Deliver Me from Evil

Representative Text

1 Deliver me from evil;
defend me, Lord, from wrong.
The violent have gathered,
with poison on their tongue.
From those who plot to hurt me
or catch me in their snare,
protect me, Lord, and keep me
safeguarded in your care.

2 O Lord, I have confessed you
to be my God alone.
Now hear my cry for mercy
and make your power known.
O sovereign Lord and Savior,
my armor in the strife,
let not the wicked triumph
who wish to take my life.

3 Let their own evil strike them
and cause their overthrow,
so that the poor see justice
when evil is brought low.
The righteous will sing praises,
proclaim your name and grace;
the upright will live safely
within your sure embrace.

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Text Information

First Line: Deliver me from evil
Title: Deliver Me from Evil
Meter: D
Source: Psalter, 1912
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


A prayer for deliverance from the plots and slander of unscrupulous enemies.

Scripture References:
st. l = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-8
st. 3 = vv. 9-13

This prayer for deliverance recalls Psalms 58 and 64. As in those psalms, the enemies' chief weapon is the tongue, which cannot be countered with sword and shield. Only God can protect from the deadly mischief the tongue can cause. The psalmist prays for protection from those who plot against him (st. 1), asking God to foil their plans (st. 2). But the God to whom the psalmist prays is no mere bodyguard on call. He is the heavenly Ruler and Judge, who "secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy" (v. 12) and punishes wrongdoers. The psalmist asks God to sentence the plotters with the same measures they would have inflicted upon him; he declares that such justice will bring God praise among the righteous (st. 3). The versification of Psalm 140 is a 1985 revision by Bert Witvoet (PHH 4) of the text in the 1912 Psalter.

Liturgical Use:
Useful in the Christian's battle against sin and evil in public life as well as in private.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text ["O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"] since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1913 [sic: should read 1613] to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzl…

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MUNICH (Mendelssohn)

MUNICH has a colorful history. Traces of it run as far back as 1593 in the Dresden, Germany, Gesangbuch in conjunction with the text 'Wir Christenleut." A version from a Meiningen Gesangbuch (1693) is still used in Lutheranism for "O Gott, du frommer Gott." Felix Mendelssohn's adaptation of that tun…

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ACCEPTANCE, by John Ness Beck (b. Warren, OH, 1930; d. Columbus, OH, 1987), was published as a four-part anthem to "Help Us Accept Each Other" (1977) by Fred Kaan (PHH 277). The tune features a consistently syncopated rhythmic pattern in each of its four lines. The unison melody should be sung with…

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The Cyber Hymnal #1214
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Instances (1 - 4 of 4)

Lift Up Your Hearts #656

Psalms for All Seasons #140A

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #140


The Cyber Hymnal #1214

Include 2 pre-1979 instances
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