Psalm 142#sn Psalm 142. The psalmist laments his persecuted state and asks the Lord to deliver him from his enemies.
A well-written song#tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142, as well as in Ps 47:7. by David, when he was in the cave;#sn According to the superscription, David wrote this psalm while in “the cave.” This probably refers to either the incident recorded in 1 Sam 22:1 or to the one recorded in 1 Sam 24:3. See the superscription of Ps 57. a prayer.
1 To the Lord I cry out;#tn Heb “[with] my voice to the Lord I cry out.”
to the Lord I plead for mercy.#tn Heb “[with] my voice to the Lord I plead for mercy.”
2 I pour out my lament before him;
I tell him about#tn Heb “my trouble before him I declare.” my troubles.
3 Even when my strength leaves me,#tn Heb “my spirit grows faint.”
you watch my footsteps.#tn Heb “you know my path.”
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see!
No one cares about me.#tn Heb “there is no one who recognizes me.”
I have nowhere to run;#tn Heb “ a place of refuge perishes from me.”
no one is concerned about my life.#tn Heb “there is no one who seeks for the sake of my life.”
5 I cry out to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my shelter,
my security#tn Heb “my portion.” The psalmist compares the Lord to landed property, which was foundational to economic stability in ancient Israel. in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry for help,
for I am in serious trouble!#tn Heb “for I am very low.”
Rescue me from those who chase me,
for they are stronger than I am.
7 Free me#tn Heb “bring out my life.” from prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.
Because of me the godly will assemble,#tn Or “gather around.”
for you will vindicate me.#tn The Hebrew idiom גָּמַל עַל (gamal ’al) means “to repay,” here in a positive sense.