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Psalms: Chapter 86

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A Prayer of David. 1

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;3be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long. 4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. 6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication. 7 In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.

8

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. 9 All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. 10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. 12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14

O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. 15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Text Commentary view alone

Ps 86 : Prayer for deliverance from enemies.

An individual lament (vv. 1–7,14–17 ) interrupted by a thanksgiving hymn (vv. 8–13 ). The psalm is anthological, reusing language and motifs occurring elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible.

1–3 :

Typical lament language (Ps 17.6; 31.2; 40.8 ).

5 :

The first of two references to Ex 34.6–7 (v. 15).

8 :

Divine incomparability is an expression of Israel's monotheism (Ps 40.4; 71.19; cf. Ex 15.11 ).

9 :

see 22.27n.

13 :

Sheol, the abode of the dead.

14 :

see Ps 54.3 .

16 :

Turn to me and be gracious to me, a paraphrase of the middle of the Priestly blessing (Num 6.25 ). Child of your serving girl, synonymous with your servant but expressing even more humility.

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