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Psalm chapter 31

New International Version

1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. 2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. 3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. 4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God. 6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. 9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. 10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. 11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends-- those who see me on the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering, 'Terror on every side!' They conspire against me and plot to take my life. 14 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, 'You are my God.' 15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. 17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous. 19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. 21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said, 'I am cut off from your sight!' Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. 23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
English Standard Version

1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! 2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! 3 For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; 4 you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. 6 I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, 8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. 9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. 11 Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror on every side!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life. 14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! 16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love! 17 O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt. 19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! 20 In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. 22 I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. 23 Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. 24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
King James Version

1 {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. 2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. 3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. 4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. 5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. 6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; 8 And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. 10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. 11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. 12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. 13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. 14 But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. 15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. 16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake. 17 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. 18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! 20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. 22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. 23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
New American Standard Bible

1 In You, LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be put to shame; In Your righteousness rescue me. 2 Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be a rock of strength for me, A stronghold to save me. 3 For You are my rock and my fortress; For the sake of Your name You will lead me and guide me. 4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength. 5 Into Your hand I entrust my spirit; You have redeemed me, LORD, God of truth. 6 I hate those who devote themselves to worthless idols, But I trust in the LORD. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your faithfulness, Because You have seen my misery; You have known the troubles of my soul, 8 And You have not handed me over to the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place. 9 Be gracious to me, LORD, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body too. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my guilt, And my body has wasted away. 11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a disgrace, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten like a dead person, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. 13 For I have heard the slander of many, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life. 14 But as for me, I trust in You, LORD, I say, 'You are my God.' 15 My times are in Your hand; Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. 16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your faithfulness. 17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I call upon You; Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be speechless, Which speak arrogantly against the righteous With pride and contempt. 19 How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have performed for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of mankind! 20 You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of mankind; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the LORD, For He has shown His marvelous faithfulness to me in a besieged city. 22 As for me, I said in my alarm, 'I am cut off from Your eyes'; Nevertheless You heard the sound of my pleadings When I called to You for help. 23 Love the LORD, all His godly ones! The LORD watches over the faithful But fully repays the one who acts arrogantly. 24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who wait for the LORD.
New Living Translation

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David. O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don't let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right. 2 Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe. 3 You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger. 4 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone. 5 I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God.
6 I hate those who worship worthless idols. I trust in the LORD. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. 8 You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place.
9 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. 10 I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within. 11 I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbors--even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me on the street, they run the other way. 12 I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot. 13 I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror. My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life.
14 But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, 'You are my God!' 15 My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly. 16 Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me. 17 Don't let me be disgraced, O LORD, for I call out to you for help. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them lie silent in the grave. 18 Silence their lying lips--those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.
19 How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. 20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.
21 Praise the LORD, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. 22 In panic I cried out, 'I am cut off from the LORD!' But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.
23 Love the LORD, all you godly ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant. 24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!
Christian Standard Bible

1 Lord, I seek refuge in you; let me never be disgraced. Save me by your righteousness. 2 Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a mountain fortress to save me. 3 For you are my rock and my fortress; you lead and guide me for your name's sake. 4 You will free me from the net that is secretly set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I entrust my spirit; you have redeemed me, Lord, God of truth. 6 I hate those who are devoted to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in your faithful love because you have seen my affliction. You know the troubles of my soul
8 and have not handed me over to the enemy. You have set my feet in a spacious place. 9 Be gracious to me, Lord, because I am in distress; my eyes are worn out from frustration -- my whole being as well. 10 Indeed, my life is consumed with grief and my years with groaning; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. 11 I am ridiculed by all my adversaries and even by my neighbors. I am dreaded by my acquaintances; those who see me in the street run from me. 12 I am forgotten: gone from memory like a dead person--like broken pottery.
13 I have heard the gossip of many; terror is on every side. When they conspired against me, they plotted to take my life. 14 But I trust in you, Lord; I say, "You are my God." 15 The course of my life is in your power; rescue me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors. 16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me by your faithful love. 17 Lord, do not let me be disgraced when I call on you. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them be quiet in Sheol.
18 Let lying lips that arrogantly speak against the righteous in proud contempt be silenced. 19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you. In the presence of everyone you have acted for those who take refuge in you. 20 You hide them in the protection of your presence; you conceal them in a shelter from human schemes, from quarrelsome tongues. 21 Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his faithful love to me in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said, "I am cut off from your sight." But you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried to you for help. 23 Love the Lord, all his faithful ones. The Lord protects the loyal, but fully repays the arrogant. 24 Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.

What does Psalm chapter 31 mean?

David begins this psalm with a prayer for deliverance from his enemies and for guidance. He trusts in the Lord for stability, security, and protection. Everything, including David's life, is placed in God's care (Psalm 31:1–5).

Next, David praises God for the times when he experienced divine rescue. David shuns those who worship false gods, pointing to how the One True God answered his prayers. Because of that history, David is confident that God has placed him in a position of safety and stability (Psalm 31:6–8).

Even so, David still experiences hardships. His enemies plot and lie about him. Friends and neighbors turn their backs on him. As it would for anyone, this pushes David to exhaustion and tempts him to despair. Nevertheless, he trusts in the Lord and believes his entire life is controlled and guided by God's hand (Psalm 31:9–15).

In ancient figures of speech, a shining face represented happiness and approval. Hebrew thinking also used "light" as a symbol for truth and goodness. So, when David asks God to "shine His face," he is asking for divine approval and blessing. This echoes the words God gave to Aaron to use when blessing Israel (Numbers 6:22–27). David prays that his scheming enemies be the ones to suffer loss and death (Psalm 31:16–18).

The psalm closes with expressions of amazement. God serves as a refuge of goodness for those who trust in Him. Those who follow the Lord will ultimately be rescued from all evil, including plots and accusations. Although David's natural fears made him feel alienated from the Lord, he testifies that the Lord heard his prayer. He concludes with an appeal to the Lord's people, knowing the Lord avenges the wicked. He encourages all who trust God to be purposeful, brave, and constant in their faith (Psalm 31:19–24).