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Psalm 81 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

Psalm 81

If Only


For the choir director. According to gittith.[a] By Asaph.

Invitation to Worship

Sing a loud song to God, our strength.
Shout to the God of Jacob!
Begin the music, and play the hand drum.
Play the sweet-sounding lyre along with the harp.
Sound the ram’s horn at the new moon
and at the full moon for our festival day.
Yes, this is an order for Israel,
a regulation from the God of Jacob.
God established it as a testimony for Joseph
when he went out against the land of Egypt.
There I heard a language I did not know.[b]

A Warning From the Lord

The Lord says:
I relieved Israel’s shoulders from the burden.
His hands were set free from carrying buckets.
In distress you called and I rescued you.
I answered you from the hiding place of thunder.
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Interlude
Listen, my people, and I will warn you.
If only you would listen to me, Israel!
There shall be no foreign god among you!
You shall not bow down to a strange god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11 But my people would not listen to my voice,
and Israel was not willing to obey me.
12 So I sent them off in the stubbornness of their hearts.
They walked according to their own plans.

13 If only my people would listen to me,
if only Israel would walk in my ways,
14 I would subdue their enemies quickly.
I would turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cower before him,
and their time of punishment would last forever.
16 But he would feed Israel with the best wheat.
With honey from the rock I would satisfy you.


  1. Psalm 81:1 Gittith means in the style of Gath. It may refer to music associated with one of the cities of that name or with a winepress.
  2. Psalm 81:5 Or I heard a voice I did not know. This would refer to the voice of God, who speaks in the next section. In verse 6 the identification of the speaker, the Lord says, has been added for clarity.
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.


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