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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 42:7

 

 

Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Deep calleth unto deep - One wave of sorrow rolls on me, impelled by another. There is something dismal in the sound of the original; קורא תהום אל תהום tehom el tehom kore ; something like "And hollow howlings hung in air." Thompson's Ellenore. Or like Horner's well known verse: -

Βη δπ 'ακεων παρα θινα πολυφοισβοιο θαλασσης .

"He went silently along the shore of the vastly-sounding sea."

Il. i., ver. 34.

The rolling up of the waves into a swell, and the break of the top of the swell, and its dash upon the shore, are surprisingly represented in the sound of the two last words.

The psalmist seems to represent himself as cast away at sea; and by wave impelling wave, is carried to a rock, around which the surges dash in all directions, forming hollow sounds in the creeks and caverns. At last, several waves breaking over him, tear him away from that rock to which he clung, and where he had a little before found a resting-place, and, apparently, an escape from danger. "All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me;" he is then whelmed in the deep, and God alone can save him.

Waterspouts - A large tube formed of clouds by means of the electric fluid, the base being uppermost, and the point of the tube let down perpendicularly from the clouds. This tube has a particular kind of circular motion at the point; and being hollow within, attracts vast quantities of water, which it pours down in torrents upon the earth. These spouts are frequent on the coast of Syria; and Dr. Shaw has often seen them at Mount Carmel. No doubt the psalmist had often seen them also, and the ravages made by them. I have seen vast gullies cut out of the sides of mountains by the fall of waterspouts, and have seen many of them in their fullest activity.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-42.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Deep calleth unto deep - The language used here would seem to imply that the psalmist was near some floods of water, some rapid river or water-fall, which constituted an appropriate illustration of the waves of sorrow that were rolling over his soul. It is not possible to determine exactly where this was, though, as suggested in the verse above, it would seem most probable that it was in the vicinity of the upper portion of the Jordan; and doubtless the Jordan, if swollen, would suggest all that is conveyed by the language used here. The word rendered deep - תהום tehôm - means properly a wave, billow, surge, and then, a mass of waters; a flood - the deep; the sea. In this latter sense it is used in Deuteronomy 8:7; Ezekiel 31:4; Genesis 7:11; Job 28:14; Job 38:16, Job 38:30; Psalm 36:6. Here it would seem to mean merely a wave or billow, perhaps the waves of a rapid stream dashing on one shore, and then driven to the opposite bank, or the torrents pouring over rocks in the bed of a stream. It is not necessary to suppose that this was the ocean, nor that there was a cataract or water-fall. All that is meant here would be met by the roaring waters of a swollen river. The word “calleth,” here means that one wave seemed to speak to another, or one wave responded to another. See a similar expression in Psalm 19:2, “Day unto day uttereth speech.” Compare the notes at that verse.

At the noise of thy water-spouts - literally, “at the voice.” That is, “water-spouts” make a noise, or seem to give forth a voice; and this appears to be as if one part of the “deep” were speaking to another, or as if one wave were calling with a loud voice to another. The word “water-spouts” - צנור tsinnor - occurs only here and in 2 Samuel 5:8, where it is rendered gutter. It properly means a cataract, or a water-fall, or a water-course, as in 2Samuel. Any pouring of water - as from the clouds, or in a swollen river, or in a “water spout,” properly so called - would correspond with the use of the word here. It may have been rain pouring down; or it may have been the Jordan pouring its floods over rocks, for it is well known that the descent of the Jordan in that part is rapid, and especially when swollen; or it may have been the phenomena of a “water-spout,” for these are not uncommon in the East. There are two forms in which “waterspouts” occur, or to which the name is given in the east, and the language here would be applicable to either of them.

One of them is described in the following manner by Dr. Thomson, Land and the Book, vol. i., pp. 498,499: “A small black cloud traverses the sky in the latter part of summer or the beginning of autumn, and pours down a flood of rain that sweeps all before it. The Arabs call it sale; we, a waterspout, or the bursting of a cloud. In the neighborhood of Hermon I have witnessed it repeatedly, and was caught in one last year, which in five minutes flooded the whole mountain side, washed away the fallen olives - the food of the poor - overthrew stone walls, tore up by the roots large trees, and carried off whatever the tumultuous torrents encountered, as they leaped madly down from terrace to terrace in noisy cascades. Every summer threshing-floor along the line of its march was swept bare of all precious food, cattle were drowned, flocks disappeared, and the mills along the streams were ruined in half an hour by this sudden deluge.”

