Updated: Jun 15
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8 I will listen to what ha-el Yahweh is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yahweh will indeed grant prosperity, *
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him, *
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.
This is the companion Track 2 song for the reading from Amos, where Yahweh showed him a wall and a plumb line. If chosen, it will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the seventh Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 10], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. These two will precede an Epistle reading from Ephesians, where Paul wrote, “when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, [you] were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where we learn a mother coached her daughter to say: “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
Verse eight begins this reading selection. In this is written “hā·’êl Yah-weh,” which the NRSV has translated as “God the Lord.” I have restored what was written above, but still this does not show the presence of a vertical bar in between the two words, which may or may not be a direction to the musicians accompanying this song of restoration.
To better understand this, it becomes important to realize Psalm 85 is stated in verse one to be “to the enduring sons of Korah,” where Korah was one who challenged Moses and Aaron as a Levite wanting more responsibilities in the Tabernacle, more than cleaning up after sacrifices [and such]. God opened up the earth and had Korah swallowed, while all his supporters among the Israelites were destroyed by fire. The “sons of Korah” [a.k.a. “Korahites”] (I believe) were the priests who became the watchers of the Ark of the Covenant, when it was placed in the City of Honeycombs at Baale-judah [or Kirjath-Jearim]. When the descendants of Korah are seen as servants of Yahweh sent underground, then they become “elohim.” Thus, David was singing a song that said he would listen to a “god” that had been divinely inspired to speak for Yahweh, as that would amount to “hā·’êl Yah-weh.”
Verse eight literally translates to sing, “I will hear , what will speak hā·’êl Yahweh for he will speak soundness , for his people and to his pious , not let them turn back to stupidity .” The first word form ["I will hear"] says a soul married to Yahweh will listen for instructions. By “hearing,” one is not telling anything first. After “hearing,” then one’s flesh “will speak” as an extension of Yahweh that acts as “a god,” which can only happen after one’s soul [an eternal spirit] has been merged with the Spirit of Yahweh. That establishes a marriage of commitment by both parties. By “speaking as a god of Yahweh,” that says what He “will speak” one then passes on, becoming a prophet. Thus, this Psalm selection is paired with the marriage of Amos’ soul with Yahweh, when he did likewise. What is “spoken” is “soundness,” such that everything spoken relates to the divine texts, where a prophet is necessary both to write them and to bring them “completeness” and “soundness” by explaining them.
When David sang out that this prophecy will be “for his people,” this refers to all who call themselves the children of God. In David’s time, those people were called Israelites. In Jesus’ time, those people were called Jews. In our times, those people are called Christians. At all times, those people are the ones who seek knowledge that leads to understanding; therefore, they are the people who makes pleas for redemption and receive a divine proposal for marriage with acceptance. By oneself [a “self” equals a “soul”] being married to Yahweh’s Spirit, then one is truly one of “his people,” as a “saint” or one whose soul has been cleaned of all past sins, forevermore to be “pious.” That is a merger that is forever, which means once married there will be no divorce or turning back to the ways of sin.
Verse nine then literally sings, “surely related to those who fear [losing] his salvation ; that may dwell glory in our land .” This first addresses a “fear” of God, where rejecting His marriage proposal means accepting the full responsibility of one’s sins at judgment. Only those souls who fear losing Yahweh in their lives, by their own actions that turn away from His presence, will choose to sacrifice self-ego while living in the flesh. That sacrifice in the present will bring the promise of salvation to be known later.
The second half of this verse is much less focused on Yahweh “dwelling in the land,” as the only way this factors into this verse is through those souls who have married Yahweh going to others in Israel and ensuring they too marry Yahweh, as a protection of “His people” there. The real meaning of “land” or “earth” is the flesh of one’s body that surrounds one’s soul. Yahweh’s Spirit will “dwell” where His wives [males and females] “dwell.” In those will be found the ”glory” of His presence.
Verse ten then literally sings, “goodness and truth have met together ; righteousness and completeness have kissed .” In this, two sets of pairs are united, with the second set saying “have kissed.” That act of "kissing" certainly reflects as a common act of love. This verse is then singing about the union of a soul with Yahweh’s Spirit. The sins of the past are forgiven as the dowry paid by the wife [males and females], meaning “goodness" replaces wickedness and "righteousness" replaces waywardness. In return, the union with God means “truth” becomes an essence of one’s new being, as well as a calmness or “peace” that knows “completeness” and “soundness.”
Verse eleven then sings literally, “truth out of the earth shall spring ; and righteousness , from heaven shall grow .” Here, again, the use of “eretz” or “earth, land” must be read as “truth springing out of one’s flesh.” That “spring” becomes the free-flow of “truth” that comes from Yahweh. It is the never-ending flow of living waters that makes one's being act righteously, as a well offering eternal life that always quinches any hint of thirst. This is the ministerial nature of divine marriage, as each soul becomes a prophet who spreads the meaning of Scripture to others who are seeking the “truth.”
This “spring” also becomes a sign of the “living waters” that eternally have been opened to lead one’s life; and, that becomes a new way of living, which only walks a righteous path. All paths will be divinely led, coming from “heaven” as the influence of the Spirit, so one’s ministry in service to Yahweh “will grow,” never decreasing. This also means the Spirit will wholly encompass one’s being; so, the way one views the world will be from above, “looking down” on all influences of sin.
Verse twelve then sings literally, “moreover Yahweh will give good ; and our land will yield its increase .” Once more, the use of “land” or “earth” has little to do with reaping the bounties of crops and herding. The material world of a soul is its flesh. This means, again, the body will be given a “pleasure” from the presence of Yahweh’s Spirit within one’s soul, so all troubles will be able to be dealt with positively. This is a gift of marriage; so, one who rejects Yahweh in marriage, but then reaps bountiful harvests, those benefits must not be seen as a gift of God. It is not the One God who gives material rewards, but a lesser god of the world who brings gains and profits to humans as lures to sin. To be given “good” means one will be removed from evil. Thus, that becomes a state of being that is more profitable than all the world can bring.
Verse thirteen then literally sings, “righteousness before him will go ; and shall make pathway his footsteps .” This verse sings of one walking a path of “righteousness,” which cannot be done alone. One’s soul cannot will oneself to walk a sin-free life, as a soul cannot defeat a god, which Satan most assuredly is. One can only defeat Satan by being married to Yahweh, becoming His possession through His Spirit. When that marriage has taken place, then all steps one takes will be those of a wife who follows the Will of her Husband [males and females following Yahweh].
As an accompanying Psalm to the Amos reading possibility, it should be seen that this reflects the marriage between Yahweh and the prophet Amos, while also reflecting the message he took to the false prophet Amaziah, to give to Jeroboam. Neither of them accepted the marriage proposal made necessary by David’s actions years before; therefore neither were leading the Israelites towards that spiritual end. If this set is chosen for reading on the seventh Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s personal ministry to Yahweh should be underway, it speaks of the growth one can expect to come from holy matrimony with Yahweh. This says the only “land” or “earth” anyone should be focused on is that which confines one’s soul. All else is a trick of illusion. To see the truth, one must hear the voice of Yahweh and speak those words to others.