December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- A prayer of David. 1 Hear, LORD, my plea for justice; pay heed to my cry; Listen to my prayer spoken without guile.
- From you let my vindication come; your eyes see what is right.
- You have tested my heart, searched it in the night. You have tried me by fire, but find no malice in me. My mouth has not transgressed
- as humans often do. As your lips have instructed me, I have kept the way of the law.
- My steps have kept to your paths; my feet have not faltered.
- I call upon you; answer me, O God. Turn your ear to me; hear my prayer.
- Show your wonderful love, you who deliver with your right arm those who seek refuge from their foes.
- 2 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
- from the violence of the wicked.
- 3 My ravenous enemies press upon me; they close their hearts, they fill their mouths with proud roaring.
- Their steps even now encircle me; they watch closely, keeping low to the ground,
- Like lions eager for prey, like young lions lurking in ambush.
- Rise, O LORD, confront and cast them down; rescue me so from the wicked.
- Slay them with your sword; with your hand, LORD, slay them; snatch them from the world in their prime. Their bellies are being filled with your friends; their children are satisfied too, for they share what is left with their young.
- 4 I am just--let me see your face; when I awake, let me be filled with your presence.
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1 [Psalm 17] A lament of an individual unjustly attacked who has taken refuge in the temple. Confident of being found innocent, the psalmist cries out for God's just judgment (Psalm 17:1-5) and requests divine help against enemies (Psalm 17:6-9a). Those ravenous lions (Psalm 17:9b-12) should be punished (Psalm 17:13-14). The psalm ends with a serene statement of praise (Psalm 17:15). The Hebrew text of Psalm 17:3-4, 14 is uncertain.
2  Apple of your eye . . . shadow of your wings: images of God's special care. Cf Deut 32:10; Proverb 7:2; Isaiah 49:2.
3 [10-12,14] An extended metaphor: the enemies are lions.
4  When I awake: probably the psalmist has spent the night in the sanctuary (cf Psalm 17:3) and hopes to wake to an oracle assuring God's protective presence.
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