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)


  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.

23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;(A)
    I have not run after the Baals’?(B)
See how you behaved in the valley;(C)
    consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
    running(D) here and there,
24 a wild donkey(E) accustomed to the desert,(F)
    sniffing the wind in her craving—
    in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
    at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!(G)
    I love foreign gods,(H)
    and I must go after them.’(I)

26 “As a thief is disgraced(J) when he is caught,
    so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
    their priests(K) and their prophets.(L)
27 They say to wood,(M) ‘You are my father,’
    and to stone,(N) ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs(O) to me
    and not their faces;(P)
yet when they are in trouble,(Q) they say,
    ‘Come and save(R) us!’
28 Where then are the gods(S) you made for yourselves?
    Let them come if they can save you
    when you are in trouble!(T)
For you, Judah, have as many gods
    as you have towns.(U)

29 “Why do you bring charges against me?
    You have all(V) rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord.
30 “In vain I punished your people;
    they did not respond to correction.(W)
Your sword has devoured your prophets(X)
    like a ravenous lion.

31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

“Have I been a desert to Israel
    or a land of great darkness?(Y)
Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam;
    we will come to you no more’?(Z)
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
    a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten(AA) me,
    days without number.
33 How skilled you are at pursuing(AB) love!
    Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 On your clothes is found
    the lifeblood(AC) of the innocent poor,
    though you did not catch them breaking in.(AD)
Yet in spite of all this
35     you say, ‘I am innocent;(AE)
    he is not angry with me.’
But I will pass judgment(AF) on you
    because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’(AG)
36 Why do you go about so much,
    changing(AH) your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt(AI)
    as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
    with your hands on your head,(AJ)
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
    you will not be helped(AK) by them.

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Remember your leaders,(A) who spoke the word of God(B) to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate(C) their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.(D)

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.(E) It is good for our hearts to be strengthened(F) by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods,(G) which is of no benefit to those who do so.(H) 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle(I) have no right to eat.(J)

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering,(K) but the bodies are burned outside the camp.(L) 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate(M) to make the people holy(N) through his own blood.(O) 13 Let us, then, go to him(P) outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.(Q) 14 For here we do not have an enduring city,(R) but we are looking for the city that is to come.(S)

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice(T) of praise—the fruit of lips(U) that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others,(V) for with such sacrifices(W) God is pleased.

17 Have confidence in your leaders(X) and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you(Y) as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

18 Pray for us.(Z) We are sure that we have a clear conscience(AA) and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.(AB)

Benediction and Final Greetings

20 Now may the God of peace,(AC) who through the blood of the eternal covenant(AD) brought back from the dead(AE) our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,(AF) 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will,(AG) and may he work in us(AH) what is pleasing to him,(AI) through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.(AJ)

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