Psalms 67

May God show us his favor
Or “have mercy on us.”
and bless us!
The prefixed verbal forms are understood as jussives expressing the psalmist’s prayer. Note the jussive form יָאֵר (yaer) in the next line.

May he smile on us!
Heb “may he cause his face to shine with us.”
(Selah)
Then those living on earth will know what you are like;
all nations will know how you deliver your people.
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.

Let the nations thank you, O God!
Let all the nations thank you!
Heb “let the nations, all of them, thank you.” The prefixed verbal forms in vv. 3–4a are understood as jussives in this call to praise.

Let foreigners
Or “peoples.”
rejoice and celebrate!
For you execute justice among the nations,
and govern the people living on earth.
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”).
(Selah)
Let the nations thank you, O God!
Let all the nations thank you!
Heb “let the nations, all of them, thank you.” The prefixed verbal forms in v. 5 are understood as jussives in this call to praise.

The earth yields its crops.
May God, our God, bless us!
May God bless us!
The prefixed verb forms in vv. 6b–7a are understood as jussives.

Then all the ends of the earth will give him the honor he deserves.
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.”

Psalm 68

Psalm 68. The psalmist depicts God as a mighty warrior and celebrates the fact that God exerts his power on behalf of his people.

For the music director; by David, a psalm, a song.

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