Old Testament

2 Samuel 22
A Psalm by David
221David spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the grasp of all his enemies, even from the grasp of Saul. 2He said:
The Lord is my rocky cliff,
my stronghold, and my deliverer.
3My God is my rock. I take refuge in him.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my high fortress, my refuge, and my savior.
You save me from violence.
4I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
5The waves of death swirled around me.
Floodwaters of destruction[] rolled over me.
6The ropes of the grave wrapped around me.
The traps of death threatened me.
7In my distress I called to the Lord.
To my God I cried out.
He heard my voice from his temple.
My cry for help reached his ears.
8Then the earth shook and quaked,
and the foundations of the heavens[] trembled.
They shook because the Lord was angry.
9Smoke rose from his nostrils,
and fire out of his mouth devoured.
Coals were set on fire by it.
10Then he tore open the heavens and came down.
A dark cloud was under his feet.
11He rode upon a cherub,[] and he flew.
He soared[] on the wings of the wind.
12He made the darkness around him his shelter,
the dark rain clouds of the sky.[]
13From the brightness in front of him, coals of fire burned.
14Then the Lord thundered in the heavens.
The Most High raised his voice.
15Then he shot his arrows and scattered the enemy.
He hurled great bolts of lightning and routed them.
16Then the sources of the sea[] were revealed,
and the foundations of the world were uncovered
by the rebuke of the Lord,
by the breath of wind from his nostrils.
17He reached down from on high and took hold of me.
He drew me out of deep waters.
18Because they were too strong for me,
he rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hate me.
19They confronted me on the day of my disaster,
but the Lord supported me.
20Then he brought me out into a wide open space.
He rescued me because he delighted in me.
21The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness.
According to the cleanness of my hands, he has repaid me,
22because I have kept the ways of the Lord.
I have not done evil and departed from my God.
23So all his just decrees remain before me,
and I have not turned away from his statutes.
24I have been blameless with him.
I have kept myself from guilt.
25The Lord has repaid me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands[] in his sight.
26To the merciful[] you reveal yourself as merciful.
To the blameless person you reveal yourself as blameless.
27To the pure you reveal yourself as pure,
but to the crooked you reveal yourself as crafty.[]
28Yes, you save humble people,
but your eyes are on the proud, and you bring them down.
29Yes, you are my lamp, O Lord.
The Lord turns my darkness to light.
30For with you I can charge against a battalion,[]
and with my God I can jump over a wall.
31This God—his way is blameless.
The speech of the Lord is pure.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
32For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
33This God wraps me with strength[]
and makes my way smooth.[]
34By making my feet like those of a deer,
he enables me to stand on high places.
35Because he trains my hands for battle,
my arms can draw a bronze bow.
36Then you give me the shield of your salvation.
Your response makes me great.
37You widen the path under my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
38I pursued my enemies, and I destroyed them.
Yes, I did not turn back until they were wiped out.
39I wiped them out. I crushed them.
They could not rise again.
They fell beneath my feet.
40You wrapped me with strength for battle.
You made those who rose up against me bow down to me.
41You made my enemies turn their backs and flee.
I destroyed those who hate me.
42They cried for help, but there was no one to save them.
They cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
43So I ground them as fine as dust of the earth.
I scattered them and trampled them down like mud in the streets.
44You delivered me from the accusations of my people.
You preserved me as the head of nations.
A people I did not know serve me.
45Foreigners cringe before me.
As soon as they hear me, they obey me.
46Foreigners fall exhausted.
They come trembling from their strongholds.
47The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock!
May God, the Rock who saves me, be exalted!
48This God, who avenges me, subdues peoples under me.
49You delivered me from my enemies.
Yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me.
You rescued me from the violent man.
50Therefore, I will thank you among the nations, Lord.
To your name I will make music.
51By providing great salvation for his King,
he shows mercy to his Anointed One,
to David and to his Seed[] forever.


  • 22:1 This psalm is a parallel version of Psalm 18. The numerous differences suggest that these are two different editions of the same song by David, not simply two copies of the same edition. For the most part, this translation makes note of only those differences that are significant textual variants. Many minor variants, such as differences between the marginal Hebrew reading and the reading in the main text, are not cited in the footnotes. The book of Psalms contains several other examples of two parallel editions of psalms by David.
  • 22:5 Literally rivers of belial
  • 22:8 Some ancient versions and Psalm 18:7 have the variant mountains.
  • 22:11 The cherubim are the powerful angels who serve as God's honor guard.
  • 22:11 The translation follows some Hebrew manuscripts, ancient versions, and Psalm 18:10. Most Hebrew manuscripts read he was seen.
  • 22:12 Literally a sieve or gathering of waters, clouds of a cloudy sky
  • 22:16 Sources of the waters is the reading in the parallel text in Psalm 18:15.
  • 22:25 The words of my hands are not in the Hebrew text, but are in some ancient versions and Psalm 18:24.
  • 22:26 Or faithful
  • 22:27 reveal yourself as crafty follows the reading of a few Hebrew manuscripts and Psalm 18:26.
  • 22:30 Or run through a barrier
  • 22:33 The translation follows a variant from a Dead Sea Scroll, which is supported by Psalm 18:32. The main Hebrew text here reads who is my stronghold.
  • 22:33 Or blameless
  • 22:51 The retention of the literal term seed is intended to show the continuity to this passage from the promise to Eve, which was passed through Abraham and David to Christ, the promised Seed of the Woman. By preserving David and his royal line, God carries on the messianic line that will reach its goal in Jesus. Grammatically, this collective word seed could be translated as a plural his descendants. It is true that this term applies to all the kings in the line of David, but here it focuses on the Messiah, who is the culmination of that line.