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Psalm 89 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 89[a]

A Lament over God’s Promise to David

A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.



I will sing of your mercy forever, Lord
    proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.
[b]For I said, “My mercy is established forever;
    my faithfulness will stand as long as the heavens.
I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
    I have sworn to David my servant:
I will make your dynasty stand forever
    and establish your throne through all ages.”


The heavens praise your marvels, Lord,
    your loyalty in the assembly of the holy ones.
Who in the skies ranks with the Lord?
    Who is like the Lord among the sons of the gods?[c]
A God dreaded in the council of the holy ones,
    greater and more awesome than all those around him!
Lord, God of hosts, who is like you?
    Mighty Lord, your faithfulness surrounds you.
10 You rule the raging sea;
    you still its swelling waves.
11 You crush Rahab[d] with a mortal blow;
    with your strong arm you scatter your foes.
12 Yours are the heavens, yours the earth;
    you founded the world and everything in it.
13 [e]Zaphon and Amanus you created;
    Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
14 You have a mighty arm.
    Your hand is strong; your right hand is ever exalted.
15 Justice and judgment are the foundation of your throne;
    mercy and faithfulness march before you.
16 Blessed the people who know the war cry,
    who walk in the radiance of your face, Lord.
17 In your name they sing joyfully all the day;
    they rejoice in your righteousness.
18 You are their majestic strength;
    by your favor our horn[f] is exalted.
19 Truly the Lord is our shield,
    the Holy One of Israel, our king!


20 Then you spoke in vision;
    to your faithful ones you said:
“I have set a leader over the warriors;
    I have raised up a chosen one from the people.
21 I have chosen David, my servant;
    with my holy oil I have anointed him.
22 My hand will be with him;
    my arm will make him strong.
23 No enemy shall outwit him,
    nor shall the wicked defeat him.
24 I will crush his foes before him,
    strike down those who hate him.
25 My faithfulness and mercy will be with him;
    through my name his horn will be exalted.
26 [g]I will set his hand upon the sea,
    his right hand upon the rivers.
27 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my father,
    my God, the Rock of my salvation!’
28 I myself make him the firstborn,
    Most High[h] over the kings of the earth.
29 Forever I will maintain my mercy for him;
    my covenant with him stands firm.
30 I will establish his dynasty forever,
    his throne as the days of the heavens.
31 If his descendants forsake my teaching,
    do not follow my decrees,
32 If they fail to observe my statutes,
    do not keep my commandments,
33 I will punish their crime with a rod
    and their guilt with blows.
34 But I will not take my mercy from him,
    nor will I betray my bond of faithfulness.
35 I will not violate my covenant;
    the promise of my lips I will not alter.
36 By my holiness I swore once for all:
    I will never be false to David.
37 [i]His dynasty will continue forever,
    his throne, like the sun before me.
38 Like the moon it will stand eternal,
    forever firm like the sky!”



39 But now you have rejected and spurned,
    been enraged at your anointed.
40 You renounced the covenant with your servant,
    defiled his crown in the dust.
41 You broke down all city walls,
    left his strongholds in ruins.
42 All who pass through seize plunder;
    his neighbors deride him.
43 You have exalted the right hand of his foes,
    have gladdened all his enemies.
44 You turned back his sharp sword,
    did not support him in battle.
45 You brought to an end his splendor,
    hurled his throne to the ground.
46 You cut short the days of his youth,
    covered him with shame.
47 How long, Lord? Will you hide forever?
    Must your wrath smolder like fire?
48 Remember how brief life is,
    how frail the sons of man you have created!
49 What is man, that he should live and not see death?
    Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?
50 Where are your former mercies, Lord,
    that you swore to David in your faithfulness?
51 Remember, Lord, the insults to your servants,
    how I have borne in my bosom the slander of the nations.
52 Your enemies, Lord, insult;
    they insult each step of your anointed.
53 [j]Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and amen!


