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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 90:9

 

 

For all our days have declined in Your fury; We have finished our years like a sigh.

Adam Clarke Commentary

We spend our years as a tale - The Vulgate has: Anni nostri sicut aranea meditabuntur; "Our years pass away like those of the spider." Our plans and operations are like the spider's web; life is as frail, and the thread of it as brittle, as one of those that constitute the well-wrought and curious, but fragile, habitation of that insect. All the Versions have the word spider; but it neither appears in the Hebrew, nor in any of its MSS. which have been collated.

My old Psalter has a curious paraphrase here: "Als the iran (spider) makes vayne webs for to take flese (flies) with gile, swa our yeres ere ockupide in ydel and swikel castes about erthly thynges; and passes with outen frute of gude werks, and waste in ydel thynkyns." This is too true a picture of most lives.

But the Hebrew is different from all the Versions. "We consume our years (הגה כמו kemo hegeh ) like a groan." We live a dying, whining, complaining life, and at last a groan is its termination! How amazingly expressive!


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-90.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath - Margin, “turned.” The Hebrew word - פנה pânâh - means to “turn;” then, to turn to or “from” anyone; and hence, to turn away as if to flee or depart. Here it means that our days seem to turn from us; to give the back to us; to be unwilling to remain with us; to leave us. This seems to be the fruit or result of the anger of God, as if he were unwilling that our days should attend us any longer. Or, it is as if he took away our days, or caused them to turn away, because he was angry and was unwilling that we should any longer enjoy them. The cutting off of life in any manner is a proof of the divine displeasure; and in every instance death should be regarded as a new illustration of the fact that the race is guilty.

We spend our years as a tale that is told - Margin, “meditation.” The Hebrew word - הגה hegeh - means properly

(a) a muttering, or growling, as of thunder;

(b) a sighing or moaning;

(c) a meditation, thought.

It means here, evidently, thought; that is, life passes away as rapidly as thought. It has no permanency. It makes no impression. Thought is no sooner come than it is gone. So rapid, so fleeting, so unsubstantial is life. The Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate in some unaccountable way render this “as a spider.” The translation in our common version, “as a tale that is told,” is equally unauthorized, as there is nothing corresponding to this in the Hebrew. The image in the original is very striking and beautiful. Life passes with the rapidity of thought!


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-90.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 90:9

We spend our years as a tale that is told.

Life--a tale

Assuming this version to give the true idea of the author, we have here three thoughts,

1. Significance. A tale has some meaning; is intended to impart some idea to others. Life is big with meaning. Amongst the many things which the tale of life speaks out are two wonderful things.

2. Observance. A tale implies, if written, readers; if oral, listeners. It is intended for observers. What observers has the life of every man! Society, devils, angels, God, are all observing, all reading us. Every act tells out some portion of this tale, and falls upon unnumbered ears.

3. Transitoriness. “A tale told.” Not inscribed upon marble or brass, not even written in a book,--but just “told.” The transitoriness of this tale, however, is not in its influence that is everlasting, every idea will tell on the ages, but in its earthly form of expression. It is passing away from here like a flower, a vapour. (Homilist.)

Life--a tale

I. Seeing that life imperceptibly passes, it should be the care of us all, that it be not misspent, or its opportunities unimproved. Life may be passed as vainly as the time occupied in hearing an idle tale.

1. Some tales are light and trifling,--merely to amuse and make the reader laugh. Such, also, is the life of some. Always light-hearted, never serious. They tread a round of vanity.

2. Other tales are of a grave caste, and turn on the interests of human life; but they are altogether worldly in their tone and tendency. So with the lives of many. They occupy their days with business; they are industrious, enterprising: but they have no concern about spiritual things.

3. Some tales are tales of truth. They give an account of godly men who served God in their generation, and died in peace. Such are the lives of Christians. They are using the means of grace, and growing in weanedness from the world; they seek the salvation of others, and prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord.

II. The most important of the tale is its close, and so also it is with life, The interest thickens towards the end.

1. Some tales, whether serious or trifling, have an unhappy termination. So the life of many. They die without preparation and without hope. The tale of human life is soon told, but how momentous are its issues!

2. Other tales have a joyful ending. Hope is realized. So the life of God’s people. Whatever doubts, troubles, trials, disappointments chequered it, the close of it is peace.

III. Some tales come sooner to a close than others. So life;--in some cases three-score years and ten, or four-score years; in other cases not sixty, not fifty, not forty years--not thirty or twenty years, or even ten. Delay not. Make sure of salvation now. (W. H. Hewitson, M.A.)

