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Psalm 55

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.
Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
    because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring[a] trouble upon me,
    and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
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.”

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
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.

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.
13 But it is you, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend,
14 with whom I kept pleasant company;
    we walked in the house of God with the throng.
15 Let death come upon them;
    let them go down alive to Sheol;
    for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

16 But I call upon God,
    and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem me unharmed
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
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.

20 My companion laid hands on a friend
    and violated a covenant with me[b]
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.

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

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.


  1. Psalm 55:3 Cn Compare Gk: Heb they cause to totter
  2. Psalm 55:20 Heb lacks with me
  3. Psalm 55:22 Or Cast what he has given you
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Psalm 74

Psalm 74

Plea for Help in Time of National Humiliation

A Maskil of Asaph.

O God, why do you cast us off forever?
    Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
    which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
    Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
    the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.

Your foes have roared within your holy place;
    they set up their emblems there.
At the upper entrance they hacked
    the wooden trellis with axes.[a]
And then, with hatchets and hammers,
    they smashed all its carved work.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
    they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
    bringing it to the ground.
They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
    they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our emblems;
    there is no longer any prophet,
    and there is no one among us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
    Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand;
    why do you keep your hand in[b] your bosom?

12 Yet God my King is from of old,
    working salvation in the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your might;
    you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
    you gave him as food[c] for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You cut openings for springs and torrents;
    you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, yours also the night;
    you established the luminaries[d] and the sun.
17 You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
    you made summer and winter.

18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
    and an impious people reviles your name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
    do not forget the life of your poor forever.

20 Have regard for your[e] covenant,
    for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.
21 Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
    let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
    remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
23 Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
    the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.


  1. Psalm 74:5 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Psalm 74:11 Cn: Heb do you consume your right hand from
  3. Psalm 74:14 Heb food for the people
  4. Psalm 74:16 Or moon; Heb light
  5. Psalm 74:20 Gk Syr: Heb the
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Lamentations 2:1-9

God’s Warnings Fulfilled

How the Lord in his anger
    has humiliated[a] daughter Zion!
He has thrown down from heaven to earth
    the splendor of Israel;
he has not remembered his footstool
    in the day of his anger.

The Lord has destroyed without mercy
    all the dwellings of Jacob;
in his wrath he has broken down
    the strongholds of daughter Judah;
he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
    the kingdom and its rulers.

He has cut down in fierce anger
    all the might of Israel;
he has withdrawn his right hand from them
    in the face of the enemy;
he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
    consuming all around.

He has bent his bow like an enemy,
    with his right hand set like a foe;
he has killed all in whom we took pride
    in the tent of daughter Zion;
he has poured out his fury like fire.

The Lord has become like an enemy;
    he has destroyed Israel.
He has destroyed all its palaces,
    laid in ruins its strongholds,
and multiplied in daughter Judah
    mourning and lamentation.

He has broken down his booth like a garden,
    he has destroyed his tabernacle;
the Lord has abolished in Zion
    festival and sabbath,
and in his fierce indignation has spurned
    king and priest.

The Lord has scorned his altar,
    disowned his sanctuary;
he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
    the walls of her palaces;
a clamor was raised in the house of the Lord
    as on a day of festival.

The Lord determined to lay in ruins
    the wall of daughter Zion;
he stretched the line;
    he did not withhold his hand from destroying;
he caused rampart and wall to lament;
    they languish together.

Her gates have sunk into the ground;
    he has ruined and broken her bars;
her king and princes are among the nations;
    guidance is no more,
and her prophets obtain
    no vision from the Lord.


  1. Lamentations 2:1 Meaning of Heb uncertain
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Lamentations 2:14-17

14 Your prophets have seen for you
    false and deceptive visions;
they have not exposed your iniquity
    to restore your fortunes,
but have seen oracles for you
    that are false and misleading.

15 All who pass along the way
    clap their hands at you;
they hiss and wag their heads
    at daughter Jerusalem;
“Is this the city that was called
    the perfection of beauty,
    the joy of all the earth?”

16 All your enemies
    open their mouths against you;
they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
    they cry: “We have devoured her!
Ah, this is the day we longed for;
    at last we have seen it!”

17 The Lord has done what he purposed,
    he has carried out his threat;
as he ordained long ago,
    he has demolished without pity;
he has made the enemy rejoice over you,
    and exalted the might of your foes.

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2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11

23 But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth. 24 I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in the faith. So I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice; for I am confident about all of you, that my joy would be the joy of all of you. For I wrote you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

Forgiveness for the Offender

But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate it—to all of you. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ. 11 And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

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Mark 12:1-11

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

12 Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this scripture:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;[a]
11 this was the Lord’s doing,
    and it is amazing in our eyes’?”


  1. Mark 12:10 Or keystone
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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.

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