For the music director; to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm, a song.
May he smile on us! 4 (Selah)
67:2 Then those living on earth will know what you are like;
all nations will know how you deliver your people. 5
67:3 Let the nations thank you, O God!
Let all the nations thank you! 6
For you execute justice among the nations,
and govern the people living on earth. 8 (Selah)
67:5 Let the nations thank you, O God!
Let all the nations thank you! 9
67:6 The earth yields its crops.
May God, our God, bless us!
Then all the ends of the earth will give him the honor he deserves. 11
For the music director; by David, a psalm, a song.
His enemies scatter;
As wax melts before fire,
so the wicked are destroyed before God.
they rejoice before God
and are overcome with joy. 18
68:4 Sing to God! Sing praises to his name!
Exalt the one who rides on the clouds! 19
For the Lord is his name! 20
Rejoice before him!
68:5 He is a father to the fatherless
and an advocate for widows. 21
God rules from his holy palace. 22
he frees prisoners and grants them prosperity. 24
But sinful rebels live in the desert. 25
when you march through the desert, 27 (Selah)
68:8 the earth shakes,
yes, the heavens pour down rain
before God, the God of Sinai, 28
before God, the God of Israel. 29
You sustain the oppressed with your good blessings, O God.
many, many women spread the good news. 36
The lovely lady 38 of the house divides up the loot.
the wings of the dove are covered with silver
and with glittering gold. 41
let it snow 44 on Zalmon!
the mountain of Bashan is a mountain with many peaks. 47
at the mountain where God has decided to live? 50
68:17 God has countless chariots;
they number in the thousands. 53
The Lord comes from Sinai in holy splendor. 54
you have taken many captives. 56
including even sinful rebels.
Indeed the Lord God lives there! 59
Day after day 61 he carries our burden,
the God who delivers us. (Selah)
68:20 Our God is a God who delivers;
the Lord, the sovereign Lord, can rescue from death. 62
68:21 Indeed God strikes the heads of his enemies,
the hairy foreheads of those who persist in rebellion. 63
68:22 The Lord says,
“I will retrieve them 64 from Bashan,
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
and your dogs may eat their portion of the enemies’ corpses.” 66
the processions of my God, my king, who marches along in holy splendor. 68
68:25 Singers walk in front;
musicians follow playing their stringed instruments, 69
in the midst of young women playing tambourines. 70
68:26 In your large assemblies praise God,
the Lord, in the assemblies of Israel! 71
and the princes of Judah in their robes, 73
along with the princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali.
O God, you who have acted on our behalf, demonstrate your power,
Kings bring tribute to you.
and the nations that assemble like a herd of calves led by bulls! 78
68:32 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God!
Sing praises to the Lord, (Selah)
Look! He thunders loudly. 87
his sovereignty over Israel,
and the power he reveals in the skies! 89
It is the God of Israel 91 who gives the people power and strength.
God deserves praise! 92
For the music director; according to the tune of “Lilies;” 94 by David.
69:1 Deliver me, O God,
for the water has reached my neck. 95
69:2 I sink into the deep mire
where there is no solid ground; 96
I am in 97 deep water,
and the current overpowers me.
69:3 I am exhausted from shouting for help;
my throat is sore; 98
my eyes grow tired of looking for my God. 99
69:4 Those who hate me without cause are more numerous than the hairs of my head.
They make me repay what I did not steal! 102
my guilt is not hidden from you. 104
69:6 Let none who rely on you be disgraced because of me,
O sovereign Lord and king! 105
Let none who seek you be ashamed because of me,
O God of Israel!
and am thoroughly disgraced. 108
69:8 My own brothers treat me like a stranger;
they act as if I were a foreigner. 109
I endure the insults of those who insult you. 113
which causes others to insult me. 115
69:11 I wear sackcloth
and they ridicule me. 116
69:12 Those who sit at the city gate gossip about me;
drunkards mock me in their songs. 117
O God, because of your great loyal love,
answer me with your faithful deliverance! 119
69:14 Rescue me from the mud! Don’t let me sink!
Deliver me 120 from those who hate me,
from the deep water!
69:15 Don’t let the current overpower me!
