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Psalm 69[a]

For the music director, according to the tune of “Lilies”;[b] by David.

69 Deliver me, O God,
for the water has reached my neck.[c]
I sink into the deep mire
where there is no solid ground;[d]
I am in[e] deep water,
and the current overpowers me.
I am exhausted from shouting for help.
My throat is sore;[f]
my eyes grow tired from looking for my God.[g]
Those who hate me without cause
are more numerous than the hairs of my head.
Those who want to destroy me,
my enemies for no reason,[h]
outnumber me.[i]
They make me repay what I did not steal.[j]
O God, you are aware of my foolish sins;[k]
my guilt is not hidden from you.[l]
Let none who rely on you be disgraced because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.[m]
Let none who seek you be ashamed because of me,
O God of Israel.
For I suffer[n] humiliation for your sake[o]
and am thoroughly disgraced.[p]
My own brothers treat me like a stranger;
they act as if I were a foreigner.[q]
Certainly[r] zeal for[s] your house[t] consumes me;
I endure the insults of those who insult you.[u]
10 I weep and refrain from eating food,[v]
which causes others to insult me.[w]
11 I wear sackcloth
and they ridicule me.[x]
12 Those who sit at the city gate gossip about me;
drunkards mock me in their songs.[y]
13 O Lord, may you hear my prayer and be favorably disposed to me.[z]
O God, because of your great loyal love,
answer me with your faithful deliverance.[aa]
14 Rescue me from the mud. Don’t let me sink.
Deliver me[ab] from those who hate me,
from the deep water.
15 Don’t let the current overpower me.
Don’t let the deep swallow me up.
Don’t let the Pit[ac] devour me.[ad]
16 Answer me, O Lord, for your loyal love is good.[ae]
Because of your great compassion, turn toward me.
17 Do not ignore[af] your servant,
for I am in trouble. Answer me right away.[ag]
18 Come near me and redeem me.[ah]
Because of my enemies, rescue me.
19 You know how I am insulted, humiliated, and disgraced;
you can see all my enemies.[ai]
20 Their insults are painful[aj] and make me lose heart;[ak]
I look[al] for sympathy, but receive none,[am]
for comforters, but find none.
21 They put bitter poison[an] into my food,
and to quench my thirst they give me vinegar to drink.[ao]
22 May their dining table become a trap before them.
May it be a snare for that group of friends.[ap]
23 May their eyes be blinded.[aq]
Make them shake violently.[ar]
24 Pour out your judgment[as] on them.
May your raging anger[at] overtake them.
25 May their camp become desolate,
their tents uninhabited.[au]
26 For they harass[av] the one whom you discipline;[aw]
they spread the news about the suffering of those whom you punish.[ax]
27 Hold them accountable for all their sins.[ay]
Do not vindicate them.[az]
28 May their names be deleted from the scroll of the living.[ba]
Do not let their names be listed with the godly.[bb]
29 I am oppressed and suffering.
O God, deliver and protect me.[bc]
30 I will sing praises to God’s name.[bd]
I will magnify him as I give him thanks.[be]
31 That will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull
with horns and hooves.
32 The oppressed look on—let them rejoice.
You who seek God,[bf] may you be encouraged.[bg]
33 For the Lord listens to the needy;
he does not despise his captive people.[bh]
34 Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
along with the seas and everything that swims in them.
35 For God will deliver Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah,
and his people[bi] will again live in them and possess Zion.[bj]
36 The descendants of his servants will inherit it,
and those who are loyal to him[bk] will live in it.[bl]


  1. Psalm 69:1 sn Psalm 69. The psalmist laments his oppressed condition and asks the Lord to deliver him by severely judging his enemies.
  2. Psalm 69:1 tn Heb “according to lilies.” See the superscription to Ps 45.
  3. Psalm 69:1 tn The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) here refers to the psalmist’s throat or neck. The psalmist compares himself to a helpless, drowning man.
  4. Psalm 69:2 tn Heb “and there is no place to stand.”
  5. Psalm 69:2 tn Heb “have entered.”
  6. Psalm 69:3 tn Or perhaps “raw”; Heb “burned; inflamed.”
  7. Psalm 69:3 tn Heb “my eyes fail from waiting for my God.” The psalmist has intently kept his eyes open, looking for God to intervene, but now his eyes are watery and bloodshot, impairing his vision.
  8. Psalm 69:4 tn Heb “[with] a lie.” The Hebrew noun שֶׁקֶר (sheqer, “lie”) is used here as an adverb, “falsely, wrongfully” (see Pss 35:19; 38:19).
