Psalms

PSALM 57*

Confident Prayer for Deliverance

1For the director. Do not destroy.* A miktam of David, when he fled from Saul into a cave.a

I

2Have mercy on me, God,

have mercy on me.

In you I seek refuge.

In the shadow of your wings* I seek refuge

till harm pass by.b

3I call to God Most High,

to God who provides for me.

4May God send help from heaven to save me,

shame those who trample upon me.

May God send fidelity and mercy.

Selah

5I must lie down in the midst of lions

hungry for human prey.c

Their teeth are spears and arrows;

their tongue, a sharpened sword.d

6Be exalted over the heavens, God;

may your glory appear above all the earth.e

II

7They have set a trap for my feet;

my soul is bowed down;

They have dug a pit before me.

May they fall into it themselves!f

Selah

8My heart is steadfast, God,

my heart is steadfast.

I will sing and chant praise.g

9Awake, my soul;

awake, lyre and harp!

I will wake the dawn.*h

10I will praise you among the peoples, Lord;

I will chant your praise among the nations.i

11For your mercy towers to the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches to the skies.j

12Exalt yourself over the heavens, God;

may your glory appear above all the earth.

* [Psalm 57] Each of the two equal strophes contains a prayer for rescue from enemies, accompanied by joyful trust in God (Ps 57:25, 711). The refrain prays that God be manifested as saving (Ps 57:6, 12). Ps 108 is nearly identical to part of this Psalm (cf. Ps 57:811, Ps 108:26).

* [57:1] Do not destroy: probably the title of the melody to which the Psalm was to be sung.

* [57:2] The shadow of your wings: probably refers to the wings of the cherubim (powerful winged animals) whose wings spread over the ark in the inner chamber of the Temple (1 Kgs 6:2328).

* [57:9] I will wake the dawn: by a bold figure the psalmist imagines the sound of music and singing will waken a new day.

a. [57:1] 1 Sm 22:1.

b. [57:2] Ps 17:8; 36:8.

c. [57:5] Ps 17:1112; 22:22; 58:7.

d. [57:5] Ps 11:2; 64:4.

e. [57:6] Ps 72:19; Nm 14:21.

f. [57:7] Ps 7:15; 9:1617; 140:56.

g. [57:8] Ps 108:2.

h. [57:9] Jb 38:12.

i. [57:10] Ps 9:12; 18:50.

j. [57:11] Ps 36:6; 71:19.

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