Salvation In Old Testament Historical Writings

This section deals with the hebrew word found in the Hebrew texts concerning salvation.

Yshuwah;(3444) help, deliverance, salvation, victory, welfare. This word is a feminine passive participle derived from the word Yasha (3467) which means "to be open wide or free". In the abstract sense, it is something saved or delivered. If one is fortunate enough to find himself in that condition, he is in good health and enjoys prosperity. It connotes the idea of being comfortable, having no problems. The act of giving aid to the distressed produces deliverance and safety. The source of this salvation comes from outside the situation of oppression. A savior may rescue people from national or individual emergencies, enemies, natural catastrophes, plagues, famine, or sickness. At first, the term was used in an ordinary sense, but later, both in the O.T. and the N.T., the term acquired a very strong spiritual meaning. Jehovah is the God of our salvation. Salvation is associated with the forgiveness of sin. Satan must be defeated and we must be delivered from him and his power.
(Spiros Zodhaites, Hebrew/Greek Key study Bible pg 1733).

From the definition above, we can understand how the word is used in scripture.

This first section will be dealing with the historical books of scripture. In these instances, the salvation that is derived is in the physical deliverance from the oppression of enemies, whether physical or natural.

The next section will be dealing with the word used in poetry. It carries a dual meaning in poetry, for sometimes it is referring to deliverance from enemies, and sometimes it carries the thought of acquiring inner peace through a close kindred relationship with God.
Salvation In O.T. Poetry
The section after that will be dealing with the books of prophecy. In these books, the word carries the above meanings along with the future promise of salvation. That future promise of salvation is something that the O.T. writers did not understand. This was the mystery that was not made known until the establishment of the Church in the N.T..
Salvation In O.T. Prophecy
We will also look at the word for eternal and see how it is used. We will learn that the concept of eternal life (as we know it) was foreign to those of the O.T. yet through prophecy, they knew that someday, somehow, they could become eternal (like God).
Let us review several scriptures and see how this progresses through time.

Genesis 49:18 (KJV)
I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
This is uttered in the context of Jacob telling his sons what was to come about in future days. This was a sort of family prophecy. Some of which we can find came true.

Exodus 14:13 (KJV)
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The people are all complaining because the are blocked by the Red Sea, and Pharaoh's army is fast approaching. Moses tells them to see the event which will bring their deliverance. This, they will pass on to subsequent generations throughout their history as a people. Then God caused the Red Sea to divide and the people were allowed safety and deliverance on the other side. This also meant the destruction of Pharaoh's army, and the people no longer had to fear them either.

Exodus 15:2 (KJV)
The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
This is the song of Moses, how God had delivered them from their oppressors and made them a free independent nation of people.

Deuteronomy 32:15 (KJV)
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Another song of Moses of how Israel has treated the God of their deliverance. The people are about to enter the promised land and take possession of all that it offers. Yet the people are still obstinate, and headed for destruction.

1 Samuel 2:1 (KJV)
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
The prayer of Hannah as she brought the child, she had prayed for, to Eli, for the purpose of dedicating the child to the Lord for service. The prayer is prophetic in nature and almost mirrors many of the words of Moses as he gave warnings to the children of Israel. The prophets will describe virtually everything in this prayer as being attributable to the children of Israel.

1 Samuel 11:13 (KJV)
And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for today the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel.
Saul warns that no more life need be taken because God had already delivered them from their enemies.

1 Samuel 14:45 (KJV)
And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.
In v.24, Saul had placed the people under an oath to not eat anything until the victory had been accomplished. It is later revealed that the captain of the army responsible for the deliverance of Israel, Jonathan, had eaten some honey that he came across. Jonathan was ready to die, but the people would not allow it.

1 Samuel 19:5 (KJV)
For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?
Saul had been jealous of David for quite some time. Saul commanded David to attack the Philistines, which David did, and delivered Israel from their enemy again.

2 Samuel 22:3 (KJV)
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
David utters a prayer or psalm of thanksgiving for the deliverance that God gave him from all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

2 Samuel 22:36 (KJV)
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.
A continuation of the psalm of thanksgiving. We see here that David feels as long as he trusts in the Lord, that the Lord will protect him and deliver him from all sorts of evil. The Lord does the same for us today.

2 Samuel 22:47 (KJV)
The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.
If we put our trust in God, he remains as solid as a rock in being the great deliverer that we need.

2 Samuel 22:51 (KJV)
He is the tower of salvation for his king: and showeth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.
Described as a great watchtower in which there is safety as long as the watchmen keep watch.

2 Samuel 23:5 (KJV)
Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.
This use could be as it is used in the Poetry verses. Not only the deliverance from enemies and calamities that God helped David through, but also the inner peace of being a person in whom God was well pleased.

1 Chronicles 16:23 (KJV)
Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation.
Another rendition of the praise psalm of David that is recorded in 2 Samuel 22. In one of the Psalms, David writes.
I will declare what the Lord hath done for me". All Israel is commanded to let the world know that God is the great deliverer for His people.

1 Chronicles 16:35 (KJV)
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
A prayer included in the psalm which invokes upon God His continued blessings and deliverance, which is dependant upon the peoples faithfulness.

2 Chronicles 6:41 (KJV)
Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.
A prayer of Solomon in which he suggest that the priest be delivered from oppression and plagues in order to carry out their duties as priest of the Most High God.

2 Chronicles 20:17 (KJV)
Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
After Jehoshaphat had prayed to God, a Levite priest was prompted to speak on behalf of God, telling them to let God fight their battles. As the people went out on the morrow, they found that their enemies had defeated and killed themselves. Thus Israel was spared and God was glorified for protecting and delivering His people.

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Salvation In O.T. Poetry

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