|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:12-22 Wicked men hate goodness, even when they benefit by it. David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not seek relief from the world or himself. The less we notice the unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present workings of corruption in him. Good men, by setting their sorrow continually before them, have been ready to fall; but by setting God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are truly penitent for sin, that will make us patient under affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the heart of a believer when in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his heart than this prayer, Be not far from me. The Lord will hasten to help those who trust in him as their salvation.
Verse 19. - But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong. The psalmist goes back to the thought of his enemies, to whom he has made no answer, and whom he has not ventured to rebuke (vers. 13, 14). He remembers that they are full of life and strength; he calls to mind the fact that they are many in number; he puts on record the cause of their enmity, which is not his sin, but his earnest endeavour to forsake his sin and follow after righteousness (ver. 20); and then, in conclusion, he makes a direct appeal to God for aid against them - first negatively (ver. 21), and then positively in the final outburst, "Make haste to help me, O Lord my Salvation" (ver. 22). And they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. This suits well the time of Absalom's conspiracy, when day by day more and more of the people forsook David and joined the party of his son. (2 Samuel 15:12, 13).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But mine enemies are lively,.... Or "living" (q) or "live"; not in a spiritual sense; for they had no lively hope, nor living faith, but were dead in trespasses and sins; nor merely in a natural sense, or corporeally, so David was living himself; but in great prosperity and worldly happiness, and so were brisk and cheerful, and lived a merry and pleasent life;
and they are strong; not only hale and robust in body, but abounded in riches and wealth, which are the strength of wicked men;
and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied; that is, such as hated him without a cause, and made lies and falsehoods the reasons of it: these increased in numbers, or in their outward state and circumstances; see Psalm 73:4.
(q) "viventes", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19, 20. Still, while humbled before God, he is the victim of deadly enemies, full of malice and treachery.
enemies are lively—literally, "of life," who would take my life, that is, deadly.
Psalm 38:19 Parallel Commentaries
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