Psalm 7

Psalm 7[a]

Appeal to the Divine Judge

1 A plaintive song of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush,[b] a Benjaminite.

2 O Lord, my God, I take refuge in you;
keep me safe from all my pursuers and deliver me,
3 lest like a lion they tear me to pieces
and carry me off, with no one to rescue me.
4 O Lord, my God, if I have done this,
if my hands are stained with guilt,
5 if I have repaid a friend with treachery—
I who spared the lives of those who without cause were my enemies—[c]
6 then let my foe pursue and overtake me;
let him trample my life into the ground
and leave my honor in the dust. Selah
7 Rise up, O Lord, in your indignation;
rise against the fury of my enemies.
Rouse yourself for me,
and fulfill the judgment you have decreed.
8 Let the peoples assemble in your presence
as you sit above them enthroned on high.
9 The Lord is the judge of the nations.
Therefore, pass judgment on me, O Lord, according to my righteousness,
according to my innocence, O Most High.
10 Put an end to the malice of the wicked
but continue to sustain the righteous,
O God of justice,
you who search minds and hearts.[d]
11 God is a shield to me;
he saves those who are upright of heart.
12 God is a just judge,
a God who expresses his indignation every day.
13 When a sinner refuses to repent,
God sharpens his sword,
and he bends and aims his bow.
14 He has prepared deadly weapons for him
and made his arrows into fiery shafts.
15 [e]Behold, he who conceives iniquity
and is pregnant with mischief
will give birth to lies.
16 He digs a pit and makes it deep,
but he will fall into the trap he has made.
17 His wickedness will recoil upon his own head,
and his violence will fall back on his own crown.
18 I will offer thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness,
and I will sing hymns of praise[f] to the name of the Lord Most High.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 7:1 Falsely accused, the psalmist implores the divine assistance, affirms his innocence, invokes God’s just judgment, and expresses limitless confidence in the punishment of his enemy as well as his own salvation, concluding with praise for God’s righteousness.
  2. Psalm 7:1 Cush is not otherwise known, but as a Benjaminite he was probably a supporter of Saul. Hence, the psalm is associated with Saul’s determined attempts on David’s life.
  3. Psalm 7:5 I who . . . enemies: an alternative translation is: “and without cause have despoiled an enemy.”
  4. Psalm 7:10 Minds and hearts: literally, “hearts and kidneys.” These words were used as virtual synonyms (but “heart” most often) to refer to the innermost center of human life. To “search mind and heart” was a conventional expression for God’s examination of a person’s hidden character and motives (see Jer 11:20; 17:10; 20:12).
  5. Psalm 7:15 See notes on Pss 5:11; 35.
  6. Psalm 7:18 I will offer thanks . . . and I will sing hymns of praise: a vow to praise the Lord in keeping with the Israelite belief that praise must follow deliverance. The praise involved thank offerings and celebrating God’s saving deed in the presence of others in the temple (see Ps 50:14f, 23). See also note on Ps 9:2. Name: see notes on Pss 5:12; 8:2.

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