  1. Psalm 89 The community laments the defeat of the Davidic king, to whom God promised kingship as enduring as the heavens (Ps 89:2–5). The Psalm narrates how God became king of the divine beings (Ps 89:6–9) and how the Davidic king became king of earthly kings (Ps 89:20–38). Since the defeat of the king calls into question God’s promise, the community ardently prays God to be faithful to the original promise to David (Ps 89:39–52).
  2. 89:3–5 David’s dynasty is to be as long-lasting as the heavens, a statement reinforced by using the same verbs (establish, stand) both of the divine love and loyalty and of the Davidic dynasty and throne, cf. Ps 89:29–30.
  3. 89:7 The sons of the gods: “the holy ones” and “courtiers” of Ps 89:6, 8. These heavenly spirits are members of God’s court.
  4. 89:11 Rahab: a mythological sea monster whose name is used in the Bible mainly as a personification of primeval chaos, cf. Jb 9:13; 26:12; Ps 74:13–14; Is 51:9.
  5. 89:13 Zaphon and Amanus: two sacred mountains in northern Syria which came to designate the directions of north and south. Tabor: a high hill in the valley of Jezreel in northern Israel. Hermon: a mountain in Lebanon, forming the southern spur of the Anti-Lebanon range.
  6. 89:18, 25 Horn: a concrete noun for an abstract quality; horn is a symbol of strength.
  7. 89:26 The sea…the rivers: geographically the limits of the Davidic empire (the Mediterranean and the Euphrates); mythologically, the traditional forces of chaos. See note on Ps 89:11.
  8. 89:28 Most High: a divine title, which is here extended to David as God’s own king, cf. Ps 2:7–9; Is 9:5. As God rules over the members of the heavenly council (Ps 89:6–9), so David, God’s surrogate, rules over earthly kings.
  9. 89:37–38 Like the sun before me…like the sky: as enduring as the heavenly lights, cf. Ps 89:2–5 and Ps 72:5, 17.
  10. 89:53 The doxology at the end of the third book of the Psalms; it is not part of Ps 89.
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 89 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 89[a]

A maskil[b] of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
    through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    I have sworn to David my servant,
‘I will establish your line forever
    and make your throne firm through all generations.’”[c]

The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,
    your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
    Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
    he is more awesome than all who surround him.
Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
    with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
11 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
    you founded the world and all that is in it.
12 You created the north and the south;
    Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
13 Your arm is endowed with power;
    your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long;
    they celebrate your righteousness.
17 For you are their glory and strength,
    and by your favor you exalt our horn.[d]
18 Indeed, our shield[e] belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel.

19 Once you spoke in a vision,
    to your faithful people you said:
“I have bestowed strength on a warrior;
    I have raised up a young man from among the people.
20 I have found David my servant;
    with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
21 My hand will sustain him;
    surely my arm will strengthen him.
22 The enemy will not get the better of him;
    the wicked will not oppress him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
    and strike down his adversaries.
24 My faithful love will be with him,
    and through my name his horn[f] will be exalted.
25 I will set his hand over the sea,
    his right hand over the rivers.
26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, the Rock my Savior.’
27 And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,
    the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
28 I will maintain my love to him forever,
    and my covenant with him will never fail.
29 I will establish his line forever,
    his throne as long as the heavens endure.

30 “If his sons forsake my law
    and do not follow my statutes,
31 if they violate my decrees
    and fail to keep my commands,
32 I will punish their sin with the rod,
    their iniquity with flogging;
33 but I will not take my love from him,
    nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant
    or alter what my lips have uttered.
35 Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—
    and I will not lie to David—
36 that his line will continue forever
    and his throne endure before me like the sun;
37 it will be established forever like the moon,
    the faithful witness in the sky.”

38 But you have rejected, you have spurned,
    you have been very angry with your anointed one.
39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant
    and have defiled his crown in the dust.
40 You have broken through all his walls
    and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
41 All who pass by have plundered him;
    he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword
    and have not supported him in battle.
44 You have put an end to his splendor
    and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth;
    you have covered him with a mantle of shame.

46 How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how fleeting is my life.
    For what futility you have created all humanity!
48 Who can live and not see death,
    or who can escape the power of the grave?
49 Lord, where is your former great love,
    which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant has[g] been mocked,
    how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
51 the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked,
    with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.

52 Praise be to the Lord forever!
Amen and Amen.


  1. Psalm 89:1 In Hebrew texts 89:1-52 is numbered 89:2-53.
  2. Psalm 89:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 89:4 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 37, 45 and 48.
  4. Psalm 89:17 Horn here symbolizes strong one.
  5. Psalm 89:18 Or sovereign
  6. Psalm 89:24 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  7. Psalm 89:50 Or your servants have
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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