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Psalm 86

Supplication for Help against Enemies

A Prayer of David.

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    listen to my cry of supplication.
In the day of my trouble I call on you,
    for you will answer me.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and bow down before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, the insolent rise up against me;
    a band of ruffians seeks my life,
    and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant;
    save the child of your serving girl.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
    so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,
    because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 86

A Prayer of David.

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me:
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my soul; for I am holy:
O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
Be merciful unto me, O Lord:
for I cry unto thee daily.
Rejoice the soul of thy servant:
for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive;
and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer;
and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee:
for thou wilt answer me.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord;
neither are there any works like unto thy works.
All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord;
and shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things:
thou art God alone.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth:
unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart:
and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
13 For great is thy mercy toward me:
and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
14 O God, the proud are risen against me,
and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul;
and have not set thee before them.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me;
give thy strength unto thy servant,
and save the son of thine handmaid.
17 Shew me a token for good;
that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed:
because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

Psalm 86[a]

A prayer of David.

86 Listen,[b] O Lord. Answer me.
For I am oppressed and needy.
Protect me,[c] for I am loyal.
You are my God; deliver your servant who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me,[d] O Lord,
for I cry out to you all day long.
Make your servant[e] glad,
for to you, O Lord, I pray.[f]
Certainly,[g] O Lord, you are kind[h] and forgiving,
and show great faithfulness to all who cry out to you.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
Pay attention to my plea for mercy.
In my time of trouble I cry out to you,
for you will answer me.
None can compare to you among the gods, O Lord.
Your exploits are incomparable.[i]
All the nations, whom you created,
will come and worship you,[j] O Lord.
They will honor your name.
10 For you are great and do amazing things.
You alone are God.
11 O Lord, teach me how you want me to live.[k]
Then I will obey your commands.[l]
Make me wholeheartedly committed to you.[m]
12 O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks with my whole heart.
I will honor your name continually.[n]
13 For you will extend your great loyal love to me,[o]
and will deliver my life[p] from the depths of Sheol.[q]
14 O God, arrogant men attack me;[r]
a gang[s] of ruthless men, who do not respect you, seek my life.[t]
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God.
You are patient[u] and demonstrate great loyal love and faithfulness.[v]
16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me.
Give your servant your strength.
Deliver this son of your female servant.[w]
17 Show me evidence of your favor.[x]
Then those who hate me will see it and be ashamed,[y]
for you, O Lord, will help me and comfort me.[z]

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 86:1 sn Psalm 86. The psalmist appeals to God’s mercy as he asks for deliverance from his enemies.
  2. Psalm 86:1 tn Heb “turn your ear.”
  3. Psalm 86:2 tn Heb “my life.”
  4. Psalm 86:3 tn Or “show me favor.”
  5. Psalm 86:4 tn Heb “the soul of your servant.”
  6. Psalm 86:4 tn Heb “I lift up my soul.”
  7. Psalm 86:5 tn Or “for.”
  8. Psalm 86:5 tn Heb “good.”
  9. Psalm 86:8 tn Heb “and there are none like your acts.”
  10. Psalm 86:9 tn Or “bow down before you.”
  11. Psalm 86:11 tn Heb “teach me your way.” The Lord’s “way” refers here to the moral principles he expects the psalmist to follow. See Pss 25:4; 27:11.
  12. Psalm 86:11 tn Heb “I will walk in your truth.” The Lord’s commandments are referred to as “truth” here because they are a trustworthy and accurate expression of the divine will. See Ps 25:5.
  13. Psalm 86:11 tn Heb “Bind my heart to the fearing of your name.” The verb translated “bind” occurs only here in the Piel stem. It appears twice in the Qal, meaning “be joined” in both cases (Gen 49:6; Isa 14:20). To “fear” God’s name means to have a healthy respect for him which in turn motivates one to obey his commands (see Pss 61:5; 102:15).
  14. Psalm 86:12 tn Or “forever.”
  15. Psalm 86:13 tn Heb “for your loyal love [is] great over me.”
  16. Psalm 86:13 tn Or “for he will have delivered my life.” The verb form indicates a future perfect here.
  17. Psalm 86:13 tn Or “lower Sheol.”
  18. Psalm 86:14 tn Heb “rise up against me.”
  19. Psalm 86:14 tn Or “assembly.”
  20. Psalm 86:14 tn Heb “seek my life and do not set you before them.” See Ps 54:3.
  21. Psalm 86:15 tn Heb “slow to anger.”
  22. Psalm 86:15 tn Heb “and great of loyal love and faithfulness.”sn The psalmist’s confession of faith in this verse echoes Exod 34:6.
  23. Psalm 86:16 tn Heb “the son of your female servant.” The phrase “son of a female servant” (see also Ps 116:16) is used of a son born to a secondary wife or concubine (Exod 23:12). In some cases the child’s father is the master of the house (see Gen 21:10, 13; Judg 9:18). The phrase may be used metaphorically and idiomatically to emphasize the psalmist’s humility before the Lord and his status as the Lord’s servant. Or it may be a reference to the psalmist’s own mother who also was a servant of the Lord.
  24. Psalm 86:17 tn Heb “Work with me a sign for good.” The expression “work a sign” also occurs in Judg 6:17.
  25. Psalm 86:17 tn After the imperative in the preceding line (“work”), the prefixed verb forms with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive indicate purpose or result.
  26. Psalm 86:17 tn The perfect verbal forms are understood here as dramatic/rhetorical, expressing the psalmist’s certitude that such a sign from the Lord will be followed by his intervention. Another option is to understand the forms as future perfects (“for you, O Lord, will have helped me and comforted me”).

Psalm 86[a]

Prayer in Time of Distress

A prayer of David.

I

Incline your ear, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and oppressed.
Preserve my life, for I am devoted;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; be gracious to me, Lord;
    to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant;
    to you, Lord, I lift up my soul.(A)
Lord, you are good and forgiving,
    most merciful to all who call on you.(B)
Lord, hear my prayer;
    listen to my cry for help.(C)
On the day of my distress I call to you,
    for you will answer me.

II

None among the gods can equal you, O Lord;
    nor can their deeds compare to yours.(D)
All the nations you have made shall come
    to bow before you, Lord,
    and give honor to your name.(E)
10 For you are great and do wondrous deeds;
    and you alone are God.

III

11 Teach me, Lord, your way
    that I may walk in your truth,(F)
    single-hearted and revering your name.
12 I will praise you with all my heart,
    glorify your name forever, Lord my God.
13 Your mercy to me is great;
    you have rescued me from the depths of Sheol.(G)
14 O God, the arrogant have risen against me;
    a ruthless band has sought my life;
    to you they pay no heed.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in mercy and truth.(H)
16 Turn to me, be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant;
    save the son of your handmaid.(I)
17 Give me a sign of your favor:
    make my enemies see, to their confusion,
    that you, Lord, help and comfort me.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 86 An individual lament. The psalmist, “poor and oppressed” (Ps 86:1), “devoted” (Ps 86:2), “your servant” (Ps 86:2, 4, 16), “rescued…from the depths of Sheol” (Ps 86:13), attacked by the ruthless (Ps 86:14), desires only God’s protection (Ps 86:1–7, 11–17).

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