Psalm 38:6
I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
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(6) I am troubled.—Better,

I am made to writhe (see margin),

I am bowed down exceedingly,

All day long I go about squalid.

(See Psalm 35:14, and comp. Isaiah 21:3.) The usual Oriental signs of mourning are alluded to in the last clause.

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.I am troubled - Margin, "wearied." The Hebrew word means to bend, to curve; then, to be distorted, to writhe with pain, convulsions, and spasms. In Isaiah 21:3, the same word is rendered, "I was bowed down at the hearing of it;" that is, Sorrow so took hold of him, that at the intelligence he writhed with pain as a woman in travail. So here it means that he was bent, or bowed down, or that he writhed in pain as the result of his iniquities.

I am bowed down greatly - Compare Psalm 35:14. The word means properly to bow down; then, to be brought low; to be depressed with pain, grief, sorrow: Psalm 10:10; Isaiah 2:11.

I go mourning all the day long - Constantly; without any intermission. On the word rendered "go mourning" - קדר qâdar - see the notes at Psalm 35:14. The idea here is, that, on account of sin, he was crushed and bowed down as a mourner is with his sorrows, and that he appeared constantly as be walked about with these badges of grief and heavy sorrow. The disease which he had, and which was so offensive to himself Psalm 38:5, and to others Psalm 38:11, was like the filthy and foul garments which mourners put on as expressive of their sorrow. See Job 1:20, note; Job 2:8, note.

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].

Troubled, Heb. distorted, or depressed; or, as it is expressed by another word, signifying the same thing,

bowed down, to wit, in my body, as diseased persons commonly are, and withal dejected in my mind. I go mourning, Heb. in black, the sign of mourning, which may here signify the thing, as signs oft do. When for my ease I rise out of my bed and walk, or rather creep about in my chamber, I do it with a sad heart and dejected countenance. Or if he did walk further, his disease had some intervals and mitigations. Or going may be here meant of his languishing, or going towards the grave, as this same word is used, Genesis 15:2, compared with Genesis 25:32 Joshua 23:14.

I am troubled,.... Discomposed and perplexed in mind; his thoughts were disturbed and irregular, and in the utmost confusion and distress: this trouble was not only on account of the affliction that was upon him, but chiefly because of his sin; and which was increased by the view he had of the displeasure of God, concluding he was come forth against him in wrath and fury;

I am bowed down greatly; not in his body, at least not in that only, as if he was bowed together by his disorder, that he could not lift himself up; for he is said to walk in the next clause: or rather he bowed down his head as a bulrush voluntarily, and through sorrow and shame could not lift it up before the Lord; though it may chiefly design the pressure of his mind, that his soul was cast down within him, and with all his spiritual reasonings he could not erect himself; it is the Lord that raiseth up those that are bowed down in this sense; see Psalm 42:5;

I go mourning all the day long; or "I go black", or "in black" (i); meaning either that his skin was black, through the disease upon him, and the trouble that was in him, Job 30:30; or that he was clothed in black garments, as a token of mourning; as white garments were of joy and cheerfulness, Ecclesiastes 9:7; and he was blacker still in his own apprehension, by reason of inward corruptions and outward transgressions, which appeared in a very black hue, attended with aggravating circumstances; see Sol 1:5.

(i) "atratus", Montanus, Tigurine version, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
6. I am bent, I am bowed down exceedingly, as one whose frame is contracted and drawn together by pain, or whose gestures indicate mental anguish. Cp. Psalm 35:14; Isaiah 21:3. Notice the vigorous archaism wried in A.V. margin, i.e. twisted.

mourning] In the guise of a mourner. See note on Psalm 35:14.

In later times at any rate it was customary for the accused to appear before the court in mourning. “Whosoever comes before this court of the Sanhedrin to take his trial, presents himself in the guise of humility and fear, appealing to your compassion, with hair neglected, and clad in black garments.” (Josephus, Antiq. xiv. 9. 3). If the custom prevailed in earlier times, in mourning garb may suggest that he feels himself, like Job, under the divine accusation. Cp. Zechariah 3:1 ff.

