Psalms 65

For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.

1 [a]Praise awaits[b] you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.
2 You who answer prayer, to you all people will come.
3 When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave[c] our transgressions.
4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.
5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,
7 who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
9 You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.[d]
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

Psalms 65 Commentary

Chapter 65

God is to be praised in the kingdom of grace. (1-5) In the kingdom of providence. (6-13)

Verses 1-5 All the praise the Lord receives from this earth is from Zion, being the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, and acceptable through him. Praise is silent unto thee, as wanting words to express the great goodness of God. He reveals himself upon a mercy-seat, ready to hear and answer the prayers of all who come unto him by faith in Jesus Christ. Our sins prevail against us; we cannot pretend to balance them with any righteousness of our own: yet, as for our transgressions, of thine own free mercy, and for the sake of a righteousness of thine own providing, we shall not come into condemnation for them. Observe what it is to come into communion with God in order to blessedness. It is to converse with him as one we love and value; it is to apply ourselves closely to religion as to the business of our dwelling-place. Observe how we come into communion with God; only by God's free choice. There is abundance of goodness in God's house, and what is satisfying to the soul; there is enough for all, enough for each: it is always ready; and all without money and without price. By faith and prayer we may keep up communion with God, and bring in comfort from him, wherever we are. But it is only through that blessed One, who approaches the Father as our Advocate and Surety, that sinners may expect or can find this happiness.

Verses 6-13 That Almighty strength which sets fast the mountains, upholds the believer. That word which stills the stormy ocean, and speaks it into a calm, can silence our enemies. How contrary soever light and darkness are to each other, it is hard to say which is most welcome. Does the watchman wait for the morning? so does the labourer earnestly desire the shades of evening. Some understand it of the morning and evening sacrifices. We are to look upon daily worship, both alone and with our families, to be the most needful of our daily occupations, the most delightful of our daily comforts. How much the fruitfulness of this lower part of the creation depends upon the influence of the upper, is easy to observe; every good and perfect gift is from above. He who enriches the earth, which is filled with man's sins, by his abundant and varied bounty, can neither want power nor will to feed the souls of his people. Temporal mercies to us unworthy creatures, shadow forth more important blessings. The rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring forth of the influences of the Holy Spirit, that river of God, full of the waters of life and salvation, render the hard, barren, worthless hearts of sinners fruitful in every good work, and change the face of nations more than the sun and rain change the face of nature. Wherever the Lord passes, by his preached gospel, attended by his Holy Spirit, his paths drop fatness, and numbers are taught to rejoice in and praise him. They will descend upon the pastures of the wilderness, all the earth shall hear and embrace the gospel, and bring forth abundantly the fruits of righteousness which are, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father. Manifold and marvellous, O Lord, are thy works, whether of nature or of grace; surely in loving-kindness hast thou made them all.

Cross References 28

  • 1. Psalms 2:6
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 23:21; Psalms 116:18
  • 3. Psalms 86:9; Isaiah 66:23
  • 4. S Psalms 40:12; Psalms 38:4
  • 5. Psalms 79:9; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:14
  • 6. S Psalms 4:3; Psalms 33:12
  • 7. S Numbers 16:5
  • 8. S Psalms 36:8
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 4:34; S Psalms 45:4; Psalms 106:22; Isaiah 64:3
  • 10. Psalms 18:46; Psalms 68:19; Psalms 85:4
  • 11. S Psalms 48:10
  • 12. Psalms 107:23
  • 13. Amos 4:13
  • 14. S Psalms 18:1; Psalms 93:1; Isaiah 51:9
  • 15. Psalms 89:9; Psalms 93:3-4; Psalms 107:29; S Matthew 8:26
  • 16. Deuteronomy 32:41; Psalms 2:1; Psalms 74:23; Psalms 139:20; Isaiah 17:12-13
  • 17. Psalms 100:2; Psalms 107:22; Psalms 126:2; Isaiah 24:16; Isaiah 52:9
  • 18. S Leviticus 26:4; Psalms 68:9-10
  • 19. Psalms 104:24
  • 20. S Genesis 27:28; S Deuteronomy 32:14; Psalms 46:4; Psalms 104:14
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 32:2; S 2 Samuel 1:21; S Job 36:28; Acts 14:17
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 28:12; Psalms 104:28; John 10:10
  • 23. Job 36:28; Psalms 147:14; Luke 6:38
  • 24. S Job 28:26; Joel 2:22
  • 25. Psalms 98:8
  • 26. Psalms 144:13; Isaiah 30:23; Zechariah 8:12
  • 27. Psalms 72:16
  • 28. Psalms 98:8; Isaiah 14:8; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 55:12

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 65:1-13 is numbered 65:2-14.
  • [b]. Or "befits" ; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  • [c]. Or "made atonement for"
  • [d]. Or "for that is how you prepare the land"

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm [and] Song of David. Some copies of the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions read "a song of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, "sung" by the people of the captivity, when they were about to come out;" and some copies have "Haggai": but though it is possible it might be sung upon that occasion, it is certain it was not then composed, but was written by David, as the genuine title shows: as for Jeremiah; he was not carried captive to Babylon, and Ezekiel died before the return of the people from it; nor is there anything in the psalm relating to that captivity. The title of it, indeed, in the Arabic version, is concerning the captivity of the people; which it seems to have taken from some Greek copy; and Kimchi and Arama interpret it of the captivity of the people of the Jews; but then they mean their present captivity, and their deliverance from it. According to the title of it in the Syriac version, the occasion of it was the bringing up of the ark of God to Sion; and Aben Ezra is of opinion that David composed the psalm at that time; or that one of the singers composed it at the building of the temple, and which he thinks is right, and perhaps is concluded from Psalm 65:1; and who also says it was composed in a year of drought; but it rather seems to have been written in a year of great plenty, as the latter part of it shows; and the whole seems to respect the fruitful, flourishing, and happy state of the church in Gospel times, for which it is a song of praise.

Psalms 65 Commentaries

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