World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
11. I was a reproach by reason of all mine enemies. Others translate thus - more than mine enemies, and as the Hebrew letter מ, mem, is often used as a sign of comparison, they interpret this clause to mean that David’s friends and acquaintances reproached him more than all his enemies. But, in my opinion, he intended to express a different idea, namely, that as he was everywhere hated, and his enemies had induced almost the whole realm to take part with them against him, he had an evil name even among his friends and neighbors; just as popular opinion, like a violent tempest, usually carries all before it. I suppose, therefore, that the Hebrew copula ו, vau, is used for the sake of amplification, to show that David was an object of detestation, not only to strangers to whom he was formerly unknown, but also to his principal friends. He adds, likewise, that when they saw him abroad they fled from him By the adverb, abroad, he means to say, that they did not think the miserable man worthy of a near approach to them; nay, that they fled from the very sight of him, at however great a distance, lest the contagion of his misery should reach them, and because they reckoned it would be injurious and disgraceful to them to show him any sign of friendship.