Psalm 12[a]

For the director of music. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;(A)
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies(B) to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.(C)

May the Lord silence all flattering lips(D)
    and every boastful tongue—(E)
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;(F)
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered(G) and the needy groan,(H)
    I will now arise,(I)” says the Lord.
    “I will protect them(J) from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,(K)
    like silver purified(L) in a crucible,(M)
    like gold[c] refined seven times.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe(N)
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,(O)
who freely strut(P) about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race.


  1. Psalm 12:1 In Hebrew texts 12:1-8 is numbered 12:2-9.
  2. Psalm 12:1 Title: Probably a musical term
  3. Psalm 12:6 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text earth

12 1-2 Quick, God, I need your helping hand!
The last decent person just went down,
All the friends I depended on gone.
Everyone talks in lie language;
Lies slide off their oily lips.
They doubletalk with forked tongues.

3-4 Slice their lips off their faces! Pull
The braggart tongues from their mouths!
I’m tired of hearing, “We can talk anyone into anything!
Our lips manage the world.”

Into the hovels of the poor,
Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks:
“I’ve had enough; I’m on my way
To heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.”

6-8 God’s words are pure words,
Pure silver words refined seven times
In the fires of his word-kiln,
Pure on earth as well as in heaven.
God, keep us safe from their lies,
From the wicked who stalk us with lies,
From the wicked who collect honors
For their wonderful lies.

Song for the New Day

For the Pure and Shining One

A song of smiting, sung for the new day by King David[a]


12 Help, Lord! Save us! For godly ones are disappearing.
    Where are the dependable, principled ones?
    They’re a vanishing breed!
Everyone lies, everyone flatters, and everyone deceives.
    Nothing but empty talk, smooth talk, and double-talk.
3–4 You will destroy every proud liar who says, “We lie all we want.
    Our words are our weapons, and we won’t be held accountable.
    Who can stop us?”
    May Yahweh cut off their twisted tongues
    and seal their lying lips.
    May they all be silenced—those who boast and brag with their
    high-minded talk.


But the Lord says, “Now I will arise!
    I will defend the poor,
    those who were plundered, the oppressed,
    and the needy who groan for help.
    I will spring into action to rescue and protect them!”
For every word Yahweh speaks is sure and reliable.
    His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful.
    It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.[b]


7–8 Lord, you will keep us safe,
    out of the reach of the wicked.
    Even though they strut and prowl,
    tolerating and celebrating what is worthless and vile,
    you will still lift up those who are yours!


  1. 12 The events surrounding this psalm could be the killing of the priests by Saul in 1 Sam. 22:17–19. Saul ordered the death of “eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.” The killing rampage continued until an entire community of priests had been slaughtered with their women and children. This great evil marked David from that day forward. The inscription found in the Septuagint is “The Eighth Psalm of David.”
  2. 12:6 The clay furnace (“crucible”) is the heart of man. We are the earthen vessels inside which God has placed his flawless words. His words test us, they try us, and they refine us, seven times over, until they are purified and assimilated into our spirits. The fire of testing purifies us as vessels to carry the Word within our hearts.