December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 2 For the leader; according to "Lilies." Of David.
- 3 Save me, God, for the waters have reached my neck.
- I have sunk into the mire of the deep, where there is no foothold. I have gone down to the watery depths; the flood overwhelms me.
- I am weary with crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes have failed, looking for my God.
- 4 More numerous than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause. Too many for my strength are my treacherous enemies. Must I now restore what I did not steal?
- God, you know my folly; my faults are not hidden from you.
- Let those who wait for you, LORD of hosts, not be shamed through me. Let those who seek you, God of Israel, not be disgraced through me
- For your sake I bear insult, shame covers my face.
- I have become an outcast to my kin, a stranger to my mother's children.
- 5 Because zeal for your house consumes me, I am scorned by those who scorn you.
- I have wept and fasted, but this led only to scorn.
- I clothed myself in sackcloth; I became a byword for them.
- They who sit at the gate gossip about me; drunkards make me the butt of their songs.
- But I pray to you, LORD, for the time of your favor. God, in your great kindness answer me with your constant help.
- Rescue me from the mire; do not let me sink. Rescue me from my enemies and from the watery depths.
- Do not let the floodwaters overwhelm me, nor the deep swallow me, nor the mouth of the pit close over me.
- Answer me, LORD, in your generous love; in your great mercy turn to me.
- Do not hide your face from your servant; in my distress hasten to answer me.
- Come and ransom my life; because of my enemies redeem me.
- You know my reproach, my shame, my disgrace; before you stand all my foes.
- Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak; I looked for compassion, but there was none, for comforters, but found none.
- Instead they put gall in my food; for my thirst they gave me vinegar.
- Make their own table a snare for them, a trap for their friends.
- Make their eyes so dim they cannot see; keep their backs ever feeble.
- Pour out your wrath upon them; let the fury of your anger overtake them.
- Make their camp desolate, with none to dwell in their tents.
- For they pursued the one you struck, added to the pain of the one you wounded.
- Add that to their crimes; let them not attain to your reward.
- Strike them from the book of the living; do not count them among the just!
- But I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help protect me, God,
- 6 That I may praise God's name in song and glorify it with thanksgiving.
- My song will please the LORD more than oxen, more than bullocks with horns and hooves:
- "See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, take heart!
- For the LORD hears the poor, does not spurn those in bondage.
- Let the heavens and the earth sing praise, the seas and whatever moves in them!"
- God will rescue Zion, rebuild the cities of Judah. God's servants shall dwell in the land and possess it;
- 7) it shall be the heritage of their descendants; those who love God's name shall dwell there.
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1 [Psalm 69] A lament complaining of suffering in language both metaphorical (Psalm 69:2-3; 15-16 the waters of chaos) and literal (Psalm 69:4, 5, 9, 11-13, exhaustion, alienation from family and community, false accusation). In the second part the psalmist prays with special emphasis that the enemies be punished for all to see (Psalm 69:23-29). Despite the pain, the psalmist does not lose hope that all be set right, and promises public praise (Psalm 69:30-36). The psalm, which depicts the suffering of the innocent just person vividly, is cited often by the New Testament especially in the passion accounts, e.g., Psalm 69:5 in John 15:25; Psalm 69:22 in Mark 15:23, 36 and parallels and in John 19:29. The psalm prays not so much for personal vengeance as for public vindication of God's justice. There was, at this time, no belief in an afterlife where such vindication could take place. Redress had to take place now, in the sight of all.
2  "Lilies": apparently the name of the melody.
3  Waters: the waters of chaos from which God created the world are a common metaphor for extreme distress. Cf Psalm 18:5; 42:8; 88:8; Jonah 2:3-6.
4  What I did not steal: the psalmist, falsely accused of theft, is being forced to make restitution.
5  Zeal for your house consumes me: the psalmist's commitment to God's cause brings only opposition. Cf John 2:17. I am scorned by those who scorn you: Romans 15:3 uses the verse as an example of Jesus' unselfishness.
6  That I may praise God's name in song: the actual song is cited in 33-35, the word "praise" in 35 referring back to "praise" in Psalm 69:31.
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