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Psalm 130

Waiting for Divine Redemption

A Song of Ascents.


Out of the depths I cry to you, O L ord.


Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive

to the voice of my supplications!



If you, O L ord, should mark iniquities,

Lord, who could stand?


But there is forgiveness with you,

so that you may be revered.



I wait for the L ord, my soul waits,

and in his word I hope;


my soul waits for the Lord

more than those who watch for the morning,

more than those who watch for the morning.



O Israel, hope in the L ord!

For with the L ord there is steadfast love,

and with him is great power to redeem.


It is he who will redeem Israel

from all its iniquities.

6. My soul hath waited for the Lord before the watchers of the morning. In this verse he expresses both the ardor and the perseverance of his desire. In saying that he anticipated the watchmen, he shows by this similitude with what diligence and alacrity he breathed after God. And the repetition is a proof of his perseverance; for there is no doubt that thereby he intended to express an uninterrnitted continuance of the same course, and consequently perseverance. Both these qualities in his exercise, are worthy of attention; for it is too manifest how slow and cold we are in elevating our minds to God, and also how easily we are shaken and even fall at every little blast of wind. Farther, as the watches of the night were in ancient times usually divided into four parts, this passage may be explained as implying that as the watchmen of the night, who keep watch by turns, are careful in looking when the morning will dawn, so the Prophet looked to God with the greatest attention of mind. But the more natural sense seems to be, that as in the morning the warders of the gates are more wakeful than all other people, and are the earliest in rising, that they may appear at the posts assigned them, so the mind of the Prophet hastened with all speed to seek God. The repetition, as I have already observed, shows that he stood keeping his gaze perseveringly fixed upon its object. We must always beware of allowing our fervor to languish through the weariness of delay, should the Lord for any length of time keep us in suspense. 122122     Some, as Street, Mant, Dr. Adam Clarke, French and Skinner, and Phillips, suppose that the allusion in this verse is to the watchings which the Priests and Levites in their turns exercised during the night in the Temple, (see Psalm 34:1,) and especially to those officers of theirs who were appointed to watch for the first dawn of day, in order that the morning sacrifice might be offered. “In the Talmudical Tract Tamid it is related, ‘The prefect said to them, Go and see if the time of slaying; have arrived; if it had arrived, the watcher calls out, ברקאי, Coruscations.’ Agreeably to this explanation of the verse is the rendering of the Chaldee, which is as follows: “My soul waits for the Lord, more than the keepers of the morning vigils, which they observe for offering of the morning oblation.” ­ Phillips. “The custom alluded to by the Targumist,” [or Chaldee,] says Street, “is mentioned in Exodus 30:7. ‘And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps he shall burn incense upon it.’” “The similitude,” observes Mant, “is beautifully expressive of the eager impatience of the Psalmist; which is still further augmented by the repetition.”

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