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Psalms 130

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 

130:4 But 8  you are willing to forgive, 9 

so that you might 10  be honored. 11 

130:5 I rely on 12  the Lord,

I rely on him with my whole being; 13 

I wait for his assuring word. 14 

130:6 I yearn for the Lord, 15 

more than watchmen do for the morning,

yes, more than watchmen do for the morning. 16 

130:7 O Israel, hope in the Lord,

for the Lord exhibits loyal love, 17 

and is more than willing to deliver. 18 

130:8 He will deliver 19  Israel

from all the consequences of their sins. 20 

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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.”

8 tn Or “surely.”

9 tn Heb “for with you [there is] forgiveness.”

10 tn Or “consequently you are.”

11 tn Heb “feared.”

12 tn Or “wait for.”

13 tn Heb “my soul waits.”

14 tn Heb “his word.”

15 tn Heb “my soul for the master.”

16 tn Heb “more than watchmen for the morning, watchmen for the morning.” The words “yes, more” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

17 tn Heb “for with the Lord [is] loyal love.”

18 tn Heb “and abundantly with him [is] redemption.”

19 tn Or “redeem.”

20 tn The Hebrew noun עָוֹן (’avon) can refer to sin, the guilt sin produces, or the consequences of sin. Only here is the noun collocated with the verb פָּדָה (padah, “to redeem; to deliver”). The psalmist may refer to forgiveness per se (v. 4), but the emphasis in this context is likely on deliverance from the national consequences of sin. See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 192.

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