The other is described in the following language, and the above engraving will furnish an illustration of it. Land and the Book, vol, ii., pp. 256,257: “Look at those clouds which hang like a heavy pall of sackcloth over the sea along the western horizon. From them, on such windy days as these, are formed waterspouts, and I have already noticed several incipient “spouts” drawn down from the clouds toward the sea, and … seen to be in violent agitation, whirling round on themselves as they are driven along by the wind. Directly beneath them the surface of the sea is also in commotion by a whirlwind, which travels onward in concert with the spout above. I have often seen the two actually unite in mid air, and rush toward the mountains, writhing, and twisting, and bending like a huge serpent with its head in the clouds, and its tail on the deep.” We cannot now determine to which of these the psalmist refers, but either of them would furnish a striking illustration of the passage before us.

All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me - The waves of sorrow; anguish of soul; of which rolling floods would be an emblem. The rushing, and heaving, and restless waters furnished the psalmist with an illustration of the deep sorrows of his soul. So we speak of “floods of grief … floods of tears,” “oceans of sorrows,” as if waves and billows swept over us. And so we speak of being “drowned in grief;” or “in tears.” Compare Psalm 124:4-5.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-42.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 42:7

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me.

The call of the universe

I have long wanted some one whose soul hears to write a poem on this subject, the call of the sea. It has for years been a fancy of mine that the great mysterious, multitudinous voice of the sea is just a composite of all the sounds of the world which have been brought down to it by all the rivers in their courses through the lands. You will hear the tinkle and drip of pellucid springs hidden deep in remote hill countries; the rattling laughter of summer streams that have caught up on their way the rustling of leaves and sedges, the piping of birds, the lowing of cattle, the shouts and merry-making of children, the great commingled murmur of manifold labour. All these the vast world-embracing sea has taken in and blended, and harmonized into its own eternal call. It is deep calling unto deep, the soul of the sea to the soul of the man. How wonderful is this interchange, this give and take, in God’s world which binds all things into one common life! We are often tempted to forget that we belong to the universe, that we are part and parcel of its great interchanges, its system of give and take, that the little pulse of our life is quite as essential as the heart-beat of the world or the circulation of the stars. The sea has its countless veins and arteries through all the lands; it is no less true that even our little hidden spring in the lonely old pasture times its small pulse by the heart of the sea. When we leave all these pictures and suggestions of the physical universe and push back into the depths of the unseen and spiritual universe, we may be sure that the same law holds. We will see, first of all, that the spiritual universe is just as vast and complicated in magnitude and structure as is the physical universe. Every smallest, most hidden soul is one with the great central life. It gives and takes with that eternal source. The call of the spiritual universe finds its way into all remotest solitudes.

I. Consider how the soul is called and lured by the universe of thought. I remember well the shock with which I entered the nursery, strewn with toys, and for the first time found its little inmate curled up in the window-seat, lost, absorbed in a book. The same thought came to me as at the spring. What I has this little soul started for the sea? I felt a momentary pang of jealousy that the great invisible powers of thought had sent their irresistible call to the heart of my little child. Then I thought, this young soul is one with that unseen universe. It is only claiming its own. It is simply the deep calling to the deep. After that first call, how we hurry outward, away from things to thoughts. How swiftly are we borne onward into realm after realm in our-unseen universe of thought--poetry, prophecy, vision, religion, science, philosophy, art, government. In our universe of thought we have already entered into life eternal, when “time shall be no more” and where “death is swallowed up in victory.”

II. The same deep, irresistible call draws us into the universe of love. We begin life not only immersed in things, but in self-interest. The little child, like the young bird in the nest, is wholly self-centred, expecting, demanding that all things shall be brought to it. But the kingdom of love lives round about the young child as surely as the kingdom of the air lies round about the young bird in the nest. The one utters as sure a call to the soul as the other to the wing, “Come, come, here is your destiny, your kingdom!” The soul without love in this world is as crippled and helpless as the bird with broken wing. How the kingdom of love opens to us, realm after realm, luring us on! I We say it easily, “love is the greatest thing in the world”; then in the next breath we declare that selfishness is the mainspring of all the practical affairs of life. No, no. The greatest does not so easily give up its kingdom. Gravitation does not let go its hold upon the planet because the thistledown floats in summer heavens. The self-regarding life is self-centred. Its motion is centripetal, inward upon itself, to loneliness, bitterness, despair. The unselfish life, the love-life, is ever centrifugal, outward, outward into constantly widening circles. The activities of the world are under the vital impulsions and inspirations of good-will, good-fellowship, truth, love. You can no more reverse this Divine order of brotherhood among men than you can reverse the movement of the stars. How old is love? Old as the human heart, old as God; “for God is love, and he who loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” How common is love? Common as breathing and heart-beat. “His kingdom ruleth over all.” Consider likewise with what consuming passion men have loved liberty, throwing their lives a willing sacrifice upon her recking altars. How have men loved truth and justice and righteousness! Out of the depths of the human soul has gone a true answer to the deep call of the invisible universe, its destiny and its home.

