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Psalm 22:18-27 - Putting on the shine of ministry

Updated: May 11, 2022

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18 [19] Be not far away, Yahweh; *

you are my strength; hasten to help me.

19 [20] Save me from the sword, *

my life from the power of the dog.

20 [21] Save me from the lion's mouth, *

my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.

21 [22] I will declare your Name to my brethren; *

in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

22 [23] Praise Yahweh, you that fear him; *

stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.

23 [24] For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; *

but when they cry to him he hears them.

24 [25] My praise is of him in the great assembly; *

I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

25 [26] The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall praise him: *

"May your heart live forever!"

26 [27] All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh, *

and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

27 [28] For kingship belongs to Yahweh; *

he rules over the nations.


This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor, if the Old Testament selection comes from Isaiah 65 on the second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 7), Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. If so determined to be sung, it will follow Isaiah having written: “I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices”. With those two presented, the Epistle that follows will come from Paul’s letter to the Galatians, where he wrote: “The law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” All readings will accompany the Gospel selection from Luke, where he wrote: “The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.”

Psalm 22 is thirty-one verses in length, according to all presenters of that song of praise in English translation. Somehow, the Episcopal Church has mutated it into thirty verses. Due to its length, Psalm 22 is never presented in whole on a Sunday. It is read wholly on Good Friday; but, on Sundays, it is presented in four overlapping segments, where verses one to fifteen are recited on Proper 23, in Year B. In Year B, the verses from twenty-two and twenty-four respectively are read to the last verse on Lent 2 B and Easter 5 B. With today expanding that spread to verses eighteen to thirty [actually verses nineteen to thirty-one], one finds verses sixteen and seventeen [the way Episcopalians number verses] will never be read. For that reason, everyone should drop everything at this moment and go read them. There is something the Episcopal Church does not want you to know; and, it might be in those omitted verses. [We will wait patiently for your return.]

I wrote about the verses read aloud on the second Sunday of Lent (Year B) in 2021. That commentary can be found at this link: A descendant of salvation’s song of praise. I posted my views of the selected verses for the fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B), in 2021 as well. That commentary can be read by following this link: Living as a nation unto God. I welcome all readers to view those commentaries, which can address the same song from the different perspectives set forth by the nature of the seasons (Lent and Easter). Today, I will address these selected verses from a new perspective that sees Isaiah as the voice of Jesus, who is resurrected within all prophets of Scripture. While Jesus of Nazareth was unknown to Isaiah, the soul that is Jesus [a name meaning “Yahweh Saves”] is the same soul resurrected in every writer of divine Scripture; and, this commentary explains more about that.

In verse nineteen (the reality check verse nineteen) is written (translated literally into English): “and you Yahweh not will be distant from me ; my help , to assist me he comes quickly .” The conjunction added to the second person singular “you,” which establishes a personal relationship between two [me and you], the conjunction as “and” says the two are joined as one. This means “and you” is a statement of divine marriage between a soul “and Yahweh,” who is known by name [not generalized as “O Lord” far away from me, unknown].

This closeness is then stated as “not will be distant from me,” which says “no distance from me” is the condition of union. This inner presence, as one, is to “help,” where “my” becomes a possessive pronoun that indicates a union of ownership and submission [master and servant]. As one’s inner Lord, Yahweh values His possession and protects it as an asset. Thus, when the servant is in need of “help,” that “assistance comes quickly,” not having to travel some distance to reach one in need. This is then a verse singing of a divine marriage and the benefit that submission to a higher power brings a wife-soul.

Verse twenty (the real twenty) then literally sings, “snatch it away with the slaughter knife my soul ; from the hand of the dog , my only one .” In this, the first Hebrew construct is “haṣ·ṣî·lāh,” which is rooted in the verb “natsal,” which can translate as “to deliver.” That sense of “delivery” comes from the deeper meaning that is “to strip, plunder, snatch away,” where the implication is a swift “delivery.”

There is nothing that says “save me from the sword.” The implication of “chereb” (meaning “sword”) is less about an instrument of war, but relative to a “dagger” or “knife,” which becomes the tool for slaughtering sacrificial animals, held by a priest of the tabernacle. When the construct “nap̄·šî” is read as “my soul” (from the primary meaning of “nephesh”), that “snatched away” is one’s soul being released from its body in death (figurative as that is, it is a willing submission of self to Yahweh), offered to Yahweh. David then sang for Yahweh to take his soul, rather than it be left in his body, where it would be placed in the “hand of a dog,” which is a derogatory view of a wayward priest (but also a soul in flesh not possessed by Yahweh). The point of “my only one” says a human being only has one soul to offer to Yahweh; such that it cannot be offered into service to anyone lesser than Yahweh.

