Psalm 12

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Psalm 12 is the 12th psalm from the Book of Psalms. It is a Psalm of lament, internally cited as being a psalm of David.


From the King James Version.[1]

  1. Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
  2. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
  3. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
  4. Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
  5. For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
  6. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
  7. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
  8. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.



The reformation theologian John Calvin in his commentary of the psalm interprets the passage as referring to the truthfulness of God in contrast to humanity, saying that the elaboration of God's actions in the psalm reflect promises God had made with the Israelites.[2]

The genre of the psalm is unclear. [3]Jörg Jeremias sees in it most as the "prophetic action liturgy". Hermann Gunkel also calls the Psalm as "liturgy".[4] Here "liturgy" means the intention of the performance was for changing voices was in the service.[5]


Gunkel divides the psalm as follows:[6]

  1. Verse 2f .: After a short cry for help, the complaint that falsehood prevails
  2. Vers .: 4f desire YHWH may intervene
  3. Verse 6: consolation that YHWH salvation appears now
  4. Verse 7-9: Answers: praise the word of YHWH



Catholic Church[edit]

According to the Rule of St. Benedict (530 AD), Psalm 1 to Psalm 20 were mainly reserved for the office of Prime. This Psalm 11 he said was so recited or sung at Prime on Wednesday.[9] A number of monasteries still respect this tradition. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Psalm 12 is now recited on Tuesday the first week to the Office of the middle of the day.[10]


Martin Luther created in 1523 a Choral Ach Gott for this Psalm and Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a cantata for Ach Gott, [11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Calvin, John (1850). King, John (ed.). Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 8: Psalms, Part I. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ Theodor Lescow,Das Stufenschema( 1992), p123.
  4. ^ Hermann Gunkel, Die Psalmen (1986), p43.
  5. ^ Hermann Gunkel ,Einleitung in die Psalmen (1985), p407.
  6. ^ Hermann Gunkel, Die Psalmen, p43
  7. ^ The Artscroll Tehillim page 329
  8. ^ The Artscroll Tehillim page 329
  9. ^ traduction par Prosper Guéranger, Règle de saint Benoît, (Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007) p46.
  10. ^ The main cycle of liturgical prayers takes place over four weeks.
  11. ^ BWV 2 (1724).

External links[edit]

  • Psalm 12 in Hebrew and English - Mechon-mamre