Don’t let the deep swallow me up!
Because of your great compassion, turn toward me!
for I am in trouble! Answer me right away! 125
Because of my enemies, rescue me!
69:19 You know how I am insulted, humiliated and disgraced;
you can see all my enemies. 127
for comforters, but find none.
and to quench my thirst they give me vinegar to drink. 133
69:22 May their dining table become a trap before them!
May it be a snare for that group of friends! 134
Make them shake violently! 136
May your raging anger 138 overtake them!
69:25 May their camp become desolate,
their tents uninhabited! 139
they spread the news about the suffering of those whom you punish. 142
Do not vindicate them! 144
Do not let their names be listed with the godly! 146
69:29 I am oppressed and suffering!
O God, deliver and protect me! 147
I will magnify him as I give him thanks! 149
69:31 That will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull
with horns and hooves.
69:32 The oppressed look on – let them rejoice!
69:33 For the Lord listens to the needy;
he does not despise his captive people. 152
69:34 Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
along with the seas and everything that swims in them!
69:35 For God will deliver Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah,
69:36 The descendants of his servants will inherit it,
2 tn Or “have mercy on us.”
3 tn The prefixed verbal forms are understood as jussives expressing the psalmist’s prayer. Note the jussive form יָאֵר (ya’er) in the next line.
4 tn Heb “may he cause his face to shine with us.”
5 tn Heb “to know in the earth your way, among all nations your deliverance.” The infinitive with -לְ (lamed) expresses purpose/result. When God demonstrates his favor to his people, all nations will recognize his character as a God who delivers. The Hebrew term דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “way”) refers here to God’s characteristic behavior, more specifically, to the way he typically saves his people.
7 tn Or “peoples.”
8 tn Heb “for you judge nations fairly, and [as for the] peoples in the earth, you lead them.” The imperfects are translated with the present tense because the statement is understood as a generalization about God’s providential control of the world. Another option is to understand the statement as anticipating God’s future rule (“for you will rule…and govern”).
11 tn Heb “will fear him.” After the jussive of the preceding line, the prefixed verbal form with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive is understood as indicating purpose/result. (Note how v. 3 anticipates the universal impact of God showing his people blessing.) Another option is to take the verb as a jussive and translate, “Let all the ends of the earth fear him.”
13 tn Or “rises up.” The verb form is an imperfect, not a jussive. The psalmist is describing God’s appearance in battle in a dramatic fashion.
14 tn Heb “those who hate him.”
16 tn Heb “as smoke is scattered, you scatter [them].”
18 tn Heb “and they are happy with joy” (cf. NEB). Some translate the prefixed verbal forms of v. 3 as jussives, “Let the godly be happy, let them rejoice before God, and let them be happy with joy!” (Cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV; note the call to praise in v. 4.)
19 tn Traditionally the Hebrew term עֲרָבוֹת (’aravot) is taken as “steppe-lands” (often rendered “deserts”), but here the form is probably a homonym meaning “clouds.” Verse 33, which depicts God as the one who “rides on the sky” strongly favors this (see as well Deut 33:26), as does the reference in v. 9 to God as the source of rain. The term עֲרָבָה (’aravah, “cloud”) is cognate with Akkadian urpatu/erpetu and with Ugaritic ’rpt. The phrase rkb ’rpt (“one who rides on the clouds”) appears in Ugaritic mythological texts as an epithet of the storm god Baal. The nonphonemic interchange of the bilabial consonants b and p is attested elsewhere in roots common to Hebrew and Ugaritic, though the phenomenon is relatively rare.
20 tc Heb “in the
21 sn God is depicted here as a just ruler. In the ancient Near Eastern world a king was responsible for promoting justice, including caring for the weak and vulnerable, epitomized by the fatherless and widows.
22 tn Heb “God [is] in his holy dwelling place.” He occupies his throne and carries out his royal responsibilities.
23 tn Heb “God causes the solitary ones to dwell in a house.” The participle suggests this is what God typically does.
24 tn Heb “he brings out prisoners into prosperity.” Another option is to translate, “he brings out prisoners with singing” (cf. NIV). The participle suggests this is what God typically does.
