|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
102:1-11 The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself, by a humble representation of its griefs. We must say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, who both gives and takes away. The psalmist looked upon himself as a dying man; My days are like a shadow.
Verse 7. - I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. Sparrows are very common in Palestine. Dr. Thomson says that he has often heard a sparrow which had lost its mate, uttering "by the hour" its sad lament, seated upon a housetop ('The Land and the Book,' p. 43).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I watch,.... Night after night, and take no sleep; cannot get any by reason of thoughtfulness, care, and trouble:
and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop; or, "as a bird" (o); for there is no necessity of limiting it to a sparrow, to which the account does not seem so well to agree; for sparrows will not only perch on housetops and solitary places, but will make their nests in dwelling houses, and in places of public resort, as temples; hence David speaks of the sparrow finding an house near the altars of God, Psalm 84:3 and Herodotus (p) makes mention of sparrows and other birds making their nests in the temple at Branchides; which may serve to illustrate the text last mentioned: wherefore this may be understood of any solitary bird, and especially of the owl (q); the Jews had flat roofs upon their houses, and here birds of solitude would come and sit alone in the night season, to which the psalmist likens himself; being either forsaken by his friends and acquaintance; or, being in melancholy circumstances, he chose to be alone, mourning over his sorrowful state and condition.
(o) "sicut avis", Gejerus, Schmidt. (p) Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 159. (q) "--------tectoque prophanus Incubuit bubo" Ovid. Metamorph. l. 6. Fab. 8. "E tectis strix", &c. Tibullus, l. 1. Eleg. 5. v. 52.
Psalm 102:7 Parallel Commentaries
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