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Psalm 18 The Passion Translation (TPT)

I Love You, Lord

18 Praises sung to the Pure and Shining One, by King David, his servant,[a] composed when the Lord rescued David from all his many enemies, including from the brutality of Saul[b]
Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you,[c]
for now you’ve become my power!
You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet,
like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress,
my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape,
my tower of rescue where none can reach me.
My secret strength and shield around me,
you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside,[d]
always the champion of my cause.
All I need to do is to call to you,
singing to you, the praiseworthy God.
When I do, I’m safe and sound in you.
4–5 For when the ropes of death wrapped around me
and terrifying torrents of destruction overwhelmed me,[e]
taking me to death’s door, to doom’s domain,
I cried out to you in my distress, the delivering God,
and from your temple-throne you heard my troubled cry.
My sobs came right into your heart
and you turned your face to rescue me.[f]
The earth itself shivered and shook.
It reeled and rocked before him.
As the mountains trembled, they melted away!
For his anger was kindled, burning on my behalf.
Fierce flames leapt from his mouth,
erupting with blazing, burning coals as smoke
and fire encircled him.
9–10 He stretched heaven’s curtain open and came to my defense.
Swiftly he rode to earth as the stormy sky was lowered.
He rode a chariot of thunderclouds amidst thick darkness,
a cherub his steed as he swooped down,
soaring on the wings of Spirit-wind.
11 Wrapped and hidden in the thick-cloud darkness,
his thunder-tabernacle surrounded him.
He hid himself in mystery-darkness;
the dense rain clouds were his garments.
12 Suddenly the brilliance of his presence broke through
with lightning bolts and with a mighty storm from heaven—
like a tempest dropping coals of fire.
13 The Lord thundered, the great God above every god
spoke with his thunder-voice from the skies.
What fearsome hailstones and flashes of fire were before him!
14 He released his lightning-arrows, and routed my foes.
See how they ran and scattered in fear!
15 Then with his mighty roar he laid bare the foundations of the earth,
uncovering the secret source of the sea.
The hidden depths of land and sea were exposed
by the hurricane-blast of his hot breath.
16 He then reached down from heaven,
all the way from the sky to the sea.
He reached down into my darkness to rescue me!
He took me out of my calamity and chaos
and drew me to himself,
taking me from the depths of my despair!
17 Even though I was helpless in the hands
of my hateful, strong enemy,[g]
you were good to deliver me.
18 When I was at my weakest, my enemies attacked—
but the Lord held on to me.
19 His love broke open the way
and he brought me into a beautiful broad place.[h]
He rescued me—because his delight is in me![i]
20 He rewarded me for doing what’s right and staying pure.
21 I will follow his commands and never stop.
I’ll not sin by ceasing to follow him, no matter what.
22 For I’ve kept my eyes focused on his righteous words
and I’ve obeyed everything that he’s told me to do.
23 I’ve done my best to be blameless and to follow all his ways,
keeping my heart pure.
24 I’ve kept my integrity by surrendering to him.
And so the Lord has rewarded me with his blessing.
This is the treasure I discovered
when I kept my heart clean before his eyes.
25 Lord, it is clear to me now that how we live
will dictate how you deal with us.[j]
Good people will taste your goodness, Lord.
And to those who are loyal to you,
you love to prove that you are loyal and true.
26 And for those who are purified, they find you always pure.
But you’ll outwit the crooked and cunning with your craftiness.
27 To the humble you bring heaven’s deliverance.
But the proud and haughty you disregard.
28 God, all at once you turned on a floodlight for me!
You are the revelation-light in my darkness,
and in your brightness I can see the path ahead.
29 With you as my strength I can crush an enemy horde,
advancing through every stronghold that stands in front of me.
30 What a God you are! Your path for me has been perfect!
All your promises have proven true.
What a secure shelter for all those
who turn to hide themselves in you!
You are the wrap-around God giving grace to me.[k]
31 Could there be any other god like you?
You are the only God to be worshiped,
for there is not a more secure foundation
to build my life upon than you.
32 You have wrapped me in power,
and now you’ve shared with me your perfection.
33 Through you I ascend to the highest peaks of your glory
to stand in the heavenly places, strong and secure in you.
34 You’ve trained me with the weapons of warfare-worship;
now I’ll descend into battle with power
to chase and conquer my foes.
35 You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence.
Your power within makes me strong to subdue,
and by stooping down in gentleness
you strengthened me and made me great!
36 You’ve set me free from captivity
and now I’m standing complete, ready to fight some more!
37 I caught up with my enemies and conquered them,
and didn’t turn back until the war was won!
38 I pinned them to the ground and broke them to pieces.
I finished them once and for all; they’re as good as dead.
39 You’ve placed your armor upon me
and defeated my enemies, making them bow low at my feet.
40 You’ve made them all turn tail and run,
for through you I’ve destroyed them all!
Forever silenced, they’ll never taunt me again.
41 They shouted for help but not one dared to rescue them.
They shouted to God but he refused to answer them.
42 So I pulverized them to powder and cast them to the wind.
I swept them away like dirt on the floor.
43 You gave me victory on every side,
for look how the nations come to serve me.
Even those I’ve never heard of come and bow at my feet.
44 As soon as they heard of me they submitted to me.
Even the rebel foreigners obey my every word.
45 Their rebellion fades away as they come near;
trembling in their strongholds,
they come crawling out of their hideouts.
Cringing in fear before me, their courage is gone.
46 The Almighty is alive and conquers all!
Praise is lifted high to the unshakable God!
Towering over all, my Savior-God is worthy to be praised!
47 Look how he pays back harm to all who harm me,
subduing all the people who come against me.
48 He rescues me from my enemies;
he lifts me up high and keeps me out of reach,
far from the grasp of my violent foe.
49 This is why I thank God with high praises!
I will sing my song to the highest God,
so all among the nations will hear me.
50 You have appointed me king and rescued me
time and time again with your magnificent miracles.
You’ve been merciful and kind to me, your anointed one.
This favor will be forever seen upon your loving servant, David,
and to all my descendants!


  1. Psalm 18:1 This magnificent poem is so important to the Holy Spirit that it appears twice in the Bible. You will find it again in 2 Sam. 22.
  2. Psalm 18:1 Or “the paw of Saul.” He was like a beast that chased David until his death.
  3. Psalm 18:1 David doesn’t employ the common Hebrew word for “love,” ‘ahav, but instead uses the Hebrew word for “pity” or “mercy.” How could David have mercy for God? The word he uses, raham, is the word used for a mother who loves and pities her child so much it manifests with a deep love and emotional bond. This concept, although difficult to convey in English, carries the thought of embrace and touch. It could actually be translated “Lord, I want to hug you.” Haven’t you ever felt like that?
  4. Psalm 18:2 The Hebrew word for “horn” (i.e., horn of my salvation) comes from a root word meaning “ray of brightness” or “hillside.” This translation has chosen to include both concepts in the translation.
  5. Psalm 18:4 Or “waves of Sheol [death] engulfed me.” See 2 Sam. 22:5.
  6. Psalm 18:6 This scene is not only a poetic portrayal of how God answered David’s prayer, but also a picture of the sufferings of a greater Son of David, Jesus, who hung on the cross with cries of agony. God heard him and shook the planet as thick clouds covered the sun.
  7. Psalm 18:17 Death is our strong enemy. Only through Christ are we delivered from its grip.
  8. Psalm 18:19 This could be the throne room of heaven.
  9. Psalm 18:19 Here in verses 16–19 you can see the glorious resurrection of Christ as the Father reached down and kissed the Son with life and love. Read it again and think of Christ in the tomb being raised by the Father.
  10. Psalm 18:25 This is a summary of the passage, implied in the text.
  11. Psalm 18:30 The Hebrew word used here for “shield” means “to wrap around in protection.” God himself is our shield of grace.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Psalm 18 The Voice (VOICE)

Psalm 18

For the worship leader. A song of David, the Eternal One’s servant, who addressed these words to the Eternal after He had rescued him from Saul and his other enemies.

