Monday, October 18, 2021

Lessons from the Wilderness, Vol. 40: With our fragile breaths, we can heal our land

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©2021, David E. Robinson: At the Gates of Yerushalayim Ministries


Lessons from the Wilderness, Volume 40

 …This Fragile Breath… [i] [ii] [iii] [iv]

…Heal this Land…

Part Three

Ezekiel 34:1–31 (NASB95)

1 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the ashepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to 1those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord 2God,

“Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been 3bfeeding themselves! Should not the shepherds 3cfeed the flock?

3 “You aeat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you bslaughter the fat sheep without 1feeding the flock.

4 “Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the 1diseased you have not healed, athe broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you bsought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. 5 “They were ascattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became bfood for every beast of the field and were scattered. 6 “My flock awandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; bMy flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was cno one to search or seek for them.”’”

7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

8 “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely because My flock has become a aprey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

10 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am aagainst the shepherds, and I will demand My 1sheep 2from them and make them bcease from feeding 1sheep. So the shepherds will not 3feed themselves anymore, but I will cdeliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.” ’ ”

11 For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will asearch for My sheep and seek them out. 12 “aAs a shepherd 1cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered 2sheep, so I will 1bcare for My 2sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a ccloudy and gloomy day. 13 “I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will afeed them on the mountains of Israel, by the bstreams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. 14 “I will feed them in a agood pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in 1brich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 “I will afeed My flock and I will 1lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God. 16 “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the afat and the strong I will destroy. I will bfeed them with judgment. 17 “As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will ajudge between one 1sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats. 18 ‘Is it too aslight a thing for you that you should feed in the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pastures? Or that you should drink of the clear waters, that you must 1foul the rest with your feet? 19 ‘As for My flock, they must eat what you tread down with your feet and drink what you 1foul with your feet!’ ” 20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 “Because you push with side and with shoulder, and athrust at all the 1weak with your horns until you have scattered them 2abroad, 22 therefore, I will adeliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 “Then I will aset over them one bshepherd, My servant cDavid, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. 24 “And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant aDavid will be prince among them; I the Lord have spoken. 25 “I will make a acovenant of  peace with them and beliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may clive securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 “I will make them and the places around My hill a ablessing. And I will cause bshowers to come down in their season; they will be showers of cblessing. 27 “Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be asecure on their land. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have bbroken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.

28 “They will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will alive securely, and no one will make them afraid. 29 “I will establish for them a arenowned planting place, and they will bnot again be 1victims of famine in the land, and they will not cendure the insults of the nations anymore. 30 “Then they will know that aI, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” declares the Lord God.

31 “As for you, My asheep, the bsheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord God.[v]

Psalm 8229

A psalm of Asaph.

82:1 God stands in1 the assembly of El;2 in the midst of the gods3 he renders judgment.4

82:2 He says,5 “How long will you make unjust legal decisions and show favoritism to the wicked?6


82:3 Defend the cause of the poor and the fatherless!7 Vindicate the oppressed and suffering!

82:4 Rescue the poor and needy! Deliver them from the power8 of the wicked!

82:5 They9 neither know nor understand. They stumble10 around in the dark, while all the foundations of the earth crumble.11

82:6 I thought,12 ‘You are gods; all of you are sons of the Most High.’13

82:7 Yet you will die like mortals;14 you will fall like all the other rulers.”15

82:8 Rise up, O God, and execute judgment on the earth! For you own16 all the nations. [vi]

                I come before you all, my beloved, and my God and His Messiah: I come before you with this fragile breath, one that has no sound, no power, no “Tik-Tok” influencers, no platform save this blog, and I beseech you with all my strength to please listen, read these words and “mich’tam”, ponder them, contemplate upon them, for they are but a warning to you and myself.  I have covered this same subject in previous posts, most notably in a post I called “the Fading Voice” ( and also addressed the issues we face in the world today in the post “An Audience of One” ( The issue is not that God is quiet – it is we choose not to hear. There is also the problem of the “noise” of the world. It is doing all it can to silence any voices that speak truth and shouts aloud for the culture of death and shame to be predominate in our world today. By “shame” I do not mean that which people are told to be ashamed of the past, but to be ashamed because of the color of our skin, or the weight of our pocketbook. We are “shamed” if we choose not to put an untried and unvested medicine in our bodies, or our children’s bodies, because these experimental drugs have no history – we simply cannot tell what they will do to our children five, ten, fifteen years down the road.

