Psalm 17

David asks God to keep him from the evil world that oppressed him, while he looked to a glorious future in the Lord’s presence.




A Prayer by David.


VERSE 1. Hear, LORD, my righteous plea; Give ear to my prayer, that doesn’t go out of deceitful lips.

my righteous plea. David considers his own prayer to be righteous.

deceitful lips. David considered an unrighteous person to have deceitful lips.


VERSE 2. Let my sentence come out of your presence. Let your eyes look on equity.


VERSE 3. You have proved my heart. You have visited me in the night. You have tried me, and found nothing. I have resolved that my mouth shall not disobey.

You have proved my heart. That is, God has “tested” David’s heart.


VERSE 4. As for the deeds of men, by the word of your lips, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.


VERSE 5. My steps have held fast to your paths. My feet have not slipped.

held fast to your paths. David had patterned his life upon God’s word.


VERSE 6. I have called on you, for you will answer me, God. Turn your ear to me. Hear my speech.


VERSE 7. Show your marvelous loving kindness, you who save those who take refuge by your right hand from their enemies.

right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ. More verses about the right hand.


VERSE 8. Keep me as the apple of your eye. Hide me under the shadow of your wings,

Keep me. David asks to be kept in the center of God’s watchful protection.

the apple of your eye. This seems to refer to an eye’s pupil, symbolizing one’s sight.

the shadow of your wings. David imagines God’s protective care to be like that of a bird with its young.

your eye … your wings. Bible scholars call this anthropocentrism. That means that we humans apply our human understandings to God. In this case, God does not have “wings.” Truly, “God is spirit” (see John 4:24). But it’s helpful to our limited human mind to envision him in some human form.

John 4:24. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.


VERSE 9. from the wicked who oppress me, my deadly enemies, who surround me.


VERSE 10. They close up their callous hearts. With their mouth they speak proudly.


VERSE 11. They have now surrounded us in our steps. They set their eyes to cast us down to the earth.


VERSE 12. He is like a lion that is greedy of his prey, as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.


VERSE 13. Arise, LORD, confront him. Cast him down. Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword;


VERSE 14. from men by your hand, LORD, from men of the world, whose portion is in this life. You fill the belly of your cherished ones. Your sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children.

whose portion is in this life. Because they did not follow the Lord, this life was their only hope of enjoyment.


VERSE 15. As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with seeing your form.

I shall be satisfied, when I awake. When David awoke, he wanted to be filled with the LORD’s presence.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.