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Monday, February 9 2015

Psalm 80: The Lilies Of The Covenant

"For the director of music. To the tune of "The Lilies of the Covenant." Of Asaph. A Psalm"

Lilies are flowers that have been known since ancient times. The English-language word "lily" originated from the Anglo-Saxon (the Anglos were a tribe of the Saxons; Saxony is in Germany) word for them, lilie. The Anglo-Saxons, although often-times were war-loving brutes, also liked pretty flowers.

The ancient Romans (also war-loving brutes; see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots) knew lilies as lilium, while the ancient Greeks (also war-loving brutes, but thinking war-loving brutes; see also A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids) knew them by the word pronounced (keeping in mind that the Greek alphabet is very different from the Roman alphabet) leirion. The Biblical Hebrew word for lilies is pronounced shoo-shawn.

The Temple in Jerusalem (see also David's Temple Prophecy and The Temple That Solomon Built) was decorated with beautiful artistically-crafted work, including "the top of the pillars were of lily work" and the molten sea had "the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies."

Lily

"7:15 For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. 7:16 And he made two chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits: 7:17 And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter. 7:18 And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter. 7:19 And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. 7:20 And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter. 7:21 And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. 7:22 And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.

7:23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. 7:24 And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.

7:25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward. 7:26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths." (1 Kings 7:15-26 KJV)

Jesus Christ used lilies in His life-priorities parable "seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." The lesson wasn't about not working (the Fourth Commandment commands to work during the six working days, in order to genuinely rest on the Sabbath; see The Christian Work Days, The Christian Sabbath) and expecting a free living from those who do work. The Messiah commanded to obey the LORD and your needs will always be supplied by the result of your righteous obedience to the LORD's Commandments - including "20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work" (Exodus 20:9 KJV).

"6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:25-34 KJV)

Asaph was a Levite who was chosen to serve in the Temple (see The Songs Of Asaph) right from the time that it was constructed. The Psalms were a collection of prayers (e.g. Psalm 4: David's Prayer), prophecies (e.g. Psalm 22: David's View From The Cross) and living a Christian life (e.g. Psalm 23: The LORD Is My Shepherd) that were set to music. Some of the Psalms were written to be sung to the music of already-familiar compositions (e.g. Psalm 56: The Dove In The Distant Place Psalm). Asaph (who wrote 12 of the Psalms) did it here with the use of "Shoshannimeduth" - the English rendering of the Hebrew term shoo-shawn-neem which means lily of the Testimony i.e. lily of the Covenant. As a Temple Levite, Asaph would have been very familiar with the full spectrum of meanings.

"80:1 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph.

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. 80:2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.

80:3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

80:4 O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? 80:5 Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure. 80:6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.

80:7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

80:8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. 80:9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. 80:10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. 80:11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

80:12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? 80:13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. 80:14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; 80:15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.

80:16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 80:17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. 80:18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

80:19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved." (Psalm 80:1-19 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who was John the Baptist's father?
See What Did John The Baptist's Father Do At The Temple?


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This Day In History, February 9

474: Zeno was crowned as co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

Habsburg 1267: The Synod of Breslau (at the time, a city in German-occupied Poland) ordered Jews to wear special caps in public.

1540: The first recorded horse race meeting in England was held at Roodeye Fields, Chester.

1555: The Bishop of Gloucester, John Hooper, was burned at the stake by English Roman Catholics for his "protestant" beliefs.

1667: The Truce of Andrusovo, a treaty between Poland and Russia that briefly ended their war for control of the Ukraine.

1674: King Charles II of England signed the Treaty of Westminster, bringing the war with the Dutch to a conclusion.

1757: The Treaty of Alinagar; it was the prelude to the British seizure of Bengal.

1788: The Habsburg Empire entered the Russo-Turkish War on the side of Russia (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1801: France and Austria signed the Peace of Luneville.

1807: Much to the astonishment of French Christians and Jews alike, a "Sanhedrin" (see also The Passed Over Pharisees and Why Did The Sadducees Fear The Messiah?) was established at the explicit orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. In return, the 40,000 Jews of France were expected to give up their efforts for a separate state in "Palestine" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).

1849: Giuseppe Mazzini proclaimed Rome a republic.

1917: During the First World War, the infamous Mata Hari (the stage name of a Dutch "exotic dancer"; her real name was Margaretha Zelle) was arrested by the French as a German spy. She was executed by firing squad in October of that year.

1934: The Balkan Entente was signed; a mutual defense agreement among Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia to guarantee the signatories territorial integrity and political independence against attack by another Balkan state (i.e. Bulgaria or Albania). It proved ineffective against German influence during the 1930's and Adolf Hitler's arrogant treaty-ignoring aggression (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) leading up to and during the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1942: The French passenger liner Normandie burned and sank at its pier in New York City.

1950: During the "Red Scare" hysteria, Senator Joseph McCarthy accused the U.S. Department of State of being "filled with Communists." McCarthy and his tactics were later discredited and censured. He died of liver failure from alcoholism at age 48.

1959: The Soviet R-7 Semyorka became operational as the first intercontinental ballistic missile.

1966: The National Hockey League (NHL) announced that it was expanding from 6 teams to 12. The original 6 teams (Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, Boston, New York and Chicago) would be joined by the California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the St. Louis Blues.

1978: Canada expelled 13 Soviet "diplomats" after they tried and failed to infiltrate the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1994: Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa.


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