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Psalm 148 - Praise, praise, praise

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1 Hallelujah! (Praise YAH!) Praise Yahweh from the heavens; *

praise him in the heights.

2 Praise him, all you angels of his; *

praise him, all his host.

3 Praise him, sun and moon; *

praise him, all you shining stars.

4 Praise him, heaven of heavens, *

and you waters above the heavens.

5 Let them praise the Name of Yahweh; *

for he commanded, and they were created.

6 He made them stand fast for ever and ever; *

he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

7 Praise Yahweh from the earth, *

you sea-monsters and all deeps;

8 Fire and hail, snow and fog, *

tempestuous wind, doing his will;

9 Mountains and all hills, *

fruit trees and all cedars;

10 Wild beasts and all cattle, *

creeping things and winged birds;

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, *

princes and all rulers of the world;

12 Young men and maidens, *

old and young together.

13 Let them praise the Name of Yahweh, *

for his Name only is exalted, his splendor is over earth and heaven.

14 He has raised up strength for his people and praise for all his loyal servants, *

the children of Israel, a people who are near him. Hallelujah! (Praise YAH!)


--------------------


This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow the mandatory Acts selection, where Peter explained to the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem why he met with the Gentile Cornelius (and his house), saying, “The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us.” That pair will precede a reading from Revelation, where John wrote of a loud voice saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them.” All will accompany the Gospel choice from John, where it is written: “Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.’”


You will note in the above translation that I have placed several words in bold type. Primarily, those are reinstatements of “Yahweh,” where the NRSV has translated “the Lord.” In addition to that, I have added the truth of the word “Hallelujah,” which is two separate Hebrew words: “hal·lū yāh.” Those words translate as saying, “praise YAH;” and I have placed that truth within parentheses, placing “YAH” in bold type.


This psalm will only be read on the fifth Sunday of Easter, in the Year C. It is the epitome of a “psalm of praise.” In the fourteen verses of this song are thirteen forms of “hal·lū” written. That word is written four times, counting the two translations of “Hallelujah!.” The word “hal·lū” is part of eight constructs, which are two forms: “hal·lū·hū” (meaning “praise him”) and “yə·hal·lū” (meaning “let him praise”). Another word is then added – “tə·hil·lāh” – which is a separate word [“tehillah”] meaning “the praise.” Only six verses in this song of praise do not contain a word stating “praise.”


Three times (once in verse five and twice in verse thirteen) are found references to “the name,” which is relative to the “praise” to be given. It should be noted that the “name” David wrote four times (“Yahweh”) and abbreviated two other times (“YAH”) states that “name.” To remove that “name” and replace it with a generic statement as “the Lord” is to not give praise to that “name.”


To fully understand why David would say to give praise to the “name,” one must grasp that is a statement of “name” change, which is what a wife takes on in marriage. Here, “name” is then that of her husband’s, where his “name” added to hers, becoming a statement of possession. A wife becomes the possession of her husband when she is given away by her father, making the “name” of the husband be responsible for the wellbeing of the wife. When this concept of marriage is understood to be on a soul level (not physical marriage on the material plane), then Yahweh marries a soul through the transfer of His Spirit (Pneuma, in Greek, ruach in Hebrew). Rather than take on the last “name” of “Yahweh,” like a human female takes on the surname of her husband, the “name” change is spiritual. Thus, the “name” one praises is “Israel,” which means “Who Retains God,” where “God” is actually one “el” of Yahweh’s elohim. Being a Yahweh elohim means taking on the name of His Son, who is now called Jesus – a name meaning “Yahweh Saves.” That “name” leads one’s soul to give praise to Yahweh, having been resurrected within one’s soul.


It has to be understood that normal human beings may like their religion and may love the people of the church which they attend, but once out in the real world there is not a lot of praise for Yahweh going on. While inside a church building, when the organist (or multi-piece band) begins playing music for the sing-along hymns, few people (outside of Pentecostal churches) will stand from their pew seat (arms raised to the sky), shouting out “Praise God!” because a priest said anything spiritually moving. Only when someone strikes it rich in the real world does one hear, “Praise God!” outside of a church. This failure to “praise YAH!” on a regular basis says David was not singing a song of praise to get people to ape beliefs, as some show of love that is not true. He was singing a song of praise because his soul was possessed by Yahweh; and, the words of his songs were whispered to him melodically by his inner voice – Jesus.


