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"Hear O' Israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem alone"

Psalm 40:6-8

The missionaries will say that Psalm 40:6-8 is David speaking prophetically for the Messiah, and will quote the New Testament Hebrews 10:5-7 in support. Hebrews 10:5-7 says "Behold I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, O my G-d".

The Reply is that first of all Jews do not believe in the New Testament. It is not our scripture. Only the Tanach, the Jewish Scriptures, can be used. Now, that being said, let's take a look at the verse.

Psalms 40:6-8 says: "You, O L-rd my G-d, have done many things; the wonders You have devised for us cannot be set out before You; I would rehearse the tale of them, but they are more than can be told. You gave me to understand that you do not desire sacrifice and meal offering; You do not ask for burnt offering and sin offering. Then I said, "See, I will bring a scroll recounting what befell me". (JPS)

The Soncino version says in Psalm 40:6-8 "Many things hast Thou done, O L-rd my G-d, Even Thy wondrous works, and Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to be compared unto Thee! If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be told. Sacrifice and meal-offering Thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast Thou opened; Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required. Then said I: 'Lo, I am come With the roll of a book which is prescribed me"

These verses have absolutely nothing to do with the Messiah. In fact, I fail to see how this has anything to do with Jesus. In the context of the entire psalm, it seems to me David is talking about himself here. I realize that my ears have been opened could also read my ears have been peirced. Jesus never had his ears peirced. This simply means the person talking has had his ears opened so he is able to hear the declaration of G-d's will and thank Him in this Psalm. Obedience to G-d's law is superior to sacrifice, as is told time and again by the prophets.

Always remember that context is important and that missionaries do not use correct translations. Ask them to use a Jewish translation, or better yet, the Hebrew original if you can read Hebrew.

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© Copyright 1997 by G. Shapiro