Psalm 42:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.

New Living Translation
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah. As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.

English Standard Version
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.

New American Standard Bible
For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.

King James Bible
To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.

International Standard Version
As an antelope pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, God.

NET Bible
For the music director; a well-written song by the Korahites. As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Like a stag that bellows over the brook of waters, so also my soul bellows for you, Lord Jehovah!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[For the choir director; a [maskil] by Korah's descendants.] As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
As the hart pants after the water brooks, so does my soul pant after thee, O God.

King James 2000 Bible
As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God.

American King James Version
As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God.

American Standard Version
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Unto the end, understanding for the sons of Core. As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after thee, O God.

Darby Bible Translation
{To the chief Musician. An instruction; of the sons of Korah.} As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

English Revised Version
BOOK II For the Chief Musician; Maschil of the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Webster's Bible Translation
To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so my soul panteth after thee, O God.

World English Bible
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, God.

Young's Literal Translation
To the Overseer. -- An Instruction. By sons of Korah. As a hart doth pant for streams of water, So my soul panteth toward Thee, O God.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

42:1-5 The psalmist looked to the Lord as his chief good, and set his heart upon him accordingly; casting anchor thus at first, he rides out the storm. A gracious soul can take little satisfaction in God's courts, if it do not meet with God himself there. Living souls never can take up their rest any where short of a living God. To appear before the Lord is the desire of the upright, as it is the dread of the hypocrite. Nothing is more grievous to a gracious soul, than what is intended to shake its confidence in the Lord. It was not the remembrance of the pleasures of his court that afflicted David; but the remembrance of the free access he formerly had to God's house, and his pleasure in attending there. Those that commune much with their own hearts, will often have to chide them. See the cure of sorrow. When the soul rests on itself, it sinks; if it catches hold on the power and promise of God, the head is kept above the billows. And what is our support under present woes but this, that we shall have comfort in Him. We have great cause to mourn for sin; but being cast down springs from unbelief and a rebellious will; we should therefore strive and pray against it.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - As the hart panteth after the water-brooks. Stags and hinds need abundant water, especially in hot countries, and, in time of drought, may be said, with a slight poetical licence, to "pant," or "cry" (Joel 1:20) for it. They are still found in Palestine (Tristram, ' Land of Israel,' pp. 418, 447), though rather scarce. So panteth my soul after thee, O God. The "panting" of the soul does not mean any physical action, but a longing desire for a Messing that is, at any fate for a time, withheld.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

As the hart panteth after the water brooks,.... Either through a natural thirst that creature is said to have; or through the heat of the summer season; and especially when hunted by dogs, it betakes itself to rivers of water, partly to make its escape, and partly to extinguish its thirst, and refresh itself. The word here used denotes the cry of the hart, when in distress for water, and pants after it, and is peculiar to it; and the verb being of the feminine gender, hence the Septuagint render it the "hind"; and Kimchi conjectures that the reason of it may be, because the voice of the female may be stronger than that of the male; but the contrary is asserted by the philosopher (c), who says, that the male harts cry much stronger than the females; and that the voice of the female is short, but that of the male is long, or protracted. Schindler (d) gives three reasons why these creatures are so desirous of water; because they were in desert places, where water was wanting; and another, that being heated by destroying and eating serpents, they coveted water to refresh themselves; and the third, when followed by dogs, they betake themselves into the water, and go into that for safety;

so panteth my soul after thee, O God; being persecuted by men, and deprived of the word and worship of God, which occasioned a vehement desire after communion with him in his house and ordinances: some render the words, "as the field", or "meadow, desires the shower", &c. (e); or thirsts after it when parched with drought; see Isaiah 35:7; and by these metaphors, one or the other, is expressed the psalmist's violent and eager thirst after the enjoyment of God in public worship.

(c) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 4. c. 11. (d) Lexic. Pentaglott. Colossians 68. so Kimchi. (e) Sept. & Symmachus apud Drusium.

The Treasury of David

1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Psalm 42:1

"As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, 0 God." As after a long drought the poor fainting hind longs for the streams, or rather as the hunted hart instinctively seeks after the river to lave its smoking flanks and to escape the dogs, even so my weary, persecuted soul pants after the Lord my God. Debarred from public worship, David was heartsick. Ease he did not seek, honour he did not covet, but the enjoyment of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul; he viewed it not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries, but as an absolute necessity, like water to a stag. Like the parched traveller in the wilderness, whose skin bottle is empty, and who finds the wells dry, he must drink or die - he must have his God or faint. His soul, his very self, his deepest life, was insatiable for a sense of the divine presence. As the hart brays so his soul prays. Giro him his God and he is as content as the poor deer which at length slakes its thirst and is perfectly happy; but deny him his Lord, and his heart heaves, his bosom palpitates, his whole frame is convulsed, like one who gasps for breath, or pants with long running. Dear reader, dost thou know what this is, by personally having felt the same? It is a sweet bitterness. The next best thing to living in the light of the Lord's love is to be unhappy till we have it, and to pant hourly after it - hourly, did I say? thirst is a perpetual appetite, and not to be forgotten, and even thus continual is the heart's longing after God. When it is as natural for us to long for God as for an animal to thirst, it is well with our souls, however painful our feelings. We may learn from this verse that the eagerness of our desires may be pleaded with God, and the more so, because there are special promises for the importunate and fervent.

