1000 Songs/Out of the depths I cry to You O Lord Ps 130

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Out of the depths I cry to You O Lord Ps 130

1000 Songs

Text[edit | edit source]

Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee O Lord

O Lord hear my voice

let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications

if Thou Lord shouldest mark iniquities

O Lord who shall stand

But there is forgiveness with Thee

that Thou mayest be feared

I wait for the Lord

my soul doth wait

and in His word do I hope

My soul waiteth for the Lord

more than they that watch for the morning

I say more than they that watch for the morning

Let Israel hope in the Lord

for with the Lord there is mercy

and with Him is plenteous redemption

And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities

(King James version, modified)

Psalm 130 (129 in Septuagint numbering) has been one of the more popular of the book of Psalms. It's Latin title, De Profundis, has been set to music by many composers, and is rivaled by few psalms for use in liturgy. The liturgically-rich topics of depths of sin and abundance of mercy is suitably hopeful, yet realistic.

Martin Luther paraphrased the psalm as a hymn, "Out of the Depths." For as famous as his rallying cry, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" has been, it was "Out of the Depths" to which Luther was most endeared. Isaac Watts provided one of the first English versions (Out of the deeps of long distress) of might be called a New Testament perspective of the Old Covenant psalm.

Many generations of writers (especially those of the Reformed tradition) have set the psalm metrically. Tate and Brady, Sternhold and Hopkins, The Scottish Psalter, The Book of Psalms for Singing, The Psalms: A New Translation (Singing Version) are a few examples.

Author[edit | edit source]

This psalm's heading does not specifically claim to be written by David; rather, it is "a song of ascents." Yet, David's name appears in the heading of many of the psalms, to the degree that several NT references to the Book of Psalms generalize David as author of the entire collection. Regardless, the internal evidence of the text does not provide any hints of another author.

Translations/Challenges[edit | edit source]

Editor's Choice[edit | edit source]

Martin Luther's setting

From depths of woe I cry to Thee,

Lord, hear me, I implore Thee.

Bend down Thy gracious ear to me,

My prayer let come before Thee.

If Thou rememberest each misdeed,

If each should have its rightful meed,

Who may abide Thy presence?

2. Thy love and grace alone avail

To blot out my transgression;

The best and holiest deeds must fail

To break sin's dread oppression.

Before Thee none can boasting stand,

But all must fear Thy strict demand

And live alone by mercy.

3. Therefore my hope is in the Lord

And not in mine own merit;

It rests upon His faithful Word

To them of contrite spirit

That He is merciful and just;

This is my comfort and my trust.

His help I wait with patience.

4. And though it tarry till the night

And till the morning waken,

My heart shall never doubt His might

Nor count itself forsaken.

Do thus, O ye of Israel's seed,

Ye of the Spirit born indeed;

Wait for your God's appearing.

5. Though great our sins and sore our woes,

His grace much more aboundeth;

His helping love no limit knows,

Our utmost need it soundeth.

Our shepherd good and true is He,

Who will at last His Israel free

From all their sin and sorrow.

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