New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary

Psa 67:1

For the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Psalm. A song-
This appears to have initially been a thanksgiving song for a good harvest, but it clearly has been developed to understand the harvest as the spiritual harvest of Gentiles for God's Kingdom, with God's blessing of Israel by grace leading to Gentiles being converted to the God of Israel.

May God be merciful to us, bless us, and cause His face to shine on us. Selah-
Heb. 'shine with us', as if God's joy is now that of His people. Blessing is often understood as forgiveness; this was the "mercy" implicit in the promises to Abraham and David. The shining of God's face with His people suggests restoration of fellowship and loving acceptance of them by grace. And this was what led to the harvest now to be celebrated in the Psalm.

The allusion is clearly to the High Priestly blessing of the people in Num. 6:24,25. But that blessing was to be shared with all the Gentiles. This is the same idea with which Ps. 68 begins, supporting the suggestion that the Psalms are often paired. This Ps. 67 would thus be an introduction to Ps. 68.

Psa 67:2

That Your way may be known on earth, and Your salvation among all nations-
God's grace in forgiving Israel (:1) was to reveal His way to the rest of the nations in the eretz, and serve as an advertisement for the fact that Yahweh is a God who saves; a principle brought to final articulation in the person of the Lord Jesus, Yehoshua, Yah's salvation. This was based upon the experience of David, who wished to advertise to the world his forgiveness and experience of God's grace after his sin. The idea was that the exiles would follow his pattern of repentance and his path to restoration. They didn't, but finally they will, at the last day.

Psa 67:3

let the peoples praise You, God. Let all the peoples praise You-
This may be an invitation for the "peoples" of the eretz to praise Israel's God for His characteristic salvation and mercy (:1,2). "Let" can as well be translated "May...". Although "let" might suggest David was asking that Yahweh extend His saving plan to the Gentiles even at that stage.

Psa 67:4

Oh let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples with equity, and govern the nations on earth. Selah-
The vision was of God's kingdom or governance being over all the nations of the eretz / earth; and because of their acceptance of this, they would be glad. The justice of His judgments would be a cause for joy. This vision of kingdom or empire building was totally opposite to that understood at the time, where nations were militarily and economically dominated and forced into submission. Yahweh's Kingdom would extend by the choice of the subjected peoples, who would be awed by God's grace to Israel, who would become the parade example of what it meant to have Yahweh as King.

Psa 67:5

Let the peoples praise You, God. Let all the peoples praise You-
"Let" might suggest David was asking that Yahweh extend His saving plan to the Gentiles even at that stage. But David was well ahead of his time in this desire. For Israel failed to be the example of God's kingship over a people, and the Gentiles therefore weren't encouraged to repent. We note the emphasis upon "all the peoples"- including their recent abusers, those whom Israel might consider beyond God's saving purpose.

Psa 67:6

The earth has yielded its increase. God, even our own God, will bless us-
The God of Israel would bless "us", Israel, with great harvests, and this would be a visible testament to His grace toward them. But the restored exiles experienced failed harvests; because they didn't repent. Perhaps "God" rather than "Yahweh" is used at this point because this would be the perspective of the observing Gentiles.


Psa 67:7

God will bless us. All the ends of the earth shall fear Him-
This again points up the issue; God would bless Israel ("us") by grace because of their repentance and obedience to the covenant; and therefore all the ends of the eretz promised to Abraham, including the nations like Assyria and Babylon at the very ends or boundaries of that territory, would also "fear Him" in the sense of accepting covenant relationship with Him. The Psalm concludes with another reference to the high priestly blessing (see on :1).