Israel gets even
Sing for joy, Jerusalem1 Thank the LORD.
Sing the LORD a new song.
Sing it when you get together
As a worship congregation.
2 Let Israel celebrate their creator.
Let the people of Jerusalem praise the LORD their king.
3 Dance to celebrate the LORD.
Sing your songs
Of praise and thanks.
Bring on the accompaniment:
Strings of the lyre,
Rhythm of the tambourine.
4 The LORD is delighted by his people.
He honors the humble by saving them.
5 Celebrate that honor.
Shout for joy as you rest in comfort.
6 Load your throats
With praise to God.
But fill your hands
With double-edged swords.
7 Do it to give the nations what they gave you,
And to punish their people for the same.
8 Lock their kings into chains.
Shackle their officials into irons.
9 Execute the sentence of doom,
Out of respect for all good people.
Thank the LORD.
The Hebrew word is hallelujah, which is often translated as “praise the LORD” and can also be translated as “thank the LORD.”
Literally “Zion,” a term of endearment, and another name for Jerusalem. It’s a bit like “The Big Apple” for New York City.
The lyrics don’t specifically say the LORD is the king. But it’s implied by the first line’s reference to the creator. Hebrew poetry uses parallelism the way English poetry uses rhyme. In English, the end of the first line might rhyme with the last word in the second line. Hebrew poetry often emphasizes a subject by repeating the general idea of the first line, but saying it in a slightly different way in the second line. Here, “creator” and “king” may both refer to God.
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