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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 55:5

 

 

Fear and trembling come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Fearfulness - How natural is this description! He is in distress; - he mourns; - makes a noise; - sobs and sighs; - his heart is wounded - he expects nothing but death; - this produces fear; - this produces tremor, which terminates in that deep apprehension of approaching and inevitable ruin that overwhelms him with horror. No man ever described a wounded heart like David.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-55.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Fearfulness and trembling - Fear so great as to produce trembling. Compare the notes at Job 4:14. He knew not when these things would end. How far the spirit of rebellion had spread he knew not, and he had no means of ascertaining. It seemed as if he would be wholly overthrown; as if his power was wholly at an end; as if even his life was in the greatest peril.

And horror hath overwhelmed me - Margin, as in Hebrew, “covered me.” That is; it had come upon him so as to cover or envelop him entirely. The shades of horror and despair spread all around and above him, and all things were filled with gloom. The word rendered “horror” occurs only in three other places; - Ezekiel 7:18, rendered (as here) “horror;” Job 21:6, rendered “trembling;” and Isaiah 21:4, rendered “fearfulness.” It refers to that state when we are deeply agitated with fear.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-55.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 55:5

Fearfulness sad trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

The nervous temperament

We are to meditate now on the nervous temperament, and to study especially the relation which the Gospel occupies in relation to it. There may be other anodynes of consolation, physical and mental; but my argument will be this--that the religion of Christ stands in special relationship of succour to those who feel with the psalmist, “I am feeble and sore broken, because of the disquietness of my heart.”

I. The true philosophy of life is life in Christ. We must go out of ourselves, and of our “moods” and “feelings,” that we may look unto Christ and be saved! Christ is a perfect Brother as well as a perfect Saviour. Redemption is His. Yes! and so is common home-life; so is the gift of daily bread. The great realm of providence is under His sceptre. All things are given into His hands, and He is Lord of all. Be wise. Act with prudence. Resolve with promptitude. Persevere with energy. Rise early with alacrity for the service of the day, but east all anxious thoughts of to-morrow on your Elder Brother. This will be your most perfect anodyne. Other things will help. The bracing air, the oxygen and ozone of the sea coast, may tone your nerves, but it cannot create new ones. The Gospel can do the most, but even that cannot reorganize the physical frame, so fearfully and wonderfully made; but its atmosphere is the best one for bracing the heart and soothing the fretted, irritated nerve.

II. There are special advent-hours of trouble. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me. We none of us know how frail we are till trial comes. Advent-hours of trouble do come. Even sin in its first consciousness overwhelms some with fear and trembling, A great horror overwhelms them. The old cry is heard. “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” How terrible, then, if such souls fall into the hands, not of wise physicians, but of unwise irritators of the evil. At once the anxious soul should be led to Him who says, “Daughter, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” And there are seasons when unforeseen calamity comes. No fleecy cloud presages the coming storm, no floating seaweed tells how near the vessel is to the rocks, but is swift as the “bore” that rushes up the waters of the Hooghly from the Ganges, sweeps in with a swell, and engulfs the precious freights of unanchored vessels in its broadening wave. There are seasons when the nerves are made intensively sensitive. The heart is pierced by the coldness and neglect of some familiar friend. The spirit droops. Ingratitude has wounded, neglect has chilled, cruelty has crushed, and enmity has tried to slay reputation and renown. Surely at such times it is heart rest to know the Brother born for adversity, the Friend that stieketh closer than a brother; then is the hour to feel the warm radiance of the love of Christ.

III. There may be ministrations that are human as well as Divine. We can perform miracles of healing, not in the old sense, but wonders of restorative power are within our reach. Is it a child that is nervous and sensitive? See to it that you early discern the difference between that little trembling spirit and the stronger brother. Is it a life-companion? See that you do not treat this sensitiveness as a mere weakness to be cured by physical agencies alone--the best curative will be a cheerful mind within working outwards. We have to live and teach the Cross, in its spirit as well as in its doctrine; in its beautiful revelation that He, the Highest and Strongest of all, suffered for us; that He was despised and rejected of men for us; that He gave Himself for us. Remember, then, that you stand in Christian relationship to the timorous, the sensitive, and the nervous, and ever seek to manifest the spirit of Him who would not break the bruised reed.

IV. There must be a study of the disease to understand the remedies. We are fearfully as well as wonderfully made; then let us remember how easily nervousness is promoted by self-indulgence and sloth, by morbid books, by strange tales told in childhood, by companionship with those who take foreboding view of life, and by the domination of “fixed ideas “ so difficult to shake off. And all cannot afford change of scene and change of clime. It is not in medicine to cure all this. It may alleviate, but it cannot recreate. Earthly appliances are wise in their own way; but if I am right the Gospel of Christ is the relieving power--that alone brings out fully the blessed revelation of the Fatherhood of God. (W. M. Statham, M. A.)


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 55:5". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-55.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me,.... Fear and dread of mind, and trembling of body;

and horror hath overwhelmed me; or "covered me"; he was in the utmost consternation and surprise at what he apprehended would be the issue of things; so Christ in the garden is said to be "sore amazed", Mark 14:33; all which terror, fearfulness, trembling, and horror, arose from a sense of sin imputed to him, even of all the sins of his people, the faith of which must be nauseous to him, and the guilt thereof pressing upon him; and from a feeling of the wrath of God, and the curse of the law, which he endured in the room and stead of his people; and this shows the truth of his human nature, and the weakness and insufficiency of that, without his divine nature, to have performed the great work of redemption; also the evil of sin, the exceeding sinfulness of it, and the strictness of divine justice; and likewise the wonderful love of Christ in becoming a surety for his people, and what ease and pleasure they may take; all the pain, the trembling, and horror, were his, and all the joy is theirs.


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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 55:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-55.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath d overwhelmed me.

(d) There was no part of him that was not astonished with extreme fear.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-55.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

come upon — or literally, “into.”


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
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-55.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 55:5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

Ver. 5. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me] Fearfulness of heart, and trembling of body, Timor cordis, tremor corporis; which last falleth out, when as the spirits flying back to the heart, to relieve it, leave the outward parts destitute.

And horror hath overwhelmed me] This was David’s infirmity; for he should have better fortified his heart against that cowardly passion of fear; the devil also had a finger in it. At another time David could better resolve and say, What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-55.html. 1865-1868.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5. Horror—A rare word, translated trembling, Job 21:6; fearfulness, Isaiah 21:4; and horror, Ezekiel 7:18.

Overwhelmed me— Septuagint, darkness has enveloped me. The psalmist was involved in doubt and apprehension. Thus far the inward commotion of his mind gives itself utterance. The next three verses voice not only his desire of present safety, but the longings of his heart to escape the turmoil of political strife and the fury of human passions.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-55.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

My words. The words or promises God has made in my favour. (Challoner) --- Praising God (Haydock) removed the dejection of David. (Eusebius) --- Detested. Protestants, "wrest." They put an evil construction upon what I say, (Haydock) and make me their laughing-stock, Psalm xxxvii. 13. (Calmet) --- But I cease not to proclaim what God has declared in my favour, (Haydock) or what good I have been enabled to effect by his grace. My enemies may meet to devise my ruin, and to supplant me: yet all in vain. (Worthington)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-55.html. 1859.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
Fearfulness
119:120; 2 Samuel 15:14; Job 6:4; 23:15,16
horror
42:6; 61:2; 88:15,16; Luke 22:44
overwhelmed
Heb. covered.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 55:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-55.html.

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