This psalm recognizes that vengeance belongs to the LORD. The author calls on the LORD to wreak vengeance on proud people who oppress the righteous.
VERSE 1. LORD, you God to whom vengeance belongs, you God to whom vengeance belongs, shine out.
God to whom vengeance belongs. Vengeance belongs to the LORD.
VERSE 2. Rise up, you judge of the earth. Pay back the proud what they deserve.
judge of the earth. God alone is the Judge of the earth.
VERSE 3. LORD, how long will the wicked, how long will the wicked triumph?
how long. These words express waiting and hope. And possibly complaining.
VERSE 4. They pour out arrogant words. All the evildoers boast.
VERSE 5. They break your people in pieces, LORD, and afflict your heritage.
VERSE 6. They kill the widow and the alien, and murder the fatherless.
VERSE 7. They say, “The LORD will not see, neither will Jacob’s God consider.”
The LORD will not see. This is a common delusion.
VERSE 8. Consider, you senseless among the people; you fools, when will you be wise?
you senseless among the people. Wicked people are not wise.
VERSE 9. He who implanted the ear, won’t he hear? He who formed the eye, won’t he see
VERSE 10. He who disciplines the nations, won’t he punish? He who teaches man knows.
VERSE 11. The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.
VERSE 12. Blessed is the man whom you discipline, LORD, and teach out of your Torah;
the man whom you discipline. A person that God has disciplined is blessed. That is because he is taught from the Scriptures.
James 1:2-4. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
VERSE 13. that you may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked.
VERSE 14. For the LORD won’t reject his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
VERSE 15. For judgment will return to righteousness. All the upright in heart shall follow it.
VERSE 16. Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?
VERSE 17. Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul would have soon lived in silence.
Unless the LORD had been my help. The author’s only consolation was the LORD.
in the multitude of my thoughts within me. That is, “when cares increase within me” (NAB translation).
your comforts delight my soul. Comfort from God gives us joy.
VERSE 20. Shall the throne of wickedness have fellowship with you, which brings about mischief by statute?
NLT translation: “Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—leaders whose decrees permit injustice?”
VERSE 21. They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
VERSE 22. But the LORD has been my high tower, my God, the rock of my refuge.
VERSE 23. He has brought on them their own iniquity, and will cut them off in their own wickedness. The LORD, our God, will cut them off.
Image: “Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime” by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon in 1808
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.