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(A)A Hymn in Time of National Trouble[a]

89 O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love;
    I will proclaim your faithfulness forever.
I know that your love will last for all time,
    that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky.
You said, “I have made a covenant with the man I chose;
    I have promised my servant David,
(B)‘A descendant of yours will always be king;
    I will preserve your dynasty forever.’”

The heavens sing of the wonderful things you do;
    the holy ones sing of your faithfulness, Lord.
No one in heaven is like you, Lord;
    none of the heavenly beings is your equal.
You are feared in the council of the holy ones;
    they all stand in awe of you.

Lord God Almighty, none is as mighty as you;
    in all things you are faithful, O Lord.
You rule over the powerful sea;
    you calm its angry waves.
10 You crushed the monster Rahab[b] and killed it;
    with your mighty strength you defeated your enemies.
11 Heaven is yours, the earth also;
    you made the world and everything in it.
12 You created the north and the south;
    Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon sing to you for joy.
13 How powerful you are!
    How great is your strength!
14 Your kingdom is founded on righteousness and justice;
    love and faithfulness are shown in all you do.

15 How happy are the people who worship you with songs,
    who live in the light of your kindness!
16 Because of you they rejoice all day long,
    and they praise you for your goodness.
17 You give us great victories;
    in your love you make us triumphant.
18 You, O Lord, chose our protector;
    you, the Holy God of Israel, gave us our king.

God's Promise to David

19 In a vision long ago you said to your faithful servants,
    “I have given help to a famous soldier;
    I have given the throne to one I chose from the people.
20 (C)I have made my servant David king
    by anointing him with holy oil.
21 My strength will always be with him,
    my power will make him strong.
22 His enemies will never succeed against him;
    the wicked will not defeat him.
23 I will crush his foes
    and kill everyone who hates him.
24 I will love him and be loyal to him;
    I will make him always victorious.
25 I will extend his kingdom
    from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates River.
26 He will say to me,
    ‘You are my father and my God;
    you are my protector and savior.’
27 (D)I will make him my first-born son,
    the greatest of all kings.
28 I will always keep my promise to him,
    and my covenant with him will last forever.
29 His dynasty will be as permanent as the sky;
    a descendant of his will always be king.

30 “But if his descendants disobey my law
    and do not live according to my commands,
31 if they disregard my instructions
    and do not keep my commandments,
32 then I will punish them for their sins;
    I will make them suffer for their wrongs.
33 But I will not stop loving David
    or fail to keep my promise to him.
34 I will not break my covenant with him
    or take back even one promise I made him.

35 “Once and for all I have promised by my holy name:
    I will never lie to David.
36 He will always have descendants,
    and I will watch over his kingdom as long as the sun shines.
37 It will be as permanent as the moon,
    that faithful witness in the sky.”

Lament over the Defeat of the King

38 But you are angry with your chosen king;
    you have deserted and rejected him.
39 You have broken your covenant with your servant
    and thrown his crown in the dirt.
40 You have torn down the walls of his city
    and left his forts in ruins.
41 All who pass by steal his belongings;
    all his neighbors laugh at him.
42 You have given the victory to his enemies;
    you have made them all happy.
43 You have made his weapons useless
    and let him be defeated in battle.
44 You have taken away his royal scepter[c]
    and knocked his throne to the ground.
45 You have made him old before his time
    and covered him with disgrace.

A Prayer for Deliverance

46 Lord, will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your anger burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my life is;
    remember that you created all of us mortal!
48 Who can live and never die?
    How can we humans keep ourselves from the grave?

49 Lord, where are the former proofs of your love?
    Where are the promises you made to David?
50 Don't forget how I, your servant, am insulted,
    how I endure all the curses[d] of the heathen.
51 Your enemies insult your chosen king, O Lord!
    They insult him wherever he goes.

52 Praise the Lord forever!

Amen! Amen!


  1. Psalm 89:1 HEBREW TITLE: A poem by Ethan the Ezrahite.
  2. Psalm 89:10 A legendary sea monster which represented the forces of chaos and evil.
  3. Psalm 89:44 Probable text royal scepter; Hebrew purity.
  4. Psalm 89:50 Probable text curses; Hebrew crowds.

Psalm 89

God’s Covenant with David

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord,[a] forever;
    with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
    your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
    and build your throne for all generations.’”Selah

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
    your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
    Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
    great and awesome[b] above all that are around him?
O Lord God of hosts,
    who is as mighty as you, O Lord?
    Your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule the raging of the sea;
    when its waves rise, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
    you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
    the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.
12 The north and the south[c]—you created them;
    Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
13 You have a mighty arm;
    strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout,
    who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;
16 they exult in your name all day long,
    and extol[d] your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength;
    by your favor our horn is exalted.
18 For our shield belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel.

