1 [a]Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of [b]scoffers (ridiculers). 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night. 3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].
4 The wicked [those who live in disobedience to God’s law] are not so, But they are like the chaff [worthless and without substance] which the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand [unpunished] in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows and fully approves the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked shall perish.
The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed.
2 Why are the [c]nations in an [d]uproar [in turmoil against God], And why do the people devise a vain and hopeless plot? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand; And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and His Anointed (the Davidic King, the Messiah, the Christ), saying, 3 “Let us break apart their [divine] bands [of restraint] And cast away their cords [of control] from us.”
4 He who sits [enthroned] in the heavens laughs [at their rebellion]; The [Sovereign] [e]Lord scoffs at them [and in supreme contempt He mocks them]. 5 Then He will speak to them in His [profound] anger And terrify them with His displeasure, saying, 6 “Yet as for Me, I have anointed and firmly installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
7 “I will declare the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son; This day [I proclaim] I have begotten You. 8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will assuredly give [You] the nations as Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall shatter them [in pieces] like earthenware.’”
10 Now therefore, O kings, act wisely; Be instructed and take warning, O leaders (judges, rulers) of the earth. 11 Worship the Lordand serve Him with reverence [with awe-inspired fear and submissive wonder]; Rejoice [yet do so] with trembling. 12 Kiss (pay respect to) the [f]Son, so that He does not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled and set aflame. How blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] are all those who take refuge in Him!
Psalm 1:1This has been called “The Preface Psalm” because in some respects it introduces the complete book of Psalms as a godly message. It opens with a benediction, “Blessed,” as does the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:3).
Psalm 1:1I.e. shallow thinkers who are quick to mock or disdain.
Psalm 2:12The word in the original is bar, taken to be the Aramaic for “son.” But it is surprising that an Aramaic word would be used here. The ancient rabbis maintained that a different word with the same spelling in Hebrew was intended, whose meaning is “pure.” They claimed that it is a reference to the Torah, on the ground that all the words in the Torah are pure.
15 O Lord, who may lodge [as a guest] in Your tent? Who may dwell [continually] on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity and strength of character, and works righteousness, And speaks and holds truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In his eyes an evil person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord [and obediently worship Him with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder]. He keeps his word even to his own disadvantage and does not change it [for his own benefit]; 5 He does not put out his money at interest [to a fellow Israelite], And does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] Aijeleth Hashshahar (The Doe of the Dawn). A Psalm of David.
22 [a]My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I call out by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I find no rest nor quiet. 3 But You are holy, O You who are enthroned in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]. 4 In You our fathers trusted [leaned on, relied on, and were confident]; They trusted and You rescued them. 5 They cried out to You and were delivered; They trusted in You and were not disappointed or ashamed.
6 But I am [treated as] a worm [insignificant and powerless] and not a man; I am the scorn of men and despised by the people. 7 All who see me laugh at me and mock me; They [insultingly] open their lips, they shake their head, saying, 8 “He trusted and committed himself to the Lord, let Him save him. Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
9 Yet You are He who pulled me out of the womb; You made me trust when on my mother’s breasts. 10 I was cast upon You from birth; From my mother’s womb You have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near; And there is no one to help. 12 Many [enemies like] bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. 13 They open wide their mouths against me, Like a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; It is melted [by anguish] within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery; And my [dry] tongue clings to my jaws; And You have laid me in the dust of death. 16 For [a pack of] dogs have surrounded me; A gang of evildoers has encircled me, They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones; They look, they stare at me. 18 They divide my clothing among them And cast lots for my [b]garment.
19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from me; O You my help, come quickly to my assistance. 20 Rescue my life from the sword, My only life from the paw of the dog (the executioner). 21 Save me from the lion’s mouth; From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.
22 I will tell of Your name to my countrymen; In the midst of the congregation I will praise You. 23 You who fear the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence], praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him. Fear Him [with submissive wonder], all you descendants of Israel. 24 For He has not despised nor detested the suffering of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He listened.
25 My praise will be of You in the great assembly. I will pay my vows [made in the time of trouble] before those who [reverently] fear Him. 26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who [diligently] seek Him and require Him [as their greatest need] will praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations will bow down and worship before You, 28 For the kingship and the kingdom are the Lord’s And He rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship; All those who go down to the dust (the dead) will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive. 30 Posterity will serve Him; They will tell of the Lord to the next generation. 31 They will come and declare His righteousness To a people yet to be born—that He has done it [and that it is finished].
