Concerning Rebellious Man in the Earth (Psalm 9-15)
Psalm 9, Part 1: Nimrod, the Rebel (Gen. 11:1-9)
The number nine speaks God's Visitation for the purpose of investigating and exposing hearts, gathering evidence, and “seeing” firsthand if the reports of lawless behavior are true. Thus, nine is also a number signifying judgment, or “fire.”
The “fire” may be painful to our flesh, but it gives life to our spirit. The purpose of the Holy Spirit's work of judgment, then, is to bring all men to repentance. This is the background of Psalm 9, where we see God's judgments upon the rebellious portrayed. When viewed as a revelation of the book of Genesis, Psalm 9 portrays the court case against Nimrod, whereby the secrets of his heart are made manifest.
Psalm 9 is entitled, “A Psalm of David.” In it, David spoke about his own enemies who had risen up against him. David says in Psalm 9:3-20,
3 When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before Thee. 4... Thou dost sit on the throne judging righteously... 7 But the Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, 8 and He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity... 16 The Lord has made Himself known; He has executed judgment... 19 Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged before Thee. 20 Put them in fear, O Lord; let the nations know that they are but men. [Selah.]
While this psalm appears to be stern and harsh against the wicked, David makes it clear that “ He will judge the world in righteousness,” and that His judgment is “with equity.” In other words, He will judge them according to His law, not according to man's laws which often only add injustice to injustice. Men tend to punish, because they think that increasing the punishment will deter crime. When men punish, deterrence is the primary goal, while justice is secondary. God always judges, because true judgment always fits the crime and is primarily concerned with justice. Deterrence is secondary.
Psalm 9 also looks back to the beginning of rebellion, which began with Nimrod, whose name means “rebel.” Here we find a particularly interesting contrast that manifests the meaning of the number nine. Noah's name means “rest.” However, according to the book of Jasher, he had a second name, Menachem, which means “comforter.” Jasher 4:14 tells us,
14 And Methuselah called his name Noah, saying, the earth was in his days at rest and free from corruption, and Lamech his father called his name Menachem, saying, this one shall comfort us in our works and miserable toil in the earth, which God had cursed.
Moses combines the two names, saying in Gen. 5:28, 29 (KJV),
28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son. 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, “This same shall comfort [Heb., nacham] us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.”
The 120-year warning period that Noah was given in Gen. 6:3 represents the earth's time of visitation. During that time, most of the people rejected the leading of Noah, or Menachem, “the comforter.” The case was built against them, and the earth was then judged by a flood. The flood was, of course, the topic of Psalm 8.
But Psalm 9 focuses more upon Nimrod, who was the great rebel who lived after the flood. Nimrod rebelled against the peaceful rule of Noah, who was the rightful king over the earth. He was the true inheritor of the dominion mandate that had been given to Adam in Gen. 1:26-28. Noah ruled under God and was led by the Spirit. His son, Shem, built Jerusalem, the “City of Peace,” the capital city of God's kingdom.
Nimrod rebelled against Noah and the Holy Spirit, because he wanted to usurp the throne of God and rule in his own way. Nimrod was the builder of Babylon, the antithesis of Jerusalem. Babylon, then, should be viewed as “The Bloody City,” for it represents the capital city of the violent rebels. Unfortunately, in later years, Jerusalem itself joined the rebellion, and the prophets then called that city “The Bloody City” (Ez. 22:2; 24:6, 9). God then left that place (Jer. 7:11-15; 23:39; Ez. 11:23) and declared the New Jerusalem to be the true City of Peace and the capital of His kingdom.
Psalm 9:4 says,
4 For Thou hast maintained my just cause; Thou dost sit on the throne judging righteously.
Jesus Christ has gathered all the evidence there is. He knows the hearts and can present all the evidence as it really is. Thus, David remains confident that he will win the court case against his adversaries who accuse him falsely—particularly those who challenged his right to rule Israel.
Psalm 9:5 says,
5 Thou hast rebuked the nations; Thou hast destroyed the wicked; Thou hast blotted out their name forever and ever [for the eon and further—CV].
Christ's rebuke is part of the court case where the evidence is reviewed. In contrast to the followers of Nimrod's rebels in Babylon, Psalm 9:11, 12 says to the righteous,
11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; declare among the peoples His deeds. 12 For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
These are words of comfort to the righteous who suffer under the rule of the rebellious. It is a reminder that in the end God will hold the rebellious ones accountable for their misrule of the earth. Psalm 9:16 continues the theme of visitation (and divine judgment) upon Babylon and men who rebel against the rightful King-Messiah,
16 The Lord has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah.
Higgaion is a soliloquy (speaking out loud to one's self). Selah is a pause to reflect on the soliloquy, before stating confidently in the next verses:
17 The wicked will return to Sheol, even all the nations who forget God. 18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever. 19 Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged before Thee. 20 Put them in fear, O Lord; let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.
Rebels beginning with Nimrod think that they can usurp the throne of Christ. Nimrod himself ought to have submitted himself to the godly and peaceful rule of Noah (and Shem). But he chose to conquer men, form his own kingdom, and enslave men to his own laws. Those who follow in his footsteps think too highly of themselves, but God will ultimately bring them to see that they are not gods, but mere men.
