Psalm 18

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General Information

Settings by composers

See Diligam te Domine for settings of vv. 2-4, and Populum humilem for settings of vv. 28 and 32 as the offertory for Pentecost VIII. See also Quoniam tu illuminas for settings of v. 29.

Text and translations

Clementine Vulgate (Psalm 17)

Latin.png Latin text

1  In finem. Puero Domini David, qui locutus est Domino verba cantici hujus,
in die qua eripuit eum Dominus de manu omnium inimicorum ejus, et de manu Saul,
et dixit:
2  Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea.
3  Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus. Deus meus adjutor meus, et sperabo in eum; protector meus, et cornu salutis meae, et susceptor meus.
4  Laudans invocabo Dominum, et ab inimicis meis salvus ero.
5  Circumdederunt me dolores mortis, et torrentes iniquitatis conturbaverunt me.
6  Dolores inferni circumdederunt me; praeoccupaverunt me laquei mortis.
7  In tribulatione mea invocavi Dominum, et ad Deum meum clamavi:
  et exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam; et clamor meus in conspectu ejus introivit in aures ejus.
8  Commota est, et contremuit terra; fundamenta montium conturbata sunt, et commota sunt: quoniam iratus est eis.
9  Ascendit fumus in ira ejus, et ignis a facie ejus exarsit;
carbones succensi sunt ab eo.
10  Inclinavit caelos, et descendit, et caligo sub pedibus ejus.
11  Et ascendit super cherubim, et volavit; volavit super pennas ventorum.
12  Et posuit tenebras latibulum suum; in circuitu ejus tabernaculum ejus, tenebrosa aqua in nubibus aëris.
13  Prae fulgore in conspectu ejus nubes transierunt; grando et carbones ignis.
14  Et intonuit de caelo Dominus, et Altissimus dedit vocem suam: grando
et carbones ignis.
15  Et misit sagittas suas, et dissipavit eos; fulgura multiplicavit, et conturbavit eos.
16  Et apparuerunt fontes aquarum, et revelata sunt fundamenta orbis terrarum, ab increpatione tua, Domine, ab inspiratione spiritus irae tuae.
17  Misit de summo, et accepit me; et assumpsit me de aquis multis.
18  Eripuit me de inimicis meis fortissimis, et ab his qui oderunt me. Quoniam confortati sunt
super me;
19  praevenerunt me in die afflictionis meae: et factus est Dominus protector meus.
20  Et eduxit me in latitudinem; salvum me fecit,
quoniam voluit me,
21  et retribuet mihi Dominus secundum justitiam meam, et secundum puritatem manuum mearum retribuet mihi:
22  quia custodivi vias Domini, nec impie gessi a Deo meo;
23  quoniam omnia judicia ejus in conspectu meo, et justitias ejus non repuli a me.
24  Et ero immaculatus cum eo; et observabo me ab iniquitate mea.
25  Et retribuet mihi Dominus secundum justitiam meam, et secundum puritatem manuum mearum in conspectu oculorum ejus.
26  Cum sancto sanctus eris, et cum viro innocente innocens eris,
27  et cum electo electus eris, et cum perverso perverteris.
28  Quoniam tu populum humilem salvum facies, et oculos superborum humiliabis.
29  Quoniam tu illuminas lucernam meam, Domine; Deus meus, illumina tenebras meas.
30  Quoniam in te eripiar a tentatione; et in Deo meo transgrediar murum.
31  Deus meus, impolluta via ejus; eloquia Domini igne examinata: protector est omnium sperantium in se.
32  Quoniam quis deus praeter Dominum? aut quis deus praeter Deum nostrum?
33  Deus qui praecinxit me virtute, et posuit immaculatam viam meam;
34  qui perfecit pedes meos tamquam cervorum, et super excelsa statuens me;
35  qui docet manus meas ad praelium. Et posuisti, ut arcum aereum, brachia mea,
36  et dedisti mihi protectionem salutis tuae: et dextera tua suscepit me, et disciplina tua correxit me in finem, et disciplina tua ipsa me docebit.
37  Dilatasti gressus meos subtus me, et non sunt infirmata vestigia mea.
38  Persequar inimicos meos, et comprehendam illos; et non convertar donec deficiant.
39  Confringam illos, nec poterunt stare; cadent subtus pedes meos.
40  Et praecinxisti me virtute ad bellum, et supplantasti insurgentes in me subtus me.
41  Et inimicos meos dedisti mihi dorsum,
et odientes me disperdidisti.
42  Clamaverunt, nec erat qui salvos faceret; ad Dominum,
nec exaudivit eos.
43  Et comminuam eos ut pulverem ante faciem venti; ut lutum platearum delebo eos.
44  Eripies me de contradictionibus populi; constitues me
in caput gentium.
45  Populus quem non cognovi servivit mihi;
  in auditu auris obedivit mihi.
46  Filii alieni mentiti sunt mihi,
  filii alieni inveterati sunt, et claudicaverunt a semitis suis.
47  Vivit Dominus, et benedictus Deus meus, et exaltetur Deus salutis meae.
48  Deus qui das vindictas mihi, et subdis populos sub me;
  liberator meus de inimicis meis iracundis.
49  Et ab insurgentibus in me exaltabis me; a viro iniquo eripies me.
50  Propterea confitebor tibi in nationibus, Domine,
et nomini tuo psalmum dicam;
51  magnificans salutes regis ejus, et faciens misericordiam christo suo David,
et semini ejus usque in saeculum.

Church of England 1662 Book of Common Prayer

English.png English text

  Unto the end, for David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this canticle,
in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul:
and he said:
1  I will love thee, O Lord, my strength;
  the Lord is my stony rock, and my defence: my saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust, my buckler, the horn also of my salvation, and my refuge.
2  I will call upon the Lord, which is worthy to be praised: so shall I be safe from mine enemies.
3  The sorrows of death compassed me: and the overflowings of ungodliness made me afraid.
4  The pains of hell came about me: the snares of death overtook me.
5  In my trouble I will call upon the Lord: and complain unto my God.
6  So shall he hear my voice out of his holy temple: and my complaint shall come before him, it shall enter even into his ears.
7  The earth trembled and quaked: the very foundations also of the hills shook, and were removed, because he was wroth.
8  There went a smoke out in his presence: and a consuming fire out of his mouth,
so that coals were kindled at it.
9  He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and it was dark under his feet.
10  He rode upon the cherubins, and did fly: he came flying upon the wings of the wind.
11  He made darkness his secret place: his pavilion round about him, with dark water and thick clouds to cover him.
12  At the brightness of his presence his clouds removed: hail-stones, and coals of fire.
13  The Lord also thundered out of heaven, and the Highest gave his thunder: hail-stones,
and coals of fire.
14  He sent out his arrows, and scattered them: he cast forth lightnings, and destroyed them.
15  The springs of water were seen, and the foundations of the round world were discovered, at thy chiding, O Lord: at the blasting of the breath of thy displeasure.
16  He shall send down from on high to fetch me: and shall take me out of many waters.
17  He shall deliver me from my strongest enemy, and from them which hate me: for they are too mighty for me.
18  They prevented me in the day of my trouble: but the Lord was my upholder.
19  He brought me forth also into a place of liberty: he brought me forth,
even because he had a favour unto me.
20  The Lord shall reward me after my righteous dealing: according to the cleanness of my hands shall he recompense me.
21  Because I have kept the ways of the Lord: and have not forsaken my God, as the wicked doth.
22  For I have an eye unto all his laws: and will not cast out his commandments from me.
23  I was also uncorrupt before him: and eschewed mine own wickedness.
24  Therefore shall the Lord reward me after my righteous dealing: and according unto the cleanness of my hands in his eye-sight.
25  With the holy thou shalt be holy: and with a perfect man thou shalt be perfect.
26  With the clean thou shalt be clean: and with the froward thou shalt learn frowardness.
27  For thou shalt save the people that are in adversity: and shalt bring down the high looks of the proud.
28  Thou also shalt light my candle: the Lord my God shall make my darkness to be light.
29  For in thee I shall discomfit an host of men: and with the help of my God I shall leap over the wall.
30  The way of God is an undefiled way: the word of the Lord also is tried in the fire; he is the defender of all them that put their trust in him.
31  For who is God, but the Lord: or who hath any strength, except our God?
32  It is God, that girdeth me with strength of war: and maketh my way perfect.
33  He maketh my feet like harts' feet: and setteth me up on high.
34  He teacheth mine hands to fight: and mine arms shall break even a bow of steel.
35  Thou hast given me the defence of thy salvation: thy right hand also shall hold me up, and thy loving correction shall make me great.
36  Thou shalt make room enough under me for to go: that my footsteps shall not slide.
37  I will follow upon mine enemies, and overtake them: neither will I turn again till I have destroyed them.
38  I will smite them, that they shall not be able to stand: but fall under my feet.
39  Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou shalt throw down mine enemies under me.
40  Thou hast made mine enemies also to turn their backs upon me:
and I shall destroy them that hate me.
41  They shall cry, but there shall be none to help them: yea, even unto the Lord shall they cry,
but he shall not hear them.
42  I will beat them as small as the dust before the wind: I will cast them out as the clay in the streets.
43  Thou shalt deliver me from the strivings of the people: and thou shalt make me
the head of the heathen.
44  A people whom I have not known: shall serve me.
45  As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me:
  but the strange children shall dissemble with me.
46  The strange children shall fail: and be afraid out of their prisons.
47  The Lord liveth, and blessed be my strong helper: and praised be the Lord of my salvation;
48  Even the God that seeth that I be avenged: and subdueth the people unto me.
49  It is he that delivereth me from my cruel enemies,
  and setteth me up above mine adversaries: thou shalt rid me from the wicked man.
50  For this cause will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles:
and sing praises unto thy Name.
51  Great prosperity giveth he unto his King: and sheweth loving-kindness unto David his Anointed,
and unto his seed for evermore.

King James Version

English.png English text

1  I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.
2  The Lord is my rocke, and my fortresse, and my deliverer: my God, my strength in whome I will trust, my buckler, and the horne of my salvation, and my high tower.
3  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
4  The sorrowes of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
5  The sorrowes of hell compassed me about: the snares of death preuented me.
6  In my distresse I called upon the Lord, and cryed vnto my God: hee heard my voyce out of his temple, and my crie came before him, even into his eares.
7  Then the earth shooke and trembled; the foundations also of the hilles mooued and were shaken, because hee was wroth.
8  There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured, coales were kindled by it.
9  He bowed the heavens also, and came downe: and darkenesse was under his feet.
10  And he rode upon a Cherub, and did flie: yea he did flie upon the wings of the wind.
11  He made darkenes his secret place: his pavilion round about him, were darke waters, and thicke cloudes of the skies.
12  At the brightnes that was before him his thicke clouds passed, haile stones and coales of fire.
13  The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the highest gave his voyce; hailestones and coales of fire.
14  Yea, he sent out his arrowes, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
15  Then the chanels of waters were seene, and the foundations of the world were discovered: at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
16  He sent from above, he tooke me, he drew me out of many waters.
17  He delivered me from my strong enemie, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18  They prevented me in the day of my calamitie: but the Lord was my stay.
19  He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20  The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousnesse, according to the cleannesse of my hands hath hee recompensed me.
21  For I have kept the wayes of the Lord, and haue not wickedly departed from my God.
22  For all his iudgements were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
23  I was also vpright before him: and I kept my selfe from mine iniquity.
24  Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousnesse, according to the cleannesse of my hands in his eye-sight.
25  With the mercifull thou wilt shew thy selfe mercifull, with an vpright man thou wilt shew thy selfe vpright.
26  With the pure thou wilt shewe thy selfe pure, and with the froward thou wilt shew thy selfe froward.
27  For thou wilt save the afflicted people: but wilt bring downe high lookes.
28  For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkenesse.
29  For by thee I haue run through a troupe? and by my God haue I leaped ouer a wall.
30  As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
31  For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rocke save our God?
32  It is God that girdeth mee with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
33  Hee maketh my feete like hindes feete, and setteth me upon my high places.
34  He teacheth my hands to warre, so that a bow of steele is broken by mine armes.
35  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me vp, and thy gentlenesse hath made me great.
36  Thou hast enlarged my steppes under me; that my feete did not slippe.
37  I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turne againe till they were consumed.
38  I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feete.
39  For thou hast girded mee with strength unto the battell: thou hast subdued under me, those that rose up against me.
40  Thou hast also giuen mee the neckes of mine enemies: that I might destroy them that hate me.
41  They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.
42  Then did I beate them small as the dust before the winde: I did cast them out, as the dirt in the streetes.
43  Thou hast delivered me from the striuings of the people, and thou hast made mee the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not knowen, shall serue me.
44  As soone as they heare of mee, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
45  The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
46  The Lord liueth, and blessed be my rocke: and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
47  It is God that auengeth mee, and subdueth the people under me.
48  He deliuereth me from mine enemies: yea thou liftest mee up above those that rise up against me; thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
49  Therfore will I giue thankes unto thee, (O Lord) among the heathen: and sing prayses unto thy name.
50  Great deliverance giueth he to his King: and sheweth mercy to his Annointed, to David, and to his seede for evermore.

Káldi fordítás (17. zsoltár)

