Psalm 25

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Psalm 25 in the Albani-Psalter

Psalm 25 is the 25th psalm from the Book of Psalms.[1][2][3] It has the form of an acrostic Hebrew poem and has been called second of the seven Penitential Psalms.

Psalm 25 is according to the tradition, a prayer of king David.

This psalm has a strong formal relationship to Psalm 34. Both are acrostics, with missing each time the verse Waw, which was added a verse to Pe a prayer of deliverance of Israel. As an Acrostic the verses in the psalm are arranged according to the Hebrew alphabet, with the exception of the letters Bet, Wav and Koef which together according to Jewish interpreters made reference to the word gehinom (hell).


Charles Spurgeon finds it is evidently a composition of David's later days, for he mentions the sins of his youth, and from its painful references to the craft and cruelty of his many foes, it will not be too speculative a theory to refer it to the period when Absalom was heading the great rebellion against him.[4]


The psalm is in three parts,[5] In the first portion of the psalm,[6] David:

  1. professes his desire towards God:
  2. professes his dependence upon God
  3. begs direction from God
  4. professes God's infinite mercy

In the middle portion he addresses his own iniquities [7]

In the last part he pleads

  1. God's mercy:
  2. his own misery, distress, affliction and pain.
  3. the iniquity of his enemies, and deliverance from them.
  4. He pleads his own integrity,



Catholic Church[edit]

This psalm is characterized by confidence of David[12] the penitent king. That is why, from the sixth century, the Church begins the first Sunday of Advent with the first verses sung of it, namely the Introit in Old Roman and Gregorian, pending the Nativité.[13]

Protestant Christianity[edit]

A survey of organists in the Dutch Reformed denomination (from May 2000 to May 2001) revealed that Psalm 25 is the third most sung Psalm is in Reformed worship services. Only Psalm 119 and Psalm 89 sung more frequently.

Musical settings[edit]

Czech composer Antonín Dvořák set verses 16-18 and 20 to music in his Biblical Songs (1894).



  1. ^ A Godly and Fruitful Exposition on the Twenty-fifth Psalme, the second of the Penitentials; (in "A Sacred Septenarie.") By ARCHIBALD SYMSON. 1638. p74.
  2. ^ The Preacher's Tripartie, in Three Books. The First, to raise Devotion in Divine Meditations upon Psalm XXV. By R. MOSSOM, Preacher of God's Word, late at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, London, 1657. Folio.
  3. ^ Six Sermons in "Expository Discourses," by the late Rev. WILLIAM RICHARDSON, Subchanter of York Cathedral. 1825.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Complete Artscroll Machzor for Rosh Hashanah page 315
  9. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 62
  10. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 125
  11. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 133
  12. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, p. 71, 1938/2003
  13. ^