For the leader: for the LORD's servant: for David (who recited the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD rescued him from the power of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:)
1I LOVE you, LORD, my strength. 2 a 18:2–50 Cp. 2 Sam. 22:2–51 . The LORD is my lofty crag, my fortress, my champion, my God, my rock in whom I find shelter, my shield and sure defender, my strong tower. 3I shall call to the LORD to whom all praise is due; then I shall be made safe from my enemies.
4The bonds of death encompassed me and destructive torrents overtook me, 5the bonds of Sheol b 18:5 Sheol: or the underworld. tightened about me, the snares of death were set to catch me. 6When in anguish of heart I cried to the LORD and called for help to my God, he heard me from his temple, and my cry reached his ears.
7The earth shook and quaked, the foundations of the mountains trembled, shaking because of his anger. 8Smoke went up from his nostrils, devouring fire from his mouth, glowing coals and searing heat. 9He parted the heavens and came down; thick darkness lay under his feet. 10He flew on the back of a cherub; he swooped on the wings of the wind. 11He made darkness around him his covering, dense c 18:11 dense: prob. rdg, cp. 2 Sam. 22:12 ; Heb. dark. vapour his canopy. 12Thick clouds came from the radiance before him, hail and glowing coals. 13The LORD thundered from the heavens; the Most High raised his voice amid hail and glowing coals. 14He loosed arrows, he sped them far and wide, he hurled forth lightning shafts and sent them echoing. 15The channels of the waters were exposed, earth's foundations laid bare at the LORD's rebuke, at the blast of breath from his nostrils.
16He reached down from on high and took me, he drew me out of mighty waters, 17he delivered me from my enemies, strong as they were, from my foes when they grew too powerful for me. 18They confronted me in my hour of peril, but the LORD was my buttress. 19He brought me into untrammelled liberty; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20The LORD repaid me as my righteousness deserved; because my conduct was spotless he rewarded me, 21for I have kept to the ways of the LORD and have not turned from my God to wickedness. 22All his laws I keep before me, and have never failed to follow his decrees. 23In his sight I was blameless and kept myself from wrongdoing; 24because my conduct was spotless in his eyes, the LORD rewarded me as my righteousness deserved.
25To the loyal you show yourself loyal and blameless to the blameless. 26To the pure you show yourself pure, but skilful in your dealings with the perverse. 27You bring humble folk to safety, but humiliate those who look so high and mighty. 28 LORD, you make my lamp burn bright; my God will lighten my darkness. 29With your help I storm a rampart d 18:29 rampart: prob. rdg; Heb. troop. , and by my God's aid I leap over a wall.
30The way of God is blameless; the LORD's word has stood the test; he is a shield to all who take refuge in him. 31What god is there but the LORD? What rock but our God? 32It is God who girds me with strength and makes my way free from blame, 33who makes me swift as a hind and sets me secure on the heights e 18:33 the heights: so Gk; Heb. my heights. , 34who trains my hands for battle so that my arms can aim a bronze-tipped bow.
35You have given me the shield of your salvation; your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. 36You made room for my steps; my feet have not slipped. 37I pursue and overtake my enemies; until I have made an end of them I do not turn back. 38I strike them down and they can rise no more; they fall prostrate at my feet. 39You gird me with strength for the battle and subdue my assailants beneath me. 40You set my foot on my enemies’ necks, and I wipe out those who hate me. 41They cry, but there is no one to save them; they cry to the LORD, but he does not answer. 42I shall beat them as fine as dust before the wind, like mud in the streets I shall trample them f 18:42 I shall trample them: prob. rdg, cp. 2 Sam. 22:43 ; Heb. I shall empty them out. . 43You set me free from the people who challenge me, and make me master of nations. A people I never knew will be my subjects. 44Foreigners will come fawning to me; as soon as they hear tell of me they will submit. 45Foreigners will be disheartened and come trembling from their strongholds.
46The LORD lives! Blessed is my rock! High above all is God, my safe refuge.
47You grant me vengeance, God, laying nations prostrate at my feet; 48you free me from my enemies, setting me over my assailants; you are my deliverer from violent men. 49Therefore, LORD, I shall praise you among the nations and sing psalms to your name, 50to one who gives his king great victories and keeps faith with his anointed, with David and his descendants for ever.
b 18:5 Sheol: or the underworld.
d 18:29 rampart: prob. rdg; Heb. troop.
e 18:33 the heights: so Gk; Heb. my heights.