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Psalm 25:1-9 - Being led to find the truth

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1 To you, Yahweh, I lift up my soul;

[2] elohay, I put my trust in you; *

let me not be humiliated,

nor let my enemies triumph over me.

2 [3] Let none who look to you be put to shame; *

let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.

3 [4] Show me your ways, Yahweh, *

and teach me your paths.

4 [5] Lead me in your truth and teach me, *

for you are elohe of my salvation;

in you have I trusted all the day long.

5 [6] Remember, Yahweh, your compassion and love, *

for they are from everlasting.

6 [7] Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *

remember me according to your love

and for the sake of your goodness, Yahweh.

7 [8] Gracious and upright is Yahweh; *

therefore he teaches sinners in his way.

8 [9] He guides the humble in doing right *

and teaches his way to the lowly.

9 [10] All the paths of Yahweh are love and faithfulness *

to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.


This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the first Sunday of Advent, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. These verses will accompany the Old Testament selection from Jeremiah 33, where the prophet wrote of Yahweh saying, “I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David.” That pair will precede a reading from First Thessalonians, where Paul asked, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Luke, where Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.”

The first eight of these verses (according to the way the Episcopal Church numbers them) will be read each year during Proper 21A. This selection of nine verses (as numbered by the EC) will get more ‘air time,’ being designated to be sung on Lent 1B and again on Proper 10C. Relative to that schedule, I wrote a commentary about this reading as it applied to the Lenten theme. That can be read by clicking on this link. I will not repeat that opinion now, as I will address it from a fresh perspective.

First of all, this Psalm is twenty-two verses long, with one verse for every letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The Episcopal Church will never read more than these ten verses (shown as nine). I have corrected the verse numbers in bold type, between brackets. Second, there are six references to the proper name Yahweh, which the NRSV translates (along with all other translators) as “the Lord.” This is wrong. As a Psalm following the three verses from Jeremiah 33, which ends with what people call one of the names of God [called “Jehova Tsidkenu” by many], nobody calls this name of God “the Lord Tsidkenu,” because “Yah-wehTsidkenu” is written. I have restored the name Yahweh, and it is important to learn that name. Finally, there are two references to “elohim,” in different forms. I have made those appear in italics. An “elohim” is not a capitalized “God.” An “elohim” is a soul in a body of flesh that has married Yahweh’s Spirit and become the hand of Yahweh on earth. They are angels in the flesh or Saints; and, this too should be learned.

The BibleHub Interlinear title for this song of David is “To You, O Lord, I Lift Up My Soul.” That title comes from the translation into English of verse one. Verse one literally states in English: “into you Yahweh my soul I take,” although BibleHub lists the literal English as “to you Yahweh my soul I lift up.” The words “el” and “nasa” offer the variation between the two. The word “eleka” is a form of “el” [not the word meaning “god”], which means “in, into, towards.” The modification as “eleka” adds “you” to this directional preposition, as “into you.” The word “nasa” means “to lift, carry, take,” with the modification as “essa” adding “I” to this. When one sees Yahweh and soul as the two nouns in this statement, it become ridiculous to think one’s soul has any ability (on its own) to give “to” Yahweh a soul “lifted.” If a soul could lift itself, it would not need Yahweh. Therefore, it becomes a clear statement of truth when one hears David state, “into you Yahweh I take.” That becomes a statement of trust and faith that is a giving of one’s soul to Yahweh, where a divine union places one’s soul within Yahweh’s Spirit, thereby “into Yahweh.”

Where verse two begins (which the Episcopal Church sees as a continuation of verse one), it places a comma after the first word, “elohay” [transliterated], which sets that one word alone as important to grasp. This translates into English as the possessive form of “elohim” [a plural form of “el,” meaning “gods”], as “my gods” [not a capitalized “my God”]. The reality of the possessive is it relates to that stated in verse one, where a soul has been “taken” or “uplifted.” The word “elohay” then becomes David singing that his soul [“my”] has joined with all the other souls [the plural number] that have also been “taken” and “uplifted” by marriage to Yahweh, having entered “into His” [“into you”] realm Spiritually. Thus, this one-word statement must be realized as David saying his soul’s state of being was as a Yahweh elohim [a combined term used eleven times in Genesis 2, after Yahweh declared it to be the seventh day].

Following that first word in verse two, the remainder of the verse literally translates into English as singing, “you I trust not to be ashamed ; not let triumph the enemies of me .” The first segment of words then makes a statement that is relative to David’s soul having been transformed into a Yahweh elohim through divine union. The combination of “you” with the first person singular “I” [“you I”] is then stating that marriage, where two have become one. The element of “I trust” is a statement of personal knowledge of Yahweh, through His presence, where “trust” equates to “faith.” More than belief in something never experienced, the union of “you” [Yahweh] and “I” [David’s soul] have made each know one another intimately, such that “trust” becomes the bond that joins two.

