God Will Always Remember You

Psalms 9 and 10

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalms 9 & 10


Gordon Churchyard

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.)

The stories of Psalms 9 and 10

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.

Psalm 9

  The leader (must use the music) 'Death to the son'.
  (This is) a song of David

v1  All my heart sings 'thank you' to the LORD.
  I will tell (people) of all your wonderful work.

v2  I will be very happy with you, (LORD). I will rejoice in you.
  I will sing praises to your name, Most High God.

v3  Back my enemies went,
  they fell down. They died in front of you,

v4  because you judged that what I did was right .
  You sat on your throne. You made a righteous judgment.

v5  Clearly you judged the nations and destroyed the wicked.
  People will never remember their names.

v6   You caught the enemy. You killed them.
  You knocked down their cities. People will just forget them.

v7  Evermore the LORD will rule.
  He has built his throne. On it he will make his judgments.

v8   He will make righteous judgments for the world.
  His government will give justice to the people.

v9   For the LORD is a place where the oppressed can hide.
  He will be a fortress in times of trouble.

v10   Everyone that knows your name (LORD) will put their trust in you.
  LORD, you will never turn away from anyone that looks for you.

v11   Go to the LORD with praises. His throne is in Zion.
  Tell all the nations all that he has done.

v12   (God) will remember the people that somebody murdered.
  He will not forget the oppressed people that cry to him.

v13   Have mercy on me, LORD.
  See how my enemies make my life very difficult.
  Make me safe from the gates of death.

v14   Then I will tell your praises in the gates of Jerusalem.
  I will rejoice that I am safe with you.

v15   Into the hole that they dug the nations fell.
  They caught their own feet in the net that they hid.

v16   You will recognise the LORD by his justice.
  The enemies of God will catch themselves in their own nets.

v17   Just as the enemies of God go to Sheol,
  so will all the nations that forget him.

v18   Know this: God will not always forget the poor.
  The oppressed will not have to hope for evermore.

v19   LORD, stand up! Do not let men become too powerful.
  Let the nations find justice before you.

v20   LORD, make them afraid.
  Make the nations know that they are only human.

Word list

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

Other Acrostic Psalms

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!

Psalm 10

v1   LORD, why are you standing so far away?
  Why do you hide when there is trouble?

v2   In his pride the wicked man tries to catch helpless people.
  I hope that wicked people catch themselves with their bad plans!

v3   The wicked boasts about what he wants.
  He says good things about those that want more than is fair.
  He says very bad things about the LORD.

v4   In his pride, the wicked does not look for God.
  He will not even think of God.

v5   Everything that the wicked does always works well.
  He puts the rules of God far from him.
  He laughs at the people that do not like him.

v6   He says to himself, "There will be no trouble for me.
  Nothing bad will ever happen to me or to my children".

v7   His mouth makes bad promises.
  It is full of words that are not true.
  He says that he will do very bad things to people.
  There is evil on his tongue.

v8   He hides behind the bushes near the villages.
  He watches in secret for people to hurt.
  He jumps out and murders people that have done nothing wrong.

v9   He lies like a lion under the cover of a bush.
  He waits to catch someone that is helpless.
  He does catch him and takes him away in his net.

v10   He beats the helpless man.
  The helpless man fails and falls under the stronger man.

v11   He says to himself, "God forgot.
  He hid his face. He never saw what happened".

v12   Rise up, O God! Lift up your hand.
  Do not forget the helpless people.

v13   Why does the wicked man say such bad things about God?
  Why does he think, 'God will not do anything about it'?

v14   See it all, God, all the trouble,
  all the oppressed people.
  Decide what to do about it.
  The helpless puts his trust in you.
  You give help to the fatherless.

v15   The arm of the wicked and evil man . . . break it (LORD)!
  Tell him to explain what he has done.
  He thought that you would not discover it!

v16   The LORD will always be king.
  The nations will not remain in his land for evermore.

v17   You hear, LORD, what oppressed people want.
  You listen when they pray. You give them something to hope for.

v18   You care for the fatherless and the oppressed.
  People from the earth will not frighten the poor again.

What Psalm 9 Means

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

Something to do

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.

What Psalm 10 means

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.)

Something to do

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)

January 2001

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