  9. Psalm 69:4 tn The Hebrew verb עָצַם (ʿatsam) can sometimes mean “are strong,” but here it probably focuses on numerical superiority; note the parallel verb רָבַב (ravav, “be many”).
  10. Psalm 69:4 tn Heb “that which I did not steal, then I restore.” Apparently אָז (ʾaz, “then”) is used here to emphasize the verb that They make me repay what I did not steal. The psalmist’s enemies falsely accuse him and hold him accountable for alleged crimes he did not even commit.
  11. Psalm 69:5 tn Heb “you know my foolishness.”
  12. Psalm 69:5 sn The psalmist is the first to admit that he is not perfect. But even so, he is innocent of the allegations which his enemies bring against him (v. 5b). God, who is aware of his foolish sins and guilt, can testify to the truth of his claim.
  13. Psalm 69:6 tn Heb “O Lord Yahweh of hosts.” Both titles draw attention to God’s sovereign position.
  14. Psalm 69:7 tn Heb “carry, bear.”
  15. Psalm 69:7 tn Heb “on account of you.”
  16. Psalm 69:7 tn Heb “and shame covers my face.”
  17. Psalm 69:8 tn Heb “and I am estranged to my brothers, and a foreigner to the sons of my mother.”
  18. Psalm 69:9 tn Or “for.” This verse explains that the psalmist’s suffering is due to his allegiance to God.
  19. Psalm 69:9 tn Or “devotion to.”
  20. Psalm 69:9 sn God’s house, the temple, here represents by metonymy God himself.
  21. Psalm 69:9 tn Heb “the insults of those who insult you fall upon me.”sn Jn 2:17 applies the first half of this verse to Jesus’ ministry in the context of John’s account of Jesus cleansing the temple.
  22. Psalm 69:10 sn Fasting was a practice of mourners. By refraining from normal activities such as eating food, the mourner demonstrated the sincerity of his sorrow.
  23. Psalm 69:10 tn Heb “and it becomes insults to me.”
  24. Psalm 69:11 tn Heb “and I am an object of ridicule to them.”
  25. Psalm 69:12 tn Heb “the mocking songs of the drinkers of beer.”
  26. Psalm 69:13 tn Heb “as for me, [may] my prayer be to you, O Lord, [in] a time of favor.”
  27. Psalm 69:13 tn Heb “O God, in the abundance of your loyal love, answer me in the faithfulness of your deliverance.”
  28. Psalm 69:14 tn Heb “let me be delivered.”
  29. Psalm 69:15 tn Heb “well,” which here symbolizes the place of the dead (cf. Ps 55:23).
  30. Psalm 69:15 tn Heb “do not let the well close its mouth upon me.”
  31. Psalm 69:16 tn Or “pleasant”; or “desirable.”
  32. Psalm 69:17 tn Heb “do not hide your face from.” The Hebrew idiom “hide the face” can (1) mean “ignore” (see Pss 10:11; 13:1; 51:9) or (2) carry the stronger idea of “reject” (see Pss 30:7; 88:14).
  33. Psalm 69:17 tn Or “quickly.”
  34. Psalm 69:18 tn Heb “come near my life and redeem it.” The verb “redeem” casts the Lord in the role of a leader who protects members of his extended family in times of need and crisis (see Ps 19:14).
  35. Psalm 69:19 tn Heb “before you [are] all my enemies.”
  36. Psalm 69:20 tn Heb “break my heart.” The “heart” is viewed here as the origin of the psalmist’s emotions.
  37. Psalm 69:20 tn The verb form appears to be a Qal preterite from an otherwise unattested root נוּשׁ (nush), which some consider an alternate form of אָנַשׁ (ʾanash, “be weak; be sick”; see BDB 60 s.v. I אָנַשׁ). Perhaps the form should be emended to a Niphal, וָאֵאָנְשָׁה (vaʾeʾaneshah, “and I am sick”). The Niphal of אָנַשׁ occurs in 2 Sam 12:15, where it is used to describe David’s sick child.
  38. Psalm 69:20 tn Heb “wait.”
  39. Psalm 69:20 tn Heb “and I wait for sympathy, but there is none.” The form נוּד (nud) is an infinitive functioning as a verbal noun:, “sympathizing.” Some suggest emending the form to a participle נָד (nad, “one who shows sympathy”). The verb נוּד (nud) also has the nuance “show sympathy” in Job 2:11; 42:11 and Isa 51:19.
