On your name!
From the depths
Of the pit!
You heard my plea!
‘Do not close
To my cry
But give me relief!’
You came near
When I called
‘Do not fear!’”
This personalized lament continues with a prayer from the bottom of the pit. This author called out to Yahweh. Yahweh then heard his plea as he did not close his ears. He responded to his cry for relief as he came near to him. Yahweh told him not to fear. There may be a happy ending after all this lamentation. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph in this acrostic poem.
“Some wandered in the desert wastes.
They found no way to an inhabited town.
They were hungry and thirsty.
Their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble.
He delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way.
They finally reached an inhabited town.
Let them thank Yahweh
For his steadfast love!
Let them thank Yahweh
For his wonderful works to humankind!
He satisfies the thirsty.
He fills the hungry with good things.”
This section points out how Yahweh has helped those wandering Israelites in the desert. I am not sure what particular event this refers to since these wanderers seem to be looking for inhabited towns. This does not seem to be a reference to the 40 years of wandering in the desert, but a smaller group of lost Israelites who were hungry and thirsty. Their souls were fainting. In their distress they called out to Yahweh. Yahweh heard them. He led them in a straight path to an inhabited town. Thus they have to give thanks again to Yahweh for his steadfast love and the all the works that he has done for all humans. He has satisfied the thirsty. He has filled the hungry with good food.
“You have caused my companions to shun me.
You have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in
So that I cannot escape.
My eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you!
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the shades rise up to praise you?”
Much like Job, this psalmist said that Yahweh had caused his companions to shun him as a horrible person. He was shut in so that he could not escape. His eyes were growing dim with sorrow. Nevertheless, every day he called out to Yahweh. He spread out his hands to pray. He wondered if God would work wonders for the dead and those who live in shadows. This section again ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.