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Psalm 56

Be Merciful to Me, O God
(1 Samuel 21:8–15)

For the choirmaster. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” A Miktam a of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

1Be merciful to me, O God,

for men are hounding me;

all day they press their attack.

2 My enemies pursue me all day long,

for many proudly assail me.

3 When I am afraid,

I put my trust in You.

4 In God, whose word I praise—

in God I trust.

I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

5 All day long they twist my words;

all their thoughts are on my demise.

6 They conspire, they lurk,

they watch my steps

while they wait to take my life.

7 In spite of such sin, will they escape? b 

In Your anger, O God, cast down the nations.

8 You have taken account of my wanderings. c 

Put my tears in Your bottle—

are they not in Your book?

9 Then my enemies will retreat

on the day I cry for help.

By this I will know that God is on my side.

10 In God, whose word I praise,

in the LORD, whose word I praise,

11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

12 Your vows are upon me, O God;

I will render thank offerings to You.

13 For You have delivered my soul from death,

and my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before God

in the light of life.



1 a Miktam is probably a musical or liturgical term; used for Psalms 16 and 56–60.
7 b Or do not let them escape ; MT does not include do not .
8 c Or sorrows

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