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THE PSALMS

 

BOOK THREE  (Psalms 73 - 89)

“Turn us back to You, O God of Hosts;

Cause Your Face to shine upon us, and we will be saved!”

 (Psalm 80:7)

 

 

OUR COLOURED TEXT

Our text is coloured to highlight Deity, promises, blessings, prophecies, praise, salvation, judgment and emphasis.  This is to encourage an analytical eye while studying the psalms.

 

COLOUR  SCHEME:

ORANGE for Names, titles & attributes of God.      

GREEN for blessings, promises & answered prayer.     

RED for salvation & deliverance.    

MAJENTA for worship, praise & thanksgiving. 

PURPLE for Messianic passages.    

DARK BLUE for prophetic passages. 

BROWN for warnings, discipline, & judgments,

BLUE for general text or emphasis.     

 

Suggested memory verses - the verse number is indicated in red.

(YHWH may be pronounced as Yahweh)

 

PSALM 73

The Prosperity of the Wicked, and their End

A Psalm of Asaph

Asaph was an outstanding musician in the time of King David who was appointed

minister of music before the Ark which has been captured by the Philistines.

The Ark was brought back by David and was now in  special “tent” in Jerusalem,

even though the Tabernacle was still in Gideon. (1 Chronicles 15:19, 16:1-7).

Asaph’s descendants were also official musicians.

Psalms 50 and 73 to 83 are all attributed to “Asaph.” But as some of

these psalms were written after the time of David, it suggests that

at least one of the psalmists was from the among the descendants of Asaph.

In this psalm Asaph gives an answer to the perplexing question of why the

wicked prosper; and contrasts the destinies of the wicked and the righteous.

 

1  Elohim is truly good to Israel,

     to those who are pure in heart.

2  But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;

     my steps had nearly slipped.

3  For I was envious of the boastful,

     when I saw the peace and prosperity of the wicked.

4  For there are no pangs in their death,

     and their strength is firm.

5  They are not in trouble as other men,

    nor are they plagued like other men.

6  Therefore pride surrounds them as a necklace;

    violence covers them like a garment.

7  Their eyes bulge from fatness and abundance;

    the imaginations of their heart run riot.

8  They scoff and speak wickedly of oppression;

    they speak from high up - so loftily.

9  They have set their mouth against the heavens,

    and their tongue walks through the earth.

 

10 Therefore his people return here,

(alternate trans.:)  Therefore their people turn to them,

    and the drink waters in abundance.

11 And they say, ‘How could God know?

     Does the Most High have knowledge?’

12 See, these are the wickedly who are always at ease.

     They have increased in wealth.

13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,

     and washed my hands in innocence.

14 For all day long I am plagued,

     and chastened every morning.

 

15 If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’

     then I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.

16 When I tried to understand this,

     it was oppressive to my eyes -

17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;

     then I understood their final destiny.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;

     You make them fall to destruction.

19 Oh, how they are ruined as in a moment!

     They are completely swept away by terrors.

20 Sovereign Master, when You awake You despise their form,

     as one does a dream after awakening.

 

21 When my heart was embittered,

     and I was pierced within (lit. in my kidneys).

22 I was so foolish and ignorant;

     I was like a beast before You.

23 Yet I am always with You;

     You hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with Your counsel,

     and afterward You receive me into glory with honour.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?

     And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,

     but God is the Rock - the strength of my heart

     and my portion forever.

27 For indeed, those who are far from You perish;

     You will cut off all who are unfaithful to You.

28 But as for me, it is good to draw near to God;

     I have made Adonai YHWH my Refuge,

     that I may declare all Your works r

 

 

PSALM 74 

Elohim, Remember Your Covenant

Against the background of the Babylonian captivity and the destruction of

the Temple in 586 BC, this psalm relates the nation’s cry for help,

 the conditions of the havoc, and the confidence of their hope.

A Maskil (a contemplative poem) of Asaph

 

1   O Elohim, why have You rejected us forever?

     Why does Your anger smoulder against the sheep of Your pasture?

2   Remember Your assembly - Your people whom You have purchased of old,

     the tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed -

     and this Mount Zion where You have dwelt.

3   Turn Your footsteps to the endless ruins.

     The enemy has wickedly desecrated everything in the sanctuary.

4   Your enemies have roared in the midst of Your meeting places;

     they have set up their own banners as signs.

5   They seem like men who lift up axes upon a thicket of trees.

6   And now they smash all its carved work with axes and hammers.

7   They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground;

     they have defiled the dwelling place of Your Name.

