we keep quiet: if we stay till morning light, punishment will overtake us; so let us go tell the King’s household. So they came and called to the porter of the city; saying: we came to the Syrians’ camp, and there is no man (no human voice), but the horses and donkeys are tied, and the tents as they were; and he called the porters; and they related it to the King’s household inside. So the King arose in the night, and said to his servants: I will show you what the Syrians have done to us: they know we are hungry; so they deserted the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying: when they leave the city we shall take them alive, and take the city. But one of his servants answered: please permit some of us to take 5 horses that are left in the city (since they are like the population of Israel already consumed); and let us send and see. Thus they took 2 chariots with horses; and the King sent them after the host of the Syrians to go see. So they travelled to Jordan; and along the way were garments and vessels, which the Syrians had thrown away in haste. So the messengers returned and told the King. So the people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. Thus a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barely for a shekel, according to the Lord’s word. And the King appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to be in charge of the gate: and the people trod over him at the gate, and he died as the Man of God had said before the King at the gate of Samaria, for his response of unbelief.
(9th) Now Elisha told the woman whose son he had raised to life: go take yur family to stay somewhere else: for the Lord has called for a famine in the land for 7 years. The woman obeyed the Lord’s word by the Man of God, she and her family stayed in the land of the Philistines for 7 years. After 7 years the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; then she went to plead to the King for her house and land. The King was talking with Gehazi the servant of the Man of God, saying: tell me, please, all the great things that Elisha has done. While he told the King how he raised to life the dead boy, the woman of the restored boy pleaded with the King for her house and land. And Gehazi told the King: my Lord King, this is the woman and her son who Elisha restored to life. When the King asked her she told him; so he appointed an officer for her, saying: restore all that was hers, and the fruits of the field since the day she left the land till now.
(10th) Then Elisha came to Damascus; and BenHadad the King of Syria was sick; and they told him that the Man of God was here. So the King told Hazael to take a present in hand, and go meet the Man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, if I shall recover from this sickness? Hazael went to meet him, with a gift of the best of Damascus: 40 camel’ burden (c. 250 lbs x 40 = 10,000 lbs), and came and stood before him, and said: yur son BenHadad King of Syria has sent me to yu, saying: shall I recover from this sickness? Elisha told him to return and tell him yu will surely recover; however the Lord has shown me that he will indeed die. But he settled his face fixed till he was embarrassed: and the Man of God wept. Hazael asked why my lord cried? he replied: because I know the evil that yu will do to the children of Israel: their strongholds will yu set on fire, and their young men yu’ll slay with the sword, and will dash in pieces their little ones, and rip up their pregnant women. But Hazael responded: what is yur servant but a dog, that he should do such a great thing? And Elisha answered: the Lord has shown me yu will be King over Syria. Then he departed from Elisha and returned to his master; who asked him: what did Elisha tell yu? he answered: he said yu would surely recover. But in the morning, he took the coverlet, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, till he died: thus Hazael reigned in his place.
In the 5th year of Joram benAhab King of Israel (9th NK), Jehoshaphat being King of Judah (4th SK), Jehoram benJehoshaphat King of Judah (5th SK) commenced to rule; Jehoram benJehoshaphat was 32 years old when he commence to rule: and he reigned 8 years in Jerusalem. He walked in the way of the Kings of Israel, as did the House of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife; and he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. But the Lord would not destroy Judah, for His servant David’s sake, as He promised him to give him a lamp for his children always. In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a King for themselves. Then Joram (Jehoram) passed over to Zair with all his chariots; and arose by night and struck the Edomites that surrounded him, and the captains of the chariots; and the people fled to their tents. So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day; at the same time Libnah also revolted. Now the rest of the Acts and Deeds of Joram (Jehoram), are written in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. So Joram (Jehoram) (5th NK) died and was buried with his fathers in David’s City; and Ahaziah (6th NK. a) his son ruled in his place.
In the 12th year of King Joram benAhab (9th NK) of Israel did King Ahaziah benJehoram (6th SK. a) of Judah commence to rule; Ahaziah was 22 years old when he commence to rule; and he reigned 1 year in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Athaliah bathOmri (6th SK. b) King of Israel. He walked in the way of Ahab’s House, doing evil in the Lord’s eyes, as did the House of Ahab; for he was the son-in-law of the House of Ahab (by Ahab’s daughter). Thus he went with Joram benAhab to war against Hazael King of Syria at RamothGilead: and the Syrians wounded Joram. So King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel from the wounds inflicted by the Syrians at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael King of Syria. Then Ahazaiah benJehoram (6th SK. a) King of Judah went down to see Joram benAhab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
And Elisha the Prophet called one of the Sons of the Prophets (prophetic sons, disciples), and said: gird yur loins, and take this vial of oil in hand, and go to RamothGilead. And when yu arrive, find Jehu benJehoshaphat benNimshi (10th NK), enter and make him arise from his brothers, then take him into an inner chamber. Take the vial of oil and pour it on his head, and say: thus says the Lord: I have anointed yu King over Israel. Then open the door and flee without delay. So the young prophet went to RamothGilead. When he arrived, the captains of the army were sitting; and he said: I have an errand to yu captain. And Jehu asked: which one of us? and he answered: yu, captain. So he arose and went into the house; then he poured the oil on his head, and said: the Lord God of Israel says: I have anointed yu King over the Lord’s people Israel. And yu shall strike the House of Ahab yur master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the Lord’s servants, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole House of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab every man-child, the one shut up and the one at large in Israel. I will make Ahab’s House like Jeroboam benNebat’s House, and like Baasha benAhijah’s House. The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the area of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. So he opened the door and fled. Then Jehu came out to his lord’s servants: someone asked: is it well? why did this madman come to yu He said: yu know the man and his kind of talk. They said: it is false; tell us now; and he said: this is what he told me: the Lord says: I have anointed yu King over Israel. Then they hasted, and took each man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew the trumpet, saying: Jehu is King! So Jehu benJehoshaphat benNimshi (10th NK) conspired against Joram (Joram was guarding RamothGilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael King of Syria; for Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted, when he fought with Hazael King of Syria.) Now Jehu said: if this is your mind, let no one escape to leave the city to go tell it in Jezreel. So Jehu rode in a chariot to Jezreel to Joram; when King Ahazaiah of Judah came to visit Joram. The watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said: I see a company. Joram said: get and send a horseman to meet him, saying: is it peace? One went on horseback to meet him, and said: the King says: is it peace? Jehu said: what have yu to do with peace? turn and follow me? The watchman reported: the messenger met them, but isn’t returning. A second rider went to him and said the same; and Jehu replied as before; and the watch likewise reported it; and added: the driving is like Jehu benNimshi; for he drives furiously. So Joram said: make ready; and they made ready his chariot. And King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out, each in his chariot, to meet Jehu, and found him in the area of Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu, he said: is it peace, Jehu? but he answered: what peace, as long as the whoredoms of yur mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many? So Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah: there is treachery, Ahaziah! Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and struck Joram between his arms; and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. Then he said to Bidkar his captain: take up, and throw him in the area of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember when I and yu rode together after Ahab his father, the Lord laid this burden upon him: surely, I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, says the Lord; and I will requite yu in this place, says the Lord. And King Ahaziah of Judah saw it and fled by way of the garden-house; but Jehu pursued him, and said: strike him also in his chariot; there in the ascent of Gur, by Ibleam; but he fled to Megiddo, and died there. And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre beside his forefathers in David’s City.
Now in the 11th year of Joram benAhab (9th NK) began to rule Ahaziah (6th SK. a) over Judah.
So when Jehu (10th NK) came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out thru the window. As Jehu entered in at the gate, she said: is it peace Zimri, yur master’s murderer? And he lifted up his face toward the window and asked? who is on my side? who? Two or three eunuchs looked out to him. And he said: throw her down; so they threw her out the window; and some of her blood splashed on the wall, and on the horses: and he trodden her under foot. And after he came in, he ate and drank; then said: see to this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a King’s daughter. So they went to bury her; but found nothing of her than the skull, feet, and palms of her hands. So they returned and reported; and he responded: this is the Lord’s word which He spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying: in the parcel of Jezreel shall the dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the body of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the parcel of Jezreel, so that they shall not say: this is Jezebel.
Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria; and Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and to those brought up Ahab’s [sons], saying: As soon as this letter comes, your master’s sons being with you, and you have chariots, horses, and a fortified city, with armor; so take the best and fittest of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s House. In great fear they said: two Kings could not withstand him; how shall we? So the head over the household, and the chief over the city, and the elders, and the guardians, sent to Jehu, saying: we are yur servants, and will do all that yu bid; we will not make a King: do what is best to yu. Then he wrote a 2nd letter: if you are on my side, and will listen to my voice, bring to me to Jezreel the heads of the men, your master’s sons, by this time tomorrow (the King’s sons were 70, raised by the great men of the city). When the letter came they took and slew the 70 sons of the King, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jezreel. A messenger reported to him: they brought the heads of the King’s sons; and he said: lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate till morning. In the morn he went out and stood, and said to the people: you are righteous: I conspired against my master, and slew him; but who smote all these? Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of all the Lord’s word, concerning the House of Ahab: for the Lord has done what He spoke by His servant Elijah. So Jehu smote all the rest of the House of Ahab in Jezreel, and his great men, and familiar friends, and priests, till none remained. Then he rose and departed to Samaria; and as he was at the shearing-house of the shepherds in the way, Jehu met the brothers of King Ahaziah of Judah, and said: who are you? they answered: Ahaziah’s brothers; and we go down to greet the children of the King and Queen. He said: take them alive; and they took and slew them at the pit of the sheering-house, all 42 men; none was left. When he departed there, he met Jehonadab benRechab coming to meet him; and he greeted him: is yur heart right, as my heart to yur heart? Jehonadab answered: it is; if so, give me yur hand; and he gave him his hand; and he took him up in to the chariot; and he said: come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord; so he rode in his chariot. When he came to Samaria he struck the rest of those of Ahab in Samaria, till he destroyed him, according to the Lord’s word, which He spoke by Elijah. And Jehu gathered the people and said: Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu will serve him much. Call to me the prophets of Baal, all his worshippers and priests, let none be lacking: for I have a great sacrifice to Baal; anyone not present shall not live. But Jehu was subtle, intending to destroy Baal’s worshipers. Jehu said: sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal; and they proclaimed it. Jehu sent throughout Israel: and Baal’s worshipers came, every one of them; they came into Baal’s House and filled it completely. And he said to the vestry overseer: bring out vestments for all Baal’s worshipers; and he did it. Jehu and Jehonadab benRechab went into Baal’s House (Temple); and he told them to search that not one of the Lord’s servants are with Baal’s worshipers. So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings. Jehu had appointed 80 men outside, and said: if any of the men whom I bring into your hands escape, his life shall be for his life. So when he ended the offering the burnt-offering, Jehu said to the guard and captains: go in, and slay them; let none survive; so they struck them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and captains threw them outside, and went to the city of Baal’s House. And they brought out the Pillars of Baal’s House and burnt them; they broke down Baal’s Pillar and House, and made it a draught-house, to this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
However from the sins of Jeroboam benNebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from following them: the golden calves in BethEl and in Dan. The Lord said to Jehu: because yu have done well in what was right in my sight, and has done to Ahab’s House what was in My heart, yur sons to the 4th generation shall sit on Israel’s throne. But Jehu took no heed to walk heartily in the Lord’s law, Israel’s God: he departed not from Jeroboam’s sins, who made Israel to sin. In those days the Lord began to cut off from Israel: and Hazael smote them in all the borders of Israel; from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan. Now the rest of the Acts and Works and Power of Jehu, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. So Jehu (10th NK) rested with his forefathers; and was buried in Samaria; and his son Jehoahaz (11th NK) reigned in his place; the time Jehu (10th NK) ruled over Israel in Samaria was 28 years.
Athaliah (6th SK. b), Ahaziah’s (6th SK. a) mother, saw her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal (heirs to the throne). Jehosheba, King Joram’s daughter, Ahaziah’s sister, took Joash (7th SK), Ahaziah’s son, and hid him from among the King’s sons who were slain, both him and his nurse, inside the bedchamber; hid from Athaliah, so he was not slain; and he was hid with her in the Lord’s House 6 years. Athaliah (6th SK. b) reigned over the land. In the 7th year Jehoiada sent and fetched the Captains Over Hundreds of the Carites and of the Guard, and brought them to him into the Lord’s House; and covenanted with them, and took their oath in the Lord’s House, and showed them the King’s son. He commanded them: this you shall do: a third of part of you, that come in on the sabbath, shall be keepers of the watch of the King’s House; and a 1/3rd shall be at the Gate Sur; and 1/3rd at the Gate behind the Guard: so shall you keep the watch of the House, and be a barrier. Your two companies, going out on the sabbath, shall keep watch of the Lord’s House for the King; encompassing the King, with weapons in hand; and any who comes within the ranks to be slain: and be with the King when he goes out or comes in. The Hundreds Captains did as the priest Jehoiada commanded; they took each man his men, those to come in on the sabbath, and those to go out on sabbath, and they came to the priest Jehoiada. The priest delivered to the Hundred Captains the spears and shields of King David’s, which were in the Lord’s House. The guard stood, each man with weapons in hand, from the right side of the House to the left side, along by the altar and the House, by the King round about. He brought out the King’s son, put the crown on him, and the testimony; they made him King, and anointed him; they clapped their hands, and said: the King lives! Athaliah heard the noise of the guard, and the people, and she came to the people into the Lord’s House: and she looked, and saw the King stood by the pillar, as the manner was, and the captains and trumpets by the King; and the people of the land rejoiced, and blew trumpets. Athaliah ripped her clothes, and shouted: treason! treason! And Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds that were set over the host, and said: take her out between the ranks; and he who follows her slay with the sword; for the priest said: let her not be slain in the Lord’s House. So they made way for her; and she went by the way of the horses’ entry to the King’s House: and there was she slain. Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the King and the people, that they should be the Lord’s people; between the King also and the people. The people of the land went to the House of Baal, and broke it down; his altars and images they broke thoroughly in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the Lord’s House. And he took the Captains over hundreds, and the Carites, and the guard, and the people of the land; and brought down the King from the Lord’s House. And he sat on the throne of the Kings. So the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet; and Athaliah (6th SK. b) they had slain with the sword at the King’s House.
Jehoash (7th SK) was 7 years old when he began to reign. In the 7th year of Jehu (10th NK); he reigned 40 years in Jerusalem; his mother was Zibiah of Beer-sheba; he did right in the Lord’s sight all the days wherein Jehoiada instructed him; yet the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places. Jehoash said to the priests: the money of the hallowed things brought into the Lord’s House, in current money, the money for each man so rated, and money of any man’s heart to bring into the Lord’s House; let the priests take it, each from his acquaintance; to repair the breaches of the House, wherever found. Yet, by the 23rd year of King Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the House. The priests consented to take no money from the people, nor to repair the breaches of the House. So Jehoiada the priest took a chest, bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the Lord’s House: and the priests that guarded the threshold put in it the money brought into the Lord’s House. When they saw much money in the chest, the King’s scribe and the High Priest came up, they put it in bags and counted the money found in the Lord’s House. They gave the weighed money into the hands of the workers, that had the oversight of the Lord’s House: and they paid it out to the carpenters and builders, who worked on the Lord’s House, and to the masons and hewers of stone, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the breaches of the Lord’s House, and for all that was laid out for the repair of the House. But there was not made for the Lord’s House silver cups, snuffers, basins, trumpets, gold vessels, silver vessels, from the money brought into the Lord’s House. Thus they reckoned not with the workers to whom they delivered the money: for they dealt faithfully. The money for the trespass-offerings, and for sin-offerings, was not brought into the Lord’s House: it was the priests’. Then King Hazael of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it; and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. And King Jehoash of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Azariah, Kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and the gold found in the treasures of the Lord’s House, and of the King’s House, and sent it to King Hazael of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem. Now the rest of the Acts of Joash, and his Works, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and smote Joash in the House of Milo which goes down to Silla. For Jozacar benShimeath, and Jehozabad benShomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; they buried him with his forefathers in the City of David: and Amaziah (8th SK) his son reigned in his place.
In the 23rd of King Joash (7th SK) benAhaziah of Judah, Jehoahaz benJehu (11th NK) began to reign over Israel in Samaria, for 17 years; he did evil in the Lord’s sight, he followed the sins of Jeroboam benNebat, who made Israel to sin; he departed not thence. The Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of King Hazael of Syria, and of BenHadad benHazael, continually. Then Jehoahaz sought the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the King of Syria oppressed them. (And the Lord gave Israel a savior, that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as beforetime. Yet they departed not from the sins of the House of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin, but walked therein: and there remained the Asherah also in Samaria.) For he left nothing to Jehoahaz, and all his Deeds and Power, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. Jehoahaz (11th NK) slept with his forefathers; they buried him in Samaria: and Joash (12th NK) his son reigned in his place.
Elisha became deathly sick; King Joash of Israel (7th NK) visited him, weeping over him: my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen! Elisha said to him: take bow and arrows; and he did. He said to the King of Israel: put yur hand on the bow; and he did; and Elisha laid his hands on the King’s hands. He said: open the window eastward; and he did. Elisha said: shoot; and he did. He said: the Lord’s arrow of victory over Syria; for yu shall strike the Syrians in Aphek, till yu have consumed them. Elisha died, and they buried him. The Moabites’ bands invaded the land in the beginning of the year, and while they were burying a man, they spied a band, so they threw the man into Elisha’s sepulchre: but as soon as the man’s bones touched Elisha’s bones, he revived and stood up on his feet. Now King Hazael of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz; yet the Lord was gracious to them with compassion and regard, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, unwilling to destroy them, nor yet to cast them from his presence. King Hazael of Syria died; and his son Benhadad reigned in his place. Jehoash benJehoahz again took from the hand of Benhadad benHazael the cities which he had taken by his hand from his father Jehoahaz by war; three times he struck him and thus recovered the cities of Israel.
