Bible blog 2332

Continuing a translation with comment of Psalms 90-106

PSALM 99

Yahweh is King! The peoples tremble;

He sits upon cherubim! The earth shakes.

Yahweh is great in Zion, exalted above all the peoples.

Let them honour your great and terrible name:

“He is Holy!”

Mighty king, you love fair judgement, you confirm justice;

You have made judgement and justice in Jacob’s land.

Exalt Yahweh our God, fall down at his footstool:

“He is Holy!”

Moses and Aaron were part of his priesthood;

Samuel amongst those who prayed in his name;

They prayed to Yahweh and he replied.

He spoke to them from the column of cloud;

They kept his story and the commandment he gave them.

Yes, Yahweh our God, you indeed replied to them,

A God who bore sins you became to them,

But you did avenge their wrongdoing.

Extol Yahweh our God!

Humble yourselves on his holy hill

for Yahweh our God, he is holy.

This psalm is a short meditation on the holiness of Yahweh, whose commitment to communal justice and personal goodness are his distinguishing characteristics. These are celebrated in the Temple rituals on Zion hill, and are the basis of the people’s life. Although Yahweh is great and holy, he responds to those who pray to him, such as Moses and Samuel, who were noted for their intercessions for the people. Not only did Yahweh respond to them, be showed himself to be a God who “bore” or “carried” his people’s sins. The qualification, that he did avenge their wrongdoing, means that he punished it but did not eradicate them, or cease to be their God. Yahweh is a great God, the psalm says, and not to be messed about, but he’s genuinely involved with his, sometimes sinful, people.

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