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Psalm chapter 6

New International Version

1 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith. A psalm of David. LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long? 4 Turn, LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. 8 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish; they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
English Standard Version

1 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David. O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD—how long? 4 Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? 6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. 8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
King James Version

1 {To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.} O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. 3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? 4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? 6 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. 7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. 9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. 10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.
New American Standard Bible

1 LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor discipline me in Your wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, LORD, for I am frail; Heal me, LORD, for my bones are horrified. 3 And my soul is greatly horrified; But You, LORD—how long? 4 Return, LORD, rescue my soul; Save me because of Your mercy. 5 For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol, who will praise You? 6 I am weary with my sighing; Every night I make my bed swim, I flood my couch with my tears. 7 My eye has wasted away with grief; It has grown old because of all my enemies. 8 Leave me, all you who practice injustice, For the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my pleading, The LORD receives my prayer. 10 All my enemies will be put to shame and greatly horrified; They shall turn back, they will suddenly be put to shame.
New Living Translation

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument. O LORD, don't rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage. 2 Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. 3 I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until you restore me?
4 Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love. 5 For the dead do not remember you. Who can praise you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. 7 My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.
8 Go away, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer. 10 May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified. May they suddenly turn back in shame.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; do not discipline me in your wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am weak; heal me, Lord, for my bones are shaking;
3 my whole being is shaken with terror. And you, Lord--how long? 4 Turn, Lord! Rescue me; save me because of your faithful love.
5 For there is no remembrance of you in death; who can thank you in Sheol? 6 I am weary from my groaning; with my tears I dampen my bed and drench my couch every night.
7 My eyes are swollen from grief; they grow old because of all my enemies. 8 Depart from me, all evildoers, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my plea for help; the Lord accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies will be ashamed and shake with terror; they will turn back and suddenly be disgraced.

What does Psalm chapter 6 mean?

Seven psalms are labelled as "penitential" for their intense focus on repentance from sin. These are Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143. This example does not give details, so we're not sure exactly what David is repenting for. What's clear is that he connects this specific instance of physical suffering—possibly some illness—to God's discipline (Psalm 6:1–3).

The situation is dire enough that David fears for his life. At least some of his concern is related to his enemies. This might refer to Philistines (1 Samuel 21:10–13), king Saul (1 Samuel 19:2), or his rebellious son, Absalom (Psalm 3). David pleads with God to spare him, pointing out that a dead body does not worship or praise (Psalm 6:4–5).

Despite a period of fear and despair (Psalm 6:6–7), David resolves that God will rescue him. He warns his enemies to flee, knowing that the Lord has heard him and will respond (Psalm 6:8–10).