19 Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said:
    “I have set the crown[e] on one who is mighty,
    I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found my servant David;
    with my holy oil I have anointed him;
21 my hand shall always remain with him;
    my arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him,
    the wicked shall not humble him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
    and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him;
    and in my name his horn shall be exalted.
25 I will set his hand on the sea
    and his right hand on the rivers.
26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’
27 I will make him the firstborn,
    the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him,
    and my covenant with him will stand firm.
29 I will establish his line forever,
    and his throne as long as the heavens endure.
30 If his children forsake my law
    and do not walk according to my ordinances,
31 if they violate my statutes
    and do not keep my commandments,
32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod
    and their iniquity with scourges;
33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love,
    or be false to my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant,
    or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
35 Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness;
    I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall continue forever,
    and his throne endure before me like the sun.
37 It shall be established forever like the moon,
    an enduring witness in the skies.”Selah

38 But now you have spurned and rejected him;
    you are full of wrath against your anointed.
39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant;
    you have defiled his crown in the dust.
40 You have broken through all his walls;
    you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
41 All who pass by plunder him;
    he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 Moreover, you have turned back the edge of his sword,
    and you have not supported him in battle.
44 You have removed the scepter from his hand,[f]
    and hurled his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth;
    you have covered him with shame.Selah

46 How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is—[g]
    for what vanity you have created all mortals!
48 Who can live and never see death?
    Who can escape the power of Sheol?Selah

49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
    which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted;
    how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples,[h]
51 with which your enemies taunt, O Lord,
    with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed.

52 Blessed be the Lord forever.
Amen and Amen.


  1. Psalm 89:1 Gk: Heb the steadfast love of the Lord
  2. Psalm 89:7 Gk Syr: Heb greatly awesome
  3. Psalm 89:12 Or Zaphon and Yamin
  4. Psalm 89:16 Cn: Heb are exalted in
  5. Psalm 89:19 Cn: Heb help
  6. Psalm 89:44 Cn: Heb removed his cleanness
  7. Psalm 89:47 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Psalm 89:50 Cn: Heb bosom all of many peoples

89 (0) A maskil of Eitan the Ezrachi:

(1) I will sing about Adonai’s acts of grace forever,
with my mouth proclaim your faithfulness to all generations;
(2) because I said, “Grace is built to last forever;
in the heavens themselves you established your faithfulness.”

(3) You said, “I made a covenant with the one I chose,
I swore to my servant David,
(4) ‘I will establish your dynasty forever,
build up your throne through all generations.’” (Selah)

(5) Let the heavens praise your wonders, Adonai,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the angels.
(6) For who in the skies can be compared with Adonai?
Which of these gods can rival Adonai,
(7) a God dreaded in the great assembly of the holy ones
and feared by all around him?

(8) Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot!
Who is as mighty as you, Yah?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
10 (9) You control the raging of the sea;
when its waves rear up, you calm them.
11 (10) You crushed Rahav like a carcass;
with your strong arm you scattered your foes.
12 (11) The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours;
you founded the world and everything in it.
13 (12) You created north and south;
Tavor and Hermon take joy in your name.

14 (13) Your arm is mighty, your hand is strong,
your right hand is lifted high.
15 (14) Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
grace and truth attend you.

16 (15) How happy are the people who know the joyful shout!
They walk in the light of your presence, Adonai.
17 (16) They rejoice in your name all day
and are lifted up by your righteousness,
18 (17) for you yourself are the strength in which they glory.
Our power grows by pleasing you,
19 (18) for our shield comes from Adonai
our king is from the Holy One of Isra’el.

20 (19) There was a time when you spoke in a vision;
you declared to your loyal [prophets],
“I have given help to a warrior,
I have raised up someone chosen from the people.
21 (20) I have found David my servant
and anointed him with my holy oil.
22 (21) My hand will always be with him,
and my arm will give him strength.
23 (22) No enemy will outwit him,
no wicked man overcome him.
24 (23) I will crush his foes before him
and strike down those who hate him.
25 (24) My faithfulness and grace will be with him;
through my name his power will grow.
26 (25) I will put his hand on the sea
and his right hand on the rivers.
27 (26) He will call to me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock of my salvation.’
28 (27) I will give him the position of firstborn,
the highest of the kings of the earth.
29 (28) I will keep my grace for him forever,
and in my covenant be faithful with him.
30 (29) I will establish his dynasty forever,
and his throne as long as the heavens last.

