Psalm 102 – “Petition for Life; Zion Prayer”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist complains about his short decrepit life and prays for the rebuilding of Zion.

II. Photo
The psalmist is in a decrepit state: “On account of my vehement groaning my bones show through my skin.”

III. Select Verses
1: A prayer of the lowly man when he is faint and pours forth his plea before the LORD.
4-6: For my days have vanished like smoke and my bones are charred like a hearth. My body is stricken and withered like grass; too wasted to eat my food; on account of my vehement groaning my bones show through my skin.
12-13: My days are like a lengthening shadow; I wither like grass. But You, O LORD, are enthroned forever; Your fame endures throughout the ages.
14-17: You will surely arise and take pity on Zion, for it is time to be gracious to her; the appointed time has come.  Your servants take delight in its stones, and cherish its dust. The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth, Your glory. For the LORD has built Zion; He has appeared in all His glory.
25: I say, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days, You whose years go on for generations on end.

IV. Outline

1. Superscription
2-3. Invocation, initial plea
4-13. Complaint, accusation, rationale
13-23. Zion prayer
    13. Praise: God is eternal
    14. Trust: The rebuilding of Zion
    15-19. Rationale: God will be praised
    20-23. Rationale: God listens and he will be praised
24. Complaint
25. Petition for a full life
26-28. Rationale: God is eternal
29. Wish

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

Note: the superscription to this psalm (v. 1) is the only one that focuses on the speaker, not the author or a musical instrument.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
Photo copied from