Psalm 68 is a hymn describing God as a Divine Warrior, marching from Sinai through the wilderness to make His home in Jerusalem.
1 May the True God rise up and show Himself; may those who are united against Him be dispersed, while the people who hate Him run away at the sight of Him. 2 As smoke disappears when it is blown by the wind, may You blow away Your enemies forever. As wax melts in the presence of fire, may the wicked heart melt away in God’s presence. 3 But may those who are righteous rejoice in the presence of the True God—so may they be glad and rejoice. Yes, let them celebrate with joy!
4 Sing songs of praise to the name that belongs to the True God! Let your voices ring out in songs of praise to Him, the One who rides through the deserted places. His name is the Eternal; celebrate in His glorious presence.
5 The True God who inhabits sacred space is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows. 6 He makes a home for those who are alone. He frees the prisoners and leads them to prosper. Yet those who rebel against Him live in the barren land without His blessings and prosperity.
7 O True God, when You led Your enslaved people from Egypt, when You journeyed with us through the wilderness,
8 The whole world trembled! The sky poured down rain at the power of Your presence; even Mount Sinai trembled in Your presence, the presence of the True God, the God of Israel. 9 You sent a heavy downpour to soak the ground, O True God. You refreshed the land—the land Your people would inherit—when it was parched and dry. 10 Your covenant people made their homes in the land, and because You are so good, You provided for those crushed by poverty, O True God.
11 The Lord gives the word; there are very many women ready to tell the good news: 12 “Kings who lead the armies are on the run! They are on the run! And the woman who stays at home is ready, too, ready to enjoy the treasures that they’ve left behind!” 13 When they lay down among the campfires and open the saddlebags, imagine what they’ll find— a beautiful dove, its wings covered with silver, its feathers a shimmering gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered the kings from that place, it was snowing in Zalmon.
15 O Mount Bashan, you mighty mountain of the True God; mountain of many peaks, O Mount Bashan. 16 Why are you so jealous, O mountain of many peaks, when you look at the mountain the True God has chosen as His dwelling place? The Eternal will surely abide on Mount Zion forever.
17 The chariots of God are innumerable; there are thousands upon thousands of them. The Lord is in their midst, just as He was at Mount Sinai. He has come into the holy place. 18 When You ascended the sacred mountain, with Your prisoners in tow, Your captives in chains, You sat in triumph receiving gifts from men, Even from those who rebel against You, so that You, the Eternal God, might take up residence there. 19 Blessed be the Lord who carries our heavy loads every day, the True God who is our salvation.
20 We know our God is the God who delivers us, and the Eternal, the Lord, is the One who saves us from the grip of death.
21 The True God will certainly shatter the skulls of those who oppose Him; He’ll smash the hairy head of the man who continues on his sinful ways. 22 The Lord said, “I will bring the enemy back from Bashan. I will bring them back from the deepest parts of the sea, 23 So that you may plant your feet in their blood and your dogs may lick up their portion of the foe.” 24 The solemn march in Your honor, O True God, has come into view; the march that celebrates my God, my King, has come into the sanctuary. 25 The singers went first, and the musicians came last between rows of girls who played tambourines. 26 Come, let us gather to bless the True God and to praise the Eternal, He who is the fountain of Israel, the source of our life! 27 Look! There are the rulers of Benjamin, the youngest in the lead. A great crowd follows The princes of Judah, the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
28 [Your God is the One who has given you strength];[b] show Your power, O True God, as You have done for us. 29 Because of Your magnificent temple in Jerusalem, many kings will line up to bring You gifts. 30 Reprimand the beasts in the tall grass, the herds of bulls that are with the people’s calves, Trampling over the pieces of silver. He has driven out the people who love to be at war. 31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt; the people of Ethiopia[c] will reach out their hands to the one True God.
32 Let all the kingdoms of the earth sing to the True God. Sing songs of praise to the Lord.
33 To Him who rides high up beyond the heavens, which have been since ancient times, watch and listen. His voice speaks, and it is powerful and strong. 34 Attribute power to the one True God; His royal splendor is evident over Israel, and His power courses through the clouds. 35 O True God, You are awesome from the holy place where You dwell. The True God of Israel Himself grants strength and power to His people.
Blessed be our God!
68:7Literally, selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up”
68:28Other manuscripts read, “Call on Your strength, O God.”
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