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Psalm 130 in Hebrew

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Psalm 130 Recited in Hebrew

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There are times when we might wrestle with feelings of depression that are very painful, and it might even feel as if we are being "swallowed up" in darkness and despair... a "dark night of the soul." King David gives words to this inward groaning of the heart:

Migdal Bavel

מִמַּעֲמַקִּים קְרָאתִיךָ יְהוָה
אֲדנָי שִׁמְעָה בְקוֹלִי
תִּהְיֶינָה אָזְנֶיךָ קַשֻּׁבוֹת לְקוֹל תַּחֲנוּנָי
אִם־עֲוֹנוֹת תִּשְׁמָר־יָהּ אֲדנָי מִי יַעֲמד
כִּי־עִמְּךָ הַסְּלִיחָה לְמַעַן תִּוָּרֵא
קִוִּיתִי יְהוָה קִוְּתָה נַפְשִׁי וְלִדְבָרוֹ הוֹחָלְתִּי
נַפְשִׁי לַאדנָי מִשּׁמְרִים לַבּקֶר שׁמְרִים לַבּקֶר
יַחֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהוָה
כִּי־עִם־יְהוָה הַחֶסֶד וְהַרְבֵּה עִמּוֹ פְדוּת
וְהוּא יִפְדֶּה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִכּל עֲוֹנתָיו

mim·ma·a·ma·kim  ke·ra·ti·kha  Adonai
Adonai  shim·a  ve·ko·li
ti·he·ye·nah  oz·ne·kha  ka·shu·vot  le·kol  ta·cha·nu·nai
im  a·vo·not  tish·mor  Yah, Adonai  mi  ya·a·mod
ki  im·me·kha  ha·se·li·chah  le·ma·an  ti·va·rei
kiv·vi·ti  Adonai  ki·vi·tah  naf·shi,  ve·lid·va·ro  ho·chal·ti
naf·shi  la·Adonai  mi·sho·me·rim  la·bo·ker,  sho·me·rim  la·bo·ker
ya·chel  Yisrael  el  Adonai
ki  im  Adonai  ha·che·sed  ve·har·beh  im·mo  fe·dut
ve·hu  yif·dei  et  Yisrael  mi·kol  a·vo·no·tav

"Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities."
(Psalm 130)

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Comments:

מִמַּעֲמַקִּים קְרָאתִיךָ יְהוָה

mim·ma·a·ma·kim  ke·ra·ti·kha  Adonai

 "Out of the depths I cry out to you, O LORD!" [v1]

 

This is the "valley (עֵמֶק) of the shadow of death," the lowest of spiritual states. It is often at our lowest point that we are able to cry out to the LORD for deliverance. This is a call not of outward sound, but an inward cry of the heart to God. The Name of the LORD (יְהוָה) is used here to invoke God's compassion as our Savior and Comforter.
 


 



אֲדנָי שִׁמְעָה בְקוֹלִי
תִּהְיֶינָה אָזְנֶיךָ קַשֻּׁבוֹת לְקוֹל תַּחֲנוּנָי

ki  im·me·kha  ha·se·li·chah  le·ma·an  ti·va·rei

 "O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy
" [v2]

 

David uses the Name Adonai (אֲדנָי) here, indicating that He alone is the Master of the Universe and able to help during this time of distress... It is the "voice of my pleas" – the sound of the heart's cry - not polished words of praise - that are uttered from a place of trouble and heartache... Sometimes we pray and we do not even know what we are praying, and therefore God listens to the "sound" of the cry of our heart. This is the voice of inner groaning that only God can truly decipher. The voice full of earnest entreaty has its own message before God... David asks God to be "attentive" to the inner sound of his pain... The Hebrew for word "plea" (tachanun) is a direct appeal to God's grace (חֵן).
 


