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Psalm chapter 9

New International Version

1 For the director of music. To the tune of 'The Death of the Son.' A psalm of David. I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. 3 My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. 4 For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. 5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6 Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. 7 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8 He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. 9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. 11 Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.
12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. 13 LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation. 15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16 The LORD is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. 17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God.
18 But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. 19 Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. 20 Strike them with terror, LORD; let the nations know they are only mortal.
English Standard Version

1 To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 3 When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. 4 For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. 5 You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out; the very memory of them has perished. 7 But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, 8 and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. 9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. 11 Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! 12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. 13 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, 14 that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation. 15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. 16 The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah 17 The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God. 18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. 19 Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! 20 Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah
King James Version

1 {To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.} I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. 3 When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. 4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. 5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever. 6 O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them. 7 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. 8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. 9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. 12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble. 13 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: 14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. 15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. 18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. 19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. 20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
New American Standard Bible

1 For the choir director; on Muth-labben. A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. 2 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. 3 When my enemies turn back, They stumble and perish before You. 4 For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously. 5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins, And You have uprooted the cities; The very memory of them has perished. 7 But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, 8 And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. 9 The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. 11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds. 12 For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted. 13 Be gracious to me, O LORD; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation. 15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught. 16 The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah. 17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God. 18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever. 19 Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You. 20 Put them in fear, O LORD; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.
New Living Translation

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune 'Death of the Son.' I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
3 My enemies retreated; they staggered and died when you appeared. 4 For you have judged in my favor; from your throne you have judged with fairness. 5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have erased their names forever. 6 The enemy is finished, in endless ruins; the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.
7 But the LORD reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. 8 He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. 9 The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.
11 Sing praises to the LORD who reigns in Jerusalem. Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds. 12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.
13 LORD, have mercy on me. See how my enemies torment me. Snatch me back from the jaws of death. 14 Save me so I can praise you publicly at Jerusalem's gates, so I can rejoice that you have rescued me.
15 The nations have fallen into the pit they dug for others. Their own feet have been caught in the trap they set.
16 The LORD is known for his justice. The wicked are trapped by their own deeds. Quiet Interlude
17 The wicked will go down to the grave. This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God. 18 But the needy will not be ignored forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.
19 Arise, O LORD! Do not let mere mortals defy you! Judge the nations!
20 Make them tremble in fear, O LORD. Let the nations know they are merely human. Interlude
Christian Standard Bible

1 I will thank the LORD with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous works.
2 I will rejoice and boast about you; I will sing about your name, Most High. 3 When my enemies retreat, they stumble and perish before you. 4 For you have upheld my just cause; you are seated on your throne as a righteous judge. 5 You have rebuked the nations: You have destroyed the wicked; you have erased their name forever and ever.
6 The enemy has come to eternal ruin. You have uprooted the cities, and the very memory of them has perished. 7 But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8 And he judges the world with righteousness; he executes judgment on the nations with fairness. 9 The LORD is a refuge for the persecuted, a refuge in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you because you have not abandoned those who seek you, LORD. 11 Sing to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; proclaim his deeds among the nations.
12 For the one who seeks an accounting for bloodshed remembers them; he does not forget the cry of the oppressed. 13 Be gracious to me, LORD; consider my affliction at the hands of those who hate me. Lift me up from the gates of death,
14 so that I may declare all your praises. I will rejoice in your salvation within the gates of Daughter Zion. 15 The nations have fallen into the pit they made; their foot is caught in the net they have concealed.
16 The LORD has made himself known; he has executed justice, snaring the wicked by the work of their hands. Higgaion. Selah 17 The wicked will return to Sheol--all the nations that forget God.
18 For the needy will not always be forgotten; the hope of the oppressed will not perish forever. 19 Rise up, LORD! Do not let mere humans prevail; let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Put terror in them, LORD; let the nations know they are only humans. Selah

What does Psalm chapter 9 mean?

The introduction to this passage includes an extremely obscure reference, Muth-labben. This might refer to a song which was known in David's time; the term literally means "the death of the son." If so, it would mean this psalm was meant to be sung according to that tune. The use of the also-murky word higgaion (Psalm 9:16) suggests some connection to musical performance. Further, this psalm follows an acrostic pattern, beginning each section with a successive letter from the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 9 opens with David's intention to praise the Lord joyfully for all His wonderful deeds. The acts David has in mind were probably military victories, by Israel, against her attackers. David remarks on the total victory possible through God's power; this imagines enemies staggering in their effort to escape (Psalm 9:1–3).

In the same style, David also praises God as a sovereign dispenser of righteous judgment. The term "the nations" often refers to the Gentile people—those not part of the nation of Israel. In that way, it is often used as a symbol of the ungodly world. God's destruction of those who reject Him, or oppose Him, is so thorough that it effectively erases their name from remembrance. Not even a memory of the wicked nations remains (Psalm 9:4–6).

Contrasting the annihilation of the wicked is God, forever in His position of power and status. From that vantage point, God administers justice and righteousness. David also describes God as a haven for those who are oppressed. The language here implies a high, fortified sanctuary. When the ungodly world attacks, those who have faith in the Lord can take refuge in Him. The Lord never forsakes or forgets those who belong to Him. Because of this, the natural reaction of God's people should be praise (Psalm 9:7–12).

After celebrating God's righteousness and justice, David calls on God to rescue him from enemies who hate him and place him in jeopardy of death. David's plea here is trusting, even though he gives no reason for God to save him other than pure grace. This song directly connects God's answer to prayer with instinctive praise from His people (Psalm 9:13–14).

David completes this psalm by previewing the total ruin of all who oppose God. All the wicked and all the nations that refuse to acknowledge God will perish. However, the needy will not be forgotten, and the hope of the poor will never perish. Though David is speaking of his own era, and his own experiences, this serves to foreshadow the total victory of Christ when He returns (Revelation 19:11–15). David closes Psalm 9 with the prayer that the Lord judge the nations, put them in fear, and remind them that they are simply men (Psalm 9:15–20).