                 I am not anti-vax. I took the jab, the more traditional one (using viral vector technology), the J&J. Why? Not because I fully trust it, but because I have too many underlying issues that I had to factor into my decision. What was best for me overall, is the question I had to answer. The mRNA vaccines are experimental: they are made with “new” technology, hence “experimental” which has no data to support long term effects. So just be informed, no matter what you choose. But let us be honest. The voices of the world seek to take that choice away from you with their “mandates,” which are totally against the Nuremberg Code which states:

 1.       The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment.


The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.


2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.

3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.

4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.

5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.

6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.

7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.

8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.

9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.

10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill, and careful judgment required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject. [vii]


Dr. Shuster goes on to say:

“…The Nuremberg Code is the most important document in the history of the ethics of medical research.1-6 The Code was formulated 50 years ago, in August 1947, in Nuremberg, Germany, by American judges sitting in judgment of Nazi doctors accused of conducting murderous and torturous human experiments in the concentration camps (the so-called Doctors' Trial).7 It served as a blueprint for today's principles that ensure the rights of subjects in medical research. Because of its link with the horrors of World War II and the use of prisoners in Nazi concentration camps for medical experimentation, debate continues today about the authority of the Code, its applicability to modern medical research, and even its authorship.1,2,4,5,8 The chief prosecutor at the Doctors' Trial, General Telford Taylor, believed that one of the three U.S. judges, Harold Sebring, was the author of the Code.2 Two American physicians who helped prosecute the Nazi doctors at Nuremberg, Leo Alexander and Andrew Ivy, have each been identified as the Code's author.5,8-11 A careful reading of the transcript of the Doctors' Trial, background documents, and the final judgment reveals that authorship was shared and that the famous 10 principles of the Code grew out of the trial itself…”[viii] [ix]

                 What is the significance here? The Nuremberg code has been used over the last 7 decades since the end of the Second World War to govern the use of experimental drugs on human subjects – willing or unwilling. The article goes on to state:

 “…The judges at Nuremberg, although they realized the importance of Hippocratic ethics and the maxim primum non nocere, recognized that more was necessary to protect human research subjects. Accordingly, the judges articulated a sophisticated set of ten research principles centered not on the physician but on the research subject. These principles, which we know as the Nuremberg Code, included a new, comprehensive, and absolute requirement of informed consent (principle 1), and a new right of the subject to withdraw from participation in an experiment (principle 9). The judges adopted much of the language proposed by Alexander and Ivy but were more emphatic about the necessity and attributes of the subject's consent and explicitly added the subject's right to withdraw… Informed consent, the core of the Nuremberg Code, has rightly been viewed as the protection of subjects' human rights. The key contribution of Nuremberg was to merge Hippocratic ethics and the protection of human rights into a single code. The Nuremberg Code not only requires that physician-researchers protect the best interests of their subjects (principles 2 through 8 and 10) but also proclaims that subjects can actively protect themselves as well (principles 1 and 9). Most strikingly, for example, in Hippocratic ethics the subject relies on the physician to determine when it is in the subject's best interest to end his or her participation in an experiment. In the Nuremberg Code, the judges gave the subject as much authority as the physician-researcher to end the experiment before its conclusion (principle 9).” [x]

                Our fragile breath, that only comes from God Himself, is being shouted down by the noise of the world. Churches are shut, pastors are arrested and/or fined, congregations are chastised and branded “super-spreaders” while the world’s brown shirts in black clothing can burn, loot, and kill at will. Fear dominates the airwaves, and the headlines. Entire countries have gone into de facto martial law (see France, Australia, New Zealand, England for staters). We in America are counted as sheep by the number of masks we are told to wear, and by the lies and half-truths promulgated by what has become essentially, a state-run media complex. We follow the race baiters, the race hucksters, and the divide between us grows and grows, and each fragile breath grows quieter and quieter. In “The Fading Voice” I wrote:

 “…There are many voices out there. Some are harsh, filled with hate and rage. Some are smooth and soothing, but the venom they drip is no less poisonous than the voices of hate. Some are filled with cries of piety, yet a hint of hypocrisy drips from their lips; others will tell you exactly what they think and defy you to shout them down. These are all the voices of the world, not God…”[xi]

                 This is the real issue, the pressing one for believers. If we are listening to a voice that does not belong to God, then to whom are we listening? What path are we being herded down? Look again at the scriptures I started this epistle with Ezekiel 34:1–31. Look also at Psalms 82. What is the significance of what these words from Scripture are? Within these verses are all you need to know about who it is that is pulling the strings today, while we all twirl around like little marionettes. Elohim only tugs at our heart strings, to gently guide us back to Him. So then, these “shepherds” are not of God. If it is not of God, then it must be from the darkness, the enemy of our souls.

