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The Glory of God in His Goodness to Israel

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.

68 Let (A)God arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.
(B)As smoke is driven away,
So drive them away;
(C)As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But (D)let the righteous be glad;
Let them rejoice before God;
Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.

Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
(E)Extol[a] Him who rides on the [b]clouds,
(F)By His name [c]Yah,
And rejoice before Him.

(G)A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
(H)God sets the solitary in families;
(I)He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But (J)the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

O God, (K)when You went out before Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness, Selah
The earth shook;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
(L)You, O God, sent a plentiful rain,
Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance,
When it was weary.
10 Your congregation dwelt in it;
(M)You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.

11 The Lord gave the word;
Great was the [d]company of those who proclaimed it:
12 “Kings(N) of armies flee, they flee,
And she who remains at home divides the [e]spoil.
13 (O)Though you lie down among the [f]sheepfolds,
(P)You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And her feathers with yellow gold.”
14 (Q)When the Almighty scattered kings in it,
It was white as snow in Zalmon.

15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan;
A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
16 Why do you [g]fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks?
(R)This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in;
Yes, the Lord will dwell in it forever.

17 (S)The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
Even thousands of thousands;
The Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place.
18 (T)You have ascended on high,
(U)You have led captivity captive;
(V)You have received gifts among men,
Even from (W)the rebellious,
(X)That the Lord God might dwell there.

19 Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation! Selah
20 Our God is the God of salvation;
And (Y)to God the Lord belong escapes from death.

21 But (Z)God will wound the head of His enemies,
(AA)The hairy scalp of the one who still goes on in his trespasses.
22 The Lord said, “I will bring (AB)back from Bashan,
I will bring them back (AC)from the depths of the sea,
23 (AD)That [h]your foot may crush them in blood,
(AE)And the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from your enemies.”

24 They have seen Your [i]procession, O God,
The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.
25 (AF)The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after;
Among them were the maidens playing timbrels.
26 Bless God in the congregations,
The Lord, from (AG)the fountain of Israel.
27 (AH)There is little Benjamin, their leader,
The princes of Judah and their [j]company,
The princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali.

28 [k]Your God has (AI)commanded your strength;
Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us.
29 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem,
(AJ)Kings will bring presents to You.
30 Rebuke the beasts of the reeds,
(AK)The herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples,
Till everyone (AL)submits himself with pieces of silver.
Scatter the peoples who delight in war.
31 (AM)Envoys will come out of Egypt;
(AN)Ethiopia will quickly (AO)stretch out her hands to God.

32 Sing to God, you (AP)kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord, Selah
33 To Him (AQ)who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a (AR)mighty voice.
34 (AS)Ascribe strength to God;
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, (AT)You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.

Blessed be God!


  1. Psalm 68:4 Praise
  2. Psalm 68:4 MT deserts; Tg. heavens (cf. v. 34 and Is. 19:1)
  3. Psalm 68:4 Lit. Lord, a shortened Heb. form
  4. Psalm 68:11 host
  5. Psalm 68:12 plunder
  6. Psalm 68:13 Or saddlebags
  7. Psalm 68:16 Lit. stare
  8. Psalm 68:23 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. you may dip your foot
  9. Psalm 68:24 Lit. goings
  10. Psalm 68:27 throng
  11. Psalm 68:28 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. Command, O God

The God of Sinai and of the Sanctuary.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.

68 Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered;
Let those who hate Him flee before Him.

As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked and guilty perish before [the presence of] God.

But let the righteous be glad; let them be in good spirits before God,
Yes, let them rejoice with delight.

Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Lift up a song for Him who rides through the desert—
His name is the Lord—be in good spirits before Him.

A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.

God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the stubborn and rebellious dwell in a parched land.

O God, when You went out before Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness, Selah.

The earth trembled;
The heavens also poured down rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself trembled at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

You, O God, sent abroad plentiful rain;
You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched and weary.
Your flock found a dwelling place in it;
O God, in Your goodness You provided for the poor.

