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Psalm 72

Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King

Of Solomon.

Give the king your justice, O God,
    and your righteousness to a king’s son.(A)
May he judge your people with righteousness
    and your poor with justice.(B)
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness.(C)
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the needy,
    and crush the oppressor.(D)

May he live[a] while the sun endures
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.(E)
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
    like showers that water the earth.(F)
In his days may righteousness flourish
    and peace abound, until the moon is no more.(G)

May he have dominion from sea to sea
    and from the River to the ends of the earth.(H)
May his foes[b] bow down before him,
    and his enemies lick the dust.(I)
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
    render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
    bring gifts.(J)
11 May all kings fall down before him,
    all nations give him service.

12 For he delivers the needy when they call,
    the poor and those who have no helper.(K)
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy
    and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
    and precious is their blood in his sight.(L)

15 Long may he live!
    May gold of Sheba be given to him.
May prayer be made for him continually
    and blessings invoked for him all day long.(M)
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
    may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
    may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
    like the grass of the field.(N)
17 May his name endure forever,
    his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him;[c]
    may they pronounce him happy.(O)

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.(P)
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
    may his glory fill the whole earth.
                Amen and Amen.(Q)

20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

Book III

(Psalms 73–89)

Psalm 73

Plea for Relief from Oppressors

A Psalm of Asaph.

Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure in heart.(R)
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
    my steps had nearly slipped.(S)
For I was envious of the arrogant;
    I saw the prosperity of the wicked.(T)

For they have no pain;
    their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
    they are not plagued like other people.(U)
Therefore pride is their necklace;
    violence covers them like a garment.(V)
Their eyes swell out with fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.(W)
They scoff and speak with malice;
    loftily they threaten oppression.(X)
They set their mouths against heaven,
    and their tongues range over the earth.

10 Therefore the people turn and praise them[d]
    and find no fault in them.[e]
11 And they say, “How can God know?
    Is there knowledge in the Most High?”(Y)
12 Such are the wicked;
    always at ease, they increase in riches.(Z)
13 All in vain I have kept my heart clean
    and washed my hands in innocence.(AA)
14 For all day long I have been plagued
    and am punished every morning.(AB)

15 If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”
    I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this,
    it seemed to me a wearisome task,(AC)
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
    then I perceived their end.(AD)
18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
    you make them fall to ruin.(AE)
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
    swept away utterly by terrors!(AF)
20 They are[f] like a dream when one awakes;
    on awaking you despise their phantoms.(AG)

21 When my soul was embittered,
    when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was stupid and ignorant;
    I was like a brute beast toward you.(AH)
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will receive me with honor.[g](AI)
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.(AJ)
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength[h] of my heart and my portion forever.(AK)

27 Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
    you put an end to those who are false to you.(AL)
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    to tell of all your works.(AM)


  1. 72.5 Gk: Heb may they fear you
  2. 72.9 Cn: Heb those who live in the wilderness
  3. 72.17 Or bless themselves by him
  4. 73.10 Cn: Heb his people return here
  5. 73.10 Cn: Heb abundant waters are drained by them
  6. 73.20 Cn: Heb Lord
  7. 73.24 Or to glory
  8. 73.26 Heb rock

God’s Election of Israel

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit(A) I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own brothers and sisters, my own flesh and blood.(B) They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;(C) to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever.[a] Amen.(D)

It is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all those descended from Israel are Israelites,(E) and not all of Abraham’s children are his descendants, but “it is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.”(F) This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For the word of the promise is this: “About this time I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”(G) 10 Nor is that all; something similar happened to Rebecca when she had conceived children by one husband, our ancestor Isaac:(H) 11 even before they had been born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose of election might continue, 12 not by works but by his call) she was told, “The elder shall serve the younger.”(I) 13 As it is written,

“I have loved Jacob,
    but I have hated Esau.”(J)

14 What then are we to say? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!(K) 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”(L)

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  1. 9.5 Or Messiah, who is God over all, blessed forever; or Messiah. May he who is God over all be blessed forever