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A Plea for Deliverance from Persecution

For the music director, according to The Lilies. Of David.[a]

69 Save me, O God,
because waters have come up to my neck.[b]
I sink in the mud of the deep, and there is no foothold.
I have come to watery depths,
and the torrent floods over me.
I am weary with my calling out; my throat is parched.
My eyes are exhausted in my waiting for my God.
More numerous than the hairs of my head
are those hating me without a cause.
Those who are destroying me—my enemies wrongfully[c]— are mighty.
What I did not steal, I then must restore.
O God, you yourself know[d] my foolishness,
and my guilty deeds are not hidden from you.
Let those who wait for you not be put to shame because of me,
O Lord Yahweh of hosts.
Let those who seek you not be disgraced because of me,
O God of Israel.
Because on account of you I have borne reproach;
disgrace has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my brothers
and a foreigner to my mother’s sons,
because the zeal for your house[e] has consumed me,
and the reproaches of those reproaching you have fallen on me.
10 When I wept in the fasting of my soul,
it became reproaches for me.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became for them a byword.
12 Those sitting at the gate talk about me
as also[f] the songs of the drunkards.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Yahweh, for a favorable time,
O God, according to the abundance of your loyal love.
Answer me with the faithfulness of your salvation.
14 Deliver me from the mud and do not let me sink.
Let me be delivered from those who hate me
and from the watery depths.
15 Do not let the torrent of waters flood over me,
or the deep swallow me,
or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, O Yahweh, because your loyal love is good;
according to your abundant mercies, turn to me,
17 and do not hide your face from your servant.
Because I am in trouble, answer me quickly.
18 Draw near to my soul; redeem it.
Because of my enemies, ransom me.
19 You know my reproach, my shame and my disgrace.
Fully known[g] to you are all my adversaries.
20 Reproach has broken my heart and I am sick.
And I hoped for sympathy, but there was none,
and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They also gave me gall for food,[h]
and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table before them be a trap,
and their times of peace a snare.
23 Let their eyes be dark so they cannot see,
and make their loins continually tremble.
24 Pour out your indignation on them,
and let your burning anger overtake them.
25 Let their camp be desolate.
Let none dwell in their tents,
26 because they persecute those whom you, yourself, have struck,
and they tell of the pain of those you have wounded.
27 Add guilt on top of their guilt,[i]
and do not let them be acquitted.[j]
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
and let them not be recorded with the righteous.
29 But as for me, though I am afflicted and pained,
your salvation will protect[k] me, O God.
30 I will praise the name of God in song,
and magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 For Yahweh it will be better than an ox or bull,
horned and hoofed.[l]
32 The afflicted will see and rejoice.
O God seekers, let your heart revive,[m]
33 because Yahweh hears the needy
and does not despise his own who are prisoners.
34 Let heavens and earth praise him,
the seas and all that moves in them,
35 because God will save Zion
and build the cities of Judah,
that they may dwell there and possess it.
36 And the offspring of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love his name will abide in it.


  1. Psalm 69:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 69:1 Hebrew “soul” or “life”
  3. Psalm 69:4 Or, “those who oppose me with falsehood”
  4. Psalm 69:5 Literally “you, you know”
  5. Psalm 69:9 Or “temple”
  6. Psalm 69:12 Hebrew “and”
  7. Psalm 69:19 Literally “right in front of”
  8. Psalm 69:21 Or “they put poison in my food”
  9. Psalm 69:27 Literally “Give guilt on their guilt”
  10. Psalm 69:27 Literally “come into your righteousness”
  11. Psalm 69:29 The sense is that of making something inaccessibly high, like a fortress
  12. Psalm 69:31 That is, mature and ritually clean
  13. Psalm 69:32 Or “live”