The Lord gives the command [to take Canaan];
The women who proclaim the good news are a great host (army);
“The kings of the [enemies’] armies flee, they flee,
And the beautiful woman who remains at home divides the spoil [left behind].”
When you lie down [to rest] among the [a]sheepfolds,
You [Israel] are like the wings of a dove [of victory] overlaid with silver,
Its feathers glistening with gold [trophies taken from the enemy].
When the Almighty scattered [the Canaanite] kings in the land of Canaan,
It was snowing on [b]Zalmon.

A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan;
A [high] mountain of many summits is Mount Bashan [rising east of the Jordan].
Why do you look with envy, mountains with many peaks,
At the mountain [of the city of Zion] which God has desired for His dwelling place?
Yes, the Lord will dwell there forever.
The chariots of God are [c]myriads, thousands upon thousands;
The Lord is among them as He was at Sinai, in holiness.
You have ascended on high, You have led away captive Your captives;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell there.(A)

Blessed be the Lord, who bears our burden day by day,
The God who is our salvation! Selah.
God is to us a God of acts of salvation;
And to [d]God the Lord belong escapes from death [setting us free].
Surely God will shatter the head of His enemies,
The hairy scalp of one who goes on in his guilty ways.
The Lord said, “I will bring your enemies back from Bashan;
I will bring them back from the depths of the [Red] Sea,
That your foot may crush them in blood,
That the tongue of your dogs may have its share from your enemies.”

They have seen Your [solemn] [e]procession, O God,
The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary [in holiness].
The singers go in front, the players of instruments last;
Between them the maidens playing on tambourines.
Bless God in the congregations, [give thanks, gratefully praise Him],
The Lord, you who are from [Jacob] the fountain of Israel.
The youngest is there, Benjamin, ruling them,
The princes of Judah and their company [the southern tribes],
The princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali [the northern tribes].

Your God has commanded your strength [your power in His service and your resistance to temptation];
Show Yourself strong, O God, who acted on our behalf.
Because of Your temple at Jerusalem
[Pagan] kings will bring gifts to You [out of respect].
Rebuke the beasts [living] among the reeds [in Egypt],
The herd of bulls (the leaders) with the calves of the peoples;
Trampling underfoot the pieces of silver;
He has scattered the peoples who delight in war.
Princes and envoys shall come from Egypt;
Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands [with the offerings of submission] to God.

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,
Sing praises to the Lord! Selah.
To Him who rides in the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
Behold, He sends out His voice, a mighty and majestic voice.
Ascribe strength to God;
His majesty is over Israel
And His strength is in the skies.
O God, You are awesome and profoundly majestic from Your sanctuary;
The God of Israel gives strength and power to His people.
Blessed be God!


  1. Psalm 68:13 Or cooking stones or saddlebags.
  2. Psalm 68:14 I.e. a dark, wooded hill near Shechem.
  3. Psalm 68:17 Lit multiples of ten thousand.
  4. Psalm 68:20 Heb YHWH (Yahweh), usually rendered Lord.
  5. Psalm 68:24 A reference to the procession bringing the ark of the covenant to Mt. Zion.

68 1-4 Up with God!
    Down with his enemies!
        Adversaries, run for the hills!
Gone like a puff of smoke,
    like a blob of wax in the fire—
        one look at God and the wicked vanish.
When the righteous see God in action
    they’ll laugh, they’ll sing,
        they’ll laugh and sing for joy.
Sing hymns to God;
    all heaven, sing out;
        clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider.
Enjoy God,
    cheer when you see him!

5-6 Father of orphans,
    champion of widows,
        is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless,
    leads prisoners to freedom,
        but leaves rebels to rot in hell.

7-10 God, when you took the lead with your people,
    when you marched out into the wild,
Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat;
    God was on the march.
Even Sinai trembled at the sight of God on the move,
    at the sight of Israel’s God.
You pour out rain in buckets, O God;
    thorn and cactus become an oasis
For your people to camp in and enjoy.
    You set them up in business;
    they went from rags to riches.

11-14 The Lord gave the word;
    thousands called out the good news:
“Kings of the armies
    are on the run, on the run!”
While housewives, safe and sound back home,
    divide up the plunder,
    the plunder of Canaanite silver and gold.
On that day that Shaddai scattered the kings,
    snow fell on Black Mountain.

