Category Archives: Faithlife Study Bible

August 20, 2017: Verse of the day

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9 Once more we hear a song of praise (cf. 24:14–16; 25:1–5), wonderfully expressing that joy in God that comes when patient trust finds its reward in consummated salvation. Its ideas and language are thoroughly characteristic of Isaiah, and various parts of the verse are paralleled in many different parts of the book (e.g., 8:17; 12:1–6; 30:18; 33:22; 35:1–4, 10; 40:9; 49:25–26; 52:7–10; 60:16; 65:18).[1]


25:9 Lord for whom we have waited. To wait for God entails an ultimate trust in Him, not becoming impatient when His timetable for final salvation differs from ours (cf. 26:8; 33:2; 40:31).[2]


25:9 Behold. See 24:1. At last, the realization of the forward-looking faith that patiently waited for a renewed society and a renewed earth (cf. the expectation in 40:9–11). this is our God. An expression of wholehearted identification with him (cf. Ex. 29:45–46). we have waited. Salvation is worth the wait, and is even worth the reproach of Isa. 25:8. Salvation is his entirely, God’s alone, from first to last (cf. Ex. 14:13; 15:2; Ps. 68:19–20; 98:2–3).[3]


25:9 We have waited for him Compare 26:8.

his salvation Refers to the victory over death and the establishment of Yahweh’s earthly reign.[4]


25:9 our God. The prophet identifies himself with the people of God (26:13; 40:3; 61:6).[5]


[1] Grogan, G. W. (2008). Isaiah. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, p. 628). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 25:9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1284). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 25:9). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 984). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

August 18, 2017: Verse of the day

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4 [5] Receiving punishment from God is likened to being wounded or sick, conditions that only the divine Judge-Physician can heal (cf. 5:12–14; 13:7–8). This healing Yahweh promises to bring out of his great love for Israel. The reestablishment that the nation too cavalierly had assumed in its arrogant rebellion (6:1; cf. 6:11–7:1; 11:3) is grounded in his infinite grace (cf. Oestreich, 57–155). Love within a renewed relationship, not anger in judgment, is God’s design for his people. There are two wordplays with the verb “return” (šûb): When they “return” to Yahweh (vv. 1–2), he will heal their “turning away” (mešûbâ; often translated “apostasy” or “waywardness”; cf. 11:7) and his wrath “turns” from them.[1]


14:4 / Hosea does not compose such a prayer for his people because he thinks they are capable of such repentance and renunciation of their apostasy. As he has stated before, Israel has no power in itself to return to its God (cf. the comment at 5:4). Rather, he envisions Israel uttering such a prayer because he believes God will heal and recreate them. And that is the central announcement of this passage, in verse 4. “I will heal their turning away; I will love them freely; for I will turn my wrath from them” reads the Hebrew of that verse. God here promises to remake Israel, to heal it (cf. 6:11), to love it freely, apart from any condition or repentance and turning on Israel’s part. What Israel cannot do for itself, God will do. That is the primary good news of the message of Hosea.[2]


5[4] Now Yahweh begins to speak. His speech, cast in poetry, is full of promise. He assures Israel that he will one day heal the breach of the covenant that has brought their punishment, that he will then love them freely and generously, and that they will need no longer fear his anger, for the time is coming when it will be gone. Israel is referred to by both “them” and “him,” the easy change of pronoun being well attested throughout Hosea. In this case the shift to “him” has the advantage of providing a bridge to the prevailing metaphor of vv 6–9 in which Israel is likened to a (singular) luxuriant tree.

The very apostasy (משובתם) which characterized Israel in the past (cf. 5:4; 7:2; 11:5) is what Yahweh promises to heal (רפא). The term משובה is used only in the books of Hosea (here and 11:7), Proverbs (once) and Jeremiah (nine times) in the OT, though its meaning is perfectly clear. The connection of רפא “hea” with a form of שוב “return” is paralleled by the use of these terms together in Isa 6:10. In the vocabulary of the covenant curses, רפא appears in Deut 28:27 and 35, where there are mentioned respectively the itch and the sore which cannot be healed as punishments for disloyalty. But now healing is promised for the repentant nation in the future, whereas no healing was possible in the past. The promise of generous love utilizes a primary covenant term אהב (“love”; cf. Deut 4:37), in its technical sense found in treaties expressing the notion “be loyal to, show faithfulness to,” etc., as well as in its more common connotation of emotional closeness. This is a love which will not be earned—what could Israel possibly present to Yahweh as an acceptable payment? Rather, as reflected by the sense of נדבה as “voluntary offering” or “offering made out of generosity” Yahweh’s love will again give blessing to his people. The “anger” (אף) of God, also a technical covenant term, is the precurser to his covenant punishments (Deut 29:19, 22, 23, 26, 27; 31:17; 32:22). To predict that his anger will turn (שוב) is to predict that the punishments will cease for good. The love and anger are not indication of emotional vicissitude, but covenantally expressed descriptions of the process of punishment and forgiveness. Yahweh’s anger will be appeased (cf. 11:9) only by his own grace (cf. 2:16, 17 [14, 15]). Israel remains as undeserving of this merciful forgiveness as she was of her initial election. She will, in the eschaton, receive the blessing of being made faithful (restoration blessing type 3; cf. Deut 30:6).[3]


