Psalm 13

Notes (NET Translation)

For the music director; a psalm of David.

1 How long, Lord, will you continue to ignore me? How long will you pay no attention to me?

The four-fold refrain of “how long?” indicates the depths of emotion. David is asking God how long it will be until God acts on his behalf. He is not merely asking God to be conscious of him.

2 How long must I worry, and suffer in broad daylight? How long will my enemy gloat over me?

3 Look at me! Answer me, O Lord my God! Revive me, or else I will die!

4 Then my enemy will say, “I have defeated him!” Then my foes will rejoice because I am upended.

The Hebrew verb mowt (“upended”) refers to dying.1

5 But I trust in your faithfulness. May I rejoice because of your deliverance!

The confidence is expressed within the tension which exists between past experience and future hope. The past experience of the psalmist has been one of trust in God’s “lovingkindness,” namely the faithful covenant love of God which characterized all his dealings with his chosen people. The present reality was of such a nature as to undermine that past experience of trust, but it is in the nature of confidence to transform the present on the basis of past experience and thus to create hope for the future; and so the psalmist can affirm that he will “rejoice” in God’s deliverance, even though it has not yet come. The actual song of praise would burst forth once deliverance had been accomplished, but the knowledge that deliverance was coming created an anticipatory calm and sense of confidence.2

6 I will sing praises to the Lord when he vindicates me.

Bibliography

Craigie, Peter C., and Marvin E. Tate. Psalms 1-50. Nashville: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2004.

Goldingay, John. Psalms: Volume 1: Psalms 1-41. Kindle Edition. Baker Academic, 2006.

Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2008.

VanGemeren, Willem. Psalms. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2008.


  1. Goldingay 2006, loc. 4191 
  2. Craigie 2004, p. 143 
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