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Psalm 54

Prayer for Vindication

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “David is in hiding among us.”

Save me, O God, by your name,
    and vindicate me by your might.(A)
Hear my prayer, O God;
    give ear to the words of my mouth.(B)

For the insolent have risen against me;
    the ruthless seek my life;
    they do not set God before them. Selah(C)

But surely, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of[a] my life.(D)
He will repay my enemies for their evil.
    In your faithfulness, put an end to them.(E)

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.(F)
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.(G)

Psalm 55

Complaint about a Friend’s Treachery

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
    do not hide yourself from my supplication.(H)
Attend to me and answer me;
    I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught(I) by the noise of the enemy,
    because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring[b] trouble upon me,
    and in anger they bear a grudge against me.(J)

My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.(K)
Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.(L)
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;(M)
truly, I would flee far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
    from the raging wind and tempest.”(N)

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech,
    for I see violence and strife in the city.(O)
10 Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.(P)

12 It is not enemies who taunt me—
    I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
    I could hide from them.(Q)
13 But it is you, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend,(R)
14 with whom I kept pleasant company;
    we walked in the house of God with the throng.(S)
15 Let death come upon them;
    let them go down alive to Sheol,
    for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.(T)

16 But I call upon God,
    and the Lord will save me.(U)
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he will hear my voice.(V)
18 He will redeem me unharmed
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.(W)
19 God, who is enthroned from of old, Selah
    will hear and will humble them,
because they do not change
    and do not fear God.(X)

20 My companion laid hands on a friend
    and violated a covenant with me[c](Y)
21 with speech smoother than butter
    but with a heart set on war,
with words that were softer than oil
    but in fact were drawn swords.(Z)

22 Cast your burden[d] on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.(AA)

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
    into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
    shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.(AB)

Psalm 56

Trust in God under Persecution

To the leader: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. Of David. A Miktam, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me;
    all day long foes oppress me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
    for many fight against me.
O Most High,(AC) when I am afraid,
    I put my trust in you.(AD)
In God, whose word I praise,
    in God I trust; I am not afraid;
    what can flesh do to me?(AE)

All day long they seek to injure my cause;
    all their thoughts are against me for evil.(AF)
They stir up strife; they lurk;
    they watch my steps,
as they hoped to take my life.(AG)
    Do not deliver them for any reason;[e]
    in wrath cast down the peoples, O God!(AH)

You have kept count of my tossings;
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your record?(AI)
Then my enemies will retreat
    in the day when I call.
    This I know, that[f] God is for me.(AJ)
10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I am not afraid.
    What can a mere mortal do to me?

12 My vows to you I must perform, O God;
    I will render thank offerings to you.(AK)
13 For you have delivered my soul from death
    and my feet from falling,
so that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.(AL)


  1. 54.4 Gk Syr Jerome: Heb is of those who uphold or is with those who uphold
  2. 55.3 Cn Compare Gk: Heb they cause to totter
  3. 55.20 Heb lacks with me
  4. 55.22 Or Cast what he has given you
  5. 56.7 Gk Compare Syr Jerome: Heb deliver them because of their iniquity
  6. 56.9 Or because

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in every way. For in the first place, the Jews[a] were entrusted with the oracles of God.(A) What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?(B) By no means! Although every human is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,

“So that you may be justified in your words
    and you will prevail[b] when you go to trial.”(C)

But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)(D) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner? And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Their judgment is deserved!(E)

None Is Righteous

What then? Are we any better off?[c] No, not at all, for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin,(F) 10 as it is written:

“There is no one who is righteous, not even one;(G)
11     there is no one who has understanding;
        there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    there is no one who shows kindness;
        there is not even one.”
13 “Their throats are opened graves;
    they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of vipers is under their lips.”(H)
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;(I)
16     ruin and misery are in their paths,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that, whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God.(J) 20 For no human will be justified before him by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.(K)

Righteousness through Faith

21 But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed and is attested by the Law and the Prophets,(L) 22 the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ[d] for all who believe.[e] For there is no distinction,(M) 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;(N) 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,(O) 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement[f] by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed;(P) 26 it was to demonstrate at the present time his own righteousness, so that he is righteous and he justifies the one who has the faith of Jesus.[g]

27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. Through what kind of law? That of works? No, rather through the law of faith.(Q) 28 For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.(R) 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of gentiles also? Yes, of gentiles also, 30 since God is one, and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.(S) 31 Do we then overthrow the law through this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.


  1. 3.2 Gk they
  2. 3.4 Other ancient authorities read you may prevail
  3. 3.9 Or at any disadvantage?
  4. 3.22 Or through faith in Jesus Christ
  5. 3.22 Or trust
  6. 3.25 Or a place of atonement
  7. 3.26 Or has faith in Jesus