Psalms

JB PSALMS Chapter 1

PSALM 1

The two ways

1:1 Happy the man who never follows the advice of the wicked, or loiters on the way that sinners take, or sits about with scoffers,

1:2 but finds his pleasure in the Law of Yahweh, and murmurs his law day and night.

1:3 He is like a tree that is planted by water streams, yielding its fruit in season, its leaves never fading;

1:4 It is nothing like this with the wicked, nothing like this! No, these are like chaff blown away by the wind.

1:5 The wicked will not stand firm when Judgement comes, nor sinners when the virtuous assemble.

1:6 For Yahweh takes care of the way the virtuous go, but the way of the wicked is doomed.

JB PSALMS Chapter 2

PSALM 2

The messianic drama

2:1 Why this uproar among the nations? Why this impotent muttering of pagans –

2:2 kings on earth rising in revolt, princes plotting against Yahweh and his Anointed,

2:3 ‘Now let us break their fetters! Now let us throw off their yoke!’

2:4 The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing, Yahweh derides them.

2:5 Then angrily he addresses them, in a rage he strikes them with panic,

2:6 ‘This is my king, installed by me on Zion, my holy mountain’.

2:7 Let me proclaim Yahweh’s decree; he has told me, ‘You are my son, today I have become your father.

2:8 Ask and I will give you the nations for your heritage, the ends of the earth for your domain.

2:9 With iron sceptre you will break them, shatter them like potter’s ware.’

2:10 So now, you kings, learn wisdom, earthly rulers, be warned:

2:11 serve Yahweh, fear him,

2:12 tremble and kiss his feet, or he will be angry and you will perish, for his anger is very quick to blaze. Happy all who take shelter in him.

JB PSALMS Chapter 3

PSALM 3

Morning prayer of the virtuous man under persecution

Psalm

Of David

When he was escaping from his son Absalom

3:1 Yahweh, more and more are turning against me, more and more are rebelling against me,

3:2 more and more saying about me, ‘There is no help from him in his God’. (pause)

3:3 But, Yahweh, my encircling shield, my glory, you help me hold up my head.

3:4 Loudly I cry to Yahweh, and he answers me from his holy mountain. (pause)

3:5 Now I can lie down and go to sleep and then awake, for Yahweh has hold of me:

3:6 no fear now of those tens of thousands posted against me wherever I turn.

3:7 Rise, Yahweh! Save me, my God! You hack all my enemies to the cheekbone, you break the teeth of the wicked.

3:8 From Yahweh, rescue. On your people, blessing! (pause)

JB PSALMS Chapter 4

PSALM 4

Evening prayer

For the choirmaster

For strings

Psalm

Of David

4:1 God, guardian of my rights, you answer when I call, when I am in trouble, you come to my relief; now be good to me and hear my prayer.

4:2 You men, why shut your hearts so long, loving delusions, chasing after lies. (Pause)

4:3 Know this, Yahweh works wonders for those he loves, Yahweh hears me when I call to him.

4:4 Tremble: give up sinning, spend your night in quiet meditation. (Pause)

4:5 Offer sacrifice in a right spirit, and trust Yahweh.

4:6 ‘Who will give us sight of happiness?’ many say. Show us the light of your face, turned towards us! Yahweh,

4:7 you have given more joy to my heart than others ever knew, for all their corn and wine.

4:8 In peace I lie down, and fall asleep at once, since you alone, Yahweh, make me rest secure.

JB PSALMS Chapter 5

PSALM 5

Morning Prayer

For the choirmaster

For flutes

Psalm

Of David

5:1 Yahweh, let my words come to your ears, spare a thought for my sighs.

5:2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God! I say this prayer to you,

5:3 Yahweh, for at daybreak you listen for my voice. and at dawn I hold myself in readiness for you, I watch for you.

5:4 You are not a God who is pleased with wickedness, you have no room for the wicked;

5:5 boasters collapse under your scrutiny. You hate all evil men,

5:6 liars you destroy; murderers and frauds Yahweh detests.

5:7 But I, so great is your love, may come to your house, and before your holy Temple bow down in reverence to you.

5:8 Yahweh, lead me in the path of your righteousness, for there are men lying in wait for me; make your way plain before me.

5:9 Not a word from their lips can be trusted, deep within them lies ruin, their throats are yawning graves; they make their tongues so smooth!

5:10 Pronounce them guilty, God, make their intrigues their own downfall! Hound them for their countless crimes, since they have rebelled against you.

5:11 But joy for all who take shelter in you, endless shouts of joy! Since you protect them, they exult in you, those who love your name.

5:12 It is you who bless the virtuous man, Yahweh; your favour is like a shield covering him.

JB PSALMS Chapter 6

PSALM 6

Prayer in ordeal

For the choirmaster

For strings, for the octachord

Psalm

Of David

6:1 Yahweh, do not punish me in your rage, or reprove me in the heat of anger.

6:2 Pity me, Yahweh, I have no strength left, heal me, my bones are in torment,

6:3 my soul is in utter torment. Yahweh, how long will you be?

6:4 Come back, Yahweh, rescue my soul, save me, if you love me;

6:5 for in death there is no remembrance of you: who can sing your praises in Sheol?

6:6 I am worn out with groaning, every night I drench my pillow and soak my bed with tears;

6:7 my eye is wasted with grief, I have grown old with enemies all round me.

6:8 Away from me, all you evil men! For Yahweh has heard the sound of my weeping;

6:9 Yahweh has heard my petition, Yahweh will accept my prayer.

6:10 Let all my enemies, discredited, in utter torment, fall back in sudden confusion.

JB PSALMS Chapter 7

PSALM 7

Prayer of the virtuous under persecution

Lamentation

Of David, who sang it to Yahweh about Cush the Benjaminite

7:1 Yahweh my God, I take shelter in you; from all who hound me, save me, rescue me,

7:2 or, like a lion, he will carry me off and tear me to pieces where no one can save me.

7:3 Yahweh my God, if I ever soiled my hands with fraud,

7:4 repaid a friend evil for good, spared a man who wronged me[*a],

7:5 then let the enemy hound me down and catch me, let him stamp my life into the ground, and leave my entrails lying in the dust! (pause)

7:6 Rise, Yahweh, in anger, awake, my God! Confront the raging of my enemies, you who demand that justice shall be done.

7:7 Let the nations muster round you in a body, and then return, high over them.

7:8 (Yahweh is arbiter of nations[*b].) Give judgement for me, Yahweh: as my virtue and my integrity deserve.

7:9 Bring the maliciousness of evil men to an end, set the virtuous on his feet, you righteous God, assessor of mind and heart.

7:10 God is the shield that protects me, he preserves upright hearts,

7:11 God the righteous judge is slow to show his anger, but he is a God who is always enraged

7:12 by those who refuse to repent. The enemy may sharpen his sword,

7:13 but the weapons he prepares will kill himself and his arrows turn into firebrands.

7:14 Look at him, pregnant with wickedness, conceiving Spite, he gives birth to Mishap.

7:15 He dug a pit, hollowed it out, only to fall into his own trap!

7:16 His spite recoils on his own head, his brutality falls back on his own skull.

7:17 I give thanks to Yahweh for his righteousness, I sing praise to the name of the Most High.

JB PSALMS Chapter 8

PSALM 8

The munificence of the creator

For the choirmaster

On the … of Gath[*a]

Psalm

Of David

8:1 Yahweh, our Lord, how great your name throughout the earth! Above the heavens is your majesty chanted

8:2 by the mouths of children, babes in arms. You set your stronghold firm against your foes to subdue enemies and rebels.

8:3 I look up at your heavens, made by your fingers, at the moon and stars you set in place –

8:4 ah, what is man that you should spare a thought for him, the son of man that you should care for him?

8:5 Yet you have made him little less than a god, you have crowned him with glory and splendour,

8:6 made him lord over the work of your bands, set all things under his feet,

8:7 sheep and oxen, all these, yes, wild animals too,

8:8 birds in the air, fish in the sea travelling the paths of the ocean.

8:9 Yahweh, our Lord, how great your name throughout the earth!

JB PSALMS Chapter 9

PSALM 9-10

God crushes the wicked and saves the humble[*a]

For the choirmaster

For oboe and harp

Psalm

Of David

Aleph

9:1 I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart; I recite your marvels one by one,

9:2 I rejoice and exult in you, I sing praise to your name, Most High.

Beth

9:3 My enemies are in retreat, stumbling, perishing as you confront them:

9:4 you have upheld the justice of my cause from the throne where you sit as righteous judge.

Ghimel

9:5 You have checked the nations, you have crushed the wicked, blotted out their name for ever and ever;

9:6 the enemy is finished, in everlasting ruin, you have overthrown cities, their memory has perished.

He

9:7 See, Yahweh is enthroned for ever, he sets up his throne for judgement;

9:8 he is going to judge the world with justice, and pronounce a true verdict on the nations.

Waw

9:9 May Yahweh be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold when times are hard.

9:10 Those who acknowledge your name can rely on you, you never desert those who seek you, Yahweh.

Zain

9:11 To Yahweh with his home in Zion, sing praise, tell the nations of his mighty actions;

9:12 he, the avenger of blood, remembers them, he does not ignore the cry of the wretched.

Heth

9:13 Take pity on me, Yahweh, look on my suffering, you who lift me back from the gates of death,

9:14 that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may recite your praises one by one, rejoicing that you have saved me.

Teth

9:15 The nations have sunk into a pit of their own making, they are caught by the feet in the snare they set themselves.

9:16 Yahweh has made himself known, has given judgement, he has trapped the wicked in the work of their own hands. (Muted music)

9:17 May the wicked return to Sheol (pause), all the nations forgetful of God.

Kaph

9:18 For the needy is not always forgotten, the hope of the poor is never brought to nothing.

9:19 Rise, Yahweh, let not man have the upper hand, let the nations stand trial before you!

9:20 Strike terror into them, Yahweh, let the nations know they are only men! (pause)

JB PSALMS Chapter 10

PSALM 10

Lamed

10:1 Yahweh, why do you stand aside, why hide from us now the times are hard?

10:2 The poor man is devoured by the pride of the wicked, he is caught in the wiles that the other has devised.

(Mem)

10:3 The evil man boasts of his soul’s desires, the grasping man blasphemes[*a], the wicked spurns Yahweh.

(Nun)

10:4 ‘His anger is up there, he will not make me pay! There is no God!’ This is the way his mind works.

10:5 At every moment his course is assured, your rulings are too lofty for his notice; his rivals? He sneers at them all.

10:6 ‘Nothing can shake me’ he assures himself. Himself untouched by disaster,

10:7 he curses others.

(Samek)

Fraud and oppression fill his mouth,

Pe

spite and iniquity are under his tongue;

10:8 there in the reeds he lies in ambush to kill the innocent where no one can see.

Ain

Peering and prying for the out-of-luck,

10:9 lurking unseen like a lion in his hide, lurking to capture the poor man, the poor man seized, he drags him away in his net.

(Sade)

10:10 Questing of eye, he stoops, he crouches, and the luckless wretch falls into his power

10:11 as he thinks to himself, ‘God forgets, he hides his face, he does not see at all’.

Qoph

10:12 Rise, Yahweh, God raise your hand, do not forget the poor!

10:13 Why does the wicked man spurn God, assuring himself, ‘He will not make me pay’?

Resh

10:14 You yourself have seen the distress and the grief, you watch and then take them into your hands; the luckless man commits himself to you, you, the orphan’s certain help.

Shin

10:15 Break the power of the wicked, of the evil man, seek out his wickedness till there is none to be found!

10:16 Yahweh is king for ever and ever, the pagans are doomed to vanish from his country.

Tau

10:17 Yahweh, you listen to the wants of the humble, you bring strength to their hearts, you grant them a hearing,

10:18 judging in favour of the orphaned and exploited, so that earthborn man may strike fear no longer.

JB PSALMS Chapter 11

PSALM 11 (v 10 )

The confidence of the virtuous

For the choirmaster

Of David

11:1 In Yahweh I take shelter. How can you say to me, ‘Bird, fly back to your mountain:

11:2 ‘see how the wicked are bending their bows and fitting their arrows to the string, ready to shoot the upright from the shadows.

11:3 When foundations fall to ruin, what can the virtuous do?’

11:4 Yahweh is in his holy Temple, Yahweh whose throne is in heaven; his eyes look down at the world, his searching gaze scans all mankind.

11:5 The virtuous and the wicked are under Yahweh’s scrutiny, and his soul hates anyone who loves brutality.

11:6 He rains coals of fire and brimstone on the wicked, he serves them a scorching wind to swallow down.

11:7 Yahweh is righteous, he loves virtue, upright men will contemplate his face.

JB PSALMS Chapter 12

PSALM 12 (v 11)

Against a deceitful world

For the choirmaster

For the octachord

Psalm

Of David

12:1 Save us, Yahweh! There are no devout men left, fidelity has vanished from mankind.

12:2 All they do is lie to one another, flattering lips, talk from a double heart.

12:3 May Yahweh slice off every flattering lip, each tongue so glib with boasts,

12:4 those who say, ‘In our tongue lies our strength, our lips have the advantage; who can master us?’

12:5 ‘For the plundered poor, for the needy who groan, now will I act’ says Yahweh. ‘I will grant them the safety they sigh for.’

12:6 The words of Yahweh are without alloy, nature’s silver coming from the earth seven times refined.

12:7 And you, Yahweh, hold us in your keeping, against that breed protect us always.

12:8 The wicked prowl on every side, baseness stands high among the sons of men.

JB PSALMS Chapter 13

PSALM 13 (v12)

A confident appeal

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

13:1 How much longer will you forget me, Yahweh? For ever? How much longer will you hide your face from me?

13:2 How much longer must I endure grief in my soul, and sorrow in my heart by day and by night? How much longer must my enemy have the upper hand of me?

13:3 Look and answer me, Yahweh my God! Give my eyes light, or I shall sleep in death,

13:4 and my enemy will say, ‘I have beaten him’, and my oppressors have the joy of seeing me stumble.

13:5 But I for my part rely on your love, Yahweh; let my heart rejoice in your saving help. Let me sing to Yahweh for the goodness he has shown me.

JB PSALMS Chapter 14

PSALM 14 (v 13)

The godless men

For the choirmaster

Of David

14:1 The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God!’ Their deeds are corrupt and vile, there is not one good man left.

14:2 Yahweh is looking down from heaven at the sons of men, to see if a single one is wise, if a single one is seeking God.

14:3 All have turned aside, all alike are tainted; there is not one good man left, not a single one.

14:4 Are they so ignorant, all these evil men who swallow my people as though they were eating bread, and never invoke Yahweh?

14:5 They will be struck with fear, fear without reason, since God takes the side of the virtuous:

14:6 deride as you may the poor man’s hopes, Yahweh is his shelter.

14:7 Who will bring Israel salvation from Zion? When Yahweh brings his people home, what joy for Jacob, what happiness for Israel!

JB PSALMS Chapter 15

PSALM 15 (v14)

The guest of Yahweh

Psalm

Of David

15:1 Yahweh, who has the right to enter your tent, or to live on your holy mountain?

15:2 The man whose way of life is blameless, who always does what is right, who speaks the truth from his heart,

15:3 whose tongue is not used for slander, who does no wrong to his fellow, casts no discredit on his neighbour,

15:4 looks with contempt on the reprobate, but honours those who fear Yahweh; who stands by his pledge at any cost,

15:5 does not ask interest on loans, and cannot be bribed to victimise the innocent. – If a man does all this, nothing can ever shake him.

JB PSALMS Chapter 16

PSALM 16 (v15)

Yahweh, my heritage

Miktam

Of David

16:1 Look after me, God, I take shelter in you.

16:2 To Yahweh you say, ‘My Lord, you are my fortune, nothing else but you’,

16:3 yet to those pagan deities in the land, ‘My princes, all my pleasure is in you’.

16:4 Their idols teem, after these they run: shall I pour their blood-libations? – not I! Take their names on my lips ? – never!

16:5 Yahweh, my heritage, my cup, you, and you only, hold my lot secure;

16:6 the measuring line marks out delightful places for me, for me the heritage is superb indeed.

16:7 I bless Yahweh, who is my counsellor, and in the night my inmost self instructs me

16:8 I keep Yahweh before me always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.

16:9 So my heart exults, my very soul rejoices, my body, too, will rest securely,

16:10 for you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor allow the one you love to see the Pit;

16:11 you will reveal the path of life to me, give me unbounded joy in your presence, and at your right hand everlasting pleasures.

JB PSALMS Chapter 17

PSALM 17 (v16)

The innocent man pleads his cause

Prayer

Of David

17:1 Yahweh, hear the plea of virtue, listen to my appeal, lend an ear to my prayer, my lips free from dishonesty.

17:2 From your presence will my sentence come, your eyes are fixed on what is right.

17:3 You probe my heart, examine me at night, you test me yet find nothing, no murmuring from me: my mouth has never sinned

17:4 as most men’s do. No, I have treasured the words from your lips; in the path prescribed

17:5 walking deliberately in your footsteps, so that my feet do not slip.

17:6 I invoke you, God, and you answer me; turn your ear to me, hear what I say,

17:7 display your marvellous kindness, saviour of fugitives! From those who revolt against you

17:8 guard me like the pupil of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

17:9 from the onslaughts of the wicked. My enemies cluster round me, breathing hostility;

17:10 entrenched in their fat, their mouths utter arrogant claims;

17:11 now they are closing in, they have eyes for nothing but to see me overthrown.

17:12 They look like a lion eager to tear to pieces, like a young lion crouching in its hide.

17:13 Rise, Yahweh, subdue him face to face, rescue my soul from the wicked with your sword,

17:14 with your hand, Yahweh, rescue me from men, from the sort of men whose lot is here and now. Cram their bellies from your stores, give them all the sons that they could wish for, let them have a surplus to leave their children!

17:15 For me the reward of virtue is to see your face, and, on waking, to gaze my fill on your likeness.

JB PSALMS Chapter 18

PSALM 18 (v17)

Song of triumph for the king

For the choirmaster

Of David, the servant of Yahweh, who addressed the words of this song to Yahweh at the time when Yahweh delivered him from the power of his enemies and of Saul. He said:

18:1 I love you, Yahweh, my strength (my saviour, you rescue me from violence.)

18:2 Yahweh is my rock and my bastion, my deliverer is my God. I take shelter in him, my rock, my shield, my horn of salvation, my stronghold and my refuge. From violence you rescue me.

18:3 He is to be praised; on Yahweh I call and am saved from my enemies.

18:4 The waves of death encircled me, the torrents of Belial burst on me;

18:5 the cords of Sheol girdled me, the snares of death were before me.

18:6 In my distress I called to Yahweh and to my God I cried; from his Temple he heard my voice, my cry came to his ears.

18:7 Then the earth quivered and quaked, the foundations of the mountains trembled (they quivered because he was angry);

18:8 from his nostrils a smoke ascended, and from his mouth a fire that consumed (live embers were kindled at it).

18:9 He bent the heavens and came down, a dark cloud under his feet;

18:10 he mounted a cherub and flew, and soared on the wings of the wind.

18:11 Darkness he made a veil to surround him, his tent a watery darkness, dense cloud;

18:12 before him a flash enkindled hail and fiery embers.

18:13 Yahweh thundered from heaven, the Most High made his voice heard;

18:14 he let his arrows fly and scattered them, launched the lightnings and routed them.

18:15 The bed of the seas was revealed, the foundations of the world were laid bare, at your muttered threat, Yahweh, at the blast of your nostrils’ breath.

18:16 He sends from on high and takes me, he draws me from deep waters,

18:17 he delivers me from my powerful enemy, from a foe too strong for me.

18:18 They assailed me on my day of disaster, but Yahweh was my support;

18:19 he freed me, set me at large, he rescued me, since he loves me.

18:20 Yahweh requites me as I act justly, as my hands are pure so he repays me,

18:21 since I have kept the ways of Yahweh, nor fallen away from my God.

18:22 His judgements are all before me, his statutes I have not put from me;

18:23 I am blameless in his presence, I keep sin at arm’s length.

18:24 And Yahweh repays me as I act justly, as my purity is in his sight.

18:25 Faithful you are with the faithful, blameless with the blameless,

18:26 pure with the one who is pure, but crafty with the devious,

18:27 you save a people that is humble and humiliate eyes that are haughty.

18:28 Yahweh, you yourself are my lamp, my God lights up my darkness;

18:29 with you I storm the barbican, with my God I leap the rampart.

18:30 This God, his way is blameless; the word of Yahweh is without dross. He it is who is the shield of all who take shelter in him.

18:31 Who else is God but Yahweh, who else a rock save our God?

18:32 This God who girds me with strength and makes my way without blame,

18:33 who makes my feet like the hinds’ and holds me from falling on the heights,

18:34 who trains my hands for battle, my arms to bend a bow of bronze.

18:35 You give me your saving shield (your right hand upholds me), with care you train me,

18:36 wide room you make for my steps under me, my feet have never faltered.

18:37 I pursue my enemies and overtake them, nor turn back till an end is made of them;

18:38 I strike them down, and they cannot rise, they fall, they are under my feet:

18:39 You have girt me with strength for the fight, bent down my assailants beneath me,

18:40 made my enemies turn their backs to me; and those who hate me I destroy.

18:41 They cry out, there is no one to save, to Yahweh, but there is no reply;

18:42 I crush them fine as dust before the wind, trample them like the mud of the streets.

18:43 You deliver me from a people in revolt, you place me at the head of the nations, a people I did not know are now my servants,

18:44 foreigners come wooing my favour, no sooner do they hear than they obey me,

18:45 foreigners grow faint of heart, they come trembling out of their fastnesses.

18:46 Life to Yahweh! Blessed be my rock! Exalted be the God of my salvation,

18:47 the God who gives me vengeance and subjects the peoples to me,

18:48 who rescues me from my raging enemies. who attack me, you deliver me from the man of violence.

18:49 For this I will praise you, Yahweh, among the heathen and sing praise to your name.

18:50 His king he saves and saves again, displays his love for his anointed, for David and his heirs for ever.

JB PSALMS Chapter 19

PSALM 19 (v 18)

Yahweh, the sum of righteousness

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, the vault of heaven proclaims his handiwork;

19:2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the knowledge.

19:3 No utterance at all, no speech, no sound that anyone can hear;

19:4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their message to the ends of the world. High above, he pitched a tent for the sun,

19:5 who comes out of his pavilion like a bridegroom, exulting like a hero to run his race.

19:6 He has his rising on the edge of heaven, the end of his course is its furthest edge, and nothing can escape his heat.

19:7 The Law of Yahweh is perfect, new life for the soul; the decree of Yahweh is trustworthy, wisdom for the simple.

19:8 The precepts of Yahweh are upright, joy for the heart; the commandment of Yahweh is clear, light for the eyes.

19:9 The fear of Yahweh is pure, lasting for ever; the judgements of Yahweh are true, righteous, every one,

19:10 more desirable than gold, even than the finest gold; his words are sweeter than honey, even than honey that drips from the comb.

19:11 Thus your servant is formed by them, observance brings great reward.

19:12 But who can detect his own failings? Wash out my hidden faults.

19:13 And from pride preserve your servant, never let it dominate me. So shall I be above reproach, free from grave sin.

19:14 May the words of my mouth always find favour, and the whispering of my heart, in your presence, Yahweh, my Rock, my Redeemer!

JB PSALMS Chapter 20

PSALM 20 (v 19)

Prayer for the king

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

20:1 May Yahweh answer you in time of trouble, may the name of the God of Jacob protect you!

20:2 May he send you help from the sanctuary, give you support from Zion,

20:3 remember all your oblations and find your holocaust acceptable; (pause)

20:4 may he grant you your heart’s desire, and crown all your plans with success;

20:5 may we shout with joy for your victory, and plant our banners in the name of our God! May Yahweh grant all your petitions!

20:6 Now I know that Yahweh saves his anointed, and answers him from his holy heaven with mighty victories from his own right hand.

20:7 Some boast of chariots, some of horses, but we boast about the name of Yahweh our God;

20:8 theirs to crumple and fall, but we shall stand, and stand firm!

20:9 Yahweh, save the king, answer us when we call.

JB PSALMS Chapter 21

PSALM 21 (v 20)

Thanksgiving for the king

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

21:1 Yahweh, the king rejoices in your power; what great joy your saving help gives him!

21:2 You have granted him his heart’s desire, not denied him what his lips entreated. (pause)

21:3 For you have met him with choicest blessings, put a crown of pure gold on his head;

21:4 he asked for life, and you gave it him, length of days for ever and ever.

21:5 Great his glory through your saving help, you have loaded him with splendour and majesty;

21:6 yes, you confer on him everlasting blessings, you gladden him with the joy of your presence.

21:7 Yes, the king puts his trust in Yahweh, by grace of the Most High he reigns unshaken.

21:8 Your hand will unmask all your enemies, your right hand all who hate you;

21:9 you will make them like a blazing furnace, the day that you appear, Yahweh will engulf them in his anger, and fire will devour them;

21:10 you will wipe their children from the earth, their descendants from among the sons of men.

21:11 Plot though they do to harm you and weave their plan as they may, they cannot win;

21:12 since you will make them turntail, by shooting your arrows in their faces.

21:13 Rise, Yahweh, in your power! We will sing and play in honour of your strength.

JB PSALMS Chapter 22

PSALM 22 (v 21)

The sufferings and hope of the virtuous man

For the choirmaster

To the ‘Doe of the Dawn’

Psalm

Of David

22:1 My God, my God, why have you deserted me? How far from saving me, the words I groan!

22:2 I call all day, my God, but you never answer, all night long I call and cannot rest.

22:3 Yet, Holy One, you who make your home in the praises of Israel,

22:4 in you our fathers put their trust, they trusted and you rescued them;

22:5 they called to you for help and they were saved, they never trusted you in vain.

22:6 Yet here am I, now more worm than man, scorn of mankind, jest of the people,

22:7 all who see me jeer at me, they toss their heads and sneer,

22:8 ‘He relied on Yahweh, let Yahweh save him! If Yahweh is his friend, let Him rescue him!’

22:9 Yet you drew me out of the womb, you entrusted me to my mother’s breasts;

22:10 placed on your lap from my birth, from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

22:11 Do not stand aside: trouble is near, I have no one to help me!

22:12 A herd of bulls surrounds me, strong bulls of Bashan close in on me;

22:13 their jaws are agape for me, like lions tearing and roaring.

22:14 I am like water draining away, my bones are all disjointed, my heart is like wax, melting inside me;

22:15a my palate is drier than a potsherd

22:15b and my tongue is stuck to my jaw.

22:16 A pack of dogs surrounds me, a gang of Villains closes me in; they tie me hand and foot

22:15c and leave me lying in the dust of death.

