Opinion: 85 biblical allusions in Kanye West’s album “Jesus is King”

by Johnathan Petersen · Nov 6th, 2019 3:13 pm
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Last Updated Nov 20th, 2019 at 10:52 am

Kanye West released his much-anticipated gospel album Jesus Is King October 25, 2019. On that date, people searched the Bible on Bible Gateway for the verses mentioned in the album’s song “Selah” (John 8:33 and John 8:36) about 10-times more than the normal search for those verses on previous dates. With that amount of interest in the album, here’s a list of Bible verses, and the songs they appear in, that can be inferred from the album’s lyrics.

Every Hour

“…the power of the Lord…” Psalm 20:7 (GNT) / Luke 5:17 (GNT)

Selah

“God is King, we the soldiers…” 2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NIV)

“When I get to Heaven’s gates…” Revelation 21:21 (NIV)

“…Before the flood, people judge
They did the same thing to Noah…” Genesis 6-9 (ESV)

“…Then Jesus Christ did the laundry…” Hebrews 10:10 (NLV)

“…Won’t be in bondage to any man…” John 8:33 (NIV)

“…We the descendants of Abraham…” Romans 4:16 (NIV)

“…Ye should be made free
John 8:36
To whom the son set free is free indeed
He saved a wretch like me…” John 8:36 (NIV)

“…If you woke, then wake up
With Judas, kiss and make up
Even with the bitter cup…” Matthew 26:47-49 (NIV) / Matthew 26:39 (NIV)

“…Everything old shall now become new…” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEB)

“…The leaves’ll be green, bearing the fruit…” Matthew 7:17 (ESV) / Galatians 5:22-23 (CSB) / Psalm 1:3 (CEV)

Follow God

“…Father, I stretch
Stretch my hands to You…” Psalm 63:4 (NET)

“…I was screamin’ at my dad, he told me, ‘It ain’t Christ-like’…” Philippians 2:5 (NLT)

“…Wrestlin’ with God, I don’t really want to wrestle…” Genesis 32:24-32 (NKJV)

Closed on Sunday

“…Closed on Sunday, you’re my Chick-fil-A…” Exodus 20:8-11 (NRSV)

“…Watch out for vipers, don’t let them indoctrinate…” Matthew 3:7 (KJV) / 1 John 4:1 (KJV)

“…Raise our sons, train them in the faith
Through temptations, make sure they’re wide awake…” Ephesians 6:4 (KJV) / Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) / 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)

“…Follow Jesus, listen and obey
No more livin’ for the culture, we nobody’s slave…” Mark 1:17 (NIV) / Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

“…Stand up for my home
Even if I take this walk alone
I bow down to the King upon the throne…” Joshua 24:15 (NIV) / Psalm 23:4 (MSG) / Revelation 4:1-6 (TLB)

“…My life is His, I’m no longer my own…” Galatians 2:20 (EXB)

“…I pray to God that He’ll strengthen my hand…” Exodus 17:8-16 (NIV)

“…I draw the line, it’s written in the sand…” John 8:6-10 (NIV)

On God

“…’How you get so much favor on your side?’
‘Accept Him as your Lord and Savior,’ I replied…” Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

“…Thou shalt love thy neighbor, not divide…” Matthew 22:38-39 (KJV)

“…His light shine the brightest in the dark…” John 8:12 (CEB)

“…When I thought the Book of Job was a job
The Devil had my soul, I can’t lie
Life gon’ have some lows and some highs…” The book of Job

“…The IRS want they fifty plus our tithe
Man, that’s over half of the pie
I felt dry, that’s on God…” Matthew 22:19-21 (ERV)

Everything We Need

“We began after the storm inside
Lay the land (Ah), it’s just the morning light (Woo, woo)…” Acts 9:3-18 (EHV) / Job 28:25-28 (ESV)

“…We have everything we need…” 2 Peter 1:3-4 (GW)

