PSALM 34#A thanksgiving in acrostic form, each line beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In this Psalm one letter is missing and two are in reverse order. The psalmist, fresh from the experience of being rescued (Ps 34:5, 7), can teach the “poor,” those who are defenseless, to trust in God alone (Ps 34:4, 12). God will make them powerful (Ps 34:5–11) and give them protection (Ps 34:12–22).
Thanksgiving to God Who Delivers the Just
1Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech,#Abimelech: a scribal error for Achish. In 1 Sm 21:13–16, David feigned madness before Achish, not Abimelech. who drove him out and he went away.
2I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall be always in my mouth.#a. [34:2] Ps 145:2.
3My soul will glory in the Lord;
let the poor hear and be glad.
4Magnify the Lord with me;
and let us exalt his name together.
5I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
delivered me from all my fears.
6Look to him and be radiant,
and your faces may not blush for shame.
7This poor one cried out and the Lord heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
8The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and he saves them.#b. [34:8] Ex 14:19.
9Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him.#c. [34:9] Ps 2:12.
10Fear the Lord, you his holy ones;
nothing is lacking to those who fear him.#d. [34:10] Prv 3:7.
11The rich grow poor and go hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
12Come, children,#Children: the customary term for students in wisdom literature. listen to me;#e. [34:12] Prv 1:8; 4:1.
I will teach you fear of the Lord.
13Who is the man who delights in life,#f. [34:13–17] 1 Pt 3:10–12.
who loves to see the good days?
14Keep your tongue from evil,
your lips from speaking lies.
15Turn from evil and do good;#g. [34:15] Ps 37:27.
seek peace and pursue it.
16The eyes of the Lord are directed toward the righteous#h. [34:16] Ps 33:18.
and his ears toward their cry.
17The Lord’s face is against evildoers
to wipe out their memory from the earth.
18The righteous cry out, the Lord hears
and he rescues them from all their afflictions.
19The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,
saves those whose spirit is crushed.
20Many are the troubles of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.
21He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.#i. [34:21] Jn 19:36.
22Evil will slay the wicked;
those who hate the righteous are condemned.
23The Lord is the redeemer of the souls of his servants;
and none are condemned who take refuge in him.