Psalms

PSALM 30*

Thanksgiving for Deliverance

1A psalm. A song for the dedication of the Temple.* Of David.

I

2I praise you, LORD, for you raised me up

and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.

3O LORD, my God,

I cried out to you for help and you healed* me.

4LORD, you brought my soul up from Sheol;

you let me live, from going down to the pit.*a

II

5Sing praise to the LORD, you faithful;

give thanks to his holy memory.

6For his anger lasts but a moment;

his favor a lifetime.

At dusk weeping comes for the night;

but at dawn there is rejoicing.

III

7Complacent,* I once said,

“I shall never be shaken.”

8LORD, you showed me favor,

established for me mountains of virtue.

But when you hid your face

I was struck with terror.b

9To you, LORD, I cried out;

with the Lord I pleaded for mercy:

10*“What gain is there from my lifeblood,

from my going down to the grave?

Does dust give you thanks

or declare your faithfulness?

11Hear, O LORD, have mercy on me;

LORD, be my helper.”

IV

12You changed my mourning into dancing;

you took off my sackcloth

and clothed me with gladness.c

13So that my glory may praise you

and not be silent.

O LORD, my God,

forever will I give you thanks.

* [Psalm 30] An individual thanksgiving in four parts: praise and thanks for deliverance and restoration (Ps 30:24); an invitation to others to join in (Ps 30:56); a flashback to the time before deliverance (Ps 30:711); a return to praise and thanks (Ps 30:12). Two sets of images recur: 1) going down, death, silence; 2) coming up, life, praising. God has delivered the psalmist from one state to the other.

* [30:1] For the dedication of the Temple: a later adaptation of the Psalm to celebrate the purification of the Temple in 164 B.C. during the Maccabean Revolt.

* [30:3] Healed: for God as healer, see also Ps 103:3; 107:20; Hos 6:1; 7:1; 11:3; 14:5.

* [30:4] Sheol…pit: the shadowy underworld residence of the spirits of the dead, here a metaphor for near-death.

* [30:7] Complacent: untroubled existence is often seen as a source of temptation to forget God, cf. Dt 8:1018; Hos 13:6; Prv 30:9.

* [30:10] In the stillness of Sheol no one gives you praise; let me live and be among your worshipers, cf. Ps 6:6; 88:1113; 115:17; Is 38:18.

a. [30:4] Ps 28:1; Jon 2:7.

b. [30:8] Ps 104:29.

c. [30:12] Is 61:3; Jer 31:13.

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