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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 142


1 2 A maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A prayer.


With full voice I cry to the LORD; with full voice I beseech the LORD.


Before God I pour out my complaint, lay bare my distress.


My spirit is faint within me, but you know my path. Along the way I walk they have hidden a trap for me.


I look to my right hand, but no friend is there. There is no escape for me; no one cares for me.


I cry out to you, LORD, I say, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.


Listen to my cry for help, for I am brought very low. Rescue me from my pursuers, for they are too strong for me.


3 Lead me out of my prison, that I may give thanks to your name. Then the just shall gather around me because you have been good to me.



1 [Psalm 142] In this lament imploring God for help ( Psalm 142:2-4), the psalmist tells how enemies have set a trap ( Psalm 142:4-5), and prays for rescue ( Psalm 142:6-8). The speaker feels utterly alone ( Psalm 142:5), exhausted ( Psalm 142:7), and may even be imprisoned ( Psalm 142:7). Prison is possibly a metaphor for general distress. The last two verses are the vow of praise, made after receiving an assurance of divine help ( Psalm 142:7).

2 [1] In the cave: cf 1 Sam 22:1; 24:1-3; Psalm 57:1.

3 [8] Then the just shall gather around me: in the temple, when the psalmist offers a thanksgiving sacrifice.

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