Psalm 27

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


v.1 Salvation (cf. Joshua/Jesus)



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



  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:



  • 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 [?]

  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.

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


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.


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

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:

  • 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?

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?


  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.


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


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


v.4 life-same as v.1


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

  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).


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.


  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.


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


  • 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.)


  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.


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).



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



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)



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.


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.


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)



Summer Psalm Series #3 Psalm 27:1-6 and Matthew 6:25-34

I am glad the psalm series is 4 weeks this year rather than 6 as in some past versions, and that this week’s accompanying gospel is a robust one, since the orientation/re-orientation themes are showing more overlap that I originally thought. (See last week’s blog for overall resources for the NL psalms series, one of which really addresses this reality.)

Themes for the psalm include the Lord as light and salvation (v.1a)and also as stronghold/fortress (v.1b). The RCL using this psalm omits the triumph-over-enemies verses 2-3, yet most of us can at least relate to the idea that sometimes there seem to be forces, however we name them, that work against us. Verse 4 is a famous one:        “One thing I asked of the Lord that I will seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life/forever.” The psalm then speaks of beholding the Lord’s beauty, and inquiring in his temple (v. 4b), and of being sheltered and hidden but also set high on a rock (v.5). It continues: “Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me” (v.6a), and closes with sacrifices, joy and singing (v. 6b)



Psalm 27

Matthew 6…182778.196779..197138…0.0..0.188.1524.16j1……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….0j0i8i30.cZTqWJZ-vVU…60253.70156..70407…0.0..0.188.3094.17j13……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….0j0i67j0i5i30j0i8i30.S-9jRfaEBnw

This site also has other lectionary-based ideas resource for leaders of contemporary worship. By Ann Scull, Gippsland, Australia. Includes stories, poem/meditation, reference to a meditative song, a film clip, and a kids’ sermon idea.                           


Newly discovered RCL resource (both of these passages are in the RCL, although the Psalm is v. 1, 4-9)

Psalm 27

Joan Stott, prayers and meditation based on Psalm 27:1, 4-9                                    

Four liturgies with communion for the Psalm by Thom M. Shuman, PC(USA).

Responsive Paraphrases and an offering prayer                  

Opening Prayer/Collect (themes from Psalm 27)                                                                              Original liturgical resource: please give credit to Barb Hedges-Goettl if using/adapting:

O God, our rock and our salvation,                                                                                               our shelter in the day of trouble,                                                                                                    lift up our heads and free us from fear,                                                                                            that we may behold your beauty                                                                                           inquire into your dwelling place,                                                                                                   and praise you with shouts of joy.  Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP (from Ps.27 NIV) Original liturgical resource: please give credit to Barb Hedges-Goettl if using/adapting:
One: The Lord is my light and my salvation—                                                                                Many: so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord                                                                                                         all the days of my life,                                                                                                                      At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices                                                                                                     with shouts of joy,
ALL Praise the Lord with music and song!

*Call to Confession                                                                                                                                  Original liturgical resource; please credit Barb Hedges-Goettl if using/adapting.

God is our light and our salvation, yet at times we still tremble and are afraid.                God works within and among us to increase our faith and our support of one another. Let us together confess our need for this help and for God’s forgiveness.

*Prayer of Confession                                                                                                              Original liturgical resource; please credit Barb Hedges-Goettl if using/adapting.

O God, sometimes I am impatient with my own journey                                                        and with the journey of others. I want us all to just be there.                                 Forgive me when I look at all that surrounds me rather than at you.                     Forgive me when fear takes the place of trust in you.                                                         Be my light and fortress when I face threatening people and situations.               Overcome my fears and troubles.                                                                                                (Silent confession)

*Assurance of Pardon (from Psalm 27, The Message Paraphrase)                                 Original liturgical resource; please credit Barb Hedges-Goettl if using/adapting.

God is our quiet, secure place in a noisy and threatening world.                                         God is the perfect oasis, the source of beauty and knowledge.                                             God holds up our head and shoulders against all that tries to pull us down.                          And so we gather here to share and give thanks and praise for the Good News:                 In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

*Confession of Faith adapted from The Theological Declaration of Barmen**

The Theological Declaration of Barmen was written in 1934 by a group of church leaders in Germany to help Christians withstand the challenges of the Nazi party and the so-called “German Christians,” a popular movement that saw no conflict between Christianity and Hitler’s ideology. It is one of the confessions included in the PC(USA)’s Book of Confessions as part of our constitution.

God’s sovereign love is a mystery beyond the reach of our minds.

