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1For the leader; “upon the eighth.” A psalm of David.
2Help, LORD, for no one loyal remains;
the faithful have vanished from the children of men.a
3They tell lies to one another,
speak with deceiving lips and a double heart.b
4May the LORD cut off all deceiving lips,
and every boastful tongue,
5Those who say, “By our tongues we prevail;
when our lips speak, who can lord it over us?”c
6“Because they rob the weak, and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD;
“I will grant safety to whoever longs for it.”d
7The promises of the LORD are sure,
silver refined in a crucible,*
silver purified seven times.e
8You, O LORD, protect us always;
preserve us from this generation.
9On every side the wicked roam;
the shameless are extolled by the children of men.
* [Psalm 12] A lament. The psalmist, thrown into a world where lying and violent people persecute the just (Ps 12:2–3), prays that the wicked be punished (Ps 12:4–5). The prayer is not simply for vengeance but arises from a desire to see God’s justice appear on earth. Ps 12:6 preserves the word of assurance spoken by the priest to the lamenter; it is not usually transmitted in such Psalms. In Ps 12:7–8 the psalmist affirms the intention to live by the word of assurance.
* [12:7] A crucible: lit., “in a crucible in the ground.” The crucible was placed in the ground for support.
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