III. Another call from the spiritual universe is to the realm of sorrow, We are not good for much until our hearts are broken. Sorrow cleanses our vision of misty humours, restores our spiritual myopia, so that we get a clear long-range outlook upon the verities, the imperishable substances of the inner life. He has lived poorly who has come to mature years and has not been touched by world-pain. No debonair, smug, optimistic Christ need come to this world. Unless the deep cry of humanity has found the deeps in His soul, let Him stay in His comfortable heaven.

IV. At last, the voice that sounds the final depth of our being is the call of death. Out of the unseen and eternal the secret message arrives, “Come! Come! Away from all things visible.” Your hour is at hand. You must be away to your destiny and home. Then you will know what it is to be alone with death; alone, yet not alone, for out of the depths of the spirit goes up the cry, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee?” and out of t,he eternal depths falls the answer, swift and true, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” It is not the answer of the universe. For you, in that hour, there is no universe. It is the answer of the eternal Father-heart to the cry of the child-heart, deep to deep, soul to soul. Oh, friends, believe me, we are not the children of houses and streets and shops and markets and offices. We are the children of our Father’s universe. (J. H. Ecob, D. D.)

Deep calling unto deep

“Deep calleth unto deep.” It is the profound responsiveness of life which those words utter--the responsiveness of the world and the human nature which inhabits it to one another. How clear they are, and how they call and answer to each other--the world and man! It may be in the region of thought or in the region of action; it may be a great problem awakening the profoundest intelligence, and saying, “Come, find my solution,” or it may be a great task summoning the active powers, and saying, “Come, do me”; it may be in an excitement and a tumult which shakes the nature through and through, or it may be in a serene and open calmness which means more than any tumult. The form is nothing; the substance of the experience is everything. “Deep calleth unto deep.” It is a great inspiring spectacle when this is seen taking place in a young man’s life. There is a beautiful exhilaration in it. The mysterious world lifts up its voice and asks its old unanswered questions problems which have puzzled all the generations which have come and gone, lo! they are not dead. They are still alive. All that is most serious and earnest in him tells him that their answers must be somewhere. Perhaps he can find what all who have gone before have failed to find. So the best which the young man is leaps to wrestle with the hardest which the world can show; so deep answereth to deep. At the other end of life the same thing comes, only in another way. When the great shadow of the earth lies on the old man’s soul, and the light of the life beyond is gathering in the western sky--how often then a patience and a faith, a love and trust and spiritual certainty come forth which all the life has been preparing unconsciously; and in the silent days which wait the end, the soul hears the eternity, and “Deep calleth unto deep.” This, then, is what we mean by deep calling unto deep. You see what kind of life it makes. There is another kind of life by contrast with which this kind may perhaps best be understood. There is a life to which the world seems easy, and so in which the strongest powers of the human nature are not stirred. I call that the life in which shallow calleth unto shallow. Like little pools lying in the rock, none of them more than an inch deep, all of them rippling and twinkling in the sunshine and the breeze--so lie the small interests of the world and the small powers of man; and they talk with one another, and one perfectly answers the demand which the other makes. Do you not know all that? The world simply as a place of enjoyment summons man simply as a being capable of enjoyment. It is the invitation of the surface to the surface--of the surface of the world to the surface of the man. What shall we say of this? It is real. It is legitimate. In its degree and its proportion it is good; but made the whole of life and cut off from connection with the deeper converse between the world and the soul, it is dreadful, The world does say to us, “Enjoy”; and it is good for us to hear her invitation. But for the world to say, and for us to hear, nothing better or deeper than “Enjoy” is to turn the relation between the world and man into something hardly better than which exists between the corn-field and the crows. Only when the deeper communion, rich and full and strong, is going on below, between the depths of life and the depths of man--only then is the surface communion healthy and natural and good. I have spoken of deep calling upon deep, which is great and noble; and of shallow calling upon shallow, which is unsatisfactory and weak. The words of David suggest to me also that there is such a thing as deep calling unto shallow--by which I mean, of course, the profound and sacred interests of life crying out and finding nothing but the slight and foolish and selfish parts of a man ready to reply. There are a host of men who will not leave great themes and tasks alone and be content to live trivially among trivial things. They are too enterprising, too alive for that. They have perception enough to hear the great questions and see the great tasks; but they have not earnestness and self-control enough to answer them with serious thought and strong endeavour; so they sing their answer to the thunder, which is not satisfied or answered. Now let us turn and, with another ear, listen to the shallow calling to the deep. When the mere superficial things of life, which are all legitimate enough in their true places and enlisting their own kind of interest, aspire to lay hold of man’s serious anxiety and to enlist his earnest thought, then there is born a sense of disproportion just the opposite of that of which I have been speaking--a disproportion which seems to be rightly described as the shallow calling to the deep. If we are offended when eternity calls to men, and men chatter about it as if it were a trifle, so we also ought to be offended when some trifle speaks to them and they look solemn and burdened and anxious over it, and discuss it as if it were a thing of everlasting import. Have you never stood in the midst of the world of fashion and marvelled how it was possible that men and women should care, as those around you seem to care, about the little conventionalities which made the scenery and problems of its life? There is a noble economy of the deepest life. There is a watchful reserve which keeps guard over the powers of profound anxiety and devoted work, and refuses to give them away to any first applicant who comes and asks. Wealth rolls up to the door and says, “Give me your great anxiety”; and you look up and answer, “No, not for you; here is a little half-indifferent desire which is all that you deserve.” Popularity comes and says, “Work with all your might for me”; and you reply, “No; you are not of consequence enough for that. Here is a small fragment of energy which you may have, if you want it; but that is all.” Even knowledge comes and says, “Give your whole soul to me”; and you must answer once more, “No; great, good, beautiful as you are, you are not worthy of a man’s whole soul.” But then at last comes One far more majestic than them all--God comes with His supreme demand for goodness and for character, and then you open the doors of your whole nature and bid your holiest and profoundest devotion to come trooping forth. Oh, at least do this. If you are not ready to give your deepest affections, your most utter loyalty to God and Christ, at least refuse to give them to any other master. None but God is worthy of the total offering of man! (Bishop Phillips Brooks.)

