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151A [Hebrew]

A hallelujah of David, Jesse’s son.

I was the smallest of my brothers,
    the youngest of my father’s sons.
He made me shepherd of his flock,
    ruler over their young.

My hands made a flute,
    my fingers a lyre.
Let me give glory to the Lord,
    I thought to myself.

The mountains
cannot witness to God;
    the hills cannot proclaim him.
But the trees have cherished
my words,
    the flocks my deeds.

Who can proclaim,
    who can announce,
    who can declare the Lord’s deeds?
God has seen everything;
God has heard everything;
God has listened.

God sent his prophet to anoint me;
    Samuel to make me great.
My brothers went out to meet him,
    handsome in form and appearance:

Their stature tall,
    their hair beautiful,
    but the Lord God
    did not choose them.

Instead, he sent and took me
from following the flock.
God anointed me with holy oil;
    God made me leader for his people,
    ruler over the children
    of his covenant.

151B [Hebrew and Syriac][a]

At the beginning of David’s power after the prophet of God anointed him.

I went out to attack the Philistine,
    who cursed me by his idols.

But after I uncovered his own sword,
        I cut off his head.
    So I removed the shame
    from the Israelites.[b]

Psalm 151 [Greek]

This additional psalm is said to have been written by David when he fought Goliath in single combat.

I was small among my brothers,
    and the youngest of my father’s sons.
    I was shepherd of my father’s sheep.

My hands made a musical instrument;
    my fingers strung a lap harp.

Who will tell my Lord?
    The Lord himself, the Lord hears me.

The Lord himself sent his messenger,
    and took me away
    from my father’s sheep.
    He put special oil on my forehead
    to anoint me.

My brothers were good-looking and tall,
    but the Lord didn’t take
    special pleasure in them.

I went out to meet the Philistine,
    who cursed me by his idols.

But I took his own sword out of its sheath
    and cut off his head.
    So I removed the shame
    from the Israelites.[c]


  1. Psalm 151 1:8 The Heb manuscript is damaged. The translation here follows the Syriac.
  2. Psalm 151 1:9 Or children of Israel
  3. Psalm 151 1:16 Or children of Israel

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