Verse one sings, “praise Yahweh from the heavens.” The Hebrew word “shamayim” can translate as “the sky,” which makes it read as “the heavens” project higher than “the sky,” as into outer space. Here, it is important to realize outer space is part of the physical universe; and, David was not singing physical praises. This means “heavens” must be equated with the “spiritual.” So, the continuation that says, “praise him in the heights” means the “heights” of one’s soul’s “spiritual elevation.” One does not offer “praise to Yahweh” because one feels drugged or because one gets rich. One offers “spiritual praises from the heights” that come from His Son being one with one’s soul. It cannot get any higher than that presence within.


In verse two, David included “angels” in the mix of who gives “praise to him.” Here, it is important to realize that the soul of Jesus resurrected within one’s soul is the same thing as an “angel.” The ‘“angels” in the flesh’ are Yahweh elohim, where the elohim are the gods that never die, which makes them “angels” or “spirits.” The word used here by David is “malak,” which equally translates as “messengers.” While there are “angels,” such as Gabriel, who appear as “messengers,” the implication by David is David was also a “messenger,” due to his being possessed by the divine Spirit of Yahweh. Thus, the last two words of verse two are surrounded by brackets and parentheses, which makes them silently present, while making praises to him, as His “hosts of hosts.” This is the vast army of “angels, messengers, and souls” in human bodies of flesh that serve Yahweh totally.


In verse three it appears the “hosts of hosts” are those lights in the sky in outer space; but, again, the physical is not the intent of the words sung. The metaphor of “sun and moon” are the lights in the sky that illuminate during both day and night. All light on earth exposes truth that cannot be seen in darkness. Thus, for “the sun and the moon to praise him,” this means all who are led by the light of truth that comes from within (Jesus reborn), praise is due Yahweh because without that illuminating truth one would be lost and fall into a pit. As for the “stars of light,” those are the flashes of insight that the Mind of Christ (call it of the Messiah within) speak to one and lead one divinely. Again, this must not be read as physical stars twinkling in the night sky [and the sun is a star that makes all life on earth be possible].


In verse four, David returned to the use of “heavens,” writing it now like he silently wrote “hosts of hosts.” Here, he wrote the “praise to him” comes from “heavens of heavens,” where the same metaphor is for “spirits of spirits.” This sings of a duality, where Yahweh is the premier Spirit and His Son is the soul of His making. The praise is then motivated by the soul of Jesus resurrected within a lost soul in human flesh. When David then sang of “the waters above the heavens,” this is the everlasting ‘waters” of Yahweh’s Spirit of Baptism, which elevates a normal soul “above,” to eternal life through salvation. That is the praise due Yahweh.


In verse five David’s first use of the “name of Yahweh” being “Praised,” which is the marriage of a soul to His Spirit. This marriage is then confirmed by his singing, “for he commanded and they were created.” The Hebrew word “tsavah” can be translated as “to give a commandment,” as it means an “order.” For one to take on the “name of Yahweh,” one then has to agree to the “commandments” made by Yahweh to all His wives. This means the wedding vows are the “Commandments” brought down the mountain by Moses. To say “I do” to those orders makes one become a true “Israel,” in the “name of Yahweh.”


Verse six then says these “commandments” last “forever.” They are the “decrees” made by Yahweh and they will “never pass away.” There will be no modifications to those agreements. In return, a soul gains eternal life from redemption of all past sins. For that promise, no one would dare break any of those “commandments.”


In verse seven, one must again force oneself to leave the illusion of the physical and ascend to the spiritual meanings that come from “earth” and “sea creatures.” When David wrote, “praise you Yahweh from the earth,” the “earth” must be seen as the “flesh” of a human body. This says the “praise” due “Yahweh” is not solely from angelic spirits that do not possess a soul on the earth. This says a divinely possessed soul has the Son of Yahweh resurrected within its soul, within one’s “flesh;” and, it is from that “earth”-center that “praise” comes.


As for the “serpents” (from the Hebrew “tannin”), which can also translate as “dragon” or “sea monster,” this becomes the Leviathan that is metaphor for the elohim that lurks in the “waters” of souls on the physical plane. A Leviathan can be an evil (demonic) possession, which preys on lost souls that refuse to marry Yahweh and agree to His “commandments.” When the Leviathan is a divine elohim that possesses a lost soul, it comes as the soul of Jesus resurrected. Either way, a lost soul fears being possessed; but, once possessed divinely, that divine presence will bring forth praises to Yahweh.


