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Psalm 5-6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 5[a]

Prayer for Divine Help

For the leader; with wind instruments. A psalm of David.


Give ear to my words, O Lord;
    understand my sighing.
Attend to the sound of my cry,
    my king and my God!
For to you I will pray, Lord;
    in the morning you will hear my voice;
    in the morning I will plead before you and wait.


You are not a god who delights in evil;
    no wicked person finds refuge with you;
    the arrogant cannot stand before your eyes.
You hate all who do evil;
    you destroy those who speak falsely.
A bloody and fraudulent man
    the Lord abhors.


But I, through the abundance of your mercy,[b]
    will enter into your house.
I will bow down toward your holy sanctuary
    out of fear of you.
Lord, guide me in your justice because of my foes;
    make straight your way before me.


10 For there is no sincerity in their mouth;
    their heart is corrupt.
Their throat[c] is an open grave;
    on their tongue are subtle lies.
11 Declare them guilty, God;
    make them fall by their own devices.
Drive them out for their many sins;
    for they have rebelled against you.


12 Then all who trust in you will be glad
    and forever shout for joy.
You will protect them and those will rejoice in you
    who love your name.
13 For you, Lord, bless the just one;
    you surround him with favor like a shield.

Psalm 6[d]

Prayer in Distress

For the leader; with stringed instruments, “upon the eighth.”[e]

A psalm of David.


Do not reprove me in your anger, Lord,
    nor punish me in your wrath.
Have pity on me, Lord, for I am weak;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are shuddering.
My soul too is shuddering greatly—
    and you, Lord, how long…?[f]
Turn back, Lord, rescue my soul;
    save me because of your mercy.
For in death there is no remembrance of you.
    Who praises you in Sheol?[g]


I am wearied with sighing;
    all night long I drench my bed with tears;
    I soak my couch with weeping.
My eyes are dimmed with sorrow,
    worn out because of all my foes.


Away from me, all who do evil!
    The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
10 The Lord has heard my plea;
    the Lord will receive my prayer.
11 My foes will all be disgraced and will shudder greatly;
    they will turn back in sudden disgrace.


  1. Psalm 5 A lament contrasting the security of the house of God (Ps 5:8–9, 12–13) with the danger of the company of evildoers (Ps 5:5–7, 10–11). The psalmist therefore prays that God will hear (Ps 5:2–4) and grant the protection and joy of the Temple.
  2. 5:8 Mercy: used to translate the Hebrew word, hesed. This term speaks to a relationship between persons. It is manifested in concrete actions to persons with some need or desire. The one who offers hesed has the ability to respond to that need of the other person. Other possible ways to translate hesed include “steadfast love” and “loving kindness.”
  3. 5:10 Their throat: their speech brings harm to their hearers (cf. Jer 5:16). The verse mentions four parts of the body, each a source of evil to the innocent.
  4. Psalm 6 The first of the seven Penitential Psalms (Ps 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), a designation dating from the seventh century A.D. for Psalms suitable to express repentance. The psalmist does not, as in many laments, claim to be innocent but appeals to God’s mercy (Ps 6:5). Sin here, as often in the Bible, is both the sinful act and its injurious consequences; here it is physical sickness (Ps 6:3–4, 7–8) and the attacks of enemies (Ps 6:8, 9, 11). The psalmist prays that the effects of personal and social sin be taken away.
  5. 6:1 Upon the eighth: apparently a musical notation, now lost.
  6. 6:4 How long?: elliptical for “How long will it be before you answer my prayer?” cf. Ps 13:2–3.
  7. 6:6 A motive for God to preserve the psalmist from death: in the shadowy world of the dead no one offers you praise. Sheol is the biblical term for the underworld where the insubstantial souls of dead human beings dwelt. It was similar to the Hades of Greek and Latin literature. In the second century B.C., biblical books begin to speak positively of life with God after death (Dn 12:1–3; Wis 3).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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