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Psalm 62[a]

For the music director, Jeduthun; a psalm of David.

62 For God alone I patiently wait;[b]
he is the one who delivers me.[c]
He alone is my protector[d] and deliverer.
He is my refuge;[e] I will not be upended.[f]
How long will you threaten[g] a man like me?
All of you are murderers,[h]
as dangerous as a leaning wall or an unstable fence.[i]
They[j] spend all their time planning how to bring their victim[k] down.[l]
They love to use deceit;[m]
they pronounce blessings with their mouths,
but inwardly they utter curses.[n] (Selah)
Patiently wait for God alone, my soul![o]
For he is the one who gives me hope.[p]
He alone is my protector[q] and deliverer.
He is my refuge;[r] I will not be shaken.
God delivers me and exalts me;
God is my strong protector and my shelter.[s]
Trust in him at all times, you people!
Pour out your hearts before him.[t]
God is our shelter. (Selah)
Men are nothing but a mere breath;
human beings are unreliable.[u]
When they are weighed in the scales,
all of them together are lighter than air.[v]
10 Do not trust in what you can gain by oppression.[w]
Do not put false confidence in what you can gain by robbery.[x]
If wealth increases, do not become attached to it.[y]
11 God has declared one principle;
two principles I have heard:[z]
God is strong,[aa]
12 and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love.[ab]
For you repay men for what they do.[ac]


  1. Psalm 62:1 sn Psalm 62. The psalmist expresses his unwavering confidence in God’s justice and in his ability to protect his people.
  2. Psalm 62:1 tn Heb “only for God [is] there silence [to] my soul.”
  3. Psalm 62:1 tn Heb “from him [is] my deliverance.”
  4. Psalm 62:2 tn Heb “my high rocky summit.”
  5. Psalm 62:2 tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).
  6. Psalm 62:2 tn The Hebrew text adds רַבָּה (rabbah, “greatly”) at the end of the line. It is unusual for this adverb to follow a negated verb. Some see this as qualifying the assertion to some degree, but this would water down the affirmation too much (see v. 6b, where the adverb is omitted). If the adverb has a qualifying function, it would suggest that the psalmist might be shaken, though not severely. This is inconsistent with the confident mood of the psalm. The adverb probably has an emphatic force here, “I will not be greatly shaken” meaning “I will not be upended.”
  7. Psalm 62:3 tn The verb form is plural; the psalmist addresses his enemies. The verb הוּת (hut) occurs only here in the OT. An Arabic cognate means “shout at.” Here “man” is a generic reference to the victim of the psalmist’s enemies, but in context it ultimately refers to the psalmist himself. To clarify this, the words “like me” have been supplied in the translation.
  8. Psalm 62:3 tn The Hebrew text has a Pual (passive) form, but the verb form should be vocalized as a Piel (active) form. See BDB 953-54 s.v. רָצַח.
  9. Psalm 62:3 tn Heb “like a bent wall and a broken fence.” The point of the comparison is not entirely clear. Perhaps the enemies are depicted as dangerous, like a leaning wall or broken fence that is in danger of falling on someone (see C. A. Briggs and E. G. Briggs, Psalms [ICC], 2:69).
  10. Psalm 62:4 tn That is, the psalmist’s enemies addressed in the previous verse.
  11. Psalm 62:4 tn That is, the generic “man” referred to in the previous verse. The words “their victim” have been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent.
  12. Psalm 62:4 tn Heb “only from his lofty place [or perhaps, “dignity”] they plan to drive [him] away.”
  13. Psalm 62:4 tn Heb “they delight [in] a lie.”
  14. Psalm 62:4 sn The enemies use deceit to bring down their victim. They make him think they are his friends by pronouncing blessings upon him, but inwardly they desire his demise.
  15. Psalm 62:5 tn Heb “only for God be silent, my soul.” The wording is similar to that of v. 1a. Here an imperatival form, דּוֹמִּי (dommi, “be silent”), appears instead of the noun דּוּמִיָּה (dumiyyah, “silence”). The psalmist is encouraging himself to maintain his trust in God.
  16. Psalm 62:5 tn Heb “for from him [is] my hope.”
  17. Psalm 62:6 tn Heb “my high rocky summit.”
  18. Psalm 62:6 tn Or “my elevated place” (see Ps 18:2).
  19. Psalm 62:7 tn Heb “upon God [is] my deliverance and my glory, the high rocky summit of my strength, my shelter [is] in God.”
  20. Psalm 62:8 tn To “pour out one’s heart” means to offer up to God intense, emotional lamentation and petitionary prayers (see Lam 2:19).
  21. Psalm 62:9 tn Heb “only a breath [are] the sons of mankind, a lie [are] the sons of man.” The phrases “sons of mankind” and “sons of man” also appear together in Ps 49:2. Because of the parallel line there, where “rich and poor” are mentioned, a number of interpreters and translators treat these expressions as polar opposites, בְּנֵי אָדָם (bene ʾadam) referring to the lower classes and בְּנֵי אִישׁ (bene ʾish) to higher classes. But usage does not support such a view. The rare phrase בְּנֵי אִישׁ (“sons of man”) appears to refer to human beings in general in its other uses (see Pss 4:2; Lam 3:33). It is better to understand the phrases as synonymous expressions.
  22. Psalm 62:9 tn The noun הֶבֶל (hevel), translated “a breath” earlier in the verse, appears again here.
  23. Psalm 62:10 tn Heb “do not trust in oppression.” Here “oppression” stands by metonymy for the riches that can be gained by oppressive measures, as the final line of the verse indicates.
  24. Psalm 62:10 tn Heb “and in robbery do not place vain hope.” Here “robbery” stands by metonymy for the riches that can be gained by theft, as the next line of the verse indicates.
  25. Psalm 62:10 tn Heb “[as for] wealth, when it bears fruit, do not set [your] heart [on it].”
  26. Psalm 62:11 tn Heb “one God spoke, two which I heard.” This is a numerical saying utilizing the “x” followed by “x + 1” pattern to facilitate poetic parallelism. (See W. M. W. Roth, Numerical Sayings in the Old Testament [VTSup], 55-56.) As is typical in such sayings, a list corresponding to the second number (in this case “two”) follows. Another option is to translate, “God has spoken once, twice [he has spoken] that which I have heard.” The terms אַחַת (ʾakhat, “one; once”) and שְׁתַיִם (shetayim, “two; twice”) are also juxtaposed in 2 Kgs 6:10 (where they refer to an action that was done more than “once or twice”) and in Job 33:14 (where they refer to God speaking “one way” and then in “another manner”).
  27. Psalm 62:11 tn Heb “that strength [belongs] to God.”
  28. Psalm 62:12 tn Heb “and to you, O Master, [is] loyal love.”
  29. Psalm 62:12 tn Heb “for you pay back to a man according to his deed.” Another option is to understand vv. 11b and 12a as the first principle and v. 12b as the second. In this case one might translate, “God has declared one principle, two principles I have heard, namely, that God is strong, and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love, and that you repay men for what they do.”sn You repay men for what they do. The psalmist views God’s justice as a demonstration of both his power (see v. 11c) and his loyal love (see v. 12a). When God judges evildoers, he demonstrates loyal love to his people.