Psalm 97 - A multitude of islands married to the same Yahweh, all resurrections of His same Son

Updated: Apr 10

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1 Yahweh is King; let the earth rejoice; *

let the multitude of the isles be glad.

2 Clouds and darkness are round about him, *

righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne.

3 A fire goes before him *

and burns up his enemies on every side.

4 His lightnings light up the world; *

the earth sees it and is afraid.

5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of Yahweh, *

at the presence of adown of the whole earth.

6 The heavens declare his righteousness, *

and all the peoples see his glory.

7 Confounded be all who worship carved images and delight in false gods idols! *

Bow down before him, all elohim.

8 Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice, *

because of your judgments, Yahweh.

9 For you are Yahweh, most high over all the earth; *

you are exalted far above all elohim.

10 Yahweh loves those who hate evil; *

he preserves the lives of his saints and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

11 Light has sprung up for the righteous, *

and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.

12 Rejoice in Yahweh, you righteous, *

and give thanks to his holy Name.


This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the seventh Sunday of Easter, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow a mandatory Easter reading from Acts, this time where Paul and Silas are imprisoned in Philippi. We read: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened.” The psalm of David will be followed by a Year C staple of readings from Revelation, where John wrote, “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from John, where we read: “Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

In the above translation you will find I have made several changes. The first and foremost is the NRSV (and all others) erroneously translating “Yahweh” as “Lord.” The Hebrew word for “lord” is “adon” and a singular construct form of that word is found written in verse five. There, I have restored the Hebrew written by David (a transliteration), which is “adown,” meaning “of lord.” The NRSV has confused all readers by making this appear to be the same as “Yahweh,” by capitalizing it as “of the Lord.” It does not make such a statement. Additionally, in verse seven I have stricken out the translation of “bā·’ĕ·lî·lîm,” as “false gods.” The word means “worthlessness,” but is translated most routinely (16 times out of 20 appearances in the Hebrew texts) as “idols.” I have replaced that translation into the text. Finally, in verses seven and nine are found the word “elohim” written, which is a masculine plural noun, not the singular “God,” as is usually the NRSV translation. However, because it here suits their wistful need to see “elohim” as a plural “gods,” in the lower case, they have translated these two words as “you gods” and “gods” (respectfully), with that missing the point of what “elohim” meant to David. Thus, I have restored “elohim” in the above text.

Because I am dissatisfied with the NRSV translation, I will now reproduce each verse in a literal translation, which can (optionally) be compared to the one above. This will show how often paraphrases are produced, which takes the truth and bends it around preconceptions, which quite frequently are missing the point, thus misleading and dangerous. It is important to realize that David was not like some pop singer-musician on some network television production, where he wrote lyrics he felt would make him a rock-country-pop star. His words, like the music he played to them as songs, were all divinely inspired. Yahweh is singing to us through David's Psalms. In comparison, badly paraphrased English translations of Scripture have been turned into the music played in Christian churches, when the quotes they sing popularly about are some translator's paraphrases and often not the point of that written. Realizing this makes it important to understand how David was not writing catchy jingles to stroke his ego. He was moved to record divine word musically.

The first verse sings literally in English: “Yahweh reigns let rejoice the earth ; let be glad , islands many .” In the NRSV translation, they capitalize “King,” which becomes a paraphrase and preconception that “God is King.” David was the King of people who were a true nation of “Israelites” – those Who Retained Yahweh as their inner elohim. In the Easter readings from John’s Revelation, the “throne” is within one’s soul; and, that is what David was singing here: Yahweh reigns within my soul. This understanding then allows one to see “earth” as metaphor for “flesh and blood,” or within the physical body of David. The expansion of “earth” beyond David, to his Israelite followers, says then that their “flesh” was also where Yahweh reigned; so all who had Yahweh’s Spirit within their souls could “rejoice” and “let be glad.” When David then sang of “islands many,” this refers to the individuality of where “Yahweh reigns.” He does not reign as a distant King, hidden away behind the clouds of the sky, but in each and every “island” whose soul has married His Spirit, making Him become one’s King. The rejoicing and gladness come from that inner presence, which is His elohim – the soul of Jesus resurrected within one’s individual soul.

Verse two then literally translates into English as: “mass of cloud and thick cloud round about him ; rightness and judgment , the foundation of his throne .” The double words stating “cloud” is David speaking of the impossibility to see Yahweh, when one does not wear his face upon one’s soul. This means the uses of “cloud” are those confusions that surround each “island” that must seek and find Yahweh. To make the clouds disappear, one must then live a life of “rightness,” which will become a life of righteousness, when an elohim has been born within one’s soul, following marriage of a soul to Yahweh’s Spirit. Yahweh will judge one’s merits, based on the way one’s soul judges self and others. This becomes the ‘dating’ dance done to attract Yahweh and remove the clouds. Those “foundations” of lifestyle will prepare one’s soul for divine marriage, when the “seat” of the Spirit that will “reign” within will be placed in one’s soul.