8   They said in their hearts,

     ‘Let us crush them altogether.’

     They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.

9   We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet;

     nor is there any among us who knows how long.

10 O God, how long will the adversary revile?

     Will the enemy despise Your Name forever?

11 Why do You withdraw Your Hand, even Your Right Hand?

     Bring it out of Your bosom and destroy them.

 

12 For God is my King from of old,

     bringing deliverance in the midst of the earth.

13 You divided the sea by Your strength;

     You broke the heads of the sea serpents in the waters.

14 You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces,

     and gave him as food to the people living in the wilderness.

15 You broke open the fountain and the flood;

     You dried up ever-flowing rivers.

16 The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;

     You have established the light and the sun.

17 You have set all the borders of the earth;

     You have made summer and winter.

 

18 Remember this: the enemy has reviled YHWH,

     and a foolish people has despised Your Name.

19 Do not give the life of Your turtledove to the wild beast!

     Do not forget the assembly of Your poor, afflicted people forever.

20 Look and consider the covenant;

     for the dark places of the earth are full of the haunts of violence.

21 Do not let the oppressed return ashamed!

     Let the poor and needy praise Your Name.

22 Arise, O God, plead Your own cause!

     Remember how the foolish man reviles You daily.

23 Do not forget the voice of Your enemies;

     the uproar of those who rise up against You increases continually.   r

 

 

PSALM 75

But Elohim is the Judge

Asaph warns of the inevitable judgment that will cut off “the horns”

of the wicked; and praises God because He is the Judge.

To the Chief Musician. Set to ‘Do Not Destroy.’

A Psalm of Asaph. A Song

 

1  We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!

     for Your Name is near.

     Your wondrous works declare it.

 

‘When I set the appointed time,

     it is I, yes I, who will judge uprightly.

When the earth and all its inhabitants melt;

     it is I, yes I, who will set its pillars firmly.  Selah.

 

I said to the boastful, “Do not boast,”

    and to the wicked, “Do not lift up the horn;

    (do not proudly vaunt your strength);

do not lift up your horn on high;

   - you speak with a stiff neck”.’

 

For exaltation comes neither from the east

    nor from the west, nor from the wilderness - the south.

But God is the Judge.

    He puts down one, and exalts another.

For there is a cup in the hand of YHWH, and the wine in it foams;

   it is filled with a mixture, and He pours it out.

   Surely all the wicked of the earth drink, draining it to the very dregs.

 

  But I, I declare it forever,

     I sing praises to the God of Jacob.

10 And all the horns of the wicked I cut off,

     but the horns of the righteous are exalted r

 

 

PSALM 76

The Glorious Power of Elohim

This is a song of thanksgiving for God’s victory over Israel’s enemies.

To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments.

A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

 

1   God is known in Judah;

     His Name is great in Israel.

2   His tabernacle is in Salem,

     and His dwelling place in Zion.

3   There He broke the flashing arrows of the bow,

     the shield, sword, and battle-axe.  Selah.

 

4   You are glorious and more majestic

     than the mountains of prey.

5   The valiant, stout-hearted have been stripped;

     they have sunk into their sleep;

     and none of the mighty men have found the use of their hands.

6   At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob,

     both the rider and horse have plunged into a coma.

7   You, yes You, are to be feared;

     and who may stand in Your Presence when once You are angry?

 

8   You caused judgment to be heard from heaven.

     The earth feared, and was still,

9   when Elohim rose up to give judgment,

     and to deliver all the meek and oppressed of the earth.  Selah.

10 Surely the wrath of man praises You;

     and the remainder of wrath You restrain.

     (alternate trans.)  with the remainder of wrath You gird Yourself.

    

11 Make vows to YHWH your God, and fulfil them.

     Let all who are around Him

     bring gifts to the One who is to be feared.

12 He cuts off the spirit of rulers;

     He is awesome to the kings of the earth!   r

 

 

PSALM 77

When Overwhelmed, Remember the Works of Yah!

The troubled writer is discouraged, for seemingly, God has changed,

and has forgotten to be gracious. But then Asaph is comforted

as he recounts the wonders of old that God has done.

To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun.

A Psalm of Asaph.

 

1   My voice is lifted to God -

     and I cry; my voice calls to Elohim,

     and He has listened to me.   

2   In the day of my distress I sought YHWH Adonai;

     my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;

     My soul refused to be comforted.

3   I remembered God, and groaned;

     When I talked it over in prayer,

     and my spirit grew faint - overwhelmed. Selah.

