There is a minor technical point to consider in Psalm 13: the number of lines per stanza. The first stanza of the psalm has five lines. The second stanza has four lines. The third stanza has three lines. This means that the form of the poem, as well as the subject matter, moves from the tumultuous and emotional beginning (expressed in five lines), through an increasingly calm prayer (expressed in four lines), to a final expression of trust in God and harmony (expressed in three lines).
James Montgomery Boice, Psalms 1–41: An Expositional Commentary(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 107.
Franz Delitzsch, one of the great nineteenth-century commentators on the psalms, wrote, “This song, as it were, casts up constantly lessening waves, until it becomes still as the sea when smooth as a mirror, and the only motion discernible at last is that of the joyous ripple of calm repose.”
Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Psalms,vol. 1, trans. Francis Bolton (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, n.d.), 199.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul…?
(How long must I…) have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death…
Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
Lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love…
My heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me