New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Prayer for the King in Time of War
1 For the leader. A psalm of David.
2 The Lord answer you in time of distress;
the name of the God of Jacob defend you!
3 May he send you help from the sanctuary,
from Zion be your support.(A)
4 May he remember[b] your every offering,
graciously accept your burnt offering,
5 Grant what is in your heart,
fulfill your every plan.
6 May we shout for joy at your victory,[c]
raise the banners in the name of our God.
The Lord grant your every petition!
7 Now I know the Lord gives victory
to his anointed.(B)
He will answer him from the holy heavens
with a strong arm that brings victory.
8 Some rely on chariots, others on horses,
but we on the name of the Lord our God.(C)
9 They collapse and fall,
but we stand strong and firm.(D)
10 Lord, grant victory to the king;
answer when we call upon you.
- Psalm 20 The people pray for the king before battle. The people ask for divine help (Ps 20:2–6) and express confidence that such help will be given (Ps 20:7–10). A solemn assurance of divine help may well have been given between the two sections in the liturgy, something like the promises of Ps 12:6; 21:9–13. The final verse (Ps 20:10) echoes the opening verse.
- 20:4 Remember: God’s remembering implies readiness to act, cf. Gn 8:1; Ex 2:24.
- 20:6 Victory: the Hebrew root is often translated “salvation,” “to save,” but in military contexts it can have the specific meaning of “victory.”