45 My heart bursts its banks,
    spilling beauty and goodness.
I pour it out in a poem to the king,
    shaping the river into words:

* * *

2-4 “You’re the handsomest of men;
    every word from your lips is sheer grace,
    and God has blessed you, blessed you so much.
Strap your sword to your side, warrior!
    Accept praise! Accept due honor!
    Ride majestically! Ride triumphantly!
Ride on the side of truth!
    Ride for the righteous meek!

4-5 “Your instructions are glow-in-the-dark;
    you shoot sharp arrows
Into enemy hearts; the king’s
    foes lie down in the dust, beaten.

6-7 “Your throne is God’s throne,
    ever and always;
The scepter of your royal rule
    measures right living.
You love the right
    and hate the wrong.
And that is why God, your very own God,
    poured fragrant oil on your head,
Marking you out as king
    from among your dear companions.

8-9 “Your forest-drenched garments
    are fragrant with mountain breeze.
Chamber music—from the throne room—
    makes you want to dance.
Kings’ daughters are maids in your court,
    the Bride glittering with golden jewelry.

* * *

10-12 “Now listen, daughter, don’t miss a word:
    forget your country, put your home behind you.
Be here—the king is wild for you.
    Since he’s your lord, adore him.
Wedding gifts pour in from Tyre;
    rich guests shower you with presents.”

13-15 (Her wedding dress is dazzling,
    lined with gold by the weavers;
All her dresses and robes
    are woven with gold.
She is led to the king,
    followed by her virgin companions.
A procession of joy and laughter!
    a grand entrance to the king’s palace!)

16-17 “Set your mind now on sons—
    don’t dote on father and grandfather.
You’ll set your sons up as princes
    all over the earth.
I’ll make you famous for generations;
    you’ll be the talk of the town
    for a long, long time.”
46 1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.

    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.

    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”

11     Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
47 1-9 Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo!
    Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs!
God Most High is stunning,
    astride land and ocean.
He crushes hostile people,
    puts nations at our feet.
He set us at the head of the line,
    prize-winning Jacob, his favorite.
Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain,
    a ram’s horn blast at the summit.
Sing songs to God, sing out!
    Sing to our King, sing praise!
He’s Lord over earth,
    so sing your best songs to God.
God is Lord of godless nations—
    sovereign, he’s King of the mountain.
Princes from all over are gathered,
    people of Abraham’s God.
The powers of earth are God’s—
    he soars over all.
48 1-3 God majestic,
    praise abounds in our God-city!
His sacred mountain,
    breathtaking in its heights—earth’s joy.
Zion Mountain looms in the North,
    city of the world-King.
God in his citadel peaks
    undefeatable.

4-6 The kings got together,
    they united and came.
They took one look and shook their heads,
    they scattered and ran away.
They doubled up in pain
    like a woman having a baby.

7-8 You smashed the ships of Tarshish
    with a storm out of the East.
We heard about it, then we saw it
    with our eyes—
In God’s city of Angel Armies,
    in the city our God
Set on firm foundations,
    firm forever.

9-10 We pondered your love-in-action, God,
    waiting in your temple:
Your name, God, evokes a train
    of Hallelujahs wherever
It is spoken, near and far;
    your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action.

11 Be glad, Zion Mountain;
    Dance, Judah’s daughters!
    He does what he said he’d do!

12-14 Circle Zion, take her measure,
    count her fortress peaks,
Gaze long at her sloping bulwark,
    climb her citadel heights—
Then you can tell the next generation
    detail by detail the story of God,
Our God forever,
    who guides us till the end of time.
49 1-2 Listen, everyone, listen—
    earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves
    and have-nots,
All together now: listen.

3-4 I set plainspoken wisdom before you,
    my heart-seasoned understandings of life.
I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise,
    I solve life’s riddle with the help of a harp.

5-6 So why should I fear in bad times,
    hemmed in by enemy malice,
Shoved around by bullies,
    demeaned by the arrogant rich?

7-9 Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue,
    pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means,
    and even then it doesn’t guarantee
Life forever, or insurance
    against the Black Hole.

10-11 Anyone can see that the brightest and best die,
    wiped out right along with fools and idiots.
They leave all their prowess behind,
    move into their new home, The Coffin,
The cemetery their permanent address.
    And to think they named counties after themselves!

12     We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

13-15 This is what happens to those who live for the moment,
    who only look out for themselves:
Death herds them like sheep straight to hell;
    they disappear down the gullet of the grave;
They waste away to nothing—
    nothing left but a marker in a cemetery.
But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death,
    he reaches down and grabs me.

16-19 So don’t be impressed with those who get rich
    and pile up fame and fortune.
They can’t take it with them;
    fame and fortune all get left behind.
Just when they think they’ve arrived
    and folks praise them because they’ve made good,
They enter the family burial plot
    where they’ll never see sunshine again.

20     We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

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