In the 2nd year of King Joash benJohaz (12th NK) of Israel, King Amaziah benJoash (8th SK) of Judah, began to reign; he was 25 years of age when he commenced to rule; he ruled 29 years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, but unlike his forefather David; but did according to the deeds of his father Joash. Yet the high places were not removed: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places. After the kingdom was established in his hand, he slew his servants who had slain his father the King: but the children of the murderers he put not to death; according to what was written in Moses’ law book, as the Lord commanded: fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor children for the fathers; but each one shall die for his own sin. He slew of Edom in the Valley of Salt 10,000, and took Sela by war, and renamed it Joktheel, to this day (time of Ezra). Then Amaziah sent messengers to King Jehoash benJehoahaz benJehu (12th NK), of Israel, saying, come, let us look face to face. But King Jehoash of Israel replied to King Amaziah of Judah: the thistle in Lebanon sent to the cedar in Lebanon: give yur daughter to my son to marry: but a wild beast in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle. Yu have smitten Edom, and yur heart has lifted yu up: glory in that, stay at home: why should yu meddle to ruin, and to fall, yu and Judah with yu? Amaziah listened not; so King Jehoash of Israel went up; they faced each other at BethShemesh of Judah. Judah was routed by Israel, so each man fled to his tent. King Jehoash of Israel took the King of Judah, Amaziah benJehoash benAhaziah, at BethShemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, some 400 cbts (600 ft). He then took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels found in the Lord’s House, and in the treasures of the King’s House, and the hostages, and returned to Samaria. Now the rest of the Acts and Power of Jehoash, and his fight with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in the Book of Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. Jehoash slept with his forefathers and was buried in Samaria with Israel’s Kings; and his son Jeroboam (2nd, 10th NK) reigned in his place. King Amaziah benJoash (8th SK) of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash benJehoahaz (12th NK) King of Israel 15 years. The rest of the Acts of Amaziah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. They conspired against him at Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and there slew him; and brought him on horses, and buried him in Jerusalem, alongside his forefathers in the City of David. All the people of Judah took Azariah (Uzziah, 10th SK), only 16 years old, and made him King in place of his father Amaziah. He built Elath, he restored it to Judah; then afterwards he slept with his forefathers.
In the 15th year of King Amaziah benJoash (9th SK) of Judah, King Jeroboam benJoash (II, 13th NK) of Israel commenced his rule in Samaria, and ruled 41 years. He did evil in the Lord’s sight: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam benNebat, who caused Israel to sin. He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of Arabah, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, Who spoke by His servant the prophet Jonah benAmittai of GathHepher. The Lord saw Israel’s affliction, it was very bitter, there was none to shut up nor left at large, and no helper for Israel. The Lord said He would not blot out the name of Israel from under heaven; but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam benJoash. The rest of the Acts and Works and Power of Jeroboam, and Wars, and how he recovered Damascus and Hamath from Judah, for Israel, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. Jeroboam (II, 13th NK) slept with his forefathers, the Kings of Israel; and Zechariah (14th NK) his son ruled in his place.
In the 27th year of King Jeroboam (II, 13th NK) of Israel began King Azariah (Uzziah) benAmaziah (9th SK) of Judah to rule; at 16 years of age, ruling for 52 years in Jerusalem, his mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem; he did what was right in the Lord’s sight, as did his father Amaziah. The High Places were not removed; and the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in them. The Lord struck the King, so he was a leper till his death; and he lived in a separate house. The King’s son Jotham was over the household, judging the people of the land. The rest of the Acts and Works are written in the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. Azariah slept and was buried in the City of David with his forefathers; and his son Jotham (10th SK) reigned in his place.
In the 38th year of King Azariah (Uzziah, 9th SK) of Judah, Zechariah benJeroboam (14th NK) ruled Israel in Samaria 6 months: he did evil, as his father, in the Lord’s sight; he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam benNebat, by which he made Israel to sin. Shallum benJabesh (15th NK) conspired and killed him before the people and ruled in his place. Zechariah’s Acts are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. This fulfilled the Lord’s word to Jehu that his sons to the 4th generation should sit on Israel’s throne. Shallum benJabesh ruled 1 month in Samaria in the 39th year of King Uzziah (Azariah) of Judah: Menahem benGadi (16th NK) from Tirzah came to Samaria and slew him and ruled in his place. Shallum’s Acts and Conspiracy are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings. Menahem struck all Tiphsah and its borders from Tirzah because they refused his entrance and he ripped open the pregnant women.
In the 39th year of King Azariah (Uzziah, 9th SK) of Judah, Menahem benGadi (16th NK) commenced his rule over Israel, for 10 years in Samaria. He did evil in the Lord’s sight: he followed the sins of Jeroboam benNebat in Israel’s sin. King Pul of Assyria came against the land, and Menahem gave him 1,000 silver talents to help him confirm the kingdom; he exacted the money from Israel from the wealthy, by 50 silver shekels each, for the King of Assyria; and he withdrew from Israel. Menahem Acts and Works are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings; he died and his son Pekahiah (17th NK) ruled in his place.
In the 50th year of King Azariah (Uzziah, 9th SK) of Judah, Pekahiah benMenahem (17th NK) commenced rule over Israel in Samaria, for 2 years. He did evil in the Lord’s sight, not departing from the sins of Jeroboam benNebat in Israel’s sin. His captain Pekah benRemaliah (18th NK) conspired and killed him in Samaria, in the castle of the King’s House, with Argob and Arieh, with 50 men of the Gileadites, and ruled in his place. Pekahiah Acts and Works are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings.
In the 52nd year of King Azariah (9th SK) of Judah, Pekah benRemaliah (18th NK) commenced rule over Israel in Samaria, for 20 years: he did evil in the Lord’s sight, not departing from the sins of Jeroboam benNebat in Israel’s sin. King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria took Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria. Hoshea benElah (19th NK) conspired against him and killed him and ruled in his place, in the 20th year of Jotham benUzziah (10th SK). Pekah’s Acts and Works are recorded in the Books of the Chronicles of Israel’s Kings.
In the 2nd year of King Peka benRemaliah (18th NK) of Israel, King Jotham benUzziah (10th SK) of Judah commenced his rule; he was 25 years old and ruled for 16 years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name was Jerusha bathZadok. He did good in the Lord’s sight as his father Uzziah had done; but the high-places were not removed, the people sacrificed and burned incense on them; but he did build (rebuild) the upper gate of the Lord’s House. Jotham’s Acts and Works are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. The Lord began to send against Judah King Rezin of Syria and Pekah benRemaliah; he died, and his son Ahaz (11th SK) ruled in his place.
In the 17th year of Pekah benRemaliah (18th NK), King Ahaz benJotham (11th SK) of Judah commenced to rule; he was 20 years old, he ruled 16 years (d.36); he did wrong in the Lord his God’s sight, unlike his forefather David; but he walked in the way of the Kings of Israel, and made his son pass through the fire after the abominations of the nations (Gentiles, Goiim), forced out before children of Israel; he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high-places, on the hills , and under every green tree. King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah benRemaliah came to war against Jerusalem, they besieged Ahaz but did prevail; but Rezin did recover Elath to Syria and drove out its Jews, and the Syrians dwelt there to this day (time of Ezra). Ahaz sent messengers (angels) to King Tilath-pileser of Assyria, as a servant and son, to be saved from the Kings of Syria and Israel; he sent the silver and gold of the Lord’s House, and the treasures of the King’s House, as gift to Assyria’s King; he accepted, and sacked Damascus, took captives to Kir, and killed Rezin. Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser, and he saw the Damascus Altar, so he sent to Urijah the Priest its pattern and features, and he built it to the King’s description ready for his return; when he saw it, he offered upon it with burnt-offering, meal-offering, drink-offering, and peace-offerings. The brazen altar, which was before the Lord, in the forefront of the House, between his Altar and the Lord’s House, and put it on north side of his Altar. King Ahaz commanded the Priest Urijah that on the Great Altar to burn the morning burnt-offering, the evening meal-offering, the King’s burnt-offering, his meal-offering, the people’s offerings, but the brazen altar shall be for him to inquire by; so, did priest and king. Ahaz cut off the panels of the bases, removed the laver from off them, took down the sea from off the brazen oxen under it, and put it on a stone pavement; the covered way for the sabbath built in the House. And the King’s entry outside, he turned to the Lord’s House, because the King of Assyria. Ahaz’s Acts and Works are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings; he died, was buried in the City of David; and his son Hezekiah (12th SK) ruled in his place.
In the 12th year of King Ahaz (11th SK) of Judah, Hoshea benElah (19th NK) commenced to rule in Samaria over Israel, for 9 years. He did evil in the Lord’s sight, but not as the previous kings of Israel; King Shalmaneser of Assyria came against him; and Hoshea became his servant and paid tribute; but he found out he conspired against him with King So of Egypt and stopped the yearly tribute to Assyria’s King; he arrested and imprisoned him. He then invaded the land, and Samaria, and besieged it 3 years; in the 9th year of Hoshea he captured Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria to Hala, and on the river Habor of Gozan, and in the cites of the Medes.