The element of “shame” must be seen as the cleaning of all past sins, where those who do not marry Yahweh are regularly said by David (in his psalms) to be put to “shame.” This says being a Yahweh elohim means all past sins have been erased and wiped clean, with there no longer being the threat of sin returning into a soul’s presence in a body of flesh. Thus, the final segment sings about that “not” happening, where the “enemies of me” are the lures of the physical realm [Satan and his temptations], who might have “triumphed” in the past, but never again. The “not” is then a statement that the bond of divine marriage with Yahweh is unbreakable.

Verse three then continues this element of the “enemies” who seek to make souls know the shame of sin. This verse literally states in English, “moreover all who wait for you not let be ashamed ; let be ashamed , who act treacherously vainly .” This defines the “enemies” of Yahweh, who prey on lost souls. They outnumber those who commit to serving Yahweh through eternal union, as the lie in “wait” as lures for self-gratification and self-worship. By having allowed one’s soul to enter “into Yahweh,” so His Spirit becomes one’s protection against “enemies,” the “shame” of sin will “not” have an effect on one’s soul. Instead, those souls who have “shamed” themselves will be those who are “ashamed,” when the judgement of death releases those souls. At that time, those souls will know their acts of sin, as well as their being “enemies” of lost souls, will be determined to be “treacherous acts” against themselves. The “vanity” or “emptiness” of their acts will become their punishment meted by Yahweh, where they placed more value on self, than salvation.

Verse four then literally translates into English as singing, “your directions Yahweh show me to know ; your paths cause me to learn .” This verse then shows the duality of two being one, as “your directions” is both a true statement of the “ways” one is led to take by Yahweh and also the “ways” of Yahweh that let one know He walks the same “paths.” By using “directions,” this acts as the lost having been found, so one is no longer wandering but has a “direction” of course in life. The plural number means many “roads” lead to the same end. The second segment of words becomes the lessons of life, where one often will travel the same “roads” or “paths,” but having circled back to the same points where one was lost before, one realizes the mistakes that cause one to lose “direction” and not repeat the same mistakes. This becomes learning how to be “righteous,” by submission to Yahweh and letting Him lead one through life.

Verse five then sings in literal English: “march me in your truth and have me learn ; because you elohe my deliverance , with you I wait the whole day .” Here, one finds the repeat of “elohim,” now stated as “the gods,” or “elohe.” This is still a form of the plural number of Yahweh’s elohim, or His angels in the flesh, the extension of Him on the earth plane. The first segment of words begins with “haḏ·rî·ḵê·nî,” a form of “darak,” which means “to tread or march.” To translate this as “march” makes it affirm the use of “directions,” where “march” is like a soldier’s trek, following orders. While orders might be too strong, one’s soul knows what is right and what is wrong, based on divine marriage and hearing the voice of Yahweh reveal the truth that makes those paths always known. A soul then follows the orders to travel the right path, thus one acts righteous. Again, this is an exercise that brings understanding from actually doing both, over the course of a lifetime and realizing the errors of one’s past ways. We learn by being able to hear the “truth.” When the combination of “you elohe” is a reflection on Yahweh’s lead [“you”], this then says “Yahweh elohim,” because one’s soul has become one with Yahweh and knows Him as “you.” Thus, David was singing the ‘truth” that says “deliverance” or “salvation” is only awarded to those who know Yahweh as His elohim. This, in turn, means salvation is based on “marching” to the orders of “truth,” which come from one’s soul being led by Him directly.

The final segment of words that sing, “with you I wait the whole day,” here again is a statement of marriage, in “with you” [knowing “you” is Yahweh] and “you I” [knowing “I” is oneself or David]. The aspect of “waiting” bears the element of desire, where the Hebrew [“qavah”] implies “eagerness” [“to look eagerly for”], while also having the “patience” required to receive that expected. The element of “day,” as always, has nothing to do with time [time only exists in the material realm] and everything to do with “light.” The “whole day” is then a statement about the “truth one’s soul marches its body of flesh to,” because one no longer stumbles along, lost and blinded by darkness. The “light of truth is always” present and leading oneself.

Verse six then literally translates to sing in English: “remember your compassion Yahweh and your goodness ; for eternity they .” Here, the Hebrew word “zakar” begins this verse, which means “remember.” One cannot see this as being a request of Yahweh, who is All-Knowing [omniscient] and will never be capable of forgetting. This is then David speaking of his own “mindfulness” that is able to compare his past with his present and promised future. This means “your compassion” [“ra·ḥă·me·ḵā,” from “racham”] becomes a statement of Yahweh’s “tender love” or “tender mercies” shown to David, through forgiveness. This forgiveness was not through petition or prayer, as a child saying to a parent, “gimme, gimme, gimme” until given something wanted out of desperation; but an agreement of marriage, where that merger makes the Husband take on the debt of the wife, freeing her of that past burden. That is an act of mutual love. The “goodness” is the presence of Yahweh within, remembering how Jesus said, “Only God is good.” One whose soul is married to Yahweh becomes the expression of that “goodness.” These qualities within a saved soul are not such that they wear off or only last until something new is wanted, as “for eternity they.” Once forgiven, always in debt, always in love, always giving thanks to Yahweh.

