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One out of every five verses in the Bible predicts the future. Certain prophecies, such as those which said that Israel would be scattered throughout the earth, have been fulfilled. Other verses speak of events which have still to be fulfilled.
One such group of prophecies concerns the regathering of Israel to the Promised Land. According to the Bible, an astonishing change is also going to take place in Jewish thinking and practice. To appreciate how astonishing the prophecy is, we need to know how much effort Jews make to remember the exodus from Egypt.
At Passover, every year for (the past) 3,500 years, Jews retell the story of the Exodus. All senses are engaged to remind them of the miracles that took place when God brought them out of slavery in Egypt. The story is told with singing and responses. The foods they eat are symbolic. Children participate and are rewarded. It's all done so they won't forget their deliverance out of Egypt.
However, the Bible says a time is coming when God is going to do such an incredible miracle that they will ignore that Exodus. The prophecy is found at Jeremiah chapter 16, verses 14 and 15. "... days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when men will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers.”
To emphasise, the two verses are repeated, almost word for word, in Jeremiah chapter 23 verses 7 and 8.
The emphasis of 3,500 years of tradition will change. They won't recall the Exodus out of Egypt.Instead, they will tell the story of what has started in our day. They will tell the story of Jews being regathered to the Promised Land, from the four corners of the earth. Today, one out of every three Jews is back in the land of Israel. The Bible says that God will bring them all back and "leave not one behind" (see Ezekiel 39:28 and Micah 2:12). The Bible says that there, in the Promised Land, Israel will find salvation (see Ezekiel 20:40; Ezekiel 36:33; Hosea 1:10).
We are working our way through the Psalms of Ascent. We have come to Psalm 126. Psalm 126 is the 7th of fifteen Psalms of Ascent. Psalm 126 is significant, because Psalm 126 relates exactly (to) what we have been saying. Psalm 126 tells us that what the LORD is doing is going to be widely recognised. Psalm 126 tells us it's going to be "the great thing" ... an event that needs to be proclaimed ... the event that is going to lead to the salvation of all Jews.
Here is Psalm 126 in English ... a translation closely following the Hebrew text.
(1) Song of the ascents. In (the) return, the LORD's restoration of Zion, we were like dreamers.
(2) Then, He will fill our mouths (with) laughter and our tongues (with) jubilation. Then they will say in (the) nations, “The LORD is to do the great (thing) with them.”
(3) The LORD is to do the great (thing) with us. We were rejoicers.
(4) Restore, LORD, our return, like streams in (the) Negev.
(5)The sowers in tears, in jubilation they shall reap.
(6) (The) wanderer, he will walk and weep, carrying the pouch of seed. He will come again in jubilation carrying his sheaves.
Here it is, in the Hebrew: (Read in Hebrew)
Psalm 126 is very much focused on what the LORD has done, and is going to do. It's His work. He promised to do it, and He is going to complete it.
The four-letter Hebrew word YUD HEH VAV HEH (which we say as "Adonai" ... The LORD), has a numeric value of 26. The word occurs four times in Psalm 126 ... in verse 1, verse 2, verse 3 and verse 4. Psalm 126 has exactly 208 Hebrew letters in the original text. 208 is 26 x 8. That seems to be by design.
More significantly, the phrase "The LORD is to do the great thing", occurs twice in Psalm 126. (Read in Hebrew). The phrase occurs in verse 2 and in verse 3. The middle word in the three-word phrase is spelled YUD HEH VAV HEH. It's the word that represents the name of the LORD. The numeric value of YUD HEH VAV HEH is 26.
The word to the right of the middle word is (HIGDIL) ... "the great (thing)". The numeric value of HIGDIL is 52. 52 is 26 x 2.
The word to the left of the middle word is LA'ASOT ... to do. The numeric value of LA'ASOT is 806. 806 is divisible by 26.
Of course, that means that the complete phrase, "the LORD is to do the great (thing)" is divisible by 26. It cannot be that all this occurs by accident. It's God's watermark. The original text is supernaturally delivererd. It's from Him.
Verse 1: (In Hebrew) ... Song of the Ascents.
(In Hebrew) ... "In (the) return, the LORD's restoration of Zion"
Verse 1 tells us that what follows is to do with Zion. Zion means Mt Zion. Mt Moriah in Jerusalem is where the Temple stood. Mt Zion is the high point of Mt Moriah.
Zion is another way of referring to Jerusalem. It's also a way of referring to the land of Israel.
The verse identifies that what follows relates to God's dealings with the Jewish people, and those dealings revolve around them dwelling in the Promised Land.
