Psalm 52

52:0Saul was trying to kill David. David and his men ran away from Saul. They came to a house of God in Nob. They asked Ahimelech the priest for food. He gave them the special bread that only the priests should eat. He also gave David Goliath's sword. It was in the house of God at Nob.

Doeg was a man from the country of Edom. He saw what Ahimelech did. Doeg worked for Saul. He went and told Saul what had happened. Saul thought that Ahimelech was giving David help to kill Saul. Doeg knew that this was not true, but he did not tell Saul. Saul told Doeg to kill Ahimelech and the other priests in Nob. Priests were special servants of God. They worked in the houses of God, or temples. Doeg killed 85 priests, and their wives and children.

Doeg was an important man. He worked for Saul at Saul's farm. He was the leader (or boss) of all the men that kept Saul's animals. He got a lot of money for his job. He became a rich and powerful man. But he was also a very cruel man. He said things that hurt people. What he said about Ahimelech was true, but Saul thought that he meant something else! Doeg was clever like this.

In the psalm, David tells us that God will destroy people that say bad things and hurt other people. But people that trust in God instead of money will always praise God. The ‘always’ means that they will praise God in heaven after they die.

Cruel Words

This is for the music leader.

It is a special song that David wrote.

It is about Doeg, the man from Edom.

He went to Saul and told him,

‘David went to the house of the priest Ahimelech.’

1 Why do you say how great you are, you strong but evil man?

The kind love of God is always with us.

52:1Verse 1: The answer to the question may seem strange. But it is not! The strong, evil man will not always be with us. But the kind love of God will be!

2 Your tongue talks about ideas to destroy people.

It is like a sharp knife.

You are always doing something to hurt people.

52:2Verse 2: Our tongue is the part of our mouth that we eat and speak with. David says that Doeg's tongue is like a sharp knife. The Hebrew word means ‘razor.’ A razor is the sharp knife that men shave (or cut off) their beards with!

Doeg's words cut and hurt people's feelings.

3-4 You love:

· to do evil things

· not to do good things

· to say lies

· not to say what is true


· every cruel word

· a false tongue.

52:3-4Verses 3-4: Here are some of the bad things that Doeg does.

5 So, God will destroy you completely. He will catch you.

He will tear you away from your home.

He will pull you out from the earth where people live.


52:5Verse 5: But God will punish Doeg. He will also punish (or hurt) everybody else that is cruel. ‘Pull out’ is what you do to plants: you pull them out of the ground, or you uproot them. Plants cannot live if their roots are not in the ground. Doeg cannot live either!

6 And good people will see it and be afraid.

But then they will laugh at him.

52:6Verse 6: ‘Good people’ is ‘the righteous’ in Hebrew. Look after Psalm 5 (in Psalms 1-41) to see what righteous means. When God does something it often makes us feel afraid. But then we begin to understand what he has done. Then we are happy!

7 ‘Look at the man that did not make God his fortress.

Instead, he trusted that all his money would make him safe.

He became strong by destroying people.’

52:7Verse 7: A fortress is a strong building. Enemies cannot catch you in it. Look at Psalm 18:2 of Psalms 1-41. People are wrong if they think that God will not catch them because:

– They are very strong and powerful

– They have a lot of money.

Doeg was powerful and had a lot of money. But God punished him. This means that God hurt Doeg because Doeg had done wrong things.

8 But I am like tree that is growing well in the house of God.

I will always trust in the kind love of God.

9 I will always praise you for what you have done.

I will tell your people what a good name that you have.

52:9Verses 8-9: There are two important words here:

– Kind love (chesed in Hebrew)

– Your people (chasidim in Hebrew).

You can see that in Hebrew they use the same word in two ways. ‘Kind love’ (chesed) is what God gives to people. ‘Your people’ (chasidim) accept the kind love that God offers.