Psalm 89:20-37 - A song about David to remember
Updated: Jul 14, 2021
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20 I have found David my servant; *
with my holy oil have I anointed him.
21 My hand will hold him fast *
and my arm will make him strong.
22 No enemy shall deceive him, *
nor any wicked man bring him down.
23 I will crush his foes before him *
and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, *
and he shall be victorious through my Name.
25 I shall make his dominion extend *
from the Great Sea to the River.
26 He will say to me, 'You are my Father, *
my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
27 I will make him my firstborn *
and higher than the kings of the earth.
28 I will keep my love for him forever, *
and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his line for ever *
and his throne as the days of heaven."
30 "If his children forsake my law *
and do not walk according to my judgments;
31 If they break my statutes *
and do not keep my commandments;
32 I will punish their transgressions with a rod *
and their iniquities with the lash;
33 But I will not take my love from him, *
nor let my faithfulness prove false.
34 I will not break my covenant, *
nor change what has gone out of my lips.
35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness: *
'I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall endure forever *
and his throne as the sun before me;
37 It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon, *
the abiding witness in the sky.' "
This is the accompanying Psalm to the Track 1 Old Testament reading from Second Samuel, which tells of David telling Nathan he wants to build a house for the Ark to be placed inside. If chosen, this pair of readings will precede the Epistle selection from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he wrote: “In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” All will be presented along with the Gospel reading from Mark, when Jesus told his apostles, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”
This not a song written by David, but by Ethan the Ezrahite. This whole song is called “a contemplation of Ethan the Ezrahite.” Ethan is said to be a cymbal player in David’s court. Because faith believes all Holy Scripture is of divine origin, every reference to “I” must be seen as Ethan being moved by the Spirit of Yahweh to write this song. Therefore, a “contemplation,” from the Hebrew “maś·kîl,” should be seen as a statement both of a “skillful and artistic song” and “a didactic and instructive song.” In it, there are fifty-two verses; but only seventeen are presented here.
Verse twenty says, “I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.” This speaks of Yahweh choosing David as the Israelite who would replace Saul as king. Yahweh knew Saul (the choice of the elders) would fail, so He also knew David would be the choice. Samuel was the one who “found David,” where the Hebrew can also mean “attain,” meaning David was the one Israelite soul who was most able to “attain” the successes Yahweh planned for the Israelite people. To reach those heights, David had to be a servant of Yahweh, which Saul most certainly was not. The word that is translated as “holy” can also mean “sacred,” and the word translating as “oil” come before “sacred.” That means it was not the “oil” poured on David by Samuel that made him “sacred.” David’s soul was made “holy” after Samuel anointed him with “oil,” which was when Yahweh poured out His Spirit upon David. That “anointment” made David a “Messiah” or [in Greek] a Christ.
Verse twenty-one then sings, “My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.” This translation makes it appear that Yahweh was external to David, as a holy hand reaching down from heaven, with a holy arm giving him strength. In reality, the literal Hebrew translation begins with “who” [“’ă·šer”], which is totally focused on David. That is then “who” is “my hand” that “shall be firm with” or “who shall be established with.” In that use of “my hand,” it is David “who” is a “hand” of Yahweh, which says Yahweh was within his soul, “firmly” guiding his body of flesh. When the Hebrew of the second half says “also my arm,” this says the “hand of Yahweh” will “also” be how Yahweh will extend outward into the Israelite people. As their king, David “shall be strengthened” divinely, as that “arm” of their One God.
Verse twenty-two then sings of this divine presence in David, singing “The enemy shall not outwit him, the wicked shall not humble him.” Because of the history told in the Old Testament of the “enemies” of the Israelites, as those who fought against their presence into the Promised Land [they knew nothing of any promise], that human level of existence is ”not” what this verse sings about. Because of the divine possession of Yahweh, absent from his soul [“not” as “lo-”] was Satan. It is Satan, who as the serpent was the craftiest of the animals in Eden, who is the true “enemy” that the presence of the Yahweh Mind knows all beforehand, so David could not be tricked by Satan’s influences. It was then the “sons of wickedness” [“ū·ḇen-‘aw·lāh”] who were those people who made war against the Israelites, as their souls had become demonically possessed and led to sin. None of their sinful ways could penetrate the armor of Yahweh that David’s soul always wore.
Verse twenty-three then sings, “I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.” Here is the first person singular returning, as “I will beat down” those “enemies” of Israel. What is missing in this NRSV translation is “before him” actually says “before his face” [“mip·pā·nāw”], where the root word is “paneh” meaning “face.” This says David’s self-ego will have been lowered, in submission to Yahweh, so David did not wear the “face” of self [as Saul had worn], giving all honor and glory to the successes of Israel to Yahweh. David followed the First Commandment in this verse, which sings he had no other gods before the face of Yahweh [which for most is their own face seen as a god]. Therefore, when David went into battle, it was always as the “hand” and “arm” of Yahweh, which “crushed” and “struck down” all who challenged David’s marriage to the true One God. Those who “hated” David and were David’s “foes” were those against Yahweh, who always lose in battle.
