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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Psalms 38

Introduction

1David moves God to take compassion on his pitiful case.

Verse 1

O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
(Title
&) This deeply penitential Psalm is supposed to have been composed by David under some grievous affliction, either bodily or mental, or both, after his illicit intercourse with Bathsheba.
to bring
70:1; *title
rebuke
6:1; 88:7,15,16; Isaiah 27:8; 54:8; Jeremiah 10:24; 30:11; Habakkuk 3:2; Hebrews 12:5-11
hot
Deuteronomy 9:19

Verse 2

For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
thine
21:12; 64:7; Job 6:4; Lamentations 3:12
thy hand
32:4; 39:10,11; Deuteronomy 2:15; Ruth 1:13; 1 Samuel 5:6,11; 6:9
Reciprocal: Job 2:5 - put forth; Job 19:21 - the hand; Job 30:17 - My bones; Psalm 45:5 - Thine; Psalm 88:16 - fierce; Proverbs 18:14 - but; Lamentations 3:4 - My flesh; Acts 13:11 - hand; Romans 7:24 - wretched

Verse 3

There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
soundness
31:9; 2 Chronicles 26:19; Job 2:7,8; 33:19-22; Isaiah 1:5,6
neither
6:2; 51:8; 102:3,5
rest
Heb. peace, or, health. because.
51:8; 90:7,8; Lamentations 3:40-42
Reciprocal: Leviticus 13:7 - General; Leviticus 13:18 - a boil; 1 Samuel 7:6 - We have sinned; Job 19:20 - bone; Psalm 32:3 - bones; Psalm 35:10 - All; Psalm 38:7 - no; Psalm 39:10 - I am consumed; Psalm 41:8 - An evil disease; Psalm 77:2 - my; Psalm 102:10 - Because; Lamentations 4:8 - their skin

Verse 4

For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
mine
40:12; Ezra 9:6
as an
Leviticus 7:18; Isaiah 53:11; Lamentations 1:14; Matthew 11:28; 1 Peter 2:24
Reciprocal: Leviticus 5:1 - bear; Leviticus 22:16 - General; Numbers 14:34 - shall ye bear; Numbers 15:31 - his iniquity; Psalm 39:10 - I am consumed; Psalm 49:5 - iniquity; Psalm 65:3 - prevail; Isaiah 24:20 - the transgression; Ezekiel 44:10 - bear; Zechariah 5:8 - the weight; Matthew 18:24 - ten thousand; 2 Timothy 3:6 - laden

Verse 5

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
My wounds
The soul being invisible, its distempers are also so; therefore the sacred writers describe them by the distempers of the body. (See the Parallel Texts on these verses.) On reading these and similar passages, say Bp. Lowth, some, who were but little acquainted with the genius of Hebrew poetry, have pretended to enquire into the nature of the disease with which the poet was afflicted; not less absurdly, in my opinion, than if they had perplexed themselves to discover in what river he was plunged, when he complains that "the deep waters had gone over his soul."
7; 32:3; Isaiah 1:5,6; Jeremiah 8:22
Reciprocal: Job 2:8 - took him; Job 7:5 - flesh; Job 30:18 - By the great; Psalm 14:3 - filthy; Psalm 109:24 - my flesh; Nahum 3:6 - I will cast

Verse 6

I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
troubled
Heb. wearied. bowed.
35:14; 42:5; *marg:; 57:6; 145:14
mourning
6:6; 31:10; 42:9; 43:2; 88:9; Job 30:28; Isaiah 38:14
Reciprocal: Psalm 38:17 - sorrow; Psalm 55:2 - I mourn; Psalm 116:3 - I found; Proverbs 12:25 - Heaviness; Luke 13:11 - bowed

Verse 7

For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
my loins
41:8; 2 Chronicles 21:18,19; Job 7:5; 30:18; Acts 12:23
no
Reciprocal: Job 2:8 - took him; Psalm 6:2 - for I; Psalm 38:5 - My wounds; Psalm 78:13 - made; Luke 14:21 - the halt

Verse 8

I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
roared
22:1,2; 32:3; Job 3:24; 30:28; Isaiah 59:11
Reciprocal: Psalm 6:3 - My; Psalm 44:19 - Though; Psalm 102:5 - the voice; Romans 7:24 - wretched

Verse 9

Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
Lord
Instead of adonay, "Lord," several MSS. read yehowah, "Jehovah."
groaning
102:5,20; John 1:48; Romans 8:22,23,26,27; 2 Corinthians 5:2
Reciprocal: Psalm 6:6 - I am; Psalm 69:5 - hid; Psalm 69:19 - mine; Matthew 6:8 - your; Luke 8:47 - when; 2 Corinthians 7:11 - vehement

Verse 10

My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.
heart
42:1; 119:81-83; 143:4-7; Isaiah 21:4
the light
6:7; 69:3; 88:9; 119:123; 1 Samuel 14:27-29; Lamentations 2:11; 5:16,17
gone from
Heb. not with.
Reciprocal: Psalm 31:22 - I am; Luke 10:31 - he passed

