The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 36


1 For the leader. Of David, the servant of the LORD.


Sin directs the heart of the wicked; their eyes are closed to the fear of God.


2 For they live with the delusion: their guilt will not be known and hated.


Empty and false are the words of their mouth; they have ceased to be wise and do good.


In their beds they hatch plots; they set out on a wicked way; they do not reject evil.


3 LORD, your love reaches to heaven; your fidelity, to the clouds.


Your justice is like the highest mountains; your judgments, like the mighty deep; all living creatures you sustain, LORD.


4 How precious is your love, O God! We take refuge in the shadow of your wings.


We feast on the rich food of your house; from your delightful stream you give us drink.


For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.


Continue your kindness toward your friends, your just defense of the honest heart.


Do not let the foot of the proud overtake me, nor the hand of the wicked disturb me.


There make the evildoers fall; thrust them down, never to rise.


1 [Psalm 36] A psalm with elements of wisdom ( Psalm 36:2-5), the hymn ( Psalm 36:6-10), and the lament ( Psalm 36:11-13). The rule of sin over the wicked ( Psalm 36:2-5) is contrasted with the rule of divine love and mercy over God's friends ( Psalm 36:6-10). The psalm ends with a prayer that God's guidance never cease ( Psalm 36:11-12).

2 [3] Hated: punished by God.

3 [6-7] Love . . . judgments: God actively controls the entire world.

4 [8] The shadow of your wings: metaphor for divine protection. It probably refers to the winged cherubim in the holy of holies in the temple. Cf 1 Kings 6:23-28, 32; 2 Chron 3:10-13; Ezekiel 1:4-9.

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