Summer Psalm Series #3B-Psalm 27:1-6 Exegesis/Word study

This Sunday we will have a baptism; the verses in this Psalm about enemies, which are omitted from the RCL, align themselves as a compare/contrast to the psalmist’s statements about God. For me, this will be fodder for talking about which kin(g)dom we are choosing by choosing baptism and what we mean by rejecting sin and evil.

There are all kinds of parallels/contrasts in the language used for enemies and for God, such as

salvation has an overtone of freedom, being set loose v. the word for enemies, which has the sense of being hemmed in/in a tight spot

trembling/revering/fearing God v. trembling/revering/fearing enemies

war being lifted up v. the psalmist being lifted up onto the rock and having his (her) head lifted up

the enemies encamping in a temporary sense v. the psalmist dwelling in the house of the Lord foever

the Lord as the heart of the psalmist’s life v. the enemies coming to eat the flesh of the psalmist (this “flesh” can be a euphemism for the genitals as the source of life)

 

Details below.

 

 

v.1 Light as in diffused light, an uncountable noun that is not the same as light(s)/luminaries that grant light. See https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H216&t=KJV

 

v.1 Salvation (cf. Joshua/Jesus)

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=H3467&t=KJV

 

 

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  1. to save, be saved, be delivered
    1. (Niphal)
      1. to be liberated, be saved, be delivered
      2. to be saved (in battle), be victorious
    2. (Hiphil)
      • . to save, deliver
  1. to save from moral troubles
  2. to give victory to

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

יָשַׁע yâshaʻ, yaw-shah’; a primitive root; properly, to be open, wide or free, i.e. (by implication) to be safe; causatively, to free or succor:—× at all, avenging, defend, deliver(-er), help, preserve, rescue, be safe, bring (having) salvation, saving

 

 

 

 

  1. 1 – whom shall I fear

 

  • to fear, revere, be afraid
    1. (Qal)
      • to fear, be afraid
      • to stand in awe of, be awed
      • to fear, reverence, honour, respect
    2. (Niphal)
      • .to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared
      • to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe
      • to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe
    3. (Piel) to make afraid, terrify
  • (TWOT) to shoot, pour

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

יָרֵא yârêʼ, yaw-ray’; a primitive root; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten:—affright, be (make) afraid, dread(-ful), (put in) fear(-ful, -fully, -ing), (be had in) reverence(-end), × see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).

 

Also be in awe of, reverence, admire, venerate. See https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3372&t=KJV

 

 

  1. 1 strength

 

The KJV translates Strong’s H4581 in the following manner: strength (24x), strong (4x), fortress (3x), hold (2x), forces (1x), fort (1x), rock (1x), strengthen (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  • place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold
    1. place of safety, fastness, harbour, stronghold
    2. refuge (of God) (fig.)
    3. human protection (fig.)

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

מָעוֹז mâʻôwz, maw-oze’; (also מָעוּז mâʻûwz ); or מָעֹז mâʻôz (also מָעֻז mâʻuz; from H5810; a fortified place; figuratively, a defence:—force, fort(-ress), rock, strength(-en), (× most) strong (hold).

 

  1. 1 – of my life

The word translated “life” also apparently serves as an adjective:

 

adjective

  • living, alive
    1. green (of vegetation)
    2. flowing, fresh (of water)
    3. lively, active (of man)
    4. reviving (of the springtime)

masculine noun

  • relatives
  • life (abstract emphatic)
    • . life
  1. sustenance, maintenance

feminine noun

  • living thing, animal
    • . animal
  1. life
  2. appetite
  3. revival, renewal
  • community

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

חַי chay, khah’-ee; from H2421; alive; hence, raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively:— age, alive, appetite, (wild) beast, company, congregation, life(-time), live(-ly), living (creature, thing), maintenance, merry, multitude, (be) old, quick, raw, running, springing, troop.

 

Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon [?]

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2416&t=KJV

  1. alive, living
  2. lively, vigorous
  3. reviving
  4. raw
  5. fresh
  6. life: living/sustenance; refreshment; prosperity/welfare/happiness

 

v.1 fear: to fear, tremble, revere, dread, be in awe or dread

  1. (Qal)
    • to be in dread
    • to be in awe
  2. (Piel) to be in great dread
  3. (Hiphil) to cause to dread

 

 

v.2 “Enemies” is a word that means a tight place; cf. salvation as a wide/free place. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6862&t=KJV

צַר tsar, tsar; or צָר tsâr; from H6887; narrow; (as a noun) a tight place (usually figuratively, i.e. trouble); also a pebble (as in H6864); (transitive) an opponent (as crowding):—adversary, afflicted(-tion), anguish, close, distress, enemy, flint, foe, narrow, small, sorrow, strait, tribulation, trouble.

 

v.2 foe(s)- one who hates/persecutes the other as an enemy, adversary, foe

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H341&t=KJV

 

v.2 come to eat up my flesh-flesh here includes the possibility of referring to the male “organ of generation”; that is, the genitals, particularly as the source of life. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1320&t=KJV

 

v.2 Enemies stumble-tremble in the ankles, presumably through weakness, however, maybe this is an echo of the possible fear mentioned above?

