A Song for Old Age

Psalm 71

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 71


Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

Words marked with a *star are described in the word list at the end.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.


Jesus said, "*Trust me until the day that you die. Then I will give to you a *crown of life". (Revelation 2:10)

Psalm 71

v1   *LORD, I am *trusting in you.
  Do not let me ever become ashamed.

v2   Take me away from danger and make me free,
  because you do what is right.
  Listen to me and make me safe.

v3   You really are a rock,
  where I can always go to hide from danger.
  Tell people to make me safe,
  for you are my rock and my *fortress.

v4   My God, take me from the hands of *godless people.
  Take me from the *cruel and *evil people that are holding me.

v5   You are my hope, Master.
  *LORD, I have *trusted in you since I was young.

v6   Since I was born, I have *trusted in you.
  You have given me help since I came out of my mother’s *womb.
  I will always tell you how great you are!

v7   I make many people think of danger and become afraid.
  But you are a strong and safe place for me.

v8   My mouth is full of saying how great you are.
  All day I am saying that you are beautiful!

v9   Do not throw me away when I am old.
  Do not forget me when I am not strong.

v10   For my enemies say things against me
  and the people that want to kill me are making plans together.

v11   They say, "God has forgotten him.
  Run after him and catch him! For nobody will save him".

v12   God, do not stay far from me.
  God, give me help very soon.

v13   Make my enemies become completely ashamed.
  Cover in *scorn and *disgrace the people that want to hurt me.

v14   But I, I will always have hope.
  I will go on saying again and again that you are great.

v15   My mouth will say that you are *righteous,
  that you make people safe *all day long.
  (I will do this) even if I do not know how much (you have done).

v16   I will come and speak about the great things that you have done,
  Master and *LORD.
  I will talk about how *righteous that you are.
  You, only you, (are *righteous).

v17   God, you have taught me since I was young.
  And until now I have told about the wonderful things that you have done.

v18   And even when I am old and grey, do not forget me, God.
  Do not forget me until I tell the people still to be born:
  ·   about your great power and
  ·   how strong you are.

v19   You are *righteous, God, with *righteousness as high as the sky!
  You have done such great things, God, who is *like you?

v20   Even when you made me see troubles, many bad troubles,
  you made me live again.
  From deep under the earth you brought me up again.

v21   You will make me great again and make me strong.

v22   I will sing about how great you are, with *harp music.
  You do what you promise, God.
  I will sing about how great you are, with *guitar music.
  You are the *Holy One of Israel.

v23   My lips will shout because I am so happy!
  I really want to sing about how great you are.
  You have bought me back.

v24   My *tongue will talk about your *righteousness *all day long.
  The people that want to hurt me will become ashamed
  and covered with *disgrace.

 The Story of Psalm 71

The person that wrote this psalm knew the psalms that David wrote very well. Maybe it was the *prophet Jeremiah. In Something to do you will find some psalms to look at. If you do this, you will see that Psalm 71 repeats verses from them.

What Psalm 71 means

Verse 3: David often said that God was his rock and his *fortress.

He meant that God was someone that he could *trust (rock) and someone that he could hide in (*fortress).

Verse 4: "The hands of bad people" means that bad people were holding him. He was not free.

Verses 5 and 16: Master and *LORD are two Hebrew words that mean "*Lord" in English. "Master" is "*Lord on earth", "*LORD" is "*Lord in *heaven", where God lives.

Verse 7: This is a difficult verse to translate. The person that wrote the psalm (the *psalmist) says that people think that he is a warning. "Warning" means "there is danger". It makes people afraid. Maybe it makes them think about what God will do to them because they are bad.

Verse 9: The *psalmist does not want God to ‘throw him away’ when he is old. He wants God to continue giving him help.

Verse 13: There are new words here. *Scorn and *disgrace are things that happen to people when other people find out what they have done wrong.

Verses 15, 16, 19 and 24: These all talk about "*righteous". The word "righteous" means "very, very good". Only God is really *righteous. He always does what is right. Some Bible students translate the end of verse 15, "even if I cannot write good words".

Verse 18: "Old and grey" means that the *psalmist’s hair has gone grey now that he is old. "The people still to be born" are his children and his grandchildren. We call them "the next generations". We must tell them about what God has done for us.

Verse 20: "Deep under the earth" means that the *psalmist thought that he would die and people would bury him. But he did not die … God made him safe, so people did not bury him!

Verse 22: The "*Holy One of Israel" is another name for God.

Verse 23: We say that when he died Jesus bought us (or "redeemed us") from everything that is bad. The *psalmist felt the same.

Something to do

Here are some verses from the psalms. Read them from the Bible, or from this set of psalms, and decide if they are *like any verses from Psalm 71. Psalm 31:1-3; parts of Psalm 22; Psalm 35:4, 26, Psalm 36:6, Psalm 38:12, Psalm 40:13 and Psalm 70:1.

Word list

all day long ~ either every day, or all through the day.

crown ~ a special hat that a king wears, often made of gold.

cruel ~ not kind, hurting people.

disgrace ~ what you feel when people say you are bad.

evil ~ very very bad people (or the things that they do).

fortress ~ a safe place built of stones and rocks.

godless ~ people that do not obey God (or believe in him).

harp ~ an instrument (thing) that makes music.

heaven ~ the home of God.

holy ~ very very good; only God is really holy (because he always obeys his rules); Jerusalem was holy because people *worshipped God there.

like ~ another word for "as".

LORD ~ a special name for God; only his people use it (look after Psalm 25).

lord ~ someone with authority (with a capital L a name for God, look after Psalm 25).

prophet ~ someone who speaks for God (makes a prophecy).

psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm.

righteous ~ very very good; only God is very righteous (or has righteousness); doing what is right.

righteousness ~ being very good.

scorn ~ laugh at someone in a bad way.

tongue ~ the bit in the mouth that speaks or tastes.

trust ~ (noun, or being something) believing that someone will help.

trust ~ (verb, or doing something) believe that someone will help.

womb ~ where a mother keeps her baby before birth.

worship ~ say that someone is very wonderful.


© 2000-2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

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

July 2001

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