MASCHIL OF ETHAN THE EZRAHITE.
Radak explains that Ethan (also pronounced as "Etan") was the son of
son of Judah (1-Chronicles 2:8). He prophesied concerning the Exile and its end
and concentrated on the Kingdom of David and its renewal. According to the
Radak renewal of the Kingdom of
David automatically brings in its train an end to the Exile.
[Psalms 89:1] I WILL SING OF THE MERCIES OF THE LORD FOR EVER: WITH MY MOUTH WILL I MAKE KNOWN THY FAITHFULNESS TO ALL GENERATIONS.
[Psalms 89:2] FOR I HAVE SAID, MERCY SHALL BE BUILT UP FOR EVER: THY FAITHFULNESS SHALT THOU ESTABLISH IN THE VERY HEAVENS.
[Psalms 89:3] I HAVE MADE A COVENANT WITH MY CHOSEN, I HAVE SWORN UNTO DAVID MY SERVANT,
[Psalms 89:4] THY SEED WILL I ESTABLISH FOR EVER, AND BUILD UP THY THRONE TO ALL GENERATIONS. SELAH.
This can be understood as saying that the ultimate and final rightful ruler of Israel will be from the Seed of David.
There are those who understand these and similar promises as saying that there would always be a ruler descended from David ruling over at least a part of the House of Israel.
Regarding this matter consider the following extract from our work, "Ephraim", chapter six.
For basically the same information in a more graphically
atractive format see:
Sons of David as Rulers
THE HOUSE OF DAVID AND THE LOST TRIBES
Adapted from "Ephraim. The Gentile Children of Israel" (1995, 2001)
After exhorting the exiled Israelites to leave a traceable path of "dolmens", Jeremiah (chapter 31) continues and describes how Judah (i.e. the Jews) will also be re established. A New Covenant will be made between God and the Houses of Israel and Judah. This Covenant will entail a change of nature and will be set in the heart so that the will of God will be instinctively known and performed:
Jeremiah ch.33;14 "..THE DAYS
COME.THAT I WILL PERFORM THAT GOOD THING WHICH I HAVE PROMISED UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND TO THE HOUSE OF JUDAH.
33;15 "IN THOSE DAYS.. WILL I CAUSE THE BRANCH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS TO GROW UP INTO DAVID; AND HE SHALL EXECUTE
JUDGEMENT AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE LAND.
33;17 "...DAVID SHALL NEVER WANT A MAN TO SIT UPON THE THRONE OF ISRAEL.
DAVID had numerous sons. Solomon the son of David had 300 wives and 700 concubines and children were borne to him. Most of the kings of the House of David had several children each of whom also would have raised a family of his own. It follows that numerous offspring on the male side must have belonged to the House of David. Descent through the male is what Scripture, strictly speaking, requires in order for the descendants to call themselves by the House of their (male) ancestor even though, in Jewish Law, anyone borne of a Jewish mother is considered Jewish. The House of David reigned in Judah and quite a few families amongst the present day Jews trace themselves back to David. The Jewish Biblical Commentators
Rashi (1040 1105) and
Abarbanel (1435-1508), the family of
Dayan in Spain and Syria as well as the
Maharal (1512-1609) and many other famous Rabbinical scholars were descended from King David. A good number of Jews should be able today to trace themselves back to King David. Apart from descendants of David who are to be found amongst the modern Jews there are others. Numerous people from the Tribe of Judah were also exiled together with the Lost Ten Tribes. The Sons of David had once been appointed as administrators over all Israel (2-Samuel 8;18). Later members of the House of David had intermarried with leaders of the Northern Kingdom and passed over to live in those areas. In this and other ways descendants of David must have penetrated the ranks of the exiled Israelites.
An Aramaic inscription mentions a "House of David" in connection with Dan in the Galilee. There was a
Judaean entity known as "Yadi" in southeast Turkey which was attached to Judah in the south, "he recovered Damascus, and
Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel" (2-Kings 14;28). The rulers of
Yadi had Hebrew names like
Hayya, Saul, and PERHAPS represented a minor branch of the House of David.
