Skip to content

Hebrews 7:1-3 – OT

05.10.2011

Psalm 76:1-2

Lewis, as I’ve mentioned here before, has a neat illustration of how God reveals Himself to Creation through successively smaller mediums.  Of all the galaxies, the Milky Way; of all the solar systems, ours; of all the planets, earth; of all the creatures, man; of all the nations, Israel; of all the tribes, Judah; etc., down to the smallest point: a fertilized egg.  It’s from this finely selected, miniscule point that God enters His creation and fills it with His Kingdom. 

A little bit of that dynamic is at work here in Ps 76.  The first two verses list four ‘arenas’ in which God has made Himself known, and they can be arranged in order of increasing focus: nation, tribe, city, specific location; Israel, Judah, Jerusalem, Zion.

Israel is obviously the nation that descended from Jacob.  Judah is the tribe that descended from its eponymous ancestor. 

‘Salem’ here is another name for Jerusalem.  The ‘Jeru’ comes from the Hebrew root meaning ‘He lay’ or ‘He cast’ and the Hebrew shalom, or peace.  So Jerusalem thus means ‘foundation of peace’, or place where He cast peace.  Salem is a Hellenized version of shalom (the Arabic of which is salaam). 

‘Zion’ is a familiar word, often used to denote the entire ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, but specifically referring to a hill within the city of Jerusalem.  This hill, from the Hebrews Siyyon, was a Canaanite fortress of the Jebusites that was not captured until the time of David (2 Sam 5:6-10), at which time he built his city there as a center of the Jewish world.  It is on this hill, Zion, that Solomon (and Ezra) built (and rebuilt) the Temple, containing the Holy of Holies, the specific spot that contained the Ark of the Covenant and the presence of God.

So we can see in Ps 76 the psalmist’s celebration of God’s presence with His chosen people, in the nation of Israel, in the tribe of Judah, in the city of (Jeru)Salem, and on the hill of Zion.  It’s this ever more precise focus to a single spot that will continue through the line of David to the family of Joseph to the person of Mary and to the specific reproductive cell that will become God Himself, incarnate, ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven and the New Covenant, defeating sin and death, and bringing Creation back to the Creator.

Advertisements

From → [cs/gk], [ir], [politics]

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: