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Psalm 18 Living Bible (TLB)

18 This song of David was written at a time when the Lord had delivered him from his many enemies, including Saul.

Lord, how I love you! For you have done such tremendous things for me.

The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where none can reach me, and a tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. All I need to do is cry to him—oh, praise the Lord—and I am saved from all my enemies!

Death bound me with chains, and the floods of ungodliness mounted a massive attack against me. Trapped and helpless, I struggled against the ropes that drew me on to death.

In my distress I screamed to the Lord for his help. And he heard me from heaven;[a] my cry reached his ears. Then the earth rocked and reeled, and mountains shook and trembled. How they quaked! For he was angry. Fierce flames leaped from his mouth, setting fire to the earth;[b] smoke blew from his nostrils. He bent the heavens down and came to my defense;[c] thick darkness was beneath his feet. 10 Mounted on a mighty angel,[d] he sped swiftly to my aid with wings of wind. 11 He enshrouded himself with darkness, veiling his approach with dense clouds dark as murky waters. 12 Suddenly the brilliance of his presence broke through the clouds with lightning[e] and a mighty storm of hail.

13 The Lord thundered in the heavens; the God above all gods has spoken—oh, the hailstones; oh, the fire! 14 He flashed his fearful arrows of lightning and routed all my enemies. See how they run! 15 Then at your command, O Lord, the sea receded from the shore. At the blast of your breath the depths were laid bare.

16 He reached down from heaven and took me and drew me out of my great trials. He rescued me from deep waters. 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me—I who was helpless in their hands.

18 On the day when I was weakest, they attacked. But the Lord held me steady. 19 He led me to a place of safety, for he delights in me.

20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right and being pure. 21 For I have followed his commands and have not sinned by turning back from following him. 22 I kept close watch on all his laws; I did not refuse a single one. 23 I did my best to keep them all, holding myself back from doing wrong. 24 And so the Lord has paid me with his blessings, for I have done what is right, and I am pure of heart. This he knows, for he watches my every step.

25 Lord, how merciful you are to those who are merciful. And you do not punish those who run from evil.[f] 26 You give blessings to the pure but pain to those who leave your paths. 27 You deliver the humble but condemn the proud and haughty ones. 28 You have turned on my light! The Lord my God has made my darkness turn to light. 29 Now in your strength I can scale any wall, attack any troop.

30 What a God he is! How perfect in every way! All his promises prove true. He is a shield for everyone who hides behind him. 31 For who is God except our Lord? Who but he is as a rock?

32 He fills me with strength and protects me wherever I go. 33 He gives me the surefootedness of a mountain goat upon the crags. He leads me safely along the top of the cliffs. 34 He prepares me for battle and gives me strength to draw an iron bow![g]

35 You have given me your salvation as my shield. Your right hand, O Lord, supports me; your gentleness has made me great. 36 You have made wide steps beneath my feet so that I need never slip. 37 I chased my enemies; I caught up with them and did not turn back until all were conquered. 38 I pinned them to the ground; all were helpless before me. I placed my feet upon their necks. 39 For you have armed me with strong armor for the battle. My enemies quail before me and fall defeated at my feet. 40 You made them turn and run; I destroyed all who hated me. 41 They shouted for help, but no one dared to rescue them; they cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer them. 42 So I crushed them fine as dust and cast them to the wind. I threw them away like sweepings from the floor. 43-45 You gave me victory in every battle. The nations came and served me. Even those I didn’t know before come now and bow before me. Foreigners who have never seen me submit instantly. They come trembling from their strongholds.

46 God is alive! Praise him who is the great rock of protection. 47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me and subdues the nations before me.

48 He rescues me from my enemies; he holds me safely out of their reach and saves me from these powerful opponents. 49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations. 50 Many times you have miraculously rescued me, the king you appointed. You have been loving and kind to me and will be to my descendants.


  1. Psalm 18:6 from heaven, literally, “out of his temple.”
  2. Psalm 18:8 setting fire to the earth, literally, “coals were kindled by it.”
  3. Psalm 18:9 He bent the heavens down and came to my defense, implied.
  4. Psalm 18:10 a mighty angel, literally, “a cherub.”
  5. Psalm 18:12 lightning, literally, “coals of fire.”
  6. Psalm 18:25 And you do not punish those who run from evil, literally, “With the upright you show yourself upright.”
  7. Psalm 18:34 an iron bow, literally, “a bow of bronze.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Psalm 18 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 18[a]

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
    and the foundations of the mountains shook;
    they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
    consuming fire came from his mouth,
    burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
    dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
    he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
    the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
    with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.[d]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
    at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
    I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
    and have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
    to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
    but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop[e];
    with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
    I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
    they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
    you humbled my adversaries before me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
    and I destroyed my foes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them
    to the Lord, but he did not answer.
42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
    I trampled them[f] like mud in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
    you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
44     foreigners cower before me;
    as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
    they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
    who subdues nations under me,
48     who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
    from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing the praises of your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
    he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
    to David and to his descendants forever.


  1. Psalm 18:1 In Hebrew texts 18:1-50 is numbered 18:2-51.
  2. Psalm 18:2 Or sovereign
  3. Psalm 18:2 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  4. Psalm 18:13 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 2 Samuel 22:14); most Hebrew manuscripts resounded, / amid hailstones and bolts of lightning
  5. Psalm 18:29 Or can run through a barricade
  6. Psalm 18:42 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac and Targum (see also 2 Samuel 22:43); Masoretic Text I poured them out
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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