Psalm 42:2

"My soul." All my nature, my inmost self. "Thirsteth." Which is more than hungering; hunger you can palliate, but thirst is awful, insatiable, clamorous, deadly. O to have the most intense craving after the highest good! this is no questionable mark of grace. "For God." Not merely for the temple and the ordinances, but for fellowship with God himself. None but spiritual men can sympathise with this thirst. "For the living God." Because he lives, and gives to men the living water; therefore we, with greater eagerness, desire him. A dead God is a mere mockery; we loathe such a monstrous deity; but the ever-living God, the perennial fountain of life and light and love, is our soul's desire. What are gold, honour, pleasure, but dead idols? May we never pant for these. "When shall I come and appear before God?" He who loves the Lord loves also the assemblies wherein his name is adored. Vain are all pretences to religion where the outward means of grace have no attraction. David was never so much at home as in the house of the Lord; he was not content with private worship; he did not forsake the place where saints assemble, as the manner of some is. See how pathetically he questions as to the prospect of his again uniting in the joyous gathering! How he repeats and reiterates his desire! After his God, his Elohim (his God to be worshipped, who had entered into covenant with him), he pined even as the drooping flowers for the dew, or the moaning turtle for her mate. It were well if all our resortings to public worship were viewed as appearances before God, it would then be a sure mark of grace to delight in them. Alas, how many appear before the minister, or their fellow men, and think that enough! "To see the face of God" is the nearer translation of the Hebrew; but the two ideas may be combined - he would see his God and be seen of him; this is worth thirsting after!

Psalm 42:3

"My tears have been my meat day and night." Salt meats, but healthful to the soul. When a man comes to tears, constant tears, plenteous tears, tears that fill his cup and trencher, he is in earnest indeed. As the big tears stand in the stag's eyes in her distress, so did the salt drops glitter in the eyes of David. His appetite was gone, his tears not only seasoned his meat, but became his only meat, he had no mind for other diet. Perhaps it was well for him that the heart could open the safety valves; there is a dry grief far more terrible than showery sorrows. His tears since they were shed because God was blasphemed, were "honourable dew," drops of holy water, such as Jehovah putteth into his bottle. "While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?" Cruel taunts come naturally from coward minds. Surely they might have left the mourner alone; he could weep no more than he did - it was a supererogation of malice to pump more tears from a heart which already overflowed. Note how incessant was their jeer, and how artfully they framed it! It cut the good man to the bone to have the faithfulness of his God impugned. They had better have thrust needles into his eyes than have darted insinuations against his God. Shimei may here be alluded to who after this fashion mocked David as he fled from Absalom. He roundly asserted that David was a bloody man, and that God was punishing him for supplanting Saul and his house; his wish was father to his thought. The wicked know that our worst misfortune would be to lose God's favour, hence their diabolical malice leads them-to declare that such is the case. Glory be to God, they lie in their throats, for our God is in the heavens, ay, and in the furnace too, succouring his people.

Psalm 42:4

"When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me." When he harped upon his woes his heart melted into water and was poured out upon itself. God hidden, and foes raging, a pair of evils enough to bring down the stoutest heart! Yet why let reflections so gloomy engross us, since the result is of no value: merely to turn the soul on itself, to empty it from itself into itself is useless, how much better to pour out the heart before the Lord! The prisoner's treadwheel might sooner land him in the skies than mere inward questioning raise us nearer to consolation. "For I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God." Painful reflections were awakened by the memory of past joys; he had mingled in the pious throng, their numbers had helped to give him exhilaration and to awaken holy delight, their company had been a charm to him as with them he ascended the hill of Zion. Gently proceeding with holy ease, in comely procession, with frequent strains of song, he and the people of Jehovah had marched in reverent ranks up to the shrine of sacrifice, the dear abode of peace and holiness. Far away from such goodly company the holy man pictures the sacred scene and dwells upon the details of the pious march. "With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday." The festive noise is in his ears, and the solemn dance before his eyes. Perhaps he alludes to the removal of the ark and to the glorious gatherings of the tribes on that grand national holy day and holiday. How changed his present place! For Zion, a wilderness.; for the priests in white linen, soldiers in garments of war; for the song, the sneer of blasphemy; for the festivity, lamentation; for joy in the Lord, a mournful dirge over his absence.

"I sigh to think of happier days

continued...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

PSALM 42

Ps 42:1-11. Maschil—(See on [587]Ps 32:1, title). For, or of (see [588]Introduction) the sons of Korah. The writer, perhaps one of this Levitical family of singers accompanying David in exile, mourns his absence from the sanctuary, a cause of grief aggravated by the taunts of enemies, and is comforted in hopes of relief. This course of thought is repeated with some variety of detail, but closing with the same refrain.

1, 2. Compare (Ps 63:1).

panteth—desires in a state of exhaustion.

Psalm 42:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
As the Deer Pants for the Water
1For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?…
Cross References
Psalm 84:2
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Psalm 119:20
My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.

Psalm 119:131
I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.

Isaiah 55:1
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Treasury of Scripture

As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God.

A.M.

the sons

Psalm 44:1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what …

Psalm 45:1 My heart is gushing a good matter: I speak of the things which I …

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 47:1 O clap your hands, all you people; shout to God with the voice of triumph.

Psalm 48:1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, …

Psalm 49:1 Hear this, all you people; give ear, all you inhabitants of the world:

Psalm 84:1 How amiable are your tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

Psalm 85:1 Lord, you have been favorable to your land: you have brought back …

Numbers 16:1,32 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, …

Numbers 26:11 Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.

1 Chronicles 6:33-37 And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of …

1 Chronicles 25:1-5 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service …

panteth [heb.] brayeth
so panteth

Psalm 63:1,2 O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for …

Psalm 84:2 My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD: my heart …

Psalm 143:6,7 I stretch forth my hands to you: my soul thirsts after you, as a …

Isaiah 26:8,9 Yes, in the way of your judgments, O LORD, have we waited for you; …

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