Psalm 141:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They will say, "As one plows and breaks up the earth, so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave."

New Living Translation
Like rocks brought up by a plow, the bones of the wicked will lie scattered without burial.

English Standard Version
As when one plows and breaks up the earth, so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

New American Standard Bible
As when one plows and breaks open the earth, Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

King James Bible
Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As when one plows and breaks up the soil, turning up rocks, so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

International Standard Version
Just as one plows and breaks up the earth, our bones are scattered near the entrance to the place of the dead.

NET Bible
As when one plows and breaks up the soil, so our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

New Heart English Bible
"As when one plows and breaks up the earth, our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Like a plowshare tears open the Earth, their bones are scattered over the mouth of Sheol.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As someone plows and breaks up the ground, so our bones will be planted at the mouth of the grave.

JPS Tanakh 1917
As when one cleaveth and breaketh up the earth, Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth.

New American Standard 1977
As when one plows and breaks open the earth,
            Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol, as when one cuts and cleaves wood upon the earth.

King James 2000 Bible
Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cuts and splits wood upon the earth.

American King James Version
Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cuts and splits wood on the earth.

American Standard Version
As when one ploweth and cleaveth the earth, Our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

Douay-Rheims Bible
as when the thickness of the earth is broken up upon the ground: Our bones are scattered by the side of hell.

Darby Bible Translation
Our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol, as when one cutteth and cleaveth [wood] upon the earth.

English Revised Version
As when one ploweth and cleaveth the earth, our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

World English Bible
"As when one plows and breaks up the earth, our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol."

Young's Literal Translation
As one tilling and ripping up in the land, Have our bones been scattered at the command of Saul.
Study Bible
Come to Me Quickly!
6Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock, And they hear my words, for they are pleasant. 7As when one plows and breaks open the earth, Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol. 8For my eyes are toward You, O GOD, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.…
Cross References
Numbers 16:32
and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions.

Numbers 16:33
So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

Psalm 53:5
There they were in great fear where no fear had been; For God scattered the bones of him who encamped against you; You put them to shame, because God had rejected them.

Psalm 69:15
May the flood of water not overflow me Nor the deep swallow me up, Nor the pit shut its mouth on me.

Psalm 88:3
For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol.

Psalm 129:3
"The plowers plowed upon my back; They lengthened their furrows."

Ezekiel 37:11
Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.'
Treasury of Scripture

Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cuts and splits wood on the earth.

bones

Psalm 44:22 Yes, for your sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted …

1 Samuel 22:18,19 And the king said to Doeg, Turn you, and fall on the priests. And …

Romans 8:36 As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we …

2 Corinthians 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not …

Hebrews 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain …

Revelation 11:8,9 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, …

(7) Our bones.--The literal rendering of this verse is As when one cutteth and cleaveth in the earth our bones are scattered at the mouth of Shel.

The reading "our bones" necessarily makes this an abrupt transition from the fate of the unjust judges in the last verse to that of the afflicted people, but in a correction by a second hand in the Codex Alex. of the LXX. we find the much easier and more satisfactory "their bones"--a reading confirmed by the Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions; as also by the fact that the word here rendered "cleave" is that employed in 2Chronicles 25:12 (see reference above, Psalm 141:6) of the Edomites thrown from the cliff. But the abrupt transition is not unlikely in Hebrew poetry, and the more difficult reading is according to rule to be preserved.

The figure is mistaken in the Authorised Version. The reference is not to the ground strewn with the logs left by a woodcutter, but to the clods of earth left by the plough. Keeping the present text, and making the figure refer to the righteous, we should naturally compare Psalm 129:3, where ploughing is used as an image of affliction and torture, as "harrewing" is with us. The verse might be paraphrased: "We have been so harrowed and torn that we are brought to the brink of the grave," the image being, however, heightened by the recollection of some actual massacre.

Verse 7. - Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth. The calamity is not confined to the "judges." The bones of the people generally lie scattered at hews mouth - unburied, i.e., but ready to go down to Hades. As when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth; rather, as when one cleaves and breaks up the earth. "The bones of God's servants were strewn as thickly ever the ground as stones over a newly ploughed piece of soil, so that the Holy Land looked as if it had become an antechamber of Hades" (Kay). Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth,.... Into which they were not suffered to be put, but lay unburied; or from whence they were dug up, and lay scattered about; which is to be understood of such of David's friends as fell into the hands of Saul and his men, and were slain: perhaps it may refer to the fourscore and five priests, and the inhabitants of Nob, slain by the order of Saul, 1 Samuel 22:18. Though the phrase may be only proverbial, and be expressive of the danger David and his men were in, and their sense of it, who looked upon themselves like dry bones, hopeless and helpless, and had the sentence of death in themselves, and were as it were at the mouth of the grave, on the brink of ruin;

as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth: and the chips fly here and there, and are disregarded; such was their case: or as men cut and cleave the earth with the plough, and it is tore up by it, and falls on each side of it, so are we persecuted, afflicted, and distressed by our enemies, and have no mercy shown us; so the Targum,

"as a man that cuts and cleaves with ploughshares in the earth, so our members are scattered at the grave's mouth.''

