What does Psalms 74:13 really mean?

Psalms 74:13 is about God’s power and sovereignty over creation, specifically referring to how He split the sea and crushed the heads of the monsters in the waters.

13 You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.


Setting the Scene for Psalms 74:13

The scene described in Psalms 74:13 is set in the wilderness, where God is depicted as the one who split open the sea and crushed the heads of the monster Leviathan. The imagery used in this verse is symbolic of God’s power and authority over creation, as well as His ability to overcome any obstacle or threat.

In this scene, the Israelites are portrayed as witnesses to God’s mighty deeds in the wilderness. They have been led by Moses out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the desert on their journey to the Promised Land. As they travel through the wilderness, they experience God’s protection and provision firsthand, seeing His miraculous interventions on their behalf.

The surroundings are described as vast and untamed, with the sea representing chaos and danger, and the monster Leviathan symbolizing evil and opposition. Despite the challenges they face in the wilderness, the Israelites are reminded of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness through the imagery of the sea being split open and the monster being defeated. This scene serves as a powerful reminder of God’s presence and power in the midst of adversity.

What is Psalms 74:13 about?

This verse highlights the immense power and divine presence of God, as evidenced by the intricate and vast creations in nature such as the sea and rivers. The verse invites us to ponder the magnificence and complexity of the natural world by emphasizing the power of God displayed in these elements. Have you ever stood by the ocean or a flowing river and felt a sense of awe at the sheer magnitude and beauty of these bodies of water? This verse reminds us that these wonders are not random or accidental, but rather manifestations of God’s power and creativity. The mention of the sea and rivers symbolizes both tranquility and strength, reflecting the diverse qualities of God’s power. God’s power, vast and multifaceted, can be both gentle guidance and mighty intervention, just as the sea can be calm and turbulent. Consider how the ebb and flow of the tides mirror the ebbs and flows of life, and how the steady flow of a river reflects God’s constant and unwavering power. This verse ultimately encourages us to marvel at the beauty of creation and recognize the hand of God in every aspect of the natural world, from the smallest stream to the mightiest ocean.

Understanding what Psalms 74:13 really means


In the midst of despair and destruction, Psalm 74 stands as a poignant communal lament attributed to Asaph, reflecting the anguish of the Israelites over the desolation of their sacred Temple. It serves as a heartfelt plea for divine intervention, a cry for God to remember His covenant and restore His people.

Key Phrases and Their Meanings

“You divided the sea by Your strength”: This evocative phrase vividly portrays God’s unparalleled might and authority over the forces of nature. It harkens back to the miraculous parting of the Red Sea in Exodus, showcasing God’s ability to make a way where there seems to be none.

“You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters”: This striking imagery symbolizes God’s triumph over chaos and evil. In ancient symbolism, sea monsters represented primordial chaos and opposition to divine order, underscoring God’s power to overcome all adversaries.

Related Biblical Passages

Drawing parallels with other biblical accounts enriches our understanding of Psalm 74:13:
Exodus 14:21-22 showcases God’s deliverance through the parting of the Red Sea.
Isaiah 51:9-10 references God’s dominion over chaos by subduing the sea and defeating Rahab, a sea monster.
Job 26:12 further illustrates God’s supreme power by depicting His control over the sea and its inhabitants.

Relevance to People Today

In a world marked by uncertainty and turmoil, Psalm 74:13 serves as a timeless reminder of God’s sovereignty. It reassures believers that amidst chaos, God remains in control, offering hope and security in His unwavering power.


Consider a family grappling with a severe illness, their world shaken by fear and uncertainty. Yet, in the midst of their darkest hour, they find solace in their faith, trusting in God’s promise of deliverance. Through prayer and perseverance, they witness God’s power bringing healing and restoration, a testament to His faithfulness.


Psalm 74:13 encapsulates the enduring truth of God’s strength and supremacy over all creation. It beckons us to trust in His unfailing power, finding solace in His ability to bring order out of chaos. As we navigate life’s challenges, may we cling to the hope found in God’s promises, knowing that He is ever-present, ready to deliver and sustain us through every trial.

How can we trust God in times of chaos?

We can trust in God in times of chaos by reflecting on His past mighty deeds. We can find reassurance by remembering how God has repeatedly shown His control over all things in the past, just as the verse describes His power over both the sea and the rivers. We can have confidence that He is able to see us through our current troubles as well by recalling His faithfulness and deliverance in difficult situations.

Additionally, we can trust in God’s sovereignty and ultimate plan, even when chaos surrounds us. We can find peace in knowing that God, who established the boundaries of the earth, is in control of all things. We can surrender our worries and fears to Him by acknowledging His authority over all creation, trusting that He has a purpose for everything that happens and will work all things together for our good. We can ultimately trust in God’s love and care for us in times of chaos. Looking to the example set in the verse of God tending to the day and the night, we can be reminded of His constant presence and attention to every detail of our lives. We can find strength and comfort in the midst of chaos by resting in His love and seeking His guidance through prayer and meditation on His word, knowing that He is with us every step of the way.


Reflect on the strength and power of our God as mentioned in Psalms 74:13. Let this reminder ignite a sense of faith within you, just like how you tackle challenges in your work and family life. Entrust your burdens to the One who holds dominion over all, just as you would in your daily tasks. Can you choose to embrace this power and face your obstacles with unwavering faith today?