Psalm 89

Perplexity about God’s Promises

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.(A)

I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever;(B)
I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations
with my mouth.(C)
For I will declare,
“Faithful love is built up forever;
you establish your faithfulness in the heavens.”(D)

The Lord said,
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
‘I will establish your offspring forever
and build up your throne for all generations.’”(E)Selah

Lord, the heavens praise your wonders(F)
your faithfulness also—
in the assembly of the holy ones.(G)
For who in the skies can compare with the Lord?
Who among the heavenly beings[a] is like the Lord?(H)
God is greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,
more awe-inspiring than[b] all who surround him.(I)
Lord God of Armies,
who is strong like you, Lord?(J)
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule the raging sea;
when its waves surge, you still them.(K)
10 You crushed Rahab like one who is slain;(L)
you scattered your enemies with your powerful arm.(M)
11 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours.
The world and everything in it—you founded them.(N)
12 North and south—you created them.(O)
Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at your name.(P)
13 You have a mighty arm;
your hand is powerful;
your right hand is lifted high.(Q)
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation
of your throne;(R)
faithful love and truth go before you.(S)
15 Happy are the people who know the joyful shout;(T)
Lord, they walk in the light from your face.(U)
16 They rejoice in your name all day long,
and they are exalted by your righteousness.(V)
17 For you are their magnificent strength;(W)
by your favor our horn is exalted.(X)
18 Surely our shield[c] belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.(Y)

19 You once spoke in a vision to your faithful ones
and said, “I have granted help to a warrior;
I have exalted one chosen[d] from the people.(Z)
20 I have found David my servant;
I have anointed him with my sacred oil.(AA)
21 My hand will always be with him,
and my arm will strengthen him.(AB)
22 The enemy will not oppress[e] him;
the wicked will not afflict him.(AC)
23 I will crush his foes before him
and strike those who hate him.(AD)
24 My faithfulness and love will be with him,
and through my name
his horn will be exalted.(AE)
25 I will extend his power to the sea
and his right hand to the rivers.(AF)
26 He will call to me, ‘You are my Father,(AG)
my God, the rock of my salvation.’(AH)
27 I will also make him my firstborn,
greatest of the kings of the earth.(AI)
28 I will always preserve my faithful love for him,
and my covenant with him will endure.(AJ)
29 I will establish his line forever,
his throne as long as heaven lasts.[f](AK)
30 If his sons abandon my instruction
and do not live by my ordinances,(AL)
31 if they dishonor my statutes
and do not keep my commands,(AM)
32 then I will call their rebellion
to account with the rod,
their iniquity with blows.(AN)
33 But I will not withdraw
my faithful love from him
or betray my faithfulness.(AO)
34 I will not violate my covenant
or change what my lips have said.(AP)
35 Once and for all
I have sworn an oath by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.(AQ)
36 His offspring will continue forever,
his throne like the sun before me,(AR)
37 like the moon, established forever,
a faithful witness in the sky.”(AS)Selah

38 But you have spurned and rejected him;
you have become enraged with your anointed.(AT)
39 You have repudiated the covenant with your servant;
you have completely dishonored his crown.[g](AU)
40 You have broken down all his walls;
you have reduced his fortified cities to ruins.(AV)
41 All who pass by plunder him;(AW)
he has become an object of ridicule
to his neighbors.(AX)
42 You have lifted high the right hand of his foes;
you have made all his enemies rejoice.(AY)
43 You have also turned back his sharp sword
and have not let him stand in battle.(AZ)
44 You have made his splendor[h] cease
and have overturned his throne.(BA)
45 You have shortened the days of his youth;
you have covered him with shame.(BB)Selah

46 How long, Lord? Will you hide forever?
Will your anger keep burning like fire?(BC)
47 Remember how short my life is.
Have you created everyone for nothing?(BD)
48 What courageous person can live and never see death?
Who can save himself from the power of Sheol?(BE)Selah
49 Lord, where are the former acts of your faithful love
that you swore to David in your faithfulness?(BF)
50 Remember, Lord, the ridicule against your servants—
in my heart I carry abuse from all the peoples—
51 how your enemies have ridiculed, Lord,
how they have ridiculed every step of your anointed.(BG)

