December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
- The promises of the LORD I will sing forever, proclaim your loyalty through all ages.
- 2 For you said, "My love is established forever; my loyalty will stand as long as the heavens.
- I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant:
- I will make your dynasty stand forever and establish your throne through all ages." Selah
- The heavens praise your marvels, LORD, your loyalty in the assembly of the holy ones.
- 3 Who in the skies ranks with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the gods?
- A God dreaded in the council of the holy ones, greater and more awesome than all who sit there!
- LORD, God of hosts, who is like you? Mighty LORD, your loyalty is always present.
- You rule the raging sea; you still its swelling waves.
- 4 You crushed Rahab with a mortal blow; your strong arm scattered your foes.
- Yours are the heavens, yours the earth; you founded the world and everything in it.
- 5 Zaphon and Amanus you created; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
- Mighty your arm, strong your hand, your right hand is ever exalted.
- Justice and judgment are the foundation of your throne; love and loyalty march before you.
- Happy the people who know you, LORD, who walk in the radiance of your face.
- In your name they sing joyfully all the day; at your victory they raise the festal shout.
- 6 You are their majestic strength; by your favor our horn is exalted.
- Truly the LORD is our shield, the Holy One of Israel, our king!
- Once you spoke in vision; to your faithful ones you said: "I have set a leader over the warriors; I have raised up a hero from the army.
- I have chosen David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him.
- My hand will be with him; my arm will make him strong.
- No enemy shall outwit him, nor shall the wicked defeat him.
- I will crush his foes before him, strike down those who hate him.
- My loyalty and love will be with him; through my name his horn will be exalted.
- 7 I will set his hand upon the sea, his right hand upon the rivers.
- He shall cry to me,'You are my father, my God, the Rock that brings me victory!'
- 8 I myself make him firstborn, Most High over the kings of the earth.
- Forever I will maintain my love for him; my covenant with him stands firm.
- I will establish his dynasty forever, his throne as the days of the heavens.
- If his descendants forsake my law, do not follow my decrees,
- If they fail to observe my statutes, do not keep my commandments,
- I will punish their crime with a rod and their guilt with lashes.
- But I will not take my love from him, nor will I betray my bond of loyalty.
- I will not violate my covenant; the promise of my lips I will not alter.
- By my holiness I swore once for all: I will never be false to David.
- 9 His dynasty will continue forever, his throne, like the sun before me.
- Like the moon it will stand eternal, forever firm like the sky!" Selah
- But now you have rejected and spurned, been enraged at your anointed.
- You renounced the covenant with your servant, defiled his crown in the dust.
- You broke down all his defenses, left his strongholds in ruins.
- All who pass through seize plunder; his neighbors deride him.
- You have exalted the right hand of his foes, have gladdened all his enemies.
- You turned back his sharp sword, did not support him in battle.
- You brought to an end his splendor, hurled his throne to the ground.
- You cut short the days of his youth, covered him with shame. Selah
- How long, LORD? Will you stay hidden forever? Must your wrath smolder like fire?
- Remember how brief is my life, how frail the race you created!
- What mortal can live and not see death? Who can escape the power of Sheol? Selah
- Where are your promises of old, Lord, the loyalty sworn to David?
- Remember, Lord, the insults to your servants, how I bear all the slanders of the nations.
- Your enemies, LORD, insult your anointed; they insult my every endeavor.
- 10 Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and amen!
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1 [Psalm 89] The community laments the defeat of the Davidic king, to whom God promised kingship as enduring as the heavens (Psalm 89:2-5). The psalm narrates how God became king of the divine beings (Psalm 89:6-9) and how the Davidic king became king of earthly kings (Psalm 89:20-38). Since the defeat of the king calls into question God's promise, the community ardently prays God to be faithful to the original promise to David (Psalm 89:39-52).
2 [3-5] David's dynasty is to be as long-lasting as the heavens, a statement reinforced by using the same verbs (establish, stand) both of the divine love and loyalty and of the Davidic dynasty and throne. Cf Psalm 89:29-30.
3  The gods: literally, "the sons of gods," "the holy ones" and "courtiers" of Psalm 89:6, 8. These heavenly spirits are members of God's court.
4  Rahab: a mythological sea monster whose name is used in the Bible mainly as a personification of primeval chaos. Cf Job 9:13; 26:12; Psalm 74:13-14; Isaiah 51:9.
5  Zaphon and Amanus: two sacred mountains in northern Syria. Tabor: a high hill in the valley of Jezreel in northern Israel. Hermon: a mountain in Lebanon, forming the southern spur of the Anti-Lebanon range.
6 [18,25] Horn: a concrete noun for an abstract quality; horn is a symbol of strength.
7  The sea . . . the rivers: geographically the limits of the Davidic Empire (the Mediterranean and the Euphrates); mythologically, the traditional forces of chaos. See note on Psalm 89:11.
8  Most High: a divine title, which is here extended to David as God's own king. Cf Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:5. As God rules over the members of the heavenly council (Psalm 89:6-9), so David, God's surrogate, rules over earthly kings.
9 [37-38] Like the sun before me . . . like the sky: as enduring as the heavenly lights. Cf Psalm 89:2-5 and Psalm 72:5, 17.
10  The doxology at the end of the third book of the Psalms; it is not part of Psalm 89.
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