22:17 I can count every one of my bones, and there they glare at me, gloating;

22:18 they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes.

22:19 Do not stand aside, Yahweh. O my strength, come quickly to my help;

22:20 rescue my soul from the sword, my dear life from the paw of the dog,

22:21 save me from the lion’s mouth, my poor soul from the wild bulls’ horns!

22:22 Then I shall proclaim your name to my brothers, praise you in full assembly:

22:23 you who fear Yahweh, praise him! Entire race of Jacob, glorify him! Entire race of Israel, revere him!

22:24 For he has not despised or disdained the poor man in his poverty, has not hidden his face from him, but has answered him when he called.

22:25 You are the theme of my praise in the Great Assembly, I perform my vows in the presence of those who fear him.

22:26 The poor will receive as much as they want to eat. Those who seek Yahweh will praise him. Long life to their hearts!

22:27 The whole earth, from end to end, will remember and come back to Yahweh; all the families of the nations will bow down before him.

22:28 For Yahweh reigns, the ruler of nations!

22:29 Before him all the prosperous of the earth will bow down, before him will bow all who go down to the dust. And my soul will live for him,

22:30 my children will serve him; men will proclaim the Lord to generations

22:31 still to come, his righteousness to a people yet unborn. All this he has done.

JB PSALMS Chapter 23

PSALM 23 (v 22)

The Good Shepherd

Psalm

Of David

23:1 Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

23:2 In meadows of green grass he lets me lie. To the waters of repose he leads me;

23:3 there he revives my soul. He guides me by paths of virtue for the sake of his name.

23:4 Though I pass through a gloomy Valley, beside me your rod and your staff are there, to hearten me.

23:5 You prepare a table before me under the eyes of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, my cup brims over.

23:6 Ah, how goodness and kindness pursue me, every day of my life, my home, the house of Yahweh, as long as I live!

JB PSALMS Chapter 24

PSALM 24 (v23)

Antiphonal psalm for solemn entry into the sanctuary

Psalm

Of David

24:1 To Yahweh belong earth and all it holds, the world and all who live in it;

24:2 he himself founded it on the ocean, based it firmly on the nether sea

24:3 Who has the right to climb the mountain of Yahweh, who the right to stand in his holy place?

24:4 He whose hands are clean, whose heart is pure, whose soul does not pay homage to worthless things and who never swears to a lie.

24:5 The blessing of Yahweh is his, and Vindication from God his saviour.

24:6 Such are the people who seek him, who seek your presence, God of Jacob! (pause)

24:7 Gates, raise your arches, rise, you ancient doors, let the king of glory in!

24:8 Who is this king of glory? Yahweh the strong, the valiant, Yahweh valiant in battle!

24:9 Gates, raise your arches, rise you ancient doors, let the king of glory in!

24:10 Who is this king of glory? He is Yahweh Sabaoth, King of glory, he! (pause)

JB PSALMS Chapter 25

PSALM 25 (v24)

Prayer in Danger

Of David

Aleph

25:1 To you, Yahweh, I lift up my soul,

25:2 O my God.

Beth

I rely on you, do not let me be shamed, do not let my enemies gloat over me!

Ghimel

25:3 No, those who hope in you are never shamed, shame awaits disappointed traitors.

Daleth

25:4 Yahweh, make your ways known to me, teach me your paths.

He

25:5 set me in the way of your truth, and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.

Waw

All day long I hope in you

25:7c because of your goodness, Yahweh.

Zain

25:6 Remember your kindness, Yahweh, your love, that you showed long ago.

Heth

25:7a Do not remember the sins of my youth;

25:7b but rather, with your love remember me.

Teth

25:8 Yahweh is so good, so upright, he teaches the way to sinners;

Yod

25:9 in all that is right he guides the humble, and instructs the poor in his way

Kaph

25:10 All Yahweh’s paths are love and truth for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Lamed

25:11 For the sake of your name, Yahweh, forgive my guilt, for it is great.

Mem

25:12 Everyone who fears Yahweh will be taught the course a man should choose;

Nun

25:13 his soul will live in prosperity, his children have the land for their own.

Samek

25:14 The close secret of Yahweh belongs to them who fear him, his covenant also, to bring them knowledge.

Ain

25:15 My eyes are always on Yahweh, for he releases my feet from the net.

Pe

25:16 Turn to me, take pity on me, alone and wretched as I am!

Sade

25:17 Relive the distress of my heart, free me from my sufferings.

Qoph

25:18 See my misery and pain, forgive all my sins!

Resh

25:19 See how my enemies multiply, and how violent their hatred has grown.

Shin

25:20 Watch over my soul, rescue me; let me not be shamed: I take shelter in you.

Tau

25:21 Let innocence and integrity be my protection, since my hope is in you, Yahweh. Redeem Israel, God, from all his troubles.

JB PSALMS Chapter 26

PSALM 26 (v25)

Prayer of the blameless

Of David

26:1 Yahweh, be my judge! I go my way in my innocence, My trust in Yahweh never wavers.

26:2 Test me, Yahweh, and probe me, put me to the trial, loins and heart;

26:3 for your love is before my eyes, and I live my life in loyalty to you.

26:4 No sitting with wastrels for me, no associating with hypocrites;

26:5 I hate the society of evil men, I refuse to sit down with the wicked.

26:6 I wash my hands in innocence and join the procession round your altar,

26:7 singing a hymn of thanksgiving, proclaiming all your wonders.

26:8 I love the house where you live, the place where your glory makes its home.

26:9 Do not let my soul share the fate of sinners, or my life the doom of men of blood,

26:10 men with guilt on their hands, whose right hands are heavy with bribes.

26:11 But I live my life in innocence, redeem me, Yahweh, take pity on me;

26:12 my foot is set on the right path, I bless you, Yahweh, at the Assemblies.

JB PSALMS Chapter 27

PSALM 27 (v26)

In God’s company there is no fear

Of David

27:1 Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom need I fear? Yahweh is the fortress of my life, of whom should I be afraid?

27:2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, they, my opponents, my enemies, are the ones who stumble and fall.

27:3 Though an army pitched camp against me, my heart would not fear; though war were waged against me, my trust would still be firm.

27:4 One thing I ask of Yahweh, one thing I seek: to live in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, to enjoy the sweetness of Yahweh and to consult him in his Temple.

27:5 For he shelters me under his awning in times of trouble; he hides me deep in his tent, sets me high on a rock.

27:6 And now my head is held high over the enemies who surround me, in his tent I will offer exultant sacrifice. I will sing, I will play for Yahweh!

27:7 Yahweh, hear my voice as I cry! Pity me! Answer me!

27:8 My heart has said of you, ‘Seek his face’. Yahweh, I do seek your face;

27:9 do not hide your face from me. Do not repulse your servant in anger; you are my help. Never leave me, never desert me, God, my saviour!

27:10 If my father and mother desert me, Yahweh will care for me still.

27:11 Yahweh, teach me your way, lead me in the path of integrity because of my enemies;

27:12 do not abandon me to the will of my foes – false witnesses have risen against me, and breathe out violence.

27:13 This I believe: I shall see the goodness of Yahweh, in the land of the living.

27:14 Put your hope in Yahweh, be strong, let your heart be bold, put your hope in Yahweh.

JB PSALMS Chapter 28

PSALM 28 (v27)

Petition and thanksgiving

Of David

28:1 I cry to you, Yahweh, my Rock! Do not be deaf to me, for if you are silent, I shall go down to the Pit like the rest.

28:2 Hear my voice, raised in petition, as I cry to you for help, as I raise my hands, Yahweh, toward your Holy of Holies.

28:3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, away with the evil men who talk of peace to their neighbours while malice is in their hearts.

28:4 Repay them for their actions, Yahweh, for the evil they commit, for their handiwork repay them, let them have what they deserve!

28:5 How blind they are to the works of Yahweh, to his own handiwork! May he pull them down and not rebuild them!

28:6 Blessed be Yahweh, for he hears the sound of my petition!

28:7 Yahweh is my strength, my shield, my heart puts its trust in him; I have been helped, my flesh has bloomed again, I thank him with all my heart.

28:8 Yahweh is the strength of his people, a saving fortress for his anointed.

28:9 Save your people! Bless your heritage! Shepherd them; carry them for ever!

JB PSALMS Chapter 29

PSALM 29 (v28)

Hymn to the lord of the storm

Psalm

Of David

29:1 Pay tribute to Yahweh, you sons of God,[*a] tribute to Yahweh of glory and power,

29:2 tribute to Yahweh of the glory of his name, worship Yahweh in his sacred court.

29:3a The voice of Yahweh over the waters!

29:3c Yahweh over the multitudinous waters!

29:4 The voice of Yahweh in power! The voice of Yahweh in splendour!

29:5 The voice of Yahweh shatters the cedars, Yahweh shatters the cedars of Lebanon,

29:6 making Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion[*b] like a young wild bull.

29:7 The voice of Yahweh sharpens lightning shafts!

29:8 The voice of Yahweh sets the wilderness shaking. Yahweh shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

29:9a The voice of Yahweh sets the terebinths shuddering

29:9b stripping the forests bare.

29:3b The God of glory thunders.

29:9c In his palace everything cries, ‘Glory!’

29:10 Yahweh sat enthroned for the Flood, Yahweh sits enthroned as a king for ever.

29:11 Yahweh gives strength to his people, Yahweh blesses his people with peace.

JB PSALMS Chapter 30

PSALM 30 (v29)

Thanksgiving after mortal danger

Psalm

Canticle for the Dedication of the House

Of David

30:1 High praise, Yahweh, I give you, for you have helped me up, and not let my enemies gloat over me.

30:2 Yahweh, my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

30:3 Yahweh, you have brought my soul up from Sheol, of all those who go down to the Pit you have revived me.

30:4 Play music in Yahweh’s honour, you devout, remember his holiness, and praise him.

30:5 His anger lasts a moment, his favour a lifetime; in the evening, a spell of tears, in the morning, shouts of joy.

30:6 In my prosperity, I used to say, ‘Nothing can ever shake me!’

30:7 Your favour, Yahweh, stood me on a peak impregnable; but then you hid your face and I was terrified.

30:8 Yahweh, I call to you, I beg my God to pity me,

30:9 ‘What do you gain by my blood[*a] if I go down to the Pit? Can the dust praise you or proclaim your faithfulness?

30:10 ‘Hear, Yahweh, take pity on me; Yahweh, help me!’

30:11 You have turned my mourning into dancing, you have stripped off my sackcloth and wrapped me in gladness

30:12 and now my heart, silent no longer, will play you music; Yahweh, my God, I will praise you for ever.

JB PSALMS Chapter 31

PSALM 31 (v30)

Prayer in time of ordeal

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

31:1 In you, Yahweh, I take shelter; never let me be disgraced. In your righteousness deliver me, rescue me,

31:2 turn your ear to me, make haste! Be a sheltering rock for me, a walled fortress to save me!

31:3 For you are my rock, my fortress; for the sake of your name, guide me, lead me!

31:4 Pull me out of the net they have spread for me, for you are my refuge;

31:5 into your hands I commit my spirit, you have redeemed me, Yahweh. God of truth,

31:6 you hate those who serve worthless idols; but I put my trust in Yahweh:

31:7 I will exult, and rejoice in your love! You, who have seen my wretchedness, and known the miseries of my soul,

31:8 have not handed me over to the enemy, you have given my feet space and to spare.

31:9 Take pity on me, Yahweh, I am in trouble now. Grief wastes away my eye, my throat, my inmost parts.

31:10 For my life is worn out with sorrow, my years with sighs; my strength yields under misery, my bones are wasting away.

31:11 To every one of my oppressors I am contemptible, loathsome to my neighbours, to my friends a thing of fear. Those who see me in the street hurry past me;

31:12 I am forgotten, as good as dead in their hearts, something discarded.

31:13 I hear their endless slanders, threats from every quarter, as they combine against me, plotting to take my life.

31:14 But I put my trust in you, Yahweh, I say, ‘You are my God’.

31:15 My days are in your hand, rescue me from the hands of my enemies and persecutors;

31:16 let your face smile on your servant, save me in your love.

31:17 I invoke you; Yahweh; do not let me be disgraced, let the disgrace fall on the wicked! May they go speechless to Sheol,

31:18 their lying lips struck dumb for those insolent slurs on the virtuous, for that arrogance and contempt.

31:19 Yahweh, how great your goodness, reserved for those who fear you, bestowed on those who take shelter in you, for all mankind to see!

31:20 Safe in your presence you hide them far from the wiles of men; inside your tent you shelter them far from the war of tongues.

31:21 Blessed be Yahweh, who performs marvels of love for me (in a fortress-city)!

31:22 In my alarm I exclaimed, ‘I have been snatched out of your sight!’ Yet you heard my petition when I called to you for help.

31:23 Love Yahweh, all you devout: Yahweh, protector of the faithful, will repay the arrogant with interest.

31:24 Be strong, let your heart be bold, all you who hope in Yahweh!

JB PSALMS Chapter 32

PSALM 32 (v31)

Candid admission of sin

Of David

Poem

32:1 Happy the man whose fault is forgiven, whose sin is blotted out;

32:2 happy the man whom Yahweh accuses of no guilt, whose spirit is incapable of deceit!

32:3 All the time I kept silent, my bones were wasting away with groans, day in, day out;

32:4 day and night your hand lay heavy on me; my heart grew parched as stubble in summer drought (Pause)

32:5 At last I admitted to you I had sinned; no longer concealing my guilt, I said, ‘I will go to Yahweh and confess my fault’. And you, you have forgiven the wrong I did, have pardoned my sin. (Pause)

32:6 That is why each of your servants prays to you in time of trouble; even if floods come rushing down, they will never reach him.

32:7 You are a hiding place for me, you guard me when in trouble, you surround me with songs of deliverance. (Pause)

32:8 I will instruct you, and teach you the way to go; I will watch over you and be your adviser.

32:9 Do not be like senseless horse or mule that need bit and bridle to curb their spirit (to let you get near them).

32:10 Many torments await the wicked, but grace enfolds the man who trusts in Yahweh.

32:11 Rejoice in Yahweh, exult, you virtuous, shout for joy, all upright hearts.

JB PSALMS Chapter 33

PSALM 33 (v32)

Hymn to Providence

33:1 Shout for joy to Yahweh, all virtuous men, praise comes well from upright hearts;

33:2 give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play to him on the ten-string harp;

33:3 sing a new song in his honour, play with all your skill as you acclaim[*a] him!

33:4 The word of Yahweh is integrity itself, all he does is done faithfully;

33:5 he loves virtue and justice, Yahweh’s love fills the earth.

33:6 By the word of Yahweh the heavens were made, their whole array by the breath of his mouth;

33:7 he collects the ocean waters as though in a wineskin, he stores the deeps in cellars.

33:8 Let the whole world fear Yahweh, let all who live on earth revere him!

33:9 He spoke, and it was created; he commanded, and there it stood.

33:10 Yahweh thwarts the plans of nations, frustrates the intentions of peoples;

33:11 but Yahweh’s plans hold good for ever, the intentions of his heart from age to age.

33:12 Happy the nation whose God is Yahweh, the people he has chosen for his heritage.

33:13 Yahweh looks down from heaven, he sees the whole human race;

33:14 from where he sits he watches all who live on the earth,

33:15 he who moulds every heart and takes note of all men do.

33:16 A large army will not keep a king safe, nor does the hero escape by his great strength;

33:17 it is delusion to rely on the horse for safety, for all its power, it cannot save.

33:18 But see how the eye of Yahweh is on those who fear him, on those who rely on his love,

33:19 to rescue their souls from death and keep them alive in famine.

33:20 Our soul awaits Yahweh, he is our help and shield;

33:21 our hearts rejoice in him, we trust in his holy name.

33:22 Yahweh, let your love rest on us as our hope has rested in you.

JB PSALMS Chapter 34

PSALM 34 (v33)

In praise of God’s justice

Of David. When, after pretending to be mad in front of Abimelech, he was dismissed by him and made his escape

Aleph

34:1 I will bless Yahweh at all times, his praise shall be on my lips continually;

Beth

34:2 my soul glories in Yahweh, let the humble hear and rejoice.

Ghimel

34:3 Proclaim with me the greatness of Yahweh, together let us extol his name.

Daleth

34:4 I seek Yahweh, and he answers me and frees me from all my fears.

He

34:5 Every face turned to him grows brighter and is never ashamed.

Zain

34:6 A cry goes up from the poor man, and Yahweh hears, and helps him in all his troubles.

Heth

34:7 The angel of Yahweh pitches camp round those who fear him; and he keeps them safe.

Teth

34:8 How good Yahweh is – only taste and see! Happy the man who takes shelter in him.

Yod

34:9 Fear Yahweh, you his holy ones: those who fear him want for nothing.

Kaph

34:10 The young lion may go empty and hungry, but those who seek Yahweh lack nothing good.

Lamed

34:11 Come, my sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of Yahweh.

Mem

34:12 Which of you wants to live to the full, who loves long life and enjoyment of prosperity?

Nun

34:13 Malice must be banished from your tongue, deceitful conversation from your lips;

Samek

34:14 never yield to evil, practise good, seek peace, pursue it.

Pe

34:16 The face of Yahweh frowns on evil men, to wipe their memory from the earth;

Ain

34:15 the eyes of Yahweh are turned towards the virtuous, his ears to their cry.

Sade

34:17 They cry for help and Yahweh hears and rescues them from all their troubles;

Qoph

34:18 Yahweh is near to the broken-hearted, he helps those whose spirit is crushed.

Resh

34:19 Hardships in plenty beset the virtuous man, but Yahweh rescues him from them all;

Shin

34:20 taking care of every bone, Yahweh will not let one be broken.

Tau

34:21 Evil will bring death to the wicked, those who hate the virtuous will have to pay;

(Waw)

34:22 while Yahweh himself ransoms the souls of his servants, and those who take shelter in him have nothing to pay.

JB PSALMS Chapter 35

PSALM 35 (v34)

Prayer of a virtuous man under oppression

Of David

35:1 Accuse my accusers, Yahweh, attack my attackers;

35:2 grip shield and buckler, up, and help me;

35:3 brandish lance and pike in the faces of my pursuers. Tell my soul, ‘I am your salvation’.

35:4 Shame and dishonour on those who are out to kill me! Back with them! Cover with confusion those who plot my downfall!

35:5 May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of Yahweh to chase them!

35:6 May their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of Yahweh to hound them!

35:7 Unprovoked they spread their net for me, they dug a pit for me;

35:8 but Ruin creeps on them unawares, the net they have spread will catch them instead, and into their own pit will they fall.

35:9 Then my soul will rejoice in Yahweh, exult that he has saved me.

35:10 All my bones will exclaim, ‘Yahweh, who can compare with you in rescuing the poor man from the stronger, the needy from the man who exploits him?’

35:11 Lying witnesses take the stand, questioning me on things I know nothing about;

35:12 they repay my kindness with evil, there is desolation in my soul.

35:13 Yet, when they were sick, I put sackcloth on, I humbled my soul with fasting, murmuring prayers to my own breast

35:14 as though for a friend or brother; and, like a person mourning his mother, went about dejected and sorrowing.

35:15 Now I have fallen, they crowd round delighted, flocking to jeer at me; strangers I never even knew with loud cries tear me to pieces,

35:16 riddling me with gibe after gibe, grinding their teeth at me.

35:17 How much longer, Lord, will you look on? Rescue my soul from their onslaughts, my dear life from these lions.

35:18 I will give thanks in the Great Assembly, praise you where the people throng.

35:19 Do not let my lying enemies gloat over me, do not let those who hate me for no reason exchange sly glances.

35:20 Peace is not what they discuss with the peaceloving people of the land; they think out false accusations,

35:21 their mouths wide to accuse me, ‘Aha! Aha!’ they say ‘With our own eyes we saw it!’

35:22 Now break your silence, Yahweh, you were looking too, Lord, do not stand aside,

35:23 up, wake up, come to my defence, Lord my God side with me!’

35:24 Yahweh my God, you are righteous, so give verdict for me, and do not let them gloat over me.

35:25 Do not let them think, ‘Just as we hoped!’ Do not let them say, ‘Now we have got him down!’

35:26 Shame and dishonour on all who gloat over my misfortune; shame and discredit cover all who profit at my expense!

35:27 But shouts of joy and gladness for all who take pleasure in my virtue; give them constant cause to say, ‘Great is Yahweh, who likes to see his servant at peace!’

35:28 Then my tongue will shout your goodness, and sing your praises all day long.

JB PSALMS Chapter 36

PSALM 36 (v35)

The wickedness of the sinner, the goodness of God

For the choirmaster

Of the servant of Yahweh, David

36:1 The wicked man’s oracle is Sin in the depths of his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.

36:2 He sees himself with too flattering an eye to detect and detest his guilt;

36:3 all he says tends to mischief and deceit, he has turned his back on wisdom. How best to work

36:4 mischief he plots, even when he is in bed; he persists in his evil course, he never rejects what is bad.

36:5 Your love, Yahweh, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds;

36:6 your righteousness is like the mountains of God, your judgements like the mighty deep. Yahweh, protector of man and beast,

36:7 how precious, God, your love! Hence the sons of men take shelter in the shadow of your wings.

36:8 They feast on the bounty of your house, you give them drink from your river of pleasure;

36:9 yes, with you is the fountain of life, by your light we see the light.

36:10 Do not stop loving those who know you, or being righteous to upright hearts.

36:11 Do not let arrogant feet crush me or wicked hands expel me.

36:12 The evil men have fallen, there they lie, beaten down, never to stand again!

JB PSALMS Chapter 37

PSALM 37 (v36)

The fate of the virtuous and the wicked

Of David

Aleph

37:1 Do not worry about the wicked, do not envy those who do wrong.

37:2 Quick as the grass they wither, fading like the green in the field.

Beth

37:3 Trust in Yahweh and do what is good, make your home in the land and live in peace;

37:4 make Yahweh your only joy and he will give you what your heart desires.

Ghimel

37:5 Commit your fate to Yahweh, trust in him and he will act:

37:6 making your Virtue clear as the light, your integrity as bright as noon.

Daleth

37:7 Be quiet before Yahweh, and wait patiently for him, not worrying about men who make their fortunes, about men who scheme

37:14c to bring the poor and needy down.

He

37:8 Enough of anger, leave rage aside, do not worry, nothing but evil can come of it:

37:9 for the wicked will be expelled, while those who hope in Yahweh shall have the land for their own.

Waw

37:10 A little longer, and the wicked will be no more, search his place well, he will not be there;

37:11 but the humble shall have the land for their own to enjoy untroubled peace.

Zain

37:12 The wicked man plots against the virtuous, and grinds his teeth at him;

37:13 but the Lord only laughs at the man, knowing his end is in sight.

Heth

37:14a Though the wicked draw the sword,

37:14b and bend their bow, to kill the upright,

37:15 their swords will only pierce their own hearts and their bows will be smashed.

Teth

37:16 The little the virtuous possesses outweighs all the wealth of the wicked,

37:17 since the arms of the wicked are doomed to break, and Yahweh will uphold the virtuous.

Yod

37:18 Yahweh takes care of good men’s lives, and their heritage will last for ever;

37:19 they will not be at a loss when bad times come, in time of famine they will have more than they need.

Kaph

37:20 As for the wicked-they will perish, these enemies of Yahweh; they will vanish like the beauty of the meadows, they will vanish in smoke.

Lamed

37:21 The wicked man borrows without meaning to repay, but a virtuous man is generous and open-handed;

37:22 those he blesses will have the land for their own, those he curses will be expelled.

Mem

37:23 Yahweh guides a man’s steps, they are sure, and he takes pleasure in his progress;

37:24 he may fall, but never fatally, since Yahweh supports him by the hand.

Nun

37:25 Now I am old, but ever since my youth I never saw a virtuous man deserted, or his descendants forced to beg their bread;

37:26 he is always compassionate, always lending: his children will be blessed.

Samek

37:27 Never yield to evil, practise good and you will have an everlasting home,

37:28 for Yahweh loves what is right, and never deserts the devout.

Ain

Those who do wrong will perish once and for all, and the children of the wicked shall be expelled;

37:29 the virtuous will have the land for their own, and make it their home for ever.

Pe

37:30 The mouth of the virtuous man murmurs wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is right;

37:31 with the Law of God in his heart his steps can never falter.

Sade

37:32 The wicked man spies on the virtuous, seeking to kill him;

37:33 Yahweh will never leave him in those clutches, or let him be condemned under trial.

Qoph

37:34a Put your hope in Yahweh, keep his way,

37:40b and he will save you from the wicked,

37:34b raising you until you make the land your own and see the wicked expelled.

Resh

37:35 I have seen the wicked in his triumph towering like a cedar of Lebanon,

37:36 but when next I passed, he was not there, I looked for him and he was nowhere to be found.

Shin

37:37 Observe the innocent man, consider the upright: for the man of peace there are descendants,

37:38 but sinners shall be destroyed altogether, the descendants of the wicked shall be wiped out.

Tau

37:39 The salvation of the virtuous comes from Yahweh, he is their shelter when trouble comes;

37:40a Yahweh helps and rescues them, he saves them because they take shelter in him.

JB PSALMS Chapter 38

PSALM 38 (v37)

Prayer in distress

Psalm

Of David

In commemoration

38:1 Yahweh, do not punish me in your rage, or reprove me in the heat of anger.

38:2 Your arrows have pierced deep, your hand has pressed down on me;

38:3 no soundness in my flesh now you are angry, no health in my bones, because of my sin.

38:4 My guilt is overwhelming me, it is too heavy a burden;

38:5 my wounds stink and are festering, the result of my folly;

38:6 bowed down, bent double, overcome, I go mourning all the day.

38:7 My loins are burnt up with fever, there is no soundness in my flesh:

38:8 numbed and crushed and overcome, my heart groans, I moan aloud.

38:9 Lord, all that I long for is known to you, my sighing is no secret from you;

38:10 my heart is throbbing, my strength deserting me, the light of my eyes itself has left me.

38:11 My friends and my companions shrink from my wounds, even the dearest of them keep their distance;

38:12 men intent on killing me lay snares, others, hoping to hurt me, threaten my ruin, hatching treacherous plots all day.

38:13 But I am like the deaf, I do not hear, like the dumb man who does not open his mouth;

38:14 I am like the man who, hearing nothing, gives no sharp answer in return.

38:15 For I put my trust in you, Yahweh, and leave you to answer for me, Lord my God.

38:16 I have already said, ‘Stop them gloating over me, do not let them take advantage of me if my foot should slip’.

38:17 And now my fall is upon me, there is no relief from my pains

38:18 yes, I admit my guilt, I am sorry for having sinned.