Hungarian.png Hungarian translation

Dávid hála-imája, hogy ellenségeitől megszabadúlt.
Végig az Úr szolgájaé, Dávidé, ki az Úrnak ez ének igéit előadta az napon,
melyen megmentette őt az Úr minden ellensége kezéből és Saul kezéből, és mondá:
Szeretlek téged, Uram! én erősségem.
Az Úr az én erősségem, oltalmam és szabadítóm; Istenem az én segítőm, és benne bízom; én oltalmazóm, és szabadúlásom szarva és pártfogóm.
Dicsérve segítségűl hivom az Urat, és ellenségeimtől megszabadúlok.
Körűlvettek engem a halál fájdalmai, és a gonoszság árjai megháborítottak engem.
A pokol fájdalmai megkörnyeztek engem; elővettek a halál tőrei.
Szorúltságomban segítségűl híttam az Urat, és az én Istenemhez kiáltottam:
és meghallgatá szómat az ő szent templomából; és színe előtt való kiáltásom füleibe jutott.
Megindúlt és megrendűlt a föld, a hegyek alapjai megrázkodtak és ingadoztak, mert haragudott rájok.
Füst ment föl az ő haragjában, és tűz gyúladott orczájától; a holtszenek meggyúladtak attól.
Meghajtotta az egeket, és leszállott; és homály volt lábai alatt.
És a kerubok fölé ment, és szállott, röpűlt a szelek szárnyain.
Rejtekévé tette a sötétséget, körűle sátorává a sötétes vizet az ég felhőiben.
A szine előtti villogástól szakadoztak a felhők, a jégeső és parázstűz.
És az Úr dörgött az égből, és a Fölséges szózatát adta, jégesőt és parázstüzet.
És kibocsátá nyilait, és elszéleszté őket, a villámokat megsokasította, és megzavará őket.
És meglátszottak a vizek forrásai, s fölfedettek a földkerekség alapjai a te dorgálásodtól, Uram! a te haragod szelének fúvásától.
Elküldött a magasból, és felvőn engem, és felvona engem a sok vízből.
Megmentett engem igen erős elleneimtől, és azoktól, kik engem gyülöltek; mert hatalmat vettek rajtam.
Megelőztek nyomorúságom napján; és az Úr lőn oltalmam.
És kivezetett engem a térségre; megszabadított, mert kedvelt engem.
És az Úr megfizet nekem igazságom szerint, és kezeim tisztasága szerint fog jutalmazni engem;
mert megőriztem az Úr útait, és istentelenűl nem cselekedtem Istenem ellen.
Mivel minden itélete szemem előtt vagyon, és az ő igazságát nem taszítottam el magamtól.
És ártatlan leszek előtte, és őrizkedni fogok gonoszságomtól.
És az Úr megfizet nekem igazságom szerint, és kezeim tisztasága szerint az ő szemei láttára.
A szenttel szent leszesz, és az ártatlan férfiúval ártatlan leszesz.
A választottal választott leszesz, és az elveteműlttel elvetemedel.
Mert te az alázatos népet megmented, és a kevélyek szemeit megalázod.
Mert te, Uram! megvilágosítod szövétnekemet; én Istenem! világosítsd meg sötétségemet.
Mert teáltalad menekedem meg a kísértettől, és Istenemmel átmegyek a kőfalon.
Az én Istenem útja fertőzetlen; az Úr beszédei tűzzel megpróbáltattak; ő minden benne bízónak oltalmazója.
Mert kicsoda Isten az Úron kivűl? vagy kicsoda Isten a mi Istenünkön kivűl?
Isten az, ki körűlvett engem erősséggel, és feddhetlenné tette útamat;
ki olyanokká tette lábaimat, mint a szarvasokéi, és magas helyre állított engem;
ki harczra tanítja kezeimet, és karjaimat olyanokká tette, mint a réz-ijat.
És nekem adtad szabadításod oltalmát, és jobbod fölemelt engem; és fegyelmed végre megigazított engem, és fegyelmed megtanít engem.
Tért adtál lépéseimnek alattam; és nem erőtlenedtek el lábaim.
Üzőbe veszem ellenségeimet, és megfogom őket, és nem térek vissza, míg el nem fogynak.
Összetöröm őket, és föl nem kelhetnek; lábaim alá fognak esni.
Felöveztél engem erősséggel a harczra, és alám vetetted az ellenem támadókat.
Elleneimmel hátat fordíttattál nekem, és gyülölőimet elvesztetted.
Kiáltottak, és nem volt, ki megszabadítsa, – az Úrhoz (kiáltottak), és nem hallgatta meg őket.
És összetöröm őket, mint a port szélnek eresztem, mint az utczák sarát eltiprom őket.
Megmentesz engem a nép ellenmondásaitól; nemzetek fejévé rendelsz engem.
A nép, melyet nem ismertem, szolgál nekem; hallván füle, engedelmeskedett nekem.
Az idegen fiak hazudtak nekem, az idegen fiak megrögzöttek, és elsántikáltak ösvényeikről.
Él az Úr, és áldott legyen az én Istenem, és magasztaltassék föl az én szabadúlásom Istene.
Isten! ki boszúállást adsz nekem, a népeket alám veted, én szabadítóm haragos ellenségeimtől;
az ellenem támadók fölött felmagasztalsz engem, az igaztalan férfiútól megmentesz engem.
Azért hálát adok neked, Uram! a népek között, és a te nevednek dicséretet mondok;
ki magasztossá tette az ő királya szabadúlását, és irgalmasságot cselekedett fölkentjével, Dáviddal, és az ő ivadékával mind örökké.

Metrical 'Old Version' (Thomas Sternhold)

English.png English text

1  O God, my strength and fortitude,
Of force I must love thee;
Thou art my castle and defence
In my necessity:

2  My God, my rock, in whom I trust,
The worker of my wealth;
My refuge, buckler, and my shield,
The horn of all my health.

3  When I sing laud unto the Lord,
Most worthy to be serv'd;
Then from my foes I am right sure
That I shall be preserved.

4  The pangs of death did compass me,
And bound me ev'ry where;
The flowing waves of wickedness
Did put me in great fear.

5  The sly and subtle snares of hell
Were round about me set;
And for my life there was prepar'd
A deadly trapping net.

6  I thus beset with pain and grief,
Did pray to God for grace;
And he forthwith heard my complaint
Out of his holy place.

7  Such is his pow'r, that in his wrath
He made the earth to quake.
Yea, the foundation of the mount
of Bashan for to shake:

8  And from his nostrils went a smoke,
When kindled was his ire,
And from his month went burning coals
Of hot consuming fire.

9  The Lord descended from above,
And bowed the heav'ns most high;
And underneath his feet he cast
The darkness of the sky:

10  On cherubs and on cherubims
Full royally he rode,
And on the wings of mighty winds
Came flying all abroad.

The Second Part
11  And like a den most dark he made
His hid and secret place;
With waters black and airy clouds
Encompassed he was.

12  At his bright presence did thick clouds
In haste away retire;
And in the stead thereof did come
Hail-stones and coals of fire.

13  The fiery darts and thunderbolts
Disperse them here and there;
And with his frequent lightnings he
Doth put them in great fear.


14  When thou, O Lord, with great rebuke
Thy anger dost declare,
The springs and the foundations of
The world discover'd are.

15  And from above the Lord sent down
To fetch me from below,
And plucked me out of waters great,
That would me overflow:

16  And me delivered from my foes
That sought me to enthral;
Yea, from such foes as were too strong
For me to deal withal.