 

4   You hold my eyelids open - You keep me from death;

     I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5   I have thought about the days of old,

     the years of long ago.

6   I remember my song in the night;

     I meditate within my heart,

     and my spirit searches diligently.

 

7   Will Adonai reject forever?

     And will He never be pleased again?

8   Has His kindness ceased forever?

     Has His promise failed for all generations?

9   Has God forgotten to be gracious?

     Has He in anger shut up His mercies?  Selah.

10 And I said, ‘This is my anguish;

     that the Right Hand of the Most High has changed.’

     (alternate reading:

     ‘But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’)

 

11 I will remember the works of Yah* (*short form of Yahweh)

     for I remember Your wonders of old.

12 I will also meditate on all Your work,

     and talk of Your deeds.

13 Your way, O God, is holy and set-apart;

     what god is great like our God?

14 You are the God who does wonders;

     You have declared Your strength among the peoples.

15 By Your power You have redeemed Your people,

     the sons of Jacob and Joseph.  Selah.

 

16 The waters saw You, O Elohim;

     the waters saw You, they were afraid;

     the depths also trembled.

17 The clouds poured out water;

     the skies rumbled;

     Your arrows also flashed back and forth.

18 The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;

     the lightnings lit up the world;

     the earth trembled and shook.

19 Your way was in the sea,

     Your path in the great waters,

     and Your footsteps were not known.

20 You led Your people like a flock

     by the hand of Moses and Aaron.   r

 

 

PSALM 78

God Continues to Guide His People

Asaph recites the early history of the nation in order to warn future generations against a repetition of unfaithfulness. He recalls Israel’s provocation

in the wilderness, their ingratitude during the exodus, and

their unfaithfulness during the period of the judges.

And yet through it all, God disciplined, shepherded,

restored and guided them with His skilful hands.

A Maskil of Asaph.

 

1   Listen, O my people, to my instruction;

     incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2   I will open my mouth in a parable;

     I will speak hidden things of old,

3   which we have heard and known,

     for our fathers have related them to us.

4   We do not conceal them from their children,

     but tell to the generation to come, the praises of YHWH,

     and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.

 

5   For He established a testimony in Jacob,

     and appointed a law in Israel,

     which He commanded our fathers,

     that they should teach them to their children;

6   that the generation to come might know them,

     even the children yet to be born,

     that they, in turn, may rise up and relate them to their children,

7   and put their confidence in God,

     and not forget the works of Elohim,

     but keep His commands,

8   and not be like their fathers -

     a stubborn and rebellious generation -

     a generation that did not set its heart right,

     and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

 

9   The sons of Ephraim though archers equipped with bows,

     turned back in the day of battle.

10 They did not keep the covenant of God,

     and refused to walk in His Law.

11 They forgot His deeds,

     and His wonders that He had shown them.

12 Marvellous things He did in the sight of their fathers,

     in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through;

     and He made the waters stand up like a heap.

14 Then He led them with the cloud by day,

     and all through the night with a light of fire.

15 He split the rocks in the wilderness,

     and gave them water to drink as from the great ocean depths.

16 He also brought streams from out of the rock,

     and caused waters to run down like rivers.

 

17 Yet they still continued to sin against Him,

     rebelling against the Most High in the desert.

18 And in their heart they put God to the test

     by asking for the food they craved.

19 Then they spoke against God. They said,

     ‘Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?

20 See, He struck the rock, so that waters gushed out,

     and streams overflowed.

     Can He give bread also?

     Will He provide meat for His people?’

 

21 Therefore YHWH heard this and was furious,

     and a fire was kindled against Jacob,

     and anger also rose up against Israel,

22 because they did not believe in God,

     and did not trust in His salvation.*   (*Hebrew: Yeshuah)

23 Yet He commanded the clouds above,

     and opened the doors of the heavens;

24 and He rained down manna upon them to eat,

     and gave them the grain of heaven.

25 Men ate the bread of angels;

     He sent them food in abundance.

26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens;

     and by His power He directed the south wind.

27 He rained meat on them like the dust,

     and winged fowls like the sand of the seas;

28 He let them fall in the midst of His camp,

     round about His tents.

29 So they ate and were very satisfied;

     for He gave them what they desired.

30 Before they had satisfied their desire,

     and while their food was still in their mouths,

31 the anger of God came against them,

     and killed some of the sturdiest among them,

     and stuck down the choice young men of Israel.

