Psalm 28:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 28:4, NIV: Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.

Psalm 28:4, ESV: Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward.

Psalm 28:4, KJV: Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

Psalm 28:4, NASB: Give back to them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices; Give back to them according to the work of their hands; Repay them what is due them.

Psalm 28:4, NLT: Give them the punishment they so richly deserve! Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness. Pay them back for all their evil deeds! Give them a taste of what they have done to others.

Psalm 28:4, CSB: Repay them according to what they have done -- according to the evil of their deeds. Repay them according to the work of their hands; give them back what they deserve.

What does Psalm 28:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As part of his plea for God to hear his cries, David also asks God to bring justice to those who do evil. This is a common theme of Scripture: asking God to bring justice, rather than declaring one's intent to take vengeance (Leviticus 19:18; Romans 12:19). Even in the Old Testament, there is a clear understanding that God, not man, is meant to be the One who delivers justice (Deuteronomy 32:35).

David knows vengeance belongs to the Lord, because only God is free from sin. This psalm asks the Lord to punish evil persons "according to their work…their deeds…the work of their hands." This means more than simply punishing them "for" sin. David is also asking that these evil ones would suffer consequences corresponding to the seriousness of their crimes.

Scripture predicts a final judgment on sin, called "the great white throne." There, those whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life are cast into the lake of fire, after evidence of their sinful life is presented. "The dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done" (Revelation 20:12). Every sinner who rejects Jesus as Savior in this life (John 3:36) will face Him as judge in the next life. He will measure to every unsaved sinner exactly what he deserves. Only those who are saved—sinners who have accepted grace—will be spared from their deserved fate (Psalm 103:10; 1 John 1:9).