38:19 There are more and more to hurt me for no reason, There are more to hate me unprovoked,

38:20 repaying my kindness with evil, arraigning me for trying to do right.

38:21 Yahweh, do not desert me, do not stand aside, my God!

38:22 Come quickly to my help, Lord, my saviour!

JB PSALMS Chapter 39

PSALM 39 (v38)

The insignificance of man before God

For the choirmaster

For Jeduthun

Psalm

Of David

39:1 I said, ‘I will watch how I behave, and not let my tongue lead me into sin; I will keep a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked man is near me’.

39:2 I stayed dumb, silent, speechless, though the sight of him thriving made torment increase.

39:3 My heart had been smouldering inside me, but it flared up at the thought of this and the words burst out,

39:4 ‘Tell me, Yahweh, when my end will be, how many days are allowed me, show me how frail I am.

39:5 ‘Look, you have given me an inch or two of life, my life-span is nothing to you; each man that stands on earth is only a puff of wind, (Pause)

39:6 every man that walks, only a shadow, and the wealth he amasses is only a puff of wind – he does not know who will take it next.’

39:7 So tell me, Lord, what can I expect? My hope is in you.

39:8 Free me from all my sins, do not make me the butt of idiots.

39:9 I am dumb, I speak no more, since you yourself have been at work.

39:10 Lay your scourge aside, I am worn out with the blows you deal me.

39:11 You punish man with the penalties of sin, like a moth you eat away all that gives him pleasure – man is indeed only a puff of wind! (Pause)

39:12 Yahweh, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for help, do not stay deaf to my crying. I am your guest, and only for a time, a nomad like all my ancestors.

39:13 Look away, let me draw breath, before I go away and am no more!

JB PSALMS Chapter 40

PSALM 40 (v39)

Song of praise and prayer for help

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

40:1 I waited and waited for Yahweh, now at last he has stooped to me and heard my cry for help.

40:2 He has pulled me out of the horrible pit, out of the slough of the marsh, has settled my feet on a rock and steadied my steps.

40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; dread will seize many at the sight, and they will put their trust in Yahweh.

40:4 Happy the man who puts his trust in Yahweh, and does not side with rebels who stray after false gods.

40:5 How many wonders you have done for us, Yahweh, my God! How many plans you have made for us; you have no equal! I want to proclaim them, again and again, but they are more than I can count.

40:6 You, who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, opened my ear, you asked no holocaust or sacrifice for sin;

40:7 then I said, ‘Here I am! I am coming!’ In the scroll of the book am I not commanded

40:8 to obey your will? My God, I have always loved your Law from the depths of my being.

40:9 I have always proclaimed the righteousness of Yahweh in the Great Assembly; nor do I mean to stop proclaiming, as you know well.

40:10 I have never kept your righteousness to myself, but have spoken of your faithfulness and saving help; I have made no secret of your love and faithfulness in the Great Assembly.

40:11 For your part, Yahweh, do not withhold your kindness from me! May your love and faithfulness constantly preserve me.

40:12 More misfortunes beset me than I can count, my sins close in on me until I can hardly see, they outnumber the hairs on my head; my courage is running out.

40:13 Oh come and rescue me, Yahweh, Yahweh come quickly and help me!

40:14 Shame and dishonour on all who are out to kill, to destroy me! Down with them! Disgrace on those who enjoy my misfortune!

40:15 May they be aghast with shame, those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’

40:16 But joy and gladness for all who seek you! To all who love your saving power give constant cause to say, ‘God is great!’

40:17 To me, poor wretch, come quickly, Lord! My helper, my saviour, my God, come and do not delay!

JB PSALMS Chapter 41

PSALM 41 (v40)

Prayer of a sick and lonely man

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

41:1 Happy the man who cares for the poor and the weak: if disaster strikes, Yahweh will come to his help.

41:2 Yahweh will guard him, give him life and happiness in the land; ah, do not let his enemies treat him as they please!

41:3 Yahweh will be his comfort on his bed of sickness; most carefully you make his bed when he is sick.

41:4 I for my part said, ‘Yahweh, take pity on me! Cure me, for I have sinned against you.’

41:5 My enemies say of me with malice, ‘How long before he dies and his name perishes?’

41:6 They visit me, their hearts full of spite, they offer hollow comfort, and go out to spread the news.

41:7 All who hate me whisper to each other about me, reckoning I deserve the misery I suffer,

41:8 ‘This sickness is fatal that has overtaken him, he is down at last, he will never get up again’.

41:9 Even my closest and most trusted friend, who shared my table, rebels against me.

41:10 But Yahweh, take pity on me! Raise me up, and I will pay them back;

41:11 and by this I shall know that I enjoy your favour, if my enemy fails to triumph over me;

41:12 and I, whom you uphold, go unscathed, set by you in your presence for ever.

41:13 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, from all eternity and for ever! Amen. Amen![*a]

JB PSALMS Chapter 42

PSALM 42-43 (v41-42)

Lament of a Levite in exile

For the choirmaster

Poem

Of the sons of Korah

42:1 As a doe longs for running streams, so longs my soul for you, my God.

42:2 My soul thirsts for God, the God of life; when shall I go to see the face of God?[*a]

42:3 I have no food but tears, day and night; and all day long men say to me, ‘Where is your God?’

42:4 I remember, and my soul melts within me: I am on my way to the wonderful Tent, to the house of God, among cries of joy and praise and an exultant throng.

42:5 Why so downcast, my soul, why do you sigh within me? Put your hope in God: I shall praise him yet, my saviour,

42:6 my God. When my soul is downcast within me, I think of you; from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, of you, humble mountain![*b]

42:7 Deep is calling to deep as your cataracts roar; all your waves, your breakers, have rolled over me.

42:8 In the daytime may Yahweh command his love to come, and by night may his song be on my lips, a prayer to the God of my life!

42:9 Let me say to God my Rock, ‘Why do you forget me? Why must I walk so mournfully, oppressed by the enemy?’

42:10 Nearly breaking my bones my oppressors insult me, as all day long they ask me, ‘Where is your God?’

42:11 Why so downcast, my soul, why do you sigh within me? Put your hope in God: I shall praise him yet, my saviour, my God.

JB PSALMS Chapter 43

PSALM 43

43:1 Defend me, take up my cause against people who have no pity; from the treacherous and cunning man rescue me, God.

43:2 It is you, God, who are my shelter: why do you abandon me? Why must I walk so mournfully, oppressed by the enemy?

43:3 Send out your light and your truth, let these be my guide, to lead me to your holy mountain and to the place where you live.

43:4 Then I shall go to the altar of God, to the God of my joy, I shall rejoice, I shall praise you on the harp, Yahweh, my God.

43:5 Why so downcast, my soul, why do you sigh within me? Put your hope in God: I shall praise him yet, my saviour, my God.

JB PSALMS Chapter 44

PSALM 44 (v43)

National lament

For the choirmaster

Of the sons of Korah

Psalm

44:1 God, we have heard with our own ears, our ancestors have told us of the deeds you performed in their days, in days long ago,

44:2 by your hand. To put them in the land you dispossessed the nations, you harried the peoples to make room for them;

44:3 it was not by their swords they won the land, it was not by their arms they gained the victory: it was your right hand, your arm and the light of your face – because you loved them.

44:4 You it was, my King, my God, who won those victories for Jacob;

44:5 through you we trampled down our enemies, through your name we subdued our aggressors.

44:6 My trust was not in my bow, my sword did not gain me victory:

44:7 we conquered our enemies through you, you, who defeated all who hated us –

44:8 our boast was always of God, we praised your name without ceasing. (Pause)

44:9 Yet now you abandon and scorn us, you no longer march with our armies,

44:10 you allow the enemy to push us back, and let those who hate us raid us when it suits them.

44:11 You let us go to the slaughterhouse like sheep, you scatter us among the nations;

44:12 you sell your people for next to nothing, and make no profit from the bargain.

44:13 Thanks to you, our neighbours insult us, all those around us make us their butt and laughing-stock;

44:14 you make us a byword to pagans, a thing to make them toss their heathen heads.

44:15 All day long I brood on this disgrace, my face covered in shame,

44:16 under a shower of insult and blasphemy, a display of hatred and revenge.

44:17 All this happened to us though we had not forgotten you, though we had not been disloyal to your covenant;

44:18 though our hearts had not turned away, though our steps had not left your path:

44:19 yet you crushed us in the place where the jackals live, and threw the shadow of death over us.

44:20 Had we forgotten the name of our own God and stretched out our hands to a foreign one,

44:21 would not God have found this out, he who knows the secrets of the heart?

44:22 No, it is for your sake we are being massacred daily, and counted as sheep for the slaughter.

44:23 Wake up, Lord! Why are you asleep? Awake! Do not abandon us for good.

44:24 Why do you hide your face, and forget we are wretched and exploited?

44:25 For we are bowed in the dust, our bodies crushed to the ground.

44:26 Rise! Come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your love.

JB PSALMS Chapter 45

PSALM 45 (v44)

Royal wedding song

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘Lilies…’

Of the sons of Korah

Poem

Love song

45:1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme: I address my poem to the king; my tongue as ready as the pen of a busy scribe.

45:2 Of all men you are the most handsome, your lips are moist with grace, for God has blessed you for ever.

45:3 Hero, strap your sword at your side, in majesty and splendour;

45:4 on, ride on, in the cause of truth, religion and virtue! Stretch the bowstring tight, lending terror to your right hand.

45:5 Your arrows are sharp; nations lie at your mercy, the king’s enemies are losing heart.

45:6 Your throne, God, shall last for ever and ever, your royal sceptre is a sceptre of integrity:

45:7 virtue you love as much as you hate wickedness. This is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness, above all your rivals;

45:8 myrrh and aloes waft from your robes. From palaces of ivory harps entertain you;

45:9 daughters of kings are among your maids of honour; on your right stands the queen, in gold from Ophir.

45:10 Listen, daughter, pay careful attention: forget your nation and your ancestral home,

45:11 then the king will fall in love with your beauty. He is your master now, bow down to him.

45:12 The daughter of Tyre will solicit your favour with gifts, the wealthiest nations,

45:13 with jewels set in gold. Dressed

45:14 in brocades, the king’s daughter is led in to the king, with bridesmaids in her train. Her ladies-in-waiting follow

45:15 and enter the king’s palace to general rejoicing.

45:16 Your ancestors will be replaced by sons whom you will make lords of the whole world.

45:17 I shall immortalise your name, nations will sing your praises for ever and ever.

JB PSALMS Chapter 46

PSALM 46 (v45)

God is on our side

For the choirmaster

Of the sons of Korah

For oboe

Song

46:1 God is our shelter, our strength, ever ready to help in time of trouble,

46:2 so we shall not be afraid when the earth gives way, when mountains tumble into the depths of the sea,

46:3 and its waters roar and seethe, the mountains tottering as it heaves. (Yahweh Sabaoth is on our side, our citadel, the God of Jacob!) (Pause)

46:4 There is a river whose streams refresh the city of God, and it sanctifies the dwelling of the Most High.

46:5 God is inside the city, she can never fall, at crack of dawn God helps her;

46:6 to the roaring of nations and tottering of kingdoms, when he shouts, the world disintegrates.

46:7 Yahweh Sabaoth is on our side, our citadel, the God of Jacob! (Pause)

46:8 Come, think of Yahweh’s marvels, the astounding things he has done in the world;

46:9 all over the world he puts an end to wars, he breaks the bow, he snaps the spear, he gives shields to the flames.

46:10 ‘Pause a while and know that I am God, exalted among the nations’, exalted over the earth!’

46:11 Yahweh Sabaoth is on our side, our citadel, the God of Jacob! (Pause)

JB PSALMS Chapter 47

PSALM 47 (v46)

Yahweh, king of Israel, lord of the world

For the choirmaster

Of the sons of Korah

Psalm

47:1 Clap your hands, all you peoples, acclaim God with shouts of joy;

47:2 for Yahweh, the Most High, is to be dreaded, the Great King of the whole world.

47:3 He brings the peoples under our dominion, he puts the nations under our feet;

47:4 for us he chooses our heritage – the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.

47:5 God rises to shouts of acclamation, Yahweh rises to a blast of trumpets,

47:6 let the music sound for our God, let it sound, let the music sound for our King, let it sound!

47:7 God is king of the whole world: play your best in his honour!

47:8 God is king of the nations, he reigns on his holy throne.

47:9 The leaders of the nations rally to the people of the God of Abraham. Every shield in the world belongs to God. He reigns supreme.

JB PSALMS Chapter 48

PSALM 48 (v47)

Zion, the mountain of God

Song

Psalm

Of the sons of Korah

48:1 Yahweh is great and supremely to be praised in the city of our God, the holy mountain,

48:2 beautiful where it rises, joy of the whole world; Mount of Zion, deep heart of the North, city of the Great King;

48:3 here among her palaces, God proved to be her fortress.

48:4 There was a rallying, once, of kings, advancing together along a common front;

48:5 they looked, they were amazed, they panicked, they ran!

48:6 There they shuddered and writhed like women in labour,

48:7 it was the east wind, that wrecker of ships of Tarshish![*a]

48:8 What we had heard we saw for ourselves in the city of our God, the city of Yahweh Sabaoth, God-protected for ever. (Pause)

48:9 God, in your Temple we reflect on your love:

48:10 God, your praise, like your name, reaches to the ends of the world. Your right hand holds the victory;

48:11 Mount Zion rejoices, the daughters of Judah exult to have your rulings.

48:12 Go through Zion, walk round her, counting her towers,

48:13 admiring her walls, reviewing her palaces; then tell the next generation

48:14 that God is here, our God and leader, for ever and ever.

JB PSALMS Chapter 49

PSALM 49 (v48)

The futility of riches

For the choirmaster

Of the sons of Korah

Psalm

49:1 Hear this, all nations, pay attention all who live on earth,

49:2 important people, ordinary people, rich and poor alike!

49:3 My lips have wisdom to utter, my heart whispers sound sense;

49:4 I turn my attention to a proverb, and set my solution to the harp.

49:5 Why should I be afraid in evil times, when malice dogs my steps and hems me in,

49:6 of men who trust in their wealth and boast of the profusion of their riches?

49:7 But man could never redeem himself or pay his ransom to God:

49:8 it costs so much to redeem his life, it is beyond him;

49:9 how then could he live on for ever and never see the Pit –

49:10 when all the time he sees that wise men die, that foolish and stupid perish both alike, and leave their fortunes to others.

49:11 Their tombs are their eternal home, their lasting residence, though they owned estates that bore their names.

49:12 Man when he prospers forfeits intelligence: he is one with the cattle doomed to slaughter.

49:13 So on they go with their self-assurance, with men to run after them when they raise their voice. (Pause)

49:14 Like sheep to be penned in Sheol, Death will herd them to pasture and the upright will have the better of them. Dawn will come and then the show they made will disappear, Sheol the home for them!

49:15 But God will redeem my life from the grasp of Sheol, and will receive me. (Pause)

49:16 Do not be afraid when a man grows rich, when the glory of his House increases;

49:17 when he dies he can take nothing with him, his glory cannot follow him down.

49:18 The soul he made so happy while he lived – ‘look after yourself and men will praise you’ –

49:19 will join the company of his ancestors who will never see the light of day again.

49:20 Man in his prosperity forfeits intelligence: he is one with the cattle doomed to slaughter.

JB PSALMS Chapter 50

PSALM 50 (v49)

Worship in spirit and truth

Psalm

Of Asaph

50:1 Yahweh, God of gods, speaks, he summons the earth. From east to west,

50:2 from Zion, perfection of beauty, he shines.

50:3 Let our God come, and be silent no more! Preceding him, a devouring fire, round him, a raging storm;

50:4 he summons the heavens above and the earth, to his people’s trial:

50:5 ‘Assemble my faithful before me who sealed my covenant by sacrifice!’

50:6 Let the heavens proclaim his righteousness when God himself is judge! (Pause)

50:7a ‘Listen, my people, I am speaking;

50:7b Israel, I am giving evidence against you!

50:21c I charge, I indict you to your face,

50:7c I, God, your God.

50:8 ‘I am not finding fault with your sacrifices, those holocausts constantly before me;

50:9 I do not claim one extra bull from your homes, nor one extra goat from your pens,

50:10 ‘since all the forest animals are already mine, and the cattle on my mountains in their thousands;

50:11 I know all the birds of the air, nothing moves in the field that does not belong to me.

50:12 ‘If I were hungry, I should not tell you, since the world and all it holds is mine.

50:13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink goats’ blood?

50:14 ‘No, let thanksgiving be your sacrifice to God, fulfil the vows you make to the Most High;

50:15 then you can invoke me in your troubles and I will rescue you, and you shall honour me.’

50:16 But to the wicked man God says: ‘What business have you reciting my statutes, standing there mouthing my covenant,

50:17 since you detest my discipline and thrust my words behind you?

50:18 ‘You make friends with a thief as soon as you see one, you feel at home with adulterers,

50:19 your mouth is given freely to evil and your tongue to inventing lies.

50:20 ‘You sit there, slandering your own brother, you malign your own mother’s son.

50:21 You do this, and expect me to say nothing?

50:21b Do you really think I am like you?

50:22 ‘You are leaving God out of account; take care! Or I will tear you to pieces where no one can rescue you!

50:23 Whoever makes thanksgiving his sacrifice honours me; to the upright man I will show how God can save.’

JB PSALMS Chapter 51

PSALM 51 (v50)

Miserere

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

When the prophet Nathan came to him because he had been with Bathsheba

51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness, in your great tenderness wipe away my faults;

51:2 wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.

51:3 For I am well aware of my faults, I have my sin constantly in mind,

51:4 having sinned against none other than you, having done what you regard as wrong. You are just when you pass sentence on me, blameless when you give judgement.

51:5 You know I was born guilty, a sinner from the moment of conception.

51:6 Yet, since you love sincerity of heart, teach me the secrets of wisdom.

51:7 Purify me with hyssop[*a] until I am clean; wash me until I am whiter than snow.

51:8 Instil some joy and gladness into me, let the bones you have crushed rejoice again.

51:9 Hide your face from my sins, wipe out all my guilt.

51:10 God, create a clean heart in me, put into me a new and constant spirit,

51:11 do not banish me from your presence, do not deprive me of your holy spirit.

51:12 Be my saviour again, renew my joy, keep my spirit steady and willing;

51:13 and I shall teach transgressors the way to you, and to you the sinners will return.

51:14 Save me from death, God my saviour, and my tongue will acclaim your righteousness;

51:15 Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will speak out your praise.

51:16 Sacrifice gives you no pleasure, were I to offer holocaust, you would not have it.

51:17 My sacrifice is this broken spirit, you will not scorn this crushed and broken heart.

51:18 Show your favour graciously to Zion, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.[*b]

51:19 Then there will be proper sacrifice to please you – holocaust and whole oblation – and young bulls to be offered on your altar.

JB PSALMS Chapter 52

PSALM 52 (v51)

The fate of cynics

For the choirmaster

Poem

Of David

When Doeg the Edomite went and warned Saul, ‘David has gone to Ahimelech’s house’

52:1 Why make a boast of your wickedness, you champion in villainy, all day

52:2 plotting destruction? Your tongue is razor-sharp, you artist in perfidy!

52:3 You prefer evil to good, lying to honest speech; (Pause)

52:4 you love the destructive word, perfidious tongue!

52:5 That is why God will crush you, snatch you away for good, tear you out of your tent, uproot you from the land of the living.

52:6 Dread will seize the virtuous at the sight, they will laugh at his fate:

52:7 ‘So much for the man who refused to make God his fortress, but relied on his own great wealth and drew his strength from crime!’

52:8 I, for my part, like an olive tree growing in the house of God, put my trust in God’s love for ever and ever.

52:9 I mean to thank you constantly for doing what you did, and put my hope in your name, that is so full of kindness; in the presence of those who love you.

JB PSALMS Chapter 53

PSALM 53 (v52)

The godless man[*a]

For the choirmaster

In sickness

Poem

Of David

53:1 The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God!’ They are false, corrupt, vile, there is not one good man left.

53:2 God is looking down from heaven at the sons of men, to see if a single one is wise, if a single one is seeking God.

53:3 All have turned aside, all alike are tainted. There is not one good man left, not a single one.

53:4 Are they so ignorant, these evil men who swallow my people as though they were eating bread, and never invoke God?

53:5 They will be struck with fear, fear without reason, since God scatters the bones of the apostate, they are disgraced, for God rejects them.

53:6 Who will bring Israel salvation from Zion? When God brings his people home, what joy for Jacob, what happiness for Israel!

JB PSALMS Chapter 54

PSALM 54 (v53)

An appeal to the God of justice

For the choirmaster

On stringed instruments

Poem

Of David

When the Ziphites went to Saul and said, ‘Is not David hiding with us?’

54:1 God, save me by your name, by your power see justice done to me;

54:2 God, hear my prayer, listen to what I am saying!

54:3 Arrogant men are attacking me, brutes who are hounding me to death, people to whom God means nothing. (pause)

54:4 But now God himself comes to help me, the Lord, supporter of my life.

54:5 May their wickedness recoil on themselves, Yahweh, ever faithful, destroy my enemies!

54:6 How gladly will I offer sacrifice to you and praise your name, that is so full of kindness.

54:7 He has rescued me from all my troubles, and let me see my enemies defeated.

JB PSALMS Chapter 55

PSALM 55 (v54)

Prayer in persecution

For the choirmaster

For strings

Poem

Of David

55:1 God, hear my prayer, do not hide from my petition,

55:2 give me a hearing, answer me, I cannot rest for complaining. I shudder

55:3 at the enemy’s shouts, at the howling of the wicked; they bring misery crashing down on me, and vent their fury on me.

55:4 My heart aches in my breast, Death’s terrors assail me,

55:5 fear and trembling descend on me, horror overwhelms me.

55:6 And I say, ‘Oh for the wings of a dove to fly away and find rest’.

55:7 How far I would take my flight, and make a new home in the desert! (pause)

55:8 There I should soon find shelter from the raging wind, and from the tempest,

55:9 Lord, that destroys, and from their malicious tongues. I can see how Violence and Discord fill the city

55:10 day and night they stalk together along the city walls. Sorrow and Misery live inside,

55:11 Ruin is an inmate; Tyranny and Treachery are never absent from its central square.

55:12 Were it an enemy who insulted me, I could put up with that; had a rival got the better of me, I could hide from him.

55:13 But you, a man of my own rank, a colleague and a friend,

55:14 to whom sweet conversation bound me in the house of God! May they recoil in disorder,

55:15 may Death descend on them, may they go down, still living, to Sheol – since Evil shares their homes.

55:16 I, for myself, appeal to God and Yahweh saves me;

55:17 evening, morning, noon, I complain, I groan; he will hear me calling.

55:18 His peace can ransom me from the war being waged on me. How many are ranged against me!

55:19 But God will hear me. Sovereign from the first, he will humble them; (Pause) no change of heart for them, since they do not fear God.

55:20 He[*a] has attacked his friends, he has gone back on his word;

55:21 though his mouth is smoother than butter, he has war in his heart; his words may soothe more than oil, but they are naked swords.

55:22 Unload your burden on to Yahweh, and he will support you; he will never permit the virtuous to falter.

55:23 As for these murderous, these treacherous men, you, God, will push them down to the deepest Pit before half their days are out. For my part, I put my trust in you.

JB PSALMS Chapter 56

PSALM 56 (v55)

Reliance on God

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘Dove of the distant gods’

When the Philistines held him in Gath

56:1 Take pity on me, God, as they harry me, pressing their attacks home all day.

56:2 All day my opponents harry me, hordes coming in to the attack. Raise me up

56:3 when I am most afraid, I put my trust in you;

56:4 in God, whose word[*a] I praise, in God I put my trust, fearing nothing; what can men do to me?

56:5 All day long they twist what I say, all they think of is how to harm me,

56:6 they conspire, lurk, spy on my movements, determined to take my life.

56:7 Are they to go unpunished for such a crime? God, in fury bring the nations down!

56:8 You have noted my agitation, now collect my tears in your wineskin!

56:9 Then my enemies will have to fall back as soon as I call for help. This I know: that God is on my side.

56:10 In God whose word I praise, in Yahweh, whose word I praise,

56:11 in God I put my trust, fearing nothing; what can man do to me?

56:12 I must fulfil the vows I made you, God; I shall pay you my thank-offerings,

56:13 for you have rescued me from Death to walk in the presence of God in the light of the living.

JB PSALMS Chapter 57

PSALM 57 (v56)

Among ferocious enemies

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘Do not destroy’

Of David

Miktam

When he escaped from Saul, in the cave

57:1 Take pity on me, God, take pity on me, in you my soul takes shelter; I take shelter in the shadow of your wings until the destroying storm is over.

57:2 I call on God the Most High, on God who has done everything for me:

57:3 to send from heaven and save me, to check the people harrying me, (pause) may God send his faithfulness and love.

57:4 I lie surrounded by lions greedy for human prey, their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongue a sharp sword.

57:5 Rise high above the heavens, God, let your glory be over the earth!

57:6 They laid a net where I was walking when I was bowed with care; they dug a pitfall for me but fell into it themselves! (Pause)

57:7 My heart is ready, God, my heart is ready; I mean to sing and play for you,

57:8 awake, my muse, awake, lyre and harp, I mean to wake the Dawn!

57:9 Lord, I mean to thank you among the peoples; to play music to you among the nations;

57:10 your love is high as heaven, your faithfulness as the clouds.

57:11 Rise high above the heavens, God, let your glory be over the earth!

JB PSALMS Chapter 58

PSALM 58 (v57)

The Judge of earthly judges

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘Do not destroy’

Of David

Miktam

58:1 Gods[*a] you may be, but do you give the sentences you should, and dispense impartial justice to mankind?

58:2 On the contrary, in your hearts you meditate oppression, with your hands you dole out tyranny on earth.

58:3 Right from the womb these wicked men have gone astray, these double talkers have been in error since their birth;

58:4 their poison is the poison of the snake, they are deaf as the adder that blocks its ears

58:5 so as not to hear the magician’s music and the clever snakecharmer’s spells.

58:6 God, break their teeth in their mouths, Yahweh, wrench out the fangs of these savage lions!

58:7 May they drain away like water running to waste, may they wither like trodden grass,

58:8 like a slug that melts as it moves, like an abortion, denied the light of day!

58:9 Before they sprout thorns like the bramble, green or scorched, may the wrath whirl them away!

58:10 What joy for the virtuous, seeing this vengeance, bathing their feet in the blood of the wicked!

58:11 ‘So’ people will say ‘the virtuous do have their harvest; so there is a God who dispenses justice on earth!’

