|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
39:1-6 If an evil thought should arise in the mind, suppress it. Watchfulness in the habit, is the bridle upon the head; watchfulness in acts, is the hand upon the bridle. When not able to separate from wicked men, we should remember they will watch our words, and turn them, if they can, to our disadvantage. Sometimes it may be necessary to keep silence, even from good words; but in general we are wrong when backward to engage in edifying discourse. Impatience is a sin that has its cause within ourselves, and that is, musing; and its ill effects upon ourselves, and that is no less than burning. In our greatest health and prosperity, every man is altogether vanity, he cannot live long; he may die soon. This is an undoubted truth, but we are very unwilling to believe it. Therefore let us pray that God would enlighten our minds by his Holy Spirit, and fill our hearts with his grace, that we may be ready for death every day and hour.
Verse 2. - I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good. Some explain, "I held my peace, but it did me no good - I was none the better for it" (Hupfeld, Hengstenberg, Canon Cook); others adopt the Prayer-book Version, I kept silence even from good words" (Kay, Alexander, Revised Version). And my sorrow was stirred. The pain at my heart was not quieted thereby, nor even lessened; rather, it was roused up, quickened, and aggravated. This is the natural result of repressing any strong feeling.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I was dumb with silence,.... Quite silent, as if he had been a dumb man, and could not speak; so he was before men, especially wicked men, and under the afflicting hand of God; see Psalm 39:9; thus he put his resolution into practice;
I held my peace, even from good; that is, he said neither good nor bad: this expresses the greatness of his silence: he did not choose to open his lips, and say anything that was good, lest evil should come out along with it; though this may be considered as carrying the matter too far, even to a criminal silence; saying nothing of the affliction he laboured under as coming from the hand of God, and of his own desert of it; nor praying to God for the removal of it, nor giving him thanks for his divine goodness in supporting him under it, and making it useful to him; though it seems rather to have respect to his silence concerning the goodness of his cause before men; he said not one word in the vindication of himself; but committed his cause to him that judgeth righteously. The Targum and Jarchi interpret it of his silence and cessation "from the words of the law": he said nothing concerning the good word of God; which sense, could it be admitted, the words in Jeremiah 20:9; might be compared with these and the following;
and my sorrow was stirred; this was the issue and effect of his silence; his sorrow being pent up, and not let out and eased by words, swelled and increased the more; or the sorrow of his heart was stirred up at the insults and reproaches of his enemies, as Paul's spirit was stirred up by the superstition and idolatry of the city of Athens, Acts 17:16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. even from good—(Ge 31:24), everything.
Psalm 39:2 Parallel Commentaries
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