14:4 As so often happens with calls to repentance, there follow astounding promises to entice Israel to return. The Lord will heal their apostasy. As noted in 5:13–14, the prophets often depict sin as a sickness and renewal as healing. I will love them freely. It is not that the Lord had stopped loving Israel, but now he will love them without the prospect of imminent judgment.[4]


14:4 I will heal their disloyalty Yahweh responds to Israel’s confession. He promises to heal the people, reassuring them of His love and the temporary nature of His wrath.[5]


14:4 I will heal. The promise of healing began to be realized when Israel returned from its sixth-century exile in Babylon. It finds much greater fulfillment in Jesus Christ and His church, and is consummated at His Second Coming.

apostasy. Israel’s characteristic unfaithfulness (4:10–12; 5:4; 7:4; 11:7) will be healed by the great Healer, whose anger is now turned away.

love them freely. In this love song, we hear again the deep affection of God for His elect. This undeserved love is what the New Testament calls grace (Rom. 5:15; Eph. 2:5, 8).[6]


[1] Carroll R., M. D. (2008). Hosea. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, p. 302). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Achtemeier, E. (2012). Minor Prophets I. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (p. 110). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Stuart, D. (2002). Hosea–Jonah (Vol. 31, pp. 214–215). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1642). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ho 14:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[6] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1255). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

August 14, 2017: Verse of the day

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4 The NIV, probably correctly, identifies the unnamed (see MT) speaker as the “angel” of the Lord. The removal of the filthy clothes (apparently by angels—“those who were standing before him”) may connote that Joshua is thereby deprived of priestly office. If so, he is reinstated in v. 5. Theologically, however, there also seems to be a picture here of the negative aspect of what God does when he saves a person. Negatively, he takes away sin. Positively, he adds or imputes to the sinner saved by grace his own divine righteousness (cf. v. 5). The act of causing Joshua’s sin to pass from him (cf. Heb.) represents justification, not sanctification. It is forensic forgiveness that is in view, as seen from v. 9, which interprets Joshua’s cleansing by applying it to the land (i.e., the people)—another evidence that more than Joshua himself is in view here.

Next, Joshua is to be clothed with rich or fine garments—God’s representative clothed in God’s righteousness. God’s servant goes from filthy clothes to festive garments. The “rich garments” (the Hebrew word is used only here and in Isa 3:22) speak of purity, joy, and glory; but their chief significance is that they symbolize the restoration of Israel to her original calling (Ex 19:6; Isa 61:6). There is a contrast here: Joshua in filthy garments, representing Israel as a priest but defiled and unclean, versus Joshua in festive garments, representing Israel’s future glory in reconsecration to the priestly office.

“I have taken away” emphasizes the agent of the forgiveness. It is God who causes sin to be removed, ultimately on the basis of the messianic Servant’s substitutionary death. But here it was actually the Angel of the Lord who forgives sin, thus identifying him with deity (cf. Mk 2:7, 10), or at least as God’s representative.[1]


3:4 The removal of filthy garments by the angels (“who were standing before him”) depicted the promised future forensic justification, the salvation of the nation (cf. v. 9; 12:10–13:1; Ro 11:25–27). The High-Priest was symbolically clothed with rich robes, which spoke of righteousness imputed (cf. Is 61:10) and the restoration of Israel to her original calling (cf. Ex 19:6; Is 61:6; Ro 11:1, 2).[2]


3:4 The Lord also acts to cleanse Joshua from his iniquity. He commands his servants to remove the filthy garments, so removing Joshua’s iniquity, and to clothe Joshua in pure vestments, garments suitable for him to wear in the presence of the King of kings. Since the filthy garments represent iniquity, these “pure vestments” represent a new righteousness imputed to Joshua.

