Psalm (Tehillah) 22 [Part 1]
This information is compiled predominantly from an anthology of Orthodox Jewish commentary, written and arranged by Rabbi Avroham Chaim Feuer from the Artscroll Tanach Series Tehillim Volume 1. Some of the original text has been modified and expanded to include reference to Yahshua HaMoshiach. This and other additional material has been added for a Nazarene Israelite (Natsarim) perspective by Jason Jordan. Additional Tehillim translation by Rabbi Hillel Danziger
A Return to the Psalms
The Book of Psalms is an Israelite’s daily lifeline to the external and internal struggles and travails of the heart. Collectively, these exhaustive writings graphically comprise the full range of an Israelite’s faith. For a believer, Psalms should be as beneficial as breathing air. No wonder the Israeli Defence Force’s standard issue field kit consists of, a ration pack, water canister, sewing kit, medical kit, whistle, compass, finger torch, spade, writing pad, pen, matches, nail clipper, small towel, foot powder, insect repellent, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, razor, soap, sun cream and a Book of Psalms.
It is customary in some religious Israeli military units for one soldier to recite Tehillim whilst his unit is engaged in combat.
The Psalms - A Brief Overview
The word psalms is comes from the Greek ψαλμοί (psalmoi), which means "songs sung to a harp", from psallein "play on a stringed instrument".
The Book of Psalms consists of 150 separate books, one of which is particularly long (Psalms 119) and constitutes a set of related chants broken down by the 22 letters of the Alef-Bet. Chapter assignments and verse breakdowns were not added to the book of Psalms until approximately 1,500 years later.
The Book of Psalms was originally divided into just five books. Jewish publications of Tehillim still retain this division in all there printings.
Most manuscripts of the Septuagint also include a Psalm 151. A Hebrew version of this Psalm was found in the Psalms Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Psalms Scroll presents the Psalms in an order different from that found elsewhere, and also contains a number of other non-canonical praises.
Seventy-three of the 150 Psalms mention David by name. Among others, Adam and the prophet Moshe are believed to have also written quite a few of the Psalms. The Brit Chadashah (New Testament) specifically cites David as being the author of Psalms 2, 16, 32, 69, 95 and 110 (Acts 4:25; Acts 2:31; 4:6; Romans 11:9; Hebrews 4:7; & Matthew 22:43).
Psalms 39, 62, and 77 are linked with Jeduthun, to be sung after his manner or in his choir. Jeduthun was a Levite of the family of Merari, and one of the three masters of music appointed by David (1 Chronicles 16:41, 42; 25:1-6).
Psalms 50 and 73–83 are the Psalms of Asaph, another master of the Levite choirs, to be sung in the worship of Elohim. The ascriptions of Psalms 42, 44–49, 84, 85, 87, and 88 attributed to the "sons of Korah" and were entrusted with arranging and singing them; 2 Chronicles 20:19.
Psalm 18 is also found, with minor variations, at 2 Samuel 22, for which reason, in accordance with the naming convention used elsewhere in the historic parts of the Bible, it is known as the Song of David.
Muslim tradition maintains that the Psalms, known as Zabur in the Quran, were revealed to David by Elohim in the same way that the Torah was revealed to Moshe.
When a Jew dies, a watch is kept over the body and Tehillim are recited constantly by sun or candlelight, until the burial service. Historically, this watch would be carried out by the immediate family – usually in shifts – but in contemporary practice, this service is provided by an employee of the funeral home or Chevra kadisha (holy community).
[Verse 1 through 15]
This Psalm, although entitled, ‘A Song of David’ primarily deals with events which were destined to occur hundreds of years after David’s time. David, via the Holy Spirit, foresaw the bleak Babylonian and Persian exiles and wrote of noteworthy events that became pivotal in the plan of salvation. Most Orthodox Jewish commentary interprets this Psalm to deal heavily with Queen Esther. The words "My El, my El, why have you forsaken me?" that should be familiar to most Christians as being the cry of Messiah are attributed among the Sages to be a reference to Esther as she passed through a room full of idols on her way to plead for the annulment of the evil decree against the Jews. The Midrash describes that as she passed through a chamber of idolatry the Holy Spirit left her.
The commentary of this Psalm goes onto describe how David refrained from killing the abusive Shimi as he shouted curses at him when he and his company fled from Avshalom, because he forsaw that Mordecai (מָרְדֳּכַי), Esther’s adopted father, would descend from him (Esther 2:5; “Mordecai, son of Yair, son of Shimi”).
