A Note on Psalm 42 and Psalm 43.

1866 150 No one who reads these two Psalms with any attention can fail to see the close connection between them. The expression of Psalms xlii. 5, 11, xliii. 5 shows that. The soul is cast down, but the godly one would encourage himself with the assurance that he shall yet praise God.

In the Authorized Version, however, the sense is obscure in some degree by the translation of verse 5 which in the original, as the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate agree, is not the language of regret at the remembrance of privileges once enjoyed, but the language of hope as he looks forward to what he will enjoy. The words are, "I shall go with the multitude, I shall go with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping a feast." Though outside Jerusalem, he will one day be inside; though it is for him now the time of sorrow and reproach, the festive day will come. So, when reproached by his enemies, he pours out his soul in prayer for this. The special subject of the prayer we get in Psalm xliii. Thus these two Psalms are divided into three parts. Psalm xlii. 1-5 gives the desire of his heart, panting for God, as the hart pants because of the water-brooks, and the confidence that he will yet enjoy what he so much desires. Then verses 6-11 give the special circumstances which call out this confidence of hope. He is afflicted, beyond Jordan, unable to reach God's house, through the oppression of the enemy. Psalm xliii. gives the subject of his prayer, to be judged and avenged, and states the way by which his desire will be accomplished. "Send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me." It is beautiful to see that the soul cannot rest till it gets to that place on earth where God dwells. It is strengthening, nevertheless, to see how God graciously ministers comfort under the circumstances. (Psalm xlii. 8.) It is instructive to see what the godly one will do when he reaches the holy habitation. "Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God, my God."

I would add that help in verse 5 and health in verse 11 are the same word in Hebrew, and the three versions mentioned above, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate, connect "O my God" of verse 6 with the end of, verse 5, by which verse 5 is made to tally exactly with Psalm xlii. 11 and Psalm xliii. 5. S.