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38. Psalm 38

O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

2For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.

4For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

5My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

6I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

7For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

9Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

10My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.

11My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.

12They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

13But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

14Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

15For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

16For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

17For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.

18For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

19But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

20They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

21Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me.

22Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

This living, 5858     Ainsworth reads, “are alive, or living;” “that is,” says he, “lively, lusty, cheerful, hale, and sound, or rich, as the word seemeth to mean in Ecclesiastes 6:8.” Dr Lowth, instead of חיים, chayim, living, proposes to read here חאנם, chinam, without causewithout cause have strengthened themselves. “I think,” says he, “חינם, here for חיים, is a remarkable instance of a reading merely conjectural, unsupported by any authority but that of the context, of the truth of which, no possible doubt can be made. Hare and Houbigant, and I suppose every other competent reader, has hit upon it. You see the two hemistichs are parallel and synonymous, word answering to word.” — Dr Lowth in Mr Merricks Note on this place. — Street and Dr Adam Clarke agree in this alteration. which he attributes to his enemies, implies as much as to enjoy continued and abundant prosperity in all things; and therefore he adds, that they are become strong and increase in power I interpret the word רבב, rabbab, in this place, increase in power, because he would speak improperly were he to be understood as saying, that they were multiplied. He does not here complain that they increased in number, but rather exalts their greatness, because the more they acquired of riches, they acquired so much the greater audacity in oppressing the good and the simple. He tells us that he is assailed by them wrongfully, and without cause, that he may induce God to be the more favorable and propitious to him. And surely, if we would have the favor of God for our defense, we must always take care not to injure any man, and to do nothing to provoke the hatred of any against us.

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