Devotional Short Note to Psalm 147: Despite Hengstenberg (1842), Keil, Ewald, Dillmann, Zunz and F. Delitzsch’s idea that the Psalm must be in the time of Ezra or Nehemiah (457 for Ezra or 13 years later for Nehemiah), on the basis of the phrase “the Lord build up Jerusalem” we should set aside their suggestions and look at the text itself.

Nothing else in the Psalm, strictly textual, gives any hint of a post-exilic [539] period. We need to ask ourselves whether we are dealing with spiritual aspects here or literal. Start from 147:3a “the One Who heals the broken heart”. The focus is not on the action but on the One Who is doing the action. Not Jerusalem and its condition is in mind, but the One Who does building in whatever sense for New Jerusalem as well in heaven. When Jesus promised to go to Heaven and to return to take all believers with Him at the Second Advent to heaven, building was already done in heaven by His Father: “In My Father’s house are many mansions…” (John 14:1-3). The New Jerusalem will come from heaven to earth says Revelation. People may argue that the Old Testament people were not yet informed about these things. I think we are not informed about their level of knowledge of these things and the quantity of God’s Revelation to the people of the Old Testament. We must know that many Books were written but not included in the Canon for us. Walther Eichrodt made the error to assume that what we have in the Bible is the sum-total in the absolute of what they knew or not knew. What a gross error! All his conclusions regarding the growth of knowledge or development of understanding pertaining to this or that topic is now under review. Spiritual Israel is not just a New Testament concept. It is also in the Old Testament. God had his people long before the word Israel was used. The remnant is a maximalist concept, not ethnic minimalist.

It is better to translate “The Lord, the One who builds up Jerusalem. The One who gathers the dispersed of Israel” (147:2). This characteristic of God is throughout history and not only in one time-slot as the scholars are portraying. To continue this illumination about God the Creator and Sustainer “The One Who heals the broken-hearted” (147:3). That is what the Messiah Christ came to do. It is part of the Messianic Agenda mentioned by Isaiah and Luke 4. “And the One who binds-up their wounds” (147:3b).

“The One who counts the number of the stars to all of them He calls names” (147:4). He is the Great Astronomer.

“Great is our God and mighty in power” (147:5a). He is the Great Warrior.

The Lord is the One who upholds the humble and the One who throws down the wicked unto the ground (147:6b).

The psalmist wants to sing with a harp to the Lord (147:7).

The scholar Hitzig noticed also, like it will be explained now, the seasons in the Psalm. Not exactly like here, but it appears as if the Spring is described in 147:8-9 where there is clouds, rain and grass spring-up on the mountains.

Summer is the time for wars and so the Lord is not impressed by the horses strength or soldiers strong legs preparing for war (147:10). The key is that the Lord takes pleasure in them that fear Him and in those that wait for His mercy (147:11).

They should glorify the Lord and praise God. Heaven waits for the revelation of God’s strength in the Eschaton when He will make strong the bars of heavenly Zion against the wicked. It is war-language from the Summer time since wars were normally in that season but it is talking about a future event to come at the End of Times. Zion is addressed and it cannot be Jerusalem in Israel today but rather Zion in heaven, the heavenly Jerusalem. “He has blessed your children with you”. The remnant on earth is blessed just like the heavenly abode of God or Zion is blessed in heaven (147:13). That we have war language here is seen in the concept “the One who sets your borders peace” (147:14).

The Autumn arrived with the wheat harvest. “He gives you the fat of wheat” (147:14b).

Harvest time is preceded by the Lord sending out His Latter Rain event as Holy Spirit last call of evangelism. Thus, the psalmist says that “He sends out His speaking the earth, unto swiftness will run His Word”. One cannot miss the future tense here. It did not happen yet, it will.

When the Winter comes “the One who gives snow like wool, the One who scatters the frost like ashes” (147:16). The Winter is not done yet since the palmist mentions “the One who casts ice like crumbs, before His cold, who will stand?” (147:17).

“He will send forth His Word and will melt them, He will blow His wind, waters will flow” (147:18). These actions are after the wheat harvest of faithful souls. It is the wicked that will be melted “and will melt them” by them experiencing the Glory of His Second Coming.

“The One who declares His Word to Jacob, His statutes and ordinances to Israel” (147:19). He did not do such to all nations and Judgments, not [Phoenician negative, typically used by David when he talks about the enemy] did they know them (147:20).