Psalm 13 Cultural Background

Psalm 13 King James Version (KJV)

13 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study BibleBack

13:1 How long … ? See note on 6:3hide your face. Opposite of showing one’s face (cf. 11:7; see note there), hiding one’s face is a way of showing displeasure or indifference by turning away the face. This is probably a common metaphor from human experience, and is therefore unsurprisingly found also in other literature of the ancient world. In the Mesopotamian “Poem of the Righteous Sufferer,” the worshiper cries, “I called to my god, he did not show his face.” Perhaps more heartrending is the Assyrian elegy in memory of a woman who died in child birth: “I prayed to Belet-ili … she veiled her face.”

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NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

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