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To the Director: Upon machalath.[a] A Davidic instruction.[b]

The Fool and God’s Response

53 Fools say to themselves “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt and commit iniquity;
        not one of them practices what is good.

God looks down from the heavens upon humanity[c]
    to see if anyone shows discernment as he searches for God.
All of them[d] have fallen away;
    together they have become corrupt;
        no one does what is good, not even one.

Will those who do evil ever learn?
    They devour my people like they devour bread,
        and never call on God.
There the Israelis[e] were seized with terror,
    when there was nothing to fear.
For God scattered the bones of those who laid siege against you[f]
    you put them to shame,[g]
        for God rejected them.

Would that Israel’s deliverance come out of Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
        Jacob will rejoice and Israel will be glad.[h]


  1. Psalm 53:1 A Heb. musical term
  2. Psalm 53:1 Lit. maskil
  3. Psalm 53:2 Lit. upon the sons of Adam
  4. Psalm 53:3 So MT; DSS 4QPsa lack of them
  5. Psalm 53:5 Lit. they
  6. Psalm 53:5 So MT DSS 4QPsa; LXX reads of men pleasers
  7. Psalm 53:5 So MT DSS 4QPsa; LXX reads they were put to shame
  8. Psalm 53:6 Cf. Ps 14:1-7