The Psalms

Psalm 13

David complains of delay, 1, 2. He prays for preventing grace, 3, 4. He boasts of divine mercy, 5, 6.

1 [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.]

How long will you forget me, O LORD? Forever?/
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul,/
having sorrow in my heart daily?/
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O LORD my God./
Lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed against him."/
And those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in your mercy./
My heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD/
because he has dealt bountifully with me.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 13[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

The subject of this psalm is almost the same as that of the preceding. David, being afflicted, not only with the deepest distress, but also feeling himself, as it were, overwhelmed by a long succession of calamities and multiplied afflictions, implores the aid and succor of God, the only remedy which remained for him; and, in the close, taking courage, he entertains the assured hope of life from the promise of God, even amidst the terrors of death.

[v.3] - "Lighten my eyes" - From John Calvin's Commentary: "To enlighten the eyes signifies the same thing in the Hebrew language as to give the breath of life, for the vigour of life appears chiefly in the eyes."

[v.6a] - "I will sing to the LORD" - From John Calvin's Commentary: "David, it is true, had not yet obtained what he earnestly desired, but being fully convinced that God was already at hand to grant him deliverance, he pledges himself to give thanks to him for it. And surely it becomes us to engage in prayer in such a frame of mind as at the same time to be ready to sing the praises of God; a thing which is impossible, unless we are fully persuaded that our prayers will not be ineffectual. We may not be wholly free from sorrow, but it is nevertheless necessary that this cheerfulness of faith rise above it, and put into our mouth a song on account of the joy which is reserved for us in the future although not as yet experienced by us; just as we see David here preparing himself to celebrate in songs the grace of God, before he perceives the issue of his troubles."

[v.6b] - The Septuagint has the following appended to this verse: "and I will sing psalms to the name of the Lord most high."