Yadi disappeared together with the northern Ten
Tribed Kingdom of Israel.
Part of the Lost Ten Tribes became known as the Sakae or Scythians. The
Sacae-Scythians once had an independent kingdom named "Sakastan in eastern Iran. The ruling dynasty of
Sakastan believed itself descended from King Solomon the son of David. In Iberia (Georgia in the Caucasus in southern Russia), which also belonged to the Scythians there was too, a dynasty (related to the
Arsacid Kings of
Parthia) that traced itself back to David as well as to a mythical "Angl
Tork". The ruling houses of the Sakae Scythians in
Sakastan and Scythia appear to have been interrelated and had familial connections with the monarchs of the
Guti (Goths) and
Parthians and they with each other. It follows that these too at least in part may well have been descended from David.
From these monarchic and aristocratic lines came the early kings of Scandinavia, of the Franks, and of the Anglo Saxons.
Enthusiasts in the past have adduced all kinds of genealogical permutations in order to prove that the reigning house of Britain is descended from an eastern princess named Tea
Tephi (presumed daughter of Zedekiah, king of Judah of the House of David) who married an Irish king, whose descendants moved to Scotland and from there they eventually inherited the English Throne.
Whether there is substance to Tea
Tephi having been a daughter of King Zedekiah or not is still an open question.
At all events we should require an inheritance through the male line since this is what the Bible speaks of.
Another fount of the Davidic line may have penetrated West European nobility via France! There was once a semi-autonomous Principality in
Narbonne (southern France) described by Arthur J. Zuckerman (A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France, 768-900, New York, 1972). It was ruled by a Jewish Prince of the House of David whose offspring intermarried with the aristocracy and Royal Line of France and these with that of Normandy, Scotland, and England. This prince bore the Hebrew name "Machir" which in tune was rendered in Latin as "Americo" and eventually gave rise to the name "America|. Amongst the Welsh, Scottish, English, and other groups in Europe there were families who believed they descended from King David of Judah.
It therefore follows, that (theoretically at least) present-day descendants of David may be extremely numerous. Compare this possibility with the following verse:
Jeremiah 33;22 "AS THE HOST OF HEAVEN CANNOT BE NUMBERED, NEITHER THE SAND OF THE SEA MEASURED: SO WILL I MULTIPLY THE SEED OF DAVID MY SERVANT, AND THE LEVITES THAT MINISTER UNTO ME.....
David was promised that the
Rulership over Israel (or at least part of it) would come from him:
JEREMIAH 33;25 "....IF MY COVENANT BE NOT WITH DAY AND NIGHT, IF I HAVE NOT APPOINTED THE ORDINANCES OF HEAVEN AND EARTH;
33;26 "THEN WILL I CAST AWAY THE SEED OF JACOB, AND DAVID MY SERVANT, SO THAT I WILL NOT TAKE OF HIS SEED TO BE RULERS OVER THE SEED OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB: FOR I WILL CAUSE THEIR CAPTIVITY TO RETURN, AND HAVE MERCY ON THEM.
Literally speaking, the promises to David and to the Levites do not necessarily mean that they will always have rulers and ministers over the Houses of Israel. Rather, the Biblical promises may be understood to state that descendants of David and Levi will always be available to fulfill their ancestral functions whenever the Promised Messianic Order shall be instituted or whenever the Children of Israel are worthy.
Even so, it may be that many of the Rulers over the exiled Israelites and those who ministered to them in Britain, America, and elsewhere are (and were) descended from the Houses of David and Levi.
[Psalms 89:5] AND THE HEAVENS SHALL PRAISE THY WONDERS, O LORD: THY FAITHFULNESS ALSO IN THE CONGREGATION OF THE SAINTS.
[Psalms 89:6] FOR WHO IN THE HEAVEN CAN BE COMPARED UNTO THE LORD? WHO AMONG THE SONS OF THE MIGHTY CAN BE LIKENED UNTO THE LORD?
<<THE MIGHTY>>" Hebrew "Elim", singular "El". The
Radak explains the word "el" to actually mean "ability", i.e. They who have
abilitiy, they are the Mighty Ones.
