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(A psalm by David.)

A Prayer for Protection from Enemies

35 Fight my enemies, Lord!
Attack my attackers!
    Shield me and help me.
Aim your spear at everyone
who hunts me down,
    but promise to save me.

Let all who want to kill me
    be disappointed
    and disgraced.
Chase away and confuse
    all who plan to harm me.
Send your angel after them
    and let them be like straw
    in the wind.
Make them run in the dark
on a slippery road,
    as your angel chases them.
I did them no harm,
but they hid a net
    to trap me,
    and they dug a deep pit
    to catch and kill me.
Surprise them with disaster!
    Trap them in their own nets
    and let them fall and rot
    in the pits they have dug.

I will celebrate and be joyful
    because you, Lord,
    have saved me.
10 Every bone in my body
    will shout:
    “No one is like the Lord!”
You protect the helpless
    from those in power;
    you save the poor and needy
    from those who hurt them.

11 Liars accuse me of crimes
    I know nothing about.
12     They repay evil for good,
    and I feel all alone.
13 When they were sick,
I wore sackcloth[a]
    and went without food.[b]
I truly prayed for them,[c]
14     as I would for a friend
    or a relative.
I was in sorrow and mourned,
    as I would for my mother.

15 I have stumbled,
    and worthless liars
I don’t even know
    surround me and sneer.
16 Worthless people make fun[d]
    and never stop laughing.
17 But all you do is watch!
    When will you do something?
    Save me from the attack
    of those vicious lions.
18 And when your people meet,
    I will praise you
    and thank you, Lord,
    in front of them all.

19 Don’t let my brutal enemies
    be glad because of me.
They hate me for no reason.
    Don’t let them wink
    behind my back.
20 They say hurtful things,
and they lie to people
    who want to live in peace.
21 They are quick to accuse me.
    They say, “You did it!
    We saw you ourselves.”

22 You see everything, Lord!
Please don’t keep silent
    or stay so far away.
23 Fight to defend me, Lord God,
24     and prove that I am right
    by your standards.
Don’t let them laugh at me
25     or say to each other,
“Now we’ve got what we want!
    We’ll gobble him down!”

26 Disappoint and confuse
all who are glad
    to see me in trouble,
but disgrace and embarrass
my proud enemies
    who say to me,
    “You are nothing!”

27 Let all who want me to win
    be happy and joyful.
From now on let them say,
    “The Lord is wonderful!
    God is glad when all goes well
    for his servant.”
28 Then I will shout all day,
    “Praise the Lord God!
    He did what was right.”

Footnotes

  1. 35.13 sackcloth: See the note at 30.11.
  2. 35.13 went without food: People sometimes went without food (called “fasting”) to show sorrow.
  3. 35.13 I. . . them: Or “My prayer wasn’t answered, but I prayed.”
  4. 35.16 Worthless. . . fun: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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