Verse twenty-four then sings, “My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my Name.” The key word to this verse is “ū·ḇiš·mî,” which translates as “in my name” [where “shem” means “name”]. One must understand that “in my name” is something said by a Husband to His wife, as the wife is then the property of the Husband and “in his name.” This is seen in the livestock industry as branding, where the owner’s symbol is burned into the hides of animals they possess. Instead of a physical brans making it known that David was the wife of Yahweh, it was “my faithfulness” and “my kindness” [“we·’e·mū·nā·ṯî wə·ḥas·dî”] that marked David [as “with him,” from “‘im·mōw”]. The element of being “victorious” is actually stated as “qar·nōw,” which means the “horn” David would blare [a ram’s horn or shofar] to announce all victories were Yahweh’s. The symbolism of the “horn” that was “exalted” says David was the lead sheep of a flock, who all bore the mark of Yahweh.
Verse twenty-five then sings, “I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.” This is a poor translation, as it forces one to ask, “What river?” The nation of Israel extended beyond the Jordan, but not as far east as the next major river, so is this verse wrong? The answer comes from seeing the literal translation and realizing the metaphor of “sea” and “rivers.”
The literal translation [BibleHub Interlinear] says, “and I will set over the sea his hand ; and over the rivers his right hand .” This speaks of the “sea” of souls who would be married to Yahweh through the “hand” of David. Because David’s “hand” had been taken in divine marriage, so too would a “sea” of Israelite souls become married as extensions of that one “hand.” As such, all Israel would be considered a “sea” of souls married to Yahweh. It would then be the actions of David that became outward flows of spirituality from Yahweh to the Israelites, which are now metaphorically called “rivers” that moved the Israelites to become the “right hands” of Yahweh. In all cases where a “hand” is referred to specifically as a “right hand,” the inference is not a left hand, which is that marriage of souls to Satan, as the hands of wickedness.
Verse twenty-six then sings, “He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’” This accurate translation makes it clear that David was a Son of God, just as was Jesus, as any soul that has married Yahweh will be reborn as his feminine flesh will have been transformed by the presence of Yahweh’s positive Spirit, making David an “elohim.” For Christians, such an elohim is a Saint, whose soul has submitted its control over a body of flesh to Yahweh, wherein is resurrected the Son, whose soul is that of Jesus. To be able to truthfully call Yahweh “Father,” one’s soul has to have married Him, been anointed by His Spirit [made a Messiah or Christ] and be reborn as His Son. The name “Jesus” means “Yahweh Saves,” so David was reborn as “Jesus,” thus he cried out Yahweh was his “rock of salvation.” When one calls Jesus the “cornerstone” that the builders rejected, that “rock” was then said to be the “rock” upon which the soul of David was built.
Verse twenty-seven then sings, “I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.” In this, it is important to see how David being denoted as “the firstborn” [from “bə·ḵō·wr”] that designation says the soul of David gained the right of eternal salvation, the inheritance of submission in marriage to Yahweh AND having been reborn as His Son. This then says the soul of David had been lowered in submission to the soul of Adam entering and merging with his soul-flesh, such that David had the right of eternal life through becoming Adam reborn. This is important to grasp, as Jesus referred to himself as the “Son of man,” where the Greek word for “man” equates to the Hebrew word, which is “adam.” This says Jesus was the reincarnation of Adam’s soul, making him a “firstborn” at conception in Mary’s womb. As Christians realize Jesus to be the King of the “highest” caliber, his kingdom is always the flesh he is resurrected within, alongside but ruler of a host soul that has married Yahweh. Therefore, “kings of the earth” can be seen as “rulers of the flesh,” as no soul or lesser god ruling flesh will ever reach the height of Yahweh’s Son reborn in the flesh.
Verse twenty-eight then sings, “Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him, and my covenant with him will stand firm.” In this, the word “forever” [“lə·‘ō·w·lām”] becomes a statement of eternal union. The word means a “continuing existence,” where “love” is a repeat of the “kindness, goodness” seen earlier, in verse 24. Still, the aspect of “love” [which is beyond the sensations called “love” in the physical flesh] is the foundation upon which marriage comes. Thus, “my covenant” [“ū·ḇə·rî·ṯî”] becomes the marriage vows, of which the first states to lower one’s face and wear the face of Yahweh. By having this agreement “standing firm” [“ne·’ĕ·me·ne”], this says the laws of marriage will have been written on the walls of one’s heart [the ‘love center’]. Still, the meaning of “heart” is the “soul,” which is the only marriage of significance [no nunneries or monasteries necessary, nor monuments on courthouse property].
