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Psalm 41 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 41[a]

For the music director, a psalm of David.

41 How blessed[b] is the one who treats the poor properly.[c]
When trouble comes,[d] may[e] the Lord deliver him.[f]
May the Lord protect him and save his life.[g]
May he be blessed[h] in the land.
Do not turn him over[i] to his enemies.[j]
The Lord supports[k] him on his sickbed;
you have healed him from his illness.[l]
As for me, I said:[m]
“O Lord, have mercy on me!
Heal me, for I have sinned against you.
My enemies ask this cruel question about me,[n]
‘When will he finally die and be forgotten?’[o]
When someone comes to visit,[p] he pretends to be friendly;[q]
he thinks of ways to defame me,[r]
and when he leaves he slanders me.[s]
All who hate me whisper insults about me to one another;[t]
they plan ways to harm me.
They say,[u]
‘An awful disease[v] overwhelms him,[w]
and now that he is bedridden he will never recover.’[x]
Even my close friend[y] whom I trusted,
he who shared meals with me, has turned against me.[z]
10 As for you, O Lord, have mercy on me and raise me up,
so I can pay them back!”[aa]
11 By this[ab] I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does[ac] not triumph[ad] over me.
12 As for me, you uphold[ae] me because of my integrity;[af]
you allow[ag] me permanent access to your presence.[ah]
13 The Lord God of Israel deserves praise[ai]
in the future and forevermore.[aj]
We agree! We agree![ak]


