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Psalm 17

Prayer for Deliverance from Persecutors

A Prayer of David.

1

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry;

give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.

2

From you let my vindication come;

let your eyes see the right.

 

3

If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,

if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;

my mouth does not transgress.

4

As for what others do, by the word of your lips

I have avoided the ways of the violent.

5

My steps have held fast to your paths;

my feet have not slipped.

 

6

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;

incline your ear to me, hear my words.

7

Wondrously show your steadfast love,

O savior of those who seek refuge

from their adversaries at your right hand.

 

8

Guard me as the apple of the eye;

hide me in the shadow of your wings,

9

from the wicked who despoil me,

my deadly enemies who surround me.

10

They close their hearts to pity;

with their mouths they speak arrogantly.

11

They track me down; now they surround me;

they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.

12

They are like a lion eager to tear,

like a young lion lurking in ambush.

 

13

Rise up, O Lord, confront them, overthrow them!

By your sword deliver my life from the wicked,

14

from mortals—by your hand, O Lord

from mortals whose portion in life is in this world.

May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them;

may their children have more than enough;

may they leave something over to their little ones.

 

15

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;

when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.


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Ps 17:1-15. This Psalm is termed a prayer because the language of petition is predominant. With a just cause, sincerely presented, the writer prays for a just decision and help and protection. Pleading former mercies as a ground of hope, he urges his prayer in view of the malice, pride, rapacity, and selfishness of his foes, whose character is contrasted with his pious devotion and delight in God's favor.

2. sentence—acquitting judgment.

from thy presence—Thy tribunal.

things that are equal—just and right, do Thou regard.

3. proved … visited … tried—His character was most rigidly tested, at all times, and by all methods, affliction and others (Ps 7:10).

purposed that, &c.—or, my mouth does not exceed my purpose; I am sincere.

4. works of men—sinful practices.

by the word of thy lips—as a guide (Ps 119:9, 11, 95).

destroyer—violent man.

5. May be read as an assertion "my steps or goings have held on to Thy paths."

6. wilt hear me—that is, graciously (Ps 3:4).

7. Show—set apart as special and eminent (Ex 8:18; Ps 4:3).

thy right hand—for Thy power.

8. Similar figures, denoting the preciousness of God's people in His sight, in De 32:10, 11; Mt 23:37.

9. compass me—(compare Ps 118:10-12).

10. enclosed … fat—are become proud in prosperity, and insolent to God (De 32:15; Ps 73:7).

11. They pursue us as beasts tracking their prey.

12. The figure made more special by that of a lion lurking.

13-15. disappoint—literally, "come before," or, "encounter him." Supply "with" before "sword" (Ps 17:13), and "hand" (Ps 17:14). These denote God's power.

14. men … world—all men of this present time. They appear, by fulness of bread and large families, to be prosperous; but (Ps 17:15) he implies this will be transient, contrasting his better portion in a joyful union with God hereafter.




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