In the Book of Common Prayer each psalm is prefaced by it's Latin incipit. An astute Prayer Book reader might notice a similarity between the incipits of Psalms 31 and 71.
On page 622:
31      In te, Domine, speravi
And on page 683:
71      In te, Domine, speravi
What's going on?
The two psalms begin in a nearly identical fashion, Psalm 71 stating
In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; * let me never be ashamed
Psalm 31 has a slightly different division, and adds another plea
In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; * deliver me in your righteousness.
The second verses of the psalm are eerily similar:
|Psalm 31:2-3||Psalm 71:2-3|
|Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
|In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *|
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
you are my crag and my stronghold.
So, what's going on here? My Jewish Publication Society Tanakh calls Psalm 31 "anthological". It starts out by borrowing from Psalm 71, then it borrows from other Psalms and Jeremiah. It seems that Psalm 71 is the original.
But there seems to be some Lenten connection too. 71-31=40.
In which Domine are you Speraviing this Lenten season?
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