To the Chief Musician. A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of the sons of Korah.
42 As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks, So my [a]soul pants [longingly] for You, O God. 2 My soul (my life, my inner self) thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and see the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I [vividly] remember as I pour out my soul; How I used to go along before the great crowd of people and lead them in procession to the house of God [like a choirmaster before his singers, timing the steps to the music and the chant of the song], With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a great crowd keeping a festival.
5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. 6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me [the burden more than I can bear]; Therefore I will [fervently] remember You from the land of the Jordan And the peaks of [Mount] Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the [thundering] sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. 8 Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song will be with me, A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As a crushing of my bones [with a sword], my adversaries taunt me, While they say continually to me, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why have you become restless and disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, The [b]help of my countenance and my God.
Psalm 42:1The Hebrew word translated “soul” in this psalm and elsewhere in the book of Psalms is nephesh. This word usually refers to a person’s “life” or “self,” but can also mean “throat,” as perhaps in vv 1, 2.