Psalm 37:1-12, 41-42 - The meek shall inherit the earth

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1 Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; *

do not be jealous of those who do wrong.

2 For they shall soon wither like the grass, *

and like the green grass fade away.

3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do good; *

dwell in the land and feed on its riches.

4 Take delight in Yahweh, *

and he shall give you your heart's desire.

5 Commit your way to Yahweh and put your trust in him, *

and he will bring it to pass.

6 He will make your righteousness as clear as the light *

and your just dealing as the noonday.

7 Be still before Yahweh *

and wait patiently for him.

8 [7] Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, *

the one who succeeds in evil schemes.

9 [8] Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *

do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.

10 [9] For evildoers shall be cut off, *

but those who wait upon Yahweh shall possess the land.

11 [10] In a little while the wicked shall be no more; *

you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.

12 [11] But the lowly shall possess the land; *

they will delight in abundance of peace.

41 [39] But the deliverance of the righteous comes from Yahweh; *

he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

42 [40] Yahweh will help them and rescue them; *

he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,

because they seek refuge in him.


This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow a reading from Genesis, where is read: “Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.” That pair of readings will be followed by a selection from Paul’s first letter to the true Christians of Corinth, where he wrote: “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Luke, where it is written: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.”

In the above reading, you will note the bold type where I have restored the name “Yahweh,” which was written by David, but translated as “the Lord.” David was not inspired to write divine songs by some unknown “Lord.” David’s soul was not married to the Spirit of a generic “Lord.” In order for ANY Christian to have a chance to gain eternal life through divine salvation, they must each learn the name of the Husband they will submit to in divine marriage. One’s soul does not take on the name of some general “Lord.”

Psalm 37 is forty verses in length, not forty-two. The NRSV shows it as forty verses, but the Episcopal Church has monkeyed with some of the verses, making two new verses that were not so deemed by David [led to separate verses by Yahweh, not a Lord like the Episcopal Church]. As I will not be interpreting a poem written by the Episcopal Church, I will not refer to incorrect verse numbers. Therefore, I have inserted the correct verse numbers, beginning when the Church divided verse seven into two verses; they are listed in bold type, within brackets.

In verse one, the translation says, “Do not fret yourself because of evildoers.” In reality, this is an assumption made by the Church, where “yourselves” has become an insertion. The NRSV does not state “yourselves,” because the literal translation into English for what David wrote is “not do fret because of evildoers.” To assume “yourselves,” when one knows a “self” is a “soul,” the Church made the assumption that David was singing about “souls not fretting because evil exists in the world.” This makes “fret” need to be understood.

The Hebrew word written is “charah,” transliterated as “tiṯ·ḥar.” The root word means “to burn or be kindled with anger.” One of the acceptable translations is “fret self,” which the Episcopal Church has opted to use. This word is repeated in verses seven and eight (each time connected to “not”), so this repeating theme is important to grasp. It means a soul that is married to Yahweh [as was David’s soul] will easily be “angered” by a world that refuses to welcome Yahweh into their souls, finding sinful ways more to their liking.

The second half of verse one then says the motivation for becoming “angered in one’s soul” is rooted in “envy.” The translation that says, “do not be jealous of those who do wrong” can correctly be stated in English as saying: “not be jealous of the makers of unrighteousness.” To not be envious of inequity means to truly be righteous. When a soul is married to Yahweh, then the body holding that soul becomes like Ezekiel and knows nothing about anything beyond Yahweh. Thus, the double use of “not” becomes a statement of what a righteous soul is: it is one not angered by evildoers and not being jealous of those who sin.

