For the music director; a song, a psalm.
66:1 Shout out praise to God, all the earth!
66:2 Sing praises about the majesty of his reputation! 2
Give him the honor he deserves! 3
66:3 Say to God:
“How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power your enemies cower in fear 4 before you.
66:4 All the earth worships 5 you
and sings praises to you!
They sing praises to your name!” (Selah)
66:5 Come and witness 6 God’s exploits! 7
His acts on behalf of people are awesome! 8
66:6 He turned the sea into dry land; 9
they passed through the river on foot. 10
Let us rejoice in him there! 11
66:7 He rules 12 by his power forever;
he watches 13 the nations.
Stubborn rebels should not exalt 14 themselves. (Selah)
66:8 Praise 15 our God, you nations!
Loudly proclaim his praise! 16
66:9 He preserves our lives 17
and does not allow our feet to slip.
[66:1] 1 sn Psalm 66. The psalmist praises God because he has delivered his people from a crisis.
[66:2] 2 tn Heb “his name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.
[66:2] 3 tn Heb “make honorable his praise.”
[66:3] 4 tn See Deut 33:29; Ps 81:15 for other uses of the verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash) in the sense “cower in fear.” In Ps 18:44 the verb seems to carry the nuance “be weak, powerless” (see also Ps 109:24).
[66:4] 5 tn Or “bows down to.” The prefixed verbal forms in v. 4 are taken (1) as imperfects expressing what is typical. Another option (2) is to interpret them as anticipatory (“all the earth will worship you”) or (3) take them as jussives, expressing a prayer or wish (“may all the earth worship you”).
[66:5] 7 tn Or “acts” (see Ps 46:8).
[66:5] 8 tn Heb “awesome [is] an act toward the sons of man.” It is unclear how the prepositional phrase relates to what precedes. If collocated with “act,” it may mean “on behalf of” or “toward.” If taken with “awesome” (see 1 Chr 16:25; Pss 89:7; 96:4; Zeph 2:11), one might translate “his awesome acts are beyond human comprehension” or “his awesome acts are superior to anything men can do.”
[66:6] 9 sn He turned the sea into dry land. The psalmist alludes to Israel’s crossing the Red Sea (Exod 14:21).
[66:6] 10 tn Because of the reference to “the river,” some understand this as an allusion to Israel’s crossing the Jordan River. However, the Hebrew term נָהָר (nahad) does not always refer to a “river” in the technical sense; it can be used of sea currents (see Jonah 2:4). So this line may also refer to the Red Sea crossing (cf. NEB).
[66:6] 11 tn The adverb שָׁם (sham, “there”) is used here, as often in poetic texts, to point “to a spot in which a scene is localized vividly in the imagination” (BDB 1027 s.v.).
[66:7] 12 tn Heb “[the] one who rules.”
[66:7] 13 tn Heb “his eyes watch.” “Eyes” are an anthropomorphism, attributed to God here to emphasize his awareness of all that happens on earth.
[66:7] 14 tn The verb form is jussive (note the negative particle אַל, ’al). The Kethib (consonantal text) has a Hiphil form of the verb, apparently to be understood in an exhibitive sense (“demonstrate stubborn rebellion”; see BDB 927 s.v. רוּם Hiph), while the Qere (marginal reading) has a Qal form, to be understood in an intransitive sense. The preposition -לְ (lamed) with pronominal suffix should be understood in a reflexive sense (“for themselves”) and indicates that the action is performed with the interest of the subject in mind.
[66:8] 15 tn Heb “bless,” in the sense of declaring “God to be the source of…special power” (see HALOT 160 s.v. II ברך pi).
[66:8] 16 tn Heb “cause the voice of his praise to be heard.”