31 (30) “If his descendants abandon my Torah
and fail to live by my rulings,
32 (31) if they profane my regulations
and don’t obey my mitzvot,
33 (32) I will punish their disobedience with the rod
and their guilt with lashes.
34 (33) But I won’t withdraw my grace from him
or be false to my faithfulness.
35 (34) I will not profane my covenant
or change what my lips have spoken.
36 (35) I have sworn by my holiness once and for all;
I will not lie to David —
37 (36) his dynasty will last forever,
his throne like the sun before me.
38 (37) It will be established forever, like the moon,
which remains a faithful witness in the sky.” (Selah)

39 (38) But you spurned your anointed one,
rejected and vented your rage on him.
40 (39) You renounced the covenant with your servant
and defiled his crown in the dust.
41 (40) You broke through all his defenses
and left his strongholds in ruins.
42 (41) All who pass by plunder him;
he is an object of scorn to his neighbors.
43 (42) You raised up the right hand of his foes
and made all his enemies rejoice.
44 (43) You drive back his drawn sword
and fail to support him in battle.
45 (44) You brought an end to his splendor
and hurled his throne to the ground.
46 (45) You cut short the days of his youth
and covered him with shame. (Selah)

47 (46) How long, Adonai? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your fury burn like fire?
48 (47) Remember how little time I have!
Was it for no purpose that you created all humanity?
49 (48) Who can live and not see death?
Who can save himself from the power of the grave? (Selah)
50 (49) Where, Adonai, are the acts of grace you once did,
those which, in your faithfulness, you swore to David?
51 (50) Remember, Adonai, the taunts hurled at your servants,
which I carry in my heart [from] so many peoples!
52 (51) Your enemies, Adonai, have flung their taunts,
flung them in the footsteps of your anointed one.

53 (52) Blessed be Adonai forever.
Amen. Amen.

89 1-4 Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it!
    I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.
I’ll never quit telling the story of your love—
    how you built the cosmos
    and guaranteed everything in it.
Your love has always been our lives’ foundation,
    your fidelity has been the roof over our world.
You once said, “I joined forces with my chosen leader,
    I pledged my word to my servant, David, saying,
‘Everyone descending from you is guaranteed life;
    I’ll make your rule as solid and lasting as rock.’”

5-18 God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways,
    the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!
Search high and low, scan skies and land,
    you’ll find nothing and no one quite like God.
The holy angels are in awe before him;
    he looms immense and august over everyone around him.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who is like you,
    powerful and faithful from every angle?
You put the arrogant ocean in its place
    and calm its waves when they turn unruly.
You gave that old hag Egypt the back of your hand,
    you brushed off your enemies with a flick of your wrist.
You own the cosmos—you made everything in it,
    everything from atom to archangel.
You positioned the North and South Poles;
    the mountains Tabor and Hermon sing duets to you.
With your well-muscled arm and your grip of steel—
    nobody messes with you!
The Right and Justice are the roots of your rule;
    Love and Truth are its fruits.
Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
    who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.
Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
    who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet!
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
    you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!
All we are and have we owe to God,
    Holy God of Israel, our King!

19-37 A long time ago you spoke in a vision,
    you spoke to your faithful beloved:
“I’ve crowned a hero,
    I chose the best I could find;
I found David, my servant,
    poured holy oil on his head,
And I’ll keep my hand steadily on him,
    yes, I’ll stick with him through thick and thin.
No enemy will get the best of him,
    no scoundrel will do him in.
I’ll weed out all who oppose him,
    I’ll clean out all who hate him.
I’m with him for good and I’ll love him forever;
    I’ve set him on high—he’s riding high!
I’ve put Ocean in his one hand, River in the other;
    he’ll call out, ‘Oh, my Father—my God, my Rock of Salvation!’
Yes, I’m setting him apart as the First of the royal line,
    High King over all of earth’s kings.
I’ll preserve him eternally in my love,
    I’ll faithfully do all I so solemnly promised.
I’ll guarantee his family tree
    and underwrite his rule.
If his children refuse to do what I tell them,
    if they refuse to walk in the way I show them,
If they spit on the directions I give them
    and tear up the rules I post for them—
I’ll rub their faces in the dirt of their rebellion
    and make them face the music.
But I’ll never throw them out,
    never abandon or disown them.
Do you think I’d withdraw my holy promise?
    or take back words I’d already spoken?
I’ve given my word, my whole and holy word;
    do you think I would lie to David?
His family tree is here for good,
    his sovereignty as sure as the sun,
Dependable as the phases of the moon,
    inescapable as weather.”

38-52 But God, you did walk off and leave us,
    you lost your temper with the one you anointed.
You tore up the promise you made to your servant,
    you stomped his crown in the mud.
You blasted his home to kingdom come,
    reduced his city to a pile of rubble
Picked clean by wayfaring strangers,
    a joke to all the neighbors.
You declared a holiday for all his enemies,
    and they’re celebrating for all they’re worth.
Angry, you opposed him in battle,
    refused to fight on his side;
You robbed him of his splendor, humiliated this warrior,
    ground his kingly honor in the dirt.
You took the best years of his life
    and left him an impotent, ruined husk.
How long do we put up with this, God?
    Are you gone for good? Will you hold this grudge forever?
Remember my sorrow and how short life is.
    Did you create men and women for nothing but this?
We’ll see death soon enough. Everyone does.
    And there’s no back door out of hell.
So where is the love you’re so famous for, Lord?
    What happened to your promise to David?
Take a good look at your servant, dear Lord;
    I’m the butt of the jokes of all nations,
The taunting jokes of your enemies, God,
    as they dog the steps of your dear anointed.

        Blessed be God forever and always!
            Yes. Oh, yes.