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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 38

Verses 1-22

This Ps. may be compared with Psalms 6. It is the prayer of one who, like Job, is in great bodily suffering (Psalms 38:1-10), and is also deserted by his friends (Psalms 38:11), and beset by treacherous enemies (Psalms 38:12, Psalms 38:19-20). He is conscious that his trouble is due to bis sin (Psalms 38:4, Psalms 38:18), and appeals trustfully to God for pardon, healing, and deliverance. The description of personal suffering is too minute for a purely national Ps. It has been suggested that the author, if not David, may have been Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 20). This is another of the Pss. for Ash Wednesday.

Title.—The phrase ’to bring to remembrance’ probably indicates that the Ps. was used in connexion with the offering of the ’memorial’ of incense (Isaiah 66:3 mg), or of the shewbread with incense (Leviticus 24:7), or of the meat offering with incense (Leviticus 2:2).

1. This v. repeats Psalms 6:1.

2. Arrows] represent God’s judgments as sent from afar, while His hand suggests closer dealing.

3. Rest] RV ’health.’

4. Sin is compared first to a flood, and then to a burden.

7. Loathsome disease] RV ’burning,’ inflammation.

14. No reproofs] no arguments in his own defence.

15. His silence before men is explained by his hope in God.

20. While the Psalmist admits his own sin he is at the same time a sufferer for righteousness: see on Psalms 25:21.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 38". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.