Add parallel Print Page Options

Judgment on the Wicked

For the music director, according to Do not Destroy.

Of David. A miktam.[a]

58 Do you really speak what is right when silent?[b]
Do you judge fairly the children of humankind?[c]
No, in your heart you plan injustices;
in the land[d] you weigh out the violence of your hands.
The wicked are estranged from the womb.
They go astray from the belly, speaking lies.
Their venom is like snake venom;
They are like a deaf viper that closes its ear
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
or the skilled caster of spells.
O God, break their teeth in their mouth.
Break off the fangs of the young lions, O Yahweh.
Let them run away like water that runs off.
When he bends the bow, let his arrows be as though they were cut off.[e]
Let them be like a snail that melts away as it goes;
like the stillborn of woman that do not see the sun.
Before your pots can feel the heat of a thornbush,
whether green or dry,[f] he will sweep it away.[g]
10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 And people[h] will say, “Surely there is a reward[i] for the righteous.
Surely there is a God who judges in the land.”[j]


  1. Psalm 58:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 58:1 A slight emendation of the Hebrew text yields “what is right, O gods,” or “O mighty ones”
  3. Psalm 58:1 Or “Do you judge fairly, O sons of humankind?”
  4. Psalm 58:2 Or “on the earth”
  5. Psalm 58:7 Or “as though they were withered stalks
  6. Psalm 58:9 Literally “burning”
  7. Psalm 58:9 The Hebrew of this verse is difficult to interpret
  8. Psalm 58:11 Hebrew “a person”
  9. Psalm 58:11 Literally “fruit”
  10. Psalm 58:11 Or “on the earth”