The sons of Israel sinned against the Lord God Who delivered from Egypt and Pharaoh Egypt’s King, and they feared other gods, walked in the Gentiles’ statutes, which He had cast out before Israel, and of those of Israel’s kings which they made; they did evil secretly in the Lord God’s sight, they built high-places in all their cities, from the watchmen’s tower to the fortified city; and set up pillars and Asherim on many high-hills and under green trees, and burnt incense in many high-places like the outcast exiled Gentiles; they worked wickedness to provoke the Lord’s anger; and they served forbidden idols. The Lord testified to Israel and Judah by many prophets and seers to turn them from their evil ways, to keep His commandments and statutes, the Law He commanded their fathers, and sent to them by His servants the prophets. But they refused to listen, hardened their neck, like their fathers, who did not believe the Lord their God. They rejected His statutes, His covenant with their fathers, His testimonies against them, followed vanity, became vain, like the excluded alienated Gentiles about them; forsook the Lord their God’s commandments, and made an Asherah, and worshipped the host of heaven, and served Baal. They passed through fire their sons and daughters, used divination and enchantments, sold themselves to do evil in the Lord’s sight to provoke Him to anger. The Lord was very angry with Israel, He removed them from His sight, and left only the tribe of Judah. Judah also kept not His commandments but walked in the statutes made by Israel; so, He rejected the seed of Israel, afflicted them, delivered them to spoilers, till He had cast them out of His sight. He tore Israel from David’s House, they made Jeroboam benNebat King, who drove Israel to not follow the Lord and made them sin a great sin. The children of Israel continued to walk in the sins of Jeroboam till He exiled them as He spoke by His servants the prophets. Israel was deported to Assyria to this day (time of Ezra). Assyria’s King transplanted men from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, to the cities of Samaria in place of Israelis, and they occupied Samaria and its cities. At the beginning of their immigration they did not fear the Lord, so He sent lions to kill some of them. They spoke to Assyria’s King that the nations he transplanted in Samaria are ignorant of the law of the God of the land, and He has sent lions to kill some of them; he commanded that one of the captive priest to be returned to teach the immigrants the law of the God of the land. An exile priest returned to Samaria and lived in Beth-el and taught them how to fear (worship) the Lord. But the Gentiles made their own gods and put them in the houses of the high-places of the Samaritans, each had their own idol in their cities. The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, men of Cuth made Nergal, men of Hamath made Ashima, Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. They feared (worshipped) the Lord but made their own priests for their high-places to sacrifice for them in the houses of the high-places. They feared (worshipped) the Lord but served their own gods in the manner before their deportment: to this day they practice their former ways: they do not fear (worship) the Lord, nor their statutes, or ordinances, or the law , or the commandment the Lord commanded Jacob’s sons, whom He named Israel; whom He covenanted with, and charged them not to fear other gods, not to bow to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: but the Lord Who delivered them from Egypt by great power of an outstretched arm, Him they must fear, and bow, and sacrifice: and His statutes and ordinances, law and commandment, which He wrote for them (by Moses), they must obey always, and never fear other gods: His covenant with them never forget; never fear other gods; to fear the Lord their God; Who will deliver them from their enemies. They did not listen, but did as before. These nations (Gentiles, Goiim) feared (worshipped) the Lord (YHWH), and served their own graven images, they and their children and grandchildren, as did their fathers so do they to this day (time of Ezra).
In the 3rd year of King Hoshea benElah (19th NK) of Israel, King Hezekiah benAhaz (12th SK) of Judah commence to rule: he was 25, ruled 29 years in Jerusalem (d.54), his mother was Abi bathZechariah: he did right in the Lord’s sight like his forefather David; he removed the high-places, broke the pillars, cut down the Asherah; demolished the brazen serpent made by Moses on which the Israelites burned incense, he called it Nehushtan; he trusted in the Lord God of Israel; none was like him after or before of all Judah’s Kings; he clung to the Lord continually keeping His commandments given through Moses.; the Lord was with him; he prospered in everything; he rebelled against the King of Assyria, refusing to serve him; he also struck the Philistines to Gaza and its borders, from the tower to the fortified city. In the 4th year of King Hezekiah, the 7th year of King Elah of Israel, King Shalmaneser of Assyria came against and besieged Samaria, after 3 years captured it in the 6th yr of Hezekiah, the 9th yr of King Hoshea of Israel; he deported Israel to Assyria, put them in Halah, Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes; because they disobeyed Him, transgressed His covenant and Moses’ commandments. In the 14th yr. of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked and captured the fortified cities of Judah. King Hezekiah sent word to him at Lachish, that he has offended, to please withdraw, and he will pay whatever tribute demanded; and he required 300 talents of silver, and 30 talents of gold. He gave him all the silver found in the Lord’s House and the treasures of the King’s House. Hezekiah cut off from the doors of the Lord’s Temple, and from the pillars he had overlaid, and gave it to him.
The King of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem with a great army; they stood by the conduit of the upper pool by the highway of the fuller’s field; they called out to the King, and Eliakim benHilkiah, who was (Steward) over the household, and Shebnah the Scribe, and Joah benAsaph the Recorder. Rabshakeh shouted to them, tell King Hezekiah that the great King of Assyria, what is yur confidence and trust, to boast empty words: Counsel and Strength for War; on who do yu rely to rebel against me; yu rely on the Egypt the staff of a bruised reed, a man leans on it to pierce his hand: so is Pharaoh Egypt’s King to all who rely on him. If you claim to rely on the Lord your God, whose high-places and altars Hezekiah removed, and ordered Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar in Jerusalem. Give pledges to the King of Assyria, and here are 2,000 horses if yu can put riders on them. How can yu resist one of the least of my master the King’s servants, to trust Egypt for chariots and riders. The Lord sent me to attack this land and destroy it. Eliakim benHilkiah and Joah asked Rabshakeh to speak to them only in Syriac (Aramaic, Syrian language) and not in Hebrew (Jews’ language) that the people on the wall do not hear; but he replied that his master sent him to tell all the Jews, to them, those on the wall, to eat their own dung and drink their own urine together; he then shouted out in Hebrew: the word of the great King of Assyria warns against listening to Hezekiah to deceive them, he cannot save them, and don’t trust in the Lord to deliver the city from the King of Assyria; make a peace-treaty to eat from their own vine and drink from their own cistern till he return to transport them to a new land like theirs of grain and new wine, of bread and vineyards, of olive-trees and honey, to live and not die; do not listen to Hezekiah to persuade them to hope in the Lord. The gods of the nations have not delivered their lands from the King of Assyria; not even the gods of Hamath or Arpad, of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and of Ivvah, have delivered Samaria. None of the gods have delivered their country, and who is the Lord to deliver Jerusalem? The people kept quiet as the King commanded them. Eliakim benHilkiah the household Steward, Shebna the Scribe, and Joab the Recorder, returned to Hezekiah with ripped clothes, and reported the words of Rabshakeh.
King Hezekiah heard, tore his clothes, and went into the Lord’s House, he sent Eliakim the Steward and Shebna the Scribe, and the Elders of the priests covered with sackcloth to the prophet Isaiah benAmoz: Hezekiah says: Today is a day of trouble, rebuke, and insult: the children are ready to be born, but there is no strength to give birth. Perhaps the Lord will hear the words of Rabshakeh from his master the King of Assyria to defy the living God, and He might rebuke his words: so, pray for the remaining remnant. Isaiah replied: Tell your master the Lord says: Fear not the words of the servants of the King of Assyria who blasphemed Me; I will put a spirit in him, he will hear news, he will return home, an I’ll cause him to die by his own sword. Rabshakeh returned, and Assyria’s King was at war against Libnah, for he heard he departed from Lachish. He heard that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia came to fight against him, he sent messengers to Hezekiah: Let not yur God who yu trust deceive yu that Jerusalem will be spared from Assyria’s King; but yu have heard what he has done destroying all the other lands; and his father before him destroyed, without the gods intervention, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, the children of Eden in Telassar; just like the Kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah. Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers, read it, went to the Lord’s House and spread before the Lord. He prayed: Lord God of Israel, seated above the cherubs, God alone of all the kingdoms of the earth, Maker of heaven and earth: incline Yur ear to hear, open Yur eyes to see, the words of Sennacherib to defy the living God; true the Kings of Assyria have laid waste nations and lands, and thrown their gods into the fire; for they were no gods but men’s work, of wood and stone; save us from his hands, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Yu alone are God. Then Isaiah benAmoz sent to Hezekiah: The Lord God of Israel says: I have heard yur prayer against King Sennacherib of Assyria. This is the Lord’s word concerning him: The Virgin Daughter of Zion has despised yu and scorned yu in laughter: whom have yu defied and blasphemed, exalted yur voice and uplifted yur eyes on high, against the Holy One of Israel. Yur messengers defied the Lord, yu boast of chariots on the mountaintops, to the innermost parts of Lebanon to cut down tall cedars and choice fir-trees to enter his farthest lodging-place, the forest of his fruitful field; and dugged and drunk foreign waters, to dry up the rivers of Egypt with the sole of my feet. But long ago I did it and said: I have brought it about that yu might destroy the fortified cities to ruin heaps; they were weak, dismayed and confounded, like grass of the field, as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, as grain blasted before it is grown up. I know yur sittings, yur goings, yur rages against Me; for yur rages and arrogancy against me I will put My hook in yur nose, My bridle in yur lips, I will turn yu back the way yu came. This is a sign for yu: eat this year of what grows itself, 2nd yr what springs, in 3rd yr sow and reap, and eat of it. The escaped remnant of Judah’s House shall root again and bear fruit; from Jerusalem and mount Zion the escaped remnant, done by the zeal of the Lord. Assyria’s King shall not enter this city, nor shoot his arrow, nor with a shield, or cast a mound against it; by the way he came he will return without entering this city; I will defend it for My own sake and for David. That night the Lord’s Angel struck the camp of the Assyrians of 185,000, in the morning they were all dead. King Sennacherib of Assyria departed and returned to Nineveh. While he worshipped in the House of his God Nisroch, Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword, and they escaped to Ararat. His son Esar-haddon ruled in his place.
Hezekiah was deathly sick: the prophet Isaiah benAmoz came to him: the Lord tells him to get his house in order before he dies; he turned his face to the wall and prayed the Lord to remember his walk before the Lord in truth and goodness; and he wept deeply. Before Isaiah had left the city, the Lord’s word came to him, return to Hezekiah the Prince of My people: the Lord God of yur father David has heard yur prayer, seen yur tears, I will heal yu, on the 3rd day yu will go up to the Lord’s House, and I will add 15 years to yu, I will deliver yu and this city from Assyria’s King, for my sake and for David. Isaiah told them to place a cake of figs on the boil, and he recovered. Hezekiah had asked what is the sign of his recovery and go to the Lord’s House on the 3rd day? Isaiah told him the Lord asks him to choose for the shadow to go forward 10 steps or go backward 10 steps; Hezekiah said it’s easy to advance but very hard to go backwards; Isaiah cried out to the Lord and he made the shadow go backwards 10 steps on Ahaz’ sun-dial. King Berodach-baladan benBaladan of Babylon, after he heard he was sick, sent letters and gifts to Hezekiah. Hezekiah was pleased and showed them the houses and precious valuables of silver, gold, costly oil, the house of his armor and weapons, all his treasures of his House and dominion. The prophet Isaiah came and asked what these men said, and whence they came, and he said from Babylon. He asked what they have seen in his house, he said they have seen all things in my house, I’ve shown them all my treasures. Isaiah told Hezekiah the Lord’s word: Soon all they’ve seen and been shown will be taken to Babylon, including his sons, who will be eunuchs in the Palace of Babylon’s King. Hezekiah replied that the Lord’s word is good, if peace and truth shall be in my days. The Acts and Works of Hezekiah, his Pool and Conduit (Waterway, Channel) to bring water into the city, they are recorded in Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. He died, and his son Manasseh (13th SK) ruled in his place.
