1 God is known among His people;
Every mouth His praises fill
From of old he has established
His abode on Zion's hill.
There He broke the sword and arrow,
Bade the noise of war be still.
2 Excellent and glorious art Thou,
With Thy trophies from the fray;
Thou hast slain the the valiant-hearted
Wrapped in sleep of death are they;
When Thy anger once is risen,
Who can stand in that dread day?
3 When from heaven Thy sentence sounded,
All the earth in fear was still,
While to save the meek and lowly
God in judgement wrought His will;
E'en the wrath of man shall praise Thee,
Thy design it shall fulfill.
4 Vow and pay ye to Jehovah,
Him your God forever own;
All men, bring your gifts before him;
Worship Him and Him alone;
Mighty kings obey and fear Him,
Princes bow before His throne.
The Psalter: with responsive readings, 1912
Praise for God's mighty deliverance of Zion.
st. l = vv. 1-3
st. 2 = vv. 4-7
st. 3 = vv. 8-10
st. 4 = vv. 11-12
Ancient tradition suggests that this psalm was composed after the destruction of Sennacherib's army outside Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35). The psalm's main theme develops in the opening and closing stanzas (vv. 1-3, 11-12; st. 1, 4): God defends Zion and makes his name known; God requires commitment, worship, and praise, even from the kings of the earth. The seven Hebrew lines (vv. 4-10) that link the psalm's framing verses celebrate God's awesome act of judgment that brought relief to Zion: God's unequaled power overcomes human might (st. 2), and not even human hostility can frustrate the plans of the God who pronounces judgment from heaven (st. 3). The theme of God's protection of Zion links this psalm with 46 and 48 (see also 84, 87, 122, 125, and 137). The versification is significantly revised from that in the 1912 Psalter.
Beginning of worship; celebrations of God's victories over the enemies of his kingdom.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook