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Psalms 17:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[A Prayer of David.]] Hear the right, O Jehovah, attend unto my cry; Give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[A Prayer of David.]] Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, [that goeth] not out of feigned lips.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[A Prayer of David.]] Hear a just cause, O LORD, give heed to my cry; Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[A Prayer of David.]] Hear the right, O LORD, attend to my cry, give ear to my prayer, [that goeth] not out of feigned lips.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[A Prayer of David.]] Hear the right, O Jehovah, attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, which is not out of feigned lips.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[A Prayer of David.]] Hear, O Yahweh, the right, Attend to my loud cry, Give ear unto my prayer, on lips that would not deceive:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A Prayer of David. Hear, O Jehovah, righteousness, attend my cry, Give ear [to] my prayer, without lips of deceit.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The prayer of David. Hear, O Lord, my justice: attend to my supplication. Give ear unto my prayer, which proceedeth not from deceitful lips.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[A prayer of Dauid.]] Heare the right, O LORD, attend vnto my crie, giue eare vnto my prayer, [that goeth] not out of fained lips.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[A prayer of David.]] Hearken, O Lord of my righteousness, attend to my petition; give ear to my prayer not [uttered] with deceitful lips.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[A Prayer of Dawid.]] Hear the right, O Yahweh, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, [that goeth] not out of feigned lips.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[A Prayer 8605
{8605} Prime
From H6419; intercession, supplication; by implication a hymn.
of Dwi דָּוִד.]] 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
Hear 8085
{8085} Prime
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
the right, 6664
{6664} Prime
From H6663; the right (natural, moral or legal); also (abstractly) equity or (figuratively) prosperity.
O Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
attend 7181
{7181} Prime
A primitive root; to prick up the ears, that is, hearken.
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
unto my cry, 7440
{7440} Prime
From H7442; properly a creaking (or shrill sound), that is, shout (of joy or grief).
give ear 238
{0238} Prime
A primitive root; probably to expand; but used only as a denominative from H0241; to broaden out the ear (with the hand), that is, (by implication) to listen.
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
unto my prayer, 8605
{8605} Prime
From H6419; intercession, supplication; by implication a hymn.
[that goeth] not 3808
{3808} Prime
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
out of feigned 4820
{4820} Prime
From H7411 in the sense of deceiving; fraud.
lips. 8193
{8193} Prime
(The second form is in dual and plural); Probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490); the lip (as a natural boundary); by implication language; by analogy a margin (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 17:1

_ _ Psalms 17:1-15. This Psalm is termed a prayer because the language of petition is predominant. With a just cause, sincerely presented, the writer prays for a just decision and help and protection. Pleading former mercies as a ground of hope, he urges his prayer in view of the malice, pride, rapacity, and selfishness of his foes, whose character is contrasted with his pious devotion and delight in God’s favor.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 17:1-7

_ _ This psalm is a prayer. As there is a time to weep and a time to rejoice, so there is a time for praise and a time for prayer. David was now persecuted, probably by Saul, who hunted him like a partridge on the mountains; without were fightings, within were fears, and both urged him as a suppliant to the throne of mercy. He addresses himself to God in these verses both by way of appeal (Hear the right, O Lord! let my righteous cause have a hearing before thy tribunal, and give judgment upon it) and by way of petition (Give ear unto my prayer Psalms 17:1, and again Psalms 17:6, Incline thy ear unto me and hear my speech); not that God needs to be thus pressed with our importunity, but he gives us leave thus to express our earnest desire of his gracious answers to our prayers. These things he pleads with God for audience, 1. That he was sincere, and did not dissemble with God in his prayer: It goeth not out of feigned lips. He meant as he spoke, and the feelings of his mind agreed with the expressions of his mouth. Feigned prayers are fruitless; but, if our hearts lead our prayers, God will meet them with his favour. 2. That he had been used to pray at other times, and it was not his distress and danger that now first brought him to his duty: “I have called upon thee formerly (Psalms 17:6); therefore, Lord, hear me now.” It will be a great comfort to us if trouble, when it comes, find the wheels of prayer a-going, for then we may come with the more boldness to the throne of grace. Tradesmen are willing to oblige those that have been long their customers. 3. That he was encouraged by his faith to expect God would take notice of his prayers: “I know thou wilt hear me, and therefore, O God, incline thy ear to me.” Our believing dependence upon God is a good plea to enforce our desires towards him. Let us now see,

_ _ I. What his appeal is; and here observe,

_ _ 1. What the court is to the cognizance and determination of which he makes his appeal; it is the court of heaven. “Lord, do thou hear the right, for Saul is so passionate, so prejudiced, that he will not hear it. Lord, let my sentence come forth from thy presence, Psalms 17:2. Men sentence me to be pursued and cut off as an evil-doer. Lord, I appeal from them to thee.” This he did in a public remonstrance before Saul's face (1 Samuel 24:12, The Lord judge between me and thee), and he repeats it here in his private devotions. Note, (1.) The equity and extent of God's government and judgment are a very great support to injured innocency. If we are blackened, and abused, and misrepresented, by unrighteous men, it is a comfort that we have a righteous God to go to, who will take our part, who is the patron of the oppressed, whose judgment is according to truth, by the discoveries of which every person and every cause will appear in a true light, stripped of all false colours, and by the decisions of which all unrighteous dooms will be reversed, and to every man will be rendered according to his work. (2.) Sincerity dreads no scrutiny, no, not that of God himself, according to the tenour of the covenant of grace: Let thy eyes behold the things that are equal. God's omniscience is as much the joy of the upright as it is the terror of hypocrites, and is particularly comfortable to those who are falsely accused and in any wise have wrong done them.

_ _ 2. What the evidence is by which he hopes to make good his appeal; it is the trial God had made of him (Psalms 17:3): Thou hast proved my heart. God's sentence is therefore right, because he always proceeds upon his knowledge, which is more certain and infallible than that which men attain to by the closest views and the strictest investigations.

_ _ (1.) He knew God had tried him, [1.] By his own conscience, which is God's deputy in the soul. The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord, with this God had searched him, and visited him in the night, when he communed with his own heart upon his bed. He had submitted to the search, and had seriously reviewed the actions of his life, to discover what was amiss, but could find nothing of that which his enemies charged him with. [2.] By providence. God had tried him by the fair opportunity he had, once and again, to kill Saul; he had tried him by the malice of Saul, the treachery of his friends, and the many provocations that were given him; so that, if he had been the man he was represented to be, it would have appeared; but, upon all these trials, there was nothing found against him, no proof at all of the things whereof they accused him.

_ _ (2.) God tried his heart, and could witness to the integrity of that; but, for the further proof of his integrity, he himself takes notice of two things concerning which his conscience bore him record: — [1.] That he had a fixed resolution against all sins of the tongue: “I have purposed and fully determined, in the strength of God's grace, that my mouth shall not transgress.” He does not say, “I hope that it will not,” or, “I wish that it may not,” but, “I have fully purposed that it shall not:” with this bridle he kept his mouth, Psalms 39:1. Note, Constant resolution and watchfulness against sins of the tongue will be a good evidence of our integrity. If any offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, James 3:2. He does not say, “My mouth never shall transgress” (for in many things we all offend), but, “I have purposed that it shall not;” and he that searches the heart knows whether the purpose be sincere. [2.] That he had been as careful to refrain from sinful actions as from sinful words (Psalms 17:4): “Concerning the common works of men, the actions and affairs of human life, I have, by the direction of thy word, kept myself from the paths of the destroyer.” Some understand it particularly, that he had not been himself a destroyer of Saul, when it lay in his power, nor had he permitted others to be so, but said to Abishai, Destroy him not, 1 Samuel 26:9. But it may be taken more generally; he kept himself from all evil works, and endeavoured, according to the duty of his place, to keep others from them too. Note, First, The ways of sin are paths of the destroyer, of the devil, whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon, a destroyer, who ruins souls by decoying them into the paths of sin. Secondly, It concerns us all to keep out of the paths of the destroyer; for, if we walk in those ways that lead to destruction, we must thank ourselves if destruction and misery be our portion at last. Thirdly, It is by the word of God, as our guide and rule, that we must keep out of the paths of the destroyer, by observing its directions and admonitions, Psalms 119:9. Fourthly, If we carefully avoid all the paths of sin, it will be very comfortable in the reflection, when we are in trouble. If we keep ourselves, that the wicked one touch us not with his temptations (1 John 5:18), we may hope he will not be able to touch us with his terrors.