The Syriac and Arabic versions understand it of the ploughshare cutting the earth. 7 Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

8 But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is ray trust; leave not my soul destitute.

9 Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.

Psalm 141:7

David's case seemed hopeless: the cause of God in Israel was as a dead thing, even as a skeleton broken, and rotten, and shovelled out of the grave, to return as dust to its dust. "Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth." There seemed to be no life, no cohesion, no form, order, or headship among the godly party in Israel: Saul had demolished it, and scattered all its parts, so that it did not exist as an organized whole. David himself was like one of these dried bones, and the rest of the godly were in much the same condition. There seemed to be no vitality or union among the holy seed; but their cause lay at death's door. "As when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth." They were like wood divided and thrown apart, not as one piece of timber, nor even as a bundle, but all cut to pieces, and thoroughly divided. Leaving out the word "wood," which is supplied by the translators, the figure relates to cleaving upon the earth, which probably means ploughing, but may signify any other form of chopping and splitting, such as felling a forest, tearing up bushes, or otherwise causing confusion and division, How often have good men thought thus of the cause of God! Wherever they have looked, death, division, and destruction have stared them in the face. Cut and cloven, hopelessly sundered! Scattered, yea, scattered at the grave's mouth! Split up and split for the fire! Such the cause of God and truth has seemed to be. "Upon the earth" the prospect was wretched; the field of the church was ploughed, harrowed, and scarified: it had become like a wood-chopper's yard, where everything was doomed to be broken up. We have seen churches in such a state, and have been heart-broken. What a mercy that there is always a place above the earth to which we can look! There lives One who will give a resurrection to his cause, and a reunion to his divided people. He will bring up the dead bones from the grave's mouth, and make the dried faggots live again. Let us imitate the Psalmist in Psalm 141:8, and look up to the living God.

Psalm 141:8

"But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord." He looked upward and kept eyes fixed there. He regarded duty more than circumstances; he considered his promise rather than the external providence; and he expected from God rather than from men. He did not shut his eyes in indifference or despair, neither did he turn them to the creature in vain confidence, but he gave his eyes to his God, and saw nothing to fear. Jehovah his Lord is also his hope. Thomas called Jesus Lord and God, and David here speaks of his God and Lord. Saints delight to dwell upon the divine names when they are adoring or appealing. "In thee is my trust." Not alone in thine attributes or in thy promises, but in thyself. Others might confide where they chose, but David kept to his God, in him he trusted always, only, confidently, and unreservedly. "Leave not my soul destitute"; as it would be if the Lord did not remember and fulfil his promise. To be destitute in circumstances is bad, but to be destitute in soul is far worse; to be left of friends is a calamity, but to be left of God would be destruction. Destitute of God is destitution with a vengeance. The comfort is that God hath said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

Psalm 141:9

"Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me." He had before asked, in Psalm 141:3, that the door of his mouth might be kept; but his prayer now grows into "Keep me." He seems more in trouble about covert temptation than concerning open attacks. Brave men do not dread battle, but they hate secret plots. We cannot endure to be entrapped like unsuspecting animals; therefore we cry to the God of wisdom for protection. "And the gins of the workers of iniquity." These evil workers sought to catch David in his speech or acts. This was in itself a piece of in-equity, and so of a piece with the rest of their conduct. They were bad themselves, and they wished either to make him like themselves, or to cause him to seem so. If they could not catch the good man in one way, they would try another; snares and gins should be multiplied, for anyhow they were determined to work his ruin. Nobody could preserve David but the Omniscient and Omnipotent One, he also will preserve us. It is hard to keep out of snares which you cannot see, and to escape gins which you cannot discover. Well might the much-hunted Psalmist cry, "Keep me.

Psalm 141:10

"Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape." It may not be a Christian prayer, but it is a very just one, and it takes a great deal of grace to refrain from crying Amen to it; in fact, grace does not work towards making us wish otherwise concerning the enemies of holy men. Do we not all wish the innocent to be delivered, and the guilty to reap the result of their own malice? Of course we do, if we are just men. There can be no wrong in desiring that to happen in our own case which we wish for all good men. Yet is there a more excellent way. 141:5-10 We should be ready to welcome the rebuke of our heavenly Father, and also the reproof of our brethren. It shall not break my head, if it may but help to break my heart: we must show that we take it kindly. Those who slighted the word of God before, will be glad of it when in affliction, for that opens the ear to instruction. When the world is bitter, the word is sweet. Let us lift our prayer unto God. Let us entreat him to rescue us from the snares of Satan, and of all the workers of iniquity. In language like this psalm, O Lord, would we entreat that our poor prayers should set forth our only hope, our only dependence on thee. Grant us thy grace, that we may be prepared for this employment, being clothed with thy righteousness, and having all the gifts of thy Spirit planted in our hearts.
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