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Psalm 27:12

ESV Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
NIV Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
NASB Do not turn me over to the desire of my enemies, For false witnesses have risen against me, And the violent witness.
CSB Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence.
NLT Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence.
KJV Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

What does Psalm 27:12 mean?

Although David enjoyed victories, he did not become complacent. He knew he needed the Lord's help to stay safe. The early verses of this psalm described David's confidence in God and God's provision (Psalm 27:1–3). And yet, in these later verses, David is asking God for deliverance. This is the right response to our human fears and anxieties: to remember the promises of God and choose to trust in Him despite our worries.

In this passage, David describes his foes as false witnesses. They had been spreading lies about him, and they had sworn to kill him. This might refer to Saul, earlier in David's life, or to David's own son, Absalom, who led a violent rebellion (2 Samuel 15:12–14).

The scribes and Pharisees were sworn foes of the Lord Jesus. Luke 11:54 reports that they were "lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say." Matthew 26:3–4 informs us that that the chief priests and elders conspired in the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest, "to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him." Further, the chief priests and members of the Jewish council searched for "false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death" (Matthew 26:59). Finally, two false witnesses came forward to malign Jesus (Matthew 26:60–61). We should never underestimate the length to which enemies of God will go to oppose Him and His people.
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