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To the Director: A Davidic Psalm.

Prayer for Help and Praise to God

40 I waited expectantly[a] for the Lord,
    and he took notice of me
        and heard my cry.
He plucked me out of a pit of confusion,[b]
    even out of the quicksand;
he placed my feet on a rock
    and established my steps.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    praise to our God!
Many will watch and be in awe,
    and they will place their trust in the Lord.

How blessed is that strong person
    who places his trust in the Lord,
    and who has not acknowledged the proud
        nor resorted to lies.
Lord, my God,
    You have done great things:
        marvelous works and your thoughts toward us.
There is no one who compares to you!
    I will try to recite your actions,[c]
        even though there are too many to number.

You take no delight in sacrifices and offerings—
    you have prepared my ears to listen—[d]
        you require no burnt offerings or sacrifices for sin.
Then I said, “Here I am! I have come!
    In the scroll of the book it is written about me.
I delight to do your will, my God.
    Your Law is part of my inner being.”

In the great congregation I have proclaimed the righteous good news.
    Behold, I did not seal my lips, Lord, as you know.
10 I have not ignored[e] your righteousness in my heart;
    instead, I have proclaimed your faithfulness and deliverance.
I have not concealed your gracious love and truthfulness
    from the great congregation.

11 Lord, do not withhold your mercy[f] from me,
    for your gracious love and truthfulness will keep me safe continuously.
12 Innumerable evils have surrounded me;
    my iniquities have overtaken me so that I cannot see.
They are more in number than the hair on my head,
    and my courage[g] has forsaken me.

13 Be pleased, Lord, to deliver me;
    Lord, hurry up and help me!
14 May those who seek to destroy my life be ashamed and confounded;
    let them be driven backwards and humiliated,
        particularly those who wish me evil.
15 Let shame be the reward for those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”

16 Let all who seek you shout for joy and be glad in you.
May those who love your deliverance say,
    “The Lord be magnified!” continuously.
17 But I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think about me.
You are my help and deliverer.
    My God, do not tarry too long!


  1. Psalm 40:1 Or eagerly
  2. Psalm 40:2 Or destruction
  3. Psalm 40:5 Lit. recite them
  4. Psalm 40:6 The Heb. lacks to listen
  5. Psalm 40:10 Lit. not covered over
  6. Psalm 40:11 Lit. mercies
  7. Psalm 40:12 Lit. heart

Psalm 40[a](A)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

I waited patiently(B) for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.(C)
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,(D)
    out of the mud(E) and mire;(F)
he set my feet(G) on a rock(H)
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song(I) in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord(J)
    and put their trust(K) in him.

Blessed is the one(L)
    who trusts in the Lord,(M)
who does not look to the proud,(N)
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b](O)
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders(P) you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare(Q) with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many(R) to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—(S)
    but my ears you have opened[c](T)
    burnt offerings(U) and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[e](V)
I desire to do your will,(W) my God;(X)
    your law is within my heart.”(Y)

I proclaim your saving acts(Z) in the great assembly;(AA)
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.(AB)
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness(AC) and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.(AD)

11 Do not withhold your mercy(AE) from me, Lord;
    may your love(AF) and faithfulness(AG) always protect(AH) me.
12 For troubles(AI) without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.(AJ)
They are more than the hairs of my head,(AK)
    and my heart fails(AL) within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.(AM)

14 May all who want to take my life(AN)
    be put to shame and confusion;(AO)
may all who desire my ruin(AP)
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”(AQ)
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you(AR)
    rejoice and be glad(AS) in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”(AT)

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;(AU)
    may the Lord think(AV) of me.
You are my help(AW) and my deliverer;(AX)
    you are my God, do not delay.(AY)


  1. Psalm 40:1 In Hebrew texts 40:1-17 is numbered 40:2-18.
  2. Psalm 40:4 Or to lies
  3. Psalm 40:6 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts but a body you have prepared for me
  4. Psalm 40:6 Or purification offerings
  5. Psalm 40:7 Or come / with the scroll written for me

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