Verse seven then sings in literal English: “the sinful ways of my early life my transgressions ; not you remember because of your kindness remember me you , the purpose of your goodness Yahweh .” In this verse, David sings as a soul that knew forgiveness, through divine insight from his soul being married to Yahweh [not from his experience, being Anointed by Yahweh as a child or youth]. The point is his singing about the waywardness of the past is always the path human beings take to find Yahweh’s love and a desire to repent and be saved through divine union [self-sacrifice]. This then leads to the double statement of “remember,” which says David knew Yahweh does not dwell on past wrongs, once a soul has been taken in marriage and the Covenant vows are spoken as truth and commitment. David remembered his sins, but Yahweh’s focus is for David to most remember “me you” [David joined with Yahweh in marriage], which was when the past errors were to be remembered no more. Yahweh does not seek souls to punish. Those will all find their way to Him eventually. His “purpose” in marrying souls is to place the “goodness” of “Yahweh” in humanity, as Yahweh elohim in the world.

Verse eight then literally holds these words of song: “good and right Yahweh , upon thus he teaches sinners on the journey .” This verse sings praise to the qualities human being take on, after marrying their souls to Yahweh. Those human beings become good and right, because of His inner presence leading those directions. As all who marry their souls to Yahweh will have known sin, as a prerequisite to grasp the fullness of self-shame from waywardness, it is this “journey” through life on the physical plane that makes one become filthy spiritually, to the point of realizing a need to be cleansed spiritually. It is the “teachings” of other forms of cleaners [all temporary, at best] that lead souls to the despair that teaches them self-sacrifice [a last resort] is the only way for the past of sinful ways can be forgiven forever, through divine marriage to Yahweh.

Verse nine then sings literally in English, “he marches the humble in judgment ; and he teaches the poor in his manner .” This verse begins with the same root word that began verse five [“darak”], with the third person singular applied [as “he”]. Because the use of “march” made sense there, it should be reapplied here. The same Hebrew is repeated in this verse, such that “‘ă·nā·wîm” [rooted in “anav”] means “the poor, afflicted, humble, meek,” so different English translations can be used and still be the truth. This says that Yahweh restores the downtrodden and finds the lost, so they follow His voice in thanks for His choice to marry those souls. The Hebrew word “mishpat” translates as “judgment,” but because marriage is implied through “he marches,” the “judgment” should be seen as one following the “ordinances” of the Covenant, which is set by Yahweh and agreed to by the soul at the altar of marriage. It is then compliance to these rules of life that become desired, so that the “poor” of spirit are increased by “teachings” “in this manner.” One “learns” the values of the Law, once it is written on the walls of one’s heart and soul.

Verse ten then sings literally in English, “all the ways Yahweh goodness and truth ; to keep his covenant , and his witnesses .” This confirms that sung in verses four and five, while also confirming that the use of “judgment” in verse nine is relative to the “covenant.” When one is “to keep his covenant,” where “natsar” means “to watch, guard, keep,” this says more than complying to orders of marching, one desires to remain vigilant to all insight that comes and “keeps” one “mindful” of the “directions” that life can take one. All of the turns of life, once a soul has married Yahweh, means lessons are the teachers that can be taught to one’s children [et al]. Because of a personal relationship with Yahweh, through divine marriage of soul to Spirit, one is not offering hearsay as evidence of God. One is a verifiable “witness” to this fact, thus able to truly “testify” to Yahweh, so others can be led to His altar of marriage as well.

When this Psalm is read as a follow-up to the reading from Jeremiah 33, which says a certain day will come, when a branch of David will execute judgment and righteousness, David wrote of marriage to Yahweh in this Psalm 25, singing praise to that transformative state of being. David was Anointed as a child, but his soul was allowed to see the truth of all souls, including those when Jeremiah would likewise be shown the failures of soul supposedly committed to Yahweh by their ancestors. Knowing waywardness is the path that leads to Yahweh; and, finding Yahweh is the path that leads to righteousness and righteousness is the path to repentance and salvation.

As a song to be sung on the first Sunday of Advent, when one’s soul should be sensing there is a better way, feeling an emptiness within one’s soul, the lesson here is to listen to David sing about his love of Yahweh – a name that must be known and used. Just as verse one sings, one needs to let one’s soul enter into Yahweh’s protection, so one’s state of being can be uplifted. That speaks of a spiritual need that can only be met through a soul’s submission to Yahweh in divine marriage, so one is transformed into a Yahweh elohim. Before one can become ‘pregnant’ with baby Jesus, one needs to fall in love with his Father.

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