Concerning Man and the Son of Man (Psalm 1-8)
Psalm 1: Adam in Eden (Gen. 2)
In biblical numerology, the number one signifies unity or that which is first.
Psalm 1 describes Adam in Eden and the righteous man in general who is blessed by God. In this case it refers to Adam, who is the first “tree” planted in Eden. Not only was he the first, but he was also in unity with God. There was also unity and harmony throughout God's creation, a condition that was lost through sin but which will be regained at the end of the story. Psalm 1:1 says,
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Unfortunately, Adam did not delight in the law of the Lord, whose first law was to stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Instead, he walked in the counsel of the wicked one—the serpent—who counseled him to attain wisdom by eating of it (Gen. 3:1-5). Thus, while this psalm looks back to Adam, it really also looks ahead to the Last Adam, Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the law, whereas Adam failed to fulfill it.
A key verse is Psalm 1:3, “And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.” They say that we are what we eat. This pictures the state of a righteous man who eats of the tree of life and thereby becomes a tree of life to others. This psalm looks back to Adam in Genesis 2 and 3, and looks forward to the time when this blessed state is finally reached in Rev. 22:1 and 2,
1 And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
This psalm was sung on Tishri 17 (the third day of the feast of Tabernacles) at the time of the drink offering. God's great drink offering is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh, as prophesied in Joel 2:28. By the power of the Holy Spirit—the earnest at Pentecost and the fullness at the feast of Tabernacles—the final blessed condition will be established in the earth.
Psalm 2: Cain kills Abel (Gen. 4)
In biblical numerology, two signifies either division or a double witness. In this case, it is about division.
Psalm 2 describes the conflict between the righteous and the wicked, which began with the day that Cain killed Abel (Gen. 4:8). Abel was the son of Adam, or “Son of Man,” and as such was a type of Christ. Thus, this psalm looks back to Abel, looks forward to Christ, and views the national conflicts throughout history. David also found himself involved in this conflict, not only with Saul, but with the Philistines and with his own son, Absalom. Psalm 2 begins,
1 Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed [“Messiah”].
When people, organizations, or nations try to usurp the place of Christ, they come against the true Anointed One (Jesus) as well as those He has called to rule with Him. Such enemies are antichrists who seek to usurp His inheritance—that is, the dominion over the earth given to Adam in Gen. 1:26-28.
The prime example is David's son, Absalom, who, thinking that he had the right to rule Israel, violently usurped (2 Sam. 15) the throne of his father David, who is the type of Christ. The one chosen to succeed David on the throne was Solomon, whose name means “Peace.” Solomon thus portrayed prophetically the Prince of Peace in contrast to Absalom, the man of violence, the usurper, who had an antichrist spirit.
This event seems to have caused more heartache to David than any other. He thought about it often and referenced it in many of his psalms. It was also one of the most important prophetic stories of the entire Old Testament, for it prophesied of Jesus Christ's betrayal and the usurping of His throne as well.
When Absalom's prophetic story was repeated in the New Testament, the Chief Priests and rulers of Judah played the part of Absalom. Jesus' friend (Judas) played the role of Ahithophel, David's counselor and friend who betrayed him (2 Sam. 15:12). These all conspired to kill the King (Jesus, Son of David) and usurp His throne. (See also my book, The Struggle for the Birthright.) Matt. 21:37-39 says,
37 But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” 38 But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.” 39 And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
Yet even as David ultimately returned to reclaim His throne, and Absalom was killed, so also will the true Prince of Peace—Jesus Christ—return to reclaim His throne from the antichrist usurpers.
The conflict is ultimately between those whom God says will inherit the earth and those who attempt to usurp the throne with violence. Psalm 2:7, 8 says,
7 I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, “Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee. 8 Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth as Thy possession.”
The voice from heaven declaring the Son was heard first at Jesus' baptism (Matt. 3:17) and later on the mount of transfiguration (Matt. 17:5). Jesus is declared to be the Son to whom the nations are given as His inheritance. Paul quotes Psalm 2 in his sermon recorded in Acts 13, where he says in verse 33,
32 And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, 33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, “Thou art My Son; today I have begotten Thee.”
