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Psalm 139-141 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 139

The Inescapable God

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
    I come to the end[a]—I am still with you.

19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
    and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
20 those who speak of you maliciously,
    and lift themselves up against you for evil![b]
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any wicked[c] way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.[d]

Psalm 140

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from those who are violent,
who plan evil things in their minds
    and stir up wars continually.
They make their tongue sharp as a snake’s,
    and under their lips is the venom of vipers.Selah

Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent
    who have planned my downfall.
The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
    and with cords they have spread a net,[e]
    along the road they have set snares for me.Selah

I say to the Lord, “You are my God;
    give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.”
O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer,
    you have covered my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
    do not further their evil plot.[f]Selah

Those who surround me lift up their heads;[g]
    let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10 Let burning coals fall on them!
    Let them be flung into pits, no more to rise!
11 Do not let the slanderer be established in the land;
    let evil speedily hunt down the violent!

12 I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy,
    and executes justice for the poor.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
    the upright shall live in your presence.

Psalm 141

Prayer for Preservation from Evil

A Psalm of David.

I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;
    give ear to my voice when I call to you.
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
    and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not turn my heart to any evil,
    to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with those who work iniquity;
    do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Let the righteous strike me;
    let the faithful correct me.
Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head,[h]
    for my prayer is continually[i] against their wicked deeds.
When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,
    then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.
Like a rock that one breaks apart and shatters on the land,
    so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.[j]

But my eyes are turned toward you, O God, my Lord;
    in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenseless.
Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me,
    and from the snares of evildoers.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
    while I alone escape.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:18 Or I awake
  2. Psalm 139:20 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Psalm 139:24 Heb hurtful
  4. Psalm 139:24 Or the ancient way. Compare Jer 6.16
  5. Psalm 140:5 Or they have spread cords as a net
  6. Psalm 140:8 Heb adds they are exalted
  7. Psalm 140:9 Cn Compare Gk: Heb those who surround me are uplifted in head; Heb divides verses 8 and 9 differently
  8. Psalm 141:5 Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  9. Psalm 141:5 Cn: Heb for continually and my prayer
  10. Psalm 141:7 Meaning of Heb of verses 5–7 is uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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