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Book two (Psalms 42–72)

Psalm 42

For the choir director: A psalm[a] of the descendants of Korah.

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Psalm 43

Declare me innocent, O God!
    Defend me against these ungodly people.
    Rescue me from these unjust liars.
For you are God, my only safe haven.
    Why have you tossed me aside?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?
Send out your light and your truth;
    let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you live.
There I will go to the altar of God,
    to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
    O God, my God!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Psalm 44

For the choir director: A psalm[b] of the descendants of Korah.

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
    our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
    in days long ago:
You drove out the pagan nations by your power
    and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
    and set our ancestors free.
They did not conquer the land with their swords;
    it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
    and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
    for you loved them.

You are my King and my God.
    You command victories for Israel.[c]
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
    only in your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow;
    I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
    you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long
    and constantly praise your name. Interlude

But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor.
    You no longer lead our armies to battle.
10 You make us retreat from our enemies
    and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
11 You have butchered us like sheep
    and scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your precious people for a pittance,
    making nothing on the sale.
13 You let our neighbors mock us.
    We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us the butt of their jokes;
    they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
    shame is written across our faces.
16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
    All we see are our vengeful enemies.

17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
    We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
    We have not strayed from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
    You have covered us with darkness and death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21 God would surely have known it,
    for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22 But for your sake we are killed every day;
    we are being slaughtered like sheep.

23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you look the other way?
    Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25 We collapse in the dust,
    lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us!
    Ransom us because of your unfailing love.

Psalm 45

For the choir director: A love song to be sung to the tune “Lilies.” A psalm[d] of the descendants of Korah.

Beautiful words stir my heart.
    I will recite a lovely poem about the king,
    for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.

You are the most handsome of all.
    Gracious words stream from your lips.
    God himself has blessed you forever.
Put on your sword, O mighty warrior!
    You are so glorious, so majestic!
In your majesty, ride out to victory,
    defending truth, humility, and justice.
    Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!
Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts.
    The nations fall beneath your feet.

Your throne, O God,[e] endures forever and ever.
    You rule with a scepter of justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
    Therefore God, your God, has anointed you,
    pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.
Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes.
    In ivory palaces the music of strings entertains you.
Kings’ daughters are among your noble women.
    At your right side stands the queen,
    wearing jewelry of finest gold from Ophir!

10 Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
    Forget your people and your family far away.
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
    honor him, for he is your lord.
12 The princess of Tyre[f] will shower you with gifts.
    The wealthy will beg your favor.
13 The bride, a princess, looks glorious
    in her golden gown.
14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king,
    accompanied by her bridesmaids.
15 What a joyful and enthusiastic procession
    as they enter the king’s palace!

16 Your sons will become kings like their father.
    You will make them rulers over many lands.
17 I will bring honor to your name in every generation.
    Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.

Psalm 46

For the choir director: A song of the descendants of Korah, to be sung by soprano voices.[g]

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
    and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
    Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude

A river brings joy to the city of our God,
    the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
    From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos,
    and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
    and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel[h] is our fortress. Interlude

Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
    See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
    He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude

Psalm 47

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

Come, everyone! Clap your hands!
    Shout to God with joyful praise!
For the Lord Most High is awesome.
    He is the great King of all the earth.
He subdues the nations before us,
    putting our enemies beneath our feet.
He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance,
    the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves. Interlude

God has ascended with a mighty shout.
    The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
    sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King over all the earth.
    Praise him with a psalm.[i]
God reigns above the nations,
    sitting on his holy throne.
The rulers of the world have gathered together
    with the people of the God of Abraham.
For all the kings of the earth belong to God.
    He is highly honored everywhere.

Psalm 48

A song. A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

How great is the Lord,
    how deserving of praise,
in the city of our God,
    which sits on his holy mountain!
It is high and magnificent;
    the whole earth rejoices to see it!
Mount Zion, the holy mountain,[j]
    is the city of the great King!
God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers,
    revealing himself as its defender.