JB PSALMS Chapter 59

PSALM 59 (v58)

Against the wicked

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘Do not destroy’

Of David

Miktam

Saul sent spies to his house to have him killed

59:1 Rescue me from my enemies, my God, protect me from those attacking me,

59:2 rescue me from these evil men, save me from these murderers!

59:3 Look at them lurking to ambush they are strong and united against me; for no fault, no sin,

59:4 no offence of mine, Yahweh, how they hurry into position! Wake up, stand by me and look,

59:5 Yahweh, God of Sabaoth, God of Israel, up, now, and punish these pagans, show no mercy to these villains and traitors! (pause)

59:6 Back they come at nightfall, snarling like curs, prowling through the town.

59:7 See how they slaver at the mouth, with swords between their teeth, ‘There is no one listening’.

59:8 Yahweh, you laugh at them, you make fun of these pagans.

59:9 My Strength, I look to you. My citadel is God himself,

59:10 the God who loves me is coming, God will show me my enemies defeated.

59:11 Slaughter them, God, before my people forget! Harry them with your power and strike them down, Lord, our shield!

59:12 Sin is in their mouths, sin on their lips, so let them be caught in their pride! For the curses and lies they utter,

59:13 destroy them in anger, destroy, until they are finished, until God is acknowledged as ruler in Jacob to the remotest parts of the earth! (pause)

59:14 Back they come at nightfall, snarling like curs, prowling through the town;

59:15 scavenging for food, growling till they are full.

59:16 I, for my part, celebrate your strength, I sing of your love morning by morning; you have always been my citadel, a shelter when I am in trouble.

59:17 My Strength, I play for you, my citadel is God himself, the God who loves me.

JB PSALMS Chapter 60

PSALM 60 (v59)

National prayer after defeat

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘The decree is a lily’

Miktam

Of David

For instruction

When he was at war with Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah, and Joab marched back to destroy twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt

60:1 God, you have rejected us, broken us; you have been angry, come back to us!

60:2 You have made the earth tremble, torn it apart; now mend the rifts, it is tottering still!

60:3 You have allowed your people to suffer, to drink a wine that makes us reel.

60:4 Hoist the standard to rally those who fear you, to put them out of range of bow and arrow. (Pause)

60:5 To bring rescue to those you love, save with your right hand and answer us!

60:6 God promised us once from his sanctuary, ‘I the Victor will parcel out Shechem, and share out the Valley of Succoth.

60:7 ‘Gilead is mine, Manasseh mine, Ephraim is my helmet, Judah, my marshal’s baton.

60:8 Moab a bowl for me to wash in! I throw my sandal[*a] over Edom. Now shout “Victory”, Philistia!'[*b]

60:9 Who is there now to take me into the fortified city, to lead me into Edom?

60:10 God, can you really have rejected us? You no longer march with our armies.

60:11 Help us in this hour of crisis, the help that man can give is worthless.

60:12 With God among us we shall fight like heroes, he will trample on our enemies.

JB PSALMS Chapter 61

PSALM 61 (v60)

Prayer of an exile

For the choirmaster

For strings

Of David

61:1 God, hear my cry for help, listen to my prayer!

61:2 From the end of the earth I call to you, with sinking heart. To the rock too high for me, lead me!

61:3 For you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

61:4 Let me stay in your tent for ever, taking refuge in the shelter of your wings.

61:5 You, God, accept my vows, you grant me the heritage of those who fear your name. (pause)

61:6 Let the king live on and on, prolong his years, generation on generation.

61:7 May he sit enthroned in God’s presence for ever! Assign your Love and Faithfulness to guard him!

61:8 So I shall always sing of your name, fulfilling the vows I have taken, day after day.

JB PSALMS Chapter 62

PSALM 62 (v61)

Hope in God alone

For the choirmaster…

Jeduthun

Psalm

Of David

62:1 In God alone there is rest for my soul, from him comes my safety;

62:2 with him alone for my rock, my safety, my fortress, I can never fall.

62:3 How many times will you come rushing at a man, all of you, to bring him down like a wall already leaning over, like a rampart undermined?

62:4 Deceit their sole intention, their delight is to mislead; with lies on their lips they bless aloud, while cursing inwardly. (pause)

62:5 Rest in God alone, my soul! He is the source of my hope;

62:6 with him alone for my rock, my safety, my fortress, I can never fall;

62:7 rest in God, my safety, my glory, the rock of my strength. In God, I find shelter;

62:8 rely on him people, at all times; unburden your hearts to him, God is a shelter for us (pause)

62:9 Ordinary men are only a puff of wind, important men[*a] delusion; put both in the scales and up they go, lighter than a puff of wind.

62:10 Put no reliance on extortion, no empty hopes in robbery; though riches may increase, keep your heart detached.

62:11 God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: it is for God to be strong, for you,

62:12 Lord, to be loving; and you yourself repay man as his works deserve.

JB PSALMS Chapter 63

PSALM 63 (v62)

Desire for God

Psalm

Of David

When he was in the wilderness of Judah

63:1 God, you are my God, I am seeking you, my soul is thirsting for you, my flesh is longing for you, a land parched, weary and waterless;

63:2 I long to gaze on you in the Sanctuary, and to see your power and glory.

63:3 Your love is better than life itself, my lips will recite your praise;

63:4 all my life I will bless you, in your name lift up my hands;

63:5 my soul will feast most richly, on my lips a song of joy and, in my mouth, praise.

63:6 On my bed I think of you, I meditate on you all night long,

63:7 for you have always helped me. I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings;

63:8 my soul clings close to you, your right hand supports me.

63:9 But may those now hounding me to death go down to the earth below,

63:10 consigned to the edge of the sword, and left as food for jackals.

63:11 Then will the king rejoice in God, and all who swear by him be able to boast once these lying mouths are silenced.

JB PSALMS Chapter 64

PSALM 64 (v63)

The punishment for slanderers

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

64:1 God, hear me as I make my plea, protect me from this frightening enemy,

64:2 hide me from the wicked and their schemes, from this mob of evil men,

64:3 sharpening their tongues like swords, shooting bitter words like arrows,

64:4 shooting them at the innocent from cover, shooting suddenly, without warning.

64:5 Urging each other on to their wicked purpose, they discuss where to hide their snares. ‘Who is going to see us?’ they say

64:6 ‘Who can probe our secrets?’ Who? He who probes the inmost mind and the depths of the heart.

64:7 God will shoot them with his own arrow, wound them without warning.

64:8 He will destroy them for that tongue of theirs, and all who see them fall will shake their heads.

64:9 Then all will feel afraid, will tell others what God has done; they will understand why he has done it.

64:10 The virtuous will rejoice in Yahweh, will make him their refuge; and upright hearts will be able to boast.

JB PSALMS Chapter 65

PSALM 65 (v64)

Thanksgiving hymn

For the choirmaster

Of David

Song

65:1 Praise is rightfully yours, God, in Zion. Vows to you must be fulfilled,

65:2 for you answer prayer. All flesh must come to you

65:3 with all its sins; though our faults overpower us, you blot them out.

65:4 Happy the man you choose, whom you invite to live in your courts. Fill us with the good things of your house, of your holy Temple.

65:5 Your righteousness repays us with marvels, God our saviour, hope of all the ends of the earth and the distant islands.

65:6 Your strength holds the mountains up, such is the power that wraps you;

65:7 you calm the clamour of the ocean, the clamour of its waves. The nations are in uproar,

65:8 in panic those who live at the ends of the world, as your miracles bring shouts of joy to the portals of morning and evening.

65:9 You visit the earth and water it, you load it with riches; God’s rivers brim with water to provide their grain.

65:10 This is how you provide it: by drenching its furrows, by levelling its ridges, by softening it with showers, by blessing the first-fruits.

65:11 You crown the year with your bounty, abundance flows wherever you pass;

65:12 the desert pastures overflow, the hillsides are wrapped in joy,

65:13 the meadows are dressed in flocks, the valleys are clothed in wheat, what shouts of joy, what singing!

JB PSALMS Chapter 66

PSALM 66 (v65)

Corporate act of thanksgiving

For the choirmaster

Song

Psalm

66:1 Acclaim God, all the earth,

66:2 play music to the glory of his name, glorify him with your praises,

66:3 say to God, ‘What dread you inspire!’ Your achievements are the measure of your power. Your enemies cringe in your presence;

66:4 all the earth bows down to you, playing music for you, playing in honour of your name. (pause)

66:5 Come and see what marvels God has done, so much to be feared for his deeds among mankind:

66:6 he turned the sea into dry land, they crossed the river on foot! So let us rejoice in him,

66:7 who rules for ever by his power: his eyes keep watch on the nations, let no rebel raise his head! (pause)

66:8 You nations, bless our God and make his praise resound,

66:9 who brings our soul to life and keeps our feet from faltering.

66:10 You tested us, God, you refined us like silver,

66:11 you let us fall into the net, you laid heavy burdens on our backs,

66:12 you let people drive over our heads; but now the ordeal by fire and water is over, and you allow us once more to draw breath.

66:13 I bring holocausts to your house, I bring them to fulfil those vows

66:14 that rose to my lips, those vows I spoke when in trouble.

66:15 I offer you fat holocausts and the smoke of burning rams, I offer you bullocks and he-goats.

66:16 Come and listen, all you who fear God, while I tell you what he has done for me:

66:17 when I uttered my cry to him and high praise was on my tongue,

66:18 had I been guilty in my heart, the Lord would never have heard me.

66:19 But God not only heard me, he listened to my prayer.

66:20 Blessed be God, who neither ignored my prayer nor deprived me of his love.

JB PSALMS Chapter 67

PSALM 67 (v66)

Harvest song

For the choirmaster

For strings

Psalm

Song

67:1 May God show kindness and bless us, and make his face smile on us! (pause)

67:2 For then the earth will acknowledge your ways and all the nations will know of your power to save. (pause)

67:3 Let the nations praise you, O God, let all the nations praise you!

67:4 Let the nations shout and sing for joy, since you dispense true justice to the world; you dispense strict justice to the peoples, on earth you rule the nations. (pause)

67:5 Let the nations praise you, God, let all the nations praise you!

67:6 The soil has given its harvest, God, our God, has blessed us.

67:7 May God bless us, and let him be feared to the very ends of the earth.

JB PSALMS Chapter 68

PSALM 68 (v67)

National song of triumph

For the choirmaster

Of David

Psalm

Song

68:1 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let those who hate him flee before him!

68:2 As smoke disperses, they disperse; as wax melts when near the fire, so the wicked perish when God approaches.

68:3 But at God’s approach, the virtuous rejoice, exulting and singing for joy.

68:4 Sing to Yahweh, play music to his name, build a road for the Rider of the Clouds, rejoice in Yahweh, exult at his coming!

68:5 Father of orphans, defender of widows, such is God in his holy dwelling;

68:6 God gives the lonely a permanent home, makes prisoners happy by setting them free, but rebels must live in an arid land.

68:7 God, when you set out at the head of your people, and marched across the desert,

68:8 the earth rocked, (pause) the heavens deluged at God’s coming, at the coming of God, the God of Israel.

68:9 God, you rained a downpour of blessings, when your heritage was faint you gave it strength;

68:10 your family found a home, where you in your goodness, God, provided for the needy.

68:11a The Lord gives his couriers the news,

68:14a ‘Shaddai has scattered

68:11b a huge army’.

68:12 Kings are in flight, armies in flight, the women at home take their pick of the loot.

68:13 Meanwhile you others were lolling in the sheepfolds. There were dove-wings covered with silver, on their pinions the sheen of green gold;

68:14b jewels were there like snow on Dark Mountain.

68:15 That peak of Bashan, a mountain of God? Rather, a mountain of pride, that peak of Bashan!

68:16 Peaks of pride, have you the right to look down on a mountain where God has chosen to live, where Yahweh is going to live for ever?

68:17 With thousands of myriads of divine chariots the Lord has left Sinai for his sanctuary.

68:18 God, you have ascended to the height, and captured prisoners, you have taken men as tribute, yes, taken rebels to your dwelling, Yahweh!

68:19 Blessed be the Lord day after day, the God who saves us and bears our burdens!

68:20 This God of ours is a God who saves, to the Lord Yahweh belong the ways of escape from death;

68:21 but God will smash the heads of his enemies, the hairy skull of the man who parades his guilt.

68:22 The Lord has promised, ‘I will bring them back from Bashan, I will bring them back from the bottom of the sea,

68:23 for your feet to wade in blood, for the tongues of your dogs to lap their share of the enemy’.

68:24 God, your procession can be seen, my God’s, my king’s procession to the sanctuary,

68:25 with cantors marching in front, musicians behind, and between them maidens playing tambourines.

68:26 Bless God in your choirs, bless the Lord, you who spring from Israel!

68:27 Benjamin, the youngest, is there in the lead, the princes of Judah in brocaded robes, the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

68:28 Take command, God, as befits your power, that power, God, you have wielded on our behalf

68:29 from your Temple high above Jerusalem! Kings will come to you, bringing presents.

68:30 Rebuke the Beast of the Reeds,[*a] that herd of bulls, those calves, that people, until, humbled, they bring gold and silver. Scatter those warmongering pagans!

68:31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt, Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.

68:32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, play for

68:33 the Rider of the Heavens, the ancient heavens! (pause) Listen to him shouting, to his thundering,

68:34 and acknowledge the power of God! Over Israel his splendour, in the clouds his power,

68:35 God in his sanctuary is greatly to be feared. He, the God of Israel, gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God.

JB PSALMS Chapter 69

PSALM 69 (v68)

Lament

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘Lilies…’

Of David

69:1 Save me, God! The water is already up to my neck!

69:2 I am sinking in the deepest swamp, there is no foothold; I have stepped into deep water and the waves are washing over me.

69:3 Worn out with calling, my throat is hoarse, my eyes are strained, looking for my God.

69:4 More people hate me for no reason than I have hairs on my head, more are groundlessly hostile than I have hair to show. (They ask me to give back what I never took.)

69:5 God, you know how foolish I have been, my offences are not hidden from you;

69:6 but let those who hope in you not blush for me, Yahweh Sabaoth[*a] Let those who seek you not be ashamed of me, God of Israel!

69:7 It is for you I am putting up with insults that cover me with shame,

69:8 that make me a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s other sons;

69:9 zeal for your house devours me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.

69:10 If I mortify myself with fasting, they make this a pretext for insulting me;

69:11 if I dress myself in sackcloth, I become their laughing-stock,

69:12 the gossip of people sitting at the city gate, and the theme of drunken songs.

69:13 For my part, I pray to you, Yahweh, at the time you wish; in your great love, answer me, God, faithful in saving power.

69:14 Pull me out of this swamp; let me sink no further, let me escape those who hate me, save me from deep water!

69:15 Do not let the waves wash over me, do not let the deep swallow me or the Pit close its mouth on me.

69:16 In your loving kindness, answer me, Yahweh, in your great tenderness turn to me;

69:17 do not hide your face from your servant, quick, I am in trouble, answer me;

69:18 come to my side, redeem me, from so many enemies ransom me.

69:19a You know all the insults I endure,

69:19c every one of my oppressors is known to you;

69:20a the insults have broken my heart,

69:19b my shame and disgrace

69:20b are past cure; I had hoped for sympathy, but in vain,

69:20c I found no one to console me.

69:21 They gave me poison to eat instead, when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.

69:22 May their own table prove a trap for them, and their plentiful supplies, a snare!

69:23 may their eyes grow dim, go blind, strike their loins with chronic palsy!

69:24 Vent your fury on them, let your burning anger overtake them;

69:25 may their camp be reduced to ruin, and their tents left unoccupied:

69:26 for hounding a man after you had struck him, for adding more wounds to those which you inflicted.

69:27 Charge them with crime after crime, deny them further access to your righteousness,

69:28 blot them out of the book of life, strike them off the roll of the virtuous!

69:29 For myself, wounded wretch that I am, by your saving power, God, lift me up!

69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, I will extol him with my thanksgiving,

69:31 more pleasing to Yahweh than any ox or bull with horn and hoof.

69:32 Then, seeing this, the humble can rejoice: long life to your hearts, all you who seek for God!

69:33 Yahweh will always hear those who are in need, will never scorn his captive people.

69:34 Let heaven and earth acclaim him, the oceans and all that moves in them!

69:35 For God will save Zion, and rebuild the towns of Judah: they will be lived in, owned,

69:36 handed down to his servants’ descendants, and lived in by those who love his name.

JB PSALMS Chapter 70

PSALM 70 (v69)

A cry of distress[*a]

For the choirmaster

Of David

For commemoration

70:1 Oh come and rescue me, God, Yahweh come quickly and help me!

70:2 Shame and dishonour on those who are out to kill me! Down with them! Disgrace on those who enjoy my misfortune!

70:3 May they be aghast with shame, those who say to me, ‘Aha! Aha!’

70:4 But joy and gladness for all who seek you! To all who love your saving power give constant cause to say, ‘God is great!’

70:5 To me, poor wretch, come quickly, God! My helper, my saviour, Yahweh, come without delay.!

JB PSALMS Chapter 71

PSALM 71 (v70)

An old man’s prayer

71:1 In you, Yahweh, I take shelter; never let me be disgraced.

71:2 In your righteousness rescue me, deliver me, turn your ear to me and save me!

71:3 Be a sheltering rock for me, a walled fortress to save me! For you are my rock, my fortress.

71:4 My God, rescue me from the hands of the wicked, from the clutches of rogue and tyrant!

71:5 For you alone are my hope, Lord, Yahweh, I have trusted you since my youth,

71:6 I have relied on you since I was born, you have been my portion from my mother’s womb, and the constant theme of my praise.

71:7 To many I have seemed an enigma, but you are my firm refuge.

71:8 My mouth is full of your praises, filled with your splendour all day long.

71:9 Do not reject me now I am old, nor desert me now my strength is failing,

71:10 for my enemies are uttering threats, spies hatching their conspiracy:

71:11 ‘Hound him down now that God has deserted him, seize him, there is no one to rescue him!’

71:12 God, do not stand aside, my God, come quickly and help me!

71:13 Shame and ruin on those who attack me; may insult and disgrace cover those whose aim is to hurt me!

71:14 I promise that, ever hopeful, I will praise you more and more,

71:15 my lips shall proclaim your righteousness and power to save, all day long.

71:16 I will come in the power of Yahweh to commemorate your righteousness, yours alone.

71:17 God, you taught me when I was young, and I am still proclaiming your marvels.

71:18 Now that I am old and grey, God, do not desert me; let me live to tell the rising generation about your strength and power,

71:19 about your heavenly righteousness, God. You have done great things; who, God, is comparable to you?

71:20 You have sent me misery and hardship, but you will give me life again, you will pull me up again from the depths of the earth,

71:21 prolong my old age, and once more comfort me.

71:22 I promise I will thank you on the lyre, my ever-faithful God, I will play the harp in your honour, Holy One of Israel.

71:23 My lips shall sing for joy as I play to you, and this soul of mine which you have redeemed.

71:24 And all day long, my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness. Shame and disgrace on those whose aim is to hurt me!

JB PSALMS Chapter 72

PSALM 72 (v71)

The promised king

Of Solomon

72:1 God, give your own justice to the king, your own righteousness to the royal son,

72:2 so that he may rule your people rightly and your poor with justice.

72:3 Let the mountains and hills bring a message of peace for the people. Uprightly

72:4 he will defend the poorest, he will save the children of those in need, and crush their oppressors.

72:5 Like sun and moon he will endure, age after age,

72:6 welcome as rain that falls on the pasture, and showers to thirsty soil.

72:7 In his days virtue will flourish, a universal peace till the moon is no more;

72:8 his empire shall stretch from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.

72:9 The Beast[*a] will cower before him and his enemies grovel in the dust;

72:10 the kings of Tarshish and of the islands will pay him tribute. The kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts;

72:11 all kings will do him homage, all nations become his servants.

72:12 He will free the poor man who calls to him, and those who need help,

72:13 he will have pity on the poor and feeble, and save the lives of those in need;

72:14 he will redeem their lives from exploitation and outrage, their lives will be precious in his sight.

72:15 (Long may he live, may gold from Sheba be given him!) Prayer will be offered for him constantly, blessings invoked on him all day long.

72:16 Grain everywhere in the country, even on the mountain tops, abundant as Lebanon its harvest, luxuriant as common grass!

72:17 Blessed be his name for ever, enduring as long as the sun! May every race in the world be blessed in him, and all the nations call him blessed!

72:18 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who alone performs these marvels!

72:19 Blessed for ever be his glorious name, may the whole world be filled with his glory! Amen. Amen!

72:20 End of the prayers of David, son of Jesse.[*b]

JB PSALMS Chapter 73

PSALM 73 (v72)

The triumph of justice

Psalm

Of Asaph

73:1 God is indeed good to Israel, the Lord is good to pure hearts.

73:2 My feet were on the point of stumbling, a little further and I should have slipped,

73:3 envying the arrogant as I did, and watching the wicked get rich.

73:4 For them, no such thing as pain, their bodies are healthy and strong,

73:5 they do not suffer as other men do, no human afflictions for them!

73:6 So pride is their chain of honour, violence the garment that covers them;

73:7 their spite oozes like fat, their hearts drip with slyness

73:8 Cynical advocates of evil, lofty advocates of force,

73:9 they think their mouth is heaven and their tongue can dictate on earth.

73:10 This is why my people turn to them and lap up all they say, asking,

73:11 ‘How will God find out? Does the Most High know everything?

73:12 Look at them: these are the wicked, well-off and still getting richer!’

73:13 After all, why should I keep my own heart pure, and wash my hands in innocence,

73:14 if you plague me all day long and discipline me every morning?

73:15 Had I said, ‘That talk appeals to me’, I should have betrayed your children’s race.

73:16 Instead, I tried to analyse the problem, hard though I found it –

73:17 until the day I pierced the mystery and saw the end in store for them:

73:18 they are on a slippery slope, you put them there, you urge them on to ruin,

73:19 until suddenly they fall, done for, terrified to death.

73:20 When you wake up, Lord, you shrug them off like the phantoms of a morning dream.

73:21 When my heart had been growing sourer with pains shooting through my loins,

73:22 I had simply failed to understand, my stupid attitude to you was brutish.

73:23 Even so, I stayed in your presence, you held my right hand;

73:24 now guide me with advice and in the end receive me into glory.

73:25 I look to no one else in heaven, I delight in nothing else on earth.

73:26 My flesh and my heart are pining with love, my heart’s Rock, my own, God for ever!

73:27 So then: those who abandon you are doomed, you destroy the adulterous deserter;[*a]

73:28 whereas my joy lies in being close to God. I have taken shelter in the Lord, continually to proclaim what you have done.

JB PSALMS Chapter 74

PSALM 74 (v73)

Lament on the destruction of the Temple

Poem

Of Asaph

74:1 God, have you finally rejected us, raging at the flock you used to pasture?

74:2 Remember the people you long since made your own, your hereditary tribe whom you redeemed, and this Mount Zion where you came to live.

74:3 Pick your steps over these endless ruins:

the enemy have sacked everything in the sanctuary.

74:4 They roared where your Assemblies used to take place, they stuck their enemy emblems over the entrance,[*a] emblems

74:5 we had never seen before. Axes deep in the wood,

74:6 hacking at the panels, they battered them down with mallet and hatchet;

74:7 then, God, setting fire to your sanctuary, they profanely razed the house of your name to the ground.

74:8 Determined to destroy us once and for all, they burned down every shrine of God in the country.

74:9 Deprived of signs, with no prophets left, who can say how long this will last?

74:10 How much longer, God, is the oppressor to blaspheme, is the enemy to insult your name for ever?

74:11 Why hold back your hand, why keep your right hand hidden?

74:12 Yet, God, my king from the first, author of saving acts throughout the earth,

74:13 by your power you split the sea in two, and smashed the heads of monsters on the waters.

74:14 You crushed Leviathan’s heads, leaving him for wild animals to eat,

74:15 you opened the spring, the torrent, you dried up inexhaustible rivers.

74:16 You are master of day and night, you instituted light and sun,

74:17 you fixed the boundaries of the world, you created summer and winter.

74:18 Now, Yahweh, remember the enemy’s blasphemy, how frenzied people dare to insult your name.

74:19 Do not betray your turtledove to the beast, do not forget your wretched people for good.

74:20 Respect the covenant! We can bear no more – every cave in the country is the scene of violence!

74:21 Do not let the hard-pressed retreat in confusion, give the poor and needy cause to praise your name.

74:22 Rise, God, say something on your own behalf, do not forget the madman’s day-long blaspheming,

74:23 remember the shouting of your enemies, this ever-rising clamour of your adversaries.

JB PSALMS Chapter 75

PSALM 75 (v74)

To the divine judge

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘Do not destroy’

Psalm

Of Asaph

Song

75:1 We give thanks to you, God, we give thanks as we invoke your name, as we recount your marvels.

75:2 ‘At the moment I decide I will dispense strict justice;

75:3 the earth shall quake and all its inhabitants, it is I who poised its columns.

75:4 ‘I said to the boastful: Enough of boasting! and to the wicked: How dare you raise your horn,

75:5 how dare you raise your horn like that, how dare you speak so boldly!’

75:6 Not from the east, nor from the west, not from the desert, nor from the mountains,

75:7 but from God the judgement comes, lowering one, raising another.

75:8 Yahweh is holding a cup of frothing wine, heavily drugged; he pours it out, they drain it to the dregs, all drink of it, the wicked of the earth.

75:9 But I will never stop proclaiming the God of Jacob or playing in his honour; I will cut off the horns of all the wicked and raise the horns of the virtuous.

JB PSALMS Chapter 76

PSALM 76 (v75)

Ode to God the awe-inspiring[*a]

For the choirmaster

For strings

Psalm

Of Asaph

76:1 God is renowned in Judah, his name is great in Israel;

76:2 his tent is pitched in Salem, his home is in Zion;

76:3 there he has broken the lightning-swift arrow, the shield, the sword and the line of battle. (pause)

76:4 You the Illustrious and Majestic: mountains of spoil

76:5 have been captured; heroes are now sleeping their last sleep, the warriors’ arms have failed them;

76:6 at your reproof, God of Jacob, chariot and horse stand spellbound.

76:7 You the Terrible! Who can oppose you and your furious onslaught?

76:8 When your verdicts thunder from heaven, earth stays silent with dread;

76:9 when God stands up to give judgement and to save all the humble of the earth. (pause)

76:10 Man’s wrath only adds to your glory; the survivors of your wrath you will draw like a girdle around you;

76:11 fulfil the promises you make to Yahweh your God, make offerings to the Terrible, you who surround him;

76:12 he snuffs out the lives of princes, he is terrible to the kings of the earth.

