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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 38

Verses 1-22

In Psalms 38:19-20, David intimates that he was hated wrongfully, because he followed good. This psalm was composed under some new outbreaking of Saul’s persecution, when his mind sunk under depression, and when he joined his sorrows to those of the Saviour. It was a sabbatical psalm of confession in the synagogue.

Psalms 38:1-3 . Oh Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath. To contend with heaven is more than a mortal can bear. Thine arrows are shot against me, as when a company of archers flank a column; there is no place in my flesh unwounded; neither have I rest in my bones because of my sin. A mortal man under the scourge should give glory to God, and connect his afflictions with his transgressions. Thus he cried out of the depths, like the Saviour, when the sorrows of death compassed him about.

Psalms 38:5 . My wounds stink and are corrupt. I have no friend to share my griefs and wash my sores. I watch and weep alone. Therefore those words and the following describe the complicated troubles which pursued David.

Psalms 38:8 ; Psalms 38:10 . I have roared because of the disquietness of my heart. Grief cannot always be allowed to prey on the mind like a silent worm; it will utter itself in language of its own. Yea, I have wept till my strength faileth; till the light of my eyes becomes dim by a superabundance of tears.

Psalms 38:11-12 . My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore. They tremble lest a jealous monarch should suspect them of treason, and deprive them of life, as was done to the priests of Nob. Oh, if I had prophet or friend to console me, it would divide the rolling torrents of all my grief. But now the wicked, regarding me as lost, spread snares for my feet; yea, hunt my soul as a partridge on the mountains.

I find not where to lay my head, But in the silence of the dead.

Psalms 38:13-14 . But I, as a deaf man, heard not, being astounded by a nation full of court fabrications, deceits, and lies. So the Saviour was silent, and answered not a word.

Psalms 38:15 . In thee, oh Lord, is my hope. Thou wilt eventually hear and deliver me, with thy strong hand. Thou wilt not forsake me. Make haste to help me, oh Lord, my salvation. Thus to the saints, the darkest cloud brightens into day.

Psalms 38:19 . Mine enemies are lively, flourishing in splendour and power, while I am in exile, suffering from hardships and want.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 38". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.