25 tn Or “in a parched [land].”
sn God delivers the downtrodden and oppressed, but sinful rebels who oppose his reign are treated appropriately.
27 sn When you march through the desert. Some interpreters think that v. 7 alludes to Israel’s exodus from Egypt and its subsequent travels in the desert. Another option is that v. 7, like v. 8, echoes Judg 5:4, which describes how the God of Sinai marched across the desert regions to do battle with Sisera and his Canaanite army.
28 tn Heb “this one of Sinai.” The phrase is a divine title, perhaps indicating that the
29 sn The language of vv. 7-8 is reminiscent of Judg 5:4-5, which tells how the God of Sinai came in the storm and annihilated the Canaanite forces led by Sisera. The presence of allusion does not mean, however, that this is a purely historical reference. The psalmist is describing God’s typical appearance as a warrior in terms of his prior self-revelation as ancient events are reactualized in the psalmist’s experience. (For a similar literary technique, see Hab 3.)
30 tn The verb נוּף (nuf, “cause rain to fall”) is a homonym of the more common נוּף (“brandish”).
31 tn Heb “[on] your inheritance.” This refers to Israel as God’s specially chosen people (see Pss 28:9; 33:12; 74:2; 78:62, 71; 79:1; 94:5, 14; 106:40). Some take “your inheritance” with what follows, but the vav (ו) prefixed to the following word (note וְנִלְאָה, vÿnil’ah) makes this syntactically unlikely.
32 tn Heb “it [is],” referring to God’s “inheritance.”
33 tn Heb “it,” referring to God’s “inheritance.”
34 tn The meaning of the Hebrew text is unclear; it appears to read, “your animals, they live in it,” but this makes little, if any, sense in this context. Some suggest that חָיָּה (khayah) is a rare homonym here, meaning “community” (BDB 312 s.v.) or “dwelling place” (HALOT 310 s.v. III *הַיָּה). In this case one may take “your community/dwelling place” as appositional to the third feminine singular pronominal suffix at the end of v. 9, the antecedent of which is “your inheritance.” The phrase יָשְׁבוּ־בָהּ (yashvu-vah, “they live in it”) may then be understood as an asyndetic relative clause modifying “your community/dwelling place.” A literal translation of vv. 9b-10a would be, “when it [your inheritance] is tired, you sustain it, your community/dwelling place in [which] they live.”
35 tn Heb “gives a word.” Perhaps this refers to a divine royal decree or battle cry.
36 tn Heb “the ones spreading the good news [are] a large army.” The participle translated “the ones spreading the good news” is a feminine plural form. Apparently the good news here is the announcement that enemy kings have been defeated (see v. 12).
37 tn The verbal repetition draws attention to the statement.
38 tn The Hebrew form appears to be the construct of נוּה (nuh, “pasture”) but the phrase “pasture of the house” makes no sense here. The translation assumes that the form is an alternative or corruption of נצוה (“beautiful woman”). A reference to a woman would be appropriate in light of v. 11b.
39 tn Or “if.”
41 tn Heb “and her pinions with the yellow of gold.”
42 tn The divine name used here is שַׁדַּי (“Shaddai”). Shaddai/El Shaddai is the sovereign king/judge of the world who grants life, blesses and kills, and judges. In Genesis he blesses the patriarchs with fertility and promises numerous descendants. Outside Genesis he both blesses (protects) and takes away life and/or happiness.
44 tn The verb form appears to be a Hiphil jussive from שָׁלַג (shalag), which is usually understood as a denominative verb from שֶׁלֶג (sheleg, “snow”) with an indefinite subject. The form could be taken as a preterite, in which case one might translate, “when the sovereign judge scattered kings, it snowed on Zalmon” (cf. NIV, NRSV). The point of the image is unclear. Perhaps “snow” suggests fertility and blessing (see v. 9 and Isa 55:10), or the image of a snow-capped mountain suggests grandeur.
sn Zalmon was apparently a mountain in the region, perhaps the one mentioned in Judg 9:46 as being in the vicinity of Shechem.
45 sn The mountain of Bashan probably refers to Mount Hermon.
