Geneva Study Bible
I [am] the man [that] hath seen a affliction by the rod of his wrath.
(a) The prophet complains of the punishments and afflictions that he endured by the false prophets and hypocrites when he declared the destruction of Jerusalem, as in (Jeremiah 20:1-2).
He hath b built against me, and surrounded [me] with gall and labour.
(b) He speaks this as one that felt God's heavy judgment, which he greatly feared, and therefore sets them out with this diversity of words.
Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my c prayer.
(c) This is a great temptation for the godly when they do not see the fruit of their prayers and causes them to think that they are not heard, which thing God uses so that they might pray more earnestly and often.
He hath d inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.
(d) And keeps me in hold as a prisoner.
e He [was] to me [as] a bear lying in wait, [and as] a lion in secret places.
(e) He has no pity on me.
He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunk with f wormwood.
(f) With great anguish and sorrow he has made me lose my sense.
And I said, My strength and my g hope hath perished from the LORD:
(g) Thus with pain he was driven to and fro between hope and despair, as the godly often are, yet in the end the spirit gets the victory.
My soul hath [them] still in remembrance, and is humbled h in me.
(h) He shows that God thus uses to exercise his, to the intent that by this they may know themselves, and feel his mercies.
[It is of] the LORD'S i mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
(i) Considering the wickedness of man it is a marvel that any remains alive: but only that God for his own mercies sake and for his promise will ever have his Church remain, though they are never so few in number, (Isaiah 1:9).
[They are] new k every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.
(k) We feel your benefits daily.
The LORD [is] my l portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
(l) The godly put their whole confidence in God, and therefore look for no other inheritance, as (Psalm 16:5).
[It is] good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his m youth.
(m) He shows that we can never begin too soon to be exercised under the cross, that when the afflictions grow greater, our patience also by experience may be stronger.
He sitteth alone n and keepeth silence, because he hath borne [it] upon him.
(n) He murmurs not against God, but is patient.
He putteth his o mouth in the dust; if there may be hope.
(o) He humbles himself as they who fall down with their face to the ground, and so with patience waits for comfort.
For he doth not p afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
(p) He takes no pleasure in it, but does it of necessity for our amendment, when he permits the wicked to oppress the poor.
To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord q approveth not.
(q) He does not delight in it.
Who [is] he [that] saith, and it cometh to pass, [when] the Lord r commandeth [it] not?
(r) He shows that nothing is done without God's providence.
Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not s evil and good?
(s) That is, adversity and prosperity, (Amos 3:6).
Why doth a living t man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
(t) When God afflicts him.
Let us lift up u our heart with [our] hands to God in the heavens.
(u) That is, both hearts and hands: for else to lift up the hands is but hypocrisy.
My eye x affecteth my heart because of all the daughters of my city.
(x) I am overcome with sore weeping for all my people.
They have cut off my life y in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
(y) Read (Jeremiah 37:16) how he was in the miry dungeon.
O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my z soul; thou hast redeemed my life.
(z) Meaning, the reason his life was in danger.
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The Song of Songs: A Spiritual Commentary