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Psalm chapter 33

New International Version

1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. 2 Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. 4 For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. 13 From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth--
15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. 16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
English Standard Version

1 Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. 2 Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. 4 For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! 13 The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; 14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, 15 he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. 16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. 17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
King James Version

1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. 4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. 5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. 6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. 11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. 13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. 14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. 16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. 17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
New American Standard Bible

1 Sing for joy in the LORD, you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. 2 Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. 4 For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their lights. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He puts the depths in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The LORD nullifies the plan of nations; He frustrates the plans of peoples. 11 The plan of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen for His own inheritance. 13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of mankind; 14 From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth, 15 He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. 16 The king is not saved by a mighty army; A warrior is not rescued by great strength. 17 A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it rescue anyone by its great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who wait for His faithfulness, 19 To rescue their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. 22 Let Your favor, LORD, be upon us, Just as we have waited for You.
New Living Translation

1 Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD; it is fitting for the pure to praise him. 2 Praise the LORD with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. 3 Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. 4 For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does. 5 He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth.
6 The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. 7 He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. 8 Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him. 9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
10 The LORD frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. 11 But the LORD's plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
12 What joy for the nation whose God is the LORD, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
13 The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 14 From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. 16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. 17 Don't count on your warhorse to give you victory--for all its strength, it cannot save you.
18 But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
20 We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is beautiful. 2 Praise the Lord with the lyre; make music to him with a ten-stringed harp.
3 Sing a new song to him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout. 4 For the word of the Lord is right, and all his work is trustworthy.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the Lord's unfailing love. 6 The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the water of the sea into a heap; he puts the depths into storehouses. 8 Let the whole earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came into being; he commanded, and it came into existence. 10 The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations; he thwarts the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart from generation to generation.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord -- the people he has chosen to be his own possession! 13 The Lord looks down from heaven; he observes everyone. 14 He gazes on all the inhabitants of the earth from his dwelling place. 15 He forms the hearts of them all; he considers all their works. 16 A king is not saved by a large army; a warrior will not be rescued by great strength.
17 The horse is a false hope for safety; it provides no escape by its great power. 18 But look, the Lord keeps his eye on those who fear him -- those who depend on his faithful love
19 to rescue them from death and to keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait for the Lord; he is our help and shield. 21 For our hearts rejoice in him because we trust in his holy name. 22 May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in you.

What does Psalm chapter 33 mean?

The psalm opens with a call on the collected worshippers of Israel. The psalmist, likely David, appeals for joyful praise of God. The opening verses refer to "a new song," which carries more than one meaning. In a literal sense, "new songs" are expressions of each generation's personal experience of God's goodness. Creating original songs to honor God is a way of praising and worshipping Him. The "new song" also implies a refreshed, ever-present sense of the Lord. David includes references to musical instruments in this call for praise (Psalm 33:1–3).

For most of the psalm, the psalmist extols God's justice, creative power, omnipotent sovereignty, and omniscient love for His people. God's power is demonstrated in His creative speech: by simply expressing His desire, He can form something from nothing. No earthly power can thwart God's will. As much as any country or culture tries to overthrow God, He cannot be defeated. Those who rely on worldly power are doomed to failure, while reliance on God is the path to eternal salvation (Psalm 33:4–19).

The end of this song is a collective shout of praise. To "wait" on the Lord implies a patient, attentive interest in His will. That requires trust, which is the essence of biblical faith. The people led by the psalmist sing their intent to rely on God and to eagerly expect His powerful work in their lives (Psalm 33:20–22).