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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 144


1 Of David. 2 Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war;


My safe guard and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I trust, who subdues peoples under me.


3 LORD, what are mortals that you notice them; human beings, that you take thought of them?


4 They are but a breath; their days are like a passing shadow.


5 LORD, incline your heavens and come; touch the mountains and make them smoke.


Flash forth lightning and scatter my foes; shoot your arrows and rout them.


Reach out your hand from on high; deliver me from the many waters; rescue me from the hands of foreign foes.


6 Their mouths speak untruth; their right hands are raised in lying oaths.


O God, a new song I will sing to you; on a ten-stringed lyre I will play for you.


You give victory to kings; you delivered David your servant. From the menacing sword


deliver me; rescue me from the hands of foreign foes. Their mouths speak untruth; their right hands are raised in lying oaths.


May our sons be like plants well nurtured from their youth, Our daughters, like carved columns, shapely as those of the temple.


May our barns be full with every kind of store. May our sheep increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; may our oxen be well fattened.


May there be no breach in the walls, no exile, no outcry in our streets.


Happy the people so blessed; happy the people whose God is the LORD.



1 [1] The psalm may reflect a ceremony in which the king, as leader of the army, asked God's help ( Psalm 144:1-8). In Psalm 144:9 the poem shifts abruptly from pleading to thanksgiving, and (except for Psalm 144:11) shifts again to prayer for the people. The first section ( Psalm 144:1-2) is a prayer of thanks for victory; the second ( Psalm 144:3-7a), a humble acknowledgment of human nothingness and a supplication that God show forth saving power; the third ( Psalm 144:9-11), a promise of future thanksgiving; the fourth ( Psalm 144:12-15), a wish for prosperity and peace. A prayer for deliverance from treacherous foes serves as a refrain after the second and third sections ( Psalm 144:7b-8, 11). Except for its final section, the psalm is made up almost entirely of verses from other psalms.

2 [1-2] Composed of phrases from Psalm 18:3, 35, 47-48.

3 [3] Similar to Psalm 8:5.

4 [4] Composed of phrases from Psalm 39:6; 102:12.

5 [5-7] Adapted in large part from Psalm 18:10, 15, 17; 104:32.

6 [8b,11b] Their right hands are raised in lying oaths: the psalmist's enemies give false testimony.

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