15-16 You huge mountains, Bashan mountains,
    mighty mountains, dragon mountains.
All you mountains not chosen,
    sulk now, and feel sorry for yourselves,
For this is the mountain God has chosen to live on;
    he’ll rule from this mountain forever.

17-18 The chariots of God, twice ten thousand,
    and thousands more besides,
The Lord in the lead, riding down Sinai—
    straight to the Holy Place!
You climbed to the High Place, captives in tow,
    your arms full of plunder from rebels,
And now you sit there in state,
    God, sovereign God!

19-23 Blessed be the Lord—
    day after day he carries us along.
He’s our Savior, our God, oh yes!
    He’s God-for-us, he’s God-who-saves-us.
Lord God knows all
    death’s ins and outs.
What’s more, he made heads roll,
    split the skulls of the enemy
As he marched out of heaven,
    saying, “I tied up the Dragon in knots,
    put a muzzle on the Deep Blue Sea.”
You can wade through your enemies’ blood,
    and your dogs taste of your enemies from your boots.

24-31 See God on parade
    to the sanctuary, my God,
    my King on the march!
Singers out front, the band behind,
    maidens in the middle with castanets.
The whole choir blesses God.
    Like a fountain of praise, Israel blesses God.
Look—little Benjamin’s out
    front and leading
Princes of Judah in their royal robes,
    princes of Zebulun, princes of Naphtali.
Parade your power, O God,
    the power, O God, that made us what we are.
Your temple, High God, is Jerusalem;
    kings bring gifts to you.
Rebuke that old crocodile, Egypt,
    with her herd of wild bulls and calves,
Rapacious in her lust for silver,
    crushing peoples, spoiling for a fight.
Let Egyptian traders bring blue cloth
    and Cush come running to God, her hands outstretched.

32-34 Sing, O kings of the earth!
    Sing praises to the Lord!
There he is: Sky-Rider,
    striding the ancient skies.
Listen—he’s calling in thunder,
    rumbling, rolling thunder.
Call out “Bravo!” to God,
    the High God of Israel.
His splendor and strength
    rise huge as thunderheads.

35 A terrible beauty, O God,
    streams from your sanctuary.
It’s Israel’s strong God! He gives
    power and might to his people!
O you, his people—bless God!

Psalm 68

For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.
    Let those who hate God run for their lives.
Blow them away like smoke.
    Melt them like wax in a fire.
    Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
But let the godly rejoice.
    Let them be glad in God’s presence.
    Let them be filled with joy.
Sing praises to God and to his name!
    Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.[a]
His name is the Lord
    rejoice in his presence!

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
    this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
    he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

O God, when you led your people out from Egypt,
    when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude
the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain
    before you, the God of Sinai,
    before God, the God of Israel.
You sent abundant rain, O God,
    to refresh the weary land.
10 There your people finally settled,
    and with a bountiful harvest, O God,
    you provided for your needy people.

11 The Lord gives the word,
    and a great army[b] brings the good news.
12 Enemy kings and their armies flee,
    while the women of Israel divide the plunder.
13 Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures—
    doves with wings of silver
    and feathers of gold.
14 The Almighty scattered the enemy kings
    like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon.

15 The mountains of Bashan are majestic,
    with many peaks stretching high into the sky.
16 Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains,
    at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live,
    where the Lord himself will live forever?

17 Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots,
    the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary.
18 When you ascended to the heights,
    you led a crowd of captives.
You received gifts from the people,
    even from those who rebelled against you.
    Now the Lord God will live among us there.

19 Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
    For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude
20 Our God is a God who saves!
    The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death.

21 But God will smash the heads of his enemies,
    crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways.
22 The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan;
    I will bring them up from the depths of the sea.
23 You, my people, will wash[c] your feet in their blood,
    and even your dogs will get their share!”

24 Your procession has come into view, O God—
    the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary.
25 Singers are in front, musicians behind;
    between them are young women playing tambourines.
26 Praise God, all you people of Israel;
    praise the Lord, the source of Israel’s life.
27 Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way.
    Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah
    and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali.