Life an exclamation

I. The main idea of the text is the transientness of life; it has the brevity of a cry. Some lives have only one word, some several, yet is each an exclamation. Some have the completeness of finished sentences; some fail in the midst; some have only a beginning, rather intimate that there is something to be said than say it. Then is life short, indeed, when man dies, not because he has exhausted a force so much as because he has met with an obstruction. And yet how often is this the case! The days are “cut off;” “the sun goes down while it is yet day; “the flower fadeth.” Then, also, is life short when, though its voice fails not at the commencement of its utterance, it is broken off in the midst, and gives no complete expression to the deep meaning with which it is charged. And yet how often is it as an unfinished cry! How often do men pass away before they have half revealed the significance of their being! Things are long and short in comparison. The sense of duration is not absolute. The insect that lives but a day has, or might have, the feelings with which we regard seventy years . . . Suppose a being to live two millions of years, he would look down on our existence of seventy years with the same feelings as those with which we regard the creature of a day. It is only eternity that is really long--absolutely long. Eternity makes life nothing, and yet everything; sinks it to utter significance, and yet invests it with inconceivable importance.

II. If life is transient as a cry, it is a cry full of meaning. The importance of utterances does not depend on their length; it is not how long it takes to express a thing, but the nature of the thing expressed, which decides the greatness of the expression. A few words may reveal a world of meaning. Life is a cry, but what does it not reveal? The broken speech of our earthly days is the voice of souls. It shows what we are as souls; our principles, habits, etc . . . And, showing what we are, it shows also what we shall be, what we shall be for ever. And it does more than show what we shall be, it helps to make us it. Many different cries proceed from our common nature. Life in some is a cry of wonder, an expression of amazement at this mysterious universe, and their own mysterious being. Life in some is a cry of pain, grief from physical suffering, grief from adversities of lot, grief from social pressure on the heart’s affections. Life in some is a cry of joy, the rapid, incoherent speech of ecstatic feeling. I do not ask which of these your life is, nor does it much signify in relation to the most important of all matters. But I do ask you, what is the temper and the form of your life? Time, which is so short, is the season for conversion, salvation; and without these, when it is passed, you will find yourselves in an eternity for which no preparation has been made. Everlasting life dates from regeneration, not from death; we cannot have the life immortal if we be not born again. (A. J. Morris.)

The tale of our years

I. The tale of our years is told in chapters. This is necessary for reference, for the understanding of the main points and features of the story--chap, 1, chap. 2, chap. 3, and so through the table of contents. But what are these chapters? Is there one devoted to infancy, that piece that every one forgets if he ever knew it? Is there another for childhood with its gambols, summer days in the woods and on the shore, and Christmas Days in the dear old home? Is there another for youth, that sentimental time, so foolish and yet so sweet? Is there one for manhood, with its responsibilities and strenuous work, and yet one more for old age with its pensiveness and its memories, “the tender grace of a day that is dead”? But these are, after all, only the headings of the chapters. When you read what is written you would perhaps be inclined to make other divisions. There is, e.g., a chapter of sins. Every tale told has that in it. Then there is the chapter of opportunities, the chapter of change, the chapter of sorrows, the chapter of mistakes. When the true man turns to read through some of these, the tears fall upon the page. He can hardly, dare to think. But blessed be God he can pray. To read the story of the years m a spirit of penitence and trust is so to number our days as to get us a heart of wisdom.

II. The tale of our years is illustrated. Illustrations are exceedingly popular in these days. Now, one advantage of an illustration is that by it an impression is conveyed immediately. It is to a page or two of writing what a photograph is to a water-colour drawing, or what a telegram is to a letter. The salient features of the situation are seized at once; what would take ten minutes to read is taken in from a picture in ten seconds. So there are many people who see the illustrations who never read the story. Has it ever struck you that it is precisely so in our lives? For one who reads their story there are a hundred who see the pictures. From them they form their opinion of the story. For example, such a comparatively unimportant thing as manners is an illustration of life’s story. If you acknowledge an acquaintance in the street as if you saw a ticket-of-leave sticking out of his pocket, you will make an impression on him. It may be that behind a lofty look and a disdainful air there is a kindly heart and a really humble nature. But it was the illustration that was seen and that lingers in the mind. How true it is, too, that our habits illustrate the tale. Such things as exaggeration, little mean ways, indolence, unpunctuality. Or, again, how often we illustrate our story by exhibitions of temper. This is seen by our children and servants, and perhaps by some who have read less of the tale of our years than those who share our home. Now, there is a sense in which all our acts are illustrative.

