Psalm 48 - Becoming a citadel to Yahweh

Updated: Jun 5

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1 Great is Yahweh, and highly to be praised; *

in the city elohenu is his holy hill.

2 Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, *

the very center of the world and the city of the great King.

3 elohim is in her citadels; *

he is known to be her sure refuge.

4 Behold, the kings of the earth assembled *

and marched forward together.

5 They looked and were astounded; *

they retreated and fled in terror.

6 Trembling seized them there; *

they writhed like a woman in childbirth,

like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.

7 As we have heard, so have we seen,

in the city of Yahweh of hosts, in the city elohenu; *

elohim has established her forever.

8 We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, elohim, *

in the midst of your temple.

9 Your praise, like your Name, elohim, reaches to the world's end; *

your right hand is full of justice.

10 Let Mount Zion be glad

and the cities of Judah rejoice, *

because of your judgments.

11 Make the circuit of Zion;

walk round about her; *

count the number of her towers.

12 Consider well her bulwarks;

examine her strongholds; *

that you may tell those who come after.

13 This elohim is elohenu for ever and ever; *

he shall be our guide for evermore.


This is the accompanying Psalm for the Track 1 Old Testament possibility from 2 Samuel 5, which says, “David occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of David.” If selected, it will be the “Response” read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the sixth Sunday after Pentecost {proper 9], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. The will precede a reading from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, where he said another and himself were “caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where Jesus “called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.”

I have amended the language above so it correctly states “Yahweh,” rather than the generic insult stated as “Lord.” More importantly, this song of praise accompanies a reading that tells of David taking Zion as his stronghold. He took Jerusalem from the Jebusites, who were not truly human beings. They were elohim, like David, due to their souls having been forever committed to serving Yahweh. David wrote about them in the Psalm, which is not readily seen because translators fail to translate what is truly written as what is truly written. I will explain these uses verse by verse.

In addition to liberties taken by translators, such as the New Revised Standard Version [NRSV], the Episcopal Church has waved its magic wand over this song and changed it from the fourteen verses it is, into one shown as thirteen verses. The NRSV agrees that this is fourteen verses, so the Church has condemned itself before Yahweh for promoting itself as a god that can mislead the flocks. I will explain each verse as is written, leaving the Episcopal Church to explain why it went against divine text as a false shepherd.

This song is identified by David as being written and composed as one “of the sons of Korah,” which needs to be understood. The Israelite Korah led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness [story told in Numbers]. As punishment, Yahweh caused the earth to open up, swallow Korah and then close up. Korah can then be seen as having gone underground. Samuel, a great prophet, was from the line of Korah – a name meaning “Baldness” [Abarim Publications] – and “the Korahites became doorkeepers and custodians for the tabernacle.” After David became king, the Korahites assisted him in battles. [Reference] Still, it must be understood that all of this history stems from the one man who led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron and who was swallowed up within the earth. The sons of Korah can then be understood to be Jebusite allies who assisted David’s reign, with eleven Psalms written and composed that are announced as being relative to them.

With this understood, verse one then sings, “Great is Yahweh, and highly to be praised; in the city elohenu is his holy hill.” This gives immediate praise to the greatness of Yahweh [not some generic “Lord”] as ALL elohim are His creations and from them were created the material universe, according to Yahweh’s plan. Mankind is then a breath of life in a body of flesh, which can be possessed by elohim.

When Korah rebelled, he was a custodian of the Tabernacle as a Levite under Aaron, but he also wanted to be a high priest as was Aaron. His followers among the Israelites were destroyed by fire and plague, to remove dissent from the midst of the whole. As punishment, Korah was forced by Yahweh to forever guard the city named Jerusalem, which was on and within Mount Zion [and beyond]. Yahweh made his descendants [his sons] be the protectors of the land given by Yahweh to those whose souls would be His wives. Thus, David moved from Hebron to Jerusalem, as a way of Yahweh releasing the Jebusites of that responsibility.

Verse two is then translated by the NRSV to state: “Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, the very center of the world and the city of the great King.” In reality, the verse begins with the Hebrew words “yə·p̄êh nō·wp̄,” which actually say “appropriate elevation” or “fair [fitting] height.” When this then leads directly to naming “Mount Zion” [“har- ṣî·yō·wn”], this must be seen as a statement about the lowest of the seven hills in the Jerusalem area. That “height” is easily surmounted by all foes, thus a beautiful site for an invader's eyes to see. To say that mount is “the joy of all the earth” misses the point that underneath that “hill” is the gate to Eden, which is truly “the joy of all the earth.”

This is a good representation of how everywhere other than Mount Zion was strategically superior.

The addition of “the very center of the world” is a mutation of that written, which literally says “the sides north” [“yar·kə·ṯê ṣā·p̄ō·wn”]. As far as Biblical symbolism is concerned, the meaning of "north" is this: “the north—represented by the left hand—is also a symbol of disaster. The enemy of God’s people came from the north (Jer. 1:14, 15; Eze. 38:6), bringing destruction. In a sense, the enemy was the false king of the north who tried to usurp God’s role and is finally destroyed by the Lord (Zeph. 2:12; Dan. 11:21-45).” [Reference] The inference as at “the center of the world” says insight makes this within the earth, not on the surface. However, the truth of “the sides north” says it was a place watched by those who were the enemy of the people, those who were not truly Israel reborn [a name meaning “He Retains God”].