28 Summon your might, O God.[d]
    Display your power, O God, as you have in the past.
29 The kings of the earth are bringing tribute
    to your Temple in Jerusalem.
30 Rebuke these enemy nations—
    these wild animals lurking in the reeds,
    this herd of bulls among the weaker calves.
Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute.
    Scatter the nations that delight in war.
31 Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals[e];
    let Ethiopia[f] bring tribute to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth.
    Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude
33 Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens,
    his mighty voice thundering from the sky.
34 Tell everyone about God’s power.
    His majesty shines down on Israel;
    his strength is mighty in the heavens.
35 God is awesome in his sanctuary.
    The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!


  1. 68:4 Or rides through the deserts.
  2. 68:11 Or a host of women.
  3. 68:23 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads shatter.
  4. 68:28 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions; most Hebrew manuscripts read Your God has commanded your strength.
  5. 68:31a Or of rich cloth.
  6. 68:31b Hebrew Cush.

A Song of Triumph

For the Pure and Shining One

David’s poetic song of praise

68 God! Arise with awesome power,
    and every one of your enemies will scatter in fear!
Chase them away—all these God-haters.
    Blow them away as a puff of smoke.
    Melt them away like wax in the fire.
    One good look at you and the wicked vanish.
But let all the righteous be glad!
    Yes, let them all rejoice in your presence
    and be carried away with gladness.[a]
    Let them laugh and be radiant with joy!
Let them sing their celebration-songs
    for the coming of the cloud rider whose name is Yah![b]
5–6 To the fatherless he is a father.
    To the widow he is a champion friend.
    The lonely he makes part of a family.
    The prisoners[c] he leads into prosperity until they sing for joy.
    This is our Holy God in his Holy Place!
    But for the rebels there is heartache and despair.[d]
O Lord, it was you who marched in front of your people,
    leading them through the wasteland.
Pause in his presence
The earth shook beneath your feet; the heavens filled with clouds
    before the presence of the God of Sinai.
    The sacred mountain shook at the sight of the face of Israel’s God.
You, O God, sent the reviving rain upon your weary inheritance,
    showers of blessing to refresh it.
10 So there your people settled.[e]
    And in your kindness you provided[f] the poor with abundance.
11 God Almighty declares the word of the gospel with power,[g]
    and the warring women of Zion deliver its message:[h]
12 “The conquering legions have themselves been conquered.
    Look at them flee!”
    Now Zion’s women are left to gather the spoils.
13 When you sleep between sharpened stakes,[i]
    I see you sparkling like silver and glistening like gold,
    covered by the beautiful wings of a dove![j]
14 When the Almighty found a king for himself,
    it became white as snow in his shade.[k]
15–16 O huge, magnificent mountain,
    you are the mighty kingdom of God![l]
    All the other peaks, though impressive and imposing,
    look with envy on you, Mount Zion!
    For Zion is the mountain where God has chosen to live forever.
17 Look! The mighty chariots of God!
    Ten thousands upon ten thousands,
    more than anyone could ever number.
    God is at the front,
    leading them all from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary
    with the radiance of holiness upon him.[m]
18 He ascends into the heavenly heights,
    taking his many captured ones with him,
    leading them in triumphal procession.
    And gifts were given to men, even the once rebellious,
    so that they may dwell with Yah.
19 What a glorious God![n]
    He gives us salvation over and over,[o]
    then daily he carries our burdens![p]
Pause in his presence
20 Our God is a mighty God who saves us over and over!
    For the Lord, Yahweh, rescues us
    from the ways of death many times.
21 But he will crush every enemy, shattering their strength.
    He will make heads roll
    for they refuse to repent of their stubborn, sinful ways.
22 I hear the Lord God saying to all the enemies of his people,
    “You’d better come out of your hiding places,
    all of you who are doing your best to stay far away from me.[q]
    Don’t you know there’s no place to hide?
23 For my people will be the conquerors;
    they will soon have you under their feet.
    They will crush you until there is nothing left!”[r]
24 O God, my King, your triumphal processions
    keep moving onward in holiness;
    you’re moving onward toward the Holy Place!
25 Leaders in front,[s] then musicians,
    with young maidens in between, striking their tambourines.
26 And they sing, “Let all God’s princely people rejoice!
    Let all the congregations bring their blessing to God, saying,
    ‘The Lord of the fountain! The Lord of the fountain of life!
    The Lord of the fountain of Israel!’ ”
27 Astonishingly, it’s the favored youth leading the way:[t]
    princes of praise in their royal robes
    and exalted princes are among them,
    along with princes who have wrestled with God.
28–29 Display your strength, God, and we’ll be strong![u]
    For your miracles have made us who we are.
    Lord, do it again
    and parade from your temple your mighty power.
    By your command even kings will bring gifts to you.
30 God, rebuke the beast-life that hides within us![v]
    Rebuke those who claim to be “strong ones,”[w]
    who lurk within the congregation
    and abuse the people out of their love for money.
    God scatters the people who are spoiling for a fight.
31 Africa will send her noble envoys to you, O God.
    They will come running, stretching out their hands in love to you.
32 Let all the nations of the earth sing songs of praise to Almighty God!
    Go ahead, all you nations—sing your praise to the Lord!
Pause in his presence
33 Make music for the one who strides the ancient skies.
    Listen to his thunderous voice of might split open the heavens.
34 Give it up for God, for he alone has all the strength and power!
    Proclaim his majesty! For his glory shines down on Israel.
    His mighty strength soars in the clouds of glory.
35 God, we are consumed with awe, trembling before you
    as your glory streams from your Holy Place.
    The God of power shares his mighty strength with Israel
    and with all his people.
    God, we give our highest praise to you!


