Psalm 69:19
You have known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor: my adversaries are all before you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 69:19-20. Thou hast known my reproach, &c. — Thou seest how much of it I suffer, and that for thy sake. Mine adversaries are all before thee — Thou knowest them thoroughly, and all their injurious and wicked devices, and implacable malice against me. None of them, nor of their secret plots and subtle lies, whereby they seek to defame and undo me: are hidden from thy all-seeing view: nor art thou unacquainted with their impiety and contempt of thee and thy truth. Reproach hath broken my heart — Reproach is the most grievous to those whose spirits are the most generous and noble; and this was the highest degree and the worst kind of reproach, being cast upon him for God’s sake, and upon God also for his sake. I looked for some to take pity, but there was none — That is, few or none; for whether it be understood of David or of Christ, there were some who pitied both of them. Dr. Delaney, who considers the distress which David was now in as being occasioned by his fall, observes, “There were two circumstances of it which, though they are beyond all question the greatest and severest which human nature, can suffer, are not sufficiently considered. The first is, the distress he endured on account of the obloquy and reproach brought upon the true religion and the truly religious by his guilt; and the second, the reproach and endless insults brought upon himself, even by his repentance and humiliation before God and the world. Let any ingenuous man, who feels for virtue and is not seared to shame, put the question to himself: I appeal to his own heart, whether he would not infinitely rather die than endure the state now described one day; forsaken by his friends, scorned by his enemies, insulted by his inferiors, the scoff of libertines, and the song of sots? What then must we think of the fortitude and magnanimity of that man who could endure all this for a series of years? Or rather, how shall we adore that unfailing mercy and all- sufficient goodness which could support him thus, under the quickest sense of shame and infamy, and deepest compunctions of conscience; which could enable him to bear up steadily against guilt, infamy, and the evil world united; from a principle of true religion! and, in the end, even rejoice in his sad estate; as he plainly perceived it must finally tend to promote the true interest of virtue, and the glory of God; that is, must finally tend to promote that interest, which was the great governing principle and main purpose of his life.” — Life of David, b. 3. vol. 3. pp. 30-33.69:13-21 Whatever deep waters of affliction or temptation we sink into, whatever floods of trouble or ungodly men seem ready to overwhelm us, let us persevere in prayer to our Lord to save us. The tokens of God's favour to us are enough to keep our spirits from sinking in the deepest outward troubles. If we think well of God, and continue to do so under the greatest hardships, we need not fear but he will do well for us. And if at any time we are called on to suffer reproach and shame, for Christ's sake, this may be our comfort, that he knows it. It bears hard on one that knows the worth of a good name, to be oppressed with a bad one; but when we consider what a favour it is to be accounted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus, we shall see that there is no reason why it should be heart-breaking to us. The sufferings of Christ were here particularly foretold, which proves the Scripture to be the word of God; and how exactly these predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, which proves him to be the true Messiah. The vinegar and the gall given to him, were a faint emblem of that bitter cup which he drank up, that we might drink the cup of salvation. We cannot expect too little from men, miserable comforters are they all; nor can we expect too much from the God of all comfort and consolation.Thou hast known my reproach - The reproach that has come upon me; the shame and contempt which I am called to endure. God had seen all this; and the psalmist appeals to him as having seen it, as a reason why he should now interpose and save him.

And my shame, and my dishonor - These are different words to express the same idea. They are accumulated here to denote the "greatness" of his distress. In other words, shame and reproach bad come upon him in every possible form.

Mine adversaries are all before thee - All who persecute and oppose me are constantly in thine eye. Thou knowest who they are; thou seest all that they do. Nothing in their conduct is concealed from thee. God, therefore, could take an accurate view of his troubles, and could see all the reasons which existed for interfering in his behalf.

19, 20. Calling God to witness his distress, he presents its aggravation produced by the want of sympathizing friends (compare Isa 63:5; Mr 14:50).19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.

20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me Vinegar to drink.

Here we have a sad recapitulation of sorrows, with more especial reference to the persons concerned in their infliction.

