Jonah 2:3

Hebrew Bible

1 Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish 2 and said, “I called out to the Lord from my distress, and he answered me; from the belly of Sheol I cried out for help, and you heard my prayer. 3 You threw me into the deep waters, into the middle of the sea; the ocean current engulfed me; all the mighty waves you sent swept over me. 4 I thought I had been banished from your sight and that I would never again see your holy temple. 5 Water engulfed me up to my neck; the deep ocean surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.

Psalm 42:7

Hebrew Bible

5 Why are you depressed, O my soul? Why are you upset? Wait for God! For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention. 6 I am depressed, so I will pray to you while in the region of the upper Jordan, from Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 One deep stream calls out to another at the sound of your waterfalls; all your billows and waves overwhelm me. 8 By day the Lord decrees his loyal love, and by night he gives me a song, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will pray to God, my high ridge: “Why do you ignore me? Why must I walk around mourning because my enemies oppress me?”

 Notes and References

"... Psalms 42-43: This was almost certainly a single psalm, despite its division into two by both the Masoretic and LXX. Some Hebrew manuscripts join them together, although a few others add the title 'of David' to Psalm 43, where the LXX has 'A psalm of David'. The refrain (42:5), and similarities of thought and language across both psalms, confirm their original unity. Opinions on the nature of the psalm and the psalmist differ widely. The intensely personal descriptions, mood, and petitions persuade some that it comes from an individual Israelite poet, expressing his inner thoughts and feelings. Psalm 42:6 has often been taken to show that the psalmist was living in the north of Israel, at home but too far from Jerusalem to go frequently to the temple. The references to the psalmist leading the festal procession in the temple (42:4) suggest to others that it is a royal psalm, sung either when the court was absent from Jerusalem, perhaps on a military campaign, or when the king was on the way to pay tribute to his overlord. If the references in 42:7 are mythical and the descent into Sheol figurative (the repetition of the exact phrase in Jonah 2:3 points to this), the king may be seriously ill. Yet others place the psalm in the worship of post-exilic Israel, as the Jews, suffering in the midst of a pagan empire, seek comfort and reassurance in a congregational liturgy. Whichever interpretation is adopted, the psalmist's eager longing for God, expressed in the simile of a deer searching for water in a barren desert (42:1-2), his memories of happier days in the past (42:4), and his delight in the temple worship (42:2,4; 43:4) are plain to see. Like other psalmists, he is not afraid to accuse God of forgetting him (42:9) and abandoning him (43:2). Yet hope remains and becomes the refrain. He prays that the day will come when he can once again worship God in Jerusalem (43:3-4) ..."

Barton, John, and John Muddiman The Oxford Bible Commentary (p. 379) Oxford University Press, 2001

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.