Any given Psalm may simultaneously address a multitude of events and store a range of meanings that all harmoniously link together. David was able to encapsulate many events, both past, present and future in a single theme. Therefore, he does indeed write about Queen Esther in this Psalms, but we know that it contains even greater significance. It describes in detail, key events in Moshiach’s life, in particular his final hours on the execution stake. Like the righteous Queen Esther, Messiah Yahshua out the same words.
At a critical moment, YHWH may deliberately withdraw His presence from His most faithful servant. He usually does this at a low point to see if a servant’s integrity will be maintained. Thus, in this instance, YHWH’s presence is most concentrated when it is completely withdrawn.
In such a situation, a faithful servant will inquire as to why YHWH’s Presence has been withdrawn, because he knows instinctively that it is not because of transgression. Esther and Yahshua’s cry was not motivated by weakness, but by a profound level of Spiritual atonement with the Father. The plea was a sign that they walked moment-by-moment in The Divine Presence. In contrast, Sampson’s abandonment had occurred without his knowledge, because he had ceased walking in the Divine Presence and his soul became dead to the movements of the Spirit.
David composed this Psalm in honour of the miracle of Purim and the triumphant resurrection of Moshiach.
It was the custom of the famous Sage, the Vilna Goan, to recite this Psalms as ‘the daily song’ on the day of Purim (Maaseh Rav no. 250).
22 ב ב
1. “For the Conductor, on the Aiyelet Hashachar, a psalm by David.”
Many Sages agree that this refers to a type of instrument (Rahi; Radak; Ibn Ezra; Metzudos). Radak says it refers to the morning star. The Sage Meiri combines these interpretations, explaining that these very melodious instruments start with a subtle, low sound and slowly gather strength and volume, just as the light of early dawn rises slowly until it reaches a climax with the appearance of the dazzling sun.
2. “My El, my El, why have You forsaken me; [why are you] so far from saving me, from the words of my roar?”
To the Christian these words resonate as the prophetic words of Messiah. To the Jew they are the words that resonate from Queen Esther. To the Nazarene Israelite they are the words that resonate as the prophetic words of Messiah and Queen Esther. In this respect, King David, Queen Esther and Messiah Yahshua are all in exorbitantly linked acting out a pattern in the great tapestry that is the Living Word of Elohim breathed through men.
The anguish of this second verse and its preceding one are linked. The Vilna Gaon explains that the word ‘morning dawn’ is related to ‘blackness’ or ‘great darkness’ because the moment immediately preceding the dawn is the blackest, darkest period of the night (Avnei Eliyahu).
“My El, my El” Repetition is customary for those who cry out emotionally, as in “Answer me, YHWH, ANSWER ME!” (1 Kings 18:37) (Radak, Metzudas David).
“…why have You forsaken me” ‘Why are you keeping me’ or ‘why after my many prayers and much fasting is there still no resolution or end to my suffering?’ The righteous plead for an answer and never give up even when all hope appears lost.
3. “O my El! I call out by day – and You answer not; And by night – but there is no respite for me.”
“I call out by day (and) Night…” The righteous continue to wrestle for an answer knowing that their prayers and fasts aren’t executed incorrectly. They continue to call out persistently, reminding YHWH or the frequency of their pleas.
4. “Yet You are the Holy One, enthroned upon the praises of Israel!”
Why do You not answer my call? Are You not the Elohim who saved Israel in the past and listened to their resultant songs of praise? Are You no as capable of saving us now as You were then? (Radak, Metzudas David)
“Enthroned” can also mean “sitting” as in sitting on the praised of Israel. Sitting reminds us of the permanent unchanging character of Elohim.
5. “In You our fathers trusted, they trusted and You delivered them.”
Our fathers in Egypt displayed faith by stubbornly refusing to change their language and their names. Because of their faith You helped them to escape from their bondage (Sforno).
6. “To You they cried out and they were rescued, in You they trusted and they were not shamed.”
Midrash Shocher Tov refers this to the Israelite experience in Egypt. ‘The children of Israel sighed because of the bondage and they cried out’ (Exodus 2:23).
“…they were rescued…” As it says: ‘On that day YHWH saved Israel from the hand of Egypt’ (Exodus 14:30).