46 tn Heb “a mountain of God.” The divine name is probably used here in a superlative sense to depict a very high mountain (“a mountain fit for God,” as it were). Cf. NIV “are majestic mountains”; NRSV “O mighty mountain.”
47 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term, which appears only here in the OT, is uncertain. HALOT 174 s.v. גַּבְנוֹן suggests “many-peaked,” while BDB 148 s.v. גַּבְנִן suggests “rounded summit.”
48 tn The meaning of the Hebrew verb רָצַד (ratsad), translated here “look with envy,” is uncertain; it occurs only here in the OT. See BDB 952-53. A cognate verb occurs in later Aramaic with the meaning “to lie in wait; to watch” (Jastrow 1492 s.v. רְצַד).
49 tn Perhaps the apparent plural form should be read as a singular with enclitic mem (ם; later misinterpreted as a plural ending). The preceding verse has the singular form.
50 tn Heb “[at] the mountain God desires for his dwelling place.” The reference is to Mount Zion/Jerusalem.
51 tn The Hebrew particle אַף (’af) has an emphasizing function here.
52 tn The word “there” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
53 tn Heb “thousands of [?].” The meaning of the word שִׁנְאָן (shin’an), which occurs only here in the OT, is uncertain. Perhaps the form should be emended to שַׁאֲנָן (sha’anan, “at ease”) and be translated here “held in reserve.”
54 tc The MT reads, “the Lord [is] among them, Sinai, in holiness,” which is syntactically difficult. The present translation assumes an emendation to אֲדֹנָי בָּא מִסִּינַי (’adonay ba’ missinay; see BHS note b-b and Deut 33:2).
55 tn Heb “to the elevated place”; or “on high.” This probably refers to the Lord’s throne on Mount Zion.
56 tn Heb “you have taken captives captive.”
57 tn Or “gifts.”
58 tn Or “among.”
59 tn Heb “so that the
60 tn Heb “blessed [be] the Lord.”
61 tn It is possible to take this phrase with what precedes (“The Lord deserves praise day after day”) rather than with what follows.
62 tn Heb “and to the
63 tn Heb “the hairy forehead of the one who walks about in his guilt.” The singular is representative.
66 tn Heb “[and] the tongue of your dogs from [the] enemies [may eat] its portion.”
67 tn The subject is probably indefinite, referring to bystanders in general who witness the procession.
68 tn The Hebrew text has simply “in holiness.” The words “who marches along” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
69 tn Heb “after [are] the stringed instrument players.”
71 tn Heb “from the fountain of Israel,” which makes little, if any, sense here. The translation assumes an emendation to בְּמִקְרָאֵי (bÿmiqra’ey, “in the assemblies of [Israel]”).
72 sn Little Benjamin, their ruler. This may allude to the fact that Israel’s first king, Saul, was from the tribe of Benjamin.
73 tc The MT reads רִגְמָתָם (rigmatam), which many derive from רָגַם (ragam, “to kill by stoning”) and translates, “[in] their heaps,” that is, in large numbers.
75 tn Heb “Be strong, O God, [you] who have acted for us, from your temple in Jerusalem.”
76 tn The Hebrew verb גָּעַר (ga’ar) is often understood to mean “rebuke.” In some cases it is apparent that scolding or threatening is in view (see Gen 37:10; Ruth 2:16; Zech 3:2). However, in militaristic contexts such as Ps 68 this translation is inadequate, for the verb refers in this setting to the warrior’s battle cry, which terrifies and paralyzes the enemy. See A. Caquot, TDOT 3:53, and note the use of the verb in Ps 106:9 and Nah 1:4, as well as the related noun in Job 26:11; Pss 18:15; 76:6; 104:7; Isa 50:2; 51:20; 66:15.
77 sn The wild beast of the reeds probably refers to a hippopotamus, which in turn symbolizes the nation of Egypt.
78 tn Heb “an assembly of bulls, with calves of the nations.”