Deep calleth unto deep

In the grandeur of nature there are awful harmonies. When the storm agitates the ocean below, the heavens above hear the tumult and answer to the clamour. Among the Alps, in the day of tempest, the solemnly silent peaks break through their sacred quiet and speak to each other. The psalmist’s meaning, no doubt, was that the wild ocean of troubles without him when he wrote were answered to by the depth of trouble in his soul. Everything around was like an ocean tossed with tempest: his griefs came wave upon wave. And conscience, as with a lightning flash, lit up the abyss of his own inward evil, made him see the darkness of the sins into which he had fallen, and filled him with despondence and foreboding. But, now, note the truth, that where there is one deep it calls to another, and this everywhere. See this in connection with--

I. The eternal purposes of God and their fulfilment in fact. What a deep these purposes are: that they should have allowed the intrusion of sin; that there should be a Divine decree of election. But all these are answered to by fact. Sin does exist in the world and sorrow also. And all men are not saved. Why is this, when God is good and omnipotent? Are not both the facts and the decrees mysteries, equal mysteries? All that God has ordained has been done; and this not in virtue of His omnipotence, but consistently with man’s free will. The deep of predestination answers to the deep of providence, and both glorify God.

II. Deep affliction. All are not tried alike. Some have little, others much of trial. You that have much, remember the depth of the Divine faithfulness. In proportion to your tribulations shall be your consolations. Shallow sorrows receive but shallow graces; but if you have deep afflictions, you shall obtain deeper proofs of the faithfulness of God. And great deeps of trial bring with them great deeps of promises. When the Lord sets His servants to do extraordinary work He always gives them extraordinary strength.

III. Human wretchedness paralleled by divine grace. Never for a moment attempt to make out the abyss of the fall to be less deep than it is--it is bottomless. The miseries of mankind cannot be exaggerated. But there is a deep which answers to the deep of human ruin, and it is the deep of Divine grace.

IV. The depth of divine love to the saints calls for a deep of consecration in their hearts. He loved you from the beginning. Think what you have thence received. The love of God which has been manifested in you is a very heaven of love. Deeps of the Saviour’s grief, ye call to deeps of spiritual repentance. The agonies of Christ call us to the slaughter of our sins. As for poor sinners, if God saved me, how I ought to lay out my life to try and save them.

V. A depth of divine forbearance answers to another deep, a deep of immeasurable and never-ending wrath in the world to come. The Divine forbearance is certainly very wonderful. Here is a reeking Sodom in the heart of a Christian city. It is a very great mystery that God permits the ungodly to go on as they do. What insults blasphemers perpetrate upon God. But if that forbearance be despised, then as surely as He has shown so great deep thereof, so will He show an equal deep of justice. The deeps of sin are already challenging the deeps of that justice. “Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die?”

