I’m being hunted
Help, before they rip me apart
A sad song of David, which he sang to the LORD. It’s about Cush, a man from the tribe of Benjamin.1 LORD, here I am. I’ve come to you for protection.
Rescue me. Save me from those who are hunting me.
2 They’ll rip me to pieces like a lion would.
Then, there won’t be anything left to save.
3 If I did anything to deserve this,
If I’m guilty of treating anyone unfairly,
4 If I hurt a friend who did nothing wrong,
Or if I stole from someone who hates me for no good reason,
5 Go ahead and let my enemies chase me till they catch me.
Let them beat the life out of me, and lay my dead body in the dirt.
Time for God to get angry6 Get up, LORD, and get mad.
Target your anger toward my raging enemies.
Get up and get to your business of judgment.
7 Order the nations to stand before you.
Then take your throne, high above them.
8 Go ahead and judge them.
Judge me, too, so everyone can see I’m not guilty,
That I’m a good and honest person.
9 Put a stop to bad stuff from evil people.
Give power to good people,
Because you are a good God,
Expert in head and heart,
Knowing why people do what they do.
10 God holds my shield.
He protects all good-hearted people.
11 God is a good judge.
Evil makes him angry,
He feels this anger every day.
God, armed and dangerous12 If stubborn people won’t repent,
God grinds a fine edge on his sword
And he strings his bow so it’s ready to go.
13 God has an arsenal of killer weapons.
His arrow shafts are laced in fire.
14 Look at what wicked folks do.
They conceive evil plans.
And they give birth to lies and liars.
15 They might as well dig a hole,
Shovel it deep,
And jump inside.
16 The trouble they made is the trouble they'll get.
And the violence they did will dance on their heads.
Thank you, Lord17 I’ll thank the LORD for his goodness.
And I’ll sing praises to the one I know as
The LORD Most High.
“Sad song” is a guess about how to translate a mysterious Hebrew word: shiggaion. This is the only place in the Bible where the word shows up. A form of the word also appears in Habakkuk 3:1, shigionoth. Bible scholars say the word in Psalm 7 could mean one of many things. Perhaps it’s just another word for “psalm.” Or maybe it’s a type of song, such as a lament or a rambling, flow of consciousness psalm, with an uneven beat. Some scholars say the best guess so far: song of lament.
It’s uncertain who this Cush was. His story doesn’t show up in the Bible, but the story may have appeared in other books the Bible says people wrote about David; the prophet Nathan is said to have written one of them (1 Chronicles 29:29). The Bible does say people from the tribe of Benjamin caused David plenty of trouble (1 Samuel 24-26). The tribe of Benjamin was the next-door neighbor to the tribe of Judah, David’s tribe.
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.
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 only” 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.
Some warriors had a trusted battlefield assistant who held the shield, to protect the warrior from arrows, rocks, and javelins as the fight raged. The songwriter compares God to that one who holds the warrior’s life in a pair of hands that lift the shield.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.