We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
97:1 The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 97:3 Fire goes before him, and consumes his adversaries on every side. 97:4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 97:5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. 97:6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory. 97:7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, those who make their boast in worthless idols; all gods bow down before him. 97:8 Zion hears and is glad, and the towns of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O God. 97:9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 97:10 The LORD loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. 97:11 Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
Jews read 6 psalms on Sabbath eve, corresponding to the six working days of the week. This is the verse for Tuesday.
1. "Coastlands" are "islands" in the original.
2. "Thick darkness" is simply "fog/mist".
3. The fire "flash-burns" the enemies - the same word describes both is used for the gleam of polished metal, the glow of hot coals, and the licking of flames. A related usage is "hot pursuit".
5. The wax is beeswax. Two names of G-d are used - so it's "from before G-d, from before the Lord of all the land."
6. "proclaim" is "tell" - like telling a story. "Behold" is "see" - again the Hebrew is always more direct than most English translations. "Peoples" are "nations".
7. The translator has smoothed out the shifts in tense:
All worshipers of statues shall be ashamed, who boast of their idols - bow before Him, all (god-like) forces of nature.
Why "forces of nature"?
Root meaning of "El" = powerful.
"Elil" = idol = personified force of nature to whom power is ascribed
The word here is "Elohim" - which is a plural form. It can mean the pantheon of pagan gods, or "the sum of all forces" = the One G-d of Abraham. It also has secondary meaning of human judges - probably because of their extensive powers and supposed probity.
The form "El" appears in some Canaanite/Philistine place names, and seems to have been picked up by Hebrew. Hence the duality of words based on this root.
8. The "towns" of Judah are "daughters" - smaller cities around Jerusalem (Zion). Compare "Yonkers" (Jonkheer).
10. Nope!!! - it's "those who love G-d hate evil, He guards the souls of the pious..."
The word for pious here means one who goes beyond the letter of the law, out of love for G-d and man - the same word is used for Chassidic Judaism.
11. It's literally - and enigmatically - "light is sown" - to shine forth later, much increased.