Updated: Jan 21
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1 Yahweh is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? *
Yahweh is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh, *
it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army should encamp against me, *
yet my heart shall not be afraid;
4  And though war should rise up against me, *
yet will I put my trust in him.
5  One thing have I asked of Yahweh; one thing I seek; *
that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life;
6  To behold the fair beauty of Yahweh *
and to seek him in his temple.
7  For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe in his shelter; *
he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling and set me high upon a rock.
8  Even now he lifts up my head *
above my enemies round about me.
9  Therefore I will offer in his dwelling an oblation with sounds of great gladness; *
I will sing and make music to Yahweh.
10  Hearken to my voice, Yahweh, when I call; *
have mercy on me and answer me.
11  You speak in my heart and say, "Seek my face." *
Your face, Yahweh, will I seek.
12  Hide not your face from me, *
nor turn away your servant in displeasure.
13  You have been my helper; cast me not away; *
do not forsake me, elohe of my salvation.
14  Though my father and my mother forsake me, *
Yahweh will sustain me.
15  Show me your way, Yahweh; *
lead me on a level path, because of my enemies.
16  Deliver me not into the hand of my adversaries, *
for false witnesses have risen up against me, and also those who speak malice.
17  What if I had not believed that I should see the goodness of Yahweh *
in the land of the living!
18  O tarry and await Yahweh pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; *
wait patiently for Yahweh.
This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the second Sunday in Lent, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow a reading from Genesis, which tells of Yahweh’s covenant with Abram. There it is written: “Then he said to him, “I am Yahweh who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” That pair will be followed by a reading from Paul’s letter to the Christians of Philippi, where he wrote: “[Yahweh] will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.” All will accompany the Gospel selection from Luke, where it is written that Jesus told some Pharisees, “Today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.' Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!”
Please take note of the thirteen places in this song of praise to Yahweh that I had to restore His proper name, which was written by David, to replace a translation into English that demotes “Yahweh” to “the Lord, of the Lord, to the Lord, Lord, or O’ Lord” (differences that all come from the same “Yah·weh” [“יְהוָ֤ה”] being written). In the first Sunday in Lent Gospel reading we read of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by “the devil” – a word that translates better as “the Slanderer” – and, Guess what? Satan is an eternal elohim, a creation of Yahweh, who is “the Lord” over way more souls than is “Yahweh.” Yahweh marries a soul of a seeker and then sends in the one divine soul He created to become “the Lord” over both one’s soul and one’s flesh. The name of that “Lord” is “Israel,” but Christians know “the Lord” as “Jesus.” Still, there are far more “lords” in the world than Satan and Jesus: money, sex, drugs, power, lusts, U-name-it. So, calling Yahweh “the Lord” means one’s soul is still ‘swinging single’ and headed the wrong way.
You should also note that this fourteen verse song has been modified by the Episcopal Church (not the NRSV) to become eighteen verses. It seems they tried to make all verses similar in length, rather than think David was in an ecstatic trance of divine inspiration and wrote precisely what Yahweh led him to write. He did that before this psalm was written on a scroll and taught to countless Israelites (and then Jews) … none of whom spoke any form of English. Because my Hebrew source goes by David’s numbering system, I have listed the true verse numbers in bold type, set within brackets. My interpretations will be based on the true numbering, not the modification of the Church.
It is safe to say that everything translated above is a paraphrase, which is allowed in the following of syntactical rules that change text from one language to another. Such rules are based on the subject-verb arrangement that would be normal in one language being different in another; so, allowances are made to adjust accordingly. Still, when some things written in divine text are difficult to grasp [this is what divine language is all about … to keep the riff-raff from seeing the truth], it has become common practice to make things up, fill in gaps with peonic ideas, and transform something most holy into mere dribble. For that reason, I will simply state a literal translation for the Hebrew text (which might differ greatly from the above NRSV-Episcopal Church presentation), so following the proper verse numbering will be the way to cross-check and ask, “How did they get that from this?”