JB PSALMS Chapter 77

PSALM 77 (v76)

Meditation on Israel’s past

For the choirmaster…

Jeduthun

Of Asaph

Psalm

77:1 Loudly I cry to God, loudly to God who hears me.

77:2 When in trouble I sought the Lord, all night long I stretched out my hands, my soul refusing to be consoled.

77:3 I thought of God and sighed, I pondered and my spirit failed me.

77:4 You stopped me closing my eyes, I was too distraught to speak;

77:5 I thought of the olden days, years long past

77:6 came back to me, I spent all night meditating in my heart, I pondered and my spirit asked this question:

77:7 ‘If the Lord has rejected you, is this final? If he withholds his favour, is this for ever?

77:8 Is his love over for good and the promise void for all time?

77:9 Has God forgotten to show mercy, or has his anger overcome his tenderness? (pause)

77:10 ‘This’ I said then ‘is what distresses me: that the power of the Most High is no longer what it was.’

77:11 Remembering Yahweh’s achievements, remembering your marvels in the past,

77:12 I reflect on all that you did, I ponder on all your achievements.

77:13 God, your ways are holy! What god so great as God?

77:14 You are the God who did marvellous things and forced nations to acknowledge your power,

77:15 with your own arm redeeming your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. (pause)

77:16 When the waters saw it was you, God, when the waters saw it was you, they recoiled, shuddering to their depths.

77:17 The clouds poured down water, the sky thundered, your arrows darted out.

77:18 Your thunder crashed as it rolled, your lightning lit up the world, the earth shuddered and quaked.

77:19 You strode across the sea, you marched across the ocean, but your steps could not be seen.

77:20 You guided your people like a flock by the hands of Moses and Aaron.

JB PSALMS Chapter 78

PSALM 78 (v77)

The lessons of Israelite history

Psalm

Of Asaph

78:1 Listen to this Law, my people, pay attention to what I say;

78:2 I am going to speak to you in parable and expound the mysteries of our past.

78:3 What we have heard and known for ourselves, and what our ancestors have told us,

78:4 must not be withheld from their descendants, but be handed on by us to the next generation; that is: the titles of Yahweh, his power and the miracles he has done.

78:5 When he issued the decrees for Jacob and instituted a Law in Israel, he gave our ancestors strict orders to teach it to their children;

78:6 the next generation was to learn it, the children still to be born, and these in their turn were to tell their own children

78:7 so that they too would put their confidence in God, never forgetting God’s achievements, and always keeping his commandments,

78:8 and not becoming, like their ancestors, a stubborn and unruly generation, a generation with no sincerity of heart, in spirit unfaithful to God.

78:9 The sons of Ephraim, who were bowmen, turned tail when the time came to fight;

78:10 they had not kept God’s covenant, they refused to follow his Law;

78:11 they had forgotten his achievements, the marvels he had shown them:

78:12 he had worked wonders for their ancestors in the plains of Zoan, down in Egypt:

78:13 dividing the sea, bringing them through, making the waters stand up like dikes,

78:14 leading them with a cloud by day and with a fiery glow at night,

78:15 splitting rocks in the wilderness, quenching their thirst with unlimited water,

78:16 conjuring streams from the rock and bringing down water in torrents.

78:17 They only sinned against him more than ever, defying the Most High in the desert,

78:18 deliberately challenging God by demanding their favourite food.

78:19 They blasphemed against God, ‘Is it likely’ they said ‘that God could give a banquet in the wilderness?

78:20 ‘Admittedly, when he struck the rock, waters gushed, torrents streamed out, but bread now, can he give us that, can he provide meat for his people?’

78:21 Yahweh was enraged when he heard them, a fire flared at Jacob, the wrath attacked Israel

78:22 for having no faith in God, no trust in his power to save.

78:23 He gave orders to the skies above, he opened the doors of heaven,

78:24 he rained down manna to feed them, he gave them the wheat of heaven;

78:25 men ate the bread of Immortals, he sent them more food than they could eat.

78:26 He stirred up an east wind in the heavens, he conjured up a south wind by his power,

78:27 he rained down meat on them like dust; birds as thick as sand on the seashore

78:28 he sent tumbling into their camp, in all directions round their tents.

78:29 They all had enough and to spare, he having provided what they wanted;

78:30 but they had hardly satisfied their craving, the food was still in their mouths,

78:31 when the wrath of God attacked them, slaughtering their strongest men and laying the flower of Israel low.

78:32 Despite all this they went on sinning, and put no faith in his marvels;

78:33 for which he blasted their days and their years in a flash.

78:34 Whenever he slaughtered them they sought him, they came to their senses and sought him earnestly

78:35 remembering that God was their rock, God the Most High, their redeemer.

78:36 But though they outwardly flattered him and used their tongues to lie to him,

78:37 in their hearts they were not true to him, they were unfaithful to his covenant.

78:38 Compassionately, however, he forgave their guilt instead of killing them, repeatedly repressing his anger instead of rousing his full wrath,

78:39 remembering they were creatures of flesh, a puff of wind that passes and does not return.

78:40 How often they defied him in the wilderness, how often they outraged him in the desert,

78:41 repeatedly challenging God, provoking the Holy One of Israel –

78:42 entirely oblivious of his hand and of the time he saved them from the oppressor:

78:43 by imposing his signs on Egypt, by displaying his wonders in the plains of Zoan,

78:44 by turning their rivers into blood to stop them drinking from their streams,

78:45 by sending horseflies to eat them and frogs to devastate them,

78:46 by consigning their crops to the caterpillar and their hard-won harvest to the locust,

78:47 by killing their vines with hail and their sycamore trees with frost,

78:48 by condemning their cattle to plague and their flocks to feverish pests,

78:49 by unleashing his fierce anger, rage, indignation and hardship on them, a mission of angels of disaster,

78:50 by giving his anger free rein, by not even exempting them from death, by condemning them to plague,

78:51 by striking down all the first-born in Egypt, the first-fruits of their virility in the tents of Ham,

78:52 by driving his people out like sheep, by leading them through the wilderness like a flock,

78:53 by guiding them safe and unafraid while the sea engulfed their enemies,

78:54 by bringing them to his sacred frontier, the highlands conquered by his own right hand,

78:55 by expelling the pagans in front of them and by marking out a heritage for each, in which the tribes of Israel could pitch their tents.

78:56 Even so, they went on challenging God the Most High, rebelliously disregarding his decrees;

78:57 as perverse and disloyal as their ancestors, treacherous as a bow with a warp,

78:58 provoking him with their high places and rousing his jealousy with their idols.

78:59 God was enraged when he heard them, he rejected Israel out of hand,

78:60 he left his home in Shiloh, that tent where he once lived with men.

78:61 He consigned his power to captivity, his splendour[*a] to the enemy’s clutches;

78:62 he condemned his own people to the sword, he raged at his heritage,

78:63 whose young men were then burnt to death – no brides left to hear the wedding song;

78:64 whose priests fell by the sword – no widows left to raise the dirge.

78:65 Then, like a sleeper, like a hero fighting-mad with wine, the Lord woke up

78:66 to strike his enemies on the rump and put them to everlasting shame.

78:67 Rejecting the tent of Joseph, not choosing the tribe of Ephraim,

78:68 instead he chose the tribe of Judah and his well-loved mountain of Zion,

78:69 where he built his sanctuary, a copy of high heaven, founding it firm as the earth for ever.

78:70 Choosing David as his servant, he took him from the sheepfolds,

78:71 called him from tending ewes in lamb to pasture his people Jacob and Israel his heritage:

78:72 who did this with unselfish care and led them with a sensitive hand.

JB PSALMS Chapter 79

PSALM 79 (v78)

National lament[*a]

Psalm

Of Asaph

79:1 God, the pagans have invaded your heritage, they have desecrated your holy Temple; they have reduced Jerusalem to a pile of ruins,

79:2 they have left the corpses of your servants to the birds of the air for food, and the flesh of your devout to the beasts of the earth.

79:3 They have shed blood like water throughout Jerusalem, not a gravedigger left!

79:4 we are now insulted by our neighbours, butt and laughing-stock of all those around us.

79:5 How much longer will you be angry, Yahweh? For ever? Is your jealousy to go on smouldering like a fire?

79:6 Pour out your anger on the pagans, who do not acknowledge you, and on those kingdoms that do not call on your name,

79:7 for they have devoured Jacob and reduced his home to desolation.

79:8 Do not hold our ancestors’ crimes against us, in tenderness quickly intervene, we can hardly be crushed lower;

79:9 help us, God our saviour, for the honour of your name; Yahweh, blot out our sins, rescue us for the sake of your name.

79:10 Why should the pagans ask, ‘Where is their God?’ May we soon see the pagans learning what vengeance you exact for your servants’ blood shed here!

79:11 May the groans of the captive reach you; by your mighty arm rescue those doomed to die!

79:12 Pay our neighbours sevenfold, strike to the heart for the monstrous insult proffered to you, Lord!

79:13 And we your people, the flock that you pasture, giving you everlasting thanks, will recite your praises for ever and ever.

JB PSALMS Chapter 80

PSALM 80 (v79)

Prayer for the restoration of Israel

For the choirmaster

Tune: ‘The decrees are lilies’

Of Asaph

Psalm

80:1 Shepherd of Israel, listen, you who lead Joseph like a flock; enthroned on the cherubs, shine

80:2 on Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh;[*a] rouse your strength, come to us and save us!

80:3 Yahweh Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face smile on us and we shall be safe.

80:4 Yahweh Sabaoth, how much longer will you smoulder at your people’s prayer?

80:5 Having fed us on the bread of tears, having made us drink them in such measure,

80:6 you now let our neighbours quarrel over us and our enemies deride us.

80:7 Yahweh Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face smile on us and we shall be safe.

80:8 There was a vine: you uprooted it from Egypt; to plant it, you drove out other nations,

80:9 you cleared a space where it could grow, it took root and filled the whole country.

80:10 It covered the mountains with its shade, the cedars of God with its branches,

80:11 its tendrils extended to the sea, its offshoots all the way to the river.[*b]

80:12 Why have you destroyed its fences? Now anyone can go and steal its grapes,

80:13 the forest boar can ravage it and wild animals eat it.

80:14 Please, Yahweh Sabaoth, relent! Look down from heaven, look at this vine, visit it,

80:15 protect what your own right hand has planted.

80:16 They threw it on the fire like dung, but one look of reproof from you and they will be doomed.

80:17 May your hand protect the man at your right, the son of man who has been authorised by you.

80:18 We shall never turn from you again; our life renewed, we shall invoke your name.

80:19 Yahweh Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face smile on us and we shall be safe.

JB PSALMS Chapter 81

PSALM 81 (v80)

For the feast of Tabernacles[*a]

For the choirmaster

On the… of Gath

Of Asaph

81:1 Shout for joy to honour God our strength, shout to acclaim the God of Jacob!

81:2 Start the music, sound the drum, the melodious lyre and the harp;

81:3 sound the New Moon trumpet, at the full moon, on our feastday!

81:4 This is a statute binding on Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob,

81:5 this decree he imposed on Joseph when he went to war against Egypt. I can hear a voice I no longer recognise,

81:6 ‘It was I who relieved your shoulder of the burden, your hands could drop the labourer’s basket;

81:7 you called in your trouble, so I rescued you. ‘Hidden in the storm, I answered you, I tested you at the waters of Meribah. (pause)

81:8 Listen, you are my people, let me warn you. Israel, if you would only listen to me!

81:9 ‘Tolerate no foreign god, worship no alien god;

81:10 I, Yahweh, am your God, I who brought you here from Egypt; you have only to open your mouth for me to fill it.

81:11 ‘My people refused to listen to me, Israel refused to obey me,

81:12 so I left them to their stubborn selves to do whatever they pleased.

81:13 ‘If only my people would listen, if Israel would follow my ways,

81:14 at one blow I would defeat their enemies and strike at all who attack them.

81:15 ‘Then those who hate Yahweh would cringe, their doom being sealed for ever;

81:16 while I would feed you on pure wheat and satisfy you with the wild rock honey.’

JB PSALMS Chapter 82

PSALM 82 (v81)

Against corrupt judges

Psalm

Of Asaph

82:1 God stands in the divine assembly, among the gods he dispenses justice:

82:2 ‘No more mockery of justice, no more favouring the wicked! (pause)

82:3 Let the weak and the orphan have justice, be fair to the wretched and destitute;

82:4 rescue the weak and needy, save them from the clutches of the wicked!’

82:5 Ignorant and senseless, they carry on blindly, undermining the very basis of earthly society.

82:6 I once said, ‘You too are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you’,

82:7 but all the same, you shall die like other men; as one man, princes, you shall fall,

82:8 Rise, God, dispense justice throughout the world, since no nation is excluded from your ownership.

JB PSALMS Chapter 83

PSALM 83 (v82)

Against the enemies of Israel

Song

Psalm

Of Asaph

83:1 God, do not remain silent; do not be unmoved, O God, or unresponsive!

83:2 See how your enemies are stirring, see how those who hate you rear their heads.

83:3 Weaving a plot against your people, conspiring against those you protect, .

83:4 they say, ‘Come, we will finish them as a nation, the name of Israel shall be forgotten!’

83:5 Unanimous in their plot, they seal a treaty against you:

83:6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,

83:7 Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia and the Tyrians;

83:8 and now Assur[*a] has joined them to reinforce the sons of Lot. (pause)

83:9 Treat them like Midian and Sisera, like Jabin at the river Kishon,

83:10 wiped out at En-dor, they served to dung the ground.

83:11 Treat their generals like Oreb and Zeeb, their commanders like Zebah and Zalmunna,

83:12 those who once said, ‘Let us take for ourselves possession of the Dwellings of God!’

83:13 My God, bowl them along like tumbleweed, like chaff at the mercy of the wind;

83:14 as fire devours the forest, as the flame licks up the mountains,

83:15 drive them on with your whirlwind, rout them with your tornado;

83:16 cover their faces with shame, until they seek your name, Yahweh.

83:17 Shame and panic be always theirs, disgrace and death;

83:18 and let them know this: you alone bear the name Yahweh, Most High over the whole world.

JB PSALMS Chapter 84

PSALM 84 (v83)

Pilgrimage song

For the choirmaster

On the… of Gath

Of the sons of Korah

Psalm

84:1 How I love your palace, Yahweh Sabaoth! How my soul yearns and pines for Yahweh’s courts!

84:2 My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

84:3 The sparrow has found its home at last, the swallow a nest for its young, your altars, Yahweh Sabaoth, my king and my God.

84:4 Happy those who live in your house and can praise you all day long;

84:5 and happy the pilgrims inspired by you with courage to make the Ascents! (pause)

84:6 As they go through the Valley of the Weeper,[*a] they make it a place of springs, clothed in blessings by early rains.

84:7 Thence they make their way from height to height, soon to be seen before God on Zion.

84:8 Yahweh Sabaoth, hear my prayer, listen, God of Jacob;

84:9 God our shield, now look on us and be kind to your anointed. (pause)

84:10 A single day in your courts is worth more than a thousand elsewhere; merely to stand on the steps of God’s[*b] house is better than living with the wicked.

84:11 For God is battlement and shield, conferring grace and glory; Yahweh withholds nothing good from those who walk without blame.

84:12 Yahweh Sabaoth, happy the man who puts his trust in you!

JB PSALMS Chapter 85

PSALM 85 (v84)

Prayer for peace

For the choirmaster

Of the sons of Korah

Psalm

85:1 Yahweh, you favour your own country, you bring back the captives of Jacob,

85:2 you take your people’s guilt away, you blot out all their sins, (pause)

85:3 you retract all your anger, you abjure your fiery rage.

85:4 Bring us back, God our saviour, master your resentment against us.

85:5 Do you mean to be angry with us for ever, to prolong your wrath age after age?

85:6 Will you not give us life again, for your people to rejoice in you?

85:7 Yahweh, show us your love, grant us your saving help.

85:8 I am listening. What is Yahweh saying? What God is saying means peace for his people, for his friends, if only they renounce their folly;

85:9 for those who fear him, his saving help is near, and the glory will then live in our country.

85:10 Love and Loyalty now meet, Righteousness and Peace now embrace;

85:11 Loyalty reaches up from earth and Righteousness leans down from heaven.

85:12 Yahweh himself bestows happiness as our soil gives its harvest,

85:13 Righteousness always preceding him and Peace following his footsteps.

JB PSALMS Chapter 86

PSALM 86 (v85)

Prayer in ordeal

Prayer

Of David

86:1 Listen to me, Yahweh, and answer me, poor and needy as I am;

86:2 keep my soul: I am your devoted one, save your servant who relies on you. You are my God,

86:3 take pity on me, Lord, I invoke you all day long;

86:4 give your servant reason to rejoice, for to you, Lord, I lift my soul.

86:5 Lord, you are good and forgiving, most loving to all who invoke you;

86:6 Yahweh, hear my prayer, listen to me as I plead.

86:7 Lord, in trouble I invoke you, and you answer my prayer;

86:8 there is no god to compare with you, no achievement to compare with yours.

86:9 All the pagans will come and adore you, Lord, all will glorify your name,

86:10 since you alone are great, you perform marvels, you God, you alone.

86:11 Yahweh, teach me your way, how to walk beside you faithfully, make me single-hearted in fearing your name.

86:12 I thank you with all my heart, Lord my God, I glorify your name for ever,

86:13 your love for me has been so great, you have rescued me from the depths of Sheol.

86:14 Now arrogant men, God, are attacking me, a brutal gang hounding me to death: people to whom you mean nothing.

86:15 Lord God, you who are always merciful and tender-hearted, slow to anger, always loving, always loyal,

86:16 turn to me and pity me. Give me your strength, your saving help, me your servant, this son of a pious mother,

86:17 give me one proof of your goodness. Yahweh, make my opponents ashamed, show them that you are my help and consolation.

JB PSALMS Chapter 87

PSALM 87 (v86)

Zion, mother of nations

Of the sons of Korah

Psalm

Song

87:2a Yahweh loves

87:1 his city founded on the holy mountain;

87:2b he prefers the gates of Zion

87:2c to any town in Jacob.

87:3 He has glorious predictions to make of you, city of God! (pause)

87:4 ‘I will add Egypt and Babylon to the nations that acknowledge me. Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, “Here so and so was born” men say.

87:5 But all call Zion “Mother”, since all were born in her.’ It is he who makes her what she is, he, the Most High,

87:6 Yahweh; and as he registers the peoples, ‘It was here’ he writes ‘that so and so was born’. (pause)

87:7 And there will be princes dancing there[*a]. All find their home in you.

JB PSALMS Chapter 88

PSALM 88 (v87)

Lament

Song

Psalm

Of the sons of Korah

For the choirmaster

In sickness or suffering

Poem

For Heman the native-born

88:1 Yahweh my God, I call for help all day, I weep to you all night;

88:2 may my prayer reach you hear my cries for help;

88:3 for my soul is all troubled, my life is on the brink of Sheol;

88:4 I am numbered among those who go down to the Pit, a man bereft of strength:

88:5 a man alone, down among the dead, among the slaughtered in their graves, among those you have forgotten, those deprived of your protecting hand.

88:6 You have plunged me to the bottom of the Pit, to its darkest, deepest place,

88:7 weighted down by your anger, drowned beneath your waves. (pause)

88:8 You have turned my friends against me and made me repulsive to them; in prison and unable to escape, my eyes are worn out with suffering.

88:9 Yahweh, I invoke you all day, I stretch out my hands to you:

88:10 are your marvels meant for the dead, can ghosts rise up to praise you?

88:11 Who talks of your love in the grave, of your faithfulness in the place of perdition?

88:12 Do they hear about your marvels in the dark, about your righteousness in the land of oblivion? (pause)

88:13 But I am here, calling for your help, praying to you every morning:

88:14 why do you reject me? Why do you hide your face from me?

88:15 Wretched, slowly dying since my youth, I bore your terrors – now I am exhausted;

88:16 your anger overwhelmed me, you destroyed me with your terrors

88:17 which, like a flood, were round me, all day long, all together closing in on me.

88:18 You have turned my friends and neighbours against me, now darkness is my one companion left.

JB PSALMS Chapter 89

PSALM 89 (v88)

Hymn and a prayer to God’s faithfulness

Poem

For Ethan the native-born

89:1 I will celebrate your love for ever, Yahweh, age after age my words shall proclaim your faithfulness;

89:2 for I claim that love is built to last for ever and your faithfulness founded firmly in the heavens.

89:3 ‘I have made a covenant with my Chosen, I have given my servant David my sworn word:

89:4 I have founded your dynasty to last for ever, I have built you a throne to outlast all time.’ (pause)

89:5 Yahweh, the assembly of holy ones in heaven applaud the marvel of your faithfulness.

89:6 Who in the skies can compare with Yahweh? Which of the heaven-born can rival him?

89:7 God, dreaded in the assembly of holy ones, great and terrible to all around him,

89:8 Yahweh, God of Sabaoth, who is like you?-mighty Yahweh, clothed in your faithfulness!

89:9 You control the pride of the ocean, when its waves ride high, you calm them;

89:10 you split Rahab[*a] in two like a carcase and scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

89:11 The heavens are yours and the earth is yours, you founded the world and all it holds,

89:12 you created north and south; Tabor and Hermon hail your name with joy.

89:13 Yours was the arm, and yours the prowess, mighty and exalted your right hand;

89:14 Righteousness and Justice support your throne, Love and Faithfulness are your attendants.

89:15 Happy the people who learn to acclaim you! Yahweh, they will live in the light of your favour;

89:16 they will rejoice in your name all day and exult in your righteousness.

89:17 You are their glory and their strength, you, by your kindness, raise our fortunes,

89:18 since both our shield and our king belong to Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel.

89:19 Once you spoke in vision and said to your friends,[*b] I have conferred the crown on a hero, and promoted one chosen from my people.

89:20 I have selected my servant David and anointed him with my holy oil;

89:21 my hand will be constantly with him, he will be able to rely on my arm.

89:22 ‘No enemy will be able to outwit him, no wicked man to worst him,

89:23 I myself will crush his opponents, I will strike dead all who hate him.

89:24 ‘With my faithfulness and love, his fortunes shall rise in my name.

89:25 I will give him control of the sea, complete control of the rivers.

89:26 ‘He will invoke me, “My father, my God and rock of my safety”,

89:27 and I shall make him my first-born, the Most High for kings on earth.

89:28 ‘I will keep my love for him always, my covenant with him shall stand,

89:29 I have founded his dynasty to last for ever, his throne to be as lasting as the heavens.

89:30 ‘Should his descendants desert my Law and disregard my rulings,

89:31 should they violate my statutes and not keep my commandments,

89:32 ‘I will punish their sins with the rod and their crimes with the whip,

89:33 but never withdraw my love from him or fail in my faithfulness.

89:34 ‘I will not break my covenant, I will not revoke my given word;

89:35 I have sworn on my holiness, once for all, and cannot turn liar to David.

89:36 ‘His dynasty shall last for ever, I see his throne like the sun,

89:37 enduring for ever like the moon, that faithful witness in the sky.’ (pause)

89:38 And yet you have rejected, disowned and raged at your anointed;

89:39 you have repudiated the covenant with your servant and flung his crown dishonoured to the ground.

89:40 You have pierced all his defences, and laid his forts in ruins;

89:41 anyone may go and loot him, his neighbours treat him with scorn.

89:42 You have let his opponents get the upper hand, and made all his enemies happy,

89:43 you have snapped his sword on a rock and failed to support him in battle.

89:44 You have stripped him of his glorious sceptre, and toppled his throne to the ground,

89:45 you have aged him before his time and covered him in shame. (pause)

89:46 Yahweh, how much longer will you hide? For ever? How much longer must your anger smoulder like a fire?

89:47 Remember me, the short time I have left and the void to which you destine mankind.

89:48 What man can cling to life and not see death? Who can evade the clutches of Sheol?

89:49 Lord, where are those earlier signs of your love? You swore your oath to David on your faithfulness!

89:50 Lord, do not forget how your servant was insulted, (pause) how I take these pagans’ taunts to heart,

89:51 insults, Yahweh, that your enemies have offered, insults to your anointed wherever he goes. Blessed be Yahweh for ever. Amen. Amen![*c]

JB PSALMS Chapter 90

PSALM 90 (v89)

The human condition

Prayer

Of Moses, man of God

90:1 Lord, you have been our refuge age after age.

90:2 Before the mountains were born, before the earth or the world came to birth, you were God from all eternity and for ever.

90:3 You can turn man back into dust by saying, ‘Back to what you were, you sons of men!’

90:4 To you, a thousand years are a single day, a yesterday now over, an hour of the night.

90:5 You brush men away like waking dreams, they are like grass

90:6 sprouting and flowering in the morning, withered and dry before dusk.

90:7 We too are burnt up by your anger and terrified by your fury;

90:8 having summoned up our sins you inspect our secrets by your own light.

90:9 Our days dwindle under your wrath, our lives are over in a breath

90:10 our life lasts for seventy years, eighty with good health, but they all add up to anxiety and trouble-over in a trice, and then we are gone.

90:11 Who yet has felt the full force of your fury, or learnt to fear the violence of your rage?

90:12 Teach us to count how few days we have and so gain wisdom of heart.

90:13 Relent, Yahweh! How much longer do we have? Take pity on your servants!

90:14 Let us wake in the morning filled with your love and sing and be happy all our days;

90:15 make our future as happy as our past was sad, those years when you were punishing us.

90:16 Let your servants see what you can do for them, let their children see your glory.

90:17 May the sweetness of the Lord be on us! Make all we do succeed.

JB PSALMS Chapter 91

PSALM 91 (v90)

God’s protection

91:1 If you live in the shelter of Elyon[*a] and make your home in the shadow of Shaddai,

91:2 you can say to Yahweh, ‘My refuge, my fortress, my God to whom I trust!’

91:3 He rescues you from the snares of fowlers hoping to destroy you;

91:4a he covers you with his feathers,

91:4b and you find shelter underneath his wings.

91:5 You need not fear the terrors of night, the arrow that flies in the daytime,

91:6 the plague that stalks in the dark, the scourge that wreaks havoc in broad daylight.

91:7 Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you yourself will remain unscathed,

91:4c with his faithfulness for shield and buckler.

91:8 You have only to look around see how the wicked are repaid,

91:9 you who can say, ‘Yahweh my refuge’, and make Elyon your fortress.

91:10 No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent:

91:11 he will put you in his angels’ charge to guard you wherever you go.

91:12 They will support you on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone;

91:13 you will tread on lion and adder, trample on savage lions and dragons.

91:14 ‘I rescue all who cling to me, I protect whoever knows my name,

91:15 I answer everyone who invokes me, I am with them when they are in trouble; I bring them safety and honour.

91:16 I give them life, long and full, and show them how I can save.’