Verse 11

My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.
lovers
31:11; Job 6:21-23; 19:13-17; Matthew 26:56; John 16:32
stand
Luke 10:31,32
sore
Heb. stroke. kinsmen. or, neighbours. afar off.
Luke 22:54; 23:49
Reciprocal: Job 6:15 - My brethren; Job 19:14 - kinsfolk; Psalm 88:18 - Lover; Psalm 102:7 - alone; Proverbs 19:7 - the brethren; Matthew 26:31 - and the; Mark 14:33 - and began; Mark 14:50 - General; Mark 15:40 - women

Verse 12

They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
lay snares
10:9; 64:2-5; 119:110; 140:5; 141:9; 2 Samuel 17:1-3; Luke 20:19,20
speak
35:20; 62:3,4; 2 Samuel 16:7,8; Luke 20:21,22
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 18:21 - a snare; 1 Samuel 24:2 - and went; 1 Samuel 26:2 - Saul arose; Nehemiah 6:8 - thou feignest; Psalm 12:2 - They; Psalm 35:4 - that; Psalm 36:4 - deviseth; Psalm 59:3 - they; Psalm 63:9 - seek; Psalm 119:95 - wicked; Psalm 140:2 - imagine; Jeremiah 18:22 - and hid; Matthew 26:63 - Jesus; Mark 12:13 - they send; Luke 6:7 - watched; John 8:6 - as though; 1 Peter 2:23 - when he was

Verse 13

But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.
39:2,9; 2 Samuel 16:10-12; Isaiah 53:7; 1 Peter 2:23
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 10:27 - he held his peace; 2 Kings 18:36 - held their peace; Isaiah 36:21 - General; Matthew 27:12 - General; Luke 23:9 - but; John 19:9 - But

Verse 14

Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.
that heareth
Amos 5:13; Micah 7:5; Mark 15:3-5; John 8:6
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 18:36 - held their peace; Psalm 39:2 - I was; Matthew 27:12 - General; Luke 23:9 - but

Verse 15

For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
in thee, etc
or, thee do I wait for. do.
39:7; 123:1-3
hear
or, answer.
138:3
Lord
Here also, instead of adonay, one hundred and two MSS. read yehowah, "Jehovah."
Reciprocal: Micah 7:7 - my God

Verse 16

For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.
For I said
13:3,4; 35:24-26
foot
94:18; Deuteronomy 32:35
magnify
35:26
Reciprocal: Job 19:5 - magnify; Psalm 17:5 - that; Psalm 27:12 - will; Psalm 35:19 - Let; Psalm 55:12 - magnify; Psalm 73:2 - steps; Lamentations 1:21 - they are; Lamentations 2:17 - he hath caused; Micah 7:8 - Rejoice; Zechariah 12:7 - do

Verse 17

For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
to halt
Heb. for halting.
35:15; *marg:; Micah 4:6,7
sorrow
6; 6:6; 77:2,3; Isaiah 53:3-5
Reciprocal: Genesis 32:31 - he halted; Psalm 13:2 - sorrow

Verse 18

For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
For
32:5; 51:3; Job 31:33; 33:27; Proverbs 28:13
sorry
2 Corinthians 7:7-11
Reciprocal: Joshua 7:20 - Indeed; Psalm 102:10 - Because; Psalm 119:26 - declared; Luke 7:38 - weeping; Luke 22:62 - and wept

Verse 19

But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
But
3:1; 25:19; 56:1,2; 59:1-3
are lively, etc
Heb. being living are strong. Instead of chaymin, "lively" Bp. Lowth would read chinmon, "without cause:"--"but mine enemies without cause have strengthened themselves." As this emendation renders this member of the sentence parallel to the other, it is by no means improbable: see Ps 35:19; 79:5.
they that
35:19; 69:4; Matthew 10:22; John 15:18-25; Acts 4:25-28
Reciprocal: Genesis 37:4 - hated him; Psalm 18:17 - strong; Psalm 119:86 - they; Psalm 142:6 - for they; 1 Peter 2:19 - suffering

Verse 20

They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.
render
7:4; 35:12; 109:3-5; 1 Samuel 19:4-6; 23:5,12; 25:16,21; Jeremiah 18:20
because
Matthew 5:10; John 10:32; 1 Peter 3:13,17,18; 4:14-16; 1 John 3:12
Reciprocal: Psalm 69:4 - being; Psalm 109:4 - For my; Proverbs 17:13 - General; Isaiah 66:5 - Your; 1 Thessalonians 5:15 - ever; 1 Timothy 6:11 - and; Hebrews 12:14 - Follow

Verse 21

Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
O my God
22:1,11,19,24; 35:21,22
Reciprocal: Psalm 27:9 - leave; Psalm 71:12 - O God; Psalm 119:8 - O forsake; Daniel 6:22 - My God

Verse 22

Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.
Make
40:13,17; 70:1,5; 71:12; 141:1
to help me
Heb. for my help. O Lord.
27:1; 62:2,6; Isaiah 12:2 Reciprocal: Psalm 27:9 - O God; Psalm 51:14 - thou God; Psalm 119:8 - O forsake

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 38". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/psalms-38.html.