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Psalm 9:13

ESV Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
NIV LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
NASB Be gracious to me, Lord; See my oppression from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,
CSB Be gracious to me, Lord; consider my affliction at the hands of those who hate me. Lift me up from the gates of death,
NLT Lord, have mercy on me. See how my enemies torment me. Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
KJV Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:

What does Psalm 9:13 mean?

David's terminology here is interesting: he emphasizes God's grace in asking for deliverance from enemies. Either directly, or in general, David's enemies were persecuting him, and he was at risk of dying. Rather than declaring to God that he deserves to be rescued, David asks the Lord to be gracious to him. The essential meaning of grace is to be given something we have not earned and do not deserve. While in other psalms David acknowledges that God has honored his obedience (Psalm 9:4; 18:20), in this case David simply asks for grace.

God is not someone believers can command. However, He is gracious and answers prayer when it is for His glory. David had seen God deliver him in the past, therefore he believes God will deliver him again.

The term "the gates of death" is found in Job 38:17, Psalm 107:18, and Isaiah 38:10. It echoes the idea of death as crossing some barrier or border, from which there is no escape. David believed the Lord could and would preserve his life. Believers need not fear death, because it ushers them into the presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). The apostle Paul regarded death, for the born-again Christian, as gain (Philippians 1:21).
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