What does Psalm 65:12 mean?
ESV: The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
NIV: The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
NASB: The pastures of the wilderness drip, And the hills encircle themselves with rejoicing.
CSB: The wilderness pastures overflow, and the hills are robed with joy.
NLT: The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy.
KJV: They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side.
NKJV: They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, And the little hills rejoice on every side.
Verse Commentary:
David gives further evidence of God's gracious hand in nature (Romans 1:18–20). He writes that the pastures of the uncultivated land overflow. Likely, he refers to grass and wildflowers. The scene is beautiful and brings joy to those who see it. Much of this beauty was part of God's guarantees about the Promised Land (Ezekiel 20:6), conditioned on the nation's obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 30:15–16).

This description also foreshadows earth's millennial kingdom: the thousand years when Jesus rules the world directly and in person. The curse placed upon the earth because of Adam's sin will be reversed, and nature will return to its Edenic splendor. Isaiah predicts, "The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God" (Isaiah 35:1–2). Isaiah predicts that the Lord will open rivers on the barren heights, the dry land will hold springs of water, and the desert will be forested (Isaiah 41:18–19).
Verse Context:
Psalm 65:9–13 closes the song with a focus on God's providential care of the earth and gracious provision for mankind. The Lord faithfully prepares the earth for harvest. Evidence of His goodness is clearly seen in nature (Romans 1:18–20; Psalm 19:1). Likewise, the Lord should be given credit for what farms and fields produce (1 Corinthians 3:7). This passage seems a straightforward praise to the Lord for good crops. At the same time, this passage foreshadows the eternal, spiritual blessings which come through God's grace (John 4:36; James 3:18; Galatians 6:8).
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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