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Ben Mattson
Seminarian at Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis, MN
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Psalm 130
Psalms 130:1-4
What Love Could Remember No Wrong We Have Done? (A, "But God", in the Psalms?)
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Published April 13th, 2020; Updated April 13th, 2020
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Psalms 130:1-4
From the deep water 1 I cry out to you, O Lord .
Out of c the depths I cry to you, O Lord !
ἐκ βαθέων ἐκέκραξά σε κύριε
Out of the depths (deep waters) I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, listen to me! 2
O Lord, hear my voice!
κύριε εἰσάκουσον τῆς φωνῆς μου
O Lord, give ear to my voice!
Pay attention to 3 my plea for mercy!
d Let your ears be attentive to e the voice of my pleas for mercy!
γενηθήτω τὰ ὦτά σου προσέχοντα εἰς τὴν φωνὴν τῆς δεήσεώς μου
Let your ears be paying attention to the voice of my entreaties!
If you, O Lord , were to keep track of 4 sins,
If you, O Lord , should f mark iniquities,
ἐὰν ἀνομίας παρατηρήσῃ κύριε
(I'm crying out for mercy because) O Lord, if you were to keep track of lawlessness (sins),
O Lord, who could stand before you? 5
O Lord, who could g stand?
κύριε τίς ὑποστήσεται
(then) O Lord, who could endure/stand (before you, before your judgement seat)?
Implied answer
(Implied) No one!
But you are willing to forgive, 12
But with you there is forgiveness.
ὅτι παρὰ σοὶ ὁ ἱλασμός ἐστιν
Yet...(for/because) with you there is pardon.
Trouble is compared to deep waters. Ps 69:3, 15, Ezra 27:34 Life-threatening danger.
urgent request to meet a need
② the product of a lawless disposition, a lawless deed Ro 6:19b. • λυτρώσασθαι ἀπὸ πάσης ἀ. (Ps 129:8) redeem fr. all lawlessness, i.e. l. deeds Tit 2:14. fr. fr. = from i.e. i.e. = id est (that is) I.-E. Indo-European William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 85.
observe them closely, and strictly record them with their ill-desert and well-deserved punishment Charles A. Briggs and Emilie Grace Briggs, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms , International Critical Commentary (New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1906–1907), 464. 14:1 Now 1 one Sabbath when Jesus went to dine 2 at the house of a leader 3 of the Pharisees, 4 they were watching 5 him closely 1 tn Grk “Now it happened that one.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο ( egeneto , “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί ( kai ) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. 2 tn Grk “to eat bread,” an idiom for participating in a meal. 3 tn Grk “a ruler of the Pharisees.” He was probably a synagogue official. 4 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17. 5 sn Watching … closely is a graphic term meaning to lurk and watch; see Luke 11:53–54. Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), Lk 14:1.
130:4 Forgiveness is ultimately accomplished in Christ (Col. 1:13–14; see note on Ps. 32:1). Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 1108.
marker of causality Because, since BDAG
ἱλασμός, οῦ, ὁ (s. prec. and next entry) ① appeasement necessitated by sin, expiation (τῶν θεῶν Orph., Arg. 39; Plut., Fab. 18, 3; cp. Plut., Sol. 12, 5. In these cases we have the pl., prob. referring to the individual actions to be expiated. But also sg.: Plut., Mor. 560d, Camill. 7, 5; Lev 25:9; Ps 129:4; Philo, Leg. All. 3, 174) εἰς ἱ. ἐμοί for my expiation GJs 1:1; • so perh. abstr. for concr. of Jesus as the ἱ. περὶ τ. ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν 1J 2:2 ; 4:10. • But mng. 2 has been popular. prec. prec. = preceding Orph. Orph. = Orphica, var. dates—List 5 Plut Plut , I–II a.d.—List 5 cp. cp. = compare, freq. in ref. to citation fr. ancient texts Plut Plut , I–II a.d.—List 5 pl. pl. = plural prob. prob. = probable, probably sg. sg. = singular Plut Plut , I–II a.d.—List 5 Philo Philo = P. of Alexandria, I b.c.–I a.d.—List 5 GJs GJs = Gospel of James (Protevangelium Jacobi), II a.d.—List 1 perh. perh. = perhaps abstr. abstr. = abstractum pro concreto (abstract for the concrete) concr. concr. = concrete(ly), cp. abstr. mng. mng. = meaning(s) William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 474.