Verse twenty-one then literally sings in English: “deliver me by the mouth of the lion ; and from the horns of oxen you have answered me .” Here the word meaning “deliver” or “save” (“yasha”) is written, with the intent being a soul sacrificed to Yahweh is then “delivered” into ministry. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of self to Yahweh, so one’s soul-flesh can spread the truth for others to know.

That truth comes by one’s fleshy “mouth” being transfigured into “the mouth of a lion” (remember C. S. Lewis and his lion character Aslan?). The symbolism of “a lion” is courage and heart. This “delivery” from such a “mouth” is then the truth being told, without fear.

In the symbolism of a “wild ox,” which is an ancient word that is not firmly understood, one should realize that the idol of worship prior to Yahweh was a “bull” (imagery in Ba’al). When Moses did not come down from the mount (in the dream of the future found in Exodus), the people resorted to building an idol of a golden calf. This then says the truth of the “lion’s” light exposes the fallacies of the ox’s horns. The “answer” received is the truth of the light.

In verse twenty-two (real count), the English literally sings, “I will relate your name as my brothers , in the midst convocation I will shine you .” Here, the words “relate” (“saphar”) and “name” (“shem”) go together as a confession of having been added to ‘the count” that includes all souls who “declare" to possess the same “name.” This becomes a statement of divine marriage, having followed a soul’s “deliverance” in the prior verse.

The aspect of “my brothers” (from “lə·’e·ḥāy”) becomes a statement of Spiritual possession, where all in “the count of one name” are elevated spiritually to the masculine essence (as Jesus reborn), so all (males and females in the flesh) become “possessed by Yahweh, as brothers” – all the Son resurrected within.

When David sang of “in the midst,” this is one’s soul. The “convocation” or “assembly” or “congregation” is the Trinity united within one soul – Father, Spirit, Son. It is then that divine presence within that “shines” like a halo of Sainthood, where that projection says the Son of Yahweh walks in this flesh.

Verse twenty-three then literally sings in English translation: “those who fear Yahweh ׀ shine him , all seed of Jacob it is burdensome ; and sojourns from out of him all seed Israel .” In this, there are three proper names stated: “Yahweh,” “Jacob,” and “Israel.” The vertical bar after “Yahweh” must be seen as a pause to reflect on the statement that says, “those who fear Yahweh.” That is a statement of all souls that have sacrificed themselves to Yahweh, because they fear the death of their souls (reincarnation or worse) comes by not being one with “Yahweh.” There is no “fear” of “Yahweh.” The only “fear” is not being a servant of “Yahweh,” assured of eternal life.

This then says “those” will “shine him,” where the Hebrew is often translated as “praise him.” The true meaning is “to shine,” which becomes a statement of the halo that surrounds a Saint, with that being synonymous with giving “praise” to His presence within.

The name “Jacob” must be read as “supplanter,” where the “seed” or “offspring” of a “supplanter” is the “burden” Jacob found, which led him to wrestle with that weight he had placed upon his own self-shoulders. The name “Israel” must be seen as the title given to Jacob, after he defeated his evil self and submitted totally to Yahweh. David was a “seed of one Who Retains Yahweh (as one of His elohim)” – the meaning of “Israel.” All “who fear Yahweh” will be renamed “Israel;” and, with that comes the inner name of “Jesus” – meaning “Yahweh Saves.”

Verse twenty-four then literally translates into English as saying, “for not he has contempt and not he has made detestable affliction poor , and not has he concealed them his face from , but when he cried out (for help) to him he heard .” This is David singing about the care and kindness of Yahweh. David knew that Yahweh has “no contempt” for sinners. Thus, Yahweh does not “make detestable affliction” a punishment for waywardness.

The world is a place where the “poor” of spirit get to do as they please, away from Yahweh. It is from that impoverished soul state that oneself makes one’s own life “detestable,” without any other need for help in bringing that failure upon oneself. When “those who fear Yahweh” seek to submit to His Will, thereby putting on His face over theirs, that “face has not been hidden” or “concealed.” It is available for all who “cry out” for His help, because Yahweh hears all pleas. Yahweh also knows the heart of the soul crying; and, He is well aware who cries out in vain.