VI. The blessed deep of holy happiness for the saints in heaven--this calls for our deep joy and thankfulness now. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

De prefundis clamavi

I. The force of the image which is here employed. In Jonah we have almost the same words (chap. 11.). There is nothing that moves with such mighty, majestic sweep as the ocean. But the sea is pitiless. The waves succeed each other with a certain measured, harmonious mot, ion. It is the music of destruction. Unhasting, unresting, they surge on. The strongest things that man can build are tossed as waifs on their crests or flung as wrecks on the strand. Again, the ocean is profoundly melancholy and restless, yet it aims at and accomplishes nothing, thus adding to the aptness of this image of calamity of which David tells.

II. Let us try to estimate the experience which the image portrays.

1. There are two spheres of pain. The one comprehends the common experience of mankind. God loves not monotonies, and there is none so sad as a monotony, because a satiety, of joy. And hence God has ordained that every life should be chequered. The play of the sunlight and the shadows makes on the whole, for most, a tolerably happy experience of life. Indeed joy and sorrow are very relative terms. “Make up your mind,” says Mr. Carlyle, “that you deserve to be hanged, and it will be a happiness only to be shot.” Very small pleasures to some are intense joys to others.

2. We mean something quite different from this when we speak of calamity, the anguish through which a soul may be called to pass, and the despair in which it may be lost. Few pass far along the path of life without learning how sorrows differ from calamities; without having to breast a shock which threatens the whole framework of their fortunes. But there are those whose sadder lot it is, like young David, to know little else. Storm after storm, rising and raging with brief intervals of sunlight, till the strength is exhausted, and hope even is ready to expire. It is this “wave upon wave” which is so exhausting. One shock we can breast and master, and if it leave us drenched and shivering, no matter; the sunlight comes, and in the haven the sense of dangers faced and conquered makes the heart throb, and the eyes flash with a proud and joyful fire. You say--Never was man so tried! Well, be it so. You are here, the living, to pray and to praise; here with life, God, and an eternal future. “Why should a living man complain,” when he has God, and a future which transcends an archangel’s destiny, and out-soars the most daring dreams? David was not so faithless. Hardly had the moan crossed his lips, when it was drowned in a burst of glorious joy. “Watchman, what of the night?” The night is far spent, the day is at hand; the golden flush is already stealing up in the eastern sky. Cease thy moan, faint heart; tune thy lips to praise. See beyond the sullen tempest and the moaning sea a band of golden light in the far distance. A sure pilot steers thy storm-tossed vessel, and He will not leave the helm till He has landed thee on that blessed shore. (J. Baldwin Brown, B. A.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 42:7". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-42.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of the water spouts,.... By which are meant afflictions, comparable to the deep waters of the sea, for their multitude and overwhelming nature; see Psalm 69:1; these came pouring down, one after another, upon the psalmist: as soon as one affliction over, another came, as in the case of Job; which is signified by one calling to another, and were clamorous, troublesome, and very grievous and distressing;

all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me: with which he seemed to be covered and overwhelmed, as a ship is at sea. It may be observed, that the psalmist calls afflictions God's water spouts, and "his" waves and "his" billows; because they are appointed, sent, ordered, and overruled by him, and made to work for the good of his people: and now, though these might seem to be a just cause of dejection, yet they were not, as appears from Psalm 42:8.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-42.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

g Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

(g) Afflictions came so thick upon me that I felt overwhelmed: by which he shows there is no end to our misery till God is pacified and sends help.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-42.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The roar of successive billows, responding to that of floods of rain, represented the heavy waves of sorrow which overwhelmed him.


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-42.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Deep — One affliction comes immediately after another, as if it were called for by the former. A metaphor taken from violent and successive showers of rain; which frequently come down from heaven, as it were at the noise, or call of God's water spouts.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-42.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.Depth calleth unto depth These words express the grievousness, as well as the number and long continuance, of the miseries which he suffered; as if he had said, I am oppressed not only with one kind of misery, but various kinds of distress return one after another, so that there seems to be neither end nor measure to them. In the first place, by the term depth, he shows that the temptations by which he was assailed were such, that they might well be compared to gulfs in the sea; then he complains of their long continuance, which he describes by the very appropriate figure, that his temptations cry out from a distance, and call to one another. In the second part of the verse, he continues the same metaphor, when he says, that all the waves and floods of God have passed over his head By this he means that he had been overwhelmed, and as it were swallowed up by the accumulation of afflictions. It ought, however, to be observed, that he designates the cruelty of Saul, and his other enemies, floods of God, that in all our adversities we may always remember to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God which afflicts us. But it is of importance to go beyond this, and to consider, that if it should please God to rain with violence upon us, as soon as he shall have opened his sluices or waterspouts, there will be no termination to our miseries till he is appeased; for he has in his power means marvellous and unknown for executing his vengeance against us. Thus, when once his anger is kindled against us, there will be not only one depth to swallow us up, but depth will call unto depth. And as the insensibility of men is such, that they do not stand in awe of the threatenings of God, to the degree in which they ought, whenever mention is made of his vengeance, let us recall this verse to our recollection.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-42.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 42:7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Ver. 7. Deep calleth unto deep] Vorago voraginem advocat, i.e. one calamity inviteth another, Gurges gurgitem excipit (Beza); Aliud ex alio malure, they come thick and threefold; the clouds return after the rain, Ecclesiastes 12:2; as one shower is unburdened another is brewed. One affliction followeth and occasioneth another, without ceasing or intermission; so that they are grown, as it were, to an infiniteness, as Psalms 40:12.

