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Psalm 40 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 40[a]

Gratitude and Prayer for Help

For the leader. A psalm of David.


Surely, I wait for the Lord;
    who bends down to me and hears my cry,
Draws me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the muddy clay,
Sets my feet upon rock,
    steadies my steps,
And puts a new song[b] in my mouth,
    a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in fear
    and they shall trust in the Lord.
Blessed the man who sets
    his security in the Lord,
    who turns not to the arrogant
    or to those who stray after falsehood.
You, yes you, O Lord, my God,
    have done many wondrous deeds!
And in your plans for us
    there is none to equal you.
Should I wish to declare or tell them,
    too many are they to recount.
[c]Sacrifice and offering you do not want;
    you opened my ears.
Holocaust and sin-offering you do not request;
    so I said, “See; I come
    with an inscribed scroll written upon me.
I delight to do your will, my God;
    your law is in my inner being!”
10 When I sing of your righteousness
    in a great assembly,
See, I do not restrain my lips;
    as you, Lord, know.
11 I do not conceal your righteousness
    within my heart;
I speak of your loyalty and your salvation.
    I do not hide your mercy or faithfulness from a great assembly.
12 Lord, may you not withhold
    your compassion from me;
May your mercy and your faithfulness
    continually protect me.


13 But evils surround me
    until they cannot be counted.
My sins overtake me,
    so that I can no longer see.
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head;
    my courage fails me.
14 Lord, graciously rescue me!
    Come quickly to help me, Lord!
15 May those who seek to destroy my life
    be shamed and confounded.
Turn back in disgrace
    those who desire my ruin.
16 Let those who say to me “Aha!”
    Be made desolate on account of their shame.
17 While those who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you.
May those who long for your salvation
    always say, “The Lord is great.”
18 Though I am afflicted and poor,
    my Lord keeps me in mind.
You are my help and deliverer;
    my God, do not delay!


  1. Psalm 40 A thanksgiving (Ps 40:2–13) has been combined with a lament (Ps 40:14–17) that appears also in Ps 70. The psalmist describes the rescue in spatial terms—being raised up from the swampy underworld to firm earth where one can praise God (Ps 40:2–4). All who trust God will experience like protection (Ps 40:5–6)! The Psalm stipulates the precise mode of thanksgiving: not animal sacrifice but open and enthusiastic proclamation of the salvation just experienced (Ps 40:7–11). A prayer for protection concludes (Ps 40:12–17).
  2. 40:4 A new song: a song in response to the new action of God (cf. Ps 33:3; 96:1; 144:9; 149:1; Is 42:10). Giving thanks is not purely a human response but is itself a divine gift.
  3. 40:7–9 Obedience is better than sacrifice (cf. 1 Sm 15:22; Is 1:10–20; Hos 6:6; Am 5:22–25; Mi 6:6–8; Acts 7:42–43 [quoting Am 5:25–26]). Hb 10:5–9 quotes the somewhat different Greek version and interprets it as Christ’s self-oblation.
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.


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