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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Psalm 38

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The Book of Psalms

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET

PSALM 38

Psa 38:1-22. To bring to remembrance, or, remind God of His mercy and himself of his sin. Appealing to God for relief from His heavy chastisement, the Psalmist avows his integrity before men, complains of the defection of friends and persecution of enemies, and in a submissive spirit, casting himself on God, with penitent confession he pleads God's covenant relation and his innocence of the charges of his enemies, and prays for divine comfort and help.

      1-4. He deprecates deserved punishment, which is described ( Psa 6:1 ), under the figure of bodily disease ( Psa 38:3 ).

      2. arrows. . . and thy hand--the sharp and heavy afflictions he suffered ( Deu 32:23 ).

      4. iniquities--afflictions in punishment of sin ( 2Sa 16:12 Psa 31:10 40:12 ).
      gone over mine head--as a flood.

      5-8. The loathsomeness, corruption, and wasting torture of severe physical disease set forth his mental anguish ( Psa 38:6 ). It is possible some bodily disease was connected. The
      loins are the seat of strength. His exhaustion left him only the power to groan [ Psa 38:9 ].

      9. That God can hear ( Rom 8:26 ).

      10. My heart panteth--as if barely surviving.
      light. . . from me--utter exhaustion ( Psa 6:7 13:3 ).

      11, 12. Friends desert, but foes increase in malignity.

      12. seek after my life-- ( 1Sa 20:1 22:23 ).

      13, 14. He patiently submits, uttering no reproaches or replies ( Jhn 19:9 ) to their insulting speeches;

      15-17. for he is confident the
      Lord--literally, "Sovereign" (to whom he was a servant), would answer his prayer ( Psa 3:4 4:1 ), and not permit their triumph in his partial halting, of which he was in danger.

      18. Consciousness of sin makes suffering pungent, and suffering, rightly received, leads to confession.

      19, 20. Still, while humbled before God, he is the victim of deadly enemies, full of malice and treachery.
      enemies are lively--literally, "of life," who would take my life, that is, deadly.

      21, 22. (Compare Psa 22:19 35:3 ). All terms of frequent use. In this Psalm the language is generally susceptible of application to Christ as a sufferer, David, as such, typifying Him. This does not require us to apply the confessions of sin, but only the pains or penalties which He bore for us.

Introduction to Job ← Prior Book
Introduction to Proverbs Next Book →
Commentary on Psalm 37 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Psalm 39 Next Chapter →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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