Though the inheritance was given to Him, it was yet corrupted and in open revolt against His peaceful rule. And so without a redemptive work, it would have been of little use to inherit the nations, for the law would have condemned the nations to destruction. Thus, if He were to enjoy His inheritance at all, He had to come first to pay their penalty for sin and redeem them from corruption. For this reason He came to die on the cross. He then was raised from the dead and ascended to the heavenly throne from which place He awaits the day that all nations submit to His rule. Heb. 1:13 quotes Psalm 110:1 saying,
13 But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet”?
In other words, angels are not inheritors of the throne. David prophesied that Jesus Christ would ascend to the throne in heaven until the appointed time in history when all nations would recognize Him as the rightful Inheritor of the throne on earth. Then will be fulfilled the word in Rev. 11:15,
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever [the ages of the ages].”
Jesus has been given the highest position of authority in heaven and in earth. His twelve disciples who remained loyal to Him have been given thrones to rule and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. In Matt. 19:28 Jesus said to them,
28 And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Obviously, this excludes Judas, who betrayed Him even as Ahithophel betrayed David. Both Judas and Ahithophel later hanged themselves when they saw their mistake. (See Matt. 27:5 and 2 Sam. 17:23.) Later, while the disciples were awaiting Pentecost, they cast lots and chose Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:26). However, I believe he was only a temporary replacement until such time as Saul was converted.
God raised him up as the last and “least” of the twelve apostles (1 Cor. 15:9) and changed his name to Paul. Paul means “little.” When he calls himself the “least” [Greek: elachistos] of the apostles, it is a play on words. Strong's Concordance says that the Greek word means “least in size, amount, or dignity.” In Paul's case, he may have been the shortest of the apostles, while Peter was probably the tallest. And because Paul was the last to see Jesus (1 Cor. 15:8), and because at first he persecuted the Church, he considered himself the least “in dignity” as well. Nonetheless, he replaced Judas, for whereas Judas started out as Jesus' friend and then did violence to Him, Paul started out doing violence to Him (Acts 9:4) and then became His friend.
Jesus and the original apostles suffered violence at the hands of the usurpers. This same violence then extended to the rest of the believers in the early Church (Acts 8:1). As they treated Jesus, so also will they treat many of His disciples over the centuries. Yet God uses such treatment to train them. If they overcome, they will be given positions of authority in the Kingdom, as it is written in Rev. 5:10,
10 “And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests [or a kingdom of priests] to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
Thus we see that David wrote Psalm 2 from personal experience, with his son Absalom driving him off the throne for a time and even attempting to kill him. Yet it looked back in time to the origin of persecution in the story of Cain killing Abel. At the same time, it looked ahead, speaking prophetically of the violent men who would kill their Heir (Christ) and seize His inheritance. And finally, Psalm 2 looked beyond the cross to the persecution of all the saints and martyrs that were to come.
Psalm 2 does not present a dismal picture of defeat, however. It clearly foretells the day when these same martyrs and overcomers will inherit the nations. The final verse closes with the words, “ How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”
Psalm 3: Abel's Voice—His Blood Yet Speaks (Gen. 4)
The number three is the number of divine fullness. Whereas it takes two lines to fix a position by an x-y axis, it takes three to give shape and to enclose a geometric area—in this case, a triangle.
Psalm 3 gives “shape” to Psalm 2 by developing its basic theme and explaining the conflict and division from the standpoint of the true inheritors. Psalm 3 describes the voice of the martyrs, beginning with Abel. Psalm 3:4, 5 says,
4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
This speaks of the martyrs “sleeping” in death, yet having hope of the resurrection. It was in the divine plan from the beginning that the usurpers would persecute the true inheritors. God has always used this persecution to discipline and train His overcomers to rule in the Kingdom. By such persecution and usurping, He trains them how NOT to rule. God trained David through the persecution of King Saul for many years, but God did not spend any time training Saul before crowning him king.
The ultimate persecution was directed against the Messiah Himself, who was actually crucified. History records this conflict beginning with Cain murdering his brother, Abel. Meanwhile, the voice of all the martyrs cries from the ground for justice to be established in the earth.
Gen. 4:10 says of Abel, “The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.”
Heb. 11:4 says of Abel, “... and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.”
