Psalm 20 - Your day of trouble is coming. Now is the time to come to know Yahweh.

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1 May [Yahweh] answer you in the day of trouble, *

the Name of the [elohim] of Jacob defend you;

2 Send you help from his holy place *

and strengthen you out of Zion;

3 Remember all your offerings *

and accept your burnt sacrifice;

4 Grant you your heart's desire *

and prosper all your plans.

5 We will shout for joy at your victory

and triumph in the Name of our [elohim]; *

may [Yahweh] grant all your requests.

6 Now I know that [Yahweh] gives victory to his anointed; *

he will answer him out of his holy heaven,

with the victorious strength of his right hand.

7 Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, *

but we will call upon the Name of [Yahweh] our [elohim].

8 They collapse and fall down, *

but we will arise and stand upright.

9 [Yahweh], give victory to the king *

and answer us when we call.


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This is the psalm of David that is the track 1 accompaniment to the 1 Samuel reading for the third Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 6], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow that Old Testament reading, which states: “When they came, [Samuel] looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” An Epistle reading from Second Corinthians will then follow, where Paul wrote: “We are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord-- for we walk by faith, not by sight.” All will be presented before the Gospel reading from Mark, where Jesus said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth.”


In the presentation above [NRSV], I have edited [in brackets] all the places where “Yahweh” was written by David, but someone felt the need to reduce that specific name of God to “Lord.” In addition, this psalm includes three variations of the Hebrew word “elohim,” which is the plural form of “el,” meaning “gods.” I have amended those three, to the root spelling, as the NRSV has translated them all as “God,” as a capitalized word, making "elohim" out to be the equivalent to “Yahweh.” It is not so equivalent; and, as I discern these verses the truth of what “gods” means will come forth. Without displaying this reality as I have above, simple minds will get on their knees and worship the NRSV, thinking them [or it] to be “gods.”


In Luke’s thirteenth chapter [after he mentioned the parable of the mustard seed], he told of Jesus being asked, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” (Luke 13:22) In the ensuing verses (24-30) Jesus told the parable of the narrow door, which is metaphor for the entrance into heaven [being “saved”]. Twice, the one answering the knock [I think this is Yahweh] said, “I don’t know you or where you come from.” That speaks loudly, in response to a question that asks, “How many will be allowed into heaven?” It says, “If you do not have a strong personal relationship with the one who opens that narrow door, then forget about ever being “saved.”


It might help one towards establishing such a strong relationship by knowing the name of the one opening the narrow door is “Yahweh,” not “Lord.” Knowing your neighbor casually does not mean he will open his door to you as a voice in the night asking to be let in, because you are not close family your neighbor can trust. Why would anyone open the door if you have to explain who you are: "I live a few doors over. We have waves at each other while working in the yard. Remember?" Jesus made a point in his answering a question by leading one to ask, "Why would getting into heaven be any different?"


In this translation by the NRSV is missing three Hebrew words written in the third person subjunctive [a Greek language term, not Hebrew], which all state “may he” before the root verb. In each of those translations by the BibleHub Interlinear presentation, the “He” is capitalized. Based on the first verse beginning with the subjunctive [sic] first person - “may answer you,” leading to “Yahweh,” the usage projects a hypothetical. Due to the absence of that shown above, the NRSV makes “may he” be intuited, when they begin verses 2, 3, and 4 with simply “send,” “remember,” and “grant.” All are not certainties for everyone, as the point made by David is a wish or a prayer, "may he" do those things mentioned.


It is vital to realize David did not pray to an unknown god, who he believed was the God of Israel. He prayed specifically to "Yahweh," who was the “lord” of David’s soul. That special relationship made David’s soul be one of Yahweh's “elohim.” Therefore, David wrote this song of praise for everyone whose soul would be exactly like his, as “elohim” means many souls will know the name “Yahweh” personally, through marriage.


In verses 1-5, it is important to see the hypothetical or conditional [the Greek subjunctive, the Hebrew perfect for imaginary actions]. What “may be” is relative to the condition having been met that “will be” allowed, if one has met the preconditions. Thus, when verse 1 begins by stating, “May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble,” this states there will be a “day of trouble” [“bə·yō·wm ṣā·rāh”], at which time there will be pleas for help that will be sent to the divine, as no help will be present in the material world. In most lives there will be many of these troublesome times, with many prayers for divine assistance being offered up. In some instances, there may be help arriving. However, the most troublesome time for all mortal humans will be when death comes. That is when all souls will cry out to Yahweh [no other gods] for forgiveness from sins committed. David’s song, therefore, is for those souls who will have married Yahweh and become faithful wives, so death will no longer represent a a day [a reckoning] of trouble.


