R. B. Wright points out this psalm resonates with Baruch 4:36–5:9 and has clear allusions to Isaiah 40-55. Since the author seems to know Sirach, Baruch cannot be dated any earlier than 180 B. C., but it could very well be written any time before A.D. 135. Doran Mendals concludes “At the present stage of research, the question of dating must remain open” (ABD 1:620). It is likely both Psalms of Solomon 11 and Baruch use material from Isaiah 40-55 in similar ways to look forward to the return of the scattered exiles to Zion.

The Psalm begins with the command to “Sound in Zion the signal trumpet of the sanctuary” (11:1). To sound a signal trumpet can call Israel to mourn over the state of the Temple. For example, when the temple was liberated the army assembled on Mount Zion and when they say the temple was desolate and the altar profaned, they “mourned with great lamentation” and fell to the ground, “when the signal was given with the trumpets, they cried out to Heaven” (1 Macc 4:36-40).

But in this case the metaphor is positive. In Psalm of Solomon 11:1 a voice is announcing the good news of the return of the exiles to Zion. This announcement of good news is a possible allusion to Isaiah 52:7. There a watchman lifts up his voice as he sees the returning captives coming back to Zion. The good news in Isaiah and Psalm of Solomon 11 is the end of the exile. The phrase “good news” appears in the New Testament as well, especially in Luke. The angel Gabriel came to announce good news to Zechariah (Luke 1:18) and Mary (2:10); John the Baptist preached good news to the people (Luke 3:18) and Jesus’s preaching is good news to the poor (4:18; 4:43; 7:22; 8:1; 16:16). Some New Testament scholars have seen a Roman background to “good news” (εὐαγγέλιον) since an announcement concerning the emperor may be described as “good news.” But it possible to read Luke’s use of good news within the world of Second Temple Judaism, the “good news” announced by the Gabriel, John and Jesus is the end of the exile.

Old Compass showing East and WestThis is the case for the few likes of Psalm of Solomon 11. Verse 2 compares the return of captives is compared to children coming from the north, east, west and “far distant islands.”  Like Isaiah 40:4, the Lord will make their paths level and Israel will be supervised by the Lord himself (verse 6). Like Isaiah 40:18-20 and Baruch 5:7-8, the Lord will make the desert bloom like a forest so that their journey will be easy and pleasant.

In Matthew 8:11 Jesus says “many will come from the east and west to recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” The identity of those who enter the kingdom in Matthew 8:11-12 is a matter of discussion in recent scholarship. Since Jeremias, the majority opinion is that the included “many” are believing Gentiles and that the excluded “sons of the kingdom” are unbelieving Jews (Jesus’ Promise to the Nations, 51). However, Dale Allison challenged this consensus opinion by arguing that the “many from the east and the west” are Jews from the Diaspora rather than Gentiles replacing Jews at the eschatological feast (“Who Will Come from East and West? Observations on Matt 8.11-12 /Luke 13.28-29,” IBS 11 (1989): 158-70). Allison points out that there is no text in the Hebrew Bible or the Second Temple Period which describes Gentiles as coming from the east and west. Isaiah 59:19 describes a pilgrimage from the east and west when the Redeemer comes to Zion for those in Jacob who have turned from transgression.  Psalm 107:3 describes Israel coming from the east, west, north and south.  Philo (Spec. Leg. 1.69) uses this language (”from the east and west”) to describe the return of Diaspora Jews from Alexandria and Babylon to Jerusalem for festival days.

While agreeing with many of Allison’s points, M. Bird nevertheless maintains that the consensus view is essentially correct (“Who Comes from the East and the West? Luke 13.28-29/Matt 8.11-12 and the Historical Jesus,” NTS 52 (2006): 441-57). Bird points out that the book of Isaiah has both a “pilgrimage of the Gentiles” (Isa 2:2-4) and an eschatological banquet (Isa 25:6-8).  Allison does not think that Jesus’ audience would have read the two texts together since there is no pilgrimage and conversion of the nations in the eschatological feast.

Psalm of Solomon 11 seems to be solid evidence that a biblically literate Second Temple Jewish listener would hear echoes of Isaiah 40-55. This is a call to Jewish captives in far distant lands to return to Zion at the end of the Exile. Although it cannot be said Jesus is using Psalm of Solomon 11, he certainly stands within the same traditional as this psalmist as he interprets Isaiah 40-55 (and his messianic role as the one calling Israel to gather around himself).