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Hebrews 1 quotes from Psalm 102 (LXX 101) from the LXX.

YLT Hebrews 1: 8and unto the Son: ‘Thy throne, O God, is to the age of the age; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy reign; 9thou didst love righteousness, and didst hate lawlessness; because of this did He anoint thee—God, thy God—with oil of gladness above thy partners;’ 10and, ‘Thou, at the beginning, Lord, the earth didst found, and a work of thy hands are the heavens; 11these shall perish, and Thou dost remain, and all, as a garment, shall become old, 12and as a mantle Thou shall roll them together, and they shall be changed, and Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.’

Young, R. (1997). Young’s Literal Translation (Heb 1:8–13). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[Note: In my understanding, the only part that can reasonably be read to be God speaking unto the son is the part that says "Thou art the same, and they years shall not fail". The rest is obviously a prayer of the Poor One to God.]

This seems to me to indicate that the author of "To the Hebrews" took the psalm to be an authoritative message about the messiah, who is referred to in the lxx heading as "the Poor [One]; when he is deeply afflicted, and pours out his supplication before the Lord". Most of the passage works nicely read that way but there are a couple of assertions that some might find troubling and I wonder if they have an explanation. Please see the highlighted text of the psalm (from the LXX) and perhaps someone might explain how these apply to the messiah (or otherwise explain why the psalm is not a messianic psalm):

1A Prayer for the Poor; when he is deeply afflicted, and pours out his supplication before the Lord. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come to thee. 2Turn not away thy face from me: in the day when I am afflicted, incline thine ear to me: in the day when I shall call upon thee, speedily hear me. 3For my days have vanished like smoke, and my bones have been parched like a stick. 4I am blighted like grass, and my heart is dried up; for I have forgotten to eat my bread. 5By reason of the voice of my groaning, my bone has cleaved to my flesh. 6I have become like a pelican of the wilderness; 7I have become like an owl in a ruined house. I have watched, and am become as a sparrow dwelling alone on a roof. 8All the day long mine enemies have reproached me; and they that praised me have sworn against me. 9For I have eaten ashes as it were bread, and mingled my drink with weeping; 10because of thine anger and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and dashed me down. 11My days have declined like a shadow; and I am withered like grass. 12But thou, Lord, endurest for ever, and thy memorial to generation and generation. 13Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Sion: for it is time to have mercy upon her, for the set time is come. 14For thy servants have taken pleasure in her stones, and they shall pity her dust. 15So the nations shall fear thy name, O Lord, and all kings thy glory. 16For the Lord shall build up Sion, and shall appear in his glory. 17He has had regard to the prayer of the lowly, and has not despised their petition. 18Let this be written for another generation; and the people that shall be created shall praise the Lord. 19For he has looked out from the height of his sanctuary; the Lord looked upon the earth from heaven; 20to hear the groaning of the fettered ones, to loosen the sons of the slain; 21to proclaim the name of the Lord in Sion, and his praise in Jerusalem; 22when the people are gathered together, and the kings, to serve the Lord. 23He answered him in the way of his strength: tell me the fewness of my days. 24Take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are through all generations. 25In the beginning thou, O Lord, didst lay the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. 26They shall perish, but thou remainest: and they all shall wax old as a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them, and they shall be changed. 27But thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. 28The children of thy servants shall dwell securely, and their seed shall prosper for ever.

Brenton Septuagint Translation, 1884. Versification mapped to KJV for coordination with other Old Testament Bible texts.

http://biblehub.com/sep/psalms/102.htm

It appears to me to say that the messiah felt that God was angry with him and made his life miserable as a punishment. How should this be understood?

Also, are we to understand from verse 13 that the time of Zion/Jerusalem's favor occurred in the 1st century? (For a background on the time of favor please see: Is Psalm 149:4 past, present, future or gnomic?)

  • Ah! I think you might be asking whether or not "the Lord" is the petitioner - directly - speaking as the petitioner, and not that "the Lord" was using the petition of someone else to speak a prophecy. I am still unsure, but I will try to noodle on how to ask for clarification. – elika kohen Sep 26 '17 at 16:43
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Hugh Montefiore, in The Epistle to the Hebrews (Harper & Row: 1964), states the following on pages 47-48: "In the Greek version O Lord has been added to the Hebrew Thou in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth. This facilitated the messianic interpretation that is given here to these verses. In the original Hebrew the words are spoken to God, but since in this Epistle the primitive Christian title Lord is ascribed to the Son, our author finds no difficulty in applying them to the Son, who already in v. 2 has been described as the agent of creation.

". . . These words are regarded as addressed not to the Father but to the Son (cf. Philo, de Fuga et Inv. 110, where the cosmos is the mantle of the Logos). . . . it is difficult to understand how this passage could possibly be used against Jewish opponents, unless the whole Psalm had already, in its Septuagint version, had been regarded by the Jews as messianic. There is, however, no evidence to lend support to this, which suggests that the catena was originally formed for use within the church."

