Psalm 13

Dear Reader,

We studied Psalm 13 last week. Here is the translation we worked from:

1 How long LORD will you forget me forever?

2 How long will you hide your face from me?

3 How long will I bear troubles in my soul,

4 Distress in ym heart daily?

5 How long will my enemy exult over me?

6 Make my eyes see, LORD my God;

7 Make my eyes see light lest I sleep in death,

8 Lest my enemy say, “I have subdued him.”

9 My foes rejoice when I fall.

10. But as for me, in your loving-kindness I trust.

11 My heart will rejoice in your salvation.

12 I will sing to the LORD for he has redeemed me.

I don’t have many notes on this translation; just the usual ones that “LORD” means the proper covenant name of God is used and that the line numbers are for ease of discussing the psalm and are not verse numbers.

All the children noticed that line 10 begins a new section. Some also said lines 1-5 were their own section. My 10-year-old called the first 9 nines “the whining section” and the last three “the trusting section.” Three out of four children also noted the pairs of parallel lines. The general agreement was that we have the following parallel pairs: 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 6 and 7, 8 and 9, and 11 and 12. There was some dispute about what to do with lines 5 and 10. Some placed them with nearby pairs–5 going with 3 and 4 and 10 with 11 and 12. Others wanted then to stand on their own.

My 12-year-old counted the references to the psalmist (18), God (8) and the enemy (4). We noted that people spend a lot of time talking about what they are really thinking about. So when the psalmist says “I” and “me: this much he is very self-focused. But at least God had more references than the enemy.

We also noted that God’s covenant name is used plus his loving-kindness or covenant love (Hebrew hesed) is mentioned.

My 10-year-old also noticed that in line 6 there is direct address (“LORD my God”) that is balanced in line 7 by an extra bit (“lest I sleep in death”). She compared this to the similar structure in lines 1 and 2.

I noticed that “rejoice” is used twice, once in line 9 of the enemy and once in line 11 of the psalmist. There is a definite contrast here.

All in all it was a good psalm study. I was pleased with how the kids are learning to read psalms and notice their construction.


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