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Psalm 147[a]

God’s Word Restores Jerusalem



How good to sing praise to our God;
    how pleasant to give fitting praise.(A)
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem,
    and gathers the dispersed of Israel,(B)
Healing the brokenhearted,
    and binding up their wounds.(C)
He numbers the stars,
    and gives to all of them their names.(D)
Great is our Lord, vast in power,
    with wisdom beyond measure.(E)
The Lord gives aid to the poor,
    but casts the wicked to the ground.(F)


Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
    with the lyre make music to our God,(G)
[b]Who covers the heavens with clouds,
    provides rain for the earth,
    makes grass sprout on the mountains,(H)
Who gives animals their food
    and young ravens what they cry for.(I)
10 [c]He takes no delight in the strength of horses,
    no pleasure in the runner’s stride.(J)
11 Rather the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    those who put their hope in his mercy.


12 Glorify the Lord, Jerusalem;
    Zion, offer praise to your God,
13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates,
    blessed your children within you.(K)
14 He brings peace to your borders,
    and satisfies you with finest wheat.(L)
15 [d]He sends his command to earth;
    his word runs swiftly!(M)
16 Thus he makes the snow like wool,
    and spreads the frost like ash;(N)
17 He disperses hail like crumbs.
    Who can withstand his cold?
18 Yet when again he issues his command, it melts them;
    he raises his winds and the waters flow.
19 He proclaims his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and laws to Israel.(O)
20 He has not done this for any other nation;
    of such laws they know nothing.


  1. Psalm 147 The hymn is divided into three sections by the calls to praise in Ps 147:1, 7, 12. The first section praises the powerful creator who restores exiled Judah (Ps 147:1–6); the second section, the creator who provides food to animals and human beings; the third and climactic section exhorts the holy city to recognize it has been re-created and made the place of disclosure for God’s word, a word as life-giving as water.
  2. 147:8–9 God clothes the fields and feeds the birds, cf. Mt 6:26, 30.
  3. 147:10–11 Acknowledging one’s dependence upon God rather than claiming self-sufficiency pleases God, cf. Ps 20:8; 33:16–19.
  4. 147:15–19 God speaks through the thunder of nature and the word of revealed law, cf. Is 55:10–11. The weather phenomena are well known in Jerusalem: a blizzard of snow and hail followed by a thunderstorm that melts the ice.