32 In spite of all this they still sinned,

     and did not believe in His wonderful works.

33 So He brought their days to an end in futility,

     and their years in terror.

 

34 Whenever He slew them, then they sought Him,

     and returned and searched earnestly for God;

35 and they remembered that Elohim was their Rock,

     and El Elyon, the Most High God, their Redeemer.

36 But they flattered and deceived Him with their mouth,

     and lied to Him with their tongue.

37 For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,

     nor were they faithful in His covenant.

38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity,

     and did not destroy them.

     Often He restrained His anger,

     and did not stir up all His wrath.

39 For He remembered that they were but flesh,

     a passing wind that does not return.

 

40 How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness,

     and grieved Him in the desert!

41 Yes, again and again they put God to the test,

     and limited and vexed the Holy One of Israel.

42 They did not remember His hand of power,

     on the day He redeemed them from the enemy,

43 when He displayed His signs in Egypt,

     and His wonders in the field of Zoan,

44 how He turned their rivers to blood,

     and their streams, so that they could not drink.

45 He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them,

     and frogs which destroyed them.

46 He gave also their crops to the caterpillar,

     and the product of their labour to the locust.

47 He destroyed their vines with hail,

     and their sycamore trees with frost.

48 He gave their cattle over to hailstones,

     and their livestock to fiery bolts of lightning.

49 He sent upon them His burning anger,

     wrath, indignation and distress -

     a deputation of messengers of evil.

50 He made a path for His anger;

     He did not spare their soul from death,

     but gave over their life to the plague,

51 and He smote all the firstborn in Egypt,

     the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.

52 But He made His own people go forth like sheep,

     and guided them in the wilderness like a flock;

53 and He led them safely, so that they did not fear;

     but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

 

54 So He brought them to the border of His holy place,

     to this mountain which His right hand had gained,

55 and drove out the nations before them,

     and caused them to occupy their allotted inheritance,

     and made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.

56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God,

     and did not keep His testimonies,

57 but they turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers.

     They became unreliable like a deceitful bow.

58 They enraged Him with their high places,

     and moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.

59 God heard this, and He was furious,

     and greatly detested and opposed Israel.

60 So He abandoned the Dwelling Place of Shiloh,

     the Tent which He had set up among men;

61 and gave up the Ark of His Strength to captivity,

     and His glory to the hand of an adversary.

62 He also gave His people over to the sword,

     and was furious with His inheritance.

63 Fire devoured His young men;

     and His maidens were not praised.

64 His priests fell by the sword;

     and their widows could not weep.

 

65 Then YHWH Adonai awoke as from sleep,

     like a mighty man who shouts because of wine.

66 And He beat back His adversaries;

     He put on them an everlasting reproach.

67 He also rejected the tent of Joseph,

     and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,

68 but chose the tribe of Judah,

     Mount Zion which He loved.

69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights,

     like the earth, He founded it forever.

70 He chose David His servant,

     and took him from the sheepfolds;

71 He brought him in from tending the ewes and lambs,

     to shepherd Jacob His people,

     and Israel His inheritance.

72 So David shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,

     and led them by His skillful hands.   r

 

 

PSALM 79

How Long, O YHWH? Come Quickly!

Asaph bemoans the destruction of Jerusalem, and

beseeches God to destroy Israel’s enemies

A Psalm of Asaph.

 

1   O God, the nations have come and invaded Your inheritance;

     they have defiled Your holy Temple;

     they have turned Jerusalem into ruins.

2   They have given the dead bodies of Your servants

     as food to the birds of the heavens,

     the flesh of Your devout, set-apart people to the beasts of the earth.

3   They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem;

     and there is no-one to bury them.

4   We have become an object of reproach to our neighbours,

     a scorn and mockery to those around us.

5   How long, O YHWH? Will You be angry forever?
     Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
6   Pour out Your wrath upon the nations that do not know You,

     and upon the kingdoms that do not call upon Your Name.

7   For they have devoured Jacob,

     and ruined his dwellings and pasture.

 

8   Do not remember the iniquities of our fathers against us!

     Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us,

     for we have been brought very low.

9   Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your Name.

     Deliver us, and forgive and cover our sins, for Your Name’s sake.

10 Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?”

     Let the avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed,

     be known among the nations before our eyes.

11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You;

     according to the greatness of Your Arm

     preserve those who are doomed to die.

12 And return into the bosom of our neighbours sevenfold the reproach

     with which they have reproached You, O Adonai.

