Psalm 81 – “Call to Praise; Oracle”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist calls upon the people to praise God. God expresses his dissappointment with the people.

II. Photo
God alleviated the people’s pain: “I relieved his shoulder of the burden, his hands were freed from the basket.” (v. 7)

III. Select Verses    
2-6a:  Sing joyously to God, our strength; raise a shout for the God of Jacob. Take up the song, sound the timbrel, the melodious lyre and harp. Blow the horn on the new moon, on the full moon for our feast day. For it is a law for Israel, a ruling of the God of Jacob; He imposed it as a decree upon Joseph when he went forth from the land of Egypt
8: In distress you called and I rescued you; I answered you from the secret place of thunder I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
9-11: Hear, My people, and I will admonish you; Israel, if you would but listen to Me! You shall have no foreign god, you shall not bow to an alien god. I the LORD am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
12-15: But My people would not listen to Me, Israel would not obey Me. So I let them go after their willful heart that they might follow their own devices. If only My people would listen to Me, if Israel would follow My paths, then would I subdue their enemies at once, strike their foes again and again.

IV. Outline

1. Superscription
2-6b. Summons to praise
    2-4. Summons
    5-6a. Rationale
6b-17. Oracle
    6b-8. Account of salvation
    9-11. Exhortation
    12-17. Account of sin and its consequences (?)

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
Tate, Marvin. “Psalms 51-100” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 20 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1990).
Photo copied from