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Psalm 89

A contemplative song[a] of Ethan the Ezrahite.

Psalm 89 begins on a note of praise and ends with a lament. The heart of this psalm recalls God’s choice of David as king and God’s covenant with him to establish an eternal dynasty (2 Samuel 7).

I will sing of Your unfailing love, Eternal One, forever.
    I will speak of Your faithfulness to all generations.
I will tell how Your unfailing love will always stand strong;
    and how Your faithfulness is established in the heavens above.
You said, “I have made a covenant with My chosen one.
    I made My servant, David, this promise:
‘I will establish your dynasty
    so that you and your descendants will always be secure.
    Your rule will continue for generations to come.’”


Let the heavens join in praising the wonderful works of the Eternal.
    The holy ones have gathered, singing of Your faithfulness.
For there is no one above who compares to the Eternal,
    not one of heaven’s creatures is like Him in the least.
In the council of holy ones, God is lifted high and feared;
    His presence overwhelms all who are near Him.
O Eternal God, Commander of heaven’s armies,
    who is mighty like You?
    You are completely faithful; that’s why we trust You.
The ocean waters are at Your command.
    When violent waves rise up, You still them.
10 You defeated Rahab, that ancient monster of chaos,
    and left it lifeless.
    You routed Your enemies and scattered them by Your great arm of power.
11 Everything in the sky above and the earth below are Yours.
    The world and all it contains are Yours, for You created them all.
12 Everything was created by You—the north, the south—
    the mountains of Tabor and Hermon echo joyously the song of Your name.
13 Your arm is strong.
    Your grip is powerful.
    Your right hand is raised up high.
14 Your rule is rooted deeply in justice and righteousness—
    unfailing love and truth lead from the way ahead of You.
15 How happy are those who have learned how to praise You;
    those who journey through life by the light of Your face.
16 Every hour of the day, they rejoice at the sound of Your name.
    They are lifted up and encouraged by Your righteousness.
17 For You are the beauty of their strength.
    On account of Your favor, our strength, our horn, is increased.
18 For our shield of protection comes from the Eternal,
    and the Holy One of Israel has given us our king.

19 Long ago You spoke through a vision to Your faithful followers, saying,
    “I have given help to a warrior;
    I have chosen a hero from among My people.
20 I have found David, My servant.
    With My holy oil, I have anointed him king.
21 My strong hand will stay with him and sustain him, regardless of trial or foe.
    My mighty arm will be his strength and shield.
22 The deceit of his enemies will not outwit him.
    The wicked will not defeat him.
23 I will pound his enemies right in front of him.
    I will strike down all those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will never leave him;
    through My name, strength and power will be his.
25 I will extend his rule over the oceans,
    his right hand will control the rivers.
26 He will cry out to Me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’
27 I will make him My firstborn;
    no earthly king shall be greater.
28 My unfailing love will always be with him, protecting him;
    My covenant with him will never be broken.
29 I will ensure his family’s future forever;
    his dynasty will last as long as the heavens.
30 If his children turn away from Me and forsake My law,
    if they refuse to walk according to My judgments,
31 If they disobey My instructions
    and ignore My commandments,
32 Then I will use the rod to punish their sins
    and stripes to deal with their iniquity.
33 And yet My unfailing love of him will remain steadfast and strong.
    I will not be unfaithful to My promise.
34 I will not violate My covenant,
    nor will I alter even one word of what My lips have spoken.
35 These words I have pledged in My holiness once and for all,
    and I will not lie to David.
36 As long as the sun lights the day before Me, his descendants will continue to rule.
    His kingdom will last forever.
37 His dynasty will stand firm for all time like the moon,
    the faithful witness that stands watch in the night sky.”


38 But what now? You have turned Your back and walked away!
    Your full fury burns against Your anointed king.
39 You made a covenant with Your servant, then renounced it,
    casting his sacred crown into the dust.
40 You have broken down the walls that protected Your servant;
    his defenses are reduced to a pile of rubble.
41 Strangers now plunder all that he has left;
    he has become a laughingstock among his neighbors.
42 You have made his adversaries strong.
    His enemies celebrate their victory.
43 You have dulled the blade of his sword,
    and You have not helped him stand strong in the battle.
44 You have brought his days of splendor to an abrupt end;
    You have toppled his throne;
    it sits in the dust.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth
    and have covered him with shame and despair.


46 How long must we endure, O Eternal One?
    Will You hide Yourself forever?
    How long will Your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember my days are numbered.
    Have You created the children of Adam to live futile lives?
48 Death waits at the gate; who can escape and live?
    Does the grave hold exceptions for any of us?
    Who can deliver us from the power of the grave?


49 O Lord, where is the unfailing love You showed in times past?
    And where is the proof of Your faithfulness to David?
50 Remember how Your servants are ridiculed, O Lord;
    how I carry within me the insults of so many peoples.
51 Your enemies are mocking me, O Eternal One,
    mocking every step Your anointed one made.

52 Praise the Eternal always. Amen. Amen.


  1. 89:title Hebrew, maskil
  2. 89:4 Literally, selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up”

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