Psalm 58

A Cry against Injustice

For the choir director: “Do Not Destroy.”[a] A Davidic Miktam.

Do you really speak righteously, you mighty ones?[b]
Do you judge people fairly?(A)
No, you practice injustice in your hearts;
with your hands you weigh out violence in the land.(B)

The wicked go astray from the womb;
liars err from birth.(C)
They have venom like the venom of a snake,
like the deaf cobra that stops up its ears,(D)
that does not listen to the sound of the charmers
who skillfully weave spells.(E)

God, knock the teeth out of their mouths;
Lord, tear out the young lions’ fangs.(F)
They will vanish like water that flows by;
they will aim their useless arrows.[c][d](G)
Like a slug that moves along in slime,
like a woman’s miscarried child,
they will not see the sun.(H)

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
whether green or burning—
He will sweep them away.[e](I)
10 The righteous one will rejoice
when he sees the retribution;(J)
he will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.(K)
11 Then people will say,
“Yes, there is a reward for the righteous!
There is a God who judges on earth!”(L)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 58:1 Possibly a tune
  2. Psalm 58:1 Or Can you really speak righteousness in silence?
  3. Psalm 58:7 Or their arrows as if they were circumcised; Hb obscure
  4. Psalm 58:7 Or they wither like trampled grass
  5. Psalm 58:9 Or thorns, He will sweep it away, whether raw or cooking, or thorns, He will sweep him away alive in fury

Psalm 58[a]

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.[b]

Do you rulers indeed speak justly?(A)
    Do you judge people with equity?
No, in your heart you devise injustice,(B)
    and your hands mete out violence on the earth.(C)

Even from birth the wicked go astray;
    from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.
Their venom is like the venom of a snake,(D)
    like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,
that will not heed(E) the tune of the charmer,(F)
    however skillful the enchanter may be.

Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;(G)
    Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!(H)
Let them vanish like water that flows away;(I)
    when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.(J)
May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,(K)
    like a stillborn child(L) that never sees the sun.

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns(M)
    whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.[c](N)
10 The righteous will be glad(O) when they are avenged,(P)
    when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.(Q)
11 Then people will say,
    “Surely the righteous still are rewarded;(R)
    surely there is a God who judges the earth.”(S)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 58:1 In Hebrew texts 58:1-11 is numbered 58:2-12.
  2. Psalm 58:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 58:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.

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