Psalm 54

Psalm 54[a]

Prayer in Time of Danger

1 For the director.[b] On stringed instruments. A maskil of David. 2 When the Ziphites came to Saul and said, “David is hiding among us.”

3 O God, save me by your name;[c]
vindicate me by your power.
4 Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to the words of my mouth.
5 Strangers[d] have risen against me;
those who are ruthless seek my life,
and they have no thought of God. Selah
6 Surely God is my helper;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.
7 May their own evil recoil on my foes:
you who are faithful, destroy them.[e]
8 [f]I will freely offer sacrifice to you,
and I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
9 For you have rescued me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies.


  1. Psalm 54:1 The “name” stands for God himself, the Almighty One. To him the psalmist directs his supplication, from him help will come, and toward him will thanksgiving be extended. For Christians, the “name” is that of Jesus Christ, who saves those who invoke it (see Acts 2:21; Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 1:2). “There is no . . . other name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12). The name “Jesus” means “God saves” (see Mt 1:21).
  2. Psalm 54:1 For the director: probably a musical or liturgical notation. Maskil: see note on Ps 32:1a. For the event in David’s life, see 1 Sam 23:19.
  3. Psalm 54:3 The beleaguered psalmist summons God to give him justice (see Ps 17). Name: see note on Ps 5:12.
  4. Psalm 54:5 Strangers: probably a reference to the people of the Desert of Ziph (see 1 Sam 23:19). They have no thought of God: the same type of sinners as in Ps 53.
  5. Psalm 54:7 See notes on Pss 5:11; 35.
  6. Psalm 54:8 God and his faithful have the same enemies, whose defeat is a subject for joy and thanksgiving. Praise your name: see note on Ps 7:18.

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