13 And we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture

     will give thanks to You forever;

     we will tell of Your praise to all generations.   r

 

 

PSALM 80

Elohim, Cause Your Face to Shine Upon Us,

And We Will Be Saved

Written against the background of the Assyrian captivity of the

northern tribes of Israel, (2 Kings 17:6),  this psalm reveals the shock

that event had in Jerusalem where the Asaph singers lived.

Exposed to Assyria in the north, the people of Judah now cry to God

as the Shepherd of His sheep, and the Husbandman of His vineyard.

To the Chief Musician. Set to El Shoshannim, “The Lilies.”

A Testimony of Asaph. A Psalm.

 

1   Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel;

     You who lead Joseph like a flock;

     You who dwell between the cheribim, shine forth!

2   Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,

     stir up Your power, and come and save* us! (*Yeshuah)

3   Cause us to turn back to You, O Elohim;

     cause Your Face to shine upon us, and we will be saved!

 

4   O YHWH, God of Hosts,

     how long will Your anger smoulder

     against the prayer of Your people?

5   You have fed them with the bread of tears,

     and given them tears to drink a third time - in great measure.

6   You have made us a source of strife to our neighbours,

     and our enemies mock us and laugh among themselves.

7   Turn us back to You, O God of Hosts;

     cause Your Face to shine upon us, and we will be saved!

 

8   You have brought a vine out of Egypt;

     You have driven out the nations, and planted it.

9   You prepared room for the vine,

     and it took deep root and filled the land.

10 Hills were covered with its shade,

     and its boughs are like the mighty cedars of God.

11 It sent out its boughs to the Sea,

     and its shoots to the River.

12 Why have You broken down its hedges,

     so that all who pass that way pluck its fruit?

13 The boar out of the forest ravages it,

     and a wild beast of the field devours it.

 

14 Return to us, we beseech You, O God of Hosts;

     look down from heaven and see!

     Visit and inspect this vine.

15 And the root that Your Right Hand has planted, 

     and the Branch - the Son - whom You made strong for Yourself,

16 is burned with fire, it is cut down.

     They perish at the rebuke of Your Countenance.

17 Let Your Hand be upon the Man at Your Right Hand,

     upon the Son of Man whom You made strong for Yourself.

18 Then we will not turn away from You.

     Revive us, and we will call upon Your Name.

19 Turn us back to You, O YHWH, God of Hosts;

     Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.   r

 

 

PSALM 81

If My People Would Listen to Me!

This psalm relates to the wilderness experiences of Israel,

and the memorial Feast of Booths.  (Leviticus 23:33-43).

It calls for praise, remembrance and repentance.

To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath.

A Psalm of Asaph.

 

1   Shout for joy to God, our Strength;

     shout to the God of Jacob.

2   Start up a song and sound the timbrel,

     and the pleasant harp with the lute.

3   Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,

     at the full moon, on the day of our festival.

4   For this is a statute for Israel,

     a decree of the God of Jacob.

5   This He appointed in Joseph for a testimony,

     when He went throughout the land of Egypt,

     where I heard a language that I did not understand.

 

     God says:

6   “I relieved his shoulder of the burden;

     his hands were freed from the baskets.

7   You called in distress, and I rescued you;

     I answered you in the secret place of thunder;

     I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

 

8   “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you -

     if you will listen to Me, O Israel!

9   There shall be no strange god among you;

     nor shall you worship any foreign god.

10  I am YHWH your God,

     who brought you out of the land of Egypt;

     open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

 

11 “But My people did not listen to My voice,

     and Israel would not submit to Me.

12 So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,

     to walk in their own counsels.

13 O, that My people would listen to Me;

     if only Israel would walk in My ways,

14 I would quickly subdue their enemies,

     and turn My hand against their adversaries!

15 Those who hate YHWH would cringe before Him,

     but their time of punishment would be forever.

16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;

     and with honey from the Rock I would satisfy you.”       r                                    

 

PSALM 82

Arise, O Elohim! Judge the Earth!

This psalm brings condemnation on the unjust judges in God’s assembly.

They consider themselves as high and mighty, but they die like all men.

The psalm ends with a call for God to judge the earth.

A Psalm of Asaph

 

1   God stands in the assembly of the mighty;

     He judges among “the gods” – the rulers.

2   Men, how long will you judge unjustly,

     and show partiality to the wicked?   Selah.

3   Defend the poor and fatherless;

     do justice to the afflicted and needy.

4   Rescue the poor and needy;

     deliver them from the hand of the wicked!