Psalm 9 discusses the problem of rebellious men who have usurped the throne of Christ. However, it also gives us a hope for a new world in the future, when Christ and His overcoming body are reinstated to their rightful place. The nations will be judged, as we read in Matt. 25:31 and 32,
31 But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
The nations will be issued a subpoena to appear before the divine court and give an account of their actions. Babylon itself will come into judgment, though no longer is it that ancient city. Babylon has now become a world system that stands in opposition to the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. It is this world system, Babylon's successor, that God will judge, as we read in Rev. 18:21,
21 And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.”
However, the overthrow of Babylon does not mean that the individual nations will cease to exist as nations. Babylon is the system that oppresses the nations. The nations will rejoice when their oppressor is overthrown and replaced by the Kingdom of God. When the Song of Moses is sung at Babylon's overthrow, the nations will worship God, as we read in Rev. 15:3, 4,
3 And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. 4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; for all the nations will come and worship before Thee, for Thy righteous acts have been revealed.”
The song asks, “Who will NOT fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name?” The only reason all men do not glorify Him today is because they do not know Him, because to know Him is to love Him. He is “ the desire of all nations ” (Hag. 2:7). As we said earlier, 1 Cor. 14:25 says that when secrets of the heart of the unbeliever are exposed by the Holy Spirit, “ he will fall on his face and worship God. ”
The purpose of Christ's coming was to show people the Father and His character. Likewise, the purpose of the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:23) will be to complete this work by manifesting the love of Christ to the rest of the world. Once this is done, who would NOT glorify His name?
This implies that ALL nations will glorify Him, and this is consistent with the picture in Rev. 5:13, where all living creatures worship and glorify God. Thus, we see that the judgment of the nations is not as horrific as apocalyptic doom-and-gloom Bible teachers have often portrayed it. Jesus Christ will judge all nations “with equity” and true justice, not simply by destructive punishment. The Babylonian system will be utterly destroyed, but the people will be saved and released from their bondage to sin and rebellion. These will come to learn God's ways in the age to come (Is. 2:3).
Psalm 9 is called “an irregular acrostic.” An acrostic psalm is a type of Hebrew poetry, where the first verse begins with the alef, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The second verse then begins with beth, the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The third begins with gimel, the third letter, and so on.
The best example of an acrostic psalm is Psalm 119, where there are 22 sections of 8 verses each. All of verses of each section begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So the first 8 verses begin with alef, the next 8 begin with beth, and the next 8 begin with gimel, and so on. Psalm 119 is a “regular acrostic psalm.”
Psalm 9, however, is an irregular acrostic psalm. That means certain letters are skipped—in this case, 7 letters are omitted. There is a certain disorder built into the psalm itself in order to portray poetically the disorder of the rebellious man, Nimrod, and those who follow his example. The verses in Psalm 9 begin with the alef, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and brings us up to the kaf, which is the middle of the alphabet.
Psalm 9 ends there in the middle of the Hebrew alphabet. Psalm 10 then continues the acrostic, beginning with the next letter, lamed. Psalm 10 continues the irregular acrostic until it concludes with tav (10:17), the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So Psalms 9 and 10 were originally two halves of a single psalm.
The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament, translated around 280 B.C.) combines Psalms 9 and 10 into one psalm. This is why Psalm 11 is identified as Psalm 10 in the Septuagint, causing the average reader some confusion.
As we study the psalms and see how they reveal the biblical meaning of numbers, it becomes apparent that the only way to do this properly is to consider Psalms 9 and 10 to be a single psalm. Together, they reveal the meaning of the number nine. Psalm 11, then, properly reveals the meaning of the number 10, because it is actually the tenth psalm.
There is no way to avoid confusion, so we must confront the problem directly. (See the footnote at the end of Section I on page 52.)
Psalm 9, Part 2 (Septuagint)
Psalm 10 (KJV) Nimrod, the Rebel, continued (Gen.10:8-10)
Psalm 10 is the second half of Psalm 9, and so the meaning of the number nine continues to apply to Psalm 10. The Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament does not separate Psalm 10 from Psalm 9. Thus, Psalm 10 is part two of Psalm 9. The psalmist begins by asking God for a visitation in verse 1,
1 Why dost Thou stand afar off, O Lord? Why dost Thou hide thyself in times of trouble?
In other words, why do you stay away? Come and visit. Come and see what is happening. Come and gather the evidence for judgment. Verse 4 continues,
4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him [God]. All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
In view of the oppression of the rebellious rulers of the world-system, this is ever the cry of the believer who longs for the rule of Christ to become manifested in the earth. In fact, the foremost reason that men have doubted the existence of God is because of the presence of evil in the earth. They ask, “If there were really a God, then why would He allow all this evil in the earth?”
Often, the Church has attempted to answer this by saying, “God is not really responsible; it is man who has brought evil in the earth.” Such a response attempts to remove responsibility from God's shoulders, but it does so at the expense of His sovereignty. The logical end of that view is that God is really a giant who wrings His hands helplessly while man continues to create the evil conditions on earth. This view says that God cannot or will not do anything until the great Judgment.
The problem with this view is that first of all, the Bible is full of examples where God DID intervene in the affairs of men. Who can forget King Nebuchadnezzar's story in Daniel 4, where God deposed the king and made him eat grass for “seven times” (years)? If God could do such a thing back then, why could He not do so at any time He chooses? God is not nearly as helpless as some Christians have been taught.
The key is in understanding the law. Men have not understood the laws of time, whereby God's judgments are made according to specific time cycles. When Adam sinned, he and his children were sentenced by law to work for six days before entering a Sabbath rest. This labor is pictured also in the six-year period of slavery in Exodus 21:2 before the slave is set free, entering into a greater rest. Likewise, it is pictured in the 49-year Jubilee cycle (Lev. 25:8), after which time men could reclaim their lost inheritance and enter their highest level of rest.
Each individual throughout history has his own life story. Some have a difficult life, while others live in luxury. But on the Adamic level, all are subject to the bondage of the flesh and must serve their sentence until the appointed time of release. This was the case both before and after the Cross. From the crucifixion of Jesus throughout the account in the book of Acts, we see the overcomers being mistreated and killed for their witness. Such persecution and martyrdom has continued to the present time in various forms.
