Bless This House

Psalm 30

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 30

Gordon Churchyard

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


Two things that Jesus said:

    What good will it be to a man if the whole world is his but he loses himself? (Mark 8:36)

    You can do nothing without me. (John 15:5)

Psalm 30

  (This) psalm of David (is) a song for blessing the house.

v1  LORD, I will praise you
  because you have lifted me up (from Sheol).
  You have not let my enemies laugh at me.

v2   LORD, my God, I prayed to you for help,
  and you gave me health.

v3   LORD, you brought my soul up from Sheol.
  You gave me life,
  so that I am not with those that go down into the Pit.

v4   Sing to the LORD all you that believe in him.
  Praise his holy name.

v5   His anger is for a moment,
  but his grace will be for as long as you live.
  You may cry all night,
  but in the morning you will sing for joy.

v6   I said that I was safe for ever
  because of what I had done.

v7   But LORD, it was your grace that made me safe
  and protected my mountain.
  When you hid your face (from me) I became very sad.

v8   I prayed to you LORD
  and asked you, Lord, for mercy.

v9   What value is there in destroying me in the Pit?
  Will my dead body praise you?
  Will it say that you keep your promises?

v10   LORD, listen to me and give me mercy.
  LORD, be the person that gives me help.

v11   You have changed my crying into dancing.
  You have taken away my sad clothes
  and given me wonderful clothes.

v12   So my heart will sing to you, nothing will stop it.
  LORD, my God, I will always praise you.

New Words

( ) ~ words not in the Hebrew Bible

bless ~ do good things to

LORD ~ a special name for God; only his people use it

praise ~ tell someone that they are very good

Sheol ~ where Jews thought they went when they died

soul ~ the part of us that lives on after our bodies die

Pit ~ part of Sheol where very bad people went

holy ~ very very good; only God is really holy

grace ~ being kind to someone who is bad

joy ~ when we feel happy deep inside us

Lord ~ someone with authority, sometimes a name for God

mercy ~ being kind to bad people

The Story of Psalm 30

We do not know when David wrote Psalm 30. Perhaps he had been very ill. He asked God to make him well again and God did. Perhaps all his people, the Jews, were ill: after they prayed, they all became well again.

We do not know why Psalm 30 was "a song for blessing the house". We do know that the Jews used it when they cleaned the house of God in Jerusalem, about 200 years before Jesus came to earth. That was after a very bad man called Antiochus Epiphanes had polluted it. Polluted means "made it dirty in the eyes of God". Antiochus was a Greek ruler. He wanted to stop the Jews worshipping God. "Worshipping" means "telling someone how much you love them because they are so great". Antiochus thought that he was a god. He thought that people should worship him.

The Jews also used Psalm 31 in the "Feast of Tabernacles". This was a party they held every October when they picked the fruits. For a few days they lived in tents. A tent is a small house made from animal skins. So they remembered that they had lived in tents after they came out from Egypt, more than 1000 years before. They also remembered that God had fed them then.

We can all use Psalm 30 when God answers us after we pray to him. Some of it is very beautiful.

What Psalm 30 means

Verses 1 5: David was very ill. He thought that he was going to die. He prayed to God. God made him well again. David did not go to Sheol where he would not be able to praise God. So he asks everyone that believes in God to praise God with him. God was angry for a short time, but now he is not angry with David.

Verse 6 7: David thought that he had made himself safe. God used his illness to show David that this was not true. It was only God that made David safe. "The mountain" is a strange word here. Perhaps it means the life that David built up; or it may mean the mountain in Jerusalem where David put the house of God. This was a tent which we call the Tabernacle.

Verses 8 10: David tells us what he said when he prayed to God. The Pit is a part of Sheol. The Jews thought that only the very bad people went there. They never came out.

Verses 11 12: David is now very happy. "Sad clothes" in Hebrew is "sackcloth". People used sackcloth to make bags for carrying things in. It did not make good clothes. The Jews wore sackcloth when they were very, very sad. "My heart will sing" means that everything in me wants to praise God.

Something to do

Next time you are ill, or hurt in some way, ask God why. If you have done something wrong, ask him to forgive you. You must not do that wrong thing again. Then ask God to make you well again. If you have not done wrong, ask God if he wants you to go on being ill. Perhaps it is to help other people to become Christians. Perhaps he is speaking to you through your illness. Ask him what he is saying. Perhaps there is another reason that we may never know or understand.


2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

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

January 2001

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