Psalm 54

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Psalm 54 is the 54th psalm from the Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 53 in a slightly different numbering system. Attributed to David, it was written for one who finds oneself betrayed by a friend.[1]


Hebrew Bible version[edit]

Following is the Hebrew text of Psalm 54:[2]

Verse Hebrew
1 לַֽמְנַצֵּ֥חַ בִּ֜נְגִינֹ֗ת מַשְׂכִּ֥יל לְדָוִֽד
2 בְּב֣וֹא הַ֖זִּיפִים וַיֹּֽאמְר֥וּ לְשָׁא֑וּל הֲלֹ֥א דָ֜וִ֗ד מִסְתַּתֵּ֥ר עִמָּֽנוּ
3 אֱלֹהִים בְּשִׁמְךָ֣ הֽוֹשִׁיעֵ֑נִי וּבִגְבוּרָֽתְךָ֥ תְדִינֵֽנִי
4 אֱלֹהִים שְׁמַ֣ע תְּפִלָּתִ֑י הַֽ֜אֲזִ֜ינָה לְאִמְרֵי־פִֽי
5 כִּ֚י זָרִ֨ים | קָ֚מוּ עָלַ֗י וְ֖עָֽרִיצִים בִּקְשׁ֣וּ נַפְשִׁ֑י לֹא־שָׂ֨מוּ אֱלֹהִ֖ים לְנֶגְדָּ֣ם סֶֽלָה
6 הִנֵּ֣ה אֱ֖לֹהִים עֹזֵ֣ר לִ֑י אֲ֜דֹנָ֗י בְּֽסֹמְכֵ֥י נַפְשִֽׁי
7 יָשִׁ֣יב (כתיב יָשִׁ֣וב) הָ֖רַע לְשֹֽׁרְרָ֑י בַּֽ֜אֲמִתְּךָ֗ הַצְמִיתֵֽם
8 בִּנְדָבָ֥ה אֶזְבְּחָה־לָּ֑ךְ א֘וֹדֶ֚ה שִׁמְךָ֖ יְהֹוָ֣ה כִּי־טֽוֹב
9 כִּ֣י מִכָּל־צָרָ֣ה הִצִּילָ֑נִי וּ֜בְאֹֽיְבַ֗י רָֽאֲתָ֥ה עֵינִֽי

King James Version[edit]

The following is the full English text of the Psalm from the King James Bible.

(To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David,
when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?)
  1. Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.
  2. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
  3. For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.
  4. Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
  5. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.
  6. I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.
  7. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

Verse numbering[edit]

In the Hebrew Bible, Psalm 54:1-2 comprise the designation

1 To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David,
2 when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us? (KJV)

From then on Psalm 54:1–7 in English versions correspond to verses 3–9 in the Hebrew text.[3]


The historical setting of this Psalm is given in its title, almost a direct quotation from 1 Samuel 23:19 (a similar style of historical setting as with Psalm 52).[4] It is considered one of the psalms containing prayers against false accusations, linked with an ordeal, the taking of an oath, or an appeal to the 'higher court', as indicated in the following points:[4]

  • The phrase 'vindicate me' (verse 1)
  • A royal perspective of opponents as 'strangers' (verse 3; NRSV emends to 'the insolent'), 'the ruthless' (verse 3), and 'enemies' (verse 5)
  • A prayer before battle appealing to God as personal savior with a covenant 'faithfulness' (verse 5).

It can also be described as a lament, prayer, or complaint of an individual.[4]

Following an appeal (verses 1–2) the psalmist describes the danger facing him (verse 3), but maintains his confidence in God (verses 4–5) as he promises to sacrifice a free-will offering to express 'the voluntary gratitude of a thankful heart' (verses 6–7, another example of the 'certainty of hearing').[4]


  1. ^ The Artscroll Tehillim page 110
  2. ^ "Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 54". 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  3. ^ Keil, Carl Friedrich; Delitzsch, Franz. ’'Commentary on the Old Testament’’ (1857-1878). Psalm 54.
  4. ^ a b c d Rodd, C. S. (2007). "18. Psalms". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 382. ISBN 978-0199277186. Retrieved February 6, 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Psalm 54 in Hebrew and English - Mechon-mamre
  • Psalm 54 King James Bible - Wikisource