The kings of the earth joined forces
    and advanced against the city.
But when they saw it, they were stunned;
    they were terrified and ran away.
They were gripped with terror
    and writhed in pain like a woman in labor.
You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish
    shattered by a powerful east wind.

We had heard of the city’s glory,
    but now we have seen it ourselves—
    the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
It is the city of our God;
    he will make it safe forever. Interlude

O God, we meditate on your unfailing love
    as we worship in your Temple.
10 As your name deserves, O God,
    you will be praised to the ends of the earth.
    Your strong right hand is filled with victory.
11 Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice.
    Let all the towns of Judah be glad
    because of your justice.

12 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.[k]
    Walk around and count the many towers.
13 Take note of the fortified walls,
    and tour all the citadels,
that you may describe them
    to future generations.
14 For that is what God is like.
    He is our God forever and ever,
    and he will guide us until we die.

Psalm 49

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

Listen to this, all you people!
    Pay attention, everyone in the world!
High and low,
    rich and poor—listen!
For my words are wise,
    and my thoughts are filled with insight.
I listen carefully to many proverbs
    and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.

Why should I fear when trouble comes,
    when enemies surround me?
They trust in their wealth
    and boast of great riches.
Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death[l]
    by paying a ransom to God.
Redemption does not come so easily,
    for no one can ever pay enough
to live forever
    and never see the grave.

10 Those who are wise must finally die,
    just like the foolish and senseless,
    leaving all their wealth behind.
11 The grave[m] is their eternal home,
    where they will stay forever.
They may name their estates after themselves,
12     but their fame will not last.
    They will die, just like animals.
13 This is the fate of fools,
    though they are remembered as being wise.[n] Interlude

14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave,[o]
    where death will be their shepherd.
In the morning the godly will rule over them.
    Their bodies will rot in the grave,
    far from their grand estates.
15 But as for me, God will redeem my life.
    He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude

16 So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich
    and their homes become ever more splendid.
17 For when they die, they take nothing with them.
    Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.
18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate
    and are applauded for their success.
19 But they will die like all before them
    and never again see the light of day.
20 People who boast of their wealth don’t understand;
    they will die, just like animals.

Psalm 50

A psalm of Asaph.

The Lord, the Mighty One, is God,
    and he has spoken;
he has summoned all humanity
    from where the sun rises to where it sets.
From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines in glorious radiance.
Our God approaches,
    and he is not silent.
Fire devours everything in his way,
    and a great storm rages around him.
He calls on the heavens above and earth below
    to witness the judgment of his people.
“Bring my faithful people to me—
    those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.”
Then let the heavens proclaim his justice,
    for God himself will be the judge. Interlude

“O my people, listen as I speak.
    Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
    I am God, your God!
I have no complaint about your sacrifices
    or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
But I do not need the bulls from your barns
    or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
    and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird on the mountains,
    and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for all the world is mine and everything in it.
13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
    Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.”

16 But God says to the wicked:
“Why bother reciting my decrees
    and pretending to obey my covenant?
17 For you refuse my discipline
    and treat my words like trash.
18 When you see thieves, you approve of them,
    and you spend your time with adulterers.
19 Your mouth is filled with wickedness,
    and your tongue is full of lies.
20 You sit around and slander your brother—
    your own mother’s son.
21 While you did all this, I remained silent,
    and you thought I didn’t care.
But now I will rebuke you,
    listing all my charges against you.
22 Repent, all of you who forget me,
    or I will tear you apart,
    and no one will help you.
23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
    If you keep to my path,
    I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

Psalm 51

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
    it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is just.[p]
For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,[q]
    teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins,[r] and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
    Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit[s] from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
    and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
    then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
    that my mouth may praise you.

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
    You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
    with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
    Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

Psalm 52

For the choir director: A psalm[t] of David, regarding the time Doeg the Edomite said to Saul, “David has gone to see Ahimelech.”

Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior?
    Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?
All day long you plot destruction.
    Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
    you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good
    and lies more than truth. Interlude

You love to destroy others with your words,
    you liar!
But God will strike you down once and for all.
    He will pull you from your home
    and uproot you from the land of the living. Interlude

The righteous will see it and be amazed.
    They will laugh and say,
“Look what happens to mighty warriors
    who do not trust in God.
They trust their wealth instead
    and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
    I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.

Psalm 53

For the choir director: A meditation; a psalm[u] of David.

Only fools say in their hearts,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
    not one of them does good!

God looks down from heaven
    on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
    if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
    all have become corrupt.[v]
No one does good,
    not a single one!

Will those who do evil never learn?
    They eat up my people like bread
    and wouldn’t think of praying to God.
Terror will grip them,
    terror like they have never known before.
God will scatter the bones of your enemies.
    You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
    When God restores his people,
    Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

Psalm 54

For the choir director: A psalm[w] of David, regarding the time the Ziphites came and said to Saul, “We know where David is hiding.” To be accompanied by stringed instruments.

Come with great power, O God, and rescue me!
    Defend me with your might.
Listen to my prayer, O God.
    Pay attention to my plea.
For strangers are attacking me;
    violent people are trying to kill me.
    They care nothing for God. Interlude

But God is my helper.
    The Lord keeps me alive!
May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them.
    Do as you promised and put an end to them.

I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you;
    I will praise your name, O Lord,
    for it is good.
For you have rescued me from my troubles
    and helped me to triumph over my enemies.

Psalm 55

For the choir director: A psalm[x] of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

Listen to my prayer, O God.
    Do not ignore my cry for help!
Please listen and answer me,
    for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
My enemies shout at me,
    making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me
    and angrily hunt me down.

My heart pounds in my chest.
    The terror of death assaults me.
Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
    and I can’t stop shaking.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
    then I would fly away and rest!
I would fly far away
    to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude
How quickly I would escape—
    far from this wild storm of hatred.

Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans,
    for I see violence and conflict in the city.
10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,
    but the real danger is wickedness within the city.
11 Everything is falling apart;
    threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.

12 It is not an enemy who taunts me—
    I could bear that.
It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—
    I could have hidden from them.
13 Instead, it is you—my equal,
    my companion and close friend.
14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed
    as we walked together to the house of God.

15 Let death stalk my enemies;
    let the grave[y] swallow them alive,
    for evil makes its home within them.

16 But I will call on God,
    and the Lord will rescue me.
17 Morning, noon, and night
    I cry out in my distress,
    and the Lord hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe
    from the battle waged against me,
    though many still oppose me.
19 God, who has ruled forever,
    will hear me and humble them. Interlude
For my enemies refuse to change their ways;
    they do not fear God.

20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends;
    he broke his promises.
21 His words are as smooth as butter,
    but in his heart is war.
His words are as soothing as lotion,
    but underneath are daggers!

22 Give your burdens to the Lord,
    and he will take care of you.
    He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

23 But you, O God, will send the wicked
    down to the pit of destruction.
Murderers and liars will die young,
    but I am trusting you to save me.

Psalm 56

For the choir director: A psalm[z] of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath. To be sung to the tune “Dove on Distant Oaks.”

O God, have mercy on me,
    for people are hounding me.
    My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
    and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
    I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
    I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?

They are always twisting what I say;
    they spend their days plotting to harm me.
They come together to spy on me—
    watching my every step, eager to kill me.
Don’t let them get away with their wickedness;
    in your anger, O God, bring them down.

You keep track of all my sorrows.[aa]
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
    This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
    yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?

12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
    and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
13 For you have rescued me from death;
    you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
    in your life-giving light.

Psalm 57

For the choir director: A psalm[ab] of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
    I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
    until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,[ac]
    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
    disgracing those who hound me. Interlude
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

I am surrounded by fierce lions
    who greedily devour human prey—
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
    and whose tongues cut like swords.

Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

My enemies have set a trap for me.
    I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
    but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude

My heart is confident in you, O God;
    my heart is confident.
    No wonder I can sing your praises!
Wake up, my heart!
    Wake up, O lyre and harp!
    I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
    I will sing your praises among the nations.
10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
    Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
    May your glory shine over all the earth.

Psalm 58

For the choir director: A psalm[ad] of David, to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

Justice—do you rulers[ae] know the meaning of the word?
    Do you judge the people fairly?
No! You plot injustice in your hearts.
    You spread violence throughout the land.
These wicked people are born sinners;
    even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.
They spit venom like deadly snakes;
    they are like cobras that refuse to listen,
ignoring the tunes of the snake charmers,
    no matter how skillfully they play.

Break off their fangs, O God!
    Smash the jaws of these lions, O Lord!
May they disappear like water into thirsty ground.
    Make their weapons useless in their hands.[af]
May they be like snails that dissolve into slime,
    like a stillborn child who will never see the sun.
God will sweep them away, both young and old,
    faster than a pot heats over burning thorns.

10 The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged.
    They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then at last everyone will say,
    “There truly is a reward for those who live for God;
    surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.”

Psalm 59

For the choir director: A psalm[ag] of David, regarding the time Saul sent soldiers to watch David’s house in order to kill him. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

Rescue me from my enemies, O God.
    Protect me from those who have come to destroy me.
Rescue me from these criminals;
    save me from these murderers.
They have set an ambush for me.
    Fierce enemies are out there waiting, Lord,
    though I have not sinned or offended them.
I have done nothing wrong,
    yet they prepare to attack me.
    Wake up! See what is happening and help me!
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel,
    wake up and punish those hostile nations.
    Show no mercy to wicked traitors. Interlude

They come out at night,
    snarling like vicious dogs
    as they prowl the streets.
Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths;
    their words cut like swords.
    “After all, who can hear us?” they sneer.
But Lord, you laugh at them.
    You scoff at all the hostile nations.
You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me,
    for you, O God, are my fortress.
10 In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me.
    He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.

11 Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons;
    stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees,
    O Lord our shield.
12 Because of the sinful things they say,
    because of the evil that is on their lips,
let them be captured by their pride,
    their curses, and their lies.
13 Destroy them in your anger!
    Wipe them out completely!
Then the whole world will know
    that God reigns in Israel.[ah] Interlude

14 My enemies come out at night,
    snarling like vicious dogs
    as they prowl the streets.
15 They scavenge for food
    but go to sleep unsatisfied.[ai]

16 But as for me, I will sing about your power.
    Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
    a place of safety when I am in distress.
17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
    for you, O God, are my refuge,
    the God who shows me unfailing love.

Psalm 60

For the choir director: A psalm[aj] of David useful for teaching, regarding the time David fought Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah, and Joab returned and killed 12,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. To be sung to the tune “Lily of the Testimony.”

You have rejected us, O God, and broken our defenses.
    You have been angry with us; now restore us to your favor.
You have shaken our land and split it open.
    Seal the cracks, for the land trembles.
You have been very hard on us,
    making us drink wine that sent us reeling.
But you have raised a banner for those who fear you—
    a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude

Now rescue your beloved people.
    Answer and save us by your power.
God has promised this by his holiness[ak]:
“I will divide up Shechem with joy.
    I will measure out the valley of Succoth.
Gilead is mine,
    and Manasseh, too.
Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors,
    and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings.
But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant,
    and I will wipe my feet on Edom
    and shout in triumph over Philistia.”

Who will bring me into the fortified city?
    Who will bring me victory over Edom?
10 Have you rejected us, O God?
    Will you no longer march with our armies?
11 Oh, please help us against our enemies,
    for all human help is useless.
12 With God’s help we will do mighty things,
    for he will trample down our foes.

