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Psalm 55 The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

55 1-3 Open your ears, God, to my prayer;
    don’t pretend you don’t hear me knocking.
Come close and whisper your answer.
    I really need you.
I shudder at the mean voice,
    quail before the evil eye,
As they pile on the guilt,
    stockpile angry slander.

4-8 My insides are turned inside out;
    specters of death have me down.
I shake with fear,
    I shudder from head to foot.
“Who will give me wings,” I ask—
    “wings like a dove?”
Get me out of here on dove wings;
    I want some peace and quiet.
I want a walk in the country,
    I want a cabin in the woods.
I’m desperate for a change
    from rage and stormy weather.

9-11 Come down hard, Lord—slit their tongues.
    I’m appalled how they’ve split the city
Into rival gangs
    prowling the alleys
Day and night spoiling for a fight,
    trash piled in the streets,
Even shopkeepers gouging and cheating
    in broad daylight.

12-14 This isn’t the neighborhood bully
    mocking me—I could take that.
This isn’t a foreign devil spitting
    invective—I could tune that out.
It’s you! We grew up together!
    You! My best friend!
Those long hours of leisure as we walked
    arm in arm, God a third party to our conversation.

15 Haul my betrayers off alive to hell—let them
    experience the horror, let them
    feel every desolate detail of a damned life.

16-19 I call to God;
    God will help me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh
    deep sighs—he hears, he rescues.
My life is well and whole, secure
    in the middle of danger
Even while thousands
    are lined up against me.
God hears it all, and from his judge’s bench
    puts them in their place.
But, set in their ways, they won’t change;
    they pay him no mind.

20-21 And this, my best friend, betrayed his best friends;
    his life betrayed his word.
All my life I’ve been charmed by his speech,
    never dreaming he’d turn on me.
His words, which were music to my ears,
    turned to daggers in my heart.

22-23 Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—
    he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.
He’ll never let good people
    topple into ruin.
But you, God, will throw the others
    into a muddy bog,
Cut the lifespan of assassins
    and traitors in half.

And I trust in you.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 55 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Prayer for the Destruction of the Treacherous.

To the Chief Musician; with stringed instruments. A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of David.

55 Listen to my prayer, O God,
And do not hide Yourself from my plea.

Listen to me and answer me;
I am restless and distraught in my complaint and distracted

Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the pressure of the wicked;
For they bring down trouble on me,
And in anger they persecute me.


My heart is in anguish within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

Fear and trembling have come upon me;
Horror has overwhelmed me.

And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.

“I would wander far away,
I would lodge in the [peace of the] wilderness. Selah.

“I would hurry to my refuge [my tranquil shelter far away]
From the stormy wind and from the tempest.”


[a]Confuse [my enemies], O Lord, divide their tongues [destroying their schemes],
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 
Day and night they go around her walls;
Wickedness and mischief are in her midst.
11 
Destruction is within her;
Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets and market places.

12 
For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
Then I could bear it;
Nor is it one who has hated me who insolently exalts himself against me—
Then I could hide from him.
13 
But it is you, a man my equal and my counsel,
My companion and my familiar friend;
14 
We who had sweet [b]fellowship together,
Who walked to the house of God in company.
15 
Let death come deceitfully upon them;
Let them go down alive to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead),
For evil [of every kind] is in their dwelling and in their hearts, in their midst.

16 
As for me, I shall call upon God,
And the Lord will save me.
17 
Evening and morning and at noon I will complain and murmur,
And He will hear my voice.
18 
He has redeemed my life in peace from the battle that was against me,
For there were many against me.
19 
God will hear and humble them,
Even He who [c]sits enthroned from old— Selah.
Because in them there has been no change [of heart],
And they do not fear God [at all].
20 
He [my companion] has put out his hands against those who were at peace with him;
He has [d]broken his covenant [of friendship and loyalty].
21 
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter,
But his heart was hostile;
His words were softer than oil,
Yet they were drawn swords.

22 
Cast your burden on the Lord [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail).
23 
But You, O God, will bring down the wicked to the pit of destruction;
Men of blood and treachery will not live out half their days.
But I will [boldly and unwaveringly] trust in You.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 55:9 Lit swallow up.
  2. Psalm 55:14 Lit counsel; or intimacy.
  3. Psalm 55:19 Or abides.
  4. Psalm 55:20 Lit profaned.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 55 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 55

Complaint about a Friend’s Treachery

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
    do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
    because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring[a] trouble upon me,
    and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness;Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
    from the raging wind and tempest.”

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.

12 It is not enemies who taunt me—
    I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
    I could hide from them.
13 But it is you, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend,
14 with whom I kept pleasant company;
    we walked in the house of God with the throng.
15 Let death come upon them;
    let them go down alive to Sheol;
    for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

16 But I call upon God,
    and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem me unharmed
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,Selah
    will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change,
    and do not fear God.

20 My companion laid hands on a friend
    and violated a covenant with me[b]
21 with speech smoother than butter,
    but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
    but in fact were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden[c] on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
    into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
    shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 55:3 Cn Compare Gk: Heb they cause to totter
  2. Psalm 55:20 Heb lacks with me
  3. Psalm 55:22 Or Cast what he has given you
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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