Verse one literally states: “Yahweh ׀ my light and my salvation whom will I fear ; Yahweh the strength of my life , whom will I hold in awe .” In this, the Hebrew word “mim-mi” is translated as a word of question, as “who?” The literal punctuation is as I have shown, but the word “whom” is translated as David asking two questions. This misses the truth of that written, where the initial naming of “Yahweh” is followed by a vertical bar (“׀”), which separates that name as its own important statement.
Deuteronomy 6:13 is a reminder by Moses to the Israelites [and David was one of those ... descended] that says, “and Yahweh eloheka you will fear and him serve ; and in his name will take oaths .” That says His “name” (in divine marriage to souls in human flesh) is “Israel.” So, being in His “name” means being a “Yahweh eloheka,” where “eloheka” is the possessive case [“your,” meaning those possessed by Yahweh] of “elohim.” That means all “Who Retain Yahweh as one of His elohim” [a.k.a “Israelites”] are all those who say, "Yahweh eloheka." Thus, David was saying it was because of “Yahweh” that he “feared Him;” and, that fear was because it had been commanded, as to fear only Yahweh. There was then no question about who else David feared … no one.
Following a semi-colon mark (not a question mark), David then renamed “Yahweh,” saying “Yahweh” was the source of his “strength.” David knew it was Yahweh that defeated Goliath, outsmarted Saul, and defeated the Philistines repeatedly in battle. By using David and those who followed him and were likewise “Yahweh elohim,” all who could truthfully call themselves "Israel" were given divine "strength." Following a comma mark, David repeated the word “mim-mi,” which said “Yahweh” (“whom”) was to be held in awe because of the amazing “strength” that He used through David and the Israelites. Because the Hebrew word “pachad “ can also mean “to dread, be in dread,” that then applies to Goliath, Saul, and the Philistines, “who dreaded” seeing David coming. That "dread" came upon them, as they felt David and all Israel were “who” always came with amazing “strength” that could not be defeated.
As the first verse of this song of praise, this needs to be sung in the light of the second Sunday in Lent, where this sings praise that only those who are not possessed by Yahweh, as those who cannot pronounce themselves to be “eloheka,” will see a forty-day period of testing as somber and grief-inspiring. That alone says those poor souls fear being tested by Satan, because they fear him more than they fear a God they do not even know the name of. That says Lent is a period that brings out the devil worshipers, so they can bow down before him and say how sorry their souls are for having tried to pretend they could give up one sinful addiction for less than two months. Imagine how long eternity will seem to their souls.
Verse two then literally translates into English as saying, “when came upon me ׀ the evil to devour my flesh my distress and my enemies ; they stumbled and fell .” Here, again, is a vertical bar placed, coming after the words saying, “when came upon me.” This becomes a reflection to the naming of “Yahweh,” seen before the vertical bar in the first verse. As a parallel, it is “Yahweh” that came and “fell upon” David, “when” he was anointed by Yahweh’s “Spirit,” making him a “messiah” [“mashiaḥ” means “anointed”]. This then says that after David’s soul had been “anointed by Yahweh,” then his soul was prepared for whenever the test of the wilderness came – “to devour my flesh.” That testing comes as the “distress” of having “enemies,” who are easily defeated. It is “they [who] stumbled and fell.” Goliath had David cut off his head after he staggered and fell, with David keeping Goliath’s armor as a keepsake. This also speaks of how Lent should not be a time of “distress,” unless one is planning on “stumbling” and collapsing in terror.
