|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 9. - For I have eaten ashes like bread; i.e. "the 'ashes' of humiliation have been my food. I have, as it were, fed on them." A literal mingling of ashes with his food is not to be thought cf. And mingled my drink with weeping (comp. Psalm 42:3; Psalm 80:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For I have eaten ashes like bread,.... He sitting in ashes, as Job did, and rolling himself in them in the manner of mourners; and, having no other table than the ground to eat his food upon, he might eat ashes along with it; and by an hypallage of the words, the sense may be, that he ate bread like ashes, no more savoured and relished it, or was nourished by it, than if he had eaten ashes; the meaning is, that he was fed with the bread of adversity, and water of affliction:
and mingled my drink with weeping; that is, with tears; as he drank, the tears ran down his cheeks, and mixed with the liquor in his cup; he was fed with the bread of tears, and had them to drink in great measure; these were his meat and his drink, day and night, while enemies reproached him, swore at him, against him, and by him; see Psalm 80:5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. ashes—a figure of grief, my bread; weeping or tears, my drink (Ps 80:5).
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