The Agora
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October 1

Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.

Reading 1 - 1Ch 15:20,21

Some of the strange words of 1Ch 15:

"Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah were to play the lyres according to alamoth" (v 20):

"Alamoth" is the plural of "alma", which may mean: a hidden one, a covered one, or a virgin (Isa 7:14; Gen 24:43; Exo 2:8).

According to Thirtle, in his work "The Titles of the Psalms", "Alamoth" appears as a subscription -- or "postscript" of Psa 45 (not as it SEEMS to be: a superscription -- or "introduction" -- of Psa 46).

Probably this means that Psa 45 was assigned to be sung by a choir of maidens (1Ch 15:20), or else they provided accompaniment for it. Such a designation is appropriate to Psa 45, which was plainly a wedding hymn (Psa 45:9,14). The "maidens" described in the psalm (called also "kings' daughters" and "honourable women": v 9) are the counterpart of the "daughters of Jerusalem" or "Zion" in Song 1:5; 2:7; 3:5; etc.

And so there were, it is supposed, other psalms and temple songs that were especially composed and prepared for the "maidens' choir".


"And Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel and Azaziah were to play the harps, directing according to sheminith" (v 21):

"Sheminith" is the plural of the Hebrew for "eight, or the eighth". Possibly (this can only be guesswork!) it was used here as a reference to circumcision, performed on the eighth day (Gen 17:12; Lev 12:3; Luk 1:59; 2:21; Act 7:8; Phi 3:5). Since, of course, males only were circumcised, this may indicate a "male choir" -- the counterpart of the "maidens' choir". And of course, other psalms and temple songs were especially arranged to be sung by the males.

Reading 2 - Eze 27

"The record of Tyre has a peculiar relevance for our day, for those areas in which she excelled and was the envy of the entire ancient world are precisely the fields in which every modern nation seeks superiority. But Tyre has a message for our age, and it is that riches without God are unable to satisfy the heart of man and often keep many from dependence upon God. Has not this spirit invaded the church, and does it not pervade the lives of too many Christians?" (Thomas Constable, "Expository Notes").

Reading 3 - Luk 24:45

"Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures" (Luk 24:45).

A man needs more than the printed page of the Bible and a good memory to make him wise to salvation. He needs a mind opened to give earnest heed to the heavenly message. He needs eyes opened to behold wondrous things out of God's law. He needs Christ in his heart. And when this takes place, he steps by faith into a world in which no shadow of gloom or fear can isolate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. This then must be our faith. The resurrection of our Savior is more than a fact to believe in; it is also a reality to live by: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal 2:20).

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