To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.”[a] A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath.
56 Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me. 2 My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. 4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
5 All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life. 7 Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God!
8 You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? 9 When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. 10 In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), 11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, 13 For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?
Prayer for Safety from Enemies
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.”[b] A Michtam of David when he fled from Saul into the cave.
57 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.
2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me. 3 He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
4 My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men Who are set on fire, Whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They have dug a pit before me; Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. 10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, And Your truth unto the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
The Just Judgment of the Wicked
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.”[c] A Michtam of David.
58 Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones? Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men? 2 No, in heart you work wickedness; You weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. 4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; They are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear, 5 Which will not heed the voice of charmers, Charming ever so skillfully.
6 Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! 7 Let them flow away as waters which run continually; When he bends his bow, Let his arrows be as if cut in pieces. 8 Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes, Like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the burning thorns, He shall take them away as with a whirlwind, As in His living and burning wrath. 10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, 11 So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”
The Assured Judgment of the Wicked
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.”[d] A Michtam of David when Saul sent men, and they watched the house in order to kill him.
59 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; Defend me from those who rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, And save me from bloodthirsty men.
3 For look, they lie in wait for my life; The mighty gather against me, Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord. 4 They run and prepare themselves through no fault of mine.
Awake to help me, and behold! 5 You therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, Awake to punish all the nations; Do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah
6 At evening they return, They growl like a dog, And go all around the city. 7 Indeed, they belch with their mouth; Swords are in their lips; For they say, “Who hears?”
8 But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them; You shall have all the nations in derision. 9 I will wait for You, O You his Strength;[e] For God is my defense. 10 My God of mercy[f] shall come to meet me; God shall let me see my desire on my enemies.
11 Do not slay them, lest my people forget; Scatter them by Your power, And bring them down, O Lord our shield. 12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be taken in their pride, And for the cursing and lying which they speak. 13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, That they may not be; And let them know that God rules in Jacob To the ends of the earth. Selah
14 And at evening they return, They growl like a dog, And go all around the city. 15 They wander up and down for food, And howl[g] if they are not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble. 17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of mercy.
Urgent Prayer for the Restored Favor of God
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Lily of the Testimony.”[h] A Michtam of David. For teaching. When he fought against Mesopotamia and Syria of Zobah, and Joab returned and killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
60 O God, You have cast us off; You have broken us down; You have been displeased; Oh, restore us again! 2 You have made the earth tremble; You have broken it; Heal its breaches, for it is shaking. 3 You have shown Your people hard things; You have made us drink the wine of confusion.
4 You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah 5 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and hear me.
6 God has spoken in His holiness: “I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem And measure out the Valley of Succoth. 7 Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet for My head; Judah is My lawgiver. 8 Moab is My washpot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.”
9 Who will bring me to the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom? 10 Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? 11 Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. 12 Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.[i]
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