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Psalm 68

The Procession of God

For the choir director. By David. A psalm. A song.

Judgment on God’s Enemies

May God arise. May his enemies scatter.
May those who hate him flee from his presence.
As smoke is blown away, may you blow them away.
As wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God.

Blessing on God’s People

But the righteous rejoice and celebrate in the presence of God.
They will be happy and joyful.
Sing to God. Make music to his name.
Lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts.[a]
His name is the Lord.[b] Celebrate before him.

In his holy dwelling, God is a father for the fatherless
and a judge who defends widows.
God causes the lonely to dwell together as a household.
He leads out the prisoners with music,
but the rebellious dwell in a scorched land.

God Brings His People Into His Land

God, when you went out in front of your people,
when you marched through the wasteland, Interlude
the earth shook.
Yes, the heavens poured down rain,
    before God, this one from Sinai,
    before God, the God of Israel.
You dispersed plentiful showers, O God.
You strengthened your inheritance when it was weary.[c]
10 Your people settled in it.
In your goodness you provided for the oppressed, O God.

The Lord Defeats the Kings of the Land

11 The Lord provided the message.
The women who proclaimed it were a great army:[d]
12 “Kings with armies flee—they flee!”
The woman who stays home shares in the plunder.
13 Even while you lie among the campfires,
the wings of a dove are sheathed with silver,
and its feathers with yellow gold.[e]
14 When the Almighty scattered the kings there,
it snowed on Zalmon.

The Lord Makes His Dwelling in Zion

15 The mountain of Bashan is a mountain of God.
The mountain of Bashan is a mountain with many peaks.[f]
16 O mountains with many peaks, why do you look jealously
    at the mountain God desires for his home?
Indeed, the Lord will dwell there forever.
17 The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
thousands upon thousands.
Among them the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.[g]
18 You ascended on high. You led captivity captive.
You received gifts among men,
so that even among the rebellious the Lord[h] God might dwell.

God’s Daily Care

19 Blessed be the Lord.
Day by day he bears our burdens.
He is the God who saves us. Interlude

God’s Future Victories

20 Our God is a God who saves.
From God the Lord comes escape from death.
21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
the scalps of those who walk around in their guilt.
22 The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan.
I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
23 so that you may stomp your foot in blood.
The tongues of your dogs get their share of the enemies’ blood.”

God’s Procession Into the Temple

24 They see your processions, O God,
the processions of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.
25 The singers lead the way.
After them come the musicians.
In the middle are virgins playing hand drums.
26 In the assemblies bless God, the Lord,
    who is the Fountain of Israel.[i]
27 There is little Benjamin, leading them.
The officers of Judah are their noisy crowd.
There are the officers of Zebulun and the officers of Naphtali.

Prayer for Future Victory

28 Your God commands your strength.
Show strength, O God, as you have done for us before.

God Rules the Nations

29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring tribute to you.
30 Threaten the beast among the reeds,
the herd of strong bulls among the calves (that is, the peoples),
    until they submit with bars of silver.[j]
He scatters the peoples who delight in battles.
31 Envoys[k] will come from Egypt.
Cush[l] will run to stretch out its hands to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Interlude
Make music to the Lord,
33 to him who rides in the highest heavens,
    in the ancient heavens.
Yes, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Proclaim God’s strength.
His majesty is over Israel,
and his power is in the skies.

Closing Praise

35 You are awesome, O God, from your sanctuary.
The God of Israel, he is the one
    who gives power and strength to the people.
Blessed be God!


  1. Psalm 68:4 A variant in the Targum is rides on the clouds.
  2. Psalm 68:4 The Hebrew uses the short form Yah rather than the full form of the divine name, Yahweh, which is translated Lord.
  3. Psalm 68:9 Or when they were weary. The land may be described as weary because of lack of rain, or it may be the people of the land who are weary.
  4. Psalm 68:11 This seems to refer to the custom of women singing to greet victors returning from battle, as they did at the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20) or when David returned from victory over Goliath (1 Samuel 18:6).
  5. Psalm 68:13 The meaning is cryptic. The verses seem to refer to the division of plunder. The translation is relatively literal.
  6. Psalm 68:15 The meaning of several words in these verses is uncertain.
  7. Psalm 68:17 The Hebrew reads the Lord [is] among them, Sinai, in holiness. The translation follows the parallel in Deuteronomy 33:2 and the sense of the psalm.
  8. Psalm 68:18 The Hebrew uses the short form Yah rather than Yahweh, the full form of the divine name.
  9. Psalm 68:26 The grammar and syntax of the sentence are difficult.
  10. Psalm 68:30 Verse 30 is cryptic. It seems to describe a threatening nation as a beast, a frequent picture in Scripture. The translation attempts to be literal.
  11. Psalm 68:31 The meaning of this word is uncertain. It may refer to colored cloth or to metal vessels.
  12. Psalm 68:31 The territory south of Egypt