Sin was introduced through Adam, and the world has had to suffer its consequences since that time. Men become impatient because they know that a sovereign God could put an end to this evil immediately. But if they would study the divine law, they would come to know His mind in this matter. They would see that there is an appointed time for all things. These are divine laws and not legislated by man, and so most men will not agree with them or understand them.
So it is true that there are things that God will not judge until the Great White Throne Judgment. These are the roots and origins of sin that began with Adam's fall. However, there are many lesser things that God judges at other appointed times. He judged Sodom at its appointed time. He judged Canaan at its appointed time. He judged Babylon at its appointed time. In each case, God's patience seemed far too great from the perspective of the believers on earth. Nonetheless, the time of judgment always comes.
The overcomers are those who take the time to learn how God thinks so that they can come into agreement with Him. These are the ones who will rule with Him and will judge the earth according to the mind of Christ. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 6:2, “ Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?”
Rebellious man does not believe that there is a God who will judge his actions and hold him accountable for his oppression. All men have gods. Even an “atheist” is one who worships himself as a god, for he recognizes no higher authority than himself and his own well-being. Psalm 10:6-13 continues,
6 He says to himself, “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not be in adversity.” 7 His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is mischief and wickedness. 8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the hiding places he kills the innocent; his eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate. 9 He lurks in a hiding place as a lion in his lair; he lurks to catch the afflicted; he catches the afflicted when he draws him into his net. 10 He crouches, he bows down, and the unfortunate fall by his mighty ones. 11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten; He has hidden his face; He will never see it...” 13 He has said to himself, “Thou wilt not require it.”
Some of this is quoted in the third chapter of Romans to describe the rebellious heart of man—“ both Jews and Greeks ” (Rom. 3:14). This is the attitude of the rebellious ones who see themselves as gods and others as their servants to be used for personal gain. They look at history and see that God does not appear to hold evil rulers accountable for their actions, and they conclude that the patience of God—if He exists at all—will continue for ever. But the psalmist concludes in verse 16 with the hope of every believer,
16 The Lord is king forever and ever [for the eon and further—CV]; nations have perished from His land. 17 O Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble; Thou wilt strengthen their heart, Thou wilt incline Thine ear 18 to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, that man who is of the earth may cause terror no more.
The “man who is of the earth” is the primary theme of Psalms 9-15. Nimrod was the first great nation builder who demonstrated this type of earthly character. Though corruption itself began earlier, Nimrod was the first to organize the rebellion against God and seize power from His anointed ones (Noah and Shem). Shem then left Mesopotamia and built the city of Salem (Peace), that is, Jerusalem. He was the priest of the Most High God (El Elyon), a king-priest, for in those days, the offices of prophet, priest, and king were united. It was only later and because of corruption in the priesthood that these offices were separated and given to different people.
When men rule by fear, rather than by love, they are men of oppression and terror. Such was the precedent that Nimrod set forth, and that precedent has been followed by nearly all leaders since that time—some worse than others. A key verse describing Nimrod and hunters like him is Psalm 10:9,
9 He lurks in a hiding place as a lion in his lair; he lurks to catch the afflicted; he catches the afflicted when he draws him into his net.
This reminds us of Gen. 10:9, “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” In later years, Esau was also “a skillful hunter, a man of the field” (Gen. 25:27). This does not only refer to hunting animals, but people as well. The book of Jasher affirms this in Jasher 7:33 tells us,
33 Therefore it became current in those days, when a man ushered forth those that he had trained up for battle, he would say to them, like God did to Nimrod, who was a mighty hunter in the earth, and who succeeded in the battles that prevailed against his brethren, that he delivered them from the hands of their enemies, so may God strengthen us and deliver us this day.
Both Nimrod and Esau were hunters, and they used that skill to hunt the souls of men. Jesus said that “ the field is the world ” (Matt. 13:38). Thus, Esau—“ a man of the field ”—was a man of the world, rather than a man of God. He and his descendants were bloodthirsty (Ez. 35:6), for they hunted the souls of men.
To show that Christ will one day overthrow these oppressors and rule the earth in “ for the Eon and further,” Psalm 10:16 says in various translations,
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever (KJV and NASB).
16 Yahweh is King for the eon and further (C.V.).
16 The Lord shall reign in the eon [aiona], even in the eon of the eons [aiona tou aionos] (Septuagint).
Psalm 10:16 is quoted loosely in Rev. 11:15,
15 The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever (NASB).
Christ's New Jerusalem will replace Nimrod's Mystery Babylon, even as it replaced the old Jerusalem (“Hagar,” Gal. 4:25; Heb. 12:22). The New Temple (“our body,” 1 Cor. 3:16) will replace the Tower of Babel, even as it replaced the temple in old Jerusalem. Christ and His body of overcomers replace the usurpers and will be given dominion to fulfill Gen. 1:26-28. They will inherit the earth “in the eon of the eons,” that is, the greatest of the eons. That great eon, or age, is defined in Rev. 20:6 as a thousand years in length, and it is treated as a Sabbath Millennium.
Psalm 10 ends with the postscript, “To the chief Musician.”
Psalm 10 (Septuagint)
Psalm 11 (KJV) Sodom, Lot, and Abraham (Gen. 12-14)
Because Psalm 9 and 10 are two halves of the same psalm, Psalm 11 in our Bibles is actually the tenth psalm, as the Septuagint shows. Thus, Psalm 11 actually manifests the meaning of number ten.