Verse twenty-nine then sings, “I will establish his line forever and his throne as the days of heaven." This is another weak translation, as it makes one think all the Israelites who became Jews [after centuries of failing to marry Yahweh] are “forever established as a holy line of human beings.” This is not what is sung; therefore it is a wrong impression to take away. The literal translation expands this to all souls who do marry Yahweh, and that becomes a spiritual lineage that includes all true Christians and Jews who became Apostles and Saints.
The BibleHub Interlinear translation shows: “and I will set forever his seed ; and his seat of honor as the days of heaven .” In that, the use of “forever” is again the promise of eternal life, which equates to the “salvation” cried out about in verse 26. Again, Yahweh’s salvation is stated in the name “Jesus.” This then promises all who are the “seed” [those “sown” or the “offspring”] will be souls, not temporal bodies of flesh [which cannot live “forever”]. This becomes a vine of eternal life, from which souls are married to Yahweh, all becoming His Son, such that a lineage is created by souls who are all related as brothers [Spirit is only masculine] that are all Anointed ones by Yahweh. This then says the “seat of honor” [or “throne”] is only allowed to those souls who marry Yahweh and become “enlightened” by the eternal presence of “day,” which is only possible in the spiritual realm of a soul [“heaven”], not a body of flesh in a rotating world that repeats night and day.
Verse thirty then sings, “If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my ordinances,” which begins a four-verse series of stipulations and conditions for the aforementioned lineage of David. This sets up the scenario that would befall Israel, including David, where Yahweh is set as an external deity and no longer married spiritually. When a rejection of “law” [from “tō·w·rā·ṯî”] is seen to mean one’s soul is no longer “directed, instructed, or taught” by the Spirit, so one’s soul always maintains the conditions of the marriage agreement, then one separates from that union of bond. This verse then sets up the foundation of spiritual divorce, where sin has crept into one’s fleshy brain and influenced one to stop eating only from the tree of life [eternal salvation] and take a bite of the apple from the tree of know sin in the world, after knowing the law only allows good.
The continuation of this development is then sung in verse thirty-one as: “if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments,” where the conditional of “if” is repeated. The foremost example of this “violation of statutes” was when David became tired and did not lead the troops out in the spring. He knew lust in his soul.
As king, he had the right to command anything and anyone to follow his orders, which was an automatic compliance by those expecting David to only speak the Word of Yahweh. Instead, David knew he was breaking the laws and he hid his adultery. He had a love child and he tried to make Uriah lay with his wife, Bathsheba, so she could lie and tell him her baby with David was his. When Uriah was led by Yahweh to not follow the ruse of Satan, that forced David to have Uriah killed in battle, which meant he condoned murder. All of these acts became one sin compounding another, because the soul of David had separated from Yahweh and raised the ugly face of self-will against the face of God. The seduction that befell Saul would befall David, as he violated known statutes and cheated on his marriage vows with Yahweh.
The continuation of this possibility of waywardness, from breaking one’s promise in marriage to Yahweh, verse thirty-two sings, “then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with scourges;” where this verse says waywardness will not be tolerated. The use of “rod” here [from “ḇə·šê·ḇeṭ,” root “shebet”] should not be taken as an act of utter destruction. While a “rod” would shatter a potter’s vase into shards, the “rod” was also a stick used by a shepherd to force sheep who acted waywardly into the fold. Thus, in Psalm 23 we read how David sang there was comfort in knowing the shepherd used the “rod” as a tool of caring. It becomes the root of the proverb, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” As such, no breaking of the laws of a soul’s marriage to Yahweh will go unpunished; but punishment does not mean being cast into the outer darkness, as eternally punished.
When the verse adds “their iniquity with scourges,” there is no addition of any word beyond the first statement of “transgressions” [“piš·‘ām”]. As the central word in this verse, it can be assumed to apply to the “stripes” or “scourges,” as a whipping as punishment can only come due from “transgressions” or sins. Here, the implication of a whip must also be seen as a tool of herding, where the primary use is to get the attention of a stubborn animal and force it into compliance. Returning to the theme of being branded in marriage to Yahweh, where Yahweh possesses a soul as would a rancher possesses livestock, the tools of a rancher are not designed for a purpose to inflict pain and suffering. They are merely intended to be used for guidance, to ensure that the dumb animals do what is best for them wellbeing. Only humans take a tool and misuse it as an instrument of destruction for personal pleasure.