III. The tale of our years has a plot. It is often not intricate and dramatic. It may be free from excitement, from that which in some stories is so unhealthy, the sensational. It may be homely, familiar, and commonplace. But it is there. God has a plan for my life. Not more surely had He for Abraham and David or for a Tennyson, a Gladstone or a Bismarck, the greatest of great men than He has for me. There is a hidden unity, an interaction and a coinciding, a sequence, to which we have at present no complete key. Life is not a chaos, it is a cosmos.

IV. The story of our years has an end. It is soon told, “the days of our years are threescore years and ten,” etc. “A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday,” etc. ‘Twas but yesterday that we were children, our world the nursery. ‘Twas but yesterday that we were wed, that our children were born, and now ‘tis toward evening; the day is far spent-the tale of our years will soon be told. Now of 999 out of every 1,000 of these tales it might be said, they are fleeting literature, they soon pass out of circulation; even the critics forget them, and they are interred in the vast literary sepulchre of the British Museum. But are they on that account valueless? Not necessarily. Those forgotten books may have suggested ideas to greater minds than their authors’. A spark may be dropped that kindles the fires of genius, and they blaze out in a splendour that impresses the world. So these lives of ours, which seem so commonplace, may enrich others.

V. The tale of our years has a moral. Every tale has, implicitly if not explicitly. And so has every life. When it is finished, it leaves on the mind of those who have known it intimately, some impression. There are some features that stand out, some moral qualities that have given a tone to the personality, or some principles that it has livingly illustrated. Men sum up their impression of the character. “He was a successful man, but he never lost the simplicity of his tastes or the geniality of his demeanour.” “He was a prosperous man, but his wealth corrupted his spirituality.” “He was a disappointed man, but his sorrow never soured him.” “He had an uphill fight, but he won the respect of all and the love of many.” But what the moral will be depends upon the dominant motives of the life. Are all lower considerations brought into subservience to that all-comprehending and ennobling ideal--“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever”? Then, if it be that, the story told by the years will be a “Pilgrim’s Progress,” a progress out from sin and bondage and selfishness, guided by the heavenly light, up to the Cross, where the burden of guilt rolls off into the grave of the Divine forgiveness; through the dark valley of temptation and awful conflict with him who would spill your soul; through “Vanity Fair,” unsoiled by its corruptions, to the Delectable Mountains of a solid and settled peace; then to the land Beulah, “where the shining ones commonly walk, because it is nigh unto the city;” until only the river remains, over which there is no bridge, but for which there is a Divine Pilot who makes it shallow for all who trust: “when thou passest through the waters I will be with thee,” etc. Then through the gate over which is written, “Blessed are they who do His commandments,” etc. (R. B. Brindley.)

Our years

1. Our years are “determined” (Job 14:5); give entertainment to this thought, close as we are upon the end of another year. “ Fear not, fret not, weary not, poor pilgrim of a day. The pilgrimage will soon be over. Thy days are determined. The number of thy months is with me. I have appointed thy bounds that thou canst not pass. Thou wilt soon accomplish as an hireling thy day. There is a time to be born, and a time to die.”

2. Our years are connected the one with the other. They are not like adjacent islands, deep water flowing around and between. We go right onwards, treading on the same kind of ground to the end. Such, too, usually, is the growth of character in the individual man. It goes on growing through the year, and it will not stop growing at the end of one year, and then begin again to-morrow morning when the year is new. The growing may be quickened or it may be confirmed a little, by the impressions and the sanctities of this last hour; quickened or confirmed in goodness; or else, alas, the heart, passing through these solemnities and agitations without a real religious faith, will be hardened in evil, and made more impervious to the impressions of any future season. And yet here let us be careful, else we shall come near to the acceptance of the very worst intellectual doctrine of this time--the doctrine of inevitable necessity, or, religiously viewed, the doctrine of a moral continuity in character and being, which nothing can break. We never lose our personal identity, character runs on, the same thinking substance, the same immortal soul continues; but grace, that renovating, cleansing, saving power, is introduced into the consciousness, transforms the character, lives in the experience, brings out the Divine images, makes the “new creature in Christ Jesus.” Need I say how prophetic our years become when we thus begin them in grace? Grace is the earthly name for glory. Glory is the heavenly name for grace. (A. Raleigh, D.D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 90:9". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-90.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath,.... The life of man is rather measured by days than by months or years; and these are but few, which pass away or "decline"F7פנו "declinaverunt", Pagninus, Montanus; "declinant", Munster, Muis. as the day does towards the evening; see Jeremiah 6:4 or "turn away their face", as the wordF8"Deflectunt faciem", Gejerus, so Ainsworth. may be rendered: they turn their backs upon us, and not the face to us; so that it is a hard thing to get time by the forelock; and these, which is worst of all, pass away in the "wrath" of God. This has a particular reference to the people of Israel in the wilderness, when God had swore in his wrath they should not enter into the land of Canaan, but wander about all their days in the wilderness, and be consumed there; so that their days manifestly passed away under visible marks of the divine displeasure; and this is true of all wicked men, who are by nature children of wrath, and go through the world, and out of it, as such: and even it may be said of man in general; the ailments, diseases, and calamities, that attend the state of infancy and youth; the losses, crosses, and disappointments, vexations and afflictions, which wait upon man in riper years; and the evils and infirmities of old age, do abundantly confirm this truth: none but God's people can, in any sense, be excepted from it, on whom no wrath comes, being loved with an everlasting love; and yet these, in their own apprehensions, have frequently the wrath of God upon them, and pass many days under a dreadful sense of it:

