19 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day after day pours forth speech, And night after night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there [spoken] words [from the stars]; Their voice is not heard. 4 Yet their voice [in quiet evidence] has gone out through all the earth, Their words to the end of the world. In them and in the heavens He has made a tent for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. 6 The sun’s rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul; The statutes of the Lord are reliable and trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true, they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned [reminded, illuminated, and instructed]; In keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors or omissions? Acquit me of hidden (unconscious, unintended) faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous (deliberate, willful) sins; Let them not rule and have control over me. Then I will be blameless (complete), And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, immovable] rock and my Redeemer.
Prayer for Victory over Enemies.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
20 [a]May the Lord answer you (David) in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high [and defend you in battle]! 2 May He send you help from the sanctuary (His dwelling place) And support and strengthen you from Zion! 3 May He remember all your meal offerings And accept your burnt offering. Selah.
4 May He grant you your heart’s desire And fulfill all your plans. 5 We will sing joyously over your victory, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, But we will remember and trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They have bowed down and fallen, But we have risen and stood upright. 9 O Lord, save [the [b]king]; May the [c]King answer us in the day we call.
Praise for Help.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
21 O Lord the king will delight in Your strength, And in Your salvation how greatly will he rejoice! 2 You have given him his heart’s desire, And You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. 3 For You meet him with blessings of good things; You set a crown of pure gold on his head. 4 He asked life of You, And You gave it to him, Long life forever and evermore. 5 His glory is great because of Your victory; Splendor and majesty You bestow upon him. 6 For You make him most blessed [and a blessing] forever; You make him joyful with the joy of Your presence.
7 For the king [confidently] trusts in the Lord, And through the lovingkindness (faithfulness, goodness) of the Most High he will never be shaken. 8 Your hand will reach out and defeat all your enemies; Your right hand will reach those who hate you. 9 You will make them as [if in] a blazing oven in the time of your anger; The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire will devour them. 10 Their offspring You will destroy from the earth, And their descendants from the sons of men. 11 For they planned evil against You; They devised a [malevolent] plot And they will not succeed. 12 For You will make them turn their backs [in defeat]; You will aim Your bowstring [of divine justice] at their faces. 13 Be exalted, Lord, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power.
A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise.
To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] Aijeleth Hashshahar (The Doe of the Dawn). A Psalm of David.
22 [d]My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I call out by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I find no rest nor quiet. 3 But You are holy, O You who are enthroned in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]. 4 In You our fathers trusted [leaned on, relied on, and were confident]; They trusted and You rescued them. 5 They cried out to You and were delivered; They trusted in You and were not disappointed or ashamed.
6 But I am [treated as] a worm [insignificant and powerless] and not a man; I am the scorn of men and despised by the people. 7 All who see me laugh at me and mock me; They [insultingly] open their lips, they shake their head, saying, 8 “He trusted and committed himself to the Lord, let Him save him. Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
9 Yet You are He who pulled me out of the womb; You made me trust when on my mother’s breasts. 10 I was cast upon You from birth; From my mother’s womb You have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near; And there is no one to help. 12 Many [enemies like] bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. 13 They open wide their mouths against me, Like a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; It is melted [by anguish] within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery; And my [dry] tongue clings to my jaws; And You have laid me in the dust of death. 16 For [a pack of] dogs have surrounded me; A gang of evildoers has encircled me, They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones; They look, they stare at me. 18 They divide my clothing among them And cast lots for my [e]garment.
19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from me; O You my help, come quickly to my assistance. 20 Rescue my life from the sword, My only life from the paw of the dog (the executioner). 21 Save me from the lion’s mouth; From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.
22 I will tell of Your name to my countrymen; In the midst of the congregation I will praise You. 23 You who fear the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence], praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him. Fear Him [with submissive wonder], all you descendants of Israel. 24 For He has not despised nor detested the suffering of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He listened.