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3782&t=KJV

כָּשַׁל kâshal, kaw-shal’; a primitive root; to totter or waver (through weakness of the legs, especially the ankle); by implication, to falter, stumble, faint or fall:—bereave (from the margin), cast down, be decayed, (cause to) fail, (cause, make to) fall (down, -ing), feeble, be (the) ruin(-ed, of), (be) overthrown, (cause to) stumble, ×utterly, be weak.

 

 

 

 

v.2 and fall:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5307&t=KJV

  • to fall, lie, be cast down, fail
    1. (Qal)
      • to fall
      • to fall (of violent death)
      • to fall prostrate, prostrate oneself before
      • to fall upon, attack, desert, fall away to , go away to, fall into the hand of
      • to fall short, fail, fall out, turn out, result
      • to settle, waste away, be offered, be inferior to
      • to lie, lie prostrate
    2. (Hiphil)
      • .to cause to fall, fell, throw down, knock out, lay prostrate
      • to overthrow
      • to make the lot fall, assign by lot, apportion by lot
      • to let drop, cause to fail (fig.)
      • to cause to fall
    3. (Hithpael)
      • .to throw or prostrate oneself, throw oneself upon
      • to lie prostrate, prostrate oneself
    4. (Pilel) to fall

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

נָפַל nâphal, naw-fal’; a primitive root; to fall, in a great variety of applications (intransitive or causative, literal or figurative):—be accepted, cast (down, self, (lots), out), cease, die, divide (by lot), (let) fail, (cause to, let, make, ready to) fall (away, down, -en, -ing), fell(-ing), fugitive, have (inheritance), inferior, be judged (by mistake for 6419), lay (along), (cause to) lie down, light (down), be (× hast) lost, lying, overthrow, overwhelm, perish, present(-ed, -ing), (make to) rot, slay, smite out, ×surely, throw down.

 

 

V.3 encamp/pitch a tent-an impermanent kind of dwelling

Fear-same word as in v.1 “whom shall I fear?”

 

V 3 heart-really the seat of the person/everything/personhood cf. living/life although possibly more internalized?

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3820&t=KJV

לֵב lêb, labe; a form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything:—care for, comfortably, consent, × considered, courag(-eous), friend(-ly), ((broken-), (hard-), (merry-), (stiff-), (stout-), double) heart(-ed), × heed, × I, kindly, midst, mind(-ed), ×regard(-ed), × themselves, × unawares, understanding, × well, willingly, wisdom.

inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding

 

 

  1. inner part, midst
    • midst (of things)
    • heart (of man)
    • soul, heart (of man)
    • mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
    • inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
    • conscience
    • heart (of moral character)
    • as seat of appetites
    • as seat of emotions and passions
    • as seat of courage

 

v.3 confident:

בָּטַח bâṭach, baw-takh’; a primitive root; properly, to hie for refuge (but not so precipitately as H2620); figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure:—be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

Does this echo freedom/being out of a tight spot?

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H982&t=KJV

 

  1. 4 dwell/set up an abode (also used for marrying)-a more permanent kind of inhabiting versus encampment of the enemy above. Continue/rest/tarry/inhabit etc.https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3427&t=KJV

 

  1. 4 house-home, temple, abode, place, household, family

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1004&t=KJV

 

  1. 4 day-year, lifetime, yesterday/today/tomorrow

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3117&t=KJV

 

v.4 life-same as v.1

 

v.4 see-to see, perceive, look, behold, prophesy, provide

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2372&t=KJV

  1. (Qal)
    • to see, behold
    • to see as a seer in the ecstatic state
    • to see, perceive
      1. with the intelligence
      2. to see (by experience)
      3. to provide

 

  1. 4 beauty-
  • kindness, pleasantness, delightfulness, beauty, favour
    1. delightfulness
    2. symbolic name of one of two staves
    3. pleasantness

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

נֹעַם nôʻam, no’-am; from H5276; agreeableness, i.e. delight, suitableness, splendor or grace:—beauty, pleasant(-ness).

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5278&t=KJV

 

v.4 inquire-

  • to seek, enquire, consider
    1. (Piel)
      • to seek, look for
      • to consider, reflect

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

בָּקַר bâqar, baw-kar; a primitive root; properly, to plough, or (generally) break forth, i.e. (figuratively) to inspect, admire, care for, consider:—(make) inquire (-ry), (make) search, seek out.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1239&t=KJV

 

  1. 4 temple
  • palace, temple, nave, sanctuary
    1. palace
    2. temple (palace of God as king)
    3. hall, nave (of Ezekiel’s temple)
    4. temple (of heavenly temple)

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

הֵיכָל hêykâl, hay-kawl’; probably from H3201 (in the sense of capacity); a large public building, such as a palace or temple:—palace, temple.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1964&t=KJV

 

