“Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
“His work is honorable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
“He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
“He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.
“He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.
“The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
“They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
“He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever” (Psalms 111:1-10).
Since 1983, I have been intrigued by hidden prophecies in the Psalms. It is evident that they give the story of the return of the Jews to their Promised Land, beginning with 1901 and continuing psalm by psalm to this very day.
In the year 2006, I thought that the prophetic calendar in the Psalms had ended. I could not see the fifth book of the Psalms (107-150) as being prophetic of the years in the history of modern Israel.
It was easy to see the events of World War II in Psalms 39-45, and the birth of Israel in Psalm 48, etc., but I was skeptical of the last 44 psalms, which, according to the rabbis, corresponded to the Mosaic book of Deuteronomy.
To my surprise, however, Psalm 107 seemed to touch upon 2007, as the UN replaced the Lex Mercatoria (the ancient Law of the Seas) with a new UN treaty. Psalm 107 speaks of these sea merchants reeling over troubled seas. The UN took control of the world’s oceans, thus controlling national sovereignty, navigation rights, international taxation, the environment, and energy production. In the hands of a powerful, unelected few, the UN is threatening the long tradition of freedom on the high seas — 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Also, in 2007, the UN began talks on global warming under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and developed the “Kyoto Protocol.” Furthermore, representatives of the United States and the European Union signed a new “transatlantic economic partnership” at a summit in Washington DC, agreeing to set up an “economic council” to move ahead with regulatory convergence in some 40 areas, including intellectual property, financial services, business takeovers and open skies — the ability to fly to airports anywhere in Europe and America without the need for passports. Psalm 107 alludes to these subjects with a promise that the Messiah will soon come and judge the nations.
I was also intrigued by a verse in Psalm 108, which speaks of casting a shoe: “Over Edom will I cast out my shoe” (Psalm 108:9). We all remember seeing an Iraqi newsman throwing his shoes at President George Bush! This verse is also given in Psalm 60:8. Well, believe it or not, 1960 was the year Russian President Nikita Kruschev banged his shoe on his desk at the United Nations and declared, “We will bury you!” Now, this may not be a major news event, and its connection to Psalm 108 may seem thin, but it seems to me that God is keeping us in touch with certain events, just to let us know to keep watching the Psalms.
This psalm speaks of a wicked and deceitful ruler, who turns his back on Israel. David prays for God’s judgment upon him: “Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand” (Psalm 109:6). 2009 was the year Barack Hussein Obama became president of the United States. Even T-shirts were produced with Psalm 109 written on them. Although they were condemned by Washington elites, the psalm, nevertheless, set a powerful theme for 2009.
This is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. It speaks of God’s Son sitting at His right hand until the time is right to return to Earth in Judgment. Perhaps the psalm is saying that 2010 is very close to the time for Christ to return, but not quite yet. Certainly, a lot of Christians looked to 2010 as a good year for the rapture, but it just didn’t happen. And that brings us to Psalm 111, and its possible relationship to 2011.
As we look at Psalm 111, let us first look at the Hebrew layout of this psalm. Notice that the letters in red represent the Hebrew alphabet. Therefore, this is an alphabetic psalm. The famous rabbis, Rashi (A.D. 1040-1105) and Radak (A.D. 1160-1235), have both suggested that “the initial letters of the stitches of this psalm (after the first word “Hallelujah”) follow the sequence of the Hebrew alphabet” (Tehillim, Vol. 2, p. 1348).
The Hebrew Alphabet in Psalm 111
I think the alphabetic nature of this psalm represents a suggestion for today’s Jewish scholars to study Psalm 111 for its secret message — its Sohd level of interpretation. Perhaps it holds a special message for Israel during this year. As we shall see, the psalm contains a reference to Israel’s occupation of their Promised Land while an enemy also claims possession of it.
Secondly, however, we need to note that this is the first of seven psalms that form a menorah design. Psalms 111, 112, and 113 begin with “Praise ye the LORD” (Hallelujah), while Psalms 115, 116, and 117 have a “Praise ye the LORD” (Hallelujah) following the last verse. We have three psalms that begin with Hallelujah and three psalms that end with Hallelujah. Psalm 114 stands in the middle of this menorah as the servant lamp. Psalm 114 demonstrates its light by saying that the sea fled and the Jordan was driven back. At what? “At the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Israel” (Ps. 114:7). God’s Shekinah glory is thus given as the light of this servant lamp.
The Hebrew Letter Dalet
Third, I should point out that among the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, the s Dalet offers the key to understanding this psalm. The KJV renders verse two as “The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” But the literal translation from the Hebrew text says, “Great are the accomplishments of Yahweh, accessible to all who want them.” This seems to be a better translation because of the meaning of s Dalet. This Hebrew letter refers to a “door” or “way” and can be easily determined, even when the meanings of the other letters are not always clear. In verse 2, the s Dalet is translated as “accessible.” That is, all devout Torah scholars can enter the secret realm of the Sohd level, as depicted in this verse, if only they desire to do so.
The Theme of Psalm 111
Following the “Hallelujah,” the psalm begins with “I shall thank Yahweh wholeheartedly, in the counsel of the upright” (v.1). The term “counsel” is literally translated as “the secret of the upright.” This alludes to the Sohd level of Jewish interpretation.
Rabbi Sforno (A.D. 1475-1550) comments: “The upright are the select scholars who have attained the highest levels of wisdom and have perfected their character in accordance with the lofty teachings of Torah. They have been initiated into the counsel of Divinity. The congregation refers to the novices who come to centers of Torah study to embark upon a program of instruction.”
But, Rabbi Radak said, “Israel in its entirety is described as a nation of upright scholars. The secret belongs to everyone.”
Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, editor of the Tehillim (p. 1349), wrote “The detached observer of cold, hard facts is oblivious to the broad Divine design which is imprinted on all natural phenomena. Only the Torah student who has learned how to identify the signature of Yahweh which is inscribed upon every molecule and atom of the universe can exclaim, ‘Great are the accomplishments of Yahweh!’”
The Theme Is Explained
In Psalm 111:6
In verse 6, David writes, “He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 23:11) relates that God said to the Children of Israel, “I could easily have created a new homeland for you, a glorious uninhabited land which you could have occupied without contention or combat. Yet, I specifically assigned you the Land of Canaan, where your settlement would be vigorously challenged. I did this so that I could perform miracles for you and show the world the strength of My deeds on your behalf!”
David says that God showed Israel His power in order to “give them the heritage of the heathen.” In other words, the Palestinians will eventually lose their claim to a Palestinian state.
This present-day contention will fester during the Tribulation Period and explode during the Battle of Armageddon. The Messiah will come to conquer the enemies of Israel and establish heaven’s kingdom. This is the theme of Psalm 111. This is the secret that Israel will learn — perhaps as early as 2011!