 

5  They do not know, nor do they understand;

     they walk about in darkness;

     all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6   I said, ‘You are gods,

     and all of you are sons of the Most High,

7   but you die like men,

     and fall like one of the princes.’

 

8   Arise, O Elohim, judge the earth;

     for You shall inherit all the nations.   r

 

 

PSALM 83

Destroy Your Enemies, O God!

This psalm pictures a coalition of enemy nations that conspire to wipe out Israel.

It prays for God to deal with them, so that they may know that

Yahweh alone is the Most High over all the earth.

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

 

1  O Elohim, do not keep silent!

     Do not be quiet,

     and do not be still, O God!

2   For look, Your enemies are roaring;

     and those who hate You have raised their heads.

3   They craftily plot against Your people,

     and conspire against Your hidden, treasured ones.

4   They have said, ‘Come, and let us destroy them as a nation,

     that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’

5   For they have conspired together with one mind;

     they make a pact against You;

6   the tents of Edom and the Ishmailites;

     Moab and the Hagarites;

7   Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;

     Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre.

8   Assyria also had joined with them;

     they have been a help to the sons of Lot. Selah.

 

9   Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera,

     as with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,

10 who perished at Endor,

     and became as dung for the earth.

11 Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb,

     and all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

12 who said, ‘Let us take possession of the pastures of God for ourselves.’

 

13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust,

     like stubble before the wind!

14 As a fire burns a forest,

     and as a flame sets the mountains on fire,

15 so pursue them with Your tornado,

     and terrify them with Your cyclone.

16 Cover their faces with shame,

     that they may seek Your Name, O YHWH.

17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever;

     yes, let them be humiliated and perish,

18 that they may know that You, whose Name is YHWH -

     You alone are the Most High over all the earth.    r                                              

 

PSALM 84

The Joy of Dwelling in the House of YHWH

This is a song of a pilgrim who expresses his passion for God’s House,

and praises Yahweh Elohim who gives grace and glory.

To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath.

A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

 

1   How lovely are Your dwelling places,

     O YHWH of Hosts!

2   My soul yearns, yes, it is even consumed

     with longing for the courts of YHWH.

     My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

3   Even the sparrow has found a home,

     and the swallow a nest for herself,

     where she may have her young -

     even on Your altars, O YHWH of Hosts,

     my King and my God.

4   Blessed are those who dwell in Your House;

     they are ever praising You.  Selah.

 

5   Blessed is the man who strength is in You;

     highways to your House are in their heart.

     Passing through the Valley of Baca (of Weeping),

     they make it a fountain - a place of springs.

     The early rain also covers it with blessings.

7   They go from strength to strength;

     appearing before God in Zion.

 

8   O YHWH God of Hosts, hear my prayer;

     give ear, O Elohim of Jacob!  Selah.

 

9   O God, see our shield,

     and look upon the face of Your anointed.

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.

     I would rather be a doorkeeper standing

     at the threshold of the House of my God,

     than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For YHWH God is a Sun and Shield;

     YHWH gives grace and glory;

     He withholds no good thing

     from those who walk uprightly.

12 O YHWH of Hosts,

     blessed is the man who trusts in You!   r]

 

 

PSALM 85

Restore and Revive Us, O YHWH!

During a time of national setback, the psalm recalls the deeds of God

in the past, and pleads for revival and restoration in the present distress.

It also brings reassurance concerning deliverance and blessing in the future.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

 

1   O YHWH, You have been favorable to Your land;

     You have turned back the captivity of Jacob.

2   You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;

     You have covered all their sin.  Selah.

 

3   You have taken away all Your wrath;

     You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.

 

4   Turn back and restore us, O God of our salvation,

     and cause Your anger toward us to cease.

5   Will You be enraged with us for ever?

     Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?

6   Will You not return and revive us,

     that Your people may rejoice in You?

7   Show us Your lovingkindness, O YHWH,

     and grant us Your salvation.

 

8   I will hear what God, YHWH, will speak,

     for He speaks peace to His people

     and to His devout, set-apart people;

     but let them not turn again to folly!

9   Truly, His salvation is near to those who stand in awe of Him,

     that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Lovingkindness and truth have met,

     righteousness and peace have kissed.

11 Truth springs forth from the earth,

     and righteousness looks down from heaven.

12 Yes, YHWH gives what is good;

     and our land yields its increase.

13 Righteousness goes before Him,

     and prepares a way for His footsteps.   r

 

 

PSALM 86

God is Merciful and Gracious, Slow to Anger and

Abundant in Lovingkindness and Truth

David praises the Sovereign Master, giving thanks for

His  abundant lovingkindness; and prays for deliverance and grace.

