Psalm 72 - Prayer to God for the Ideal King




[New International Version] Psalm 72 closes Book II of the Book of Psalms. It is an exultation to God, ruler of all the Peoples of the Earth. His graces are exulted and his laws govern justly for the common good.

The PS 72 is the final Ps of Book II of the book of Ps . This, due to its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book II encompasses Psalms 42 to 72. Psalm 72 is divided into 20 verses and speaks of the virtues of the king and of God, the ruler of all peoples.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for any blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 72 - Prayer to God for the Ideal King

1  of Solomon.

O God, grant to the king your way of judging,
and to the king’s son your righteousness,

2  that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in fairness.

3  May the mountains bring peace to the people,
and the hills justice.

4  Let the king take the defense of the lowly of the people,
help the needy, and crush their oppressors.

5  May he remain like the Sun
and like the Moon, from generation to generation.

6  Let him be like the falling of rain on the grass,
like the downpours that water the earth.

7  May the righteous blossom in your days
and an abundance of peace, until the moon is over.

8  May he rule from one sea to another,
from the river to the ends of the earth.

9  Before him the creatures of the desert bow,
and their adversaries must lick the dust.

10  The kings of Tarshish and the islands will offer tribute;
the kings of Sheba and Sheba will bring their offerings.

11  All kings will bow down before him;
all nations will serve him.

12  He will help the poor who call upon him
and the indigent who has no one to help him.

13  He will have compassion on the lowly and the poor
and will save the lives of the needy.

14 He will  deliver them from oppression and violence,
because their blood is precious in their eyes.

15  As long as he lives, he will be given Sheba gold!
In his behalf we must always pray,
and every day he will be blessed.

16  There will be plenty of wheat in the fields,
rippling over the hills.

Its fruit will be like Lebanon,
blossoming like grass in the meadows.

17  May his name endure forever;
may your name stand firm before the sun.

For him, all peoples will feel blessed
and all will have to congratulate him.

18  Blessed be the LORD, who is God, the God of Israel;
He is the one to work wonders.

19  Blessed be his glorious name forever,
and the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen! Amen!

20  The prayers of David the son of Jesse have ended.

Meaning and interpretation

The PS 72 is even praise. Considered a royal Psalm , it is attributed to Solomon, as is Ps 127 . That is why it is often used in messianic contexts .

The content of this Psalm converges with the ideal of governance referring to the characteristics of the ideal king:

  • The justice that corresponds and pursues well-being in the world (Verses 1-4),
  • The universality and eternity (verses 5-11),
  • The care of the poor (Verses 12-15),
  • The prosperity and splendor (Verses 16-17).

Verses 18-19 are a manifestation of the glory of God that closes the second collection of Psalms. Verse 20 closes David’s group of psalms. However, further on appear more Psalms attributed to David as SL 101; 108-110; 138-145.

The Psalms of Praise are hymns addressed, above all, to God. In this sense, the Bible continues the liturgical literature of neighboring and previous religions, where hymns are the most common way for people to address the divinity , especially in contexts of greater solemnity.

These Psalms were of great importance in the lives of biblical heroes. The preaching of the word of the prophets or the teaching of wisdom reflection appears closely linked to the cultural action of the people of Israel. They express, in a solemn and simple way , the believer’s recognition of the efficacious presence of Godwho saves his people, for he is mercy that lasts forever; it is a refuge from the dangers of life; it is joy and joy; it is prosperity that feeds its people; it is light in times of darkness and salvation on Earth and in eternal life.

The texts of the Book of Psalms oscillate between shout and praise, supplication and joy. Perhaps its authors understood that Man can only express his supplications, laments or thirst for revenge before God, if he is immersed in the spirit of praise that sings life stronger than death . Perhaps, beyond the scream, the lament or the anger, they realized that what moves these words is nothing more than that life force that explodes in praise when it comes out of violence or when it goes through death.

These hymns narrate, thus, the greatness or improvements and the thanks that flow from it. Examples of this are Psalm 8; 19; 28; 33; 47; 65-66; 93; 96-100; 104-105; 111; 113; 117; 135; 146; 148-150. Hymns can also be addressed to the king , focusing especially on the ceremony of royal enthronement, with every expectation of divine intervention for the well-being of the people and the just ordering of the world . In this case, the Psalms were performed at court parties, in the presence of the king, in celebrations for victory over enemies, among others. Some examples are Psalm 2; 18; 20; 21; 27; 51; 60; 61.

With the end of the monarchy, these Psalms were accentuating the messianic connotations , which already had implicit. This is the case of Psalm 2; 18; 20-21; 45; 72; 89; 101; 110; 132; 144. The Psalms celebrating Jerusalem, which with the temple have a special connection to God, are also considered hymns. These are Ps 46; 48; 76; 84; 87; 122.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise, and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.