17  They did prevent me evermore
In time of my great grief;
But yet the Lord is my defence,
My succour and relief.

18  He brought me forth in open place,
That so I might be free;
And kept me safe, because he had
A favour unto me.

19  According to my innocence,
So did he me regard;
And to the cleanness of my hands
He gave me my reward:

20  For that I walked in his ways,
And in his paths have trod,
And not departed wickedly
From him that is my God.

The Third Part
21  But evermore I have respect
To his law and decree;
His statutes and commandments I
Cast not away from me:

22  But pure and clean, and uncorrupt,
Appear'd before his face,
And did refrain from wickedness
And sin in ev'ry case.

23  The Lord will therefore me reward,
As I have done aright;
As to the cleanness of my hands
Appearing in his sight.

24  For, Lord, with him that holy is
Wilt thou be holy too;
And with the good and virtuous man
Thou wilt uprightly do:

25  And for the loving and elect
Thy favour wilt reserve;
And thou wilt use the wicked men
As wicked men deserve.

26  For thou dost save the simple folk,
In trouble when they lie;
And dost bring down the countenance
Of them that look full high.


27  The Lord will light my candle so,
That it shall shine full bright;
The Lord my God will make also
My darkness to be light.

28  For by thy help an host of men
Discomfit, Lord, I shall;
By thee I scale and overleap
The strength of any wall.

29  Unspotted are the ways of God,
His word is purely try'd;
He is a sure defence to such
As in his faith abide.

30  For who is God, except the Lord?
For other there is none:
Or else who is omnipotent,
Saving our God alone?

The Fourth Part
31  The God that girdeth me with strength,
Is he that I do mean;
That all the ways wherein I walk,
Did evermore keep clean:

32  That made my feet like to the harts'
In swiftness of my pace,
And for my safety brought me forth
Into an open place.

33  He did in order put my hands
In battle for to fight;
To break in sunder bars of brass
He gave my arms the might.

34  Thou teachest me thy saving health,
Thy right hand is my tow'r;
Thy love and gentleness also
Doth still increase my pow'r.

35  And under me thou makest plain
The way where I should go;
So that my feet shall never slip, ·
Nor wander to and fro:

36  And fiercely I pursue and take
My foes that me annoy'd,
And from the field do not return
Till they be all destroy'd.

37  So I suppress and wound my foes,
That they can rise no more;
For underneath my feet they fail,
I wound them all so sore.

38  For thou hast girded me with strength
Unto the battle, and
Thou wilt throw down my enemies
That do against me stand.

39  Lord, thou hast given me the necks
Of all my enemies;
That so I might destroy all those
That up against me rise.


40  They call'd for help, but none gave ear,
Nor came to their relief;
Yea, to the Lord they call'd for aid,
Yet heard he not their grief.

The Fifth Part
41  And still, like dust before the wind,
I drive them under feet,
And sweep them out like filthy dirt,
That lieth in the street.

42  Thou keep'st me from seditious folk
That still in strife are led;
And thou dost of the heathen folk
Appoint me to be head.

43  A people strange, to me unknown,
And yet they shall me serve;
And at the first obey my word,
Whereas my own will swerve.

44  I shall be irksome to my own,
they will not see my light;
But wander wide out of the way,
And hide them out of sight.

45  But blessed be the living Lord,
Most worthy of all praise:
He is my rock and saving health,
Praised be he always.

46  For it is he that gave me pow'r,
Revenged for to be;
And with his holy word subdu'd
The people unto me.

47  And from my foe deliver'd me,
And set me over those
That cruel and ungodly were,
And up against me rose.

48  And for this cause, O Lord my God,
To thee give thanks I shall;
And sing out praises to thy Name,
Among the Gentiles all.

49  Deliv'rance great thou giv'st the king,
And dost reserve in store
Mercy for thine Anointed, and
His seed for evermore.

Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)

English.png English text

1  No change of times shall ever shock
My firm affection, Lord, to thee;
For thou hast always been my rock,
A fortress and defence to me.

2  Thou my deliv'rer art, my God,
My trust is in thy mighty pow'r:
Thou art my shield from foes abroad,
At home my safeguard and my tow'r.

3  To thee will I address my pray'r,
To whom all praise we justly owe;
So shall I, by thy watchful care,
Be guarded from my treach'rous foe.

4-5  By floods of wicked men distressed,
With deadly sorrows compassed round;
With dire infernal pangs oppressed,
In death's unwieldy fetters bound,

6  To heav'n I made my mournful pray'r,
To God address'd my humble moan;
Who graciously inclin'd his ear,
And heard me from his lofty throne.

The Second Part
7  When God arose my part to take,
The conscious earth was struck with fear;
The hills did at his presence shake,
Nor could his dreadful fury bear.

8  Thick clouds of smoke dispers'd abroad,
Ensigns of wrath before him came;
Devouring fire around him glow'd,
That coals were kindled at its flame.

9  He left the beauteous realms of light,
Whilst heav'n bow'd down its awful head,
Beneath his feet substantial night
Was like a sable carpet spread.

10  The chariot of the King of kings,
Which active troops of angels drew,
On a strong tempest's rapid wings,
With most amazing swiftness flew.

11-12  Black wat'ry mists and clouds conspir'd
With thickest shades his face to veil;
But at his brightness soon retir'd,
And fell in show'rs of fire and hail.

13  Through heav'n's wide arch a thund'ring peal
God's angry voice did loudly roar,
While earth's sad face with heaps of hail,
And flakes of fire, was cover'd o'er.

14  His sharpen'd arrows round he threw,
Which made his scatter'd foes retreat;
Like darts his nimble lightenings flew,
And quickly finish'd their defeat,

15  The deep its secret stores disclos'd,
The world's foundations naked lay;
By his avenging wrath expos'd,
Which fiercely rag'd that dreadful day.

The Third Part
16  The Lord did on my side engage
From heav'n, his throne, my cause upheld;
And snatched me from the furious rage,
Of threat'ning waves that proudly swell'd.

17  God his resistless pow'r employed,
My strongest foes' attempts to break;
Who else with ease had soon destroy'd
The weak defence that I could make.


18  Their subtle rage had near prevail'd,
When I distress'd and friendless lay;
But still, when other succours fail'd,
God was my firm support and stay.

19  From dangers that inclos'd me round,
He brought me forth and set me free;
For some just cause his goodness found,
That moved him to delight in me.

20  Because in me no guilt remains,
God does his gracious help extend;
My hands are free from bloody stains,
Therefore the Lord is still my friend.

21-22  For I his judgments kept in sight,
In his just paths I always trod;
I never did his statutes slight,
Nor loosely wander'd from my God.

23-24  But still my soul, sincere and pure,
Did e'en from darling sins refrain;
His favours, therefore, yet endure,
Because my heart and hands are clean.

The Fourth Part
25-26  Thou suit'st, O Lord, thy righteous ways
To various paths of human kind;
They, who for mercy merit praise,
With thee shall wondrous mercy find.

Thou to the just shalt justice show,
The pure thy purity shall see;
Such as perversely choose to go,
Shall meet with due returns from thee.

27-28  That he the humble soul will save,
And crush the haughty's boasted might,
In me the Lord an instance gave,
Whose darkness he has turn'd to light.

29  On his firm succour I relied,
And did o'er num'rous foes prevail;
Nor fear'd, whilst he was on my side,
The best defended walls to scale.

30  For God's designs shall still succeed
His word will bear the utmost test:
He's a strong shield to all that need,
And on his sure protection rest.

31  Who then deserves to be ador'd,
But God, on whom my hopes depend?
Or who, except the mighty Lord,
Can with resistless pow'r defend?

The Fifth Part
32-33  'Tis God that girds my armour on,
And all my just designs fulfils;
Through him my feet can swiftly run,
And nimbly climb the steepest hills.

34  Lessons of war from him I take,
And manly weapons learn to wield;
Strong bows of steel with ease I break,
Forc'd by my stronger arms to yield,

35  The buckler of his saving health
Protects me from assaulting foes;
His hand sustains me still, my wealth
And greatness from his bounty flows.

36  My goings he enlarg'd abroad,
Till then to narrow paths confin'd;
And, when in slipp'ry ways I trod,
The method of my steps design'd.


37  Through him I num'rous hosts defeat,
And flying squadrons captive take;
Nor from my fierce pursuit retreat,
Till I a final conquest make.

38  Covered with wounds, in vain they try
their vanquish'd heads again to rear;
Spite of their boasted strength they lie
beneath my feet, and grovel there.

39  God, when fresh armies take the field,
Recruits my strength, my courage warms;
He makes my strong opposers yield,
Subdu'd by my prevailing arms.

40  Through him the necks of prostrate foes
My conqu'ring feet in triumph press;
Aided by him, I root out those
Who hate and envy my success.

41  With loud complaints all friends they tried,
But none was able to defend;
At length to God for help they cried,
But God would no assistance lend.

42  Like flying dust which winds pursue,
Their broken troops I scatter'd round,
Their slaughter'd bodies forth I threw,
Like loathsome dirt that clogs the ground.

The Sixth Part
43  Our factious tribes, at strife till now,
By God's appointment me obey;
The heathen to my sceptre bow,
And foreign nations own my sway.

44  Remotest realms their homage send,
When my successful name they hear;
Strangers for my commands attend,
Charm'd with respect, or aw'd by fear.

45  All to my summons tamely yield,
Or soon in battle are dismay'd;
For stronger holds they quit the field,
And still in strongest holds afraid.

46  Let the eternal Lord be prais'd,
The rock on whose defence I rest;
O'er highest heav'ns his name be rais'd,
Who me with his salvation blest.

47  'Tis God that still supports my right,
His just revenge my foes pursues;
'Tis he that with resistless might
Fierce nations to my yoke subdues.

48  My universal safeguard he,
From whom my lasting honours flow;
He made me great, and set me free
From my remorseless bloody foe.

49  Therefore to celebrate his fame
My grateful voice to heav'n I'll raise;
And nations, strangers to his name,
Shall thus be taught to sing his praise:

50  God to his king deliv'rance sends,
Shews his anointed signal grace;
His mercy evermore extends
To David and his promis'd race.

Paraphrases (Isaac Watts, 1719)

English.png English text

Thee will I love, O Lord, my strength,
My rock, my tower, my high defense:
Thy mighty arm shall be my trust,
For I have found salvation thence.

Death, and the terrors of the grave,
Stood round me with their dismal shade;
While floods of high temptations rose,
And made my sinking soul afraid.

I saw the opening gates of hell,
With endless pains and sorrows there,
Which none but they that feel can tell;
While I was hurried to despair.

