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Hope in God in the Midst of Despair

For the music director. A maskil of the sons of Korah.[a]

42 As a deer longs for streams of water,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]
My tears have been my food day and night,
while they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These I remember and I pour out my soul within me:
that I would go with the multitude;
I led them in procession to the house[c] of God,
with a voice of rejoicing and thanksgiving,
a crowd celebrating a festival.
Why are you in despair,[d] O my soul,
and disturbed within me?
Hope in God, because I will again praise him,
for the salvation of his presence.
O my God, within me my soul is in despair;[e]
therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan
and the heights of Hermon, from the mountain of Mizar.
Deep is calling to deep
at[f] the thunder of your waterfalls.
All your breakers and your waves
have passed over me.
By day Yahweh commands his loyal love,
and in the night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a shattering in my bones
my oppressors taunt me,
while they say to me all day,[g]
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you in despair,[h] O my soul?
And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, because I shall again praise him,
my salvation[i] and my God.


  1. Psalm 42:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 42:2 Some Hebrew manuscripts and versions read “and see the face of God?”
  3. Psalm 42:4 Or “temple”
  4. Psalm 42:5 Literally “bowed down”
  5. Psalm 42:6 Literally “bowed down”
  6. Psalm 42:7 Or “to”
  7. Psalm 42:10 Literally “all the day”
  8. Psalm 42:11 Literally “bowed down”
  9. Psalm 42:11 Literally “the salvation of my face”