                 When I say something is not from God, I do not mean that He has no control over the events that are transpiring across this ball of confusion. No, He is very much in charge. It is we who are not paying heed. Voices cry out against oppression, yet deliverance does not come. Voices scream about the death and destruction of our planet, yet they continue to use and demand the very devices that are made from the rape of the earth. Voices yell and argue about deviant teachings to our children, yet they are now labeled domestic terrorists. Voices plead for accountability from those we chose to represent us, but all these do is press down harder to still the voice that cries in the wilderness. Why is there no relief?

There is no relief because we have shepherds who feed themselves and starve the flock. When Ezekiel spoke of “shepherds,” he was speaking against those in power; those in leadership; those who pretend to speak for God; those who own the businesses and commerce. The same warning the Lord rang against those leaders in 2nd Chronicles, fits the leaders, the elites, of our time, and of all times past. Where did the ancient civilizations go? Where have those that occupied the seats of power gone? Governments have risen and fallen, but in their death throes they have left a wake of destruction that carries on to this day. The shepherds did not heed the warnings, and their bones lie in the dust of the earth, along with countless souls whose voices were not or could not be heard. This is not the real tragedy though. The All-Mighty God has been waiting to hear from voices that could change everything, yet all He hears is discord and defiance. This is where Psalm 82 plays in: I said there were enemies of our souls - these are the ones Paul spoke of in Ephesians 6:12:

6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. [Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), Eph 6:12.]

These are those He choose to rule over the nations, and they also are the "shepherds" that have failed God, and why He renders judgment upon them also. Is there relief? Yes, for Father gives us the answer:

2nd Chronicles 7:12-22 (NASB)

12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him:I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a temple of sacrifice. e 13 If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on My people, f 

14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. g

15 My eyes will now be open and My ears attentive to prayer from this place. h 16 And I have now chosen and consecrated this temple so that My name may be there forever; My eyes and My heart will be there at all times. i

17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and ordinances, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man ruling in Israel. j

19 However, if you turn away and abandon My statutes and My commands that I have set before you and if you go and serve other gods and worship them, k 20 then I will uproot Israel from the soil that I gave them, and this temple that I have sanctified for My name I will banish from My presence; l I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. m 21 As for this temple, which was exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will say: n Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple? 22 Then they will say: Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and worshiped and served them. Because of this, He brought all this ruin on them. [xii]

                Though there are those who will say that the context of these verses applies only to Israel, they miss the ever-lasting truth behind Scripture. YHVH has a people. Those that are the chosen of Israel, and those that are grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel. I ask the question: have we, who are called by His name, humbled ourselves, prayed and sought His Face, and then turned from our evil ways? Which YHVH do we pray to? The Hebrew God of Israel or the Christian version, be it Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Orthodox, Episcopal, Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed or the Spirit-filled God? Which denomination has the correct theology? What church group or denomination has unity? I can go on and on, but if you wish to go deeper, just look at the lists in Wikipedia at . This does not include the Messianic denominations out there, or the Jewish ones. So which people are supposed to humble themselves and pray so YHVH will hear and heal the land?

                 It is the true believer that the Father hears. It is the sinner in their darkest hour that He Hears. This is the individual relationship He wants. But what about the corporate relationship, the wider body of believers? Is this what 2 Chronicles is referring to? I believe so. The issues we face today in America and across the world are a result of the corporate failure of believers to humble themselves and accept YHVH as He is and as He says. We must lay aside all our own preconceptions of what we think God should be and accept Him as He is: the Holy, Unchangeable God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the One who issued forth through Moses the Law. He gave to the Prophets the wisdom to know what He expects from His people. He sent Yeshua as our Redeemer, our payment for the penalty of forgetting His ways, statues, and commandments. He wants every fragile breath to humble themselves and accept His ways. We must turn from the baseless hatred of the modern world. We must turn away from our “gods” of commerce, greed, sex, “hero” worship, and return, tesuvah (תשובה‎, literally, "return") just as Yeshua and John the Immerser called us to do, to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. How do we repent though?