Rev. 6:10 says of the martyred souls under the altar,
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?
Psalm 3 is entitled, “A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.” It therefore must also apply specifically to David himself, who was persecuted by his own son—Absalom the usurper. David was a prophetic type of the Messiah who was to come. Therefore, Psalm 3 prophesied of Jesus Christ and His treatment at the hands of the priestly usurpers in the New Testament. Matthew 21:38 says of them,
38 But when the vine growers [keepers of the vineyard] saw the son [Jesus], they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.”
In this parable in Matthew 21, these same keepers of the vineyard are said to have killed the “servants” (i.e., the prophets) prior to killing the heir. While many blame the Romans for Jesus' crucifixion, no New Testament writer says any such thing. In fact, Jesus' parable in Matt. 22:1-7 makes it clear that God hired the Romans to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D. for their offense. Verse 7 says,
7 But the king [God] was enraged and sent His armies [Rome], and destroyed those murderers, and set their city [Jerusalem] on fire.
Furthermore, because Jesus was the Sacrifice for sin, He had to be sacrificed by the Aaronic priests as the law specified. If the Romans had crucified Jesus, then the law would have been broken, and we would yet be in our sins. The Aaronic priests alone were called to do this work, and that law prophesied who would crucify the Lamb of God. We recognize that this was necessary for the salvation of the world, so no one ought to resent the Jewish leaders for doing this. Even so, we ought not to falsely accuse the Romans or even Pilate himself, who wanted to set Jesus free (Matt. 27:19-26).
Eventually, David returned to the throne and overthrew Absalom the usurper. Likewise, Jesus Christ will return to claim His Kingdom. The return of Christ is as necessary in the antitype as it was for the return of David in the prophetic type. In both cases, the “return” was to settle the dispute over the right of ownership and rulership of the earth. Christ's return will mark the beginning of the end of the rule of usurpers in the earth. And so, Psalm 3 ends with,
7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For Thou hast smitten all my enemies on the cheek; Thou hast shattered the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation [Heb. Yeshuah, Jesus' Hebrew name] belongs to the Lord; Thy blessing be upon Thy people! Selah.
The usurping nations are pictured in Daniel and Revelation as wild beasts. But the Messiah will shatter their teeth in order to leave them without the ability to tear apart the people. It is a way of taming them. It also brings to mind the law found in Ex. 21:27,
27 And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.
Slaves were not always obedient, and there were times when their masters might hit them in the mouth, breaking their teeth. Biblical law recognizes slavery (only as a judgment for sin or debt) but shows also that slaves had rights under God. In other words, a biblical slave was a bondservant, and the master did not have the right to mistreat him. For this reason, the law says that if a master of a slave shatters even one tooth of his slave, the slave was to be set free for the sake of his tooth.
The Messiah is said to shatter the teeth of the wicked, knowing that by this law, this would obligate Him to set them free. They would be free but toothless. God intends to set them free, but at the same time He will remove from them the ability to tear others apart with their “teeth.” The law was thus prophetic of the great Jubilee when God will set all creation free in the glorious liberty of the sons of God, as it is written in Rom. 8:19-21,
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Psalm 3 ends with “Selah,” which not only suggests a pause to reflect upon what was already written, but it also connects Psalm 3 with Psalm 4. In other words, Psalm 4 is really a continuation of Psalm 3.
Psalm 4: Abel, Part 2 (Gen. 4)
In biblical numerology, four is the number of the earth, or the material creation of God.
There were also four great divisions of mankind represented by the cherubim (Ez. 1:5), or the four “beasts” around the throne (Rev. 4:6). These represent all creation.
The fourth book of the Bible is the book of Numbers, whose Hebrew title is B'Midbar, “The Wilderness.” The wilderness symbolically represents the earth. On the Day of Atonement the second goat (Christ) was led into the wilderness by a “fit man” to remove sin from all the people (Lev. 16:10, 21). Thus, after His baptism on the Day of Atonement, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. This was to fulfill the law of the second goat.
