Devotional Short Note to Psalm 149: Christian interpreters used wrongly this psalm for “holy wars” in crusader-like militancy for they interpreted it as a general principle that if God helped the army of the Israelites then God will help them to bind the kings and nobles (149:8) (see Delitzsch [1885] on the Psalm). But it is a wrong interpretation and a wrong illusion. First of all, any scholar that is looking for a historical application in Nehemiah’s time like most scholars and Delitzsch (1885) also did, will be disappointed in this writing.

First of all, a new song is to be sung. There are a number of times in the Bible a new song will be sung but each time we find it in the prophets and related to the Eschaton.

The second principle throughout the psalm is the use of the preposition /b-/ meaning “in”; “with” and the like. “in the assembly” (149:1c); “in his Makers [plural because it is the Trinity]” (149:2a); “in their King” (149:2b) [the Kingship of Christ that will come near the Second Advent]; “in the dance” (149:3a) [which root is also used by Solomon in Song of Solomon 7:1]; “with the timbrel” (149:3b); “in His people” (149:4a); “with salvation” (149:4b); “in glory” (149:5a); “in their mouth” (149:6a); “in their hand” (149:6b); “on the nations” (149:7a); “on the peoples” (149:7b); “in chains” (149:8a); “in fetters” (149:8b); “on them” (149:9a). It is as if someone gave the psalmist a task to use the preposition b- to write this psalm and he did. One cannot miss the multiple use of this preposition almost always in the second half of each phrase.

Certain actions of the Lord will be in future and is not yet and Nehemiah or post-exilic is out of the picture:

“He will adorn [future tense as yephaer] the humble with salvation” (149:4b; “the saints will exult [future tense as yaelezu] in glory” (149:5a); “they will sing/be joyful” [future tense as yeranenu] upon their beds” (149:5b). One cannot miss the Eschaton in these actions. The “glory” the saints will exult in, is predicted by the prophets  like Habakkuk 3 to be the Glory of the Lord that will fill the earth at the Second Coming.

In history, politicians and militarists (Catholics and Protestants) have interpreted 149:6b literally and gave a sword to their legions to go out fighting the perceived enemy, doctrinal or other. The Bible is a two-edge sword with the Old and New Testaments. God’s character is a two-edge sword since Justice and Mercy kiss each other. The one cannot be without the other. It is a delicate balance. God does not put swords in people’s hands. He can use His angels. His Written Revelations He can put in their hands to carry the gospel out.

The purpose of the two-edge swords in their hands, the hands of the faithful (“the Lord takes pleasure in His people”) [the spiritual remnant of God], is “to do the vengeance upon nations [goyim]” (149:7). Am is considered the people of God but goyim is used for heathen nations that do not know God. What about if the vengeance of God is upon His am or people? Then God will protect the faithful few in the am = people of God like He did with Daniel and his friends or with Jeremiah. The second reason is “[to do] chastisements on the peoples” (149:7b). It is probably the people-group within nations. When should this happen or when did it happen. First of all, it is not a general principle that is placed as ideal in every generation to go out with swords and fight perceived enemies of God. There is no jihad doctrine in the Old or New Testament. With Bibles in their hands, the faithful witness the Second Coming of the Lord in glory and this time they are happy, just coming out of the Time of Trouble over the world, and going up to meet Christ in the air the wicked below cries to the mountains to cover them from the Glory of the Lord which is “vengeance” upon them or “chastisements” and all their kings are in a situation of havoc, thus “bound with chains” (149:8a). Satan will be bound from this time for a 1000 years in a condition similar to a pit of loneliness.

The Second Advent is a time “to execute on them the judgment written” [because it is written in the prophets that it will come at many places, suffering at the Second Coming due to His glory and again at the end of the 1000 years in the Hell fire to be extinguished forever in finality” (149:9a).

Why do we know it is the Second Advent that is in mind in this psalm and not some Utopia to be created by humans for themselves on earth? “He is the glory of all His saints” (149:9b). That Glory is when He comes in glory at the Second Coming as the prophets predicted at many places in both the Old and New Testaments.