Ten is the number that portrays that time of judgment when men either receive reward or come under divine judgment. One way or another, the law must be fulfilled and the divine order reestablished. And so this psalm focuses upon the divine judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
Psalm 11 is entitled, “A Psalm of David.” (Keep in mind that this is actually the tenth psalm.) As such, it commemorates how God had protected him during his life. It shows how God had provided a refuge for him while the judgment of God was coming upon the wicked.
Psalm 11 also looks back to the day that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham. In Genesis 13 Abraham (at the time known as Abram) had given his nephew, Lot, the choice of where to settle—either in the fruitful plain of Sodom or the sparse mountain country. Lot chose the plain of Sodom (Gen. 13:11), though the cities of that plain were wicked, leaving Abraham the sparse country.
Lot was a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7), though perhaps not so wise. The angels of God delivered Lot and his family from Sodom before its destruction with “brimstone and fire” (Gen. 19:24). Psalm 11 thus looks back to Lot's deliverance. Verse 1 says,
1 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
The fact is, the angels told Lot to flee to the mountain. Gen. 19:17 says,
17 And it came about when they had brought them outside, that one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, lest you be swept away.”
Judgment was coming upon those wicked cities in the valley. Their moral foundations had been eroded to the point where homosexual relations were considered normal (Gen. 19:5; Jude 7). Lot was a judge in Sodom, for the angels found him “ sitting in the gate of Sodom ” (Gen. 19:1). This was the public place where the judges judged the disputes of the citizens (Deut. 21:19; 22:15, 24; 25:7).
It must have been a difficult task to be a judge in such a corrupt city, but apparently, Lot was the only citizen who could not be bribed. So they made him a judge. Lot did the best he could under the circumstances, but can we not hear Lot's lament in the words of Psalm 11:3,
3 If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Psalm 11:4, 5 continues,
4 The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. 5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
This is a reference to Genesis 18, where God tested the righteous (Abraham), as well as to Genesis 19, where God tested the wicked city of Sodom. God first came to Abraham to test his heart. This was the real purpose of the divine visitation on the way to Sodom. Abraham interceded for Sodom out of a genuine love for mankind, even though they were wicked. When the angels of God finally arrived in Sodom, both Lot and the Sodomites were tested.
Lot represents the carnal believers—those who believe in God, but yet love the materialism and prosperity of the world system. Thus, Lot, though righteous, was reluctant to leave Sodom. After all, he had chosen to live there rather than in the sparse country where his uncle Abraham lived. He was too much in love with the Prosperity Doctrine. Lot is a picture of the Laodicean Church today, which has the illusion of prosperity that is based upon monetary wealth (Rev. 3:17), yet is in fact poverty stricken from the divine point of view, for they have little understanding of the riches of the Word. Psalm 11:6 then says,
6 Upon the wicked He will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup.
This is a reference to Gen. 19:24-28, which says,
24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground … 27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace.
God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah primarily according to the judgment of the law found in Lev. 18:22-24,
22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination... 24 Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.
In this judgment God spared Lot, though he later lost his wife in the ordeal. Lot represents the carnally-minded Christian who has been imputed “righteous” through justification by faith, but who will be “ saved yet so as through fire ” (1 Cor. 3:15). Even as most of Lot's possessions and wealth were burned in the fire, so also the works made of wood, hay, and stubble will be burned up (1 Cor. 3:13).
All the prosperity which Lot had accumulated in Sodom was ultimately lost. He became so depressed that he took to drinking wine. His two daughters, thinking that the whole world had been consumed by fire, decided that they would have to repopulate the earth. But since their father was the only remaining man on earth (so they thought), they took advantage of him when he was drunk with wine. Lot's two daughters thus became the father of Moab and Ammon, each fathered by incest (Gen. 19:36).
Lot, then, is a biblical type of carnal believer and how he will be raised in the general resurrection at the end of Revelation 20. Such believer's works will be tested by fire, but because they had faith in Christ's Sacrifice for sin, they will receive immortal life at that time (John 5:58, 29). For further study on the two resurrections, see my book, The Purpose of Resurrection.
Psalm 11:7 concludes,
7 For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face [paniymi, “His face” or “His presence”].
The Hebrew word paniym is the plural of panah, “face or presence.” The “i” (yod) at the end of the word makes it read “His face.”
The prophetic significance of this word paniym is determined by the story of Moses in Exodus 34, when Moses returned from the Mount with his face reflecting the glory of God. This had been Moses' eighth trip up the Mount, representing the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles when the Spirit's fullness will be poured out (John 7:37-39). In that story, however, the people were afraid to look at Moses' face, so he was compelled to put on a veil to hide the glory of God.
When the psalmist thus says, “the upright will behold His face,” he looks forward to the day of our transfiguration that the Apostle Paul explains in 2 Cor. 3:18,
18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Moses' face was like a mirror reflecting the glory of God. This glorification of the body is the purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles, and this feast will be fulfilled in us when our bodies are transfigured even as with Moses and Christ (Matt. 17:2).
The theme of beholding God's face is found throughout the Scriptures. In the New Testament, Paul uses the term prosopon for the “face” or “presence” of God. He also uses another term, parousia, which is usually translated the (second) “coming” of Christ, but which actually means “a being near,” or presence. Paul was using the Greek language to express the Hebrew thought behind paniym.
Thus, the coming of Christ has much to do with the coming of the fullness of the Spirit upon us, by which our bodies become mirrors of His glory. This is the baptism of fire, which is God's glory seen upon us. This is the ultimate “refuge” of verse 1 that God has provided for the righteous. It should be contrasted with the fire of God (the law) by which God judges the wicked.
