Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

32. Psalm 32

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

2Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

3When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

5I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.

7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

9Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

10Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

11Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

3. When I kept silence, my bones wasted away. Here David confirms, by his own experience, the doctrine which he had laid down; namely, that when humbled under the hand of God, he felt that nothing was so miserable as to be deprived of his favor: by which he intimates, that this truth cannot be rightly understood until God has tried us with a feeling of his anger. Nor does he speak of a mere ordinary trial, but declares that he was entirely subdued with the extremest rigour. And certainly, the sluggishness of our flesh, in this matter, is no less wonderful than its hardihood. If we are not drawn by forcible means, we will never hasten to seek reconciliation to God so earnestly as we ought. In fine, the inspired writer teaches us by his own example, that we never perceive how great a happiness it is to enjoy the favor of God, until we have thoroughly felt from grievous conflicts with inward temptations, how terrible the anger of God is. He adds, that whether he was silent, or whether he attempted to heighten his grief by his crying and roaring, 661661     The translation of this verse in our English Bible is, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long;” on which Street observes, “I must own I do not understand how a man can be said to keep silence who roars all the day long.” Accordingly, instead of When I kept silence, he reads, While I am lost in thought; observing that, the verb חרש, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to ponder, to consider, to be deep in thought.” But according to the translation and exposition of Calvin, there is no inconsistency between the first and the second clause of the verse. To avoid the apparent contradiction of being at once silent and yet roaring all the day long, Dr Boothroyd, instead of roaring, reads pangs. his bones waxed old; in other words, his whole strength withered away. From this it follows, that whithersoever the sinner may turn himself, or however he may be mentally affected, his malady is in no degree lightened, nor his welfare in any degree promoted, until he is restored to the favor of God. It often happens that those are tortured with the sharpest grief who gnaw the bit, and inwardly devour their sorrow, and keep it enclosed and shut up within, without discovering it, although afterwards they are seized as with sudden madness, and the force of their grief bursts forth with the greater impetus the longer it has been restrained. By the term silence, David means neither insensibility nor stupidity, but that feeling which lies between patience and obstinacy, and which is as much allied to the vice as to the virtue. For his bones were not consumed with age, but with the dreadful torments of his mind. His silence, however, was not the silence of hope or obedience, for it brought no alleviation of his misery.


VIEWNAME is study