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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 38



Verses 1-4

Psalm 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.

He deprecates deserved punishment, which is described (Psalm 6:1), under the figure of bodily disease [Psalm 38:3 ].

Verse 2
and thy hand — the sharp and heavy afflictions he suffered (Deuteronomy 32:23).

Verse 4

iniquities — afflictions in punishment of sin (2 Samuel 16:12; Psalm 31:10; Psalm 40:12).

gone over mine head — as a flood.

Verses 5-8

The loathsomeness, corruption, and wasting torture of severe physical disease set forth his mental anguish [Psalm 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 [Psalm 38:9 ].

Verse 9

That God can hear (Romans 8:26).

Verse 10

My heart panteth — as if barely surviving.

light … from me — utter exhaustion (Psalm 6:7; Psalm 13:3).

Verse 11-12

Friends desert, but foes increase in malignity.

Verse 12

seek after my life — (1 Samuel 20:1; 1 Samuel 22:23).

Verse 13-14

He patiently submits, uttering no reproaches or replies (John 19:9) to their insulting speeches;

Verses 15-17

for he is confident the

Lord — literally, “Sovereign” (to whom he was a servant), would answer his prayer (Psalm 3:4; Psalm 4:1), and not permit their triumph in his partial halting, of which he was in danger.

Verse 18

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

Verse 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.

Verse 21-22

(Compare Psalm 22:19; Psalm 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.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 38:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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