Verse twenty-five then literally translates into English, singing “with you , my praise in the assembly many ; my vows will I complete , opposite to those afraid of him .” Here, the construct “mê·’it·tə·ḵā” can be similar to the first word in verse nineteen, which says “and you” (from “wə·’at·tāh”). Rather than the conjunction (“and”) that makes two become one, here David used a preposition construct, which is best read as “with you.” That then repeats this union theme.

The use of “assembly-congregation-convocation” in verse twenty-two is repeated here, with the difference being first an inner “convocation” is now projecting outward in ministry, to “in the assembly” of those who offer “praise” to Yahweh. The use of “tehillah,” rather than “halal,” says “the assembly” offers “praise” from their lips, not the “shine” of a soul married to Yahweh. While there are “many” who offer lip-service to Yahweh (in David’s time, Saul led “many” like this), David sang of the commitment of marriage, where his soul “will complete his vows” to Yahweh.

Here, the prior focus placed on “those who fear Yahweh” is now turned around to shine light on “those afraid of him,” in the sense they fear sacrificing their souls to an unseen God, because that would mean less material opportunity in sacrifice.

Verse twenty-six then sings literally in translated English: “they shall eat those humble and they will be satisfied , they will shine Yahweh to those who seek him ; he will be alive your inner self in perpetuity .” In the singing of “eating,” this should not be read as any kind of material reward promised by David for the people. The element of “humble” or “poor” means those souls that have been starved o spiritual food will be fed the insight of truth that will completely “satisfy” or “satiate” all questions of faith. Those who will be fed spiritual food will then receive the Spirit of Yahweh (His Baptism making one a Messiah [Christ, in Greek]), so rather than verbal praises, those Saints will “shine” the presence of Yahweh, as His Son’s soul resurrected within one going among the “assembly.” That “shine” will be the light of truth that beacons to “those seeking Yahweh,” so they will be drawn to hear the truth and make their own decisions (individually) to sacrifice their souls to Yahweh as well. The result will be everlasting life in return.

Verse twenty-seven then literally sings in English translation, “he shall remember ׀ and return to Yahweh never ending lands ; and he shall bow down all faces to His face , all the clans of the peoples .” In this, the third person “he” also includes males and females, where the masculine plural is focusing on the souls, not the flesh. A soul is masculine, but becomes feminine when trapped in flesh (regardless of human gender). This then says the soul “will remember,” where remembrance is not associated in any way with the functions of a fleshy brain.

A masculine soul is eternal (as is all the eternal spiritual realm); so, a soul [following a vertical bar of reflection] will join (conjunction construct) in a “return to Yahweh” after the flesh is lost and the soul is released. The use of “eretz,” meaning “lands,” can be seen as the body or form of a soul, once it returns to the “never ceasing world.” It is a body not made of matter or substance, only spirit. There, all souls “bow down” to the throne of Yahweh, where the only “face” ever worn is His. This is the First Commandment of the marriage vows: I will wear the face of no other god [including the face of self] before Yahweh’s face.

When David sang of “all the clans of the peoples,” this is related to verse twenty-two singing, “I will relate your name as my brothers.” All souls returned to be one with Yahweh [seen recently in the dreams written of by Isaiah and John] will share the same “family” of elohim, as all had been “Sons of man,” all reborn as Jesus.

Verse twenty-eight then literally sings in English translation: “for Yahweh the kingdom ; and him reigning above the people .” This is the truth of “Israel,” just as it is the truth of Christianity. The membership is not based on attendance in a synagogue or church. It is not based on how much money and material things one things God has awarded one, through less than honest means; so, one gives graciously to a church organization, buying one’s way to an assurance of heaven gained.

The only true members of Yahweh's “kingdom” are souls who marry Him, give birth to His saving Son’s soul, and then walk the path of righteousness as a priest in His name. Only when one has become elevated spiritually so Yahweh’s throne is within one’s soul, where His true “reign over the people” can be, can one lay claim to favor by Yahweh that assures a soul’s salvation.

These selected verses are made optional for reading on the second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 7) because they sing praise to what a minister to Yahweh must be. It is vital that this be seen. It goes back to David; and, nothing has changed since Moses first led a people out of Egypt, for the purpose of leading them to make the vow to Yahweh that says, “I do … serve you with all my heart, mind, and soul.” Anything less becomes suicide, in the sense that a soul will leave its corpse and return to new flesh, with the mind of an infant. Nothing that can be amassed in a lifetime of a soul animating dead matter is worth turning away from Yahweh for. The Ordinary after Pentecost season is all about being a true priest to Yahweh, as Jesus reborn, making oneself available to the true seekers, while being persecuted by all those who hate being told they are going the wrong way.

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