At the noise of thy waterspouts] i.e. Thy clouds pouring down in full force, in a storm at sea especially, by a cataclysm of waters falling at once out of the clouds, sometimes to the overwhelming and breaking of a ship. This mariners call a spout. Psalms 18:4, The floods of Belial made me afraid.

All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me] Fluctus fluctum trudit; yet not without the Lord; the enemies and the evils that befell him are called God’s waves or breakings, Propter peccata nostra a te immissa You have been against us on account of our sins. (Kimchi).


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-42.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 42:7

I. Notice the force of the image which is here employed. Resistless power, impassive fixedness of purpose, and a certain solemn sadness make the ocean waves the grandest image of the calamities of life.

II. Let us try to estimate the experience which the image portrays. (1) There are two spheres of pain. The one comprehends the common experience of mankind. Every life has its toils, cares, burdens, perils. But (2) we mean something quite different from this when we speak of calamity, the anguish through which a soul may be called to pass, and the despair in which it may be lost. It is the "wave upon wave" which is so exhausting. One shock we can breast and master, but shock after shock is crushing.

III. There is one wave which a strong hand holds back, one last crushing blow which is spared. He hath not suffered your hope to be removed. A sure Pilot steers thy storm-tossed vessel through the billows. He will not leave the helm till He has landed thee on the blessed shore.

J. Baldwin Brown, The Sunday Afternoon, p. 252.


Reference: Psalms 42:7.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xv., No. 865.


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-42.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 42:7. Deep called unto deep Bishop Lowth observes, that no metaphor occurs more frequently in the sacred poems than that by which grievous and sudden calamities are expressed under the image of overflowing waters. The Hebrews seem to have had this very familiar, from the peculiar nature of their country. They saw the river Jordan before their eyes, twice every year overflowing its banks (Joshua 3:15.; 1 Chronicles 12:15.) when the snows of Lebanon and the neighbouring mountains, melting at the beginning of the summer, increased with sudden torrents the waters of the stream. Besides, the country of Palestine was not watered with many constant rivers, but, as being principally mountainous, was obnoxious to frequent torrents bursting through narrow vallies after the stated seasons of rain; from whence Moses himself commended this country (Deuteronomy 8:7; Deuteronomy 11:10-11.) to the Israelites who were about to invade it, as very dissimilar to every thing they had seen in Egypt before, or lately in the desarts of Arabia. This image, therefore, is used by all poets, but may be esteemed particularly familiar, and, as it were, domestic to the Hebrews; and, accordingly they apply it very frequently. The poet seems to have expressed the very face of nature such as it then presented itself to him, and to have transferred it to himself and his circumstances, when, from the land of Jordan and the mountains situated at the rise of that flood, he utters the most ardent expressions of his grief, with that impetuosity and boldness of words:

Abyss calleth to abyss, thy cataracts roaring around; All thy waves and waters have overwhelmed me. See his 6th Prelection.

The author of the Observations is of opinion, p. 324 that our translation of water-spouts is just. Natural philosophers, says he, often make mention of water-spouts, which are most surprising appearances; but hardly any of the commentators that I have observed speak of them, though our translators have here used the term, and the Psalmist seems to be directly describing those phoenomena, and painting a storm at sea; and none of them, I think, take notice of the frequency of them on the Jewish coast, and, consequently, that it was natural for a Jewish poet to mention them in the description of a violent and dangerous storm. That this however is the fact, we learn from Dr. Shaw, who tells us in his Travels, p. 333 that water-spouts are more frequent near the lakes of Latikea, Greego, and Carmel, than in any other part of the Mediterranean. These were all places on the coast of Syria, and the last of them, every body knows, in Judea; it being a place rendered famous by the prayers of the prophet Elijah. The Jews then could not be ignorant of what frequently happened on their coasts; and David must have known of these dangers of the sea, if he had not actually seen them, as Dr. Shaw did. Strange then, since this is the case, that commentators should speak of these water-spouts as only meaning vehement rains, or that any should imagine that he compares his afflictions to the pouring of water through the spouts of a house, as Bythner seems to do in his Lyra; when they have nothing to do with a storm at sea, which the Psalmist is evidently describing! See Poole's Synopsis on the place. Others have observed, that these spouts are often seen in the Mediterranean; but I do not remember to have seen it any where remarked, before I read Dr. Shaw, that they are more frequent on the Syrian and Jewish coast than on any other part of this sea.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-42.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Surely Christ is here. For of whom but him can it be said, that all God's waves went over him. Jonah, as a type of Christ, cried out of the belly of hell. And David typically considered might say the same, but not in himself. Jonah 2:2-3. A deluge of sin, and the vials of God's wrath due to sin, were poured out indeed upon the holy Jesus, as man's surety. But, blessed Jesus! how precious to the souls of thy redeemed is it to know, that many waters could not quench thy love, no, nor all the floods drown it. Song of Solomon 8:7.


