Psalm 118:17, 21-24

Psalm 118:17, 21-24
Narrative Lectionary 339


17 I shall not die,A but I shall live,B
    and recountC the deedsD of the Lord.E

Notes on verse 17

A “die” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
B “live” = chayah. This is to live or keep alive in a literal or figurative sense. So, it an be revive, nourish, or save.
C “recount” = saphar. From sepher (writing, document, book, evidence). This is properly to tally or record something. It can be enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare.
D “deeds” = maaseh. From asah (to do, make, accomplish, become). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
E “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.

21 I thankF you that you have answeredG me
    and have becomeH my salvation.I

Notes on verse 21

F “thank” = 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.
G “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.
H “become” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v17. See note E above.
I “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 stoneJ that the buildersK rejectedL
    has become the chiefM cornerstone.N

Notes on verse 22

J “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
K “builders” = banah. This is to build, make, set up, restore, repair, or obtain children. It is to build literally or figuratively.
L “rejected” = ma’as. This is to reject, refuse, despise, disdain, reject, or spurn. It can also be to disappear or melt away.
M “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).
N “cornerstone” = pinnah. Perhaps from pen (corner, angle, street, wall). This is an angle, corner, cornerstone, tower, bulwark, pinnacle. Figuratively, it can be a chieftan.

23 This is the Lord’sO doing;
    it is marvelousP in our eyes.Q

Notes on verse 23

O “Lord’s” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v17 & “become” in v21. See note E above.
P “marvelous” = pala. From pele (wonder, miracle, wonderful, marvelous thing). This is to be extraordinary, to arise, to be great or accomplish.
Q “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 day that the LordR has made;S
    let us rejoiceT and be gladU in it.

Notes on verse 24

R “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v23. See note O above.
S “made” = asah. Related to “deeds” in v17. See note D above.
T “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.
U “be glad” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.

Image credit: “Beach, Past & Present” in Haifa, Israel by amir appel, 2012

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