Verse eight then uses the metaphor of weather to show the changing states of human emotions: anger (“fire”); hurtful barbs (“hail”); cold-heartedness (“snow”); secrecy (“clouds”); self-ego (“wind”); and, arguments (“storms”). All of these fill the “sea” of souls filling the “earth.” These can become stable by the inner presence of a divine Spirit – the Yahweh elohim of Jesus – or, they can be aggravated by the presence of a malevolent spirit possessing one’s lost soul.


Verse nine sings of “mountains and all hills,” which are the challenges facing a soul in the flesh. The presence of Yahweh’s Spirit makes overcoming those challenges less tiresome. The “mountains” become reduced to “hills,” with each rise accomplished a lesson that increases one’s reason to give praise. As for the “trees,” all souls must become “fruitful” and produce good fruit. A “cedar” is a lasting hardwood which produces fragrance that is pleasing. This element of usefulness keeps these “trees” growing and not cut down and thrown into the fire.


Verse ten then is a statement that everything living on earth that breathes air (oxygen), including “beasts and all animals, creeping things (including insects and snakes), and fowl that flies” are given souls by Yahweh. A human soul that has not married Yahweh does not take on any greater importance in the totality of life on earth, just because it has a larger brain than most. Here, in the third of six verses that does not state the word “praise” (in any form) says Yahweh receives a natural form of praise by all life forms on earth. Mankind needs to see the only thing that separates them from these listed in verse ten is the brain allowing it to realize it must marry Yahweh or return to the worldly plane in reincarnation.


Verse eleven then leaps to that level of civilized mankind, who are groups of people led by “kings of the earth.” Here, again, “earth” should be read as “flesh.” Souls are not kings anywhere other than their own physical bodies of flesh. A “king” allowed to lead many people is still human and mortal. The “princes” are then those whose blood relationship is to a leader, who sets them up to be future “kings,” when they might not have the support (or forced capitulation) of the “people.” Those who act as “the judges of the earth” will be found to have no voice as judges over their souls, once they leave their beloved “earth.” Only when a soul leads the flesh to submit totally to the Will of Yahweh can a soul be judged favorably.


In verse twelve, the last of the six verses that does not say “praise” places focus on age, beginning with those young – “young men and virgins” – where there is a need to be taught the “commandments” of Yahweh. If left alone to figure things out on their own, they will become misused by those who know the young are impressionable and easily misled. In nature, the predators focus on those animals without the strength and knowledge of an adult. Human youths are no different. Likewise, in the hunt the aged are vulnerable as well. When one has lived a long life and not been led to find reason to sacrifice self and marry Yahweh, there is no favor given by Yahweh because a soul lasted a long time in a body of flesh. Age does not matter when judgement comes at death.


In verse thirteen David returned to using the word “let him praise,” saying “the name of Yahweh is exalted alone.” This says all the verses that told of the circumstances of life in the material realm, no one is “exalted” or “lifted up” without taking on His “name.” When David sang, “his splendor [or majesty] over the earth and the heaven,” this says taking on the “name of Yahweh” adds the divine elevation of marriage, with His Spirit making it possible for His Son to resurrect. It is with that “splendor” “above” or “over” (can you say Lord?) the flesh and the soul (“earth and heaven”) that brings "praise."


In the final verse, David sang that Yahweh “has exalted the horn of his people praise to all his saints.” The “horn,” which (from “qeren”) is a symbol of strength, which brings forth “praise,” as well as making common souls become “pious” or “chaste” (from “chasid”). These “people” are the sheep of Yahweh, as His wives in marriage, who are led by the “horn” (as a ram) that is each of theirs individual Lord. Here, David sang the “name of Yahweh,” when he wrote the “sons of Israel” are those who are “saints.” Again, the “name Israel” means a soul (not a physical body of any kind) “Who Retains God,” with “god” and “el” of Yahweh’s elohim. All of these will keep Jesus “near,” so “near” his soul will be resurrected within each apostle’s soul. Then, all will “praise YAH!”


As a Psalm of David that is only read on this fifth Sunday of Easter, where the theme of the Easter season is about the resurrection of Jesus in the dead of lost souls, saving them for eternity, this message must be seen in this song of praise. All praise to Yahweh is due to this theme of salvation.

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