Psalm 34 – “Acrostic Lesson”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist exhorts his community to fear God, shun evil, and do good.

II. Photo
The psalmist teaches his message: “Come, my sons, listen to me, I will teach you what it is to fear the Lord.” (v. 12)

III. Select Verses
1: Of David, when he feigned madness in the presence of Abimelech, who turned him out, and he left.
4: Exalt the LORD with me; let us extol His name together.
6: Men look to Him and are radiant; let their faces not be downcast.
8: The angel of the LORD camps around those who fear Him and rescues them.
13-15: Who is the man who is eager for life, who desires years of good fortune? Guard your tongue from evil, your lips from deceitful speech. Shun evil and do good, seek amity and pursue it.
20-22: Though the misfortunes of the righteous be many, the LORD will save him from them all, Keeping all his bones intact, not one of them being broken. One misfortune is the deathblow of the wicked; the foes of the righteous shall be ruined.

IV. Outline
1. Historical superscription
2-4. Personal call to praise
5. Account of trouble, prayer, and salvation
6-11. Exhortation to fear God
12. Invitation to learn
13-15. Lesson: Shun evil and do good
16-23. Rationale: God blesses his followers and punishes evildoers

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Craigie, Peter C. “Psalms 1-50” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 19 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1983).
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
Photo taken from