Psalm 13:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,

New Living Translation
Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

English Standard Version
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

New American Standard Bible
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

King James Bible
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Consider me and answer, LORD my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death.

International Standard Version
Look at me! Answer me, LORD, my God! Give light to my eyes! Otherwise, I will sleep in death;

NET Bible
Look at me! Answer me, O LORD my God! Revive me, or else I will die!

New Heart English Bible
Look, and answer me, LORD, my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Look and answer me, Lord Jehovah, my God, and enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep unto death.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Look at me! Answer me, O LORD my God! Light up my eyes, or else I will die

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold Thou, and answer me, O LORD my God; Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

New American Standard 1977
Consider and answer me, O LORD, my God;
            Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death,

King James 2000 Bible
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

American King James Version
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

American Standard Version
Consider and answer me, O Jehovah my God: Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the'sleep of death;

Douay-Rheims Bible
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Darby Bible Translation
Consider, answer me, O Jehovah my God! lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the [sleep of] death;

English Revised Version
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

Webster's Bible Translation
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

World English Bible
Behold, and answer me, Yahweh, my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;

Young's Literal Translation
Look attentively; Answer me, O Jehovah, my God, Enlighten mine eyes, lest I sleep in death,
Study Bible
How Long, O Lord?
2How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? 3Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, 4And my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 14:29
Then Jonathan said, "My father has troubled the land. See now, how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey.

Ezra 9:8
"But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.

Job 33:30
To bring back his soul from the pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

Psalm 5:1
For the choir director; for flute accompaniment. A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my groaning.

Psalm 18:28
For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.

Psalm 27:7
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me.

Proverbs 29:13
The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

Jeremiah 51:39
"When they become heated up, I will serve them their banquet And make them drunk, that they may become jubilant And may sleep a perpetual sleep And not wake up," declares the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

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

Consider

Psalm 9:13 Have mercy on me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them …

Psalm 25:19 Consider my enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

Psalm 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in your mercy: for you have considered …

Psalm 119:153 Consider my affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget your law.

Lamentations 5:1 Remember, O LORD, what is come on us: consider, and behold our reproach.

lighten

Psalm 18:28 For you will light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

1 Samuel 14:27,29 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the …

Ezra 9:8 And now for a little space grace has been showed from the LORD our …

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine …

less

Jeremiah 51:39,57 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, …

Ephesians 5:14 Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ …

(3) Lighten.--Literally, give light to my eyes that I may not go to sleep in death, i.e., go to sleep and never wake; "sleep unto death," as the LXX. (Comp. for the nature of the fear, Psalm 6:5; and for the form of expression, 1Samuel 14:27; 1Samuel 14:29.)

Verse 3. - Consider and hear me, O Lord my God (comp. Psalm 5:1; Psalm 9:13; Psalm 141:1, etc.). David will not allow himself to be "forgotten;" he will recall himself to God's remembrance. "Consider - hear me," he says, "O Lord my God;" still "my God," although thou hast forgotten me, and therefore bound to "hear me." Lighten mine eyes. Not so much "enlighten me spiritually," as "cheer me up; put brightness into my eyes; revive me" (comp. Ezra 9:8, "Grace hath been showed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape... that our God may lighten out eyes, and give us a little reviving"). Lest I sleep the sleep of death; literally, lest I sleep death. Death is compared to a sleep by Job (Job 11:12), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 51:39, 57), Daniel (Daniel 12:2), and here by David, in the Old Testament; and by our Lord (John 11:11-13) and St. Paul in the New (1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 15). The external resemblance of a corpse to a sleeping person was the root of the metaphor, and we shall do wrong to conclude from its employment anything with respect to the psalmist's views concerning the real nature of death. Consider and hear me, O Lord my God,.... The psalmist amidst all his distresses rightly applies to God by prayer, claims his interest in him as his covenant God, which still continued notwithstanding all his darkness, desertions, and afflictions; and entreats him to "consider" his affliction and trouble, and deliver him out of it; to consider his enemies, how many and mighty they were; and his own weakness his frame, that he was but dust, and unable to stand against them: or to "look" (u) upon his affliction, and upon him under it, with an eye of pity and compassion; to have respect to him and to his prayers, and to turn unto him, and lift up the light of his countenance upon him: and so this petition is opposed to the complaint in Psalm 13:1; and he further requests that he would "hear" him; that is, so as to answer him, and that immediately, and thereby show that he had not forgotten him, but was mindful of him, of his love to him, and covenant with him;

lighten mine eyes: meaning either the eyes of his body, which might be dim and dull through a failure of the animal spirits, by reason of inward grief, outward afflictions, or for want of bodily food; which when obtained refreshes nature, cheers the animal spirits, enlightens or gives a briskness to the eyes; see 1 Samuel 14:27; or else the eyes of his understanding, Ephesians 1:18; that he might behold wondrous things in the law of God, know the things which were freely given to him of God, see more clearly his interest in him, and in the covenant of his grace, and have his soul refreshed and comforted with the light of God's countenance; and he be better able to discern his enemies, and guard against them; and be directed to take the best method to be delivered and secured from them. The people of God are sometimes in the dark, and see no light; especially when benighted, and in sleepy frames; and it is God's work to enlighten and quicken them;

lest I sleep the sleep of death; a natural death (w), which is comparable to sleep, and often expressed by it; and which sense agrees with lightening the eyes of his body, as before explained; or rather the sense is, lift up the light of thy countenance, revive thy work in the midst of the years; let me see thy goodness in the land of the living, that I may not faint and sink and die away. Or it may be an eternal death is designed; for though true believers shall never die this death, yet they may be in such circumstances, as through unbelief to fear they shall. The Targum paraphrases the word thus;

"enlighten mine eyes in thy law, lest I sin, and sleep with those who are guilty of death.''

