Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, Yahweh; * Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be alert * to my plea for mercy.
    If you should keep record of iniquities, Yah, * Lord, who could survive?
        But with you there is forgiveness, * that you might be revered.
        I call to Yahweh; * my soul calls, * and for his word I am waiting.
    My soul looks to my Lord * through the watches till morning, * through the watches till morning.
Wait, Israel, for Yahweh, * because with Yahweh there is kindness, * and with him abundant redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel * from all its wrongs against him.

1. A gradual canticle.

130:0 This is Psalm 120 in the whole book, the 29th of the 3rd part, the 11th of the Gradual Psalms, and the first of five which pertain to the perfection of good. No one is so perfect that he does not sin -1 John 1:8 If we say that we do not have sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. The first step is for someone yet in sin is confidence in prayer, that is, prayer made for liberation from the present misery. I speak of confidence as of one who has already experienced God's mercy and goodness in many things. [The full realization of] this belongs to the perfect.

After the usual title, he (1) first he shows that he is praying confidently, (2) secondly he encourages others to be confident of [receiving] something good: "from the morning watch". In the first part he shows (1) first that he is praying, (2) secondly that he is confident while praying to the Lord: "Because with you". In the first, he expresses (1) the reason for his prayer and shouting, (2) the form of his prayer: "Lord, hear", (3) the necessity of his prayer: "If you observe iniquities".

Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord:
Out of the depths I cry to you, Yahweh;

130:1.1.1 The idea is: Lord, to whom alone is there true recourse, I cried with a fervent heart to you, and that from the depths of sins, in which I hide under pressure as long as I live in this miserable life -Jonah 2:3 I called from the stomach of Sheol, and you heard my voice.

Note that there is (1) a depth that we do not reach, that of divine providence -Job 11:8 It is deeper than Sheol. What can you know? -Ps 92:6 How deep are your thoughts! (2) Also deep is what we are studying, namely, Sacred Scripture -Qoheleth 7:24 It is so deep that who can find it? But God reveals it as he wishes -Job 12:22 He reveals the depths of darkness. (3) And there is the depth of human scheming -Is 29:15 Woe to those who try to be deeper than Yahweh by hiding their plans. (4) And there is that of desperation -Prov 18:3 When the wicked comes to the depth of sins, he despises (Vul). (5) And there is the depth of human misery, which is the subject here and in Psalm 69:16 Let not the Abyss ever swallow me. (6) And that of hell -Is 7:11 Ask Yahweh your God for a sign either in the depths of Sheol or in the heights above. -Job 17:16 Will he come down with me to Sheol? -Ex 15:5 They went down to the depths [of the sea] like a stone. (7) And that of charity -Eph 3:17-18 rooted and founded in love, so that you may understand with all the saints the width, length, height and depth.

Therefore out of the depths, the depths of sin in which I am merged, the depth of misery in which I am, I cry to you, Lord, with Peter -Mat 14:30 As he began to sink, he cried.

2. Lord, hear my voice.
Lord, hear my voice!

130: This is the form of the prayer, namely, what he asks for: that God may hear the prayer (1) to obtain good things, (2) to have evil things removed: "Let your ears". The idea is: I called because of the urgency of misery. But how? Lord, hear my voice praying that good things may be given to me -Dan 9:17 Now hear, our God, the prayer of your servant. -Judith 9:17 Hear me, Lord, miserable that I am and confident of your mercy (Vul addition).

Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
Let your ears be alert to my plea for mercy.

130: The idea is: I called that you may hear my prayer, adding this anthropomorphic expression: Let your ears -2 Chron 6:40 And now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer made in this place- be attentive -Dan 9:19 Lord, hear; Lord, forgive; Lord, be attentive- to the voice of my supplication which I make for the removal of the evils of sin and punishment -Ps 143:1 Listen to my plea for mercy.

3. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it.
If you should keep record of iniquities, Yah, Lord, who could survive?

130:1.1.3 Here he shows the necessity of crying. The idea is: I cried from the depths to obtain good things and have evil things removed. I need to do so because, Lord, whom none can resist, if you observe, diligently recording what you will bring to court, the iniquities in which we are, which we continue to commit, who could survive? Truly no one. -Gregory: If he dealt strictly with us, weak human nature could not bear it. -Job 9:3 Anyone who wants to dispute with him will not be able to answer one question in a thousand. -Ps 38:5 my crimes have come down on my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. -Prov 23:6 Should he contend against me with his great power. -Ps 143:2 Do not bring your servant to court.

4. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness:
But with you there is forgiveness,

130:1.2.1 After showing what he prays for, he now shows that he is confident while praying. There are four reasons for confidence and hope: (1) God's kindness, which forgives sins, (2) his love, which infuses grace: "And by reason of your law", (3) his fidelity, which fulfils what he promised: "My soul relied", (4) his power, by which he strongly defends: "My soul hoped". The idea is: If I prayed under the pressure of necessity, I was not hesitant, for with you there is forgiveness of sins -Dan 9:9 With the Lord our God there is mercy and forgiveness,(9:8) while to us confusion, and that not a little, but maximum -Sir 17:24 How great the mercy of the Lord his forgiveness of those who return to him! He is even propitiation itself -1 John 2:2 He is propitiation for our sins.

and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.
that you might be revered. I call to Yahweh;

130:1.2.2 This is the second reason. The idea is: If I waited because of your kindness, I also wait by reason of your law of charity and clemency, that is, by which you infuse grace and do not harshly punish, as in the law of severity. For charity is a law -Job 11:6 The secrets of wisdom are twice as effective. -Prov 31:26 The law of mercy is on his lips. This is the law of Christ -Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens and you will fulfill the law of Christ.

