Psalms 66

1Shout out praise to God, all the earth!
2 Sing praises about the majesty of his reputation!
Heb “his name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.

Give him the honor he deserves!
Heb “make honorable his praise.”

3 Say to God:
“How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power your enemies cower in fear
See Deut 33:29; Ps 81:15 for other uses of the verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash) in the sense “cower in fear.” In Ps 18:44 the verb seems to carry the nuance “be weak, powerless” (see also Ps 109:24).
before you.
4 All the earth worships
Or “bows down to.” The prefixed verbal forms in v. 4 are taken (1) as imperfects expressing what is typical. Another option (2) is to interpret them as anticipatory (“all the earth will worship you”) or (3) take them as jussives, expressing a prayer or wish (“may all the earth worship you”).
and sings praises to you!
They sing praises to your name!” (Selah)
5 Come and witness
Or “see.”
God’s exploits!
Or “acts” (see Ps 46:8).

His acts on behalf of people are awesome!
Heb “awesome [is] an act toward the sons of man.” It is unclear how the prepositional phrase relates to what precedes. If collocated with “act,” it may mean “on behalf of” or “toward.” If taken with “awesome” (see 1 Chr 16:25; Pss 89:7; 96:4; Zeph 2:11), one might translate “his awesome acts are beyond human comprehension” or “his awesome acts are superior to anything men can do.”

6 He turned the sea into dry land;
He turned the sea into dry land. The psalmist alludes to Israel’s crossing the Red Sea (Exod 14:21).

they passed through the river on foot.
Because of the reference to “the river,” some understand this as an allusion to Israel’s crossing the Jordan River. However, the Hebrew term נָהָר (nahad) does not always refer to a “river” in the technical sense; it can be used of sea currents (see Jonah 2:4). So this line may also refer to the Red Sea crossing (cf. NEB).

Let us rejoice in him there!
The adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”) is used here, as often in poetic texts, to point “to a spot in which a scene is localized vividly in the imagination” (BDB 1027 s.v.).

7 He rules
Heb “[the] one who rules.”
by his power forever;
he watches
Heb “his eyes watch.” “Eyes” are an anthropomorphism, attributed to God here to emphasize his awareness of all that happens on earth.
the nations.
Stubborn rebels should not exalt
The verb form is jussive (note the negative particle אַל, ’al). The Kethib (consonantal text) has a Hiphil form of the verb, apparently to be understood in an exhibitive sense (“demonstrate stubborn rebellion”; see BDB 927 s.v. רוּם Hiph), while the Qere (marginal reading) has a Qal form, to be understood in an intransitive sense. The preposition -לְ (lamed) with pronominal suffix should be understood in a reflexive sense (“for themselves”) and indicates that the action is performed with the interest of the subject in mind.
themselves. (Selah)
8 Praise
Heb “bless,” in the sense of declaring “God to be the source of…special power” (see HALOT 160 s.v. II ברך pi).
our God, you nations!
Loudly proclaim his praise!
Heb “cause the voice of his praise to be heard.”

9 He preserves our lives
Heb “the one who places our soul in life.”

and does not allow our feet to slip.
10 For
Or “indeed.”
you, O God, tested us;
you purified us like refined silver.
11 You led us into a trap;
Heb “you brought us into a net.” This rare word for “net” also occurs in Ezek 12:13; 13:21; 17:20.

you caused us to suffer.
Heb “you placed suffering on our hips.” The noun מוּעָקָה (muaqah, “suffering”) occurs only here in the OT.

12 You allowed men to ride over our heads;
we passed through fire and water,
but you brought us out into a wide open place.
The MT reads רְוָיָה (“saturation”) but this should be emended to רְוָחָה (revakhah, “wide open place”; i.e., “relief”), a reading supported by several ancient versions (LXX, Syriac, Jerome, Targum).

13 I will enter
Here the psalmist switches to the singular; he speaks as the representative of the nation.
your temple with burnt sacrifices;
I will fulfill the vows I made to you,
14 which my lips uttered
and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer up to you fattened animals as burnt sacrifices,
along with the smell of sacrificial rams.
I will offer cattle and goats. (Selah)
16 Come! Listen, all you who are loyal to God!
Heb “all of the fearers of God.”

I will declare what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him for help
Heb “to him [with] my mouth I called.”

and praised him with my tongue.
Heb “and he was extolled under my tongue.” The form רוֹמַם (romam) appears to be a polal (passive) participle from רוּם (rum, “be exalted”), but many prefer to read רוֹמָם, “high praise [was under my tongue]” (cf. NEB). See BDB 928 s.v. רוֹמָם.

18 If I had harbored sin in my heart,
Heb “sin if I had seen in my heart.”

the Lord would not have listened.
19 However, God heard;
he listened to my prayer.
God deserves praise,
Heb “blessed [be] God.”

Or “who.” In a blessing formula after בָּרוּךְ (barukh, “blessed be”) the form אֲשֶׁר (’asher), whether taken as a relative pronoun or causal particle, introduces the basis for the blessing/praise.
he did not reject my prayer
or abandon his love for me!
Heb “did not turn aside my prayer and his loyal love with me.”

Psalm 67

Psalm 67. The psalmist prays for God’s blessing upon his people and urges the nations to praise him for he is the just ruler of the world.

For the music director; to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm, a song.

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