This Davidic psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22. It expresses gratitude to God for saving him.

I love You, Eternal One, source of my power.
The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation;
    He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide,
    my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower.
I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
    that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.

The bonds of death encircled me;
    the currents of destruction tugged at me;
The sorrows of the grave wrap around me;
    the traps of death lay in wait for me.

In my time of need, I called to the Eternal;
    I begged my True God for help.
He heard my voice echo up to His temple,
    and my cry came to His ears.

Because of His great anger, the earth shook and staggered;
    the roots of the mountains shifted.
Smoke poured out from His nose,
    and devouring fire burst from His mouth.
    Coals glowed from Him.
He bent the heavens and descended;
    inky darkness was beneath His feet.
10 He rode upon a heavenly creature,[a] flying;
    He was carried quickly on the wings of the wind.
11 He took darkness as His hiding place—
    both the dark waters of the seas and the dark clouds of the sky.
12 Out from His brilliance
    hailstones and burning coals
    broke through the clouds.
13 The Eternal thundered in the heavens;
    the Highest spoke; His voice rumbled [in the midst of hail and lightning].[b]
14 He shot forth His arrows and scattered the wicked;
    He flung forth His lightning and struck them.
15 Then the deepest channels of the seas were visible,
    and the very foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Eternal One,
    at the blast of wind from Your nostrils.

16 He reached down His hand from above me; He held me.
    He lifted me from the raging waters.
17 He rescued me from my strongest enemy,
    from all those who sought my death,
    for they were too strong.
18 They came for me in the day of my destruction,
    but the Eternal was the support of my life.
19 He set me down in a safe place;
    He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.

20 The Eternal One responded to me according to my goodness;
    I kept my hands clean, and He blessed me.
21 I kept the ways of the Eternal
    and have not walked away from my True God in wickedness.
22 All His laws were there before me,
    and I did not push His statutes away.
23 I was blameless before Him;
    I kept myself from guilt and shame.
24 That’s why the Eternal has rewarded me for my right living;
    He’s rewarded me because He saw my hands were clean.

25 You are loyal to those who are loyal;
    with the innocent, You prove to be innocent;
26 With the clean, You prove to be clean;
    and with the twisted, You make Yourself contrary.
27 For You rescue humble people,
    but You bring the proud back in line.
28 You are the lamp who lights my way;
    the Eternal, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 With Your help, I can conquer an army;
    I can leap over walls with a helping hand from You.
30 Everything God does is perfect;
    the promise of the Eternal rings true;
    He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him.

31 Who is the True God except the Eternal?
    Who stands like a rock except our God?
32 The True God who encircled me with strength
    and made my pathway straight.
33 He made me sure-footed as a deer
    and placed me high up where I am safe.
34 He teaches me to fight
    so that my arms can bend a bronze bow.
35 You have shielded me with Your salvation,
    supporting me with Your strong right hand,
    and it makes me strong.
36 You taught me how to walk with care
    so my feet will not slip.
37 I chased my enemies and caught them
    and did not stop until they were destroyed.
38 I broke them and threw them down beneath my feet,
    and they could not rise up again.
39 For You equipped me for battle,
    and You made my enemies fall beneath me.
40 You made my enemies turn tail and run,
    and all who wanted my destruction, I destroyed.
41 They looked everywhere, but no one came to rescue them;
    they asked the Eternal, but He did not answer them.
42 I beat them to sand, to dust that blows in the wind;
    I flung them away like trash in the gutters.

43 You rescued me from conflict with the peoples;
    You raised me up to rule over nations.
    People who did not know me have come to serve me.
44 Strangers come to me, afraid.
    As soon as they hear about me, they serve me;
45 Strangers who have lost heart
    come fearfully to me from behind their high walls.

46 The Eternal is alive! My Rock is blessed,
    and exalted is the True God of my deliverance—
47 The God who avenged me
    and placed the peoples under me,
48 Who rescued me from all my foes.
    Truly, You raised me up above my enemies
    and saved me from the violent ones.

