Psalms 13:3

3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,

Psalms 13:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
ESV
3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
NLT
3 Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
MSG
3 Take a good look at me, God, my God; I want to look life in the eye,
CSB
3 Consider me and answer, Lord, my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death,

Psalms 13:3 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 13:3

Consider [and] hear me, O Lord my God
The psalmist amidst all his distresses rightly applies to God by prayer, claims his interest in him as his covenant God, which still continued notwithstanding all his darkness, desertions, and afflictions; and entreats him to "consider" his affliction and trouble, and deliver him out of it; to consider his enemies, how many and mighty they were; and his own weakness his frame, that he was but dust, and unable to stand against them: or to "look" F21 upon his affliction, and upon him under it, with an eye of pity and compassion; to have respect to him and to his prayers, and to turn unto him, and lift up the light of his countenance upon him: and so this petition is opposed to the complaint in ( Psalms 13:1 ) ; and he further requests that he would "hear" him; that is, so as to answer him, and that immediately, and thereby show that he had not forgotten him, but was mindful of him, of his love to him, and covenant with him;

lighten mine eyes:
meaning either the eyes of his body, which might be dim and dull through a failure of the animal spirits, by reason of inward grief, outward afflictions, or for want of bodily food; which when obtained refreshes nature, cheers the animal spirits, enlightens or gives a briskness to the eyes; see ( 1 Samuel 14:27 1 Samuel 14:29 ) ; or else the eyes of his understanding, ( Ephesians 1:18 ) ; that he might behold wondrous things in the law of God, know the things which were freely given to him of God, see more clearly his interest in him, and in the covenant of his grace, and have his soul refreshed and comforted with the light of God's countenance; and he be better able to discern his enemies, and guard against them; and be directed to take the best method to be delivered and secured from them. The people of God are sometimes in the dark, and see no light; especially when benighted, and in sleepy frames; and it is God's work to enlighten and quicken them;

lest I sleep [the sleep] of death;
a natural death F23, which is comparable to sleep, and often expressed by it; and which sense agrees with lightening the eyes of his body, as before explained; or rather the sense is, lift up the light of thy countenance, revive thy work in the midst of the years; let me see thy goodness in the land of the living, that I may not faint and sink and die away. Or it may be an eternal death is designed; for though true believers shall never die this death, yet they may be in such circumstances, as through unbelief to fear they shall. The Targum paraphrases the word thus;

``enlighten mine eyes in thy law, lest I sin, and sleep with those who are guilty of death.''


FOOTNOTES:

F21 (hjybh) "intuere", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "aspice", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius.
F23 (calkeon upnon) , Homer. Iliad. 11. v. 241. "ferreus somnus", Virgil. Aeneid. 10. v. 745, & 12. v. 309.

Psalms 13:3 In-Context

1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Psalms 9:12; Psalms 25:18; Psalms 31:7; Psalms 35:23; Psalms 59:4; Psalms 80:14; Psalms 107:41; Psalms 119:50,153
  • 2. S Psalms 4:1; Psalms 5:1
  • 3. S Ezra 9:8
  • 4. Psalms 76:5; Psalms 90:5; Jeremiah 51:39
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