Archive | Psalms

RSS feed for this section

Two-edged swords

Two-edged swords (149:6) were made of bronze or iron and were filed on each side, so that the blade could more readily and deeply penetrate enemy armor. In the NT, the word of God is said to be “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12) because of the way it exposes the deepest “thoughts and […]

Who are the saints?

Who are the saints? The term “saints” is used in both the OT and NT to describe God’s people. In the OT it describes the faithful among God’s people Israel (37:28; 145:10). In the NT, the Greek word translated “saints” means “holy,” in the sense of being set apart for God. This includes all those, […]

Salvation

In the OT, salvation generally refers to deliverance from both physical and spiritual danger. Because God had been a faithful Savior in the past, Israel trusted that they could look forward to his greater salvation in the future. The ultimate salvation for all mankind would come through Jesus the Messiah.

Wonders

Wonders can also be translated “marvels.” The word is often used to describe God’s works of rescuing his people and protecting and caring for them (9:1; 78:11; 98:1; Ex. 3:20; 34:10). In Ps. 136:4, it describes creation, showing that God’s work as Creator should fill us with awe and wonder.

What is “renown”?

What is “renown”? The word “renown” refers to being well-known or specially honored. In 135:13, it could also mean a “remembrance.” Psalm 135 echoes the words of Ex. 3:15: “This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”

Anointing with oil

Anointing with oil. It was common during festivals for people to have their foreheads anointed with fragrant oils. This not only provided a pleasant aroma but gave the person a glistening look of good health. (See 133:2.)

What does it mean to “redeem” someone?

What does it mean to “redeem” someone? The word “redeem” expresses the idea of rescue and protection. The Psalms speak of God redeeming Israel (44:26; 111:9). God’s acts of redemption in the OT anticipate redemption from sin through the death of Jesus Christ (Col. 1:13–14).

Watchmen

Watchmen (130:6) were stationed along the walls of ancient cities. They would sound an alarm if an enemy approached the city. Fields and vineyards also had watchmen to protect the grain and produce from thieves and animals.

What are fowlers?

What are fowlers? A “fowler” is someone who traps birds. In the Scriptures, it is used figuratively to describe active enemies of God’s people. The psalmist describes God as delivering his people from the fowler’s snare (91:3; 124:7).