Verse three then translates into English as, “a fire on the face of him walks ; and will blaze his enemies .” While this projects connotations of the pillar of smoke during day (the cloud) and the fire behind the Israelite at night, here the word “lə·p̄ā·nāw” (from “paneh”) needs to be read as the “fire” being the Spirit of Yahweh, which is the light of His “face” that shines so one can see the path of righteousness and “walk” that path. This “fire” will then “blaze” away “one’s enemies,” such that all “enemies” to oneself are self-inflicted wounds, due to allowing sin to reign over one’s soul and flesh. The “fire” of the “face” of Yahweh will “burn away” those influences, so they no longer enslave one’s soul.

Verse four then says in literal English translation, “he made lights his lightings the world ; it has seen and trembles the earth .” This is David singing about the “many islands” who have married Yahweh and put the “fire of his face” on theirs; so, Yahweh has made each and everyone of them “his lights” utilized for Him “lighting the world” from its darkness of mortal death. All souls alone in bodies of flesh are condemned to die and repeat, until they either see the light and marry their souls to Yahweh for salvation, or do worse sins and become burned in the great flames of the abyss. It is the saints and apostles who carry forth the light of truth that allows the world to see their fates, should they not surrender their selves and become servants to Yahweh. The alternative brings forth “trembles” of fear, both for being condemned to darkness and from losing eternal life from turning away from Yahweh, once saved. Fear of losing Yahweh is the only fear to be allowed.

Verse five then sings literally in English, “mountains like wax melt at the presence of Yahweh ; at the presence , of the lord of all the earth .” Here, again, the use of “earth” must be read as metaphor for the body of flesh (which is made up of matter). This then is reflected in “mountains,” which are not heaps of rock and dirt, by souls in human bodies of flesh who think they are mighty and above all others. Those self-perceived heights “melt like wax,” once Yahweh becomes present within their souls. They are then able to see how miniscule a worldly position is, as no matter how high one achieves in the world of death, death will always overcome that height. This is why David sang singularly of “at the presence,” as when one’s soul becomes “in the presence” of Yahweh, then one bows in submission, lowering one’s face from attempting to stand as almighty before the true Almighty. When David used the construct “adown,” which means “of the lord,” this sings of the inner “presence” that is Yahweh’s elohim. This is the ”presence” of the soul of Jesus, who becomes the “lord” over each individual soul married to Yahweh. This is “all those in the flesh” who walk the face of the “earth” as “lights” for Yahweh.

Verse six then says in literal English: “he has told the heavens his righteousness ; and they see all the peoples his abundance .” Here, Yahweh speaks to souls, which makes “heavens” be metaphor for all things spiritual, which souls are. A soul alone cannot choose to live a life of righteousness, as the world will influence the flesh to convince the soul to allow it to sin. When “he has told” is understood to be Yahweh speaking to the soul-flesh through His elohim (Jesus resurrected within a soul-body), “his righteousness” is then directed to the subservient soul-body to live as commanded; and, that is by “his righteousness.” Once this change has been done, the possessed souls are able to see how easy “righteousness” comes, due to the “abundance” brought within by this gift of an elohim.

Verse seven then sings in literal English, “they will be put to shame all those who are serving idols , those boasting of worthlessness ; they worship him all elohim .” Here, the strikethrough can be seen truthfully stated, where it is most important for Christians today to see a wooden cross as a “carved image” or an “idol of worship.” To worship Jesus’ death on a cross, is to worship one’s own death in a mortal existence, doing absolutely nothing to hang their own soul-bodies on a cross and die of self-will and self-ego, so one can be raised from the dead and be resurrected as Jesus. The symbolism of a “stake” (shaped like a cross) is to hold the vine of Yahweh, which is the growth of His Son Jesus (the vine), so the branches producing fruit are kept high off the ground (the life of righteousness gained by that stake). To worship, “I am saved because Jesus died for my sins” is to “boast of worthlessness,” as one’s soul that plans on still sinning, because Jesus did all the work so it can keep sinning. That is worthless worship of all the demonic elohim that exist in the world, making souls become their prey and worship their worthlessness (money, power, influence … that all ends up given back in death). When David sang, “they worship him all elohim,” this is how Jesus can command demon elohim to leave souls they possess. They do as commanded because “all elohim worship Yahweh.” They do not worship souls alone in the flesh, those who worship their own worthless selves as gods.

Verse eight then literally sings in English, “they have heard and they will rejoice dryness [the meaning of zion] , and they will rejoice the daughters of praisers [the meaning of judah] ; purpose of your judgment Yahweh .” Here, the seeming proper names “Zion” and “Judah” must be replaced with the meaning behind the names. As such, “dryness” is a state of selflessness, where there are no emotions feeding the soul from the flesh. This outer dryness is kept moist by the inner presence of an elohim of Yahweh (Jesus). As “daughters” these souls have become the brides of Yahweh, in divine marriage; and, once married so Jesus is resurrected within each soul of those “daughters,” then Jesus becomes the “praiser” that leads the host soul to also join in the “praise” given to Yahweh. The “purpose” or “intent” of this inner “praise” is another soul has been “judged” cleansed of all past sins, thereby destined to eternal salvation. This salvation means “Yahweh Saves,” which is the meaning of the name “Jesus.”

