Pentecost: Based Upon Christ’s Work Part 6 of 13
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
and my tongue was glad;
In the Hebrew, this phrase is, “My glory, or my honour rejoices.” The word “glory” is used to indicate majesty, splendor, dignity, honour. It is also used to express the heart or soul, either because that is the chief source of man's dignity, or because the word is also expressive of the liver, which is regarded by the Hebrews as the seat of the affections. We read in Psalms 108:1, "I will sing-even with my glory." The Septuagint translated “glory” as TONGUE. The Arabic and Latin Vulgate have also done the same. Why they use the word in this way is not clear; but it may be because the TONGUE, or the gift of speech, contributes to the honor of man, or distinguishes him from the animals. The faculty of speaking is an honor for us, but never more of an honor than when it is used for praising God. The word glory is used specifically for TONGUE in Psalms 30:12: “To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.” Certainly, Christ’s tongue was glad, since upon the close of His last supper and just prior to Him entering into his sufferings, He sang a hymn—“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matt 26:30; KJV). It was customary to conclude the Passover by singing Psalms, specifically Psalm 115-118.
moreover, also my flesh shall rest in hope:
The meaning of MOREOVER ALSO is “Truly; in addition to this.” In this place, MY FLESH. stands for “My body.” That is the meaning in the following verses: “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the FLESH, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5.5; KJV); and, “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his FLESH did see corruption” (Acts 2:31; KJV). In both verses, it means the body separate from the soul; the dead body. Here, SHALL REST denotes rest or repose in the grave, but free from corruption.
IN HOPE is used here to express confident expectation of a resurrection. The Hebrew word more closely expresses confidence than hope. The passage means, “I will commit My body to the grave, with a confident expectation, and with a firm belief that in the future it will not see corruption, but be raised up." It expresses the feelings of the dying Messiah; the certain confidence which he had that his sleep in the grave would not be long, and would definitely come to an end. The death of Christians is also represented in the New Testament, as sleep, and as rest (see Acts 7:60, 1 Corinthians 15:6,18, 1 Thessalonians 4:13,15, 2 Peter 3:4), and they may also follow the example of their Lord, by committing their bodies to the dust, IN HOPE. They shall lie in the grave being assured of a happy resurrection; and though their bodies, unlike His, will rot and decompose, and eventually become dust, yet “this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53).
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,
The word SOUL, means the thinking, the immortal part of man, regardless of whether it is applied in connection with the body, or separate from it. The Hebrew word translated here as SOUL is “naphshi;” however, it may mean, my spirit, my mind, my life; but here it may possibly denote nothing more than me, or myself. It also means breath; therefore life, or the vital principle, a living being, the soul, the spirit, the thinking part. Instances where it is used for the individual himself, meaning "me," or "myself," may be seen in Psalms 11:1; 35:3, 7; Job 9:21. There is no clear instance in which it is applied to the SOUL in its separate state, or disjoined from the body. In this place, it must be explained to some extent by the meaning of the word HELL. If it means grave, then this word probably means "me;" thou wilt not leave me in the grave. The meaning probably is, "Thou wilt not leave me in sheol" etc. The word LEAVE at this point means, "You will not resign me to, or will not give me over to it, to be held under its power.”
The word HELL, in English, now commonly indicates the place of the future eternal punishment of the wicked. It has acquired this sense by long usage. It is a Saxon word, derived from “helan,” meaning to cover; and denotes, literally, a covered or deep place (Webster), and in that case, the dark and dismal abode of departed spirits; the place of torment. As the word is used now, it by no means expresses the force of the original. The Greek word “hades” means, literally, a place devoid of light; a dark, obscure abode; and the Greek writers applied to the dark and obscure regions where disembodied spirits were supposed to dwell. HELL, in this place is the translation of the Hebrew, “sheol.” In Revelation 20:13, 14, it is connected with “death”—"And the sea gave up the dead who were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead who were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Also see Revelation 6:8, and 1:18. In 1 Corinthians 15:55, it means the grave—"O grave (hades), where is thy victory?" In Matthew 11:23 it means a deep, overwhelming place, as opposed to an exalted, glorious one; a situation of tragedy and degradation as opposed to one of great prosperity—"Thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell, (hades).” In Luke 16:23, it is applied to the place where the rich man was after his death, a place of punishment—"In hell (hades) he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." Here, in this verse it is connected with the idea of suffering; and undoubtedly denotes a place of punishment. It is remarkable that it is never used in the Old Testament to denote the word “keeper,” which stands for a grave or sepulcher. The idea which was conveyed by the word sheol, or hades, was not a grave or sepulcher, but that dark, unknown state, which included the region of the dead. It is now difficult to explain the idea the Hebrews had of the future world, and it is not necessary in this case. The word HELL originally meant simply the state of the dead, the ravenous demands of the grave, but the meaning was expanded as they received new revelations, or formed new opinions about the future world. Perhaps the following may be the process of thought by which the word came to have the peculiar meanings which it is found to have in the Old Testament.
1. The word death, and the grave, (keber,) would convey the idea of the abode of a deceased body in the earth.
2. Man has a soul, a thinking essence; and therefore the question must arise—what will be its condition? Will it also die? The Hebrews never appear to have believed that. Will it ascend to heaven at once? Will it go immediately to a place of torment? They assumed it would live and that it would go at once to sheol—the dark, unknown regions of the dead; the abode of spirits, whether good or bad; the residence of departed men, whether fixed in a permanent habitation, or whether wandering about. Since they were ignorant of the size and spherical structure of the earth, they supposed this place was located deep in the earth, far below us; and that's why the Psalmist put it in opposition to heaven--"If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, (sheol,) behold, thou art there” (Psalms 139:8). The most common meaning of the word expresses those dark regions, the lower world, the regions of ghosts, etc.
3. There was yet another question that needed to be settled—whether all these beings were happy? Revelation supplied the answer; and it was revealed in the Old Testament. HELL expressed the situation of the wicked dead, better than it did the righteous. It conveyed the idea of darkness, gloom, wandering aimlessly; the idea of a sad and uncertain environment, unlike heaven. Therefore the word sometimes expresses the idea of a place of punishment, as it does in Psalms 9:17: "The wicked shall be turned into hell.” While the word does not mean a grave or a sepulcher, yet it often means the state of the dead, and implies the continued existence of the soul. This is the sense in which it is often used in the Old Testament, where the Hebrew word is sheol, and the Greek hades. This expression refers to the dead Messiah. Thou wilt not leave him among the dead; thou wilt raise him up. It is from this verse, and perhaps with help from two others that the doctrine that Christ "descended," as it is expressed in the creed, "into hell," originated.
a. Romans 10:7 (KJV) “Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”
b. 1 Peter 3:19 (KJV) “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”
Many have invented strange opinions about His going among lost spirits. The doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church has been that he went to purgatory, to deliver the spirits confined there.
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
The Hebrew word which is translated here as HOLY ONE, properly means one who is tenderly and piously devoted to another, and it meets the requirements of the New Testament expression, "my beloved Son." Peter uses it here to indicate one that is HOLY; that is set apart to God. In this sense, it is applied to Christ, either as Him being set apart to the office of Messiah, or as a person so pure that it is only proper to designate Him the Holy One, or the Holy One of God. It is used several times to designate the Messiah.
• Mark 1:24 (KJV) “…I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.”
• Luke 4:34 (KJV) “…I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.”
• Acts 3:14 (KJV) “But ye denied the Holy One…”
• Luke 1:35 (KJV) “…that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”