Psalm 30

Thanksgiving for Deliverance

1  A psalm.  A song for the dedication of the temple.  Of David.


2  I praise you, LORD, for you raised me up

and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.

3  O LORD, my God,

I cried out to you and you healed me.

4  LORD, you brought me up from Sheol;

you kept me from going down to the pit.a


5  Sing praise to the LORD, you faithful;

give thanks to God's holy name.

6  For divine anger lasts but a moment;

divine favor lasts a lifetime.

At dusk weeping comes for the night;

but at dawn there is rejoicing.


7  Complacent, I once said,

"I shall never be shaken."

8  LORD, when you showed me favor

I stood like the mighty mountains.

But when you hid your face

I was struck with terror.b

9  To you, LORD, I cried out;

with the Lord I pleaded for mercy:

10  "What gain is there from my lifeblood,

from my going down to the grave?

Does dust give you thanks

or declare your faithfulness?

11  Hear, O LORD, have mercy on me;

LORD, be my helper."


12  You changed my mourning into dancing;

you took off my sackcloth

and clothed me with gladness.c

13  With my whole being I sing

endless praise to you.

O LORD, my God,

forever will I give you thanks.


  1. Ps 28:1; Jon 2:7.
  2. Ps 104:29.
  3. Is 61:3; Jer 31:13.


Ps 30  An individual thanksgiving in four parts: praise and thanks for deliverance and restoration (2-4); an invitation to others to join in (5-6); a flashback to the time before deliverance (7-11); a return to praise and thanks (12-13). Two sets of images recur: 1) going down, death, silence; 2) coming up, life, praising. God has delivered the psalmist from one state to the other.

30, 1  For the dedication of the temple: a later adaptation of the psalm to celebrate the purification of the temple in 164 B.C. during the Maccabean Revolt.

30, 3  Healed: for God as healer, see also Pss 103:3; 107:20; Hos 6:1; 7:1; 11:3; 14:5.

30, 4  Sheol...pit: the shadowy underworld residence of the spirits of the dead, here a metaphor for near death.

30, 7  Complacent: untroubled existence is often seen as a source of temptation to forget God. Cf. Dt 8:10-18; Hos 13:6; Prv 30:9.

30, 10  in the stillness of Sheol no one gives you praise; let me live and be among your worshipers. Cf. Pss 6:6; 88:11-13; 115:17; Is 38:18.

Copyright ©1991 by the confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.