49 For this I will praise You among the nations, O Eternal,
    and sing praises to Your name.
50 He is a tower of salvation for His king
    and shows His enduring love to His anointed,
    to David and his descendants forever.


  1. 18:10 Hebrew, cherub
  2. 18:13 Greek manuscripts and some Hebrew manuscripts omit this portion.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 18 The Message (MSG)

A David Song, Which He Sang to God After Being Saved from All His Enemies and from Saul

18 1-2 I love you, God
    you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
    the castle in which I live,
    my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
    where I run for dear life,
    hiding behind the boulders,
    safe in the granite hideout.

I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
    and find myself safe and saved.

4-5 The hangman’s noose was tight at my throat;
    devil waters rushed over me.
Hell’s ropes cinched me tight;
    death traps barred every exit.

A hostile world! I call to God,
    I cry to God to help me.
From his palace he hears my call;
    my cry brings me right into his presence—
    a private audience!

7-15 Earth wobbles and lurches;
    huge mountains shake like leaves,
Quake like aspen leaves
    because of his rage.
His nostrils flare, bellowing smoke;
    his mouth spits fire.
Tongues of fire dart in and out;
    he lowers the sky.
He steps down;
    under his feet an abyss opens up.
He’s riding a winged creature,
    swift on wind-wings.
Now he’s wrapped himself
    in a trenchcoat of black-cloud darkness.
But his cloud-brightness bursts through,
    spraying hailstones and fireballs.
Then God thundered out of heaven;
    the High God gave a great shout,
    spraying hailstones and fireballs.
God shoots his arrows—pandemonium!
    He hurls his lightnings—a rout!
The secret sources of ocean are exposed,
    the hidden depths of earth lie uncovered
The moment you roar in protest,
    let loose your hurricane anger.

16-19 But me he caught—reached all the way
    from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
    the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
    but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
    I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

20-24 God made my life complete
    when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
    he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways;
    I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
    I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
    and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
    when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

25-27 The good people taste your goodness,
The whole people taste your health,
The true people taste your truth,
The bad ones can’t figure you out.
You take the side of the down-and-out,
But the stuck-up you take down a peg.

28-29 Suddenly, God, you floodlight my life;
    I’m blazing with glory, God’s glory!
I smash the bands of marauders,
    I vault the highest fences.

30 What a God! His road
    stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
    Everyone who runs toward him
Makes it.

31-42 Is there any god like God?
    Are we not at bedrock?
Is not this the God who armed me,
    then aimed me in the right direction?
Now I run like a deer;
    I’m king of the mountain.
He shows me how to fight;
    I can bend a bronze bow!
You protect me with salvation-armor;
    you hold me up with a firm hand,
    caress me with your gentle ways.
You cleared the ground under me
    so my footing was firm.
When I chased my enemies I caught them;
    I didn’t let go till they were dead men.
I nailed them; they were down for good;
    then I walked all over them.
You armed me well for this fight,
    you smashed the upstarts.
You made my enemies turn tail,
    and I wiped out the haters.
They cried “uncle”
    but Uncle didn’t come;
They yelled for God
    and got no for an answer.
I ground them to dust; they gusted in the wind.
    I threw them out, like garbage in the gutter.

43-45 You rescued me from a squabbling people;
    you made me a leader of nations.
People I’d never heard of served me;
    the moment they got wind of me they listened.
The foreign devils gave up; they came
    on their bellies, crawling from their hideouts.

46-48 Live, God! Blessings from my Rock,
    my free and freeing God, towering!
This God set things right for me
    and shut up the people who talked back.
He rescued me from enemy anger,
    he pulled me from the grip of upstarts,
He saved me from the bullies.

49-50 That’s why I’m thanking you, God,
    all over the world.
That’s why I’m singing songs
    that rhyme your name.
God’s king takes the trophy;
    God’s chosen is beloved.
I mean David and all his children—

The Message (MSG)

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

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