When verse two is shown to state: “For they shall soon wither like the grass, and like the green grass fade away,” this makes it appear that the wicked simply fade away. The literal translation into English here says, “for like the grass quickly will be cut down ; and as green grass , will come to nothing .” In that, the key term is “namal,” transliterated as “yim·mā·lū,” which says, “will be cut down.” Back in the day, the grains grown in the fields were cut with a sickle or a scythe. Thus, the symbolism is death, in the sense that plants must stay connected to the earth, in order to remain “green,” where “green” symbolizes worldly life. Without a connection to the earth – the source of sin – the sinful will become “nothing.” As a time of literal death, the wicked souls will find no eternal reward. However, the unseen caveat is the Hebrew word “namal” also relates to the “cut” of “circumcision;” and, that becomes figurative death of a soul connected to the material world, having died of self, becoming a wife of Yahweh, one with His Spirit.

Verse three literally says, “trust Yahweh and do good,” where this can only be done through divine marriage between a soul and Yahweh’s Spirit. As Jesus told the young, rich man, “Only God is good," that means David knew the same truth; so, only having Yahweh within can make one be good. This is then stated by David when he followed that with “dwell in the land,” where “land” must be seen as metaphor for the flesh; so, Yahweh must “dwell” within one’s being. This inner presence is then how one can “feed on his steadfastness.” That “firmness” or “fidelity” is then the strength that a soul gains by being constantly fed spiritual food as divine insight.

Verse four then sings, “and take exquisite delight in Yahweh , and he shall give you the requests of your soul .” This means to invite Yahweh into one’s soul through tremendous love and affection for Him. That means to do all the things that show Yahweh your heartfelt desires – the want of salvation through Him. Such works shown will bring the “gift” one seeks, through His spirit coming in union with one’s soul. The “requests of your soul” [from “miš·’ă·lōṯ lib·be·ḵā”] are one’s prayers being granted, which is foremost the prayer to please Yahweh with all one’s heart, soul, and mind.

Verse five then follows, saying “roll away to Yahweh your road ; and trust upon him , and he shall make it so .” Here, the Hebrew word “galal,” transliterated as “gō·wl,” has been translated as “commit,” when the word means “to roll, roll away.” To imply commitment, one’s prior direction must turn, therefore “roll away” from the way one was headed, before marriage to Yahweh. This means one then takes the road of Yahweh as one’s own path in life. This change can only come from “trust,” and the acts done in that direction then renew that trust as faith. When David sang, “he shall make it so,” the “he” is one’s soul in a body of flesh married to Yahweh; so, to walk His path becomes easy to do, with His help.

Verse six then sings literally, “and he shall appear as the light to your righteousness ; and your judgment , as the noonday .” This says the divine insight one knows becomes the illumination of knowledge that lets one’s soul know what to do. This is where realizing Jesus is the light of truth, which means his soul has been raised within one, so his presence shines the light of righteousness that lights one’s way in life. This path of righteousness leads to the judgment of eternal peace for the soul. The mention of “noonday” is when the light is always brightest and night is far away. Here, night reflects sleep and death; so, the noonday sun reflects eternal life always.

Verse seven then sings literally, “to be silent Yahweh and writhe for him not do burn with anger because of him who prospers in his journey ; because of the man who brings on wicked schemes .” Here, the focus is on the presence of Yahweh bringing about such a sense of peace that the conditions that would make others cry out in pain are held silent, without any sense of anger over what goes on in the world involving souls not married to Yahweh. This becomes like the three Jews in Babylon who were thrown in the furnace by Nebuchadnezzar, each of whom came out unscathed. All of the lures, traps, and temptations set by souls married to Satan have no effect on a wife of Yahweh.

Verse eight can then be read as saying, “relax face and leave rage ; not do become angry , surely it brings evil .” In the first segment of words, the Hebrew word “aph,” transliterated as “mê·’ap̄,” can mean “nostril, nose, face, anger.” When one conjures up the imagery of a bull, with its nostrils flaring and its brow furrowed in rage, it is because someone is waving a red flag before its face. The symbolism of a raging bull becomes the sport of evil. The red flag is that designed to get a bull to charge; and, souls without Yahweh’s peace within are just as easily motivated by the acts of others, purposefully intending such a result. When one shows the restraint of a beast of burden, not a civilized human being, then the slightest thing going wrong can lead one to its own demise, no matter how strong one thinks one is.

