Psalm 25

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Psalm 25
Psalm 24 Initial A.jpg
Psalm 25 [Psalm 24 Vulgate] verses 1–7a in the 12th-century St. Albans Psalter.
BookBook of Psalms
Hebrew Bible partKetuvim
Order in the Hebrew part1
CategorySifrei Emet
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part19

Psalm 25 (Hebrew numbering; Psalm 24 in Greek numbering) of the Book of Psalms, has the form of an acrostic Hebrew poem. It is the second of the seven so-called Penitential Psalms.

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


In the International Critical Commentary, Charles and Emilie Briggs date this Psalm to "the Persian period prior to Nehemiah," that is, between about 539 and 445 BCE.[1][2][3]

Nineteenth-century Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon claims "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 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).


  • Commentaires sur les psaumes, d’Hilaire de Poitiers
  • Commentaries on the Psalms, John Chrysostom
  • Discourse in the Psalms Saint Augustine
  • Commentaries for the Psalms, Thomas Aquinas 1273
  • Commentaries on the Psalms John Calvin 1557
  • A Godly and Fruitful Exposition on the Twenty-fifth Psalme, the second of the Penitentials; (in "A Sacred Septenarie.") By ARCHIBALD SYMSON. 1638. p74.
  • 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.
  • Six Sermons in "Expository Discourses," by the late Rev. WILLIAM RICHARDSON, Subchanter of York Cathedral. 1825.


  1. ^ For the words in quotation marks, see Charles Augustus Briggs; Emilie Grace Briggs (1960) [1906]. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms. International Critical Commentary. 1. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. p. 112.
  2. ^ For the date 539 as beginning the Persion period, see Mark J. Boda; J. Gordon McConville (14 June 2013). Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. InterVarsity Press. p. 415. ISBN 978-0-8308-9583-0.
  3. ^ For the date of Nehemiah's return in 445, see Gordon Fay Davies; David W. Cotter; Jerome T. Walsh (1999). Ezra and Nehemiah. Liturgical Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-8146-5049-3.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-22. Retrieved 2015-10-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.
  6. ^ "Commentary on Psalms 25 by Matthew Henry".
  7. ^ "Psalm 25 Bible Commentary - Matthew Henry (concise)".
  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. ^ "Fleurir en liturgie - Liturgie Catholique".

External links[edit]

  • Psalm 25 in Hebrew and English - Mechon-mamre
  • Psalm 25 King James Bible - Wikisource