What does Psalms 65 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
The early words of this psalm suggest calm, inspired trust that God will forgive sins—and so praise for the Lord is soon to come. The Hebrew phrasing is obscure, but various translations share core ideas such as worship, stillness, and obedience. This faith is described both in personal and group terms. David also celebrates the benefits of living closely and obediently to the Lord (Psalm 64:1–4).

Some of God's communication with mankind comes in the form of miracles, such as those seen by Israel during the Exodus. More frequently, the Lord makes Himself known through nature (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:18–20). This psalm makes it clear that the Lord's strength is obvious to the entire world, not merely to the people of Israel. His strength is greater than that of established mountains and stormy seas. This terminology echoes other passages (Isaiah 17:12–13) which compare the chaos of ungodly nations to volatile oceans (Psalm 65:5–8).

The song closes with emphasis on the Lord's gracious provision for crops. While humanity may plant, it is God who brings rain and allows the plants to grow. It's possible this psalm was written to thank God for an especially good harvest year. Some commentators also see this passage as a faint foreshadowing of the eternal, spiritual blessings (John 4:36; James 3:18; Galatians 6:8) made available to those who accept the Lord's grace (Psalm 65:9–13).
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.
Psalm 65:5–8 describes how God gives Gentile nations witness to His existence and power. He is the hope of all the nations, not merely a benefactor to Israel. The signs mentioned in this passage are part of what is known as natural revelation (Romans 1:18–20; Psalm 19:1).
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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