Psalm 35-37Good News Translation (GNT)
A Prayer for Help
35 Oppose those who oppose me, Lord,
and fight those who fight against me!
2 Take your shield and armor
and come to my rescue.
3 Lift up your spear and war ax
against those who pursue me.
Promise that you will save me.
4 May those who try to kill me
be defeated and disgraced!
May those who plot against me
be turned back and confused!
5 May they be like straw blown by the wind
as the angel of the Lord pursues them!
6 May their path be dark and slippery
while the angel of the Lord strikes them down!
7 Without any reason they laid a trap for me
and dug a deep hole to catch me.
8 But destruction will catch them before they know it;
they will be caught in their own trap
and fall to their destruction!
9 Then I will be glad because of the Lord;
I will be happy because he saved me.
10 With all my heart I will say to the Lord,
“There is no one like you.
You protect the weak from the strong,
the poor from the oppressor.”
11 Evil people testify against me
and accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
12 They pay me back evil for good,
and I sink in despair.
13 But when they were sick, I dressed in mourning;
I deprived myself of food;
I prayed with my head bowed low,
14 as I would pray for a friend or a brother.
I went around bent over in mourning,
as one who mourns for his mother.
15 But when I was in trouble, they were all glad
and gathered around to make fun of me;
strangers beat me
and kept striking me.
16 Like those who would mock a cripple,
they glared at me with hate.
17 How much longer, Lord, will you just look on?
Rescue me from their attacks;
save my life from these lions!
18 Then I will thank you in the assembly of your people;
I will praise you before them all.
19 Don't let my enemies, those liars,
gloat over my defeat.
Don't let those who hate me for no reason
smirk with delight over my sorrow.
20 They do not speak in a friendly way;
instead they invent all kinds of lies about peace-loving people.
21 They accuse me, shouting,
“We saw what you did!”
22 But you, O Lord, have seen this.
So don't be silent, Lord;
don't keep yourself far away!
23 Rouse yourself, O Lord, and defend me;
rise up, my God, and plead my cause.
24 You are righteous, O Lord, so declare me innocent;
don't let my enemies gloat over me.
25 Don't let them say to themselves,
“We are rid of him!
That's just what we wanted!”
26 May those who gloat over my suffering
be completely defeated and confused;
may those who claim to be better than I am
be covered with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who want to see me acquitted
shout for joy and say again and again,
“How great is the Lord!
He is pleased with the success of his servant.”
28 Then I will proclaim your righteousness,
and I will praise you all day long.
36 Sin speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts;
they reject God and do not have reverence for him.
2 Because they think so highly of themselves,
they think that God will not discover their sin and condemn it.
3 Their speech is wicked and full of lies;
they no longer do what is wise and good.
4 They make evil plans as they lie in bed;
nothing they do is good,
and they never reject anything evil.
The Goodness of God
5 Lord, your constant love reaches the heavens;
your faithfulness extends to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is towering like the mountains;
your justice is like the depths of the sea.
People and animals are in your care.
7 How precious, O God, is your constant love!
We find protection under the shadow of your wings.
8 We feast on the abundant food you provide;
you let us drink from the river of your goodness.
9 You are the source of all life,
and because of your light we see the light.
10 Continue to love those who know you
and to do good to those who are righteous.
11 Do not let proud people attack me
or the wicked make me run away.
12 See where evil people have fallen.
There they lie, unable to rise.
The Destiny of the Wicked and of the Good
37 Don't be worried on account of the wicked;
don't be jealous of those who do wrong.
2 They will soon disappear like grass that dries up;
they will die like plants that wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
live in the land and be safe.
4 Seek your happiness in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart's desire.
5 Give yourself to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will help you;
6 he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be patient and wait for the Lord to act;
don't be worried about those who prosper
or those who succeed in their evil plans.
8 Don't give in to worry or anger;
it only leads to trouble.
9 Those who trust in the Lord will possess the land,
but the wicked will be driven out.
10 Soon the wicked will disappear;
you may look for them, but you won't find them;
11 but the humble will possess the land
and enjoy prosperity and peace.
12 The wicked plot against good people
and glare at them with hate.
13 But the Lord laughs at wicked people,
because he knows they will soon be destroyed.
14 The wicked draw their swords and bend their bows
to kill the poor and needy,
to slaughter those who do what is right;
15 but they will be killed by their own swords,
and their bows will be smashed.
16 The little that a good person owns
is worth more than the wealth of all the wicked,
17 because the Lord will take away the strength of the wicked,
but protect those who are good.
