Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22 — Psalm 109

An appeal against enemies

For the choirmaster, of David, psalm.

God, whom I praise, break Your silence,
now that the wicked and the false
are both accusing me.
They are defaming me,
saying malicious things about me,
attacking me for no reason.

In return for my friendship, they denounce me,
though all I had done was pray for them;
they pay me back evil for kindness
and hatred for friendship.

‘Give him a venal judge,
find someone to frame the charge;
let him be tried and found guilty,
let his prayer be construed as a crime!

‘Let his life be cut short,
let someone else take his office;
may his children be orphaned
and his wife widowed!

‘May his children be homeless vagabonds,
beggared and hounded from their hovels;
may the creditor seize his possessions
and foreigners swallow his profits!

‘May no one be left to show him kindness,
may no one look after his orphans,
may his family die out,
its name disappear in one generation!

‘May the crimes of his fathers be held against him
and his mother's sin never be effaced;
may Yahweh bear these constantly in mind
to wipe their memory off the earth!’

That wretch never thought of being kind,
but hounded the poor, the needy
and the brokenhearted to death.
He loved cursing, may it recoil on him,
had no taste for blessing, may it shun him!

He used to wrap curses around him like a cloak,
let them soak right into him like water,
deep into his bones like oil.
May they now envelop him like a gown,
be tied around his waste for ever!

May Yahweh pay all my accusers,
all my detractors like this!
Yahweh, defend me for the sake of Your name,
rescue me, since Your love is generous!

Reduced to weakness and poverty,
my heart is sorely tormented;
I am dwindling away like a shadow,
they have brushed me off like a locust.

My knees are weak for lack of food,
my body is thin for lack of oil;
I have become an object of derision,
people shake their heads at me in scorn.

Help me, Yahweh my God,
save me since You love me,
and let them know that You have done it,
that it was You, Yahweh, who did it.

Counter their curses with Your blessing,
shame my aggressors, make Your servant glad!
Clothe my accusers in disgrace,
cover them with a cloak of shame.

I will give thanks aloud to Yahweh
and praise Him in the Assembly,
for conducting the poor man's defense
against those who would have sentenced him to death.

Next… Day 23 — Psalm 110

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