79 tn Heb “humbling himself.” The verb form is a Hitpael participle from the root רָפַס (rafas, “to trample”). The Hitpael of this verb appears only here and in Prov 6:3, where it seems to mean, “humble oneself,” a nuance that fits nicely in this context. The apparent subject is “wild beast” or “assembly,” though both of these nouns are grammatically feminine, while the participle is a masculine form. Perhaps one should emend the participial form to a masculine plural (מִתְרַפִּם, mitrapim) and understand “bulls” or “calves” as the subject.
80 tc Heb “with pieces [?] of silver.” The meaning of the Hebrew term רַצֵּי (ratsey) is unclear. It is probably best to emend the text to בֶּצֶר וְכָסֶף (betser vÿkhasef, “[with] gold and silver”).
81 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
82 tn The verb בָּזַר (bazar) is an alternative form of פָּזַר (pazar, “scatter”).
83 tn This noun, which occurs only here in the OT, apparently means “red cloth” or “bronze articles” (see HALOT 362 s.v. חַשְׁמַן; cf. NEB “tribute”). Traditionally the word has been taken to refer to “nobles” (see BDB 365 s.v. חַשְׁמַן; cf. NIV “envoys”). Another option would be to emend the text to הַשְׁמַנִּים (hashmannim, “the robust ones,” i.e., leaders).
84 tn Heb “Cush.”
85 tn Heb “causes its hands to run,” which must mean “quickly stretches out its hands” (to present tribute).
86 tc Heb “to the one who rides through the skies of skies of ancient times.” If the MT is retained, one might translate, “to the one who rides through the ancient skies.” (שְׁמֵי [shÿmey, “skies of”] may be accidentally repeated.) The present translation assumes an emendation to בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִקֶּדֶם (bashamayim miqqedem, “[to the one who rides] through the sky from ancient times”), that is, God has been revealing his power through the storm since ancient times.
88 tn Heb “give strength to God.”
91 tn Heb “the God of Israel, he.”
92 tn Heb “blessed [be] God.”
95 tn The Hebrew term נפשׁ (nefesh) here refers to the psalmist’s throat or neck. The psalmist compares himself to a helpless, drowning man.
96 tn Heb “and there is no place to stand.”
97 tn Heb “have entered.”
98 tn Or perhaps “raw”; Heb “burned; enflamed.”
99 tn Heb “my eyes fail from waiting for my God.” The psalmist has intently kept his eyes open, looking for God to intervene, but now his eyes are watery and bloodshot, impairing his vision.
101 tn The Hebrew verb עָצַם (’atsam) can sometimes mean “are strong,” but here it probably focuses on numerical superiority; note the parallel verb רָבַב (ravav, “be many”).
102 tn Heb “that which I did not steal, then I restore.” Apparently אָז (’az, “then”) is used here to emphasize the verb that follows.
sn They make me repay what I did not steal. The psalmist’s enemies falsely accuse him and hold him accountable for alleged crimes he did not even commit.
103 tn Heb “you know my foolishness.”
104 sn The psalmist is the first to admit that he is not perfect. But even so, he is innocent of the allegations which his enemies bring against him (v. 5b). God, who is aware of his foolish sins and guilt, can testify to the truth of his claim.
105 tn Heb “O Master,
106 tn Heb “carry, bear.”
107 tn Heb “on account of you.”
108 tn Heb “and shame covers my face.”
109 tn Heb “and I am estranged to my brothers, and a foreigner to the sons of my mother.”
110 tn Or “for.” This verse explains that the psalmist’s suffering is due to his allegiance to God.
111 tn Or “devotion to.”
112 sn God’s house, the temple, here represents by metonymy God himself.
113 tn Heb “the insults of those who insult you fall upon me.”
sn Jn 2:17 applies the first half of this verse to Jesus’ ministry in the context of John’s account of Jesus cleansing the temple.
114 sn Fasting was a practice of mourners. By refraining from normal activities such as eating food, the mourner demonstrated the sincerity of his sorrow.
115 tn Heb “and it becomes insults to me.”
116 tn Heb “and I am an object of ridicule to them.”
117 tn Heb “the mocking songs of the drinkers of beer.”
118 tn Heb “as for me, [may] my prayer be to you, O
119 tn Heb “O God, in the abundance of your loyal love, answer me in the faithfulness of your deliverance.”
