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Psalm 55

Complaint about a Friend’s Treachery

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
    do not hide yourself from my supplication.(A)
Attend to me and answer me;
    I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught(B) by the noise of the enemy,
    because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring[a] trouble upon me,
    and in anger they bear a grudge against me.(C)

My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.(D)
Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.(E)
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;(F)
truly, I would flee far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
    from the raging wind and tempest.”(G)

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech,
    for I see violence and strife in the city.(H)
10 Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.(I)

12 It is not enemies who taunt me—
    I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
    I could hide from them.(J)
13 But it is you, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend,(K)
14 with whom I kept pleasant company;
    we walked in the house of God with the throng.(L)
15 Let death come upon them;
    let them go down alive to Sheol,
    for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.(M)

16 But I call upon God,
    and the Lord will save me.(N)
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he will hear my voice.(O)
18 He will redeem me unharmed
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.(P)
19 God, who is enthroned from of old, Selah
    will hear and will humble them,
because they do not change
    and do not fear God.(Q)

20 My companion laid hands on a friend
    and violated a covenant with me[b](R)
21 with speech smoother than butter
    but with a heart set on war,
with words that were softer than oil
    but in fact were drawn swords.(S)

22 Cast your burden[c] on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.(T)

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
    into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
    shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.(U)


  1. 55.3 Cn Compare Gk: Heb they cause to totter
  2. 55.20 Heb lacks with me
  3. 55.22 Or Cast what he has given you