Manasseh was 12 yrs old when he commenced his rule, and ruled for 55 yrs (d.67) in Jerusalem, his mother was Hephzibah; he did evil in the Lord’s sight, after the abominations of the prior outcast nations; he rebuilt the high-places that Hezekiah destroyed; he erected altars for Baal, made an Asherah like King Ahab of Israel; and he worshipped and served the host of heaven. He built altars in the Lord’s House in Jerusalem, the place of the Lord’s name; he built altars for heaven’s host in the 2 courts of the Lord’s House; he made his son to pass through the fire, he practiced augury, used enchantments, had dealings with familiar spirits, with wizards; he worked immense evil in the Lord’s sight to provoke him to anger. He set the graven image of his Asherah in the Lord’s House in Jerusalem, which He told David and Solomon that this is My chosen place for My name in all of Israel forever; neither will I allow Israel to be exiled or deported, if they will obey My commandments in the law of Moses My servant. They never listen, Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than all the prior Gentiles whom the Lord destroyed. The Lord spoke to His servants the prophets: Because King Manasseh of Judah did these abominations, more wickedly than the Amorites, and made Judah sin with idols; I will bring upon Jerusalem and Judah such evil that ears shall tingle. I will measure Jerusalem with the line of Samaria, with the plummet of Ahab’s House; I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish inside and out. I will throw away the remnant of My inheritance, and hand them over to their enemies for a prey and spoil; because of all their evil and provocation from Egypt to this day. Manasseh murdered many innocent people and filled Jerusalem with blood; this besides his open idolatry before the Lord. The Acts and Works and Sin of Manasseh are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings; he died and was buried in the garden in his own house, the Garden of Uzza; and his son Amon (14th SK) ruled in his place.
Amon (14th SK) was 22 when his rule commenced; he ruled 2 yrs in Jerusalem; his mother was Meshullemeth bathHaruz of Jotbah. He did evil in the Lord’s sight like Manasseh, he walked in all his ways, he served and worshipped idols; he forsook the Lord God and walked not in the Lord’s way. Amon’s servants conspired against him, killing him in his own house. The people in turn slew all those who conspired against King Amon; and they made his son Josiah (15th SK) King in his place. The Acts and Works of Amon are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings; he died and was buried in his sepulcher in Uzzah’s Garden; and his son Josiah (15th SK) ruled in his place.
Josiah (15th SK) was 8 when he commenced his rule, he ruled for 31 yrs (d.c.40) in Jerusalem, his mother was Jedidah bathAdaiah of Bozkath. He did right in the Lord’s sight, walked in the ways of David, and did not stray or detour. In the 18th yr of King Josiah (his 26th yr) he sent Shaphan benAzaliah benMeshullam the Scribe to the Lord’s House: Go to Hilkiah the High Priest to get the sum of the money brought into the Lord’s House, collected by the keepers from the people; to deliver the money to the workmen supervising the Lord’s House, to be given to the workers in the Lord’s House to repair the breaches of the House, to the carpenters, to the builders, to the masons, and to buy timber and pre-cut stones to repair the House. They did not count the sum transferred to them because they were faithful.
The High-Priest Hilkiah told the Scribe Shaphan that he found the Book (Sepher, Scroll) of the Law (ha-Torah) in the Lord’s House (Y’howah’s Beth); and gave it to him, and he read it. ((No doubt the copy of Deuteronomy, in an earlier script which Shaphan the Scribe could read and understand.)) Shaphan returned to the King to report: the servants have exhausted the money found in the House, they distributed it to the supervisors and workers of the Lord’s House; and the Priest Hilkiah handed to him the Book, and he read it to the King. The King heard the words read from the Book of the Law and tore his clothes; he commanded the Priest Hilkiah, Ahikam benShaphan, Achbor benMicaiah, the Scribe Shaphan, and the King’s Servant Asaiah: go, inquire of the Lord for him, for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this lost Book; for great is His wrath against them, since their forefathers have not obeyed all the words of this Book. They went to the Prophetess Huldah (wife) ’esheth-Shalum benTivah ben Harhas the keeper of the wardrobe she lived in Jerusalem in a college (school, school of the prophets), and they communed with her: she told them that the Lord tells them to tell their sender, that He will bring evil on this place and citizens, all the words which Judah’s King read: they have forsaken Me, burned incense to other gods, provoked Me to anger by their deeds; My unquenchable wrath will burn against this place. Tell the King of Judah who enquires from the Lord: the words heard, in yur tender heart, and yu humbled yurself at My words, of desolation and curse, tore yur clothes and shed tears; the Lord has heard yu. Yu will die in peace and not see the evil I will bring on this place and people. And they returned and reported to the King.
The King gathered all the Elders of Judah and Jerusalem and he went up to the Lord’s House with the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, with the priests, prophets, all the people, small and great: and he read to them all the words of the Book of the Covenant (Deuteronomy) found in the Lord’s House. He stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord to walk with Him, to keep His commandments, His testimonies, His statutes, with all his soul, to confirm the words of the Covenant written in this Book. He commanded the Priest Hilkiah, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out of the Lord’s Temple the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes to Beth-el. He removed the idolatrous priests of the Kings of Judah ordained to burn incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the planets, and to all heaven’s host. He brought out the Asherah from the Lord’s House outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it, beat it to dust, and threw the dust on the graves of the common people. He destroyed the houses of the Sodomites inside the Lord’s House, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. He took all the priests out of the cities of Judah and defiled the high-places where the priests burned incense, from Geba to Beer-sheba; he demolished the high-places of the gates at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, at the left of the city’s gate. The priests of the high-places did not come to the Lord’s altar in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread with their brothers. He defiled Topheth in the valley of the children of Hinnom, to prevent anyone ever to make his son or daughter pass through the fire to Molech. He removed the horses of the Kings of Judah given to the sun, at the entrance of the Lord’s House, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the Chamberlain in the precincts; he torched the sun chariots. The altars on the roof of Ahaz’ upper chamber of the Kings of Judah, and the altars of Manasseh in the 2nd courts of the Lord’s House he demolished, beat them down, and threw their dust in brook Kidron. The he defiled the high-places in front of Jerusalem, on the right side of the mount of corruption of Solomon Israel’s King, built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. He broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men. The Altar at Beth-el and the High-Place of Jeroboam benNebat, who made Israel to sin, he destroyed, burned, beat into dust, and burned the Asherah. Josiah turned around and noticed the sepulchers in the mount, he removed the bones and burned them upon the Altar and defiled it as the word of the Lord proclaimed these things by the Man of God. He asked whose monument is this? The citizens said it was the sepulcher of the Man of God from Judah who proclaimed the things he has done against the altar of Beth-el; he ordered his bones not to be disturbed, nor of the prophet that came from Samaria. The houses of the high-places of the Kings of Israel of Samaria’s cities he removed and did like he did at Beth-el; he put to death the priests of the high-places on the altars, and on them burned their bones; then he returned to Jerusalem.
The King commanded the people to keep the Passover to the Lord God as written in the Book of the Covenant (Sepher ha-Berith, Deuteronomy)); and never was there a Passover kept from the days of the Judges of Israel or the days of the Kings of Israel and Judah; in the 18th year of King Josiah was this Passover kept to the Lord in Jerusalem. All those with familiar spiritism, the wizards, teraphim, idols, and all the abominations seen in the land of Judah and Jerusalem, he removed, to confirm the words written in the Book (Deuteronomy) the Priest Hilkiah found in the Lord’s House. Not before or after was there a King like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength, in all the law of Moses. Yet the Lord continued His fierce wrath against Judah for all their provocations of Manasseh. The Lord promised to remove Israel and throw away His chosen city Jerusalem, and the House of His name. The Acts and Works of Josiah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. King Pharaoh-necoh of Egypt went against the King of Assyria at the river Euphrates, King Josiah also went against him, and was slain at Megiddo confronting him. His servants carried him after he died in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own sepulcher. The people anointed Jehoahaz benJosiah (16th SK) King in his place.
Jehoahaz (16th SK) was 23 yrs when he commenced his rule; he ruled 3 months in Jerusalem; his mother was Hamutal bathJeremiah of Libnah. He did evil in the Lord’s sight, as did his forefathers. Pharaoh-necoh jailed (arrested, imprisoned) him at Riblah in Hamath that he ruled not in Jerusalem; and the land gave tribute of talents of silver and a talent of gold; he also made Eliakim benJosiah King in place of Josiah and changed his name to Jehoiakim (17th SK); but he removed Jehoahaz; and he returned to Egypt and died.
