Psalm 31:10
For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
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(10) Iniquity.—Gesenius and Ewald understand, the suffering that follows on sin rather than the iniquity itself, a meaning that certainly seems to suit the context better. The LXX. and Vulg. have “poverty.”

31:9-18 David's troubles made him a man of sorrows. Herein he was a type of Christ, who was acquainted with grief. David acknowledged that his afflictions were merited by his own sins, but Christ suffered for ours. David's friends durst not give him any assistance. Let us not think it strange if thus deserted, but make sure of a Friend in heaven who will not fail. God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best, to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. The time of life is in God's hands, to lengthen or shorten, make bitter or sweet, according to the counsel of his will. The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's. In this faith and confidence he prays that the Lord would save him for his mercies's sake, and not for any merit of his own. He prophesies the silencing of those that reproach and speak evil of the people of God. There is a day coming, when the Lord will execute judgment upon them. In the mean time, we should engage ourselves by well-doing, if possible, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.For my life is spent with grief - The word here rendered "spent" does not mean merely "passed," as it is commonly now used, as when we say we "spent" our time at such a place, or in such a manner, but in the more proper meaning of the word, as denoting "consumed, wasted away," or "destroyed." See the word כלה kâlâh as used in Jeremiah 16:4; Lamentations 2:11; Psalm 84:2 (Hebrews 3); Psalm 143:7; Psalm 69:3 Hebrews 4; Job 11:20.

And my years with sighing - That is, my years are wasted or consumed with sighing. Instead of being devoted to active toil and to useful effort, they are exhausted or wasted away with a grief which wholly occupies and preys upon me.

My strength faileth because of mine iniquity - Because of the trouble that has come upon me for my sin. He regarded all this trouble - from whatever quarter it came, whether directly from the hand of God, or from man - as the fruit of "sin." Whether he refers to any particular sin as the cause of this trouble, or to the sin of his nature as the source of all evil, it is impossible now to determine. Since, however, no particular sin is specified, it seems most probable that the reference is to the sin of his heart - to his corrupt nature. It is common, and it is not improper, when we are afflicted, to regard all our trials as fruits of sin; as coming upon us as the result of the fall, and as an evidence that we are depraved. It is certain that there is no suffering in heaven, and that there never would be any in a perfectly holy world. It is equally certain that all the woes of earth are the consequence of man's apostasy; and it is proper, therefore, when we are afflicted, even though we cannot trace the affliction to any "particular" offence, to trace it all to the existence of evil, and to regard it as among the proofs of the divine displeasure against sin.

And my bones are consumed - That is, are decayed, worn out, or wasted away. Even the solid framework of my body gives way under excessive grief, and all my strength is gone. See Psalm 32:3; Psalm 102:3.

10. Though the effects ascribed to grief are not mere figures of speech—

spent … consumed—must be taken in the modified sense of wasted and decayed.

iniquity—or, suffering by it (see on [581]Ps 40:12).

My life, i.e. the time of my life, as the next clause explains it.

Because of mine iniquity; either through my deep and just sense of my sins, which have provoked God to afflict me in this manner; or for the punishment of mine iniquity, as this word is frequently used.

My bones, in which my chief strength lies.

Are consumed; the juice and marrow of them being almost dried up with excessive grief.

For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing,.... Which shows the continuance of his troubles, and that his whole life had been, as it were, an uninterrupted series of sorrows;

my strength faileth because of mine iniquity; this opens the source and spring of all his grief and trouble; his sin, and the sin of his nature, in which he was conceived and born; indwelling sin, which remained and worked in him; and it may be also the sin of unbelief, which beset him, and prevailed in him, notwithstanding the instances of divine goodness, the declarations of grace, the discoveries of love, and the exceeding great and precious promises he had made to him; as also his daily sins and infirmities, and very likely some great backslidings, which had brought grief of soul upon aim, and which grief affected the several parts of his body. Sin was the cause of the failure of natural strength in Adam and his posterity; of diseases and death, by which their strength is weakened in the way; and was the cause of impairing moral strength in men to do that which is good, and has a very great influence on the spiritual strength of the Lord's people, in the exercise of grace;

and my bones are consumed; which are the firmest and strongest parts of the human body, and the support of it.

For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
10. grief] R.V. sorrow, as in Psalm 13:2; Jeremiah 8:18.

sighing] Or, groaning, as in Psalm 6:6.

my strength &c.] My strength totters because of mine Iniquity, and my bones are wasted away. There was then some sin which called for chastisement, or required the discipline of suffering. But the LXX, Syr., and Symmachus read affliction instead of iniquity. With the last clause cp. Psalm 6:2 (note); Psalm 32:3.

