PSALM 149 — Hymn of Triumph

The Book of Psalms contains 150 psalms. Only 72 of them were written by King David as confirmed in his own words in the final verse 20 of psalm 72: “kalu tefilot David ben Yishai”; The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

Rashi suggests that David stopped writing when he nominated his son Solomon as his successor to the throne. This view was also held by Ibn Ezra and Kimchi in the Middle Age.

The 20th century Anglo-Jewish scholar, M. Friedlander, refers to the book as the Psalms of David while indicating that one of the psalms was ascribed to Moses, two to King Solomon, twelve to Asaph, one to Heman, one to Ethan and several to Korach, the man who challenged Moses.

Professor Friedlander ascribed many of the psalms to unknown authors who wrote “l’David”, meaning “in the style of David”.

In these days of protests and marches against the leader of our government and his associates, it seems prophetic that they follow the advice of the 149th psalm which is referred to as a Hymn of Triumph.

The commentator in the Soncino Books of the Bible, volume “THE PSALMS” has written an introduction to Psalm 149.

“The Psalm was composed to celebrate a victory. If it is connected with the other Psalms of the group, the occasion was the triumph of Nehemiah over the unfriendly neighbours who seemed to thwart his plans”. (Nehemiah can be similar to Netanyahu although the former was a prophet and the latter is a fool.)

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the nation and chastisement upon the wicked people; To bind their kings and leaders with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; let the people execute upon them written judgment…”

The mention of the two-edged sword is interpreted as “a sword of mouths”, of vocal cries in protest of crooked kings and leaders. The commentary clarifies it as “the victory is not complete until the adversaries have been overthrown…”.

May the un-caring leader of our people, he who is consumed with his own ego and future legacy, be soon overthrown to the hand-clapping and joyful shouting of the decent caring citizens of Israel. May his name vanish from our mouths !

I have no way of knowing if some or any of the tens of thousands who march day and night in opposition to the mal-functioning leadership of Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu have read Psalm 149 but its words appear to uphold the virtues of the multitude of well-meaning opponents.

It should be their battle cry as the commentator informs us “This psalm was in the minds of the Maccabean warriors who are described as ‘fighting with their hands and praying unto God with their hearts.’

The tens of thousands who march in great heat and are tortured by police firing upon them with water cannons are, in my opinion, the modern Maccabees of our present time. More power and glory to them.

Let them keep in their minds the concluding words of Psalm 149:

“lishpot bahem mishpat katuv. Hallelujah !” To judge them in accordance with the law of justice”

And it ends with one word of praise, glory and victory: the Hebrew word “Hallelujah”.
Praised be our God.

With the shouting of the Israelites of old and with the blasts of their horns, the walls of Jericho crumbled and fell.

Let the marchers keep shouting and blaring with their horns. Perhaps the wall on Balfour street will likewise crumble and fall. Ken yehi ratzon. So may it be. Insh’Allah.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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