to cry aloud
v1 The psalmist is crying out to God out of the depths, or out of the deep waters. He is in trouble--at least life-threatening danger of some sort. He's calling out because there is something causing him distress. "Lord, I'm in trouble!" v2 Describes the content of what he is crying to God. He is asking God to hear his cries for mercy. But mercy in what sense? "Please hear me, Lord!" (2a) "Please hear my pleas for mercy!" (2b) v3 Shows us why he is crying for mercy. I see it as the grounds for why he is crying for mercy. He frames it as a rhetorical question. The mercy that the psalmist is calling for is that God would forget his sins, to not keep track of them, because if God does, the psalmist, like all of those in the same position, is in trouble. He's saying, "I am crying out to you, Lord, to hear me, to listen to my pleas for mercy, because, O Lord, if you were to keep track of sins, to count them, then no one, no one could stand before your judgement seat and be judged righteous." For all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory. v4 " Yet with you there is ιλασμός ( pardon/forgiveness). " ιλασμός, οῦ, ὁ in the LXX: Lev 25:9: Day of Atonement Num 5:8: ram of atonement Amos 8:14: Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria... Ezekiel 44:27: "And on the day he goes into the Holy Place, into the inner court, to minster in the Holy Place, he shall offer his sin offering, declares the Lord God." Ps 129:4 (130:4) ἱλασμός, οῦ, ὁ in the NT: "He is the ( ιλασμός) propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2 ESV NIV, NET say atoning sacrifice. "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the ( ιλασμον) propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10 ESV NET Study Note The Greek word ( ἱλασμός , Jilasmos) behind the phrase atoning sacrifice conveys both the idea of “turning aside divine wrath” and the idea of “cleansing from sin.” Encouragement: For those who trust in Jesus for their salvation, there is good news in this passage. In Psalm 130, the psalmist seems to be crying out of the distress of his soul. He knows that his life, I don't think just physically, is being threatened because of his sin. He knows that if God, who knows all, was to keep track of his sin or the sin of God's people (see later in Psalm 130) then no one would be able to endure the wrath of God. Yet, (whether ιλασμοs carries more meaning than simply forgiveness in this passage or not) for those who are in Christ there is both cleansing of sin and the turning aside of God's eternal wrath, even though we certainly deserve it. Hebrews 10 quoting Jeremiah 31:34: Hebrews 10:17 (NA28) 17 καὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν καὶ τῶν ἀνομιῶν αὐτῶν οὐ μὴ μνησθήσομαι ἔτι. Hebrews 10:17–18 (NET) 17 then he says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Hebrews 10:17–18 (ESV) 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. ἀνομιῶν same word in Psalm 130:3 LXX for lawlessness WOW! For those who are in Christ, God remembers our sin no longer. It is not counted against us! The full assurance of our faith is that there is nothing more to offer for sin. Jesus has already done it. So let us bask in the mercy and love of God. Ephesians 2:4–7 (ESV) 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the ( ιλασμον) propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10 ESV Closing Encouragement: Hebrews 10:19-24 (ESV) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. So brothers, with our families, with our neighbors, in our ministries now or in the future, may we draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Let us never, ever waver...we have been forgiven, God almighty neither remembers or counts them against us anymore, and he who promised is faithful! "What love could remember, no wrongs we have done Omniscient all-knowing, He counts not their sum Thrown into a sea, without bottom or shore Our sins they are many, His mercy is more the Lord! Praise the Lord, His mercy is more Stronger than darkness, new every morn Our sins they are many, His mercy is more." - His Mercy is More
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.