Enchanting Songs of David

June 09, 2020

The Book of Psalms.
Vol. 44, pp. 168-179 of The Harvard Classics

The songs of David pleased King Saul, but when David became too popular with the people, the king feared for his throne and banished him.

Book I
Jehovah the Psalmist’s Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

JEHOVAH is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside still 
He restoreth my soul:
He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the 2 shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.

Surely 3 goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for 
4 ever.

Note 1. Heb. waters of rest.
Note 2. Or, deep darkness (and so elsewhere).
Note 3. Or, Only.
Note 4. Heb. for length of days. 

The King of Glory Entering Zion

A Psalm of David.

THE EARTH is Jehovah’s, and the fulness thereof;
The world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of Jehovah?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;
Who hath not lifted up his soul unto falsehood,
And hath not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from Jehovah,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek after him,
That seek thy face, even Jacob.  [Selah

Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
And be ye lifted up, ye everlasting 1 doors:
And the King of glory will come in.
Who is the King of glory?
Jehovah strong and mighty,
Jehovah mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
Yea, lift them up, ye everlasting 2 doors:
And the King of glory will come in.
Who is this King of glory?
Jehovah of hosts,
He is the King of glory.  [Selah

Note 1. Or, ancient.
Note 2. Or, ancient. 

Prayer for Protection, Guidance, and Pardon

A Psalm of David.

UNTO thee, O Jehovah, do I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee have I trusted,
Let me not be put to shame;
Let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Yea, none that wait for thee shall be put to shame:
They shall be put to shame that deal treacherously without cause.
Show me thy ways, O Jehovah;
Teach me thy paths.
Guide me in thy truth, and teach me;
For thou art the God of my salvation;
For thee do I wait all the day.
Remember, O Jehovah, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses;
For they have been ever of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions:
According to thy loving kindness remember thou me,
For thy goodness’ sake, O Jehovah.
Good and upright is Jehovah:
Therefore will he instruct sinners in the way.
The meek will he guide in justice;
And the meek will he teach his way.
All the paths of Jehovah are loving kindness and truth
Unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For thy name’s sake, O Jehovah,
Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.
What man is he that feareth Jehovah?
Him shall he instruct in the way that he shall choose.
His soul shall dwell at ease;
And his seed shall inherit the land.
The friendship 1 of Jehovah is with them that fear him;
And 2 he will show them his covenant.
Mine eyes are ever toward Jehovah;
For he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;
For I am desolate and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are 3 enlarged:
Oh bring thou me out of my distresses.
Consider mine affliction and my travail;
And forgive all my sins.
Consider mine enemies, for they are many;
And they hate me with cruel hatred.
Oh keep my soul, and deliver me:
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in thee.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for thee.
Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.

Note 1. Or, counsel.Or, secret.
Note 2. Or, And his covenant, to make them know it.
Note 3. Or, as otherwise read, relieve thou, And bring me &c. 

Protestation of Integrity, and Prayer for Protection
A Psalm of David.

JUDGE me, O Jehovah, for I have walked in mine integrity:
I have trusted also in Jehovah without 1 wavering.
Examine me, O Jehovah, and prove me;
Try my heart 2 and my mind.
For thy loving kindness is before mine eyes;
And I have walked in thy truth.
I have not sat with men of falsehood;
Neither will I go in with dissemblers.
I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And will not sit with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocency:
So will I compass thine altar, O Jehovah;
That I may make 3 the voice of thanksgiving to be heard,
And tell of all thy wondrous works.
Jehovah, I love the habitation of thy house,
And the place where 4 thy glory dwelleth.
Gather 5 not my soul with sinners,
Nor my life with men of blood;
In whose hands is wickedness,
And their right hand is full of bribes.
But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity:
Redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
My foot standeth in an even place:
In the congregations will I bless Jehovah.

Note 1. Or, I shall not slide.
Note 2. Heb. reins.
Note 3. Or, publish with the voice of thanksgiving.
Note 4. Heb. of the tabernacle of thy glory.
Note 5. Or, Take not away. 

A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God
A Psalm of David.

