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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.

In the next verse, the word כסלים, kesalaim, which I have rendered reins, is by some translated the flanks. But the more generally received opinion is, that it denotes the part under the reins, which extends towards the haunch, or the space between the thighs and flanks, where it is supposed there had been a sore. Commentators also differ in their opinion respecting the word נקלה, nikleh, which I have rendered burning In my translation I have followed those who adhere to the original meaning of the word; for the verb קלה, kalah, signifies to burn, or to consume with fire. Others, indeed, explain it not improperly in the sense of filthiness and corruption. I am, however, not inclined to limit it to a sore. In my opinion, the sense simply is, that his reins, or flanks, or thighs, were filled with an inflammatory disease, or at least were covered over with putrid sores; for these parts of the body are most subject to inflammation, and most liable to contract putrid humours. Some expound it allegorically, as meaning, that David seemed loathsome in his own eyes, when he thought of his reproach; but this appears too forced. When he adds that he was weakened and sore broken, he still farther confirms what he had said in the preceding verses: for by these various terms he wished to express the intolerable vehemence of his grief. Now, as a man, who is distinguished by courage, does not cry out and complain, and as we know that David did not shrink in bearing his afflictions, we may gather from this, that his sufferings were severe and painful in the extreme, inasmuch as he not only wept bitterly, but was also forced to cry out and complain. The noun נהמת, nahamath, which I have rendered roaring, may be derived from another verb than that which David has here used; but the meaning is obvious, namely, that the incontrollable emotions of his heart forced him to cry out.


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