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Psalm 66[a]

For the music director, a song, a psalm.

66 Shout out praise to God, all the earth!
Sing praises about the majesty of his reputation.[b]
Give him the honor he deserves![c]
Say to God:
“How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power your enemies cower in fear[d] before you.
All the earth worships[e] you
and sings praises to you.
They sing praises to your name.” (Selah)
Come and witness[f] God’s exploits![g]
His acts on behalf of people are awesome.[h]
He turned the sea into dry land;[i]
they passed through the river on foot.[j]
Let us rejoice in him there.[k]
He rules[l] by his power forever;
he watches[m] the nations.
Stubborn rebels should not exalt[n] themselves. (Selah)
Praise[o] our God, you nations.
Loudly proclaim his praise.[p]
He preserves our lives[q]
and does not allow our feet to slip.
10 For[r] you, O God, tested us;
you purified us like refined silver.
11 You led us into a trap;[s]
you caused us to suffer.[t]
12 You allowed men to ride over our heads;
we passed through fire and water,
but you brought us out into a wide open place.[u]
13 I will enter[v] your temple with burnt sacrifices;
I will fulfill the vows I made to you,
14 which my lips uttered
and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer up to you fattened animals as burnt sacrifices,
along with the smell of sacrificial rams.
I will offer cattle and goats. (Selah)
16 Come! Listen, all you who are loyal to God.[w]
I will declare what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him for help[x]
and praised him with my tongue.[y]
18 If I had harbored sin in my heart,[z]
the Lord would not have listened.
19 However, God heard;
he listened to my prayer.
20 God deserves praise,[aa]
for[ab] he did not reject my prayer
or abandon his love for me.[ac]


  1. Psalm 66:1 sn Psalm 66. The psalmist praises God because he has delivered his people from a crisis.
  2. Psalm 66:2 tn Heb “his name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.
  3. Psalm 66:2 tn Heb “make honorable his praise.”
  4. Psalm 66:3 tn See Deut 33:29; Ps 81:15 for other uses of the verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash) in the sense “cower in fear.” In Ps 18:44 the verb seems to carry the nuance “be weak, powerless” (see also Ps 109:24).
  5. Psalm 66:4 tn Or “bows down to.” The prefixed verbal forms in v. 4 are taken (1) as imperfects expressing what is typical. Another option (2) is to interpret them as anticipatory (“all the earth will worship you”) or (3) take them as jussives, expressing a prayer or wish (“may all the earth worship you”).
  6. Psalm 66:5 tn Or “see.”
  7. Psalm 66:5 tn Or “acts” (see Ps 46:8).
  8. Psalm 66:5 tn Heb “awesome [is] an act toward the sons of man.” It is unclear how the prepositional phrase relates to what precedes. If collocated with “act,” it may mean “on behalf of” or “toward.” If taken with “awesome” (see 1 Chr 16:25; Pss 89:7; 96:4; Zeph 2:11), one might translate “his awesome acts are beyond human comprehension” or “his awesome acts are superior to anything men can do.”
  9. Psalm 66:6 sn He turned the sea into dry land. The psalmist alludes to Israel’s crossing the Red Sea (Exod 14:21).
  10. Psalm 66:6 tn Because of the reference to “the river,” some understand this as an allusion to Israel’s crossing the Jordan River. However, the Hebrew term נָהָר (nahad) does not always refer to a “river” in the technical sense; it can be used of sea currents (see Jonah 2:4). So this line may also refer to the Red Sea crossing (cf. NEB).
  11. Psalm 66:6 tn The adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”) is used here, as often in poetic texts, to point “to a spot in which a scene is localized vividly in the imagination” (BDB 1027 s.v.).
  12. Psalm 66:7 tn Heb “[the] one who rules.”
  13. Psalm 66:7 tn Heb “his eyes watch.” “Eyes” are an anthropomorphism, attributed to God here to emphasize his awareness of all that happens on earth.
  14. Psalm 66:7 tn The verb form is jussive (note the negative particle אַל, ʾal). The Kethib (consonantal text) has a Hiphil form of the verb, apparently to be understood in an exhibitive sense (“demonstrate stubborn rebellion”; see BDB 927 s.v. רוּם Hiph), while the Qere (marginal reading) has a Qal form, to be understood in an intransitive sense. The preposition ל (lamed) with pronominal suffix should be understood in a reflexive sense (“for themselves”) and indicates that the action is performed with the interest of the subject in mind.
  15. Psalm 66:8 tn Heb “bless,” in the sense of declaring “God to be the source of…special power” (see HALOT 160 s.v. II ברך pi).
  16. Psalm 66:8 tn Heb “cause the voice of his praise to be heard.”
  17. Psalm 66:9 tn Heb “the one who places our soul in life.”
  18. Psalm 66:10 tn Or “indeed.”
  19. Psalm 66:11 tn Heb “you brought us into a net.” This rare word for “net” also occurs in Ezek 12:13; 13:21; 17:20.
  20. Psalm 66:11 tn Heb “you placed suffering on our hips.” The noun מוּעָקָה (muʿaqah, “suffering”) occurs only here in the OT.
  21. Psalm 66:12 tc The MT reads רְוָיָה (revayah, “saturation”) but this should be emended to רְוָחָה (revakhah, “wide open place”; i.e., “relief”), a reading supported by several ancient versions (LXX, Syriac, Jerome, Targum).
  22. Psalm 66:13 sn Here the psalmist switches to the singular; he speaks as the representative of the nation.
  23. Psalm 66:16 tn Heb “all of the fearers of God.”
  24. Psalm 66:17 tn Heb “to him [with] my mouth I called.”
  25. Psalm 66:17 tn Heb “and he was extolled under my tongue.” The form רוֹמַם (romam) appears to be a Polal (passive) participle from רוּם (rum, “be exalted”), but many prefer to read רוֹמָם, “high praise [was under my tongue]” (cf. NEB). See BDB 928 s.v. רוֹמָם.
  26. Psalm 66:18 tn Heb “sin if I had seen in my heart.”
  27. Psalm 66:20 tn Heb “blessed [be] God.”
  28. Psalm 66:20 tn Or “who.” In a blessing formula after בָּרוּךְ (barukh, “blessed be”) the form אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher), whether taken as a relative pronoun or causal particle, introduces the basis for the blessing/praise.
  29. Psalm 66:20 tn Heb “did not turn aside my prayer, or his loyal love from with me.”