JEHOVAH is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
Jehovah is the strength 1 of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil-doers came upon me to eat up my flesh,
Even mine adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host should encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear:
Though war should rise against me,
Even 2 then will I be confident.
One thing have I asked of Jehovah, that will I seek after:
That I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life,
To behold the 3 beauty of Jehovah,
And to inquire 4 in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion:
In the covert of his tabernacle 5 will he hide me;
He will lift me up upon a rock.
And now shall my head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me;
And I will offer in his tabernacle 6 sacrifices of joy; 7
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto Jehovah.

Hear, O Jehovah, when I cry with my voice:
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee,
Thy face, Jehovah, will I seek.
Hide not thy face from me;
Put not thy servant away in anger:
Thou hast been my help;
Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
When 8 my father and my mother forsake me,
Then Jehovah will take me up.
Teach me thy way, O Jehovah;
And lead me in a plain path,
Because of mine 9 enemies.
Deliver me not over unto the will of mine adversaries:
For false witnesses are risen up against me,
And such as breathe out cruelty.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of Jehovah
In the land of the living.
Wait for Jehovah:
Be strong, and let thy heart take courage;
Yea, wait thou for Jehovah.

Note 1. Or, stronghold.
Note 2. Or, In this.
Note 3. Or, the pleasantness.
Note 4. Or, consider his temple.
Note 5. Heb. tent.
Note 6. Heb. tent.
Note 7. Or, shouting.Or, trumpet-sound.
Note 8. Or, For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But Jehovah &c.
Note 9. Or, them that lie in wait for me. 

A Prayer for Help, and Praise for Its Answer

A Psalm of David.

UNTO thee, O Jehovah, will I call:
My rock, be not thou deaf unto me;
Lest, if thou be silent unto me,
I become like them that go down into the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee,
When I lift up my hands toward 1 thy holy oracle.
Draw me not away with the wicked,
And with the workers of iniquity;
That speak peace with their neighbors,
But mischief is in their hearts.
Give them according to their work, and according to the wickedness of their doings:
Give them after the operation of their hands;
Render to them their desert.
Because they regard not the works of Jehovah,
Nor the operation of his hands,
He will break them down and not build them up.

Blessed be Jehovah,
Because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
Jehovah is my strength and my shield;
My heart hath trusted in him, and I am helped:
Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth;
And with my song will I praise him.
Jehovah is their strength,
And he is a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.
Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance:
Be their shepherd also, and bear them up for ever.

Note 1. Or, toward the innermost place of thy sanctuary.

The Voice of Jehovah in the Storm
A Psalm of David.

ASCRIBE unto Jehovah, O ye sons 1 of the mighty, 2
Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength.
Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name;
Worship Jehovah in 3 holy array.

The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters:
The God of glory thundereth,
Even Jehovah upon many 4 waters.
The voice of Jehovah is powerful;
The voice of Jehovah is full of majesty.
The voice of Jehovah breaketh the cedars;
Yea, Jehovah breaketh in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He maketh them also to skip like a calf;
Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild-ox.
The voice of Jehovah cleaveth 5 the flames of fire.
The voice of Jehovah shaketh the wilderness;
Jehovah shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of Jehovah maketh the hinds to calve,
And strippeth the forests bare:
And in his temple everything saith, Glory.

Jehovah sat as King at the Flood;
Yea, Jehovah sitteth as King for ever.
Jehovah will give strength unto his people;
Jehovah will bless his people with peace.

Note 1. Or, sons of God.
Note 2. Or, gods. See Ex. 15. 11.
Note 3. Or, in the beauty of holiness.
Note 4. Or, great.
Note 5. Or, heweth, out flames of fire. 

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death
A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House. A Psalm of David.

