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Remembering the Covenant with David, and Sorrow for Lost Blessings

A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.[a]

89 I will sing forever of Yahweh’s acts of loyal love.
From generation to generation[b]
I will make known your faithfulness with my mouth.
For I say, “Forever your loyal love is built up.
The heavens you have established with your faithfulness in them.”
“I made a covenant with my chosen one;
I swore an oath to David my servant:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and I will build up your throne from generation to generation.’”[c] Selah
And so the heavens will praise your wonderful deed, O Yahweh,
even your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the sky[d] is equal to Yahweh?
Who is like Yahweh among the sons of God,
a God feared greatly in the council of the holy ones,
and awesome above all surrounding him?
O Yahweh God of hosts,
who is mighty like you, O Yah,
with[e] your faithfulness surrounding you?
You are ruling the surging of the sea.
When its waves rise, you yourself still[f] them.
10 You yourself crushed[g] Rahab like one who is slain;
you scattered your enemies with your strong arm.
11 The heavens are yours, the earth yours as well,
the world with its fullness, because you founded them.
12 North and south, you created them;
Tabor and Hermon shout joyfully over your name.
13 You have a mighty arm;
Your hand is strong; your right hand reaches high.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.
Loyal love and faithfulness[h] come before your face.[i]
15 Blessed are the people who know the joyful shout;
O Yahweh, they walk about in the light of your countenance.
16 In your name they rejoice all the day,
and in your righteousness they rise up.
17 For you are the glory of their strength,
and by your favor our horn rises up,[j]
18 because our shield belongs to Yahweh,[k]
and our king to the Holy One of Israel.[l]
19 Formerly you spoke in a vision
to your faithful ones, and said,
“I have bestowed help on a mighty man;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found David, my servant.
With my holy oil I have anointed him,
21 with whom my hand will be steadfast.
Surely my arm will strengthen him.
22 The enemy will not deceive him,
and no evil man[m] will afflict him.
23 But I will crush his adversaries before him,
and I will strike those who hate him.
24 And so my faithfulness
and my loyal love will be with him,
and in my name his horn will rise up.
25 And I will set his hand on the sea
and his right hand on the rivers.
26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the rock of my salvation.’
27 I will also make him the firstborn,
the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 Forever I will keep my loyal love for him,
and my covenant will be reliable for him.
29 I will also establish his offspring forever,
and his throne as the days of the heavens.
30 If his sons forsake my law
and do not walk in my judgments,
31 if they defile[n] my statutes
and do not keep my commandments,
32 then I will punish their transgression with a rod,
and their guilt with wounds.
33 But I will not break off my loyal love from him,
and I will not be false against my faithfulness.
34 I will not defile[o] my covenant,
or alter what proceeded from my lips.
35 Once[p] I have sworn by my holiness,
‘I will surely not lie to David,
36 His offspring will endure[q] forever,
and his throne as the sun before me.
37 Like the moon it will be steadfast forever,
and like an enduring witness in the sky.’” Selah
38 But you have spurned and rejected;
you are very angry with your anointed one.
39 You have repudiated the covenant with your servant;
you have defiled[r] his crown in[s] the dirt.
40 You have broken down all his walls;
you have made his fortifications a ruin.
41 All passing along the road plunder him;
he has become a taunt to his neighbors.
42 You have raised the right hand[t] of his adversaries.
You have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 You have also turned back the edge of his sword
and have not helped him stand his ground in the battle.
44 You have made his splendor to cease,
and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth;
you have covered him with shame. Selah
46 How long, O Yahweh? Will you hide yourself forever?
Will your wrath burn like fire forever?
47 Remember what my lifespan is.
Remember for what vanity
you have created all the children of humankind.
48 What man can live on and not see death?
Can he deliver his life from the power[u] of Sheol? Selah
49 Where are your former acts of loyal love, O Lord,
that you swore to David by your faithfulness?
50 Remember, O Lord the taunting of your servants,
how I bear in my bosom the taunts of all the many peoples,
51 by which your enemies taunt, O Yahweh,
by which they taunt the steps of your anointed one.
52 Blessed be Yahweh forever.
Amen and Amen.


  1. Psalm 89:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 89:1 Literally “To a generation and a generation”
  3. Psalm 89:4 Literally “To a generation and a generation”
  4. Psalm 89:6 Hebrew singular collective “clouds”
  5. Psalm 89:8 Hebrew “and”
  6. Psalm 89:9 Literally “you, you calm”
  7. Psalm 89:10 Literally “You, you crushed”
  8. Psalm 89:14 Or “truth”
  9. Psalm 89:14 That is, enjoy continual access
  10. Psalm 89:17 According to the reading tradition (Qere). The Kethib reads “you exalt our horn”
  11. Psalm 89:18 Or “Yahweh is our shield.”
  12. Psalm 89:18 Or “The Holy One of Israel is our king.”
  13. Psalm 89:22 Literally “a son of wickedness”
  14. Psalm 89:31 Hebrew “profane; treat as common”
  15. Psalm 89:34 Hebrew “profane; treat as common”
  16. Psalm 89:35 Hebrew “One”
  17. Psalm 89:36 Hebrew “be”
  18. Psalm 89:39 Hebrew “profane; treat as common”
  19. Psalm 89:39 Hebrew “to”
  20. Psalm 89:42 That is, given them victory
  21. Psalm 89:48 Literally “hand””