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Psalms 42:1

    Psalms 42:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    <To the chief music-maker. Maschil. Of the sons of Korah.> Like the desire of the roe for the water-streams, so is my soul's desire for you, O God.

    Webster's Revision

    As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God.

    World English Bible

    As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, God.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    BOOK II For the Chief Musician; Maschil of the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

    Definitions for Psalms 42:1

    Hart - A deer; hind.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 42:1

    As the hart panteth after the water brooks - The hart is not only fond of feeding near some water for the benefit of drinking, "but when he is hard hunted, and nearly spent, he will take to some river or brook, in which," says Tuberville, "he will keep as long as his breath will suffer him. Understand that when a hart is spent and sore run, his last refuge is to the water; and he will commonly descend down the streame and swimme in the very middest thereof; for he will take as good heede as he can to touch no boughes or twygges that grow upon the sides of the river, for feare lest the hounds should there take sent of him. And sometimes the hart will lye under the water, all but his very nose; and I have seene divers lye so until the hounds have been upon them, before they would rise; for they are constrayned to take the water as their last refuge." - Tuberville's Art of Venerie, chapter 40: Lond. 4th., 1611.

    The above extracts will give a fine illustration of this passage. The hart feels himself almost entirely spent; he is nearly hunted down; the dogs are in full pursuit; he is parched with thirst; and in a burning heat pants after the water, and when he comes to the river, plunges in as his last refuge. Thus pursued, spent, and nearly ready to give up the ghost, the psalmist pants for God, for the living God! for him who can give life, and save from death.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 42:1

    As the hart panteth after the water-brooks - Margin, brayeth. The word rendered hart - איל 'ayâl - means commonly a stag, hart, male deer: Deuteronomy 12:15; Deuteronomy 14:5; Isaiah 35:6. The word is masculine, but in this place is joined with a feminine verb, as words of the common gender may be, and thus denotes a hind, or female deer. The word rendered in the text "panteth," and in the margin "brayeth" - ערג ‛ârag - occurs only in this place and in Joel 1:20, where it is applied to the beasts of the field as "crying" to God in a time of drought. The word properly means to rise; to ascend; and then, to look up toward anything; to long for. It refers here to the intense desire of the hind, in the heat of day, for water; or, in Joel, to the desire of the cattle for water in a time of drought. Luther renders it "cries;" the Septuagint and Vulgate render it simply "desires."

    Neither the idea of panting nor braying seems to be in the original word. It is the idea of looking for, longing for, desiring, that is expressed there. By 'water-brooks' are meant the streams that run in vallies. Dr. Thomson (Land and the Book, vol. i., p. 253) says, "I have seen large flocks of these panting harts gather round the water-brooks in the great deserts of Central Syria, so subdued by thirst that you could approach quite near them before they fled." There is an idea of tenderness in the reference to the word "hart" here - female deer, gazelle - which would not strike us if the reference had been to any other animal. These are so timid, so gentle, so delicate in their structure, so much the natural objects of love and compassion, that our feelings are drawn toward them as to all other animals in similar circumstances. We sympathize with them; we pity them; we love them; we feel deeply for them when they are pursued, when they fly away in fear, when they are in want. The following engraving will help us more to appreciate the comparison employed by the psalmist. Nothing could more beautifully or appropriately describe the earnest longing of a soul after God, in the circumstances of the psalmist, than this image.

    So panteth my soul after thee, O God - So earnest a desire have I to come before thee, and to enjoy thy presence and thy favor. So sensible am I of want; so much does my soul need something that can satisfy its desires. This was at first applied to the case of one who was cut off from the privileges of public worship, and who was driven into exile far from the place where he had been accustomed to unite with others in that service Psalm 42:4; but it will also express the deep and earnest feelings of the heart of piety at all times, and in all circumstances, in regard to God. There is no desire of the soul more intense than that which the pious heart has for God; there is no want more deeply felt than that which is experienced when one who loves God is cut off by any cause from communion with him.

    Psalm 42:1

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 42:1

    42:1 Panteth - After the enjoyment of thee in thy sanctuary.