 



אִם־עֲוֹנוֹת תִּשְׁמָר־יָהּ אֲדנָי מִי יַעֲמד

im  a·vo·not  tish·mor  Yah, Adonai  mi  ya·a·mod

 "If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" [v3]

 

The Hebrew word for iniquities is avon (עָוֹן), connoting perversity and guilt. If God were to "guard" (שָׁמַר) our iniquities – to mark them and keep watch over them - we could never stand before Him. If there were no hope of God's love, we would be unable to respond to God in teshuvah (repentance). The Name Yah (יָהּ) is used here to appeal to the LORD as the Creator of the universe who sustains all things by the Word of His Power.
 


 



כִּי־עִמְּךָ הַסְּלִיחָה לְמַעַן תִּוָּרֵא

ki  im·me·kha  ha·se·li·chah  le·ma·an  ti·va·rei

"But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be held in awe" [v4]

 

Were it not for God's forgiveness (selichah), we would despair beyond all remedy... The possibility of genuine repentance leads us to revere the LORD and keep ourselves from further sin. This is not an appeal to be "let off the hook" so that we can sin and walk in further perversity. Forgiving the righteous increases the fear and reverence of God (yirat Adonai) and keeps them from falling into further sins of despair... The prerogative to forgive comes from God who alone is our Judge... 
 


 



קִוִּיתִי יְהוָה קִוְּתָה נַפְשִׁי וְלִדְבָרוֹ הוֹחָלְתִּי

kiv·vi·ti  Adonai  ki·vi·tah  naf·shi,  ve·lid·va·ro  ho·chal·ti

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope" [v5]

 

The verb kiviti (קִוִּיתִי) comes from the same root as tikvah (תִּקְוָה), "hope." The soul in hope waits (יָחַל) for the fulfillment of God's word (דָּבָר). I wait with hope upon hope "for the LORD and the promise of His Word. Note that kiviti Adonai is a hope for closeness with God, not a hope to "get" something from Him. The goal is restored fellowship: "restore unto me the joy of your salvation (שְׂשׂוֹן יִשְׁעֶךָ), and uphold me with a willing spirit" (Psalm 51:12).
 


 



נַפְשִׁי לַאדנָי מִשּׁמְרִים לַבּקֶר שׁמְרִים לַבּקֶר

naf·shi  la·Adonai  mi·sho·me·rim  la·bo·ker,  sho·me·rim  la·bo·ker

"My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning."
[v6]

 

David reckons that his hope is not for something uncertain, but is as sure as the watchmen who wait for the sunrise of the new day. My hope certainly will come and be fulfilled... I will not be weary or faint as I await the completion of God's redemption. "They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint" (Isa. 40:31).
 


 


יַחֵל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יְהוָה
כִּי־עִם־יְהוָה הַחֶסֶד וְהַרְבֵּה עִמּוֹ פְדוּת

ya·chel  Yisrael  el  Adonai
ki  im  Adonai  ha·che·sed  ve·har·beh  im·mo  fe·dut

"O Israel, hope in the LORD!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption."
[v7]

 

King David goes beyond his own personal heartache to encourage the greater community, giving reasons for his hope. O Israel, wait for the LORD – even if you are without merit, even if in grief you are in the depths of despair. We can so hope because of God's love (i.e., chesed: חֶסֶד) and his abundant redemption (lit. "ransom," pedut: פְדוּת) The LORD has paid ransom (פִּדְיוֹן) for his chosen children. Israel had been delivered, ransomed from bondage in Egypt by the hand of God to be set free to serve him in joy and holiness.
 


 



וְהוּא יִפְדֶּה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִכּל עֲוֹנתָיו

ve·hu  yif·dei  et  Yisrael  mi·kol  a·vo·no·tav

"And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities." [v8]

 

The LORD will ransom (יפְדֶּה) Israel from all his iniquities, which ultimately refers to the future redemption of the Jewish people when Yeshua returns at the end of the present age. This is the "Yom Kippur application" to come. God will redeem you, even if you are full of perversity, since He has forgiven you and cause you to return to Him. "When the LORD your God returns your captivity, He will have compassion on you (Deut. 30:3). 


It is reassuring to know that God understands the voice of our pain... and that he has the kindness and power to help us -- even as He walks us through the "dark night of the soul." Shalom chaverim.... Keep pressing on.


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