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Psalm 109 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 109[a]

Prayer of a Person Falsely Accused

For the leader. A psalm of David.


O God, whom I praise, do not be silent,
    for wicked and treacherous mouths attack me.
They speak against me with lying tongues;
    with hateful words they surround me,
    attacking me without cause.
In return for my love they slander me,
    even though I prayed for them.
They repay me evil for good,
    hatred for my love.


Appoint an evil one over him,
    an accuser[b] to stand at his right hand,
That he may be judged and found guilty,
    that his plea may be in vain.
May his days be few;
    may another take his office.
May his children be fatherless,
    his wife, a widow.
10 May his children wander and beg,
    driven from their hovels.
11 May the usurer snare all he owns,
    strangers plunder all he earns.
12 May no one treat him with mercy
    or pity his fatherless children.
13 May his posterity be destroyed,
    their name rooted out in the next generation.
14 May his fathers’ guilt be mentioned to the Lord;
    his mother’s sin not rooted out.
15 May their guilt be always before the Lord,
    till their memory is banished from the earth,
16 For he did not remember to show mercy,
    but hounded the wretched poor
    and brought death to the brokenhearted.
17 He loved cursing; may it come upon him;
    he hated blessing; may none come to him.
18 May cursing clothe him like a robe;
    may it enter his belly like water,
    his bones like oil.
19 May it be near as the clothes he wears,
    as the belt always around him.

20 [c]May this be the reward for my accusers from the Lord,
    for those speaking evil against me.


21 But you, Lord, are my Lord,
    deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
    in your great mercy rescue me.
22 For I am poor and needy;
    my heart is pierced within me.
23 Like a lengthening shadow I am gone,
    I am shaken off like the locust.
24 My knees totter from fasting;
    my flesh has wasted away.
25 I have become a mockery to them;
    when they see me, they shake their heads.
26 Help me, Lord, my God;
    save me in your mercy.
27 Make them know this is your hand,
    that you, Lord, have done this.
28 Though they curse, may you bless;
    arise, shame them, that your servant may rejoice.
29 Clothe my accusers with disgrace;
    make them wear their shame like a mantle.
30 I will give fervent thanks to the Lord;
    before a crowd I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the poor
    to save him from those who pass judgment on him.


  1. Psalm 109 A lament notable for the length and vehemence of its prayer against evildoers (Ps 109:6–20); the cry to God (Ps 109:1) and the complaint (Ps 109:22–25) are brief in comparison. The psalmist is apparently the victim of a slander campaign, potentially devastating in a society where reputation and honor are paramount. In the emotional perspective of the Psalm, there are only two types of people: the wicked and their poor victims. The psalmist is a poor victim (Ps 109:22, 31) and by that fact a friend of God and enemy of the wicked. The psalmist seeks vindication not on the basis of personal virtue but because of God’s promise to protect the poor.
  2. 109:6 An accuser: Hebrew satan, a word occurring in Job 1–2 and Zec 3:1–2. In the latter passage Satan stands at the right hand of the high priest to bring false accusations against him before God. Here the accuser is human.
  3. 109:20 May this be the reward…from the Lord: the psalmist prays that God ratify the curses of Ps 109:6–19 and bring them upon the wicked.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Psalm 109 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 109

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

My God, whom I praise,
    do not remain silent,
for people who are wicked and deceitful
    have opened their mouths against me;
    they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
With words of hatred they surround me;
    they attack me without cause.
In return for my friendship they accuse me,
    but I am a man of prayer.
They repay me evil for good,
    and hatred for my friendship.

Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy;
    let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
    and may his prayers condemn him.
May his days be few;
    may another take his place of leadership.
May his children be fatherless
    and his wife a widow.
10 May his children be wandering beggars;
    may they be driven[a] from their ruined homes.
11 May a creditor seize all he has;
    may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
12 May no one extend kindness to him
    or take pity on his fatherless children.
13 May his descendants be cut off,
    their names blotted out from the next generation.
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord;
    may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.
15 May their sins always remain before the Lord,
    that he may blot out their name from the earth.

16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
    but hounded to death the poor
    and the needy and the brokenhearted.
17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
    may it come back on him.
He found no pleasure in blessing—
    may it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing as his garment;
    it entered into his body like water,
    into his bones like oil.
19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
    like a belt tied forever around him.
20 May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
    to those who speak evil of me.

21 But you, Sovereign Lord,
    help me for your name’s sake;
    out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
    and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
    I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
    my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
    when they see me, they shake their heads.

26 Help me, Lord my God;
    save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
    that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
    may those who attack me be put to shame,
    but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
    and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
    in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
    to save their lives from those who would condemn them.


  1. Psalm 109:10 Septuagint; Hebrew sought
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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