 According to Gates of Repentance, a standard work of Jewish ethics written by Rabbenu Yonah of Gerona, a sinner repents by:[xiii]

  • regretting/acknowledging the sin.
  • forsaking the sin.
  • worrying about the future consequences of the sin.
  • acting and speaking with humility.
  • acting in a way opposite to that of the sin (for example, for the sin of lying, one should speak the truth).
  • understanding the magnitude of the sin.
  • refraining from lesser sins for the purpose of safeguarding oneself against committing greater sins.
  • confessing the sin.
  • praying for atonement.
  • correcting the sin however possible (for example, if one stole an object, the stolen item must be returned; or, if one slanders another, the slanderer must ask the injured party for forgiveness).
  • pursuing works of chesed and truth.
  • remembering the sin for the rest of one's life.[xiv]
  • refraining from committing the same sin if the opportunity presents itself again.
  • teaching others not to sin. [xv]

None of this is possible without the proof of repentance, the proof of a changed life. Regret does not translate into a change of behavior, a change of heart. Just because one turns away from sin (which is transgression of God’s Laws or Torah) does not mean that person has repented. All can turn away from sinful behavior because one does not wish to face the consequence – but this is not repentance. To truly repent, we must not only turn away, but also turn toward something, that something being God. All are tempted: what separates the truly repentant is that when given the opportunity or the temptation to commit the sin, they choose not to because they love God more than the sin. Psalms Fifty-One describes this best:

Psalm 5142

For the music director, a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba.43

51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of1 your loyal love! Because of2 your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!3

51:2 Wash away my wrongdoing!4 Cleanse me of my sin!5

51:3 For I am aware of6 my rebellious acts; I am forever conscious of my sin.7

51:4 Against you—you above all8—I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. So9 you are just when you confront me;10 you are right when you condemn me.11

51:5 Look, I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.12

51:6 Look,13 you desire14 integrity in the inner man;15 you want me to possess wisdom.16

51:7 Sprinkle me17 with water18 and I will be pure;19 wash me20 and I will be whiter than snow.21

51:8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!22 May the bones23 you crushed rejoice!24

51:9 Hide your face25 from my sins! Wipe away26 all my guilt!

51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!27 Renew a resolute spirit within me!28

51:11 Do not reject me!29 Do not take your Holy Spirit30 away from me!31

51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance! Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!32

51:13 Then I will teach33 rebels your merciful ways,34 and sinners will turn35 to you.

51:14 Rescue me from the guilt of murder,36 O God, the God who delivers me! Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.37

 51:15 O Lord, give me the words!38 Then my mouth will praise you.39

51:16 Certainly40 you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it;41 you do not desire a burnt sacrifice.42

51:17 The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit43— O God, a humble and repentant heart44 you will not reject.45

 51:18 Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her!46 Fortify47 the walls of Jerusalem!48

51:19 Then you will accept49 the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings; then bulls will be sacrificed50 on your altar.51 [xvi]

Yes, a repentant heart seeks to be broken, to be contrite.[xvii] Truly David wept between fragile breaths as he confessed his sin before God. Isn’t this the heart all believers should reach for? If we did, and we put away the denominations, the sects, the congregations, the playing at religion and adopted the broken and contrite heart – God would hear and heal not only our land, but the whole earth.

YHVH speaks with thunder and lightning. He crushes the earth and sends forth waves of despair and darkness because we, His people, refuse to turn from our wicked ways. We are responsible for this broken world, not the unbeliever, not ha ‘satan… We are. We need to humble ourselves, and with each fragile, weeping breath, ask for forgiveness, seek repentance, love justice and mercy, and praise Him, just praise Him.

 It is not a question of “Can We?”

It is an answer of “we must.”

Join me today brethren, and lift your fragile breath to Him

And heal this land.

May He hear from heaven and bless you today, my beloved,




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[iii] Author’s note: This site is for education only and is not affiliated with any institution, organization, or religious group. It is the sole production of its editor. Use of information from Jewish-themed websites (or any other source material) should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed.


[iv] Author’s note:  Throughout this study I may be using the NET Bible® and the NET Notes®: within the notes you will see symbols like this: (א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NET Bible® for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NET Bible®) used in translating the New Testament. Please go to and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.