My soul hath relied on his word:
my soul calls, and for his word I am waiting.

130:1.2.3 This is the third reason. The idea is: I awaited because with you there is kindness and charity. My soul also waits confidently, according to Sirah 2:7 You who fear the Lord, wait for this mercy. -Sir 2:3 Cling to him,forsake him not- hoping in his word, where you promise mercy to those who await you, and even a kingdom -2 Tim 2:12 If we are patient, we will reign with him. And you do not lie -Num 23:19 God is not as man that he should lie, or a human that he should change his mind.

5. my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
My soul looks to my Lord

130:1.2.4 This is the fourth reason. The idea is: I hope because you are kind, charitable and faithful, and also my soul hopes not in anyone else, but in the Lord, who is powerful enough to rescue and deliver me from any evil -Prov 16:20 The one who trusts in Yahweh is blessed. -Jer 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in Yahweh, and Yahweh is his assurance. -Sir 34:15 Their hope is in the one who saves them (Vul). -Sir 32:24 He who trusts in the Lord will not be put to shame.

6. From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
through the watches till morning, through the watches till morning. Wait, Israel, for Yahweh,

130:2.1 This part exhorts and encourages others to trust. (1) First there is an admonition to continual and persevering confidence, (2) secondly, the reason for confidence: "Because with the Lord". The idea is: I have confidently prayed. So let Israel, the people who see God by faith -1 Cor 13:12 Now we see indistinctly in a mirror- trust in the Lord, and that from the morning watch, that is, continuously through the whole day, until night, that is, continuously through the night -Qoheleth 11:6 In the morning sow your seed, the seed of good hope and confidence in God, and in the evening give no rest to your hand, in the evening do not stop hoping. The night or morning watch can stand for youth, while the evening stands for old age. So from youth to old age hope in the Lord -Ps 71:5 Yahweh, my trust from my youth. I have been supported by you from the womb. -Ps 71:9 Do not discard me in my old age; in my failing strength do not abandon me. Or: the morning vigil is the giving of grace, the evening its consumation in death. Therefore, from infancy, when grace is conferred, until death, hope in the Lord. This is the morning vigil referred to in Exodus 14:24 In the morning watch Yahweh looked over the camp of the Egyptians from the pillar of fire and the cloud, which is grace firing one to do good, and cooling concupiscence. -Mt 10:22 (= 24:13) Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved. In Leviticus 3 & 4 the head and tail of a sacrificial animal is ordered to be offered to the Lord.

7. Because with the Lord there is mercy:
because with Yahweh there is kindness,

130: This is the reason why Israel should trust in the Lord: (1) first, because of benefits already received, (2) secondly, because of benefits yet to be received: "And he will redeem". The benefits received are (1) the Incarnation, (1) the Passion: "and with him plentiful". The idea is: Let Israel hope perseveringly in the Lord, as it should, because with the Lord there is mercy, since he wished to taken on flesh and become man -Joel 2:13 for he is kind and merciful. -Tit 3:5 Not from works of justice that we did, but according to his mercy he saved us. -Ps 59:18 My God, my mercy (Vul).

and with him plentiful redemption.
and with him abundant redemption.

130: This is through his blood shed in the Passion -Ps 111:9 Ransom he sent to his people. -Eph 1:7-8 We have redemption through his blood. -1 Cor 1:30 He was made for us wisdom from God, and saving justice and holiness and redemption. -1 Pet 1:18 You were not redeemed from your inherited foolish way of life by corruptible things, like silver or gold, but by the precious blood of Christ, the spotless and faultless Lamb. It is abundant, sufficient for the whole world. That redemption is abundant (1) because of the value of what was offered -John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his onlybegotten Son. (2) It is abundant also because of the quality of the offering -Wis 2:20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death. (3) And it is abundant because of the usefulness of the offering, which not only redeemed, but also cleansed us -Rev 1:5 He loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. It also feeds us -Ambrose: From the side of Christ came water and blood, the first to dilute, the second to redeem. Let us therefore drink our price, and by drinking be redeemed. For Christ died once for our sins, so as to redeem people daily from their sins. (4) The redemption is abundant also because of the scope of those liberated -1 John 2:2 He is propitiation for our sins, not only ours, but also those of the whole world. (5) And it is abundant because of the subversion and overthrow of his enemies -Is 51:9 Did you not split Rahab and trounce Tannim? -Ex 15:1 The horse and its rider he threw into the sea. (6) And it is abundant because of the greatness of the reward -Is 64:4 (cf. 1 Cor 2:9) No ear has heard, no eye has see any god but you act like this for the sake of those who trust in him.

8. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
He himself will redeem Israel from all its wrongs against him.

130:2.2.2 This is the benefit to be had in the future. The idea is: We should acknowledge that you became man and suffered for us, but you will also redeem Israel, a people who see you with mature faith, from all their iniquities, which will be accomplished fully at the general resurrection. For, as has been said, he redeemed by his Passion -Is 48:20 Yahweh redeemed his servant Jacob. -Jer 31:11 Yahweh has redeemed Jacob and rescued him from a stronger hand. -Is 44:22 Return to me, for I have redeemed you. -Gregory: He does not despise any sinner coming back to him, because he came to redeem sinners. But he will fully redeem them at the general resurrection -Rom 8:23 We groan within ourselves, awaiting our adoption as sons and the redemption of our bodies. -Is 43:25 I am the one who wipes out crimes.