Psalms 113–118 comprise an important unit called the Hallel, which in Hebrew means “praise.” Composed after the exile, these six psalms are recited together by observant Jews during some of the major holidays on the Jewish calendar. The Gospel writers tell us that Jesus and His disciples sang a song following their last meal together, which was the Passover (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). That may have been the Hallel.
1 Praise the Eternal! All of you who call yourselves the children of the Eternal, come and praise His name. Lift Him high to the high place in your hearts.
2 At this moment, and for all the moments yet to come, may the Eternal’s name ascend in the hearts of His people. 3 At every time and in every place— from the moment the sun rises to the moment the sun sets— may the name of the Eternal be high in the hearts of His people.
4 The Eternal is seated high above every nation. His glory fills the skies.
5 To whom should we compare the Eternal, our God? No one. From His seat, high above, 6 He deigns to observe the earth and her thin skies, stooping even to see her goings on, far beneath His feet. 7 He gathers up the poor from their dirt floors, pulls the needy from the trash heaps, 8 And places them among heads of state, seated next to the rulers of His people where they cannot be ignored. 9 Into the home of the childless bride, He sends children who are, for her, a cause of happiness beyond measure. Praise the Eternal!
1 When the time came for Israel to leave Egypt— for Jacob’s family to be free of those who spoke another language— 2 God chose to make Judah His sacred place, and Israel became His realm.
3 And the waters of the sea witnessed God’s actions and ran away; the Jordan, too, turned around and ran back to where it came from. 4 All of the mountains leapt with the strength of mighty rams, and all of the hills danced with the joy of little lambs.
5 Why do you retreat, O sea? Why do you roll back your waters, O Jordan? 6 Why, O mountains, do you leap with the strength of rams? Why, O hills, do you dance with joy like little lambs?
7 Shudder and quake, O you earth, at the sight of the Lord. The God of Jacob comes, 8 Who turns rock into pools of refreshing water and flint into fountains of life-giving streams!
1 Not for us, O Eternal One; this glory is not for us—but for Your name because of Your loyal love and truth. 2 Why should the nations ask, “Where is their God now?”
3 Our God is in heaven doing whatever He chooses. 4 Those nations worship idols of silver and gold, crafted by human hands: 5 They have given their gods mouths, but they cannot speak; eyes, but they cannot see. 6 They have provided their idols with ears, but they cannot hear; noses, but they cannot smell. 7 They have fashioned hands, but the idols cannot reach out and touch; feet, but they cannot walk. Their idols cannot make a sound in their finely crafted throats. 8 The people who make idols will become useless like them, like all who trust in idols.
9 O Israel, put your trust in the Eternal. He is their helper and defender. 10 O family of Aaron, put your trust in the Eternal. He is their helper and defender. 11 All who fear and know the Eternal, put your trust in Him. He is their helper and defender.
12 The Eternal has remembered us, and He will bless us. He will bless the people of Israel. He will bless the priestly family of Aaron. 13 The Eternal will bless those who worship and stand in awe of Him, from the least to the greatest.
14 May the Eternal prosper your family, growing both you and your descendants. 15 May the blessings of the Eternal, maker of heaven and earth, be on you.
16 The heavens above belong to the Eternal, and yet earth in all of its beauty has been given to humanity by Him. 17 The dead do not praise the Eternal, nor do any who descend into the silent grave. 18 But we will praise and bless You—our Eternal One— today and forever. Praise the Eternal!
1 I love the Eternal; for not only does He hear my voice, my pleas for mercy, 2 But He leaned down when I was in trouble and brought His ear close to me. So as long as I have breath, I will call on Him. 3 Once I was wound in the wrappings of death; the terror of dying and the grave had a grip on me; I could not get away, for I was entombed in distress and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the Eternal: “O Eternal One—I am begging You—save me!”
5 The Eternal is full of grace and naturally just; our God is compassionate and merciful. 6 And the Eternal watches over the naive. Whenever I was knocked down, He reached down and saved me. 7 O my soul! Return and relax. Come to your true rest, for the Eternal has showered you with His favor.
