Psalms 42:1



Psalms 42–72


For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 [a][b][c]As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.

Psalms 42:1 in Other Translations

1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
1 A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God.
1 As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.

Psalms 42:1 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 42:1

As the hart panteth after the water brooks
Either through a natural thirst that creature is said to have; or through the heat of the summer season; and especially when hunted by dogs, it betakes itself to rivers of water, partly to make its escape, and partly to extinguish its thirst, and refresh itself. The word here used denotes the cry of the hart, when in distress for water, and pants after it, and is peculiar to it; and the verb being of the feminine gender, hence the Septuagint render it the "hind"; and Kimchi conjectures that the reason of it may be, because the voice of the female may be stronger than that of the male; but the contrary is asserted by the philosopher {c}, who says, that the male harts cry much stronger than the females; and that the voice of the female is short, but that of the male is long, or protracted. Schindler F4 gives three reasons why these creatures are so desirous of water; because they were in desert places, where water was wanting; and another, that being heated by destroying and eating serpents, they coveted water to refresh themselves; and the third, when followed by dogs, they betake themselves into the water, and go into that for safety;

so panteth my soul after thee, O God;
being persecuted by men, and deprived of the word and worship of God, which occasioned a vehement desire after communion with him in his house and ordinances: some render the words, "as the field", or "meadow, desires the shower" {e}; or thirsts after it when parched with drought; see ( Isaiah 35:7 ) ( Psalms 63:1 ) ; and by these metaphors, one or the other, is expressed the psalmist's violent and eager thirst after the enjoyment of God in public worship.


F3 Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 4. c. 11.
F4 Lexic. Pentaglott. col. 68. so Kimchi.
F5 Sept. & Symmachus apud Drusium.

Psalms 42:1 In-Context

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty Onewith shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Psalms 18:33
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 10:7
  • 3. S Job 19:27; Psalms 119:131; Joel 1:20

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.
  • [b]. In Hebrew texts 42:1-11 is numbered 42:2-12.
  • [c]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term
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