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Psalms 25:1-10

Psalm 25 1 

By David.

25:1 O Lord, I come before you in prayer. 2 

25:2 My God, I trust in you.

Please do not let me be humiliated;

do not let my enemies triumphantly rejoice over me!

25:3 Certainly none who rely on you will be humiliated.

Those who deal in treachery will be thwarted 3  and humiliated.

25:4 Make me understand your ways, O Lord!

Teach me your paths! 4 

25:5 Guide me into your truth 5  and teach me.

For you are the God who delivers me;

on you I rely all day long.

25:6 Remember 6  your compassionate and faithful deeds, O Lord,

for you have always acted in this manner. 7 

25:7 Do not hold against me 8  the sins of my youth 9  or my rebellious acts!

Because you are faithful to me, extend to me your favor, O Lord! 10 

25:8 The Lord is both kind and fair; 11 

that is why he teaches sinners the right way to live. 12 

25:9 May he show 13  the humble what is right! 14 

May he teach 15  the humble his way!

25:10 The Lord always proves faithful and reliable 16 

to those who follow the demands of his covenant. 17 

1 sn Psalm 25. The psalmist asks for divine protection, guidance and forgiveness as he affirms his loyalty to and trust in the Lord. This psalm is an acrostic; every verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, except for v. 18, which, like v. 19, begins with ר (resh) instead of the expected ק (qof). The final verse, which begins with פ (pe), stands outside the acrostic scheme.

2 tn Heb “to you, O Lord, my life I lift up.” To “lift up” one’s “life” to the Lord means to express one’s trust in him through prayer. See Pss 86:4; 143:8.

3 tn Heb “those who deal in treachery in vain.” The adverb רֵיקָם (reqam, “in vain”) probably refers to the failure (or futility) of their efforts. Another option is to understand it as meaning “without cause” (cf. NIV “without excuse”; NRSV “wantonly treacherous”).

4 sn Teach me your paths. In this context the Lord’s “ways” and “paths” refer to the moral principles which the Lord prescribes for his followers. See vv. 8-10.

5 sn The Lord’s commandments are referred to as truth here because they are a trustworthy and accurate expression of the divine will.

6 tn That is, “remember” with the intention of repeating.

7 tn Heb “for from antiquity [are] they.”

8 tn Heb “do not remember,” with the intention of punishing.

9 sn That is, the sins characteristic of youths, who lack moral discretion and wisdom.

10 tn Heb “according to your faithfulness, remember me, you, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.”

11 tn Heb “good and just.”

12 tn Heb “teaches sinners in the way.”

13 tn The prefixed verbal form is jussive; the psalmist expresses his prayer.

14 tn Heb “may he guide the humble into justice.” The Hebrew term עֲנָוִים (’anavim, “humble”) usually refers to the oppressed, but in this context, where the psalmist confesses his sin and asks for moral guidance, it apparently refers to sinners who humble themselves before God and seek deliverance from their sinful condition.

15 tn The prefixed verbal form is interpreted as a jussive (it stands parallel to the jussive form, “may he guide”).

16 tn Heb “all the paths of the Lord are faithful and trustworthy.” The Lord’s “paths” refer here to his characteristic actions.

17 tn Heb “to the ones who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

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