In my distress I called my God,
When I could scarce believe him mine:
He bowed his ear to my complaint,
Then did his grace appear divine.

With speed he flew to my relief,
As on a cherub's wing he rode;
Awful and bright as lightning shone
The face of my deliverer, God.

Temptations fled at his rebuke,
The blast of his almighty breath;
He sent salvation from on high,
And drew me from the deeps of death.

Great were my fears, my foes were great,
Much was their strength, and more their rage;
But Christ, my Lord, is conqueror still,
In all the wars that devils wage.

My song for ever shall record
That terrible, that joyful hour;
And give the glory to the Lord,
Due to his mercy and his power.

Lord, thou hast seen my soul sincere,
Hast made thy truth and love appear;
Before mine eyes I set thy laws,
And thou hast owned my righteous cause.


Since I have learned thy holy ways,
I've walked upright before thy face;
Or if my feet did e'er depart,
'Twas never with a wicked heart.

What sore temptations broke my rest!
What wars and strugglings in my breast!
But through thy grace, that reigns within,
I guard against my darling sin:

That sin which close besets me still,
That works and strives against my will:
When shall thy Spirit's sovereign power
Destroy it, that it rise no more?

With an impartial hand, the Lord
Deals out to mortals their reward;
The kind and faithful souls shall find
A God as faithful and as kind.

The just and pure shall ever say,
Thou art more pure, more just than they;
And men that love revenge shall know
God hath an arm of vengeance too.

Just are thy ways, and true thy word,
Great Rock of my secure abode:
Who is a God beside the Lord?
Or where's a refuge like our God?

'Tis he that girds me with his might,
Gives me his holy sword to wield,
And while with sin and hell I fight,
Spreads his salvation for my shield.

He lives, and blessed be my Rock!
The God of my salvation lives:
The dark designs of hell are broke;
Sweet is the peace my Father gives.

Before the scoffers of the age
I will exalt my Father's name,
Nor tremble at their mighty rage,
But meet reproach, and bear the shame.


To David and his royal seed
Thy grace for ever shall extend;
Thy love to saints in Christ their Head
Knows not a limit, nor an end.

Victory and triumph over temporal enemies

We love thee, Lord, and we adore;
Now is thine arm revealed:
Thou art our strength, our heavenly tower,
Our bulwark, and our shield.

We fly to our eternal Rock,
And find a sure defense;
His holy name our lips invoke,
And draw salvation thence.

When God, our Leader, shines in arms,
What mortal heart can bear
The thunder of his loud alarms,
The lightning of his spear?

He rides upon the winged wind,
And angels in array
In millions wait to know his mind,
And swift as flames obey.

He speaks, and at his fierce rebuke
Whole armies are dismayed;
His voice, his frown, his angry look,
Strikes all their courage dead.

He forms our generals for the field,
With all their dreadful skill;
Gives them his awful sword to wield,
And makes their hearts of steel.

He arms our captains to the fight,
(Though there his name's forgot;
He girded Cyrus with his might,
But Cyrus knew him not.

Oft has the Lord whole nations blessed
For his own church's sake;
The powers that give his people rest,
Shall of his care partake.


The conqueror's Song

To thine almighty arm we owe
The triumphs of the day;
Thy terrors, Lord, confound the foe,
And melt their strength away.

'Tis by thine aid our troops prevail,
And break united powers,
Or burn their boasted fleets, or scale
The proudest of their towers.

How have we chased them through the field,
And trod them to the ground,
While thy salvation was our shield,
But they no shelter found!

In vain to idol saints they cry,
And perish in their blood
Where is a rock so great, so high,
So powerful as our God?

The Rock of Israel ever lives,
His name be ever blest;
'Tis his own arm the victory gives,
And gives his people rest.

On kings that reign as David did,
He pours his blessings down;
Secures their honors to their seed,
And well supports the crown.

Metrical version by James Merrick

English.png English text

1  Blest object of my soul's desire,
To thee my grateful thoughts aspire;
On thee my stedfast hope I build;
My God, my rest, my rock, my shield:

2  The strength of my salvation thee,
And tow'r of sure defence, I see;
Protected by thy pow'rful arm,
No danger can my soul alarm:

3  What foe shall e'er my terror raise,
While thus I pay my debt of praise,
And, as the doubtful field I tread,
To God my suppliant hands outspread?

4  Woes heap'd on woes my heart deplor'd,
While sin's tumultuous torrents roar'd,
And, spreading wide before my view,
Their gloomy horrors round me threw.

5  The sepulchre's extended hands
Had wrapt me in its strongest bands,
And Death, insulting, o'er my head
Th'inextricable toils had spread.

6  My words, as griev'd to God I pray,
Wing to his heav'nly fane their way,
Through adverse clouds their passage clear,
Nor unaccepted reach his ear;

7  With strong convulsions groan'd the ground,
The hills, with waving forests crown'd,
Loos'd from their base, their summits nod,
And own the presence of their God:

8  Collected clouds of wreathing smoke
Forth from his angry nostrils broke,
And orbs of fire, with dreadful glare,
Rush'd onward through the glowing air.

9  Incumbent on the bending sky
The Lord descended from on high,
And bade the darkness of the pole
Beneath his feet tremendous roll.

10  The cherub to his car he join'd,
And on the wings of mightiest wind,
As down to Earth his journey lay,
Resistless urg'd his rapid way.

