1 Make a case against those who struggle with me, Eternal One. Battle against those who battle against me. 2 Be my shield and protection; stand with me and rescue me! 3 Draw the spear and javelin to meet my pursuers. Reassure my soul and say, “I will deliver you.”
4 Shame and dishonor those ruthless enemies who wish to end my life. Turn back those who conspire against me, defeated and humiliated! 5 Let them be separated from the righteous as chaff is separated from the grain, blown by the wind, driven far, far away by the Eternal’s messenger. 6 Make their way unsure and dangerously dark, a gauntlet of gloom chased through the darkness by the Eternal’s messenger.
7 For no reason at all, they set a trap for me—a net, a snare— then, without cause, they disguised a pit to capture my soul—another cowardly snare. 8 May they be surprised by their own destruction. May they become tangled in their own net and fall into the pit which they, themselves, dug.
9 When that day comes, my soul will celebrate the Eternal and be glad in His salvation. 10 Every fiber of my being[a] will shout, “Eternal One, there is none like You! You save the poor from those who try to overpower them and rescue the weak and the needy from those who steal from them.”
11 False witnesses step forward; they ask me strange questions for which I have no answers. 12 When I do good to them, they do evil to me, bringing misery to my soul. 13 When they were sick, I mourned for them and wore sackcloth; I chose to humble myself by fasting. But my prayers came back unanswered. 14 So I mourned more deeply as if I grieved for my brother or friend; I went around bowed down by sorrow, dressed in black, as if I were weeping for my mother. 15 But when I stumbled, they gathered together and celebrated my fall with joy; People attacked me when I wasn’t expecting it; they slandered me with no end. 16 Like godless mockers at a festival,[b] their words tore at me.
17 Lord, how long will You do nothing but watch? Save me from their evil assaults, plots, and plunder; rescue my life from these hungry beasts, these ruthless lions! 18 Then I will praise You and thank You at the great gathering, in the company of the entire congregation.
19 Do not allow my enemies to boast at my expense, for they despise me without any cause—[c] yet they wink at me—malicious, taunting winks. 20 Their words have no ring of peace. They plan evil rumors and incriminations against those who live peacefully in the land. 21 They speak lying accusations against me; they say, “Aha! Aha! We know what you’ve been up to. We’ve seen it with our own eyes!”
22 You have seen what’s happening, Eternal One; don’t remain silent! Lord, do not stay far away from me! 23 Wake up; come to my defense! Fight for me, my Lord and my God! 24 Pass Your judgment, Eternal One, my True God; do it by the standards of Your righteousness. Do not allow my enemies to boast over me. 25 Do not allow them to gloat over me, “Aha, we have won! We got what we wanted!” Do not allow them to brag, “We chewed him up and spit him out.”
26 Shame and confuse those who celebrate my suffering; may those who exalt themselves above me be covered with shame— wrapped in a cloak of dishonor!
27 As for those who desire my vindication, may they be joyful and glad. May they forever say, “The Eternal is indeed great! He takes pleasure when good things happen to His servant!” 28 That’s why I will speak of Your righteousness and sing praises to You all day long.
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