Old Testament

Psalm 18
Psalm 18
Unfailing Kindness to David
and to His Descendant Forever
For the choir director.
By David, the servant of the Lord, who 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.
Praise to the Rock of Salvation
1Then he said:
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2The Lord is my rocky cliff, my stronghold, and my deliverer.
My God is my rock. I take refuge in him.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my high fortress.
3I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
Deliverance From Death
4The ropes of death entangled me.
Floodwaters of destruction[] rolled over me.
5The ropes of the grave wrapped around me.
The traps of death threatened me.
6In my distress I called to the Lord.
To my God I cried out.
He heard my voice from his temple.
My cry came before him. It reached his ears.
The Greatness of the Deliverer
7Then the earth shook and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains[] trembled.
They shook because the Lord was angry.
8Smoke rose from his nostrils,
and fire from his mouth devoured.
Coals were set on fire by it.
9Then he tore open the heavens and came down.
A dark cloud was under his feet.
10He rode upon a cherub,[] and he flew.
He soared on the wings of the wind.
11He made the darkness around him his hiding place.
Dark rain clouds[] surrounded him like a canopy.
12Emerging from the brightness in front of him
his clouds passed by with hail and coals of fire.
13Then the Lord thundered in the heavens.
The Most High raised his voice with hail and coals of fire.[]
14Then he shot his arrows and scattered the enemy.
He shot great lightning bolts and routed them.
15Then the sources of water[] were revealed,
and the foundations of the world were uncovered
by your rebuke, O Lord,
by the breath of wind from your nostrils.
16He reached down from on high and took hold of me.
He drew me out of deep waters.
17Because they were too strong for me,
he rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from those who hate me.
18They confronted me on the day of my disaster,
but the Lord supported me.
19Then he brought me out into a wide-open space.
He rescued me because he delighted in me.
David's Uprightness as a Basis for God's Judgment
20The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness.
According to the cleanness of my hands he has repaid me,
21for I have kept the ways of the Lord.
I have not done evil and departed from my God.
22So all his just decrees remain before me,
and I have not turned his statutes away from me.
23I have been blameless with him.
I have kept myself from guilt.
24The Lord has repaid me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
God's Uprightness as a Basis for His Judgment
25To the merciful you reveal yourself as merciful.
To the blameless person you reveal yourself as blameless.
26To the pure you reveal yourself as pure,
but to the crooked you reveal yourself as crafty.
27For you save humble people,
but you bring low the eyes of the arrogant.
28Yes, you light my lamp, O Lord.
My God turns my darkness to light.
29For with you I can charge against a battalion,
and with my God I can jump over a wall.
God Equips David for Victory
30This God—his way is blameless.
The speech of the Lord is pure.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
31For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32This God wraps me with strength
and makes my way perfect.[]
33By making my feet like those of a deer
he enables me to stand on high places.
34Because he trains my hands for battle
my arms can draw a bronze bow.
35Then you give me the shield of your salvation.
Your right hand sustains me,
and you stoop down to lift me up.
36You widen the path under my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
David's Victories
37I pursued my enemies, and I overtook them.
So I did not turn back until they were wiped out.
38I crushed them so that they could not rise again.
They fell beneath my feet.
39You wrapped me with strength for battle.
You made those who rose up against me bow down to me.
40You made my enemies turn their backs and flee.
I destroyed those who hate me.
41They cried for help, but there was no one to save them.
They cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42So I grind them as fine as dust blown by the wind.
I dump them out like mud in the streets.
43You delivered me from the accusations of the people.
You made me the head of nations.
A people I did not know serve me.
44As soon as they hear me, they obey me.
Foreigners cower before me.
45Foreigners fall exhausted.
They come trembling from their strongholds.
Closing Words of Faith
46The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock!
May the God who saves me be exalted!
47The God who avenges me subdues peoples under me.
48You delivered me from my enemies.
Yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me.
You rescued me from the violent man.
49Therefore I will praise you among the nations, Lord.
To your name I will make music.
50By providing great salvation for his King,
he shows mercy to his Anointed One,
to David and to his Descendant[] forever.


  • 18:4 Hebrew floodwaters of belial. Belial means worthless or unrestrained. It later became a name for Satan.
  • 18:7 See 2 Samuel 22:8, which reads foundations of the heavens.
  • 18:10 The cherubim are the powerful angels who serve as God's honor guard.
  • 18:11 Literally darkness of waters, clouds of a cloudy sky
  • 18:13 The Greek text does not include hail and coals of fire in this verse. It may be an accidental repetition from the preceding verse. The parallel in 2 Samuel 22:14 does not have this repetition.
  • 18:15 Sources of the sea is the reading in the parallel text in 2 Samuel 22:16.
  • 18:32 Or smooth
  • 18:50 Literally seed. The word seed connects this passage to the messianic promises given to Eve and to Abraham. By preserving David and his royal line, God carried on the messianic line that would reach its goal in Jesus.