Praise God with Song and Sword
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.a
2Let Israel be glad in its maker,
the people of Zion rejoice in their king.
3Let them praise his name in dance,
make music with tambourine and lyre.*b
4For the LORD takes delight in his people,
honors the poor with victory.
5Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
cry out for joy on their couches,*
6With the praise of God in their mouths,
and a two-edged sword in their hands,c
7To bring retribution on the nations,
punishment on the peoples,d
8To bind their kings in shackles,
their nobles in chains of iron,
9To execute the judgments decreed for them—
such is the glory* of all God’s faithful.
* [Psalm 149] A hymn inviting the people of Israel to celebrate their God in song and festive dance (Ps 149:1–3, 5) because God has chosen them and given them victory (Ps 149:4). The exodus and conquest are the defining acts of Israel; the people must be ready to do again those acts in the future at the divine command (Ps 149:6–9).
* [149:3] Make music with tambourine and lyre: the verse recalls the great exodus hymn of Ex 15:20.
* [149:5] On their couches: the people reclined to banquet.
* [149:9] The glory: what brings honor to the people is their readiness to carry out the divine will, here conceived as punishing injustice done by the nations.
a. [149:1] Ps 22:23; 26:12; 35:18; 40:10; Jdt 16:1.
b. [149:3] Ps 68:26; 81:2–3; 87:7; 150:3–4.
c. [149:6] Neh 4:10–12; 2 Mc 15:27.