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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 13



Verse 1

1. How long—Literally, Until when? A most natural outgushing of the heart under long continued sorrow and unrelieved oppression. Psalms 94:3; Zechariah 1:12; Revelation 6:10. Its occurrence four times in Psalms 13:1-2, indicates the violence of the persecution, and the languishing strength of the sufferer.

Forget me… for ever—The “forgetting,” and “hiding the face,” was in appearance only, not in reality. The language is not that of doubt or complaint, but of simple suffering coming from the human aspect of affairs, and speaking of things phenomenally, as we would say. The whole Bible is full of examples where, with the sincerest piety and faith, the sufferer gives forth the voice of nature.

Verse 2

2. Take counsel in my soul—Literally, “put counsel in my soul.” How long shall this life of peril and anxiety compel me daily to new plans and new cares for my safety?

Verse 3

3. Consider… me—From dejection of mind David turns to prayer with a more softened and hopeful tone. “Consider;” that is, behold, look; give direct, immediate, attention.

Lighten… eyes—His sorrow had dimmed the lustre of his eyes, which the divine joy and salvation alone could restore.

On the figure, see 1 Samuel 14:27; 1 Samuel 14:29.

Sleep of death—Literally, lest I shall sleep the death. This language is the strongest that the Hebrew supplies to denote that without help from God death must soon end the dreadful conflict. See Jeremiah 51:39

Verse 4

4. Lest mine enemy say—Not only is his own life in danger, but a further reason for divine interference is the reproach that would otherwise fall upon the cause of God. The psalmist’s overthrow would be the triumph of unrighteousness.

Verse 5

5. But I have trusted—The past tense indicates the habit of his life. Until now he has trusted, and he is suddenly strengthened in hope by the memory.

Verse 6

6. I will sing—Faith rises to the point of victory, and joy ends the bitter outcry of Psalms 13:1-2. Luther: “While Satan rages and roars about him, he meanwhile sings quietly his little psalm.”


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 13:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 28th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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