[Psalms 89:7] GOD IS GREATLY TO BE FEARED IN THE ASSEMBLY OF THE SAINTS, AND TO BE HAD IN REVERENCE OF ALL THEM THAT ARE ABOUT HIM.
[Psalms 89:8] O LORD GOD OF HOSTS, WHO IS A STRONG LORD LIKE UNTO THEE? OR TO THY FAITHFULNESS ROUND ABOUT THEE?
[Psalms 89:9] THOU RULEST THE RAGING OF THE SEA: WHEN THE WAVES THEREOF ARISE, THOU STILLEST THEM.
[Psalms 89:10] THOU HAST BROKEN RAHAB IN PIECES, AS ONE THAT IS SLAIN; THOU HAST SCATTERED THINE ENEMIES WITH THY STRONG ARM.
<<RAHAB: This represents "Egypt". The word probably comes from a root connoting "pride, boastfulness, arrogance".
Mattatiyah Clark ("Etymological Dictionary") quotes Hirsch as relating
RaHaV to the Hebrew
RaV (increase) and
There is an English word "rave" meaning to talk incoherently and with excess allegedly from the French "rever" to dream. At all events as in most cases of similarity between English and Hebrew the English word is closer in meaning to the Hebrew word that sounds like it than it is to the foreign word it is supposed to be derived from!
<<THINE ENEMIES: The enemies of Israel are the enemies of the Almighty.
[Psalms 89:11] THE HEAVENS ARE THINE, THE EARTH ALSO IS THINE: AS FOR THE WORLD AND THE FULNESS THEREOF, THOU HAST FOUNDED THEM.
[Psalms 89:12] THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH THOU HAST CREATED THEM: TABOR AND HERMON SHALL REJOICE IN THY NAME.
<<TABOR: This is the name of a mountain in the Upper Galilee.
<<HERMON: This is a mountain on the present-day border of Israel, Syria, and Lebanon.
[Psalms 89:13] THOU HAST A MIGHTY ARM: STRONG IS THY HAND, AND HIGH IS THY RIGHT HAND.
[Psalms 89:14] JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT ARE THE HABITATION OF THY THRONE: MERCY AND TRUTH SHALL GO BEFORE THY FACE.
<<MERCY AND TRUTH>>: These are virtues worth cultivating and by virtue of them our personal causes (the individual needs of each one of us) have greater chance of being accepted.
[Psalms 89:15] BLESSED IS THE PEOPLE THAT KNOW THE JOYFUL SOUND: THEY SHALL WALK, O LORD, IN THE LIGHT OF THY COUNTENANCE.
[Psalms 89:16] IN THY NAME SHALL THEY REJOICE ALL THE DAY: AND IN THY RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL THEY BE EXALTED.
[Psalms 89:17] FOR THOU ART THE GLORY OF THEIR STRENGTH: AND IN THY FAVOUR OUR HORN SHALL BE EXALTED.
[Psalms 89:18] FOR THE LORD IS OUR DEFENCE; AND THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL IS OUR KING.
God is the Holy One. He is our King. Nevertheless we need a human leader, an
annointed monarch of our own, from our own ranks to lead us.
[Psalms 89:19] THEN THOU SPAKEST IN VISION TO THY HOLY ONE, AND SAIDST, I HAVE LAID HELP UPON ONE THAT IS MIGHTY; I HAVE EXALTED ONE CHOSEN OUT OF THE PEOPLE.
David was "MIGHTY". Every male has something of the warrior and hero in him. This is what enables him to function. Most of us however do not merit to develop this aspect of our potential or we misuse it. David both developed it and directed it towards his worship of the Almighty. With David at the head of Israel his living example and his being a born commander would have facilitated the correct expression of our own masculinity in private matters. Each and every one of us strives for a higher expression of our own being but our inner drives and inertia pull us down. We may look to our surroundings, peers and superiors, but often they are even lower than we are, or at least may seem to be. This is the value of a king from the seed of David who is born to play his role.
