The Shortest Psalm

The Fifth Egyptian Hallel

Psalm 117

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 117

Gordon Churchyard

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

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains the other words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.


Jesus said, "I have other sheep. They do not live at this farm. I must fetch them also and they will hear my voice. Then there will be one farm and one sheep-farmer" (John 10:16).

Psalm 117

v1   Every country in the world, *praise the *LORD!
  All the people (in the world), *praise him!

v2   His kind love for us is very strong.
  And he will always do what he has promised.
  *Praise the *LORD

The Story of Psalm 117

Some Bible students think that this psalm was to start times of *worship in the *temple. The *temple was Godís house in Jerusalem. We do not know who wrote it. And we do not know when they wrote it.

Read the notes in Psalm 113 in this set of psalms. They will tell you about Egyptian hallels.

What Psalm 117 means

Verse 1: Usually "*praise the *LORD" is "*hallelujah" in Hebrew. The *Jews spoke Hebrew and wrote the psalms in Hebrew. Here they use a different Hebrew word. "*Praise" means "tell someone that they are great". "*LORD" is another word for God. It is his *covenant name. A *covenant is when two people, or groups of people, agree. Here God agrees to love and give help to his people when they need it. His people agree to love and obey God.

But who are "his people"? Here it is not only the *Jews. It is all the people in the world, if they will love and obey him!

Verse 2: "Very strong" is a Hebrew word that means "will win the war". God loves everybody in the world and he will try to "win the war" for their love and obedience. "Obedience" is another word for "obeying". "*Praise the *LORD" at the end of the verse is "*hallelujah" this time!

Something to do

1.  Pray that your friends and family will start to *praise the *LORD.

2.  If you have a Bible, read Romans 15:11. There Paul repeats Psalm 117:1.

Word List

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.

hallelujah ~ say that the *LORD is great. (Jah is *Hebrew for *LORD.)

Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).

praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.

temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.

worship ~ you tell someone that they are very great. And you tell them that you love them.


© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

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

December 2002

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