Bible Commentaries
Psalms 92

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Psalms 92:0


Praise for The Lord's Goodness MT IntroA Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day.Praise to the Lord for His Love and FaithfulnessThanksgiving After Deliverance From Personal EnemiesA Song of PraiseThe Song of the Upright
Psalms 92:1-4Psalms 92:1-4Psalms 92:1-4Psalms 92:1-4Psalms 92:1-3
Psalms 92:4-6
Psalms 92:5-9Psalms 92:5-7Psalms 92:5-9Psalms 92:5-8
Psalms 92:7-8
Psalms 92:8-9 Psalms 92:9-11Psalms 92:9-11
Psalms 92:10-15Psalms 92:10-11Psalms 92:10-11
Psalms 92:12-15Psalms 92:12-15Psalms 92:12-15Psalms 92:12-13
Psalms 92:14-15

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Etc.


A. This Psalm uses agricultural growth words, as in Psalms 1:3, to describe one's spiritual life.

1. negatively

a. the wicked sprout up like grass, Psalms 92:7

b. all who did iniquity flourished, Psalms 92:7

2. positively

a. the righteous man will flourish, Psalms 92:12

b. he will grow, Psalms 92:12

c. planted in the house of the Lord, Psalms 92:13

d. they will flourish in the courts of our God, Psalms 92:13

e. they will still yield fruit in old age, Psalms 92:14

f. they will be full of sap and very green, Psalms 92:14; Psalms 92:14

B. There is a recurrent use of words beginning with פ.

1. sprouted (lit. “bud”), Psalms 92:7 - BDB 827, KB 965

2. did flourish, Psalms 92:7 - BDB 821, KB 950

3. scattered (lit. “be divided”), Psalms 92:9 - BDB 825, KB 962

4. all who do iniquity, Psalms 92:9 - BDB 821, KB 950

5. flourish (lit. “bud”), Psalms 92:12 - BDB same as #1

6. flourish (lit. “bud”) - same as #1

C. There are no prayer requests (i.e., imperatives, jussives, cohortatives), just statements to the works of God.

1. His character, Psalms 92:2, Psalms 92:15

2. His works

a. creation, Psalms 92:5

b. justice, Psalms 92:6-9

c. blessings, Psalms 92:10-14

Verses 1-4

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 92:1-4 1It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; 2To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, 3With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre. 4For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

Psalms 92:1-4 This strophe emphasizes praise. Notice the recurrent references to music.

1. verbs

a. give thanks, Psalms 92:1 - BDB 392, KB 389, Hiphil infinitive construct

b. sing praises, Psalms 92:1; Psalms 92:1 - BDB 274, KB 273, Piel infinitive construct

c. make glad, Psalms 92:4 - BDB 970, KB 1333, Piel perfect

d. sing for joy, Psalms 92:4 - BDB 943, KB 1247, Piel imperfect

2. musical instruments (a. may define b. and, therefore, refer to only two instruments, cf. Psalms 33:2; Psalms 144:9)

a. ten-stringed lute, Psalms 92:3; Psalms 92:3 - BDB 797

b. harp, Psalms 92:3 - BDB 614 II

c. lyre, Psalms 92:3; Psalms 92:3 - BDB 490 (b. and c. are both mentioned in Psalms 57:8)

Psalms 92:1 “Most High” See note at Psalms 91:1.

Psalms 92:2 This Psalm begins with three infinitive constructs.

1. give thanks

2. sing praises

3. declare - BDB 616, KB 665, Hiphil

Notice that number 3, “declare,” also closes (inclusio) the Psalm at Psalms 92:15. The declaration involves

1. YHWH's lovingkindness, Psalms 92:2 (see Special Topic: Lovingkindness [hesed])

2. YHWH's faithfulness, Psalms 92:2 (cf. Psalms 33:4; Psalms 143:1, see Special Topic: Believe, Trust, Faith and Faithfulness in the OT)

3. YHWH's uprightness, Psalms 92:15 (see Special Topic: Righteousness)

4. YHWH's stability and strength (lit. “He is my rock”), Psalms 92:15

5. YHWH's perfect character (lit. “there is no unrighteousness in Him,” cf. Romans 9:11; James 1:17), Psalms 92:15

“morning. . .night” These are parallel and are idiomatic for “always.” The other option is that they reflect the times of the daily sacrifice (i.e., 9 a.m., 3 p.m. in the temple and, therefore, have a liturgical emphasis.

