For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.”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.
spent … consumed—must be taken in the modified sense of wasted and decayed.
iniquity—or, suffering by it (see on 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.
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;For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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 27:1), or rather: of refuge (מעוז equals Arab. m‛âd, from עוּז, עוז equals Arab. 'âd, as in Psalm 37:39; Psalm 52:9, and probably also in Isaiah 30:2 and elsewhere);
(Note: It can hardly be doubted, that, in opposition to the pointing as we have it, which only recognises one מעוז (מעז) from עזז, to be strong, there are two different substantives having this principal form, viz., מעז a fortress, secure place, bulwark, which according to its derivation is inflected מעזּי, etc., and מעוז equivalent to the Arabic ma‛âdh, a hiding-place, defence, refuge, which ought to have been declined מעוזי or מעוּזי like the synonymous מנוּסי (Olshausen 201, 202). Moreover עוּז, Arab. 'âd, like חסה, of which it is the parallel word in Isaiah 30:2, means to hide one's self anywhere (Piel and Hiph., Hebrew העיז, according to the Kamus, Zamachshari and Neshwn: to hide any one, e.g., Koran 3:31); hence Arab. 'â‛d, a plant that grows among bushes (bên esh-shôk according to the Kamus) or in the crevices of the rocks (fi-l-hazn according to Neshwn) and is thus inaccessible to the herds; Arab. 'wwad, gazelles that are invisible, i.e., keep hidden, for seven days after giving birth, also used of pieces of flesh of which part is hidden among the bones; Arab. 'ûdat, an amulet with which a man covers himself (protegit), and so forth. - Wetzstein.
Consequently מעוז (formed like Arab. m‛âd, according to Neshwn equivalent to Arab. ma'wad) is prop. a place in which to hide one's self, synonymous with מחסה, מנוס, Arab. mlâd, malja‛, and the like. True, the two substantives from עזז and עוז meet in their meanings like praesidium and asylum, and according to passages like Jeremiah 16:19 appear to be blended in the genius of the language, but they are radically distinct.)
a rock-castle, i.e., a castle upon a rock, would be called מעוז צוּר, reversing the order of the words. צוּר מעוז in Psalm 71:3, a rock of habitation, i.e., of safe sojourn, fully warrants this interpretation. מצוּדה, prop. specula, signifies a mountain height or the summit of a mountain; a house on the mountain height is one that is situated on some high mountain top and affords a safe asylum (vid., on Psalm 18:3). The thought "show me Thy salvation, for Thou art my Saviour," underlies the connection expressed by כּי in Psalm 31:4 and Psalm 31:5. Lster considers it to be illogical, but it is the logic of every believing prayer. The poet prays that God would become to him, actu reflexo, that which to the actus directus of his faith He is even now. The futures in Psalm 31:4, Psalm 31:5 express hopes which necessarily arise out of that which Jahve is to the poet. The interchangeable notions הנחה and נהל, with which we are familiar from Psalm 23:1-6, stand side by side, in order to give urgency to the utterance of the longing for God's gentle and safe guidance. Instead of translating it "out of the net, which etc.," according to the accents (cf. Psalm 10:2; Psalm 12:8) it should be rendered "out of the net there," so that טמנוּ לּי is a relative clause without the relative.
