Prayer for the boss
Make the king a good judge
Of Solomon.1 Please God, give the king your sense of justice.
And give his son, the prince, your kind of goodness.
2 Help the king judge people fairly.
May the poor finally see what justice looks like.
3 Let peace roll down off the mountains.
Let goodness drift in from the hills.
4 Let the king stand up for the poor,
Rescue their children from their poverty,
And punish exploiters who kept them that way.
5 May the king respect you
As long as the sun shines in daytime
And the moon glows at night,
From now until generations to come.
6 May people welcome the king
Like rain on a mown field,
Like showers on dry ground.
7 May good people prosper during his reign.
And may peace live as long as the moon.
8 May his kingdom grow from sea to sea
And from the Euphrates River
To the ends of the earth.
9 Make desert nomads bow to him,
And enemies grovel at his feet.
10 May distant kings bring him taxes
From Tarshish and Mediterranean islands.
And may kings bring him gifts
From Sheba and Seba.
11 May kings everywhere submit to him.
And may nations all over the world
Respect him as their king.
He’s respected for helping the poor12 For this king helps the poor.
He has the back of those
With no one else to help them.
13 He pours compassion on the poor and helpless.
He saves the lives of many broken and needy people.
14 He’s coming to the rescue
Of people oppressed and violently mistreated.
Live a long, rich life15 Long live the king.
Let him have the gold of Sheba.
May people pray for him every day.
May they sing his praises all day long.
16 Let his grain fill the land,
From plains to mountains.
Let his farms thrive,
Like forests of Lebanon.
May the population explode,
Like grass in springtime.
17 May people remember him forever,
As long as the sun keeps shining.
May the world become better because of him,
And may people realize it,
And thank him for it.
God deserves a kind word18 I thank the LORD God, the God of Israel.
He’s the only one who can do such wonderful things.
19 May people praise him forever.
May God’s majesty fill the world with its splendor.
I mean it. I absolutely mean it.
20 This ends the psalms of David, son of Jesse. 
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of Solomon,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by Solomon, about Solomon, or was inspired by Solomon. Eighteen psalms are “of Solomon.” Some are songs that teach. Others criticize, lament, or express thanks. This is a song that sounds like it could have been sung at a coronation or the anniversary of the king’s ascent to the nation’s throne.
Location of Tarshish is unknown. It was the prophet Jonah’s destination when he tried to run away from God. Scholars often guess that it was a city in Spain or somewhere else at the opposite end of the Mediterranean Sea from the Jewish homeland. Some say it was a Phoenician colony called Tartessus, in Spain. Phoenicians were native to what is now Lebanon, but their merchant ships sailed through the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s uncertain where Sheba and Seba were. Scholars today seem to prefer locating Sheba in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, perhaps in Yemen. Others place it in northeastern Africa, perhaps in Ethiopia. Seba is mentioned in Isaiah 43:3 and 45:14 with Egypt and Ethiopia. So perhaps it, too, was somewhere in northeastern Africa.
This verse serves as the closing benediction for not only Psalm 72, but for Book 2 of Psalms: Psalms 42-72. Some scholars say it also hints that Psalm 72 wasn’t actually a psalm by Solomon, but that David wrote it for Solomon.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.