Human thought ascribes to God the greatest power, wisdom,

And goodness. But God reveals his love in Jesus Christ by showing power

in the form of a servant, wisdom in the folly of the cross, and

goodness in receiving sinful human beings. The power of God’s love in Christ

to transform the world discloses that the Redeemer is the Lord and Creator

who made all things to serve the purpose of his love.


God has created the world of space and time to be the sphere of

God’s dealings with us. In its beauty and vastness, magnificence and awfulness,

order and disorder, the world reflects to the eye of faith the majesty and

mystery of its Creator. God has created us in a personal relation with Godself that we may respond to the love of the Creator. God has endowed us

with capacities to make the world serve God’s needs and to enjoy

its good things. Life is a gift to be received with gratitude and a task

to be pursued with courage. We are free to seek life within the purpose of God: to develop and protect the resources of nature for the common welfare,

to work for justice and peace in society, and in other ways to use our creative powers for the fulfillment of human life. Thanks be to God.


Liturgies from a Progressive/Post-Liberal Theology, Revd Rex A.E. Hunt, Uniting Church in Australia.

Two liturgies with communion for the Psalm by Thom M. Shuman, PC(USA).

Prayers, Collects and Litanies by Bruce Prewer, Uniting Church in Australia.

For more, see



Epiphany 8A – Matthew 6:24-34 “Do Not Worry”


An RCL-based list of hymn resources:

Psalm 27

Abide with me

All praise to our redeeming God

Christ the world’s true light

God of Grace and God of Glory

God is my strong salvation

In heavenly love abiding

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation

Who would true valor see

 PCUSA Hymnal (1990)                                                                                                                    .1= verse 1 is particularly tied to the theme                                                                      Bold=hymn particularly tied to theme                                                                                           ( ) link is less direct


179.1 God Is My Strong Salvation
186.4 Thy Mercy and Thy Truth, O Lord
(202.1) Psalm 67
203.1 God of Mercy, God of Grace
206.2+4 O Hear Our Cry, O Lord
209.4 My Song Forever Shall Record
(232.27) Psalm 118.19-29
263 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
339.1 Be Thou My Vision
340 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart

4.1+2 Creator of the Stars of Night
5.3 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
(9.2) O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
(10.3) On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry
12.4 People, Look East
(14.4) Savior of the Nations, Come
(15.3) Rejoice! Rejoice, Believers
(20) Watchman, Tell Us of the Night
(21.3) All My Heart Today Rejoices
(22.3) Angels, from the Realms of Glory
(26) Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light
(27.2) Gentle Mary Laid Her Child
30.2 Born in the Night, Mary’s Child
31.3 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
32 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
(33.3) Holy Night, Blessed Night
(35.4) In Bethlehem a Newborn Boy
43.1 O Little Town of Bethlehem
68.3 What Star Is This, with Beams So Bright
69 O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright
73.1 Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory
84.3 In the Cross of Christ I Glory
118.2 The Day of Resurrection!
120.4 Hail Thee, Festival Day!
141.2 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing
149.2 The Head That Once Was Crowned
203.1 God of Mercy, God of Grace
301.4 Lord Jesus, Think on Me
327 O Word of God Incarnate
340 Eternal Light, Shine in My Heart
384.2 O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go
411 Arise, Your Light Is Come!
(427.3) Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service
431.3 O Lord, You Gave Your Servant John
447.3 Lead On, O King Eternal
448.3 Lead On, O King Eternal
454.2+3 Blessed Jesus, at Your Word
457.2 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art
462 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies
463 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies
474 O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
506.1+2 Deck Yourself, My Soul, with Gladness
510.1+5 Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
511.1+5 Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
526.2 For All the Saints
548.1 O Radiant Light, O Sun Divine
549.1 O Gladsome Light
550.1 O Light Whose Splendor Thrills
(601.5) Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)
(602.3) Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)
603 Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)
604 Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)
605 Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)

165 When in the Night I Meditate
169 In the Day of Need
170 The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want
171 The King of Love My Shepherd Is
172 My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
173 Psalm 23
174 The Lord’s My Shepherd
175 The Lord’s My Shepherd, All My Need
179 God Is My Strong Salvation
191 God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength
192 God, Our Help and Constant Refuge
193 Psalm 46
197 My Soul in Silence Waits for God
210 Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
212 Within Your Shelter, Loving God
231 Psalm 118.14-24
234 I to the Hills Will Lift My Eyes
240.4 Out of the Depths
259 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
260 A Mighty Fortress is Our God
261 God of Compassion, in Mercy Befriend Us
265 Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand
275 God of Our Life
293 This Is My Father’s World
307 Fight the Good Fight
341 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!
342 By Gracious Powers
348 Christian Women, Christian Men
361 How Firm a Foundation
365 Jesus, Priceless Treasure
446 Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
447 Lead On, O King Eternal
448 Lead On, O King Eternal
476.5 O Worship the King, All Glorious Above!
544 ay Is Done                                                                                                                                     554 Let All Things Now Living



