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Psalm chapter 66

English Standard Version

1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth; 2sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! 3Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. 4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name." Selah 5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. 6He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him, 7who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations — let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah 8Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, 9who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. 10For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. 11You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; 12you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. 13I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you, 14that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. 15I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah 16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 17I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. 18If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!
New International Version

New American Standard Bible

1Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; 2Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious. 3Say to God, 'How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will pretend to obey You. 4All the earth will worship You, And will sing praises to You; They will sing praises to Your name.' Selah 5Come and see the works of God, Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of mankind. 6He turned the sea into dry land; They passed through the river on foot; Let’s rejoice there, in Him! 7He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; The rebellious shall not exalt themselves! Selah 8Bless our God, you peoples, And sound His praise abroad, 9Who keeps us in life, And does not allow our feet to slip. 10For You have put us to the test, God; You have refined us as silver is refined. 11You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon us. 12You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water. Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance. 13I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings; I shall pay You my vows, 14Which my lips uttered And my mouth spoke when I was in distress. 15I shall offer to You burnt offerings of fat animals, With the smoke of rams; I shall make an offering of bulls with male goats. Selah 16Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. 17I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was exalted with my tongue. 18If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; 19But God has heard; He has given attention to the sound of my prayer. 20Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer Nor His favor from me.
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

New King James Version

What does Psalm chapter 66 mean?

No author is assigned to this psalm. David might have written it, but it is likely this song was composed much later. Two possible events are thought of as most likely to have inspired this psalm. One is the defeat of the Assyrian forces who attacked Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36—37). Another is when Israel began to return from exile after being conquered by Babylon (Ezra 1:2–3).

This psalm begins with a worldwide invitation to worship God. The psalmist points to the Lord's miraculous interventions as reason to give Him praise. A highlight of these miracles was the parting of the Red Sea. There, God rescued the nation of Israel from the pursuing Egyptians. The Lord pushed the waters aside so Israel could cross on dry land, then closed those waters over the Egyptian army (Exodus 14). Because God is watching the entire world, no one should presume they can defy Him. For all these reasons, the people of Israel should be especially eager to worship (Psalm 66:1–9).

Israel had suffered many hardships. Some of those were unprovoked attacks by enemies. In other cases, Israel brought those struggles on themselves by ignoring their God. Still, through all of that, God kept the nation intact and its people alive. An example of this is when Israel spent forty years wandering in the wilderness. That was due to their own sin (Numbers 14:27–33). Yet the Lord used this time to "refine" the nation and prepare them to take the Promised Land (Psalm 66:10–12).

The psalm ends by turning to address the people, likely those of Israel. The psalmist declares that he will make good on vows he has made to God. These appear to have been spoken during some severe danger or other trouble. The psalmist intends to fulfill those vows by offering sacrifices to the Lord. He then calls on those who claim belief in the God of Israel to hear about his experience. He honors the Lord for hearing his prayer and rescuing him (Psalm 66:13–20).
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