Psalm 69:19

"Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour." It is no novelty or secret, it has been long continued: thou, O God, hast seen it; and for thee to see the innocent suffer is an assurance of help. Here are three words piled up to express the Redeemer's keen sense of the contempt poured upon him; and his assurance that every form of malicious despite was observed of the Lord. "Mine adversaries are all before thee." The whole lewd and loud company is now present to thine eye: Judas and his treachery; Herod and his cunning; Caiaphas and his counsel; Pilate and his vacillation; Jews, priests, people, rulers, all, thou seest and wilt judge.

Psalm 69:20

"Reproach hath broken my heart:" There is no hammer like it. Our Lord died of a broken heart, and reproach had done the deed. Intense mental suffering arises from slander; and, in the cage of the sensitive nature of the immaculate Son of Man, it sufficed to lacerate the heart till it broke. "Then burst his mighty heart." "And I am full of heaviness." Calumny and insult bowed him to the dust; he was sick at heart. The heaviness of our Lord in the garden is expressed by many and forcible words in the four gospels, and each term goes to show that the agony was beyond measure great; he was filled with misery, like a vessel which is full to the brim. "And I looked for some to take pity, but there was none." "Deserted in his utmost need by those his former bounty fed." Not one to say him a kindly word, or drop a sympathetic tear. Amongst ten thousand foes there was not one who was touched by the spectacle of his misery; not one with a heart capable of humane feeling towards him. "And for comforters, but I found none." His dearest ones had sought their own safety, and left their Lord alone. A sick man needs comforters, and a persecuted man needs sympathy; but our blessed Surety found neither on that dark and doleful night when the powers of darkness had their hour. A spirit like that of our Lord feels acutely desertion by beloved and trusted friends, and yearns for real sympathy. This may be seen in the story of Gethsemane: -

"Backwards and forwards thrice he ran,

As if he sought some help from man;

Or wish'd, at least, they would condole -

'Twas all they could - his tortur'd soul.

Whate'er he sought for, there was none;

Our Captain fought the field alone.

continued...

Thou hast known my reproach, & c.; thou seest how much of it I suffer, and that for thy sake; as he said, Psalm 69:7.

Are all before thee; thou knowest them thoroughly, and all their injurious and wicked devices and implacable malice against me, and all their impiety and contempt of thee; for which they deserve to be utterly and speedily destroyed. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour,.... A heap of words to express the greatness of the contempt that was cast upon him, and the injury that was done to his person and character; which was all known to God: as how he was vilified by wicked words and blasphemous speeches; how he was exposed to shame and dishonour by deeds; by spitting upon him, buffeting him, veiling his face, stripping him of his garments, and scourging and crucifying him naked;

mine adversaries are all before thee; in his sight: he knew their persons, the malice and wickedness that were in their hearts; and all the evil words that were spoken, and the evil actions that were done by them. Or, "are all against thee" (f); for they that were against Christ were against his Father.

(f) "coram te, vel contra te", Cocceius.

Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine {p} adversaries are all before thee.

(p) You see that I am beset as a sheep among many wolves.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. Thou hast known] Rather, THOU knowest. Thou, as in Psalm 69:5, is emphatic. See note there for references to Jeremiah’s use of this phrase.

all before thee] They are all in Thy sight. He pleads with God as he might with men, who are more easily moved to pity by the sight of suffering than by merely hearing of it.

