The Holy See
           back          up     Help

New American Bible

2002 11 11
IntraText - Text
Previous - Next

Click here to hide the links to concordance

Chapter 89


1 A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.


The promises of the LORD I will sing forever, proclaim your loyalty through all ages.


2 For you said, "My love is established forever; my loyalty 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." Selah


The heavens praise your marvels, LORD, your loyalty in the assembly of the holy ones.


3 Who in the skies ranks with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the gods?


A God dreaded in the council of the holy ones, greater and more awesome than all who sit there!


LORD, God of hosts, who is like you? Mighty LORD, your loyalty is always present.


You rule the raging sea; you still its swelling waves.


4 You crushed Rahab with a mortal blow; your strong arm scattered your foes.


Yours are the heavens, yours the earth; you founded the world and everything in it.


5 Zaphon and Amanus you created; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.


Mighty your arm, strong your hand, your right hand is ever exalted.


Justice and judgment are the foundation of your throne; love and loyalty march before you.


Happy the people who know you, LORD, who walk in the radiance of your face.


In your name they sing joyfully all the day; at your victory they raise the festal shout.


6 You are their majestic strength; by your favor our horn is exalted.


Truly the LORD is our shield, the Holy One of Israel, our king!


Once you spoke in vision; to your faithful ones you said: "I have set a leader over the warriors; I have raised up a hero from the army.


I have chosen David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him.


My hand will be with him; my arm will make him strong.


No enemy shall outwit him, nor shall the wicked defeat him.


I will crush his foes before him, strike down those who hate him.


My loyalty and love will be with him; through my name his horn will be exalted.


7 I will set his hand upon the sea, his right hand upon the rivers.


He shall cry to me,'You are my father, my God, the Rock that brings me victory!'


8 I myself make him firstborn, Most High over the kings of the earth.


Forever I will maintain my love for him; my covenant with him stands firm.


I will establish his dynasty forever, his throne as the days of the heavens.


If his descendants forsake my law, do not follow my decrees,


If they fail to observe my statutes, do not keep my commandments,


I will punish their crime with a rod and their guilt with lashes.


But I will not take my love from him, nor will I betray my bond of loyalty.


I will not violate my covenant; the promise of my lips I will not alter.


By my holiness I swore once for all: I will never be false to David.


9 His dynasty will continue forever, his throne, like the sun before me.


Like the moon it will stand eternal, forever firm like the sky!" Selah


But now you have rejected and spurned, been enraged at your anointed.


You renounced the covenant with your servant, defiled his crown in the dust.


You broke down all his defenses, left his strongholds in ruins.


All who pass through seize plunder; his neighbors deride him.


You have exalted the right hand of his foes, have gladdened all his enemies.


You turned back his sharp sword, did not support him in battle.


You brought to an end his splendor, hurled his throne to the ground.


You cut short the days of his youth, covered him with shame. Selah


How long, LORD? Will you stay hidden forever? Must your wrath smolder like fire?


Remember how brief is my life, how frail the race you created!


What mortal can live and not see death? Who can escape the power of Sheol? Selah


Where are your promises of old, Lord, the loyalty sworn to David?


Remember, Lord, the insults to your servants, how I bear all the slanders of the nations.


Your enemies, LORD, insult your anointed; they insult my every endeavor.


10 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 ( Psalm 89:2-5). The psalm narrates how God became king of the divine beings ( Psalm 89:6-9) and how the Davidic king became king of earthly kings ( Psalm 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 ( Psalm 89:39-52).

2 [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 Psalm 89:29-30.

3 [7] The gods: literally, "the sons of gods," "the holy ones" and "courtiers" of Psalm 89:6, 8. These heavenly spirits are members of God's court.

4 [11] Rahab: a mythological sea monster whose name is used in the Bible mainly as a personification of primeval chaos. Cf Job 9:13; 26:12; Psalm 74:13-14; Isaiah 51:9.

5 [13] Zaphon and Amanus: two sacred mountains in northern Syria. 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 [18,25] Horn: a concrete noun for an abstract quality; horn is a symbol of strength.

7 [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 Psalm 89:11.

8 [28] Most High: a divine title, which is here extended to David as God's own king. Cf Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:5. As God rules over the members of the heavenly council ( Psalm 89:6-9), so David, God's surrogate, rules over earthly kings.

9 [37-38] Like the sun before me . . . like the sky: as enduring as the heavenly lights. Cf Psalm 89:2-5 and Psalm 72:5, 17.

10 [53] The doxology at the end of the third book of the Psalms; it is not part of Psalm 89.

Previous - Next

Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana