A Psalm of Solomon. Give the king thy justice, O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice!
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor!
May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth!
In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth!
May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust!
May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!
For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
Long may he live, may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day!
May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may men blossom forth from the cities like the grass of the field!
May his name endure for ever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May men bless themselves by him, all nations call him blessed!
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!
The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.
A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had well nigh slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs; their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as other men are; they are not stricken like other men.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness, their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore the people turn and praise them; and find no fault in them.
And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken, and chastened every morning.
If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have been untrue to the generation of thy children.
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.
Truly thou dost set them in slippery places; thou dost make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes, on awaking you despise their phantoms.
When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant, I was like a beast toward thee.
Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou dost hold my right hand.
Thou dost guide me with thy counsel, and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish; thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.
I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit,
that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race.
They are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.
But it is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but "Through Isaac shall your descendants be named."
This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.
For this is what the promise said, "About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son."
And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call,
she was told, "The elder will serve the younger."
As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)