[Psalms 89:20] I HAVE FOUND DAVID MY SERVANT; WITH MY HOLY OIL HAVE I ANOINTED HIM:
David in this Psalm begins by speaking of the Glories and faithfulness of the Almighty. He then repeats the promises made to David and his seed after him. Following that he predicts the future and shows how for a period it would seem as if these promises have not been kept. He makes a direct appeal to the Almighty to help him and remember him. David may have been extrapolating from one of the several visitations that occurred to him personally when it seemed as if he had been abandoned and that all he stood for had become undone. This is the way of Prophecy whereby the prophet takes personal experiences or those of his surroundings in his own time or that will occur shortly after and then projects his experiences into the Distant Future.
[Psalms 89:21] WITH WHOM MY HAND SHALL BE ESTABLISHED: MINE ARM ALSO SHALL STRENGTHEN HIM.
[Psalms 89:22] THE ENEMY SHALL NOT EXACT UPON HIM; NOR THE SON OF WICKEDNESS AFFLICT HIM.
David was promised that he and his descendants would be established on their throne and that wicked people would not have control over them.
[Psalms 89:23] AND I WILL BEAT DOWN HIS FOES BEFORE HIS FACE, AND PLAGUE THEM THAT HATE HIM.
He was promised that he would defeat his enemies.
[Psalms 89:24] BUT MY FAITHFULNESS AND MY MERCY SHALL BE WITH HIM: AND IN MY NAME SHALL HIS HORN BE EXALTED.
He would promote belief and knowledge in the Almighty and show how God is good if we go in HIS paths.
[Psalms 89:25] I WILL SET HIS HAND ALSO IN THE SEA, AND HIS RIGHT HAND IN THE RIVERS.
David was promised to reign all over the Grater land of Israel meaning all the area from the Nile Rile to the Indian Ocean. This promise was also to apply to his descendants.
<<IN THE RIVERS: S.R. Hirsch understood that "Rivers" in the plural referred to rivers on the eastern boundary of greater Israel meaning both the Euphrates and the
Trigris implying that in the future Israel will also possess the present region of Iraq.
<< If David were facing the
Mediterraneanhis left hand would extend toward the Red Sea and his
right hand toward the River Euphrates. Perhaps the reference here is meant to include also the Tigris which, together with the Euphrates, encloses Mesopotamia, "Aram
Naharaim", the birthplace of our father Abraham.
Note: S.R. Hirsch is here suggesting that the future boundaries of Greater Israel will include the area of Iraq.
[Psalms 89:26] HE SHALL CRY UNTO ME, THOU ART MY FATHER, MY GOD, AND THE ROCK OF MY SALVATION.
Now David is extrapolating concerning his future descendants especially the Coming Messiah who will be a kind of re-embodiment of David in so far he will be his descendants and exemplify fully all of his qualities.
What applies to David and the descendants of David also applies to each of us. We are the creatures of the Almighty. God has promised us that if we go in HIS ways He will protect us and look after us. Sometimes things seem different and life turns out as perhaps it should not. We may find ourselves or those around us beset by troubles and adversity. If we pray to God He will hear us and help us as He has promised. We have a right to ask the Almighty to hear us.
There may be times when it may seem as if we are not being answered but even then in the long run we find that this was not so. The Almighty always listens and always helps in some way or other.
[Psalms 89:27] ALSO I WILL MAKE HIM MY FIRSTBORN, HIGHER THAN THE KINGS OF THE EARTH.
[Psalms 89:28] MY MERCY WILL I KEEP FOR HIM FOR EVERMORE, AND MY COVENANT SHALL STAND FAST WITH HIM.
[Psalms 89:29] HIS SEED ALSO WILL I MAKE TO ENDURE FOR EVER, AND HIS THRONE AS THE DAYS OF HEAVEN.
The future Messiah will have children and his descendants will rule over Israel for ever.
[Psalms 89:30] IF HIS CHILDREN FORSAKE MY LAW, AND WALK NOT IN MY JUDGMENTS;
[Psalms 89:31] IF THEY BREAK MY STATUTES, AND KEEP NOT MY COMMANDMENTS;
[Psalms 89:32] THEN WILL I VISIT THEIR TRANSGRESSION WITH THE ROD, AND THEIR INIQUITY WITH STRIPES.
