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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 67

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Psalms 67:0


The Nations Exhorted to Praise God Deeds MT Intro For the choir director; with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song An Invocation and A Doxology Thanksgiving for A Good Harvest A Song of Thanksgiving Harvest Song
Psalms 67:1-7 Psalms 67:1-2 Psalms 67:1-3 Psalms 67:1-2 Psalms 67:1-2
Psalms 67:3-4 Psalms 67:3 Psalms 67:3
Psalms 67:4-5 Psalms 67:4 Psalms 67:4
Psalms 67:5-7 Psalms 67:5 Psalms 67:5
Psalms 67:6-7 Psalms 67:6-7 Psalms 67:6-7

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.


A. This Psalm, like Psalms 65:0 and Psalms 66:0, has a universal element (cf. Psalms 67:2, Psalms 67:3, Psalms 67:4, Psalms 67:5, Psalms 67:7, esp. Psalms 67:2). The goal of YHWH is

1. that the world may know Him (Psalms 67:2a)

2. that the world may be saved (Psalms 67:2b)

He makes Himself known through His

1. acts of creation

2. acts of election (i.e., Abraham and his seed)

3. acts of redemption (i.e., especially the Exodus, Wilderness Wanderings, and return from exile)

4. these acts are recorded for all to read in Scripture

5. future acts by promise and prophecy through the Messiah

B. This Psalm is characterized by the use of jussives.

1. God's acts

a. God be gracious, Psalms 67:1; Psalms 67:1 BDB 138, KB 159, Piel imperfect used in a jussive sense

b. God bless, Psalms 67:1; Psalms 67:1 BDB 138, KB 159, Piel imperfect used in a jussive sense

c. God cause His face to shine upon, Psalms 67:1; Psalms 67:1 BDB 21, KB 24, Hiphil jussive

d. God bless, Psalms 67:7; Psalms 67:7 BDB same as b

2. the people's response

a-b. the people praise (twice), Psalms 67:3; Psalms 67:3 BDB 392, KB 389, Hiphil imperfect used in a jussive sense

c. the nations be glad, Psalms 67:4; Psalms 67:4 BDB 970, KB 1333, Qal imperfect used in a jussive sense

d. the nations sing for joy, Psalms 67:4; Psalms 67:4 BDB 943, KB 1247, Piel imperfect used in a jussive sense

e-f. repeat ofPsalms 67:3; Psalms 67:3 (i.e., a-b)

C. I have enjoyed so much the insights of Derek Kidner. His commentary on Genesis and Psalms in the Tyndale OT series is a blessing to me. At the beginning of his comments on this Psalm, he says:

“If a psalm was ever written round the promises to Abraham, that he would be both blessed and made a blessing, it could well have been such as this” (p. 254).

Verses 1-7

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 67:1-7 1God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us Selah. 2That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. 3Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. 4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; For You will judge the peoples with uprightness And guide the nations on the earth. Selah. 5Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. 6The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. 7God blesses us, That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Psalms 67:1 Psalms 67:1 is a prayer that has a universal redemptive flavor. YHWH desires that all humans made in His image and likeness (cf. Genesis 1:26-27) be restored to fellowship following the rebellion and sin of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:0. The promise of Genesis 3:15 is directed to all humans (there is no Israel until the call of Abram in Genesis 12:0).

The salvation/restoration of the damaged “image” has been God's unalterable goal since the Fall (i.e., Isaiah 2:2-4; Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 56:7; Micah 4:1-2). See the Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Psalm. It clearly states my basic theological presupposition and theological grid!

“us” Who is the “us” (thrice in Psalms 67:1 and Psalms 67:6b, Psalms 67:7a)? From the reference to Numbers 6:0 (i.e., the Aaronic blessing) one would assume Israel (cf. Psalms 4:6), but notice the other references.