19–21. Once more he lays before God the severity of his sufferings, and the inhumanity of his enemies.Verse 19. - Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour (comp. vers. 7-12). Whatever David has suffered at the hands of his enemies has been fully known to God, who has at any rate permitted it. Having seen and known, God will not forget. My adversaries are all before thee. Thou hast seen my adversaries also, and still hast them in thy sight. Thou beholdest their insolence and audacity. Out of deep distress, the work of his foes, the complaining one cries for help; he thinks upon his sins, which is sufferings bring to his remembrance, but he is also distinctly conscious that he is an object of scorn and hostility for God's sake, and from His mercy he looks for help in accordance with His promises. The waters are said to rush in unto the soul (עד־נפשׁ), when they so press upon the imperilled one that the soul, i.e., the life of the body, more especially the breath, is threatened; cf. Jonah 2:6; Jeremiah 4:10. Waters are also a figure of calamities that come on like a flood and drag one into their vortex, Psalm 18:17; Psalm 32:6; Psalm 124:5, cf. Psalm 66:12; Psalm 88:8, Psalm 88:18; here, however, the figure is cut off in such a way that it conveys the impression of reality expressed in a poetical form, as in Psalm 40, and much the same as in Jonah's psalm. The soft, yielding morass is called יון, and the eddying deep מצוּלה. The Nomen Hophal. מעמד signifies properly a being placed, then a standing-place, or firm standing (lxx ὑπόστασις), like מטּה, that which is stretched out, extension, Isaiah 8:8. שׁבּלת (Ephraimitish סבּלת) is a streaming, a flood, from שׁבל, Arab. sbl, to stream, flow (cf. note on Psalm 58:9). בּוא בּ, to fall into, as in Psalm 66:12, and שׁטף with an accusative, to overflow, as in Psalm 124:4. The complaining one is nearly drowned in consequence of his sinking down, for he has long cried in vain for help: he is wearied by continual crying (יגע בּ, as in Psalm 6:7, Jeremiah 45:3), his throat is parched (נחר from חרר; lxx and Jerome: it is become hoarse), his eyes have failed (Jeremiah 14:6) him, who waits upon his God. The participle מיחל, equal to a relative clause, is, as in 18:51, 1 Kings 14:6, attached to the suffix of the preceding noun (Hitzig). Distinct from this use of the participle without the article is the adverbially qualifying participle in Genesis 3:8; Sol 5:2, cf. חי, 2 Samuel 12:21; 2 Samuel 18:14. There is no necessity for the correction of the text מיּחל (lxx apo' τοῦ elpi'zein me). Concerning the accentuation of רבּוּ vid., on Psalm 38:20. Apart from the words "more than the hairs of my head" (Psalm 40:13), the complaint of the multitude of groundless enemies is just the same as in Psalm 38:20; Psalm 35:19, cf. Psalm 109:3, both in substance and expression. Instead of מצמיתי, my destroyers, the Syriac version has the reading מעצמותי (more numerous than my bones), which is approved by Hupfeld; but to reckon the multitude of the enemy by the number of one's own bones is both devoid of taste and unheard of. Moreover the reading of our text finds support, if it need any, in Lamentations 3:52. The words, "what I have not taken away, I must then restore," are intended by way of example, and perhaps, as also in Jeremiah 15:10, as a proverbial expression: that which I have not done wrong, I must suffer for (cf. Jeremiah 15:10, and the similar complaint in Psalm 35:11). One is tempted to take אז in the sense of "nevertheless" (Ewald), a meaning, however, which it is by no means intended to convey. In this passage it takes the place of זאת (cf. οὕτως for ταῦτα, Matthew 7:12), inasmuch as it gives prominence to the restitution desired, as an inference from a false assumption: then, although I took it not away, stole it not.

The transition from the bewailing of suffering to a confession of sin is like Psalm 40:13. In the undeserved persecution which he endures at the hand of man, he is obliged nevertheless to recognise well-merited chastisement from the side of God. And whilst by אתּה ידעתּ (cf. Psalm 40:10, Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 17:16; Jeremiah 18:23, and on ל as an exponent of the object, Jeremiah 16:16; Jeremiah 40:2) he does not acknowledge himself to be a sinner after the standard of his own shortsightedness, but of the divine omniscience, he at the same time commends his sinful need, which with self-accusing modesty he calls אוּלת (Psalm 38:6) and אשׁמות (2 Chronicles 28:10), to the mercy of the omniscient One. Should he, the sinner, be abandoned by God to destruction, then all those who are faithful in their intentions towards the Lord would be brought to shame and confusion in him, inasmuch as they would be taunted with this example. קויך designates the godly from the side of the πίστις, and מבקשׁיךa from the side of the ἀγάπη. The multiplied names of God are so many appeals to God's honour, to the truthfulness of His covenant relationship. The person praying here is, it is true, a sinner, but that is no justification of the conduct of men towards him; he is suffering for the Lord's sake, and it is the Lord Himself who is reviled in him. It is upon this he bases his prayer in Psalm 69:8. עליך, for thy sake, as in Psalm 44:23; Jeremiah 15:15. The reproach that he has to bear, and ignominy that has covered his face and made it quite unrecognisable (Psalm 44:16, cf. Psalm 83:17), have totally estranged (Psalm 38:12, cf. Psalm 88:9, Job 19:13-15; Jeremiah 12:6) from him even his own brethren (אחי, parallel word בּני אמּי, as in Psalm 50:20; cf. on the other hand, Genesis 49:8, where the interchange designedly takes another form of expression); for the glow of his zeal (קנאהּ from קנא, according to the Arabic, to be a deep or bright red) for the house of Jahve, viz., for the sanctity of the sanctuary and of the congregation gathered about it (which is never directly called "the house of Jahve" in the Old Testament, vid., Khler on Zechariah 9:8, but here, as in Numbers 12:7; Hosea 8:1, is so called in conjunction with the sanctuary), as also for the honour of His who sits enthroned therein, consumes him, like a fire burning in his bones which incessantly breaks forth and rages all through him (Jeremiah 20:9; Jeremiah 23:9), and therefore all the malice of those who are estranged from God is concentrated upon and against him.

