The Soul Compared to a Hind
Psalm 42:1-11
As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God.…

The "soul" is feminine in Hebrew, and is here compared to the female deer, for "pants" is the feminine form of the verb, though its noun is masculine. It is better, therefore, to translate "hind" than "hart." The "soul" is the seat of emotions and desires. It "pants" and "thirsts," is "cast down" and disquieted; it is "poured out"; it can be bidden to "hope." Thus tremulous, timid, mobile, it is beautifully compared to a hind. The true object of its longings is always God, however little it knows for what it is thirsting. But they are happy in their very yearnings who are conscious of the true direction of these, and can say that it is God for whom they are athirst. The correspondence between man's needs and their true object is involved in that name "the living God"; for a heart can rest only in one all-sufficient Person, and must have a heart to throb against. But no finite being can still them; and after all sweetnesses of human loves and helps of human strengths, the soul's thirst remains unslaked, and the Person who is enough must be the living God. The difference between the devout and the worldly man is just that the one can only say, "My soul pants and thirsts," and the other can add "after Thee, O God."

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {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.

WEB: As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, God.

The Religious Aspects of a Soul in Earnest
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