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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

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Commentary on Psalms

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Ps. 130 :

The main part of the psalm is a personal petition (vv. 1–6 ); this is followed by an address to the wider community (vv. 7–8 ), which builds upon this petition, explaining why it is good to petition God. This address mirrors the vocabulary and expressions of vv. 1–6 . It is thus possible that an editor, the author of vv. 7–8 , has taken up and expanded an older psalm.

1 :

Depths, elsewhere in Psalms only in 69.3, 15; perhaps here a reference to the underworld, of being in a state near death (see Jonah 2.3–7 ).

2 :

A stereotypical v. in personal petitions; see, e.g., 86.6 : “Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; heed my plea for mercy.”

3–4 :

The theological notion expressed is that God must forgive since all people sin (see Job ch 7 ), and forgiveness rather than punishment causes people to hold God in awe. No ritual is necessary for this forgiveness, and the sin is completely erased as in Jer. 50.20 , “The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, / And there shall be none; / The sins of Judah, / And none shall be found; / For I will pardon those I allow to survive.”

5 :

Perhaps the psalmist is awaiting an oracle of deliverance (see 3.5–7 n. ).

6 :

The psalmist waits expectantly for God's deliverance, which elsewhere comes in the morning (56.6).

7 :

On steadfast love (“ḥesed”), see 5.8 n.

8 :

Sinners or their descendants normally need to be punished (see Exod. 34.7 ), but here God redeems, that is, forgives, so no one is punished. As in many psalms, the personal becomes the communal.

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