This brings us again to the meaning of the number ten, which is the law's judgment. The fire that literally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was a symbol of the divine law and the judgment which proceeds from that law. For this reason, when God gave the law to Moses, it was called “the fiery law” (Deut. 33:2).
Jeremiah 23:29 says, “ Is not My word like as a fire?”
Ultimately, the “lake of fire” in Rev. 20:14, 15 is the judgment of the law as defined in Scripture. For a full study on the nature of this “fire,” see my book, The Judgments of the Divine Law.
Psalm 11 ends with the postscript, “To the chief Musician upon Sheminith.” There are two Sheminith psalms, this one and Psalm 5. As we said in our comments on Psalm 5, Strong's Concordance says that Sheminith probably means an eight-stringed lyre, because the root of the word means “eight” or “eighth.” Bullinger suggests that it refers to the inheritors who are “circumcised on the eighth day.”
Both views are probably correct. The law of the firstborn (Ex. 22:29-31) shows that they were to be presented to God on the eighth day. The eight-stringed lyre reflected that law. The meaning is clear: the inheritors of the earth will be the sons of God when presented to Him on the eighth day (of the Feast of Tabernacles). On that day “ the upright will behold His face ” (Psalm 11:7).
Psalm 11 (Septuagint)
Psalm 12 (KJV) Abraham's Deceit (Gen. 12, 20)
Eleven is the number of imperfection, disorder, or being out of order.
Since Psalm 9 and 10 are two halves of the same psalm, Psalm 12 is actually the 11th psalm and manifests the principle of disorder since Adam first sinned. Psalm 12 focuses upon the disorder caused by carnal man's deceitful, lying words in contrast to God's pure words. In this psalm, David expresses frustration with the liars and flatterers of his day. Psalm 12:2-4 says,
2 They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. 3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things; 4 who have said, With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?
Psalm 12 also looks back to Genesis 12, where we find the story of Abram's deceit. When Abram went to Canaan in Gen. 12, he arrived in the midst of a famine, so he passed through the land and went to Egypt. But he was fearful that the Egyptians would kill him in order to obtain his wife, Sarah, who was very beautiful. So he instructed her in Gen. 12:13 to deceive them:
13 Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.
His fear actually caused the very problem that he was trying to avoid. Pharaoh saw that she was beautiful and took her into his harem, thinking that she was Abram's “sister.” The term “sister” in those days included any close relative, and Sarah was actually his niece, the daughter of Abram's brother, Haran.
No doubt Abram was able to justify his deceit in his own mind, even as many do today. Is a man not justified in lying to protect his wife? But Abram was not acting in faith, and his words were not “pure” like the Word of the Lord. He had faith in God, but his faith had not yet been fully tried by the fire of experience that God brings to purify it.
All of this occurred before Abram's name had been changed to Abraham and before Sarai's name had been changed to Sarah. Thus, it speaks of the believers prior to their infilling of the Holy Spirit (the letter hey, the breath of God). They were still in training.
Because of the plagues that God sent upon Pharaoh, he finally sent for Abram and interrogated him about Sarah. Gen. 12:18-20 says,
18 Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” 20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.
When Abram admitted that she was his wife, Pharaoh gave Sarah back to Abram and deported them. But Abram apparently did not learn from this, even after his named was changed to Abraham. In Gen. 20 we find him using the same deceit in Gerar with the Philistine king, Abimelech. Gen. 20:2 says,
2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.”
Thus, the pure words of God were given to the Philistine king in order to overthrow and contradict the impure words of Abraham! The irony of the situation is incredible, but it is the same type of situation as we saw earlier with Pharaoh. And so Psalm 12:6 says,
6 The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
When the Lord speaks, the words are pure. However, when men speak the words of God, their ability to hear His voice is often compromised by the idols of the heart (Ezekiel 14:1-11). It is only by time and experience as God refines us in the “furnace” that our words may fully become the words of God without alloy. Pure words are most important in the training of overcomers to rule God's kingdom. Only when they speak pure words without deceit can they judge the world in righteousness. For this reason Psalm 12 focuses upon that theme.
Paul tells us in Gal. 3:29,
29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.
And so, the principles in Psalm 12 apply to all those who belong to Christ. Even as He trained Abraham to speak the truth in faith, so also does He train Abraham's seed. By refining their words seven times in the fire, He qualifies them to rule His Kingdom.
Psalm 12 ends with the postscript, “To the chief Musician.”
Psalm 12 (Septuagint)
Psalm 13 (KJV) Birth of Isaac; Ishmael's Persecution (Gen. 17, 21)
Twelve is the number of governmental perfection and divine authority. It follows 11, which is the disorder preceding this perfection.
Psalm 13 is entitled, “A Psalm of David.” Psalm 13 refers to David's enemies who were always plotting against him and attempting to overthrow him. It deals with his enemies rejoicing during the time that the righteous seem to have been forsaken by God. David experienced this many times, and it taught him patience and faith. God used the opposition and persecution to train David, so that he would have the spiritual qualities needed to rule properly.
Thus, Psalm 13 (the twelfth psalm) sets forth two things: (1) the opposition by the enemies of God's choice of ruler; and (2) the time it takes those future rulers of the Kingdom to learn patience. When one knows that he is called to rule, he tends at first to be impatient. He wants to rule now, so that he can “subdue the earth” under Christ. He is eager for the opportunity to do good. But God uses the opposition to teach the ruler that the battle is not his, but God's. Waiting is far more difficult than warring.