  1. Psalm 41:1 sn Psalm 41. The psalmist is confident (vv. 11-12) that the Lord has heard his request to be healed (vv. 4-10), and he anticipates the joy he will experience when the Lord intervenes (vv. 1-3). One must assume that the psalmist is responding to a divine oracle of assurance (see P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 [WBC], 319-20). The final verse is a fitting conclusion to this psalm, but it is also serves as a fitting conclusion to the first “book” (or major editorial division) of the Psalter. Similar statements appear at or near the end of each of the second, third, and fourth “books” of the Psalter (see Pss 72:19; 89:52, and 106:48 respectively).
  2. Psalm 41:1 tn The Hebrew noun is an abstract plural. The word often refers metonymically to the happiness that God-given security and prosperity produce (see Pss 1:1, 3; 2:12; 34:9; 65:4; 84:12; 89:15; 106:3; 112:1; 127:5; 128:1; 144:15).
  3. Psalm 41:1 sn One who treats the poor properly. The psalmist is characterizing himself as such an individual and supplying a reason why God has responded favorably to his prayer. The Lord’s attitude toward the merciful mirrors their treatment of the poor.
  4. Psalm 41:1 tn Heb “in the day of trouble” (see Ps 27:5).
  5. Psalm 41:1 tn The prefixed verb יְמַלְּטֵהוּ (yemalletehu) has the form of the pronominal suffix typical of the jussive not the imperfect (יְמַלְּטֶנּוּ, yemalletennu). The jussive form continues throughout the next verse. The principle that begins v. 1 is the basis for the petition in vv. 1b-2. Verse 3 transitions to a statement of confidence and testimony.
  6. Psalm 41:1 tn That is, the one who has been kind to the poor.
  7. Psalm 41:2 tn The prefixed verbal forms are taken as jussives in the translation because of the form of the pronominal suffix (-ehu rather than -ennu) and because the jussive is clearly used in the final line of the verse.
  8. Psalm 41:2 tc The translation follows the consonantal Hebrew text (Kethib), which has a Pual (passive) prefixed form, regarded here as a jussive. The Pual of the verb אָשַׁר (ʾashar) also appears in Prov 3:18. The marginal reading (Qere) assumes a vav (ו) consecutive and Pual perfect. Some, with the support of the LXX, change the verb to a Piel (active) form with an objective pronominal suffix, “and may he bless him,” or “and he will bless him” (cf. NIV).
  9. Psalm 41:2 tn The negative particle אַל (ʾal) before the prefixed verbal form indicates the verb is a jussive and the statement a prayer. Those who want to take v. 2 as a statement of confidence suggest emending the negative particle to לֹא (loʾ), which is used with the imperfect. See the earlier note on the verbal forms in line one of this verse. According to GKC 322 §109.e, this is a case where the jussive is used rhetorically to “express that something cannot or should not happen.” In this case one might translate, “you will not turn him over to his enemies,” and take the preceding verbal forms as indicative in mood. However, none of the examples offered in GKC for this use of the jussive are compelling.
  10. Psalm 41:2 tn Heb “do not give him over to the desire of his enemies” (see Ps 27:12).
  11. Psalm 41:3 tn The prefixed verbal form could be taken as jussive, continuing the prayer of v. 2, but the parallel line in v. 3b employs the perfect, suggesting that the psalmist is again speaking in the indicative mood (see v. 1b). The imperfect can be understood as future or as generalizing (see v. 1).
  12. Psalm 41:3 tn Heb “all his bed you have changed in his illness.” The perfect verb may indicate a testimony of what God has done in the past as part of the statement of confidence.
  13. Psalm 41:4 sn In vv. 4-10 the psalmist recites the prayer of petition and lament he offered to the Lord.
  14. Psalm 41:5 tn Heb “my enemies speak evil concerning me.”
  15. Psalm 41:5 tn Heb “and his name perish.”
  16. Psalm 41:6 tn Heb “to see.”
  17. Psalm 41:6 tn Heb “he speaks deceitfully.”
  18. Psalm 41:6 tn Heb “his heart gathers sin to itself.”
  19. Psalm 41:6 tn Heb “he goes outside and speaks.”
  20. Psalm 41:7 tn Heb “together against me they whisper, all those who hate me.” The Hitpael of לָחַשׁ (lakhash) refers here to whispering to one another (see 2 Sam 12:19).
  21. Psalm 41:8 tn The words “they say” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation to make it clear that v. 8 contains a quotation of what the psalmist’s enemies say about him (see v. 7a).
  22. Psalm 41:8 tn Heb “thing of worthlessness.” In Ps 101:3 the phrase refers to evil deeds in general, but here it appears to refer more specifically to the illness that plagues the psalmist.
  23. Psalm 41:8 tn Heb “is poured out on him.” The passive participle of יָצַק (yatsaq) is used.
  24. Psalm 41:8 tn Heb “and he who lies down will not again arise.”
  25. Psalm 41:9 tn Heb “man of my peace.” The phrase here refers to one’s trusted friend (see Jer 38:22; Obad 7).
  26. Psalm 41:9 tn Heb “has made a heel great against me.” The precise meaning of this phrase, which appears only here, is uncertain.sn The language of this verse is applied to Judas Iscariot in John 13:18.
  27. Psalm 41:10 tn The cohortative with prefixed vav (ו) here indicates purpose or result (“Then I will repay them”) after the preceding imperatives.
  28. Psalm 41:11 sn By this. Having recalled his former lament and petition, the psalmist returns to the confident mood of vv. 1-3. The basis for his confidence may be a divine oracle of deliverance, assuring him that God would intervene and vindicate him. The demonstrative pronoun “this” may refer to such an oracle, which is assumed here, though its contents are not included. See P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 (WBC), 319, 321.
  29. Psalm 41:11 tn Or “will.” One may translate the imperfect verbal form as descriptive (present, cf. NIV) or as anticipatory (future, cf. NEB).
  30. Psalm 41:11 tn Heb “shout.”
  31. Psalm 41:12 tn Or “have upheld.” The perfect verbal form can be taken as generalizing/descriptive (present) or as a present perfect.
  32. Psalm 41:12 sn Because of my integrity. See Pss 7:8; 25:21; 26:1, 11.
  33. Psalm 41:12 tn The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive has the same aspectual function as the preceding perfect. It is either generalizing/descriptive (present) or has a present perfect nuance (“you have allowed”).
  34. Psalm 41:12 tn Heb “and you cause me to stand before you permanently.”
  35. Psalm 41:13 tn Heb “[be] blessed.” See Pss 18:46; 28:6; 31:21.
  36. Psalm 41:13 tn Heb “from everlasting to everlasting.” See 1 Chr 16:36; Neh 9:5; Pss 90:2; 106:48.
  37. Psalm 41:13 tn Heb “surely and surely” (אָמֵן וְאָמֵן [ʾamen veʾamen], i.e., “amen and amen”). This is probably a congregational response to the immediately preceding statement about the propriety of praising God.
New English Translation (NET)

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Psalm 41 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 41[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
    they are counted among the blessed in the land—
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness.

I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
    heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies say of me in malice,
    “When will he die and his name perish?
When one of them comes to see me,
    he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
    then he goes out and spreads it around.

All my enemies whisper together against me;
    they imagine the worst for me, saying,
“A vile disease has afflicted him;
    he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
Even my close friend,
    someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
    has turned[b] against me.

10 But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
    raise me up, that I may repay them.
11 I know that you are pleased with me,
    for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me
    and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.


  1. Psalm 41:1 In Hebrew texts 41:1-13 is numbered 41:2-14.
  2. Psalm 41:9 Hebrew has lifted up his heel
New International Version (NIV)

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