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A Prayer for Help against Enemies

For the music director. A psalm of David.[a]

109 O God of my praise, do not keep silent,
for wicked and deceitful mouths[b]
have opened against me.
They speak to me with a lying tongue.
They also surround me with words of hate,
and fight me without cause.
In return for my love they accuse me,
though I am in prayer.[c]
So they inflicted evil against me in return for good
and hatred in return for my love.
Appoint over him a wicked man,
and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is judged, let him come out guilty,
and let his prayer[d] become as sin.
Let his days be few;
let another take his office.
Let his children be orphans,
and his wife a widow,
10 and let his children wander aimlessly and beg,
and let them plead from their ruins.
11 Let the creditor seize all that is his,
and let strangers plunder his property.
12 Let there be none who extend to him loyal love,
nor any who pities his orphans.
13 Let his descendants[e] be cut off.
Let their name be blotted out in the next generation.
14 Let the iniquity of his ancestors[f] be remembered before Yahweh,
and let the sin of his mother not be blotted out.
15 Let them be before Yahweh continually,
that he may cut off their[g] memory from the earth,
16 because he did not remember to show loyal love,
but he pursued anyone,[h] poor or needy
or brokenhearted, to slay them.
17 Because he loved cursing, let it come upon him.
Because he did not delight in blessing,
let it be far from him.
18 Because he wore a curse as his robe,
let it enter his body[i] like water,
and into his bones like oil.
19 May it be for him like a garment in which he wraps,
and a belt he continually wears.[j]
20 Let this be the punishment for my accusers from Yahweh,
even those who speak evil against my life.
21 But you, O Yahweh my Lord,
deal with me for your name’s sake.
Because your loyal love is good, deliver me,
22 for I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
23 Like a lengthening shadow I am passing away;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees buckle[k] from fasting,
and my body grows lean without fat.
25 And so I am a disgrace to them;
when they see me, they shake their heads.[l]
26 Help me, O Yahweh my God;
save me according to your loyal love,
27 that they may know that this is your hand,
that you, O Yahweh, you have done it.
28 Let them curse, but you bless.
When they arise, let them be put to shame,
that your servant may be glad.
29 Let my accusers put on disgrace,
and let them cover themselves with their shame as with a robe.
30 I will give thanks to Yahweh exceedingly with my mouth,
and in the midst of many I will praise him,
31 for he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save him from those judging his life.[m]


  1. Psalm 109:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
  2. Psalm 109:2 Literally “a wicked mouth and a deceitful mouth”
  3. Psalm 109:4 Or perhaps “I have a plea of innocence
  4. Psalm 109:7 Or perhaps “plea of innocence
  5. Psalm 109:13 Or “posterity”; Hebrew is singular
  6. Psalm 109:14 Or “fathers”
  7. Psalm 109:15 That is, the family
  8. Psalm 109:16 Hebrew “a man”
  9. Psalm 109:18 Literally “his inward part”
  10. Psalm 109:19 Literally “continually he girds it”
  11. Psalm 109:24 Literally “stumble”
  12. Psalm 109:25 Hebrew “head”
  13. Psalm 109:31 Or “soul”