3:4 The removal of iniquity symbolizes justification in Christ (Rom. 3:23–26; 5:1).[3]


3:4 the ones standing before him Probably refers to other angels, though human associates of the priest are possible.

will clothe you with rich garments The priests were to wear specially consecrated garments (see Lev 8:7–13, 30; 16:4).[4]


3:4 Remove the filthy garments. God makes Joshua fit for the priesthood by giving new garments. In this way Joshua is a type of the coming Branch (v. 8), who will fulfill a priestly function and provide clothing of righteousness for us from His own merit.[5]


[1] Barker, K. L. (2008). Zechariah. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, pp. 755–756). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Zec 3:4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1755). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Zec 3:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1330). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

August 13, 2017: Verse of the day

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1–2 These verses resemble 95:1–2 in form and mood. The psalmist calls on “all the earth” (v. 1) to come before the Great King (see Reflections, p. 119, Yahweh Is King). The invocation resembles that of 98:4, where the whole earth too is summoned to “shout for joy to the Lord.” The nations must recognize who the Lord is. He is Yahweh (“the Lord”), by whose grace and blessings his people exist. The nations too are invited to sing hymns to the Lord and to worship him (cf. Isa 56:6–7). The invitation is a free offer. The submission to his rule comes out of a heartfelt response of joy and gratitude for his covenantal promises (cf. in contrast 2:11). The “gladness” (śimḥâ) reflects joy in living in harmony with the Creator, Redeemer, and King. The sacrifices of “joyful songs” (v. 2; cf. Heb 13:15) are proper as one approaches his presence (cf. 95:6; 96:8; Isa 1:12).[1]


100:2 gladness … singing. Awareness of the goodness of God (v. 5) and of the great privilege of worshiping him produces joy in those who know they are welcome in his presence.[2]


100:2 Serve The Hebrew word used here, a‘vad, can describe work or service in general, or refer to honoring Yahweh in formal worship.[3]


100:2 with gladness. God is not a despotic king who forces his people to serve him. Loving service is grateful response to the grace of God.[4]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 742). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1064). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 100:2). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 824). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

August 10, 2017: Verse of the day

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42:1 Our inner longing for fellowship with God can be compared to the vehement craving of the deer as it wanders through the parched countryside, its sides throbbing and its breathing quickened as it longs for the brooks. Gamaliel Bradford transferred the picture to himself when he said:

My one unchanged ambition

Wheresoe’er my feet have trod

Is a keen, enormous, haunting,

Never-sated thirst for God.[1]


42:1 As the deer pants … my soul pants. On this simile from nature, cf. Joel 1:20. In the psalmist’s estimation, he is facing a severe divine drought.[2]


42:1 As a deer longs for streams of water The psalmist’s desperation for God’s sustaining presence is like a thirst for water.[3]


42:1 As a deer pants for flowing streams. A powerful description of deep desire for God’s presence.[4]


[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 615). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 42:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 42:1). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 773). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

August 5, 2017: Verse of the day

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4 Boldness of faith is not naive belief. The external difficulties are insignificant in comparison with the psalmist’s deep desire to experience more fully the presence of God. In God’s presence fear is banished. The longing for God’s temple expresses the intensity of the psalmist’s seeking after God himself (cf. Mt 6:33). The enjoyment of God’s presence assures the evident goodness and love of God (cf. 23:6).

The psalmist desires to dwell in the temple of God for the rest of his life (cf. 15:1; 23:4–6). The temple was the visible expression of God’s presence and was sought after by the godly. While sitting in God’s temple, he planned to “gaze” on the Lord’s beauty and to “seek” (inquire after) him in his temple. In the act of gazing on the Lord’s beauty, the psalmist submits himself fully to experience the beneficent fellowship with God. God’s “beauty” is an expression of his goodness to his people (cf. 16:11; 90:17). When Moses saw his glory, the Lord revealed his perfections of love and compassion (Ex 34:5–6). The “beauty” of the Lord is his favor toward his own (cf. 90:17; 135:3; see C. S. Lewis’s intriguing essay “The Fair Beauty of the Lord” [Reflections on the Psalms, 44–53]; Reflections, p. 931, The Ark of the Covenant and the Temple).

