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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 40


1 For the leader. A psalm of David.


I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry,


Drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp, Set my feet upon rock, steadied my steps,


2 And put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD.


Happy those whose trust is the LORD, who turn not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood.


How numerous, O LORD, my God, you have made your wondrous deeds! And in your plans for us there is none to equal you. Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are they to recount.


3 sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require;


so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll.


To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!"


I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness.


Your deed I did not hide within my heart; your loyal deliverance I have proclaimed. I made no secret of your enduring kindness to a great assembly.


LORD, do not withhold your compassion from me; may your enduring kindness ever preserve me.


For all about me are evils beyond count; my sins so overcome me I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head; my courage fails me.


LORD, graciously rescue me! Come quickly to help me, LORD!


Put to shame and confound all who seek to take my life. Turn back in disgrace those who desire my ruin.


Let those who say "Aha!" know dismay and shame.


But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. May those who long for your help always say, "The LORD be glorified."


Though I am afflicted and poor, the Lord keeps me in mind. You are my help and deliverer; my God, do not delay!


1 [Psalm 40] A thanksgiving ( Psalm 40:2-13) has been combined with a lament ( Psalm 40:14-17), that appears also in Psalm 70. The psalmist describes the rescue in spatial terms - being raised up from the swampy underworld to firm earth where one can praise God ( Psalm 40:2-4). All who trust God will experience like protection ( Psalm 40:5-6)! The psalm stipulates the precise mode of thanksgiving: not animal sacrifice but open and enthusiastic proclamation of the salvation just experienced ( Psalm 40:7-11). A prayer for protection concludes ( Psalm 40:12-17).

2 [4] A new song: a song in response to the new action of God (cf Psalm 33:3; 96:1; 144:9; 149:1; Isaiah 42:10). Giving thanks is not purely a human response but is itself a divine gift.

3 [7-9] Obedience is better than sacrifice (cf 1 Sam 15:22; Isaiah 1:10-20; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:22-25; Micah 6:6-8; Acts 7:42-43 [quoting Amos 5:25-26]). Hebrews 10:5-9 quotes the somewhat different Greek version and interprets it as Christ's self-oblation.

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