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Psalm chapter 30

New International Version

1 A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David. I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.
3 You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. 4 Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. 6 When I felt secure, I said, 'I will never be shaken.'
7 LORD, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. 8 To you, LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: 9 What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help.' 11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
English Standard Version

1 A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple. I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. 2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 3 O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. 4 Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. 5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. 6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” 7 By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed. 8 To you, O LORD, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: 9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? 10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me! O LORD, be my helper!” 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
King James Version

1 {A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.} I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. 7 LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. 8 I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication. 9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? 10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
New American Standard Bible

1 I will exalt You, LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me. 2 LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. 3 LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit. 4 Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And praise the mention of His holiness. 5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. 6 Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, 'I will never be moved.' 7 LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed. 8 To You, LORD, I called, And to the Lord I pleaded for compassion: 9 'What gain is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? 10 'Hear, LORD, and be gracious to me; LORD, be my helper.' 11 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have untied my sackcloth and encircled me with joy, 12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
New Living Translation

1 A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple. I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. 2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health. 3 You brought me up from the grave, O LORD. You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4 Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6 When I was prosperous, I said, 'Nothing can stop me now!' 7 Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8 I cried out to you, O LORD. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, 9 'What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? 10 Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.'
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Christian Standard Bible

1 I will exalt you, Lord, because you have lifted me up and have not allowed my enemies to triumph over me. 2 Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you healed me.
3 Lord, you brought me up from Sheol; you spared me from among those going down to the Pit. 4 Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones, and praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning. 6 When I was secure, I said, "I will never be shaken." 7 Lord, when you showed your favor, you made me stand like a strong mountain; when you hid your face, I was terrified. 8 Lord, I called to you; I sought favor from my Lord: 9 "What gain is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your truth?
10 Lord, listen and be gracious to me; Lord, be my helper." 11 You turned my lament into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 so that I can sing to you and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

What does Psalm chapter 30 mean?

The first words of this psalm connect it to a dedication. This likely refers to when David consecrated the future site of the temple (1 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1). This came after David sinned by conducting an improper census (1 Chronicles 21:7–14). God's response was judgment tempered by mercy. Rather than allowing David to fall to his enemies, the Lord sent a plague on the nation. Even that was cut short, as David pleaded for his people (1 Chronicles 21:15–17). The themes of God's mercy, rescue from death, judgment on arrogance, and pleas for forgiveness are key to this psalm.

David praises the Lord because God had lifted him up from distress. God didn't allow David to fall to his enemies. Perhaps David was also recalling a deathly illness, possibly the same plague that fell on Israel. Scripture records many instances where a human enemy threatened David's life. Yet God kept him alive through all those trials. Rather than allowing David to fall, God chose to rescue him, even from the brink of death (Psalm 30:1–3).

Responding to this mercy, David appealed to the Lord's people to praise God and thank Him. This passage connects God's judgment to the sin of arrogance. When David became too complacent about his own power, the Lord chastised him. Feeling overconfident pride means trusting one's own power instead of relying on God. Even as he was being corrected, David recognized such measures are temporary for believers. God's love is eternal, so those who trust in Him can rejoice even when they experience discipline (Psalm 30:4–7).

David seems to reflect on the way he prayed when God sent righteous discipline. Rather than beg for life, for life's sake, David wanted to continue praising and worshipping the Lord. Part of his appeal for mercy was this desire to give more glory to God. Because he turned from arrogance to humility, David was forgiven, and God turned his grief into joy. Rather than being trapped in misery and shame, David was able to embrace the joy of God's forgiveness. For that, David intends to offer unending thanks (Psalm 30:8–12).