To further grasp this darker meaning as the intent, when David then added “city of the king of many,” that “king” [“me·leḵ”] was Melchizedek. Melchizedek had become a son of Korah [a son of Hebron], who ruled Salem [or Jebus or Jerusalem] by the will of Yahweh. Melchizedek never died, he ascended, so he could always come back whenever needed.

Verse three then says, “elohim is in her citadels; he is known to be her sure refuge.” Here, the use of “elohim” must be seen as intended to define the “sons of Korah,” who were divinely married souls that were possessed by Yahweh, in the same way as was David. The “elohim” are the equivalent of demi-gods, in the sense that they have divine powers afforded them, through their complete subservience to Yahweh. This means “her citadels” are the strongholds underground, such that “her sure refuge” was not some low hilltop, but the depths of tunnels underground.

Verse four then sings, “Behold, the kings of the earth assembled and marched forward together.” This verse is better translated as: “when found the royals appointed they passed through together.” The true meaning of “the royals” or “the kings,” seeing how David wrote this as only the third King of Israel in their history, with Saul and Ish-bosheth being the two prior losers, the intent is to point out the judges who routinely saved the Israelites. Those judges [including Samuel] were “together with” the “elohim” sent by Yahweh to lead the people back to serving Him. That history is what David said to “Behold!”

Verse five then sings, “They looked and were astounded; they retreated and fled in terror.” The translation of “they” must be seen as double-edged, where the acts of the judges did amaze those they defeated, but likewise the people of Israel. The words of the second half of this verse say “they were troubled and they hastened away.” Here, “they” is more in line with the people of Israel being “terrorized” with how their waywardness was about to ruin all their souls. So, while the enemies also were filled with terror and fled, the Israelites turned away from their sins and gave praises to Yahweh again.

At this point the Episcopal Church has changed this song, so their translations will be tossed aside, so my literal translations can be presented. Feel free to compare this breakdown to the above presentation to see where they have become false shepherds.

Verse six then literally sings, “trembling took possession of them there , writhing as a woman in birth pangs.” Here, this must be seen as the transformation of the Israelite people, who had been led by judges “together with elohim,” where the souls of the judges had likewise been “taken possession” by Yahweh’s Spirit. This divine possession makes their demon spirits within writhe in pains as they are cast out, no longer having control over human flesh. Thus, the comparison to a woman in labor pains says the Israelites were being reborn as truly Yahweh’s people, divine “elohim.” Rather than giving birth to a baby, they were casting out demon spirits and themselves being reborn as clean souls.

The true verse seven then sings, “with a spirit east , you break to pieces the ships of Tarshish.” Here, one finds David balancing “the sides north” with “a spirit east” [“bə·rū·aḥ qā·ḏîm”], where “east” becomes a reference to Eden. [Reference] This then has the intent of saying that the divine “elohim” that possessed the judges and thereby transferred to the souls of the wayward Israelite people, the “tree of life” [guarded by the Cherubim who descended into Jebusites] made all who were so possessed empowered to defeat the influences of sin. Those influences are then said to be like “the ships of Tarshish,” where the name "Tarshish" means “Breaking, Subjection.” The root word means “to break down and shatter,” which would be the influences to break down one’s commitment to Yahweh and shatter the Covenant. Because Tarshish was known as a seaport with many ships in its fleet, so it could have a far-reaching effect of foreign shores, the metaphor used by David says the Spirit of Yahweh shattered and broke to pieces all such foreign influences that always led to sin.

Verse eight then adds, “who we have heard , thus we have seen the city of Yahweh’s army in the city of [His] elohenu ; gods will set firm there forever . Selah”. In this, twice is written “bə·‘îr,” the first time joined with Yahweh, as “in the city of Yahweh” and again as a separate word leading to “elohenu,” which are “His gods” as divinely possessed earthly beings. The meaning of “in the city of Yahweh” must be understood as “Eden,” such that the word translated as “city” actually means “excitement.” This says a “city” is a place of “excitement,” where the “excitement” of “Yahweh’s place on earth” is the place where “elohenu” praise Yahweh constantly – a heavenly place. Such a place on earth is Eden. Eden has been guarded by Cherubim ever since Adam and Eve [and serpent] were cast out. Those guards have “been set firm” to ensure the path to the tree of life is forbidden to sinners. With that “city of Yahweh” being seen as Jebus or Jerusalem, the “army” or “host” of Yahweh are the Jebusites.

At the end of this one verse [one of fourteen] is found the word “Selah.” This word is not fully grasped by Biblical scholars. Many believe it is a note to the musicians to recognize, in their accompaniment to this song. However, the word in Hebrew means “to exalt, to lift up” and that meaning the “heavenly host” – the “elohenu of Eden” – are constantly singing praises that exalt Yahweh, while Yahweh “lifts up” their souls as heavenly beings.

