Psalm 40

Note: a seven part structure is suggested. A and A’ refer to deliverance received and requested. B and B’ refer to the Psalmist/Messiah preaching the grace of God.

A. Deliverance from dangers
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay,
and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth,
even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust,
and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

B. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done,
and thy thoughts which are to us-ward:
they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee:
if I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered.

C. 6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; 
mine ears hast thou opened:
burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

D. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come:
in the volume of the book it is written of me,

C’. 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God:
yea, thy law is within my heart.

B’. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation:
lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart;
I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation:
I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

A’ a prayer for deliverance
11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD:
let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about:
mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up;
they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me:
O LORD, make haste to help me.
14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it;
let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee:
let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
17 But I am poor and needy; yet the LORD thinketh upon me:
thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

One thought on “Psalm 40”

  1. verses 9-10 show several repeating words and concepts. Here is a chiasm that uses the great congregation as the key. In the parallel clauses “righteousness” is equivalent to both “faithfulness and salvation” and to “lovingkindness and truth”.

    a. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation:
    b. lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
    c. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart;
    b’. I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation:
    a’. I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

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