For the music director; a well-written song 2 by the Korahites.
42:1 As a deer 3 longs 4 for streams of water,
so I long 5 for you, O God!
for the living God.
I say, 7 “When will I be able to go and appear in God’s presence?” 8
42:3 I cannot eat, I weep day and night; 9
all day long they say to me, 10 “Where is your God?”
42:4 I will remember and weep! 11
For I was once walking along with the great throng to the temple of God,
shouting and giving thanks along with the crowd as we celebrated the holy festival. 12
42:5 Why are you depressed, 13 O my soul? 14
Why are you upset? 15
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks
to my God for his saving intervention. 16
[42:1] 1 sn Psalm 42. The psalmist recalls how he once worshiped in the Lord’s temple, but laments that he is now oppressed by enemies in a foreign land. Some medieval Hebrew
[42:1] 2 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142, as well as in Ps 47:7.
[42:1] 3 tn Since the accompanying verb is feminine in form, the noun אָיִּל (’ayyil, “male deer”) should be emended to אַיֶּלֶת (’ayyelet, “female deer”). Haplography of the letter tav has occurred; note that the following verb begins with tav.
[42:1] 4 tn Or “pants [with thirst].”
[42:1] 5 tn Or “my soul pants [with thirst].” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).
[42:2] 6 tn Or “my soul thirsts.”
[42:2] 7 tn The words “I say” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarification.
[42:2] 8 tn Heb “When will I go and appear [to] the face of God?” Some emend the Niphal verbal form אֵרָאֶה (’era’eh, “I will appear”) to a Qal אֶרְאֶה (’er’eh, “I will see”; see Gen 33:10), but the Niphal can be retained if one understands ellipsis of אֶת (’et) before “face” (see Exod 34:24; Deut 31:11).
[42:3] 9 tn Heb “My tears have become my food day and night.”
[42:3] 10 tn Heb “when [they] say to me all the day.” The suffixed third masculine plural pronoun may have been accidentally omitted from the infinitive בֶּאֱמֹר (be’ÿmor, “when [they] say”). Note the term בְּאָמְרָם (bÿ’omram, “when they say”) in v. 10.
[42:4] 11 tn Heb “These things I will remember and I will pour out upon myself my soul.” “These things” are identified in the second half of the verse as those times when the psalmist worshiped in the
[42:4] 12 tc Heb “for I was passing by with the throng [?], I was walking with [?] them to the house of God; with a voice of a ringing shout and thanksgiving a multitude was observing a festival.” The Hebrew phrase בַּסָּךְ אֶדַּדֵּם (bassakh ’eddaddem, “with the throng [?] I was walking with [?]”) is particularly problematic. The noun סָךְ (sakh) occurs only here. If it corresponds to הָמוֹן (hamon, “multitude”) then one can propose a meaning “throng.” The present translation assumes this reading (cf. NIV, NRSV). The form אֶדַּדֵּם (“I will walk with [?]”) is also very problematic. The form can be taken as a Hitpael from דָּדָה (dadah; this verb possibly appears in Isa 38:15), but the pronominal suffix is problematic. For this reason many emend the form to ם[י]אַדִּרִ (’adirim, “nobles”) or ם-רִ[י]אַדִ (’adirim, “great,” with enclitic mem [ם]). The present translation understands the latter and takes the adjective “great” as modifying “throng.” If one emends סָךְ (sakh, “throng [?]”) to סֹךְ (sokh, “shelter”; see the Qere of Ps 27:5), then ר[י]אַדִּ (’addir) could be taken as a divine epithet, “[in the shelter of] the majestic one,” a reading which may find support in the LXX and Syriac Peshitta.
[42:5] 13 tn Heb “Why do you bow down?”
[42:5] 14 sn For poetic effect the psalmist addresses his soul, or inner self.
[42:5] 15 tn Heb “and [why] are you in turmoil upon me?” The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here carries on the descriptive present nuance of the preceding imperfect. See GKC 329 §111.t.
[42:5] 16 tc Heb “for again I will give him thanks, the saving acts of his face.” The verse division in the Hebrew text is incorrect. אֱלֹהַי (’elohay, “my God”) at the beginning of v. 7 belongs with the end of v. 6 (see the corresponding refrains in 42:11 and 43:5, both of which end with “my God” after “saving acts of my face”). The Hebrew term פָּנָיו (panayv, “his face”) should be emended to פְּנֵי (pÿney, “face of”). The emended text reads, “[for] the saving acts of the face of my God,” that is, the saving acts associated with God’s presence/intervention.