What does Psalm 65:1 mean?
ESV: To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song. Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed.
NIV: For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song. Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.
NASB: There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, God, And the vow will be fulfilled for You.
CSB: Praise is rightfully yours, God, in Zion; vows to you will be fulfilled.
NLT: What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you,
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David.} Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.
NKJV: {To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.} Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the vow shall be performed.
Verse Commentary:
This psalm opens with an unusual turn of phrase in Hebrew. In their original order, the words are "to you silence praise Oh God in Zion." This results in several subtly different translations into English. These share the important themes of praise being owed to the Lord and the quietness or rest of His people. This parallels other psalms which refer to stillness and silence as forms of submission to God (Psalm 46:10; 62:1, 5; 131:2). The psalm also implies that God's people are eagerly ready to praise Him; they anticipate His answer to prayer. They commit to meeting their obligations and following God's will.

To "praise" is to express approval, or admiration, or agreement. Psalm 150 instructs praise to the Lord for what He has done as well as for who He is (Psalm 150:1–2). This call extends to all people, and even to all living things (Psalm 150:6). Romans 15:11 echoes the instruction by saying, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him."

Obedience is also an important part of properly honoring God. True obedience means more than simple effort: it implies cooperation with what the Lord has commanded, as He has commanded it. The prophet Samuel challenged King Saul for sacrificing to God in a way the Lord had not allowed: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?" (1 Samuel 15:22). He answered his own question by stating, "to obey is better than sacrifice."
Verse Context:
Psalm 65:1–4 affirms that God hears prayers and forgives His people's sins. Whoever seeks to follow God's will experiences blessing. The Lord provides the ultimate satisfaction and the greatest measure of goodness. This is expressed, in part, through worship in places such as the temple.
Chapter Summary:
David begins by anticipating praise to the Lord, expecting that He will bring atonement, fellowship, and blessing. The psalm mentions God's miraculous examples before referring to various natural examples of His provision. These benefits are both visible and available to all people of the world.
Chapter Context:
Psalms 65—68 express praise to the Lord using frequent references to nature and harvest. Only this and psalm 68 are explicitly credited to David. This song also thanks God for His kindness to His people; it encourages worshipers to offer thanksgiving. The song might have been meant to celebrate an especially abundant harvest.
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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