we spend our years as a tale that is told; or as a "meditation"F25כמו הגה "sicut cogitationem", Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth. a thought of the heart, which quickly passes away; or as a "word"F26"Sicut sermonem", Pagninus, Montanus; "instar locutionis", Musculus, Vatablus; "dicto citius", Tigurine version. , as others, which is soon pronounced and gone; or as an assemblage of words, a tale or story told, a short and pleasant one; for long tales are not listened to; and the pleasanter they are, the shorter the time seems to be in which they are told: the design of the metaphor is to set forth the brevity, and also the vanity, of human life; for in tales there are often many trifling and vain things, as well as untruths told; men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree a lie, in every state; and, in their best state, they are altogether vanity: a tale is a mere amusement; affects for a while, if attended to, and then is lost in oblivion; and such is human life: in a tale there is oftentimes a mixture, something pleasant, and something tragic; such changes are there in life, which is filled up with different scenes of prosperity and adversity: and perhaps this phrase may point at the idle and unprofitable way and manner in which the years of life are spent, like that of consuming time by telling idle stories; some of them spent in youthful lusts and pleasures; others in an immoderate pursuit of the world, and the things of it; very few in a religious way, and these with great imperfection, and to very little purpose and profit; and particularly point to the children of Israel in the wilderness, who how they spent their time for thirty eight years there, we have no tale nor story of it. The Targum is,

"we have consumed the days of our life as the breath or vapour of the mouth in winter,'

which is very visible, and soon passes away; see James 4:14.


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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 90:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-90.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we h spend our years as a tale [that is told].

(h) Our days are not only short but miserable as our sins daily provoke your wrath.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-90.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

are passed — literally, “turn,” as to depart (Jeremiah 6:4).

spend — literally, “consume.”

as a tale — literally, “a thought,” or, “a sigh” (Ezekiel 2:10).


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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 90:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-90.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

9.For all our days are passed away in thy indignation. This might be viewed as a general confirmation of the preceding sentence, That the whole course of man’s life is suddenly brought to an end, as soon as God shows himself displeased. But in my opinion Moses rather amplifies what he has said above concerning the rigour of God’s wrath, and his strict examination of every case in which he punishes sin. He asserts that this terror which God brought upon his people was not only for a short time, but that it was extended without intermission even to death. He complains that the Jews had almost wasted away by continual miseries; because God neither remitted nor mitigated his anger. It is therefore not surprising to find him declaring that their years passed away like a tale, when God’s anger rested upon them so unremittingly.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-90.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale [that is told].

Ver. 9. For all our days are passed away] Heb. do turn away the face. See Psalms 90:3.

We spend our years as a tale that is told] The grace whereof is brevity, q.d. dicto citius. Some render it, as a thought, that ariseth and passeth. To this sense the Greek poet;

Aιφα γαρ ωστε νοημα παρερχεται αγλαυς ηβη.

The Chaldee hath it, Ut flatus oris in Hyeme, as the breath of one’s mouth in winter. See James 4:14.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-90.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 90:9

No part of the ancient Scriptures is less obsolete than this Psalm. It is a picture still true to nature. Human life, viewed generally, has not since brightened up into a scene of joy and triumph. The text seems to express both a necessary fact and a censure. The rapid consumption of our years, their speedy passing away, is inevitable. But they may be spent also in a trifling manner, to little valuable purpose, which would complete the disconsolate reflection on them by the addition of guilt and censure.