In the experience of God’s presence, the psalmist also intends to “seek” him (cf. 73:17). Little consensus exists on the meaning of the verb “seek” (see A. A. Anderson, 1:222–23). Was the psalmist seeking him as in the day of trouble, or does the word have a more technical sense? It is probable that he was looking for a divine word or action that would satisfy the longing in his heart (cf. v. 8). The desire for God’s presence arose out of a need. The psalmist is not an escapist, for he wants to hang on to God until he is fully assured of his glorious presence.[1]


27:4 Poor Peter tried to defend his Master by cutting off the ear of the high priest’s slave. But Jesus replied to Peter, “Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” His one desire was to dwell with God, and since the pathway to glory led first to the cross, He was prepared to endure its suffering and shame. His language was:

One thing I have desired of the Lord,

That will I seek:

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life,

To behold the beauty of the Lord,

And to inquire in His temple.

There is something indomitable about “one-thing” people. They know what they want and are determined to get it. Nothing can stand in their way.[2]


27:4 One thing. The primary issue in David’s life was to live in God’s presence and by His purpose (cf. Pss 15:1; 23:6; cf. Paul’s “one thing” in Php 3:13).[3]


27:4 David, the author of this psalm, could have called the tabernacle a “house” (Josh. 6:24; 1 Sam. 1:7; 3:15) and a temple (1 Sam. 1:9; 3:3). On dwell in the house of the Lord, see Ps. 23:6. God’s beauty is what the faithful yearn to gaze upon (i.e., to behold with admiration and affection) as they seek him in worship.

27:4 Enjoyment of fellowship with God in his presence anticipates the joy of knowing God through Christ (John 15:11; 16:24; 17:3; Rev. 22:4). Christ opens the way into the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 10:19–22).[4]


27:4 the house of Yahweh The psalmist wants to dwell in the temple, Yahweh’s dwelling place. He is essentially saying he wants to remain in Yahweh’s presence, as a place of joy (Psa 16:11; 21:6).

consider The Hebrew word used here, baqar, means “to examine” or “to scrutinize.” Here it may describe a prayerful search for Yahweh’s will or a meditative reflection.[5]


27:4 house of the Lord. The place where God’s presence is manifest is a place of sanctuary from the enemy.[6]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 283). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 586). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 27:4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 970). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 27:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[6] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 759). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

August 1, 2017: Verse of the day

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10 The psalmist goes on to encourage the godly to “know” that the Lord is God. Though it was tempting to ally themselves with foreign powers, to rely on military strength, or to give themselves over to idolatry and pagan ways, the godly must learn to persevere to the end. The exhortation “be still” calls on them to stop doing one thing in favor of something else. What their temptation was may be implied from v. 2: “Therefore we will not fear.” Throughout the history of Israel and Judah, severe national distress brought the temptation to abandon true religion for the ephemeral security of political alliances, military strength, and worldly paganism. Instead of choosing a negative option, the people of God distinguish themselves by the pursuit of godliness: “Know that I am God.” The knowledge of God includes factual knowledge about him, his past acts, and his promises. But in this context, the psalmist calls on them to commit themselves to the Lord and to seek his “refuge,” “strength,” and “fortress” (vv. 1, 7, 11). The life of faith is lived continually in commitment to God’s sovereignty, rule, and ultimate exaltation over all the nations (cf. Hab 2:13–14). So Levenson, 154, writes, “In Jerusalem, there is peace and bliss” (see Reflections, p. 733, Yahweh Is the Divine Warrior).[1]


46:10 The voice of God rings out to all the inhabitants of the earth in accents of assurance and supremacy. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Every fear is stilled, every anxiety quieted. His people can relax. He is God. His cause is victorious. He is supreme among the nations, supreme over all the earth.

It is from verse 10 that Katharina von Schlegel, the author of the hymn “Be Still, My Soul” drew inspiration.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as He has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul: the winds and waves still know

His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.[2]


46:10 Cease striving and know that I am God. These twin commands to not panic and to recognize His sovereignty are probably directed to both His nation for comfort and all other nations for warning.[3]


46:10 Be still The term raphah means “to release” or “let go” (37:8; Job 27:6). God commands the forces of chaos (Ps 46:2–3) and the nations (v. 6) to stop their raging and recognize Him as God (2:10–12).[4]


46:10 Be still. In the true knowledge of God and His deliverance there is peace, in contrast with the troubled “nations” (v. 6).[5]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 407). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 622). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 46:10). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 46:10). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 777). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.