David and Cush

Psalm 7

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 7


Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.


Jesus said, "My judgment is fair". (John 5: 30)

Psalm 7

  David showed what he felt.
  He sang to the LORD because of what Cush said.
  Cush was from Benjamin.

v1   LORD, my God, I am hiding in you.
  Keep me safe from all those (people) that are trying to catch me.
  Make me safe,

v2   or he will tear me to pieces as a wild animal would.
  He will tear me to pieces and nobody will find me.

v3 - v4   LORD, my God, if I did this:
   if my hand did something wrong
   if I did something bad to a friend
   if I robbed my enemy without a reason

v5   then I want him to catch me.
  I want him to knock me to the ground.
  I want him to kill and bury me.  SELAH

v6   LORD, get up and show that you are angry.
  Fight my angry enemies.
  Wake up, my God, and tell us who is right.

v7   I want everybody to stand round you.
  Rule over them from above.

v8   LORD, tell us who is right when people argue.
  LORD Most High, say that I am righteous and honest.

v9   Stop the godless from fighting. Make the righteous safe.
  God of the righteous, look at how we think and feel.

v10   God Most High is a shield over me.
  He makes everyone that has a clean heart safe.

v11   God is a righteous judge.
  God shows his anger every day.

v12   If he does not change his mind he will make his sword sharp.
  He will bend his bow and make it ready.

v13   He will prepare weapons of death for bad people.
  He will make ready arrows of fire.

v14   Look! The bad man is pregnant with evil.
  He conceives trouble. He gives birth to false ideas.

v15   He digs a hole. He makes it deep.
  Then he himself falls into the hole that he has made!

v16   The trouble that he makes for others falls on his own head.
  His own violence comes down on the top of himself!

v17   I will thank the LORD because he is righteous.
  I will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Word list

weapons ~ another word for arms used to fight with

pregnant ~ you have a baby inside you

conceive ~ have sex to make a baby

violence ~ when you fight people and knock them down

The story of Psalm 7

When David was young he worked for King Saul. Saul was King of Israel 1050 years before Jesus came to earth. Everybody liked David. This made Saul angry. He wanted to kill David. So David ran away from Saul. David lived in the fields and woods and mountains. Saul tried to catch David, but he could not.

David had other enemies. One was Cush. Cush was from the people of Benjamin. They were one of the 12 tribes (or large families) that made up Israel. Cush told Saul, "David wants to kill you". This was not true.

Someone told David what Cush had said. This hurt David very much. What David felt is in Psalm 7. The psalm says, "If I want to kill Saul, then Cush must kill me. If I do not want to do it, then Cush must die".

In the psalm David asked God to say who is right. God must be the judge. In this psalm judges were not as they are today. Today judges decide if somebody is bad. In the psalms judges gave help to people. They also led the Jews when they fought their enemies. They were political leaders. This means government leaders.

Three kings ruled Israel. They were Saul, David and Solomon. Then Judah and Israel became separate countries. They had a king each. One king ruled Judah and Benjamin; the other king ruled the other 10 tribes.

What Psalm 7 means

Verses 1 5: David asks God to keep him safe from his enemy. In verse 2 the wild animal is a lion. David probably means that Cush is like a wild animal. David says that Cush can kill David if Cush is right. David says this because he knows that Cush is wrong! The friend in verse 4 is probably Saul. In verse 5 "him" is probably Cush.

Verses 6 11: David asks God to be the judge. This means David wants God to give David help. This help will show everybody that David is right. David does not want to kill Saul. In verse 6 David tells God to wake up! He thinks God is asleep as God is not doing anything. But then David remembers that God never sleeps. In verse 11 David says that God gives help to people every day. He does this by showing his anger in many ways.

Verses 12 16: Here are three pictures:

    verses 12-13 God uses weapons as a soldier does. This is a picture. God has many ways to punish people. Punish means "hurt people who do wrong".

    verse 14 Cush is like a woman having a baby. Cush is not having a real baby. The "baby" is the bad things that he does.

    verses 15-16 Cush digs a hole and falls in it himself. This means that God judged that David was right. So God punished Cush. We do not know how God did to Cush what Cush wanted to do to David.

Verse 17: The end of the psalm looks back to the LORD Most High. David probably wrote this part later.

Something to do

1.  Look at Psalm 1:6; Psalm 7:15-16; Psalm 9:15. Do they all say the same?

2.  If you have an enemy ask God to be the judge. Do not do anything yourself!

3.  Learn to say verse 17 without looking at the words. (We call this "learning it by heart" or "saying it from memory".)


2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

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