a Jer 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10

1 Lit them, the shepherds

2 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch

3 Lit pasturing, pasture

b Jer 23:1; Ezek 22:25; 34:8–10; Mic 3:1–3, 11

3 Lit pasturing, pasture

c Ps 78:71, 72; Is 40:11; Ezek 34:14, 15; John 10:11; 21:15–17

a Zech 11:16

b Ezek 22:25, 27

1 Lit pasturing

1 Lit sick

a Zech 11:16

b Matt 9:36; 10:6; 18:12, 13; Luke 15:4

a Num 27:17; 2 Chr 18:16; Jer 10:21; 23:2; 50:6, 7; Matt 9:36; Mark 6:34

b Ezek 34:8, 28

a Jer 40:11, 12; Ezek 7:16; 1 Pet 2:25

b John 10:16

c Ps 142:4

a Acts 20:29

a Jer 21:13; Ezek 5:8; 13:8; 34:2; Zech 10:3

1 Or (a) flock

2 Lit from their hand

b 1 Sam 2:29, 30; Jer 52:24–27

1 Or (a) flock

3 Lit pasture, and so throughout the ch

c Ps 72:12–14; Ezek 13:23

a Ezek 11:17; 20:41

a Jer 31:10

1 Or seek(s) out

2 Or flock

1 Or seek(s) out

b Is 40:11; 56:8; Jer 23:3; 31:8; Luke 19:10; John 10:16

2 Or flock

c Jer 13:16; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:2

a Ezek 34:23; 36:29, 30; Mic 7:14

b Is 30:25

a Ps 23:2; Jer 31:12–14, 25; John 10:9

1 Lit fat

b Ezek 28:25, 26; 36:29, 30

a Ps 23:1, 2; Ezek 34:23

1 Lit cause them to lie down

a Is 10:16

b Is 49:26

a Ezek 20:38; 34:20–22; Mal 4:1; Matt 25:32

1 Or lamb

a Num 16:9, 13; 2 Sam 7:19; Is 7:13

1 Lit foul by trampling

1 Lit foul by trampling

a Deut 33:17; Dan 8:4; Luke 13:14–16

1 Or sick

2 Lit to the outside

a Ps 72:12–14; Jer 23:3; Ezek 34:10

a Rev 7:17

b Is 40:11; John 10:11

c Jer 30:9; Ezek 37:24

a Is 55:3; Jer 30:9; Ezek 37:24, 25; Hos 3:5

a Ezek 16:60; 20:37; 37:26

b Job 5:22, 23; Is 11:6–9

c Jer 33:16; Ezek 28:26; 34:27, 28

a Gen 12:2; Ezek 34:14

b Deut 11:13–15; 28:12

c Lev 25:21; Is 44:3

a Ezek 38:8, 11

b Lev 26:13; Is 52:2, 3; Jer 30:8

a Jer 30:10; Ezek 39:26

a Is 4:2; 60:21; 61:3

b Ezek 34:26, 27; 36:29

1 Lit those gathered

c Ezek 36:6, 15

a Ps 46:7, 11; Ezek 14:11; 36:28

a Ps 78:52; 80:1; Ezek 36:38

b Ps 100:3; Jer 23:1

29 sn Psalm 82. The psalmist pictures God standing in the “assembly of El” where he accuses the “gods” of failing to promote justice on earth. God pronounces sentence upon them, announcing that they will die like men. Having witnessed the scene, the psalmist then asks God to establish his just rule over the earth.

1 tn Or “presides over.”

2 tn The phrase עֲדַת אֵל (’adat ’el, “assembly of El”) appears only here in the OT. (1) Some understand “El” to refer to God himself. In this case he is pictured presiding over his own heavenly assembly. (2) Others take אֵל as a superlative here (“God stands in the great assembly”), as in Pss 36:6 and 80:10. (3) The present translation assumes this is a reference to the Canaanite high god El, who presided over the Canaanite divine assembly. (See Isa 14:13, where El’s assembly is called “the stars of El.”) In the Ugaritic myths the phrase ’dt ’ilm refers to the “assembly of the gods,” who congregate in King Kirtu’s house, where Baal asks El to bless Kirtu’s house (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 91). If the Canaanite divine assembly is referred to here in Ps 82:1, then the psalm must be understood as a bold polemic against Canaanite religion. Israel’s God invades El’s assembly, denounces its gods as failing to uphold justice, and announces their coming demise. For an interpretation of the psalm along these lines, see W. VanGemeren, “Psalms,” EBC 5:533–36.

3 sn The present translation assumes that the Hebrew term אֱלֹהִים (’elohim, “gods”) here refers to the pagan gods who supposedly comprise El’s assembly according to Canaanite religion. Those who reject the polemical view of the psalm prefer to see the referent as human judges or rulers (אֱלֹהִים sometimes refers to officials appointed by God, see Exod 21:6; 22:8–9; Ps 45:6) or as angelic beings (אֱלֹהִים sometimes refers to angelic beings, see Gen 3:5; Ps 8:5).

4 sn The picture of God rendering judgment among the gods clearly depicts his sovereign authority as universal king (see v. 8, where the psalmist boldly affirms this truth).

5 tn The words “he says” are supplied in the translation to indicate that the following speech is God’s judicial decision (see v. 1).

6 tn Heb “and the face of the wicked lift up.”