“…in You they trusted and they were not shamed.” The final stage of their total faith was when they followed YHWH out into the barren wilderness with little provisions for food or shelter. Yet, YHWH did not embarrass them by forsaking them. Instead, He generously took care of all their needs for forty years (Sforno).
7. “But I am a worm and not a man, scorn of humanity, despised of nations.”
Here the Psalmist describes the degradation of Israel in Exile. All the nations look down upon Israel as a subhuman species, on the same level as a worm (Radak).
Midrash Shocker Tov emphasizes that despite the pitiful weakness of the worm it does have strength in one area. Armed with nothing more than its mouth, the worm destroys the mighty cedars. Thus, this soft and flexible organism can topple a rigid and hard tree.
The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: I desire you alone because even when I shower you with greatness, you humble yourselves before Me. Abraham said, ‘I am dust and ash (Genesis 18:27).
“…scorn of humanity…” This term describes the benchmark for the lowliest regarded individual possible.
8. “All who see me, deride me; they open wide with their lips, they wag their heads.”
Every Israelite in every age, especially the Jews, can identify with this verse. Leading up to every pogrom, riot, forced relocation, enslavement and annihilation, Israel is the most severe and longest running hated nation in all history.
David simultaneously addresses his own predicament, the nation of Israel’s sorrow at the time of the evil decree of Haman and Messiah Yahshua’s rejection as he hung from the olive tree.
Mark 15:29; "Those passing by were hurling abuse at (Yahshua), wagging their heads, and saying, "Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, come down from the tree and save yourself!"
9. “Reliance on YHWH. He will deliver him! He will save him, for He desires him!”
Radak and Metzudas David render that the Psalmist exhorts the downtrodden person or nation to ignore its mockers and place its destiny in the hands of Elohim.
It literally means ‘to roll over’ a burden to someone else (Rashi).
Matthew 27:43; "HE TRUSTS IN Elohim; LET Elohim RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, 'I am the Son of Elohim.'"
“He will deliver him!” Midrash Shocker Tov comments that Elohim promised to help Israel escape from their burden of sin. If they will only repent and thus ‘roll over’ their sins to YHWH, their complete pardon is assured.
10. Because You drew me forth from the womb, and made me secure on my mother’s breasts.”
“…You drew me forth…” As in Job 38:8; ‘When he is drawn out from the womb, he goes forth.’
David alludes to Esther’s tragic circumstances during her conception and birth. ‘When Esther’s mother conceived her, her father died. At childbirth her mother died’ (Megillah 13a). Thus, as she was leaving her mother’s womb, her life was in mortal danger, and only because Elohim drew here out of the birth passage did she survive (Alshich; Midrash Shocker Tov).
In truth her orphaned status was an asset many years later. For, the Megillah tells us that ‘Esther would not reveal her birthplace and her nation (Esther 2:19). The enigma of her silence intrigued the Persian king Ahasueros. The Talmud claims that every nation claimed Esther has theirs.
This Psalm also simultaneously alludes to the circumstances surrounding Yahshua’s conception and birth. Miriam’s pregnancy before her marriage to Yoseph was dangerous. Yahshua’s birth was during a census and in the midst of Sukkot. After his birth King Herod’s evil decree to have every Jewish child under three slaughtered was put into effect.
In truth Yahshua’s miraculous conception, dangerous though it was at the time, was an asset many years later because it confirmed his status as Messiah according to Isaiah 7:14; “Therefore YHWH himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name El is with us.”
The enigma of his conception, superior teaching and miraculous works attracted the attention of the masses.
11. “I was cast upon You from birth, from my mother’s womb You have been my Elohim.”
Esther was an orphan from birth and YHWH is ‘the father of orphans’ (Psalms 68:6).
Rashi interprets this as referring to the entire Israelite nation. The moment the twelve tribes were born, the nation was formed. From that time on, Elohim carried and guided them, as it says, ‘Listen to Me O House of Jacob, and all of the remnant of the House of Israel, who are borne by Me from birth, who are carried from My womb’ (Isaiah 46:3).
12. “Be not aloof from me for distress is near, for there is none to help.”
You have been close to me since my conception and birth, and You continued to guide me throughout my development. Please do not suddenly desert me in my distress (Radak).
13. “Many bulls surround me, Bashan’s mighty Ones encircle me.”
Esther was surrounded by King Ahasueros’ soldiers and bodyguards after she was sought by agents who had been sent out to find a new queen.