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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-42.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Deep calleth unto deep, i.e. one affliction comes immediately after another, as if it were called for and invited by the former; which he expresseth by a metaphor taken either,

1. From the old flood, when the upper deep, or abyss of waters, (in the clouds,) called the lower deep, or abyss of waters in the sea and rivers, that both might unite their forces together to drown the world. And thus the Chaldee understands it. Or,

2. From the sea, when its waves rage, and it is full of deep furrows, into which ships and passengers sink down, and then rise and sink again, successively and continually. But these tempests are caused in the sea by God’s mighty winds, rather than by his water-spouts. Or,

3. From violent and successive showers of rain; which frequently come down from heaven, as it were, at the noise or call of God’s water-spouts, to wit, the clouds; which by their rattling noises and terrible thunders do in a manner invite and call forth the showers which are contained in their bowels.

All thy waves and thy billows; thou hast sent one sharp trial or affliction upon me after another.

Are gone over me, i.e. are gone over my head, as this same verb is used, Psalms 38:4. They do not lightly sprinkle me, but almost overwhelm me.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-42.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. Waterspouts—The word naturally refers us to a water fall, or cataract; the idea is that of noisy, rushing waters, which call or echo to each other. David now lay encamped on the east of Jordan, (2 Samuel 17:22,) within hearing of some of the rapids of that river, of which there are twenty seven between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. (Lt. Lynch.) To the nightly roar of these an answer might have been given by some mountain torrents on the side of Gilead, east of the royal tent. Thus was deep calling unto deep, their solemn chiming symphonizing with the sombre feelings of the king. The word rendered “deep,” though ordinarily applicable only to the ocean, may fitly be used here, where the feelings and the imagination hold sway.

Waves and… billows—Probably, breakers and billows, as the word for “waves” comes from a verb signifying to break.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-42.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The writer viewed his troubles like waves cascading down on him, as if he were standing under a waterfall. He compared the noise of the waves to his troubles, that he personified as calling to one another to come and overwhelm him.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-42.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 42:7. Deep calleth unto deep — One affliction comes immediately after another, as if it were called for, or invited by the former. This he expresses by a metaphor taken from the old flood, when the upper deep, or collection of waters in the clouds, called for the lower deep, or abyss of waters in the sea and rivers, and in the bowels of the earth; that both might unite their forces to drown the world. Thus the Chaldee understands it. Or the metaphor may be taken from the sea, when its waves rage, and deep furrows are everywhere made in it, into which ships, and the people in them, sink down, and then rise and sink again, successively and continually. At the noise of thy water-spouts — This may be understood of water- spouts, properly so called; which, according to Dr. Shaw, p. 333 of his Travels, are more frequent on the Syrian and Jewish coasts than in any other part of the Mediterranean, and could not be unknown to David and the Israelites. Or he may allude to violent and successive rains, which frequently descend from heaven at the noise or call of God’s water-spouts, the clouds; which, by their terrible thunders, and rattling noises, as it were, incite and call forth the heavy and tempestuous showers which are contained within them. But Bishop Lowth, in his 6th Prelection, translates this clause, Abyss calleth to abyss, thy cataracts roaring around. And he thinks the psalmist’s metaphor is taken from the sudden torrents of water which were wont to descend from the mountains twice in the year, and to burst through the narrow valleys of that hilly country, from the periodical rains, and the melting of the snows of Lebanon and the neighbouring mountains, in the beginning of the summer, and causing the river Jordan to overflow all its banks. All thy waves and billows are gone over me — That is, are gone over my head, as the verb עברו, gnabaru, is used Psalms 38:4. They do not lightly sprinkle me, but almost overwhelm me. Thus Bishop Lowth, All thy waves and waters have overwhelmed me. The meaning is, Thou hast sent one sharp trial or affliction upon me after another.


