Praise of God, Israel’s Deliverer
1For the leader. A song; a psalm.
2Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
sing of his glorious name;
give him glorious praise.a
3Say to God: “How awesome your deeds!
Before your great strength your enemies cringe.
4All the earth falls in worship before you;b
they sing of you, sing of your name!”
5*Come and see the works of God,
awesome in deeds before the children of Adam.
6He changed the sea to dry land;
through the river they passed on foot.c
There we rejoiced in him,
7who rules by his might forever,
His eyes are fixed upon the nations.
Let no rebel rise to challenge!
8Bless our God, you peoples;
loudly sound his praise,
9Who has kept us alive
and not allowed our feet to slip.d
10You tested us, O God,
tried us as silver tried by fire.e
11You led us into a snare;
you bound us at the waist as captives.
12*You let captors set foot on our neck;
we went through fire and water;
then you led us out to freedom.f
13I will bring burnt offerings* to your house;
to you I will fulfill my vows,
14Which my lips pronounced
and my mouth spoke in my distress.
15Burnt offerings of fatlings I will offer you
and sacrificial smoke of rams;
I will sacrifice oxen and goats.
16Come and hear, all you who fear God,
while I recount what has been done for me.
17I called to him with my mouth;
praise was upon my tongue.
18Had I cherished evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have heard.
19But God did hear
and listened to my voice in prayer.
20Blessed be God, who did not reject my prayer
and refuse his mercy.
* [Psalm 66] In the first part (Ps 66:1–12), the community praises God for powerful acts for Israel, both in the past (the exodus from Egypt and the entry into the land [Ps 66:6]) and in the present (deliverance from a recent but unspecified calamity [Ps 66:8–12]). In the second part (Ps 66:13–20), an individual from the rescued community fulfills a vow to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. As often in thanksgivings, the rescued person steps forward to teach the community what God has done (Ps 66:16–20).
* [66:12] You let captors set foot on our neck: lit., “you let men mount our heads.” Conquerors placed their feet on the neck of their enemies as a sign of complete defeat, cf. Jos 10:24. A ceremonial footstool of the Egyptian king Tutankhamen portrays bound and prostrate bodies of enemies ready for the king’s feet on their heads, and one of Tutankhamen’s ceremonial chariots depicts the king as a sphinx standing with paw atop the neck of an enemy.