JB PSALMS Chapter 92

PSALM 92 (v91)

The virtuous man rejoices

Psalm

Song

For the sabbath

92:1 It is good to give thanks to Yahweh, to play in honour of your name, Most High,

92:2 to proclaim your love at daybreak and your faithfulness all through the night

92:3 to the music of the zither and lyre, to the rippling of the harp.

92:4 I am happy, Yahweh, at what you have done; at your achievements I joyfully exclaim,

92:5 ‘Great are your achievements, Yahweh, immensely deep your thoughts!’

92:6 Stupid men are not aware of this, fools can never appreciate it.

92:7 The wicked may sprout as thick as weeds and every evil-doer flourish, but only to be everlastingly destroyed,

92:8 whereas you are supreme for ever.

92:9 See how your enemies perish, how all evil men are routed.

92:10 You raise my horn as if I were a wild ox, you pour fresh oil on my head;

92:11 I was able to see those who were spying on me, to overhear what the wicked were whispering,

92:12 so the virtuous flourish like palm trees and grow as tall as the cedars of Lebanon.

92:13 Planted in the house of Yahweh, they will flourish in the courts of our God,

92:14 still bearing fruit in old age, still remaining fresh and green,

92:15 to proclaim that Yahweh is righteous, my rock in whom no fault is to be found!

JB PSALMS Chapter 93

PSALM 93 (v92)

The majesty of God

93:1 Yahweh is king, robed in majesty, Yahweh is robed in power, he wears it like a belt.

93:2 You have made the world firm, unshakeable; your throne has stood since then, you existed from the first, Yahweh.

93:3 Yahweh, the rivers raise, the rivers raise their voices, the rivers raise their thunders;

93:4 greater than the voice of ocean, transcending the waves of the sea, Yahweh reigns transcendent in the heights.

93:5 Your decrees will never alter; holiness will distinguish your house, Yahweh, for ever and ever.

JB PSALMS Chapter 94

PSALM 94 (v93)

94:1 The justice of God Yahweh, God of revenge, God of revenge, appear!

94:2 Rise, judge of the world, give the proud their deserts!

94:3 Yahweh, how much longer are the wicked, how much longer are the wicked to triumph?

94:4 Are these evil men to remain unsilenced, boasting and asserting themselves?

94:5 Yahweh, they crush your people, they oppress your hereditary people,

94:6 murdering and massacring widows, orphans and guests.

94:7 ‘Yahweh sees nothing,’ they say ‘the God of Jacob takes no notice.’

94:8 You most stupid of men, you fools, think this over and learn some sense.

94:9 Is the inventor of the ear unable to hear? The creator of the eye unable to see?

94:10 The punisher of the pagans unable to punish? Yahweh the teacher of mankind

94:11 knows exactly how men think, how their thoughts are a puff of wind.

94:12 Yahweh, happy the man whom you instruct, the man whom you teach through your law;

94:13 his mind is at peace though times are bad, while a pit is being dug for the wicked.

94:14 For Yahweh has not abandoned or deserted his hereditary people;

94:15 for verdict will return to righteousness again, and, in its wake, all upright hearts.

94:16 No one ever stood up for me against the wicked, not a soul took a stand to save me from evil men;

94:17 without Yahweh’s help, I should, long ago, have gone to the Home of Silence.

94:18 I need only say, ‘I am slipping’, and your love, Yahweh, immediately supports me;

94:19 and in the middle of all my troubles you console me and make me happy.

94:20 You never consent to that corrupt tribunal that imposes disorder as law,

94:21 that takes the life of the virtuous and condemns the innocent to death.

94:22 No! Yahweh is still my citadel, my God is a rock where I take shelter;

94:23 he will pay them back for all their sins, he will silence their wickedness, Yahweh our God will silence them.

JB PSALMS Chapter 95

PSALM 95 (v94)

Psalm for daily use

95:1 Come, let us praise Yahweh joyfully, acclaiming the Rock of our safety;

95:2 let us come into his presence with thanksgiving, acclaiming him with music.

95:3 For Yahweh is a great God, a greater King than all other gods;

95:4 from depths of earth to mountain top everything comes under his rule;

95:5 the sea belongs to him, he made it, so does the land, he shaped this too.

95:6 Come in, let us bow, prostrate ourselves, and kneel in front of Yahweh our maker,

95:7 for this is our God, and we are the people he pastures, the flock that he guides. If only you would listen to him today,

95:8 ‘Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,[*a]

95:9 when your ancestors challenged me, tested me, although they had seen what I could do.

95:10 ‘For forty years that generation repelled me, until I said: How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways!

95:11 And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them.’

JB PSALMS Chapter 96

PSALM 96 (v95)

Yahweh, king and judge

96:1 Sing Yahweh a new song! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth!

96:2 Sing to Yahweh, bless his name. Proclaim his salvation day after day,

96:3 tell of his glory among the nations, tell his marvels to every people.

96:4 Yahweh is great, loud must be his praise, he is to be feared beyond all gods.

96:5 Nothingness, all the gods of the nations. Yahweh himself made the heavens,

96:6 in his presence are splendour and majesty, in his sanctuary power and beauty.

96:7 Pay tribute to Yahweh, families of the peoples, tribute to Yahweh of glory and power,

96:8 tribute to Yahweh of his name’s due glory. Bring out the offering, bear it before him,

96:9 worship Yahweh in his sacred court, tremble before him, all the earth!

96:10 Say among the nations, ‘Yahweh is king!’ Firm has he made the world, and unshakeable; he will judge each nation with strict justice.

96:11 Let the heavens be glad, let earth rejoice, let the sea thunder and all that it holds,

96:12 let the fields exult and all that is in them, let all the woodland trees cry out for joy,

96:13 at the presence of Yahweh, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth, to judge the world with justice and the nations with his truth.

JB PSALMS Chapter 97

PSALM 97 (v96)

The triumph of Yahweh

97:1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles be glad!

97:2 Cloud and Darkness surround him, Righteousness and Justice support his throne.

97:3 A fire precedes him as he goes, devouring all enemies around him;

97:4 his lightning lights up the world, earth observes and quakes.

97:5 The mountains melt like wax at the coming of the Master of the world;

97:6 the heavens proclaim his righteousness, all nations see his glory.

97:7 Shame on those who worship images, who take pride in their idols: bow down as he passes, all you gods!

97:8 Zion hears and rejoices, the daughters of Judah exult at the rulings you utter, Yahweh.

97:9 For you are Yahweh Most High over the world, far transcending all other gods.

97:10 Yahweh loves those who repudiate evil, he guards the souls of the devout, rescuing them from the clutches of the wicked.

97:11 Light dawns for the virtuous, and joy, for upright hearts.

97:12 Rejoice in Yahweh, you virtuous, remember his holiness, and praise him!

JB PSALMS Chapter 98

PSALM 98 (v97)

The judge of the world[*a]

Psalm

98:1 Sing Yahweh a new song for he has performed marvels, his own right hand, his holy arm, gives him the power to save.

98:2 Yahweh has displayed his power; has revealed his righteousness to the nations,

98:3 mindful of his love and faithfulness to the House of Israel. The most distant parts of the earth have seen the saving power of our God.

98:4 Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth, burst into shouts of joy!

98:5 Sing to Yahweh, sing to the music of harps, and to the sound of many instruments;

98:6 to the sound of trumpet and horn acclaim Yahweh the King!

98:7 Let the sea thunder and all that it holds, and the world, with all who live in it;

98:8 let all the rivers clap their hands and the mountains shout for joy,

98:9 at the presence of Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth, to judge the world with righteousness and the nations with strict justice.

JB PSALMS Chapter 99

PSALM 99 (v98)

God, righteous and holy king

99:1 Yahweh is king, the nations tremble; he is enthroned on the cherubs, earth quakes;

99:2 Yahweh is great in Zion. He is high over all nations;

99:3 may they praise your great and terrible name, ‘Holy is he,

99:4 and mighty!’ You are a king who loves justice, insisting on honesty, justice, virtue, as you have done for Jacob.

99:5 Let us extol Yahweh our God, and worship at his footstool, ‘Holy is he!’

99:6 Moses, Aaron one of his priests, and Samuel his votary, all invoked Yahweh: and he answered them.

99:7 He talked with them in the pillar of cloud; they obeyed his decrees, the Law he gave them.

99:8 Yahweh our God, you responded to them, a God of forgiveness for them, in spite of punishing their sins.

99:9 Extol Yahweh our God, worship at his holy mountain, ‘Holy is Yahweh our God!’

JB PSALMS Chapter 100

PSALM 100 (v99)

Invitation to praise God

Psalm

For thanksgiving

100:1 Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,

100:2 serve Yahweh gladly, come into his presence with songs of joy!

100:3 Know that he, Yahweh, is God, he made us and we belong to him, we are his people, the flock that he pastures.

100:4 Walk through his porticos giving thanks, enter his courts praising him, give thanks to him, bless his name!

100:5 Yes, Yahweh is good, his love is everlasting, his faithfulness endures from age to age.

JB PSALMS Chapter 101

PSALM 101 (v100)

The ideal ruler

Of David

Psalm

101:1 My song is about kindness and justice; Yahweh, I sing it to you.

101:2 I mean to make good progress, as the blameless do: when will you come to me? In my household, I will advance in purity of heart;

101:3 I will not let my eyes rest on any misconduct. I hate the practices of the apostate, they have no appeal for me;

101:4 perverted hearts must keep their distance, the wicked I disregard.

101:5 The man who secretly slanders his neighbour I reduce to silence; haughty looks, proud heart, I cannot tolerate these.

101:6 I look to my religious countrymen to compose my household; only the man who makes progress, as the blameless do, can be my servant.

101:7 There is no room in my house for any hypocrite; no liar keeps his post where I can see him.

101:8 Morning after morning[*a] I reduce to silence all who are wicked in this country, banishing from the city of Yahweh all evil men.

JB PSALMS Chapter 102

PSALM 102 (v101)

Prayer in misfortune

Prayer of the downtrodden telling Yahweh their troubles at a moment of distress

102:1 Yahweh, hear my prayer, let my cry for help reach you;

102:2 do not hide your face from me when I am in trouble; bend down to listen to me, when I call, be quick to answer me!

102:3 For my days are vanishing like smoke, my bones smouldering like logs,

102:4 my heart shrivelling like scorched grass and my appetite has gone;

102:5 whenever I heave a sigh, my bones stick through my skin.

102:6 I live in a desert like the pelican, in a ruin like the screech owl,

102:7 I stay awake, lamenting like a lone bird on the roof;

102:8 my enemies insult me all day long, those who used to praise me now use me as a curse.

102:9 Ashes are the bread I eat, what I drink I lace with tears,

102:10 under your furious anger, since you only picked me up to throw me down;

102:11 my days dwindle away like a shadow, I am as dry as hay.

102:12 Whereas, Yahweh, you remain for ever; each generation in turn remembers you!

102:13 Rise, take pity on Zion! – the time has come to have mercy on her, the hour has come;

102:14 for your servants prize her stones and are moved to pity by her dust.

102:15 Then will the nations fear the name of Yahweh and all kings on earth respect your glory;

102:16 when Yahweh builds Zion anew, he will be seen in his glory;

102:17 he will answer the prayer of the abandoned, he will not scorn their petitions.

102:18 Put this on record for the next generation, so that a race still to be born can praise God:

102:19 Yahweh has leaned down from the heights of his sanctuary, has looked down at earth from heaven,

102:20 to hear the sighing of the captive, and to set free those doomed to die.

102:28 Your servants’ sons will have a permanent home, and their descendants be in your presence always,

102:21 to proclaim the name of Yahweh in Zion, his praise in Jerusalem;

102:22 nations and kingdoms will be united and offer worship to Yahweh together.

102:23a My strength has already run out;

102:24a tell me

102:23b how much longer I have left.

102:24b Do not take me prematurely, when your own life lasts for ever.

102:25 Aeons ago, you laid earth’s foundations, the heavens are the work of your hands;

102:26 all will vanish, though you remain, all wear out like a garment, like clothes that need changing you will change them;

102:27 but yourself, you never change, and your years are unending.

JB PSALMS Chapter 103

PSALM 103 (v102)

God is love

Of David

103:1 Bless Yahweh, my soul, bless his holy name, all that is in me!

103:2 Bless Yahweh, my soul, and remember all his kindnesses:

103:3 in forgiving all your offences, in curing all your diseases,

103:4 in redeeming your life from the Pit, in crowning you with love and tenderness,

103:5 in filling your years with prosperity, in renewing your youth like an eagle’s[*a]

103:6 Yahweh, who does what is right, is always on the side of the oppressed;

103:7 he revealed his intentions to Moses, his prowess to the sons of Israel.

103:8 Yahweh is tender and compassionate, slow to anger, most loving;

103:9 his indignation does not last for ever, his resentment exists a short time only;

103:10 he never treats us, never punishes us, as our guilt and our sins deserve.

103:11 No less than the height of heaven over earth is the greatness of his love for those who fear him;

103:12 he takes our sins farther away than the east is from the west.

103:13 As tenderly as a father treats his children, so Yahweh treats those who fear him;

103:14 he knows what we are made of, he remembers we are dust.

103:15 Man lasts no longer than grass, no longer than a wild flower he lives,

103:16 one gust of wind, and he is gone, never to be seen there again;

103:17 yet Yahweh’s love for those who fear him lasts from all eternity and for ever, like his goodness to their children’s children,

103:18 as long as they keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

103:19 Yahweh has fixed his throne in the heavens, his empire is over all.

103:20 Bless Yahweh, all his angels, heroes mighty to enforce his word, attentive to his word of command.

103:21 Bless Yahweh, all his armies, servants to enforce his will.

103:22 Bless Yahweh, all his creatures in every part of his empire! Bless Yahweh, my soul.

JB PSALMS Chapter 104

PSALM 104 (v103)

The glories of creation

104:1 Bless Yahweh, my soul. Yahweh my God, how great you are! Clothed in majesty and glory,

104:2 wrapped in a robe of light! You stretch the heavens out like a tent,

104:3 you build your palace on the waters above; using the clouds as your chariot, you advance on the wings of the wind;

104:4 you use the winds as messengers and fiery flames as servants.

104:5 You fixed the earth on its foundations, unshakeable for ever and ever;

104:6 you wrapped it with the deep as with a robe, the waters overtopping the mountains.

104:7 At your reproof the waters took to flight, they fled at the sound of your thunder,

104:8 cascading over the mountains, into the valleys, down to the reservoir you made for them;

104:9 you imposed the limits they must never cross again, or they would once more flood the land.

104:10 You set springs gushing in ravines, running down between the mountains,

104:11 supplying water for wild animals, attracting the thirsty wild donkeys;

104:12 near there the birds of the air make their nests and sing among the branches.

104:13 From your palace you water the uplands until the ground has had all that your heavens have to offer;

104:14 you make fresh grass grow for cattle and those plants made use of by man, for them to get food from the soil:

104:15 wine to make them cheerful, oil to make them happy and bread to make them strong.

104:16 The trees of Yahweh get rain enough, those cedars of Lebanon he planted;

104:17 here the little birds build their nest and, on the highest branches, the stork has its home.

104:18 For the wild goats there are the mountains, in the crags rock-badgers hide.

104:19 You made the moon to tell the seasons, the sun knows when to set:

104:20 you bring darkness on, night falls, all the forest animals come out:

104:21 savage lions roaring for their prey, claiming their food from God.

104:22 The sun rises, they retire, going back to lie down in their lairs,

104:23 and man goes out to work, and to labour until dusk.

104:24 Yahweh, what variety you have created, arranging everything so wisely! Earth is completely full of things you have made:

104:25 among them vast expanse of ocean, teeming with countless creatures, creatures large and small,

104:26 with the ships going to and fro and Leviathan whom you made to amuse you.

104:27 All creatures depend on you to feed them throughout the year;

104:28 you provide the food they eat, with generous hand you satisfy their hunger.

104:29 You turn your face away, they suffer, you stop their breath, they die and revert to dust.

104:30 You give breath, fresh life begins, you keep renewing the world.

104:31 Glory for ever to Yahweh! May Yahweh find joy in what he creates,

104:32 at whose glance the earth trembles, at whose touch the mountains smoke!

104:33 I mean to sing to Yahweh all my life, I mean to play for my God as long as I live.

104:34 May these reflections of mine give him pleasure, as much as Yahweh gives me!

104:35 May sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked exist no more! Bless Yahweh, my soul.

JB PSALMS Chapter 105

PSALM 105 (v104)

The wonderful history of Israel

105:1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call his name aloud, proclaim his deeds to the peoples!

105:2 Sing to him, play to him, tell over all his marvels!

105:3 Glory in his holy name, let the hearts that seek Yahweh rejoice!

105:4 Seek Yahweh and his strength, seek his face untiringly;

105:5 remember the marvels he has done, his wonders, the judgements from his mouth.

105:6 Stock of Abraham his servant, sons of Jacob his chosen one!

105:7 He is Yahweh our God, his authority is over all the earth.

105:8 Remember his covenant for ever, his word of command for a thousand generations,

105:9 the pact he made with Abraham, his oath to Isaac.

105:10 He established it as a statute for Jacob, an everlasting covenant for Israel.

105:11 ‘I give you a land,’ he said ‘Canaan, your allotted heritage.

105:12 There where you were easily counted, few in number, strangers to the country.’

105:13 They went from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people;

105:14 he let no man oppress them, he punished kings on their behalf.

105:15 ‘Do not touch my anointed ones,’ he said ‘do not harm my prophets!’

105:16 Next, he called down famine on the country, he broke their staff, that is, their bread;

105:17 he sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, sold as a slave.

105:18 They tortured his feet with fetters, they put his neck in irons;

105:19 time passed, Joseph’s oracle came true, Yahweh’s word proved him right.

105:20 The king gave orders to release him, that master of nations set him free,

105:21 putting him in charge of his household, in control of all he possessed,

105:22 to train his officials as he thought fit and convert his elders into sages.

105:23 Israel then migrated to Egypt, Jacob settled in the land of Ham.

105:24 He made his people fertile and more vigorous than their oppressors,

105:25 whose hearts he then disposed to hatred of his people and double-dealing with his servants.

105:26 He sent his servant Moses, and Aaron, the man of his choice;

105:27 there they displayed his signs, his wonders in the land of Ham.

105:28 He sent darkness, darkness fell, but still they defied his word.

105:29 He turned their rivers into blood, thus killing all their fish.

105:30 Their country was overrun with frogs even in the royal apartments;

105:31 he spoke: flies and mosquitoes swarmed throughout the country.

105:32 He sent them hail instead of rain, fire swept across their land;

105:33 he blasted their vines and fig trees, he shattered the trees throughout the country.

105:34 He spoke: there came locusts, grasshoppers, more than you could count,

105:35 eating every scrap of greenstuff, every blade their soil produced.

105:36 Next, he struck down all the first-born in their land, the entire first-fruits of their fertility;

105:37 then he led Israel out with gold and silver, and not one man of their tribes was left behind.

105:38 Egypt was glad to see them go, they had filled her with alarm;

105:39 he spread a cloud to cover them, and a fire to glow at night.

105:40 They demanded food, he sent them quails, he satisfied them with the bread of heaven;

105:41 he opened the rock, the waters gushed to flow through the desert like a river.

105:42 Yes, faithful to the sacred promise given to his servant Abraham,

105:43 he led his happy people forward, to joyful shouts from his chosen,

105:44 and gave them the pagans’ territories. Where others had toiled, they took possession,

105:45 on condition that they kept his statutes and remained obedient to his laws.

JB PSALMS Chapter 106

PSALM 106 (v105)

National confession

106:1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, his love is everlasting!

106:2 Who can count all Yahweh’s triumphs? Who can praise him enough?

106:3 Happy are we if we exercise justice and constantly practise virtue!

106:4 Yahweh, remember me, for the love you bear your people, come to me as a saviour,

106:5 let me share the happiness of your chosen, the joys of your nation and take pride in being one of your heirs.

106:6 We have sinned quite as much as our fathers, we have been wicked, we are guilty;

106:7 our ancestors in Egypt never grasped the meaning of your marvels. They failed to appreciate your great love, they defied the Most High at the Sea of Reeds.

106:8 For the sake of his name, he saved them to demonstrate his power.

106:9 One word from him dried up the Sea of Reeds, he led them across the sea bed like dry land,

106:10 he saved them from the grasp of those who hated them and rescued them from the clutches of the enemy.

106:11 And the waters swallowed their oppressors, not one of them was left.

106:12 Then, having faith in his promises, they immediately sang his praises.

106:13 They forgot his achievements as quickly, going on before asking his advice;

106:14 their desires overcame them in the desert, they challenged god in the wilds

106:15 He granted them what they asked for, then struck them with a wasting fever;

106:16 in camp, they grew jealous of Moses and Aaron, Yahweh’s holy one.

106:17 The earth opened, swallowing Dathan, closing on Abiram’s faction,

106:18 fire flamed out against their faction, the renegades went up in flames.

106:19 They made a calf at Horeb, performed prostrations to a smelted thing,

106:20 exchanging the one who was their glory for the image of a grass-eating ox.

106:21 They forgot the God who had saved them by performing such feats in Egypt,

106:22 such wonders in the land of Ham, such fearful things at the Sea of Reeds.

106:23 He talked of putting an end to them and would have done, if Moses his chosen had not stood in the breach, confronting him, and deflecting his destructive anger.

106:24 They refused a land of delight, having no faith in his promise;

106:25 they stayed in their camp and grumbled, they would not listen to Yahweh’s voice.

106:26 So, raising his hand, he swore to make them fall dead in the desert

106:27 and their descendants to fall to the heathen, and to disperse them throughout those countries.

106:28 They accepted the yoke of Baal-peor and ate sacrifices to the dead.

106:29 They provoked him by their behaviour; plague broke out among them.

106:30 Then up stood Phinehas to intervene, and the plague was checked;

106:31 hence his reputation for virtue through successive generations for ever.

106:32 They enraged him at the waters of Meribah; as a result, things went wrong for Moses,

106:33 since they had embittered his spirit and he spoke without stopping to think.

106:34 They did not destroy the pagans as Yahweh had told them to do,

106:35 but, intermarrying with them, adopted their practices instead.

106:36 Serving the pagans’ idols, they found themselves trapped

106:37 into sacrificing their own sons and daughters to demons.

106:38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, offering them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the country with blood.

106:39 They defiled themselves by such actions, their behaviour was that of a whore.

106:40 Yahweh’s anger blazed out at his people, he came to loathe his heirs.

106:41 He handed them over to the pagans, those who hated them became their masters;

106:42 their enemies tyrannised over them, crushing them under their rule.

106:43 Time and again he rescued them, but they went on defying him deliberately and plunging deeper into wickedness;

106:44 even so, he took pity on their distress each time he heard them calling.

106:45 For their sake, he remembered his covenant, he relented in his great love,

106:46 making their captors mitigate the harshness of their treatment.

106:47 Yahweh our God and saviour, gather us from among the pagans, to give thanks to your holy name and to find our happiness in praising you.

106:48 Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel, from all eternity and for ever! Here, all the people are to say, ‘Amen'[*a]

JB PSALMS Chapter 107

PSALM 107 (v106)

God, a refuge in all dangers

107:1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, his love is everlasting:

107:2 let these be the words of Yahweh’s redeemed, those he has redeemed from the oppressor’s clutches,

107:3 by bringing them home from foreign countries, from east and west, from north and south.

107:4 Some had lost their way in the wilds and the desert, not knowing how to reach an inhabited town;

107:5 they were hungry and desperately thirsty, their courage was running low.

107:6 Then they called to Yahweh in their trouble and he rescued them from their sufferings,

107:7 guiding them by a route leading direct to an inhabited town.

107:8 Let these thank Yahweh for his love, for his marvels on behalf of men;

107:9 satisfying the hungry, he fills the starving with good things.

107:10 Some were living in gloom and darkness, fettered in misery and irons

107:11 for defying the orders of God, for scorning the advice of the Most High;

107:12 who bent them double with hardship, to breaking point, with no one to help them.

107:13 Then they called to Yahweh in their trouble

107:14 releasing them from gloom and darkness, shattering their chains.

107:15 Let these thank Yahweh for his love, for his marvels on behalf of men;

107:16 breaking bronze gates open, he smashes iron bars.

107:17 Some, driven frantic by their sins, made miserable by their own guilt

107:18 and finding all food repugnant, were nearly at death’s door.

107:19 Then they called to Yahweh in their trouble and he rescued them from their sufferings;

107:20 sending his word and curing them, he snatched them from the Pit.

107:21 Let these thank Yahweh for his love, for his marvels on behalf of men.

107:22 Let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices and proclaim with shouts of joy what he has done.

107:23 Others, taking ship and going to sea, were plying their business across the ocean;

107:24 they too saw what Yahweh could do, what marvels on the deep!

107:25 He spoke and raised a gale, lashing up towering waves.

107:26 Flung to the sky, then plunged to the depths, they lost their nerve in the ordeal,

107:27 staggering and reeling like drunkards with all their seamanship adrift.

107:28 Then they called to Yahweh in their trouble and he rescued them from their sufferings,

107:29 reducing the storm to a whisper until the waves grew quiet,

107:30 bringing them, glad at the calm, safe to the port they were bound for.

107:31 Let these thank Yahweh for his love, for his marvels on behalf of men.

107:32 Let them extol him at the Great Assembly and praise him in the Council of Elders.

107:33 Sometimes he turned rivers into desert, springs of water into arid ground,

107:34 or a fertile country into salt-flats, because the people living there were wicked.

107:35 Or again, he turned a desert into sheets of water, and an arid country into flowing springs,

107:36 where he gave the hungry a home in which to found a habitable town.

107:37 There, they sow the fields and plant their vines, there, they show a profitable harvest.

107:38 He blesses them, they grow in number, he sees that their livestock does not decrease.

107:39 Their numbers had fallen, they had grown weak under pressure of disaster and hardship.

107:40 Pouring his contempt upon the nobly born, he left them to wander in a trackless waste.

107:41 But now, he lifts the needy out of their misery, and gives them a flock of new families;

107:42 at the sight of which, upright hearts rejoice and wickedness must hold its tongue.

107:43 If you are wise, study these things and realise how Yahweh shows his love.

JB PSALMS Chapter 108

PSALM 108 (v107)

Morning hymn and national prayer[*a]

Song

Psalm

Of David

108:1 My heart is ready, God-I mean to sing and play. Awake, my muse,

108:2 awake, lyre and harp, I mean to wake the Dawn!

108:3 Yahweh, I mean to thank you among the peoples, to play music to you among the nations;

108:4 your love is high as heaven, your faithfulness as the clouds.

