What does Psalm 33:3 mean?
ESV: Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
NIV: Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
NASB: Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
CSB: Sing a new song to him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.
NLT: Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
KJV: Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
NKJV: Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
Verse Commentary:
As part of his call for God's people to join in worship, David calls upon the assembled people to offer "a new song" to the Lord. This is a somewhat literal expression: the constant influence of God in the lives of His people, and our personal experience of Him, should inspire a constant flow of creative worship. Old songs are still good—they are not inferior—and new songs are not good simply because they are new. But a people who love the Lord will naturally express their worship in fresh ways.

The "new" in references to "a new song" (Psalm 96:1; 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9) may refer to new in time or new in expression. New awareness of the Lord's character or blessings can lead to a new song. In Psalm 40:3 David writes, "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God." The apostle Paul exhorted the Colossian believers: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). The better we know God's Word, the better we understand His character, will, and blessings, and the greater will be our thanks and ability to edify one another.
Verse Context:
Psalm 33:1–3 calls upon the Lord's righteous people to delight in Him. They should praise God and be thankful to Him. The psalmist calls God's worshippers to use music and singing. Their praise should come so naturally that it is spontaneous.
Chapter Summary:
David summons the worshipers of Israel to be joyful as they praise God. The psalm celebrates God's creative power, sovereignty, and faithfulness. Rather than relying on earthly strength, the Lord's people can trust in His omnipotent power. This results in a collective praise for God and His unfailing love for those who trust and hope in Him.
Chapter Context:
The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, attributes this psalm to David. It is a psalm that encourages worshipers to praise the Lord. It may have been written after Israel experienced a victory over an enemy. Because the verbs in this psalm are plural, it features the worship leader's call to worship and the worshipers' response.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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