Verse nine then sings, “for evildoers shall be cut down ; but those who look to Yahweh they shall be possessions of earth .” Here, David wrote a word that is different from the scythe’s cut of grass in verse two, while still meaning “to cut down” [“karath,” transliterated as “yik·kā·rê·ṯūn”]. The difference says this is not a physical slicing of wheat or weeds, but instead the judgment that will come from death, which will "cut down" life. Again, when verse three sang of Yahweh “dwelling in the land” that speaks metaphorically of one’s flesh. Here, David repeats this element of “dwelling,” now singing that Yahweh will “take possession of the land,” where this is the “inheritance” of God’s chosen people. The true Promised Land is heaven … the 'land' of good souls.

Verse ten then sings, “continuing a little for lack of the criminal ; and indeed you will discern towards his standing place having no possession .” Here, David is offering encouragement to those souls who will seek marriage to Yahweh. The “continuing a little for lack of the criminal” means self-administered discipline to obey the Covenant of Yahweh. By willfully not breaking any laws, through one’s own self-restraints, that effort will only last a short period of time, before the Advocate is sent to assist a soul in Law maintenance. The presence of Jesus (the Advocate) means the Law will have been written in one’s heart [with a heart meaning a soul]. Then, as one goes along the road of righteousness, discernment of Scripture will make adherence to the Law more easily understood. One begins to take a stand for Yahweh; so, there will no longer be any other spirits that can claim your flesh and soul. Not even one's soul claims possession of its flesh, because it has totally submitted itself to Yahweh.

And the humble will become Saints that will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Verse eleven then sings literally: “but the meek shall inherit the earth ; and shall take exquisite delight in an abundance of peace .” In this famous Biblical quote, the Hebrew word translating as “the meek” is “anav,” which equally says, “poor, humble, and afflicted.” Because the second half of this verse says the same “exquisite delight” that was stated in verse four, where that is a result of a soul’s marriage to Yahweh, the use of “meek” should be read as “humble.” It is a soul in submission to Yahweh, whose self-importance has been totally humbled. Again, rather than an inheritance of land on the earth, the meaning is a soul has been “taken in possession” by Yahweh’s Spirit, His presence then within one’s flesh [“the earth”]. This brings about an “abundance of peace,” where “shalom” also means “completeness.” This becomes an affirming statement of divine marriage.

The reading selection then jumps forward to the end of the psalm, with the last two verses sung. Verse thirty-nine then can be seen to say: “but deliverance of the righteous Yahweh ; their protection , in times of distress .” This sings of the ways of the righteous being led by Yahweh. The trust put in Him is rewarded. Their souls have a guardian that protects them from breaking the Covenant and sinning. In times of distress, His presence allays the pressures, like an angel lifting the brunt of the burden from one’s shoulders.

Verse forty then sings, “and shall support them Yahweh to escape them and slip away them from the criminal and deliver them ; when they seek refuge in him .” This is David singing more about the protection provided by Yahweh’s presence, as it holds one up, lets them escape persecutors (as Jesus did frequently) and avoid confrontations that make sinners break the Law even more. Yahweh becomes the safe haven for all souls married to His Spirit.

As the song of praise to be sung loudly on the seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, the focus is placed on how one loves an enemy – the focus of this Sunday’s Gospel selection from Luke. One has to show Yahweh how one sincerely one wants His presence, which should have brought forth the resurrection of His Son in His wife-souls. When Jesus’ soul is within one’s soul, it is able to do all of the feats David sang of. This, during the time of after the Epiphany, is when one tests one’s faith, rather than shying away from being Jesus reborn. One needs to enter ministry letting Jesus lead the way. Everything will be just fine then.

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