18:6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried out to my God. 1
From his heavenly temple 2 he heard my voice;
he listened to my cry for help. 3
he did not ignore him; 6
when he cried out to him, he responded. 7
81:7 In your distress you called out and I rescued you.
I answered you from a dark thundercloud. 8
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 9 (Selah)
116:1 I love the Lord
because he heard my plea for mercy, 11
As long as I live, I will call to him when I need help. 13
the snares 15 of Sheol confronted me.
I was confronted 16 with trouble and sorrow.
116:4 I called on the name of the Lord,
“Please Lord, rescue my life!”
A song of ascents. 18
120:1 In my distress I cried out
to the Lord and he answered me.
A song of ascents. 20
Pay attention to 23 my plea for mercy!
3 tc Heb “and my cry for help before him came into his ears.” 2 Sam 22:7 has a shorter reading, “my cry for help, in his ears.” It is likely that Ps 18:6 MT as it now stands represents a conflation of two readings: (1) “my cry for help came before him,” (2) “my cry for help came into his ears.” See F. M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry (SBLDS), 144, n. 13.
4 tn Or “affliction”; or “need.”
5 sn In this verse the psalmist refers to himself in the third person and characterizes himself as oppressed.
6 tn Heb “he did not hide his face from him.” For other uses of the idiom “hide the face” meaning “ignore,” see Pss 10:11; 13:1; 51:9. Sometimes the idiom carries the stronger idea of “reject” (see Pss 27:9; 88:14).
7 tn Heb “heard.”
9 sn The name Meribah means “strife.” Two separate but similar incidents at the place called Meribah are recorded in the Pentateuch (Exod 17:1-7; Num 20:1-13). In both cases the Israelites complained about lack of water and the Lord miraculously provided for them.
11 tn Heb “I love because the
12 tn Heb “because he turned his ear to me.”
13 tn Heb “and in my days I will cry out.”
14 tn Heb “surrounded me.”
15 tn The Hebrew noun מצר (“straits; distress”) occurs only here, Ps 118:5 and Lam 1:3. If retained, it refers to Sheol as a place where one is confined or severely restricted (cf. BDB 865 s.v. מֵצַר, “the straits of Sheol”; NIV “the anguish of the grave”; NRSV “the pangs of Sheol”). However, HALOT 624 s.v. מֵצַר suggests an emendation to מְצָדֵי (mÿtsadey, “snares of”), a rare noun attested in Job 19:6 and Eccl 7:26. This proposal, which is reflected in the translation, produces better parallelism with “ropes” in the preceding line.
16 tn The translation assumes the prefixed verbal form is a preterite. The psalmist recalls the crisis from which the Lord delivered him.
17 sn Psalm 120. The genre and structure of this psalm are uncertain. It begins like a thanksgiving psalm, with a brief notice that God has heard the psalmist’s prayer for help and has intervened. But v. 2 is a petition for help, followed by a taunt directed toward enemies (vv. 3-4) and a lament (vv. 5-7). Perhaps vv. 2-7 recall the psalmist’s prayer when he cried out to the Lord.
18 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.
20 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.
22 tn Heb “my voice.”
23 tn Heb “may your ears be attentive to the voice of.”