For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Sorry.—The note of true penitence is here. The sorrow is for the sin itself, not for its miserable results.
I will be sorry for my sin - I will not deny it; I will not apologize for it. I admit the truth of what my conscience charges on me; I admit the correctness and the propriety of the divine judgment by which I have been affiicted on account of my sin; I desire to repent of all my transgressions, and to turn from them. Compare Leviticus 26:41. The calamity brought upon the psalmist for his sin had produced the desired effect in this respect, that it had brought him to true repentance; and now, with the full confession of his sin, he was anxious only lest he should fall utterly, and should give his enemies, and the enemies of the truth, the occasion to triumph over him which they desired.Declare mine iniquity; either to thee; or publicly to the world, because my sin hath been public and scandalous.
I will be sorry, Heb. I will be (or, I am; futures being oft so taken) solicitous or anxious; full of grief for what is past, and of cares and fears for the future; partly lest I should relapse into the same folly upon new temptations; and partly lest thou shouldst cut me off for my sins. Therefore pity, and pardon, and save me.
For my sin; or, by reason of my sin, or upon that occasion.
I will be sorry for my sin, or "careful" (p) about it; that is, how he committed it for the future: true repentance for sin produces a carefulness to abstain from all appearance of it; see 2 Corinthians 7:10.For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. For &c.] Sin, he confesses, is the cause of that suffering.
I will be sorry] Or, I will be troubled. Jer. sollicitus ero: Psalm 5:1. contristabor.Verse 18. - For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. The four "fors," beginning four consecutive verses, are somewhat puzzling. Canon Cook suggests that they introduce four reasons for the psalmist's silence (vers. 13, 14) and abstinence front self-justification:
(1) because God hears him, and will make answer for him (ver. 15);
(2) because, if he spoke, he might give further occasion to his enemies (ver. 16);
(3) because he feels in danger, and is conscious of sin (ver. 17); and
(4) because he has no course open to him but confession and contrition. If we are justified in attributing the psalm to David, and in assigning its composition to the period immediately preceding Absalom's rebellion, we must look upon it as opening to us a view of David's condition of mind at that time which is of great interest. Psalm 18:25) every wish that his suffering extorts from him, and even his softer sighing does not escape His knowledge. The sufferer does not say this so much with the view of comforting himself with this thought, as of exciting God's compassion. Hence he even goes on to draw the piteous picture of his condition: his heart is in a state of violent rotary motion, or only of violent, quickly repeated contraction and expansion (Psychol. S. 252; tr. p. 297), that is to say, a state of violent palpitation (סחרחר, Pealal according to Ges. 55, 3). Strength of which the heart is the centre (Psalm 40:13) has left him, and the light of his eyes, even of these (by attraction for גּם־הוּא, since the light of the eyes is not contrasted with anything else), is not with him, but has become lost to him by weeping, watching, and fever. Those who love him and are friendly towards him have placed themselves far from his stroke (nega`, the touch of God's hand of wrath), merely looking on (Obadiah 1:11), therefore, in a position hostile (2 Samuel 18:13) rather than friendly. מנּגד, far away, but within the range of vision, within sight, Genesis 21:16; Deuteronomy 32:52. The words וּקרובי מרחק עמדוּ, which introduce a pentastich into a Psalm that is tetrastichic throughout, have the appearance of being a gloss or various reading: מנּגד equals מרחק, 2 Kings 2:7. His enemies, however, endeavour to take advantage of his fall and helplessness, in order to give him his final death-blow. וינקּשׁוּ (with the ק dageshed)
(Note: The various reading וינקּשׁוּ in Norzi rests upon a misapprehended passage of Abulwald (Rikma, p. 166).)
describes what they have planned in consequence of the position he is in. The substance of their words is הוּות, utter destruction (vid., Psalm 5:10); to this end it is מרמות, deceit upon deceit, malice upon malice, that they unceasingly hatch with heart and mouth. In the consciousness of his sin he is obliged to be silent, and, renouncing all self-help, to abandon his cause to God. Consciousness of guilt and resignation close his lips, so that he is not able, nor does he wish, to refute the false charges of his enemies; he has no תּוכחות, counter-evidence wherewith to vindicate himself. It is not to be rendered: "just as one dumb opens not his mouth;" כ is only a preposition, not a conjunction, and it is just here, in Psalm 38:14, Psalm 38:15, that the manifest proofs in support of this are found.
(Note: The passages brought forward by Hupfeld in support of the use of כ as a conjunction, viz., Psalm 90:5; Psalm 125:1; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 61:11, are invalid; the passage that seems most to favour it is Obadiah 1:16, but in this instance the expression is elliptical, כּלא being equivalent to כאשׁר לא, like ללא, Isaiah 65:1, equals לאשׁר לא. It is only כּמו (Arab. kmâ) that can be used as a conjunction; but כ (Arab. k) is always a preposition in ancient Hebrew just as in Syriac and Arabic (vid., Fleischer in the Hallische Allgem. Lit. Zeitschr. 1843, Bd. iv. S. 117ff.). It is not until the mediaeval synagogal poetry (vid., Zunz, Synagogal-poesie des Mittelalters, S. 121, 381f.) that it is admissible to use it as a conjunction (e.g., כּמצא, when he had found), just as it also occurs in Himjaritic, according to Osiander's deciphering of the inscriptions. The verbal clause appended to the word to which this כ, instar, is prefixed is for the most part an attributive clause as above, but sometimes even a circumstantial clause (Arab. ḥâl), as in Psalm 38:14; cf. Sur. lxii. 5: "as the likeness of an ass carrying books.")
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