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Psalm 13[a]

For the music director, a psalm of David.

13 How long, Lord, will you continue to ignore me?[b]
How long will you pay no attention to me?[c]
How long must I worry,[d]
and suffer in broad daylight?[e]
How long will my enemy gloat over me?[f]
Look at me![g] Answer me, O Lord my God!
Revive me,[h] or else I will die.[i]
Then[j] my enemy will say, “I have defeated him.”
Then[k] my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I[l] trust in your faithfulness.
May I rejoice because of your deliverance.[m]
I will sing praises[n] to the Lord
when he vindicates me.[o]


  1. Psalm 13:1 sn Psalm 13. The psalmist, who is close to death, desperately pleads for God’s deliverance and affirms his trust in God’s faithfulness.
  2. Psalm 13:1 tn Heb “will you forget me continually.”
  3. Psalm 13:1 tn Heb “will you hide your face from me.”
  4. Psalm 13:2 tn Heb “How long will I put counsel in my being?”
  5. Psalm 13:2 tn Heb “[with] grief in my heart by day.”
  6. Psalm 13:2 tn Heb “be exalted over me.” Perhaps one could translate, “How long will my enemy defeat me?”
  7. Psalm 13:3 tn Heb “see.”
  8. Psalm 13:3 tn Heb “Give light [to] my eyes.” The Hiphil of אוּר (ʾur), when used elsewhere with “eyes” as object, refers to the law of God giving moral enlightenment (Ps 19:8), to God the creator giving literal eyesight to all people (Prov 29:13), and to God giving encouragement to his people (Ezra 9:8). Here the psalmist pictures himself as being on the verge of death. His eyes are falling shut and, if God does not intervene soon, he will “fall asleep” for good.
  9. Psalm 13:3 tn Heb “or else I will sleep [in?] the death.” Perhaps the statement is elliptical, “I will sleep [the sleep] of death,” or “I will sleep [with the sleepers in] death.”
  10. Psalm 13:4 tn Heb “or else.”
  11. Psalm 13:4 tn Heb “or else.”
  12. Psalm 13:5 tn The grammatical construction used here (conjunction with independent pronoun) highlights the contrast between the psalmist’s defeated condition envisioned in v. 4 and confident attitude he displays in v. 5.
  13. Psalm 13:5 tn Heb “may my heart rejoice in your deliverance.” The verb form is jussive. Having expressed his trust in God’s faithful character and promises, the psalmist prays that his confidence will prove to be well-placed. “Heart” is used here of the seat of the emotions.
  14. Psalm 13:6 tn The verb form is cohortative, indicating the psalmist’s resolve (or vow) to praise the Lord when deliverance arrives.
  15. Psalm 13:6 tn Or “for he will have vindicated me.” The verb form indicates a future perfect here. The idiom גָמַל עַל (gamal ʿal) means “to repay,” here in a positive sense.