Psalm 44:15
My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face has covered me,
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(15) The shame.—Better take the face as a second object—shame hath covered me as to my face, i.e., covered my face. Though the record of the facts of a sad reality, these verses have also the value of a prophecy sadder still. Twenty centuries of misery are summed up in these few lines, which have been most literally repeated,

“By the torture, prolonged from age to age,

By the infamy, Israel’s heritage;

By the Ghetto’s plague, by the garb’s disgrace,

By the badge of shame, by the felon’s place.”

R. BROWNING: Holy Cross Day.

Psalm 44:15-16. My confusion is continually before me — I cannot open my eyes but the tokens of our disgrace present themselves before me; and the shame of my face hath covered me — These things have made me so ashamed, that I do not willingly show my face. For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth — I can hear nothing but reproachful words against us, and blasphemous words against thee and thy religion, for our sakes; which is intolerable to me; by reason of the enemy and avenger — That insolent enemy, whose very countenance is full of disdain and scorn, and threatens further mischief to us, as being the executioner, both of thy vengeance and his own upon us, and who persecutes us with despiteful hatred and great cruelty.44:9-16 The believer must have times of temptation, affliction, and discouragement; the church must have seasons of persecution. At such times the people of God will be ready to fear that he has cast them off, and that his name and truth will be dishonoured. But they should look above the instruments of their trouble, to God, well knowing that their worst enemies have no power against them, but what is permitted from above.My confusion is continually before me - My shame; the conviction and the evidence of my disgrace is constantly present with me. Literally, "all the day my shame is before me." That is, the evidences of disgrace, defeat, and disaster; render everywhere around him, and he could not conceal them from himself. The psalmist here is represented as the head of the people, and expresses the sense of disgrace which the sovereign era people would feel in a time of national calamity; identifying himself with the people, he speaks of the national disgrace as his own.

And the shame of my face - The shame that is manifested on the countenance when we blush.

Hath covered me - That is, I am suffused with the evidence of my shame; or, as we sometimes say, "he blushed all over." The blush, however - that special rush of blood manifesting itself through the skin - which constitutes the evidence of shame, is confined to the face and the neck; an arrangement which none can explain, except on the supposition that there is a God; that he is a moral governor; and that, as it was designed that the body should be covered or clothed, he meant that the evidence of guilt should manifest itself on the parts of the person which are most exposed to view, or where others could see it. The idea here is, that he could not conceal the proofs of his shame and disgrace; he was compelled to exhibit them to all around.

15. shame of … face—blushes in disgrace. Before me; before the eyes of my mind and body too. They vilify me, not only behind my back, but even before my face.

The shame of my face hath covered me, i.e. I am filled with shame of my face on every side, being ashamed to show my face in any place or company. My confusion is continually before me,.... Meaning that which is the occasion of it;

and the shame of my face hath covered me; not by reason of sin, which is often the cause of confusion and shame in God's people; see Jeremiah 3:25; but on account of what follows.

My {m} confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me,

(m) I dare not lift up my head for shame.

15. My confusion &c.] Render with R.V., All the day long is my dishonour before me, as in Psalm 44:8; Psalm 44:22; Psalm 44:9. My disgrace is perpetually staring me in the face. Cp. Psalm 38:17.

the shame of my face &c.] Shame is said to cover or clothe a man (Job 8:22; Psalm 35:26; Psalm 69:7; Psalm 132:18); and the shame of my face is an emphatic synonym for my shame, inasmuch as the sense of shame betrays itself in the countenance. Cp. Ezra 9:6 ff; Jeremiah 7:19; Daniel 9:7-8.Verse 15. - My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me (see the comment on ver. 9). (Heb.: 44:10-13) Just as אף signifies imo vero (Psalm 58:3) when it comes after an antecedent clause that is expressly or virtually a negative, it may mean "nevertheless, ho'moos," when it opposes a contrastive to an affirmative assertion, as is very frequently the case with גּם or וגם. True, it does not mean this in itself, but in virtue of its logical relation: we praise Thee, we celebrate Thy name unceasingly - also ( equals nevertheless) Thou hast cast off. From this point the Psalm comes into closest connection with Psalm 89:39, on a still more extended scale, however, with Psalm 60:1-12, which dates from the time of the Syro-Ammonitish war, in which Psalm Psa 44:10 recurs almost word for word. The צבאות are not exactly standing armies (an objection which has been raised against the Maccabean explanation), they are the hosts of the people that are drafted into battle, as in Exodus 12:41, the hosts that went forth out of Egypt. Instead of leading these to victory as their victorious Captain (2 Samuel 5:24), God leaves them to themselves and allows them to be smitten by the enemy. The enemy spoil למו, i.e., just as they like, without meeting with any resistance, to their hearts' content. And whilst He gives over (נתן as in Micah 5:2, and the first יתּן in Isaiah 41:2) one portion of the people as "sheep appointed for food," another becomes a diaspora or dispersion among the heathen, viz., by being sold to them as slaves, and that בּלא־הון, "for not-riches," i.e., for a very low price, a mere nothing. We see from Joel 3:3 in what way this is intended. The form of the litotes is continued in Psalm 44:13: Thou didst not go high in the matter of their purchase-money; the rendering of Maurer is correct: in statuendis pretiis eorum. The ב is in this instance not the Beth of the price as in Psalm 44:13, but, as in the phrase הלּל בּ, the Beth of the sphere and thereby indirectly of the object. רבּה in the sense of the Aramaic רבּי (cf. Proverbs 22:16, and the derivatives תּרבּית, מרבּית), to make a profit, to practise usury (Hupfeld), produces a though that is unworthy of God; vid., on the other hand, Isaiah 52:3. At the heads of the strophe stands (Psalm 44:10) a perfect with an aorist following: ולא תצא is consequently a negative ותּצא. And Psalm 44:18, which sums up the whole, shows that all the rest is also intended to be retrospective.
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