“…What if Eve made apple juice?
You gon’ do what Adam do?
Or say, ‘Baby, let’s put this back on the tree’…” Genesis 2-3 (GNT)

Water

“…Clean us like the rain in spring…” Hebrews 10:10 (NLV)

“…Take the chlorine out our conversation…” 1 Peter 2:21-22 (NIV) / Ephesians 4:29 (NASB)

“…Let Your light reflect on me
I promise I’m not hiding anything…” John 8:12 (ICB) / Luke 11:34-36 (PHILLIPS) / Luke 12:2-3 (JUB) / Psalm 32:2 (LEB) / Proverbs 27:19 (MSG)

“…It’s water
We are water
Pure as water…” John 4:13-14 (MSG)

“…The storm may come
But we’ll get through it because of Your love…” Mark 4:35-41 (NLV)

“…Jesus, heal the bruises…” Matthew 9:35 (MEV)

“…Jesus, please help…” Psalm 86 (GNT)

“…Jesus, please forgive…” 1 John 1:9 (NOG)

God Is

“…God is
My light in darkness, oh
God, God is
He, He is my all and all (And I’ll never turn back)
God is…” Psalm 27:1 (NCV)

“…Everything that I felt, praise the Lord…” Psalm 150:6 (NET)

“…Worship Christ with the best of your portions…” Numbers 28:26 (GNT)

“…He’s the strength in this race that I run…” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT)

“…Every time I look up, I see God’s faithfulness…” Psalm 145:13 (NRSV)

“…King of Kings, Lord of Lords, all the things He has in store…” Revelation 19:16 (NMB)

“…From the rich to the poor, all are welcome through the door…” Revelation 3:20 (RSV)

“…You won’t ever be the same when you call on Jesus’ name
Listen to the words I’m sayin’, Jesus saved me, now I’m sane…” Romans 10:9-10 (TLV) / 2 Corinthians 5:17 (VOICE)

“…I know Christ is the fountain that filled my cup…” Psalm 23:5 (WEB)

“…I know God is alive, yeah…” 1 Timothy 4:10 (NABRE)

“…All the captives are forgiven
Time to break down all the prisons
Every man, every woman
There is freedom from addiction
Jesus, You have my soul…” Luke 4:18 (NIV) / John 8:36 (CEB) / 1 Corinthians 6:20 (WYC)

“…Thank you, Jesus, won the fight…” 1 Timothy 6:12 (NABRE)

Hands On

“…Hand ’em
Hands up high, hands on, hands on…” Acts 8:17, 9:17, 19:6 (GNT)

“…Cut out all the lights, He the light…” Isaiah 50:10 (NIV) / Psalm 119:105 (NIV) / 1 John 1:5 (NIV) / John 8:12 (NIV)

“…Made a left when I should’ve made a right…” Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

“…Told the devil that I’m going on a strike
Told the devil when I see him, on sight
I’ve been working for you my whole life
Told the devil that I’m going on a strike
I’ve been working for you my whole life…” Romans 3:23 (NIV) / Romans 6:23 (NIV) / Romans 6:1-7 (NIrV)

“…I’m not tryna lead you to Visas
But if I try to lead you to Jesus
We get called halfway believers
Only halfway read Ephesians…” Read the book of Ephesians

“…Only if they knew what I knew, uh
I was never new ’til I knew of
True and living God, Yeshua
The true and living God…” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) / John 17:3 (CJB)

Use This Gospel

“…Use this gospel for protection
It’s a hard road to Heaven…” Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV) / Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)

“…We call on Your blessings
In the Father, we put our faith
King of the kingdom
Our demons are tremblin’
Holy angels defendin’
In the Father, we put our faith…” James 2:19 (NIV) / Psalm 91:11 (NIV)

Jesus Is Lord

“…Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Lord
Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Lord…” Philippians 2:10-11 (NIV)

This article was originally published on the Bible Gateway Blog.


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