I. The instruction supplied by all our years has been to little purpose if we are not become fully aware of one plain fact: that which was expressed in our Lord's sentence, "Without Me ye can do nothing;" in other words, that it is only through the medium of God that we can effectually attempt any of the most important things, because we have a nature that is unadapted to them, repugnant to them, revolts from them. Therefore, if during the past year we failed in the essential point of imploring the Divine Spirit to animate us, well might we fail in the rest.

II. Sentiments of a grateful kind should be among the first to arise in every one's meditation on the past year. If we have no right estimate and feeling for the past mercies of God, how are we to receive present and future ones with a right feeling? For future duty we shall want to have motives. Think, if all the force that should be motive could be drawn, in the form of gratitude, from one year's mercies of God and, as it were, converged to a point, what a potent motive that would be! We have to look back over the year to collect this force.

III. Another consideration is that our last year has added to an irrevocable account. It has passed into the record of heaven, into the memory of God.

IV. Our year has been parallel to that of those persons who have made the noblest use of it. Why were the day, the week, the month, of less value in our hands than in theirs?

V. Another reflection may be on our further experience of mortal life and the world. We have seen it, tried it, judged it, thus much longer. Our interest upon it is contracted to so much narrower a breadth. At first we held to life by each year of the whole allotment; but each year withdrawn cut that tie, like the cutting in succession of each of the spreading roots of a tree. There should in spirit and feeling be a degree of detachment in proportion.

VI. The year departed may admonish us of the strange deceptiveness, the stealthiness, of the flight of time. Each period and portion of time should be entered on with emphatically imploring our God to save us from spending it in vain.

J. Foster, Lectures, 1st series, p. 292.


References: Psalms 90:9.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 354; A. Raleigh, From Dawn to the Perfect Day, p. 379; R. D. B. Rawnsley, Sermons in Country Churches, 1st series, p. 299.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-90.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 90:9. We spend our years as a tale that is told Or, We end our years as a thought.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-90.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Are passed away; or, turn away themselves or their face from us. They do not continue with us, but quickly turn their backs upon us, and leave us.

As a tale that is told; which may a little affect us for the present, but is quickly ended and gone out of mind, Or, as a word, as Job 37:2, which in an instant is gone, and that irrevocably. Or, as a thought, or a sigh, or a breath; all which come to one sense.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-90.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. Our days are passed away in thy wrath—They are “passed away” under the dispensation of thy judicial death-sentence.

As a tale that is told—As a mourning. The sense of mourning, as if life were one prolonged death march, or moaning, is more in harmony with the first member of the verse and with the general scope, and is not an unfrequent use of the word. See Ezekiel 2:10; Isaiah 16:7; Isaiah 38:14; Isaiah 59:11. The idea is, that of a low murmur, or muffled sound of sorrow, which dies from the ear as soon as uttered.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-90.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Because. Saying, Thou, &c. (Worthington; ver. 1.) (Calmet) --- High. Hebrew helyon is a title of God, (Calmet) not the adjective to refuge, (Berthier) as Chaldean, Aquila, &c., have taken it. "Thou hast placed thy dwelling most high." So that there, &c., ver. 10. It is evident that the following promises relate not to the Lord, (Calmet) but to the just man. Protestants, "because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most high thy habitation." This transposition is not authorized by the text. (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-90.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

are passed away = have declined, or ended.

a tale that is told = a thought, or a sigh.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-90.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) Are passed away.—Better, are declining.

A tale.—Rather, a murmur. (See Note, Psalms 1:2.) Probably, from the parallelism with wrath, a moan of sadness. So in Ezekiel 2:10, “a sound of woe.” Since the cognate verb often means “meditate,” some render here thought. Theognis says,

“Gallant youth speeds by like a thought.”


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-90.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
For
78:33
passed
Heb. turned. we spend. The Vulgate has, Anni nostri sicut aranea mediatabuntur, "Our years pass away like those of the spider." Our plans and operations are like the spider's web. Life is as frail, and the thread of it as brittle, as one of those which constitute the well-wrought and curious, but fragile habitation of that insect. All the Versions have the word spider, but it is not found in any Hebrew MSS., or edition yet collated. The Hebrew might be rendered, "We consume our lives with a groan," kemo hegeh.
a tale
Heb. a meditation.
4; 39:5

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 90:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-90.html.

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