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Psalm 18[a]

For the choir director; by David, the servant of Yahweh. He sang this song to Yahweh when Yahweh rescued him from all his enemies, especially from Saul. He said,

I love you, O Yahweh, my strength.
Yahweh is my rock and my Metsuda and my Savior,
    my El, my rock in whom I take refuge,
        my Magen, and the strength of my salvation,
            my stronghold.
Yahweh should be praised.
    I called on him, and I was saved from my enemies.

The ropes of death had become tangled around me.
    The torrents of destruction had overwhelmed me.
        The ropes of the grave had surrounded me.
            The clutches of death had confronted me.

I called on Yahweh in my distress.
    I cried to my Elohim for help.
        He heard my voice from his temple,
            and my cry for help reached his ears.

Then the earth shook and quaked.
    Even the foundations of the mountains trembled.
        They shook violently because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
    and a raging fire came out of his mouth.
        Glowing coals flared up from it.
He spread apart the heavens
    and came down with a dark cloud under his feet.
10 He rode on one of the angels[b] as he flew,
    and he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made the darkness his hiding place,
    the dark rain clouds his covering.
12 Out of the brightness in front of him,
    those rain clouds passed by with hailstones and lightning.
13 Yahweh thundered in the heavens.
    Elyon made his voice heard with hailstones and lightning.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered them.
    He flashed streaks of lightning and threw them into confusion.
15 Then the ocean floor could be seen.
    The foundations of the earth were laid bare
        at your stern warning, O Yahweh,
        at the blast of the breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from high above and took hold of me.
    He pulled me out of the raging water.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
        because they were too strong for me.
18 On the day when I faced disaster, they confronted me,
    but Yahweh came to my defense.
19 He brought me out to a wide-open place.
    He rescued me because he was pleased with me.

20 Yahweh rewarded me
    because of my righteousness,
    because my hands are clean.
    He paid me back
21 because I have kept the ways of Yahweh
    and I have not wickedly turned away from my Elohim,
22 because all his judgments are in front of me
    and I have not turned away from his laws.
23 I was innocent as far as he was concerned.
    I have kept myself from guilt.
24 Yahweh paid me back
    because of my righteousness,
    because he can see that my hands are clean.

25 In dealing with faithful people you are faithful,
    with innocent people you are innocent,
26 with pure people you are pure.
    In dealing with devious people you are clever.

27 You save humble people,
    but you bring down a conceited look.
28 O Yahweh, you light my lamp.
    My Elohim turns my darkness into light.
29 With you I can attack a line of soldiers.
    With my Elohim I can break through barricades.

30 El’s way is perfect!
    The promise of Yahweh has proven to be true.
        He is a Magen to all those who take refuge in him.
31 Who is Eloah but Yahweh?
    Who is a rock except our Elohim?
32 El arms me with strength
    and makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like those of a deer
    and gives me sure footing on high places.
34 He trains my hands for battle
    so that my arms can bend an archer’s bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation.
    Your right hand supports me.
    Your gentleness makes me great.
36 You make a wide path for me to walk on
    so that my feet do not slip.
37 I chased my enemies and caught up with them.
    I did not return until I had ended their lives.
38 I wounded them so badly that they were unable to get up.
    They fell under my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle.
    You made my opponents bow at my feet.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
    and I destroyed those who hated me.
41 They cried out for help, but there was no one to save them.
    They cried out to Yahweh, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them into a powder as fine as the dust blown by the wind.
    I threw them out as though they were dirt on the streets.
43 You rescued me from my conflicts with the people.
    You made me the leader of nations.
    A people I did not know will serve me:
44 As soon as they hear of me, they will obey me.
    Foreigners will cringe in front of me.
45 Foreigners will lose heart,
    and they will tremble when they come out of their fortifications.

46 Yahweh lives!
    Thanks be to my rock!
        May Elohim my Savior be honored.
47 El gives me vengeance!
    He brings people under my authority.
48 He saves me from my enemies.
    You lift me up above my opponents.
        You rescue me from violent people.
49 That is why I will give thanks to you, O Yahweh, among the nations
    and make music to praise your name.
50 He gives great victories to his king.
    He shows mercy to his anointed,
    to David, and to his descendant[c] forever.


  1. Psalm 18:1 Psalm 18 is virtually identical in wording to 2 Samuel 22.
  2. Psalm 18:10 Or “cherubim.”
  3. Psalm 18:50 Or “to his descendants.”