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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 6



Verse 1

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Title.-See the note on Title of Psalms 4:1-8.

Upon Sheminith - [feminine of Sh

Verse 2

Have mercy upon me, O LORD for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.

For I am weak - `faint' [ 'umlal (Hebrew #536), from 'aamal (Hebrew #535), to droop as a plant]. David's plea is not that his sufferings are not deserved, but that his pain is in bringing him to that extremity from which God's fatherly mercy cannot but deliver His child. The believer is the object of God's love, even in thy sufferings, which God's anger at sin inflicts. When, then, he has been brought to the verge of his powers of endurance (1 Corinthians 10:13), God, who designs by sufferings to consume in him the remainders of sin, and not to destroy him as He does the ungodly, turns, and has mercy on him, in answer to his believing cry.

Heal me - both, in body and spirit.

My bones are vexed - literally, 'terrified,' nibhalu, my acute distress paralyzes all my limbs.

Verse 3

My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?

My soul is ... sore vexed - as well as my body, of which the "bones are vexed" (Psalms 6:2). Compare the transfer of the "sore vexed" to his enemies (Psalms 6:10).

How long? - i:e., 'How long wilt thou be angry? (Psalms 79:5 :) aposiopesis. The broken-off sentence marks the agitated spirit, wearying of the long delay. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12); especially in those troubles in which suspense between hope and fear is intolerable.

Verse 4

Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.

Return - back to favour toward me.

Deliver my soul - or life, from "death," which I am on the point of (Psalms 6:5).

Save me for thy mercies' sake! - not for my merits, but for the glory of thy grace, which shall be magnified in my deliverance.

Verse 5

For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

In death there is no remembrance of thee , [ zikrekaa (Hebrew #2143)] - 'memorial of thee' (as in Psalms 9:6). 'Here and elsewhere (Psalms 30:9; Psalms 115:17-18; Psalms 88:10; Isaiah 38:18) death and the separate state are contemplated in the aspect which they bear to the unpardoned sinner, apart from the influence of redemption: Death, with its sting-and Hades, viewed as the dark prison-house of spirits reserved unto the judgment-another consequence of sin. But the aspect of both is changed by the fact that Christ has encountered death and descended into Hades, by which both are in His power, and are no longer objects of terror (Revelation 1:18). While, even as regards the redeemed, it is still the living who pre-eminently praise God (Isaiah 38:19); as well those who now live, as those who shall hereafter live again out of death by resurrection. The glory of God, in service and testimony, which is the end of man's being, cannot be answered among men in death as in life; and the intermediate state of separation from the body, though blessed, is imperfect, and is one of rest, rather than active service, where there is remembrance of God, but no memorial to His praise' (DeBurgh).

David does not deny consciousness of God in the intermediate state [the English version, "the grave;" rather, Sh

Verse 6

I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.

Another plea why God should have mercy on him-namely, his heartfelt contrition for his sins, which had brought on him God's chastisement.

I am weary with my groaning - and that not only by day, but also

Every night (margin) make I my bed to swim; I water (literally, I dissolve) my couch with my tears - (cf. Psalms 42:3.) His groans and tears for sin caused his general debility.

Verse 7

Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

Mine eye ... waxeth old. The eye generally indicates the state of the body and mind, whether affected with illness or not so. In sickness the eye becomes dull, like that of an aged person. For "grief" translate [ ka`ac (Hebrew #3708)] vexation, arising from the provocation of enemies, which accords with the parallel.

Because of all mine enemies; literally, oppresses [ tsowr

Verse 8

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.

Immediately after his heartfelt contrition follows his restoration to God's favour, and to confident anticipation of triumph over his enemies.

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity - i:e. desist from your assaults, because they are all in vain (cf. Psalms 6:10), as I am under God's special protection. After bitter wailings over weakness, faith suddenly gains the victory, God hearing his cry, and giving him peace.

The voice of my weeping. Silent grief is uncommon in the East. It is generally expressed in loud wailings with the "voice,"

Verse 9

The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.

Supplication - literally, 'cry for grace;' techinnathi, from a Hebrew root, 'to be gracious.'

Prayer - from a Hebrew root, 'to urge a plea,' t

Verse 10

Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Let all ... - or, 'All mine enemies shall be ashamed, etc. But the Chaldaic, Vulgate, Arabic, Syriac, and Septuagint support the English version (Hengstenberg).

Sore vexed - literally, 'terrified;' as also in Psalms 6:2-3, to which he refers here. The terror is transferred, in righteous retribution, from David to those who had caused it, to him.

Let them return - or, 'they shall return.' In either translation he confidently anticipates this result from his prayer. They who were advancing to attack him suddenly, in terror, fall back and "return," because God, in answer to his prayer (Psalms 6:4), has returned to him. The return of Yahweh is the cause; their return from Him effect.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 6:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, October 30th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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