A Prayer of David, 85.
Bow down Thine ear, O Lord, and hearken unto me, for poor and needy am I. Preserve my soul, for I am holy; save Thy servant, O my God, that hopeth in Thee. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for unto Thee will I cry all the day long; make glad the soul of Thy servant, for unto Thee have I lifted up my soul. For Thou, O Lord, art good and gentle, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer, and attend unto the voice of my supplication. In the day of mine affliction have I cried unto Thee, for Thou hast heard me. There is none like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like unto Thy works. All the nations whom Thou hast made shall come and shall worship before Thee, O Lord, and shall glorify Thy name. For Thou art great and workest wonders; Thou alone art God. Guide me, O Lord, in Thy way, and I will walk in Thy truth; let my heart rejoice that I may fear Thy name. I will confess Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Thy name for ever. For great is Thy mercy upon me, and Thou hast delivered my soul from the nethermost hades. O God, transgressors have risen up against me, and the assembly of the mighty hath sought after my soul, and they have not set Thee before them. But Thou, O Lord my God, art compassionate and merciful, long-suffering and plenteous in mercy, and true. Look upon me and have mercy upon me; give Thy strength unto Thy servant, and save the son of Thy handmaiden. Work in me a sign unto good, and let them that hate me behold and be put to shame; for Thou, O Lord, hast holpen me and comforted me.
A Canticle Psalm, for the Sons of Kore, 86.
His foundations are in the holy mountains; the Lord loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. I will make mention of Raab and Babylon to them that know me. And lo, the foreigners and Tyre and the people of the Ethiopians, these were born there. A man will say: Mother Sion; and: That man was born in her; and: The Most High Himself hath founded her. The Lord shall tell it in the writ of the peoples and the princes, even these that were born in her. How joyous are all they that have their habitation in Thee.
A Psalmic Ode for the Sons of Kore. For the End: Concerning the Response of Maeleth. Concerning the Giving of a Wise Instruction to Aemon the Israelite, 87.
O Lord God of my salvation, by day have I cried and by night before Thee. Let my prayer come before Thee, bow down Thine ear unto my supplication, For filled with evils is my soul, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh. I am counted with them that go down into the pit; I am become as a man without help, free among the dead, Like the bodies of the slain that sleep in the grave, whom Thou rememberest no more, and they are cut off from Thy hand. They laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness and in the shadow of death. Against me is Thine anger made strong, and all Thy billows hast Thou brought upon me. Thou hast removed my friends afar from me; they have made me an abomination unto themselves. I have been delivered up, and have not come forth; mine eyes are grown weak from poverty. I have cried unto Thee, O Lord, the whole day long; I have stretched out my hands unto Thee. Nay, for the dead wilt Thou work wonders? Or shall physicians raise them up that they may give thanks unto Thee? Nay, shall any in the grave tell of Thy mercy, and of Thy truth in that destruction? Nay, shall Thy wonders be known in that darkness, and Thy righteousness in that land that is forgotten? But as for me, unto Thee, O Lord, have I cried; and in the morning shall my prayer come before Thee. Wherefore, O Lord, dost Thou cast off my soul and turnest Thy face away from me? A poor man am I, and in troubles from my youth; yea, having been exalted, I was humbled and brought to distress. Thy furies have passed upon me, and Thy terrors have sorely troubled me. They came round about me like water, all the day long they compassed me about together. Thou hast removed afar from me friend and neighbour, and mine acquaintances because of my misery.
Concerning Instruction; for Etham the Israelite, 88
Of Thy mercies, O Lord, will I sing for ever. Unto generation and generation will I declare Thy truth with my mouth. For Thou hast said: Mercy shall be built up for ever. In the heavens shall Thy truth be established. I have made a covenant with My chosen ones, I have sworn unto David My servant: I will establish thy seed until eternity, and build up thy throne unto generation and generation. The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord, and Thy truth in the congregation of saints. For who in the clouds shall be compared unto the Lord? And who shall be likened to the Lord among the sons of God? God Who is glorified in the council of the saints is great and terrible towards all that are round about Him. O Lord God of hosts, who is like unto Thee? Mighty art Thou, O Lord, and Thy truth is round about Thee. Thou art sovereign over the strength of the sea, and the tumult of her waves Thou makest calm. Thou hast brought the proud man low as the corpse of one slain, and with the arm of Thy power hast Thou scattered Thine enemies. Thine are the heavens, and Thine is the earth; the world and the fullness thereof hast Thou founded; the north and the sea hast Thou created. Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in Thy name. Thine is the arm that hath might. Let Thy hand be strengthened, let Thy right hand be lifted up on high; righteousness and judgement are the establishment of Thy throne. Mercy and truth shall go before Thy face. Blessed is the people that knoweth jubilation. O Lord, in the light of Thy face shall they walk, and in Thy name shall they rejoice all the day long, and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For the boast of their strength art Thou, and in Thy good pleasure shall our horn be lifted high. For from the Lord is our defense, yea, from the Holy One of Israel, our King. At that time Thou spakest in a vision to Thy sons, and Thou didst say: I have bestowed help on one that is mighty, I have raised up one chosen out of My people. I have found David My servant, with My holy oil have I anointed him. For My hand shall be unto him an ally, and Mine arm shall strengthen him. No advantage shall his enemy have over him, nor shall the son of iniquity avail to hurt him any more. And I will hew down his enemies before his face, and them that hate him shall I put to flight. And My truth and My mercy shall be with him, and in My name shall his horn be lifted high. And I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall call upon Me and shall say: My Father art Thou, my God, and the helper of my salvation. And as for Me, I will make him My firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. For ever shall I keep for him My mercy, and My covenant shall be faithful unto him. And I will establish his seed unto ages of ages, and his throne shall be as the days of heaven. If his sons forsake My law, and if they walk not in My judgements, If My statutes they profane, and keep not My commandments, I will visit their iniquities with a rod, and their injustices with scourges. But My mercy will I not disperse away from them, nor will I wrong them in My truth. Nor will I profane My covenant, nor the things that proceed from My lips will I make void. Once have I sworn by My holiness that to David I will not lie; his seed for ever shall abide. And his throne shall be as the sun before Me, and as the moon that is established for ever, and is a faithful witness in the sky.
