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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 42


1 2 For the leader. A maskil of the Korahites.


As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God.


3 My being thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and see the face of God?


My tears have been my food day and night, as they ask daily,"Where is your God?"


Those times I recall as I pour out my soul, When I went in procession with the crowd, I went with them to the house of God, Amid loud cries of thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival.


Why are you downcast, my soul; why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.


4 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you From the land of the Jordan and Hermon, from the land of Mount Mizar.


5 Here deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents. All your waves and breakers sweep over me.


At dawn may the LORD bestow faithful love that I may sing praise through the night, praise to the God of my life.


I say to God, "My rock, why do you forget me? Why must I go about mourning with the enemy oppressing me?"


It shatters my bones, when my adversaries reproach me. They say to me daily: "Where is your God?"


Why are you downcast, my soul, why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.


1 [Psalms 42-43] Psalm 42-43 form a single lament of three sections, each section ending in an identical refrain ( Psalm 42:6, 11[12]; 43:5). The psalmist is in the extreme north of Israel, far from Jerusalem, and longs for the divine presence that Israel experienced in the temple liturgy. Despite sadness, the psalmist hopes once again to join the worshiping crowds.

2 [1] The Korahites: a major guild of temple singers ( 2 Chron 20:19) whose name appears in the superscriptions of Psalm 42; 44-49; 84-85; 87-88.

3 [3] See the face of God: "face" designates a personal presence ( Genesis 33:10; Exodus 10:28-29; 2 Sam 17:11). The expressions "see God/God's face" occur elsewhere ( Psalm 11:7; 17:15; 63:2; cf Exodus 24:10; 33:7-11; Job 33:26) for the presence of God in the temple.

4 [7] From the land of the Jordan: the sources of the Jordan are in the foothills of Mount Hermon in present-day southern Lebanon. Mount Mizar is presumed to be a mountain in the same range.

5 [8] Here deep calls to deep: to the psalmist, the waters arising in the north are overwhelming and far from God's presence, like the waters of chaos ( Psalm 18:5; 69:2-3, 15; Jonah 2:3-6).

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