Psalm 61

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

O God, listen to my cry!
    Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
    I cry to you for help
    when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,
    a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
    safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude

For you have heard my vows, O God.
    You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.
Add many years to the life of the king!
    May his years span the generations!
May he reign under God’s protection forever.
    May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.
Then I will sing praises to your name forever
    as I fulfill my vows each day.

Psalm 62

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.

I wait quietly before God,
    for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will never be shaken.

So many enemies against one man—
    all of them trying to kill me.
To them I’m just a broken-down wall
    or a tottering fence.
They plan to topple me from my high position.
    They delight in telling lies about me.
They praise me to my face
    but curse me in their hearts. Interlude

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge. Interlude

Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind,
    and the powerful are not what they appear to be.
If you weigh them on the scales,
    together they are lighter than a breath of air.

10 Don’t make your living by extortion
    or put your hope in stealing.
And if your wealth increases,
    don’t make it the center of your life.

11 God has spoken plainly,
    and I have heard it many times:
Power, O God, belongs to you;
12     unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.
Surely you repay all people
    according to what they have done.

Psalm 63

A psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.

I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.

But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
    They will go down into the depths of the earth.
10 They will die by the sword
    and become the food of jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God.
    All who swear to tell the truth will praise him,
    while liars will be silenced.

Psalm 64

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O God, listen to my complaint.
    Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.
Hide me from the plots of this evil mob,
    from this gang of wrongdoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
    and aim their bitter words like arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent,
    attacking suddenly and fearlessly.
They encourage each other to do evil
    and plan how to set their traps in secret.
    “Who will ever notice?” they ask.
As they plot their crimes, they say,
    “We have devised the perfect plan!”
    Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning.

But God himself will shoot them with his arrows,
    suddenly striking them down.
Their own tongues will ruin them,
    and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
Then everyone will be afraid;
    they will proclaim the mighty acts of God
    and realize all the amazing things he does.
10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord
    and find shelter in him.
And those who do what is right
    will praise him.

Psalm 65

For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

What mighty praise, O God,
    belongs to you in Zion.
We will fulfill our vows to you,
    for you answer our prayers.
    All of us must come to you.
Though we are overwhelmed by our sins,
    you forgive them all.
What joy for those you choose to bring near,
    those who live in your holy courts.
What festivities await us
    inside your holy Temple.

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
    O God our savior.
You are the hope of everyone on earth,
    even those who sail on distant seas.
You formed the mountains by your power
    and armed yourself with mighty strength.
You quieted the raging oceans
    with their pounding waves
    and silenced the shouting of the nations.
Those who live at the ends of the earth
    stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
    you inspire shouts of joy.

You take care of the earth and water it,
    making it rich and fertile.
The river of God has plenty of water;
    it provides a bountiful harvest of grain,
    for you have ordered it so.
10 You drench the plowed ground with rain,
    melting the clods and leveling the ridges.
You soften the earth with showers
    and bless its abundant crops.
11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
    even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture,
    and the hillsides blossom with joy.
13 The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep,
    and the valleys are carpeted with grain.
    They all shout and sing for joy!

Psalm 66

For the choir director: A song. A psalm.

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
    Sing about the glory of his name!
    Tell the world how glorious he is.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.
Everything on earth will worship you;
    they will sing your praises,
    shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude

Come and see what our God has done,
    what awesome miracles he performs for people!
He made a dry path through the Red Sea,[al]
    and his people went across on foot.
    There we rejoiced in him.
For by his great power he rules forever.
    He watches every movement of the nations;
    let no rebel rise in defiance. Interlude

Let the whole world bless our God
    and loudly sing his praises.
Our lives are in his hands,
    and he keeps our feet from stumbling.
10 You have tested us, O God;
    you have purified us like silver.
11 You captured us in your net
    and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.
12 Then you put a leader over us.[am]
    We went through fire and flood,
    but you brought us to a place of great abundance.