11  Thick-woven clouds, around him clos'd,
His secret residence compos'd,
And waters high-suspended spread
Their dark pavilion o'er his head.

12  In vain reluctant to the blaze
That previous pour'd its streaming rays,
As on he moves, the clouds retire,
Dissolv'd in hail and rushing fire:

13  His voice th'almighty Monarch rear'd,
Through heav'n's high vault in thunders heard,
And down in fiercer conflict came
The hailstones dire and mingled flame.

14  With aim direct his shafts were sped,
In vain his foes before them fled;
Now here, now there, his lightnings stray,
And sure destruction marks their way:

15  Earth's basis open to the eye,
And ocean's springs, were seen to lie,
As, chiding loud, his fury past,
And o'er them breath'd the dreadful blast.


16  God in my rescue from the skies
His arm extends, and bids me rise
Emergent from the flood profound,
Whose waves my struggling soul surround,

17  His hand my strongest foes repell'd,
Their force by force superior quell 'd,
And I, unequal to the fight,
Ev'n I have triumph 'd in his might.

18  Oppress'd with languor, grief, and pain,
Ere yet my nerves their strength regain,
His fierce assault th'invader gave;
But thou wert present, Lord, to save:

19  My spacious path by thee outspread,
With course secure behold me tread;
From thee, when terrors clos'd me round,
My soul its fullest succour found.

20  Blest in the favour of my God,
I speak the grace on all bestow'd,
Who guiltless hands to him can raise,
And offer unpolluted praise.

21  His precepts, fix'd before my view,
My thoughts with stedfast aim pursue,
Nor error's cloud nor arts of sin
My soul from his obedience win.

22  Thou seest, eternal Judge, my breast
Each taint of inward guilt detest;
Thine eye my innocence surveys,
Thy pow'r with fullest bliss repays,

23  Thy ways to ours conform: in thee
The holy shall the holy see,
The pure the pure; the perfect mind
In thee perfection's self shall find:

24  Their arts the men of froward turn
Surpass'd by deeper art shall mourn,
While they their pow'rs with effort vain
Unite against the pious train.

25  By Thee their Guardian, ever nigh,
The poor are sav'd; the haughty eye,
Chastis'd by thy abiding stroke,
Bends to the earth its humbled look.

26  While night's thick shades around me stand,
My lamp, illumin'd by thy hand,
Pours through the gloom its steady ray,
And turns my darkness into day.

27  My arm, if thou thine aid supply,
Shall bid whole hosts before me fly ;
My feet, if thou my sinews string,
High o'er the wall exulting spring.

28  Author of good! nor sin, nor guile
The pureness of thy path defile;
On thy tried word who build their trust,
Shall find their confidence was just.

29  What God but Thee shall Israel know,
Or who, O who can save but thou ?
'Tis God that arms me for the fight,
'Tis God that girds my soul with might ;

30  Upheld by him, in air sublime,
Swift as the hind, the rock I climb,
Girded with strength, there fix my stand,
Safe from each proud invader's hand.


31  By him inform'd, with surest art
My hands direct the pointed dart,
And forceful break the steely bow,
New wrested from the struggling foe.

32  Thou, mightiest Lord, hast o'er my head
The shield of thy salvation spread;
Thee its defence my soul has found,
And gratefully thy succour own'd.

33  By thy right hand I walk'd upheld,
Great in thy mercy trod the field
With step enlarg'd, and, thou my guide,
Nor fear'd to fall, nor knew to slide.

34  With fierce pursuit my foes I press'd,
Beheld my spear their flight arrest,
Nor bade my sword its fury stay,
Till prostrate on the earth they lay.

35  They bow'd, they fell, distain'd with gore;
They bow'd, they fell, and rose no more:
My foes, beneath my feet o'erthrown,
The terrors of my hand have known.

36  Blest Lord! 'Twas thy resistless pow'r
That arm'd me for the dreadful hour,
Their backs expos'd to many a wound,
And stretch'd them breathless on the ground.

37  Aloud, oppress'd with horror, cried
The rebel throng; but none replied:
To God they call; but God their pray'r,
Abhorrent, scatters to the air.

38  Behold their troops before me chas'd,
As dust before the driving blast,
And trampled, as the yielding clay
Extended o'er the beaten way.

39  When factious crowds against me rose,
How prompt thy hand to interpose!
O'er realms, that have but heard my name,
Through thee the just command I claim;

40  The tribes, that from their God estrang'd
Through climes to me unknown had rang'd,
With flatt'ring lip their homage pay,
And trembling own a foreign sway.

41  In vain they seek themselves to hide
In walls and forts their strength and pride,
Each dreads my vengeance to sustain,
Nor walls nor forts their fears restrain.

42  Blest be the living God, whose aid,
When impious foes my peace invade,
Their rage instructs me to decline,
And makes his wish'd salvation mine;

43  His pow'r inflicts th'avenging stroke,
And bends the nations to my yoke,
Each force, that durst my reign contest,
By his resistless strength suppress'd.

44  For this, thy pow'r my song shall claim,
And distant regions hear thy fame,
Whose hands thy David to the throne
Have rais'd; whose oil his temples own.

45  Prosperity and fair success
His counsels and his arms shall bless,
Thy love on him and on his line
With unextinguish'd lustre shine.