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Psalm 9

God’s Power and Justice

To the leader: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.


I will give thanks to the L ord with my whole heart;

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.


I will be glad and exult in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.



When my enemies turned back,

they stumbled and perished before you.


For you have maintained my just cause;

you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.



You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked;

you have blotted out their name forever and ever.


The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins;

their cities you have rooted out;

the very memory of them has perished.



But the L ord sits enthroned forever,

he has established his throne for judgment.


He judges the world with righteousness;

he judges the peoples with equity.



The L ord is a stronghold for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.


And those who know your name put their trust in you,

for you, O L ord, have not forsaken those who seek you.



Sing praises to the L ord, who dwells in Zion.

Declare his deeds among the peoples.


For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;

he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.



Be gracious to me, O L ord.

See what I suffer from those who hate me;

you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,


so that I may recount all your praises,

and, in the gates of daughter Zion,

rejoice in your deliverance.



The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;

in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.


The L ord has made himself known, he has executed judgment;

the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah



The wicked shall depart to Sheol,

all the nations that forget God.



For the needy shall not always be forgotten,

nor the hope of the poor perish forever.



Rise up, O L ord! Do not let mortals prevail;

let the nations be judged before you.


Put them in fear, O L ord;

let the nations know that they are only human. Selah

3. While my enemies are turned back. In these words he assigns the reason why he undertakes to sing the praises of God, namely, because he acknowledges that his frequent victories had been achieved, not by his own power, nor by the power of his soldiers, but by the free favor of God. In the first part of the verse he narrates historically how his enemies were discomfited or put to flight; and then he adds, what faith alone could enable him to say, that this did not take place by the power of man or by chance, but because God fought for him, 164164     “Mais pource que Dieu a battacile pour luy. — Fr. and stood against them in the battle. He says, they fall, 165165     The idea implied in the verb כשל, cashal, is that of stumbling, and it is here employed in a military sense. In Psalm 27:2, where it is said of David’s enemies, “they stumbled and fell;” this is the verb used for stumbled. The idea there is not properly that of falling, but of being wounded and weakened by the stumbling-blocks in the way, previous to falling. The word כשל, cashal, has been viewed as having the same meaning in the passage before us. “It refers,” says Hammond, “to those that either faint in a march or are wounded in a battle, or especially that in flight meet with galling traps in their way, and so are galled and lamed, rendered unable to go forward, and so fall, and become liable to all the ill chances of pursuits, and as here are overtaken and perish in the fall.” and are put to flight At Thy Presence. David therefore acted wisely, when, upon seeing his enemies turn their backs, he lifted up the eyes of his mind to God, in order to perceive that victory flowed to him from no other source than from the secret and incomprehensible aid of God. And, doubtless, it is He only who guides the simple by the spirit of wisdom, while he inflicts madness on the crafty, and strikes them with amazement, — who inspires with courage the faint and timid, while he causes the boldest to tremble with fear, — who restores to the feeble their strength, while he reduces the strong to weakness, — who upholds the fainthearted by his power, while he makes the sword to fall from the hands of the valiant; - and, finally, who brings the battle to a prosperous or disastrous issue, just as he pleases. When, therefore, we see our enemies overthrown, we must beware of limiting our view to what is visible to the eye of sense, like ungodly men, who, while they see with their bodily eyes, are yet blind; but let us instantly call to our remembrance this truth, that when our enemies turn back, they are put to flight by the presence of the Lord. 166166     “C’est la face de Dieu qui les poursuit.” — Fr. “It is the face of God which pursues them.” The verbs, fall and put to flight, in the Hebrew, are in the future tense, but I have translated them in the present, because David anew presents to his own view the goodness of God which had formerly been manifested towards him.

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