Psalms 52 to 56 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Psalm 52

To the director.* A maskil* of David when Doeg the Edomite went to Saul and told him, “David is in Ahimelech’s house.”

1Big man, why do you brag about the bad things you do? You are a continual disgrace to God. 2You make foolish plans and your tongue is as dangerous as a sharp razor. You are always lying and trying to cheat people! 3You love evil more than goodness. You love lying more than telling the truth. SELAH* 4You and your lying tongue love to hurt people.  5So God will ruin you forever! He will grab you and pull you from your home,* like a person pulling a plant out of the ground, roots and all!* 6Good people will see this and will learn to fear and respect God. They will laugh at you and say, 7“Look what happened to the man who did not depend on God. That man thought his wealth and lies would protect him.” 8But I am like a green olive tree growing in God’s temple. I will trust God’s true love forever and ever. 9God, I praise you forever for the things you have done. I will speak your name* before your followers because it is so good!

maskil The exact meaning of “maskil” is not clear. It might mean “a poem of meditation,” “a poem of instruction,” or “a skillfully-written poem.” SELAH This word is for the musicians. It probably means the singers should pause here or the music should be louder here. home This means the body. This is a poetic way of saying God will destroy you forever. God … roots and all Literally, “He will root you up from the land of the living.” This might also mean “He will kill you and your descendants.” speak your name Or, “I will trust your name.”


Psalm 53

To the director.* On the mahalath.* A maskil* of David.

1Only a fool* thinks there is no God. People like that are corrupt, evil, malicious, and they don’t do anything good. 2There really is a God in heaven watching over us. God is looking for wise people who are looking for God! 3But everyone has turned away from God. Every person is bad. No person does anything good. No, not one person! 4God says, “Surely those evil people know the truth! But they don’t pray to me. Evil people are as ready to destroy my people as they are to eat food.” 5But those evil people will be scared, like they have never been scared before! Those evil people are Israel’s enemies. God has rejected those evil people. So God’s people will defeat them, and God will scatter the bones of those evil people. 6I wish someone (God) on Mount Zion would bring victory to Israel! At the time God brings his people back from exile.* Jacob will rejoice. Israel will be very happy.

director Or, “performer.” mahalath This is probably a musical word. It might be the name of a tune, or it might mean to dance and shout. maskil The exact meaning of “maskil” is not known. It might mean “a poem of meditation,” “a poem of instruction,” or “a skillfully-written poem.” fool Here this means a person who does not follow God and his teachings. exile Being forced to leave one’s home country.


Psalm 54

To the director.* With instruments. A maskil* of David when the Ziphites went to Saul and told him, “We think David is hiding among our people.”

1God, use your power and save me. Use your great power to set me free.* 2God, listen to my prayer. Listen to the things I say. 3Strangers that don’t even worship God have turned against me. Those powerful men are trying to kill me. SELAH* 4Look, my God will help me. My Master will support me. 5My God will punish the people who turned against me. God will be true to me, and he will destroy those people.  6God, I will give freewill offerings to you. Lord, I will praise your good name. 7Why? Because you saved me from all my troubles. I saw my enemies defeated.

director Or, “performer.” God … free Literally, “God, save me with your name, judge me with your might.” SELAH This word is for the musicians. It probably means the singers should pause here or the music should be louder here.


Psalm 55

To the director.* With instruments. A maskil* of David.

1God, hear my prayer. Please don’t ignore my prayer for mercy. 2God, please listen to me and answer me. Let me speak to you and tell you what upsets me. 3My enemy said bad things to me. That wicked man yelled at me. My enemies were angry and attacked me. They brought troubles crashing down on top of me. 4My heart is pounding inside me. I am scared to death. 5I am scared and shaking. I am terrified. 6Oh, I wish I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and find a place to rest. 7I would go far, far away into the desert. SELAH* 8I would run away. I would escape. I would run away from this storm of trouble. 9–10My Master, stop their lies. I see the violence and fighting in this city. Day and night, in every neighborhood, the city is filled with crime and vandalism. 11There is too much crime in the streets. People are lying and cheating everywhere. 12If it were an enemy insulting me, I could bear it. If it were my enemies attacking me, I could hide. 13But it is you, my companion, my colleague, my friend. {You are giving me troubles.} 14We used to share our secrets with one another, as we walked through the crowds together in God’s temple.* 15I wish death would take my enemies by surprise! I wish the earth would open up and swallow them alive!* Why? Because they plan such terrible things together. 16I will call to God for help. And the Lord will answer me. 17I speak to God evening, morning, and noon. I tell him what upsets me, and he listens to me! 18I have fought in many battles. But God has always rescued me and brought me back safely. 19God listens to me. The Eternal King will help me. SELAH* 20My enemies will not change their lives.* They don’t fear and respect God. 21My enemies attack their own friends. They don’t do the things they agree to do. 22My enemies are really smooth talkers; they talk about peace, but they are really planning wars. Their words are as slick as oil, but those words cut like a knife. 23Give your worries to the Lord, and he will care for you. The Lord will never let good people be defeated.  24As your part of the agreement, God, send those liars and murderers to their grave before their life is half finished! As my part of the agreement, I will put my trust in you.

director Or, “performer.” maskil The exact meaning of “maskil” is not known. It might mean “a poem of meditation,” “a poem of instruction,” or “a skillfully-written poem.” SELAH This word is for the musicians. It probably means the singers should pause here or the music should be louder here. temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. I wish death … alive Literally, “I wish death would surprise them. I wish they would go down into Sheol alive.” This would be like the time Moses’ enemy Korah was punished by God. See Num. 16:31–33. The Eternal King … their lives Or, “The Ancient King, the One who never changes, will humiliate them.”


Psalm 56

To the director.* To the tune “The Dove in the Distant Oak.” A miktam of David* from the time the Philistines captured him in Gath.

1God, people have attacked me, so be merciful to me. They have been constantly chasing me and fighting me. 2My enemies attack me constantly. There are too many fighters to count. 3When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4I trust God, so I am not afraid of what people can do to me! I praise God for his promise to me. 5My enemies are always twisting my words. They are always making plans against me. 6They hide together and watch my every move, hoping for some way to kill me. 7God, send them away because of the bad things they did. Send them away to {suffer} the anger of foreign nations. 8You know I am very upset. You know how much I have cried. Surely you have kept an account of all my tears. 9So, defeat my enemies when I call to you for help. I know you can do it. You are God! 10I praise God for his promise. I praise the Lord for his promise to me. 11I trust God, so I am not afraid of what people can do to me! 12God, I made special promises to you. And I will do what I promised. I will give you my thank offering. 13Why? Because you saved me from death. You kept me from being defeated. So I will worship God in the light that only living people can see.

director Or, “performer.” A miktam of David The exact meaning of “miktam” is not known. It might mean “a well-arranged song.” This song was either written by David or dedicated to him.

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