_ _ II. What his petition is; it is, in short, this, That he might experience the good work of God in him, as an evidence of and qualification for the good will of God towards him: this is grace and peace from God the Father. 1. He prays for the work of God's grace in him (Psalms 17:5): “Hold up my going in thy paths. Lord, I have, by thy grace, kept myself from the paths of the destroyer; by the same grace let me be kept in thy paths; let me not only be restrained from doing that which is evil, but quickened to abound always in that which is good. Let my goings be held in thy paths, that I may not turn back from them nor turn aside out of them; let them be held up in thy paths, that I may not stumble and fall into sin, that I may not trifle and neglect my duty. Lord, as thou hast kept me hitherto, so keep me still.” Those that are, through grace, going in God's paths, have need to pray, and do pray, that their goings may be held up in those paths; for we stand no longer than he is pleased to hold us, we go no further than he is pleased to lead us, bear us up, and carry us. David had been kept in the way of his duty hitherto, and yet he does not think that this would be his security for the future, and therefore prays, “Lord, still hold me up.” Those that would proceed and persevere in the way of God must, by faith and prayer, fetch in daily fresh supplies of grace and strength from him. David was sensible that his way was slippery, that he himself was weak, and not so well fixed and furnished as he should be, that there were those who watched for his halting and would improve the least slip against him, and therefore he prays, “Lord, hold me up, that my foot slip not, that I may never say nor do any thing that looks either dishonest or distrustful of thee and thy providence and promise.” 2. He prays for the tokens of God's favour to him, Psalms 17:7. Observe here, (1.) How he eyes God as the protector and Saviour of his people, so he calls him, and thence he takes his encouragement in prayer: O thou that savest by thy right hand (by thy own power, and needest not the agency of any other) those who put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. It is the character of God's people that they trust in him; he is pleased to make them confidants, for his secret is with the righteous; and they make him their trust, for to him they commit themselves. Those that trust in God have many enemies, many that rise up against them and seek their ruin; but they have one friend that is able to deal with them all, and, if he be for them, no matter who is against them. He reckons it his honour to be their Saviour. His almighty power is engaged for them, and they have all found him ready to save them. The margin reads it, O thou that savest those who trust in thee from those that rise up against thy right hand. Those that are enemies to the saints are rebels against God and his right hand, and therefore, no doubt, he will, in due time, appear against them. (2.) What he expects and desires from God: Show thy marvellous loving-kindness. The word signifies, [1.] Distinguishing favours. “Set apart thy loving-kindnesses for me; put me not off with common mercies, but be gracious to me, as thou usest to do to those who love thy name.” [2.] Wonderful favours. “O make thy loving-kindness admirable! Lord, testify thy favour to me in such a way that I and others may wonder at it.” God's loving-kindness is marvellous for the freeness and the fulness of it; in some instances it appears, in a special manner, marvellous (Psalms 118:23), and it will certainly appear so in the salvation of the saints, when Christ shall come to be glorified in the saints and to be admired in all those that believe.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 17:1

The right — Regard my righteous cause.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 17:1

"A Prayer of David." Hear (a) the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, [that goeth] not out of feigned lips.

(a) My righteous cause.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 2942, bc 1062 (Title),
Psalms 86:1 [[A Prayer of David.]] Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I [am] poor and needy.
Psalms 142:1 [[Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.]] I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.


Psalms 7:8 The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity [that is] in me.
Psalms 18:20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
Psalms 43:1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
Psalms 140:12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, [and] the right of the poor.
1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.

the right:
Heb. justice


Psalms 5:2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
Psalms 55:2-3 Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; ... Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
Psalms 61:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Neginah, [A Psalm] of David.]] Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
Psalms 66:19 [But] verily God hath heard [me]; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Psalms 142:6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
2 Chronicles 7:15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer [that is made] in this place.
Nehemiah 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
Daniel 9:18-19 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. ... O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

not out of feigned lips:
Heb. without lips of deceit,
Psalms 18:44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
Psalms 145:18 The LORD [is] nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
Jeremiah 3:10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.
Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.
John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
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2Ch 7:15. Ne 1:6. Ps 5:2; 7:8; 18:20, 44; 43:1; 55:2; 61:1; 66:19; 86:1; 140:12; 142:1, 6; 145:18. Jr 3:10. Dn 9:18. Mt 15:8. Jn 1:47. 1Jn 3:21.

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