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Psalm 53-55 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 53

Denunciation of Godlessness

To the leader: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts;
    there is no one who does good.

God looks down from heaven on humankind
    to see if there are any who are wise,
    who seek after God.

They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse;
    there is no one who does good,
    no, not one.

Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
    who eat up my people as they eat bread,
    and do not call upon God?

There they shall be in great terror,
    in terror such as has not been.
For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;[a]
    they will be put to shame,[b] for God has rejected them.

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
    Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

Psalm 54

Prayer for Vindication

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “David is in hiding among us.”

Save me, O God, by your name,
    and vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
    give ear to the words of my mouth.

For the insolent have risen against me,
    the ruthless seek my life;
    they do not set God before them.Selah

But surely, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of[c] my life.
He will repay my enemies for their evil.
    In your faithfulness, put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Psalm 55

Complaint about a Friend’s Treachery

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
    do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
    because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring[d] trouble upon me,
    and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness;Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
    from the raging wind and tempest.”

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.

12 It is not enemies who taunt me—
    I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
    I could hide from them.
13 But it is you, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend,
14 with whom I kept pleasant company;
    we walked in the house of God with the throng.
15 Let death come upon them;
    let them go down alive to Sheol;
    for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

16 But I call upon God,
    and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem me unharmed
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,Selah
    will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change,
    and do not fear God.

20 My companion laid hands on a friend
    and violated a covenant with me[e]
21 with speech smoother than butter,
    but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
    but in fact were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden[f] on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
    into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
    shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 53:5 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb him who encamps against you
  2. Psalm 53:5 Gk: Heb you have put (them) to shame
  3. Psalm 54:4 Gk Syr Jerome: Heb is of those who uphold or is with those who uphold
  4. Psalm 55:3 Cn Compare Gk: Heb they cause to totter
  5. Psalm 55:20 Heb lacks with me
  6. Psalm 55:22 Or Cast what he has given you
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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