|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-7 These verses speak the language of a heart truly humbled, of a broken and contrite spirit under great afflictions, sent to awaken conscience and mortify corruption. Sickness brought sin to his remembrance, and he looked upon it as a token of God's displeasure against him. The affliction of his body will be tolerable, if he has comfort in his soul. Christ's sorest complaint, in his sufferings, was of the trouble of his soul, and the want of his Father's smiles. Every page of Scripture proclaims the fact, that salvation is only of the Lord. Man is a sinner, his case can only be reached by mercy; and never is mercy more illustrious than in restoring backsliders. With good reason we may pray, that if it be the will of God, and he has any further work for us or our friends to do in this world, he will yet spare us or them to serve him. To depart and be with Christ is happiest for the saints; but for them to abide in the flesh is more profitable for the church.
Verse 6. - I am weary - or, worn out (Kay) - with my groaning. The Oriental habit of giving vent to grief in loud lamentations must be remembered. Herodotus says that at the funeral of Masistias, the Persians present "vented their grief in such loud cries that all Boeotia resounded with the clement" (Herod., 9:24). All the night make I my bed to swim (comp. Homer, 'Od.,' 17:102, 103). The Revised Version has, "every night," which is a possible meaning. Dr. Kay translates, "I drench my bed." I water my couch with my tears. One of the usual pleonastic second clauses.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I am weary with my groanings,.... By reason of bodily illness, or indwelling sin, or the guilt of actual transgressions, or the hidings of God's face, or a sense of divine wrath, or the temptations of Satan, or afflictions and crosses of various kinds, or fears of death, or even earnest desires after heaven and eternal happiness, or the low estate of Zion; each of which at times occasion groaning in the saints, as in the psalmist, and is the common experience of all good men. The psalmist being weary of his disease, or of sin, groaned till he was weary with his groaning; inward groaning affects the body, wastes the animal spirits, consumes the flesh, and induces weariness and faintness; see Psalm 102:5;
all the night make I my bed to swim: I water my couch with my tears; these are hyperbolical phrases (e), expressing more than is intended, and are not to be literally understood; for such a quantity of tears a man could never shed, as to water his couch and make his bed to swim with them, but they are used to denote the multitude of them, and the excessiveness of his sorrow; see Psalm 119:136; and these tears were shed, not to atone and satisfy for sin, for nothing but the blood and sacrifice of Christ can do that; but to express the truth and reality, as well as the abundance of his grief; and this was done "all the night long"; see Job 7:3; when he had leisure to think and reflect upon his sins and transgressions, and when he was clear of all company, and no one could hear or see him, nor interrupt him in the vent of his sorrow, and when his disease might be heavier upon him, as some diseases increase in the night season: this may also be mystically understood, of a night of spiritual darkness and desertion, when a soul is without the discoveries of the love of God, and the influences of his grace; and has lost sight of God and Christ, and interest in them, and does not enjoy communion with them; and throughout this night season weeping endures, though joy comes in the morning. And it may be applicable to David's antitype, to the doleful night in which he was betrayed, when it was the hour and power of darkness, and when he had no other couch or bed but the ground itself; which was watered, not only with his tears, but with his sweat and blood, his sweat being as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground; so he is often said to sigh and groan in spirit, Mark 7:34.
(e) See the latter in Homer. Odyss 17. v. 110. Odyss. 19. prope finem.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. By a strong figure the abundance as well as intensity of grief is depicted.
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