120 tn Heb “let me be delivered.”
122 tn Heb “do not let the well close its mouth upon me.”
123 tn Or “pleasant”; or “desirable.”
125 tn Or “quickly.”
127 tn Heb “before you [are] all my enemies.”
128 tn Heb “break my heart.” The “heart” is viewed here as the origin of the psalmist’s emotions.
129 tn The verb form appears to be a Qal preterite from an otherwise unattested root נוּשׁ (nush), which some consider an alternate form of אָנַשׁ (’anash, “be weak; be sick”; see BDB 60 s.v. I אָנַשׁ). Perhaps the form should be emended to a Niphal, וָאֵאָנְשָׁה (va’e’onshah, “and I am sick”). The Niphal of אָנַשׁ occurs in 2 Sam 12:15, where it is used to describe David’s sick child.
130 tn Heb “wait.”
131 tn Heb “and I wait for sympathy, but there is none.” The form נוּד (nud) is an infinitive functioning as a verbal noun:, “sympathizing.” Some suggest emending the form to a participle נָד (nad, “one who shows sympathy”). The verb נוּד (nud) also has the nuance “show sympathy” in Job 2:11; 42:11 and Isa 51:19.
132 tn According to BDB 912 s.v. II רֹאשׁ the term can mean “a bitter and poisonous plant.”
134 tc Heb “and to the friends for a snare.” The plural of שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) is used in Ps 55:20 of one’s “friends.” If the reading of the MT is retained here, the term depicts the psalmist’s enemies as a close-knit group of friends who are bound together by their hatred for the psalmist. Some prefer to revocalize the text as וּלְשִׁלּוּמִים (ulÿshillumim, “and for retribution”). In this case the noun stands parallel to פַּח (pakh, “trap”) and מוֹקֵשׁ (moqesh, “snare”), and one might translate, “may their dining table become a trap before them, [a means of] retribution and a snare” (cf. NIV).
135 tn Heb “may their eyes be darkened from seeing.”
136 tn Heb “make their hips shake continually.”
137 tn Heb “anger.” “Anger” here refers metonymically to divine judgment, which is the practical effect of God’s anger.
138 tn Heb “the rage of your anger.” The phrase “rage of your anger” employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the single idea. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971), 17-81.
139 tn Heb “in their tents may there not be one who dwells.”
sn In Acts 1:20 Peter applies the language of this verse to Judas’ experience. By changing the pronouns from plural to singular, he is able to apply the ancient curse, pronounced against the psalmist’s enemies, to Judas in particular.
140 tn Or “persecute”; Heb “chase.”
141 tn Heb “for you, the one whom you strike, they chase.”
142 tn Heb “they announce the pain of your wounded ones” (i.e., “the ones whom you wounded,” as the parallel line makes clear).
sn The psalmist is innocent of the false charges made by his enemies (v. 4), but he is also aware of his sinfulness (v. 5) and admits that he experiences divine discipline (v. 26) despite his devotion to God (v. 9). Here he laments that his enemies take advantage of such divine discipline by harassing and slandering him. They “kick him while he’s down,” as the expression goes.
143 tn Heb “place sin upon their sin.”
144 tn Heb “let them not come into your vindication.”
145 tn Heb “let them be wiped out of the scroll of the living.”
sn The phrase the scroll of the living occurs only here in the OT. It pictures a scroll or census list containing the names of the citizens of a community. When an individual died, that person’s name was removed from the list. So this curse is a very vivid way of asking that the enemies die.
146 tn Heb “and with the godly let them not be written.”
sn Do not let their names be listed with the godly. This curse pictures a scroll in which God records the names of his loyal followers. The psalmist makes the point that his enemies have no right to be included in this list of the godly.
147 tn Heb “your deliverance, O God, may it protect me.”
148 tn Heb “I will praise the name of God with a song.”
149 tn Heb “I will magnify him with thanks.”
152 tn Heb “his prisoners he does not despise.”
153 tn Heb “they”; the referent (God’s people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
156 sn Verses 35-36 appear to be an addition to the psalm from the time of the exile. The earlier lament reflects an individual’s situation, while these verses seem to reflect a communal application of it.