Psalms 92:4 “what You have done” The two poetic lines of Psalms 92:4 repeat this thought (i.e., Psalms 1:0, i.e., “The Two Ways,” cf. Deuteronomy 30:15, Deuteronomy 30:19). YHWH's work is

1. the destruction of the wicked, Psalms 92:5-9 (esp. Psalms 92:5a)

2. the blessing of the righteous, Psalms 92:10-15

Verses 5-9

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 92:5-9 5How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. 6A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: 7That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. 8But You, O Lord, are on high forever. 9For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered.

Psalms 92:5-9 This strophe focuses on YHWH's activity toward

1. a senseless man, Psalms 92:6a - BDB 35 construct BDB 129

2. a stupid man, Psalms 92:6b - BDB 493, both #1 and #2 are used in Psalms 49:10; Psalms 94:8

3. the wicked, Psalms 92:7a - BDB 957

4. he who does iniquity, Psalms 92:7b

5. YHWH's enemies, Psalms 92:9 (twice) - BDB 33, Qal participle

They are characterized as

1. having no knowledge

2. flourishing in this fallen world

3. ultimately and permanently being destroyed (this is what the senseless and stupid do not understand)

YHWH is characterized as

1. having great works

2. deep thoughts (Qal of BDB 770 only here)

3. on high forever

4. Psalms 92:15 is the praise due YHWH's faithful acts toward His faithful followers

Verses 10-15

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 92:10-15 10But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. 11And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me. 12The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. 14They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, 15To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Psalms 92:10-15 This strophe focuses on YHWH's activities toward the righteous man (Psalms 92:12). Note His activities on their behalf.

1. exalted his horn

2. anointed with fresh oil

3. would flourish like the palm

4. would grow like the cedar

5. planted in YHWH's temple (cf. Psalms 52:8)

6. would flourish in YHWH's courts (cf. Psalms 65:4; Psalms 84:10; Psalms 135:2)

7. would yield fruit in old age

8. full of sap and very green

9. know YHWH is his rock and He is perfectly just

The rabbis interpreted this strophe as referring to an eschatological setting. This may be right (cf. Psalms 92:7c).

Psalms 92:10 “the wild ox” The LXX translated the Hebrew term BDB 910, ראם, as “unicorn,” which was followed by the King James Version. NKJV changes it to “wild ox.”

This word is uncertain (KB 1163).

1. wild bull (Akkadian root)

2. wild buffalo

3. white antelope (Arabic root)

4. oryx (Targums)

5. rhinoceros (Vulgate)

NASB, NKJV“I have been anointed” NRSV“you have poured over me” TEV“you have blessed me” NJB“you anoint me” JPSOA“I am soaked” LXX“my old age” PESHITTA“I will be anointed”

The verb (BDB 117, KB 134, Qal perfect) usually means “to mix” or “to confuse”; only here does it denote an anointing. This meaning possibly comes from an Arabic root, “to moisten.” The UBS Text Project (p. 363) gives “I am moistened” a “B” (some doubt) rating.

Psalms 92:11 If this Psalm reflects the praise of a King of Israel (LXX says David and “anointed,” cf. Psalms 91:10b), then this verse may refer to a plot to overthrow the monarchy, which was discovered.

Psalms 92:13 “planted” This verb (BDB 1060, KB 1570, Qal passive participle) means “transplanted” and the passive implies, by God (cf. Psalms 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8; Ezekiel 17:10, Ezekiel 17:22; Ezekiel 19:10, Ezekiel 19:13; Hosea 9:13). Faithful followers start out as unfaithful but the gracious God has an effect on them!


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. Define the major theological theme describing YHWH's character in Psalms 92:2.

a. lovingkindness

b. faithfulness

2. Are there two or three musical instruments listed in Psalms 92:3?

3. What are the “work(s)” of YHWH's hands mentioned in Psalms 92:4b and 5a?

4. How do Psalms 92:7 and 8 relate theologically?

5. What does Psalms 92:11 relate to?

6. How does Psalms 92:12-14 relate to Psalms 1:0?

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Psalms 92". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". 2021.