This psalm also looks back to the story of Abram and Isaac. Abram and Sarah had to learn patience to await the Lord's time for the promised inheritor to be born. When they finally got past the age of childbearing, they decided that they should have a child through Sarah's bondmaid, Hagar. And so, Ishmael was born to them. But there was conflict between Sarah and Hagar even before Ishmael was born. Gen. 16:4 says,
4 And he [Abram] went in to Hagar, and she conceived, and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.
Sarah knew God's promise to her, but because it looked like that promise was failing, she became fearful and angry. She began treating Hagar with such harshness (Gen. 16:6) that she ran away, intending to return to her homeland in Egypt. However, an angel of the Lord appeared to her and sent her back. God intended to use Hagar to try the faith of Sarah further, and also He intended to teach Hagar about His ways.
And so, can we not hear the voice of Sarah behind David's words speaking to God in Psalm 13:1 and 2,
1 How long, O Lord? Wilt Thou forget me forever? How long wilt Thou hide thy face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Yet ultimately, God was faithful to keep His promise, both to David and to Sarah. Psalm 13:5 and 6 says,
5... My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation [Yeshua]. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Fourteen years after Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, Sarah had a son of her own—Isaac. This was the son whom God told Abraham to offer as a sacrifice upon Mount Moriah (Gen. 22). This was to portray Isaac as a type of Jesus (Yeshua). And so, verse 5 says, “ My heart shall rejoice in Thy Yeshua.” Sarah's son was named Isaac, “son of laughter,” which depicted Sarah's rejoicing at the birth of her messiah-type. It prophesies also of Mary's Magnificat in Luke 1:46, 47,
46 And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
A further testing came when Ishmael persecuted Isaac, being jealous of his rival for the birthright. Gen. 21:9 merely records that Ishmael was “mocking” Isaac. The Hebrew word used is tsaw-kawk, which means “to laugh.” It is the root word from which the name Isaac (Yitz-kawk) is derived. Isaac means laughter, but Ishmael was laughing at Isaac. It was laughter by a wrong spirit. The Apostle Paul interprets this incident in Gal. 4:29, saying,
25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is out mother… 29 But as at the time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.
Paul was showing that the children of Jerusalem (i.e., “Hagar”) were persecuting the children of the New Jerusalem (i.e., “Sarah”). That is, the chief priests of the temple collectively played the role of Ishmael in persecuting the early Church. Paul knew about this persecution firsthand, for he played a major role in persecuting the Church prior to his conversion. Gal. 1:13, 14 says,
13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
God cast the old Jerusalem out of Paul and made him a child of the New Jerusalem. This is the path of blessing for all men, for it is only through Sarah—the New Jerusalem, the New Covenant—that we can be inheritors of the promises. Sarah's faith was vindicated by the birth of Isaac and ultimately Isaac's rival for the birthright was cast out. This prophesied of a future time, as Paul says in Gal. 4:30,
30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman. [quoting Sarah's words in Gen. 21:10] 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free woman.
Though Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, he did not identify old Jerusalem as his “mother” like many “messianic” believers do today. He did not try to return to his “Jewish roots,” nor did he go back into a form of “Christian Judaism.” Instead, he makes Sarah his “mother,” that is, the New Jerusalem, and he instructs us to “cast out the bondwoman.” Natural Jerusalem will not be the heir with the freewoman, regardless of some men's teaching.
Men's eschatology often makes old Jerusalem the center of all things and the capital of the kingdom of God. Messianic Christians identify the old Jerusalem as the mother of the Church. That is certainly the case, as I pointed out in my book, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost. But the old Jerusalem is not the mother of the overcomers. In the end that city will be cast out and destroyed, according to Jeremiah 19:10, 11. The overcomers will reign with Him by the authority of the New Jerusalem.
And so the bigger picture presented to us in Psalm 13 is that the faith of all the Old Testament saints was tested and purified to teach them patience until the time that the true Heir—Jesus Christ—was born in Bethlehem. And after the Crucifixion, the Old Covenant (Hagar, Old Jerusalem) was cast out to make way for the New Covenant (Sarah, the New Jerusalem.) This understanding is especially important to those who currently believe that the Old Jerusalem has become the “Sarah” of Bible prophecy.
Those who are being prepared to rule in the Kingdom of God in the age to come are not the violent ones, but those who have learned patience. When we see Psalm 13 in the light of the story of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Ishmael, then we can see how this is portraying the meaning of the number 12. It is about the distinctions in character between those called to rule and those called only to be citizens of the Kingdom. Psalm 13 ends with the postscript, “To the chief Musician.”
Psalm 13 (Septuagint)
Psalm 14 (KJV) Sarah in Captivity under Abimelech (Gen. 20)
The number thirteen speaks of rebellion and depravity.
The thirteenth psalm is Psalm 14 and is entitled, “A Psalm of David.” David had much experience with the Philistines, even being forced to live with them for a time to avoid Saul's persecution. Philistines allegorically represent the rebellious unbelievers, as well as the carnal mind within believers. Of such Philistines, David says,
1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Paul quotes this in Romans 3. Most of Psalm 14 is about the carnal man who does not recognize God as his Lord. This passage describes “both Jews and Greeks” equally, as Paul tells us in Rom. 3:9-12,
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, 10 as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside; together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.”
Thus, when we apply David's words in Psalm 14 to the Philistines, we must broaden its application to the Philistine mindset, which is the carnal mind.
This psalm also looks back to the story of Abraham and his relationship to the Philistines. Abimelech was a Philistine king in Canaan and represents allegorically the carnal mind in general. As we mentioned in our study of Psalm 12, Abraham told King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister (Gen. 20:2), so Abimelech took Sarah to be his wife. God revealed the truth to him in a dream, and thus Sarah was restored to Abraham. The same had occurred earlier with Pharaoh when they sojourned in Egypt.
