The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Psalms
(To the choir-master. Melody: The Lilies. Of David.)
O God, save me; see how the waters close about me, shoulder-high!
I am like one who sticks fast in deep mire, with no ground under his feet, one who has ventured out into mid-ocean, to be drowned by the storm.
Hoarse my throat with crying wearily for help; my eyes ache with looking up for mercy to my God.
Countless as the hairs on my head are my wanton enemies, I am no match for the oppressors that wrong me. Should I make amends to them, I, that never robbed them?
O God, thou knowest my rash doings, no fault of mine is hidden from thy sight.
Master, Lord of hosts, shall ill fortune of mine bring shame to those who trust in thee, make men repent of looking for aid to thee, the God of Israel?
It is for thy sake that I have met with reproach, that I have so often blushed with confusion,
an outcast among my own brethren, a stranger to my own mother’s children.
Was it not jealousy for the honour of thy house that consumed me; was it not uttered against thee, the reproach I bore?
What more could I do? I humbled myself before them by fasting; and that, too, was matter for finding fault;
I dressed in sackcloth, and they made a by-word of me.
Idlers in the market-place taunt me; the drunkards make a song of me over their wine.
To thee, Lord, I make my prayer; never man more needed thy good will. Listen to me, O God, full of mercy as thou art, faithful as thou art to thy promise of aid.
Save me from sinking in the mire, rescue me from my enemies, from the deep waters that surround me;
let me not sink under the flood, swallowed up in its depths, and the well’s mouth close above me.
Listen to me, Lord, of thy gracious mercy, look down upon me in the abundance of thy pity;
do not turn thy face away from thy servant in this time of trouble, give a speedy answer to my prayer.
Draw near in my distress, and grant deliverance; relieve me, so hard pressed by my enemies.
Lord, thou knowest how they reproach me, how I blush with shame;
thou seest how many are my persecutors. Heart-broken with that shame, I pine away, looking round for pity, where pity is none, for comfort, where there is no comfort to be found.
They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.✻
Let their feast be turned into a trap, a net to catch them and theirs,✻
ever the blind eye be theirs, ever the halting loin.
Pour out thy anger upon them, let them be overtaken by the tide of thy vengeance;
let their dwelling-place be deserted, their tents for ever uninhabited.✻
Who is it they persecute? A man already afflicted by thee; hard was my hurt to bear, and these have added to it.
Do thou add guilt to guilt in their reckoning; let them never claim thy acquittal;
let their names be blotted out from the record of the living, and never be written among the just.
See how friendless I am, and how distressed! Let thy help, O God, sustain me.
I will sing in praise of God’s name, herald it gratefully;
a more acceptable sacrifice, this, to the Lord than any young bullock, for all its promise of horn and hoof.
Here is a sight to make the afflicted rejoice; to cheer men’s spirits in their quest for God.
The Lord listens to the prayer of the destitute; he does not forget his servants in their chains.
To him be praise from sky, earth and sea, and from all the creatures that move about them.
God will grant deliverance to Sion; the cities of Juda will rise from their ruins, inhabited now and held firmly in possession,
an inheritance for the race that serves him, a home for all true lovers of his name.
The Holy Bible