- Note to the music leader: A psalm of David.1
A gang stalks me
- 1 Please God, listen to me.
I’m in deep trouble.
I need your protection.
Enemies are terrorizing me.
- 2 Hide me from those bad people.
There’s a gang of them plotting to get me.
- 3 They sharpen their tongues like swords.
They fire words like arrows.
- 4 Fearlessly, they ambush innocent people.
They show up out of nowhere
And they fire razor-sharp words.
- 5 They stick to a wicked plan
Of secretly setting traps.
They think, “Who’s going to find out?”
- 6 They dig deep as they hunt for injustice.
They say, “We’ve got a solid plan.”
They found it deep in their own hearts.2
God returns fire
- 7 But God has arrows, too.
He’ll shoot people and they’ll go down.
- 8 In the end, their own words will destroy them.
People will be horrified when they see what happens.
- 9 They’ll stand in awe of God.
They’ll credit him with what happened.
And they’ll think hard about what they saw.
- 10 Good and godly folks will be happy about this.
They’ll turn to the LORD for protection.
And they’ll celebrate.
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.
Bible scholars say this verse is impossible to translate with much confidence. Every translation out there is an educated guess.