Psalm 38:5
My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Wounds.—Better, stripes, as in LXX.

Stink and are corrupt.—Both words denote suppuration; the first in reference to the offensive smell, the second of the discharge of matter; the whole passage recalls Isaiah 1:6, seq.

Foolishness.—Men are generally even more loth to confess their folly than their sins.

38:1-11 Nothing will disquiet the heart of a good man so much as the sense of God's anger. The way to keep the heart quiet, is to keep ourselves in the love of God. But a sense of guilt is too heavy to bear; and would sink men into despair and ruin, unless removed by the pardoning mercy of God. If there were not sin in our souls, there would be no pain in our bones, no illness in our bodies. The guilt of sin is a burden to the whole creation, which groans under it. It will be a burden to the sinners themselves, when they are heavy-laden under it, or a burden of ruin, when it sinks them to hell. When we perceive our true condition, the Good Physician will be valued, sought, and obeyed. Yet many let their wounds rankle, because they delay to go to their merciful Friend. When, at any time, we are distempered in our bodies, we ought to remember how God has been dishonoured in and by our bodies. The groanings which cannot be uttered, are not hid from Him that searches the heart, and knows the mind of the Spirit. David, in his troubles, was a type of Christ in his agonies, of Christ on his cross, suffering and deserted.My wounds stink - The word rendered "wounds" here means properly the swelling or wales produced by stripes. See the notes at Isaiah 1:6; notes at Isaiah 53:5. The meaning here is, that he was under chastisement for his sin; that the stripes or blows on account of it had not only left a mark and produced a swelling, but that the skin itself had been broken, and that the flesh had become corrupt, and the sore offensive. Many expositors regard this as a mere figurative representation of the sorrow produced by the consciousness of sin; and of the loathsome nature of sin, but it seems to me that the whole connection rather requires us to understand it of bodily suffering, or of disease.

And are corrupt - The word used here - מקק mâqaq - means properly to melt; to pine away; and then, to flow, to run, as sores and ulcers do. The meaning here is, My sores run; to wit, with corrupt matter.

Because of my foolishness - Because of my sin, regarded as folly. Compare the notes at Psalm 14:1. The Scripture idea is that sin is the highest folly. Hence, the psalmist, at the same time that he confesses his sin, acknowledges also its foolishness. The idea of sin and that of folly become so blended together - or they are so entirely synonymous - that the one term may be used for the other.

5-8. The loathsomeness, corruption, and wasting torture of severe physical disease set forth his mental anguish [Ps 38:6]. It is possible some bodily disease was connected. The

loins are the seat of strength. His exhaustion left him only the power to groan [Ps 38:9].

The bruises and sores caused by my disease are not only painful, but loathsome to myself and to others.

Foolishnss, i.e. sin, which really is, and is commonly called, folly, as Psalm 69:5 Proverbs 13:16 14:17 15:2, &c. My wounds stink, and are corrupt,.... Meaning his sins, which had wounded him, and for which there is no healing but in a wounded Saviour, and by his stripes we are healed, Isaiah 53:5; where the same word is used as here; Christ's black and blue stripes and wounds, as the word signifies, are the healing of ours, both of sins, and of the effects of them; which, to a sensible sinner, are as nauseous and loathsome as an old wound that is festered and corrupt;

because of my foolishness: as all sin arises from foolishness, which is bound in the hearts of men, and from whence it arises, Mark 7:22; perhaps the psalmist may have respect to his folly with Bathsheba, which had been the occasion of all the distress that is spoken of both before and afterwards.

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of {f} my foolishness.

(f) That rather gave place to my own lusts, than to the will of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. My wounds] Or stripes (= bruises, Isaiah 1:6, A.V.): for he has been as it were scourged by God.

my foolishness] Sin is essentially foolishness. Cp. Psalm 107:17. The word occurs only once again in the Psalter (Psalm 69:5), and elsewhere only in Proverbs, where it is common (e.g. Proverbs 5:23; Proverbs 19:3).Verse 5. - My wounds stink and are corrupt. The writer reverts to his bodily pains. He has "wounds," which "stink" and "are corrupt;" or "fester and become noisome," which may be boils, or bed-sores, and which make him a loathsome object to others (comp. Job 9:19; Job 30:18). Because of my foolishness. Because I was so foolish as to forsake the way of righteousness, and allow sin to get the dominion over me. The salvation of the righteous cometh from Jahve; it is therefore characterized, in accordance with its origin, as sure, perfect, and enduring for ever. מעוּזּם is an apposition; the plena scriptio serves, as in 2 Samuel 22:33, to indicate to us that מעוז is meant in this passage to signify not a fortress, but a hiding-place, a place of protection, a refuge, in which sense Arab. ma'âd‛llh (the protection of God) and m‛âḏwjh‛llh (the protection of God's presence) is an Arabic expression (also used as a formula of an oath); vid., moreover on Psalm 31:3. The moods of sequence in Psalm 37:40 are aoristi gnomici. The parallelism in Psalm 37:40 is progressive after the manner of the Psalms of degrees. The short confirmatory clause kichā'subo forms an expressive closing cadence.
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