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Psalm chapter 4

New International Version

1 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David. Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods 3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. 6 Many, LORD, are asking, 'Who will bring us prosperity?' Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
English Standard Version

1 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! 2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
King James Version

1 {To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David.} Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. 3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. 6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
New American Standard Bible

1 For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. 3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to Him. 4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD. 6 Many are saying, 'Who will show us any good?' Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD! 7 You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.
New Living Translation

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments. Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? Interlude 3 You can be sure of this: The LORD set apart the godly for himself. The LORD will answer when I call to him. 4 Don't sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude 5 Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD. 6 Many people say, 'Who will show us better times?' Let your face smile on us, LORD. 7 You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Answer me when I call, God, who vindicates me. You freed me from affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 How long, exalted ones, will my honor be insulted? How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie? Selah 3 Know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him. 4 Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah 5 Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the LORD. 6 Many are asking, "Who can show us anything good?" Let the light of your face shine on us, LORD. 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. 8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, LORD, make me live in safety.

What does Psalm chapter 4 mean?

Psalm 4 is inspired by the same circumstances as Psalm 3. David's rebellious son, Absalom, has forced David to flee for his life (2 Samuel 15:13–14).

The choirmaster was the minister of music in the tabernacle or temple; this role is mentioned in the titles of fifty-five psalms.

David begins by praying for grace. He scolds those who oppose him, since they have followed the manipulation of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:6). Even as David recognizes their betrayal, he expresses confidence that God has called him. This is both reassurance to David, and a warning to his enemies (Psalm 4:1–3).

Turning to his own followers, David warns against letting emotion drag a person into sin. Even in dire circumstances (Psalm 3:1), believers should not allow their feelings to override their faith. The Hebrew word referring to anger here more literally refers to trembling, shaking, or agitation. Paul famously refers to this when discussing anger (Ephesians 4:26). David's immediate meaning involves more than uncontrolled rage. It's important to honor God in humility and faith, rather than letting anger—even righteous anger—lead a person into sin (Psalm 4:4–5).

The end of this psalm praises God for His encouragement. David notes that he has immense joy, thanks to the Lord. Joy is not always the same as happiness, nor does it always come from happy circumstances (James 1:2–4; Luke 6:22–23). Rather, it's an underlying sense of trust and reassurance, knowing that God is ultimately in control (Psalm 4:6–8).