Ascension of the Lord ABC
1 The LordA is king,B he is robedC in majesty;D
the Lord is robed, he is girdedE with strength.F
A “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
B “is king” = malak. To be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned. By implication, to take counsel. This word may be from the Hebrew word for king “melek” or vice versa.
C “robed” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
D “majesty” = geuth. 8x in OT. From gaah (to rise up, be exalted, triumph; figuratively, be majestic). This is majesty, something excellent, pride. It can also be swelling, raging, or a column.
E “girded” = azar. 16x in OT. This is to encircle, bind, encompass, to belt or gird.
F “strength” = oz. From azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively. A Late Hebrew word). This is strength in the sense of force, majesty, praise, material and physical strength, the abstract notion of security. It can also speak of social or political power.
He has establishedG the world;H it shall neverI be moved;J
2 your throneK is established from of old;L
you are from everlasting.M
G “established” = kun. Properly, this means in a perpendicular position. So, it is set up in a literal sense – establish, fix, fasten, prepare. In a figurative sense, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous.
H “world” = tebel. From yabal (to lead, bring, carry, conduct; properly, to flow; to bring or lead with fanfare). This is world, confusion, inhabited part of the earth, but also used for the whole world.
I “never” = bal. From balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is not, lest, neither. Properly, it refers to a failure, so it implies nothing or not at all.
J “be moved” = mot. This is to shake, slip, falter, stagger, move, fall, give way, waver, be carried.
K “throne” = kisse. From the same as kese (full moon); perhaps from kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is throne – a seat that is covered or has a canopy. Thus, it is a seat that conveys authority.
L “of old” = az. This is beginning, now, from, since.
M “everlasting” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
3 The floodsN have lifted up,O O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;P
the floods lift up their roaring.Q
N “floods” = nahar. From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.
O “lifted up” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
P “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
Q “roaring” = doki. 1x in OT. From dakah (to crush or break; collapse whether in the body or in the mind; to crouch or be contrite). This is a roaring or pounding of the waves of the sea.
4 More majesticR than the thundersS of mightyT waters,
more majestic than the wavesU of the sea,V
majestic on highW is the Lord!
R “more majestic” = addir. From adar (wide, glorious, honorable, great, magnificent). This is majestic, excellent, mighty, powerful, or noble.
S “thunders” = qol. Same as “voice” in v3. See note P above.
T “mighty” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
U “waves” = mishbar. 5x in OT. From shabar (break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear; bursting in a literal or figurative sense). This is a breaker or wave in the water.
V “sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
W “on high” = marom. From rum (to be high, rise, exalted, become proud, display, offer, present, set apart, extol; to rise in a literal or figurative sense). This can be height, high place, or lofty. It can be either exalted or haughty/proud. It can refer to dignity or to heaven.
5 Your decreesX are veryY sure;Z
holinessAA befitsBB your house,CC
O Lord, forevermore.DD
X “decrees” = edah. From ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is testimony or witness.
Y “very” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
Z “are…sure” = aman. This is to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful. It is to put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid. This is where the word “amen” comes from.
AA “holiness” = qodesh. This is set apart and so sacred. God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart. Things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy, etc.
BB “befits” = naah. 3x in OT. This is at home, lovely, befitting.
CC “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
DD “forevermore” = orek + yom. Literally, “for the length of days.” Orek is from arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out). This is length, long, or forever. Yom has a root that 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.
Image credit: “Deluge” by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1864.