18 The Lord takes care of those who obey him,
and the land will be theirs forever.
19 They will not suffer when times are bad;
they will have enough in time of famine.
20 But the wicked will die;
the enemies of the Lord will vanish like wild flowers;
they will disappear like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and never pay back,
but good people are generous with their gifts.
22 Those who are blessed by the Lord will possess the land,
but those who are cursed by him will be driven out.
23 The Lord guides us in the way we should go
and protects those who please him.
24 If they fall, they will not stay down,
because the Lord will help them up.
25 I am old now; I have lived a long time,
but I have never seen good people abandoned by the Lord
or their children begging for food.
26 At all times they give freely and lend to others,
and their children are a blessing.
27 Turn away from evil and do good,
and your descendants will always live in the land;
28 for the Lord loves what is right
and does not abandon his faithful people.
He protects them forever,
but the descendants of the wicked will be driven out.
29 The righteous will possess the land
and live in it forever.
30 The words of good people are wise,
and they are always fair.
31 They keep the law of their God in their hearts
and never depart from it.
32 Wicked people watch good people
and try to kill them;
33 but the Lord will not abandon them to their enemy's power
or let them be condemned when they are on trial.
34 Put your hope in the Lord and obey his commands;
he will honor you by giving you the land,
and you will see the wicked driven out.
35 I once knew someone wicked who was a tyrant;
he towered over everyone like a cedar of Lebanon;
36 but later I passed by, and he wasn't there;
I looked for him, but couldn't find him.
37 Notice good people, observe the righteous;
peaceful people have descendants,
38 but sinners are completely destroyed,
and their descendants are wiped out.
39 The Lord saves the righteous
and protects them in times of trouble.
40 He helps them and rescues them;
he saves them from the wicked,
because they go to him for protection.
Psalm 35-37New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
2 Take hold of shield and buckler,
and rise up to help me!
3 Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers;
say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”
4 Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life.
Let them be turned back and confounded
who devise evil against me.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them on.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause they dug a pit for my life.
8 Let ruin come on them unawares.
And let the net that they hid ensnare them;
let them fall in it—to their ruin.
9 Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his deliverance.
10 All my bones shall say,
“O Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the weak
from those too strong for them,
the weak and needy from those who despoil them.”
11 Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me about things I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good;
my soul is forlorn.
13 But as for me, when they were sick,
I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting.
I prayed with head bowed on my bosom,
14 as though I grieved for a friend or a brother;
I went about as one who laments for a mother,
bowed down and in mourning.
15 But at my stumbling they gathered in glee,
they gathered together against me;
ruffians whom I did not know
tore at me without ceasing;
16 they impiously mocked more and more,
gnashing at me with their teeth.
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
my life from the lions!
18 Then I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you.
19 Do not let my treacherous enemies rejoice over me,
or those who hate me without cause wink the eye.
20 For they do not speak peace,
but they conceive deceitful words
against those who are quiet in the land.
21 They open wide their mouths against me;
they say, “Aha, Aha,
our eyes have seen it.”
22 You have seen, O Lord; do not be silent!
O Lord, do not be far from me!
23 Wake up! Bestir yourself for my defense,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
according to your righteousness,
and do not let them rejoice over me.
25 Do not let them say to themselves,
“Aha, we have our heart’s desire.”
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed you up.”
26 Let all those who rejoice at my calamity
be put to shame and confusion;
let those who exalt themselves against me
be clothed with shame and dishonor.
27 Let those who desire my vindication
shout for joy and be glad,
and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare of his servant.”
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
and of your praise all day long.
Human Wickedness and Divine Goodness
To the leader. Of David, the servant of the Lord.
1 Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God
before their eyes.
2 For they flatter themselves in their own eyes
that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3 The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit;
they have ceased to act wisely and do good.
4 They plot mischief while on their beds;
they are set on a way that is not good;
they do not reject evil.
5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!
11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 There the evildoers lie prostrate;
they are thrust down, unable to rise.
Exhortation to Patience and Trust
1 Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not be envious of wrongdoers,
2 for they will soon fade like the grass,
and wither like the green herb.
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will make your vindication shine like the light,
and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
over those who carry out evil devices.
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For the wicked shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land,
and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous,
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to kill those who walk uprightly;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.
16 Better is a little that the righteous person has
than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will abide forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times,
in the days of famine they have abundance.
20 But the wicked perish,
and the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
21 The wicked borrow, and do not pay back,
but the righteous are generous and keep giving;
22 for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
23 Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
when he delights in our way;
24 though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
for the Lord holds us by the hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are ever giving liberally and lending,
and their children become a blessing.