52 Blessed be the Lord forever.
Amen and amen.(BH)


  1. 89:6 Or the angels, or the sons of the mighty
  2. 89:7 Or ones, revered by
  3. 89:18 = the king
  4. 89:19 Or exalted a young man
  5. 89:22 Or not exact tribute from
  6. 89:29 Lit as days of heaven
  7. 89:39 Lit have dishonored his crown to the ground
  8. 89:44 Hb obscure

Psalm 89[a]

A maskil[b] of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing(A) of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known(B)
    through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.(C)
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    I have sworn to David my servant,
‘I will establish your line forever
    and make your throne firm through all generations.’”[c](D)

The heavens(E) praise your wonders, Lord,
    your faithfulness too, in the assembly(F) of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
    Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?(G)
In the council(H) of the holy ones(I) God is greatly feared;
    he is more awesome than all who surround him.(J)
Who is like you,(K) Lord God Almighty?(L)
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.(M)
10 You crushed Rahab(N) like one of the slain;
    with your strong arm you scattered(O) your enemies.
11 The heavens are yours,(P) and yours also the earth;(Q)
    you founded the world and all that is in it.(R)
12 You created the north and the south;
    Tabor(S) and Hermon(T) sing for joy(U) at your name.
13 Your arm is endowed with power;
    your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.(V)

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;(W)
    love and faithfulness go before you.(X)
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk(Y) in the light(Z) of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice in your name(AA) all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength,(AB)
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.[d](AC)
18 Indeed, our shield[e](AD) belongs to the Lord,
    our king(AE) to the Holy One of Israel.

19 Once you spoke in a vision,
    to your faithful people you said:
“I have bestowed strength on a warrior;
    I have raised up a young man from among the people.
20 I have found David(AF) my servant;(AG)
    with my sacred oil(AH) I have anointed(AI) him.
21 My hand will sustain him;
    surely my arm will strengthen him.(AJ)
22 The enemy will not get the better of him;(AK)
    the wicked will not oppress(AL) him.
23 I will crush his foes before him(AM)
    and strike down his adversaries.(AN)
24 My faithful love will be with him,(AO)
    and through my name his horn[f] will be exalted.
25 I will set his hand over the sea,
    his right hand over the rivers.(AP)
26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,(AQ)
    my God, the Rock(AR) my Savior.’(AS)
27 And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,(AT)
    the most exalted(AU) of the kings(AV) of the earth.
28 I will maintain my love to him forever,
    and my covenant with him will never fail.(AW)
29 I will establish his line forever,
    his throne as long as the heavens endure.(AX)

30 “If his sons forsake my law
    and do not follow my statutes,
31 if they violate my decrees
    and fail to keep my commands,
32 I will punish their sin with the rod,
    their iniquity with flogging;(AY)
33 but I will not take my love from him,(AZ)
    nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant
    or alter what my lips have uttered.(BA)
35 Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—
    and I will not lie to David—
36 that his line will continue forever
    and his throne endure before me like the sun;(BB)
37 it will be established forever like the moon,
    the faithful witness in the sky.”(BC)

38 But you have rejected,(BD) you have spurned,
    you have been very angry with your anointed one.
39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant
    and have defiled his crown in the dust.(BE)
40 You have broken through all his walls(BF)
    and reduced his strongholds(BG) to ruins.
41 All who pass by have plundered(BH) him;
    he has become the scorn of his neighbors.(BI)
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.(BJ)
43 Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword
    and have not supported him in battle.(BK)
44 You have put an end to his splendor
    and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short(BL) the days of his youth;
    you have covered him with a mantle of shame.(BM)

46 How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?(BN)
47 Remember how fleeting is my life.(BO)
    For what futility you have created all humanity!
48 Who can live and not see death,
    or who can escape the power of the grave?(BP)
49 Lord, where is your former great love,
    which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant has[g] been mocked,(BQ)
    how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
51 the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked,
    with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.(BR)

52 Praise be to the Lord forever!
Amen and Amen.(BS)


  1. Psalm 89:1 In Hebrew texts 89:1-52 is numbered 89:2-53.
  2. Psalm 89:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 89:4 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 37, 45 and 48.
  4. Psalm 89:17 Horn here symbolizes strong one.
  5. Psalm 89:18 Or sovereign
  6. Psalm 89:24 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  7. Psalm 89:50 Or your servants have

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