  40. Psalm 69:21 tn According to BDB 912 s.v. II רֹאשׁ the term can mean “a bitter and poisonous plant.”
  41. Psalm 69:21 sn John 19:28-30 appears to understand Jesus’ experience on the cross as a fulfillment of this passage (or Ps 22:15). See the study note on the word “thirsty” in John 19:28.
  42. Psalm 69:22 tc Heb “and to the friends for a snare.” The plural of שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) is used in Ps 55:20 of one’s “friends.” If the reading of the MT is retained here, the term depicts the psalmist’s enemies as a close-knit group of friends who are bound together by their hatred for the psalmist. Some prefer to revocalize the text as וּלְשִׁלּוּמִים (uleshillumim, “and for retribution”). In this case the noun stands parallel to פַּח (pakh, “trap”) and מוֹקֵשׁ (moqesh, “snare”), and one might translate, “may their dining table become a trap before them, [a means of] retribution and a snare” (cf. NIV).
  43. Psalm 69:23 tn Heb “may their eyes be darkened from seeing.”
  44. Psalm 69:23 tn Heb “make their hips shake continually.”
  45. Psalm 69:24 tn Heb “anger.” “Anger” here refers metonymically to divine judgment, which is the practical effect of God’s anger.
  46. Psalm 69:24 tn Heb “the rage of your anger.” The phrase “rage of your anger” employs an appositional genitive. Synonyms are joined in a construct relationship to emphasize the single idea. For a detailed discussion of the grammatical point with numerous examples, see Y. Avishur, “Pairs of Synonymous Words in the Construct State (and in Appositional Hendiadys) in Biblical Hebrew,” Semitics 2 (1971), 17-81.
  47. Psalm 69:25 tn Heb “in their tents may there not be one who dwells.”sn In Acts 1:20 Peter applies the language of this verse to Judas’ experience. By changing the pronouns from plural to singular, he is able to apply the ancient curse, pronounced against the psalmist’s enemies, to Judas in particular.
  48. Psalm 69:26 tn Or “persecute”; Heb “chase.”
  49. Psalm 69:26 tn Heb “for you, the one whom you strike, they chase.”
  50. Psalm 69:26 tn Heb “they announce the pain of your wounded ones” (i.e., “the ones whom you wounded,” as the parallel line makes clear).sn The psalmist is innocent of the false charges made by his enemies (v. 4), but he is also aware of his sinfulness (v. 5) and admits that he experiences divine discipline (v. 26) despite his devotion to God (v. 9). Here he laments that his enemies take advantage of such divine discipline by harassing and slandering him. They “kick him while he’s down,” as the expression goes.
  51. Psalm 69:27 tn Heb “place sin upon their sin.”
  52. Psalm 69:27 tn Heb “let them not come into your vindication.”
  53. Psalm 69:28 tn Heb “let them be wiped out of the scroll of the living.”sn The phrase the scroll of the living occurs only here in the OT. It pictures a scroll or census list containing the names of the citizens of a community. When an individual died, that person’s name was removed from the list. So this curse is a very vivid way of asking that the enemies die.
  54. Psalm 69:28 tn Heb “and with the godly let them not be written.”sn Do not let their names be listed with the godly. This curse pictures a scroll in which God records the names of his loyal followers. The psalmist makes the point that his enemies have no right to be included in this list of the godly.
  55. Psalm 69:29 tn Heb “your deliverance, O God, may it protect me.”
  56. Psalm 69:30 tn Heb “I will praise the name of God with a song.”
  57. Psalm 69:30 tn Heb “I will magnify him with thanks.”
  58. Psalm 69:32 sn You who seek God refers to those who seek to have a relationship with God by obeying and worshiping him (see Ps 53:2).
  59. Psalm 69:32 tn Heb “may your heart[s] live.” See Ps 22:26.
  60. Psalm 69:33 tn Heb “his prisoners he does not despise.”
  61. Psalm 69:35 tn Heb “they”; the referent (God’s people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  62. Psalm 69:35 tn Heb “it.” The third feminine singular pronominal suffix probably refers to “Zion” (see Pss 48:12; 102:14); thus the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  63. Psalm 69:36 tn Heb “the lovers of his name.” The phrase refers to those who are loyal to God (cf. v. 35). See Pss 5:11; 119:132; Isa 56:6.
  64. Psalm 69:36 sn Verses 35-36 appear to be an addition to the psalm from the time of the exile. The earlier lament reflects an individual’s situation, while these verses seem to reflect a communal application of it.