7 tn The Hebrew noun יָתוֹם (yatom) refers to one who has lost his father (not necessarily his mother, see Ps 109:9). Because they were so vulnerable and were frequently exploited, fatherless children are often mentioned as epitomizing the oppressed (see Pss 10:14; 68:5; 94:6; 146:9; as well as Job 6:27; 22:9; 24:3, 9; 29:12; 31:17, 21).

8 tn Heb “hand.”

9 sn Having addressed the defendants, God now speaks to those who are observing the trial, referring to the gods in the third person.

10 tn Heb “walk.” The Hitpael stem indicates iterative action, picturing these ignorant “judges” as stumbling around in the darkness.

11 sn These gods, though responsible for justice, neglect their duty. Their self-imposed ignorance (which the psalmist compares to stumbling around in the dark) results in widespread injustice, which threatens the social order of the world (the meaning of the phrase all the foundations of the earth crumble).

12 tn Heb “said.”

13 sn Normally in the OT the title Most High belongs to the God of Israel, but in this context, where the mythological overtones are so strong, it probably refers to the Canaanite high god El (see v. 1, as well as Isa 14:13).

14 tn Heb “men.” The point in the context is mortality, however, not maleness.

sn You will die like mortals. For the concept of a god losing immortality and dying, see Isa 14:12–15, which alludes to a pagan myth in which the petty god “Shining One, son of the Dawn,” is hurled into Sheol for his hubris.

15 tn Heb “like one of the rulers.” The comparison does not necessarily imply that they are not rulers. The expression “like one of” can sometimes mean “as one of” (Gen 49:16; Obad 11) or “as any other of” (Judg 16:7, 11).

16 tn The translation assumes that the Qal of נָחַל (nakhal) here means “to own; to possess,” and that the imperfect emphasizes a general truth. Another option is to translate the verb as future, “for you will take possession of all the nations” (cf. NIV “all the nations are your inheritance”).

·         End “NET®” notes


[vi] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), Ps 82.

[vii] See , from the article “Fifty Years Later: The Significance of the Nuremberg Code” by Evelyne Shuster, Ph.D.

[viii] …Ibid…

[ix] References used in the article listed above follow:

1.        Annas GJ, Grodin MA, eds. The Nazi doctors and the Nuremberg Code: human rights in human experimentation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

2.       Biomedical ethics and the shadow of Nazism: a conference on the proper use of the Nazi analogy in ethical debate/April 8, 1976Hastings Cent Rep 1976;6:Suppl:1-20

3.       Katz J. The consent principle of the Nuremberg Code: its significance then and now. In: Annas GJ, Grodin MA, eds. The Nazi doctors and the Nuremberg Code: human rights in human experimentation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992:227-39.

4.       Ambroselli C. L'éthique médicale. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, Que Sais-je?, 1988.

5.       Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. Final report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1995.

6.       Grodin MA, Annas GJ. Legacies of Nuremberg: medical ethics and human rights. JAMA 1996;276:1682-1683

7.       International Military Tribunal. Trials of war criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council law no. 10. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1950.

8.       Moreno JD. Reassessing the influence of the Nuremberg Code on American medical ethics. J Contemp Health Law Policy 1997;13:347-360

11.     Bayle F. Croix gammée contre caducée: les expériences humaines en Allemagne pendant la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale. Berlin, Germany: Commission Scientifique des Crimes de Guerre, 1950.


[x] See , from the article “Fifty Years Later: The Significance of the Nuremberg Code” by Evelyne Shuster, Ph.D.

e 7:12 Dt 12:5, 11

f 7:13 2Ch 6:26–28

g 7:14 2Ch 6:37–39

h 7:15 2Ch 6:20, 40

i 7:16 2Ch 7:12

j 7:18 2Ch 6:16

k 7:19 Lv 26:14; Dt 28:15

l 7:20 Lv 26:33; Dt 29:28; 1Kg 14:15

m 7:20 Dt 28:37

n 7:21–22 Dt 29:24–25

[xii] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), 2 Ch 7:12–22.

[xiii] Yonah Ben Avraham of GeronaShaarei Teshuva: The Gates of Repentance. Trans. Shraga Silverstein. Jerusalem, Israel: Feldheim Publishers, 1971. Print.

[xiv] Thus, “He guards Lovingkindness for thousands”— even though a person has sinned thousands of times and made thousands of blemishes, God can and will forgive him, i.e. all sins (if he repents) (Rebbe Nachman of BreslovLikutey Halakhot I, p. 1b)

[xv] Adapted from .


