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Psalm 18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

(For the music leader. A psalm by David, the Lord’s servant. David sang this to the Lord after the Lord had rescued him from his enemies, but especially from Saul.)

David’s Song of Thanks

18 I love you, Lord God,
    and you make me strong.
You are my mighty rock,[a]
    my fortress, my protector,
    the rock where I am safe,
my shield,
    my powerful weapon,[b]
    and my place of shelter.

I praise you, Lord!
    I prayed, and you rescued me
    from my enemies.
Death had wrapped
    its ropes around me,
    and I was almost swallowed
    by its flooding waters.

Ropes from the world
of the dead
    had coiled around me,
    and death had set a trap
    in my path.
I was in terrible trouble
    when I called out to you,
but from your temple
you heard me
    and answered my prayer.

The earth shook and shivered,
    and the mountains trembled
    down to their roots.
You were angry
    and breathed out smoke.
Scorching heat and fiery flames
    spewed from your mouth.

You opened the heavens
    like curtains,
    and you came down
with storm clouds
    under your feet.
10 You rode on the backs
    of flying creatures
    and swooped down
    with the wind as wings.
11 Darkness was your robe;
thunderclouds filled the sky,
    hiding you from sight.
12 Hailstones and fiery coals
lit up the sky
    in front of you.

13 Lord Most High, your voice
    thundered from the heavens,
    as hailstones and fiery coals
    poured down like rain.
14 You scattered your enemies
    with arrows of lightning.
15 You roared at the sea,
    and its deepest channels
    could be seen.
You snorted,
and the earth shook
    to its foundations.

16 You reached down from heaven,
    and you lifted me
    from deep in the ocean.
17 You rescued me from enemies,
    who were hateful
    and too powerful for me.
18 On the day disaster struck,
they came and attacked,
    but you defended me.
19 When I was fenced in,
    you freed and rescued me
    because you love me.

20 You are good to me, Lord,
    because I do right,
    and you reward me
    because I am innocent.
21 I do what you want
    and never turn to do evil.
22 I keep your laws in mind
    and never look away
    from your teachings.
23 I obey you completely
    and guard against sin.
24 You have been good to me
    because I do right;
you have rewarded me
    for being innocent
    by your standards.

25 You are always loyal
    to your loyal people,
    and you are faithful
    to the faithful.
26 With all who are sincere,
    you are sincere,
    but you treat the unfaithful
    as their deeds deserve.
27 You rescue the humble,
    but you put down all
    who are proud.

28 You, the Lord God,
keep my lamp burning
    and turn darkness to light.
29 You help me defeat armies
    and capture cities.

30 Your way is perfect, Lord,
    and your word is correct.
    You are a shield for those
    who run to you for help.
31 You alone are God!
    Only you are a mighty rock.[c]
32 You give me strength
    and guide me right.
33 You make my feet run as fast
    as those of a deer,
    and you help me stand
    on the mountains.

34 You teach my hands to fight
    and my arms to use
    a bow of bronze.
35 You alone are my shield.
    Your right hand supports me,
    and by coming to help me,
    you have made me famous.
36 You clear the way for me,
    and now I won’t stumble.

37 I kept chasing my enemies,
    until I caught them
    and destroyed them.
38 I stuck my sword
    through my enemies,
    and they were crushed
    under my feet.
39 You helped me win victories,
    and you forced my attackers
    to fall victim to me.

40 You made my enemies run,
    and I killed them.
41 They cried out for help,
    but no one saved them;
    they called out to you,
    but there was no answer.
42 I ground them to dust
    blown by the wind,
    and I poured them out
    like mud in the streets.

43 You rescued me
    from stubborn people,
and you made me the leader
of foreign nations,
    who are now my slaves.
44 They obey and come crawling.
45     They have lost all courage,
    and from their fortresses,
    they come trembling.

46 You are the living Lord!
    I will praise you.
You are a mighty rock.[d]
    I will honor you
    for keeping me safe.
47 You took revenge for me,
    and you put nations
    in my power.
48 You protected me
    from violent enemies
    and made me much greater
    than all of them.

49 I will praise you, Lord,
    and I will honor you
    among the nations.
50 You give glorious victories
    to your chosen king.
Your faithful love for David
    and for his descendants
    will never end.


  1. 18.2 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
  2. 18.2 my powerful weapon: The Hebrew text has “the horn,” which refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Palestine.
  3. 18.31,46; 19.14 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  4. 18.31,46; 19.14 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Psalm 18 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 18[a]

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
    and the foundations of the mountains shook;
    they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
    consuming fire came from his mouth,
    burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
    dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
    he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
    the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
    with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.[d]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
    at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
    I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
    and have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
    to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
    but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop[e];
    with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
    I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
    they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
    you humbled my adversaries before me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
    and I destroyed my foes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them
    to the Lord, but he did not answer.
42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
    I trampled them[f] like mud in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
    you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
44     foreigners cower before me;
    as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
    they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
    who subdues nations under me,
48     who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
    from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing the praises of your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
    he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
    to David and to his descendants forever.


  1. Psalm 18:1 In Hebrew texts 18:1-50 is numbered 18:2-51.
  2. Psalm 18:2 Or sovereign
  3. Psalm 18:2 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  4. Psalm 18:13 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 2 Samuel 22:14); most Hebrew manuscripts resounded, / amid hailstones and bolts of lightning
  5. Psalm 18:29 Or can run through a barricade
  6. Psalm 18:42 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac and Targum (see also 2 Samuel 22:43); Masoretic Text I poured them out
New International Version (NIV)

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