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An Appeal from God to Israel

For the music director; on the Gittith. Of Asaph.[a]

81 Shout out to God our strength;
shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.
Lift up a song and strike[b] the tambourine,
the pleasant lyre, together with the harp.
Blow the horn at new moon,
at full moon, for our feast day,
because it is a statute for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a statute[c] in Joseph
when he went out against the land of Egypt,
where I heard a language I did not know.[d]
“I removed his shoulder from a burden.
His hands were freed from the basket.
In this[e] trouble you called, and I rescued you.
Within the secret place of thunder I answered you;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, if you would but listen to me.
There shall be no strange god among you,
and you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am Yahweh your God,
who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 But my people did not listen to my voice,
and Israel did not yield to me.
12 So I let them[f] go in the stubbornness of their heart;
they walked in their counsels.
13 Oh that my people would listen to me;
that Israel would walk in my ways.
14 I would subdue their enemies quickly,
and turn my hand against their adversaries.
15 Those who hate Yahweh would cringe before him,
and their fate[g] would be forever.
16 But he would feed him[h] from the choicest wheat,[i]
and I would satisfy you with honey from a rock.”


  1. Psalm 81:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 81:2 Hebrew “give”
  3. Psalm 81:5 Hebrew “testimony” or “witness”
  4. Psalm 81:5 The meaning of this line is uncertain. The above is based on perhaps a similar thought in Psa 114:1
  5. Psalm 81:7 Hebrew “the”
  6. Psalm 81:12 Hebrew “him”
  7. Psalm 81:15 Hebrew “time”
  8. Psalm 81:16 That is, Israel
  9. Psalm 81:16 Hebrew “the fat of wheat”