“Salvation” in Psalm 27:

See 3B, separate blog entry

Also, for illustrations, see

Devotions on Psalm 27:1-6, The Lord is My Light

Seeds for Narrative Lectionary for September 23, 2018: Joseph in Prison Genesis 39:1-23 (Matt 5:11-12)



ELW-Evangelical Lutheran Worship (from NL website)

God himself is present

Arise your light has come ELW314

Goodness is stronger than evil ELW 721


Presbyterian Hymnal (1993) 

These hymns are primarily for the viewpoint of what Joseph could’ve been saying when imprisoned

If there is a number after the decimal, it refers to the verse addressing the them                  Hymns in bold print are thought to particularly address the named theme                    Parentheses mean that the theme is not explicitly mentioned

God’s Faithfulness

251 Your Faithfulness is Sure, O God

276 Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Assurance of God’s Presence

170.3 The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want

172.2 My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

173.2 Psalm 23

(174.3) The Lord’s My Shepherd

248 You Are Before Me, Lord (Psalm 139)

Note: Margaret Wise Brown’s picture book, Runaway Bunny, is a good parable of God constantly holding us as in Psalm 139.

(269) O God of Bethel, by Whose Hand

342.1 By Gracious Powers

361 How Firm a Foundation

407 When a Poor One

446.3 Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

461 God is Here!

483.3 Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above


112.1 Christ the Lord Is Risen Again

114.1 Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain

115.1 Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain

153.2 He Is King of Kings

168.2 Lord, Why Have You Forsaken Me

205 All Hail to God’s Anointed

237 When God Delivered Israel

334 When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land

604 Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)


222.6 Psalm 103

243.4 We Thank You, Lord, for You Are Good

253.2+3 I’ll Praise My Maker

254.7+8 Psalm 146

423.4 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

466.3 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

478.3 Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven

600 Song of Mary (Magnificat)


18 The Desert Shall Rejoice

205 All Hail to God’s Anointed

219.3 To God Compose a Song of Joy

332 Live Into Hope

401 When Will People Cease Their Fighting?

445 Great Day!

601 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)

602 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)


274.3 O God of Earth and Space

291.3 O God of Earth and Altar

311 We Meet You, O Christ

332 Live Into Hope

334 When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land

401 When Will People Cease Their Fighting?

411 Arise, Your Light Is Come!

420.4 God of Grace and God of Glory

428.4 We Give Thee but Thine Own

434 Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples

443.3 O Christ, the Great Foundation

552 Give Thanks, O Christian People

563 Lift Every Voice and Sing


1 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

2 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

9 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

204 Psalm 72

237.3 When God Delivered Israel

291.3 O God of Earth and Altar

(321.4) Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

343.3 Called as Partners in Christ’s Service

(351.2) Give to Me, Lord, a Thankful Heart

(353.2) Great God, Your Love Has Called Us Here

378 Make Me a Captive, Lord

427.2 Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service

555.2 Now Thank We All Our God


9.1 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

253.3 I’ll Praise My Maker

(321.4) Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

411.2 Arise, Your Light Is Come!

423.4 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun

466.3 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

CHORAL A Blessing, Howard Don Small


From Glory to God PCUSA 2013

772 Live into Hope

773 Heaven Shall Not Wait

776 O God, Be Gracious (Psalm 4)

777 How Long, O Lord (Psalm 13)

779 How Long, O Lord, Will My Prayers Be in Vain?

782 Hear My Prayer, O God (Psalm 143)

786 Why Stand So Far Away, My God (Psalm 10)

790 In Silence My Soul Thirsts (Psalm 62)

841 God is My Strong Salvation (Psalm 27)

842 The Lord is My Light (Psalm 27)

845 To the Hills I Lift My Eyes (Psalm 121)

851 Come, Bring Your Burdens to the Lord

Note: One might search other hymnals for hymns connected to the psalms listed above, or do the same at or other online hymn source.

Wondered if others in these categories from the index, p. 949ff, might apply


Love of God for Us

Sovereignty of God


Original materials                                                                                                                        You may print/adapt but please credit: © Barbara Hedges-Goettl

The psalms above seem to indicate what Joseph might be saying to God;                                 therefore, I have taken them as texts for the original resources below:


Confession of Faith:

Psalm 4 (primarily from the NRSV)

Our righteous God answers me when I call.                                                                          God gives relief from my distress;
God has mercy on me and hears my prayer.