This is the only psalm of David in Book 3.

A Prayer of David.

 

1   Incline Your ear, O YHWH;

     hear me, for I am poor and needy.

2   Preserve my life, for I am devoted and set apart;

     Oh! You who are my God;

     save Your servant who is trusting in You!

3   Be merciful to me, Adonai,

     for I cry to You all day long.

4   Cause the soul of Your servant to rejoice,

     for to You, O Sovereign Master, I lift up my soul.

5   For You, Adonai, are good, and ready to forgive,

     and great in kindness to all those who call upon You.

6   Give ear, O YHWH, to my prayer,

     and listen to the voice of my pleadings.

7   In the day of my distress I call upon You,

     for You answer me.

8   Among the gods there is none like You, O Adonai;

     nor are there any works like Your works.

9   All nations whom You have made

     will come and worship before You, O Sovereign Master,

     and glorify Your Name.

10 For You are great, and are doing wonders;

     You are God, You alone.

11 Teach me Your way, O YHWH;

     and I will walk in Your truth.

     Give me an undivided heart, that I may stand in awe of Your Name.

12 I will give thanks to You, O Adonai my God, with all my heart,

     I will glorify Your Name for ever.”

13 For great is Your kindness toward me,

     and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol - the grave.

14 O God, the proud have risen against me,

     and a band of violent men have sought my life,

     and they have not set You before them.

15 But You, O Adonai, are a gracious God, full of compassion,

     slow to anger and abundant in kindness and truth.

16 Turn to me, and be gracious on me!

     Give Your strength to Your servant,

     and save the son of Your maidservant.

17 Show me a sign for good,

     that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,

     for You, O YHWH, have helped me and comforted me.   r

 

 

PSALM 87

Glorious Zion, the City of God

This is a song of Zion, the City of God that Yahweh loves and establishes.

A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song.

 

1   His foundation is in the holy mountains.

2   YHWH loves the gates of Zion

     more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

3   Glorious things are spoken of you,

     O City of God!  Selah.

 

4   “I mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know me.

     See, Philistia and Tyre, with Kush (Ethiopia) are saying:

     ‘This man was born there’.”

 

5   And of Zion it will be said,

     “This one and that one were born in her;

     and Elyon, the Most High Himself establishes her.”

6   YHWH records in the register of the peoples:

     “This one was born there.”  Selah.

 

7   Both the singers and instrumentalists say,

     ‘All my springs of life and joy are in you.’    r

 

 

PSALM 88

O YHWH, Save Me From the Pit!

In this saddest of psalms, the writer is overwhelmed by discouragement

because of troubles, loneliness, and seemingly, rejection by God.

A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

To the Chief Musician. Set to Mahalath Leannoth.

A Maskil of Heman the Ezralite.

 

1   O YHWH, God of my salvation,

     I have cried out by day and night before You.

2   Let my prayer come before You;

     incline Your ear to my cry!

3   For my soul has been filled with troubles,

     and my life has drawn near to Sheol.

4   I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit;

     I have become like a man without strength,

5   forsaken among the dead,

     like the slain ones lying in the grave,

     whom You have remembered no more,

     and who have been cut off from Your hand.

6   You have put me in the lowest pit,

     in dark places, in the depths.

7   Your wrath has rested heavily upon me,

     and You have afflicted me with all Your waves.  Selah.

 

8   You have removed my acquaintances far from me;

     You have made me repulsive to them;

     I am shut up and cannot go out.

9   My eye grows dim because of affliction;

     I have called upon You, YHWH, all day long;

     I have spread out my hands to You.

10 Will You perform wonders for the dead?

     Will the dead rise and praise You?  Selah.

 

11 Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave,

     or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?

12 Are Your wonders known in the dark?

     And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

 

13 But I have cried out to You, O YHWH,

     and in the morning my prayer comes before You.

14 O YHWH, why do You reject my soul?

     Why do You hide Your Face from me?

15 I have been afflicted and dying from my youth on;

     I have suffered Your terrors; I am distraught and pine away.

16 Your fierce wrath has swept over me;

     Your terrors have destroyed me.

17 They have surrounded me like water all day long;

     they have completely engulfed me.

18 You have removed loved ones and friends far from me;

     the darkness is my acquaintance.   r

 

 

PSALM 89

The Covenant of YHWH with David.

And Israel’s Afflictions.