13 Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings
    to fulfill the vows I made to you—
14 yes, the sacred vows that I made
    when I was in deep trouble.
15 That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you—
    the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma,
    and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude

16 Come and listen, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell you what he did for me.
17 For I cried out to him for help,
    praising him as I spoke.
18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
19 But God did listen!
    He paid attention to my prayer.
20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
    or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

Psalm 67

For the choir director: A song. A psalm, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

May God be merciful and bless us.
    May his face smile with favor on us. Interlude

May your ways be known throughout the earth,
    your saving power among people everywhere.
May the nations praise you, O God.
    Yes, may all the nations praise you.
Let the whole world sing for joy,
    because you govern the nations with justice
    and guide the people of the whole world. Interlude

May the nations praise you, O God.
    Yes, may all the nations praise you.
Then the earth will yield its harvests,
    and God, our God, will richly bless us.
Yes, God will bless us,
    and people all over the world will fear him.

Psalm 68

For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.
    Let those who hate God run for their lives.
Blow them away like smoke.
    Melt them like wax in a fire.
    Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
But let the godly rejoice.
    Let them be glad in God’s presence.
    Let them be filled with joy.
Sing praises to God and to his name!
    Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.[an]
His name is the Lord
    rejoice in his presence!

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
    this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
    he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

O God, when you led your people out from Egypt,
    when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude
the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain
    before you, the God of Sinai,
    before God, the God of Israel.
You sent abundant rain, O God,
    to refresh the weary land.
10 There your people finally settled,
    and with a bountiful harvest, O God,
    you provided for your needy people.

11 The Lord gives the word,
    and a great army[ao] brings the good news.
12 Enemy kings and their armies flee,
    while the women of Israel divide the plunder.
13 Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures—
    doves with wings of silver
    and feathers of gold.
14 The Almighty scattered the enemy kings
    like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon.

15 The mountains of Bashan are majestic,
    with many peaks stretching high into the sky.
16 Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains,
    at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live,
    where the Lord himself will live forever?

17 Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots,
    the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary.
18 When you ascended to the heights,
    you led a crowd of captives.
You received gifts from the people,
    even from those who rebelled against you.
    Now the Lord God will live among us there.

19 Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
    For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude
20 Our God is a God who saves!
    The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death.

21 But God will smash the heads of his enemies,
    crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways.
22 The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan;
    I will bring them up from the depths of the sea.
23 You, my people, will wash[ap] your feet in their blood,
    and even your dogs will get their share!”

24 Your procession has come into view, O God—
    the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary.
25 Singers are in front, musicians behind;
    between them are young women playing tambourines.
26 Praise God, all you people of Israel;
    praise the Lord, the source of Israel’s life.
27 Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way.
    Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah
    and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali.

28 Summon your might, O God.[aq]
    Display your power, O God, as you have in the past.
29 The kings of the earth are bringing tribute
    to your Temple in Jerusalem.
30 Rebuke these enemy nations—
    these wild animals lurking in the reeds,
    this herd of bulls among the weaker calves.
Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute.
    Scatter the nations that delight in war.
31 Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals[ar];
    let Ethiopia[as] bring tribute to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth.
    Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude
33 Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens,
    his mighty voice thundering from the sky.
34 Tell everyone about God’s power.
    His majesty shines down on Israel;
    his strength is mighty in the heavens.
35 God is awesome in his sanctuary.
    The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

Psalm 69

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Lilies.”

Save me, O God,
    for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
    I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
    and the floods overwhelm me.
I am exhausted from crying for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
    waiting for my God to help me.
Those who hate me without cause
    outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
    demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.

O God, you know how foolish I am;
    my sins cannot be hidden from you.
Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
    O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,
    O God of Israel.
For I endure insults for your sake;
    humiliation is written all over my face.
Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me;
    they treat me like a stranger.

