Psalm 56:8
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?

King James Bible
Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

Darby Bible Translation
Thou countest my wanderings; put my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

World English Bible
You number my wanderings. You put my tears into your bottle. Aren't they in your book?

Young's Literal Translation
My wandering Thou hast counted, Thou -- place Thou my tear in Thy bottle, Are they not in Thy book?

Psalm 56:8 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Thou tellest my wanderings - Thou dost "number" or "recount" them; that is, in thy own mind. Thou dost keep an account of them; thou dost notice me as I am driven from one place to another to find safety. "My wanderings," to Gath, 1 Samuel 21:10; to the cave of Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1; to Mizpeh, in Moab, 1 Samuel 22:3; to the forest of Hareth, 1 Samuel 22:5; to Keilah, 1 Samuel 23:5; to the wilderness of Ziph, 1 Samuel 23:14; to the wilderness of Maon, 1 Samuel 23:25; to En-gedi, 1 Samuel 24:1-2.

Put thou my tears into thy bottle - The tears which I shed in my wanderings. Let them not fall to the ground and be forgotten. Let them be remembered by thee as if they were gathered up and placed in a bottle - "a lachrymatory" - that they may be brought to remembrance hereafter. The word here rendered "bottle" means properly a bottle made of skin, such as was used in the East; but it may be employed to denote a bottle of any kind. It is possible, and, indeed, it seems probable, that there is an allusion here to the custom of collecting tears shed in a time of calamity and sorrow, and preserving them in a small bottle or "lachrymatory," as a memorial of the grief. The Romans had a custom, that in a time of mourning - on a funeral occasion - a friend went to one in sorrow, and wiped away the tears from the eyes with a piece of cloth, and squeezed the tears into a small bottle of glass or earth, which was carefully preserved as a memorial of friendship and sorrow.

Many of these lachrymatories have been found in the ancient Roman tombs. I myself saw a large quantity of them in the "Columbaria" at Rome, and in the Capitol, among the relics and curiosities of the place. The above engraving will illustrate the form of these lachrymatories. The annexed remarks of Dr. Thomson ("land and the Book," vol. i. p. 147), will show that the same custom prevailed in the East, and will describe the forms of the "tear-bottles" that were used there. "These lachrymatories are still found in great numbers on opening ancient tombs. A sepulchre lately discovered in one of the gardens of our city had scores of them in it. They are made of thin glass, or more generally of simple pottery, often not even baked or glazed, with a slender body, a broad bottom, and a funnel-shaped top. They have nothing in them but "dust" at present. If the friends were expected to contribute their share of tears for these bottles, they would very much need cunning women to cause their eyelids to gush out with water. These forms of ostentatious sorrow have ever been offensive to sensible people. Thus Tacitus says, 'At my funeral let no tokens of sorrow be seen, no pompous mockery of woe. Crown me with chaplets, strew flowers on my grave, and let my friends erect no vain memorial to tell where my remains are lodged. '"

Are they not in thy book? - In thy book of remembrance; are they not numbered and recorded so that they will not be forgotten? This expresses strong confidence that his tears "would" be remembered; that they would not be forgotten. All the tears that we shed "are" remembered by God. If "properly" shed - shed in sorrow, without murmuring or complaining, they will be remembered for our good; if "improperly shed" - if with the spirit of complaining, and with a want of submission to the divine will, they will be remembered against us. But it is not wrong to weep. David wept; the Saviour wept; nature prompts us to weep; and it cannot be wrong to weep if "our" eye "poureth out" its tears "unto God" Job 16:20; that is, if in our sorrow we look to God with submission and with earnest supplication.

Psalm 56:8 Parallel Commentaries

Fear and Faith
What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. 4. ... In God I have put my trust: I will not fear.'--PSALM lvi. 3, 4. It is not given to many men to add new words to the vocabulary of religious emotion. But so far as an examination of the Old Testament avails, I find that David was the first that ever employed the word that is here translated, I will trust, with a religious meaning. It is found occasionally in earlier books of the Bible in different connections, never in regard to man's relations
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Caesar's Household
The gospel has ever achieved its greatest success among the humbler classes. "Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." 1 Corinthians 1:26. It could not be expected that Paul, a poor and friendless prisoner, would be able to gain the attention of the wealthy and titled classes of Roman citizens. To them vice presented all its glittering allurements and held them willing captives. But from among the toilworn, want-stricken victims of their oppression, even from
Ellen Gould White—The Acts of the Apostles

Cross References
2 Kings 20:5
"Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.

Psalm 39:12
"Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner like all my fathers.

Psalm 139:3
You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

Malachi 3:16
Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.

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