  1. 68:3 As translated from the Septuagint. The Aramaic is “they rejoice in his sweetness.”
  2. 68:4 More than an abbreviation, the name Yah is associated with the God of heaven, the God of highest glory and power.
  3. 68:5–6 The Septuagint reads “the bitter ones.”
  4. 68:5–6 Or “they will live in a sun-scorched land.”
  5. 68:10 Or “For you live among them [in community].” The Hebrew is uncertain.
  6. 68:10 Or “sustain.” God anticipates our needs and has gone before us to provide for and sustain us in our journey.
  7. 68:11 As translated from the Aramaic.
  8. 68:11 As translated from the Masoretic Text.
  9. 68:13 The Aramaic word shaphya can be translated “sharpened stakes” or “thorns.” This is an obvious prophecy of the cross and our union with Christ as he was crucified.
  10. 68:13 As translated from the Aramaic text, this verse contains prophetic hints of Calvary, where Jesus “slept” the sleep of death between the “sharpened stakes” of the cross. The word you is plural and points us to our co-crucifixion with Christ.
  11. 68:14 Every scholar consulted concludes that this verse is difficult, if not impossible, to interpret properly and translate accurately. The last words are literally “Snow fell in Zalmon.” Zalmon (or Salmon) was a wooded area and means “shady.”
  12. 68:15–16 The Septuagint reads “mountain of provision.”
  13. 68:17 The Septuagint reads “The Lord sends his provisions from his Holy Place on Mount Sinai.”
  14. 68:19 The Aramaic is Maryah, the Aramaic form of YHWH or Lord Yahweh.
  15. 68:19 Salvation is in the plural form in the Hebrew text (“salvations”).
  16. 68:19 Or “daily loads us with benefits.”
  17. 68:22 The Hebrew text makes reference to Bashan (a high mountain) and to the depths of the sea. In other words, there’s no place to hide.
  18. 68:23 The Hebrew text is literally “Your enemies will be food for the dogs.”
  19. 68:25 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “Singers in front.”
  20. 68:27 The Hebrew includes the names of four sons of Jacob, representing four tribes. Benjamin, the youngest son, means “son of my right hand” or “the favored one.” Judah means “praise.” Zebulon’s name is the word for “exalted.” Naphtali means “obtained by wrestling.” Each name speaks of a princely group and is used here poetically not only for Israel but for all of God’s “princely people” in this holy procession of worship.
  21. 68:28–29 The Great Bible translated by Miles Coverdale (1488–1569) translates this as “Your God has sent forth strength for you.”
  22. 68:30 Literal Hebrew is “rebuke the beasts in the reeds.”
  23. 68:30 This verse has puzzled scholars, and many conclude that the Hebrew text is nearly incomprehensible, with tremendous variations in the translation.