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Psalm 3[a]

Threatened but Trusting

A psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom.[b](A)


How many are my foes, Lord!
    How many rise against me!
[c]How many say of me,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.”(B)
But you, Lord, are a shield around me;
    my glory, you keep my head high.(C)


With my own voice I will call out to the Lord,
    and he will answer me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and I fall asleep,
    [and] I will wake up, for the Lord sustains me.(D)
I do not fear, then, thousands of people
    arrayed against me on every side.


Arise, Lord! Save me, my God!
    For you strike the cheekbone of all my foes;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.(E)
Salvation is from the Lord!
    May your blessing be upon your people!(F)


  1. Psalm 3 An individual lament complaining of enemies who deny that God will come to the rescue (Ps 3:2–3). Despite such taunts the psalmist hopes for God’s protection even in sleep (Ps 3:4–7). The Psalm prays for an end to the enemies’ power to speak maliciously (Ps 3:8) and closes peacefully with an expression of trust (Ps 3:9).
  2. 3:1 The superscription, added later, relates the Psalm to an incident in the life of David.
  3. 3:3, 3:5, 3:9 Selah: the term is generally considered a direction to the cantor or musicians but its exact meaning is not known. It occurs seventy-one times in thirty-nine Psalms.