King Messiah Yahshua was surrounded by Roman soldiers who mocked and beat mercilessly.
14. “They open their mouths against me like a tearing, roaring lion.”
The nations heaped loshon hara (evil speech) upon loshon hara as Haman’s evil decree to eradicate the Jew swept the land.
Lamentations 2:16; “All your enemies Have opened their mouths wide against you; They hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, ‘We have swallowed her up! Surely this is the day for which we waited; We have reached it, we have seen it.’"
Yahshua’s accusers made false accusations against him.
According to Rashi, this also describes King Nebuchadnezzer. The Talmud (Megillah 12a) interprets the verse ‘the lion has come up from the thicket’ (Jeremiah 4:7) as referring to Nebuchadnezzer. According to the Talmud (Shabbos 150a) Nebuchadnezzer used to ride a male lion with a serpent tied to its head for a bridle.
15 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones became disjointed; my heart is like wax, melted within my innards.”
“I am poured out like water…” is a metaphor meaning that my fear melted my resolve as if it were running water (Radak).
Tehillos HaShem applies the verse to Esther’s reaction to the news of Haman’s decree against the Jews: ‘and the Queen was greatly distressed’ (Esther 4:4) [lit. ‘she became full of hollow spaces’] Rav said: she became ritually unclean; Rav Yirmiya said her stomach was loosened (and melted like wax) (Megillah 15a).
“…all my bones become disjointed.” Instead of enjoying the blessing of ‘good tidings fatten the bones’ (Proverbs 15:30), my bones are undermined by tragedy. Instead of cohesion, as in ‘all my bones will say [Your praises]’ (Psalms 35:10), my bones have become separated (Alshich).
“…my heart is like wax, melted within my innards.”
Joshua 7:5; The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water.”
Job 23:16; "It is Elohim who has made my heart faint, And the Almighty who has dismayed me.”
Psalm (Tehillah) 22 [Part 2 - Verses 16-32]
Psalms 22 is the plea of the righteous in a time of desperation. It is the call that comes when a servant of the Most High experiences a very real abandonment of the Divine Presence in a time of absolute crisis. As we’ve discussed previously, the removal of Elohim’s Holy Spirit can paradoxically be the Father’s closest interaction with a believer. In Yah’s very act of removing His most powerful source of comfort, the perfecting of a believer’s faith is just moments away. Granted, the Ruach HaKodesh can be chased easily away by transgression and sin, but in this case a believer confesses his wrong doing and appeals for time to return to YHWH and have His presence swiftly returned. A believer that cries out, “Why have you left me!” makes a sincere inquiry as he knows his conduct has remained intact and his integrity unscathed. Such a call is always answered. It was answered with Job, it was answered with David, it was answered with Queen Esther and it was answered with Messiah Yahshua! Messiah’s inclusion in this list, might make one feel compelled to ask, ‘Is not Yahshua the Expressed Image of YHWH and therefore privy to all the Father’s ways?’ Scripturally speaking, no, and certainly not during his 33 year flesh-bound ministry. Matthew 24:36; "No one knows about that day or hour (of the end of this age), not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Often I have heard the comment, ‘We shouldn’t study Torah under one man, because no one man knows it all.’ While the last part of this statement is true the first part is not. The reason is that as we walk out this faith we are never in a need to know everything all at once, but as we come across something one step at a time that we are unsure of it is only this issue and the next that we need concern ourselves with and the council of a wise man is beneficial in this process. Everybody in this walk needs to study under a qualified and heavenly appointed Rabbi or teacher within the community of faith. “(An Ethiopian eunuch, a treasurer of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians was upon his Chariot) …on his way home (after worshiping in Jerusalem)…reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’ Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” When we study the above verse, several things of interest emerge. One is that the Spirit does, at times, communicate in an audible voice, and two, a student should always invite the teacher to teach him. Never should a teacher impose himself on a prospective student. In Rabbi Robert O. Miller’s recent visit to Australia he commenced his talks by asking whether people were here to learn. The response was a unanimous “yes” and then he replied with, “So then I’ll teach.” So with this in mind let us move forward together as we re-enter the Psalms with the knowledge that we agreed to learn and therefore we should give ear to those in the faith that have been appointed as rabbis, teachers and leaders.
"16 My spittle is dry like baked clay, and my tongue sticks to my palate. In the dust of death You set me down."
John 19:28; “After this, Yahshua, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty.’”
Psalm 69:21; “They also gave me gall for my food And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
Matthew 27:34; “…they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.”
Gall is made up of abnormal outgrowths of plant tissues and can be caused by various parasites, from fungi and bacteria, to insects and mites. While Gall would have deadened some of the pain, the cheap sweet wine that tasted so bad it was likened to vinegar is the worst thing to give someone who is thirsty.
“My spittle…” Ibn ezra explains that saliva and all the of the liquids and enzymes secreted by the body are primary factors in lubricating the various organic systems. This smooth functioning enhances the body’s ‘strength.’
“…my palate.” Radak and Ibn Ezra also quote an opinion which holds that when the palate is as dry as clay, it is difficult to speak.
“…dust of death…” literally the dust of grave according to Radak. Dust is insensitive (Alshich).
17. "For dogs surround me, a pack of evil-doers encloses me, like [the prey of] a lion on my hands and my feet."
This describes Israel in the Exile of Bavel, surrounded by hostile enemies, with no avenue of escape (Radak). This refers to the sons of Haman (Midrash Shocher Tov). The Rabbis often equated the seed of Amalek with that of a dog. The Amalek were the nation that came to lick the blood of Israel, like a blood-thirsty dog (Tanchuma Ki Teitzei).
“…Like [the pray of] a lion on my hands and my feet.” Some translations render “They have pierced my hands and my feet.” The former translation is most accurate but (perhaps more graphically) still describes the defenceless state of Messiah Yahshua’s impaled limbs.
18. “I count all my bones, they look on and gloat over me.”
During David’s intense fasts and prolonged exiles he experienced states of severe starvation.
‘I am so starved and emaciated that my bones stick out and can be counted’ (Radak).
John 19: 32-36; “Then came the soldiers, who broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Yahshua, and saw that he was dead already, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came blood and water. And he that saw it bare record and his record is true: and he knew that he spoke truly, that he might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”
Luke 23:35; “And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Moshiach of Elohim, His Chosen One.’”
This Psalm contains exactly 248 words, a figure which corresponds to the 248 limbs in the human body. As Esther prepared herself to confront King Ahasueros, she raised herself to a level of spiritual ecstasy. When she examined herself and counted her limbs, she found that every part of her body was suffused with the Ruach HaKodesh (Rabbeinu Eliezer of Worms). Messiah Yahshua achieved the very same state with his concentrated prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Amid the quite grove of ancient olive trees King Messiah Yahshua sweated to the point of shedding blood just as an olive secretes a fluid that on its initial extraction is the same colour and consistency as blood.
19. “They divide my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing.”
When Esther began her walk to the king unsummoned, she apparently sealed her doom. All of the palace courtiers eyed her valuables covetously. This one said: I will take her garments. Another said: I want her jewels! A third said: Her necklaces are mine! A fourth cried: I claim for myself her royal mantle! (Midrash Shocker Tov).
During King David’s flight his garments and his crown were divided among his supplanters.
King Messiah Yahshua’s tallit and tefillin were also divided among his captors as mementos.
Matthew 27:35; “And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots.”
Luke 23:34; “But Yahshua was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”
John 19:24; “So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be"; this was to fulfill the Scripture: ‘THEY DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS.’”
20. “But You, YHWH, be not far from me. O my strength, hasten to my assistance!”
Midrash Shocker Tov interprets this as a plea from Esther, asking that the scepter of King Ahasuerus be elongated to touch her so as to authorise her to enter before him; thus, ‘let his scepter not be far from me.’
21. “Deliver my soul from the sword, my only one from the grip of the dog.”
The grip of the dog refers to Haman for the Talmud equates the slandered to a dog, ‘Whoever speaks evil gossip, deserves to be thrown to the dogs (Pesachim 118a). The Talmud goes onto say that, ‘There was never anyone who could speak slander as well as Haman.’ (Tehilla L’David).
When Jacob feared his encounter with Esau, Haman’s ancestor, he pleaded, ‘Deliver me from the hand [of Esau]’ (Genesis 32:11).
22. “Save me from the lion’s mouth as You have answered from the horns of the Reimim.”
Many English translations have been offered for the word reimim. Ox, bison, buffalo, unicorn and reindeer are among the most popular. One thing is clear, the reimim derives its name from its majestic horns which are its most precious asset. The horns are ‘most high, exalted,’ taller than those of other animals (this would make a reindeer very appropriate identity for the mysterious r’eim).