Verse nine then sings, “we have become like gods from your lovingkindness , in the midst of your temple.” In this, the Hebrew word “dim·mî·nū” is written, where the root word is “damah,” meaning “to look like, resemble.” This has erroneously been translated as saying “wait silently.” The meaning must be seen as like that stated in Genesis 1, where the “elohim” made mankind [males and females] in their likeness. Now, the souls of David and the Jebusites “have become resembling gods,” as having been souls reborn as the “elohim” by Yahweh’s divine Spirit possessing them. Thus, “in the midst” becomes the same as the tree “in the midst” of the garden [or enclosure], where a soul is “in the midst” of one’s body of flesh. When Yahweh’s Spirit possesses that flesh, joined in marriage with a soul, the flesh becomes a “temple.” Thus, the “kindness” and “goodness” is extended to the plane of the earth through the hands of Yahweh that are His “elohim.”

Verse ten then sings, “from your name elohim , thus your praise to the boundaries of the material plane , righteousness , it is fully placed into your right hands [by you].” In this David clearly wrote “in the name of gods,” which is no different than the association of Jesus and all his Apostles as “being in the name” that is holy. What David made clear is only elohim are in the “name” of Yahweh [not some lesser generic “lord”]. Bein a divine “elohim” means being a Saint. Jesus and David were both “elohim,” as both were divinely possessed by Yahweh, through having [a word meaning possession] His Holy Spirit poured into their souls, as Anointed by Yahweh. Thus, all who are the “elohim” on the material plane will forever “praise” Yahweh by speaking what He tells them to say. They will only live “righteously.” They will all become His “right hands” as His servants [souls having become His wives in marriage].

Verse eleven then sings, “let rejoice ׀ Mount Zion , let rejoice the daughters of Judah , the purpose , of your judgments.” Here, the element of “rejoicing” or “being glad” is repeated, once alone and once joined with “the daughters of Judah.” The stand alone rejoicing is the presence of Yahweh as a potential Husband, whose offer of marriage goes out to all souls, seeking all to become His “right hands” in marriage [soul to Spirit]. That proposal is worthy of celebration. Mount Zion is separately stated as that is the altar where a divine marriage takes place metaphorically. David placed the Tabernacle, with the Ark of the Covenant and altar, on Mount Zion, atop steps that ascended from below. Physically, “Mount Zion” is the mound of earth covering the gate to Eden and the tree of life. Marriage allows one’s soul to find that path to eternal life. Thus, the celebration of eternal life must be shouted by all the “daughters of Judah,” as Judah is where Mount Zion is located. The “daughters” means the bodies of flesh [males and females] whose souls will be married to Yahweh’s Spirit, with Him the Husband. The “purpose” of marriage is to gain eternal life, for all made of flesh will find death leading a soul’s release to judgment. Wives of Yahweh will rejoice for their souls will have been forever saved.

Verse twelve then sings, “turn about Zion , and surround her , and count her towers.” This is a statement about the move of David from Hebron to Jerusalem, where the control of that citadel had “turned about” and changed hands. The walls of Zion became the City of David, which became the outer shell of that temple. The “towers” were metaphor for all who had taken that place and flown the flags of human rulers over that spot. David was the first and the Jebusites flew no flag and took no pride in a fortress built on the lowest hill in that area.

Verse thirteen then sings, “set well her soul defenses , go through her citadel , purpose you may recount generations following.” This is a clear call for all the Israelites to become like Jerusalem and marry their souls to Yahweh, bringing about His “bulwark” of strength protecting them from being overtaken by invading sins. Each Israelite was asked to become a model of that sanctuary of strength. The reason was for the continued success of Israel - as individuals, a people, and a nation - was so that all would realize the necessity of being seen as “He Retains God” [the meaning of "Israel"]. The call by David was for future generations beyond that one under David to follow suit, forevermore.

Verse fourteen then sings, “for this gods our gods forever and ever , he will be our guide to death.” Here, the words “elohim elohenu” must be read as “gods our gods,” so it becomes a statement of the continuation of “elohim” in the name of Yahweh. The future “gods” in His name will then be due to the “gods” of David and the Jebusites and the following Israelites, so one set of divine “gods” produce regenerating souls married to Yahweh, possessed by His Spirit. This was David’s prayer in song, as all souls born into bodies of flesh will find death eventually. Only those who would be guided to salvation as an “elohim’ will not be condemned to repeat life and death, through reincarnation.

This reading certainly fits the theme established in every other reading choice for the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. It explains why David moved to Jerusalem and took control of the citadel of the “elohenu” who were the Jebusites. As a song of praise during a time when all true Christians should be in ministry for Yahweh [not some unspecified “Lord”], this sings praises about oneself becoming a fortress of God, as one of His “elohim.” The only way to lead another soul to salvation is to know firsthand the experience of Yahweh’s presence within, when one is “in the name of Jesus Christ.” One must have lived the truth of Yahweh in order to preach the truth for others to hear.