But Thou hast cast off and brought to nought, Thou hast been wroth with Thine anointed. Thou hast destroyed the covenant of Thy servant, Thou hast profaned his sanctuary unto the earth. Thou hast broken down all his hedges, Thou hast made his strongholds to be his terror. All have despoiled him that pass along the way, he is become a reproach unto his neighbours. Thou hast exalted the right hand of them that afflict him, Thou hast gladdened all his enemies. Thou hast turned away the help of his sword, and hast not helped him in the battle. Thou hast made an end of his purification, his throne unto the earth hast Thou cast down. Thou hast shortened the days of his time, Thou hast poured down shame upon him. How long, O Lord, dost Thou turn away unto the end? Shall Thy wrath burn like fire? Remember what my substance is. Nay, hast Thou created all the sons of man in vain? Who is the man that shall live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul out of the hand of hades? Where are Thine ancient mercies, O Lord, which Thou swarest unto David in Thy truth? Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Thy servants, which I have endured in my bosom from many nations, Wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O Lord, wherewith they have reproached the recompense of Thine anointed. Blessed is the Lord for ever. So be it. So be it.
A Prayer of Moses, the Man of God, 89.
Lord, Thou hast been our refuge in generation and generation. Before the mountains came to be and the earth was formed and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting Thou art. Turn not man away unto lowliness; yea, Thou hast said: Turn back, ye sons of men. For a thousand years in Thine eyes, O Lord, are but as yesterday that is past, and as a watch in the night. Things of no account shall their years be; in the morning like grass shall man pass away. In the morning shall he bloom and pass away, in the evening shall he fall and grow withered and dry. For we have fainted away in Thy wrath, and in Thine anger have we been troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee; our lifespan is in the light of Thy countenance. For all our days are faded away, and in Thy wrath are we fainted away; our years have, like a spider, spun out their tale. As for the days of our years, in their span they be threescore years and ten. And if we be in strength, mayhap fourscore years; and what is more than these is toil and travail. For mildness is come upon us, and we shall be chastened. Who knoweth the might of Thy wrath? And out of fear of Thee, who can recount Thine anger? So make Thy right hand known to me, and to them that in their heart are instructed in wisdom. Return, O Lord; how long? And be Thou entreated concerning Thy servants. We were filled in the morning with Thy mercy, O Lord, and we rejoiced and were glad. In all our days, let us be glad for the days wherein Thou didst humble us, for the years wherein we saw evils. And look upon Thy servants, and upon Thy works, and do Thou guide their sons. And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us, and the works of our hands do Thou guide aright upon us, yea, the work of our hands do Thou guide aright.
A Canticle Praise of David. Without Superscription among the Hebrews, 90.
He that dwelleth in the help of the Most High shall abide in the shelter of the God of heaven. He shall say unto the Lord: Thou art my helper and my refuge. He is my God, and I will hope in Him. For He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters and from every troubling word. With His shoulders will He overshadow thee, and under His wings shalt thou have hope. With a shield will His truth encompass thee; thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day, Nor for the thing that walketh in darkness, nor for the mishap and demon of noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but unto thee shall it not come nigh. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and thou shalt see the reward of sinners. For Thou, O Lord, art my hope. Thou madest the Most High thy refuge; No evils shall come nigh thee, and no scourge shall draw nigh unto thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. On their hands shall they bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Upon the asp and basilisk shalt thou tread, and thou shalt trample upon the lion and dragon. For he hath set his hope on Me, and I will deliver him; I will shelter him because he hath known My name. He shall cry unto Me, and I will hearken unto him. I am with him in affliction, and I will rescue him and glorify him. With length of days will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation.
The Psalter According to the Seventy © 1974 Holy Transfiguration Monastery