8 God, You alone rescued my soul from the grips of death, my eyes from weeping, and my feet from slipping. 9 I will come before the Eternal as long as I journey in the land of the living. 10 I believed Your promise; therefore I spoke, “I am in deep trouble.” 11 In my confusion I blurted out, “All people are liars!”
12 How will I pay back the Eternal for all His graciousness toward me? 13 I will raise the cup of deliverance and call out the name of the Eternal. 14 I will fulfill the promises I made to Him here as a witness to all His people.
15 Precious in the eyes of the Eternal are the deaths of those who follow after Him. 16 O Eternal One, You know I am Your servant. I am Your servant, a child of Your maidservant, devoted to You; You have cut me loose from the chains of death that bind me. 17 And I come, eager to offer a sacrifice of gratitude and call on the name of the Eternal. 18 I will fulfill the promises I made to Him here as a witness to all His people 19 In the courts of the Eternal’s temple, among the people of God’s city, O Jerusalem. Praise the Eternal!
1 Praise the Eternal, all nations. Raise your voices, all people.[a] 2 For His unfailing love is great, and it is intended for us, and His faithfulness to His promises knows no end. Praise the Eternal!
1 Give thanks to the Eternal because He is always good. He never ceases to be loving and kind.
2 Let the people of Israel proclaim: “He never ceases to be loving and kind.” 3 Let the priests of Aaron’s line proclaim: “He never ceases to be loving and kind.” 4 Let the people who fear the Eternal proclaim: “He never ceases to be loving and kind.”
5 When trouble surrounded me, I cried out to the Eternal; He answered me and brought me to a wide, open space. 6 The Eternal is with me, so I will not be afraid of anything. If God is on my side, how can anyone hurt me? 7 The Eternal is on my side, a champion for my cause; so when I look at those who hate me, victory will be in sight. 8 It is better to put your faith in the Eternal for your security than to trust in people. 9 It is better to put your faith in Him for your security than to trust in princes.
10 All these nations surround me, squeezing me from all sides; with the name of the Eternal, I will destroy them. 11 They rose up against me, squeezed me from all sides, yes, from all sides; with the name of the Eternal, I will destroy them. 12 They surrounded me like a swarm of bees; they were destroyed quickly and thoroughly— Flaring up like a pile of thorns— with the name of the Eternal, I will destroy them. 13 I was pushed back, attacked so that I was about to fall, but the Eternal was there to help me keep my balance. 14 He is my strength, and He is the reason I sing; He has been there to save me in every situation.
15 In the tents of the righteous soldiers of God, there are shouts of joy and victory. They sing: “The right hand of the Eternal has shown His power. 16 The mighty arm of the Eternal is raised in victory; the right hand of His has shown His power.” 17 I will not die. I will live. I will live to tell about all the Eternal has done. 18 The Eternal has taught me many lessons; He has been strict and severe, but even in His discipline, He has not allowed me to die.
Early Christians found in the words of this psalm a wonderful way of describing the significance of Jesus. He was the rejected stone whom God made the cornerstone of a brand-new temple (verses 22–24).
19 Open wide to me the gates of justice so that I may walk through them and offer praise and worship to the Eternal.
20 This is the gate of the Eternal; the righteous children of God will go through it.
21 I will praise You because You answered me when I was in trouble. You have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation. 23 This is the work of the Eternal, and it is marvelous in our eyes.[b] 24 This is the day the Eternal God has made; let us celebrate and be happy today. 25 O Eternal One, save us, we beg You. O Eternal One, we beg You, bring us success!
26 He who comes in the name of the Eternal will be blessed;[c] we have blessed You from the house of the Eternal. 27 The Eternal is the True God; He shines His light on us. Let the feast begin. Bring the sacrifice, and tie it to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I give You thanks; You are my God, and I praise You. 29 Give thanks to our Eternal Lord; He is always good. He never ceases to be loving and kind.
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