His People

The 4th *Hallelujah Psalm

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 149


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 (to his 12 *disciples), "When the Son of man will sit as king on his *throne, you will also sit on 12 thrones. You will decide what to do with the 12 *tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). (A disciple is someone that learns from a teacher; Son of man is a name that Jesus called himself; a throne is a special seat that a king sits on; and a tribe is a very large family.)

Psalm 149

v1   *Hallelujah!
  Sing a new song to the *LORD.
  *Praise him where *his people meet together.

v2   (People of) Israel, be very happy because (God) made you.
  Sons of Zion, be very happy because he is your king.

v3   *Praise his name with dancing.
  Make music to him with *harp and *tambourine.

v4   (When they do this) his people will give the *LORD pleasure.
  He gives help to those who will take it.
  He does this so that they can beat (their enemies).

v5   His people will be very happy because he has made them feel important.
  They will sing (all night) on their beds because they are so happy.

v6   The *praises of God will always be in their mouths.
  Also, *swords with two edges will be in their hands.

v7 - v9   (They must):
    bring (Godís) *vengeance on (foreign) countries;
    *punish people (that do not obey God);
    lock their kings (in prison);
    put their leaders in *chains of iron;
    do whatever (God) decided should happen to them.
  This is how (God will make) his people feel important.

The Story of Psalm 149

Bible students do not know who wrote this psalm. And they do not know when they wrote it. Perhaps it was before a war, or after a war which Godís people, the *Jews, won. The war that Christians fight is not with guns and knives. It is a war with *prayer and love instead of guns and knives. Read some of the verses about Christian war in Something to do. You say a *prayer when you speak to God.

Some Bible students think that Psalm 149 is not only about a war that the *Jews fought, or even a Christian war. It also makes us look at when Jesus will come back to the earth. Bible students call this "eschatology". It is the study of what happens at the end of the world. That is when God will have vengeance on his enemies. "Vengeance" means "to hurt (or punish) people because they have hurt other people". God has often used some people to *punish other, bad, people. But at the end of time, this is what the Bible tells us. God will use his people to give him help! Read Matthew 19:28 at the top of this psalm. Here it is the 12 *disciples who will give the help. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:2 says, "The *saints will *judge the world". The word "*judge" means "decide if people are good or bad". If they are bad, it also means "decide how to *punish them". The word "*saints" is how the early Church described all Christians.

But some translations of Psalm 149 also use the word "*saints". They use it in verses 1, 5 and 9 where we have "his people". The *Jews spoke the Hebrew language. The Hebrew word for "his people" or "*saints" is "chesidim". It really means "people that have accepted Godís kind love".

What Psalm 149 means

Verse 1: The word "*hallelujah" means "*praise the *LORD". "*Praise" means "tell someone that they are very great". "*LORD" is a special name 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. They agree to love and obey God. "His people" is "chesidim" in Hebrew. It is the people that have accepted Godís kind love. Some Bible students translate it "*saints", some translate it "Godís people".

Verse 3: The harp and the tambourine make music. There is more about things that make music in Psalm 150 in this set.

Verse 5: Bible students are not sure what the word "beds" means here. It may be something that people knelt on when they prayed.

Verse 6: A sword is a very long, sharp knife that soldiers use. Here, the sword has two sharp edges.

Verse 8: The chains of iron are something to tie people up with. They are very strong, so people cannot get away from them.

Verse 9: God decided many centuries ago what to do to his enemies. At the end of time, it will happen.

Something to do

Christian war is not with guns and swords. Read the following verses to find what a "*holy war" includes for Christians:

1) Hebrews 4:12

2) 1 Corinthians 10:3-4

3) Ephesians 6:10-17

Word List

chain ~ something strong to tie people up with.

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

disciples ~ people that Jesus taught.

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

harp ~ a *musical instrument.

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

holy ~ all good with no bad in it; separate from *sin; very, very good; only God is really holy. The land where he lives with his people is also holy. This is because he is there.

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

judge ~ a judge says who is right and who is wrong; or, to say who is right and who is wrong.

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

musical instrument ~ something that makes music when you hit it (cymbals, drum), blow in it (flute, trumpet, horn, shofar) or touch it in a quiet way (harp, lyre). Many of these are in Psalm 150 in Book 5 of The Psalms of David.

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

prayer ~ you say a *prayer when you speak to God.

punish ~ hurt someone because they have not obeyed the rules.

saints ~ people that have received Godís love; his people.

shake ~ move from one side to another and back again very fast many times.

sin ~ not to obey God; or what you do when you do not obey God.

sword ~ a long, sharp knife that soldiers use to fight people with.

tambourine ~ a *musical instrument that you hit or *shake.

throne ~ a special seat that a king sits on.

tribe ~ a large group of people from the same family.

vengeance ~ to hurt people because they have hurt other people.


© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

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

December 2002

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