At the end of Psalm 4, we find that it is “to the chief Musician upon Nehiloth,” which means inheritances. It has to do with inheriting the earth (Matt. 5:5), beginning with our own “earth,” our own “ Canaan,” our Promised Land, the glorified body. Yet before the righteous can inherit the earth, they must be trained and disciplined in the earth, often suffering to test their faith. Thus, Israel had to be tested in the wilderness (Ps. 95:8; Heb. 3:8) before they could inherit the land of Canaan.
Psalm 4 continues the prayer of the martyrs, as their voice yet speaks. It is the voice of one crying in the wilderness during their testing period, saying,
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! Thou hast relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.
Godly people suffer often in the earth, especially if they are called to rule. God always trains His rulers, as we have said earlier. Yet their hope is in God's promise that they will inherit the earth. Psalm 4:3 shows the hope of the martyrs:
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.”
It is a comfort to know that when God allows persecution to come upon His people, it is not because God is angry with them for sin. It is because He is training them and is using the non-overcomers as “vessels of wrath” (Rom. 9:22). King Saul was one such “vessel of wrath,” for he was called to train David by persecution and teach him to depend upon God totally. Many have difficulty understanding the ways of God, but the story of David and Saul speaks for itself.
Psalm 4 ends with a picture of the faith of the righteous man, which allows him to sleep confidently in the wilderness, knowing that God protects him. David's words reflect his own situation, but it also portrays the larger picture of the martyrs' restful sleep in death, confident of resurrection and reward:
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for Thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety.
The postscript to Psalm 4 says: “To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth.” Nehiloth means “concerning inheritances.” Most Bible translations put this statement as a title to the next psalm (Psalm 5). However, it was meant to be a postscript to Psalm 4.
The ancient manuscript of the psalms had all of the psalms running together with no break between the psalms. After Judah 's Babylonian captivity, the priests had no idea where to put the breaks, and so they mistakenly put the postscript of Psalm 4 as the title of Psalm 5. This mistake was pointed out by Dr. J. W. Thirtle. (See Appendix 64 in The Companion Bible.) The genuine pattern is seen in the songs recorded in Isaiah 38:9-20 and the third chapter of Habakkuk.
In both cases, the address to the chief singer or Musician comes at the end of the song, not at the beginning. And so, The Companion Bible makes this correction in the psalms, putting “To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth” at the end of Psalm 4.
Both of these “Abel” psalms (Psalms 3 and 4) have as their central theme the conflict between the rebellious and the righteous over the inheritance. The rebellious succeed in usurping the Kingdom for a time, but ultimately, David returns to take the Kingdom from Absalom. Jesus will likewise return to take the Kingdom from the present-day usurpers. Jesus said that the meek will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). The violent, who attempt to rule the Kingdom of God by force, will be removed from office (Matt. 21:43) along with “Judas” (Acts 1:20). They will be made “toothless” and will serve the true inheritors of the Kingdom.
Psalm 5: Cain Cast Out; Abel Accepted (Gen. 4:10)
Five is the number of grace, or favor.
Psalm 5 refers to Abel's sacrifice that was accepted, because it was a blood sacrifice that was a type of Christ. It speaks of the fact that only through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ can grace be extended. God did not accept Cain's offering, but did accept Abel's (Gen. 4:4, 5).
Cain brought forth an offering with an impure heart, and this became apparent when he killed his brother. Jesus said in Matt. 5:23, 24,
23 If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
When Cain murdered his brother, the thoughts and intents of his heart became manifested for all to see. Thus, he became a type of all the violent men of the earth who have attempted to establish their authority over others in violent ways. These psalms dealing with Abel show the path of the true inheritors in contrast to the violent usurpers. Psalm 5:4, tells us why God will not allow the wicked to rule His Kingdom:
4 For Thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with Thee.
Psalm 5:9, says of fallen men,
9 There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
This is quoted in Romans 3:13 as the description of the rebellious usurpers who are in need of God's grace.
Psalm 5:10 says,
10 Hold them guilty, O God; By their own counsels, let them fall. In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, for they are rebellious against Thee.
When Absalom revolted against his father, David, he ultimately fell by his own counsel. 2 Sam. 17:14 says,
14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, in order that the Lord might bring calamity on Absalom.
