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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 65

Verses 1-2

David began this song by declaring that people will pray to the Lord because He hears their prayers. They will be silent before Him out of respect. Sometimes the height of worship is to fall silent before God. His people will praise Him publicly and will fulfill their promised vows because He responds to His people’s petitions.

Verses 1-4

1. God’s forgiveness 65:1-4

Verses 1-13

Psalms 65

This communal song of thanksgiving celebrates God blessing His people with a bountiful land (cf. Psalms 66-68). Other communal or community psalms of thanksgiving are 66, 107, 118, 124, and 129. The element that distinguishes a communal psalm of thanksgiving from an individual psalm of thanksgiving is "the use of plural pronouns or some other clear indicator that the congregation of Israel, rather than the individual, has gone through the crisis." [Note: Bullock, p. 163.] David explained that God hears prayer and atones for sin. This results in bounty for His people. God also helps them by His supernatural power.

Verses 3-4

A great national sin seems to have been the psalmist’s concern, and he was grateful for the Lord’s forgiveness (cf. Romans 5:1). Those whom God forgives can approach Him and experience His blessing-even in His earthly habitation (cf. Romans 5:2; 2 Corinthians 9:8). The Hebrew word hekal (temple) is a synonym for tabernacle. It means a magnificent house and does not describe Solomon’s temple necessarily (cf. Psalms 5:7).

Verses 5-8

2. God’s power 65:5-8

David regarded answers to prayer as some of God’s awesome works (Psalms 65:5 a). These verses express God’s great power by citing a number of specific divine acts (Psalms 65:5 b-8). People from all over the world trust in Him because of His revelation in creation and in history (Psalms 65:5 b, Psalms 65:8 a).

"This idealistic portrayal of universal worship is typical hymnic hyperbole, though it does anticipate eschatological reality." [Note: The NET Bible note on 65:5.]

The raging seas (Psalms 65:7) represent the turbulent nations of the earth (cf. Psalms 46:2-3; Isaiah 17:12).

Verse 9

Not only does God hear prayer, He also sends bountiful harvests.

Verses 9-10

These descriptions view God tending the earth as a farmer would. God is the One responsible for the abundance of crops (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:6).

Verses 9-13

3. God’s bounty 65:9-13

Verses 11-13

David pictured the earth richly plentiful with God’s blessing on fields and flocks, and he personified it as rejoicing in His goodness.

In spite of man’s sin, God blesses his environment with many good things so people can prosper and rejoice (common grace). God delights to bless all people (Matthew 5:45). He is a good, as well as a great, God. [Note: See Allen, And I . . ., pp. 198-213.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 65". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-65.html. 2012.