Verse three then literally translates to say, “if they should bend down upon me a camp not will fear my heart if should stand against me battle ; hereby in it I have trust .” In this verse is written twice the Hebrew word “’im-,” which acts as a prefix that sets the conditional scenario of “if.” This can be seen as a ‘sneak attack,’ when to “bend down” gives the impression of soldiers crawling amid weeds to keep from being seen. The word translating as “camp” gives the impression of an army being gathered, in preparation for “war.” To then “stand against” is the confrontation that comes when two do “battle” in that “war.” When David sings he “has trust,” which can also be read as “confidence,” it is not in his own abilities, but those that come from being a soul married to Yahweh. This says the preparation for any test, at any time, makes one always ready to take on all challengers, without fear of defeat or loss. This is the faith one has as a Yahweh elohim.
Verse four then can be shown to state in English, “one ׀ I have asked of Yahweh that I will seek that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life ; to behold the delightfulness of Yahweh and to inquire in his temple .” In this verse, we again find a vertical bar that is placed after the first word – “one.” Following verse three ending with David singing about his “having trust,” we now see that “trust” is based on the “oneness” that is divine marriage, uniting a soul with Yahweh’s Spirit. The long series of words that follows the vertical bar is then the plea made by David’s soul to be “one” with Yahweh, where “asking” becomes the use of prayer in direct communication with the divine. That prayer is for David’s soul (thus his body as well) to be where Yahweh’s presence will find a home and “dwell” there, also as David “dwelling” one with the Spirit of anointment.
The words that say “all the days of my life” should be seen as expanding to say the soul of David “always” experienced the light of “day,” where this means the continual enlightenment of Yahweh’s truth. That then becomes the promise of eternal “life,” known by David to extend well beyond the physical animation of his flesh. Thus, following a semi-colon, David experienced personally the “pleasantness” of Yahweh’s presence, which transformed his soul-flesh into a “temple” of righteousness, where all questions would be answered. That relates to Lent as never fearing the unknown, because the unknown will bring all the answers, through prayer; and, prayer is a direct line of communication with Yahweh.
Verse five then literally states in English: “for he will treasure me ׀ in his lair in the day of evil he will conceal me in the hiding place of his tent ; upon a rock he will exalt me .” Once more a vertical bar is found, this time after David sings, “for he will treasure me.” The meaning of becoming a treasure should be understood as David's soul being something of great value that was placed in a secure place: like one would put valuables in a chest, safe, or vault. With that seen, the statement that follows uses the metaphor of a “lair,” which becomes less a “hiding place,” but a statement that the security measure is Yahweh's Spirit “hidden within” David. This relates back to the “one” stated in verse four. David is the visible “treasure,” while Yahweh is the “hidden” security. This inner warning system then becomes the light of “day,” which alerts David that “evil” is near. Rather than David being “concealed,” it is Yahweh’s Spirit that is “concealed” within David, as that unseen, “secretly” one with David’s soul-flesh – his “tabernacle” unto Yahweh. When David sang, “upon a rock,” which can also say “upon a cliff,” or “high” peak or pentacle, David became impenetrable by evil forces. As a test in the wilderness, David was set “up high,” where his soul was “exalted” and beyond the grasp of the devil.
The literal English translation of verse six is as such: “now will be exalted my head over my enemies surrounding me therefore I will slaughter in his tent sacrifices of joy ; I will sing and I will make heavenly music to , Yahweh .” This verse can be seen as relative to the reading selection from Genesis, where Abram asked how he would know his legacy continued after him (when he had no children), and Yahweh told him to bring in specific animals for sacrifice. The “sacrifices” that are “slaughtered in” one’s “tabernacle” are all self-related. The “sacrifice” of ego, self, and mental acumen is what “exalts” one’s “head” “over” that of one’s “enemies.” The enemies are those in league with Satan, who are kept low by only using their brains, when attacking others. When one has already “slaughtered” self on the altar of “sacrifice,” and done so “joyfully,” then no harm can ever come to such a servant of Yahweh. When one’s “head is over my enemies,” while they are busy thinking, one is “singing and making heavenly music to Yahweh.” That says “Yahweh” will then “slaughter one’s enemies,” so one has nothing to worry about.
The Yahweh elohim priestly angles; or, as their fans call them: YEPA.
