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142. Psalm 142

I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.

2I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.

3When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

4I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

5I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

6Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

7Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

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Ps 142:1-7. Maschil—(See on Ps 32:1, title). When he was in the cave—either of Adullam (1Sa 22:1), or En-gedi (1Sa 24:3). This does not mean that the Psalm was composed in the cave, but that the precarious mode of life, of which his refuge in caves was a striking illustration, occasioned the complaint, which constitutes the first part of the Psalm and furnishes the reason for the prayer with which it concludes, and which, as the prominent characteristic, gives its name.

1. with my voice—audibly, because earnestly.

2. (Compare Ps 62:8).

I poured out my complaint—or, "a sad musing."

3. thou knewest … path—The appeal is indicative of conscious innocence; knowest it to be right, and that my affliction is owing to the snares of enemies, and is not deserved (compare Ps 42:4; 61:2).

4. Utter desolation is meant.

right hand—the place of a protector (Ps 110:5).

cared for—literally, "sought after," to do good.

5. (Compare Ps 31:14; 62:7).

6. (Compare Ps 17:1).

7. (Compare Ps 25:17).

that I may praise—literally, "for praising," or, "that Thy name may be praised," that is, by the righteous, who shall surround me with sympathizing joy (Ps 35:27).