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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 141:7

 

 

As when one plows and breaks open the earth, Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Our bones are scattered at the grave‘s mouth - We are, indeed, now like bones scattered in the places of graves; we seem to be weak, feeble, disorganized. We are in a condition which of itself seems to be hopeless: as hopeless as it would be for dry bones scattered when they were buried to rise up and attack an enemy. The reference is to the condition of David and his followers as pursued by a mighty foe. His hope was not in his own forces, but in the power and interposition of God Psalm 141:8.

As when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth - Like chips, blocks, splinters, that have no strength; as when these lie scattered around - a fit emblem of our feeble and scattered forces.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-141.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth,.... Into which they were not suffered to be put, but lay unburied; or from whence they were dug up, and lay scattered about; which is to be understood of such of David's friends as fell into the hands of Saul and his men, and were slain: perhaps it may refer to the fourscore and five priests, and the inhabitants of Nob, slain by the order of Saul, 1 Samuel 22:18. Though the phrase may be only proverbial, and be expressive of the danger David and his men were in, and their sense of it, who looked upon themselves like dry bones, hopeless and helpless, and had the sentence of death in themselves, and were as it were at the mouth of the grave, on the brink of ruin;

as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth: and the chips fly here and there, and are disregarded; such was their case: or as men cut and cleave the earth with the plough, and it is tore up by it, and falls on each side of it, so are we persecuted, afflicted, and distressed by our enemies, and have no mercy shown us; so the Targum,

"as a man that cuts and cleaves with ploughshares in the earth, so our members are scattered at the grave's mouth.'

The Syriac and Arabic versions understand it of the ploughshare cutting the earth.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-141.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Our bones are scattered at the h grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth [wood] upon the earth.

(h) Here it appears that David was miraculously delivered out of many deaths as in (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-141.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

Our bones — Our case is almost as hopeless as of those who are dead, and whose bones are scattered in several places.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-141.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.As one who breaketh, etc. Here David complains that his enemies were not satisfied with inflicting upon him one death — death of a common description — but must first mangle him, and those associated with him, and then cast them into the grave. The common robber on the highway throws the body of his murdered victim whole into the ditch; David tells us, that he and those with him were treated more barbarously, their Bones being dispersed, as one cleaves wood or stones into fragments, or digs the earth. From this it appears, that David, like Paul, (2 Corinthians 1:9,) was delivered from deaths oft; (241) and we may learn the duty of continuing to cherish hope of life and deliverance even when the expression may apply to us, that our bones have been broken and scattered.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-141.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 141:7 Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth [wood] upon the earth.

Ver. 7. Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth] i.e. I and my company are in a dying condition, free among the dead; yea, if taken we should be put to most cruel deaths, hewn in pieces, or pulled limb from limb, and left unburied; and our dead bodies mangled by a barbarous inhumanity, as wood cleavers make the shivers fly hither and thither. This is the perilous case of me, and my partisans, Non una et simplici morte contenti sunt.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-141.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Our bones; my bones, and the bones of my friends and followers. Our skin and flesh is in a manner consumed, and there is nothing left of us but a company of dead and dry belles; whereby he intimates that their condition was desperate. Compare Ezekiel 37:11.

Are scattered at the grave’s mouth; either,

1. Literally and properly. So barbarously cruel were our enemies, that they not only killed us, but left our carcasses unburied, by which means our flesh and sinews, &c. were consumed or torn in pieces by wild beasts, and our bones dispersed ripen the time of the earth, our common grave; or if any of my followers were dead and buried, they pulled their bones out of the grave, and scattered them about. Or rather,

2. Metaphorically. So the sense is, Our case is almost as hopeless as of those who are dead, and whose bones are scattered in several places.

As when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth; as much neglected and despised by them as the chips which a carpenter makes when he is cutting wood, which he will not stoop to take up. Or rather, as the LXX., and Chaldee, and Syriac understand it, and as it is in the Hebrew, as when one (to wit, the husbandman) cutteth and cleaveth the earth, or in the earth, which he teareth without any mercy.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-141.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouthHebrew, At the mouth of sheol. A figure denoting wanton and indiscriminate destruction: See Psalms 53:5; Ezekiel 6:5


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-141.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 141:7. Our bones are scattered, &c. — So barbarously cruel were our enemies that they not only killed many of our friends, but left their carcasses unburied, by which means their flesh, and sinews, &c., were consumed, or torn in pieces by wild beasts, and their bones dispersed upon the face of the earth, our common grave. The words are thought to refer to Saul’s barbarity and cruelty to David’s friends, in the horrid massacre of Ahimelech and the priests, by the hand of Doeg; perpetrated in such a savage manner that he compares it to the chopping and cleaving of wood, as if he had said, “How unlike, how barbarous, has their treatment been of me! My best friends slaughtered in great numbers, at the command of Saul, (so some render לפי שׁאול, instead of, at the grave’s mouth,) and hewn to pieces in his presence, as one would cut or chop a piece of wood:” see Peters.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-141.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Low. Symmachus, "languid.) St. Jerome, "infirm." (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-141.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Our bones. Septuagint (Vatican B, and Alex. A by second hand), Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiop. read "their bones"

the grave"s. Hebrew Sheol"s. App-35. Note the word "bones" in this connection.

cutteth = sliceth, as in 1 Samuel 30:12. Song of Solomon 4:3; Song of Solomon 6:7 (elsewhere rendered "piece" or "pieces"). Never means "ploweth", as in Revised Version.

cleaveth. As in Ecclesiastes 10:9. Zechariah 14:4 (compare Genesis 22:3. 1 Samuel 6:14).


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-141.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth (wood) upon the earth.

The trunk of the tree remains fast in the earth, and the chips are scattered far and wide by the hewer; so are our bones scattered (Ecclesiastes 10:9). In this translation the scattered and lifeless state of the godly now (Psalms 141:7) stands in contrast to the coming overthrow of the ungodly (Psalms 141:6), and consequent exaltation of the godly; and it forms the ground of the prayer in Psalms 141:8, "But mine eyes are unto thee," etc. However, as there is no "wood" in the Hebrew, the translation perhaps ought to be as the Chaldaic, Arabic, and Syriac (and the Septuagint in the main) support, 'as when one cutteth and cleaveth (making furrows by plowing) in the earth, (so) our bones are scattered at the mouth of Hades ( Sh


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-141.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) Our bones.—The literal rendering of this verse is As when one cutteth and cleaveth in the earth our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheôl.

The reading “our bones” necessarily makes this an abrupt transition from the fate of the unjust judges in the last verse to that of the afflicted people, but in a correction by a second hand in the Codex Alex. of the LXX. we find the much easier and more satisfactory “their bones”—a reading confirmed by the Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions; as also by the fact that the word here rendered “cleave” is that employed in 2 Chronicles 25:12 (see reference above, Psalms 141:6) of the Edomites thrown from the cliff. But the abrupt transition is not unlikely in Hebrew poetry, and the more difficult reading is according to rule to be preserved.

The figure is mistaken in the Authorised Version. The reference is not to the ground strewn with the logs left by a woodcutter, but to the clods of earth left by the plough. Keeping the present text, and making the figure refer to the righteous, we should naturally compare Psalms 129:3, where ploughing is used as an image of affliction and torture, as “harrewing” is with us. The verse might be paraphrased: “We have been so harrowed and torn that we are brought to the brink of the grave,” the image being, however, heightened by the recollection of some actual massacre.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-141.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.
bones
44:22; 1 Samuel 22:18,19; Romans 8:36; 2 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 11:37; Revelation 11:8,9

Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 141:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-141.html.

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