Psalm 17 Meaning - Verse by Verse Explanation from Bible

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Discover Psalm 17 Commentary in detail, with their Bible study and explained, as well as their meaning in the Catholic Bible among others.

Psalm 17-1

Hear, O Jehovah, a just cause; heed my cry;
Hear my prayer from lips free of deceit.

Psalm 17-2

From your presence let my judgment;
let your eyes see uprightness.

Psalm 17-3

You have tested my heart, you have visited me at night,
you have tested me and you have found nothing;
I have determined that my mouth does not commit transgression.

Psalm 17-4

As for the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have kept myself from the paths of the violent.

Psalm 17-5

Hold my steps in your paths,
so that my feet do not slip.

Psalm 17-6

I have called on you, because you will hear me, O God;
incline your ear to me; listen to my word.

Psalm 17-7

Show your marvelous mercies,
you who save those who take refuge at your right hand,
from those who rise up against them.

Psalm 17-8

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me under the shadow of your wings,

Psalm 17-9

from before the wicked who oppress me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.

Psalm 17-10

They are wrapped in their fat;
with their mouth they speak arrogantly.

Psalm 17-11

Now they have hemmed in our steps;
They have put their eyes to cast us to the ground.

Psalm 17-12

They are like a lion that wants to tear its prey to pieces,
and like a young lion that lurks in hiding places.

Psalm 17-13

Arise, O Lord;
go out to meet him. Take it down!
Deliver my soul from evildoers with your sword,

Psalm 17-14

Of the men with your hand, O Lord,
of the men of the world, whose portion they have in this life,



and whose belly you fill with your hidden treasure.
They abound in children
and leave what is left over to their little ones.

Psalm 17-15

As for me, I will see your face in righteousness;
I will be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness.

Psalm 17 Meaning

The meaning of Psalm 17 is very interesting, the psalm is about a sincere and honest appeal that David makes. David explains to us through deep thoughts his trust and faith in God.

Psalm 17 Commentary

Based on the testimony of God’s word, it is quite possible that if you are a believer, you will ever experience persecution without a cause. If you have already experienced it, what has been your reaction? Let’s see what the reaction of the author of Psalm 17. Let’s open our Bible to Psalm 17.

Overwriting informs us that this psalm is the ration of David .

As a background, we must note that David was suffering persecution without cause. Interesting that instead of facing his opponents, David brought the matter up in prayer to God. Here we already find a beautiful lesson for ourselves. You may be facing persecution without cause at this time. I don’t know, maybe a relative who does not want you to be faithful to the Lord, or a coworker who constantly harasses you because you are a believer, or some authority that does not accept that you do not lend yourself to do something against the law.

If this is the case, the natural tendency in the believer is to face the contrary in order to make all things clear. But unfortunately there is a great probability that instead of putting everything in the clear, the situation will rather worsen. That is why it is convenient to do what David did. That is, bring the matter in prayer to the Lord. In Psalm 17 we find David speaking three important phrases.



First: God, hear my cry. Second: God, establish me in your ways. Third: God, hide me from my opponents.

But unfortunately there is a great probability that instead of putting everything in the clear, the situation will rather worsen. That is why it is convenient to do what David did. That is, bring the matter in prayer to the Lord.

So let’s go to the first. God hear my cry

Psalm 17: 1-4 says: “Hear, O Jehovah, a just cause; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer from lips free of deceit. From your presence comes my vindication; let your eyes see uprightness. You have tested my heart, you have visited me at night; You have put me to the test, and have found nothing wicked; I have resolved that my mouth shall not transgress. As for human works, by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the paths of the violent ”.

Instead of getting into an argument with his opponents, David is praying to God. Ask God to hear your cause that is just. David was being persecuted without cause. He vehemently asks God that his ear be attentive to his cry, because the words he was speaking were coming from his lips without deception. David trusted in God’s justice and expected his vindication to come from Him, that is, the declaration that all accusations were false. This was known to God, because God had tested David’s heart.



God had brought David into the darkness of trial and God had found nothing wrong with what David was accused of. David had avoided defending himself with his mouth against his adversaries. Furthermore, David was sure that in obedience to the word of God he had totally avoided paying his adversaries with the same coin. Beautiful example of how to handle persecution without a cause. David did not descend to the level of his opponents to meet them in an all-out fight, but committed his cause to the one who judges rightly.

The same thing you must do, when he is persecuted without cause. Do not return evil for evil or curse for curse. With this you will not gain anything but you will lose a lot. It is preferable to cry out to God as David did, so that it is God who makes up with his opponents.

Second, David says: God establish me in your ways.

Psalm 17: 5-7 says: “Hold my steps in your ways, so that my feet do not slip. I have called on you, because you will hear me, O God; incline your ear to me, listen to my word. Show your marvelous Mercies, you who save those who take refuge at your right hand, from those who rise up against them.”

David was experiencing the strong onslaught of the opponent. David knew that he could not face the enemy alone. That is why he cried out to Jehovah. Now he is asking that Jehovah establish him in his ways. David didn’t want to slip. It is a request to be able to stand firm in integrity. When we are persecuted without cause, we are tempted to use whatever is within reach to cover the opponent’s mouth regardless of whether that is good or bad. But David did not want to walk that path and so he is asking God to be firmly established in God’s ways. David shows how confident he was about being heard by God and begs God to show him his wonderful mercies. David did not deserve to be freed from his opponents, that is why he is crying out for mercy, for an undeserved favor.



God is adept at saving those who seek refuge at his right hand. Perhaps, the attack that you are suffering from your adversaries is fierce. Don’t give in to the temptation to defend yourself. Put your cause in prayer before God and hope that your salvation comes from him as a token of his wonderful mercies towards you. David has said: God, hear my cry. God, set me in your ways.

Third and last, David says: God hide me from my opponents.

Psalm 17: 8-15 says: and whose belly is full of your treasure. They satisfy their children, and there is still plenty for their little ones. As for me, I will see your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness.”

What beautiful words. In his prayer, David is asking God to be treated as the apple of God’s eye. The pupil of the eyes is perhaps what is best kept in the human being. For that are the eyebrows, eyelids, eyelashes and finally the hand. This is how David wanted to be kept. When he says: Hide me under the shadow of your wings, he brings to mind a chick under the hen. This is how David wanted to be in God. In that place he was safe from his opponents. The opponents were strong, they threatened to kill David.

The opponents seemed to have the upper hand, they were fat and prosperous. They spoke arrogantly. They were cunning and evil. Only God could stand up to them and that is what David asks. The opposites were prosperous, but only for a time, for sudden destruction will soon come upon them. Instead, David hoped to see the face of God in heaven and that brought him satisfaction. David was confident that he would be resurrected one day and once resurrected that he would become in the likeness of God.



You, too, can have the same trust in God. You too can become like the apple of God’s eye and like a chick under his wings. But for that you need to abandon your sterile quest for self-defense. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to defend yourself. Cry out to God, ask God to establish you in your ways and pray to God to hide you from your enemies. God will do it, because that’s His promise.

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