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Psalms 142:1-3

Psalm 142 1 

A well-written song 2  by David, when he was in the cave; 3  a prayer.

142:1 To the Lord I cry out; 4 

to the Lord I plead for mercy. 5 

142:2 I pour out my lament before him;

I tell him about 6  my troubles.

142:3 Even when my strength leaves me, 7 

you watch my footsteps. 8 

In the path where I walk

they have hidden a trap for me.

1 sn Psalm 142. The psalmist laments his persecuted state and asks the Lord to deliver him from his enemies.

2 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142, as well as in Ps 47:7.

3 sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm while in “the cave.” This probably refers to either the incident recorded in 1 Sam 22:1 or to the one recorded in 1 Sam 24:3. See the superscription of Ps 57.

4 tn Heb “[with] my voice to the Lord I cry out.”

5 tn Heb “[with] my voice to the Lord I plead for mercy.”

6 tn Heb “my trouble before him I declare.”

7 tn Heb “my spirit grows faint.”

8 tn Heb “you know my path.”

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