December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 2 For the director. According to Yonath elem rehoqim. A miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him at Gath.
- Have mercy on me, God, for I am treated harshly; attackers press me all the day.
- My foes treat me harshly all the day; yes, many are my attackers. O Most High,
- when I am afraid, in you I place my trust.
- God, I praise your promise; in you I trust, I do not fear. What can mere flesh do to me?
- All the day they foil my plans; their every thought is of evil against me.
- They hide together in ambush; they watch my every step; they lie in wait for my life.
- They are evil; watch them, God! Cast the nations down in your anger!
- 3 My wanderings you have noted; are my tears not stored in your vial, recorded in your book?
- My foes turn back when I call on you. This I know: God is on my side.
- God, I praise your promise;
- in you I trust, I do not fear. What can mere mortals do to me?
- I have made vows to you, God; with offerings I will fulfill them,
- Once you have snatched me from death, kept my feet from stumbling, That I may walk before God in the light of the living.
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1 [Psalm 56] Beset physically (Psalm 56:2-3) and psychologically (Psalm 56:6-7), the psalmist maintains a firm confidence in God (Psalm 56:5, 9-10). Nothing will prevent the psalmist from keeping the vow to give thanks for God's gift of life (Psalm 56:13). A refrain (Psalm 56:5, 11-12) divides the psalm in two equal parts.
2  Yonath elem rehoqim: Hebrew words probably designating the melody to which the psalm was to be sung.
3  Are my tears not stored in your vial: a unique saying in the Old Testament. The context suggests that the tears are saved because they are precious; God puts a high value on each of the psalmist's troubles.
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