*Trust Only In God

The 1st *Hallelujah Psalm

Psalm 146

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 146


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, "*Believe also in me" (John 14:1).

Psalm 146

v1   *Hallelujah!
  I say to myself, "*Praise the *LORD!"

v2   I will *praise the *LORD all my life.
  I will always sing *praises to my God while I am alive.

v3   Do not *trust in human leaders.
  Nobody that is only human can save you.

v4   When they die, they return to the ground.
  On that day, their plans come to an end.

v5   The person that receives help from the God of Jacob is very happy.
  (That person) hopes (for help) from the *LORD their God.

v6   (The *LORD) made the skies and the earth,
  the sea and everything that is in them.
  He always does what he has promised (to do).

v7   He gives help to people that are *oppressed.
  He gives food to the hungry.
  He makes people free that are in a prison.

v8   The *LORD makes *blind people see again.
  The *LORD lifts up people that have fallen down
  (because they carried heavy things).
  The *LORD loves people that are *righteous.

v9   The *LORD *protects strangers living in our land,
  the children with no fathers and the *widows.
  But he does not *protect *wicked people.

v10   The *LORD will always be (your) king.
  Zion, he will be your God for all time.

The Story of Psalm 146

Bible students call the last 5 psalms The *Hallelujah Psalms. This is because they all start and end with the Hebrew word "Halelujah". The *Jews spoke the Hebrew language and wrote their psalms in Hebrew. "Halel" means "*praise", or "tell someone that they are very great". The "u" means "you" ... all of you! "Jah" is one of Godís names. Most Bibles translate it *LORD with 4 capital letters. It has a meaning and a use. The meaning may be that he will always be alive. The use is as a *covenant name. A *covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. Here, God agrees to love and give help to his people. And his people agree to love and obey him. Bible translators do not often translate the word "halelujah" into another language. Usually we spell it "*hallelujah", but the Hebrew word is "halelujah".

We do not know who wrote Psalms 146-150. And we do not know when they wrote them. Most Bible students think that the *psalmist wrote them for the new *temple in Jerusalem. The *psalmist was the person that wrote the psalms. For half of the psalms David was the *psalmist. But there were many other *psalmists, most of them after David died. Some Bible students think that maybe Ezra or Nehemiah was the *psalmist for Psalms 146-150. The *temple was Godís house in Jerusalem. Enemies destroyed it 600 years before Jesus came to the earth. But 70 years after the army of Babylon destroyed it, the *Jews built it again. They made the Book of Psalms at this time to use in the new *temple.

What Psalm 146 means

Verses 1 Ė 2: Many Bibles translate "myself" as "soul". The soul is the part of us that lives when our bodies die. We say "*praises" when we *praise someone, (or tell them that they are very great).

Verses 3 - 4 tell us not to *trust in human leaders. "*Trust (in) someone" means "believe that someone will do as they have promised". In the *psalmistís time, "leaders" meant kings and rulers. For us it means everyone with authority. Many leaders do what they have promised. But some do not. But none of them can give us help after we die. Only God can do that. That is why we must *trust only in God. In verse 3, the *psalmist maybe thought "save" meant "give help while we are alive". Now, for Christians, it means "give help after we die". It means that God will save us so that our souls will not die.

Verses 5 - 6 The God of Jacob may mean the God of the people of Israel; but it may mean just the God of the man Jacob. But that God is the *LORD. He gives help to people that ask him for it.

Verses 7 Ė 9: Oppressed people are people that stronger people are not kind to. The stronger people make the weaker people work for them. They do not pay them much money for the work. Also, the oppressed people are not free to do what they want to do. So, they are often hungry. And they feel that life is like being in a prison.  A blind person cannot see. But God will help people like this, if they ask him. In verse 8, the word "*righteous" here means Godís people. The word "*righteous" itself means "very, very good". Only God is really *righteous. But he says his own people are *righteous too. He makes them *righteous because he is with them. In verse 9, "protects strangers" means "does not let anyone hurt strangers". These strangers were people from foreign countries. They lived in the country round Jerusalem. Today we would call them aliens or perhaps *refugees. God also protects children that have no fathers. And he protects widows (women whose husbands have died). God does not *protect, or send help, to *wicked people. *Wicked people are very, very bad people.

Verse 10: The *LORD will always be king! Again, for Christians this means something else than it does for the *psalmist. Jesus is the *Lord who will always be king. Zion could be a name for his new people, the Church. Jesus will come back to the earth as king, one day. Then everybody will see that this psalm is true.

Something to do

1.  *Trust in the *LORD, not in human leaders. Tell God that you want him to be your leader. And tell him that you love him. And tell him that you want to obey him. When you have trouble, ask him to send you help. When the help comes, *praise him! When there is no trouble, still remember to *praise him!

2.  Pray that Jesus will come back to the earth soon, as King!

Word List

believe ~ in the Psalms more than "think"; rather, "think that God will do what he promised to do".

blind ~ a blind person cannot see.

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).

oppressed ~ people that the enemy have hurt.

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

protect ~ stop people hurting and destroying (someone or something).

psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm (or psalms).

refugee ~ refugees are people who have nowhere to go.

righteous ~ very good (only God is really righteous). God says that the people who love and obey him are righteous. Sometimes we say they are "the righteous", meaning "righteous people". Look after Psalm 5 in Book 1 of the Psalms of David for more about the word "righteous".

temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.

trust ~ believe that someone (usually God in the psalms) will be kind to you.

wicked ~ very, very bad.

widow ~ woman whose husband is dead.


© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

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

December 2002

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