108:5 Rise high above the heavens, God, let your glory be over the earth!

108:6 To bring rescue to those you love save with your right hand and answer us!

108:7 God promised us once from his sanctuary, ‘I the Victor will parcel out Shechem, and share out the Valley of Succoth.

108:8 ‘Gilead is mine, Manasseh mine, Ephraim is my helmet, Judah, my marshal’s baton.

108:9 ‘Moab a bowl for me to wash in! I throw my sandal over Edom and shout: Victory! over Philistia.’

108:10 Who is there now to take me into the fortified city, to lead me into Edom?

108:11 God, can you really have rejected us? You no longer march with our armies.

108:12 Help us in this hour of crisis, the help that man can give is worthless.

108:13 With God among us, we shall fight like heroes, he will trample on our enemies.

JB PSALMS Chapter 109

PSALM 109 (v108)

An appeal against enemies

For the choirmaster

Of David

Psalm

109:1 God whom I praise, break your silence,

109:2 now that the wicked and the false are both accusing me. They are defaming me,

109:3 saying malicious things about me, attacking me for no reason.

109:4 In return for my friendship, they denounce me, though all I had done was pray for them;

109:5 they pay me back evil for kindness and hatred for friendship.

109:6 ‘Give him a venal judge, find someone to frame the charge;

109:7 let him be tried and found guilty, let his prayer be construed as a crime!

109:8 ‘Let his life be cut short, let someone else take his office;

109:9 may his children be orphaned and his wife widowed!

109:10 ‘May his children be homeless vagabonds, beggared and hounded from their hovels

109:11 may the creditor seize his possessions and foreigners swallow his profits!

109:12 ‘May no one be left to show him kindness, may no one look after his orphans,

109:13 may his family die out, its name disappear in one generation!

109:14 ‘May the crimes of his fathers be held against him and his mother’s sin never be effaced;

109:15 may Yahweh bear these constantly in mind, to wipe their memory off the earth!’

109:16 That wretch never thought of being kind, but hounded the poor, the needy and the broken-hearted to death.

109:17 He loved cursing, may it recoil on him, had no taste for blessing, may it shun him!

109:18 He used to wrap curses round him like a cloak, let them soak right into him like water, deep into his bones like oil.

109:19 May they now envelop him like a gown, be tied round his waist for ever!

109:20 May Yahweh pay all my accusers, all my detractors like this!

109:21 Yahweh, defend me for the sake of your name, rescue me, since your love is generous!

109:22 Reduced to weakness and poverty, my heart is sorely tormented;

109:23 I am dwindling away like a shadow, they have brushed me off like a locust.

109:24 My knees are weak for lack of food, my body is thin for lack of oil;

109:25 I have become an object of derision, people shake their heads at me in scorn.

109:26 Help me, Yahweh my God, save me since you love me,

109:27 and let them know that you have done it, that it was you, Yahweh, who did it.

109:28 Counter their curses with your blessing, shame my aggressors, make your servant glad!

109:29 Clothe my accusers in disgrace, cover them with a cloak of shame.

109:30 I will give thanks aloud to Yahweh and praise him in the Assembly,

109:31 for conducting the poor man’s defence against those who would have sentenced him to death.

JB PSALMS Chapter 110

PSALM 110 (v109)

The Messiah: king and priest

Of David

Psalm

110:1 Yahweh’s oracle to you, my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand and I will make your enemies a footstool for you’.

110:2 Yahweh will force all your enemies under the sway of your sceptre in Zion.

110:3 Royal dignity was yours from the day you were born, on the holy mountains, royal from the womb, from the dawn of your earliest days.

110:4 Yahweh has sworn an oath which he never will retract, ‘You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever’.

110:5 The Lord is at your right hand. When he grows angry he shatters kings,

110:6 he gives the nations their deserts, smashing their skulls, he heaps the wide world with corpses.

110:7 Drinking from the stream as he goes, he can hold his head high in victory.

JB PSALMS Chapter 111

PSALM 111 (v110)

In praise of the divine attributes

111:1 Alleluia!

Aleph

I give thanks to Yahweh with all my heart

Beth

where the virtuous meet and the people assemble.

Ghimel

111:2 The works of Yahweh are sublime,

Daleth

those who delight in them are right to fix their eyes on them.

He

111:3 Every work that he does is full of glory and majesty,

Waw

and his righteousness can never change.

Zain

111:4 He allows us to commemorate his marvels.

Heth

Yahweh is merciful and tenderhearted,

Teth

111:5 he provides food for those who fear him;

Yod

he never forgets his covenant.

Kaph

111:6 He reminds his people of the power that he wields

Lamed

by giving them the inheritance of the nations.

Mem

111:7 All that he does is done in faithfulness and justice,

Nun

in all ways his precepts are dependable,

Samek

111:8 ordained to last for ever and ever,

Ain

framed in faithfulness and integrity.

Pe

111:9 Quickly he comes to his people’s rescue,

Sade

imposing his covenant once and for all;

Qoph

so holy his name, commanding our dread.

Resh

111:10 This fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom,

JB PSALMS Chapter 112

Shin

they have sound sense who practise it.

Tau

His praises will be sung for ever.

PSALM 112 (v111)

In praise of the virtuous

112:1 Alleluia!

Aleph

Happy the man who fears Yahweh

Beth

by joyfully keeping his commandments!

Ghimel

112:2 Children of such a man will be powers on earth,

Daleth

descendants of the upright will always be blessed

He

112:3 There will be riches and wealth for his family,

Waw

and his righteousness can never change.

Zain

112:4 For the upright he shines like a lamp in the dark,

Heth

he is merciful, tenderhearted, virtuous.

Teth

112:5 Interest is not charged by this good man,

Yod

he is honest in all his dealings.

Kaph

112:6 Kept safe by virtue, he is ever steadfast,

Lamed

and leaves an imperishable memory behind him;

Mem

112:7 with constant heart, and confidence in Yahweh,

Nun

he need never fear bad news.

Samek

112:8 Steadfast in heart he overcomes his fears:

Ain

in the end he will triumph over his enemies.

Pe

112:9 Quick to be generous, he gives to the poor,

Sade

his righteousness can never change,

Qoph

men such as this will always be honoured,

Resh

112:10 though this fills the wicked with fury

JB PSALMS Chapter 113

Shin

until, grinding their teeth, they waste away,

Tau

vanishing like their vain hopes.

PSALM 113 (v112)

To God the glorious, the merciful

113:1 Alleluia! You servants of Yahweh, praise, praise the name of Yahweh!

113:2 Blessed be the name of Yahweh, henceforth and for ever!

113:3 From east to west, praised be the name of Yahweh!

113:4 High over all nations, Yahweh! His glory transcends the heavens!

113:5 Who is like Yahweh our God? – enthroned so high, he needs to stoop

113:6 to see the sky and earth!

113:7 He raises the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the dunghill

113:8 to give them a place with princes, with the princes of his people.

113:9 He enthrones the barren woman in her house by making her the happy mother of sons.

JB PSALMS Chapter 114

PSALM 114 (v113A)

Hymn for the Passover

Alleluia!

114:1 When Israel came out of Egypt, the House of Jacob from a foreign nation,

114:2 Judah became his sanctuary and Israel his domain.

114:3 The sea fled at the sight, the Jordan stopped flowing,

114:4 the mountains skipped like rams, and like lambs, the hills.

114:5 Sea, what makes you run away? Jordan, why stop flowing?

114:6 Why skip like rams, you mountains, why like lambs, you hills?

114:7 Quake, earth, at the coming of your Master, at the coming of the God of Jacob,

114:8 who turns rock into pool flint into fountain.

JB PSALMS Chapter 115

PSALM 115 (v113B)

The one true God

115:1 Not by us, Yahweh, not by us, by you alone is glory deserved, by your love and your faithfulness!

115:2 Do the pagans ask, ‘Where is their God?’

115:3 Ours is the God whose will is sovereign in the heavens and on earth,

115:4 whereas their idols, in silver and gold, products of human skill,

115:5 have mouths, but never speak, eyes, but never see,

115:6 ears, but never hear, noses, but never smell,

115:7 hands, but never touch, feet, but never walk, and not a sound from their throats.

115:8 their makers will end up like them, and so will anyone who relies on them.

115:9 House of Israel, rely on Yahweh, on him, our help and shield!

115:10 House of Aaron, rely on Yahweh, on him, our help and shield!

115:11 You who fear Yahweh, rely on Yahweh, on him, our help and shield!

115:12 Yahweh remembers us, he will bless, he will bless the House of Israel, he will bless the House of Aaron,

115:13 he will bless those who fear Yahweh, without distinction of rank.[*a]

115:14 May Yahweh add to your numbers, yours and your children’s too!

115:15 May you be blessed by Yahweh, maker of heaven and earth!

115:16 Heaven belongs to Yahweh, earth he bestows on man.

115:17 The dead cannot praise Yahweh, they have gone down to silence;

115:18 but we, the living, bless Yahweh henceforth and evermore.

JB PSALMS Chapter 116

PSALM 116 (v114-115)

Thanksgiving

Alleluia!

116:1 I love! For Yahweh listens to my entreaty;

116:2 he bends down to listen to me when I call.

116:3 Death’s cords were tightening round me, the nooses of Sheol; distress and anguish gripped me,

116:4 I invoked the name of Yahweh: ‘Yahweh, rescue me!’

116:5 Yahweh is righteous and merciful, our God is tenderhearted;

116:6 Yahweh defends the simple, he saved me when I was brought to my knees.

116:7 Return to your resting place, my soul, Yahweh has treated you kindly.

116:8 He has rescued (me from death) my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.

116:9 (I will walk in Yahweh’s presence in the land of the living.)[*a]

116:10 I have faith, even when I say, ‘I am completely crushed’.

116:11 In my alarm, I declared, ‘No man can be relied on’.

116:12 What return can I make to Yahweh for all his goodness to me?

116:13 I will offer libations to my saviour, invoking the name of Yahweh.

116:14 (I will pay what I vowed to Yahweh; may his whole nation be present!)

116:15 The death of the devout costs Yahweh dear.

116:16 Yahweh, I am your servant, your servant, son of a pious mother, you undo my fetters.

116:17 I will offer you the thanksgiving sacrifice, invoking the name of Yahweh.

116:9 I will walk in Yahweh’s presence in the land of the living.

116:18 I will pay what I vowed to Yahweh; may his whole nation be present,

116:19 in the courts of the house of Yahweh, in your heart, Jerusalem.

JB PSALMS Chapter 117

PSALM 117 (v116)

Summons to praise

Alleluia!

117:1 Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, all you peoples!

117:2 For his love is strong, his faithfulness eternal.

JB PSALMS Chapter 118

PSALM 118 (v117)

Processional hymn for the feast of Tabernacles[*a]

Alleluia!

118:1 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, his love is everlasting!

118:2 Let the House of Israel say it, ‘His love is everlasting!’

118:3 Let the House of Aaron say it, ‘His love is everlasting!’

118:4 Let those who fear Yahweh say it, ‘His love is everlasting!’

118:5 Hard-pressed, I invoked Yahweh, he heard me and came to my relief.

118:6 With Yahweh on my side, I fear nothing: what can man do to me?

118:7 With Yahweh on my side, best help of all, I can triumph over my enemies.

118:8 I would rather take refuge in Yahweh than rely on men;

118:9 I would rather take refuge in Yahweh than rely on princes.

118:10 The pagans were swarming round me, in the name of Yahweh I cut them down;

118:11 they swarmed round me closer and closer, in the name of Yahweh I cut them down;

118:12 they swarmed round me like bees, they blazed like a thorn-fire, in the name of Yahweh I cut them down.

118:13 I was pressed, pressed, about to fall, but Yahweh came to my help;

118:14 Yahweh is my strength and my song, he has been my saviour.

118:15 Shouts of joy and safety in the tents of the virtuous: Yahweh’s right hand is wreaking havoc,

118:16 Yahweh’s right hand is winning, Yahweh’s right hand is wreaking havoc!

118:17 No, I shall not die, I shall live to recite the deeds of Yahweh;

118:18 though Yahweh has punished me often, he has not abandoned me to Death.

118:19 Open the gates of virtue to me, I will come in and give thanks to Yahweh.

118:20 This is Yahweh’s gateway, through which the virtuous may enter.

118:21 I thank you for having heard me, you have been my saviour.

118:22 It was the stone rejected by the builders that proved to be the keystone;

118:23 this is Yahweh’s doing and it is wonderful to see.

118:24 This is the day made memorable by Yahweh, what immense joy for us!

118:25 Please, Yahweh, please save us. Please, Yahweh, please give us prosperity.

118:26 Blessings on him who comes in the name of Yahweh! We bless you from the house of Yahweh.

118:27 Yahweh is God, he smiles on us. With branches in your hands draw up in procession as far as the horns of the altar,

118:28 You are my God, I give you thanks, I extol you, my God; I give you thanks for having heard me, you have been my saviour.

118:29 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, his love is everlasting!

JB PSALMS Chapter 119

PSALM 119 (v118)

In praise of the divine Law

Aleph

119:1 Ah, how happy those of blameless life who walk in the Law of Yahweh!

119:2 How happy those who respect his decrees, and seek him with their whole heart,

119:3 and, doing no evil, walk in his ways!

119:4 You yourself have made your precepts known, to be faithfully kept.

119:5 Oh, may my behaviour be constant in keeping your statutes.

119:6 If I concentrate on your every commandment, I can never be put to shame.

119:7 I thank you from an upright heart, schooled in your rules of righteousness.

119:8 I mean to observe your statutes; never abandon me.

Beth

119:9 How can a youth remain pure? By behaving as your word prescribes.

119:10 I have sought you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commandments.

119:11 I have treasured your promises in my heart, since I have no wish to sin against you.

119:12 How blessed are you, Yahweh! Teach me your statutes!

119:13 With my lips I have repeated them, all these rulings from your own mouth.

119:14 In the way of your decrees lies my joy, a joy beyond all wealth.

119:15 I mean to meditate on your precepts and to concentrate on your paths.

119:16 I find my delight in your statutes, I do not forget your word.

Ghimel

119:17 Be good to your servant and I shall live, I shall observe your word.

119:18 Open my eyes: I shall concentrate on the marvels of your Law.

119:19 Exile though I am on earth, do not hide your commandments from me.

119:20 My soul is overcome with an incessant longing for your rulings.

119:21 You reprove the arrogant, the accursed who stray from your commandments.

119:22 Avert their insults and contempt from me, since I respect your decrees.

119:23 Though princes put me on trial, your servant will meditate on your statutes,

119:24 since your decrees are my delight, your statutes are my counsellors.

Daleth

119:25 Down in the dust I lie prostrate: revive me as your word has guaranteed.

119:26 I admitted my behaviour, you answered me, now teach me your statutes.

119:27 Explain to me how to keep your precepts, that I may meditate on your marvels.

119:28 I am sleepless with grief: raise me as your word has guaranteed.

119:29 Turn me from the path of delusion, grant me the grace of your Law.

119:30 I have chosen the way of fidelity, I have set my heart on your rulings.

119:31 I cling to your decrees: Yahweh, do not disappoint me.

119:32 I run the way of your commandments, since you have set me free.

He

119:33 Expound to me the way of your statutes, Yahweh, and I will always respect them.

119:34 Explain to me how to respect your Law and how to observe it wholeheartedly.

119:35 Guide me in the path of your commandments, since my delight is there.

119:36 Turn my heart to your decrees and away from getting money.

119:37 Avert my eyes from lingering on inanities, give me life by your word.

119:38 Keep your promise to your servant, so that others in turn may fear you.

119:39 Avert the insults that I fear, in the kindness of your rulings.

119:40 Look how I yearn for your precepts: give me life by your righteousness.

Waw

119:41 For, Yahweh, visited by your love and saving help, as you have promised,

119:42 I can find an answer to the insults, since I rely on your word.

119:43 Do not deprive me of that faithful word, since my hope has always lain in your rulings.

119:44 Let me observe your Law unfailingly for ever and ever.

119:45 So, having sought your precepts, I shall walk in all freedom.

119:46 I shall proclaim your decrees to kings without fear of disgrace.

119:47 Your commandments fill me with delight, I love them deeply.

119:48 I stretch out my hands to your beloved commandments, I meditate on your statutes.

Zain

119:49 Remember the word you pledged your servant, on which you have built my hope.

119:50 This has been my comfort in my suffering: that your promise gives me life.

119:51 Endlessly the arrogant have jeered at me, but I have not swerved from your Law.

119:52 Remembering your rulings in the past, Yahweh, I take comfort.

119:53 Fury grips me when I see the wicked abandoning your Law.

119:54 Where I live in exile, your statutes are psalms for me.

119:55 All night, Yahweh, I remember your name and observe your Law.

119:56 Surely it will count to my credit: that I respect your precepts.

Heth

119:57 Have I not said, Yahweh, that my task is to observe your words?

119:58 Wholeheartedly I now entreat you, take pity on me as you have promised!

119:59 After reflecting on my behaviour, I turn my feet to your decrees.

119:60 Wasting no time, I hurry to observe your commandments.

119:61 Though the nooses of the wicked tighten round me, I do not forget your Law.

119:62 I get up at midnight to thank you for the righteousness of your rulings.

119:63 I am a friend to all who fear you and observe your precepts.

119:64 Yahweh, your love fills the earth: teach me your statutes.

Teth

119:65 In accordance with your word, Yahweh, you have been good to your servant.

119:66 Teach me good sense and knowledge, for I rely on your commandments.

119:67 In earlier days I had to suffer, I used to stray, but now I remember your promise.

119:68 You, so good and kind, teach me your statutes!

119:69 Though the arrogant tell foul lies about me, I wholeheartedly respect your precepts.

119:70 Their hearts are gross as fat, but my delight is in your Law.

119:71 It was good for me to have to suffer, the better to learn your statutes.

119:72 I put the Law you have given before all the gold and silver in the world.

Yod

119:73 Yahweh, my maker, my preserver, explain your commandments for me to learn.

119:74 Seeing me, those who fear you will be glad, since I put my hope in your word.

119:75 I know that your rulings are righteous, Yahweh, that you make me suffer out of faithfulness.

119:76 Now, please let your love comfort me, as you have promised your servant.

119:77 Treat me tenderly, and I shall live, since your Law is my delight.

119:78 Shame seize the arrogant who defame me, when I meditate on your precepts!

119:79 May those who fear you rally to me, all those familiar with your decrees!

119:80 Blameless in your statutes be my heart: no such shame therefore for me!

Kaph

119:81 Keeping my hope in your word, I have worn myself out waiting for you to save me,

119:82 and have strained my eyes waiting for your promise: when, I want to know, will you console me?

119:83 Though smoked as dry as a wineskin, I do not forget your statutes.

119:84 How much longer has your servant to live, when will you condemn my persecutors?

119:85 The arrogant have dug pitfalls for me in defiance of your Law.

119:86 Your commandments epitomise faithfulness; when liars hound me, you must help me.

119:87 Though these wretches have almost done for me, I have never abandoned your precepts.

119:88 Lovingly intervene, give me life, and I will observe your decrees.

Lamed

119:89 Lasting to eternity, your word, Yahweh, unchanging in the heavens:

119:90 your faithfulness lasts age after age; you founded the earth to endure.

119:91 Creation is maintained by your rulings, since all things are your servants.

119:92 Had your Law not been my delight I should have perished in my suffering.

119:93 I shall never forget your precepts; by these you have kept me alive.

119:94 I am yours, save me, since I study your precepts.

119:95 The wicked may hope to destroy me, but I am scrupulous about your decrees.

119:96 I have noticed limitations to all perfection, but your commandment has no limits at all.

Mem

119:97 Meditating all day on your Law, how I have come to love it!

119:98 By your commandment, ever mine, how much wiser you have made me than my enemies!

119:99 How much subtler than my teachers, through my meditating on your decrees!

119:100 How much more perceptive than the elders, as a result of my respecting your precepts!

119:101 I refrain my feet from every evil path, the better to observe your word.

119:102 I do not turn aside from your rulings, since you yourself teach me these:.

119:103 Your promise, how sweet to my palate! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!

119:104 Your precepts endow me with perception; I hate all deceptive paths.

Nun

119:105 Now your word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path.

119:106 I have sworn to observe, I shall maintain, your righteous rulings.

119:107 Yahweh, though my suffering is acute, revive me as your word has guaranteed.

119:108 Yahweh, accept the homage that I offer, teach me your rulings.

119:109 I would lay down my life at any moment, I have never yet forgotten your Law.

119:110 The wicked have tried to trap me, but I have never yet veered from your precepts.

119:111 Your decrees are my eternal heritage, they are the joy of my heart.

119:112 I devote myself to obeying your statutes – compensation enough for ever!

Samek

119:113 Odious, those whose allegiance is divided; I love your Law!

119:114 You, my refuge and shield, I put my hope in your word.

119:115 Away from me, you wicked people! I will respect the commandments of my God.

119:116 Support me as you have promised, and I shall live, do not disappoint me of my hope.

119:117 Uphold me, and I shall be safe with your statutes constantly before my eyes.

119:118 You spurn all who stray from your statutes, their notions being delusion.

119:119 You scour the wicked off the earth like rust; that is why I love your decrees.

119:120 My whole being trembles before you, your rulings fill me with fear.

Ain

119:121 Persevering in justice and virtue, must I now be abandoned to my oppressors?

119:122 Guarantor of your servant’s well-being, forbid the arrogant to oppress me!

119:123 My eyes are worn out looking for your saving help for your promise of righteousness to come.

119:124 Treat your servant lovingly, teach me your statutes.

119:125 I am your servant; if you will explain, I shall embrace your decrees.

119:126 Yahweh, now is the time to act, your Law is being broken.

119:127 Yes, I love your commandments more than gold, than purest gold.

119:128 Yes, I rule myself by all your precepts; I hate all deceptive paths.

Pe

119:129 Your decrees are so wonderful my soul cannot but respect them.

119:130 As your word unfolds, it gives light, and the simple understand.

119:131 I open my mouth, panting eagerly for your commandments.

119:132 Turn to me please, pity me, as you should those who love your name.

119:133 Direct my steps as you have promised, let evil win no power over me.

119:134 Rescue me from human oppression; I will observe your precepts.

119:135 Treat your servant kindly, teach me your statutes.

119:136 My eyes stream with tears, because others disregard your Law.

Sade

119:137 Righteous, indeed, Yahweh! And all your rulings correct!

119:138 The decrees you impose, how righteous, how absolutely faithful!

119:139 Zeal for your house devours me, since my oppressors forget your word.

119:140 But your promise is well tested, and your servant holds it dear.

119:141 Puny and despised as I am, I do n forget your precepts.

119:142 Your righteousness is eternal righteousness, your Law holds true for ever.

119:143 Though distress and anguish grip me, your commandments are my delight.

119:144 Eternally righteous, your decrees – explain them to me, and I shall live.

Qoph

119:145 Sincere, my call – Yahweh, answer me! I will respect your statutes.

119:146 I invoke you, save me, I will observe your decrees.

119:147 I am up before dawn to call for help, I put my hope in your word.

119:148 I lie awake throughout the night, to meditate on your promise.

119:149 In your love, Yahweh, listen to my voice, let your rulings give me life.

119:150 My cruel persecutors are closing in, how remote they are from your Law!

119:151 But, Yahweh, you are closer still and all your commandments are true.

119:152 Long have I known that your decrees were founded to last for ever.

Resh

119:153 Take note of my suffering and rescue me, for I do not forget your Law.

119:154 Take up my cause, defend me, give me life as you have promised.

119:155 You will never save the wicked, if they do not study your statutes,

119:156 but many are your mercies to me, Yahweh, by your rulings give me life.

119:157 Many hound me and oppress me, but I do not swerve from your decrees.

119:158 The sight of these renegades disgusts me, they do not observe your promise;

119:159 but, Yahweh, see how I love your precepts, and lovingly give me life.

119:160 faithfulness is the essence of your word, your righteous rulings hold good for ever.

Shin

119:161 Unjustifiably though princes hound me, your word is what fills me with dread.

119:162 I rejoice in your promise, like someone on finding a vast treasure.

119:163 I hate, I detest, delusion; your Law is what I love.

119:164 Seven times daily I praise you for your righteous rulings.

119:165 Universal peace for those who love your Law, no stumbling-blocks for them!

119:166 Waiting for you, Yahweh, my saviour, I fulfil your commandments.

119:167 My soul observes your decrees; these I wholly love.

119:168 I observe your precepts, your decrees; you know how I keep to your paths.

Tau

119:169 Yahweh, may my cry approach your presence; let your word endow me with perception!

119:170 May my entreaty reach your presence; rescue me as you have promised.

119:171 May my lips proclaim your praise, since you teach me your statutes.

119:172 May my tongue recite your promise, since all your commandments are righteous.

119:173 May your hand be there to help me, since I have chosen your precepts.

119:174 I long for you, Yahweh, my saviour, your Law is my delight.

119:175 Long may my soul live to praise you, long be your rulings my help!

119:176 I am wandering like a lost sheep: come and look for your servant. No, I have never forgotten your commandments.

JB PSALMS Chapter 120

PSALM 120 (v119)

The enemies of peace

Song of Ascents

120:1 When I am in trouble, I call to Yahweh, and he answers me.

120:2 Yahweh, save me from these lying lips and these faithless tongues!

120:3 How will he pay back the false oath? of a faithless tongue

120:4 With war arrows hardened over red-hot charcoal!

120:5 This is worse than a life in Meshech,[*a] or camping in Kedar!

120:6 Too long have I lived among people who hate peace,

120:7 who, when I propose peace, are all for war.

JB PSALMS Chapter 121

PSALM 121 (v120)

The guardian of Israel

Song of Ascents

121:1 I lift my eyes to the mountains: where is help to come from?

121:2 Help comes to me from Yahweh, who made heaven and earth.

121:3 No letting our footsteps slip! This guard of yours, he does not doze!

121:4 The guardian of Israel does not doze or sleep.

121:5 Yahweh guards you, shades you. With Yahweh at your right hand

121:6 sun cannot strike you down by day, nor moon at night.

121:7 Yahweh guards you from harm, he guards your lives,

121:8 he guards you leaving, coming back, now and for always.

JB PSALMS Chapter 122

PSALM 122 (v121)

Hail, Jerusalem!

Song of Ascents

Of David

122:1 How I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of Yahweh!’

122:2 And now our feet are standing in your gateways, Jerusalem.

122:3 Jerusalem restored! The city, one united whole!

122:4 Here the tribes come up, the tribes of Yahweh, they come to praise Yahweh’s name, as he ordered Israel,

122:5 here where the tribunals of justice are, the royal tribunals of David.

122:6 Pray for peace in Jerusalem, ‘Prosperity to your houses!

