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Psalm 12[a]

Prayer Against Evil Tongues

For the leader; “upon the eighth.” A psalm of David.

I

Help, Lord, for no one loyal remains;
    the faithful have vanished from the children of men.(A)
They tell lies to one another,
    speak with deceiving lips and a double heart.(B)

II

May the Lord cut off all deceiving lips,
    and every boastful tongue,
Those who say, “By our tongues we prevail;
    when our lips speak, who can lord it over us?”(C)

III

“Because they rob the weak, and the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord;
    “I will grant safety to whoever longs for it.”(D)

IV

The promises of the Lord are sure,
    silver refined in a crucible,[b]
    silver purified seven times.(E)
You, O Lord, protect us always;
    preserve us from this generation.
On every side the wicked roam;
    the shameless are extolled by the children of men.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 12 A lament. The psalmist, thrown into a world where lying and violent people persecute the just (Ps 12:2–3), prays that the wicked be punished (Ps 12:4–5). The prayer is not simply for vengeance but arises from a desire to see God’s justice appear on earth. Ps 12:6 preserves the word of assurance spoken by the priest to the lamenter; it is not usually transmitted in such Psalms. In Ps 12:7–8 the psalmist affirms the intention to live by the word of assurance.
  2. 12:7 A crucible: lit., “in a crucible in the ground.” The crucible was placed in the ground for support.

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