Some thoughts on Psalm 78:1-10

So, I was reading again a passage that we used on Shabbat in a study of ‘chametz’ (leaven) and the uses of ‘unleavened’ in the Tanakh as well as the new Testament.  Among others, we discussed a verse, Matthew 13:33, where Yeshua uses leavening as a positive image.  On re-reading, the next two verses caught my eye.

33 He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three [a]pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

34 All these things Jesus Stormspoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”

Suddenly I was curious, as we should always be, when I noticed the Tanakh quote.  Where does that come from?

Well, I am glad you are as curious as I am!

Psalm 78.  A Psalm I have marked up pretty good…  Lotta gold in this one!

It begins,

78 Listen, O my people, to my [b]instruction (Torah);
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.

Interesting!!  In Matthew, this voice is attributed to Yeshua!!  And, two more times in the first ten verses the Torah is referred to, each being MUCH more specifically of the Commandments of Yahweh!

Here are the next seven verses and then a few thoughts…

We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law (Torah) in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should [c]teach them to their children,
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not [d]prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The sons of Ephraim [e]were archers equipped with bows,
Yet they turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep the covenant of God
And refused to walk in His law (Torah);

The whole Psalm is very interesting, recounting the works of He who led Israel out of Egypt…

Notice some important points:

  • The speaker who opens his mouth and tells dark parables of old is reminding Israel to keep the Torah!  Yeshua did no less!
  • The commandments are elsewhere commanded to a thousand generations.  Here, it is clear that the imagery is for many generations considering this is for the children of the unborn children.  (See verse 6 above!)
  • Notice in verse 8 the prominence of the heart!  Christendom likes to say the heart is what changed in the ‘new covenant,’ but we see here, as in multiple other places, that the heart was at issue in that day!
  • Verse 7 says that faith/confidence in God is equated with keeping His commandments!
  • Lastly, it is Ephraim that is pictured as the one who did not keep the covenant of God, not walk in His Torah.

Most important, of course, is again this connection between Yeshua and the Torah… In fact, Psalm 78:22 says,

Because they did not believe in God
And did not trust in His salvation (yeshua).

Sounds just like,

Here is the [a]perseverance of the [b]saints who keep the commandments of God and [c]their faith in Jesus.

Interesting…  So, back to the phrase that set the whole thing off:

I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,

The connections between Yeshua and the Torah again takes us right back to the big question and all the attendant implications: Was Jesus on Mt. Sinai?  Does it matter?



Author: Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!

5 thoughts on “Some thoughts on Psalm 78:1-10”

  1. You have hit on something else that is worthy of consideration: that Yeshua’s parable of the leaven in Matthew 13, as well as the Parable of the Sower and many others, explain the purpose behind Ephraim’s diaspora and regathering. Ezekiel 11:16 come to mind:
    “Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.”
    That spark of Torah remains in us, and with it HaShem gathers the nations until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in.


    1. Off topic but another neat find I heard while listening to Steve Berkson this morning was Habakkuk 2:4-the righteous shall live by faith -in the ‘old testament’


  2. My dear Brothers and Sisters in the Commonwealth of Israel,
    Mark well The Word that exposes the lies of Babylon The Great Whore
    It is a Bow of Bronze in your Right Arm of Strength


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