The answer to those souls will be [NRSV], “the Name of the [elohim] of Jacob defend you.” In this, it is important to know that Jacob was the given name of a second-born twin, who held onto the heel of his brother Esau at birth. Jacob was pretty much a gutter rat kind of human being, as his momma coaxed him into using deceit and deception to steal the birthright of the firstborn, leaving his brother with nothing by a curse from Isaac. Of course, all of this was planned, because Jacob would need to have an epiphany of conversion.


The story of Jacob wrestling all night long with an angel is true, as Genesis 32:1 states “mal·’ă·ḵê,” which means “the angels.” While that word is only written once in Genesis 32, it is immediately followed by the word “elohim,” a word written four times in that chapter. Because that word has been translated as a capitalized “God,” the false impression is given [and received] that Jacob wrestled with “God,” when Jacob was a soul-flesh entity and Yahweh is the divine that cannot wrestle anything made of flesh – simply because flesh born into the world is sinful. This means Jacob wrestled with “mal·’ă·ḵê ’ĕ·lō·hîm,” which were “messengers of souls married to Yahweh.” When Jacob pleaded to end the fight, as day had come, the symbolism of night [a soul in mortal flesh = death] and day [a soul no longer dead from sins] must be seen. At that dawn of day Jacob was told, [paraphrased] “you will not be called Jacob any more, but Israel, because you have struggled with elohim versus mankind and prevailed." The meaning of the name "Israel" is “He Retains God,” so the soul of Jacob had married Yahweh’s Spirit, making Jacob’s sins be forever washed clean, so his soul was saved from his coming to know Yahweh personally.


By understanding that transformation that occurred within Jacob, where his physical flesh wrestled with himself [self = soul], over who would control his human actions, the night symbolism of death changed to the eternal life symbolism of day. That dawning meant his soul prevailed over the desires of his flesh. That means the “angels elohim” came to fight Jacob, who was struggling at a critical moment in his life [his “day of trouble”]. The angels elohim came when he cried out to Yahweh for help and he was taken kicking and screaming to the altar of spiritual marriage. The night was what his flesh was fighting to keep surrounding his soul; but when Jacob's flesh became injured [hip displacement, leaving his body with a limp], he saw the light of day and submitted to a higher power.


By prevailing over his wicked ways and choosing to marry Yahweh, his name changed. Therefore, David wrote, “may defend you the name elohim of Jacob." That “name” was Jacob taking on the “name” of Yahweh in marriage, which is the tradition of a wife to a husband. The giving away of a daughter to her husband means, "She is now your possession." In that same tradition, Yahweh possesses a soul Spiritually, so the soul submits to His Will. Being "defended in the name" as a wife of Yahweh [an "elohim"] means all such soul become "Israel," where the "name" means "He Retains God" or "God Is Upright." Therefore, David presented all singers of his song of praise with the wish or prayer to likewise marry Yahweh [not some unknown lord], as the condition of having one’s prayers answered.


When verse 2 is translated to say, “may he you help from his holy place and strengthen you out of Zion,” the “holy place” is the “sanctuary” [from “qodesh”] of the altar. It is upon the altar that sacrifices were made to Yahweh [not some other god]. This says “help is sent” to that soul released from its flesh, in the same way that Jacob released his soul from his self-sacrificed worship of self-control over his flesh. The place known as “Zion” is the mountain where the City of David was erected, where the Tabernacle was set up that housed the Ark of the Covenant. The Covenant is one’s marriage agreement to Yahweh; so, one sacrifices one’s soul to Yahweh through a Spiritual marriage of a soul to His Spirit, agreeing to maintain His terms.


Verse 3 then says, “may he remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice,” which states the sacrifice of one’s flesh is the condition. Yahweh will forever remember the souls of each of His wives. That “acceptance” means His taking on the responsibility of guaranteeing eternal life for His wives’ souls. The “burnt sacrifice” is a holy state of matrimony, done upon the altar where only the flesh becomes charred, while the soul is released unharmed.


Verse 4 then says, “may he give you your heart's desire and prosper all your plans,” where this becomes the wedding gift of salvation. The Hebrew word translating as “according to your hearts” [where “desire” is intuited, not written] draws on the word “lebab,” which means “heart.” In actuality, the word implies “inner man,” where the masculinity is totally relative to the positive essence of the spiritual, whereas the physical is negative or feminine. Because a soul penetrates the flesh, it is masculine essence; and, because the flesh receives the soul, it is feminine. The gender of a soul has nothing to do with human sex organs, as souls cannot reproduce and have no need to, being eternal.