Psalm 5 ends with verses 11 and 12, saying of the followers of David (and Christ),
11 But let all who take refuge in Thee be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and mayest Thou shelter them, that those who love Thy name may exult in Thee. 12 For it is Thou who dost bless the righteous man, O Lord; Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield.
The postscript to Psalm 5 says, “To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith.” Like the previous psalm, it concerns “Neginoth,” or inheritances—specifically, who are the inheritors of the earth. But this postscript adds the phrase, “upon Sheminith.”
Strong's Concordance says that Sheminith probably means an eight-stringed lyre, because the root of the word means “eight” or “eighth.” Bullinger suggests that it refers to the inheritors who are “circumcised on the eighth day.”
Both views are probably correct. The law of the firstborn (Ex. 22:29-31) shows that they were to be presented to God on the eighth day. The eight-stringed lyre reflected that law and might be connected to “the Song of Moses” (Ex. 15:1-18; Rev. 15:3, 4). The meaning is clear: it looks forward to the day when the sons of God will be the true inheritors of the earth when they are presented to Him on the eighth day (of the Feast of Tabernacles). These sing the “Song of Moses” and the “New Song.”
The eighth day is therefore the time of grace in Psalm 5, in that this is the new beginning of a new day with a new life. The fullness of grace comes when the sons of God are presented to Him on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles.
The presentation of the Sons of God on the eighth day of Tabernacles will be the final indication that the followers of Cain (the rebellious usurpers) will be cast out and the followers of Abel (the overcomers) will be established as the true rulers in the earth. This is the message of Psalm 5 and its postscript.
Psalm 6: Abel's Voice Extended to All Martyrs (Gen. 4:10)
Six is the number of man.
Like the previous psalm, Psalm 6 describes the voice of all the martyrs beginning with Abel. Yet the oppressed condition of the martyrs is only part of the general condition of all oppressed men in the earth. It is the condition of all men since Adam who labor six “days” in bondage to sin.
Psalm 6 is entitled, “A Psalm of David.” David reflects upon the oppression that he himself experienced. But he was only one of many since Abel who were persecuted or killed for the sake of his faith. Psalm 6 looks forward to the end of this time of persecution at the end of their six “days” of labor.
At that time all the souls under the altar will enter into their Sabbath rest. Psalm 6:1-4 says of them,
1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Thine anger, nor chasten me in Thy wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away; Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed. 3 And my soul is greatly dismayed; but Thou, O Lord—how long? 4 Return, O Lord, rescue my soul...
This cry, “O Lord—how long?” is the continuing cry of the martyrs (souls under the altar) in Rev. 6:9, 10,
9 And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?
The implied answer to their question in Psalm 6 is that He will return after six days. Man has labored since Adam for 6,000 years after he and his children were sold into bondage for sin.
Psalm 6:8 says,
8 Depart from me, all you who do iniquity, for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.
Jesus quotes this in Matt. 7:21-23 in regard to those lawless ones, saying,
21 Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, ord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” 23 And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Gr. anomia).
Thus, we see Jesus relating Psalm 6:8 with Christians who work miracles in His name but who do not genuinely know Him. It is self-evident that non-Christians would be lawless, but Jesus made it clear that there would also be lawless Christians. For three years Judas called Jesus “Lord” and may well have performed miracles along with the other disciples. Judas was Jesus' disciple and friend (Matt. 26:50). Yet he betrayed Him into the hands of the chief priests. Judas was the believer, and the chief priests were the unbelievers, but all of them were lawless in their own ways.
Psalm 7: Noah's Flood (Gen. 6-8)
Seven is the biblical number of completion and spiritual perfection. As such, Psalm 7 speaks of the two floods by which the earth is cleansed and brought to the perfect order of the Kingdom.
Psalm 7 is entitled, “A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord, concerning Cush, a Benjamite.” The word Shiggaion is a loud cry because of danger or joy. It comes from the Hebrew word sha'ag, “to roar.” While Noah was building the ark, he was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5) who was called to give a shiggaion, a loud cry of warning to the people that the divine judgment was coming soon.
David wrote this warning psalm “ concerning Cush, a Benjamite.” We do not have a biblical record of who this man was, but the context makes it likely that he was a supporter of the house of Saul, who opposed David. Saul had been of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Sam. 9:1). Thus, this Cush was probably one of the captains of the army responsible to kill or apprehend David as he fled from Saul.
