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Psalm 36 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 36[a]

Human Wickedness and Divine Providence

For the leader. Of David, the servant of the Lord.


Sin directs the heart of the wicked man;
    his eyes are closed to the fear of God.
For he lives with the delusion:
    his guilt will not be known and hated.[b]
Empty and false are the words of his mouth;
    he has ceased to be wise and do good.
On his bed he hatches plots;
    he sets out on a wicked way;
    he does not reject evil.


[c]Lord, your mercy reaches to heaven;
    your fidelity, to the clouds.
Your justice is like the highest mountains;
    your judgments, like the mighty deep;
    human being and beast you sustain, Lord.
How precious is your mercy, O God!
    The children of Adam take refuge in the shadow of your wings.[d]
They feast on the rich food of your house;
    from your delightful stream you give them drink.
10 For with you is the fountain of life,
    and in your light we see light.
11 Show mercy on those who know you,
    your just defense to the upright of heart.
12 Do not let the foot of the proud overtake me,
    nor the hand of the wicked disturb me.
13 There make the evildoers fall;
    thrust them down, unable to rise.


  1. Psalm 36 A Psalm with elements of wisdom (Ps 36:2–5), the hymn (Ps 36:6–10), and the lament (Ps 36:11–13). The rule of sin over the wicked (Ps 36:2–5) is contrasted with the rule of divine love and mercy over God’s friends (Ps 36:6–10). The Psalm ends with a prayer that God’s guidance never cease (Ps 36:11–12).
  2. 36:3 Hated: punished by God.
  3. 36:6–7 God actively controls the entire world.
  4. 36:8 The shadow of your wings: metaphor for divine protection. It probably refers to the winged cherubim in the holy of holies in the Temple, cf. 1 Kgs 6:23–28, 32; 2 Chr 3:10–13; Ez 1:4–9.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Psalm 36 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 36[a]

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord.

I have a message from God in my heart
    concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:[b]
There is no fear of God
    before their eyes.

In their own eyes they flatter themselves
    too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
    they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil;
    they commit themselves to a sinful course
    and do not reject what is wrong.

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

10 Continue your love to those who know you,
    your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 See how the evildoers lie fallen—
    thrown down, not able to rise!


  1. Psalm 36:1 In Hebrew texts 36:1-12 is numbered 36:2-13.
  2. Psalm 36:1 Or A message from God: The transgression of the wicked / resides in their hearts.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 36 King James Version (KJV)

36 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

10 O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

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