For this Sunday's PsalmChallenge, here is Psalm 89.
1. A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
2. Of the LORD’s loving kindness I will sing forever; to all generations I will make Your faithfulness known with my mouth.
3. I declare, “Your loving kindness is set forever; there in the heavens You have made Your faithfulness firm.”
4. “I have made a covenant with My chosen one; I have sworn to David My servant:
5. I will confirm your offspring forever; I will set your throne for all generations.” Selah.
6. Let the heavens praise Your wonders, O LORD, even Your faithfulness in the assembly of holy ones.
7. For who in the skies can compare to the LORD, be likened to the LORD among divine beings,
8. a God held in awe in the council of the many holy ones, fearsome above all surrounding Him?
9. O LORD God of hosts: who is as mighty as You, O LORD? Your faithfulness surrounds You;
10. it is You Who rules the swelling of the sea; when its waves surge, You still them.
11. It is You Who crushed Rahab as if he were a corpse; with Your powerful arm, You scattered Your enemies.
12. Yours is the heaven, the earth too; the world and its fullness―You founded them.
13. North and south—You created them; Tabor and Hermon sing joyously to Your name.
14. Yours is an arm with might; Your hand is powerful; Your right hand, exalted.
15. Righteousness and law are the firm base of Your throne; loving kindness and faithfulness go before Your presence.
16. Happy is the people who know the festive shout; O LORD they walk in the light of Your presence.
17. In Your name they rejoice all day long; they are exalted through Your righteousness.
18. For You are the grandeur of their power; our horn is exalted by Your will.
19. Truly our shield belongs to the LORD; our king, to the Holy One of Israel.
20. Then You spoke to Your faithful ones in a vision and said, “I have conferred supremacy upon a warrior; I have exalted one chosen from the people.
21. I have found David, My servant; with My sacred oil I have anointed him.
22. My hand shall be firmly with him, and My arm shall strengthen him.
23. No enemy shall overpower1 him, no wicked man afflict him.
24. I will pound his adversaries before him; those who hate him, I will strike down.
25. My faithfulness and loving kindness shall be with him; and through My name, his horn shall be exalted.
26. I will cause his hand to be on the sea, his right hand on the rivers.
27. He shall address Me, “You are my father, my God and the rock of my deliverance.”
28. And so I will appoint him firstborn, the highest of earthly kings.
29. Forever I will keep My loving kindness for him, and My covenant is faithfully his.
30. I will cause his offspring to be for all time, his throne, as long as the heavens endure.
31. If his sons forsake My teaching and do not follow My laws;
32. if they desecrate My edicts, and do not keep My commandments,
33. then I will punish their transgression with a rod, and their iniquity with plagues.
34. But My loving kindness I will not take away from him; I will not betray My faithfulness.
35. I will not desecrate My covenant; what My lips have uttered I will not change.
36. Unequivocally I have sworn by My holiness: I will not be false to David.
37. His offspring shall continue forever, his throne, as the sun before Me,
38. as the moon, confirmed forever, a faithful witness in the sky.” Selah.
39. Yet You, You have rejected, spurned, and raged at Your anointed one.
40. You have repudiated the covenant with Your servant; You have desecrated his crown in the dirt.
41. You have breached all his walls, caused his strongholds to be rubble.
42. All who pass by plunder him; he has become an object of abuse to his neighbors.
43. You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries: You have made all his enemies rejoice.
44. You have turned back his sword’s blade, and You did not raise him up in battle.
45. You have ended his splendor, and his throne You have hurled to the dirt.
46. You have cut short the days of his youth; You have cloaked him with shame. Selah.
47. How long, O LORD, will You hide Your face; will Your fury blaze like fire forever?
48. Remember how short my lifespan. How could You have created all men in vain?
49. What man can live and not see death, can save himself from the hand of Sheol? Selah.
50. Where is Your first loving kindness, My Lord, which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?
51. Remember, O LORD, the abuse toward Your servant, that I have borne in my bosom—many the peoples—
52. how Your enemies have flung abuse, O LORD, how they flung abuse at the steps of Your anointed one.
53. Blessed is the LORD forever. Amen and amen.
Translation: Rabbi Benjamin J. Segal. See also the Hebrew original and his essay about the psalm.
1. Mediterranean shore at Tel Aviv.
2. Stained glass window with inscription"his throne, as the sun before Me." At the Great Synagogue, Jerusalem.
3. David by Kobi Knaan. Mamilla Mall.
4. A breached ancient terrace wall near my village in the Jerusalem Hills.