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Psalm chapter 20

New International Version

1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. 4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. 6 Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 9 LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!
English Standard Version

1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! 3 May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah 4 May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! 5 May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions! 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. 9 O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call.
King James Version

1 {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; 2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; 3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. 4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel. 5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. 6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. 9 Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.
New American Standard Bible

1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high! 2 May He send you help from the sanctuary And support you from Zion! 3 May He remember all your meal offerings And find your burnt offering acceptable! Selah. 4 May He grant you your heart's desire And fulfill all your counsel! 5 We will sing for joy over your victory, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. 6 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand. 7 Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God. 8 They have bowed down and fallen, But we have risen and stood upright. 9 Save, O LORD; May the King answer us in the day we call.
New Living Translation

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David. In times of trouble, may the LORD answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. 2 May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem. 3 May he remember all your gifts and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Interlude 4 May he grant your heart's desires and make all your plans succeed. 5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers. 6 Now I know that the LORD rescues his anointed king. He will answer him from his holy heaven and rescue him by his great power. 7 Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God. 8 Those nations will fall down and collapse, but we will rise up and stand firm. 9 Give victory to our king, O LORD! Answer our cry for help.
Christian Standard Bible

1 May the LORD answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob's God protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion. 3 May he remember all your offerings and accept your burnt offering. Selah 4 May he give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose. 5 Let us shout for joy at your victory and lift the banner in the name of our God. May the LORD fulfill all your requests. 6 Now I know that the LORD gives victory to his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories from his right hand. 7 Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand firm. 9 LORD, give victory to the king! May he answer us on the day that we call.

What does Psalm chapter 20 mean?

Psalm 20 features two main parts, as both the assembled people and King David pray for victory in an impending battle.

First, the people pray that God would bless the king during the fight: "the day of trouble." They pray that God would provide support for David, both spiritually—"from the sanctuary"—and militarily—"from Zion." Zion is another name for the city of Jerusalem. Their prayer is that David's pleas for victory would be granted. The people look forward to celebrating the victory God brings through their king (Psalm 20:1–5).

Next, David prays to describe his confidence in God. He refers to the "might of [God's] right hand," implying the full power of the Lord. This is contrasted with the only power available to worldly kingdoms: horses and chariots, common symbols of war. By comparison, David and the people of Israel are trusting in something far more potent, and reliable, than human armies (Psalm 20:6–8).

The psalm ends in the same way it began: with a sincere prayer from the people to give David victory in his battle (Psalm 20:9).