Sometimes in reading scripture, a particular phrase just captures your attention, for no particular reason, and makes you wonder. Today, I’m wondering about verse 11 of Psalm 65: “You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.” That just seems like an odd image: wagon tracks overflowing with richness. What does that mean?
So I checked out how other translations capture this phrase. Here are a few examples:
CEV: Wherever your footsteps touch the earth,
a rich harvest is gathered.
NIV: You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
CEB: You crown the year with your goodness;
your paths overflow with rich food.
KJV: Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.
RSV: Thou crownest the year with thy bounty;
the tracks of thy chariot drip with fatness.
So much variation and imagination in those images! I love how this little phrase about wagon tracks makes me stop and pay a little more attention to the truth of God’s abundance—that wherever God is, wherever God the wagon-driver moves and travels, wherever we encounter God’s paths, there is overflowing bounty.
Scripture itself is such abundance, God’s word such a bounty of richness!
1Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed,
2O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come.
3When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions.
4Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
5By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
6By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with might.
7You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.
8Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.
10You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
11You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.