Verse nine then sings in literal English, saying “for you Yahweh most high above all the earth ; exceedingly you have ascended , above all elohim .” Once again, the metaphor of “earth” must be read as meaning “flesh.” The Hebrew stating “for you Yahweh” says souls have submitted themselves to Yahweh in divine marriage. This brings within a soul-body His Spirit, which is a Spirit “high above” a spirit that is a soul, which was given by Yahweh to rule over its flesh. Once divinely married, Yahweh becomes the ruler over everything a soul-flesh does. In that divine union, which brings about the resurrection of the soul of Yahweh’s Son Jesus, all souls becoming the wives (mothers) will have “exceedingly ascended” to a higher state of being. That inner presence of Jesus in “all” becomes their “elohim” that is the same within “all.” Jesus the Yahweh elohim will become the Lord of every soul-body, thereby being “above all,” acting “for you Yahweh.”

Verse ten then has a literal English translation that sings, “those loving Yahweh hate evil preserving those souls of his saints ; from the hand of the wicked he takes away them .” When the Hebrew word “aheb” (“to love”) is used, it goes far beyond all human concepts of mortal “love,” to a statement of divine union, through the most holy forms of matrimony. To “love Yahweh” is to be one with Him and know His “love.” While Jesus told his disciples to “love one another as I have loved you,” this was Yahweh speaking through His Son, about a form of “love” none of the disciples understood at that time. Still, to have David sing that “loving Yahweh hates” is beyond the comprehension of the feeble minds held dear by pretend priests (hired hands and false shepherds), who break out in worship of The Beatles, singing, “love, love, love … love is all you need” … when they do not have any idea what “loving Yahweh” means (having never walked that sacrificial path of marriage).

To “hate evil” says Yahweh and Jesus agree, “You cannot serve two masters, because you will hate the one and love the other.” If Yahweh told David his “loving Yahweh” meant his soul must “hate evil,” then that is a Commandment that says “hate evil.” One hates evil by wanting to have nothing to do with it; but today’s Christian priesthood (in the Catholic denominations especially evident) goes out of its way to become the evil that Yahweh hates, decorating their pagan houses of worship with the worthlessness of rainbow colored flags and vestments. They praise homosexuality as if they have souls that are “loving Yahweh,” when they do not. Their evil ways speak for their souls. None of them are “saints,” so none of their souls have been "preserved” as saved (guarded and watched over by Jesus). The “hand of the wicked” is all forms of sin. To promote forgiveness of sin, while avowing, “I am a practicing sinner!” is to speak praise for being a lost soul, leading other lost souls to damnation and ruin. Thus, such false shepherds and hired hands are ”snatching away” the victory of salvation possible, from the jaws of eternal salvation to be gained.

Verse eleven then sings in literal English, “a light is being sown by the righteous ; and to the right of heart joy .” Here, David sang of the joy brought within the souls of Yahweh’s wives, coming to them as his “lights” placed in the world, to lead lost souls to Yahweh. The use of “sown” (“zara”) says Yahweh is the owner of fertile land, who plants good wheat to feed the world. His seed is His Son’s soul, which died on a cross in the same way a seed loses its outer covering. Then its inner purpose can grow through its vine and branches that produce good fruit. To be a part of that plan brings a soul great happiness and fulfillment.

Verse twelve then translates literally into English, singing “they rejoice your righteousness Yahweh ; and give thanks , in the memorial of his sacredness .” This sings praises by those souls who have been saved by the presence of Yahweh’s Son Jesus. It is that inner presence, as one’s Lord, who leads the sheep to “righteousness,” as their individual soul’s Good Shepherd. All souls saved “give thanks” for having been found and having been allowed to submit fully unto Yahweh. It is their souls in bodies of flesh that become the “memorials” of Jesus reborn, as it is his presence within that makes them walk the face of the earth as Jesus reborn. Again, in the times of David the name “Jesus” still had the meaning, “Yahweh Saves.”

As the Psalm to be sung on the seventh Sunday of Easter, mostly sung during this Year C Easter season (it is also sung in the II service on Christmas, all Years), it is important to see the depth of meaning being applied to rebirth, as a song of praise by souls having been raised from the dead, with Jesus being born anew within them. In these verses are found several mentions of “joy, rejoicing, gladness, and giving thanks.” It is a song of praise, where the impetus of praise comes from the presence of an “elohim” within. That “elohim” must be seen as a divine possession, sent by Yahweh; and, we know the name of that “elohim” as Jesus – a name that means “Yahweh Saves.” Jesus is not the only “elohim,” which David knew and sang about. Every sin one’s soul-flesh can become addicted to is an “elohim” that is sent by Satan to test if a soul's will, to see if it will succumb to evil influences. When one’s soul has been protected by Yahweh, as marked by Jesus, then one knows divine love through divine possession. It is that divine possession that casts out all other spirits, because they too know the “love of Yahweh.” To know Jesus is to know his soul as one’s Lord; and that love will lead one’s soul to hate evil. It will not ever again fall for the tricks of the serpent; and, it will teach others to walk the path of righteousness, not the road to ruin.

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