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Psalm 55

My Friend Betrays Me

For the choir director. With stringed instruments. A maskil by David.

Opening Plea

Turn your ear to my prayer, O God.
Do not hide from my plea for mercy.
Pay attention to me and answer me.

The Problem

I am troubled in my thoughts and I groan
    because of talk from the enemy,
    because of oppression from the wicked,
    because they dump evil on me,
    and in anger they hold a grudge against me.
My heart is in anguish within me.
The terrors of death fall on me.
Fear and trembling come over me.
Horror covers me.
So I say, “I wish I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and find a place to rest.
Yes, I would flee far away. Interlude
I would stay in the wilderness.
I would hurry to find shelter,
    far from the violent wind, far from the storm.”
Swallow them up, O Lord.
Confuse their speech,
for I see violence and contention in the city.
10 Day and night they sneak around on its walls.
Evil and trouble are in the city.
11 Destruction lurks within it.
Treachery and deceit never leave its streets.
12 For it is not an enemy who insults me—
I could bear that.
It is not someone who hated me who rises up against me—
I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man who served with me,
    my colleague and my associate,
14     with whom I shared pleasant discussions
    as we walked with the excited crowd at God’s house.

Plea for Judgment

15 Let deadly destruction come on them.
Let them go down to the grave alive,
because evil is at home in their hearts.

Confidence in Judgment

16 As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning, and noon I cry out and I sigh,
and he hears my voice.
18 In peace he redeems my life from the assault against me,
    even when many are against me.
19 God will hear, and he will punish them— Interlude
yes, he is seated on his throne from eternity!
—because they never change, and they do not fear God.

The Traitor’s Treachery

20 The traitor reaches out his hand against those at peace with him.
He breaks his agreement.[a]
21 His flattery is as smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart.
His words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn daggers.

God’s Solution

22 Place your burden on the Lord,
and he will support you.
He will never allow the righteous to fall.
23 But you, O God, will bring them down into the pit of destruction.
Bloody and deceitful men will not live half their days.
But as for me, I will trust in you.


  1. Psalm 55:20 Or violates his treaty or violates his covenant