The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Psalm 92

Psa 92:1

SUPERSCRIPTION: "A PSALM. A SONG. FOR THE SABBATH DAY." The official Temple psalm for the sabbath day, "because" -- quoting Maimonides -- "the sabbath was symbolic of the millennial kingdom... when the Lord would reign over all, and His glory and service would fill the earth with thanksgiving" (Eder). The Talmud says this is 'a song for the future age of the Messiah, all of which will be sabbath.' The aptness of this psalm to the Sabbath Day is emphasized by: (a) a seven-fold use of the Covenant Name: Yahweh, ie "the LORD" (vv 1,4,5,8,9,13,15); (b) repeated mention of God's "work" and "works", after which God (ie the angels: Exo 31:17) "rests", ie desists from special and open activity. But the character of the psalm suggests that it was orig framed for one particular Sabbath ("the Sabbath day"), not just for use on any and every Sabbath Day. Considering its placement, WK suggests that Psa 92 describes the "sabbath rest" of God's Israel when they finally enter the Land of Promise (Psa 91) after the struggles of a wilderness pilgrimage (Psa 90).

Poss personal application to Hezekiah and his special deliverance?

Psa 92:2

The regular daily sacrifices, every morning and every evening (Exo 29:38,39; 30:7,8).

Psa 92:3

Cp Hezekiah's enthusiasm: Isa 38:20. The mention of an "instrument of TEN strings" together with "psaltery" and "harp" (AV) (TWO other instruments) might be a sym allusion to Hezekiah's great effort to gather the TEN tribes and the TWO tribes into a single harmonious unit.

Psa 92:4

The great rejoicing at the revival of Passover observance (2Ch 30:21,26), and also triumphant deliverance from the Assyrian invasion (v 11 here).

(NT) A song of thanksgiving on emerging from the fetters of death (cp Psa 31:5; 59:16).

Psa 92:5

God moves in a mysterious way. Consider the remarkable extremes of blessing and affliction which were concentrated into that critical period of Hezekiah's reign, esp his sickness and recovery, the devastation of the Land, and the destruction of the invaders.

GREAT... .PROFOUND: "Deep" and "high" (AV) -- Isa 55:8,9 -- the two ideas are by no means exclusive of one another! Cp also Psa 36:6; 40:5; 139:17; Rom 11:33. And ct Rev 2:24: "the depths of Satan": adversaries of the Truth taking pride in the profundity of their own wisdom (cp the "wisdom" of all modern universities!) -- which is the most utter foolishness with God (1Co 1:18-29).

Psa 92:6

Vv 6,7: A "senseless" man (that is, "dull" -- like a beast)... a fool... "the wicked"... "evildoers". Special ref first of all to Rabshakeh, a renegade Jew, and the spearhead of Sennacherib's propaganda onslaught on Jerusalem. Then secondly, to all of his fellow-workers of iniquity in the Assyrian encampment. Rabshakeh was, in the worldly sense, ever so wise -- but in the divine sense he was as stupid and senseless as the beasts that perish (Psa 49:10,12,20; 73:22; 94:8). What does such a man not know? that he will perish forever.

Psa 92:7

FLOURISH: Sw vv 12,13 -- but with what a ct! The wicked "flourish", but only as the "grass" -- notoriously short-lived; the righteous, on the other hand, "flourish" as the long-lived (almost "immortal") cedars (cp Psa 1:3; Isa 61:3; 65:22)! [But even those who think they are flourishing as "trees" (Psa 37:35,36; Luk 13:7-9) can be "marked out" for destruction (Mat 3:10; 7:19).]

Psa 92:9

The repetition is very effective, for there was an utterly complete fulfillment in Isa 37:36. The Assyrians were Yahweh's enemies, coveting His Land, and making confident and persistent attempts to break Israel's confidence in their God (Isa 36:7,15,18; 37:10,16-20). (NT) Cited by Christ the Judge in the LD: "ye workers of iniquity" (Mat 7:23); "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me" (Luk 19:27).

Psa 92:10

YOU HAVE EXALTED MY HORN LIKE THAT OF A WILD OX: Cp Psa 75:10; 89:17,24; 132:17; 1Sa 2:10; Lam 2:17; Luk 1:69. All such refs are allusions to the ox-figures of the cherubim in the sanctuary; ref to the cherubim is prominent in Hezekiah's prayer on the occasion of Sennacherib's invasion (Isa 37:16).

The AV translation of "unicorn" is clearly fanciful; it cannot refer to the mythological beast that we associate with the term. The Heb is "reym", which seems to refer to the ox, with emphasis on its strength (Num 23:22; 24:8; Deu 33:17) and untamable nature (Job 39:9,10). Cp also Psa 22:21; 29:6; Isa 34:7.

FINE OILS HAVE BEEN POURED UPON ME: The king, healed of his leprosy, went up to the house of the Lord on the third day (2Ki 20:5,8) (for priestly inspection: Lev 14:2), and on the seventh day (Lev 14:9) was shaved and pronounced clean and anointed with oil (Lev 14:14-16).

FINE OILS: "Fresh oil" (AV) is lit "green oil" -- which either means simply that which is fresh, or that which is made from green or unripe olives. Olive oil was used for light in the sanctuary (Exo 27:20). So, in Psa 92, there are three trees alluded to: the olive (sym light: cp Psa 52:8n); the palm (sym fruit), and the cedar (sym strength and permanence).

Psa 92:11

"Mine eyes also shall see MY DESIRE on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear MY DESIRE on the wicked that rise up against me" (AV). Notice the italics in the AV: Jesus, like his Father, does not desire that any should perish; but in the absence of repentance and faith men will perish, and the Lord the Righteous Judge of all mankind will not shirk to carry out such judgments at the appointed time.

Psa 92:12

Vv 12-15: (NT) The blessedness of those in Christ as they rejoice in their association with a new temple of the Lord. (In the first place, "he" -- v 12 -- is Christ, and then -- in v 13 -- "those" who are in him share the same blessings. The "he" contrasts with the plural "they" descriptive of the wicked in v 7.) These do not have to wait for the Kingdom to experience Christ's "sabbath rest". Release from the burden of having to earn salvation through "justification by works" is in itself a great rest and relaxation, even now (Heb 4:9-11).

PALM: A sym of Gentile believers (Exo 15:27; Num 33:9), as is the cedar of those native to the Land.

Psa 92:13

There were no trees planted in the court of the temple, at least insofar as is known today. But palm trees and cedars (vv 10,12) were prob present in earlier sanctuaries in Israel, and they were pictorially represented even in the temple of Solomon itself (1Ki 6:18,35). For the idea, cp Eph 3:16,17.

Psa 92:14

Now childless Hezekiah could look forward to fathering a family: his only son Manasseh was born three years after these events (2Ki 21:1; cp the relevant psalms, Psa 127:3-5; 128:3-6).

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