Psalm 17 – “Petition for Protection”

Hebrew-English Text

I. Summary
The psalmist declares his innocence and petitions god to protect him and to strike his enemies.

II. Photo
The psalmist petitions god: “Hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who despoil me, my mortal enemies who encircle me!” (vv. 8b-9)

III. Select Verses    
2b-3: Your eyes will behold what is right. You have visited me at night, probed my mind, You have tested me and found nothing amiss; I determined that my mouth should not transgress.
7-9: Display Your faithfulness in wondrous deeds, You who deliver with Your right hand those who seek refuge from assailants. Guard me like the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who despoil me, my mortal enemies who encircle me.
12: He is like a lion eager for prey, a king of beasts lying in wait.
13:  Rise, O LORD! Go forth to meet him. Bring him down; rescue me from the wicked with Your sword!

IV. Outline
1a. Superscription
1b-2a. Invocation, initial plea
2b-4. Affirmation of innocence
5-9. Petition to be guarded from the enemy
10-11. Description of the enemy
12. Description of god
13-14. Petition/imprecation
15. Wish

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