The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Psalms
(A maskil. Of Ethan the Ezrahite.)
Here is a song to put the Lord’s mercies on record for ever; ages will pass, and still these words of mine shall proclaim thy faithfulness.
Charter of everlasting mercy thy own lips have given; there, in the heavens, thy faithful promise rests:
I have made a sworn covenant with my chosen servant David:
To all time I will make thy posterity continue, age after age I will bid thy throne endure.
And are not those heavens, Lord, witnesses of thy wonderful power, of thy faithfulness, before the court of the holy ones?
Who is there above the clouds to rival the Lord; where is the Lord’s like among all the sons of God?
How is God feared, in that assembly of the holy ones; how great he is, how high in reverence above all that stand about him!
Lord God of hosts, who can compare with thee; in the power, Lord, that is thine, in the faithfulness that everywhere attends thee?
It is thou that dost curb the pride of the sea, and calm the tumult of its waves;
wounded lies Rahab✻ at thy feet, by the strong arm that has routed thy enemies.
Thine are the heavens, thine the earth; author, thou, of the world and all it holds.
The north wind and the south are of thy fashioning; thy name wakes the glad echoes of Thabor and Hermon.
God of the strong arm, the sure, the uplifted hand,
right and justice are the pillars of thy throne; mercy and faithfulness the heralds of thy coming.
Happy is the people that knows well the shout of praise, that lives, Lord, in the smile of thy protection!
Evermore they take pride in thy name, rejoice over thy just dealings.
What else but thy glory inspires their strength? What else but thy favour bids us lift our heads?
From the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, that royal protection comes which is our shield.
Long ago, in a vision, thou didst make a promise to thy faithful servants. Thou saidst, I have crowned you a warrior king, chosen out among the common folk a man to honour.
Here was my servant David; on him my consecrating oil has been poured.
My hand shall never leave him unprotected, my arm shall give him courage;
no enemy shall take him unawares, no envious rival have power, henceforth, to crush him;
beaten down, every foe, at his onset, baffled, all their ill will.
My faithfulness and mercy shall go with him; by my favour he shall rise to pre-eminence.
I will make his power rest on the sea; to the streams of the great river his hand shall reach out.✻
Thou art my Father, he will cry out to me, thou art my God, my stronghold and my refuge;
and I will acknowledge him as my first-born, overlord to all the kings of earth.
I will continue my favour towards him for ever, my covenant with him shall remain unbroken;
I will give him a posterity that never fails, a throne enduring as heaven itself.
Do his children forsake my law, to follow paths not mine;
do they violate my decrees, leave my will undone?
Then they shall feel the rod for their transgressions, I will scourge them for their sin,
but I will not cancel my gracious promise to him;
never will I be guilty of unfaithfulness, never will I violate my covenant, or alter the decree once spoken.
Pledged stands my inviolable word, I will never be false to David;
his posterity shall continue for ever,
his royalty, too, shall last on in my presence like the sun; like the moon’s eternal orb, that bears witness in heaven unalterable.
And now? Now thou hast only loathing and scorn for us; heavy thy hand falls on him thou hast anointed.
Spurned lies the covenant thou didst make with thy servant, thou hast dishonoured his royalty in the dust,
broken down all the walls about him, and made a ruin of his stronghold,
till he is plundered by every passer-by, a laughing-stock to all his neighbours.
Thou hast granted aid to the attacking armies, triumph to all his enemies,
foiling the thrust of his sword, and denying him thy succour in battle.
Thou hast robbed him of the bright glory✻ that once was his; thou hast cast down his throne to earth,
cut his manhood short before its time; confusion overwhelms him.
Lord, wilt thou always turn thy face away so obdurately, will the flame of thy anger never be quenched?
Remember how frail a thing I am, how brief a destiny thou hast granted to all Adam’s sons.
Where is the man that can live on, and leave death untasted; can ransom his life from the power of the world beneath?
Lord, where are those mercies of an earlier time, promised so faithfully to David?
Remember how a world’s taunts assail thy people, and this one heart must bear them all;
shall they hurl taunts, Lord, these, thy enemies, after the man thou thyself hast anointed?
Blessed be the Lord for ever. Amen, Amen.
The Holy Bible