27 Depart from evil, and do good;
so you shall abide forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his faithful ones.
The righteous shall be kept safe forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
and live in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak justice.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their steps do not slip.
32 The wicked watch for the righteous,
and seek to kill them.
33 The Lord will not abandon them to their power,
or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.
34 Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on the destruction of the wicked.
35 I have seen the wicked oppressing,
and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
36 Again I passed by, and they were no more;
though I sought them, they could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
for there is posterity for the peaceable.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and rescues them;
he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
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.
Psalm 35-37Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
(1) Adonai, oppose those who oppose me;
fight against those who fight against me.
2 Grasp your shield and protective gear,
and rise to my defense.
3 Brandish spear and battle-axe
against my pursuers;
let me hear you say,
“I am your salvation.”
4 May those who seek my life
be disgraced and put to confusion;
may those who are plotting harm for me
be repulsed and put to shame.
5 May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of Adonai to drive them on.
6 May their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of Adonai to pursue them.
7 For unprovoked, they hid their net over a pit;
unprovoked, they dug it for me.
8 May destruction come over him unawares.
May the net he concealed catch himself;
may he fall into it and be destroyed.
9 Then I will be joyful in Adonai,
I will rejoice in his salvation.
10 All my bones will say,
“Who is like you?
Who can rescue the weak
from those stronger than they,
the poor and needy
from those who exploit them?”
11 Malicious witnesses come forward,
asking me things about which I know nothing.
12 They repay me evil for good;
it makes me feel desolate as a parent bereaved.
13 But I, when they were ill, wore sackcloth;
I put myself out and fasted;
I can pray that what I prayed for them
might also happen to me.
14 I behaved as I would for my friend or my brother;
I bent down in sorrow as if mourning my mother.
15 But when I stumble, they gather in glee;
they gather against me and strike me unawares;
they tear me apart unceasingly.
16 With ungodly mocking and grimacing,
they grind their teeth at me.
17 Adonai, how much longer will you look on?
Rescue me from their assaults,
save the one life I have from the lions!
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly,
I will give you praise among huge crowds of people.
19 Don’t let those who are wrongfully my enemies
gloat over me;
and those who hate me unprovoked —
don’t let them smirk at me.
20 For they don’t speak words of peace
but devise ways to deceive
the peaceful of the land.
21 They shout to accuse me, “Aha! Aha!
we saw you with our own eyes!”
22 You saw them, Adonai; don’t stay silent.
Adonai, don’t stay far away from me.
23 Wake up! Get up, my God, my Lord!
Defend me and my cause!
24 Give judgment for me, Adonai, my God,
as your righteousness demands.
Don’t let them gloat over me.
25 Don’t let them say to themselves,
“Aha! We got what we wanted!”
or say, “We swallowed them up!”
26 May those who gloat over my distress
be disgraced and humiliated.
May those who aggrandize themselves at my expense
be covered with shame and confusion.
27 But may those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad!
Let them say always, “How great is Adonai,
who delights in the peace of his servant!”
28 Then my tongue will tell of your righteousness
and praise you all day long.
36 (0) For the leader. By David, the servant of Adonai:
2 (1) Crime speaks to the wicked.
I perceive this in my heart;
before his eyes there is no fear
3 (2) For, the way he sees it,
crime makes his life easy —
that is, until his wrongs are discovered;
then, he is hated.
4 (3) His words are wrong and deceitful;
he has stopped being wise and doing good.
5 (4) He devises trouble as he lies in bed;
so set is he on his own bad way
that he doesn’t hate evil.
6 (5) Adonai, in the heavens is your grace;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
7 (6) Your righteousness is like the mountains of God,
your judgments are like the great deep.
You save man and beast, Adonai.
8 (7) How precious, God, is your grace!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings,
9 (8) they feast on the rich bounty of your house,
and you have them drink from the stream of your delights.
10 (9) For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
11 (10) Continue your grace to those who know you
and your righteousness to the upright in heart.
12 (11) Don’t let the foot of the proud tread on me
or the hands of the wicked drive me away.
13 (12) There they lie fallen, those evildoers,
flung down and unable to rise.
(1) Don’t be upset by evildoers
or envious of those who do wrong,
2 for soon they will wither like grass
and fade like the green in the fields.
3 Trust in Adonai, and do good;
settle in the land, and feed on faithfulness.
4 Then you will delight yourself in Adonai,
and he will give you your heart’s desire.