Verse seven is then a short one, which literally translates into English saying, “hear Yahweh with my voice I proclaim ; and show favor to me and respond to me .” When I read this verse, I am reminded of a church member (a high-ranking member of the laity – a rich lawyer) who asked us students of a Bible study program, “What does the voice of God sound like? I have never heard it.” I told him, "God sounds like your voice, if you let His speak through you.” This is what David is saying here. He “hears the voice of Yahweh” and he then speaks what that “voice” says to him. His Psalms are the “voice” of Yahweh. David “proclaimed” that voice by recording these songs of praise for all to know – so others can "hear Yahweh with David's voice." When David then sang, “show me favor,” that begs English translation services and churches that like to change David’s lyrics and styles to “leave the divine word be.” "Show Yahweh favor." To “respond” to what Yahweh said through David says to let Yahweh tell you what the words mean – “hear Yahweh” – and then be led to marry your soul to His Spirit.
Verse eight then sings in English, “for you ׀ speak my heart and seek my face ; your face Yahweh I will seek .” Once more we find a vertical bar, following the Hebrew word “leka,” which implies “for you,” with “lekh-lekha” meaning “go! for you.” This relates to the promise of eternal life, which cannot be based on one having realized the promise beforehand. To say “for you” means David acted solely on the promise of Yahweh, so all his actions were for Yahweh. Thus, following the vertical bar we read David singing of his soul seeking to replace the “face” of David with the “face” of “Yahweh.” To wear Yahweh’s “face” is to deny any other “face” that cannot ever be presented “before the face of Yahweh.” That states the First Commandment, where all the Covenant is a set of marriage vows that say, “I give my soul ‘for you’ Yahweh.” To “seek” the “face of Yahweh” means to do as He commands, at all times that He commands.
Verse nine then says, “not do conceal your face from me nor do incline in anger , your servant my assistance you have been ; not do leave me nor loose me , elohe of my deliverance .” In this verse there are four negatives stated [“not” or “nor”], which makes this seem like David is pleading Yahweh “not” to leave his soul. On the contrary, once joined in the most holy of matrimony there is “no” separating a soul from that commitment. This means “not” is a positive statement that says David does “not” worry about such things, as Yahweh “hiding his face” from him. David did “not” find his soul being “inclined to anger.” All of those “not” situations were based on David always remaining a “servant” of Yahweh [a subject in marriage]; so, in exchange for his servitude, the soul of David was “assisted” by the Spirit of that marriage. Thus, David did “not” have to worry about being divorced by Yahweh, so his soul would be “left” alone and “loose” of all commitments made to the Covenant.
Verse ten then continues with David singing (in English), “when my father and my mother leave me ; Yahweh will gather me .” This short verse is misconstrued when the Hebrew word “azab” is restricted to a translation that says “forsake.” This gives the impression of willful “abandonment,” which is not the point being made by David. When one reads the Scripture that is commonly associated with marriage vows, which comes from Genesis 2:24, the loss of a father and mother is stated as a natural event. The verse says: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This means David spoke of his soul being betrothed to Yahweh in marriage. Still, on a much deeper level of thought (realizing Genesis 2 told of two divine children being made by Yahweh in Eden), the “father” is the spiritual – a soul – and the “mother” is the earth, from which Yahweh elohim were formed. This then says to read this as, “when my soul and my body forsake me,” that refers to death, when the body returns to the earth and the soul returns to the Father (for Judgement). Thus, in all senses, when married to Yahweh the soul will become His forever, thereby “gathered” into His realm.
Verse eleven then sings, “instruct me Yahweh your manner and lead me in a path smooth ; on behalf of my enemies .” Following a statement of having been given away in marriage, a submissive wife needs to be “taught” or “instructed” in the “manner” that pleases the Husband. This is then David singing about his desire to please Yahweh. Through total submission to the Will of Yahweh, David’s soul openly was “led” to walk the “road” of righteousness. This is not the “way” of Yahweh, but the “way” of David, when one with Yahweh’s Spirit. Through that divine presence showing David what to do, that “travel” or “journey” is “smooth,” because David offered no resistance. This “way” of being is not to confront “enemies,” but on their “behalf.” By David leading by example, doing as “directed” by Yahweh, the “enemies” of David are not threatened by his actions; so, they are less likely to act from anger, brought on by David’s actions.
Verse twelve then has an English translation that sings, “not do give me to the emotion of my distresses ; for have risen as my witness , deception puffing out deception .” This follows the line of thought that ended verse eleven, where David’s soul needed to stop the pendulum swing that is two enemies, each acting and reacting in tandem to one another. Here, David is admitting that enemies are caused by one’s own inability to control one’s own “emotions.” This means a soul not married to Yahweh becomes his or her own worst enemy, because all human beings swing wildly due to emotional changes within. Whenever one feels “distressed,” then one acts out of “emotions.”
When David sang, following a semi-colon, “for have risen as my witness,” that means the way one acts bears “witness” to whether or not one’s soul is married to Yahweh. The last segment of words then depicts the “puffed out” chest of a blow-hard, where self become the projection of strength, when it bears “false-witness” that says one has no strength at all. To act “violently” then becomes a statement that one seeks violence in return, because one is not strong enough to be a model of peaceful truth to others. That not only soothes their emotions, but it calms one’s nerves as well.
Verse thirteen then has David singing in English, “if not , I had confirmed that I would see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living .” This then speaks contrarily to the scenario proposed in the aforementioned inability to be emotionally stabilized by the presence of Yahweh. That “not” is now the condition “if not,” where two negatives become a positive [as “if not not” equals “if so”]. That then says that the condition of being married to Yahweh means one always acts in a manner that is righteous, so others can “see the goodness of Yahweh” coming forth, even if they do not realize the presence of Yahweh is the source of “goodness.” When David sang of “in the land of the living,” this is like verse four singing of the “days of my life,” such that “earth” is now metaphor for a body of flesh. The same focus on “my life” and “the living” becomes a statement about eternal “life,” which is the eternal soul within a body of flesh. Thus, “Yahweh in the land of the living” becomes a statement that the presence of “Yahweh” brings true “life” to dead matter, which is the “dust, clay, and ashes” that a body of flesh comes from and will return to. Yahweh is the source of all “life” in those who are truly “living.”
The final verse (fourteen) can then be literally translated into English as: “wait for , towards Yahweh grow strong and firm and he will encourage your heart ; and wait for , into Yahweh .” The repetition of the Hebrew word “qavah,” which is the infinitive verb meaning “to wait for,” the focus is on patience. Patience is a control on knee-jerk emotional outbursts. David speaks as if one’s soul is a plant [like a vine or planted wheat or a tree that bears fruit], such that one leans “towards” the source of life that is the light and the rain. The soul is then the “heart,” like the inner flow of nutrients flowing through a plant, making it grow to bring forth good fruit … in due time. One becomes “encouraged” by the inner sense of His presence, knowing it is leading to the production of lasting goodness. This comes when one’s soul has married Yahweh and gone “into His” Spirit, as His servant that bears good fruit.
As a Psalm to be openly sung on the second Sunday in Lent, this song sings loudly of the inner confidence that comes to a soul that is married to Yahweh. One does not enter into a testing period unprepared. David sang of the enemies that sneak up to confront one, waiting for a time when one is least prepared. To always be prepared, one needs to be singing songs of praise to the marriage of one’s soul to Yahweh, so no surprise attacks will ever take one off guard. To be tested – and all wives of Yahweh will be put to the test, more than once – the soul must welcome receiving a passing grade that says, “Eternal life has been earned.” Therefore, Lent should be a joyful time, when one plans on receiving that permission slip. However, if it is somber and full of grief, one marches to death with no help afforded to the selfishness that wraps the chains of failure around a lost soul.