Stop the violent criminals
Here come the deplorables
A psalm of David1 LORD, please rescue me.
There are some horrible, violent people after me.
Please protect me from those criminals.
2 All they think about is evil.
They start fights every day.
3 They sharpen their tongues to destroy—
Sharp as tips on the tongue of a snake.
Waiting behind a kiss from those lips
Is the poisoned bite of a viper.
Don’t let the bad guys win4 Please LORD,
Don’t let those violent people
Get their hands on me.
Don’t let those evil people
Take me down.
5 Those swollen-headed people set traps to catch me.
They spread out nets and ropes
Along the routes I take each day.
Mess them up, LORD6 I told the LORD,
“You’re my God.
Please, listen to me, LORD.
Show me some mercy.
7 LORD God, you have the power to save me.
You protected me the day I fought in battle.
8 Don’t give those evil people what they want, LORD.
Don’t let their plans work out the way they want.”
Hammer the horrible9 Come down hard on the heads
Of those arrogant people attacking me.
Beat them with their own words.
Let them feel the misery
They caused with their mouths.
10 Hammer them in a hailstorm
With flaming chunks of coal.
Then toss their bodies in a pit
Where they’ll never rise again.
11 May the people who badmouthed me
Lose their homes and land.
As for the violent,
Let evil hunt them down.
12 The LORD is on the side of the down and out,
Defending justice for the needy.
13 Good people will thank you for who you are,
And will live their lives close to you.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
Possibly a way of saying the violent people speak sharply, using words and tones that bite.
Perhaps a desert horned viper, which can kill a child and make a healthy adult very sick.
The word in the original language of Hebrew is selah. Bible scholars haven’t figured out what it means yet, so all we can do is guess. It could mean “pause for effect,” “instrumental interlude,” or “choir singing ‘Amen.’” We’re offering a guess instead of selah. Though selah might be the better way to go because it’s always correct, it’s also always incomprehensible. “Instruments” has a good chance of being wrong, but at least we convey the idea that the Hebrew word behind it probably has something to do with enhancing the song.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.