Psalm 102:9
For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.
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(9) Ashes like bread.Lamentations 3:16. A figurative expression, like “dust shall be the serpent’s meat” (Isaiah 65:25; comp. Genesis 3:14). With the last clause comp. Psalm 42:3, “tears have been my meat day and night.” So too, as an emblem of disappointment, a modern poet:—

“But even while I drank the brook, and ate

The goodly apples, all these things at once

Fell into dust, and I was left alone.”

TENNYSON: Holy Grail.

Psalm 102:9-10. I have eaten ashes like bread — That is, instead of eating my bread, I have laid down in dust and ashes. Or, dust and ashes are as constant and familiar to me as the eating of my bread; I cover my head with them; I sit, yea, lie down among them, as mourners often did, by which means the ashes might easily be mingled with their meat as tears were with their drink, as mentioned in the next clause. And mingled my drink, &c. — He alludes to the custom of mingling their wine with water. Because of thy indignation, &c. — Because I not only conflict with men, but with the Almighty God, and with his anger. For thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down — As a man lifts up a person or thing as high as he can, that he may cast it down to the ground with greater force. Or, he aggravates his present reproach and misery by the consideration of that great honour and happiness to which God had formerly advanced him, as Job did, chap. 29., 30., and the church, Lamentations 1:7.102:1-11 The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself, by a humble representation of its griefs. We must say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, who both gives and takes away. The psalmist looked upon himself as a dying man; My days are like a shadow.For I have eaten ashes like bread - I have seated myself in ashes in my grief (compare Job 2:8; Job 42:6; Isaiah 58:5; Isaiah 61:3; Jonah 3:6; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 11:21); and ashes have become, as it were, my food. The ashes in which he sat had been mingled with his food.

And mingled my drink with weeping - Tears have fallen into the cup from which I drank, and have become a part of my drink. The idea is, that he had shed copious tears; and that even when he took his food, there was no respite to his grief.

9. ashes—a figure of grief, my bread; weeping or tears, my drink (Ps 80:5). For; so this verse gives a reason either of his great sadness, expressed Psalm 102:6,7, or why they swore by him in the sense last given. Or, surely, as this particle is oft used. Or, therefore, because of those bitter reproaches last mentioned. I have eaten ashes like bread: the sense is, Dust and ashes are as constant and familiar to me as the eating of my bread; I cover my head with them; I sit, yea, lie down and roll myself in them, as mourners oft did, 2 Samuel 13:19 Job 2:8,12 16:15 Isaiah 47:1 Micah 1:10; by which means the ashes might easily be mingled with their meat, as tears were with their drink in the next clause. Mingled my drink with weeping; he alludes to the custom of mingling their wine with water. For I have eaten ashes like bread,.... He sitting in ashes, as Job did, and rolling himself in them in the manner of mourners; and, having no other table than the ground to eat his food upon, he might eat ashes along with it; and by an hypallage of the words, the sense may be, that he ate bread like ashes, no more savoured and relished it, or was nourished by it, than if he had eaten ashes; the meaning is, that he was fed with the bread of adversity, and water of affliction:

and mingled my drink with weeping; that is, with tears; as he drank, the tears ran down his cheeks, and mixed with the liquor in his cup; he was fed with the bread of tears, and had them to drink in great measure; these were his meat and his drink, day and night, while enemies reproached him, swore at him, against him, and by him; see Psalm 80:5.

For I have {g} eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping,

(g) I have not risen out of my mourning to take my refreshment.

9. They may well do so; for what can be more wretched than his plight? Mourning and tears are as it were his food and drink. Cp. Psalm 42:3; Psalm 80:5. For ashes as the symbol of mourning, cp. Job 2:8; Lamentations 3:16; Ezekiel 27:30.Verse 9. - For I have eaten ashes like bread; i.e. "the 'ashes' of humiliation have been my food. I have, as it were, fed on them." A literal mingling of ashes with his food is not to be thought cf. And mingled my drink with weeping (comp. Psalm 42:3; Psalm 80:5). From this point onward the Psalm becomes original. Concerning the Beth in בעשׁן, vid., on Psalm 37:20. The reading כּמו קד (in the Karaite Ben-Jerucham) enriches the lexicon in the same sense with a word which has scarcely had any existence. מוקד (Arabic mauḳid) signifies here, as in other instances, a hearth. נחרוּ is, as in Psalm 69:4, Niphal: my bones are heated through with a fever-heat, as a hearth with the smouldering fire that is on it. הוּכּה (cf. יגודּוּ, Psalm 94:21) is used exactly as in Hosea 9:16, cf. Psalm 121:5. The heart is said to dry up when the life's blood, of which it is the reservoir, fails. The verb שׁכח is followed by מן of dislike. On the cleaving of the bones to the flesh from being baked, i.e., to the skin (Arabic bašar, in accordance with the radical signification, the surface of the body equals the skin, from בשׂר, to brush along, rub, scrape, scratch on the surface), cf. Job 19:20; Lamentations 4:8. ל (אל) with דּבק is used just like בּ. It is unnecessary, with Bttcher, to draw מקּול אנחתי to Psalm 102:5. Continuous straining of the voice, especially in connection with persevering prayer arising from inward conflict, does really make the body waste away.
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