Psalm 38:8
I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
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(8) I am feeble and sore broken.—Better, I am become deadly cold, and am quite worn out.

Disquietness.—Properly, roaring. Thus, of the sea (Isaiah 5:30), of lions (Proverbs 19:12; Proverbs 20:2). A very slight alteration once suggested by Hitzig, but since abandoned, would give here, “I roared more than the roaring of a lion.”

Psalm 38:8-10. I have roared — Hebrew, שׁאגתי, sha-agti, roared like a lion, or a bear, namely, through extreme misery; by reason of the disquietness of my heart — For the great anxiety and torment of my mind, caused by the deep sense of my sins, and of God’s wrath, and of the sad issue of both. My groaning is not hid from thee — I do not utter all these complaints, nor roar out that thou mayest hear and know them, for thou hearest and knowest my lowest words, yea, the desires of my heart, and all my necessities. And, therefore, I pray thee, pity and deliver me, as I trust thou wilt. My heart panteth — סחרחר, secharchar, circumit, palpitat, goeth round, palpitates, through fear and grief; or, it is perplexed and tossed with many and various thoughts, not knowing what to do, nor whither to go. The light of mine eyes — Mine eyes are grown dim; either through grief and tears, or through weakness.

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 feeble - The word used here means properly to be cold, or without warmth; and then, to be torpid or languid. Compare Genesis 45:26. Would not this be well represented by the idea of a "chill?"

And sore broken - This word means to break in pieces; to beat small; to crush; and then it may be used to denote being broken in spirit, or crushed by pain and sorrow: Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 19:10.

I have roared - I have cried out on account of my suffering. See the notes at Psalm 22:1.

By reason of the disquietness of my heart - The word here rendered "disquietness" means properly "a roaring," as of the sea: Isaiah 5:30; and then, a groaning, or roaring, as of the afflicted. Here the "heart" is represented as "roaring" or "crying out." The lips only gave utterance to the deeper groanings of the heart.

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].

Roared, like a bear or a lion, through extreme pain and misery.

By reason of the disquietness of my heart; for the great anxiety and torment of my mind, caused by the deep sense of my sins, and of God’s wrath, and of the sad issue of my disease; which being added to my bodily pains, makes them more intolerable.

I am feeble,.... Both in body, natural strength being weakened by the affliction, and dried up like a potsherd by the heat of the distemper; and in soul, being weak in the exercise of faith and other graces. The word is used of Jacob, fainting at and disbelieving the news of his son Joseph being alive, Genesis 45:26;

and sore broken; in his constitution with the disease, and in his mind with trouble; especially for his sin, and under a sense of the divine displeasure; his bones were broken by his fall, and his heart broken with a sense of sin, Psalm 51:8;

I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart: which was like the raging of the sea, as the word (l) rendered disquietness here signifies; and to which the uneasiness and restlessness of wicked men is sometimes compared, Isaiah 5:30; and so great was the disquietude of this good man under affliction, and sense of sin and wrath, that he had no rest night nor day; and could not forbear crying out, in a very hideous manner, like the roaring of a lion.

(l) "prae fremitu", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, so Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

I am feeble and sore broken: I {g} have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

(g) This example warns us never to despair, no matter how great the torment: but always to cry to God with sure trust for deliverance.

8. I am faint and sore bruised (R.V.). Cp. Psalm 51:8; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 53:10.

I have roared &c.] Lit. I have roared (Psalm 22:1; Psalm 32:3; Job 3:24) from the moaning of my heart. The inward moaning of his heart must needs find utterance in loud cries of distress.

Verse 8. - I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. In concluding his accounts of his physical condition, the writer passes from details to more vague and general statements. He is "feeble," i.e. generally weak and wanting in vigour - he is "sore broken," or "sore bruised" (Revised Version), i.e. full of aches and pains, as though he had been bruised all over - and the "disquietness of his heart" causes him to vent his anguish in "roarings," or groanings. Psalm 38:8(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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