The Bible


Psalms 9



1 For the Chief Musician; set to Muthlabben. A Psalm of David. I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works.

2 I will be glad and exult in thee; I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.

3 When mine enemies turn back, They stumble and perish at thy presence.

4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; Thou sittest in the throne judging righteously.

5 Thou hast rebuked the nations, thou hast destroyed the wicked; Thou hast blotted out their name for ever and ever.

6 The enemy are come to an end, they are desolate for ever; And the cities which thou hast overthrown, The very remembrance of them is perished.

7 But Jehovah sitteth [as king] for ever: He hath prepared his throne for judgment;

8 And he will judge the world in righteousness, He will minister judgment to the peoples in uprightness.

9 Jehovah also will be a high tower for the oppressed, A high tower in times of trouble;

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee; For thou, Jehovah, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

11 Sing praises to Jehovah, who dwelleth in Zion: Declare among the people his doings.

12 For he that maketh inquisition for blood remembereth them; He forgetteth not the cry of the poor.

13 Have mercy upon me, O Jehovah; Behold my affliction [which I suffer] of them that hate me, Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death;

14 That I may show forth all thy praise. In the gates of the daughter of Zion I will rejoice in thy salvation.

15 The nations are sunk down in the pit that they made: In the net which they hid is their own foot taken.

16 Jehovah hath made himself known, he hath executed judgment: The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah

17 The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol, Even all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten, Nor the expectation of the poor perish for ever.

19 Arise, O Jehovah; let not man prevail: Let the nations be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Jehovah: Let the nations know themselves to be but men. Selah




Exploring the Meaning of Psalms 9


By New Christian Bible Study Staff and Rev. Julian Duckworth

Psalm 9. Prayer and thanksgiving for the Lord’s righteous judgments.

This is a psalm which is full of the Lord’s great activities on behalf of the speaker, and, as a result of these, the certainty of the downfall of what is evil. One verse (6) gives an example of the kind of language running through the psalm, “O enemy, destructions are finished for ever!

It is important, as with each and all of the psalms, not to see all of this destruction of evil in terms of human affairs and what other people deserve. Psalms are spiritual, not political or even moralistic. While evil of any kind should be brought to an end, the greatest spiritual evils are those we find taking place within ourselves in our heart and our intentions, in our mind and its judgments and views of people and the world we live in.

The other meaning of all psalms is that they give expression to what was in the mind and heart of the Lord Jesus Christ during his life in the world, during his temptations and in both his humanity and his sense of his divinity. Psalm 9 can be seen to be full of these inner states, feelings and resolves of Jesus.

The psalm begins with an outpouring of personal praise of the Lord. No reason for this is given as yet, just adoration. The next few verses then turn to the Lord’s activity, his presence, his maintenance, his justice, rebuke and destruction of the wicked. (Arcana Caelestia 8227)

Verses 6-8 bring out the apparent power of what is evil. This is described as the destruction of cities and even of the memory that they once existed. This has an interesting spiritual meaning, because ‘cities’ represent what we have come to believe and to build up as our truth, like a ‘city’. When evil takes hold of a human mind, it brings darkness, confusion and violence to the extent that clear thinking and discernment comes to an end. (Heaven and Hell 505)

The psalm then moves into statements of the Lord being a refuge in times of trouble, as one who never forsakes one who seeks, and who does not forget the cry of the humble. This brings on renewed praise in the psalm. The spiritual idea here is that when we think about the Lord, who He is, what He does, how good He is, we begin to become aware of it all and affected by the Lord’s work on us and on everything. It evokes praise and thanksgiving. (Arcana Caelestia 456)

The last part of the psalm, from verse 13 becomes personal, beginning with a plea for mercy and for having been lifted up from death. This is followed by a realisation of how evil brings about its own downfall. Wickedness will be turned into hell and the poor and needy will not be forgotten. May all people come to know that they are but men, and that the Lord is over all.