When Absalom overthrew David, there were other descendants of Saul like Shimei (2 Sam. 16:5) who were glad to see David deposed. Perhaps Cush was related to Shimei. All we really know is that David wrote the seventh psalm out of his own experience. Even so, it looked back to the flood of Noah's day, where God delivered Noah. And it looked forward to Jesus Christ, who was delivered from death.
Psalm 7 begins with David telling how God was his refuge. Certainly, Noah would have said the same thing in his day, for the ark he built was a type of Christ, the true Refuge for mankind. Psalm 7:1, 2 says,
1 O Lord my God, in Thee I have taken refuge; save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me, 2 lest he [Cush, the Benjamite] tear my soul like a lion, dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.
Psalm 7:6-9 says,
6 Arise, O Lord, in Thine anger; lift up Thyself against the rage of my adversaries, and arouse Thyself for me; Thou hast appointed judgment… 8 Lord judges the peoples... 9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; for the righteous God tries the hearts and minds [literally, kidneys, or “reins,” a symbol one's spiritual discernment].
David foresaw the day of judgment when all the wicked would appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Yet this also looked back to Noah's day and the flood by which God judged the earth at that time. While Noah preached to the people, they refused to believe him and repent of their lawlessness. And so they were judged, as Psalm 7:12 says,
12 If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.
This judgment occurred during Noah's flood, but it also looks forward to the time of the second flood—the flood of the Holy Spirit—that will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Is. 11:9)). The first flood removed the “breath” [ruach = spirit] from men (Gen. 6:17); the second flood puts the Holy Spirit back into men. This began on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, when the earnest of the Holy Spirit was given to the Church. The fullness of the Spirit will be given in fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, even as Jesus prophesied in John 7:37-39,
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast [of Tabernacles—see verse 2], Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water'.” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
The believers on the day of Pentecost received the earnest of the Spirit in Acts 2:3, when the tongues of fire came upon their heads. (See 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:4.) The overcomers will receive the fullness of the Spirit at the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. The lawless ones, however, will receive something different upon their heads, as we read in Psalm 7:16,
16 His mischief [Heb. amal, “toil, hard labor”] will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own pate [skull].
The postscript to Psalm 7 reads, “To the chief Musician upon Gittith.” Gittith means “winepresses,” and hence it relates to the Feast of Tabernacles, when the seven drink offerings (“the seven vials”) of the new wine were poured out after the grape harvest. The winepress speaks of judgment. Treading the grapes is the most severe form of discipline necessary to eliminate the flesh and to bring forth the new wine.
Thus, there is both a negative and a positive side to the winepress of judgment. On the negative side, Psalm 7 speaks of Noah's flood, which judged the earth 1656 years from the time of God's curse on the ground (Gen. 3:17). This was 414 x 4 years later, showing that the flood came on schedule according to Cursed Time (414) for the ground. (See my book, Secrets of Time.)
There are three Gittith psalms—Psalms 7, 80, and 83. The fact that Psalm 7 is a Gittith psalm shows its connection to the Feast of Tabernacles and that final outpouring of the Spirit (John 7:37-39) that will subdue the earth, not by violence (flood) but by the power of the Spirit. Great Babylon will be judged, of course, but the earth will not be destroyed by this latter-day flood of the Holy Spirit, for that is the promise of God in Gen. 9:11. This is the qualitative difference between the two floods.
Psalm 8: The Earth Cleansed; Post-Flood Earth (Gen. 8-9)
Eight is the number of new beginnings.
The eighth psalm must have held special meaning for David himself, because he was the eighth son of Jesse (1 Sam. 16:1-12).
The postscript to Psalm 8 tells us that it was written to commemorate David's victory over Goliath, who was a type of rebellious man in the earth. Psalm 8 also looks back to the cleansed earth after the flood had subdued the rebellious men in the earth. Psalm 8 also looks forward, prophesying of the day when the flood of the Holy Spirit will subdue all things under “the Son of Man,” as we read in Gen. 1:28,
1 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
This is confirmed in Phil. 3:20, 21, which says,
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
By His power, He is able to fulfill the Dominion Mandate of Gen. 1:28. For this reason He came as the “Son of Man” (that is, a descendant of Adam), so that He would lawfully receive this Mandate. And thus the psalmist is able to say in Psalm 8:1 and 2,
1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth, who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens! 2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast established strength [Heb. oze, “strength”].
