A Prayer for Help against Enemies
For the music director. A psalm of David.#The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
1O God of my praise, do not keep silent,
2for wicked and deceitful mouths#Literally “a wicked mouth and a deceitful mouth”
have opened against me.
They speak to me with a lying tongue.
3They also surround me with words of hate,
and fight me without cause.
4In return for my love they accuse me,
though I am in prayer.#Or perhaps “I have a plea of innocence”
5So they inflicted evil against me in return for good
and hatred in return for my love.
6Appoint over him a wicked man,
and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7When he is judged, let him come out guilty,
and let his prayer#Or perhaps “plea of innocence” become as sin.
8Let his days be few;
let another take his office.
9Let his children be orphans,
and his wife a widow,
10and let his children wander aimlessly and beg,
and let them plead from their ruins.
11Let the creditor seize all that is his,
and let strangers plunder his property.
12Let there be none who extend to him loyal love,
nor any who pities his orphans.
13Let his descendants#Or “posterity”; Hebrew is singular be cut off.
Let their name be blotted out in the next generation.
14Let the iniquity of his ancestors#Or “fathers” be remembered before Yahweh,
and let the sin of his mother not be blotted out.
15Let them be before Yahweh continually,
that he may cut off their#That is, the family memory from the earth,
16because he did not remember to show loyal love,
but he pursued anyone,#Hebrew “a man” poor or needy
or brokenhearted, to slay them.
17Because he loved cursing, let it come upon him.
Because he did not delight in blessing,
let it be far from him.
18Because he wore a curse as his robe,
let it enter his body#Literally “his inward part” like water,
and into his bones like oil.
19May it be for him like a garment in which he wraps,
and a belt he continually wears.#Literally “continually he girds it”
20Let this be the punishment for my accusers from Yahweh,
even those who speak evil against my life.
21But you, O Yahweh my Lord,
deal with me for your name’s sake.
Because your loyal love is good, deliver me,
22for I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
23Like a lengthening shadow I am passing away;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24My knees buckle#Literally “stumble” from fasting,
and my body grows lean without fat.
25And so I am a disgrace to them;
when they see me, they shake their heads.#Hebrew “head”
26Help me, O Yahweh my God;
save me according to your loyal love,
27that they may know that this is your hand,
that you, O Yahweh, you have done it.
28Let them curse, but you bless.
When they arise, let them be put to shame,
that your servant may be glad.
29Let my accusers put on disgrace,
and let them cover themselves with their shame as with a robe.
30I will give thanks to Yahweh exceedingly with my mouth,
and in the midst of many I will praise him,
31for he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save him from those judging his life.#Or “soul”