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Psalm 11

Song of Trust in God

To the leader. Of David.


In the L ord I take refuge; how can you say to me,

“Flee like a bird to the mountains;


for look, the wicked bend the bow,

they have fitted their arrow to the string,

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.


If the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”



The L ord is in his holy temple;

the L ord’s throne is in heaven.

His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.


The L ord tests the righteous and the wicked,

and his soul hates the lover of violence.


On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur;

a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.


For the L ord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.

7. For the righteous Jehovah loveth righteousness. The Psalmist has just now reasoned from the office of God that he will punish the wicked, and now, from the nature of God, he concludes, that he will be the defender of the good and the upright. As he is righteous, David shows that, as the consequence of this, he must love righteousness, for otherwise he would deny himself. Besides, it would be a cold speculation to conceive of righteousness as inherent in God, unless, at the same time, we could come to the settled conclusion that God graciously owns whatever is his own, and furnishes evidence of this in the government of the world. Some think that the abstract term righteousness is put for righteous persons. But, in my opinion, the literal sense is here more suitable, namely, that righteousness is well pleasing to God, and that, therefore, he favors good causes. From this the Psalmist concludes, that the upright are the objects of his regard: His countenance approveth the upright He had said a little before in a different sense, that God beholds the children of men, meaning that he will judge the life of every man; but here he means that God graciously exercises a special care over the upright and the sincere, takes them under his protection, and keeps them in perfect safety. This conclusion of the psalm sufficiently shows, that the scope of the whole of it was to make it manifest that all those who, depending upon the grace of God, sincerely follow after righteousness, shall be safe under his protection. The Psalmist himself was one of this number and, indeed, the very chief of them. This last clause, His countenance approveth the upright, is, indeed, variously explained; but the true meaning, I have no doubt, is, that God has always a regard for the upright, and never turns away his eyes from them. It is a strained interpretation to view the words as meaning that the upright shall behold the face of God. But I will not stop to refute the opinions of other men.

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