Psalms 130

1From the deep water
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.
I cry out to you, O Lord.
2 O Lord, listen to me!
Heb “my voice.”

Pay attention to
Heb “may your ears be attentive to the voice of.”
my plea for mercy!
3 If you, O Lord, were to keep track of
Heb “observe.”
O Lord, who could stand before you?
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.”

4 But
Or “surely.”
you are willing to forgive,
Heb “for with you [there is] forgiveness.”

so that you might
Or “consequently you are.”
be honored.
Heb “feared.”

5 I rely on
Or “wait for.”
the Lord,
I rely on him with my whole being;
Heb “my soul waits.”

I wait for his assuring word.
Heb “his word.”

6 I yearn for the Lord,
Heb “my soul for the master.”

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

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord,
for the Lord exhibits loyal love,
Heb “for with the Lord [is] loyal love.”

and is more than willing to deliver.
Heb “and abundantly with him [is] redemption.”

He will deliver
Or “redeem.”
from all the consequences of their sins.
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.

Psalm 131

Psalm 131. The psalmist affirms his humble dependence on the Lord and urges Israel to place its trust in God.

A song of ascents, by David.

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.
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