Psalm 81:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph. I heard an unknown voice say:

New Living Translation
He made it a law for Israel when he attacked Egypt to set us free. I heard an unknown voice say,

English Standard Version
He made it a decree in Joseph when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a language I had not known:

New American Standard Bible
He established it for a testimony in Joseph When he went throughout the land of Egypt. I heard a language that I did not know:

King James Bible
This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He set it up as an ordinance for Joseph when He went throughout the land of Egypt. I heard an unfamiliar language:"

International Standard Version
a decree that he prescribed for Joseph when he went throughout the land of Egypt, speaking a language I did not recognize.

NET Bible
He decreed it as a regulation in Joseph, when he attacked the land of Egypt. I heard a voice I did not recognize.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He appointed a testimony in Joseph when he went forth to the land of Egypt; he heard a language that he did not know.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
These are the instructions God set in place for Joseph when Joseph rose to power over Egypt. I heard a message I did not understand:

Jubilee Bible 2000
This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt where I heard a language that I did not understand.

King James 2000 Bible
This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

American King James Version
This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

American Standard Version
He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, When he went out over the land of Egypt, Where I heard a language that I knew not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He ordained it for a testimony in Joseph, when he came out of the land of Egypt: he heard a tongue which he knew not.

Darby Bible Translation
He ordained it in Joseph [for] a testimony, when he went forth over the land of Egypt, [where] I heard a language that I knew not.

English Revised Version
He appointed it in Joseph for testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I knew not.

Webster's Bible Translation
This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

World English Bible
He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt, I heard a language that I didn't know.

Young's Literal Translation
A testimony on Joseph He hath placed it, In his going forth over the land of Egypt. A lip, I have not known -- I hear.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

81:1-7 All the worship we can render to the Lord is beneath his excellences, and our obligations to him, especially in our redemption from sin and wrath. What God had done on Israel's behalf, was kept in remembrance by public solemnities. To make a deliverance appear more gracious, more glorious, it is good to observe all that makes the trouble we are delivered from appear more grievous. We ought never to forget the base and ruinous drudgery to which Satan, our oppressor, brought us. But when, in distress of conscience, we are led to cry for deliverance, the Lord answers our prayers, and sets us at liberty. Convictions of sin, and trials by affliction, prove his regard to his people. If the Jews, on their solemn feast-days, were thus to call to mind their redemption out of Egypt, much more ought we, on the Christian sabbath, to call to mind a more glorious redemption, wrought out for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, from worse bondage.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony. The special mention of "Joseph" here is strange. Professor Cheyne explains, "God appointed the Law to be valid in northern as well as southern Israel." Hengstenberg and Professor Alexander account for the expression by the pre-eminence of Joseph during the sojourn in Egypt. When he went out through the land of Egypt. When he (Joseph) went out over (or, across) the land," i.e. at the time of the Exodus. Where I heard a language that I understood not. It can scarcely be supposed that this clause belongs properly to ver. 5. It is rather an introduction to the monody wherewith the psalm (as it has come down to us) concludes - the mournful complaint of God against his people. So Professor Cheyne, who translates, "The discourse of no whom I had not known (i.e. of God) did I hear."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony,.... That is, this law concerning the blowing of trumpets on the new moon, and the keeping the solemn feast at the full of the moon, was made to be observed by all Israel, who are meant by Joseph, for a testimony of God's good will to them, and of their duty and obedience to him:

when he went out through the land of Egypt, or "over it" (b); which some understand of Joseph, who is said to go over all the land of Egypt, to gather in provision against the seven years of famine, Genesis 41:45 and Jarchi says that his deliverance from prison was at the beginning of the year, and was advanced in Pharaoh's court: and the meaning is, either "when he", the Lord, "went out against the land of Egypt", so Arama, in order to slay their firstborn; and when he passed over Israel, and saved them; marched through the land in his indignation, and went forth for the salvation of his people, Exodus 11:4 then was the ordinance of the passover appointed: or when Israel went out of Egypt, designed by Joseph, some little time after, while in the wilderness, and dwelling in tents, the feast of tabernacles was instituted; but rather this shows that the feast of passover is before meant, which was instituted at the time of Israel's going out of Egypt, and was the solemn feast day ordained for a statute, law and testimony in Israel; and that the new moon, or month rather, on which the trumpet was to be blown, was the month Abib, the beginning of months, by an ordinance of God, Exodus 12:2.

where I heard a language that I understood not; here the prophet represents the people of Israel in Egypt; though the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read,

he heard, and he understood not and the language is either the voice of God out of the fire, which before was never heard in this unusual manner, nor understood, Deuteronomy 5:24 or the speech of Moses, who had Aaron for his mouth and spokesman; or rather the Egyptian language, which was not understood by the Israelites without an interpreter, Genesis 42:23 which sense is confirmed by Psalm 114:1, and this is mentioned as an aggravation of their affliction in Egypt; see Jeremiah 5:15.

(b) "in ipsum exeundo", Montanus; "cum exiret ipse super terram", Pagninus.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. a testimony—The feasts, especially the passover, attested God's relation to His people.

Joseph—for Israel (Ps 80:1).

went out through—or, "over," that is, Israel in the exodus.

I heard—change of person. The writer speaks for the nation.

language—literally, "lip" (Ps 14:1). An aggravation or element of their distress that their oppressors were foreigners (De 28:49).

Psalm 81:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Sing Aloud to God, Our Strength!
4For it is a statute for Israel, An ordinance of the God of Jacob. 5He established it for a testimony in Joseph When he went throughout the land of Egypt. I heard a language that I did not know: 6"I relieved his shoulder of the burden, His hands were freed from the basket.…
Cross References
Exodus 11:4
So Moses said, "This is what the LORD says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.

Deuteronomy 28:49
The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand,

Psalm 78:5
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,

Psalm 81:4
this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

Psalm 114:1
When Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,

Jeremiah 5:15
People of Israel," declares the LORD, "I am bringing a distant nation against you-- an ancient and enduring nation, a people whose language you do not know, whose speech you do not understand.
Treasury of Scripture

This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

in Joseph

Psalm 77:15 You have with your arm redeemed your people, the sons of Jacob and …

Psalm 80:1,2 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you that lead Joseph like a flock; …

Amos 6:6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: …

for a

Psalm 78:6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which …

Exodus 13:8,9,14-16 And you shall show your son in that day, saying, This is done because …

Deuteronomy 4:45 These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which …

Ezekiel 20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, …

through. or, against

Exodus 12:12,27,29 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite …

where

Psalm 114:1 When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of …

Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end …

Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Jeremiah 5:15 See, I will bring a nation on you from far, O house of Israel, said …

1 Corinthians 14:21,22 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips …

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OT Poetry: Psalm 81:5 He appointed it in Joseph (Psalm Ps Psa.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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