Psalms 42:1-2

1 1As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 2My soul thirsts for God, for 3the living God. When shall I come and 4appear before God?[a]

Psalms 42:1-2 Meaning and Commentary

To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. Of the word "Maschil," See Gill on "Ps 32:1," title. Korah was he who was at the head of a conspiracy against Moses and Aaron, for which sin the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed alive him and his company, and fire devoured two hundred and fifty more; the history of which is recorded in Numbers 16:1; yet all his posterity were not cut off, Numbers 26:11; some were in David's time porters, or keepers of the gates of the tabernacle, and some were singers; see 1 Chronicles 6:33; and to the chief musician was this psalm directed for them to sing, for they were not the authors of it, as some {b} have thought; but most probably David himself composed it; and it seems to have been written by him, not as representing the captives in Babylon, as Theodoret, but on his own account, when he was persecuted by Saul, and driven out by men from abiding in the Lord's inheritance, and was in a strange land among the Heathen, where he was reproached by them; and everything in this psalm agrees with his state and condition; or rather when he fled from his son Absalom, and was in those parts beyond Jordan, mentioned in this psalm; see 2 Samuel 17:24; so the Syriac inscription, the song which David sung in the time of his persecution, desiring to return to Jerusalem.

{b} So R. Moses in Muis, Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 918, & others.

Cross References 4

  • 1. [Joel 1:20]
  • 2. Psalms 63:1; John 7:37; [Isaiah 41:17; Isaiah 55:1]; See Psalms 84:2
  • 3. Psalms 84:2; Joshua 3:10; Daniel 6:26
  • 4. Psalms 84:7; [Exodus 23:17]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Revocalization yields and see the face of God
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.