The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. 2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. 3 He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the [sunless] [c]valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with [d]oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.
24 The earth [f]is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, The world, and those who dwell in it. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the streams and the rivers. 3 Who may ascend onto the [g]mountain of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to what is false, Nor has sworn [oaths] deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation (description) of those who diligently seek Him and require Him as their greatest need, Who seek Your face, even [as did] Jacob.Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is [He then] this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory [who rules over all creation with His heavenly armies]. Selah.
Psalm 22:1This psalm may have been prayed by Jesus when He was on the cross. It begins with, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” and ends with a thought of finality. The psalm is quoted in Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34; and alluded to in Matt 27:35, 39, 43 and John 19:23, 24, 28 as being fulfilled at Christ’s crucifixion.
Psalm 22:18A prophetic reference to the long, seamless shirt-like tunic worn by Jesus as an undergarment.
Psalm 23:5In ancient times it was customary in hot climates for a host to provide his guest with olive oil to put on his head. The Lord blesses and anoints His believers with the Holy Spirit, whom oil symbolizes, to prepare them for His service.
Psalm 24:1In the Talmud it is said that the Levites sang a particular psalm for every day of the week, and this was the psalm for the first day.
Psalm 24:1The ancient rabbis taught that since the earth and everything it contains belongs to the Lord, it is sacrilege to enjoy anything of the world without first saying a benediction for it.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
47 O clap your hands, all you people; Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy. 2 For the Lord Most High is to be feared [and worshiped with awe-inspired reverence and obedience]; He is a great King over all the earth. 3 He subdues peoples under us And nations under our feet. 4 He chooses our inheritance for us, The glory and excellence of Jacob whom He loves.Selah.
5 God has ascended amid shouting, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises in a skillful psalm and with understanding. 8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. 9 The princes of the people have gathered together as the people of the God of Abraham, For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.
68 Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered; Let those who hate Him flee before Him. 2 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. 3 But let the righteous be glad; let them be in good spirits before God, Yes, let them rejoice with delight. 4 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.
5 A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. 6 God makes a home for the lonely; He leads the prisoners into prosperity, Only the stubborn and rebellious dwell in a parched land.
7 O God, when You went out before Your people, When You marched through the wilderness, Selah. 8 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. 9 You, O God, sent abroad plentiful rain; You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched and weary. 10 Your flock found a dwelling place in it; O God, in Your goodness You provided for the poor.
11 The Lord gives the command [to take Canaan]; The women who proclaim the good news are a great host (army); 12 “The kings of the [enemies’] armies flee, they flee, And the beautiful woman who remains at home divides the spoil [left behind].” 13 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]. 14 When the Almighty scattered [the Canaanite] kings in the land of Canaan, It was snowing on [b]Zalmon.
15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A [high] mountain of many summits is Mount Bashan [rising east of the Jordan]. 16 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. 17 The chariots of God are [c]myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as He was at Sinai, in holiness. 18 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.
19 Blessed be the Lord, who bears our burden day by day, The God who is our salvation! Selah. 20 God is to us a God of acts of salvation; And to [d]God the Lord belong escapes from death [setting us free]. 21 Surely God will shatter the head of His enemies, The hairy scalp of one who goes on in his guilty ways. 22 The Lord said, “I will bring your enemies back from Bashan; I will bring them back from the depths of the [Red] Sea, 23 That your foot may crush them in blood, That the tongue of your dogs may have its share from your enemies.”
24 They have seen Your [solemn] [e]procession, O God, The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary [in holiness]. 25 The singers go in front, the players of instruments last; Between them the maidens playing on tambourines. 26 Bless God in the congregations, [give thanks, gratefully praise Him], The Lord, you who are from [Jacob] the fountain of Israel. 27 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].
28 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. 29 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem [Pagan] kings will bring gifts to You [out of respect]. 30 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. 31 Princes and envoys shall come from Egypt; Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands [with the offerings of submission] to God.
32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, Sing praises to the Lord! Selah. 33 To Him who rides in the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, Behold, He sends out His voice, a mighty and majestic voice. 34 Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel And His strength is in the skies. 35 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!
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