Thus, the “gift” of Yahweh [if married to His Spirit] is eternal life, where that is when “all your counsel fulfills” [not “prosper all your plans”]. The Hebrew word “‘ă·ṣā·ṯə·ḵā” is a form of “etsah,” meaning “counsel, advice.” The Hebrew word “yə·mal·lê” is a form of “male,” which means “to be full, to fill.” This says the “gift” of eternal life means a soul hs been “filled” with a Spirit that leads one to live righteously in the flesh, by following “all advice” sent by one’s most Holy Husband.


Verse 5 then turns away from the hypothetical presentations of “may he,” as well-wishing all singers of his song of praise, to make the decision of Holy Matrimony. David then wrote “We will shout for joy at your victory and triumph in the Name of our [elohim].” That says David had made the decision to marry Yahweh [we read about that today, when Samuel anointed David and “the spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon David from that day forward”], so he personally knew that union was worth celebrating, not only for his soul but also when others tied that proverbial knot. Here, the repeating of “in the name of our elohim” [“ū·ḇə·šêm-’ĕ·lō·hê·nū,” from “shem-elohnu”] says another has become a wife of Yahweh, taking on His “name.” A wedding celebration then comes with “banners” of announcement.


Verse 5 then returns to the hypothetical, saying “may Yahweh grant all your requests.” In reality, that written literally translates to say, “may fulfill Yahweh all your petitions,” which is a two-way street. By stating the condition of “may fulfill,” the meaning repeats one’s soul being “filled” with the Spirit of “Yahweh.” This is not a partial filling, such that Yahweh is like a human spouse, where sexual needs make a wife or husband fill a sexual desire petition or a desire to have children petition. A marriage of a soul to Yahweh fills one wholly and completely. Therefore, “all petitions” work both ways: a soul does as Yahweh asks; and, Yahweh provides the soul with everything it needs.


The NRSV shows verse six beginning with: “ Now I know that [Yahweh] gives victory to his anointed.” In that, the Hebrew word translated as “victory” is “hō·wō·šî·a‘,” from “yesha,” actually means “saves, delivers.” The implication of “giving” is not actually written, as what David “knew” was a certain state of “deliverance” automatically led to the result of “his [being] anointed.” That comes from “mə·šî·ḥōw,” rooted in “mashiach,” where David’s knowledge comes from his having been so “anointed,” with the oil of Samuel’s horn accompanying the Spirit of Yahweh’s presence. Here, one needs to see how this word is duplicated in the Greek use of “Christos,” which means an “Anointed one” of Yahweh. As such, David was a “Christ” or a “Messiah,” a word rooted in “mashiach.” David is then saying all souls that have become “his anointed” [only something Yahweh can do] have had their souls “saved,” which is the ultimate meaning of a “Messiah” and/or a “Christ.”


David then followed that realization by adding [NRSV], “he will answer him out of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of his right hand.” In this, Yahweh is “him” who “he will answer,” such that the third person “he” is the masculine essence of a “soul,” which has become a wife of Yahweh, while in a body of flesh. As one “anointed,” the expectation is then to be subservient to the Master’s call, thus “answering.” This makes “from heaven” [“miš·šə·mê”] be the soul ["heart" or “inner man”], such that ‘heaven is where the “heart” is.’ A spiritual presence of Yahweh is where “heaven” can be found. Thus, the body of flesh possessed by a married soul of Yahweh is “his holy” ground [from “qā·ḏə·šōw”], where “ground” means matter, thus “flesh.”


In the words that state “with the victorious strength of his right hand,” one again finds “victorious” is actually “deliverance,” from the root “yesha.” This then says the “delivered” soul has the “strength” of Yahweh’s Spirit to resist all the temptations of the world. Once "saved," forever "saved," with no regressions [divorces] possible. As such, “his anointed” become “his right hand” [“yə·mî·nōw”]. This means all who walk the earth with heaven in their souls, due to the presence of Yahweh’s Spirit [made holy through anointment] will naturally become the extensions of Yahweh into the material plane, as “his instruments of guidance” – shepherds and apostles – messengers sent to the flock.


Verse 7 then states [NRSV]: “Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will call upon the Name of [Yahweh] our [elohim].” In this, the Hebrew “’êl·leh ḇā·re·ḵeḇ” has caused intuition to find “put their trust in” as a way to make sense of what is written: “these chariots.” Thus, the ensuing “wə·’êl·leh ḇas·sū·sîm” [meaning literally “these horses”] gives the impression that “chariots” are pulled by “horses.” Because an inference from “בַסּוּסִ֑ים” [“cuwc”] can also be a “swallow or swift,” as a kind of “bird” [a winged creature], one can now imagine winged horses as the translation, which would presumably pull a chariot very fast.


