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Psalm 81Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 81

A Call to Obedience

For the choir director: on the Gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing for joy to God our strength;
shout in triumph to the God of Jacob.
Lift up a song—play the tambourine,
the melodious lyre, and the harp.
Blow the horn on the day of our feasts[a][b]
during the new moon
and during the full moon.
For this is a statute for Israel,
a judgment of the God of Jacob.
He set it up as an ordinance for Joseph
when He went throughout[c] the land of Egypt.

I heard an unfamiliar language:
“I relieved his shoulder from the burden;
his hands were freed from carrying the basket.
You called out in distress, and I rescued you;
I answered you from the thundercloud.
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
Listen, My people, and I will admonish you.
Israel, if you would only listen to Me!
There must not be a strange god among you;
you must not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am Yahweh your God,
who brought you up from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 “But My people did not listen to Me;
Israel did not obey Me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
to follow their own plans.
13 If only My people would listen to Me
and Israel would follow My ways,
14 I would quickly subdue their enemies
and turn My hand against their foes.”
15 Those who hate the Lord
would pretend submission to Him;
their doom would last forever.
16 But He would feed Israel[d] with the best wheat.
“I would satisfy you with honey from the rock.”


  1. Psalm 81:3 Lit feast
  2. Psalm 81:3 Either Passover or Tabernacles
  3. Psalm 81:5 LXX, Syr, Jer read out of
  4. Psalm 81:16 Lit him

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