What Does "Deep Calls to Deep" Mean in Hebrew?
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What Does “Deep Calls to Deep” Mean in Hebrew?


In the realm of Christian spirituality, certain phrases and expressions evoke profound emotions and understanding. One such phrase is “deep calls to deep,” found in Psalm 42:7 (NKJV).

This enigmatic and poetic line has captured the hearts and minds of believers for centuries, inspiring contemplation, worship, and prayer. As Christians, it is important to explore the depths of these words, to uncover the Hebrew roots and meaning, and to understand the impact they have on our spiritual journey.

In this blog post, we will delve into the rich language, context, and implications of “deep calls to deep,” drawing from the NKJV Bible and Hebrew scholarship. Our investigation will illuminate the nuances of this powerful phrase, guiding us towards a deeper appreciation of God’s presence, power, and love in our lives.

What does "deep calls to deep" mean in hebrew?

The Context of Psalm 42:7

The Psalms as a Collection of Prayers and Praises

Before we explore the specific meaning of “deep calls to deep,” it is important to understand the context in which it appears. The Psalms are a collection of 150 poetic songs and prayers, composed by various authors and compiled over a vast expanse of time.

They express the full range of human emotions, from despair and lament to joy and praise. Psalm 42 is a psalm of longing and thirsting for God, written by the Sons of Korah, a group of Levite musicians responsible for leading worship in the Temple.

The Theme of Psalm 42

Psalm 42 is a deeply emotional and introspective psalm that portrays the soul’s intense longing for God’s presence. The psalmist compares his desire for God to the thirst of a deer panting for water, emphasizing the intensity and depth of his yearning.

In the midst of his spiritual thirst and despair, the psalmist recalls the joy of worshiping God in the past and expresses his hope that God will once again reveal Himself and rescue him from his current situation.

The Verse in Question: Psalm 42:7 (NKJV)

“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.”

In this verse, the psalmist employs vivid imagery to express his overwhelming sense of longing and surrender to God’s power. “Deep calls to deep” is a central component of this imagery, and understanding its meaning is crucial to grasping the full impact of the verse.

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Unpacking the Hebrew Phrase

The Hebrew Words: Tehom and Qara

The Hebrew phrase translated as “deep calls to deep” consists of two key words: “tehom” (תְּהוֹם), which means “deep” or “abyss,” and “qara” (קָרָא), which means “to call” or “to cry out.” In this context, “tehom” refers to the depths of water, while “qara” signifies a calling or communication between these depths.

The repetition of “tehom” in the phrase creates a sense of vastness and profundity, inviting contemplation of the mysteries of God and the human soul.

The Imagery of Water

In Scripture, water often symbolizes chaos, power, and life-giving force. When “deep calls to deep,” it suggests the dynamic interplay between the depths of God’s creation and the depths of the human soul.

This interaction is further reinforced by the imagery of waterfalls, waves, and billows, which convey the overwhelming power of God’s presence and the feeling of being engulfed by His love and grace.

Spiritual Implications of “Deep Calls to Deep”

The Soul’s Longing for God

The phrase “deep calls to deep” can be understood as a metaphor for the soul’s yearning for a profound, intimate connection with God. Just as the depths of water call out to one another, so too does the depth of our souls cry out for communion with the Creator.

This longing is a fundamental aspect of the human experience, a desire that transcends our earthly circumstances and draws us towards the divine.

God’s Presence in Our Lives

“Deep calls to deep” also reflects the reality of God’s ever-present involvement in our lives. God’s depths are constantly reaching out to us, inviting us to experience His love, wisdom, and power.

This invitation challenges us to cultivate a deeper awareness of His presence and to respond to His call with humility, surrender, and faith.

Spiritual Growth and Transformation

As we engage with the deep calling of God, we embark on a journey of spiritual growth and transformation. This journey involves a continual process of self-examination, repentance, and renewal, as we seek to align our lives more fully with God’s will and purposes.

Ultimately, the deep connection between our souls and God’s depths leads to a more profound understanding of our identity in Christ and a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Practical Applications of “Deep Calls to Deep”

Prayer and Meditation

One way to respond to the deep call of God is through prayer and meditation. By setting aside regular times for quiet reflection and conversation with God, we can develop a greater sensitivity to His voice and presence in our lives.

This practice helps us cultivate a deeper relationship with God and empowers us to live in greater harmony with His will.

Worship and Praise

Another way to engage with the deep calling of God is through worship and praise. Singing hymns, participating in corporate worship, and engaging in other expressions of adoration can help us connect with the depths of God’s love and power.

Worship reminds us of God’s greatness and reorients our hearts towards His priorities and purposes.

Serving Others

Lastly, “deep calls to deep” can inspire us to serve others as an expression of our love for God. By reaching out to those in need, both within our communities and around the world, we can tangibly demonstrate the depth of our commitment to Christ and His command to love our neighbors as ourselves.


The phrase “deep calls to deep” in Psalm 42:7 (NKJV) is a powerful and evocative expression of the soul’s longing for God and His presence in our lives.

By exploring the Hebrew roots and spiritual implications of these words, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the profound connection between our souls and the depths of God’s love.

As we respond to the deep call of God through prayer, worship, and service, we can experience spiritual growth and transformation, drawing ever closer to the heart of our Creator. May the truth of “deep calls to deep” inspire us to seek God with all our hearts and to live lives that reflect the depth of His love and grace.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.