This excerpt “Lord Messiah Free from Sin” is taken from a Jewish literally work called “Psalms of Solomon” (First/Second Century BCE). This book was not authored by King Solomon but by another Jew who wanted it to sound like Solomon or David. The beautiful poetic style of this work which came down to us in Greek highlights the messianic hopes of Jewish people two centuries before the gospels and speaks of a king who has no sin.

1 Lord, you are our king forevermore, for in you,
O God, does our soul take pride.
2 How long is the time of a person’s life on the earth?
As is his time, so also is his hope in him.
3 But we hope in God our savior,
for the strength of our God is forever with mercy.
And the kingdom of our God is forever over the nations in judgment.
4 Lord, you chose David to be king over Israel,
and swore to him about his descendants forever,
that his kingdom should not fail before you.
5 But (because of) our sins, sinners rose up against us,
they set upon us and drove us out.
Those to whom you did not (make the) promise
they took away (from us) by force…
11 The lawless one laid waste our land, so that no one inhabited it;
they massacred young and old and children at the same time…

21 See, Lord, and raise up for them their king,
the son of David, to rule over your servant Israel
in the time known to you, O God.
22 Undergird him with the strength
to destroy the unrighteous rulers,
to purge Jerusalem from gentiles
who trample her to destruction
23 in wisdom and in righteousness
to drive out the sinners from the inheritance;
to smash the arrogance of sinners like a potter’s jar;
24 To shatter all their substance with an iron rod;
o destroy the unlawful nations with the word of his mouth;
25 At his warning the nations will flee from his presence;
and he will condemn sinners by the thoughts of their hearts…

32 And he will be a righteous king over them, taught by God.
There will be no unrighteousness among them in his days,
for all shall be holy, and their king shall be the Lord Messiah.
33 (for) he will not rely on horse and rider and bow,
nor will he collect gold and silver for war.
Nor will he build up hope in a multitude for a day of war.
34 The Lord himself is his king,
the hope of the one who has a strong hope in God.
He shall be compassionate to all the nations
(who) reverently (stand) before him.
35 He will strike the earth with the word of his mouth forever;
he will bless the Lord’s people with wisdom and happiness.
36 And he himself (will be) free from sin,
(in order) to rule a great people.
He will expose officials and drive out sinners by the strength of his word.
37 And he will not weaken in his days, (relying) upon his God,
for God made him powerful in the holy spirit
and wise in the counsel of understanding,
with strength and righteousness…

44 Blessed are those born in those days to see the good fortune of Israel
which God will bring to pass in the assembly of the tribes.
45 May God dispatch his mercy to Israel;
may he deliver us from the pollution of profane enemies;
46 The Lord Himself is our king forevermore. (Psalms of Solomon 17)

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  1. Shalom. How beautiful. Your Kingdom come and your will be done Oh God! May this gentile gather the crumbs from your children’s table.

    • Form the perspective of 2nd century BCE water, perhaps. From a perspective of this being a prophecy-like utterance, this could be talking about the distant future. Some are still trampling…

  2. Dear Prof. Shir,
    I am a retired reverend of the Dutch Reformed Church, staying in Pretoria. I am interested in understanding how the Jewish communities and especially theologians of the past and present understand certain Scriptures from the Old Testament like Daniel 2:31 – 45, Isaiah 9: 2 – 7 and Isaiah 53 1 – 12. Many Christians ignore the original message of these prophecies and apply them directly to Christ.
    I cannot get under the skin of understanding these scriptures as it’s original receivers would have understood them.
    How do present theologians understand them?

    • In this passage, the author writes about the Messiah he expected to come. This is before Jesus. Passages like this one show that some Jews expected that Messiah would be a leader “free from sin”. That is exactly how Yeshua is described in the gospels. Coincidence?…

  3. Prof, have you any idea why this was left out of the Hebrew Bible? It’s obvious from the Gospel, God focus on our souls & the Messiah is Hope for our souls; but is this common knowledge among the Jews & the tribes ancient & modern? Thanks,

    • Canonization process is a complicated matter. Jews in the 1st century had a rough list of books they considered most important (holy) but did not have a “fixed canon”. This is one of many pieces of literature educated Jews might have read from time to time.


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