Thus, the carnal mind in Abraham himself caused Sarah to become “the captive bride,” which is seen throughout the Scriptures in the story of Israel's bondage in Egypt and later in Assyria. The captivity is clearly seen in Scripture to be the result of rebellion against God. God uses captivity to judge men and their carnal minds.
Psalm 14:4 continues,
4 Do all the workers of wickedness not know, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord?
Jesus quotes this verse in Matt. 7:23 about those believers who claim to have done many wonderful works in the name of Jesus. Jesus' response is, “Depart from Me, you workers of wickedness.” In quoting this phrase from Psalm 14:4, Jesus makes it clear that the rebellious, carnal mind is unacceptable, even in miracle workers.
Psalm 14:7 ends the psalm by saying,
7 Oh, that the salvation [“Yeshua,” or Jesus] of Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice [guwl], Israel will be glad [sameach].
David's hope is, for Yeshua to come. This also reflects Simeon's desire in Luke 2:29, 30, who, when he saw the infant Jesus and heard them call his name Yeshua, said,
29 Now, Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart in peace, according to Thy word, 30 For my eyes have seen Thy salvation [Yeshua.]
Psalm 14:7 says, “Jacob will rejoice.” The Hebrew word for rejoice is guwl, which literally means to spin around. When people rejoiced and danced, they spun around. But Strong's Concordance says that it can also indicate fear, as if a person is disoriented and does not know which way to go.
“Israel will be glad.” The Hebrew word is sameach, which means to be gleeful. It comes from the root word samach, “to brighten up.” There is no negative meaning to this. So why would two different words be used to describe Jacob and Israel?
The distinction between Jacob and Israel is a matter of character. He was born Jacob, but he became Israel. Jacob is the immature believer, and also a deceiver—a believer who still relies upon the carnal mind. Israel is the overcomer. Jacob is the believer who has faith but does not really believe that God is capable of fulfilling His promises without some help and cunning. Jacob received the new name Israel after he wrestled with the angel (Gen. 32:24). This event spun him around, not without fear, but it altered his thinking in regard to the sovereignty of God.
So Psalm 14:7 probably should be understood in this way today: “ When the Lord restores His captive Bride, the carnal minds of the believers will be spun around, and the overcomers will be glad. ” Non-overcoming believers are yet captive to their carnal minds (i.e., the Philistine mindset). But the day is coming when the Day of Atonement will be fulfilled in their lives, and they will repent, or TURN (be spun around). Then they will begin to understand the plan of God in more ways than they today realize.
Psalm 14 (Septuagint)
Psalm 15 (KJV) Isaac's Deliverance (Gen. 22)
Fourteen is the number of deliverance or release.
The fourteenth psalm is Psalm 15. It is entitled, “A Psalm of David.” The first verse gives us the main theme of the psalm:
1 O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?
The Hebrew word translated “tent” is ohel. God's tent was the tabernacle. It literally means “the revelation of God.” It is spelled alef, hey, lamed. Ohel is El with the letter hey in the middle of it. In the Hebrew language, when the letter hey appears in the middle of a word, it indicates inspiration or revelation. Ohel is the revelation (hey) of God (El).
The tent (tabernacle) of God is the place where God is revealed. So the question, “who may abide in Thy tent?” is really a question of who has a true revelation of God. This is the question that the rest of the psalm answers in practical language. The evidence of such a person, David says, is made manifest by one's works.
2 He who walks with integrity and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt, and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
This psalm looks back to the time when Abraham brought his son, Isaac, to the “holy hill” of Mount Moriah in Genesis 22 to offer him to God as a sacrifice. During the journey, Isaac noticed that they had brought wood and fire, a knife, but no sacrifice.
8 And Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.
When they arrived at the top of the holy hill, Abraham then told Isaac what God had asked him to do. Abraham then built an altar and put Isaac upon it, preparing to kill him as a sacrifice to God. But then God stopped him and showed him a ram caught by its horns in a nearby bush. The ram was a substitute for Isaac.
The book of Jasher (an ancient manuscript referred to in Joshua 10:13 and again in 2 Sam. 1:18) tells us that Isaac was 37 years old when his father brought him to Mount Moriah (Jasher 22:41). Then Jasher 23:49-57 says,
50 And when they were going along, Isaac said to his father, “Behold, I see here the fire and wood, and where then is the lamb that is to be the burnt offering before the Lord?” 51 And Abraham answered his son Isaac, saying, “The Lord has made choice of thee, my son, to be a perfect burnt offering instead of the lamb.” 52 And Isaac said unto his father, “I will do all that the Lord spoke to thee with joy and cheerfulness of heart.” 53 And Abraham again said unto Isaac his son, “Is there in thy heart any thought or counsel concerning this, which is not proper? Tell me, my son, I pray thee, O my son conceal it not from me.” 54 And Isaac answered his father Abraham and said unto him, “O my father, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is nothing in my heart to cause me to deviate either to the right or to the left from the word that he has spoken to thee. 55 Neither limb nor muscle has moved or stirred at this, nor is there in my heart any thought or evil counsel concerning this. 56 But I am of joyful and cheerful heart in this matter, and I say, ‘Blessed is the Lord who has this day chosen me to be a burnt offering before Him'.” 57 And Abraham greatly rejoiced at the words of Isaac, and they went on and came together to that place that the Lord had spoken of.
In the primary sense, Isaac is a type of Jesus Christ, who willingly offered Himself up as a Sacrifice by His death on the cross. It is likely that He died on the same spot where Isaac had been offered many centuries earlier. But at the same time, Isaac serves as a type of humanity, on whose behalf the substitute ram was offered up.
