Psalm 38

Prayer of a Suffering Sinner

A Davidic psalm for remembrance.(A)

Lord, do not punish me in Your anger
or discipline me in Your wrath.(B)
For Your arrows have sunk into me,
and Your hand has pressed down on me.(C)

There is no health in my body
because of Your indignation;
there is no strength[a] in my bones
because of my sin.(D)
For my sins have flooded over my head;
they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.(E)
My wounds are foul and festering
because of my foolishness.(F)
I am bent over and brought low;
all day long I go around in mourning.(G)
For my loins are full of burning pain,
and there is no health in my body.(H)
I am faint and severely crushed;
I groan because of the anguish of my heart.(I)

Lord, my every desire is known to[b] You;
my sighing is not hidden from You.(J)
10 My heart races, my strength leaves me,
and even the light of my eyes has faded.[c](K)
11 My loved ones and friends stand back from my affliction,
and my relatives stand at a distance.(L)
12 Those who seek my life set traps,
and those who want to harm me threaten to destroy me;
they plot treachery all day long.(M)

13 I am like a deaf person; I do not hear.
I am like a speechless person
who does not open his mouth.(N)
14 I am like a man who does not hear
and has no arguments in his mouth.(O)
15 I put my hope in You, Lord;
You will answer, Lord my God.(P)
16 For I said, “Don’t let them rejoice over me—
those who are arrogant toward me when I stumble.”(Q)
17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is constantly with me.(R)
18 So I confess my guilt;
I am anxious because of my sin.(S)
19 But my enemies are vigorous and powerful;[d]
many hate me for no reason.(T)
20 Those who repay evil for good
attack me for pursuing good.(U)

21 Lord, do not abandon me;
my God, do not be far from me.(V)
22 Hurry to help me,
Lord, my Savior.(W)


  1. Psalm 38:3 Hb shalom
  2. Psalm 38:9 Lit is in front of
  3. Psalm 38:10 Or and the light of my eyes—even that is not with me
  4. Psalm 38:19 Or numerous

Psalm 38[a]

A psalm of David. A petition.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.(A)
Your arrows(B) have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health(C) in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones(D) because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed(E) me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.(F)

My wounds(G) fester and are loathsome(H)
    because of my sinful folly.(I)
I am bowed down(J) and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.(K)
My back is filled with searing pain;(L)
    there is no health(M) in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;(N)
    I groan(O) in anguish of heart.(P)

All my longings(Q) lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing(R) is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds,(S) my strength fails(T) me;
    even the light has gone from my eyes.(U)
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;(V)
    my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,(W)
    those who would harm me talk of my ruin;(X)
    all day long they scheme and lie.(Y)

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,(Z)
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait(AA) for you;
    you will answer,(AB) Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat(AC)
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”(AD)

17 For I am about to fall,(AE)
    and my pain(AF) is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;(AG)
    I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies(AH) without cause[b];
    those who hate me(AI) without reason(AJ) are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil(AK)
    lodge accusations(AL) against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;(AM)
    do not be far(AN) from me, my God.
22 Come quickly(AO) to help me,(AP)
    my Lord and my Savior.(AQ)


  1. Psalm 38:1 In Hebrew texts 38:1-22 is numbered 38:2-23.
  2. Psalm 38:19 One Dead Sea Scrolls manuscript; Masoretic Text my vigorous enemies

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