Jesus says this of the children who welcomed Him on Palm Sunday at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Matthew 21:15, 16 quotes the Septuagint version of Psalm 8:2, saying,
15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant, 16 and said to Him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast prepared [Gr. katartizo, “to repair, adjust, or complete”] praise [Gr. ainos, “a story, praise”] for Thyself'?”
The irony of this statement is seen in the fact that the rulers of the people were plotting to kill Jesus, but the children were proclaiming Him to be the Messiah during His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Hebrew text of Psalm 8:2 says that the words of the infants “established strength.” The Septuagint version (quoted in Matt. 21:16) says literally that the words of the infants repaired the story.
In other words, the religious leaders were maligning Jesus and were about to crucify Him on a charge of blasphemy. But the children's praise corrected the story that the leaders were telling. The children spoke the truth by praising Him, while the religious leaders of the temple were searching for false witnesses in order to convict Him (Mark 14:55-59).
Psalm 8:4-6 says,
4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? 5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God [Heb. elohim], and dost crown him with glory and majesty! 6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet.
This is quoted in Heb. 2:6-8, where the “son of man” is said to be Jesus Christ. It applies to all mankind on a secondary level, of course. The Scripture then comments,
8... For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him.
That is, at this present time, the plan is yet incomplete. His death and resurrection assures His ultimate victory, but we have yet to see it in the outworking of history. This is one of Paul's favorite subjects, and so he quotes Psalm 8:6 in 1 Cor. 15:27 and 28,
27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.
Paul defines “all things” here with only one exception—the Father Himself. It therefore must include all mankind. Paul again refers to Psalm 8:6 in Eph. 1:22,
22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
This refers to the final day when the dispute over the inheritance has been resolved and all creation has been subdued under the rightful rule of Jesus Christ. The first time the earth was subdued was by means of the flood, which destroyed all flesh. God then made a covenant with Noah and “every living creature” in Gen. 9:9-11,
9 Now Behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you [man], and with your descendants after you; 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds [eagle], the cattle [ox or calf], and every beast of the earth [lion] with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. 11 And I establish My covenant with you, and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.
The fulfillment of this covenant is seen in Revelation 4 and 5 where the four beasts (living creatures) around the throne are seen worshiping God. The four beasts represent all creation and are pictured in Rev. 4:7 as (1) a lion, the king of the beasts, (2) a calf or ox, the king of the cattle, (3) a man, like Noah and sons, and (4) the eagle, the king of the birds. Rev. 5:13, 14 proclaims,
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
The significance of the word “Amen” is that the four living creatures, representing all creation, have come into full agreement and harmony with God and His Kingdom. They are not forced into agreement by torture, as many insist, nor are they immediately thrown into a lake of fire after they have blessed Him. No, this is a picture of the final goal of history when all things have been put under His feet. The entire creation comes into agreement with God in the end, after that final age has been completed in which the “lake of fire” has had its work to teach men righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). For further details, see my book, The Judgments of the Divine Law.
The postscript to Psalm 8 reads, “To the chief Musician upon Muth-labben,” that is, “the death of the champion.” It is a Psalm of David (as the title reads). He wrote it as a young man after killing Goliath, the Philistine champion (1 Sam. 17:50).
Goliath, then, represents first the rebellious men that were subdued by the flood in Noah's day. Goliath was a prophetic type of the rebellious ones in the earth. The first “goliath” was Cain who killed Abel, the forerunner of all the overcoming martyrs. The goliaths of Jesus' day were the religious leaders who followed the footsteps of Cain by killing the rightful Heir of all things (Matt. 21:38) and usurped the throne of Christ. These rebellious usurpers in the end will be subdued, as Psalm 8 tells us. This is “the restoration of all things” mentioned in Acts 3:21.
This ends the first section of the Genesis book of the Psalms, concerning man and the Son of Man.