PSALM 12#A lament. The psalmist, thrown into a world where lying and violent people persecute the just (Ps 12:2–3), prays that the wicked be punished (Ps 12:4–5). The prayer is not simply for vengeance but arises from a desire to see God’s justice appear on earth. Ps 12:6 preserves the word of assurance spoken by the priest to the lamenter; it is not usually transmitted in such Psalms. In Ps 12:7–8 the psalmist affirms the intention to live by the word of assurance.
Prayer Against Evil Tongues
1For the leader; “upon the eighth.” A psalm of David.
2Help, Lord, for no one loyal remains;
the faithful have vanished from the children of men.#a. [12:2] Ps 14:3; 116:11; Is 59:15; Mi 7:2.
3They tell lies to one another,
speak with deceiving lips and a double heart.#b. [12:3] Ps 28:3; 55:22; Is 59:3–4; Jer 9:7.
4May the Lord cut off all deceiving lips,
and every boastful tongue,
5Those who say, “By our tongues we prevail;
when our lips speak, who can lord it over us?”#c. [12:5] Sir 5:3.
6“Because they rob the weak, and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will grant safety to whoever longs for it.”#d. [12:6] Is 33:10.
7The promises of the Lord are sure,
silver refined in a crucible,#A crucible: lit., “in a crucible in the ground.” The crucible was placed in the ground for support.
silver purified seven times.#e. [12:7] Ps 18:31; 19:8; Prv 30:5.
8You, O Lord, protect us always;
preserve us from this generation.
9On every side the wicked roam;
the shameless are extolled by the children of men.