5 Commit your way to Adonai;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will make your vindication shine forth like light,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before Adonai;
wait patiently till he comes.
Don’t be upset by those whose way
succeeds because of their wicked plans.
8 Stop being angry, put aside rage,
and don’t be upset — it leads to evil.
9 For evildoers will be cut off,
but those hoping in Adonai will inherit the land.
10 Soon the wicked will be no more;
you will look for his place, and he won’t be there.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.
12 The wicked plots against the righteous
and grinds his teeth at him;
13 but Adonai laughs at the wicked,
knowing his day will come.
14 The wicked have unsheathed their swords,
they have strung their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slaughter those whose way is upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous has
than the wealth of all the wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
but Adonai upholds the righteous.
18 Adonai knows what the wholehearted suffer,
but their inheritance lasts forever.
19 They will not be distressed when times are hard;
when famine comes, they will have plenty.
20 For the wicked will perish;
Adonai’s enemies will be like sheep fat,
ending up as smoke, finished.
21 The wicked borrows and doesn’t repay,
but the righteous is generous and gives.
22 For those blessed by [Adonai] will inherit the land,
but those cursed by him will be cut off.
23 Adonai directs a person’s steps,
and he delights in his way.
24 He may stumble, but he won’t fall headlong,
for Adonai holds him by the hand.
25 I have been young; now I am old;
yet not once have I seen the righteous abandoned
or his descendants begging for bread.
26 All day long he is generous and lends,
and his descendants are blessed.
27 If you turn from evil and do good,
you will live safely forever.
28 For Adonai loves justice
and will not abandon his faithful;
they are preserved forever.
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and live in it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous articulates wisdom,
his tongue speaks justice.
31 The Torah of his God is in his heart;
his footsteps do not falter.
32 The wicked keeps his eye on the righteous,
seeking a chance to kill him.
33 But Adonai will not leave him in his power
or let him be condemned when judged.
34 Put your hope in Adonai, keep to his way,
and he will raise you up to inherit the land.
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked man wielding great power,
flourishing like a shade tree in its native soil.
36 But I passed by again, and he was no longer there;
I looked for him, but he could not be found.
37 Observe the pure person, consider the upright;
for the peaceful person will have posterity.
38 But transgressors will all be destroyed;
the posterity of the wicked will be cut off.
39 Adonai is the one who saves the righteous;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 Adonai helps them and rescues them,
rescues them from the wicked and saves them;
because they take refuge in him.
Psalm 35-37The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
35 1-3 Harass these hecklers, God,
punch these bullies in the nose.
Grab a weapon, anything at hand;
stand up for me!
Get ready to throw the spear, aim the javelin,
at the people who are out to get me.
Reassure me; let me hear you say,
“I’ll save you.”
4-8 When those thugs try to knife me in the back,
make them look foolish.
Frustrate all those
who are plotting my downfall.
Make them like cinders in a high wind,
with God’s angel working the bellows.
Make their road lightless and mud-slick,
with God’s angel on their tails.
Out of sheer cussedness they set a trap to catch me;
for no good reason they dug a ditch to stop me.
Surprise them with your ambush—
catch them in the very trap they set,
the disaster they planned for me.
9-10 But let me run loose and free,
celebrating God’s great work,
Every bone in my body laughing, singing, “God,
there’s no one like you.
You put the down-and-out on their feet
and protect the unprotected from bullies!”
11-12 Hostile accusers appear out of nowhere,
they stand up and badger me.
They pay me back misery for mercy,
leaving my soul empty.
13-14 When they were sick, I dressed in black;
instead of eating, I prayed.
My prayers were like lead in my gut,
like I’d lost my best friend, my brother.
I paced, distraught as a motherless child,
hunched and heavyhearted.
15-16 But when I was down
they threw a party!
All the nameless riffraff of the town came
chanting insults about me.
Like barbarians desecrating a shrine,
they destroyed my reputation.
17-18 God, how long are you going
to stand there doing nothing?
Save me from their brutalities;
everything I’ve got is being thrown to the lions.
I will give you full credit
when everyone gathers for worship;
When the people turn out in force
I will say my Hallelujahs.
19-21 Don’t let these liars, my enemies,
have a party at my expense,
Those who hate me for no reason,
winking and rolling their eyes.
No good is going to come
from that crowd;
They spend all their time cooking up gossip
against those who mind their own business.
They open their mouths
in ugly grins,
Mocking, “Ha-ha, ha-ha, thought you’d get away with it?
We’ve caught you hands down!”