·         [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes. Scripture quoted by permission; Quotations designated (NET) are from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved[xv]]


42 sn Psalm 51. The psalmist confesses his sinfulness to God and begs for forgiveness and a transformation of his inner character. According to the psalm superscription, David offered this prayer when Nathan confronted him with his sin following the king’s affair with Bathsheba (see 2 Sam 11–12). However, the final two verses of the psalm hardly fit this situation, for they assume the walls of Jerusalem have been destroyed and that the sacrificial system has been temporarily suspended. These verses are probably an addition to the psalm made during the period of exile following the fall of Jerusalem in 586 b.c. The exiles could relate to David’s experience, for they, like him, and had been forced to confront their sin. They appropriated David’s ancient prayer and applied it to their own circumstances.

43 tn Heb “a psalm by David, when Nathan the prophet came to him when he had gone to Bathsheba.”

1 tn Or “according to.”

2 tn Or “according to.”

3 tn Traditionally “blot out my transgressions.” Because of the reference to washing and cleansing in the following verse, it is likely that the psalmist is comparing forgiveness to wiping an object clean (note the use of the verb מָחָה (makhah) in the sense of “wipe clean; dry” in 2 Kgs 21:13; Prov 30:20; Isa 25:8). Another option is that the psalmist is comparing forgiveness to erasing or blotting out names from a register (see Exod 32:32–33). In this case one might translate, “erase all record of my rebellious acts.”

5 sn In vv. 1b–2 the psalmist uses three different words to emphasize the multifaceted character and degree of his sin. Whatever one wants to call it (“rebellious acts,” “wrongdoing,” “sin”), he has done it and stands morally polluted in God’s sight. The same three words appear in Exod 34:7, which emphasizes that God is willing to forgive sin in all of its many dimensions. In v. 2 the psalmist compares forgiveness and restoration to physical cleansing. Perhaps he likens spiritual cleansing to the purification rites of priestly law.

6 tn Heb “know.”

7 tn Heb “and my sin [is] in front of me continually.”

8 tn Heb “only you,” as if the psalmist had sinned exclusively against God and no other. Since the Hebrew verb חָטָא (hata’, “to sin”) is used elsewhere of sinful acts against people (see BDB 306 s.v. 2.a) and David (the presumed author) certainly sinned when he murdered Uriah (2 Sam 12:9), it is likely that the psalmist is overstating the case to suggest that the attack on Uriah was ultimately an attack on God himself. To clarify the point of the hyperbole, the translation uses “especially,” rather than the potentially confusing “only.”

9 tn The Hebrew term לְמַעַן (léma’an) normally indicates purpose (“in order that”), but here it introduces a logical consequence of the preceding statement. (Taking the clause as indicating purpose here would yield a theologically preposterous idea—the psalmist purposely sinned so that God’s justice might be vindicated!) For other examples of לְמַעַן indicating result, see 2 Kgs 22:17; Jer 27:15; Amos 2:7, as well as IBHS 638–40 §38.3.

10 tn Heb “when you speak.” In this context the psalmist refers to God’s word of condemnation against his sin delivered through Nathan (cf. 2 Sam 12:7–12).

11 tn Heb “when you judge.”

12 tn Heb “Look, in wrongdoing I was brought forth, and in sin my mother conceived me.” The prefixed verbal form in the second line is probably a preterite (without vav [ו] consecutive), stating a simple historical fact. The psalmist is not suggesting that he was conceived through an inappropriate sexual relationship (although the verse has sometimes been understood to mean that, or even that all sexual relationships are sinful). The psalmist’s point is that he has been a sinner from the very moment his personal existence began. By going back beyond the time of birth to the moment of conception, the psalmist makes his point more emphatically in the second line than in the first.

14 tn The perfect is used in a generalizing sense here.

15 tn Heb “in the covered [places],” i.e., in the inner man.

16 tn Heb “in the secret [place] wisdom you cause me to know.” The Hiphil verbal form is causative, while the imperfect is used in a modal sense to indicate God’s desire (note the parallel verb “desire”).

sn You want me to possess wisdom. Here “wisdom” does not mean “intelligence” or “learning,” but refers to moral insight and skill.

17 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.

18 tn Heb “cleanse me with hyssop.” “Hyssop” was a small plant (see 1 Kgs 4:33) used to apply water (or blood) in purification rites (see Exod 12:22; Lev 14:4–6, 49–52; Num 19:6–18. The psalmist uses the language and imagery of such rites to describe spiritual cleansing through forgiveness.

19 tn After the preceding imperfect, the imperfect with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates result.

20 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.

21 sn I will be whiter than snow. Whiteness here symbolizes the moral purity resulting from forgiveness (see Isa 1:18).