He now goes on to describe how sorrow for the sad condition of the house of God has brought noting but reproach to him (cf. Psalm 109:24.). It is doubtful whether נפשׁי is an alternating subject to ואבכּה (fut. consec. without being apocopated), cf. Jeremiah 13:17, or a more minutely defining accusative as in Isaiah 26:9 (vid., on Psalm 3:5), or whether, together with בּצּום, it forms a circumstantial clause (et flevi dum in jejunio esset anima mea), or even whether it is intended to be taken as an accusative of the object in a pregnant construction ( equals בּכה ושׁפך נפשׁו, Psalm 42:5; 1 Samuel 1:15): I wept away my soul in fasting. Among all these possible renderings, the last is the least probable, and the first, according to Psalm 44:3; Psalm 83:19, by far the most probable, and also that which is assumed by the accentuation.

(Note: The Munach of בצום is a transformation of Dech (just as the Munach of לחרפות is a transformation of Mugrash), in connection with which נקשי might certainly be conceived of even as object (cf. Psalm 26:6); but this after ואבכּה (not ואבכּה), and as being without example, could hardly have entered the minds of the punctuists.)

The reading of the lxx ואענּה, καὶ συνέκαψα (Olshausen, Hupfeld, and Bttcher), is a very natural (Psalm 35:13) exchange of the poetically bold expression for one less choice and less expressive (since ענּה נפשׁ is a phrase of the Pentateuch equivalent to צוּם). The garb of mourning, like the fasting, is an expression of sorrow for public distresses, not, as in Psalm 35:13, of personal condolence; concerning ואתּנה, vid., on Psalm 3:6. On account of this mourning, reproach after reproach comes upon him, and they fling gibes and raillery at him; everywhere, both in the gate, the place where the judges sit and where business is transacted, and also at carousals, he is jeered at and traduced (Lamentations 3:14, cf. Lamentations 5:14; Job 30:9). שׂיח בּ signifies in itself fabulari de... without any bad secondary meaning (cf. Proverbs 6:22, confabulabitur tecum); here it is construed first with a personal and then a neuter subject (cf. Amos 8:3), for in Psalm 69:13 neither הייתי (Job 30:9; Lamentations 3:14) nor אני (Lamentations 3:63) is to be supplied. Psalm 69:14 tells us how he acts in the face of such hatred and scorn; ואני, as in Psalm 109:4, sarcasmis hostium suam opponit in precibus constantiam (Geier). As for himself, his prayer is directed towards Jahve at the present time, when his affliction as a witness for God gives him the assurance that He will be well-pleased to accept it (עת רצון equals בעת רצון, Isaiah 49:8). It is addressed to Him who is at the same time Jahve and Elohim, - the revealed One in connection with the history of redemption, and the absolute One in His exaltation above the world, - on the ground of the greatness and fulness of His mercy: may He then answer him with or in the truth of His salvation, i.e., the infallibility with which His purpose of mercy verifies itself in accordance with the promises given. Thus is Psalm 69:14 to be explained in accordance with the accentuation. According to Isaiah 49:8, it looks as though עת רצון must be drawn to ענני (Hitzig), but Psalm 32:6 sets us right on this point; and the fact that ברב־חסדך is joined to Psalm 69:14 also finds support from Psalm 5:8. But the repetition of the divine name perplexes one, and it may be asked whether or not the accent that divides the verse into its two parts might not more properly stand beside רצון, as in Psalm 32:6 beside מצא; so that Psalm 69:14 runs: Elohim, by virtue of the greatness of Thy mercy hear me, by virtue of the truth of Thy salvation.

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