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13

they open wide their mouths at me,

like a ravening and roaring lion.

 

14

I am poured out like water,

and all my bones are out of joint;

my heart is like wax;

it is melted within my breast;

15

my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,

and my tongue sticks to my jaws;

you lay me in the dust of death.

 

16

For dogs are all around me;

a company of evildoers encircles me.

My hands and feet have shriveled;


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12, 13. His enemies, with the vigor of bulls and rapacity of lions, surround him, eagerly seeking his ruin. The force of both figures is greater without the use of any particle denoting comparison.

14, 15. Utter exhaustion and hopeless weakness, in these circumstances of pressing danger, are set forth by the most expressive figures; the solidity of the body is destroyed, and it becomes like water; the bones are parted; the heart, the very seat of vitality, melts like wax; all the juices of the system are dried up; the tongue can no longer perform its office, but lies parched and stiffened (compare Ge 49:4; 2Sa 14:14; Ps 58:8). In this, God is regarded as the ultimate source, and men as the instruments.

15. the dust of death—of course, denotes the grave. We need not try to find the exact counterpart of each item of the description in the particulars of our Saviour's sufferings. Figurative language resembles pictures of historical scenes, presenting substantial truth, under illustrations, which, though not essential to the facts, are not inconsistent with them. Were any portion of Christ's terrible sufferings specially designed, it was doubtless that of the garden of Gethsemane.

16. Evildoers are well described as dogs, which, in the East, herding together, wild and rapacious, are justly objects of great abhorrence. The last clause has been a subject of much discussion (involving questions as to the genuineness of the Hebrew word translated "pierce)" which cannot be made intelligible to the English reader. Though not quoted in the New Testament, the remarkable aptness of the description to the facts of the Saviour's history, together with difficulties attending any other mode of explaining the clause in the Hebrew, justify an adherence to the terms of our version and their obvious meaning.




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