22 tn Heb “cause me to hear happiness and joy.” The language is metonymic: the effect of forgiveness (joy) has been substituted for its cause. The psalmist probably alludes here to an assuring word from God announcing that his sins are forgiven (a so-called oracle of forgiveness). The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request. The synonyms “happiness” and “joy” are joined together as a hendiadys to emphasize the degree of joy he anticipates.

23 sn May the bones you crushed rejoice. The psalmist compares his sinful condition to that of a person who has been physically battered and crushed. Within this metaphorical framework, his “bones” are the seat of his emotional strength.

24 tn In this context of petitionary prayer, the prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive, expressing the psalmist’s wish or request.

25 sn In this context Hide your face from my sins means “Do not hold me accountable for my sins.”

26 tn See the note on the similar expression “wipe away my rebellious acts” in v. 1.

27 sn The heart is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s motives and moral character.

28 tn Heb “and a reliable spirit renew in my inner being.”

29 tn Heb “do not cast me away from before you.”

30 sn Your Holy Spirit. The personal Spirit of God is mentioned frequently in the OT, but only here and in Isa 63:10–11 is he called “your/his Holy Spirit.”

31 sn Do not take … away. The psalmist expresses his fear that, due to his sin, God will take away the Holy Spirit from him. NT believers enjoy the permanent gift of the Holy Spirit and need not make such a request nor fear such a consequence. However, in the OT God’s Spirit empowered certain individuals for special tasks and only temporarily resided in them. For example, when God rejected Saul as king and chose David to replace him, the divine Spirit left Saul and came upon David (1 Sam 16:13–14).

32 tn Heb “and [with] a willing spirit sustain me.” The psalmist asks that God make him the kind of person who willingly obeys the divine commandments. The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.

33 tn The cohortative expresses the psalmist’s resolve. This may be a vow or promise. If forgiven, the psalmist will “repay” the Lord by declaring God’s mercy and motivating other sinners to repent.

34 tn Heb “your ways.” The word “merciful” is added for clarification. God’s “ways” are sometimes his commands, but in this context, where the teaching of God’s ways motivates repentance (see the next line), it is more likely that God’s merciful and compassionate way of dealing with sinners is in view. Thanksgiving songs praising God for his deliverance typically focus on these divine attributes (see Pss 34, 41, 116, 138).

35 tn Or “return,” i.e., in repentance.

36 tn Heb “from bloodshed.” “Bloodshed” here stands by metonymy for the guilt which it produces.

37 tn Heb “my tongue will shout for joy your deliverance.” Another option is to take the prefixed verbal form as a jussive, “may my tongue shout for joy.” However, the pattern in vv. 12–15 appears to be prayer/request (see vv. 12, 14a, 15a) followed by promise/vow (see vv. 13, 14b, 15b).

38 tn Heb “open my lips.” The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.

39 tn Heb “and my mouth will declare your praise.”

40 tn Or “For.” The translation assumes the particle is asseverative (i.e., emphasizing: “certainly”). (Some translations that consider the particle asseverative leave it untranslated.) If taken as causal or explanatory (“for”, cf. NRSV), the verse would explain why the psalmist is pleading for forgiveness, rather than merely offering a sacrifice.

41 tn The translation assumes that the cohortative is used in a hypothetical manner in a formally unmarked conditional sentence, “You do not want a sacrifice, should I offer [it]” (cf. NEB). For other examples of cohortatives in the protasis (“if” clause) of a conditional sentence, see GKC 320 §108.e. (It should be noted, however, that GKC understands this particular verse in a different manner. See GKC 320 §108.f, where it is suggested that the cohortative is part of an apodosis with the protasis being suppressed.)

42 sn You do not desire a burnt sacrifice. The terminology used in v. 16 does not refer to expiatory sacrifices, but to dedication and communion offerings. This is not a categorical denial of the sacrificial system in general or of the importance of such offerings. The psalmist is talking about his specific situation. Dedication and communion offerings have their proper place in worship (see v. 19), but God requires something more fundamental, a repentant and humble attitude (see v. 17), before these offerings can have real meaning.

43 tn Heb “a broken spirit.”

44 tn Heb “a broken and crushed heart.”

45 tn Or “despise.”

46 tn Heb “do what is good for Zion in your favor.”

47 tn Or “Build.” The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.

48 map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

49 tn Or “desire, take delight in.”

50 tn Heb “then they will offer up bulls.” The third plural subject is indefinite.

51 sn Verses 18–19 appear to reflect the exilic period, when the city’s walls lay in ruins and the sacrificial system had been disrupted.

[xvi] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), Ps 51–52.

[xvii] To be remorseful, repentant, penitent, regretful, full of regret, sorry, apologetic, self-reproachful, rueful, sheepish…

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