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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Psalms 42

Verses 1-11


The second division of the book of Psalms corresponds to the book of Exodus, the second book of the Pentateuch. That book begins with the groans and moans of a suffering people in Egypt and after redemption by blood and by power, ends with the glory of the Lord filling the tabernacle when the work was finished. Ruin, oppression, suffering and sorrow, ending in deliverance and redemption, is the order in which the Psalms in this section are arranged. It is a most interesting study and we regret that we cannot enter into all the details, to explore these mines of prophecy. The oppressed, persecuted people, who suffer surrounded by the ungodly, is that same godly remnant of Israelites. Their deliverance comes by the visible manifestation of the Lord, the second coming of our Lord. The Psalm which concludes this Exodus of the Psalms is 72, the great Kingdom Psalm, when His Kingdom has come and the King reigns in righteousness.

Psalm 42-49

The first eight Psalms form the first section. Here the remnant is seen in great distress, having fled from Jerusalem on account of wickedness during the time of the great tribulation (Daniel 12:1 ), longing for deliverance. Then we learn how that deliverance comes by the manifestation of the King and the results which follow that deliverance.

Psalms 42:0

Longing after God in the Midst of Distress

1. Longing after God and His sanctuary (Psalms 42:1-19.42.6 )

2. Distress and the comfort of hope (Psalms 42:7-19.42.11 )

This is the second Maschil Psalm, for instruction of the godly of that day. The remnant looks towards the sanctuary, the house of God, from which they are separated and driven away. They are panting after God, as the hart panteth after the water brooks. Their cry comes from “the land of Jordan”--Jordan, the type of death--and from the Hermons (which means “ban”), from the hill Mizar (littleness). The enemy taunts, “Where is thy God?” For them deep calleth unto deep and they cry out “all Thy waves and billows are gone over me.” They suffer with Him, bearing His reproach, over whose blessed head the waves and billows also passed. “Why hast Thou forgotten me?” they cry to God and remind Him of the oppression of the enemy. Yet hope and trust fills their soul.

Copyright Statement
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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Psalms 42". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.