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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 42



Psalms 42-83 are Elohistic, i.e. they use the word God (Elohim) and avoid the proper name Yahweh, probably from motives of reverence. Here and there, however, the name Yahweh has crept into the text by a natural slip of the scribes.

Verses 1-11

Psalms 42, 43. Originally these two Pss. were one. This is proved by the long refrain common to each, “ Why art thou cast down, O my soul,” etc. It recurs in Psalms 42:5; Psalms 42:11 and Psalms 43:5, and thus divides the Ps. into fairly equal portions. The theme, moreover, is the same in both, and Psalms 43 is an “ orphan” Ps. (p. 366), i.e. it has no title, because it did not originally rank as an independent poem.

Psalms 42:1-5 . The misery of exile from the Temple and the memory of happy worship there. Psalms 42:1. For “ hart” read with many scholars “ hind.” Grammar requires a feminine subject.

Psalms 42:2 . Read by a change in the pointing, “ and see God.” Probably the other reading, “ appear before God,” is due to fear of anthropomorphism.

Psalms 42:4 . The rendering “ led them” presupposes a slight correction of the Heb. text, and even then the meaning is doubtful.

Psalms 42:6-11 . The poet lives far north, below the peaks of Hermon (notice the plural form) and near Mizar. Nothing is known of the last mountain. The evil is aggravated by the winter floods and by the fierce hatred of his enemies. Several cataracts would be audible at one place, so that they seemed to answer each other.

Psalms 42:8-11 appears to be out of harmony with the context; the insertion of “ yet” (8) is illegitimate.

Psalms 42:10 . Render “ crushing” ( mg.) .

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 42". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.