Psalm 21

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 21

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.


Psalm 21

  (This is) a psalm of David for the music leader

v1   LORD, the king is enjoying your power.
  He is very happy.
  You gave him help to win.

v2 - v5   You gave to him what he really wanted.
  You gave to him everything that he asked for.   SELAH
  You met him and gave to him such good things:
   you put a crown of the best gold on his head
   he wanted to stay alive and you let him
   his life will go on, it will never finish
     he has great glory because you gave him help to win
   you gave to him honour and he now remains as king

v6   You will always do good things for him.
  He is very happy because you are with him.

v7   The king is relying on the LORD.
  Because the Most High is loving and kind nobody will move the king.

v8   Your hand will find all your enemies.
  Your right hand will catch everybody that hates you.

v9   When they see you, you will burn them all.
  When you are really angry your fire will destroy them.

v10   You will remove their children from the earth.
  They will have no families anywhere.

v11   This is because they planned evil against you.
  They had really bad ideas and they did not work.

v12   You will make them turn their backs to you.
  This is because you will shoot your arrows at their faces.

v13   LORD, you are really strong. You sit on high.
  We will sing and praise your power.

Word list

crown ~ a special hat that a king wears

honour ~ when people think that you are important and honest

Most High ~ here it is a name for God

work ~ here it means to happen as they wanted

arrows ~ sharp sticks shot by bows

The story of Psalms 20 and 21

In Psalm 20 the king and his army are going to war. In verses 1-5 the people pray for them. In verses 6-8 the king says that he believes that he will win as God will give him help. Then the people will say, "LORD, save the king". This probably happened in Jerusalem every time that there was a war. It started with David, but other kings after him did it. In Psalm 21 the king and his army come back. They have won the war, so they thanked God. Psalm 21:8-12 is what God will do to his enemies.

What Psalms 20 and 21 mean

Psalm 20: 1 5: "Trouble" here means "war". "Jacob" means the "Jews". God is everywhere, in heaven and earth. The Jews prayed to him on a hill in Jerusalem. They called it Zion. Later they built their temple there. "He will make you strong from Zion", means "God will give you the help that you ask for". They also gave God their offerings on the hill Zion

Psalm 20: 6 9: The right hand of God here means what God does on earth. Modern armies use guns and planes, not chariots and horses. Christians are like David: they trust in the LORD. "Move the king" (verse 7) means "make the king trust another god".

Psalm 21: 1 7: The king came back to Jerusalem. He had won the war. So the King and the people are happy. They can now live in peace.

Psalm 21: 8 13: War is very bad for everyone. This is one picture of it. There are many more in the Bible. It says: that God will find all his enemies. He will also punish them (Punish means hurt). There is no peace for these people. People think of God as being high above them.

Something to do

You will often hear about wars. Pray about them. Ask God to give help to the people that believe in him. If both armies believe in God ask God:

    to speak to both groups

    to make peace happen

    to save people so that he does not punish them


2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

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