22 Don’t you see what they’re doing, God?
You’re not going to let them
Get by with it, are you? Not going to walk off
without doing something, are you?
23-26 Please get up—wake up! Tend to my case.
My God, my Lord—my life is on the line.
Do what you think is right, God, my God,
but don’t make me pay for their good time.
Don’t let them say to themselves,
“Ha-ha, we got what we wanted.”
Don’t let them say,
“We’ve chewed him up and spit him out.”
Let those who are being hilarious
at my expense
Be made to look ridiculous.
Make them wear donkey’s ears;
Pin them with the donkey’s tail,
who made themselves so high and mighty!
27-28 But those who want
the best for me,
Let them have the last word—a glad shout!—
and say, over and over and over,
“God is great—everything works
together for good for his servant.”
I’ll tell the world how great and good you are,
I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.
A David Psalm
36 1-4 The God-rebel tunes in to sedition—
all ears, eager to sin.
He has no regard for God,
he stands insolent before him.
He has smooth-talked himself
That his evil
will never be noticed.
Words gutter from his mouth,
Can’t remember when he
did anything decent.
Every time he goes to bed,
he fathers another evil plot.
When he’s loose on the streets,
He plays with fire
and doesn’t care who gets burned.
5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.
7-9 How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings,
To eat our fill at the banquet you spread
as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
You’re a fountain of cascading light,
and you open our eyes to light.
10-12 Keep on loving your friends;
do your work in welcoming hearts.
Don’t let the bullies kick me around,
the moral midgets slap me down.
Send the upstarts sprawling
flat on their faces in the mud.
A David Psalm
37 1-2 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings
and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.
3-4 Get insurance with God and do a good deed,
settle down and stick to your last.
Keep company with God,
get in on the best.
5-6 Open up before God, keep nothing back;
he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day
and stamp you with approval at high noon.
7 Quiet down before God,
be prayerful before him.
Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
who elbow their way to the top.
8-9 Bridle your anger, trash your wrath,
cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.
Before long the crooks will be bankrupt;
God-investors will soon own the store.
10-11 Before you know it, the wicked will have had it;
you’ll stare at his once famous place and—nothing!
Down-to-earth people will move in and take over,
relishing a huge bonanza.
12-13 Bad guys have it in for the good guys,
obsessed with doing them in.
But God isn’t losing any sleep; to him
they’re a joke with no punch line.
14-15 Bullies brandish their swords,
pull back on their bows with a flourish.
They’re out to beat up on the harmless,
or mug that nice man out walking his dog.
A banana peel lands them flat on their faces—
slapstick figures in a moral circus.
16-17 Less is more and more is less.
One righteous will outclass fifty wicked,
For the wicked are moral weaklings
but the righteous are God-strong.
18-19 God keeps track of the decent folk;
what they do won’t soon be forgotten.
In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high;
when the shelves are bare, they’ll be full.
20 God-despisers have had it;
God’s enemies are finished—
Stripped bare like vineyards at harvest time,
vanished like smoke in thin air.
21-22 Wicked borrows and never returns;
Righteous gives and gives.
Generous gets it all in the end;
Stingy is cut off at the pass.
23-24 Stalwart walks in step with God;
his path blazed by God, he’s happy.
If he stumbles, he’s not down for long;
God has a grip on his hand.
25-26 I once was young, now I’m a graybeard—
not once have I seen an abandoned believer,
or his kids out roaming the streets.
Every day he’s out giving and lending,
his children making him proud.
27-28 Turn your back on evil,
work for the good and don’t quit.
God loves this kind of thing,
never turns away from his friends.
28-29 Live this way and you’ve got it made,
but bad eggs will be tossed out.
The good get planted on good land
and put down healthy roots.
30-31 Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone,
rolls virtue around on his tongue.
His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins;
his feet are as sure as a cat’s.
32-33 Wicked sets a watch for Righteous,
he’s out for the kill.
God, alert, is also on watch—
Wicked won’t hurt a hair of his head.
34 Wait passionately for God,
don’t leave the path.
He’ll give you your place in the sun
while you watch the wicked lose it.
35-36 I saw Wicked bloated like a toad,
croaking pretentious nonsense.
The next time I looked there was nothing—
a punctured bladder, vapid and limp.
37-38 Keep your eye on the healthy soul,
scrutinize the straight life;
There’s a future
in strenuous wholeness.
But the willful will soon be discarded;
insolent souls are on a dead-end street.
39-40 The spacious, free life is from God,
it’s also protected and safe.
God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil—
when we run to him, he saves us.