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Bible Notes: Reality
Originally appeared on spirituality.com
Hebrew: Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
The speaker in Psalm 17 clearly believes that through obedience and loyalty to God, he will be saved from evil. His hopes are pinned on being righteous, which is tzedakah, lawful, and because biblical law engendered deep concern for social welfare, charitable. The face in Hebrew sounds like pa-neem. Its primary, concrete meaning face by extension includes the abstract concept of presence. Through righteousness the psalmist would dwell in the presence of God. To be in God’s presence is to be satisfied, savea, concretely full to overflowing but this word also represents the fulfillment of life-purpose, and a ripe old age. Although this psalm does not make the hope of resurrection explicit, it has chosen the verb qytz for awake, which does signify resurrection in Job 14:14, 19:25, Isaiah 26:19 and especially Daniel 12:2. The beauty of the thought is that satisfaction which is gained by walking in the paths of righteousness until we awake in the presence of God, in God’s likeness.