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Psalm 70[a]

For the music director, by David; written to get God’s attention.[b]

70 O God, please be willing to rescue me.[c]
O Lord, hurry and help me.[d]
May those who are trying to take my life
be embarrassed and ashamed.[e]
May those who want to harm me
be turned back and ashamed.[f]
May those who say, “Aha! Aha!”
be driven back[g] and disgraced.[h]
May all those who seek you be happy and rejoice in you.
May those who love to experience[i] your deliverance say continually,[j]
“May God[k] be praised!”[l]
I am oppressed and needy.[m]
O God, hurry to me.[n]
You are my helper and my deliverer.
O Lord,[o] do not delay.


  1. Psalm 70:1 sn Psalm 70. This psalm is almost identical to Ps 40:13-17. The psalmist asks for God’s help and for divine retribution against his enemies.
  2. Psalm 70:1 tn Heb “to cause to remember.” The same form, a Hiphil infinitive of זָכַר (zakhar, “remember”), also appears in the superscription of Ps 38. Some understand this in the sense of “for the memorial offering,” but it may carry the idea of bringing one’s plight to God’s attention (see P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 303).
  3. Psalm 70:1 tn Heb “O God, to rescue me.” A main verb is obviously missing. The verb רָצָה (ratsah, “be willing”) should be supplied (see Ps 40:13). Ps 40:13 uses the divine name “Lord” rather than “God.”
  4. Psalm 70:1 tn Heb “hurry to my help.” See Pss 22:19; 38:22.
  5. Psalm 70:2 tn Heb “may they be embarrassed and ashamed, the ones seeking my life.” Ps 40:14 has “together” after “ashamed,” and “to snatch it away” after “my life.”
  6. Psalm 70:2 tn The four prefixed verbal forms in this verse are understood as jussives. The psalmist is calling judgment down on his See Ps 35:4 for a similar prayer.
  7. Psalm 70:3 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive in this imprecation.
  8. Psalm 70:3 tn Heb “May they be turned back according to their shame, those who say, ‘Aha! Aha!’” Ps 40:15 has the verb “humiliated” instead of “turned back” and adds “to me” after “say.”
  9. Psalm 70:4 tn Heb “those who love,” which stands metonymically for its cause, the experience of being delivered by God.
  10. Psalm 70:4 tn The three prefixed verbal forms prior to the quotation are understood as jussives. The psalmist balances out his imprecation against his enemies with a prayer of blessing on the godly.
  11. Psalm 70:4 tn Ps 40:16 uses the divine name “Lord” here instead of “God.”
  12. Psalm 70:4 tn The prefixed verbal form is taken as a jussive, “may the Lord be magnified [in praise].” Another option is to take the verb as an imperfect, “the Lord is great.” See Ps 35:27.
  13. Psalm 70:5 sn See Pss 35:10; 37:14.
  14. Psalm 70:5 tn Ps 40:17 has “may the Lord pay attention to me.”
  15. Psalm 70:5 tn Ps 40:17 has “my God” instead of “Lord.”