Saturday, August 20, 2005


vaD Daq the jaj vo' Seng ghaH DichDaq pol jIH secretly Daq Daj pavilion. Daq the covert vo' Daj tabernacle ghaH DichDaq So' jIH. ghaH DichDaq lift jIH Dung Daq a nagh.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion. In the covert of his tabernacle he will hide me. He will lift me up on a rock. Psalm 27:5

So'wI' yIchu'! If you were a crew member on a Klingon ship, you might hear that command. If you did, you'd be wise to expect trouble. It means "engage the cloaking device," and it is just what a Klingon ship might do when preparing an attack, or when trying evade one.

So'wI' comes from the Klingon verb, So', to hide. Adding the suffix -wI', "that which does" is kind of like adding -er to an English word, as in how print becomes printer. So a cloaking device, So'wI', is "that which hides."

ghaH DichDaq So' jIH - he will hide me.

We hear David say in this Psalm. The Hebrew word used here for So', or hide, is tsaphan, and means to hide by covering over - in other words, to cloak. It is used 30 times in the Hebrew scriptures - both positively (as it is here in the sense of protection) and negatively (in the sense of to lurk). But the concept - of God providing protection and sanctuary is a rich one throughout the Bible, that encompasses other terms. In particular we see the Hebrew word cathar, used 80 times in the Bible, express this notion throughout the book of Psalms:

In Psalm 17:
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings

and in Psalm 31:
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence

or Psalm 32
Thou art my hiding place

Some might question the idea of "hiding" - either in a hero like David, or in a Klingon. But we know that warriors - Biblical or alien - will use every means at their disposal to succeed.

Certainly the strategy - and the need - to hide would be familiar to David. A hero among his people, his very popularity made him a renegade when King Saul feared David would displace him. David had to live as an outlaw and hide from the King. Yet, even when he had the chance to kill the King as he slept, David did not use his stealth to steal the crown.

In most cases [and yes, I know the exceptions] Klingons also use stealth honorably, never firing from hiding, but only using their cloaking for protection during a fight. Their So'wI', their cloaking device is NOT a tool for deceit.

Believers too, have access to cloaking - though not a machine. It comes not in any technology, but is part of the faith relationship we need, of turning to the LORD in times of trouble.

As Psalm 119 says:

SoH 'oH wIj hiding Daq je wIj yoD. jIH tul Daq lIj mu'.

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Psalm 119:114

So'wI' DaneH'a'? Davoqchugh, joH'a' DuSo'chu'
Do you need a cloak? If you trust him, the LORD WILL hide you.

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