[Psalms 89:33] NEVERTHELESS MY LOVINGKINDNESS WILL I NOT UTTERLY TAKE FROM HIM, NOR SUFFER MY FAITHFULNESS TO FAIL.
[Psalms 89:34] MY COVENANT WILL I NOT BREAK, NOR ALTER THE THING THAT IS GONE OUT OF MY LIPS.
[Psalms 89:35] ONCE HAVE I SWORN BY MY HOLINESS THAT I WILL NOT LIE UNTO DAVID.
[Psalms 89:36] HIS SEED SHALL ENDURE FOR EVER, AND HIS THRONE AS THE SUN BEFORE ME.
[Psalms 89:37] IT SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOR EVER AS THE MOON, AND AS A FAITHFUL WITNESS IN HEAVEN. SELAH.
[Psalms 89:38] BUT THOU HAST CAST OFF AND ABHORRED, THOU HAST BEEN WROTH WITH THINE ANOINTED.
[Psalms 89:39] THOU HAST MADE VOID THE COVENANT OF THY SERVANT: THOU HAST PROFANED HIS CROWN BY CASTING IT TO THE GROUND.
[Psalms 89:40] THOU HAST BROKEN DOWN ALL HIS HEDGES; THOU HAST BROUGHT HIS STRONG HOLDS TO RUIN.
[Psalms 89:41] ALL THAT PASS BY THE WAY SPOIL HIM: HE IS A REPROACH TO HIS NEIGHBOURS.
This reflects Isaiah 53 how Judah and descendants of David amongst Rabbinical families and poor Jews were an object of reproach and derision in the eyes of the Gentiles.
[Psalms 89:42] THOU HAST SET UP THE RIGHT HAND OF HIS ADVERSARIES; THOU HAST MADE ALL HIS ENEMIES TO REJOICE.
[Psalms 89:43] THOU HAST ALSO TURNED THE EDGE OF HIS SWORD, AND HAST NOT MADE HIM TO STAND IN THE BATTLE.
Defeat in battle, as far as we know, did not happen to David in his lifetime. It did however happen to several of his descendants. David had the ability to project himself into the future and regard what would happen to his offspring and to Judah and the rest of Israel as if he himself was experiencing it.
[Psalms 89:44] THOU HAST MADE HIS GLORY TO CEASE, AND CAST HIS THRONE DOWN TO THE GROUND.
[Psalms 89:45] THE DAYS OF HIS YOUTH HAST THOU SHORTENED: THOU HAST COVERED HIM WITH SHAME. SELAH.
David is not saying here that the calamity was unjust. David admits that together with the Promise there was a condition that faithfulness with God must be kept. Nevertheless,
[Psalms 89:46] HOW LONG, LORD? WILT THOU HIDE THYSELF FOR EVER? SHALL THY WRATH BURN LIKE FIRE?
[Psalms 89:47] REMEMBER HOW SHORT MY TIME IS: WHEREFORE HAST THOU MADE ALL MEN IN VAIN?
[Psalms 89:48] WHAT MAN IS HE THAT LIVETH, AND SHALL NOT SEE DEATH? SHALL HE DELIVER HIS SOUL FROM THE HAND OF THE GRAVE? SELAH.
[Psalms 89:49] LORD, WHERE ARE THY FORMER LOVINGKINDNESSES, WHICH THOU SWAREST UNTO DAVID IN THY TRUTH?
[Psalms 89:50] REMEMBER, LORD, THE REPROACH OF THY SERVANTS; HOW I DO BEAR IN MY BOSOM THE REPROACH OF ALL THE MIGHTY PEOPLE;
[Psalms 89:51] WHEREWITH THINE ENEMIES HAVE REPROACHED, O LORD; WHEREWITH THEY HAVE REPROACHED THE FOOTSTEPS OF THINE ANOINTED.
David is lamenting what will be and asking God to have mercy not because we deserve it but rather because it would be good if mercy was shown and God is good.
[Psalms 89:52] BLESSED BE THE LORD FOR EVERMORE. AMEN, AND AMEN.