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Psalm 17New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 17[a]

Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors

A prayer of David.


Hear, Lord, my plea for justice;
    pay heed to my cry;
Listen to my prayer
    from lips without guile.
From you let my vindication come;
    your eyes see what is right.
You have tested my heart,
    searched it in the night.
You have tried me by fire,
    but find no malice in me.
My mouth has not transgressed
    as others often do.
As your lips have instructed me,
    I have kept from the way of the lawless.
My steps have kept to your paths;
    my feet have not faltered.


I call upon you; answer me, O God.
    Turn your ear to me; hear my speech.
Show your wonderful mercy,
    you who deliver with your right arm
    those who seek refuge from their foes.
[b]Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
    from the wicked who despoil me.


My ravenous enemies press upon me;
10     [c]they close their hearts,
    they fill their mouths with proud roaring.
11 Their steps even now encircle me;
    they watch closely, keeping low to the ground,
12 Like lions eager for prey,
    like a young lion lurking in ambush.
13 Rise, O Lord, confront and cast them down;
    rescue my soul from the wicked.
14 Slay them with your sword;
    with your hand, Lord, slay them;
    snatch them from the world in their prime.
Their bellies are being filled with your friends;
    their children are satisfied too,
    for they share what is left with their young.
15 I am just—let me see your face;
    when I awake, let me be filled with your presence.


  1. Psalm 17 A lament of an individual unjustly attacked. Confident of being found innocent, the psalmist cries out for God’s just judgment (Ps 17:1–5) and requests divine help against enemies (Ps 17:6–9a). Those ravenous lions (Ps 17:9b–12) should be punished (Ps 17:13–14). The Psalm ends with a serene statement of praise (Ps 17:15). The Hebrew text of Ps 17:3–4, 14 is uncertain.
  2. 17:8 Apple of your eye…shadow of your wings: images of God’s special care, cf. Dt 32:10; Prv 7:2; Is 49:2.
  3. 17:10–12, 14 An extended metaphor: the enemies are lions.
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.


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