World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
For I hear the whispering of many—
terror all around!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
12. I am forgotten as one dead. The Psalmist still pursues the same idea, and complains that he was as completely blotted out of all men’s remembrance as if he had been dead. The memory of some men after their death flourishes for a time among survivors, but it more frequently vanishes; for there is no
longer any intercourse between the quick and the dead, nor can the living be of any farther service to the dead. David illustrates this idea by the metaphor of a broken vessel,
“I am become like a broken vessel;” that is, utterly neglected as being worthless.
which denotes utter contempt and meanness; as if he had said, that he was accounted no longer worthy of any place or respect. He adds, in fine, that he was railed upon by the multitude, and agitated with terrors. I would, however, prefer translating the Hebrew word רבים, rabbim, by
Horsley takes the same view. He reads, “the mighty.”
rather than by many. When great men, who are often as powerful in judgment as in authority, slander and defame us as wicked persons, this adds to the indignity with which we are treated, because, whatever they say in condemnation of us has the effect of prejudicing the common people against us. It will therefore be very suitable to understand the words as meaning that David was ignominiously
condemned by the whole order of the nobility; and thus the innocence of this afflicted man was thrown into the shade by their greatness. This interpretation is confirmed by what immediately follows:— Fear encloseth me on every side,
“Fearfulness on every side, or terror round about. In Heb., magor missabib, which name Jeremiah gave to Pashur the priest, signifying that he should be a terror to himself and to all his friends; Jeremiah 20:3, 4.” — Ainsworth. Horsley reads,
“Truly I heard the angry muttering of the mighty,
of them that are the general dread.”
On this he has the following note: ”מסביב מגור, I take this to be a phrase describing the mighty, whose malignant threats against him he overheard, as persons universally dreaded for their power and their cruelty.” while they consult together against me. As he is still speaking of the same persons, it is certain that this language applies more appropriately to the nobles than to the common people. Moreover, we see that the primary object of the wicked in the deceitful counsels by which they conspired to destroy David, was to create among the whole people hatred against him as a wicked and reprobate man. We also see that while they mangled his reputation, they did it in such a manner as that they covered their wickedness under the appearance of grave and considerate procedure, in consulting among themselves to destroy him as a man who no longer ought to be tolerated on the earth. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that his mind was wounded, as we have just seen, by so many and so sharp temptations.