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Psalm 6[a]

Prayer in Distress

For the leader; with stringed instruments, “upon the eighth.”[b]

A psalm of David.

I

Do not reprove me in your anger, Lord,
    nor punish me in your wrath.(A)
Have pity on me, Lord, for I am weak;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are shuddering.(B)

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 6 The first of the seven Penitential Psalms (Ps 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), a designation dating from the seventh century A.D. for Psalms suitable to express repentance. The psalmist does not, as in many laments, claim to be innocent but appeals to God’s mercy (Ps 6:5). Sin here, as often in the Bible, is both the sinful act and its injurious consequences; here it is physical sickness (Ps 6:3–4, 7–8) and the attacks of enemies (Ps 6:8, 9, 11). The psalmist prays that the effects of personal and social sin be taken away.
  2. 6:1 Upon the eighth: apparently a musical notation, now lost.

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