Psalm 13

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Psalm 13 is the 13th psalm from the Book of Psalms.

 1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
   How long will you hide your face from me?
 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts 
   and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
   How long will my enemy triumph over me?
 3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
   Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 
 4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him, ”
   and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; 
   my heart rejoices in your salvation. 
 6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
   for he has been good to me.
Scroll of the Psalms


The Psalm is quite simple in form. The psalm falls into three stanzas of two verses each:[1]

  1. The problem (13:1‑2);
  2. The petition (13:3‑4);
  3. The praise (13:5‑6).


"It was the opinion of Theodoret that this psalm was composed by David, not during his persecution by Saul, but when Absalom conspired against him; and the reason which he assigns for this opinion is, “that the trouble which Saul gave him was before his great sin, and so he was full of confidence; but that of Absalom was after it, which made him cry out in this doleful manner.”[2]



Verse 6 is the ninth verse of Hoshia Et Amecha in Pesukei Dezimra.[3]

Protestant Christinity[edit]

Spurgeon saw Psalm 13 as illistrative of trials in the Christain life. "How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord" is almost a universal cry of humanity, as troubles (both internal and external)[4] find their way into lives.[5] The answer for Spurgeon, found in verse 5, is to trust God, as our troubles shall end, our victory is eternal. Or as Matthew Henry put it "None live so easily, so pleasantly, as those that live by faith."[6]


  1. ^ Psalm 13: When God Seems Distant.
  2. ^ Bishop Patrick’s Paraphrase on the Book of Psalms.
  3. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 64
  4. ^ Psalm 13, in Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 8: Psalms, Part I, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at
  5. ^ Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David.
  6. ^ Matthew Henry, Psalms 13, Matthew Henry Commentary.