Verse 6. - I am troubled; literally, bent; which some take physically, and explain as "twisted by violent spasms," others, psychically, as "warped in mind," "driven crazy." I am bowed down greatly; i.e. bowed to earth, crooked, as men are in extreme old age, or by such maladies as lumbago and rheumatism. I go mourning all the day long. My gait is that of a mourner - I stoop and move slowly. Psalm 38:6(Heb.: 38:2-9) David begins, as in Psalm 6:1-10, with the prayer that his punitive affliction may be changed into disciplinary. Bakius correctly paraphrases. Psalm 38:2 : Corripe sane per legem, castiga per crucem, millies promerui, negare non possum, sed castiga, quaeso, me ex amore ut pater, non ex furore et fervore ut judex; ne punias justitiae rigore, sed misericordiae dulcore (cf. on Psalm 6:2). The negative is to be repeated in Psalm 38:2, as in Psalm 1:5; Psalm 9:19; Psalm 75:6. In the description, which give the ground of the cry for pity, נחת, is not the Piel, as in Psalm 18:35, but the Niphal of the Kal נחת immediately following (root נח). קצף is anger as a breaking forth, fragor (cf. Hosea 10:7, lxx φρύγανον), with ĕ instead of ı̆ in the first syllable, vowels which alternate in this word; and חמה, as a glowing or burning. חצּים (in Homer, κῆλα), God's wrath-arrows, i.e., lightnings of wrath, are His judgments of wrath; and יד, as in Psalm 32:4; Psalm 39:11, God's punishing hand, which makes itself felt in dispensing punishment, hence תּנחת might be attached as a mood of sequence. In Psalm 38:4 wrath is called זעם as a boiling up. Sin is the cause of this experiencing wrath, and the wrath is the cause of the bodily derangement; sin as an exciting cause of the wrath always manifests itself outwardly even on the body as a fatal power. In Psalm 38:5 sin is compared to waters that threaten to drown one, as in Psalm 38:5 to a burden that presses one down. ככבּדוּ ממּנּי, they are heavier than I, i.e., than my power of endurance, too heavy for me. In Psalm 38:6 the effects of the operation of the divine hand (as punishing) are wounds, חבּוּרת (properly, suffused variegated marks from a blow or wheals, Isaiah 1:6; from חבר, Arab. ḥbr, to be or make striped, variegated), which הבאישׁוּ, send forth an offensive smell, and נמקּוּ, suppurate. Sin, which causes this, is called אוּלת, because, as it is at last manifest, it is always the destruction of itself. With emphasis does מפּני אוּלתּי form the second half of the verse. To take נעויתי out of Psalm 38:7 and put it to this, as Meier and Thenius propose, is to destroy this its proper position. On the three מפּני, vid., Ewald, 217, l. Thus sick in soul and body, he is obliged to bow and bend himself in the extreme. נעוה is used of a convulsive drawing together of the body, Isaiah 21:3; שׁחח, of a bowed mien, Psalm 35:14; הלּך, of a heavy, lagging gait. With כּי in Psalm 38:8 the grounding of the petition begins for the third time. His כּסלים, i.e., internal muscles of the loins, which are usually the fattest parts, are full of נקלה, that which is burnt, i.e., parched. It is therefore as though the burning, starting from the central point of the bodily power, would spread itself over the whole body: the wrath of God works commotion in this latter as well as in the soul. Whilst all the energies of life thus yield, there comes over him a partial, almost total lifelessness. פּוּג is the proper word for the coldness and rigidity of a corpse; the Niphal means to be brought into this condition, just as נדכּא means to be crushed, or to be brought into a condition of crushing, i.e., of violent dissolution. The מן of מנּהמת is intended to imply that the loud wail is only the utterance of the pain that is raging in his heart, the outward expression of his ceaseless, deep inward groaning.
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