For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil[e] of David.
1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3 because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. 5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert;[f] 8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”
9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. 11 Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.
12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. 13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, 14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them.
16 As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 18 He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. 19 God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.
20 My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. 21 His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. 23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days.
For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam.[h] When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.
1 Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. 2 My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me.
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
5 All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. 6 They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. 7 Because of their wickedness do not[i] let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
8 Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll[j]— are they not in your record? 9 Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise— 11 in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?
12 I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. 13 For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.[o]
1 Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity? 2 No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth.
3 Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. 4 Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, 5 that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.
6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions! 7 Let them vanish like water that flows away; when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short. 8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns— whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.[p] 10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 Then people will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.[r] When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.
1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me. 2 Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood.
3 See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord. 4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me. Arise to help me; look on my plight! 5 You, Lord God Almighty, you who are the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors.[s]
6 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 7 See what they spew from their mouths— the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, “Who can hear us?” 8 But you laugh at them, Lord; you scoff at all those nations.
9 You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, 10 my God on whom I can rely.
God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me. 11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,[t] or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down. 12 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter, 13 consume them in your wrath, consume them till they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob.
14 They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. 15 They wander about for food and howl if not satisfied. 16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lily of the Covenant.” A miktam[v] of David. For teaching. When he fought Aram Naharaim[w] and Aram Zobah,[x] and when Joab returned and struck down twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
1 You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us; you have been angry—now restore us! 2 You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking. 3 You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. 4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow.[y]
5 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. 6 God has spoken from his sanctuary: “In triumph I will parcel out Shechem and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth. 7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah is my scepter. 8 Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
9 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 10 Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies? 11 Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. 12 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
Psalm 54:1In Hebrew texts 54:1-7 is numbered 54:3-9.
Psalm 54:1Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 54:3The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
Psalm 55:1In Hebrew texts 55:1-23 is numbered 55:2-24.
Psalm 55:1Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 55:7The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and in the middle of verse 19.
Psalm 56:1In Hebrew texts 56:1-13 is numbered 56:2-14.
Psalm 56:1Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 56:7Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text does not have do not.
Psalm 56:8Or misery; / put my tears in your wineskin
Psalm 57:1In Hebrew texts 57:1-11 is numbered 57:2-12.
Psalm 57:1Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 57:3The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 6.
Psalm 58:1In Hebrew texts 58:1-11 is numbered 58:2-12.
Psalm 58:1Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 58:9The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
Psalm 59:1In Hebrew texts 59:1-17 is numbered 59:2-18.
Psalm 59:1Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Psalm 59:5The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 13.
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