Psalm 17 The Prayer of David

Psalm 17 The Prayer of David

Psalm 17 The Prayer of David

1 Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!

Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!

2 From Thee let my vindication come!

Let Thy eyes see the right!

3 If Thou triest my heart, if Thou visitest me by night,

if Thou testest me, Thou wilt find no wickedness in me;

my mouth does not transgress.

4 With regard to the works of men, by the word of Thy lips

I have avoided the ways of the violent.

5 My steps have held fast to Thy paths,

my feet have not slipped.

6 I call upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me, O God;

incline Thy ear to me, hear my words.

7 Wondrously show Thy steadfast love,

O savior of those who seek refuge

from their adversaries at Thy right hand.

8 Keep me as the apple of the eye;

hide me in the shadow of Thy wings,

9 from the wicked who despoil me,

my deadly enemies who surround me.

10 They close their hearts to pity;

with their mouths they speak arrogantly.

11 They track me down; now they surround me;

they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.

12 They are like a lion eager to tear,

as a young lion lurking in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord! confront them, overthrow them!

Deliver my life from the wicked by Thy sword,

14 from men by Thy hand, O Lord,

from men whose portion in life is of the world.

May their belly be filled with what Thou hast stored up for them;

may their children have more than enough;

may they leave something over to their babes.

15 As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness;

when I awake, I shall be satisfied with beholding Thy form.

– Psalm 17


Commentary based on St. Thomas Aquinas

In psalm 17, David offers a prayer in which he asks to be heard for the sake of justice. This arises because in the midst of tribulations, prayer is an unparalleled refuge.

This psalm is divided into two parts. In the first, he prays for his own endurance. In the second, he asks for deliverance from evil, I call upon Thee.

Concerning the former, he does two things. First, he asks to be heard, Hear, and second, sets forth his petition, From Thee, let…

David asks that he be liberated from evil and that his enemies be defeated.


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