God doesn't wink at sin and rebellion. God disciplines. He is a good father who wants the best outcome for His children.
God disciplines, but He doesn't stay angry forever. God disciplines, but He restores.
God told Israel ... if you fail to obey all the Law, I will thrust you out of the Land. But every time He warned Israel, He followed up with promises that in the end He would bring them back to the Land.
Israel did disobey and Israel was thrust out of the Land.
There were two occasions when Israel was exiled. The first was in 586 BC. Jerusalem was conquered and the Jews were taken captive to Babylon. After 70 years, a remnant (some 50,000 Jews) returned to Zion.
(Read in Hebrew) ... "In (the) return, the LORD's restoration of Zion". It is the LORD's work. He restores.
(Read in Hebrew) ... "We were like dreamers". The phrase is in the past tense ... "we were".
But, that's not the end of the story. Israel still failed to obey all the Law. Israel was thrust out of the Land again in 135 AD.
God did discipline Israel ... again. But God is restoring Israel ... exactly as He said He would. Multitudes of Jews are returning to Zion ... in our day. It's the LORD's work.
Verse 2: (Read in Hebrew) ... "then He will fill our mouths with laughter" ... (Read in Hebrew) "and our tongues with jubilation". If you have a Bible that shows this verse in the past tense, then you need to know that it has not been correctly translated from the Hebrew.
"He will fill" ... it is future tense. The YUD prefix on the verb indicates "He will".
"He (that's the LORD) will fill our mouths (with) laughter and our tongues (with) jubilation."
While the promise of Jews being restored to the Land of Israel is being fulfilled in our day, it is by no means complete.
(Read in Hebrew) ... "Then they will say in the nations". "They will say" ... it is also future tense. Not past tense. The root is ALEPH MEM RESH ... a verb indicating speech. The YUD prefix, together with the VAV ending, is the future tense of "they will" ... "they will say, in the nations". GOYIM can be translated as "nations" or as "Gentiles" ... Gentiles meaning non-Jews.
Non-Jews will proclaim: (Read in Hebrew) ... "The LORD is to do the great thing with them ..."
Gentiles proclaim that the LORD is to do something great with the Jewish people. Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 10 says: "Hear the Word of the LORD, O nations. And declare it in the coastlands afar off, And say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather Him.'"
Here is a responsibility placed on us non-Jews. We are to proclaim it in all the world. The LORD scattered Israel. And the LORD will regather them. Here's a simple way you can proclaim it. Share this message.
(Read in Hebrew) ... "The LORD is to do the great thing". If you have a Bible that shows this in the past tense, then you need to know that it has not been correctly translated from the Hebrew. LA'ASOT ... is a verb in the infinitive. There is only one form of the infinitive in Hebrew. It always begins with LAMED, meaning "to". Like the other verbs in verse 2, it indicates future tense. Something that is to be done, not something that has been done.
Verse 3: Gentiles have spoken. Now Jews also recognise what He is doing and they speak.
(Read in Hebrew) ... "The LORD is to do the great thing with us". (Read in Hebrew) ... "we were rejoicers".
Now, in Verse 4, we see Jews appeal to the LORD. Verse 4: (Read in Hebrew) ... "Restore LORD our return".
Do it LORD. Do it. Please. Restore us!
(Read in Hebrew) ... "like streams in the Negev". The Negev is the desert in the southern part of the land of Israel. To find fresh-water in the desert is to find life.
Verse 4 confirms that what is shown in verses 2 and 3 is something that is to be done. Why would Israel appeal for something that has already been done?
Verse 5: (Read in Hebrew) ... "The sowers in tears" ... (Read in Hebrew) ... "in jubilation they shall reap".
It has not been easy to bring the Truth of their Messiah to the Jewish people, but a harvest is coming.
Verse 6: (Read in Hebrew) ... "The Wanderer, He will walk and weep" ... (Read in Hebrew) ..."carrying the pouch of seed"
Verse 5 related to workers ... plural. Verse 6 is about an individual. He has been away from His people. He has had sorrow.
But... (Read in Hebrew) ... "He will come again in jubilation".
(Read in Hebrew) ... "carrying His sheaves"
Jesus is going to have a harvest.
Go now to the next session: Psalm 127: The heritage of the LORD
With understanding of Hebraic thought, and awareness of design elements in the Scriptures, we take a journey of growth in Christ Jesus.
The seminar “Bringing sons to glory” starts with Session 1: “You are gods” What did Jesus mean? ... and continues through the Psalms of Ascent.
This series will increase your knowledge of biblical Hebrew.