When people turn glory into shame,                                                                                      when people love delusions and seek false gods,                                                               God still sets apart faithful servants for God’s own service.                                                 God hears when these servants call.

So we tremble and do not sin;                                                                                                 when we are on our beds,                                                                                                             we search our hearts and are silent.                                                                                       We offer the sacrifices of the righteous.                                                                                       We trust in the Lord.

When people ask, “Who will bring us prosperity?”                                                               we respond by asking the light of God’s face to shine on us.                                                 The gladness God gives us is far greater than their joys at harvest,                                    as they gaze on their bountiful crops.

In peace we will lie down and sleep,
   for God alone makes us dwell in safety.

Note: See also The Message paraphrase of this psalm,


Prayers of Intercession from Psalm 13 (part for “Many” is from v. 3, 5):

One: When betrayal comes,                                                                                                      Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.  One: When loneliness takes the place of family and friends,                                            Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.  One: When pain has to be borne,                                                                                            Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.  One: When needs are large and resources small,                                                                        Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.    One: When darkness is overpowering,                                                                                  Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.  One: When it’s hard to know what to do,                                                                                  Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.  One: When divisions deepen,                                                                                                   Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.  One: When words wound and inaction lets those words stand,                                             Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.   One: When God’s bounty is evident,                                                                                       Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.   One: When salvation beckons,                                                                                                 Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.   One: When light dawns and songs are sung,                                                                       Many: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.

Prayers for individual needs or lifting up of particular names may take place here

ALL: O Lord our God, we trust in your steadfast love.  Consider and answer us.


Calls to Worship

Psalm 13:5-6 (The Message)

I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—
I’m celebrating your rescue.
I’m so full of answered prayers,
I’m singing at the top of my lungs [should be followed by a song!]

Psalm 27: 4, 8-9 (NIV)

One: One thing I ask from the Lord,
Many: this only do I seek:
One: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
Many: to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

ALL: Come, together let us seek the Lord.

[Prayer of invocation could go here instead of at reading of Scripture]


 In addition to the themes of the psalms that could reflect Joseph’s situation, see also:




If you’re a seminary grad, you likely have alum access at your seminary.


Tamar and Joseph in Genesis 38 and 39

Bekins, Peter

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, June 2016, Vol.40(4), pp.375-397

story of Joseph and his master’s wife in Genesis 39. If… his master’s wife in Genesis 39. This episode appears… positions of Genesis 38 and 39. In


Full text available 




Mckay, Heather A.

Semeia, Summer, 1999, p.215

: Uncovering the Woman in Genesis 39." Pp. 318-42… Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39) using a reader-response… . A READING OF GENESIS 39


Full text available 




Powerplay in Potiphar’s house: The interplay of gender, ethnicity, and *class in Genesis 39

Junior, Nyasha Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob (advisor) 2008

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Wife: The Feisty Woman of Genesis 39.” Semeia 87 (1999… CLASS IN GENESIS 39 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE… . Within this story, Genesis 39 constitutes

Full text available 




Madam Potiphar’s Boy Toy: No Laughing Matter

Zucker, David

Women in Judaism, Spring 2011, Vol.8(1), pp.1-11

gender, ethnicity, and class in Genesis 39,” Princeton… . In Genesis 39, Madam Potiphar’s use of the verb…Genesis are familiar with the outline of chapter


Full text available 



Theme: The clothes unmake the man?


Divestiture, Deception, and Demotion: The Garment Motif inGenesis 37–39

Huddlestun, John R

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, June 2002, Vol.26(4), pp.47-62

reading of Genesis 37­39 suggests that, as far as the… Genesis 39, Alter draws attention to a number of… , Deception, and Demotion: The Garment Motif in Genesis 37

Note: My husband feels there is a message here about (male) vulnerability and the lack of recognition of this possibility/reality


Prayer touching clothing angle:

O God, we say that “clothes make the man,”

but in Joseph’s case, clothes unmade the man.

His fancy robe gave rise to jealousy and was used to “prove” his death to his father.

The robe he abandoned in the hand of Potiphar’s wife was used to frame him.


God, protect us from the tendency to be defined by outward things,

by what is seen and worn. Deepen our gaze, that we may see with our hearts,

for what is essential is invisible to the eye.[1]


See image with quote from The Little Prince, featured image.                                                  [1] From The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Expéry


Blog at

Up ↑