Verse 10. - For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing. The psalmist's grief is of old standing. It dates from the time of his great sin (2 Samuel 11:4-17), which is thought to have preceded the revolt of Absalom by the space of twelve years. This sin necessitated a lifelong repentance (Psalm 38:17; Psalm 51:3, etc.). My strength faileth because of mine iniquity. Other causes had, no doubt, contributed to produce the profound depression of the psalmist at this period, but none was of equal force with this (comp. Psalm 38:3-10; Psalm 51:1-14, etc.). It caused his strength to fail utterly, and led to complete prostration both st mind and body. And my bones are consumed; i.e. racked with pain, as though they were being gnawed away. Psalm 31:10(Heb.: 31:10-14) After the paean before victory, which he has sung in the fulness of his faith, in this second part of the Psalm (with groups, or strophes, of diminishing compass: 6. 5. 4) there again breaks forth the petition, based upon the greatness of the suffering which the psalmist, after having strengthened himself in his trust in God, now all the more vividly sets before Him. צר־לּי, angustum est mihi, as in Psalm 69:18, cf. Psalm 18:7. Psalm 31:10 is word for word like Psalm 6:8, except that in this passage to עיני, the eye which mirrors the state of suffering in which the sensuous perception and objective receptivity of the man are concentrated, are added נפשׁ, the soul forming the nexus of the spirit and the body, and בּטן, the inward parts of the body reflecting the energies and feelings of the spirit and the soul. חיּים, with which is combined the idea of the organic intermingling of the powers of soul and body, has the predicate in the plural, as in Psalm 88:4. The fact that the poet makes mention of his iniquity as that by which his physical strength has become tottering (כּשׁל as in Nehemiah 4:4), is nothing surprising even in a Psalm that belongs to the time of his persecution by Saul; for the longer this persecution continued, the more deeply must David have felt that he needed this furnace of affliction.

The text of Psalm 31:12 upon which the lxx rendering is based, was just the same as ours: παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου ἐγενήθην ὄνειδος καὶ τοῖς γείτοσί μου σφόδρα καὶ φόβος τοῖς γνωστοῖς μου. But this σφδόρα (Jerome nimis) would certainly only be tolerable, if it could be rendered, "I am become a reproach even to my neighbours exceedingly" - in favour of this position of מאד we might compare Judges 12:2, - and this rendering is not really an impossible one; for not only has ו frequently the sense of "even" as in 2 Samuel 1:23, but (independently of passages, in which it may even be explained as "and that," an expression which takes up what has been omitted, as in Amos 4:10) it sometimes has this meaning direct (like καὶ, et -etiam), Isaiah 32:7; Hosea 8:6 (according to the accents), 2 Chronicles 27:5; Ecclesiastes 5:5 (cf. Ew. @a7352, b). Inasmuch, however, as this usage, in Hebrew, was not definitely developed, but was only as it were just developing, it may be asked whether it is not possible to find a suitable explanation without having recourse to this rendering of the ו as equivalent to גּם, a rendering which is always hazardous. Olshausen places ולשׁכני after למידעי, a change which certainly gets rid of all difficulty. Hitzig alters מאד into מנּד, frightened, scared. But one naturally looks for a parallel substantive to חרפּה, somewhat like "terror" (Syriac) or "burden." Still מגור (dread) and משּׂאת (a burden) do not look as though מאד could be a corruption of either of those words. Is it not perhaps possible for מאד itself to be equivalent in meaning to משׂאת? Since in the signification σφόδρα it is so unsuited to this passage, the expression would not be ambiguous, if it were here used in a special sense. J. D. Michaelis has even compared the Arabic awd (awdat) in the sense of onus. We can, without the hesitation felt by Maurer and Hupfeld, suppose that מאד has indeed this meaning in this passage, and without any necessity for its being pointed מאד; for even the adverb מאד is originally a substantive derived from אוּד, Arab. âd (after the form מצד from צוּד) gravitas, firmitas, which is then used in the sense of graviter, firmiter (cf. the French ferme). אוּד, Arab. âd, however, has the radical signification to be compressed, compact, firm, and solid, from which proceed the significations, which are divided between âda, jaı̂du, and âda, jaûdu, to be strong, powerful, and to press upon, to burden, both of which meanings Arab. 'dd unites within itself (cf. on Psalm 20:9).

The number of opponents that David had, at length made him a reproach even in the eyes of the better disposed of his people, as being a revolter and usurper. Those among whom he found friendly shelter began to feel themselves burdened by his presence because they were thereby imperilled; and we see from the sad fate of Abimelech and the other priests of Nob what cause, humanly speaking, they, who were not merely slightly, but even intimately acquainted with him (מידּעים as inn Psalm 55:14; Psalm 88:9, 19), had for avoiding all intercourse with him. Thus, then, he is like one dead, whom as soon as he is borne out of his home to the grave, men are wont, in general, to put out of mind also (נשׁכּח מלּא, oblivione extingui ex corde; cf. מפּה, Deuteronomy 31:21). All intimate connection with him is as it were sundered, he is become כּכלי אבד, - a phrase, which, as we consider the confirmation which follows in Psalm 31:14, has the sense of vas periens (not vas perditum), a vessel that is in the act of אבד, i.e., one that is set aside or thrown away, being abandoned to utter destruction and no more cared for (cf. Hosea 8:8, together with Jeremiah 48:38, and Jeremiah 22:28). With כּי he gives the ground for his comparison of himself to a household vessel that has become worthless. The insinuations and slanders of many brand him as a transgressor, dread surrounds him on every side (this is word for word the same as in Jeremiah 20:10, where the prophet, with whom in other passages also מגור מסּביב is a frequent and standing formula, under similar circumstances uses the language of the psalmist); when they come together to take counsel concerning him (according to the accents the second half of the verse begins with בּהוּסדם), they think only how they may get rid of him. If the construction of ב with its infinitive were intended to be continued in Psalm 31:14, it would have been וזממוּ לקחת נפשׁי or לקחת נפשׁי יזמּוּ.

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