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Psalm 17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 17[a]

Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors

A prayer of David.


Hear, Lord, my plea for justice;
    pay heed to my cry;
Listen to my prayer
    from lips without guile.
From you let my vindication come;
    your eyes see what is right.
You have tested my heart,
    searched it in the night.
You have tried me by fire,
    but find no malice in me.
My mouth has not transgressed
    as others often do.
As your lips have instructed me,
    I have kept from the way of the lawless.
My steps have kept to your paths;
    my feet have not faltered.


I call upon you; answer me, O God.
    Turn your ear to me; hear my speech.
Show your wonderful mercy,
    you who deliver with your right arm
    those who seek refuge from their foes.
[b]Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
    from the wicked who despoil me.


My ravenous enemies press upon me;
10     [c]they close their hearts,
    they fill their mouths with proud roaring.
11 Their steps even now encircle me;
    they watch closely, keeping low to the ground,
12 Like lions eager for prey,
    like a young lion lurking in ambush.
13 Rise, O Lord, confront and cast them down;
    rescue my soul from the wicked.
14 Slay them with your sword;
    with your hand, Lord, slay them;
    snatch them from the world in their prime.
Their bellies are being filled with your friends;
    their children are satisfied too,
    for they share what is left with their young.
15 I am just—let me see your face;
    when I awake, let me be filled with your presence.


  1. Psalm 17 A lament of an individual unjustly attacked. Confident of being found innocent, the psalmist cries out for God’s just judgment (Ps 17:1–5) and requests divine help against enemies (Ps 17:6–9a). Those ravenous lions (Ps 17:9b–12) should be punished (Ps 17:13–14). The Psalm ends with a serene statement of praise (Ps 17:15). The Hebrew text of Ps 17:3–4, 14 is uncertain.
  2. 17:8 Apple of your eye…shadow of your wings: images of God’s special care, cf. Dt 32:10; Prv 7:2; Is 49:2.
  3. 17:10–12, 14 An extended metaphor: the enemies are lions.
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 17 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 17

A prayer of David.

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
    listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
    it does not rise from deceitful lips.
Let my vindication come from you;
    may your eyes see what is right.

Though you probe my heart,
    though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
    my mouth has not transgressed.
Though people tried to bribe me,
    I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
    through what your lips have commanded.
My steps have held to your paths;
    my feet have not stumbled.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
    from my mortal enemies who surround me.

10 They close up their callous hearts,
    and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
    with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
    like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

13 Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
    with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
    from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
    may their children gorge themselves on it,
    and may there be leftovers for their little ones.

15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
    when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

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.

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