Passion for your house has consumed me,
    and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
    they scoff at me.
11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow,
    they make fun of me.
12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip,
    and all the drunks sing about me.

13 But I keep praying to you, Lord,
    hoping this time you will show me favor.
In your unfailing love, O God,
    answer my prayer with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mud;
    don’t let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
    and pull me from these deep waters.
15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me,
    or the deep waters swallow me,
    or the pit of death devour me.

16 Answer my prayers, O Lord,
    for your unfailing love is wonderful.
Take care of me,
    for your mercy is so plentiful.
17 Don’t hide from your servant;
    answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!
18 Come and redeem me;
    free me from my enemies.

19 You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace.
    You see all that my enemies are doing.
20 Their insults have broken my heart,
    and I am in despair.
If only one person would show some pity;
    if only one would turn and comfort me.
21 But instead, they give me poison[at] for food;
    they offer me sour wine for my thirst.

22 Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare
    and their prosperity become a trap.[au]
23 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
    and make their bodies shake continually.[av]
24 Pour out your fury on them;
    consume them with your burning anger.
25 Let their homes become desolate
    and their tents be deserted.
26 To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury;
    they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
27 Pile their sins up high,
    and don’t let them go free.
28 Erase their names from the Book of Life;
    don’t let them be counted among the righteous.

29 I am suffering and in pain.
    Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.

30 Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
    and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
    more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
    Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
    he does not despise his imprisoned people.

34 Praise him, O heaven and earth,
    the seas and all that move in them.
35 For God will save Jerusalem[aw]
    and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there
    and settle in their own land.
36 The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land,
    and those who love him will live there in safety.

Psalm 70

For the choir director: A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.

Please, God, rescue me!
    Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
May those who try to kill me
    be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
    be turned back in disgrace.
Let them be horrified by their shame,
    for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
But may all who search for you
    be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
    repeatedly shout, “God is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    please hurry to my aid, O God.
You are my helper and my savior;
    O Lord, do not delay.

Psalm 71

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
    don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me and rescue me,
    for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me,
    and set me free.
Be my rock of safety
    where I can always hide.
Give the order to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked,
    from the clutches of cruel oppressors.
O Lord, you alone are my hope.
    I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.
Yes, you have been with me from birth;
    from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.
    No wonder I am always praising you!

My life is an example to many,
    because you have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising you;
    I declare your glory all day long.
And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside.
    Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing.
10 For my enemies are whispering against me.
    They are plotting together to kill me.
11 They say, “God has abandoned him.
    Let’s go and get him,
    for no one will help him now.”

12 O God, don’t stay away.
    My God, please hurry to help me.
13 Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers.
    Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me.
14 But I will keep on hoping for your help;
    I will praise you more and more.
15 I will tell everyone about your righteousness.
    All day long I will proclaim your saving power,
    though I am not skilled with words.[ax]
16 I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord.
    I will tell everyone that you alone are just.

17 O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood,
    and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.
18 Now that I am old and gray,
    do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
    your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.
    You have done such wonderful things.
    Who can compare with you, O God?
20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
    but you will restore me to life again
    and lift me up from the depths of the earth.
21 You will restore me to even greater honor
    and comfort me once again.

22 Then I will praise you with music on the harp,
    because you are faithful to your promises, O my God.
I will sing praises to you with a lyre,
    O Holy One of Israel.
23 I will shout for joy and sing your praises,
    for you have ransomed me.
24 I will tell about your righteous deeds
    all day long,
for everyone who tried to hurt me
    has been shamed and humiliated.

Psalm 72

A psalm of Solomon.

Give your love of justice to the king, O God,
    and righteousness to the king’s son.
Help him judge your people in the right way;
    let the poor always be treated fairly.
May the mountains yield prosperity for all,
    and may the hills be fruitful.
Help him to defend the poor,
    to rescue the children of the needy,
    and to crush their oppressors.
May they fear you[ay] as long as the sun shines,
    as long as the moon remains in the sky.
    Yes, forever!

