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Psalm 56[a]

Trust in God

For the director. According to Yonath elem rehoqim.[b] A miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him at Gath.(A)

I

Have mercy on me, God,
    for I am treated harshly;
    attackers press me all the day.
My foes treat me harshly all the day;
    yes, many are my attackers.
O Most High, when I am afraid,
    in you I place my trust.
I praise the word of God;
    I trust in God, I do not fear.(B)
    What can mere flesh do to me?(C)

II

All the day they foil my plans;
    their every thought is of evil against me.
They hide together in ambush;
    they watch my every step;
    they lie in wait for my life.(D)
They are evil; watch them, God!
    Cast the nations down in your anger!
My wanderings you have noted;
    are my tears not stored in your flask,[c]
    recorded in your book?(E)
10 My foes turn back when I call on you.
    This I know: God is on my side.
11 I praise the word of God,
    I praise the word of the Lord.
12 In God I trust, I do not fear.
    What can man do to me?

III

13 I have made vows to you, God;
    with offerings I will fulfill them,(F)
14 For you have snatched me from death,
    kept my feet from stumbling,
That I may walk before God
    in the light of the living.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 56 Beset physically (Ps 56:2–3) and psychologically (Ps 56:6–7), the psalmist maintains a firm confidence in God (Ps 56:5, 9–10). Nothing will prevent the psalmist from keeping the vow to give thanks for God’s gift of life (Ps 56:13). A refrain (Ps 56:5, 11–12) divides the Psalm in two equal parts.
  2. 56:1 Yonath elem rehoqim: Hebrew words probably designating the melody to which the Psalm was to be sung.
  3. 56:9 Are my tears not stored in your flask: a unique saying in the Old Testament. The context suggests that the tears are saved because they are precious; God puts a high value on each of the psalmist’s troubles.

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