23. “I will proclaim Your Name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise You.”
“I will proclaim Your Name to my brethren…” Yahshua said in John 17:6; “I have made known your name to the men whom you gave me from the world. They were Yours, and you gave them to me and they have kept Your word.”
24. “You, who fear YHWH, praise Him! All of you, the seed of Jacob, glorify Him! Br frightened of Him all you seed of Israel.”
“You, who fear YHWH…” This is in reference to Gentile converts who witness the miraculous salvation of the Jews in the time of Esther. ‘And many of the people of the land became Jews, for the fear of the Jews fell upon them’ (Esther 8:17).
“…praise Him!” When the salvation of YHWH appears, everyone will laud Him differently. Each man will offer praise in accordance with his personal degree of closeness to Elohim. Moreover the very act of praise will have an inspiring effect. Those who originally served only out of fear i.e. ‘those who fear YHWH,’ will come to serve Elohim out of love and adoration, i.e. ‘all you, the seed of Jacob, glorify Him’ (Radak).
25. “For He has neither despised nor loathed the screams of the poor, nor has He concealed His face from him, but when he cried to Him for help, He heard.”
“…He has neither despised nor loathed the screams of the poor…” Once, King Agrippa decided to offer 1000 burnt sacrifices in one day. He gave strict orders to the High priest, ‘Today, no one will bring any sacrifices except for me!’ A poor man came to the High Priest and gave him two turtledoves, saying, ‘Please sacrifice these for me.’ When the High Priest refused the poor man said, ‘My master, I trap four birds everyday. Two I dedicate for sacrifice and two I keep for my livelihood. If you will not accept these two from me you will be undermining my entire income [because I am able to catch the two birds for my livelihood only in the merit of the two that I dedicate]. The High Priest relented and offered up the birds. At that moment King Agrippa had a vision in which he was told, ‘The offering of the poor trapper preceded all of your offerings.’ He immediately called the High Priest who explained the matter to him. The righteous Agrippa responded: ‘You did the proper thing!’
26. “You are the cause of my praise; in the great congregation. I will fulfill my vows before those who fear Him.”
The ‘great congregation’ refers to the multitude of Gentile nations before whom Israel will recite Elohim’s praises. They will say, ‘The praises we offer are not empty words. Elohim truly deserves them, because it was His wondrous salvation which inspired this acclaim’ (Radak).
Previously the Psalmist said, ‘Those who fear YHWH, praise Him (v. 24). Now the Psalmist speaks for these men and demonstrates that their praise consists of but one phrase “from You’ i.e. YHWH, You alone are the source of all salvation (Rav Yeibi).
27. “The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek YHWH will praise Him. May your hearts be alive forever.”
Rashi comments that this describes the future era of Moshiach when an abundance of food will fill the earth.
“May your hearts be alive forever.” May the spirit of prophecy dwell in your hearts for all times! (Targum).
28. “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn back to YHWH, All the families of the nations will bow down before You.”
Zechariah 8:23; This is what YHWH of armies says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the tzitzit of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that Elohim is with you.'"
29. "For the kingship belongs to YHWH and He rules the nations."
When the nations see the sovereignty returning to YHWH they will return to Him (Rashi).
30. "They will eat all the fat of the land and bow down; All who go down to the dust will kneel before Him, but He will not revive his soul."
Rashi comments that this verse refers back to v. 27, and that its sequence is inverted. He renders: They [i.e. the humble ones mentioned in v. 27] will eat the fat of the land [i.e. the finest produce of the earth] and bow down [i.e. to praise and thank Elohim.]
“All who go down to the dust will kneel before Him, but He will not revive his soul.” But there are some who will not be accepted even if they repent and kneel before YHWH. These are the enemies of the Torah (Rashi) or those who shed Hebrew blood (Radak). Their souls ‘go down to the dust,’ meaning to Gehinnom, never to be released (Rashi; Radak).
31. "By the seed who will serve Him the Lord will be proclaimed to the generation."
I.e. The seed of Israel who constantly worship YHWH (Rashi; Radak). The seed of the earlier generation will tell the later generation of the wonders He performed for them (Rashi).
32. "They will come and tell of His righteousness; to the newborn nation, that which He has done."
The earlier generations will come and tell the later ones (Rashi).
Those who come up from the exile in all the corners of the earth will relates Elohim’s goodness to their children who never saw YHWH’s great acts (Radak).