Psalm 89

Psalm 89

A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1 I will sing of the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness from generation to generation.

2 For I have said, Mercy and loving-kindness shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness will You establish in the very heavens [unchangeable and perpetual].

3 [You have said] I have made a [a]covenant with My chosen one, I have sworn to David My servant,

4 Your Seed I will establish forever, and I will build up your throne for all generations. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!(A)

5 Let heaven (the angels) praise Your wonders, O Lord, Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones (the holy angels).

6 For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord? Who among the mighty [heavenly beings] can be likened to the Lord,

7 A God greatly feared and revered in the council of the holy (angelic) ones, and to be feared and worshipfully revered above all those who are round about Him?

8 O Lord God of hosts, who is a mighty one like unto You, O Lord? And Your faithfulness is round about You [an essential part of You at all times].

9 You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves arise, You still them.

10 You have broken Rahab (Egypt) in pieces; with Your mighty arm You have scattered Your enemies.

11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all that is in it, You have founded them.

12 The north and the south, You have created them; Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon joyously praise Your name.

13 You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, Your right hand is soaring high.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and loving-kindness and truth go before Your face.

15 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are the people who know the joyful sound [who understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts]; they walk, O Lord, in the light and favor of Your countenance!

16 In Your name they rejoice all the day, and in Your righteousness they are exalted.

17 For You are the glory of their strength [their proud adornment], and by Your favor our horn is exalted and we walk with uplifted faces!

18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, and our king to the Holy One of Israel.

19 Once You spoke in a vision to Your devoted ones and said, I have endowed one who is mighty [a hero, giving him the power to help—to be a champion for Israel]; I have exalted one chosen from among the people.

20 I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him,(B)

21 With whom My hand shall be established and ever abide; My arm also shall strengthen him.

22 The enemy shall not exact from him or do him violence or outwit him, nor shall the wicked afflict and humble him.

23 I will beat down his foes before his face and smite those who hate him.

24 My faithfulness and My mercy and loving-kindness shall be with him, and in My name shall his horn be exalted [great power and prosperity shall be conferred upon him].

25 I will set his hand in control also on the [Mediterranean] Sea, and his right hand on the rivers [Euphrates with its tributaries].

26 He shall cry to Me, You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation!

27 Also I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.(C)

28 My mercy and loving-kindness will I keep for him forevermore, and My covenant shall stand fast and be faithful with him.

29 His [b]Offspring also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.(D)

30 If his children forsake My law and walk not in My ordinances,

31 If they break or profane My statutes and keep not My commandments,

32 Then will I punish their transgression with the rod [of chastisement], and their iniquity with stripes.(E)

33 Nevertheless, My loving-kindness will I not break off from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail [to lie and be false to him].

34 My covenant will I not break or profane, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips.

35 Once [for all] have I sworn by My holiness, which cannot be violated; I will not lie to David:

36 His Offspring shall endure forever, and his throne [shall continue] as the sun before Me.(F)

37 It shall be established forever as the moon, the faithful witness in the heavens. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!(G)

38 But [in apparent contradiction to all this] You [even You the faithful Lord] have cast off and rejected; You have been full of wrath against Your anointed.

39 You have despised and loathed and renounced the covenant with Your servant; You have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.

40 You have broken down all his hedges and his walls; You have brought his strongholds to ruin.

41 All who pass along the road spoil and rob him; he has become the scorn and reproach of his neighbors.

42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes; You have made all his enemies rejoice.

43 Moreover, You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not made him to stand in battle.

44 You have made his glory and splendor to cease and have hurled to the ground his throne.

45 The days of his youth have You shortened; You have covered him with shame. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

46 How long, O Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? How long shall Your wrath burn like fire?

47 O [earnestly] remember how short my time is and what a mere fleeting life mine is. For what emptiness, falsity, futility, and frailty You have created all men!

48 What man can live and shall not see death, or can deliver himself from the [powerful] hand of Sheol (the place of the dead)? Selah [pause, and calmly consider that]!

49 Lord, where are Your former loving-kindnesses [shown in the reigns of David and Solomon], which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?

50 Remember, Lord, and earnestly imprint [on Your heart] the reproach of Your servants, scorned and insulted, how I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the many and mighty peoples,

51 With which Your enemies have taunted, O Lord, with which they have mocked the footsteps of Your anointed.

52 Blessed be the Lord forevermore! Amen and Amen.


  1. Psalm 89:3 “This covenant most incontestably had Jesus Christ in view. This is the Seed or Posterity Who would sit on the throne and reign forever and ever. David and his family have long since become extinct; none of his race has sat on the Jewish throne for more than two thousand years. But the Christ... will reign until all His enemies are put under His feet (Ps. 110:1; I Cor. 15:25, 27; Eph. 1:22); and to this the psalmist says, Selah.” (One of many similar 19th-century comments.)
  2. Psalm 89:29 See footnote on Ps. 89:3.

Cross references

  1. Psalm 89:4 : Isa. 9:7; Luke 1:32, 33; Gal. 3:16.
  2. Psalm 89:20 : Acts 13:22.
  3. Psalm 89:27 : Rev. 1:5.
  4. Psalm 89:29 : Isa. 9:7; Gal. 3:16.
  5. Psalm 89:32 : II Sam. 7:14.
  6. Psalm 89:36 : Isa. 9:7; Gal. 3:16.
  7. Psalm 89:37 : Rev. 1:5; 3:14.

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