Jehoiakim (Eliakim, 17th SK) gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh; he taxed the land to give the money at Pharaoh’s command: he exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land, each according to his taxation, to give to Pharaoh-necoh. Jehoiakim (17th SK) was 25 yrs when he commenced to rule; he ruled 11 yrs in Jerusalem; his mother was Zebidah bathPedaiah of Rumah. He did evil in the Lord’s sight like his forefathers. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and made him his servant for 3 yrs, then he rebelled. The Lord sent against him and Judah the bands of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites, to destroy, according to His word He spoke by His servants the prophets: by the Lord’s commandment it came on Judah to deport them from His sight, for all the sins of Manasseh, and all the innocent blood he shed in Jerusalem; the Lord would not pardon. The Acts and Works of Jehoiakim are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of Judah’s Kings. He died, and his son Jehoiachin (18th SK) ruled in his place. The King of Egypt never again came from his land, because the King of Babylon conquered from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates, all Egypt’s dominion.
Jehoiachin (18th SK) was 18 yrs when he commenced his rule, he ruled 3 months in Jerusalem; his mother was Nehusta bathElnathan of Jerusalem. He did evil in the Lord’s sight like his forefathers. The servants of King Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city, and King Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem, and King Jehoiachin surrendered to him, he and his mother, servants, princes, and officers; and the King of Babylon captured him in the 8th year of his rule (he was 26). He exported all the treasures of the Lord’s House, of the King’s House, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the Lord’s Temple made by King Solomon of Israel; he deported all Jerusalem, all the princes, the mighty men of valor, total of 10,000 captives, with the craftsmen and smiths, everyone except the poorest of the land. He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, with his mother, wives, officers, and nobles, deported and exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon; with 7,000 mighty men, 1,000 artisans and craftsmen, all strong and able to fight, he made captives and slaves. He made Mattaniah [Jehoiachin’s] father’s brother King in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah (19th SK).
Zedekiah (19th SK) was 21 yrs when he commenced his rule, he ruled 11 years in Jerusalem; his mother was Hamutal bathJeremiah of Libnah. He did evil in the Lord’s sight like Jehoiakim. By the Lord’s anger all this came on Jerusalem and Judah till he exiled them from His presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the King of Babylon.
In the 9th yr of his rule, the 10th month and the 10th day, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon with his army besieged Jerusalem with encampments and forts around it till the 11th yr of King Zedekiah. In the 9th day of the [4th] month the famine was very severe in the city, there was no bread left for the people; a breach was made in the city, and the fighters fled by night by the gate between the two walls by the King’s Garden (the Chaldeans surrounded the city), and [the King] escaped by the way of the Arabah. The Chaldeans’ army pursued the King and caught up with him in the plains of Jericho and his army scattered; the King was captured and escorted to the King of Babylon at Riblah; and he judged him; Zedekiah’s sons were slain in his sight, his eyes were put out, he was chained, and deported to Babylon. In the 5th mnth, the 7th day, in the 19th yr of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Captain (general) of the Guard, Babylon’s King’s servant, entered Jerusalem; he torched the Lord’s House, the King’s House, all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great house and building. The Chaldean army demolished the walls of Jerusalem; the rest of the citizens and the deserters to the King of Babylon, and all residents of the crowds, the Captain of the Guard Nebuzaradan deported and exiled; but he left the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and farmers. The brass pillars of the Lord’s House, the bases and brazen sea in the House, the Chaldeans dismantled and transported to Babylon; with all the pots, shovels, snuffers, spoons, all brass vessels and utensils ministered with; the firepans, basins, gold things, silver things, was carried off; the two pillars, the one sea, the bases made by Solomon for the Lord’s House, the brass weight of these were immense. One pillar’s height was 18 cbts (c. 30 ft), with its brass capital, height of 3 cbts (c. 5 ft.), with a network of pomegranates around the capital, all of brass, and the 2nd pillar was identical. The Captain of the Guard took Seraiah the Chief Priest, Zephaniah the 2nd Priest, the 3 Keepers of the Threshold (Doorway, House-Entrance), the city’s Officer over the soldiers, with 5 special Guards of the King’s Presence, the Scribe, the Captain (General) of the Host who mustered the people, and 60 citizens (Nobles) of the city; all these Nebuzaradan deported and transported to the King of Babylon at Riblah. The King of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in Hamath. So, Judah was exiled from his land.
The rest of the people of the land of Judah, not deported by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, he put over them Gedaliah benAhikam benShaphan as Governor. The captains of the forces heard of Governor Gedaliah, and they came to him at Mizpah; namely, Ishmael benNethaniah, Johanan benKareah, Seraiah benTanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite, with their men. Gedaliah swore to them, do not be afraid of the Chaldeans, stay in the land and serve Babylon’s King, and all will be well. But in the 7th month, Ishmael benNethaniah benElishama of the royal seed, came with 10 men and murdered Gedaliah, along with the Jews and the Chaldeans at Mizpah. All the people, small and great, fled to Egypt in fear of the Chaldeans. In the 37th year of the Captivity of King Jehoiachin of Judah (18th SK), in the 12th mnth on the 27th day, King Evil-merodach of Babylon, in the 1st yr of his rule, promoted King Jehoiachin of Judah from prison; he spoke kindly to him, and exalted his throne above the other Kings’ thrones in Babylon, and changed his prison garments; he ate bread with him continually for the remainder of his days; and his daily allowance came from the King each day to the end of his life.

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Christian Biblical Reflections.15

 

(Here are pages 260 – 297, the Books of Samuel. Kings to follow shortly. PDF created after the Historical Books completed in Esther. I have had to delete the Hebrew  and Greek words at times in this WordPress format, till the PDF is created it is deficient.mjm)

SAMUEL: 1st & 2nd: The Kingdom: Samuel: United: House of Saul & House of David

1st SAMUEL: 31 Chapters: Samuel’s Birth to Saul’s Death.

      Elkanah ben-Jeroham ben-Elihu ben-Tohu ben-Zuph; Ephraimite of Ramathaim-Zophim in the hills of Ephraim; he had two wives, Hannah childless, and Peninnah with children. He yearly visited Shiloh to worship & sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts. Eli sons Hophni & Phinehas were priests to the Lord. Elkanah gave of his sacrifice portions to Peninnah and her children, but to Hannah double portions, for he loved her, though the Lord prevented her conceptions, for which her rival troubled her to tears yearly on visits to the Lord’s House. Elkanah comforted her that he was better to her than 10 sons. Hannah at Shiloh, after feasting, went to the Lord’s Temple as Eli the Priest was seated by the door-post; and she prayed in tears quietly only moving her lips, vowing that if the Lord grant her a man-child, she would devote him to the Lord as a Nazirite all his life. Eli noticed her lips moving without sounds and rebuked her as a drunkard; but she replied that in sorrow of spirit she has poured out her soul to the Lord with complaint and provocation. Eli blessed her with peace and that the Lord grant her petition. Hannah was glad; she and her husband worshipped the Lord and returned home in Ramah; the Lord remembered Hannah and she conceived and gave birth to a son and named him Samuel (Ask, Request, Borrow, Loan), because she asked the Lord for him. The next three years Hannah stayed home with Samuel when Elkanah and his house went to Shiloh for the annual sacrifice and his vow. When she weaned her son on the third year to keep her vow, she went up to the House of the Lord in Shiloh, and brought three bullocks and one ephah of meal and a bottle of wine. The bullock was slain; and she gave the child to Eli saying that she had prayed and vowed for this child to the Lord that he is loaned and given to be a Nazirite to the Lord as long as he lives; Samuel worshipped the Lord.

Hannah’s Prayer:
Joy in Jehovah’s Salvation; God the Holy Rock; God knows our words and ways;
the mighty are broken; the fallen made strong;
the full beg bread; the hungry are fed;
the barren is fertile, and the fertile frets;
He kills, and He enlivens; He lowers, and He raises;
He makes poor and rich;
He helps the poor and needy to set them with princes and glory.
He maintains the world; He protects His saints; He silences the wicked.
His foes are demolished; He judges all the earth;
He strengthens and exalts His King and His Anointed.

       Samuel’s parents return to Ramah, but he stays ministering to the Priest Eli. Eli sons are base and godless young men; abusing the Lord’s sacrifices at Shiloh causing Israel to despise the Lord’s offerings. Samuel ministered to the Lord girded in a linen ephod, and wore a little robe made and given by his mother every year. Eli blessed Samuel’s parents that the Lord lend to her her request (samuel). The Lord enabled Hannah to be fertile and she in time bore 3 sons and 2 daughters. Samuel grew before the Lord. Eli was aged, and his two sons were fornicating with women serving at the door of the Tent of Meeting; Eli rebuked and warned them for their sins, but they paid no heed, for the Lord determined to kill them. Samuel continued to grow in the Lord’s grace and men’s favor. (It appears Samuel is now entering his teen years.) A Man of God prophesied to Eli concerning the House of Aaron; reminding him of the elect priesthood to serve and wearing an ephod, accusing him of honoring his sons by their fattening themselves from the best of Israel’s offerings to the Lord. So instead of a promised perpetual priesthood, for the Lord honors only those who honor Him, the house of Eli will be cut off by his two sons dying on the same day. The Lord will raise up a faithful Priest fulfilling His heart and mind, to walk always before His Anointed. And Eli’s household will bow and beg him to let them serve in some priest’s office so that they may eat bread.
