- A song, and a psalm of David.1
Singing with all my heart
- 1 I’ve made up my mind, God.
I’m going to sing praise songs about you.
And I’ll sing with all my heart.
- 2 Wake up, harp. Little lyre, too.
Wake up at dawn and play.2
- 3 LORD, I’ll thank you in public.
And I’ll take my thanks on the road
Singing your praises abroad.
- 4 Your pervasive love fills the sky
And your devotion to people
Soars high above the clouds.
- 5 Take your place above the sky, God.
Let your glory light up the world.
- 6 Rescue the people you love.
Save them with the power you have.
Please answer my request.
God talks back
- 7 God in his sacred Temple says:
“I’m going to win the battles.
I’ll capture Shechem
And divide the land among my people.
I’ll do the same for Succoth Valley.
- 8 Regions of Gilead and Manasseh3
Now belong to me.
So does the tribal land of Ephraim,
Which I’ll wear as my helmet.4
Judah is the royal scepter5 in my hand.
- 9 But Moab will be just a wash bowl,
A place to get rid of dirt.
Edom? I’ll toss my sandals there.
As for those Philistines,
They’ll be screaming because of me.”
- 10 Who will go with me to attack the walled city?
Who will show me the way to the rocks of Edom?6
We can’t win without God
- 11 You’ve rejected us, haven’t you God?
You’re refusing to fight alongside our armies.
- 12 Please, help us fight our enemy.
We can’t beat them without you.
- 13 We could win this thing, with God’s help.
He’s the one who will crush our enemies.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
Verses 2-6 repeat the message of Psalm 57:7-11, while verses 7-13 repeat the message of Psalm 60:6-12.
Gilead and Manasseh were ancient Israelite territories east of the Jordan River in what are now parts of the Arab countries of Syria and Jordan.
The helmet is possibly a symbol of military power. Ephraim and Judah were the two main Israelite tribes west of the Jordan River, in what are now Israel and Palestinian Territories.
The Israelite capital of Jerusalem was in the tribe of Judah. The scepter—a royal rod—was a symbol of the king’s power.
The ancient kingdom of Edom was south of the Dead See, in what is now the Arab country of Jordan. This was the homeland of Esau, brother of Jacob. The Edomite fortress city of Petra, carved out of solid rock, is a popular tourist attraction.