To the Chief Musician. To the tune of “Death of the Son.” A Psalm of David.
1 I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
3 When my enemies turn back,
They shall fall and perish at Your presence.
4 For You have maintained my right and my cause;
You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.
5 You have rebuked the nations,
You have destroyed the wicked;
You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
6 O enemy, destructions are finished forever!
And you have destroyed cities;
Even their memory has perished.
7 But the Lord shall endure forever;
He has prepared His throne for judgment.
8 He shall judge the world in righteousness,
And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.
9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble.
10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion!
Declare His deeds among the people.
12 When He avenges blood, He remembers them;
He does not forget the cry of the humble.
13 Have mercy on me, O Lord!
Consider my trouble from those who hate me,
You who lift me up from the gates of death,
14 That I may tell of all Your praise
In the gates of the daughter of Zion.
I will rejoice in Your salvation.
15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made;
In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.
16 The Lord is known by the judgment He executes;
The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah
17 The wicked shall be turned into hell,
And all the nations that forget God.
18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten;
The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.
19 Arise, O Lord,
Do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged in Your sight.
20 Put them in fear, O Lord,
That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah
The first of the acrostic psalms (along with 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, 145). Ten of the first 11 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are used to being lines. The acrostic is continued (imperfectly) in Psalm 10.
There are certain structural, phraseological, and thematic parallels between this psalm and the next that suggest both were intended to be “as a piece”: structurally, the beginning of Psalm 9 mirrors the ending of Psalm 10 — with a declaration of confidence in God — in addition to which the two psalms attest elements of a complementary acrostic arrangement; … phraseologically, both psalms employ several of the same or closely parallel expressions; and thematically, both psalms focus on God as the final judge, with Psalm 9 emphasizing God’s vindication of the righteous and Psalm 10 emphasizing God’s judgment of the wicked. — Wechsler, pages 40-41.
Death of the Son (intro) — the name of the tune to which this was to be sung. It is still sung on Israeli Memorial Day
marvelous (v.1) = wonderful — used exclusively in Scripture for miraculous or supernatural deeds or events — things that God does or is.
Most High (v.2) = preeminent to any other authority
David here [in vs.3-12] “unpacks” his confidence in God as the preeminent Vindicator by affirming His past and present record as a judge of righteousness as consistently and comprehensively borne out from the following three perspectives: (1) God’s vindication of David personally (vs. 3-4), in which David’s words “You have maintained by just cause … (as) a judge of righteousness” hearken specifically to his words in 1 Samuel 24:15; (2) God’s vindication of the oppressed generally (vs. 5-9), as juxtaposed with His blotting out of the name of the wicked (v.5), which hearkens to the specific phraseology used to describe God’s judgment and annihilation of all the wicked among humanity during the flood; and (3) God’s vindication of His people Israel (vs. 10-12), which perspective is implied both by the expression “those who know Thy name — phraseology elsewhere applied to the Israelites, the ones to whom God’s name was “made known” — as well as the exhortation to declare among the peoples His deeds, which hearkens to the specific Old Testament mission of Israel. — Wechsler, pages 42-43.
refuge (v.9) = lit. “secure height” — high tower
Beginning in verse 11, David invites the company to join him in praise.
gates of death (v.13) — the very edge of life
gates of the daughter of Zion (v.14) — Israel, God’s people, in Jerusalem
meditation (v.16) — may indicate the use of a quieter instrument or a more meditative mood
hell (v.17) = Sheol. Sheol itself is not exclusively for the wicked, but is in fact the Old Testament designation for the temporary place to which the souls of all people — righteous or wicked — go after death. (cf. Genesis 37:35; 44:29; Numbers 16:31; Psalms 9:17; 16:10; 55:15; Proverbs 23:14; Ezekiel 31:16). Within Sheol, however, there is n inviolable distinction between the circumstances, or “place,” of the righteous (i.e., believers) and the wicked (i.e., unbelievers) … The wicked who rejected God’s truth go to a place in Sheol characterized by “torment” and “flame,” whereas the righteous, who accepted God’s truth, go to a place in Sheol called “Abraham’s Bosom,” which expression connotes peace, rest, and paternal-relational security. — Wechsler, pages 139-140.
needy/poor (v.18) — not necessarily material lack but those reduced to utter dependence upon God
men (v.20) = mortal men