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Psalm 64

Prayer for Protection from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.


Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;

preserve my life from the dread enemy.


Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,

from the scheming of evildoers,


who whet their tongues like swords,

who aim bitter words like arrows,


shooting from ambush at the blameless;

they shoot suddenly and without fear.


They hold fast to their evil purpose;

they talk of laying snares secretly,

thinking, “Who can see us?


Who can search out our crimes?

We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”

For the human heart and mind are deep.



But God will shoot his arrow at them;

they will be wounded suddenly.


Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;

all who see them will shake with horror.


Then everyone will fear;

they will tell what God has brought about,

and ponder what he has done.



Let the righteous rejoice in the L ord

and take refuge in him.

Let all the upright in heart glory.

5 They assure themselves in an evil work. He proceeds to complain of the perverse determination with which they pursued their wickedness, and of their combinations amongst themselves; remarking, at the same time, upon the confidence with which they stirred one another up to the most daring acts of iniquity. In this there can be little doubt that they were encouraged by the present state of weakness to which David was reduced in his circumstances, taking occasion, when they found him in poverty and exile, and without means of resistance, to persecute him with the greater freedom. Having adverted to them as being beyond hope of amendment, and incapable of any impressions of humanity, he speaks of their meeting together to plot his destruction; and, in connection with this, of the unbounded confidence which they were led to display, from a belief that their designs were not seen. It is well known that one circumstance which strengthens the false security of the wicked, and encourages them to triumph in their crafty policy towards the simple and upright in heart, is their thinking that they can cover their crimes by such pretexts as they have always at hand. They say, Who shall see them? The word למו, lamo, them, may refer either to the workers of iniquity themselves, or to the snares spoken of in the preceding clause. The first seems the preferable meaning. They run recklessly, and without restraint, in the ways of sin, blinded by their pride, and influenced neither by the fear of God nor a sense of shame.

In the verse which follows, he animadverts severely upon the deceit which they practiced. He speaks of their having exhausted all the arts of mischief, so as to have left nothing in this department to be discovered. The search referred to has relation to the secret methods of doing evil. He adds, that their malice was deep. By the inward part and the heart, which was deep, he means the hidden devices to which the wicked have recourse for concealment. Some, instead of translating the words, the inward part of each, etc., give a more indefinite sense to איש, ish, and read, the inward part, and deep heart, of every one, is found in them; that is, his enemies contrived to comprise in themselves all that men have ever displayed in the shape of craft and subtilty. Either rendering may be adopted; for it is evidently David’s meaning that his enemies practiced secret stratagem as well as open violence, to compass his ruin, and showed themselves to be possessed of the deepest penetration in discovering dark and unimagined methods of doing mischief.

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