God Will Always Remember You
Psalms 9 and 10
An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalms 9 & 10
Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.
Jesus said, 'I did not come to judge the world. I came to save the world'. (John 12:47) (Judge here means say who is wrong.)
David probably wrote Psalms 9 and 10 as one psalm. The Jews thought that he wrote it after he killed Goliath. The first part says that God beat the foreign enemy (Psalm 9). The second part says that wicked men in Israel are making the helpless into oppressed people. (Psalm 10)
The reasons for thinking that it was one psalm are:
· Psalm 10 has no words at the top about David or music. This is not usual in a psalm by David.
· Hebrew words that David did not often use are in Psalms 9 and 10.
· Psalms 9 and 10 make one acrostic.
Acrostic psalms use the Hebrew alphabet. The first bit starts with the first letter. The second bit starts with the second letter. This happens until the alphabet finishes. Look at Psalm 9 below. Then you will understand. We have used English letters. These are not the same as Hebrew ones. After a time some of the letters became lost or mixed up! Also, the Jews decided to make them into 2 psalms. Some Christians have put them back together as one psalm, for example, some Roman Catholics.
It is difficult to write an acrostic psalm. The words sometimes go in a strange order. This makes them hard to understand. It may give you help if you change the order of the words. In verse 3 you could say "My enemies went back" instead of "Back my enemies went". It means the same.
evermore ~ another word for always
oppressed ~ helpless people that wicked people hurt
HIGGAION ~ a place for happy music
fatherless ~ someone that has no father, usually a child
The psalms are Hebrew poetry. Poetry is when people write the words in a special way. They sound very beautiful. The Jews had a lot of rules for writing poetry. One was to make the ends of the words sound like each other. We call this "rhyming". Another rule was to make the ideas sound like each other. Look at Psalm 9: 8. The 2 parts of the verse mean the same. This often gives us help to understand and to translate a psalm.
Another way the Jews wrote poetry was to use an acrostic. This often made the words come in the wrong order, like Psalm 9: 3. Not many of the psalms are acrostics. The most famous one is Psalm 119. The others are 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, and 145. We do not usually translate them into English as acrostics, because there are 26 letters in the English alphabet. There are only 22 in the Hebrew alphabet. We have done it with psalms 9 and 10 because some of the letters are missing. This makes it easier for us!
Not all the letters of the acrostic are here! D is not here. Perhaps somebody changed some words into other words that meant the same.
If you find the acrostic difficult, here is some help.
· Psalm 9:3 - my enemies went back
· Psalm 9:5 - you judged the nations clearly
· Psalm 9:7 - the LORD will rule evermore (or always)
· Psalm 9:15 - the nations fell into the hole that they dug
Psalm 9: 1 - 6: David is very happy. He says, "thank you" to the LORD. Why? Because David beat his enemies. David knew that God gave him help. It was God that really beat the enemies, not David on his own! God judged that David was right and the enemies wrong. The enemies were probably the Philistines. Goliath was a Philistine.
Psalm 9: 7 - 10: God is always ruling the world. Sometimes it is hard to believe this, but it is true. Sometimes we must wait a long time for his righteous judgments. Righteous here means this: the judgments of God are the best judgments. While we wait for his judgments, what can we do? Psalm 9:9-10 tells us! We can:
· look for the LORD: if we do this, the LORD will find us!
· trust in the LORD: if we do this the LORD will give us help
· hide in the LORD: if we do this, the LORD will make us safe
Psalm 9: 11 - 14: When God finds us, gives us help and makes us safe, that is not the end. We must:
· always give praises to the LORD: on our own, and in Church
· tell people about God: our family, our friends, those we work with
Many people will not like this! As they made life difficult for David, so they will for us. So we must pray, 'Have mercy on me, LORD'. These are the words that some Churches still pray in Greek: KYRIE ELEISON. God's mercy is when he is loving and kind to us, and not angry.
Psalm 9: 15 - 20: In Psalm 9:6 we read, 'You killed them'. In Psalm 9:15-16 we read how God does this. Often, people kill themselves, or each other! The plan that they made to kill their enemies kills them. They go to Sheol. The Jews thought that Sheol was a dark place. It was under the ground. The psalm finishes by telling us 2 things:
· God will remember the oppressed, even if they have to wait a long time
· God will teach men and women that they are only human. It is only God that is really powerful
When there is trouble in your country, pray to God about it. Your country may fight another country. Pray to God about it. Pray for your government and your soldiers. Some of them may be Christians. Pray for justice. It may not matter which country wins. What matters is that God still rules the world. When you pray, talk to God in your own words.
You can see that the acrostic is incomplete. "Incomplete" means that it is not all there. The psalm is all there, though. A few words became changed. They still mean the same thing.
Psalm 10: 1 - 7: In Psalm 9 we read about the enemy of God. He was also the enemy of David. The enemy was probably a foreign country. In Psalm 10 we read about the wicked man, or the wicked. They were people that lived in David's country. Perhaps some of them were women. They wanted more that it was fair for them to have. They made plans to take things from people that were helpless. Some of these helpless people were people of God. Sometimes they felt that God did not care any more.
Psalm 10: 8 - 11: The wicked man is like a wild animal called a lion. They kill for what they can get. In Psalm 10:11 we do not know if "he" is the bad man or the helpless man. The Hebrew Bible just says "he" . Both people felt that God was not looking.
Psalm 10: 12 - 18: David prays that God will do something. In verses 16-18 David tells his people that God will do something. God will frighten the wicked away. (Frighten means make afraid). David knew that after fighting foreign countries (look in Psalm 9) there was unrest in his own kingdom. ("Unrest" means people in the same country fighting each other). King David tried to stop it, but he knew that only God would really stop it. (A kingdom is a country that has a king or a queen.)
When there is trouble pray to God about it. There may be unrest in your own country. Pray to God about it. You may feel frightened. You may not feel safe. Pray to God about it. Then read Psalm 10:16-18. Believe that one day it will be true. That is the promise of God to you.
© 2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)
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