Samuel continued to care for Eli in his old age (the Word of the Lord was rare and precious, few visions), blind and weak, asleep while the Lamp of God was still burning, Samuel in bed, in the Lord’s Temple with the Ark of God. The Lord called to Samuel and he answered, running to Eli thinking he called, but Eli told him he did not call out, and to return to bed. Again The Lord called to Samuel, who did as before, and Eli in turn replied as before. Again the 3rd time was as before; but Eli told Samuel to answer the next time saying: speak Lord Thy servant is listening. The 4th time the Lord called saying: Samuel, Samuel; and he answered as instructed. The Lord told Samuel He is about to shock Israel and Eli by fulfilling everything He foretold and sworn concerning the house of Eli, without mitigation of any sacrifice or offering. In the morning Samuel opened the doors of the House of the Lord, afraid to tell Eli. He constrained Samuel to tell him every word that the Lord told him last night; Samuel told him every word; and Eli owned it from the Lord Who will do as He pleases. Samuel grew in the Lord’s favor Who established Samuel’s words; and Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew he was a Prophet of the Lord; Who appeared to him again at Shiloh as before. (Samuel now reaches his 20s; as Eli reaches his 90s.)
Israel encamped for battle near Eben-ezer and the Philistines at Aphek. The engaged in battle and they slew of Israel some 4,000. Distressed they brought the Ark of Covenant to the camp to save them from the Philistines. Israel shouted in joy to see the Ark, and Eli’s sons accompanied it. The Philistines hearing the shouts of Israel and heard that the Ark of the Lord was in the camp were afraid, for nothing like this was ever done before, that is, God coming into the camp to fight; for they heard of the God of Israel delivering Israel from the Egyptians with plagues. The Philistines encouraged themselves overcoming their fear of defeat and enslavement to Israel engaged the battle and killed some 30,000 soldiers of Israel; capturing the Ark of God, and killing Eli’s two sons. A Benjaminite runner came to Shiloh and related the battle news to the city and to Eli who was sitting watching for the outcome. Eli asked why the people made such noise, and was told that Israel fled in defeat from the Philistines, that a great slaughter of the soldiers, that his two sons were dead, and that the Ark of God was captured. Eli on hearing the Ark of God was captured fell backwards near the gate and broke his neck, dying old and heavy at 98; he had judged Israel for 40 years (this makes Eli the 13th or 14th Judge and Samuel the last of the Judges; but this must not be taken that there were no more or other judges, it is clear there were). Eli’s daughter-in-law, Phineas’s pregnant wife, heard of the captured Ark of God and the deaths of Eli and her husband bowed in severe labor, dying when the women told her that she birthed a son, calling him Ichabod: for the glory is departed from Israel.
The Philistines moved the Ark of God from Eben-ezer to Ashdod and put it in the House of Dagon. In the morn those of Ashdod found Dagon fallen on his face to the ground before the Ark. They reset Dagon in his place, and the next morn again found him fallen with his head and hands broken off, leaving him a stump; thus no priest or worshiper of Dagon ever crosses the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod. The Lord plagued Ashdod and its borders with tumors or hemorrhoids; so they consulted with the Lords of the Philistines to send the Ark to Gath. But the Lord plagued Gath with tumors; they in turn quickly sent it to Ekron, but the Ekronites cried out against the Ark of God as a curse and plague; and they consulted with the Lords of the Philistines to send the Ark back to Israel to be healed of the plague and death.
The Ark was with the Philistines now 7 months, then the Philistines with their priests and diviners sought appeasement from the Lord cause of His plagues, so they gave a tress-offering of 5 golden-tumors and 5 golden mice, saying perhaps He will lighten His hand off them and their gods, and not to do what He did to Egypt and pharaoh. So they made a new cart, yoked two milk-cows never before yoked, and they put the Ark on the cart, and put on the side in a coffer the jewels of golden images. They let the oxen wander at will to see if they go towards Beth-shemesh of Israel as sign that the Lord accepted their offering. Those of Beth-shemesh while reaping their wheat harvest in the valley rejoiced seeing the Ark. The Ark came to the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stopped by a great stone; so they chopped up the cart for fire and offered up the kine for a burnt-offering to the Lord. The Levites took down the Ark; and offered the golden jewels and sacrifices to the Lord. The Philistines after seeing all this returned home to Ekron. The 5 golden tumors and mice were for the 5 Cities and Lords of Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. But the Lord smote 70 men and 50,000 men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked inside the Ark; terrified they sent messengers to Kiriath-jearim asking them to come get the Ark.
And they came and took it to the house of Abinadab in the hill. and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the Lord’s Ark. The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for 20 years while Israel lamented. Samuel told Israel to repent and turn to the Lord, remove the idols and Ashtaroth that He might deliver them from the Philistines. Samuel gathered Israel at Mizpah in fasts and prayers, judging Israel. The Philistines heard and mustered against Israel at Mizpah; Israel in fear cried to the Lord and to Samuel for salvation. He then offered burnt-offering to the Lord and cried to Him for Israel. The Philistines drew near to attack while Samuel was praying and sacrificing, but the Lord thundered against them and confused them and slew them. Israel pursued the Philistines and killed of them up to Beth-car. There between Mizpah and Shen Samuel set up a stone called Eben-Ezer (Stone of Help) for the Lord’s help. Thus were the Philistines subdued and no longer advanced into Israel’s lands during the life of Samuel. The cities and borders captured by the Philistines from Ekron to Gath were restored; and there was peace between Israel and the Amorites during Samuel’s administration. His circuit as Judge (the 14th or 15th) was from Beth-El, Gilgal, Mizpah, and Ramah his hometown; and he built an Altar to the Lord.
Samuel in his old age put his sons Joel and Abijah as judges in Beer-sheba; but they loved money and bribes and perverted justice so that Israel’s Elders came to Samuel at Ramah complaining about them and demanding to be given a King to judge us like the Gentiles. Samuel displeased prayed to the Lord Who told him to listen to them for they have decided to reject the Lord as their King and Ruler; for since the Exodus till Samuel they have been rebellious idolaters. In protest he is to warn them of the manner of their King; and Samuel described to Israel that their King will make their children his servants and soldiers, his farmers and merchants, his perfumers, cooks, bakers; he will take their best fields and vineyards and oliveyards to give them to his officers and servants; he will enlist and draft your best children and animals for his service and pleasure and enterprise; and he will tax to take a 10th of your flocks, and make you his servants; so that you will complain to the Lord because of your King, but He will not hear or help you. Israel told Samuel: No, we will have a King over us, like the Gentiles, to judge us, and to lead us in battles. Samuel reported Israel’s words to the Lord, Who told him to do as them have decided. Samuel dismissed Israel to go to their cities.
Benjaminite named Kish (Qish) ben-Abiel ben-Zeror ben-Becorath ben-Aphiah ben-Ben-Jamin, valiant fighter, whose son was Saul, a handsome young man, a foot taller than most Israelites. Kish’s donkeys were lost, and he sent Saul and a servant to find them, who searched the hills of Ephraim and in Shalishah then in Shaalim then in the land of the Benjaminites without finding the donkeys, finally at Zuph Saul told his servant we should return lest his father now worry that they too were lost. Saul’s servant suggested that in this city was a Man of God honorable and whose words come to pass, perhaps he can help. Saul asked what they can offer as a gift to him, and his servant said he had 1/4th a shekel silver-coin; (for it was custom to give the Man of God who was a Prophet as Seer and note here the Prophet-Seer is in Samuel as Judge and Priest) such payment or donations). So ascending to that city they met young maidens going to draw water who informed them the Seer was here and for the people’s sacrifice in the High Place, he can be easily found, for the people will not partake of the sacrifices till he is present to bless. As they drew near Samuel, forewarned by the Lord to anoint the visiting Benjaminite as Prince over Israel and Savior from the Philistines, came toward to them on the way to the High Place. When Samuel saw Saul the Lord said: this man shall have authority over My People. Saul unknowingly asked Samuel where the Seer’s house was; Samuel told Saul he was the Seer, and to go ahead to the High Place, since he must eat with him today; and in the morn he may return home, informed of all on his heart, and not to fret about the donkeys that his father has found; adding is not the desire of Israel on Saul and his father’s house. Saul surprised asked why Samuel said this since his father’s house was insignificant of the smallest tribe of Israel (which we saw in Judges was almost exterminated about 100 years earlier). Samuel seated Saul and his servant at the chief place amid 30 of his guests, and had the cook bring the reserved thigh for Saul to eat. Afterwards they descended the High Place, and Samuel talked with Saul on the housetop. Early the next day Samuel awoke Saul and told him to send his servant ahead; and he related to him the Word of God.
Samuel poured from a vial oil on Saul’s head, and kissed him saying: The Lord has anointed him to be Prince over His Inheritance; and he will meet by Rachel’s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah two men, who will tell him that his father’s donkeys are found, and he is looking for his son. Then at the Oak of Tabor he will meet three men on the way to Beth-El, with 3 kids and 3 loaves of bread and a bottle of wine; they will greet him and offer him two loaves, which he must take; afterwards at the Hill of God near the garrison of the Philistines, near the city he will meet a band of prophets descending the High Place with musical instruments in processions while prophesying; and the Lord’s Spirit will change him and cause him to prophesy; and at that time act for God Who is with him; afterwards to wait for Samuel at Gilgal for the sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. Saul departed and met a band of prophets and the Spirit of God caused him to prophesy with them, so that the people asked if Saul ben-Kish was also a prophet, but who is his Father (Master). So he ended his prophesying and came to the High Place. Saul’s uncle (Abner’s father) asked the servant where they went, he told him of the donkeys and Samuel, and he wanted to know what Samuel said, so Saul related about the donkeys but withheld the details of the Kingdom. Samuel assembled the People to the Lord at Mizpah, telling that the God of Israel saved them from Egypt and the kingdoms that oppressed them, yet Israel has rejected their Savior God for a human King. So he gathered the tribes of Israel and chose Benjamin, and of all the families of the Benjaminites he selected the Matrites, and of them Saul ben-Kish, but he could not be found; but the Lord revealed that he was hiding, so they brought him out and he stood taller than all the people. Samuel told the people this is King the Lord has chosen, and Israel shouted Life to the King; so Samuel described the manner of the Kingdom and wrote it in a Book and deposited before the Lord. Samuel dismissed the People. Saul returned home to Gibeah attended by a host whose hearts God had touched, but some worthless fellows voiced doubt and despised him, not giving any token gifts, but he kept quiet.
