Psalm 141:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

New Living Translation
Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.

English Standard Version
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

New American Standard Bible
May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.

King James Bible
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
May my prayer be set before You as incense, the raising of my hands as the evening offering.

International Standard Version
Let my prayer be like incense offered before you, and my uplifted hands like the evening sacrifice.

NET Bible
May you accept my prayer like incense, my uplifted hands like the evening offering!

New Heart English Bible
Let my prayer be set before you like incense; the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
My prayer came before you like incense, and an offering of my hands like the evening offering.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Let my prayer be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence. Let the lifting up of my hands in prayer be accepted as an evening sacrifice.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

New American Standard 1977
May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee;
            The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense, the gift of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

King James 2000 Bible
Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

American King James Version
Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

American Standard Version
Let my prayer be set forth as incense before thee; The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight; the lifting up of my hands, as evening sacrifice.

Darby Bible Translation
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening oblation.

English Revised Version
Let my prayer be set forth as incense before thee; the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

World English Bible
Let my prayer be set before you like incense; the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice.

Young's Literal Translation
My prayer is prepared -- incense before Thee, The lifting up of my hands -- the evening present.
Study Bible
Come to Me Quickly!
1A Psalm of David. O LORD, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You! 2May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. 3Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.…
Cross References
Luke 1:10
And at the hour of the incense offering, the entire congregation was praying outside.

1 Timothy 2:8
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or dissension.

Revelation 5:8
When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held the golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Revelation 8:3
Then another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.

Revelation 8:4
And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose up before God from the hand of the angel.

Exodus 29:39
"The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight;

Exodus 29:41
"The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it the same grain offering and the same drink offering as in the morning, for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD.

Exodus 30:8
"When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.

Numbers 7:68
one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense;

1 Kings 18:29
When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
Treasury of Scripture

Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

let my prayer. David who was now driven from Judea, and far from the sanctuary, here prays that the devotion of his heart, and the elevation of his hands, might be accepted; that the one might ascend to heaven fragrant and well pleasing as the cloud of incense, and the other in conjunction with it, be prevalent as the minchah, or evening oblation.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the …

set forth. Heb. directed

Psalm 5:3 My voice shall you hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will …

as incense

Exodus 30:7-9,34-38 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he …

Leviticus 10:1,2 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, …

Leviticus 16:11-13 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for …

Numbers 16:35,46-48 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred …

Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same …

Luke 1:9,10 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn …

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty …

Revelation 8:3,4 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; …

the lifting

Psalm 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry to you, when I lift …

Psalm 63:4 Thus will I bless you while I live: I will lift up my hands in your name.

Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, …

the evening

Exodus 29:39,42 The one lamb you shall offer in the morning; and the other lamb you …

1 Kings 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, …

Ezra 9:4 Then were assembled to me every one that trembled at the words of …

Daniel 9:21 Yes, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom …

Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of …

(2) Set forth . . .--See margin; but more literally, be erected, suggesting the pillar of smoke (comp. Tennyson's "Azure pillars of the hearth") continually rising to heaven. Some think the incense refers to the morning sacrifice, so that the verse will mean, "let my prayer rise regularly as morning and evening sacrifice." But this is hardly necessary.

Sacrifice--i.e., the offering of flour and oil, which followed the burnt offering both at morning and evening (Leviticus 2:1-11; in Authorised Version," meat offering "), and here probably associated specially with evening, because the prayer was uttered at the close of the day. (See Note, Psalm 141:3.)

For the "lifted hands," here, from the parallelism, evidently only a symbol of prayer, and not a term for oblation, see Psalm 28:2, Note.

"For what are men better than sheep or goats,

That nourish a blind life within the Drain,

If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer,

Both for themselves, and those that call them friend."

TENNYSON: Morte d' Arthur,

Verse 2. - Let my prayer be set forth (or, "established") before thee as incense; i.e. with the regularity of the incense, and with its acceptableness. And the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. The hands were "lifted up" in prayer, which was reckoned a serf of sacrifice (Hosea 14:2). Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense,.... Which was offered every morning on the altar of incense, at which time the people were praying, Exodus 30:1; and was an emblem of it, even of pure, holy, and fervent prayer; which being offered on the altar Christ, which sanctifies every gift, and by him the High Priest; through whom every sacrifice is acceptable unto God; and through whose blood and righteousness, and the sweet incense of his mediation and intercession, it becomes fragrant and a sweet odour to the Lord; and being directed to him, it goes upwards, is regarded by him, and continues before him as sweet incense; which is what the psalmist prays for; see Malachi 1:11;

and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice; the burnt sacrifice of the evening, according to Ben Melech, the lamb slain every evening; or else the minchah, as the word is; the meat, or rather the bread offering made of fine flour, with oil and frankincense on it, which went along with the former, Exodus 29:38; and so the Targum,

"as the sweet gift offered in the evening.''

This only is mentioned, as being put for both the morning and the evening sacrifice; or because the incense was offered in the morning, from which it is distinguished: or it may be, as Kimchi thinks, this psalm was composed in the evening; and so the inscription in the Syriac version is,

"a psalm of David, when he meditated the evening service.''

Or because this was the last sacrifice of the day; there was no other after it, as Aben Ezra observes; and the most acceptable; to which may be added, that this was the hour for prayer, Acts 3:1. Wherefore "lifting up of the hands" was a prayer gesture, and a very ancient one both among Jews and Gentiles (x); Aristotle (y) says, all men, when we pray, lift up our hands to heaven; and it is put for that itself, 1 Timothy 2:8; and is desired to be, like that, acceptable unto God; as it is when the heart is lifted up with the hands, and prayer is made in the name and faith of Christ.

(x) Vid. Barthii Animadv. in Claudian. ad Rufin. l. 2. v. 205. (y) De Mundo, c. 6. Vid. Plutarch. in Vita Camilli. "Sustulit ad sidera palmas", Virgil. Aeneid. 2. so Ovid. Fasti, l. 3.141:1-4 Make haste unto me. Those that know how to value God's gracious presence, will be the more fervent in their prayers. When presented through the sacrifice and intercession of the Saviour, they will be as acceptable to God as the daily sacrifices and burnings of incense were of old. Prayer is a spiritual sacrifice, it is the offering up the soul and its best affections. Good men know the evil of tongue sins. When enemies are provoking, we are in danger of speaking unadvisedly. While we live in an evil world, and have such evil hearts, we have need to pray that we may neither be drawn nor driven to do any thing sinful. Sinners pretend to find dainties in sin; but those that consider how soon sin will turn into bitterness, will dread such dainties, and pray to God to take them out of their sight, and by his grace to turn their hearts against them. Good men pray against the sweets of sin.
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