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To the Director: With stringed instruments. A Davidic instruction.[a]

Betrayal by a Friend

55 Pay attention to my prayer, God,
    and do not hide yourself from my appeal.
Pay attention to me and answer me.
    I moan and groan in my thoughts,
because of the voice of the enemy,
and because of the oppression of the wicked.
They bring down evil upon me,
    and in anger they hate me.

My heart is trembling within me,
    and the terrors of death have assaulted me.
Fear and trembling have overwhelmed me,
    and horror has covered me.

I said, “O, who will give me the wings of a dove,
    so that I could fly away and live somewhere else?
Look, I want to flee far away;
    I want to settle down in the wilderness.
Interlude

I want to deliver myself quickly
    from this windstorm and tempest.”

Confound them, Lord,
    and confuse their speech,
        because I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl around its walls;
    evil and iniquity are within it.
11 Wickedness is at the center of it;
    fraud and lies never leave its streets.

12 For it is not an enemy who insults me—
    I could have handled that—
nor is it someone who hates me and who now arises against me—
    I could have hidden myself from him—
13 but it is you—
    a man whom I treated as my equal—
my personal confidant,
    my close friend!

14 We had good fellowship together;
    and we even walked together in the house of God!

15 Let death seize them!
    May they be plunged alive into the afterlife,[b]
for wicked things are in their homes
    and among them.

16 I call upon God,
    and the Lord will deliver me.
17 Morning, noon, and night,
    I mulled over these things
and cried out in my distress,
    and he heard my voice.
18 He calmly ransomed my soul from the war waged against me,
    for there was a vast crowd who stood against me.

19 God, who is enthroned from long ago,
    will hear me and humble them.
Interlude
Because they do not repent,
    they do not fear God.

20 Each of my friends[c] raises his hand against his allies;
    each of my friends[d] breaks his word.[e]
21 His mouth is as smooth as butter,
    while war is in his heart.
His words were as smooth as olive oil,
    while his sword is drawn.

22 Cast on the Lord whatever he sends your way,
    and he will sustain you.
        He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

23 But you, God, bring them down to the Pit of corruption;[f]
    bloodthirsty and deceitful people will not live out half their days.
        But I put my full confidence in you.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 55:1 Lit. maskil
  2. Psalm 55:15 Lit. into Sheol; a reference to the realm of the dead
  3. Psalm 55:20 Lit. Each one
  4. Psalm 55:20 Lit. Each one
  5. Psalm 55:20 Lit. covenant
  6. Psalm 55:23 I.e. the place of punishment in the afterlife

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