May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain on freshly cut grass,
    like the showers that water the earth.
May all the godly flourish during his reign.
    May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more.
May he reign from sea to sea,
    and from the Euphrates River[az] to the ends of the earth.
Desert nomads will bow before him;
    his enemies will fall before him in the dust.
10 The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands
    will bring him tribute.
The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba
    will bring him gifts.
11 All kings will bow before him,
    and all nations will serve him.

12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;
    he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.
13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy,
    and he will rescue them.
14 He will redeem them from oppression and violence,
    for their lives are precious to him.

15 Long live the king!
    May the gold of Sheba be given to him.
May the people always pray for him
    and bless him all day long.
16 May there be abundant grain throughout the land,
    flourishing even on the hilltops.
May the fruit trees flourish like the trees of Lebanon,
    and may the people thrive like grass in a field.
17 May the king’s name endure forever;
    may it continue as long as the sun shines.
May all nations be blessed through him
    and bring him praise.

18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel,
    who alone does such wonderful things.
19 Praise his glorious name forever!
    Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and amen!

20 (This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)

Footnotes

  1. 42:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  2. 44:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  3. 44:4 Hebrew for Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.
  4. 45:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  5. 45:6 Or Your divine throne.
  6. 45:12 Hebrew The daughter of Tyre.
  7. 46:Title Hebrew according to alamoth.
  8. 46:7 Hebrew of Jacob; also in 46:11. See note on 44:4.
  9. 47:7 Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  10. 48:2 Or Mount Zion, in the far north; Hebrew reads Mount Zion, the heights of Zaphon.
  11. 48:12 Hebrew Zion.
  12. 49:7 Some Hebrew manuscripts read no one can redeem the life of another.
  13. 49:11 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Their inward [thought].
  14. 49:13 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  15. 49:14 Hebrew Sheol; also in 49:14b, 15.
  16. 51:4 Greek version reads and you will win your case in court. Compare Rom 3:4.
  17. 51:6 Or from the heart; Hebrew reads in the inward parts.
  18. 51:7 Hebrew Purify me with the hyssop branch.
  19. 51:11 Or your spirit of holiness.
  20. 52:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  21. 53:Title Hebrew According to mahalath; a maskil. These may be literary or musical terms.
  22. 53:3 Greek version reads have become useless. Compare Rom 3:12.
  23. 54:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  24. 55:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
  25. 55:15 Hebrew let Sheol.
  26. 56:Title Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
  27. 56:8 Or my wanderings.
  28. 57:Title Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
  29. 57:2 Hebrew Elohim-Elyon.
  30. 58:Title Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
  31. 58:1 Or you gods.
  32. 58:7 Or Let them be trodden down and wither like grass. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  33. 59:Title Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
  34. 59:13 Hebrew in Jacob. See note on 44:4.
  35. 59:15 Or and growl if they don’t get enough.
  36. 60:Title Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
  37. 60:6 Or in his sanctuary.
  38. 66:6 Hebrew the sea.
  39. 66:12 Or You made people ride over our heads.
  40. 68:4 Or rides through the deserts.
  41. 68:11 Or a host of women.
  42. 68:23 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads shatter.
  43. 68:28 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions; most Hebrew manuscripts read Your God has commanded your strength.
  44. 68:31a Or of rich cloth.
  45. 68:31b Hebrew Cush.
  46. 69:21 Or gall.
  47. 69:22 Greek version reads Let their bountiful table set before them become a snare, / a trap that makes them think all is well. / Let their blessings cause them to stumble, / and let them get what they deserve. Compare Rom 11:9.
  48. 69:23 Greek version reads and let their backs be bent forever. Compare Rom 11:10.
  49. 69:35 Hebrew Zion.
  50. 71:15 Or though I cannot count it.
  51. 72:5 Greek version reads May they endure.
  52. 72:8 Hebrew the river.

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