WILL extol thee, O Jehovah; for thou hast raised 1 me up,
And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
O Jehovah my God,
I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
O Jehovah, thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol;
Thou hast kept me alive, that 2 I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise unto Jehovah, O ye saints of his,
And give thanks to his holy memorial name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
His 3 favor is for a life-time:
Weeping may 4 tarry for the night,
But joy cometh in the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
I shall never be moved.
Thou, Jehovah, of thy favor hadst made my mountain to stand strong:
Thou didst hide thy face; I was troubled.
I cried to thee, O Jehovah;
And unto Jehovah I made supplication:
What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?
Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
Hear, O Jehovah, and have mercy upon me:
Jehovah, be thou my helper.
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing;
Thou hast loosed my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.
O Jehovah my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Note 1. Or, drawn.
Note 2. Another reading is, from among them that go down to the pit.
Note 3. Or, In his favor is life.
Note 4. Heb. may come in to lodge at even. 

A Psalm of Complaint and of Praise
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

IN thee, O Jehovah, do I take refuge;
Let me never be put to shame:
Deliver me in thy righteousness.
Bow down thine ear unto me; deliver me speedily:
Be thou to me a strong rock,
A house of defence 1 to save me.
For thou art my rock and my fortress;
Therefore for thy name’s sake lead me and guide me.
Pluck me out of the net that they have laid privily for me;
For thou art my stronghold.
Into thy hand I commend my spirit:
Thou hast redeemed me, O Jehovah, thou God of truth.
I hate them that regard lying vanities;
But I trust in Jehovah.
I will be glad and rejoice in thy lovingkindness;
For thou hast seen my affliction:
Thou hast known my 2 soul in adversities;
And thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
Thou hast set my feet in a large place.
Have mercy upon me, O Jehovah, for I am in distress:
Mine eye wasteth away with grief, yea, my soul and my body.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
And my years with sighing:
My strength faileth because of mine iniquity,
And my bones are wasted away.
Because of all mine adversaries I am become a reproach,
Yea, unto my neighbors exceedingly,
And a fear to mine acquaintance:
They that did see me without fled from me.
I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind:
I am like a broken vessel.
For I have heard the defaming of many,
Terror on every side:
While they took counsel together against me,
They devised to take away my life.
But I trusted in thee, O Jehovah:
I said, Thou art my God.
My times are in thy hand:
Deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
Make thy face to shine upon thy servant:
Save me in thy lovingkindness.
Let me not be put to shame, O Jehovah; for I have called upon thee:
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
Let the lying lips be dumb,
Which speak against the righteous insolently,
With pride and contempt.
Oh how great is thy goodness,
Which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee,
Which thou hast wrought for them that take refuge in thee,
Before the sons of men!
In the covert of thy presence wilt thou hide them from the plottings of man:
Thou wilt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be Jehovah;
For he hath showed me his marvellous lovingkindness in a strong city.
As for me, I said in my haste, 3
I am cut off from before thine eyes:
Nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications,
When I cried unto thee.
Oh love Jehovah, all ye his saints:
Jehovah preserveth the 4 faithful,
And plentifully rewardeth him that dealeth proudly.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
All ye that hope 5 in Jehovah.

Note 1. Heb. fortresses.
Note 2. Or, the adversities of my soul.
Note 3. Or, alarm.
Note 4. Or, faithfulness.
Note 5. Or, wait for. 

Blessedness of Forgiveness and of Trust in God
A Psalm of David. Maschil.

BLESSED is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones wasted away
Through my groaning 1 all the day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me:
My moisture was changed as 2 with the drought of summer.  [Selah

I acknowledged my sin unto thee,
And mine iniquity did I not hide:
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto Jehovah;
And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  [Selah
For this let every one that is godly pray unto thee in 3 a time when thou mayest be found:
Surely when the great waters overflow they shall not reach unto him.
Thou art my hiding-place; thou wilt preserve me from trouble;
Thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance.  [Selah
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will counsel thee with mine eye upon thee.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding;
Whose trappings must be bit and bridle to hold them in,
Else 4 they will not come near unto thee.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he that trusteth in Jehovah, lovingkindness shall compass him about.
Be glad in Jehovah, and rejoice, ye righteous;
And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Note 1. Heb. roaring.
Note 2. Or, into the.
Note 3. Or, in the time of finding out sin.
Note 4. Or, That they come not near. 

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