The final verse in this run of verses that state the conditional of stubbornness in a wife of Yahweh, verse thirty-three sings out the hope maintained, singing “but I will not remove from him my steadfast love, or be false to my faithfulness.” Here, once again, is the “kindness and goodness” of “checed” being stated, which has been seen as the “love” that binds two in marriage. The repeating of “steadfastness,” as the “firmness” of “commitment” that is the promise of marriage vows, says waywardness is not grounds for breaking a divine marriage.
In the example of David, Yahweh knew before pouring out His Spirit onto the soul of David that he would break the vows and err. That was all part of the plan that had a committed David set up everything for his own fall, as all subsequent falls from grace would demand a marriage with Yahweh to prevent a divorce. This verse says the soul of David retained the eternal reward, even though his body of flesh left behind a legacy of failure. His flesh’s fall says all flesh will fail. Therefore, each soul must be committed to Yahweh for redemption after death.
Verse thirty-four then sings, “I will not violate my covenant, or alter the word that went forth from my lips.” This verse must be seen as the marriage agreement set by Yahweh on Mount Sinai and taken down by Moses to the Israelites to agree with, which is forever the marriage vows of ALL CHILDREN OF YAHWEH – not just the Jews of today – such that none of them are open for discussion and none of them can be amended. The terms of a souls return to be one with Yahweh are His and His only. All souls are given the freedom to chose whatever face to wear they want. This verse then sings that there is only one Covenant set forth from the “lips” of Yahweh and that are the terms that must be either fully accepted in submission of self, or fully rejected as being a god unto thyself. Like pregnancy, there is no halfway state of being.
Verse thirty-five then sings, “Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.” This verse is better understood by seeing it literally set to English. BibleHub Interlinear shows it as: “once I have sworn by my sacredness , if to David I will not lie .” Here, perhaps most of all statements of the name David, the meaning of that name needs to be realized as meaning “Beloved.” Therefore, this becomes a statement of commitment by Yahweh that says, “All souls who have become my Saints through marriage; I will fill them only with the truth that comes from shared love.” The conditional [not shown by the NRSV translation] says, “if a soul becomes the Beloved of Yahweh, then that soul will always know the truth, and truth is the bond of commitment.”
Verse thirty-six then sings, “His line shall continue forever, and his throne endure before me like the sun.” Here, again, the use of “zar·‘ōw,” as “line,” when the truth says “seed,” gives the false impression that human beings born of the flesh have some special right to eternal life [“foreverness”]. The reality of this verse is it sings about those souls [a truly “forever” entity] who follow the established model of each Israelite soul needing to marry Yahweh, in order to achieve salvation. Here, Israelite needs to be seen as meaning “He Retains God,” as a statement of divine marriage, not birthright. Thus, that begun by David being anointed by Yahweh will forever continue to all souls who become the offspring of that model.
The repeating of “the seat of honor” [or “throne”] says all who will have their flesh become led by the Son of Yahweh [Adam and Jesus] will make their bodies become “thrones” upon which that divine soul will sit. This becomes the light of truth, which is symbolized by the “Sun.” That metaphor matches the use of “days” in verse 29, which makes verse 36 be a repeating of that former verse. The reward of eternity means forever being in the light of truth, never again in darkness.
The last verse in this reading selection is number thirty-seven. It sings, “It shall be established forever like the moon, an enduring witness in the skies. Selah.” It should be noted that the NRSV does include the word “Selah,” which means “to praise, exalt,” but the Episcopal Church chooses not to include it in their presentation for reading aloud. This verse then becomes a reflection of verse 36, just “like the moon” is a body that reflects the light of the sun, itself having no light to project on its own. The light of the sun is the truth that a servant of Yahweh will become a “witness” for. As a “witness,” it will testify to the truth, so that light is reflected from Yahweh to others through the body that is His wife. This way of leading other souls to marriage with Yahweh, through bodies that reflect the light of the sun [the Son], as moons in service to their Husband, the people will forever be shown to look upwards for a better solution to the worries of life. In this, the “sky” [from “baš·ša·ḥaq,” meaning “dust, cloud”] becomes the inner self, or the soul, which is that cloud that is known to be present, but cannot clearly be seen. All praise for Yahweh can only come from the soul.
As a long Psalm that can be read aloud or sung is Track 2 is chosen on the eighth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should be well underway, this makes it clear that a true priest of Yahweh is in the offspring of David, where one’s soul has married Yahweh. There can be no faking ministry. Ministry is not for self-glorification, where one’s soul cares nothing about any other soul. In such cases, one lost can never lead any other lost souls to be found. Being “found” is the first focus of this song of praise. A soul “found” is pure and open to be taken by Yahweh. No souls are “found” in the libraries of a seminary or university, while doing a term paper that will earn one’s flesh a passing grade.