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Psalm 1

1A person will be truly happy if he doesn’t follow the advice of bad people and doesn’t live like sinners and doesn’t feel at home with people who don’t respect God.* 2A good person loves the Lord’s teachings. He thinks about them day and night. 3So that person becomes strong like a tree planted by streams of water He is like a tree that makes fruit at the right time. He is like a tree with leaves that don’t die. Everything he does is successful. 4But bad people are not like that. Bad people are like chaff* that the wind blows away. 5If good people gather together to decide a court case, then bad people will be proved guilty. Those sinners will not be judged innocent.* 6Why? Because the Lord protects good people, but destroys bad people.

A person … God Or, “The person who doesn’t follow the advice of bad people or turn on to Sinners Road or stay at Scoffers’ House is fortunate (blessed).” chaff Seed coverings and stems separated from the seeds of plants like wheat or barley. Farmers did not keep this useless chaff. If good … innocent Or, “Bad people will not rise in the place of judgment nor the sinners in the meeting of good people.” It is not clear if this verse means that bad people will not become judges, or that bad people will be judged guilty.  

Psalm 2

1Why are the people from other nations so angry? Why are they making foolish plans? 2Their kings and leaders joined together to fight against the Lord and against the king he chose. 3{Those leaders said,} “Let’s rebel against God and against the king he chose. “Let’s break free from them!” 4But my Master, the King in heaven, laughs at those people. 5–6God is angry and he tells those people, “I chose this man to be king! And he will rule on Mount Zion. Zion is my special mountain.” And that makes those other leaders afraid. 7Now I will tell you about the Lord’s agreement. The Lord said to me, “Today I become your father!* And you are my son. 8If you ask me, I will give the nations to you. All the people on earth will be yours! 9You could destroy those nations like an iron rod shattering a clay pot.*” 10So, you kings, be wise. All you rulers, learn this lesson. 11Obey the Lord with much fear. 12Show that you are loyal to God’s son.* If you don’t do this, he will become angry and destroy you. People who trust the Lord are happy. {But other people should be careful.} The Lord is about ready to show his anger.

I become your father Literally, “I fathered you.” Originally, this probably meant God was ‘adopting’ the king as his son. You … pot Or, “You will shepherd them with an iron rod. You will shatter them like a clay pot.” Show … God’s son Literally, “Kiss the son!”

Psalm 3

This is David’s song from the time he ran away from his son Absalom.

1“Lord, I have many, many enemies. Many people have turned against me. 2Many people are talking about me. {Those people say,} “God won’t rescue him!” SELAH* 3But, Lord, you are my shield. You are my Glory. Lord, you make me important!* 4I will pray to the Lord. And he will answer me from his holy mountain! SELAH* 5I can lie down and rest, and I know I will wake up. Why? Because the Lord covers and protects me! 6Thousands of soldiers might surround me. But I won’t be afraid of those enemies! 7Lord, get up!* My God, come rescue me! {You are very strong!} If you hit my bad enemies on the cheek, you will break all their teeth. 8Lord, the victory* is yours! Please be good to your people. SELAH*

SELAH This word is for the musicians. It probably means the singers should pause here or the music should be louder here. You … make me important Literally, “You are my Glory, the One who lifts my head.” Lord, get up The people said this when they lifted the Box of the Agreement and took it into battle with them. This showed that God was with them. See Num. 10:35–36. victory Or “salvation.”

Psalm 4

To the director.* With stringed instruments. A song of David.*

1My good God, answer me when I pray to you! Hear my prayer and be kind to me! Give me some relief from all my troubles! 2People, how long will you say bad things about me? You people keep looking for new lies {to tell about me}. You people love telling those lies. SELAH* 3You know that the Lord listens to his good people. So the Lord hears me when I pray to him. 4{If something is bothering you,} you can be angry,* but don’t sin. Think about those things when you go to bed, and then relax.* SELAH* 5Give good sacrifices* to God, and trust the Lord! 6Many people say, “Who will show us {God’s} goodness? Lord, let us see your shining face!” 7Lord, you have made me very happy! I am happier now than at harvest time—when we celebrate because we have much grain and wine. 8I go to bed and sleep in peace. Why? Because, Lord, you lay me down to sleep in safety.

director Or, “performer.” A song of David Or, “A song dedicated to David.” SELAH This word is for the musicians. It probably means the singers should pause here or the music should be louder here. be angry Or, “be upset” or “be excited.” relax Or, “be calm” or “be silent.” sacrifice(s) A sacrifice was a gift to God. Usually, it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar.

Psalm 5

To the director.* For the flutes.* A song of David.*

1Lord, hear my words. Understand what I am trying to say.  2My God and King, listen to my prayer. 3Every morning, Lord, I lay my gifts before you and look to you {for help}. And every morning, you hear my prayers. 4God, you don’t like evil {people near you}. Evil people can’t worship you.* 5Fools* can’t come near you. You hate* people who do evil. 6You destroy people who tell lies. You hate people who make secret plans to hurt other people. 7But, Lord, by your great mercy, I will come to your temple.* I will bow toward your holy temple with fear and respect for you, Lord. 8Lord, show me your right way of living. People are looking for my weaknesses, so show me how you want me to live. 9Those people don’t tell the truth. They are liars that twist the truth. Their mouths are like empty* graves. They say nice things to other people, but they are only trying to trap them. 10Punish them, God! Let them be caught in their own traps. Those people have turned against you, so punish them for their many crimes. 11But let the people who trust God be happy. Let them be happy forever! God, protect and give strength to the people who love your name. 12Lord, when you do good things to good people, you are like a large shield protecting them.

director Or, “performer.” For the flutes This might be the name of a tune instead of a type of instrument. A song of David Or, “A song dedicated to David.” God … you Or, “You are not a God who likes evil {people}, and evil {people} don’t respect you.” Fools Usually this means people who don’t believe and obey God. This shows they are very foolish. hate Or, “reject, send away”. temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. empty Literally, “open.”

Psalm 6

To the director,* with stringed instruments, {accompanied} by the Sheminith.* A song of David.*

1Lord, don’t correct me in anger. Don’t be angry and punish* me. 2Lord, be kind to me. I am sick and weak. Heal me! My bones are shaking. 3My whole body is shaking. Lord, how long {until you heal me}?* 4Lord, come back and make me strong again! You are very kind, so save me. 5Dead people in their graves don’t remember you. People in the place of death don’t praise you. {So heal me!} 6Lord, all night I prayed to you. My bed is wet from my tears. Tears are dripping from my bed. I am weak from crying to you. 7My enemies have given me many troubles. This made me very sad with grief. Now my eyes are weak from crying. 8Go away you bad people! Why? Because the Lord heard my cries. 9The Lord heard my prayer. And the Lord accepted and answered my prayer. 10All my enemies will be upset and disappointed. Something will happen suddenly, and they will all leave in shame.

director Or, “performer.” by the Sheminith This might be a special instrument, a special way of tuning an instrument, or one of the groups that played harps in the temple orchestra. See 1 Chron.15:21. A song of David Or, “A song dedicated to David.” punish Literally, “teach” or “correct.” Lord … heal me Literally, “As for you, Lord, how long?”

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