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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-42.html. 1857.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water-spouts - expansion of the first clause of Psalms 42:6, "My soul is cast down within me." One flood of suffering invites another flood to pour itself on the sufferer. "Thy water-spouts" - literally, 'thy water-channels' (2 Samuel 5:8). The imagery is from the flood (cf. Psalms 29:10; Psalms 32:6); again, as then, "the windows of heaven" are opened (Genesis 7:11), the deluging cataract pours down by the appointed courses with an awful roar. The "at" l


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-42.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts.—Better, Flood calleth unto flood at the noise of thy cataracts. The exile is describing what was before his eyes, and in his ears. There can, therefore, be little doubt that, as Dean Stanley observed, this image was furnished by the windings and rapids of the Jordan, each hurrying to dash itself with yet fiercer vehemence of sounding water over some opposing ledge of rocks “in cataract after cataract to the sea.” Thus every step taken on that sorrowful journey offered an emblem of the griefs accumulating on the exile’s heart. The word rendered waterspout only occurs besides in 2 Samuel 5:8, where the Authorised Version has “gutter,” but might translate “watercourse.”

All thy waves and thy billows.—From derivation, breakers and rollers. The poet forgets the source of his image in its intensity, and from the thought of the cataract of woes passes on to the more general one of “a sea of troubles,” the waves of which break upon him or roll over his head. The image is common in all poetry. (Comp. “And as a sea of ills urges on its waves; one falling, another, with huge (literally, third) crest, rising.”—Æsch., Seven against Thebes, 759.)


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-42.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
Deep calleth
Job 1:14-19; 10:17; Jeremiah 4:20; Ezekiel 7:26
water-spouts
A water-spout is a large tube formed of clouds by means of the electric fluid, the base being uppermost, and the point let down perpendicularly form the clouds. It has a particular kind of circular motion at the point; and, being hollow within, attracts vast quantities of water, which it frequently pours down in torrents upon the earth. These spouts are frequent on the coast of Syria; and no doubt the Psalmist had often seen them, and the ravages which they made.
all thy
69:14,15; 88:7,15-17; Lamentations 3:53-55; Jonah 2:3

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-42.html.

Ver. 7. Contains a farther expansion of the thought: My soul is troubled. Flood calls to flood through the noise of thy water-torrents, all thy waves and thy billows go over me. The floods are the roaring sea-billows of suffering and pain. Flood calls to flood, one invites, as it were, another to pour itself forth upon the Psalmist. In לקול צנוריך, through the voice of thy channels, the Psalmist points to the origin of these floods: a new opening again of the windows of heaven, Genesis 7:11, has brought this new deluge upon him, by which he is already well nigh drowned, For the reference throughout here, as in Psalms 29:10, Psalms 32:6, is to the deluge. The ל in לקול is that of the cause and the author, comp. לקולם in Numbers 16:34, Gesen. Thes. 729 , Ew. § 520. The expression: through the voice, points to the pattering of the rain, perhaps also to the accompanying thunders. The expression: of thy channels, (Berleb. Bible: "through which thou purest forth great rain of tribulation,") for, thy water torrents, has an exact corresponding parallel in Job 38:25-26 : "who hath divided the water-flood channels, and a way for the lightning, to rain upon a land uninhabited, the wilderness without man." We present the current exposition in the words of Stier: "Lebanon is full of springs, water-falls, and lakes, and this scenery, surrounding the Psalmist, (that is according to the false exposition of Psalms 42:6,) supplies him with an image for the overwhelming waves of sorrow and distress, which pass over his soul" It is fatal to this view, that תהום is throughout commonly used of sea-floods, גלים and משברים always. Peculiarly significant is the reference to the sea by a comparison of Jonah 2:3, which unquestionably has reference to this: "all thy waves and thy billows have gone over me"—compare also: the floods compassed me about in Jonah 2:5. Finally, by this exposition צנור has, without any reason, the sense of water-fall pressed upon it: at the noise of thy waterfalls. The signification of water-channel, canal, is ascertained by the only passage in which the word is found besides, 2 Samuel 5:8, and by the related צנתר in Zechariah 4:12. In regard to the main subject, rightly, John Arnd: "This language is descriptive of a great temptation. For just as on the sea, when there is storm and tempest, when wind and sea roar, and the waves and billows mount now high aloft, now open a great deep, so that one sees on all sides nothing but one abyss calling, in a manner, to another, and one thinks the abyss will swallow all up, and the mighty waves will fall upon the ship and cover her; so happens it invariably with the heart in heavy trials. But God has the floods in his hand and power, can soon alter and assuage them, and by his word still them, as the Lord Christ commands the wind and sea and it becomes a great calm."

There follows now the further expansion of the idea: "I think upon thee," the representation of the comfort in God in the midst of the trouble from God.


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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 42:7". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-42.html.

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