Monday, November 14, 2005


Psalm 76

People who live in Jerusalem know their God,
in Israel’s land his great name is renowned,
his house is built and he lives in Jerusalem,
on Zion’s mountain height his home is found.

Just there and then he broke arrows within their flight
destroying all of the weapons of war.
Glorious majesty, outshining wild hills,
sends empty-handed wild men home once more.

Lethargy letting go what they had seized before,
soldiering skills taken out of their hands,
cavalry stunned by a word of rebuke from you.
Who, God of Jacob, before you can stand?

As in the past you for ever are reverenced,
now, when your anger is roused for the fight
out of the heavens you utter your ordinance,
shaken, the earth fears your voice and is quiet.

Rising, establishing those you ordained to save;
all humble people who on earth have dwelt;
even humanity’s anger gives praise to you;
remnants of wrath you’ll put on like a belt.

Make to the LORD your God vows and perform them;
let all around him bring gifts for his birth;
see how he severs the spirit of dominance;
kings’ reverence give to the King of the earth!

This paraphrase of Psalm 76 has an interpolation in the 2nd line of the last verse that is hardly in the original. I couldn’t resist it but anyone who believes that Psalm versions should be devoid of interpretation should change that line of mine, if, that is they are interested in using it at all. The only tune I know that will fit these words is Sanctissimus by W H Cooke 1820-1912.