Thirdly, Isaac is a type of the overcoming body of Christ that is willing to die with Christ in order to be raised in the likeness of His resurrection as well. Thus, the martyrs are treated in Scripture as being sacrifices and burnt offerings unto God. For example, Paul tells us in Phil. 2:17, 18,
17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 And you too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
David's question in Psalm 15:1, “Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?” focuses specifically upon the overcoming body of Christ—those who are willing to identify with Jesus Christ and the cross, those who are willing to “die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31). Because Psalm 15 connects with the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, we understand that this story provides us with the underlying key in answering this important question. The answer is this: Those who dwell on His holy hill will be those who are also willing to walk up that hill and die for others as Jesus did. This is the ultimate evidence of the overcoming body of Christ. They are willing to do as He did, if necessary.
Gen. 22:3 tells us that Abraham did not only take Isaac with him to Mount Moriah. He also “ took two of his young men with him.” Who were these young men? The book of Jasher tells us they were Ishmael and Eliezar, the servant. Jasher 23:21-24 says ,
21 And Abraham took two of his young men with him, Ishmael the son of Hagar and Eliezer his servant, and they went together with them, and whilst they were walking in the road, the young men spoke these words to themselves. 22 And Ishmael said to Eliezer, now my father Abraham is going with Isaac to bring him up for a burnt offering to the Lord, as he commanded him. 23 Now when he returneth, he will give unto me all that he possesses, to inherit after him, for I am his first born.” 24 And Eliezer answered Ishmael and said, “Surely Abraham did cast thee away with thy mother, and swear that thou shouldst not inherit any thing of all he possesses, and to whom will he give all that he has, with all his treasures, but unto me his servant, who has been faithful in his house, who has served him night and day, and has done all that he desired me? To me will he bequeath at his death all that he possesses.”
However, these two men did not ascend the holy hill, but remained at the bottom of Moriah, as we read in Gen. 22:5,
5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you.”
So they serve as examples of those who were not qualified to ascend. They both wanted to be the inheritor, but Abraham knew they were unqualified. Jasher tells us more in the same chapter:
40 And Abraham went with Isaac toward the place that God had told him. 41 And on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place at a distance which God had told him of. 42 And a pillar of fire appeared to him that reached from the earth to heaven, and a cloud of glory upon the mountain, and the glory of the Lord was seen in the cloud. 43 And Abraham said to Isaac, “My son, dost thou see in that mountain, which we perceive at a distance, that which I see upon it?” 44 And Isaac answered and said unto his father, “I see, and lo, a pillar of fire and a cloud, and the glory of the Lord is seen upon the cloud.” 45 And Abraham knew that his son Isaac was accepted before the Lord for a burnt offering. 46 And Abraham said unto Eliezer and unto Ishmael his son, “Do you also see that which we see upon the mountain which is at a distance?” 47 And they answered and said, “We see nothing more than like the other mountains of the earth.” And Abraham knew that they were not accepted before the Lord to go with them, and Abraham said to them, “Abide ye here with the ass while I and Isaac my son will go to yonder mount and worship there before the Lord and then return to you.” 48 And Eliezer and Ishmael remained in that place, as Abraham had commanded.
Jasher's account tells us that Ishmael and Eliezer did not have a revelation that the mount was unique. They did not see the glory of the cross. And so they were not allowed to ascend the holy hill, for they were not qualified to be offered to God. This first speaks of Jesus Christ, who alone saw the glory of the cross and was willing to die for the world as a Sacrifice for sin. Secondly, it speaks of those who are the children of Sarah (the New Jerusalem). The children of Hagar (the old Jerusalem), must remain at the base of the mount, even as the Israelites under Moses were unable to go up Mount Horeb to hear the rest of the law (Ex. 20:18-21).
The angel called Ishmael “a wild ass man” (pareh awdawm) in Gen. 16:12). He had to remain at the base of Moriah with the asses. He was a believer, but not an inheritor. As a son of Abraham, he had faith; but as a son of Hagar, the Egyptian, he had much of the character of Egypt. Likewise, Eliezer was a good servant, but he was not called to inherit.
As I showed in my book, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost, Ishmael and Eliezer represent non-overcoming believers. They are types and shadows of Pentecost in the Bible. Pentecost is a leavened feast (Lev. 23:17), symbolized by wheat and asses. They can be citizens of the Kingdom, but they cannot inherit the throne. Only those who fulfill the feast of Tabernacles will be inheritors to reign with Christ. These are the ones who will ascend into His holy hill.
Such overcomers are also characterized by the other things listed in Psalm 15. Their lives will manifest these good fruits in their actions. As the second chapter of James tells us, their works are the evidence of their faith and completes their faith.
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of his works, faith was perfected [Greek: teletoo, “to make a full end, consummate”].
May we all have the faith to follow Jesus. And may our works consummate and prove our faith, that it may be seen by all.
This ends the second section of the Genesis Book of Psalms that deals with “The Man of the Earth.” In this second section we are presented with the problem of Nimrod, the primary example of rebellious “the man of the earth.” But it ends with a picture of the perfect man of the earth, Isaac, the type of Christ, who was willing to go up God's holy hill to give his life for the ungodly. Paul tells us in Rom. 5:6-8,
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Footnote from Psalm 9
This discrepancy in numbering the psalms continues until Psalm 114. The Septuagint then combines Psalms 114 and 115 into a single psalm, increasing the discrepancy in numbering to two. Thus, Psalm 116 in our Bibles is Psalm 114 in the Septuagint.
But then the Septuagint breaks Psalm 116 into two psalms. Verses 1-7 it calls Psalm 114, and verses 10-15 it calls Psalm 115. This brings the discrepancy in numbering back down to one.