The reference to Philo is found in De Fuga Et Inventione ("On Flight and Finding") as follows: "And the most ancient word of the living God is clothed with the word [world?] as with a garment, for it has put on earth, and water, and air, and fire, and the things which proceed from those elements." (trans. by C.D. Yonge) Compare Psalm 101:26, LXX (Bagster): "They shall perish, but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them, and they shall be changed."

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I believe the evidence is very solid that Psalm 102 (lxx 101) is a messianic psalm. The evidence I see are the following:

  • the title, in verse 1 of the lxx says that it is the prayer of an individual man who he calls "the Poor [One]":

1A Prayer for the Poor; when he is deeply afflicted, and pours out his supplication before the Lord. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come to thee.

This is an apt title as Jesus is said to have emptied himself of his wealth and become poor:

2 Cor 8:9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

  • in verse 13 he links the time of his trouble with the time of favor for Israel (making it prophetic, not just consolatory):

13Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Sion: for it is time to have mercy upon her, for the set time is come.

  • verse 18 is likewise prophetic, going beyond his lifetime:

18Let this be written for another generation; and the people that shall be created shall praise the Lord.

  • Hebrews 1 cites it as messianic

YLT Hebrews 1: 8and unto the Son: ‘Thy throne, O God, is to the age of the age; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy reign; 9thou didst love righteousness, and didst hate lawlessness; because of this did He anoint thee—God, thy God—with oil of gladness above thy partners;’ 10and, ‘Thou, at the beginning, Lord, the earth didst found, and a work of thy hands are the heavens; 11these shall perish, and Thou dost remain, and all, as a garment, shall become old, 12and as a mantle Thou shall roll them together, and they shall be changed, and Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.’

Young, R. (1997). Young’s Literal Translation (Heb 1:8–13). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

As to the difficulties I believe that they express the feelings of the messiah rather than his actual situation. We see a similar situation in the clearly messianic psalm:

BSB Psalm 22:1For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

This is spoken by the messiah in the gospels:

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?"

  • The conflicting aspect of the question and this answer is the failure to delineate the relationship between the Hebrew text of the Psalm and the Greek. It seems as if you are saying the Psalm is Messianic only in the LXX. If the Psalm is Messianic, it must be in the original text. Your position seems to be the LXX use in letter to the Hebrews eliminates the need to take the original language under consideration. The deficiency in this approach is obvious since the letter alters the LXX text. The LXX does not literally describe the Messiah; the altered LXX text found in Hebrews does. – Revelation Lad Sep 27 '17 at 15:15
  • The Messianic “trail” is the LXX modifies the original text and the letter modifies the LXX. Not only do you fail to acknowledge the modifications to the LXX, you present the LXX text as Messianic without the need to modify what the LXX translators did (who had themselves modified the original Hebrew text). – Revelation Lad Sep 27 '17 at 15:16
  • @RevelationLad I went with the LXX because it is clearly the author of To the Hebrews' "Bible". If you think the Masoretic disagrees or undermines this please show where. Thanks. – Ruminator Sep 27 '17 at 15:29
  • My point is the author did not "use" the LXX text. They modified it before using it. – Revelation Lad Sep 27 '17 at 16:32
  • @RevelationLad I see. It may have been a different version. How is the variant significant? – Ruminator Sep 27 '17 at 16:36
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Psalm 102 is a messianic prophecy. In the sense that they take the name of their husband, like a bride takes the name of her husband, and their husband is Christ. Which is an answer to Christ prayer in John 17 Lord make them one as we are one. They are born from Gods new heavens , revelation 12:17. The resurrected Christ had been born earlier in chapter 12 caught up into heaven and Satan cast to the earth with his fallen angels. That is why we read of the great distress they are going through in psalms 102.

Rev.12:17 and the dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, those keeping the commands of God, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ God calls his bride by his name, Hosea 2:16. And then sows her into the earth, Hosea 2:23. Which is also called the planting of the Lord trees of righteousness that he may be glorified Isaiah 61. It is all played out in the first century A.D. ending with destruction of the temple.

  • I'm not following you there, buddy. Was this perhaps intended for a different post? – Ruminator Sep 26 '17 at 3:47
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I am inclined rather to simply say that the author of Hebrews was wording Hebrews 1:10-12 according to both Psalms 102:12 and Psalms 102:25-27, for both verse 12 and the verse that precedes v.25-27 speak of God's omnipresence; his rendering therefore combines both. Since the question's premise regards the textual source of the verse, I thus address it, and am not able to answer whether or not it is Messianic since it seems to require one solely based upon the content of the Septuagint, and of those who agree that it was indeed quoted from the Septuagint.

  • Are you saying that it can't be messianic because it is quoted from the lxx? – Ruminator Sep 26 '17 at 3:51

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