122:7 Peace inside your city walls! Prosperity to your palaces!’

122:8 Since all are my brothers and friends, I say ‘Peace be with you!’

122:9 Since Yahweh our God lives here, I pray for your happiness.

JB PSALMS Chapter 123

PSALM 123 (v122)

Prayer of the distressed

Song of Ascents

123:1 I lift my eyes to you, to you who have your home in heaven,

123:2 eyes like the eyes of slaves fixed on their master’s hand; like the eyes of a slave-girl fixed on the hand of her mistress, so our eyes are fixed on Yahweh our God, for him to take pity on us;

123:3 pity us, Yahweh, take pity on us, we have had more than our share of scorn,

123:4 more than our share of jeers from the complacent, of scorn from the proud.

JB PSALMS Chapter 124

PSALM 124 (v123)

The saviour of Israel

Song of Ascents

David

124:1 If Yahweh had not been on our side – let Israel repeat it –

124:2 if Yahweh had not been on our side when they attacked us,

124:3 they would have swallowed us alive and burnt us to death in their rage.

124:4 The waters would have closed over us, the torrent have swept us away,

124:5 either would have drowned us in their turbulent waves.

124:6 Blessed be Yahweh who did not let us fall a victim to those teeth,

124:7 who let us escape like birds from the fowler’s net. He tore the net and we escaped;

124:8 our help is in the name of Yahweh, who made heaven and earth.

JB PSALMS Chapter 125

PSALM 125 (v124)

God protects his faithful

Song of Ascents

125:1 Those who trust in Yahweh are like Mount Zion, unshakeable, standing for ever.

125:2 Jerusalem! Encircled by mountains, as Yahweh encircles his people now and for always.

125:3 No wicked sceptre shall rule this heritage of the virtuous, or the virtuous in their turn might take to evil.

125:4 Yahweh, be good to the good, to those of upright heart.

125:5 But the perverts, those who follow twisting paths – may Yahweh send them to join the evil-doers! Peace to Israel!

JB PSALMS Chapter 126

PSALM 126 (v125)

Song of the returning exiles

Song of Ascents

126:1 When Yahweh brought Zion’s captives home, at first it seemed like a dream;

126:2 then our mouths filled with laughter and our lips with song. Even the pagans started talking about the marvels Yahweh had done for us!

126:3 What marvels indeed he did for us, and how overjoyed we were!

126:4 Yahweh, bring all our captives back again like torrents in the Negeb!

126:5 Those who went sowing in tears now sing as they reap.

126:6 They went away, went away weeping, carrying the seed; they come back, come back singing, carrying their sheaves.

JB PSALMS Chapter 127

PSALM 127 (v126)

Trust in Providence

Song of Ascents

Solomon

127:1 If Yahweh does not build the house, in vain the masons toil; if Yahweh does not guard the city, in vain the sentries watch.

127:2 In vain you get up earlier, and put off going to bed, sweating to make a living, since he provides for his beloved as they sleep.

127:3 Sons are a bounty from Yahweh, he rewards with descendants:

127:4 like the arrows in a hero’s hand are the sons you father when young.

127:5 Happy the man who has filled his quiver with arrows of this sort; in dispute with his enemies at the gate,[*a] he will not be worsted.

JB PSALMS Chapter 128

PSALM 128 (v127)

Blessing for the devout

Song of Ascents

128:1 Happy, all those who fear Yahweh and follow in his paths.

128:2 You will eat what your hands have worked for, happiness and prosperity will be yours.

128:3 Your wife: a fruitful vine on the inner walls of your house. Your sons: round your table like shoots round an olive tree.

128:4 Such are the blessings that fall on the man who fears Yahweh.

128:5a May Yahweh bless you from Zion

128:5c all the days of your life!

128:5b May you see Jerusalem prosperous

128:6 and live to see your children’s children! Peace to Israel!

JB PSALMS Chapter 129

PSALM 129 (v128)

Against the enemies of Zion

Song of Ascents

129:1 Hard as they have harried me since I was young – let Israel repeat it –

129:2 Hard as they have harried me since I was young, they have not overcome me.

129:3 Ploughmen have ploughed on my back longer and longer furrows,

129:4 but now Yahweh the Righteous has shattered the yoke of the wicked.

129:5 May they all be thrown into confusion, be routed, who have hated Zion,

129:6 be blasted by winds from the east like grass sprouting on the roof!

129:7 Roof-grass never yet filled reaper’s arm or binder’s lap –

129:8 and no one passing them will ever say, ‘Yahweh’s blessing on you!’ We bless you in the name of Yahweh.

JB PSALMS Chapter 130

PSALM 130 (v129)

From the depths

Song of Ascents

130:1 From the depths I call to you, Yahweh,

130:2 Lord, listen to my cry for help! Listen compassionately to my pleading!

130:3 If you never overlooked our sins, Yahweh, Lord, could anyone survive?

130:4 But you do forgive us: and for that we revere you.

130:5 I wait for Yahweh, my soul waits for him, I rely on his promise,

130:6 my soul relies on the Lord more than a watchman on the coming of dawn.

130:7 Let Israel rely on Yahweh as much as the watchman on the dawn! For it is with Yahweh that mercy is to be found, and a generous redemption;

130:8 it is he who redeems Israel from all their sins.

JB PSALMS Chapter 131

PSALM 131 (v130)

Childlike trust in God

Song of Ascents

Of David

131:1 Yahweh, my heart has no lofty ambitions, my eyes do not look too high. I am not concerned with great affairs or marvels beyond my scope.

131:2 Enough for me to keep my soul tranquil and quiet like a child in its mother’s arms, as content as a child that has been weaned.

131:3 Israel, rely on Yahweh, now and for always!

JB PSALMS Chapter 132

PSALM 132 (v131)

The ark is taken to Zion: anniversary hymn

Song of Ascents

132:1 Yahweh, remember David and all the hardships he suffered,

132:2 and the oath he swore to Yahweh, his vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:

132:3 not to enter tent or house, not to climb into bed,

132:4 not to allow himself to sleep, not even to close his eyes,

132:5 until he had found a place for Yahweh, a home for the Mighty One of Jacob!

132:6 Listen: we heard it was in Ephrathah, we found it at Fields-of-the-Forest!

132:7 Let us go where he is waiting and worship at his footstool.

132:8 Yahweh, go up to your resting place, you and your ark of power.

132:9 Your priests are vesting in virtue and your devout are shouting for joy.

132:10 For the sake of your servant David, do not banish your anointed.

132:11 Yahweh swore to David and will remain true to his word, ‘I promise that your own son shall succeed you on the throne.

132:12 ‘If your sons observe my covenant, the decrees that I have taught them, their sons too shall succeed you on the throne for evermore.’

132:13 For Yahweh has chosen Zion, desiring this to be his home,

132:14 ‘Here I will stay for ever, this is the home I have chosen.

132:15 ‘I will bless her virtuous with riches, provide her poor with food,

132:16 vest her priests in salvation and her devout shall shout for joy.

132:17 ‘Here, I will make a horn sprout for David, here, I will trim a lamp for my anointed,

132:18 whose enemies I shall clothe in shame, while his crown bursts into flower.’

JB PSALMS Chapter 133

PSALM 133 (v132)

Brotherly love

Song of Ascents

Of David

133:1 How good, how delightful it is for all to live together like brothers:

133:2 fine as oil on the head, running down the beard, running down Aaron’s beard to the collar of his robes;

133:3 copious as a Hermon dew falling on the heights of Zion, where Yahweh confers his blessing, everlasting life.

JB PSALMS Chapter 134

PSALM 134 (v133)

Night hymn

Song of Ascents

134:1 Come, bless Yahweh, all you who serve Yahweh, serving in the house of Yahweh, in the courts of the house of our God!

134:2 Stretch out your hands towards the sanctuary, bless Yahweh night after night!

134:3 May Yahweh bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth![*a]

JB PSALMS Chapter 135

PSALM 135 (v134)

Hymn of praise

135:1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, praise Yahweh, you who serve him,

135:2 serving in the house of Yahweh, in the courts of the house of our God!

135:3 Praise Yahweh, for Yahweh is good. Play for his name, for he inspires love;

135:4 since Yahweh has chosen Jacob, Israel as his own.

135:5 I have learnt for myself that Yahweh is great, that our Lord surpasses all other gods.

135:6 In the heavens, on the earth, in the ocean, in the depths, Yahweh’s will is sovereign.

135:7 He raises up clouds from the boundaries of earth, makes the lightning flash for the downpour and brings the wind out of his storehouse.

135:8 He struck down the first-born of Egypt, of man and beast alike,

135:9 he sent signs and wonders among you, Egypt, against Pharaoh and his officials.

135:10 He struck the pagans down in droves, he slaughtered mighty kings,

135:11 Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan;

135:12 he gave their lands as a legacy, a legacy to his people Israel.

135:13 Yahweh, your name endures for ever! Yahweh, your memory is always fresh!

135:14 Since Yahweh vindicates his people, and cares for those who serve him;

135:15 whereas pagans’ idols, in silver and gold, products of human skill,

135:16 have mouths, but never speak, eyes, but never see,

135:17 ears, but never hear, and not a breath in their mouths.

135:18 Their makers will end up like them and so will anyone who relies on them.

135:19 House of Israel, bless Yahweh, House of Aaron, bless Yahweh,

135:20 House of Levi, bless Yahweh, you who fear Yahweh, bless Yahweh!

135:21 Blessed be Yahweh in Zion, in Jerusalem his home!

JB PSALMS Chapter 136

PSALM 136 (v135)

Litany of thanksgiving

Alleluia!

136:1 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, his love is everlasting!

136:2 Give thanks to the God of gods, his love is everlasting!

136:3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, his love is everlasting!

136:4 He alone performs great marvels, his love is everlasting!

136:5 His wisdom made the heavens, his love is everlasting!

136:6 He set the earth on the waters, his love is everlasting!

136:7 He made the great lights, his love is everlasting!

136:8 The sun to govern the day, his love is everlasting!

136:9 Moon and stars to govern the night, his love is everlasting!

136:10 He struck down the first-born of Egypt, his love is everlasting!

136:11 And brought Israel out, his love is everlasting!

136:12 With mighty hand and outstretched arm, his love is everlasting!

136:13 He split the Sea of Reeds, his love is everlasting!

136:14 Led Israel through the middle, his love is everlasting!

136:15 Drowned Pharaoh and his army, his love is everlasting!

136:16 He led his people through the wilderness, his love is everlasting!

136:17 He struck down mighty kings, his love is everlasting!

136:18 He slaughtered famous kings, his love is everlasting!

136:19 Sihon, king of the Amorites, his love is everlasting!

136:20 And Og, the king of Bashan, his love is everlasting!

136:21 He gave their lands as a legacy, his love is everlasting!

136:22 A legacy to his servant Israel, his love is everlasting!

136:23 He remembered us when we were down, his love is everlasting!

136:24 And snatched us from our oppressors, his love is everlasting!

136:25 He provides for all living creatures, his love is everlasting!

136:26 Give thanks to the God of Heaven, his love is everlasting!

JB PSALMS Chapter 137

PSALM 137 (v136)

Ballad of the exiles

137:1 Beside the streams of Babylon we sat and wept at the memory of Zion,

137:2 leaving our harps hanging on the poplars there.

137:3 For we had been asked to sing to our captors, to entertain those who had carried us off: ‘Sing’ they said ‘some hymns of Zion’.

137:4 How could we sing one of Yahweh’s hymns in a pagan country?

137:5 Jerusalem, if I forget you, may my right hand wither!

137:6 May I never speak again, if I forget you! If I do not count Jerusalem the greatest of my joys!

137:7 Yahweh, remember what the Sons of Edom did on the day of Jerusalem,[*a] how they said, ‘Down with her! Raze her to the ground!’

137:8 Destructive Daughter of Babel, a blessing on the man who treats you as you have treated us,

137:9 a blessing on him who takes and dashes your babies against the rock!

JB PSALMS Chapter 138

PSALM 138 (v137)

Hymn of thanksgiving

Of David

138:1 I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, because you have heard what I said. In the presence of the angels I play for you,

138:2 and bow down towards your holy Temple. I give thanks to your name for your love and faithfulness; your promise is even greater than your fame.

138:3 The day I called for help, you heard me and you increased my strength.

138:4 Yahweh, all kings on earth give thanks to you, for they have heard your promises;

138:5 they celebrate Yahweh’s actions, ‘Great is the glory of Yahweh!’

138:6 From far above, Yahweh sees the humble, from far away he marks down the arrogant.

138:7 Though I live surrounded by trouble, you keep me alive-to my enemies’ fury! You stretch your hand out and save me, your right hand

138:8 will do everything for me. Yahweh, your love is everlasting, do not abandon us whom you have made.

JB PSALMS Chapter 139

PSALM 139 (v138)

In praise of God’s omniscience

For the choirmaster

Of David

Psalm

139:1 Yahweh, you examine me and know me,

139:2 you know if I am standing or sitting, you read my thoughts from far away,

139:3 whether I walk or lie down, you are watching, you know every detail of my conduct.

139:4 The word is not even on my tongue, Yahweh, before you know all about it;

139:5 close behind and close in front you fence me round, shielding me with your hand.

139:6 Such knowledge is beyond my understanding, a height to which my mind cannot attain.

139:7 Where could I go to escape your spirit? Where could I flee from your presence?

139:8 If I climb the heavens, you are there, there too, if I lie in Sheol

139:9 If I flew to the point of sunrise, or westward across the sea,

139:10 your hand would still be guiding me, your right hand holding me.

139:11 If I asked darkness to cover me, and light to become night around me,

139:12 that darkness would not be dark to you, night would be as light as day.

139:13 It was you who created my inmost self, and put me together in my mother’s womb;

139:14 for all these mysteries I thank you: for the wonder of myself, for the wonder of your works. You know me through and through,

139:15 from having watched my bones take shape when I was being formed in secret, knitted together in the limbo of the womb.

139:16 You had scrutinised my every action, all were recorded in your book, my days listed and determined, even before the first of them

139:17 occurred. God, how hard it is to grasp your thoughts! How impossible to count them!

139:18 I could no more count them than I could the sand, and suppose I could, you would still be with me.

139:19 God, If only you would kill the wicked! Men of blood, away from me!

139:20 They talk blasphemously about you, regard your thoughts as nothing.

139:21 Yahweh, do I not hate those who hate you, and loathe those who defy you?

139:22 I hate them with a total hatred, I regard them as my own enemies.

139:23 God, examine me and know my heart, probe me and know my thoughts;

139:24 make sure I do not follow pernicious ways, and guide me in the way that is everlasting.

JB PSALMS Chapter 140

PSALM 140 (v139)

Against the wicked

For the choirmaster

Psalm

Of David

140:1 Yahweh, rescue me from evil people, defend me from men of violence,

140:2 from people plotting evil, forever intent on stirring up strife,

140:3 who make their tongues as sharp as serpents’ with viper’s venom on their lips. (Pause)

140:4 Yahweh, guard me from attacks by the wicked, defend me from those who love force, from people plotting to make me stumble,

140:5b forever laying snares where I walk,

140:5a insolent wretches, concealing pitfall and noose

140:5c to trap me as I pass. (Pause)

140:6 I have told Yahweh, ‘You are my God’. Yahweh, listen to my cry for help.

140:7 Yahweh, my Lord, my saving strength, shielding my head when I have to fight,

140:8 Yahweh, do not grant their wicked wishes, do not let their plots succeed. May those besieging me not (Pause)

140:9 win, may their own cruel words overtake them,

140:10 may red-hot embers rain down on them, may they be flung into the abyss for good,

140:11 may evil hound the man of violence to death and the slanderer not hold his own on earth.

140:12 I know Yahweh will avenge the wretched, and see justice done for the poor.

140:13 The virtuous shall have good cause to thank your name, and the upright to find a home with you.

JB PSALMS Chapter 141

PSALM 141 (v140)

Against the attractions of evil

Psalm

Of David

141:1 Yahweh, I am calling, hurry to me, listen to me, I am invoking you.

141:2 My prayers rise like incense, my hands like the evening offering.

141:3 Yahweh, set a guard at my mouth, a watcher at the gate of my lips.

141:4 Let me feel no impulse to do wrong, to share the godlessness of evil-doers. No, I will not sample their delights.

141:5 A virtuous man may strike me in reproof, for my own good, but a wicked one shall never anoint my head with oil! Daily I counter their malice with prayer.

141:6 When their judges are flung on jagged rock, they will learn how mild my words have been,

141:7 ‘Like a millstone smashed on the ground, our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol’.

141:8 To you, Yahweh my Lord, I turn my eyes. I take shelter in you, do not leave me exposed!

141:9 Keep me out of traps that are set for me, from the bait laid for me by evil men.

141:10 Let the wicked fall into their own net, while I go on my way.

JB PSALMS Chapter 142

PSALM 142 (v141)

Prayer of a hunted man

Poem

Of David

When he was in the cave

Psalm

142:1 To Yahweh, my cry! I plead. To Yahweh, my cry! I entreat.

142:2 I pour out my supplications, I unfold all my troubles;

142:3 my spirit fails me, but you, you know my path. On the path I follow they have concealed a trap.

142:4 Look on my right[*a] and see, there is no one to befriend me. All help is denied me, no one cares about me.

142:5 I invoke you, Yahweh, I affirm that you are my refuge, my heritage in the land of the living.

142:6 Listen to my cries for help, I can hardly be crushed lower. Rescue me from persecutors stronger than I am!

142:7 Free me from this imprisonment, and I will thank your name once more in the Assembly of the virtuous, for the goodness you show me.

JB PSALMS Chapter 143

PSALM 143 (v142)

A humble entreaty

Psalm

Of David

143:1 Yahweh, hear my prayer, listen to my pleading, answer me faithfully, righteously;

143:2 do not put your servant on trial, no one is virtuous by your standards.

143:3 An enemy who hounds me to crush me into the dust, forces me to dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago;

143:4 my spirit fails me and my heart is full of fear.

143:5 I recall the days of old, I reflect on all that you did, I ponder your deeds;

143:6 I stretch out my hands, like thirsty ground I yearn for you. (Pause)

143:7 Quick, Yahweh, answer me before my spirit fails; if you hide your face much longer, I shall go down to the Pit like the rest.

143:8 Let dawn bring proof of your love, for one who relies on you; let it show the right road, to one who lifts up his soul to you.

143:9 Yahweh, rescue me from my enemies, I have fled to you for shelter;

143:10 teach me to obey you, since you are my God; may your good spirit guide me on to level ground.

143:11 Yahweh, for the sake of your name, keep your promise to save me; protect me from oppression,

143:12 love me, kill my enemies, destroy my oppressors, for I am your servant.

JB PSALMS Chapter 144

PSALM 144 (v143)

War hymn and the fruits of victory

David

144:1 Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle,

144:2 my love, my bastion, my citadel, my saviour, I shelter behind him, my shield, he makes the nations submit to me.

144:3 Yahweh, what is man, that you should notice him? A human being, that you should think about him?

144:4 Man’s life, a mere puff of wind, his days, as fugitive as shadows.

144:5 Yahweh, lower your heavens, come down to us! Touch the mountains, make them smoke,

144:6 flash your lightning – scatter them, shoot your arrows – rout them.

144:7 Reach down your hand from above, save me, rescue me from deep waters, from the power of aliens

144:8 who tell nothing but lies, who are prepared to swear to falsehood!

144:9 God, I have made a new song for you to be played on the ten-string lyre,

144:10 you who give victory to kings and safety to your servant David. From peril of sword

144:11 save me, rescue me from the power of aliens who tell nothing but lies, who are prepared to swear to falsehood!

144:12 May our sons be like plants growing strong from their earliest days, our daughters like corner-statues,[*a] carvings fit for a palace;

144:13 may our barns overflow with every possible crop, may the sheep in our fields be counted in their thousands and tens of thousands,

144:14 may our cattle be stout and strong; and may there be an end of raids and exile, and of panic in our streets.

144:15 Happy the nation of whom this is true, happy the nation whose God is Yahweh!

JB PSALMS Chapter 145

PSALM 145 (v144)

Hymn of praise to Yahweh the king

Hymn

Of David

Aleph

145:1 I sing your praises, God my King, I bless your name for ever and ever,

Beth

145:2 blessing you day after day, and praising your name for ever and ever.

Ghimel

145:3 Can anyone measure the magnificence of Yahweh the great, and his inexpressible grandeur?

Daleth

145:4 Celebrating your acts of power, one age shall praise your doings to another.

He

145:5 Oh, the splendour of your glory, your renown! I tell myself the story of your marvellous deeds.

Waw

145:6 Men will proclaim your fearful power and I shall assert your greatness;

Zain

145:7 they will celebrate your generous kindness and joyfully acclaim your righteousness.

Heth

145:8 He, Yahweh, is merciful, tenderhearted, slow to anger, very loving,

Teth

145:9 and universally kind; Yahweh’s tenderness embraces all his creatures.

Yod

145:10 Yahweh, all your creatures thank you, and your faithful bless you.

Kaph

145:11 Kingly and glorious they proclaim you, they affirm your might.

Lamed

145:12 Let mankind learn your acts of power, and the majestic glory of your sovereignty!

Mem

145:13 Your sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty, your empire lasts from age to age.

(Nun)

Always true to his promises, Yahweh shows love in all he does.[*a]

Samek

145:14 Only stumble, and Yahweh at once supports you, if others bow you down, he will raise you up.

Ain

145:15 Patiently all creatures look to you to feed them throughout the year;

Pe

145:16 quick to satisfy every need, you feed them all with a generous hand.

Sade

145:17 Righteous in all that he does, Yahweh acts only out of love,

Qoph

145:18 standing close to all who invoke him, close to all who invoke Yahweh faithfully.

Resh

145:19 Those who fear him need only to ask to be answered; he hears their cries for help and saves them.

Shin

145:20 Under his protection the pious are safe, but Yahweh is destruction to the wicked.

Tau

145:21 Yahweh’s praise be ever in my mouth, and let every creature bless his holy name for ever and ever!

JB PSALMS Chapter 146

PSALM 146 (v145)

Hymn to the God of help

146:1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!

146:2 I mean to praise Yahweh all my life, I mean to sing to my God as long as I live.

146:3 Do not put your trust in men in power, or in any mortal man – he cannot save,

146:4 he yields his breath and goes back to the earth he came from, and on that day all his schemes perish.

146:5 Happy the man who has the God of Jacob to help him, whose hope is fixed on Yahweh his God,

146:6 maker of heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that these hold! Yahweh, forever faithful,

146:7 gives justice to those denied it, gives food to the hungry, gives liberty to prisoners.

146:8a Yahweh restores sight to the blind,

146:8b Yahweh straightens the bent,

146:9a Yahweh protects the stranger,

146:9b he keeps the orphan and widow.

146:8c Yahweh loves the virtuous,

146:9c and frustrates the wicked.

146:10 Yahweh reigns for ever, your God, Zion, from age to age.

JB PSALMS Chapter 147

PSALM 147 (v146-147)

Hymn to the Almighty

Alleluia!

147:1 Praise Yahweh – it is good to sing in honour of our God – sweet is his praise.

147:2 Yahweh, Restorer of Jerusalem! He brought back Israel’s exiles,

147:3 healing their broken hearts, and binding up their wounds.

147:4 He decides the number of the stars and gives each of them a name;

147:5 our Lord is great, all-powerful, of infinite understanding.

147:6 Yahweh, who lifts up the humble, humbles the wicked to the ground.

147:7 Sing to Yahweh in gratitude, play the lyre for our God:

147:8 who covers the heavens with clouds, to provide the earth with rain, to produce fresh grass on the hillsides and the plants that are needed by man,

147:9 who gives their food to the cattle and to the young ravens when they cry.

147:10 The strength of the war horse means nothing to him, it is not infantry that interests him.

147:11 Yahweh is interested only in those who fear him, in those who rely on his love.

147:12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God:

147:13 for strengthening the bars of your gates, for blessing your citizens,

147:14 for granting you peace on your frontiers, for feeding you on the finest wheat.

147:15 He gives an order; his word flashes to earth:

147:16 to spread snow like a blanket, to strew hoarfrost like ashes,

147:17 to drop ice like breadcrumbs, and when the cold is unbearable,

147:18 he sends his word to bring the thaw and warm wind to melt the snow.

147:19 He reveals his word to Jacob, his statutes and rulings to Israel:

147:20 he never does this for other nations, he never reveals his rulings to them.

JB PSALMS Chapter 148

PSALM 148

Cosmic hymn of praise

148:1 Alleluia! Let heaven praise Yahweh: praise him, heavenly heights,

148:2 praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his armies!.

148:3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, shining stars,

148:4 praise him, highest heavens, and waters above the heavens!

148:5 Let them all praise the name of Yahweh, at whose command they were created;

148:6 he has fixed them in their place for ever, by an unalterable statute.

148:7 Let earth praise Yahweh: sea-monsters and all the deeps,

148:8 fire and hail, snow and mist, gales that obey his decree,

148:9 mountains and hills, orchards and forests,

148:10 wild animals and farm animals, snakes and birds,

148:11 all kings on earth and nations, princes, all rulers in the world,

148:12 young men and girls, old people, and children too!

148:13 Let them all praise the name of Yahweh, for his name and no other is sublime, transcending earth and heaven in majesty,

148:14 raising the fortunes of his people, to the praises of the devout, of Israel, the people dear to him.

JB PSALMS Chapter 149

PSALM 149

Song of triumph

149:1 Alleluia! Sing Yahweh a new song, let the congregation of the faithful sing his praise!

149:2 Let Israel rejoice in his maker, and Zion’s children exult in their King;

149:3 let them dance in praise of his name, playing to him on strings and drums!

149:4 For Yahweh has been kind to his people, conferring victory on us who are weak;

149:5 the faithful exult in triumph, prostrate before God they acclaim him

149:6 with panegyrics on their lips, and a two-edged sword in their hands

149:7 to exact vengeance on the pagans, to inflict punishment on the heathen,

149:8 to shackle their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters,

149:9 to execute the preordained sentence.[*a] Thus gloriously are the faithful rewarded!

JB PSALMS Chapter 150

PSALM 150

Final chorus of praise[*a]

150:1 Alleluia! Praise God in his Temple on earth, praise him in his temple in heaven,

150:2 praise him for his mighty achievements, praise him for his transcendent greatness!

150:3 Praise him with blasts of the trumpet, praise him with lyre and harp,

150:4 praise him with drums and dancing, praise him with strings and reeds,

150:5 praise him with clashing cymbals, praise him with clanging cymbals!

150:6 Let everything that breathes praise Yahweh! Alleluia!

END OF JB PSALMS [150 Chapters].

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