(u) "intuere", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "aspice", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius. (w) , Homer. Iliad. 11. v. 241. "ferreus somnus", Virgil. Aeneid. 10. v. 745, & 12. v. 309. 3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

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

But now prayer lifteth up her voice, like the watchman who proclaims the daybreak. Now will the tide turn, and the weeper shall dry his eyes. The mercy-seat is the life of hope and the death of despair. The gloomy thought of God's having forsaken him is still upon the Psalmist's soul, and he therefore cries, "Consider and hear me." He remembers at once the root of his woe, and cries aloud that it may be removed. The final absence of God is Tophet's fire, and his temporary absence brings his people into the very suburbs of hell. God is here entreated to see and hear, that so he may be doubly moved to pity. What should we do if we had no God to turn to in the hour of wretchedness?

Note the cry of faith, "O Lord my God!" Is it not a very glorious fact that our interest in our God is not destroyed by all our trials and sorrows? We may lose our gourds, but not our God. The title-deed of heaven is not written in the sand, but in eternal brass.

"Lighten mine eyes:" that is, let the eye of my faith be clear, that I may see my God in the dark; let my eye of watchfulness be wide open, lest I be entrapped, and let the eye of my understanding be illuminated to see the right way. Perhaps, too, here is an allusion to that cheering of the spirits so frequently called the enlightening of the eyes because it causes the face to brighten, and the eyes to sparkle. Well may we use the prayer, "Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord!" for in many respects we need the Holy Spirit's illuminating rays. "Lest I sleep the sleep of death." Darkness engenders sleep, and despondency is not slow in making the eyes heavy. From this faintness and dimness of vision, caused by despair, there is but a step to the iron sleep of death. David feared that his trials would end his life, and he rightly uses his fear as an argument with God in prayer; for deep distress has in it a kind of claim upon compassion, not a claim of right, but a plea which has power with grace. Under the pressure of heart sorrow, the Psalmist does not look forward to the sleep of death with hope and joy, as assured believers do, but he shrinks from it with dread, from which we gather that bondage from fear of death is no new thing.

Another plea is urged in the fourth verse, and it is one which the tried believer may handle well when on his knees. We make use of our arch-enemy for once, and compel him, like Samson, to grind in our mill while we use his cruel arrogance as an argument in prayer. It is not the Lord's will that the great enemy of our souls should overcome his children. This would dishonour God, and cause the evil one to boast. It is well for us that our salvation and God's honour are so intimately connected, that they stand or fall together.

Our covenant God will complete the confusion of all our enemies, and if for awhile we become their scoff and jest, the day is coming when the shame will change sides, and the contempt shall be poured on those to whom it is due. 3. lighten mine eyes—dim with weakness, denoting approaching death (compare 1Sa 14:27-29; Ps 6:7; 38:10).13:1-6 The psalmist complains that God had long withdrawn. He earnestly prays for comfort. He assures himself of an answer of peace. - God sometimes hides his face, and leaves his own children in the dark concerning their interest in him: and this they lay to heart more than any outward trouble whatever. But anxious cares are heavy burdens with which believers often load themselves more than they need. The bread of sorrows is sometimes the saint's daily bread; our Master himself was a man of sorrows. It is a common temptation, when trouble lasts long, to think that it will last always. Those who have long been without joy, begin to be without hope. We should never allow ourselves to make any complaints but what drive us to our knees. Nothing is more killing to a soul than the want of God's favour; nothing more reviving than the return of it. The sudden, delightful changes in the book of Psalms, are often very remarkable. We pass from depth of despondency to the height of religious confidence and joy. It is thus, ver. 5. All is gloomy dejection in ver. 4; but here the mind of the despondent worshipper rises above all its distressing fears, and throws itself, without reserve, on the mercy and care of its Divine Redeemer. See the power of faith, and how good it is to draw near to God. If we bring our cares and griefs to the throne of grace, and leave them there, we may go away like Hannah, and our countenances will be no more said, 1Sa 1:18. God's mercy is the support of the psalmist's faith. Finding I have that to trust to, I am comforted, though I have no merit of my own. His faith in God's mercy filled his heart with joy in his salvation; for joy and peace come by believing. He has dealt bountifully with me. By faith he was as confident of salvation, as if it had been completed already. In this way believers pour out their prayers, renouncing all hopes but in the mercy of God through the Saviour's blood: and sometimes suddenly, at others gradually, they will find their burdens removed, and their comforts restored; they then allow that their fears and complaints were unnecessary, and acknowledge that the Lord hath dealt bountifully with them.
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