1. the peoples, Psalms 67:3, Psalms 67:4b, Psalms 67:5a

2. all the peoples, Psalms 67:3, Psalms 67:5b

3. the nations, Psalms 67:4a

4. the nations of the earth, Psalms 67:4c

5. all the ends of the earth, Psalms 67:7b

God desires the salvation of all (cf. John 3:16-17; John 4:42; Acts 2:17; 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:11; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 4:9-10).

“Selah” See note at Psalms 3:2 and Introduction to Psalms, VII.

“cause His face to shine upon us” This wording of the blessing of YHWH's personal presence and fellowship comes from the Aaronic blessing of Numbers 6:22-27. The imagery is often repeated in the Psalms (cf. Psalms 4:6; Psalms 31:16; Psalms 80:3, Psalms 80:7, Psalms 80:19; Psalms 119:135).

Psalms 67:2 “Your way” The way of God refers to His revelation. See the SPECIAL TOPIC: TERMS FOR GOD'S REVELATION. Note the theological parallel at Psalms 16:11.

The theological concept of biblical faith as a way/road is crucial (see Psalms 1:0). Jesus described it as a gate and a road (cf. Matthew 7:13-27), a personal encounter followed by a Christ-centered life (cf. James 2:14-26). I have included the notes from my commentary on Acts 9:2 below.

Acts 9:2 “The Way” This was the early designation for believers (cf. Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:14, Acts 24:22 and possibly Psalms 18:25, Psalms 18:26). It has an OT background, speaking of lifestyle faith (cf. Psalms 1:1; Psalms 16:11; Psalms 119:105; Psalms 139:24; Proverbs 4:10-19). Jesus uses this concept in Matthew 7:14 and uses the title for Himself in John 14:6. Christianity is a personal encounter followed by a daily relationship.

“earth” See SPECIAL TOPIC: LAND, COUNTRY, EARTH. Context determines meaning!

Psalms 67:4 This verse cannot be negative (i.e., judgement only) because the judgment of God on uprightness will cause the nations to

1. be glad

2. sing for joy

3. be guided by God

The idea that the nations will be led by God takes on more significance when one notices the number of times (past, present, future) this term (BDB 634) is used of Israel (cf. Deuteronomy 32:12; Nehemiah 9:12; Psalms 5:8; Psalms 23:3; Psalms 31:3; Psalms 43:3; Psalms 73:24; Psalms 78:14, Psalms 78:53, Psalms 78:72; Psalms 107:30; Psalms 139:10; Psalms 143:10). Now this same divine leadership is available for a repentant, believing, Gentile world (cf. Jeremiah 16:19).

Psalms 67:6 The covenants of the OT promised agricultural blessings for those who obeyed the covenant (i.e., Leviticus 26:0; Deuteronomy 27-28). This verse implies a repentant believing group among the peoples of the earth. It has an eschatological thrust.

The Bible begins in agricultural abundance (i.e., Garden of Eden) and ends with the same imagery (Revelation 21-22). This implies that the place of fellowship between God and humanity is a restored Garden of Eden (i.e., a cleansed and restored earth). There is no way to know if this is imagery or prophecy.

Many scholars have seen this Psalm as a harvest blessing based on this verse. However, the abundance of universal elements makes this doubtful. This Psalm is about God's desire for all the nations to know Him (cf. Psalms 67:2) and follow Him (Psalms 67:4) and, thereby be blessed (Psalms 67:6)!

Psalms 67:7 “That all the ends of the earth may fear Him” This is the use of the word “fear” (BDB 431, KB 432) in the sense of awe, respect, reverence. This universal theme is also stated in Psalms 22:27 and Psalms 33:8.


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. To whom is this Psalm addressed?

2. Why is Psalms 67:2 so theologically significant? Is this theme unique to this Psalm?

3. Explain Psalms 67:4 in your own words. Is it positive or negative?

4. Will heaven be a restored earth?

5. Is the theological thrust of this Psalm unique to the Psalter?

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Psalms 67". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/psalms-67.html. 2021.
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