Nahash the Ammonite encamped against Jabesh-Gilead, but they tried to make a covenant to serve him; but he stipulated that they put out their right eyes as a reproach to Israel; the Elders of Jabesh ask for 7 days to send messengers to Israel’s borders for help, and if none, they will comply. The messengers (angels) came to Gibeah of Saul and related the crisis, and the people cried. Saul heard and asked and was told the details; then God’s Spirit came upon Saul and he was enraged. He took a yoke of oxen and cut them into pieces and sent the pieces throughout the borders of Israel, saying so will happen to their oxen if they refuse to muster to Saul and Samuel. The Lord’s dread was on the people who rallied as one man. Israel was numbered in Bezek some 300,000, and of Judah 30,000. They sent the messengers back with words of promise to Jabesh-Gilead of deliverance the next day. They in turn told the Ammonites the next day they’ll come out as they demanded. Saul divided the host into 3 divisions, and early attacked and slaughtered all the Ammonites. Some called for the men who mocked Saul as King to be put to death, but Saul prevented them since it is the Lord’s deliverance in Israel. Samuel then took Israel to Gilgal to renew the Kingdom and inaugurate Saul as King; and they offered sacrifices in gladness to the Lord.
Samuel said to Israel concerning their new King and called them to witness against him as wronging and abusing them, and they said he has never defrauded or oppressed them or taken a bribe. So he confirmed their testimony before the Lord and the King of his innocence. Samuel testified to Israel: The Lord by Moses and Aaron delivered Israel from Egypt by righteous acts after they cried to Him, and brought them to this Place. Israel forgot Him, and He sold them to Sisera of Hazor, to Philistines, and to Moab; who fought them, and made them cry to the Lord confessing their sins and idolatry; He sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jepthah, and Samuel to save them. (Tolah and Jair were both Gileadites, like Jepthah ((‘Bedan is named as the deliverer of Israelites in 1 Samuel 12:11. (compare 1st Chron. 7:14-17; compare Num. 26; 27; 32). He is not mentioned elsewhere as a judge of Israel. Bp. Patrick and others hypothesis the name to be a contraction of ben Dan (ben-Dan) by which they suppose Samson is meant, as the Targum reads. The LXX, Syriac, and Arabic, however, refer to the name as Barak, instead of Bedan; and the two latter versions refer to Samson, instead of Samuel. These readings are adopted by Houbigant, and appear to be genuine, for it is not probable (except as quoted or cited by the Lord and spoken by another) that Samuel would enumerate himself.” The Study Bibles cite the reading from the LXX and the Pesh., settling that Bedan = Barak, and Samuel = Samson; Bullinger offers a soft reason from Hebrew similarity and Dake adds his interpretation to that, and as usual without credit or referral; the Net Bible gives two notes on the reading and rendering; some even translate Barak and Samson as the text, without a note or comment. Here is William Smith’s Bible Dictionary (1863) entry: “BE’DAN (bedan; Badan), mentioned 1 Sam. 12:11, as a Judge of Israel between Jerubbaal (Gideon) and Jephthah. As no such name occurs in the Book of Judges, various conjectures have been formed as to the person meant, most of which are discussed in Pole (Synopsis, in loc.). Some maintain him to be the Jair mentioned in Judg. 10: 3, who, it must then be supposed, was also called Bedan to distinguish him from the older Jair, son of Manasseh, (Num. 32: 41), a Bedan being actually named among the descendants of Manasseh in 1 Chron. 7: 17. The Chaldee Paraphrast rends Samson for Bedan in 1 Sam. 12: 11, and many suppose Bedan to be another name for Samson, either a contraction of BenDan (the son of Dan or Danite), or else meaning in or into Dan (be) with a reference to Judg. 13: 25. Neither explanation of the word is very probable, or defended by any analogy, and the order of the names does not agree with the supposition that Bedan is Samson, so that there is no real argument for it except the authority of the Paraphrast. The LXX., Syr., and Arab, all have Barak, a very probable correction except for the order of the names. Ewald suggests that it may be a false reading for Abdon. Alter all, as it is clear that the Book of Judges is not a complete record of the period of which it treats, it is possible that Bedan was one of the Judges whose names are not preserved in it, and so may perhaps be compared with the Jael of Judg. 5: 6, who was probably also a Judge, though we know nothing about the subject except from Deborah’s song. The only objection to this view is, that as Bedan is mentioned with Gideon, Jephthah, and Samuel, he would seem to have been an important Judge, and therefore not likely to be omitted in the history. The same objection applies in some degree to the views which identify him with Abdon or Jair, who are but cursorily mentioned. [G.E.L.C.]”))). When Nahash the king of the Ammonites attacked, Israel insisted on greeting a King to rule though the Lord God was their King. So now you have your chosen King; to fear the Lord, to serve and fear and listen to Him, not rejecting His commandment, and following Him; and if not His hand will be against you and your king. Samuel to Israel called in the wheat-harvest for the Lord to make it rain with thunders and lightening; that they know and see that their rejection of the Lord for a King was wickedness; and it was so, and they feared the Lord and Samuel. Israel asked Samuel to pray for them in this great sin against the Lord; and He bid them to fear not but to continue to serve Him with all their heart, for the Lord will not forsake them for His great name’s sake, since He was pleased to make them His People. Samuel assured them he would not sin against the Lord to neglect to pray for them and to instruct them in the good and right way; but only that they fear and serve Him whole heartedly in truth, considering His ways; and if they do wickedly He will destroy them and their king.
Saul (ben-shanah Saul) ruled Israel, the 2nd year he mustered 3,000 fighters, 2,000 with him at Michmash and a mount of Bethel, 1,000 with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin [this suggests Saul some 40 years old and Jonathan about 20]; and he dismissed the rest of the hosts. Jonathan struck the Philistine’s garrison at Geba, then Saul sounded the trumpet for the Hebrews to hear; so Israel thought that Saul had defeated the Philistines, and they hated Israel; Israel gathered to Saul at Gilgal. The Philistines mustered 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and a mighty host at Michmash east of Beth-Aven. Israel distressed hid in everywhere; and some went across the Jordan to Gad and Gilead; the rest was with Saul at Gilgal trembling. He waited 7 days as Samuel ordered, but Samuel did not show up, and they people scattered; so Saul offered the sacrifices himself. Samuel arrived and Saul went to meet him. Samuel asked him what he was doing; he said that he was afraid in Samuel’s delay so he offered to the Lord for His protection. Samuel rebuked him for such foolishness and disobedience, and now his kingdom will not be established permanently; rather the Lord has found him a man after His own heart, and appointed him to be Prince over the People, because of Saul’s disobedience. Samuel left Gilgal to go to Gibeah of Benjamin; Saul with 600 men with Jonathan and some of the people stayed at Geba of Benjamin while the Philistines were at Michmash. The Philistine fighters (spoilers) moved in 3 companies: one toward Ophrah of Shual, second to Beth-Horon, and 3rd to the desert of the valley of Zeboim. (Now Israel had no smiths or iron-workers or tool-sharpeners, except some sharpening files, because the Philistines were afraid that the Hebrews would make weapons; thus most the people had no iron weapons, except for Saul and Jonathan.) The troops of the Philistines restationed to the passage of Michmash.
Jonathan and his armor-bearer decided to get near the garrison of the Philistines, but had not informed his father Saul, who was still at Gibeah by the pomegranate-tree of Migron; with Ahijah ben-Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, ben-Phineas ben-Eli the Lord’s Priest in Shiloh, wearing the Ephod. Jonathan was between two passes of rocky crags, Bozez and Saneh., one north before Michmash, the other south before Geba. Johnathan told his armor-bearer that they should attack the uncircumcised Philistines for the Lord saves by few or many, and he agreed to go. They went and plotted to test for a sign if they should wait or advance by asking the fighters if they should come or stay for the battle; the Philistines replied thinking the Hebrews were coming out of their hiding places to fight, so bid them come on, to teach them; thus Johnathan took it as the Lord’s answer of victory. They crept into the garrison and killed about 20 men in distance of 1/2 a furrow of 1/2 acre; causing great fear and confusion in the camp, and the earth quaked. Saul’s watchmen of Gibeah of Benjamin saw the Philistines dwindle in numbers being routed; he asked who was missing from his fighters and was told Jonathan and his armorbearer. Saul told Ahijah to bring the Ark of God, and while he talked with the Priest the Philistines continued their tumult, Saul told Ahijah to withdraw his hand (that is from the breastplate of the lots of the Urim & Thumim); when Saul and his men came to the camp the Philistines were slaughtering themselves in confusion. The Hebrews allied to the Philistines then deserted and aligned themselves with Israel; and the Israelites in hiding came out to take part in the battle.; the Lord saved Israel, and the battle spread to Beth-aven. But Israeli fighters became hungry because Saul had cursed and banned anyone from eating till the evening till he was avenged. The people came to the forest and Jonathan tasted some wild honey not knowing Saul’s curse, but the men refused fearing the King’s oath; Jonathan objected to Saul’s ban as troublesome and deprived the men their portion from the spoils. They continued to fight from Michmash to Aijalon, and the people flew in craze upon the spoil, eating animals raw with blood. Saul was told, and he ordered a great stone be rolled for the sin; then he dispersed men throug