Psalm 107:27
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits' end.

New Living Translation
They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits' end.

English Standard Version
they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end.

New American Standard Bible
They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits' end.

King James Bible
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
they reeled and staggered like drunken men, and all their skill was useless.

International Standard Version
They reeled and staggered like a drunkard, as all their wisdom became useless.

NET Bible
They swayed and staggered like a drunk, and all their skill proved ineffective.

New Heart English Bible
They reel back and forth, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
They shook and were agitated like drunkards and all their wisdom came to nothing.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They reeled and staggered like drunks, and all their skills as sailors became useless.

JPS Tanakh 1917
They reeled to and fro, and staggered like a drunken man, And all their wisdom was swallowed up--

New American Standard 1977
They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
            And were at their wits’ end.

Jubilee Bible 2000
They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man, and all of their knowledge is of no avail.

King James 2000 Bible
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

American King James Version
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

American Standard Version
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits end.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They were troubled, and reeled like a drunken man; and all their wisdom was swallowed up.

Darby Bible Translation
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and they are at their wits' end:

English Revised Version
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.

Webster's Bible Translation
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

World English Bible
They reel back and forth, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.

Young's Literal Translation
They reel to and fro, and move as a drunkard, And all their wisdom is swallowed up.
Study Bible
His Loving Kindness Endures Forever
26They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery. 27They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits' end. 28Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses.…
Cross References
Job 12:25
"They grope in darkness with no light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Psalm 107:28
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses.

Isaiah 24:20
The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard And it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again.
Treasury of Scripture

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

stagger

Job 12:24 He takes away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, …

Isaiah 19:14 The LORD has mingled a perverse spirit in the middle thereof: and …

Isaiah 29:9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry you out, and cry: they are drunken, …

are at their wit's end. Heb. all their wisdom is swallowed up

Job 37:20 Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall …

Isaiah 19:3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the middle thereof; and I will …

Acts 27:15-20 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, …

(27) Reel to and fro.--Or more exactly, spin round and round.

Are at their wit's end.--An admirable paraphrase of the Hebrew, "all their wisdom swalloweth itself up." The poet, from the expressions employed, is possibly writing under the influence of Psalm 22:14; but he has evidently himself been to sea and experienced the dangers and discomforts he so graphically describes. Ovid (Trist. i. 2) has been quoted in illustration:

"Me miserum, quanti montes volvuntur aquarum

Jamjam tacturos sidera summa putes.

Quant diducto subsidunt quore valles:

Jamjam tacturas Tartura nigra putes

Rector in incerto est, nec quid fugiatve petatve

Invenit: ambiguis ars stupet ipsa malis."

See on this passage Addison in Spectator, No. 489.

Verse 27. - They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man. The oldest sailor "loses his sea-legs," and staggers about the deck like a landsman, or like one drunk. And are at their wit's end; literally, as in the margin, and all their wisdom is swallowed. But the English idiom of the Authorized Version is a very happy, one, and exactly expresses the writer's meaning. All the seaman's intelligence is at fault, and can suggest nothing. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,.... Through the agitation of the water, and motion of the ship, not being able to stand upon deck.

And are at their wit's end; or, "all their wisdom is swallowed up" (n); their wisdom in naval affairs, their art of navigation, their skill in managing ships, all nonplussed and baffled; they know not what method to take to save the vessel and themselves; their knowledge fails them, they are quite confounded and almost distracted. So Apollinarius paraphrases it,

"they forget navigation, and their wise art does not appear;''

so Ovid, describing a storm, uses the same phrase, "deficit ars",

"art fails.''

(n) "omnis sapientia eorum absorpta est", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. 27. are … end—literally, "all their wisdom swallows up itself," destroys itself by vain and contradictory devices, such as despair induces.107:23-32 Let those who go to sea, consider and adore the Lord. Mariners have their business upon the tempestuous ocean, and there witness deliverances of which others cannot form an idea. How seasonable it is at such a time to pray! This may remind us of the terrors and distress of conscience many experience, and of those deep scenes of trouble which many pass through, in their Christian course. Yet, in answer to their cries, the Lord turns their storm into a calm, and causes their trials to end in gladness.
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