25 My praise will be of You in the great assembly. I will pay my vows [made in the time of trouble] before those who [reverently] fear Him. 26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who [diligently] seek Him and require Him [as their greatest need] will praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations will bow down and worship before You, 28 For the kingship and the kingdom are the Lord’s And He rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship; All those who go down to the dust (the dead) will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive. 30 Posterity will serve Him; They will tell of the Lord to the next generation. 31 They will come and declare His righteousness To a people yet to be born—that He has done it [and that it is finished].
The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. 2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. 3 He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the [sunless] [f]valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with [g]oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.
24 The earth [i]is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, The world, and those who dwell in it. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the streams and the rivers. 3 Who may ascend onto the [j]mountain of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to what is false, Nor has sworn [oaths] deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation (description) of those who diligently seek Him and require Him as their greatest need, Who seek Your face, even [as did] Jacob.Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is [He then] this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory [who rules over all creation with His heavenly armies]. Selah.
Prayer for Protection, Guidance and Pardon.
A Psalm of David.
25 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in You I [have unwavering] trust [and I rely on You with steadfast confidence], Do not let me be ashamed or my hope in You be disappointed; Do not let my enemies triumph over me. 3 Indeed, none of those who [expectantly] wait for You will be ashamed; Those who turn away from what is right and deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed (humiliated, embarrassed).
4 Let me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. 5 Guide me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You [and only You] I wait [expectantly] all the day long. 6 Remember, O Lord, Your [tender] compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and goodness and truth and faithfulness To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. 11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my wickedness and my guilt, for they are great.
12 Who is the man who fears the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence and worships Him with submissive wonder]? He will teach him [through His word] in the way he should choose. 13 His soul will dwell in prosperity and goodness, And his descendants will inherit the land. 14 The secret [of the wise counsel] of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will let them know His covenant and reveal to them [through His word] its [deep, inner] meaning. 15 My eyes are continually toward the Lord, For He will bring my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me [Lord] and be gracious to me, For I am alone and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart are multiplied; Bring me out of my distresses. 18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. 19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many; They hate me with cruel and violent hatred. 20 Guard my soul and rescue me; Do not let me be ashamed or disappointed, For I have taken refuge in You. 21 Let integrity and uprightness protect me, For I wait [expectantly] for You. 22 O God, redeem Israel, Out of all his troubles.
Protestation of Integrity and Prayer for Protection.
A Psalm of David.
26 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity; I have [relied on and] trusted [confidently] in the Lord without wavering and I shall not slip. 2 Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my heart and my mind. 3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked [faithfully] in Your truth. 4 I do not sit with deceitful or unethical or worthless men, Nor seek companionship with pretenders (self-righteous hypocrites). 5 I hate the company of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked. 6 I will wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O Lord, 7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders.
8 O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells. 9 Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, Nor [sweep away] my life with men of bloodshed, 10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful and gracious to me. 12 My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I will bless the Lord.
Psalm 20:1Verses 1-5, 9 is the prayer of intercession voiced by the congregation before David goes into battle.
Psalm 22:1This psalm may have been prayed by Jesus when He was on the cross. It begins with, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” and ends with a thought of finality. The psalm is quoted in Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34; and alluded to in Matt 27:35, 39, 43 and John 19:23, 24, 28 as being fulfilled at Christ’s crucifixion.
Psalm 22:18A prophetic reference to the long, seamless shirt-like tunic worn by Jesus as an undergarment.
Psalm 23:5In ancient times it was customary in hot climates for a host to provide his guest with olive oil to put on his head. The Lord blesses and anoints His believers with the Holy Spirit, whom oil symbolizes, to prepare them for His service.
Psalm 24:1In the Talmud it is said that the Levites sang a particular psalm for every day of the week, and this was the psalm for the first day.
Psalm 24:1The ancient rabbis taught that since the earth and everything it contains belongs to the Lord, it is sacrilege to enjoy anything of the world without first saying a benediction for it.
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