Psalm 28:9 has yasha (ישע) as the first word. It is one of the few sayings in the Bible with this leading word. There are fourteen such verses. There are only four of these verses that also have three other action words. The significance of this is that we have a chance to see (1) verses that are clearly prioritized with the verb to save but we also see (2) what other kinds of actions are essentially linked to this subject.
The salvation quad
Save (yasha) Your people and bless (barak) Your inheritance; Be their shepherd (raah) also, and carry (nasa) them forever.
- Save Your people
- Bless Your inheritance;
- Be their shepherd also, shepherd them (רעם)
- Carry them forever.
Save is essentially HELP. Bless is GIVE HONOUR. To Shepherd is to guard and feed. To carry is to personally LIFT and CARE FOR. Each of these actions or activities can be exclusively attached to God, and particularly to the Lord’s Anointed.
Christ is the blessing Agent in the creation narrative, and the blesser of all families as promised in the call of Abraham. Shepherding activity is at the heart of human occupation (Abel and all Hebrews) and God’s caring mission. See Isaiah’s Shepherd-God (Isaiah 40).
The mighty God arrives and carries
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.Isaiah 40:11
He carried (nasa) the redeemed Israelites on eagle’s wings (Deuteronomy 32:11) and the Lord’s Arm is responsible for carrying off/away – like an atoning offering – the problems of humanity.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.Isaiah 53:4
You can see how a single verse that does not use the customary words of the New Covenant can be brimming with the terms of divine salvation. Blood, life and death, justified, forgive and pardon do not appear but are present in these embryonic sayings. The rarity of this verse’s construction recommends it as one of salvation’s prime time players.