Psalm Saturday: Psalm 6

Hello all! It’s Psalm Saturday once again! I’m very excited to be writing after having quite a bit of work during the week—two papers, a test, and a quiz on the participle form of εἰμί. It’s the Koine Greek verb for “to be,” and it’s most likely the bane of my existence. But we’re actually starting to translate more complicated passages of Scripture, and it’s crazy fun. Thankfully, that quiz was a participation grade; the real quiz is next week, so prayers are appreciated. Moving on, why don’t we get started with today’s psalm?

Psalm 6: A Prayer for Recovery from Grave Illness

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
3 My soul also is struck with terror,
while you, O Lord—how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who can give you praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eyes waste away because of grief;
they grow weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror;
they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.
O Lord, rebuke me not in thy anger,
nor chasten me in thy wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is sorely troubled.
But thou, O Lord—how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of thy steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee;
in Sheol who can give thee praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief,
it grows weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil;
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and sorely troubled;
they shall turn back, and be put to shame in a moment.

The NRSV is on the left, and the RSV is on the right. Besides the very obvious and irksome thee, thou, and thy in the RSV, our first difference is the NRSV’s use of “discipline” where the RSV uses “chasten.” I think this is again a matter of clarity and preference. I personally like the word “chasten,” but “discipline” is certainly a more modern term and will be easier for most people to understand. Both words have the same meaning, but I find the NRSV’s language a bit more accessible.

I also very much like the NRSV’s use of “shaking with terror” over troubled. It’s a good word; I don’t know about you all, but if I had enemies pursuing me, I wouldn’t be “sorely troubled”—I’d be terrified! I also like the final few verses; the tables are turned, and David’s enemies are the one’s “struck with terror” when God comes to his rescue.

The one other difference I saw in the NRSV was the plural “eyes.” It’s a small difference, but I like it. We do have two eyes after all, and we cry from both of them. (Unless of course, you’re odd like me and one tears up faster than the other.)

All in all, I enjoy this psalm. David speaks to the power of prayer; though he continually asks the Lord, “How long?” and doesn’t seem to get an answer, he continues to pray and cry out to God until the Lord has “heard the sound of [his] weeping.” It reminds me of Jesus’ parables on continual prayer—like the persistent widow and the judge. Today, let’s remember not only how powerful prayer is, but how often we should pray.

I know this post is a bit late! I hope everyone had a happy, safe St. Valentine’s! God bless you all, and don’t forget to call your Mother today! Happy St. Valentine’s Momma Mary; we love you! 

In His Sacred Heart,

Erica

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2 thoughts on “Psalm Saturday: Psalm 6

  1. jane arney

    Love this psalm and I read it over and over through a painful time in my life, especially verses 6-7 that speak to inconsolable mourning and pain:
    “I am weary with my moaning;
    every night I flood my bed with tears;
    I drench my couch with my weeping.
    My eyes waste away because of grief;
    they grow weak because of all my foes.”

    The foes are my fears and torments. But there is hope:
    “The Lord has heard my supplication;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.”
    No matter how low I get I must not give in to the temptation to despair, because the Lord hears me weep and cry out, though I may not see any evidence of that.

    Like

    Reply

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