New American Bible (Revised Edition)
A Prayer in Time of Trouble
1 A maskil of David, when he was in the cave.[b] A prayer.
2 With my own voice I cry to the Lord;
with my own voice I beseech the Lord.
3 Before him I pour out my complaint,
tell of my distress in front of him.
4 When my spirit is faint within me,(A)
you know my path.(B)
As I go along this path,
they have hidden a trap for me.(C)
5 I look to my right hand to see(D)
that there is no one willing to acknowledge me.
My escape has perished;
no one cares for me.
6 I cry out to you, Lord,
I say, You are my refuge,(E)
my portion in the land of the living.(F)
7 Listen to my cry for help,
for I am brought very low.(G)
Rescue me from my pursuers,
for they are too strong for me.
8 Lead my soul from prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.
Then the righteous shall gather around me[c]
because you have been good to me.
- Psalm 142 In this lament imploring God for help (Ps 142:2–4), the psalmist tells how enemies have set a trap (Ps 142:4–5), and prays for rescue (Ps 142:6–8). The speaker feels utterly alone (Ps 142:5), exhausted (Ps 142:7), and may even be imprisoned (Ps 142:7). Prison is possibly a metaphor for general distress. The last two verses are the vow of praise, made after receiving an assurance of divine help (Ps 142:7).
- 142:1 In the cave: cf. 1 Sm 22:1; 24:1–3; Ps 57:1.
- 142:8 Then the righteous shall gather around me: in the Temple, when the psalmist offers a thanksgiving sacrifice.