To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil,
A Psalm of David.

This psalm was probably penned by David when he fled from Jerusalem for fear of Absalom his son, 2 Sam. 15-16. Observe, (1.) David’s earnest prayers for help and favour from God, amidst his great oppression, griefs, and fears, ver. 1-8. (2.) His request for the just manifestation of God’s vengeance, in the dispersion and destruction of his enemies, who, in Jerusalem, particularly Ahithophel, had behaved in so base and treacherous a manner, ver. 9-15. (3.) Resolved on frequent and fervent prayer, he encourages himself and friends to trust in God for support and deliverance, and for the speedy destruction of their enemies, however deceitful and bloody, ver. 16-23.
While I sing, behold, my soul, as in a glass, how Jesus our Redeemer, was hated, was betrayed, and murdered by his brethren of Judah, at Jerusalem; and how the fearful vengeance of the Almighty overtook them, on that account. And if I am oppressed, defamed, or persecuted, that I know not whither to flee; if in cities, or by particular friends, wickedness and malice discover themselves, let me study resignation to the disposals of Providence, and call upon God in the assured hopes that he will answer in due time. Let me cast all my wants and burdens on him, who is my God, that doth me save.

1 Lord, hear my pray’r, hide not thyself
from my entreating voice:
2 Attend and hear me; in my plaint
I mourn and make a noise.

3 Because of th’ en’my’s voice, and for
lewd men’s oppression great:
On me they cast iniquity,
and they in wrath me hate.

4 Sore pained within me is my heart:
death’s terrors on me fall.
5 On me comes trembling, fear and dread
o’erwhelmed me withal.

6 O that I, like a dove, had wings,
said I, then would I flee
Far hence, that I might find a place
where I in rest might be.

7 Lo, then far off I wander would,
and in the desert stay;
8 From windy storm and tempest I
would haste to ‘scape away.

9 O Lord, on them destruction bring,
and do their tongues divide;
For in the city violence
and strife I have espied.

10 They day and night upon the walls
do go about it round:
There mischief is, and sorrow there
in midst of it is found.

11 Abundant wickedness there is
within her inward part;
And from her streets deceitfulness
and guile do not depart.

12 He was no foe that me reproached,
then that endure I could;
Nor hater that did ‘gainst me boast,
from him me hide I would.

13 But thou, man, who mine equal, guide,
and mine acquaintance wast:
14 We joined sweet counsels, to God’s house
in company we past.

15 Let death upon them seize, and down
let them go quick to hell;
For wickedness doth much abound
among them where they dwell.

16 I’ll call on God: God will me save.
17 I’ll pray, and make a noise
At ev’ning, morning, and at noon;
and he shall hear my voice.

18 He hath my soul delivered,
that it in peace might be
From battle that against me was;
for many were with me.

19 The Lord shall hear, and them afflict,
of old who hath abode:
Because they never changes have,
therefore they fear not God.

20 ‘Gainst those that were at peace with him
he hath put forth his hand:
The covenant that he had made,
by breaking he profaned.

21 More smooth than butter were his words,
while in his heart was war;
His speeches were more soft than oil,
and yet drawn swords they are.

22 Cast thou thy burden on the Lord,
and he shall thee sustain;
Yea, he shall cause the righteous man
unmoved to remain.

23 But thou, O Lord my God, those men
in justice shalt o’erthrow,
And in destruction’s dungeon dark
at last shalt lay them low:

The bloody and deceitful men
shall not live half their days:
But upon thee with confidence
I will depend always.