Into the hand of this God, who is and will be all this to him, he commends his spirit; he gives it over into His hand as a trust or deposit (פּקּדון); for whatsoever is deposited there is safely kept, and freed from all danger and all distress. The word used is not נפשׁי, which Theodotion substitutes when he renders it τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ ψυχὴν τῇ σῇ παρατίθημι προμηθείᾳ but רוּחי; and this is used designedly. The language of the prayer lays hold of life at its root, as springing directly from God and as also living in the believer from God and in God; and this life it places under His protection, who is the true life of all spirit-life (Isaiah 38:16) and of all life. It is the language of prayer with which the dying Christ breathed forth His life, Luke 23:46. The period of David's persecution by Saul is the most prolific in types of the Passion; and this language of prayer, which proceeded from the furnace of affliction through which David at that time passed, denotes, in the mouth of Christ a crisis in the history of redemption in which the Old Testament receives its fulfilment. Like David, He commends His spirit to God; but not, that He may not die, but that dying He may not die, i.e., that He may receive back again His spirit-corporeal life, which is hidden in the hand of God, in imperishable power and glory. That which is so ardently desired and hoped for is regarded by him, who thus in faith commends himself to God, as having already taken place, "Thou hast redeemed me, Jahve, God of truth." The perfect פּדיתה is not used here, as in Psalm 4:2, of that which is past, but of that which is already as good as past; it is not precative (Ew. 223, b), but, like the perfects in Psalm 31:8, Psalm 31:9, an expression of believing anticipation of redemption. It is the praet. confidentiae which is closely related to the praet. prophet.; for the spirit of faith, like the spirit of the prophets, speaks of the future with historic certainty. In the notion of אל אמת it is impossible to exclude the reference to false gods which is contained in אלהי אמת, 2 Chronicles 15:3, since, in Psalm 31:7, "vain illusions" are used as an antithesis. הבלים, ever since Deuteronomy 32:21, has become a favourite name for idols, and more particularly in Jeremiah (e.g., Psalm 8:1-9 :19). On the other hand, according to the context, it may also not differ very greatly from אל אמוּנה, Deuteronomy 32:4; since the idea of God as a depositary or trustee still influences the thought, and אמת and אמוּנה are used interchangeably in other passages as personal attributes. We may say that אמת is being that lasts and verifies itself, and אמונה is sentiment that lasts and verifies itself. Therefore אל אמת is the God, who as the true God, maintains the truth of His revelation, and more especially of His promises, by a living authority or rule.
In Psalm 31:7, David appeals to his entire and simple surrender to this true and faithful God: hateful to him are those, who worship vain images, whilst he, on the other hand, cleaves to Jahve. It is the false gods, which are called הבלי־שׁוא, as beings without being, which are of no service to their worshippers and only disappoint their expectations. Probably (as in Psalm 5:6) it is to be read שׂנאת with the lxx, Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic versions (Hitzig, Ewald, Olshausen, and others). In the text before us, which gives us no corrective Ker as in 2 Samuel 14:21; Ruth 4:5, ואני is not an antithesis to the preceding clause, but to the member of that clause which immediately precedes it. In Jonah's psalm, Psalm 2:9, this is expressed by משׁמּרים הבלי־שׁוא; in the present instance the Kal is used in the signification observare, colere, as in Hosea 4:10, and even in Proverbs 27:18. In the waiting of service is included, according to Psalm 59:10, the waiting of trust. The word בּטח which denotes the fiducia fidei is usually construed with בּ of adhering to, or על of resting upon; but here it is combined with אל of hanging on. The cohortatives in Psalm 31:8 express intentions. Olshausen and Hitzig translate them as optatives: may I be able to rejoice; but this, as a continuation of Psalm 31:7, seems less appropriate. Certain that he will be heard, he determines to manifest thankful joy for Jahve's mercy, that (אשׁר as in Genesis 34:27) He has regarded (ἐπέβλεψε, Luke 1:48) his affliction, that He has known and exerted Himself about his soul's distresses. The construction ידע בּ, in the presence of Genesis 19:33, Genesis 19:35; Job 12:9; Job 35:15, cannot be doubted (Hupfeld); it is more significant than the expression "to know of anything;" בּ is like ἐπὶ in ἐπιγιγνώσκειν used of the perception or comprehensive knowledge, which grasps an object and takes possession of it, or makes itself master of it. הסגּיר, Psalm 31:9, συγκλείειν, as in 1 Samuel 23:11 (in the mouth of David) is so to abandon, that the hand of another closes upon that which is abandoned to it, i.e., has it completely in its power. מרחב, as in Psalm 18:20, cf. Psalm 26:12. The language is David's, in which the language of the Tra, and more especially of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 32:30; Deuteronomy 23:16), is re-echoed.
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