Psalm 20

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Psalm 20
"The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble"
Biblia Hebraica Kttel Psalm 20-21.jpg
Psalms 20-21 in Biblia Hebraica Kittel (1909)
Other name"Exaudiat te Dominus"
Textattributed to David
LanguageHebrew (original)
Psalm 20
BookBook of Psalms
Hebrew Bible partKetuvim
Order in the Hebrew part1
CategorySifrei Emet
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part19

Psalm 20 is the 20th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble". The Book of Psalms is part of the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate translations of the Bible, this psalm is Psalm 19. In Latin, it is known by the incipit, "Exaudiat te Dominus".[1] The psalm is attributed to David. This psalm and the following one are closely related: they are both liturgical psalms: the first is an intercession, the second is a thanksgiving; in both, the king is the prominent figure.[2]

Psalm 20 is used in both Jewish and Christian liturgies. It has often been set to music.


Hebrew Bible version[edit]

The following is the Hebrew text of Psalm 20:[3]

Verse Hebrew
1 .לַמְנַצֵּחַ, מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד
2 .יַעַנְךָ יְהוָה, בְּיוֹם צָרָה; יְשַׂגֶּבְךָ, שֵׁם אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב
3 .יִשְׁלַח-עֶזְרְךָ מִקֹּדֶשׁ; וּמִצִּיּוֹן, יִסְעָדֶךָּ
4 .יִזְכֹּר כָּל-מִנְחֹתֶךָ; וְעוֹלָתְךָ יְדַשְּׁנֶה סֶלָה
5 .יִתֶּן-לְךָ כִלְבָבֶךָ; וְכָל-עֲצָתְךָ יְמַלֵּא
6 ;נְרַנְּנָה, בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ-- וּבְשֵׁם-אֱלֹהֵינוּ נִדְגֹּל

.יְמַלֵּא יְהוָה, כָּל-מִשְׁאֲלוֹתֶיךָ

7 :עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי-- כִּי הוֹשִׁיעַ יְהוָה, מְשִׁיחוֹ

.יַעֲנֵהוּ, מִשְּׁמֵי קָדְשׁוֹ-- בִּגְבֻרוֹת, יֵשַׁע יְמִינוֹ

8 ;אֵלֶּה בָרֶכֶב, וְאֵלֶּה בַסּוּסִים

.וַאֲנַחְנוּ, בְּשֵׁם-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ נַזְכִּיר

9 .הֵמָּה, כָּרְעוּ וְנָפָלוּ; וַאֲנַחְנוּ קַּמְנוּ, וַנִּתְעוֹדָד
10 .יְהוָה הוֹשִׁיעָה: הַמֶּלֶךְ, יַעֲנֵנוּ בְיוֹם-קָרְאֵנוּ

King James Version[edit]

  1. The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
  2. Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;
  3. Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.
  4. Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
  5. We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.
  6. Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
  7. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
  8. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
  9. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.


In the International Critical Commentary series, Charles and Emilie Briggs suggest that it was written during the reign of Jehoshaphat.[4]


In Jewish prayer[edit]

The 70 words in this psalm may reference the 70 years of exile between the first and second temples, or as suggested in the Zohar, the 70 cries of pain associated with child birth.[5] It has been inserted into daily prayer following the loss of the second temple to symbolize the somber period prior to the construction of the third temple.[6]

It is used in Jewish prayer in several ways:

Book of Common Prayer[edit]

In the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, this psalm is appointed to be read on the morning of the fourth day of the month.[13]

Ancient pagan version[edit]

In the 1980s, a new papyrus, known as Papyrus Amherst 63, was translated. This papyrus was discovered in the late 19th century at Luxor (ancient Thebes), and is currently hold at the Morgan Library in New York. According to Karel van der Toorn, it dates towards the 4th century BC (although the texts contained there were probably composed in the 7th century BC at the latest) and contains a sort of "pagan" and "Northen Israelite" version of Psalm 20 in aramaic (with demotic script).[14]

Musical settings[edit]

Psalm 20 was set in a German paraphrase by Heinrich Schütz for the Becker Psalter, "Der Herr erhört dich in der Not" (The Lord will hear you in need), SWV 116. This psalm in Latin was set to music in 1688 by Michel-Richard de Lalande, as a grand motet (S.36, music lost). André Campra set one grand motet. Marc-Antoine Charpentier set around 1670 one "Exaudiat te Dominus", H.162 for soloists, double chorus, double orchestra (flutes and strings), and continuo, around 1675 one "Prière pour le Roi" H.165 for 3 voices, 2 treble instruments, and continuo. At the beginning of 1680s, he set another one, "Exaudiat pour le Roi à 4", H.180, ( H.180 a, H.180 b, 1690) for soloists, chorus, and continuo. Henry Desmarest set one grand motet "Exaudiat te Dominus".


  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 19 (20)
  2. ^ Kirkpatrick, A. F., (1906), Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Psalm 20, accessed 10 October 2021
  3. ^ "Psalms Chapter 20 תְּהִלִּים". Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  4. ^ Charles Augustus Briggs; Emilie Grace Briggs (1960) [1906]. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms. International Critical Commentary. Vol. 1. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. p. 176.
  5. ^ a b Barenblat, Rachel. "Psalm 20: a psalm for childbirth". VelveteenRabbi. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  6. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 152
  7. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 125
  8. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 62
  9. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 66
  10. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 157
  11. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 257
  12. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 619
  13. ^ Church of England, Book of Common Prayer: The Psalter as printed by John Baskerville in 1762, pp. 196ff
  14. ^ «Egyptian Papyrus Sheds New Light on Jewish History». The BAS Library

External links[edit]