The implication from the NRSV translation seems to be that of kings of nations, whose power is based on the ability to get into battle quickly and mightily, by overwhelming an enemy, depending on physical agility and strength to defeat enemies. That simply does not fit the flow of this song of praise, meaning the translation has been misread [imagine that!]. That demands one transform the confusion of the remaining words in this verse, so it becomes an exception [“but we”] that makes the wives of Yahweh better than kings with chariots and horses.


The remaining words literally state: “ourselves the name of Yahweh are elohim will remember.” In that, “ourselves” must be seen as a statement of the souls who have married Yahweh’s Spirit and become His wives in the flesh of their human bodies. By being both a soul and a divine Spirit in union, the wives of Yahweh are “elohim,” not simply souls. Their ability to “remember” does not say they will call upon Yahweh, remembering Him, as a source of power that defeats kings in battle. Instead, it says the souls married to Yahweh never forget who their Master is. That makes Yahweh their King, which makes His wives be His “chariots,” who He sends into the world as messengers. They appear as both “winged creatures” [angels on earth] and “horses” who deliver His messages, which are never forgotten by the messenger nor the one receiving the message.


Verse 8 then sings [NRSV], “They collapse and fall down, but we will arise and stand upright.” Here, the word translated as “collapse” actually says “have bowed down,” which relates to “they,” who are those who need to receive the messages of Yahweh. As such, “those who have bowed down” are the Israelites [and by osmosis Christians these days], all of whom “have bowed down” to the Law of Moses and profess belief in Yahweh. The Hebrew word “wə·nā·p̄ā·lū” adds those have fallen, which does not mean they have prostrated themselves before God. Instead, it says those souls have sinned [a normal expectation in a world where sin naturally exists - and no other realm]. This then returns one to the theme of verse 1, where “they have reached their day of trouble.” Thus, the reason Yahweh marries souls is not to simply to save one soul here and one soul there, like Him playing favorites who He saves [no Jews and no Christians, you cannot claim a right to heaven because you think you are favored]; but souls married are by purpose - to multiply those who can be sent out so Yahweh can save many others.


The meaning of “we will arise” is actually best stated as: “we elevated [in Spirit],” which is how the literal is written. That says the “elohim” of Yahweh are His right hand extensions on the earthly plane, as Sons of man who are Yahweh incarnate. It is their righteous presence that leads those who have “fallen” to likewise “return” to their faith, implying those who receive the message will arise from their laying down with sin [a symbol of sleeping with death] and be saved.


Verse 9 then literally says, “Yahweh save.” The Hebrew words here – “Yah-weh hō·wō·šî·‘āh” – become the name of “Jesus,” as “Yeshayahu.” This statement by David says he was the resurrection of Jesus, well before Jesus was known as the Son of man. This then led David to conclude, “the king may answer us day we call.” This also returns one’s focus back to verse 1, where the hypothetical was “may answer you Yahweh in the day of trouble.” The condition of salvation is then a soul’s marriage to Yahweh [not some generic “Lord”], as that proposition of marriage is always “the answer” that brings a soul the light of “day.” That means eternal life, without the failure of reincarnation.


As a companion Psalm to the 1 Samuel reading that tells of Yahweh sending Samuel to anoint David, this song of David’s praise says his anointment was Yahweh’s answer to the “day of trouble” that Saul had brought upon the Israelites. In that reading, the elders of Bethlehem were terrified when they saw Samuel arrive. Their terror says they felt the guilt of sin, from having forced Samuel to anoint Saul, who was their choice, not Yahweh's. They knew Saul had failed them and feared Samuel had come with the power of Yahweh to bring them harm. Instead, Samuel came to answer their prayers of forgiveness.


The message all the “elohim” of the Scriptures is the same: Marry one’s soul to Yahweh, in order to be saved. The responsibility of one’s own soul’s judgment does not rest in the hands of someone outside one’s flesh, like some king [or president] is going to be righteous in one’s place. One’s soul will be judged by the actions one’s body of flesh does. To be righteous, one needs Yahweh’s Spirit to guide one along that path. There is no other way to salvation. No one will die in your place. So, it is up to you to decide to marry Yahweh and serve Him obediently, or accept the responsibility for your decision not to serve Him.


A marriage means making one’s ego be a “burnt offering” to Yahweh, on the altar of marriage. Once married, a soul takes on His name, as His wife; and, that spiritual union is total and complete, not a ‘pick and choose’ commitment.