35 Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight me.
2 Pick up your shields, large and small.
Get up and help me!
3 Take a spear and javelin
and fight those who are chasing me.
Tell me, “I will rescue you.”
4 Some people are trying to kill me.
Disappoint them and make them ashamed.
Make them turn and run away.
They are planning to hurt me.
Defeat and embarrass them.
5 Make them like chaff blown by the wind.[a]
Let them be chased by the Lord’s angel.
6 Make their road dark and slippery.
Let the Lord’s angel chase them.
7 I did nothing wrong, but they tried to trap me.
For no reason at all, they dug a pit to catch me.
8 So let them fall into their own traps.
Let them stumble into their own nets.
Let some unknown danger catch them.
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will be happy when he saves me.
10 With my whole self I will say,
“Lord, there is no one like you.
You protect the poor from those who are stronger.
You save the poor and helpless from those who try to rob them.”
11 There are witnesses[b] trying to harm me.
They ask me questions that I know nothing about.
12 They pay me back evil for the good I have done.
They make me so very sad.
13 When they were sick, I was sad and wore sackcloth.
I went without eating to show my sorrow.
(May my prayers for them not be answered!)
14 I mourned for them as I would for a friend or a brother.
I bowed low with sadness, crying as I would for my own mother.
15 But when I had troubles, they laughed at me.
They were not really friends.
I was surrounded and attacked
by people I didn’t even know.
16 They made fun of me, using the worst language.
They ground their teeth to show their anger.
17 My Lord, how long will you watch this happen?
Save my life from these people
who are attacking me like lions and trying to destroy me.
18 I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will praise you there among the crowds.
19 Don’t let my lying enemies keep on laughing at me.
They have no reason to hate me.
Surely they will be punished for their secret plans.[c]
20 They have no friendly words for others,
but plan ways to hurt those who want to live in peace.
21 They are telling lies about me.
They say, “Aha! We know what you did!”
22 Lord, surely you can see what is happening.
So don’t keep quiet.
Lord, don’t leave me.
23 Wake up! Get up!
My God and my Lord, fight for me, and bring me justice.
24 Lord my God, judge me with your fairness.
Don’t let those people laugh at me.
25 Don’t let them think, “Aha! We got what we wanted!”
Don’t let them say, “We destroyed him!”
26 Let my enemies be ashamed and embarrassed—
all those who were happy about my troubles.
Proud of themselves, they treated me as worthless.
So let them be covered with shame and disgrace.
27 To those who want the best for me,
I wish them joy and happiness.
May they always say, “Praise the Lord,
who wants what is best for his servant.”
28 So, Lord, I will tell people how good you are.
I will praise you all day long.
36 Deep in the hearts of the wicked a voice tells them to do wrong.
They have no respect for God.
2 They lie to themselves.
They don’t see their own faults,
so they are not sorry for what they do.
3 Their words are wicked lies.
They have stopped doing anything wise or good.
4 They make wicked plans in bed at night.
They choose a way of life that does no good.
And they never say no to anything evil.
5 Lord, your faithful love reaches to the sky.
Your faithfulness is as high as the clouds.
6 Your goodness is higher than the highest mountains.
Your fairness is deeper than the deepest ocean.
Lord, you protect people and animals.
7 Nothing is more precious than your loving kindness.
All people can find protection close to you.
8 They get strength from all the good things in your house.
You let them drink from your wonderful river.
9 The fountain of life flows from you.
Your light lets us see light.
10 Continue to love those who really know you,
and do good to those who are true to you.[d]
11 Don’t let proud people trap me.
Don’t let the wicked force me to run away.
12 Put this on their grave markers:
“Here fell the wicked.
They were crushed.
They will never stand up again.”
25 Festus became governor, and three days later he went from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 The leading priests and the important Jewish leaders made charges against Paul before Festus. 3 They asked Festus to do them a favor. They wanted him to send Paul back to Jerusalem because they had a plan to kill Paul on the way. 4 But Festus answered, “No, Paul will be kept in Caesarea. I will be going there soon myself, 5 and your leaders can go with me. If this man has really done anything wrong, they can accuse him there.”
6 Festus stayed in Jerusalem another eight or ten days and then went back to Caesarea. The next day Festus told the soldiers to bring Paul before him. Festus was seated on the judgment seat. 7 Paul came into the room, and the Jews who had come from Jerusalem stood around him. They made many serious charges against him, but they could not prove anything. 8 Paul defended himself, saying, “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law, against the Temple, or against Caesar.”
9 But Festus wanted to please the Jews. So he asked Paul, “Do you want to go to Jerusalem for me to judge you there on these charges?”
10 Paul said, “I am standing at Caesar’s judgment seat now. This is where I should be judged. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, and you know it. 11 If I have done something wrong and the law says I must die, then I agree that I should die. I don’t ask to be saved from death. But if these charges are not true, then no one can hand me over to these people. No, I want Caesar to hear my case!”
12 Festus talked about this with his advisors. Then he said, “You have asked to see Caesar, so you will go to Caesar!”
13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to visit Festus. 14 They stayed there many days, and Festus told the king about Paul’s case. Festus said, “There is a man that Felix left in prison. 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the leading priests and the older Jewish leaders there made charges against him. They wanted me to order his death. 16 But I told them, ‘When a man is accused of doing something wrong, Romans don’t hand him over for others to judge. First, he must face the people accusing him. And then he must be allowed to defend himself against their charges.’
17 “So when these Jews came here for the trial, I did not waste time. The next day I sat on the judgment seat and ordered Paul to be brought in. 18 The Jews stood up and accused him. But they did not accuse him of the kind of crimes I thought they would. 19 Their charges were all about their own religion and about a man named Jesus. Jesus died, but Paul said that he is still alive. 20 I did not have any idea about how to judge these matters. So I asked Paul, ‘Do you want to go to Jerusalem and be judged there?’ 21 But Paul asked to be kept in Caesarea. He wants a decision from the emperor. So I ordered that he be held until I could send him to Caesar in Rome.”
22 Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man too.”
Festus said, “Tomorrow you can hear him.”
23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice came to the meeting with great show, acting like very important people. They entered the room with military leaders and important men of the city. Festus ordered the soldiers to bring Paul in.
24 Festus said, “King Agrippa and all of you gathered here with us, you see this man. All the Jewish people, here and in Jerusalem, have complained to me about him. When they complain about him, they shout that he should be killed. 25 When I judged him, I did not find him guilty of any crime worthy of death. But he asked to be judged by Caesar, so I decided to send him to Rome. 26 However, I don’t really know what to tell Caesar that this man has done wrong. So I have brought him before all of you—especially you, King Agrippa. I hope that you can question him and give me something to write to Caesar. 27 I think it is foolish to send a prisoner to Caesar without making some charges against him.”