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Psalm 17:9

ESV from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.
NIV from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.
NASB From the wicked who deal violently with me, My deadly enemies who surround me.
CSB from the wicked who treat me violently, my deadly enemies who surround me.
NLT Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me.
KJV From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

What does Psalm 17:9 mean?

The prior verse used two phrases related to God's loving care which have been widely used even outside of Scripture (Psalm 17:8). Here, David explains why he so desperately seeks God's watchful protection. Other men were seeking to harm and murder David. It's possible this psalm was written during David's persecution by king Saul (1 Samuel 20:32–33). David was surrounded by those who wanted to kill him. Only the Lord could protect him and deliver him from the enemies' ruthless hands.

Believers have always been the target of the Devil and his followers. Near the beginning of time wicked Cain killed his brother, righteous Abel (Genesis 4:8). Pharaoh tried to kill all the Hebrew male infants (Exodus 1:15–16). Haman tried to destroy Mordecai and all the Jews in the nation (Esther 3:8–11). Seeking to kill a recently-born Jesus, Herod ordered the slaughter of Jewish boys under the age of two in an entire town (Matthew 2:16). Wicked men conspired to crucify Jesus (Matthew 26:3–5; John 19:12–16). Christ's early followers suffered the wrath of unsaved Jews and Gentiles (Acts 5:40; 8:3; 16:19–24). In the tribulation, the beast and the false prophet will conduct a terrorist campaign against all who refuse the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:15–17). However, Jesus said, "Take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33)."
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