Psalm 118:19-24

Psalm 118:19-24
Narrative Lectionary 139


19 OpenA to me the gatesB of righteousness,C
    that I may enterD through them

Notes on verse 19a

A “open” = patach. This is to open wide in a literal or figurative sense. So, it is open, draw out, let something go free, break forth. It can also mean to plow, engrave, or carve.
B “gates” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.
C “righteousness” = tsedeq. This is rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity.
D “enter” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.

    and give thanksE to the Lord.F
20 This is the gate of the Lord;G
    the righteousH shall enter through it.

Notes on verses 19b-20

E “give thanks” = yadah. From yad (hand). This is to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise. So, it is to praise, give thanks, or make a confession.
F “Lord” = Yah. From YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; God, Lord; the self-existent or eternal one); from havah (to become) or hayah (to be, become, happen)}. This is Lord or God – a shortened form of God’s most holy name.
G “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v19. See note F above.
H “righteous” = tsaddiq. Related to “righteousness” in v19. From the same as tsedeq (see note C above). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.

21 I thankI you that you have answeredJ me
    and have becomeK my salvation.L

Notes on verse 21

I “thank” = yadah. Same as “give thanks” in v19. See note E above.
J “answered” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
K “become” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v19 & “Lord” in v20. See note F above.
L “salvation” = yeshuah. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free). This is salvation, deliverance, health, victory, prosperity.

22 The stoneM that the buildersN rejectedO
    has become the chiefP cornerstone.Q

Notes on verse 22

M “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
N “builders” = banah. This is to build, make, set up, restore, repair, or obtain children. It is to build literally or figuratively.
O “rejected” = ma’as. This is to reject, refuse, despise. It can also be to disappear or melt away.
P “chief” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
Q “cornerstone” = pinnah. Perhaps from pen (corner, angle, street, wall). This is an angle, corner, cornerstone, tower, bulwark, pinnacle. Figuratively, it can be a chieftain.

23 This isR the Lord’sS doing;
    it is marvelousT in our eyes.U

Notes on verse 23

R “is” = hayah. Same as “become” in v21. See note K above.
S “Lord’s” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v20. See note G above.
T “marvelous” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
U “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).

24 This is the dayV that the LordW has made;X
    let us rejoiceY and be gladZ in it.

Notes on verse 24

V “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
W “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v20. See note G above.
X “made” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
Y “rejoice” = gil. Properly, this is twirling around because of a strong feeling whether of rejoicing or from fear. This can be rejoice, be glad or joyful, or to cry.
Z “be glad” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.

Image credit: “Creation” by John Paul Stanley of YoMinistry.

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