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A Prayer for Protection

For the music director, according to Do Not Destroy.

Of David. A miktam.

When Saul dispatched men and they watched the house to kill him.[a]

59 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God.
Protect[b] me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from workers of iniquity,
and from men of bloodshed save me.
For look, they lie in wait for my life.[c]
The mighty attack[d] against me,
not because of my transgression or my sin, O Yahweh.
Without guilt on my part they run and ready themselves.
Awake to meet me and see.
And you, Yahweh, God of hosts, are the God of Israel.
Rouse yourself to punish all the nations.
Do not be gracious to any who treacherously plot evil. Selah
They return at evening; they howl like dogs[e]
while they prowl the city.
Look, they pour out talk with their mouth.
Swords are on their lips,
for they say, “Who hears?”
But you, O Yahweh, will laugh at them;
you will mock all the nations.
O my strength,[f] I will watch for you,
because you, O God, are my (high) stronghold.
10 My[g] God of loyal love will meet me;
God will cause me to look in triumph on my enemies.
11 Do not kill them, lest my people forget.
Make them to wander by your power,
and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.
12 By the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips,
even in their pride, let them be trapped,
and for the curses[h] and lies[i] they proclaim.
13 Destroy in anger; destroy so they are no more,
so that they may know that God is ruling in Jacob
to the ends of the earth. Selah
14 They return at evening; they howl like dogs[j]
while they prowl the city.
15 As for them, they wander for food.
If they are not satisfied, then they continue all night.[k]
16 But as for me, I will sing of your strength,
and I will hail your loyal love in the morning,
because you have been my high stronghold
and a refuge in my time[l] of trouble.
17 O my strength, to you I will give praise,
because God is my high stronghold,
my God of loyal love.


  1. Psalm 59:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 59:1 The sense is that of making something inaccessibly high, like a fortress
  3. Psalm 59:3 Hebrew “soul”
  4. Psalm 59:3 Or “stir up strife”
  5. Psalm 59:6 Hebrew “dog”
  6. Psalm 59:9 Reading with a few Hebrew manuscripts and the LXX, Targum and v. 17
  7. Psalm 59:10 According to the reading tradition (Qere), some Hebrew manuscripts and the LXX
  8. Psalm 59:12 Hebrew “curse”
  9. Psalm 59:12 Hebrew “lie”
  10. Psalm 59:14 Hebrew “dog”
  11. Psalm 59:15 Or “then they growl”
  12. Psalm 59:16 Literally “day”