What does Psalm 9:9 mean?
ESV: The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
NIV: The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
NASB: The Lord will also be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble;
CSB: The Lord is a refuge for the persecuted, a refuge in times of trouble.
NLT: The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
KJV: The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
NKJV: The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.
Verse Commentary:
David mentions "the oppressed" here, which implies people abused by those who exercise control over them. The Hebrew word implies something being crushed or harassed. Perhaps the abusers were political rulers or wealthy landowners.

God is identified as "a stronghold" for those abused in such ways. In Hebrew terminology, a "stronghold" was a high, safe, refuge. It was a place where people could seek security from attackers or enemies. The root word, in fact, most literally means "height." David often resorted to strongholds during his wilderness exile, but he felt safest in his reliance on the Lord.

Echoing this sentiment, the sons of Korah write in Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 91:2 declares, "I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." When adversity is extreme, those who trust in the Lord can turn to the Lord for safety. He is infinitely more powerful than any abuser. The apostle John assures believers, "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
Verse Context:
Psalm 9:9–20 turns David's attention to various groups of people of Israel. He mentions the oppressed, those who trust in the Lord, the afflicted, the needy, and the poor. He sees the Lord as a safe, secure place, a God who is mindful of His people, and the supplier of hope to the poor.
Chapter Summary:
David praises God in a song which follows an acrostic pattern: the psalm is divided into phrases which begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The pattern continues through Psalm 10, leading some to suggest they were intended as a single work, or as closely related halves. In this psalm, David promises to praise God for His great deeds, including awesome victory over evil. The Lord's eternal justice is also praised, as David asks for further rescue from those who seek to kill him. The passage ends with a prayer for God to remind mankind of His authority.
Chapter Context:
This is a thanksgiving song, where David shows appreciation for the Lord's rescue. This shares similar themes to Psalm 10, though from a very different tone. Some scholars think Psalms 9 and 10 were originally a single work. This is part of the first section of the book of Psalms, including Psalms 1 through 41.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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