These are some of my notes for Sunday September 20, 2009 in the Lifeway Explore the Bible series.
The book referenced in these notes is
Psalms vol 3: Psalms 90-150, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, Baker Academic, 2008 by John Goldingay
“Our God” is not simply a local god worshiped by people in a little locality. Instead, His judgments affect the entire world.(Goldingay)
Remember: Hebrew zakar, antonym of ignore, Hebrew sakah. “Mindful” as Goldingay translates is a deliberately applied holding in the mind, or the application of the mind resulting in action. It can refer to present and future as well as past. (Goldingay)
“Thousand generations” is a way of saying “forever”.(Goldingay)
“Promise” is interpretive here, as Hebrew has no word for “promise”. Instead KJV’s “word He commanded” is more literal. The emphasis is on God being the initiator and guarantor of the covenant.(Goldingay)
God only made the actual covenant with Abraham (Gen 22:16) but applied it to Isaac and Jacob (Gen 26:3; Ex 33:1)(Goldingay)
“Decree”: Like a law put into effect by a king and written down, meant to continue in force until the king’s reign ends. Only the reign of the divine king God lasts forever, thus His decree also remains in force forever.(Goldingay)
“Land of Canaan” is the standard description of Abraham’s descendants’ land from Genesis thru Joshua, after which it becomes “land of Israel”. (Goldingay)
“Portion, lot” comes from Hebrew chebel, a word for a cord, especially a measuring line, like that used to measure out family portions of a village’s land. (Goldingay)
The “you” at the beginning of verse 11 is singular, the “your” plural, signifying that the covenant started with just Abraham, but spread to the nation that descended from him.(Goldingay)
Sinned: Hebrew hata, something aimed at but falling short of reaching. The sense is not that we try our best but fail, rather that we aim wrong from the start. (Goldingay).
Wayward: Hebrew awa, meaning “to leave the path”. In fact, one root word awa means “twist”, and another “go astray” in the sense of deliberately choosing the wrong way. Awa might suggest the twisted nature of humans, choosing the wrong way regularly.(Goldingay)
Wicked- Hebrew rasa, antonym of sedeq, “faithfulness, righteousness”. Rasa connotates does the wrong thing in light of a relationship with another, not just an objective moral standard. (Goldingay)
This confession of sin “with our fathers” is equivalent of God’s covenant with Abraham but extended to the nation of his descendants. (Goldingay)
The events narrated here skip to those recounted in Ex 32-34.
The bullock was an attempt by Israelites to put their God in terms like those used by the Egyptians and other peoples to define their gods. But while a bullock might suggest God’s strength and vigor, it inevitably cannot capture His reality, and thus bowing down to an image is bowing down to a different god. (Goldingay)
Glory: Hebrew kabod, suggesting the visual splendor of some important person in fancy ceremonial dress, an outward sign of the person’s worth. (Goldingay)
Image: Hebrew tabnit, “plan, pattern, image, representation, likeness”
Forgot: Hebrew shakah, which can mean accidental forgetting, but also frequently means deliberate putting out of mind.(Goldingay)
Abhorred: Hebrew taab, abhorred, detested, loathed, in either a physical or ethical, ritual sense.
Inheritance: Hebrew nahala, derived from a meaning of property received as a permanent possession, in succession. The emphasis here is on God’s permanent possession of His people. (Goldingay)
Judges, Kings and Chronicles all recount the repeated cycle of God relationship with Israel: rescue, rebellion, and calamity and back around again. (Goldingay)
The literal translation “rebelled in their plans” gives a better sense of the Israelites sin: they continually tried to do things their own way, not as God would have them to do.(Goldingay)
“Beaten down, brought low” doesn’t really convey the idea here. The Israelites were repeatedly humiliated by their rejection of God’s leadership for their own.
“Inquity, sin” is the Hebrew awon, taken from that same cognate group as awa “wayward”, speaking of the twisted, foolishly rebellious nature of mankind.
Remembered:Hebrew zakar again, a deliberate remembering, a effortful keeping in mind.
Repented, relented: Hebrew naham, derived from a root meaning “to breathe deeply”, thus a physical show of emotion, like compassion and sorrow. One might repent the necessity of a thing without repenting the action itself. (Goldingay)