1 How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain! 2 It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain,[a] is the city of the great King! 3 God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender.
4 The kings of the earth joined forces and advanced against the city. 5 But when they saw it, they were stunned; they were terrified and ran away. 6 They were gripped with terror and writhed in pain like a woman in labor. 7 You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish shattered by a powerful east wind.
8 We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever. Interlude
9 O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple. 10 As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory. 11 Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice. Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice.
12 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.[b] Walk around and count the many towers. 13 Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. 14 For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
1 Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, everyone in the world! 2 High and low, rich and poor—listen! 3 For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight. 4 I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.
5 Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? 6 They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. 7 Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death[c] by paying a ransom to God. 8 Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough 9 to live forever and never see the grave.
10 Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind. 11 The grave[d] is their eternal home, where they will stay forever. They may name their estates after themselves, 12 but their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals. 13 This is the fate of fools, though they are remembered as being wise.[e]Interlude
14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave,[f] where death will be their shepherd. In the morning the godly will rule over them. Their bodies will rot in the grave, far from their grand estates. 15 But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude
16 So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. 17 For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. 18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. 19 But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day. 20 People who boast of their wealth don’t understand; they will die, just like animals.
A psalm of Asaph.
1 The Lord, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from where the sun rises to where it sets. 2 From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance. 3 Our God approaches, and he is not silent. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him. 4 He calls on the heavens above and earth below to witness the judgment of his people. 5 “Bring my faithful people to me— those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.” 6 Then let the heavens proclaim his justice, for God himself will be the judge. Interlude
7 “O my people, listen as I speak. Here are my charges against you, O Israel: I am God, your God! 8 I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly offer. 9 But I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens. 10 For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it. 13 Do I eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats? 14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. 15 Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
16 But God says to the wicked: “Why bother reciting my decrees and pretending to obey my covenant? 17 For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash. 18 When you see thieves, you approve of them, and you spend your time with adulterers. 19 Your mouth is filled with wickedness, and your tongue is full of lies. 20 You sit around and slander your brother— your own mother’s son. 21 While you did all this, I remained silent, and you thought I didn’t care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all my charges against you. 22 Repent, all of you who forget me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you. 23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
48:2Or Mount Zion, in the far north; Hebrew reads Mount Zion, the heights of Zaphon.
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