|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
88:10-18 Departed souls may declare God's faithfulness, justice, and lovingkindness; but deceased bodies can neither receive God's favours in comfort, nor return them in praise. The psalmist resolved to continue in prayer, and the more so, because deliverance did not come speedily. Though our prayers are not soon answered, yet we must not give over praying. The greater our troubles, the more earnest and serious we should be in prayer. Nothing grieves a child of God so much as losing sight of him; nor is there any thing he so much dreads as God's casting off his soul. If the sun be clouded, that darkens the earth; but if the sun should leave the earth, what a dungeon would it be! Even those designed for God's favours, may for a time suffer his terrors. See how deep those terrors wounded the psalmist. If friends are put far from us by providences, or death, we have reason to look upon it as affliction. Such was the calamitous state of a good man. But the pleas here used were peculiarly suited to Christ. And we are not to think that the holy Jesus suffered for us only at Gethsemane and on Calvary. His whole life was labour and sorrow; he was afflicted as never man was, from his youth up. He was prepared for that death of which he tasted through life. No man could share in the sufferings by which other men were to be redeemed. All forsook him, and fled. Oftentimes, blessed Jesus, do we forsake thee; but do not forsake us, O take not thy Holy Spirit from us.
Verse 15. - I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up. This is a new point. The psalmist's afflictions have not come upon him recently. He does not merely mean, as some have supposed, that, like other men, as soon as he was born he began to die, but speaks of something, if not absolutely peculiar to himself, yet at any rate rare and abnormal - a long continuance in a dying state, such as could only have been brought about by some terribly severe malady. While I suffer thy terrors I am distracted; literally, I have endured thy terrors; I am exhausted. (On the endurance of God's "terrors," see Job 6:4; Job 9:34; Job 13:21.) The natural result would be a state, not of distraction, but of exhaustion. (So Kay, and substantially Professor Cheyne.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I am afflicted,.... In body and mind, from within and from without, by Satan, by the men of the world, and by the Lord himself; which is the common lot of God's people, Psalm 34:19 and was the case of the Messiah, who was afflicted both with the tongues and hands of men, by words, by blows, and by the temptations of Satan; and was smitten and afflicted of God, by divine justice, as the sinner's surety: see Psalm 22:24 or
I am poor (a); which as it is a character, which, for the most part, agrees with the saints, who are the poor of this world God has chosen, to whom the Gospel is sent, and by whom it is received, and who are effectually called by it, so likewise belongs to Christ, Zechariah 9:9,
and ready to die, from my youth up; a sickly unhealthful person from his infancy, and often in danger of death; which last was certainly the case of Christ in his infancy, through the malice of Herod; and many times afterwards, when grown up, through the attempts of the Jews to take away his life: some render it, "I am ready to die through concussion", or "shaking" (b); meaning some very rough and severe dispensation of Providence, such an one as Job expresses by shaking him to pieces, Job 16:12 and was literally true of Christ, when his body was so shaken by the jog of the cross, that all his bones were put out of joint, Psalm 22:14.
while I suffer thy terrors; or "bear" (c) them, or "carry", even terrible afflictions, in which he had terrible apprehensions of the wrath of God in them, of death they would issue in, and of an awful judgment that should follow that; all which are called the terrors of the Lord, Job 6:4, and which the saints, when left to God, have some dreadful apprehensions of: such were the terrors of the Lord the Messiah endured, when in a view of the sins of his people being laid upon him, and of the wrath of God coming on him for them, his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling to the ground, Luke 22:44. Compare with this Psalm 18:4.
I am distracted: not out of his mind, deprived of his senses, and without the use of reason; but his thoughts were distracted and confused, and his mind discomposed with the terrors of God upon him: the Hebrew word "aphunah" is only used in this place, and is difficult of interpretation, and is variously derived and rendered: some take it to be of the same root with "pen", which signifies "lest, perhaps" (d); seeing persons in a panic are apt to use such expressions; perhaps, or it may be, such and such things will befall me; forming and framing in their minds ten thousand dreadful things, which they fear are coming upon them; so Aben Ezra and Kimchi; and is applied by Cocceius (e) to the solicitous care and fear of Christ concerning his body, the church, Hebrews 5:7 others derive it from "ophen", which signifies a wheel, and so may be rendered, "I am wheeled about" (f); always in motion, and have no rest day nor night; as Christ was after his apprehension, being carried from place to place, and from bar to bar: others derive it from the Arabic word "aphan" (g), which signifies to be in want of counsel and advice: Christ though, as God, needed no counsel, nor did he take counsel with any; and, as Mediator, is the wonderful Counsellor; yet, as man, he needed it, and had it from his Father, for which he blesses him, Psalm 16:7, others from the Hebrew root "phanah", which signifies to look unto, as persons in a panic look here and there; and as Christ did when suffering, who looked, and there was none to help, Isaiah 63:5. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it "amazed", or "astonished", which is said of Christ, Mark 14:33, the Vulgate Latin version is "troubled", which also agrees with Christ, John 12:27 as he must needs be, when his enemies surrounded him, the sins of his people were upon him, the sword of justice awaked against him, and the wrath of God on him, as follows.
(a) "pauper", V. L. Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius; "inops", Cocceius, Michaelis. (b) "a concussione", Luther, Schmidt, Junius & Tremellius; "propter concussionem", Piscator; "prae concussione", Gejerus. (c) "portavi", Pagninus, Montanus; "fero", Tigurine version, Piscator; "tuli", Musculus, Cocceius; "pertuli portavi", Michaelis. (d) a "ne forte", Amama, Gejerus; "anxius timeo vel metno, ne hoc vel illud fiat", Michaelis. (e) Lex. Heb. p. 663. (f) Heb. "rotor, seu instar rotae circumagor", Piscator. (g) "consilii inops fuit", Castel. Lex. col. 199.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. from … youth up—all my life.
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