  1. 5 in the time same as days/years/lifetime in v. 4
  2. 5 of trouble

adjective

  • bad, evil
    1. bad, disagreeable, malignant
    2. bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery)
    3. evil, displeasing
    4. bad (of its kind – land, water, etc)
    5. bad (of value)
    6. worse than, worst (comparison)
    7. sad, unhappy
    8. evil (hurtful)
    9. bad, unkind (vicious in disposition)
    10. bad, evil, wicked (ethically)
      • in general, of persons, of thoughts
      • deeds, actions

masculine noun

  • evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity
    • . evil, distress, adversity
  1. evil, injury, wrong
  2. evil (ethical)

feminine noun

  • evil, misery, distress, injury
    • . evil, misery, distress
  1. evil, injury, wrong
  2. evil (ethical)

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

רַע raʻ, rah; from H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (natural or moral):—adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displease(-ure), distress, evil((-favouredness), man, thing), +exceedingly, × great, grief(-vous), harm, heavy, hurt(-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief(-vous), misery, naught(-ty), noisome, + not please, sad(-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked(-ly, -ness, one), worse(-st), wretchedness, wrong. (Including feminine raaah; as adjective or noun.)

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7451&t=KJV

 

  1. 5 house-The KJV translates Strong’s H5520 in the following manner:den(1x), pavilion (1x), tabernacle (1x), covert (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  • thicket, lair, covert, booth

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

סֹךְ çôk, soke; from H5526; a hut (as of entwined boughs); also a lair:—covert, den, pavilion, tabernacle.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5520&t=KJV

 

Secret-masculine noun

  • covering, shelter, hiding place, secrecy
    1. covering, cover
    2. hiding place, shelter, secret place
    3. secrecy
      • secrecy (of tongue being slanderous)

 

feminine noun

  • shelter, protection

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

סֵתֶר çêther, say’-ther; or (feminine) סִתְרָה çithrâh; (Deuteronomy 32:38), from H5641; a cover (in a good or a bad, a literal or a figurative sense):—backbiting, covering, covert, × disguise(-th), hiding place, privily, protection, secret(-ly, place).

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5643&t=KJV

 

 

  1. 5 tabernacle (covers from tent to permanent installation!) Transliteration

‘ohel

Pronunciation

ō’·hel (Key)

Part of Speech

masculine noun

Root Word (Etymology)

From אָהַל (H166)

Dictionary Aids

TWOT Reference: 32a

KJV Translation Count — Total: 345x

The KJV translates Strong’s H168 in the following manner: tabernacle(s) (198x), tent(s) (141x), dwelling (2x), place(s) (2x), covering (1x), home (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  • tent
    1. nomad’s tent, and thus symbolic of wilderness life, transience
    2. dwelling, home, habitation
    3. the sacred tent of Jehovah (the tabernacle)

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H168&t=KJV

 

 

v.5 set me up

The KJV translates Strong’s H7311 in the following manner: (liftholdetc…) up (63x), exalt (47x), high (25x), offer (13x), give (5x), heave (3x), extol (3x), lofty (3x), take (3x), tall (3x), higher (2x), miscellaneous (24x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  • to rise, rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted
    1. (Qal)
      • to be high, be set on high
      • to be raised, be uplifted, be exalted
      • to be lifted, rise
    2. (Polel)
      • .to raise or rear (children), cause to grow up
      • to lift up, raise, exalt
      • to exalt, extol
    3. (Polal) to be lifted up
    4. (Hiphil)
      • .to raise, lift, lift up, take up, set up, erect, exalt, set on high
      • to lift up (and take away), remove
      • to lift off and present, contribute, offer, contribute
    5. (Hophal) to be taken off, be abolished
    6. (Hithpolel) to exalt oneself, magnify oneself
  • (Qal) to be rotten, be wormy

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

רוּם rûwm, room; a primitive root; to be high actively, to rise or raise (in various applications, literally or figuratively):—bring up, exalt (self), extol, give, go up, haughty, heave (up), (be, lift up on, make on, set up on, too) high(-er, one), hold up, levy, lift(-er) up, (be) lofty, (× a-) loud, mount up, offer (up), presumptuously, (be) promote(-ion), proud, set up, tall(-er), take (away, off, up), breed worms.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7311&t=KJV

 

Note that the enemies rising up in war is kuwm in v.3, a rhyming that would echo in Hebrew for the listeners, who are used to the word play made possible by the various vowel pointings for shared tri-literal roots in Hebrew

 

  1. 5 rock-also strength

צוּר tsûwr, tsoor; or צֻר tsur; from H6696; properly, a cliff (or sharp rock, as compressed); generally, a rock or boulder; figuratively, a refuge; also an edge (as precipitous):—edge, × (mighty) God (one), rock, × sharp, stone, × strength, ×strong. See also H1049.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6697&t=KJV

 

v.6 lifting up head is same verb as in latter half of v.5 where God sets me up

v.6 enemies-personal and/or national

  1. 6 joy

The KJV translates Strong’s H8643 in the following manner: shout (11x), shouting (8x), alarm (6x), sound (3x), blowing (2x), joy (2x), miscellaneous (4x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  • alarm, signal, sound of tempest, shout, shout or blast of war or alarm or joy
    1. alarm of war, war-cry, battle-cry
    2. blast (for march)
    3. shout of joy (with religious impulse)
    4. shout of joy (in general)

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H8643&t=KJV

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