In this psalm, the writer recites the covenant of God with David,

and exalts Yahweh who is absolutely incomparable.

After rehearsing the Davidic covenant in poetic form (19-37),

the psalmist argues that God had spurned His covenant

and brought about the present King’s humiliating defeat.

He thus petitions God to remember His covenant.

The final palm of Book 3 ends with “Blessed be Yahweh forever.”

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

 

1   I will sing of the lovingkindness of YHWH forever;

     with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.

2   For I have said,Lovingkindness is be built up forever;

     You establish Your faithfulness in the heavens.’

3   You have said, “I have made a covenant with My chosen;

     I have sworn to David My servant:

4   ‘I will establish your seed - your line - forever,

     and build up your throne to all generations’.”  Selah.

 

5   The heavens praise Your wonders, O YHWH;

     Your faithfulness also, in the assembly of the holy ones.

6   For who in the skies is comparable to YHWH?

     Who among the sons of the mighty is like YHWH?

7   God is greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,

     and awesome above all those who are around Him?

8   O YHWH, God of Hosts,

     who is a mighty One like You, O Yah?

     Your faithfulness is all around You.

9   You rule the surging of the sea;

     when its waves rise, You still them.

10 You have crushed Rahab as one who is slain;

     You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty Arm.

 

11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;

     the world and all that fills it.

     You have founded them.

12 You have created the north and the south;

     Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at Your Name.

13 You have a mighty Arm;

     Your Hand is strong, Your Right Hand is exalted.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;

     lovingkindness and truth go before You.

15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!

     O YHWH, they walk in the light of Your Countenance.

16 In Your Name they rejoice all day long,

     and by Your righteousness they are exalted.

17 For You are the glory of their strength,

     and by Your favour our horn is exalted.

18 For our shield belongs to YHWH,

     and our king to the Holy One of Israel.

 

19 Once You spoke in a vision to Your holy one,

     and You said, I have given help to one who is mighty;

     I have exalted one chosen from the people.

20 I have found David My servant;

     with My holy oil I have anointed him,

21 with whom My Hand is established;

     My Arm also strengthens him.

22 The enemy will not deceive him,

     nor the son of wickedness afflict him.

23 But I shall crush his adversaries before him,

     and plague those who hate him.

24 But My faithfulness and My lovingkindness are with him,

     and in My Name his horn is exalted.

25 I will also set his hand on the sea,

     and his right hand over the rivers.

26 He will cry to Me,You are my Father,

     my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

27 I also make him My first-born,

     the highest of the kings of the earth.

28 I will maintain My lovingkindness for him forever,

     My covenant with him will be steadfast,

29 And I will establish his descendants forever,

     and his throne as the days of heaven.

 

30 If his sons forsake My torah - teaching,

     and do not walk in My judgments,

31 if they violate My laws,

     and do not keep My commands,

32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod,

     and their iniquity with stripes.

33 But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him,

     nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.

34 I will not violate My covenant,

     nor will I change what has gone out from My lips.

35 Once I have sworn by My holiness;

     I will not lie to David.

36 His descendants shall be forever,

     and his throne as the sun before Me.

37 Like the moon, it is established forever,

     and the witness in the sky is steadfast.’  Selah.

 

38 But You have cast off and rejected,

     You have been very angry with Your anointed.

39 You have disowned the covenant of Your servant;

     You have defiled his crown by casting it to the ground.

40 You have broken down all his hedges;

     You have reduced his strongholds to ruins.

41 All who pass by the way plunder him;

     he has become a reproach to his neighbours.

42 You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries;

     You have made all his enemies rejoice.

43 Moreover You turn back the edge of his sword,

     and have not made him stand in battle.

44 You have made his splendour to cease,

     and cast his throne to the ground.

45 You have shortened the days of his youth;

     You have covered him with shame.  Selah.

 

46 How long, O YHWH?

     Will You hide Yourself forever?

     Will Your wrath burn like fire?

47 Please remember what my span of life is;

     Why should You have created all the sons of men in vain?

48 What man can live and not see death?

     Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?  Selah.

 

49 Adonai, where are Your former lovingkindnesses,

     which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?

50 Remember, O Sovereign Master, the reproach of Your servants;

     that I have borne in my bosom -

     the reproach of all the many peoples,

51 with which Your enemies have reproached, O YHWH,

     with which they have reproached the footsteps of Your anointed.

 

52 Blessed be YWHWH forever! Amen and Amen.   r

 

END OF PSALMS BOOK THREE

 
 

 

 

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