Psalm 81 – New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 81[a]

For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] Of Asaph.

  1. Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
  2. Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre.
  3. Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon,  and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;
  4. this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
  5. When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph. I heard an unknown voice say:
  6. “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.
  7. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah.[c]
  8. Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel!
  9. You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me.
  10. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
  11. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.
  12. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.
  13. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways,
  14. how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
  15. Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever.
  16. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”


a. Psalm 81:1 In Hebrew texts 81:1-16 is numbered 81:2-17.
b. Psalm 81:1 Title: Probably a musical term
c. Psalm 81:7 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

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Psalm 81 – King James Version (KJV)

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph.

  1. Sing aloud unto God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
  2. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the psaltery.
  3. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, In the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
  4. For this was a statute for Israel, And a law of the God of Jacob.
  5. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, When he went out through the land of Egypt: Where I heard a language that I understood not.
  6. I removed his shoulder from the burden: His hands were delivered from the pots.
  7. Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee At the waters of Meribah. Selah.
  8. Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
  9. There shall no strange god be in thee; Neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
  10. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
  11. But my people would not hearken to my voice; And Israel would none of me.
  12. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: And they walked in their own counsels.
  13. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, And Israel had walked in my ways!
  14. I should soon have subdued their enemies, And turned my hand against their adversaries.
  15. The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: But their time should have endured for ever.
  16. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: And with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.