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Psalm 38 International Standard Version (ISV)

A Davidic Psalm: As a Reminder.

The Outcast Cries Out

38 Lord! Do not rebuke me in your anger;
    do not correct me in your wrath,
because your arrows have sunk deep into me,
    and your hand has come down hard on me.

My body is unhealthy due to your anger,
    and my bones have no rest due to my sin.
My iniquities loom over my head;
    like a cumbersome burden, they are too heavy for me.

My wounds have putrefied and festered
    because of my foolishness.
I am bent over and walk about greatly bowed down;
    all day long I go around mourning.
My insides[a] are burning
    and my body is unhealthy.
I am weak and utterly crushed;
    I cry out in distress because of my heart’s anguish.

Lord, all my longings are before you,
    and my groaning is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds,
    my strength fails me,
        even the gleam in my eye is gone.
11 As for my friends and my neighbors,
    they stand aloof from my distress;
        even my close relatives stand at a distance.
12 Those who seek my life lay snares for me;
    those who seek to do me harm brag all day long about their wicked planning.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    and like the mute, who cannot open his mouth.
14 Indeed, I have become like a man who hears nothing,
    and in whose mouth there is no rebuke.

15 Because I have placed my hope in you, Lord,
    you will answer, Lord, my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat over me,
    as they congratulate themselves when my foot slips.”

17 Indeed, I am being set up for a fall,
    and I am continuously reminded of my pain.
18 I confess my iniquity,
    and my sin troubles me.

19 But my enemies are alive and well;[b]
    those who hate me[c] for no reason are numerous.[d]
20 They[e] reward my good with evil,
    opposing me because I seek to do good.[f]

21 Don’t forsake me, Lord.
    My God, do not be so distant from me.
22 Come quickly and help me,
    Lord, my deliverer.


  1. Psalm 38:7 Lit. loins
  2. Psalm 38:19 So MT LXX; DSS 4QPsa lack this line
  3. Psalm 38:19 So MT LXX; DSS 4QPsa read Those who are my enemies
  4. Psalm 38:19 DSS 4QPsa read numerous, and many are those who hate me by deceiving me; cf. Ps 35:19; 69:5
  5. Psalm 38:20 So LXX DSS 4QPsa; MT reads And they
  6. Psalm 38:20 So MT; DSS 4QPsa read evil plunder me instead of a good thing
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Psalm 38 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 38[a]

A psalm of David. A petition.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
    because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
    there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
    I groan in anguish of heart.

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
    even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
    my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
    those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
    all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause[b];
    those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
    lodge accusations against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior.


  1. Psalm 38:1 In Hebrew texts 38:1-22 is numbered 38:2-23.
  2. Psalm 38:19 One Dead Sea Scrolls manuscript; Masoretic Text my vigorous enemies
New International Version (NIV)

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