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Psalm 130: Wikis


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Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 70r - De Profundis, the Musée Condé, Chantilly.

Psalm 130 (Septuagint numbering: Psalm 129), traditionally referred to as De profundis, after its Latin incipit, is one of the Penitential psalms.



This lament, a Penitential Psalm, is the De profundis used in liturgical prayers for the faithful departed in Western liturgical tradition. In deep sorrow the psalmist cries to God (1-2), asking for mercy (3-4). The psalmist's trust (5-6) becomes a model for the people (7-8).

v1. the depths: Sheol here is a metaphor of total misery. Deep anguish makes the psalmist feel "like those who go down to the pit" (Psalm 143:7). Robert Alter points out that '..."the depths" are an epithet for the depths of the sea, which in turn is an image of the realm of death'.[1] Other Bible passages (Creation, the dwelling of Leviathan, Jesus stilling the storm) also resonate with imagery of fear and chaos engendered by the depths of the sea.

v3. our sins. A temporary shift from singular (personal) to the plural (communal); this plurality (the nation, Israel) again appears in the final two verses.

v4. and so you are revered. The experience of God's mercy leads one to a greater sense of God.

Musical settings

This psalm has been frequently set to music, as part of musical settings for the Requiem, especially under its Latin incipit De profundis:

Some other works named De profundis, but containing texts not derived from the psalm include:

In literature

The title "De Profundus" was used as the title of a poem by Spanish author Federico García Lorca in his Poema del cante jondo.

A long letter by Oscar Wilde written to his former lover Lord Alfred Douglas near the end of Wilde's life while he was in prison also bears the title "De Profundis", as do poems by Alfred Tennyson, Charles Baudelaire, Christina Rossetti, C. S. Lewis, Georg Trakl and Dorothy Parker.

In Judaism

Psalm 130 is recited as part of the liturgy for the High Holidays, sung responsively before the open Torah ark during the morning service from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur. It is also among those psalms traditionally recited as a prayer for the sick; in some synagogues, it is said on every weekday. In Hebrew, it is often called "(Shir HaMa'alot) MiMa'amakim" after its initial words.

See also

External links


  1. ^ Alter, Robert (2007). The Book of Psalms: a translation with commentary. W.W.Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-06226-7. 

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

1: Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. edit

2: Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. edit

3: If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? edit

4: But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. edit

5: I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. edit

6: My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. edit

7: Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. edit

8: And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. edit


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