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Psalms 130:1-3

Psalm 130 1 

A song of ascents. 2 

130:1 From the deep water 3  I cry out to you, O Lord.

130:2 O Lord, listen to me! 4 

Pay attention to 5  my plea for mercy!

130:3 If you, O Lord, were to keep track of 6  sins,

O Lord, who could stand before you? 7 

1 sn Psalm 130. The psalmist, confident of the Lord’s forgiveness, cries out to the Lord for help in the midst of his suffering and urges Israel to do the same.

2 sn The precise significance of this title, which appears in Pss 120-134, is unclear. Perhaps worshipers recited these psalms when they ascended the road to Jerusalem to celebrate annual religious festivals. For a discussion of their background see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 219-21.

3 tn Heb “depths,” that is, deep waters (see Ps 69:2, 14; Isa 51:10), a metaphor for the life-threatening danger faced by the psalmist.

4 tn Heb “my voice.”

5 tn Heb “may your ears be attentive to the voice of.”

6 tn Heb “observe.”

7 tn The words “before you” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The psalmist must be referring to standing before God’s judgment seat. The rhetorical question expects the answer, “No one.”

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